Trump humiliates Marjorie Taylor Greene, telling her to ‘be nice’ to Speaker Johnson after her push to oust him

Ex-president tries to mend fences between warring House Republicans in classic Trump-like way

John Bowden
Washington DC
Monday 01 July 2024 15:26
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Marjorie Taylor Greene says Trump told her to 'be nice' to Speaker Johnson

Donald Trump tried to quell divisions within the House Republican conference on Thursday when he stopped by Washington DC to attend meetings with the full House and Senate Republican caucuses.

But he did so in a very Trumpian way — by publicly humiliating one of his own allies, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The ex-president was reported by Politico’s Olivia Beavers to have singled out the outspoken conservative gadfly during his remarks to Republicans in the lower chamber.

Pointing to Mike Johnson, the speaker of the House who recently survived an effort led by Greene to remove him, Trump called out Greene: “Hello Marjorie... are you being nice to him?”

Separately, he is said to have praised Johnson as having done a “great job” in the less than one year he has served in the speaker’s chair. Johnson took over last fall after the chamber’s Republican majority scrambled for weeks to elect a new speaker in the wake of a rebellion by conservatives that ousted Kevin McCarthy, Johnson’s predecessor. McCarthy would go on to resign from the House altogether, having served less than a year in the role of speaker.

Greene confirmed the account in an interview with CNN after the meeting.

“He saw me...he said ‘Hello, Marjorie’ — he’s always so sweet — recognizes me, and he says, ‘Are you being nice?’ He was joking: ‘Are you being nice to Speaker Johnson?’”

“And I said, ‘Ehhh’,” Greene continued, explaining that she had indicated otherwise: “And he said, ‘OK, be nice to him.’ And I nodded my head.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene says Trump told her to 'be nice' to Speaker Johnson

Johnson and Greene’s conflict stems from an issue on which the Georgia congresswoman is firmly in the minority: Ukraine. Despite opposition from his party’s right wing, Johnson relented to pressure from the Senate and Democrats in the House to bring a bill providing military assistance to Ukraine to the floor of the House, where it passed easily, in April. The speaker had spent months avoiding doing so; the Senate passed Ukraine aid as part of a larger bill in February.

By calling the vote on Ukraine aid, Johnson spurred Greene into filing a motion to vacate the speakership. She had publicly warned him as early as January that she would do so if the speaker allowed aid to pass the chamber, unwilling to accept the will of a majority vote.

Greene was joined by two other Republicans in her effort to oust Johnson, but failed after Democrats in the House announced that they’d join with Republican to protect Johnson, lacking the numbers to elect one of their own and willing to extend and olive branch given Johnson’s willingness to relent on the issue of Ukraine.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) speak to members of the press on the steps of the House of Representatives after a meeting with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) at the U.S. Capitol on May 7, 2024 in Washington, DC
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) speak to members of the press on the steps of the House of Representatives after a meeting with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) at the U.S. Capitol on May 7, 2024 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

This wasn’t the first time Trump had sought to give Johnson a boost as he faced criticism from conservatives, with Greene leading the charge.

As the Georgia congresswoman was threatening the motion to vacate this spring, Trump called the House speaker down to Mar-a-Lago where the two unveiled a bill aimed at preventing undocumented immigrants from voting in US elections.

(AP)

The ex-president’s arrival in Washington was met by protesters who lined the sidewalks outside of the building where Trump met with his Republican allies. Now under 34 felony convictions, Trump’s influence was most recently felt in Washington earlier this year when he pressured Republicans to kill a piece of compromise legislation around the issue of border security hammered out by Democrats and members of his own party in the Senate.

His visit to the capital was also a reversal of the dynamic that has played out in recent months over the course of his criminal trial in Manhattan. Johnson and other Republicans including Lauren Boebert, Eli Crane and Matt Gaetz have trekked to New York to join Trump as he sat through weeks of criminal trial proceedings which led to his guilty conviction on all counts of falsifying business documents — charges which related to a hush money scheme he tried to conceal during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s visit to Washington comes as he is set to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president next month at the party’s convention in Milwaukee. He won a primary against rivals Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and others earlier this year with a commanding majority of the Republican voting base behind his candidacy.

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