Former President Trump congratulated newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on winning the Speaker’s gavel Wednesday — and took credit for Johnson’s quick rise to victory.
“I just want to congratulate Mike Johnson. He will be a great Speaker of the House, and we were very happy to have helped,” Trump said to reporters outside a New York courtroom Wednesday. “I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a tremendous leader and a tremendous man.”
Trump continued, taking credit for his victory and thanking his own supporters, as well as Johnson’s.
“At this time yesterday, nobody was thinking of Mike,” Trump said. “And then we put out the word, and now he’s the Speaker of the House. So I want to just thank all of the supporters that I have, and I want to thank all the supporters that Mike has, and again, he’ll be a great Speaker. I think you’re going to be very proud.”
Johnson’s victory comes 22 days after eight Republicans voted with Democrats to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his post. Since then, the House has not had a leader, as Republicans struggled to find a consensus candidate that could win the majority of the full House — meaning Republicans could only lose a small number of votes from their own conference.
The extent of Trump’s involvement has fluctuated in the several rounds of voting over the last few weeks. Trump initially endorsed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who withdrew as the nominee after it became clear he had no path to the gavel.
After House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) became the third GOP nominee, however, Trump single-handedly tanked his chances, saying in a social media post that electing Emmer as Speaker “would be a tragic mistake.”
Johnson soon emerged as the fourth Republican to win the nomination for Speaker, and on Wednesday he won all House Republicans’ support.