‘Ridiculous Revisionist History’: Johnson Pilloried For Downplaying Deadly Insurrection

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks to journalists at a press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, on 5 September, 2019. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
February 16, 2021 1:02 p.m.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is still out here faithfully defending ex-President Donald Trump’s honor, and apparently part of that means pretending the deadly insurrection Trump incited was maybe not such a big deal after all.

During an interview on local radio station WISN on Monday, Johnson tried to paint the violence of the siege, which resulted in five deaths, as exaggerated.

“The fact of the matter is this didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me. I mean armed — when you hear armed, don’t you think of firearms?” the senator asked. “Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask. How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired?”

“I’m only aware of one, and I’ll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot,” he added, referring to a U.S. Capitol Police officer’s fatal shooting of one of the insurrectionists, Ashli Babbitt.

In fact, multiple individuals who’ve been arrested in connection to the siege have been charged with unlawful possession of firearms. One of those individuals allegedly had 11 Molotov cocktails stored in his van. Authorities found pipe bombs planted near the Democratic and Republican party headquarters.

Additionally, several members of the Oath Keepers militia group who were at the insurrection have been indicted on conspiracy charges.

And armed or not, videos of the attack show the insurrectionists using Trump flags and whatever items they could get their hands on to beat law enforcement officers while smashing their way into the Capitol building. Several of them chanted “Hang Pence!” after Trump attacked then-Vice President Mike Pence for not overturning the election results.

Johnson’s attempt to minimize the unquestionably violent insurrection was met with disbelief and outrage:

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.
Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: