Trump’s House Speaker Ambitions Didn’t Go Great Last Time


Former President Donald Trump reportedly considered throwing his hat in the ring for speaker of the House earlier this week ― but it wasn’t the first time he’d thought about seeking the role.

According to ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, Trump considered making a bid for speaker back in January, when Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was facing round after awkward round of voting as he tried to get enough members of his own party to support him for the position. (He eventually prevailed, only to be ousted this week.)

During the winter’s speaker drama, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) nominated Trump twice for the role ― and was the only person to actually vote for the former president either time.

At the time, people speculated that Gaetz was acting on his own, but in an excerpt from his upcoming book, “Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party,” Karl reveals that Trump did encourage the nomination.

Karl says that while various Republicans had previously suggested the idea of making Trump the speaker, Trump himself gave it little thought until he saw what a spectacle the whole contest had become.

“He saw the power of television,” a close Trump adviser told Karl. “[He saw] how galvanizing it was, how mesmerizing it was ― everybody was watching it, right? That’s when Trump realizes it’s the biggest reality show in America. He could sit up there like The Celebrity Apprentice. It’d be ‘The Apprentice’ with him with a big-ass gavel.”

Trump reportedly didn’t seriously consider becoming speaker until the seventh round of votes, when he noticed someone had nominated him for the post.

That person was Gaetz, who later called up Trump to congratulate him on being the first former president to be nominated as House speaker since John Quincy Adams.

But Trump wasn’t amused or gratified. Instead, Karl says, he was embarrassed, especially since he could hear laughter in the House chamber when the unflattering vote total was announced.

Once Gaetz realized Trump was getting humiliated, he backed off and switched his vote to Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.).

However, Trump, who Karl said was “still stewing” at the vote result, decided he would’ve had more support if House Republicans realized he was legitimately interested in the gig.

Someone got word to Gaetz, who nominated Trump a second time, with a fiery speech intended to rouse Republicans to Trump’s side.

But Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) was the only person in the chamber to applaud Gaetz’s speech, and Gaetz was, once again, the only person to vote for Trump as speaker.

Karl said the former president wasn’t pleased at all, and told aides, “Get me out of there!”

“Tired of Winning” is set to be published Nov. 14.


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