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French Women Speak Out about Church Sex Abuse; Remembering Fashion Icon Karl Lagerfeld; Bayern Hold Liverpool to Scoreless Draw. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired February 20, 2019 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A damning report from "The New York Times" pulls together two years of the Trump administration and extreme measures taken by the president and others to interfere with ongoing investigations.

There's an imminent end to the last of the ISIS controlled territory, attention now turning to the man who once declared and ruled the caliphate, the hunt for Abu Baker al-Baghdadi.

And as the pope prepares for a sex abuse summit, women survivors of clergy abuse are demanding to be heard as the Vatican admits there are secret rules for priests who father children.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


VAUSE: It's always been the paradox at the heart of the denials by the U.S. president. If he is completely innocent of everything, why then has there been such an extensive cover-up, at least attempts to cover up and obstruct the likes of which have never been seen before?

And new reports are bringing fresh scrutiny of Donald Trump and past players in his administration. "The New York Times" is reporting that Mr. Trump asked the former acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, to put an ally in charge of the investigation into hush money payments despite that U.S. attorney's recusal from the investigation.

Mr. Trump denies the story; so, too, does Matthew Whitaker. At the same time a judge has ordered former Trump advisor Roger Stone back to court after an inflammatory social media post criticizing that judge and the case against him.

And now House Democrats are leaning into efforts once backed by former national security adviser Michael Flynn to push a proposal to export nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.


VAUSE: Ron Brownstein is CNN's senior political analyst. He's also senior editor for "The Atlantic" and he joins us from Los Angeles.

Ron, good to have you with us.


This deep dive by "The New York Times," it brings up significant news, like that phone call the president is said to have made to his acting attorney general. If it's true, it's hard to see how it would not be an attempt to obstruct justice.

But much of "The Times' reporting information which is already public. Or does it pulls everything together and the obvious takeaway seems to be if these investigations are a witch hunt, a nothing burger, then why is the president and his supporters going to such extreme lengths to obstruct and cover up?

BROWNSTEIN: First off all, on Michael Cohen, we know it's not a nothing burger. There are criminal violations of campaign finance law and the president is essentially an unindicted coconspirator in the case at this point.

It was a great report by Mark Mazzetti and others, Mark who's now a CNN contributor as well. And not only the extraordinary phone call, which by itself, I think, you know, in ordinary times without everything else going on, would be enough to have some people on Capitol Hill talking about opening an impeachment inquiry.

Beyond that, I mean, the report really gives you the texture of how many congressional Republicans have essentially knitted themselves into the president's effort to defer and deter and deflect all of these investigations.

And, you know, it kind of underscores the extent to which, in the first two years of this presidency, there was a decision made to completely abandon -- not only abandon oversight but to actually work to frustrate these independent investigations in the service of trying to get their common agenda through.

VAUSE: This was the investigation into Michael Cohen and the hush money payments he paid out to the two women. It's not so much what Whitaker did, because he said he did nothing, the call in and of itself, if it's true and it can be proven, that's where the obstruction or attempted obstruction of justice has taken place, right?

BROWNSTEIN: Right. The idea that the -- first of all, it's a reflection of the extent to which the president views the Justice Department and the entire law enforcement apparatus of the federal government as an extension of his personal will.

We've really gotten inured to the extent to which these are extraordinary violations of traditional norms. I mean, this is just barreling through the barriers that have historically separated the White House from active criminal investigations of any kind. But then to kind of add on top of that, we're talking about a criminal

investigation of the president's fixer and attorney that ultimately touched on him and his own behavior.

And the thought that he is calling an attorney general -- and it says something that he is comfortable calling this acting attorney general to make this request -- to try to influence who was conducting that investigation is just so far -- if true, is just so far beyond the boundaries, that, again, you can't even see the shore anymore.

VAUSE: We have the former acting director of the FBI out doing the television rounds, promoting a new book, he's done a number of interviews and has repeated, you know, his belief that Donald Trump might in fact be a Russian asset. I want you to listen to the response --


VAUSE: -- to that claim from White House aide Kellyanne Conway.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: It's hardly worth dignifying with a response. He's a known liar and leaker and he's said to your colleague, Anderson Cooper, and earlier today on a different network, gee, it's possible but I can't say it's a fact.

Then why the heck are we talking about it?

It's completely ridiculous and he knows it.


VAUSE: For part of that answer I want you to listen to Andrew McCabe.


ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: It's extraordinary. I don't think we've ever seen anything quite like it. I'm not aware of a single other campaign that's been investigated or looked at for the same curious ties with Russia.

