Trump fans lash out at Republican Ron Johnson after senator admits Wisconsin election "not skewed"

Johnson remains, however, an ardent promoter of Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud

By Jon Skolnik
Published August 31, 2021 8:24PM (EDT)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., an ardent promoter of Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, had a bizarre moment of clarity this week when he argued that "there was nothing obviously skewed" about the 2020 election results in Wisconsin. 

In what appears to be an undercover video filmed by The Undercurrent at the Wauwatosa GOP Chicken Burn on Sunday, Johnson was captured trying to disillusion The Undercurrent director Lauren Windsor (who posed as a Trump supporter) from the notion that the former president lost as a consequence of systemic election fraud. 

"In Wisconsin, do you know the vote totals?" Johnson asked Windsor.

"I don't, no," she responded. 

"So without knowing the votes totals, you can't even state that opinion," he shot back. 

Johnson continued by rattling off a number of vote counts across presidential and congressional candidates in the 2020 election, suggesting that fraud would have been statistically implausible. 

"Prior to this election, I was the number one vote-getter statewide with under 1.5 million votes," he explained. "This election, Trump got 1.61 [million]. No Republican has ever cracked 1.5 million. Numerous Democrats have gone over 1.6 [million] and 1.5 [million]. Just the Republican state assembly candidate got 1.661 million votes. The eight congressional candidates also got 1.661 million." 

Johnson continued: "So we obviously counted enough Republican votes. The only reason Trump lost Wisconsin is that 51,000 Republican voters didn't vote for him. They voted for other Republican candidates."

But Windsor pressed on, continuing the ruse. "So you're telling me Joe Biden won this state fair and square?" she asked.

"It's certainly plausible," he said. "There's nothing obviously skewed about the results."


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Needless to say, Johnson's admission was met with shock and derision from Trump's most diehard supporters:

Though Johnson conceded to Trump's electoral loss, the Republican lawmaker nevertheless believes in the necessity of a "forensic audit" in his home state.

"I'm the only one who had a hearing on the irregularities of the [2020 election results]," he said in another video released by Windsor. "The last thing I would focus on would be the [voting] machines. We have paper ballots, we have the machines logs, we've got the machine totals. We should be focusing on that."

Back in December, Johnson held a widely-mocked hearing as chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Trump's allegations of widespread voter fraud. State officials have repeatedly rebuffed these concerns. 

Johnson's comments come just after a GOP-led state committee last week approved a $680,000 budget for an official probe into the state's 2020 election results.


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News.

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