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At Least 22 Countries Expel Russian Diplomats; Porn Star Details Affair With Trump; Two Unarmed Black Men Killed by Police Within Days; String of Powerful Earthquakes Near Papua New Guinea; Trump Silent on Stormy Daniels. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired March 27, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[00:00:11] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: A powerful message to Moscow -- U.S. President Trump kicks out 60 Russians after the poisoning of a former spy on U.K. soil. Other countries have followed suit and now Vladimir Putin is vowing to strike back.
VAUSE: Plus two unarmed African-American men shot dead by police within days sparking protests and renewed demands for change.
SESAY: And the devastating string of earthquakes, aftershocks and landslides in Papua New Guinea. They've destroyed homes and so many lives in the island nation.
VAUSE: Hello. We'd like to welcome our viewers all around the world for the first of three hours. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.
VAUSE: In an extraordinary coordinated international response, nearly two dozen countries had ordered Russian diplomats back to Moscow in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K.
The countries on that list -- the United States, Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Albania and 16 countries in the European Union.
SESAY: The (INAUDIBLE) measures are particularly notable as they're some of the strongest President Donald Trump has taken against Russia.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski has the latest.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Sixty Russian diplomats -- according to the Trump administration aggressive spies -- have one week to pack their bags and get out.
A dozen Russians will be kicked out of New York at the U.N.; 48 others at embassies and consulates around the U.S. The Russian consulate in Seattle will be shuttered, administration officials saying it's too close to a U.S. submarine base -- a sharp U.S. response to the nerve agent attack, poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, his daughters and others in the U.K.
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I think this is a good move by the President and the administration. I'm glad to see it. It sends two strong messages to Putin.
One is we are going to hold you accountable for your crimes. And number two, that you're not going to be able to continue to divide and sow chaos and discord in the west.
KOSINSKI: This move cuts the number of Russian diplomats in the U.S. by 13 percent. Officials saying this will make the U.S. safer from Russian espionage.
More than a dozen U.S. allies also expelling diplomats; and Russia already warning, it will do the same right back.
ANATOLY ANTONOVE, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: The United States did very bad step. I'm sure that time will come, they will understand what kind of grave mistake they did.
KOSINSKI: It's a much harder line than previously seen from this administration especially from President Trump, who only days ago defied his national security teams warning in all capital letters "do not congratulate" Vladimir Putin on his election victory.
On a phone call with Putin, Trump didn't even bring up the poisoning attack or election meddling which lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans are worried that this administration is not tackling.
Now Trump will have a new national security advisor in John Bolton --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The director must stay --
KOSINSKI: A new secretary of state in Mike Pompeo. Both of whom have called for strong action against Russia. Though in 2016 Bolton criticized President Obama on Fox News for taking the same action and nearly expelling diplomat.
JOHN BOLTON, INCOMING NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: That is utterly useless. So if you make them feel pain and others feel pain, then the possibility of deterring future conduct like this increases. That's what we need to do.
KOSINSKI: Today former CIA operative Bob Baer agrees.
BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You go after Putin's money. You go after the oligarchs. You hit them in their pocket books. Bolton is absolutely right. I don't usually agree with him but he's right on this. You really have to make them feel pain and expelling 60 diplomats does not go far enough.
KOSINSKI: Russia has sensed something bubbling up. They knew some kind of response was coming. So they've been trolling the U.S. online for days, even tweeted out a poll asking people which U.S. consulate should be shut down in Russia. But the Trump administration has also issued its own stark warning to Russia saying if they do retaliate, the U.S. could well take further action against them.
Michelle Kosinski, CNN -- the State Department.
SESAY: Well, CNN national security analyst Gayle Tzemach Lemmon joins us now. Gayle -- good to see you as always.
So many experts out there questioning the real impact of expelling 60 Russian diplomats. I mean in your view, is this a move that will really hurt Russia enough to serve as a deterrent.
GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, stay tuned, right. There's the message and then there's the mission, right. So the message is very loud and clear, right. We are going to do something.
[00:05:03] We have coordination across countries; that includes the European Union, includes the United States. We are going to do something about this.
