GOP Sen. Ron Johnson on Tuesday was called out by a reporter for pretending to be on a call on his cell phone in an apparent ploy to dodge questions after a Jan. 6 committee hearing.
In a video aired by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Johnson is seen walking away from the Capitol building when reporters tried to ask him questions about evidence the committee presented.
The evidence included text messages Johnson’s chief of staff Sean Riley, sent to Chris Hodgson, an aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence, on January 6, 2021.
after the riot at the Capitol disrupted the process of certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
In the text messages, Riley told Hodgson that he wanted to present Pence with a list of fake electors who were prepared to ignore Biden’s win and instead vote for Trump. Hodgson rejected the request.
In the exchange with reporters, Johnson claimed he was busy with a call so he couldn’t take questions about his knowledge of the events. But his lie was quickly exposed when one reporter noticed he was not actually on a call.
“How much did you know about what your chief of staff was doing with the alternate slates of the electors?” NBC News reporter Frank Thorp asked.
“I’m on the phone right now,” Johnson replied.
“No you’re not. I can see your phone. I can see your screen,” Thorp said.
Caught red-handed, Johnson then put his phone down and addressed their questions, dismissing the evidence as a “non-story.”
Sen. Ron Johnson so much didn't want to talk to reporters about his office trying to pass fake elector lists to the vice president's office that he tried to pretend he was on the phone. pic.twitter.com/V1VwBDs42t
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) June 22, 2022