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US Sen. Ron Johnson Says He Feels Sorry For President Trump

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos Says Out-state Republicans Tired Of Pumping Money Into Milwaukee Schools

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson
U.S. Senator Ron Johnon.  Photo by Gage Skidmore.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Monday he feels sorry for President Donald Trump, and when the president says his phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was “beautiful,” he believes him.

“I think it was a pretty gracious phone call,” Johnson told WTMJ Radio host Stephen Scaffidi on Monday during a day-long event held by the station at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. The event featured politicians and other Wisconsin newsmakers.

Johnson said Democrats and most members of the media were painting Trump’s phone call to Zelenskiy with the “worst possible construction.”

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An intelligence community whistleblower complaint has shown the president asked the Ukrainian president to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump and his supporters, including Johnson, argue there was no “quid pro quo” offered. An impeachment inquiry has been launched.

Johnson, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said he has all kinds of questions dating back to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

“We do need to be very concerned if there are individuals in government who are trying to undermine the president of the United States who was duly elected,” Johnson said. “And I think there is evidence that is what is occurring.”

Johnson was followed by a bipartisan panel that included: Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester; Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh; state Sen. Albert Darling, R-River Hills; and state Rep. Kalan Haywood, D-Milwaukee.

The group discussed several topics including legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, where they were split along party lines and Wisconsin’s drinking culture. The group also discussed the difference in ideology between people living in southeastern Wisconsin and the rest of the state.

Vos, who lives in Racine County, said people are tired of pumping “billions” of dollars into Milwaukee Public Schools only to continuously see students who can’t read.

“There is poverty everywhere in Wisconsin, rural poverty and poverty in southeastern Wisconsin,” Vos said. “If you are an out-state legislator, the frustration is all of the money that goes into the programs that serve the county, the school districts and the results are not there. So the answer is not just more money, but real reforms that ultimately benefit all of the people we are trying to help.”

Vos’ comments come at a time when Milwaukee County leaders are proposing a 1 percent local sales tax increase that could be reinvested into the community through property tax relief or to pay for programs and services.

Municipalities can not increase a tax, or go to referendum to do so without approval from the state.

Vos said he would “discuss the proposal with the Assembly Republican caucus, but it will be a tough sell for many of his colleagues.”