tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC October 30, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
it is monday, october 30th. let's get you started. >> this news that has washington, frankly the whole nation, on pins and needles this morning. >> the first indictment into the investigation into alleged ties between the trump campaign and russia during the 2016 election. >> former trump campaign chairman paul manafort and a deputy campaign official, rick gates, will turn themselves in to face charges toe. >> -- today. >> 12 counts. conspiracy against the united states. conspiracy to launder money. unregistered agents of a foreign principle. false and misleading statements. false statements on seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. >> they'll be booked and, shortly, they'll have a hearing and initial appearance before a federal magistrate. that starts the legal process. >> big picture, we have never seen a criminal investigation result in indictments of senior officials tied to a president this fast in the first year in office, ever, full stop. >> certainly a lot of breaking
news this morning. former trump campaign manager paul manafort and long-time associate rick gates, both charged with, among other things, conspiracy against the united states of america. we are learning of a guilty plea from a former trump campaign foreign policy adviser, george papadopoulos. >> manafort and gates surrendered to federal authorities without incident. suv left manafort's home in virginia with the former trump adviser inside. there it is. manafo manafort, you'll remember. we'll go through this so you're clear on how it went down. manafort joined the trump campaign in march of 2016. leaving after questions were raised about work he did for a ukrainian political party. that work is referenced in the indictment. he's set to be arraigned at 1:30 eastern time. rick gates served with manafort as a deputy campaign chair. there he is on the right. to then-candidate trump, staying on after manafort left in august of 2016.
>> the special prosecutor released a statement on charges, saying the two men were charged with a total of 12 counts, including count one, conspiracy against the united states, between 2006 and 2017. remember that. 2017 manafort and gates were part of the campaign. in 2016, count two, conspiracy to launder money between 2006 and 2016. count three through six, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts from 2011 to 2014. count seven through nine, fail your to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts from 2011 to 2013. count ten, unregistered agent of a foreign principal between 2008 and 2014. count 11, false and misleading foreign agent registration statements, all allegedly after -- i'm going to say it again -- after the election. and count 12, false statements, also allegedly after the
election. >> i just want to read you something from count one. just so you understand how this reads. conspiracy against the united states from, in or about and between 2006 and 2017, both dates being approximate and inclusive in the district of columbia and elsewhere. paul j. manafort jr. and rick a -- richard gates iii, together with others, intentionally defrauded the united states by impeding, defeating the governmental functions of a governmental agency, the department of justice and the department of treasury, and to commit offenses against the united states. >> say it again. they are being indicted. this isn't just robert mueller. there were 12 members of this grand jury signing off on this indictment to conspire against the united states of america. that time period included the time period when paul manafort was chairman of president donald j. trump's campaign.
rick gates not only worked in the campaign but was in the white house as recently as a few months ago with tom barrack, close adviser and friend to donald trump. the guy who put paul manafort up for the job and vacationed with him in europe after manafort left the campaign. >> you'd think if you were the trump campaign or the president, this would be a little alarming. the president did respond, as you'd expect, on twitter, just last hour. tweeting, sorry. but this is years ago, before paul manafort was part of the trump campaign. but why aren't crooked hillary and the dems the focus? also, there is no collusion. again, there are specificitied in this thing that we have been looking at these things, highlighting, and legal experts say this behavior goes into 2017. was certainly present during the campaign. with we know of the november 9th meeting at trump tower, happened while paul manafort was the chairman of the campaign. the easy and fast dismissal might be premature. i said november 9th.
