Republicans rush to defend Trump as Ukraine scandal deepens

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Ron Johnson and other Republicans stand firm behind the president.

Sen. Ron Johnson “winced” when he heard that Ukraine aid was being tied to investigating the Bidens. But like other Republicans, he didn’t bring any further political pain to President Donald Trump on Sunday, instead opting to use a morning TV appearance to defend Trump.

The Wisconsin Republican went full bore into litigating the 2016 election rather than discussing Trump’s current predicament, which is now the subject of the House’s impeachment inquiry. And he said the point of his Wall Street Journal interview last week in which he divulged his conversations with the president about Ukraine aid and a Biden probe was meant to clear Trump, not hurt him.

“Here’s the salient point of why I came forward: When I asked the president about that, he completely denied it. He adamantly denied it. He vehemently, angrily denied it. So that is the piece of the puzzle I’m here to report today,” Johnson told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday in a contentious interview. “Unlike the narrative of the press that President Trump wants to dig up dirt on his 2020, what he wants is an accounting of what happened in 2016.”

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