House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is standing behind Donald Trump — unlike several of his GOP colleagues — despite the mounting number of allegations that the presidential candidate has sexually abused women.
“I said from the very beginning I’d support the Republican nominee,” McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, told The Californian Thursday. “Anytime you’re in the last part of the campaign, a lot of negative things are going to fly, but I want a very strong Congress ... and I support the Republican nominee.”
McCarthy wouldn’t address the allegations Trump has weathered since last week when an 11-year-old tape revealed him talking about using his celebrity status to grope and force himself on women.
“You could ask his campaign, but I know they’re going to throw a lot of things a lot of different ways,” McCarthy said, questioning why those allegations weren’t reported earlier in Trump’s candidacy.
“Why do people throw these types of things in the last days and why wasn’t something like this brought out earlier?” McCarthy asked. “People love to do things late because then you don’t have enough time to explain.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has supported Trump in the past, said this week he would not campaign for or defend him, and would instead focus on drumming up support for down-ticket Republicans.
McCarthy said Ryan’s news has been misconstrued and that the speaker in no way pulled his endorsement.
“He said he’s focused on the House,” McCarthy said.
And despite appearances that Ryan is worried he might lose the House majority, McCarthy said that isn’t the case.
“I don’t see the House being lost. In this political climate, in this political year, everybody needs to campaign hard,” McCarthy said. “I can’t believe that America would ever want Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi.”