tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN October 30, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
ocratic national committee dnc, dnc, dnc, dnc, dnc,cratic natio dnc, dnc, dnc, dnc,tic national, dnc, dnc, dnc,national committe dnc, dnc, dnc,onal committee dn dnc, dnc,committee dnc, dnc, dn dnc,mittee dnc, dnc, dnc, dncen, . this is cnn breaking news. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello. i'm kate bolduan. 12 counts including conspiracy against the united states, money laundering and tax evasion what the president's former campaign chairman and his deputy are up against today. paul manafort and rick gates the first to be charged as part of robert mueller's investigation into russia's meddling in the 2016 election. both men surrendered to the fbi this morning and in just a little while will be facing a federal judge in washington, d.c. and that is a lot and that is not all. also breaking this morning,
another court document, unsealed. a former foreign policy adviser to the trump campaign has pleaded guilty to lying to fbi officials. the complaint says george papadopolous he lied about his contacts with foreign nationals who had close connections to the russian government and the criminal complaint mentions the 2016 election investigation into coordination. what else will happen today? what does this say about robert -- don't laugh, jeffrey toobin -- about robert mueller's investigation and what does this mean for the president and yes, he is already responding on twitter. clearly have a lot to cover this hour and begin with cnn's justice correspondent evan perez part of the team who broke the news friday night this indictment of manafort and gates is coming, outside of the courthouse where manafort and gates will make their first appearance. we've now got multiple indictments to be discussing. what does this manafort/gates indictment tell us? >> well, kate, we know that manafort and gates are going to
be heading to the courthouse here in the next couple of hours to face those charges that they -- that the government unsealed this morning and really what they describe is over the course of over a decade, these men were in business with the former ruling party in the ukraine and according to the government, they were concealing bank accounts in cyprus and saint vincent and other places, millions of dollars flowing through allegedly to hide this relationship with the former ukrainian government. they failed to register as foreign agents for all these years that they were acting on behalf of the ukrainian government and that's the crux of those charges. we know they were notified this morning, the charges filed friday at the courthouse by the grand jury and notified this morning and turned themselves in to the fbi and we expect they will be here in court later in the next couple hours. the second indictment that you mentioned is against george papadopolous, who is a former
foreign policy adviser for the trump campaign and it turns out that he pleaded guilty on october 3rd to lying to the fbi. according to the documents that have now been made public, the fbi says that he met with them a couple of times in january and in february for interviews and in those interviews, he lied about his contacts with people who had ties to the russian government. one of them was a professor who is based in london and who apparently had ties to the close ties to the russian government and according to the documents, he was promising dirt on hillary clinton. e-mails and so on according to the fbi. in a subsequent meeting or communications rather, he was communicating -- papadopolous was communicating with someone with who also had ties to the russian government and he even set up a meeting in london with putin's niece, vladimir putin's niece, and the russian ambassador. so lots of ties here to the russian government that are being directly alleged for the
first time as part of this investigation. this is the first time we're hearing of anything that robert mueller has turned up that shows direct efforts between the people in the trump campaign talking to russians about making some kind of coordinated effort against hillary clinton. this is a part of an effort that we know the fbi has been looking at, the allegation was that the russians were trying to insinuate themselves into the trump campaign and this is the first proof that we're seeing that robert mueller has uncovered that. kate? >> yeah. and this coming as the second, but also now some very clear statements as we were reading, as we continue to read through this complaint, making very direct connections to the coordination investigation that robert mueller was charged with. very clear what the papadopolous complaint we're going through right now. a lot to get to. evan is at the courthouse, thank you so much. to the white house now, and cnn's kaitlan collins there is. kaitlan, what are you hearing there this morning? >> well, the last time we checked in there had been no official statement from the
white house, but we have heard from the president himself on the manafort charges this morning, he shortly a while ago got on twitter and said, sorry, but this is years ago before paul manafort was part of the trump campaign. but why aren't crooked hillary and democrats the focus and then kate, he added, also there is no collusion. now in those tweets the president did not touch on the news of this latest report that george papadopolous, one of his foreign policy advisors to the trump campaign, has also pled guilty to making false statements to the fbi. we know that he was questioned by agents just one week after the president was inaugurated here in washington, d.c., and that he was arrested at a washington airport over the summer and a notable part of that unsealed record from today on papadopolous is that he's met with the fbi and the government officials several times since his arrest to provide them with information. now we from my colleague jeff
zeleny that the president did meet with white house lawyers this morning to go over these charges for manafort and rick gates and they weren't expecting to make a statement until they -- more fully grasp the scope of these charges. but it looks like the president is going ahead and making his own statements on twitter. now we are scheduled to hear from the press secretary, sarah sanders at a briefing at the white house, at 1:00 shortly before gates and manafort appear in court and we will likely hear more from them on that then unless, kate, the president tweets about it before then. >> and we will all -- we will stand by and see. already amazed he tweeted about it once already today about his former campaign chairman and what has happened. let's get to it right now. paul manafort and -- paul manafort is not here, paul callan is here. former prosecutor and cnn legal analyst, jeffrey be tooin' is here cnn's chief legal analyst, chief correspondent jim sciutto joining us from washington. jeffrey, paul, let's talk about george papadopolous.
as we're going through, this is the other document that has now been unsealed, i've gotten through half of it before we jumped on tv. this in one regard you've got manafort, no statement, no mention of trump, no mention of the campaign, and that's all over this complaint. >> correct. and, you know, it is a very different crime, it is a very different set of circumstances than the manafort investigation. it is about the activities of the trump campaign. apparently this fellow papadopolous was trying to set up a meeting between trump himself and trump advisors with representatives of putin's government and then he lied about it on january 27th when he spoke to the fbi. what the trump white house will certainly point out is that these meetings did not take place, which is a fact, that is worth knowing, however, the fact that a -- >> trump adviser.
>> trump campaign adviser pleaded guilty to a federal crime about activities that he conducted during the trump campaign about relationships with russia is certainly highly significant. >> paul, what is your first impression of this? >> i think this is going to send shivers through the white house because this is sort of -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> yes, because this is classic in terms of the way special prosecutors proceed. they find people who make the mistake of lying to the investigators or lying to the fbi, which is a crime, and then they bring them in, and now they've got leverage, they hand down an indictment and they use that leverage to get more information. so anybody at the white house who's being interviewed now has the message if you don't tell the absolute and complete truth, you could be indicted in a similar kind of indictment. the second thing i think that is very important here, is that the mandate, of course, of the special counsel is to see if there was russian tampering with the election. and mueller very methodically is
looking to see who are trump's intermediaries to the russians. now this is -- was a foreign policy adviser of his. obviously this person was setting up meetings with the russians which he was lying about. manafort, of course, that indictment is just loaded with foreign contacts including people in the ukraine who are friendly to the soviet union. he's methodically showing connections by the trump campaign. we don't see evidence of direct tampering in both of these indictments at this point. these are the first two indictments. >> remember the papadopolous case. >> yes. >> nothing alleged. it is a guilty plea. >> he pleaded guilty. the manafort and gates case, is simply an indictment and presumed innocent and we don't know if they're guilty or not. papadopolous has pleaded guilty. >> in keeping those -- that's an important distinction as we continue the discussion. on this papadopolous point, jim, let me bring you in, so what we are learning and what you know, does papadopolous equal
collusion? >> he doesn't equal collusion but it does mean that mueller has not eliminated collusion or cooperation or coordination whatever word you use. >> right. >> not eliminated as a line of inquiry, right in the language there, the first page of the statement of the offense, this is part of an investigation of whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. immediately that belies president trump and his advisers, supporters in the last week who have said that the question of collusion has been eliminated. right here in paper on the first page as jeffrey toobin makes the point not an alleged crime, the lie related to this is one that this papadopolous has already pleaded guilty to. some other lines i will draw your attention to this from this. if you look later in the language it's specific about what he lied about. one is that he stated that foreign contact, i told him that the russians had dirt on hillary clinton. so one of the contacts with russians known to the u.s. regarded the offer of dirt,
damaging information on hillary clinton. the final point i would draw your attention to is the last line that states, that he is now cooperating with authorities and since his arrest on this he has met with the government on numerous occasions as the court documents say to provide information and answer questions. that i think just echo paul callan, should be of concern to the white house going forward. the final point i would make, robert mueller did not have to release the details of this guilty plea today. he did not. this took place on october 3rd a month ago, so on a day when you have crimes alleged against manafort and gates for largely business crimes, is there a message being sent here from the special counsel that this other line of inquiry into cooperation, coordination with russia, is not closed yet. >> well, specifically, on that, what do you make? he pled guilty on october 5th is what this document says. why unseal all of this on the same day?
>> i think the answer is, he did not want gates and manafort to know that papadopolous was cooperating. >> he, bob mueller. >> mueller did not want anyone to know that papadopolous was cooperating. i think jim puts his finger on a very important point, the very last line in the filing against papadopolous, which says that he has met with him several times. another point that's worth raising about the papadopolous guilty plea, the false statement for which he pled guilty was january 27th, 2017. months before mueller was even appointed, mueller was appointed in may, so this shows that the fbi has been investigating connections between russia and the trump campaign for quite some time, not just since may, and mueller's appointment. so there is undoubtedly other -- there are undoubtedly other
interviews that mueller and company will be looking at to see if false statements are made or whether there are leads to further investigation. >> on this point, this happening in the same day, doesn't have to happen in the same day that all of this was unsealed, if it is sending a message, who is it sending a message to? >> i think it's sending message to all of the people who were in high-level position in the trump election campaign and many of those, of course, have moved with him into the white house, so any of those people now know that they have to be absolutely truthful in speaking to the fbi because they will be indicted. this precedent has been set. of course the manafort indictment is very, very important because by going after manafort, and there's a theory out there that manafort may have been having financial problems which caused him to hope that his appointment as campaign director might get him out of the woods. >> financial problems when you look at the dollar figures in that insdmimts, but it's true. >> huge numbers. >> when people were looking at
this early on, the thought with was that that's maybe where the special prosecutor was going, manafort maybe had liquidity and financial problems and thought being appoint as trump campaign manager might get him out of the woods here. could leave you with a scenario, where trump is going to go eventually, there are going to be more indictments down the road, he's going to say i didn't know anything about this. that's going to be his fallback defense in the end. even if my campaign officials, my campaign employees were contacting the russians i knew nothing about it. so it has nothing to do with me and nothing to do with my presidency. that's going to be trump's fallback position. >> and how convincing that is is yet to be determined. jim, give me a final thought, especially on this just kind of as you mentioned, the trifecta of what we've learned just this morning? >> one other point is let's not dismiss manafort and gates alleged crimes here either as purely business related. that's another message you've
heard from trump world, business stuff, long before they were in the campaign. just a couple examples, it's alleged in here that -- not alleged but part of the criminal charges alleged are that manafort was lobbying on behalf of a russian backed leader in ukraine, really against u.s. interests in europe. one of the party hess was lobbying on behalf of is an anti-nato party. nato is a u.s. alliance. he was helping them lobby against nato. and nato presence there. he was lobbying for this russian backed ukrainian leader, two members of u.s. congress in favor of the jailing of the russian backed leader's political opponent going to u.s. congress, the halls of the congress and lobbying members of congress it's okay this russian backed leader in ukraine was jailing his political opponent. these are not small things, they're not just minor business crimes far afield, they relate directly to u.s. interests in europe and u.s. values in europe. >> gentlemen, stand by. i want to go over to washington
one more time. over to pamela brown. she has more reporting here. looking through, looking more into papadopolous and communications and facebook, what are you picking up? >> right. what's so interesting with this is, unlike the gates and the manafort indictment when you look at the criminal complaint for george papadopolous, foreign policy adviser who now president trump, then candidate trump, recognized to the "washington post" editorial board in march of 2016, this did affect the campaign and this is something that the white house frankly is going to have to address. you know, they can distance themselves from the indictments relating to manafort and gates, but clearly in this complaint, it alleges the fbi says that papadopolous was in touch with foreign nationals who he understood to have close relationships with senior russian officials. this was during his time on the campaign. what struck me is that the complaint says and not only did he lie to the fbi about the
nature of the extent of his relationships with these foreign nationals but says he tried to obstruct the fbi by deleting his facebook page in february, after he had met with the fbi, after he had been interviewed, he apparently according to this complaint deleted his facebook page in february that had contacts between him and officials connected to senior russian officials. what's interesting here is that it sort of belied, sort of contradicts what he told the fbi in previous interviews so he apparently deleted the facebook page, created a new one that did not have any of those communications. and so it's really interesting to me when you look at the broader picture here, he was allegedly told in this complaint by a professor in london who had ties to russians that the russians had dirt on hillary clinton, thousands of e-mails, and as we know, kate, wikileaks during the campaign only released dnc e-mails as well as john podesta e-mails.
as far as i know there weren't e-mails related specifically to hillary clinton. but we do know and just trying -- looking at big picture here, as you try to connect the dots there was an effort on people, a researcher, connected to the campaign, reaching out to russians looking for hillary clinton's thousands of missing e-mails, the 33,000 deleted e-mails, as you know we reported last week cambridge analytica reached tout wikileaks asking them if they needed help with hillary clinton's e-mails. i think it's interesting in that context as we look through this complaint clearly this is someone who was part of the campaign, that donald trump had recognized who was in touch with people connected to the senior russian government officials talking about hillary clinton's e-mails and dirt on hillary. it's interesting in the broader context here. kate? >> and there is still a lot more context for us all to kind of soak through as we look through this complaint. thank you so much. we will have much more on our breaking news ahead. two people connected to the
trump campaign under indictment while peyton manni paul manafort was once the face of the campaign, rick gates kept a lower profile. why was he visiting the white house several times, still this year? stay with us. patrick woke up with a sore back. but he's got work to do. so he took aleve this morning. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill.
all right. we continue to follow breaking news, trump foreign policy adviser pleads guilty to making false statements to the fbi in the russian probe and two former campaign officials have been indicted. paul manafort his long-time business associate rick gates charged with conspiracy against the united states and more. that indictment just unsealed this morning. and this afternoon, these men will be headed to court for their first appearance before a federal judge in washington, d.c. manafort was in large part the face of the campaign for a brief time, brief, but critical time during the election when he served as campaign chairman. rick gates is a much less visible figure, but one who worked for the campaign and the trump world if you will, much
longer than manafort. so what's his story? cnn's senior washington correspondent brianna keilar is live with more details. brianna, rick gates might not be a household name, likely to become one soon, us what do folks need to know? >> there is no rick gates without paul manafort. this is someone who is seen as a protege, very much in lockstep with paul manafort and one paul manafort was the chairman on the trump campaign gates was his deputy. he was working in a capacity as an aide to the trump campaign and this stemmed from the fact that he had been a long-time business associate working with manafort at his lobbying firm for years and years. they had been very much associated together in business for some time. that had to do with working with a number of clients who included foreign leaders and a number of pro-russian foreign leaders and then after manafort was ousted from the campaign, fast forward a little bit, eventually gates was working for america first,
the pro-trump pac, and that was short lived but then he went on to work with tom baric, who as you know is someone very closely associated with president trump as a confident, ran his inaugural committee. this all stems back to paul manafort the campaign chairman for a short period of time for a key period of time during the trump campaign, allowing him to get the delegates he needed to become the nominee going through the convention until paul manafort stepped down amid questions of his ties to pro-russian leaders, including specifically the ukrainian president victor yanna covich, ousted in 2014. he had been accused of laundering millions of dollars, questions about whether manafort and others had helped him accomplish that and we learned, kate, that manafort had actually been under surveillance by the feds in 2014 and then again in 2016. that was really the cloud under
which he ended up stepping down from the campaign. >> that's exactly right. and this indictment says they're looking at activities between 2006 and 2017. so all the way through. great to see you. thank you so much. the panel is back with me to discuss this element of this and there's a lot to go through. it seems, you said it, jeffrey, this is -- you would know, i do not, this is a long indictment. it seems complicated reading it. >> it is. >> talk to me about these charges, though. you've got conspiracy against the united states, conspiracy to launder money, misleading statement, false statements, failure to report. what does it all say? >> that's a good -- that's a good question. like what's the deal with this? what is the government saying he did wrong? >> yeah. >> the gist of it is that he was a representative of the ukrainen government at a time when it was very pro-putin. he was paid millions of dollars and he wanted to cover that up,
cover up how much money he made, wanted to cover up what he was doing for them, and the timing of his relationship with the ukrainians. that's the gist of this case. another point to make about the complexity of it, is if this case goes to trial given the way the federal legal system works, there is no way this case could get to trial in less than six months. >> really? >> absolutely not. this is a complicated case, undoubtedly there will be lots of motions made by the defenses, as their right, they will ask for discovery, ask to have the case dismissed on various grounds. >> pushing for mueller to wrap this up. >> that's my point is that anyone who thinks that mueller is on the verge of ending in 2017, this will either -- this will dissuade them of that. this guarantees that the mueller investigation will go well into 2018. >> it probably means it's going to go into 2019 because you have
to figure, these are the first indictments coming down. if there are other indictments, which there undoubtedly will be, let's say hypothetically this one gets tried first and i agree with jeffrey, six months is an optimistic trial date, those subsequent indictments are probably going to push into late 2018, maybe even into 2019. so we're looking at a very long investigation. even though it appears that mueller is moving quickly. >> would you expect these to be the first charges out of the gate? >> well, once we knew that the fbi had executed a search warrant at manafort's house. >> right. >> you don't execute a search warrant at someone's house unless you have very good suspicion -- you can't get a search warrant unless the magistrate agrees that there is probable cause -- >> the way they did it. >> right. >> that there will be evidence of criminal activity there. we've known he was investigating manafort in a serious way for a couple of months.
so it's not a surprise that manafort was indicted. i think it is somewhat of a surprise that gates is indicted. he is not someone on my radar screen and i follow these matters pretty closely. i am not aware he was on many other people's radar screens. so that i think is somewhat of a surprise. certainly the guilty plea by papadopolous is a major surprise. >> yeah. major. >> especially since his statement to the fbi wasn't even made within mueller was the special counsel. >> let me bring in shimon prokupecz, part of the team that broke the fact that the indictment was coming friday afternoon. your reporting some of your reporting when it comes to manafort and gates, this indictment, is something that could be involved here is that they could be up against some kind of a clock, statute of limitations deadline, that is correct? >> that's correct. and that has to do with some of the tax charges and tax violations. and that is why we also -- we
knew that the special prosecutor was kind of under the gun here. there were timing issues. so what we all along thought maybe what might happen is maybe they'll indict him on one of the charges, so to stop the clock on whatever it is they were concerned about and then eventually maybe do some super seeding indictments or whatever may be as they continue the investigation. we weren't certain that we were going to get the whole thing today. but, you know, i kind of want to talk about the big surprise and this is a big surprise today, and that's papadopolous. >> yeah. >> it's a significant development because this is a man who was in meetings with the president. i mean it says so much in the complaint. >> also even keep going, we have a tweet from donald trump because there's a tweet for everything that continues to be the only rule that stays true. a tweet from march 31st of 2016 he's tweeting about his national security team and papadopolous is in the picture with him. >> that's exactly right. this what is the fbi is talking
about. in this affidavit that they release. they pick and choose what they want to say in these affidavits. so it's their significance here. it also tells us that they know a lot, a lot, about what was going on between trump, the campaign, and then the candidate trump and his national security team because papadopolous, according to this, is now cooperating. so they have eyes into what exactly what was going on with the national security team and the other people, i mean there's things here about supervisors that papadopolous was talking on the -- talking to on the national security team, relaying information about hisses meetings with russians and one other important point that i want to make, and some of what we've all been reporting about how this, how this has been sort of the russian playbook about trying to influence campaign, trying to influence policy in the united states, it says here, that a professor, whoever this person is, that papadopolous met with, showed interest in
papadopolous only after learning of his role in the campaign. that is significant, too, because this tells you what all of the intelligence community was concerned about, people like the former dni director james clapper and john brennan, they all talked about seeing communications, meetings, that was concerning them. and this now backs up some of what they've been saying all along. >> we're also getting -- that's very important point. i'll leave you with this. jim acosta has new reporting in, and on this question of who is george papadopolous. jim acosta, a former trump campaign official said that papadopolous interacted with the campaign, quote, a significant amount during the 2016 election. he was a foreign policy adviser. this official said. keep that in mind as this discussion continues going forward. we will have much more on our breaking news on this breaking news ahead. stay with us. nsurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan.
