WASHINGTON, D.C. — Donald Trump had been president for about a month when Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan says he made an important discovery: He could communicate directly with the leader of the free world through television appearances.

The realization came, Jordan says, when he paid his first visit to the White House after Trump’s 2017 inauguration, and Trump complimented Jordan for a recent appearance on CNN jousting with host Chris Cuomo. From that encounter, Jordan and his staff developed a media strategy for his effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“They each understood that every time we were on TV, we weren’t just talking to people in the television audience; we were talking to POTUS,” Jordan says. “We didn’t necessarily need to schedule a phone call with the president or try to arrange a meeting. We could talk to him directly through Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.”

Jordan is not the first Trump ally to talk about Trump’s television habits, but he might have been the first to discover that TV appearances are a way to get through to Trump. Jordan includes the revelation in a new book, “Do What You Said You Would Do: Fighting for Freedom in the Swamp,” which Spectrum News reviewed a copy of ahead of its Nov. 23 publication.

The Republican congressman is a former star wrestler turned politician who rose to greater prominence during Trump’s presidency, thanks to his relentless defense of Trump through various scandals and in congressional hearings. A conservative firebrand, he would likely be the House Judiciary Committee chairman if Republicans win the majority in next year’s midterm election. He travels the country to speak at GOP events and consistently raises millions of dollars per quarter, making him one of the top House fundraisers.

Jordan writes about his relationship with Trump and TV, the Jan. 6th Capitol attack, the 2020 election results, the coronavirus pandemic, Republican infighting throughout the last decade, and more in the book, which is part memoir, part tribute to the House Freedom Caucus that Jordan founded and served as its first chairman.

Jan. 6

In his book, Jordan writes: “Every American knows the breach of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, was wrong. The events of that day were tragic. The terrible actions by rioters have been condemned by all Americans, and those who took part in those actions should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However, the Democrats’ rush to impeach the president a second time in the aftermath of the Capitol breach was also wrong.”

He does not discuss speaking with Trump on the day of the attack, but Jordan writes that, in his opinion, Trump did not incite the riot.

In a July interview with Spectrum News, Jordan confirmed he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6 but struggled to answer whether it was before, during or after the attack.

In an House Rules Committee hearing last month, Jordan said: “From my memory, I talked to [Trump] after the attack happened and we were moved to the chamber. I may have talked to him before. I don’t know. But all I’m saying is I had nothing to do with any of this.”

The 2020 election

Jordan also weighs in on the 2020 election, which Trump falsely insists was stolen from him because of fraud, despite multiple Republican election officials, GOP-appointed judges, and Republican-led audits showing Joe Biden won fairly.

“Maybe everything was legit,” Jordan writes in the book, “but the last time a Republican running for president won Ohio, Iowa, and Florida but lost the White House was in 1960, and the last time an incumbent president got more votes than in the previous election and lost was in 1888. It might have happened again in 2020, but half the electorate had concerns.”

Jordan argues that Trump should’ve won because he turned out larger crowds than Biden during the campaign, though Biden deliberately held smaller events because of the pandemic.

Jordan writes that he led the Republican effort to object to certifying electoral votes on Jan. 6 because voters “instinctively knew there was something wrong with the 2020 election.”

Later in the book, though, Jordan acknowledges matter-of-factly that Biden did win.

Writing about the House Select Coronavirus Committee, Jordan mentions the crucial role its Democratic chairman, South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, played in Biden’s election.

“So, Mr. Clyburn endorsed him, and Joe Biden won South Carolina, went on to get the nomination, and, as we know, win the presidency,” Jordan writes.


In a chapter dedicated to the coronavirus pandemic, Jordan — a critic of lockdowns and mask and vaccine mandates to stop the spread of the coronavirus — writes “Americans know COVID-19 is real. They know it’s serious.”

Back in June, Jordan told Spectrum News he had not been vaccinated against the virus, despite members of Congress having early access to the shot.

While Jordan says Americans “were willing to make sacrifices” early on in the pandemic because they understood “the serious nature of COVID-19,” he spends the rest of the chapter criticizing Democrats and Dr. Anthony Fauci for measures they took and instances when they defied their own rules.

Frustration with the GOP

Jordan also details the creation of the House Freedom Caucus in 2015, saying it was partly a reaction to frustration with his party’s leadership and their approach to various legislative debates.

