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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For U.S. Election Meddling; Charity Promises Commission To Review Culture; FBI Under Fire for Missed Tip on School Shooter; Florida Governor calls on FBI Chief to Resign; Trump Departs White House for Florida; One Florida Shooting Victim in Critical Condition; New Allegations of Adultery; Report: Publisher Paid for Affair Story then Buried; Article Alleges Deal to hide Affair with Playboy Model. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 16, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello and welcome, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, we begin with breaking news out of Washington on
this Friday. Quote, "Information warfare against the United States," unquote.
The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein announced an indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities in the special counsel's probe
of meddling in the American election in 2016.
A grand jury says Russians, posing as Americans, targeted purple states, so swing states that could go either Republican or Democrat, in a conspiracy
to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump even though in the beginning their objective, according to the indictment, was simply to sow chaos.
Now, at this stage and this is important, there is no claim that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian entities and
individuals and no claim that the outcome of the vote as a result of all of this was changed. Listen to Rod Rosenstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The defendants allegedly to defraud America by impairing the lawful functions of the Federal Election
Commission, the United States Department of Justice, and the Department of State.
Those organizations of the U.S. government are responsible for administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in
certain domestic activities. Count two charges conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud by internet research agency and two of the individual
Counts three through eight charge aggravated identity theft by internet research agency and four individuals. Now, there is no allegation in this
indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charge conduct
altered the outcome of the 2016 election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And we're going to focus on what Rod Rosenstein said there at length with some of our legal analysis coming up in the program because
this indictment is 37 pages long. It is packed with details about this alleged conspiracy.
CNN justice reporter, Kara Scannell has more on that from Washington. Our senior international correspondent, Fred Pleitgen is getting immediate,
very swift reaction, we should say from Moscow.
Kara, first, I want to ask you so 37 pages, what more are we learning about these allegations contained in the indictment?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: That's right. It's 37 pages, very detailed indictment. It tells us that this campaign of the 13 individuals
who have been charged and others once had as many as 80 individuals working on one of their efforts.
It had a budget exceeding $1.2 million, which is a lot of money in U.S. politics. What the indictment tells us is that this campaign began as
early as 2014. Russians came to the U.S. for intelligence gathering, and then they were pushing for pro-Trump campaigns and rallies beginning in
We saw according to the indictment the allegations are that the individuals were reaching out, both posing as Americans and both stealing the identity
of Americans to reach out to grassroots groups, including some that were associated with the Trump campaign in Florida and Texas, those swing states
that were very important in the election.
And these Russians were posing as Americans using fake, stolen American identities to offer their support and help for some of these pro-Trump
rallies, buying political ads on Facebook and other social media platforms.
And it's important to notice you had that Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, does not allege that any of the Americans were colluding
or knowingly participating in this campaign.
It's also interesting to note that this indictment really spells out in a lot of detail how Russians were meddling in the election and their attempts
to do so. And President Trump has not really acknowledged or accepted that Russians meddled in the election.
GORANI: All right. And that this effort started as early as 2014, which is also an interesting aspect. We'll get into that. Kara Scannell, thanks
So, Fred Pleitgen, you're in Moscow. We're hearing both from government officials with reaction, but also from the Russian oligarch that is close
to Vladimir Putin, nicknamed Putin's chef, who was the head of this web company that is alleged to have interfered in the U.S. election with all
these fake accounts and fake identities.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, Hala. He's certainly the most important man on that
indictment list. Yevgeny Prigozhin is his name. He's the head of a business empire of which this troll factory, the Internet Research Agency
was a part.
He came out, as you said, very, very quickly with a statement. He said, and I quote, "Americans are very impressionable people. They see what they
want to see. I have great respect for them. I'm not at all upset that I'm on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see one."
Now, that really doesn't sound like someone who is quite concerned to be in this indictment. I think that there is certainly a reason for that. For
folks like Yevgeny Prigozhin, this is almost like a badge of honor for him.
Here in Moscow it shows that he's important for the kremlin. It shows that he's done big deeds for Vladimir Putin, and it's certainly something that
in many cases, he at least would believe might endear him to the Russian president that he's taking on such a burden for the services that he's been
Certainly, what we've been seeing, Hala, is that in the time since the presidential election, Yevgeny Prigozhin has become even more important to
the kremlin, to Vladimir Putin. He has links now to security companies that are operating in Syria.
So, this is certainly someone who has tied himself to the Russian president and therefore, we see statement like this one that really doesn't show a
great deal of concern about this indictment -- Hala.
GORANI: Right. So, it's not just from him that we're hearing. It's also from the Foreign Ministry, also very, very quick reaction from government
officials at the highest levels to this indictment.
