tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN October 31, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
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 weight of what being president of the
united states means on his shoulders. >> the president is fighting back, on twitter, of course. the 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. few people knew the young low-level volunteer named george. who has already proven to be a liar. check the democrats. quick note, manafort indictment does include statements made during the 2016 campaign, important to keep in mind. manafort and rick gates are under house arrest on court order and new court documents shedding new light on the former campaign adviser that the president calls a liar and how he is now cooperating with federal investigators. let us begin there. with cnn justice correspondent jessica snyder. jessica, these new court documents coming out kind of connect the dots somewhat on what happened and when george papadopolous with george papadopolous, lay it out for us. >> kate, from the court documents i want to give you two words that are really sending
shockwaves here in washington. pro active cooperator. how prosecutors are referring to george papadopolous. which means he's a major player contributing to their wide-ranging russia investigation. in court files that were just unsealed, prosecutors put it this way, it's on your screen, they say papadopolous has indicated that he is willing to cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation into russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. but you know his guilty plea was kept quiet for several weeks because of what they said next, they said, public disclosure of the defendant's initial appearance, however, would significantly undermine his ability to serve as a proactive cooperator. now papadopolous has revealed he had repeated communications with russians, even tried to set up meetings with russian officials and members of the trump team. when you put all of those revelations with a timeline it gets interesting. take a look at this, the russian
hackers were at work in july 2015 and then into march 2016 when hillary clinton's campaign manager john podesta had his e-mails hacked, it was one month after that, when papadopolous was told that russians had e-mails and dirt on hillary clinton that they wanted to hand over. at that point papadopolous e-mailed paul manafort about it and a few weeks later is when the infamous trump tower meeting happened where donald trump, jr. was promised dirt but didn't get it and the cascade of e-mail releases by wikileaks on july 27, 2016, candidate trump pub beically asked russia to hack clinton's e-mails. so then it all goes from there jumping to 2017 this year, when the fbi investigation into papadopolous really ramped up, kate. of course they began interviewing him later learned that he lied and that led to his arrest in july and his guilty plea just this month.
kate? >> that timeline that you lay out is fascinating and important to keep in mind with this. in the court documents, jessica, there are several unnamed trump campaign officials papadopolous was in contact with. are we getting a clearer idea of who these people are? >> a little bit. the identities slowly beginning to trickle out. in the court filings only identified by their titles. as you see here. we do know that the identities of some of those titles, that papadopolous sent an e-mail to paul manafort telling him that the russians were interested in meeting with then candidate trump. so paul manafort, listed as the high ranking campaign official there. manafort forwarded the e-mail to his deputy rick gates and both of those men now face 12 counts in a separate indictment related to money laundering we found out yesterday and the court filings mention the campaign supervisor he is identified by "the washington post" as sam clovis,
the campaign national co-chair, and clovis allegedly wrote back to papadopolous telling him that i encourage you to take that trip to russia and get the proposed dirt and e-mails on hillary clinton. so the interactions with the trump campaign here were widespread. it's important to note, though, kate in terms of sam clovis he has responded to the "washington post" report and said he didn't really mean it. it's important to note in terms of sam clovis he responded to the washington post report and said he didn't really mean it that papadopolous should go to russia and get the dirt and e-mails said he was being polite. we'll see as the details trickle out. >> all right. jessica, thank you so much. i really appreciate it. >> over to the white house right
now, where the white house is downplaying both the roles of paul manafort and george papadopolous in the whole grand scheme of the campaign. and the president has also said to be seething over these developments. cnn's kaitlan collins joining us now with the latest. maybe seething and not seething quietly, kaitlan. the president will not sitting by today. >> no, he's not. we've heard from him several times on this morning after he had been largely silent about the papadopolous news, but the white house is essentially trying to downplay the role that he had in the campaign, saying he was a lowly staffer, a volunteer, and did not play a critical role in this. we're told that president was seething as he watched all of this unfold from the third floor of the white house here in the residence yesterday. the president and the white 3 house were caught off guard by the news that george papadopolous, who was a foreign policy adviser during the campaign, had pled guilty to lying to fbi agents about his attempts to establish a connection between russian
