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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 1, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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longer. that was important on the tax piece. but the daca piece is very important, senator flame from arizona has been a big pro up proponent. part of the gang of 8. he will now be in the room. and senator flake is retiring, that was important component of this. the deal is now there brooke they need to actually have the votes. >> great for republicans. phil mattingly the man who talks taxes in his sleep. i'll say it before you've done a fantastic job. thanks so much. we'll be watching for the vote. let's continue on talk about this breaking news on friday afternoon. this is cnn breaking news. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. let's begin with the fact that the president is on possibly on the cusp of this landmark tax, but the first member of the trump administration has pleaded guilty in this russia
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investigation. ousted national security adviser michael flynn has now cut a deal with the special counsel robert mueller admitting that flynn lied to the fbi about his interactions with russian ambassador. and while he certainly didn't say a whole lot, as he was going in and coming out of the federal courthouse this morning, flynn's plea agreement does acknowledge el is now cooperating with the special counsel's team. >> general flynn, do you feel you've betrayed your country? >> what about your son? will your son be indicted? will trump pardon you? >> this is an investigation about that. >> all right. not saying a lot there. but here is where he is sharing a statement. let me quote this from you, from
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michael flynn himself. my guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with them is best interests of my family and our country. i accept full responsibility for my actions. now the white house has said this, the false statements involved mirror of the false statements to white house officials which resulted in his resignation in february of this year. nothing about the guilty plea or charge implicates anyone other than mr. flynn. let's go first to our cnn crime and justice reporter just to get some of the details of the flynn offenses. what exactly did he lie about to the fbi? >> all right. so he lied about the conversations that he had with the russian ambassador, kislyak. those conversations happened during the transition in december the fbi interviewing him in january about those conversations. and it was during that interview that he lied about the nature, some of the details of that
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conversation. the conversation had to deal with russian sanctions. had to deal with u.n. resolution. united nations security council was working on against israel regarding settlements. questions that the fbi had to him about his discussions, he downplayed some of the discussion, and just clearly just lied about them, did not reveal certain details to the fbi. and so now based on everything they know and based on their investigation, they have brought charges against him and he's admitted to it. basically pleaded guilty and now he's cooperating, brooke. one of the things that we don't know is why he lied. and i think that's part of still the investigation. and perhaps his cooperation will help figure that out. >> uh-huh. shimon, thank you. keep digging. let's have a bigger conversation here with a couple of guests joining me now cnn legal analyst zelden who used to be special assistant. also with us jarret grat author
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of the threat matrix, and gloria borger senior analyst. let me start with you gloria, we thought we would talking tax cuts. and what a huge piece of information that dropped today. what was your first reaction when you heard about this? >> well, you know, my first reaction was we kind of knew this was going to come. but we weren't quite sure whether he was cooperating or not cooperating. now we have discovered that he is cooperating. and what is interesting and important, and michael knows so much more about this than i do, and probably garrett as well, but what is so important here is that in the statement of offense what we see is that flynn is telling them, you know, get him on lying, get him on lying about
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the sanctions, about the united nations vote, about turkey. what is very clear is that he says what he was doing was either with the knowledge of other people in the administration or at the direction of other people in the administration. and there is a point in this, you know, you talk about transition official, then will is language which says very senior member of the presidential transition team. and what we are seeing, i think, is sort of the peeling the layers of t layers of the onion here and trying to figure out if flynn lied to federal officials, did anybody direct him to lie, did anybody direct him to do something that he should not have been doing, ie, conduct foreign policy before he was in
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office. so this is sort of the beginning of the questions now that we all have to be asking. >> there was a phrase i heard michael zelden, jeff tubin was unaware of the phrase, better the deal the bigger the fish. and that meaning the better the deal that michael flynn has been given in this case, obviously faced many different counts, and they got him on this one charge, right, maximum five years. it's a deal. what does that tell you? what information might he be sharing? >> well, i guess the expression would have to in this case relate to the very top of the transition team, including the president elect himself. because it seems to me that if what has been reported publicly about flynn, which is that he's engaging in conduct very similar to what paul manafort engaged in only shorter period of time with
