Donald Trump was directly implicated in felony campaign violations that could have his former lawyer headed to prison, but some top Republicans don’t seem to mind very much.
CNN created a montage, via Twitter, of congressional Republicans shrugging off the allegations that Trump directed Michael Cohen to make hush money payments to women claiming they had affairs with Trump, doing so in violation of campaign finance rules.
As the CNN montage showed, Republicans are hesitant to address the allegations. The montage showed Susan Collins, John Thune, and Bill Cassidy dismissing the allegations, saying they wanted more facts.
Senator Orrin Hatch went a step further, the report noted, at first trying to paint the allegations as a politically motivated witch hunt.
“The Democrats will do anything to hurt this president. Anything,” he said.
But when informed by a CNN reporter that the allegations were not coming from Democrats but rather a filing from Trump’s own Department of Justice, Hatch admitted that he didn’t care.
“I don’t care, all I can say is he’s doing a good job as president,” Hatch said, adding, “Now, you can make anything a crime under the current laws if you want to. You can blow things out of proportion.”
CNN put together a montage of Senate Republicans -- including Susan Collins, John Thune, Bill Cassidy, and Orrin Hatch -- each shrugging off the president being implicated in felonies by federal prosecutors. pic.twitter.com/rrVWgjGQxV— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 11, 2018
To show how Hatch’s feelings on presidential crimes have changed since Donald Trump took office, CNN played a clip of the Utah Senator speaking about Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. In his vote to impeach Clinton, Hatch said that the United States must not tolerate a president who “makes mistakes and then breaks the law to cover it up.”
At his sentencing on Wednesday, Cohen claimed that he worked at the order of Trump, who had been mentioned in Cohen’s conviction filings — but was not identified by name. Cohen said that he felt compelled to lie for Trump out of a misguided sense of loyalty.
MORE: Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal signed a $150,000 deal in August 2016 transferring rights to her story of alleged 2006 affair with Donald Trump to AMI; Trump denies the affair. https://t.co/q1bAQDE3ZO— ABC News (@ABC) December 12, 2018
Donald Trump’s potential trouble with the law may have grown even deeper on Wednesday. The president of the National Enquirer‘s parent company claimed that he had paid off Playboy model Karen McDougal at the behest of the Trump campaign in order to influence the election. As the Hollywood Reporter noted, federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute American Media Inc. for campaign contributions — after the company accepted responsibility, and cooperated with the federal investigation.