tv CNN Special Report The Trump- Russia Investigation CNN January 5, 2018 7:00pm-8:30pm PST
of the intelligence community during his first face-to-face meeting with them. you do learn a lot and you great better understanding of what this investigation is all about, anderson. >> pamela brown, thank you very much. time now for the cnn special report, the trump-russia investigation. >> announcer: the following is a cnn special report. only being a politician for a short period of time, how am i doing? am i doing okay? i'm president. i'm president. you believe it, right? >> a shadow hangs over the white house. >> why so many lies? >> this is not normal. >> the most explosive evidence yet in the russia investigation. >> the urgent questions. >> was it appropriate for you to meet with the russian officials? >> is it true that mr. manafort owed you millions of dollars? >> how is all of that not
collusion? >> at the heart of the tru trump-rush mitrump trump-russia mystery. >> i have nothing to do with russia. >> but there were secret contacts. >> breaking and stunning news. release of an e-mail chain. >> it came from russians. >> some denials that defy facts. >> i don't know what you're talking about. it's disgusting, so phony. >> i didn't take any money from russia, if that's what you're asking. >> a shocking dismissal. >> the president of the united states has terminated the director of the fbi. >> he's a show boat, he's a grand stander. >> those we l plain and simple. donald trump's chag stories. >> i own nothing in russia. i don't have any deals in russia. >> i've done a lot of business with the russians. >> compliments for vladimir putin. >> he is very much of a leader. he's done an amazing job. so start. >> where does the storyn end?
>> you may or may not find evidence of an impeachable offense. >> the russian story is a total fabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics. [ speaking foreign language ] good evening. i'm pamela brown. for more than a year i've been part of a cnn team investigating this critically important story. a consensus of u.s. intelligence agencies concluded that russia interfered with the treasured right of american democracy, the free and fair election of a president. the big question now, were the russians working with any associates of donald trump or his company or his campaign? we followed hundreds of
different threads to financers. we've reported new information almost every day. tonight we will bring that reporting all together in one place to tell a complete story. we don't know how this investigative journey will end, but we do know where it starts. ♪ >> in november of 2013, donald trump brought the miss universe pageant to moscow. >> russia and putin, you know, i was in moscow and they treated me so great. putin even sent me a present, beautiful present. >> hi, everybody. welcome to moscow! >> it's an amazing location.
moscow. all of russia is going wild over it money the miss universe pageant is setting records. >> trump seemed to have the time of his life. >> wow. that's really -- >> you're looking very -- >> that is really nice. now i belong. >> the big man on campus. >> donald trump. >> this is the unlikely place where an unusual cast of characters first emerged. men who would end up in the middle of an investigation that has plagued a presidency. donald trump was paid between 12 and $20 million to bring miss unerse t russia. >> russia wanted it, moscow wanted it, everybody wanted the miss universe. we had 18 countries that wanted it. they fought really hard to get it. >> the money came from this man.
a billionaire developer, friend of vladimir putin, sometimes called the trump of russia. >> then they were whisked away to the magnificent aguilara estate. >> miss universe was a family affair. son emin sang at the pageant. and his mom got a job, too. >> fashion and beauty expert, irina agalarova! >> trump seemed thrilled with his new russian friends. before the pageant, trump invited the agalarovas to dinner. and also there was music publicist rob goldstone. a fan of silly facebook posts, he he's the man who wrote the
infamous e-mails to donald trump jr., e-mails that promised dirt on hillary clinton. and emin, the singer, would later help goldstone set up the trump tower meeting with russians. and there was one more mystery guest, who would later show up at trump tower. ike kaveladze. trump wined and dined all of them but he was after a bigger well, we've invited president. putin. i know he'd like to go. >> before the miss universe deal, donald trump almost never spoke of vladimir putin. it was 2013 when he seemed to address an intense admiration for the russian strong man. >> he's put himself -- a lot of people would say he's put himself at the forefront of the world as a leader. he's done an amazing job of showing certain leadership our people have not been able to
match. >> he would echo those sentiments for years to come. >> putin has an 80% popularity in this country. he's so outsmarting the united states that all of a sudden the people in russia like him. run but a very smart cookie, much smarter than our president. >> this was when trump began giving conflicting reports about knowing putin. >> do you have a relationship? >> do i have a relationship. >> what exactly is your relationship with vladimir put snn. >> i have no relationship with put s putin. >> he would change his story repeatedly. >> we were stable mates. we did very good that night. >> i don't know him, i have nothing to do with him, i know nothing other than he will respect me. >> vladimir putin did not show up at the pageant but he made
other contacts. >> i got to meet other leaders there. it was a top-level event. >> i was with oligarchs and generals. >> it's hard to say if oligarchs or generals were at the party. >> everybody was there. it was a massive event. it was tremendous. >> but trump did have at least one business meeting. >> we're thinking about doing a trump tower moscow. >> trump sent this good-bye tweet to his new russian friends. fantastic job, he said. trump tower moscow is next. four years would pass, but the players at miss universe would return to take center stage in >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> the most explosive evidence yet in the rusa investigation. >> it was in july just six