PLEITGEN: Yes. And I think that's something that's very telling as well, to see just how important this is to the now seriously they do take all of
this. This is from spokeswoman from the Russian Foreign Ministry. She posted this on her public Facebook account.
Now she's well known for making statements fairly quickly and a lot of them being quite colorful statements at times. She wrote, and I quote,
"Thirteen people intervened in the election in the U.S.? Thirteen against billion-dollar budgets of special services."
Then she goes into more detail, "against intelligence and counter intelligence against the latest developments and technologies. Absurd,
yes," she says. And she also then later in her statement went onto say that she believes that this is what the political culture is like in the
That's certainly the gist we've been getting from the Russian government over the past couple of months or really years after the alleged election
meddling came to light. They are saying that they believe this is part of what they call a witch hunt against Russia -- Hala.
GORANI: Fred Pleitgen, stand by. I want to go to David Swerdlick, I understand of "The Washington Post" here with us. David, so the Russians
are basically saying, what, 13 of our nationals apparently, according to this indictment interfered in the world's strongest and most powerful
democracy? Like, come on basically. It doesn't fly. This is the Russian reaction.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Good afternoon, Hala. And I heard the tail end of Fred's report. I didn't know who made that
statement. Was it --
GORANI: The Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
SWERDLICK: Got it. OK. So, here's the thing. Look, the Russian government is going to down play this. It's predictable in a way but think
about just how absurd it is. It's one thing to deny that anything took place.
It's one thing to present an alternative narrative, but why is it so ridiculous? Why is there sarcasm about 13 people? Look, these aren't the
days of paper ballots and pony express and you know, people taking steamships across the Atlantic.
You can do a lot of damage with a well-funded cyberattack coordinated by at least 13 people according to this indictment. But obviously, there are
likely more people behind the 13 that have been identified by the Justice Department. So, it's not that surprising what the Russians are saying, but
it really doesn't hold together.
GORANI: And what about the investigation itself, David? Where does it go from here? This doesn't mean anything is winding down, right? This is
just one aspect of it.
SWERDLICK: I think this is one aspect of it, you're right. I think though you've got to figure that the Justice Department and the special counsel
team, Mueller's team are at a stage where they're comfortable releasing some details to the public in this indictment because they wouldn't want to
preemptively let Russians or others that they're investigating know what they're up to.
If didn't feel like they could put these details in this indictment out there knowing that they would either have a line on people or that they'd
be able to continue investigating others now that these details are out in the open.
[15:10:12] GORANI: All right. David Swerdlick, really appreciate you joining us there on short notice and Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow.
Thanks to both of you.
I want to dig deeper here with our legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson live in New York. In Los Angeles, Steve Moore, CNN
law enforcement contributor and retired supervisory special agent with the FBI joins me.
So, Joey Jackson, let's talk a little bit about -- because I thought it was interesting that after listing all the counts in this extremely long
indictment of 13 Russian nationals, Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general then said there is no allegation that any American was involved and
no indication that any of this changed the outcome of the election.
So, it seems as though at least from the perspective of the Trump administration, this could be interpreted as good news, right?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It really could be, but let's just keep something in mind. I don't know that they're in a position to give the
indication that it had no outcome or influence over the election. I mean, the very basis and purpose, Hala, for an operation like this is to indeed
affect the election.
So, that might be more to placate their boss the president than it might be really grounded in actual fact. You don't set up an operation like this,
which they alleged, the Justice Department is a conspiracy for those not knowing what that is, that's when more than one person, in this case, 13
and plenty more, had a commitment to agree to influence the outcome by a massive operation.
You don't use social media, you know, to the extent that they did with the financing they did not to have an outcome. Whether there was an outcome or
not, that's not criminal in nature. What they did is alleges the criminality.
The big open question that you point to, Hala, and the major thing that remains unresolved is this indictment speaks to Russians and what they did
willfully, knowingly, purposely, but it leaves out the big question that the world wants to know, which is what if any involvement did the Trump
campaign have. So, it's not clear --
GORANI: If they're saying, Joey, there's no allegation that any American was involved, doesn't that answer that question when it comes to this
aspect of the investigation?
JACKSON: Yes and no. Here's why I say that, you could interpret that as a major answer and saying, ha, ha to your original point, Hala. It's great
news. You could interpret that as saying, look, there was this big investigation, we have this complex indictment. It's very specific in
It talks about the extent and what they did and how they did it and why they did it, and it leaves out no one who's American, and therefore, we're
innocent as charged or you could interpret that this is one aspect of it and there could be another indictment forthcoming.
They did say the investigation is ongoing. There could be in that indictment an expose about the specific involvement, if any, of American
officials. So, I'm not prepared at this point to say, you know what, this closes it as to American involvement.
GORANI: And Steve Moore, what is the most significant thing you think we learn from this indictment today as far as the investigation is concerned
and where it might be headed next?
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: What was interesting to me is getting the actual information on what the motives of the Russians were.
It wasn't necessarily to elect one or the other. It was to elect the candidate that they thought would throw our government into more confusion.
The fact that they actually had a pro-Trump rally while they were scheduling Trump is not my president rally tells me that they were not
interested so much in an outcome of a certain person or certain political view. They were looking for chaos and felt that Trump would create the
most chaos, I believe.
GORANI: I guess it started out that way, according to the indictment. Then as the election date approached, their efforts were focused on
disparaging and alienating Democratic voters, pro-Clinton voters and trying to boost support for Donald Trump. So, that there was an evolution,
according to the indictments. It is alleged they went from one position to another, more potentially pro-Trump position.
MOORE: And that's true. All I can give you is what I see in the four corners of this document, but from what I'm seeing I believe that they were
rather than wanting Trump in there necessarily, according to this document, I'm seeing that they wanted to cause confusion.
But, you know, this is -- I agree with Joey. This is chapter one. I would say that chapter one goes to the administration here, but we've got a lot
of chapters to go in this book and nothing is done.
GORANI: Joey, I'll get back to you in a second, but that was my next question. What other chapters here should we be looking forward to? What
more is ahead here? Steve?
[15:15:04] MOORE: I'm sorry. I would say that what you're looking for is where they go down -- as Joey pointed out. What we've got is two
investigations, did the Russians try to interfere and, number two, did the Trump administration have anything to do with that?
So, they still haven't answered all the questions on either track. I guess, what we are looking for is the first shoe to drop on the Trump
administration being involved in any of this.
The first indications are not towards in that direction because they were very careful to say that there was no witting cooperation, but that's --
again, in the four corners of this document and this chapter and knowing Mueller, that could change drastically.
GORANI: And Joey, last one to you, what if you're a counsel for the president, for some of his family members, his son who was in that meeting
in June 2016 with Russian operatives? What would you be thinking right now after this indictment?
JACKSON: You know what, Hala? I'm not prepared if I was in that school of thought and certainly an adviser to pop the champagne corks. There would
be two things essentially I'd be saying.
Number one, I mean, this is great news to some extent, right? It's not great for America to the extent that you have our rival foreign power in
the universe that's interfering, that's sending people on trips here and looking at the swing states to see how much confusion we can interject.
But in terms of criminality, the one way to spin this, if I want to make the president happy, is saying look at this massive document and you saw
the deputy attorney general said it was unwitting. There's no American who knew anything about this.
So, therefore, we're in the clear, but not so fast. On the other hand, it could certainly be, right, as Steve Moore just talked about, is there
another shoe to drop. Would there be another indictment that would be forthcoming that was specific as to what, if any, American involvement
there would be.
So, this certainly legitimatizes Mueller, the investigation, established it's not a witch hunt, but to conclude that it's over, again, let's keep
the champagne on ice for now. I think there may be much more to come.
GORANI: Joey Jackson, thanks very much and Steve Moore. Thanks to both you as well.
I want to tell our viewers what they're seeing now. We saw President Trump on Marine One, embarking on Marine One. He's about to land at Joint Base
Andrews. He's headed to Florida. According to a Twitter that he posted, he will be visiting with survivors from the school shooting in Florida.
In his tweet, he also made a reference to working on trying to solve the problem, the gun problem with Congress without much detail. But this is
what we're seeing, Air Force one headed toward Florida and the president will be there meeting with survivors and officials as well.
We heard from the Florida Governor Scott who was calling on the FBI director to resign. FBI Director Wray because there were revelations and
reports that a person close to the shooter in this high school had called the FBI tip line saying they were concerned with the behavior and opinions
and some of the messages poste on social media by the suspected shooter.
And that the FBI did not follow up on that tip. We're also learning that the First Lady Melania Trump is on her way to Florida as well, but she
traveled separately, we understand, to Joint Base Andrews even though the two of them will be together on the plane. A lot more on the movements of
the preside and on that Florida school shooting.
After the break, fallout from the Oxfam sex abuse scandal. The man at the center of it all is defending himself while Oxfam's international director
says she will get justice for the victims. She joins me here in London, next.
GORANI: Well, there is a scramble to redeem itself in the eyes of the world, pressure mounting on Oxfam over allegations that it ignored or even
some are saying covered up sexual abuse by its own employees. While it struggles to tackle the issue, condemnation is still rolling in.
