Former President Donald Trump is mulling a visit to the Capitol next week to potentially launch a bid for House Speaker, sources told Politico and NBC News on Thursday, a position the 2024 presidential candidate could technically take, two days after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted from the speakership after less than nine months.
House rules do not prohibit non-members from being elected to the speakership, though Trump’s four indictments since his 2024 presidential campaign launch could keep him from becoming speaker, according to GOP conference rules, which state that indicted leadership members with two-plus-year sentences “shall step aside.”
Trump did not rule out a potential run to succeed McCarthy after the California Republican’s historic ouster earlier this week, while at least three House Republicans said they would back Trump in a speaker vote.
An anonymous GOP lawmaker familiar with the matter told NBC News that Trump’s intention with the visit is to “unify the party,” while Trump said on Wednesday his focus is on his presidential campaign.
One day after the House voted to remove McCarthy from the speakership, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)—an outspoken Trump ally who stood by the president during his two impeachments and after the January 6 insurrection and used the House Judiciary Committee to launch dogged investigations into Democrats—became the first GOP member to launch a speakership bid on Wednesday. Hours later, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) threw his hat in the ring, while a handful of other Republicans have also been speculated to make runs, including Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). Jordan told NBC News Thursday morning he had spoken to Trump about his bid for House speaker, and though he did not provide details on the conversation, he said he “had a great conversation with the president.”
Trump slammed House Republicans in a post on his social media platform Truth Social on Tuesday, asking why Republicans “are always fighting among themselves” instead of “fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country.”
The House voted 216-210 on Tuesday to remove McCarthy from his post, with eight Republicans joining all present Democrats, marking the first time in U.S. history that a sitting speaker was ousted from the job. McCarthy’s ouster came less than nine months after the House begrudgingly voted him in after 15 rounds of voting, with a group of far-right Republicans refusing to support McCarthy and demanding sweeping spending cuts. McCarthy eventually agreed to drastic concessions, including an agreement that reduced the number of lawmakers required to force a motion to vacate from five to one. GOP firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)—who had routinely criticized McCarthy, including after the House passed a continuing resolution over the weekend to avert a government shutdown—triggered that motion to vacate on Monday.
Trump For Speaker? Ex-President Isn’t Ruling Out Replacing McCarthy—But His Criminal Charges Could Prevent It. (Forbes)