Sen. Ron Johnson gives Trump ‘little bit of slack' on Charlottesville comments

Posted at 7:52 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 20:52:06-04

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is not as critical as other Republicans of President Donald Trump's initial response to the violence in Virginia.

"In hindsight, I'm sure he would have made the statement he made yesterday on the first day," Johnson said.

Just hours after racist protests turned deadly on Saturday in Virginia, Trump did not denounce specific groups behind the movement. Trump said there was “hatred, bigotry, on many sides.”

Trump's message became more targeted two days later.

“Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists,” Trump said on Monday.

"I give all public officials kind of a little bit of slack in terms of not necessarily saying the perfect thing," Johnson said.

Just last week, Johnson found himself in a similar situation. Johnson suggested Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor may have been a factor is his late night vote on the Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Johnson revised his statement days later.

"I was trying to express my sympathy for the fact that he has now got a terrible diagnosis and I just wish him the absolute best," Johnson said.

After backpedaling in a similar fashion to Trump, Johnson showed sympathy to the president in his handling of Charlottesville.

"We all fall short of what we do and say as public officials but the people we have to hold accountable are the evil-doers that plowed cars into crowds or set off bombs or use guns to murder people,” he said. “Those are the people you have to hold responsible."

Johnson also condemned white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and the KKK.

TODAY’S TMJ4 called Johnson’s team late Tuesday afternoon after Trump backtracking once again saying both sides were to blame in Charlottesville. Johnson didn't have a comment at the time.