‘This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,’ said Johnson
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) on Thursday said he felt a sense of safety during the January 6 Capitol riots led by pro-Trump supporters. In an interview with The Joe Pags Show, he said he “never really felt threatened.” Johnson remarked that he may have felt concerned for his safety if the rioters were affiliated with Black Lives Matter, according to CNN.
“Even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, and so I wasn’t concerned,” Johnson said.
He continued, “Now, had the tables been turned — Joe, this could get me in trouble — had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”
Last month, Johnson said he didn’t believe the riots were “an armed insurrection.”
“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me. When you hear the word ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask: How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired?” Johnson said.
According to CNN reporter Marshall Cohen, prosecutors may charge more than 400 people who were involved and “those first guilty pleas might be coming within the next few weeks.”
Cohen noted Johnson’s controversial comments, saying, “He’s making it about race in kind of an ugly way. He praised a mostly White crowd and said he would’ve been afraid of Black protestors. Guys, it’s obviously disturbing but also it’s just wrong on the facts.”
He continued, “He said the crowd was peaceful and supported law enforcement. Look at some of these latest arrests just the last few days. It really undercuts that narrative. The DOJ charged one of the men who allegedly attacked police officer Michael Fanone. He’s the officer who told his gut-wrenching story of how he was dragged into the crowd and pleaded for his life. The man that was charged allegedly stole Fanon’s badge and buried it in his backyard.”
In January, Officer Fanone, 40, told The Washington Post he suffered a mild heart attack during the riot. He also said that while in the crowd, one person yelled, “We got one! We got one! Kill him with his own gun!”
Television host Joy-Ann Reid reacted to Johnson’s comments on Twitter and suggested that Republicans be asked to acknowledge his comments during interviews.
“Every Republican official who does a media interview should be asked to comment on Ron Johnson calling the violent, cop-killing, white nationalist, in some cases pro-Nazi, January 6 insurrectionists America-loving patriots he didn’t fear like he would Black Lives Matter marchers.”
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