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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Deadly Storm Pounds Northeast With Violent Winds; Suspect Captured In Deadly Central Michigan Shooting; Trump Ally Says "Something Is Very Wrong" In West Wing; Is Trump Using John Kelly To Push Out Jared And Ivanka?; Kelly Misrepresents His Handling Of Porter Abuse Scandal; Trump: "Trade Wars Are Good, And Easy To Win" Aired 6- 7a ET
Aired March 3, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howling winds, soaking rain and wild waves slam the east coast.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are homes right now under several feet of water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight is not the night to check out the storm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dozens of Quincey residents are being rescued from their homes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kind of scary. We're lucky. It's just things that will get lost.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Kelly revives the Porter scandal and says he won't resign over it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There seems to be a feeding frenzy inside the west wing. I mean, everybody is shooting at everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've served six administrations. I have never seen such chaos.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they want to call it chaos, fine. We call it success.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is also facing growing criticism over a sudden announcement of new tariffs of steel and aluminum coming into the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On an average car the actual impact will be a fraction of 1 percent.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You're going to see a lot of good things happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. We're so grateful for your company as always. I'm Christi Paul and --
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Great to be with you.
PAUL: Welcome to wakeup call at 2:00 a.m.
SAVIDGE: Thank you.
PAUL: So, we've got a top story for you this morning. It's something that we're watching very closely. This deadly bomb cyclone that's impacting the northeast. The violent winds have knocked down trees. They are destroying homes. Take a look at some of the latest we are getting in.
SAVIDGE: You can hear just how strong those winds are. At least five people are now reported dead as a result of this storm and the worst isn't over yet. The torrential rains causing widespread flooding. Another major concern, the violent winds tearing down power lines. More than a million people without power from Virginia to New England.
PAUL: Massachusetts are seeing the worst of it with more than 400,000. There are state of emergencies in Virginia and Maryland as well this morning.
SAVIDGE: Let's get right over to CNN's Ryan Young. He's live in Quincy, Massachusetts. That's south of Boston. Ryan, officials there are expecting, unfortunately, that there could be homes lost in this storm. You're in the worst of it, what are you seeing?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Homes could be lost. We know more than 70 people from their home yesterday during the height of -- it's hard to hear you guys all the wind that's blowing. You can see the position some people were left in. This car just sitting in a lot of water left here as they were trying to evacuate. This was a tough 24 hours for people trying to deal with this storm.
YOUNG (voice-over): Coastal communities in Massachusetts pounded by monster waves. High tides sent water rolling down streets and into homes. In Quincy, dozens of residents had to be rescued by trucks and scooped up by front loaders. Christine (inaudible) was one of those getting a ride out of danger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kind of scary because we were the ones standing up on it and having to hold on. We're lucky. It's just things that will get lost.
YOUNG: Storm conditions are expected to improve on Saturday, but the wind is still a factor, so is coastal flooding. Near Portland, Maine, storm surge left the home teetering on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The plan is to lift it and move it back a little bit, I believe, but a lot of things have to happen before that happens. We're just trying to keep it from going anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You feel bad for the people but that comes with having a house on the water. Ocean winds, you lose.
YOUNG: Another issue is power outages. In Watertown, Massachusetts, high winds made power lines fall like dominos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had traffic lights all over town that were affected by this grid. But the first (inaudible) isolated the area, cut the circuit off. Wires over cars and it was a pretty dangerous situation.
YOUNG: One woman in Brocktown, Massachusetts said her son is lucky to be alive. He was sitting in the backseat of the car when a tree came crashing down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house shook. We heard a noise. We didn't know what it was. We ran out. My son was still in the car with the tree on top of it.
YOUNG: Now look, last night, we talked to people who evacuated from some of these homes at a hotel. They were telling us that they love this area. They love being so close to the ocean. They know that sometimes they pay for that, but they never expected this to be this powerful. The three high tides back-to-back.
