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Mueller Probe Lays Out Evidence of Possible Collusion; White House Tries to Distance Itself from Aides Charged. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired October 31, 2017 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We kind of have crossed a threshold. Bob Mueller is a tough and dedicated prosecutor.

[05:59:17] SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE VICE CHAIR: Papadopoulos is direct evidence the campaign was being contact by Russians.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: His case involves the core of what Mueller is investigating, which is possible collusion.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Today's announcement has nothing to do with the president. The real collusion scandal has everything to do with the Clinton campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were there e-mail chains about Russia?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may have come up. There's nothing major.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The Manafort and Gates indictments are significant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of the activities were long before they've had any association with the campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This idea that we had nothing to do with Russia is long gone.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, October 31, 6 a.m. here in New York.

And we begin with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Legal documents unsealed in federal court lay out the clearest evidence yet that President Trump's campaign was eager to work with Russia to hurt Hillary Clinton. These are now facts. They're no longer allegations. Because George Papadopoulos -- he's a former campaign foreign policy adviser -- he has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his meetings with Russian intermediators.

Another bombshell from prosecutors: Papadopoulos has been cooperating with investigators for months, maybe even wearing a wire.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: So top Trump campaign officials knew about Papadopoulos' attempts to meet with Russia. It is a fact. How do we know? Investigators have e-mails between former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former business associate, Rick Gates, and they were discussing the potential meetings.

Manafort and Gates are now under house arrest, because they pleaded not guilty to tax and money laundering charges, including conspiracy counts.

Now, a source tells CNN that President Trump is seething because the probe is getting close, reaching former aides. While the White House is using a series of inaccuracies to try to distance the president from these men.

We have it all covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's Jessica Schneider, live in Washington. Probably the toughest day yet for this White House. And that's saying something.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Chris, this one, two, three punch of criminal charges all relating to the Russia probe, it is sending shock waves through Washington, especially since court documents show prosecutors indicate that this is just the beginning.

In fact, George Papadopoulos' guilty plea was kept under wraps for several weeks, because prosecutors didn't want to dissuade other witnesses from coming forward.

And while this plea deal did make a big impact, prosecutors warned, ominously, it's just a small part of what might come.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office unsealing documents that show former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos has been cooperating with investigators since his arrest in July, Papadopoulos pleading guilty earlier this month to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russia, including a meeting with a London professor, who told him in April 2016 that the Kremlin had obtained dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of e-mails. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's e-mail was hacked by Russians the month before.

WARNER: Papadopoulos is direct evidence that someone with the campaign was being contacted by Russians.

SCHNEIDER: Papadopoulos's plea agreement describes his testimony as a road map to the ongoing investigation, noting that there is a large- scale ongoing investigation of which Papadopoulos is a small part. The document describes Papadopoulos as a proactive cooperator, suggesting that, for the last three months, he may have been providing the FBI with information about other Trump campaign associates or even wearing a wire.

The plea agreement outlines Papadopoulos's extensive efforts to establish a connection between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, informing then-campaign chair Paul Manafort in May that the Russians were interested in meeting with candidate Trump. Manafort forwarded the e-mail to his deputy, Rick Gates, writing, "Let's discuss. We need someone to communicate that D.T. is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal."

In July, Papadopoulos reached out to a foreign contact, saying that "a meeting has been approved from our side." Days later, WikiLeaks began releasing the e-mails hacked from the DNC, and Trump made these infamous remarks.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.

SCHNEIDER: The following month, a Trump campaign supervisor, identified by "The Washington Post" as former Trump campaign national co-chairman Sam Clovis, told Papadopoulos, "I would encourage you and another foreign policy adviser to make the trip if it is feasible."

Clovis's lawyer telling "The Post" that he actually opposed the trip and was just being polite.

KEVIN DOWNING, PAUL MANAFORT'S LAWYER: There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.

SCHNEIDER: Papadopoulos's interviews with federal investigators likely contributing to the charges brought against both Manafort and Gates, who pleaded not guilty on 12 counts Monday, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.


