Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 31, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he is being targeted by the Trump-hating media because he’s asking the uncomfortable questions the general press refuses to ask.
The Oshkosh Republican told Empower Wisconsin that the mainstream media is “complicit” in shaping the false narrative that President Donald Trump is guilty of something — whatever that may be.
“The questions I’m asking are uncomfortable for the press because they were duped or they were willing participants in establishing that narrative,” Johnson told Empower Wisconsin Wednesday morning on the Jay Weber Show, on NewsTalk 1130 WISN.
Johnson has undoubtedly become a target in the media’s ginned up story line about the senator’s “involvement” in Ukraine. House Democrats have been conducting an impeachment inquiry — aka a political dog and pony show — in the belief that the president crossed the line in a conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Dems and their cheerleaders in the press are sure Trump engaged in a quid pro quo, that he held up military aid to encourage the Ukraine government to reopen an investigation into former Vice President and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his troubled son, Hunter. A transcript of the call suggests no such wrongdoing.
In a piece dripping with innuendo and accusation not seen since Wisconsin’s infamous John Doe investigation, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday asked the senator whether he would recuse himself should Trump be impeached and stand trial in the Senate.
Johnson told Empower Wisconsin what he told the newspaper.
“I represent the people that elected me. Those people deserve a voice and my vote in this process,” he said. “It’s absurd, but that is what they are trying to do, they’re trying to attack me, trying to disqualify me because they just assume I’ll be supportive of the president. They want to disqualify anybody that would give the president a fair shake in this.”
The newspaper headline set the tone for the accusatory story: “Ron Johnson says his involvement in Ukraine will not cause him to recuse himself from a Senate impeachment trial.”
What was Johnson’s involvement in Ukraine? He is the chairman of the Subcommittee on European and Regional Security Cooperation. He has traveled to Ukraine a half-dozen times and has first-hand knowledge of the government, known for its corruption.
Johnson has said he discussed aid payments to Ukraine with Trump, but that the president had wanted assurances that the European country was dealing with the corruption that plagued it long before the U.S. would fully commit. Trump also sought answers, as he has done elsewhere, about the bogus Russian collusion allegations spread by some of the same people leveraging to remove the president from office.
Johnson said the mainstream and liberal media have worked alongside Democrats in a campaign to erode support for Trump in the Senate, where the GOP majority soundly supports the president and can put an end to the Dems’ political gambit.
“They are taking any little leak and putting the worst possible construction on it to build this case, to bring public pressure to appoint a special council,” the senator said. “I think the result has been a great deal of damage to our democracy.”
“They are attacking me, calling me a conspiracy theorist, doing everything they can to destroy me,” he said, adding he will not be intimidated. “I’m pretty tenacious … I’m a bulldog just trying to obtain the truth.”