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CNN NEWSROOM

Countries in Unison Against Kremlin; Justice for Fire Victims at a Siberian Mall; Nothing New in Daniels' Top Rating Interview; Warning Ignored by Obama Administration; Russian Mall Fire With Blocked Exits Kills 84; Mystery Guest In China May Be Kim Jong-un; U.S. Government Investigating Facebook's Data Practices; Egyptian President Sisi Expected To Win Re-Election; Yemen Conflict, Three Years Of War. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 27, 2018 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Russian diplomats kicked out all over world. Almost two dozen countries are taking a stand against Moscow.

Plus, criminal negligence and carelessness, that's what Russian President Vladimir Putin says caused a devastating shopping mall fire that killed 64 people including many children.

And apparently, there's a very special guest visiting Beijing. It's still not clear exactly who it is but we know they traveled from North Korea.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

Nearly two dozen western countries are expelling Russian diplomats in retaliation for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom. They include the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Albania, and 16 countries in the European Union.

The U.S. is giving 60 Russian diplomats a week to leave. Their expulsion prompted this reaction from the Kremlin through its U.S. ambassador.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANATOLY ANTONOV, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO UNITED STATES (through translator): What the United States of America is doing today, they are destroying what little remain of U.S.-Russian ties. I would add that all the responsibilities for ruining the Russian-American relation is on the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And CNN's Isa Soares joins me now from London with more on this. Good to see you, Isa. So we're witnessing the biggest collective expulsion of Russian diplomats ever and now the world waits for Russia's retaliation. How is this all playing out? ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it would be interesting to see, Rosie. Good morning to you -- how Russia will react in regards to these latest expulsions. Many people are expecting the tit-for-tat that we've seen for some time.

But let me give you a taste of some European how the papers here how they are covering this. I want to show you this one. Putin the pariah, as you can see at the top here, this is one paper. The Daily Telegraph says "we've crippled Russia's spy web." And then the Guardian "Russian diplomat in U.S. and Europe as well expelled as U.K. allies tend to screw."

And interesting this one here has a quote from Theresa May what we heard her say yesterday in parliament. She says, "If the Kremlin's goal is to divide the west, it has backfired." And in many ways, Rosie, you know, what we're seeing here is a huge win for Theresa May.

Remember, she looks slightly weaker here especially because of Brexit negotiations. They're haven't, as you know, going according to plan, yet, she went to Brussels only last week and she was able to provide new evidence to her European counterparts to show really this is why we believe what the intelligence do we have that Russia is behind it.

And so what we have is this coordinated and collective response from right around the world of European countries saying, look, we've had enough, we've lost all patience with you, Mr. Putin. You broken so many international laws. Sure we haven't all, you know, we haven't all suffered and all being poisoned.

But, you know, just think of Macron in 2015, Rosie, you know, election allegations of elections meddling there the U.S. too, but also an annexation of Crimea.

So, a lot of countries, in particular, Germany yesterday in a statement basically said, and I'm reading here that only foreign ministry was infiltrated by Russian hackers only last month. So Europe basically saying, you know, this is a collective pushback and we're not taking it anymore, Rosie.

CHURCH: Yes. So, 20 countries expelling Russian diplomats, but how significant is the U.S. expulsion of 60 Russian intelligence officers?

SOARES: Do you know what I really do think that the expulsions from the U.S. to President Putin by surprise, yes, it's more symbolic than debilitating and sanctioned many would say would probably have more of a bite and that's without a doubt, we've seen the impact the sanctions have had.

But the expulsions from the U.S would have caught Kremlin by surprise and I think it took many people by surprise, including most of that Prime Minister Theresa may. Let me just show you what the foreign minister -- foreign secretary here said Boris Johnson. That we had a tweet from him that really, we put into context how this is being seen today.

[03:04:59] "Today's extraordinary international response by our allies stands in history as the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence offices and ever and will help defend us shared security. Russia cannot break international rules with impunity."

We also heard from Donald Tusk, the E.U. president yesterday who basically said look, we've ask for Russia to speak up, they have provided no evidence whatsoever. Their all ulterior motives what happened in Salisbury and expect he said other countries to follow suit in terms of expulsions, Rosie, so more to come, watch this space.

CHURCH: Right. Certainly will. Just after eight in the morning there in London. Isa Soares, many thanks to you.

So let's take a closer look now at this with CNN national security analyst Steve Hall. He is the retired CIA chief of Russia operations and joins me now from Tucson, Arizona. Thank you so much for being with us.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Great to be here.

