Democratic California Rep. Pete Aguilar called former President Donald Trump a “so-called former president” during a speech honoring the new House Democratic leader, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
Democratic representatives voted Jeffries in as the Democratic leader on the House floor Tuesday at the start of the 118th Congress. Aguilar gave a speech in honor of Jeffries on account of the Democratic House Caucus.
The representative contrasted Jeffries with the “so-called former president” during his speech.
“He [Jeffries] does not traffic in extremism,” Aguilar said. “He does not grovel to or make excuses for a twice-impeached so-called former president.”
Rep. Aguilar: “He [Jeffries] does not traffic in extremism. He does not grovel to or make excuses for a twice-impeached so-called former President.” pic.twitter.com/N9T65YNb3j
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 3, 2023
Tuesday’s vote for Speaker of the House entered into a second round after former House Minority Leader and Speaker-designate Kevin McCarthy received 203 votes, which sits below the minimum number of 218 needed to obtain the gavel. Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida are among the Republican members who opposed McCarthy’s nomination. Biggs challenged McCarthy for the Speaker role and received 10 votes on the first ballot. (RELATED: Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw Ridicules ‘Narcissists’ Who Oppose McCarthy For Speaker)
McCarthy lost Republican votes to Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on the second ballot, whom Gaetz nominated to challenge the Speaker-designate.
Aguilar’s remark resembles Jeffries previously calling the 2016 presidential election “illegitimate” in a Tweet on Feb. 16, 2018.
“The more we learn about 2016 election the more ILLEGITIMATE it becomes. America deserves to know whether we have a FAKE President in the Oval Office #RussianInterference.” Jeffires wrote, responding to a Washington Post report about the indictment of 13 Russians in connection with former FBI special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the now-debunked Russian collusion.
When pressed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos during a Dec. 4 interview, Jeffries called it “unfortunate” that Republicans are criticizing him and targeting him as an “election denier” rather than focusing on solving the issues facing Americans.
Several Democrats, including former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2016 election. Clinton called Trump an “illegitimate president” in a September 2019 interview on CBS News.