Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson

Credentials

Background

James Michael (Mike) Johnson is a Republican politician and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District. The House Republican majority elected Johnson to the post of speaker of the House on October 25, 2023, three weeks after the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).5Rep. Mike Johnson elected speaker, breaking weeks-long stalemate,” The Washington Post, October 25, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ajiOy

“Johnson is an ally of former president Donald Trump and opposed certifying the 2020 election. He is antiabortion, voted against Ukraine aid and supports LGBTQ restrictions,” The Washington Post summarized when Johnson became House speaker.6Rep. Mike Johnson elected speaker, breaking weeks-long stalemate,” The Washington Post, October 25, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ajiOy

Mike Johnson is a member of the advisory board of the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC), a group formed by Jordan Peterson. ARC advisory board members have included former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who is a board member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, as well as other climate change deniers and skeptics such as Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, Michael Shellenberger, Bjorn Lomborg.7ARC’s Advisory Board,” ARC, Archived May 4, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/bIJQt In a 2022 appearance on Jordan Peterson’s podcast, Mike Johnson likened environmentalism to a “religion” where “they have effectively replaced Father God with Mother Earth.”8Oil, Inflation, and the Way Forward | Congressman Mike Johnson | EP 309,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” November 28, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

In 2023, DeSmog reported that ARC backer Paul Marshall, the owner of GB News, runs a hedge fund that has more than $2.2 billion invested in more than 100 fossil fuel companies. 9Sam Bright and Joey Grostern. “GB News Owner’s Hedge Fund Has $2.2 Billion Fossil Fuel Investments,” DeSmog, October 30, 2023.

Mike Johnson has described himself as a “full-spectrum conservative.” According to his official biography, Johnson “has also been a college professor, conservative talk radio host and columnist, a media spokesman for America’s largest religious liberty organizations, a constitutional law seminar instructor, and a board member for national organizations and numerous community groups and ministries.”10About,” U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson. Archived November 3, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/l8s2U

Mike Johnson is staunchly anti-abortion, and has stated on his podcast that he started the Life March in Louisiana “in hopes and prayer that one day Roe would be overturned,” referring to the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion in the U.S.11Episode 14: Post-Roe America: What Happens Now?Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, June 29, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

With his wife, Kelly Johnson, Mike Johnson hosts a podcast named Truth be Told. HuffPost has reported that Kelly Johnson’s Christian counseling business, Onward Christian Counseling Services, “advocates the belief that homosexuality is comparable to bestiality and incest.”12Jennifer Bendery. “Mike Johnson’s Wife Runs Counseling Service That Compares Being Gay To Bestiality, Incest,” HuffPost, October 27, 2023. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/j5cWG

Onward Christian Counseling Services, LLC, was incorporated in Louisiana on July 1, 2017. Kelly L. Johnson is its only member, and Mike Johnson notarized the operating agreement submitted to the state. The company’s LLC operating agreement states that “we believe and the Bible teaches that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.” 13OPERATING AGREEMENT of ONWARD CHRISTIAN COUNSELING SERVICES,” retrieved from ScribD. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Mike Johnson was a Louisiana state representative from 2015-2016. He was first elected to the U.S. House in 2016, and assumed office in January 2017.14Mike Johnson (Louisiana),” Ballotpedia. Archived October 25, 2023. Archive URL: http://archive.today/S6yT2 In 2021, Johnson became vice chairman of the House Republican Conference. Prior to becoming House speaker, Johnson’s committee assignments during the 118th Congress (2023-2024) included the House Armed Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, where he was chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government as well as a member of the Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.15About,” U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson. Archived November 3, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/l8s2U

Mike Johnson and the Religious Right

Mike Johnson has been described as “Superman for Louisiana’s religious right.16Religious freedom bill sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson: Superman for Louisiana’s religious right?” NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, July May 15, 2015. Archived May 17, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/sHs8X

HuffPost reported in 2023 on Johnson’s long history working with the religious right. “He first became a known entity in his state in the late 1990s when he and his wife went on national television as the face of Louisiana’s new marriage covenant laws, which made it harder to get a divorce,” HuffPost reported. 17,”Alliance Defending Freedom,” SourceWatch Accessed October 31, 2023.

Alliance Defending Freedom

From 2002 to 2010, Mike Johnson was an attorney for the conservative Christian nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), formerly the Alliance Defense Fund. 18Jennifer Bendery. “New Speaker Mike Johnson’s Long History With The Religious Right,” HuffPost, October 25, 2023. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/hDrNP

ADF describes itself as “committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, the sanctity of life, marriage and family, and parental rights.” The group described the Supreme Court’s 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade as “Victory!”19Every Life is Worth Defending,” Alliance Defending Freedom. Archived May 17, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2L8uM

The Nation reported in 2021 that ADF “writes model bills and funds and litigates court cases that seek to weaponize a narrow interpretation of religious freedom in service of a whole host of conservative priorities—from empowering discrimination against LGBTQ people to opposing the Biden administration’s Covid vaccine mandate.” Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, the law at issue in the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion rights (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization), is based on ADF’s model legislation.20Amy Littlefield. “The Christian Legal Army Behind the Ban on Abortion in Mississippi,” The Nation, November 30, 2021. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/YBKKs 21Tracking Abortion Ban Across the Country,” The New York Times, updated Tuesday, November 7, 2023 9:15 P.M. ET. Archived November 9, 2023. Archive URL: http://archive.today/M5bhf

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) classifies ADF as a “Designated Hate Group,” and describes it as:22ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM,” Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived October 32, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/csFpU

“Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has supported the recriminalization of sexual acts between consenting LGBTQ adults in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has contended that LGBTQ people are more likely to engage in pedophilia; and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society. ADF also works to develop “religious liberty” legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBTQ people on the basis of religion. Since the election of President Trump, ADF has become one of the most influential groups informing the administration’s attack on LGBTQ rights.”

Exodus International

In November 2023, CNN reported that while working as an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom from 2006-2010, Mike Johnson also collaborated with Exodus International, a group that promoted “conversion therapy” and claimed it could change the sexual orientation of homosexual individuals. Johnson worked with Exodus International to put on an event known as the “Day of Truth,” designed as a counterprotest to the “Day of Silence” in schools intended to raise awareness of bullying of LGBTQ youth.23Andrew Kaczynski. “Before he became a politician, House Speaker Mike Johnson partnered with an anti-gay conversion therapy group,” CNN Politics, November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/KzaWV

HuffPost in 2023 reported that Mike Johnson has close professional and personal ties to Ken Ham, the founder and CEO of a Christian group named Answers in Genesis.24Liz Skalka and Paul Blumenthal. “New House Speaker Thinks Creationist Museum Is ‘Pointing People To The Truth’,HuffPost, October 26, 2023. Archived November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/grQMu Answers in Genesis believes that the “account of origins presented in Genesis 1-11 is a simple but factual presentation of actual events.”25Statement of Faith,” Answers in Genesis. Archived November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/iEWxG

Answers in Genesis is behind a creationist theme park in Kentucky called Ark Encounter, “where children can learn that dinosaurs were passengers on Noah’s Ark.” Mike Johnson, as an attorney for Ark Encounter, “helped the gigantic ark attraction, which opened in 2016, secure millions in state tourism subsidies while also defending its right to make religious-based hiring decisions,” HuffPost reported.26Liz Skalka and Paul Blumenthal. “New House Speaker Thinks Creationist Museum Is ‘Pointing People To The Truth’,HuffPost, October 26, 2023. Archived November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/grQMu

“Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, The Creation Museum, Ark Encounter is doing maybe the best work right now in our generation of pointing people to the truth,” Mike Johnson said in a 2022 episode of his podcast, Truth Be Told, that featured Ken Ham as a guest.27Episode 23: Biblical Responses to a Divided Nation (A Conversation with Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis),Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, September 6, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation

In October 2022, Rep. Mike Johnson introduced legislation in the U.S. House called the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act of 2022.” Described by critics as a “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” the legislation would have prohibited “the use of Federal funds to develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually-oriented program, event, or literature for children under the age of 10, and for other purposes.”28Mark Ballard. “U.S. Rep Mike Johnson molds Republican messaging as 5th-highest GOP member of Congress,The Advocate (NOLA.com), November 28, 2022. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/foFuS

The bill was modeled on a Florida law banning instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade classes. If it had passed, the bill might have affected “not just instruction in schools, but also events and literature at any federally-funded institution,” according to reporting by NPR.29Laurel Wamsley. “What’s in the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill that could impact the whole country,NPR, October 21, 2022. Archived October 22, 2022. Archive URL: http://archive.today/tZhu5