CHURCH: So, President Trump is joined with the United Kingdom and other European nations expelling 60 Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in England. What impact will this action by the U.S. and other nations likely have on Russia ultimately.

HALL: Well, the actual impact will be very interesting to see. I think this was a significant move on the part of not just the United States, but almost more importantly a whole series of western governments who came together for the first time frankly in a while to push back hard against Vladimir Putin and the United States has joined in to that.

And the fact that this is being done as an alliance or as a group of western democracies against this on acceptable Russian behavior I think that is really what's going to impact Vladimir Putin more than anything else because you have remember his large geopolitical goal here is to split the west and to divide western democracies.

And the attempted assassination of Mr. Skripal is actually unified in the way that I beg he didn't anticipate.

CHURCH: But, of course in the end there will be a response from Russia, won't they? So what specific retaliatory moves would you expect from Russia in response to this?

HALL: Although the reciprocity game has changed a bit just in the past year or two, normally one would expect a pretty much one-for-one tit-for-tat type of response from Russia. If we expel 60 Russia of their diplomats we can expect a reciprocal 60.

There was a little bit of flexibility there on both sides but almost certainly that there will be expulsion of significant number of western diplomats and assumedly intelligence officers from Russia.

And we have to remember that the United States is also decided to close a consular, a Russian consulate in the state of Washington in Seattle and that will probably also not go unanswered. There are several American consulates in Russia and it's likely that Russia will also do that.

That's part of the problem with this tit-for-tat thing is that the Russians have stack the deck a little bit. They have many more intelligence officers and diplomats in the western countries than vice versa than the west has inside of Russia, so we're lose a bit on that.

CHURCH: Interesting. And of course, I did want to ask you this whether Russia even cares about the world knowing that it's capable of doing something like this although it has denied that it has. But given that most people would say, well, who else would have the motive for such action, who else would be interested in trying to poison a former spy of Russia.

HALL: Yes, I mean, the answer is nobody. I think what happened here is that Vladimir Putin intended to send us a very strong message to future spies to future traitors of Russia as they see it. And basically saying, look, if you, you know, go to the west after you've committed what we considered to be treason in Russia then we will find you and we will kill you.

And so that's what's led to this back and forth. But I can't help feeling, Rosemary, that this is a little bit of a lost opportunity on the west part. It's a little bit like we're playing analog and they're not doing it digital attack on us.

These PNG's are old, you know, Cold War era types of mechanisms and what we really need to be doing is finding something that will truly hurt, truly impacting get Vladimir Putin's attention and tell him you can't just annex another country Crime, you can't attack another country, Ukraine, you can't mess with other people's elections like in the United States and other places. So we really have--

(CROSSTALK)

CHURCH: So what would -- what would that action be? What are you suggesting?

HALL: There's a lot of creative ideas out there but I think you need to start with some of the things that Russia would really hurt Russia. For example, Russia participates and takes advantage of the international banking system known as SWIFT. If they were suspended from that for a particular period of time, that would send a strong message.

In fact, when this has been talked about before, Vladimir Putin and the Russian government response is, well, that would be an act of war.

[03:10:01] So, that shows that they're very concerned about that. Suspending them or at least putting them on notice on some important international organizations like the U.N. Security Council, which is what gives them a feeling of great power status, that would also be of great concern.

So, the expulsions of diplomats is an important thing that was done in unity with the west and that's a good thing but there needs to be more because the Russians are defining cyber attacks and doing al sorts of things that is really the new way that I think Russia is going to be attacking the west.

CHURCH: Well, let's watch and see whether more action is taken beyond what we're seeing already. Steve Hall, thanks so much for analysis, we appreciate it.

HALL: My pleasure.

CHURCH: More than 21 million people in the United States watched the interview with Stormy Daniels. Allegations from the adult film star and a former Playboy playmate about affairs hush money and cover ups are raising new questions about security clearances.

Brian Todd has the details.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stormy Daniels says she got a clear sense once Donald Trump won the 2016 Republican nomination for president just how badly Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen wanted to keep their alleged sexual encounter secret.

The porn star told 60 Minutes that after a few years of believing her story had faded offers started coming in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STORMY DANIELS, ADULT FILM STAR: Suddenly people are reaching out to me again and offering me money, large amount of money. Was I tempted? Yes. I struggle with that and then I get a call. I think I had the best deal for real.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: From your lawyer.

