October 6, 2023 -WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is backing Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the pugnacious House Judiciary Committee chairman and longtime Trump defender, to succeed Kevin McCarthy as House speaker.
“Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington, D.C., representing Ohio’s 4th Congressional District,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social site early Friday. “He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!”
The announcement came hours after Texas Rep. Troy Nehls said Thursday night that Trump had decided to back Jordan’s bid and after Trump said he would be open to serving as interim leader himself if Republicans couldn’t settle on a successor following McCarthy’s stunning ouster.
Trump, the current GOP presidential front-runner, has used the leadership vacuum on the Hill to further demonstrate his control over the Republican Party. House Republicans are deeply fractured and some have been asking him to lead them — a seemingly fanciful suggestion that he also promoted after inflaming the divisions that forced out McCarthy as speaker.
Trump had been telling people in recent days that he preferred Jordan for the post, according to two Republicans familiar with his thinking and granted anonymity to discuss it. But it was unclear whether he intended to announce it before Nehls’ tweet.
“Just had a great conversation with President Trump about the Speaker’s race. He is endorsing Jim Jordan, and I believe Congress should listen to the leader of our party,” Nehls wrote late Thursday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In an interview later with The Associated Press, Nehls, who had been encouraging Trump to run for the post himself, said the ex-president instead wanted Jordan.
“After him thinking about it and this and that … he said he really is in favor of getting behind Jim Jordan,” Nehls said. “He believes Jim Jordan is right for the job.”