Earlier today, the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke to my colleague, Nic Robertson about the scandal. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: Of course, they're not acceptable at all. No form of sexual harassment or abuse is acceptable. I
think we need to be fully aware that this is a serious problem that is everywhere, in public administrations, in the private sector, international
organizations like U.N., in the society or non-government organizations.
There is a central question. We see the male dominated culture in a male dominated world, and so these things happen, and people are afraid to come
out, to speak up, to denounce. So, we need to do everything possible to change this culture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That's Antonio Guterres. Meantime, in a four-page letter, the man at the center of the scandal, Roland Van Hauwermeiren, says he did have an
intimate relationship with a woman in Haiti but denies that he ever paid for it. He defended himself in an interview with Belgian television
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROLAND VAN HAUWERMEIREN, FORMER OXFAM OPERATIONS CHIEF, HAITI (through translator): I should have known better I'm a man of flesh and blood.
Nobody's perfect but I'm no pig. I don't feel good about the people who of course are told by perhaps less professional journalists that Oxfam is used
to hold sex orgies with the money from good citizens, but that is absolutely not correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now Oxfam says it is setting up a commission to investigate these allegations and it says it has given Haitian authorities names of people
accused of misconduct while they were there working for the charity.
Today Oxfam's director, Winnie Byanyima, made a plea on Twitter for victims to come forward, adding, "My message to women who have suffered, I'm
fighting this abuse and I'm with you. We are going to do justice."
And Winnie Byanyima joins me now in London in the studio. Thanks for being with us. We had a good long conversation a few days ago after these
allegations and this scandal erupted. And a lot o4 people were angry, I think. They thought we really trusted these organizations and we feel let
down. Today you're saying I understand, I heard you, we're going to fix this. How?
WINNIE BYANYIMA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OXFAM INTERNATIONAL: Yes, we understand. I've apologized and now it's time to act. I have two main
priorities. One is to reach out to the victims, those who were abused. I'm saying to them come forward, come forward and we will do justice.
We are determined to atone for any of the damage that our staff did in Haiti or anywhere else. More importantly, we're looking forward. We want
to learn the lessons why it happened, why it was not addressed, and what we need to correct going forward --
GORANI: What conclusions have you come to so far? Because you've had about a week to kind of look back on what happened.
BYANYIMA: We now spot some of these problems are and we are taking immediate steps. The first one is to set up this international high level
independent commission of women's right leaders, human rights leaders, who come and take a hard look at us independently look at our culture, look at
our practice and advise us on what steps we need to take.
[15:25:01] Then we'll also have the power to look at old cases and tell us where they think we need to reopen those cases for justice to be done.
We're ready to do that too --
GORANI: I'm sorry, go ahead.
BYANYIMA: Then we have other measures that are kicking in right away. We are setting up a new global database of accredited references so that
nobody who is an offender in our organization can fake a reference and go and reoffend somewhere else. Until we have that database in place, we are
not offering a reference to anybody.
GORANI: I see.
BYANYIMA: We are also increasing our resources for the safeguarding team. We're doubling the resource. We'll get a million dollar this is year.
They will treble the number of staff we have. We'll do this work of ensuring that staff who come in are inducted, that everybody knows what is
expected of them and that when cases come, they are dealt with appropriately (inaudible).
GORANI: You said we've identified some of the problems in the last few days since this scandal erupted. What was the major one, the most
important problem you think wasn't dealt with appropriately?
BYANYIMA: You know there are two thing that are a big problem. One is that other humanitarian, we have this imperative of responding immediately
and to scale, so we tend to recruit many people very quickly and give them a short-term contract to work on a crisis. Getting the right people in
that hurry is a challenge.
GORANI: Yes, but some will say you can't use that excuse with this particular individual because he was in Chad, there were issues with him
there. He then was sent to Haiti. This was a career humanitarian. It wasn't someone you had to recruit on the ground in a hurry.
BYANYIMA: I will not justify any abuse, not at all, but I know that our system has been porous the way we bring people in and we need to work with
others to have vetted people before we recruit them. That's one.
But then there were also internal problems of how we handled the case. The way we handled it then is not how we'd handle cases today. We've made some
improvements, but clearly, we are not where we should be. That's why this commission is coming on board, to help us strengthen those systems of
dealing with cases when they happen.
GORANI: When you -- I have a couple of questions, Antonio Guterres says this isn't just one agency, one organization. It's endemic essentially.
Why is that? It's like doctors. You think if you're a humanitarian, necessarily you come from a good place, you must want to help.
I think that's where people feel betrayed because they feel like we give you money, we count on you to respond to these horrible tragedies. Why do
you think there are issues there? What is it about the culture perhaps?
BYANYIMA: It is about the abuse of power. It is power and as they say, the absolute power corrupts absolutely. In situations of crisis, there is
powerlessness. People are fleeing, people are in trouble and others have power because they have the resources to save lives.
It is tempting for some people of low values to misuse that power, but let me tell you, Hala, we have 10,000 staff members working in over 90
countries. The majority, 99 point something of them are doing the right thing, are saving lives, are protecting women. But those few have
tarnished our name and I'm here to make amends.
GORANI: And I've seen the work of some of these great humanitarians and they do a lot of good certainly. When you say victims, there were some
eyebrows raised. Oh, well, they're asking for victims to come forward. But there's still a lot of fear.
If some women were involved and money exchanged hands and if they feel they're going to get in trouble, they're not really going to come forward.
They'll feel it's more trouble than it's worth for them.
How do you reassure someone you'll be treated respectfully, you won't get in trouble with the law or anyone else in your community?
BYANYIMA: We are thinking that through. You're quite right. People will be afraid. Victims often feel even guilt as if they caused it on
themselves. I've spent my life in struggles for women's rights. I understand this. We're thinking through the best way to bring people
forward, the best way to do justice.
It's about restoring their lives. It's not even so much about looking for the guilty person and punishing them. Many of them have left, we've never
be able to find them, but it's about restoring their lives. We've got ways. We work on the ground.
This 75-year-old organization, we've learned how to work and empower people who are voiceless, who are powerless, to rise and take control of their
lives. I assure you we have many ways and the commission is also going to advise us on ways to do this.
[15:30:40] GORANI: Well, as I said last time, we can only wish you good luck, because in the end, it's the people who need help that will benefit
the most if this works out in everyone's favor (INAUDIBLE) thanks very much.
BYANYIMA: Thank you very much, Hala.
GORANI: We appreciate it. Still to come tonight, Special Counsel Robert Mueller takes on Russia. More on the breaking news, 13 Russian nationals
are charged in an indictment in America with interfering in the U.S. election.
Resign over a missed tip that could have saved lives that's coming from the governor of Florida himself. We'll be right back.
GORANI: We are following breaking news of a U.S. indictment of 13 Russian nationals for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Now we have a
new tweet that just -- was just posted minutes ago literally from President Trump. "Russia started their anti-U.S. campaign in 2014, long before I
announced that I would run for president. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong. No collusion!"
Joining me now live from Washington is CNN Political Commentator and Republican Strategist, Doug Heye. So this is just one aspect of the
investigation, but one that Donald Trump seized upon to essentially send the message over Twitter that, look, it had no impact on the results and no
American was involved, meaning no one from my campaign was involved on this particular front.
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, Hala, certainly we know that Donald Trump views any talk about Russia or any talk about Russia and
collusion as something that would delegitimize his victory. Clearly what we saw with the indictments today is this was a very broad, huge, large-
scale campaign. It was more than a million dollars a month that was being spent. More than several hundred people.
This was bigger than the size of most of the primary campaigns, say Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush that had in political terms massive
organizations for a primary. The Russians had more and they were focused all over the place. Trump was one of those points that they focused on,
just like Bernie Sanders. I think acknowledging that doesn't mean that you're acknowledging that the vote was illegitimate and that's where, I
think people would like to hear more from Trump. But this also gives information to finally be tough on Russia for something.
GORANI: And also because you're hearing now calls from the democrats. Listen, you've got to impose those sanctions against Russia that were voted
on with a crushing majority in congress and that the administration is holding back on. What's going on there?
[15:35:06] HEYE: Obviously this is brand new, so hopefully we'll see some actions if not today, in the coming days. But if you're Donald Trump and
you believe in big, bold decisive action whether you think that's good or bad, this is an opportunity for him to stand firmly and to stand firmly not
just against Russia, but in a way that not only will hurt Russia and show serious action but also will demonstrate to republicans and democrats alike
that this is something they can support the president on.
And if you're Donald Trump and you want people approving of you, which we know is a big -- the big part of how he governs, getting approval from
Republicans and Democrats on a strong stance with Russia would seemingly be a good thing for him.
GORANI: And he's going to Florida. First, we thought he was going to Mar- a-Lago. Then he tweeted that he would be visiting the part of Florida where the school is located where that mass shooting took place, promising
on Twitter as well to do something about the gun problem and working with Congress. But president after president has failed to do that in America
for a reason, because there's obviously pressure groups and lobby groups and elections and campaigns cost a lot of money. Why would Donald Trump
succeed after having time and time again supported the NRA and the right for Americans to bear any kind of weapon where others have failed?
