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NYT reveals how Speaker Johnson changed his position on Ukraine

NYT reveals how Speaker Johnson changed his position on Ukraine Mike Johnson, Speaker of the US House of Representatives (photo: Getty Images)

Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson, who has long refused to introduce a bill to help Ukraine, has changed his mind, reports The New York Times.

Johnson spent a long time thinking about how best to get the project through the House without losing his job. Among other things, he met with senior national security officials in the Oval Office to discuss classified intelligence.

The speaker met with various groups of Republicans on numerous occasions and considered the attitudes of their constituents toward funding Ukraine.

"And finally, when his plan to work with Democrats to clear the way for aiding Ukrainemet with an outpouring of venom from ultraconservatives already threatening to depose him, Mr. Johnson, an evangelical Christian, knelt and prayed for guidance," the newspaper writes.

Johnson has largely opposed attempts to finance Kyiv's military actions. And from the beginning, he stated that he would never allow the issue to be put to a vote until his party's demands on the border were met.

But by the time he made it clear that he planned to join with Democrats to achieve an aid package over the objections of many in his party, Johnson was saying something very different.

"History judges us for what we do... This is a critical time right now. I could make a selfish decision and do something that’s different. But I’m doing here what I believe to be the right thing. I think providing lethal aid to Ukraine right now is critically important," the speaker said.

Johnson attributed his change in part to intelligence briefings he received, a striking statement from a party leader who has embraced former US President Donald Trump's deep distrust of the intelligence community.

US assistance to Ukraine

This week, the US House of Representatives approved the allocation of funds to help Ukraine. In order for Ukraine to receive this assistance, the Senate will consider this issue, and then it will be sent to US President Joe Biden for signature.

Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that a new aid package for Ukraine would be allocated as soon as possible after approval by Congress. According to him, among other things, the aid package will include ATACMS missiles.