Donald Trump is taking credit for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-California) decision to bow out of the race for House speaker.
And as evidence, he’s citing his Twitter fans..
In an interview with “Face The Nation” host John Dickerson set to air on Sunday, Trump said he deserved to take “a little” credit for McCarthy’s demise because Congress listened to his opposition to McCarthy.
“I’ve been taking a little bit of credit because people have been giving me credit on @realdonaldtrump,” Trump told Dickerson, referencing his Twitter handle. “They’re saying that I spoke up against him only because it’s a question of toughness. He didn’t seem like that. We need toughness. We need fists, we need the brainpower, and we need toughness.”
McCarthy announced his stunning decision to drop out on Thursday, as it became increasingly clear that he would face stiff opposition from the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Following McCarthy’s departure, Trump told a campaign rally audience in Las Vegas, Nevada, that conservatives were heeding Trump’s suggestion to nominate a “tough” leader like Trump.
“Kevin McCarthy is out,” Trump said. “They’re giving me a lot of credit for that because I said, ‘You really need somebody very, very tough. And very smart.’ You know smart goes with tough. … I know tough people, they’re not smart, that’s the worst, OK? That’s the worst. You’ve got to be smart.”
Trump hasn’t suggested who he’d endorse for speaker. In the “Face the Nation” interview, the real-estate mogul stopped short of endorsing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), who many conservatives are urging to run. But Trump said Ryan was “nice.”
Trump also suggested a possible alternative on Twitter: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.