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Special Counsel Wants to Interview Trump; World Economic Forum; Pakistan Police Arrest Man Accused of Murdering Young Girls; Kentucky School Shooting; Turpins Plead Not Guilty; Fighting Fake News. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired January 24, 2018 - 00:00   ET


[00:00:10] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: The special counsel's Russia probe closing in on the U.S. president and his inner circle. Sources tell CNN Robert Mueller is ready to talk to Donald Trump.

For now though Trump will take his America First message to Davos. Will global leaders work with him or around him?

Plus California's house of horrors -- the parents of 13 abused children were said to be hoping for their own reality TV show may have been days away from moving.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us.

I'm John Vause. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

Donald Trump could soon come face to face with the man leading the Russia investigation. Sources tell CNN special counsel Robert Mueller wants to question the U.S. President about his decisions to fire FBI director James Comey and the national security adviser Michael Flynn.

We've also learned Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have both spoken with the special counsel investigators. But sources say an interview with the President is still being negotiated.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: As we've said probably just about every day this year since we've been here that we're going to be fully cooperative with the special counsel. And we're going to continue to do that throughout the process.

But we're also not going to comment on who may or may not or could be interviewed at any point. But we're going to continue to be fully cooperative with the process.


VAUSE: Well, let's bring in our CNN panel here. We have our political commentators -- Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican consultant John Thomas, and joining us from Manchester, New Hampshire attorney and professor Seth Abramson.

Seth -- we'll begin with you. We had this exclusive from CNN about the Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign aide and partner to the former campaign boss Paul Manafort. He apparently has a new prominent attorney Tom Green. He's described as a long-time D.C. white-collar practitioner and one of the undisputed titans of the bar.

Green was seen at Robert Mueller's office twice last week. There's a suggestion of ongoing negotiations. So Seth -- could Green actually be negotiating just a plea deal here for Gates or could he be looking at a plea deal which includes cooperating with the special counsel and what would that actually mean for this investigation?

SETH ABRAMSON, ATTORNEY AND PROFESSOR: Well, we don't know. But it certainly could be a cooperation deal that has been the pattern with Bob Mueller. He did that with George Papadopoulos. He did that with Mike Flynn.

In both instance, people surmised that he's doing what he's usually done in a criminal investigation which is when you enter into a plea negotiation with a defendant you are seeking something from them beyond -- if it is not prison time or jail time -- you're seeking some sort of cooperation to get someone who is higher in the hierarchy than that individual.

Now, in the case of Rick Gates, of course, he was the deputy to Paul Manafort. He was also the deputy campaign manager on the Trump campaign. So above him in the hierarchy would be Paul Manafort. But also is the case with Papadopoulos and Flynn above him in the hierarchy is Donald Trump himself as well as others that were at the top of the Trump campaign including Jeff Sessions.

VAUSE: But what a background -- Manafort and Gates, this is our reporting here, were also in charge during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland where a handful of Trump campaign advisers met with then Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. A group of campaign aides controversially changed the Republican Party platform regarding Ukraine. They made it more favorable to the Russians.

So Dave -- does Rick Gates, does he have a story to tell just like Michael Flynn ?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's possible. And look the fish rots from the head down. So at the end of the day like Bob Mueller is not out to get the small ball folks. He wants to go after Donald Trump.

It's clear from the "Washington Post" story earlier today he wants to interview the President. I think that's the good thing so do the American people.

VAUSE: Yes. We'll get to it in a second but John -- this could actually mean that there would now be, what, three Trump insiders who are cooperating with the special counsel. If there's nothing there what are they all talking about?

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean it's a good question. I don't want to speculate. I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if there were lower level people that did some bad things. I mean it looks like right now though Manafort and those guys are getting caught for essentially illegally lobbying and not disclosing that.

So we'll see if this is a cooperation deal. Just because he's lawyered up -- I mean I would advise -- I would lawyer up no matter what. I mean this is serious business to protect yourself. So time will tell. We don't know if a cooperation deal is even in the works.

[00:04:59] VAUSE: And Seth -- just to that point about what the charges have already been by the special counsel for people like Manafort and Michael Flynn. This is how these investigations work, right.

You saw that with these charges -- they don't necessarily, you know, apply to the overall investigation. It's just a way of basically getting these people on the hook.

