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White House: "Nothing Of Value In Mueller Revelations"; Trump Implicated In Two Crimes On Eve Of 2016 Election; Ex-FBI Chief Squares Off Against House GOP Lawmakers; Mueller: Former Trump Campaign Chairman Lied About Five Key Issues; Police Fire Tear Gas At Paris Protesters; Powerful Winter Storm To Bring Heavy Snow Ice To Southern States; New Technology Helps Law Enforcement Solve Crimes. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired December 8, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Its mission is to study the far side of moon. It will analyze lunar soil and observe whether plants can grow in low gravity and (INAUDIBLE) sources like water. China says, if the rove is successful, it will eventually lead sending human to the moon.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mueller dropping a major bomb on Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now know a lot more about where Mueller is heading and who must be next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His own Justice Department, Trump's own appointees saying that you, Mr. President, are directly implicated in federal felonies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a normal case, if he weren't the president, he should expect to be indicted. But as we know, the Department of Justice has opined that you cannot indict a sitting president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's what I want to do it and I have to him: Well, Mr. President, I understand what you want to do but you can't do it that way. It violates the law.


BLACKWELL: Good Saturday morning to you, I'm Victor Blackwell.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone, I'm Jessica Dean in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: We start this morning with the memo from federal prosecutors for the first time directly accusing then-Candidate Donald Trump of directing his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to break federal election law.

DEAN: And here's the key phrase from that filing: "Cohen's commission of two finance crimes on the eve of the 2016 election for the president of the United States struck a blow to one of the core goals of the federal campaign laws -- transparency. While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to these elections knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows. He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made their -- made public their alleged extra marital affairs with individual one."

In the process, Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have a substantial effect on the election. CNN's Jeremy Herb and Boris Sanchez are digging into the new filings. And we're going to begin with Jeremy, who's going to take us through the memos.

JEREMY HERB, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. That's right. The filings were perhaps one of the most revealing windows we've gotten so far into what the Mueller investigation has uncovered. And as you said, most significantly last night, we learned for the first time from federal prosecutors directly that President Trump, as a candidate, directed Michael Cohen to commit crimes when he tried to silence women by making them payments to them during the campaign.

We also learned about new contacts that Russians had made to the members of the Trump team including one who offered Michael Cohen political synergy as they were discussing the Trump Tower Moscow project. We also learned from the filings that Mueller's team laid out how the Trump Tower Moscow project that was being pursued in 2015 and 2016 was involved with the Russian meddling.

The prosecutors noted that the project was being discussed while Russia was actively meddling in the election. Now, prosecutors recommended a substantial jail sentence for Michael Cohen after his attorneys had asked for no jail time. The filing, it was a different tone than what we had gotten from Michael Flynn earlier in the week, who Mueller had said provided substantial assistance to the investigation and recommended no jail time.

Cohen is accused of crimes including tax frauds, campaign finance violations related to those payments to women, and also lying to congress about his -- the Trump Tower Moscow project and the conversations he had about it. The big looming question, of course, is what does this mean for the president. He wasn't accused of a crime explicitly in the documents last night, and the Justice Department has said that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

The president, of course, tweeted that the documents totally cleared the president. But he was implicated in these documents. So now, we're going to wait to see what it is that Robert Mueller does next, his next steps, and as this circle comes tighter and tighter into the inner circle of the White House.

DEAN: All right. Jeremy Herb, thanks so much.

BLACKWELL: President Trump took no time, really just minutes after the release of the documents, to weigh in, of course, on Twitter. And so did the husband of one of his top aides. White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez is in Washington with the reaction. So, what did they say?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. Yes, the president basically shrugging this off as if it's no big deal. I did want to point out, though, a statement put out by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders yesterday. In it, she refers specifically to both the filings against Manafort and Cohen. Related to the Manafort filing, she suggested this does not implicate the president at all, but rather is tied to Michael -- or rather, to Manafort's financial crimes.

[07:05:12] On the Cohen front, she effectively says that there's nothing new there. She echoes the claim in that filing suggesting that Cohen is no hero. I did want to point to the president's tweet very quickly. As Jeremy noted, the president writing yesterday, "totally clears the president, thank you. Of course, these documents don't actually do that."