SCHNEIDER: And Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were both ordered to home confinement; also ordered to surrender their passports after pleading not guilty. Both men must check in daily with federal authorities by phone, and they can only leave their homes for court appearances or medical appointments.

Now, Paul Manafort is being held on $10 million secured bonds. Rick Gates at $5 million. And Chris and Alisyn, the next court date for both of them is Thursday at 2 p.m.

[06:05:09] Back to you.

CAMEROTA: OK, Jessica. Thank you very much for laying all of that out for us.

Let's bring in our panel now. We have CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd; and CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin; and CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz, who was on the team that broke the news of the impending indictments on Friday night that we saw play out yesterday. Gentlemen, great to have all of you. Jeffrey Toobin, you've now had a little less than 24 hours to marinate on all of this.


CAMEROTA: Yes, you have. OK. So what are your thoughts this morning?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, this is a big investigation. And -- and as big as yesterday was, perhaps the most important thing we heard all day was the prosecutor in court, in the sealed transcript from early October, saying, "This is just a small part of what we have." And I think that has to sort of reorder our thinking about what this investigation is.

Certainly, I think the Manafort -- Manafort indictment was expected. I don't know if the Gates indictment was expected, but certainly, the other case...

CAMEROTA: Papadopoulos was a surprise.

TOOBIN: ... Papadopoulos was a total surprise to me and, I think, to everyone else. And also the substance of that indictment -- of that guilty plea is so closely related to the core of Mueller's investigation.

CUOMO: Let's drill down on that.


CUOMO: First is the -- the procedure question. Why did they unseal it yesterday? We all read -- or should. You really should read these documents if want to know what you're talking about here. And it certainly is a cooperation agreement with Papadopoulos. There's no question.


CUOMO: But the suggestion, by releasing it yesterday, is that he's somehow related to the other two gentlemen, who were indicted. Why do you think the Papadopoulos indictment was -- or the deal was unsealed yesterday?

TOOBIN: You know, that's a great question. And I don't have a clear answer to that, because I don't know the inner workings of the Mueller investigation. I do think that part of his cooperation, if you look at who the e-mails to or from...

CUOMO: Right.

TOOBIN: Were...

CUOMO: Manafort and Gates.

TOOBIN: .... Manafort and Gates, who are part of -- so I think...

CUOMO: But the indictment doesn't have anything to do with what Papadopoulos was talking about.

TOOBIN: It doesn't but, remember, I mean, they were investigating a lot of things beyond what the specific charges against any individual are.


TOOBIN: I think that's what -- but in many ways, you could ask what was the biggest news of yesterday.


TOOBIN: Also the possibility that Papadopoulos was wearing a wire.

CAMEROTA: Let me read that to you. Let me read where the clue...


CAMEROTA: ... where you have gleaned that from. "Defendant has indicated he is willing to cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation into Russia efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Public disclosure of the defendant's initial appearance, however, would significantly undermine his ability to serve as a proactive cooperator." That's the tell, "proactive cooperator"?

TOOBIN: Proactive, which means on his own initiative. Meaning making phone calls, having conversations with people while wearing a wire during this period between his guilty -- his arrest in July and his guilty plea in October. So think about it, he could have been taping phone calls.

CUOMO: Nine weeks.

TOOBIN: But just a couple of weeks ago.

CUOMO: Up until...

CAMEROTA: Not ancient history. Yes.


CUOMO: What's your take on that, a proactive cooperator? Does that sound like somebody who's going to wear a wire or is that just someone that they just want in the mix that they can go to whenever they want with questions?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think there's a bigger story. I agree with that. There's a prospect he's wearing a wire. But when you look at this from an intelligence or investigative standpoint, you've got two elements that you want to look at.

The first is a technical element. I've got your e-mails. I've got your phone. That gives me pieces of a story, bits and pieces. A human being who can actively reach out to somebody, have a conversation, what did you mean by that? Who's interested in this? Who's talking about this issue?

