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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 2, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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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 apparently 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. >> i was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so i thought it really important to document. >> the inauguration was such a success. >> comey's next public encounter with the president was awkward. the director of the fbi thought it was crucial to keep his distance. >> he stands in the part of the room that is physically as far from the president as it's possible to be. >> but then --
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>> 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 came an invitation to dinner at the white house. >> the very fact that the president whose campaign is under investigation is asking to have dinner with the fbi director alone raises all sorts of red flags, as it did for comey. >> the dinner was an effort to build a relationship.
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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
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michael flynn had been forced out. the white house said flynn was fired because he lied to the vice president about his conversations with the russian ambassador. questions have been raised about whether the president knew flynn also lied to the fbi, which is a federal crime. so another critical question is whether trump knew it when he said this according to comey. "i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy." >> it's 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 to back down the investigation into michael flynn? and also as you look back -- >> no. no. next question. >> it may have been comey's
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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 might have had some impact on the election. but 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 showboat. 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 it. i'm going to fire james comey.
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>> 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 counsel. >> he was right. >> this is huge, pamela. >> this is a significant step. we are learning that the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, has appointed former fbi director bob mueller to now oversee the russia probe. >> that was a dangerous day for the president potentially.
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>> just about a month after firing comey, he pressed to look into robert mueller. the "new york times" reported that he wanted mueller fired until don mcgahn threatened to quit. >> did you want to fire robert mueller? >> fake news. >> the president now says he wants to talk to mueller under oath, even though his lawyers have advised him against it. >> the special counsel has a very wide net he can cast to look into all things russia and who knows what else he's going to find. that would not have happened had president trump not fired james comey. still ahead, chasing an oligarch. >> s >> is it true that mr. manafort owed you millions of dollars when he was head of the trump
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campaign. >> to get the story on all the president's men. >> get lost, please. >> will you sign my russian flag? please, sign my russian flag. moe to severe crohn's disease. then i realized something was missing... me. my symptoms were keeping me from being there. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. and the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission in as little as 4 weeks. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores.
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>> 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 back 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,
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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.
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>> 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 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
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called, quote, false accusations of treason. >> i don't know -- >> have you betrayed your country? >> but 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's 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.
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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, viktor yanakovich. the former president of ukraine.
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after -- yanukovych was a strong man who presided over a deadly crack down 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, essentially, encouraging help, encouraging the russians to
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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
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briefings by manafort. manafort spokesman has denied he was in debt to daraposka during the trump campaign and afterwards. but he has admitted that manafort offered the briefings. >> tell the truth. tell the truth. >> recently things got a lot worse for manafort. his business partner for years rick gates struck a plea deal with special counsel 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. >> do you have any comment mr. 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.
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he's a witness to virtually all the central issues in this investigation. he is also important because he's an independent actor. he is someone who had 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 -- >> but he has repeatedly omitted foreign contacts and had to submit his forms four times, sparking tough questions from both parties. his reasons for the revisions range from forgetfulness to a clerical error. >> 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
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about jared kushner's meetings. >> december 1st, 2016, kushner meets with russian ambassador sergei kislyak at trump tower. >> that russian ambassador came to new york. >> jared kushner met with the russian ambassador. >> they discussed setting up a back channel with moscow at russia's own embassy. >> you have to say that raises a red flag and say why wasn't this reported in. >> kushner claimed he wanted to discuss syria, and said the arrangement was never set up. some in u.s. intelligence believe that kislyak was one of russia's top spies in washington. >> did you recruit any members of the trump administration? >> december 13th, 2016, kushner meets with sergei gorcav, the head of a sanctioned russian bank that's often funded putin's pet projects. like the sochi olympics. the bank was also used as a
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cover by a russian spy in new york city. who went to prison for espionage. >> the fbi now says it has busted a russian spy ring. >> was actually one of three russian spies. >> and gorkov himself attended the training academy for russian intelligence officers. >> what did you really speak to jared kushner about when you met him in december? >> there have been questions whether kushner discussed his family's business with banker gorkov. kushner owns a fifth avenue building with a reported $1.2 billion mortgage coming due in 2019. kushner said his business dealings never came up with gorkov and all of his meetings with russians were nothing to worry about. >> i did not include with russia, nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. >> your bank says it was a business meetings.