And that was pointed out by George Conway, a prominent D.C. Attorney, the husband of Kellyanne Conway, a very senior adviser to the president. He tweeted out quite snarkly, "Except for the little part where the U.S. Attorney's Office says, you directed and coordinated with Cohen to commit two felonies. Other than that, totally scot- free." We should point out previously in the week the president had attacked the special counsel suggesting that there were all sorts of conflicts of interest on that probe.

It's something that we've heard from the president before despite the fact that officials within his own Department of Justice have said that this is a totally legitimate and ethical investigation. We'll see if the president goes that direction later today. Of course, this administration is facing pressure from various angles; it's not just the Russia investigation.

It's also the fact that we could be seeing a potential partial shutdown over funding for the president's proposed border wall in a couple of weeks and the volatile stock market that we've watched over the past few days -- a result of the president's continuing trade war with China. Victor and Jessica.

BLACKWELL: All right, Boris Sanchez. Boris there at the White House, thank you.

DEAN: So, President Trump thinks he has been exonerated by all of this. But one key phrase in the Cohen filing suggests his actions could be subject to even more scrutiny in the future. And here to discuss all of this, CNN Contributor and Washington Post National Political Reporter Wesley Lowery and CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney Page Pate. Good morning to you both.



DEAN: Page, I want to start with you first. Let's look at an excerpt from the sentencing memo: "Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign including through meetings, phone calls about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments. In particular, and as Cohen admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with -- and here's the key -- and at the direction of individual one." Meaning Donald Trump. This is the first-time prosecutors have said the president directed his former fixer on these election-related crimes. So, what impact if any, Page, does this have on the president?

PATE: Well, the one thing I can tell you is he is not totally clear. In fact, what this means is that individual one, who we know is the president, is basically an unindicted co-conspirator in a campaign finance violation, which a felony under federal law. Now this document was meant to focus on Michael Cohen. It was not meant to focus on the president. So what we have not seen is the extent of the information, the evidence, perhaps other witness who's have come forward. Perhaps documents that the special counsel's office or the Southern District of New York has against the president himself. So for the president and the White House to see this totally clears them, I think it's the opposite.

DEAN: Yes and to that end, I want to go Wesley with what he was saying, the White House claiming there's nothing in this filing that wasn't already known, that there's nothing really here to see essentially. But Wesley, where are Congressional Republicans on all of this? Why are we not hearing from them?

LOWERY: Well, that's an excellent question. I mean, first of all, you know, what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that's just isn't true. There was a lot of new information in these filings, not just in the Cohen filing but also the Manafort filing. We found of a new contact with Russians between Michael Cohen and a Russian emissary, possibly trying to put the president in direct contact with Vladimir Putin.

In the Manafort filing, we find out about new contacts between Manafort and the White House as recently as earlier this year after he had been indicted. You know, there was plenty of new information here. And explicitly stating that the president here had directed Michael Cohen to potentially break these campaign finance laws. We'd seen some implications of that previously but this underscored it in a way that was different.

There's a real question about where Congressional Republicans are on this and that's remains one of the key questions moving forward as these investigations play out. What we know is that the Department of Justice kind of has a standing policy or guidance against indicting a sitting president. And so, what seems most likely moving forward is that we might see prosecutors, be it in New York or the Special Counsel, Bob Mueller, recommending action via congress, filing a report to congressional leaders, and that any action or, you know, sanction that might come towards the president might have to come via congressional Republicans.

Thus far, we haven't heard very much from them at all on this. And this is going to be the real test, the real question from Congressional Republicans is at what point do they draw a line and say the president has done something we think is unacceptable. Because in many ways, that seems to be the only way the president himself could face any repercussion here. [07:10:10] DEAN: Yes, I think you make a great point with that.

Where is that line for those congressional Republicans? I guess we'll see in the days coming forward. Page, I want to go back to you, and I want to go back to this filing. In regards to Cohen, they also wrote, "in or around November 15th, Cohen received the contact information for and spoke with a Russian national who claimed to be a 'trusted person in the Russian federation' who could offer the campaign political synergy and synergy on a government level." What is political synergy, and how should we relate this to the possibility of collusion which is at the heart of this investigation?

PATE: Right. Well, I've never heard the word "synergy" used in connection with a political arrangement with the Russian federation. So, it appears to me that this individual, whoever it is, and we don't know that yet, was reaching out to someone they believed was close to Donald Trump to try to establish some sort of relationship that would benefit both sides.