Numerous people in and around the president, in and around the campaign maintained contacts with individuals from Russia, people connected to the Russian intelligence services. You have a number who have been charged, a number who have been already convicted and pled guilty for all kinds of different offenses.


VAUSE: And, again, that reporting again from "The New York Times," which says the president has attacked or criticized the Russia investigation over 1,100 times. If nothing else, we think he doth protest too much. BROWNSTEIN: It is a fair conclusion that the level of contact between this campaign that became the administration and Russia, is, at least in my experience of covering nine previous presidential campaigns, absolutely unprecedented. There's never been any foreign government, I think, that has been as intimately -- it seems to me -- intimate connections and contacts as we have seen with the Trump administration.

Now whether McCabe, given his own history, is the one that Americans are going to look to kind of reach that conclusion is another question. I think he's probably on stronger ground when he sticks to essentially kind of that "Dragnet," "Just the facts, ma'am," and reports what he encountered and experienced with the president.

For example, the extraordinary comments about not believing the intelligence agencies and believing Vladimir Putin instead over North Korea's missile capability. I don't know if ultimately he will be seen as the best, what, a judge of whether that label applies to the president.

Obviously Americans are going to be waiting to see what Bob Mueller decides, what he concludes.

VAUSE: Which is essentially what McCabe said. He said it'll be interesting to see where Mueller goes with this. That was of the FBI investigation into Trump being an asset. That's being implied it was an ongoing investigation.

I want go back to the president asking Whitaker to appoint a loyalist into the Cohen investigation because Donald Trump was asked specifically about that and this was his response.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ask acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker to change the leader into the investigation into your former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

TRUMP: No, not at all. There's a lot of fake news out there.


VAUSE: Not exactly a surprising answer from the president but I want you to listen to Whitaker's denial. He made this before Congress earlier that month and he stands by it today. This is what he said.


MATTHEW WHITAKER, FORMER ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: At no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation.


VAUSE: Then there is a very specific choice of words I think from a legal point of view.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, that's a nondenial denial. I mean he is denying something that was not alleged in the story, right?

I mean -- and he is not denying what is alleged in the story. Now whether -- it's still open whether the House could consider that perjury because certainly it is misleading in the context of the new revelation, again, if the new revelation is true.

And I can't -- it would not surprise me if, at some point, they sought to ask him again under oath not whether he provided an ironclad commitment but whether he was asked specifically to change the leadership of that investigation.

VAUSE: They say one of the hardest things in the world to do is to stop running for president. And America's favorite Democrat from Vermont, case in point. Bernie Sanders announced he's in the running. Here he is on CBS.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT.), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You may recall in 2016 many of the ideas that I talked about, Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, all of those ideas, people, oh, Bernie they're so radical. They're extremely American. People just won't accept those ideas.

You know what's happened over the last three years?

All of those ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream.


VAUSE: He's right. It seems he's a victim of his own success, because this time he's got serious competition on the progressive side of the political field.

BROWNSTEIN: First of all, there is no question that the party has moved. But it is still also true --


BROWNSTEIN: -- they are not universally accepted in the Democratic Party. And in fact many of them, particularly the single payer Medicare for all and the free college, will be important fault lines in the race.

You know, in 2016, one of the big questions for 2020 is how much of Bernie Sanders' support in 2016 was intrinsic to him and in connection with him and his message?

And how much was simply him being the vessel for all the different elements of the party who didn't like Hillary Clinton? I think it's pretty clear he did have a strong connection to young voters and he had a strong connection to independent voters who participated in the Democratic primary. But, John, he really struggled with minority voters. He only won about a fifth of African Americans.

He also struggled, for someone who refused to join the party, he struggled with self-identified Democrats. Hillary Clinton beat him 2:1 overall in 2016 among voters who called themselves Democrats.

It's very hard to win a party's nomination if the people who identify with it most intensely don't vote for you. One of the issues he faces is whether he can broaden beyond the issues he had in 2016.

And the other is what you suggest, which he's going to have a lot more competition, particularly from young people. If Beto O'Rourke runs, for example, that could really cut into where Sanders is. But I think the core question is the same one it has been for this upscale white liberal candidate.

Can they get African American voters to vote for them?

Usually the answer has been no. And if Sanders can't solve that this time, he won't be the nominee.

VAUSE: It seems like an uphill battle for Bernie. But we'll see.

Ron, as always, thank you so much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Well, for nearly two weeks ISIS has been surrounded and near the brink of defeat in its last Syrian enclave. U.S. backed Kurdish commanders say some of the jihadists are now surrounding, others could still be fighting to the death.