Of course, we could get more water today, so everyone is sort of looking toward the ocean to see if it will give them a break. Mother nature has been unrelenting for some. As the light comes up, we can see a couple of structures that have been damaged from the heavy winds.
[06:05:06] You're talking some 70 miles an hour at some point. So, you understand what people are going through the last few hours. A lot of power is out. So, it will be interesting to see what happens as we're able to survey the damage through the day -- guys.
SAVIDGE: Definitely will, Ryan. We'll be back in touch with you. Be careful out there. Thank you.
PAUL: Those pictures are something. Hanging onto that baby for dear life. More than a million people don't have power as he was talking about. I want to go to Allison Chinchar because this is such a severe storm. We know there are 3,000 flights in the storm's path that have already been canceled. Amtrak was forced to cancel its service. It should resume we are told later this morning, though.
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, more images of the impact are just pouring in.
(VIDEO CLIP) SAVIDGE: Just look at the power of that surf. The waves going as high as the rooftops there. There could be even more flooding as we've already said through the day today. The flooding here, take a look in Boston, parts of that city are under water.
But some are not having any (inaudible) with this flooding. Take a look at this. A kayaker, actually, he is e enjoying the water. The National Guard, though, had to rescue 50 people from their homes in nearby Quincy. It wasn't just high winds. Heavy wet snow and sleet fell across major cities like New York and Philadelphia.
PAUL: OK, so now we go to Meteorologist Allison Chinchar live in the CNN Severe Weather Center talking about the bomb cyclone. Let's remember, Allison, we still have the last and third tidal cycle of this to go yet this morning.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right. Yes, and so you talk about that, the word you use, bomb cyclone, so many people don't understand what that is. Let's break it down for you. Meteorologically speaking it's a strong storm. When the atmospheric pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours or less.
In layman's terms what this really just means for us is this is a storm that rapidly intensifies. These usually go on to be incredibly powerful storms. That was the case with this particular storm. Look at some of the really strong wind gusts that came in.
(Inaudible), Massachusetts, 93 miles per hour, Nantucket, Massachusetts 90 miles per hour. Even Boston with a wind gust of 70 miles per hour. So, let's talk about where the storm is now. Here is where it was located on Friday. It's already started to make its way off the coast, now fully off the coast.
However, I want to emphasize, even though the center of the storm may be off the coast right now, it's still producing some pretty big impacts. Flooding is going to be a big concern going forward. High tide for Boston is expected around noon today, for Portland, Maine, a few minutes shy of noon. So that's going to be a big concern.
But also, winds, now this is going to be the longer of the concern because this is going to last well into the day Sunday. You can see we have those high wind warnings and advisories still in effect. We're still talking wind gusts right now in Nantucket 51 miles per hour.
So, Martin and Christi, the thing about the winds that's so important, you talked about that number of people that are already without power. That number is likely going to get worse before it gets better since the wind is not expected to really come down until tomorrow.
PAUL: All righty. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much. We appreciate it. We're going to stay on this and keep looking at pictures coming in this morning. Again, by a little later this morning in several hours they are expecting that last wave to come in.
SAVIDGE: Right. It is not over. Meanwhile, the suspect in a shooting at Central Michigan University, which left two people dead, that suspect is now in custody. CMU Police arrested James Eric Davis Jr. this morning when he was spotted on a campus train. The victims in the shooting, James Davis Sr. and Eva Davis are the suspect's parents. They arrived at the school Friday to pick up their son for spring break.
Police are calling this a domestic situation and they thank the community for helping in capturing Davis Jr. Vice President Pence weighed in on the deadly shooting while at an event in Detroit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Our hearts are heavy. Another shooting on another campus. As a nation we mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. I know I speak on behalf of everyone here when I say that today and every day we're going to continue to pray, continue to pray for all the victims and their families from all of these terrible events.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: This marks the 12th school shooting this year.
