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Paul Ryan endorses Kevin McCarthy to replace him

Paul Ryan leans over as Kevin McCarthy speaks in his ear.
Speaker Paul Ryan leans over as Kevin McCarthy speaks in his ear. Photo: Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

House Speaker Paul Ryan told NBC's Chuck Todd that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy should replace him, either as Leader or Speaker, when he retires.

Why it matters: House Republicans are in an exceptionally tough spot for the midterms, and Ryan's decision to not run for reelection only added to concerns that Democrats have a shot at becoming the majority. But by having a clear replacement in place, like McCarthy who is known and trusted within the GOP, Republicans have someone they can rally behind as Nov. 6 edges closer.

Quote"We all think that Kevin is the right person."
— Paul Ryan

Yes, but: Ryan said he doesn't want to have a vote to replace him now, adding that he thinks the party needs to focus on their agenda and holding on to the majority, and anything apart from that "would be needless distraction."

View from the White House: As Axios' Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen have reported, President Trump loves McCarthy, and consults him frequently for advice.

Axios 1 hour ago
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Axios situational awareness

🎖️ Ronny Jackson withdraws as VA nominee — 📺 Trump holds forth on Fox & Friends — 🇫🇷 Macron sums up his Trump visit — 🍃 How Pruitt prepped for Congress

Sign up: Mike Allen's Axios AM.

Mike Allen 4 hours ago
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Macron's blunt postgame

Collage: Sarah Grillo/Axios; Photos: Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said at a remarkably candid postgame for a small group of reporters last evening that his State Visit left him convinced President Trump will withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, and that the U.S. president wants to create "a series of new Trump's deals."

His big takeaway: "[Y]our president is a dealmaker. You always have to understand the rationale of your counterpoint. He's a dealmaker. So he wants to find a deal and he wants to find a deal under his condition."