CNN: Feds Wiretapped Manafort, May Have Captured Conversations with Trump
BURNETT: “Outfront tonight, breaking news, Manafort under surveillance, CNN has learned that investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court order before and after the 2016 election. That surveillance continued into this year, including a period when Manafort wasn’t working for the campaign, but was known to talk with president Donald Trump. Pamela Brown and Evan Perez broke this story. So much to ask all of you as this breaks. What are you learning tonight?"
PEREZ: "The FBI got permission from the surveillance court to monitor Paul Manafort before and after the election, now, this is an extraordinary step for the FBI to do surveillance on a high ranking campaign person. Other sources told us this intelligence was not conclusive enough, Robert Mueller’s team had been provided all of these communications, Erin."
BURNETT: "When you say encouraging, man in a for the encouraging Russians to help with the campaign. Obviously, the weight of everything is on that word encouraging, what do you mean by it?"
PEREZ: "Right, there’s a lot we don’t know about exactly what was said, this is beyond just wiretaps, it’s also surveillance of all kinds, including searches that the FBI is authorized to do. We’re told the FBI has communications between suspected Russian operative, relaying what they claimed were discussions with Manafort as well as communications involving Manafort, none of this has amounted to what people consider a smoking gun in this investigation. There’s still more work being done to determine whether there’s a criminal violation here. We didn’t get a comment from Paul Manafort’s spokesman. He denied he ever knowingly communicated with Russian intelligence operatives during the election."
BURNETT: "So Pamela, you’re reporting here in a Paul Manafort has been monitors not once but twice?"
BROWN: "That’s right, Erin. Our team has told that the secret order began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation in 2014 many we previously reported that for Ukraine’s former ruling party. The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence according to one of the sources. And then the FBI restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new warrant that extended at least into early this year. The sources say the second warrant was part of the FBI’s efforts to investigate ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives. It’s unclear when that new warrant started. We’ve learned that earlier this year, the FBI conducted a search of the storage facility belonging to Paul Manafort. As you’ll recall under Robert Mueller’s direction. The FBI raided his home in Virginia."
BURNETT: "Of course we knew that. We didn’t know he had a storage facility until this hour, and we didn’t know they raided it. That’s significant. Do you know whether President Trump spoke to Manafort while he was under surveillance? That could be crucial."
PROKUPECZ: "They were still talking early this year, well after the campaign, and it is it a time that we’ve learned the FBI was listening to Manafort’s phone calls, it is possible those phone conversations were collected during surveillance as they were listening to them. That we don’t have a specific answer for, but it is possible, Erin."
BURNETT: "Which is a crucial point. And, of course, the president had said vocally that he was wiretapped and he meant that to mean not just phones, but all kinds of surveillance, was he right?"
PROKUPECZ: "Not exactly. The Justice Department has spoken out about this. They deny the president’s own lines were wiretapped. It’s possible he was picked up on Manafort’s surveillance, Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, it’s not clear if the FBI did surveillance on Manafort at Trump Tower."