tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN October 31, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm poppy harlow. top of the hour the president on the attack after a man who was one of his own, not long ago, that man george papadopolous, he has proven central in the special counsel's investigation into russia and election meddling. president trump now calls papadopolous a low-level volunteer who has already proven to be a liar. true he did plead guilty to lying to the fbi about his attempts to get dirt on hillary clinton, but also not exactly the context the president meant it in this morning. >> one of the most important part thes -- parts of the statement said few people knew papadopolous. he knew him, the president, knew
him enough to call him an excellent guy when he introduced him to "the washington post" march 2016. listen to this. >> george papadopolous, he's an oil and energy consultant, excellent guy. >> all of a sudden a few people knew. there's papadopolous at the same table as the president now and also the current attorney general jeff sessions. not exactly the couffee boy described by a white house ally this morning. kaitlan collins at the white house. the white house strategy very clear, diminish, deny, attack, kaitlan. >> and distance, john. they are certainly trying to downplay the role that george papadopolous played when he was a foreign policy adviser to the campaign. we heard directly from the president on this morning. we had not heard from him himself since the news of papadopolous pleading guilty had broken yesterday, but this morning he said that fake news is working overtime as paul manafort's lawyer said, there was no collusion, and events
mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign. trump added few people knew the young, low-level staffer named george who has already proven to be a liar. check the democrats. saying that people should focus on tax cuts the middle class and democrat corruption, the president said. but, what we're seeing here is the president seeking to downplay the role that this staffer played because yesterday, as the president watched all this coverage unfold, john and poppy, he was in the residence of the white house and we're told he was, quote, seething over it. the white house and the president were expecting an indictment of manafort after the fbi raided manafort's home over the summer but we're told that white house was caught off guard by this news about george papadopolous, who was a foreign policy adviser to the president during the campaign. and though the president said this morning he was a low-level staffer and didn't know him, he did once cite him during the meeting with "the washington
post" calling him an excellent guy. now we know that as the president huddled with his lawyers here in the white house yesterday, that they advised him not to directly criticize the special counsel bob mueller, but that's not the advice that the president is receiving from everyone. his former chief strategist steve bannon who left the white house a few months ago is actually encouraging the president to push back more aggressively against mueller we are told, encouraging saying that white house should tell republicans on capitol hill that they should be publicly speaking out against mueller, attempting to cut his funding, and slow down what's happening in court here, but it's not clear if the president is taking that advice. he hasn't said anything about it yet. when we heard from the press secretary sarah sanders at the white house yesterday she said there is no plan to fire mueller, but the white house still expects this investigation will wrap up soon, john and poppy. >> we will be watching. kaitlan collins at the white house, thank you very much. let's go to our justice correspondent jessica snyder in
terms of where we stand in this investigation because it was made clear yesterday, you know, when all of this was unsealed, by mueller's team, this is a small part of a larger, more in depth investigation. what comes next? >> that's exactly why poppy, that george papadopolous guilty plea, it's really packing the most punch here in washington. as you mentioned papadopolous he's been cooperating with investigator, considered a pro-active cooperating with prosecutors. papadopolous has admitted to repeated contact with russian nationals after he became a foreign policy adviser for the campaign and the fact that they promised him dirt and e-mails on hillary clinton and that he even tried to set up meetings with russian officials and members of the campaign team. he also communicated with paul manafort on e-mail. so prosecutorses have put all of these disclosures really ominously saying this, saying that his guilty plea is just a
small part of what's to come here. now meanwhile, the case against paul manafort and rick gates it is moving full steam ahead. both of those men due back in court on thursday and in the meantime the restrictions on them, they're very extensive. both are under home confinement meaning they can't leave their houses except for meetings with their lawyers or attending court or medical or religious purposes. paul manafort and rick gates also under 10 and $5 million bond respectively and they'll have to pay up only if they violate any of those terms of their release. so really john and poppy, things moving forward on two different fronts here. paul manafort and rick gates, but also that more ominous george papadopolous guilty plea, where more could come out of that in the coming days and weeks. >> these are the only ones we know about. there could be more beyond this. jessica snyder in washington, thanks so much joining us legal analyst paul callan and federal prosecutor columbia law
professor jennifer rogers. would you advise your client if your client were the president of the united states, to attack a cooperating witness, someone who is working with the special counsel, maybe who has worn a wire in the past, would you advise your client to call that person a liar and diminish his importance calling him a low-level volunteer. >> i wouldn't. this isn't the first time the president may be ignoring the advice of his counsel, but it's a dangerous tactic. like many people think that the president should stay quiet here, let the other lawyers do their work and just kind of focus on tax reform and the other things he's trying to do, this is not an area that he really wants to wade into too much. >> the person he chose to attack has been labeled by mueller's team a proactive cooperator. those words tell you what? >> look at the timeline involved. he -- papadopolous lied to the fbi in january of 2017.
