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North Korea Tensions; Violence In Venezuela; Alec Baldwin's Saturday Night Live Double Take; Wells Fargo Scandal; Season Finale of "FINDING JESUS" Aired 6:30-7:00a

Aired April 9, 2017 - 06:30   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A U.S. Navy air craft carrier group is now headed for waters near the Korean Peninsula.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was designed I believe to not only put North Korea on notice but also to put China on notice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He won't stop here. If he needs to do more, he will do more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't want to have to do more if they don't have, but they also want to make it clear to the Assad regime that they are not afraid to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. We love Trump. We do, we do. Gorsuch was confirmed. The media is saying nice things and no one is talking about Russia. Well, what a difference 59 Tomahawk missiles can make!


ALISON KOSIK, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Alison Kosik sitting in for Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

KOSIK: This morning, North Korea is denouncing the missile strike on Syria vowing to strengthen their defense capability. A U.S. Navy strike group is already on its way to the Korean Peninsula because of growing concerns over North Korea's missile tests.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Russia is slamming U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley calling her comments on Syria sabotage after she said, quote, "There is no way to find political solution with the Assad at the head of the regime." All of this as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gets ready to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow this week.

First though, let's get to some breaking news out of Egypt, at least 21 people are dead after a bombing at a church there.

KOSIK: At least 50 other were injured from the blast during a Palm Sunday service in Tanta, just north of Cairo. You're looking at here the first video, the aftermath from inside the church when the explosion happened. We want to warn you, this may be difficult to watch.


KOSIK: There you're watching video of the ceremony for Palm Sunday services and then, obviously, went to bars in black when the blast happened. Security officers are digging through the debris right now. It may be a little difficult to make out what you're seeing here but concrete, wood, paper, it's all part of what is left behind after the bombing.

CNN senior international correspondent and former Cairo bureau chief, Ben Wedeman is live near the Turkish/Syrian border. Ben, what are you learning?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alison, we understand that this church, the (inaudible) or St. George Church was packed with more than 2,000 worshipers when a bomb went off according to some reports in the very front row of the church. So far, the death toll 21. More than 50 injured according to Egyptian state television.

However, it's expected that that death toll will rise. Of course, this is not the first such attack on Christians. Back in December, there was an attack on a cathedral in Cairo left more than 25 people dead.

This past February, there were a series of attacks on Christians in and around the town of (inaudible) in the Northern Sinai which basically forced many of them, dozens of families to flee to the Nile Delta as a result.

Now, there has been rising tensions between the Christian community and Muslims within the country itself. And it's widely believed that the security services in Egypt simply have failed to protect the Christian minority in Egypt, which makes up almost 10 percent of the population -- Alison.

KOSIK: To your point there, the Christian community there in Egypt really has been a target of Islamic extremists and the frustration there has been that security just hasn't, you know, certainly measured up to what it needs to be knowing that that community is really a target.

WEDEMAN: Yes. But having seen Egyptian security in action, oftentimes, I can tell you that the people who are put in charge of protecting Christian churches, community centers, and others, are poorly paid, poorly trained, poorly equipped, poorly motivated, and poorly led.

By and large, it doesn't appear that protecting the Christians of Egypt is a top priority of the government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who of course, President Trump said is doing such a fantastic job.

[06:05:10]Now when Sisi first came to power in 2013 many of the Christians saw him as a savior from the Muslim Brotherhood, which was running the country up until then but increasingly as there is attack after attack, their faith has faded.

KOSIK: On such a holy day, such a devastating blow to the Coptic community. Ben Wedeman reporting live from the Turkish-Syrian border, thanks very much.

BLACKWELL: We'll get more on the breaking news throughout the morning, but first let's talk about North Korea and its reaction to the U.S. strikes in Syria.

And the "USS Carl Vincent" strike group now headed to the Western Pacific. Will Ripley is the only American TV correspondent in Pyongyang and we have also with us, Colonel Cedric Leighton, a CNN military analyst.

And, Will, I want to start with you. The reaction, this comment now from a North Korean official, what are we hearing?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I was meeting with the North Korean government officials when the news came in that the carrier strike group, "Carl Vincent" has been rerouted and it's heading back towards the Korean Peninsula. This is not entirely out of the ordinary.

In fact, the strike group was here. It was off the peninsula just a matter of weeks ago conducting joined military exercises with the U.S. But the North Korean official said they believe this is yet another example of a provocative act by the Trump administration that will embolden this country to further accelerate.

Not tone back but accelerate the development of their nuclear weapons and the missiles that could potentially deliver warheads to the mainland U.S. I want to read you what this high ranking official said.

This is a comment regarding the missile strike in Syria said, quote, "The previous U.S. administrations have been attacking those countries who haven't gotten nuclear weapons and the Trump administration is no different than the previous U.S. governments in pinpointing those nonnuclear states."

North Korea is looking at Syria and the countries like Iraq and Libya that the U.S. invaded and toppled those regimes. They feel that a workable intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead will be their security to protect the government led by Kim Jong-un from an invasion by the United States.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's bring in Colonel Leighton now and I want to read another segment from this statement here that we got from -- or rather a comment from North Korean official. They write here in some quarters they say these military attacks are a warning shot against the DPRK, but we are not at all frightened by those actions. Is that the reality here, Colonel?

COLONEL CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think so, Victor. I think what they are looking at from the North Korean standpoint is they believe in self-reliance, the term they use as Will Ripley knows very well is ducha. That is a way of talking about self-reliance.

They see that self-reliance as being the necessity of the North Korean state. They can see the only way forward for them is to totally depend only on their own resources. That is not completely realistic because there are a lot of things that a country like North Korea has to depend on from the outside world.

But nonetheless, they see this as a way forward and they believe that they have to maintain their weapon systems and improve their weapon systems in order to have a place in the world.

BLACKWELL: Let me stay with you, Colonel, is this sending of the "USS Carl Vincent," the strike group, an expected conventional response to what we have been seeing out of North Korea, or is this a ratcheting up of the tensions there?

LEIGHTON: I see it at ratcheting the tensions up just a bit and the reason for this is that the carrier strike group from the "USS Carl Vincent" was not originally scheduled to go back into the waters of the Western Pacific and the waters near the Korean Peninsula.

I think the Trump administration is sending a message, not only to North Korea, but also to China, that they are saying this is a time when you cannot and you should not be testing your missiles or your nuclear devices or anything else that could up-end the stability of the Korean Peninsula and the "Carl Vincent" is basically the symbol of American power projection in this case.

BLACKWELL: Will, you know Beijing as well as Pyongyang. What is the reaction they are seeing in China to this sending of the "USS Carl Vincent" after just a few days ago when President Xi Jinping was with President Trump and the strike there in Syria?

RIPLEY: Well, it's interesting because publicly Chinese officials gave a very broad statement about a good meeting with President Trump. They did not mention North Korea at all in President Xi Jinping's statement after the meeting in Florida, which I thought was significant because it really shows that the two sides are very far apart about how they feel North Korea should be dealt with.

[06:10:05]China wants engagement. The U.S. wants sanctions and possible military action and you're seeing now, you know, this trigger strike group moving toward the peninsula.

The North Korean officials that we are speaking with, they think it was no coincidence that President Trump ordered this missile strike while having dinner at Mar-a-Lago with President Xi Jinping.

They believe it was a warning not only to him that he needs to do something about North Korea, but also a threat to the North Koreans as well. They told me flat out, Victor, even if China enforces sanctions against this country, their nuclear program and missile program are the last things that they are prepared to cut.

And their state media has told them if they have to go without electricity or without food that is what it will take to preserve their country and protect them from American bombs raining down on Pyongyang and other areas in North Korea.

And if you ask people on the streets, they tell you they believe that. Of course, this is a one-party state with one person who has absolute power and that is Kim Jong-un so, publicly, people are going to say that.

BLACKWELL: All right, Will Ripley and Colonel Leighton, thank you both.

KOSIK: One time event or part of a broader strategy? That is the question facing the Trump administration after it launched a military strike on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack that left more than 80 dead.

The president in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he acted in the United States' national security interest. But does that interest go beyond chemical attacks? Ryan Nobles has more from Washington.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: There are mixed messages coming from the White House about what is next when it comes to the crisis in Syria. The administration and several of its close allies have been insistent that this was a onetime attack designed to be a specific response to Bashar al-Assad's alleged chemical attack against his own people.

There are signals that President Trump maybe prepared to do even more if necessarily. In a taping of this week's "STATE OF THE UNION," Jake Tapper sat down with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. She is someone who is becoming a central figure in the Trump administration's foreign policy.

Haley told Tapper that what happens next is dependent on how others react.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: He won't stop here. If he needs to do more, he will do more. So really now what happens depends on how everyone responds to what happened in Syria and make sure that we start moving towards a political solution and we start finding peace in that area.


NOBLES: Syria isn't the only foreign policy challenge the Trump administration is confronting. A U.S. official confirmed on Saturday that a U.S. Navy strike group is moving toward the western Pacific Ocean in the region of the Korean Peninsula. This as concerns about instability in North Korea only grow.

These major issues come at a time as the president is trying to tamp down some internal strife. Amidst differences between key advisors, Steve Bannon and a son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The president told them, according to an official, quote, "We got to work this out, cut it out." They had a meeting along with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Friday in an effort to get them to work out their differences.

White House officials say that no one's job is current in jeopardy. Still the president made it clear that he wanted tempers cooled. Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.

KOSIK: OK, Ryan, thank you. As you heard in his piece, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says when it comes to Syria, President Trump may not be done. She spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper about the administration's views on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Is regime change in Syria now the official policy of the United States?

HALEY: So there's multiple priorities. It's -- getting Assad out is not the only priority. So what we are trying to do is, obviously, defeat ISIS. Secondly, we don't see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. Third, get the Iranian influence out. Finally, move towards a political solution because at the end of the day, this is a complicated situation.

There are no easy answers and a political solution is going to have to happen. But we know that it is not going to be -- there is not any sort of option where political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime.


KOSIK: Haley's comments prompted a blistering response from Russia where one official called the remarks, quote, "direct sabotage of the international community's efforts to start a process of political negotiations between the authorities and the opposition." You can watch more of Jake Tapper's interview, the full interview with U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley this morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Some top British officials are lending their support to the U.S. actions in Syria. Now one of them, the defense secretary, says that last week's chemical attack is Russia's fault. If Vladimir Putin needs to step up and stop Bashar al-Assad. We will break down the comments next.

KOSIK: And later, political satire, Alec Baldwin is back on "SNL" slamming the president and taking out Fox News in the process.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I even went as far as saying, quote, "Bill O'Reilly did nothing wrong."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's based upon --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hunch. Just a hunch.




BLACKWELL: Justified, appropriate, the right call, that's how the U.K. defense secretary described the U.S. military strike on Syria.

KOSIK: And in an op-ed for the "Sunday Times," Sir Michael Fallon placing blame for last week's attack squarely on the shoulders of Russia. He quotes in part this, "By proxy, Russia is responsible for every civilian death last week. If Russia wants to be absolved of responsibility for future attacks, Vladimir Putin needs to enforce commitments, dismantle Assad's chemical weapons, his arsenal for good and get fully engaged with the U.N. peace keeping process."

Let's dig in more with Julia Ioffe, a staff writer for "The Atlantic" and CNN senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh. Nick, let me begin with you. What is the latest?

[06:20:06]NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At this point, we are hearing of yet more civilian deaths in Idlib, the province which was the target of those chemical weapons attacks. Bear in mind, the last 48 hours, we've had a number of air strikes that have gone and most likely from Syrian regime jets and perhaps with Russian support over the skies over that rebel-controlled area.

A town hit by the chemical weapons hit the last 48 hours and causing four deaths but elsewhere in Idlib, in a place called (inaudible), we are learning of 16 civilian deaths according to the first responders there known as the White Helmets.

This is clearly a message the chemical weapons attacks and the response from the Trump administration has not changed business as normal. The kind of attacks, daily currency of this war. We are talking about them here because of the Trump response, not frankly because it's anything new so bear that in mind when we discuss this.

All eyes certainly on the broader geopolitical situation here. Does Rex Tillerson's visit to Moscow at some point in the days ahead herald a new bid in diplomacy? You also have to bear in mind here, the idea of pressuring Moscow into getting Assad to step aside is years old.

It simply hasn't worked. There is a new element here in the Trump administration launched 59 Tomahawk missiles but they themselves haven't changed the military calculus and perhaps some too wondering whether or not this is simply benefited the Syrian regime by making it very tough for Russia to distance themselves and they are now forced basically, given the pride factor in Vladimir Putin to staying alongside Assad for the months ahead. Back to you.

KOSIK: So Julia, let me go to you, because you know, with Nick saying that these missile strikes on Friday by President Trump, by the administration, by the U.S. haven't changed the calculation militarily in Syria, and if they were really meant just to give a warning shot to Bashar al-Assad, did the warning work, knowing that air strike from Syria have been sent again right in the area where that chemical attack was?

