Johnson reacts to being ganged up on at 'intense' White House meeting

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House Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday quipped the reports Congressional leaders ganged up on him during this week’s meeting at the White House are “pretty accurate.” 

Johnson, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) met at the White House with President Biden and Vice President Harris on Tuesday for talks on funding for Ukraine and efforts to avert a government shutdown. 

Meeting participants described the talks as “intense” and “productive,” and said they felt somewhat reassured Johnson heard their pleas to avoid a government shutdown on Friday. 

When asked by Fox News anchor Sean Hannity about the reports of leaders ganging up on him, Johnson said, “Well their reports are pretty accurate. They said that I was on an island by myself, and it was me versus everyone else in the room.”

“What the liberal media doesn’t understand Sean, is that if you’re here in Washington and you’re described as a leader that’s on an island by themselves, it probably means you’re standing with the American people,” he continued. “And that’s what I did yesterday, I reminded the president, and all involved that the number one issue in America is that open border. The catastrophe that we have that President Biden himself designed that he caused and created and I told him, just as I have many times before, he must address it with executive authority. We can’t wait any longer.”

Johnson’s comments came just hours after Congressional leaders struck a deal to avert a government shutdown at the end of this week. Under the deal announced Wednesday, leaders agreed to punt a pair of funding deadlines later into March to allow more time for spending talks. 

This deal came after what one Republican senator told The Hill was piled pressure on Johnson during Tuesday’s meeting. 

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the senator said, “When you can demonstrate it’s kind of three against one, you can kind of pressure or influence someone, and I hope that’s what he senses.” 

The leaders in the room were also unified when it came to asking Johnson to pass the Senate’s $95 million foreign aid package, including $60 billion for Ukraine. Johnson has signaled he will not bring the package to the House floor as it lacks border security provisions House GOP members have demanded for months.

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