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President Donald Trump is reportedly angry about several things these days, from an investigation of a key confidant to a hot new memoir by the FBI director he fired last year. But one top Republican lawmaker says that’s not the case.
McCarthy, one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress and a frontrunner to succeed Speaker Paul Ryan as the top Republican in the House, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that Trump is not letting the recent news “get under his skin” and instead works “24 hours a day” focused on policy.
“I was just at dinner the other night with the president. You would not know any of this other stuff is going on,” the California lawmaker said. He said the president spoke about Syria, the economy and “Right to Try,” a bill to support terminally ill patients gaining access to experimental therapies.
McCarthy’s account of Trump’s behavior differs from media reports and how the president carries himself on social media.
Trump went on a social media rampage Sunday morning, blasting Comey as “slippery” and predicting the former FBI boss will be remembered “as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”
The comments came before Comey’s interview with ABC News on Sunday night to promote his new book “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.” It was Comey’s first media interview since being fired by Trump last year.
Last week, the president also lashed out at the FBI raid of Cohen’s office and residence, proclaiming on Twitter that “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” Cohen is being investigated for crimes possibly related to bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
House Speaker Ryan this week endorsed McCarthy as his successor, telling CNBC on Tuesday that “I think it should be McCarthy and I think it will be.”
McCarthy also said Tuesday that Comey’s interview was “very disturbing” to him.
“[Comey] thought he was above the law,” McCarthy said.” They’re putting politics before people and I trust the American people.”
During the CNBC interview, McCarthy also argued that the new tax law will become more popular and help them hold the House.
– CNBC’s Dan Mangan and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.