tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN October 30, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
very tough army of attorneys who are headed up by a man who is known for being relentless and following the clues relentlessly to the end. anderson. >> tom foreman, 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's not an accusation. that's not an allegation. it's fact. papadopoulos admits it. now the administration has been insisting all along there's no evidence of collusion with russia.
papadopoulos a nobody. listen to donald trump's personal attorney jake sekulow. >> let me say this. first of all, george papadopoulos served on a committee. a lot -- as you know, campaigns have committees with various people on it. he was not a senior adviser to the trump campaign. >> now they have a significant problem on their hands because in order to believe that what sekulow says, you'd have to ignore what donald trump himself said on march 21st, 2016 when he named the members of his foreign policy advisory team in an interview with "the washington post." >> if you want i can give you some of the names. >> i would be delighted. >> i wouldn't mind. do you have that list so i can be more accurate with it. okay, ready? walid farris, who you probably know. ph.d. advisory to the house of representatives caucus. he's a counterterrorism expert.
carter page, ph.d. george papadopoulos, he's an oil and energy consultant. excellent guy. >> excellent guy. you'd also have to ignore what you see with your own eyes. this photo was taken on march 31st, 2016, showing george papadopoulos at a meeting with trump and then senator jeff sessions, the head of the candidate's national security advisory council. and there's more. listen to what papadopoulos says in the legal document that lays out the offense to which he pled guilty. it says on or about march 31, 2016, defendant papadopoulos attended a national security meeting in washington, d.c. with then candidate trump and other foreign policy advisers for the campaign. when defendant papadopoulos introduced himself to the group, he stated in sum and substance that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then candidate trump and president putin. this is stunning. an offer to help arrange a meeting between donald trump himself and vladimir putin.
and that's not all. there's also former trump campaign chairman paul manafort, a former campaign official and former campaign official rick gates under house arrest. manafort a $10 million bond. gates $5 million. they're charged with conspiracy against the u.s. and conspiracy to launder money among other related charge. both pleaded not guilty today. the white house response? >> two people who worked for the president are now under indictment. one has pleaded guilty and he promised to higher only the best people. is this an example of the best people to hire. >> look, again, this goes back to these were activities that took place outside of the scope of the campaign. i can't comment on thinking they did -- >> are these the best people to hire? >> look, the president hired paul manafort to manage the delegate process and he was dismissed not long after that. >> manafort was the president's campaign chairman. he was responsible for making
sure that he emerged with the nomination and he did. the charges manafort were indicted on today, while they do pertain to his personal businessings dealings, range from 2006 to 2017. that's this year. including the time he held a top job on the trump campaign. it is a pretty terrible day for the white house when your best defense that your campaign manager was a bad guy for a long time before you hired him allegedly. despite the public spin, a republican close to the administration is telling cnn that president trump has been been watching the news on large screen tvs at the white house and, quote, seething. so when members of the administration tell you this whole thing is a nothingburger, nothing to see here, just remember what you have heard with your own ears and seen with your own eyes. you can look it from the left or the right. it's still an apple. i want to bring in cnn chief correspondent dana bash.
e vn perez. thanks for joining us. evan you first. you just heard my take. walk you through what today means in the trump campaign and the possible collusion with russia. >> well, don, i think what you're seeing is perhaps the beginning of the outline of what robert mueller has and his team have been able to assemble over the last few months and also what the fbi was doing over the past more than a year that they've been investigating this alleged coordination between members of the trump campaign associated with the campaign and the russians. and, look, the papadopoulos indictment or the papadopoulos information today that was released by the special counsel really outlines the scope of what the russians were trying to do to try to insinuate themselves into the trump campaign, to try to find inroads to be able to use people that they thought were amenable to their views, to try to improve relations with the united states and also, you know, the top of their list is they wanted to get
rid of the sanctions that are hurting vladimir putin and some of his cronies and really keeping them from some of the bank accounts, frozen some of their bank accounts around the world. so what you see here in the papadopoulos document is a bit of an outline of what looks like collusion. i mean, again, we've talked so many times, don, about the fact that collusion in itself is not a crime, but certainly illegal coordination with a foreign spy service would certainly add up to a crime. and then with the manafort and gates indictment, what you see there, don, is an effort by the mueller team to use whatever leverage they have and perhaps they feel that manafort and gates will be able to flip up, perhaps they believe that there is more information that they have that will lead to perhaps charges against someone higher than manafort and gates. and there are very few people who are above them in the hierarchy of that campaign. >> our colleague jim acosta
pressed the white house on papadopoulos. watch this and then we'll talk. >> how can you describe mr. papadopoulos as having a limited role when there's a photograph of mr. papadopoulos sitting at a table with then candidate -- >> there's been thousands of photographs with millions of people. >> how is it not collusion when george papadopoulos is in contact with various people who are promising dirt on hillary clinton, a series of events that closely mirrors what occurred with the president's own son? >> this individual was on a -- >> in pursuit of information -- >> finish your statement. >> -- that was damaging about the clintons, how is that not collusion? >> look, this individual was the member of a volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year, and he was part of a list that was read out in "the washington post." i hardly call that some sort of regular adviser or as you want to, you know, push that he's like a senior member of the staff. he was not paid by the campaign.
