In the wake of revelations that President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week, a CNN panel asked the fundamental question facing the country: “Is Donald Trump competent enough to be president?”
Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum did his best to defend Trump’s competence on CNN by trying to downplay the importance of the president sharing secret information with a foreign power that American intelligence agencies claim interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
“If the president did what the Washington Post suggested, I would make the argument that he overstepped his bounds and probably shouldn’t have done that,” he said. “Is this a cataclysmic event? No, I don’t believe it is.”
Former Obama administration official Jennifer Psaki, however, wasn’t buying any of it.
“It is not acceptable to share information provided by a partner, an overseas partner, with an adversary, and that is exactly what reportedly happened here,” she said. “And what should be concerning, not just to Democrats but also to Republicans, is the fact that this is information that could put lives at risk.”
Santorum, however, argued that Trump’s actions are simply a reflection of the fact that he is a true Washington outsider who rose to power by channeling Americans’ distrust for government institutions.
“You have a president who is not a conformist by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.
Watch the full panel below.