Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been longing to be the speaker for years, but the party's leader, former President Donald Trump, doesn't appear willing to make it easy for him.
Punchbowl News reported Wednesday that the GOP is dealing with a lot after polls show significant changes in attitudes about whether the former president should be indicted for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. An ABC/Ipsos poll showed that 58 percent believe Trump should be charged, while 60 percent support the Jan. 6 committee.
Republicans had an opportunity to support a bipartisan commission similar to the 9/11 commission set up to detail mistakes after the terrorist attack. In this case, Republicans voted the measure down in the Senate and refused to participate in the committee that came out of the House.
The move came after Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Officer Brian Sicknick, met with senators trying to get them to support a commission. Still, the GOP voted it down with support from the former president, who called it a "Democrat trap," last May.
McCarthy tried to have members like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on the panel, but there is now speculation about Jordan's calls with the president on and around Jan. 6. Democrats ended up recruiting two anti-Trump Republicans.
"But when Pelosi wrongfully didn't allow them, we should've picked other people. We have a lot of good people in the Republican Party," Trump told Sherman.
Now Trump is furious that there aren't any Republicans there to protect him and speak out on his behalf. Last week, the president ranted in all capital letters that he deserves "EQUAL TIME" to defend himself.
As part of the conversation with Trump, Sherman noted that the ex-president has no interest in supporting McCarthy for the Speaker office. He's not the only one. Far-right figures like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also don't want McCarthy to lead the House GOP.
When asked about McCarthy's bid for Speaker, Trump refused to comment, "But I [will] just tell you that — and I like Kevin very much — but in retrospect, it's not fair when you have, I don't know how many people they have on the committee in total, but whatever it is, and you have nobody to give the opposing point of view."
There aren't opposing points of view on the facts around Jan. 6, what Trump appears to want to do, according to his 12-page statement, is continue to promote conspiracy theories that have been debunked.
"We also wondered if McCarthy's decision here will play into Trump's calculation as to whether he will endorse the California Republican for Speaker," wrote Sherman.
"Well, I don't want to comment on that now. But you and I will talk at some point in the future," said Trump.
\u201c@PunchbowlNews Trump told me yesterday it was the wrong decision.\n\nHe also repeatedly declined to endorse McCarthy for speaker \n\nNow let's be clear. Rs could've been on this committee. it was a conscious decision.\u201d— Jake Sherman (@Jake Sherman) 1655903615