In 2015, while a state representative, Mike Johnson drafted legislation that “would protect people from government actions against individuals or businesses with religious convictions, including those that endorse traditional views of marriage.” He denied any connection between his bill and a similar Indiana law that faced criticism from LGBTQ+ advocates.30Religious freedom bill sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson: Superman for Louisiana’s religious right?” NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, July May 15, 2015. Archived May 17, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/sHs8X 31Maya Lau. “Bossier legislator mulls religious freedom bill,” The News Star, April 1, 2015. Archived May 17, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/1N23Q

Also in 2015, then-State Rep. Mike Johnson introduced the Marriage and Conscience Act.32“2015 Regular Session, House Bill No. 707 by Representative Mike Johnson,” Louisiana State Legislature. PDF on file at DeSmog.

While the bill did not pass in the state legislature, Gov. Bobby Jindal issued the “Marriage and Conscience Order” on May 19, 2015 that covered much the same ground. The order’s intent was to “prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”33ACLU oF Louisiana Statement on Executive ‘Marriage and Conscience’ Order,” ACLU Louisiana, May 21, 2015. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/IaBSo

Criticism of Disney’s ‘Little Demon’

In 2022, when a new Disney animated comedy series titled “Little Demon” began airing on FXX, Mike Johnson railed against the program, describing it as an attack on the “hearts and minds of our kids.”34Kendrick Dante. “Louisiana US congressman slams FX series ‘Little Demon,’ says Disney is spreading satanic images,” Shreveport Times, September 6, 2022. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/FPmbn

In a September 5, 2022 Facebook post, Mike Johnson said that he found the trailer for “Little Demon” to be “disturbing,” claiming that it contained references to Hell, Satan, and the Antichrist. He also stated in the post that the Walt Disney Company owned the FX and FXX channels. Responding to requests to fact-check this post, Snopes confirmed that the show was about Satan and the Antichrist. However, far from being aimed at children, the show was “a comedy cartoon series that’s made for adults, airs at a later hour, and stars comedic actor Danny DeVito to voice Satan.” Snopes also confirmed that the series was airing on FXX and available on Hulu, both owned by Disney.35Jordan Liles. “Is ‘Little Demon’ a Disney Show About Satan and the Antichrist?Snopes, September 6, 2022. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ZG3G6

“Disney and Fox have made a decision here. They made a decision to imprint, embrace, and market what is plainly and obviously evil,” Johnson said soon after the Facebook post, during an episode of his podcast. “This is not a game. We’re talking about the souls of people, right? The souls of children.”36Episode 24: The Faith of Queen Elizabeth II, Mike’s Viral Post on ‘Little Demon,’ & Fateful Cultural Moments (A Conversation with Ray Comfort, World-renowned Author & Evangelist),” Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, September 13, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Jezebel reporter Kylie Cheung described “Little Demon” as “a vulgar, adult cartoon comedy that feels specifically catered to women” by “finding niche, absurdist, and hilarious entry points to analyze gender and power and allow female characters to be as disgusting as their male counterparts.”37Kylie Cheung. “‘Little Demon’ Is a Vulgar Adult Cartoon About Having a Uterus,Jezebel, August 25, 2022. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/EwCRQ

Oil and Gas Funding

According to OpenSecrets, Mike Johnson has received more donations from entities affiliated with the oil and gas industry than from any other sector, totaling $338,125 from 2015 to 2024.38Mike Johnson,” OpenSecrets. Accessed October 31, 2023.

Political Action Committees

The following data is based on information exported from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) database for political action committees (PACs) related to Mike Johnson. See additional details below the chart.

This data can also be downloaded to view all individual transactions (.xlsx).

The list below of campaign contributions to Mike Johnson can also be searched using keywords like “Koch” or “Oil” or by PAC name.

American Revival PAC

SourceWatch’s “Koch candidates” list includes Mike Johnson as a recipient of funding from KochPAC via American Revival PAC.39Koch Candidates, 2020,” SourceWatch. Accessed November 2023.