The Kurds say they have dozens of trucks on standby ready to rescue civilians. The Syrian Democratic Forces say they've also seized ISIS weapons. This is video claiming to show what was found inside an arms warehouse.

And the sun is setting on this self-declared ISIS caliphate but the terror group's leader is still nowhere to be found. CNN's Arwa Damon has more now on the hunt for Abu Baker al-Baghdadi.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reverberating through the streets of this Old City during Friday's sermon are the words of the true meaning freedom in Islam. But it was also on a Friday in July 2014 when Mahmoud Dawood, an imam, said his cellphone suddenly lost reception.

"I saw masked men all over the neighborhood and on rooftops," he tells us. "The cars came. It's the first time I see them. More than 200 with tinted windows." And then, Abu Baker al-Baghdadi showed up with, declared the

caliphate, himself its leader and ordered all Muslims to obey him.

DAMON: And that's exactly where al Baghdadi gave his address.

DAMON (voice-over): Mahmoud says he knew in that moment that Iraq would be demolished. It's the only one of al Baghdadi's locations that is fully confirmed. Since then, despite being hunted by the best intelligence agencies, there has been little more than brief sightings, spotty intelligence and conflicting information.

Saddam el-Jamal (ph), a mid-level Syrian ISIS prisoner on death row in the Iraqi capital, said he never saw al-Baghdadi but was close to those who did.

About a year and a half ago, he tells us, there were attempts by foreign fighters to overthrow Baghdadi but he had them all killed.

The dissent within ISIS leadership ranks has even further shrunk the entourage around Baghdadi. The sprawling town of Shirqat is one of the areas where an intelligence source says Baghdadi moved through in 2015, holding meetings with senior commanders in statehouses.

DAMON: We've been talking to residents here on camera but they were telling us that they saw ISIS' top military commander coming in and out of this house. And numerous sources say that this is where he was killed in 2015.

And an Iraqi intelligence source tells us that this house is one of the places where he would meet with Abu Baker al-Baghdadi.

DAMON (voice-over): There were also reports we cannot confirm, that Baghdadi was wounded in that same airstrike. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer says that on at least on three occasions, two in Iraq and one in Syria, they called in strikes that came close to taking him out.

For insight into how the ISIS leader may be moving around, we head from Shirqat to the edge of Baghdadi's former hideout, the foothills of the Hembri (ph) Mountains. To the west of here lies a vast stretch of desert that leads into Syria. Exclusive images obtained by CNN show what we are told are ISIS spotter hideouts, masquerading as nomad tents.


DAMON (voice-over): Photographs of the tunnels inside the mountains, how their entrance is hidden, life inside the caves and a brief video where one fighter discusses his injury and they all crack jokes.

This is where ISIS is training its strike force and still carries out sporadic attacks.

DAMON: If you look at the landscape, it's actually a very good illustration of how ISIS is now being forced to move around. They take advantage of these gorges that exist throughout this entire area. In fact, at one point they were actually able to, while moving through

these gorges, come up and attempt to plant an IED right here on the road.

DAMON (voice-over): Out here, ISIS still rules the night, coming down in small groups to murder, plant bombs and steal. The Iraqis believe they are closing in on Baghdadi but he has eluded them more than once, disappearing into the shadows of these lawless lands -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Shirqat, Iraq.


VAUSE: Still to come here, questions surrounding a reported White House plan to send nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. And the man behind it, Donald Trump's disgraced former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.

And the Saudi crown prince arrives in India to talk investment strategy but regional tensions could (INAUDIBLE).




VAUSE: A new report from congressional Democrats in the U.S. has put the former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, back in the spotlight. Despite repeated warnings from legal counsel, White House officials in the early months of the Trump administration continued to push a proposal to export nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

And that project was backed by Flynn. Kara Scannell has more now from Washington.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The House Oversight Committee is launching an investigation into the White House and its handling of a plan to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia.

The plan, promoted by an outside company, was backed by then national security advisor, Michael Flynn. The committee released a Democratic staff report based on interviews with whistle blowers at the National Security Council.

According to the report, career NSC staffers raised multiple red flags about the legality of the pitch, whether it violated conflict of interest laws or the Atomic Energy Act. That act limits the transfer of nuclear power to foreign governments without Congress' approval.

The staff brought these concerns to the ethics and legal counsel inside the NSC and were told to stop working --


SCANNELL: -- on the plan. One political appointee called it "a scheme for these generals to make money. We cannot do this."

