Mike Johnson defends his GOP leadership, and Trump’s | WORLD
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Mike Johnson defends his GOP leadership, and Trump’s

Speaker of the House strikes defensive tone at Republican leadership news conference

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La. Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

Mike Johnson defends his GOP leadership, and Trump’s

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on Tuesday came to the defense of former President Donald Trump as the former president faces a criminal trial in New York. At a GOP leadership news conference, Johnson also said he intends to continue leading the Republican conference despite fierce opposition from the most conservative House members.

Trump’s legal problems: Johnson spoke strongly about the former president’s ongoing court case in New York, calling the prosecution a thinly veiled political attack and an abuse of the legal system. New York prosecutors charged Trump with falsifying business records to cover up an alleged affair in 2016 before the presidential election. Trump has denied wrongdoing. Johnson also condemned the repeated orders prohibiting Trump from speaking against the court or jury members overseeing the case.

“The judge, who is a well-known Democrat, is pursuing an indefensible gag order on President Trump,” Johnson said. “He’s trying to override Trump’s constitutional right to defend himself against the constant smears of his political opponents.”

Trump was ordered to pay $9,000 in fines last week and faces additional penalties for public statements he made about the case.

Johnson’s leadership problems: Johnson, for the first time, said he intends to lead the House GOP through the caucus leadership elections in November.

“I intend to lead this conference in the future,” Johnson said. “We have plans for the next Congress, and we’ve been outlining a lot of that.”

His remarks about seeking reelection come as several members of his party—most notably Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.—have announced plans to force a vote on his removal. Johnson said that he has Trump’s support.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew on Johnson’s increasingly precarious position atop the House GOP.

Leo Briceno

Leo is a WORLD politics reporter based in Washington, D.C. He’s a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and has a degree in political journalism from Patrick Henry College.


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