officials and the trump campaign. but the president is now trying to distance himself from papadopolous saying that very few people knew his name. but there is one person who knew his name, kate, and that's the president. because he mentioned it during an interview with "the washington post" just last year. >> if you want i can give you some of the names. >> i would be delighted. >> george papadopolous. he's an oil and energy consultant. excellent guy. >> now as the president huddled with his lawyers in the residence yesterday as they watched all of this unfold, he was advised not to directly criticize the special counsel robert mueller by his chief of staff john kelly and other lawyers, but one person who doesn't think that's a tactic he should pursue, in fact, steve bannon, the former white house chief strategist who left a few months ago, is encouraging the white house to tell republicans on capitol hill that they should take a more aggressive stance
against bannon and go after him and seek to cut off funding from his campaign. kate? >> kaitlan thank you so much. as always. the white house, yard work, always continues. regardless. joining me now to discuss all of this, a lot to get to, as we've heard from kaitlan and jessica former federal prosecutor steven levin, walter schaub here a contributor and former corrector of the office of government ethics and michael zeldin former federal prosecutor worked under bob mueller at the department of justice. thank you so much for being here. michael, let's get to some of what we -- is also coming out in these court documents. jessica mentioned the proactive cooperator we discussed but also the government arguing in the court documents that -- some of them that were unsealed they wanted the plea deal so long because they feared it would reveal a road map about the ongoing investigation. is that a road map to someone or somewhere do you think? >> maybe both. >> maybe. >> it is how are they conducting
their investigation, where, and by what means in this case papadopolous most likely cooperating by wearing a wire or otherwise recording communications with people. so they didn't want people to know that he was sort of on mueller's team and didn't want people to know where mueller's team was headed. >> so in -- on that exact note, steven, also coming out in these documents is the government mentions in the way they put it a large-scale investigation which this is a small part relating to papadopolous. does this offer any clues to you? >> absolutely. it's clear that for quite some time now, papadopolous has been cooperating. whether he's been wearing a wire or whether he's been meeting targets of the investigation in a place that has a recording device, those individuals who have had conversations with papadopolous in the last few months, should probably be very concerned about what they may
have said to papadopolous. this is how a federal prosecutor builds an investigation. they use a cooperator and in this case the challenge for a prosecutor is that papadopolous has acknowledged he lied to federal officials. so they don't want to reliy lie just on his words but core brats what he's telling them. >> one consistent thing we're hearing from the trump world and allies is that papadopolous was a nobody, a coffee boy one person said today, a low-level volunteer is how the president described him today. but i've noticed that you have made the point that this volunteer was able to get more meetings with the president than you did as the office of government ethics. >> sure there's a public picture floating around the internet with him sitting at a meeting with the president and the president referred to him as an excellent guy and energy and oil consultant. it's quite a bit of rewriting of history. as the head of a federal agency
whose job was to work closely with the incoming administration during the transition, i never met with the man once and found out from the news, for instance, when they had issued an ethics executive order so it's just unbelievable to me that they're calling a guy a coffee boy, who had a whole lot more access to the president than i did. >> and michael, isn't the truth that coffee boy or low-level volunteer or lesser players have often by keys to an investigation, a successful investigation? >> absolutely. it doesn't preclude a conspiracy from being found on the basis of stature within the organization. if he's got the organization to move forward and it appears to have, he's communicating by e-mail with manafort at least with respect to hillary clinton's dirt and e-mails and you can't forget the fact that that's almost the exact language used in the june 2nd e-mail to donald trump, jr., i mean they're using the same language and offering the same prize,
stolen e-mails, as the hook to create a communication. then it is clearly a crime under the federal stuts statutes to hack someone's computer, to distribute or conspiracy to release that and what is collusion here is a conspiracy to violate the computer hacking laws and this evidence here it comes pretty close to that. and it's not there yet, but it's the beginnings. >> steven, corey lewandowski was the campaign manager before he was pushed out from the campaign. "the washington post" reports that he is also one of the high-ranking officials that's referenced in the court documents that papadopolous was in touch with. here is how corey lewandowski answered questions about this today. listen to this. >> are you the, quote, high-ranking campaign official who received three or four e-mails from george papadopolous during this april, may, june time period during the campaign?
