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Trump Lashes Out after Russia Meddling Indictments; Donald Trump Jr. in India This Week; Venezuelan Oil Economy on Its Knees; New Details About Missed Signals from Shooter's Past; Jamaica Women's Bobsled Set to Go Despite Drama; Frmr. UK Coach Sentenced for Child Sexual Abuse. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired February 20, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching CNN live from Los Angeles.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Ahead this hour: CNN exclusive, the special prosecutor is looking into Jared Kushner's finances. How the president's son-in-law's business dealings play into the investigation.
VAUSE (voice-over): New details about the Florida shooters. Sources tell us he had obtained 10 rifles within the past year or so. Plus there were many red flags about his disturbing behavior.
SESAY (voice-over): And empty shelves and desperate measures. The economic turmoil forcing Venezuelans into doing whatever it takes to survive, even selling their hair.
Hello and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE (voice-over): Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is the second hour of NEWSROOM L.A.
VAUSE: Donald Trump is back in Washington after spending the Presidents Day holiday weekend at his golf resort in Florida, just 50 kilometers from the school where 17 people were shot dead.
But if his tweets are any indication, the president was not focused on gun violence but rather Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
SESAY: The U.S. president blames Democrats, the FBI and Barack Obama for the ongoing investigation amid new indictments that say Russia meddled in the 2016 campaign.
CNN's Pamela Brown reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) President Trump began his Presidents' Day at his Florida golf course after deciding to avoid the links Saturday and Sunday in the aftermath of last week's mass shooting.
After golfing, he took to Twitter, blaming his predecessor, tweeting, "Obama was president up to and beyond the 2016 election. So why didn't he do something about Russian meddling?"
The president has spent much of the weekend raging on Twitter at his Mar-a-Lago resort, watching cable news and getting riled up by his sons Don Jr. and Eric, who urged their father to take a tougher stance with the FBI after it was revealed the agency failed to follow up on a tip about the Florida shooter.
"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable," the president tweeted. "They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There was no collusion."
In the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election, the president appears to be lashing out at everyone but Russia. First, he fired off a tweet suggesting he had been vindicated in the Russia probe pointing to comments by the deputy attorney general.
But Rod Rosenstein never definitively said there was no collusion, merely that this specific indictment does not include collusion.
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: There's no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge. And the nature of the scheme was that the defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear that they were ordinary American political activists.
BROWN: The top Democrat overseeing the Houses intelligence investigation, Adam Schiff, seizing on the indictments of the 13 Russian nationals as clear-cut evidence of Russian meddling.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: It ought to put to rest for anyone, including the president, who continues to call this a witch hunt, that the evidence is now overwhelming and unequivocal. And we need to move to protect ourselves from Russian interference in elections that are coming up.
BROWN: The president choosing instead to focus on comments Schiff made about the Obama administration, Trump tweeting, "Finally, Little Adam Schiff blaming the Obama administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Obama was president, knew of the threat and did nothing."
SCHIFF: I've said all along that I thought the Obama administration should have done more.
None of that is an excuse for this president to sit on his hands. Knowing what he knows our Intelligence Committee knows now in this excruciating detail about the Russian effort, it is inexplicable that the president of the United States continues to sit on sanctions that Congress passed, that Congress wants enforced against Russia over this interference.
BROWN: For its part, the White House is avoiding specifics.
STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST, FOX NEWS'S "FOX & FRIENDS": Can we expect the president to have additional action against this country who clearly doesn't fear or respect us?
RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I won't get ahead of what the president is prepared to announce, but I wouldn't for one second say that his foreign policy has not been effective.
BROWN: Trump also claiming he never said Russia did not meddle, contradicting himself from the past.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Could have been a lot of people had interfered. I said it very -- I said it very simply. I think it could have very well have been Russia, but I think it could well have been --
TRUMP: -- other countries.
BROWN: But the president claims the multiple Russia investigations are satisfying Putin's plan, tweeting, "If it was the goal of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos, then with all the committee hearings, investigations and party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart, America."
This as his deputy White House press secretary, Hogan Gidley, deflected blame on Russia by accusing Democrats and the media of dividing the nation.
HOGAN GIDLEY, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There are two groups that have created chaos more than the Russians. And that's the Democrats and the mainstream media who continued to push this lie on the American people for more than a year and, quite frankly, Americans should be outraged by that.
BROWN: On this Presidents' Day, demonstrators spent time outside of the White House, calling for gun reform in the wake of the shooting in Florida, with teenagers engaging in a lie-in to push for stronger gun control.
Now over the weekend, the president took in a lot of different opinions on the gun issue with his friends at Mar-a-lago, according to a source with knowledge, and told them he was going to look into steps that might make it harder for young people or mentally ill people to obtain firearms.
But it's far from certain what those steps will be and when they will come -- Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Joining us now for more, Democratic strategist Caroline Heldman and Republican strategist Charles Moran.
There was this interesting article which just came out a few hours ago on "In Time" about what was behind the president's weekend Twitter storm and how White House aides tried to manage their boss.
OK, this is a good chunk of it.
