Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said the comments he made last week about the insurrectionists storming the Capitol were not racist.
“It has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with riots,” Johnson said in an interview Monday on WISN-AM. “I completely did not anticipate that anybody could interpret what I said as racist. It’s not.”
On Joe Pagliarulo’s podcast last week, Johnson said he was not concerned about the crowd of Trump supporters storming the Capitol but he would have been concerned if it was a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters.
“I’ve made the comment that on Jan. 6 I never felt threatened. Because I didn’t,” Johnson said. “And mainly because I knew that even though those thousands of people that are there marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those are people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement would never do anything to break a law. And so I wasn’t concerned.”
He continued: “Now 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.”
Johnson received sharp criticisms from Democrats and others who called his comments racist.
“I’m not deterred by this,” Johnson said on the Dan O’Donnell show on Monday. “I think people need to understand that. This just, if anything, fires me up more.”
He said his comments could not possibly be racist because many of the Black Lives Matter protesters were white.
“Remember those leftist activists, those protesters, that some of them turned into riots, a lot of them are white,” he said. “So there’s no racism involved in this at all.”