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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Pitches Meeting Sites For Kim Jong-Un Summit; Remembering Photojournalist Shah Marai; Comic Sparks Controversy With W.H. Dinner Monologue. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 30, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, big claims from Israel's prime minister, in a carefully choreographed speech, Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran lied about its nuclear
Also. another day of horror in Afghanistan, the series of bombing killed dozens including a number of journalists.
And why a comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner has everyone talking and some people upset but not everyone. We'll look at
We begin with extraordinary new allegations and evidence that Israel says the world has never seen before. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is
accusing Iran of hiding a nuclear weapons program for years, and he says, Israel has the secret files to prove it.
Netanyahu gave a dramatic news conference, complete with PowerPoint presentation, a short time ago unveiling, as you can see behind black
curtains, files. He revealed these copies he said were taken from hidden vaults inside a compound in Tehran. Netanyahu said they show the 2015
nuclear deal is based on lies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: You can draw four main conclusions. First, Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons
program. One hundred thousand secret files proved that they lied. Second, even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear
weapons (inaudible) for future us.
Why would a terrorist regime hide and meticulously catalog its secret nuclear files if not to use them at a later date? Third, Iran lied again
in 2015 when it didn't come clean to IAEA as required by the nuclear deal.
And finally, the Iran deal, the nuclear deal is based on lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Netanyahu as he believes Donald Trump will, quote, "do the right thing on the Iran nuclear deal." He needs to decide by May 12th, whether
or not the U.S. will pull out of it. And he is suggesting Netanyahu that he will refuse to stay in the existing agreement, the U.S. president.
Well, Donald Trump was asked about Iran during a White House news conference just minutes later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: That is just not an acceptable situation and I've been saying that's happening. They are
not sitting back idly. They are setting off missiles, which they say are for television purposes. I don't think so. So. we'll see what happens.
I am not telling you what I'm doing, but a lot of people think they know and on or before the 12th will make a decision. I think of anything what's
happening today and what's happened over the last little while and what we've learned has really shown that I've been 100 percent right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's get reaction from Israel. I want to bring in Naftali Bennett. He is the Israeli Minister of Education. He's live with me from
Jerusalem. So, the Prime Minister Netanyahu is not saying that Iran has broken the terms of this current deal. Not that it's developing a nuclear
weapons program as we speak. Isn't that then proof that this deal is working?
NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI EDUCATION MINISTER: Quite the contrary, the whole basis of the deal was that they don't have nuclear dimensions in their
military capacity and in fact, what we realized that today, and what the prime minister clearly showed today is that they do have massive amounts of
progress and information to prove that progress on the military dimension.
So, when you build a whole tower of a deal on a basis of lies, the whole tower collapses and that's what happened today.
GORANI: But based on what I'm seeing, he's talking about a project that was called "Project Ammad (ph)" that predates the nuclear deal from '99 to
2003. I saw a lot of blueprints and photographs. Is that evidence that there were nuclear weapons being delivered? I didn't see that.
BENNETT: No, we talked about progress on the military dimensions. We have to understand Iran has claimed time and again, including over the past few
weeks that they never had any intention of developing nuclear weapons.
This is the first time that the world gets to feel and see tens of thousands of documents that we've obtained that prove that Iran is
determined to acquire nuclear weapons. These guys lied from toes up to their teeth.
[15:05:12] And I think this is a major achievement and I guess another message would send is our Mossad can get anywhere and we know what Iran is
doing and we will not allow Iran to continue progressing to acquire a nuclear weapon.
GORANI: But what time period does this cover? This is where -- it seems to me like this is not concerning the last three years since deal was
signed, right? I mean, Israel isn't saying that Iran had pursued a nuclear weapons program in the last three years. The IAEA, the monitors have
several times recertified the deal saying Iran is complying. So, Israel is not alleging that Iran is currently breaking the terms, correct?
BENNETT: That's correct. What we are saying is that the very fundamentals of this deal are flawed because they said we don't have anything. They
have no progress, and no work on the military dimensions. In fact, they've made tremendous progress and we know today exactly what, and they've not
destroyed it, but they put it aside, so they can take out the day they want to break out.
So, in fact, they lied to the Europeans. They liked to America. They lied to the IAEA. They lied to the entire world and the whole deal then
collapses because now they have much more than we thought they have.
And if they want to renegotiate that's something that needs to happen, but the current deal cannot continue.
