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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  October 30, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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this is a cnn special report, the russia investigation. i'm jake tapper in washington. tonight the first criminal charges in the russia probe are sending shock waves throughout the political world. we're getting new information in the united states of america versus george papadopoulos including a new courtroom transcript.
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special counsel robert mueller is now zeroing in on potential collusion between the trump campaign. our correspondents have been leading the way in this breaking story. a foreign policy advisor to then candidate trump lied about kremlin advisers. thousands of e-mails, he said. but after trying to dupe federal investigators george papadopoulos has been cooperating with them, suggesting papadopoulos may be providing information against other trump campaign insiders. court documents further revealed papadopoulos further e-mailed a campaign official about some of these interactions. cnn has learned that official was former campaign chairman paul manafort. another trump campaign official richard gate also is named in the 12 count indictment.
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both are under house arrest. both have their passports seized as the special counsel targets trump associates in this critical new phase of his investigation. sources are telling our white house reporters meanwhile that the president is seething about all this. even as the white house tries to down-play the developments publicly arguing they have nothing to do with mr. trump, cnn has learned meanwhile that the former chief strategist steve bannon is urging the president to fight back against mueller and his investigation with dramatic steps including urging republicans in congress to cut off funding for the probe. evan perez, let me start with you. it shows a case for actual collusion. how do you mueller building that case from here? >> you see papadopoulos and certainly the information contained in this document that they released today, it really does show you what collusion
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would look like. we talked a lot about the theories of collusion, and certainly the president has said there is no collusion to see her. but what you're seeing there is the beginnings of an out line really of what the government thinks it has or at least claims it has, which is, you know, the russians are trying to make in roads using papadopoulos, and then they've used other people as we've reported with carter page and other people who are associate would the campaign. >> donald trump, jr. >> donald trump, jr. to try to get to people inside the campaign. and they were getting willing participants, people who were responding in kind and seeming to encourage more of these contacts. again, for the past few months we've talked a lot about this, jake, that one of the things that really alarmed national security officials at the cia, at the fbi, the director of national intelligence was this idea that the russians were trying to essentially get in roads into a campaign, and they saw people trying to seemingly
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encourage that. ask that really made them worried. they really thought this was a national security concern for the country. >> pamela, let me read something to you from the plea agreement with george papadopoulos. and this seems to me one of the most damning things in this entire case so far. on april 26, 2016, defendant papadopoulos met this unnamed professor for a breakfast at an unnamed hotel. during this meeting he told the defendant papadopoulos that he had just returned from a trip to moskow and he met with a high level russian government officials. the professor told the defendant that they the russians have dirt on her, the russians had e-mails on clinton, they have thousands of e-mails. just to remind people this is april 2016. this is before even members of the clinton campaign or the democratic national committee know that the russians have these e-mails.
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>> that's exactly right. this is around the time the russians had hacked the dnc, john podesta's e-mail, and now we're learning in april this professor linked to russians was intelligent george papadopoulos, a campaign advisor about dirt. this appears to be an effort by the russians to get into the the campaign, infiltrate the campaign, offer them something in the form of alleged dirt on hillary clinton. and there's a pattern here. you have this incident in april and then you have the june meeting with don junior at trump tower where the russians allegedly had dirt on hillary clinton. what's clear here at the very least the russians wanted them to think they had something to give them. and that certainly goes to what everyone is saying, collusion. >> using the same language, we have dirt on hillary clinton, which was the same language used by don junior.
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>> this was a dated filing of october of this year, saying this is a matter of importance. the u.s. is investigating foreign interference and potential collusion in those efforts wii american citizens. so this idea that collusion is off the table, that's it's been eliminated as a line of of inquiry is just not true. >> and it's impossible to imagine that a 30-year-old operative looking to make his bones in republican politics or politics in general would keep this information to himself. >> to that note you heard donald trump on the campaign trail asking the russians to turn over hillary clinton's hacked e-mails. and this is one piece of the puzzle. it is hard to believe he would keep it to himself. he told according to the fbi documents, he didn't tell anyone. we learned last week that cambridge analytica, the data firm reached out to wikileaks.
