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Investigation into the Russian/Trump Collusion Revelations. Aired 2- 2:30p ET
Aired October 30, 2017 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: In a moment we dig deeper into this ongoing story. Tonight, the ongoing investigation into Russia's role in
the U.S. election claws closer to the President as Trumps foreign policy advisor pleads guilty. And Trumps foreign campaign manager along with
another top aid are indicted on charges of conspiracy against the U.S. and money laundering. Former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin tells me what
MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: First the government through Mueller has found an extensive decade long money laundering and tax evasion
conspiracy which carries many, many years in prison if convicted.
AMANPOUR: Plus, not in (INAUDIBLE). Why Catalonia's silent majority are no longer staying silent. And we imagine a world refusing to keep quite
anymore about sexual assault. I speak to Brittan's longest serving female MP Harriet Harman.
HARRIET HARMAN, MP OF UNITED KINGDOM: The difficulty is that there is impunity and with impunity some, not all obvious. But some will abuse that
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Christaine Amanpour in London. President Trump's former campaign chairman
Paul Manafort has pleaded not guilty after turning himself in to the FBI this morning and being indicted on 12 counts including conspiracy against
the U.S., conspiracy to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent stemming from work that he did over many year for the Ukrainian
government and politicians.
Another Trump operative was also indicted on the same charges. But there's more which could tie Trump closer to the investigation into Russian
collusion. His former foreign police adviser, George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Including about contacts with Russians
and foreigners who pledged quote "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had this to say moments ago.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We've been saying from day one there's been no evidence of Trump-Russia collusions and nothing in the
indictment today changes that at all.
AMANPOUR: Paul Manafort headed Trump's campaign for several months last summer and the 31 page indictment was filed by the former FBI Director
Robert Mueller whose been appointed to investigate ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. I've been digging into this with Michael Zeldin, who
worked closely with Mueller at the Department of Justice. Michael Zeldin welcome to the program.
ZELDIN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So tell us first and foremost 31 pages of indictment, that's pretty serious, right? That's pretty intensive.
ZELDIN: Yes, these are serious charges, there are 12 of them and there's not one of them that is a throw away sort of charge. These are all serious
money laundering and tax related and lying charges.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Zeldin, what stool out specifically to you in regards to these money laundering allegations.
ZELDIN: SO what struck me most was one - the duration - 10 years. Two, the sophistication using cypress which is the money laundering haven of choice
for Russian and Ukrainian moneying (ph), then limited liability companies in places like Delaware and the Grenadines.
This was a sophisticated operation which was complex also and so it's not accidental that Manafort was doing this. He will have no defense of -
jeez, I didn't realize, I forgot to file this report. This shows sophistication and in a sense prior intent by the complexity of the scheme
and he's going to have a very hard time walking away from these indictments.
And it also tells them that if he can cooperate with them on other matters, he may be able to get a deal.
AMANPOUR: DO you think that he will cooperate on other matters? Which presumably means Trump matters.
ZELDIN: Presumable it does mean Trump matters and the $64,000 question is, does he have something on which to cooperate. You can't cooperate unless
you have information to give that Mueller doesn't have access to otherwise and that's an unknown at the moment.
AMANPOUR: Well, then what do you make of the fact that another official who was a Trump foreign policy advisor, we heard after these indictments
were made public that this person, George Papadopoulos has actually plead guilty. And that is about lying about Russia contacts.
ZELDIN: Well, not only is it about lying about Russia contacts, but it's about lying about a communication that involved Russians suggesting to him
that they have dirt on Hilary Clinton specifically thousands of e-mails. That goes to the core of the collusion inquiry that Mueller has ongoing.
AMANPOUR: So, now you say that, you know President Trump tweeted of course, "No collusion, no collusion" after these indictments were made
public and people are already saying that the Manafort indictments do not put him close to Trump. But now, you're talking about this guy
Papadopoulos and I want to read you an e-mail between campaign officials.
"We need someone to communicate that D.T, Donald Trump, is not doing these trips, i.e. to Russia. It should be someone low level in the campaign so
as not to send any signals." Now, this is in an FBI statement. What does that say to you about intent in the campaign?
