During an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said the whistleblower that sparked the House impeachment inquiry “exposed things that didn’t need to be exposed,” arguing that exposing Trump’s Ukearine shakedown will weaken presidential power.
“You know it’s going to be very difficult for future presidents to have a candid conversation with a world leader because now we’ve set the precedent of leaking transcripts, the weakening of executive privilege is not good,” Johnson told NBC host Chuck Todd.
Johnson dismissed the allegations at the center of the impeachment inquiry that Trump withheld the aid in return for Ukrainian officials to launch investigations that would interfere in the 2020 election.
“When I was in Ukraine with Sen. [Chris] Murphy, one of the things I was trying to make clear as we left that meeting, let’s try to minimize this. Let’s talk, this is a timing difference,” Johnson said.
He also suggested that the allegations the whistleblower released in the formal complaint should have been handled “behind the scenes” and away from the public.
“This would’ve been far better off if we had just taken care of this behind the scenes,” he added.
House Republicans have asked for the whistleblower to testify. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has denied their request and is not allowing questions during the impeachment hearings that would lead witnesses to identify the whistleblower.
"If the whistleblower's goal is to improve our relationship with Ukraine, he utterly — or she — utterly failed." pic.twitter.com/b9XDMBpDVs
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) November 17, 2019