McCarthy says he’s open to serving in potential new Trump administration after House retirement

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks with reporters outside a House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill Oct. 24, 2023. (Francis Chung/POLITICO via AP Images)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill on October 24, 2023.Francis Chung/POLITICO/APCNN — 

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he believes former President Donald Trump will receive the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and he’ll support the former president in seeking a second term – including as a potential member of the administration.

“I will help whether I’m in it or whether I’m out. I want the country to be successful. I tell the [former] president all the time, it’s about renewing, rebuilding and restoring this country,” the outgoing California Republican congressman said in an interview with Fox News on Saturday.

McCarthy, who is leaving Congress at the end of the year, has doubled down on his support for Trump in the 2024 presidential race, even as he has stressed that he has not endorsed anyone.

In an interview with CNN last month, McCarthy said he supported the former president, adding, “I haven’t endorsed, but I support President Trump,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.

Former Speaker of the House and current U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arrives for a third House Republican conference meeting of the day, in a continued effort to choose a nominee in the race for House Speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 24, 2023.

Inside McCarthy’s farewell tour as he prepares to exit Congress

When asked whether Trump could count on his support during an interview that aired last weekend on “CBS Sunday Morning,” he replied, “Yes.” Pressed on whether that was an official endorsement of Trump, McCarthy chuckled and responded, “I will support the president. I will support President Trump.”

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CNN has reached out to McCarthy for clarification on whether he is endorsing Trump.

The California Republican has also cautioned the former president against making his reelection bid all about “revenge.”

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“Retribution, revenge? No,” McCarthy told Fox News on Saturday, referring to comments Trump has made about exacting revenge on his political enemies if elected.

McCarthy, who in October became the first House speaker to be ousted from the position, also told Fox News he didn’t want to stay in Congress long past his speakership because of the impact it could have on his legacy.

“It’s probably not the legacy I want, that I just stayed around,” McCarthy said. “I wanted to make sure I did something here.

“I believe the founders always designed this to have new blood come in,” he said.

CNN’s Aileen Graef contributed to this report.

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