(The Hill) – Former President Trump threw his support behind Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to be the next House Speaker late Thursday night, giving the conservative firebrand a boost in his effort to win the gavel.
“He is a STRONG on Crime, Borders, our Military/Vets, & 2nd Amendment. Jim, his wife, Polly, & family are outstanding – He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform.
The former president backed Jordan over Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who on Wednesday announced his own bid to replace ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington, D.C., representing Ohio’s 4th Congressional District. Respected by all, he is now Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee,” Trump wrote.
Jordan was the first to announce his bid for Speaker this week and in his perch leading the Judiciary panel he is one of the leaders of House Republicans’ impeachment effort targeting President Biden.
The conservative lawmaker has been a top defender of Trump on Capitol Hill, including during the two impeachment probes that targeted the former president. Jordan also declared earlier this year that he “100%” backed Trump’s 2024 presidential bid despite the former president’s ongoing legal issues.
Trump had initially declined to back any particular candidate for Speaker following McCarthy’s removal, telling reporters on Wednesday that “we have some great people in the Republican Party that could do a great job as Speaker.”
Jordan and Scalise, who are both Trump allies, have been locked in a tight race to succeed McCarthy following his removal Tuesday. Eight Republicans had joined Democrats to oust the California Republican, marking the first time a Speaker has been removed through a no-confidence vote.
Some House Republicans floated the former president himself as a possible Speaker nominee, with the conference scrambling to coalesce around a new leader following McCarthy’s exit from a position he had held since January.
Trump appeared to dismiss those calls, saying Wednesday he was “totally” focused on his White House bid. On Thursday, he said he would do so on a temporary basis only “if necessary,” adding to Fox News Digital, “I have been asked to speak as a unifier because I have so many friends in Congress.”
Rep. Troy Nehls (Texas), one of the Republicans who had suggested Trump run for Speaker, posted Thursday evening on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, saying Trump had told him he would back Jordan.
“He is endorsing Jim Jordan, and I believe Congress should listen to the leader of our party,” Nehls wrote.
Updated: 1:45 a.m.