HEYE: I think I actually wrote a piece for cnn.com today or last night about that. That Donald Trump, I think, is very uniquely positioned to
make something happen. And that's because if you look at his most fervent part of his base, these are not just gun owners and gun enthusiasts. These
are people who use the second amendment as a very important decision making process in how they vote.
Donald Trump has ultimate credibility with them despite being for some forms of gun control in the past. I think it gives him an opportunity to
go to those voters in his base and reassure them that any steps that he'd take would not be a -- to use terms that a lot of conservatives would use,
gun grabbing or something like that. Donald Trump has this credibility with his voters to cut that big beautiful deal that we know he likes to
GORANI: Yes, but he needs the cooperation of elected representatives in Washington. And they have been very, very reluctant to impose any kind of
restrictions on gun ownerships, even the most deadly weapons of war fall into the hands legally of 19-year-old boys. Because they're going to make
that political calculation. Midterms are coming up. If I go against kind of this idea that there should be absolutely no limits on gun ownership,
then it's going to hurt me politically.
HEYE: Well, I think this is again is where Donald Trump is in a really unique situation to make something happen, which is have to say that I'm
terribly optimistic here. But Donald Trump cannot just reassure voters in his base who were Republican primary voters, but he can also go to those
members of congress and say I've got your back if you'll support me on this. The Trump base are Trump loyalists through and through. They will
listen to him and they will back him if he makes that persuasive case. That's obviously what we'll see in the coming days if he's willing to do.
GORANI: All right. And what do you think the -- this obviously is a visit he needed to make, right? In Florida? If he had gone to Mar-a-Lago
without stopping by that high school, I mean, the optics would have been absolutely terrible, right? What is his objective here with a visit like
HEYE: Sure. I would say, even if he stayed in Washington, it would have sent the wrong sign. Part of the job of being president is being the
comforter in chief. It's never a positive development but it's something that's absolutely necessary, something that President Obama did very well.
And this is an opportunity to hopefully bring Republicans and Democrats together in a non-political way to demonstrate to the community and to all
Americans, frankly, who are very upset at this latest attack in Florida, that there is some sense of healing that can begin and that we can start to
look at how we can fill these cracks. Because every time we have one of these shootings, we know that something fell through the cracks. Somebody
fell through the cracks and there are too many cracks. And hopefully President Trump can start to fill some of them. Even if we don't find
these solutions, hopefully we can find a solution.
GORANI: All right, Doug Heye. Well, let's hope back and it hasn't worked in the past. We'll see if this shooting is different. Doug Heye, thank
you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
HEYE: Thank you.
GORANI: Well, we were talking about the Florida shooting. Let's get back to that breaking news. The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has called on
the FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign. This is coming after a shocking admission from the FBI that we learned just a few hours ago. The
agency is now saying a person close to the shooter contacted the bureau tip line not long ago on January 5th to report concerns about the gunman
Nikolas Cruz. The tip included details about his guns and his desire to kill people. However, here's the issue. Protocols were not followed and
the information was not provided to the Miami field office that could have acted on this.
[15:40:08] Earlier, we showed you these pictures. The U.S. president leaving the White House for Florida. He's heading to his resort Mar-a-Lago
for the weekend. It's less than an hour's drive away from the high school in Parkland, Florida. Now, he's going to make a stop at that high school,
discuss things with officials. He will also meet, presumably, survivors of the shooting.
And we shouldn't forget all of the survivors and the victims of the gunman. There were 17 of them mostly young lives cut short in a horrific massacre.
Parents are now having to bury children. The first of that heartbreaking scene was played out today 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff is among the first
victims of the school massacre to be laid to rest. Her grieving mother made that raw and emotional plea for action from President Trump.
Earlier on CNN, Lori Alhadeff talked about having to face the reality of such a terrible, terrible loss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORI ALHADEFF, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: I just saw my daughter cold as can be, shot in the heart, shot in the head, shot in the hand, dead, cold
as can be. She's gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's get to our Diane Gallagher. She joins us now from Deerfield Beach, Florida. She's outside one of the hospitals treating the wounded.
What are you hearing from the hospital officials, Dianne?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Hala, we actually just got an update from hospital officials. There are still seven patients who remain
hospitalized after this shooting. Only one of them, a student, is in critical condition. All of the rest have seen their conditions improve and
they are hoping over the next few days they'll see some discharges. There were two discharged last night. A lot of the people here, though, in this
community, Hala, are really trying to -- as these funerals begin focus on learning more and making sure the nation knows more about some of those 17
people who were killed in the shooting.
We've got some more information we want to share with you on two of those victims as we slowly get it. 16-year-old Carmen Schentrup. She was a
national merit scholar semifinalist. According to their school's online blog, she was one of 10 at the Stoneman Douglas high school. They had 10
last year as well. It's not an easy thing to do. It's extremely difficult. You've got to be very brilliant, very dedicated to do so.