months ago. >> breaking and stunning news, the release of an e-mail chain from last june. >> -- that the world first learned about the trump tower meeting. >> e-mails revealed that donald trump jr. went into a meeting with a russian lawyer. >> the president's son had a secret meeting with russians. >> clearly told she was working for the kremlin and that she had damaging information on hillary clinton. >> and it wasn't just don jr. paul manafort and jared kushner were there, too. >> the subject line of the e-mail chain, russia-clinton, private and confidential. >> i thought it might have been fake. >> russia-clinton private and confidential? >> who follows them down that rat hole? >> not very smart people. >> what? seriously, what? >> some of the e-mails read like a script for a bond movie, but they were written by rob
goldstone and donald trump jr. >> information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and would be very useful to your father. >> this can't be dismissed as people out to get donnald j. trump jr. or fake news. this is evidence of willingness to commit collusion. >> the offer of political dirt came courtesy of agalarov with assist from his pop son emin. >> this is obviously very high level and sensitive information, but it's part of russia and its government's support for mrmr. mr. trump. >> when donald trump jr. is told the russian government is trying to elect your father president, he doesn't say what do you mean? how can that be? he says, "i want to hear this."
>> the actual response? >> "if it's what you say, i love it." >> the trump camcamp's explanats were confusing. >> strange and conflicting responses. >> trump jr. told the the "new york times" it was, quote, a short introductory meeting primarily about russian adoption. cnn reported that president trump helped write the statement while he was flying home from the g-20 summit. >> he weighed in and offered suggestion like any father would do. >> but the statement was misleading so there were questions about how large a role the president might have played in crafting it. >> it is something that i think the special counsel is very interested in and he wants to know who was involved in the itingf it. >> if a misleading statement was put out, the core question is
the classic question of intent. were trump administration officials starting with the president himself lying to the public about the nature of his campaign dealings with russia? >> the mueller team has questioned some who were on air force i when the statement was being written, including white house communication director hope hicks. when the story of the meeting first broke, trump defenders downplayed it. >> i don't know much about it other than it seems to be a big nothing burger. >> this is a massive nothing burger. >> hillary clinton? >> finally don jr. acknowledged the full story, that he had met with a russian lawyer offering dirt on hillary clinton. >> the stories kept changing about what the meeting was about. >> we got more information when donald trump jr. appeared on fox news. >> someone sent me an e-mail. i can't help what someone sends me, you know?
i read it, i responded accordingly. and if something was interesting there, i think it pretty common. >> the difference in this case was that it came from russians. >> russia, america's adversary. sean hannity did not press trump jr. about russian interference, but one year earlier, jake tapper did. he asked trump jr. about what were then still just suspicions. >> robbie mook, the campaign manager for secretary of state hillary clinton, i asked him about the dnc leak and he suggested that experts were saying that russians were behind both the hacking of the dnc e-mails and their release. >> in keep mind as you watch this, it was six weeks after the trump tower meeting, afterrump jr. had been told russia wanted to help his father win. >> it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. they'll say anything to be able
to win this. this is time and time again, lie after lie. it d it's disgusting. it's so phony. >> journalists began questioning everything they heard. >> you are 100% confident that no one in the campaign, not don jr., not jared kushner, not paul plauf manafort, no one in the campaign told the president about what happened? >> i don't know how that's coming into the picture. the president of not at the meeting, was not aware at the meeting, did not participate in the meeting. the fact is the president of not involved. >> there's a legal side and a political side. >> you're out there saying constantly there was no effort to collude with the russians in any way, shape or form. suddenly you have your son, your campaign manager and your senior adviser all in a meeting with
russians who have promised to bring you dirt. >> on the very same day his son set up that meeting, donald trump told a crowd that he would soon have something to share on the clintons. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the clintons. i think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. >> trump never did give that speech. but finally with all of washington buzzing about the trump tower meeting, donald trump weighed in from france. >> i think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research or even research into your opponent. >> even among republicans, the response was, really? >> any time you're in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your
campaign, the answer is no. >> from the moment you watch mr. dr. shivago to the point you had a shot of liquor with a guy in a furry hat, you need to disclose every contact you have ever had with russia. >> donald trump jr. said he had done that. >> so as far as you know, in is all of it? >> this is everything. this is everything. >> but it was not everything. there were more russian there is who were never mentioned. >> today we learned more people were in that meeting than just the lawyer and the three members of the trump team. so you're learning more about who was the eighth person in the meeting between donald trump and -- >> it was a friend of the agalarov family. >> we're waiting to find out if there were any russians in new
york that day who were not in that meeting. it was jared kushner, paulm manafort, rob goldstone, rin yacht akhmetshin, ike kaveladze, a russian translator and nata a natalia. >> she denied bringing up any dirt on hillary clinton. >> i want to make sure everyone understands there was never a talk about damaging information about mrs. clinton.
>> now she says she may have had dirt about alleged illegal donations to the clinton campaign. >> natalia says she provided certain documents to the russian prosecutor general. >> agalarov family attorney spoke. >> she referenced the possibility that money was provided to the clinton campaign. >> no people has now grown to 12 people, trump associates who have had contact with russians. two of the most prominent have been charged with crimes. michael flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi. paul manafort pleaded not guilty to, among other charges, money laundering. you'll hear more about them later in this story, but one
lesser known player is alson the hot seat. donald trump first mentioned him at a meeting with "washington post" editors in 2016. >> george papadopoulos, an oil and energy consultant. excellent guy. >> excellent guy george papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi in the russia investigation. >> you called george papadopoulos an excellent guy. what is your reaction? what's your reaction to george papadopoulos? >> the trump team has been working overtime to portray him as a nobody. >> this individual was the member of a volunteer advisory council. >> he was the coffee boy. if he was going to wear a wire, all we'd know is whether he prefers regular american coffee. >> but the coffee boy found his way to the big boy table with donald trump and other top campaign people. >> he doesn't know how to even make a coffee. >> the fiancee of george
papadopoulos says he was much more than a coffee boy. >> he attended many events and entertained contacts of high-level officials of different countries. he was actively giving his input and insight in terms of strategies. >> and it turns out papadopoulos may be the very reason there's a trump-russia investigation. "the new york times" reports back in may of 2016 papadopoulos told an australian diplomat that the kremlin had thousands of e-mail that could be damaging to hillary clinton. two months later, the e-mails began to leak. australian told u.s. officials what the young campaign aides had to say. papadopoulos is now cooperating with the mueller team. when we come back -- >> the president thinks this is a witch hunt. is there any way can you respond to that?
>> before there was a mueller investigation. >> he's become more famous and me. >> there was a comey investigation. >> i remember stand being in the newsroom and somebody gasped and i thought oh god, what happened? >> the jim comey bombshell that no one saw coming. >> it's a dark moment in american history today. hey, you every talk to anybody about your money? yeah, i got some financial guidance a while ago. how'd that go? he kept spelling my name with an 'i' but it's bryan with a 'y.' yeah, since birth. that drives me crazy. yes. it's on all your email. yes. they should know this? yeah. the guy was my brother-in-law. that's ridiculous. well, i happen to know some people. do they listen? what? they're amazing listeners. nice. guidance from professionals who take their time to get to know you.
jeopardy. >> moments ago, breaking news that no one saw coming today. >> i remember standing in the newsroom and somebody gasped. >> a bombshell at the white house, joames comey is out. >> president trump had abrougua fired the man in charge of his russia investigation. >> this is not how presidents behave. it's a dark moment in american history today. >> one senator said it has plunged the country into a full-fledged crisis. >> it fueled speculation and raised questions about how the investigation was handled. >> comey wasn't even in the country. >> he was talking to fbi agents
in los angeles and he looks up and sees he's fired from television? >> that is what we were told. >> that just gives you a sense of how impulsive this firing was and it really did backfire. >> the underlying facts are not in dispute. the president fired james comey. the question is why. >> the white house coms department didn't know about this. >> the media team was scrambling to answer reporters' questions. >> they couldn't come up with talking points, an explanation and basic facts. and sean spicer was left standing by the bushes. >> just turn the lights off. >> no camera for a moment. >> let just relax and enjoy the night, have a glass of wine. >> they deliberately didn't tell the press office because they thought the press office would leak it. this is at that moment when he was hugely mistrustful of his own staff. >> a memo written by rod rosen
ste stein. >> he expected a certain measure of personal loyalty from sessions, which is not how the u.s. government is supposed to work. >> "the new york times" reported when trump heard that sessions might recuse himself, he ordered white house counsel don mcgahn to stop it. and trump is still angry at sessions. >> it's a bunch of dominos. rod rosenstein appointed a special counsel and he believed there would be not a special counsel if jeff sessions remained engaged in the investigation. >> the "times" reports that special counsel robert mueller is looking at the matter as a
part of a potential obstruction of justice case. meanwhile, the chaos continued. >> what was it like? >> you have to ask the deputy attorney general. >> but he just started two weeks ago. would the white house have told him to do that? >> the memo was critical of comey's handling of hillary clinton's e-mails before the election. >> why now are you concerned about the hillary clinton e-mail investigation when as a candidate donald trump was praising it from the campaign trail? >> i think you're looking at the wrong set of facts here. in other words, you're going back to the campaign. this man is the president of the united states. he acted decisively today. he took the recommend days of his deputy attorney general, who oversees -- >> that makes no sense. >> finally trump gave what appeared to be his real reason. >> i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> the day after comey was fired, trump shared his feelings
