'They don't like anybody who's willing to spout the truth,' the Wisconsin Republican senator said.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Monday said the criticism he recently received for making racist comments about Black Lives Matter protesters is "destructive" to America.
Johnson told a conservative radio show host last Thursday that he didn't feel threatened by the pro-Trump mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 but would have been scared if the attackers were Black Lives Matter or antifa protesters.
Critics noted the racial disparity between the groups and Johnson's statement about his reaction.
Johnson appeared on Milwaukee radio station WISN's "The Dan O'Donnell Show" on Monday and said, "There's nothing racial in my comments whatsoever." He backed up his statement with the claim that "Antifa protests, so many of them are white."
Johnson declared that he was the victim of a political attack, asserting that his comments were "being blown way out of proportion."
"Again, they are just using the race card, as they always do. That's their go-to weapon to try and destroy somebody that they don't like pushing back on their narrative," he added.
Johnson said no matter how truthful he was, "they're going to twist it, they're going to distort it, they're going to lie about it, they're going to put words in my mouth."
"It's destructive for our country the way they do this," he said.
Johnson also defended his previous claim that the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 was not an armed insurrection, despite the fact that police responding to it confiscated weapons including guns, Molotov cocktails, a crossbow, and smoke bombs.
From the March 15 edition of WISN's "The Dan O'Donnell Show":
DAN O'DONNELL, host: But sir, you did say to Joe Pags, "Hey, I know this could get me in trouble," so it seems like you anticipated some of the backlash. But you're saying you didn't anticipate that they would make this into a racist statement.
Because what they're saying is, you would have been scared if Black Lives Matter activists, and the presumption is that those would be black, whereas most of the people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 were white — but you're saying there was no racial element to what you were saying, it was the political ideology and the violent history, or lack of violent history of the two groups?
SEN. RON JOHNSON: None whatsoever. Again, I understand the sensitivity and how they do not want me pushing back, and listen, this is just one of many instances where, when I push back against that narrative, when I enter in eyewitness accounts into hearing record, I'm called a conspiracy theorist. Or when I challenge the fact, you know, "armed insurrection," I'm not sure that's quite what I would call it, you know, it makes national news and I get attacked with an attempt to destroy me.
But no – there's nothing racial in my comments whatsoever, again, antifa protests, so many of them are white. So there's no racial component whatsoever. This is talking about rioters and the obvious fact that those leftist agitators, those leftist activists, those leftist anarchists, they have been proven repeatedly pretty violent, which is why I would have been a little – I said a little concerned, a little concerned.
So no, this is being blown way out of proportion. Again, they are just using the race card, as they always do, that's their go-to weapon to try and destroy somebody that they don't like pushing back on their narrative.
They don't like the truth. They don't like anybody who's willing to spout the truth even though those of us that know are willing to tell the truth, that are willing to push back, no, we're getting mercilessly attacked, and that's all that comment was.
I know just about anything I say, no matter how innocuous, how true, how innocent, they're going to twist it, they're going to distort it, they're going to lie about it, they're going to put words in my mouth, they're going to attribute false motives to what I'm saying, and they're going to attack me.
I get it. I understand that. I don't have a persecution conflict [sic]. I actually am pretty detached, I look at this clinically. It's fascinating to watch, but it's destructive for our country the way they do this.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.