Following Tuesday’s Manafort-Cohen gut punch to President Trump, it has been slim picking for cable news shows — especially MSNBC and CNN — when it comes to Trump-defending pundits and surrogates.
Watching American Conservative Union chair and CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp on CNN Wednesday morning, we can see why supporters of the president have steered clear in the immediate aftermath of Paul Manafort’s conviction and Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas.
Speaking to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Schlapp was asked to respond specifically to the news that Trump’s former attorney and fixer Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations revolving around hush payments made to two women that Cohen says was directed by Trump in order to influence the 2016 election. And Schlapp’s spin? Cohen admitted guilt to crimes that aren’t crimes.
“Well, all I can tell you is Cohen taped a lot of his conversations with the president so if Michael Cohen has some kind of proof that that happened, we’ll see it,” Schlapp said in response to whether he believes Cohen. “I don’t believe that proof exists.”
He continued, “I believe that Michael Cohen pled guilty to actions that are called crimes in the plea deal, that aren’t in fact crimes. Alisyn, can you name any other person in this country who has been convicted of trying to squelch a story in the National Enquirer?”
From there, the interview went predictably off the rails as the two went back and forth over Schlapp’s belief that he wasn’t getting a fair shake from Camerota and that he had a First Amendment right to say whatever he wanted whenever he wanted during a cable news hit.
Meanwhile, his crimes “that aren’t in fact crimes” will go right next to Rudy Giuliani’s “truth isn’t truth” in the Pundit Faceplam Hall of Fame.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.