But Flynn and his aides overrode those objections and continued to push it forward. Now even after Flynn was fired, according to the report, the NSC aides there still supported the nuclear plan.

The Democratic report is limited to the first three months of the administration but Representative Cummings says they need to investigate whether the plan was being pursued in the best interests of U.S. national security or to line the pockets of the administration -- Kara Scannell, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is in New Delhi. India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, broke government protocol, personally welcoming the prince to the airport.

In today's visit, the prince is expected to announce investments and energy innovation and infrastructure. But there's heightened tension between India and Pakistan over a recent suicide bombing in Kashmir and that may overshadow the talk about business.

New Delhi bureau chief, Nikhil Kumar, joins us now live now from New Delhi.

So MBS as he's known, got $20 billion in Pakistan got a gold-plated gun and a holiday named after him. That should make for some interesting dinnertime conversation in New Delhi.

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: As you said, we're expecting to hear energy and investment deals, infrastructure deals in India; while India imports most of the oil it uses, a significant chunk of it comes from Saudi Arabia.

But as you also mentioned his previous stop on this Asian tour was Pakistan, where he announced about $20 billion worth of investment deals. Just days before he landed over the weekend, there was that horrific attack on the Indian minister in Kashmir, where Indian forces were hit; 40 Indian paramilitaries lost their lives in the worst attack in -- on Indian forces in that region in several decades.

So there's that cloud hanging over this whole visit. Whether that will come up, what will be said about it. He arrived last night as you said. The Indian prime minister has broken protocol, as he's done several times before, to go to the airport to greet him.

There was a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace today and then later today there's going to be joint talks, delegation level talks between the two leaders and we'll get a joint statement.

And the thing I think people will be watching out for very carefully is whether or not Kashmir, Pakistan, those tensions, whether or not that topic comes up. Because it is certainly dominating attention over here. It's been in the headlines, been in the news ever since that attack happened last Thursday -- John. VAUSE: Nikhil, thank you; we'll be checking in with you to find out exactly what's going on there and what the mood is like, especially given that trip to Pakistan.

OK, for almost two weeks Haiti has been rocked by violent anti- government demonstrations. And amid that chaos came word of the arrest of eight foreigners, including five Americans for illegal possession of firearms, which the prime minister now claims was part of a plot to attack the government. Miguel Marquez has the latest now from Port-au-Prince.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eight men arrested in Haiti, five of them Americans. Police say they were heavily armed. The country's prime minister now calling them terrorists.

"These men were mercenaries," he says. "They were here to attack part of the executive branch of the government. I promise you we will know every detail of why they were here."

The arrests stirred worry and rumors nationwide as Haiti struggles through protests that shut down the entire country for over a week, the most serious threat the government here has faced in years.

MARQUEZ: How serious is this current situation?

BOCCHIT EDMOND, HAITIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: For me, it is very serious because we are talking about a democratically elected president that's under threat of being removed by some very, you know, radical groups.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In an exclusive interview, Haiti's foreign minister laid out what the Haitian government is now doing to head off further crises.

EDMOND: I believe the only way we can start feeling that it's over is, once we have decided to sit together, to sit down and talk between us. Because --

MARQUEZ: And that process is only beginning today or now.

EDMOND: It's already starting.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Several government ministers held a rare press conference, a show of unity. The message: the government is focused on addressing protester concerns.

"We are going to cut the government budget," he says, "and spend the money on programs to respond to the demands of the people on the street."

At a competing press conference, opposition leaders called for renewed efforts to protest the government.

"The president must go," he says. "This is a fight for our country." Protesters in one Port-au-Prince neighborhood say they'll only settle

for the president's resignation. David did not want his last name used.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "There will be a revolution," he says, "a new government and a new Haiti."

The government says the last thing the country needs is more political instability -- Miguel Marquez, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


VAUSE: And CNN is still trying to find out more details about the allegations against those eight men. We reached out to the U.S. State Department for comment but so far no reply. We also don't know if the men have any legal representation.

Still to come here, an admission for the Vatican: coming up, how the Catholic Church deals with priests who break their vows of celibacy and father children.

Also another scandal acknowledged by the pope: nuns raped by priests and bishops. Some became victims of what the pope called "sexual slavery." Their stories, a CNN exclusive -- up next.




VAUSE: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.


VAUSE: In a few weeks after Pope Francis admitted for the first time that nuns have been raped by priests and bishops, many of the abuse survivors are breaking their silence. Melissa Bell spoke exclusively with several women betrayed by now a notorious French order.


