Ron Johnson suggests, without evidence, that the FBI had prior knowledge of the January 6 riot but did nothing

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Before making the statement, which was captured on video taken at the event, Johnson prefaced it by saying, “I’m not saying this publicly.”

“So you think the FBI had completely infiltrated the Michigan militias and didn’t know what was going on Jan. 6 and what was going on with these groups,” Johnson told the crowd of voters gathered around. him towards the end of the event.

There is no evidence to support Johnson’s conspiracy claim.

CNN contacted the Milwaukee County Republican Party and the Wisconsin GOP for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

The Washington Post was the first to report the comments.

A spokesperson for Johnson’s office said his comments were not innuendo, but simply raised questions. They provided CNN with no direct evidence to support the senator’s suggestion, citing only his pending request for the “Norfolk memo.”

The “Norfolk Memo” is an FBI intelligence report released on Jan. 5, which FBI Director Christopher Wray described in his testimony to Congress as “raw, unverified and unsubstantiated information” from online publications, this which was remarkable enough that the FBI shared them with law enforcement. Capitol Police and Washington Metropolitan Police Department authorities.
Johnson has repeatedly disseminated disinformation to downplay the deadly Capitol Riot. In previous comments and interviews, he has repeatedly questioned whether the events of January 6 were really as violent as they appeared and attempted to convey a false account that the rioters were not violent or armed .

“We saw a lot of videos of people on Capitol Hill, and they didn’t revolt,” Johnson said in an interview with Fox News in June. “It doesn’t look like an armed insurgency when you have people walking through the Capitol – and I don’t tolerate it – but they stay in the ropes of the rotunda. That’s not what an armed insurrection would look like.”

The final comments were filmed by Bridget Kurt, who then confronted Johnson about her minimization of the coronavirus. Kurt, who works as a hospice educator, said she didn’t believe Johnson was aware that she had recorded it.

Johnson had spoken at a Milwaukee GOP event in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, titled: “Keeping Up With Sen. Ron Johnson and Vicki McKenna.” McKenna is a local conservative radio host.

Asked about CNN’s comments, McKenna called Johnson the “most honest man in Congress,” adding that “if people don’t like his (excellent) habit of asking questions, maybe they should provide more. of answers – and show their work. “

“Meet with Senator Ron Johnson to discuss the next election in 2022,” a description of the event reads. “There is a lot at stake for the Republican Party and this nation. Get Senator Johnson’s perspective on what needs to be done.” Tickets for the event ranged from $ 19 to $ 37.

In his comments on Saturday, Johnson said: “There were a few hundred really bad actors,” who attacked the Capitol on January 6 and he “immediately condemned them”.

However, he went on to say that the media and his fellow Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah as well as GOP representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois were using Jan. 6 for the purpose of painting others ” with a large brush “. as “national terrorists”.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect Bridget Kurt’s position in a hospice. She works as an educator.

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