tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN October 31, 2017 2:00am-2:59am PDT
this the campaign foreign policy advisor, gorge papadoupolos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the fbi. he admitted to lying to agents about the timing of contacts with russias. the compliant outlines a link he had with a russian professor. >> also attempts to set up meetings between the campaign and top russian officials, despite white house officials down playing, he was e-mailing with the campaign chairman, paul manafort. he was also e-mailing with another senior campaign official, the national campaign manager, cory lowen do you ski. >> the revelation that papadoupolos is cooperating with the fbi heightening the unease among trump allies, we begin with cnn's pamela brown in washington. >>reporter: good morning.
monday's charges show the mueller investigation is zeroing in on collusion with russian in the 2016 campaign as well as crimes committed even before the campaign. george papadoupolos, a former foreign policy adviser to the trump campaign pleaded guilty on october 5 to making false statements to the fbi about his contacts to russia. according to records unsealed monday the fbi alleged papadoupolos falsely described his interactions with a certain foreign contact who discussed dirt we h. related e-mails concerning hillary clinton. one of the court documents described an e-mail sent by papadoupolos to a high ranking campaign official who a sauourc says is paul manafort. it went on to say russian was eager to meet with the candidate and had been reaching out. the documents allege that campaign official forwarded it to another official rick gates. we need someone to commune kica
dt is not doing these trips. in another e-mail campaign supervisor allegedly tells papadoupolos i would encourage you and another policy advise toer the campaign to make the trip if it is feasible. that trip to russian never happened according to the officials. >> tnks to pamela brown. > joining us to discuss all of this cnn political analyst julien zelizer and washington examine fer white house correspondent sara westwood. good morning. >> good morning. >> now, julian let me start with you. which will be more damaging, to you thing tock president trump, the confession of george papadoupolos and the fact that he is working with the authorities, or these indictments of paul manafort and rick gates? >> in the short term, the confession is very damaging, because here, after all the discussion of no collusion, no contact, here you have a point
of contact. so i think even politically, that platters in terms of how people see it. i think manafort and the financial ties are significant. this is pretty vast and the question is what motivated manafort during this period, what were some of the financial, not just political connection es between russian official the and the trump campaign. i think this is all part of the bigger story that mueller is trying to understand. in the end, i think both are pieces of a puzzle rather than one, rather than the other be more important. >> we're talking about this piece of the puzzle, the paul manafort angle was something that was expected. we knew that the fbi had talked to him. we knew there was an investigation going on. but the papadoupolos, was surprising. bob mueller has a tight control of this investigation. this is somebody arrested back
in july, originally interviewed back in h january. and just now, we're learning about this. here's what sarah huckabee sanders from the white house press podium yesterday said about the papadoupolos role. >> can you just explain what george papadoupolos's role with the campaign was? >> it was extremely limited. it was a volunteer position. and, again, no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign in that regard. >> what about the outreach to the campaign officials to try to put together this-- >> the outreach that was repeatedly denied and -- we're not going take any action on that? >> yet, we've also learned this from the -- this we've learned in the documents yesterday. campaign official in august, 2016, supervisor told him i would encourage you to make the trip if feasible. "the washington post" reporting that is same clovis.
the papadoupolos is the surprise. >> clearly white house was unprepared for this news to come out. i think supporters of the president in washington were preparing their defenses to talk about the paul manafort indictment. then the papadoupolos news broke, and some of of those allies were scrambling to insulate the president from that, because this is the potentially the most explicit evidence why et that trump campaign aides were not forthcoming about their connections to russian. but the problem was not so much that very low level person was trying to set up the meetings with russia officials but that he lied about it to investigators. and we don't know how many other campaign aides were interviewed by mueller's team who also tried to misrepresent those contacts. keep in mind this interview took place in january between mueller's team and george
papadoupolos. and the trump campaign was not instructed to preserve all of their e-mails until june. so in that six-month period, how many other campaign aides misrepresented contacts with russian to the mueller team, not knowing that the e-mails would eventually be read by investigators. there are a lot of unanswered questions. >> a lot. and we did see that flurry of tweets by the president before the papadoupolos news came out. and then, also interestingly, over the course of the summer, there is that three-month gap you mentioned. he was arrested in july, and confessed and pled guilty in october. and during that time, we understand that he game what they call a proactive cooperator. what do you take that to mean? >> i think now the speculation is was he wearing a wiretap? were they collects information through him? how proactive was he?
so this gets people unnerved. which is part of what's going on. part of the indictment, part of this confession isn't simply about them. it's about trying to open up more information with other members. either literally through his role in the investigation, or by causing concern about what more does mueller know. so that's why yesterday was very big news in terms of the nerves of administration officials in addition to the politics of the situation. >> what about the reaction the president? you saw that e-mail earlier in the day where he said no collusion in all caps and why aren't you looking alt hillary clinton the dems, with five question marks, and then silence after that when the papadoupolos stuff broke. what is the risk here for the president in how he responds? >> well i think that the president's legal team from what we understand, was advising trump not to weigh in on these charges, that paul manafort
situation is pretty far removed from the allegations of russian collusion, pretty far removed from the president himself, but george papadoupolos could reasonably be written off as someone low level enough in the campaign who wouldn't have brought those russian connections into trump's personal orbit. so the most risk-free strategy would be to stay silent. we didn't hear a lot out of the white house yesterday except for what sarah sanders said from the podium. >> such a big week this week. a fed chief likely to be named. president going on what could be a very important trip. will be a very important trip. when you talk about julian zelizer, the job of being president of the united states, this is a big week. >> absolutely. we've seen this before. where big things are about to happen for these administration, for the republicans and boom, something takes place with a scandal, a tweet, and this was the week we were supposed to
hear more from republicans about tax reform, but now we're hearing about paul manafort's tacks. the that's not what the gop was hoping to do. here's this big trip but the news will be consumed by mueller's investigation. this is incredibly damaging for republicans. and we have to keep watching them on the hill. how long will they be okay standing by as all this chaos hurts their party and prevents them from making progress on legislation. >> daily news smashing trump kins. >> come back in a few minutes and talk about it more. >> all right well the white house chief of staff, john kelly says that a lack of compromise was the root cause of the civil war. "fox news" interview he was asked about the removal of historic but controversial plaques honoring washington and
robert e. lee. >> robert e. lee was an honorable man, a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which in 150 years ago was more important than country. it was always loyalty to state first back this those days, now it's different today. but the lack of an ability to compromise led to the civil war, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand. >> both sides. kelly said, strikingly similar to president trump's charlottesville comments. kelly, who's from boston made no mention of slavery which was the central conflict in the civil war. >> russian meddling reached more than half the u.s. voting population. how widespread was the influence of russian trolls? details next. i've been thinking.
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russian linked accounts reached 126 million americans. lawyers for facebook twitter and google head to capitol hill tomorrow facing a tough question about russian meddling during the election. and the scope of that meddling is wider than originally thought. on facebook, more than half the u.s. voting population saw posts from the kremlin linked troll farm. that's according to the written testimony obtained by cnn. 29 million americans saw the posts directly. 126 million through sharing. meanwhile, twitter identified about 2700 account the linked to the same troll farm. now, facebook and twitter stress this represents a tiny fraction but both companies face harsh criticism for allowing this information from run rampant in 2016. officially facebook. it's been called a haven for
fake news. apparent goal was to amplify political discord during the 2016 presidential election. >> massive numbers. now, breaking overnight in salt lake city, one person shot and killed just off the campus of the university of utah. the spect gunman is considered armed and dangerous. our affiliate says police have been combing the foot hills around the school into the early morning hours. the victim was in a vehicle when the shots were fired. we'll bring you more details as they become available. >> the second suspect in the benghazi attacks in cuss today this morning. he was captured in libya for his aalleged ro aalleged -- video of him present at one of the two sites. >> officials tell us that he has been flown to a u.s. naval ship. he's exp egted to be transferred to the u.s. to face federal
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>> good morning. when the dodgers and astros made to the world series, we were promised a classic. drama is compelling. the statistics historic. we've already had 22 home runs. that's a world series record. debate is raging whether or not the balls are juiced. harder to pitch therefore easier to hit. astro as starting pitcher justin ver lander is convinced something's up. >> as a whole. everybody's saying whoa, something's a little off here. so, i mean on one hand you can have somebody say that manufactures the balls, and then you can say that the people that have held a ball in their hand their entire life are saying it's different. you value one over the other. take your pick. >> the astros can seal the deal with a win tonight.
