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Jacob Zuma's Fate Counted; Oxfam Trying to Lift Morale; Terrorists Easy Money. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired February 13, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: South Africa is awaiting a decision from the ruling party that's expected to bring a major political shakeup. We'll have a life report.
Plus, CNN goes inside Syria to one of the few remaining rebel-held areas. The situation is so dire that some are describing it as Syria's latest version of hell.
And later this hour, we will take a closer look at what's being called the Markle sparkle, apparently everything this soon to be royal wears shows out in hours.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom.
Well, South Africa could soon see major political change as the presidency of Jacob Zuma appears to be nearing the end. In just a few hours, leaders in the ruling party are expected to announce whether they will recall him. But there's no guarantee he'll go quietly.
His term ends next year and Mr. Zuma has already refused past request to step aside.
Our David McKenzie joins us now live from Johannesburg. So David, the timing of this announcement, the future of Jacob Zuma has changed a number of times now, so what is the latest this hour?
DAVID MCKENZIE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, certainly, it changes every hour and there's no real clarity on when and if Jacob Zuma will go. What I do know is that throughout yesterday and later into the night the leadership try to -- the ANC were locked in closed door meetings contentious decisions to be made the main one of course, is whether to recall Jacob Zuma from his position of president.
And to remind viewers, Jacob Zuma has faced scandal for years, it has impending corruption charges against him. He's denied those. And for the past ten days of these he has been digging, refusing to go, refusing to resign, even though it appears top levels of the ANC requested him to do so.
Now we have this situation that the ANC is going to be announcing later today the outcome officially of those meetings. They say they have to check with the structures of the ANC.
That while they check and while they talk amongst themselves South Africans are holding their breath and I think getting increasingly frustrated about whether or not this embattled president will in fact go. Rosemary?
CHURCH: That's right. And understandably, as well. We are hearing that opposition party are threatening to go to court. What impact might that action have on the outcome?
MCKENZIE: Well, they are going to court and they should be doing it momentarily to try and accelerate in no confidence vote in parliament in Cape Town. And now they have already scheduled one for later in February, but now they said they wanted this week. And no confidence vote could be if they just have a simple majority in parliament they can throw out Jacob Zuma as president.
Now what the ANC appears to be trying to do is recalling as a political maneuver, he could dig in. He could say well, no, I refuse to go, it needs to move to parliament. And the damage to the party of Nelson Mandela could be certainly catastrophic in the short term. But Zuma appears at least in the last few years to be paying more attention to his own future than necessarily that of the ANC. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And David, you mentioned the possibility of that no confidence vote in parliament. If it does come to that how is it likely to pan out do you think?
MCKENZIE: Well, we were the in parliament at the last no confidence vote. Jacob Zuma narrowly survives that one. I think with the wind of change and with the near ends he'd be president in place who is trying to push him out could be a very different scenario. But again, if the ANC were to have the presidency remove by the opposition it will be a hugely symbolic moment and a contentious one.
We could see major street protests on the day of that no confidence vote. At this stage I think the ANC is hoping that Zuma goes quietly but he shows no sign of doing that at the moment. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes, not for more we're seeing so far. David McKenzie, joining us there live Johannesburg just after 10 in the morning. Many thanks.
One of Britain's largest aid agency, Oxfam is now trying to regain public trust amid a sex crime scandal. The charity is apologizing for how it handled allegations that some of its senior employees hide prostitutes in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
[03:04:59] But Oxfam denies there was a cover up. And now the deputy chief executive of Oxfam has resign, saying she's ashamed that this scandal happened under her watch.
The allegations have reignited a debate on how aid groups area accountable to their donor countries. The British government has threatened to cut off funding to Oxfam
unless it shows moral leadership. The Times newspaper in London also allege that children may have been sexually abused in Haiti as well.
Oxfam says those allegations have not been proven.
Well, CNN's Erin McLaughlin is following this story from Oxford just outside the aid agency's headquarters. And Erin, what are you learning about the resignation of Oxfam's deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence and will her departure end this scandal.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Rosemary, upon Penny Lawrence resignation as the deputy chief executive of Oxfam she released a lengthy statement explaining her decision. And it relates to event that unfolded when she was the program director. She explains that when she was Oxfam's program director a man at the center of the sex scandal, Roland van Hauwermeiren, was actually the country director of HUD.
