Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

The Senator Who Cried Wolf

Ron Johnson backs off claim about FBI, refuses to provide evidence.

By - Jan 26th, 2018 12:32 pm
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson

These are not good days for Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Ron Johnson.

On Tuesday he went on Fox News to make an explosive claim that he had had “evidence of…corruption of the highest levels of the FBI” with a “secret society” that was “holding secret meetings off-site.”

“There’s so much smoke here, there’s so much suspicion” of the FBI, he went on.

From the beginning, as I wrote, there were many questioning this claim and asking for evidence, with even conservatives like Erick Erickson referring to Johnson’s comments as “a clown show” and Jonah Goldberg of the National Review suggesting this was part of “an astonishing amount of manufactured outrage, absurd dot-connecting, and near-hysteria” by Republicans.

Yesterday, just two days after making his damning accusation, Johnson admitted it was “entirely possible” the reference to a “secret society” made by FBI lawyer Lisa Page to senior FBI agent Peter Strzok was simply a joke. The two employees — of 35,000 who work at the FBI — were engaged in an extra-marital affair and had made many cryptic remarks that Johnson now seems to admit he could have taken out of context — while using it to damn an entire federal agency.

But it gets worse. Yesterday, as ABC News reported, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) sent a letter to Johnson calling on him to turn over information about an unnamed informant he claimed provided information about secret “off-site” meetings of FBI officials.

McCaskill serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that Johnson runs. She demanded “all information and documents” related to his claims of bias and possible conspiracy at the FBI that he referred to on TV.

“As a former prosecutor I understand fully the power of allegations in the public domain,” McCaskill wrote. “You have now made serious and damaging allegations. I would assume that you would never make those kinds of allegations without serious and substantial hard evidence.”

“And as Ranking Member of this Committee, I deserve access to this information.”

Johnson has yet to respond to McCaskill, and did not respond to Urban Milwaukee’s query, asking if he will provide this information.

Chris Cillizza of CNN has now dubbed Johnson “The Senator who cried wolf,” concluding that “Johnson was way, way, way out over his skis” with his claims.

Also walking back from all this silliness was the Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice, who did a story that excitedly amplified Johnson’s non-news. But in this morning’s paper, Bice and co-writer Bill Glauber wrote a story detailing the obvious holes in Johnson’s claims and including an interview with the senator, who “told the Journal Sentinel that he said he used the term ‘secret society’ only because Strzok and Page had done so.”

Really? So then who was this “informant” Johnson claimed had told his committee about corruption among FBI higher-ups?

Bice and Glauber didn’t ask.

29 thoughts on “Back in the News: The Senator Who Cried Wolf”

  1. John says:

    His resemblance to Alfred E Newman gets stronger and stronger by the day.

  2. Colin says:

    The worse he looks, the better.
    Ron John needs to go.

  3. Rich says:

    Does this sh*t resonate with his “base” or any of the rubes* that elected him? Do they care that he does this, or, worse, do they like that he does? If the latter, we’re all fu*ked, as in (representative) democracy dies….eventually

    * https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rube, definition #2

  4. tom says:

    Ron Johnson is a despicable politician willing to destroy an organization (FBI) and thousands of dedicated workers for political gain. He is willing to tear down the FBI to protect a sexual predator, racist, serial liar and proven adulterer. Disgusting!

  5. John Casper says:

    Bruce many thanks to you–and the commenters above–for holding Sen. Johnson accountable.

    The extreme right of the GOP wants to politicize the FBI and Justice.

  6. John Casper says:

    Speaker Ryan is right with Sen. Johnson, backing Devin Nunes in the House.

    “THE INCREASING PANIC SURROUNDING DEVIN NUNES’ “EXTRAORDINARILY RECKLESS” PLAN TO RELEASE MEMO”

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/01/25/the-increasing-panic-surrounding-the-nunes-extraordinarily-reckless-plan-to-release-memo/

    This is the same right wing of the GOP who used FBI agents to leak about HRC before the election. They are who forced Comey to make his statements about HRC right before the election. That more than the Russians, cost Dems the election. HRC’s incompetence was also a factor. Sanders would have mopped the floor with Trump. With him at the top of the ticket, Dems would control the Senate and the House.

  7. Bill Sweeney says:

    This latest prank makes Johnson’s reelection last year all the more dispiriting. Say what you want about Russ Feingold, but at least he was a person of integrity. He would never have engaged in such reckless behavior.

  8. Terry says:

    Ron Johnson is a charlatan and a duplicitous, greasy, corporatist hack and now he is emerging as a hatchet man for Trump’s authoritarianism and crypto-fascism when he, like all current republican enablers, should be denouncing it! The republicans have put party over country! We are sliding into very dangerous waters. History will not judge these republican appeasers and enablers well at all. Walker, Ryan, Johnson etc. They all are enabling this madness and they are on the wrong side of history.

  9. ERIC J. says:

    Johnson should really be asking himself why Trump insists on firing those involved with the special prosecutors investigation and the Russian connection ( Comey & Mueller ) . Why did firing Comey ” Take a lot of pressure off of me ” D.J.T.

  10. Thomas says:

    It would be better for all of us perhaps if RoJo and Ryan and Nunez had secret friends rather than secret informants. Reactionary hallucinations would be amusing if they were not so dangerous to the future of our democracy.

  11. Keith Prochnow says:

    The man is an embarrassment. His interview on NPR Thursday makes it all that much the worse.

