Strange Things About Speaker Mike Johnson We Can't Ignore

After being a relative unknown, Louisiana House representative Mike Johnson rose to national prominence when he was elected Speaker of the House. His ascension to the position, second in line to the presidency, came after the previous speaker, Kevin McCarthy was voted out – the first House speaker to ever be removed from the position. Johnson also made history when he was elected speaker as the first one ever from Louisiana. He was voted in by 220 Republicans during a single round of voting — as compared to the 15 rounds it took for McCarthy to get the position. During his first press conference as speaker, he said, ""We went through a lot to get here, but we are ready to govern, and that will begin right away," via The New York Times.

With Johnson launched into the national political spotlight, much about him that had previously been unknown is coming to light. And there are a number of strange things in his background that we can't ignore.

Mike Johnson supported Donald Trump's election fraud claims

Mike Johnson's support of former president Donald Trump goes beyond simply endorsing him for president. On November 7, 2020, after the election results had determined Joe Biden was elected the next president, Johnson posted on X, formerly Twitter: "I have just called President Trump to say this: 'Stay strong and keep fighting, sir! The nation is depending upon your resolve. We must exhaust every available legal remedy to restore Americans' trust in the fairness of our election system.'" And Johnson was instrumental in attempting to use legal remedies to keep Trump in power. Johnson worked to get fellow representatives to sign on in support of a lawsuit in Texas that would overturn election results in several states where Trump had lost. The Supreme Court rejected the case.

In a radio interview after the election, Johnson floated the conspiracy theory that some Dominion voting machines had been rigged against Trump. The claims against Dominion resulted in a lawsuit, which Fox settled for $787 million in Dominion's favor.  While Johnson didn't make his claims on Fox News, the lawsuit goes a long way to showing the baselessness of the claims. Johnson also voted on January 6 — after the capitol insurrection — to not certify the electoral college votes for Biden. Considering he's the second in line to the presidency, it seems a bit strange that he'd actively work to overthrow the results of a democratic election.

Mike Johnson's accountability app could be considered a security risk

Mike Johnson and Josh Duggar have something in common in the form of an anti-porn accountability app. In a clip from 2022 at a "War on Technology" event at a Louisiana Baptist church posted to X, Johnson talks about using "Covenant Eyes" with his teenage son Jack as his accountability partner. The app sends an activity report from their devices to their accountability partner, and "if anything objectionable comes up, your accountability partner gets an immediate notice." He doesn't mention porn specifically, but that does seem to be what the app is designed for, considering its website, which reads, "Join over 1.5 million people who've used Covenant Eyes to experience victory over porn."

Duggar, who is currently serving prison time for possessing child pornography, found a workaround for the Covenant Eyes app on his devices. His accountability partner was his wife, Anna Duggar, but she got no alerts or notifications from the app. That isn't to say that we believe Johnson is doing anything similar to what Duggar did, but rather to show how the software can be bypassed.

Some aren't that concerned with Johnson reviewing his son's device history. Instead, they're worried about the potential national security risk Johnson poses as the Speaker of the House having a non-secure, third-party app that can access his data.

Where is Mike Johnson's money going?

By becoming Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson's salary for his work in the U.S. House of Representatives went from $174,000 annually to $223,500. That's a nice little bump in pay. But where is he going to put it? During his seven years in Congress, Johnson has had to file a financial disclosure report, and he hasn't included any bank accounts in the reports — no retirement, no personal checking account.

Considering that he's been making a six-figure salary for the past several years, it seems odd that there wouldn't be any savings or checking accounts listed. His office said that Johnson does, in fact, have a personal account, but it wouldn't be reported because it isn't accruing interest. Johnson was asked on Fox News about the bank account issue, and Johnson explained it by saying, "Look, I'm a man of modest means ... and I have kids in graduate school, law school, undergraduate. We have a lot of expenses," possibly suggesting that Johnson is living paycheck to paycheck.

In November 2023, a liberal activist group asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Johnson's finances. Some of the issues they have, along with his lack of reported bank accounts, are not reporting income potentially earned by his wife and trips Johnson has taken that were paid for by someone else. 

Mike Johnson's belief in creationism seems to preclude belief in climate change

Mike Johnson has been vocal about his Christian faith. However, his personal beliefs seem to veer into problematic territory as he promotes the idea of creationism — a theory that the earth is only several thousand years old. In an op-ed for Kentucky's Courier-Journal, Johnson wrote in support of the Ark Encounter theme park — a creationist theme park with a Noah's Ark representation as its centerpiece. He even helped get government funding for the park. In 2021, on an episode of "Washington Watch," a Christian talk radio show, Johnson said, "The Ark Encounter is one way to bring people to this recognition of the truth, that what we read in the Bible are actual historical events.

A creationist belief also seems to coincide with disbelief in climate change. In a time when hundreds of scientists are calling on the government to do more to combat climate change, having a House speaker who doesn't believe in it could be a significant barrier to any action. In fact, Johnson has spoken out against climate change efforts before. In 2019, he referred to the "Green New Deal," introduced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a way to help tackle the climate crisis, as "a thinly veiled attempt to implement the policies that would usher in a new socialist society in America" per The Republican Study Committee.

Mike Johnson thought gay marriage could lead to people marrying their pets

Mike Johnson's beliefs on LGBTQ+ rights and same-sex marriage seem to correspond with this conservative Christian faith. He wrote an op-ed in September 2004 in The Times out of Shreveport, Louisiana, against recognizing same-sex marriage. Louisiana was voting on an amendment to its constitution to only recognize marriage between a man and a woman. A part of Johnson's argument was that "homosexual relationships are inherently unnatural," and if the proposed amendment didn't pass, Johnson claimed that there would "be no legal basis to deny a bisexual person the right to marry a partner of each sex or a person to marry his pet." We're not 100% sure about that particular logic leap.

Johnson also worked with Exodus International for a time, a faith-based ministry dedicated to trying to "cure" people of their homosexuality, which was shut down in 2013 (via CNN). Johnson has spoken about the overlap between his religious and political beliefs. He said that for anyone wondering how he felt about certain policies: "Go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That's my worldview. That's what I believe."