"White House aides prayed for rain. Inclement weather would mean President Donald Trump would have to take the motorcade to the waiting plane to Florida. That would mean he couldn't take the helicopter from the South Lawn to Joint Base Andrews, which meant he wouldn't walk in front of a few dozen waiting reporters, who would, of course, ask him about special counsel Bob Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 elections.
"This is the daily reality of White House staff members at this moment. Their best hope of averting a crisis of the legal, political, foreign policy, public relations and familiar varieties is hoping the weather report scuttles an airlift from the South Lawn."
OK. On Friday, it did not rain but the president apparently cooperated. He didn't talk to reporters. He said nothing but then we had that Twitter storm.
So Charles, White House aides now are living in fear of what this president might or might not say.
CHARLES MORAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The president makes his choices based on what he wants to engage in or not. This weekend presented an opportunity for him to really reflect back on the actions of the last not only week but of the last several weeks, as we're talking about the FBI, we're talking about effectiveness of law enforcement, we're talking about national change that needs to happen with a lot of different segments of society, not only gun control and the way we deal with firearms but the responsibility of law enforcement and the way we have our difference, the governmental agencies, talk to one another.
There was a lot and, I think, again, the president has never shown a recalcitrance to use Twitter to connect directly with the American people. He sent out about 21 tweets over the weekend.
VAUSE: At least.
MORAN: And I think that they all hit --
CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: None of them in criticizing Russia, by the way.
MORAN: -- all -- every one of them addressed a situation or a concern that he had, that he wanted to bring forward and talk about. He did not appear in before any kind of a press conference but I think you could probably string these together and see that these would probably be the answers to the questions if he had done a press conference.
VAUSE: Caroline, does it raise questions about temperament?
HELDMAN: Well, it certainly raises questions about temperament because they appear to be managing a petulant child, right, and, in fact, another of his staffers said that the school shooting in Florida, the horrific school shooting that took the lives of 17 people, was a reprieve from the bad press that he had gotten the previous week with Rob Porter and the failure to properly address domestic abuse in the White House.
So the fact that a school shooting becomes a reprieve because you're not sure how your petulant child is going to respond to it speaks volumes to the fact that we have the most unpresidential president we've ever had in the U.S. sitting in the White House.
VAUSE: We mentioned that report from "The Washington Post," because there was this break that we've had from the White House briefing. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders is expected to deal with a barrage of questions from a smorgasbord of controversies. Some of them are the possible cover-up or the domestic abuse allegations against other senior White House aide, Rob Porter; the two cabinet secretaries being caught charging taxpayers for luxury travel; a former Playboy centerfold has alleged she had an affair with Donald Trump before he was president. The Russia investigation is picking up steam.
That's just a few of them. And as we said, this report from "The Washington Post" quotes a White House staffer who welcomed the shift in the media's focus.
The actual quote is this, "For everyone, it was a destruction or a reprieve," said this White House officials, "a lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting home.
Charles, what does it say about this administration that a school shooting is seen as a reprieve?
And it's one thing to think that. It's another thing to say it --
VAUSE: -- off the record to a reporter.
MORAN: I don't believe it. I don't believe that the vast majority of the employees in the White House see this as a reprieve. This was an absolute tragedy that occurred. The President of the United States has stated as such, I believe that he is giving the attention.
We are not going to just focus on a very small sliver, this one isolated incident. This is a -- the shootings that have happened -- and this is -- goes back to Columbine, it goes back to the shooting in Texas last year. We have a systemic failure in the way that we handle not only firearms
but the people who have them and what we categorize are people who are threat. The FBI has a national background check system. It's called the NICS. It is something that is supposed to be used universally throughout this country.
It is not. There are so many agencies, including the military itself, that is not reporting the data. We have a systemic breakdown here. And this is something that I think the president is starting to address.
And once again, it is the FBI who is responsible for maintaining this database and it's not a problem that has only existed for five or seven years. This is a long breakdown. I do not think that anybody in the White House is seeing this as a great opportunity to change the subject off of bad press.
More than anything, it's something to start addressing, some systemic problems in our federal law enforcement.
VAUSE: OK, I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of gun laws because that's -- we'll be here all night. But OK, so CNN has exclusive reporting that Robert Mueller is expanding is investigation. He is not focusing on Jared Kushner, the presidential son-in-law, senior White House adviser.
And his dealings during the presidential transition, in particular, discussions he had with investors from China and Qatar and the refinancing of one of his buildings is at 666 in Manhattan.
Right now Kushner's company is carrying $8 billion in debt. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has this response from Kushner's lawyer. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: "Another anonymous source with questionable motives now contradicts the facts in all of Mr. Kushner's extensive cooperation with all inquiries. There has not been a single question asked nor documents sought on the 666 building or Kushner deals.
"Nor would there be any reason to question these regular business transactions."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Kushner is facing some serious problems. Some of these new guidelines put out by the White House chief of staff John Kelly, Kushner's still on interim security clearance. If that doesn't change in the next couple of days, if they stick to those guidelines, Kushner is out of a job by Friday.
HELDMAN: Indeed he is and the Porter situation actually made this a big issue for many top officials because it shone a spotlight on the White House and we discovered that there were over 30 people who simply didn't have the clearance that they were supposed to have after a year, which is highly unusual.