GORANI: Now, the critics of Benjamin Netanyahu have said we've heard this -- we've seen this performance before. We saw him in 2012 at the U.N.,
holding up that cartoon bomb. He said Iran was months away from developing a nuclear bomb. We know that now not to be the case, why believe Israel
BENNETT: It's quite the contrary because of the sanctions, because of the actions that have been taken, and the immense pressure, including crippling
sanctions on Iran, indeed, we managed to slow them down. So, we have to praise that work and that pressure that's been applied, and certainly not
pull off right now when it's succeeding.
GORANI: So, you still standby the 2012 allegation and the presentation there that we are seeing on our screen. But what do you want then? This
deal, if you yourself admit, Naftali Bennett, has kept Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program, why want to destroy it? It's working. What do
you want instead?
BENNETT: Because what they're doing is acquiring the capability in a very short timeframe to go out and run towards getting an arsenal of nuclear
weapons. For example, this deal allows them advanced R&D on uranium enrichment.
As of today, we now all know that when they enrich uranium, it's not for medical reasons. It's in order to acquire nuclear weapons. So, I'll tell
you what we want. We want no uranium, no enrichment, no plutonium, no nuclear weapons work in Iran. That's very simple and that's not what we
have in the deal.
The deal, in fact, allows them to progress in R&D. So, when the deal sunsets in a few years, they'll be just weeks or months away from acquiring
tens of nuclear weapons in one fell swoop.
GORANI: Last quick last one, some observers are saying that the Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't just want this deal renegotiated or what you are
saying without a specific timeframe that would allow Iran to restart a nuclear program, not necessarily a weapons program. But that there is now
a desire from Israel for direct confrontation military with Iran. Is that true or false?
BENNETT: Absolutely not. We want peace. I've got four kids and we've got millions of citizens in Israel. We don't want war. I've lost some of my
best friends in war. We want peace. It's these folks who day in day out are flanking us with terror groups as Hezbollah and Iranian groups in Syria
and are trying to threaten Israel. They sent a drone into Israel. They've shut down an airplane over his Israel. We will not allow Iran to threaten
Israel. We are going to continue being strong.
GORANI: When you talk about military confrontation and wanting to avoid it, there is speculation that there was a big explosion of a military site
outside Hama, in Syria, and that Israel was behind that one. It was so strong it actually created an earthquake tremor. Was Israel behind that
[15:10:09] BENNETT: You know, we never talk about difficult operations. I can say this, Iran is trying to build a huge based on our border in Syria.
All right, imagine, in the United States, Iran were trying to build a huge based on the border with Mexico or Canada. No American would allow that.
We in Israel will not allow that. We are determined to defend ourselves by ourselves.
GORANI: Naftali Bennett, thanks so very much for joining us. He is the education minister in Benjamin Netanyahu government joining us live from
Jerusalem. Thanks for your time this evening.
I want to get more reaction to this dramatic presentation. We can go to Tehran now. Amir Daftari is inside of Iran. Senior international
correspondent, Ben Wedeman is in Amman, Jordan, for more context and analysis.
So, Amir, clearly, a completely different take from inside of Iran. Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister tweeted before the presentation that Netanyahu
is the boy who cries wolf.
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Hi, Hala. Yes, it seems the Iranians on taking Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech too seriously. As you
mentioned before, this all before the United Nations with his cartoon bomb, and that's what you saw that tweet from Foreign Minister Zarif sort of
poking fun at Prime Minister Netanyahu before he made his presentation.
And sources on the grounds here saying the officials are talking about how it was tantamount to comedic theater, if you will. It's late at night here
so I'm sure as Tuesday rolls on, we'll be hearing more reaction from the Iranian leadership.
But as far as the Iranians are concerned, the deal is the deal. The U.S. signed off on it and stuck to their end of the bargain and that's that --
GORANI: Ben Wedeman, let's put this all in context as far as Iran is concerned, do they see this kind of, you know, theatrical attempts by
Benjamin Netanyahu to try to pressure -- are you hearing me? Ben, can you hear me?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, yes, I hear you, Hala.
GORANI: What's the interpreta -- let me just rephrase that. What's the interpretation from the Middle East as far as what Netanyahu is trying to
achieve here with Donald Trump?
WEDEMAN: Hala, it depends who you are talking to. Obviously, in Saudi Arabia, for instance, where Secretary of State Pompeo was quite recently,
they see eye and eye, and they will probably endorse Prime Minister Netanyahu's claims that Iran is continuing in one form or another to pursue
But one important elephant in the room that I haven't heard mentioned is the fact that Israel is in fact is a nuclear power. Most people, most
people in the know will tell you that yes, Israel has nuclear weapons, several hundred it's believed and has pursued a nuclear program for decades
that has not been opened to the scrutiny of the IAEA.
