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

High-profile right-wing influencers were briefed on House Speaker Mike Johnson‘s voter registration bill well before its announcement in what appears to be a coordinated social media campaign designed to drum up support for the legislation, which is already dead on arrival in the Senate.

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

The legislation targets non-citizen voting, 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. Gaining some public support and praise from Trump could give Johnson some protection among the Republican base, as could drumming up support from conservative social media influencers.

Friday at 3:50 PM ET, Ryan Fournier, the president of Students for Trump, who has a million followers on after the name of the bill and details of the legislation.

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

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In the hours leading up to Johnson and Trump’s press conference, posters appeared on social media, including Libs of TikTok, DC_Draino And EndVigilance promotes the legislation online. They all called the bill “the SAVE Act,” although Johnson didn’t call it that.

“PASS THE BILL,” DC_Draino wrote 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 to election officials who register non-citizens to vote.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, reposted EndWokeness’ post at 4:40 p.m. and said he wrote the bill. A spokesperson for the Republican lawmaker said the bill has not yet been introduced, but Roy Posted a screencap of the first few lines of legislation prior to Johnson’s speech.

The bill is dead on arrival, now that Democrats control the US Senate. However, Johnson said on Friday that simply putting the bill to a vote would be “interesting.”

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“When we put this bill on the floor, you’re going to see record voting among Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “They’re going to have to make it public: Do you believe that Americans and only Americans should be the ones to vote in US elections? We’re about to find out their answer.”

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

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, the sole purpose of which is really to allow only American citizens to vote in federal elections – what a concept,” Clark said in a video released more than 20 minutes before Johnson was set to speak was posted.

Clark’s message contained numerous details about the bill that were not yet public.

“The whole message he’s trying to convey is that 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.

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Clark’s post was tagged with the hashtag #partnership, a tag some influencers use to reveal that 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 about 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, reported on the legislation at 5:07 p.m., the same minute the press conference began.

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

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

“American democracy depends on the integrity of our elections,” the Jan. 6 defendant wrote.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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