tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN February 16, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
the news and because of melania they'll have to keep walking through these halls. >> reporter: tear it down. you're 18. friendship. david pecker tries to take care are you 18? trump traveling separately. >> i'm 17. of his friends through these catch and kill technique. it will remain in the news. >> reporter: will you be 18 by you buy a story and then you i think so many feel sympathy when they hear about stories bury a story. like this. november? >> i will. >> so let's connect the dots. and when we started this, the >> reporter: guess what, you can idea of a publisher of a tabloid we know twice in the days and weeks leading up to the having the ability to influence vote. our coverage continues with jim election. you have stormy daniels, it at the president, burying stories to help him or hurt him. sciutto and "the lead." least looks questionable. the president says it is thank you. and now this in the days leading laughable but i think the you cannot the just call it a up to the election there. evidence is insurmountable. this really seems to be a hoax anymore. >> thank you very much. "the lead" starts right now. pattern that we're talking you can watch brian every sunday about. >> it does. special counsel indicts more than a dozen russians for and ronan farrow is reporting is morning on reliable sources. interfering in the 2016 also on sunday presidential election. state of the union with adam it shows a system. as the d.o.j. lays out a blue right before the election day, schiff on the housey morning at there was a story in the "wall print for how they wormed their way into social media feeds to street journal" about this help donald trump. particular story involving this a stunning development in the particular playboy model and how investigation of the florida high school massacre. the story was buried. the fbi now admitting it did not so there are some details but schiff on the housey morning at and at noon. act on a tip about the accused farrow has a lot more that he -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com has shared. shooter's desire to kill. it does look like a pattern and florida's governor calling for it begs the question how many the fbi director to resign. other stories about president trump have been caught and thank you. the president heads south to killed? how many other stories has the
embrace survivors and possibly 13 russian nationals have been face their rage. national choirer success, indicted for meddling in the 2016 election. plus, melania skip as ride with deputy attorney general rod rosenstein made the announcement inquirer bur snid when you go to the supermarket, it is one thing calling it information warfare against the united states. still a hoax? to be out there promoting his president trump has called the president. and the way the magazine bought allegations of russian agenda. it is another to cover tim her story so no one would ever interference a hoax and a stories that would hurt him. >> we noticed the response hear it. saying, this is an old story. welcome to "the lead." it is more fake news. we begin with the breaking news. of course he mentioned that as 13 russian nationals and three always. the president said he never had russian companies indicted today a relationship with mcdougal. by the special counsel for meddling in the 2016 not that there was no relationship. presidential election. >> i think we'll see this more the first charges by robert often. mueller specifically for that sarah sanders trying to say i'm interference. we're talking about information only telling you what i know to warfare against the united be. true essentially in this news states. with the stated goal of statement, whoever gave this spreading distrust toward stale to the new yorker is saying the president told us it presidential candidates is that is not true. the entire u.s. political they're trying to keep their system. hands clean in a very dirty and specifically supporting the environment. presidential campaign of then i think that's the bottom line. >> and this is now becoming, it president donald j. trump and is beyond just the new yorker disparaging hillary clinton.
that according to the here. you can imagine there will be those who say it is a left wing indictment. moments ago president trump tweeted in response, russia magazine. the "wall street journal" was the one leading the story on stormy daniels. started their anti-u.s. campaign as these stories percolate and in 2015 long before i announced are seen theed and backed up by that i would run for president. good reporting and facts and so the results of the election were on, difficult for those to fade not impacted. the trump campaign did nothing away for the president. >> i would say this will be the wrong. no collusion. they created grassroots and lead story. the top of the hour. social media accounts. they purchased political ads, organized political protests, there are so many tragedy in the even stole social security numbers to pose as ordinary news, something involving the w americans and fooled unwitting americans, including some people associated with the trump campaign. fooled them into coordinating their political activities. >> the indictment alleges the russian conspirators work the create discord in the united states and undermine public confidence in democracy. we must not allow them to succeed. >> let's get try it evan perez.
