U.S. House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised former President Donald Trump he would get his two impeachments wiped after questioning Trump’s strength in 2024, Politico reported Thursday.
McCarthy said in late June that while he believed Trump could win in a general election against President Joe Biden, he wasn’t sure if the former president was the “strongest” candidate to do so, angering Trump’s camp.
The former president questioned why McCarthy hadn’t endorsed him, and the speaker promised he’d call a vote to expunge the impeachments in an attempt to appease Trump, a source familiar with the conversation told Politico.
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“He needs to endorse me — today!” Trump said after McCarthy’s late June remarks, sources familiar with the situation told Politico.
McCarthy attempted damage control by sending out fundraising texts and arguing Trump is “stronger today than he was in 2016,” but has denied promising to wipe the former president’s impeachments, an aide told Politico. Instead, the speaker argued he only told the former president he would discuss bringing a vote to the floor with other members.
McCarthy bringing the expungement vote is met with opposition from moderate Republicans who worry having to take a position on the issue again will hinder their reelection chances, while more conservative members like House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia are pushing the measure, according to Politico.
Some among the speaker’s leadership team don’t think a vote will eventually happen and warn it’s “too divisive,” according to Politico.
“I’m for Trump,” a senior congress member told Politico. “The problem is: If you have an expungement, and it goes to the floor and fails — which it probably will — then the media will treat it like it’s a third impeachment, and it will show disunity among Republican ranks. It’s a huge strategic risk.”
Neither McCarthy nor Trump immediately responded to the request for comment.
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