And as far as the nuclear program goes, for instance, on the 26th of April, Defense Secretary Mattis said that Iran continues to comply with the
conditions of the nuclear agreement.
Now, one interesting thing is that I was in Iraq during the 90s covering all the crises that took place there over Iraq's alleged weapons of mass
destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and Iraqi officials would always tell you, we could destroy everything but the knowledge, which is
not a weapon in and of itself remains.
And I think that's perhaps what Prime Minister Netanyahu was showing the world in this show and tell was simply the fact that the Iranians retain
the knowledge, but you can get rid of centrifuges, you can destroy equipment, but knowledge is knowledge -- Hala.
GORANI: And in fact, he said they were binder. It was an extremely theatrical spectacular presentation with the unveiling of binders, CDs, I
wonder, Amir Daftari in Tehran, if the United States pulls out of the Iran deal, what will Tehran's reaction be? What will they then do?
DAFTARI: That's a very good question, Hala. I mean, they've threatened to restart their nuclear activity and ramp it up. They threatened to walk
away from the deal altogether. Although the consensus is that maybe if the U.S. does in fact walk away, maybe they can work with the European
partners, with China, with Russia and move forward from there.
[15:15:04] So far, though the Iranians have kept their cards very close to their chest. I think they just want to wait and see what actually happens
with this president, who is so unpredictable in the White House in the U.S. You know, for them, anything is possible at this point.
GORANI: All right. We will leave it there for now, but we'll get back to you for more analysis in the coming hours and May 12th is the deadline, the
date by which the U.S. president must decide whether or not to continue to waive sanctions leveled at Iran. Thanks very much.
Now I want to talk about this new wave of violence in Afghanistan, and to be completely frank with all of you, because Afghanistan has been enrolled
for so long in such a vicious conflict, it does not make headlines every day.
Today, thou, even by the standards of Afghanistan, it was shocking. More than three dozen people have been killed in a series of attacks across the
country, dozens of others were injured in Kabul.
An attacker on a motorcycle detonated a bomb, but the bulk of the death came in a second blast, journalists, rescuers rushed to the scene and were
killed. Nine journalists were killed there and another in Khost Province, making it the deadliest day for our profession there since the Taliban were
ISIS has claimed responsibility. (Inaudible) worked on plans to overthrow the Taliban in 2001, and he played key role in rebuilding the government in
the aftermath. He joins me now from Washington.
Ambassador, thanks for being with us. When you see what's going on in Afghanistan today, and considering all the work you put in there must be
disheartening, depressing. Why is it still going so wrong?
ZALMAY KHALILZAD, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR IN AFGHANISTAN: Well, it is a very tragic day for Iraq, Afghanistan, and for all of us will worked hard
to help the Afghan succeed, particularly during this week that celebrates international journalists that journalists were targeted, and perhaps the
bomber pretended (inaudible) a journalist as well.
It shows that as the insurgency is losing ground with the new strategy until losing territory. Perhaps, that the terrorist is going to emphasize
more as suicide bombing and going after civilian targets and this requires that the Afghan and the U.S. adapt, and change is a new kind of conflict
having its own specific characteristics which requires specific responses.
GORANI: But Ambassador, this just feels like the same explanation/I have to say excuse for leaders who have failed, failed to stabilize the country,
failed to create a leadership that is not corrupt and that is representative of their people, leaving a vacuum that is spelled by these
groups. First, now the Taliban, now ISIS. It is a tragic failure of leadership in planning.
KHALILZAD: Well, I think that leadership deserves the kind of critique that you did. Afghan leaders need to rise to the occasion. They should
GORANI: Not just Afghans, but all the Western powers who then intervened in Afghanistan and fought a war for many years, and then left this mess
KHALILZAD: Well, I think it made mistake that is no question about that. You're right about that as well, but we have a got a new strategy, which I
think is superior to the previous strategy and -- which is going after the sanctuaries in Pakistan, which is strengthening the Afghan forces, which is
increasing the number of our forces.
But I think that the other side is the opposition is adjusting and we need to adjust to that. The war cannot end with the changes in U.S. policy that
has to be effective so that the other side changes the Taliban joined the peace process.
