Exclusive: Mike Johnson Speaks Out About Adopted Black Son
... "When Speaker Johnson first ran for Congress in 2016, he and his wife, Kelly, spoke to their son Michael—who they took in as newlyweds when Michael was 14 years old," said Corinne Day, communications director for Johnson.
"At the time of the Speaker's election to Congress, Michael was an adult with a family of his own. He asked not to be involved in their new public life. The Speaker has respected that sentiment throughout his career and maintains a close relationship with Michael to this day."
... Johnson's office explained in its statement that it is Michael's choice not to appear in campaign material....
Several photos of Michael were displayed on screen during Johnson's 2020 PBS interview with journalist Walter Isaacson, which is available in full
on YouTube. They showed Michael as a boy and as an adult with Johnson's family.
The interview took place shortly after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020. Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in 2021.
Johnson told Isaacson: "We took him in as our own and Michael is now doing great. This is now 20 years later. He's in his mid-30s. He lives in California—four children of his own," adding that Michael had "a great family life."
"And he says to people—he shares his testimony—that were it not for our intervention in his life, he would certainly have joined a gang, gotten on drugs, wound up in prison or dead on the streets somewhere," Johnson said.
Video of Johnson speaking to Isaacson about his adopted son also gained renewed attention on X on Wednesday.
In a video clip of the interview shared on the platform by PatriotTakes, Johnson said: "And I've thought often through all these ordeals over the last couple of weeks about the difference in the experiences between my two 14-year-old sons, Michael being a Black American and Jack being white Caucasian."
PatriotTakes describes itself as dedicated to "research monitoring and exposing right-wing extremism."
"They have different challenges," Johnson added. "My son Jack has an easier path. He just does. The interesting thing about both of these kids, Michael and Jack, is they're both handsome, articulate, really talented kids, gifted by God to do lots of things.
"But the reality is, and no one can tell me otherwise, my son Michael had a harder time than my son Jack is going to have simply because of the color of his skin. And that's a reality. It's an uncomfortable, painful one to acknowledge, but people have to recognize that's a fact."
"I think that we need, we really do need, systematic change. I think we need transformative solutions," he added.