Sen. Johnson defends Pres. Trump, skeptical of FBI and CIA
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Senator Ron Johnson (R -- Wisconsin) remains firmly behind President Trump as an investigation into alleged misconduct between the president and Ukrainian leaders continues.
Johnson's defense of the president ramped up this weekend during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," where the Republican senator discussed conversations he had in August where it was suggested President Trump was going to withhold aid to Ukraine until they investigated the Biden family. Johnson told the Wall Street Journal, "at that suggestion, I winced."
On Sunday, Johnson reiterated that it was not the case.
"Why did you wince?" asked host Chuck Todd.
"Because I didn't want those connected."
Johnson said he followed up with the president.
"When I asked the president about that, he completely denied it," Johnson said. "He adamantly denied it. He vehemently, angrily denied it. [The president] said, 'I'd never do that.'"
Instead, Johnson said the president wanted to investigate corruption in Ukraine in general, as well as investigate alleged ties between the Hillary Clinton campaign and Ukraine in 2016.
In a heated exchange on Sunday's "Meet the Press" program, Johnson expressed distrust for the CIA and FBI because they would not carry out investigations into those allegations and instead focused on alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Below is the transcript from "Meet the Press:"
Todd: "Do you not trust the FBI? You don't trust the CIA?"
Sen. Johnson: "No, no I don't..."
Todd: "I'm just very confused here."
Sen. Johnson: "Absolutely not."
Todd: "You don't trust any of those..."
Sen. Johnson: "After Peter Strzok"
Sen. Johnson: "...and Lisa Page? After Jame Comey."
Todd: "OK. You believe the FBI."
Sen. Johnson: "...and Peter Strzok."
Todd: "...and the CIA."
Sen. Johnson: "...John Brennan."
Todd: "Those government agencies."
Sen. Johnson: "No, I don't trust any of these guys in the Obama administration. I don't trust any of 'em."
Todd: "You don't trust them now? Do you trust them now?"
Sen. Johnson: "I didn't trust them back then."
Todd: "And you don't trust them now?"
Sen. Johnson: "I do not trust John Brennan."
Todd: "Do you trust the CIA?"
Sen. Johnson: "...Lisa Page..."
Todd: "And FBI now -- because none of them have."
Sen. Johnson: "...Andrew McCabe..."
Todd: "Come to any of the conclusions."
Sen. Johnson: "I don't trust those guys."