PAUL: It's unbelievable. We're only at the beginning of March and it's already the 12th. All right. Listen, another week of chaos rocking the west wing, a close personal ally says this time, quote, "something is very wrong." Why friends of the president say they are worried about his behavior as members of his family and administration are facing new scrutiny.
SAVIDGE: Plus, a Russian sex guru claims that she has hard evidence about the connections between Russian lawmakers and President Trump.
[06:10:06] And she promises to tell all in exchange for getting her out of prison. The details just ahead.
PAUL: I want to show you some incredible video. This is a rescue in California after an avalanche buried a snowboarder. Look at this. This is what one of the rescuers had to say about the moment that thing hit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I turned around and all of a sudden it just blew up. The snow probably went 100 feet in the air all over the place. You couldn't see anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Unraveling and unglued, that's how U.S. officials and close friends of the president are describing him as his administration faces chaos and criticism at home and overseas. PAUL: Some of that criticism is focused on Chief of Staff John Kelly who tried to defend how he handled the domestic abuse scandal in the West Wing. He was trying to defend himself yesterday. He ended up changing his story, though, again, which caught a lot of people off- guard.
[06:15:07] CNN's Boris Sanchez live in West Palm Beach, Florida. That's where the president is spending the morning. So, Boris, I mean, we've seen this chaos in the administration before. Why does it seem different this time around?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin and Christi, it is a lot to handle for this president. A number of controversies, really a week of chaos and disarray at this White House. That's why sources close to the president are telling CNN that they are concerned that the president may lose control.
We saw him reportedly lash out at a number of staffers this week. You had the departure of the Hope Hicks, the communications director, after her testimony before Congress. There were rumors about a number of other officials potentially leaving including H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn.
Further, you had this legislative confusion from the president where he seemed to vary his position on gun control a number of times and then the announcement that he would be slapping tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.
Both those things angered a lot of people within his own party. Adding to that, you had this controversy that John Kelly brought about deciding to dig back into the Rob Porter scandal. He essentially tried to defend himself yesterday.
Some White House sources tell us that they were puzzled and stunned by his words. He basically said that he had confirmed with Rob Porter that Porter would resign the same day that he learned about domestic abuse against the staff secretary despite that the White House the following day was still defending Rob Porter.
So, that contradicts other reporting that we got from sources that Chief of Staff Kelly and the White House counsel were made aware of these allegations against Rob Porter. Back in November, Kelly put out a statement essentially saying we did not cover ourselves in glory on how we handled that situation. It was confusing.
Despite that Kelly saying that he did not do anything that would lead him to believe he should resign. Back to you guys.
PAUL: All righty, Boris Sanchez, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.
SAVIDGE: John Kelly may also be feeling pressure from inside the west wing. A new report from the "New York Times" claims that President Trump has asked Kelly for help in pushing his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, out of the White House.
Joining me now CNN political commentator, Errol Louis. Good morning to you, Errol. How are you?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.
SAVIDGE: So, we already know that the president's inner circle got even smaller with the resignation of Hope Hicks. Why would the president want his family members out?
LOUIS: Well, there are a lot of questions that are being asked and there's a lot of reporting that's coming out about Jared Kushner in particular, the president's son-in-law has been involved in a number of questionable meetings. He hasn't gotten security clearance at the top-secret level even after months and months of serving in a very top position.
It all seems to be bringing a lot of negative attention to the White House. So, naturally the president has got to be thinking do I really need this on top of everything else, the different problems that I have, to have this person very close to me bringing all of these negative headlines.
PAUL: So, let me ask you, Errol. Representative John Garamendi last night said about this when he asked about all this chaos, he said, it's extremely serious, our friends or allies have no idea what to expect from this presidency or the White House. Certainly, our opponents are always looking for an opportunity to do something to us.
But let me ask you this. Does the fact that no one seems to know what President Trump will do, does it serve him in some capacity because opponents don't know what's coming next?