june 9th. >> no matter what hillary clinton did or didn't do, corey lewandowski was referring to the clinton administration on the shows. there is no clinton administration. the last time was 17 years ago. >> right. >> that is not what robert mueller and his team are working on. we've already seen members of the gop, like trey gowdy, saying, let robert mueller do his job. >> that's what he's doing. garrett haake is live outside of the district court in washington, d.c. where paul manafort surrendered and where we expect him to make an appearance, 1:30 p.m. eastern time. garrett? >> reporter: yeah, that's right, ali. so paul manafort's day began at his home in alexandria, virginia. he left with his lawyer. he turned himself in at the fbi field office a few blocks from here at 8:15 this morning. he walked in a free man. until he's done with the court appearance this afternoon, he is in the custody of the fbi. now, we're sort of staking out one of the back entrances of the
courtroom today. we sort of lost track of manafort in the shuffle between all these buildings here. trying to make sure he's -- if he's not already inside the building, we want a shop when he arrives. we believe he and his deputy rick gates are in the courthouse right now, essentially cooling their jets, waiting for the 1: 30 hearing, which is like an informal arraignment process. they'll be before a judge. they'll hear the charges against them and find the conditions of their release is just the beginning of what could be a lengthy court process, given all of those charges in the indictments you laid out. >> those two men are being indicted but they're not pleading guilty. another man, george papadopoulos, recently pled guilty to making false statements to the fbi. he is not a name many are familiar with. >> reporter: i feel like i'm at the wrong courthouse today because that case is really interesting. papadopoulos was sort of a lower level foreign policy adviser for the trump campaign.
in the guilty plea, we see that he's pleading guilty to making false statements to the fbi. what we learned from the company and court documents here is he had had fairly significant back and forth conversations with russia nationals through a professor in london who was an intermediary. the plea agreement talks about conversations he then had about that information with his campaign handlers. apparently, when he talked to the fbi originally, he tried to down play these connections, saying it wasn't really a big deal, or it was not in the time frame in which i was working for the campaign. well, the fbi and the special counsel disagree. they came up with enough information here to compel this guilty plea. what will be interesting about this, when we find out when this gentleman appears in court later today, what sentence is recommended, what deal might be in place with that guilty plea, and whether or not he might be someone who becomes a cooperating witness against
others in this effort. so a lot of rollout here today. clearly, a lot of runway to see where all three of these cases go in this ongoing investigation, guys. >> garrett, we'll stay close to you throughout the course of the d day. thank you. this is the tip of the iceberg of this discussion. i want to read from the indi indictment here. in total, more than $75,000 flowed through offshore accounts. manafort laundered more than $18 million, which was used by him to buy property goods and services in the united states, income he concealed from the united states treasury. the department of justice and others. gates transferred more than $3 million from the offshore accounts to other accounts he controlled. i want to give that as background while i run through who gates and manafort are. paul manafort was the chairman of the campaign. he was hired by the campaign in march of 2006 to count delegates -- sorry -- 2016. i'm getting my dates wrong today.
to help organize delegates at the republican national convention. he was later elevated to campaign chairman that summer. he left in august due to questions around his business ties, specifically with political party in ukraine. in 2008, however, court records show that manafort's firm was involved in an $850 million deal, real estate deal, with a ukrainian oligarch. around the same time, manafort and a group of partners were paid more than $7 million. $7.35 million in management fees from a russian billionaire. officials tell nbc news that he was once denied entry to the united states for alleged criminal ties and is considered part of vladimir putin's later, manafort worked for a pro-russian political party in ukraine, and the ukrainian president, who fled the country in 2014. so that's the paul manafort side of things. this is the one you're less
familiar with. rick gates, a lesser known figure but still important. gates helped manafort manage the day to day operations of the campaign, and he stayed on with the campaign after manafort's exit. manafort exited when there was a real, clear understanding that he was working with pro-russian parties in ukraine. but gates, who was his business partner, stayed on, working as a liaison with the republican national committee aft. after the election, he worked with a lobbying group to advance president trump's agenda. he left in april amid questions around russian interference in the election. both gates and manafort have worked together for decades. they were lobbying for dictators like marcos of the philippines. the "new york times" reports gates was the one who met with deripaska and associates while he and manafort worked in ukraine. gates' name is on the shell company documents, allegedly used by manafort, to receive
