tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 30, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
ameriprise the russia story we expected tonight and the russia story almost no one expected. two former top members of the trump campaign arrested. it is this man, george papadopoulos who's looking more and more significant and dangerous to a president who's claimed that there was no collusion between his campaign and russia. no collusion, he tweeted this morning in all caps. millions of dollars in alleged money laundering and tax evasion and deception in connection with prior lobbying work for pro lobbying forces ukraine. he entered a not guilty plea, so did his business associate, rick
gates. both are now under house arrest. they each face counts including conspiracy against the united states, and conspiracy to launder money. manafort's lawyer spoke briefly late today. >> there is no evidence, and mr. martin of the trump campaign colluded with the russian government. >> and that is precisely what makes today's papadopoulos revelation so explosive. it opens a window onto potential frame work and a time line for special counsel robert mueller to try to show collusion. they also reveal more about how mueller plans to proceed from here on out and the leverage he may have to flip paul manafort and others. federal authorities arrested george papadopoulos on the 27th of july, pleaded guilty on the fifth of this month of making false statements to the fbi. this was kept totally under wraps. nothing leaked. we'll talk about the significance of court filings to keep it that way. what do the documents reveal and what they add to the trump lsh
russia time line? papadopoulos jaden the campaign in march of last year. >> george papadopoulos, he's an oil energy consultant, excellent guy. >> that was the president announcing five members of his adviser team in an interview with the "washington post" on march 21st. carter page was also mentioned in that group. mr. trump was under pressure to name some advisers to add credibility to his campaign. one foreign contact, a russian professor, said to have said to the kremlin tells papadopoulos that he, quote, learned that the russians obtained dirt on then-candidate clinton. thousands of clinton e-mails. remember, we already know russian hackers breached the democratic national committee twice. now, in may papadopoulos e-mails
a high official who we know is paul manafort. quote, russia has been earring to mitt mr. trump for quite some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss. manafort forwarded that e-mail to another campaign official who is rick gates, writing, quote, we need someone to commute that d.t. is not doing these trips. it should be someone low level. now we come back to june 3rd. gold stone e-mails donald trump jr. saying the russian government is working to help his father's campaign, saying a kremlin connected lawyer has dirt on hillary clinton. six days later, the trump tower meeting, he's there, jared kushner is there and paul manafort. done junior describes the meeting as being about adoption, which means u.s. sanctions against moscow. donald junior admits he later then looking for dirt but came away empty hand. carter page, that other member
of the candidate destroyers group travels to moscow. that e-mail we talked about a second ago, the one that said we need someone to communicate the dt is not doing these trips. was the cater page trip the moscow trip? we don't know for sure, but the timing indicates the possibility. now, back to the court document unsealed today and the next date on or about the 14th of july of last year. george papadopoulos writing to the individual known as fc 2, foreign contact 2. papadopoulos proposing a, quote, meeting for august or september in the u.k., london, with me and my national chairman and one other policy adviser and the ffa to hold a day of consultations and to meet one another. it has been approved from our side. eight days later, the first last week later dumped, five days later, this from candidate trump. >> russia, if you're listening,
i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> the campaign said that was just humor. everyone from the president on down has denied anyone in the campaign colluded with russia. today, the white house press secretary of not only denied that george papadopoulos acted in any official capacity during the campaign. she kind of denied his existence. >> this individual was the member of a volunteered adviser counc council. he was a volunteer. he was not paid by the campaign. he was a volunteer on a a council that met once. >> he was a volunteer on the campaign and a volunteer member of an advisory council. >> they literature met one time. >> not only is he clearly helping mueller build a case.
