Trump opposes GOP Whip Emmer for speaker: report

McCarthy has endorsed Emmer, whose status as majority whip already places him as the highest-ranking would-be Speaker in the conference.

Published: October 20, 2023 8:58pm

Former President Donald Trump does not support House Majority Whip Tom Emmer becoming Speaker of the House and has privately relayed that sentiment to his supporters, complicating an already convoluted leadership contest that currently has at least four candidates.

The Republican conference removed Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan as its speaker designee on Friday after he thrice failed to win the post in a floor vote. GOP Reps. Austin Scott, Ga.; Byron Donalds, Fla.; Kevin Hern, Okla.; Jack Bergman, Mich.; and Emmer have all since emerged as potential replacements for ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Several more are expected to jump into the fray.

McCarthy has endorsed Emmer, whose status as majority whip already places him as the highest-ranking would-be speaker in the conference after Majority Leader Steve Scalise left the race. Emmer has reportedly begun making calls to bolster support for his leadership bid, Politico reported. Trump's opposition could make it much more difficult for him to secure enough support.

Trump on Friday privately expressed his opposition to supporters. Citing persons familiar with the discussions, the outlet relayed Trump's concerns that Emmer did not hold a favorable opinion of him, had criticized him for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, and did not come to his defense amid the multiple criminal indictments he faces.

Both Jordan and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise have already failed to unite the conference for their own bids. With a narrowly divided lower chamber, any Republican would likely need the support of almost all the conference to secure the minimum number of votes for a majority in the chamber.

Emmer may already be short of the magic number, however, as one senior GOP source told Breitbart News on Friday that "[a]t least 12 Republicans are opposed to Tom Emmer under any circumstances."

"This thing is blowing up," the source said.

Emmer Communications Director Casey Nelson told Politico, however, that the GOP whip would work with Trump should he claim the gavel.

"As NRCC Chair, Whip Emmer worked hand in hand with President Trump to help House Republicans fire Nancy Pelosi and retake the majority. If he becomes Speaker, Whip Emmer looks forward to continuing that productive relationship," Nelson said.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter. 

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