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CNN NEWSROOM

Border-Bound Immigrant Caravan Sparks Trump's Tweet Storm; President Trump, First Lady Host 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll; White House Confirms Trump, Putin Discussed Bilateral Meeting during Phone Call; AT&T, Justice Department May Pare Down Witness Lists; Kentucky Teachers Protesting at State Capitol Over Budget. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired April 2, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: -- border laws work. As for the caravan, here is what we know here. This group is Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which means the people without borders. And they say their primary goal is to flee violence and political unrest in Central America and seek asylum either in Mexico or the U.S.

Let's talk more about all this with CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd.

So, Sam, you say these Twitter jabs are showcasing his own misunderstanding of the situation in another country. Explain.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, simply I think that we're seeing a Trumpian Twitter tantrum. He's upset that no one will pay for his wall. So we see him pointing the finger at Mexico, we see him pointing the finger at Democrats, and it's almost like he saw some story on TV yesterday about these caravans and didn't bother to consult with any of his team to find out what's actually going on.

CABRERA: Let's talk about the facts of the situation because one of these tweets, these big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA, they want in on the act, he writes, and goes on to say, everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon but we know that these DACA beneficiaries had to have lived in the U.S. since 2007 and had to have arrived as children before that time. So the facts really aren't on the president's side. They don't add up.

VINOGRAD: Yes. And how many times have we seen the president tweet something that is not based on fact, just to really rally his base or just because he's angry again that he can't get funding for the wall.

But, Ana, my concern here is that this kind of tweet has a lot of national security consequences. It actually sets Donald Trump up to be a loser. 94 percent of Mexicans are opposed to funding the border wall, 5 percent of Mexicans -- only 5 percent of Mexicans think that Donald Trump is going to do the right thing when it comes to world affairs. So when the president spews these inaccurate stories about Mexico, it sets him up to be a pinata in the Mexican presidential election that just kicked off. CABRERA: There is also this issue of NAFTA that the president is

throwing into the mix here. Another tweet, just in the last hour, "Mexico is making a fortune on NAFTA. They have very strong border laws. Ours are pathetic with all the money they make from the U.S. Hopefully they will stop people from coming through their country and into hours. At least until Congress changes our immigration laws.'

I'm wondering, could it actually hurt us by hurting the Mexican economy and back fire in terms of what the purpose is if he's wanting people to stay in Mexico?

VINOGRAD: Most definitely. And I've heard from senior congressional sources that the president is, again, trying to use a bully tactic when it comes to NAFTA, to try to get better terms for the United States. But rather than letting his negotiators who know what's good for our economy, who know what's good for North America more generally, try to get better terms, he's again trying to bully Mexico into changing their position, which has not been a proven tactic before.

CABRERA: So where do you see this headed?

VINOGRAD: You know, we're good. I think again the Mexican presidential election just kicked off. Every single Mexican presidential candidate has campaigned against the border wall and is campaigning against Donald Trump. So we're going to see Donald Trump thrown around as a Mexican political football and every time he does something like this, via Twitter, it just adds more fuel to the fire.

CABRERA: Thank you, Sam Vinograd.

VINOGRAD: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: Good to have you with us.

Well, still ahead, the Trump family arriving at the Easter Egg Roll at the White House. The president set to speak in just a few moments. We're there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:37:30] CABRERA: Happening right now, the president and the first lady are playing host to about 30,000 visitors for the annual Easter Egg Roll. These are live images. We are expecting the president to make some opening remarks here any moment now. This is going to be a much larger egg-travaganza, so to speak than last year's event when Melania Trump, of course, was splitting time between New York and the White House. She's there full time now.

And our White House correspondent Kate Bennett is joining us with more -- Kate.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Melania Trump is going to join the president here with the Easter Bunny on the Truman balcony in just a few minutes. But you're right, Ana. The first lady really has spent a lot of time

planning this. I'm told that she started back in the fall, thinking about this Easter Egg Roll. She picked the colors for the commemorative eggs back in December. So certainly there's a lot going on there. She added also lawn bowling to the activities again this year.

We just saw Donald Trump Jr. and his family, and Tiffany Trump go through the egg roll, too, right over here to my shoulder. So there's certainly a lot of folks here today passing through. We've seen some administration folks, some members of the Cabinet with their grandkids. It's been a nice -- it's chilly egg roll this year.

CABRERA: All right. Kate Bennett, we'll be watching for these remarks from the president.

Again, we were told -- we're given a two-minute warning just a couple of minutes ago, so we expect them to come up and talk any moment. As soon as they do, we'll come back to these live pictures. We'll take you there.

Data breach, meantime, hits some of the country's biggest retailers. Credit and debit cards for millions impacted. We'll have the details for you here in the NEWSROOM. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:43:26] CABRERA: Let me take you live now to the White House and President Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- everybody to keep this incredible house or building or whatever you want to call it because there really is no name for it, it is special. And we keep it in tip-top shape. We call it sometimes tippy-top shape and it's a great, great place.