about it with russian officials visiting the oval office. according to the "new york times," the president said "i just fired the head of the fbi. he was crazy, a real nut job." >> it was a staggering moment. disparaging the director of the fbi, albeit fired, to an adversarial power? >> the president also said this "i face great pressure because of russia. that's taken off." >> the words alleving pressure i think are going to raise questions for investigators. >> the president has consistent li consistently said he did not obstruct justice when he fired james comey. the two men come from completely different worlds. >> james comey is a professional law man. he has a respect for the traditions of the justice department. >> it should be about the facts and the law. that's why i became fbi director. >> donald trump, on the other
hand, is a businessman. >> he expects absolute loyalty from everybody working for him. that's the culture in which he has operated for many, many years. >> their relationship got off to a bad start. before the inauguration, james comey was in charge of telling donald trump about the dossier, containing allations about the president gathered asart of an opposition research project during the campaign. >> i didn't want him thinking that i was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way. >> it turns out that's exactly what the president thought, according to an interview he gave the "new york times." >> trump's reaction was anger. he said it was completely false. >> the encounter apparently didn't sit well with comey either. >> we went back to the fbi suburban and pulled out a
classified computer and wrote his first memo about his interactions with donald trump. >> i was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting so i felt it really important to document. >> comey's next public encounter with the president was awkward. the director of the fbi thought it was crucial to keep his distance. >> he stands in the part of the room that is physically as far from the president has it's possible to be. >> but then -- >> he's become more famous than me. >> it encapsulated the difficult position comey was in because he was at once the fbi director answer able to the president of the united states but also conducting an investigation of the trump campaign, which the president obviouslyhad. >> you've seen the picture of me walking across the blue room. what t president whispered in
my ear was "i really look forward to working with you." >> the president kept reaching out. next came an invitation to dinner at the white house. >> the very fact that the president, whose campaign is under investigation, is asking to have dinner with the fbi director alone raises all sorts of red flags, as it did for comey. >> the dinner was an effort to build a relationship. in fact, he asked specifically of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay. >> the president's words, according to comey, i need loyalty, i expect loyalty. >> he was asking for something. i was refusing to give it. >> the white house denied he was asking for personal loyalty. >> i think the president wants loyalty to this country and to the rule of law. >> it is their last meeting which may prove to be critical in the investigation of potential obstruction of justice. >> just picture the scene in the
oval office. the fbi director is there with his boss, jeff sessions, with other very senior officials. they are told to leave the room by the president and then it's just a one on one. >> why would you kick the attorney gel, the chief of stf out to talk to me? my impress was something big was about to happen. >> this was one day after national security adviser michael flynn had been forced out. the white house said flynn was fired because he lied to the vice president about his conversations with the russian ambassador. questions have been raised about whether the president knew flynn also lied to the fbi, which is a federal crime. so another critical question is whether trump knew it when he said this according to comey -- "i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he a good guy." >> the president of the united states with me alone saying "i
hope this," i took it as this is what he wants me to do. i didn't obey that but that's the way i took it. >> it is so wildly inappropriate and so contrary to how the president is supposed to work and it may well be evidence of a crime. >> did you at any time urge former fbi director james comey to close or back down the investigation into michael flynn? >> no. no. next question. >> it may have been comey's appearance on capitol hill just days before he was fired in early may that finally sealed his fate. comey was asked about his decision to publicly announce the reopening of the clinton e-mail investigation before the election. >> look, this was terrible. it makes me mild live nauseoly think we might have had some impact on the election but honestly, it wouldn't have changed the decision. >> comey's concern that he affected the outcome of the
election infuriated trump. >> he's a show boater, a grandstander. >> trump hears that as you're questioning whether i should be in the oval office right now. >> the president spent a rainy weekend at his golf resort stewing about james comey's testimony. >> he came become and said i'm going to do it, i'm going to fire james comey. >> among those supporting the decision, son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner. >> it did show that some of the people around the president supporting this are beyond politically naive. >> after the firing, james comey revealed something extraordinary. >> i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with the reporter. >> it described his last meeting with the president in the oval office. >> i thought that my prompt the
appointment of a special counsel. >> this is huge. >> this is a significant step. we're learning that the deputy attorney general rod rose nstei robert mueller to oversee the investigation of. >>hat would not have happened had president trump not fired james comey. >> still ahead, chasing an oligarch. >> is it true that mr. manafort owed you millions of dollars when he was the head of the trump campaign? >> to chase down the real story. >> did he offer those private briefings to you as a way to try and repay that debt? >> on all the president's men. >> will you sign my russian flag? please, sign my russian flag.
