'We'll see what happens': Trump declines to back up McCarthy after three failed Speaker votes

On Tuesday, NBC News reporter Garrett Haake revealed the former President Donald Trump is no longer publicly committing to supporting House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy after he became the first party leader to lose his initial election for Speaker since 1923.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted three times. On the first two ballots, McCarthy lost 19 Republicans, with all five of the so-called "Never Kevin" caucus voted against him, along with 14 other Republicans who had been undecided. On the third, another Republican, Byron Donalds of Florida, voted against McCarthy as well, for a total of 20.

"Former President Trump declined to say if he's sticking by his endorsement of Kevin McCarthy for speaker tonight, telling me in a brief phone interview he's had calls all day asking for support, and 'We'll see what happens. We'll see how it all works out,'" reported Haake. "When I asked directly if he was sticking by McCarthy, who did not clinch the gavel today after three floor votes, Mr. Trump told me 'we'll see what happens,' and ended our conversation."

This stands in contrast to Trump's attitude in the weeks leading up to the vote.

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“Look, I think this: Kevin has worked very hard. I think he deserves the shot,” said Trump in a mid-December interview with the far-right outlet Breitbart News. “Hopefully he’s going to be very strong and going to be very good and he’s going to do what everybody wants.” He compared the situation to Republicans' leadership fight in 2015, when McCarthy was similarly passed over after then-Speaker John Boehner resigned. “It’s a very dangerous game. Some bad things could happen. Look, we had Boehner and he was a strange person but we ended up with Paul Ryan who was ten times worse,”

As of press time, the House has adjourned, with plans to regroup to try to elect a Speaker again tomorrow, and it is unclear what Republicans' next move will be.