Amid celebrations of the dismal GOP midterm performance, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) warned Sunday that election deniers that will constitute more than a third of the new House could make Donald Trump their speaker.
The numbers alone are a “statement about the political contamination of the GOP by Donald Trump,” Raskin said on “Face the Nation” on CBS.
Raskin envisioned a wild scenario in which extremist House Republicans loyal to Trump “might just vote” for the former president to become speaker of the House (provided the GOP wins a 218 majority when all results are counted).
“We know that the hard-right Freedom Caucus people are in search of another candidate” for House speaker, Raskin told Margaret Brennan.
“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,” he continued. “And they are talking about putting Trump right there.”
They “talk about it repeatedly,” Raskin noted. “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.”
CBS News has projected that at least 155 Republican election deniers will win their House seats, and nine will fill Senate positions, Brennan noted.
HuffPost reported Saturday that a total of more than 160 GOP election deniers, both newly elected and former members of Congress, will be in the House and Senate.
The influence of election deniers is “going to create profound cognitive and political dissonance within the GOP,” Raskin warned. “Is it really Trump’s party? Or does it stand for something else?”
The mix will demand painful choices by Republicans, he said.
Current House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and others within the Republican Party are “now required to make a decision about whether they’re going to try rid themselves of Donald Trump and his toxic influence on the party,” Raskin noted.
McCarthy announced his bid to become House speaker on Nov. 9 before a Republican majority was confirmed (it still isn’t). Even if Trump isn’t in the mix, he could face a heated battle to become speaker.
Raskin called the clash a “real problem” for McCarthy because “certain pro-Trumpists within his House caucus refuse to accept that he’s really with Trump. They want to get rid” of McCarthy.
“They might just vote for Trump when they take the roll call for speaker,” he underscored.
Check out Raskin’s observations below: