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Russian Plane Crash Kills All on Board; Trump Defends Rob Porter, Ignores Abuse Victims; Oxfam Accused of Covering Up Misconduct in Haiti; Golan Heights a Flashpoint for Syria and Israel; Ruth Bader Ginsburg: #MeToo Has Staying Power; Some Olympic Events Postponed; Women's Giant Slalom Postponed Due to Bad Weather; New Details About the Big Day. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 12, 2018 - 01:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A Russian airliner crashes outside Moscow on Sunday, killing 71 people. The cause of the crash still unknown. The crew didn't report any problems before the plane went down.

Plus it is real. That's the message to President Trump from one of the women accusing a former White House staffer of domestic violence.

And later, weather delays the debut of one of the most highly anticipated Olympics stars, forcing the focus indoors instead. We'll tell you about that.

Thank you for joining us, everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier live from CNN HQ right here in Atlanta.


VANIER: Surveillance video has captured the moment a Russian airliner crashed near Moscow. All 71 people on board were killed. You can see a big explosion in the distance. According to state news, the plane dropped off the radar just minutes after takeoff.

Investigators say debris is scattered over a radius of at least 1 km. This here shows a crater at the site, filled in with dense snow. Now, it is not clear if weather was a factor in this crash, but the area has been seeing record snowfall. Here's CNN's Fred Pleitgen.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Russian authorities will be working through the entire night. They have brought a great deal of specialized equipment and also personnel into the area around the crash site.

Of course, they want to find out as fast as possible what caused the crash of that Antonov 148 aircraft. They have already found the flight data recorder and now of course they're looking for the cockpit voice recorder, hoping to get a lot more information as to why the plane crashed so shortly after takeoff.

We knew it took off around 2:20 pm local time. It was not in the air for very long. It apparently took a turn toward the southeast, which is roughly the direction that the aircraft was going to be going into anyway before then.

All of a sudden very quickly losing altitude and then crashing to the field right near the area where I am standing right now. The Russian authorities are saying that there are several possible explanations for why it came down.

They're talking about pilot error, mechanical failure, but they're also not excluding the weather, either, and there certainly were some pretty heavy snowstorms going around the Moscow area in the afternoon of Sunday.

That is one of the things that they are looking into as well. Of course, at this point it's still far too early in the investigation to know for sure -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


VANIER: North Korea's delegation is now back home from the Winter Olympics. Kim Jong-un's sister made all the headlines while she was in the South. Her mere presence was a breakthrough -- there she is. So was the invitation for South Korea's president to visit Pyongyang.

There were plenty of symbols but where does all of this leave the United States?

Vice President Mike Pence snubbed the North Koreans while in PyeongChang but he told "The Washington Post" afterwards that the U.S. is willing to talk. Here is his quote.

"No pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization. So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify. But if you want to talk, we will talk."

Paula Hancocks joins me from PyeongChang, where the Olympics are happening.

Paula, we will get to that part of it in a moment. We will get to the diplomacy. Tell me more about Kim Jong-un's sister, though.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cyril, I just spoke to the governor of Gangnam province, where the Olympics are taking place. (INAUDIBLE) met with Kim Yo-jong three times. He said that she was calm. She was very self-possessed. She did not talk very much but when she did, her words were very carefully chosen and accurate, he said, showing that she did carry the weight of Kim Jong-un and was delivering his words to the South Koreans.

Still very little is known about her.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HANCOCKS (voice-over): Kim Yo-jong's every move is being filmed, analyzed, judged. Three days of the world's media running after the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. And still, we know very little about the woman who has stolen the headlines at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Believed to be around 30 years old, she studied in Switzerland like her brother and is the youngest of seven siblings, according to experts who follow the family closely. What is clear is she has her brother's absolute trust, the first member of the Kim family to venture south since the Korean War in the 1950s.

Also clear: she was the one in charge on this trip, as shown when 90- year-old Kim Jong-nam, senior by title and age, tried to give up the most prominent seat to her when they first arrived.

Kang Myung Do --


HANCOCKS (voice-over): -- was the son-in-law of a former prime minister in North Korea. He defected in 1994, but is known to have contact with some of the elite inside the country.

