Outgoing Republican senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is walking back comments he made to CNN earlier this week suggesting he doesn’t care about President Donald Trump’s possible connection to crimes carried out by his longtime fixer Michael Cohen, who was sentenced to three years this week for violating campaign finance law and lying to Congress.
On Tuesday, the Utah Senator told CNN that he was unconcerned about the president being implicated in Cohen’s crimes.
“The Democrats will do anything to hurt this president,” he told CNN.
Hatch didn’t change his tune even after the reporter informed him the allegations were being made by federal prosecutors in New York.
“OK, but I don’t care, all I can say is he’s doing a good job as president,” he told CNN. “You’re talking about things that happened before he became president.”
But Hatch was singing a different song on Friday, perhaps after realizing the comments suggested that he’d rather show support for Trump than the the rule of law.
He released a statement on his website claiming that the comments he made during “an unplanned hallway interview with CNN” were “irresponsible and a poor reflection on my lengthy record of dedication to the rule of law.”
While I don’t believe Michael Cohen is any kind of reliable voice in this process, I have expressed confidence in Bob Mueller and his investigation countless times, including writing in the Wall Street Journal that he must be allowed to complete his investigation.
Hatch also said while Trump “has succeeded in a number of important policy areas, that success is separate from the validity of these investigations, which I believe should be allowed to run their course.”
Hatch also said that he doesn’t believe the President broke the law, but “one of the core principles of our country is that no one is above the law.”
He added: “That means anyone who does break the law should face appropriate consequences.”
Hatch’s love for Trump has gotten him in trouble before.
“I felt like I shouldn’t have said what I said,” he told reporters.