he's arrested eventually on the charge in july of 2017. and at that time he becomes a proactive cooperator. now what that usually means is, they send him out wearing a wire to talk to other members of the campaign and who knows who else. he was a presidential adviser, at least on the books, during that time frame. so we don't know what wealth of material the special prosecutor has obtained from his cooperation. >> and in d.c., it's a one-party consent, right? >> yes. >> he can record all this? >> he can record all of this, and it's perfectly legal and useable in court. so this is a real bombshell potentially depending on what mueller and other fbi people came up with during the summer. >> and professor, it gets to the point of why did we learn yesterday of the existence of this guilty plea of george papadopolous when it happened. >> it happened on this show, we were reading through this, like what? this guy got arrested a month ago? >> and after the president, by
the way, put out his statement saying there was no collusion, it was almost as if the special counsel's office saying well, wait a minute, there's this papadopolous guy you may what to think about. >> it may well have been. if he was proactively cooperating that's over now. there was a reason to keep it quiet, perhaps mueller decided that this was a better use of -- he either wasn't being productive or it's time to shut it down because the president comes out and says this has nothing to do with the russia case and he wants to say we do have something on that too, here it is. >> let's pull up that picture from the march 31st meeting. this is where the president called papadopolous an excellent guy. let's just talk about the context of this meeting of what happened. at that meeting, according to this -- according to all of this from mueller's team that was unsealed yesterday, it was a national security meeting. the president and other foreign policy advisors for the campaign were in the room. papadopolous is there. you see him with the attorney general jeff sessions. papadopolous told the group, according to mueller's team that
he had connections and could arrange a trump/putin meeting. he said that. i can arrange a trump/putin meeting in so many words with the attorney general and the president and the white house is saying nothing to see here. >> that's fascinating information. we have to be clear it's not unusual for a presidential candidate to have sort of a foreign policy strategy, people go to israel and france and sometimes even consult with the russians but what were the consults going to be about becomes the question. because the second part of this is, and i think what's so important about papadopolous, is it shows for the first time that there was contact with the russians early on and papadopolous was told there may be many e-mails that were relevant and would be useful. now, to make out a case of what we call collusion, what the lawyers would call conspiracy, it's not enough to talk to the russians about background information about hillary.
that's opposition research. everybody does that. but collusion or conspiracy requires the violation of a federal law in connection with that information. now, if these were hacked e-mails and papadopolous was aware that they were hacked, that's -- it might be a violation of federal law for him to use that stolen property in the campaign. now we've made out a criminal act. so that's why this is so important. it's the first little bit of build on the actual crime that could be charged ultimately. >> and the fact pattern doesn't look that dissimilar to what happened to donald trump, jr. holds a meeting on it, accepts the meeting on it and look at cambridge analytica reaching out to wikileaks to help coordinate maybe the e-mail release that they had or ask questions about the e-mails. there seems to be a lot of back and forth here about e-mails and information. >> of course. we heard at the beginning when the don jr. meeting first came
out that they didn't do that, you know, that was all about the magnitsky act. you know, time and time again, we're actually seeing that there was that kind of communication. the question is, where did it go? >> well, and legitimately to that point, i mean you do not see any evidence thus far at least of any of these meeting offers being taken up outside of the trump jr. meeting, all the offers that papadopolous made, no one acted on them. that does help the administration here. >> it helps the administration and circling back to the way we started that's why it's foolish for the president to be attacking papadopolous. he may be the guy who exonerates the president by saying i never spoke to presidential candidate trump about this. >> they turned down all of my -- >> he is a liar, a convicted liar. he pled guilty to it. that matters in a court of law. may not matter in the investigation as it were because it may provoke him to provide more information. we'll have to wait and see. professor, counselor, thanks for being with us.