DANIELS: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: That offer she says was from Michael Cohen, the $130,000 payment Cohen now says he facilitated to Daniels from his own personal funds. Now a key question. If Donald Trump had any other position in the government that required a top secret security clearance with those alleged affairs and attempted cover ups would he get that clearance?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN TURNER, FORMER OFFICIAL, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICE: It's highly unlikely that someone with these types of incidents or activities in their past would get a security clearance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: That's because of the potential for blackmail. Mary Kuntz, a lawyer whose firm has handled hundreds of top secret clearance applications says even if Trump were subject to vet him which he is not as president. The alleged sexual relationships themselves might not disqualify him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY KUNTZ, SECURITY CLEARANCE ATTORNEY: But paying them off, suggesting awareness of being vulnerable to coercion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Cohen has said Trump wasn't aware of the payment to Daniel. Kuntz says government agencies conduct what they call a whole person analysis among people seeking top-secret clearances.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KUNTZ: And they will try to see whether taken as a whole the person's life, whether there's a repeated pattern of poor judgment. A repeated pattern of irresponsibility.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Karen McDougall, a former Playboy model told Anderson Cooper about the lengths she says Trump and his aide went to keep their alleged affair secret.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Why would he have you all book all the travel and the hotel rooms?

KAREN MCDOUGAL, TRUMP ACCUSER: Well, there is no paper trail.

COOPER: In this did you realize it at the time?

MCDOUGAL: Yes, I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Security experts are now warning of other information the Russians or other U.S. adversaries might be looking for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: What we don't know is whether or not there are other individuals out there who may have at some point had relationships or relations with the president and if those individuals have some sort of evidence, particularly is a foreign government or foreign adversary as evidence of those relationships then that is absolutely the kind of thing that can be used against the president as the leverage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: Outside the question of whether there are more people out there with compromising information on President Trump, the president still isn't out of the woods yet in the Stormy Daniels case.

Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti says we can expect him to release more evidence of the alleged affair and the alleged hush money. Both Michael Cohen and the White House have said the president has denied the affairs with both women.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Lawyers for Daniels and President Trump were embroiled in an escalating legal battle. Daniels is now suing Mr. Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen for defamation. Cohen admits paying Daniels $130,000 to sign a nondisclosure agreement but he says her claims of an affair are not true.

Cohen himself has an attorney, and though he is representing Cohen in this case, he offered his take on Daniel's interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: What did you make I'm wondering of Stormy Daniels last night. Do you believe she has an--

(CROSSTALK)

DAVID SCHWARTZ, MICHAEL COHEN'S ATTORNEY: I was completely underwhelmed. In fact, all the Trump haters were underwhelmed. What new did we learn? Look, you're an iconic news person, that was not anything, you know, dramatic by any stretch of the imagination.

She -- we heard that she had an affair with Donald Trump. According to her own story there was only one time they had sex, they were sitting on a couch. Another time she meets some guy in a parking lot threatens her, she's been saying it was Michael Cohen this entire time.

[22:15:03] That's a complete lie. It's an utter fiction and that -- and that in and of itself is defamatory. To say that that was Michael Cohen or someone sent by Michael Cohen, you know what the answer is, I know you're looking for the answer, I said who sent that person. It's a figment of her imagination. That person doesn't exist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And Daniels attorney issuing a challenge to Cohen to do what Daniels did sit down and answer questions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: The American people saw last night, something that they haven't seen from Michael Cohen. They actually saw my client answer questions by a world-renowned journalist who asked tough questions. She sat in an interview for two hours or thereabouts and she face the tough questions and she answered them.

And the American people saw those answers saw how she answered the questions and I think 90 percent of American -- let me put that correction.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHWARTZ: -- with that interview.

AVENATTI: Why hasn't Michael Cohen sat down, forget two hours, I'll take 20 minutes. How about 10 minutes and answered the questions. Instead, he sends you, you're not even involved in the case. Are you ever going to make appearance in the case?

SCHWARTZ: I am never making an appearance in this case.

AVENATTI: So you're--

(CROSSTALK)

SCHWARTZ: I am just here talking--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And after Daniels 60 Minutes interview aired Cohen accused her of defamation for claiming a man threatened her to keep quiet. She didn't refer to Cohen when she described the thread. Her attorney says he's not yet accusing Cohen or the Trump organization of sending someone to threaten Daniels.

We'll take a short break here, but still to come, fire exits were blocked and children trapped inside a burning mall in Russia called their parents pleading to help, some saying their final goodbye.

And a former Obama administration staffer is telling his story about Russia's election meddling why he says the U.S. should have acted years ago. We're back in just a moment.

[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: As a fire ripped through a mall in south central Russia children trapped inside called their families to say their final goodbyes.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin place flowers near the mall in honor of the 64 people killed. Many of the victims are children. President Putin says criminal negligence and carelessness was to blame for the fire.

