tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN October 30, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
they rely heavily on all different number of various forms of usa, they can't afford to get into some protracted political battle with the trump administration, there has been speculation that that may be contributing to their absence in making some kind of a statement against manafort. >> kristen, thanks very much. that's it for me. a special breaking news coverage continues right now with erin burnett "outfront." good evening, i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the clearest evidence of collusion. the guilty plea a surprise bombshell, a former trump campaign foreign policy adviser pleading guilty to making a false statement about his contacts with russian agents. george papadopoulos tried to set
up multiple meetings between trump campaign officials and russian agents. with the promise of dirt on hillary clinton and thousands much her e mails. he lied about these meetings and is cooperating with mueller's team. the press secretary tried to dismiss papadopoulos completely. >> it was extremely limited. a volunteer position and again, no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign in that regard. >> here's papadopoulos. let that not be enough for you, here's trump himself speaking to the washington post about that volunteer. >> george papadopoulos is an oil and energy consultant, excellent
guy. excellent guy, part of the foreign policy team. >> and by the way, papadopoulos was a volunteer, just like paul man in a minority, in a sense. and kind of like the president himself who isn't taking a salary at all as president of the united states. this breaking news is crucial, it comes as mueller charges paul manafort and rick gates with 12 counts of criminal misconduct. $75 million of improper funds, including money laundering, both under house arrest tonight. their bond set at $10 million for paul manafort, 5 million for rick gates. the charges could result in 15 years in jail for manafort, 13 for gates. these are very serious charges tonight. earlier, sarah sanders dismissed all of it saying, it's not about manafort, gates or papadopoulos. no, guess what, it's about
hillary clinton. >> today's nounsment has nothing to do with the president, the president's campaign or campaign activity. there's clear evidence of the clinton campaign to smear the president and influence the election. >> evan perez and jim sciutto are covering every detail of this breaking news. i want to begin with you, jim, and then to you, evan. this is as close as we have gotten to collusion, and the evidence that was unveiled today of george papadopoulos in those e-mails, some of which refer directly to the campaign chairman, paul manafort is startling. >> indeed. >> from the beginning, president trump and the white house have dismissed both the allegations of coordination with russia, and any meaningful contact with russian officials, dismissed all of them as false. in george papadopoulos case today, we learned of e-mails and communications that belie that
claim in clear terms. in a court opinion, there is this language. this is a matter of national importance. the u.s. ininvestigating foreign interference in the 2016 election, and potential collusion in those efforts by american citizens. those are the very opening lines of this court opinion that was unsealed today. and we see progress in that case with today's revelations. >> it is a clearance of russian efforts to connect with the trump campaign and campaign officials interests in responding. george papadopoulos plead guilty on october 5th to lying to the fbi about his contacts with russians, tied to the kremlin, including one claiming to have dirt on hillary clinton. the special council's office says its january 2017 interview of papadopoulos was part of an open investigation into whether there was any cord nation
between the campaign and russia's efforts to interfere in the election. papadopoulos who joined the trump campaign in march 2016 was in repeated contact to set up meetings with vladimir putin and trump, and later between drummed campaign officials and other russians. according to court documents, one foreign contact told papadopoulos in april 2016, he learned the russians had obtained dirt on then candidate clinton. in may, he e-mailed a high ranking trump campaign official. russia has been eager to meet trump for some time. we need someone to communicate that d.t. is not doing these trips. it should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal. the white house said
papadopoulos never acted in an official capacity. >> he reached out and nothing happened beyond that, which i think shows his level of importance in the campaign and shows what little role he had within coordinating anything officially for the campaign. >> e-mails included in the court filing indicate he did at times have campaign backing. including one in which a supervisor told papadopoulos, i would encourage you to make the trip if it is feasible. >> he had repeated communications with senior campaign officials. beyond that the time line of events potentially telling. in april, papadopoulos is told that russia has thousands of hillary clinton's e-mails, in may, he e-mails manafort, the campaign chairman at the time about a request from russia to meet with trump. it's the next month in june, you'll remember that was the trump tower meeting between don jr. and russians who were also offering dirt on hillary
clinton. the next month, papadopoulos proposes another meeting in august or september, between trump campaign members and members of putin's office. the office of the president of russia, adding, it's been approved from our side saying that it wasn't just an empty offer. but he got an approval from more senior officials in the campaign. in august, a campaign supervisor, there are e-mails that prove this, encourages papadopoulos to go ahead and accept a proposed meeting between trump campaign associates and russians. there is a lot of information in these documents. >> there is. >> i wab the to go to the criminal charges between paul marna for the and rick gates. we're looking at the indictment. evan perez is out front. tonight paul manafort and rick
gates under house arrest with $15 million in bail between them. this is harsh. >> bernie madoff had a 10 million dollar bail agreement when he was arrested. this gives you a sense how harsh they're going after manafort and gates. and the charges you described in these 31 pages. they allege conspiracy against the united states. conspiracy to launder money. false and misleading u.s. foreign agents -- failing to register as an agent of ukraine, then when they did misleading the government and seven counts of failing to report foreign bank and financial accounts. we're talking about $75 million that go through these bank accounts in cypress and the
grenadines. 15 million dollars alone spent on buying cars and real estate. even a million dollars on landscaping. if you read this document, what the government is trying to tell you here is that manafort and gates were essentially hiding all of this money, trying to use offshore destination to wash it, and then they lied about it. >> it's pretty stunning. every single landscaping bill is in here, and by the way, there's something strange about the landscaping bills adding up to a million dollars. mueller wants to squeeze manafort. what is his ulgt mat goal here? >> that's right. they're throwing the book at manafort. and they're -- i think one of the goals here is to get gates and manafort to have die verge end interests. manafort is, they think might be
able to flip up. who is above manafort? you're talking about the campaign manager, the persons above him are the president and people close to the president. it's clear this is the direction they're going with this case, erin. >> there's a question of what manafort would know before the president. possible financial fraud or crimes himself. for both of you, the big question is whether this is the beginning or the end. we're seeing these documents and a guilty plea. you're reporting these court documents seem to be very much the beginning. part of a larger investigation. >> it's hard to imagine this is the end. evan knows this as well better than me many when you have prosecutions like this, the prosecutors will go, at what they can get the goods on. immediately. and that is clearly manafort's
and gates' business dealings, there's a money trail. you can document this in a legal sense very quickly, then you look for other witnesses, who might look to help you out, and that appears to be -- it's funny, we've been talking for some time, is there someone in this mix who might be -- who might begin cooperating, and you have at least one of those people, papadopoulos, a name that was not on many people's lips before today is someone who we know that for weeks now, has been and as the court filing says, he's been providing information and answering questions for some weeks now. >> that could be crucial, no one knew he was cooperating. any conversations he may have had with them in that time, that's going straight back to mueller. do you have any information -- are there other names like that still possibly on the table
here. >> there's a lot of mystery about some of the other smaller players, about whether or not they have come in and given information to the special counsel, we don't know whether or not michael flynn has provided any information. it appears that for all the speculation, there may be a deal in the making, there isn't one yet, and part of the issue there is that flynn just didn't do businesslike this, for an agent representation, he was working on behalf of the turkish government, he did it for a short period of time. as far as kushner, his representatives -- there have been no requests for information from him. we do know there's interest in kushner's dealings. >> the big question, as you say, when you talk about flipping up, the big question is, does this go to the president. i want to go now to jeffrey kramer.
nia mallika henderson. and john dean, president nixon's white house council during watergate. homo men to us is today. >> i thought it was a pretty big day. >> the manafort timing was interesting, in that they let that go out with the papadopoulos document or the guilty plea they had there, right after the white house said, there's nothing to look at here, i think it was a big day, and it was well orchestrated by the special council. and certainly -- to me, that's just the tip of the iceberg we saw today, and there's much more to come. >> tip of the iceberg, jeffrey, papadopoulos pleaded guilty. and when we talk about, we learned about that today. we learned about all this today. he pleaded guilty a few weeks ago, and has been cooperating with the special council's investigation since july. but no one knew about it, right?
during that time, he could have interacted with trump people. and they would not have known it. how important is it? >> i think that's crucial. >> i think that's crucial, because you're right. there's three months where he was dealing with the special prosecutor, but no one knew about it. while he can't then be sent back in wearing a wire or something like that -- he can't be an agent of muellers, he can be sent back in wearing a wire, dealing with people a little bit above him, who probably wouldn't have been represented at that time. if you had a conversation with this gentleman in the last three months, you're probably reviewing that in your mind. the chances are pretty good he's heard your voice in that conversation. >> that's pretty stunning. when you think about what we're talking about here.
just to underline what evan said. you're talking about a bail. bernie madoff was the same level of bail they put on paul manafort. that's the level of gravity we all understand the story should be taken. trump tweeted, no collusion. it's commonly agreed after many months of costly looking, there was no collusion with russia and trump. nia, tonight rear the closest we've been to just that. >> donald trump is wrong, with that tweet, saying, there's no there there. we see today there is plenty there there, and more to come. you look at some of the transcripts that have come out of the court sessions. it sounds like what we learned today is part of a larger investigation. it was stunning to read his plea deal. we got the manafort indictment, and then the papadopoulos really
detailed accounts of his e-mail exchanges with high level folks in the campaign. man in a fort and gates, talking specifically about hillary clinton e-mails and russia, we use the word bombshell over and over throughout the course of this investigation, i think this was one of those days, well, this really was a bombshell, for the first time, we really got a sense that there were conversations at the uppermost levels of the trump campaign about russia, about hillary clinton and about e-mails, you have the white house still saying, with pap do house, there was no there there, he was just a volunteer, my goodness, you read that account of his interaction, with paul manafort and rick gates, it certainly seems like there is, if not outright collusion, then an attempt at clougs. >> that is the crucial thing here, and then from there, how high does it go? all of you are going to stay with me, as we continue to cover
this major breaking news tonight. the inner circle indictments, how big a deal are they? we're talking about manafort and gates. where do they tell us about who is next? that crucial question of how high this will go. president trump admitting tonight the indictments are causing worry and may affect his standing with world leaders. and arwa damon, the first reporter to get to the scene of the ambush in niger, she's there, she has our exclusive reporting out front. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through? maybe it's time for otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,... ...with reduced redness,... ...thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has...
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following the breaking news at this hour, president trump's former campaign manager paul manafort and rick gates under house arrest tonight after being indicted in the russia investigation. their bond set at a stunning combined $15 million. my panel is with me. let me start with this point, because evan had mentioned, bernie madoff had the same bail as paul manafort, $10 million bail for paul manafort. 5 million for rick gates. house arrest. their only alott loud to go out of their homes for medical reasons or religious imperative. what does this tell you? >> it tells me there's never been a precedent like this with an independent counsel oar
special council investigation. i can think of none where these kind of conditions have been imposed upon those who were subjected targets of the investigation. that's the precedent in this regard, suggesting how big this is. we're talking about internal security and national security on both the issues that are being looked at, both the fraud as well as the collusion issue. >> when you take this up to the jail time they would get if convicted. manafort, 12 to 15 years, gates, 10 to 12 years, if they turn in others, could they reduce those sentences? how much leverage do these charges, the fear of being under house arrest for the next year, and going to jail for 15 years, how much leverage does this give mueller? >> this is very tremendous. this is a strong indictment. you can tell just by looking at
the indictment what the pros court cuter has, he knows how the money was made, the filings weren't done. he knows manafort owns the companies, he knows how the companies run. from beginning to end, it's a strong case, and a hard case to defend. having said that, and since he's looking at 10 to 15 years, there's a lot of fire under his feet. i was a prosecutor northbound 12 years in new york and chicago, and have had defendants sweat for a lot less than 10 to 15 years in presidenten. >> paul manafort is 68 years old. rick gates is a bit younger than that, but this is sort of the end of your life, if you think about it in in many ways, the white house is now -- the sweat they're feeling, now trying to completely diminish paul manafort's role.
here's sarah sanders today. >> the president hired paul manafort to handle the delicate process which he did, he was dismissed not too long after that. >> they're trying to say that, manafort's indictment had nothing to do with the campaign, except for he was the chairman of the campaign. >> he was the chairman of the campaign. he was with the campaign from march until august. 4 1/2, 5 months with the campaign. at a really crucial time over the summer. as donald trump is wrapping up the nomination, he's making sure that all the delegates stick with donald trump. as he's accepting the nomination. they're trying to use the my name is paul, and i don't know y'all defense. you've seen them do that. they described flynn as a volunteer. they're describing papadopoulos as a volunteer.
with papadopoulos it is true. usually when people join campaigns like that, they're serving in a volunteer capacity. they're trying to use the what about argument. what about the dossier, they don't have a great defense for this particularly not publicly, it's essentially political spin, it's not going to have any effect on the mueller investigation, which seems really rock solid, not a lot of leaks. it's a surprise to everybody today with the papadopoulos thing. >> that's good, it should be surprising people, in the sense that -- we're an industry that lives on leaks, we also want this to be done with the utmost of integrity. when you have flee former campaign officials charged with crimes, one pleading guilty to false statements, the one who was -- promised dirt on hillary clinton from a russian agent? is this just the tip of the iceberg? you go forward with the ones you
have that are rock solid. does that mean the stuff they have is much less rock solid? is there going to be a whose next? >> i think there's definitely a whose next. they're able to make a document terry case against paul manafort. that's what makes that strong. now you just wait. now you wait for the people who may have spoken to you before, who know you're willing to indict for what's called 1,000 and one counter, lying to criminal officials. now they're going to come back to you and clarify some of their answers, now i think there's going to be a lot of inbound traffic going to the special prosecutor for people they may have spoken to before, while the manafort case moves forward with a normal criminal prosecution, and sooner or later i think he brinks. >> on the blinking. what about this whole issue of manafort and all this pressure that's been on him to flip up. the only person above him was
the president. >> that's potential at this point, this is a life sentence for him, and it looks like a solid case. you also read that plea agreement, you realize how little they are telling us, they say in that agreement, these aren't all the facts we have. those are pretty incredible facts. they keep talking about senior campaign officials. it's a description of collusion in that plea agreement as well. >> the charges we have today are related to money laundering, conspiracy and collusion, not about obstruction of justice, which as we all know has been a very important area for robert mueller, and we didn't hear anything about that today. >> right, i think today proved how little we know about this investigation, right? and how it's being conducted in a way that we may not like in washington, because we like leaks, but it is being conducted in that way, in a serious way,
all the things we heard about bob mueller in terms of the way he likes to conduct investigations, as a professional, proved true today. by the surprise -- in that they have done this under the radar, they have done it quietly, and there's a lot more than we don't know, and we're going to be finding out about it, the press in a way that the white house in some ways was caught by surprise today as well. a lot of washington, and a lot of the nation is going to be surprised by what we find out about this investigation. >> thank you all very much. >> next, the breaking news. reacting to the latest mueller charges, we are learning about the president's reaction tonight. that is next. and the response by republicans to the indictment. so rich. i love it. that's why you should be a keurig man! full-bodied. are you sure you're describing the coffee and not me?
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breaking news, president trump reacting tonight to the news of charges and a guilty plea in the russian investigation. sarah murray is out front at the white house. what is the president staying? >> he's had a couple reactions from what we understand. he seems to be stunned that george papadopoulos, who many white house officials are saying played a minor role in the campaign is at the center of the controversy, about whether there were trump campaign officials who were attempting to included with russian officials. we're also told by sources, the president is frustrated. he's getting ready to head off on this big asia trip. he feels it puts him on less firm footing. this in many ways has been the
cloud that hangs over his head. and he certainly does not feel like he's in his strongest -- at his strongest politically, or in terms of diplomatic relations, when news about this investigation continues to follow him around. i think what we're seeing is continuing frustration privately from the president. at the same time, the white house has been defiant about the news today, insisting it has nothing to do with the campaign, and insisting they believe this investigation is going to wrap up quickly, although they haven't offered any evidence as to why they believe that. >> thank you very much. appreciate it, sarah. let's go now to richard blumenth blumenthal, who sits on the senate judiciary committee. he's the former attorney general for the state of connecticut. you just heard sarah reporting. the president is worried about this impacting his upcoming trip. his former campaign chairman is under house arrest. will paul manafort turn on trump? >> that's a big unknown.
but one point is clear. these indictments and convictions show why i fought so hard for a special council. and very tellingly, to answer your question, is cnn's report about what was said at the papadopoulos plea proceeding, there is a larger investigation in which this agreement is a small part. this investigation is in a sense just beginning, it's the end of the beginning. not the beginning of the end. and we can expect to see more indictments. >> so on the issue of george papadopoulos, this is what goes to the heart of collusion. the former policy adviser for the trump campaign has pleaded guilty about lying to his contacts. in great detail here from the e-mails, russian agents said they had dirt on clinton clinton, thousands of e-mails on hillary clinton. as you can see here, and he continues to talk about his
relations with multiple russians, talking about a meeting that's been approved from our side, referring to someone high ranking at the trump campaign and refers to paul manafort directly in one of these e-mails, is this in your view, what we have here -- is it collusion? >> it's very compelling evidence that points toward collusion, when it's viewed along with all the other evidence, the concealeds meetings, including jeff sessions, the june 9th meeting involving kushner and russian agents, and the meetings with the russian bank with jared kushner, the outreach by the cambridge analytics to wikileaks and all of the kinds of collusion that are demonstrated by other evidence. here's another important point, the meeting that occurred on
april 26th, and then reported on april 27th went up the chain of command. the contacts went back and forth donald trump asked for a pledge of loyalty on the day george papadopoulos was interview ed fr the first time. >> just having these conversations with the russians, whatever it may have been about, conversations are not a crime. here he is. >> i have no idea about the contact between mr. papadopoulos and the russian professor was, it's okay to talk to russians, it's not okay to get help from a foreign government when it comes to your campaign for either side. >> does he have a point? these conversations or meetings in and of themselves are not a problem. it's only if the information was actually exchanged.
which we do not in this plea see evidence of yet. >> and that's why we're still a ways from any sort of conclusion, any sort of charges of collusion against others in the campaign. but clearly the evidence in this offer of proof at the time of the plea shows contacts aimed at collusion, and we'll see where the investigation goes. >> i know your committee, and you and i have been talking about this, you have been talking to paul manafort. he stopped returning your committee's calls. i know you're still waiting to talk to him and see those documents, that's changed i'm sure with what's happened today. what do you think he is trying to hide? is there more than we see in these 31 pages, $75 million of income tax avoidance, money laundering? >> he was acting as an unregistered russian agent, receiving $75 million, and then
laundering it through various real estate transactions and shell corporations in states where he could be prosecuted if there's a pardon at the federal level, clearly he's hiding a plethora of money that came to him, but also this conspiracy against the united states that may involve others as the indictment clearly says, he may try to protect others, but the special council is intent on prosecuting him. >> thank you so much senator blumenthal, i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you. next, the white house says the indictments have nothing to do with trump or the trump campaign. of course, though, that's not true. and a cnn exclusive, from the scene of the deadly scene in niger. with the only reporter on the ground, arwa damon. you ever call your broker for help? >>when volatility spiked... and? >>by the time they got me an answer, it was too late.
president, has nothing to do with the president's campaign or campaign activity. >> former republican congressman jack kingston, a former senior adviser to the trump campaign and counsel letter to president clinton, paul begala. they're trying to make this argument, it has nothing to do with the president or the president's campaign. why do they do this? this has everything to do with the campaign. >> what paul manafort was doing from 2007 too 2012 was walking for the ukrainian government. he was only an interim manager from june 2016 to august 2016. >> he was the chairman of the campaign. he delivered the convention to president trump, you can't be serious. >> trump already had the nomination wrapped up. >> he absolutely did not. >> people thought ted cruz was
going to win. >> no, no, no erin, i have to disagree with you, i was going to be a delegate to that conventi convention, because of that reason. i think building up to it, you could say there was discussion of that, manafort's deal was to try to secure the convention nomination, but that was it, i don't think it was a heavy lift, because it was wrapped up at that time. >> i'm just going to say, you're wrong about that. >> it was not wrapped up when paul manafort joined. i don't want this to get into a debate whether paul manafort was important or not. >> you're right, when he joined there was some question, but during the convention itself, it had been settled prior to coming to cleveland. he was fired afterwards because of his russian connections. >> paul begala, your response as to whether this is about the trump campaign, and, of course, we're not even getting at
papadopoulos. >> it's like arguing whether water is wet. the issue that the trump campaign chairman was not connected to the trump campaign is lewd rouse. they have the trums of innocence i will point out. they have not been convicted of anything, the charges look like they're serious, now we have another trump adviser who has pleaded guilty. what this tells us is, the russians were not abilitying alone and mr. mueller has an insider. these are two terrible developments for the trump white house, we know to a certainty, the man has pleaded to it, he tried to work with russians to get dirt on hillary clinton to help donald trump, that's a huge problem for mr. trump about and now we know that he is -- what's the phrase that the mueller team used? proactive -- i forgot the word. >> assistance, yes. >> that sounds like he's going
to give them a lot more. they say that in the documents. this is just a small part of the story. i -- >> through federal investigations, this is where it begins this is not where it's going to end, donald trump should be seething because he's probably terrified rite now. >> let me say, you would agree that donald trump is not responsible for things that paul manafort may have done before he was associated with the campaign, which seems to be where the focus of these indictments are. >> the focus of the manafort indictments today, but a brick is not a wall. and mr. mueller is an expert brick builder, wall builder. >>. >> and papadopoulos is 100% during the campaign. >> let me say this about him. someone that was active during the campaign, never met him, never heard of him until today, he may have been the key player, i seriously doubt it, i would have known about it.
plus his name would have been in the news. it looks to me like he was a kid -- one of the many volunteers in there. he was in a photo op with these volunteers -- >> the president spoke about him specifically. he was authorized by paul manafort to have meetings with russians. you can characterize him in whatever way you like, he was important enough to have those conversations. >> everything we have shows that those meetings were not accepted and the campaign did not -- >> not by the campaign. he said they were approved by the campaign. >> i don't know that they were approved, erin. there were seven e-mails where he asked to set up meetings, and six of them -- >> before we go, i want to ask you, paul about tony podesta, brother of the clinton campaign chairman, john bow december ta now stepping aside from his lobbying firm, he's doing so because of these charges. he's referred to company b in paul manafort's indictment.
related to this lobbying in ukraine, does this mean any democrats are in trouble here, paul? >> could be many 23 they are, tough luck. i'm not going to put my party ahead of my country. if democrats were involved in anyway, they should pay the price. it is embarrassing to say the campaign chairman connected to mr. trump is not connected to mr. trump. when the day comes if it does, that donald trump is indicted, we'll hear he had no, sthing to with the campaign. i'm putting my country ahead of my party. >> america comes first, and with you 100% on that. paul manafort did things outside of the campaign, prior to being bart of the campaign. you would agree to that, 47 people were indicted when bill clinton was president.
i'm not blaming all of those on bill clinton. there are certain circumstances -- you can't blame everything on the candidate. next, arwa damon exclusive, she's the only reporter, she went to the exact scene of the ambush, you'll see where that happened for yourself. that sclus everyone is next. she only had me by one grade. we bought our first home together in 2010. his family had used another insurance product but i was like well i've had usaa for a while, why don't we call and check the rates? it was an instant savings and i should've changed a long time ago. there's no point in looking elsewhere really. we're the tenneys and we're usaa members for life. usaa. get your insurance quote today. what's critical thinking like? a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom?
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our cnn international kwrpt traveling to the sight of that deadly average bush in nighter that left four american soldiers dead. for the first time you're going to see the place where this happened, the aftermath of that bloody ambush with isis fighters and you'll hear from the people who saw the attack. here is ar one. >> reporter: in this fast terrain, it's the wooded sections that worried the niger solders most. we're headed back to the site of an attack that has thrown this region into a global spotlight. october 4th may have been america's first casualties in these land but not nigers. their patrols regularly come under attack. the drive outside ton tang goes
tang goes is -- forces. they didn't be entirely sure because they use similar weapons they said. we're only given ten minutes on the ground in the village. people here are terrified, refused and reluctant to talk. we tracked down the chief's older brother and they insist the attacks came from elsewhere. initial reports that the shots were outside of tongo tongo. american and nigerian con zero never stopped here they drove through the village. when they hit the very outskirts they when they heard the gun shots. and there are signs of attacks every where.
that's the school we're being told were burnt down, that's a single classroom. we have to wrap it up right now because our skorts are understandably anxious about spending too much time on scene. but you see how close it was to the village, they hasn't made it out. >> weeks after the attack many questions remain, and so too does the threat. >> that's an amazing report. and one of the things, seeing you there, there seems to be a lot of open terrain right by the village and it does seem to be very small. people knew what was going on. >> reporter: well, erin that's where it actually gets a bit confusing. the villagers are insisting up until the home the first shot range out they had no idea what was happening. they didn't know who the attackers were, they never seen them before. they described a scenario where even them themselves were surprised by the attack. yes, this is a tiny remote
village. there's that wooded area around it that does provide the ideal back drop for anyone who wants to launch an ambush. the villagers were saying they've never seen an american presence in their area before and never witnessed the sounds of the gunfire, the explosion that they heard during the time frame that the attack took place. and others say -- the soldiers were saying, erin, they were surprised when they heard about the u.s. nigerian convoy configuration because based on the threat levels they experienced in this area, they saw the convoy they ambushed was very lightly manned and underequipped for the type of foot that exist out there. >> pretty incredible to see what you were able to see there. thank you so very much. going on the ground there and not afraid to get answers. three former trump campaign officials charged.
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tonight on cnn a massive day, robert mueller's probe, three former trump campaign officials charged. don't miss the special report on the russia investigation coming up at 11:00 eastern. anderson's next. good evening there is breaking news on top of breaking news tonight in the runner investigation. the end of an extremely significant day. significant in the history of the presidency. is that big of day. we're learning how the white house is really reacting of this morning's indictment to top campaign officials and a guilty plea of a third less known individual. it is not safe to say to come. we begin with what everyone is reacti reacting to. not just a dozen