(CBS News) — President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen , is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the president knew in advance of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Mr. Trump’s son, top campaign officials and a Russian lawyer, CBS News’ Paula Reid has confirmed, though Cohen has no evidence to offer that corroborates his claim. Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, a gathering arranged by Trump Jr. because he believed Veselnitskaya had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. When the meeting was first reported by the New York Times in July 2017, Mr. Trump said he had only learned about it “two or three days ago,” that is, in 2017, about a year after the meeting had occurred. CNN first reported Thursday Cohen’s claim that Mr. Trump knew about the meeting in advance. According to CNN, Mr. Trump also approved the meeting Mr. Trump’s current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, rejected Cohen’s assertion during an interview with CNN Thursday. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is not credible,” Giuliani said. “I would not accept [Cohen] as a witness,” he added. “This is the kind of witness who can really destroy your whole case.” Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis Jr., declined to comment. In a statement to CBS News, Trump Jr.’s attorney said Thursday that his client “has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations. We are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr. Trump, Jr., and on his behalf.” Trump Jr. testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May. He said he couldn’t remember whether he had discussed the Russia investigation with his father, according to transcripts released of his interview with the panel. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Veselnitskaya, the Russain lawyer at the meeting, worked more closely with senior Russian government officials than she previously let on, citing documents it had reviewed. Earlier this week, Cohen gave CNN a two-minute audio recording of a conversation that had taken place between him and Mr. Trump in 2016. The two can be heard discussing paying a former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with Mr. Trump in 2006. Cohen is currently under federal investigation for his personal business dealings and is suspected of fraud. (© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and Democratic Party and released tens of thousands of private communications in a sweeping conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, according to an indictment announced days before President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The indictment represents special counsel Robert Mueller’s first charges against Russian government officials for interfering in American politics , an effort U.S. intelligence agencies say was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The case follows after a separate indictment that accused Russians of using social media to sow discord among American voters two years ago. More From CBS News The 29-page indictment lays out how, months before Americans went to the polls, Russian officers schemed to break into key Democratic email accounts, including those belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Stolen emails, many politically damaging for Clinton, appeared on WikiLeaks in the campaign’s final stretch. The charges allege the Russian defendants, using a persona known as Guccifer 2.0, in August 2016 contacted a person who was in touch with the Trump campaign to offer help. And they say that on the same day Trump said in a speech, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Russian hackers tried for the first time to break into email accounts used by Clinton’s personal office. Rosenstein: The defendants accessed computers of volunteers and employees of the U.S. Presidential campaign including the campaign chairman, and also hacked computer networks of a congressional campaign committee, and a national political committee https://t.co/Nm7a7FCOlG pic.twitter.com/HV3DUnF2zm — CBS News (@CBSNews) July 13, 2018 Mueller did not allege that Trump campaign associates were involved in the hacking effort or that Americans were knowingly in touch with Russian intelligence officers, and the indictment does not allege that any vote tallies were altered by hacking. The White House seized on those points in a statement that offered no condemnation of the alleged Russian conspiracy. It was unclear whether the indictment might factor into Trump’s meeting with Putin on Monday. He has repeatedly expressed skepticism about Russian involvement in the hacking and has been accused by Democrats of cozying up to the Russian president. Trump complained about the Russia investigation before the indictment, saying the “stupidity” was making it “very hard to do something with Russia.” Rosenstein: When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it's important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats, and instead to think patriotically as Americans. Our response must not depend on which side was victimized pic.twitter.com/yeyjLUOqFb — CBS News (@CBSNews) July 13, 2018 The Kremlin, meanwhile, denied anew that it tried to sway the election. “The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the U.S. elections,” Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Friday. The indictment identifies the defendants as officers with Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU. If that link is established, it would shatter the Kremlin denials of the Russian state’s involvement in the U.S. elections given that the GRU is part of the state machine. The Russian defendants are not in custody, and it is not clear they will ever appear in American court, though the Justice Department has recently seen value in indicting foreign hackers in absentia as public deterrence. The indictment accuses the Russian hackers, starting in March 2016, of covertly monitoring the computers of dozens of Democratic officials and volunteers, implanting malicious computer code known as malware to explore the networks and steal data and of phishing emails to gain access to accounts. One attempt at interference noted in the indictment came hours after Trump, in a July 27, 2016, speech, suggested Russians look for emails that Clinton said she had deleted from her tenure as secretary of state. “Russia, if you’re listening,” Trump said, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” That evening, the indictment says, the Russians attempted to break into email accounts used by Clinton’s personal office, along with 76 Clinton campaign email addresses. By June 2016, the defendants, relying on fictional personas like DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, began planning the release of tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents, the indictment alleges. The hack displayed the private communications of the campaign in harmful ways, including deliberations about messaging that played into attacks that Clinton was calculating and a political flip-flopper. Private speeches she gave to financial industry firms were particularly damaging within the left wing of the Democratic party and among independents frustrated with the influence of Wall Street in politics. The indictment alleges that Guccifer 2.0 was in touch with multiple Americans about the pilfered material, including an unidentified congressional candidate who requested and then received stolen information On Aug. 15, 2016, the indictment says, Guccifer 2.0 reached out to someone in regular contact with the Trump campaign and asked the person if he or she had seen anything “interesting in the docs I posted?” Guccifer 2.0 offered help and said it would be a “great pleasure.” The indictment doesn’t identify the person, though longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone acknowledged through his lawyer Friday a “24-word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0.” “This exchange is now entirely public and provides no evidence of collaboration or collusion with Guccifer 2.0 or anyone else in the alleged hacking of the DNC emails,” said lawyer Grant Smith. In addition, someone at Wikileaks contacted Guccifer 2.0 weeks before the Democratic National Convention asking for material on Clinton in advance, to prevent her from solidifying support from rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, court papers show. The charges come as Mueller continues to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the election. Before Friday, 20 people and three companies had been charged in the Mueller investigation. Defendants include four former Trump campaign and White House aides, three of whom have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate, and 13 Russians accused of participating in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to sway U.S. public opinion in 2016. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that it was time to end the Mueller investigation since “no Americans are involved” in Friday’s indictment. But with Mueller still investigating, it’s not known whether further indictments are taking shape or will. At the Justice Department, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called for a unified approach to foreign meddling. “When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it is important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans,” he said. “Our response must not depend on who was victimized.” The Trump-Putin meeting is scheduled for Monday in Finland. Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer urged Trump to cancel the meeting until Russia takes steps to prove it won’t interfere in future elections. He said the indictments are “further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win.” (© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
12 Russians Accused Of Hacking Democrats In 2016 US Election
WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) – Yelling and chaos erupted at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday as Republican lawmakers challenged FBI agent Peter Strzok over his text message saying “we’ll stop” the election of Donald Trump. Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller ‘s team, telling lawmakers that texts he traded with FBI lawyer Lisa Page in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election reflected personal views that he never once acted on. The interaction with Page fueled GOP suspicions of partisan bias over the course of the 2016 election and Hillary Clinton email investigatio n. “At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took,” Strzok said. Strzok also said he had been advised not to answer specific questions about the on-going investigation into Russian election interference . That set off a testy back and forth between Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York and Republican Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia: Goodlatte: “Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the committee’s directive to answer the question, or refuse to do so. The latter of which will place you at risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability. Do you understand that?” Nadler: “Point of order Mr. Chairman.” Goodlatte: “The question is directed at the witness.” Nadler: “I have a point of order before he answers the question.” Goodlatte: “The point of order is not well taken.” Nadler: “You don’t know what the point of order is, you can’t say it’s not well taken.” Goodlatte: “The point of order, the witness will answer the question.” Nadler: “Mr. Chairman, I raise my point of order and I insist on it.” The Justice Department’s inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety through the texts. But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton. Page, who has also been subpoenaed, is expected to speak to lawmakers at a private meeting Friday. (© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
President Trump’s legal team is once again attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Errol Barnett reports
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Trump’s legal team responds back to Mueller’s investigation
WASHINGTON, DC (CBS News) – President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani is calling for a “full and complete” investigation into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Giuliani, speaking on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, claimed that “troubling, unethical behaviors” among some in the Justice Department had tainted the Mueller probe, which began as an FBI counterintelligence investigation. The department’s inspector general released a report this week into the handling of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, revealing that FBI agent Peter Strzok, who oversaw the Clinton investigation and was later removed from the Mueller probe, had suggested in text messages that the FBI would “stop” a Trump presidency two months before the 2016 election. Transcript: Rudy Giuliani on “Face the Nation,” June 17, 2018 “How much did he infect that probe with his own very, very extreme positions? I don’t know, but I want to find out before I go forward,” Giuliani said when pressed about Strzok’s influence on the investigation. The inspector general found no evidence to suggest that political bias influenced the FBI’s actions with respect to the Clinton probe. But Giuliani said he wants another investigation into the bureau’s Russia investigation, which was eventually taken over by Mueller when he was named special counsel. “It’s crying out for someone to investigate the investigators,” Giuliani said. “There should be a full and complete IG report and grand jury investigation of what happened here, after it became the Russia probe. What was the purpose of it? What did they gather?” When asked if and when Mr. Trump would sit down with Mueller’s team of investigators for an interview, Giuliani said he advised against it, but said his client is intent on providing his version of events. “I don’t want to do it,” Giuliani. “The president wants to do it.” What shape an interview would take is still up in the air. “What we’d really like is something responded to in writing. And it could be under oath.” But Giuliani added: “We are in rather sensitive negotiations with them … there might be a narrow area that we could all agree on.” Areas of the negotiation include the format, the scope of questions and the duration. Unlike former President Bill Clinton’s videotaped testimony in the Whitewater investigation, Giuliani indicated his preference for that only the audio of the interview be recorded. “I think we’ve already agreed that it should be just audio recorded,” said Giuliani. “We would like to see it limited to some specific questions about the heart of the probe – the Russian alleged collusion. We think that those questions could be answered quickly. We think two hours. They probably think four. So let’s settle at three.” However, Giuliani made clear that he wants to know more before any final agreement. “I’m not sure we can possibly recommend being questioned until we know how badly is this investigation infected by what Strzok did at the beginning.” The president took to Twitter Sunday morning to condemn the investigation. WITCH HUNT! There was no Russian Collusion. Oh, I see, there was no Russian Collusion, so now they look for obstruction on the no Russian Collusion. The phony Russian Collusion was a made up Hoax. Too bad they didn’t look at Crooked Hillary like this. Double Standard! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2018 “WITCH HUNT! There was no Russian Collusion,” said Trump. “Oh, I see, there was no Russian Collusion, so now they look for obstruction on the no Russian Collusion. The phony Russian Collusion was a made up Hoax. Too bad they didn’t look at Crooked Hillary like this. Double Standard!”
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Giuliani Renews Push To Investigate The Investigators In Russia Probe
A federal judge sent former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to jail ahead of his trial after allegations of witness tampering surfaced in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. President Trump distanced himself from Manafort on Friday, but later tweeted that he thought the judge’s decision was unfair. Weijia Jiang reports.