LOUIS: You know, Trump himself occasionally alludes to that, dealing with adversaries in particular, it's best to keep people guessing or a little bit off-guard. The reality is whatever small advantage you might get in one exchange of that kind is vastly outweighed by the much larger number of people, including in the U.S. government.
Not to mention our allies, who need some direction, leadership, who need to know that the policies that the United States employs are going to affect lots and lots of people, millions of people is something that they can rely on.
You can't do trade policy, diplomacy -- corporations can't make major investment decisions if they don't know what's going to happen out of Washington.
SAVIDGE: Errol, let me ask you, John Kelly comes out, brings up the whole Porter scandal once more, admits that we didn't cover ourselves in glory, that's the famous quote. Why did he bring all this up and why does he contradict previous statements?
LOUIS: It's hard to imagine that he was doing anything other than trying to protect his own neck because there have been rumors that he might be considering resignation. He has done something, though. He's kind of painted himself into a corner in a way because just like his boss, President Trump, the rule in this White House seems to be you never apologize. [06:20:02] It's seen as weakness. It's seen as indecisive. It's seen as better to sort of bluff your way through if you have to. He seems to be trying to bluff his way through. We have the facts. We know now that he had lots of information about Rob Rorter's shortcomings. He did not act on those shortcomings, rather than doing what any of us would do, which is to say, sorry, he's trying a different strategy.
PAUL: All righty.
HOWELL: We'll see if that works. Errol Louis, thanks very much. Good to see you.
SAVIDGE: President Trump says trade wars are good and easy to win. Now Europe says they are preparing to fight back. Could China be next?
PAUL: Also, a Russian sex guru claims to have compelling evidence about the connections between Russian lawmakers and President Trump, and she promises to reveal all of it on one condition.
PAUL: Good morning. It's 24 minutes past the hour right now. The White House is trying to get back on track after a particularly chaotic week. The west wing saw new departures, more movement in the Russia investigation and some policy changes that caused a dive on Wall Street.
So, just this week we learned the FBI is looking into another Trump business deal. This time, it's Ivanka and $360 million Canadian hotel deal. There are reports that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster could leave his job by the end of the month.
Over on Capitol Hill, longtime Trump aide and White House Communication Director Hope Hicks admitted to the House Intelligence Committee she sometimes told, quote, "white lies on behalf of the president." A day later she announced she's going to be leaving her job in the west wing.
Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly has been fighting with Jared Kushner and Ivanka and the president launched a new attack on his own attorney general. Jared Kushner's security clearance has been downgraded.
And we've learned officials from four countries discussed ways to manipulate Kushner during foreign policy discussions. Jared and Ivanka's spokesman announced that he's leaving his White House post.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson had to cancel this order, have you heard about this, for $31,000 dining set, that's after a HUD employee said she's been demoted because she refused to spend more than legally allowed to redecorate Carson's office. On Wednesday in a meeting with lawmakers, the president indicated he favors some new gun control measures. After meeting with the president and Vice President Pence Thursday, an NRA lobbyist said the White House didn't want gun control.
Yesterday, the White House said the president hadn't changed his mind since Wednesday. He also announced a new trade policy. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We'll probably have everything completed by next week. We'll be imposing tariffs on steel imports and tariffs on aluminum imports. You're going to see a lot of good things happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, those tariffs are going to take effect next week. That announcement surprised those staff and sent stock market into tailspin. At one point, Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 500 plus points. The Dow was down 3.05 percent, though, for the week -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: After President Trump fired those opening shots in what could become a trade war, countries around the world are now threatening to fight back. Here is CNN correspondent, Tom Foreman, with a look at who the winners and losers might be in all of this if Trump follows through on his plan.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Take a look at the numbers here. The United States imports about a third of all the raw steel it uses, more than 90 percent of all the aluminum it uses. These proposed tariffs would push up the cost by 25 and 10 percent respectively. That's money that would have to be paid by the foreign companies that wanted to get their products onto U.S. soil.
So, yes, if it became more expensive for them, it could help U.S. producers of steel and aluminum by making them more competitive especially since they have complained for years about unfair practices overseas anyway.
