Sen. Ron Johnson went on CNN Monday evening to talk about the Republican Party’s continued attempts to tie providing aid for Ukraine with conservative bogeyman border policies. At the end of the interview, host Kaitlan Collins mentioned recent news about Wisconsin’s 10 fake Donald Trump electors cutting a deal in their civil case. Collins wanted the senator to weigh in on calls for one of the fake electors, Robert Spindell Jr., to resign his position on the state elections commission.
Johnson is nothing if not duplicitous and he stayed on brand, citing “all kinds of irregularities in Wisconsin in the 2020 election” and saying that having “an alternate slate of electors” was some kind of common practice, “just like Democrats have done repeatedly in all kinds of different states.” Collins reminded Johnson that these fake electors have admitted that what they did was at the very least “improper,” and Johnson responded by saying all the civil cases against them were “a travesty of justice.” That led to this exchange:
Collins: You think it’s fine that someone who tried to overturn a legitimate election is still on a board that helps certify [elections]–
Johnson: –Democrat electors have done that repeatedly. Democrats have done the same thing.
Collins: Which one? In Wisconsin—fake slates of electors?
Johnson: No, it’s, it’s happened in different states …
Collins: Which ones, sir?
Johnson: I didn’t come prepared to give you the exact states but it’s happened repeatedly. It has happened repeatedly, just go check the books.
Collins: Which books?
Johnson: There have been alternate slates of electors by Democrat electors in our history. Again, you didn’t—this wasn’t what this interview is going to be about. I’ll come and I’ll provide you that information.
Not long after Johnson’s pathetic appearance, the senator went to his X (formerly Twitter) account to post his “examples,” which included Democratic reps objecting to the election results in 2017 and did not involve fake electors. Surprisingly, this also didn’t include creating a revolt at the Capitol building, and Donald Trump was certified without anyone being killed or injured.
His other example is the 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Nixon had lost the election, but Hawaii was initially called for Nixon by 140 votes. Three Democratic electors chose to sign a slate saying Kennedy won. Of course, at that time there was a recount underway that would eventually reveal Kennedy got more votes.
Johnson’s part in the attempted coup on Jan. 6 has been the subject of much speculation, as the things he’s said in public and his alibi do not square with the evidence. Johnson has been secretly recorded admitting that there was no election fraud, and definitely not the kind of Big Lie-mythologized fraud that might have actually reversed the outcome in Wisconsin.
Since the failed coup, Johnson has consistently tried to downplay the severity of what happened at the Capitol and across the country after the 2020 election.
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