Wisconsin senator slammed for saying ‘fake Trump protesters’ led riots

Johnson added the attackers were actually 'plainclothes militants' and 'agent provocateurs'

Loading the player...

Sen. Ron Johnson is catching criticism for trying to distance Donald Trump from the Capitol mob. On Tuesday, Johnson claimed, “agent provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” were responsible for the deadly uprising in Washington, DC on Jan 6.

Once Twitter users saw the clip of Johnson’s false claims, they immediately took to the platform along with lawmakers causing his name to trend, per The Washington Post.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Hears Testimony From Police Officials On January 6 Capitol Attack
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 23: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Read More: Fulton County DA faces backlash for Trump investigation

Despite over 200 individuals being federally charged and many of them self-identifying as Trump supporters, the Wisconsin senator said the majority of individuals at the event possed a “jovial, friendly, and earnest demeanor.”

He added the attackers were actually “plainclothes militants, agent provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and disciplined uniformed column of attackers.”

Read More: Supreme Court won’t halt turnover of Trump’s tax records

His words were quotes from a far-right article, but Johnson was quickly chastised for spreading the fake news. Many of the rioters were also attached to far-right extremist groups.

A professor at Michigan Law School said we deserve better from out leaders.

“By spreading disinformation to minimize the Capitol attack, ⁦@SenRonJohnson does a disservice to our country,” Barb McQuade tweeted. “A democracy depends on informed voters. ⁦We should expect better from our elected leaders.”

Podcast host and journalist Dean Obeidallah added:

“Right in front of our eyes we are watching the GOP and media allies normalize Trump’s 1/6 terrorists attack– from Ron Johnson claiming the attackers were ANTIFA to Tucker Carlson saying QAnon and White supremacy doesn’t exist to CPAC celebrating Trump this weekend. #CPAC2021

MSNBC Senior Producer Kyle Griffin shared to his Twitter account an oped calling for Johnson to resign. The article also accused him of “whitewashing” the Capitol.

“Johnson must go,” the article read. “It’s obvious now that he won’t do the honorable thing and resign after violating his oath to support and defend the Constitution.”

“By what he has shown of his character, there is no reason to believe he will keep his campaign promise to not run for a third term when this one expires. If he runs again, Johnson must be opposed in both the primary and general elections by people who care enough about democracy to support and defend it,” it continues.

On Feb 23, Johnson tweeted the article that claimed provocateurs were responsible for the attack.  

“An eyewitness account that I read excerpts from in today’s hearing provides a different perspective on what, why, and how things got out of control at the Capitol on Jan 6 @jmichaelwaller @fdrlst.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...