Clyburn slams Ron Johnson: 'The guy is racist'

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) slammed Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonRand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as White House continues to push vaccination effort Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE over remarks the Wisconsin Republican made regarding his safety during the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Johnson has come under fire after he said during an interview on a conservative radio show that he “might have been a little concerned” if Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters stormed the Capitol as opposed to the mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE's supporters.

During an interview with CNN’s Don LemonDon Carlton LemonCNN's Lemon, Cuomo to host new podcast Officer who responded to Capitol mob urges leaders to recognize 'courage' of law enforcement CNN's Jake Tapper questions giving some GOP leaders airtime MORE late Tuesday, Clyburn called Johnson “racist” and alleged that he knew exactly what he was saying.


“The moment he prefaced his last statement ‘I know I’m going to get in trouble for this’ and then went on to say, said to me he knew exactly what he was saying,” Clyburn said. "He knew why he was saying it and knew exactly how the reactions would be, he just didn't care.”

“The guy is racist, this is not the first time he has indicated such,” Clyburn said. “I would hope that the people of Wisconsin would take note of this and do what they can to help make this country a better place.”


Johnson told Milwaukee-based WISN-AM radio on Monday that “no racism” was involved in the remarks.

“It has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with riots,” Johnson said. “I completely did not anticipate that anybody could interpret what I said as racist. It’s not.”

However, Johnson has only faced more scrutiny from Democrats and activists who said the remarks highlighted a double standard in suggesting that Black Lives Matter activists should be feared but not the largely white supporters of Trump.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse fails to pass drug bill amid Jan. 6 tensions Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP House Democrats eye vote next week to form Jan. 6 commission MORE (D-Md.) said on a press call on Tuesday that Johnson’s statement was "racist" and "ought to be deeply troubling to the Republican Party to have a member of the United States Senate, a Republican, reflect such prejudice, such simplification, which mirrored Donald Trump's dealing with immigrants.”

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats reintroduce legislation to ban 'ghost guns' Juan Williams: A breakthrough on immigration? Biden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 MORE (D-N.J.) also said in a floor speech on Tuesday that the comments were “racist” and “hurtful.”