Johnson came under fire last week after he said during a radio interview that while he didn’t fear for his safety as Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, he “may have been a little concerned” if the mob was associated with Black Lives Matter or Antifa.
“Fox News Primetime” host Maria Bartiromo asked Johnson to respond to criticism from the liberal “woke mob” who attacked the remark on social media.
“It’s completely been blown out of proportion,” the senator responded. “There’s nothing racial in my comments whatsoever. The left is happy to use the race card whenever they can. This is about riots and rioters and leftist activists and anarchists.”
The senator explained that he “wasn’t talking about the people that actually stormed the Capitol and assaulted police officers,” in his earlier remark. “I condemned that, as I condemn, quite honestly, anybody that rioted in the summer leftist activist-sparked riots as well.”
“I was just talking about the vast majority of people that I know that are Trump supporters that love law enforcement, support law enforcement, would never even think of rioting or breaking the law. And that’s the vast majority of people that came here to Washington, D.C.,” he said.
Johnson argued in an interview with Milwaukee radio station WISN-AM earlier Monday that his remarks could not be taken as racist because several Black Lives Matter protesters are White.
“Remember those leftist activists, those protesters, that some of them turned into riots? A lot of them are white,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “So there’s no racism involved in this at all.”
Johnson signaled earlier this month that he may not seek reelection in 2022.