>> the court papers suggest we can put it up on the air, defendant has indicated he's willing to cooperate. on the next page, public disclosure of the defendant's initial appearance, however, would significantly undermine his ability to serve as a proactive cooperate. what this says to me is that papadopoulos between july and october was wearing a wire. he was recording conversations secretly with people who are subjects and targets of this investigation. that's the only reasonable explanation of what's in those court papers. if he was wearing a wire, this summer and fall, think about that, just weeks ago, that is a whole new chapter of
possibilities in this investigation and potentially a very, very big deal. >> the day we expected to begin with one or more indictments ended with more than that. this story has taken a big leap since then. join us are the correspondents that have been there since day one. jim s any of this evidence of collusion? >> the special counsel certainly hasn't made any conclusions as to whether there is collusion or coordination, whatever you call it. but keep in mind this. twice in the court documents made public today, unsealed today, there are direct references to this investigation being one that is looking into, among other things, the possibility of collusion or coordination, one of those references, the january 27th interview of george
papadopoulos, it says, in fact, sprelly in the documents at the time that part of the investigation was looking into collusion, cooperation between trump associates and the russian campaign. but more recently in a court opinion unsealed today as well dated october 2nd, 2017, the first lines say this is a matter of national importance and that the u.s. through the special counsel's office is investigating foreign interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion in those efforts by american citizens. that's a court opinion relating to this case. that is still very clearly a subject of this investigation regardless of what the president says or what you hear from behind the white house podium. >> evan, you were describing a downpayment on future efforts by mueller? >> it's clear the special counsel and his team are homing in on manafort, and they think that he has something to give. they are what you saw today is
an effort to build and to show how much leverage they believe they have. i think it's no accident that they unveiled or unsealed the papadopoulos indictment and plea agreement and gave a window into the type of information he's already provided to the special prosecutor. what i think is happening here is that they clearly believe magnificent has some information that he can give, he can flip up. so the question is, who can manafort provide information against? not many people who are above where martin was in the hierarchy of that campaign, we're talk about the president, those closest to him. >> pamela, can you explain the big picture, the allegations? >> they are on financial wrong doing. the indictment alleges they made
millions of dollars in their consultanting work for ukraine, and they tried to hide that mustn't the fbi also says they lied about it that they were deceitful about the money they had made from ukraine. and they were using this money to decorate their homes, pay for the children's' tuition, take lavish trips. it doesn't center particularly on anything they did during the campaign, though it is in the time frame of when both manafort and rick gates worked for the pain and because it says in the indictment that these alleged activities were there 2008 to 2017. we should note, though, both men deny any financial wrong doing. they both pleaded not guilty today. now they are on house arrest. manafort is on $10 million
basement ri bail. >> cnn confirmed the e-mails were to manafort and gates. but who was giving him the okay from the campaign to continue his efforts? do we know? >> these court filings are rife with evidence of communications that belie sarah sanders' statement from behind the podium that this was just a low-level guy on the campaign who no one talked to or had any interest in because he has repeated communications with very senior people in the campaign, one of which i reported earlier today, one of these communications about conversations with the russians and meetings with russia, perhaps in europe as well is with paul manafort. another one of them is with rick gates, paul manafort's deputy. there are other things described, supervisor, other senior officials who not only are receiving e-mails from
george papadopoulos, but their answering those e-mails and answering requests that are contained in those e-mails. papadopoulos describing meetings he had with russians who said they had dirt on hillary clinton. there were discussions of whether he shouldn't meet with them. there are instructions in those documents encouraging him to based on papadopoulos' testimony to take a meeting in russia. so the idea that he just showed up once as a volunteer at one foreign policy session is belied by repeated communications for months between him and senior campaign officials about meetings and getting instructions from those officials to move forward with those meetings. >> you've done extensive research. that all started with the same method of proposing dirt on hillary clinton allegedly coming according to gold stone from a lawyer connected to the russian
government. it's interesting that the tactic of promising dirt in the case of papadopoulos, it was from a professor who had ties to the kremlin allegedly, which papadopoulos lied to the fbi about knowing, and then admitted he did know, it was the same kind of direct promise of information from the russian government in both meetings. >> right. i think it's no accident that the government is showing these communications. and i think what it tells you is what we've been talking about on this program since this investigation began, which is this is the russian play book. this is why people in the national security agencies, the cia, the director of national intelligence and the fbi last year were sort of hair on fire. they were a little bit alarmed at the idea that the russians seemed to be trying to insinuate themselves through carter page, through papadopoulos, through other people, trying to get away into the campaign to get access to the trump campaign, and
seemingly getting encouragement at those efforts. what we've heard is very much within the playbook we know the russians use. they try to insinuate themselves into this campaign and they were getting responses which is whying they kept doing it. late word on the president's reaction to all this, and later reaction from gop lawmakers as well as the nonreaction from the top republican in the house. man: proper etiquette is essential for every social occasion. so the the broom said, "sorry i'm late. i over-swept." [ laughter ] yes, even the awkward among us deserve some laughter. and while it's okay to nibble in public, a lady only dines in private. try the name your price tool from progressive. it gives you options based on your budget. uh-oh. discussing finances is a big no-no. what, i'm helping her save money! shh! men are talking.
