Speaker Johnson Faces Backlash For Snubbing Kenyan President

(NEW) Speaker Mike Johnson visits Columbia University in New York amid Anti-Israel Protest. April 24, 2024, New York, USA: Speaker Mike Johnson, the 56th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a Republican member of Congress proudly serving Louisiana’s Fourth District and other congressmen visit Columbia University to meet with Jewish students as anti-Israel protest escalates in the school campus. The protest which started around 7 days ago has caused many extraordinary forms to confront it and led to many arrests and leading the university to move to online classes. The protest is happening in other universities around the country. ( Photo: Speaker Mike Johnson (Middle), U.S. Representatives (His Right) Virginia Foxx (R-NY) (His left) Anthony Esposito (R-NY), (Behind-Left) Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and (Behind Right) Mike Lawler (R-NY) during the press conference) Credit: Niyi Fote/Thenews2 (Foto: Niyi Fote/Thenews2/Deposit Photos)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus blasted Speaker of the House Mike Johnson for failing to invite Kenya’s President William Samoei Ruto to address a joint session of Congress while he was in Washington to attend a state dinner at the White House.

The speaker did host President Ruto for a private meeting with House leadership followed by a bipartisan forum where House members could “engage” with the Kenyan president.

The speaker said in a May 22 press release, that he and President Ruto had a one-on-one meeting in which they “discussed opportunities for economic investment” as well as regional security concerns over the threats from the Houthi rebels and the al-Shabab terror group.

According to the press release, Johnson also hosted a “series of engagements” with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including a meeting between President Ruto and the House leadership, as well as a meeting with committee chairs and ranking members.

However, the Congressional Black Caucus, which made President Ruto an honorary member, was unhappy that Johnson did not include an invitation for President Ruto to address a joint session of Congress, especially in light of Johnson’s plans to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do exactly that.

In a post on X that same day, the Congressional Black Caucus boasted that it was proud to welcome President Ruto to the Capitol and present him with an honorary membership, despite Speaker Johnson’s refusal to allow him to address a joint session of Congress.

President Ruto praised the Congressional Black Caucus in a post on social media, highlighting the group’s role in advancing economic development, human rights, and social justice worldwide.

The state dinner with President Ruto marked the 60th anniversary of Kenya’s partnership with the United States. President Biden also designated Kenya as sub-Saharan Africa’s first non-NATO ally of the United States.