You cannot replicate how a human being can fill out all the data with questions like, what's his intent? What did people talk about when they sit around for dinner, and they talk about the Russia investigation? What do they talk about in terms of who might be implicated? Filling in the dots when you have a ton of data behind it is really important.

CAMEROTA: Shimon, obviously, you and the team have been, you know, leading the charge in terms of reporting all of this. So let's talk a little bit more about Papadopoulos and what we know about him. Because as you know, Sarah Sanders in the White House is trying to downplay the fact that he was part of the campaign and foreign policy adviser, though he e-mailed the campaign something like 11 times.

Here's a significant e-mail. And this comes from the statements of the offense filed yesterday -- filed, sorry, earlier this month. The government notes that the official forwarded the defendant Papadopoulos' e-mail to another campaign official without including defendant Papadopoulos and said, "Let's discuss. We need someone to communicate that D.T. is not doing these trips to Moscow. It should be someone low level in the campaign as sew as to not send any signal." We now believe that that was an e-mail between Paul Manafort and Gates, Rick Gates. What do we know?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. All of these e-mails, it would seem, based on Some of the documents released yesterday relating to Papadopoulos was something the FBI and special counsel's office has been reviewing for quite some time.

[06:10:16] And in the plea hearing where Papadopoulos took the plea deal they talked about information that they've been able to obtain, which they have used, they say, quote, to build a road map into the investigation.

So Papadopoulos has been sitting with them, with the FBI for hours, for days perhaps, for months perhaps, going over pieces of e-mails, communications, skype -- he apparently was skyping with people in Russia, talking about coming there. This is all of the information the FBI now has and all of that, which I think is so important, is helping them to take a look, sort of be inside the Trump campaign national security team.

CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: That is a huge, huge advantage for the FBI to be able to have all of that information, to have eyes into the campaign, into the national security team. And who was surrounding Papadopoulos, advising Papadopoulos. You know, in one e-mail, there was an exchange where someone told Papadopoulos, "Great work" on all his communications with the Russians.

So all this is really giving the FBI and special counsel eyes into this investigation. They know where they're going now and who they're targeting.

CUOMO: All right. Shimon, thank you for that.

This universe of fact separates Papadopoulos from the Carter Page defense. Carter Page went on TV last night. I can't believe anybody who was advising him thought that was a good idea for him to go on. But "He's just a volunteer." So was Bannon. So was Manafort. All right? So that is -- that's a red herring. That's just something to chase away the reality here.

The interesting aspect of this is what it does to the timeline. Why do we care about Papadopoulos? Maybe someone just reached out to him, and it's a nothing burger, as they're trying to say. In March, Phil, that's when the hacking supposedly happened of the e-mails. Put it up there, OK?

In April is when Papadopoulos starts talking about how he has been informed that they have e-mails, the Russians. It didn't come out until after that. They weren't dumped until after that. So either somebody was really a great liar and guesser, or it proves that whoever Papadopoulos was talking to knew something that the rest of this country and law enforcement may well have not known.

MUDD: This is the real story here. Look, Robert Mueller is a high- dollar lawyer, 12 years as the FBI director. This guy Papadopoulos is silver change. Robert Mueller didn't sign up for this job to take down some 30-year-old at the periphery for 1001 lying to a federal officer violation. He's in the intel business, Papadopoulos, as what we would call an access agent. He is the beginning of rolling up -- not rolling down, rolling up to access to bigger targets.

We have not heard a single name of a major target beyond Paul Manafort. We haven't heard a single conversation about Don Jr., about Jared Kushner. We haven't heard real allegations that the campaign actually received information, for example, related to the e-mails. I think the indication we have here, if you look at Robert Mueller's background, 12 years ago as FBI director, is he rolled out the first card in this game. And if we think this is the bombshell, we ain't seen nothing yet.

TOOBIN: Wait a second.


