Exclusive — Ron Johnson Says McConnell’s ‘Top Priority’ Was Ukraine Aid, Not Border Deal

Exclusive — Ron Johnson Says McConnell’s ‘Top Priority’ Was Ukraine Aid, Not Border Deal
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens to reporters after a policy luncheo
AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, Getty Images/Kutay Tanir

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), in an exclusive interview with Sirius XM Breitbart News Daily on Tuesday, slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for the recent border bill “debacle,” saying that the leader did not even put on the negotiating table a provision to tie Ukraine aid to border metrics and that his “top priority” was Ukraine aid, not securing the border.

“My suggestion was to tie funding specifically to border metrics…that [Biden] has to continue to get those numbers down as he gets, let’s say $5 billion dollars a month,” Johnson said.


Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, speaks during a Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs and Rules and Administration Committees hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The commander of the D.C. National Guard said it took more than three hours for senior military leaders to approve a request to send troops to the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots, despite a “frantic” plea from the Capitol Police chief for immediate emergency assistance. (Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Unbeknownst to us, Leader McConnell told his chief negotiator, James Lankford, the border metrics threshold … that enforcement mechanism wasn’t even on the table,” he said.

Johnson said McConnell’s failure to tie Ukraine aid to border metrics “is why a lot of us are really speaking out against Leader McConnell, and his ham handed approach creating this debacle, quite honestly, for the American public in not extracting border security out of this Ukraine deal.”

Johnson said McConnell “just betrayed all of us and didn’t even put that on the table. ”

“Why not? Because top priority was getting funding for Ukraine,” he said.

The Senate on Tuesday passed a $95 billion bill that would give approximately $60 billion to Ukraine, as well as $14 billion to Israel and about $5 billion to Taiwan and other East Asian allies. Previous proposals would have contained some money to secure the border, negotiated by McConnell, Lankford, and Democrats, but Republican opposition in the House and Senate killed that version, prompting Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to put forward a bill without border security.

Johnson noted that the border provisions negotiated by McConnell, Lankford, and Democrats would have weakened existing presidential authority on the border, and allowed thousands of illegal immigrants into the country before Biden could stop processing asylum claims.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., the lead GOP negotiator on a border-foreign aid package, speaks with reporters outside the chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. Any bipartisan border deal could be doomed because of resistance from former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“The weakening of the President’s authority that he has under current law is worse than doing nothing,” Johnson said. “Passing that bill would have been worse than doing nothing.”

Johnson added:

All I can say is that his top priority was funding Ukraine. I can’t explain it. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. You’ve got an American public strongly in support of closing the border, because you realize, there’s no border policies, it’s a clear and present danger, it facilitates the multibillion dollar business model so most evil people on the planet — drug, human, sex traffickers. That’s what the American people want to see. They expect us to do that, so I can’t explain it. I’m just telling you what happened.

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