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Mike Johnson and Donald Trump’s marriage of convenience

On Tuesday, Mike Johnson — the pious born-again Christian who uses an app that notifies him when his son watches porn (and vice versa) — appeared in public with Donald Trump, the man who faces a legal trial stemming back to his attempts to allegedly pay an adult film actress hush money.

Johnson, the Republican speaker of the House, said he came to New York as a “friend” to the former president. He then attacked District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Judge Juan Merchan, and the judge’s daughter — all of which the court has prohibited Trump from doing under the threat of a gag order. Who needs to be gagged when you have such proxies?

Of course, Johnson is not the only Republican who made the pilgrimage to Manhattan to defend Trump. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Ohio Senator JD Vance, Florida Senator Rick Scott and former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy have all traveled to the city to show their solidarity with the former president and endear themselves to MAGA. The fact that this could clearly earn them a running-mate slot has made some describe these New York pilgrimages as veepstakes.

But Johnson’s decision to come up to New York is different. Unlike the Republican hopefuls, he already has the top slot in Congress (after being a backbencher for much of his brief tenure in the House of Representatives.) His decision is just the latest movement in an odd marriage of convenience between the highest-ranking elected Republican and the de facto GOP leader. It offers an eye-opening preview into how they might lead together during a Trump presidency.

Contrary to the common belief that Johnson emerged from nowhere this year, he and Trump both came to Washington in 2017, albeit via different paths. Trump, a former Democrat

Read more on independent.co.uk