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he was not happy about this news that came out this morning. that has ton understood. obviously this russia investigation is creeping closer to the oval office and closer to the white house. but my understanding from talking to sources is they're plodding ahead as if this is a, quote, distraction, is the way one white house source described it to me earlier this evening. they still view thiss a distraction, even though the former trump campaign chairman manafort manafort and rick gates, once very little known advisor george papadopoulos, his plea deal coming down, that's not grabbed ahold of officials as any major news. i will tell you, anderson, talking to sources this evening, the concern is how much of this they can take. i talked to one source earlier this evening who said that they're starting to describe george papadopoulos as a, quote,
overzealous volunteer. anderson that, appears to be an indication they do understand that some of this news is not good for them or else they would have continued to describe him the way sarah sanders was describing him today which was just a volunteer with a limited role with the campaign. >> as far as a white house strategy for dealing with mueller and the investigation, do they have one? >> you know, at this point, anderson, it appears the strategy is to do no harm , to allow mueller to continue this investigation. i will tell you, when you talk to people who are very close to the messaging and strategy inside this white house, they are concerns about the president going ahead half-cocked and deciding the way hermgs with james comey to pyre the special counsel. it was interesting to hear the questions coming up at the briefing when sarah sanders was asked about this. she did not close the door on this possibility mueller might
be fired. that is no ironclad commitment that robert mueller is staying in that position. of course, when you talk to people on capitol hill, any kind of move like that to unload the special counsel would really trigger a pretty swift reaction from congress. >> jim acosta, appreciate it. joining us is our panel. kirsten, let's start with you. today, how do you see it? >> i think we all thought the manafort news would probably be the biggest news, and i tell you, ended up not being the case. you know, i understand the white house's argument that it was an overzealous volunteer person. but if you look at what he talks about, it all seems on the up
and up until you get to the fact that he lied about it. there's nothing wrong with him sending e-mails saying i tried to set up a meeting, which they apparently wanted, but the fact he decided he needed to lie about the fact that the campaign did know about it, that he was exchanging e-mails with them, that's what raises a red flag. why are you lying about it if it is this is a basic thing you would be doing on the team. >> does that raise red flags for you? >> yeah. i would disagree. i would say this was red flag central. the idea that the russians were offering -- first you meet a random professor who then has these links to the kremlin. that's shady, who are offering you opposition or stolen e-mails. that should raise a red flag.
usually people would call the fbi in that instance. the other piece is staging these meetings. we have to remember this was still a campaign. they haven't even won the election. private citizens should not be negotiating meetings with foreign governments to discuss policy. actually, there is a law against that. it's called the low began act from 1799. it's only been used twice. but it's because with respect to the to undermine a sitting administration. so i think this was sketchy from the get-go. and the fact that he lied about it just shows that -- that's what mueller's charging him w shows that he means business. i bet there's people who are sweating right now who have already been interviewed by the fbi. >> let's not forget every candidate for president who wants to be taken seriously goes to foreign countries. look at me. i've got the chops.