fascinating discussion. a senior white house official says the world is less safe because of this mueller investigation. we are talking to a member of the senate foreign relations question. does he agree. >> new information under the scope of russia's use of social media to meddle in the u.s. election. facebook estimates more than half of the total u.s. voting population was exposedp or could have been exposed by their estimate of the numbers there. plus, ten minutes was all we had but cnn gets an exclusive look at the site of the deadly attack in niger that killed four u.s. troops. olay regenerist shatters the competition. hydrating skin better than prestige creams costing over $100, $200, and even $400. for skin that looks younger than it should. fact check this ad in good housekeeping. olay regenerist. ageless.
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the investigation into the president's campaign ties to russia goes on. >> joining us senator ben carden from maryland ranking member on the foreign relations committee. let's get into that, senator. we appreciate you being here. given what you have seen so far in this indictment and statement of offense against papadopolous in the mueller investigation thus far, do you agree with that senior white house official who said look, the world is less safe as long as this mueller investigation is going on? speaking in the context of this leading up to the president's trip to asia. >> i can tell you the world will be less safe if we do not understand how russia operates and what they were doing in the united states and their efforts to infiltrate the trump campaign and the cooperation they received from the trump campaign. you know, there should have been red flags that went off when there was russians that wanted to meet with representatives of the trump campaign. that should have no place in american elebs, unless -- elections, but those meetings, in fact, did take place. the concern is we have to find
out how they operated, we have to find out who's responsible here in the united states, and we must take steps to make sure that this cannot happen. >> so one of the things that we did hear again, from white house insiders last night, was the president's worry about his ability to negotiate with various entities, especially as he travels overseas. he's going on the 12-day overseas trip. do you think this hurts the president's standing with some of the other country leaders? >> no. i think the president certainly we need to find out how russia operates. we're not naive. we know russia is trying to influence our system of government, they tried to influence the campaign. i think it's important that the president acknowledge the risk that russia poses not just to the united states, but to our allies around the world. he can very much cite by example their activities in our campaign. there was russia activity in the german campaign. there was russia activities in the montenegro campaign. there was russia activities in the french campaign.
we need to acknowledge what they did and those who were complicit in the united states need to be held accountable. >> so senator, when this indictment was unsealed yesterday, when we saw the statement of offense against papadopolous, there were several of your fellow democrats who felt the need to come out and talk about protecting mueller and making sure that the president would not fire mueller, et cetera. lindsey graham, you know, the republican with democrat cory booker, put forward this bill to try to make it harder for the president to fire any special counsel. he said, i'm not worried about that at all. the white house would be nuts at this point to try to do that. do you share your fellow democrats' concerns or do you think mueller is safe? >> well, i must tell you, if the president tried to compromise mr. mueller and his investigation, i think the american people would stand up and this cannot happen. no one is above the law in the united states. even the president of the united states. so i do think that it would be be impossible for him to get away with that type of activity.
congress would take steps, the american people would take steps. we hope we never have to deal with that. >> the president this morning is writing extensively about the special counsel's investigations and one of the things he says is that the real story is about tony podesta the lobbyist with democratic ties who stepped away from his lobbying group, the podesta group. it's possible podesta will become the focus of this investigation, lobbying firm a and b were mentioned in indictments here. as you sit here are you willing to support this investigation from robert mueller even if it delves into issues that concern this democratic lobbying group and perhaps other democrats? >> first, i think we're starting to understand more and more about the russia playbook in the united states to try to influence our political system. i think americans understands the trump playbook which is to distract from the investigation when it touches anything to deal with him. yes, we want the mueller investigation to lead where it
may. that if there are individuals who are accountable whether they be connected to the republicans or democrats, it's important that he has free rein to pursue those investigations. >> as you know, executives from facebook, twitter, google are all testifying before congress today. and we've seen some of the prepared testimony from the attorney for facebook who will say that 126 million americans may have been exposed to this content generated by russian troll farms. may have. if that's the case, that would be more than half of the american electorate at this point, half of those voting age in this country. there have been republicans and democrats who say we need to much further regulate these tech companies. do you agree with them? >> oh, i absolutely agree we have to take steps to protect us from the techniques that russia is using to try to influence our democratic system of government. the social media is part of their game plan. what we saw in the elections is just a small part of what russia
does on a continuing basis to try to compromise our democratic system and our democratic insti to use tutions. we have to take steps to protect our democratic institutions including how social media is used by foreign governments to try to influence america's democratic institutions. >> senator ben cardin of maryland, thanks so much for being with us talking through these issues today. we look forward to talking to you again soon. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we have a cnn exclusive, retracing the steps that u.s. troops took before the deadly ambush in niger.