TOOBIN: Hold on, cowboy. I just think...

MUDD: Cowboy?

TOOBIN: You know, you're sort of assuming that all these other people committed crimes. You know, maybe they didn't. This was in the 1001 case, a discreet lie to an FBI agent...

MUDD: Yes.

TOOBIN: Which is a very traditional crime to be prosecuted. And, you know, you're talking about rolling up these people, which they may yet do. But I don't know. I mean, I just think we need to be careful about assuming that, you know, all these high-level people committed crimes.

MUDD: No, I agree. But lay a bet down in Vegas. Is a bigger fish going to go down or not after an investigation that goes back now maybe nearly two years? Yes or no? I'm going to say yes.

TOOBIN: I'm going to say I don't know.

CUOMO: Well, here's an interesting point of this, legally, all right? There's an odd intersection of politics and law going on with this first charge. Here's why. If Papadopoulos had actually had these meetings. If he had actually gotten the information, is that a crime? I say no. It's not aiding and abetting. Under the law, the federal law that they're looking at. I'm not talking about...

CAMEROTA: Because there's no collusion law, you're saying?

CUOMO: Collusion is an operative concept. There would be a conspiracy charge, right, which is what we see with Manafort and Gates because of what they're doing.

TOOBIN: It has to be a conspiracy to violate some law. It's not just conspiracy.

CUOMO: But it's important for people to get the distinction.

TOOBIN: Yes, I understand.

CUOMO: If you were to go and meet with the bad guy, which here would be a Russian, a hostile foreign nation, their agent. You still have to aid and abet in the furtherance of an illegal action.

So to get somebody on a crime, Phil, you're not going to have to just show I met, I knew, I wanted, I took. It's going to be that you have to show that they did something to help a Russian agent break the law. And I think that's a pretty high bar.

MUDD: I agree with that.

[06:15:11] TOOBIN: It's a very high bar. But I think you've got to know a lot more about the facts. Here I'm sort of going to take...

CUOMO: But I'm just saying where we are right now...

TOOBIN: If -- you know, if the Trump campaign, whoever it is, is actively working with the Russians to get the access to these stolen e-mails, I'm not sure that isn't a crime. That may well be a crime.

CAMEROTA: And in the way, I mean...

CUOMO: Access to the stolen e-mails, as opposed to helping them steal the e-mails.

TOOBIN: Those are material differences, but I would not want to be one of the Trump people involved in that.

CUOMO: Me either. CAMEROTA: But either way, today there is evidence that they were open

and willing to...

CUOMO: Yes. That's not a crime.

TOOBIN: To be sure.

CUOMO: That's not a crime, though.

TOOBIN: All that might be an impeachable offense.

CUOMO: I'll tell you what it also isn't. It ain't a hoax, and it ain't a witch hunt. That's what Papadopoulos lets us know now. This was real. And he owned it. And he has the proof. And it could be, as we heard yesterday, just the end of the beginning.

All right. Gentlemen, thank you very much. Cowboy, good mask.

President Trump, seething over these criminal charges even though the president said he wouldn't fire the special prosecutor. But that was on October 16. We're in a different world today. Is there an effort underway to undermine or remove Mueller? We discuss the proof next.


[06:20:12] CAMEROTA: A source close to the White House tells CNN that President Trump was seething over the indictment of three former Trump campaign aides. The White House is using several inconsistencies to try to distance the president from all of these men.

CNN's Joe Johns is live at the White House with the latest. Hi, Joe.


For the last 24 hours for the White House, the -- we really have had something old and something new. The guilty plea by Papadopoulos certainly was something new. Here's a former campaign adviser. And they didn't really know exactly what he did, at least that's what the White House said. They were scrambling to try to figure out, explain, even minimize his interactions with the campaign.


JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump was seething as he watched the news play out on TV about the Mueller investigation, according to a source close to the White House. The source telling CNN that the president expected the indictments of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates but was surprised by the revelation that another aide, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with authorities.