But it is also highly unusual to have a third of your staff turn over. So it may have had something to do with that. But at the end of the day, yes, Bob Mueller is now looking at finances and they are within the inner circle of Trump and I think that he and his family need to be very concerned about that, especially if they're trading political favors.
VAUSE: And this expansion of the Mueller investigation it's notable because of what the president said about a year ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE SCHMIDT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": If Mueller was looking at your finances or your family's finances, unrelated to Russia, is that a red line?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?
TRUMP: I would say yes. Yes, I would say yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Charles, given everything that's happened since the president answered that question, is that threat no longer valid?
This is not a red line or in the sense that the president can't fire Mueller?
MORAN: Well, I think that we --
MORAN: -- the situation definitely exists where security clearances are not being, you know, issued in the right way, if the -- there's anybody in the White House who has expired their interim security clearance, I definitely -- I personally know people who have had to step down from their roles in very senior places in the administration because they could not pass or maintain their -- pass their interim security clearance and they've had to resign.
So it's absolutely something that needs to be focused on because we need to have that integrity amongst the people who are in the highest levels of the government. I believe that President Trump will hold his family to that same standard, as, you know, again, one of his closest aides. He just had to dismiss.
VAUSE: Very quickly, Caroline, because Charles didn't answer it, is the red line threat now that Mueller's looking into personal finances, beyond Russia, is that red line still there?
HELDMAN: I would say the red line is not there because there is now an indication that he's been looking at lots of finances -- Manafort, Gates, right, his indictment involved finances --
HELDMAN: -- Trump's inner circle. They're all still there.
VAUSE: OK, a few hours ago, President Trump endorsed a man he once described as "one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics."
This is for the Utah Senate seat. Donald Trump now says that Mitt Romney would be a great senator and he has his full support. And of course this is the second endorsement for Mitt Romney from Donald Trump. The first was when Romney was the Republican presidential nominee.
But remember two years ago, Romney tweeted this, "If Trump had said four years ago the things he says today about the KKK --
VAUSE: -- "Muslims, Mexicans, disabled, I would not have accepted his endorsement."
But he did.
"Thank you, Mr. President, for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign, I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah."
These guys seem to fight and make up a lot more than Maddie Hayes and David Addison on "Moonlighting."
But, Caroline, there was this theory that Mitt Romney in the Senate would be a thorn in Donald Trump's side. They seem pretty chummy right now.
is that theory still been holding up?
If Mitt Romney wins, which he will --
HELDMAN: I think Mitt Romney will absolutely be a thorn in his side. Donald Trump is endorsing him because maybe this time his endorsement will work. It didn't work with Strange; it didn't work with Jones.
Having Donald Trump endorse you is not a good thing. But I think Donald Trump probably wants to take credit for a win since he's had so many losses. But I have no doubt that Mitt Romney's going to be running against him in 2020 and that this will be his launching pad.
VAUSE: OK, last hour we had that survey from 170 presidential experts, including you, Caroline, (INAUDIBLE) rate Donald Trump as the worst president ever. So we'll move on that. Even Republicans are among the presidential experts. He's still bottom 5 percent and it seems he can forget about a place on Mt. Rushmore.
The (INAUDIBLE) favorite is still FDR, which I think is appropriate but, Charles, will we see Donald Trump on Mt. Rushmore in four years?
MORAN: You know, even -- maybe wearing the hat.
Even President Obama's vaunted pollster, Nate Silver, came out with a statement about this poll and said that it was -- it was reprehensible, it was -- it was -- had no bearing. You should not be evaluating a president and included him in the poll one year into it.
And basically debunked it and this is one of the top pollsters in the country and one who accurately predicted. So you know, one year in, it's going to be a long seven years for some of those statisticians and academics who are going to have to see that. But again, it's going to be interesting.
VAUSE: We'll see. OK. Charles and Caroline, thanks so much.
MORAN: Thank you.
HELDMAN: Thank you.
SESAY: It will definitely be interesting.
Well, President Trump's son, Donald Jr., arrived in India Tuesday. Later this week he'll address a business summit along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He'll also dine with buyers of apartments in Trump branded towers under construction in several cities.
That is getting a lot of attention and some scathing criticism. Advertisements in several Indian newspapers offer dinner and a conversation with Trump Jr. for anyone who reserves a spot to buy one of those apartments.
All you have to do is plop down $38,000. Well, John Defterios joins us now from Abu Dhabi to see how much interest there is in such an offer and to tell us a little bit more of Donald Trump Jr.'s movements on this trip -- John.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, indeed, Isha. It's going to be four major developments under the Trump Organization brand and four visits by Donald Trump Jr. over five days culminating with a keynote speech at the global business summit, which will be taking place in the capital of Delhi.
We have the photos, they are coming there on the lead-in. Let's bring it back up. The first stop was at the Oberoi Hotel to meet with his key developers and a very few select local journalists. This has been scaled back considerably because of all the media attention before the arrival of Donald Trump into India.
This is the Trump Organization's largest market and it seems a bit odd for those looking from the outside in, that the organization took full-page ads in a number of different newspapers but one of the most prominent, "The Times of India," and suggesting that Trump has arrived.
