Speaker Mike Johnson on Monday night time visited former President Donald J. Trump at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida, in keeping with an individual aware of the assembly, making his first pilgrimage to kiss the Republican presidential ring. front-runner since his shock ascension to the highest spot within the Home final month.
The go to to Mr. Trump’s Florida house got here at a troublesome time for the inexperienced speaker, who has already confronted criticism from hard-right allies who resent him for working with Democrats up to now. final week to cross laws to keep away from a authorities shutdown. The particular person confirmed the non-public assembly on situation of anonymity as a result of they don’t seem to be approved to debate it.
The affect of Mr. Trump’s spending on combating in Washington could also be restricted, however Mr. Johnson to satisfy with him inside weeks of his election is an indication that he is aware of he can’t afford Mr. opposition to his management.
Mr. Johnson took different steps to endear himself to the far proper and strengthen his grip on the gavel. Final week, he publicly introduced that he was releasing surveillance video of the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, a transfer that far-right lawmakers and activists have been demanding as they search to discredit these fact how the supporters of Mr. violently stormed the complicated searching for to overturn his electoral defeat.
Since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016, Republican congressional leaders have needed to develop some sort of working relationship with him. However Mr. Johnson, who defended the previous president in two Senate impeachment trials and performed a number one function in making an attempt to assist him invalidate the 2020 election outcomes, has positioned himself as the primary speaker to be in full lockstep with the previous president.
The Mar-a-Lago assembly was beforehand reported by Punchbowl Information.
Final week, Mr. Johnson formally endorsed Mr. Trump – a transfer opposed by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy regardless of proclaiming that the previous president could be the Republican nominee and re-elected.
“I wholeheartedly endorsed him for re-election in 2020, and traveled together with his workforce as a marketing campaign surrogate to assist guarantee his victory,” Mr. Johnson in an announcement to The New York Occasions. “I endorse him once more.”
The endorsement got here in response to a report by The Occasions that in 2015, Mr. Johnson posted on social media that Mr. Trump is unfit to serve and could be harmful as president.
“The factor about Donald Trump is that he lacks the character and ethical heart that we’d like once more within the White Home,” Mr. Johnson in a prolonged Fb submit on August 7, 2015. “I am afraid he’ll break extra issues than he is fixing. He is a hot-headed character, and that is a harmful trait to have in a Commander. in Chief.
Johnson, who till final month had by no means held a high-level management place, was in Florida for a fundraising journey. He stopped at Mar-a-Lago for an occasion for Consultant Gus Bilirakis of Florida, in keeping with the particular person aware of the assembly.
The spokesperson of Mr. Johnson didn’t present extra details about their dialogue.