>> you know, it's a great question, savannah, i don't know the answer to it. >> the campaign official, which may or may not be you, forwarded an e-mail and said you're runningp point on this. did you send an e-mail like that? >> yeah, look i don't recall that specific e-mail but you're asking me to remember an e-mail from april of 2016, on a day that i -- any given day i would have received a thousand e-mails. >> did george papadopolous tell you either verbally or in an e-mail that russian officials had told him that they had dirt on hillary clinton specifically thousands of her e-mails? do you ever remember receiving that message from george papadopolous? >> i don't remember that. >> what do you make of those answers? >> i think lewandowski would be best served by not answering any questions related to this investigation. i think he was purposely not answering the questions. he shouldn't answer the
questions. if i were his lawyer i would tell him not to put himself in a position where he's going to be asked because you can rest assured that mueller and his team are going to use anything lewandowski says publicly to potentially make a charge against him if that's where they're headed. >> that's why it surprised a lot of folks, that so many folks keep popping up on tv and in interviews. stephen, walter, michael, thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> coming up for us, the man once touted as the moderating force in the white house chief of staff john kelly he's facing some backlash right now for saying a lack of compromise is what led to the outbreak of the civil war. that's not all. hear from him in his own words. plus a new bombshell from facebook ahead of a very big hearing on the election meddling. the social network saying shady posts from russian troll farms could have reached more than half of the american voting population. you wouldn't do only half
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new details this morning about all of the unnamed players cited in the mueller investigation court documents unsealed yesterday. one of the biggest mysteries who is this overseas professor that george papadopolous was in contact with. we are beginning to learn. let's get to nic robertson in london. what are you learning about him? >> he appears to be because he
seems to fit the description in many, many ways, i'll explain here to be professor joseph mifsud. he was running the london academy of diplomacy, the london academy of media and diplomacy, the london international center for international law practice. these facilities are closed down. however i've been talking with a source who has known mifsud for a number of years now and he said that mifsud had pro-russian inclinations, brag about his relationship with leading russian figures like president putin, saying he had dinner with putin amongst a group of other people, even bragged to this source that they, the russians, had a lot of stuff, a lot of information, on hillary clinton. but the reason that we can perhaps get some clarity that mifsud is protein -- the professor, my source said mifsud
put him in contact with george papadopolous early april last year, because papadopolous -- he was introduced to papadopolous as an adviser for then candidate trump on foreign affairs. my source says he found papadopolous to be, he says, a nice guy but somebody who wasn't particularly well informed, didn't have a lot of depth of knowledge about foreign policy issues of which he was speaking. and that caused my source to have concern in his mind about the quality of papadopolous as a foreign policy adviser for president trump. these connections coming at the key time in the sort of second week of april last year. >> starting to get more and more details, more and more information about the players here. where that leads we will see. nick, great to see you. on george papadopolous he is clearly a key player in the mueller investigation, but what about the congressional probes? they're happening at the same time. manu raju is reporting this morning that senate intelligence committee has not interviewed him, has not interviewed him,
but that committee chairman, senator richard burr, says papadopolous was in constant contact with their legal team. so there is that. joining me now, is democratic congressm denny heck of washington. thanks for coming in. >> you're welcome, kate. >> the reporting i have seen is that your committee has not had a chance to meet with papadopolous either, but has he been on your radar as well? >> so, anybody and everybody associated with the trump campaign that may or may not have played a role in alleged collusion would be somebody on the radar, but as to the specific people that we have interviewed or will interview we've made a pledge not to reveal or disclose that unless we make the exception as we have this week, tomorrow, the social media platform companies will be in and as has been announced later in the week carter page will be in. >> would it be wrong to say that your committee has been in touch with papadopolous, albeit you haven't interviewed him? >> it would be wrong to disclose that either way.