And at that point, 2015, the only thing they could do to help Trump was to help him get elected to the presidency. So, at some point, somebody from Russia is reaching out to somebody they think is close, Michael Cohen, to Donald Trump, to try to help Trump. That is heart of collusion. Now, what we don't know here again is who that person is and why they thought they would have an audience with the president or the president-to-be at that point by reaching out to Michael Cohen.

What did they think Michael Cohen could do? Is this the only contact? We don't know that because this document again is only focused on Michael Cohen. So, the White House cannot look at this and say no collusion. What this document tells us is there is evidence of collusion. We just don't know who, when, and where.

DEAN: And Wesley, very quickly, we talked about Congressional Republicans. Where do you see Congressional Democrats going -- obviously a lot of investigations on the horizon as they take over the house.

LOWERY: Certainly. I think that there's unquestionably going to be interest from Congressional Democrats and further probing of these kind of conversations. I think there's a split in thinking among some congressional Democrats, do they try to pick up this mantle quickly, do they wait and see what else might come from Bob Mueller before they begin asking some of these questions. But again, as we enter a new congressional session, it's going to be one of the key questions: what is the role of the now Democrat-controlled house in overseeing this president, both his behavior during the campaign, as well as during the presidency.

DEAN: All right. Page Pate and Wesley Lowery, thanks so much. Stay with us. We'll be coming back to you.

BLACKWELL: James Comey, the former FBI director whose firing by President Trump ultimately led to the appointment of Robert Mueller, he was on Capitol Hill yesterday. Comey spoke with Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, and while a transcript of the closed door hearing has not yet been released, at least one lawmaker called the session "tense." Here's how Comey summed up that six-hour interview.


JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: After a full day of questioning, two things are clear to me. One, we could have done this in open setting. And two, when you read the transcript, you will see that we are talking again about Hillary Clinton's e-mails, for heaven's sake. So, I'm not sure we need to do this at all. But I'm trying to respect the institution and to answer questions in a respectful way. You'll see I did that in the transcript. You'll see that if you get a transcript of my return visit, which I think will be week after next. And then this will be over.


BLACKWELL: So, he mentioned a return visit there. He's expected to go back to speak to the committee on December 17th.

DEAN: Special Counsel Robert Mueller says Paul Manafort lied to his investigators. And even though Manafort was once Trump's campaign chairman, the White House says the latest filing has nothing to do with the president. Next, we're going to take a closer look at that claim.

BLACKWELL: Plus, millions of people are preparing for heavy rain, some are getting snow, maybe ice. We're tracking a powerful winter storm making its way across the southern state.

DEAN: And the battle for bragging rights takes the national spotlight. Our Coy Wire is live in Philadelphia ahead of America's game, Army-Navy.

[07:14:11] COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. We're going to hear from some of the players why this game is special. Both teams breaking out new uniforms for this one. Navy -- theirs were inspired by their mascot (INAUDIBLE). They say you're a bad man when you put it on. (INAUDIBLE) fashion police. Victor Blackwell will tell us whose uniforms are better. That's later in the show, stay tuned.


DEAN: In a new court filing, Special Counsel Robert Mueller says former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort lied about several key points after agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors.

BLACKWELL: Now, this could mean that Mueller's team has more evidence about contacts between people close to Trump and Russians during the 2016 campaign. Here's CNN Senior White House Correspondent Pamela Brown.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Mueller's team outlined in a heavily redacted filing how they believe and why they believe Paul Manafort lied in "multiple ways on and on multiple occasions." Manafort they say, lied to the special counsel's office regarding his contact with the Trump administration this year. Even after his indictment last October, he said he didn't talk to anyone in the administration or convey messages to them. But Mueller says that's not true. His team says Manafort told a person to talk to a Trump administration official just this past May and had contact with administration officials including a senior administration official in February and May of this year.

And so, this new and damaging information for the White House comes at a time when every move by Mueller appears to bring his investigation deeper into the White House and Trump's inner circle. And it shows it has expanded well beyond what may or may not have happened in the 2016 campaign. So, these revolutions of Mueller's filings certainly raises questions about why Paul Manafort may have been lying about these contacts and who the contacts were made with. Now, Sarah sanders, the Press Secretary, released a statement in response to this saying that it has nothing do with the president and that the media is making up a story. Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.

[07:20:14] BLACKWELL: Pamela, thank you. Let's bring back now Wesley Lowery and Page Pate. Wesley, first to you, a lot of the Manafort document was redacted as expected but this revelation of communications or directing someone to communicate with the White House on his behalf as late as May 26th of this year, he'd been indicted for months by then. What's the significance of that?