the successful meeting with the mexican president by then-candidate trump, right in the same time frame, middle of auxiliary if i remember correctly, that the only item in the papadopoulos indictment that suggests anyone other than papadopoulos was encouraging about him proceeding with russia, and contrary to what jim said, it took five months of papadopoulos' one-way communication. jim implied these were conversations. that's not what the indictment says. >> i have a question for you. >> i'm happy to answer. so he gets to the middle of august, and the indictment says after months of doing this. and then the campaign person not named says, well, that sounds great if you can set it up, make it happen. and the next line is the meeting never took place. >> in the meeting with the president of mexico, did trump
talk about thousands of hillary clinton's e-mails that the mexican government had? >> i think that was where are of a damage control meeting. >> i'm just saying, it's not just -- >> it isn't about that kind of tactical kind of advantage. >> but this is the -- second of two meetings we know about where the pitch was i'm the russia government. >> from an intel perspective, this is kind of 101. the russians accurately identified their soft spot. they want dirt on hillary, and they're responding to that. papadopoulos responded it to, trump junior responded to it. >> now we're getting out of the weeds and down to what's really important. we have seen in these indictments and we see from what mueller is now doing and we really have a road map.
we are looking at what he is building a kind of case of a conspiracy to undermine this country's electoral system through communications with a foreign government. it's a conspiracy case about collusion. one of the most fascinating elements is it is reelvealed in april of 2016 he heard from this russian london professor that there were thousands of e-mails about or from hillary. this is months before we had any idea that these were e-mails that the trump campaign or assange or anybody else had an ability to get. this means that early on, the trump campaign knew that the russians supposedly had these e-mails, and what the indictment
says is they went after them. and that's what we keep seeing is this. yes, he might have been a self-starter. it's possible. he might have been low-level, but he talked to manafort about that. that's what we know from this indictment. also, i think it's very likely that he talked to mr. flynn about that. so we now have papadopoulos talking to the top officials, national security officials in the campaign who themselves daily talk to the candidate himself. and the question becomes, and we'll have to find out, did these matters come to the attention of donald trump. >> the candidate's son holds this meeting excited to get information coming from the russian government. the idea that everyone mentioned it to his dad or no one in that meeting ever mentioned it to the candidate. >> what we didn't know about was
all these people salivating early on in the spring about e-mails that the russians might have. it changes a big perception. >> this is an incredible demoralizing story. >> in what sense? >> that now we have further evidence of potential, you know, administration or campaign relationships with russia. but look, we learned a week or two ago that the same thing happened with the hillary clinton campaign, that they essentially bought a dossier that john podesta bought this dossier allegations against the trump. my point is both parties i think are so disgusting here and both campaigns, that they would deal with the russians. i'm warrior. they are an enemy of the united
states. >> i don't know that anybody in the clinton campaign was told the russian government is giving you this information. >> but they got the dossier from the russians. they funded opposition research, and indeed -- >> they were middle men. >> that operation, opposition research was conducted by someone who was indeed trying to -- >> let's not go down the road of the dossier. jeff, for you, is this clear evidence of -- collusion is not a crime, but attempted collusion? >> it certainly is suggestive. this morning, how many of us could identify george papadopoulos. sorry, i've been saying it all day excellently. >> we were all focused on carter page of the unknown five.
