Former President Trump told reporters on Wednesday he was focused on doing the “best thing” for the Republican Party when asked whether he would serve as speaker of the House.
Trump added that he has fielded numerous calls about assuming the vacant speakership, but suggested he was more focused on winning the presidential election. He also said he would assist House Republicans with choosing a replacement for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was ousted from the role in a dramatic vote Tuesday afternoon.
“A lot of people have been calling me about speaker,” Trump told reporters outside a New York City courtroom where he is on trial in a civil fraud case filed by New York’s attorney general. “All I can say is we will do whatever is best for the country and the Republican Party. We have some great, great people. A lot of people have asked me about it.”
“If I can help them during the process, I would do it. But we have some great people in the Republican Party who would do a great job as speaker,” Trump continued. “My sole focus is being president and, quite honestly, with actually making America great again. Because we are living in a country in decline. This is a country that is failing badly. We’re not respected in the world, interest rates are through the roof, taxes are through the roof, inflation is horrible.”
The former president’s remarks came one day after McCarthy was voted out of his position. The motion to vacate the speaker was filed late Monday by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and joined by seven fellow Republicans and every House Democrat.
Following the stunning 216-210 vote, McCarthy said he wouldn’t run for speaker again. He served for just 269 days.
With the speaker position vacant, GOP lawmakers including Reps. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Greg Steube, R-Fla., said they would support Trump to take on the role. The speaker of the House is not required to be a serving member of Congress.
“President Trump, the greatest president of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America first and will make the House great again,” Nehls said in a social media post Tuesday.
“The only candidate for Speaker I am currently supporting is President Donald J. Trump,” Greene added. “He will end the war in Ukraine. He will secure the border. He will end the politically weaponized government. He will make America energy independent again. He will pass my bill to stop transgender surgeries on kids and keep men out of women’s sports. He will support our military and police. And so much more!”
Reps. Steve Scalise, R-La., the current House majority leader; Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the current House majority whip; Mike Johnson, R-La., Jodey Arrington, R-Texas; and Kevin Hern, R-Okla., who chairs the Republican Study Committee, have all been floated as possible replacements to McCarthy.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, announced his bid for House Speaker Wednesday morning.