But what about all the companies that rely on that raw material to make cars and airplanes and equipment and aluminum cans and appliances? What about those companies? Because now they would face a different supply chain where there maybe shortages, higher prices, and that could affect an awful lot of people in other fields.
One estimate has it that more than 80 times as many people work making stuff out of that raw material than in actually producing raw material. Those people would now potentially face uncertain wages, uncertain hours, maybe more offshoring, not to mention what would happen with consumers out there.
One estimate said some products in some places could go up by 15 percent. I don't think we really know that, but we do know that there is uncertainty about the consumer market and what the impact would be. Here's another question, though, does this actually get at trade practices of other countries? Does it strike a blow for that? It depends on who you are talking about and how this would actually be applied. We don't have details.
This is where the United States gets its foreign steel from, Canada the biggest supplier, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, and so forth. You know who is not in the top ten, though? China. The country that the United States, the president has said so many years is not being a fair-trading partner out there.
This is the one that President Trump has said he wants to get at. Would this get at them? It might. But the numbers suggest only after it had an exact on a lot of longstanding trade allies and possibly unleashed a trade war with very uncertain outcomes.
SAVIDGE: Tom Foreman, thanks very much for breaking it down.
The European Union may strike back if the president follows through on his tariff plan. They could retaliate by putting their own tariffs on major U.S. brands like Levis jeans, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Bourbon Whiskey.
PAUL: So, what maybe even more important than the response from Europe is China, as you heard there, they could tax soybeans or airplanes or squeeze specific U.S. companies such as Apple and Intel.
CNN correspondent, Matt Rivers is live in Beijing.
Matt, what are you hearing there regarding this reaction and what may be to come?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far the reaction here in China has been relatively muted because frankly aluminum and steel are not the kind of exports that China relies on to make sure its economy stays healthy. But if this kind of proposed tariffs signals a tougher line policy from the administration toward China, there is a lot the government here can do that would really hurt U.S. industry.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll be imposing tariffs on steel imports and tariffs on aluminum imports. And you're going to see a lot of good things happen.
RIVERS (voice-over): Good things happen. That's not what many U.S. industries operating here in China are expecting after the president's tariff announcement Thursday. In fact, U.S. exporters that rely on the Chinese market are downright nervous.
Start with the simple soybean. The U.S. is world's top soybean exporter and China is its biggest buyer by far. Billions and billions of dollars worth was unloaded at ports like this one last year.
(On camera): The Chinese soybean processing industry is already the largest in the world and it's going to keep getting bigger. And American farmers are well positioned to take advantage of that growth. The U.S. Soybean Council expects U.S. exports of soybeans to keep rising for at least the next 20 years.
(Voice-over): And it's not just farmers reaping the benefits.
PAUL BURKE, U.S. SOYBEAN EXPORT COUNCIL: Your diner and your doctors and your -- and other companies.
RIVERS: Which is why all this talk of a looming U.S.-China trade war is Burke's biggest concern. The newly announced steel and aluminum tariffs, not to mention recent tariffs on Chinese solar products and a looming investigation into Chinese intellectual property theft, could signal what many have long awaited, hard line rhetoric on the campaign trail turning into harder line policy. But China will not take that lying down. The Soybean Export Council was told as much by Chinese officials during a September meeting.
BURKE: If there was a increased trade tensions, if there -- that soybeans could likely be a potential target in any type of Chinese retaliation.
RIVERS: Restrictions on market access could devastate U.S. industry. And it's not just soy, other industries and companies could be government targets, too. Think Apple, or Boeing, or Cisco, pawns in a potential trade war with lots of influence back home.
RANDAL PHILLIPS, BOARD MEMBER, AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN BEIJING: They understand very clearly the political pressure points in the U.S., whether it's in Congress or in local state houses and certainly to the White House.
