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WATCH LIVE: IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

Tapper Confronts GOP Sen. on Impeachment: Republicans Did Private Depositions Too, But ‘Conspiratorial’ When Dems Do It?

CNN’s Jake Tapper confronted Republican Senator John Kennedy today over the GOP defending President Donald Trump on Ukraine and impeachment.

Tapper asked, “Whether or not there is a quid pro quo proven, do you think it is wrong for a president, any president, to ask a foreign leader to investigate one of his domestic political opponents?”

Kennedy said “it depends on the circumstances” because there’s a difference between asking “in his self-interest” versus the national interest, calling it the difference between Trump asking for an investigation of a political rival or asking for an investigation “of possible corruption by someone who happens to be a political rival.”

“You’re a pretty savvy guy. “Tapper said at one point. “You really think it’s just a coincidence that the person that President Trump was pressing who had alleged corruption — and we should point out that Ukrainian prosecutors have said they have seen no evidence of any legal wrongdoing by Hunter Biden or Joe Biden — but you think it might just be a coincidence that it happens to be the current Democratic front-runner to run against him in 2020 and it’s just that he heard about it and was legitimately offended by it and not because this is the person who could be best able to beat him in 2020?”

Kennedy brought up Hunter Biden‘s Ukraine and China connections, arguing, “I’m not making any allegations. I’m just saying I suspect the president is going to argue and I think he actually believes, Jake, that he has a good-faith basis for asking about an investigation of these circumstances before he commits hard-earned taxpayer dollars to Ukraine.”

Tapper also questioned Kennedy on him co-sponsoring a resolution from Lindsey Graham condemning the House impeachment inquiry for, in part, conducting closed-door hearings.

He brought up how Republicans held similar closed-door hearings in the past. Kennedy said, “I think that the hearings are purposely being held in secret so they can control the narrative. Chairman Schiff can leak selectively parts of the transcripts that reaffirm his prejudice.”

Tapper said Republicans are engaging in a double standard:

“There’s going to be a public part of this and then there will be a public vote on impeachment and then it goes — assuming the impeachment passes, then it goes to the Senate and then there will be a trial, so this is not the entirety of the impeachment process, just the beginning. And then second of all, it just seems like there are different standards when Republicans are in charge, whether it’s Senator Burr or Trey Gowdy, they can have depositions in private, but when Democrats do it, then it is nefarious and conspiratorial, even though House Republicans are in there too.”

Kennedy said both Schiff and Nancy Pelosi want to give Trump “a fair and impartial firing squad” and continue selectively leaking.

You can watch above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac