Mike Johnson tricked by false right-wing article accusing Joe Biden of declaring war on Easter

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) on Fox News.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) on Fox News. Photo: Screenshot

The far-right Daily Caller has retracted an article that caused a right-wing meltdown by falsely claiming the Biden administration banned religious Easter eggs from a White House art contest.

In reality, a rule prohibiting religious egg designs at the White House event has been in place since 1978, including during Donald Trump’s tenure.

The misleading article became part of the transphobic frenzy over the fact that the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) happened to fall on Easter this year (it always takes place on March 31st, whereas Easter changes dates annually).

The publication’s claim, combined with the fact that Biden officially declared March 31st TDOV, led Republicans to proclaim that the White House had declared a war on Easter and Christianity.

Even House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) – who no doubt had access to better information sources than The Daily Caller – fell for the misinformation.

“The Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter — which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” he wrote on X, alongside screenshots of the Daily Caller article and another accusing Biden of “proclaiming” Easter as TDOV.

“Banning sacred truth and tradition—while at the same time proclaiming Easter Sunday as ‘Transgender Day’—is outrageous and abhorrent,” he continued. “The American people are taking note.”

Despite the Daily Caller’s retraction, Johnson’s post is still up.

The retraction stated that the publication has become “aware of additional context that undercut the central assertion of this article and its newsworthiness.” It confirmed that the ban on religious symbolism has been in place for decades and that Biden “did not make any modifications to this rule.”

Out White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre applauded the publication for admitting its mistake. “I want to recognize the Daily Caller for having the integrity to retract their story about the false claims that circulated this week about the Easter Egg Roll.”

“We hope others learn from their good example.”

In another recent press briefing, Jean-Pierre was forced to give reporters a lesson in how calendars work when asked about the made-up TDOV/Easter controversy. While explaining that it was merely coincidental the two holidays fell on the same day, she also called out Fox for acting like TDOV was intentionally put on March 31 this year as a slight to Chrsitians when they celebrated it in 2021 with a tweet.

In response, an X account run by the Republican National Committee accused her of lying but didn’t say what she said that they believed was a lie. Fox News then selectively aired clips of Jean-Pierre’s response and notably did not include the moment she pointed out Fox’s 2021 tweet.

In addition to Speaker Johnson, right-wingers who expressed anger over Biden supporting TDOV include former President Donald Trump’s press secretary Karoline Leavitt, who called on the White House “to issue an apology to the millions of Catholics and Christians across America who believe tomorrow is for one celebration only – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Reacting to Johnson’s statement on X, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a pastor, offered a lesson in what Christian faith really means.

“Apparently, the speaker finds trans people abhorrent, and I think he ought to think about that,” Warnock said during an appearance on CNN. “

“This is just one more instance of folks who do not know how to lead us trying to divide us. And this is the opposite of the Christian faith.”

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