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Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Newsmax Floated Idea Of Trump As House Speaker
Topic: Newsmax

In the turmoil after House Republicans ousted Kevin McCarthy as speaker, Newsmax floated the idea of Donald Trump serving as speaker, at least temporarily. (Newsmax worked to make sure Trump got credit for McCarthy's original ascension to the speaker post.) An Oct. 4 article by Eric Mack quoted Trump effectively endorsing the trial balloon:

While former President Donald Trump said he is "focused" on running for president, he would not rule out being the GOP speaker of the House on Wednesday.

"A lot of people have been calling me about speaker," Trump told reporters before heading into the courtroom for Day 3 of his $250 million civil trial. "All I can say is we'll do whatever is best for country and for the Republican Party.

"We have some great, great people."

Reporters noted Trump did not rule out becoming speaker if he was asked, admitting only that there are a lot of people asking.

That was followed later in the day with a column by Tamar Fleishman endorsing the idea, declaring that he "has the leadership, respect and knows the issues inside and out":

Trump has always shied away from the beaten path. It's what makes him great! He wouldn't accept "just because it's not done" as an excuse not to name a former president and current candidate, as speaker of the House. He may not have been a politician in 2016, but he is now and a savvy one at that. He's seen it all!

PTrump [sic] is a do-er. Whether it's a building an ice rink or historic-on-a-biblical scale Middle East peace treaty, Trump plays to win. He won't tolerate excuses, tactical delays, Parliamentary tactical slight of hand or general nonsense.

Another Oct. 4 article, by Charlie McCarthy, tried to distance Trump from McCarthy's ouster in the first place:

Advisers to Donald Trump questioned Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz's comment indicating the former president supported the effort to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Cali regarding GOP infighting.


"Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren't they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?" Trump posted.

After the House vote, Gaetz suggested he had Trump's backing.

"My conversations with the former president leave me with great confidence that I did the right thing," Gaetz told reporters.

Trump advisers, though, had their doubts.

An Oct. 5 article by Mack hyped Trump offering "short-term" assistance in choosing a speaker, followed by an article by Mark Swanson touting Trump claiming that "he would be willing to become speaker of the House 'for a short period of time' and serve as a party 'unifier' until Republicans settle on their permanent choice." Newsmax then hosted a Republican congressman cheering the idea:

Who better than former President Donald Trump to fill the vacant House speaker's seat — at least in the short term — Rep. Greg Steube told Newsmax.

"How awesome would it be for President Trump to be the leader of the House and negotiate with [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer and [President] Joe Biden spending policies from a conservative majority House?" Steube, R-Fla., said Thursday on "Eric Bolling The Balance." "I can't think of somebody that would be better to do it."


The only Republicans who are unlikely to support Trump, Steube said, are those in heavily Democratic districts. But they risk being primaried in the next election if they choose to vote against Trump, he said.

"And wouldn't it just be sweet to all these Democrats who kicked out our former speaker that they got rid of [California Rep.] Kevin McCarthy and now they have to deal with President Trump?" he added.

Newsmax served up additional teasing, as well as portraying Trump as an allegedly vital part of the selection process:

The Trump-speaker boomlet, however, got shot down pretty quickly by one of its own pundits, as Sandy Fitzgerald wrote in an Oct. 6 article:

It would not benefit former President Donald Trump to step in and act as House speaker temporarily, as he says he's willing to do, because it could hinder his fight against the indictments he's facing, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik said on Newsmax Friday.

"I think that would be a bad move for him. I honestly do," Kerik told Newsmax's "Newsline." "I think he's got to focus on these persecutions."

There are people "looking at putting him in prison," Kerik added. "There is nothing more serious than the deprivation of your freedom and liberty."

Newsmax stopped talking about the idea of Trump as speaker after that, though it continued to run articles promoting him as a player in the selection of a new speaker, including one of him quipping about the prolonged battle over speaker and suggesting only Jesus Christ could do it. When Mike Johnson was eventually settled upon, Newsmax articles touted Trump's endorsement before and after the vote.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EST

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