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four u.s. soldiers were killed in a deadly ambush by isis affiliated terrorists in niger. >> arwa damian on the ground retraced the steps the u.s. team took before they were attacked. here is her exclusive report. >> reporter: in this vast terrain it's the wooded sections that worry the nigerian soldiers most. ideal cover for ambush so they advance on foot. we're headed back to the site of an attack that has thrown this remote border region into a global spotlight. october 4th may have been america's first casualties in these lands but not niger's. their patrols regularly come under attack. the ground outsiden togoen togo is littered with machine gun pieces and we asked the soldiers we're with if they know they were fired by american or nigerin' forces? >> they can't be entirely sure because they use similar weapons they said. >> reporter: we're only given ten minutes on the ground in the
village. people here are terrified, confused and reluctant to talk. we track down the detained village chief's uncle and older brother and they assist the attackers came from elsewhere. initial reports were that the attack occurred ten kilometers outside offen togoen togo. after the convoy stopped and villagers stalled them. >> they're swearing on the core ran the american and nigerian convoy never stopped here, they just drove through the village and when they hit the outskirts that's when they heard gunshots. >> signs of the attack everywhere. >> that's the school that we're being told was burnt down in the attack. it's a single classroom. we have to wrap it up right now, because our escorts are understandably quite anxious about spending too much time on scene. but you can see how close it was to the village. they hadn't even made it out. >> reporter: weeks after the attack many questions remain. and so too does the threat.
>> remarkable access, arwa got. >> amazing. not altogether safe. she risked her life and the crew went there to see those things and it's important to get that story back here. thanks to arwa. >> so how far will republicans go to avoid questions about the indictments from the special counsel? follow that circle. senator chuck grassley is fleeing the interview. much more ahead. you wouldn't do only half of your daily routine, so why treat your mouth any differently? complete the job with listerine® help prevent plaque, early gum disease, bad breath and kill up to 99.9% of germs. listerine® bring out the bold™
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lying to the fbi having to do with discussions he had with the russians and getting dirt on hk. today we know how the president will deal with him. by disparaging, distancing and denying. >> we have two strategies with manafort and presumably gates although the president hasn't talked about gates yet. there's an embrace, right. we had manafort's lawyer yesterday say president trump is right. we had the president himself say well, you know, this is all stuff that happened in the past but not attacking manafort. but personally attacking this former foreign policy adviser at one time the trump campaign used to burnish donald trump's foreign policy credentials. we were talking about this before, they were probably, you know, laying it on exaggerating what role papadopolous had in terms of being a foreign policy adviser back in 2016 because i remember that was moments when trump needed those. but attacking him as a liar is
very personal going right to the heart of his character and i'm not sure what it accomplishes. >> and the statement of offense says this isn't all that he may have. makes you think what more does -- >> that statement was like a cliffhanger that ended with a moment of, you know -- >> but wait there's more. >> brian fallon to you, you know a thing or two about campaign vetting and who you surround yourself as a candidate and president. the president takes to twitter this morning and as we said he called papadopolous a low-level volunteer, a liar, check the dems. this is the same president who called him an excellent guy, his words, in this meeting, with "the washington post." he sat at the same table as him. i mean, what the president is saying, can it hold any water? >> it doesn't hold water because of the fact that president announced him when he joined the campaign, but it also doesn't hold water because look, bob
mueller quite simply would not be handing out a plea agreement to this guy if he didn't have useful information about higherups in the campaign. bob mueller is as good as it gets. when comes to prosecutors and somebody that knows how to mount an investigation working his way up the ladder, bob mueller is the best at what he does. he is like a virtuoso akin to listening to yo-yo play the cello. he would not be handing out a plea deal if he didn't have information to give. yesterday we learned a piece of information, that is, approached by this professor in the uk in april. we know that trump campaign knew as early as april that the russians may have e-mails to offer them to help hurt hillary clinton. that is interesting because the dnc hack was not even known to the dnc at that point in the spring. and so that suggests that the trump campaign may not have just aided and abetted with the distribution of the e-mails after the hack occurred but may have been a party or potentially collaborated on the active hack
