Trump takes credit for McCarthy dropping out

Donald Trump is taking credit for getting House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to drop out of the race for Speaker.

“They’re giving me a lot of credit for that, because I said you really need somebody very, very tough and very smart – you know smart goes with tough, not just tough,” Trump said at an event in Las Vegas. “I know tough people, they’re not smart, that’s the worst, OK? That’s the worst. You’ve gotta be smart.

“But we need smart, we need tough, we need the whole package – you know like me,” he added.

McCarthy abruptly dropped out of the race for the Speakership on Thursday, just as he seemed poised to win a closed-door GOP vote. The decision came as conservatives threatened to withhold votes for him on the floor, depriving McCarthy of the ability to win 218 votes.

Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, said who ever is the next Speaker should drive a hard bargain with the White House in talks to raise the debt ceiling.

“But Kevin is a nice guy, and I just hope now that they find somebody that’s going to be – you know, have those qualities where we can negotiate, where we can use that debt ceiling that’s coming up very rapidly and do something really, really significant,” Trump said. “Because if we don’t, we’re gonna be – really we’re gonna be in very big trouble, we’re going to be in very, very big trouble.”

Trump said Washington is in total disarray and threatens to make America look like “Greece on steroids.”

He also panned the media repeatedly in his remarks.

“The level of honesty in the media – they’re so dishonest,” he said. “You know, I do a crowd, and I’ll like have a crowd like this, and the cameras, they never pan the room, they never ever pan the room, look, they never pan the room. No, it’s true. They don’t do it. They don’t do it.”

Trump repeatedly implored the cameramen in the room to broaden their lenses to show the size of the crowd in attendance.

“Pan the room. Go ahead, pan it,” Trump said, looking at and gesturing the cameras.