We're also learning about 14-year-old Alex Schachter. He played in the regiment marching band. The band place first, Hala, during a state
competition just back in November. A 14-year-old, 16-year0olds adding to those 17 victims that we're trying to learn a little bit more about today.
GORANI: Dianne Gallagher, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, new allegations of adultery against Donald Trump, this one involving a former Playboy model. Not only is she going public
with claims of an affair years ago, but she's also alleging an elaborate cover-up. We'll have that, coming up.
GORANI: Donald Trump, a Playboy model and a system for concealing infidelity. That is the title of a stunning new expose by journalist Ronan
Farrow. In an article for The New Yorker. Farrow talks to a former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Donald Trump shortly after he
married Melania. Something the White House is denying. What's more, model Karen McDougal says she was paid by the publisher of the National Enquirer,
which is a supermarket tabloid in America, for her story, which was then buried, as Farrow explained in an ABC interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONAN FARROW, JOURNALIST, THE NEW YORKER: Six former AMI employees told me in this story that that's not the case, that this was a routine activity by
David Pecker, the head of the National Enquirer who has publicly pledged his loyally t Trump. This is the interesting and potentially troubling
dimension, George. These dirty stories about high profile individuals would be used as leverage over these individuals. Obviously national
security implications here when that happens to be the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Let's go to our senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter live in New York. These allegations have been out there. The name
Karen McDougal has been out there. But in farrow's piece there are hand written diary journal entries from McDougal that add another dimension
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That's the real revelation. This lengthy memorialization of what allegedly took place
between this former Playboy model and this billionaire businessman. This alleged affair happened many years before President Trump sought the
presidency. This is something that was first revealed in the Wall Street Journal just a few days before the election. Clearly, did not have the big
impact on the election. But now Farrow adding more details here and raising the question of whether someone at the National Enquirer could
actually have influence over the president by holding onto damaging information about him. There's been so much talk about whether the
Russians or other foreign propagandas would have content that would be troubling for President Trump, but this is closer to home for him. This is
about David Pecker who runs the National Enquirer, his supermarket tabloid, who's been a friend of Trumps for many years. The claim here is that
Pecker tries to bury stories to help out his friend Trump. But the flipside of that, of course, is if you didn't want to help your friend
anymore, if you turn against your friends, he's going to publish embarrassing stories about him and that's the crocks of this matter.
GORANI: But what I find interesting about Trump here is it's 47 minutes past the hour and we're talking about this, with any other president
presumably would have probably lead news hours. So this is a new era. I mean, it's not the same -- we live in a different world, essentially where
these allegations. I don't know. For another president after Trump, but at least with Trump, they don't stick and they don't really upset his base.
STELTER: You might actually put some of that on Bill Clinton. Because many Americans lived through these kinds of extra marital affairs, scandals
20 years ago, but there is something unique about Trump as well. People have bought in -- his supporters have accepted a lot and are not surprised
by new information that may contradict his comments about religious beliefs, et cetera, et cetera. I do think how the development in the last
few minutes that the first lady of the United States traveled separately to the airport just now, would not ride with the president. That's the kind
of thing that even though -- they know what's going to happen. The White House is going to say, oh, it's a scheduling matter. But come on. I think
we know what's going on here. We have seen several different times in recent weeks Melania Trump tries to distance herself from her husband.
That is, I think, going to continue get a lot of news attention, get a lot of news coverage. But you're right, there is something different about
this president and this moment in time. I think partly because there are so many stories that are so scandalous at any given time about government
dysfunction and chaos. It results in something that would be a lead story be later in the hour.
GORANI: Right. And then we -- but journalists are working on other leads, right? Because there are many allegations and accusations surrounding the
president. So this is something that obviously journalists like Ronan Farrow and others are looking into.
STELTER: And just briefly with regards to the National Enquirer, one thing I'm trying to figure out, one question I have is, how many other stories
has the Enquirer buried to help out President Trump? There's a term in the tabloid industry called catch and kill. What it means is you catch a
story, you pay someone for the story and then you kill it. You buy the story then you bury it. And that's what happened in this case. According
to the documents Farrow has, the story was captured, the woman was silenced and the story was buried. How many other stories like that are out there?
That is an open question.
GORANI: Interestingly, $150,000 but then by the time everyone took their cuts, she ended up with something like 80,000, and she's having presumably
pay income tax on that. And I think she feels like according to this story that it wasn't explained to her what she was signing.