"As Kim Yo-jong is the only family member around him," he says, "it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Kim Jong-un rules the country A to Z through her. That's why many North Korean officials see her as having a similar status to the North Korean leader."

Kang says anyone who wants to meet Kim Jong-un has to go through his sister. Promoted last year to the Politburo, the senior body of North Korea's Communist Party, Kim Yo-jong manages his public events, often seen close to his side.

So what do South Koreans think of the first sister?

This man says, "I hardly know anything about her except that she has direct authority on the man at the top."

"She's the first one to come here from the Kim bloodline," this woman says, "and she came instead of Kim Jong-un. I think things will improve now."

Not everyone agrees. Some South Koreans are furious that a relative of a man they see as the enemy has been welcomed into their country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is not coming. She is the dictator's sister. I'm sure she is exactly like Kim Jong-un. She is not looking at the North Korean people.


HANCOCKS: And this high-level delegation did leave on Sunday night. But while Kim Yo-jong was here, Cyril, there was blanket coverage of her every move by South Korean media. VANIER: Paula, one thing we did not see happening because it was

happening behind the scenes is the conversation between South Korea and the United States. We now know a little bit more about that; Mike Pence was speaking to reporters on his way back from South Korea.

HANCOCKS: That's right, yes, really the U.S. vice president had to through his people justify at the time was to appear here in PyeongChang that there was no snub to the North Koreans, that it was mutual, that the North Korean delegation, the U.S. delegation did not meet. They did not acknowledge each other in public, certainly we saw.

But on the way back to Washington, there was a different kind of approach from the U.S. vice president, saying that it is important to have the pressure but also engagement, suggesting that there could be this engagement with North Korea in the future.

It's something we have heard from the United States and a number of members of the Trump administration, saying that it's -- the pressure does work and if North Korea does change its tune, then they would be willing to engage with them.

Certainly what we've seen over the past few days is absolutely North Korea changing its tune. There is cynicism and skepticism about what they are doing and what their end goal is. But they have certainly changed that way.

Of course, the sticking point is still the nuclear and the missile program. That hasn't even been broached as far as we know over the past few days.

We hear from South Korean officials that if the South Korean president were to go to Pyongyang, then that would be what would have to be dealt with. It wouldn't just be the niceties, the pleasantries that we've see over the past few days. There would have to be more substance to it.

VANIER: Paula in PyeongChang, thank you very much and thank you for your digging on Kim Yo-jong because we knew very little about her until she popped up on our screens just a few days ago.

Paula, thank you very much.

The White House is struggling to contain the fallout over its handling of the scandal surrounding Rob Porter. He is the White House staff secretary, who resigned over domestic violence allegations -- there he is, next to Mr. Trump.

And the president's aides showed up in force on the Sunday television talk shows to defend General John Kelly, Mr. Trump's chief of Staff, for keeping Porter employed despite allegedly knowing about some of the abuse allegations for months.

A second staffer also has resigned from the White House. More now from Ryan Nobles.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sunday was a day for spin at the White House as a myriad of White House advisors went to the Sunday talk shows, attempting to explain away how the White House handled those domestic abuse allegations against two prominent White House staffers.

Those staffers, Rob Porter and David Sorensen, are no longer on the job. But it was not until press reports emerged, specifically against Porter, that demonstrated the accusations against him.

On the Sunday talk shows, a lot of that went back to the role that Chief of Staff John Kelly played in this entire discussion. And there are some questioning whether or not Kelly's response was enough and that perhaps he could be out of his job.

But Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor to the president, said that, at this point, Kelly is going nowhere.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP COUNSELOR: I spoke to the president last night. I told him I'd be with you today and he said please tell Jake that I have full faith in chief of staff John Kelly and that I am not actively searching for replacing. He said I saw that all over the news today. I have faith in him.


MARC SHORT, WHITE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: I think there is probably some in the process, some lack of communication between different elements in the White House.

I do not know, to be honest, I do not know who knew what when, at this point.

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: And I think all the stories about replacing General Kelly are mostly being fed by people who are unhappy that they've lost access to the president under General Kelly's leadership as Chief of Staff.