Well, four people have been detained over violations of fire safety regulations at the shopping center. Emergency exits were blocked and we are just learning a fire alarm had been out of service for almost a week.

Our Max Foster has more.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: The fire reached through the shopping center as it was packed with people, billowing smoke across the Siberian city of Kemerovo. Hundreds of people were inside the Winter Cherry entertainment complex on Sunday afternoon as the emergency services were called to report a smoke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) YEVGENY DEDYUKHIN, SPOKESMAN, KEMEROVO REGION EMERGENCY MINISTRY (through translator): At 4.10 in the afternoon we received information about smoke in the shopping mall on the fourth floor where children's playing rooms and cinemas were situated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: As around 100 people were evacuates, others were trapped by the fire inside. Witnesses say they saw people jumping from the windows in a desperate attempt to escape. At first, emergency workers couldn't get to the upper floors of the building because of the strength of the fire which cause part of the fourth floor to collapse rescuing people instead from the roof with cranes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SVETLANA PETRENKO, SPOKESWOMAN, RUSSIA'S INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE (through translator): The investigators have been working round the clock. Eye witnesses and victims including tenants and owners of shops are being questioned. Four suspected people were detained and also questioned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: The mall contained cinema following alley a children's center and a petting zoo. Dozens of people including at least four children have been killed and many others were in hospital or missing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEDYUKHIN (through translator): Currently, 20 psychologists are working with 17 relatives, I mean, those who have called us and said that they cannot contact their children or some adults who, according to their information, were in the shopping mall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: And investigation has been launched on the governor of the Kemerovo region has announced the victim's families will receive around $18,000 for each relative killed in the fire. But as rescue crews still search the site and as the death toll rises, the families of those killed will have questions as to why the fire in this coal mining town turned out to be so deadly.

Max Foster, CNN.

CHURCH: And the fire in Siberia is one of the worst shopping mall fires in recent years. We want to take a look at details of some others. This past December, 37 people were killed when a fire broke out at a shopping mall in the Philippine city of Davao.

In February 2015, at least 17 people died in a fire at a wholesale market in China southern province of Guangdong, and at least 13 people were killed when a short circuit spark the fire at a three-story shopping center in Lahore, Pakistan in December of 2014. British lawmakers will get a chance to question a Cambridge Analytica

whistleblower about the far-reaching data privacy scandal. Christopher Wylie is set to appear before MPs in the coming hours. The company reportedly harvested personal information from more than 50 million Facebook users and that data may have been used to try to influence voters in the 2016 U.S. election.

A former U.S. national security staffer says the Obama administration dropped the ball on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He says he warned the State Department about potential interference two years earlier.

CNN's Drew Griffin reports.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Russia still denies it but the Twitter war, the fake news, the social media attacks, Putin's new weapon of war as some call it, was launched against Ukraine in 2014 during its election. And just like a Cold War battle a counteroffensive set up by the U.S. State Department pushed back, the Russians backed off, but they didn't go away. They just got better. And one former U.S. official said he tried to sound the alarm that the Russians would try the same tactics in the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[03:24:59] BRETT BRUEN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE'S DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: During the 2016 elections they came at us with exactly the same kinds of techniques that they were using back in Ukraine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: According to Brett Bruen, then director of global engagement on the U.S. national Security Council it was a sign of what was to come, the Russians new weapon of war. And he says in 2014, two years before the U.S. election he urged the State Department to keep the task force up and running and build on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUEN: When I was sitting at the White House telling the State Department for the love of God keep this up. We have a threat, a new threat that we have recognized that we have been successful in many respects in pushing back against. This is not the moment for us to stand out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: Bruen pitch the command center that would track and counter Russian misinformation but he says the State Department dismissed the idea precisely why isn't clear.

CNN spoke to a half a dozen former State Department and national Security Council officials. Some of whom tell us the State Department was focused on diplomacy with Russia. Others blame bureaucracy for getting in the way. Still others assessed the damage, of potential damage to a U.S. Victoria Newland, then head of the State Department's Bureau of Europe

and Eurasian affairs told CNN by phone there was just no money for what Bruen was proposing. We were operating on a shoestring budget as it was, she said. Whatever the reason, the warning of the looming Russian threat was not shared across the Obama administration.

By the time of the Republican and Democratic conventions in July 2016 more than 80 people at the Kremlin back internet research agency were already assigned to meddling in American life. Yet, in the U.S. multiple sources who dealt with national security at the time tell CNN they had no idea the extent of the Russians activities. In other words, they missed it.

On October 7th a joint statement from Department of Homeland Security and the office of the director of national intelligence warned of Russians attempting to interfere with the U.S. election process but mentioned nothing of fake news social media or infiltrating American social groups.

Bruen says they all should have known it because he and others warns us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN: You knew enough that you would've been able to foresee the whole fake news fake grassroots support, fake Twitters coming in this election.

BRUEN: Not only did I feel like I knew enough at that moment, I was sitting in the situation room saying this is something that is going to march across Western Europe. It's something that's going to march over to our shores and we need to be ready.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN: Bruen says his biggest concern now is what Russia is going to do next. His warning was ignored by the Obama administration, but he's puzzled now that his warnings prove true by the Trump administration appears to continue to ignore the Russian threat. He says if anything Putin's newest weapons of this cyber style war have only improved and he doesn't believe the Trump administration is doing much to counter that attack.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

CHURCH: After a short break we'll take a look at Egypt's presidential election which is well underway and women have mobilized into a powerful voting bloc. We'll look at their impact on the race.

Plus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can throw all that stuff up in our face as many times as you want, but that means that we will work harder for Trump. Is it not silly? (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Women who support Donald Trump share their opinions on Stormy Daniels.

You are watching CNN Newsroom. We're back in a moment.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, I want to update you now on the main stories we're following this hour. Emergency exits were blocked and the alarm system was turn off in the Russian mall where a fire killed 64 people on Sunday. Many of the victims were children.

A few hours ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin, place flowers near the mall in honor of those who died. He said criminal negligence and carelessness was to blame for the fire.

Heavy security have surrounded a Beijing guesthouse where a mystery guest is staying. An unofficial tells CNN, there is a strong possibility its North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Neither Pyongyang nor Beijing will confirm the story and this comes just weeks before Kim's plan meetings with the president of South Korea and the United States.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission confirm it's investigating Facebook's methods of collecting and distributing its user data. This follows report as data firm link the President Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, got access to the information of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. Facebook is apologizing for breaching users trust.

Now let's get back to our top story this hour, at least 22 countries are expelling Russian diplomats and a show solidarity with the United Kingdom over nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain. Germany is one of the 16 E.U. countries on that list. CNN Atika Shubert is in Berlin with the details.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Germany wants to make very clear, that it stands in solidarity with Great Britain, its NATO ally. It is expelling four Russian diplomats all with Secret Service or intelligence background. They now have seven days to leave the country. And it's interesting to take a closer look at the Foreign Ministry statement on this.

It says that Germany did not take this decision lightly and specifically stated that this was the first time a nerve agent had been used like this in Europe since World War II. And that's clearly the primary reason for Germany participating in this coordinated diplomatic action. However, it also cited cyber-attacks against the I.T. infrastructure of the Federal Government. For as another reason, Germany blaming Russia for these cyber-attack. So it's not simply an isolated incident, but seems to be a build up

over time of what that Germany sees as hostile actions from Russia. Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEO)

CHURCH: Stormy Daniels interview on the U.S. news program "60 Minutes," gave the show its highest ratings in 10 years, but not everyone believes the adult film star and the accounts of her relationship with Donald Trump. CNN's Randi Kaye reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On Palm Sunday, these conservative Christian women gathered in Dallas to watch Stormy Daniels interview on "60 Minutes."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is shopping her story for many. It's like all the other people will try to make money on the Trump main.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was you first impression of Stormy Daniels?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel sorry for her, my heart hurts for her. This so poor, so far.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are we giving it any credibility?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly true.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the fact that she now wants to come out of the story, because she's afraid of her children? My goodness, would you tell the kiddos about your full-time job.

KAYE: These women all voted for Donald Trump and despite Stormy Daniels claims, they still don't buy her story.

[03:35:05] Why would she come out and give this interview, if she wasn't telling the truth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Money.

KAYE: Do any -- base on this interview, do any of you believe that Stormy Daniels did have sex with Donald Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe it, because I haven't seen any hard proof.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does it really need -- the president of the United States or a stripper porn star, I go with the president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

KAYE: Most in these group believe God ordained Donald Trump to be president and stand by him, despite his imperfection.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that when I voted for him. I was in voting for a quiet (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had to change as a person, in order to become the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stormy Daniels if you -- the lifestyle she's reading right, I mean, I wish you would turn her life over the way --

KAYE: This group suggest the women coming forward with tales of having had an affair with Trump are being targeted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone is looking as shopping for this people to come out of the woodwork, because it is demeaning to our president.

