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Former President Donald Trump has briefly entertained the idea of making a bid to become House speaker, and others have suggested the strategy may make sense for him, regardless of whether he also wants to take another shot at the White House in 2024.
There's no hard evidence that Trump is considering that route, but on Friday House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appeared to tell Fox News' Brian Kilmeade amid laughter that Trump has indeed told him he "wants to be speaker." McCarthy, who is determined to take over the role himself should Republicans take back the House in 2022, said he's responded to Trump by telling him that he'd rather him become president again instead.
It's not entirely clear how seriously McCarthy is taking Trump, if it's an inside joke between the two, or if McCarthy simply misspoke — Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman reported he was told McCarthy meant to say that Trump wants him to be speaker. But if there's any weight to the comments, Trump wouldn't necessarily have to run for a House seat first since the Constitution does not specify that the speaker must be a member of the lower chamber, though an outsider has never actually held the position. Watch McCarthy's interview at Mediaite.