(WASHINGTON) — Former President Donald Trump is considering attending House Republicans’ candidate forum for speaker next week, multiple sources familiar with his thinking told ABC News.
The sources, however, cautioned that nothing is finalized and his plans could change.
The closed-door candidate forum is scheduled for Tuesday. There, lawmakers will make their pitch for why others should elect them speaker to succeed ousted leader Kevin McCarthy.
If Trump were to make an appearance at the event, it would mark his first time on Capitol Hill since the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by a mob of his supporters, who stormed the complex as Congress had gathered to certify Trump’s 2020 election defeat. (Trump denies all wrongdoing related to Jan. 6.)
Trump remains hugely popular with the conservative base and is influential in how some GOP lawmakers act. Some members of the Republican conference have floated his name for speaker — but Trump has maintained publicly that it isn’t his priority.
“I’ll do whatever it is to help. But my focus, my total focus, is being president,” he told reporters earlier this week, also saying: “We have some great people in the Republican Party that could do a great job as speaker.”
The Constitution does not require that the speaker of the House be a sitting representative, but every past speaker has been.
McCarthy was removed from the speakership on Tuesday in a historic vote led by a rebellious faction of his own party, who were joined by the Democratic minority.
An interim speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has since been named until an internal election can be held for McCarthy’s replacement. The chamber recessed soon after McCarthy was booted and is in uncharted territory.
Among the Republicans who have said they are seeking to be speaker are House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La.
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