itself which is legally significant when trying to prove potentially a conspiracy to violate the computer fraud and abuse act which is the anti-hacking statute that's at issue here. >> scott jennings, i want you to weigh in here. i don't want to just dwell on this one thing but want your take and you have said you think the mueller investigation should be allowed to take its course, on the other hand you know the possibility that george papadopolous is -- hang on. i have to cut you off. mark warner i believe on capitol hill ranking member of senate foreign relations answering questions from reporters. >> because while the number of americans that were touched has gone up, the actual number of accounts and ads doesn't seem to have changed. i still question whether all this activity really simply came from one internet troll farm in st. peters burg. but again, what we're seeing is incremental progress all of these firms in terms of
recognition of the extent of this problem and how -- i want to know tomorrow three things. one, fuller explanation of what happened in 2016. two, how they can work with us in a cooperative manner to make sure this doesn't happen on a going forward basis. very light touched legislation that it would -- doesn't get at the problems or false accounts but tries to guarantee that on political ads, that americans will know the content and the source of those ads. and then three, i think the idea of how much effect can be had by a relatively small amount of money with 40 to 50 trained hackers, an 50 or 100,000 computerized bots, you can drive a story that almost any of you would end up covering even though it may have no relationship to truth.
>> [ inaudible ]. >> excuse us. we have to go. please make a hole. >> the ranking member of the senate intelligence mark warner talking about the special counsel's investigation. also talking about facebook and social media. we will talk about them in a little bit. the idea that 126 million people may have seen some of these facebook ads from russian bots and what not. we were talking, scott jennings, about george papadopolous the role he might play in the investigation. and you do note that it is possible that he was genuinely a low-level campaign staffer that many people didn't know, but that the trump campaign may have created part of its own problem. >> well look, i mean it's pretty clear what happened and it's embarrassing, but it's true, at the time this guy was rolled out by then candidate trump, they were under enormous pressure to show they actually had foreign policy advisors. >> right. >> these people, these clowns, this guy, carter page, they were rolled out as a photo op and then released them into the countryside and they did stupid things. and this is -- this is the core problem here is that failure to
oversee the people that you roll out, you know, governing by photo op in this case was extremely detrimental. i think as time went on, the campaign tried to get more control, operational control, but this guy based on the reading of it, if you've been in a presidential campaign you know the type, serial exaggerator of their resume, somebody with no real experience, can't track down where they ever worked. >> that's where i got all my jobs, by the way. >> but these people, these people orbit campaigns. the difference is most of the time, the folks running big campaigns know to get them out. >> this goes to the heart of what sarah sanders was asked yesterday, what does it say about the president's judgment and the vetting that went into manafort, that went into bringing carter page around, that went into bringing papadopolous around. she kept deflecting that question saying it's irrelevant, but that is a central question as scott pointed out >> even at the time i remember people were kind of poking fun at the fact that his linkedin page showed model u.n. was one of his foreign policy
credentials. >> graduated college in 2009. >> it doesn't matter, though. it doesn't matter whether he was the top-level person or not. what matters is whether the information he brought from -- >> right. >> if he did bring information from the russians that was then embraced by people inside the campaign, and if it tripped into something that is collusion or some of the legal issues that brian was describing. it doesn't matter if he was an intern or he was, you know, mike pence at the top level. it matters what the next part of that chronology from the plea agreement yesterday is we don't know yet and it matters how much information he gathered for mueller when a cooperating sfwhoons people are making a lot of the photo of him sitting with the president, the candidate, and these other people but i'm telling you if we're going to hold every presidential candidate to account for everybody that they're in a photo with -- >> brian -- >> scott -- >> let me just -- >> this photo was constructed -- >> go ahead. >> for pr -- >> let me jump in there. i understand the point that scott is getting at.
