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president hasn't told him to confront the russian cyber threat. that is a perfect reason for our cnn special report, the trump russia investigation, which starts right now. only being a politician for a short period of time, how am i going, am i doing okay? i'm president. hey, i'm president, can you believe it? >> a shadow hangs over the white house. >> why so many lies? >> this is not normal. >> the most explosive evidence yet in the russian ya investigation. >> the urgent questions. >> mr. president, did you order mueller fired? >> fake news, folks, fake news. >> was it appropriate for you to meet with the russian officials? >> mr. manafort owed you
millions of dollars. >> at the heart of the trump russia mystery. >> i have nothing to do with russia, to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. >> but there were secret contacts. >> the release of an e-mail chain. >> it came from russians. >> some denials that defy the facts. >> i don't know what you're talking about, it's crazy? >> it's disgusting, it's phony. >> a shocking dismissal. the. >> president of the united states has terminated the director of the fbi. >> he's a show boat, he's a grandstander. >> those were lies, plain and simple. >> donald trump's changing stories. >> mr. president. >> 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 smart. >> attacks on american institutions. >> when you look at what's gone
on with the fbi and with the justice department, people are very, very angry. >> where does this story end? >> you may or may not find evidence of an impeachable offense. >> the russia story is a total fabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics. for more than the year, i've been part of the cnn team investigating this critically important story. 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 threats to find answers. we reported new information almost every day about tonight we will bring that reporting all together in one place to tell a more 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. i was in moscow. they treated me so great.
putin even sent me a present. beautiful present. >> hi, everybody, welcome to moscow. >> it's an amazing location. and moscow and all of russia is going wild over it. we're very happy, the miss universe pageant is setting records. >> trump seemed to have the time of his life. >> wow! that's really -- you're looking very russian. >> that's really nice, now i feel -- 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 universe to russia. >> russia wanted it, moscow
wanted it, everybody wanted the miss universe pageant. we had 18 countries that wanted it. they fought really hard to get it. >> the money came from this man. >> amazing support. >> friend of vladimir putin, sometimes called the trump of russia. >> then they were whisked away to the magnificent estate. >> miss universe was a family affair. his sonsang at the pageant. and his mom got a job too. >> trump seemed thrilled with his new russian friends. >> the richest man in russia. >> before the pageant, trump invited the agalarovs to vegas, to seal the deal. it was guess who was coming to dinner trump style.
ross agalarav was there, of course. he's the man who wrote the infamous e-mails to donald trump jr., e-mails that promised dirt on hillary clinton. emmond the singer would 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. he works for agalarov. trump wined and dined all of them. he was after a bigger fish to make his pageant great. >> 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 developed an intense admiration for the russian strong man.
>> he's put himself really at the forefront of the world as a leader. putin has done an amazing job of showing certain leadership that our people have not been able to match. >> he would echo those sentiments many times in the years to come. >> russia. i mean, putin has an 80% popularity in his country. he's so outsmarting the united states. and all of a sudden, the people in russia like him. >> run by a very smart cookie. much smarter, much more cunning than our president. >> this is when trump began giving conflicting accounts about knowing putin. >> you have a relationship with slads mere putin. a conversational relationship? >> i do have a relationship. >> what is your relationship with vladimir putin? >> i have no relationship with putin. >> he would change his story repeatedly p.m. >> i know him very well. because we were both on "60 minutes." we were stable mates, we did very well that night. >> i don't know putin, i have never spoken to him, i don't know anything about him other
than he will respect me. >> vladimir putin did not show up at the pageant, but trump made other contactses. >> i got to meet all of the leaders, all -- i mean, everybody was there. it was a massive event. >> i was with the top level people, both oligarchs and generals. >> it's hard to say if oligarchs or generals were at the pageant or any late night parties. >> i mean, 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, we're talking to a group of people doing that. >> 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
the trump-russia drama. this is cnn breaking news. >> the most explosive evidence yet in the russia investigation. >> it was in july -- >> 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 the russian lawyer. >> say hello to don jr. >> the president's son had a secret meeting with russians. >> told she was working for the kremlin and she had damaging information on hillary clinton. >> it wasn't just don jr. >> paul man in a forward and jared kushner were there too. >> russia, clinton, private and confidential. >> i thought it might have been fake. >> it looks kind of like a farcical episode. >> 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 increme nature hillary and her dealings with russia, and would be very useful to your father. >> this can't be dismissed as people out to get donald j. trump jr. or fake news. this is evidence of willingness to commit collusion. >> the offer of political dirt came courtesy of ross agalarov, with the assist from his pop star son, emin. >> listen to this, this is obviously very high level and sensitive information. but is part of russia and its government's support for 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 camp's explanations were confusing. >> strange and conflicting accounts from the very white house on the meeting donald trump jr. had with a russian lawyer. >> the first explanation has become a focus of the mueller investigation. because it was misleading. >> donald trump jr. told the new york times that the trump tower meeting was primarily about russian adoption. that statement may spell legal trouble for the president, because he helped write it, while flying home from the g-20 summit. >> he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do. >> the new york times reported the day after the statement was issued, there was a conference call involving the president. then hope hicks and legal team
