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Iraqi Army Evacuates Falluja Ahead of ISIS Battle; Clinton: Trump Panders to the Gun Lobby; Report: Singer Likely Dead 6 Hours Before Discovery; Egypt Sends Submarine to Site of EgyptAir Crash; CNN Makes Secret Syria Visit with Top General; Afghan Intelligence: Strike Kills Top Terrorist; Sanders Backing DNC Chair's Primary Opponent. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired May 22, 2016 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no doubt in my mind that our vision prevails

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A major U.S. drone strike has likely killed the Taliban's number one leader.

PILOT: Padova Control EgyptAir 804. Thank you so much, good night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They still need to find the fuselage and the data recorders.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Seven o'clock on this Sunday morning and so happy to be starting our day with you. I'm Christi Paul.


Plenty of news to get to this morning, including our unrivalled access to Syria. CNN is the only television news organization to travel with the top U.S. commander as he arrives in Syria on a secret visit. We get an unprecedented look at how Special Forces are fighting ISIS.

PAUL: New details as well this morning about the death of Prince. Sara Sidner is live there in Minnesota.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're learning some new details about the days, even the hours leading up to his death and some sad details about how long he was dead before his body was discovered here at Paisley Park. We'll have that coming up for you in just a bit.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: We have breaking news we want to share with you this morning. The Iraqi army is ordering people in Fallujah to get out and find safety as the military goes in to retake that city from ISIS.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us now.

Jomana, what are you learning?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, the Iraqi military is asking residents of Fallujah to leave the city ahead of this much anticipated operation, to liberate Fallujah from ISIS. They say the operation will begin in the next few days.

As you recall, Fallujah was the first city in Iraq to fall to is back in January of 2014. The military saying they've created safe passage areas for civilians to leave through hot lines they can call into if they want to leave, and if they're unable to leave, they can raise a white flag on top of their homes to indicate there are civilians in there.

But the real concern is for the civilians in Fallujah being unable to leave, and in recent weeks, we have heard from organizations like Human Rights Watch saying there are tens of thousands of civilians in Fallujah, that they are trapped by ISIS, they are besieged by Iraqi security forces and they are militias that are allied with the government because they have encircled the city and in certain cases, civilian have starved to death. They say that there also reports that civilians who have tried to flee were executed by ISIS.

So, an operation to liberate Fallujah would be a huge for Iraqi forces after retaking much of Anbar province. But a lot of concern for the civilians who are still inside that city, tens of thousand of them, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Jomana Karadsheh, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

We want to share with you some pictures we're getting in of -- as I understand it, these are Hezbollah fighters who are assisting and joining forcers with the Iraqi army in this battle for Fallujah. You may be wondering how is the U.S. active in this battle, apparently the U.S. will be giving -- will be providing air strikes, intel and surveillance. But what you're seeing there are Hezbollah fighters who have joined forces with Iraqi army, which again makes this battle even more interesting, considering the allegiances that seem to be -- they seem to be founding together.


BLACKWELL: Politics now, and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump renewed fight over firearms, the former secretary of state slamming the Republican presumptive nominee as a politician in the pocket of a gun lobby. But Donald Trump is firing back overnight.

Now, Clinton delivered a plea for stricter gun control at an event put on by the Trayvon Martin Foundation. Donald Trump was endorsed by the NRA and claimed Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment.

Well, Clinton responded Saturday saying a Trump presidency would mean, and this is a quote, "more kids at risk of violence and bigotry."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby, and we will not be silenced, and we will not be intimidated. As long as children anywhere are being killed by gun violence, we will keep fighting. Parents, teachers and schools should have the right to keep guns out of classrooms, just like Donald Trump does at many of his hotels, by the way. This is someone running to be president of the United States of America. A country facing a gun violence epidemic and he's talking about more guns in our schools.