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the president is seething. what's in store for the special counsel and the white house. welcome back to "early start." i'm alex mark quart. >> it is halloween. let's begin with the white house in full damage control mode after the surest sign yet special counsel robert mueller is focused on collusion. a republican close to the white house says president trump is quote seething. the aides are urgently warning the president not to lash out at mueller after the indictments mop of former trump campaign chairman paul manafort and his lieutenant lick gate lieutenant rick gates. >> what was the shock was the revelation that the campaign foreign policy adviser
papadoupolos pleaded guilty. he admitted to lying to agents about the timing of his contact with russians. the complaint against papadoupolos outlines a meeting that he had with a russia-linked professor who promised dirt on hillary clinton. >> it also lays out papadoupolos's attempts to set up meetings between the campaign and top russian officials. despite white house efforts to down play the overeager volunteer, he was e-mailing with paul manafort and according to "the washington post" he was also e-mailing with another campaign manager. corey lieu endow ski. >> heightening the trump unease, our coverage begins. >>reporter: good morning monday's charges show it's zeroing in h on collusion.
as well as crimes committed before the campaign. george papadoupolos, a former foreign policy advisor to the trump campaign pleaded guilty on october 5. according to records, unsealed monday, the fbi alleged papadoupolos falsely described his interactions with a certain foreign contact who discussed dirt-related e-mails concerning president trump's opponent, hillary clinton. one of the court documents describes an e-mail sent by papadoupolos to a high-ranking campaign open official who a source says is paul manafort and the e-mail had the subject line request from russia to meet mr. trump. went on to say russia was eg toer meet with the candidate and had been reaching out. he forwarded to another official, rick gates. that e-mail said we need someone to commune ca that td is not doing these trips. it should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to
send any signals. in another e-mail a supervisor allegedly tells papadoupolos i would encourage you to make the trip if it is feasible. that trip to russia never happened according to the officials. >> all right. thank you so much for that. moments ago russian foreign minster saying they are fantasies that have no limit. so much to get to. let's bring back washington campaigner sara westwood, julian zelizer and jeff tuben. this is what a day. >> what a day. i want to look at something in here. we knew manafort -- i think was less of a surprise than papadoupolos. the fact that this man had been interviewed and arrested back in july, and then that was sealed. look at this. this is from the documents. but defendant has indicated he's willing to cooperate with the government in an ongoing
investigation. and then on the second page, public disclosure of the defend's initials appearance would significantly undermine his ability to serve as proactive cooperator. he was arrested in july. we learned about it yesterday. no leaks. i mean a really tight, tight investigation. a tight lid on this. what does this tell you? >> well proactive cooperator, the only interpretation of that that is meaningful to me is he was wearing a wire. he was working actively for the government in an undercover capacity from july to october. tape-recording either phone calls or meetings with people that the mueller team was interested in. and that puts a whole different spin on how much this investigation is still perhaps reaching into the inner sanctums of the white house, because certainly, the people he would want to talk to were the people he worked on the campaign with.
>> julian, we know steve bannon has started to encourage the president and people around him to mount a campaign against the special prosecutor. his lawyers for now are advising him not to fire mueller, but short of that what he he do to slow down this investigation. >> obviously he's hoping as few people talk as possible at this point. if there is anything to hide. that's what the administration wants to do. the that said, this is an administration whose principal strategy relies on tearing down the opposition. i think that tem daptation to g where ban non is inviting him is very strong. i think he really wants to use the twitter bully pulpit. he tries to change the conversation. >> he has "fox news."
you have "fox news" beating the drum that this is a bad investigation, but hillary clinton was worse. and that motivates his base. if you look at how donald trump has conducted his presidency, it's all about keeping his base engaged and motivated and not about reaching out to independents or people on the other side. it's not working perfectly, to say the least. even his base appears to be shrinking some what. it is true that there is this core of people who just want to hear bad things about hillary clinton and bad things about hoo mueller. >> he feeds into that with his tweets. why aren't you talking about hillary. let me bring in sara and talk about sarah sanders at the podium. trying to say this is not a big deal.
