Trump says he would consider Speaker role for 'short' period

October 6, 2023

Donald Trump said he would be open to serving as Speaker of the House until the House Republicans find a new leader following the shocking ouster of Kevin McCarthy (Ca.). 

Trump told Fox News that he would consider the position "if necessary" for a short period, but his focus is on running for president.

"They have asked me if I would take it for a short period for the party, until they conclude — I’m not doing it because I want to — I will do it if necessary, should they not be able to make their decision," Trump said.

Trump accepts?

Eight Republicans and all Democrats voted against McCarthy in a historic vote Tuesday triggered by Matt Gaetz (Fl.). The word now is that McCarthy is looking to resign from Congress shortly.

Gaetz initially proposed Trump for Speaker back in January, during McCarthy's chaotic battle for the gavel. The idea has gained more traction in the wake of McCarthy's ouster, with some Republicans aligned with Trump such as Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) lobbying Trump to accept.

While open to the idea, Trump has already endorsed an ally to replace McCarthy permanently - Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio.

"He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!" Trump wrote in a post Friday.

The powerful endorsement could seal the deal and torpedo a rival bid from Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise (R).

Eyes on the prize

Although Trump is not in Congress, there is no Constitutional bar to him serving as Speaker. But he has expressed ambivalence about taking the job in his few comments on the issue.

"I would only do it for the party," he told Fox News Digital.

Jordan also pushed back on the Trump for Speaker concept, saying he wants Trump in the White House.

Trump's attention has been absorbed by his presidential campaign and multiple legal cases brought by the Democrats. He was preoccupied this week with a civil fraud trial in New York that could cripple him financially.

"A lot of people have been calling me about speaker. All I can say is we'll do whatever is best for the country and for the Republican Party," Trump said at the courthouse Wednesday. "I'll do whatever it is to help, but my focus, my total focus, is being president," he added.

Gaetz has said either Jordan or Scalise would be a "monumental upgrade." And Jordan appears to be eager to heal divisions in the party, rejecting calls from some to expel Gaetz.

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