So, no, I am extraordinarily pleased with the job the chief has been doing. Everybody in the West Wing is. The president is as well. I think that talk about the chief's departure is much ado about nothing.


NOBLES: And part of the reason that Kelly appears to be on the hot seat is because of how he handled this situation and the inconsistencies in his story. Kelly has said repeatedly that when he learned the full extent of the accusations against Rob Porter, he swiftly moved to remove him from his job.

But we are learning that as early as this past fall, Kelly was made aware of the concerns and specifically that Rob Porter was accused of violence against his two ex-wives and at that point decided to do nothing about it.

Kelly has said repeatedly that he confronted Porter about these accusations and Porter flatly denied him although our reporting tells us that even though Kelly is trying to paint a new picture as to exactly what happened in the White House, there are many people even within the administration that are questioning the validity of that point of view -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, at the White House.


VANIER: Joining me now, columnist for Metro Papers and political analyst, Ellis Henican, who joins us today from New Orleans.

You are back home. You're back home.


VANIER: -- I hope you're enjoying it.

HENICAN: Happy Mardi Gras to you, my man.

VANIER: And his usual foil and friend on the show, conservative CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson. He joins us from Texas.

Gentlemen, a few different things to kick this off. First of all, here is what one of Rob Porter's ex-wives wrote today.

"In light of the president's and the White House's continued dismissal of me and Colbie, I want to assure you my truth has not been diminished. I own my story and now that I have been compelled to share it, I am not willing to cover it up for anyone.

"And for any men, women or children currently in situations of abuse, please know it is real. You're not crazy. You are not alone. I believe you."

Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to the president, then said the CNN on Sunday morning, there was no reason not to believe the allegations. Listen to this.


CONWAY: In this case, you have contemporaneous police reports. You have women speaking to the FBI under threat of perjury. You have police reports. You have photographs. And when you look at all of that pulled together, you realize that Rob Porter did the right thing by resigning.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like you believe the women.

CONWAY: I have no reason not to believe the women.


VANIER: Lastly, let us remind ourselves of Mr. Trump's tweet on Saturday.

"People's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," wrote the president.

"Some are true, some are false, some are old, some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused. Life and career are gone. Is there no such thing as due process?"

So, Ben, this story is about one thing only: the president's moral compass.

Why does Mr. Trump shown no empathy for credible victims?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he needs to do a better job in the future of clearly listening and looking at the stories of women. I understand that when someone is close to you and you're shocked by these allegations and you have not seen this in their character. We even heard from one of the two ex-wives who said she has no reason to believe that in his professional life, he is not perfect. She was perfectly and she was married to him. Clearly he was able to, I think, defraud a lot of people that he worked with, to think that he was an incredible, amazing guy.

But let us be clear about this. When you have these type of allegations come up, this has nothing to do with politics for me. This has everything to do with the simple issue of right and wrong.

You do not put a hand on a woman, period. Now I understand the president's point as well, saying we do need to have due process but I think when you look at the evidence that has come out here and Kellyanne Conway I think clearly stated it.

There is no reason not to believe these women. And I think the White House moving forward has got a do a better job in these situations of clearly stating and listening to women and what they are saying on certain issues like this.

VANIER: Ellis.

HENICAN: So why can't the president say anything other than the family guy (INAUDIBLE)?

The problem, Ben, isn't communication. The problem is belief. This is a president who for whatever complicated psychological, legal and self-protective reasons, in every single case like this, can only do one thing and that is disrespect of women and give the man every single benefit of the doubt.

And let me tell you, this one is not falling very well.


VANIER: Ben, I have to tell you, Ellis is kind of taking the words out of my mouth because this is another data point that is interesting. Apparently the president has a very different message privately from what he put out on Twitter and his public pronouncements on this.

Kellyanne Conway said that he is very disturbed. So if that's the case, Ben, then why doesn't he just say that publicly?


FERGUSON: I think he has got to do a better job of saying that publicly.


VANIER: Well, he has to do a job, period. He's -- it's not that he has to do it better. He just has to do it, period.

FERGUSON: Again, you talk about politics for a moment and I think not only does the president have to do a better job here but politicians in general have to do a better job here.

Remember Hillary Clinton put up on Facebook Super Bowl Sunday that she put her campaign ahead of an accusation against one of her staffers in her own campaign. And they think about themselves or how it makes them look personally instead of maybe doing the right thing.

We have seen this time and time again by politicians when they're put in a position like this. So I agree with you, both parties and both leaders in both parties, they have got to do a better job on this stuff.

VANIER: So it is not just about the morals, you are right. Obviously he's the president, he is a political animal. It is also about the politics of this. But I do not understand that part, either.


FERGUSON: This is an important point. When I say this is not political to me, my point is there is a simple time in life, what, regardless of whether you're running for office, you're Republican or Democrat, where it's an issue of right and wrong -- and this is a right and wrong issue -- and that is my point.

I am saying here, take politics out of this and make it about right and wrong for the president.

VANIER: The politics of this, as Ellis said, seem pretty transparent. Mr. Trump stands accused of misconduct by 13 women. He said they're all lying. So if he sides with alleged victims in other cases, it is going to look like double standards.


FERGUSON: I think you can defend yourself -- let's be clear. I think you can defend yourself and say that no one on certain issues with -- on one thing, it does not mean that you cannot talk about on the other. I do not think that is a reason --

(CROSSTALK) VANIER: Well, that's going to be my question to Ellis.

Is the president now hostage to this line of thinking?

HENICAN: I think he is in a real jam honestly because every single time we talked about this, he gets in deeper.

For instance, today, in the tweet about due process, we really need due process, I think Senator Gillibrand may be the obviously -- OK, Mr. President, you ready for some due process?

We'll get you some due process in this question. I'll line them up, one to 13, and we'll go through due process for every single one of them if that is what you want.

So yes, anytime this issue comes up in any context, it is deeply and personally uncomfortable for Donald Trump.

VANIER: Yes. The due process part, honestly, struck me, too, because Mr. Trump's obviously leaving himself open to criticism. You think of birtherism, Central Park Five, calling for Hillary Clinton to be locked up. He hasn't always been an advocate of due process.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Coming up, the Golan Heights take center stage after a face-off between Syria and Israel. We'll be reporting on the history of this disputed region -- after the break.

Plus the British government could cut off funding for aid agency Oxfam after a sex scandal in Haiti. The charity group is promising to change. We'll have the details.






VANIER: The British government could stop giving money to one of Britain's biggest aid agencies, Oxfam. The charity group denies covering up allegations that some of its senior employees paid for sex when they were in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

An investigation by "The Times" newspaper in London alleges that children may have been sexually abused. Erin McLachlan has more on this.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "The Times" obtained access to a copy of an internal report prepared by Oxfam. The report detailed Oxfam's internal investigation into the sexual misconduct by seven Oxfam employees. It alleged the employees, including the country director, hired female prostitutes and had sex with them inside villas provided by Oxfam.

The investigation did not rule out the possibility that some of the women were in fact children. The time Oxfam disclosed to the public that it was investigating employee misconduct but it did not divulge the details of that investigation.

That has outraged Oxfam's trustees, British government officials and Haitian authorities. As a result of Oxfam's investigation, seven employees were either dismissed or resignations accepted. The "London Times" reports that some of those employees went on to work for other aid agencies in other countries, that Oxfam failed to inform the other aid organizations of the alleged misconduct.

Oxfam says it did not supply official references for any of the employees in question, but did acknowledge that more could have been done to stop them from finding work in the aid sector. The Oxfam CEO has also acknowledged that, in hindsight, Oxfam should done more to disclose the wrongdoing -- Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


VANIER: And Oxfam is now promising reforms, including having more women in leadership positions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What those few privileged men in Haiti did was to betray the trust of our supporters, our donors and to betray the thousands of hard-working Oxfam staff, who put themselves out, risk their lives to do this work of saving people's lives, children's lives.

So I am sorry on behalf of my organization that there was a breach of trust with our supporters and I'm asking our supporters that we want to restore trust. We want to build up trust. We are committing to be honest, to be transparent, to be accountable in addressing the issue of sexual misconduct.


VANIER: As for Oxfam's funding, I told you that was in jeopardy. While Britain's aid minister says she will meet with representatives of Oxfam on Monday to review how the charity dealt with the allegations.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very clear. It doesn't matter whether you've got a whistleblowing hotline. It doesn't matter if you've got good safeguarding practices in place. If the moral leadership at the top of the organization isn't there, then we cannot have you as a partner. I would also just note that there are enormous numbers of people who

are doing good work and they're good people working at Oxfam. And they have been betrayed in this as well.


VANIER: Now if Oxfam were to lose --


VANIER: -- that government funding, it would be a huge blow. From 2011 to 2016, Oxfam received about $90 million from the U.K. government. It is the largest recipient of the 40+ organizations that get funding in the U.K., the single largest donor to Oxfam.

Let's turn to Israel. U.S. president Donald Trump said he is not sure the country is looking to make peace with the Palestinians. That is according to the Israeli newspaper, "Israel Hayom."

According to the paper, Mr. Trump also said the Palestinians are not looking to make peace. He added that the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank complicates matters and both sides will need to make, quote, "hard compromises" to reach a peace deal.

Mr. Trump's comments come amid a standoff between Israel, Syria and Iran. Israel says it launched a wave of attacks in Syria over the weekend. The raids come after Syria shot down an Israeli warplane on Saturday, something that has not happened in decades.

And an Iranian drone reportedly breached Israeli airspace. A lot of this happened in the skies above the Golan Heights. CNN's Ian Lee has more. He reminds us of the history of the disputed region.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Military hardware litters the Golan Heights, deadly reminders of Israel's last two wars with Syria.

In 1967, it was captured by Israeli forces. Ever since, the international community has regarded this high plateau between Syria, Israel and Lebanon as Israel-occupied territory.

War erupted once again in 1973. Thousands of Syrians and hundreds of Israelis died amid the barbed wire.

LEE: This area has always held strategic importance. In ancient times it was the crossroads of the Via Maris from the Mediterranean and the Kings Highway from the Red Sea, both going to Damascus. Nowadays those roads are gone, but it still holds that importance, with Lebanon visible to my right and Syria to my left.

LEE (voice-over): These days, it is the cameras doing the shooting here, the nature, the history in proximity to danger draws thousands of tourists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where you see the trees in the far distance there, these trees there, they are in Syria.

LEE (voice-over): The U.N. monitors tasked to keep the peace have also become part of the attraction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).





LEE (voice-over): A jolt from the past struck the Golan last Saturday. Israel and Syria engaged in their most significant clashes in decades. Syrian air defenses brought down an Israeli jet fighter, on a retaliation mission after an Iranian drone, launched from Syria, was shot down over Israel.

But even that couldn't dissuade tourists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel safe. I believe the Israeli army is going to take care of jus here. I live in Israel. I live in Jerusalem now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not what I expected. And I'm glad it -- we have U.N. people here and it seems very safe so...

LEE (voice-over): A sense of security Israel hopes remains.

A day later, and tensions seem to have eased; no one here, perhaps, desperate for a fight. But all are aware of the possible dangers that the ghosts of the past (INAUDIBLE) to the present -- Ian Lee, CNN, in the Golan Heights.


VANIER: And CNN has also been working on Somalia, a difficult country to get access to. We're now in a position to tell you that the terror group Al-Shabaab is profiting from the country's humanitarian crisis. In an upcoming CNN exclusive, our Sam Kiley reports that the Al Qaeda- linked terrorists are extorting money from aid groups that are trying to help victims of famine and drought.

Here is an excerpt of his investigation.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This man was a Shabbat tax collector for eight years. Merchants bring him food for sale to refugees, pay Al-Shabaab to get to Baidoa (ph) and taxed them there, too.

KILEY: And if they don't pay?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). KILEY (voice-over): He told me that Al-Shabaab made about $3 on every bag of rice delivered to Baidoa.

KILEY: So this does not work?

You're saying it doesn't work, the U.N. is still indirectly paying tax to Al-Shabaab?



VANIER: Watch the rest of this exclusive report from the town of Baidoa in Somalia. That'll be in full on CNN later on Monday.

Ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon says that the #MeToo movement is threatening patriarchy and Donald Trump himself. We'll have the details when we come back.




CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And a warm welcome back, I'm Cyril Vanier, let's get you the headlines.

