There are still three years to go until the 2025 presidential inauguration, and some restless Republicans are looking to give former President Trump some political power much sooner than that. Yes, Trump loyalists in Congress are batting around the idea of naming Trump speaker of the House should the party regain control of the chamber in the 2022 midterms.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) was the latest to do so, telling reporters at a Tuesday press conference that he has spoken to Trump about the possibility of making him speaker, a title which is not required to be conferred upon a member. Gaetz answered in the affirmative when asked whether he would want Trump to serve as speaker, and when questioned about whether he’d discussed the possibility with Trump, Gaetz said, “I have,” but declined to discuss it further. “I keep my conversations with the former president between the two of us.”
Reporter: Do you want ex-President Trump to be speaker?
Gaetz: I would
Reporter: Have you talked to him about it?
Gaetz: I have pic.twitter.com/BfAzAuaWgT
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 7, 2021
This isn’t the first time Gaetz has mentioned the idea of Trump as speaker. “Can you just imagine [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi having to hand that gavel to Donald J. Trump?” he said at a joint rally with fellow far-right flamethrower Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in Iowa this past summer. “Why wait until 2024?” he added.
Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, echoed the congressman’s comments when he appeared on Gaetz’s podcast in November, saying that he “would love to see the gavel go from Nancy Pelosi to Donald Trump.” Meadows explained that part of his motivation to install Trump is his disappointment with current GOP House leadership, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (who has his own longstanding speakership ambitions). “They’re not skating to where the puck is, and so I would give them a grade of a ‘D,'” Meadows said.
Greene also mentioned a possible Trump speakership on a podcast this past summer. “It’s no secret that I am one of the biggest supporters of President Trump, and I proudly say it all the time,” Greene said, adding, “I would love to see him, whether it is speaker of the House or running for Congress or Republican majority in 2022, electing him speaker of the House.”
The Constitution does not specify that the speaker of the House must be a member of Congress, so Trump wouldn’t even need to run for office in 2022 to be a potential speaker candidate. If a majority of House members voted to support his speakership, it’s possible he could serve in that role. A Democratic congressman introduced a bill in July to restrict the speaker’s position to elected members, but the bill only has three co-sponsors.
Trump so far hasn’t said much about the possibility beyond acknowledging that people are talking about it. In a July interview with Real America’s Voice host David Brody said that he’d “heard the talk and it’s getting more and more, but it’s not something that I would have considered.” He had addressed the prospect earlier that month on far-right host Wayne Allyn Root’s radio show, calling it an “interesting” idea. “People have said, run for the Senate, OK, run for the Senate,” Trump said. “But you know what, your idea might be better. It’s very interesting.”