JULIA IOFFE, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": I think they were meant to send a signal. The question is what kind of signal is it? If it's just a onetime strike and if, you know, Russian media is covering the fact that planes are still taking off from this air strip that air strikes are continuing.

And if you have Rex Tillerson, after his first phone call with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after these strikes saying that we are not pushing for Assad to come out to leave the presidency, we are still focusing mostly on ISIS, and once we figure out how to deal with ISIS, then we can talk about Assad.

So you have Washington clearly telegraphing to Moscow that even their diplomatic calculus really hasn't changed. Now the dust has settled, it's not really clear what the attack meant to symbolize, other than we can.

KOSIK: OK. I want you to both listen to Nikki Haley about what the priorities are for the U.S. Listen to this.


TAPPER: Is regime change in Syria now the official policy of the United States?

HALEY: So there is multiple priorities. It's getting Assad out is not the only priority. So what we are trying to do is, obviously, defeat ISISs. Secondly, we don't see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. Thirdly, get the Iran influence out. And then, finally, move toward a political solution because at the end of the day, this is a complicated situation.

There are no easy answers and a political solution is going to have to happen, but we know that it is not going to be -- there's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad as the head of the regime.


KOSIK: Nick, let me ask you this because you've reported in this region for a very long time. There is no easy solution, is there? And do you Nikki Haley is being deliberately vague in answering whether or not taking Assad out of power is the priority for the U.S.?

PATON: I have to say I find it all very bizarre we are hearing this sort of, I might say, sea change in the Trump administration's policy from someone at the level of the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. It does feel a bit like policy here is being made up slightly on the hoof.

None of these ideas is anything new, you know? They have been trying, over years, the Obama administration, to create some sort of political process which would cause Assad to step aside. That was the Geneva process and now phase five and Assad is still in power.

And militarily in the ascendant and has been for years. The document, itself, which was originally signed onto by the Russians did at the very beginning suggest a transition was required and left it vague what would happen to Bashar al-Assad, but it was clear in the minds of western countries he would step aside.

So this political process has been ongoing and failing miserably for years. It led to the rise of ISIS because so many of the disfranchised Sunni-Muslim majority in Syria felt they didn't have anyone looking out for them because the rebels kept losing.

[06:25:11]That's why ISIS found support on the ground there. This political process hasn't really had American military teeth behind it so maybe you might see some extra change but these 59 Tomahawks have been brushed off by Moscow.

And there are two important things to realize here as well. Yes, the Trump White House I think is slowly groping with the political reality that it need a Syria policy but doesn't know what it is yet.

On the Russian side, too, perhaps mounting domestic pressure on Vladimir Putin who is facing a presidential re-election battle and probably not a tough one but he doesn't want caught in an indefinite messy war in Syria that many Russians don't fully understand.

So a lot of changing calculus is here, but not real change in the likelihood of Bashar al-Assad staying in power for a while.

KOSIK: Julia, let me go to you, speaking of Vladimir Putin, we have Rex Tillerson visiting with his counterpart and I'm hearing Putin as well this week. Do you think there is going to be any blame from the U.S. on Russia for this chemical attack as we are seeing from the U.K. defense secretary blaming Russia for that attack?

IOFFE: I think you will see some of it, but I doubt that Secretary Tillerson is going to push hard on that line, especially when he is sitting down with his old friend, Vladimir Putin. I think you'll see some posturing from the Russian side saying he violated Syria's territorial sovereignty and national sovereignty and violated international law. But I think the key word here is posturing and Nick is totally

right. A lot of what we are hearing now from the U.S. side, we've heard for years during the Obama administration. So hearing Nikki Haley, the Trump's administration's ambassador to the U.N., saying -- I mean, she said what basically the Obama administration has been saying for the last few years of his presidency.

And honestly, I don't know how much it matters because I don't think she is the one deciding the policy on Syria. It seems like Nick said to be made up on the fly and we will see. I think the 59 missiles didn't do all that much. I think it's up the ante a little bit in terms of rhetoric and posturing.

But the reality on the ground still remains that Russia is much more committed to this fight. The Russian public is actually quite supportive of the fight in Syria, especially given the wave of terror attacks domestically in Russia which have been very much amplified by kremlin TV.