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paul manafort will surrender today. >> indictment, conspiracy against the united states. >> a former campaign chairman indicted on nine counts. >> i have the smartest people. >> trusted adviser jared kushner. >> a top adviser who discussed back-door communications with ruck russi russia. >> and a national security adviser guilty of lying to the fbi. >> i have the best people. >> paul manafort, jared kushner and michael flynn. this is the story of all the
president's men. >> i got the best in the world. >> settle down, guys. you all right? ready? okay. >> november 10th, 2016. >> we talked about some of the organizational issues. >> two days after the election, president obama gives his successor a piece of advice. >> that ensures our president-elect is successful. >> do not hire michael flynn -- >> and now the oath of office. >> -- as your national security adviser. cnn was told something by u.s. officials that was deeply concerning. >> the next president of the united states right here! >> during the campaign, american intelligence picked up the russians bragging that they had a strong relationship with flynn. >> you have to take some of the conversations we were told with
a little bit of a grain of salt, but this set off an alarm for obama administration officials who were quite worried about it. >> you know, people talk about temperament -- >> flynn had worried intelligence officials for months. in 2015 the retired three-star general appeared on the kremlin-funded news channel r.t. >> russia and the united states have to work together on this. >> he even at an event celebrating r.t.'s tenth anniversary and sat next to vladimir putin at dinner. >> you have a former top intelligence official at the united states celebrates this gala for what seems to be the propaganda arm of the government. >> flynn made almost $34,000 for his appearance. but investigators looking into his security appearance said flynn told them he did not take any money for the trip from a foreign source. >> i didn't take any money from russia if that's what you're asking me. >> congressional members from
both parties have said he may have broken the law in the process. >> it appears as if he did take that money. it was inappropriate and there are repercussions for the violation of law. >> it leads investigators to wonder why aren't you disclosing certain things? what do you have to hide? >> flynn has denied what he calls, quote, false accusations of treason. but the bombshell of robert mueller's investigation -- flynn pleaded guilty of lying to the fbi. he told fbi agents he had not discussed sanctions with russia's ambassador during the transition. but he had talked sanctions and the fbi knew it because the ambassador had been monitored by u.s. telligence. >> he said he didn't do it and there were transcripts clearly showing that he did. >> what's more, flynn admitted in the plea deal that the sanctions talk had been
coordinated with trump's transition team. >> the white house cannot argue this was michael flynn going off as a loose cannon here. >> a white house lawyer claimed that flynn's guilty plea didn't implicate anyone else. >> but mueller only charged him with one count. so it possible that mueller has an even bigger story to tell. paul manafort, the president's former campaign chairman is also facing possible jail time. he's charged with money laundering millions of dollars, concealing his work for a foreign government and conspiring against the united states. he has pleaded not guilty. >> the special counsel makes a very aggressive argument that this is someone who can't be trusted. >> manafort made a lot of his money working for this man,
putin's ally, victor jarn covism, the former president of ukraine. he was a strong man who presided over a deadly crackdown against pro tessetesters in the streets kiev. he left his country in disgrace. manafort had helped bring him to power. >> paul manafort has for decades been the washington lobbyist and influence peddler around the world for a lot of the most vicious dictators we've seen. >> the question is was manafort also linked to russia's strong man, vladimir putin? >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you and your campaign and putin and his regime? >> no, there are not. it absurd and there's no basis to it. >> but u.s. intelligence saw a different story. agents intercepted
communications from suspected russian operatives asks for him. >> they describe him encouraging assistance to donald trump's campaign. >> reporter: his ties to russia go way back. he worked for a close associate of putin. oleg, one of a few wealouhew we oligarchs he consults with quickly. >> he can pick up a phone to the oligarchs and say, hey, i need to get a message out and it gets done because he's vladimir putin and that's how it works. >> manafort offered to brief him privately on how the campaign was going, according to "the washington post." >> it's not often that the russians get somebody to volunteer like that. >> does he owe you millions of dollars? >> in fact, court documents indicate that manafort may have been in debt to him.
