Steve Scalise reiterates he won't challenge Kevin McCarthy for House speaker

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Steve Scalise reiterates he won't challenge Kevin McCarthy for House speaker

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) (R-WI) listens as Rep. Kevin McCarthy (L) (R-CA) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill September 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.

"I think Kevin is the right guy to step up", Ryan says in the interview that will air Sunday.

Many pundits had speculated that Ryan might contemplate retirement after having ushered the most comprehensive tax reform legislation since the Reagan administration through Congress.

During the White House press briefing Friday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to formally announce who President Donald Trump would support, although she noted that Trump had a "great relationship with Kevin McCarthy". In addition to McCarthy, R-Calif., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., has also been mentioned as a possible Ryan replacement. Ryan said he wished to spend more time with his family in Janesville, Wis.

Ryan said he believes there will be a "seamless transition" from him to the next speaker.

With Republicans gearing up for a tough midterm election this fall in which their majority is at stake, Ryan suggested he wanted to head off a potentially destructive internecine battle. When former House Speaker John Boehner resigned, all eyes were on the California Republican. But he said a lot has changed since 2015.

He added, "Well our leadership team, I'm saying". "What's changed is, we came together as a team".

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