Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson declined to endorse Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s harsh criticism of former President Donald Trump, instead saying that his earlier remarks were out of step with his own caucus.
McConnell was one of 43 Republican senators who voted to acquit Trump on a charge of inciting the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. But following his vote, he criticized the former president and said Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the deadly riot and that he only voted to acquit because the Constitution does not allow for a private citizen to be convicted.
“From my standpoint, Leader McConnell speaks for himself,” Johnson said Tuesday on The Ross Kaminsky Show. “In this case, I don’t believe he speaks for the conference, and I think he needs to be a little careful.”
“You know when I speak, I do actually try and take in mind how it might reflect on the party,” Johnson said, adding that McConnell’s remarks did not reflect how the “vast majority of Republican senators” felt.
Johnson, a staunch ally of the former president, previously questioned whether the insurrection even occurred, telling a Wisconsin radio station that it “didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me.”
Johnson is up for reelection in 2022, and is the only incumbent Republican senator running for another term in a state that President Joe Biden won in 2020.