[07:05:01] BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk now about this with CNN political commentator and Hillary Clinton supporter, Maria Cardona, and Scottie Hughes, chief political editor for and Trump supporter.

Good to have you both back this hour.


BLACKWELL: I want to talk about the "Washington Post"/ABC News poll, because there are some interesting elements.

But first on the issue of guns, 30 seconds to each of you. Scottie, let's start with you. Can you give me specific evidence that supports Donald Trump's claim that Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely. Hillary wants to put gun manufacturers accountable for these mass shootings. All that does, Victor, is open up Pandora's box for lawsuits against the gunman manufacturers which will eventually lead them to bankruptcy.

This is her version. She can sit there on one side and pander to these second, pro-Second Amendment folks, listen, I'm all for you hunters. But on the other hand, she wants to put them out of business. That right there shows that she is against the Second Amendment.

BLACKWELL: OK, well, the viewers at home can determine if those two wanting to abolish the Second Amendment, and, Maria, some evidence that supports this claim that we heard from Hillary Clinton that, quote, "Donald Trump wants to," quote, "put more kids at risk of violence and bigotry." Thirty seconds.

CARDONA: Absolutely. Donald Trump's words that came out of his mouth back in October, when he said he wanted to abolish gun-free zones especially in schools to be able to bring in as many guns as they wanted to. Versus his own resorts and the places he own which are currently gun-free. So again, you see Donald Trump as a candidate who has never met a lie that he doesn't want to amplify if it works in his favor.

BLACKWELL: All right, so we'll let the viewers determine if that one equates to the rhetoric at well.

Let's go to "The Washington Post" and ABC News poll. I'm going to up here, Maria, I want to stick with you. It shows the most recent numbers 46-44 in favor of Trump versus 50-41 Clinton back in March.

Now, Maria, I know you're going say a poll six months before the general election means nothing. However, it is a snapshot in time. It shows what voters are thinking right now.

So right now, what is happening? There is an 11 point swing toward Donald Trump?

CARDONA: Well, a couple of things, Victor. And, yes, to your point, polls this far out of the general election mean nothing. Let's just ask President Mitt Romney if he thinks they mean anything, because at this point in 2012, he was ahead by several points.

So, but going back to the snapshot in time, I think a couple of things are going on. The first one is that the Republican Party is starting to coalesce behind Donald Trump, and you are seeing Republicans, you know, many of them reluctantly, many of them holding their nose, many of them grimacing, but at least saying, OK, I guess we have to do this, and you're seeing that in polls.

And the opposite is happening -- well, not the opposite, but another dynamic is happening in the Democratic Party, which it is not settled yet. You know, while Hillary Clinton is going to ultimately be the nominee, you still have some divisions between Bernie Sanders supporters who want to try to see if he can gain this out until the very end.

What is going to happen, I believe, in the general election, which is a different electorate than the Republican primary process electorate, is you're going -- Donald Trump is going to run into huge demographics of which he needs more support from if he wants to win the White House that have absolutely no interest in supporting him because of the demagoguery and hateful remarks he has made about them. And you're going to see that play out in the general election.

BLACKWELL: Scottie, let me come to you about this poll. Eleven-point swing toward Donald Trump, but inside the numbers, he is still trailing by large margins on many of the issues, including factorability, although they are unfavorably like strongly by the same numbers, but on some of the specifics, trade, he has some superiority, but as it relates to foreign affairs and other topics, he still has ground to make up. How does he do it?

HUGHES: First of all, I think Mary is very accurate and correct on both sides, both the Republicans and Democrats, she did admit I think some of the Republican also have to face. But in breaking down the polls, you mentioned a couple of things. He is also leading on the economy, terrorism, truth, on restoring trust in government. Donald Trump is leading ten plus points.

I think a lot of it comes to the rhetoric that Hillary Clinton is speaking like when she talks about bigotry and insulting millions of gun owners by calling them bigots because they want to sit there and protect the Second Amendment and equivalating the two, that have nothing to do with each other. I think that is why the American people sit there and say she is the status quo politician and Donald Trump offers something new and fresh.

