Sen. Susan Collins tells CNN's Jake Tapper that she just doesn't know enough about Trump's mounting legal problems to pass judgment, and payoffs to porn stars, campaign finance violations, and dealings with the Russians are just what happens when you have a "campaign organization with very little experience."
December 16, 2018

If you need any more proof that any of these so-called "moderate Republicans" are never going to do the right thing and hold Trump accountable for his lawbreaking, look no further than this interview from this Sunday's State of the Union on CNN with Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

Collins danced all around host Jake Tapper's questions on the recent Cohen sentencing, and after Tapper ran off the incredible list of all of the ongoing investigations on everything from Russiagate, to the Trump administration, to the Trump campaign 2016, to the Trump transition team, to the Trump Organization, to the Trump Foundation, to Trump University, to the Trump inaugural committee, Collins simply wrote it all off to Trump putting together a "campaign organization with very little experience," and "with completely inadequate vetting."

TAPPER: Does it bother you that the president of the United States is being accused of ordering felony crimes in order to help him win the election?

COLLINS: Well, let me point out that there are a lot of unanswered ethical, legal and factual questions, but clearly this was not a good week for president Trump, nor for his campaign organization organization and these allegations are concerning, but we need to wait until we have the entire picture. And that's why it's so critical that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation unimpeded so that we can have the full picture.

TAPPER: I get that when it comes to the Russia investigation, because we're still waiting to hear the whole picture there, but when it comes to Michael Cohen, we kind of do have the whole picture. The Southern District of New York said that these payments were illegal. They were campaign contributions and the prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's office there that the presidient, that they were done in direction of and coordination with president Trump. And now Michael Cohen is going to jail as a result of that and other crimes. Don't we have the whole picture there?

COLLINS: I don't think we do. For one thing, the U.S. Attorney's office described Michael Cohen as being deceitful, as being motivated by greed and point out that that he was not a cooperating witness. On the special counsel side, the special counsel praised him for his cooperation in the Russian investigation.

So we have two different pictures of Michael Cohen, and many of the crimes for which he is going to prison have nothing to do with Donald trump, such as tax evasion. That benefited him. Lying to the Intelligence Committee is another crime for which he was punished. So the picture there is still murky in my view.

TAPPER: So there, there is an audiotape of Michael Cohen talking about these payments with president Trump. I'm sure you heard the audiotape. Do you not believe -- you haven't seen enough evidence to convince you that Donald Trump told Michael Cohen, directed him to make these payments, to get Stormy denials and Karen McDougal to keep their stories quiet?

COLLINS: I'm not going to engage in speculation because I don't feel that I have the entire picture yet. I have charges and counter-charges. Certainly this is concerning, and I don't mean to imply otherwise but I'm going to wait until I have the full picture.

TAPPER: There is, I mean, he is going to jail, but it's not just for that charge, but, bigger picture, there are ongoing investigations since the Trump administration, the Trump campaign 2016, the Trump transition team, the Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation.

There was one for Trump University. And now we found out from The Wall Street Journal this week the Trump inaugural committee. Given all these investigations, given the fact that the president surrounded himself with people like Michael Cohen, and people like Paul Manafort, do you think that the president has respect for the rule of law?

COLLINS: I think this reflects that president Trump put together a campaign organization with very little experience, with completely inadequate vetting, and I think that's what happens. This is what happens when you take that kind of approach.

And with that, Tapper gave up and simply changed the subject. So much for holding their feet the fire of any of them accountable for enabling this completely corrupt administration.

Trump and his cronies have lots of experience, Sen. Collins -- experience at breaking the law.

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