CNN's Rick Santorum: The allegation that Trump committed a campaign finance violation is "an incredibly flimsy charge"

CNN's Rick Santorum: The allegation that Trump committed a campaign finance violation is "an incredibly flimsy charge"

Co-Anchor John Berman: "Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a crime, which was making an illegal donation ... he was directed to do so by the president of the United States. That is a crime"

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the February 28 edition of CNN's New Day:

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RICK SANTORUM (CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR): I think that taking the approach of just vilifying Cohen was not the right approach. In fact, Michael Cohen said many things yesterday that actually benefited the president, which the president even noted. But when you vilify him and say that he has no credibility, that sort of undermines part of what was positive out of that hearing. I think there are a lot of things you could've gone after in particular, particularly on the campaign finance side. I think that's an incredibly flimsy charge, and --

JOHN BERMAN (CO-ANCHOR): It's not a charge. It was a crime. A convicted crime. He pleaded guilty to a crime.

SANTORUM: I'm not talking about the crime that he plead to. I'm saying what Michael Cohen attempted to implicate the president in, in something that, in my opinion, is not a crime, number one, and number two, the evidence he put forward in my mind, again, if it's not a crime, there's no evidence to support it.

BERMAN: Well first of all, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a crime, which was making an illegal donation, which was the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. The southern district, in their charging documents, saying that he was directed to do so by the president of the United States. That is a crime, and the evidence --

SANTORUM: I just fundamentally disagree with that. 

BERMAN: With who? With me, or with the southern district? 

SANTORUM: I disagree. But look, there's a crime on the books of not reporting a contribution --

BERMAN: This isn't reporting. This isn't reporting. This was a $130,000 contribution. That is an illegal contribution because $130,000, Senator, is a lot more than $2,700.

SANTORUM: The contribution is not illegal, what the contribution -- not reporting the contribution is illegal --

BERMAN: No. No.

SANTORUM: Donald Trump can pay anybody he wants and help his campaign --

BERMAN: Donald Trump didn't pay. Michael Cohen made the donation which is what made it illegal. It wasn't from Donald Trump, it was from Michael Cohen. He was directed to make that donation, according to Michael Cohen and the southern district, by Donald Trump. So it was an illegal donation because of the amount. Also illegal according to the charging documents was the way they tried to hide that donation.

Previously

CNN's Rick Santorum says Trump lies consistently about a lot of things so it doesn’t matter if he lies about Russia

CNN's Rick Santorum says Trump’s immigration address showed a “softer side” and was a “compassionate argument”

CNN's Rick Santorum: Parkland school shooting survivors aren't taking personal responsibility, should learn CPR

CNN’s Rick Santorum: President Obama “exacerbate[d] racism in this country”

Posted In
The Presidency & White House, Crime
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
John Berman, Rick Santorum, Michael Cohen
Show/Publication
New Day
Stories/Interests
Congressional Oversight, Trump / Russia
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