Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Tweeting about Health Care Amid Russia Investigation; FBI: New Bombs Might Not Be found by Airport Screeners; Trump Threatens House Freedom Caucus over Obamacare; Deportations Grow for Not Born in U.S.; Ivanka Formally Joins Trump White House; David Axelrod Compares Trump, Obama Administrations; Mississippi State Women End UConn's Winning Streak. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 1, 2017 - 15:00   ET

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


[13:00:09] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, on this Saturday. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Thank you for joining me.

We begin with the president and the dark cloud of the Russia investigation still hanging over the administration and his legislative agenda. Amid all the controversy, President Trump is again turning to Twitter to unleash dramatic new tweets on surveillance on his presidential campaign. Once again, the president's information, his source is cable news, FOX News to be specific. He's quoting a report that CNN has not yet verified.

That's not the only presidential tweet raising eyebrows today. He also suggested he might work with Democrats on health care.

I want to bring in CNN's Ryan Nobles at the White House.

Ryan, let's begin with the latest on the Russia. A lot of developments this week. First, how are officials in Washington now responding to Michael Flynn's request for immunity?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That was a big revelation from Michael Flynn and his lawyers that he's willing to testify about his role in this Russia investigation. He wants immunity in order to do so. What's interesting is that President Trump tweeted himself, "Flynn should request and get immunity." Sean Spicer, the press secretary, said the White House wants Flynn to testify, and if he's able to get immunity, he should go for it. The big caveat is while he's offered that to the House and Senate Intel Committees, our sources are telling us neither committee is taking him up on that offer. Flynn is no doubt an important cog on this investigation. But the way he delivers that information to the two important committees remain to be scene -- Ana?

CABRERA: Ryan, Team Trump is turning up the heat more on the House Freedom Caucus. What's the latest?

NOBLES: Yeah, this is an interesting dynamic that continues to play out. It seems as though the heat is increasing, not tampering down. Not long ago, Dan Scavino, one of Trump's closest associate, social media director, tweeted at Justin Amash, a congressman from Michigan. Take a look at the tweet, calling on the Trump team to amount a primary challenge to Amash in 2018. This is astounding. Even though the president vaguely talked about the idea of some of these Freedom Caucus members receiving a challenge, this is the first time someone from the administration targeted one of these members.

It's interesting and revealing is the way Amash responded to Scavino, basically, no backing down at all. He responded with a tweet of his own. He used the new term called "Trump establishment" to describe the way the Trump administration conducted themselves. He wasn't going to back down from his criticism.

It is important to point out that Amash has never been a Trump supporter. He was a Ted Cruz's supporter and publicly stated that he was not going to vote for Donald Trump. This is someone that's not venturing out too far. It shows us, Ana, how divisive things are in Washington. And if Donald Trump wants to get through this ambitious agenda, he's going to have to find partners. Right now, we don't know where his partners are.

CABRERA: We shall see.

Ryan Nobles, thank you.

I want to talk more about this with CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen, who was an advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.

David, yesterday and last night, we know the ranking members of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, went to the White House where he saw the documents that were also -- the documents in Nunes, the chairman, had taken to the White House before briefing members of his committee. After the meeting, he put out a statement saying, yes, they were the same documents and was able to verify that, and he doesn't understand why typically procedures weren't followed. We also learned that he met the president himself while he was there. What's your take on these new developments.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I did not know he met with the president. That's interesting. He was not fully forthcoming of what was in those documents. He's questioned a process but not the substance. We don't know, quite. But I must tell you that the White House, in launching this counter attack through Sean Spicer, the press secretary, and Donald Trump is continuing it, is making the argument that he was under surveillance, that the Obama administration did directly target him, the president, during the campaign and transition. As you know, Ana, the FBI director and others have said publicly, no wiretapping and direct surveillance of the president. They've been denying this. So it tosses the ball back in the White House to say, where is the evidence. Where is your evidence that you are using? Apparently, you are quoting something from the right wing and a woman who worked for the Obama administration and left a year and a half ago. What in the world are you basing this on, what hard evidence? They have not come up with any. The press today is in disbelief.

