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O'Donnell: Menendez Trial Would Be More Newsworthy If Not For Trump

Philadelphia (CBS) -  Jurors announced they are deadlocked in the bribery and corruption trial of New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez. Meanwhile, coverage of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama has dominated the recent news cycle, with some Republicans requesting he step aside over recent sexual assault allegations. The Dom Giordano Program spoke with MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell who said he hasn't talked about Menendez since charges were first brought, mainly because of President Donald Trump.

"If we had anyone else in the White House, if we had any other president in the White House, any other of the Republicans that were running for president, never mind, have Hillary Clinton as president, the Menendez trial would be a very big item in all of our coverage. But this is what Donald Trump has done to coverage; the trying to keep up with everything the president is generating on a given day is just overwhelming. Now you have a special prosecutor and that is more important case than the Menendez case. If it not were for the special prosecutor's investigation and the congressional investigations and the Trump presidency, Menendez coverage would be much higher."

O'Donnell says there is a difference in asking a sitting senator (Menendez) to step down than asking a candidate (Moore) to step aside. And it's easier to ask a candidate to step aside.

"I think this is a serious problem the Democrats have with Bob Menendez that they are allowed to duck, by the way, this is one of the reasons why you don't want your president tweeting all the time or at all if you're a Republican. If you're a Republican who wants the Bob Menendez trial to get more coverage, one of the things you want is a completely disciplined Republican Party that does not make news."

Prosecutors allege that Menendez and a wealthy Florida eye doctor engaged in a bribery scheme between 2006 and 2013 in which Menendez traded his political influence for luxury vacations and flights on the doctor's private plane.

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