[07:10:02] BLACKWELL: All right, Scottie Nell Hughes, and Maria Cardona, thank you both.

CARDONA: Thank you, Victor.

HUGHES: Thank you.

PAUL: Listen, there is also news going on on the Democratic side as well. What Bernie Sanders is saying to CNN about his feud party chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


SANDERS: Well, clearly, I fair her opponent. His views are much closer to mine than as Wasserman Schultz's. And let me also say --


PAUL: Jake Tapper is joining us with more on his interview.

Also, the search for the black boxes of EgyptAir Flight 804 black boxes, what is happening for the victims today.

And new developments this morning in Prince's death. Sara Sidner has that story -- Sara.

SIDNER: Yes, so what we know is there are a few more details coming out about the days and hours leading up to you Prince's death. We'll have all those details coming up in just a bit outside of Paisley Park.


PAUL: Thirteen minutes past the hour right now.

And revelations in the hours and days before Prince's death. According to "The Minneapolis Star Tribune", if you haven't seen this yet, they say the singer was likely dead at least six hours before his body was found. The report also reveals several signs Prince was in poor health. It was apparent just days prior to his death. Remember, the music icon was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound.

CNN's Sara Sidner is there right now.

Sara, what are you learning this morning?

SIDNER: So just one day before his death, sources told "The Star Tribune" he was actually taken to the hospital and given intravenous fluids in the hospital. We don't know what it was for, but certainly, he was showing some health problems just 24 hours before he was found dead here at his Paisley Park compound.

[07:15:04] We're also learning what happened in that flight, where he had to make an emergency landing, because he was unresponsive on his plane. They landed in Moline, Illinois, and he was treated, sources telling CNN, for what could have been an overdose. We're learning when he returned here, sources telling the same publication that he actually was getting really agitated. He was becoming more and more agitated, which is what prompted them to call to try to get someone here to help.

So, some of the details giving a fuller picture of just how Prince was feeling in the days before he died and then there's that disturbing detail that he was likely dead for at least six hours here. A source that heard from a paramedic who was on the scene that day before anyone was able to find Prince's body. He was found by several people, including the son of a doctor in California, who was called here on an emergency mission -- Christi.

PAUL: And I'm taking a look at what's behind you, I see a few balloons. What's going on with this handmade memorial surrounding Paisley Park and that compound now?

SIDNER: You know, Christi, its such a great question. We've been here for the whole time since Prince died. And for months now, a month and a day there have been people every single day, fans who have been coming here and putting up this massive memorial that has spanned the entire fence around Paisley Park. What happened now is that the trust that has taken over the property to divide it between his heirs, they've decided to take some of it down, they said it's now been a month and a day, and they started taking it down, but they are going to preserve a lot of it.

There was some beautiful paintings, some beautiful items that had been put up by Prince's fans. They're going to take it, they're going to preserve it, and it will at some point be in a place where people can come and see it. But it was amazing, and still, people are still coming out here on a daily basis and putting things up. So, it is a beautiful tribute to a man who was well loved by his fans and many around the world -- Christi.

PAUL: I can only imagine those fans who did bring things like the paintings and personal items, now knowing what they did is going it into a memorial for him that may be preserved. That's got to be something else.

Sara Sidner, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: EgyptAir now responding to the news that smoke alerts went off near the cockpit before the crash of Flight 804.

PAUL: A secret trip in war torn Syria. CNN gets exclusive access as a high ranking general meets with anti-ISIS leaders.


[07:21:10] BLACKWELL: Welcome back. In just in the last few seconds, we've got confirmation of a major and

what could be a crucial deployment by Egypt in the search for EgyptAir Flight 804.

Let's go now to CNN correspondent Ian Lee who's in Cairo.

Ian, what have you learned?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're learning this is coming from the Egyptian presidency that a submarine will be used in the search and recovery of the data recorders from the flight. This is a submarine that is on loan from Egypt's ministry of petroleum. They hope they can use it to get to the black boxes as soon as possible.

And really, that's where the search is focusing right now. The investigators are out there now with the Egyptian navy on the sea, coordinating the area that they're searching, as well as gathering those pieces. And that those pieces that they do recover will be brought to an Egyptian military base where they will be gathered and then ultimately they will be brought here to Cairo where they will be put together, and then this investigation will continue.

But we're hearing also from Egyptian authorities that they hope to have a preliminary report ready within a month's time. So, still, quite a long time to go. The submarine being used is just the latest tool in the toolbox for these searchers and investigators.

BLACKWELL: On loan from the oil ministry, headed to the eastern Mediterranean to continue the search as the investigation and search continues.

I understand, Ian, that memorials are being held for the victims of the crash -- and this is happening, even as the bodies have not been recovered.

LEE: That's right. And according to Egyptian tradition, the bodies, once they are they hear that someone has died, within three days time, they have a funeral where they pray for the dead as well as receive condolences, even though the bodies haven't been recovered. The Egyptian government is telling the families to be patient. That this could take sometime to recover them if they are able to recover them, because remember, they are finding body parts in the sea. But once they are gathered, this is one of the priorities of the Egyptian government is to identify them with DNA testing to make sure the right loved one gets to their appropriate families, but it could be quite sometime before they're actually able to give them a proper burial.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ian there in Cairo with context and the news that just came in with the submarine being sent to the eastern Mediterranean to search for the fuselage and those black boxes of EgyptAir 804.

Ian, thank you so much.

Also, CNN is getting a front receipt to Syria, where special forces are taking the flight to ISIS. PAUL: Also, what pairs to be a critical strike on the Taliban, Nick

Paton Walsh has the details.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Potentially a key moment here, it seems the stage, a U.S. drone details still sketchy, but potentially more violence ahead in Afghanistan.


[07:27:56] PAUL: Breaking news out of the Middle East this Sunday morning. Residents of Fallujah Iraq are being told to get out of the city and get to safety, as the Iraqi military is preparing to retake it, and they're trying to hard to keep civilians safe here.

In the meantime, across the border in Syria, a CNN exclusive for you: a secret trip to Syria with the highest ranking general ever known to visit the battle-torn country and only CNN cameras are allowed there.

Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, are traveling with General Joseph Votel, as he met with Syrian forces, asking for more ammunition. We're going to have more on that story tomorrow on NEW DAY.

But we want to talk to Michael Weiss, right now. He's a CNN contributor and senior editor at "The Daily Beast".

There's a lot to take in, Michael. Let's start with Fallujah first. What is your take on what's going to happen there?

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, so Fallujah has been held by ISIS since 2014. This is the kind of sign that al Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS style insurgency or initially against the United States military and now the Iraqi government. You'll recall there were two huge battles to retake Fallujah in 2004, the second of which leveled the city. This was a pock moonscape when the Americans got done with it.

This has been sort of the backyard of these Salafi-jihadi groups since the Americans toppled Saddam in 2003. Now, my concern with the current campaign, we say the Iraqi is going to retake it, but in fact, there's quite a lot of Hashd al-Shabi Shia militias that are going to take part in this fight.

The problem with that is a lot of these guys are very sectarian. They are fighting in many cases not on behalf of the Iraqi government, but out of loyalty to Iran, and Sunnis who are under the ISIS rule in Fallujah do not want them coming in because they don't see them as liberators. They see them as conquerors.

These are the guys who are going to burn down houses and arrest anybody, military age males that they consider to be, quote-unquote, "collaborators" with ISIS and probably torture them in prisons. This has been a serial problem in this war. Whenever the Iraqi security forces, particularly very professional nonsectarian groups like the Golden Division, which is their elite counterterrorism squad, go in and retake terrain, things tend to go a bit better.