We had another tweet storm revealed by the president. Wondering why in the world he's doing that. Increasingly, there is

some suggestions that the notion of Ivanka and Jared are not around, and that's when he gets in these tweet storms. So you start to think, where are Ivanka and Jared when he needs them.

(LAUGHTER)

[15:05:44] CABRERA: You just discussed what my thoughts have been and things have been happening fast and furious. And we got Ivanka coming into the White House and Michael Flynn is asking for immunity, and the House Intelligence Committee doing their thing, and it seems the investigation into the Russia probe has been stalled because of all these controversial, "he said, she said," "they did this, they did that" back and forth. Where does that leave us, aside from the Russian investigation doesn't seem to be moving as streamlined forward as it could be?

GERGEN: It is increasingly clear that -- FBI Director Comey says earlier on in the testimony this could take a long time, months. And what started out as an investigation of Russians interfering with the election and turning to the question were there associates around Trump who coordinated with the Russians, that investigation is ongoing. Now the president, through the original tweet that he was wiretapped by Obama, has set up a whole new line of inquiry about what the White House had been up to and are they colluding with the chairman of the investigatory committee. They brought the story straight into the White House. The focus is increasingly on the president and men around him. That's exactly a critical time in his presidency. His numbers are down to 35 percent this week. It is a critical time of the presidency. He brought storm clouds over the White House that won't dissipate quickly because these investigations are going to be ongoing. I think everybody is wondering, why is the heck he's playing media critic, and doing all the tweet storms again today, instead of trying to figure where I am going to get my coalition to get tax cuts done, to get infrastructure done, and hey, by the way, what is the return to health care done? Why isn't he paying attention of the serious issues of life instead of watching television shows. It's just unbelievable.

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN: What's that?

CABRERA: Could these tweets be a distraction tactic

GERGEN: I think they're partly distractions but I think people are increasingly saying this is unhinged behavior. He's hurting himself and the country by not putting the country first. He should be studying up on and the visit of the Chinese today if he's got extra time. We've got a big deal coming up next week. It will be helpful if he would concentrate on that. And why in the heck is he taking them to Mar-a-Lago? Nobody can understand that.

CABRERA: He can argue some of his tweet this is morning, for example, when goes after the House Freedom Caucus or is talking about repealing Obamacare and trying to accomplish that still, that's part of the purpose of some of what he's doing and arguing through these tweets by going after the Freedom Caucus, and trying to work them back to some negotiation positions, perhaps, is that there?

GERGEN: That's a plausible theory. That's possibly what he's thinking. The way politics in Washington typically works is you get more done with honey than you do with vinegar. You know, you reach out and take some people to Camp David or go spend some time with him and try to make some friends in the Freedom Caucus. The more you attack the Freedom Caucus, and reach out, after attacking the Democrats, and reaching out to think you are getting help of the Democrats, on the eve of when there will be a huge fight in the Senate with Democrats opposing judge Gorsuch, he's going to be angry at the Democrats by the end of this week. The question becomes, Mr. President, what is your strategy for putting together a majority on which you can govern.

CABRERA: That's part of what you have been discussing.

I want to read a tweet this morning on health care. "The failing 'New York Times' finally gets it. In places where no insurance companies offer plans there will be no way for Obamacare customers to use subsidies to buy health plans. In other words, Ocare is dead. Good things will happen, however, either with Republicans or Dems."

When you read that and hear those words, you look into "The New York Times" report and it does signal the serious issues of insurance companies pulling out of communities, particularly some of the rural areas of the country in which people who are on Obamacare exchanges may not have an option in their community to use that insurance. That's a serious problem, is it?

15:10:22] GERGEN: It's legitimate problem. It is a legitimate concern. The question is who is responsible for fixing it. If President Obama were there and the Democrats were there, you'd say clearly President Obama and the White House is responsible for fixing a program that they devised in the first place. There's emerging flaws that need to be fixed. But the country has the right to ask, Mr. Trump, you are now the president, are you going to tell us you are going to let this thing go to hell and people will suffer or will you rally troops and fix what needs to be fixed and make sure not too many Americans suffer. That's the responsibility that goes with the job of being president. The presidents always inherit problems from their predecessor. When you become president, you cannot walk away from the situation, say, well, that was his fault, I'm not going to do anything about it, let him pay the political price. The president is expected, by our traditions, to pick up whatever the pieces are and move forward. There is a lot of responsibility when you become president to do the best you can by the American people and minimize the degree of suffering.

CABRERA: All right, David Gergen, we'll leave it there. Thank you for your time.

GERGEN: Thank you.

CABRERA: We appreciate it, as always. Now what CNN is learning about terrorists and how they might be able to blow airplanes out of the skies. The FBI tells us that ISIS and other terror groups have been testing and developing bombs that can be hidden inside laptop computers. It's possible they could get through airport security. It is this concern that's largely behind bans of electronics. Those terrorists may have gotten their hands-on airport screening equipment.

CNN Pentagon correspondent, Ryan Browne, is joining me now.

Ryan, the thought here is it that the terrorists might be able to dry run a bomb attack because the figured out the screening process and the technology?

RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. The concern here is that some of the terrorist groups are watching, ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria and al Qaeda in Yemen, particularly the latter group, is sophisticated in bomb making. Multiple times, they attempted to target airliners and other aircrafts with hidden bombs. The concern with this equipment and security equipment from airports, they could help refine their bomb making techniques to ensure that they can come up with something that could make it through the security screening process. That's really what's elevated this concern and help prompt this ban. We have seen in Somalia last year where a laptop was used to carry a bomb to board the plane. The plane suffered some damage but was able to land. It is a tactic that's been used before. The concern is with the new equipment, they're refining the process to come up with a great bond and make through security checks.

CABRERA: What do you know about their bomb making capability? How sophisticated are the bombs?

BROWNE: It is sophisticated, particularly al Qaeda in Yemen. They have long been -- they have sophisticated bomb makers and they perfected these non-metallic bombs. We saw it in the underwear bomber case. They had printer cartridges where they had bombs hid in there. They attempted this before, this group, and the concern is now they maybe sharing this know-how with other terrorist groups in the region like al Qaeda in Syria or ISIS. This is prompting the particular threat stream to be looked at of intelligence officials -- Ana?

CABRERA: Quickly, can we expect any changes in the airline screening process or airport screening process here in the U.S. any time soon?

BROWNE: Officials told CNN that they are fairly confident that their procedures are robust than some of the area in the region, which is where the ban applies to. In addition to the screening equipment, they also have better training of personnel and other safety checks to kind of prevent a bomb from coming on board. It is something they are looking at.

[15:15:45] CABRERA: All right, Ryan Browne, reporting, thank you.

Coming up, the president has now found a new target after the defeat of repealing Obamacare, has found a new target, the Freedom Caucus. We'll go inside the war between the White House and some of his own party.

All this at a time when the president is adding a potentially powerful new ally in the White House, his daughter, Ivanka. What is her new role in the West Wing?

And a historic moment in college basketball, a winning streak and in stunning fashion. We'll bring it to you all live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: After failing to get his own party to repeal the health care bill President Trump is trying a new strategy, threaten anyone not on board. In this case, it's the Freedom Caucus. They normally vote as a block, and the president is calling them out, tweeting this, "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. We must fight them and Dems in 2018."

The president's social media director, Dan Scavino, tweeted this today, "The president is bringing auto plants and jobs back to Michigan. Congressman Justin Amash is a big liability, #Trumptrain, defeat him in primary."

Former chief of staff for Senator Ted Cruz, and the director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Action at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Chip Roy, is joining us now.

Chip, it seems unusual to say the least for the president to call members of his own party to lose. Could it work?