ABRAMSON: Well, that's correct. And in the case of Papadopoulos and Mike Flynn the charge that was used to get that cooperation deal was a single count of making false statements in both instances. That is one of the charges that both Manafort and Gates face and therefore that is a charge that could be used or some other lesser charge in the bevy of indictments that both Manafort and Gates are facing to enter into a cooperation deal.

It's certainly possible that Mueller is only looking for information to further incriminate Paul Manafort but I think given the wealth of evidence that we understand he has in terms of documents, it's unlikely that Gates would be used purely for that purpose. That would be a very limited purpose to be using Gates for.

VAUSE: Ok. And with regards to this possible interview by Robert Mueller with the President, the "Washington Post" has been reporting that Mueller has also expressed interest in Trump's efforts to remove Sessions as Attorney General or pressure him into quitting according to a person familiar with the probe.

The person said the special counsel was seeking to determine whether there was a pattern of behavior by the President. So Seth, why is that significant in the overall scheme of things?

ABRAMSON: Well I think a number of people are observing that it's possible based upon the questions that Mr. Mueller wants to ask President Trump that he is getting towards the end of his obstruction investigation. Certainly questions about the Comey firing, questions about pressuring Jeff Sessions to quit would be part of any possible obstruction investigation or prosecution that might be referred to the DOJ by Bob Mueller.

I think what people are misunderstanding is they're thinking that this might mean the interview with Donald Trump and the questions that Mr. Mueller wants to ask that Mr. Mueller is towards the conclusion of his entire Russia probe.

But remember that we've already been told that that probe is likely to go into 2019. And there are many other potential charges that are not obstruction that can be looked at by Mueller. So I he might be just reaching the end of just one line of inquiry in his probe.

VAUSE: Yes. According to our own reporting, one source said the form of the interview was still in preliminary discussion. Trump's attorneys would like the President's answers to come in written form only but recognize it could end up being a more of a combination of written and in-person interviews or even solely an interview.

So Dave to you -- it would seem that the Trump team doesn't have a lot of faith in the self-declared stable genius to stay on script.

JACOBSON: No, it's clear that they don't. and that's because we have a president who lies on a regular basis. The "Washington Post" reported over 2,000 lies by Donald Trump himself or his cronies in the White House.

He's erratic. He's unhinged. He's all over the map. And he lies every single day. So clearly they don't trust him.

I think what the American people want and deserve is Donald Trump not just to answer questions in writing but to Donald Trump to be videotaped so that we actually have content that we can use for the future.

VAUSE: Like the Clinton deposition when he was interviewed by Ken Starr?

JACOBSON: Sure. I mean look, I think at a minimum, like at least audio, right. But it would be great to have something visually where the American people, and by the way --

THOMAS: You need something for your TV ads in the midterm.

JACOBSON: Precisely. If it was up to me he would Facebook Live it, right.

THOMAS: Right. I think Trump's lawyers are giving him good advice. Obviously I would be great to have full disclosure but you've got to protect your client. If we've learned anything from Bill Clinton is that you can perjure yourself either intentionally or unintentionally in this situation and create a whole separate issue for what he's actually asked about.

VAUSE: And to think that Bill Clinton -- (INAUDIBLE) stick to nothing, I mean this guy was a smart guy. He's a lawyer --

THOMAS: He's a smooth operator, yes.

VAUSE: -- he's a smooth operator and they got him for perjury.

THOMAS: Right.

VAUSE: Donald Trump, you know, this guy rants about what he saw on Fox News and goes off on tangents.

JACOBSON: Right. So in this case, you almost have to protect your client from himself.

VAUSE: -- which is hard to do when it's Donald Trump because he doesn't like to be told what to do.

JACOBSON: And that's what Roger Stone said that the President would essentially be on suicide watch if he was forced to do this.

VAUSE: Ok. We also have this reporting from Axios that the Attorney General Jeff Sessions who has also been interviewed by the special counsel tried to pressure the current FBI Director Chris Wray to fire his deputy Andrew McCabe. Trump apparently is furious with McCabe. He believes he's a Democrat.

So Seth -- you actually see this as a much bigger story than many people realize.

