Baier called out the committee’s top Republican for repeatedly attacking the credibility of Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, without addressing the “substance” of his testimony.
“I think the first takeaway is Michael Cohen is delusional,” Jordan told Baier. “I don’t know you can take much of what he says at any real value.”
Jordan and his fellow Republicans on the committee repeatedly pointed out during the hearing Wednesday that Cohen is facing prison time for pleading guilty last year to several charges, including lying to Congress.
Meanwhile, Democrats used their time to learn more about Cohen’s claim that Trump is a racist “conman” who frequently directed him to lie, including about alleged hush payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
“What about the specifics on the ‘hush payments’ as he called them?” Baier asked Jordan. “What was your take on that?”
Jordan danced around the question, noting there wasn’t anything new in Cohen’s testimony and trying to steer the conversation toward what he called Democrats’ “crazy impeachment plans.”
Baier then played a clip of Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and failed 2016 Republican presidential candidate, discussing Cohen’s testimony on ABC News.
“There hasn’t been one Republican yet who has tried to defend the president on the substance,” Christie had said. “I think that’s something that should be concerning to the White House.”
Jordan, in response, told Baier that one GOP committee member had questioned Cohen about the legality of the alleged hush payments.
“But the bottom line is, how can you trust anything this individual has to say?” he said.
Baier continued to press Jordan to comment on Cohen’s actual claims instead of attempting to undermine his credibility:
What about the specifics? I mean, I understand all of your points about credibility. I understand all of the things about undermining his veracity. He is a flawed, flawed witness. But what about the substance? I mean, the president writing a check to him while president for these payments, these 11 payments, that he says were to pay off stormy Daniels, and the other woman. Is that not true?
Jordan claimed the payments were simply meant to retain Cohen and didn’t seem abnormal.
“I don’t think that’s unusual,” Jordan told Baier. “My guess is there’s all kinds of companies, all kinds of individuals, who have a similar type of relationship.”
Baier pointed out that Cohen said he wasn’t specifically aware of any collusion between Trump and Russia and testified that he had never been to Prague, a statement some Republicans claimed disproved the infamous dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier, which alleged Russia had blackmail on Trump, claimed Cohen was in or near the Czech capital in 2016.
“But you said his credibility is shot, right?” Baier asked Jordan.
“Well, every once in a while you’ll get some truth from some people,” the Republican lawmaker responded, prompting laughter from Baier.
Watch the full exchange below: