Conservative commentator Michael Reagan cited 1970s-era political history on Wednesday’s CNN Tonight to set up an odd defense of the alleged collusion between Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
Reagan recycled a point he made in a December 2016 column about how Ted Kennedy used a friend of his, former Senator John Tunney, to serve as an intermediary with the Soviet Union to “help him defeat Jimmy Carter for the nomination of the Democrat Party in 1979.”
The CNN guest continued by pointing out the Carter did something similar towards his father, former President Ronald Reagan, in a presidential year.
Host Don Lemon wondered, “What are you saying, in the interest of time? What’s the bottom line here?” Reagan replied, “The bottom line is, this is not the first time Russia has tried or been involved in an election….This is not new stuff.”
Lemon countered that “we can’t look at the 1970s now through a 2016 or 2017 lens. There was no Internet. The times were different.” He continued by raising Jared Kushner‘s alleged attempt to secure a back channel with the Russian government.
Reagan emphasized that “the reality of it is, we don’t really know what happened in that meeting, and what went on. When we find out what went on, fine.” He then returned to his historical point and made an eyebrow-raising statement.
“But guess what? Collusion is not breaking the law. Just like Kennedy — he didn’t break the law. It was a political move that he made, just like Jimmy Carter. It was political. It wasn’t breaking the law.”
Lemon replied, “Collusion is not breaking the law?” Reagan retorted, “What law did they break?”
The CNN host speculated, “Isn’t that treasonous to do that?” The conservative commentator repeated his point about the law.
Lemon stated, “I’m not an attorney, but it seems like that’s the whole reason for this investigation by the intelligence community.”
“Nobody can name the law,” Reagan claimed.
The two kept up their argument for the next several minutes by underlining how the issue has been “politicized.” They also sparred over whether the anyone’s votes were changed as the result of the investigations of the two major candidates.
You can watch the relevant portion of the Michael Reagan segment above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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