ABRAMSON: I do. And the reason for that is that Andrew McCabe is one of the key witnesses in a potential obstruction case against the President which, as we know, from the Clinton years is an impeachable offense if it is referred to the DOJ and then to the House by Bob Mueller.

The reason he's a key witness is that he is essentially the chief corroborating witness for Jim Comey's contemporaneous recollection of his conversations with Donald Trump.

Now, as we know, Jim Comey also wrote memos talking about what happened with Donald Trump. He wrote those memos contemporaneously. But he also talked to Andrew McCabe.

[00:09:55] So Jeff Sessions, who has recused from any Russia or election-related investigations should not be having that conversation with Chris Wray. And once he has the conversation, the question is whether he's trying to, at Trump's direction or not, discredit a key witness in a potential obstruction case against Donald Trump. That's a very serious story.

VAUSE: And again, according to Axios (INAUDIBLE) Christopher Wray reportedly threatened to resign over all this pressure which was coming from Sessions. But President Trump says that didn't happen. This is what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, he didn't at all. He did not. He did not even a little bit. Nope. And he's going to do a good job.


VAUSE: But John -- again, the "Washington Post" is reporting not long after Comey was fired McCabe was summoned to the Oval Office for a meeting with Donald Trump. The two men exchanged pleasantries but before long Trump, according to several current and former U.S. officials, asked Andrew McCabe a pointed question, "Whom did you vote for in the 2016 election?"

McCabe said he didn't vote, according to the officials. Surely John -- even Donald Trump would know that is not an appropriate question.

THOMAS: I'm not sure if even Donald Trump would know that. I don't know. Sad to say --

VAUSE: Really.

THOMAS: -- but I feel like Donald Trump would ask anybody who they voted for. And if they voted for somebody other than him he would say what a big mistake that was.

But McCabe has been under fire beyond just President Trump. I mean if you flip on the nightly news McCabe's had conflicts of interest and all these other things.

VAUSE: Like what?

THOMAS: Wasn't his wife --

VAUSE: His wife -- his wife has a constitutional right to run for office.

THOMAS: And she took what -- $600,000.

VAUSE: $500,000 but that's a lot of money. But again --

THOMAS: Ok. From essentially an arm of the Clinton control. It's a conflict -- John. So I guess my point is he's been under fire whether rightly or wrongly from folks well beyond POTUS. Trump just tweets about it.

So I'm not sure the legal ramifications of it but just optically everything Trump has said publicly is something you catch on Fox News.

VAUSE: Dave.

JACOBSON: It's reckless and it's irresponsible and it's unbecoming of a president. I mean this is abnormal meddling with the FBI. We've never seen this before.

And in fact you have a president repeatedly berating a sitting deputy director. I mean he's still in office. He is still serving this country.

VAUSE: He's only a couple of months away from retirement.

JACOBSON: Sure. But like he served -- he's been a decorated patriot for two decades. He doesn't deserve this kind of behavior from the President of the United States.

Moreover, it's not just McCabe. Like think about it --

THOMAS: You're right. It's Peter Strzok and his girlfriend.

JACOBSON: If you're an FBI officer serving on the line, risking your life every single day and the President of the United States is critically attacking --

THOMAS: Dave -- there are multiple bad apples that are currently employed by the FBI that meddled in the Hillary Clinton investigation moved to Mueller's investigation. Mueller had to fire them. And Trump's doing that --

JACOBSON: And good for him for firing them, by the way.

THOMAS: Trump's putting them all on blast.


JACOBSON: And I think that's appropriate.

VAUSE: By the way, Donald Trump gave a lot more money to Democrats than Andrew McCabe's wife ever received. I'm just saying.

THOMAS: Just fact-checking.

VAUSE: Last word to you on the Attorney General Jeff Sessions talking to the special counsel. The significance of that and is it a sign this investigation -- I mean as you've said at least one part of the obstruction of justice. But overall is it coming to an end?

ABRAMSON: No. Not overall. Though I do think possibly as to the potential obstruction charge. Jeff Sessions is a critical witness on the obstruction issue. He, of course, is a potential target for perjury himself given his testimony in front of Congress.