[15:20:37] CHIP ROY, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR TENTH AMENDMENT, TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION & FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF FOR TED CRUZ: Well, Ana, I think the president is right to be frustrated. He's right, and he's been calling Obamacare a mess for a long time. The problem is the mess that he inherited is not just the policy. It's also that the GOP leadership after seven years of promising they're going to repeal Obamacare has put forward a solution that does not repeal Obamacare. The Freedom Caucus is the one group in Washington standing up and uttering their commitment they made to voters to fully repeal it. For all the talk of the Freedom Caucus, nobody talked about the Tuesday Group, the so called moderate without whom this bill could not get through, and who's now drawn a line in the sand with Chris Collins, one of his members, saying they won't pick up the phone to listen to the House Freedom Caucus to negotiate. That's where the ire should be directed, to the House leadership and the Tuesday Group.

CABRERA: We did see a member of the House Freedom Caucus leaving the group essentially saying, I can do more work by working with the rest of the Republicans in Congress, in the House. Do you expect that we'll see more people leaving the Freedom Caucus? ROY: Well, I don't think so. You got a large block of members in the

House Freedom Caucus who are honoring commitments they made to their constituents. They should be asking the question of the Tuesday Group, why if you need their votes to get the bill across the line, why should we not be focused on them. This bill, if you think about Obamacare, Obamacare is built on Medicaid expansion, subsidies and regulations. If you think of the AHCA, the so-called Republican alternative does, it maintains those expanded Medicaid, maintains the subsidies and expands the subsidies, and keeps the regulations in place that are driving up the cost of health care. The American people are clamoring for lower cost health care and premiums. The only way to get that is to actually reduce regulations and increase competition in the market and allow the market to drive down the costs. The president gets that. He has had great conversations with members of the Freedom Caucus. He's having conversations with members of the Tuesday Group as well. What the American people want is leadership from Washington, and they're not getting it. The House leadership has known for months that they need to come up with a solution. They put forward a bill that does not repeal Obamacare and they are being disingenuous saying that it does.

CABRERA: Let's put Obamacare and health care aside. The bigger issue is nothing is happening, nothing has changed in Washington. The frustration that people on all side of the isles have felt for years is continuing. How does this president move forward his agency, not just on health care, but on issues like tax reform and infrastructure, with the current dynamics within his own party?

ROY: The right way for this to go forward is for the president to reach out to all parties and try to work together to get to a principle-based solution. What should have happened with Obamacare is you start with a true repeal bill and get it through the House and work through the Senate procedures. When you have to work compromises to get the bill through then you start doing that. But instead of starting with the bill that the House leadership gave them, which was doom to fail, you need to go back to the basics and to a repeal bill. He can work together with the Republican Party and he can bring them together in a way that House leadership can't. But --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: If the Freedom Caucus is willing to compromise as well.

ROY: Absolutely. The House Freedom Caucus is the one group that's been honestly trying to reach across and try to make a deal and working with the president and House leadership. It is not the House Freedom Caucus whose memberships is saying we are in the going to pick up the phone. They're willing to accept expanded subsidies or talking about some Medicaid expansions that can stay in place. But really wanted to draw a line in the sand on the regulations that are driving up the costs for their constituents and causing premiums to increase. The Republican Party --

CABRERA: So, Chip, I know you align yourself mostly of the viewpoint of the Freedom Caucus. Should the Democrats be brought into the conversation as well? (CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: And if not, why not?

[15:25:11] ROY: Of course. You should have conversations with all the members of Congress. But one thing that you have to keep in mind is that the Republican Party is going to get decimated. It will be suicide if they don't get back to the drawing board and repeal Obamacare. For four straight election cycles, they've gone to the people saying they're going to do it, and now they're putting forward a bill that does not do it. Yes, you can work with Democrats on a host of different issues, if they're willing to come across the aisle. We are seeing that happen right now with Neil Gorsuch's confirmation over in the Senate. So there are solutions that can be reached, but you've got to go back to the principles that you campaigned on, and adhere to them

CABRERA: All right, Chip Roy, we appreciate your time. Thank you.

ROY: Ana, thank you.

CABRERA: Still to come, in the wake of President Trump immigration crackdown, a man who has just been deported is suddenly a stranger in the land where he was born.

We are live in CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:30:19] CABRERA: Brought to the U.S. as a you child and deported back to Mexico last month as an adult.