>> did he offer you those private briefings to try and repay some of that debt to you? is that why he offered them? >> get lost, please. thank you. >> he told cnn the oligarch was never offered briefings by manafort. manafort has denied that he was in debt to him during the trump campaign and afterwards but he has admitted that manafort offered the briefings. manafort was also at the trump tower meeting with the russians in june 2016. >> mr. kushner, will you sign my russian flag? please, sign my russian flag. >> and so was the president's son-in-law, jared kushner. >> do you have any comment, mr. kushner? >> kushner hasn't been charged with any crimes but troubling questions have been raised about his connections to russia. >> jared kushner is incredibly important for several reasons. he's a witness to virtually all the central issues in this
investigation. he is also important because he's an independent actor. he is someone who had contact with russian representatives. >> kushner has monot been forthcoming about those contacts. he was required by law to disclose them to the fbi to get a security clearance. but he has repeatedly admitted foreign contacts and had to submit his forms four times, sparking tough questions from both parties. his reasons for the revisions range from forgetfulness to a clerical error. >> there have been stories that have been appearing for months about jared kushner's meetings. >> december 1st, 2016, kushner meets with russian ambassador kisly kislyak. they discussed setting up a back
channel with moscow at russia's own embassy. >> you have to say that raises a red flag and say, well, why wouldn't this reported? >> kushner claimed he wanted to discuss syria and said the arrangement was never set up. some in u.s. intelligence believe that kislyak was one of russia's top spies in washington. >> did you recruit any members of the trump administration? >> december 13th, 2016, kushner meets with sergei gorkov, the head of a sanctioned russian bank that's often funded putin's pet projects, like the sochi olympics. the bank was also used as a cover by a russian spy in new york city who went to prison for espionage. >> the fbi now says it has busted a russian spy ring. >> he was one of three russian spies. >> and gorkov himself attended the training academy for russian
intelligence operatives. >> what did you really speak to jared kushner about in new york when you met him in december? >> no comment. >> there have been questions about whether kushner might have discussed his >> kushner owns a storied fifth avenue building with a reported $1.2 billion mortgage coming due. kushner says his business dealings never came up and that all of his meetings with russians were nothing to worry about. >> i did not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone else that did so. >> but they imply that it was about business, referring to kushner as the head of kushner industries. robert mueller's team has
questioned his influence. >> did anyone in your campaign have contacts with russia in the course of the investigation? >> investigators still have many questions. >> how many times do i have to answer this question. i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge no person that i deal wit does. >> mr. trump -- >> when we return. >> i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. >> but but donald trump has made money with russias. >> i paid $40 million, i sold it for $100 million to a russian. you always pay
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in the situation room we have major breaking news right now. the justice department just named a special council in the russian investigation. >> this is a significant step. >> a development that could change everything. >> i think we will see justice. >> bob mueller is very thorough. good for the investigation, maybe not so much for president trump. >> does anybody have any questions? >> the day after that bomb shell announcement, president trump had his first chance to strike back. >> was this the right move or is this part of a witch hunt? >> i respect the move, but the
entire thing has been a witch hunt. >> this is a witch hunt and a hoax. >> russia is a ruse. >> a fiction, a fabrication. it's all fake news. >> no matter what the trump team would call it, the russia investigation was very real. >> the president -- >> i built an unbelievable company, there is nothing in russia. >> if you listen to the statements of the president and his team about the mueller investigation, they feel like financial issues should be walled off. >> to look at a real estate deal from ten years ago would be outside of the mandate and we would object to that. >> it is clear that mueller's team is looking directly as his
business dealings for the understandable reason that money can be a motive. >> we followed the money to the very beginning of trump's connection to russia, decades earlier when 41-year-old donald trump took off for his first business trip to moscow. >> he was flush with money. and he was invited to russia. so he and ivana went to russia and tried to make a deal to build a trump tower there. >> that deal never happened. >> but again and again trump would keep on trying. >> he tried at least five times to build a trump tower in moscow. >> he has an enormous ability to deny reality. reality is, during the campaign, not just in ancient history.
