Lauren Boebert rejects Donald Trump's call to back Kevin McCarthy

Lauren Boebert attacks Kevin McCarthy (L) as she nominates another Republican for Speaker
Lauren Boebert attacks Kevin McCarthy (L) as she nominates another Republican for Speaker

Donald Trump has backed beleaguered congressman Kevin McCarthy for the next Speaker of the House, amid a chaotic battle for power on Capitol Hill.

"VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY," the former president wrote on social media on Wednesday.

But his pleas did not make a difference as Mr McCarthy lost three more rounds of voting.

Twenty conservative Republicans - all allies of the former president - refused to back down.

Colorado's Lauren Boebert told the chamber that Mr Trump had spoken to her and other defectors "to tell us to knock this off".

But in her nomination speech for an alternative Republican candidate, she said Mr Trump should instead call Mr McCarthy and tell him "it's time to withdraw".

Mr Trump - who has announced he's running for president again in 2024 - waded into the battle on Wednesday morning after the House failed to elect a Speaker in the first round for the first time in 100 years.

"REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT," he said on his social media platform Truth Social. "IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT! Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB - JUST WATCH!"

The relationship between Mr Trump and the man who has led House Republicans for the past four years has been mostly cordial.

Mr McCarthy criticised the then-president in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, but the two made up quickly as the Republican leadership refused to support the House investigation into the January 6 attack.