Pakistan doesn't give them sanctuary, that the cities are protected, and I believe that now the water that reach the phase where population protection
has to be the central focus, rather than going after the opposition alone.
And for that, there are skills, equipment and organizations are needed that are different than when you're conducting a counterinsurgency operation.
GORANI: And you need to talk to Taliban now that ISIS claiming responsibility. I mean, what you did and when you have a group like that?
KHALILZAD: I said that this kind is outdone. They have claimed responsibility, then, of course, you cannot negotiate with ISIS. They have
to be destroyed and they are losing ground in Syria. They have lost ground in Iraq.
[15:20:06] Now there's some evidence that they are moving some elements have moved to Afghanistan. This has become the number one priority for the
coalition forces to go after ISIS in Afghanistan.
But I believe going after them is important, but not sufficient. You also have to protect the target the population centers and for that I think you
need a different strategy, different technologies, different arrangement than you -- when you have a conventional fight or a counterinsurgency
GORANI: Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, thanks very much for weighing in, evening on this tragic story.
Afghanistan has been in a cycle of war, trying to cling to hope, only to see more violence. Shah Marai was one of the journalists chronicling this
information. He was killed in today's attacks and will take a look at his life and work later this hour.
They are desperate for a better life. They are on the doorstep of the United States and they say they are going nowhere. We'll tell you the
story of these asylum seekers next.
GORANI: Well, it is quite a showdown on the U.S.-Mexico border. Dozens of asylum-seeking migrants, men, women and kids, they've traveled for weeks on
that caravan. They've come from Central America.
They are now in Tijuana, Mexico. Now this caravan and the people on it and in it are camping outside a U.S. immigration processing center and they are
vowing not to leave until every last one of them gained entry into the United States. But Donald Trump has already said they are not welcome.
That isn't stopping these migrants. CNN's Leyla Santiago has been traveling alongside them. She was there when some of the asylum-seekers
climbed the border fence during a protest Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I want to show you exactly what's happening behind me. You can see on this side, there are quite a few
people from the caravan that has arrived here to the U.S.-Mexico border. They sort of had this rally of sorts in which they were cheering.
For them is a great accomplishment. We did see many of them climbed the fence. They did not cross. They simply stood there and then on the other
side, on the San Diego side of the border, there were supporters there as well cheering.
We heard many of them chant, we are not criminals. We are migrants wanting to work, wanting a better life. Many of them have talked about the
violence that they are fleeing in Central America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, from that beach, the migrants then marched toward the U.S. Immigration Processing Center where officials say they are already at
capacity. We can't deal with you basically is what they're telling them. Leyla was there for that moment as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:25:06] SANTIAGO: The attorney general as well as Homeland security as the departments have said that they are going to be sending more
immigration judges as well as attorneys to adjudicate these cases.
When you talk to these migrants, many of them are well aware of sort of the controversy and also what the Trump administration has said about them,
telling them dangerous. But many of these are women and children, families, you can see there's baby, some are asleep right in front of me as
they continue to march north.
They say they're excited. This has been a long journey for so many people. They have been on trains. They've been buses. They have gone to shelters.
I've seen pregnant mother -- I saw one pregnant mother hungry herself hand over the little food that she was able to get for her children to make it
to the United States.
So many from Central America saying that they are fleeing violence as well as poverty. So, this is the moment that they have been waiting for to get
to the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, that was Sunday afternoon, these pictures you're sitting there on your screen, actually, the other side there. They are from today.
They are asylum seekers that have gone nowhere. They're basically camping out in front of that processing center building.
Just a short time ago, we heard from President Trump, he called U.S. immigration laws week and pathetic and obsolete and he refuse to say sorry
for any of his comments on immigrants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Our immigration laws in this country are a total disaster. They're laughed at all over the world. They are laughed at for
their stupidity and we have to have strong immigration laws. So, I think if I apologize wouldn't make 10 cents worth of difference to them. There's
nothing to apologize for. We have to have strong immigration laws to protect our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Still to come tonight, he gave a snapshot of life in Afghanistan capturing the resilience and the grief. Next, we'll Look at one of the
journalists killed in today's attacks.
And then Britain's new home secretary is promising to oversee a fair and humane immigration system, hours after one minister was forced to resigned
over a scandal. We'll be right back.
GORANI: The American president, Donald Trump is taking credit for the successful summit between North and South Korea last week. And now the
president of South Korea is agreeing with him. A South Korean official says President Moon Jae-in believes President Trump deserves a Nobel Peace
Prize for his efforts to end the standoff between the Koreas.
Well, meanwhile, Mr. Trump is focused on possible locations for his upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Tweeting
suggestions which include the Peace House or Freedom House in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
During his talk on the Rose Garden Monday. Mr. Trump told reporters there's something he likes about a summit at the DMZ. Put Korean CNN
Correspondent Will Ripley, for the latest details. He is in Seoul, South Korea. What are you hearing on your end about a possible summit that would
involve Donald Trump in the DMZ?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is something how the North and South Koreans had wanted because the Demilitarized Zone makes
a lot of sense logistically. It's easy for Kim Jong-un to get there, it's easy for President Trump to get there. And look, there are American forces
stationed there. So the argument was, it's not necessarily completely neutral territory, but all of the key stakeholders have a presence along
the Demilitarized Zone.
So initially, we've been told a (INAUDIBLE) a couple of days ago, administration officials completely ruled out the DMZ along with Pyongyang
and Seoul, and Washington and Beijing. And they favorite Singapore as a neutral location here in Asia. But once President Trump saw those
extraordinary images over the weekend, Hala. Perhaps, that was of the deciding factor for him. There were so many made-for-TV moment, we know
that really resonates with President Trump.
GORANI: Sure. And now the South Korean president is agreeing that the US resident deserves to take credit for this rapprochement and the accounts
between the two Koreas. But let's remind everyone, this are promises nothing has been dismantled, nothing has been -- you know, canceled
officially. This are promises to stop tests and promises to neutralize test sites.
RIPLEY: And this are talks that came about after a period of extraordinary tension were there were many reports coming out of Washington that the
administration officials had already decided they were prepared to take military action against North Korea if they took one step further with
their nuclear program.
And so, it's hard to kind of imagine how you could win the Nobel Peace Prize after hurling insults, after threatening military action and yet,
President Moon, who has consistently praised and flattered President Trump throughout this process, even though, most people here in South Korea feel
that he deserves the credit that he deserves Nobel Peace Prize. By the way, his approval ratings, anywhere between 70 and 86 percent. The highest
of any leader in the free world right now. But President Moon is wisely keeping President Trump engaged in the process, giving him credit. The history books may tell a different story,
GORANI: I wasn't aware of that -- of that favorability, that popularity rating, that is pretty outstanding. And the NVM sure of most elected
leaders around the world, thanks.
More now on those attacks in Afghanistan. While we recognize the enormity of any life that is lost, the killing of these journalists, its home for us
at CNN, because those are our colleague, they faced danger every day just to do their job and tell stories from the world's most treacherous corners.
And its job I can tell you many people are not brave enough to do, but they are. And some of them have lost their lives for it. CNN's Phil Black,
tells us about one of them.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From the last days of the Taliban to the bombings that have brooked Kabul in recent times. Shah
Marai's camera told the story of Afghanistan suffering. He also captured the life and the resilience of its people. Their hardships hear a woman
begs for money on a Kabul street. The carefree joy of the children, the unforgiving winter.
But in recent years, much of Marai's photography was too often about pain and anguish, as waves of suicide bombings, played Kabul. Two years ago, he
wrote an impassioned essay when hope is gone. Describing his nearly 20 years as an AFP photographer, and contrasting the sense of liberation after
the Taliban were gone with life today.
The Afghan's find themselves without money, without work. Just for the Taliban at their doorstep, he wrote, "Every morning, I go to the office and
every evening when I returned home," he said, "all I can think of a cast that can be a booby trap, or suicide bombers coming out of the crowd.
But he went on documenting those attacks despite the risks, despite saying that hope has vanished. Shah Marai leaves a wife and six children, and
thousands of colleagues who are mourning. AFP describes him as a treasured colleague of extraordinary strength courage and generosity.
[15:35:00] GORANI: And may he rest in peace. Coming up Tuesday, if you own a battery powered car or planned to own one, you may want to pay
attention to this. You may not know the dark side of where this green energy actually comes from. In a CNN exclusive, Nima Elbagir takes us to
the Democratic Republic of Congo. Where she discovers child labors in cobalt mines. Take a look.
NIMA ELBAGIR, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the start of the supply chain leading all the way from this makeshift mine to a luxury
The sacks of full of cobalt, a crucial component in lithium-ion battery set to power the coming green energy revolution that it will cost. There is
growing evidence of the cobalt supply chain uses child labor. Although we've been given permission to film here as soon as they see us, officials
begin to scavenged children away. Not all of them though, are fast enough.