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>> but gorkov's bank implied the meeting with kushner was about business. referring to kushner as the head of kushner's industry. >> robert mueller's team has expressed interest in kushner, including his role in the firing of james comey. >> can you say you're aware anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia. >> investigators still have questions for the president's men. >> how many times do i have to answer the question? >> the collusion question -- >> i have nothing to do with russia. >> -- is not closed. >> to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. when we return. >> i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. >> but donald trump has made money with russians. >> i paid $40 million, i sold it for $100 million, and i sold it to a russian.
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in the situation room we have major breaking news right now. the u.s. justice department has just named a special counsel in the russia investigation. >> this is a significant step. >> a development that could change everything. >> i think we're going to see justice. >> bob mueller is very thorough. good for the investigation, maybe not so much for president trump. >> does anybody have any questions?
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>> the day after that bombshell announcement, president trump had his first chance to strike back. >> was this the right move or is this part of a witch hunt? >> i respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. >> this is a witch hunt and a hoax. >> russia is a ruse. >> a fiction, a total fabrication. >> it's all fake news. >> no matter what the trump team would call it, the russia investigation was very real. >> the president thinks it's a witch hunt, is there any way you can respond to that? >> and under robert mueller going in a direction the president did not want it to go. >> i have a great company. i built an unbelievable company but if you look there you see there's nothing in russia. >> if you listen to the statement of the president and his team about be the the mueller investigation, they feel
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like financial issues, trump's business dealings should be wau walled off, should off limits. >> to look at a real estate deal from ten years ago would be outside of the mandate and we would object to that. >> it is clear that mueller's team is looking directly as his business dealings for the perfectly understandable reason that money can be a motive. >> we followed the money to the very beginning of trump's connection to russia, decades earlier, in 1987, when 41-year-old donald trump took off for his very first business trip to moscow. >> in 1987, donald trump was flush with money. and he was invited to russia. so he and ivana went to russia and tried to make a deal to build a trump tower there. >> that deal never happened. >> there was talk of trump tower in moscow. >> but again and again trump would keep on trying.
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>> he 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 was negotiating for a hotel to be built in moscow. >> erin, we learned that michael cohen his personal lawyer was in talked with moscow about a proposal to build a trump tower there. >> that is the definition of business dealings in russia. >> the deal, outlined in a nonbinding letter of intent signed by trump in the fall of 2015, fell through. but not before trump's attorney reached out to the kremlin for help. >> cohen said in a statement today that he e-mailed vladimir putin's spokesperson
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for help on this project on behalf of the trump organization. >> i don't want to make deals -- >> 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 he has investing in russia, it's he's been receiving lots of finance from the state, a lot of oligarchs. >> i have more oligarchs living in my buildings -- >> before he became a politician, businessman trump boasted about it. >> have you had any dealings with the russians? >> i have done a lot of business with the russians. >> the most expensive home sold in america. >> back in 2008 at the height of the u.s. housing collapse, trump made a record breaking deal with a russian oligarch known as the fertilizer king. >> he bought from donald trump a mansion about two miles from
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mar-a-lago in palm beach, florida. >> i paid $40 million, and i sold it for $100 million, and i sold it to a russia. >> mr. donald j. trump. >> rieb -- ribelovlev would reappear in the 2016 election. when according to the news, his private plane was spotted in two u.s. cities where trump was campaigning, concord, north carolina, and las vegas, nevada. >> it certainly looks suspicious a leading russian oligarch bird dogs our presidential candidate. >> they said the pair never met and called it a pure coincidence that occurred while he was traveling on unrelated business. >> we don't understand that to this day. >> what remains clear is that this this oligarch is not the only russian to have bollstered trump's bottom line. >> there is a surprising amount of russians in every deal
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everywhere. >> after a financial collapse in 1991 that threatened to end his empire for good, trump spent most of the decade digging out from under enormous debt. >> he was unfinanceable by major banks. >> luckily for trump a new source of money was just around the corner. >> an avalanche of money pouring in from the soviet union, just when trump is in serious trouble financially. >> after the collapse of the soviet union in 1991, russia's state owned businesses moved into private hands, be creating a class of wealthy oligarchs, some of whom began investing in american real estate. >> word spread if you want to be not be noticed, you buy real estate. >> in the years that followed,
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trump tower and the developments in florida filled up with russian buyers. >> my name is donald trump and i'm the largest real estate developer in new york. >> meanwhile, donald trump was finding his way into american living rooms across the country. >> he has this incredible stroke of luck, he turns into an actor playing a successful businessman. >> who will be the "apprentice". >> and it opened the door for trump to a new way of making money. >> trump then shifted his business model. he'd become a brand name at that point so he began licensing his name and putting his name on everything. >> putting it in a haphazard kind of way. >> when it comes to great stakes, i just raised the steaks. >> he licensed neckties,
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buildings. >> he plugs into this beautiful, beautiful solution that, hey, if i don't ask a lot of questions and i allow my name to go on projects, then i'll get paid. >> there are buildings that he didn't put up a penny, but he got a multi-million fee up front to get the trump name on it. >> in the case of trump tower soho, the trump organization got 18% ownership of the tower without investing a single dime according to bloomberg news. >> thank you very much. >> the financing for the project was left up to his partner bay rock group. >> a problematic project from top to bottom. >> a lawsuit filed by a former bay rock insider in 2010 accused bay rock of money laundering and having tied to russia and russian organized crime. bay rock has denied the allegations but after an
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eight-year legal battle recently agreed to settle the lawsuit. >> there is a -- why would trump ever do business with those guys? >> guys like russia born felix sa sa saider, a twice convicted felony. after his second conviction, he cooperated on cases with the justice department. >> he was accused of stabbing someone in the neck with a margarita glass in 1991. 199 8 he's convicted of fraud with penny stocks. >> his business ties extended well beyond the soho deal. together with bay rock, they explored additional trump deals in the u.s. and abroad. but in sworn testimony in a 2013 deposition, trump insisted he barely even knew sader.
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>> about how many times have you conversed with mr. sadder? >> over the years? if you can estimate. >> not many. if he was sitting in the room right now i wouldn't really know what he looked like. >> it is absolutely untrue that donald trump doesn't know sader. >> at one time he held a card for the trump organization. he was also the go-between for trump's most recent and perhaps most controversial attempt at trying to build trump tower moscow. he urged him to come and tour the proposal and suggested to him he could help him win the presidency. >> there is no question during the campaign that trump was trying to get closer to russia and repair relations with russia. >> there is nothing i can think of that i would rather do than
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houston, texas.
