House Republicans won’t have to decide whether to vote for former President Donald Trump for speaker, but they now know how he would vote if he could. Trump on Friday morning endorsed House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan to succeed Kevin McCarthy as speaker.
“Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington,” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social. “He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House & has my Complete and Total Enrdorsement!”
Trump, the front-runner in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, highlighted Jordan’s record as a collegiate wrestling champion and his master’s degree in education, and said Jordan is “STRONG on Crime, Borders, our Military/Vets, & 2nd Amendment.”
Jordan, R-Ohio, was a leading Trump supporter in Congress, and served on Trump’s congressional defense team in his first impeachment trial. He has used his perch on the Judiciary Committee to challenge prosecutors who have indicted Trump.
Jordan also received 20 votes for speaker in January on the third of the 15 ballots it took to elect McCarthy. Jordan backed McCarthy on each of those ballots, however, and last week opposed Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s motion to declare the speaker’s office vacant, which passed with eight Republicans joining all Democrats voting.
The House has not been in legislative session since McCarthy’s ouster on Tuesday, when Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., took over as speaker pro tempore.
Jordan and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., have declared they are running for the speaker’s gavel, and others may get into the race.
Jordan, Scalise and Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., are due to participate in a “joint interview” on Fox News Channel that will air at 6 p.m. Monday, the network announced. The program will be hosted by Bret Baier, the networks’ political anchor who was one of the moderators at the first debate of GOP presidential candidates last month.
Hern, however, wrote on X Friday that hasn’t announced any candidacy for speaker and that he won’t be participating in the debate. “We need to make this decision as a conference, not on TV. The Republican conference needs a family discussion,” he wrote.
The GOP conference is expected to meet on Monday as well, though it wasn’t immediately clear whether that would take place before or after the Fox program.
The position of speaker does not have to go to a member of the House, and some members have said they would vote for Trump to take the position. One of them, Texas Rep. Troy Nehls, posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he was backing Jordan after speaking to Trump. Trump got a single vote for speaker on three different ballots in January.
Members are due to return to Washington next week to try to elect another speaker. Closed meetings will precede any open vote, which could come as early as Wednesday. Jordan said on Fox News Thursday, however, that Republicans shouldn’t go to a public vote until one candidate has the votes to win.
Aidan Quigley contributed to this report.