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Matt Gaetz Says He’s Talked to Donald Trump About Becoming Speaker of the House

There’s no requirement for the Speaker to be a member of the House of Representatives.

Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on October 18, 2021 in New York City.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) said that he’d like to see Trump become the next Speaker of the House if Republicans win the 2022 midterms next year.

The Florida congressman, who frequently communicates with Trump, said that he has discussed the idea with the former president.

Although Gaetz wouldn’t divulge the details of their conversations, he said it was his preference that Trump become the next Speaker if Republicans win the midterms in 2022 — a sentiment that Gatez has also expressed in the past, including as a fundraising mechanism.

“After the next election cycle when we take back the House of Representatives, when we send [current House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi back to the filth of San Francisco, my commitment to you is that my vote for speaker of the US House of Representatives will go to Donald J. Trump,” Gaetz told supporters during a rally in July.

Far right lawmakers like Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) have also voiced support for the idea. Although Trump has said that he isn’t thinking about becoming Speaker, he has called it an “interesting” proposition.

The United States Constitution allows each house of Congress to make its own rules surrounding who will manage its affairs. Article I specifically states that “the House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers” — but it doesn’t say that person has to be a member of the House themselves.

Interest in appointing Trump as Speaker is going up among Republicans — particularly because the primary alternative is current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is viewed unfavorably by the more extremist members of the GOP caucus.

Though many Republicans want to see Trump take over the role, he faces steep odds of being elected to the Speakership, should he even want to do so. While the idea of appointing a non-elected person as Speaker of the House has been considered before, there has never been a Speaker who wasn’t also an elected representative in the history of the House.

For many on the right, it isn’t Trump’s political acumen or ability to legislate that makes him a desirable candidate. As Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows commented on Gaetz’s podcast last month, the former president’s appeal lies more in the fact that it would upset people, particularly those on the left.

Meadows said that he would “love to see the gavel go from Nancy Pelosi to Donald Trump” because of the reaction it would cause.

“You talk about melting down, people would go crazy,” he added.

But while members of his own party might like the idea of Trump becoming Speaker, his ascendancy to the position would likely not be received well by Americans overall. Recent numbers from an Economist/YouGov poll show that Trump is viewed unfavorably by 56 percent of voters, while just 39 percent said they view him in a positive light.

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