As the scandal continues to spread covering President Donald Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens, one of the key players appeared on Meet the Press this Sunday — and the interview went wildly off-the-rails, to say the least. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wi.) was revealed to have expressed concern about the release of approved military aid to Ukraine getting tied to Ukraine launching an investigation into the Bidens, but he never revealed this publicly and eventually stayed quiet. Host Chuck Todd tried to ask him about this — and Johnson launched into a minutes-long angry rant against the media, the intelligence community, and more.
Somehow, in a discussion of the current intelligence community and its whistleblowers who’ve come forward — there are now two covering Trump’s dealings with Ukraine — Johnson managed to veer into complaining that people weren’t investigating conspiracy theories about planned leaks from the FBI based on private texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
Todd responded to that bluntly, putting forward:
‘Senator, I have no idea why a Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here. I have no idea. I have no idea why we’re going here.’
Johnson angrily ranted back:
‘Because this is underlying exactly why President Trump is upset and his supporters are upset with the news media!’
In an attempt to get Johnson to answer a single question, Todd replied:
‘This is not about the media. Senator Johnson — Senator Johnson! Please! Can we please answer the question that I asked you instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better that you’re not criticizing him. I’m just trying to ask you a simple question of what made you wince? I’m asking a simple question about you clearly were upset that somehow there was an implication that military aid was being frozen because the president wanted an investigation. Why did you wince?’
In his reply, he asserted that he gave up on the issue because Trump personally assured him there wasn’t one. Trump has been documented to have lied more than 10,000 times and counting since taking office, but that didn’t faze Johnson, who told Todd in a rambling reply:
‘When I asked the president about that, he completely denied it. He adamantly denied it. He vehemently and angrily denied it — he said, I’d never do that. So that’s the piece of the puzzle I’m here to report today. So unlike the narrative of the press that President Trump wants to dig up dirt on his 2020 opponent, what he wants is he wants an accounting of what happened n 2016, who set him up. Did things spring from Ukraine?’
WATCH: @SenRonJohnson is asked why he winced and brings up a “conspiracy theory.”@chucktodd: “I have no idea why we’re going here. … Can we please answer the question I asked you instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you’re not criticizing him?” #MTP pic.twitter.com/vMX24s3eP2
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 6, 2019
Nobody set Trump up. Johnson cited scraps of conspiracy theories from the last couple years to support his complaint that supposedly Ukraine pushed the anti-Trump Russia scandal, but the facts are clear and available to everyone. The Trump campaign benefited from Russian assistance during the 2016 election season.
An elaborate game of whataboutism won’t detract from that point or the one that Trump’s been repeatedly soliciting foreign election help while in office.
Featured Image via screenshot