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then you have this whole research effort searching for russians on the internet who they believe hacked her e-mails. so it's all part of pieces of a puzzle. >> pall manafort's home was raided on july 26th of this year. on july 27th, the very next day george papadopoulos was arrested. is it possible there's a connection? >> we don't know there's a connection. certainly in the documents today, they don't make it clear there's any. but you can see today there is reason for us to think that there's no accident that they r released the papadopoulos documents today. they seem to suggest this is some of the leverage they have against paul manafort. the goal here seems to be to squeeze manafort and get him to flip up. and we don't know what else robert mueller and his team have collected and what other evidence they believe they have. but it certainly looks like what
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the government here is building is leverage that they believe for whatever reason, they think whatever manafort has to give, they can use that to leverage it and have him flip up. and look, the issue here is that there's not many people above manafort in the hierarchy of this campaign. we're talking about the president, we're talking about the people who are most close to him, his family members. >> or that they could squeeze gates and then maybe get to manafort and then to whomever else they want. one thing i want to point out about these plea document. it was written here the attorney said there's a large ongoing investigation of which this case is a small part. >> just a small part. the white house of course trying to down-play george papadopoulos' connection to the trump campaign.
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press secretary sarah sanders called papadopoulos a volunteer, merely part of an advisory council that met only once. >> he reached out and nothing happened beyond that, which i think shows, one, his level of importance in the campaign, and two, shows what little role he had in coordinating anything officially for the campaign. >> jim sciutto, there's evidence papadopoulos operated add high levels during the campaign. >> it was in march he was appointed to this position, granted a volunteer position as many campaign positions are. and very soon after his appointment a trump campaign supervisor as identified in the court filings today e-mailed him to say improved russian relations are the focus of the campaign. so sarah huckabee sanders implying there no one knew who the supervisor was, and in fact he did. e-mailing him what the goal was
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of russia. soon after this professor which we were just discussing reached out to george papadopoulos. this was in early april. so someone in russia knew who george papadopoulos was to the extent they wanted to communicate they had dirt on hillary clinton in the form of e-mails. soon after russia was aware of him and took the step of reaching out to make this offer in effect. soon after that in may papadopoulos, he e-mails then campaign chairman paul manafort to say that in addition to that knowledge of those e-mails, that dirt on hillary clinton, that russia in fact wants to meet with trump. so paul manafort knows papadopoulos enough to then forward that e-mail to his deputy, rick gates. keep in mind paul manafort and gates were indicted for their work they did in ukraine prior to their campaign. soon after that in july
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papadopoulos reaches out to another foreign contact. this to discuss yet another offer between trump campaign members and associates. this one going up to members of putin's office, adding he says, papadopoulos, it has been approved from our side. implying in that communication that papadopoulos had the okay from someone higher up in the campaign to make this offer. and it is soon after that someone from the campaign, a trump campaign supervisor e-mails papadopoulos to say, quote, i would encourage you to carry out this meeting. and another foreign policy advisor to make the trip if it is feasible. so you heard huckabee-sanders there say he was a nobody, nobody knew who he was, in fact there's many electronic communications that say the opposite. >> and gloria, what we know of george papadopoulos fits squarely of what we knew about the trump campaign. it was a small organization, a lot of volunteers. >> exactly. >> and this idea that he was a
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low level volunteer and nobody knew who he was, that doesn't really pass the smell test when you see how often he is getting replies to his e-mails from senior officials. >> he's communicating with senior officials. again, it's a small group. the president today i was told asked an advisor who the hell is george papadopoulos, i don't know who he is, even though he was pictured with him and named him a member of his foreign policy task force or whatever it was. ad i think it was easier for people in the white house to say the manafort and gates indictments have nothing to do with them because that was about their financial dealings in ukraine and everything else. then it was for papadopoulos. and i think that is really problematic for them because sarah sanders was trying to say, you know, forget it, it had nothing to do with the campaign. well, we know this had a lot to do with the campaign. >> the documents were actually released with the papadopoulos
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statement there really describe a key thing. that picture we've seen a lot today where papadopoulos is meeting with the president and others in his national security advisor team, and apparently according to the government, he says that he can arrange or he knows how to arrange a meeting between putin and the president. now, what the government doesn't tell us in those documents is what the response in that meeting was. did the president say that sounds like a great idea? did anybody else at that table say that's a great idea? we don't know because the government did not include that in the document they released today. >> and while we're on the subject of the president one source over at the white house is saying, coat, the president is seething. the president has obviously not been a fan of of the russia investigation. i think it's fair to say. this is whole new level, though. >> this is whole new level of not being a fan of the russia investigation. that's right, jake. and just to bounce off what you guys were saying with respect to