Russian investigators hope a recovered flight data recorder will help them figure out the cause in a deadly plane crash near Moscow. All 71 people on board were killed. The Jet disappeared from radar shortly after takeover. Authorities said whether it was a factor but there have been heavy snowfall in the area.

Four survivors of the helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon and now in hospital, three others were killed in Saturday night's crash during a site seeing tour. All of the passengers onboard were from the U.K., rescuers needed help from a military aircraft due to windy and rugged conditions.

Parts of Northern Puerto Rico are experiencing a blackout after an explosion sparked a fire at a power substation. The island's power authority says it was caused by a mechanical failure. It's unclear how many people are without power across the affected areas. Puerto Rico has been struggling to recover its electrical system since Hurricane Maria, knocked most of it out last September.

And a deal to sell the Weinstein Company is now in doubts after the State of New York filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and his former film studio. The suit claims the company did not protect its employees from sexual harassment and discrimination by Weinstein. His attorney says many of the allegations are without merits, more than 60 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or abuse including rape.

Ousted White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon says Media Mogul Oprah Winfrey and the #MeToo Movement could help Democrats bring down President Trump. Winfrey gave a rousing speech against sexual harassment and assault during the Golden Globe Awards. Journalist Josh Green says that he was watching the ceremony with Bannon and in a new addition of his book, "Devil's Bargain," Green says Bannon told him, "The anti-patriarchy is going to undo 10,000 years of recorded history. You watch, the time has come. Women are going to take charge of society and they couldn't juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He is the patriarch. This, the Golden Globes is a definitional moment in the culture, it will never be the same going forward."


Here's what Green told CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday.


JOHN GREEN, AUTHOR, "DEVIL'S BARGAIN": You recognize in those Golden Globe Awards that this was a movement that could potentially be an existential threat to republicans, not just the majority in the House but also to President Trump and there is a wonderful, revealing moment of Freudian angst in the scene as I describe Bannon watching Oprah where he says, "Look, if they were to rollout and be a team right now, these ladies would chop off every set of balls in the room," which a blunt Bannon way of saying essentially, this #MeToo Movement are coming for our manhood.

And I think that expressed a lot of the anxieties that Bannon, that Trump, that people of that political persuasion have about this new rise in movement of women which is really a backlash to the man that Bannon calls the patriarch, Trump himself.


VANIER: And critics are pouncing on the White House for sweeping other misconduct delegations under the rug. There are multiple allegations that have been made against Trump associates and even against the president himself. CNN'S Randi Kaye has more on that.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 2016 in Jupiter, Florida following then-candidate Donald Trump's press conference, a bizarre altercation caught on tape.

MICHELLE FIELDS, BREITBART REPORTER: I can't believe he just did that. That was so hard. Oh my, was that Corey?

KAYE: That's then Breitbart report Michelle Fields claiming Trump's campaign manager at the tame Corey Lewandowski had grabbed her tightly by the arm and yanked her down. Lewandowski denied it ever happened, calling the reporter delusion on Twitter.

Despite several angles of video showing the incident, then-candidate Trump also insisted the reporter fabricated the whole ordeal. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story up, I think that's what happened, OK?

KAYE: In the end, Jupiter, Florida police charged Lewandowski with simple battery, a misdemeanor but those charges were later dropped. Trump's pick for Labor Secretary, Andy Puzder withdrew his name in part after claims of spousal abuse came to light. The fast-food executive's ex-wife had aired the couple's dirty laundry on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" while in disguise.

LISA FIERSTEIN, ANDY PUZDER EX-WIFE: Once I made that break and once I made it public and remember my ex-husband was a public figure, everyone knew him and knew what he was doing. And once I made that public, he vowed revenge. He said, "I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over, you will pay for this."

KAYE: Later, Puzder's wife sent a letter to the senators calling her ex-husband a kind man, saying he was not abusive. Mr. Puzder denied it all. The man Trump chose to be his Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon also once faced charges for misdemeanor domestic violence as "Politico" first reported.

A Santa Monica, California police report from January 1996 detailed an altercation between Bannon and his then-spouse that left her with red marks on her left wrist and the right side of her neck. The report also said the woman complained of soreness to her neck. The responding police officer described the woman's eyes as red and watery saying she appeared to have been crying.

