In a statement after the meeting, McCarthy said he and Trump had a “productive conversation regarding House Republicans' record fundraising, upcoming Congressional special elections, and the latest work being carried out to target vulnerable Democrats.”
“As the midterm elections draw closer, I look forward to working together to build upon our success in 2020 where House Republicans flipped 15 seats, lost zero incumbents and elected the most women in conference history,” McCarthy said. “I appreciate President Trump's commitment to help House Republicans defeat Democrats and Take Back the House in 2022.”
The timing of the Trump meeting shows McCarthy remains loyal to the former President. Sources say his picks for the committee will likely be supporters and defenders of Trump. It is expected that the GOP leader will avoid controversial firebrands like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia or Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, in part because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reserves the right to veto any of McCarthy's picks.
Still, McCarthy has the option of finding Republican members who will defend Trump and his supporters in what is expected to be a bitter partisan fight, while at the same time remaining loyal to him.
McCarthy himself could be emerge as a key figure in the committee's investigation. The chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, has not ruled out calling McCarthy before the committee to discuss the phone call he made to Trump as rioters stormed the Capitol begging the then-President to tell his supporters to go home.
McCarthy has said he is willing to testify and discuss Trump's role on January 6 if asked.
“They may try, but they're not going to f**king succeed,” Milley told his deputies, according to excerpts of the book “I Alone Can Fix It” obtained by CNN.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Thursday.
CNN's Manu Raju, Betsy Klein, Arlette Saenz, Jamie Gangel, Annie Grayer, Stephen Collinson and Chris Cillizza contributed to this report.
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