ZELDIN: Well, it seems clear from the entire statement of facts that attach to the plea of guilty that there was an effort by Papadopoulos and
others in the campaign to create better relationships with Russia. In the most benign way it was so that if Trump became president they could reset
the relationship that we have with Russia.
In a more evil it was because they were interesting in obtaining information that was presented here and also presented at the June 9 Donald
Trump, Jr. meeting. You can't miss the fact that that which is was presented here as an opportunity for Papadopoulos is also the same stuff
that was offered to Don, Jr. on the June 9 meeting at which Manafort and Kushner were present.
AMANPOUR: So, do you really think there is that benign depiction of it that you suggest?
ZELDIN: I don't know. I think that it's too early to reach that conclusion. If you had a political point of view you might say their
smoking guns or smoke at least everywhere. But for me as a more cautious lawyer, I want to say let's see how things proceed. Right now there's some
indications of communication but it doesn't necessarily mean collusion.
AMANPOUR: An affidavit suggest that the Trump campaign approved a Russia meeting. As a cautious lawyer do you believe that is matter is getting
closer to the president himself?
ZELDIN: Well, I think the guilty plea here brings it a bit closer though this guy is only a foreign policy advisor. He's not really part of the
core brain trust of the campaign and you correctly indicate earlier that the Manafort indictment is a bit peripheral to the principle collusion
But the question is do these provide windows into which Mueller is looking to see whether there are more extensive contacts between Russia and the
Trump campaign that are of a conspiracy or collusion in nature. And that's what remains to be determined.
AMANPOUR: I was going to ask you next because you worked closely with Robert Mueller so you know a little bit about how he works and the
methodology, where do you think that he's going with this? I mean, I've heard people say that he's coming after everyone, he's going to get
everyone. What does that mean?
ZELDIN: Well, I think about Robert Mueller that he is a person who follows his evidence carefully and has the courage to decline prosecutions when he
needs to and piscatorial wisdom to bring charges when appropriate. So, I don't think there's any sort of out to get anybody aspect to the Mueller
I think he's going to look at the facts and they'll take him where the facts lead. Whether or not there is collusion remains to be seen. Whether
or not others like Flynn engaged in a similar type of behavior as to Manafort probably more likely than less.
AMANPOUR: That is so interesting. There's a lot more to be revealed. Flynn obviously, Mike Flynn, President Trump's first, now former national
security advisor. Michael Zeldin, thank you very much for joining us from Washington.
ZELDIN: My pleasure.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back just where is Catalonia's ousted leader. Charles Puidgemont has disappeared after threats of a potential 30 year
prison sentence. We dig in to where he might be and the regions future, next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. So where is Carles Puigdemont? Catalonia's leader was all smiles when unilaterally declaring independence
from Spain on Friday. But Madrid has turned the tables, taken direct control over the regain and called for a snap election in December.
Threatened with charges of rebellion and sedition, that carry a maximum 30- year jail term, Puigdemont did not turn up to work today. And our next guest says that he believes he's now in Brussels seeking political asylum.
The veteran Catalonian politician, Josep Borrell also former President to the European Parliament was at this weekend's massive unity rally in
Barcelona and he tells me that Catalonia may have overplayed its hand this time.
Mr. Borrell, welcome, do you think this separatist movement is losing steam? Do you think that the government of Mr. Rajoy was clever in the way
it's been reacting, for instance to immediately call these elections?
BORRELL: Yes, it was a good idea. The intervention was unavoidable. Mr. Puigdemont made it unavoidable because he declared unilaterally
(independency), no government in the world could stay without reacting to it according with our constitution. But he has been clever enough to call
for elections immediately in order to (avoid) the intervention as short as possible.
AMANPOUR: Do you think Mr. Puigdemont and his colleagues will be charged with rebellion and sedition? Do we even know where Mr. Puigdemont is
BORRELL: I just heard that he has left the country and trying to ask for political asylum in Belgium. I don't know I am not a judge, but Spain is a
democratic country with a separation of powers and it's up to the judges to decide which kind of criminal offense they have done, well I suppose
something they have done to declare independency of a part of a country is something that must be against law. But it's up to the judges to decide.
And I have full confidence on the separation of powers in my country.