RIVERS: A recent survey shows the majority of U.S. companies in China think trade between both countries isn't fair. They want things to change but nobody wants a trade war. To achieve both any new U.S. policies will have to walk a fine line, as thin as a flake of soybean.
RIVERS: Now we've spoken to a lot of business owners here in China, people with the American Chamber of Commerce. And like we just said, there is a desire to change this relationship, the trade deficit between the United States and China is quite large but most of the people we've spoken to here said these tariffs are not the way to do this. One good thing, though, perhaps, is that China has just as much to lose in a trade war as the United States does.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Matt Rivers, thanks very much. China is crucial for trade.
All right. It was a very tense day in Colorado yesterday after a state lawmaker was expelled over a sexual harassment allegations. Democratic State Representative Steve Lebsock is accused of sexually harassing several women by either making inappropriate comments and-or touching them in ways that made them uncomfortable. PAUL: The House voted for his expulsion overwhelmingly 52-9. The
move prompted two other state lawmakers to reveal they have been wearing bulletproof vests to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEC GARNETT (D), COLORADO STATE LEGISLATOR: And I bought a bulletproof vest. And I'm wearing it. It's right here. I'm wearing Kevlar because I feel retaliation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now an outside independent investigation found the women's allegations were credible. Representative Lebsock said the findings are all flawed and asked his colleagues for a formal committee investigation.
SAVIDGE: Still to come, a possible twist in the Russia investigation. A Russian sex guru is asking for help to get out of prison in Thailand by promising to reveal secrets about the connections of Russian lawmakers and President Trump. What's it all about? We'll have the details ahead.
[06:39:16] PAUL: Well, Russian President Vladimir Putin flexing his military might by boasting about Russia's military advances during his annual address to the country's federal assembly. And he said that Russia is developing a new invincible missile with almost unlimited range that will render NATO defense useless. This is a warning the U.S. officials dismissed as cheesy.
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile in another possible twist in the Russia investigation, a Russian woman who describes herself as a seductress -- you don't hear that too often these days -- has bragged about her connections with Russian billionaires. She's saying that she can provide the missing link to a Russia-Trump connection to anyone who can help her get out of prison in Thailand.
So let's go live to CNN International correspondent Matthew Chance. This is just too good to pass up, Matthew. What is the story behind this woman?
[06:40:07] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an extraordinary story, Martin. And we're more than a little bit skeptical about it but basically it gives us a very rare glimpse into the usually closed world of Russian politics and business and how the two meet. It may even shed some light on the allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump administration.
It happens to involve a young Russian woman who describes herself as a sex coach and who is now promising to reveal more secrets, more jigsaw puzzle pieces as she calls them that could be of interest, she says, to the Mueller investigation. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHANCE (voice-over): She promotes herself endlessly on social media as Nastya Rybka, a kind of self-styled Russian sex guru who supposedly teach you the arts of seduction for a fee, of course.
NASTYA RYBKA, RUSSIAN SELF-STYLED GURU (through translator): Even if we're interacting with men who are famous actors, lawmakers, oligarchs, scientists, very few of these men that may interact with the woman, discuss high-brow topics with them. If you want to seduce a man like that, he needs to be hooked by his basic sexual instinct.
CHANCE: Amid snaps and titillating videos of her frolicking on yachts and exotic beaches, she brags of liaisons with billionaires, and one billionaire in particular. These are the images that have thrust Nastya Rybka into the kind of spotlight she didn't expect. It shows her relaxing on a boat with two men. One of them is Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia's richest men. The other, a senior Russian official, Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko.
Russia's main opposition leader seized on the images as evidence of official corruption, also suggesting the two men it can be heard discussing U.S.-Russia relations may have served as a link between the Kremlin and Trump campaign.
Prikhodko has refused to comment on the allegation. Deripaska has dismissed it as a story far from any truth. In a statement to CNN, his spokesperson said he is suing Rybka and her business partner because they, quote, "maliciously made his private photos and personal information public."