“The formation of HFC and the election of Donald Trump were driven by the same set of events that unfolded over an eight-year time frame,” Jordan writes. “Some were actions done solely by Democrats, others involved both parties, but unfortunately, most of the events that became the catalyst for the formation of HFC and the election of Donald Trump were failures by Republicans—failures to do what they said they would do.”

He dedicates chapters to the unsuccessful fight to repeal Obamacare, failed attempts at pursuing immigration reform, and the GOP’s successful effort to rewrite the tax code.

The House Freedom Caucus quickly became a dominant force on Capitol Hill, especially when Republicans controlled the House, because they had enough members to decide whether GOP-focused legislation got passed or not.

Jordan writes extensively about his relationship with former House Speaker John Boehner — a fellow Ohio Republican who famously called Jordan a “legislative terrorist” — and the successful effort by the Freedom Caucus to oust him as speaker in 2015.

“John Boehner served our country for over twenty-five years, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best,” Jordan says. “But I’m glad he stepped down, and I wouldn’t have changed anything the House Freedom Caucus did in that long process that led to his removal.”

Jordan also discusses Boehner’s successor, former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).

“Ryan’s a good man who had one of the toughest jobs in the world—a job he didn’t seek but was drafted to fill,” Jordan writes. “He has our gratitude. But the truth is, he was not an effective Speaker.”

Over and over, Jordan argues that GOP leadership failed to uphold the conservative principles championed by its party’s base. And throughout the book, Jordan recounts moments when the Freedom Caucus attempted to take the lead in negotiations.

“The biggest regret I have from the 114th Congress is that the American people had given us majorities in the House and Senate and had elected Donald Trump president, but we didn’t get the job done,” Jordan says, referring to Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “I believe our failure to do what we were elected to do is the main reason we lost control of the House in 2018.”

One Republican leader Jordan offers kind words for is current House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

“Kevin McCarthy has amazing political skills and a strong work ethic, but in our fourteen plus years of serving together, what I respect most is his attitude,” Jordan writes.

The comment stands out because Jordan and McCarthy have not always gotten along; Jordan even ran against him to be the Republican leader in 2018.

Jordan writes that he and McCarthy entered Congress together in 2007 and were initially “pretty close.”

“Four years later, we took the majority, and during the eight years Republicans held the majority, we didn’t always agree,” Jordan says. “Kevin was part of leadership. I was Chair of the HFC. There were bound to be differences over strategy and tactics. But we’re both Republicans, and deep down, our philosophies are similar.”

Jordan credits McCarthy with temporarily naming him to the House Intelligence Committee so he could partake in defending Trump during his first impeachment.

If Republicans win back the House in 2022, McCarthy will likely become speaker and Jordan has already said in interviews that he will support him. 

While Jordan does not discuss his own political future in the book, he declined to run for an open U.S. Senate seat in Ohio next year and has repeatedly mentioned his goal of chairing the Judiciary Committee.

Ohio State scandal, hearing prep, Vice President Mike Pence and more

Also in the book, Jordan:

  • Denies that he knew Dr. Richard Strauss was sexually abusing athletes at Ohio State University while Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995: “To think I wouldn’t stand up for our athletes if they were being harmed is crazy.”
  • Compares congressional hearings, where Jordan regularly generates headlines, to his time as a wrestler: “The Oversight Committee is where you can take on the left, and the Oversight Committee is the closest thing to a wrestling match that members of Congress can get.” On prepping for hearings: “In many ways, it’s the same as my days in athletics. You don’t just win the big wrestling matches on the day of the competition. You win them in the practice room the days and weeks ahead of time.”
  • Compliments former Vice President Mike Pence, who has been criticized by Trump since he declined to attempt to overturn the election results on Jan. 6: “Mike Pence is an upbeat and optimistic human being. He has a great line: ‘I’m conservative, and I’m not mad about it.’ His positive spirit and love for our country come through every time you’re around him.”
  • Discusses his friendship with former Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich: “Dennis Kucinich is a friend. He’s a liberal. I’m a conservative. We don’t agree on much. But if I needed help, Dennis would be there to help, and I would do the same for him. When we both served in Congress, we found areas where we could work together…There’s a big difference between today’s left and Dennis Kucinich. Like I said, Dennis Kucinich is a friend.”