Clyburn slams Ron Johnson: ‘The guy is racist’
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) slammed Sen. Ron Johnson 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 Trump’s supporters.
During an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon 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.”
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) March 17, 2021
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 Hoyer (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 Menendez (D-N.J.) also said in a floor speech on Tuesday that the comments were “racist” and “hurtful.”