Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) took aim at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday for scolding former President Trump for inciting the mob behind the deadly Capitol insurrection last month. Despite McConnell’s vote to acquit Trump, Johnson took offense to the Senate minority leader’s “scathing” Senate floor speech — much like fellow Trump loyalist Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
After voting that Trump was not guilty of the impeachment article against him, McConnell said in a Senate floor speech on Saturday that the mob that attacked the Capitol “did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth.” McConnell, who egged on Trump’s election fraud falsehoods for months leading up to the deadly Capitol insurrection, said he ultimately voted in favor of Trump by arguing conviction of a former president isn’t the Senate’s role.
The next day, Graham complained on “Fox News Sunday” that McConnell placed a burden on the GOP heading as they try to retake control of Congress next year.
“I think Sen. McConnell’s speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans,” Graham said. “That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns.”
Appearing on conservative radio host Jay Weber’s show on Monday, Johnson praised Graham’s take on McConnell’s Senate floor speech, saying that he “pretty well associates” himself with Graham’s assessment the day before.
Johnson then ripped McConnell for his “scathing” speech rebuking Trump’s incitement of the deadly Capitol insurrection. The Wisconsin Republican griped that McConnell’s Senate floor speech isn’t reflective of the GOP overall.
“You’ve got (Senate Minority Leader) McConnell voting not guilty, not to convict,” Johnson said. “But then just providing a scathing speech on floor of the Senate that does not reflect, I think, the majority of our conference.”
Johnson dug into McConnell further, saying that the Senate minority leader didn’t think through on how his rebuke of Trump will reflect on the Republican Party heading into the midterm elections next year.
“So you’ve got our leader out there really representing himself — and that’s his right to do — but at the same time, he has to realize as our leader, what he says reflects on us,” Johnson said. “I didn’t particularly like it.”
Asked where McConnell’s speech leaves the GOP, Johnson proceeded to attack Democrats for their “radical agenda” and said that the Republican Party “can’t afford to lose in 2022” now that Trump is out of office.
“So we have to unify our party, our movement,” Johnson said. “There are certainly elements of the Republican Party that never liked Trump and really thinks this is a great opportunity to purge the party of Trump.”
Listen to Johnson’s remarks below: