Rand Paul Defends Trump on Corruption in Contentious Interview - Rolling Stone
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Rand Paul’s Defense of Trump on Corruption Goes Down in Flames During Contentious Interview

“You really think President Trump is concerned about rooting out corruption?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked

Rand Paul, Jake Tapper

Screencap, CNN

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper that President Donald Trump should not be impeached because Trump is dedicated to rooting out corruption, and his motives for holding up the military funding to Ukraine were centered around those concerns. In his response, however, Tapper schooled the congressman in the facts.

Tapper asked Paul, “So you’re saying that you think that President Trump was actually doing this because he was combating corruption?”

Paul replied, “Well, yes, there are all kinds of accusations that Burisma and Hunter Biden and the company were corrupt and the founder of the company was corrupt.”

Tapper then went in hard on the senator, listing the absurd amount of corrupt former aides and associates that the president seemingly had no problem surrounding himself with.

“But this is a president whose former personal attorney Michael Cohen, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, former campaign adviser Roger Stone, former deputy campaign chair Rick Gates, former associate George Papadopoulos, all of them have been convicted of federal crimes,” Tapper said.

The host continued by citing a corrupt business and charity that donned the Trump name, “In addition, last year, Trump University settled a $25 million fraud lawsuit. Last month, President Trump admitted misusing his own charitable foundation’s money, was ordered to pay $2 million.”

Tapper then drove home his point, asking, “You really think President Trump is concerned about rooting out corruption?”

Instead of answering the question, Paul pivoted and spoke about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Republicans have seized upon this argument in defense of the president since the Justice Department’s Inspector General report, released last week, concluded that the FBI made significant errors when surveilling Page in 2016.

So, Tapper put the focus back on his point and said, “It was the Trump Justice Department that put all those people in prison or sentenced all those people. It’s not me.”

Again, Paul returned to Page, but Tapper replied, “That doesn’t absolve Paul Manafort of money laundering.”

Tapper added, “I’m asking you about President Trump and corruption. I just listed a number of close associates of President Trump’s who are either in prison or facing sentencing.”

Paul replied by sounding a familiar note in our current political environment where seemingly everyone chooses their own facts, “Right. But I think it’s based on opinion,” Paul said.

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