tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 25, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
restaurants come to you. delicious at your door. download doordash. first order, $1 delivery fee. this is cnn tonight of the i'm don lemon. it was a bomb shell day in the russia investigation. we are devoting this entire hour to an in-depth look at all things russia. it all started with this predawn fbi raid caught on tape by cnn. >> fbi!
open the door! >> roger stone, a man president trump has known for decades, indicted by robert mueller. the special counsel says stone went after e-mails from wikileaks that could damage mic's campaign. he says it was all done in coordination with the trump campaign with trump campaign officials. the judge laid out the charges in a federal court in fort lauderdale today. >> mr. stone, you are here for an initial or first appearance on an indictment that has been returned against you. the indictment charges, in count one, obstruction of a proceeding. counts through through six are false statements to a legislative branch of the government. and count seven is witness tampering. >> roger stone is defiant tonight. he says he is not guilty and will defeat the charges in court. but the special counsel's 24-page indictment is damnings.
mueller's team writes in part after the july 22nd release of stolen dnc e-mails by organization 1 or wikileaks a senior trump officials was directed to contact stone about what other releases and damaging information organization had regarding the hillary clinton campaign. we don't know who the senior trump campaign official is who reached out to stone. this is the key part. mueller writes, this senior campaign officials was directed to reach out to stone about wikileaks and clinton. who is more senior on a campaign than a senior campaign official? you have to wonder how high this goes. joining me now, shimon and phil teen. good evening, gentlemen. shimon, are you a jeanne. >> crystal ball. >> i have got to hand it to you. on this show 24 hours ago, i asked you a question. you said there were some things
going on with a grand jury. you guys were thinking something was going to happen. you predicted an indictment today. give me the biggest takeaway of the day. >> i think it was a great team effort, connecting a lot of dots. it came to be what we expected, roger stone would be indicted. we expected that the fbi would go and take him into custody. they were not going to allow him to surrender, given a lot of the an particulars that he has pulled in this case. we believed they were going to go and get him. in any case i think what we learned in this indictment is now we have a direct link of coordination between the trump campaign and wikileaks. it is very clear when you read this indictment that roger stone was that direct link, that roger stone was working the campaign. roger stone was working wikileak for information. and most significantly also that senior level people, as you said, don, knew about this, were asking him to do more.
and then who was directing this senior campaign person? we don't know that. and i think it is a good point that you make, that who would be higher than this senior level person? we don't yet know. you know, there have been a lot of questions whether or not trump campaign knew about -- had a heads up on these wikileaks e-mails, how much did they know? i think this indictment answers that question quite clearly. they knew things were going on. >> john, listen, no one wants that knock at any time, especially in the middle of the night or early morning. what do you think is going through roger stone's head when that happened? >> i suspect he was pretty shocked. and i suspect his dogs were pretty shocked too, from what i can pick up from today's news. you know, i -- i don't like to see law enforcement embarrass
potential defendants that are charged. and i don't know that that was the reason for this. but it certainly had that impact. and you know, what they did is apparently do a full search of the house after they got there. and that's why the team was so large. and i think that mueller was correct in assuming roger might have made evidence disappear had it not been a surprise arrest. so i can understand why it happened. but i don't know that you needed automatic weapons for that. >> so, phil, what does this say to you? does it mean the direction came from the president? and does mueller have evidence of that? >> i mean i think one of the things you have to look into this when you are talking about it it is an obscure sentence. clearly, mueller knows something about who offered the direction. i think mueller is trying to obscure it because there is going to be an open question if it goes up to the president of the united states about what the department of justice does. the bottom line i come to, don,
is the most fascinating document we are going to see among all the fascinating documents is the final report from mueller that pulls this all together and i suspect that sentence will get clearer. the point is the mueller team will tell the congress look we are not here to investigate the president for some of this, you have got to do this with this final report that includes stuff like that sentence today over to you to determine whether or not you want to proceed. last comment. >> do you think we will see that report? before you give the last comment. >> i think we will. my last comment point is that puts the attorney general nominee on the hot spot. >> got it. >> he has to decide what to do with that report. ill i have to believe he has to hand over part of it to the congress. i don't think he is going to distill it. >> you already went there before i asked you the question. >> he why, yes, let me go. >> stone and trump have been friends for decades. they apparently were very close. listen to paul manafort. >> each after roger stopped being the principle political adviser to trump, he continued