We've now witnessed for ourselves that children are working here. That they are involved for the production of cobalt. And we've seen the
products of that child labor loaded onto a variety of different vehicles. I going to jump into this car that headed to one of the main public selling
GORANI: Well, join us tomorrow for our exclusive look inside cobalt mines. Nima will be joining us for that on CNN. Still, to come tonight, a
comedian is usually hired to make jokes. However, there is a big controversy over what this comic did even though she did just back. We'll
explain the backlash over the backlash over the White House Press Dinner, next.
Also, it's a box office Marvel, a big hit. The largest debut of -- about the big debut of the latest Avengers film. We'll be right back.
GORANI: American comedian Michelle Wolf, has found herself at the center of a boiling controversy after her routine at the Annual White House
Correspondents' Dinner over the weekend. The dinner regularly features what some would call roast, in which the sitting U.S. president injures a
friendly reeving in front in front of an audience of journalist.
However, this year, President Trump, was a no-show. Instead, he sends his Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. It was one of Wolf jokes about Sanders, I
make up the proof especially, and I would say, surprising -- surprisingly divisive. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE, WOLF, CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH: As Sarah Huckabee Sanders, we are graced with Sarah's presence tonight. I have to
say I'm a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale. I actually really like Sarah, I think she is very resourceful like
she burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she is born with it, maybe it's lies. Probably lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:40:05] GORANI: OK, you could see Sarah Sanders looking stony face there. But she wasn't the only one not laughing, since then, President
Trump has blasted Wolf on Twitter. And on Sunday, the people who booked -- who booked Michelle Wolf for the job.
The White House Correspondents' Association, issued a statement which said her monologue was "Not in the spirit of the association's mission." And
therefore, distancing themselves from the act -- from the comedian.
Let's discuss all of this with Jeff Mason, he's the White House correspondent for Reuters, and he is the former president of the White
House Correspondents' Association, the one before the current head of the White House Correspondents' Association and he has been now live from
Jeff, what's going on? You hire a comedian to roast members of the administration, that's what Michelle Wolf did. I don't -- I personally
don't quite understand the big deal here.
JEFF MASON, FORMER PRESIDENT, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION: Well, it's a good question. There's -- there has indeed been a lot of
controversy over her monologue. There's usually a little bit of controversy over various comedian's monologue at this dinner because your
right to say it's their job to common a poke of find that -- the sitting president or in this case as the president wasn't there, him and the rest
of his administration.
I think what is different this year, what some of the critics think is different this year is that she won after the press secretary who did come
a year after the president and his -- and his entire administration did not attend the dinner. And some people felt that her jokes went too far.
GORANI: And -- but they -- when I -- I want to put up two tweets from two people who have disagreed with those who criticized Michelle Wolf, the
comedian. Jay Rosen, obviously, as the journalism professor and you somebody you often not comments on coverage of the news media. How about
nobody apologizes these dinner is scrap, and the White House Correspondents' Association starts resisting his campaign to discredit the
press in the eyes of the public he's being Donald Trump.
And then, another one from Samantha Barry, who is the new editor of Glamour Magazine, and she used to be the head of our digital operation here. "This
make zero sense, the White House Correspondents' Association hires an edgy comedian to do a roast at the White House Dinner and then, backtracks,
saying her monologue with not in the spirit." So, how do you -- I mean, what do you make of this critique?
MASON: Well, first thing I would say to Jay Rosen's comment is he wasn't paying attention to the whole dinner if he doesn't think that the current
board and in the same when I was on the board and leading the Association. He is missing -- he is missing a big chunk of what happened last night. Or
excuse me, on Saturday night, rather.
Before the comedian, Margaret Talev, the current president of the association made a speech about a freedom of the press. There were remarks
from Paul Ryan via video. The speaker of the House of Representatives, and also a human rights activist, and talked about freedom of the press, the
importance of the First Amendment, and rejecting any attempt by anyone to sort of attack that. And that, of course, includes the current president
of the United States.
GORANI: And I -- there were some at White House Correspondents' Association Dinner where the main act was so memorable that I remember to
this day. First, with Stephen Colbert. With George W. Bush in attendance. This was in 2006 and I cannot imagine a more virulent roasting than the one
that George W. Bush had to -- had to sit there. I just want to remind our viewers of that moment in about 12 years ago with Stephen Colbert. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT, CBS: I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things not only for
things he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no
matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, there you have it. This is in the tradition when -- so what was different this time was what -- that actually they sent someone, and
that therefore, they should have been treated more kindly?
