Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Wednesday was confronted by MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin after he suggested that he is more interested in investigating former Vice President Joe Biden’s son than fighting the novel coronavirus.
“This administration has been all hands on deck,” Johnson said of President Donald Trump’s response to COVID-19. “They certainly haven’t under-reacted… Getting it just right is probably impossible.”
According to Johnson, Trump is trying to “tamp down the panic” by spreading misinformation about the virus.
Mohyeldin noted that Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, is focused on investigating Hunter Biden’s connection to a Ukrainian energy company.
“What is the factual basis for launching this investigation and why now?” the MSNBC host wondered.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Johnson said. “I’m not making any charges. We just need to get to the bottom of this.”
Mohyeldin also pointed out that former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) called Johnson a “joke” for going after the Bidens instead of the novel coronavirus.
“People say you are doing this at a time when the country is preoccupied with coronavirus,” Mohyeldin observed. “You are doing what looks like from some people’s perspective a political hit job on the president’s number one political opponent.”
“Claire doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Johnson shot back before defending his committee’s response to COVID-19.
“I actually can walk and chew gum at the same time,” the senator added. “Now’s the time to issue subpoenas. This doesn’t take much of my time.”
“If Joe Biden was running for president would you be doing this investigation?” Mohyeldin pressed. “I think a lot of people are looking at this and saying the basis of this investigation is politics in nature. What other grifting investigations have you launched?”
“Listen, we launched this in 2017,” Johnson replied. “This is basically more from my investigation into the Clinton email scandal. Our investigations, for example, revealed the drafting of the James Comey exoneration memo.”
“This is necessary oversight,” he insisted. “There’s nothing political about it other than we’re operating in a political realm.”