Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) claimed Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the House Freedom Caucus was floating the idea of nominating former President Donald Trump as Speaker of the House.
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: Election deniers didn’t prevail in the key battleground, but CBS tallied it and at least 155 House Republicans in the new Congress have raised unfounded doubts about the validity or integrity of the 2020 election. These are going to be your colleagues that you will be working with. What change is that going to affect in the working?
RASKIN: Well, that’s a statement about the political contamination of the GOP by Donald Trump. And again, you know, Kevin McCarthy and other leaders within the Republican Party are now required to make a decision about whether they’re going to try to rid themselves of Donald Trump and his toxic influence on the party.
BRENNAN: But these 155 House Republicans are his constituency, Kevin McCarthy, if he wants to be leader, will need to consider as well –
RASKIN: Yes, it’s a real problem for Kevin McCarthy now, because there are certain pro-Trumpists within his House caucus, who refuse to accept that he’s really with Trump and they want to get rid of McCarthy. And some of them– they have names very early in the alphabet, like Biggs. And they might just vote for Trump, when they you know, take the roll call for speaker so we know that the– the hard right Freedom Caucus people are in search of another candidate and one potential candidate whose name has been floated is Donald Trump himself, because the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of the House. And they are talking about putting Trump right there.
BRENNAN: That’s not a real option, though.
RASKIN: Well, they talk about it repeatedly. And if Trump decided he wanted to do it, it would pose a profound problem for their party because they refuse to do the right thing. Early on – I mean, today, it seems like the spell has been broken. It’s begun to dissolve. We don’t have Republicans around the country claiming that they really won when it’s been certified that they lost their elections. And yet there is still this “Big Lie” dogma, which, as you say, has been embraced by 150 members within their caucus. And so that is going to create profound cognitive and political dissonance within the GOP. Is it really Trump’s party? Or does it stand for something else? And Liz Cheney, and Adam Kinzinger are going to force that question, they’re going to force the Republicans to choose.
BRENNAN: Would you urge President Biden in the White House to comply with all these House Republican investigations that have been promised?
RASKIN: Well, the– obviously everybody’s got to comply with the law, such as the law is, you know. We would hope that they would feel chastened by the voters of America who dealt them in historic repudiation. I mean, they were talking about picking up 40 or 50 or 60 seats. We, the Democrats, may indeed win the House the way yesterday, we won the Senate. So it is a repudiation of that kind of right wing, “Big Lie,” election-denying character assassination politics that Donald Trump brought right to the heart of the Republican Party.
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