LOWERY: Certainly. We obviously -- like you said, a lot of these documents have been redacted. So, there's a lot we don't know and we obviously don't know everything that Mueller and his team know. But it seems clear based on the timing of this that one of the reasons that Manafort might have been attempting to contact the White House could be an effort to secure a party and secure some type of legal help from the president.

Again, this is after Paul Manafort had been indicted. He was facing serious legal jeopardy. And this was at a time right after the president to much fanfare had issued a posthumous pardon to the boxer, Jack Johnson. He was throwing around the idea of pardons and discussing them openly, if you remember the tweets at that time. And so, it does a real question of what was Paul Manafort attempting to communicate to the White House and what was he trying to get back?

To go back to what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that there was no new information here -- this is real new information about a contact between Paul Manafort and the White House. An ongoing attempt of contacts, that might raise questions about what the president and what the White House were doing and communicating to witnesses as well as subjects of investigations in ongoing investigations. It raises the specter of potential additional obstruction of justice.

BLACKWELL: Page, I wonder what your greatest takeaway is from the Manafort document. But also, on the heels of what we heard from Wesley about that call to the White House. What's the legal exposure for the person on the other end of that call? This administration official, the senior administration official? PATE: Well, Victor, it depends on what they said. Is it possible

they're trying to influence Paul Manafort's testimony and his anticipated cooperation with the government? Are they trying to put him in there as a mole in the investigation where he's feeding information back to Trump's lawyers and people in the White House while he's facing indictment? While he's working out a cooperation agreement later in the year? We really don't know. But what I've found fascinating is that the special counsel knew those contacts took place.

Paul Manafort said I had no contacts, but they were able to produce text messages. So, whose text messages are they following? Are they monitoring communication from someone else in the White House? And if they have this on Manafort, what other communications do they have evidence of that we don't know about yet? I think there's a lot more here that the special counsel has that we may see in the ultimate report that we're not seeing in the sentencing documents.

BLACKWELL: Yes. There was a lot of news that happened in the last 24, 36 hours. And I want to get to some of the shakeup in the administration. The president says that he will nominate Heather Nauert, who is the State Department spokesperson now, former Fox News Reader, she's with ABC News as well, to replace current U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. I want to start with looking at a couple of the highlights of Ambassador Haley's time at the United Nations and talk on the other side. Watch.


NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Russia can complain all it wants about fake news but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups. The Russian government has offered only denials and counter accusations, anything to deflect attention and distract from its guilt. Lying, cheating, and rogue behavior has become the new norm of the Russian culture. What we witnessed this weekend is yet another reckless Russian escalation.


BLACKWELL: Wesley, whenever there were questions for this administration about their commitment to holding Russia accountable, they would point over to Nikki Haley at the United Nations and saying that's evidence of this administration being tough on Russia. There are reports that the Secretary of State; John Bolton, the National Security Adviser, want to down grade that position now to being under the State Department, not a cabinet-level position. Why do that now, considering the importance thus far in the administration as it relates to Russia? I mean, do they want it now to be just a glorified spokesperson role?

LOWERY: Well, certainly. And I think you're right to point out the role that Nikki Haley while she was in that position played and being, frankly, the administration official who most unequivocally condemned Russia and was willing to attack Russia at times when the Russian interests, Russian behavior was in contradiction with American interests. And so, it's going to be interesting to see what they do with the position now, having Nikki Haley exit the administration opens up a bit of a power vacuum there, what we now see as moving someone potentially with less diplomatic experience and public service experience.

[07:25:02] Someone who has played a spokesperson role historically. Prior to that being in a more journalistic role. And so, this could be a means for other people in the administration, be it Bolton, be it others, to consolidate their own power in terms of our foreign policy and to consolidate their envelope and their portfolio here. Again, what you saw is one of the most outspoken and charismatic figures of this administration stepping aside. And that opens up a space and -- I wouldn't be surprise to see a power grab from some other folks inside the White House.

BLACKWELL: Page, quickly to you, Evan Perez reports that Bill Barr, the president's nominee for attorney general, took the job and initially didn't want it but some Republican power players urged him to take for the good of the institution. What's the significance of having a man come in who initially didn't want the job?

PATE: Well, it's a very important position obviously. And right now, that position is going to be critical to determine what happens next. I mean, we know from the regulations that the special counsel's office will prepare a report. I think that's going to be sooner rather than later. But what happens to that report will ultimately be up to whoever's supervising the investigation. Rod Rosenstein right now -- Mr. Whitaker, perhaps Mr. Barr at some point. The ultimate question is going to be what do we do if there is evidence that the president committed a crime. And we want an attorney general in office who's going to follow the law and not follow the politics. Hopefully Bill Barr is that guy.

BLACKWELL: Page Pate and Wesley Lowery, thank you both.

PATE: Thank you.

DEAN: We want to step back for a moment to kind of remind you where we are with this Mueller investigation so far. So, we have 36 indictments and six guilty pleas. So far, President Trump's former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort has been convicted for financial fraud. Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, made a plea deal for lying to congress about a potential real estate deal in Moscow. Trump's former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year. Trump's former Campaign Adviser, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to making false statements to Mueller's team and the FBI. And his former foreign policy campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI last year. Now, this list doesn't include several other persons of interest which include the president's son- in-law, Jared Kushner, and his son, Donald Trump Jr.

BLACKWELL: So, there's a big winter storm that's making the way across the southern states. Millions of people are preparing for rain and snow and ice. We'll tell you who's under the gun.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:32:14] BLACKWELL: Right now, protesters and police are facing off in Paris. This is the fourth weekend of violent protests across France. Paris police tell CNN, more than 360 people have been taken to the custody.

DEAN: Earlier, demonstrators handed French police flowers and what could have been seen as a peace offering. But just moments later, officials were using tear gas to keep protesters in order. And we've just learned in the last few minutes, water cannons are being deployed as well.

Several major Paris landmarks have been closed and police have removed bicycle stations and city benches to prevent them from being used as weapons.

On Friday, officials seized, at least, three homemade bombs in Southern France. The yellow vest protests began as an opposition to rising gas prices and tax increases. Last weekend, more than 600 people were arrested. Officials say, nearly 300 were injured, at least four people have died.

Back here at home, a powerful winter storm is making its way through the southern plains, southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic.

BLACKWELL: Rain, sleet, snow, ice, all in the mix. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is here. Allison, there is significant flooding throughout Texas and that's what's pushing east, right?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. So that that -- that's why this is really important. It may seem like OK, but what about the snow? But you have to understand, this is where the moisture is coming from.

And look at some of these numbers. Numerous cities in Texas reporting six and even seven inches of rain to airports including Austin's and Houston Hobby actually set rainfall records yesterday and more rain is on the way.

And again, here is why this is so important. Because that rain is now pushing east. But it's pushing into some areas that have much colder air. So now, you're starting to see that transition to sleet. Freezing rains, snow, and in some cases a little bit of all of it all in the same place.

Especially, say North of Little Rock and even around Nashville, they are getting some snow. Lubbock has now been reporting snow at their Airport for the last four hours because that cold air is pushing back in.

But again, here is a look at what we have for a lot of these locations. This is where we have the winter storm threat. You have winter storm warnings, winter weather advisories. Over 25 million people are under some type of winter weather alert.

Here is a look at the forecast as it pushes all of that moisture off to the east. But what you're going to notice is we have a high- pressure system sitting over the Ohio Valley. That's pushing a lot of that cold air further south. So states like North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia are going to end up seeing mostly snow, sleet, or freezing rain as opposed to just regular rain that much of the southeast will get.

The southeast concern is widespread amounts of four inches. But look at all of this snow. Now, yes, some of the higher amounts may end up being in the higher elevations of the Appalachians. But you even have cities like Charlotte, for example, that could even potentially get especially the northern suburbs, maybe over a foot of snow before this system is finally said and done.

Here is a look at that map. Here is where Charlotte sits. Charlotte is in Mecklenburg County. Here is the difference. The northern suburbs of that could get close to a foot. The southern suburbs may only get two to four inches.

There is a very fine line that runs basically along the Interstate 85 corridor. Folks to the north of that stand a really good chance of getting substantial snow. Folks south of that may hardly get anything. But the key thing to note, Jessica and Victor, is that a lot of this also depends on timing. Because you really need that really cool air to come into place, so we'll have to keep a close eye on this over the next 24 hours.

[07:35:45] BLACKWELL: Certainly, will. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

DEAN: Still to come this morning. A trove of information from Special Counsel Robert Mueller that outlines the level of cooperation from Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.

And exclusive, with an attorney who knows Mueller well and says he's a man of the utmost integrity. He joins us next.