Now the real question is what you ask is about the mission, right. How much does this actually make a difference to what Russia is doing and their actions in terms of espionage and in terms of disruption of elections, in terms of targeting of people, right? That is a question that we don't have an answer to. And it's also a question about how effective is any of this in the electronic era?
SESAY: I mean what we do know though, Gayle, I mean regardless of whether this actually acts as a deterrent, we do know that there are more meaningful steps that could have been taken. That much we know in the sense of sanctions and financial penalties against those in Putin's inner circle.
LEMMON: That's true. But I don't think that we should downplay this symbolism. And it's not just -- it's because it's not just United States, right. It's not just the United Kingdom.
You talk about Germany which expelled folks. And Germany's foreign minister came out with much harsher language and you heard from his predecessor. You talk about Poland for the first time expelling a diplomat who comes from Russia.
So I do think that this symbolism here matters. But that is an absolutely correct point that you make, right. This is potentially just the start. And we don't know yet where this ends. And I would be willing to place a wager that we are not in even the second round of this hand.
SESAY: I mean Russia's response has been, I guess typically Russian. They put out this tweet which has been talked about a great deal, you know, the other day. They put out this tweet, basically, effectively asking people to vote. The U.S. administration ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. What U.S. consulate-general would you close in Russia if it was up to you to decide? And they give three options to the voting public. I mean at least on the face of it, Russia does not seem overly worried. But do you think that is just bluster.
LEMMON: Well, I mean they have managed the information messaging around this as well as they could, right. Being very cheeky and crowd source your diplomatic response to an expulsion the likes of which we've never seen. I think it's pretty par for the course in terms of what they have been managing to do in response to this and also well leading up to this, right.
It wasn't like this came out of the blue. This has been a diplomatic volley that has been going back and forth between the United States and Russia, between the United Kingdom and Russia. And I think today was the first round in some of that action.
SESAY: I mean in terms of the response, do you see it taking the -- I mean again, back to the whole thing about sanctions. Not to undermine nor to play them down but it is a bit of a dance though. I'll, you know, expel some of yours; you can expel some of mine -- that we have seen in the past. I mean do we think the Russian retaliation will be just that?
LEMMON: It's a bigger waltz than we've seen but it is still a waltz, right. And the question is what comes next. And truly, we have never lived in an era where the electronics means of spreading information, spreading disinformation was this effective.
So it does make you wonder how effective any of the old school response is to a very new generation of diplomatic intervention, a new generation of disinformation really will be. And I don't think we have the answer to that.
And I also don't think we know just how far this will go -- Isha. We don't know what the Russian response will be. And we also don't know if the Americans, if the British, if the Europeans will say, you know what, this doesn't go nearly far enough. And the Russian response will escalate and then we'll see an escalation in return.
I think we will have to stay tuned on that.
SESAY: Gayle -- always appreciate it. Thank you for the insight.
LEMMON: Great to see you.
VAUSE: Well, Jessica Levinson is a professor of Law and Governance at Loyola Law School and Michael Genovese is president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. And they're with us now for more on this extraordinary international move.
Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson tweeted out this. "Today's extraordinary international response by our allies stands in history as the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence offices ever and will help defend our shared security. Russia cannot break international rules with impunity."
Michael -- so given, you know, the strain that we've seen over the last 14 months between the Trump administration and traditional (ph) allies especially in Europe, the fact that the United States joined in on this, it would be seen as significant and sending a specific message to Putin, at least on paper.
MICHAEL GENOVESE, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Right. It was very significant because in the past 14 months Trump has not played well with others especially allies. This has brought him into the family a little bit. And if he can get some rewards, maybe it will encourage him to do more.
But the optic of Trump-Russia has been so bad for the President that he was desperate for something that would make him look good, make him look strong, make him look like a leader at a time when a word Russia associated in the same sentence with Trump has been bad news; so this is I think a big win for the President.
[00:10:00] VAUSE: But at the same time though, Jessica -- the most sweeping purge of Russian diplomats in the United States since what, 1986 in the Reagan administration and yet the President, he's like Marcel Marceau, you know, not a word. You know, we just sort of, you know, the Russian diplomats go and he's silent.
JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Well, and thank God for that. But yes, I mean I do appreciate you're miming it --
VAUSE: Thank you very much.
LEVINSON: But I would say, you know, yes I think that this is a high point for Trump. And I think that frankly he had to do this because if we hadn't we would have been such an outlier in the international community. And I think that our response would have been so disparate. And then it really would have fed into everyone's view that, you know, this -- I mean I'm thinking back to the debate where the statement was, well you're just a puppet for the Russian government and Donald Trump like any good schoolyard bully said, "I'm not a puppet. You're the puppet."
VAUSE: You're the puppet -- yes.
LEVINSON: And so --
LEVINSON: Exactly. And I think that, you know, frankly this had to happen. I'm glad that it happened. But we didn't want to take one more step to look like an outlier on the international stage.
VAUSE: Ok. The White House deputy press secretary on Monday, he dodged the question when he was asked why the President hasn't spoken out about, you know, this expulsion of Russian diplomats. He had this answer instead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: the United States has issued sanctions on key Russian oligarchs in response to the meddling in the 2016 election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about Putin though?
SHAH: So I wouldn't close any doors or I wouldn't preclude any potential action but the President doesn't telegraph his moves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Ok. So Michael -- he's saying there could be more to come but, you know, the bottom line here is the President doesn't telegraph his moves, we wouldn't know that because there hasn't really been any moves against Russia in any significant way from the President.
GENOVESE: And he generally doesn't think long-term and strategically. I think that's one of the keys.
It's a question of is this move the end game? Or is it one in a sequence of steps that Trump and our allies will pay against Russia? And that's the key. Will Trump stay on board with the allies if they move further and further.
LEVINSON: And I would say he absolutely does telegraph his moves all the time. I mean he --
LEVINSON: -- he has been so vocal about so many things. I mean think of the amount of time and space we have spent talking about crooked Hillary, the fake news as compared to this really important international incident.
VAUSE: Yes. Ok.
So there's silence from the President on Russia. Silence from the President on Stormy Daniels, the adult film star suing the President so she can be released from this non-disclosure agreement which obviously did not stop her from appearing on "60 Minutes" on Sunday. And she shared some salacious details of her alleged tryst with the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STORMY DANIELS, ADULT FILM STAR: For instance, you know, talking about yourself, normally work. And I was like someone should take that magazine and spank you with it. And I'll never forget the look on his face.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: What was his look?
DANIELS: Just -- I don't think anyone's ever spoken to him like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Jessica -- the problem here is not the sleazy details but it's the $130,000 hush money which there hasn't really been any firm denials from the White House that it was paid and the President was part of it. It's all in a sort of grave, furry, fuzzy area right now.
LEVINSON: Well, I mean for me the $130,000 is the name of the game. I frankly don't really care that much who President Trump had an affair with. I think this is an issue that Melania Trump can deal with.
But with respect to Michael Cohen deciding to use --
VAUSE: The President's lawyer.
LEVINSON: -- excuse me, Michael Cohen, the President's lawyer, deciding to use kind of a dummy corporation to funnel $130,000 in what was hush money to Stormy Daniels 11 days before the election sure looks like it's connected with the election.
And if it was made in furtherance of his desire to win as candidate Trump then it looks a contribution. If President Trump knew and said yes, that's a great idea then it's a coordinated contribution. It's an in-kind contribution.
Either way we're looking at something about $127,000 -- $127,500 above the contribution limit.
VAUSE: Yes. And the Wall Street Journal reports that Cohen apparently complained that Trump didn't pay him back quickly enough.
Michael -- in the past, the President -- he did not hold back when he was accused of, you know, sexual inappropriate behavior. This is the kind of (INAUDIBLE) he used to take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These claims are all fabricated. They're pure fiction and they're outright lies. These events never, ever happened.
Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign, total fabrication. The events never happened -- never. All of these liars will be sued --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Ok. So it must have been a very difficult Sunday night for the President because he did not tweet until Monday morning. And it was kind of very vague -- we think it's about the Stormy Daniels interview.
"So much fake news -- never been more voluminous or more inaccurate but through it all our country is doing great."
So Michael -- explain, "They're all liars, I'm going to sue them" to "it's fake news". [00:15:01] GENOVESE: Well, look, he's a braggart -- braggart and he threatens and he's the bully. And so verbally he's trying to bully these women but then you get the serious claim and his silence is deafening.
But I wanted to disagree a little bit with Jessica because I think it goes beyond just breaking campaign laws -- campaign finance laws if they were broken. Because he's president he also drags all of us into the mud with him on this dirty story.
And do we need to hear about spanking the President in his tidy whiteys? Do we need to hear about a grown man having unprotected sex with a pornographic star, a Playboy Bunny and his wife? This is just tawdry and it's ugly and we're dragged into the mud with him.
And so I think it goes beyond just breaking of the law, it goes to the very heart and soul of who we are as a people.
LEVINSON: And I think frankly it's because we're all in kind of a triage mode and we're all just drinking water from the fire hydrant that I find myself in this situation of saying well sure. So the President's lawyer probably paid a porn star about an affair but let me tell you what I'm really about.
VAUSE: That's pretty lawyer for what's acceptable these days, I guess.
GENOVESE: But also this is a metaphor I think for the Trump presidency.
GENOVESE: It's all about him, selfish and reckless, dangerous behavior; and we're the people who are riding on the back of this trolley and just going, careening all out of control.
VAUSE: Very quickly, Trump tweeted over the weekend -- he had no trouble hiring the best lawyers. They all wanted to work for him. We've got that on Monday that two more high profile lawyers in D.C. are refusing to join the Trump team. They say they just can't do it because of conflict of interest.
Jessica -- how can the President of the United States who has a ton of money not be able to hire a lawyer in Washington, D.C.?
LEVINSON: Well, it is actually rather stunning that there are so many really sterling conservative attorneys who have said no, I can't do it. Now, let's, you know --
VAUSE: We're almost out of time.
LEVINSON: Sorry. So there are honest situations of conflict of interest but they are honestly wasting around that when you're trying to figure out how to serve the President. Not in all cases but the fact that he has to say look that's not happening is a great indication that it's probably happening. GENOVESE: And all the criminal lawyers are already employed by -- working for ex-Trump officials who have been thrown out and have been indicted or are facing --
VAUSE: And Mueller's got 16 of the best lawyers in the country working for him. So a lot of work for lawyers these days. I guess that's a good thing.
Michael and Jessica -- thank you.
GENOVESE: Thank you.
SESAY: All right. And quick break.
Trains pull into Beijing every day but one special vintage train is fueling speculation about a very important possible passenger. That story coming up.
VAUSE: Also ahead -- protest and outrage after two separate police shootings of African-American men within days. Details, in a moment.
VAUSE: Ok. It's a mystery in Beijing. Who's the man with the train? Observers spotted this convoy headed to an official guest house used by foreign visitors. Chinese officials are saying, "No Comment".
[00:19:57] There is wide speculation that the stealthy traveler is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He probably made that trip on the train which his father and grandfather always used to travel on.
Andrew Stevens joins us now from Beijing. Andrew -- if Kim Jong-un is actually on that same train that his father and grandfather used, it would be quite the ride. According to a Russian diplomat, "Kim Jong- un's train was staffed by beautiful lady conductors and live lobsters were shipped to stops along the route to Moscow, along with cases of Bordeaux and Burgundy red wines."
So if there are signs of this kind of lobster shells and this is in fact Kim Jong-un visiting Beijing -- that would be a very significant moment.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It would be a very significant moment -- John. No evidence of lobster shells along the tracks that we know of. In fact that memoir was written back in 2001. It was an armored train that Kim's father traveled in. And in fact it was one of three. There was one to clear the path, so to speak, then Kim's train and then another with security.
So it was quite a production back then. No sign that there are three trains this time around.