during the campaign, he was negotiating for a hotel to be built in moscow. >> aaron, we learned that michael cohen his personal lawyer was in talked with moscow about a proposal to build a trump tower there. >> that is the definition of business dealings in russia. >> the deal, outlined in a nonbinding letter of intent signed by trump fell through but not before trump's attorney reached out to the kremlin for help. >> cohen said he e-mailed vladimir putin's spokesperson for help on the issue. >> i don't want to make deals -- >> according to james henry, all of the focus on his deals in russia might be missing the point. >> it is not so much that he has
invested in russia, he is receiving finance. >> i have more oligarchs living in my buildings -- >> have you had any dealings with the russians? >> i have done a lot of business with the russians. >> back in 2008 at the height of the u.s. housing collapse, trump made a record breaking deal with a russian oligarch. >> he bought from donald trump a mansion about two miles in palm beach, florida. >> i paid $40 million, and i sold it for $100 million, and i sold it to a russia. >> mr. donald j. trump. >> he would reappear in the 2016 election. when according to the news, his
private plane was spotted in two u.s. cities where trump was campaigning, concord, north carolina, and las vegas, nevada. >> it certainly looks suspicious. a leading russian oligarch bird dogs our presidential candidate. >> he called it a pure coincidence that occurred while he was traveling on unrelated business. >> we don't understand that to this day. >> what remains clear is that this this oligarch is not the only one to have bolstered his bottom line. >> there is a surprising amount of russians in every deal everywhere. >> after a collapse that threaten today end his empire for good, trump spent most of the decade digging out from under enormous debt. >> he was unfinanceable by major
banks. >> luckily a new source of money was right around the corner. >> an avalanche of money pouring in while he is in serious trouble, financially. >> after the collapse of the soviet union in 1991, russia's state owned businesss moved in wealthy hands. some of whom began investing in american real estate. >> if you want to be noticed you buy real estate. >> in the years that followed, bloomberg tower and the developments in florida filled up with russian buyers. >> i'm donald trump and i'm the largest real estate developer in
new york. >> and donald trump was finding his way into american living rooms across the country. >> he turning into an actor playing a successful businessman. >> who will be the "apprentice". >> and it opened the door for trump to a new way of making money. >> he shifted his business model. he started licensing his name and putting it on everything. >> putting it it in a haphazard kind of way. >> when it comes to great stakes, i just raised the steaks. >> he licensed neckties, buildings, beautiful, beautiful solution that hey, if i don't ask a lot of questions and i low my name to go on projects, then i'll get paid. >> he got a multimillion fee up
front to get the trump name on it. >> the trump soho is a very, very special building. >> in the case of trump tower soho, the trump organization got 18% ownership of the tower without investing a single dime according to bloomberg news. >> thank you very much. >> the financing for the project was left up to his partner. >> a problematic project from top to bottom. >> a lawsuit accuses him of money laundering and it has ties to russia and russia organized crime. they deny the allegations. >> there is a -- why would trump ever do business with those guys? >> guys like russia born felix. and they say the suit acuting him of shady dealings is a shake
down. >> a twice convicted felony, after his second conviction, he cop ra cooperated on cases with the justice department. >> he was accused of stabbing someone in the neck with a ma margarita class. then fraud with penny stocks. >> his business ties extended well beyond the soho deal. together they explored additional trump deals in the u.s. and abroad. but in sworn testimony in a 2013 deposition, trump insisted he barely even knew sader. >> about how many times have you converses with mr. sader. >> over the years?
not many. if he was sitting in the room right now i wouldn't really know what he looked like. >> it is absolutely up tree that trump doesn't know sader. >> at one time he held a card for the trump organization. he was also got between for the recent and controversial attempt at trying to build trump tower moscow. he urged him to come and tour the proposal and suggested to him he could help him win the presidency. >> the e-mails have come out where you see sater saying we could use this business opportunity to get him elected. >> trump was trying to get closer to russia, and repair relations with russia.
>> there is nothing i can think of that i would rather do than have -- >> the question for the investigation is whether or not the reason trump was reaching out to russia is because he was making money or expecting to make money from relationships with putin's people. fl[ gasps, laughs ]c, progressive gives you options based on your budget. you ever feel like... cliché foil characters scheming against a top insurer for no reason? nah.
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250,000 followers of a facebook page. and precisely the same time and place people gather for the united muslims of america facebook event. shoxingly, americans had nothing to do with starting those facebook groups. for about $200, russians got 15,000 people to see the ad. >> you may very well will driven
by a protest. these protests in some cases were organized out of russia. >> russian i'm posters pushing messages that were sometimes violence, false, and often controversial. $100,000 in facebook ads, thousands of twitter accounts, and google ad dollars. russians were behind it all creating to pit americans against one another. >> social media was used to target the minds of the american people. >> it seems the u.s. government was blindsided when it came to social media plates. -- threats. >> around 150 million people were exposed to the bogus content on facebook and instagram alone.
that is equivalent to half of the voting population. there -- >> isn't that a red flag? how could that happen? >> it began more than 4,000 miles away in st. petersburg in this unt tterly nondiscrypt off building. >> they were placing ads to stoke arguments and to in some ways hurt hillary clinton and help donald trump. almost all of it praises back to
the internet research agency owned by a wealthy russian businessman. >> they were working 12 hour sh shifted and this ahad quotas. there was a english hang wage department, and they were required to watch "house of cards" to learn about american politics. they were told to mass querade themselves as americans. >> and we had protests that were viole violent. they understood that gay rights and gun rights were big issues. >> some people may have seen these videos.
