Matt Gaetz votes for Donald Trump for House speaker in slight to McCarthy

Rep. Matt Gaetz on Thursday voted for former President Donald Trump to serve as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Gaetz, R-Fla., opted not to vote for Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., who had received the support of Republican lawmakers who have opposed Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the GOP leader, to serve as speaker.

The House led the seventh ballot roll call vote Thursday for speaker, and when Gaetz’s name was called, he responded: ‘Donald John Trump.’ 

Trump, though, was not nominated ahead of the vote. McCarthy, Donalds and incoming House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries were the only three nominated ahead of the vote.

The former president, during an exclusive interview with Fox News on Wednesday, said lawmakers opposing McCarthy are playing a ‘dangerous game,’ and urged support for the GOP leader.

‘Let’s get this thing over with,’ Trump told Fox News Digital on Thursday. ‘I think it is a dangerous game, and, frankly, if they are not happy with him, they can do something about it at a later date.’

He added, ‘I support [McCarthy] and I support getting the deal done. What I don’t support is allowing this to continue onward.’ 

The House has taken three additional roll call votes for speaker since Trump’s comments.

McCarthy has failed to gain the votes needed to be elected speaker over the past two and a half days. It was the first time since 1923 that the House failed on the first vote for a speaker. 

Gaetz and approximately 19 other GOP lawmakers argue that McCarthy is not conservative enough, and claim he has failed to make certain assurances about rules changes that would decentralize power in the House.

Democrats have been united in support of Jeffries, D-N.Y., to be the next speaker and many of them have mocked the GOP divisions on social media and in comments to the press.

The House will continue voting until a speaker is elected.

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