Former President Trump endorsed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Saturday, calling him “strong and fearless.”
In a post on social media site Truth Social, Trump said McCarthy is an “outstanding representative for the people of California.”
“In Congress, Kevin is a tireless advocate for the people of Bakersfield and the Central Valley. He is working incredibly hard to Stop Inflation, Deliver Water Solutions, and Hold Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi Accountable for their catastrophic failures and dereliction of duty,” Trump wrote. “Kevin McCarthy has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”
Trump’s endorsement comes after The New York Times leaked audio tapes in April showing McCarthy had discussed with other GOP lawmakers the possibility of telling the former president to resign if he were impeached for the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising at the U.S. Capitol.
On Jan. 10, 2021, McCarthy said during a GOP conference call that he was considering telling Trump — if the then-president were impeached — “it would be my recommendation you should resign.”
The bombshell audio tapes sparked headlines, given that Trump has repeatedly gone after any Republicans who have not supported his unproven claims of election fraud or voted to impeach him following the Jan. 6 rioting.
After the leak, Trump said he “didn’t like the call,” but explained his relationship with McCarthy was still intact because the California congressman had inevitably sided with Trump.
“I think it’s all a big compliment, frankly,” Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “They realized they were wrong and supported me.”
McCarthy, who hauled in a record $31.5 million in campaign funding during the first quarter of the year, faces a primary challenge in a newly drawn 20th Congressional District against several opponents.
The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday.