Paul Ryan supports Kevin McCarthy for next House Speaker

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he believes his deputy, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, should be the next Speaker following Ryan’s retirement at the end of the current session next January.

During an interview Friday, Ryan endorsed Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as his successor.

“We all think Kevin is the right person to become Speaker,” Ryan told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

“I fully anticipate handing the gavel over to the next Speaker of the House after this term, and I think Kevin’s the right guy to step up,” Ryan continued.

After Ryan voiced his support for McCarthy to be the next Speaker, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked if the president agreed.

Sanders said Trump and McCarthy share a “great relationship” but she declined to echo Ryan’s endorsement at this time.

“The president has a great relationship with Kevin McCarthy, but in terms of an announcement on who he wants to see as the next speaker, I don’t have any announcements on that,” Sanders said.

While Majority Whip Steve Scalise has publicly indicated he won’t directly challenge McCarthy if the California Republican declares his candidacy for speaker, aides close to Scalise are quick to remind reporters that McCarthy couldn’t pull together sufficient support in 2015.

So far McCarthy is only saying there isn’t a race for Speaker yet.

Ryan has pledged to remain Speaker until the conclusion of the 115th Congress next January. House Republicans are currently expected to hold their leadership elections in November following the midterm elections.