And at that time concerns about his activity as well as the activities of other Oxfam employees involving prostitutes in Chad. Now it's unclear how high up those concerns were raised.
But following that he was then moved to Haiti where he became the country director of Haiti following that devastating 2010 earthquakes according to Oxfam's own investigations of his activities as well as the activities of six other Oxfam employees there. They hired prostitutes, had sex with those prostitutes inside villas paid for by Oxfam.
His resignation was accepted any the other employees either resigned or were fired. But Penny Lawrence saying that she is taking responsibility for activities in Chad. She released a statement saying that, quote, "As program director at the time I am ashamed that this happened on my watch and I take full responsibility."
CNN has tried to reach out to Hauwermeiren and have been unable to reach him for comment. Oxfam says that it is still in the process of investigating just exactly what happened in Chad, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And Erin as we were reported the charity Oxfam is under threat of losing its public funding. What's it's planning to do to fight back, can it survive this?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, yesterday there was a high level crisis meeting between senior Oxfam executives as well as the secretary of the department for international development in the U.K. Penny Mordaunt, Mark Goldring, the CEO of Oxfam yesterday saying that during that meeting he issued an apology.
Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GOLDRING, CEO, OXFAM: I was very clear with the minister today that firstly we apologize to the British public and to the Haitian public. Secondly, we've made major steps to improve since 2011, and thirdly that we recommitted to take to most of that because we know we have not done enough.
This is a much bigger issue than Oxfam who were among the leading agency and trying to address it actually it's an issue for the sector. Oxfam have failed, let me be clear on that, but it's a sector wide concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLAUGHLIN: Now the secretary for international development in the U.K. Penny Mordaunt saying that she wants to see progress made on the assurances from Oxfam in that meeting and it will be based on that progress, concrete progress that Oxfam will be judge going forward very clear that it's not just government funding at stake for Oxfam there, Rosemary, but corporate funding as well.
A number on Oxfam's corporate sponsors have come and said that they are taking the situation extremely seriously.
CHURCH: All right. We'll be watching very carefully the outcome of this. Erin McLaughlin joining us from Oxford in England where it's just after 8 o'clock in the morning. Many thanks.
Well, a CNN investigation has found that al-Shabaab is profiting from millions of dollars of foreign aid sent to Somalia.
In an exclusive report, our Sam Kiley explains how money to fight famine and drought is ending up in the hands of a terror croup.
SAM KILEY, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The center of Somalia's humanitarian disaster a source of ready cash for al-Shabaab terrorists.
First of all we need to talk to the guy who is the -- who knows most about the financing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
[03:10:00] KILEY: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, fine.
KILEY: Somali national intelligence officials are taking us inside a secret prison for al-Shabaab.
So how prisoners do you have in here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have just only eight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. KILEY: Captured a few days earlier this former al-Shabaab fighter was
on the frontline of this fundraising collecting thousands of dollars in road tolls, much of it taken from trucks delivering food for refugees.
So each day he would get quite a lot of money coming in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every second you can imagine.
KILEY: It's a cycle of exploitation that has victims at its very core. Hundreds of thousands of them. Many in receipt of money from foreign donors.
This is Baidoa refugee camp there is a steady flow of refugees coming in here every day. It's impossible to access without an escort from the African union and the people fleeing into here are fleeing drought and they're fleeing conflict.
and of course, it's those two combinations that are so profitable groups like al-Shabaab and other warlords.
Fatima's family once owned dozens of goats and seven cows drags in conflict with al-al-Shabaab force them on the road, now she has nothing. Now destitute she is still a source of income for al-Shabaab.
Two hundred seventy thousand refugees now living Baidoa and more come every day and this is where the terrorist group profits. Now an agent for the government this man was a al-Shabaab is tax collector for eight years. Merchants bringing food for sale to refugees pay al- Shabaab to get to Baidoa.
And they are tax there too even now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even now they have their telephones.
KILEY: And if they don't pay?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is how they get the money. Then when it comes here the business people, I mean, for example, those people there it becomes those are given cash card this at the U.N. They go into the market they buy $25 U.S. in a sack of rice. So that 25 includes the taxation of al-Shabaab, includes the transportation includes their profit of the business people.
KILEY: And then Shabaab come along once a year and tax the businessman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tax the businessmen, yes.
