Donald Trump’s political brand features gold leaf accents, but they seem to have lost their shine.
As the GOP primaries for 2022 approached, Trump was at the height of his power and tried to rebuild the party in his image. His support in close contests ultimately came to define who conservative supporters favored and who they didn’t.
One of the candidates he supported was Kevin McCarthy, the aspirational congressman from California who, immediately after the riots on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol went to Mar-a-Lago to make peace after earlier criticizing Trump.
Trump reacted by supporting McCarthy the next summer, referring to him as a “strong and brave” leader for the GOP of the era.
On January 3, the first day of the 118th Congress, McCarthy was defeated 3 times in a row by his colleagues, and it appeared that Trump was no longer confident: In an interview with Garrett Haake of NBC News on Tuesday, Trump chose not to clarify a specific issue about whether he favored McCarthy, responding simply with “we’ll see what happens” when asked.
By early Wednesday, Trump had decided to continue with McCarthy. Trump encouraged Republicans to “NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT” in a posting on Truth Social.
He wrote, “IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT.” “Just watch! Kevin McCarthy will perform an excellent job, possibly even a GREAT JOB.”