- Trump still views McCarthy warily months after leaving office, The Washington Post reported.
- He has “still not forgiven” the GOP lawmaker for floating a censure resolution after January 6, per the report.
- The two Republicans have tried to forge a continued partnership to boost the party in 2022.
The relationship between former President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy “remains hot and cold,” with the former president leaking reports of personal visits by the California Republican while also “privately bad-mouthing” him, Trump aides told The Washington Post.
When former President Donald Trump was still in the White House, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy worked in tandem with the conservative administration to enact like-minded legislation in Congress.
Immediately after the 2020 presidential election, McCarthy vigorously defended Trump’s push to challenge the election results.
“What we need in the presidential race is to make sure every legal vote is counted, every recount is completed, and every legal challenge should be heard,” he said on the Fox News show “Sunday Morning Features” last November.
However, in the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol riot and with Trump facing a second impeachment trial, McCarthy said the next week that the then-president “bears responsibility” for the siege.
“I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake … that doesn’t mean the president is free from fault,” he said at the time. “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”
The GOP leader suggested the possibility of a censure resolution, which several Republican members introduced in the House earlier this year.
However, on January 21, McCarthy backtracked and said that Trump did not initiate the insurrection.
“I don’t believe he provoked it if you listen to what he said at the rally,” he said at the time.
Later that month, the GOP leader – who is working feverishly to become House Speaker in 2022 – traveled to the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida to meet with the former president.
However, a bit of tension remained, with some in Trumpworld reportedly continuing to view McCarthy with caution, according to a previous Insider report.
Trump’s aides reportedly told The Post that the former president “has learned to be wary” of McCarthy’s divergent interests, even as they work to regain congressional majorities in 2022 – and with the former president’s own potential 2024 campaign up in the air.
And the former president has not forgotten about McCarthy’s proposed censure resolution related to the insurrection.
“He’ll never get over that,” a Trump advisor told The Post. “It’s really their main disagreement.”
McCarthy has also continued to support some of the Republicans who backed Trump’s impeachment for “incitement of insurrection,” which has attracted the ire of the former president, according to the report.
The former president has made retribution against the 10 House Republicans who voted for his second impeachment a huge part of his 2022 plank. He has also endorsed primary challengers running against Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Fred Upton of Michigan.
Last month, pro-impeachment GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio announced that he would not seek reelection next year.
Trump crowed over the announcement in a statement: “1 down, 9 to go!”
However, amid the talk of dissension, Trump pushed back against the narrative that he has anything other than a productive alliance with McCarthy.
“I have a great relationship with Kevin,” the former president said in a statement to Post.