Susan Collins needs to admit she was wrong that Trump 'learned his lesson': CNN's Avlon
Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins (screengrab)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has faced years of criticism and scrutiny after 2020 her vote to acquit former President Donald Trump of any wrongdoing for attempting to extort Ukraine. After the vote, she told CBS News' Norah O'Donnell, "I believe the president has learned from this case...I believe he will be much more cautious in the future."

CNN's John Avlon talked about the recent report of a missing 7.5 hours of call logs from the White House. But to host Brianna Keilar, Trump's recent comments begging Russia for help is just as important.

"I feel obligated that we have to really look strongly at doing it again. We are looking at it very, very strongly. We have to do it. We have to do it," Trump told a group of GOP funders in New Orleans in early March. Statements like that are one of many reasons that a progressive group is suing, saying that Trump is dodging campaign finance laws by not officially filing for office.

"He just asked Vladimir Putin, a NATO adversary who started this unprovoked war in Ukraine where you have civilians, including children dying, he asked him to release dirt on the current president of the United States. If he weren't potentially running again, I would not even elevate this comment, but the fact is Vladimir Putin is listening, the world is watching."

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Avlon called it "pathetic, desperate and predictable." But none of those things matter because he runs the Republican Party and he has made it clear that he's running for president.

"Let's put this in perspective here," Avlon continued. "All the senators who said Trump learned his lesson about asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, like Susan Collins, those folks really need to just admit they were blatantly wrong. Second of all, pull back for a second, think of a parallel to the extent of this, imagine it is 1940, and a U.S. politician running for president asks a foreign power, Axis Powers to dig up dirt on a sitting U.S. president. Imagine it happened during the Cold War — people making appeals to communist leaders to dig up dirt on a sitting U.S. president. That's what we're looking at here. Let's not get numb to the surreal desperate, despicable actions by an ex-president who believes ethics are weakness and instinct is always to go ugly in a way that is indefensible in the eyes of history."

See the full commentary in the video below:

Susan Collins she needs to admit she was wrong Trump 'learned his lesson'