Amid threat of ouster, Trump offers support for embattled Speaker Mike Johnson

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Donald Trump held a joint press conference at the Mar-a-Lago club, where they addressed concerns about election integrity and criticized President Joe Biden's handling of the southern border.

During the conference, Johnson and Trump highlighted the urgency of the crisis at the U.S. border, arguing that it has implications for election integrity. They called on Biden to take decisive action to secure the border with Mexico.

Trump also offered a political lifeline to Johnson, saying the beleaguered GOP leader is doing a "very good job" and tamping down the far-right forces led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene trying to oust him from office.

"I stand with the speaker," Trump said at an evening press conference at his gilded private club.

Johnson and Trump jointly announced new legislation mandating proof of citizenship for voting.

The duo delved into unfounded conspiracy theories, suggesting that the influx of migrants crossing into the U.S. at the border might impact the upcoming 2024 election.

They echoed language from the racist great replacement conspiracy theory to suggest that Biden and Democrats are engaging in what Trump's campaign called "a willful and brazen attempt to import millions of new voters."

The joint appearance comes amid growing pressure from hard-right lawmakers such as Greene, who have voiced intentions of initiating a sudden vote to oust Johnson from his position.

Having assumed the speaker's role just six months ago, Johnson faces the looming threat of removal due to his bipartisan efforts aimed at averting a government shutdown, a stance deemed unacceptable by certain GOP members.

Cooperating with Democrats has proven to be one of Johnson's few strategies for navigating the passage of legislation amid a narrow majority and significant opposition from the conservative wing. He can afford to lose only a slim margin of Republican support on most votes.


Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., are seen on the House floor before Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressed a joint meeting of Congress in U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 11, 2022. (Tom William

Johnson and Trump, a likely alliance

Trump has remained fixated on the issue of election integrity since his defeat in the 2020 election, despite the broad consensus that elections are secure, evidenced by every state certifying its 2020 results to Congress.

Additionally, Johnson spearheaded one of the primary legal challenges to the 2020 election leading up to the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters attempting to halt the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's victory.

Since assuming the role of House speaker following Kevin McCarthy's removal last autumn, Johnson has endeavored to maintain a strong rapport with Trump. Regular communication between the two occurs as Johnson strives to fend off criticism.

In the wake of Trump's near-sweep of crucial Super Tuesday primary contests, Johnson initiated a fundraising initiative aimed at bolstering the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

Johnson launched a new website outlining "three crucial reasons for the significance of the 2024 election." The website asserts that if Republicans fail to secure victory in 2024, Democratic priorities such as open borders, amnesty, and voting rights for millions of undocumented immigrants will take precedence.

Johnson publicly endorsed Trump for president in November, shortly after assuming the role of House speaker.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. It was reported from Los Angeles.