Former President Donald Trump has laid out the conditions under which he would be willing to assume the House speaker position.
The speakership was vacated after eight Republicans and all House Democrats in attendance supported a motion to vacate on Tuesday, stripping Congressman Kevin McCarthy of House leadership. The chamber is scheduled to meet again Wednesday to begin voting on the next speaker, but with a fractured GOP majority, it remains unlikely that a decision will be made soon.
Speaking with Fox News Digitial, Trump said that he would be willing to take on a short-term position as speaker if Republicans can’t agree on anyone else in the caucus.
“I have been asked to speak as a unifier because I have so many friends in Congress,” Trump told the outlet. “If they don’t get the vote, they have asked me if I would consider taking the speakership until they get somebody longer term, because I am running for president.”
“They have asked me if I would take it for a short period of time for the party, until they come to a conclusion—I’m not doing it because I want to—I will do it if necessary, should they not be able to make their decision,” Trump added.
Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s press team via email for more information on Thursday evening.
Trump’s statement comes at the same time sources close to the former president told the Associated Press that Trump is “in talks” to visit the U.S. Capitol next week as Republicans discuss McCarthy’s potential replacement. Newsweek was unable to independently verify this report.
While the speaker is typically selected from House members, the Constitution does not mandate that the role be filled by a member of Congress. A handful of Republican lawmakers have already indicated their support for Trump taking the position.
Trump told reporters inside the courtroom of his New York civil fraud trial on Wednesday that “a lot of people” had called him about assuming the speakership, adding, “All I can say is we’ll do whatever’s best for the country and for the Republican Party … We have some great, great people.”
The former president’s potential visit to Washington, D.C., would also mark the first time Trump has visited the Capitol since leaving office in January 2021. It would also come as Trump faces four federal felony charges in the Justice Department’s investigation of the January 6 Capitol attack, which was waged by Trump’s supporters.
Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene reiterated her support for Trump as House speaker in a post to X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday, writing: “If Trump becomes Speaker of the House, the House chamber will be like a Trump rally everyday!!”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the post, writing: “No thanks, we’re good. We’ve seen a Trump rally at the Capitol already.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House press team via email Thursday evening for comment.
Update 10/05/23, 6:31 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information and background.