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george papadopoulos, keep in mind the president has not tweeted, he's not commented on what's taken place with papadopoulos. he's obviously commented on manafort and gates, but nothing on papadopoulos. i reached out to the advisor on the president's legal team and he says there's no reason to because the president doesn't know him. i think this is fascinating jake, the campaign voluntarily for produced e-mails which apparently convicted papadopoulos and every one of his proposed i.d.s about russiawer killed because of super vision. i think this is interesting when the white house is saying the campaign that helped lead to this plea agreement that was entered into by george papadopoulos as if they can somehow take credit for this development in the russia investigation that we saw unfold earlier today. i think it remains to be seen just what the president does
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about george papadopoulos because not only is he a mystery to the president, he's a mystery to a lot of the people inside the campaign. make no mistake. i talk today a key campaign source earlier today and worked on this campaign and said george papadopoulos was e-mailing with various officials ined is that campaign. >> we know there are people around president trump telling him to hold his fire, to stay dignified, stay out of the fray. he's also hearing from his former campaign and former white house chief strategist steve bannon. what is bannon telling him? >> well, bannon is saying you better get on the stick here. you better get active, and you better start punching back. >> against mueller. >> against mueller. he's not saying fire mueller by any stretch of the imagination, but he is saying maybe you can cut some of his funding, maybe you can make sure he stays within his mandate, maybe you can slow down the document production. but on the other side of that
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you've got ty cob and john -- saying we are playing nice because there is nothing in it for us to antagonize the special counsel right now and to draw this out. so they're saying we're producing the documents, you've got to do it this way. so the president you can tell is really being pushed and pulled here because his natural instinct as we all saw with his tweets this morning, his natural instinct is to punch back as people always tell us. and they are saying, no, you can punch back right now. it is not in your self-interest. so they're going to have to figure out a way to work this out. and i'm not quite sure whether they have and how they do that with the president who really is upset about all of this. coming up, how will the first criminal charges in the russia probe affect the investigations in congress? we'll ask the members of two influential house committees
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when our special report continues after this break. stay with us.
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>> well, the arrows continue to point in the same direction, which is you had a campaign that had a working relationship with the russians. and now you have the first person who has provided the clearest evidence that they were doing so. and we've had contacts and e-mails that we've read, but, you know, george papadopoulos was traveling to a foreign land to meet with a foreign adversary to receive information on the campaign's political up coming. that's significant. >> well, we don't know -- we know he was in london in april and told by this professor that the russians had these memails and then we see evidence of him trying to make plans and trying to get the go ahead to have this meeting. it says in this plea agreement he did not make the trip. we don't know if he went or the russians actually came. >> just reading in the stipulation of facts he was attempting to set up meetings
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with the campaign -- and when you start to put the time line together, he told the campaign about trying to setup a meeting in april, and then in june you have the meeting at trump tower, which now starts to make a lot more sense particularly if he ran this up the chain ask it made its way to paul manafort who we know was in that meeting. >> i want to ask you about papadopoulos. your intelligence committee which is investigating russia interference in the election and any possible collusion, you have not interviewed papadopoulos, your committee. here's my question. did special counsel mueller tell you don't interview him? >> i can't go into when we've interviewed and who we've not interviewed, but what i'm concerned about reading the stipulation of facts is the fbi had to go after him three times. high fear is that in our investigation we're not bringing
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witnesses in under subpoena for the most part. we're letting them set the terms when they want to end the interview, and we're not requiring them to provide the relevantdulates. so if they're willing to lie to an fbi agent, i'm guess, jake, they might be willing to lie to congress. >> in july papadopoulos was arrested at dulles airport and then he pleaded earlier this month. >> october. >> in october. and there's this whole period we don't know what he's doing. he's obviously cooperating. we know don't know if he wore a wire. we don't know what he was doing. and i'm just wondering if special counsel mueller. his name has been repeated. it had people brushing him back and saying, no, no, no we're not
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going to do these silly things. but i'm wondering since his name was public and your committee had not interviewed him, it's my understanding were you told by mueller keep away from this guy, we're using him? >> there is communication at ranking member schiff and mike conway. but he has criminal probe so as not to compromise evidence he has. and our job is to complain to the people what the government response was and what reforms need to be made so this doesn't happen again. but i can't speak to what communication has taken place with papadopoulos. >> whether it's trump or papadopoulos or smith or cambridge analytica, there's a lot of smoke about people in the trump world wanting to get these e-mails. do you know of any evidence of any actual meeting or exchange between the russians and people on the trump team? because right now we see a lot of willingness to collude but no
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actual collusion. >> yeah, eagerness and willingness to work with the russians. but we want to know now what does that amount to? >> that's what i'm asking. >> we're hoping this is a wake up call for my colleagues, to get serious about the investigation and for us to say turn over all the documents. >> do you think the russians -- sorry, do you think the republicans in this committee investigating russia are not taking this investigation seriously. >> at best it's been a curiosity and not to take back our freedom to choose in the next election. >> congressman swallow, thank you for your time. coming up, the time line leading up to these new charges of the special counsel investigation. we're going to connect the dots for you when our coverage continues. stay with us.