KILEY: On top of that so this doesn't work? You're saying it doesn't work. The U.N. is still indirectly paying tax to al-Shabaab?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. For the sake of roadblocks.
KILEY: Baidoa was at the center of man-made famines that killed 300,000 in 1992. And a quarter of a million in 2012, and one that was headed off by aid last year. To avoid taxed supplies the U.N. switch to directly transfer in cash to refugees last year and that shifted responsibility for moving food to merchants. But al-Shabaab has continued to profit.
MICHAEL KEATING, UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL: Putting the onus on the private sector it help reinforce the economy rather than making aides, you know, an alternative to the economy.
KILEY: Arguably then there is this actually an incentive for al- Shabaab to concentrate people in Baidoa focus the aid delivery there in just scoop of three bucks a bag.
KEATING: I think that's probably right. And the things is how do you mitigate and manage those kinds of problems, I mean, what is the alternative.
KILEY: The U.N. estimate a single al-Shabaab roadblock along the profitable Mogadishu to Baidoa route generates $5,000 a day for the terrorist group. The country's roads have become al-Shabaab's financial blood supply.
This is the bridge over the Shebelle River it marks the extent of the African union's capability to safely patrol. Down that road to Baidoa is Somalia's hungry interior.
Twenty two thousands African troops have been fighting al-Shabaab but dare to pull out in two years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are now just conducting minor offensive operations if reduce that will affect the general operations negatively.
KILEY: They will leave a vacuum that al-Shabaab could step into.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. It will leave a vacuum.
KILEY: And the vacuum will leave al-Shabaab better able to exploit refugees.
KEATING: Unfortunately, those in need and those who are going to be targetted by humanitarian organizations to receive assistance to become attaractive for those who are trying to make money and there will be all sorts of scams going on.
KILEY: Using force to recapture roads might be a solution but that's been tried by the African union and U.S.-led military interventions for nearly 30 years and still the chaos reigns.
[03:15:01] Sam Kiley, CNN, Baidoa.
CHURCH: So let's take a look now at how this plays out geographically. Food is shipped to the capital Mogadishu, from that port city it's tracked about 30 kilometers to Afgoye, a city liberated from al-Shabaab back in 2012. Now after that there is no protection. All roads west toward are controlled by al-Shbaab. And Sam Kiley reports each shipment goes through at least 20 al-Shabaab roadblocks where they are charged a fee or a tax.
In Lego, which recently fell to al-Shabaab its believe one checkpoint alone collects $5,000 a day.
Senior advisor to the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Seth Jones joins us now from Washington to talk more about this. Thank you so much for being with us.
SETH JONES, SENIOR ADVISER FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It's great to be on. Thanks.
CHURCH: Now as we just saw in Sam Kiley's report al-Shabaab is profiting by extracting, extorting money in fact from trucks bringing in humanitarian aid to Somalia and also taxing refugees fleeing drought and conflict. Just how extensive is this practice in Somalia and of course, elsewhere.
JONES: Well this practice is pretty extensive including around the Baidoa area in Somalia. It's a practice that other insurgent groups including the Taliban have done in Afghanistan where in areas they control, they tax locals, as well as goods that are flowing through areas that they control.
So it's an important source of revenue. It's not the only source of revenue but it is a source of revenue for them.
CHURCH: So what all can be done to stop this from happening in Somalia and indeed, elsewhere given it is such an extensive practice.
JONES: Well, one of the things that happened if we look say, 2015 as al-Shabaab lost a lot of territory that they once controlled from Mogadishu down through Kismayo including areas around Baidoa and actually as they lose territory they can't do that kind of activity. It's hard for them to set up the checkpoints because they don't control those areas.
So certainly one step if you could do this is to have Amazon with help from the U.S., the British and others decrease their control of territory. The others try to get aid directly into refugee camps on either by helicopter or by giving individuals these payment cards so they don't need to bring in goods through checkpoints.
CHURCH: So why aren't they doing those sorts of things as an alternative to try to stop al-Shabaab from profiting?
JONES: Well, I think the problem is that you can't take those other measures and entirely get the assistance needed in some of these refugee camps. I mean, it's important to note that there are over two million actually internally displaced persons in Somalia right now. Those are huge numbers.
So in order to get that kind of assistance entities, IDP's you need multiple ways of doing and one of this ground transportation.