we heard immediately from the president today saying that this concludes in effect, or indicates no collusion and no impact on the election definitely the indictments make a judgment on that? >> it really did not. this is not over. we know that robert mueller has a lot more information and we don't know whether or not there are additional cases yet to come. this is an incredibly detailed indictment that describes a very specific warfare operation against the united states. and it was designed to exploit political divisions in the united states. and in the end was designed to help donald trump get elected. it was called operation locketa which is an area in russia which is where the research agency was operating of they were showing up to work every day in russia and they were operating behind the scenes, twitter accounts,
social media accounts, trying to drive the political operation in the united states. by all accounts, they succeeded beyond everything. one of the people is known as putin's chef. he operates a big catering company tied to the government there. putin's che>> they had it as big as $1.5 million a month. they knew with states in play in the 2016 election and extraordinarily successful. >> remarkably politically savvy there. there's a lot of trade craft including the extraordinary length these russians went to pose as americans. traveling around the united states with escape plans. >> there was mention that they
went through this. through extraordinarily where you would see almost if spy novels. they opened pay pal accounts, they stole social security numbers. fake dates of birth, all of that to open bank bts to fund some of the ads they were buying on facebook. also to finance some of the rallies, some of the travel, that at least two people traveled in the u.s., made contact with people in the u.s. all of this was funded by this person that evan mentioned, and they were really sophisticated here. they were able to come here and make contact with americans who believed that they were here in support of candidates, whether it is donald trump or whoever. but they fooled many. it is clear the fbi has been on to this all along.
>> and to be clear, there were americans fooled by these russians but the ag rosenstein said it was unwittingly. it was not wittingly that they koomtd. >> right. in this indictment there's no evidence that there was anyone knowingly cooperating with the russians but they created twitter accounts. one tied to the, what pretended to be the tennessee gop. the tennessee republican party. and it was so successful that kellyanne conway, donald trump jr., among the people retweeted postings made by twitter account. it goes to show that you they were able to insinuate themselves into very powerful parts of our political system. >> thanks very much. moments ago the white house released a statement reading, president donald j. trump has been fully briefed this matter and is glad to see the special
counsel's investigation further indicates that there was no collusion between the campaign and russia and the outcome of the election was not changed or affected. the statement attributed to the president himself said it is time we stop the outlandish attacks, wild and false allegations and farfetched theories. i want to go to democratic congressman danny hecht, congressman, i want to get the point, both the president and the white house made. they say these indictments indicate there was no collusion. you've done your own investigation. does it make a conclusion? >> a, that's not true. if the president believed it two weeks ago, he would have levied the hispanics congress passed by a vote of 517-5. see, the president's tweet it
ran rances. the required reading i roam the splerns to go to the department of justice the webb themselves and read this 37-page indictment. it is a page turner. it reads like spy novel. as your reporter suggests. the depth and complexity on the part of the russians to alter the impact of the 2016 election. >> you noted in that indictment, as you see there, it shows enormous savviness on the part of russians here. for instance, tarting swing states. virginia, colorado, florida, with these efforts. in addition to the trade craft that they have as well. your committee has been doing its own investigation. have you found similar evidence of these activities? >> as you well know, we're fairly pledged not to reveal anything within the confives of these interviews and this
investigation, until such time as we reached the very end of it. i would like to make sure that everybody understands on page one of this indictment is the following sentence. i want to read from it. from 2014 to the president, they knowingly conspired with each and with americans known and unknown to the grand jury to defraud the united states, et cetera. this indictment of these 13 individuals is not the end of it. just like the indictments of mr. manafort, flynn, gates and papadopoulos weren't the end of it at all. to be continued. >> members of your committee have said to me, republicans and democrats, we heard it last week. that russia continues activities like these. is your committee aware of activities like we're seeing in this indictment here? outreach trips to the u.s.?
>> so there's some indication of that. it was no lesser than adviser mcmaster who appointed to our allies, mexico, that russia is interfering in their pending national election. until such time as the russians are held accountable, they'll continue it. they have, they are and they will. >> congressman denny heck, thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome. >> what this indictment might tell us about the direction mueller is headed. i'll talk with someone who knows him very well. that's next. why wait months for your next vacation when you can squeeze one in between friday and monday at hilton? there's a vacation at the end of every week.
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identification broad in relation to the investigation. what are you learning? >> the man's named is richard pinedo and he pleaded guilty earlier this year. this was just unsealed after the other indictment against the 13 russians was in. it really goes to an operation he had to help people set up dummy tokts circumvent the features of pay pal, one of the services the russians were using according to the separate indictment. according to this, in court before the judge, the special counsel said, a lawyer for the special counsel office said that this is the first criminal conviction arising from a particular facet of the special counsel's investigation. namely a russian backed operation to use social media platforms. in other words, this is an operation that was aided and abetted by the system to
circumvent the security features of pay pal and others. >> i want to bring in lisa, former chief of staff to robert mueller and knows how he does his investigations. remarkable news. >> it is. >> explain if you can the difference between this and the intel community's assessment which more than a year ago said russia interfered. this has a lot more detail. >> it does. in december of 2016 the intelligence community gave an unclassified assessment saying the russians attempted to interfere in our election. that was backed up by a classified assessment which the public did not see. today we have 37 pages in black and white, an extremely detailed laydown of a covert information operation and warfare as it is described here by the russian government. and importantly, this government has to adhere to a beyond a reasonable doubt standard.