that is what would be wrong. >> in light of the charges, you're keeping your pledge, good for you, in light of the charges, some republicans have been dodging questions on capitol hill about how they're reacting to all of this, others have had this to say. listen to this? >> it is big news. it's big news but this is what you get from a special counsel. they have made an indictment. i have nothing to add because i haven't read it. i'm not going to speculate on something i haven't read. >> the special counsel appointed by the department of justice and that is the person you need to be asking the questions. that's not our responsibility. >> is that a fair answer? >> i'm completely embarrassed. people walk by and we're making a lot of noise and i couldn't hear that and i apologize. >> it's okay. essentially paul ryan and john cornyn saying that's not their per view, this is the lane of the special prosecutor and that's where you should direct your questions for reaction on what is happening with the
investigation. >> it'sent with what speaker ryan has done all along not given enough credence to the importance of this investigation. despite that utterance we labor on and we will continue to. my perspective is different. i think all of the investigations under way kind of have a synergistic and positive effect. somebody discovers something, something is in the press, leads other people to become more serious than they have been in the past. truth of the matter is, i wish this were going better in some ways, but we are a million miles from where we were last january and that's good news for america. >> what do you mean going better? i wonder -- i have been wondering if the announcement of charges yesterday does it get in the way of your investigation at all? >> no. i think it propels it. any time and every time that there is a disclosure or revelation of a material and substantive nature i see some of my majority party colleagues lean into this more with earnest
than they had previously. i think it's going to end up being constructive. look, think about where we were ten months ago. the claims especially by the administration and some majority party members were this, it's all a hoax, no interference. that's dropped away. then it was, yeah, well there may have been interference but there was no talking, no collusion between the trump campaign and cutouts or russian government representatives and the fact of the matter that's now all fallen away. third what we're going to get to here, kate, is well, maybe all of that is true but didn't affect the outcome of the election except we're learning from the social media platform companies that by golly, more than half of the american public actually was exposed to some of this disinformation put out by the russian government. so one by one, they tend to be falling. >> let me ask you this, on that -- on this point of what the line is coming from trump and president trump and his team, here's the line today. collusion is not illegal.
the word from one of the president's attorneys, jay sekulow. there is no crime of collusion. technically he is not wrong. what do you say to that? >> these are the same people that said there was no interference and the same people that then said there was no collusion. so they were wrong on both those instances. and we'll see where this goes. look, i've said it to you on your program before, bob mueller is not going to be intimidated and not going to be misdirected and not going to be delayed or deceived or in any way distracted by the president's tweets. he's coming at this as the consummate professional that he is. >> your committee is also meeting with carter pain this week. he is another foreign policy adviser to the trump campaign and actually was on the same foreign policy advisory committee that papadopolous was on and he was also, of course, under scrutiny with his trips in connections to russia. here is what he had to say about yesterday's developments. >> were you guys on e-mail chains together, you and papadopolous?
>> look, there's a lot of e-mails all over the place when you're in a campaign. >> right. but were knew e-mail chains with papadopolous? >> probably a few. >> were you in e-mail chains with him about russia? >> it may have come up from time to time. again, there's nothing -- nothing major. >> so, that's what carter page is saying now. what questions do you now have for him? >> so, it's the same pledge that i alluded to earlier, kate. i'm not going to disclose that it is i'm going to ask carter page in advance of the hearing. it's a closed open hearing. only in congress could we come up with a phrase like that. afterwards the transcript will be made public and then all shall be revealed. >> closed/open, seems to be emblematic of what we see in congress. the name george papadopolous, when that popped up yesterday, was that news to you. >> i was actually a little bit surprised at his plea bargain.
