Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

Right-wing media figures, from QAnon-linked to Fox News, call for Trump to be House speaker

Right-wing media are calling for former President Donald Trump to become the next House speaker and replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) after he was forced out in a historic October 3 vote. The idea has floated around right-wing circles since it was first pushed by January 6 coup plotter and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon in 2021.

  • Sean Hannity reported that Trump is interested in becoming the next House speaker

    • On October 3, Fox News host Sean Hannity reported that Trump is interested in becoming the next House speaker. Hannity said, “I have been told that President Trump might be open to helping the Republican Party at least in the short term.” [Fox News, Hannity, 10/3/23]
    • At his civil fraud trial in New York on October 4, Trump told reporters, “Whatever I can do to help with regard to speaker is good.” [Twitter/X, 10/4/23]
    • On X (formerly Twitter), Republican Reps. Troy Nehls, Greg Steube, and Mike Collins have joined the right-wing calls for Trump to become the next speaker. [Twitter/X, 10/3/23, 10/3/23, 10/4/23]
    • According to House GOP conference rules, “A member of the Republican Leadership shall step aside if indicted for a felony for which a sentence of two or more years imprisonment may be imposed.” This would be a procedural barrier for the former president, who is now facing 91 felony charges in four separate indictments. [Twitter/X, 10/3/23; The Washington Post, 8/15/23]
  • Right-wing media figures have championed the idea of Trump as speaker of the House

    • Bannon argued “as people think it through, for your consideration, we should think about President Donald J. Trump” for speaker. Bannon continued, saying, “Who better to bring this party together and to do it now?” [Lindell TV, War Room: Battleground, 10/3/23]
    • On YouTuber Tim Pool’s Timcast IRL, Lara Trump responded to Pool’s suggestion of Trump as speaker by saying, “A lot of people like that idea.” She continued, “Anyone can do it.” [YouTube, Timcast IRL, 10/3/23]
    • Newsmax host Carl Higbie floated Trump as speaker and noted that the next person to take on the position “doesn’t have to be a member of the House.” [Newsmax, Carl Higbie Frontline, 10/3/23]
    • Fox News host Steve Doocy argued that Trump could run for president and be speaker at the same time: “He could do both.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/4/23]
    • Right-wing radio host Sebastian Gorka on a Trump speakership: “Wouldn’t it be fun?” [Newsmax, Eric Bolling The Balance, 10/3/23]
    • Daily Wire host Michael Knowles said, “I think the speaker should be Donald Trump because that is the funniest of all options.” Knowles also posted on X: “Seriously though, Trump for Speaker, right?” [The Daily Wire, The Michael Knowles Show, 10/3/23; Twitter/X, 10/3/23]
    • Right-wing outlet One America News published the headline “GOP Congress Members Push For Trump As Speaker After McCarthy’s Removal.” The story includes posts from members of Congress cheering on a Trump speakership. [One America News, 10/3/23]
    • Serial plagiarist turned right-wing podcaster Benny Johnson celebrated the idea by posting a clip of Hannity and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) discussing Trump as an “interim speaker.” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23]
    • Trump co-defendant Rudy Giuliani posted on X, “President Donald Trump for Speaker of the House?” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23]
    • Anti-Muslim activist and MAGA troll Laura Loomer posted, “PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.” Loomer also posted a meme video of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who initiated McCarthy’s ouster as House speaker, saying, “Speaker Trump has a great ring to it.” Loomer posted, “Indeed. Speaker Trump does have a nice ring to it.” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23, 10/3/23
    • Anti-Muslim extremist Brigitte Gabriel: “I'm 100% serious when I say President Trump would make the best Speaker of the House and would be the ultimate power move from House Republicans.” In another post, Gabriel wrote “Would anything bother AOC and Ilhan Omar more than Speaker President Donald J. Trump?” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23, 10/3/23]
    • Conspiracy theorist and former Newsmax host Emerald Robinson posted: “Watching the GOP establishment vote against President Trump for Speaker would be very clarifying for GOP voters — they would finally understand that the GOP votes against them!” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23]
    • Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier: “Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the House?” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23]
    • Right-wing host and QAnon conspiracy theorist Ann Vandersteel on X: “Let’s end the games once and for all. #Speaker Trump is the solution.” Vandersteel also posted, “Let this be the boomerang that lops all of the deep state heads off. #SpeakerTrump.” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23, 10/3/23]
    • Townhall columnist and right-wing activist Gavin Wax: “Honestly Donald Trump for speaker would be epic.” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23]
    • Right-wing hosts the Hodgetwins posted “If Republicans had any balls they would remove McCarthy and vote Trump in as speaker.” The pair also posted that “Hodgetwins are officially nominating TRUMP as speaker of the house because it would be funny as hell to see the left and RINOs lose their mind” and “Trump would be a better speaker than 100% of Democrats and 95% of Republicans in office.” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23, 10/3/23, 10/4/23]
    • On Truth Social, right-wing influencer Rogan O’Handley (known online as DC Draino) wrote that Trump would become “the most powerful man in America” if he became the speaker. [Truth Social, 10/3/23]
    • QAnon influencer Karli Bonne posted a video of Bannon celebrating McCarthy’s ousting and wrote “Trump for Speaker.” [Truth Social, 10/3/23]
    • Right-wing reporter Heather Mullins posted pictures of herself with Trump with the caption “Trump for Speaker!!!” [Twitter/X, 10/3/23]
    • Conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root wrote for The Gateway Pundit that “Trump should have been the House Speaker for the past year. He is the man to unite the GOP.” [The Gateway Pundit, 10/3/23]
    • Alex Jones’ Infowars published a blog post that quoted Jones saying, “Donald Trump should be nominated as a litmus test on these Republicans with all the fake charges and all the fake trials, how awesome would it be to make Donald Trump Speaker of the House?” [Infowars, 10/3/23]
    • “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander: “Speaker Trump is the only viable option. Speaker Trump can Impeach Oval Office Occupant Biden.” [Telegram, 10/4/23]