CHURCH: You have listed things that can be done but they are not being done to prevent this from happening and this is the problem, isn't it, that doesn't seem to be perhaps the international community doesn't seem to be as concerned about this issue to join forces and actually do something about it.
JONES: It's really disappointing because the reality is that a group like al-Shabaab gets its money from illicit activities. It's involved in charcoal trade, sugarcane trade, but it also gets money from these kinds of activities. U.N. movement of goods through areas that controls it takes the tax off of that.
And there has to be ways to get resources into internally displaced persons, those key camps around the, by air, by helicopter, by plane if there are areas to the land airplanes without giving money and pocketing them into the hands of al-Shabaab. I mean, there are ways to do that and I think we just got a lot more serious about that.
CHURCH: Yes, that seems to be, I mean, that is the frustration, isn't it? When there are solutions there but they're not being used in this instance and it's just strengthening some of these groups like al- Shabaab.
Seth Jones, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.
JONES: Thank you very much.
CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here, but still to come, Syrian warplanes have been bombing rebel-held Idlib province. In a CNN exclusive we will go inside a hospital that was filled with patients when bombs came raining.
We're back in just a moment.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: It might seem the situation in Syria couldn't possibly get worse. Constant bombings apparent chemical attacks even markets and hospitals under fire. But in one of the few remaining rebel-held areas in Syria the situation is so dire that some are calling Idlib Syria's latest version of hell.
In a CNN exclusive our Arwa Damon went to a hospital in Idlib. Syrian warplanes had bombed it with patients including newborns inside the building.
Arwa joins us now from Istanbul, Turkey. So, Arwa, it is of course a nightmare few of us can truly grasp. How are people in Idlib dealing with the horror around them?
ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Rosemary, the U.N. high commissioner for human right call it a no holds barred assault. And when you talk to people there it is both at the same time become the norm for them but is also a nightmare that is just about impossible for them to come to grips with. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
DAMON: Yazne (Ph) tiny chest heave with each breath. He was born during a week that even by Syria's ungodly standards was especially punishing. His mother Hannan's (Ph) body still trembles. And that's not because he was born prematurely, it's because the hospital he was at was bombed.
The footage from that night is a glimpse into the magnitude of the horror, the fear.
DAMON: There were around 300 people, staff, patients in intensive care and the most precious and vulnerable. This was one of the key remaining functioning hospitals in the area. But nothing in Syria is sacred.
This is where they had their incubators for the babies. Hannan (Ph) remembers just grabbing Yazne (Ph) fragile body, wrapping it and whatever she could find and running through the chaos.
In just a span of just five days six medical facilities Idlib province were targeted in airstrikes.
This is the lower level they prepare underground and this is where they used to do all of the main emergency, surgeries, and it's also were right now they're torn and whatever equipment they've managed to salvage.
Staff here wants to remain anonymous. The small center in Saraqib has already been targeted twice this year. That's Obuamar (Ph) says, they announced online that they were close and began operating in secret says before we arrived, as doctors were treating the wounded from an airstrike in a market, the facility was hit again. The death from the market were outside now buried not in graves but somewhere in the crater left behind.
[03:25:11] This is a population that feels like it's on borrowed time. Saib Khata (Ph) was in the makeshift underground bunker with neighbors when an allege chlorine strike took place. He vomited, he couldn't breathe and thought that's it, my numbers up.
Luckily, many of the women and children here have fled just days before. The few took shells impacted in an empty field. There is still a little bit of sort of accrued stench. Yes, it's been six days.
Two members of the civil defense team who responded were also affected. Rami remember shaking uncontrollably feeling like he was screaming take off the mask but no one could hear him. Mahmoud's father was among those treated in the toxic attack only to be killed within days in a strike as he was loading grain nearby. He is almost matter-of-fact and accepting Syria's inevitable fate for those who refuse to leave their land. The war here have long been a science of methodical cruelty as the world looks on and Syria endorse one of the bloodiest weeks of this conflict.
Hannan (Ph) watches her baby fight in one of the last remaining facilities were she even stands a chance, so what kind of a world are these babies fitting to live in?
DAMON: Rosemar, I was talking to one of the doctors who did not want to be interviewed on camera and he said he even had the language the words to try to describe what's happening here. This is a war this type of violence it just simply defies logic.
CHURCH: Absolutely, right. It is impossible to have the words for this. What options, Arwa, remain for some of the people who were still there in Idlib as they tried to survive, the ones you've spoken to are they planning to leave Idlib or even perhaps leave Syria completely?