i think it's probably pretty indicative of conventional wisdom in this case, is actually accurate, often isn't in this environment as you know, but i think director mueller is putting a squeeze on people and probably doing it through mr. papadopolous. one of the names that did not come up that surprised me frankly was general flynn. i kind of expected him to be on the list just on the basis waf we know -- basis of what we know he did through open sources but clearly as some people would like to say, this is not the beginning of the end. kate, this is the end of the beginning. >> do you think michael flynn comes next? is that what you're saying? >> i can't sequence them out for you. director mueller is like a million times better at this than i could ever hope to be. but i will say this, i said in the spring, kate, i don't remember if i said it with you on your program, that i would be surprised if there were people that did not go to jail and it with az little controversial at the time i said it. i will say now, i will be very,
very surprised if there aren't more names and more indictments in the not too distant future. >> we will see. congressman denny heck, thank you for the closed/open interview. i appreciate it. thank you, sir. coming up for us, the president's chief of staff john kelly is not the biggest fan of facing the press. he said that himself. why he was answering questions about the civil war and robert e. lee? why now? what he said that's sparking criticism today. that's coming up next. 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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white house chief of staff john kelly is not one to seek the spotlight but that is where he is today after offering his thoughts on the civil war and how it could have been avoided. kelly was speaking to fox news after being asked about if virginia church's decision to relee cate plaques honoring robert e. lee and george washington. here's what he said. >> i would tell you robert e.
lee is an honorable man, he is 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 it to state first back in the days. now it's different today. but the lack of an ability to compromise led to the civil war. men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand. >> all right. joining me right now, political reporter -- senior political reporter nia mallika henderson and political director david chalian. david, what is john kelly doing here? why is he taking questions about this? i mean, we've seen him in the briefing room, if he doesn't want to take a question, he won't take it. >> yeah. it's perplexing why he would want to delve into civil war history and to do so
incorrectly. i think that question is from what compromise is he talking about between slavery and freedom? it's unclear to me what the compromise is there. but i do think that this also just raises the larger issue, kate, which is that john kelly is very at home in the trump white house and i think we're seeing that more and more over the last couple weeks as he delves into more controversial issues, he seems almost sort of trump-ian in his responses. >> and i actually do want to get to that in a second but nia on this point as david is saying, we are all aware there were attempts at compromise before the outbreak of the civil war but sitting here in 2017, is it clear what compromise john kelly thinks the north should have ac tepted. >> i'm not surprised to hear john kelly say this. i grew up in the south. so this is kind of a talking point you often hear from people of a certain able, people of a
certain race -- >> that is never good when you start an answer with people of a certain age. >> i mean even if you go back and look at the civil war documentary, which i encourage john kelly to look at, shelby foot who wrote multiple volumes on the civil war said almost those exact words. that it with was a lack of an ability to compromise. but sort of the fuller context, of course, is compromise over slavery and how do you compromise over slavery, as david -- as david said. and i mean if you look at what lincoln was trying to do, he was, in fact, trying to compromise over slavery and the south didn't want to compromise over slavery because it was so key to their identity, so key to the economy, so key to the identity of white southern christians. so that is what's going on here. you know, i do think it reflects that south, obviously, lost the war but they sort of in some ways won the narrative battle and kind of memory of the civil
war and that's what he is speaking to. this idea that robert e. lee, who thought that black people were -- did some -- basically benefited from slavery. that was robert e. lee's philosophy, that slavery was good for black people because they needed to be civilized. he thought slavery was ba bad for white people because they were the ones that had to enslave black people to do them some good. i mean the thing about -- i think that is troubling about kelly is that he does tend to look at the past through these rose colored glasses. he talked about women being honored in the past and seen in a respectful with way. i mean if you think that women being treated as second-class citizens is honoring them, that was what the past was. he also seems to be impervious to new information, right. if you look at the frederica wilson controversy, he had the story completely wrong, the truth of what she said came out, and he still refused to apologize, refused to change his approach to that story.
so, you know, you would hope that john kelly will read about the civil war. i mean it's probably the most covered war and period of history in american history. i mean multiple volumes, hundreds of thousands of books written on that period. you would hope he would read a little more and kind of broaden his idea of what that war was actually about. >> both -- >> and less about the history, right, that it is about the modern political context for the white house chief of staff. >> right. >> to be giving an answer like that in 2017. yes, everyone should know their history and they should read up on it, but he's the sitting white house chief of staff answering a question like that in 2017. >> about what a church's decision is to do with plaques that they have. but it gets -- david to your point, so much discussion of how john kelly wasn't happy about how the president handled the response to the violent racist protests in charlottesville, do these comments, i don't know, shed new light or change the perspective on how the president responded then.