Mr. Trump spent much of the day hunkered down with his legal team in the White House private residence, growing increasingly frustrated after seeing video of Manafort arriving at the FBI field office to turn himself in.

Publicly, the administration attempted to downplay the charges.

JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think the reaction of the administration is let the legal justice system work. Everyone is in innocent, until -- presumed innocent, and we'll see where it goes.

JOHNS: The president's lawyer, Ty Cobb, telling CNN that Mr. Trump has not responded to because he doesn't know him. But back in 2016, Mr. Trump touted him as part of his foreign policy team in an interview with "The Washington Post."

TRUMP: George Papadopoulos, he's an oil and energy consultant. Excellent guy.

JOHNS: And this photo from March 2016 shows Papadopoulos sitting at the same table as then-candidate Trump at a national security meeting.

The White House press secretary attempting to distance the president from his former adviser.

SANDERS: It was extremely limited. It was a volunteer position. And again, no activity was ever done in an official capacity on behalf of the campaign.

JOHNS: Sanders falsely claiming that Mueller's charges are unrelated to Mr. Trump.

SANDERS: Today's announcement has nothing to do with the president, has nothing to do with the president's campaign or campaign activity.

JOHNS: A source familiar with former chief strategist Steve Bannon's thinking tells CNN he is urging the president to fight back aggressively against Mueller by getting Republicans to cut funding or deliberately slowing down the investigation. The aides insisting Mr. Trump has no plans to take action against the special counsel.

JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president has not -- is not interfering with the Special Counsel Mueller's position. He's not firing the special counsel. He said that before.


JOHNS: Now there is no reason to believe Steve Bannon or anyone else who advises the president has recommended that he engage in obstructing the work of the special counsel. His lawyers have said as much, saying again and again that, as far as they're concerned, the president is fully cooperating.

Chris and Alisyn, back to you.

CUOMO: Joe, appreciate it.

Let's bring in the panel. We have CNN political analysts John Avlon and David Gregory.

David Gregory, what is the headline? DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it is the expanding

nature of the investigation and the fact that it does have to do with the Trump campaign, a campaign that was open for business with the Russians, after knowing what Russia tried to do to our election.

And the fact is that the president, regardless of what the impact or the end point of this investigation is, still has not stood up and said this was horrible what happened and what Russia did to try to undermine our election, and we are going to fight back. We're going to take action to make sure it doesn't happen again.

We have to start with that original point, which is he seems to be totally unconcerned about what happened here. And on top of that, we learn a little bit more about potentially why.

CAMEROTA: So the White House is actually saying the opposite of that. Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, is saying these were volunteers. We don't really -- barely know these people.



SANDERS: This individual was the member of a volunteer advisory council that met one time over the course of a year. It was a volunteer position. Again, somebody on a volunteer committee. Again, he was a volunteer.

He was not paid by the campaign. He was a volunteer on, again, a council that met once.

And he was a volunteer on the campaign, and a volunteer member of advisory council.

[06:25:05] I'm telling you that he was volunteer member of an advisory council that literally met one time.


CAMEROTA: We have a picture of the advisory council. Because it's interesting.


CAMEROTA: Here is the one that she's talking about. This is a national security meeting. There is Papadopoulos. Oh, look. There's President Trump. There's Jeff Sessions.

So I don't know if this was a volunteer meeting they were having here, but this was called a national security meeting. He was a foreign policy adviser.

AVLON: He was a foreign policy adviser and, look, I mean, you know, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, clearly, "volunteer" was in the talking points. And thank God that was not a drinking game. We would have people in real trouble this morning. But that messaging doesn't work. People think volunteer on campaigns, they think someone in the mail room. Volunteers on policy advisory councils in campaigns in presidential can actually play a pretty senior role.

And the details of that particular indictment are really troubling for the campaign. So the White House -- you know, Trump may be seething and the third floor of the White House, I think, was probably an especially weird place yesterday. But -- but this is serious and they can't spin their way out of it. They're going to try their best.