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welcome back to our special coverage. all these names and dates and places can be a little confusing, so i want to take a moment to step back for a moment and review what we know for
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facts so far when it comes to the russians and the trump campaign and those e-mails that were hacked so we can try to connect the dots on the time line surrounding today's landmark event. we're going to do this in what we're describing as four stages. there's the hack, the dangle, the fishing, and then the release of those hemails. we'll begin with the hack. july 2015 and march 2016 russian hackers breached the committee and leaked the e-mails. that's stage one. that's the hack. next, the dangle. april 2016 trump foreign policy advisor george papadopoulos is told by a professor with ties to the kremlin that senior officials in russia tell him that they have dirt on hillary clinton, thousands of e-mails he says. in may 2016 there's a request from russia to meet with mr. trump as described in the papadopoulos plea agreement.
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and then on june 3, 2016, donald trump, jr. is told the crown prosecutor of russia is offering incriminating information on clinton. on june 7th, candidate trump says this. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably of monday next week, and we're going to be discussing all of things that have been taking place with the clintons. >> including candidate trump says information having to do with russia. that's the dangle. and here comes the fishing, and these are attempts by the trump team to get information. on june 9th, jared kushner and paul manafort have that meeting with the russians. but what happens with that meeting, they insist later nothing is presented to thel in terms of incriminating information on hillary clinton. by the way, candidate trump never did give that speech about hillary clinton.
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we also know by midjune through mid-august according to it plea deal papadopoulos is trying to setup a meeting between trump officials and russian officials. that's according to the plea agreement. on july 7th, manafort offers private briefings daur pausky according to "the washington post." we should note they do damage the dnc, but they don't contain anything particularly damaging to hillary clinton. on july 27h, that infamous news conference where he makes an apparent reference to clinton's deleted e-mails saying this. >> russia, if you're listening i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> this is all part of the fishing phase. also around this time a republican operative named peter
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smith who claims to be in contact with trump officials such as general michael flynn isute in the world of political operatives trying to get clinton's e-mails through the dark web, trying to assist in that endeavor. also sometime this summer a chief executive of the data firm the trump campaign hired, cambridge analytica contacted julian assange to try to get him to give them access. assange says he turned them down. august 21st confident tweets trust me, #crooked hillary. and finally stage four, the release, the release of these documents. october 7th, minutes after the "access hollywood" tape drops, within minutes wikileaks begins releasing the john podesta e-mails, which are damaging to hillary clinton in some ways.