[07:40:27] BLACKWELL: He was once known as President Trump's fixer. Now, a federal prosecutors want Michael Cohen to face substantial jail time. As much as four years for tax fraud and campaign finance crimes.

Some of which they say, Cohen committed at the direction of President Trump.

DEAN: And in a separate filing, Robert Mueller says Cohen not only lied about his contacts with Russia. But that one Russian national actually offered Cohen, "political synergy" between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

Cohen who pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes this summer and was charged with one count of lying to Congress by Mueller's office is set to be sentenced next week.

And joining me now, to discuss all of this is Bruce Singal, He worked with Robert Mueller in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston. Good morning to you Bruce.

BRUCE SINGAL: Good morning.

DEAN: Thanks so much for being with us. We're just kind of going through these filings from yesterday. There's a lot of moving pieces here. You work -- you obviously worked with Mueller and you work in this sort of work. What do you draw, what conclusions are you drawing from these --this morning?

SINGAL: The biggest conclusion is that not surprisingly, Mueller knows much more than we know. And much of what he knows is tantalizing in the way it's hinted at in these papers. In the Cohen paper for example from Mueller's office, we see descriptions of not only the false statements that Cohen made to Congress but most particularly, references to Cohen telling the special counsel about the circumstances under which he prepared and circulated these false statements.

Which hints quite broadly at the possibility of others at potentially high levels at the White House and elsewhere, who participated in preparing the false statements that he pled guilty to.

They're also tantalizing references to many secret recordings that he made, and text messages, and those represent a potential treasure trove for Mueller.

DEAN: So, knowing Mueller, help us understand him a little bit more. Because we see -- we see him a little bit. We really -- we don't ever really hear from him. Help us get in his head. How methodical is he? What is his process? What did you learn from working alongside him about the man?

SINGAL: Here is the best way I can answer that question. I've always said that Mueller's appointment as special counsel, perhaps, surprisingly is both good news and bad news for Trump. First, the bad news, he is extremely detailed, thorough, meticulous, and methodical in his approach. He's like a dog with a bone. He will leave no stone unturned in his effort to find who committed what crimes at the highest possible level.

Now, with that, as the bad news one might ask, "Well, what possible good news could there be?" And the good news is that he is a person of principle. He will not go beyond a slavish devotion to where the law and the facts actually take him.

Which means that while he'll go as far as it will take him, he will not go beyond and of the -- there were 325 million people in the United States and he would be the last on that list to be waging some sort of partisan political agenda to charge somebody for crimes he didn't believe could be proven.

DEAN: Right. And I did, I wanted to ask you that because the president has accused him of being partisan, of being part of this witch-hunt that -- that's going after the president and the people around him. But it sounds like you've never found any of that in your dealings with him or the way you know him. SINGAL: He's the straightest shooter, you can find apolitical. I've read he's a Republican, I had no idea that was it, but this is the last person in the world who would be charging somebody with crimes based on a political agenda.

And I might note also that ironically, we see in the papers filed yesterday for the very first time an explicit charged that the president engaged in federal crimes in terms of the campaign contribution violations that Cohen engaged in.

And ironically, it wasn't Mueller who made that charge. It was the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. So, I suppose he is now partisan as well.

[07:45:01] DEAN: Yes. And quickly, before we go, I would also like to ask you like is there one moment that kind of defines him to you when you guys were working together or a little anecdote that you can share with us. Again, just kind of give us a little -- a little color about a man that's at the center of this -- you know, incredibly important investigation.

SINGAL: Well, it's not a terribly exciting one. But, I think it represented of in terms of as the chief of the Criminal Division, he had to approve and review all indictments. And I remember my first dealing with him giving in a very complicated lengthy indictment.

Thinking well, he'll just -- you know, blow through this and just approve it by rote. And I got it back with dozens of red felt-tip pen comments on everything from typos to spelling issues, to names of sites incorrect. And that showed me the attention to detail and the demand for perfection that is characteristic of love.

DEAN: Yes, quite meticulous. All right, Bruce Singal, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

SINGAL: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: Football game full of history. The very first Army-Navy face-off is played back in 1890, but there is one thing that is to sync remodel this year, uniforms. Coy, and where is your hats? You started with the hat, now there's no hat. I know it's cold in Philly.

WIRE: You know I knew we were going to be talking about fashion and uniforms and I didn't want you to be judgy because I'm really not feeling that you would like my hat or not. But you're going to really like these uniforms.

