NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd attacked Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) for joining a dozen of GOP Senators in their effort to challenge the results of several battleground states during the certification of the presidential election this week, accusing the Wisconsin Senator of spreading conspiracy theories, saying “You’re the arsonist here.”
Johnson, one of at least 12 GOP senators who will object to the certification, which will lead to a debate and vote in the House and Senate on Wednesday. In the statement issued on Saturday, the dozen or so GOP senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Congress “should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states.”
“Essentially you and your colleagues have created this controversy,” Todd said after asking the Wisconsin Senator “what has changed to question the 2020 election results during the contentious Sunday morning interview. “So right now, we are locked into a destructive, vicious circle, in some ways as you kind of outlined, except — which is, you made an allegation that there was widespread fraud. You have failed to offer specific evidence of that widespread fraud. But you’re demanding an investigation on the grounds that there are allegations of widespread fraud.
“So essentially, you’re the arsonist here. President Trump is the arsonist here,” Todd added. “You’ve started this fire. And now you’re saying, “Woah, look at this. Oh my God. All these people believe what we told them,” because you didn’t have the guts to tell the truth that this election was fair.”
Johnson responded to Todd’s assertion by saying “the fire” started back in 2017 and gave a list of the “bias of the media.”
“Chuck, this fire was started back in, you know, January of 2017,” Johnson fired back. “People like Mark Zaid in his tweet, “The coup has started. First of many steps. Rebellion and impeachment to follow ultimately.” This was started when the mainstream media stopped, dropped any pretense of being unbiased, and actually chose sides during this election. This fire was started when you completely ignored, for example, our investigation of Hunter Biden. You know, no evidence of wrongdoing there. And now we find out after the election, no, there is a fair amount of evidence to the point that we have a real FBI investigation. So … It’s the bias of the media.”
“Senator. All right, I’ve had enough of hearing this. All right,” Todd told Johnson.
“It’s the bias in the media that has created a situation where Republicans and conservatives do not trust the mainstream media. And that is what, that is what has destroyed the credibility of the media and our institutions and really shaken confidence in this election result. So I didn’t start this,” Johnson replied.
The NBC host then accused Johnson of spending the “last two years carrying a lot of this crazy conspiratorial water for President Trump,” asking if his efforts were “simply trying to curry favor with constituents of the president’, calling it a “cynical political ploy.”
“I’m trying to be transparent… There is voter fraud. There always is. We had one witness talk about 42,000 people voting twice in Nevada,” Johnson said.
Todd would then cut off Johnson before he continued listing off other witness allegation, saying “none of these allegations” have “been proven true.”
“You’ve got to ask yourself when you tell people a million times that something was stolen or something was fraud and then they believe it, I think you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself why so many people believe this,” Todd said.
“Well, Chuck, you need to look at your mirror because you carried the Democrats’ water on,” Johnson fired back. “That is what you did in the media. You carried that water for years. You destroyed the credibility of the press.”
Johnson responded by noting how Democrats made light of the voting machine problems and how Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling his hearing on the 2020 election a “quackery,” “conspiracy theory” and, “a ridiculous charade.”
“I didn’t criticize Democrats when they were talking about potential hacking of voting machines. But now it’s quackery? Now it’s conspiracy theory? That’s the problem, Chuck. There’s a double standard here, and we are not being transparent, and we are dismissing the concerns of tens of millions of Americans. Again, I didn’t, I didn’t light this fire. This fire was lit over four years ago,” Johnson shot back before being cut off again.
Todd concluded the segment by continuing cutting off Johnson and thanked him for “coming on” and “having the guts to say yes this weekend about this conspiracy theory that you’re working on.”
Johnson is currently the only GOP senator to so far announce a challenge of the election results who represents a state Biden won.