for a very important adviser and is to this day. roger's relationship with trump has been so interconnected that it is hard to drin what's roger and what's done. while it will be procedurely a trump presidency, i think it is influenced by stone philosophy. >> do you think stone would be reaching out for dirt on hillary clinton without knowledge of donned trump. >> i think he was doing it on his own keeping the president and other people informed about it. i don't know that we are going to see direct evidence saying there is evidence from the president saying go do this, i am read being this, go find out. it would have been because of their long standing relationship that roger stone came up with this idea wanted to help trump. they have known each other for so many years and that maybe is what went on here and he was keeping trump apprised of what was going on. there could have been other
people in the campaign. obviously that's what this indictment says. will we ever find out? i think that's going to be an interesting question going down the line. even if it is in this report that you and phil were just talking about doesn't necessarily mean that it is going to be made public. that is the big question. will we ever find out who this is. >> john roger stone spoke with chris tonight. take a look. >> there is a 100% chance in your mind that nobody can offer any compelling credible proof that donald trump knew about your efforts to get to wikileaks? >> nobody can supply any corroborating truth. people can have their testimony composed, particularly if they are looking for a reduction in their sentence. but there is no -- there is no proof here, any suggestion that we did discuss it would be conjecture, would be supposition, but there is no evidence to that effect. first of all when you talk to donald trump on the phone in all
honesty, he does most of the talking, you doest mo of the listening. we just never discussed this topic. >> do you buy that? no corroborated evidence. do you buy that, john? >> i have trouble buying anything from roger on face value. i reread the entire indictment after listening to his interview with chris. and it doesn't hold up well, his defense. you know, chris didn't obviously get down into the weeds with him. and his effort to respond to it just didn't really fit with the charges and the detail that's there. so i must tell you, my first reaction in reading the indictment and seeing that senior person in there was probably not trump, but probably not manafort or gates either, because they might have been named since they have already been charged and are either agreed or in jail. but it could be the sons who i have read many times were considered the deputy campaign
managers. and you know, right below the president himself, or the candidate himself. so that was who i figured it might be. >> how worried do you think, phil, the team trump should be tonight? >> i think quite worried. i mean, there is a lot of commentary in washington that this could be the final shoe to drop. but look at all the information we have seen so far. roger stone talked about corroboration, that corroborates the cases against all the other individuals. which of those was built on a weak case? every one of those, from flynn down was airtight. my point about the family and why the white house should be concerned is now we know there is direction to the white house, to people who lie. the people in the white house spoke to both the congress. and i presume at least some of them to the mueller team. did they lie as well? that was one of my takeaways from the report. there is a lot of information here -- or a little bit about who directed stone. when they spoke to the special counsel did they do the same thing everybody else did and say i don't really know about it? if they did, they are in
trouble. >> shimon is there anything else that stands out in this indictment to you? >> i do think it is very interesting in the way that they haven't characterized wikileaks. there is nothing to suggest right now from what we are reading in this dime that even if they were exchanging this information with wikileaks, roger stone or anyone in the campaign, there is nothing here that says that that was a crime. the crimes that we keep seeing that have been committed in this entire investigation. >> lying. >> is lying. and the question is, what is going on? why were people consistently lying? and the reason has to be obviously for political reasons. >> yeah. >> they did not want to damage donald trump and his chances of winning the election. certainly, politically they didn't want to damage him. if he this knew this russia investigation was heating up, they knew there was a lot of information on wikileaks and whether they were exchanging information. so they did everything they could the hide it. they didn't want it out
publicly. that's what we are seeing consistently from michael cohen, to roger stone, michael flynn, other people -- george papadopoulos. whatever. we don't know his entire reason. but in the end it is always about protecting donald trump politically. >> this is the interesting thing, i have heard so many people say you know, you get in there -- even in defense of roger stone, you get in there and they confuse you and you may have a misstatement. law enforcement, they know when you misremembered something and when you are lying. right, john? >> i agree with that. and as the congressman said, when roger was in front of the committee where he was charged with lying, he was very serious. he was very composed. he was obviously giving his story. when you read the statements that are charged as being false, they are conspicuously false. and mueller has heaps of
information to prove their falsity and the fact that, et cetera not something he could have easily forgotten. sometimes they involved text messages and e-mails the same day he's testifying. you know, i don't think roger can wiggle out from this one. >> shimon, phil, thank you very much. john dean stay with me. roger stone leaving court today proclaiming his innocence and making an all too familiar hand gesture as he faces several federal charges. where have you seen that before? how much horse power does this thing got? doing great dad! looking good babe! are you filming? at booking.com, we can't guarantee you'll be any good at that water jet thingy... but we can guarantee the best price on a hotel, like this one. or any home, boat, treehouse, yurt, whatever. get the best price on homes, hotels and so much more.
