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Trump on Speaker Johnson: ‘He’s doing a very good job’

Former President Trump threw his support behind Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Friday as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — one of Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill — threatens to force a vote on ousting the House leader.

Asked during a press conference at Mar-a-Lago if he supports Greene’s motion to vacate, Trump — while standing beside Johnson — said the Speaker is “doing a very good job.”

“We’re getting along very well with the Speaker and I get along very well with Marjorie. We have a Speaker who was voted in and it was a complicated process… it’s not an easy situation for any Speaker,” Trump said.

“I think he’s doing a very good job, he’s doing about as good as you’re going to do and I’m sure that Marjorie understands that,” he continued. “She’s a very good friend of mine and I know she has a lot of respect for the Speaker.”

Earlier in the joint appearance, Trump said Johnson is “doing a really good job under very tough circumstances.”

“I stand with the Speaker, we’ve had a very good relationship,” he added later.

The vote of confidence comes after Greene, an ardent Trump supporter, filed a motion to vacate — the same tool used to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — against Johnson, arguing that he is no longer fit to serve the House GOP conference.

Greene, however, has not yet said when she plans to force a vote on her resolution, leaving Johnson — and the rest of the House — waiting as the chamber barrels through a number of tough legislative undertakings.

Johnson appeared alongside Trump for a press conference in Palm Beach, Fla., where the GOP leaders unveiled a bill that would ban non-U.S. citizens from voting, which is already illegal.

But politically, the joint appearance gave Johnson an opportunity to show solidarity with the former president as he finds himself at odds with hard-line conservatives in the Capitol. Members of the right-flank have become frustrated with the Speaker’s propensity to pass bills with help from Democrats — spending measures, for example — increasing chatter about ousting the GOP leader.

Trump’s kind words for Johnson will likely frustrate Greene, who has sharply criticized the Speaker and, with that, been dangling her motion to vacate over the House leader’s head.

Greene brushed off the joint appearance of her close ally and current rival.

“President Trump meets with people all the time,” she said. “I’m not involved in his meetings, and it’s natural for our top presidential candidate to meet with our Republican Speaker.”

But Trump’s endorsement of Johnson could dampen her ouster effort. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters Thursday that the former president backing the Speaker could help him keep hold of the gavel.

“If Trump came out and gave him his full support, yes, it would help,” Norman said.

Trump’s comments also came after the former president tried to undercut the Speaker on reauthorizing the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance powers and sending additional aid to Ukraine, two matters that emerged as heavy legislative lifts in the narrowly divided House.

Earlier this week, hours before the lower chamber was set to hold a procedural vote on reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Trump urged his followers on Truth Social to “KILL FISA.”

Nineteen Republicans followed suit, tanking the procedural vote and dealing an embarrassing blow to Johnson.

On Ukraine, Trump has frequently expressed his opposition to sending additional aid to Kyiv, even as Johnson has vowed to help the embattled U.S. ally. Last month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told state television after meeting with Trump that the former president “will not give a penny into the Ukraine-Russia war.”

A growing sector of the House GOP conference has expressed opposition to sending additional aid to Ukraine.

Johnson and Trump, however, have had consensus on the idea of sending assistance to Ukraine as a loan. The former president first floated the idea, which Johnson embraced. He mentioned the concept again on Friday.

“We’re looking at it right now,” Trump said when asked if he would support a Ukraine aid bill should Johnson move forward with one. “They’re talking about it and we’re thinking about making it in the form of a loan instead of just a gift.”

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