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and up until election day they're citing it as evidence of hillary clinton's corruption. those are the facts we know. let's bring in laura coates, carl bern at the scene, and scott jennings. carl bernstein, you're somewhat of an expert on this type of thing. can there be this much smoke without a fire? >> well, what we've seen today is significant evidence of an out line to conspire to undermine an american election, to conspire to collude. that is what is suggested in all these documents, and what's you've just shown is the parallel salivating by donald trump and those in his campaign to get from a foreign power information about his political opponent. and what today represents more than anything else is the need for the congress of the united states particularly the
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republicans to put principle above party and protect the mueller investigation because obviously it is a very, sober, methodical, careful investigation that all americans ought to be placing their faith in including republicans. >> scott jennings, steve bannon according to our reporting is recommending to president trump that he fight back harder against special counsel bob mueller, that he try to get republicans in congress to cut off funding to the investigation and take steps like that. what do you think? >> well, if i were president trump i wouldn't take legal advice from someone who's not a lawyer. i'd be listening to my counsel about what the best course here is. ultimately they have to protect the office of the presidency and they have to protect the president. we don't know if he knows george papadopoulos. he said tonight who the hell is this guy. i think there's going to be a number of people that come through this that then candidate
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never met, never knew, never had interactions with. so if he takes steps to cut off funding, fire him that would be extremely detrimental to protect the office of the president. we've got this papadopoulos character out here today, this other clown, carter page is on another network tonight god knows why giving an interview. these people don't have the judgment and experience to stay off television tonight, how in the world could we have trusted they were doing the right thing in his campaign? there's a lot of stuff to worry about. undermining the special counsel probably not a great move given what we know today. >> papadopoulos referenceds a co-operative character. what does that mean? somebody involved in the hook,
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line and sinker of this. someone trying to go out -- he may be wiretapping the incident, recording telephone conversation, in person meetings, reporting back to the fbi and mueller team about what he knows, trying to prove to them there's a case they're building and he's someone that can solicit, obtain and get information from key players. >> so you really suspect they used him to get more information, not first-hand description of what he saw but trying to get out there and get interviews of other people. >> oh, absolutely. and they're saying this is somebody who if they were to reveal in fact was this proactive cooperateerater, it would undermine his ability to do that. unbeknownst to everybody except mueller's team he's been out there with no idea -- it alod
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people to have their defenses down which is exactly what you need to have in this counter investigation. everybody talks about the big fish here, trying to get the big fish in the pond. up until now you had people like michael flynn, national security advisor, people like paul manafort, donald trump, jr., jared kushner. nobody could tell me who was the big fish in that pond, but now you know who the little fish is, and that's papadopoulos. >> thank you all. and what's going through robert mueller's mind as the prosecution moves? we'll ask lisa monica, joining us in a moment. stay with us. when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all.
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we're back with our special continuing coverage, and two specific lines in the many pages of information released today that could prove to be quite consequential and might possibly give us a glimpse into what is left to come. first, in the plea agreement hearing for george papadopoulos the special counsel's office argued quote, the criminal
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justice interest being vindicated here is that there's a large scale ongoing investigation of which this case is a small part, unquote. and in papadopoulos' statement the defense acceptance reads, quote, the preceding statement is a summary for the purpose of providing the court with a factual basis for a ply guilty plea against me. it does not include all of the facts known to me regarding this offense. this all suggests there may be more to come. let's talk about this with cnn national security analyst lisa monica who also served as a chief of staff with robert mueller with three years. let me get your reaction to that, the fact the prosecutors said this case with papadopoulos is just the tip of the iceberg and that papadopoulos said i am testifying to this, but i am not saying this is all i know. that seems to suggest there is much more. >> well, you're exactly right, jake. this is stunning opening by the
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special counsel and the team of ecperts and seasoned prosecutors that he's assemblied. the two things you pointed out at the top of this segment that this is just the beginning of the facts that mueller and his team are assembling, and we're only seeing a small piece of it. but what you're seeing is the way expert prosecutors, p proprofessional investigators go about beginning the public portion of this investigation. >> congressman adam schiff is the top on this committee. he told me today more indictments are to come. obviously, you dopt know, but do you suspect that's the case? >> well, look, i'm looking at just what the public has. i have no inside information. i'm looking at what's been put in the public domain today. and i think that's a reasonable assumption there's going to be more to come. and the indications of that are
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in some of the papers we saw today. the fact that the reference from george papadopoulos that this is just the beginning of the facts he knows, and it doesn't represent everything he knows or that he has told the investigators. the fact that the statement of facts that he pleaded guilty to, that he signed up and said i swear this is true and i accept this and accept responsibility for it, those statements in there that he agreed to make reference to troves of e-mails and references to contacts with the campaign. so there's a lot more here that mueller and his team have access to, and so i think it's absolutely the case there's going to be more to come. >> as somebody who knows mueller well, who respects him and knows how he operates, what do you make of the fact this is his happening salvo, the papadopoulos, the eagerness for there to be collusion and also the manafort and gates