DAMON: That's the problem. Even if he did want to leave Syria completely they simply can't. Turkey's border is not open unless a person is undergoing some sort of medical emergency. What people try to do is move from what they considered to be safe zones to safe zones. Bearing in mind that nowhere in Syria is truly safe.
And as the regime with its Russian and Iranian backers have been pushing forward the so-called safe spaces that people can try to live in are shrinking considerably. You have sprawling makeshift refugee camps that are taking on much more of a permanent feel.
And of course, the fear is that even within these camps people may not entirely be safe. It's also worth noting, Rosemary, that Idlib province is meant to be part of a de-escalation. And you just saw in that report with the reality is like there.
CHURCH: Indeed we did. Arwa Damon with that exclusive report from Idlib now in Istanbul, Turkey. Many thanks to you for bringing us that report. We appreciate it.
We'll take a short break, but still ahead, its infrastructure week at the White House again, but just like the first time a scandal is stepping all over the message.
And then later, the first doping violation of the Olympic Games, the response from a Japanese speed skater.
We're back in just a moment.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[03:31:27] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world I am Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories that we had been following this hour. In just a few hours from now South Africa's ruling party is expected to announce with President Jacob Zuma will be removed from office. His term ends next year and he could once again refused to step down. Zuma faces hundreds of corruption allegations all of which he denies.
North Korea's leader seems happy with how his delegation was received during the Olympics according to state media Kim Jong-un says he's impressed with South Korea and how they accommodated the North Korean visitors which included his sister. She reportedly told her brother all the details about her meeting with President Moon.
In South Korea a court has sentence a close friend and confidante all ousted President Park Geun-hye to 20 years in jail. She was also ordered to pay about $18 million in fines on her role in the corruption and influence peddling scandal that brought down Park. The former president was impeached and is also on trial for bribery and abuse of power charges.
U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson is downplaying the suggestion that the U.S. is ready to hold talks with North Korea. This after Vice President Mike Pence told the Washington Post that when the North wants to talk, the U.S. will talk. Tillerson add it's too early to do any new talks with the North.
Nearly a week after White House staffer resigned over domestic abuse allegations, the Trump administration is still in damage control mode. The President spokeswoman says he takes the matter very seriously and supports the victims, but we still haven't heard those words from Donald Trump himself. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you have a vetting problem?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump avoided the question hunting the Press secretary Sarah Sanders to try to defend West wing handling of Rob Porter, a top aid whose history of alleged domestic abuse appears to been covered up by the White House.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Above all the president supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly in with due process.
ACOSTA: Sanders attempted to explain while White House did not remove Porter from his crucial position, he is handling sensitive documents for the president without a full security clearance. CNN has learned dozens of White House staffers like Porter and even the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner are still going through security clearance process. Edward Snowden former intelligence officially who leaked classified material to the media, tweeted I got a security clearance faster than half of this White House.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Frankly is that concern the classified information, there is plenty of this leak at the hill that sleep out of other communities well beyond the White House walls.
ACOSTA: Ask why there are some staffers without full security clearances Sanders pointed elsewhere.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: The question that the FBI and other intelligence communities they make that determination that's not something that's decided by the White House.
ACOSTA: Publicly the president still sounds like he's defending Porter, tweeting over the weekend people's lives are being shattered and destroyed by mere allegation some are true and some are false some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused life and career are gone, is there no such thing any longer as due process. That after all he stood up for Porter, Friday.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He said very strongly yesterday that he is innocent. So you'll have to talk to him about that.
[03:05:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is he seemingly defending Mr. Porter publicly is because he has faces his own allegations, there is some sensitivity there?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: So as I just said and are repeated again the president and the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), is there just a being on the wrong side of things?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don't think the president will be in the supporting due process for any allegation is not tone-deaf. I think it is allowing things to be investigated and a mere allegation not be the determining factor is not taking a side necessarily one way or the other.
ACOSTA: Presidents comments prompted one of his accusers to slam Mr. Trump in Time magazine writing, in light of the president and the White House continued dismissal of Colby I want to assure you my truth is not been diminished. The White House is also involved in a fight over the president's decision to block the release of the memo from House Democrats defending the government's investigation in to Trump campaign contacts with the Russians.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This report from the Democrats does not keep American life safe.
