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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 9:28 AM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 9:37 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
Blue Earth601035
Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15404
Renville152640
Redwood147127
Fillmore13969
Pennington138716
Chippewa136935
Cottonwood136020
Wadena131420
Faribault124917
Aitkin119133
Sibley118310
Watonwan11828
Rock116314
Kanabec108820
Pipestone101824
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9548
Jackson94610
Swift87818
Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68716
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132430
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129611
Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115340
Humboldt113725
Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
Montgomery96936
Clarke95120
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida81832
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72221
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4759
Wayne47221
Adams3194
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