Have you? Making the direct link here by a purchase and getting access to Donald
Trump Jr. going forward. This is a country, Isha, and the reason this raises a number of different eyebrows is that the per capita income remains below $2,000.
There is a rising middle class. But of all the countries in the world, it is India that sits front and center. They have exposure in four different cities with a portfolio of over $1 billion.
And in the advertisements they make no bones about it. If you put a down payment on any of the flats in the country, you can get direct access to Donald Trump Jr. Those think tanks in the United States, that track, the separation between ethics and the White House, one suggested, this is seen as an auction off of the First Family in a foreign land.
And a former of Bush administration official from the Republican Party, of course, describe the sales journey as, quote-unquote, "bizarre." So it's raising a lot of different concerns between the executive branch, of course, and the Trump Organization itself.
SESAY: Yes. And, John, sticking with the issue of blurred lines, if you will, Donald Trump Jr. also giving that keynote speech at a business summit that will have Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, present, along with the finance minister.
People -- again, making some people uneasy, having Donald Trump Jr. there in that same space as Indian senior officials.
Should they be uneasy?
How do you read this?
DEFTERIOS: It depends on what you mark the interest by Donald Trump Sr. in India.
Does he really like the Indian economy and the Indian prime minister because of his values and strategically the relations between United States and India?
Or is it because the Trump Organization has been involved in this rapidly growing economy for a number of different years?
The portfolio's worth over $1 billion in a fast-growing economy and some would also suggest here with the presence of Donald Trump Jr. with the prime minister and, as you suggested, with the finance minister at the global business summit, it reeks of kind of collusion between the political lines and the influence of the Trump administration and the Trump Organization.
And the reason I say that, we've see the Trump White House take a particularly hard line against Pakistan, which is certainly not an ally of India and, most recently, on the trade front against China. And we know the tensions between China and India as well. This is why it's raising so many questions indeed -- Isha.
SESAY: John Defterios, to use the collusion word again, oh, dear. John Defterios joins us there from Abu Dhabi, appreciate it. Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, up next, Venezuela is spiraling downward to new levels of desperation. The country with the world's largest proven oil reserve and yet mothers are selling their hair to feed their children.
SESAY: Hello, everyone.
Nicolas Maduro has a message for U.S. President Trump. "Let's talk."
The Venezuelan president's offer comes just days after he warned the Trump administration not to ban oil imports from his country. President Maduro tweeted his invitation Monday, saying, "Dialogue in Caracas or Washington, time and place. I'll be there."
Venezuela's main source of cash, oil output, is at its lowest level in nearly 30 years. With the economy on its knees, the country can't feed its people. About 30,000 a day cross into neighboring Colombia, some to buy food to take home, others end up staying and starving on the streets.
One Venezuelan mother says she sold her hair to feed her little girl. And she is not alone. The journalist who told the story in "The New York Times" joins me now, Joe Parkin Daniels is in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Joe, thank you for joining us. You paint a truly tragic picture of Willia Hernandez (ph), tell us a little bit more about her.
What was the final straw for her family, that pushed them from Venezuela over the border to Colombia?
JOE PARKIN DANIELS, JOURNALIST: Well, her story is hardly unique. The thing that pushed her to leave was the same that's pushed many, many mothers to leave, which was not being able to afford to feed their children.
They would line up at food distribution center; nothing would be left. It would be bought and handed out already and then resold at --
DANIELS: -- exorbitant prices. So that was really the struggle that broke the camel's back for her and for many, many mothers. SESAY: (INAUDIBLE) tremendous number of Venezuelans crossing the border into Colombia. Talk to me about their existence there, how frail they to live out in the open, are they living in the shadows?
Talk to me about day-to-day life.
DANIELS: Well, there's toddlers sleeping in the streets. There is people who held down decent jobs back home that now fear sleeping in Colombia because what little they have left, what possessions they have will be stolen.
They're bathing in water contaminated with sewage, running away from police officers, who will try and move them along. And yet even with all of that, they still say they prefer it to what they left behind.
SESAY: And talk to me about their interactions with Colombians there in that border town that you focused on in telling Willia's story because it would seem that at least in some cases the relationship is deteriorating.
DANIELS: Yes, there are thousands arriving to Columbia. And last year, there were over half a million there, up 60 percent from the year before. And that obviously is manifesting itself in xenophobia. You hear stories (INAUDIBLE) locals (INAUDIBLE) Venezuelans, honking horns as they try and sleep, telling them to go home.
But some Venezuelans are receiving donations from locals. There's soup kitchens and shelters set up by Colombians. So it's not all negative.
SESAY: Yes. I mean, did you get a sense of the Colombian government's long-term plan for dealing with this surge of Venezuelans into their country?
DANIELS: Well, the government's response has been to tighten border security, to try and stem the flow. They're working on that, shelter with the United Nations and they've made some kind of loose promises to allow access to residency for those that come in with passports stamped.
But of course, many cross illegally. The border is long and porous and they didn't get their passports stamped. So I saw a strategy for the short-time (INAUDIBLE).
SESAY: Yes. So that's the strategy, short termers, do you see a -- or is there a call on the part of Colombians for an increase in deporting these people, rounding them up and sending them back to Venezuela?
