Ryan said, "Yeah. We all think that Kevin is the right person".
The story is developing.
The announcement dismayed some Republicans already concerned about their prospects with USA voters in November.
Ryan's endorsement, however, gives McCarthy an edge in the leadership contest.
McCarthy, Ryan's top lieutenant and a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I'd only rejoin Pacific trade pact if deal was "substantially better" GOP unveils mock cover of Comey book with "ego" attack NY Daily News cover hits Trump over Comey book revelations MORE, has not formally thrown his hat into the ring to replace Ryan, but has always been viewed as a Speaker-in-waiting since he has the most direct path to the job. "This leadership team has done that, and so I really do envision a more seamless transition, versus say the time when I came in". McCarthy backed out of a leadership race three years ago amid similar divisions.
Ryan went on to say: "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 also said that Majority Whip Steve Scalise, another possible contender for the speakership, agreed that McCarthy was the man for the job.
"We have six more months to prove Republicans deserve to keep the majority".
Neither McCarthy nor Scalise has announced he will run for speaker.