Speaker Mike Johnson says he speaks ‘pretty frequently’ with Trump about border deal

“What I told President Biden at the White House today is the same thing that I’ve been saying to him since I was handed the gavel to become speaker, and that is our border, our national border, is national security,” Johnson said on “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday night. “That has to be top of mind. That’s what the American people demand, that’s what they deserve and that’s what the House Republicans are united around.”

Johnson acknowledged that he hadn’t seen any text from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over any potential deal on border changes and Ukraine aid, but he said Trump had pushed Johnson to oppose any compromise with Democrats. He reiterated that a deal would have the best chance at House passage if it resembles H.R. 2, the proposal House GOP leaders unveiled last year that would require DHS to resume several Trump-era border security actions, including resumption of his “
Remain in Mexico
” approach and building a Southern border wall.

“Why? Because it has very important provisions,” the speaker said of H.R. 2. “We reform asylum and the broken parole process. We restore the Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, which is essential, and you end catch and release. We need to rebuild the wall. There are other elements as well.”

According to Johnson, Biden said at their Wednesday meeting that Democrats are “ready to do big things on the border.” Earlier in the day, neither Schumer nor Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
would weigh in
on Johnson’s position, which has remained the biggest potential obstacle as senators work to reach an agreement. McConnell, Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries support ongoing Senate negotiations with the Biden administration that would fall far short of the House-passed bill.

Ingraham pressed Johnson on why Republicans need to work with Democrats at all, arguing that Biden has the ability to enact his own executive actions to resolve issues at the border and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — who is facing impeachment attempts by House Republicans — could oversee any such effort.

“I think the White House and the president himself has to take executive action,” Johnson said. “He has the authority, under existing law, to solve this mess, to end the catastrophe that he and his agencies, including Mayorkas, have created.”

“We’re going to insist upon that. We have been every single day,” he said.

Ingraham did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her conversation with Trump.

Burgess Everett, Nicholas Wu and Myah Ward contributed to this report.

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