A spokesperson for Bannon told "Politico" that Bannon had a great relationship with both his ex-wife and their twin daughters. The case was later dismissed. And the president himself had also once faced accusations of domestic abuse. His first wife Ivana alleged in a divorce deposition that Donald Trump had raped her back in 1989. The accusation was first revealed in a 1993 book about Trump written by a former "News Week" reporter.

Just before publication, Ivana composed a statement for the book saying, "I felt violated as the love and tenderness which he normally exhibited towards me was absent. I refer to this as a rape, but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense." After Trump announced his run for the White House, Ivana said, The story is totally without merit, Donald and I are the best of friends." Donald Trump has always denied the allegations. Randi Kaye, CNN New York.


VANIER: And one more thing on the topic of #MeToo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she believes sexism played a prominent role in Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Justice Ginsburg sat down with CNN's Poppy Harlow at the She Open the Door Women's Conference on Sunday and she said the #MeToo Movement has staying power because it has spread so widely.


RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: It's amazing to me that for the first time women are really listened to because sexual harassment had often been dismissed as, "Well, she made it up" or "She's too thin-skinned."


So I think it's a very healthy development.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Is Washington listening on -- is listening, Congress, are they listening and acting fast enough?

GINSBURG: Is this Congress acting fast --

HARLOW: Congress.

GINSBURG: Congress is not acting. But we will get passed this time of inaction.

HARLOW: So that's a no, inaction. That's a no.

GINSBURG: It's been hard even to keep the government going lately.


VANIER: Now do go and watch Poppy Harlow's full interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on

Still, to come on the show, a three-day figure skating event has just wrapped up. How Canada clinched the gold before the event even finished.

Plus, wind is delaying, shortening, postponing Olympic events, we'll have the latest forecast in Pyeongchang, South Korea just after this.


VANIER: To the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, organizers were forced to postponed the women's giant slalom to Thursday. The women's slopestyle snowboard even started late, several competitors actually crashed mid-run because of the fierce winds. CNN's World Sport, Amanda Davies has more from Pyeongchang, South Korea.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It is all about the winds here today once again. We knew it was scheduled to pick up, this gust approaching 40-kilometer an hour down here at our Olympic studio. But that is up to about 75 kilometers an hour at the Alpine Center. And for the second time in two days, the ski racing events have been canceled.


After the men's downhill yesterday, it's been the turn of the women's giant slalom to full foul today. That means highly anticipated start of Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympic campaign has been delayed. The 22-year- old American expected to be one of the stars of these games and was scheduled to be completing in the first of her five events but she's described the day as a bummer but says she's feeling good and will continue to train towards the race today.

The women's snowboard slopestyle has gone ahead but that has left some commentators asking big questions of the organizer as the majority of riders suffered falls. After qualifying was canceled on Sunday, it went straight to the final shootout this morning with just five of the 25 riders making it to the end of their first run without a full.

And in the end, it was the defending champion from the United States, Jamie Anderson who took gold. She wasn't unaffected by the wind though. Her winning score significantly lower than the 95.25 which won her gold in Sochi four years ago.

And we knew that Canada has a good figure skating lineup heading into the games, they have proved it. Going won better than Sochi to take victory in the team event (INAUDIBLE)

VANIER: OK. Quick check of the medal count so far, Germany leads with three gold medals, the Netherlands and the U.S. just behind with two, Norway, Canada, Austria are among the countries with one gold medal each and when it comes to total medals, that's another way to look at it, Norway is at the front of that pack with eight total medals.

And if that's not enough for you, keep up with all the Olympic news on our websites, Ivan Cabrera is watching the conditions in Pyeongchang. Ivan, what do you have for us?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Well we've been talking about the wind and how problematic it's been there. Cyril, good to see you. The issue by the way with the wind, it's been a crosswind, right, with a little bit of a tail would have been a different story but it's the crosswind that has wreaked havoc out there.

