Former President Trump on Wednesday appeared to rule out serving as Speaker after some House Republicans suggested him for the role, but he declined to back any particular candidate to replace Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after his ouster.
“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 told reporters at a Manhattan courthouse, where a fraud trial involving his business empire is taking place.
Asked about Republicans floating his name as a potential Speaker, Trump said he’s focused on his 2024 presidential campaign, where is the front-runner for the GOP nomination.
“My focus is totally on that. If I can help them during the process, I’ll do it. But we have some great people in the Republican Party that could do a great job as Speaker,” Trump said.
One reporter noted that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said she would support Trump for Speaker.
“I think she’s a wonderful woman,” Trump said. “I’ll do whatever it is to help, but my focus, my total focus is being president and, quite honestly, making America great again.”
Trump’s comments were his first on camera since McCarthy was ousted as Speaker, after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) brought a motion to vacate in an effort to remove him. Eight Republicans joined with House Democrats to back the motion Tuesday, leading to McCarthy’s removal.
Trump in January publicly and privately urged Republicans to back McCarthy for Speaker amid divisions within the party that led to 15 rounds of voting before the California Republican won the gavel. Trump and McCarthy have maintained a good relationship in the months since.
Though Trump did not publicly back McCarthy during the push to oust him, he did question why Republicans spent so much time fighting each other.
In addition to Greene, Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls said he would put Trump’s name forward for Speaker.
While the Speaker does not have to be a member of the House, several House Republicans were already weighing whether to seek the position in the aftermath of McCarthy’s ouster. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a staunch Trump ally, told reporters Wednesday that he is planning to run for the job.