that's what prosecutors have to meet when they return an indictme indictment. they have to meet beyond a reasonable doubt and that buttresses the assessment. >> it was interesting to float a.g. rosenstein who has been in the cross hairs, frankly, as has robert mueller and the entire investigation. him coming out today. attaching his name and face to these very detailed indictments. do you think he was looking for or perhaps earning himself a little job security by that? >> i think what he was doing was doing his job. he is as you know, the attorney general. jeff sessions is recused. and he oversees the work of the special counsel, robert mueller and his team. so it is quite proept to announce an indictment of such significance. i want to add to something that evan perez said. this new information about the guilty plea of there individual.
it does tend on indicate perhaps where some of the detail in this indictment might be coming from if this individual is cooperating with the investigation. he may well be a source. >> so repeatedly, to be clear from democrats and republicans on the relevant communities. what are you aware is being done? if you were advising the president on homeland security, what steps do you believe need to be taken to prevent ongoing russian attacks that are not being taken right now? >> we should be doing at least three things. first is calling out and making very clear the russians are attempting and continuing to try to interfere in our election process. that's what the intelligence community did. the hearing and this indictment adds to that. second, we need to be imposing
costs for the russians' malicious activities and the attempt to undermine the democracy. that means sanctions which the congress passed a bill that the white house has not acted on. and it means trying to hold accountable those individuals who are trying to undermine our democracy. this had indictment goes away toward that as well. and then thirdly, helping the states secure their election systems. we've got some 3,000 counties across this county had a administer the elections. we need to help them, provide them financing and resources to be able to secure their elections systems. >> if those steps don't happen and there isn't evidence that it happens right now, should folks at home be concerned that the 2018 and 2020 elections vulnerable to russian attacks some. >> what we know is russians are continuing their efforts and that there are cyber vulnerabilities because we are so connected. we have a very diffuse election
system, as i just indicated. so there is not that much time left before the 2018 elections, and certainly before the mid terms here. we need to be taking all these steps now. and i think we're behind the eight ball as we stand here today. >> thanks very much. >> thank you. there is yet another big story breaking this afternoon. a staggering admission from the fbi, the explicit warning it received weeks ago about the now confessed florida school gunman. it was never acted on. why? we go 35 parkland, florida. [burke] vengeful vermin.
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the information was not provided to the miami field office on and no further investigation was conducted at that time. the fbi is still investigating the facts of the situation. we will conduct an indepth review of our internal procedures for responding to information that is provided by the public. >> that was the fbi's top agent admitting that the agency failed. the fbi had a tip. it could have stopped the rampage killing 14 students and three teachers. just six weeks ago the fbi specifically alerted to the suspect's violent threats and actions. a person close to nicolas cruz reported about his gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.
now jeff sessions says the consequences are tragic. he is now ordering an immediate review to how the fbi responds to warnings like there about potential violence. live with more on this. this wasn't the first time the fbi was tipped off about it. i imagine the community there is very upsetting to hear this. >> reporter: it is extremely upsetting. especially when you their words, what they sxlernld what could have been done. that's why you're hearing, we live here, we worship here, we send our kids to public school. we are also hearing very strong condemnations from politicians, from rick scott who says this must lead to the resignation of the head of the fbi saying
apologies won't cut it. as police comb through crime scene where 17 innocent victims were gunned down wednesday. the fbi admits they did not act on a warning about might have prevented the massacre. >> they could have saved lives. >> on january 5, a person close to the suspect reported specific details about his guns and his intent to carry out a school shooting to the fbi. information fbi should have known. the fbi says protocols were not followed. >> this is an organization of human beings. we've the
most advanced training in the world, there is no way to eliminate human error. he wrote, we have spoken with victims and families and deeply
regret additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy. warnings that if acted upon may have saved children. >> my job is to protect my children. i send my kid to school. >> fred guttenberg's 14-year-old daughter was among the youngest victims. >> jamie took a bullet and is dead. i -- i don't know what i do next. >> according to the county school superintendent, cruz was expelled from stoneman douglas high school last year. disciplinary records show he was involved in an assault last january. afterwards, the school recommended a threat assessment but it is unclear what came of it. tyler went to the elementary school with cruz. >> what could have led him to do this? >> i don't know what could have
led him to do this but i know no one has been there for him. >> the two attended smaller classes for students with developmental issues. >> he would just close up, i guess. like i said, when the kids would walk in, they would bully him, he would close up and go into his shell. he was oughtistic and he had anxiety so he had to learn differently. >> more recently, concerned neighbors took this video. it looks line he's wearing a red campaign hat and boxer shorts shooting what appears to be a bb gun. since 2010, police have been called to his home 39 times for disturbances, abuse, and one call of a mentally unstable person. the news conference is still going on where the fbi is getting peppered by questions by reporters asking about the tip in january. the fbi promising a thorough review and they will come out
stronger on the other side. meanwhile another call from u.s. senator marco rubio based here if florida. he is saying the house and the senate must conduct an investigation. he wants to know how public times are reviewed and he wants the investigations to focus on that. >> just a heart breaking story at he have turn. thanks very much. please stay with us. we're getting more news about this every hour.