[07:30:12] When the militias go in, it's exactly the kind of scenario you do not want to see play out in Iraq.


PAUL: I just wanted to reference some of the video we're going to show you here. Some of the individual we would he have a he gotten in this it morning. The Shiites you were talking about, they are Hezbollah fighters to some degree, the popular mobilization force, and they are fight ago long side the Iraqi army, as you were talking about.

But these are some of the pictures of them going into Fallujah. We know that the U.S. is assisting with air strikes and intel and surveillance, but this fight is going to be a brutal one. When they are telling people who cannot get out of the city to put white flags on their homes, so that the battle -- so the forces will know not to attack that home.

Can't there be ISIS militias in those homes, I would think they would either try to hide or just try to infiltrate the city there, unknown at the time?

WEISS: Absolutely. I mean, again, going back to 2004, the second battle for Fallujah, one of the problems was a lot of the al Qaeda in Iraq guys, al Qaeda in Iraq just for viewers, is the original name of what is today ISIS. A lot of them smuggled out in these refugee or humanitarian corridors to take civilians out of the town. This was being done under the auspices of the U.S. military, particularly the marines. What ended up happening is all those guys went to Mosul, and as Fallujah was being liberated in 2004, AQAI setting shop in Mosul, making that their fallback barracks.

But this particular group that you mentioned, Kata'ib Hezbollah or the Hezbollah brigades, not to be confused with Lebanese Hezbollah. This is an Iraqi Hezbollah. This is a wholly owned subsidiary of the revolutionary guard corps of Iran. In 2007, these guys were responsible for killing five U.S. servicemen in the city of Karbala, particularly dastardly and cunning raid against the U.S. military there.

So the idea that U.S. war planes are giving any kind of air cover to Kata'ib Hezbollah, which by the way is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization --

PAUL: Right.

WEISS: -- this goes to show you, I mean, we call this Operation Inherent Resolve, it should be called operation inherent contradiction. America is in many respects really bad actors who are blood thirsty for Americans. They hate the United States and if they could, they would kill American service members.

PAUL: But we appreciate the clarification, certainly. Michael Weiss, thank you so much.

WEISS: Sure, my pleasure.

PAUL: Absolutely, sir. Thanks.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's shift now from ISIS to the Taliban, possibly killed in a drone strike. The Afghan intelligence security forces claiming just a short time ago that Mullah Mansour, the highest ranking terror group, was killed on Saturday, the target of an American airstrike.

We're covering this story from the Middle East, and in Washington.

Let's start with CNN international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh in Beirut for us.

Nick, the U.S. has not yet been able to confirm 100 percent that Mullah Mansour has been killed. There was a healthy dose of skepticism about the death of Mullah Omar. How are the Afghan authorities so certain he is now dead?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We simply don't know at this stage, Victor. You mentioned Mullah Omar, the long-term leader of the Taliban, well, he died a number of years before actually the Taliban admitted to that, many conspiracy theories why they tried to keep that secret. It was Mullah Mansour who succeeded him and now we have U.S. officials say on the Afghan Pakistan border likely killed him.

Afghan officials trying to be more certain, their intelligence service, their defense ministry, the chief executive of that country, Abdullah Abdullah, saying they believe he is dead, and the presidency saying they're still looking at the happened. No official word from the Taliban yet.

But people here are trying to sort of exploit the deficit of transparency that Taliban had about Mullah Omar's death. Do you know if he is dead or alive? He's going to have to live in secrecy clearly if drones are hunting him. They're looking for physical proof, perhaps trying to get to the scene of the explosion that killed him, in a car, along with one other man was traveling with him.

That will be very difficult, given the terrain we're talking about and it will take time, even if they do get there to confirm exactly who was in that car. But, Victor, the key point the U.S. is making here, this man, Mullah Mansour, was an obstacle to the peace process. That peace process has long been in jeopardy. The Taliban under Mullah Mansour has renewed leadership didn't want to get involved.

