Trump’s opinion has surprised many.
Donald Trump refrained from endorsing Florida Representative Matt Gaetz’s proposal to depose Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker, despite expressing admiration for the embattled California Republican. Speaking at a campaign event in Ottumwa, Iowa, Trump stated that it was premature to offer an opinion on Gaetz’s plan to unseat McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Gaetz’s initiative came in response to the passage of a stopgap funding bill supported by Democrats to avert a government shutdown.
According to Newsweek, Gaetz had previously threatened McCarthy’s position as House Speaker due to concerns about negotiations to prevent a government shutdown and perceived delays in launching an impeachment hearing related to Joe Biden’s business dealings, including allegations involving his son. McCarthy had recently taken steps to address these issues in an effort to appease hardline GOP members, despite denials of improper influence and corruption by the White House.
When asked about his stance on Gaetz’s proposal, Trump remained noncommittal but expressed his favorable view of McCarthy. He stated, “I don’t know anything about those efforts, but I like both of them very much,” and added that it was too early to comment on the matter.
Gaetz announced his intention to file a motion to vacate against McCarthy in the coming week, asserting the need for a change in leadership that can be trusted.
During the January election for House Speaker, Gaetz was among the Republicans who initially refused to vote for McCarthy, who was ultimately reelected after making concessions, including changes to Congress rules that simplified the process of introducing a motion to vacate and holding a vote to remove the Speaker. With the GOP’s slim majority in the House, only five Republican defections would be required for the motion to pass, assuming all other representatives voted along party lines.
Florida GOP Representative Bryon Donalds, who was nominated for Speaker during the January vote, indicated uncertainty regarding his support for a motion to vacate McCarthy. He mentioned that he needed to carefully consider the situation.
New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez affirmed her willingness to vote in favor of a motion to vacate McCarthy as House Speaker, citing her previous support for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for the position.
Despite the efforts to remove him, McCarthy appeared undeterred, characterizing the attempts as a “personal” issue between himself and Gaetz and expressing his willingness to risk his job in defense of the American public.