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showtime. and also the author of impeachment and american history. good evening, gentlemen. i want to start by taking a look at part of this indictment where roger stone is talking to person two, randy creditco about giving false testimony and pleading the fifth. stonewall it, plead the fifth, anything to save the plan. what is more interesting is this, the watergate tapes talking to hr mitchell. watch this. [ inaudible ] >> stone was literally quoting richard nixon when he was talking to people about this. i mean, you can't make this stuff up, can you? >> no, he admires richard nixon. i mean he has spent over 40 years trying to replicate the
fun that he had as a 19-year-old working on the re-election campaign. he wasn't that important. he wasn't an adviser, but he was one of those eager guys who was willing to do whatever jed mcgruder or bart porter wanted to to to help president nixon. he ran up an agent in the humphrey, musky and mcgovern campaigns. he did very trick up in new hampshire. this was a world that he loved. the thing about roger stone that's so interesting is that he kept getting jobs. what is it about the dark side of american politics that people like that are so employable? >> john. you were actually at the meeting with nixon. you know these tapes. what did you think when you read that indictment? >> well, my first reaction was, it is amazing he literally could recall one of the most period of time tent tapes that surfaced in the watergate saga that was used so effectively in the trial
against mitchell, because here he was conspiring with nixon to save the plan, plead the fifth, do whatever's necessary. and it was devastating. >> yeah. >> i have got to the also say -- tim will be interested in this, that the nixon foundation this afternoon issued a tweet really kind of disowning roger stone. saying he was too young for the '68. he was only 20 for the '72 campaign. and they really were just saying he wasn't -- he wasn't part of our organization. >> yeah. >> not even they want to be connected with him. >> i have got it here. it's been up on the screen so i won't read it. but, mark, he is known to be obsessed with nixon. he left, the course with that v for victory sign there. >> he has a tattoo of richard nixon on his back.
and he says i am the only man in america that has a dick on the front and a dick on the back. can i say that on your show? you just did. >> can we go over to camera -- where is this camera. [ laughter ] here's the thing, i have been hearing that joke all night and i said i am not going to say that on tv. leave it to mr. mark mcgahn. go ahead. he's a man from another time, and maybe another planet. >> i'll say -- yes, indeed. my overall view of what is happening with stone today is this is exactly where he wants to be. and that he will not flip on the president. and that he will likely go to prison. and he will happily do that, serve a short steps, be the martyr of all martyrs of for president trump and be the g. gordon liddy of this organization and have a great career afterwards. >> yeah. he would have been upset if he wasn't indicted. >> absolutely. i truly believe in a. >> he wanted to be -- i was like wow, look at that. >> the only thing that matters is being the center of attention
like his boss -- like the president. >> donald trump. in the indictment prosecutors also show a text of stone's. okay? sent to person number two. who cnn has confirmed to be randy credico telling him to do a frank -- a character from the "godfather" who cooperated with the fbi and then denied it while testifying. here it is. >> sir, were you a member of the corps lee own family. >> i have no godfather. look the fbi guys, they promised me a deal. so i made up a lot of stuff about michael corps lee owni because that's what they wanted. but it was all lies. everything. >> so you get the correlation there, that stone wanted credico to lie to the house intelligence
committee. does it get any stranger than that? >> no, i think i think in this case the truth is stranger than fiction. and i think bob mueller will play that clip for the jury. >> you think so. yeah. >> they call people rats, stoolies and on and on. what does it say about their world view, do you think? >> well, it shows very much that trump is from that world that roger stone was in and out of that is very organized crime oriented. and they have adopted -- roger has taken and learned the worst lessons of watergate. and he's also adopted all of the tactics of the mob as his mentor, the president, has done. >> yeah. >> if you look at his career, this is an intelligence operative mon