spokesman -- >> donald trump -- >> the trump tower e-mails contradicted trump jr.'s statement. the e-mails will never get out, hope hicks' lawyer denies that account. >> 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's dealings with russia? >> even as the story of the meeting was first breaking, trump defenders were downplaying it. >> i don't know much about it, other than it seems to be a bug 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 sendses me. i read it, i responded accordingly. and if there was something interesting there, i think it's pretty common. >> the difference in this case is 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. >> the campaign manager for secretary of state hillary clinton, i asked him about the dnc leak, and he suggested that experts are saying that russians were behind both the hacking of the dnc e-mails and their
release. >> keep in mind as you watch this, it was six weeks after the trump tower meeting. after trump jr. had been told russia wanted to help his father win. >> it just goes to show their exact moral compass. they'll say anything to be able to win this. it's time and time again, it's lie after lie. it's disgusting, 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 manafort, no one in the campaign told the president anything about these e-mails? anything about this meeting before it happened? and he will testify to that under oath? >> no one's testifying -- asked him to testify under oath on this, so i don't know how that's comes into the picture. the president was not at the meeting, was not aware of the meeting, did not participate in the meeting. >> the president wasn't involved. >> there's the legal side, but there's the political side. >> which is, you're out there,
and you're saying con stan thely, there was no effort to included with the russians in anyway shape or form, and 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 many and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the conditions opinion 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 either dr. xiavago, you need to disclose any contact you have ever had with russia. >> donald trump jr. said he had done that. >> as far as you know, as far as this incident is concerned this is all of it? >> this is everything. this is everything. >> but it was not everything. there were more russians there 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 jr. and the russian attorney? >> the eighth person who was in
the room, is a representative of the agalarov family. >> cnn is reporting there was somebody else in in the meeting. we're waiting to find out if there were any russians who were in new york that day, who were not in that meeting. >> the eight people were donald trump jr., jared kushner, paul manafort, rob goldstone and three russian men lobbyists were not mentioned, agalarov executive and a translator. the leader of the meeting russian attorney, natalia ves l vesselnitskaya. she denied any connection to the russian government. >> have you ever worked for the russian government? >> do you have connections to the russian government. >> but she does have connections to the chief prosecutor in russia, who she shared her talking points with months
before the trump tower meeting. she also denied bringing up any dirt on hillary clinton. >> translator: i want to make sure that everybody 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. >> she makes reference to the possibility that money was also provided to the hillary clinton campaign. >> i have nothing to do with russia, to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. >> donald trump said that a year ago. no people has now grown to 12 people. trump associates who had contacts 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. one lesser known player is also in 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. >> mr. president, you called george papadopoulos an excellent guy. what is your reaction. >> mr. president, what's your reaction to george papadopoulos's guilty plea. >> thank you very much. >> the trump team has been working overtime -- >> he was the coffee boy. if he was going to wear a wire,
all we'd know now is whether he prefers a caramel macchiato over a regular american coffee. >> but the coffee boy found himself to the big boy table. he may be the very reason there's a trump/russia investigation. back in may of 2016 papadopoulos told an australian diplomat that the kremlin had thousands of e-mails that could be damaging to hillary clinton. >> this is a big deal. russia has said they have these e-mails and they want to use them and release them to benefit the republicans in the election. >> when the e-mails began to leak, australian told the u.s. what the young campaign aide said. that played a role in the decision to open an fbi investigation. papadopoulos is now cooperating with the mueller team.
when we come back. >> the president thinks this is a witch hunt. anyway you can respond to that? >> before there was a mueller investigation. >> he's become more famous than me. >> there was a comey investigation. >> i remember standing in the newsroom and somebody gasped, went -- i thought, oh, god what happened? >> the jim comey bombshell that no one saw coming. >> it's a dark moment in american history today. and use . and with panera catering, it's food worth sharing. panera. food as it should be.