And it's not the first time the Russian oligarch known to be close to the Kremlin has fended off allegations of collusion. CNN confronted him last year after it was revealed Trump's dormer campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who once worked for Deripaska, offered him private briefings. Deripaska told CNN he never received any communication about it.
(On camera): Did he owe you millions of dollars?
OLEG DERIPASKA, RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN: It's a news for idiots.
CHANCE (voice-over): But it was after the promise of more detail, more information from Nastya Rybka, who was holding one of her sex and seduction classes on this beach in Thailand, that this extraordinary story appears to have taken a spy novel turn.
She was arrested by Thai police for violating the terms of her tourist visa, managing to record this quick tantalizing message aimed at the American media as she was driven away.
RYBKA (through translator): I'm ready to give you all the missing pieces of the puzzle, support them with videos and audio regarding the connections of our respective lawmakers with Trump, Manafort, and the rest. I know a lot. I'm waiting for your offers in a Thai prison.
CHANCE: They're possibly just the words of a desperate woman hoping to avoid deportation to Russia, but her promise with no evidence so far to unlock the mysteries of the Trump-Russia scandal. But certainly got Nastya Rybka the attention she so often craved.
CHANCE: Well, CNN has managed to make contact with Nastya Rybka despite the fact she's waiting her fate in Thailand in a prison there. She says she's got 18 hours of audio recordings that she wants to disclose and a mysterious photograph of an unnamed American businessman she said had meetings with Oleg Deripaska. So we're keeping an eye on it -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Yes. Definitely. Definitely do that. Thank you very much, Matthew Chance.
PAUL: All right. We're going to show this incredible moment where a snowboarder is freed after he was buried by an avalanche.
SAVIDGE: Plus top NFL prospects take over Indianapolis. Christina Fitzpatrick is working that story for us. And they are there to prove that they have what it takes to play on the big stage.
KRISTINA FITZPATRICK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. All the top prospects in the NFL prospects take over Indianapolis to prove that they can play in the NFL. We've got more coming up on your "Bleacher Report" in moments.
[06:49:10] PAUL: We keep talking about what the northeast is enduring but parts of the West Coast have some severe weather themselves. Some deadly mudslides, flash floods, tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in Southern California yesterday because they're still recovering from the last round of deadly mudslides a few weeks ago.
SAVIDGE: And check this incredible moment over in Olympic Valley after an avalanche hit the slopes of a popular ski resort. A snowboard was spotted sticking out among over a foot of snow.
Here is the report from our affiliate KLDR.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Dramatic cell phone video shows the frantic effort to dig out people trapped in the Squaw Valley avalanche. Skiers and snowboarder buried under a heavy snow that came crashing down Squaw Valley's slopes.
Joseph Grove (PH) was one of those rescuers on the mountain. He was there the moment the avalanche hit.
[06:50:02] JOSEPH GROVE (PH), EYEWITNESS: I heard this sound, sounded like a train coming to the woods. And I turned around and it -- all of a sudden it just blew up. The snow just -- it went probably 150 feet in the air all over the place. You couldn't even see anything.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Grove says it first became eerily silent then came the screams for help.
GROVE: People yelling for their wives, their kids.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Grove immediately went to help one man covered by the avalanche only the tail of his snowboard exposed.
GROVE: We just started digging. I mean, furiously digging.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Finally the man's face emerged. His lips were blue. Then suddenly --
GROVE: He opened up his eyes and was looking right at me and he says, where is my wife?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Incredibly the buried man was OK, his wife was, too.
GROVE: His wife came up to him and, you know, obviously distraught and just so happy.
PAUL: Oh my gosh. So glad they're OK.
SAVIDGE: Yes. Stunning stuff.
PAUL: Another -- and kudos to all those people that stepped up trying to help. Another snowboarder was killed in an avalanche earlier this week, though, on that same mountain.
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile it is the biggest job interview some college athletes will ever have. It's called the NFL Combine. Colleges' top football talents trying to secure a spot in the NFL.
