On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson — who plans to challenge the presidential election results and want to hold hearings to investigate accusations of voter fraud — why he doesn’t also hold hearings to look into other conspiracies like the moon landing or 9/11 truthers.
Johnson said he was acting to protect the democratic process rather than thwart it by listening to the tens of millions of people who believe the election was stolen. But Todd challenged the senator by saying that just because people believe it does not make it true, equating unproven accusations of voter fraud with other popular conspiracies.
“Then why didn’t you hold hearings about 9/11 truthers? There’s plenty of people who think 9/11 was an inside job,” Todd said. “How about the moon landing? Are you going to hold hearings on that?”
Todd said that Johnson, along with his 11 Republican colleagues who on Saturday were among those demanding an election audit, was the “arsonist” responsible for the lack of faith in the election results. Todd said that Johnson and others have made allegations of widespread fraud and have failed to offer specific evidence for those charges, but is now demanding an investigation based on those made up allegations.
“Essentially, you’re the arsonist here. President Trump is the arsonist here. You’ve started this fire, and now you’re saying, ‘Woah, oh my god all these people believe what we told them,’ because you didn’t have the guts to tell them that this election was fair,” Todd chided the senator. “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 why they believe it.”
Johnson then accused the media of being the ones who were responsible for sowing mistrust, but Todd also pointed out just as he concluded the interview that of all 12 of the senators who said they would challenge the results, only two other senators would agree to an interview with “Meet the Press.”
Johnson along with Ted Cruz was joined by Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), in planning to challenge the election results. Josh Howley also said earlier in the week that he too would join Republicans in the House of Representatives as part of an effort to delay Biden’s appointment.
The senators are calling for an “immediate” 10-day audit when Congress meets on Wednesday to certify the election results, something that has not been done since 1877. The act is almost certainly political theater made to appeal to President Trump and his supporters as part of what is generally a ceremonial event in Congress. If a member of the House and Senate object, each chamber has to stop the certification for a two-hour debate, which will still, in all likelihood, result in Biden’s win being certified.
To this day, nearly two months after Biden defeated Trump by more than 7 million votes and by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College, there has been no credible evidence of any widespread voter fraud. Trump and his legal team have lost more than 50 court cases, including multiple ones by the Supreme Court.
Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president on Jan. 20.
Watch a clip from Johnson on “Meet the Press” below:
"This fire was started when you completely ignored, for example, our investigation of Hunter Biden" — Ron Johnson's defense on Meet the Press of his efforts to overturn Trump's election loss was pure whataboutism pic.twitter.com/ISgCVh3LrY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2021
TODD: Why didn't you hold hearing about 9/11 truthers? Plenty of people think it was an inside job
RON JOHNSON: I could've held hearings on all kinds of things
T: The moon landing?
J: You have to pick & choose
T: I think you need to look in the mirror pic.twitter.com/QL2TmWwsrM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2021