>> so, dana, the white house is minimizing papadopoulos's role, and yet we have this photo showing papadopoulos with the president. the president also mentioning him in a "washington post" interview. what's going on here? >> well, look, let's just take the white house for what they're saying, that papadopoulos wasn't a major player in the campaign, because he wasn't. but that's not relevant. what is relevant is that he clearly had access to members of the president's campaign, senior members of the president's campaign because they responded to him. and they responded to him about a connection to and an attempt to help get information from the russians who said that they had dirt on hillary clinton. that's all that matters even if the guy walked in off the subway in new york, whether or not he worked for the campaign isn't really that relevant. and more importantly, as evan was pointing out, this is
somebody who had maybe not close relationships, we're not really sure, but at least relationships with people who are now working for the president of the united states. and if he, papadopoulos, did make a deal a few months ago, who knows what he could be trying to get from those now presidential aides or close to the president advisers for the feds as they go along in their investigation, don. >> yeah, because he's been apparently -- he knew about this. he was arrested earlier in the summer. >> exactly. >> let's read a portion, a piece of the court documents. it's important to reference it was a july 2016 e-mail from papadopoulos proposing a meeting in london with himself and the national chairman and members of putin's office. and here is the key line. the key line is it has been approved from our side. is this an indication that papadopoulos was acting with campaign approval?
>> it certainly seems to indicate that he believed he was. and the government is trying to suggest that they believe that it did have some kind of approval. look, there's a lot here that is missing from this document, the papadopoulos documents that were released by the special counsel today. we don't know, for instance, don -- you read a little bit about the meeting there, the picture there, the instagram photo with him suggesting that he could help set up a meeting between trump and putin. we don't know what the president responded or then candidate trump responded or anybody else in that room. that is left out of the document. and i think it's done on purpose because i think the government is saving some of that information for use later on. they have obviously other witnesses that they have been able to talk to. keep in mind, don, in the period since papadopoulos was arrested in july and the time that he signed this plea agreement in october 3rd, there have been all
these interviews done of people in the white house. and we didn't know that this papadopoulos document existed. so there's a lot of people who have now been able to provide interviews to the special counsel without the benefit of knowing what was in here. >> yeah. all right. thank you both. i appreciate it. i need to get to some more analysis now. i want to bring in john dean, also marriotti and john flannery. i'm so glad to have all of you great minds on this evening to talk about this. john flannery, you first. here is what the president tweeted out today. he said sorry, but this is years before paul manafort was part of the trump campaign, but why aren't crooked hillary and the dems the focus? also, there is no collusion. no collusion in bold capital letters. he tweeted that before papadopoulos, the plea of papadopoulos came out. do you see any signs of collusion here? >> well, first of all, it reminds me of monty python where he cuts off the arm of the knight and the blood coming out
and the answer he gives is, oh, it's a flesh wound. that's what i think you hear when trump is doing this. he's beside himself. he's trotting out old misdirection lines, namely oh, hillary, hillary. i wonder if anybody on the hill with his 33% rating is going to help him. but the significance of the indictment today -- and i heard you talking about papadopoulos, but going to manafort, i think the significance of it is in a criminal case we always say there are three parts. there's means, motive and opportunity. these guys are the means. they were so connected to the russians, to putin, to the former head of the ukraine government, to the ukraine party and to the government itself that they were a natural connection to do exactly what we all believe happened by now, which is that they were the means. the motive was the election and whatever the quid pro quo against sanctions and money. and the third part accident which we've seen in abundance, despite the fact that trump said
