Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has praised both former President Trump and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for their assistance in helping him secure the required votes in order to win the Speaker gavel. The two men were given credit for their assistance in helping switch the votes of the final six remaining Republican holdouts, one of whom was Gaetz. After the six members changed their position to “present” during the 15th ballot, the number of votes needed for McCarthy to secure the gavel was lowered allowing him to win.
McCarthy in regard to Trump said that no one should doubt how much influence Trump holds and that the former President has been helping him from the start. He added that Trump was “all in” and actively helping him secure those final votes.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also confirmed that Trump had used her phone to communicate with Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), one of McCarthy’s detractors. The photo of her handing her phone to Rosendale so that he could speak to Trump has been widely circulated.
Greene, who admitted that Trump was her “favorite president,” did not disclose what Trump’s exact message was. She added that she was going to “keep that between us.”
During the 14th ballot on Friday night, Gaetz’s move to switch his vote to “present” caused chaos across the floor. He was one of the last holdouts to cast his ballot and in many ways switching present was not enough of an endorsement which was what McCarthy needed to win.
However, in the 15th round, both Gaetz and the other five holdouts voted present, allowing McCarthy to win.