Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who is currently trailing in his reelection bid, said Thursday that his message to Wisconsin voters is that if they love America, they should vote for him.
“If you love this nation and are concerned about its future, join us,” Johnson said in an interview with conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt, making his pitch to voters. “Join us in unifying and healing and saving this nation. That’s what we need to do.”
Except this is the same Republican senator who has admitted to playing a role in a plot to overturn American democracy on Jan. 6, 2021.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol dropped the bombshell in June that Johnson and his aides were involved in an attempt to deliver a list of fake electors from Wisconsin and Michigan to then-Vice President Mike Pence. This was part of a scheme to pressure Pence into switching out the legitimate list of electors from states won by Biden with the fake list, making it look like Donald Trump had won.
Johnson has even acknowledged that this happened but has tried to downplay it by saying he was only briefly involved with the plot. The only reason he didn’t deliver the list of fake electors, he said, was because he learned that Pence said he didn’t want it.
“My involvement in that attempt to deliver spanned the course of a couple seconds,” he told a local reporter from WISN-TV last month. “I think I fielded three texts and sent two, and talked to my chief of staff that ‘Somebody wants you to deliver something.’ Yeah, I knew nothing about it. And in the end, those electors were not delivered because we found out from the vice president’s staff they didn’t want them delivered. End of story.”
“I had virtually no involvement,” he added, before describing how he actually was involved. “Literally, my involvement lasted seconds. OK?”
It’s a stunning admission that is still hiding in plain sight.
A Johnson spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how the senator squares his comments about loving America with his effort to help thwart a democratically elected president.
In the meantime, Johnson continues to have a paid staffer on his campaign who was one of the 10 Wisconsin Republicans to sign the fake paperwork claiming to be an elector backing Trump.
Former fake elector Pam Travis is a “dedicated” “grassroots staffer answering phones,” Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning told NBC News last week. “This is being blown way out of proportion.” Henning also called the revelations about Travis a “baseless attack on a private citizen.”
During his Thursday interview with Hewitt, Johnson said he is “so depressed” that Biden hasn’t done more to bring Americans together — and then tried to downplay the Capitol insurrection by making false claims about Black Lives Matter protests.
“Let’s be honest. It is the left that is dividing this nation. It has always been the left that divides this nation,” he said. “You know, they want to concentrate on January 6th, which we all condemned, but they want to completely ignore and bury the 8,000 largely peaceful protests. But 570 of those things turned into riots, injured 2,000 law enforcement officers, $1 to $2 billion dollars’ worth of property damage, a couple dozen people died.”
Johnson has made these false claims before. They’re so wildly wrong that they drew a Washington Post “fact check” and earned “three Pinocchios.”