It's an honor to have everybody, on behalf of the Trump family, many of whom are with us right here in the audience. I just want to thank you. This is a special year. Our country is doing great. You look at the economy, you look at what's happening. Nothing's ever easy, but we have never had an economy like we have right now. And we're going to make it bigger and better and stronger.

Our military is now at a level -- will soon be at a level it's never been before. It's -- you see what's happening. And you see what's happening with funding. The funding of our military was so important and so many military people are with us today. So just think of $700 billion because that's all going into our military this year.

So I want to thank you all for being here. The band, unbelievable. I love you, people. I hear them a lot. They're as talented as anybody and any players anywhere. So thank you very much.

And now I'm going to come down and we're going to watch this roll. Thank you, all. And have a great time. Thank you. Happy Easter. Thank you very much. [10:45:01] CABRERA: So the president kicking off the 400th -- excuse

me, what is it? 140th Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House and you heard him there thank Melania initially in his remarks, thank the band, and he talked about taking care of the White House as well as taking care of the military, as we continue to look at these live images.

We have some other news just in to CNN. An aide to Russian president Putin says President Trump actually proposed bilateral talks in Washington during the phone call that the two leaders had last month.

Let's go to our Jeremy Diamond, also at the White House, with more on this -- Jeremy.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, that's right. It appears that President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin could soon be meeting at the White House here in Washington. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirming after these reports that President Trump and President Putin discussed at least the possibility of holding this summit on the arms race between the two countries here at the White House.

She said in a statement, let me read it to you, "As the president himself confirmed on March 20th, hours after his last call with President Putin, the two had discussed a bilateral meeting in the not- too-distant future. At a number of potential venues including the White House," and she said we have nothing further to add at this time.

Her statement came after an aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin, the aide is Uri Ushigov, said that Trump offered to hold the first meeting in Washington in the White House. So it appears that they at least discussed the possibility of holding the summit here at the White House, but clearly a lot of details still to be ironed out. And it's unclear at this point if there actually will be this summit that the two men discussed in their phone conversation just a couple of weeks ago -- Ana.

CABRERA: Again timing unknown right now. Thank you for bringing that to us, Jeremy Diamond.

Let's bring back Samantha Vinograd, our national security analyst.

So, Samantha, this news, you said it isn't shocking, but what is the significance?

VINOGRAD: I think this is a nonstory. We heard President Trump referenced this meeting after the phone call with Vladimir Putin, and Ana, we know that President Trump likes to invite everyone to the White House. He even invited the dictator of the Philippines who's killed thousands of people. So to me, Trump likes to throw around this Oval Office meeting card whenever it suits him. And under any other scenario, a leader-to-leader meeting may be a good thing because Trump doesn't empower his own team. Putin doesn't really empower his team. Everything comes from the top. So the two of these guys sitting together and talking about arms

control could be a good scenario, except for the fact that Russia is still attacking our country. So what has Putin done to deserve an Oval Office meeting and would President Trump in this scenario actually stick to the script if he couldn't do so in the phone call they had just a few weeks ago?

CABRERA: And don't forget about that Oval Office meeting that got so much attention with the Russian ambassador, as well as the Foreign minister, which the president apparently shared some classified information with them. So a lot more to come as the White House and Russia prepares for this face to face.

Thank you so much, Sam Vinograd.

VINOGRAD: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: All right. New developments this morning as the $85 billion AT&T and Time Warner megamerger trial resumes, we are waiting to hear if both AT&T and the Justice Department have pared down their witness list. Both sides are trying to comply with the judge's request to speed up the trial. This as a witness for the Justice Department may have done some damage to its own case against Time Warner and AT&T.

CNN politics reporter and business media reporter Hadas Gold is joining us now from the court house with more -- Hadas.

HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Ana, that's true. The judge kind of gave homework to the attorneys from both sides. He said, listen, this trial is going too slowly because there is a big deadline looming in June. If a decision is not reached before June 21st, theoretically Time Warner or AT&T could walk away from this merger.

It's not clear that that would happen even if the decision isn't reached before June. But the judge warned, hey, I need time to write this decision, it's going to be really long, 200 pages. Needs a lot of detail and accuracy, and you both need to speed it up. So proceedings just got started in the courtroom. We're expecting to hear today from Colin Breland, he is a Turner executive, he used to be in charge of distribution, he used to do all these negotiations with both sides.

But as you said, last week we actually heard from a government-called witness. He was from Comcast, and he said something that really hurt the government's case. He said, hey, I don't think that our negotiations with Time Warner for content like CNN or TNT would really change that much if this merger happened. And that's one of the government's key arguments, that this merger would harm competition and that Time Warner and AT&T could leverage their content in sort of an unfair and uncompetitive way with their distributors.

And here we had a distributor on the stand saying I don't think that would happen, Ana. So we should be hearing a lot more from witnesses today.

CABRERA: All right, Hadas Gold. Thank you.

Right now a story we are following all day. Teachers in Kentucky rallying at their state capitol right now, pushing for more money for their students.

