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Tags: rick santorum | trump | mueller | probe | russia | collusion

Santorum: Trump Sounds Like 'He's Got Something to Hide'

Santorum: Trump Sounds Like 'He's Got Something to Hide'
(Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 March 2018 09:11 AM EDT

President Donald Trump is making the matter of the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 worse, overall, through his protests about special counsel Robert Mueller and claims of collusion, and sounding like "he's got something to hide," former Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday,

"The president harping about it, as [Sen.] Trey Gowdy said, if you're innocent, act innocent," said the Pennsylvania Republican on CNN's "New Day," repeating comments the South Carolina Republican made in a Sunday interview.

"Right now, he's looking like, 'Hey, I want this over because he's got something to hide.' That's a mistake."

"Had he been more aggressive on pursuing the national security aspects of the Russian involvement in our election, that would have been the high ground," Santorum, now a CNN commentator said.

"You can take that position and still say there was no collusion."

Santorum said he also understands Trump's frustration, but said Mueller is not going to end the investigation. Instead, said the former senator, Mueller will take his time to do what he thinks is right.

Meanwhile, if Trump tries to push Mueller out, it would create a "great upheaval" in Congress just as the midterm election season is gearing up, as well as motivate an already energized Democratic base, former Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday.

"Look, everyone right now in Congress is in election mode," Santorum said. "The firing of Robert Mueller would take an energized Democratic base and skyrocket it up."

Trump's base also is "charged up, but not as much as the other side," and that worries Republicans, said Santorum, which is very loyal to the president, would be "equally charged up, but not as much as the other side," and that worries Republicans, said Santorum.

"They're worried about Donald Trump doing something that's going to alter the dynamics of the upcoming election, which already doesn't look good," said Santorum.

He said he also doesn't believe most Republicans think the Justice Department would go along with pushing Mueller out.

"The chances of something like that happening, the idea that Donald Trump is going to fire justice department officials until they find someone who will fire Mueller, I think that's a very unlikely scenario," said Santorum.

"There's no reason to go out and prod the president and prod his supporters by doing something like that preemptively, if the chances of that happening are pretty small."

Santorum said there also is a difference between how two Republican leaders, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are handling news concerning Mueller.

"Mitch McConnell's reaction is someone who is a senator and looking at Senate elections; Paul Ryan is looking at the congressional elections," said Santorum.

"Ryan's big vulnerability to hold his speakership are suburban voters. Suburban voters are voters that he is talking to when he goes out and criticizes the president and speaks more directly about these issues. He's willing to pick a little bit more of a fight because he's got to hold on to moderate Republican voters."

McConnell, however, is more worried about the base's voters and making sure they turn out, Santorum added.

"The Senate elections that the Republicans have a chance to pick up are in Montana and North Dakota and Missouri," said Santorum. "That's where you need the trump base. He doesn't want to prod anybody and get them upset."

However, he said he is sure McConnell and other Republicans are communicating with Trump about how they feel, but that is different from what's said publicly and how the upcoming election is being managed.

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Politics
Former Sen. Rick Santorum said President Donald Trump is making the matter of the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 worse, overall, through his protests about special counsel Robert Mueller and claims of collusion.
rick santorum, trump, mueller, probe, russia, collusion
591
2018-11-20
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 09:11 AM
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