ACOSTA: Democrats say Americans have a right to read their memo after the White House quickly declassified the memo from House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunez.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is worth showing that you can believe anything that this people put out.
ACOSTA: Those issues are crowding out the president's message of the week rebuilding the nation's infrastructure all while his calling for big increases in government spending as part of his proposed budget for next year. Under the president's plan the deficit would soar by $7 trillion over the next decade while spending more on border security including a wall and cutting domestic programs like Medicare. President wants to see a big jump in spending on the nation's nuclear arsenal.
TRUMP: Frankly we have to do it, because others are doing it if they stop will stop, but they're not stopping so they are not going to stop we are going to be so far ahead of everybody else and nuclear like you had never seen before.
ACOSTA: The president is seeking cost in Medicare despite promising to protect the program during the campaign.
TRUMP: Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. We are going to protect your Social Security and Medicare. Save your Social Security and your Medicare.
ACOSTA: Jim Acosta CNN the White House.
CHURCH: CNN political analyst and congressional reporter for the Washington Post Karoun Demirjian joins us now from Washington, good to see you.
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to see you too.
CHURCH: Let us start with the mixed messages coming out of the White House on the subject of Rob Porter and the domestic abuse allegations against him. On Saturday the president tweeted these people's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegations, some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new, there is no recovery to someone falsely accused life and career is gone. Is there no such thing any longer as due process. Then senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway interviewed on CNN Sunday and said she believed the ex-wives of Rob Porter. She believed this story so why are we seeing all of this different messages coming out of the White House, it is a very confused story they are painting?
DEMIRJIAN: Yes the question that we that we have as well, I mean why is that the White House is going on six days now since this first broke and can't get the story straight. On and why it seems to change and be contradicted by people at the top who also speaking for the president for people to know what's going on a day to day basis. I mean the White House spokeswoman was out at the reporter today saying that you know the president considers that that that the plight of the victims first though the president has never mentioned a thing about the women that were involved and in in this affair and the victims of domestic battery charges. So you've got the White House basically scrambling to put different people in the most positive light it seems, I mean there's questions about the president down and said something earlier, something different when the accident speaks of his Chief of Staff General John Kelly have known, did he know and choose not to do anything, because he wanted to preserve Rob for his position at the White House and were there others that should have an answer is that something that there are multiple levels of questions, because then we know that people in the White House were told four different times by variety of different speakers whether the FBI or the former wife or former girlfriend or warning people at the White House about the periodically. We also know that Rob Porter never got full security clearance and the question is did this have something to do with that. The White House had difficulty getting the story straight and other circumstances before, but this was a wreck was gone for so long in a week we had a straight answer.
[03:40:00] CHURCH: That is right. We still don't have a timeline coming out of the White House to explain what they knew about Rob Porter and when they knew it, you know we have to ask why, what are they covering up perhaps here and also what damage might this do to the Trump administration do you think?
DEMIRJIAN: A complete timeline is coming out of the White House. Competing timelines base on whether it be speaking on the record or whether their sources there speaking on background to various reporters about what they knew when they knew, when they are warn when the White House Council was warned and especially for the last week when they became -- how quickly they made a major decision if they made a decision at all to actually push Rob Porter out so that's been a contradiction. This is fundamentally speaking and the fact that domestic abuse is a very, very serious thing and a very serious problem in and of itself for the White House this is also a management problem. There should then it seems there should have been somebody who should've called a shot on this earlier than he actually did and said there's the whole 13 months of the presidency of why with anybody stepping up to make a decision on this front and the last week where he attended the management problem is where the buck stops, who was responsibility is it ultimately, they cannot seem to agree and where they might agree they can't seem to agree on exactly what that that the progression of events where that guy that led to people learning about reporter publicly and him stepping aside.
CHURCH: And our owned Jim Acosta ask White House press secretary Sarah Sanders Monday, if Mr. Trump support of Rob Porter and his reluctance to support or even mention the ex-wives of Porter had anything to do with the president's own history, now she didn't answer that question that, is that what's causing some of the mixed messages here of vulnerability on the part of the president.