  12. GRNDPAKWH says:

    Senator Ron Johnson won his two elections with the support of a well organized state Republican party. They have learned how to turn out their voters and do an admirable job each election. Hats off to this organization for putting this man in office, no other state party could have done it.

  13. John Casper says:

    GRNDPAKWH,

    How long have you been a member of Black Lives Matter? They’re also critical of the FBI.

    Sen. Johnson’s only accomplishment in life is marrying the daughter of a billionaire.

    http://www.waxingamerica.com/2010/08/ron-johnsons-real-accomplishment-marrying-the-shrinkwrap-princess.html

  14. Barb says:

    Ron Johnson is another stupid greedy Republican from Wisconsin! People don’t forget, this is the same senator that sided with the NRA that Mental Patients should be allowed to own and carry guns! These sleazy men are paid by the NRA to carry out any law the way they want, and the NRA is more than happy to fill their pockets with blood money! Don’t forget WI Governor Scott Walker, who tried to run for president because the Koch Brothers were going to pay any Republican politician to run for the highest office in the land to keep the Democrats out and start phoney scandals that Obama and Hillary were coming to take away your guns!

  15. Troll says:

    It was the Obama administration that approved bum stock rifles so that left in Las Vegas could mow down a hundred people

  16. Frank Galvan says:

    Wisconsin’s idiot is now America’s idiot!

  17. John Casper says:

    Troll,

    You wrote, “It was the Obama administration that approved bum stock rifles so that [sic]left in Las Vegas could mow down a hundred people[sic]”

    How could you make that many errors in one sentence?

    Paddock killed 58, wounded 546.

    You know nothing about firearms.

    “The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed,” Spencer wrote. “Accordingly, we find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.”

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/oct/06/national-rifle-association/nra-claim-obama-approved-bump-stocks/

    In August Paddock reserved a hotel room overlooking the Lollapalooza–draws an estimated 100,000–in Grant Park. Among those in attendance, Obama’s daughter, Malia.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/10/05/las-vegas-shooting-motive-remains-elusive-as-new-details-emerge-about-attack/?utm_term=.8a5465037f9a

  18. Thomas says:

    Troll, neither Obama nor anybody left of center had anything to do with the recent slaughter in Las Vegas. Recant post # 15 or live in infamy.

  19. Troll says:

    Thomas prove it. Like you liberals on Russia. I see no evidence of the Las Vegas shooter being a Trump supporter, so he must be a leftist. This is how your media presents propaganda.

  20. TransitRider says:

    Troll, are you saying that if you don’t support Trump you are a leftist????? (Not to mention Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Ohio Gov. Kasich, pundit Bill Kristol, and hundreds more.)

    If so, you REALLY need professional help!

  21. John Casper says:

    Troll, you wrote, “It was the Obama administration that approved bum stock rifles so that [sic]left in Las Vegas could mow down a [sic[hundred people[sic]

    That could be a record for most errors in one sentence.

    You don’t know anything about firearms.

    “The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed,” Spencer wrote. “Accordingly, we find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.”

    In August “Las Vegas gunman booked Chicago hotel rooms overlooking Lollapalooza: sources.”

    “Paddock reserved two rooms on the park side of the hotel with a clear view of the outdoor festival, but he never showed up, according to a law enforcement source, who asked for anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to publicly disclose the details.

    The reservations covered the four-day event, which drew hundreds of thousands of music fans, including former President Barack Obama’s daughters Malia and Sasha, as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    Paddock murdered 58.

    He wounded 515.

    Links are in next post.

  22. Troll says:

    Should n’ t we assume is the media has not deemed the Vegas shooter a right wing terrorist that the media is hiding the truth.

  23. John Casper says:

    Troll,

    Thomas doesn’t have to.

    theDonald and DonJr., among others, have provided plenty of evidence of conspiracy with Russia and obstruction of justice. Then comes the Russian money laundering.

    In the comment below, I left the link to 57-second video where Trump admitted to NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired Comey over Russia.

    “On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote:” to Junior:
    “Good morning
    Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
    The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
    This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.
    What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?
    I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.
    Best
    Rob Goldstone

    Junior released that and other emails to the NYT’s last year. Thank, Junior!

    Unlike Ken Starr’s investigation of consensual sex, Mueller doesn’t leak. The only info on the Special Counsel’s investigation is from court documents, General Flynn’s plea, Papadaplous–“coffee boy”–plea, Manafort and Gates indictments.

    The leaking is from witnesses–Trump supporters–and their attorneys who have no other way to coordinate testimony, get their stories straight. When Mueller allows witnesses–Bannon, McGahn, and Priebus–to share the same counsel, is that a sign they have flipped?

  24. John Casper says:

    Troll, could you rewrite your 10:11 in English?

    Thanks in advance.

  25. Troll says:

    Is that dude still in jail for making that video that caused bengazi, libya in 2011. Liberal elites throw bone liberal media follows bone.

  26. RK says:

    The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! said the boy who cried wolf.

  27. Terry says:

    It turns out that “Greasy” Ron Johnson’s claim that there is a “secret socitety” turned out to be a joke about a Vladimir Putin “beefcake” calander that was being passed around the FBI for a laugh. Wow, he and other republican rubes are gullible. Take notice Troll. Reality is a hell of a thing and it has a certain way of catching up to you!

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us