PAUL: Kristina Fitzpatrick is there with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good stuff?
FITZPATRICK: Good morning. Yes. Great stuff, it's the ultimate skill challenge. Who's the fastest, who's the strongest, who's going to get a job at the end of it.
This "Bleacher Report" is brought to you by the new 2018 Ford F-150.
The top prospects for the NFL are showing off their talents at the Combine this weekend. And right now everybody is talking about Penn State star Saquon Barkley. Check him out. He absolutely crushes the bench press like he's lifting a pencil. He's vertical leap was an impressive 31 inches. And then he tops it all off with lightning fast 4.4 second 40-yard dash. If you blinked you missed him. Incredible stuff there. He was a standout on day one.
Meanwhile Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield is volunteering for arguably the hardest job in the NFL. He wants to play quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns finished last season 0-16. With the year before that, they only won one game. But Mayfield says he's the man for the job. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BAKER MAYFIELD, OKLAHOMA SOONERS QUARTERBACK: I think if anybody is going to turn that franchise around it'd be me. I'd be able to put it in the right direction. They're close. They're very close. They have the right pieces. I think they just need one guy, a quarterback to make that difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FITZPATRICK: Got to love his confidence. Another quarterback looking for a job is Louisville's Lamar Jackson. He's working out as a quarterback. But report keeps circling that teams are interested to see him in the wide receiver position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAMAR JACKSON, LOUISVILLE QUARTERBACK: That's crazy. You know, I thought I did a good job at quarterback. I thought I did, you know, but, hey, say what you want to say. Want to go build a story. I'm here now. I'm at the Combine, I'm happy to be here. I think I've just got to show off my ability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FITZPATRICK: Now, he did do a pretty good job at quarterback, we must say. He was the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and was a finalist again in 2017.
After winning the gold at the Winter Olympics last month the U.S. men's curling team made an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and sang their best rendition of "Don't Stop Believing" which apparently became their anthem after their unexpected rise to victory, knocking off the favorite to win, Sweden.
Great story coming from the Olympics. I think they put curling on the map, guys.
PAUL: I love it. Thank you, Kristina, so much. We're going to be right back.
[06:58:15] PAUL: Well, it is the real president versus the fake one.
SAVIDGE: We're talking about the latest Twitter spat between the president and "SNL" impersonator Alec Baldwin.
Here is CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alec Baldwin has relentlessly --
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: If you need me, I'll be over here at my desk. MOOS: -- mocked President Trump on "SNL" from the kiddie desk to a
shower scene. And now these two are showering each other with tweeted insults.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, everyone can see your tweets.
BALDWIN: Really? And I'm still in this thing?
MOOS: Their latest blowup started when Baldwin described playing Trump to "The Hollywood Reporter." "Every time I do it now, it's like agony," to which Trump tweeted, "Alec, it was agony for those who were forced to watch." Actually in his original tweet, the president got a few things --
BALDWIN: Wrong, wrong, wrong.
MOOS: Calling Alec "Alex" and killing the English language with the spelling of dying. That tweet was soon deleted and replaced with a corrected one.
MAX BOOT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Trump is going on a tirade against Alec Baldwin, but he has nothing to say about Vladimir Putin threatening the United States.
MOOS: In response to the president's tweet about Baldwin being agony to watch, the actor fired back four times, "Agony though it may be, I'd like to hang in there for the impeachment hearings, the resignation speech, the farewell helicopter ride to Mar-a-Lago, you know, the good stuff." These two treat each other like --
BALDWIN: Bad hombres, bad boys, bad boys, what you going to do?
MOOS: Baldwin then imagined what would be in the Trump Presidential Library -- a putting green, a little black book with the phone numbers of porn stars.
In his tweet, the president said, "Bring back Darrell Hammond." But Baldwin brought in Melania Trump. "And Mr. President, please ask your wife to stop calling me for 'SNL' tickets."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald, have you been working out?