And we have to remember how critical a witness he is in the rest of the Russia investigation, we might say the conspiracy end potentially computer crimes, potentially campaign finance, and of the Russia investigation because he was the head of the national security team. So he was Papadopoulos' boss. He was Carter Page's boss. He met with Sergei Kislyak, excuse me, the Russian ambassador many times without revealing it. And he knew a lot about what Papadopoulos and Page were doing because he presumably was on the e-mail chains that his team was sending around about potential contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

So he's a critical witness across the board. But yes, particularly at this point for obstruction.

VAUSE: It was a big day in Russia news I guess. Always a big fat nothing burger depending where you sit. John and Dave -- thank you. And Seth -- thanks so much for being with us. It's very much appreciated.

Well, Donald Trump will soon take his America First message to the summit. This is all about free trade and international cooperation.

India's prime minister opened the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday by defending globalization and denouncing protectionism but some saw it as a swipe at the U.S. President. Leaders from France, Germany and Italy will address the forum on Wednesday.

And Donald Trump will give the keynote address on Friday, the first U.S. president to attend the event in almost 20 years. And it comes just days after he hit imported solar panels and washing machines with tariffs.

[00:14:53] Nic Robertson joining us now live from Davos. So Nic -- the elephant in the room has not arrived yet. But when the U.S. President does in fact get there many at Davos see this as an opportunity maybe not to win him over but maybe at least to hear them out.

Listen to what Norway's prime minister had to say.


ERNA SOLBERG, PRIME MINISTER OF NORWAY: I hope to see Donald Trump maybe clearer view in the fact that we are so interconnected today that problems around the world will affect every country in the world.


VAUSE: So how much of a full-court press can the President expect? And I guess the question is how effective will they be?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, if we're judging it by what we've heard so far, John, just to sort of use your animal analogy here, you would think that President Trump is walking into the lions' den. But to continue the analogy, you know, he has the hide of a rhinoceros when it comes to deflecting and being reactive against criticism.

So there does seem to be a circling of the wagons and a common thread and message ricocheting around the Davos World Economic Forum right now. And the reason for it is Donald Trump is out of step with many of the leaders here and it does appear they want to send this very clear and very firm message of the way that they see the world needs to go forward.

And a message that perhaps reaches over President Trump to other constituencies in the United States that may care out the United States' position in the world and the role that it plays. There's huge consternation.

You know it can't be underestimated, particularly in Europe but more broadly, outside the United States, just how different this president is about working with the rest of the world to resolve global issues such as climate change. And globalization is another significant one that everyone here sees as something that is happening and that they need to engage to tackle it.

And as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said -- the Indian prime minister said in his keynote speech, you know, protection is embracing, raising his head around globalization but it's not isolation. Isolation is not the way to react and deal with globalization.

So it is very clear the gathering here is beginning to speak almost with one voice or a common voice at least. And that is that the America First policies of President Trump are something that they find very hard to swallow and they don't think that they benefit everyone.

VAUSE: Yes, it's interesting because Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, he used his appearance to announce a trade agreement with ten other countries. And he also said he's hoping to convince Donald Trump not to rip up NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: We're working very hard to make sure that our neighbor to the south recognizes how good NAFTA is and that it has benefitted not just our economy but his economy and the world's economy.

But we're also very much open to more trade deals involving more people as long as it's in the best benefit of all of our citizens.


VAUSE: And just to your point of what you were saying a little earlier Nic, it seems here many of these major economies are continuing towards these big multi-company trade deals. And it seems the U.S. decision to pull back, it makes the United States almost irrelevant.

ROBERTSON: There is a certain feeling about that. But I think there's something personal in it here as well for President Trump. You know, knowing the environment in the United States and around the world and the way that women should be treated and the way that women should have a role in the workplace. And that is also part of the summit here.

Trudeau got quite an applause when he talked about, you know there's something that we world leaders can do at the moment. And that is hire women. Not because it's good, not because it's nice, but because it's the smart thing to do. And he got a round of applause for that.

And that is something, you know, in the United States that with the -- with the marches, the women's marches that have been happening within the United States recently and all the news in the United States surrounding President Trump around this issue and other people, this is something where his armor if you will has -- the reactive armor of the rhinoceros is perhaps weak.

So this is also, you know, a multi-layered message. But yes, what Trudeau was saying about the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, absolutely. I mean President Trump heard this in his face when he was at the APEC summit in Vietnam late last year.

But the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who had just hosted him, stood up and said we're going to get this multi-national trade partnership up and running despite the fact that President Trump in his first days of the presidency pulled out of it.

So this is a message and a very personal one, and a very particular one, and a very focused one that is now following, shadowing President Trump through many of his international visits. It's one he cannot escape. Why? Because other leaders around the world want him to hear it -- John.

[00:20:00] VAUSE: Yes. And we'll get the animal analogy going, he's turning up stag too because apparently the first lady won't be with him, which is an interesting fact in itself.

Nic -- good to see you. Thank you.

Later from Davos, we'll talk to Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Also Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

And a little music with musician -- well, he'll actually be interviewed -- Will I Am.

Still to come, police in Pakistan arrest a suspected serial killer accused of murdering young girls including a seven-year-old whose death led to widespread protests.


VAUSE: Pakistan police say they've arrested a serial killer who raped and then murdered young girls, including seven-year-old Zainab Ansari, earlier this month. She was the latest victim in Kasur where the killings have led to widespread anger.

We have details now from CNN's Alexandra Field.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a Kasur, a place in eastern Pakistan where girls disappeared for two years and no one got answers. NUSRAT ANSARI, MOTHER OF ZAINAB ANSARI: They told us they find

(INAUDIBLE). It was as if the floor had opened form underneath my (INAUDIBLE).

FIELD: Zainab Ansari lived here. When we arrived it's been only a few days since her body turned up on a pile of trash, mud caked on her face, strangled. Police say the killer raped the seven-year-old. She's last seen alive in this video.

At home there's a backpack, a pink jacket, the words in the little girl's notebook to remember her by.

(Speaking in Foreign Language)

FIELD: Her father tells us he has no words to explain what happened to Zainab, his innocent little girl. Then he blames police for her death.

(Speaking in Foreign Language)

FIELD: Zainab is the latest victim in the string of murders of little girls in Kasur since 2016. Her case grips the nation. Outrage here reaches a tipping point and demonstrations against police and authorities turned deadly.

It's only after her death that officials publicly admit there is a serial killer on the loose. DNA links between the cases confirm it.

Another victim, eight-year-old Laiba Salene (ph) was killed on the way to Koran class.

What happened to your daughter after she walked out this door?

AASIA BIBI, MOTHER OF LAIBA SALENE: She waved goodbye to me.

FIELD: That was last summer, the last time her mother Aasia Bibi saw her alive. Laiba was raped, murdered and dumped.

Do you believe the police were looking for her killer all of this time?

[00:24:54] BIBI: The police helped for two months. After that, there was nothing.

FIELD: Officials deny Aasia's allegations. There's no consoling Laiba's mother.

BIBI: I am myself on fire for justice. I want justice.

FIELD: Anger takes hold in Kasur. For weeks after Zainab's death, they lived in fear. Parents don't want to let their girls go outside.

(Speaking in Foreign Language)

FIELD: Public pressure mounts and authorities insist they're making every effort on every level to find the killer.

Do you believe the same amount of effort was made after each of these murders?

MALIK MUHAMMAD AHMAD KHAN, PUNJAB GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: No. To be honest, it wasn't the case. After Zainab's case a lot more effort is being done now.

FIELD: Nearly three weeks after Zainab disappear, police announced they have the killer in hand -- Imran, a 24-year-old from Kasur. Authorities say his DNA is a match. Officials promise there will be justice finally for all the families.

For this father, that isn't enough.

ASANULLAH ELAHI, FATHER OF SURVIVOR: If the authorities had shown their efforts in full force, then maybe some of the girls could have been saved.

FIELD: Asanullah Elahi's six-year-old daughter Kainat survived an attempted murder, police say, at the hands of the serial killer. Her brain injuries from the attack are so severe she can't recognize her parents.

ELAHI: She doesn't eat, drink or speak. She only takes in her surroundings.

FIELD: He says with no warning in Kasur of a serial killer on the loose, parents had no chance to protect their children.

Alexandra Field, CNN -- Kasur, Pakistan.


VAUSE: Well, a quick break and then the parents accused of torturing their 13 children are going back to court. We'll tell you what prosecutors are hoping to get to protect those children.

Also, a nurse in Germany charged with murdering dozens of his patients because he was bored.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.