there are plenty of occasions in a campaign where you bring people if for the purposes of photo op where you create these fake policy advisory boards, sometimes they're for political or press purposes, but what belies all this is the fact that he remained in touch with senior officials on the campaign for months after that photo op happened. that's laid out in the criminal information that was filed with the guilty plea that was revealed yesterday. and so you have people like sam clovis still in the trump administration now, people like paul manafort, it's been reported he's the high-ranking official named in that criminal information that was unsealed yesterday, and so there's repeated interactions where he had access to the high-level officials in the campaign and so it doesn't matter if he was paid, doesn't matter if he was the jv team. the fact that he has information about how these senior officials in the campaign received information that he was providing from these russian cutouts, that's the relevant thing. and what mueller very skillfully put out only so much information yesterday. he dangled out in that document that was released yesterday,
that this guy papadopolous was told in april that they had -- the russians had hillary clinton's e-mails but then in the rest of that filing we don't hear anything about what the reaction was from the trump officials. that to me is the ultimate cliffhanger as ryan was saying, that goes to the heart of what mueller is trying to discover in the months that remain in this investigation. that is exactly what papadopolous may have been wearing a wire to help make a case about in terms of whether manafort or donald trump, jr. or anybody back at headquarters was encouraging him, making further contacts with russians to try to receive those e-mails and figure out how to weaponize them. >> let's leave on a cliffhanger, a lesson from the president there. left us with a cliffhanger good point to stop. thank you. >> we appreciate it. tonight stay up late, jake tapper hosting a cnn special report on the russian investigation only right here. half of the u.s. population, that is how many people were reached by russian trolls during the 2016 election through facebook alone. we have the details next.
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.
it's why at thomson reuters we provide you with the intelligence, technology, and human expertise you need to find trusted answers. the answer company. thomson reuters. . 126 million people that is a lot of people. >> an objective statement of fact. >> 126 million people a lot of people, the number that may, may have seen accounts or pages linked to the russian government on facebook. >> basically from these russian troll farms. executives from facebook google and twitter will test fi today. expect a grilling about all of this and how could this have been stopped. what needs to be done going forward so it doesn't happen again. with us now senior media correspondent host of "reliable
sources" brian stelter, today big for facebook and they are saying yep, 126 million people could have seen these ads. they're trying to give it context and they're saying that is equivalent to 0.004% of the content in the news feed. how much does this number matter? >> yeah. 126 million is the exposure number, meaning when you're on facebook and you're just scrolling through your news feed you may have seen the sensational, bogus, sometimes made up stories coming from russian troll farms. some were ads and we've heard about the ads russia was buying to target various states before election day. we will see those ads this week thanks to the capitol hill hearings the important piece the truly fake news. not president trump's definition of fake news but made up stories designed to make you dislike hillary clinton. that's what was spreading thanks to these russian troll farms, stories that were divisive, meant to sow discord in the u.s. and a lot with anti-hillary
clinton overtones. >> representatives from these companies will be on capitol hill. >> right. >> what do you expect them to be pressed on? what do they need -- what would you like them to be pressed on? >> have they really got tonight bottom yet? are they able to figure out how many twitter posts, facebook posts, google ads were bought by these russian trolls. the companies are starting to say they've gotten their arms around it but have they really? >> senator mark warner, incredibly critical of twitter about a month ago in these tech companies saying it's inadequate the answers they've provided. what would satisfy lawmakers? >> well the companies are starting to promise more transparency, saying in the future they will disclose political ads, but a lot about this -- a lot is about last year. if we were to make a list of the 20 reasons why donald trump became president i think the number one reason his name was not hillary clinton but clearly russia is on that list. and fake news is on that list. now how high they go on that list that's a matter of debate. we're going to hear more about that at the hearings this week. >> how to address the issue
going forward may be the most important thing going forward. >> what is the reaction from russia on the russian investigation. these indictments. we'll go there next. alright, i brought in high protein to help get us moving. ...and help you feel more strength and energy in just two weeks! i'll take that. -yeeeeeah! ensure high protein. with 16 grams of protein and 4 grams of sugar. ensure. always be you.