Is there a movement toward that?
DANIELS: Well, there's a small movement toward that. Most manifest about a month ago when they took courses a few hundred from a football pitch or a soccer pitch to the border.
But since then, no, not really. They'd rather a solution that works for everyone. It's a solution that means maybe moving them on from the border town, where employment is already low, finding that a more appropriate places.
But deporting, no, no one's really talked about that. They know what's going on next door and no one wants that for anyone.
SESAY: Yes. I mean, Venezuelans aren't just fleeing to Colombia, as you make the point. They're also heading to Brazil. Is this shaping up to become a regional crisis? What's your sense been there?
DANIELS: Well, I think it already is personally. That would be my personal opinion. They are arriving to countries that are not used to receiving people. Colombia especially is more used to having its own refugees, its own internally displaced.
So I'd say, yes, there's not the infrastructure regionally. There's not the employment opportunities regionally, at least in neighboring country, in Brazil and Colombia above all others. So I'd say, yes, it's a crisis. That would be my personal opinion.
SESAY: Yes. Well, Joe Parkin Daniels, it's an incredibly moving piece that you wrote for "The New York Times," thank you so much for joining us.
DANIELS: Thanks for having me.
SESAY: It's hard to believe people running in those numbers, you know --
VAUSE: It is horrific --
VAUSE: -- being managed and how awful the conditions are, though, for people who'll be living out under for what was once a fairly prosperous place.
SESAY: Yes, absolutely.
We're going to take a very quick break. Next on NEWSROOM L.A., new details about the Florida shooter, his past and his problems.
VAUSE: Also Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has charged more journalists than any other country and he's not done yet. Despite an outcry and condemnation by human rights groups.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Isha Sesay, the headlines this hour. U.S. President Donald Trump is back in Washington and now questioning why his predecessor Barrack Obama didn't do anything about Russian meddling in U.S. elections.
In a weekend tweet storm, Mr. Trump blamed the FBI and democrats but still hasn't said how he plans to counter Russian interference.
VAUSE: Special Counsel Robert Mueller is taking a closer look at Jared Kushner's business dealings during the presidential transition. Source is familiar with the investigation say it goes beyond Russia and includes discussions Kushner had with potential investors from China and Qatar.
SESAY: Zimbabwean Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be laid to rest in his hometown Buhera Tuesday. Tsvangirai died last week at the age of 65. He's a prominent critic of former Strongman, Robert Mugabe and is ruling ZANU-PF party but his death greatly increases the power of ZANU-PF ahead of this year's elections.
Well we are learning more about the Florida school shooter's troubled past as the law enforcement source tells CNN that Nikolas Cruz had obtained at least 10 rifles over the past year or so.
VAUSE: Investigators are now trying to track where those purchases were made, where they came from. CNN's Martin Savage has details.
MARTIN SAVAGE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Self-confessed muscular Nikolas Cruz sat quietly in court as the judge ordered the release of a report about Cruz from the Department of Children and Families. The documents in 2016 described Cruz as a vulnerable adult due to mental illness and outline a disturbing incident.
Mr. Cruz was on Snapchat cutting both of his arms and stated he had plans to go out and buy a gun. Investigators went to the team's home interviewing him and his mother eventually concluding Cruz's final level of risk is low. That was less than 18 months ago. Even the family Nikolas Cruz was living with right up to the day of the attack says they saw nothing suggesting the killing to come. James and Kimberly Snead took Cruz in after his mother died last November.
JAMES SNEAD, HOUSE SCHOOL SHOOTER: He told us he was depressed, we knew he was depressed.
SAVAGE: They spoke to CNN in an interview (INAUDIBLE) Tuesday.
SNEAD: He's just trying to fit in. He just didn't know what to say or when to say it or how to say it, so he'd ask a lot of questions. He'd apologize a lot.
SAVAGE: The couple knew Cruz had guns. Authorities telling CNN since 18, Cruz has obtained as many as 10 rifles. But the Sneads demanded they'd be stored in a gun vault and believe they have the only key.
The family also told "ABC's Good Morning America" on the day of the attack as Cruz took an Uber to the high school, he was texting their son at Stoneman Douglas asking what room he was in. Then Cruz texted two lies. SNEAD: He told my son he was going to the movies, he said he had
something to tell him and my son Preston, "What is it? What is it?" He goes, "Nothing bad bro." And he goes -- and that was it.
SAVAGE: This is chilling images continue to emerge, surveillance video showing the confessed killer walking down the street shortly after the attack.
In the aftermath of heartbreaking horror of a high school killings, proponents of stricter of gun laws had discovered a new and unexpected voice, unafraid to take on the president and the NRA.
EMMA GONZALES, STUDENT, MAJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association.
SAVAGE: Turning anguish into action, she and other student survivors are determined that Stoneman Douglas be known not just as another school massacre but eventually remember as the last school massacre. Martin Savage, CNN Heartland, Florida.
VAUSE: Earlier I spoke to Alex Wind, he's one of the students calling for change in the wake of this deadly shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX WIND, STUDENT, MAJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Eventually, we are going to have to go to school whether we like it or not and whether change happens or not and then I know myself, I'm going to be terrified of that day because I don't know what's going to stop us from happening again.
