Johnson said in 2015 that Trump was unfit and could be “dangerous” as president | ET REALITY


Years before playing a leading role in trying to help President Donald J. Trump remain in office after the 2020 election or defending him in two separate Senate impeachment trials, President Mike Johnson stated bluntly that Trump was not fit to serve and could be a danger as president.

“The thing about Donald Trump is that he lacks the character and moral center that we desperately need back in the White House,” Johnson wrote in a lengthy Facebook post on August 7, 2015, before he was elected to Congress and one day after the first Republican primary debate of the campaign cycle.

Questioned in the comments by someone defending Trump, Johnson responded: “I’m afraid it would break more things than it fixes. He is impulsive by nature, and that is a dangerous trait in a Commander in Chief.”

Johnson, then a state legislator in Louisiana, also questioned what would happen if he “decided to bomb another head of state by simply disrespecting him.”

“I’m only half joking about this,” he wrote. “I just don’t think he has the demeanor to be president.”

The comments came at a time when many Republicans who would later become Trump loyalists were disparaging him and declaring him unfit to hold the highest office in the land. Only later did they fall in line and serve as frontline defenders of his most extreme words and actions.

But Johnson’s anti-Trump tirade has, so far, gone unnoticed, largely because Johnson himself did it, too, before his unlikely election as president last month put him second in line for the presidency.

These days, Johnson only praises Trump and defends him against what he dismisses as politically motivated accusations and criminal charges. Trump has praised Johnson as someone who has acted as a loyal soldier from the beginning of his political rise.

In a lengthy statement to the New York Times on Monday night in which he attempted to distance himself from the comments, Johnson publicly endorsed Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign for the first time and said his previous statements were made before he met Trump in person. . He attributed them to “his style being very different from mine.”

“During his 2016 campaign, President Trump quickly won over me and millions of my fellow Republicans,” Johnson said. “When I met him in person shortly after we both arrived in Washington in 2017, I began to appreciate the person he is and the qualities that made him the extraordinary president that he was.”

Johnson, who campaigned for Trump in 2020, added: “Since we met, we have always had a very good and friendly relationship. “The president and I enjoyed working together and I look forward to doing so again when I return to the White House.”

A Trump spokesperson declined to comment on the posts.

In 2015, Johnson, who would announce his first run for Congress the following year, wrote that he was horrified watching Trump’s debate performance with his wife and children.

“What bothered me most was seeing the face of my exceptional 10-year-old son, Jack, at one point when he looked at me with a kind of confused disappointment, while the leader of all the polls boasted about calling a woman a “pig.” fat woman”. .’”

In one of the most famous exchanges from that debate, Megyn Kelly, a moderator and later host for Fox News, asked Trump about his history of referring to women as “fat pigs, dogs, bums and disgusting animals.”

“Just Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump responded. He added that the country’s problem was political correctness, something he had no time for.

Mr. Johnson was horrified.

“Can you imagine the noble and selfless characters of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln or Reagan acting like Trump did last night?” wrote Mr. Johnson, an evangelical Christian. He noted that voters needed to demand a “much higher level of virtue and decency” than he had just witnessed.

During the Trump administration, Johnson enjoyed a friendly relationship with the president. In 2020, he accompanied him, along with other House Republicans, to the college football national championship game between Louisiana State University and Clemson.

After that year’s election, he played a leading role in recruiting House Republicans to sign a legal brief, based on unfounded allegations of widespread election irregularities, in support of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results. On November 8, 2020, Johnson was on stage at a northwest Louisiana church speaking about Christianity in America when Trump called him to discuss legal challenges to the election results.

In recent years, Johnson, a constitutional lawyer, has used a podcast he hosted with his wife to defend Trump against four different accusations and the criminal charges against him.

“I believe that each of these false prosecutions are political prosecutions openly used as a weapon against Donald Trump,” Johnson said in one episode.

In another, Johnson proclaimed: “No one did better in the White House than President Trump.”

In last month’s presidential race, Trump praised Johnson, noting that he was someone who “had supported me, both in mind and spirit, since the beginning of our GREAT Victory of 2016.”

Johnson is not the only one who has expressed deep concerns about Trump, then embraced him and his agenda.

In 2015, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” as well as a “crackpot,” “crazy,” and a man who was “unfit for office.” He later became Trump’s most loyal defender in the Senate.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the second-to-last man standing in the 2016 Republican primary, called Trump a “pathological liar” who was “completely amoral,” a “serial womanizer” and a “narcissist on a level.” . “I don’t think this country has ever been seen.” Cruz has explained his decision to become a loyal supporter of Trump as something that was a “responsibility” to his constituents.

Mick Mulvaney, the former Republican congressman who later served as the president’s acting chief of staff, in 2016 called his future boss a “terrible human being” who had made “disgusting and indefensible” comments about women.

However, unlike the other lawmakers who lined up, Johnson has presented himself as someone of deep religious convictions, whose worldview is driven by his faith.

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