VAUSE: A nurse accused of killing patients out of boredom may be one of Germany's deadliest serial killers. Niels Hogel was charged with 97 murders on Monday. He is already serving a life sentence for killing six other people in his care.

He confessed giving patients drugs to induce a heart attack so he could then try and revive them and look like a hero. The total number of victims may never be known because some of the patients have since been cremated.

Two 15-year-old high school students were killed in another mass school shooting in the United States. Police say a 15-year-old student opened fire at a high school in Kentucky on Tuesday. Besides killing his two schoolmates, at least 12 others were wounded and five others suffered non-gunshot injuries.

Police they arrested the shooter at the scene and will charge him with murder and attempted murder. The White House says President Trump expressed his appreciation to the deputy who caught the suspect.

As word spread, parents panicked about the fate of their children as they waited to pick them up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know; the part that's bad is because you don't know. You have no idea and that's the worst. You know, not knowing is my child OK?

And it's bad. It's horrible.

VAUSE (voice-over): This is the second school shooting in the United States in just two days. The governor of Kentucky spoke about the tragedy shortly after it happened.

MATT BEVIN, GOVERNOR OF KENTUCKY: These children belong to this community and to specific families in this community. This is a wound that is going to take a long time to heal. And for some in this community, we'll never fully heal.


VAUSE: Southern California prosecutors are seeking a protective order to keep a couple from contacting the children they're accused of torturing. David and Louise Turpin will appear in court on Wednesday for a hearing on the matter.

Police say they beat, starved and shackled their 13 children. They both pleaded not guilty to 37 charges. David Turpin also pleaded not guilty to one count of lewd conduct with a minor. Their bail has been set at $12 million each.

Former FBI special agent Maureen O'Connell joins me now. She's also the president and CEO of Maureen O'Connell and Associates.

So, Maureen, good to see you.


VAUSE: It's been a while. So good of you to come in. This whole story just takes a bizarre twist, it seems, almost every day. We're now hearing from Louise Turpin's brother, Bill Lambert. He says his sister and her husband, David, were hoping to star in their own TV reality show. This is what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wanted to be like "Kate Plus 8." She wanted to have a reality show?

BILL LAMBERT, BROTHER OF LOUISE TURPIN: I believe that my sister wanted a reality show, because, you know, the very last conversation that I had with her, before all this happened, she did actually say that she feels that they would be perfect for TV at one point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So she was almost bragging about having more children than "Kate Plus 8?"


(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: You know, Lambert also says this was the reason why they moved from Texas to California, because they wanted to be closer to Hollywood to make all this happen.

You know, looking at the personality profile, does this all ring true?

Does it all fit together or...?

MAUREEN O'CONNELL, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I would say it's inconsistent with the way that they were introspective, they kept to themselves, they weren't allowed to speak to anyone. They home schooled their children. So that is incongruent with that.

VAUSE: OK. It's just another mystery, I guess, in all of this.

ABC News is quoting multiple sources, saying the family was preparing to move again -- this is their reporting.

David Turpin was getting a job transfer from California to Oklahoma with the defense contractor, Northrop Grumman. There were boxes in the house consistent with moving. Concentrated hallways, entryway and bedrooms.

If they'd managed to pick up and start that new life in Oklahoma, what are the chances that they would be able to continue on with this pattern of abuse for -- which had happened for so many years already?

O'CONNELL: I would really like to think the chances were very small because in the past instances when they had left former residences and --


O'CONNELL: -- for example, the one in Texas, they found a dead dog and a dead cat and then they found other animals in the mobile home in the back that were starving to death, living on excrement and toilet water.

But I think here and now, with the neighbors and with what they saw and then if they were to go in and look at the House, because it would become an issue, I think the word would have gotten out and they would have called perhaps Department of Health and something would have triggered law enforcement.

VAUSE: Why have they brought in the cadaver dogs?

O'CONNELL: I think they brought in the cadaver dogs because they've got a good reason to. And my hunch and my guess would be that the journals the children were allowed to keep, because they weren't allowed to talk to people, but they were allowed to keep journals, those journals hold a treasure trove of information.

And my guess is something said there are potentially more children and I would -- I would also say that not all the children may have been given birth to by Louise.

VAUSE: Yes, because there was -- she's 47 and there's a 2-year-old child.