[07:35:00] They were too busy making ground on the battlefield at that particular stage. The hope perhaps is amongst U.S. officials now he is dead, somehow moderate also come forward and perhaps take his place. I have to say that's unlikely, because the most obvious successor is his deputy for operations, the man called Sarat Sakani (ph), he is the man known as the chief al Qaeda facilitator in Afghanistan, more likely a lurch to the radical side than a softening of their position -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Paton Walsh for us in Beirut -- Nick, thank you very much. For reaction stateside, let's bring in CNN national correspondent Dianne Gallagher.

Dianne, President Obama, we understand, authorized this strike personally. What are U.S. officials saying?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor, we're actually receiving praise from both sides of the aisle, the fact that President Obama gave the final authorization of the drone strike. We hear that he was actually receiving updates while he was on his flight to Vietnam, and we're not expecting anything from the White House itself as far as an official statement goes until we get complete verification that Mullah Mansour has been killed.

But Secretary of State John Kerry in a news conference from Myanmar, did talk about the strike and what it represents.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Yesterday, the United States conducted a precision air strike that targeted Taliban leader, Mullah Mansour, in a remote area of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region. And Mansour posed a continuing imminent threat to U.S. personnel in Afghanistan to Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces and resolute support coalition members across the country.


GALLAGHER: And, Victor, I can tell you Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, from South Carolina, a veteran himself who served in Afghanistan, said he applauds President Obama for making the decision, Senator Bob Corker, another Republican from Tennessee, also calling this a great victory if in fact Mullah Mansour's death is verified.

BLACKWELL: Dianne Gallagher for us in Washington, thanks so much.

PAUL: Bernie Sanders steps up his antiestablishment fight, targeting DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Jake Tapper talked to Bernie Sanders, and he's got a preview with him -- Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION" & "THE LEAD": That's right. We're going to have much more on our interview with Bernie Sanders, especially his feelings about Debbie Wasserman Schultz who faces a primary challenge of her own, right after the break.


[07:41:01] PAUL: Well, this morning, Bernie Sanders is taking his feud with the chair of the Democratic national committee to a new level here.

Jake Tapper, host of "STATE OF THE UNION" and "THE LEAD" is joining us now.

Jake, I knew you had this interview with Bernie Sanders. What did he say to you that you really took notice about? TAPPER: Well, he had a lot to say about his fight with secretary

Clinton in terms of their challenge in the primary, also about what he thought the party should do going forward, when it comes to whether there should even be super delegates.

But one thing that was really interesting is when I brought up the fact that his campaign has been very critical of the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Take a listen.


TAPPER: Your campaign and many of your supporters have argued that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, has not been neutral in her position as chair. Your campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, in particular, has been very critical.

She is being challenged right now in a primary by Tim Canova. He is a law professor who opposes the Pacific trade deal, he supports you. He's raised $1 million.

You've been calling for a revolution in Florida, are you with Wasserman Schulz or are you with her opponent?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, clearly I favor her opponent. His views are much closer to mine than as Wasserman Schulz's. And let me also say this, in all due respect to the current chairperson, if elected president, she would not be reappointed to be chair of the DNC.


TAPPER: Now, that is a very, very strong statement from Senator Sanders. We should point out a couple of things. One of them is that in Wasserman Schulz's congressional district, Hillary Clinton did much better, 68 percent, to Bernie Sanders 30.1 percent, in March, in Florida.

But nonetheless, Bernie Sanders is going to send out a fundraising email on behalf of Wasserman Schultz's challenger, Tim Canova, this morning. He has a huge ability to raise money and we'll see how it affects Wasserman Schultz and her reelection chances.

PAUL: Jake, do you see a real disruption and a divide happening in the Democratic Party as well, and any risk of her losing her seat in primary?

