Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team reportedly thought it could build a case showing conspiracy between Russian officials and the Trump campaign — but they were thwarted by former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s incessant lying.
Appearing on CNN Monday, Washington Post reporter Rosalind Helderman said that it was inaccurate to conclude that Mueller’s team believed early on that they would not be able to establish a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign.
In fact, she notes, they weighed the possibility of such a conspiracy even as they were writing their final report.
“They were working on that case all the way until just before the report was completed and submitted,” she said. “They were looking to see if there was a case, that there was some kind of a criminal conspiracy with Russia or also through WikiLeaks.”
One particular avenue prosecutors were exploring was why Manafort was sharing internal campaign polling data with Ukrainian national Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the FBI has accused of being a Russian spy.
“They said they could not answer that question, why he was doing that,” she said. “They had some evidence that it was an attempt to sort of impress business leaders in the Ukraine and Russia so that he could make money. But they had this sort of torturous time period in September and October where they were bringing Paul Manafort in from jail for session after session with investigators to debrief him, and ultimately they threw up their hands and told the judge they thought he was lying.”
Watch the video below.
MSNBC guest ridicules Trump-fan Steve Cortes as possible Sarah Sanders replacement: ‘He’s a nut — have you seen him on TV?’
Discussing the departure of Donald Trump's spokesperson Sarah Sanders from the White House, an MSNBC panel surveyed her possible replacements with one ridiculed for his appearances on TV defending the president.
Speaking with "AM Joy" fill-in host Jonathan Capehart, The Beat DC editor Tiffany Cross shot former Trump associate Stever Cortes -- a regular on CNN -- down as a possible candidate.
"There are names that are out there," Capehart suggested. "[Meliania Trump spokesperson] Stephanie Grisham and Hogan Gidley and Steve Cortes."
Pointing out that Grisham is the most likely contender, and the Trump would probably prefer a woman, Cross called out Cortes for his TV appearances.
‘It’s voter discouragement’: Jake Tapper says Trump efforts to curb Dem votes doesn’t count as ‘suppression’
CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday disagreed with the notion that President Donald Trump and Russians tried to "suppress" Democratic votes by engaging in what he called large-scale voter "discouragement."
During a panel discussion on CNN, Democratic analyst Jennifer Granholm slammed Trump's campaign for "voter suppression."
"The thing that concerns me about the launch, Jake, of this new — of his re-election [campaign], he has already raised $100 million," Granholm said of Trump. "His campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who ran the digital campaign last time around, said that this time this campaign is going to be bigger, better and badder."
Conservative columnist Max Boot: ‘It’s reality that’s pushing for impeachment’
Max Boot, a conservative columnist for The Washington Post, argued on Sunday that "reality" is "pushing for impeachment."
On CNN's Reliable Sources program, host Brian Stelter asked if it is the media's fault that the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump has become a topic of discussion.
"Journalist are doing their jobs and reporting the facts," national security analyst Samantha Vinograd insisted. "I don’t think that putting the press in one basket is helpful. Trump does that, but we shouldn’t do that."
Boot said that attacking the media over impeachment amounts to "blaming the messenger."