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>> white power. >> the heart of texas facebook page invites its 250,000 followers to the stop islamization of texas rally. and ad buy promotes it. at precisely the same time and place, people gather for the united muslims of america facebook event. >> down with the racists. down with the nazis. >> shockingly, americans had nothing to do with starting those facebook groups. but for about $200, russian trolls got 15,000 people to see their fake ads. >> we won't stop! >> we won't stop! >> across the country, you may very well have driven by a protest for any hot-button issue. these protests in some cases
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were organized out of russia. >> russian imposters pushing messages, sometimes violent, false, and often controversial. $100,000 in facebook ads. thousands of twitter accounts. and google ad dollars. russians were behind it all, creating content designed to pit americans against one another. >> do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. >> now capitol hill wants answers. >> the ad was paid for by rubles. isn't that a red flag? how could ta happen? >> almost all of the propaganda traces back to the internet research agency. investigators say it was financed by a company owned by a
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russian oligarch. a wealthy businessman and part of putin's inner circle. he and 12 other russians were recently indicted for interfering with the 2016 election. >> they hired people that had a que quota, working in 12 hour shifts up to the election. >> there was an entire english department, designed to insert social media posts in the united states. they were required to watch "house of cards" to better understand american politics. >> in two weeks time you'll be heading to the ballot box to the decide what country you want to live in. >> the idea was to masquerade themselves as americans. >> they understand that black lives matter adds should be in ferguson and baltimore, they understand that gay rights was a
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big issue, and gun rights was a big issue. >> some people may have seen these videos posted to pages now identified as part of moscow's influence campaign. >> hillary clinton is not our president. >> this is a detailed process of how do i make this look legitimate? >> legitimacy boosted when influential people amp flied the message. bearing the tennessee state seal this account was retweeted by donald trump junior, kellyanne conway, and michael flynn. >> in sharing this, trump campaign's helped legitimize and spread russian disinformation. >> i doubt i'd be here if it weren't for social media, to be honest with you. >> from tweets to posts to pictures, the trump team used every digital tool to their advantage. looking back, that approach was
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born out of sheer necessity. from day one, candidate trump faced an uphill battle. he lacked the foot shoulders at local offices his opponents had spent months, even years, cultivating. >> we were wondering why isn't he buying ads, running a traditional campaign because he has no money. >> trump's campaign threw out the old play book and turned to a newer powerful way to turn out the vote, big data. jared kushner oversaw that part of the operation. >> he treated trump like a commerce company, like a consumer tech company. >> trump's team bet big on one simple idea. >> you can target your message to a smaller group of people have have it be more impactful. >> i understood that facebook was how he was going to win. twitter was how he talked to the people, facebook was going to be
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how he won. >> brad parascale let the effort. >> now i can find 15 people i would never buy a tv ad for. they had their staff imbedded inside their offices. facebook employees would show up for work every day in our offices. >> facebook offered a service to both political campaigns. the trump campaign took facebook up on it. the clinton campaign did not. >> parscale's strategy was so successful he's been chosen to run the 2020 campaign even though part of the digital campaign he ran is part of robert mueller's investigation. both him and jared kushner deny any collusion with the russians. >> but all account it is russians feel like they were
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successful in what they were trying to accomplish. >> i imagine every day vladimir putin and the people around him are watching american news saying in our wildest dreams we never thought we could be this disruptive. the russians, probably rightly, think they won. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. otezla may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. tell your doctor if these occur. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment.
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other side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ♪ otezla. show more of you. the morning walk until... it... wasn't. don't let type 2 diabetes get between you and your heart. even if you reach your a1c goal you are still at risk for heart attack or stroke. talk to your health care provider today about diabetic heart disease. and find out more at heartoftype2.com. your heart and type 2 diabetes. make the connection. do you feel that? that's the feeling of awe. and the sense of calm as it washes over you. leaving you to just sit back and enjoy.
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(elephant roar) let all your travel worries drift away thanks to 24/7 help with the travelocity customer first guarantee. travelocity. wander wisely. surprise! we got a laggy video call here. hey, try the new samsung galaxy s9 on verizon unlimited. the best network for streaming. okay, let's take it back from "surpri--" (avo) unlimited is only as good as the network it's on. switch and get up to $500 off the samsung galaxy s9. and lose weight with contrave. it's fda-approved to help adults who are overweight or struggle with obesity lose weight and keep it off. contrave is believed to work on two areas of the brain: your hunger center... i'm so hungry. (avo) and your reward system... ice cream. french fries. (avo) to help control cravings. one ingredient in contrave may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teens, and young adults in the first few months. serious side effects are mood changes like depression and mania, seizures,
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neither of these statements are correct. for our story, we will stick to the facts. ten days before the inauguration of donald trump, on the same night that president barack obama was giving his farewell address to the nation. >> we have breaking news in the nation's capital we need to tell you about. i want to go to jake tapper. >> reporter: a team of reporters broke a stunning story. >> we've been working on this story. >> reporter: about america's new president. >> claims to compromise the president-elect donald trump. >> reporter: the president-elect and the outgoing president had been briefed in the sensational charges of the dossier. >> claims that russian operatives have caompromising personal and financial information about mr. trump. >> reporter: trump had been
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warned, russia could have the damaging information gathered through surveillance that vladimir putin is believed to correct on powerful people. was our concern that the russians could have leverage over the president of the united states? >> well, yes. >> reporter: former intelligence chief james clapper. >> gaining leverage, that's their subjective. they have a term for it. comp compromot. >> it was our sense that the nation's senior most intelligence officials would not waste the time of the president or the president-elect, it if it was easy to dismiss information. >> reporter: cnn did not reveal the contents of the dossier. beyond what we had learned from sources because it had not been verified. shortly after cnn broke the story, buzzfeed published the dossier on the internet. donald trump was furious. >> it's phony stuff.