DEMIRJIAN: It is another question to ask, I mean the president has had and had the candidate and since then there is a women accused him of inappropriate conduct. It is not quite the same as domestic battery, but it's certainly something that the president has faced in that he has eyes that he believes that the women who accuse her of wrongdoing are liars. He has repeated that similar sort of lying there talking about Ray Moore the Alabama Democratic Senate candidate who had teenagers accusing us of the people accused of having made advances towards teenagers on the their -- various other circumstances where you and you the president guy or he sees that, you know women are coming in and accusing people that she either is a reflection of himself and or see some sort of closeness to. He has been not mincing his words when he it comes to trying to just the disparagement what those are going to say and the accusations they're making.
What he said probably what he treated publicly is not that different in that it's calling into question the very serious allegation to this? Remember it is not just what are they saying, it's pictures of the first wife's Blackeye, it seems that they made to the FBI or the FBI since found credible enough to pass up the chain. So what he saying does follow the same pattern in that you focus on defending the accused not actually offering any sympathy for the female accusers?
CHURCH: Karoun Demirjian, thank you so much about joining as we appreciate it.
DEMIRJIAN: Thank you.
CHURCH: We will take a short break but she flew through the air, the latest athlete to win gold with a spectacular snow board run. And the extra challenge competitors have been facing at the games will live in Pyeongchang after this short break. Stay with us.
[03:45:41] CHURCH: Gusty winds are still challenging Olympic athletes on the fourth day of the game, but didn't stop Chloe Kim from winning the gold within a perfect score in the women's snowboard half pipe. World sports Amanda Davies is in Pyeongchang and joins us now live with the very latest. Amanda, it was an impressive win for Chloe Kim and she did it for the United States and for South Korea. How did all play-out?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Yes, absolutely Rosemary. A fantastic scene after the half pipe venue a little bit early on, but before we tell you about that. Let us just had a look on the weather because that what has been dominating the conversation in recent day. The snow started pouring here, I am not sure on whether you can see it, and things are very, very calm at the moment. Today definitely better than yesterday the men's combined got unto way at the Alpine Center as plan and they'll be able to find the lowest start the downhill, but it is being picking up again this afternoon. Wind turbines on the hill just behind us. They had been going strong this afternoon.
I got a little bit of a sense today down here on my lunch date. Let us have a look at this pictures.
Other Americans say, blew off my flight along with my sandwiches as I walk across to this studio this afternoon. But as is the weather here, that was about probably three hours ago and now with a very different scene, but anyway it doesn't seem to affect Austria Mozel, Olympic gold with the only thing that alluded his trophy cabinet heading in to this games. She was the world cup champion in each of the last six seasons, but had never won this round, the Olympic crown. But that is now all change and took victory on the men's combine that could be more to come. We got three more events at this games and then 17 year old Kim as you said, celebrating as well, much earlier in her career. She has become the youngest woman to win Gold on the snow in a halfpipe. Look what it meant to here. She is waiting a long time for this moment. Despite her age she actually qualifies to Sochi four year ago, but then not old enough to be able to take part. There was so much excitement, so much pressure in the build-up to this performance.
We've seen a few times already in this games, the favorites haven't always been prospering, but she didn't let that affect her. She has a quite a fantastic run and took the gold which was a great celebrations from the U.S., but also from the home support here, because Kim's parents are both from here in South Korea. But from the highs to the lows of Olympic life, the day here in Pyeongchang, we had our first failed drug test. It was announce this morning but the Japanese short tracks (inaudible) has tested positive for a masking agent, he has been provisionally suspended from the game. He failed and out of competition tasks before the game started that was usually taking part in the 5000 meter relay later on Tuesday. A lot the Japanese team is that do everything they can to prove the 21-year-old innocent, he himself is released a statement which said I have not taken any drug based on my own will I have no merit and motivation for using this drug. I cannot think of any other case that I accidentally and unintentionally took it.
So as we approach the evening session here on day four it is Germany top of the medal table. They got four golds for the USA two medals and the snowboarding lift them up to third. The Dutch in second, they had very much dominating in the speed skating Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. We will keep an eye on that. Amanda Davis trying to stay warm there at the winter Olympics, many thanks to you for bringing us up to date and also following what's happening in Pyeongchang but for now warm Atlanta Weather Center is our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, he joins us now live. So Pedram, those strong winds still causing havoc for athletes that when my conditions improved do you think?