Congressional Leadership Fund

In 2023, Mike Johnson announced he would “wholeheartedly” endorse the Congressional Leadership Fund and work to raise money for the group. “The Congressional Leadership Fund spent more than $250 million helping Republicans take back the House in 2022,” Politico reported.40Ally Mutnick. “Mike Johnson embraces powerful McCarthy-aligned super PAC,” Politico, October 30, 2023. Archived October 30, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/gXvYO

Historically, Koch Industries has been a corporate donor to the Congressional Leadershp Fund, including as recently as 2023, according to FEC data.41 Lee Fang. “PAUL RYAN’S SUPER PAC IS FLOODING CONGRESSIONAL RACES WITH MISINFORMATION ABOUT DEMOCRATS,” The Intercept, September 19, 2018. Archived October 30, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/9wVUw

Johnson Leadership Fund

The Johnson Leadership Fund is a joint fundraising committee launched in 2021. Participating PACs include Mike Johnson for Louisiana, American Revival PAC, and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).42Caitlin Oprysko. “Business orgs ask lawmakers to oppose labor bill,” Politico, March 3, 2021. Archived October 30, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/n8n5z

Mike Johnson for Louisiana

According to Mike Johnson’s 2023 “statement of candidacy” filed with the FEC, the Mike Johnson for Louisiana PAC is his principal campaign committee for the 2024 election cycle.43FEC Form2: Statement of Candidacy for Johnson, James, Michael,” FEC.gov, January 19, 2023. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

House Conservatives Fund

The House Conservatives Fund (HCF) describes itself as the “the political arm of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest caucus of conservatives in Congress.” Mike Johnson chaired the RSC during the 116th Congress (2019-2010).44Republican Study Committee Chairmanship,U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/VsAX0

“HCF aims to defend and advance the foundational ideas of America — the core principles of individual liberty, limited government, the rule of law, fiscal responsibility, free markets, human dignity and maintaining peace through strength,” the HCF’s archived website stated.45WHAT WE DO,” House Conservatives Fund. Archived January 20, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/0VNfl

Stance on Climate Change

May 31, 2017

During town hall with constituents, Mike Johnson said, “I am not a big proponent of the climate change data because I have seen data on the other side.” He added, “The climate is changing, but the question is, is climate changing because of natural cycles in the atmosphere over the span of history, or is it changing because we drive SUVs? I don’t believe in the latter. I don’t think that’s the primary driver.”46Henrietta Wildsmith. “U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson and Climate Change,” Shreveport Times, May 31, 2017. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/94zXf

“This should not be a partisan thing. We should deal in facts,” Johnson said. “The problem with this, the problem with the climate change debate, is that there are facts on both sides.” In response to boos from the audience, Johnson said, “I get it, you disagree with me on climate change. This is one of those things we’re going to have to agree to disagree on, and people of good conscience and right mind can disagree.”47Henrietta Wildsmith. “U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson and Climate Change,” Shreveport Times, May 31, 2017. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/94zXf

Stance on the 2020 Election

October 25, 2023

The New York Times has reported that Rep. Mike Johnson “embraced Mr. Trump’s wild and false claims of fraud,” and played a leading role in the effort to overturn the 2020 election — including recruitment of other Republicans to sign a legal brief in support of a lawsuit to overturn the results.48Luke Broadwater and Steve Eder. “Johnson Played Leading Role in Effort to Overturn 2020 Election,” The New York Times, October 25, 2023. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/DwfTi

According to the Times’ reporting, in a 2020 radio interview Johnson said the election had been “rigged:”49Luke Broadwater and Steve Eder. “Johnson Played Leading Role in Effort to Overturn 2020 Election,” The New York Times, October 25, 2023. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/DwfTi

“You know the allegations about these voting machines, some of them being rigged with this software by Dominion, there’s a lot of merit to that.”

Stance on LGTBQ+ Issues

November 1, 2023

CNN reported that during the mid-late 2000s, “in print, radio and on television, Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, frequently disparaged homosexuality, according to KFile’s review. He advocated for the criminalization of gay sex and went so far as to partially blame it for the fall of the Roman Empire.” According to CCN’s reporting, from 2006 to 2010, while Mike Johnson was working as an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the ADF collaborated with Exodus International, a group that advocated use of so-called “conversion therapy” to make gay individuals straight. “For years, Johnson and Exodus worked on an event started by ADF in 2005 known as the ‘Day of Truth’ – a counterprotest to the ‘Day of Silence,’ a day in schools in which students stayed silent to bring awareness to bullying faced by LGBTQ youth.”50Andrew Kaczynski.”Before he became a politician, House Speaker Mike Johnson partnered with an anti-gay conversion therapy group,” CNN Politics, November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/KzaWV