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we continue to cover our breaking news this morning and quite a bit of it. the russia investigation yielding indictments and a guilty plea. two former trump campaign officials, paul manafort and his associate rick gates charged with conspiracy against the united states, money laundering and a slew of other things including making false statements. those indictments were unsealed this morning and they will appear in a courtroom a couple hours from now. former foreign policy adviser to the trump campaign george papadopolous admits to lying to fbi officials in their probe into russian meddling, a form trump campaign official telling cnn a short time ago, telling jim acosta that papadopolous interacted with the campaign in this person's words a significant amount in 2016. but, but also adding it was a lot by e-mail adding that papadopolous seemed more like a -- papadopolous had a significant part in the campaign and was a foreign policy adviser
and communicated quite a bit with them. let's talk about this with chief political analyst gloria borger. you've just kind of tell me what you're hearing, especially about this latest, the surprising turn of the morning of a lot of surprises of this complaint, this guilty plea by george papadopolous. what are you hearing from the trump world and how close of an adviser he was? >> it's interesting because we have conflicting reads on george papadopolous. i mean jim acosta has gotten a read that says he was very involved in the campaign. we know he was on the list of foreign policy advisors. i was communicating with a senior adviser to the trump campaign, a former senior adviser that said to me he was zero. that he was a nonevent. is the way it was described to me. and yet, and yet, you have this person communicating with people at the very top levels of the campaign. so you wonder why he would be
e-mailing people like paul manafort, for example, if he was just a nothing. so i think that remains to be determined at this point. and what's also interesting to me, is that from what we learned from the affidavit and we do learn that he is communicating with, you know, the fbi, that he is being interviewed by the fbi and seems to be cooperating with the fbi right now, we do know that the russians were peddling this dirt. now remember, if you look back to the don jr. meeting, that was the same thing that was used in the don jr. meeting. don jr., dirt, e-mails about hillary clinton, et cetera, et cetera. if you look at that, you think these are people who were trying to get their kind of tentacles in to the trump campaign, maybe it was through lower-level people, maybe it was through people like papadopolous and others, but you do begin to see
here some kind of effort from what we have publicly reported and what we see in this affidavit, to kind of figure out a way in to get to the highest levels of the campaign. >> also this, when the white house's response and trump world response after the trump and gates indictments this morning when you look at this, trump is not mentioned, campaign is not mentioned in this indictment this is nothing to do with us, but now with the addition of the papadopolous guilty plea, does that make that reaction that narrative a lot more complicated? >> well, i think it does. i think the guilty plea and the cooperation is going to make a lot of people sort of wondering what he has and what he can corroborate on. i was talking to somebody close to the president today who said
that the president they briefed the president on the manafort stuff before the papadopolous -- >> right. >> -- was unsealed. so this adviser to the president said to me look, we briefed the president on this, he's going to say he feels badly for paul manafort but this has nothing to do with donald trump. and in the end it may not. we just don't know. >> absolutely. >> but we see a case being built here, i believe, and i think papadopolous may be able to open a window for the special counsel. >> gloria, great to see you. a lot more to come on this. thank you so much. we did receive a statement in from the attorneys representing george papadopolous. it's brief so i will read it to you. it is in the best interest of our client george papadopolous we refrain from commenting on george's case. we will have the opportunity to comment on george's involvement when called upon by the court at a later date. we look forward to presenting all the facts that led to the events that resulted in this
