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How Donald Trump could come to Mike Johnson’s rescue




How Donald Trump could come to Mike Johnson's rescue

There has been much speculation about how Democrats might save Speaker Mike Johnson’s gavel as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) threatens to oust him.

The better bet right now is that if anyone comes to Johnson’s rescue, it will be the most powerful Republican around.

Former President Donald Trump will appear with Johnson at an “election integrity” event at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Friday — a joint event that signals a nascent but tentative alliance between the two powerful Republicans.

The result: The Trump world is not happy with Greene’s threat to plunge the GOP into chaos again. There are fears that an election battle will undermine the party’s goals of retaining the House of Representatives and toppling the White House and Senate.

“One hundred percent distraction. Unwanted. And just plain stupid,” a Trump insider said Wednesday evening. “We are not going to get caught up in this cycle of nonsense coming from members of the House of Representatives.”

“It’s fair to say we don’t think she’s being constructive,” another person close to Trump said of Greene. “The internal struggle is not appreciated by [Trump].”

Those around the former president are growing tired of constant threats to leave, he added: “It is no way to run a party; it’s no way to run a house. You can’t work in that kind of environment.”

The bigger concern is that Johnson’s removal would create a power vacuum at a time when unity is essential and coordination between the Trump campaign and the speaker’s political operations is beginning to tighten.

First, senior Trump adviser Chris LaCivita has been in close contact with Billy Constangy, Johnson’s top political aide who has worked alongside LaCivita in the past. Hayden Haynes, Johnson’s chief of staff, recently met with members of Trump’s team, and there is talk of launching regular meetings between the Trump campaign and Johnson’s operation, as well as with the RNC, NRCC and NRSC.

Even if Greene’s effort is thwarted, most likely with help from Democrats, there is a clear understanding that Johnson’s standing in the party would be seriously disrupted — and that a weakened speaker means a weakened Republican apparatus.

As for the two principals, Greene’s threats come just as Trump and Johnson themselves are beginning to develop a rapport – for example, by making more phone calls and now planning a joint event.

Johnson’s office presented the event to Trump’s team on Friday, no doubt aware of how it could strengthen the speaker’s precarious position. But the event is seen as a victory by both sides.

Johnson gets to stand on stage with the king of MAGA himself as he faces a hard-right insurgency, while Trump gets the nation’s top Republican to lend credence to his voting woes as many in the Republican party plead with him get past the 2020 elections. .

Don’t expect a full-on lovefest, though. First, Trump has a very close relationship with Greene, and is unlikely to publicly criticize her or even necessarily give Johnson’s speakership a resounding blessing.

An even bigger problem is that Johnson still has a legislative minefield to navigate, and Trump’s opinion of the embattled speaker could certainly change, his inner circle admits.

Here are a few dynamics to keep an eye on:

— Spy forces: Trump encouraged Republicans on Wednesday “KILL FISA,” on Truth Social he argued that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was used against him during his first campaign. Hours later, 19 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to block a reauthorization of a key part of that law, over Johnson’s objections.

But Trump’s inner circle said passing a FISA reauthorization wouldn’t necessarily sour their relationship. Well, for starters, actually, the former president two different parts confused of the extensive espionage law.

— Aid to Ukraine: House Republicans have tried to convince Trump to either endorse Johnson’s approach to Ukraine aid or stay out of the debate altogether. If Trump publicly opposes aid to Ukraine and Johnson continues to make progress, that would almost certainly prompt Greene to initiate the withdrawal motion.

But it is still unclear what Trump will do. The two men, we’re told, will have one-on-one time tomorrow, ahead of the afternoon event, to discuss this issue, among other things.

— The personal bond: While Johnson has always been a Trump supporter, he does not have the kind of underhanded relationship that his predecessor Kevin McCarthy enjoyed with the former president.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for Johnson. Some in Trump’s inner circle grew frustrated with McCarthy, feeling he was too loose in making promises he couldn’t or wouldn’t keep. The reserved and businesslike Johnson has not been in the same position.

In fact, those around Trump view Johnson as fully supportive of their efforts to overthrow the White House and believe the two men could work well together in the coming months. But tomorrow’s event will be a test: With the pair likely to answer questions from reporters, it will be an audition of sorts where thorny issues from Ukraine to the 2020 abortion elections could quickly complicate matters.

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