{{featured_button_text}}

Sen. Ron Johnson, in a combative TV interview Sunday, said he doesn’t trust the FBI and CIA, and pushed Republican talking points defending President Trump amid an impeachment inquiry into his attempt to leverage Ukraine to investigate a political opponent.

Johnson accused the FBI and CIA of being somehow involved in trying to undermine Trump during the 2016 presidential election. He made a similar claim in January 2018, referring to a “secret society” within the FBI, but walked that statement back after more information became available.

“I’ve never seen a president’s administration be sabotaged from the day after election,” Johnson said Sunday.

Similar to his 2018 comments, Johnson said he is concerned about unearthed text messages from Peter Strzok, a former FBI counterintelligence agent in the Hillary Clinton email and Russia investigations, who texted inflammatory comments about Trump to Lisa Page, a former FBI lawyer who also worked on those investigations.

Some Republican Trump supporters have pointed to the texts as evidence that the Russian investigation was a “deep state” conspiracy to discredit Trump if he won the 2016 election.

“That is why Trump is so upset,” Johnson said. “He had this false narrative that resulted in him being set up by (former FBI director) James Comey.”

Johnson’s comments in a clamorous Sunday interview on NBC’s Meet the Press came just days after the Oshkosh Republican revealed he had learned of a possible quid pro quo involving Trump from a top U.S. official but that the president had denied it to him.

Johnson told the Wall Street Journal last week he “winced” when he learned about the possible quid pro quo, but when Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd asked why he winced, he launched into his Trump defense.

Johnson last week also told reporters that Trump blocked him from telling Ukraine’s president that U.S. aid to the eastern European nation was on its way.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Register for more free articles.
Stay logged in to skip the surveys.

Trump is the subject of an impeachment inquiry from House Democrats over a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in which the two leaders discussed U.S. military aid and Trump asked for a “favor,” namely Ukraine investigating the origins of the Russia investigation as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

In Sunday’s interview, Johnson appeared to believe Trump’s version of events that he was not trying to damage Biden.

“That is the piece of the puzzle I’m here to report today, that unlike the narrative of the press President Trump wants to dig up dirt on his 2020 opponent, what he wants is an accounting of what happened in 2016, who set him up, did things spring from Ukraine?”

Last week, Johnson revealed he had a piece of the impeachment story to tell, revealing that the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, told him that aid to Ukraine was tied to Trump’s request to have Ukraine undertake investigations related to the 2016 U.S. elections.

Johnson said Trump in an Aug. 31 phone call rejected the idea he directed his staff to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on a new investigation by that country. Johnson in his Sunday interview added Trump “vehemently, angrily denied it.”

Johnson said Trump told him he was considering withholding military aid because of alleged corruption in the 2016 election. That, Johnson added, could include possible election interference by Ukraine.

Johnson, when asked, said he does not trust the CIA or FBI.

“No, no I don’t, absolutely not,” he said.

Johnson, when asked, said he believes Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and that Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was not “framed.” Manafort was convicted of bank and tax fraud related to his work for a political candidate in Ukraine.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
0
0
0
0
6

(5) comments

Union Man

One side of ronnys mouth says end the investigations and get on with business, the other side says he wants to get to the bottom of Hillarys email scandal..guy must have been considered arm candy

peabody59

"I’ve never seen a president’s administration be sabotaged from the day after election."



Hey Ronnie....let me refresh your memory. First put on your tin foil hat...that may help.

Remember Barack Obama? The guy who was President before your orange buffoon? I'm pretty sure your buddy Moscow Mitch said (and I quote), "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."



Also, I would just like to add that you are an embarrassment to our state. I'm glad you hooked up your car to Trump's crazy train, because when he goes, you go.

RNeibuhr

Johnson seems content to follow the President off the wacko-conspiracy-theory deep end. What an embarrassment for Wisconsin.

oldhomey

"I've never seen a president's administration be sabotaged from the day after election," Johnson said.



And he STILL hasn't seen it. Government employees are, like all of us, citizens of the United States, and if any of us see evidence of people undermining the law and the ability of the government to carry out its constitutionally mandated mission, we have a duty to report what we see. That is what whistle blowers do. They alert the authorities and step back, leaving it to the proper authorities to investigate. Ron Johnson and all the rest of the GOP senators and congressmen who are frightened to death by Trump and fear crossing him are doing incredible damage to our nation by implying that the FBI and the CIA were involved in some nefarious conspiracy to overturn the election. They saw credible evidence of wrong doing and they did their duty in reporting it. If Johnson thinks he can say the things he has said here without repercussion, we are doomed. That is not hyperbole. We must have ultimate faith in the basic honesty of our government, and now we have a corrupt man running it, trying to corrupt the whole process to protect his own kiester, and we have a worthless milquetoast like Johnson aiding and abetting him.

Jobaba

This woman is an embarrassment to Wisconsin.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.