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Paul Manafort banking on a presidential pardon, sources say
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will await his trial for foreign lobbying charges from jail. Two weeks after Robert Mueller’s prosecutors dropped new accusations of witness tampering on him, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson Friday revoked Manafort’s bail, which allowed him out on house arrest. The order marks an end to months of attempts from Manafort to lighten his house arrest restrictions after he was charged and pleaded not guilty to foreign lobbying violations. “The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system,” Berman Jackson told Manafort in court. The judge emphasized to Manafort how she could not make enough rulings to keep him from speaking improperly with witnesses, after he had used multiple text messaging apps and called a potential witness on an Italian cellphone. “This is not middle school. I can’t take his cellphone,” she said of Manafort. “I thought about this long and hard, Mr. Manafort. I have no appetite for this.” Manafort also entered a not guilty plea to two additional charges levied against him last week, for witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In total, Manafort faces seven criminal charges in DC federal court. Three US marshals led Manafort out of the courtroom into the prisoner holding area immediately after the judge’s ruling. He was not placed in handcuffs. Before he disappeared through the door, he turned toward his wife and supporters and gave a stilted wave. Minutes later, a marshal returned to give his wife, Kathleen, still standing in the courtroom’s front row, Manafort’s wallet, belt and the burgundy tie he wore Friday. In a tweet, Trump said the decision to revoke Manafort’s bail is “tough,” although he referred to it as a “sentence.” “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!” In her wind-up to her order, Berman Jackson also gave a brief nod to the bitter environment around the case. “This hearing is not about politics, is not about conduct of the office of the special counsel.” Had $10 million bail When Manafort was first arraigned and pleaded not guilty in October, a magistrate judge set a $10 million bail price and placed him under house arrest, confiscating his passports. Manafort then attempted to find assets of his own and through real estate and family members’ accounts. In December, the judge signed off on his plan — provided he could provide the correct documentation. It didn’t come through, according to the court filings. Prosecutors have argued all along the jet-setting political consultant was a significant flight risk. As the process to negotiate his bail dragged on, prosecutors discovered possible mortgage fraud related to some of the properties he hoped to use as bail. That’s when they finalized additional federal criminal charges against him in Virginia. In the past month, Manafort finally came up with a plan to post some of his own and others’ properties for his bail. The prosecutors appeared to agree with the plan, according to court filings. Then, last week, Mueller’s team alleged they found evidence Manafort had tried to tell possible witnesses in his case to lie about their lobbying efforts under him in the US. The witness tampering allegations, which also resulted in new criminal charges, were enough Friday for him to lose his house arrest privileges. Prosecutors argued that Manafort is a “danger to the community” and that he committed a crime while out on release, obstruction of justice. They said he carried out a “sustained campaign of over five weeks” using different phones and apps to try to mold testimony of witnesses. Defense attorneys said revocation of bail would be very harsh. They said Manafort didn’t know who the government witnesses are and the solution is for prosecutors to say who their witnesses are and the judge can say not to contact those people. “This will not happen again,” defense attorney Richard Westling said. Enters not guilty plea He faces another 18 criminal charges for financial fraud and false reporting allegations in Virginia federal court. That case is set to go to trial earlier than the DC case, with a late July start date. His DC trial is set to begin in September, meaning he could spend the next three or more months imprisoned. Manafort has maintained his innocence and vowed to fight the charges since he was indicted alongside his longtime deputy Rick Gates in late October. Gates since changed his plea to guilty and agreed to help prosecutors, because of the significant cost of his legal fees and attention bearing down on him and his family. Another associate of Manafort’s, Konstantin Kilimnik, who lives in Moscow, was charged with witness tampering and has not yet appeared in court. Prosecutors haven’t tied Manafort, Gates and Kilimnik’s alleged wrongdoings to the actions of the Trump campaign, which is at the core of Mueller’s investigation. However, prosecutors have said in several previous court filings they are looking into Manafort’s contacts with Russians and Ukrainians — including Kilimnik — and possible coordination he may have orchestrated with them while he oversaw the campaign. Manaforthad been spending his days stuck in his Alexandria, Virginia, apartment under court order. He could leave only for legal meetings, medical needs and religious observances. The judge has allowed him to travel a few times for special exceptions, such as to his father-in-law’s funeral on Long Island and his godson’s baptism in Virginia. He wore two ankle bracelets that tracked his movements through GPS technology, one on each leg. The-CNN-Wire & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
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Trump’s Former Campaign Chair, Paul Manafort, Heads To Jail Pending Trial
