Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Sunday insisted that racist remarks he made about Black Lives Matter and the Jan. 6 insurrection were not racist at all.
Last week, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) called Johnson a racist on the Senate floor after the Wisconsin senator said that he did not fear violent white insurrectionists but he does fear Black Lives Matter protesters.
On Sunday, Fox News host Maria Bartiromo gave Johnson a chance to respond to Menendez.
"Unfortunately, Democrats and liberals engage in assassination of character," Johnson opined. "And they reflexively play the race card primarily to silence their critics or silence anybody that they don't want their viewpoint spread around."
"So there's two reasons they are silencing me," he continued. "First of all, they view the Wisconsin Senate seat in 2022 as vulnerable and they'd like to pick that up to completely consolidate the power so they can complete the socialization of America. But also, I'm one of the few people pushing back on their inaccurate narrative that there were thousands of armed insurrectionists intent on overthrowing the government on Jan. 6th."
Johnson went on to insist that he had "condemned what happened" on Jan. 6.
"But what I was doing was I was comparing what happened on Jan. 6th to the over 500 riots that occurred during the summer," he added. "Basically left-wing, that resulted in up to 25 lives lost, 700 law enforcement officers injured, $1 to $2 billion worth of property damage. They want us to forget those riots, which continue to this day and they want to silence their critics."
"And again, they do it by reflexively playing the race card," Johnson said. "There was nothing racial in my comments whatsoever."