operative monkate. he loves conspiracies, he loves running agents. he is not good at it but he loves that world. this is a guy that used cutouts to engage in the kind of game he always wanted to play. >> he says he is not a conspiracy theorist. he's a conspiracy realist. i saw a sound byte. >> whatever. he says he lives in a world of conspiracy, some of which he created in his own mind. >> the only thing worse than talking about him is not talking about him. >> the circus on showtime this weekend. i want to play an interview. er co-hosting with roger stone. this is in october of 2016. watch this. >> are you suggesting that on the basis of what you know through your mutual friend that in the next three weeks that wikileaks will release or could release information that is sub stapgsly more damaging to hillary clinton than what has been released already? >> yes. i think the race is close enough and the electorate is volatile enough that any major revelation
on either side could royal and perhaps decide the race. trump may need some breaks, but to say that he is out of it -- over? did you say over? >> right. >> nothing is over until we say it is. >> he is basically admitting that he knows more damaging e-mails are going to come out and they are going to help, they want to help with it to help trump. >> yeah, i think it is clear on its face what he was suggesting there. and enthis it came to pass. >> there is always a tweet or an interview for something when it comes to people who are associated with this. >> one of his flaws, it appears to be, is that he always thinks he is smarter than everybody else 678 when you read his books about the nixon era, everybody is stupid of everybody except for roger. what is interesting about roger is that he thought by denying that he had e-mails that were related to wikileaks that somehow the government wouldn't get them. so he lies before it before the house intelligence committee, and he doesn't think to man in a
the government could actually go to the servers and get them. he thinks the smartest man in the room but he is not. >> today of all days effectively a pledge to stand behind trump in 2020. what do you think? >> as long as that happens, obviously, he's probably safe, since he's not going to be indicted. it's not likely they will breach the policy of the department of justice by an indictment from the special counsel. so it's impeachment or nothing. if the republicans stay with him, he's safe there. you need at least 20 members of the senate to make a guilty plea or a bill of impeachment stick in the senate, and a removal also. >> but, don, that's the sort of thing you do as a party from a position of weakness, not strength. if you are confident about where
you are, you are not doing purity tests and making demands, and having loyalty tests for members of the committee. no. you go with confidence. but it's when you are really weakened and you are worried about a threat that you establish these kinds of rules. >> thank you gentlemen. mark mckinnon giving new business in the front, party in the back. [ laughter ] the circus returns sunday night on showtime. we'll be right back. so lionel, what does being able to trade 24/5 mean to you? well, it means i can trade after the market closes.
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that could damage hillary clinton's campaign. the single biggest question comes from this line, a trump campaign senior official was told to contact stone regarding wikileaks. who would be high enough up to be directing a senior official to contact stone? it makes you wonder. who could be identified in the of the of the dime. roger stone and julian assange have been identified. also, the indictment says a senior campaign official reached out to roger stone about future wikileaks releases. stone announced there would be a low to week moving forward. steve bannon, then executive chairman of the campaign had that e-mail exchange with roger stone. then there are the people stone communicated with about what wikileaks founder assange knew. person one in the indictment came right out today and said to cnn, that's me.
stone's associate. conspiracy theorist jerome corsi. one of the things stone was indicted for was witness tampering. stone allegedly suggested person 2 to lie to congress. turns out person 2 is randy credico. e-mails show he tried to sway credico, calling him a rat and enthering to take away his therapy dog bianca. and donald trump, he's mentioned once. but his campaign, 22 times. what does this tell us about the case that mueller is building? and where this is going? let's discuss now with the panel. boy oh, boy oh, boy.
