Former President Donald Trump is officially backing Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to replace Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. Jordan is the head of the House Judiciary Committee and has been a longtime supporter of Trump.
Trump wrote on his Truth Social site just after midnight Friday, “Congressman Jim Jordan was a star long before he made his very successful trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Ohio’s 4th Congressional District.” “He will be a GREAT House Speaker, and he has my full and complete support!”
The announcement came a few hours after Texas Rep. Troy Nehls said Thursday night that Trump had decided to back Jordan’s bid and after Trump said he wouldn’t mind being an interim leader himself if Republicans couldn’t agree on a new leader after McCarthy’s shocking dismissal.
Trump is the current front-runner for the Republican nomination for president. He has used the lack of leadership on Capitol Hill to show that he is in charge of the Republican Party. Some Republicans in the House have asked him to lead them. This seems like a crazy idea, but he also pushed it after he stoked the divisions that got McCarthy kicked out as speaker.
Two Republicans who know what Trump is thinking and were given anonymity to talk about it said that Trump had been telling people for the past few days that he preferred Jordan for the job. But it wasn’t clear if he was going to tell people before Nehls’ tweet. “I just had a great talk about the race for Speaker of the House with President Trump. He is supporting Jim Jordan, and I think Congress should listen to our party’s leader,” Nehls wrote on X, which used to be called Twitter, late Thursday night.
Nehls later told The Associated Press that Trump wanted Jordan for the job, even though he had been telling Trump to run for the job himself. Nehls said, “After he thought about it and did this and that, he said he really wants to support Jim Jordan.” “He thinks that Jim Jordan is the best person for the job.”
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Rep. Jim Jordan of Utah are the two most likely candidates for speaker. Both candidates are trying to get the 218 votes they need to win the job. They need support from both the far right and the middle of the party. It’s not clear if Trump’s support will cause Scalise, the current GOP majority leader, to drop out of the race or if either candidate can reach the required number of votes.
In fact, Nehls said that he would vote for Trump again if none of the other candidates got enough votes to win. “Our meeting is split up. Our country is falling apart. He said in the interview, “I don’t know who can get to 218.”
Three people familiar with the talks who spoke on the condition of anonymity before an official announcement said that Trump had talked earlier in the day about going to Capitol Hill next week before a vote for speakership that could happen as soon as Wednesday. Trump told Fox News Digital that he would go on the trip and meet with Republicans on Tuesday.
Trump would have been going to the Capitol for the first time since he left office and since his supporters attacked the building on January 6, 2021, to stop the peaceful transfer of power. Trump has been charged with trying to change the results of the election, which he lost to Joe Biden, in both Washington and Georgia.
Nehls, on the other hand, said that after the endorsement, it was unlikely that Trump would make the trip. Jordan is one of Trump’s biggest supporters on Capitol Hill, and he has been in charge of looking into the people who charged the former president with crimes. He was also part of a group of Republicans who helped Trump try to get his loss overturned before Jan. 6.
Scalise and Trump have also worked together closely over the years. One person who knows about the plans said earlier Thursday that if Trump went ahead with the visit, he would be there to talk with Republican lawmakers, not to try to get the job. Still, Trump kept rumors going by telling Fox News Digital on Thursday that he would be willing to be speaker for 30 to 90 days if another candidate didn’t get enough votes.