From the June 12 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): Yeah, Sen. Santorum, on the subways in New York there are signs saying, you know, “If you see something, say something.” We want citizens to call the police if they even, you know, suspect something. What message does this send?
RICK SANTORUM (CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR): Well, I mean, let's be fair. I mean, the president said he would listen, but he would also send it to the FBI. He said he would do both. So, the question is whether he should do both or just simply refuse to get the information. But he did say he would turn it over to the FBI. So, I -- and what I think he was talking about --
DAVID GERGEN: He said “maybe.”
COOPER: Yeah, “maybe,” and also, initially he did point out he's never, you know, never picked up the phone for something like that, and nobody ever would, and congresspeople don't do it, and that Chris Wray is wrong, that you should pick up the phone.
SANTORUM: Yeah, I -- look, the president throws the terms “maybe” out -- I mean, he has sort of -- as we all do, we have filler words that we throw out there, and -- that don't mean what they say, like, you know, “I think.” So, I took the president for his word that he would do both, which I think -- I don't think that's necessarily inappropriate as long as he refers it to the FBI.
As far as looking at the information, maybe he should, maybe he shouldn't, but I don't think there's a crime in looking at the information as long as you refer it to the proper authorities.
SANTORUM: The president wasn't answering questions about solicitating information. He was saying if someone came to you and said, “Hey, I have some dirt” -- and he was talking more colloquially, and again, I think the president's word, as often, are imprecise and not necessarily -- you know, that's why I think he didn't want to be interviewed with Bob Mueller, is that he can sort of ramble and talk about things more loosely, and I think he was talking more of a general political context that we get opposition research all the time.
When you get opposition research in a campaign, you don't call the FBI. I mean, I got -- I got folks who threw information at me in all of my campaigns, and no, I never called the FBI.
COOPER: Right, but did you get it from Russia or Norway? Or, I mean --
SANTORUM: No -- if I knew that that information was coming from a foreign source, sure, I would call the FBI --
COOPER: OK, but that's not what the president said. He didn't say yes --
SANTORUM: He said he would. He said he would do both.