KAYE: And there are some strongly suggested all part of a media plot to bring down Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can throw all that stuff up in our case, and many times as you want, but that means that we will work harder for Trump. It is not your way (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is the media defining the narrative. The people, we the people are ready to define the narrative and it is not about tawdry, sexual -- (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In order for somebody to come forward, you can be pushed by somebody else, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so I think the scenes is, you are looking for a way to impeach my president that I worked very hard for.

KAYE: I'm asking you about a Stormy Daniels interview on "60 Minutes." Period. That's it.

And about that so-called hush money. These women don't see Trump's fingerprints on it, only his lawyer, Michael Cohen's.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe he thought he was just doing a favor, to try to crush some negativity, even though it didn't even happen. Just to get rid of the story that is not even true.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could also, file a suit that the non- disclosure was unsigned, because Trump may have not known about it at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Worst case scenario if he slept with her, whatever, that's between him, the lord and his family. That is not about the job he's doing and running our country in which he is doing an amazing job.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Dallas.

(END VIDEO) CHURCH: A German court will decide whether to extradite the former

Catalan president to Spain, Carlos Puigdemont appeared in a regional court on Monday. He will remain in detention in Germany until an extradition decision is made. Puigdemont, faces charges of rebellion in Spain over Catalonia's campaign for independence. Protesters gathered outside the prison where he's being held calling for his release, many were from Catalonia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): I hope they don't take him back to Spain, because once he's there, it will all be over. This fight will be over, if he will spend the rest of his life in jail. That is unacceptable. That cannot happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): I think we need to get back the dignity that has been taken from us and try to focus on this problem. We have and find a solution for this process, the Catalan's are suffering. I hope the decision of the judge, when it comes to Puigdemont, is a coherent decision and that no further dignity is taken from us Catalans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: He is extradited and convicted in Spain. Puigdemont, faces up to 25 years in prison.

Well, the second day of Belgium, in Egypt's presidential election is under way, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is running against just one of the candidate and it is expected to win easily. One of the big stories though is the woman's vote. They have turned out in large numbers mostly to support Mr. Sisi, who declared 2017, as the year of Egyptian women. They also contributing to a carnival like atmosphere in this election. Ian Lee, has more on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can hear the polling station even before you see them has become more carnival than contest. Every polling station we've been to throughout the city of Cairo, has had this loud speakers blasting patriotic music, kids in the street dancing with shirts that say, get out to vote. That really does boil down between two men. You have the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the little known contender, Mostafa Moussa. And a while, we can ask people by law who they voted for, every person we spoke with, they shy away from their enthusiasm for the incumbent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four years in not enough, it might be enough to put a vision, but it is not enough to implement it. So -- that's why you obviously know who I voted for, right now.

(LAUGHTER)

[03:40:12] LEE: There is 11,000 polling station across Egypt just like this one. Two candidates to choose from and while the winner is a bit of foregone conclusion, the real challenge is voter apathy that government has been working hard to get out to vote. To get the next president a strong mandate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My motivation to come over here, to give my voice, because I think, I have to be positive, if he may come saying yes or no.

LEE: President Sisi, his picture is, literally plastered everywhere here in his own neighborhood of Cataleya in Cairo, it's even over a polling station and that's why many observers have called this election farcical. They say, the opposition really never had a chance that this is more a referendum on the president than an election. Ian Lee, CNN, Cairo.

(END VIDEO)

CHURCH: For the first time, since Saudi Arabia began its military offensive in Yemen three years ago, missiles fired from Yemen by Houthi rebels have killed the person on Saudi soil. Houthi rebels say these images show ballistic missiles being fired at several targets, including the International Airport in Riyadh on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia says all the missiles were intercepted and destroyed, but falling fragments killed an Egyptian national, Houthi officials say the missiles hit their targets and they vowed to continue until Saudi airstrikes in Yemen ceased.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): What the military did yesterday, heading ballistic missiles on Saudi Arabia airports is a clear message that we are resilient and we remain here no matter the pressures that enemy states are placing on us. Do you want a solution that is satisfactory to all then we will stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Monday, marked the 3 year anniversary of the war in Yemen. Thousands of Houthis held a rally in the Yemeni capital against the conflict.

The war has now killed more than 10,000 people since the Saudi led coalition launched its military operations in March 2015. Right now, the Houthis controlled the North of Yemen, including the capital. According to the U.N., over 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, some 17 million people are food insecure. More than 8 million of them are at risk of starvation.

The World Health Organization reports that there have been more than 1 million suspected cases of cholera since October 2016, including 2300 deaths, 2 million people remain displaced.

