Hatch says he regrets ‘irresponsible’ Trump remarks

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah speaks in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 6, 2018 | Photo by Ravell Call/The Deseret News via The Associated Press, St. George News

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (AP) Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch is backtracking after saying this week that he wasn’t concerned that prosecutors have implicated President Donald Trump in a crime.

The Republican senator said in a statement that he spoke “imprudently” in a CNN hallway interview Tuesday.

He said the interview was unplanned and “I made comments about allegations against the president that were irresponsible and a poor reflection on my lengthy record of dedication to the rule of law.”

During the interview, Hatch dismissed federal prosecutors who said Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make hush money payments to two women as a way to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign.

“Well, I think the Democrats will do anything to hurt this president — anything,” Hatch said. “What happened before he was elected president you know is one thing. But since he’s been elected the economy’s done well, our country’s moving ahead, we’re in better shape than we were before he was president. And I think we ought to judge him on that basis.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in the District of Columbia, Oct. 4, 2018 | Associated Press file photo by Jacquelyn Martin, St. George News

When the CNN reporter, Manu Raju, pointed out that it wasn’t Democrats but federal prosecutors making the case, Hatch said, “I don’t care. All I can say is I think he’s doing a good job as president.”

Hatch, 84, who is retiring from Congress at the end of the year, added that he didn’t think Trump was involved in crimes.

“But even then, you know, you can make anything a crime under the current laws if you want to,” he said.

In the written statement Friday, Hatch said he “has long believed our criminal code is simply too large” but regretted the comments at a time when faith in many institutions is at an all-time low.

“I don’t believe the president broke the law, but one of the core principles of our country is that no one is above the law,” Hatch said. “That means anyone who does break the law should face appropriate consequences.”

Cohen was sentenced on to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to several charges, including campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. Federal prosecutors in New York have said Trump directed Cohen to arrange the payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the run-up to the 2016 campaign.

Hatch said in the statement that said he believes special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation should move forward, along with the New York case involving Cohen.

“While I believe the president 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 said.

Written by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • justsaying December 14, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Just can’t go away…isn’t that what retiring is all about? Go play golf, shuffleboard, checkers, anything.

    • Kilroywashere December 14, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      Exactly, no need for regrets. All this is non news, political trifle. Meanwhile France is going off, not just Paris either, and it is spreading across into Belgium, and we are now broaching the largest Ebola outbreak in the history of the planet as it is spreading to major African cities as well as a warzone where aid workers can’t go. #2 historically right now. But hey let’s just focus on the Washington DC political caca and mainstream media oneupmanship garbagio while the markets continue to crash due to all this + Brexit battles & the China US Mexican trade standoff. Oh and then there’s Ocasio Cortez and her Twitter war. Maybe we should resurrect Micharl Jackson.

  • Comment December 14, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    I think I hear a snake. Wait a minute! Snakes can’t talk! But if they could…

  • iceplant December 15, 2018 at 5:13 am

    There’s a special place waiting for Hatch in Hell and he knows it.

  • hiker75 December 15, 2018 at 6:40 am

    What a liar! He just regrets the comments because of the reaction to them.

  • Ali December 15, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Bet he doesn’t regret squandering 42 years of time and money at taxpayers expense. Our country is in the worst shape ever because of greedy, power hungry men like him milking the system. He plays the “go along to get along” game rather than standing up for what is right and good for this country and its people. People like him, regardless of party, re-enforce the need for term limits.

    • Comment December 15, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Yep, a complete self-serving opportunist snake, but the trusty ol’ LDS vote has kept him in power for all those decades. Creatures of habit, I suppose? And a bad habit at that.

  • iceplant December 16, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Is a joke!

  • mesaman December 16, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Enter the socialist/communist one world advocates. How refreshing to read of the accomplishments of these squatters, and humorous to read their whining and whimpering take on something they had no control over.

    • Comment December 17, 2018 at 12:56 am

      everyone who dislikes orrin hatch is a “socialist/communist one world advocate”???

      I actually have no idea what you mean

      sometimes you can be so cryptic, m&m.

  • Redbud December 16, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Hatch made blasphemous remarks against President Trump, and now it’s coming back to bite him!

    • iceplant December 17, 2018 at 8:11 am

      You’re just angry and bitter because you can’t bring yourself to admit what you know is true. Trump is trash and anyone who calls him out for being trash only makes you angrier. What a sad state of affairs. Start telling yourself the truth. Truth shall set you free.

      • Redbud December 17, 2018 at 7:19 pm

        I am actually not angry or bitter because Trump won the election and he’s our president whether you like it or not! He will continue to be president beyond 2020. Trump shall set you free!

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