And by the way, not just skiing but take a look at this, the shots are being impacted as well, that's how strong the winds have been. We've been talking about gust, an excess of 65, 70 kilometers per hour, so let's talk about the forecast the next few days, I think we have better news as we check in with the winds that will not be as whipping right now, 20 kilometers per hour. This is current conditions at minus eight. Of course, we have multiple venues here that we are following and depending on the height that is also playing -- keep room for the -- higher you go, less friction, right? So the wind is able to really get very strong.

29, 31, we've seen as high as 35 kilometers per hour, so far this has to do but nothing higher than that and that is about half of what the wind gust were the day before which is why we have all frost here. At the rest of the venue, let's put this into motion as far as the forecast, when you'll see things beginning to subside a bit, right? (INAUDIBLE) through the next 24 hours back, I think 24, 36 hours but notice here, by the time we get into middle part of the week, Wednesday and especially Wednesday afternoon when it's coming right back up between 35, perhaps the size 45 kilometers per hour.

So it's the systems that are rolling through that we'll keep an eye on. By the way, the temperatures as you would expect, anywhere from about one to minus three. There you see the last of the town covered here, big area of low pressures to the northeast, that strong low is what whipped up the winds here, that low is beginning to weaken and beginning basically to pull away which is why the winds are being allowed to relax somewhat, so this is a good thing.

By Wednesday that system that's bringing us a little more wind is also going to bring us some light snow, perhaps accumulations of one centimeter, that would be about it, not too concerned about anything higher than that. And over the next three days, we'll see those temperatures as well remaining anywhere from minus two to minus five. I do want to leave you with the latest on what is the equivalent of a category, almost category four hurricane at the Atlantic today.

The forecast, once this reaches Tonga is that it will be the equipment of account for. This is Nuku'alofa, very tiny island but it is the capital of Tonga and remarkably the eye of the this almost category four cyclone is going to go right through them and the storm surge that comes with that, very dangerous around with the winds I think could be catastrophic for the archipelago here specifically for the capital and then the system heads off to the south and west. So this is also something we'll be paying very close attention to in the coming days, Cyril.

VANIER: Ivan Cabrera, the CNN Weather Center, I love the snow effect, I kind of thought you had a weird suit on at first but then I realized what you were doing with that.

CABRERA: It's the best one we could make it snow but the studio is still 25, 28 degrees.

VANIER: Hey, thank you, Ivan, we'll see you later. And for royal watcher hungry for details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day, we will feed your addiction after the break, stay with us.



VANIER: Welcome back. A quick update on the most famous piece of space junk in the universe, NASA is tracking it, I'm talking about SpaceX Founder, Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster. It was launched into space Tuesday aboard the SpaceX Rocket Falcon Heavy.

Musk himself admits that the car was kind of a silly stunt but NASA is taking it seriously, they're keeping tabs on it, so it's not confused with an asteroid discovery. So you can see here, this is the view from inside the Roadster, it's being piloted or driven by Star Man, a mannequin in a space suit. You may be able to spot the Roadster from down here on earth too, this is footage posted by the Virtual Telescope Project. It reports to show the Tesla cruising across the cosmos.

And Kensington Palace is sharing new details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in May, so without further adieu, here's CNN's Max Foster.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: We're starting to get a better sense then of the shape of the royal wedding day. The service will start at noon inside St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The couple will say their vows in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury, he's the most senior official in the Church of England.


This isn't a state occasion because Prince Harry isn't in the direct line for the throne but it is a big national occasion which is why it's being presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Now approximately an hour later after the couple are wed, they will leave the castle in a carriage and they'll process through Windsor in a carriage procession. The palace said in a statement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are hugely grateful for the man good wishes they received since announcing their engagement, they're very much looking forward of the day and to be able to share their celebrations with the public.

And huge crowds are expected to see them in the carriage procession. Once they get back into the castle, they'll join the congregation for a reception in the grand St. Georg's Hall which is usually used for state banquets. And in the evening, there will be a more private affair hosted by Prince Charles for the couple's close friends and family. We're heading towards May the 19th and we're getting a better sense of how the day will look. Max Foster, CNN London.

VANIER: And that does it for me, I'm Cyril Vanier. Stay tuned, we've got more news with George Howell and Rosemary Church right after the break. That means you are in good hands, have a great day.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Olympic style diplomacy, a breakthrough between North and South Korea --