October 2022

In October 2022, Rep. Mike Johnson introduced legislation in the U.S. House called the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act of 2022.” Described by critics as a “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” the legislation would have prohibited “the use of Federal funds to develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually-oriented program, event, or literature for children under the age of 10, and for other purposes.”51Mark Ballard. “U.S. Rep Mike Johnson molds Republican messaging as 5th-highest GOP member of Congress,The Advocate (NOLA.com), November 28, 2022. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/foFuS

The bill was modeled on a Florida law banning instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade classes. If it had passed, the bill might have affected “not just instruction in schools, but also events and literature at any federally-funded institution.”52Laurel Wamsley. “What’s in the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill that could impact the whole country,NPR, October 21, 2022. Archived October 22, 2022. Archive URL: http://archive.today/tZhu5

2015

Then-State Rep. Mike Johnson drafted legislation that “would protect people from government actions against individuals or businesses with religious convictions, including those that endorse traditional views of marriage,” however denied any connection to a similar Indiana law that has faced criticism from LGBT advocates.53Religious freedom bill sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson: Superman for Louisiana’s religious right?” NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, July May 15, 2015. Archived May 17, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/sHs8X 54Maya Lau. “Bossier legislator mulls religious freedom bill,” The News Star, April 1, 2015. Archived May 17, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/1N23Q

Also in 2015, Mike Johnson introduced the Marriage and Conscience Act. While the bill did not pass in the state legislature, Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an Executive Order on May 19, 2015 that covered much the same ground. Titled the “Marriage and Conscience Order,” the intent of the order was to “prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”55ACLU of Louisiana Statement on ‘Marriage and Conscience’ Executive Order,” ACLU Louisiana, May 21, 2015. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/IaBSo

Stance on Abortion

October 26, 2023

CBS News reported that according to documents obtained by Documented, Mike Johnson has referred to abortion as “a holocaust”.56Scott MacFarlane and Michael Kaplan. “House Speaker Mike Johnson once referred to abortion as ‘a holocaust’,CBS News, October 26, 2023. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6dRnl

“During business hours today, 4,500 innocent American children will be killed. It is a holocaust that has been repeated every day for 32 years, since 1973’s Roe v. Wade. Nearly 45 million babies have been sacrificed in the name of ‘personal choice’,” Johnson wrote in a April 1, 2005 op-ed in the Shreveport Times.57Scott MacFarlane and Michael Kaplan. “House Speaker Mike Johnson once referred to abortion as ‘a holocaust’,CBS News, October 26, 2023. Archived November 2, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6dRnl

October 25, 2023

The Hill reported that after Mike Johnson became Speaker of the House, Democrats pointed out Johnson’s support for a nationwide abortion ban. “Mike Johnson, probably more so than almost any other member of the House Republican conference, wants to criminalize abortion care and impose a nationwide ban,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said during an event hosted by the Center for American Progress.58Nathaniel Weixel. “Democrats seize on new Speaker Mike Johnson’s anti-abortion record,” The Hill, October 25, 2023. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/9q4he

Stance on Separation of Church and State

May 11, 2022

“One of the most misunderstood and misused phrases in modern America is the separation of church and state,” Mike Johnson said during an episode of his Truth be Told podcast. He went on:59Episode 9: Life & Liberty Pending at the Supreme Court,” Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, May 11, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“And many people have been led to believe that the so-called separation clause is actually part of the United States Constitution. And they cite it all the time to suggest that religion shouldn’t have any influence at all over our decisions in the legislatures and the public squares, etc. But that look, that’s not right at all.”

“The wall was never intended to prohibit religion in the public square or to prohibit its its influence on government issues and policy, etc. The wall, that metaphor, the wall was intended to do exactly the opposite of that. It was meant to prohibit the government from encroaching upon religion.”

