This post is part of our coverage of the 2017 state GOP convention in Wisconsin Dells. See more coverage here.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said James Comey was in a “pretty tough spot” leading the agency, but declined to weigh in on whether the president taped his conversations with the former FBI director.
Still, he said it would be troubling if the president had taped the conversation.
President Trump tweeted this week Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Some have taken that as a threat and questioned if the president has been taping his conversation with others. The White House has said it was not a threat, though a spokesman declined this week to say if any recordings exist.
Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said any questions about tapes were hypothetical. He also believed the president’s tweet was referencing the possibility Comey had taped their conversation.
“I’m just looking forward to a new director, someone completely independent and with a great deal of integrity to complete the investigation,” Johnson said, referencing the FBI’s probe into Russia’s role in last year’s election. He added it was too early to say whether an independent investigation was needed.
Johnson, who joined a working group of GOP senators trying to work out changes to the House health care bill, said his focus will be reducing premiums and “repairing the damage” the Affordable Care Act has done.
Johnson said requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions has contributed to the increase in premiums. But he believes that can be addressed through things like high-risk pools.
Reducing premiums, he said, also would help lower subsidies from the federal government.
“We don’t want to pull the rug out from anyone,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who announced during last year’s campaign if re-elected he would not seek a third term, said he is sticking to that pledge. Johnson reported $142,467 in contributions during the first three months of the year, but said that was to help pay off debt and to fund political travel.
“I meant a second and final term,” Johnson said.