During a "Morning Joe" panel discussion into why senior Republicans continue to kowtow to Donald Trump even though they lost the Senate, the House and the White House during his four years in office, an MSNBC contributor focused in on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and bluntly stated he lives in fear of the former president.
Following co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski talking over each other -- and trashing -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-FL) for flying down to Mar-a-Lago to have his picture taken with Trump, the Washington Post's Ashley Parker what brought about the change in McCarthy who had previously condemned Trump over the Jan 6th Capitol riot.
"Can you tell me, can you pick an exact time, when they went from deciding to be in the Liz Cheney camp to -- I'm sorry, there's no polite way to say it -- crawling back to Donald Trump politically?" host Scarborough asked.
"Well, one instance you would have to look at, and I don't know the exact date, but was when leader McCarthy made that first trip that you have up on the screen right now down to Mar-a-Lago. and that showed he wasn't taking the Leader [Mitch] McConnell's approach of saying, 'I never want to talk to this man again.' Maybe not going to go out and publicly criticize him, but I'll try to move the party on."
"Kevin McCarthy made the calculation that all roads to the majority in 2022 run through Mar-a-Lago and one detail we put in our story that was fascinating, and I will caveat it, is that some of Trump's top advisers are telling him if McCarthy and Republicans take back the House in 2022, that Donald Trump should not support him for speaker, should withhold his support, should freeze that race," she continued.
"Now, if they actually win, Donald Trump likes to back a winner, winning solves a lot of problems," she added. "It is hard to imagine a scenario in which Donald Trump does not support Kevin McCarthy for speaker. But you have someone like Kevin McCarthy for which his own personal interests is running scared and is terrified of Donald Trump weighing in with a critical statement on that fairly bare-bones website that you referenced earlier."
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