Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) is sticking closely to Trump in the aftermath of the ex-president’s recent acquittal by the Senate to the point of turning against Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), two of his fellow Senate Republicans. During a Tuesday morning radio appearance, Johnson complained about McConnell’s explicit blaming of Trump for rioting at the Capitol on January 6, an incitement that led to the impeachment trial. Although McConnell voted to acquit Trump at the conclusion of his Senate trial, he explained that he made that decision based on a belief that putting a former president on trial in the Senate is unconstitutional rather than belief that Trump is innocent.
During a radio appearance on Tuesday, Johnson complained as follows:
‘I think [McConnell] needs to be a little careful… When the leader of the Senate conference speaks, he has to understand what he says reflects on all of us. And I didn’t appreciate his comments, let’s put it that way.’
Ron Johnson still going after McConnell this morning on the radio:
“I think he needs to be a little careful… When the leader of the Senate conference speaks, he has to understand what he says reflects on all of us. And I didn’t appreciate his comments, let’s put it that way.”
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) February 16, 2021
In an op-ed from McConnell that The Wall Street Journal published the previous day, the Senate Minority Leader insisted that there “is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone.” The rioters at the Capitol, who hoped to forcibly stop the formal Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, were proceeding under the explicit pretense of Trump’s lies about the election, which he claimed was rigged for Biden. McConnell insisted that the impeachment trial outcome “vindicated the Constitution, not Trump.”
Although McConnell voted to acquit Trump, seven Republican Senators, including Romney, voted in favor of conviction. When the trial was still underway, Romney also voted in favor of hearing from witnesses, and during the proceedings, Johnson attracted attention for feverishly confronting Romney over his vote.
During his time on the radio, Johnson insisted that “to extend this trial, voting for witnesses — that is incitement” — which sounds somewhat like a threat of aggression. Among other descriptions of his original confrontation with Romney, Forbes characterized the exchange as a “shouting match” — so is Johnson supporting more of this aggression? Broadly, he might have been attempting to compare hearing from witnesses to the “insurrection” that drove Trump’s Senate trial — which is just ridiculous. Laying out the facts of an attack on the U.S. Capitol building does not somehow equate to the original attack!
Republican Ron Johnson was furious about the outcome of the vote and engaged in a shouting match with Mitt Romney. https://t.co/c6v67we3u3
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 13, 2021