Key Quotes

February 28, 2023

Mike Johnson said during a House Judiciary Committee meeting:60I was in the chair of the House Judiciary Committee today when Democrats argued for radical abortion policies & insisted our rights are given to us by government instead of God. This was my response:” post by user @RepMikeJohnson, February 28, 2023. Retrieved from twitter.com. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“We don’t have able bodied workers, enough of them in the economy to support our programs. Social Security and Medicare, for example. They’re all scheduled to go bankrupt in less than ten years, some of them. But why? Because we don’t have enough people paying into the system to support those programs. And why is that? Because 63 million of them were aborted,”

June 25, 2022

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Rep. Mike Johnson said:61Makenzie Boucher. “Northwest Louisiana reacts to historic overturn of Roe V. Wade,” Shreveport Times, June 24, 2022. Archived November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/TBF5C

“Today is an historic and joyful day. After nearly a half century, the Supreme Court has finally corrected its egregious error and returned the fateful policy decision over legalized abortion to the people and their elected representatives—where it has always belonged. No real ‘constitutional right’ to abortion ever existed. The Court invented it out of thin air. House Republicans will continue to stand for the sanctity of human life and hold the Biden Administration accountable for any future attempt to impede the policy decisions of pro-life states.”

June 22, 2022

On his podcast, Truth be Told, Mike Johnson defended his efforts to block certification of the 2020 election results:62Episode 12: The Truth about January 6th that You’ve Never Been Told,” Truth be Told, June 7, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“The reason that I and so many of my colleagues voted to sustain objections that were submitted over the electors submitted by two of those states, Arizona and Pennsylvania, is very simple. And this is a key point. The slate of electors were produced by a clearly unconstitutional process, period.”

May 11, 2022

“One of the most misunderstood and misused phrases in modern America is the separation of church and state,” Mike Johnson said on an episode of his Truth be Told podcast,63Episode 9: Life & Liberty Pending at the Supreme Court,” Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, May 11, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“…and many people have been led to believe that the so-called separation clause is actually part of the United States Constitution. And they cite it all the time to suggest that religion shouldn’t have any influence at all over our decisions in the legislatures and the public squares, etc. But that look, that’s not right at all.

“The wall was never intended to prohibit religion in the public square or to prohibit its its influence on government issues and policy, etc. The wall that metaphor, the wall was intended to do exactly the opposite of that. It was meant to prohibit the government from encroaching upon religion.”

May 11, 2022

During a House committee hearing on links between the availability of abortion and the nation’s economic health, Mike Johnson said :64Carter Sherman. “New House speaker pushed for ‘hard labor’ for abortion providers after fall of Roe,” The Guardian, October 26, 2023. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/vJ9yp

Roe v. Wade gave constitutional cover to the elective killing of unborn children in America, period. You think about the implications of that on the economy. We’re all struggling here to cover the bases of, of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and all the rest. If we had all those able-bodied workers in the economy, we wouldn’t be going upside down and toppling over like this.”

November 7, 2020

Mike Johnson contested the results of the 2020 election,65Annabelle Timsit, Amy B Wang, and Mariana Alfaro. “5 things to know about Mike Johnson, the new House speaker,” The Washington Post, October 25, 2023. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/7WCyg posting on X (then Twitter): 66“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,” Post by @RepMikeJohnson, November 7, 2020. Retrieved from twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/BpqJc

“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.'”

April 30, 2018

In response to urging by Louisiana officials to steer oil and gas revenues to restoration of the Gulf Coast, Mike Johnson commented:67Landrieu joins Louisiana lawmakers to push for more money for coastal restoration,” The Daily Advertiser, April 26, 2018. Archived November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/rtVNQ

“There is enough blame to go around. I feel like the oil and gas industry gets an undo amount of blame in this.”

May 31, 2017

During a town hall with constituents, Mike Johnson made several statements about climate change:68“Henrietta Wildsmith. “U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson and Climate Change,” Shreveport Times, May 31, 2017. Archived October 31, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/94zXf

“I am not a big proponent of the climate change data because I have seen data on the other side.

“The climate is changing, but the question is, is climate changing because of natural cycles in the atmosphere over the span of history, or is it changing because we drive SUVs? I don’t believe in the latter. I don’t think that’s the primary driver.

“And if you talk to scientists on the Hill, and we have, you talk to people who really study this stuff, and you as them about, you know, you say that burning these things puts carbon emissions into the air. What about all over the continent of Africa, for example, where they burn huge areas and forests and they do all these things without [sic] impunity, and they get offended when you ask those questions because other parts of the world that are not complying are contributing more than we are.

December 7, 2016

“Our free-market principles have been smothered by this over-taxation and over-regulation, and I really think it’s one of the root problems in our country,” Mike Johnson was quoted by The Times of Shreveport, Louisiana. 69Seth Dickerson. “Mike Johnson” My goal is to fight for ‘common sense,’The Times of Shreveport, Louisiana, Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Retrieved from Newspapers.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

July 20, 2005

Mike Johnson authored an op-ed in The Times of Shreveport, Louisiana, identified as an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund. It read in part:70Mike Johnson. “Sexual orientation move should be opposed,” The Times of Shreveport, Louisiana, July 20, 2005. Retrieved via Newspapers.com.