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off a shooting like this. just six weeks before he allegedly did exactly that. two former fbi agents joining me now for this. if could i begin, how do you explain not following up on this tip? i know the fbi gets a lot of times. is it volcano will upper? was there a management failure here? how can you explain it? >> that will be part of the review process. finding out what happened. where did the system break down? as i watch the footage of the special agent in charge in miami, our hearts go out to the brothers and sisters in the fbi. they're the ones facing the cameras and the families. but they are the ones the system failed. as the information we learned today indicated, they never received the information. the times to be able to act on. our hearts go out to the families but you can bet the fbi's hearts are breaking tonight. >> it want to play the internal review being launched after the
tragic consequences of the fbi's failure here. this includes more than the just an error review but also how we respond. this will include possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials and local law enforcement. listening to that there, what changes can you imagine they may be looking at? >> i look at this. let me be clear. the fbi has already done this. there is a difference between an explanation and an excuse. it doesn't sound like there are any excuses here. there has to be an explanation. the fbi director acknowledged it. why wasn't this matched one the jackson, mississippi lead? did they choke whether this individual had a weapons license? did they do a cursory dhoek see if he had any postings on social media that indicated violence and did they see if this was dealt with differently? >> we know, phil, that he had social media postings. we know the cops visited his
house a bunch of times. we know there was a tip. some american did exactly what they're told to do. if you see something, say something. what i'm saying is did this individual go through the steps, what did they qulek they did the check with social media postings. compare with the leads and say what wentz wrong here? there cannot be an explanation. >> we now hear the florida governor rick scott is calling for the fbi director to resign. this is how his statement read. he said we constantly promote see something, say something. a courageous person did just that and the fbi failed to act. see something say something is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow-through from law
enforcement. the fbi director needs to resign. >> i think it would be a distraction. i think they need to find out what processes were responsible and then we can determine what next steps there will be. right now the focus has to be on that review. >> that i know your specialty was counter terrorism and i imagine in that field, you were getting times as well. and that's another threat where americans are constantly urged to reach out if they see something or hear something or read something that is concerning. when you were in that job, how did you make judgments about which ones to follow up on? >> you cannot have it case by case. you have to have a protocol. is there an indication of violence? what is your first stage of doing a threat investigation? a simple google search to see if he has social media accounts. it's not that labor intensive. this is not an indication of a clear threat if somebody just called in. were there initial steps to
confirm call. there are so many steps. why couldn't we figure it out? >> both worked very hard on the inside. >> coming up next, first lady melania trump dodging white house cameras today. this after a new bombshell report that her husband, the president, allegedly cheated on her with a playboy playmate. the reporter who expose that had alleged affair as well as a pattern of trying to cover it up.
