CNN host of Alisyn Camerota called out Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York on the network’s show New Day on Wednesday for trying to turn Donald Trump’s “pay to play” scandal back on Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump’s charitable foundation was fined $2,500 by the IRS for its questionable donation to the re-election campaign of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi’s office declined to join a nation-wide lawsuit against Trump University for fraudulent practices after receiving a $25,000 donation from the Trump Foundation.
But according to the Trump surrogate, Americans aren’t interested in Trump’s political donations, despite the potential for a conflict of interest such as in the Florida case. Collins attempted to turn the tables and said that voters were far more interested in the donations being taken by the Clinton Foundation.
‘I frankly don’t think America cares too much on an individual giving his money as much as they do about somebody who has got their hands out shaking down donors and then being subject to the, you know, demands of those same donors. I think it is very different.’
Camerota seemed skeptical and pursued her line of questioning,
‘Congressman, don’t you think the American public cares about breaking the law?’
Collins dismissed Camerota’s concerns and persisted on focusing on Clinton:
‘Donald Trump has been on the donating side. You make donations to get the ear of somebody that you would like to speak with. That’s part of what goes on in politics. It is the dirty side of politics. Clinton has been on the receiving end.’
Reminding the congressman that receiving charitable donations isn’t illegal, Camerota then listed a long list of Trump’s questionable campaign donations going back over 30 years:
‘Let’s look at the list again, because it is more than just donations. It is illegal donations. The one to Pam Bondi, that one warranted a fine. That was the most recent one.
‘But let’s look back. In 1985, evaded donation limits by using 18 subsidiary committees. That’s a loophole.
‘But the next one is an actual illegality. In 1990s fined for exceeding donation limits by nearly $50,000.
‘In 2000, fined $250,000 by New York for failing to disclose the extent of lobbying activities, in other words lobbying politicians and paying them for something that he wanted.
‘And, now, of course, he donated to more than just Pam Bondi, four attorneys general who were looking into Trump University.
‘Isn’t this the very definition of payola, the practice of bribing someone to use their influence to promote your particular interest? How does this differ?
Then, Camerota decided to launch into the recent endorsement from the historically Republican Dallas Morning News for Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Collins certainly didn’t have a fun time on CNN on Wednesday, and being a Trump surrogate has turned out to be hard on any politician’s credibility.
CNN provided a video clip of the interview via the network’s Twitter page.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 7, 2016
Featured image via CNN screencap