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Trump and Mike Johnson to Make Announcement on ‘Election Integrity’

President Mike Johnson has had a rough week. He faces a revolt from one of the most conservative members of his caucus that could cost him his job. The prospect of providing additional aid to Ukraine continues to face opposition. And it took three attempts to get the House to renew a warrantless surveillance bill.

Then, on Friday, he flew to Florida, where the man who contributed to many of his challenges threw him a crucial lifeline in his difficult hour.

“I stand with the speaker,” former President Donald J. Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Palm Beach, Fla., as Mr. Johnson stood behind him and nodded.

It was a message the speaker needed at a tenuous moment in his leadership, as he faces threat from one of Mr. Trump’s staunchest allies, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, of a motion to oust him.

It is not yet clear how far Mr. Trump’s support will extend. The former president wields remarkable influence over House Republicans when it comes to thwarting legislation he opposes, but his support was not enough to stop Mr. Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, of a five-day, 15-round test to obtain the Speakership of the House. first place.

Mr. Johnson oversees a split and slim majority in the House, a reality that Mr. Trump acknowledged when asked about Ms. Greene’s threat to push Mr. Johnson from his post.

“He’s doing a really good job in really difficult circumstances,” said Mr. Trump, who helped undermine Mr. Johnson’s legislative agenda by expressing opposition to some of his efforts.

He described the threat of a move to oust Mr Johnson as “unfortunate”, adding: “This is not an easy situation for any speaker. And he said, “I’m sure Majorie understands that.” »

Even in light of Mr. Trump’s remarks, there appears to be little political downside to Ms. Greene following through on her threat to oust Mr. Johnson if he presents an aid package to Ukraine.

Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly spoken out against providing more aid to Ukraine, did not fully support Mr. Johnson’s efforts to provide additional U.S. military assistance to the then-nation. that it continues to fight against the invading Russian forces.

But he moderated his stance Friday, saying the two men had discussed the issue and he believed they could find common ground by offering aid “in the form of a loan,” an idea that the former president has been defending for months.

House Republicans have a slim majority that leaves little room for dissent if Mr. Johnson wants to advance legislative priorities. But the party remains deeply divided, with many on its right fringe attacking Mr Johnson’s efforts to find a compromise.

“The Lord Jesus himself could not handle this conference,” said Rep. Troy Nehls, Republican of Texas. on CNN this week. “You just can’t do it.”

In a social media post after Friday’s news conference, Ms. Greene signaled that Mr. Trump’s high-profile show of support had not changed her view of the speaker. After expressing her continued loyalty to the former president, she said, “But I don’t support President Johnson. »

Mr. Johnson, for his part, gave high-profile support to Mr. Trump’s election fraud claims on Friday, giving them public support and pushing a proposal to address two central issues of Mr. Trump’s campaign by 2024: border security and the many times demystified problems. allegations of electoral fraud.

Since his first presidential campaign, Mr. Trump has claimed without evidence that Democrats allowed or encouraged migrants to cross the border illegally in order to register them to vote.

It is already illegal for people who are not citizens to vote in federal elections. Fact-checkers have found that this happens rarely, often by mistake, and far from the level suggested by Mr. Trump, such as when he claimed that millions of immigrants who are not citizens voted in 2016.

But Mr Johnson reiterated Mr Trump’s claims, pledging to promote a bill that would require anyone registering to vote in a federal election to prove their citizenship, and force states to remove non-citizens of their electoral lists. It was not clear to Mr. Johnson how such a bill could enforce these requirements.

Stoking fears that undocumented immigrants are trying to manipulate US elections is a convenient way for Mr Trump to seize on the migrant crisis while continuing to sow doubt among his supporters about the security of the country’s elections .

In a statement released by the Biden campaign, Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, preemptively called the announcement a “sham” and criticized Mr. Trump for repeating his election lies.

“Donald Trump and Mike Johnson don’t care about election integrity,” Mr. Thompson said. “They only care about helping Trump’s campaign of vengeance and retribution return to power at all costs.”

Mr. Johnson played a significant role in supporting Mr. Trump’s false claim that he won in 2020, recruiting House Republicans to sign a legal brief supporting a lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results. He repeated allegations of voter fraud in interviews and provided Republicans with arguments that some used to object to the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory on January 6, 2021.

Well before Election Day in November, Mr. Trump — who faces criminal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 race — has already tried to sow doubt about the 2024 election. He regularly insists during his campaign meetings about how Democrats can’t win in November without cheating and recently urged his supporters to turn out en masse to ensure his vote total is “too big to rig.”

Republicans in key battleground states have also pushed since 2020 for increased restrictions on voting, including laws requiring identification at polling places and more limits on mail-in voting and early voting, practices which have tended to favor Democrats in recent cycles.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly attacked both practices, frequently arguing that mail-in voting is riddled with fraud and that elections should be limited to “one-day voting.” Other prominent Republicans, particularly in battleground states, have said the party needs to encourage the practice in order to reduce Democrats’ advantages.

Annie Karni contributed reporting from Washington.



News Source : www.nytimes.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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