listen. >> can you explain what george papadoupolos's role with the campaign was? >> it was extremely limited. it was a volunteer position. and, again, no activity was ever done in h an other official capacity on behalf of the campaign. >> what about the outreach the campaign officials to try to put together -- >> outreach that was repeatedly denied and -- >> that's -- >> we're not going to take any action on that? >> but then, in the documents yesterday, from a campaign supervisor who "the washington post" identifies as same clovis, i would encourage you to make the trip if it is feasible. >> right. i think this sort of jibes with what i heard which is no one in the white house is overly concerned that any actual collusion took place at any
meaningful level of the dp campaign. but there was a concern that when confronted by investigators, some people would not be truthful. try to cover up an e-mail. and would get if trouble. ta appears to be exactly what happened. so there is not a lot of real concern that i've heard from folks that any collusion took place. in fact i think there's a confidence that none did. but there is that fear that it's the cover-up, not the crime that's going to get folks in the white house in trouble. that seems to be exactly what george papadoupolos has proven is entirely possible. >> you know what i love about this is if you follow the white house's explanations over time. first it was there was no contact between the campaign and russia at all. then it was well there was absolutely nothing illegal about anything involving the connections between russia and the campaign. now, it's well, there was contact and maybe even a little bit of collusion, but not in the
real lucollusion. i wouldn't put a lot of stock in the explanations because they keep retreating into finer stinctns. >> when you look at how this rolled out yesterday, talk to me about mueller. >> i think the thoroughness is remarkable. the false statement that papadoupolos made to the fbi was in january of 2017. four months before mueller was appointed. so, this investigation has been going on for a long time. they are now starting to assemble all the e-mails. we always think in terms of who was interviewed, what was the -- that's in many respects the less important part of an investigation like this. the more important part is getting the e-mails and the physical -- the evidence that can't be doctored, that can't be -- that doesn't lie, and
assembling a narrative from there. that's what you saw in the document the that were released with the papadoupolos guilty plea. and that's indispensable. >> mueller's a different kind of opponent than trump has faced meaning most have been political, and bully pulpit/"fox news," flat form is very powerful, but that's not what motivates mueller. he's not running for election and he's operating in a pretty closed room with his associates. and so, i think it's going to be hard for the president to simply stop it with the shifting explanations. often defied the facts that are very clear. right in front of him. >> you talk about you were asking a question of bannon wants to attack mueller. for what? the idea that the whole thing is a hoax? he now has a guilty plea. now someone admit to go a felony. he's got a pending indictment
against trump's former campaign chairman. even if you were to fire mueller, which i don't think he will, that indictment is still there. that case still has to go to trial. this investigation now has so much momentum that it's pointless to think about -- >> that indictment -- sorry. right now is not necessarily campaign related. think mller is trying to flip manafort. >> i'm sure he is trying to flip him but remember, that indictment charges a conspiracy that includes the time when manafort was the campaign chairman. so to say it's unrelated i think is not -- >> well -- i think it's just wrong. >> this is the campaign manager talking about. the the person brought in that summer to make sure there's no rebellion within the republican convention. it is automatically campaign related. >> he's accused of covering up
the fact that he was tied to the ukrainian faction that was highly sympathetic to russia. so the idea this is somehow completely unrelated is inaccurate. >> final word to you. how does the white house respond besides to deflecting to hillary clinton and uranium one. and saying well manafort we heard yesterday manafort one of kour sources saying these are bad guys when they came and left. how does that help them? >> well we've seen trump supporters trying to after m mueller's credibility in the past. that's going to be difficult because keep in mind manafort is just the tip of the iceberg in this conspiracy outlined in the indictment that includes what many believe to be democratic lobbyists, tony podesta is under enough scrutiny to have to step
down from his lobbying firm, this is what could become a bipartisan investigation that sweeps democrats up in the web as well. it will be very hard for the white house to argue mueller is acting in a part san way if democrats are getting introuble too. >> thanks. for coming in bright and early. hash this all out. day. everyone knows slavery was the cause behind the civil war. why did the chowhite house chief staff say this? >> the lack of an ability to compromise led to the civil war. and men and women of good faith on both sides made thafr stand. >> those comments from john kelly next.
