STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Anderson Cooper exposes Trump's tower of lies

CNN's Anderson Cooper exposes the lies and statements surrounding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between several of Donald Trump's top advisers and several Russians.

Posted: Aug 8, 2018 7:37 AM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 7:37 AM

Rick Gates' testimony in the Paul Manafort trial should teach the rest of the Trump campaign universe an important lesson: Criminals can't trust each other. And there are a number of people in this orbit who are undoubtedly and anxiously newly alive to this.

Gates -- who has agreed to a plea deal in the hope of a reduced sentence on a host of crimes in which he's admitted his guilt (including tax fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and lying to federal authorities) -- has turned on his former boss, spilling the beans about the duo's alleged financial misbehavior and international law breaking.

Gates also admitted to fleecing Manafort. Meanwhile, Manafort's attorneys are attempting to paint a picture of the protégé as the real perpetrator and Manafort, his boss, as the innocent dupe.

Gates told the court this week that Manafort had neglected to report 15 different foreign accounts to US officials, and conducted illicit dealings for a series of unsavory characters, including pro-Russia operatives in Ukraine.

These tidbits were especially tantalizing given the role of both men in Donald Trump's election campaign: Manafort, who is on trial on tax and bank fraud charges, was Trump's campaign chairman, and Gates his deputy.

That same campaign has been dogged by accusations of collusion with the Russian government -- a hostile foreign power looking to interfere with an American election -- which the President has long denied. But this weekend he tweeted that his son Donald Trump Jr. did in fact meet with Russians in 2016 at Trump Tower "to get information on an opponent."

He characterized this, inaccurately, as "done all the time in politics" and "totally legal." The younger Trump did not report the meeting with Russians to the FBI -- as he should have -- and when it was exposed in a New York Times report a year later issued a statement (dictated by his father, the President) claiming that it was mainly adoption laws he discussed with a Kremlin-tied lawyer (and self-described "informant"), leaving out that he'd taken the meeting in hopes of getting dirt on his father's opponent, Hillary Clinton.

This is why, with the dominoes falling in the Manafort case, it may well be not just Manafort feeling the heat. Manafort and Gates were, after all, alleged partners in crime and business, close friends whose alleged illicit and possibly illegal activities bonded them. Faced with the prospect of prison time, though, Gates gave up his friend and mentor; the threat of years behind bars is, for most people, stronger than the ties of friendship, and Gates proved no exception.

If any among the clawing, craven members of the Trump campaign (only a few of whom have survived into the administration) face the same such scrutiny by investigators, they are unlikely to be much different. Criminals, politicians and other narcissists tend to be self-interested individuals. Put enough pressure on them, and they'll happily shift the blame (hopefully to where it really belongs).

Manafort is living that reality. He's not just standing trial over his alleged crimes; he's seeing his relationships crumble as association with him has becomes toxic. There was a time when it was just the opposite: Association with Manafort meant power, money and access.

Now it might be the inside of a prison cell. You have to imagine Manafort's former friends and associates, other than Gates, are watching and taking note -- including the man sitting in the Oval Office, and all the people who put him there.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9930

Reported Deaths: 213
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah241769
Marion161047
Washington153420
Clackamas82125
Umatilla7166
Union3551
Lincoln3463
Deschutes2110
Lane2083
Malheur1911
Polk15912
Linn1579
Jackson1470
Jefferson1320
Yamhill1328
Klamath1301
Benton935
Morrow931
Hood River880
Wasco881
Josephine521
Clatsop510
Douglas460
Coos420
Columbia360
Lake210
Tillamook140
Crook120
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker50
Sherman20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Harney10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 252895

Reported Deaths: 6334
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1078263457
Riverside19450479
Orange16191363
San Diego15696387
San Bernardino13676269
Imperial7039114
Alameda6556140
Fresno585177
Kern513081
Santa Clara5077160
Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
Sacramento400469
San Francisco377650
Contra Costa356481
San Mateo3536108
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271921
Kings260032
Stanislaus253144
Monterey191515
Solano147625
Sonoma135911
Merced127211
Placer82811
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo61325
Madera5785
Santa Cruz4553
Napa3764
San Benito2652
Sutter2433
Lassen2420
El Dorado2260
Butte2063
Shasta1484
Humboldt1444
Nevada1291
Glenn1220
Yuba1061
Tehama881
Lake870
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Del Norte581
Calaveras530
Mono451
Tuolumne430
Inyo331
Amador310
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 62°
Brookings
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 63°
Grants Pass
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Klamath Falls
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 63°
Sunny weather continues Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events