Trump expresses 'great confidence' in Johnson after difficult week

TOP Johnson 020724 AP J. Scott Applewhite

Former President Trump said Thursday he has “great confidence” in Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) after a difficult week for House Republicans that included multiple failed votes.

“I do have confidence in him, yeah. I very much do. I think he’s a very good man. And I have great confidence in him,” Trump said during a short press conference at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Johnson has presided over a tough stretch for his conference in recent days, which included a failed attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and a failed vote to pass aid to Israel.

Johnson rankled some Republicans with his plans to endorse Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) from his anticipated Senate bid, which the Speaker then reversed course on.

Rosendale, should he announce a Senate bid, would first have to topple Republican Tim Sheehy, who is already in the race and has backing from a number of Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Johnson was elected Speaker in October after the ouster of Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Trump, who had initially backed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for Speaker, embraced the eventual choice of Johnson, dubbing him “MAGA Mike” in a social media post.

The Speaker has been a vocal supporter of Trump in recent years, and he has been aligned with the former president on key policy issues. Johnson declared a bipartisan Senate border security bill “dead on arrival” earlier this week, while Trump had urged Republicans not to support it, arguing it would be a political mistake.

Trump is on track to become the Republican presidential nominee in November. He won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary by wide margins, and he is leading by more than 20 percentage points in polls out of South Carolina, which will hold its primary on Feb. 24.

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