>> it certainly, i don't know if it sheds new lights on the president's comments but it brings them back into the spotlight and you thing that, you know, john kelly and donald trump sound a lot more alike when they're grappling publicly with these issues of race than they sound different from one another, right. >> yeah. kind of seems -- kind of seems that way. i mean, nia, i don't think there's going to be i guess we can't say there's going to be a correction coming from the white house on this one especially in light of what john kelly said about not wanting to apologize to frederica wilson either. >> i think that's right. that's another way in which he is like trump, right. it's sort of never backing down and never apologizing even when you're wrong, even when you're inaccurate and have part of the story. so i think again. >> well. >> he is like trump in that way with the civil war and frederica wilson. you know, i mean this whole idea of make america great again. i think john kelly believes in
that idea too. there's a nostalgia for the past he shares with donald trump. >> we've seen if you do apologize then you get in trouble with the boss. that's kind of what we've seen at least in this white house. nia and david, thank you. we appreciate it. >> thanks cate. >> coming up executives from facebook and twitter set to be grilled on capitol hill on how deep russia's reach was during the 2016 election, as the social media giants are revealing startling new numbers of how many americans were exposed to russian generated fake news. 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™
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.
content from a russian government linked troll farm. we are talking about posts that are meant to stir up division leading up to the 2016 election and facebook isn't alone. today representatives from facebook, google, and twitter, will all be before the senate judiciary committee and you can expect a grilling on just how russia used their platforms to get in the way of our politics. cnn's drew griffin is in washington with more on this. the number says it all, 16 million just facebook. what is facebook saying about this? >> it is astounding but let me walk you through it to tell you how they got to that figure. we know that 470 or so fake accounts were found at the internet research agency in st. petersburg, russia. call them kremlin connected pr firm trying to send americans fake news ors news that messes up the election. 29 million americans got direct messages on their facebook feed from those accounts.
and what facebook is saying the 29 million americans reposted it and shared it with their friends so many times over the course of two years, 126 million americans would have been reached. as big as that number sounds the general counsel will try to tell senators that wasn't that big of a reach over the course of two years liking it to having to watch 600 or so hours of tv just to see one commercial. i'm not sure the senators are going to buy that. and as for the second question you ask about collusion, i think that is the much bigger question. i'm not sure if the senators are going to drill down on collusion, but i can tell you, the experts we've been talking to, kate, believe that facebook, twitter, and google know the answer to this. where those messages coming out of russia, simultaneously coming out of the trump campaign was there coordination with
incidental timing. facebook apparently has the data and i'm not sure if they will be asked about it. i wish i could subpoena those people and come over here at cnn, but we will have to wait and see what senators have to say. >> first you have to get elected and then get on a committee and then you, too, can ask the questions. great to see you, drew. thank you so much. joining me right now is cnn senior media correspondent brian stelter host of "reliable sources" and special counsel at the defense department and coeditor in chief of "just security" brian goodman. thanks for being here. >> the number is huge and just facebook. what do you think it means? >> everyone has the experience of scrolling through the news feed, scrolling by items not paying attention. >> right. >> so most people may no the have paid attention to this russian propaganda. it didn't take most people, it only took a couple million or a couple hundred thousand given how close the election was in key states. we talked a lot in the last 12 months about fake news, not president trump's definition but fake stories that are made up to
design and deceive you. a lot is done for financial game gain but some done by the foreign governments trying to affect elections and the question for the -- for facebook and twitter and google today and tomorrow is what are you doing now to make sure this never happens again? because i don't see enough action being taken to stop it in the future. >> on "today," ryan, it made me remember an interview that was done with cheryl sam burg of facebook recently and a lot of criticism leading up to this big names that haven't been forthcoming about what they know but facebook knows more as drew is getting to more than what they've been saying. listen to how sheryl sandberg answered the questions. little while ago. >> what have you all learned about the overlap and targeting between the trump campaign and the russian accounts? >> targeting on facebook is broad. tas -- it's used by everyone. targeting is used by everyone. we allow targeting to different