trusted sources are rare and precious commodities. and when industries are undergoing massive transformation, opportunities are only opportunities if you can find an answer that separates fact from near fact. thomson reuters provides you the intelligence, technology, and human expertise you need to find those trusted answers. the answer company. thomson reuters. this morning president trump's former campaign chair under house arrest as his deputy, a different adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with russia, so what does russia think about all of this in the investigation. >> the russian foreign minister calls claims of meddling in the u.s. election, quote, hysteria and says the allegations are, quote, fantasies that have no limit.
our correspondents orrin and clarissa join us now. what else are we hearin from the russian government? >> the drum beat of denial coming from the kremlin and foreign ministry and other russian officials continues. they say this has nothing to do with us. it's an internal affair and that word hysteria long accused the u.s. as hysteria and see this as an extension. the indictments of manafort and gates have nothing to do with russia and say that part is an internal affairp whenned a skibts papadopolous meeting according to his guilty plea trying to set up a meeting between president trump and russian officials, they say look, that's essentially just wrong and they actually compared it to a russian satirical novel in which the actors or participants in the book misrepresent themselves and say that's exactly what happened here. papadopolous isn't who he says he was or doesn't have the connections he thought he had and the people he was meeting with didn't have those
connections. when asked the kremlin spokesperson do you feel vindicated because russia is not mentioned in the indictments of manafort and gates his response was interesting, he said moscow has never felt guilty and we cannot feel vindicated. in terms of that denial that continues. earlier in the day the foreign ministry spokeswoman was quick to point out there's a mistake in the indictment where they call a former ukrainian politician say she was a former president, she uses that factual error not only to dismiss that line but to dismiss all of the newest revelations. so these haven't changed in any way the russian position they were in no way involved in election meddling despite the u.s. intelligence agreement they were and no such thing as coordination or collusion between the trump campaign and russia. >> clarissa ward, you're in kiev, ukraine, which is central to all of this, paul manafort, rick gates and dealt with the financials. i understand the ukrainians not desirous of getting deeply
involved in the situation right now but you've been watching and following the russian efforts to get involved with other elections over the years. what's your observation? >> well, i think it's no surprise that the ukrainian government is largely keeping very quiet on this because unlike russia which can afford to be a little bit more bombastic and brazen in its repudiation of this indictment, the ukrainian government is very much dependent on the white house for military aid, for financial aid, and for, you know, geopolitical help and support in general. they don't want to estrange the trump white house at this stage. privately if you speak to sort of anti-corruption activists, of course they do welcome this development. they do welcome manafort being taken out in this indictment and they welcome specifically the emphasis on the corruption of the former president here,
victor yan covick, emerges as the common thread throughout this indictment. this is a man known first and foremost for being what many would call a kremlin stooge, someone who even told a television interviewer that he owed his life to president vladimir putin who ultimately offered him asigh lem in russia after ousted by political protests. that indictment highlighting the depth and intensity. said nearly a decade of working relationship between manafort and between yanukovych, tens of millions of dollars earned by manafort who worked, of course, with yanukovych, really raising the question more broadly as to why the trump campaign would get involved with an individual like this. john and poppy. >> all right. clarissa ward, or ren lieberman thanks so much. we have breaking news, this just in, president trump will not visit the dmz during his trip to korea. he leaves for asia.
the dmz is the border area between north and south korea. >> he will not be there. we just saw secretary mattis there less than a week ago. white house official just coming out with this announcement moments ago explaining there's not enough time and the dmz has become, quote, a little bit of a cliche. thank you for being with us today. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm john berman. "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts now. >> hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. president trump seething and distracted today. all over the big developments in robert mueller's russia investigation. seething according to a republican close to the white house. distracted according to his chief of staff john kelly in an interview on fox. >> it is very distracting to the president as it would be to any citizen, to be investigated for something while at the same time trying to carry the