Kim Jong-un can usually be found in his home country, but did he take this train into Beijing on Monday. The big question. We will look as why sources believe that is his ride.

Plus the U.S. military is about to show off its newest war weapons in the upcoming wargames with South Korea. Back with you in just a moment.

[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: The flashing light, signaled that someone important is in town, but, Monday in Beijing. There was no word as to their identity of an apparently very important visitor. An official with deep knowledge of North Korea says there's a strong possibility that Kim Jong-un is the one paying a visit. Andrew Stevens joins us now from Beijing to help unravel this mysteries. Andrew, how likely is it that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, was on board that train?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN NEWSTREAM ANCHOR: Well, no one certainly saying officially at this stage Rosemary. In fact there has just been a briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a spokesman there was asked directly whether that North Korean leader was in Beijing, or had been in Beijing and the reply was, I have no idea. Now prodigal suggest that we won't have any clear official statement until the North Korean leader if it is indeed him has actually left.

What we do know is that a cavalcade of about 20 or so vehicles lists downtown Beijing of the (inaudible) which is where the leadership offices are the Chinese leadership offices are. That cavalcade left about the three quarters an hour ago and went made his way to the station and we believe that the train has now left Beijing station. It is going to take a few hours - before it clears China back into North Korea. But certainly, the level of security around this trip does suggest, it is a very, very high ranking official and most commentators are leaning towards the fact, the least Kim Jong-un. There's been a heavy, heavy place presence everywhere, Rosemary.

We were outside the Evalu Thai (ph), a guest house early this morning and we were very briskly move along by police, in fact there are police everywhere, various chaotic, the roads had been closed down over the past 24 hours. So, at all does point to what effect it was Kim Jong-un here. They will have to wait for the official statement from Beijing. Perhaps in the next few hours.

CHURCH: Yes, we certainly show, so Andrew, if Kim Jong-un was indeed in town, what would be the reason for his visit to China, of course the timing is imperative here, isn't it?

STEVENS: Yes, absolutely Rosemary. If you put this in context, Kim Jong-un is due to meet with the leader South Korea in April and with Donald Trump in May. China is clearly North Korea's biggest ally and it's been almost sidelined in this flurry of diplomatic activity setting up of these very, very important summits, particularly with the U.S. and Kim Jong-un would most likely need, China on side when he does go into these meetings.

At least he would want China's be aware of what he wants. What is proposing, what he wants to get out of these meetings? And likewise, China was to be involved as well. China's lawyer voice made it clear that it wasn't denuclearize Peninsula. It wants place and stability in the Peninsula. It doesn't want to say North Korea moving towards America, for example. The walls of the new theorized dementia wants peace and stability in the Peninsula doesn't want to see North Korea moving towards America, for example, such as China is obviously very keenly aware of what the Americans could be offering or would may want to offer North Korea.

China is responsible for more than 90 percent of North Korea's trade. So, North Korea has to have China on its side really if it's going forward -- if it was presented this sort of front -- its united front with its key ally in this talks with South Korean particular, as I say with the U.S., Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Andrew Stevens trying to unravel its ministry joining us live from Beijing, where it is 3:48 in the afternoon. Many thanks to you.

Well, North Korea is not happy about some of South Korea's recent military moves, the South has ordered 40 F35, a stealth fighter jet. And it comes as the United States is making its own presence felt in the Pacific, brand-new F-35B fighter jets are in the region now in preparation for the annual wargames with South Korea and we get details now from CNN's Ivan Watson.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Projecting power into the Asia-Pacific. The U.S. military deploying its newest war machines in this vast and prosperous region. The Navy and the Marines invited journalists to see the new F-35B lightning to onboard the USS WASP. Commander say they're making history with this war planes first maritime deployment.

CAPTAIN ROBERT REDDY, F-35B PILOT: It is the first time we had a fifth generations stealth firing capability, deployed as part of marine task force on ship and it really like -- kind of helps in our rapid deployment.

WATSON: But with a projected price tag of nearly $1 trillion over the lifetime of this stealth fighter program, the F-35 is the world's most expensive weapon system. Our recent Pentagon report was to that as of October 2017 there were 263 unresolved high priority performance deficiencies, but the top commander here insists, the warplane is now combat ready.

REAR ADMIRAL BRAD COOPER, USS WASP: This deficiency to this aircraft that we had deployed out here had all been resolved, they are full op and ready to execute combat missions if called upon.

