Chuck Todd to Ron Johnson: ‘Go Back on Your Partisan Cable Cocoon’ on Hunter



NBC anchor Chuck Todd told Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to go back to his “partisan cable cocoon” if he wanted to talk about the investigations into Hunter Biden Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

Partial transcript as follows:

TODD: It has. Let me start with — do you approve of Merrick Garland’s decision to appoint a special counsel to look into the Joe Biden classified documents?

JOHNSON: Well, I guess because he assigned one to President Trump, it was pretty inevitable. I’m not a real fan of special counsels. I did join 32 of my colleagues in calling for one for Hunter Biden because we had a whistleblower that said that Attorney Weiss doesn’t have the resources to do the type of investigation required. So, but in general, I’m not a fan of special counsels. I think the way we handle these investigations of wrongdoing — I’ll call it that — in the political realm is we just do it completely backwards. I think Congress ought to be able to have access to all the information, do their oversight. You know, I never held public hearings. We just, you know, did our investigation and then issued a report. If there is evidence of wrongdoing, then we should refer that to the Justice Department. Then the investigation should take place. What happens nowadays is the investigation begins, Congress never gets access to the information, and as a result, the American public never understands the truth of these situations. And so, again, we just do these investigations in the political realm with wrongdoing completely backwards.

TODD: So, do you think though that — I mean, Congress has an oversight role. So shouldn’t Congress do their oversight role after an investigation is over? If doing it during the investigation, doesn’t that end up, either on purpose or inadvertently, interfere in the investigation?

JOHNSON: The problem is is Congress never gets access to the information. And by the time we do get access to the information, if we do, it’s all old news and the political figures aren’t held accountable. And from my standpoint, you know, I’d much rather have political figures held accountable with the truth being exposed of what they did, what their wrongdoing, as opposed to the criminal penalties. Oftentimes it’s very difficult to get any kind of criminal charges or convictions, particularly if you’re a Democrat in Washington D.C. So, from my standpoint, the more important imperative here is for the public to understand exactly what is happening inside government, inside of the administration. And we never find that out. And so, that is part of the problem we have in terms of our politics today is the American public remains in the dark. Misinformation is spread on all sides. And certainly from a conservative viewpoint, one of our frustrations is the censorship, the suppression of information primarily is coming from the left against the conservative viewpoint.

TODD: So, I guess the problem that I feel like you run into with that decision is what you’re saying is if the Justice Department decides a crime wasn’t committed, they’re not going to prosecute a crime, it sounds like you still want the information out there because you want to politically damage the person that was investigated?

JOHNSON: No, Chuck, because a lot of political wrongdoing does not necessarily result in a crime, but it’s still wrong and the public needs to understand exactly what happened. So, you know, take a look at the political wrongdoing on the part of the FBI. They went to Twitter and they were censoring information. Take a look at the 51 intelligence operatives that issued a letter saying that the Hunter Biden computer was — had all the earmarks of a Russian information operation. That letter was an information operation. What happened? The FBI had access to Hunter Biden’s computer in December 2019. Senator Grassley and I were conducting an investigation during Covid — not the easiest thing to do. We were smeared. There were false intelligence products leaked to the media. We got unsolicited briefings from the FBI designed to smear me because they leaked it later. The FBI spent almost nine months setting up the ability to sabotage the Hunter Biden computer, should it ever surface, which it did the day after. We were offered Hunter Biden’s computer the day after Chuck Grassley and I issued our report. But we did our due diligence. We went to the FBI. “What do you know about this?” They never came clean with us. Mr. Mac Isaac ended up getting frustrated and offered that to Rudy Giuliani’s computer,and then — or to his attorney, and then to the New York Post. But again, nine months of the FBI setting up the process of sabotaging Hunter Biden’s computer, which we now know is authentic. Our investigation was accurate, but we were smeared. All that information was censored and suppressed. And the FBI, in their actions, impacted the election to a far greater extent than anything that Russia or China ever could have hoped to have accomplished. These are facts, and that’s all I’m interested in, is I’m interested in the truth. And I think the American public deserves the truth. And again, these investigations, they cover up the truth.

TODD: Senator, senator, do you have a crime that you think Hunter Biden committed because I’ve yet to see anybody explain. It is not a crime to make money off of your last name.

