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Trump Johnson Press Conference: Trump Makes Joint Mar-a-Lago Appearance With Johnson Amid Presidency Threat

Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson appeared together Friday at the former president’s Florida estate, a show of unity as the embattled Johnson faces a threat to his leadership.

“He’s doing a really good job under very difficult circumstances and I appreciate him coming to Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said of Johnson.

The two men are talking about “election integrity,” a top priority for the presumptive Republican nominee, who continues to lie about the 2020 election results. Trump’s calls for “election integrity” come in an election year in which that there is expected to be another close matchup against President Joe Biden.

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

House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 2, 2023.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

But more recently, the two men have been at odds over approving additional aid to Ukraine and over reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Trump this week encouraged hardline House Republicans to block FISA reauthorization, resulting in an embarrassing setback for Johnson, although the legislation ultimately passed the House early Friday with bipartisan support. Still, Johnson may be turning to Trump to help him keep the job he has. held since October after Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to vacate the president’s chair last month.

Greene and Johnson met this week for the first time since she introduced the motion and seemed still at odds after nearly an hour of conversation. The Georgia congresswoman told reporters that she heard a lot of “excuses” from Johnson and that she did not back down from her threat to force a vote on whether to remove him from the top job.

Another battle for the presidency could undermine the GOP’s efforts to maintain its majority in the House, flip the Senate and win the White House, Bade reported.

Greene said she warned Johnson not to move forward with providing more aid to Ukraine, something he promised to do when lawmakers returned to Washington this week. Trump has also signaled that Congress should stop funding Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the Eastern European nation enters its third year.

However, the Senate approved a $95 billion foreign aid package that includes nearly $60 billion in funding for Ukraine, as well as aid for Israel and Taiwan. The legislation was backed by the White House but has not yet come up for a vote in the House.

Former President Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson

Former President Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson

Getty Images/AP

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

Earlier this year, Trump halted a version of the foreign aid bill that included bipartisan border security provisions, calling it a “disaster.” Johnson also 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 spokesman said he was not a puppet of the former president.

“He’s not making the decisions. I’m making the decisions for the House,” Johnson said of Trump on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in February.

Democrats like Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal continued those criticisms ahead of Friday’s meeting. Jayapal described the move as Johnson bowing to Trump in Florida.

“It’s ridiculous,” Rep. Jayapal told reporters. “The reality is that they have done everything possible on the Republican side to undermine election integrity. They continue to do so. And this is the obligatory kiss [ring] of the Trump cult that the speaker is carrying out.

However, several Trump allies in Congress said they support the joint appearance.

“I think it’s good for the president to talk to the leader of our party,” said Florida Rep. Byron Donalds. “I would say it’s good for him—whether it’s Leader McConnell or, frankly, any governor in our country—to talk to the leader of our party because it’s his [Trump’s] diary. “That will be the flag for Republicans to get this country out of the mess it’s in and make it prominent and great once again.”

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., said he believes the former president and Johnson already have a good relationship, but that it can be strengthened after today’s appearance.

“They can learn and learn from each other and move us forward and hopefully put us in a great position in the fall to not only take back the White House from President Trump, but also to gain seats in the House and take back the Senate from the United States”, Fleischmann.

ABC News’ Lauren Peller contributed to this report.

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