CNN's Polo Sandoval takes us to Mexico City where a young man, who grew up in Phoenix, finds himself a stranger in the land where he was born.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JORGE MATADAMAS, DEPORTED TO MEXICO: I grew up in Phoenix from a young age. That's all I kind of captured.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jorge Matadamas feels out of place on the streets of Mexico City.

MATADAMAS: This is my country but I'm not registering being here.

SANDOVAL: The 23-year-old was only four when his parents took him to the United States illegally.

MATADAMAS: It is little thing that is make me miss back home.

SANDOVAL: Last August, Matadamas was charged with drunk driving and evading arrest. While in jail, he lost his DOCA status, which gave him a chance to live and work in the U.S. After seven months, he was deported.

MATADAMAS: Back home I was doing business management. That's what I want to focus on here. Maybe I can start my own business or --

SANDOVAL: He says he's trying to stay positive.

MATADAMAS: Things happen for a reason. I just have to be strong and keep my head up and keep going.

SANDOVAL: Unlike many Americanized Mexicans in the country, he has family to turn to.

SANDOVAL: Valesco is among them. He's helping his cousin to learn about Spanish and more about Mexican cultures.

Matadamas says he finds the experience is overwhelming

He's not alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): They are foreigners in their own country.

SANDOVAL: This woman heads a government program that helps repatriate Mexicans deported from the U.S. She's seen many of them struggle to assimilate in the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): They understand they were born in Mexico but don't know much else.

SANDOVAL (on camera): Where is home right now?

MATADAMAS: Home is here at my tia's house.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Matadamas lives with his aunt in the suburbs outside of Mexico City.

MATADAMAS: I will show you my room. She was kind enough to provide me a space in her house.

SANDOVAL: This is where he contemplates his future.

MATADAMAS: Right now, it is uncertainty of what the future holds. That kind of keeps me up at night just thinking of what's going to happen and am I going to find a job or is it going to be tomorrow or a couple months.

SANDOVAL: While it is unlikely he will get back to the U.S. any time soon, Matadamas concede that he may want to stay.

MATADAMAS: I had everything back in the United States, so why not have it here? That's how I look at things.

SANDOVAL: The challenge now, making his own life in a new country.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Mexico City.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Thank you, Polo. Next hour, a photo by an undocumented immigrant goes viral. It

dispels one myth about millions of people living illegally in this country. I will speak to the woman in this photo and find out what consequences she has dealt with for making her own face a public face of illegal immigration.

And next, months ago, Ivanka Trump suggested she would have no formal role in the White House. That changed this week. What will it mean for Trump's administration? We'll talk about it live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:35:45] CABRERA: We have a clearer picture of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's financial holdings, just as Ivanka moves into an official White House role. This week, the first daughter joined her husband and took an unpaid position in the White house as an assistant to the president. Her husband, Jared, serves as a senior advisor to the president. And we have learned, together, Jared Kushner and Ivanka collected of $195 million in the past year. Their combined assets could exceed $700 million.

CNN contributor, Kate Anderson, Brower is joining me to discuss this. She's also the author of the book "First Women."

Kate, I want to play something for you. Let's listen to this interview Ivanka gave after the election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESLEY STAHL, CO-HOST, 60 MINUTES: People think that you are going to be part of the administration, Ivanka.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: I'm -- no, I am going to be a daughter, but I have said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues and I want to fight for them. There is a lot of things that I feel deeply strongly about but not in a formal administrative capacity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

# This week happened. What changed, Kate, or was this always the plan?

KATE ANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR & AUTHOR: I think she was denying the obvious, right? She was the one that moved the Washington and she's influential on staffing. She brought in Dina Powell, who was a friend of hers, who worked at Goldman Sachs and in the Bush '43 administration as a national security advisor to her father, and her husband as one of the most powerful people in the West Wing, Jared Kushner. I think when she was fighting against the idea that she was an adviser, most people knew that she was. And I've been told --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: You think she was in denial or do you think she was trying to keep it as under the radar as possible?

ANDERSON BROWER: I think she was trying to keep it under the radar. We never had a first daughter who has had an office in the West Wing, and who's a crucial part of her father's administration. It has never been done before. We never had a first son do this. I think she realizes this is unprecedented.