[03:50:00] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: One more day, we actually see a dramatic change for the better for milder temperatures the first time a couple week's time of course take a look (inaudible) we had a lot of manmade snow, plenty of gusty winds, plenty of cold temperature, statistically speaking you go back to the latter portion of January into early February and temps has been running 3/2 to some 5 degrees below what is normal for the heart of winter, so you put that in perspective and bring it down to well below average of course in a manner to tell you all about it but here is what we are watching, mild temperatures of (inaudible) of front pushing though, this is what causing the gusty winds right now, is a matter of feeling out there of course the snow showers are mixed in with the rain, a little bit of a wintry mix on Wednesday there and then once we go Thursday notice the high temperatures climb above the freezing mark on Friday same story. We have not have that for some time here so we get more in line with seasonal temperatures for this time of year. It is not a bad set up there at least once you get past the Wednesday afternoon across this region. Now take a look at what is happening, first how much snow accumulated and forecast to come down, just a couple of centimeters the very most, so it is the dry season. Will do expect much to accumulate but again we are transitioning towards a warmer set up the next couple of days.
I want to take you down towards the south pacific, because we know it is tropical cyclone there is impacting folks across portions such as Congo of course this is to move just south of the island there by category four, equivalent winds there impacts as much is 40 percent of the rooftops across the island there, completely decimated because of a powerful winds associated with this storm sustaining. The significant one as well, you look back at the 60 years of satellite data and only three storm had been able to come this close to this island in the past six decades. The perspective such as 1990, 1998 and now 2018 Gina coming through there just to the south of the island in the current track of the storm system a little message for some of the island. This island right here will go in for a closer look as were sitting at 220 km/h the Aegean island on allow this particular island home for 600 people really frankly the only island with any sort of significant population, but it is doing in front of the storm right now, beyond this it moves over open waters and begin a few days of wreak before New Zealand has to be on alert for the week in storm there. Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Thanks for giving an eye on all of that as well, I appreciate it. Thanks Pedram.
Up next, it looks like a strawberry wearing a tiny hat, but this cartoon is sketch actually helped police track down suspected thief. We will explain when we come back.
CHURCH: Police in the United States needed help catching a thief, so they turn to a sketch artist known, not one of their own but a witness, you want to confuse the da Vinci anytime soon. Someone who saw the thief drew this picture note the strawberry shaped head, dots for eyes, squiggles for hair, a lack of eyebrows and believe it or not that cartoonish sketch actually helped police catch this man is accused of stealing cash from the market in Pennsylvania. As for the artist the police applauded the effort, but one of the offering that person a Job any time soon. There is a similarity there.
Well Prince Harry and Megan Markle will visit the Scottish capital Tuesday and many will be watching for what the future royal is wearing and a steward has more now on what retailers according to Markle sparkle.
[03:55:00] ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: A (inaudible) Whales complete with cosmos and couple street. Cardigan which is the home of knit wear actually had a long history of g-making. A home to fashion brand high at denim which recently made jeans fit.
Really it seems to be (inaudible) Whales. Nothing (inaudible) where are the Meghan Markle goes she leaves behind a trail of magic.
It is the Meghan sparkle -- Markle sparkle I think of her this morning. She is a beautiful woman. Markie Sparkle it is an economic phenomenon, wherever Meghan sets in it comes an instant (inaudible). Still the handbag by a Scottish brand (inaudible). And more recently the high end denim jeans from Whales. Meghan Markle is wielding her possible power with her. Promoting British brand and some like denim with a special story to tell.
Cardigan was home to a much bigger denim factory for three decades up until 2002.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be decided to move on the production or to (inaudible). They started to close the factories down, they made a lot of people redundant. Not just single people families.
STEWART: For nine years and David and his wife Claire brought denim making factories found by finding high at denim. They are hoping to move to a bigger factory and even seen they plan. Now Meghan Markle -- profile.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they discovered that she is wearing the jeans is amazing so it had really a good effect on sales.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before Meghan and Prince Harry doing is well we have this fame, how do we use it for the good.
STEWART: Big plans with big factory often production is very simple. For a smaller business like this were one pair of hand makes one pair of jeans it is not so easy.
If you want a pair, you are going to have to wait till mid-March. There are some 75 process involve in making a pair and it takes an hour and 10 minutes. Meghan Markle has slip highest said on the map. The business here and for the craftsmanship of cardigans with brilliant artist. Anna Stewart CNN money Cardigan Welsh.
CHURCH: And thanks to your company this hour, I am Rosemary Church, the news continues now with Hannah Vaughn Jones in London. Have yourselves a great day.