payments from eastern european business people. gates retroactively registered as a foreign agent. this is key to the indictments. here's president trump praising both manafort and gates at a farewell rally, following the republican convention in cleveland in july of 2016. here's what then-candidate trump had to say about both men. >> and paul manafort has done an amazing job. he's here someplace. where's paul? paul manafort. oh, good, you made it. paul manafort has done a fantastic job. and all of paul's people, all paul brought on staff. we have a great staff of talented people. come on up, rick. so we have a great group of people. and we have a group of people that really wants to win, and i think knows how to win. and we've also been winning all our lives. this group of people in front of
me. >> here's the thing, ali velshi. president trump can put out tweets all day long. >> yeah. >> distancing himself from paul manafort. but the question is, how can he possibly do it? it was months ago sean spicer tried to paint paul manafort as a volunteer to the organization for a short period of time. he was the campaign chair. >> right. >> if you remember, it was during the republican national convention that the one notable thing that changed in the platform was a shift to more russia-friendly approaches. >> right. >> how do you possibly deny that or distance yourself from that at this point? remember, at this point, you've got don junior, jared, mike flynn, paul manafort all, who at the very least, denied or misrepresented meeting with russia. >> right. >> none of this adds up. the "wall street journal" even, who months ago said, president trump, if you would like to have a winning administration, you need to be far more transparent as it relates to russia. and there's one thing we know
here, there's not transparency. even wilbur ross, who has never been in one of the meetings, one of the places where the money was -- >> a bank in cypress. the money was going through. >> where the money was going through. guess who bought a stake of the bank in 2014? wilbur ross. he serves as director to the bank. again, if this is about draining the swamp and being a man of the people, those forgotten americans, what do they think about paul manafort? you've got level of detail in these documents, $849,000 at a new york men's clothing store. $5.4 million paid to vendor a. for home improvements. the $65,000 paid to an unknown landscaper for work done between 2009 and 2011. this doesn't smell right. >> all right. all those people denied one meeting, june 9th, 2016. this indictment has a lot more in it than a single -- >> yeah. >> elizabeth holtzman served on
the judiciary committee during the impeachment of nixon after the watergate scandal. and host of "the beat" ari melber, who has been following this in great detail and helping us make sense of it. thanks to both of you. liz, you have a history with special prosecutors or that sort of being, but there is a difference between special prosecutors and what we have now, the special counsel. tell me a little about that and the outcome that it may result in. >> well, the special prosecutor in watergate couldn't be fired except for extraordinary improprieties. when he was fired at the behest of richard nixon, the president of the united states, that triggered the impeachment proceedings and that was the end of richard nixon. didn't happen for a few months, but that was the beginning of the end. >> right. >> this special counsel can be removed in different ways. for different improprieties. it is easier to remove him. but trust me, if there is any effort by the president of the united states to tamper with mueller, that's going to create
a fire storm in this country. >> right. a lot of republicans -- some haven't but a lot of republicans made it clear, particularly those in the senate, they don't want that interference. >> trey gowdy said, let him do his job. >> the basic factor about special prosecutors is they're supposed to be able to do their job without political interference. >> right. >> and without some politician pulling the strings. >> right. >> now, we see trump trying to interfere by saying, oh, well, isn't it koicoincidental the indictments are coming out when we are trying to get the tax bill through? well, that's kind of implying that mueller is not doing his job properly. that he doesn't have integrity. that he doesn't have honorableness. that he is doing this for political reasons. that's an abuse of power, in my view. >> right. >> ultimately to get him into big trouble. >> one has nothing to do with one another. you can work on tax reform. robert mueller isn't thinking about tax reform. >> of course not. and the implication that he is