Yes. So, we're going to talk about Navy and Army. Got to hear who you guys think have the best uniforms in this year's matchup. We'll hear for some of the players as well. Coming up, knew that.


[07:51:10] DEAN: There is no college football game quite like Army- Navy. It's an atmosphere that makes this service and tradition with the all-out passion of school pride. BLACKWELL: Coy, what this mean to the players and those coaches?

WIRE: Yes. Good morning to you. It said that the Army-Navy Game is the only place where the players on the field would die for everyone who's watching. That's powerful. I mean these Army-Navy players today, they know that they could be fighting as foes against each other on the field for a win today. But in the end, they're on the same side having committed and sacrificing their lives to protect and serve our nation. Hears to them what makes this game so special. Listen.


JEFF MONKEN, HEAD COACH, ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS FOOTBALL TEAM.: There is a distinct feeling. Physical feeling in the stadium from the moment you walk on that field the day of the game.

ANTHONY GARGIULO, FULLBACK, NAVY MIDSHIPMEN FOOTBALL: You got the jets you got the planes flying over. You got all the -- you know, Midshipmen and all the army cadets, you know, scream and yelling. Either for you or against you and, you know, it's the energy is just unlike anything I've ever had before.

BRYCE HOLLAND, OFFENSIVE LINEMAN, ARMY WEST POINT: You know, have you ever been somewhere that it's, it's so loud, that it's quiet? And that's my only explanation for the Army-Navy Game. It's electrifying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been in these games 21 times. 21 times and it feels Exeter's.


WIRE: These men are a rare breed of special playing in a very special game. And it's so important that each team is breaking out special uniforms for this one. Navies are inspired by their mascot, Bill the goat, the first live goat appeared on the sidelines of the fourth ever Army-Navy Game in 1893. It was a victory, though the tradition stuck.

Now, I want you to take a look at Army's uniforms because 2018 marks the anniversary of the ending of World War I. So, they're stepping back into the 1900 paying tribute to the troops who helped end the war. The Big Red One is their name, the First Infantry Division.

They were instrumental in defeating German forces there, the Black Lions of Cantigny, you'll see battle on their Jerseys and as well, there were known for defeating German forces in 45 minutes. And really proven that Americans could perform successfully in combat.

Victor, I got to know, who do you like, Army or Navy?

BLACKWELL: I got to go with the Black Knights.

DEAN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it was -- it was easy. I liked the blue and gold but I got to go with Army. DEAN: Yes, they're both sharp looking man. It's going to be a great game. Thanks, Coy.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Thank you, Coy.

DEAN: It is that time of the year when we honor some of the best humanity has to offer, "CNN HEROES".

BLACKWELL: They are 10 extraordinary people who are doing extraordinary things around the world and we cannot wait to see who gets this year's top honor. Join Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, as they announce the 2018 CNN Hero of the year, live. Tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN,


[07:58:32] BLACKWELL: This week's "MISSION AHEAD", looks at new technology that helps law enforcement solve crimes.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE REPORTER: Our DNA carries a specific instruction set for an individual's physical characteristics. With a small sample, Parabon NanoLabs can create a facial composite called a phenotype that predicts what a person looks like. It's technology that can help break criminal cold cases wide open.

It's the kind of stuff from a sci-fi movie. You know what I mean?


CRANE: After being brutally beaten, 17-year old Brittani Marcell was put into a coma. She lost all memory of the attack, leaving detectives with just one piece of physical evidence -- a single drop of blood. For the next 10 years, the case went unsolved. Until Marcell recalled a name, Justin Hansen.

With that drop of blood, Parabon NanoLabs produced this facial composite linking Hansen to the crime. A suspicion confirmed later with an additional DNA match. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

GREYTAK: Going forward, the number of cold cases will decrease. And also active cases can potentially be solved more quickly. Cases won't have to go cold.

CRANE: It costs about $3,000 but the results can mean authorities spend less time and manpower to solve a case. DNA can't reveal a person's age, though. So, Parabon estimates what a person would look like based on how long ago the crime was committed.

GREYTAK: So, basically we're predicting where the face falls on different facial dimension in what we call, face space.

CRANE: By generating leads from DNA left at a crime scene as opposed to matching it to a database, Parabon is giving law enforcement a powerful new crime-fighting tool. And they are using it since 2015. DNA phenotyping has assisted in over 40 cases and counting.