In fact it's interesting, we can't even compare whether this is the same train in any great detail because all evidence -- all pictures of the train and there are plenty of train spotters here in Beijing have been taken down from social media -- John, as has all comments about this trip and about Kim Jong-un generally taken down; so very, very tight security in Beijing.
It does suggest that there is obviously a very important player in town. We went down to the (INAUDIBLE) guest house early this morning to see what we could see and we were moved along fairly briskly by the police. There's very big police presence down there.
But we don't know whether it's Kim Jong-un. We've asked the Chinese authorities and they said they're not aware of the situation that we're talking about. It could be Kim Jong-yo -- that is, Kim's sister. Remember she was the special envoy and was very key in smoothing the path for the summit between -- the upcoming summit between North and South Korea. So it could be her.
But there is a lot of speculation -- that's all it is at the moment -- that this is in fact Kim Jong-un -- John.
VAUSE: That's the North Korean version of "Where is Waldo", isn't it? Andrew -- thank you.
Andrew Stevens, live in Beijing.
There's outrage in the U.S. over the killing of an African-American man at the hands of police. An autopsy has now confirmed 22-year-old Stephon Clock died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Two police officers in Sacramento, California fired 20 shots at him last week, killing him in his grandmother's backyard. Officers were responding to report of a man breaking car windows. They thought, they say, that Clock was pointing a gun at them but police did not find a weapon at the scene. They found only a cell phone.
Those officers now on paid administrative leave. We're about to show a video of the shooting from the body camera of one of those officers. I want to warn you this video really is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me your hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five to seven shots fired, subject down.
Show me your hand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: And just days later, a deputy in Houston, Texas shot and killed an African-American man who police say was unarmed. The sister of 34-year-old Danny Ray Thomas says he was struggling with depression and was not in his right mind.
Witnesses say Thomas was talking to himself and hitting cars as they passed by last week. The police dash-cam video shows him having an argument with a driver. You can see him there, his hands are down around his ankle.
A deputy officer tells Thomas to get down, instead Thomas walks toward the deputy who shoots him once in the chest. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave.
Well, authorities have launched separate investigations into both of those shootings. Retired Los Angeles sergeant, Cheryl Dorsey joins us now. She's the author of "Black and Blue". Cheryl -- good to see you. It's unfortunate -- it's always for these moments.
Help me understand something and I want to start with Stephon Clock, shot in Sacramento.
Are police trained to shoot people based on a suspicion? I mean because -- I mean that's what we're looking at here. He was holding a cell phone. He was holding a cell phone, they saw it, they shot.
CHERYL DORSEY, RETIRED L.A. SERGEANT: Absolutely not. Listen, you're not trained to think -- you need to know particularly when you use deadly force. And so officers should receive an inordinate amount of training. You should be able to identify as a trained police officer who uses the gun as a regular what a gun looks like.
And there was no urgency for these officers to even confront this young man. They could have set up a perimeter. They could have asked for backup. They could have asked for an air unit. There were so many other things that they could have done before they went to deadly force as a first resort rather than a last resort as we're taught.
[00:24:58] SESAY: Take a listen to Benjamin Crump. He is representing the family, as you know, Cheryl very well. He has represented a number of black families who've lost their loved ones at the hands of police. Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, FAMILY LAWYER: People who committed a mass shooting in Florida were not shot once. But a young black man, calling a cell phone is shot 20 times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: And what about that point? He's talking about Nikolas Cruz, Parkland shooting, killed 17 people. We've talked about Dylann Roof before who shot the African-American church who was taken without injury. How is it that we have these situations where white males under suspicion for killing people, multiple people, are taken into custody safely and we keep having these situations with black men and boys dying?
DORSEY: Well because there's no accountability. And so if you don't do anything to deter their bad behavior then why would an officer do anything differently? What needs to happen is that police departments need to take a book out of the page of the Baltimore city solicitor and start holding officers financial accountable when they violate policy and they use deadly force in a way that's unnecessary, unwarranted and unjust.
And until there's a consequence for bad behavior, then officers are going to continue to say "My bad, I got it wrong. I thought it was this. You can't argue what's in my head." And then they live to offend again.