is an effort to try to obstruct what mueller is doing. to try to taint the process. to try to tell the american people that mueller is acting in a political way. he is not. he's been -- he's put blinders on. he's been methodically moving forward. these indictments today, only the beginning. >> ari, we've gone through a lot of things here. there are a lot of things on your mind. i know you've been pointing out all morning about the legal side of things. give me your take on it. >> the headlines here are you have two medium to senior trump adviser or aides indicted for an ongoing scheme that allegedly went up through 2017 of money laundering and failing to legally acknowledge what they're required to, that they were lobbying on behalf of a foreign official. in this case, ukrainian leader tied to vladimir putin. it all looks like money problems. lying about the money, the lobbying and the taxes. the separate indictment we're
getting in here, of individual people far less well-known, mr. papadopoulos, is the first russia-related indictment in the mueller investigation. in the long run, it may prove to be a bigger part of the review over whether collusion or conspiracy occurred. >> what is he guilty of? walk us through george's connection to paul manafort. when you look at this indictment for manafort, it sort of looks like dirty business guy doing dirty business for years. >> there was a day in 2016 when donald trump kept getting pressure about, who is on your foreign policy team, and he dropped george papadopoulos's name as an energy analyst. >> dropped carter page's name. what is important, in march, while he knew he was going to be working for the trump campaign in foreign policy, mr. papadopoulos was making contact with an intermediary for the kremlin. this is not in dispute. this is admitted in this new guilty plea. >> right. >> which suggests, by inference, that he may also be providing cooperating testimony. reading from, again, this
brand-new plea deal, and accompanying statement, it says this intermediary told him, the trump adviser, russians had, quote, dirt on candidate clinton in the forms of, quote, thousands of e-mails. this was in march. the e-mails hadn't been released. this reflects, at a minimum, another, in the view of mueller, successful attempt by russia to reach people tied to donald trump and his foreign policy team to get e-mails leaked in other ways. it is bigger than trump tower now. this is not in dispute. >> what if one -- >> he pleaded guilty. >> what if one makes the argument, isn't that opposition research? >> if it comes from the kremlin, it is not opposition research. it is a felony if you use it and get it. this individual again here is, at this juncture, not being accused of having obtained the e-mails. he is being accused and admitting to having lied about his contacts with this kremlin intermediary which, of course, raises the question, any investigator looks at it.
>> this is papadopoulos, by the way. >> raising the question, why are you lying in january to federal agents about your 2016 campaign meetings to talk to kremlin-linked intermediaries about clinton e-mails? >> there's some resume questions about papadopoulos, as well. >> what is his expertise in oil and gas industry? >> there isn't so much. he calls himself an expert on middle eastern matters, but there was a deep dive into george papadopoulos and couldn't ko corroborate the length of his expertise. we've never seen this happen so early in an investigation, into a president. take us back to the watergate days. it did start to come apart with little threads here and there. fully within the context of the administration talking about -- they didn't use the term "fake news" then, but how the news and the "washington post" was inventing the story and it was political. >> the big break took place early on.
the burglars who had broken into the watergate complex, the democratic national committee headquarters, had been arrested, prosecuted and they all pleaded guilty. it was a very conservative republican judge who smelled a rat. he said, why are all these people pleading guilty? this makes no sense. you have people with a cia background who were part of the burglary operation. he just didn't buy that this was kind of a third-rate burglary. so he slapped really stiff sentences on these people. guess what? one of them broke and said, they're higher ups. that's what happens in the criminal justice process. when you have a top-notch investigator, prosecutor here, robert mueller, very experienced. he is going to go after people, not necessarily big names, but people who could give a piece of the puzzle or more than a piece of the puzzle. maybe papadopoulos had a conversation with donald trump. we don't know. maybe he had conversations with
others, who then had conversations with donald trump. so this is putting together the pieces of a puzzle. we don't know how big the pieces are and how they match in the puzzle, how they fit in the puzzle. sometimes they don't have any information. >> yeah. >> sometimes they do. >> this is a fairly detailed indictment. i mean, eight pages of a money trail. that's just what we're seeing today. what could paul manafort's defense be? >> it is going to be difficult given the financial record and the wires and the amount of money alleged here. you know, $70 million plus moving through foreign vehicles. defense ultimately has to be about something else, someone else, something done without authorization. >> we're going to see -- we may see paul manafort and richard gates at 1:30. that's when the initial appearance and arraignment is scheduled. garrett haake is there. thanks so both of you. i suspect we'll all be talking more in the coming days. stick around, everybody. we are getting gop reaction to this sweeping indictment against paul manafort and rick gates.
