Analysis Of The First Charges In Mueller’s Russia Probe

Air Date:
Heard On The Morning Show
Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort makes his way through television cameras as he walks from Federal District Court in Washington, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Manafort’s business associate Rick Gates have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other counts. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Two of Donald Trump’s campaign aides have been charged in connection with the probe into Russian interference in last year’s election. A third pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. We discuss the significance of these first charges in the months-long investigation and what they may suggest about where the investigation is going.

Former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate, Rick Gates, both pleaded not guilty in federal court on Monday. The two are facing charges of conspiring to launder money, conspiring against the United States, and 10 other counts. President Trump tweeted that Manafort’s activity occurred before he joined the campaign and reiterated his claim that there was no collusion with Russian officials.

It was also revealed on Monday that earlier this month, George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy advisor to Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty to knowingly making false statements to FBI agents about his contacts with Russians who claimed to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplayed Papadopoulos’ role as “extremely limited” and a “volunteer position.”

In response to the indictments, Democrats are warning Trump not to interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. Sanders said Trump has “no intention” of firing Mueller and expected the probe to wrap up soon.

What’s your reaction to these first indictments in the Russia probe? Should Trump dismiss or cooperate with Mueller? Should Trump be worried about these charges or do you think the probe is a “witch hunt?” Weigh in with your thoughts at 1-800-642-1234 or You can also tweet us @wprmornings or post a comment on the Ideas Network Facebook page.

Episode Credits

  • John Munson Host
  • Bill Martens Producer
  • Charles Franklin Guest