JOHNSON: So, Chuck, you ought to read the Marco Polo report, where they detail all kinds of potential crimes. You know, Senator Grassley has certainly uncovered the —

TODD: Oh, hold on, let me stop you there. Potential. This is — senator, potential is innuendo.

JOHNSON: About, about, about, about, $30,000 —

TODD: This is why you do investigations.

JOHNSON: I mean, Chuck, is it a crime to be soliciting and purchasing prostitution in potentially European sex trafficking operations? Is that a crime? Because Chuck Grassley and I laid out about $30,000 paid by Hunter Biden to those types of individuals over December of 2018, 2019, about $30,000. That’s about the same time that President Biden offered to pay about $100,000 of Hunter Biden’s bills. I mean, again, that’s just some information. I don’t know exactly if it’s a crime.

TODD: Here’s what I don’t get. All right, Senator —

JOHNSON: It doesn’t really look — it sounds sleazy as you know what.

TODD: I’ll — I’ll take you, I’ll take you at your word that you’re ethically bothered by Hunter Biden. I’m curious, though, you seem to have a pattern —

JOHNSON: Are you not? Are you not?

TODD: You seem to have a pattern. I’m a journalist. I have to deal in facts.

JOHNSON: Are you not?

TODD: I deal in facts. Senator, my question to you is, I’m always worried, I have skepticism of both parties. I sit here with skepticism of a lot of people’s work


TODD: I’m curious, are you, were you at all concerned? This — Senate Democrats want to investigate Jared Kushner’s loan from the Qatari government when he was working in the government negotiating many things in the Middle East. Are you not as concerned about — are you not concerned about that? And I say that because it seems to me if you’re concerned about what Hunter Biden did, you should be equally outraged about what Jared Kushner did.

JOHNSON: I’m, I’m concerned about getting the truth. I don’t target individuals, target individuals. I target the truth.

TODD: You don’t? You’re targeting Hunter Biden multiple times on this show, Senator.

JOHNSON: My concern — my — my —

TODD: You’re targeting an individual.

JOHNSON: Chuck. My concern — you know, Chuck. You know, part of the problem, and this is pretty obvious to anybody watching this, is you don’t invite me on to interview me, you invite me on to argue with me. You know, I’m just trying to lay out the facts that certainly Senator Grassley and I uncovered. They were suppressed. They were censored. They interfered in the 2020 election. Conservatives understand that. Unfortunately, liberals in the media don’t. And that’s part of the things that — part of the reasons our politics are inflamed is we do not have an unbiased media. We don’t. It’s unfortunate. I’m all for free press.

TODD: Well, Senator —

JOHNSON: It needs to be more unbiased.

TODD: Senator, look, this is —

JOHNSON: There’s misinformation on both sides —

TODD: Look, go to partisan —

JOHNSON:– but the censorship and suppression —

TODD: Senator — Senator — look, we’re trying to do issues here and facts.

JOHNSON: — primarily occurs on the left.

TODD: Partisan cable —

JOHNSON: It’s frustrating.

TODD: Look, you can go back on your partisan cable cocoon and talk about media bias all you want. I understand it’s part of your identity. Let me move to what happened in Brazil. And I want to play something that Former Vice President Mike Pence said about what happened in Brazil. “It is evident that what happens in the United States has repercussions around the world. I have no doubt that that tragic day in January of 2021 in this country played some role in sowing the seeds of what’s taking place in Brazil.” Do you agree with Mike Pence?

In 2018 and 2020, Breitbart Senior Contributor and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer published Secret Empires and Profiles in Corruption. Each book hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and exposed how Hunter Biden and Joe Biden flew aboard Air Force Two in 2013 to China before Hunter’s firm inked a $1.5 billion deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China less than two weeks after the trip. Schweizer’s work also uncovered the Biden family’s other vast and lucrative foreign deals and cronyism. Breitbart Political Editor Emma-Jo Morris’ investigative work at the New York Post on the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” also captured international headlines when she, along with Miranda Devine, revealed that Joe Biden was intimately involved in Hunter’s businesses, appearing to even have a 10 percent stake in a company the scion formed with officials at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party.


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