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corruption charges or money laundering charges? >> well, what this is a tactic and a trade craft of prosecutors and investigators and mueller is both. and he's got decades of experience doing that, of painstaking detail ori wanted comprehensive investigations and prosecutions. and the way you build a case is assembling those facts, assembling leverage on key players as you see with the indictment laid out against manafort and gates and leveraging that and putting that pressure onto get those individuals to flip as we saw in the case of george papadopoulos. it's clear he's cooperating with investigators and has been for some months now. and there's two roles -- at least two roles for cooperator that mueller and his team are going to take advantage of and going to use. one, is to use that cooperator as kind of a tutor or guide for
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investigators as the case gets built on and goes out. and the other rule is to be proactive, do things like wear a wire, to have conversations that he then reports onto the investigators. so these are time-honored tactics of professional investigators and prosecutors and the type of thing that mueller has done year after year over his long career as both prosecutor, as a federal prosecutor, as a leader of prosecutors and as a member dirf the fbi. >> he lied to them about a number of things. that same day president trump calls jim comey at the fbi, invites him over for dinner and then asks him to pledge his personal loyalty to him. it's possible that it's just a coincidence. is it also possible it wasn't? is it possible the fbi warning and interview of papadopoulos
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made its way to president trump? >> look, the special counsel and his team is going to pbe lookin at all of those potential scenarios. ask i think it's really too soon to be speculating as to what the case is with regard to that coincidence as you point out. but you can be sure that bob mueller and his team are exploring every angle of it. >> lisa monica, thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up after today's big reveals of the russia investigation, how and when might the next shoe drop? we're going to take a look at what's ahead in the implications of president trump and his presidency. stay with us. some people like banging their head on a low ceiling. drinking spoiled milk. camping in poison ivy. getting a papercut. and having their arm trapped in a vending machine. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable
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back with our special report and the next moves in the russia investigation. now that two former trump campaign officials have been indicted and another one has pleaded gill, efb perez, let me start with you. do you think it's possible right now that there are other people entering into plea agreements, making deals? >> yeah. i think there is that possibility, jake, and i think one of the things that we learned today is that there's plenty more that the mueller team has and they're only revealing it when they have to. and in today's case it's simply because this was related to some of what manafort and gates had clearly been communicating with
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papadopoulos. so i think there's more here that we don't know. >> and pamela, i mean, if this is just some of the attempted collusion, there might actually be information, although we don't know. maybe not, of more in that direction. >> absolutely. i mean, this is really just the beginning when it comes to what they know in terms of possible collusion. the way it works in these cases, you start with lower level people and you try to flip them. and we know that george papadopoulos is cooperating. he was called a proactive cooperate or in the court documents. and so the idea is to get information from him about other people in the campaign, whether they were part of this. also manafort himself, rick gates, what they knew. the idea is to flip up the person above them to try to continue to learn more. >> when i saw all of this unfolding today, what struck me was that this is really hard ball. that these folks are playing here. because, you know, they're going to try and squeeze manafort or
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gates because they've got a case against them. you look at papadopoulos, they make the case, as you point out, that he's been proactive. what does that mean? that he's been talking to them for months. and so anybody else who might be thinking of, well, maybe i'm not going to cooperate, maybe i'm going to lie, not turn over documents, you have to look at this and be a little afraid. >> look, listen, no knock warrant on paul manafort, 6:00 in his underwear, right. pick his lock, go into his house. $10 million bond. that was the bond that bernie madoff had, right. a guy here, a young campaign staff who is now facing jail time, right, even with a deal for lying to fbi prosecutors, each of those things is a warning to others, you know, to play ball and to to play by the rules. >> and they're sending a strong message, the mueller shop in the wake of the president calling this a hoax, a witch-hunt.
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this is their way of saying this is no hoax to us. >> one of the things we saw in the last week is certainly this drum beat from republicans that this has gone on long enough. and i think what we got the message from today from the mueller investigators that we hear you and here is what we've got, you know. and i think -- look, i think robert mueller knows -- i mean, he's served in government. he knows that this is something that is distracting to the white house, that the president, you know, deserves to be able to run his administration. but also, it's clear that he believes that there is something here that needs to be thoroughly investigated, and so he's showing some of the cards now. >> and they told us, this is the tip of the iceberg in their court documents. they said this case is just a small part, referring to papadopoulos. so we know that there is a lot more to come, and what we've seen may pale in comparison. >> thanks one and all. really appreciate it. thank you all. stay with cnn for all the latest developments in the russia investigation. the news continues next on cnn.
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good evening. there is breaking news on top of breaking news tonight in the russia investigation. at the end of an extremely significant day, significant for this president to be sure, and significant in the history of the presidency. it is that big a day. we're learning right now how the white house is really reacting to this morning's indictments of two former top campaign officials and the guilty plea of a third less known individual. it is not safe to say the calm that we've been witnessing for most of the day the west wing has. we begin though with what everyone is reacting to. not just a dozen conspiracy and money laundering charges against manafort and gates. but also the surprise revelation that this one george papadopo

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