After securing the Speaker’s gavel on the 15th vote, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) praised Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and former President Donald Trump for helping him secure the victory.
McCarthy credited the two men for getting the six remaining holdouts — which included Gaetz — to vote present, lowering the number of votes McCarthy needed to obtain the Speakership.
Acknowledging questions had emerged about Trump’s clout, McCarthy relayed his belief that no one “should doubt [Trump’s] influence.”
The California Republican then pointed out how Trump supported him “from the beginning.”
McCarthy explained Trump was “all-in,” assisting in getting the final votes he needed to become Speaker.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) confirmed that it was the former President on the other end of the line when she handed her phone to Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), one of the staunch dissenters.
The image of Greene giving her phone to Rosendale was widely circulated during the votes, with many speculating it was Trump on the other end.
However, Greene declined to comment on what Trump said, insisting, “I’m gonna keep that between us.”
Gaetz was the reason the House had to have a fifteenth vote to elect a Speaker after he voted “present” in the fourteenth ballot, with his vote the last to be cast.
Gaetz had to vote in the affirmative to secure McCarthy the Speakership; his failure caused a commotion on the floor that required one Congressman to be restrained.
But McCarthy denied the situation getting heated; instead, he credited Gaetz with getting the remaining five holdouts to vote “present” rather than against him.