there never was any meeting and there never was any getting together, we all know that that's true. so we know they had the opportunity to cooperate, and we all know and has been confirmed that the russians put all this garbage into our election process to affect the election. i think he's desperate. shakespeare said guilt spills itself for fear of being spilled. he's excess now sort of proves that he's unhinged. >> i see you're in agreement there. i don't know, exuberantly so. why is that? >> well, i do think that the president's comments this morning were, you know, almost comically at odds with what we saw in the court documents today. and, you know, i don't see how anyone could react in a serious way to these charges with anything other than concern if you're in the trump camp. you know, if i was advising the
president, i woulded vise -- advise him not to say anything about this. but certainly i think he's trying to engage in misdirection or trying to obfuscate and trying to draw attention away from this. but look, what we have here is, you know, in terms of the papadopoulos charging document, you have somebody who has agreed to cooperate with robert mueller, somebody who has agreed to testify, agreed to, you know, potentially he has recorded conversations. you know, he is -- if you look at that document he was arrested back in july. then he was charged on october 5th. we just learned about it today. so mueller's team has kept this a secret. who knows what this guy had been doing? if i was in the trump camp i would be trying to wonder, you know, who has papadopoulos been in touch with? we saw reporting today that sam clovis is the supervisor that was referred to in that charging document. sam clovis was cochair of trump's campaign. he's been nominated for undersecretary of agricultural.
that could be, for example, somebody that robert mueller could target next. >> he only worked here for a short amount of time. we don't really remember that guy that well because that's how it works. to both of your points when you mentioned the 33%, i doubt that donald trump will ever hear another side of the story other than what he's tweeting. john dean, there was some expectation that we could see an indictment against manafort. we discussed that on friday. his name has been out there for some time. but then we get, you know, this guilty plea from papadopoulos, new e-mails. all things we didn't know. do you think today is the tip of the iceberg? >> i do think it's the tip of the iceberg. first of all, i don't think anybody expected a tax and fraud case as massive as that that has been filed against manafort and
gates. >> what does that mean? >> well, it's big. and the other thing is no one expected to see what was in that plea agreement, which shows a cooperating witness. and that reads to me like an outline of a chapter from a spy novel. it's just -- and it hints at so much more. it deliberately states this isn't all the facts we have, in essence that they have much more. >> this was a surprise, wasn't it, john? >> a big surprise, yes. >> well, today, as this was happening i was reading -- trying to read what information i had. >> artfully handled by the special counsel. >> yes. >> he let the president hang himself out there and then came out with the released the plea agreement. >> but the papadopoulos agreement or writings, i mean, that's what read like a novel that was more surprising and more interesting than paul manafort. >> yes. absolutely. >> yeah. to quote a great american -- go ahead. i'm sorry.
>> no. that's fine. i was going to say, don, one of the special counsel's lawyers said in court today that the papadopoulos -- i read the transcript. he said that the papadopoulos case is a very small part of a much larger investigation of a very large scale investigation. and so i agree exactly with what john said. you know, this is the tip of the iceberg of the there's a lot of things he's looking at that have nothing to do with this whether it's obstruction or the facebook search warm or other things. there's more to come. >> stick around guys. there's hammering somebody behind you. tell them to stop the hammering. when we come back, george papadopoulos was arrested in july, but he was kept under wraps until today. did investigators keep the whole thing quiet to avoid tipping someone else off and was papadopoulos wearing a wire? look at this... a silicon valley server farm. the vault to man's greatest wonders... selfies, cat videos and winking emojis. speaking of tech wonders, with the geico app you can get roadside assistance, digital id cards... or even file a claim.
