On Thursday, CNN’s Anderson Cooper took on the fallout surrounding the allegations against President Trump about an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempts to deflect with an argument about not focusing on the infidelity because it is not worth our time.
“I haven’t put a second thought into this. it’s not on my radar screen,” Ryan stated.
“Whatever happened, if it happened, happened between two consenting adults. Marital infidelity is certainly nothing new in Washington or elsewhere, and if that were it, there would be no reason to go any further,” he argued.
Cooper rebuked, emphasizing that the point is that Trump attempted to cover it up just before the 2016 election.
“It’s about paying to hush it up in a deal just before the election using a shell corporation, phony names, payments that triggered suspicions that banking laws were being violated, and many more questions about the money itself, not the least of which is where did it actually come from?” Cooper said.
The Trump administration has failed to adequately explain the situation. During a press event, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was pressed about whether or not the president knew about the $130,000 payment at the time, which was facilitated by his own lawyer, Michael Cohen.
When asked if the president had ever addressed the payment, Sanders stated: “the president has denied the allegations against him and again this case has already been won in arbitration.”
“I’ve addressed this as far as I can go,” she continued, before stating that she doesn’t know any further information.
Her responses left many people unsatisfied.
An unlikely critic, Republican Mark Sanford (who was publicly criticized for his own extramarital affair) said, “it’s nefarious, it’s awkward, it’s unpleasant, it’s unseemly. It’s not something people feel that comfortable talking about, but frankly, it’s something we ought to talk about because it is a big deal.”
The watchdog group Common Cause reacted to the recent developments by filing complaints with the FEC (Federal Elections Commission) and the Justice Department. The complaints allege that Cohen’s payments were an illegal campaign contribution or expenditure.
A representative for the group insisted that “if the FEC doesn’t investigate [..] this FEC is hopeless.”
CNN’s legal analyst Paul Callan spoke about his doubts about Cohen’s payment coming from his own pocket.
“He didn’t know that his own lawyer paid a porn star $130,000? Boy, that’s some lawyer,” he stated with shock. “You ever meet a lawyer who reached into his pocket for 130,000 to help out a client? I don’t think so.”
A video of Cooper’s segment can be viewed below: