Trump mulls trip to Capitol Hill amid Speaker scramble
By The Citizen on October 5, 2023
Former President Trump is considering making a trip to Capitol Hill next week as House Republicans gather to determine who they will back to become the next Speaker following the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the position.
A source confirmed there are discussions about having Trump visit the Capitol next Tuesday, when the House GOP conference will hold a forum for Speaker candidates.
A second source said a Trump trip to Capitol Hill is far from finalized and may not ultimately happen.
Trump is scheduled to visit Iowa over the weekend and New Hampshire on Monday for campaign stops in his bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
The Messenger first reported on the possibility of Trump visiting the Capitol next week.
It would be Trump’s first time visiting Capitol Hill since Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of his supporters violently clashed with law enforcement and stormed the complex in an attempt to stop the certification of President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to federal charges over his efforts to remain in power after the 2020 election.
The House on Tuesday voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) brought up a motion to oust the California Republican. Gaetz and seven other Republicans joined with Democrats to ultimately vote to remove McCarthy from his position.
The former president has declined to endorse any particular candidate for Speaker in the aftermath of McCarthy’s ouster, telling reporters on Wednesday there are “great people in the Republican Party that could do a great job as Speaker.”
Two of the lawmakers who have said they are pursuing the job — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) — are both Trump allies.
Some in the GOP have floated Trump as a candidate for Speaker, including Reps. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). The Speaker technically is not required to serve in the House.
Trump, who has been in court in New York this week for a fraud trial, has said he is willing to do whatever he can to help the House GOP in the short term, but he told reporters Wednesday his “total focus” is on his 2024 presidential campaign.
Several Democrats nodded to the events of Jan. 6 in response to a social media post from Greene, who suggested if Trump were Speaker, “the House chamber will be like a Trump rally everyday!!”
“No thanks, we’re good. We’ve seen a Trump rally at the Capitol already,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“We already saw a “#Trump rally” in Congress back on #January6th,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) wrote on X.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) argued Trump’s potential trip to the Capitol was the latest indication House Republicans are beholden to the former president.
“The fact that MAGA House Republicans are spending their time fighting over who can best do Trump’s bidding instead of delivering for the American people tells you everything you need to know about their party’s priorities,” DNC spokesperson Sarafina Chitika said in a statement.