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we have some breaking news about what's going on at the white house tonight. i want to bring dana bash back. what can you tell us? what do you know. >> well, don, i'm being told as some of our other colleagues have been told that the president is really angry and that people inside the white house are certainly kind of feeling the reverberations of what happened today. and as part of that, because of that the president is hearing advice from his former top adviser steve bannon, who is saying that he wants people inside the white house to basically engage in a crash and
burn strategy. what he is saying, and i'm pulling up my notes here, this is from a source close to steve bannon, that he wants the white house to get republicans on capitol hill to cut funding for the special counsel, publicly debate bob mueller's mandate, slow document production, go to court and try to slow documents being requested there. go on a massive pr campaign and try to get capitol hill to engage. this is a very aggressive strategy and very different, don, from what we have from inside the white house from the president himself for the past several months. you noticed that for a while he stopped tweeting about robert mueller. well, the source who i've been talking to says the dowd cobb strategy to play nice is an epic failure. i'm sure not everybody who has the president's ear is making
this kind of radical -- giving him these radical ideas, but certainly steve bannon is and given the fact that we are told that the president has been seething today, he might be open to this very different 180 in strategy. >> it seems like they've been at least starting it the last week with all the hillary clinton stuff. >> yeah. hillary clinton is one thing. going after the special counsel. >> is another. >> is a whole different thing. and we'll see if they actually take him up on it. >> thank you. i want to bring back in john dean -- john, let's talk about -- guys, let's talk about the reporting there. why are you so upset? well, i was going to go to john. why are you so upset? is this obstruction? >> well, honestly, it concerns me -- oh, i'm so sorry. >> no. go ahead. >> i was going to say i'm just as an american citizen and as somebody who spent years in law enforcement, i am concerned about the future of this country if we have the president of the
united states trying to work together with congress to defund law enforcement. it's basically a statement that the president is above the law. i think it's a very scary thing for our country. and i hope that people in congress would not support that strategy, because it is frankly a very dangerous thing for this country. >> john dean? >> don, that's a modified form of firing archibald cox cutting off funding to the special counsel. i'm not sure it lends towards obstruction of justice and bannon calling or, let's all conspire and obstruct justice. that has that scent. they're playing with fire here and i think people who sign on to this have to be very careful. this investigation is now progressing very rapidly and if they try to impair it, that's what that statute deals with. >> john flannery, i want to get your take. >> yeah. hell has no fury like a man child caught in the cookie jar.
all this nonsense about oh, it's okay and it doesn't involve us, well, now, we get the truth. now we see that we're closer than ever to this guy giving up the ghost. and if he tries to do what he's done and to overrule the rule of law, and this investigation was within the four corners of the authority of the special counsel statute and the warranty was given, then they should be forcing his impeachment, his resignation, even his indictment under obstruction. this is outrageous. but it's not a surprise. this guy has a long histories of bullying people and doing whatever he wants. well, that's not america and that's not what the presidency is supposed to be about. to quote a great american, a cancer is growing on this presidency. >> john dean i have to ask you because having dealt with the nixon administration and watergate and so on, let's look at the timing of this because papadopoulos was arrested in july. right. then he pleaded guilty of the charges in october.
it's all been kept secret. people were saying oh, well, this investigation, there are leaks. well, no one heard about this. no one knew whose name was sealed in the indictment. but jeffrey toobin is suggesting this means he's been wearing a wire. what do you think? >> it's very potential. that's one of the first things that the prosecutors asked me to do when i agreed to work with them. i had one foot in the white house and one foot out. i was telling my colleagues i was going to the prosecutors. the prosecutors suggested i wear a wire. i said i just can't do that. i didn't know that nixon was already wiring everybody. it was irrelevant. >> i'll ask you just quickly because i have to go. proactive cooperator. what does that mean? that's how this papadopoulos is described in these papers. >> well, that means somebody who is doing recordings, whether it was wearing a wire or making recorded phone calls. it's somebody who is actively
going out and trying to get evidence. >> and john flannery, they should be concerned, the white house about this? >> oh, absolutely. and there's another thing. we overlook the fact that there was a wire tap under the fisa for paul manafort. and no one knows what they got or didn't get in that. there have been some outlines of it. and there were two versions of it. and one overlapped when the president was in the white house. >> thank you. appreciate it. when we come back, two former cia operatives will join me. i'm going to ask them how the russians operate in situations like these. who might have been involved in moscow and what they were after. sarah is confident. destroy. but when it comes to mortgages, she's less confident. fortunately, there's rocket mortgage by quicken loans. apply simply. understand fully. mortgage confidently. my "business" was going nowhere... so i built this kickin' new website with godaddy. building a website in under an hour is easy! 68% of people... ...who have built their website using gocentral, did it in...
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two former top officials of donald trump's campaign under house arrest tonight following their indictment in the ongoing russia investigation. and a former campaign foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi. let's discuss now. cnn national security analysts are here. it's so good to have you on. so let's talk about this. steve, you first. you say today's indictment lays out a story that has all the hallmarks of a russian intelligence operation. how so? >> yeah, don.
john dean in your earlier segment was talking about the whole papadopoulos affair sort of sounds like a spy novel. in fact, it's no novel. this operation does bear a lot of the hallmarks of what i suspect would be an sbr operation. if you break it down, we start with this professor character, who is a cutout. he's not a russian government official so that makes it easier for a young guy like papadopoulos to be comfortable talking with somebody like that. then you've got the professor who identifies the access that papadopoulos has. he's on the trump campaign. so that's great stuff for the russians. they want more information. and then you've got a discussion of, well, we're not going to really do anything wrong. what we're just going to talk about is foreign affairs. what's it going to be like if trump is elected and how is it going to go with russia and the united states. and then finally it extends from that to meetings in moscow about some sort of dirt that the russians claim this they have on hillary clinton. so you start at the very top of
that slippery slope with very mundane stuff and you end up all the way down at the other end where you've got the russian government essentially saying, you know, we can talk to the trump campaign about derogatory information on their opposition. >> so they were trying whatever end they could do, whatever angle they could work they were trying to get at. >> sure. and they identified the right guy and we see that from the e-mails that papadopoulos was sending back. and he was offering all of these up. i can do meetings for you. my suspicion is they probably also assessed that papadopoulos was the kind of guy who saw himself as an up and comer in the trump administration or in a future administration and said, hey, if we offer him up important meetings in moscow that he can relate back to the campaign that would make him look good and good for everybody. it's good for papadopoulos, and good for the russians to have somebody like that on the inside. it makes a lot of sense. >> george papadopoulos says that he met with a female russian national he described as putin's niece. what do you think that means? who do you think this woman was?
>> that's a good question. i think we saw a little bit later in the day that she possibly was just connected to the ministry of foreign affairs. either way she clearly has some kind of connection to the kremlin. and to go back a little bit to what steve was talking about, you know, i was a targeting officer at the cia. when i look at manafort and papadopoulos, you know, i would feed those targets to somebody like steve where he would go out and recruit them. and look at manafort. he's inside ukraine. he's working with a pro kremlin party. it's like working in a fish bowl. i could have his communications, cover his e-mails, his phones. i would know everything about all of his vulnerabilities. he's like the perfect target at that point. same thing with papadopoulos. he's new to what he's doing. he doesn't have foreign policy experience. so he's mall -- malluable.
and i think for obviously for the russian intelligence services, they're good at this. they've been doing this for a very long time. this isn't their first rodeo. as a targeting officer i would look at these two people and think these are excellent. i would serve these up to steve on a platter. >> do you see any parallels between what we see in these documents and what we know about donald trump jr. meeting at trump tower where the campaign expected to get some incriminating information about hillary clinton? >> yeah. i mean, it's really interesting that you mention that, don, because there are some commonalities. so once again, you have the use of cutouts. so you don't have any official russian, you know, government person going to trump tower, because that would be way too high profile. so they pick somebody like the lawyer who it turns out does have pretty robust connections to the kremlin, but they send her in, and that all lends itself to one other element of this which the russians are just so good at, which is simply deniability. so if she has not already said this, she will be soon. you'll start hearing words out of moscow like american
russiaphobes. you'll hear things like cold war approach. you will hear things like fantasy. this is -- the russians will look at all this and say this is completely made up. there's no proof here whatsoever regardless whether it's the trump junior meeting or papadopoulos. they've got this deniability, which they know plays very well in places like the united states where we say we do need to hear both sides of the argument. let's give everybody the benefit of the doubt here. we're not sure what happened. they take that to the bank every single time and they're really good at it. >> we have that deniability coming from the white house. >> true. but i mean, we've seen the evidence today. we've seen the statements from papadopoulos. we've read the indictments. i think it's hard at this point to deny that they at least had the interest and attempted to get information from the russians and were willing participants in that conversation. papadopoulos himself has actually admitted to it. i don't think it's something
that you can deny at this point necessarily from our perspective in the united states. i agree with steve. it doesn't help russia to, of course, admit any guilt on their part. and they don't need to at this point. there's not an intelligence organization around the world that would admit to an operation. >> thank you both. i appreciate your expertise. when we come back, sources say the president is seething at mueller's indictment while his press secretary insists the charges announced today have nothing to do with the president or his campaign. we're going to go inside the white house response to mueller's investigation. that's next. ♪ 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... ...no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla.