WATSON: The F 35 is just part of the enormous arsenal the U.S. has deployed here. This guided missile destroyer bristles with offensive and defensive weapons. This 50 caliber barrel machine gun is the last line of defense for this warship. But the destroyer is also equipped with the AEGIS weapon system, it can detect ballistic missiles launched from countries like North Korea and then rapidly share that information with other warships.

In 2017, North Korea launched 23 missiles with two flying over Japan, but even though Pyongyang also threatened to target the U.S. island of Guam. The Navy never used it AEGIS missile defense system to shoot down any of North Korea's missiles.

REDDY: There was determination that there was a Pacific threat on the Pacific population, but to keep more important, I think, the capability does exist as the platform to defend against all missiles (inaudible).

WATSON: The USS WASP and its F-35 are headed to South Korea soon to participate in joint military drills. This year, Washington is downplaying these annual wargames. Now that President Trump plans a historic face-to-face meeting with North Korea's leader. If this experiment to diplomacy fails. However, the U.S. military is making clear it prepared to use force to protect the U.S. and its allies in the Pacific. Ivan Watson, CNN with the U.S. Navy in the Philippine Sea.

(END VIDEO)

CHURCH: Donald Trump staying silent on the alleged Stormy Daniels affair, still to come, why he's keeping his mouth shut on the story, everyone else seems to be talking about. Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, spring is struggling to start in Western Europe as more wet weather is moving in. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the details now from the International Weather Center. And springs seems to be struggling for everyone, doesn't it?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I agree, yes, you know, for the folks across Europe too, was all about the beast from East, and there were many version of that a couple of weeks back, so, now we're seems just a very unsettled pattern here with one storm after another, after another lined up across portions of the East Atlantic in really pattern here, of course it is early to the spring season, it is about a week old, spring season is, but you notice disturbances continue lining up, the showers continue spreading into the West and once a semester there actually drops farther and farther South, a winter sort of pattern here that bring the system here with quite a bit of potency.

[03:55:20] In fact, look at the 70 forecast out of London, each of the next seven days, a chance for the showers, averages for the time of the year around 12 degrees, we are above that on Tuesday, by next week, we get back up above that, but in between, just a lot of cloud cover, a lot of wet weather to go around claims logically speaking course as you approach, at least the month of July, that's when we see a quieter trend climbed logically there, but the winter season is bladder portion of summer into autumn and early winter, and that is far from right now, but here comes the showers again over the next couple of days. Very uniform scattered about, much of the continent and even in places like Amsterdam, will expect a lot of cloud cover, a lot of wet weather to go around as well.

London, begin will shoot for 14, Madrid, the place to be at 21 degrees with sunny skies, farther towards the East. Cooler temperatures persist, but noticed as it begins towards a Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I think we might get a little bit of a brief brazier of the forecast.

And finally the month of April might actually come in with an improve conditions, so at least, some hope maybe there on the forecast, for friends across Europe right there.

CHURCH: That is good to, we like a little better hope there on the weather front.

JAVAHERI: Yes.

CHURCH: Thanks so much Pedram. I appreciate it. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump loves the spotlight. He is always calling attention to himself, usually with the tweets, but now there's one story everyone seems to be talking about. Yet, Mr. Trump has been remarkably silent. Our Jeanne Moos, covers it.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president is taking a licking when it comes to Stormy Daniels. She's water cooler conversation, but, you know who isn't talking?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you watch "60 Minutes," on Sunday Mr. President?

MOOS: President Trump is waving, pointing, smiling, posing with babies, but when it comes to that hush agreement, meant to keep Stormy quiet. Well it's the president who's been hush lately.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you been lying about the affairs?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, any comment on Ms. McDougal?

MOOS: Stormy Daniels attorney is literally taunting, daring, provoking President Trump.

MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIEL'S ATTORNEY: Let the president take to the podium and call her a liar. That 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, PORNSTAR: He knows, I'm telling the truth.

MOOS: The president's only staff in a post "60 Minutes," tweet was generic, so much fake news, never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. He's leaving the spin to his spokes people.

RAJ SHAH, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Well, that will be up to the president.

MOOS: Donald Trump doesn't always zip it when facing accusations by women. For instance, the "People Magazine," reporter said Trump pushed her up against the wall and put his tongue down her throat.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don't think so.

MOOS: But if the president insists on keeping us Stormy silence. He's got to hope that "60 Minutes," doesn't become 60 days.

ANDERSON COOPER, BREAKING NEWS SHOW HOST: More details from Storm Daniels.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We still stay a little in the Stormy side.

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEO)

CHURCH: There you go. Thanks for your company this hour, I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter, we'd love to hear from you. And the news continues now with Max Foster in London. You are watching CNN, have yourself a great day.