CNN's Chris Cuomo defends Clinton campaign's dossier, argues it's not illegal

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo went to bat again for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as President Trump's remarks about accepting dirt on political opponents from foreign governments sparked comparisons to the Clinton campaign and the DNC's funding of the Steele dossier during the 2016 election.

On Wednesday, Cuomo blasted a pro-Trump panelist for invoking the dossier, which was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

"Look, it's just not apples to apples," Cuomo told CNN commenator Rob Astorino. "We don't have any proof that Russia as a government came and said 'here's value for you on Donald Trump and you can pay us for it if you like.'"

During his "closing argument" segment Thursday night, Cuomo made his case for why invoking the dossier in the discussion is invalid.

Cuomo began by shaming Republican lawmakers, claiming "too many" of them are "quiet when it matters" and "what they ignore, they empower," something he says Trump has "seized" on. He took aim at Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for invoking the Clinton-funded dossier.

"This president is bad, Hillary Clinton must always be worse," Cuomo reacted.

The "Cuomo Prime Time" anchor then read 52 U.S.C. 30121 which states, "It shall be unlawful for... a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make... a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value... in connection with a Federal, State, or local election..."

"So there needs to be a foreigner giving, for free, a thing of value in connection with an election," Cuomo explained. "That is pretty much exactly what [Donald Trump Jr.] did. He was excited by a meeting in which he would meet with Russians who, quote, 'offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary... that was part of Russia and its goverment's support for Mr. Trump.'"

"[Donald Trump Jr.] caught a break, but Clinton doesn't need a break here because the Steele dossier doesn't fit the felony," the CNN anchor continued. "Clinton's campaign lawyers contracted with an American oppo research company Fusion GPS, okay? They subcontracted with a former British spy Christopher Steele. That he was a foreigner doing this work is not prohibited. They paid him. They didn't give them anything for nothing, for free. Campaign expenditure, not a campaign contribution. Foreign sources that he used- we don't even know if they had any idea what the purpose was behind his requests and there is no indication they approached the campaign, let alone with anything of value, let alone for free."

Cuomo told his viewers that that "farce needs to be exposed" and that there's "no need to try to mitigate the impact by casting blame on others."