[15:50:09] STELTER: Right. That she didn't know that she would be silenced in this way. And we've seen another woman who alleged an affair
with President Trump, Stormy Daniels say, hey I'm free to talk now. I'm going to go ahead and share my story. There's at least two different cases
here and three even embarrassing for President Trump.
GORANI: Brian Stelter, thanks so much for joining us.
STELTER: Thank you.
GORANI: Now to a story here in London. Take a look at these. "71 dead and still no arrests. How come?" Those words were paraded around the city
Thursday. It looks like a scene from -- if you've seen at the Oscar- nominated movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." It's because of the fire that ripped through Grenfell Tower, West London eight months
ago. The inquiry into the fire is still ongoing. The charred shell of the building is still standing, unbelievably. And many of the survivors are
still without permanent accommodation. Campaigners are calling on authorities to take action. So they're putting out these three billboards
as a kind of a grab your attention stunt and it has worked quite effectively. People are talking about that.
This hour, we've looked at movements by people across the world to hold others accountable. Teenagers speaking up against gun violence in
Parkland, backlash to sex abuse within Oxfam. Campaigners for Grenfell, the #MeToo movement is part of that push for accountability.
CNN's Isa Soares spoke to BAFTA CEO, Amanda Berry about how that movement will continue to shape the entertainment industry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA BERRY, CEO, BAFTA: This all started when the news started coming out about Harvey Weinstein and the industry looked at that and thought we
have to make sure this can never, ever happen again. I mean, personally what shocked me most was the fact that people didn't feel they had a voice.
They didn't know who they could go to who would listen. So industry organizations, close to 40 of them, have come together to put together a
cross industry initiative which is guidance and principles. The idea behind it is to prevent things going wrong in the workplace, so people
should know to treat people with respect. It's all about recognizing differences. But if something does go wrong, that they know who to talk
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you think these guidelines and these principles, would they have stopped the likes of Harvey Weinstein?
BERRY: I think they would have given somebody a voice. As I said earlier, that was the thing that really struck me when this happened. Firstly, that
people didn't know it was happening. But secondly that people didn't feel they had somebody to go to, to talk to, to give them advice, to believe
them. I want to make sure that that can never ever happen again.
SOARES: When this happened, it's almost snowballed. We saw the #MeToo, the Time's Up campaign. What has been the reaction within your industry in
terms of how the momentum has grown behind the #MeToo and the Time's Up campaign?
BERRY: If you look at he wearing black at the Golden Globes, that went from being a rumor it might happen to happening in just a matter of weeks.
And I think what is fantastic about what is happening now is people are absolutely determined that they're going to stamp out harassment and
bullying and should it happen, that they're going to support people to ensure that it can't happen again.
SOARES: You mentioned wearing black at the Golden Globes. Will BAFTA be doing the same?
BERRY: I expect a lot of people to wear black, not everybody. But I think a number of nominees and the presenters will wear black.
SOARES: Let's talk about the movies. Quite a selection. Very varied movies that we have and nominations this year. How would you describe
BERRY: It's a fascinating mix, you're absolutely right. We have coming of age stories, we have historical stories. It's a great year for British
filmmakers, I've got to say. With three of the films in the best film category are British directors. We have Dunkirk directed by Christopher
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot reason with a tiger!
BERRY: "Darkest Hour," which has nine nominations. We have that very British sounding film "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." The
talent this year is extraordinary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, there you have it. The BAFTAs where women will also be wearing black. Same thing happened at the Golden Globes. We'll take a
quick break, we'll be right back.
GORANI: In Pyeongchang a missing bobsled threatened the competition chances of the Jamaica women's bobsled team. A disagreement with a coach
who left also left the Jamaican team without a bobsled. Problems. A beer company stepped up, tweeting to the team, no bobsled, no problem. If you
need a new ride, put it on Red Stripe's tab. DM us and we'll be in touch. Red Stripe said it ended up donating that sled. The team's media manager
wouldn't comment but used the hashtag #RedStripetotherescue in her e-mail to CNN. So a good opportunity there to promote the brand.
All around the world today, people welcomed in the lunar new year, the year of the dog. The theme, best fortune world party. Here's a look at how
Hong Kong celebrated just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: You can see there were performers. It was a collaboration between Chinese drums and a western marching band. And since it's the year of the
dog, it hardly seems fair that people should have all the fun. All across the world, dogs and their owners are getting into the spirit. A dog beauty
pageant in the Philippines. There you have it. But none as cute as this one. Our show mascot here in London, Louis, my dog, not that one. Not
that one. Where's Louis? Come here, boy. There he is. He's the HALA GORANI TONIGHT mascot. Louis the Cavalier Happy year of the dog, everyone.
And great weekend if it is your weekend. I'll see you next Monday. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.