“We must always remember that it is not bigotry to make moral distinctions. City officials can be opposed to elevating homosexuality/transgendered identity to a protected legal status without being labeled ‘anti-homosexual’ or ‘intolerant.’ We’ve got enough legitimate, urgent problems to address in this community without wasting city officials’ time in wrangling with politically correct, superfluous legislation.”

Screenshot from newspapers.com

September 12, 2004

In an op-ed for The Times of Shreveport, Louisiana, Mike Johnson wrote:71Marriage amendment deserves strong support,” Shreveport Times, via Newspapers.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

“Homosexual relationships are inherently unnatural and, the studies clearly show, are ultimately harmful and costly for everyone. Society cannot give its stamp of approval to such a dangerous lifestyle. If we change marriage for this tiny, modern minority, we will have to do it for every deviant group.

“Polygamists, polyamorists, pedophiles, and others will be next in line to claim equal protection. They already are. There will be no legal basis to deny a bisexual the right to marry a partner of each sex, or a person to marry his pet. If everyone does what is right in his own eyes, chaos and sexual anarchy will result. And make no mistake, the extremists who seek to redefine marriage also want to deny you the right to object to immoral behavior.”

Johnson’s byline identified him as an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund.

Key Actions

April 4, 2024 (upcoming)

Mike Johnson and his wife Kelly are scheduled to speak at “Reclaim: Answers for Women: Overcoming the War on Women for the Glory of God,” a conference organized by Answers in Genesis.72Reclaim: Answers for Women 2024: Weekend Conference,Answers in Genesis. Archived November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/bqUMp

According to the program description:73Reclaim: Answers for Women 2024: Weekend Conference,Answers in Genesis. Archived November 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/bqUMp

“‘What is a woman?’ We’ve all seen the cultural war on women escalate alarmingly in recent days. Judges can’t define what a woman is. Sports teams allow men on women’s teams because they refuse to acknowledge even the most basic differences between men and women. Terminology that was once exclusive to women is now inclusive (e.g., pregnant people). Men pretending to be women receive courage awards on special days designed to honor women. The privacy of women’s restrooms and locker rooms is violated in the name of gender neutrality. The message is clear: embrace gender inclusivity and erase gender distinctives or else.

“Yet this is contrary to the good Creator’s design for men and women. God created male and female in his image to display his glory in unique ways (Genesis 1:27). There are two separate genders—designated in the DNA as either male or female from the moment of fertilization—with distinct characteristics, roles, and responsibilities. As Christian women, we need to give practical, biblically sound answers to a culture that is quickly erasing what it means to be a woman.

[…]

“At Answers for Women 2024, you’ll learn how to reclaim God’s good design for women and overcome the war on women that threatens to overtake us. Engaging, passionate speakers who love God and his Word will equip you with biblical and practical answers to live confidently and courageously as women. Speakers include Ruth Chou Simons of GraceLaced Co. and its podcast; Jinger Vuolo, author of Becoming Free Indeed; Laura Perry, author of Transgender to Transformed; Louisiana congressman Mike Johnson and his wife, Kelly; Monica Cline, former comprehensive sex educator; Mary Kassian, author of many books, including The Feminist Mistake; pastor and author Costi Hinn; Australian lawyer and social commentator Martyn Iles; musician Michael O’Brien and his wife, Heidi; and Ken Ham and Dr. Georgia Purdom of Answers in Genesis.”

October 30–November 1, 2023

Mike Johnson was listed among the “conference delegates” to ARC Conference 2023, hosted by the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC). Republican presidential candidate and climate change denier Vivek Ramaswamy was also listed as a delegate.74The ARC Conference 2023 – SOLD OUT,” ARC. Archived October 20, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/KpzYf

The event page quoted Mike Johnson:75The ARC Conference 2023 – SOLD OUT,” ARC. Archived October 20, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/KpzYf

“ARC represents a unique opportunity to bring together some of the most influential leaders in politics, business, media, and academia to re-evaluate humanity’s direction of travel and revitalize our vision of what it means to flourish. We are in the middle of an identity crisis, without a common narrative or moral framework, but we aim to draw on our moral, cultural, economic, and spiritual heritage to articulate a better future.”