>> so if you look at the e-mails that went with the information to which he pled guilty, there was not a lot of code words. everybody was talking openly about these relationships. you have to assume that that was continuing, just as in june they were talking openly about their relationship with the russians, the trump tower meeting. i think if you had told any of us a week ago, a month ago, that this guilty plea would be coming, i think we would have been astonished. i remain astonished. but it is still very early days in this investigation. a lot more to discuss with the panel when we come back. zblamgs mple off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can
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a milestone day in this presidency, the significance difficult to overstate. the first indictment in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. jeff, we haven't addressed the other surprising thing we learned about papadopoulos today, that he still been cooperating for some time now. >> absolutely. >> do you know the level? is it clear what the level of cooperation is? >> it's not clear, but it's clearly suggested. in the document that the special counsel filed explaining why his guilty plea should have been under seal, he pointed out that he was arrested at the end of july, didn't plead guilty until the beginning of october. and the reason according to mueller, that the paperwork was
sealed is because he was doing what they called proactive cooperation, which suggests strongly to me he was wearing a wire. he was taping telephone calls and taping one-on-one conversations with someone. and i wouldn't speculate about who, but that just suggests how dramatic this could b. we're talking about cooperation that might have ended two weeks ago. >> would anybody who was fearing of what had happened on the campaign be so stupid to communicate with this guy, papadopoulos turnover last couple months? >> one of the things you always learn, as a prosecutor, the defense attorneys always say in closing argument is, of course, held endorse the check in his own name. no one would be that stupid. people are that stupid all the time. just as we were not thinking
that papadopoulos was going to be prosecuted, they probably didn't think so either. betting on the stupidity of people as far as i'm concerned is always good money. >> also, in the campaign and it's continued into the white house, they have prided themselves on bringing in whole groups of people who have never been in these circumstances before. so if you're in your third tour in a white house, and fred who you vaguely remember seeing on a twitter feed is leaning his shoulder at you when he asked you questions, flag are going up, but it's not happening here. this is new for most of these folks. that's part of what the american people wanted, they wanted to just turn the place over. but part of what you get with that is less experience, and this is one of those elements. >> these indictments send a clear signal in a way mueller
has done this and the price he's asked for in terms of bail for these two suspects, the whole part of events today shows everybody who's been working in this campaign and around trump that he is building a case. meanwhile, mueller has 21,000 e-mails he's obtained from the white house. and they're all potential perjury traps just as we see papadopoulos got trapped into perjury because of what mueller knew. all of trump's people have to talk to the fbi and be truthful. and that means everything that they observe from trump's assistant, all the way through, even his family, have to be truthful. >> i was reading today a comparison between this kind of prosecution and the one the department of justice would run against a mob figure. is it similar in the way they build a case?
>> you're going to start from the bottom and work your way up to get the big fish, right? that gives the leverage against the bigger people up the chain to keep flipping until you get the people that you want to get. >> sometimes the people you get at the top are not convicted -- al capone wasn't convicted. >> al a ka pone's body zbaurd was convicted for violating the game act because he had dead birds in his freezer. they're going to get you for what you find. you don't want to have the proverbial dead birds in your freezer. the bread and butter of these investigations, particularly when the fbi go out, lying to federal agents. every time i interview someone, i let them know lying to a federal official is a felony.
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the president of the white house say there is nothing to see here. for the republican leadership the tact is there's nothing to say here. take a look. >> i have nothing to add to these indictments other than this is what robert mueller was tasked to do. i haven't read the indictments and i don't know the specific details of the indictments, but that is how the judicial process works. >> back with kirsten powers. also joining is scott jennings and brian fallon. brian, the former press secretary for hillary clinton, i'm wondering what you make of today. >> i think politically today has a lot of meaning because you saw last week the trump administration and its allies trying to gather ahead of steam to call mueller's integrity into question, suggesting he shouldn't step down.
fox news was getting a steady drum beat. after a day like today where robert mueller dropped the mic and showed what a serious prosecutor really does and how he immunities serious investigation, he's under house arrest, staring at charges that could deliver 10 to 15 years in prison, which could be a life sentence considering his age, he's playing for keeps. it sends a message to all the other white house staff officials. i think at this point it becomes much harder for the president to entertain any negotiate of firing bob mueller. >> scott? >> i don't think they should seriously entertain firing bob mueller or taking any action that would stop this investigation because it is clear the russians tried to meddle in the election. i'm not yet convinced there was high-level collusion. they did try to cultivate people. we need to find out what happened and the president should consider starting a task force to make sure this doesn't happen in the future.
