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:
Even evangelical groups were disgusted by Trump’s Bible stunt: former White House faith adviser
On CNN Tuesday, former Obama White House faith and race adviser Joshua Dubois said President Donald Trump's Bible photo-op in front of the church near the White House could backfire on him with his most critical voting bloc.
"I thought it was farcical. And it is kind of blowing up in his face even in the faith community and communities that support, him like some conservative evangelical communities," said Dubois. "The reason is Jesus stood up for everyday people, including the vulnerable, and didn't believe in false displays of piety, and yesterday President Trump ordered — or was okay with — everyday people being gassed and shot with rubber bullets in order to make his way to a false display of piety."
Former NBA player overcomes ‘crippling anxiety’ for protests: ‘We are tired of the tyranny of police’ and Donald Trump
Former NBA player Royce White overcame his anxiety to lead protests over the weekend in Minneapolis.
Speaking to CNN Tuesday, White noted that if only people listened to football star Colin Kaepernick, who peacefully protested by taking a knee during the "National Anthem" sung at games, this would not have happened. He was trying to raise awareness about police brutality and the disproportionate attacks on people of color at the hands of police. At the time, conservatives, including President Donald Trump, blasted him for the protest, ignoring the reason for doing it and focusing instead on how he refused to stand for the song.
1960s segregationist George Wallace would ‘smile’ at seeing Trump teargas protesters for a photo op: CNN’s Bakari Sellers
CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers said on Tuesday that watching President Donald Trump teargas a group of peaceful protesters so that he could have a photo opportunity reminded him of something he'd see segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace do.
"Yesterday, the president of the United States used teargas, he used the military against peaceful protesters," Sellers said. "The the only thing I could think of is George Wallace is looking over him with a smile."
Sellers then said he was "thoroughly pissed off" at conservative evangelicals who are remaining silent even as Trump continues to pour gasoline on the fire of racism while wrapping himself in the flag and the cross.