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and got them back on track. get started at fastsigns.com. just over 100 days in office, president trump scored a much needed win after a house vote on health care. >> only being a politician for a short period of time. how am i doing? am i doing okay? i'm president. hey, i'm president, can you believe it? thank you. >> days later he made a decision that potentially put his presidency in legal and political jeopardy. >> we have major breaking news. >> moments ago, breaking news that no one saw coming today. >> i remember standing in the newsroom and someone gasped. >> a bombshell at the white
house, james comey is out. >> president prumd had abruptly fired the manning in charge of investigating his campaign's ties to russia. >> although the president is allowed to fire the fbi director, there were suspicions about trump's motivations. >> this is not normal. this is not how presidents behave, it's a dark moment in american history today. >> one senator says it is plunged the country into a full pledged constitutional crisis. >> it fueled calls for a special prosecutor and raised questions about how the firing was handled. >> comey wasn't even in the city, he was all the way across the country. he found out by looking up and seeing it on the television. >> just -- i just have to stop it, he was talking to fbi agents in los angeles and he looks up and he sees that he's fired from television? >> that is what we're 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 issue is why. >> did something specific happen? was there a moment? >> the white house comms department didn't know about this. >> they were scrambling to answer reporters questions. >> they couldn't come up with talking points. >> and sean spicer was left standing by the bushes. >> no cameras. >> turn the lights off. >> no cameras for the moment. you'll do one on one. >> they deliberately didn't tell the press office, they thought the press office would leak it. >> at first, a memo written by deputy attorney general rod rosen stein was given for the justification for the firing. rosen stein has been the top official overseeing the russia
investigation since jeff sessions recused himself last month. that infuriated president trump. >> he had expected a certain measure of personal loyalty, which is not how the u.s. government is supposed to work. >> on the night of the comey firing, the chaos continued. >> what prompted that? what was -- >> you'll have to ask the deputy attorney general. >> 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 recommendation of his deputy attorney general who oversees -- >> that makes no sense. >> 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, zpa disparaging the director of the fbi to an adversarial power? >> perhaps of greater importance when the president said this. >> i face great pressure because of russia, that's taken off. >> the words aleving pressure are going to raise questions for investigators. >> the president has consistently said that he did not obstruct justice when he fired james comey. >> mr. comey -- >> the two men come from completely different worlds.
>> james comey is a professional lawman. 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. the chondro versial document contained allegations about the president gathered as part 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 didn't sit well with comey either. >> we know he went back to the fbi suburban and pulled out a classified computer and wrote his first memo about his interactions with donald trump p.m. >> i was afraid he would lie about our meeting, so i felt it necessary to document it. >> comey's next 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 as is possible to be. >> but then -- >> oh, and there's james -- he's become more famous than me. >> it encapsulated the difficult position comey was in, because he was at once the fbi director, answerable to the president of the united states. but also conducting an
investigation of the trump campaign, which the president obviously hated. >> you've seen the picture of me walking across the blue room. what the president whispered in my ear was, i really look forward to working with you. >> the president kept reaching out. next kaman 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, and 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 general, the chief of staff out to talk to me, my impression was, something big is 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 goo. to letting flynn go, he is a good guy. >> this is 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. it is so contrary to how the government 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? and also, as you look back -- >> 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 mildly nauseous to think we may have had some impact on the election, honestly
it wouldn't change the decision. >> comey's concern that he influenced the outcome of the election infuriated the president. >> trump heard it as a personal attack. >> look, he's a show boat, he's a grandstander. >> when donald trump hears that, he hears my presidency is illegitimate. you're trying to question whether or not i should be in the oval office right now. >> the russians did not affect the vote. and everybody seems to think that. >> the president spent a rainy weekend at his new jersey golf resort stewing about jim comey's testimony. >> he came back and decided i'm going to do, i'm going to fire james comey. >> among those supporting the president's decision, son in law and senior adviser, jared kushner. >> it really did show that some of the people around the president who were pushing this are beyond politically naive. >> after his firing, james comey returned to capitol hill. and revealed something extraordinary. >> i asked a friend of mine to
share the content of the memo with a reporter. >> the memo described his last meeting with the president in the oval office. >> i asked him to, because i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special council. >> he was right. >> this is huge, pamela. >> this is a significant step, the deputy attorney general rod rosen stein has appointed former fbi director bob mueller to now oversee the russia probe. >> that was a dangerous day for the president. potentially. >> just about a month after terminating comey, trump may have pursued yet another firing. he pressed white house council don mcgahn to look into potential conflicts involving robert mueller. the new york times reported that trump wanted mueller fired until mcgahn threatened to quit, warning it would be catastrophic for the trump presidency. >> mr. president, did you seek to fire mueller. >> did you seek to -- >> fake news, folks, fake news.
