McCarthy says America doesn’t want ‘retribution’ from Trump

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argued America “doesn’t want to see the idea of retribution” from former President Trump, who has signaled revenge if elected to a second term in the White House.

Pressed in an interview on “CBS News Sunday Morning” over concerns Trump’s rhetoric and plans resemble those of authoritarians, McCarthy said, “Look, I don’t see that, and this is what I tell President Trump, too. What President Trump needs to do in this campaign, it needs to be about rebuilding, restoring, renewing America. It can’t be about revenge.”

CBS News reporter Robert Costa responded, “[Trump’s] talking about retribution, day in, day out.”

McCarthy said Trump “needs to stop that,” before Costa later claimed the former president is “not backing away from his calls for retribution.”

“Yeah, but remember, you have a check and balance system. And I think, at the end of the day—” McCarthy said, before Costa interjected, “Where’s the check and balance on him in the Republican Party?”

“America doesn’t want to see the idea of retribution,” McCarthy said. “If it’s rebuild, restore and renew, then I think you’ll see that.”

McCarthy’s remarks come amid concerns from several Democrats, and even some Republicans, that Trump would abuse power to target those who have disagreed with or wronged him.

These concerns were further fueled last week when Trump argued he wants to be a “dictator for one day” in order to secure the southern border and begin drilling in the U.S.

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity had pressed Trump during a town hall on whether he has plans — if reelected — to “abuse power, to break the law, to use the government to go after people.”

Trump initially did not directly answer the question, and then, when asked for a second time, he said, “Except for day one.”

“He says, ‘You’re not going to be a dictator, are you?’ I said, no, no, no — other than day one. We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator,” Trump said to Hannity in front of an audience in Iowa.

The remark follows a series of other comments in which the former president appears to hone in on revenge and targeting his perceived enemies if back in the White House in 2024.

McCarthy, a longtime ally of Trump, also revealed in the interview he expects Trump to be the GOP nominee in 2024 and is endorsing the former president for reelection. This followed months of no formal declaration by McCarthy, who added he would be willing to serve in a Cabinet for Trump “in the right position.”

McCarthy announced last week he will retire from the House at the end of the year, just about two months after he was ousted from the Speakership in a historic vote.

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