Speed Reads


CNN's Jake Tapper grills Rand Paul on whether he really believes Trump is against corruption

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is against foreign aid, U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and impeaching President Trump, he told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday's State of the Union. His argument against impeachment was that the effort is "partisan" and baseless, because Trump asked Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden as "a person" tied to corruption, not his leading 2020 presidential rival. Tapper wasn't buying it, and that made for some pretty good television.

Tapper rattled off a list of close Trump associates recently convicted of federal corruption-related crimes, including his 2016 campaign chairman and his former personal lawyer, then noted that Trump himself had to pay $25 million to resolve Trump university fraud charges and, just last week, another $2 million for raiding his charity for personal use. "You really think President Trump is concerned about rooting out corruption?" Tapper asked Paul — twice, the second time adding: "Just a yes or no. Is that something you really believe?" Paul eventually landed on yes, kind of.

"So just to be clear," Tapper pressed: "This precedent that you are prepared to set, you would be okay with a president, say, Elizabeth Warren asking a foreign government to investigate her top Republican rival as long as there was some sort of allegation about that Republican rival having some sort of connection to allegations of corruption?" Paul said that framing is "completely untrue," because "Trump didn't call up the president of Ukraine and say 'Investigate my rival' ... He says investigate a person." "He said investigate Joe Biden," Tapper said. "And Joe Biden is his rival. ... He didn't say investigate Burisma, or go investigate all the corrupt companies in your country."


That seems unfair to Jared Kushner.