you had the attempt to infiltrate the campaign, but there's this digital advertising halfing on the periphery. the investigation dye is cast. they can't control what happens at this point. the tfbi is interviewing people. what they can control is policy and governing. so they need to control their impulses, focus on the crisis at hand in north korea, try to get that stuff right. no tweet can change the course of the investigation. >> i don't think there's any the"there" there. we don't know if there's collusion. maybe there's not, but other people are going to down for other things. if there is a the"there" there, they're going to find it. >> there seems to be an effort, at least on the part of some people. >> when you've had no-knock raids executed and people's
storage facilities rated, you've had a guy wearing probably we think wearing a wire for at least a month, maybe months, if there's something to be found, they're going to find it. >> at this point can we really say with a straight face there's no evidence of efforts at collusion, whether it's donald trump junior saying believing information is coming from the russian government and saying let's take a look at it or this guy, papadopoulos as well? . >> one thing we know is the russians were pushing on an open door if their attempts to find people in the trump campaign who were interested. >> it seemed like multiple doors? >> we know don junior was excited to take that meeting. we know papadopoulos was telling
everyone in the campaign he could that he wanted to set up meetings between trump and putin, campaign officials and other russian officials. and the plea agreement ends with this kind of cliff hanger, that the agents say not all the facts that they know about are in that plea agreement. and it ends with this tantalizing, oh, someone told me about the thousands of e-mails that have dirt on hillary clinton. we don't know what happened next. the cro normalj . >> i want to ask you about the strategy of how that was worded and why not announce everything. let's take a quick break and we'll continue the conversation next. when i was a navy seal, i trained as hard as i could to stay alive. i have more than 30 pieces of shrapnel still in my leg. but i still push myself to the limit.
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back with the panel and an unusual day in american politics, also the lowest point in the trump administration. just 38% said they approve the job the president is doing, down five points since december. polling was taken before the news of the upcoming indictments. meanwhile, the latest gallop poll has him at 33% job approval. that is based on a three-day rolling average. we were talking about the wording of the information that was released and the fbi say they haven't put out all the information often papadopoulos. why would they hold stuff back? >> they want to make people nervous. when you don't know what mueller knows, you get kind of scared. and when he comes knocking, you may be willing to cough up information. >> they didn't have to put out the information they did? >> he's pleading guilty, so they're laying out enough to
show that it he committed the crime. it's not like manafort where they have to so it's a slightly different kind of document. the other thing that's really important to understand is that mueller has other information from sensitive sources. so there may be things that he may not be ready to put out there yet or that he's waiting to corroborate from other -- by other means. and i think this is especially relevant with the manafort indictment because, you know, trump has mentioned that this is all stuff that happened before the campaign. remember that those two fisa warrants started in 2014 or so and continued all the way up until january of this year. so there -- and a fisa would mean that he was demonstrably and knowingly acting along with a foreign intelligence service. so there may be additional information that mueller has
that he either wants other people to corroborate in order to build a larger collusion case and he may supersede this indictment against manafort as it grows. >> they might know that he actually talked to other people on the campaign about what he was told about the hillary clinton e-mails and they just left that out? is that possible? >> you mean papadopoulos. >> i think that's entirely possible. >> it seems quite likely. they're basically telling us at that hearing where papadopoulos entered his guilty plea said this is just a small part of a larger investigation. so anybody thought that bob mueller's team was just going to settle forgetting those old charges against manafort is fooling themselves. you now have two instances, papadopoulos and donald trump jr. in june expressing their intent, their eagerness to obtain whatever the russians were advertising as having had. it seems impossible to believe that after the russians twice indicated to these representatives from the trump campaign that they had the dirt