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news. first lady melania trump choosing not to accompany the president, her husband, on his walk to marine one but rather arriving for their flight to florida on her own. it comes as a new bombshell report reveals that another alleged affair by donald trump back in 2006 was reportedly covered up. this according to new yorker magazine which broke the story. the reporter joining me now with cnn white house reporter kate bennett. what are your sources telling but the first family's relationship? >> as you said, we're used to seeing the first couple do the walk across the south lawn to go to marine one to head off to mar-a-lago. it is a routine thing for them. today because the first lady apparently had scheduling issues, it was easier for her to meet the president at air force one where they'll fly florida separately. but we're supposed to see them together. this comes a day that must be difficult for the first lady to see these headlines about an alleged affair in 2006 between her husband and a playboy model,
as reported by the new yorker today. that this affair was carried on and perhaps was hidden by tabloid payment of $150,000. a catch and kill story, as they call them. a story that never ran. of course, the white house denies the affair happened. again, however, this is a difficult headline that melania trump is having to deal with. on the heels of the stormy daniels scandal, we've seen her cancel her trip to davos, we've watched her take a separate vehicle to the state of the union address. so this is a first lady who is signaling some independence here today. >> thanks very much. joining me now, the report here broke the story about president trump's affair and the remarkable efforts to cover it up. so we see the ripple effects. >> whether there's any link between those, i think has the
highly significant story on a couple of levels. we have multiple alleged relationships. both consensual and in some cases, extending to nonconsensual. that suggests a pattern of behavior with women including a shared set of tactics to silence women. >> catch and kill. explain what that means. >> it is used to talk about acquiring the rights of a story with the intention of burying it. we talked to six former employees of this tabloid company, ami who tones "national enquirer" who says that's a routine tactic used by that sxoim that provides leverage. an opportunity for influence over the person whose dirt they own. >> and you say that since then, the ami has reached out to karen macdougal again to re-sign her to a contract to never publish this story?
>> they've acquired the limited life rights to any affair with a then married man that she had. in the last year with the election, contact had been intermittent. they seemed the resume interest. any time there was an interest she would speak to the press, since the stormy daniels broke, there's been a renewed interest to have her stein contracts. >> is there any indication they've had an interest in publishing the story? >> look, ami had very ample opportunity for input and comment in this piece and they say very clearly that they did not at any point intend to publish this piece because they did not find it credible. >> and you spoke to employees who contradict that. >> that's right of the. >> in your reporting, did you
hear from anyone the president to your knowledge or their knowledge was ever aware of this? >> we are not reporting this was confirmed by the president. but this was to the benefit of the president and in a context where the head of the company, david pecker, has said he is loyal to the president and he considers the president to be a close friend. >> we talked about the pattern of catch and kill. trying on bury these stories including with financial payments. there's a pattern to the president's behavior with these relationships outside his marriage. where he meets, how he expenses for their expenses. >> all the above. one common trend is donald trump offering money for sex. that's present this mcdougal's story and that's true for her. >> to exchange money. >> so that's one commonality. but there are numerous ones including the locations and the
time frames. at the same time that stormy daniels aalleges she began her affair with trump, that's when she began a relationship with donald trump. >> now oftentimes including on the sexual harassment stories that you've covered, having a personal and detailed skt essential to the case. and you got a hand written note recounting karen mcdougal's account. >> she fees that she was in a sense cornered into a set of contract that's she finds onerous and exploit it aive. she is frustrated with her inability to speak, in her view, and she has regrets this. she fully admits she voluntarily signed the agreements and the written testimony exists is because in the course of selling the story, a friend of hers who cofield her into selling it said sit down and write every detail.
and she did. >> she said she feels trapped in her silence. perhaps she's free to speak now? is this a legal question but might we hear from karen mcdougal? >> she did speak on the record with this story. the distinction is she spoke quite volcanobly. it is from the affair of that written testimony. she said she is terrified of retaliation. there's an interesting he said she said here. ami says she can now speak because of an amendment to the contract after the election. they acquired these limited story rights. there was the election and then they said there was an amendment that she's she can speak to legitimate inquiries. >> this is a remarkable story
and a remarkable amount of detail here. next, does the catch and kill tactic we were talking about give this story more credibility going forward? we'll talk about it after this. . it was tough getting out there on stage. i wanted to be clear. i wanted it to last. so i kept on fighting. i found something that worked. and keeps on working. now? they see me. see me. see if cosentyx could make a difference for you- cosentyx is proven to help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting cosentyx, you should be checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to. if you have inflammatory bowel disease, tell your doctor if symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reactions may occur. never give up. see me. see me. clear skin can last.
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welcome back. the president and the playmate. a new bombshell report reveals a system of pattern of cover-ups of alleged infidelity involving donald trump. that saying that he had an affair with someone else. a playboy model karen mcdougal. it never dime light because the "national enquirer" bought the rights to it and spiked it just
weeks. david is the publisher of the "national enquirer." these stories, he silenced they will for now but that gives him influence, i imagine. he can unsilence them at some point. >> yes. if he is able to help the president or his other famous friends by keeping stories quiet, the logic says he could hurt the president or his other famous friends. and by the way, on this list it is people like harvey weinstein and arnold schwarzenegger. there are a number ofho said tht