boy oh, boy oh, boy. here we go. here we go. julia, we were just on last night, right? >> yep. >> here we go. garrett, let's talk. roger stone's indictment. does it get us any closer to answering the question whether the trump campaign clued with wikileaks or russia? >> i think it does. in that it begins to show us a little bit of what robert mueller is thinking. you know, you were right to single out that line about that he was directed, that the trump campaign official was directed to contact roger stone, which gives some sense of robert mueller understanding the internal decision making and has evidence of the internal decision making of the trump campaign during this time window. and it is really notable that, you know, indictment after indictment, court filing after court filing bob mueller continues to show us the what without necessarily telling us the why. and you have to think that he is
withholding the why, the motive, for a reason. as phil mud was sort of saying earlier, that there is a lot more to come when you begin to sort of read between the lines of what mueller knows and isn't telling us. >> juliet, you are shaking your head in agreement. i want to know why. >> absolutely. first of all, someone is finally going to jail for hillary's e-mails. i don't think it is who of the lock her up crowd thought. let's begin with the basics. that the democratic candidate's e-mails and her team's e-mails were stolen. i totally agree with gary. i think that the -- i have been saying this, that what we are going to see with the mueller report is what i have been calling the connective tissue. all of these indictments are pieces. and mueller is going to give us the connective tissue. one way to think about it. i have been thinking about it all day, is that mueller is very similar, i come from the world of disaster management, to a tsunami.
it has four stages. initiation, something starts, something is weird, something looks funky, the water is rec e receding. second it is called the split stage. you don't know what's going on. is it actually going to form into something? we spent a lot of months wondering is mueller going after this or that. then you have amplification which is that thing is getting stronger and we are starting to see. then you have impact or run up. we are not even at impact yet. i think the way to look at today's document is that this is just amplification. it is just getting bigger. >> wow. >> and something is going to hit. whether it is trump or the sons or the son-in-law, whoever that senior official is. it has hit the trump family. i have always -- i think we just brace ourselves for that. because whether it is trump or the boys or the son-in-law, who u.s. knows. >> interesting. michael, stone was on fox news tonight. here's what he had to say when he was asked about the trump campaign official that directed stone to find out more from wikileaks. here it is. >> who was it if it wasn't the
president? who was that official. >> i have to speculate about that. because since it never happened, it appears to me that they have woman posed testimony for someone, perhaps rick gates. perhaps steve bannon. perhaps someone is bearing false witness against me. knowing what's in my e-mail and my text messages, there is no corroboration whatsoever for this. >> so he's suggesting gates or bannon will be named. we know that gates is cooperating with mueller. what is your reaction? >> i think it is likely that gates has given some testimony or some information in the case. them low out another possibility. that is that little don might be the one that we are talking about in paragraph 12 of the indictment. we already know he has an appetite for trying to dig up dirt on clinton. we know that because they had a secret trump meeting, supposed to be about adoptions. there is an anonymous telephone
number and a story cooks up that trump calls up to find out with the purpose of the meeting was. i think it may be the achilles heel of the president, his family. i think this tells us mueller is getting very, very close to that. this indictment to me reads like the classic prosecutor sort of hub and spoke conspiracy. that is that you have got this centerpiece here in the middle, which is trump. and you have all these spokes that go out to the different parts of the wheel and they are all doing dirty work and nasty work for him with the common purpose of getting done whatever trump wants to have done or the people closee to him want to get done. that's a standard prosecution theory that we use in cases, conspiracy theory we use in cases a you will the time. when we talk about drug cartels, talk about organized crime, when we talk about organizations where you don't get direct involvement or direct control or evidence of a direct statement by the person in the middle.
so who better than little don to carry out the wishes of his dad and say yeah go on mr. stone and get us some more information from wikileaks and tell us what's there. that's another one that i would like for you to think about as we go forward. >> i got it now. thank you very much, juliet. we know the document mentions an august 2nd, 2016 e-mail in custom corsi tells stone, more e-mails are coming. and then he writes -- he says, would not hurt to start suggesting hrc old memory bad has stroke. now i want you to listen to what then candidate trump said in august, 2015. >> she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on isis and all of the many adversaries we face. >> wow. that was august 15th, right after that. lacks the mental and physical stamina. i mean, this became a major refrain in the campaign around that time.
