Trump’s influence looms over McCarthy’s race to be next House speaker

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By Melanie Zanona, CNN

Donald Trump and his allies are starting to dangle the threat of the speakership over House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s head, teeing up a yearlong dynamic that is already emboldening the MAGA wing of the GOP conference and influencing the California Republican’s decision-making as he crafts a strategy to win back the House next year.

Some in Trump’s orbit have even floated the wild — but technically possible — idea that the former President should make a play for the gavel. While it’s a highly unlikely scenario, the fact it’s even being teased in some conservative circles is putting McCarthy on notice and reminding Republicans of the leverage Trump still has over the party.

Underscoring the idea that Trump has the power to make or break McCarthy’s quest for the speakership, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado said Trump…

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