- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, said on Sunday that individuals leaking things about Ukraine have exposed things “that didn’t need to be exposed” and that issues over military aid would have been better handled behind the scenes.

He said there is damage being done to the U.S. by the impeachment process.

“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,” Mr. Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The weakening of executive privilege is not good. And by the way, those individuals that leaked this, if their interest was a stronger relationship with Ukraine, they did not accomplish this,” he said. “Having this all come out into public has weakened that relationship and has exposed things that didn’t need to be exposed.”

“This would have been far better off if we would have just taken care of this behind the scenes,” he said. “If the whistleblower’s goal is to improve our relationship with Ukraine, he utterly - or she - utterly failed.”

The complaint from the whistleblower, reportedly a CIA analyst, that President Trump improperly withheld military aid to Ukraine helped prod House Democrats to formalize their impeachment inquiry into the president.

The House is investigating whether Mr. Trump withheld the aid to try to get Ukrainian officials to publicly announce investigations, including into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

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