groups. we've had problems -- >> overlap between the trump campaign and these russian accounts? >> targeting is something everyone uses and it really goes to the heart of what targeting is. so the hard conversation is, why do we allow targeting to groups? there are times you shouldn't and we take this really seriously. >> the trump campaign and the russian accounts you don't know or you won't tell me? >> when the ads get released we will also be releasing the targeting for those ads and so again, we're going to be fully transparent. >> and wasn't fully transparent, obviously, in that answer. is the -- is facebook going to have to have a better answer today? >> they know. it's just that she wouldn't tell. he asked her three times. the best most charitable read is that they're giving that information behind the scenes to the congressional investigators. and to mueller. but today they're going to have at leasts to address that question squarely under a lot of pressure. >> do you think we will see the ads ourselves, the public. >> that's a huge question. i think we should.
>> why not? >> i think we will tomorrow. there's a lot we don't know but i have a feeling we're going to see some of the congressmen go ahead and make these available. these are ads, you know, that were bought by these russian troll farms with divisive messages. >> i don't understand the argument why not. especially if it's labeled these are the bad acts. >> the public has a right to know. if you go into a medical facility you are exposed to communicable disease the facility has to notify you that happened. if you have a data breach and your private information was compromised they have to notify you. why wouldn't they have to notify the public in this instance. what facebook says on their site, they will share it with congress and share it with mueller but won't share it with the american public and cite a 1986 law, but that law really is about truly private communications and would not be a private communication talking about something like an ad. >> and this all gets to a key question which lawmakers would say we're no closer to, any
closer to protecting and making sures this doesn't happen in 2018 one year from now than they were clearly not prepared to deal with in this in 2016. >> we should be skeptical because i don't see that proof yet. >> thank you so much. you can add -- you can add the fbi now to the growing list of investigations aimed at whitefish, the very small power company that landed a huge government contract to try to help restore power in puerto rico. the new questions are piling up. that's coming up. you wouldn't do only half
in the dark. that's almost six weeks after hurricane maria. now the fbi is getting involved launching an investigation into the $300 million contract landed by a small firm, white fish energy to get the power back on that is likely a topic on capitol hill as they hold hearings on the hurricane response. let's go to renee as they go to washington and keep tabs on all of this. what do we know about the investigation? >> we know that the fbi opened this preliminary investigation and i will want to bring your attention to the fact that on capitol hill right now, the head of fema is fielding questions and literally a second ago before coming on air with you, he was asked about this whole white fish contract. i want to give you just a little sliver of what the head of fema just told lawmakers. he said this was nothing to do with the contract.
there was no lawyer inside of fema who would have ever agreed to the language of the contract. he said fema raised the red flag and there were many things wrong. he goes on to tell lawmakers there was also language in the contract that said the federal government would never audit white fish. he said there is not a lawyer inside fema who would have ever agreed to that. that is just seconds ago coming from the hearing. >> wow. >> exactly. pretty strong words, the strongest we have heard yet from fema. as you mentioned off the top in the background of all of this, the fbi opened a preliminary inquiry into this contract. kate? >> fema didn't sign off on it and now the dominos are falling. who exactly did as fbi investigates. great to see you. still ahead, distracted, seething. white officials are not painting a rosing picture of how
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>> welcome to inside politics. i'm dana bash. john king is off today. papa who? we learn more about the trump adviser front and center in robert mueller's russia probe, team trump is kicking the man candidate trump once praised to the curb. >> i never heard of papadopoulos. he never showed up at trump tower and never had any interaction with the campaign leaders. >> george was such a low level volunteer, i don't recall having much interaction with him throughout the