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it didn't happen. i think it's a disgrace. >> reporter: though journalists had not verified it, portions of the dossier had been in fbi hands for months. >> chris steele, the former mi-6 officer, who compiled the dossier puts it in the hands of someone he knows in rome that's an fbi agent. that puts it in the bloodstream of the fbi. >> christopher steele was a veteran british spy, worked for the mi-6 intelligence service. >> reporter: steele had compiled the dossier as opposition research for the clinton campaign. >> he was from america's closest intelligence partner, british intelligen intelligence. since his time in british intelligence had worked for u.s. law enforcement. >> reporter: now, through the fbi's investigation, and
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extensive reporting, we know parts of the dossier are true. u.s. government intercepts picked up conversations between russians that core responded to conversations detailed in the dossier. >> meetings and conversations that were contained in the dossier did take place at the times in the places, between the people involved as described in the dossier. >> reporter: the reports that make up the document allege extensive russian interference in the election, information that u.s. officials later confirmed to be true. >> the russians were responsible for hacking the dnc. the intelligence i've seen gives me great confidence in their assessment that this happened at the highest levels of russian government. >> it was designed to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton. those claims in the dossier have all pretty much been verified by the u.s. intelligence community. >> reporter: even as aspects of the dossier have been
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established as fact, the document and its creator, christopher steele, have come under criticism from supporters of president trump. >> this, so you understand, is so much bigger than watergate. >> they used a dossier of lies. >> i want to know whether the nation's premier law enforcement agency relied on a document that looks like "the national enquirer" prepared it. >> reporter: in the middle of the firestorm is devin nunes who claimed that the agencies used the dossier to spy on an american citizen, to obtain surveillance warrants against former trump campaign policy adviser carter page. the fbi and justice did cite the dossier but said theyed had oth ample evidence of page's russian connections, dating back to 2013. the dossier remains controversial, especially for
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its most sensational allegation that the kremlin has compromising material on president trump. there's not been any proof of that charge. but a former station chief in russia says moscow almost certainly has a file on the president. >> it would surprise me gravely if they did not. that's what they do. that's what the fsb does. they've done it for decades and decades. >> reporter: most important, investigators say, is this -- the dossier is just one piece of information in their wide-ranging inquiry. >> i've spoken to a number of people who have been briefed on the classified intelligence. one point they will make clear to me, is there's more out there than this. the dossier is one small piece of a much larger picture. >> reporter: as we tried to bring that picture into focus, we made several attempts to speak to one of the president's lawyers on camera. we were unable to obtain an
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interview. donald trump maintains in statements and on twitter there was no collusion. but multiple investigations by the special counsel and in congress continue. as a result, we will also continue to report the story, focusing on the facts. i'm pamela brown, thanks for joining us. it's 6 am. 40 million americans are waking up to a gillette shave. and at our factory in boston, more than a thousand workers are starting their day building on over a hundred years of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation. today we're bringing you america's number one shave at lower prices every day. putting money back in the pockets of millions of americans. as one of those workers, i'm proud to bring you gillette quality for less, because nobody can beat the men and women of gillette. gillette - the best a man can get. so we know how to cover almost we've anything.st everything
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