AMANPOUR: You know all we've seen since the referendum is demonstrations of Catalonians wanting independence, we've heard speeches from Mr.
Puigdemont and we have seen the reaction of the Spanish King and the Spanish government. Explain to us about the so-called silent majority.
What more do they want from the central government?
BORRELL: Catalonia is a split society, that's not true at all, Catalonians want independency. But one half is very active, they have the control of
the institutions, they have the control of the public medias, they have (anthropologic) attitude -- they are (anthropologic), they control the
society culturally, economically, (matriarchy), institutionally.
The other part has been silent well you know, you're right I shut up. And in the last days, these people were fed up and started going to the streets
because they claimed that streets belong to all of us not to just a half of the country and we will have to do a lot of work in order to reconciliate
these two parts of the Catalonian society, but first the goal, we have to recognize that it is not a single people, the people of Catalonia doesn't
exist; there are two parts of it and independency are willing to make the world believe that it represents the whole country, it represents the whole
population and on the last polls and the last elections, the last democratic elections indecency got 48 percent on the books. It's a lot but
it's not a majority. In order to change the Catalan Constitution, (INAUDIBLE), you require two thirds of the vote. Two thirds of the vote -
96 - 90 votes.
Only half declared independency with 70 votes. Do you think that is democratic?
AMANPOUR: What are polls saying now?
BORRELL: Well, I don't think any poll statistically speaking is able to catch the position of the public opinion, it is rarely moving. As you
appose a lot of people will have learned from reality which is the best of the proofs. The thing were not the way they have it told to them, they
have been telling well, don't worry, no body will leave the Catalan economy, and all firms will remain here.
In 10 days, 1,800 firms have fled Catalonia, 40 percent of the pit. And they have been saying well don't worry, everybody will recognize us into a
nice little community, we will applaud, they will recognize us immediately and all European governments have not recognized this kind of declaration
of indecency. Now that they see the consequences, maybe they will change their mind, some of them.
AMANPOUR: You've just described you know the way that they grabbed the headlines and the media agenda. You also say that they've taken a page out
of the Brexit book and you call for truth and facts.
BORRELL: Yes, exactly. The same way that the Brexit says, it will leave you to be in union, we will get a lot of money, I don't know how much was
it, 350 million pounds a week or something like this. But it claim exactly the same thing, we leave Spain, we will have plenty of money because Spain
has stolen us and we will be able to manage ourselves much better.
For sure, Catalonia is a rich and powerful country and for sure when you are richer than average you pay more taxes than you receive. But the
figures they have been using are completely false, they are very good at doing propaganda and they have convince a lot of Catalan people that it
definitely will bring them a lot of good things. They have been saying that all market shares of all people will be immediately cancelled thanks
to independency when independency will come.
AMANPOUR: Joseph Borrell, thank you for joining me. And when we come back, imagine a new world with a new culture of noise. Women saying no
more to sexual harassment at the top of Britain's political pyramid. Britain's longest serving female MP, Harriet Harman joins us next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight. Imagine a world of women and some men who have had enough. Since the Weinstein revelations opened up the flood gates
25 days ago, a cascade of accusations had poured forth. The latest high profile case involved allegations of abuse of minor, a young boy, Hollywood
superstar Kevin Spacey has been accused of sexually harassing a 14 year old actor in 1986.
He says he doesn't remember, but he apologized anyway and he's come out publically as gay. Meantime the British Prime Minister Theresa May has
called for an independent mediation and compulsory grievance procedure for star (ph) after her own Tory Party was rocked by an admission by her trade
minister than he asked a female assistant to buy him sex toys. In Parliament today, Britain's longest serving female MP, Harriet Harman man
an impassion plea.
HARMAN: No one voted for me to come to this house to engage in high jinks (ph). No one elected any of us to engage in sleezy oppressive behavior so
it has to be stopped. And now is the time to do it.
AMANPOUR: And indeed Harriet Harman joined me earlier from West Minister to discuss this further. Harriet Harman, welcome to the program. You
stood up there in Parliament this afternoon and made a really impassioned plea for methods to stop this. How though? How do fire MPs? They're
HARMAN: Well, I think you've put your finger on it there. The problem is that there is also an imbalance of power between those who would make a
complaint alleging something against an MP and the MP who's in a position of power. You know, imagine if you're an internal or young researcher,
you'd think if you made complaint against an MP, your name would be plastered all over the newspapers and you'd probably never get a job again.