Nothing has changed, so how do we know that someone can't walk in there with another AR-15 and shoot up the school again? We don't know that. Things need to change, children are dying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Please watch a special CNN town hall with students, parents, and others impacted by the Florida school shooting. Stand up, the students of Stoneman Douglas demand action, it is live on Thursday, 10:00a.m. Hong Kong, 2:00a.m. in London, 9:00p.m. Wednesday in New York.
SESAY: Well a Turkish court has issued life sentences to journalist it says who associated with a failed coup attempt in July of 2016.
VAUSE: It means they must serve 40 years in prison and according to one human rights group said a chilling (INAUDIBLE) the journalist facing similar charges. CNN's Awra Damon has more now from Istanbul.
AWRA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The photographs are of happier times, moments that may be forever lost for Sanam Altan and her father Ahmet. He is a renowned author and journalist, a former editor of a liberal newspaper that fell out with the Turkish government.
SANAM ALTAN, AHMET ALTAN DAUGHTER (through translator): "Maybe he's being made to pay the price of this now," Sanam speculates.
DAMON: Ahmet Altan, his brother and four other journalists and media company employees were convicted on terrorism charges. Found guilty of being members of the media wing of the Gulen Movement that Turkey says is behind the failed July 15th coup and that they knew about the coup beforehand.
The six were handed an aggravated life sentence, meaning they must serve 40 years and they have denied all of the charges.
ALTAN (through translator): The silliness will end, there is no judicial base Sanam says. It seems that at this moment we don't find justice in Turkey but that can change at any moment.
DAMON: Turkey no matter who its leader has historically ranked among the top countries with the most journalists behind bars and this post coup crackdown is causing the nation to come under some very serious and skating criticism.
Human rights groups have also decried the ruling, Amnesty International whose chairman in Turkey is also awaiting trial, said, "It's such a chilling precedent for scores of other journalists facing trials on similar trumped-up terrorism charges." For the Turkish state and those who fervently support it, it's black and white. And associate professor and lawyer, (INAUDIBLE) argued that Turkey is justified in its actions.
SADAMAN OGUT, : I think for Turkey the -- some of the media outlets try to distort the fact that as if there was no coup attempt in Turkey. There was a coup attempt, it was so serious --
DAMON: And he says those sentences have a chance to appeal.
OGUT: It's not the last decision, there will be accolade process of this but we should bear in mind that being a journalist is not a kind of shield for us, so you can be an academician, become a journalist, and you can be a soldier, coup is coup.
DAMON: For those who say they are the scapegoats paying the price, there is little logic left.
ALTAN (through translator): I'm not scared for myself Sanam says, I'm scared for us all. I have a 10-year-old daughter, of course, I'm scared. This cannot go on like this.
Arwa Damon, CNN Istanbul.
VAUSE: Well a quick break here. And then a gold medal come back for the Canadian figure skaters whose earlier performance broke their own world record, we'll have the latest on the Winter Games.
SESAY: Plus, former British football coach has been sentenced for sexually assaulting boys, judge called him the devil incarnate. Next you'll hear from one of his victims.
VAUSE: Day 14, it's day 14 of the Winter Olympics.
SESAY: He's counting.
VAUSE: And the Jamaican women's bobsled team will take to the track later on Tuesday, this is in fact he first time for the Jamaican women's bobsled team because we all remember that was 30 years ago, yes, 30 years ago the men's bobsled team from Jamaica, they were there. "Cool Runnings" was the movie which followed because it was actually an inspiring event but the movie does not hold up well, it was just the time.
SESAY: Well now, there's some new drama, so maybe they should consider a sequel. Jamaica's coach abruptly left the team just days before the start of the competition taking the sled with her.
VAUSE: And then ball goes home.
SESAY: With the Jamaican beer company, Red Stripe, I like this, that's a good (INAUDIBLE) help them together on the sled.
VAUSE: Let's hope for some beer. Amanda Davies joins us now live from Pyeongchang to oh my gosh, it's drama and drama for the Jamaican team --
AMANDA DAVIES, WORLD SPORT INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And beer.
VAUSE: -- and beer and go on, what we've got?
DAVIES: Yes, absolutely. The women's team are actually hoping that they're going to have "Cool Runnings" mark too, a film made after them. But it sounded like a great story though. I have to tell you that actually what has happened is that the coach threatens to take the sled but what has happened is Red Stripe has stepped in and they bought the same sled but for the Jamaican bobsled team.
So they're no longer leasing it, it is now their sled and the people we were talking to yesterday were amongst the team were really, really excited because it's the first time ever that Jamaica bobsled has owned their own sled, so they're really hoping that that will add to the boost in the run ups to their first competition at the Olympic Games later on today.
They take to the track much later though, it's been a great day so far but Canada, our Canadian cameraman Chris very happy, two more golds to add to their whole. First time Olympian Cassie Sharpe well and truly grabbed hers with both hands in the ski halfpipe or both skis I should say. She was more than in control after the first run, but then pulled out all the tricks on route to her 95.80, living up to her mantra of not just doing it for herself but in the hope of selling women skiing to the world.
