Former President Donald Trump threw cold water Monday on the idea he is interested in becoming the next House speaker if Republicans flip control of the lower chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.
Mr. Trump said he is aware of the chatter, but said he has a good relationship with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who is well-positioned to win the speaker’s gavel if the GOP takes control of the House.
“I have seen talk about that, but it is nothing that I have ever considered,” Mr. Trump said during an appearance on America’s Voices News.
Mr. Trump could be elected speaker without winning a House seat, as neither the Constitution nor the House’s rules formally require that the speaker be a member of the chamber.
Mr. Trump sounded more open to the idea in an interview earlier this month after his former adviser Steven Bannon floated the idea.
“That’s so interesting,” Mr. Trump told conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root.
Mr. Trump, in the same interview, said others also have raised the prospect of him running for the U.S. Senate.
“But you know what, your idea might be better,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s very interesting.”
The comments shifted attention to Mr. McCarthy, who has maintained close ties with Mr. Trump since the election and the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Mr. McCarthy accidentally helped keep the storyline afloat over the weekend when asked whether he would favor Mr. Trump becoming the next speaker of the House.
“I talk to President Trump many times, he tells me he wants to be speaker and I think he should be president,” Mr. McCarthy said on Fox News Channel.
A McCarthy spokesperson later clarified that Mr. McCarthy had meant to say Mr. Trump “wants ‘me’ to be speaker.”