SESAY: How much of this, you know, again you know, just to peel it all the way back. I mean let's talk about Danny Ray Thomas who was shot in Houston. I mean here is a man, pants around his ankles, seen talking to himself, hitting cars -- clearly something not quite right, just visually looking at him.
Why again, is the perception of a threat attached to brown and black males so great that it precludes benefit of the doubt or explicit warnings or a split second of take a minute and get that perimeter?
DORSEY: You know, I obviously don't know what's in their heart but it's very difficult to argue with what someone says is in their head. And so when officers see that they can say, I was in fear for my safety or I couldn't see this or their hands were in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. And again, there's no consequence for that bad behavior then they've worked (ph).
And so every time they find themselves in a situation where they're afraid and if you're afraid like that, you really shouldn't be the police. But when they find themselves in a situation like that, then they played the get out of jail free card, if you will, "I was in fear". It's very difficult to argue, "I was in fear".
And what other profession allows you to make these kinds of mistakes? None.
SESAY: As someone who has been in the police force, when these moments happen that you and I are discussing, what is the conversation internally?
DORSEY: Internally, for people that look like me, it's that it's outrageous because we understand. Listen, I've spent 20 years on the Los Angeles Police Department and I spent it all in patrol. I never shot anybody.
And so I know that there are ways to do this job. There are ways to take bad people into custody. They run, they cuss, they puff. They don't want to go to jail. It's inherent to what we do. And there's a way to do that without harming them or without being harmed.
So when a police chief says that we're going to conduct an investigation, we're going to have a conversation as the chief did in Sacramento -- we're going to get to the bottom of this and then in the next sentence says, I think there's a reason why someone might turn the volume down on their audio.
SESAY: He didn't even get to that in Sacramento that the volume was turned down. DORSEY: He's being intellectually dishonest when he says there's a reason why someone might do that. And so when you say that to me, Chief, then everything else that comes after that is of no use to me because now you have to credibility.
SESAY: And then once again, you find yourself in a situation where relations between the community and the police splinter, any progress that was made is lost because people are afraid.
DORSEY: And I'm not sure that we've made it. I think we just keep going backwards.
SESAY: Cheryl Dorsey -- thank you. Always appreciate the honesty. Thank you.
DORSEY: Appreciate you.
VAUSE: Well, Papua New Guinea is reeling after a devastating string of earthquakes, aftershocks and landslides. Many have lost everything and yet this natural disaster has gone by almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. We'll try and find out why when we come back.
[00:29:34] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE (voice-over): You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SESAY(voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour:
VAUSE: One of the world's poorest countries is reeling from a frightening string of earthquakes and aftershocks and most of the world seems to be paying little attention. The latest quake to hit Papua New Guinea struck Monday.
SESAY: There were no deaths from 6.6 magnitude tremor but another quake measuring 7.5 triggered landslides, killing dozens of people last month. And ever since then, there have been aftershocks reported in parts of the country nearly every day.
SESAY: Photographer and filmmaker Thomas Nybo joins us now on the phone from the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Tom, great to have you with us. Help me understand, why has the world largely ignored this disaster?
THOMAS NYBO, PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER: You're right; this is largely a forgotten disaster. Almost nobody is talking about the dire situation here in the Highlands. And I think a big part of the problem is that these affected areas are among the most remote communities on the planet and also there is not much of an international media presence on a day-to-day situation.
So in these areas, I had to fly in to some of these villages by helicopter. The road sometimes do not exist or they're covered in SUV-size boulders from landslides triggered by the earthquake.
Yet the story is, some 270,000 people, many of them children, are in need of urgent assistance. They're lacking food, shelter, clean water; the trains -- remember these remote areas, they're high in the mountains. It is cold, it is raining. Many of the natural water supplies have been compromised by the landslides.
Nobody knows exactly what the death toll is but it's certainly above 100. Entire villages have been wiped out. Families were buried alive. And we have countless children traumatized by the likes of something they've never seen nor imagined.
SESAY: The conditions are just horrific. You took some images that captured this tragedy. And we want to show our viewers this is an image of a woman who lost seven children and her husband.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what happened to her and her family?