And it has been connected to the fight in Syria saying, look, we are fighting these guys in Syria before they come, before they come to Russia. We are fighting them in an away game rather than a home game, to use a sports metaphor, and yes, I think it hasn't really changed all that much.

KOSIK: All right. Great conversation, Julia Ioffe. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much.

BLACKWELL: A U.S. strike group is on the move to the Korean Peninsula as the North Korean government condemns the missile strike in Syria. So what does this all mean? We will talk about that.

KOSIK: Plus, violence after thousands of protesters take to the streets in Venezuela. Why they say the government is violating their human rights.



ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome back. I'm Alison Kosik in for Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

As a U.S. carrier moves toward the Korean peninsula a North Korean official says, aggressive moves like the U.S. missile strike on Syria are justify is its nuclear ambitions.

Joining us now to talk about this Sarah Westwood, White House correspondent for the "Washington Examiner." Sarah, good morning to you. And just as -- there were so many questions about any strategy for Syria as it relates to the United States, now this president has to come up with a strategy for North Korea. Do you see the makings of one yet? SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: From the North Korean's perspective, they now have evidence that President Trump is willing to use military force when he thinks it serve U.S. interests. This is clearly a symbolic move meant to telegraph to Pyongyang that President Trump is prepared to do the same thing in North Korea that he just did in Syria.

And the timing of this is not insignificant. It comes shortly after Trump and Chinese President Xi touted president projective conversations in Florida last week. That included the conversation, the very thorny topic of China's continued support for North Korea. I mean, part of the reason why North Korea has been so aggressive all these years is because they have the confidence that comes with being backed by the Chinese.


WESTWOOD: And what appears to be part of President Trump's strategy is getting China to maybe rescind that support and isolate North Korea.

BLACKWELL: So the movement of this strike group may be intended to send the same message to North Korea that he is willing to do what he did in Syria there, but is he?

WESTWOOD: Well, we don't know yet. I mean, clearly the contours of the Trump foreign policy are just starting to be formed. But keep in mind that one of Trump's top criticisms of Obama was the fact that he felt that the Obama administration weakened the U.S. image across the world and he was particularly critical of Obama's refusal to back up the red line that he drew in Syria in 2012.

So if this is one of the things that President Trump ran on, making the U.S. military strong again, making the U.S. respected and feared across the world again, this is a really high profile test of whether he is willing to engage militarily when that credibility is on the line.

BLACKWELL: And let's look at this from the political lens. There are many people who voted for the president because he believes, as he said many times, that the U.S. cannot be the policemen of the world.


If they're looking at the news this weekend and they see what happened in Syria and now followed by these -- this ratcheting up potentially in North Korea, are they satisfied? Are they disappointed, potentially?

WESTWOOD: Well, the question of North Korea is a little bit different. It's not so much that...


WESTWOOD: ... North Korea is a -- is a human rights violator. I mean, they are. But North Korea is quickly becoming what some U.S. officials view as existential threat to America or a security threat because they are rapidly developing their nuclear weapons program and they are openly testing missiles that could one day be capable of reaching the U.S. That is not the case in Syria. That is mostly a human rights issue with the chemical attack and, obviously, it has implications for Iran and Russia relations.

The North Korea situation could become a security threat for the U.S. and I think that is why the Trump administration has been so aggressive rhetorically toward North Korea saying from the beginning that all options are on the table.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We will take a look back at some of the comments the president made during the campaign about potentially South Korea having their own nuclear weapons as a way to protect them. But as you made a point there this is also down the road a national security interest for the United States as well.

Sarah Westwood, thanks so much.

WESTWOOD: Thank you.

KOSIK: Outrage in Venezuela as thousands of people filled the streets to protest the government. Police fired tear gas into the crowd while demonstrators threw rocks. The crowds are angry at the country's president and current members of the Supreme Court. They say those leaders are repressing them and violating human rights.

BLACKWELL: Up next, Alec Baldwin is back on "Saturday Night Live." But it's not just President Trump he is taking on. He is also taking on FOX News' Bill O'Reilly.



BLACKWELL: All right. Now after weeks of repeats of SNL the cast is now back and, once again, Alec Baldwin is taking on the president.

KOSIK: This time with a twist.

Brian Stelter is the CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES." He is joining us here. Good morning.


KOSIK: So it looks like Alec Baldwin was kind of playing double duty last night. He was Donald Trump. He was also Bill O'Reilly. I love it. He was talking to himself. (INAUDIBLE).

