The meeting took place at Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, where he has visited frequently as president and has moved into his post-presidency residence.
In a statement, McCarthy stressed the “historic results for all Americans” achieved by the House Republicans and the Trump administration, saying that the House GOP “defied the pundits and the media by helping our growing coalition expanded throughout the country “.
“Today President Trump pledged to vote for Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022,” he said. “A Republican majority will listen to our fellow Americans and solve the challenges our nation faces.”
The ad also suppressed speculation that Trump would quit the Republican Party, praising the former president for his popularity and advocating the weight of his support.
“President Trump’s popularity has never been as strong as it is today, and his approval means more than perhaps any approval at any point in time,” it said.
McCarthy’s high-profile meeting with Trump was an endorsement that the California Republican has decided to align his political cards with the former president, who is still largely popular with his grassroots members. He supported Trump in 2016 and was a longtime ally of Trump who earned him the nickname “My Kevin”. His hug for the former president is very different from that of McCarthy’s Senate counterpart, Mitch McConnell, who has not spoken to Trump since Dec. 15.
However, the McCarthy-Trump relationship appeared to turn sour in the weeks following the January 6th Capitol riots, prompting McCarthy to reverse his stance on Trump’s involvement in inciting violence. After the riot, McCarthy first said Trump had some responsibility for the attacks before saying he did not provoke the rioters and ultimately shifted the blame on “everyone in this country”.
In the past few days, Trump has installed a senior political advisor to publicize that he was and wanted to remain a member of the Republican Party, and dropped talks that he might branch off to a third party. This is how he sends a message to the Senate Republicans on the eve of his impending impeachment trial. He has already threatened his critics in the GOP Senate with primary challenges.
“The president wanted me and some others to know that the president was a Republican, that he was not creating a third party, and that anything he would do politically in the future would be a Republican,” said Senator Kevin Cramer (RN. D.) said to POLITICO. “The Republican Party still overwhelmingly supports this president.”
While it seemed at some point possible that the Senate would convict the former president for incitement to insurrection, an acquittal seems to be the foregone conclusion after 45 Senate Republicans voted against the constitutionality of the trial, which is due to begin in February. 9. Sentencing would require the support of all Democrats and 17 Republican Senators.