Donald Trump endorses Jim Jordan as House speaker race heats up

Jordan was the first House member to throw their hat in the ring.

October 6, 2023, 2:23 PM

Now that former President Donald Trump on Friday morning officially threw his support behind Rep. Jim Jordan for House speaker, it's unclear what impact it will have on the race for the House's top job.

In a post on his social media platform, Trump raved about Jordan's background and what he called his aptitude for the position.

"He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!" Trump wrote.

PHOTO: Rep. Jim Jordan, left, and Former President Donald Trump, right.
Rep. Jim Jordan, left, and Former President Donald Trump, right.
AP, FILE

Jordan, a top Trump ally and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was the first member to publicly throw his hat in the ring after Kevin McCarthy's ouster led by hard-line Republicans on Tuesday.

In a letter to his colleagues announcing his speakership bid on Wednesday, he said, "We are at a critical crossroad in our nation's history. Now is the time for our Republican conference to come together to keep our promises to Americans."

Speaking to reporters Friday, President Joe Biden was asked about Trump's endorsement of Jordan, and if he felt he could work with Jordan if he were to get the job. Biden steered clear of commenting on Jordan specifically, saying he would "try to work with" the next speaker.

"There are some people I would imagine [it] is going to be easier to work with than others, but whoever the speaker is, I'll try to work with," Biden said.

Jordan has led the charge in the investigations into Hunter Biden, the president's son.

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, who had once supported Trump for the top spot in the House, said on X (formerly Twitter) that he had spoken to Trump about the Jordan endorsement after earlier publicly supporting Trump himself for the position.

"Just had a great conversation with President Trump about the Speaker's race. He is endorsing Jim Jordan, and I believe Congress should listen to the leader of our party. I fully support Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House," Nehls said on X.

PHOTO: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, a prime contender in the race to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, arrives for a meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2023.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, a prime contender in the race to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, arrives for a meeting with the Texas Republican House delegation the morning after former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the position of Speaker by a House vote, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2023.
Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

So far, a few House other members have endorsed Trump for House speaker including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., Barry Moore, R-Ala., and Greg Steube, R-Fla.

Trump told Fox News he would consider being speaker for a "short period" while Republicans figure out a permanent replacement. However, GOP conference rules may not allow Trump to hold the position. The rules say a member of Republican leadership should step aside if indicted for a felony for which a sentence of two or more years imprisonment may be imposed, which would disqualify the former president.

Senior GOP leadership aides have downplayed the likelihood of the conference seriously considering Trump to serve as speaker -- even on an interim basis. Jordan on Thursday stressed that Trump should be president -- instead of speaker.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise is the only other person who has officially announced a speakership bid. In his Wednesday announcement, he said, "I believe we were all put here for a purpose. This next chapter won't be easy, but I know what it takes to fight and I am prepared for the battles that lie ahead."

House Republicans are slated to huddle behind closed doors for a conference meeting Monday night. Republicans are said to be planning a candidate forum for next Tuesday and a speaker election as early as Wednesday.

Fox News announced its anchor Bret Baier would host a "joint interview" on Monday evening with speaker candidates Jordan, Scalise and Kevin Hern, R-Okla., where Baier would "press the congressmen on who should be the next Speaker of the House and discuss the issues facing Congress and the Republican party going forward." The event was swiftly cancelled later Friday after all three members said they wouldn't participate. Hern posted to X that he still hasn't made a decision on a speakership run.

"We need to make this decision as a conference, not on TV. The Republican conference needs a family discussion," Hern wrote.

The next speaker will come on at a critical time -- with a little more than a month until a deadline to fund the government.

-ABC News' Sarah Beth Hensley and Mary Bruce contributed to this report.