A motion to vacate the speakership, which was filed by Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida on Monday, succeeded by a vote of 216-210 on Tuesday night. Gaetz and seven other Republicans joined forces with a unified Democratic caucus in voting to oust the California congressman.
Shortly after McCarthy was removed from the position, Representative Troy Nehls of Texas—who sided with the majority of Republicans in voting against McCarthy’s removal—announced that he intends to nominate Trump to the role as soon as possible.
“When the U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes, my first order of business will be to nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives,” Nehls said in a statement.
“President Trump, the greatest President of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America First and will make the House great again,” he added.
GOP Congressman Greg Steube of Florida also put forward Trump’s name as the successor to McCarthy in a post on X, formerly Twitter. Additionally, Republican Representative Andy Ogles of Tennessee included Trump in a poll of potential candidates on X.
Gaetz voted for Trump as speaker multiple times during the series of hearings to install McCarthy in January. He did not say he would nominate Trump for the job on Tuesday, while also suggesting that the role could be filled by someone who was not a sitting member.
Newsweek reached out for comment to the office of Trump via email on Tuesday night.
While Trump would be eligible to become speaker since House rules do not require the position to be filled by a member, he has previously indicated that he is not interested in the role.
If the former president were to accept his nomination and managed to become the next speaker, it would represent an extraordinary turn of events as he campaigns to regain the presidency in 2024.
Trump, who was found civilly liable for business fraud and has pleaded not guilty to 91 felony criminal counts this year, would instantly become third in line for the White House.
As a presidential candidate, he would be given an unprecedented platform by serving as House speaker. It is also unclear whether Trump wielding the speakership would complicate the enforcement of any gag orders issued in his many legal proceedings.
Trump did not weigh in directly but suggested that he did not approve of the effort to remove McCarthy before the vote was held, writing on Truth Social: “Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?”
As of late on Tuesday night, neither Trump nor his campaign had publicly commented on the ousting of McCarthy or on the suggestion that he should serve as McCarthy’s replacement.