As reported by DeSmog, during the conference speakers claimed that carbon emissions had “declined,” and described the climate crisis as a “secular religion.”76Adam Barnett. “Climate Science Denial Rife at Launch of Jordan Peterson’s ARC Project,” DeSmog, November 3, 2023.

According to an archive of the ARC website, “This major gathering of political, business, and cultural leaders will explore practical solutions to defining challenges in areas such as the future of the family, free enterprise, affordable energy, environmental stewardship, and moral governance.”77The ARC Conference 2023 – SOLD OUT,” ARC. Archived October 20, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/KpzYf

Other speakers at the conference included Jordan B. Peterson, Bjorn Lomborg, Michael Shellenberger, and former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, who is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.78The ARC Conference 2023 – SOLD OUT,” ARC. Archived October 20, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/KpzYf

November 28, 2022

Mike Johnson appeared on an episode of Jordan B. Peterson’s podcast. Johnson and Peterson discussed several topics, including “the trumped-up climate crisis.” Talking about environmental activists, Johnson said:79Oil, Inflation, and the Way Forward | Congressman Mike Johnson | EP 309,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” November 28, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“They regard the climate agenda as part of their religion. I don’t know any other way to explain it. They pursue it with religious zeal, and they care not, apparently, what type of pain these policies inflict upon the people that they are supposed to be serving. Because they’re not serving the people, they’re serving the planet, and they use this terminology now openly, to great amazement and frustration.

“And it’s as if […] they have effectively replaced Father God with Mother Earth. Not to oversimplify it. That’s how I see it. And so they believe we owe fealty to Mother Earth, that we’re created by the Earth, they believe, and so we owe everything to the Earth itself, and we have to serve that cause above all else, and it matters not who they hurt.”

Following a response from Peterson, Johnson said:

“[Environmentalists] — they’re consistently irrational. At a sort of local or regional level here in the U.S. for example, I think that a religious zeal argument sort of explanation makes some sense, but I do think that kind of on the international level, I think the persons who are ultimately responsible for this, those who are pushing the agenda, the elites at the top of the food chain so to speak, there is a more sinister agenda. Ultimately, you and I, I think agree this is about government control, and they will pursue that with religious fervor of course as well.

“And they seem to have gotten the entire civilized world bought in, at least the leaders of many of these nations, bought in on this idea that we have to pursue this agenda at any cost, and so we’re going to continue to see the results of that.

[…]

“The antidote is to educate and inform more people. To remind them that going along with this agenda requires the to sacrifice their freedom and their safety, their comfort.”

September 20, 2022

Mike Johnson featured Jordan B. Peterson on episode 25 of his Truth be Told podcast. Johnson described how he and Peterson had developed a personal connection:80Episode 25: “A Conservative Manifesto” (Presented by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, International Best-Selling Author, Clinical Psychologist and Professor),Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, September 20, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“I first met Dr. Peterson in person a few years ago when he came to be the guest speaker in Washington, D.C., at a gathering of this group we call Faith and Law. I was moderating the group. It’s several of my Christian colleagues in Congress. We meet periodically to discuss what is the namesake of the group faith in law and the merging of those two things. Dr. Peterson spoke there and we hit it off very well.”

Mike Johnson made mention of a “big project” — likely referencing the formation of Peterson’s group, the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC): 81Episode 25: “A Conservative Manifesto” (Presented by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, International Best-Selling Author, Clinical Psychologist and Professor),Truth be Told with Mike & Kelly Johnson, September 20, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“We’ve been working on parallel tracks the whole time, and we began collaborating on a big project with some other conservative leaders around the world over the last few weeks, and we’ll be talking about that, rolling out more of that sometime next year.”

Affiliations

PACs and Campaign Committees

Social Media

Publications

Other Resources

Resources

Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.”“Public Relations Firms Database: APCO Worldwide,” O'Dwyers. Archive.is URL: https://arc...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology.“Re: Global warming: It's happening,” Letter to NaturalSCIENCE, January 29, 1998. Archived July 28, 2011. Archive.fo URL: https://arch...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974).“Faculty/Staff,” St. Cloud State University. Archived May 28, 2010. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/dA53K ...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. “Benny Peiser,” Wikipedia (German)Entry. Peiser, ...