Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, in a slip of the tongue on Tuesday, told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that he “condones” white supremacy.
He hastily added that he meant to say he “condemns” it and the Proud Boys, an extremist right-wing group who participated in and helped plan the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
While discussing a favorite Republican talking point, President Biden’s son, Hunter, Bartiromo mentioned Congressman Jim Jordan’s appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show Monday night. Jordan, she said, alleged that the FBI is “working to open more investigations into so-called domestic violent extremism in order to make the threat appear larger than it really was,” and that several of the January 6 “victims” should not be in prison for their part in the insurrection.
Johnson, who is running for reelection this year, agreed that the current administration’s investigations into domestic terrorism are not as important as dealing with “cyber threats” and “drug trafficking.”
He said, “When I was chairman of Homeland Security, we’d have an annual threat hearing. And my ranking member would always be bringing up white supremacy which you know, I condone. I mean, I condemn.”
Johnson went on to add, “This is literally four years ago, they’re all concerned about white supremacy. When we have cyber threats when we have, you know, the drug trafficking, we have so many other threats facing this nation. You know, what is going on here?”
He suggested that instead of the Jan. 6 investigation, Attorney General Merrick Garland should be investigating “the more than 570 riots that occurred during the summer of 2020,” during the Black Lives Matter protests after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police.
So no, Johnson does not condone white supremacy, he just wants Black Lives Matter protestors investigated instead of the Proud Boys.
Watch and listen to Johnson’s slip at the top of this post or watch the entire interview segment here.
For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Johnson made the error on Fox News. Johnson’s appearance was on the Fox Business Network.