STELTER: Yes. There's a split screen effect. Of course pointing out O'Reilly's ad boycott. This time last week, there was no advertisers pulling ads from O'Reilly's show on FOX now, 60 advertisers have withdrawn.

Here is how Alec Baldwin played both O'Reilly and President Trump.


ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: And can I tell you something? I actually see a lot of myself in you, Bill.

ALEC BALDWIN AS BILL O'REILLY: Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you for coming to my defense last week, even though no one asked you to. You event went as far as saying -- quote -- "Bill O'Reilly did nothing wrong."


ALEC BALDWIN AS BILL O'REILLY: That is based upon?

ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: Hunch. Just a loose hunch.

ALEC BALDWIN AS BILL O'REILLY: So you're not familiar with the facts of the case?

ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: I mean, I'm more familiar with this case than I am with, saying, health care, but I didn't really look into on it much, no. I was too busy being super presidential by bombing a bunch of (EXPLETIVE).


STELTER: There we go again. SNL is always quoting directly from the president's own words. And also, guys, we also saw Alec Baldwin commenting on Syria, the strike in Syria. Here is the interpretation of what happened.


ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: I just had an amazing week, folks. I met with leaders from China, Egypt and Jordan. Gorsuch is being confirmed, the media is saying nice things and no one is talking about Russia.

Wow! What a difference just 59 tomahawk missiles can make.

Do you like that I bombed Syria? You right there.

MIKEY DAY, COMEDIAN: I sure do, sir, but I wanted to talk about my job. I recently got laid off from a coal mining plant.

BALDWIN: God, I love coal.

Are you glad I bombed Syria?

BECK BENNETT, COMEDIAN: Yes. I guess so, Mr. President. But I actually want to talk about Obamacare.


STELTER: And so it went on from there, of course. The idea being the president's pivoted to foreign policy. I think maybe expressing -- this show expressing what a lot of liberals have been privately saying or saying on their Facebook feeds the president might be trying to distract people from domestic issues by focusing on foreign policy issues. But there we go SNL was off for about a month. So to have Alec Baldwin back in the chair I'm sure his fans were happy to see him last night.

BLACKWELL: And they hit one more that has been a topic of conversation. This controversial Pepsi ad.

STELTER: Yes. Let's sees if we can play that clip also. This is a joke about that Pepsi ad. Take a look.

I don't know if we have it. Maybe get to it later in the program. But the O'Reilly/Trump was especially interesting. In "RELIABLE SOURCES" we're going to get into this O'Reilly ad boycott. And President Trump being one of the few public figures to come out and support O'Reilly.

BLACKWELL: All right.

KOSIK: OK. Brian, thanks so much. We will be watching.

STELTER: Thanks.


BLACKWELL: Well, months after that massive scandal rocked Wells Fargo, former employees are telling CNN how and why they lied to so many customers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the norm to just open sales unethically. It was just what we were taught and we just did it.


KOSIK: Plus, did St. Thomas bring Christianity to India? What you can expect in the seasons' finale of "FINDING JESUS."



KOSIK: The lead government inspector in charge of overseeing operations at Wells Fargo during a massive scandal has been stripped of his responsibilities.

BLACKWELL: And this comes nearly seven months after investigators found bank employees created millions of unauthorized bank accounts for customers in order to reach their sales goals or earn bonuses. Well, now two of those former employees are talking to CNN about why they felt forced to mislead customers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the norm to just open sales unethically. It was just what we were taught and we just did it.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than six months after the fake account scandal damaged Wells Fargo's reputation, there has been very little accountability at the top. Attorney Michael Kade represents former Wells Fargo employees.

MICHAEL KADE, ATTORNEY: I can understand if one district manager is putting pressure on the people below him or her, but if this is going on nationwide you would think that there is somebody above the district manager that is putting pressure on the D.M. to get something done.

ALESCI: When news of the scandal spread, CEO John Stumpf left the bank following fiery congressional grilling.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It's gutless leadership.

ALESCI: And so did the head of the retail bank, Carrie Tolstedt. Both executives walked away with millions in compensation tied to a rising stock price, boosted by aggressive sales tactics. Stumpf said the bank never told employees to commit fraud but many former workers say the pressure led to that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had a lot of pressure. Remember just as a teller, you know, we had the bankers just on our backs. And then --

ALESCI (on camera): To get the clients?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To get the client that I had as a teller standing up to get them sitting down with the banker. We would look at a phone number and maybe misconstrue one of the numbers. Oh, is your home number still 1234 even though the screen it said 12345 and so -- it was just anything to get them to our desk.

