Senator Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson Ashcroft Refuses to Run to Replace Blunt in the Missouri Senate GOP Faces Retirement Brain Drain Wave of Senate retirements puts Republican Party ranks on defense MORE (R-Wis.) He said in an interview this week that he did not feel unsafe during the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, but that he could have if Black Lives Matter protesters and far-left “antifa” activists had rallied. manifested there, which unleashed a new critical wave.
“I have also been criticized because I made the comment on January 6; I never felt threatened, because I did not,” Johnson said Thursday on “The Joe Pags Show,” referring to the insurrection that tried unsuccessfully to stop the certification. of the results of the Electoral College.
“Even though those thousands of people marching on Capitol Hill were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people who love this country, who really respect the application. of the law, they would never do anything to break the law, so I didn’t worry, “he continued.
“So if the tables had been turned, Joe, this could spell trouble.” If the tables had been turned and President TrumpDonald Trump Pentagon receives criticism for extending the Guard’s time on Capitol Fundraising dispute points to rifts between Trump and the Republican Party Trump rally organizer claims Alex Jones threatened to remove her from the stage: MORE report he won the election and that was tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little worried. “
Johnson’s comments flew in front of a video showing pro-Trump rioters attacking police officers guarding the Capitol complex before the mob invaded law enforcement and ransacked the building.
At least five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. Two other officers who responded to the mob died by suicide in the following days and some 140 officers were injured.
The statement echoed other comments Republicans had made in trying to equate the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6 with the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred over the summer. While many of the demonstrations against police killings of African Americans remained peaceful, some turned into looting and violence.
Johnson’s latest comments set off a wave of recriminations, with critics calling his equivalence between different groups racist.
“Senator Johnson’s comments are racist and unacceptable. There is nothing patriotic about storming the Capitol to try to reverse an election and assassinate elected officials. Apparently, for Ron Johnson, simply being black is a greater offense than launching a violent insurrection. Ron Johnson is an embarrassment to the United States Senate and the state of Wisconsin. He needs to resign immediately, ”Jessica Floyd, president of the American Bridge 21st Century Democratic super PAC, said in a statement Friday.
“What, white people love this country and black people don’t? That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Wisconsin State Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D), who is black, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Johnson responded to the criticism by pointing to the violence that emerged from some protests last summer.
“Of the 7,750 protests last summer associated with BLM and Antifa, 570 turned into violent riots that killed 25 people and caused $ 1 to $ 2 billion in property damage. That’s why I would have been more concerned, “Johnson said in a statement obtained by The Hill.
The senator appeared to be citing data from a report released by the nonprofit Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project in September. That report, which identified thousands of protests between May and August, found that more than 90 percent of the demonstrations were non-violent.
“More than 10,100 of these, or nearly 95%, involve peaceful protesters. Fewer than 570, or roughly 5%, involve protesters who participate in acts of violence,” the report said.
The criticism comes as Johnson ponders the possibility of running for reelection in 2022. He remains undecided, although he said last week that retiring is “probably my preference now.” Your seat is expected to be hotly contested after President BidenJoe Biden The Pentagon receives criticism for extending the Guard’s time on Capitol Booker to try to make the expansion of the child tax credit permanent Sullivan says tariffs will not take center stage in talks with China MORE Wisconsin won by a narrow margin in November.
Updated: 8:55 am