could there be a coordination here? >> absolutely. i think -- i think in some respects the intelligence community may have known it at the time. i heard jim clapper in the previous hour say in his book where he says you know the sort of scary thing from the intelligence commune was just how the theories against hillary were the same coming from russia and come from trump, which made them nervous. can i add one day to this? which is even -- which shows how bad the trump campaign was in terms of taking this seriously. august 15th, trump says this. right? about her health. august 16th, the trump campaign and trump himself get briefed for the first time by the intelligence community that russia has a campaign against hillary clinton, and be wary of any information or contacts. all of this happens in a 24-hour period. that piece is not in the indictment. but just remember that they knew, the trump people knew that
russia was promoting this. they didn't say anything to the fbi. and you have got wonder, did they not say anything because the day before, they already knew where this information was coming from? stay with me, everyone. the white house is down playing roger stone's indictment. nothing to do with the president, they are saying. but we have seen plenty of denials like this from them before. and a whole lot of them have been proven wrong.
the president directed a senior campaign official to contact roger stone about what wikileaks had on hillary clinton. >> you will not answer whether it was the president who directed a senior trump campaign official to contact roger stone. and you may not know. >> i have answered the question several times. you just don't like my answer. >> no, no, you haven't. >> the answer is the same. >> did the president do it or not? does the president know who made that direction or not? >> i have not read the indictment. i am not a attorney. i can't get into the weeds. what i can tell you are the charges brought against mr. stone have noing to do with the president, nothing to do with the white house. >> she does that a lot where she says i have answered the question. the press secretary can't say the president directed a campaign official to direct stone to talk to wikileak. then she insists that the president has nothing to do with this indictment. does that hold water? does that make any sense to you.
>> no. she just -- i mean she doesn't have anything left. i am not feeling sorry for her but what in fact is she going to say at this stage? she's not an idiot. we read the indictment or the news reports before she went on air. she decided to sell her brain and soul to the person who she doesn't know what he did. she has no options. she sounds as foolish as it appeared this morning. that was just a crazy interview that john berman did in the sense of i didn't read it but i know it is not true. it is sort of an inconsistent thing to try to keep going for three minutes on air. >> garrett, listen how the press secretary described roger step to on cnn this morning. >> so there is a connection between roger stone and the now president of the united states? you will concede that? >> look, roger stone is somebody who has been a consultant for dozens of republican presidents
and candidates and members of congress. >> so now i want you to listen how roger stone described his relationship with trump today. >> how strong is your allegiance to president trump? >> i am one of his oldest friends. i am a fervent supporter of the president. >> not exactly on the same page, right? >> no. and this is where i think the president is finding himself painted into a deeper and deeper corner. you and i were talking about this last week, that the president is sort of increasingly backed into this question that he is either going to have to admit that he's a fool or admit that he's a criminal. because right now what you have is someone who either was criminally involved in some of this or was so clueless a leader and manager of his own presidential campaign that his campaign chairman, his deputy campaign chairman, his national security adviser, his personal
lawyer and fixer, and one of his oldest friends were all running separate criminal schemes on their own in the midst of his campaign without his knowledge. so, you know, sort of neither one of these scenarios is looking very good for the president right now. >> michael, the president's attorney, giuliani, told the "washington post" today, another false statement case. god almightalmighty. they do have false statements. that's not right. you shouldn't do that. but there is no evidence of anything else but false statements. the president is safe here. >> i don't think he is safe at all. saying this indictment has nothing to do with the president is about like saying that the solar system has nothing to do with the sun. all of these bad actors are sort of rotating around the president. i don't know how many people we have, a dozen or so people
charged with various crimes. we have got russian companies charged with crimes. we have secret meetings in the u.s. supreme court, court of appeals, we have all this secret stuffing go on and there is no way he can say that. giuliani has a history of trying to sort of tamp down and put these are important because that's how we get to the truth of an investigation. that's how the process is important. and here, you have somebody saying a high-up person in the campaign was told by somebody, apparently with authority to direct them to go out and seek additional information. so, it's a bad day for the president. and a day that i can understand why jewgiuliani wants to put a n on it. >> thank you to you all. we'll be right back.
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