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the breaking news in the russian investigation, a former trump campaign foreign adviser, george papadopolous, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the fbi about his communications with folks linked to the russian government during the campaign. this is all coming out in newly unsealed court documents just this morning. joining me now to discuss this fallout, a. scott bolduan here, former chairman of the d.c.'s democratic party, doug hyde, former communications director for the republican national committee and steve rogers is here a member of president trump's re-election advisory board. thank you so much for being here. lot has happened this morning. doug, one indictment when i'm
talking about the kind of manafort/gates and that indictment says nothing about trump or the campaign and the white house made clear that they said that this morning. the other complaint, though, we're talking about papadopolous, the surprising news this morning, definitely does. it talks a lot, it's all about the campaign and what -- and this man and papadopolous's role during the campaign. should that bring the white house any comfort right now? >> no, it shouldn't because of the papadopolous news. otherwise, the white house had something at least that they could talk about how they were somewhat sealed off of this but the reaction on capitol hill from republicans that i've talked to has, obviously, been negative. they wanted this week to be about tax reform, about the president's trip to asia and about a new federal reserve chair. that's really not going to lead the news this week because of what we've seen just this morning. monday will define this week. i'll tell you, i remember the day before inauguration day talking to a republican member of congress in a district that trump won easily who said to me that this will not end well.
i got a text message from that same member who said this is beginning to not end well. this is a problem for trump and the white house, and also republicans as we start to move forward to the midterm elections next november. >> and steve, can i get your take? your take on all of this? just what's your read today? >> number one, with regard to paul manafort it was all business related. >> okay. >> there's absolutely no evidence of any collusion with regard to russia and the trump campaign in the manafort indictment. number one. regarding papadopolous, there is no evidence, no solid evidence, that there was any collusion between the trump campaign and russia. i would say this, that papadopolous, yes, he lied, he's going to have to be accountable for his actions but the bottom line is let's deal with the facts and put speculation away. no evidence whatsoever leading to the trump campaign colluding with russia. >> does it make it more complicated to say that clearly with the papadopolous complaint,
though? i mean, what he lays out while he was an adviser to the campaign, he was working with -- speaking with someone who promised dirt on hillary clinton in the form of thousands of e-mails that would come from russian officials? >> well you know what, when people are in trouble they will say anything to get out of it. i've had 38 years in law enforcement and i've learned learned that. >> you don't believe this? >> what i believe, all right, is that what he did was lie, that he could have possibly even been talking but on his behalf. there's no evidence at this point that president donald trump knew about this, that the campaign was involved. this is why i say, let robert mueller do his job and at this point, there is still no evidence, kate. that's what we have to go on. remember, joe friday in dragnet, just the facts, ma'am, just the facts. put all the speculation away -- >> this isn't speculation anymore. this is a guilty plea. >> well no, he's guilty of what he did. >> that's a fact. >> but there's also a fact that there's no evidence of
absolutely no evidence. >> scott? >> i think just the opposite and to suggest otherwise is just really ridiculous. you have a conviction. you have someone cooperating. he lied about timing and he admitted what he could not deny and denied what he couldn't admit. he took affirmative steps as a member of the trump foreign advisory team. he connected. that's the connection to the trump campaign. he met with this professor, met with russian officials and met with a young woman apparently who had russian connections and had obtained an invite for trump to go visit putin at any time. that's not collusion. that's a tip of collusion. it's a conviction for lying, not collusion. why do people lie? they either know they are breaking the law or have done something wrong or they are afraid. we have more than collusion.
