Speaker Mike Johnson Still Lives In His Office Where He Sleeps, Does Devotions

A new sign is installed above the entrance to the office of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, at the Capitol in Washington. Republicans eagerly elected Johnson as House speaker on Wednesday, elevating a deeply conservative but lesser-known leader to the seat of U.S. power and ending for now the political chaos in their majority. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Like most Republicans, House Speaker Mike Johnson has a favorite Trump story. Before becoming speaker, he did a pretty decent Trump impression. They first spoke when the congressman was himself jamming GOP leadership, refusing to vote for an Obamacare repeal package that didn’t go far enough in his estimation. The call came one morning as Johnson was finishing his devotions in his office (where he lived). The president wanted him to vote yes on the bill. The congressman stubbornly explained why he had to vote no.

His Bible was open to the Book of Daniel at the time, Johnson was once fond of telling friends, specifically the passage where Daniel interprets the dreams of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. And the congressman felt compelled to tell Trump that, once their call ended, he would pray for the president. The line went quiet. Trump broke the silence: “Tell God, I say hi.”

Johnson still lives in his office when he’s in Washington, although he has since dropped the impression. And either incidentally or by design, the former president offered the speaker a lifeline. “He’s doing a really good job under very tough circumstances, and I appreciate that he came to Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said of Johnson at a press conference. But what about his most faithful disciple in Congress? Trump reiterated that Johnson was doing “about as good as you’re going to do,” adding that “I’m sure Marjorie understands that.”