Trump Considers Meeting With Republicans on House Speaker Vote
(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump is considering meeting with House Republicans as they prepare to elect a new speaker following the ouster of Kevin McCarthy, according to a Republican familiar with the planning.
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination, is mulling a Tuesday visit to the Capitol as House Republicans convene to debate the selection of a new speaker, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.
An overt attempt by Trump to influence the decision could tip the battle for the speakership — a post that’s second in line to the presidency — and have far-reaching implications for the chamber’s legislative work as well as the presidential race.
McCarthy was forced to surrender the speaker’s gavel following a rebellion by a small-but-powerful bloc of conservative hardliners allied with Trump who were angry that McCarthy pushed through a bipartisan short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. The historic ouster has thrown the GOP caucus into chaos, highlighting deep divisions among the party’s factions and bringing a halt to work in the chamber.
Two candidates have announced they are seeking the speakership: Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. Should Trump back a successor — and that candidate prevail — it would underscore the extent to which the former president still holds sway on Capitol Hill and among Republicans more broadly.
Read more: Almost Anyone Can Become the House Speaker, Except Donald Trump
He’s scheduled to hold a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Oct. 11, the date interim House Speaker Patrick McHenry has set for speaker elections. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, who filed the motion to oust McCarthy, is scheduled to speak at the event.
A Trump spokesman didn’t return messages left for comment.
Trump himself has been floated by some Republicans as a potential outside candidate.
Representative Byron Donalds, a Florida Republican and Trump ally, told Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power” on Thursday that “It’s possible but the president’s going to make his decision.” He added that he had spoken to the former president earlier in the day.
Trump is currently ineligible to be speaker under the GOP’s own rules, which bar anyone under indictment for serious charges from holding a House leadership role
He faces four felony indictments and 91 separate counts, stemming from his efforts to overturn the 2020 US election result, his alleged mishandling of classified documents and other matters.
“A lot of people have asked me about it,” Trump said Wednesday. “But we’ve got some great people in the Republican Party that could do a great job as speaker.”