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Paul Ryan backs McCarthy for House GOP leadership role

House Majority Leader Kevin Mc Carthy speaks next to House Speaker Paul Ryan at a news conference with Republican leaders after

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

"We all think that Kevin is the right person", Ryan said to NBC's Meet the Press in an interview excerpt released Friday and set to air in full Sunday.

"We all think that Kevin is the right person", Ryan said, speaking on behalf of the GOP's House leadership.

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

It also remains to be seen whether Ryan will stay on as speaker for the rest of the year or step aside sooner to let Republicans pick a new leader before November.

McCarthy was expected to face a formidable challenge from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) but that prospect faded when Scalise told Fox and Friends on Thursday that he would not run against McCarthy. House Republicans are now expected to hold their leadership elections in November following the midterm elections.

McCarthy, 53, has served in the House since 2007 and has occupied the number-two spot since 2014. Either way, his endorsement is likely carry real sway with many rank-and-file lawmakers.

Ryan said in his interview with NBC that a lot has changed since just a few years ago.

"One of the reasons why I was comfortable making this decision is because we have a very capable leadership team", Ryan said.