"LUCIE," SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM: And it was automatic, you know. He wanted to go to the end, to ejaculation and I was just like an object for him and I had the feeling he did this a lot of times.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Lucie," not her real name, says she was abused by a priest. So do these women. None of their alleged abusers have ever faced trial. This is the story of the broken women of St. Jean.

The Order of the Contemplative Sisters of St. Jean was founded here at St. Jodard by Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, who preached for the physical expression of affection. It was long after his death that the order recognized that he'd been guilty of sexual abuse.

But for years, there were rumors about other priests and other victims within the order.


[00:30:14] BELL (voice-over): Lucie was 18 years old and preparing to become an oblate, a lay person consecrated within the church, when she says the abuse began.

LUCIE, ABUSED BY A PRIEST: You can be 18 or 16 or 20, when you have not experienced sexuality and you have suddenly in front of you the sex of men, it's just a shock.

BELL: It took Lucie 15 years to be able to talk about it. She then says the church wouldn't listen. In the criminal courts, the statute of limitations had expired.

The Vatican now says it is investigating allegations made by several women against Lucie's alleged abuser. He was removed from the community ten years ago, but even now, it is the strength of her faith that makes it so hard to take in.

LUCIE: He's a priest, he's a father, he's near God, he's like God. The Christ is living in him. He cannot do something like this.

I think the worst was to talk. It broke me. It broke my body, in fact.

I prefer to have been shot by a gun or if I had just a leg handicap, it's OK. I can live my life. But here it's a murder inside of your heart and of your soul, because it's about faith also. So it's like something is dead in me.

BELL: Liene was a novice when she was abused. The Order of St. Johns says that her alleged abuser, Father Mario Olivier (ph), is now being investigated by the Vatican. He declined our request for comment.

Liene only began to put a word on what had happened to her two years ago, and by then, it was too late to take to the criminal courts.

LIENE MOREAU, SEX ABUSE VICTIM (through translator): The psychological abuse was worse than the sexual abuse. It's my inner life. He took my dignity, my femininity, all that I was.

BELL: Liene says the abuse went on for 15 years. In the letters she shows us, Father Mario Olivier (ph) suggests discretion, adding that his crazy love for her comes from Jesus.

CNN reached out to the Vatican. Its spokesman wouldn't comment on any specific allegations but did confirm that several clerics belonging to the congregation of St. John were being investigated.

Laurence is a former nun who now heads a victims organization.

LAURENCE POUJADE, SENTINELLE VICTIMS GROUP (through translator): We are talking about victims who don't speak out, but what about those who went straight to psychiatric hospitals? What about those who mutilated themselves. I know one case. Her parents called me to tell me that she had cut out her own tongue. What can you say? What happened for a victim to do that?

BELL (on camera): Not all of the abuse took place here, but the order says that over the course of the last 45 years, five priests have been found guilty of sexual abuse in civil courts, with three under investigation. Furthermore, two priests have been found guilty of abuse in church courts.

(voice-over): French authorities wouldn't comment, but the Order of St. John gave CNN a statement saying that it accepted that errors had been made in the past in the handling of cases of sexual abuse because of a lack of awareness of the suffering caused to the women.

(on camera): We did just try and ring the bell here at the order of St. John, but no one would speak to us on camera. What matters, though, now, is that the order has recognized that there are victims other than those of the founder.

Now, that acknowledgment came just after Pope Francis had lifted the lid on what he called sexual slavery within the Order of St. John. So what did the pope's words mean for the victims?

LUCIE: Well, it was like a bomb.

MOREAU (through translator): (=It's a new beginning.

BELL: The pontiff's recognition may come late, but it does put words on a trauma that, for so many, had until now been unspeakable.

Melissa Bell, CNN, St. Jodard.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, there's outrage in anger and France and beyond. Up to 80 Jewish graves were painted with Nazi symbols at at cemetery in a southern area (ph) of Strasbourg. French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the desecration and visited the cemetery to inspect the damage. On Tuesday night thousands marched in protest against anti-Semitism across France. They were joined by the prime minister and two former French presidents.

Still to come, with the death of creative genius Karl Lagerfeld, what does the future now hold for Chanel, the fashion house he remade?


VAUSE: The man best known for remaking Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, died on Tuesday in Paris. He was 85 years old.

He was appointed Chanel's creative director more than 30 years ago. The CEO called him a creative genius, a man ahead of his time. Others have said he was simply one of the greatest designers in the history of fashion. Fashion designer Nick Verreos joins us now from Los Angeles.

