Blow for Donald Trump as party loyalists snubs him amid Republican civil war

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Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has said that Donald Trump has backed him to become Leader of the House (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has said that Donald Trump has backed him to become Leader of the House (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

A far-right group of Donald Trump -supporting Republicans have voted against his preferred pick for Speaker of the House of Representatives in an astonishing snub to the former President.

The Republicans were set to elect their own Speaker following their narrow victory in the November Midterms but were scuppered by a small group of hardline Trump-supporting lawmakers.

This is a blow to Trump who has been attempting to unite the Republican party as he gears up another run for President in 2024.

In a Truth Social post on Wednesday morning, the former president wrote: “Republicans, do not turn a great triumph into a giant and embarrassing defeat.

"It's time to celebrate, you deserve it. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a great job - just watch."

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Blow for Donald Trump as party loyalists snubs him amid Republican civil warHouse Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaking to reporters at the US Capitol (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock)

Rather than backing House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, fringe members of the 'Freedom Caucus' threw their support behind the caucus' leader Rep. Jim Jordan, despite Jordan himself backing McCarthy.

This meant that for the first time in 100 years the majority party was unable to elect a leader although McCarthy has vowed to fight on.

Needing 218 votes in the full House, McCarthy got just 203 votes in two rounds, less even than Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries in the Republican-controlled chamber

“Today, is that the day I wanted to have? No,” McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol after a series of late-night closed-door meetings.

McCarthy said Trump wants him to stay in the race and told him to bring an end to the House Republican disarray and pull the party together.

Blow for Donald Trump as party loyalists snubs him amid Republican civil warUS Republican Representative from Florida Matt Gaetz was one of the most outspoken critics of McCarthy (AFP via Getty Images)

The former president “wants to see the Republicans united to be able to accomplish the exact things we said we’d do,” McCarthy said.

Asked if he would drop out, McCarthy said, “It’s not going to happen.”

One of the rebellion's leaders was controversial congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz has made a name for himself since being elected as a rabid Trump supporter.

Blow for Donald Trump as party loyalists snubs him amid Republican civil warLeader of the Freedom Caucus Jim Jordan (L) urged his colleagues to back McCarthy (C) (Getty Images)

He is a staunch critic of abortion, supporter of gun rights and during the George Floyd protests stated: "Now that we clearly see antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?"

During the Trump administration the Freedom Caucus included many of Trump's biggest defenders.

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A new generation of conservative Republicans, many aligned with Trump’s Make America Great Again agenda, have committed to upend business as usual in Washington.

Blow for Donald Trump as party loyalists snubs him amid Republican civil warThe House was left in turmoil as it failed to elect a Leader for the first time in 100 years (REX/Shutterstock)

“Kevin McCarthy is not going to be a speaker,” declared Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., one of the holdouts.

Just as the Repubican party itself is divided, so too are the fringe parts of the Freedom Caucus. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, another controversial figure in the party, slammed those voting against McCarthy as "destructionists".

McCarthy lost three rounds of voting with 20 republican colleagues voting against him in the final round.

Blow for Donald Trump as party loyalists snubs him amid Republican civil warRep. Marjorie Taylor Greene backed McCarthy, describing some of her fellow Freedom Caucus members as "destructionists" (Susan Walsh/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

“The American people are watching, and it’s a good thing,” said Rep. Chip Roy, who nominated fellow conservative Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio as an alternative for speaker.

It was the second time conservatives pushed forward a reluctant Jordan, the McCarthy rival-turned-ally, who has urged colleagues to vote for McCarthy.

“We have to rally around him, come together,” Jordan said.

To win support, McCarthy has already agreed to many of the demands of the Freedom Caucus, who have been pushing for rules changes and other concessions that give rank-and-file more influence in the legislative process.

He has been here before, having bowed out of the speakers race in 2015 when he failed to win over conservatives.

Charlie Jones

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