Kevin McCarthy reported that Trump “pledged to help Republicans win the House and Senate in 2022.”
FLORIDA United States. (Agencies) – Donald Trump met Thursday in Florida with U.S. House Opposition Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy amid a tug-of-war over the future of the Republican Party.
Conservative members of Congress appear eager to present a united front with the former president. Taking back the House of Representatives in 2022 was the main topic of the meeting, held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, according to a readout provided by Save America, a political action committee linked to the mogul.
“President Trump’s popularity has never been stronger than it is now,” noted McCarthy, who encouraged Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud but distanced himself after the former president was accused of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol assault. McCarthy declared that Joe Biden was the winner of the November election and that Trump “is responsible for the attack on Congress by mob troublemakers.”
On Thursday, McCarthy showed up again alongside Trump. The two appeared smiling in a photograph taken in an ornate room reminiscent of a European palace.
“President Trump pledged to help Republicans win the House and Senate in 2022,” McCarthy said in a statement in which he also attacked Democrats for “indicting a president who is now a private citizen.”
“A united conservative movement will strengthen the bonds of our citizens and defend the freedoms upon which our country was founded,” he added.
Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark expressed surprise that McCarthy aligned himself with Trump after the “seditious” assault on Capitol Hill.
After being impeached for an unprecedented second time in Congress for a U.S. president, it was unclear how much political influence Trump would retain upon leaving the White House.
Following the release of polls revealing Trump’s broad support in the party, numerous Republican leaders said they would remain in the former president’s orbit, or at least not publicly break with him.
However, if Trump is convicted in the Senate in the impeachment trial that will begin against him in February, the party would be severely weakened in its aspirations to wrest control of Congress from the Democrats.
“In the party, you have the Trump wing, which wants to purge those who have stood up to the president’s lies, (and) you have the establishment wing, which wants to purge Trump supporters,” former Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo told MSNBC. “At this point, it’s clear that the Trump wing is dominant.”