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less money, than paul manafort sits locked up at home facing 80 years in prison, and here's flynn pleading to one count information with five year maximum and with cooperation six months likely sentence. that tells you that he has to be cooperating about people who are important to mueller and the investigation that mueller has. and that's a very small handful of people. it could be the president, it cob his son, it could be his son-in-law, it could be steve bannon, advance prvance priebus it could be anyone that's more important than general flynn. so its a reasonable deduction to make from what happened today, but it is just that, it's speculation. >> spring boarding off of that though on your point about who it might have been, garrett to you, we know general flynn was retired three star general,
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dedicated his life to this countsry to do this without any sort of instruction, michael is right, the question is if he was directed by senior officials, who would those senior officials have been, a? and b wouldn't the other question be who might he have shared this information with? >> yeah, i mean michael is exactly right this is relatively small universe of people. if you are the national security adviser on the transition incoming white house national security adviser, there just aren't that many people who can direct you to be doing something. but i think it's also important to not look at this in a vacuum. what we saw today is actually the second piece of what seems to be very significant evidence that bob mueller now has up his sleeve. because remember in the last round of cases that came down, george papadopoulos also pled out as part of a cooperation
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agreement. >> right. so what does mueller do with it? >> well, so we don't know yet as far as we can tell what george papadopoulos gave up that was so significant to get that plea deal. so between papadopoulos and mike flynn, you now have two, at least to mueller very important pieces of evidence that have not made public. >> so if you are at the white house today, and we know they canceled the media op, would have been an opportunity for us to shout questions at the president, all along we have seen sarah huckabee sanders behind the podium and president saying this is low level investigation, it's going to wrap up soon. michael flynn is no coffee boy. i mean, this is -- if you are at the white house, how are you feeling? >> well, i mean, i've spoken with someone at the white house, and what they are trying to do is downplay all of this. and again as ty cobb did in the
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public statement saying this is about michael flynn has nothing to do with the president and they make the case there are no ten tentacles here. but there are. and they are there in black and white. and i would bet the president is kind of fuming and trying to figure out what to do next. don't forget, michael flynn was the fellow the president tapped jim comey on the shoulder about, and said, you know, could you go easy on michael flynn, he's a good guy. he's a good guy. and so they did have a relationship, neither michael flynn nor anybody else, i believe, in that transition would act on their own, on matters of state. and i think there are larger questions here about who knew what and when, including for the president of the united states,
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and including for all of his top advisers. and then you have to step back one more time and say, okay, say they were doing this stuff and shouldn't have because they were not in government yet. take one more step back and you have to ask the question, why. why? why were they doing this? and, again, we have to peel that layer of the onion. >> i think one of the things right there. >> go ahead garrett. >> i was going to say to that exact point the question is whether or not what we see here is sort of the back side of the collusion allegations that mueller is investigating. that is, you could create a time line where if there were collusion, the collusion goes, we'll help you get elected by giving you dirt on hillary clinton or disseminating wikileaks or running social media, and then when you are
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elected you can ask us favors and we'll ask you favors. so here is the first favor, asking russia about the u.n. vote that matters so much to israel. and there is the second favor of let's talk about sanctions. don't respond to the obama sanctions. because when we get in there we'll get rid of magnitsky act which you hold as a thorn in your side. so this could be the continuum of that. so ty cobb could be very wrong about that. or these could be freestanding disconnected to the collusion, but that's what they have to friend out now. >> but the notion that the president through these many months and "new york times" heather reporting today it was over the summer president tried saying to richard burr intel senate committee chair, let's kill this russia investigation and end it. and we found a list of seven different people that the president said please let's end, let's scrap this investigation.
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my over arching question and last op from you, here are the penal he talked to report he hadly, garrett, why would the president try to kill the russia probe? >> well, i think this is the big question is that we don't know what actions and behavior he was trying to cover up if he was actually trying to cover something up. i mean it could be he was trying to help michael flynn have a problem go away because he liked michael flynn. it seems unlikely, based on how consistent the lies that the trump campaign officials have been caught in about their contact with russia, that it's simply michael flynn is a really good guy and got himself in a jam. >> yeah, we'll leave it. garrett and michael and gloria, there are still so much we don't know. thank you all so much on this friday. we have more on this breaking news.
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joining me live next with his opinion and share reaction on capitol hill with guilty plea of flynn will republicans look to distance themselves from what's happening and potentially from the white house. and how wall street reacted the moment this news broke. you are watching cnn special live coverage. i'm brooke baldwin. the world is not flat. you can't just pinch it, swipe it, or scroll it. sure, you've seen the mediterranean. but have you? how warm is brazil in february?
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we are back with breaking details out of washington. among some of the details we are learning about general michael flynn cooperation agreement, flynn will be interviewed in the future by federal prosecutors law enforcement but will not be allowed to have a lawyer with limp in those meetings. he also cannot plead the fifth to avoid answering questions. and there is also the
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possibility he could be subjected to lie detective test. so let's bring in carl burn stein. i don't have to remind people you broke water gate. what do you think of it today? >> hugely significant. these developments, especially because they talk about general flynn who is central to the campaign officials talking to donald trump during the transition and during the campaign. and it indicates he's pled that he has lied related to those discussions in part. so why is he lying? why is he lying about things related about russia? and lying about things related to all of things discussion of sanctions which sts holy grail for the russians in terms of what they want this new presidency to do, which is to
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undo the sanctions imposed by t the obama administration. but you talking about the details. >> in the cooperation agreement. >> shows how strong this vice is that mueller has put general flynn in. and that he can tighten the lever on the vice, particularly through tools, yes, you cannot in a courtroom use evidence obtained from a lie detector test but certainly use that test to squeeze the defendant harder and harder for information and threaten him with further indictment perjurous information, et cetera, et cetera. the other significant thing about this is it is not proof of collusion what is in this statement. it is definitely not proof of collusion. but it shows how methodical mueller is in building a case that there was something, some
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kind of conspiracy going on within the campaign that general flynn was party to, talked to those above him about, and it also goes to the question of why is donald trump lying over and over and over again about matters related to russia. >> on flynn, though, the fact is he's admitted yes he did lie to the fbi. but it's interesting, i know you've seen his statement today, and he talks about how he's endured all these months of false accusations of treason. right. this is the word he uses, treason. carl, what does that signal to you about what he's willing to say? >> it signals as i said earlier on air today, he is not willing to say in some way that he, quote, colluded with the russians to undermine americans election, the free and democratic process of elections in the united states. that's what is indicates to me.
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look, we only have a small look right now at what mueller is doing. but what we see is that he's making great progress in going up the chain. the question is, is this going to be something like water gate whereas you go up the chain, the president of the united states is implicated both in obstruction of justice and in terms of a conspiracy of the facts to undermine the democratic process, which is what also happened in watergate. or is it more perhaps like iran contra where those below the president, at the level of flynn and other advisers in the national security bureaucracy particularly ended up going to jail, were indicted, the president of the united states was basically untouched in that criminally in that investigation. we have a long way to go here. but what we see now is, look, nobody can say with a straight
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face who has any sense of objectivity that this is about fake news at this point. this fake news business is gone. nobody can claim that, especially the president with any kind of reality. and the other thing is a lot of what we are seeing is about the president's hold on reality. how he has responded to these investigations. what will he do next now that he sees mueller closing in more particularly on members of his family. it's unquestionably that among those alluded to in the statements by general flynn is jared kushner, his son-in-law. >> right. and we know one of the multiple people over the course of the last, you know, let's say, eight, ten months, that he said, hey, let's end this russian investigation. let's finish this. is the guy he fired, you know,
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who he was head of the fbi, james comey. and i don't know if you've seen his tweet today, not like he tweets a hole heck of light but he shared this quote, amos 5:24. >> actually comey has been doing a heck of a tweet storm himself. he does tweet a lot and it's interesting on its own in terms of looking at the psychology of james comey. but that's another question. the real thing now is we are seeing mueller showing the outlines of a possible conspiracy and going up the chain. we also have to look at how donald trump is reacting and whether there is an obstruction of justice involving covering up lt things that flynn talks about in the statement. that certainly is the suggestion of what we are seeing in some of the papers filed with the court today. but at the same time, i think we do need to say it is certainly
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not prima fascia evidence of any kind of collusion at this point. >> i got you. >> but let me make one other point here. and that is what we are seeing is the degree to which the russians had the trump people in their pocket. not necessarily illegal, but not just general flynn, but we know are beginning to see how the russians were able to manipulate this campaign, manipulate the president in terms of their desire to get these sanctions removed. that is devastating in itself. whether criminal or not, we'll find out. but we are seeing just how effective the russians were in getting to these people and working their way on the highest officials in the united states, the national security adviser to the president of the united states, and those in his campaign. >> according to our correspondent in moscow, the reaction so far to this today in
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russia has been horrified silence. horrified silence. carl bernstein, thank you as always, i appreciate i. >> good to be here. >> we will of course tackle all the politics with our panel next. also close eye on capitol hill today where republicans say they have the votes to pass their tax plan. details on the wheeling and dealing that they have made to get at least 50 on board. paying less for my medicare? i'm open to that.
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back with breaking news here on cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me on this
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friday. breaking news is president trump former security adviser michael flynn admitting that he mislead these investigators about his interactions with former russian ambassador kislyak. he now faces up to five years in prison. with me now hillary rossen and rick santorum, former senator from pennsylvania. great to see both you. welcome, welcome. >> great to be here. >> on a day we thought we would be talking taxes. >> notice the little box there on there. >> it's great new. >> mitch mcconnell says we have votes for tax reform. >> good try senator. >> we do a little pivot here. >> the white house is downplaying this whole thing. >> yes, they are. >> we know the photo op was canceled. we know that the white house has been sort of saying all along this is a low level investigation. wrapping soon. i mean, you are seeing the news
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here. michael flynn is no coffee boy, senator. >> no, look, this is serious move not in the right direction for the trump folks. i don't think any question about that. the question is, i was listening to some of the earlier parts of the show, and i just think we have to be very careful about how much speculation is fueled on top of this fire. >> there is a lot we don't know. >> yeah. it could be this and that. >> sure. >> and the answer is even from the all the documents related to the plea, there is it real wide s.w.a.t. whe swath to where this could go. >> senior officials, only a few names that could have been. >> more senior than him. >> more senior them him up the food chain that would have directed him to do this. so that i this i is significant. >> whether it has legal
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implications for president trump, it has credibility, which is what i'm focusing on. based on what michael flynn has said the president has been lying. and for months and months and months about what happened. and maybe that leads to obstruction of justice charge from bob mueller but at a minimum the credibility for the american people for months saying there was nothing to this, defending michael flynn when barack obama suggested he fire him, all of this leads to i think a huge trust factor with the president of the united states. >> i differ with that. and i understand why you are going there. but i think if it was any other leader, i would say that you are speculation, and that's what it is, speculation is true somehow touched the president. but i think what the president has always said, and you know this and you will back me up on this, everything the president says is always ultimately about
