Tom Emmer Might Not Even Need Trump’s Endorsement

Donald Trump has signaled that he will not endorse a candidate in the House GOP’s swelling Speakership struggle—but that hasn’t stopped him from attempting to sink the candidacy of House majority whip Tom Emmer, who now has the nomination. On Monday night, Trump shared two Truth Social posts by a far-right activist calling the Minnesota Republican a “Trump hating Congressman” and a “COMMUNIST ENABLER.” The posts, published by Laura Loomer, a conspiracy theorist and self-described proponent of “white nationalism,” portrayed Emmer as a bought-and-paid-for stooge of progressive billionaire George Soros. 

“[Emmer] is now the Uniparty’s favored pick to become Speaker of the House even though he worked for a Soros group dedicated to getting rid of the Electoral College,” Loomer wrote, referencing Emmer’s work more than a decade ago for the National Popular Vote campaign. (For what it’s worth, Emmer was able to overcome the same controversy when he successfully ran for majority whip in a contested race last November.) 

“President Trump doesn’t support Tom Emmer, and neither should you!!” Loomer wrote in another post shared by Trump.

Loomer is one of many Trump allies who have denounced Emmer’s bid for Speaker. On his popular streaming show Monday, Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief White House strategist, urged viewers to engage in a “pressure campaign” against Emmer. “The first thing to do is to stop Emmer today,” Bannon said. “Once Emmer’s stopped, just want to repeat this, you have decapitated what they’ve invested—what the cartel, the lobbyists, the corporatists, Wall Street, they’ve invested over 12 years. This is their team.” 

Trump, meanwhile, had privately opposed Emmer prior to circulating the Loomer posts to his nearly 6.5 million followers on Truth Social—though he later publicly claimed to be staying out of the Speaker’s race “as much as possible.” The two men spoke on the phone over the weekend, per The New York Times, but the third-ranking House Republican was seemingly unable to pacify the ex-president—most likely due to Emmer’s certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. And by Tuesday afternoon, the former president could no longer help but jump into the fray, taking to Truth Social to describe Emmer as a “Globalist RINO” whose potential Speakership would be a “tragic mistake.”

Emmer has largely sought to burnish his MAGA bona fides via surrogates, who have noted his support for Trump in both of his presidential bids and the autographed photo of the two he keeps in his office. One Emmer ally told Politico that he’s “never heard him say a negative thing about Trump.” Trump claimed that on their call, Emmer even declared himself the former president’s “biggest fan.” While those overtures have thus far done little to placate Trumpworld—which may require a more direct endorsement from the majority whip himself—not all of Trump’s media allies are so militantly opposed. Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson told Insider Monday that he has “no plans to get involved” in the Speaker race. “The country’s got bigger problems,” he said, “than a leadership fight on the Hill.”

Emmer is currently the nominee for Speaker among Republicans, who recently held a series of secret ballot votes to select their potential next leader. On the fifth ballot vote, which was held Tuesday afternoon, Emmer received 117 votes, a 39-vote improvement from his first performance, advancing his candidacy to an eventual floor vote. Mike Johnson, a traditional fiscal and social conservative from Louisiana, took second place for the nomination with 97 votes.

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