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TETON VILLAGE, Wyo. – EXCLUSIVE: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy says he believes he’ll be the next speaker of the House.

“I believe so. We’ll win the majority and I’ll be speaker. Yes,” McCarthy said in an exclusive interview with Fox News on Monday, as he pointed toward the likely regaining of the House majority by the GOP in November’s midterm elections.

And McCarthy, during a stop in Wyoming, said the near certain defeat of Rep. Liz Cheney in the state’s GOP congressional primary on Tuesday can be seen as a “referendum” on the Democrat-dominated select committee investigating former President Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol.

McCarthy teamed up while in Wyoming with Harriet Hageman, Cheney’s top GOP challenger in Tuesday’s primary. The House Republican leader endorsed Hageman earlier this year as she aims to oust Cheney.

MCCARTHY MEETS WITH HOUSE REPUBLICANS ON MIDTERMS STRATEGY

House GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is interviewed by Fox News, on Aug. 15, 2022, in Teton Village, Wyoming.

House GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is interviewed by Fox News, on Aug. 15, 2022, in Teton Village, Wyoming. (Fox News )

Cheney was the most senior of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the then-president on a charge of inciting the deadly attack on the Capitol, which was waged by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory in the 2020 election. 

The Wyoming congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney was immediately targeted by Trump and his allies, and a few months later Cheney was ousted from her position as the number four Republican in House leadership.

CHENEY, FACING NEAR CERTAIN DEFEAT IN WYOMING GOP PRIMARY, EYES BIGGER BATTLE AHEAD

Public opinion polls indicate Cheney will likely get trounced in the Republican primary for Wyoming’s statewide congressional district. She badly trails Hageman, a lawyer and politician who has been endorsed and heavily supported by Trump as the former president aims to oust Cheney from her House seat in a state where he won a whopping 70% of the vote in 2020.

Republican congressional candidate Harriet Hageman campaigns at the Goshen County Fair parade, in Torrington, Wyoming, on Aug. 4, 2022.

Republican congressional candidate Harriet Hageman campaigns at the Goshen County Fair parade, in Torrington, Wyoming, on Aug. 4, 2022. (Hageman congressional campaign)

Asked about campaigning against a Republican House incumbent, McCarthy said, “This is unusual, but it’s an unusual situation, too. But Harriet is an amazing candidate…. what I like to focus on is people who focus on the issues on their district. And that’s what Harriet’s been doing.”

McCarthy predicted that “I don’t think that she’s [Cheney’s] going to win” and “I think it’s going to be a referendum on the January 6 Committee.” And pointing to inflation, a top issue with Americans, the House GOP leader asked, “Why wouldn’t Cheney spend her time on that? Why wouldn’t she spend her time focusing on what people across America feel the hardest about?”

“The principle philosophy is less government, an idea of freedom in the aspect that just the concepts of a country that’s conceived in liberty and dedicated proposition that we’re all it has,” McCarthy emphasized.

And McCarthy argued that “I think her whole focus has been different. Her whole focus has been against one individual, whether she has information or not, instead of focusing on her district itself.” 

Asked to respond to those comments from McCarthy, Cheney told Fox News, “it’s really difficult to understand that word salad. Was there an actual sentence in there somewhere?”

TRUMP BLASTED BY DICK CHENEY AS FORMER VICE PRESIDENT STARS IN DAUGHTER’S CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL

And he heavily criticized the push this summer by Cheney’s campaign to urge Wyoming Democrats to cross party lines and vote in the GOP congressional primary, arguing, “This is a really desperate aspect of Cheney’s campaign.”

Rep. Liz Cheney talks with voters at Wyoming's Wind River Reservation, on July 16, 2022.

Rep. Liz Cheney talks with voters at Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation, on July 16, 2022. (Liz Cheney re-election campaign )

McCarthy took questions after Trump who, in an exclusive interview with Fox News earlier on Monday, claimed that following the FBI raid of his Florida residence last week, “the country is in a very dangerous position. There is tremendous anger.”

Trump stressed that the “temperature has to be brought down,” while arguing that the American people are “not going to stand” for what he charged was “another scam.” The former president also said he “will do whatever” he can “to help the country.”

FOX EXCLUSIVE: TRUMP SAYS COUNTRY’S IN ‘VERY DANGEROUS POSITION’

A search warrant released at the end of last week, following the unprecedented search of a former president’s residence, showed that Trump had 11 sets of classified documents at his home, and that due to potential Espionage Act violations, the Justice Department had probable cause to conduct the search.

In the days since the FBI’s warrant was executed, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security say they’ve seen an increase in “violent threats” against law enforcement, judiciary and government personnel, including a particular threat to “place a so-called Dirty Bomb in front of FBI headquarters,” according to a bulletin. “General calls” for “civil war” and “armed rebellion” have also increased in recent days on right-wing social media.

“I think President Trump is showing the right aspect to dial it down to help solve that,” McCarthy said. “I think the Department of Justice has a real responsibility to actually do the same.”

And, McCarthy said, “the number one thing Attorney General [Merrick Garland] has to do is come before the committee and explain why, why would you take this approach.”

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McCarthy was in Wyoming for an annual gathering of top political donors and as part of his cross-country swing to help Republicans win back the House majority they lost in the 2018 midterms.

He said the stop in Wyoming is “part of a 25-state trip in August, going throughout helping candidates throughout the country. I’ve been to 13 already, so I’m continuing on the trail to finish out August, helping win back the House.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report

Rich Edson is a senior national correspondent for Fox News Channel.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/california-kevin-mccarthy-confidently-says-hell-be-next-house-speaker

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