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one person, him. not about his organization. even sometimes he says i don't know what they did, but i didn't do anything. and i think to suggest that somehow the president knew speculation. >> we don't know. >> that's what you said credibility of the person saying there is nothing here. fan in his mind, i believe, the president doesn't believe anything. i don't think the president knew anything. >> how do you explain that it was the times this morning saying it was richard burr senate of the intel committee over the summer president had to pull a side and said hey can we end this investigation. and seven other people had that conversation with. why is he trying to kill it? >> let's make this basic assumption. >> here's the problem though. there is this consistent sort of acceptance by my friends on the other side of the aisle. he's just a talker and shouldn't take him seriously, he's just fantasizing about his own views
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and whether or not this gets to him t and i think the seriousness of what happened today shows that we can no longer just slough this off when we have comments from the president the way we have them. it is not acceptable to just have this be about the president's eggo. it's not about the president's eggo. >> i'm not suggesting that. i think it's about the president's perception what is going on here. and the president perception of what is going on this is somehow suggesting that he personally was involved in some sort of collusion with russia. >> it's not perception. it either happened or didn't. >> and what i'm saying is i think the president is 100% convinced based on his own experience, that he had nothing to do with that. and that if someone underneath him that he had no knowledge of that. so that's why he's saying this is fake. this is not right. because in his world, based on his experience. >> listen to what you are saying, rick. >> the president is it convinced
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based on what he says is right. >> yeah. >> you can convince yourself of anything if you are donald trump. >> he did not collude. he knows he didn't. and therefore he sees everything being charged that somehow implicates him is false. >> you make your case for the folks across the aisle. because we know we heard from richard burr don't take to the media and make public comments. >> he knows something more. >> i'm just saying, i'm reporting what we know. so at what point what will happen when republicans will say, all right, something stinks here or distances themselves from the white house. when will republicans do that? >> look, i think you are seeing it already. >> are we? >> i think you are seeing it already. >> other than flake and corker, who else are we seeing? >> i mean the fact that more and more are not commenting and sort of staying away from the story, not rallying to the defense. >> you think that speaks volumes? >> absolutely.
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and they are waiting to see what other shoe is going to drop. and how high up it does go. and so the fact that flynn pled guilty and implicates others, then we are going to wait and see how that happens. no i don't think you'll see republicans rush to support the president. and keep coming back. and this has always been the odd part of the story, is that republicans have been generally very hostile to russia and democrats have been the ones who for historic been trying to create better relationships with russia, giving hillary reset with russia. so i don't think you'll see republicans come to the defense of the president when it comes to russia. so combination of factors. >> look, i think republicans right now are so twisted in their standards for what is acceptable behavior and what isn't acceptable behavior, twisted enough, and that goes back to this first issue, twisted enough to take 30 blind
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amendments to a tax bill that they haven't even read and vote for it just because they think that they need to for political ex-p ex-p ex-exped antsy. >> we'll react to this. this is the breaking news about talking about who this person would be. this is according to a source jared kushner is the very senior member of the presidential transition team. he is the one according to reports who directed michael flynn to then contact the russian ambassador and other countries regarding this united nations security council vote on israel settlements according to sources familiar with the matter. so guess no longer according to sources, it is the president's son-in-law. your response, senator? >> if you were going to give me a list of who it would have been, that would have been my first choice, given everything going on around jared kushner and his refiling of all his reports and contacts and
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communications. >> does the white house have a problem? >> well, i mean, white house had a problem period, and i think it's clear they do. the fact that president son-in-law, yes, that's one step closer to the president. >> let's look at this time period when jared kushner would have directed these conversations with michael flynn. the time period was when jared kushner did not leave donald trump's side during the campaign and in the first several weeks of the administration. everything he did was specifically in support of the president. the president constantly talked about jared being his best confidential adviser. jared kushner was a real estate. >> developer. >> developer before he got into this job. do you think he came on his own to think that maybe he should talk about settlements or talk about sanctions with russia? he would have known nothing about any of these issues without conversations?
