“After the next election cycle when we take back the House of Representatives, when we send [current Speaker] Nancy Pelosi back to the filth of San Francisco, my commitment to you is that my vote for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives will go to Donald J. Trump,” the Republican congressman said to a crowd gathered for Trump’s rally in Sarasota, Florida, on Saturday.
The “Save America” rally marks the second Trump campaign-style event held since the former president left the White House in January. Billed as a celebration of Independence Day, the July 3 rally has drawn thousands to Sarasota Fairgrounds. Trump is scheduled to speak at 8 p.m. ET.
The Constitution—which states that “the House of Representatives shall chuse (sic) their Speaker and other Officers”—does not expressly state that the House Speaker must be a member of the chamber. However, many legal experts who have examined the issue believe that the founders intended for the Speaker to be chosen from a pool of elected representatives.
“It would have been unthinkable for the most populous house not to have its leader be part of the representatives who were elected by the people,” said David Forte, a constitutional scholar at Cleveland State University, according to NBC News.
In 2015, the Clerk of the House said the Speaker “has always been (but is not required to be) a House Member.”