Win McNamee/Getty Images
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to gain the votes to become House majority speaker on Tuesday.
- McCarthy failed to gain the necessary 218 votes three times at the outset of the 118th Congress.
- Later, key ally Donald Trump declined to say whether he stood by his endorsement of McCarthy.
Donald Trump’s support of longtime GOP ally Kevin McCarthy may be fading after California Republican failed to win the House speaker bid three times in a row on Tuesday.
McCarthy did not amass enough votes from his Republican colleagues at the outset of the 118th Congress, with 19 GOP members voting against his effort to become speaker of the GOP-led House. Trump, for his part, has now tamped down on his support for his longtime confidant, according to NBC News.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump told NBC News on Tuesday. “I got everybody calling me wanting my support. We’ll see how it all works out.”
McCarthy could not immediately be reached for comment.
In December, Trump encouraged GOP holdouts to rally around McCarthy, accusing them of playing a “very dangerous game.”
McCarthy needs 218 votes to secure the leadership bid, and by the third round of voting, the number of Republicans voting against him had increased to 20 members. Many of the members of the America First caucus, including Reps. Matt Gaetz, Chip Roy, and Lauren Boebert, voted against McCarthy.
“I will always fight to put the American people first, not a few individuals who want something for themselves,” McCarthy told reporters after the first vote. “I’m not going anywhere.”
By the end of Tuesday’s session, Rep. Jim Jordan had emerged as a frontrunner, but declined that he would seek the post when asked by NBC News.