So Nick, thank you for being with us. I imagine this is a pretty sad day for anyone associated with the fashion industry. But Lagerfeld, he survived, and he thrived in an industry not exactly known for rewarding longevity. So what was his secret? How did he continue, I guess, to reinvent himself for 70 years?

NICK VERREOS, FASHION DESIGNER: Yes, definitely. First of all, thank you, John. Good to be with you.

He really did prove that he was a great among all greats. You know, I say that he was undisputedly probably the most prodigious fashion designer in this modern era.

And as you said, he found a way to reinvent himself and to reinvent the fashion house of Chanel, especially the brand. When he was named fashion designer in 1983, it was really barely surviving, they said, and he almost performed a fashion emergency. It was barely surviving off of the perfume sales.

But what he did is he never looked back. He always looked forward. But he found a way of magnificently reinventing the Chanel jacket in so many different ways and bringing in newness, freshness, youthfulness. They that the age, the average age of the customer during his legacy, during his time designing went from the mid-50s to about the mid-30s. And so he found a way to make it fresh, make it new.

VAUSE: And also, you tweet about you're always looking forward. One of his sort of favorite lines, I guess, because he had this incredibly dry wit, "Trendy is the last stage before tacky." I thought that was particularly good.

But we're talking about Chanel here, because as you say, the company, it wasn't doing well before he came along.


VAUSE: And he kind he rebranded not just in terms of design but also a business model, as well. Here's part of a report from Bloomberg, which I felt was pretty interesting. "While very few could afford items such as the shopping basket bag he created for the 2014 couture show, far more could manage a bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume (and it didn't seem to matter that he felt free to insult his shoppers that fell afoul of his standards by wearing sweatpants having children or being overweight. They still lusted after one of his lipsticks)."

So in other words, he did what all good salesmen do. He sold dreams and he sold aspirations.

VERREOS: Exactly. You know, I always say the sign of a fabulous, undisputable fashion designer is when you get to put the fuchsia in the window. And then they go into the store and buy the black shift dress or buy the perfume or buy the sunglasses. And this is what made Karl Lagerfeld such a genius. He put many, many fuchsias in the window. And by that, I mean a Chanel baseball cap, Chanel jeans. You know, the double "C's" on everything.

I remember I was -- barely could afford rent, but I had to buy my mother a pair of Chanel earrings to give her that status symbol.

VAUSE: You are a good son.

VERREOS: And so he did that to people.

VAUSE: But others have tried it. They've tried to go down the same road, Pierre Le Cardin. Not quite at the same levels, but really destroyed the brand in a major way --


VAUSE: -- by trying to repeat what Lagerfeld did, but it was an absolute disaster.

[00:40:05] VERREOS: Right, right. You just have to have that -- it's that genie in the bottle. And I think that Karl Lagerfeld, what he knew is he knew how to capture the zeitgeist, the moment, what everybody was going to do, was going to do, was going to think of doing. He just -- he just had that magic, magic touch. And he just had that sensible touch. And he also had the perfect team around him that knew what was going to be hot.

And like I said, he never looked back. He said, "If the designers start thinking about, you know, their pasts being so great," then he said, "they should stop." And so he never did that. And I think that that's what really made him such a genius, a god among all the gods and goddesses of the fashion world --

VAUSE: Cool.

VERREOS: -- including St. Laurent, Christian Dior, et cetera.

VAUSE: OK. What is now the big question is the future of Chanel. It's privately owned by two brothers. They could take the company public. They could just sell it. It's valued at almost $60 billion. I guess is it still worth that sort of money without Lagerfeld?

VERREOS: You know, I think it is. I think it's going to carry on the legacy that Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel created. And then Karl Lagerfeld continued. You know, they announced that Virginie Viard will continue the legacy. And she was actually Karl Lagerfeld's right arm. He even said, "She is my right arm." She is the right-hand woman who will continue the legacy.

In fact, in his last haute couture show, she took the bow, because he said he was too tired. And she has been an intern -- she was an intern since 1987. So I think that they're in good hands, and I think that the house of Chanel, the legacy, all of that will continue beyond Karl Lagerfeld.

VAUSE: I wonder if she'll wear the sunglasses and pull her hair back in that same ponytail style, whether that will continue. I guess not. That was unique. Nick, thank you. VERREOS: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: Some visitors to Yosemite National Park in California may have an experience. They may get to witness the so-called "firefall." For just a few days each February when light hits Horsetail Fall at just the right angle at sunset, the water fall glows as if lava is flowing over a cliff. It looks different from year to year. This year, the park says it will miss, with all the snow and the storms in the area.

And here's another spectacular sight. Boof! A scientist was using her whale selfie stick to get video of the killer whale in Antarctica. She says this young whale made a beeline for the camera and even showed her a piece of fish in his mouth. Part of the research is trying to determine if whales eat this particular type of fish, and now we know they do.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. WORLD SPORT is up after the break. You're watching CNN.


KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Welcome along to WORLD SPORT. I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center.

In the history of the Champions League or former European Cup, there have only been two teams to have won more titles than Bayern Munich and Liverpool. And with ten titles between then, they'll both be hoping to go deep into this year's draw. But only one can emerge from this round of 16 matchup.

To Anfield, where Liverpool were hosting the first leg. The Reds threw everything at the visitors here, some might say, including the kitchen sink.

[00:45:07] The German side had the answer for that, though, and defended as well as attacked in equal measure. Probably one of the best nil-nils you'll actually ever see. An intriguing tactical battle on the pitch, that's for sure.

Some say Bayern are slight favorites, even though they didn't get an away goal on. The second leg, at the Allianz Arena, is on Wednesday the 13th of March.

On the line is the chief soccer correspondent of "The New York Times," Rory Smith.

And Rory, it looked as if both teams played out of this world in this match, especially in the first half. It was almost like watching a videogame there. And just please describe to us what it was like witnessing all that in person.

RORY SMITH, CHIEF SOCCER CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK TIMES" (via phone): Well, first off, it was as you say breathless and exciting and entertaining. Flawed. I don't think either team were playing it with a perfect performance. That obviously makes more entertainment from the neutrals' point of view. It did tail off a little bit in the second half, which I think is natural when teams ultimately have put so much effort and energy into a first-half performance. But to call -- did pull up a bit. And I think there came a point, maybe, where both teams thought that 0-0 wasn't the end of the world for anybody.

But it certainly makes the return leg a fairly exciting prospect, to say Bayern don't have the away goal. Liverpool now have that slight advantage. If they score, it can do more damage. Their away record in Europe this season has been quite poor. I think Bayern have to be favorite with 0-3.

RILEY: All right. Picking up on that point, it was expected for the Reds to go for the win, but how surprising was it that, actually, Bayern also went for it on the night?

SMITH: Well, I think it was to Bayern's credit, really, that they didn't come, necessarily, just to stifle and to spoil. They clearly thought they could exploit the weakness in Liverpool defense, obviously, Virgil van Dijk was suspended (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for the Liverpool team. Bayern thought that without him, Liverpool had a makeshift sort of defense. And they will have, I think, been disappointed not to have scored.

They had a greater sense of control and composure. I think that's what really marked Bayern out. This is a team that's been through to all but two Champions League semifinals this decade. They know what they're doing at this level, and I think that showed.

They controlled the game. They had a degree more kind of composure and style about the way they played, especially in that first half. Liverpool were energy and effort. Bayern had a little bit more class, and maybe that will tell in the second leg.

RILEY: Now, what, if anything, do you expect to change between these two teams in the second leg?

SMITH: Well, the big difference is van Dijk should be back. If he's not injured, then Liverpool have their towering central defender to play, who's made such a difference to the team and to the club. He's back from suspension in Munich, obviously, if he's not injured in the meantime. That will give Liverpool a lot of confidence.

Theoretically, it should suit them playing on the break (ph). They have that pace in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. That will be the sort of game they like. But Bayern at the Allianz (ph) are so impressive, so swaggering. And as I say, these are the sort of games that these Bayern players have played countless times. That experience, they think, will come in their stead (ph).


RILEY: Many thanks to Rory there, speaking to us at Anfield after the final whistle.

Well, in Champions League history, 31 sides have drawn the first leg of a knock-out match at home, 0-0. But only ten have progressed. So this wasn't the only Champions League match on Tuesday featuring a five-time winner of the competition.

In fact, Barcelona were also in action this time, traveling away to the French side, Lyon, over in France. And just as Liverpool were, it was 0-0; and that's how it finished in Lyon, Barcelona with 21 attempts on goal. Nothing was landing. They'll head to Barcelona on March 13, as well, with everything to play for there.

Well, two more Champions League opening legs were in the books, as well, with two more coming on Wednesday. Perhaps the most-profile being between two teams who, between them, have appeared in four of the last five Champions League finals. That's Madrid and Juventus. Sadly, neither team managing to win on any of the four occasions. But they'll both be looking to change that this year.