ALESCI (voice-over): In fact, she claims almost everyone at the branch, herself included, was either lying to customers or complicit in it. Another former employee explained how simple it was to open a fake account.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's pretty much like you signing a blank paper and then the rest of the information is filled in saying, oh, this is just to reopen your savings account or reactivate your savings account. But, you know, when the customer leaves they could put up 10 accounts on there and then open it and the signature is there. And even if the customer calls to complain -- well, Mr. Customer's signature is there.

ALESCI: At best, customers with unauthorized or unnecessary accounts were confused and hassled. At worst, they were hit with overdraft fees and some saw their credit score suffer.

ALESCI (on camera): How did you get the idea in your head that if I don't go do this unethical thing I'm going to lose my job? What made you think that? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, they would just tell us that -- it was verbalized. We just, again, always had pressure from management, upper management. They were witness to what we were doing. I mean, they coached us because they had to sign off on everything.

ALESCI (voice-over): Wells Fargo says this is in the past now. Its number one priority is rebuilding trust and the bank has made fundamental changes to reduce the pressure on workers and insure customers are aware of new accounts opened.

Banks paid $185 million so far in fines. Although it still faces more than a dozen investigations and lawsuits. But just like the financial crisis, jail time for senior executives is unlikely.


BLACKWELL: One of those investigations at Wells Fargo is preparing for -- is results of an independent probe to be released later this month. And the bank's chairman says, that could lead to more disciplinary actions against current employees and executives.

KOSIK: Next, exploring Christianity and St. Thomas' link to India. What we can expect the season finale -- of what we can expect in the season finale of "FINDING JESUS."




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christianity appears in India at some point in the first few centuries of the Common Era. It's a little bit after mystery. It may be there as early as the second century and maybe it's plausible that it even arrived in the first century.

NARRATOR (voice-over): Is it possible the disciple famous in the Bible for doubt founded one of the earliest Christian churches in India?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thomas is listed as one of the 12 so we know that he is one of the inner group of Jesus' disciples.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is best known as the one disciple who wasn't present when Jesus first appeared after his crucifixion.

NARRATOR: Thomas vanishes from the New Testament after the resurrection but an ancient text and recent archaeological documents may reveal what happened to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are early indications, even before the Middle Ages, that Christianity had somehow, some way, come to India so one could say, why not by Thomas?

NARRATOR: In Bari Cathedral in Italy is a relic believed to have been venerated for over 1700 years across the Christian world. It said to be the arm that touched the resurrected Jesus, the arm of St. Thomas.


BLACKWELL: As you see here, the season finale of "FINDING JESUS" turns its focus to St. Thomas the apostle.

KOSIK: And relics he allegedly left behind are said to be scattered as far as India.

Candida Moss, a biblical scholar from Notre Dame appears in this series and she's a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University Of Notre Dame. Candida, you investigated the evidence behind St. Thomas' role in bringing Christianity to India. Tell us more.

CANDIDA MOSS, PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY: Well, there's certainly a lot of evidence if you go to India that people really believe that their form of Christianity came from the apostle Thomas himself. And there (ph) are (ph) attacks from the very late second and early third century that talk about Thomas' travels and tie him to India.

If you're going to ask historically was it possible for Thomas to get all the way to India? It was possible but we don't have any early first century evidence that places him there.

BLACKWELL: There are so many surprises in this series when we talk about Thomas, what surprised you?

MOSS: I think what's interesting about Thomas is he really speaks for everyone. This is history's emblematic doubter. He didn't believe at first. He had to touch. And the question is what happened to this man afterwards? What did he go on to do with his life?

I think what is surprising about Thomas is that he seem to have this very rich legend and tradition associated with him.

KOSIK: It's so interesting and we're definitely going to be watching. So, thanks so much for the preview of what we are going to be seeing, Candida Moss. Thanks so much.

And if you'd like to catch the final episode of "FINDING JESUS DOUBTING THOMAS" it is going to be airing tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just the latest attack on the Christians of Egypt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier group is now headed for waters near the Korean peninsula.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was designed, I believe, to not only put North Korea on notice but also to put China on notice.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: He won't stop here. If he needs to do more, he will do more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't want to have to do more if they don't have but they also want to make it clear to the Assad regime that they are not afraid to.

HALEY: We don't see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there.