MASON: Well, I mean -- it's -- what was different is it's hard to say, when you -- when you put it up against previous comedians that the --
that's a good question, and it's -- and the answer is in many ways, it wasn't different because she did a roast. The question is whether she went
too far, and some critics believe that she did. I'm sure, and I wasn't there the night that Colbert did his now famous routine with George W.
Bush. That there were critics then, too, who's then, he went before.
MASON: So, criticism is also not new after dinners like this.
GORANI: But now it's different -- I think, now is different in the sense that people are questioning the whole rest on that throw of this evening.
That you know, just scrap it. The president isn't showing up, it's creating all this controversy, it's become too big, and to sort of -- you
know. At some point, people are criticizing the high celebrity count, the red carpet, the rest of it that just get rid of it.
You agree that maybe it's outlived its usefulness?
MASON: I do not. I do not and it's -- I appreciate the opportunity to talk about the reason behind the dinner. The purpose of the dinner which
we highlighted last year when I was president, and which was highlighted this year, as well, is to celebrate the First Amendment which is the
amendment of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees and protects free speech, and freedom of the press.
We also give away -- the Association gives away scholarships to students and awards to journalists who did terrific work, the year before. Yes,
there is also entertainment, and I'm sure that there will be a discussion by the next board about whether or not they want to have a comedian again
or if they want to look at other types of entertainment. Over the decades, there have been different types of entertainers at the dinner. Comedians
have been used most recently, but it certainly something that you may made discuss further. It's something -- you know, I look at a few different
options when I was president, and I'm sure future presidents of the Association, this case I mean, will do the same. It is different when the
US president does not attend.
MASON: And President Trump was the first president not to come since President Reagan and in the early 1980s, the year that he was shot and
recovering from that gunshot wound.
GORANI: I was going to say that's because -- that because he'd been shot. So he had --
MASON: That's right -- that's right.
GORANI: He had a very good excuse.
MASON: That was his excuse and -- but I mentioned that only to give sort of a sense of the timeframe, that's how long in advance since the -- since
the president has (INAUDIBLE).
GORANI: Sure, sure. All right, appreciate it. Jeff Mason as always great talking to you, the White House Correspondent for Reuters.
In Britain here, the new home secretary says his top priority is treating British citizens who came from the Caribbean with fairness and decency.
Sajid Javid, address parliament today. Pledging to do whatever it takes to help the so-called Windrush generation. He is a Conservative Party
politician, a second-generation migrant. His parents came from Pakistan, he is also the first member of an ethnic minority to become a home
Now, Javid is replacing a woman named Amber Rudd. She stepped down after saying she inadvertently misled a government committee about deportation
photos. Erin McLaughlin has that story.
YVETTE COOPER, MEMBER, PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Targets for removals, when were they set?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was the beginning of the end for Amber Rudd. A simple question from the Home Affairs
Committee over deportation targets for illegal immigrants, the simple answer.
AMBER RUDD, FORMER BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: We don't have targets for removals.
COOPER: But you did.
MCLAUGHLIN: But the Home office did have a target. And there's mounting evidence that Rudd knew about them.
RUDD: The State have let this people down.
MCLAUGHLIN: She was already under pressure for their handling of the so- called Windrush scandal. And this treatment of immigrants encouraged to move to the UK following World War II.
She resigned late Sunday evening with a letter to Theresa May, saying she quote inadvertently misled the House of comments. A resignation that some
say could forever change the course of the UK. It not only impacts the UK's approach to immigration, it comes at a critical time for Brexit.
RUDD: -- gain for misleading the public.
MCLAUGHLIN: A rising star within the Conservative Party, Rudd was one the loudest pro-E.U. voices in Theresa May's finally balance so-called Brexit
war cabinet. That falls change now, but the appointment of Sajid Javid as Rudd's replacement.
SAJID JAVID: BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: The most urgent task I have is to help those British citizens that came from the Caribbean, the so-called
Windrush generation --
MCLAUGHLIN: A son of the Pakistani bus driver who immigrated to the U.K. in the 1960s is appoint to represents Theresa May as attempt to draw a line
underneath the Windrush scandal. But he's a long way from filling the pro- E.U. void left by Rudd.
Javid is a reluctant demeanor turned Brexit here, he describes himself as Euroskeptic, and advocates for the U.K. to live the E.U's customs union.
