During his time to question members of law enforcement over the riot at the U.S. Capitol, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R) didn't ask many questions. Instead, he read excerpts from an article that claimed the mob at the Capitol were actually peaceful, and when violence broke out, it was partly being stoked by a contingent of "fake Trump supporters" who may have been "antifa or other leftist agitators."
In an article published by Wisconsin Public Radio this Friday, Shawn Johnson says that Sen. Johnson used the article to claim that it was the "fake" Trump supporters "who probably planned this" -- a comment that riled many in the room "who had only weeks earlier been whisked to secure locations when rioters overwhelmed police and overtook the Capitol, including the Senate chamber."
Speaking to WPR, Real Clear Politics' A.B. Stoddard said that there's a reason Johnson is floating conspiracy theories about the Capitol attack. Like other Republicans on the ballot in 2022, Johnson is catering to Donald Trump and his supporters.
"I know the senator," Stoddard said of Johnson. "He is smart enough, and I know that he knows this stuff isn't true."
"He's basically going where the wind is blowing," she added. "His voters are asking for this, and he wants that job."
Despite videos showing Capitol rioters wielding pepper spray, flag poles, and other objects, Johnson has questioned whether it was accurate to describe the situation as an "armed" insurrection.
"They were out there with Trump merch, screaming 'Fight for Trump' and calling the cops 'traitors,'" Stoddard remarked. "So with the video that we have, Sen. Johnson's comments are ridiculous."
Read the full article over at Wisconsin Public Radio.