Rick Santorum squirms as CNN's Erin Burnett asks if he agrees that a war hero is out to get Trump
Rick Santorum appears on CNN (screen grab)

On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tied his tongue in knots after anchor Erin Burnett asked him if he agreed with President Donald Trump and his allies that decorated war heroes and longtime civil servants with bipartisan accolades are secretly plotting to destroy his presidency.


"Congressman Zeldin and Jordan have tried to suggest that Bill Taylor, the lead witness, top diplomat to Ukraine, three decades of public service, Bronze Star in Vietnam, 101st Airborne, many other things, someone who is lauded by both Democrats and Republicans — they've said he's not credible, and they've said that he and others who have testified that have testified negatively about the president are Never Trumpers?" said Burnett.

"I think this is an opportunity," said Santorum. "I've been hearing this from many people, from the White House and other places, that the stories of some of these witnesses, under cross-examination, don't hold up. And this is an opportunity for them to do — I think they're going to be polite, but I think they're going to be tough. They're going to go after the holes in the stories and point out that a lot of this is not first-hand information."

"So, are you saying — but what you're saying is — maybe you're not — are you saying that they're Never Trumpers, they're political, they're lying?"

"No," said Santorum quickly. "They're telling their perspective on things—"

"But that's different than what people are saying, they're not credible and Never Trumpers, and that's not the same thing," Burnett pressed him.

"There is a whole realm on both sides as to where people are and how some assess this," said Santorum. "Some are dismissing this out of hand while others are taking it seriously and trying to poke holes. I think what you will see here is a little mix of both and primarily it was said earlier and they'll take it seriously. They'll know it isn't a moment, and I went through the impeachment, and it's an incredibly weighty experience and unlike anything else that you go through as a member of Congress to know that, you know, this doesn't happen very often and it's a big deal, and you know this is your moment and you don't want to blow it. So I don't think you'll see the histrionics that you've seen in the past."

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