on hillary clinton and wanted to help collude with donald trump's campaign that the trump campaign just dropped it. what we are getting at, we know that they have the intent. what we don't know if they had the opportunity. was there a follow-up meeting where the russians actually came with the e-mails or started to plot out the dissemination plan for the e-mails. >> or were there more e-mails from donald trump jr. to hope hicks and other people in the campaign saying, wow, can you believe the russians are backing dad's campaign? the only e-mails we've seen are e-mails that he himself released. >> this is why donald trump was so upset about a special prosecutor because if this just, you know, congressional inquiries you're not going to have the ability to subpoena -- >> thousands and thousands -- >> if you lie to the fbi, that's a crime. you can't even lie to them. they can lie to you. you can't lie to them. come on. we don't know. we just found that papadopoulos was, you know, arrested or
whatever months ago. is there anybody else? they're squeezing people who would know things. i mean, you know, paul manafort, does he cut a deal? does he want to spind the rest of his life in jail? if anybody would know and, it might be him. what about michael flynn -- >> michael flynn and his son. if they are in fact indicted and does michael flynn then want to try to protect his son? there's so many unknowns in this. just the sheer volume of information that mueller has access to that has not leaked out. >> you get the accepts from reading all of the documents that are released today that the one person who is convinced there is collusion is bob mueller. you just get the sense that this is the very, very beginning of a massive investigation from the transparent of the plea agreement to where the lawyer that brian referred to says this is just a typey part of this larger investigation to just the way he seemed frustrated with manafort and gates and threw everything at them. to the way he did this sort of dramatic reveal with the information that none of us knew about with papadopoulos. >> and even the timing of the
unsealing of the guilty plea by papadopoulos today is probably not a coincidence. if you go back and look at the transcript from the october 5th hearing, they had 30 days to keep it under seal if they wanted. it's not 30 days yet. so they decided they were ready to put it out today. i think it's a warning sign to everybody within the white house that, hey, we know about this and you'll get treated this way if you cooperate and this way if you don't. i also think it's a signal to manafort that, hey, we know about it the collusion aspect of this. if you want to lesson your sentence on the fie ra violation, come talk to us. >> we'll dig into mueller's investigative team ahead. (honking) (beeping) we're on to you, diabetes. time's up, insufficient prenatal care. and administrative paperwork, your days of drowning people are numbered. same goes for you, budget overruns. and rising costs, wipe that smile off your face.
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prosecuting white collar and organized crime figures. michael dree ban over here has argued more than a hundred cases before the u.s. supreme court. very far lawyers ever get to say anything like that. he's also considered one of the top criminal law experts in this country. jeany reis a former deputy assistant attorney general. she came from the esteemed firm where mueller is in private practice, as did james quarrels over here. he's considered to be the point person in terms of reaching out to the white house when they have to have direct contact. and aaron zbleply, he spent years with the fbi studying counter terrorism until he rose to the point of becoming the chief of staff for mueller over here. this is just the front row of his team here, and this is a true dream team of prosecutors. people who not only know how to collect evidence but how to present it, how to turn it into how to defend it in court and ultimately to produce not just
indictments but convictions and convictions that will stick, anderson. >> yeah. certainly some trump supporters have complained that a few of these people have democratic leanings and history of supporting democratic causes or campaigns and that feeds the president's claim is that this is a witch-hunt. >> yeah. there is some of that in the sense that some of these people have donated to democratic causes. they've had ties to the obama administration. for example, rhee over here, she actually worked for the bobama administration and re heptd hillary clinton in some lawsuits. that's a relatively small part of this. the real worry for the white house over here is less the partisan ship than the sheer expertise. they've handled so many cases of fraud and corruption and criminal conduct. and these people have honed their chops on cases like watergate and enron and many, many more in the justice department.
the bottom line is these are people who really know what they're doing and when the white house looks across the street at what they're facing, what they're seeing, anderson, is a very tough army of attorneys who are headed up about i a man who is known for being relentless and following the clues relentlessly to the end. anderson. >> tom former man, appreciate it. time to hand things over to don lemon. cnn tonight starts right now. breaking news, the biggest bombshell yet in the russia investigation and the white house is hoping you'll believe there's nothing to see here. just move along. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. the trump campaign's closest connection so far to russian meddling in the election. george papadopoulos, a former trump campaign foreign policy adviser pleading guilty to making a false statement to the fbi after he lied about his interactions during the campaign with a foreign contact who discussed dirt related to hillary clinton's e-mails. that n