CABRERA: I know you written about Ivanka taking on the first role of the first lady and transforming that. Let's read a little piece of what you wrote about in December, quote, "Maybe Ivanka will force of the

consideration of what being first lady means and who should fill that position. It should be someone who wants it and recognizes the responsibility and opportunity that comes with it."

Did Ivanka inherit the title? She has no experience in government and has a brand and a famous name.

[15:40:32] ANDERSON BROWER: Right. I would argue that has not come true. I don't think she's filling in as first lady. She's carving out a world we have never seen before. We never had a first lady with a West Wing office, with the exception of Hillary Clinton, and that did not work out. What Ivanka is doing is way more ambitious than any first lady ever attempted to do. I think that's why she wasn't up front about it. There is a concern that some people have, like you are saying, she inherited this position. There have been anti- nepotism rules in place since Robert Kennedy. And Robert Kennedy, it should be noted, had to be confirmed as attorney general. There is no confirmation hearing for an advisor. There's inherent conflicts about doing this. She's an intelligent woman, she knows what she's doing, and she knows it can be controversial.

CABRERA: We know she has been sitting in on meetings with foreign leaders and she's been out spoken on women's issues, saying she wants to be a part of developing policies to advance women's issues in the workplace. How does her new role changed and what she will be able to do otherwise?

ANDERSON BROWER: It think it is formalizes it and making it less awkward of her. The image of her sitting next to Chancellor Merkel at the White House, that was all you need to see, and that's an incredibly important meeting. To have the first daughter sitting next to the leader of Germany says a lot. It is something we never seen before. It remains to be seen how effective she is. Look at the EPA, for instance. If she really is, you know, a believer in climate change, we have Scott Pruitt, who has come out and attacking the agency he's leading. I don't know how influential she will be. I think we are all waiting to see what happens.

CABRERA: Kate Anderson Brower, thank you.

ANDERSON BROWER: Thank you.

CABRERA: We are 71 days into the Trump administration. How does this look now through the rear-view mirror of the Obama White House? I talked about this with CNN senior political commentator, David

Axelrod, who is a long-time friend to former President Obama. And here's part of our conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: David, when was the last time you spoke with President Obama?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, THE AXE FILES: I probably was in touch with him last week sometime.

CABRERA: You still have regular conversations?

AXELROD: Yes, we have been friends for 25 years. I met him when he was a law student coming back to Chicago after Harvard. We collaborated for 10 years, starting with his race for the U.S. Senate in Illinois through his reelection in 2012. So you know, we are friends.

And I will tell you this, one of my great recollections of election night in 2008, when he was first elected, was going to see my friend and really sensing this burden he assumed. You can feel the weight of what he's about to encounter, and his realization that these grave responsibilities are now his.

The opposite is true as well. I can sense that he feels unburdened. I can sense that he feels lighter without --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: I can only imagine.

AXELROD: I am pleased for him as a friend. Becuase if you take the presidency seriously and those responsibilities seriously, they weigh on you every single minute of every single day.

CABRERA: What does he think of what he's witnessing with the new administration.

AXELROD: Well, I am not going to discuss here what I talked to him about privately. You have seen some of his public statements. You can assume that he's someone that values the institutions of our democracy. I am sure some of the things he's seen are disquieting.

The harshest criticism he can lay on you when you worked on him was, "That was sloppy." He likes to see things thought through and things done properly. I am sure he's looking at some of the things that have happened and kind of shaking his head.

But he's also someone that appreciates what a former president has certain parameters in terms of what they should or should not comment on. I don't expect him to be critiquing on style points or getting deeply involved in every issue.

(CROSSTALK) AXELROD: He has said he will speak out when he thinks egregious affronts to fundamental Democratic principles. We'll see. He will start to speak again in spring, and we'll see how he addresses these issues.

[15:45:38] CABRERA: Safe to say he looks back at his presidency and does not think he does everything perfectly either, right?

AXELROD: I think anyone with an ounce of humility would recognize that you don't always make the right call, and there are things I am sure if he can do it over, he would.

