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Speaker Johnson’s team briefed conservative influencers on his election bill before Trump meeting


High-profile rightwing influencers were briefed on House Speaker Mike Johnson’s voter registration bill well in advance of its announcement in what appears to be a coordinated social media campaign meant to drum up support for the legislation, which is dead on arrival on the Senate.

Conservative influencers posted dozens of times before Johnson, R-La., publicly announced the bill alongside former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, calling on Congress to pass the bill, which has not yet been filed, and offering policy details that are still not available to the public.

The legislation targets voting by non-citizens, which is already illegal and very rare. Johnson’s appearance at Mar-a-Lago came at a time when his speakership is in a precarious position, with attacks from far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has a significant social media following. Getting some public support and praise from Trump could give Johnson a bit of protection with the Republican base, as could drumming up support from conservative social media influencers.

At 3:50 p.m. ET on Friday, Ryan Fournier, the chair of Students for Trump who boasts a million followers on X, appears to have been the first to post the name of the bill and details of the legislation.

Johnson’s press conference was scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday but began just after 5 p.m. Neither the speaker nor his office would provide specifics on the legislation in advance of Friday’s event when asked by NBC News, but his office confirmed Monday that background information about the bill had been sent in advance to conservative-leaning influencers.

In the hours leading up to Johnson and Trump’s press conference, social media posters including Libs of TikTok, DC_Draino and EndWokeness promoted the legislation online. They all called the bill “the SAVE Act,” though Johnson did not name it as such.

“PASS THE BILL,” wrote DC_Draino at 4:22 p.m., claiming the bill “would require blue states to obtain proof of citizenship for voter registration.”

On X, EndWokeness wrote that the bill would add penalties for election officials registering noncitizens to vote.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, reposted EndWokeness’s post at 4:40 p.m., saying he’d authored the bill. A spokesman for the Republican lawmaker said the bill has not yet been filed yet, but Roy posted a screencap of the first few lines of legislation ahead of Johnson’s speech.

The bill is dead on arrival, with Democrats controlling the U.S. Senate. Johnson said Friday, though, that simply putting the bill to a vote would be “interesting.”

“When we put this bill on the floor, you’re going to see a record vote by Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “They’re going to have to go on record, do you believe that Americans and Americans alone should be the ones who vote in American elections? We’re about to find out their answer.”

It is illegal for non-citizens to vote in state and federal elections, though some municipalities allow non-citizen voting in local elections only.

Chrissy Clark, a conservative influencer who contributes to Turning Point USA, appears to have been one of the individuals who received early information about the legislation.

“Speaker Mike Johnson just dropped information about the SAVE Act, which basically its only goal is that only U.S. citizens can vote in federal elections — what a concept,” Clark said in a video posted more than 20 minutes before Johnson would begin speaking.

Clark’s post included numerous details about the bill that were not yet public.

“The whole message that he’s trying to portray is you should be required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship for voter registration. That doesn’t necessarily mean a state-issued ID,” she said in the produced short video, which was posted on TikTok and X. 

Clark’s post is tagged with the hashtag #partnership, a tag some influencers use to disclose they have been paid for a post. Clark did not respond to an emailed request for comment, and Johnson’s office did not respond to a request for comment on paying influencers.

Another conservative-leaning Twitter and TikTok account, Ding News, posted a produced video about the “common sense SAVE Act” at 4:11 p.m., nearly an hour before the press conference took place. An email sent to Ding News was not returned.

Another conservative influencer, Isabella DeLuca, posted about the legislation at 5:07 p.m., at the same minute when the press conference began.

“Speaker Johnson just introduced the SAVE Act, a pivotal measure to fortify our democracy and save our elections,” DeLuca wrote on Twitter.

Last month, DeLuca was arrested on Jan. 6 charges, with the FBI saying she climbed into the Capitol through a broken window and helped hand a table out a window that was used to assault police officers. Her Twitter account had been set to private earlier in the day, before her post about Johnson’s bill.

“America’s democracy hinges on the integrity of our elections,” the Jan. 6 defendant wrote.


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