>> you just admitted -- >> if i may, a corroborating individual who has been convicted and who was going to continue to provide evidence to the special prosecutor. this is only the beginning of a pyramid prosecution. >> you just admitted there was an attempt. that means there was no collusion. maybe there was an attempt to have a meeting, but there was never a meeting. >> there were several meetings. >> let me ask you this. is that a good day for the president when there was an attempt to try to collude? are you arguing that was a good day? >> no, it's not a good day. >> the president did not know that. >> the white house hasn't said anything. >> people do things on my behalf that i don't know. this guy could have attempted to do that. >> where does the buck stop when it comes to a campaign? >> at the people responsible for
their own actions. if the president knew which i don't believe he did, it would stop at the white house. there is not one shred of evidence that the president was involved in any collusion. you talking about the president or the campaign? this is a member of the campaign and he connected the campaign if not donald trump directly. we are just at the beginning to these bad acts. the real issue is not the fact of whether you obtained this information or not. the real issue is the aptitude on the part of donald trump's son and papadopoulos to engage with russian officials. if you have the aptitude and the intentionality to do that, you have the same efforts if you are able to complete it and obtain this information. that should bother all of us as americans that trump's campaign engaged in this conduct. >> this is making me wonder a question. it has been out there since last
week and now over the weekend and i want to know your take on it today. does this make it impossible for president trump to fire bob mueller? >> they said they will not do that. it's not impossible for him to do so, but it would be a pa apocalypt apocalyptic. you would really start to see the cracks from republicans that we have been asking when are they going to come from? if you go back to this weekend, we had such a bombshell this morning, donald trump's numbers are the lowest they have been in his presidency. we are seeing somewhat of an erosion with the base voters. that's why this is a disaster for trump in the short-term. this will not be defined as he wants it to and in the long-term because we will be talking about this for the next year and a half up to the mid-terms and beyond. we know that robert mueller has a trove of financial records and wire transfers and all this data
that we don't know what is there. he will slowly build his case. we will see how far it goes up to. >> the only reason i'm looking at it, we don't know what bob mueller has. that's the one thing that bothers the president most. the tweet, i was floored that the president in the face of his campaign chairman facing indictment decided to take to twitter when they said he was being brief and counsel would be discussing it. he took to twitter with the sorry, this was years ago before he was part of the campaign and why aren't crooked hillary and the dems the focus and there is no collusion. you agree with those points, you made that clear, but do you honestly want the president out there tweeting out his defense? >> he is expressing the views of a lot of the american people. that's what he is known for. this is the president. i admire him for that and a lot of people do. what he is saying is on the minds of a lot of people. what about hillary clinton and
what about obama? >> an indictment has been handed down and someone pleaded guilty to false statements. i understand. i hold multiple thoughts in my head at once, but it's valid to be having this conversation. >> so let's talk about facts and let's not talk about fantasy or speculation. fact number one, no collusion with the manafort indictment and no collusion with the guilty plea of papadopoulos and fact number three, no collusion at all yet. if you read the opening statement of that indictment they put together, he is attempting and still trying to find in his fishing expedition collusion. >> so what? so what? >> let's not call it a fishing expedition. >> i have 38 years doing this. >> got it. we have to go. let's continue this fight on the
break. i am really enjoying this. thank you so much. plenty of reaction pouring in. a lot from capitol hill. some of the conversations he is having from folks over there. one ex-trump campaign adviser pleading guilty to lying to the fbi. the first court appearance by top aides. paul manafort and rick gates in a d.c. federal courthouse. the press briefing also coming up. we will see what they have to say about all of this today. stay with us. if you have medicare
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accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? i'm tom steyer, and like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons.
and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it. welcome to inside politics. i'm wolf blitzer for john king. we want to welcome viewers from the united states and around the world. dramatic developments are unfolding in the investigation led by the special counsel, robert mueller. two people with high level roles in the trump campaign have become the first two to face multiple criminal changes steming for mueller's probe into russia's election meddling in