Republican Senator Ron Johnson Condemns Ukraine Whistleblower, Should Have Been Settled 'Behind the Scenes'

GOP Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was caught in a hypocritical accusation Sunday morning on NBC News after being challenged on a pre-2016 election quote that he would support the impeachment of Hillary Clinton should she be elected president the week after.

Johnson joined several of his Republican colleagues on Sunday morning talk shows in condemning the actions of the Ukraine whistleblower, saying he wishes the entire Ukraine funding scandal had been solved by lawmakers "behind the scenes." He said the House impeachment inquiry overall has weakened America's standing abroad and has set the precedent for people to leak conversations between future presidents and other world leaders.

At one point in Johnson's interview with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, Johnson had no explanation for his conflicting comments of condemning the impeachment of Trump while previously having said he would have fully supported impeaching Clinton three years ago.

"She purposefully circumvented [the law], this was willful concealment and destruction ... I would say yes high crime or misdemeanor," Johnson said on November 1, 2016, just days before he predicted the former secretary of state would win the presidency.

Johnson stammered for a response before saying he was simply trying to "hammer out the differences" between the candidates and expose the "Clinton email scandal" before the election. The Republican senator's pro-impeachment stance in regards to Clinton stands in stark contrast to his repeated condemnation of a process he sees as hurtful to the United States.

"If the whistleblower's goal is to improve our relationship with Ukraine, he utterly -- or she -- utterly failed," he later told Todd.

Johnson went on to attack The Washington Post for "lionizing" the Ukraine whistleblower, who he says has hurt the country.

"If this whistleblower is to be lionized by The Washington Post then maybe we ought to take a look at who he hired, he could have hired an unbiased officer of the court, instead, he hired Mark Zaid, there's something going on here Chuck that's dividing this country."

Ten days prior to the inauguration of Trump in January 2017, attorney Zaid, who was later hired on by the whistleblower, tweeted out the cryptic message of, "the coup has started," prompting widespread criticism from Republican lawmakers and critics of the impeachment process.

"The damage that's being done to our country with this entire impeachment process. It's going to be very difficult for future presidents to have a conversation with a world leader because now we've set the precedent of leaking transcripts. So the weakening of executive privilege is not good," Johnson continued, railing against the whistleblower.

"And by the way those individuals that leaked this, if there interest was a stronger relationship with the Ukraine, they didn't accomplish this, having this all come out into the public has weakened that relationship has exposed things that didn't need to be exposed."

Johnson said the entire Ukraine scandal was simply a financial timing issue and should have been resolved behind closed doors.

"As we left that [Senate foreign relations committee meeting], I said, 'let's try to minimize this,' this is a timing difference in terms of funding, this would have been far better off if we would have just taken care of this behind the scenes," Johnson said.

Todd went on to tell Johnson that he seems to blame everybody for Trump's impeachment except the president himself.

chuck todd ron johnson whistleblower
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was caught in a hypocritical accusation Sunday morning on NBC News after being challenged on a pre-2016 election quote that he would support the impeachment of Hillary Clinton should she be elected president the week after. Screenshot: MSNBC
Republican Senator Ron Johnson Condemns Ukraine Whistleblower, Should Have Been Settled 'Behind the Scenes' | U.S.