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and got them back on track. accused of obstructing justice to theat the fbinuclear war, and of violating the constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down news organizations that report the truth. if that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become? i'm tom steyer, and like you, i'm a citizen who knows it's up to us to do something. it's why i'm funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment. a republican congress once impeached a president for far less. yet today people in congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger who's mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons.
and they do nothing. join us and tell your member of congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what's political and start doing what's right. our country depends on it. tonight a source telling cnn that president trump is seething that the russia investigation has led to indictments of two former campaign officials and a guilty plea by former campaign adviser. i want to bring in now cnn's senior political adviser david axelrod. thank you so much for joining us. let's talk about some of the reporting. tonight the "washington post" is reporting that the president woke up before dawn to watch the news to see who would be indicted. they're also reporting that things are not calm at 1600
pennsylvania avenue and they're saying trump is agitated. the walls are closing in said one senior republican who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly. every one is freaking out. trump is also increasingly agitated by the expansion of mueller's probe into financial issues beyond the 2016 campaign and about the potential damage to him and his family. and also you have our reporting from dana bash which matches that and says that he may even try get congress to slow walk this thing or at least try to have some influence over it on a government level, on a political level. if these walls could talk, right? >> yeah. well, you know, what's interesting is the picture that -- the official picture that the white house is trying to project is one of kind of this thing is going to be over shortly. we're cooperating fully. this doesn't have anything to do with the president. and that's in stark contrast to the portrait that we're hearing from many, many sources.
you know, the "washington post" story said i think they spoke to 20 sources close to the president. and i'm sure dana talked to as many. so, you know, clearly there is a sense of unease there and should be a sense of unease. i think the president woke up this morning expecting that paul manafort and rick gates might be indicted. i don't think he expected the second indictment, which really does go much more directly to the question of collusion. and i do think that one of the strategies that may be in play here, and you can see it in the conservative sort of right wing media, is that this whole thing is a contrivance aimed at him and that mueller is a tool of this. and i think you're going to hear more of this as this investigation becomes more and more serious. >> let's talk about more -- about the white house response. here is what the president tweeted this morning. david, he said sorry, but this is years ago before paul
manafort was part of the trump campaign. why aren't crooked hillary and the dems the focus? also, there is no collusion. so, david, because mueller went back 11 years and did the work the campaign didn't somehow, it makes it better for the administration. >> well, i mean, look, i don't know what trump knew about paul manafort. paul manafort's reputation and his involvement with ukraine was fairly well-known, at least in the political community. and i suspect trump knew a lot about him. i found that tweet odd because it seemed to be saying, you know, this guy was a crook long before i hired him. >> exactly. >> this has nothing to do with me. so then why did you higher him? and then he said no collusion. and then the next shoe dropped and of course, that goes directly to collusion. and then we didn't hear from the president for the rest of the day. you know he had strong feelings
about what happened, but clearly his lawyers persuaded him that it was best to put the phone down and move away from the table and not communicate through twitter for the rest of the day. but, don, look, this is clearly the beginning of a process, not the end of the process. and that's what's making everyone nervous at the white house. and they should be nervous. this is a serious, serious matter. >> yeah. more response from the white house. sarah huckabee sanders addressed the indictments today. she said today's announcement had nothing to do with the president. and then you tweeted imagine having to say stuff like this with a straight face. tell us what you really think, david. >> well, look, i mean, i think that's the toughest job on the planet right now is being a spokesman for donald trump. and she went out there and she said what i think she was told to say. but plainly after the events of today it's hard to argue that this has nothing to do with the president. and particularly that second indictment that went right to the campaign.
now, the fact that your campaign chair, the first time since watergate that a campaign chairman has been indicted certainly is something that is of interest. but the second indictment even more so. but again, they're counternarrative. i saw one of his prominent supporters saying tonight that anybody who thinks this was bad for the president must live on another planet. i can't imagine how anybody would view this as anything but bad for the president. you know, to have people as close to his campaign indicted, to have this young man turn -- apparently turn for the prosecutors and presenting them with information for months that could lead elsewhere. this is bad news for the president regardless of what sarah says, regardless of what his amen corner in the right wing media say. >> and regardless of what he said before, that he was going to hire only the best people and you remember only that extreme vetting. i guess he didn't vet them so
extremely. thank you, david. appreciate it. >> all right. >> when we come back, another member of the trump campaign charged today with one pleading guilty and cooperating in the investigation. but the president insists hillary clinton is the one who should be investigated. well, she has responded tonight and we're going to play that for you next.
hillary clinton speaking out tonight about the russian investigation and how a certain network is covering the story. >> all the networks except fox are reporting about what's really going on. [ applause ] and fox is pedaling these stories about me, and, you know, i said the other day, i spoke at the human rights campaign. [ applause ] i said, you know, it appears they don't know i'm not president. >> joining me now cnn political commentators. pretty historic day. but to her point if you watch conservative media you would think that hillary clinton is the president of the united states and nothing else happened with an indictment or anything like that.
ana. >> true. and look, i get where hillary clinton is coming from. i get that she wants to get up and do a happy dance today. you know, she feels vindicated. she feels part of the reason she lost this election was the russia collusion and russia involvement. i get all that. she has got to resist the desire to get out and do that. not now. look, trump and his cronies are going to try to throw out hillary clinton as a shiny object to try and distract us every time they can. we need to focus on this mueller investigation. we need to stay focussed on trump and collusion and russia, russia, russia. so i would say to hillary clinton, resist the urge to do this. >> okay. >> you might be entitled -- look, you've got to just postpone your indictment party until the very end. do not allow yourself to become a distraction.
resist the urge to speak. >> in the interest of time, mike, i want to get to you. former trump advisor carter page was asked about interactions. with george papadopoulos on msnbc tonight. take a listen to this. >> were you guys on e-mail chains together? >> look, there's a lot of e-mails all over the place when you're in the campaign. >> but, were you in e-mail chains with papadopoulos? >> probably a few, yeah. >> were you in e-mail chains with him about russia? >> it may have come up from time to time. again, there's nothing major. >> well, i mean nothing major, it was enough for him to lie to federal investigators and then plead guilty to that he was having an intermediary come to him and say you should come to london and talk to someone who's got hillary clinton's e-mails. >> listen, i've been focused on other things today. >> he admits he communicated with papadopoulos about russia, but then he says he's focused on other things, on today of all
days should carter page be letting onto more things, mike? >> my perspective is i've worked in politics over 20 years. i've never heard of either carter page or papadopoulos until this stuff came out. so the one thing i would ask people to look at -- >> how did they end up on the campaign then? >> great question. let's compare these two campaigns. one of them was a professionally run campaign that actually had a hierarchy that looked like the campaigns i've worked on, that hired a firm that hid from the fec that they were doing investigations in russia. the other campaign clearly did not have hierarchy, did not have institutional control, went through three campaign managers. and it looks like they were sitting ducks for someone trying to get involved in american politics but too clumsy -- >> sounds like you're making excuses for bad behavior there. >> no, look, if they did something wrong and illegal,
they should be indicted and thrown in jail. the russians tried to meddle in our e elections. >> i have to let him respond. >> they weren't only sitting ducks, they were very willing ducks. we know from donald trump's meeting and now with papadopoulos, every time the russians offered them something at least some member of the trump campaign rather than saying i'm going to the fbi, they said, please, yes, let's pursue this. they were not innocent here. they seemed to be interested in the collusion -- >> i've got 30 seconds, but real quickly here, john kelly we saw on fox tonight saying basically the american people don't care about this story and insinuating it doesn't matter so much. >> you know what, it doesn't actually matter whether the american people care. we don't make government by public opinion. what matters is whether the president violated the law and threatened american national security. even if you could find a public opinion poll which shows americans care more about something else, it doesn't matter. >> i've got to go. >> don, donald trump is between 33% and 38% approval rating,
hell, yes, people care. >> thank you all. that's it for us tonight. thank you for watching. our cnn special report, the russian investigation with jake tapper starts next. see you tomorrow. but some people still like cable. just like 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 switch to directv. call 1-800-directv. looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo. ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor.
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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 and paul manafort and richard gates. including a new courtroom transcript. special counsel robert mueller is now zeroing in on potential collusion between the trump campaign and the rick gates russian governments. our correspondents have been leading the way in this breaking story. a foreign policy advisor to then candidate trump lied about