But also, it's an indication that Mueller is taking a pretty broad view here. And that should make everybody associated with the campaign very nervous. And the administration.

CUOMO: Well, here's two facts. One, volunteer, if they want to use that word. So was Bannon. So was Kushner.

CAMEROTA: So was Manafort.

CUOMO: So was Manafort. So dismiss the term as having any kind of weight here.

Second of all, they paid a lot of attention to this guy. They have an e-mail where Manafort and Gates were talking about Papadopoulos's incessant suggestions that they meet with Russians/Putin.

Third of all, the president knew his name and described him as a good guy. That matters.

Sanders' desire to kind of dismiss what the president of the United States president says about somebody is silly.

And then the biggest indication, David Gregory, is Mueller wanted this guy. And they had him working with them for at least nine weeks. Jeffrey Toobin believes that the language in the cooperation agreement is suggestive of perhaps having put a wire on him. So why would they go to that effort to get a cooperation agreement with somebody who was so meaningless?

GREGORY: Right. Exactly. And, you know, history is so instructive here, right? Go back to the early days of the Watergate investigation when, at that same podium, the White House spokesman called the Watergate break-in a third-rate burglary. So history tells us things about how administrations respond to this.

Let's also use the Hillary Clinton test. Shall we? Because I always think that's instructive. What would Republicans be saying if President Hillary Clinton were facing this fact set? I think we know. I think they'd be calling for her impeachment.

CUOMO: They'd be saying -- they'd be saying what they're saying right now, David, which is she should be the target of the investigation and that she -- that she colluded with Russia.

CAMEROTA: So... GREGORY: But I just want to point out, again, we don't have to go beyond the facts that we know about right now. We don't have to do that. What we know is that there is evidence that the Trump team, at various levels, including his son -- they were open for business to work with the Russians, to interfere in the election. That's what we know.

We don't know if somebody actually committed a crime yet. We just know about that willingness.

CUOMO: Right.

GREGORY: And we know that there was the candidate who was saying, "Hey, Russia, hope you can find the e-mails."

CUOMO: You have evidence of an intention to collude. I know we want to get to the reaction. But just put up the time line for a second. Because it's been filled out in a way here that's really important, that really should dismiss any ideas about whether or not Papadopoulos matters. Just, if you can, put up the graphic with the -- with the time line. All right?

So all right, in March, Trump puts Papadopoulos on the advisory panel. All right. Now, remember what else happened in March. That's when the hacking took place. OK?

In April, Papadopoulos starts getting these suggestions from the Russian professor and somebody else that they should meet, because they have dirt on Hillary Clinton. That's before the e-mails came out. OK?

So, these are key facts of this timeline that really tell the story of what was going on here.

AVLON: That point you're making is so important. Because it's before -- the e-mails have been stolen by, you know, who knows? They just magically end up on WikiLeaks. There's a third-party intermediary claiming to have contacts with Russia offering them up to the Trump campaign before that information is public. That's a key fact pattern that I think goes to solving a lot of the mysteries in addition to, I think, showing a really troubling outreach by the campaign, this back and forth.

CUOMO: And it also makes that Manafort e-mail relevant. Because on its face, you'd say Manafort's saying, "We don't want to take these trips." Isn't that proof that he didn't want to collude?

But it is also suggestive of what did they know about potentially stolen e-mails and their interest in them?

CAMEROTA: They wanted them. They just wanted to shield Donald Trump from the -- if you believe the e-mails...

CUOMO: Well, they didn't want to take the trips either. I mean, that seems...

AVLON: Sam Clovis, by the way, being the man of reason, I love that.

CAMEROTA: We'll get to that.

But also, another thing we know, David, is that Republicans didn't want to talk about this yesterday. The reason we know that is because there's this interesting clip that we're going to, in a minute, play for everybody of Senator Grassley attempting to go out a side exit.

CUOMO: Well, don't -- show it to them.

CAMEROTA: You're going to see his head.