You know, if you were a young woman reporter making a complaint against a cabinet minister, immediately there'd be an enormous attack on your
integrity and that's the only thing anybody would ever know about you. She's the one that made that allegation against the minister. So the
difficulty is that there's impunity. And with impunity, some, not all, obviously, but some will abuse that power. So we need to have a system
which tackles that.
HARMAN: So there's two particular --
AMANPOUR: Just to interrupt you. So does the Prime Minister's statement in her call for a grievance procedure and mediation, does that go far
HARMAN: Well I think for start, mediation is role. You shouldn't have mediation between somebody who's done sexual abuse and the victim. What
you need is actually support for the victim and the perpetrator held to account. But there is -- so I don't agree with the idea that mediation has
any role to play in this. There are two things though that are important.
One is that the complainer needs to know that there will be an independent element to the investigation because the trouble is that people all side
with people they know. And MP's all know each other, but they don't know the researcher or the intern. So the tendency always is to understand the
point of view of the person you know and that's always the bedeviled the problems of investigation and sexual abuse. Look at the issue of the
church, you know, all the priests knew each other, but they didn't know the victim. So they thought about the people they knew, not about the victim.
So there must be an independent element. And secondly, there must be an anonymity. If you think you're going to be spread all over the newspapers
for making a complaint, and you're integrity will publically attacked by a powerful person, it's very difficult to make a complaint. So there's got
to be an anonymity for the complainant.
AMANPOUR: Can you fill us in a little bit more and tell us how many currently are seeing their name circulated anonymously as abusers. And
when we hear there's a list of maybe 36 MPs, some ministers.
HARMAN: Well, we've had a couple of allegations that have been out in the open. One is an labor MP, Jared O'Mara who done a very misogynist and also
homophobic language. And I think the thing about misogyny and homophobic language is that it's not a victimless offense.
It's creates a toxic atmosphere for women and gay people to have that sort of thing circulating. And then there's the conservative MP who it's
alleged Minister sent his secretary out to buy sex toys. Now, that is not what any of us are elected to do. We're elected to the serious business of
being M.P.s to hold the government to account or to be in government. And that sort of thing has got no place in the House of Commons.
AMANPOUR: So let me play something that you told me happened to you when you were a student. We talked several months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARMAN: There was this one lecturer who called me in and said well, you're borderline in your degree between 2-1 and 2-2 (ph). But it will be
definitely a 2-2 (ph) unless you have sex with me.
AMANPOUR: He actually said that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean it's so flagrant, it was a while ago. Do you think we are at a tipping point now, specifically since the Weinstein revelation
and now these flood gates have been opened, including now in your parliament?
HARMAN: Well I think paradoxically, although the Weinstein allegations mostly relate to what's happened in the USA and relate mostly to the film
industry, they have created a context where now these allegations have come out in relation to the House of Commons, there is a sense that we must use
it as the tipping point.
It must be a milestone moment where we now take action. The difficulty partly is in relation to politics, is that it's such a tribal thing. So
basically, the labor people all want to stick together, support each other and only criticize sexual harassment if it comes out from amongst (ph)
And actually, we've got to get over our tribal affiliations and recognize that any misogyny, homophobia or sexual assault, whichever side it comes
from, including our own side, we must be absolutely tough on it.
AMANPOUR: And what do you say to people who -- you know, there are some who are saying oh, this is a witch hunt now, it's just, you know, anything
that moves is accused of abuse and harassment?
HARMAN: It is quite the opposite of a witch hunt. It could not be farther from a witch hunt. The reality is not innocent people being witch hunted.
The reality is decades (ph) of sexual abuse and oppression which has gone unheld (ph) to account and now is the moment that that must change.
AMANPOUR: Harriet Harman, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. And just as we say goodbye to you, a poll last year by the main Trades
Union Congress found that almost a quarter of working women experience unwanted touching and 80 percent changed their jobs in two years. So it
has a profound effect. Thank you very much.
HARMAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at Amanpour.com. Follow me
on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.