On Tuesday, CNN’s Manu Raju asked the speaker about his opposition to the proposed Senate package ― and whether the former president had any input.
“Are you simply trying to kill this to help him [Trump] out on the campaign?” Raju asked.
“No, Manu, that’s absurd,” Johnson shot back, shaking his head.
“We have a responsibility here to do our duty. Our duty is to do right by the American people, to protect the people,” he went on. “The first and most important job of the federal government is to protect its citizens. We’re not doing that under President [Joe] Biden.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson talks at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024.
Though Johnson denied the claim about seeking to boost Trump’s election chances, he said that he had talked with Trump about the legislation “at length.”
“He understands that we have a responsibility to do here,” the House speaker said.
Trump took a hard stance against the deal during a weekend campaign event in Nevada. There, he told crowds that there was “zero chance I will support this horrible, open-borders betrayal of America.”
The deal has not been made public, but Biden on Friday said that it would allow him to “shut down the border.”
According to mediareports on the proposal, the legislation would give Biden the power to essentially suspend asylum between official border entry points if migrant crossings reach a certain threshold. The agreement is also said to include aid for Ukraine and Israel.