The Canadian ice dance pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir did that in style as well, down at the ice arena after 20 years of skating together, their final performance in their final Olympics gave them victory ahead of their great rivals from France. Virtue has described it as a cherry on the cake, it is an incredible comeback story having retired after Sochi because they were disappointed they couldn't retain their gold from Vancouver. They then spend two years away from the sport came back to win the 2017 world championship gold and are now celebrating their second Olympic ice dance gold.
A little bit earlier on I got the chance to speak to one of the figure skaters though whose Olympics hasn't exactly gone to plan.
Eighteen-year-old Nathan Chen was heralded as one of the men figure skating gold medal contenders but had an absolute nightmare in his first routine, the short dance. It wiped any chance of a medal on the second day, it was a really, really painful short program to watch but he won a host of fans with the way he bounced back the next day to create Olympic history performing a record fix quad. So a few days on has Chen worked out what went wrong, he tried to explain it to me earlier today.
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NATHAN CHEN, U.S. OLYMPIAN FIGURE SKATER: I think I just placed too much pressure on the idea what the Olympics was before I even came here. Especially going to the short program, I was -- put a lot of pressure on myself, put a lot of expectations on myself, and that definitely got the best of me and made me really cautious, really timid, heading into all of my jumps and that's -- which is not the right way to skate (INAUDIBLE) competition.
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DAVIES: A really impressive guy, easy to forget that he's just 18 years of age, we've got more of that interview coming up in WORLD SPORT later on where he admitted that his short program was the worst day of competition ever for him.
On the ice of a different kind, the women's unified Korean hockey team have taken their Olympic battle, they were beaten by Sweden in their final playoff match which confirms them as finishing eighth out of the eight teams playing here in the competition. They weren't able to get the win on the board that they were so desperately hoping for. But as we've said since we first took to the ice here, a score of 23 South Koreans, 13 North Koreans impact has reached far beyond the hockey rink.
And just finally, we are still waiting on any news from the court of arbitration for sport anti-doping division and their proceedings into the Russian curler, Alexander Krusheinitsky, they've said nothing since their press release yesterday. But in terms of the bigger picture and what it means for Russia and whether or not they'll be allowed to march at the closing ceremony with their own flag and Russian uniforms, the IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said in his news conference once again today that the behavior of the OAR team, the Olympic Athletes from Russia team will be taken into account along with whether the spirit and letter of the law has been adhered to here at the games. The decision will be taken on Saturday, but pretty cryptic stuff, not giving too much away as things stand. Back to you.
VAUSE: Russian curlers suspected a doping proof that the (INAUDIBLE) is no longer needed. Amanda, good to see you.
SESAY: All right, we're shifting gears now. And a former youth football coach in Britain was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison Monday for sexually abusing his players for decades. The judge called his action sheer evil.
Investigators say they fear the former coach may have abused more than 100 young boys, CNN's Erin McLaughlin was at the court and has this report.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well the man the judge called the devil incarnate could very well spend the rest of his life behind bars. Barry Benel was sentenced to 31 years in prison for 50 offenses of historic child sexual abuse.
The judge said he abused boys as young as eight years old, between the years of 1979 and 1991. He would first move in gaining the trust of their parents before going o to groom the boys treating them to lavish gifts and expensive holidays away, things that parents could not otherwise afford before then leveraging their love of football to get close to them and to abuse them.
Now, Andy Woodward was the first victim to go public with his story. He told me that today represents for him a chance to move on.
ANDY WOODWARD, SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM: I can't put it into words but it does give some closure for us as a family. Now that so many people have come forward and he is where he deserves to be. Me and my family just want us to have like put that to rest now and we've all been devastated by it. We still are now.
MCLAUGHLIN: Well the victims delivered really emotional impact statements to the court, their chance to address Barry Benel directly. They told him that this isn't over for them, that they will be traumatized and scarred for the rest of their life. Erin McLaughlin, CNN Liverpool. (END VIDEOTAPE)
VAUSE: With that, we'll take a short break. We will be right back after this.
SESAY: Well the new movie "Black Panther" is leaping to box office heights with an estimated $316 million opening worldwide --
VAUSE: I get what you did there, they're still leaping.
SESAY: The film depicts the fictional African nation of Wakanda as the captivating futuristic world and audiences are loving it. And the movie had the fifth biggest opening of all time.
VAUSE: A lot of praise in this movie just in it of itself, it's also the first Marvel film to be directed by an African-American Director, Ryan Coogler.
SESAY: Who is just I think 30-years-old.
VAUSE: Yes. The "Black Panther" is also a big hit in Nollywood. Nigerian film says local actors and comic enthusiasts are flocking to the screen Lagos, the country's commercial capital and filmmaking hub. Local stars embraced the film and its portrayal of African-American cultures and -- sorry, African culture --
SESAY: Really? Did you really say that?
VAUSE: It just rolls with the time, I apologize.
SESAY: Wow. OK. Well Larry Madowo joins us now from Nairobi, Kenya. He's an anchor producer at entertainment channel, NTV. Larry, good to see you my friend. So, are people walking the streets of Nairobi shouting Wakanda forever? Tell us about the reaction there on the continent of this movie.
