McCarthy again slams Manhattan DA in defense of Trump

Written by on March 21, 2023

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

(ORLANDO, Fla.) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday again ripped into the Manhattan district attorney when asked about the potential charges against Donald Trump at a news conference at the House GOP retreat in Orlando while seemingly growing frustrated with reporters after multiple questions about the former president who has continued to dominate the news cycle.

McCarthy was asked directly if had concerns specifically about Trump’s alleged conduct regarding a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and quickly pivoted to talking about Hillary Clinton and did not answer the question — before instead targeting the Manhattan DA.

“What we see before us is a political game being played by a local … Look this isn’t New York City, this is just a Manhattan, this is just a borough DA. Okay,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy told ABC News when asked that he hasn’t spoken to Trump in three weeks and that he has not talked to him about his calls for House committees to investigate the Manhattan DA.

“I have not talked to the president, maybe three weeks? No, I have not talked to him about the investigation at all,” McCarthy said.

At times, McCarthy seemed to grow frustrated that, at the House issues retreat, he’s being asked repeatedly about Trump amid potential charges, blaming the press who he claims keeps bringing up the former president.

However, ahead of this weeks retreat McCarthy announced he would direct House committees to investigate the investigation into Trump, which helped fuel the news cycle heading into this week’s retreat.

“We’re not talking about this in our conference; you’re asking about it,” McCarthy said. When asked if Trump is still the leader of the Republican Party, McCarthy again took a jab at the press: “In the press room, for all of you, he is.”

McCarthy’s comments targeting the press come as other GOP members at the retreat have privately complained to ABC News about how the former president has once again dominated the coverage around this week’s retreat, which members had hoped to use to promote their legislative goals.

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