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Jake Tapper Stops Susan Collins Cold on Hush Money Spin: We ‘Do Have the Full Picture’

Sometime moderate Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) tried to give cover for Donald Trump‘s deepening legal jeopardy Sunday, but CNN’s Jake Tapper was quick to shut that down by pointing out that where Trump’s hush-money scheme is concerned, the ballgame is essentially over.

On CNN’s State of the Union, Tapper pointed out that “It’s not just [Michael Cohen] making the assertion. In the filing, they said that he made these payments at direction of the president,” and asked “Does it bother you?”

Collins concede that “clearly this was not a good week for President Trump, nor for his campaign organization, and these allegations are concerning.”

“But we need to wait until we have the entire picture,” she continued. “And that’s why it’s so critical that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation unimpeded, so that we can have the full picture.”

“I get that when it comes to the Russia investigation,” Tapper concede, but noted that “When it comes to Michael Cohen, we kind of do have the whole picture.”

“The Southern District of New York said these payments were illegal campaign contributions, and the prosecutors say they were done at the direction of and in coordination with president Trump, and now Michael Cohen is going to jail as a result of that and other crimes,” Tapper said, and asked “Don’t we have the whole picture there?”

Collins tried to muddy the waters by questioning Cohen’s credibility, but Tapper shut that down, referencing the tape of Trump and Cohen specifically discussing the payoffs to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels.

“There is an audiotape of Michael Cohen talking about these payments with president Trump,” Tapper said. “I’m sure you heard the audiotape. Do you not believe — you haven’t seen enough evidence to convince you that Donald Trump told Michael Cohen, directed him to make these payments, to get Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to keep their stories quiet?”

Collins stuck to her non-guns, insisting that “I don’t feel that I have the entire picture yet,” but maintaining her aluminum-foil-clad conviction that this is all very “concerning.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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