Polo Sandoval is live in Frankfurt with more.

Polo, thousands of people are there. What is their message?

[10:50:03] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The message is that they don't plan on going anywhere. Especially because yes, they are passionate about their pension, but as you just said, there is something else that is really keeping them together here outside the steps of the capitol in Kentucky.

What we have seen here are teachers that have come together to -- obviously extremely upset about the state tacking on the separate -- on to a separate bill this issue of their pension. But then also as you can hear, funding as well. It is something that these teachers are quite concerned about as legislators inside are debating the education budget for the next couple of years including Michelle Richardson, joining us here on the steps of the capitol, Ana, as we hear directly from here.

Michelle, for you, you said yes, it's about the pension, but mainly it's about funding.

MICHELLE RICHARDSON, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER: It is about funding. It's funding for our kids, it's funding for our first responders, it's funding for our communities that we're fighting for.

SANDOVAL: What is it that you hope the message is for these lawmakers that are inside in the session talking about how they will be funding education for the next couple of years. What's that message you hope they hear?

RICHARDSON: You've got to fund the schools. Our backbone of our education. And if Kentucky is going to succeed and be competitive, we've got to fund the schools.

SANDOVAL: Michelle, thank you so much for your time.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

SANDOVAL: Ana, again, that's just one of many people that we've heard from here. Yes, it is about the pension, but mainly it is about funding schools here.

It's important to point out that a majority of the school districts or the counties here in Kentucky were already scheduled to be closed today because of spring break, only about 20 of them were not. But as we heard from teachers today, if it means a potential walkout when class is back in session, then so be it.

CABRERA: All right, Polo Sandoval, in Kentucky for us. We're seeing similar images in Oklahoma. We covered the strikes a couple of weeks ago in West Virginia. So we're going to stay on top of this developing story nationwide with teachers demanding more pay, more funding for education.

We have some information now on more than 5 million credit and debit cards and information that has been stolen from two high end retailers. Hackers stole data from Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks office and Lord & Taylor stores. One cyber security firm says the attack is amongst the biggest and most damaging to ever hit retail companies.

The parent company of both stores says they have identified this issue and have taken steps to contain it.

Still to come, you could say it was the luck of the Irish, an amazing buzzer-beater capping off the women's basketball championship. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:13] CABRERA: March Madness started with 68 teams and now it's down to just two.

Andy Scholes is live in San Antonio with a preview of the big matchup -- Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana. You know, if Villanova is able to win tonight here in San Antonio they really would enter themselves into that college basketball dynasty conversation. They'd be just the fourth team in the past four decades to win two titles in three years, joining the likes of Duke, Kentucky and Florida.

And you know, when the brackets came out, Villanova were the favorites to win it all. And they certainly looked like it Saturday night against Kansas. Just blowing them off the floor and only thing standing in their way of another title is Moe Wagner and Michigan. The 20-year-old from Berlin, Germany was just brilliant in the semifinals. They'll need him to play big again tonight to have a chance.

And you know, to win a national championship, you of course need to have a great team. Now I sat down with both of the coaches in tonight's game and they've told me you also need some luck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BEILEIN, MICHIGAN HEAD COACH: You know, we've had a lot of breaks this year. I think it was -- and maybe it was Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, said the harder you work, the more luck you have. And we have worked hard. We deserve this. But we definitely have had some breaks along the way.

JAY WRIGHT, VILLANOVA HEAD COACH: One of the things you learn when you do win it is how many breaks you had to get along the way and how many things had to fall right for you. And you look back at some of your other teams and realize, this team might have been good enough, but we didn't get a break here, we got a bad matchup there, maybe the ball bounces the wrong way. So you realize how fragile it is to -- when you do win it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Now right around downtown San Antonio this weekend I've seen thousands of Michigan fans and alumni hoping to win another title. One of those alum, none other than our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Check him out, Saturday night, crowd surfing in the Michigan student section. Sanjay is taking part in the Turner Team stream broadcast for Michigan that you can watch it on TNT tonight. The main broadcast for Villanova, Michigan, on TBS. Tip-off 9:20 Eastern.

Now we saw an absolute thriller in the Women's National Championship game yesterday between Notre Dame and Mississippi State. Arike Ogunbowale beat UConn with the last-second shot in the semis, and then she did it again yesterday to win the national championship. The first for Notre Dame in 17 years. They were down 15 in the third before mounting the biggest comeback in -- in women's title history.

Ogunbowale's parents, they were there rooting her on. They named her Arike, which means in Nigeria to see and to cherish. And this is going to be a moment, Ana, that I tell you what, the Notre Dame fans are going to cherish for a very long time.

CABRERA: I just love seeing that reaction, and, by the way, that Sanjay picture, that was priceless. Young at heart. You go, Sanjay.

Andy Scholes, thanks for bringing that to us. Have a great day, my friend.

And thank you for joining me today. I'm Ana Cabrera. "AT THIS HOUR" starts now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there. I'm Brianna Keilar --