Sen. Ron Johnson Doubles Down on Capitol Riots, BLM Remarks With WSJ Op-Ed

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has doubled down on his comments on the Capitol Riots, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter supporters. The Republican shared his views in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled "I Won't Be Silenced by the Left."

Johnson was being interviewed on The Joe Pags Show last week when he told the conservative political commentator: "[I've been] criticized because I've made the comment that on January 6 I never felt threatened, because I didn't.

"And mainly because I knew that even though those thousands of people there were marching the Capitol 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, who would never do anything to break a law, and so I wasn't concerned.

"Now had the tables been turned—and Joe, this'll get me in trouble—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."

Ron Johnson
Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on March 5, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Johnson has doubled down on his comments on the Capitol Riots and the Black Lives Matter movement in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. Samuel Corum/Getty

Five people died when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building on January 6. Among those killed was a police officer, while other officers suffered brain injuries, cracked ribs, and the loss of an eye among other injuries.

In the summer, the Black Lives Matter movement protested against racism and police brutality across the U.S. and internationally, following the death of George Floyd.

Johnson's comments faced backlash and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel urged that if the Wisconsin senator were to run again, "Johnson must be opposed in both the primary and general elections by people who care enough about democracy to support and defend it."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has also criticized Johnson's comments on the Capitol Riots, telling CNN: "I don't know why people like Senator Johnson are insistent on going back and saying it really wasn't that big of a deal. It's a rewrite of history that frankly is not going to smile well on him in the history of time."

However, Johnson has defended himself in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal published on Monday.

Johnson opened the piece by writing: "I'm amazed but not surprised. Those who seek political advantage by dividing the nation hurl the worst possible accusations to silence anyone who challenges their left-wing agenda."

He goes on to say that he condemns the lawbreakers present at the Capitol rioters but that he wants to push back against the "Democrats and their media allies" implying that "all present were 'armed insurrectionists' determined to overthrow the government."

Johnson reiterated in the piece that he told the truth about not feeling threatened during the Capitol Riots on January 6 and that he "might have been worried" if Trump had won and the "violent leftists who burned Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis last summer had come to Washington."

He also claimed that he has been "repeatedly attacked for challenging the left's false narratives," and that he "had no idea they would so thoroughly twist my words and reflexively play the race card."

Johnson pushed back against the racism claims by saying: "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."

The senator also said that the "radical left" has a "taste for violence," unlike the "Trump rallies we all saw carried out peacefully."

Johnson ended his Wall Street Journal opinion piece by writing: "An unbiased free press is essential in a democracy, but the censorship of conservative perspectives in today's cancel culture is antithetical to freedom."