Trump Johnson press conference: Trump to hold Mar-a-Lago joint appearance with Johnson amid speakership threat


As Mike Johnson faces a threat of being ousted as House speaker, he’s set to join Donald Trump on Friday in Mar-a-Lago for a joint appearance where the former president is expected to offer him his support.

“I am looking forward to going to Florida and spending some time with him,” Johnson said Friday morning when asked if he will discuss the move the oust him as speaker with Trump.

The high-profile joint appearance comes despite the two men recently being at odds on passing additional aid to Ukraine and Trump encouraging House GOP hard-liners this week to block reauthorizing FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a measure Johnson backed.

Still, Johnson may be looking to Trump to help him keep the job he has held since October after fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair just before lawmakers left Washington last month for a two-week recess.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson talks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on, Nov. 2, 2023.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Senate in February passed a $95 billion foreign aid package that includes nearly $60 billion in funds for Ukraine, but the legislation has yet to be taken up in the Republican-controlled House, where some hard-line conservatives are opposed to sending any more money to Ukraine.

Johnson had said the House would act on Ukraine funding with “innovations” when lawmakers returned from recess this week. But as of Wednesday, there was still little sign of progress on how to move forward.

Trump has signaled he would not support aid to Ukraine, as its war rages on against Russia, urging Congress to stop funding Ukraine, too. Republicans are looking at a “loan” idea floated by Trump, which would make aid available to Ukraine as a loan that could be waived with no interest.

Despite their differences on Ukraine, Johnson posted a smiling, thumbs-up photo with Trump on Presidents Day, pointing to their shared effort to “save America.”

Trump earlier had stopped a version of the foreign aid bill that included bipartisan border security provisions, calling it a “disaster.” In an attempt to block the bill, Trump posted on his social media site, “Call it the ‘Stupid Bill’ and make sure it doesn’t get passed,” saying the bill will “make things worse” and that it is not necessary.

Former President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson

Former President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson

Getty Images/AP

Johnson spoke out against the border provisions, saying he spoke “frequently” with Trump about the measure at the time. When Democrats accused Johnson of taking orders from Trump, the speaker said he was not the former president’s puppet.

“He’s not calling the shots. I am calling the shots for the House,” Johnson said of Trump on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in February.

The Mar-a-Lago event comes just days after Trump helped spike the Johnson-backed FISA bill. On Wednesday, more than a dozen Republicans voted against the measure — a federal law that establishes procedures for intelligence gathering of foreign nationals — despite urging from Johnson that the legislation reformed the FISA program and is necessary for national security. That bill passed the house on Friday before Johnson left to Florida.

Trump spoke out against FISA just ahead of the vote Wednesday, posting on his social media site to “KILL FISA” over his frustration with the FBI’s handling of surveillance against Carter Page, a former adviser to his campaign.

Johnson is fighting for his job as speaker while his colleague and Trump ally, Greene, actively campaigns against him. The Georgia Republican sent a five-page letter to her Republican colleagues where she outlined Johnson’s failings, including his willingness to bend to Democrats and their agenda and his shift away from Republican ideals when it comes to providing aid to Ukraine.

Johnson and Greene met on Wednesday, with Greene saying she is still frustrated with the speaker’s handling of several hot-button issues.

“This meeting didn’t clarify my timing [on a motion to vacate the speaker],” the Georgia Republican said on Wednesday.

Trump’s orbit isn’t happy with Greene — a long-vocal Trump supporter — and her threat to throw the House GOP into chaos again with another speakership battle, Politico’s Rachael Bade, also an ABC News political contributor, reported.

Another battle for the speaker’s chair could undercut the Republican Party’s efforts to maintain its majority in the House, flip the Senate and win the White House, Bade reported.

Trump is expected to offer support for Johnson as speaker during the joint appearance — and the two talk regularly, Johnson has said.

At the Friday event, the two are expected to speak about “election integrity” — a chief priority for the presumptive GOP nominee, who continues to lie about the results of the 2020 election. Trump’s calls for “election integrity” come in an election year when there is expected to be another tight matchup against President Joe Biden.

Johnson has echoed Trump’s calls for “election integrity” and was one of the 147 GOP lawmakers who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He also led the charge to get 125 of his Republican colleagues to sign an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, supporting Texas’ lawsuit that would have invalidated the election results in key battleground states.

ABC News’ Lauren Peller contributed to this report.

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