There are plenty of rumors floating around about what former President Donald Trump’s next move is going to be, and some of them are quite wild, frankly.
Will he run again for president in 2024? Will he instead start his own digital media empire complete with a major new social platform? Will he run for the U.S. Senate?
And this personal favorite, “Trump can be installed as the Speaker of the House” if the GOP regains control of the chamber next year, making him second in line to the Oval office — that that rumor takes off in all sorts of directions from there.
At this point, only President Trump knows the answer to these theories. However, there’s a problem with the last one: One House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
You see, if Republicans can recapture the House next year as they plan to, McCarthy is in line to replace one of Congress’ leading poster children for term limits — Nancy Pelosi. And from all indications, he really wants to be Speaker.
The Daily Caller reports:
Multiple people claimed Friday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said former President Donald Trump has his eye on the House Speaker’s gavel, causing confusion.
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade asked McCarthy, who would be at the front of the line to be the next Speaker of the House if Republicans regained control of the chamber in 2022, what he thought about rumors that the former president might also express an interest in that position.
Kilmeade said he had heard “talk out there” about the possibility that Trump could run for a House seat or be made House Speaker.
“Would you be for President Trump becoming speaker?” he asked.
“You know, I have talked to President Trump many times,” McCarthy replied. “He tells me he wants me speaker, and I think he should be president.”
The response was confusing to some, however, leading more than a few journalists to conclude that the rumor was true.
CNN’s Ryan Struyk noted on Twitter: “KILMEADE: ‘Would you be for President Trump becoming speaker?’ MCCARTHY: ‘You know, I’ve talked to President Trump many times. He tells me he wants to be speaker. And I think he should be president.'”
“This is the first time I’ve heard someone acknowledge the idea that trump wants to become speaker. I’m very surprised McCarthy has acknowledged this publicly,” added Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman.
“Every Republican House candidate running in 2022 should be asked, on the record, whether he or she would vote for Trump for Speaker,” Democratic operative cum lawyer Marc Elias tweeted.
Except, of course, that’s not what McCarthy said.
“A spokesperson from McCarthy’s office clarified the statement to the Daily Caller, saying that he had meant Trump wanted McCarthy to be speaker: ‘McCarthy meant and said he wants ‘me’ to be Speaker, but I understand that might not have sounded crystal clear,'” the outlet reported.
“McCarthy followed his answer by saying that winning back the House should be the priority going into 2022,” the outlet added.
Now, to be fair, Trump called the notion of him being elected Speaker (you don’t have to be a member of Congress, by the way) “interesting” earlier this month.
But by any reasonable measure, our money is on Trump remaining in his role as political kingmaker for the time being, and watching McCarthy become Speaker in January 2023 ahead of a decision on whether to run again for president the following year.