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conspiracy against the u.s. money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent. these are the first charges brought in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. >> president trump reacting in the past hour, tweeting, sorry, but this is years ago, before paul manafort was part of the trump campaign. but why aren't crooked hillary and the dems the focus? adding, also, there is no collusion. >> some of it happened years ago. some of it happened last year. joining us now live, republican congressman lee zeldin, member of the house of foreign affairs committee. what is your reaction to the indictment and surrendering of paul manafort and rick gates? >> bad day for paul manafort and rick gates. it's a pretty complex indictment. they're going to have their day in court. but if they are successfully prosecuted, they're going to have a debt to society to repay. today is day one of what is going to be a long journey on both sides of both the prosecution and the defense of
this case. a lot to follow along the way. not a good day for those two. >> can we isolate those two? even the "wall street journal," who said months ago, president trump and your administration, please, be transparent as it relates to russia if you want a successful administration. kushner, don junior, manafort, flynn, all lied about involvement with russians. there is, across the board, a lack of honesty. >> well, i mean, as it relates to this, first thing we all did was read through the indictment to see what it says. that's the reason why there is an investigation going on, is to be able to take this conversation to that level. there are some who are reading the indictment and trying to connect other dots. there is an investigation that's still going on. there's more to learn. i don't know the full scope of where the investigation is right now. i don't know the full scope of the range of all the evidence. that is before the special
counsel. but we're certainly going to have to learn more in order to be more conclusive on all the different items of the story that -- we haven't yet been connected through the special counsel's office yet. >> we are also talking about tax reform. we needed a budget resolution to get that done. you were one of 20 republicans who voted no last thursday, when the house gave its approval for the federal budget, clearing the way for this tax cut. why did you vote against that budget resolution? >> well, i want to see tax cuts get delivered to hard working, blue collar, middle income constituents in my district. we have low-income people struggling to make end's meet. but i'm representing new york one. i'm not elected to represent mississippi i, alabama i. these are all great districts. i'm not fighting for my people, i can't expect them it shall. >> what was the issue that
caused you to vote no? >> it is important we're able to make major changes to the proposal to eliminate theeducti >> right. >> we have some of the highest property taxes in the country, income taxes, sales taxes. this is a deduction that's been around for a century. this is one of the ways abraham lincoln helped finance the silver war. it would not be a good policy for us to go from 100% to 0% two months from now, as far as this deduction goes. there are many maembers like me some who might have voted yes on last week's budget, who believe we should make major changes to that component, so we're delivering tax cuts for all of our hard-working people across the country, who were promised it last november, not just picking winners and losers. in a way, by getting rid of the deducti deduction, it is like a geographical redistribution of wealth from a high tax state to another. what shouldn't be lost on this is one of the reasons our state and local tax deduction is so
high is because our state and local taxes are so high. that's income baumbent on the o levels of government to do what they can. >> people don't factor in a mortgage deduction when buying a house. may not be the case for some but -- >> a lot of people do. >> -- for people you represent, it affects them. you'll be under pressure to pass through tax reform. you've been a supporter of the president. what are you going to do? >> i want to get tax reform done. i want to get this as close to perfect as possible. i done want i don't want to give up my proxy and not be fighting for my constituents and home state. some say the rest of the country is subsidizing a state like new york. that's not true. when you look at tax policy and spending policy, we send many r to washington than we get back. other states actually send less to washington than they get back. it is about fighting for your home state and fighting for your home district. but i want to get tax reform done. i would love to see our economy do better than -- 2017 has been
a good year. i want 2018 to be better. >> so do we. >> i've seen jobs get created in 2017. i want more to be created in 2018. i want pension accounts to be able to grow. that should be a goal that we're all sharing. yeah, i wouldn't want to just give my proxy up, where i'm not best representing my own district on this fight. >> all right. thanks for joining us today. congressman lee zeldin of new york, thank you. standby. we'll have the latest reaction from the whitous on t white hou charges against gates and manafort. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" on msnbc. (avo) when you have type 2 diabetes, you manage your a1c, but you also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. non-insulin victoza® lowers a1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk.
