The Slatest

Watch Chuck Todd Slam Republican Senator for Pushing “Fox News Conspiracy”

President Donald Trump waves as he and Sen. Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, disembark from Air Force One upon arrival at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin on April 27, 2019.
President Donald Trump waves as he and Sen. Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, disembark from Air Force One upon arrival at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin on April 27, 2019.
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

Chuck Todd, the host of NBC’s Meet the Press, got visibly angry at Sen. Ron Johnson Sunday during a heated interview in which the lawmaker repeatedly tried to skirt questions regarding President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Todd began the segment by sharing a quote the senator from Wisconsin gave to the Wall Street Journal in which he said he “winced” when he heard Trump may have tied aid to Ukraine to an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Rather than answer a question about the quote, though, Johnson went on to accuse Todd of bias and cited text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page to question the origins of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“What does this have to do with Ukraine?” Todd said. “I have no idea why a Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here.” Johnson tried to make the connection, but Todd was having none of it. “Sen. Johnson, please!” Todd exclaimed in frustration. “Can we please answer the question that I asked you, instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you’re not criticizing him? I’m just trying to ask a simple question of what made you wince?” Johnson then said he “didn’t want those connected” before proceeding to attack the press again as “horribly biased.” Todd said that he knew “the way to avoid answering a question is to attack us in the press.”

Although Johnson said he “absolutely” believed Russia meddled in the election, he said there are still “a lot of unanswered questions” and he is just trying to insist on the truth. “So do you not trust the FBI? Do you not trust the CIA?” Todd wondered. Johnson fired back: “No, no, I don’t. Absolutely not. After Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, after James Comey?”