>> the president says he wants to talk to mueller under oath. even though his lawyers have advised him against it. >> the special council has a wide net he can cast, to look into all things russia, and who knows what else he will find. that 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 repay that debt? >> on all the president's men. >> mr. kushner will you sign my russian flag? sign my russian flag. sign my russian flag, please. freezing away fat cells with coolsculpting? now that's cool! coolsculpting safely freezes and removes fat cells with little or no downtime. and no surgery.
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and pharmacist recommended. garlique.® paul manafort will surrender -- >> the indictment, conspiracy against the united states. >> a former campaign chairman indicted on 23 counts. >> i have the smartest people -- >> trusted adviser jared kushner. >> a secret means of communicating with the kremlin. >> a top adviser who discussed a bat channel with the russians. >> i have the most dedicated people -- >> michael flynn has resigned tonight. >> back door communications with 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 rt. >> russia and the united states have to work together on this. and i think there -- >> he even spoke at an event celebrating rt's tenth anniversary, and he sat next to vladimir putin at dinner. >> here you have a former top intelligence official in the united states government, celebrates this gala for the propaganda arm of the kremlin. >> flynn made almost $34,000 for his appearance. but investigators looking into his security clearance 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 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 has called false accusations of treason. >> i don't know -- >> have you betrayed your country. >> the bombshell of robert mueller's investigation came on december 1st, when flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi. while he was national security adviser, he told fbi agents that he had not discussed sanctions with russia ambassador during the transition. but he had talked sanctions and the fbi knew it, because the ambassador had been monitored by u.s. intelligence. >> he said he didn't do, and there were transcripts clearly showing that he did. >> what's more, flynn admitted
in his plea deal that the sanctions talks 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. before he pleaded guilty, flynn was facing a lot of tough legal issues. but mueller only charged him with one count. so it's possible that flynn has an even bigger story to tell. >> we're seeing manafort come in now with counsel. >> paul manafort, the president's former campaign chairman is also facing possible jail time, potentially for the rest of his life. he's charged with concealing his work for a foreign government, conspiring to launder millions of dollars, and conspiring against the united states among other crimes. 23 counts in all. he has pleaded not guilty. the special council makes an
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 yanakovich. the former president of ukraine. he was a strong man who presided over a deadly crackdown against protesters in the streets of 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 or your campaign and putin and his regime? >> no, there are not. it's absurd, there's no basis to
it. >> u.s. intelligence saw a different story. agents intercepted communications from suspected russian operatives, indicating that manafort appeared to be asking them for help. >> they describe him cen willy encouraging help, encouraging the russians to provide assistance to donald trump's campaign. >> manafort's ties to russia go way back. he worked for a close associate of putin. >> is it true that mr. manafort owed you millions of dollars -- >> one of a few wealthy oligarch's putin consults with regularly. according to a u.s. state department cable. >> he can pick up the phone to the oligarchs and say, i need to get a message out to this american and it gets done, because he's vladimir putin and that's how the system works. >> less than two weeks before trump got nominated. manafort offered to brief him privately on how the campaign was going according to the washington post.
