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 acquainted with the assembly, making his first pilgrimage to kiss the ring of the Republican presidential front-runner since his shock elevation to the highest publish within the Home final month.
The go to to Mr. Trump’s Florida dwelling got here at a tough second for the inexperienced speaker, who’s already going through criticism from hard-right allies furious at him for teaming with Democrats final week to go laws to avert a authorities shutdown. The particular person confirmed the personal assembly on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to debate it.
Mr. Trump’s affect over spending fights in Washington could also be restricted, however Mr. Johnson’s determination to satisfy with him inside weeks of his election is an indication he is aware of he can’t afford to have Mr. Trump weighing in publicly towards him and hardening right-wing opposition to his management.
Mr. Johnson has taken different steps to ingratiate himself to the far proper and cement his maintain on the gavel. Late final week, he introduced he was publicly releasing surveillance video of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, a step far-right lawmakers and activists have been demanding as they search to undercut the details about how supporters of Mr. Trump violently stormed the complicated looking for to overturn his electoral defeat.
Since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016, Republican congressional leaders have needed to domesticate some sort of working relationship with him. However Mr. Johnson, who defended the previous president in two Senate impeachment trials and performed a lead position in attempting to assist him invalidate the 2020 election outcomes, is positioning himself as the primary speaker to be in full lock step with the previous president.
The assembly at Mar-a-Lago was reported earlier by Punchbowl News.
Final week, Mr. Johnson formally endorsed Mr. Trump — a transfer former Speaker Kevin McCarthy resisted even whereas proclaiming that the previous president could be the Republican nominee and could be re-elected.
“I endorsed him wholeheartedly for re-election in 2020, and traveled along with his group as a marketing campaign surrogate to assist guarantee his victory,” Mr. Johnson mentioned in a press release to The New York Occasions. “I’ve absolutely endorsed him as soon as once more.”
The endorsement got here in response to a report by The Occasions that in 2015, Mr. Johnson had posted on social media saying that Mr. Trump was unfit to serve and may very well be a hazard as president.
“The factor about Donald Trump is that he lacks the character and the ethical middle we desperately want once more within the White Home,” Mr. Johnson wrote in a prolonged publish on Fb on Aug. 7, 2015. “I’m afraid he would break extra issues than he fixes. He’s a scorching head by nature, and that may be a harmful trait to have in a Commander in Chief.”
Mr. Johnson, who till final month by no means held a top-tier place in management, was in Florida for a fund-raising journey. He made a cease at Mar-a-Lago for an occasion for Consultant Gus Bilirakis of Florida, in keeping with the particular person acquainted with the assembly.
A spokesman for Mr. Johnson didn’t present extra details about their dialogue.