NYBO: The earthquake struck between 3:00 and 4:00 am. closer to 4:00 am. She was in her home that she shared with her seven children and her husband. And when the earthquake hit, she ran through the house, checked on the safety of her children. All seven children ran out first with her husband.
She told me, they ran out first and they got buried by the landslide. She was the last one out. She still got hit by the landslide. It pushed her down the mountain and broke her leg. But her entire family was killed, seven children and her husband. And she lost her house.
So now she's in a hospital in Mt. Hagen (ph). She is unable to walk without assistance and she has nowhere to return to and no family to return to.
SESAY: It's just terrible, it's just really heartbreaking.
Thomas, we want to put up this picture of a little boy in blue in one of these mountain areas that you talked about, when the evidence they perceived, they need everything. I know that you're talking to these people and this boy, standing amid the debris, just sums up the level of devastation.
How much aid is getting to them?
I mean, what has been the humanitarian response to this?
NYBO: The good news is, this week, UNICEF has now flown in 23 metric tons of supplies, tents, water purification tablets, blankets, emergency nutrition supplies. But you're right. The needs are staggering.
And just yesterday, I spoke with some people who walked five hours to a jungle village that has not been reached by anybody. You need helicopters to reach some of these areas. You need earth-moving equipment to clear the roads.
It is hard to even comprehend what the actual need is, yet alone to raise the funds to deliver that aid because, from the beginning, four weeks ago, nobody has really been talking about this emergency.
SESAY: Well, Thomas, we're grateful that you are out there in the world and you are able to see these scenes first-hand and report back to us. Thomas Nybo there in Papua New Guinea, at the site of multiple earthquakes and aftershocks, Thomas, thank you. Be safe out there.
VAUSE: After Stormy Daniels appeared on "60 Minutes" with a tell-all interview, everyone seems to be talking about the president and the porn star. And when we say everyone we mean everyone except Donald Trump. When we come back we'll explain why the insult comic-in-chief is keeping his mouth shut.
VAUSE: Well, when it comes to a schoolyard putdown, few can challenge the U.S. president. He is quick with a nasty torn that is insulting nicknames can be devastating.
SESAY: And while there is one story everyone seems to be talking about, the president has been remarkably silent.
VAUSE: Hasn't even mentioned it.
SESAY: Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president is taking a licking when it comes to Stormy Daniels. She is water cooler conversation. But you know who isn't talking?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Will you watch "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Mr. President?
MOOS (voice-over): President Trump is waving, pointing, smiling, posing with babies. But when it comes to that hush agreement meant to keep Stormy quiet, well, it is the president who's been hushed lately.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal lying about the affairs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Karen McDougal telling the truth?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, any comment on Ms. McDougal?
MOOS: Stormy Daniels' attorney is literally taunting, daring, provoking President Trump.
MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: Let the president take to the podium and called her a liar.
And we have a president that will tweet about the most mundane thing known to mankind. But for some reason he can't come out and deny the affair.
You know why he won't tweet about it?
Because it's true.
STORMY DANIELS, PORN STAR: He knows I am telling the truth.
MOOS (voice-over): The president's only stab at a post-"60 Minutes" tweet was generic.
"So much fake news. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate."
He is leaving the spin to his spokespeople.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why haven't we heard from him?
RAJ SHAH, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE SECRETARY: Well, that'll be up to the president.
MOOS: Donald Trump doesn't always zip it when facing accusations by women.
MOOS (voice-over): For instance, the "People" magazine reporter, who said Trump pushed her up against a wall and put his tongue down her throat...
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don't think so.
MOOS (voice-over): But if the president insists on keeping a Stormy silence. he's got to hope that "60 Minutes" doesn't become 60 days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More details from Stormy Daniels.
MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still stay a little on the stormy side.
MOOS (voice-over): -- New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
VAUSE: Did you watch it?
SESAY: I read the transcript.
VAUSE: She was very compelling and very convincing. She was very confident in what she had to say. It was interesting to watch.
SESAY: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Stay tuned now. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.