TAPPER: There definitely is a huge division, and right now, the divisions are far more noticeable than the ones in the Republican Party. There is still a group of Republican who are not going to support Donald Trump, and who are looking for a third party candidate. For the most part, we've seen a consolidation around Donald Trump.

There a new poll out this morning, ABC News/"Washington Post" poll showing an 11 points swing in Donald Trump's direction. Meanwhile, these very stark divisions in the Democratic Party. I don't know if Wasserman Schulz is truly at risk in terms of losing her seat. Probably not. But still, it's a fight she doesn't want to have to wage, a primary fight. The primary in Florida is August 30th.

PAUL: Every time we turn around, a new battle being waged.

Jake Tapper, so good to see you. Thank you so much.

TAPPER: Thank you.

PAUL: And just a reminder -- sure. Just a reminder to all our viewers here, Bernie Sanders is Jake Tapper's guest on "STATE OF THE UNION" later this morning, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: "SNL" pokes fun at Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Now, in case you missed the season finale, we will have it a bit in just a moment.


[07:48:09] PAUL: Well, "Saturday Night Live" really latched on to Bernie Sanders after he called the election rigged. We've heard that before.


PAUL: On the other side of the ticket.

BLACKWELL: On both sides now.

In the season finale, Sanders trades jabs with Hillary Clinton in what is called a war of words, if we're going to use a cliche. It's happened at a bar.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I'm going to head home. Don't you work too late now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, won't, Mrs. Clinton. I'm closing up the bar right now. So, everybody's got to go. That means you too, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No freaking way. I'm not going anywhere. I can stay here as long as I want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Sanders, I'm sorry, but the night is over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, it's not over. It's not over until I say it's over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, hello, Bernie. I didn't see you sitting behind me. So far behind me, you can never catch up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll have a beer. A new brand that people are flocking to. Something refreshing and revolutionary. Something that draws huge crowds. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'll have whatever beer no one likes but

gets the job done.

Don't worry, I promise, I'm going to have a very special role for you in my administration. How would you like to be, wait for it, the senator from Vermont?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, Hillary, I'll miss that lack of charm.


BLACKWELL: Let's bring in our senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, now.

Brian, "SNL" seems to really shine during the political cycle. What do you think of last night's episode?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Sure does. And Kate McKinnon was able to hold her own with Larry David throughout the skits together this season.

You know, I think this was the perfect way to wrap up the Democratic season with this skit, because there were a lot of references to what might have been -- a lot of references to Sanders surprised popularity, but his inability to get ahead of Clinton.

[07:50:03] And I thought this was the best part. This is a reference to the emails. Remember, at one of the debates, Sanders let Clinton sort of off the hook, so to speak, about her emails. Here's the joke that was set up last night.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, Bernie no, matter what happens, you got to admit we've had some good times you and I.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's true. Remember when I told everyone to stop talking about I couldn't damned e-mail? What a schmuck!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That could have taken me down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know, I know! So stupid! So stupid!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not like humor but that was funny. Oh m gosh and remember all those states like Wyoming where you beat me by a lot but then I still got most of the delegates?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God! I was so stupid! It's rigged!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know it's so rigged!


To Debbie Wasserman Schultz!


STELTER: I don't know about you, Victor, but I would like to see the actual candidates get together and have a beer at some point. This was comedy of course but nice to imagine what would happen if they were to talk.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I'd like to see that. So, Larry David as Bernie Sanders, he's been the standout all season. Is this the last time? You know when they come back for the next season, we'll be further into the process. Is this the last time we'll see Larry David as Sanders on "SNL"?

STELTER: Yes, that's the thing about this "SNL" episode, this was the season finale so even though the California primaries are a couple weeks away this was it for "SNL" so unless Bernie Sanders is the nominee in the fall this probably is the last of Harry David in character. Certainly they'd bring him back in the fall if they found a way to.

