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McCarthy Says He’s Unsure Trump Is The Best Candidate To Take On Biden—Angering Trump Allies

Sara Dorn

Forbes Staff


Then-U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he joined by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the Rose ... [+] GETTY IMAGES


McCarthy said during a CNBC interview Tuesday he believes Trump can beat Biden and that Trump’s policies are “better, straightforward.” But when asked if Trump’s two ongoing criminal cases hurt his chances of winning the election, McCarthy expressed some doubts: “The question is, is [Trump] the strongest to win the election? I don’t know that answer,” he said. McCarthy has repeatedly declined to endorse a candidate in the 2024 race, but told Spectrum News last month the two speak “once or twice a month.”

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Trump’s allies are reportedly outraged by the comments, CNN reported, citing one who said: “People are not happy. What was he thinking?” while right-wing provocateur Laura Loomer tweeted that Trump should “just destroy McCarthy’s career while he can.”


McCarthy criticized the interpretation of his comments in a subsequent interview Tuesday, telling Breitbart “as usual, the media is attempting to drive a wedge between President Trump and House Republicans.” McCarthy, pointing to recent polling showing Trump leading the GOP primary field, said “Trump is stronger today than he was in 2016.”


McCarthy and Trump have been closely aligned since Trump’s time in the White House, when he notably referred to McCarthy as “my Kevin.” After the January 6 Capitol riots, McCarthy placed some responsibility on Trump, but cozied up to him days later at Mar-A-Lago in what was widely viewed as a conciliatory visit, then later opposed his impeachment. Last week, McCarthy said he supports legislation introduced by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to expunge House votes to impeach Trump in 2019 and 2021. McCarthy has also defended Trump against his indictments in Manhattan Criminal Court in April for an alleged hush-money scheme and his federal indictment earlier this month in the Justice Department’s probe into his handling of classified documents after leaving office. In the wake of his hard-fought battle for the speakership in January, McCarthy thanked Trump for helping him win the election and he doesn’t “think anybody should doubt [Trump’s]



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