In his first interview following Michael Cohen’s shocking admission that Donald Trump directed him to make illegal campaign finance contributions, the president denied that any of the money came from his campaign.
But as a former White House ethics czar pointed out during a CNN panel Monday afternoon, Trump may have admitted to another crime in the rambling discussion with Fox & Friends‘ Ainsley Earhardt.
“He’s gone out of the frying pan and into the fire,” Obama-era White House ethics chief Norm Eisen told the panel led by CNN host Ana Cabrera.
Eisen said the most “striking” thing about the Fox interview is that Trump admitted that the two six-figure “hush money” payouts made to women who alleged to have affairs with him came from his own accounts — an admission that flies in the face of documents he’d already signed.
“The president, in his usual clumsy way, has stumbled into another federal crime because he signed his federal financial disclosures under false statements penalty,” Obama’s former ethics czar said.
“If you owe somebody money — he just said ‘I knew about the payments,’ he repaid Michael Cohen — he had to list that on the forms,” Eisen continued. “He omitted it.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the former White House ethics chief’s watchdog group, previously made one criminal referral that “resulted in a complaint from the Office of Government Ethics to the Department of Justice,” Eisen said.
“President Trump just stumbled right into that second federal offense,” he said. “It may not be the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.”
Watch below, via CNN:
Trump’s ‘aberrant’ Omar excuse is the same ‘two-step’ he did when former Ku Klux Klan Grandwizard endorsed him: CNN contributor
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," contributor Ron Brownstein reacted with outrage to President Donald Trump's attempts to disown his supporters' racist chants of "Send Her Back!" regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) while at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina.
"Let me read a tweet that generated a lot of reaction, a tweet that you posted," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "It goes like this. 'If 20 high school students chanted this at a classmate how many would be expelled? If 20 employees yelled this at a colleague how many would be fired? If 20 Army soldiers aimed this at a platoon mate how many would be discharged? How much of US will accept this as a new standard?' You got a lot of reaction from that."
CNN’s Jim Acosta on ‘Send Her Back’ chants: Trump is trying to ‘gaslight his way out of this mess’
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta gave Wolf Blitzer a harsh assessment of President Donald Trump's attempts to disown the chants of "Send Her Back!" directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at his rally in North Carolina the previous day.
"President Trump is now gaslighting his way out of the mess he started with his racist tweets," said Acosta. "Today, the president claimed he tried to put a stop to the 'Send Her Back!' chants coming from his crowd in North Carolina last night, but that's not true. Unlike the president, the video doesn't lie."
Former House Speaker John Boehner thinks his Republican Party has ‘changed’
In a Thursday panel discussion on CNN, former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) lamented that it seems his political party has changed a lot since he left office just four years ago.
When asked about Trump's racist tweets that attacked four Congresswomen of color, he said there isn't room for this in America.
"People can describe them any way they want, I don’t think there’s room in America, society for these kinds of chants, this kind of conversation, it doesn’t belong in our politics," Boehner said. "It’s reflective of how divided America has become. I was brought up it doesn’t cost anything to be nice. You can disagree without being disagreeable."