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>> sure. >> breaking news that it is jared kushner. the president's son-in-law who was the one who directed michael flynn on all of this that has gotten michael flynn into big big trouble here. gloria borger what more do we know? >> look, we know jared kushner was the person who was the point man on all things related to the middle east and israel. and we have multiple sources here, myself and dana bash and jim sciutto saying in fact he is the very senior member of the trump transition team who was directing flynn on his contacts with the russian ambassador regarding this issue. you know, it's no coincidence that the special counsel interviewed jared kushner earlier this month on flynn. and, you know, the question we have to ask now is what was the
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nature of those questions that they were asking jared kushner. and did it relate to these questions of your communication, jared kushner's communications with michael flynn regarding a number of substantive issues. i presume now including contacts with the russian ambassador. so, you know, this is not a surprise. but you know we are all kind of trying to check our sources now to figure out just the nomenclature here and who the special counsel is referring to regarding certain conversations. >> okay. you want to put a button on this? >> yeah, i think it's really important to step back and say what we are talking about here are communications after the election. okay. so this goes back to the point that historllary was trying to about trump. the whole accusation here is the
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trump campaign included with russians to help him win the election. everything we are talking about here is post election. so what you have to assume, and it is a big assumption in my mind is that there was some quid pro quo that happened before the election that resulted in after the election. as far as we see we have no evidence of that. >> i'll just say that the reason bob mueller was appointed special investigator was to determine whether there was an obstruction of justice. whether donald trump tried to prevent an analysis by the fbi into looking into this issue. that is a post election problem and an action by the president of the united states. >> i understand that. but that is not the larger narrative that has been driven. i am not disagreeing there aren't legal problems. but i'm saying what happened today does not significantly in my mind impact the larger narrative. >> that's not fully connected yet. >> yes. >> i got you. thank you very much. good to see you. gloria i appreciate you jumping
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back on and helping us breakireg on the news. what president trump has to say about his former security adviser and more on breaking news on jared kushner. fareed joins me next. i thought i was doing okay. then it hit me... managing was all i was doing. when i told my doctor, i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease even after trying other medications. in clinical studies, the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission. 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
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all right. we have the breaking news coming out of the special counsel robert mueller russian investigation here. michael flynn pleading guilty about lying to fbi about russian officials. and an according to the sources jared kushner is the very senior member of the presidential transition team who directed michael flynn to have these
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contacts with the russian ambassador. so let's pause for a minute and break down the time line leading up to the events we are here today. according to the court filing flib talked to the russian ambassador kislyak asking him to delay a vote on the resolution regarding israel settlements. we just learned that jared kushner was one directed him to make the call. flash forward to 29th of december talks to him again about russia response to that. those are the two conversations fbi says flynn lied to them about. and then nearly a month later the white house was still denying that there was anything inappropriate about those contacts. >> i talked to general flynn about this again last night. one call talked about four subjects. one was the loss of life that occurred in the plane crash that took their military choir.
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two was christmas and holiday greetings. three was to talk about a conference in syria on isis. and fourth was to set up to talk about after the inauguration setting up a call between president putin and president trump. >> now the day after we saw sean spicer there, january 24th that's when flynn was interviewed by the fbi. that's when he apparently lied. but he didn't resign until three weeks later after admitting he misled the vice president about these conversations about the russian ambassador. this is what president trump had to say about it at the time. >> when i looked at the information, i said i don't think he did anything wrong, if anything he did something right. he was coming into office. he looked into the information. he said, huh, that's fine. that's what they are supposed to do. they are supposed to do -- he didn't call russia. he called and spoke to both ways, i think there were 30 some odd countries. doing his job. he was just doing his job.
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the thing is he didn't tell our vice president properly and then he said he didn't remember. so either way it wasn't very satisfactory to me. >> just a little context. michael flynn is the first person and he says is he fully cooperating. fareed zakaria is here with me. host of "fareed zakaria gps," and just minutes before you sat down, everyone had been wondering, you know, the list would be short as to who would be above michael flynn on the food chain there in the transition team and the news is in that it was jared kushner who directed him to make this call. your response to that? >> well, it does seem now we -- it's very clear that the trump administration really from the president on down was trying to change policy towards russia, was trying to in some way or the other assure the russians that there would be a new policy that
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perhaps sanctions would be lifted, that the united states was going to do things differently with them. the question, of course, you know, remains unanswered, is was this payback for something during the campaign? >> quid pro quo. >> what we are listening to now is all of these things that have happened after the campaign, after trump is in office when he's president and she's surprisingly reaching out to the russians and being nice to them. i mean, this is kind of if you think about it, it's very odd for a president in his first few weeks in president not to reach out to our closest allies in europe, the brits, people like that, the chinese, you know, the second largest economy in the world. no, there is concerted efforts made to reach out to the russians and to suggest to them, we're going to be very nice to you and here's what we want. so the question that we don't know is, why were they doing that? this has always been the puzzle of the trump campaign and presidency, why this particularly benign attitude towards russia?
