The questionable actions of former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former CIA director John Brennan have made it impossible for Americans to trust the country's intelligence apparatuses and created a sense of extreme skepticism, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said during an interview that aired Sunday.
Johnson appeared on NBC News' "Meet the Press" and got into a heated debate with host Chuck Todd over House Democrats' impeachment efforts and various intelligence community abuses. The GOP senator said there still were unanswered questions when asked if he thought Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
"They absolutely did," Johnson replied. "I don’t know to what extent the Ukrainians did. I don't know to what extent the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and the Hillary Clinton campaign were involved in... juicing up the Ukrainian involvement, as well. There are a lot of unanswered questions... Chuck, I just want the truth. The American people want the truth."
"Do you not trust the FBI -- you don't trust the CIA?" Todd shot back.
"No, no, I don’t," Johnson stated. "Absolutely not. After [former FBI Agent] Peter Strzok and [attorney] Lisa Page? After James Comey, John Brennan, no, I don’t trust any of these guys in the Obama administration."
Todd continued to press Johnson and asked if he trusted the current operatives within the intelligence community, and Johnson rattled off a list of those he thought to be corrupt.
"I don’t trust Andrew McCabe. I don't trust James Comey. I don’t trust Peter Strzok. I don’t trust John Brennan," he replied.
They both switched gears to media bias after Johnson claimed the media were twisting the facts, while Todd argued that trashing the media was simply a tactic to avoid answering tough questions.
"You started the piece with something incredibly biased that I would never be able to get the truth out," Johnson said.
"Senator, I don’t know why you just came on here to personally attack the press and avoid answering questions about what's happened here," Todd replied. "Senator, it’s pretty clear, we’re only dealing with the facts that we have, not the facts as you wish them to be."
He added, "You're making a choice not to believe the investigations that have taken place, multiple."
Johnson claimed the media wanted to deal only in half-truths for political reasons and weren't interested in hearing all the facts.
"I’m trying to get to the truth. I want to look at the entire truth, Chuck," Johnson said. "The media doesn't."