WASHINGTON, DC (CBS News) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is heading to jail pending his trial, a federal judge decided Friday. Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Manafort has violated his pre-trial release and has detained him pending trial, CBS News’ Clare Hymes reports. He was in court to face superseding charges accusing him of witness tampering , charges to which he pleaded not guilty. Manafort had previously been out on bail on house arrest, but the government requested that his bail be revoked. Jackson said she didn’t feel she could draft an order broad enough to include any potential future violation. “This is not middle school, I can’t take away his cellphone,” she said in court. Special counsel Robert Mueller has brought additional charges against Manafort and longtime associate Konstantin Kilimnik, accusing them of obstructing justice. The new charges were unsealed last week against Paul Manafort and Kilimnik, who worked in the Ukraine offices of Manafort’s firm, Davis Manafort Partners International (DMI). Mueller is accusing Manafort and Kilimnik of tampering with two witnesses. Manafort is awaiting trial in federal court in Washington and Virginia on felony charges related to his work on behalf of Ukrainian interests. The witnesses, who had worked with Manafort as he represented a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, have told the FBI that they believed Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to lie about the nature of their work. Mr. Trump on Friday said he hadn’t spoken to Manafort in a while, distancing himself from his former campaign manager. “Well, I feel badly about a lot of them, because I think a lot of it is very unfair,” Mr. Trump said. “I mean, I look at some of them where they go back 12 years. Like Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. But I feel so — I tell you, I feel a little badly about it. They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago?” “You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. He worked for Ronald Reagan. He worked for Bob Dole. He worked for John McCain, or his firm did. He worked for many other Republicans. He worked for me, what, for 49 days or something? A very short period of time.” Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018 On Friday afternoon, the president did question the revocation of Manafort’s bail. “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns,” he tweeted. “Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob.” He also included a comparison to “Comey and Crooked Hillary.” (© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
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Trump Ex-Campaign Chair Paul Manafort Going To Jail
The president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is getting ready to hire a new legal team, raising questions about whether he’s willing to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller. CBS News Washington correspondent Paula Reid explains.
Michael Cohen prepares to hire a new legal team
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s office hit former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with two more criminal charges Friday and added his longtime business associate Konstantin Kilimnik as a second defendant in the case, after accusing them earlier in the week of attempting to convince witnesses to commit perjury. The expanded criminal allegations ratchet up the pressure Manafort faces to cut a deal with the special counsel’s office as he awaits two criminal trials. If he is found guilty in both cases, 69-year-old Manafort could be sent to prison for the rest of his life. The case now accuses both Manafort and Kilimnik, 48, of Moscow, of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, meaning they allegedly worked together to contact two possible witnesses in Manafort’s case since February. Prosecutors already claimed that Manafort misled federal authorities for years about his lobbying work in the US for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is also fighting a handful of financial crime charges, including bank fraud, against him in Virginia federal court. Kilimnik has long been a close business colleague of Manafort’s that prosecutors have said in previous filings has ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort and Kilimnik’s allegedly criminal contact with the two witnesses who once worked with them doing public relations began on a day, February 23, when Manafort’s case became far tougher to overcome. Manafort deputy and co-defendant Rick Gates had pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and to a conspiracy charge. That day was the first time prosecutors also revealed they knew about Manafort’s efforts to pay an influential group of European politicians, called the Hapsburg group, €2 million to help his Ukrainian lobbying clients. In the days that followed and through April, Manafort and Kilimnik suggested the two witnesses who worked on the Hapsburg group project say the group focused on Europe and “never lobbied in the US,” according to an encrypted message between Kilimnik and one witness that prosecutors obtained. Yet Manafort and the public relations people had brought the Hapsburg group to the US to speak with members of Congress about the interests of Viktor Yanukovych, a former Ukrainian president who had jailed a political rival, while posing as independent voices, prosecutors said earlier this week. One of the witnesses in touch with Manafort this year told prosecutors he believed Manafort wanted to “suborn perjury,” the previous filing said. Because of the witness tampering allegations, prosecutors have asked the judge in DC to send Manafort to jail while he awaits his September trial. He is currently on house arrest at his condo in Alexandria, Virginia, and has a $10 million unsecured bail. His trial in Virginia is scheduled to begin in late July. Manafort is expected to file his response to the witness tampering allegation in federal court Friday. The-CNN-Wire & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
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Mueller Files Obstruction Charges Against Manafort, Russian Associate
Instead of denying his girlfriend's accusations that he's cheating (despite catching him), Shaggy is dressed as 45 (terrible wig included) and refuting any claims about Russia being involved in the 2016 election. Corden portrays a rap version of Robert Mueller, the special counsel who's overseeing the …
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Shaggy Spoofs "It Wasn't Me" to Make It About Trump and Russia