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>> what about the evolution of the defense then, right, in doing this? initially we -- they weren't really truly in touch and it was about only -- you heard sean spicer say x, y and z to now saying, what -- >> it's important to point out that what sean spicer said was, in fact, lies. that was false. >> right. >> the white house has repeatedly lied on this. flynn lied to the fbi about it, as we now know. he's pleaded to a felony. if there is nothing here, why is everybody lying? >> why does president trump keep asking people, comey, burr and the list on down to kill the investigation? >> there is just sort of a -- exactly. there is a lot of smoke around this and it's not entirely clear what's going on. there is a legitimate defense i suppose, which is we were trying to have a strategic rapprochement with russia. we were trying to do a reset, to use the word hillary clinton used -- >> the russian reset. >> fine. why lie about it? why tell the fbi to stop looking into it? why? you know, that's the part that
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we still don't understand what is this, you know, how does this relate to this issue of russian interference before the campaign and are the two connected? >> 30 seconds, now that the know according to sources that it was jared kushner, what's the next big question? >> honestly, i don't think there is another big question because if it's jared kushner -- >> we know. that's it. >> it's essentially the president. i don't think you get closer to the president than jared kushner. >> wow. fareed zakaria, thank you. you can watch fareed of course, "gps" 10:00 eastern here on cnn. coming up next here, capitol hill. breaking news there. republicans say they have the votes they need to pass this tax plan. we will take you live to washington coming up. americans work hard. what if we could keep more of what we earn? trillions of dollars going back to taxpayers. who could possibly be against that? well, the national debt is $20 trillion. as we keep adding to it, guess who pays the bill?
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voting is now underway for the cnn hero of the year. this is one of the top ten, erin valencia. >> custom cars set me and my life in a whole different direction. i started smoeking meth at abou 14 or 15, the first time i ever shot heroin. robbing and stealing. the judge committed me to a year of drug treatment. i walked into rehab and never looked back. my life completely changed. i open up a small shop.
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>> oh, you came here to work? that's what i like to hear. >> kids were gravitating towards to shop to see what was going on. have them come here and they can actually learn a trade, learn a lesson, learn something to better their life. >> he taught us to put the wheels on there. he inspired me because i always wanted to be a mechanic. >> we cater to foster, at-risk and low-income youth in the community. >> we're not looking for perfection, we're just looking for better than yesterday. >> i'm just trying to be someone who sees where they're at right now and the what they're going through and offer a bit of stability. >> if any of you thought you're out there in this world alone and nobody's got your back, a lot of people have your back right now. >> they're learning. they're somewhere positive. it was a win for all of us. >> that's awesome. please vote for any of your favorite top ten heros. go to before i let you go here, again, we have just learned from the senior white house official that
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president trump has been briefed on legal situation with michael flynn and is reportedly feeling kwoent, quote, unquote, no anxiety about the situation. the president is apparently feel sorry for flynn and his family. stay with us here at cnn as we continue the special live coverage with my colleague jake tapper. i'm brooke baldwin, have wonderful weekends. wonderful weekends. "the lead" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- good afternoon and welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the bombshell news, retired lieutenant general michael flynn, president trump's former national security adviser, a key member of his campaign team and inner circle in the white house, pleaded guilty -- to lying to fbi about conversations he had with the russian ambassador. flynn is now cooperating with the special counsel investigation, we're told. in a move widely interpreted as his own play in order to guarantee that he and his sign michael flynn jr. avoid jail time for questionable and possibly illegal a