>> in fact, court documents indicate that manafort may have been in debt to daraposka. >> did you use those private briefings to try to repay some of that debt to you? is that why he offered them? >> get lost, please. thank you. >> daraposka spokesman told cnn the oligarch was never offered briefings by manafort. manafort spokesman has denied he was in debt to daraposka during the trump campaign and afterwards. he has admitted that manafort offered the briefings. >> tell the truth. >> recently things got a lot worse for manafort. his business partner for years struck a deal with robert mueller, which means odds are gates will testify against manafort. >> it really makes manafort's situation pretty desperate. >> manafort was also at the
trump tower meeting with the russians in june 2016. >> mr. kushner will you sign my russian flag? sign my russian flag, please. >> and so was the president's son in law, jared kushner. >> kushner hasn't been charged with any crimes, the 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's someone who had contacts with russian representatives. >> kushner has not been forthcoming about those contacts. he was required by law to disclose them to the fbi to get a security clearance. >> mr. kushner -- >> he has repeatedly omitted foreign contacts and had to
submit his forms four times, sparking tough questions from both parties. his reasons range from forgetfulness to a clerical error. >> see you guys, bye. >> now, kushner's temporary security clearance has been downgraded by white house chief of staff john kelly, the review process continues. >> there have been stories that have been appearing for months about jared kushner's meetings. >> december 1st, 2016, kushner meets with russian ambassador sergei kislyak at trump tower. >> that ambassador came to new york. >> jared kushner met with the ambassador. >> they discussed setting up a back channel with moss cow. >> that raises a red flag, and say, why wasn't this reported? >> curb dmer 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 gorcav, the head of a sanctioned russian bank that's often funded putin's pelt projects. like the sochi olympics. the bank was also used >> and gorcav himself pretended the trading economy for russian operatives. there has been questions whether kushner did business with gorcav. a reported of $1.2 billion mortgage coming due in 2019.
kushner says his business dealings never came up with gorcav and all his meetings were nothing to worry about. >> i did not collude with russia nor did i know anyone else in the campaign did so. >> gorcav's bank implied the meeting with kushner was about business. robert mueller's team expressed interests in kushner including h is role of the firing of james comey. >> investigators still have many questions for the president's men. >> how many times do i have to answer this question? >> the collusion question? >> i have nothing to do with russia. >> to best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with this.
>> when we return -- >> i have no dealings with russia, i have no deals with russi russia. >> but donald trump has made money with the russians. >> i paid $40 million and i sold it to a russian. -i've seen lots of homes helping new customers bundle and save big, but now it's time to find my dream abode. -right away, i could tell his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again.
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and i couldn't ask for a better partner. at the situation room, we have major breaking news. the u.s. justice department has named the special counsel of the russian investigation. >> a development that could change everything. >> i think we are going to see justice. >> bob mueller is very thorough, good for the investigation but 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? >> well, i respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. >> this is a witch hunt and a hoax. >> russia is fake. it is all fakeness. >> no matter what the trump's team would call it, the russia investigation is very real. >> under mueller going in the direction the president did not wanted to go. >> i have a great company, i built an unbelievable company. if you look there you will see there is nothing in russia. > >> if you listen to the statements of the president and his team of the mueller's investigation, they feel like financial issues, trump's business dealings should be walled off and off limits. >> we would certainly object to that. it is quite clear that mueller's team is looking directly at his
business dealings for the perfectly understandable reason that money can be a motive. >> we followed the money to the beginning of trump's connection to russia decades earlier. in 1987 when, donald trump, took off to his first business to mouse c moscow. >> in 1987, donald trump was flushed with money. so he and ivana went to russia and trying to make a deal to build a trump tower there. >> that deal never happened. again and again, trump would keep on trying. >> donald tried at least five times to build a trump tower in moscow. >> donald trump has an enormous ability to deny reality. reality is that during the
campaign, not just in ancient history, during the campaign he white house negotiating for a hotel to be built in moscow. >> aaron, we learned that michael cohen's president trump's personal lawyer was in talks in menopauoscow of a propo build trump tower there. >> that was the definition of business dealings in russia. >> the deal signed by trump of fall of 2015 fell through. but not before trump's attorney reached out to the kremlin for help. >> cohen says he e-mailed vladimir putin for help on this project on behalf of the trump's organization. >> we can make deals in russia easily, if we wanted to -- i just don't want to. according to james henry, all of the focus on trump's deals in
russia might be missing the point. >> it is not so much that trump has been invested in russia is that he's receiving a lot of finance from the union state from oligarchs. >> i got more oligarchs living in my building. >> before he became a politician, businessman donald trump boasted about it. >> have you had any dealings with the russians? >> well, i have done a lot of business with the russians. >> the most expensive home ever sold in america. >> back in 2008, trump made a record breaking deal with the russian oligarchs. >> he bought from donald trump of a mansion two miles from palm beach florida. >> i sold it to a russian. >> mr. donald trump j. trump. >> he would reappear during the
2016 election. when according to mcclactchy news, his private plane was spotted in las vegas, nevada and north carolina. >> it looks suspicious that we have this oligarch bird dogging our president on the campaign trail. >> the pair never met. but, we still don't understand that until this day. >> what remains however is that this oligarch is hardly the only russian to have bolstered trump's bottom line. >> after his catastrophic collapse in 1991 that threatened his empire for good. trump spent most of the decades from