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Johnson + Trump

Mike at Mar-a-Lago

News: Speaker Mike Johnson met with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago Monday night, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Johnson has been fundraising in Florida and made the trip to Mar-a-Lago, where Trump lives. The former president is facing more than 90 felony counts in criminal cases in four states while still being the clear frontrunner for the Republican Party’s 2024 White House nomination.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) was holding an event at Trump’s club on Monday night, we’re told.

We asked both the Trump and Johnson camps for comment about their interaction but there was no response.

Like his GOP predecessors as speaker — Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy — Johnson is figuring out that he badly needs Trump if House Republicans are going to have any hope of retaining their slim majority.

Johnson publicly endorsed Trump a week ago during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“I’m all in for President Trump,” Johnson said. “I expect he’ll be our nominee, and we have to make [President Joe] Biden a one-term president.”

Johnson added that he’s one of the “closest allies President Trump has in Congress.”

The now speaker played a key role in Trump’s 2020 Electoral College challenge, helping round up support for an amicus brief backing a long-shot lawsuit by Texas officials that looked to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. The Supreme Court rejected that lawsuit. Johnson, like McCarthy, voted against certifying the Electoral College results on Jan. 6.

Yet the Louisiana Republican wasn’t always a Trump backer either, as Annie Karni and Steve Eder of the New York Times disclosed recently.

Back in 2015, Johnson — still a state lawmaker at that time — wrote on Facebook: “The thing about Donald Trump is that he lacks the character and the moral center we desperately need again in the White House.”

More Johnson:

House GOP money woes: There was a lot of fear — a deep apprehension, in fact — inside House Republican circles that the NRCC’s fundraising was going to hit rock bottom in October due to the chaos following McCarthy’s ouster and Johnson’s ascension.

It didn’t.

The NRCC reported raising $5 million in October while spending $3.8 million. Roughly $1.2 million — almost one-quarter of that total — came from House GOP members transferring campaign funds to the NRCC, which they can do in unlimited amounts.

But $5 million is a respectable number given that the House Republicans were in the midst of embarrassing themselves for several weeks. The NRCC raised $9.7 million at this point in the 2022 cycle and $10 million in October 2019.

Still, not everything is great for the NRCC. They’re getting obliterated by the DCCC, which raised $8.1 million last month and has $47 million on hand. The NRCC has $37 million in its campaign account

Also: Corinne Day is now officially the director of media affairs for the speaker’s office. Day was previously Johnson’s communications director in his personal office and handled his press as conference chair.

Before coming to the House side, Day served as deputy communications director for Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). She’s also an alum of the Republican National Committee and the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank.

— Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan


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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.