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McCarthy backs Trump: 'I will support whoever becomes the Republican nominee'

Congressman Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, talks about the presidential race Friday, May 6, 2016, at a housing event in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday that he will support Donald Trump for president, though he didn't give the billionaire an enthusiastic endorsement.

The Republican congressman was in his hometown of Bakersfield for several events - presenting Merit Awards to high school students, addressing public housing reform and meeting with a veteran at Bakersfield College.

Eyewitness News met with McCarthy at the housing event and asked his thoughts on the presumptive GOP nominee for president.


Other high-profile Republicans have said they won't support Trump, at least not yet.

When asked about backing Trump on Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan - the GOP's highest-ranking officeholder - told CNN, "I'm not there right now."

The speaker told CNN that he would like to eventually support Trump and "unify this party."

Both South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney have both been vocally critical of Trump and aren't planning to attend their party's summer convention.

Trump has said he will meet with Ryan, R-Wis., next week. McCarthy is planning on being in that meeting.

"Look, I've always said that I will support whoever becomes the Republican nominee, and that's what I will," McCarthy told Eyewitness News on Friday.

Still, McCarthy said he does "have some differences of opinion" with Trump.

"... I talked to Paul Ryan today. I respect his opinion, and the No. 1 thing he told me is he wants to unite the party. That's why we are looking to having the meeting with Donald Trump next week, and I think you're going to find that America is going to unite with ideas, and that's what's most important," McCarthy said.

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