Former President Trump on Tuesday warned House Republicans against backing Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) as Speaker shortly after the conference nominated him for the gavel.
“I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors. RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, using the acronym for “Republican in name only.”
He complained that Emmer “never respected” his endorsements “or the breadth and scope of MAGA,” and he claimed Emmer is “totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters.”
“I believe he has now learned his lesson, because he is saying that he is Pro-Trump all the way, but who can ever be sure?” Trump wrote. “Has he only changed because that’s what it takes to win? The Republican Party cannot take that chance, because that’s not where the America First Voters are. Voting for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!”
The former president’s scathing message could hurt Emmer’s chances of securing the gavel in what is already a difficult process given the House GOP’s narrow majority.
The conference on Tuesday selected Emmer — the No. 3 House Republican — as its nominee for Speaker in a secret ballot during an internal election that lasted three hours, choosing him over six other candidates vying for the job. Two Republicans withdrew their names from the race before voting began.
If all lawmakers are present and vote for a specific candidate, Emmer will need at least 217 votes.
In conference, he got 117 votes on the final ballot, while House Republican Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson (La.) got 97. And in a roll call vote that followed, lawmakers said about 20 holdouts remained.
Trump, who backed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for Speaker before Jordan failed to garner enough votes on the floor, had largely remained on the sidelines as several House Republicans put their names forward for the Speaker role.
Trump and Emmer spoke on the phone over the weekend in what was described by one Trump ally as a “polite conversation.” The former president also spoke with others vying for the gavel.
But Trump allies had openly gone after Emmer, and Trump reposted a Truth Social message from far-right activist Laura Loomer in which she wrote that Emmer “must never be Speaker of the House.”
Emmer voted the certify the 2020 election results, which Trump has repeatedly falsely claimed were rigged, and some Trump allies have circulated old comments from Emmer in which he spoke about Electoral College reform.