Raphael Warnock Responds to Ron Johnson Riot Remarks—'Clearly Misguided'

Democrat Raphael Warnock has said Ron Johnson "is clearly misguided," following the Republican's recent comments about the Capitol riot.

Senator Johnson said that he did not feel threatened by former President Donald Trump's supporters during the January 6 siege that left five dead, but that he "might have been a little concerned" if those involved were linked to Black Lives Matter (BLM) or Antifa.

Following criticism, Johnson doubled down on his comments earlier this week, rejecting allegations of racism and accusing "the left" of playing "the race card."

Asked about Johnson's comments on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Senator Warnock told host Chuck Todd: "I'm a pastor and I'm happy to talk to my colleague. I think he is clearly misguided."

Sen Warnock continued: "I am one of only three African Americans in the United States Senate, in 2021, I am only the 11th Black United States Senator elected in the history of our country. I think part of what this underscores is that representation matters.

The Democratic Party senator added: "When you are inside of a kind of privileged echo chamber you can say things and not understand the implications of what's going on. This is the reason why we have got to stand up for voting rights in our country."

As previously reported, Sen. Ron Johnson later wrote an opinion article in The Wall Street Journal defending his comments.

Johnson wrote: "It was also sadly predictable that liberals would hurl the accusation of racism. This isn't about race. It's about riots. The rioters who burned Kenosha weren't of any one ethnicity; they were united by their radical leftism. Their politics, together with their taste for violence—so different from the Trump supporters I know personally or the Trump rallies we all saw carried out peacefully—should concern us."

Civil unrest was sparked in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. A 17-year-old, Kyle Rittenhouse, of Illinois, was arrested and charged after two protesters were fatally shot, and a third person was wounded.

Mass BLM demonstrations and protests against racism and police violence took place across the world following the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last May.

In a separate Meet the Press interview on Sunday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said January 6 was a "terrible day for America" and the scenes were "absolutely unacceptable." The senator added: "We can't let that kind of thing be repeated again in our country."

Sen. Raphael Warnock
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speaks to a group of demonstrators gathered in Atlanta to show support for Asian and Pacific Islander communities on March 20, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Megan Varner/Getty Images