Santorum: Tapes Of Trump Conspiring To Pay Off Ex-Playboy Model Are Not 'Particularly Problematic'

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum--who has carefully crafted a branding of being a morally upright Christian conservative since his days as a junior senator who voted to impeach and remove then-President Bill Clinton for lying about an extramarital affair-- threw it all out on Sunday, arguing that leaked tapes of Donald Trump were not "problematic" even though he can be heard talking about paying hush money to an alleged mistress.

During a panel discussion on CNN, host Jake Tapper explained that a short audio tape had been leaked of Trump discussing paying off former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump has claimed that the tape exonerates him because he suggests in the audio that it would not be possible to buy McDougal's silence.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney for alleged Trump mistress Stormy Daniels, also said on Sunday that he was aware of additional tapes of discussions between the president and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

"Are you concerned at all about what might be in these tapes?" Tapper asked Santorum on Sunday.

"Hearing the reports of that particular conversation, I don't think there's anything particularly problematic in that conversation," Santorum insisted, pretending that all of his moralizing during the Clinton impeachment trials didn't really happen. "But it raises the other question, how much did he record and when did he record it and what else is there?"

Without any prompting, Santorum then turned the conversation to Trump's controversial press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin and special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

"I basically believe that the president is focused on Russia for the wrong reason," the former GOP senator stuttered. "Which is, he keeps getting dragged back into this, you know, that he was somehow guilty of something when there's no evidence anywhere that the president did anything to collude with the Russians."

"And the best thing this president can do is walk away from this whole Russia scenario, stop talking about it," he added. "I think the Mueller investigation is going to be pretty clear. There are lots of people who are being investigated."


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"Michael Cohen is a separate investigation," Tapper reminded his guest.

"All of this is related to this whole idea that that Trump somehow -- and his campaign -- colluded," Santorum said, returning to the Russia case. "And that somehow the Russians had a determinative effect in the election, which they did not. And so, I think he needs to just continue to walk away from this and stop talking about it."

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