'It is beyond racist': Wisconsin leaders respond to Ron Johnson's comments on Capitol Riot
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson is once again facing backlash over comments made about the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Some Milwaukee leaders are calling his comments racist.
Senator Ron Johnson said on a radio program Trump supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol did not pose a threat to his safety.
The Department of Justice has charged hundreds for their involvement in that attack, but Johnson believes Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters would have put his life in danger instead.
"Now had the tables been turned, Joe this is going to get me in trouble, and President Trump won the election, and if those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned," Johnson said.
In the interview, Johnson points to some protests during the summer of 2020 that turned violent as the reason for his concern.
A nonprofit tracking political violence four nine people killed in 2020 were Black Lives Matter demonstrators and two were conservatives who attended pro-Trump patriot rallies.
"I think it is beyond racist," Representative David Bowen of Milwaukee said. He joined in on criticism of Johnson's comments. "The folks that senator Johnson claims he feels threatened by aren't proven violent extremists like the folks that were out there January 6th that he feels comfortable around."
Congresswoman Gwen Moore said Johnson's comments are a distraction from policy being accomplished on Capitol Hill, like the Covid relief package that was just signed into law.
"I think rather than working on those things, we have seen senator Johnson distract, engage in conspiracy theories and it's unfortunate and it's sad," Moore said.
Senator Tammy Baldwin wrote on Twitter that "systematic racism is real, whether it comes from Congressman Glenn Grothman or from the mouth of a senator."
She added their words do not represent the Wisconsin she knows.
A violent insurrection against our Democracy is not showing you "love this country" and when a Capitol police officer is killed and over 140 are injured that is not showing you "truly respect law enforcement." That’s why over 300 rioters have been charged with breaking the law. pic.twitter.com/bVqmpr7tz5— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) March 13, 2021
CBS 58 has reached out to senator Johnson's office and asked if he had a statement to clarify his comments, but his office did not respond.