Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) argued Wednesday that if former President Trump is responsible for encouraging violence during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, then so are Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for other violent incidents. 

Walker said in an interview with Julie Mason on her SiriusXM show that he expects the federal indictment of Trump for his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election to have effects during the Republican primary and the general election in 2024. 

“I think there’s a sense when they feel like someone’s being attacked, there’s a sense in the family of circling around that person and trying to protect them, and I think that’s a little bit of it here,” he said, referring to Republican primary voters. 

“People think, ‘Well, if these sorts of things are worthy of indictment, why are they indicting Bernie Sanders for inciting violence against [House Majority Leader] Steve Scalise [R-La.] and the other Republicans at the baseball practice or Chuck Schumer for the things he said about Supreme Court justices?’” Walker continued. “And then people ended up in violation of federal law in front of their house.” 

Walker was referring to a shooting that happened at a congressional baseball practice in 2017 in which Scalise and several others were injured. Scalise, who was serving as the House majority whip at the time, was taken to a hospital but recovered. 

The perpetrator of the shooting was a man who had volunteered for Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders denounced his actions after the shooting happened, saying he was “sickened by this despicable act” and that “violence of any kind is unacceptable.” 

Walker also referenced comments Schumer made last year following the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, in which he said he did not see an issue with abortion rights protesters peacefully demonstrating outside justices’ homes. 

Some argued at the time the protests were an escalation, while others said they were part of a legitimate peaceful protest. 

Schumer’s comments came after a man who possessed a firearm was arrested outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home and charged with attempted murder. Schumer emphasized in his comments that the protests are acceptable as long as they remain peaceful. 

Walker argued that if liberals focus on the past presidential election instead of the future, “they’re in trouble.” 

He also called on Trump to participate in the first GOP primary debate later this month in Milwaukee. 

“100 percent. Conventional wisdom would suggest, you’re this far ahead, don’t go. But he’s not a conventional candidate. That’s an understatement,” Walker said. 

He said Trump is a “prize fighter” who “belongs in the ring defending his title.” 

Trump has signaled he might skip the first debate, recently suggesting it could be a chance for his GOP rivals to compete to be his running mate. 

“He could abruptly, I think, put an end to any speculation that anybody but he is going to be the nominee. On the flip side, if he doesn’t come, obviously he’ll find some way to at least garner some attention, but I do think he leaves the door open,” Walker said.