LARRY MADOWO, NTV PUBLICIST: There is excitement Isha all over the continent not just in Lagos, there in Nairobi. I'm dressed like this because everyone is going to the movie super excited to see a super hero that looks like us. In a positive role, Wakanda, this fictional African countries in East Africa is not too far from Kenya where I am.
And really, for a film industry, from -- for Hollywood, there are so many white faces, it's beautiful to see finally an African face -- an African super hero in this kind of role. The excitement all of over the continent is unbelievable.
SESAY: Yes, I could only imagine. Africans versus African-Americans relate to this film differently given obviously our distinct relationships with the continent. Tell me more about what is resonating with Africans as they watch this film beyond the fact that obviously Chad Boseman looks like us. I mean, talk to me about what else -- people are focused on.
MADOWO: So in my own sense having watched the movie, Isha, was that it was an African-American approximation of African culture. So this move celebrates blackness but not Africaness, but that's OK because (INAUDIBLE) Zimbabwean-American, there's Daniel Kaluuya in there and they all work so great together.
I feel the (INAUDIBLE) a bit forced, they tried to do -- also add (INAUDIBLE) South Africa, some of bit of it in Nigerian but the representation of the costumes for instance, the costumes are spectacular. And the women where they're natural which is a big deal because in Africa, still kinky hair is still not considered professional and then these women are very empowered, it was in egalitarian society which is not fit (INAUDIBLE) in many black cultures. So there's a lot of -- I think (INAUDIBLE) drawn to realize based on what the movie portray.
SESAY: How do you think Larry this film will change the ongoing narrative about the continent here in the west?
MADOWO: One of the things I love about the film and Wakanda is that it was not colonized. It's free of the European influence, that's British and German, or Spanish, or English, that was not there. But also, it shows this very powerful, the most -- the richest country in the world that has excessive by bringing this mineral that is also fictional.
But also that Africans are capable of being their own and holding their own in the international stage and that is a very big deal because the continent is often kind of caricatured and badly misunderstood because people just don't make enough efforts to dig deep and this movie starts to shine a spotlight on all of those different aspect that perhaps are not seen in the global stage.
SESAY: Yes. I mean, (INAUDIBLE) the people still think that Africa is a country. I mean, let's start there.
MADOWO: It's not.
SESAY: Exactly. Don't know how many times I'm going to have to say that in my lifetime but I'm ready to keep saying it. Listen, I mean the fact of the matter is the other point in all of this is for African-Americans, the point as I said here in America, I hear a lot of African-Americans really talking about feeling a new born sense of pride in the continent.
That for them, this is like the first time that they've seen the continent in such a beautiful, empowered, splendid way. Do we think -- and this is more kind of I guess an intellectual question but do we think that this will in some way better the relationship between Africans and African-Americans?
MADOWO: I hope it does because in my experience, there's a lot of (INAUDIBLE) between the two groups, black Americans and Africans even in the U.S., there's some distrust, they have derogatory names for each other but this has given a new appreciation for the motherland as they call Africa.
And maybe decided to think again that there's much beauty and there's so much character in the continent that maybe we don't know because what we know again is based on popular culture, how we're portrayed in Hollywood and in the global media and they're starting to think again that the media need to make a trip to Ghana, to Kenya, to South Africa and get to appreciate it for myself and maybe understand my African brothers that already live within my community that I really didn't pay much attention to before.
SESAY: Yes, I think that's a really, really good point. Do you think that this film will have a lasting impact on other films that come out on art, on other creations that come out of Hollywood in the near future or beyond the near future? I think the near future we can safely say it probably will but do you think it will carry on past the immediate moment?
MADOWO: It has to carry on because it has shown that one, there is certainly a global interest in stories like this or in minorities of people of color with black leads and Hollywood has start doing more.
Look at the success of "Get Out" for instance, again, which had Daniel Kaluuya, these stories don't typically come from big movie studios like Marvel, like Disney but when they do, like this one has shown, look at the fifth biggest opening of all time, I think more of this needs to happen and I hope that Hollywood is paying attention and seeing that not just for black people who are African-Americans, who are Africans but these are story that are universal for every -- for basically the human condition I think beyond people for whom -- see themselves represented on screen, Isha.
SESAY: I mean, I think it's fairly safe to assume you like the film bearing the fact you're channeling Wakanda with your outfit, but just in case anyone's uncertain, did you like the film or did you love the film?
MAWODO: I love the film. I can't wait to go watch it again. I watched it about a week before it opened and, yes, everybody needs to go out and watch it. It's (INAUDIBLE) absolutely.
SESAY: All right. Larry Mawodo, such a pleasure speaking to you. Thank you so much for the view of "Black Panther" from the continent, it is very much appreciated. Thank you.
MAWODO: My pleasure.
VAUSE: He can't stop smiling. He's obviously got a great weekend.
SESAY: Oh my goodness, everyone was -- (INAUDIBLE) have you seen it yet?
SESAY: Have you bought your tickets yet? VAUSE: No.
SESAY: Oh my.
VAUSE: I'm going to wait for it to -- a little bit later on. When the crowds die down, I don't like crowds.
SESAY: You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Stay with us, another hour of NEWSROOM LA, that's the third hour after the break.