compromise was the root cause for the civil war. in a "fox news" interview he was ask asked about the removal of plaques honoring george washington and the general robert e. lee. >> robert e. lee was an honorable man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which in -- 150 years ago was more important than country. it was always loyalty to state first back in those days. now it's different today. but the lack of an ability to compromise led to the civil war. and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand. >> both sides. kelly said, similar to president trump's charlottesville comments. kelly who is from boston made no mention of slif slavery. >> the fbi is looking into a $300 million contract with
whitefish energy that was struck with puerto rico's power authority to rebuild the power grid after hurricane maria. members of congress have raced concern over the way the contract was awarded to a mall montana firm which it turns out has ties to the trump administration. >>reporter: the fbi now wants more answers on this. they have opened a preliminary inquiry to find out more about that $300 million deal between whitefish energy and puerto rico's power authority. the governor says he has no evidence of any wrongdoing but this has become a distraction, he said because of controversy. many have questioned how a two-year-old company based out of montana with very few employees landed such a big deal
with big responsibilities to restore puerto rico's power grid. i got to tell you, as we were out and about, talking to people today, we definitely sensed the frustration. we even talked to subcontractors of white fish and they tell us they are frustrated because of what they believe are politics getting in the way. what they believe are delays in progress. and for so many on this island of 3.5 million u.s. citizens, now the question is where do we go from here. so many of waiting to see what will happen next when it comes to restoring energy and pour for the people on this island, nearly six weeks after the hurricane. >> thank you for that. house of cards is being canceled after its sixth season. the announcement comes less than one day after star kevin spacey was accused of sexual misconduct by star trek discovery actor
anthony rapp. he says he was 14 years old at the time. a source tells cnn the decision to end the series and allegations facing spacey are not related. netflix, which produces the show, did not offer an official statement on its cancellation, but it did address the allegations in h a joint statement with the company that coproduces the series, saying executives travelled to baltimore to make sure that the cast and crew feels safe and supported. they said as scheduled spacey was not working on the set right now. >> ahead of the top consumer watch dog has a message, a plea for president trump. allow consumers to stand up to their credit cards, stand up to their banks. that's 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. if it weren't for my tempur-pedic, i wouldn't be able to sleep on my left side at all. ♪ the tempur-pedic veteran's day savings event is here,
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that the indictments of two former trump campaign officials has zero to do with the white house. to be fair, you could say the same thing about president trump on any given day. wow, he allegedly laundered $1 million through a rug store and not only that the rug he bought wasn't even convincing. he added also, there is no collusion. he's so bad at this. it's like getting pulled over and saying i wasn't speeding, officer and also there's no cocaine in the glove compartment. the first indictment in the russian investigation. who's our first lucky winner? why it's former trump campaign manager paul manafort. seen here looking innocent before proven guilty. now i know it's almost halloween, but it really feels more like christmas. ♪ paul manafort, your just the
first of many ♪ >> we also learned about an fbi investigation into former trump foreign policy adviser and groms mane offering are ecstasy at the ceremony. george papadoupolos. while working to elect trump' arranged to get a meeting. >> they're having way too much fun. 56 minutes past the hour. president trump will reveal his pick for fed chair thursday. it looks like current chief janet yellen may be out of the running. that's what a white house official tells cnn, leading the u.s. central bank is one of the most powerful posts in the world. the frontrunner, jerome powell. sources warn the president could change his mind. powell's been on the federal reserve board since 2012. he would be the first former
investment banker to chair the fed and first individual who is not an economist in more than 40 years. powell has supported yellen's agenda. they worked together here over the past year so there probably won't be a major shift in monetary policy if he gets the job. yellen was appointed by president obama in 2013 and if she is not renominated. she would be the first fed chief in nearly 40 years to not get a second term. she is the first woman. >> let's look at the market. wall street stepped back from a record territory yesterday. u.s. stocks dropped after news broke those long awaited corporate tax cuts could be gradual. the house is considering a progressive rate cut over several years. sprint and t-mobile's rum mored -- sprint is calling or
negotiations. the concern was over the ownership structure of the combined business. represent t represents for all three companies didn't comment. the head of the top u.s. consumer watch dog has a personal appeal. stand up for consumers over banks and credit card companies. making a last ditch plea to trump to preserve a rule that allows consumers to take their credit card company or bank to court instead of being forced into arbitration. he acknowledged the odds are long. many told me i'm wasting my time writing this letter. adding the rule protects people who want to band together and right the wrongs done to them by the companies. he is a democrat unpopular figure among republicans. happy halloween. and little known facts for you history buff, 500 years ago
today, hbegan the protestant reformation. thanks for joining us. >> "new day" starts right now. >> we wind of have crossed a threshold. bob mueller is a tough and dedicated prosecutor. >> papadoupolos is direct evidence the campaign was in contact with russians. >> his case involved the core of what mueller is investigating, which is possible collusion. >> today's announcement has nothing to do with the president. the real collusion scandal has everything to do with the clinton campaign. >> about russia. >> it may have come up. >> the manafort and gate the indictments are significant. all of the activities long before they had any association with the campaign. >> this idea that we had nothing to do with russia is long gone. >>s