VAUSE: That math doesn't really add up.



Louise Turpin's sister told NBC that it seemed that the family, that the Turpin family did everything to try and appear normal.


TERESA ROBINETTE, LOUISE TURPIN'S SISTER: It came as a total shock. Every time I was on the phone with Louise, it was always perfect, you know and, in my mind, I always believed that they were still living the life that they were living when we visited them.

Because it was always the high life. David had good money. They always had the nice homes and the cars and the season passes to Disney. And every time we went to Texas, she took us to Six Flags, everything was perfect. So there was no clue at all.


VAUSE: The sister then went on to talk about Louise Turpin's swinger lifestyle, actually had this sort of sexual awakening when she was 40 and this behavior that they engaged in.

How do you put those two, though perfectly normal but she was a swinger and I knew nothing was going on?

O'CONNELL: Well there's this whole -- this whole dream world that they're trying to create, that they tried to do it when they go to Disneyland and dress up the same and when they have their -- renew their vows. But then the dichotomy between that and the reality is just beyond

stark. I've been in houses that reek and that have excrement all over. But I've never been in a house where that many people are held that way.

And I'll tell you, when one person is like that, the whole house reeks. I don't know how they could live like that.

VAUSE: It also seems incredibly strange that, for so many years, no one was suspicious about what was going on. The elder son apparently went to community college, he wore the same clothes the entire semester. His mom, Louise, waited for him outside the class, escorted him home.

And listen to what the D.A. said to reporters a few days ago about the health of the children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the victims were and are severely malnourished, specifically severe caloric malnutrition associated with muscle wasting.

To give you an example, one of the children at age 12 is the weight of an average 7-year old. The 29-year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds.


VAUSE: She had the -- apparently they found some dogs on the property that were perfectly cared for and in great health, just --

O'CONNELL: Which is, again, inconsistent with how they treated animals in the past.

VAUSE: Yes. But wHat I'm wondering, is it possible that no one suspected anything or they had their suspicions but, you know, not enough to act on it or they didn't know what to do or there just wasn't enough to get involved?

O'CONNELL: Well, I've talked to you before, John, about clusters of information and how important that is. And we really don't expect people to put the entire case together.

But when you see something like children marching around in a room for four hours at 3:00 am, you need to make a phone call. We'll put the pieces together and we'll do the best we can for the family and for those children.

VAUSE: OK, Maureen, good to see you, thank you so much.

O'CONNELL: Thank you.

VAUSE: Still to come here, the real threat from fake news, Britain stepping up the fight against misinformation.





VAUSE: Britain is setting up a unit to fight the spread of fake news, which is considered a matter of national security. Prime minister Theresa May has already accused Russia of weaponizing information and planting fake stores to undermine Western democracies. Details now from CNN's Samuel Burke.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Part of the problem of having a U.S. president who's so good at capturing the world's attention is that there hasn't been nearly enough focus on Russian meddling via social media in other countries, like here in the U.K.

Let's be clear. These aren't just allegations. Last year, a CNN investigation found that the very same network of Twitter accounts with ties to the Russian government that meddled in the U.S. election also posted dozens of pro-Brexit messages on the day of the referendum in June 2016.

Now CNN turned those findings over to the U.K. Parliament, which has been trying to get information from Twitter and Facebook. But the MP leading that investigation has grown increasingly frustrated with the social media companies, saying they're dragging their feet.

And these social networks do have a history of saying, well, there's nothing to see here. But little by little, it's been shown otherwise.

Just take a look at these numbers from Twitter. Originally they say the number of Kremlin-linked accounts was 200 on their platform. Then by October of last year, Twitter informed Congress the number was actually closer to 3,000 accounts.

And just last week another update showed the latest Twitter analysis had that number ballooning to nearly 4,000 Kremlin-linked accounts.

So while it might seem like welcome news that the U.K. government is setting up a unit to tackle fake news, another problem is that the U.K. Parliament, as well as the U.K. electoral commission, are already investigating fake news.

And so the social networks have dodged tough questions from the Parliament and conveniently said they were participating with the much weaker electoral commission, looking into the scourge of truly fake news online.


VAUSE: Our thanks to young Samuel Burke there in London. And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT" with Kate Riley. You're watching CNN.