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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. welcome back. we've got breaking news on msnbc. the first indictments in the robert mueller investigation. president trump's former campaign chair, paul manafort, and his long-time business associate robert -- richard gates. >> richard gates. >> both incited by a federal grand jury on a total of 12 charges. special counsel mueller's office announcing the charges include conspiracy against the united states. we've also learned that former trump campaign foreign policy adviser george papadopoulos pled guilty to making false statements to the fbi. we're getting reaction from the
white house. >> joining us live is kristen we weller. also cheat white houief white h lawyer under president bush. what's the reaction from the white house? >> reporter: let's start with a re-tweet we're getting from donald trump jr. he retweeted a radio talk show host who says papadopoulos was an unpaid foreign policy campaign adviser who stupidly lied to the fbi. he wanted trump to meet putin. trump team said no. distancing the campaign from the activities of papadopoulos. we're seeing a similar tactic from the president himself. as you've been reading the tweets throughout the morning, the president saying, look, this happened years ago. re reiterating his statement that there is no collusion. we're getting a disciplined message from a top white house official here who says, look, this is all an indication that robert mueller's investigation is proceeding deliberatively. one official saying, there is no
surprise to the white house, that they're seeing these early indictments. >> but kristen -- >> reporter: we are expecting to get -- >> is there a preview whfrom wh we're going to hear from sarah huckabee sanders? to characterize him as an unpaid volunteer, this is paul manafort, the chairman. during the national convention, he was the architect of the show. ivanka and jared were supporters of this guy. a close adviser to the president, tom barrack, and roger stone, former partner to paul manafort, were the guys who escorted manafort in the door. how are we possibly going to listen to white house paint this as a short-term volunteer? balon baloney. >> i think this is a preview to the talking points for sarah
huckabee sanders. wouldn't be surprising if she highlights that the charges so far don't have a direct link to the campaign. i anticipate those will be among the points she makes when she steps to the podium a little later on this afternoon. the first time we're going to see the president himself and hopefully get questions to him will be later on today, this evening, when he passes out halloween candy to kids. that's a white house tradition at halloween. look, this is overshadowing what the president wants to be talking about. he wants to talk about tax reform. the republicans set to unveil the specifics of their tax reform plan on wednesday. then the president set to take off on his most consequential foreign policy trip to date to asia. so this is the last thing the president and the white house wants to be talking about. you can bet they're going to try to turn the page on this conversation, steph and ali. >> richard, let's talk about this. there is another development that bubbled up over the last few days in an administration that said that it was going to be really clean from an ethics perspective. the president had said that there would be no more foreign
deals with the trump organization, then we learn of two real estate deals in india. i only bring this into play to provide context for everything we're hearing about, about unethical dealings. what do you make of it? >> we're in the age of hypocri y hypocrisy. >> maybe that, too. >> it is a terrible idea. the president's company, a company he yeowns, doing deals l over the world, and raking in the cash. a lot of shady business deals they've already been involved in. now we get yet more. and this is going to put the united states in jeopardy because we have very delicate foreign policy dilemmas in a nu number of places. india and pakistan, dealing with that situation is a challenge for the united states. and to have the president of the united states have economic exposure there is a serious conflict of interest. and i think that he is using
very, very bad judgment. he promised that there would be no more foreign deals and no new deals. that's not what they're doing. they're expanding the trump business empire as he's president, making money off the presidency. of course, everyone is going to scramble to do business with the trumps. >> sure. >> in order to ingratiate themselves with the trumps and the united states government. >> which is kind of the basic stuff that guys like richard pater did when they were in their jobs in the white house, right? that was kind of the stuff you lost sleep over at night, making sure you didn't advise the president to do something that would cause these perceived conflicts, perceived or real conflicts of interest. >> we didn't have that kind of thing going on. the president certainly wasn't doing deals all over the country or having his kids go around doing deals for him. and high-ranking people in the administration, i would sit down with cabinet officials and say, if you have an investment in china or india, you have to scale back and divest. get out of those types of investments. there's nothing wrong with
investing in china and india and a number of these countries, but we cannot have high-ranking united states government officials who are determining our trade policy and economic policies with fingers in pies all over the world. that's notd goi going to work. that was the view of the bush administration. >> can we talk -- >> and i'm shocked -- >> -- about the -- >> -- they're doing it. >> to me, the wording is stunning. manafort spent 1. 3 million in the hamptons on light and entertainment. $655,000 on landscaping. $934,000 on antique rugs. all of these expenses funneled through the bank of sicyprus, which we're learning is where money was laundered through. where their russian business, while wilbur ross, commerce secretary, was a board director, was sold to a russian.
