Former US president Donald Trump on Friday endorsed hard-right Republican Jim Jordan for the job of speaker of the House of Representatives.
Trump took to his Truth Social platform to say Jordan “will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!”
Hours earlier he had offered to temporarily take up the role, which was left vacant this week after Republican Kevin McCarthy was axed in a historic rebellion by far-right members of his own party.
Jordan, 59, is among a list of contenders to replace McCarthy, and has been notably skeptical of US funding to Ukraine.
Jordan has also been spearheading an impeachment investigation against President Joe Biden that has irritated mainstream colleagues.
Earlier Trump had told Fox News that he had “been asked to speak as a unifier because I have so many friends in Congress”.
“If they don’t get the vote, they have asked me if I would consider taking the speakership until they get somebody longer-term, because I am running for president.”
But former Republican congresswoman Barbara Comstock told CNN that Trump would not be eligible for the role because he has been charged with criminal offenses.
“Unfortunately he doesn’t know the House rules, which say if you’re indicted you cannot be in House leadership,” Comstock said.
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is slated to go on trial in Washington next March for allegedly conspiring to subvert the results of the November 2020 election won by Democrat Biden.
Other criminal cases against Trump include racketeering charges in Georgia for allegedly conspiring to upend the election results in the southern state and a trial in Florida in May 2024 on charges of mishandling top secret government documents.
Trump and his two eldest sons are also currently facing a civil fraud trial in New York for inflating the value of their real estate assets to receive more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.