>> hillary clinton is not our candidate. >> posted to pages now identified as moscow's influence campaign. >> this is a thoughtful and details process of how do i make this look legitimate. >> legitimacy boosted when influential people amplified the message. this russian run account was retweeted by trump jr., kellyanne conway, and michael fl flynn. >> knowingly or not they helped spread the disinvestigatioforma. >> tweets to posts to pictures. they used every tool to their advantage. that was born out of sheer necessity. >> hi, everybody. >> from day one, candidate trump
faced a uphill battle. he lacked shouoldiers. they turned out to put out the data. >> he treated trump like an e commerce company. >> they bet big on one simple idea. >> you can target your message to a smaller group of people and have it be more impactful. >> a trump campaign digital director led the effort.
>> now i can find 15 people they would never buy a tv commercial for. >> we took opportunities that the other staff didn't. they had staff imbedded in our offices. facebook employees would show up for work every day in our offices. >> they offered a service to both political campaigns. the trump campaign took facebook up on it. the clinton campaign surprisingly did not. >> while they have testified on capitol hill, both deny any collusion with the russians. >> by all accounts, the russians feel like they were successful in what they were trying to accomplish. i would imagine every day that vladimir putin and the people around him are watching american news saying in our wildest streams we never thought they could be this disruptive. the russians probably, rightly think they won.
we close tonight with a dossier that has many troubling allegations about trump and his associates and the campaign. some said it is evidence of collusion. others say it has been disproveen and fake. neither of the statements are correct. for our story we will stick to the facts. >> ten days before the inauguration of donald trump. >> we're live in chicago tonight, on the same might that president trump was giving his farewell address to the nation. >> breaking news we need to tell you about. i want to go straight to jake tapper. a team of cnn reporters broke a stunning story. >> we have all been working on this story -- >> about america's new president. >> claims of russian efforts to compromise the president-elect trump. >> the president-elect and the outgoing president briefed on
the most sensational charges in the do the dossier. >> u.s. officials with direct knowledge told cnn that trump had been warned. that is the damaging information gathered through sewurveillance that vladimir putin is believed to collect on important people. >> former intelligence chief james clapper. >> that is their objective. if they can compromise somebody, they have a term for it, compromised. >> it was our strong sense that the nation's senior most intelligence officials would not waste the time of the president and president-elect if it was easy to dismiss information. >> cnn did not reveal the
contents of the dossier. it had not been verified. but shortly after, buzzfeed published it on the internet. donald trump was furious. >> it is fake news, phoney stuff, a disgrace. >> portions of it had been in fbi hands for months. >> the former officer that compiled the dossier puts it in the hands of someone in roam that is an fbi agency that puts it in the blood stream of the fbi. >> christopher steel was a veteran spy that worked for the mi 6, a russian expert. >> steel compiled the dossier as opposition research for the
democratic national committee. >> the closest partner, british intelligence, based in the country involved in this dossier, and since the time, working for u.s. law enforcement. >> now through the fbi's investigation and extensive reporting, we know parts of the dossier are true because u.s. government intercepted picked up conversations between russians that corresponded to conversations recorded in the dossi dossier. >> they did take place in the times and places between the people involved as described in the dossier. >> the reports that make up the document allege extensive information -- >> the russians were responsible for hacking the dnc. the intelligence that i have seen gives me great confidence in their ascend me that it happened at the highest levels
of the russian government. it was designed to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton. those claims in the dossier have all pretty much been verified by the u.s. intelligence committee. >> another powerful charge in the dossier will sound familiar now. associates of donald trump were in contact with russians throughout the campaign. >> the dossier describes trump associates, russia's ties to the government, communicating in meetings discussing cooperations and the russian intelligence. >> and other ways they tampered with the election. >> social media, fake news, many of the pieces start to fit together sdplp there are no evidence so far for the most sensational allegation that the
kremlin has compromising material on trump but a former cia station chief in moscow says russia almost certainly has a file on the president. >> so you believe they have material on donald trump? >> i would be surprised greatly if they did not. that's what they do, that's what the fsb does they have for decades and decades. >> most importantly they say is this. it is just one piece of information in their wide ranging inquiry. >> i have spoken to a number of people and they make clear listen, there is a lot more out there than just this. it is one small piece of a much larger picture. >> as we have tried to bring that picture into focus, we made several attempts to speak to one of the president's lawyers on camera. we were unable to obtain an interview. trump maintains in statements
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this is "trump one year later." political and legal aftershocks in the wake of the devastating one-two punch absorbed by the trump white house this week. >> i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm pamela brown, first rev vagss from a tell all look raising questions about the russia investigation and president trump's fitness for office. >> then the second blow, potential evidence obtained by robert mueller all pointing to a possible obstruction of justice case. and new reporting tonight, a senior official