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As ouster vote looms, Greene says she and Johnson still haven’t talked in depth

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Marjorie Taylor Greene isn’t backing away from her threat to hold a referendum on Mike Johnson that could boot him from the speakership. Nor have the two had much of a conservation about it — yet.

“I haven’t talked to him on the phone one time,” Greene told POLITICO Tuesday afternoon.

“He reached out to me Thursday night before Good Friday and left me a strange voicemail about how he’s traveling all over and he’s exhausted. And no matter how tired he was, he wanted to try to get on the phone with me,” the Georgia Republican said, adding that “I’m like, ‘Why do I want to talk to someone that’s so exhausted?’ That’s not good.”

Greene said Johnson texted her again earlier Tuesday explaining he had a busy schedule and that he wanted to chat Wednesday. Greene, citing her schedule, said she proposed Friday instead. The timing of their conversation still appears unclear.

It’s a chat with extremely high stakes for the House GOP majority. Greene has vowed to force a vote on ending Johnson’s speakership by seeking “privilege” for the resolution she filed on the matter last month. Once she does that, the speaker will have 48 legislative hours in which to act.

And if Greene makes her move after April 19, when Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) is set to leave office early, Johnson may be able to only lose one GOP vote if he wants to hang on to his job — assuming full attendance and no Democratic support.

A Johnson spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on Greene’s summary of their interactions.

One House Republican seemed to hint earlier Tuesday that he shares Greene’s frustrations with Johnson. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) posted on X asking the speaker: “What’s your mission sir?” It was a direct response to Johnson’s suggestion to Fox News on Sunday that Greene’s ouster threat was a “distraction from our mission.”

Despite Massie’s seeming public alignment with Greene, no House Republicans have publicly committed to backing her on a vote to remove Johnson. Greene, for her part, has predicted that pressure on fellow conservatives could build depending on how Johnson handles major votes that are coming up — a potential foreign aid debate, in particular.