Fact Check

Did Trump Urge House Republicans to Elect Kevin McCarthy as Speaker?

A screenshot supposedly showing a statement by the former president circulated widely after Republicans failed to elect a speaker on Tuesday.

Published Jan 4, 2023

 (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons
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Claim:
On Jan. 4, 2023, former U.S. President Donald Trump urged House Republicans to vote for Kevin McCarthy in his bid for House speaker.

Screenshots supposedly showing statements by former U.S. President Donald Trump about House Republicans' vote to elect a speaker circulated widely on Jan. 4, 2023. In the statements, Trump endorsed Rep. Kevin McCarthy for the leadership position.


The screenshots indeed depicted authentic statements by the former president. He shared them on his social media platform, Truth Social, after McCarthy failed to secure enough support from members of his own party in multiple rounds of voting on Jan. 3. Considering those facts, we rate this claim "True."

In the early hours of Jan. 4, Trump wrote on Truth Social, "Some really good conversations took place last night, and it's now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE "HOUSE" TWICE! REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB - JUST WATCH!"

While Trump had backed McCarthy publicly before, on Jan. 3, the first day of voting, his enthusiasm appeared to wane. In an interview with NBC News, Trump declined to reiterate his support for McCarthy as House speaker, saying, "We'll see how it all works out."

Then, on Jan. 4, that stance shifted with the above-displayed Truth Social post. (Roughly 20 minutes after posting the endorsement, Trump posted again, urging Republicans turn their ire to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.)

While Trump's post supporting McCarthy for House speaker was indeed an official statement from the former president, less accurate — or completely fake — screenshots supposedly showing his posts or press releases are quite popular on social media. For example, we've previously covered fake statements that supposedly showed Trump calling Mike Pence a "dog," insulting Joe Rogan, responding to Biden's COVID-19 diagnosis, and criticizing Liz Cheney.

Some of McCarthy's most vocal opponents remain loyal to Trump. Another vote for House speaker will be held on Jan. 4. McCarthy made several concessions to appease lawmakers who did not vote for him initially. 

— This report includes contributions from the Snopes staff. 

Article 1 of 6 in Collection

Sources

Evon, Dan. "Did Trump Criticize 'Lyin' Joe Rogan' and Say He Turned Down Show Invites?" Snopes, 6 July 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/joe-rogan-trump/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

Evon, Dan. "Is This a Real Trump Statement About Biden's COVID-19 Diagnosis?" Snopes, 21 July 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/biden-covid-trump-statement/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

"EXPLAINER: What to Expect on Day 2 of House Speaker Election." AP NEWS, 4 Jan. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/politics-united-states-government-house-of-representatives-us-republican-party-0cbb37878b9244d393553f000c332895. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

Gans, Jared. "Trump Calls for All Republicans to Back McCarthy for Speaker." The Hill, 4 Jan. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/house/3797975-trump-calls-for-all-republicans-to-back-mccarthy/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

Hooper, Kelly. "Trump Endorses McCarthy after Three Failed Speaker Votes." POLITICO, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/04/trump-endorses-mccarthy-speaker-house-00076298. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023. 

MacGuill, Dan. "Did Trump Call Pence 'a Dog That Belongs on the Street'?" Snopes, 12 Apr. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-pence-dog-pet/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

MacGuill, Dan. "Did Trump Mark Father's Day With Attack on Cheney and DeSantis?" Snopes, 21 June 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-fathers-day-statement/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

Raju, Manu and Clare Foran, Melanie Zanona, Annie Grayer, Kristin Wilson. "McCarthy Speaker Bid in Peril as He Fails to Lock down Support amid First-in-a-Century Fight | CNN Politics." CNN, 4 Jan. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/04/politics/kevin-mccarthy-speaker-vote/index.html. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

"These 19 Republicans Refuse to Support McCarthy for House Speaker." CBS News, 3 Jan. 2023. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/republicans-against-kevin-mccarthy-house-speaker/. Accessed 4 Jan. 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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