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.
Saint Paul police chief condemns tactics used on George Floyd: ‘We’re here to serve — not choke people!’
Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell told CNN's Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow on Thursday that he's showing his officers footage from George Floyd's death as an example of how not to handle a suspect.
In particular, Axtell told the CNN hosts that all of the officers in his department said that the actions of the officers in Minneapolis to Floyd were completely unacceptable.
"Every police officer that I know that I interacted with yesterday in the city of Saint Paul, there was not one who felt that what they observed on that video in Minneapolis was in any way, shape, or form acceptable police behavior," he said. "It is disgusting, it is dehumanizing, it is something that absolutely has to stop."
‘Don’t be a sucker’: CNN’s Cuomo begs viewers not to let Trump’s antics distract from the horror of COVID deaths
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Chris Cuomo warned viewers not to be taken in by President Donald Trump's distraction tactics — and instead focus on the loss of human life from the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's a sad night. I don't know any other way to put it," said Cuomo. "I don't even like that the music's playing, to be honest. It's just three months. We've lost a hundred thousand lives. Do you need band music to tell you it's something urgent?"
"We were told this pandemic would magically disappear without any real trouble. A couple dozen cases," said Cuomo. "Today, did you hear what our president, Donald John Trump, said to calm and reassure our nerves, that we will do everything we can to keep us safe as we reopen and that he will make it his life's focus because that what a president does? Did you hear him say that? Me either. Not a damn word from Trump as this country is just struggling to get our heads and our hearts, let alone our hands around processing such loss so quickly. Suddenly he is now at a loss. Not even a tweet."
‘There needs to be a prosecution’ of cop who killed George Floyd: CNN guest says ‘call it what it is’
On CNN Wednesday, criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson walked through why the Minneapolis police officer responsible for George Floyd's suffocation death must be prosecuted.
"Bottom line, question here from looking at this, should the officer face charges?" asked host Erin Burnett.
"Erin, I don't think there is any question about that, and I think if you look at it, under any reasonable measure there needs to be a prosecution," said Jackson. "You know, when you look at issues of excessive force — and I know this comes with a lot of emotion, and it should because of the blatant nature of what occurred. But if you even look at it legally and forget about the emotion, you look and you see, was there an imminent fear that the officer was facing when he had his knee in the neck of Mr. Floyd? And the answer is resoundingly no. You look at the force he used, that is the officer, and you say is it proportionate to whatever threat was posed? The answer is no, you don't see any threat. You see a person detained and really not resisting at all."