House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has drawn criticism from Democratic lawmakers over his Florida meeting with Donald Trump in which they discussed the former president backing GOP candidates in 2022.
McCarthy said in a statement following the meeting: “A united conservative movement will strengthen the bonds of our citizens and uphold the freedoms our country was founded on.”
It comes just weeks after the Capitol riot, with Trump’s actions around the event having been widely condemned. McCarthy himself previously said that Trump bears responsibility for the incidents of that day.
However, he has now said they are “united and ready to win in ’22.”
The pair posed for a photo which was released following the meeting, and the situation has drawn ire from a number of Democrats.
“I see, begging the loser insurrectionist to help them not lose again in 2022 is the strategy the GOP is going with,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) wrote, sharing the photo of McCarthy and Trump together.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) also shared the image and wrote: “Less than one month ago, America was attacked by a violent, seditious mob.
“We’ve lost three police officers. Dozens more are injured.
“Still, we face active threats of violence.
“Kevin McCarthy’s response is a photo op with the treasonous instigator.”
Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) wrote yesterday: “In case you had any question of the gop changing course, the leader of the republican party is at maralago today polishing trump’s shoes and lavishing him with North Korea style praise.”
While Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) highlighted McCarthy’s previous criticism of Trump, alongside the photo of the pair together.
A previous statement from Trump’s Save America PAC had said the pair had a “very good and cordial meeting” and said the “work has already started” on a united effort to have Republicans flip the House and Senate.
Following the events of January 6, Trump was impeached for a second time and Democrats are pushing forward with his Senate impeachment trial despite him having left office. Republicans indicated in a vote on the constitutionality of this trial that it is unlikely they will vote to convict.
Newsweek has contacted the lawmakers mentioned for comment.