I though this kind of dancing finale was the right way to go out, you know, at the very end here. They have Clinton character pushing Sanders off into the elevator saying that was fun while it lasted. This was "SNL's" way of bidding adieu to Larry David and the Sanders character.

Who do we see at the end? We see Bill Clinton in the hallway coming up there right there. I'm sure we'll see more of the Bill Clinton character in the fall.

BLACKWELL: Of course we will. "RELIABLE SOURCES" coming up at 11:00 Eastern. What do you have for us today?

STELTER: Talking to Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary, and also, Marty Baron, editor of "The Washington Post" about all of the coverage of Trump and Clinton. So, we'll see you then.

BLACKWELL: All right. Brian, thanks so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: And again, catch Brian Stelter on "RELIABLE SOURCES." That's 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: A volcanic eruption killed at least seven people in Indonesia. We'll show you the pictures we're getting in today.

BLACKWELL: Plus, why a group of veterans says they are taking on one of the toughest challenges in the world, climbing Mt. Everest. You'll want to hear why.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:56:17] BLACKWELL: Just in to CNN, look at this, the buildup of forces and resources on the outskirts of Fallujah as the Iraqi military and security forces prepare to go in. Now, this is amateur video that was posted on social media.

We've been covering the breaking news all morning. The alert that's been sent out to residents, families in Fallujah, get out now. These Iraqi forces are attempting to now take the city back from ISIS. If those families can't get out, they've been told to put a white flag on their rooftops.

But again, you see the buildup here, the fight going in soon.

PAUL: And some of the other stories we're following this Sunday, a volcanic eruption killed at least seven people and even more could be trapped right now by the hot ash that spewed.

BLACKWELL: Yes, this happened yesterday afternoon in western Indonesia. Authorities say two people are in critical condition after Mount Sinabung erupted. Investigators say all of them were farming in what's called the red zone, that's an area near the volcano that is supposed to be off limits.

PAUL: A strong cyclone has made landfall in Bangladesh, killing at least 21 people. Strong winds and sheets of rain caused widespread flooding. More than half a million people were evacuated to higher ground before it hit.

One of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded an EF5 with winds more than 200 miles per hour destroyed a third of the town of Joplin, Missouri, and killed 158 people. It happened five years ago today. Today is the anniversary.

The town is mostly recovered but guess what? Another severe storm threat is facing that region from Texas to the Dakotas, there's a risk of hail, high winds and isolated tornadoes.

BLACKWELL: It's 66,000 pound space shuttle fuel tank here. You see it moving through the streets of Los Angeles. Why? Well, it's only the way to the California Science Center. The tank was never used in the mission but it was studied after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

It was a challenging move through the city as you'd imagine. The tank is 15 stories high. It started in New Orleans and then went through the Panama Canal.

PAUL: That angle makes it look like if you put a face on it, it would be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is huge.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: If you saw another angle, you'd really get respect for it.

PAUL: You would, yes.

BLACKWELL: Listen, this is a climb that many dream about. It's one that some people take, try and then others had died trying to reach the point, talking about Mt. Everest.

PAUL: Yes. Well, this group of veterans trying to summit it, they're part of a team and they say their mission, their purpose for this goes beyond the world's toughest climb.


CHAD JUKES, RET. ARMY SSG, TEAM USX: Personally, I have lived with have many of my soldiers with whom I served. I'm here to try and help the American public realize that this is a very serious issue, and we need to do everything that we can to address it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's Mt. Everest.

JUKES: Knowing that I'm here to climb Mt. Everest, it was pretty amazing and overwhelming to initially look up the peak and think like wow, I'm going there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the foreseeable challenges that I could have climbing Mt. Everest with the prosthesis, I've been able to mitigate through experience and planning. I'm very proud of the work we've done raising awareness while climbing this mountain.


PAUL: Hmm, wishing them the very best, certainly.

And we are so grateful for your company as always. So, make some great memories today.