with links to vladimir putin. we know there were five board members on the bank of cyprus that were russian. from an ethics perspective, when we look at this indictment, how is it that the white house can simply say, though they haven't officially said it yet, maybe these were just, you know, bad guys with bad business in the past? from an ethical perspective, wouldn't the man running for president have to run some sort of background check on someone who is the chairman of his campaign? when you look at the basic numbers, they just don't add up. >> well, the republican party didn't run a good background check on donald trump. that's the problem here. nobody seems to care. but there is an enormous amount of money coming in from the russians for all sorts of people here. and people are lying about it as well as laundering money for the russians. and i think george papadopoulos
guilty plea was perhaps the biggest news. he was dealing with russians to get dirt on hillary and lying about it to the fbi. he might spill the beans, now that he is cooperating with the government. but none of this, of course, makes any sense from an ethics perspective. but we've known that. we knew about that before the election, quite frankly. i think that a lot of voters chose to ignore it. that's why we're in the situation we're in today. >> doesn't mean we're okay with it. we're going to keep asking questions. >> kristen, thank you. richard painter, thank you, as well. we will continue, as stephanie said, to ask questions about this. stick around. we have much more on the guilty plea of george papadopoulos. is that how i say his name? >> papadopoulos, yeah. >> stay with us. er watching "velshi & ruhle" live on msnbc. they really appreciate the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police.
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♪ ♪ welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." we're following breaking news. indictment against two top-level trump campaign aides and the guilty plea of a former trump campaign foreign policy adviser. i want to take a closer look at the grand jury process, which is different from a trial jury. bra grand juries are large panels that don't formally charge anybody. they do not determine guilt or innocence.
they do not set a punishment or sentence. instead, grand juries reveal evidence. they issue subpoenas and basically determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to charge someone with a crime. now, if the grand jury does think there is enough evidence, they issue an indictment. after that, the prosecution can formally charge a subject, and then the trial can officially begin. and the defense can finally present evidence, something they can't do while the grand jury is in session. now, let's take a look at the scope of robert mueller's overall investigation. back in may, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein issued a letter, appointing mueller special counsel. in it, mueller is given the power to investigate any links or coordination between the russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of president trump. he can also investigate any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation. and any other matters within the scope of 28 cfr 600.4a.
a mouthful. it is part of the u.s. code that governs the justice department. it gives the special counsel broader powers to investigate things, like perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and witness intimidation. here's a look at some of the lines of investigation that the special counsel is pursuing. first of all, june 9th, 2016, meeting at trump tower, when donald trump jr., paul manafort, jared kushner, met with a russian lawyer, veselnitskaya, a former soviet spy and other russians in an attempt to get dirt on hillary clinton. also looking into former national security adviser michael flynn's alleged ties to russia and his work on behalf of turkey during the campaign. in march, flynn registered as a foreign agent for the time period. much, much later than he should have. finally, you all know, he is investigating paul manafort, the one-time trump campaign chairman
who is under scrutiny for his work with a pro-russian political party in ukraine. before the presidential election and according to the indictment today during the campaign. recent e-mails allege to manafort offering a putin-linked russian allah gart, quote, russian briefings. and before the council's grand jury like flynn manafort retroactively rej registered as a foreign agent. national security reporter ken delany, in addition to the indictments unsealed today against manafort and rick gates we learn of this other very interesting trump adviser. george pop dop louse who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the fbi. you've got reporting that this case with this guy who nobody's ever heard of, might even be a bigger deal. >> that's right. for one thing because he is cooperating with the fbi,
according to these documents. for another thing because dockments that lay out his alleg alleged offense spell out he was in touch with representatives, people connected to the russian government and that they were offering him in one case dirt on the hillary clinton campaign and e-mails, thousands of e-mails, back in april 2016. that was well before it was known that the russians hacked democrats, ali. some of my intelligence sources are looking at this and saying this is a classic example of people associated with the russian government trying to infiltrate the trump campaign. picking up a when-level official. trying to co-opt him. there are many meetings with both professor, with connections to the russian government and russian national, female with connections to the russian government and he he met with people, and sought to set up a meeting between senior trump