There are things that you can do differently later in your presidency with the value of experience that you would not have done at beginning. He carries all those lessons with him. He's now working on his memoirs from this period. And I am sure he will address some of that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: David Axelrod, "The Axe Files," is coming to CNN. You can catch the premier tonight, a special conversation with Senator John McCain. That's a CNN special that airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern.

Coming up in the NEWSROOM, why is this fan and Dallas Cowboys quarterback going nuts? Probably because he is witnessing sports history at Women's March Madness. That's next.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:51:08] CABRERA: This is why they call it March Madness. This is the most shocking upset in women's college basketball history. Mississippi State sinking the winning shot at the buzzer putting an end to UConn's 111-game winning streak.

Let's bring in CNN's Coy Wire joining me live from Glendale, Arizona.

Boy, what a game, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Ana, it was the shot heard around the world. Mississippi State a 21.5-point underdog in this game. This is one of the most unbelievable streaks in sports history. It was the smallest player on the court, Ana, Mississippi State's 5'5" Morgan William, who came up with one of the biggest shots ever in college hoops. Overtime, time running down, pull out the trowel, because William submitted herself in sports history. That's Jack Prescott, Coyboys quarterback in Dallas, going crazy at his alma mater. The Bulldogs advance to Sunday's national championship game against South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN WILLIAM, MISSISSIPPI STATE BASKETBALL PLAYER: I got in the space, I jumped up and just made the shot. I made the shot. I was in shock, I'm still in the shock. Man, I just won the game.

GENO AURIEMMA, COACH: Obviously, when you get to this point in the season, and you lose, it's just -- it's the worst feeling imaginable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Now, Ana, more heartbreak and buzzer-beaters likely to come in the men's final four in Glendale. Behind me, North Carolina, the favorite to win it all. 20 final fours they have been to. But you have Oregon, they have not made it since 1939. South Carolina has never made it this far. And neither has Gonzaga, who over the years has been so close. A small school of 7,000 students, led by a big man, 7'1", from Poland, Pzemek Karnowski. His career was nearly ended 16 months ago because of his back injury. He's recovered from surgery, healthy, and just two wins away from Gonzaga earning its first national title.

I asked Przemek what this means to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PZEMEK KARNOWSKI, GONZAGA BASKETBALL COACH: It means a lot. For the school to see us succeed and go farther than we have ever been at this point in Gonzaga history. So I think just it means a lot for the coaches and players for us to get here. At the same time, we are happy and excited, but we are not satisfied and ready to play hard on Saturday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: The beard. And the number-one seed Gonzaga taking on South Carolina in the early game in just a couple hours. I can't wait.

Ana, I have to give you a shout-out. In the CNN bracket challenge, not much addition in the sports world. I'm a former NFL player and you swiftly kicked my butt in this challenge.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Little did you know that the strategy of picking your favorite teams or teams that you know somebody or coach or, you know, I went to Washington State University, so Oregon, you know, is in the [AC-12. That's the strategy and the approach I took. And apparently, I should go buy a lottery ticket because what luck to end up at the top of our leaderboard right now.

(CROSSTALK)

WIRE: Buy one for me. You were in prime position to win it all, Ana.

CABRERA: Is the coach still at Gonzaga? I started my career in Spokane, Washington. Is he still there?

WIRE: See, you do know sports. He's been there 18 years but never made it to the final four. He's so close. He thinks this is the year they get it done, Ana. I loved watching you on social media picking all the picks. We'll see if your picks prove to be prophetic here in the end.

[15:55:10] CABRERA: I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the games. A lot of good stories there.

Coy Wire, currently behind me in the CNN bracket standings, thank you very much.

And coming up next hour, CNN is learning new information that might impact the next commercial flight you take. How terrorists may have found a way to get bombs onto airplanes. Much more right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:59:53] CABRERA: Chicago marked 2016 as one of the deadliest in nearly two decades, leaving young people afraid to even go outside. This week's "CNN Hero" is determined to give kids their childhood back. Meet Jennifer Maddux.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER MADDUX, CNN HERO: We are in a state of emergency here in the city of Chicago, the shootings, the killings. 5, 6, 7-year-olds