Former President Trump met with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday in a meeting that was described as a “very good and cordial” meeting in which the top agenda item was taking back the House come 2022.
According to a readout of the meeting released by Trump’s Save America political action committee, added, the meeting was “very good and cordial” and Trump has “agreed to work with Leader McCarthy on helping the Republican Party to become a majority in the House.”
“They worked very well together in the last election and picked up at least 15 seats when most predicted it would be the opposite,” according to the readout, which was released with a photo of the two men smiling in an ornately decorated room at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. “They will do so again, and the work has already started.”
McCarthy released his own statement confirming Trump’s account of the meeting, saying the former president is “committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022.”
“Today, President Trump committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022,” McCarthy said. “A Republican majority will listen to our fellow Americans and solve the challenges facing our nation. Democrats, on the other hand, have only put forward an agenda that divides us — such as impeaching a President who is now a private citizen and destroying blue-collar energy jobs. For the sake of our country, the radical Democrat agenda must be stopped.”
The House GOP leader also called for “a united conservative movement” that can “strengthen the bonds of our citizens.”
“A united conservative movement will strengthen the bonds of our citizens and uphold the freedoms our country was founded on.”
McCarthy was in Florida for a fundraising event as the House is out this week and the meeting was added to his schedule, officials said.
The tight relationship between two men almost led to a fallout, similar to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when the top House Republican, criticized Trump’s role in inflaming the violence by saying the former president “bears responsibility” for the Capitol riots.
“Most Americans want neither inaction nor retribution,” McCarthy said during the House debate before the impeachment vote. “They want durable, bipartisan justice. That path is still available but is not the path we are on today. That doesn’t mean the president is free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
“These facts require immediate action from President Trump — accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure that President-Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term. And the president’s immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact-finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent. Unfortunately, that is not where we are today,” he added.
Since then, McCarthy has taken a much softer tone toward Trump. “I don’t believe he provoked it, if you listen to what he said at the rally” before the attack, McCarthy said a week ago. Thursday, his office released an upbeat statement about the meeting, saying Trump is “committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022.”
Recent polling has found Trump is still overwhelmingly popular among Republicans, as his approval rating has gone up since leaving office. A Morning Consult survey released Wednesday found 81 percent of Republican voters held a favorable view of the former president, a slight increase from 76 percent in mid-January.