official answe officia officials and vladimir putin. that meeting didn't go forward but trump didn't report him to the fbi. >> how long was he involved with the campaign. we know that mano fort left soon after the convention. cori lewandowski is the one trying to throw him under the bus. all we he heard was statements defending paul manafort. maybe distancing. jared was a fan of paul's, ivanka was. but this guy, george, who was he and how long was he part of the campaign? >> that's not clear. but donald trump mentioned his name as foreign policy adviceor in march 2016 m that editorial board meeting at "the washington post" when he was asked who is advising your campaign. so donald trump knew his name. he was living in lon dporn a time. there is some suggestions in these documents he was in contact with paul manafort. it is not clear how long he worked -- >> yeah, when donald trump brought up his name, i remember
the day. it puzzled everybody. never heard of this guy. hard it find information on. an big track record. ken, thank you. nbc news intelligence and national news reporter, ken delany. >> standing by, special prosecutor robert muler to step down. what's behind that? and is that likely to happen? stay with us. you're watching msnbc. thank you so much. thank you! so we're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff.
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most of the attention this morning is regarding paul manafort and richard gates. let's bring in former deputy assistant attorney general. tom, let's start with how much prison time could these guys get? >> they are facing serious prison time. there are a number of federal charges. i think under the sentencing guidelines it could amount over to a dozen years in jail. at the same time as we know, prosecutors often will say, we will seek a reduced sentence if you cooperate. so i think this is a clsassic situation where mueller will say to the defendants look, cooperate because if you do that is a favorable deal. a if you don't cooperate, you will have serious prison time. >> today the president tweeted the case was quote, years ago. the indictment says lobbying lasting from 2016 to -- sorry, 2006 to 2015. does the president have a point here? >> i think the president has a point to the ex he tent that if
you say mueller's mandate is to focus on whether there was collusion between the trump campaign and the russians, today's indictment doesn't get to that. so i think there is a grain of truth in what the president is saying. at the same time, mueller does have the authority to investigate any crimes that comes across in the course of his investigation. >> tom, today's indictment doesn't get to that but today's indictment doesn't absolve that or clear that. >> that's absolutely right. it certainly does not clear that. >> so i mean, the key part of this indictment is that manafort and -- i don't know if it is a key part but manafort and gates, agents of and millions of dollars of payments from ukraine and political parties and total more than $75 million to blow through off-shore accounts and as pointed out, this has to be to put pressure on manafort and gates to give something up so that this investigation can go further. >> that's exactly right. i think that the way mueller is looking at it. he knows that so far at least,
least what we see in today's indictment, there is no direct link between the trump campaign and russians. what this indictment does give muler is leverage over manafort and gates to basically say i suspect you know something that you haven't given us yet. you give it to me. that may enable me to make the connection between the campaign and russians. >> good to talk to you. thank you so much. tom dupre, deputy assistant attorney general. we're almost out of time. thank you for watching this hour. >> check us out on social media. check out our show. tune in and turn up the volume for a woman who truly know the story, andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." >> thank you. and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," indicted. donald trump's former campaign manager paul manafort and manafort's right-hand man both charged by robert mueller on 12 counts including conspiracy, false statements and money-laundering. for millions they received allege lid from russian-backed
forces in ukraine. >> two things about this. one is this seems to be entirely financially related on their business. and second, we do know from people that are involved in these legal issues, that these are not the only charges that the special counsel had been accounting against manafort, but this is a starting point. >> and the big squeeze. trump policy adviser pleading guilty for lying to the fbi. the first actual link between russia and the trump campaign. >> bob mueller has a cooperating witness. >> court appear unes from manafort and his long -time aid in the next hour. plus, what is next tofor the probe? good day. a lot of breaking news