Awww, House Mows Over MTG On Way To Passing Ukraine Aid

INSIDE: Mike Johnson ... Donald Trump ... AOC
WASHINGTON - JUNE 13: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., arrives for the House Republican Conference caucus meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

Not A Good Weekend For MTG

The compromised-by-Russian-propaganda House GOP was not enough to stop House Democrats and less-crazy Republicans from helping Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) finally pass Ukraine aid over the weekend – leaving Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and her motion to oust Johnson twisting in the wind.

The Republican-on-Republican infighting was something to behold:

Let’s be real clear though: A majority of the House GOP conference still voted against the Ukraine aid, so there hasn’t been some seismic shift on the Republican side. The only change was the speaker deciding to bring the package to a vote knowing that it would pass without majority GOP support – a violation of what’s been known as the Hastert rule.

I don’t have an easy explanation for why Johnson finally had a change of heart and was willing to risk his speakership for Ukraine aid. None of the current batch of explanations – Biden worked him over effectively, the classified intel was sobering, he doesn’t think MTG has the votes to oust him – is particularly convincing or satisfying.

Even if Johnson ended up doing the right thing and achieved a good outcome, it would be good to understand why! As Brian Beutler muses:

By way of analogy: If you drain your retirement savings to pay off the mob, but win it all back gambling, on one level it’s no harm no foul. On another level it raises some important questions about who you are! 


You Come At The King, You Best Not Miss

Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is still threatening to oust Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), but notably she did not call for a vote on her motion to oust Johnson after the House passed the Ukraine aid package.

How Are Things Going Inside The House GOP?

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) tore into the House GOP’s far-right flank:

Ukraine Aid Passes!

The decade-plus internal House GOP squabble is of course mostly a sideshow to the real news that desperately needed military aid for Ukraine will now be available to try to counter the advantage Russia has pressed in the months that the critical aid has been delayed.

The aid package still must pass the Senate, but that is expected, and the military aid should begin flowing again soon after.

So This Happened

One of the weekend’s lowlights: Anti-Ukraine Republicans pretended to take great umbrage over members of Congress waving Ukraine flags on the House floor after the aid vote Saturday.

Trump Trial Begins In Earnest Today

Opening statements are expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET. We’ll have live coverage here.

David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer, is expected to be the first prosecution witness, according to the NYT. The trial will adjourn early for Passover, so it’s unclear how much of Pecker’s testimony we’ll get today.

A couple of reading assignments to catch yourself up:

Also Happening Today …

New York Judge Arthur Engoron will hear arguments over whether the $175 million appeal bond in the civil fraud case against Trump is sufficient.

Quote Of The Day

It can happen again. Extremism is alive and well in this country. Threats of violence continue unabated.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan of Washington, D.C., while handing down her harshest sentence to date for a Jan. 6 rioter

Another $4M In Legal Expenses Paid For By Donors

Trump’s campaign and various related committees spent another $4 million on legal expenses for Trump in March, according to the latest filings:

All told, Trump’s campaign and outside political groups have paid more than $66 million in legal-related costs since early 2023, according to a Wall Street Journal review of new campaign filings made public Saturday. That translates to about $145,000 a day.Trump campaign legal billsSource: Federal Election CommissionNote: Includes Trump’s campaign committee, Save​America leadership PAC and the Trump Save​America Joint Fundraising Committee.

King Of His Tiny Corner Of The Internet

WaPo: On Truth Socials, Trump “offers an intimate view of what his second term could look like: isolated, vitriolic and vengeful.”

2024 Ephemera

  • Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) is tap-dancing around whether she supports exceptions to abortion bans for victims of rape or incest.
  • NYT: The Trump campaign and the GOP plan to dispatch more than 100,000 volunteers and lawyers to monitor elections in battleground states, working in concert with conservative activists.
  • PA-Sen: GOP Senate candidate David McCormick claims he grew up on a family farm, but the NYT’s reporting suggests he has given a misleading impression about key aspects of his background.

Passover Week Protests At Columbia

Columbia University is shifting to virtual classes on the first day of Passover after weekend protests over Gaza and antisemitic threats prompted a rabbi to urge Jewish students to return home and the White House to issue a statement condemning “physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community.”

IDF Intel Chief Resigns

The head of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate has resigned over the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.

AOC Comes Through Again

The fame and notoriety of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) can sometimes obscure how thoughtful and capable she actually is:

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: