February 17, 2021

CNN host Don Lemon on Tuesday said that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) had downplayed the seriousness of the attack on the U.S. Capitol "to continue white supremacy."

On Monday, Johnson had told radio host Jay Weber than he did not believe the attack on the Capitol was an "armed insurrection."

"This didn't seem like an armed insurrection to me," Johnson said. "When you hear the word 'armed,' don't you think of firearms?"

Lemon reacted to Johnson's remarks while appearing on CNN with host Brianna Keilar.

"The hoops that people will jump through for, first of all, their political ideology, second of all, their way for life and to continue white supremacy," Lemon sighed. "That's what that is. Because if you look at the definition of 'armed,' it says, 'furnished with weapons' and we know they had weapons, we know they had tear gas."

"If this was Black people storming the Capitol, mostly men, they would have been shot," he argued. "I think everyone agrees with that. It would have been much worse."

Lemon pointed out that the insurrectionists used flag poles as weapons while trying to kill police officers.

"I think it shows, as does that attack on the Capitol, the lengths that people will go to to protect white supremacy and that's exactly what Ron Johnson is doing," the CNN host insisted.

Keilar speculated that Johnson would likely argue that he was not trying to maintain the power structure of white supremacy.

But Lemon wouldn't let the Republican senator off the hook.

"Just because you're ignorant of it doesn't mean that you're not doing it," Lemon explained. "Just because you have done it for so long doesn't mean that you're not doing it. Just because you have been in a position where many Republicans who sat in on those impeachment hearings and said, 'I had never seen that much video.'"

"What does that mean?" he continued. "That you have been in a position of privilege, where you didn't have to. And so just because you're ignorant of something doesn't mean that it does not exist and it doesn't mean that you aren't doing it... and that is exactly why Ron Jonson is doing it."

"There will be more insurrections, there will be more violence to come if they continue to do that," Lemon added. "Because again, it's just ignorance. Ignorance does not mean that something does not exist."

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