For Juve's Cristiano Ronaldo, this will be his first return to Madrid since leaving, at Letico's (ph) crosstown rivals, Real, this summer, 2017 runners-up, Juventus have not won the Champions League since 1996. And we'll be hoping that the addition of Ronaldo will bring them the title this season.


MASSIMILIANO ALLEGN, JUVENTUS MANAGER (through translator): Having Ronaldo for sure is an advantage, because for the last ten or 11 years of Champions League it's been Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi. Therefore, for us it's an advantage. But the team has to deliver a strong performance. In football, it's not directly proportional that, if you have Ronaldo, you will win. When you have Ronaldo there's more of a chance of winning, because he's the best player in the world.


RILEY: Elsewhere, in USA Gymnastics, which has been embroiled in the Larry Nasser scandal, has a new president and CEO, Li Li Leung. The organization has been in turmoil following revelations of their former team doctor sexually abusing their athletes.

USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy back in December, and Leung says one of her first priorities at her new job will be to reach settlements with the survivors of the Nasser abuse case, saying, "I look forward to collaborating with the entire gymnastics community to create further change going forward which requires we will implement important initiatives to strengthen athlete health and safety and build a clear and inclusive plan for the future. For me this is much more than a job. It was a personal calling for which I stand ready to answer."

Leung most recently served as the vice president in the NBA and becomes the fourth CEO in less than two years at USA Gymnastics.

Coming up on the show, from "Moneyball" to moneybags. The Padres may have just landed one of the most coveted free agents ever.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) RILEY: Welcome back to the show.

Over in tennis, where Naomi Osaka has begun a new career in her playing career. It was a first, as well, No. 1 and the first time since parting ways with her coach, and it did not go well. Less than 24 hours on from being awarded the Laureus Breakthrough Award, the 21- year-old who represents Japan, suffered a straight sets loss to France's Kristina Mladenovic. Playing for the very first time since winning her second straight major title back in January at the Aussie Open. Osaka fresh out of the Dubai Tennis Championships in just over an over.

Meantime, another day, another record for the American superstar skier Mikaela Shiffrin. The 23-year-old wrapping up a season-long Slalom World Cup title on Tuesday, three days after winning her record fourth straight world title in the same discipline.

Shiffrin's final victory, by 0.27 seconds over Germany's Christina Geiger was also her 14th win of the season, which matches the record for the most World Cup victories in a single campaign. Our congrats to her.

After a long and mostly quiet winter in Major League Baseball, Manny Machado has reportedly signed the richest free-agent contract in American sports history, for $300 million and ten years with the San Diego Padres.

A four-time all-star, Machado has hit at least 30 home runs in the last four seasons. Last year he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he helped lead them to the World Series, where they eventually lost to the Boston Red Sox.

The 26-year-old will try to turn around a San Diego franchise that's missed the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons.

Let's take a closer look at his contract and how it surpassed the free agent money that Alex Rodriguez received not once but twice in his career. The second time around was, of course, with the New York Yankees.

[00:55:14] There may be a new name on the list in coming weeks as superstar Bryce Harper is still in search of his own mega deal after becoming a free agent. So watch this space.





RILEY: Well, that's a scene from the movie "Star Wars," and if you're a fan of the franchise, you don't have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to act out your favorite scene. All you've got to do is move to France, because the French Fencing

Federation has recognized light saber dueling as a competitive sport. The rules are pretty similar to fencing, except that sabers are heavier and, some might say, rather cooler, as well.

The French Federation are doing this, they say, in part to help kids get off the couch and get active. Not just kids, I say. Adults, as well.

We've seen it all, hasn't we? Or have we? Because the force was definitely with the commentator working a National Hockey League game Monday between Columbus and Tampa Bay in Ohio. Check this out. The Blue Jackets attempting to play the puck out of their own zone when it deflects off a Lightning player right towards the commentator, Pierre McGuire. He's standing in his usual spot between the benches, providing the up-close analysis. Problem is, he's totally unprotected, and up close almost becomes too close.

McGuire somehow escapes without injury. NBC's camera, though, may have to call it a day. Wow.

All right. That's it from us. Thanks for watching. The news is up next.


VAUSE: A damning new report from "The New York Times" pulls together two years of Trump administration and the extreme measures taken by the president and others to interfere with ongoing investigations.

A warning from Taiwan to the world. The military threat posed by an increasingly aggressive Beijing is growing by the day. CNN's exclusive interview with Tsai Ing-wen, the first woman elected to Taiwan's highest office.

Plus, an anthem against American racism. The legendary blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. making a big leap in substance and style, and he has a message to Trump.