QUENTIN PEEL, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, EUROPE PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: Javid is much more Eurosceptic, symbolically he is rather a good choice as the man
in charge of immigration because he himself is the sum of immigrants. But that symbolism louder than substance. And I think, the substance is he is
Eurosceptic who go for a hard deal.
MCLAUGHLIN: And just as Theresa May's cabinet tilt towards a hard Brexit. Amber Rudd returns to the back to the bench, where Theresa May lacks a
MCLAUGHLIN: If Rudd joins the M.P.'s backing a soft Brexit, that could stall disaster for Theresa May who needs every single vote she can get to
push through a potential deal with the E.U. Taking May's already precarious political situation, and making it that much worse. Erin
McLaughlin, CNN, Downing Street.
GORANI: We'll be right back with more. Stay with us.
[15:51:35] GORANI: Right now, lawyers are making closing arguments in a huge trial happening in the United States. The proposed of mega-merger
between AT&T and CNN's parent company Time Warner. The Department of Justice has been fighting to block $85 billion dollar deal, or what it says
are anti-trust concerns. Hadas Gold has been following the case day in and day out, and she joins me live from outside the courthouse in Washington
with the latest. What's the expectation here closing arguments are today?
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND GLOBAL BUSINESS REPORTER: Closing argument are today, we are actually right now in the rebuttal portion. The
government gets 15 minutes to rebut AT&T lawyer's closing arguments. So we are really literally in the final minutes of these case.
Judge Leon is expected to take at least a month before he issues the subpoena, and he said that is opinion will be at least 200 pages long
because he understands the magnitude of this case. And how much it will not only affect these two companies including like said, our parent
company, Time Warner, but also the media industry and the merger situation in the country rip at large.
And one thing that was different about today is that the Justice Department, in there closing argument, they noted that the court have given
them direction to include some ideas for remedy. Things that they think could be done to help alleviate what they say are the anti-competitive
harms in these case.
Now, they were suggesting a structural difference, things like selling off the Turner networks which include CNN. And we know, we have sources who
have told us that the judge has asked both sides to include five pages of proposed remedy in your post-trial piece that may indicate that the judge
is leaning towards some sort of remedy. Perhaps, not rejecting this outright. Perhaps, saying that you can go through with this merger as long
as you hit this sort of remedies. That's not clear because the judge like to see everything on the table before they make their decision. But we're
getting close to the end here, within just a few short weeks, we'll have that decision.
GORANI: What is the reason? What is the Justice Department's reasoning here? Because there's a so-called vertical merger. So, it's distributor,
a phone company, and cable operator buying content by in large. And some people have said, well, could it be that the Justice Department and Donald
Trump, has said during the campaign, had issues with CNN, that it could be political. Is that something that's being discussed that all?
GOLD: So, it was initially. AT&T was initially going to bring out what they call the selective enforcement offense. And they thought
communications between the White House and the Justice Department that they've perhaps hope with shows sort of a directed that said, you know, "We
don't like CNN, block this merger."
Ultimately, the judge blocked discovery on that. So that was not brought up at all in trial and this is being fought on traditional anti-trust
grounds. The Justice Department is alleging that by AT&T owing Time Warner, they would have unfair leverage over their competitors, they can
raise prices on (INAUDIBLE), which going to call must-see T.V. that every distributor needs to have. And then, as a result of raising prices, that
would mean more subscribers would come to AT&T, and with a less in competition, and less in innovation in the media landscape. And that's why
they say it is need to be stop.
AT&T says that just not true that they have no intention to raise prices because if they don't have their content and as many places as possible,
they make less money. They sell less -- they sell fewer ads, and that's not how their business is run. They want to be selling as many ads, making
as much money as possible.
They're appointing to these transfer companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Google ting. All these companies are getting into a content game. We need
to change, we need to diversify in order to be able to keeping with them and that's why they say they're buying Time Warner.
[15:55:00] GORANI: All right, we'll see what happen in a few weeks. Hadas Gold, thanks very much. It has made Box Office history, so there's a good
chance you may have seen it already. I'm talking Avengers: Infinity War. Frank Pallotta, is here to tell us about the record we can. So, this is
the worldwide record of -- you know, the biggest grossing figure of all time, is that the case?
FRANK PALLOTTA, CNN ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA REPORTER: I'll make it very plain. There is not been a bigger Box Office opening either globally or
domestic in the history of film. This is the biggest and it's the biggest globally via hundred million dollars, almost. So, that is without the
second biggest movie market of all time but not of all time, excuse me. Second biggest movie market right now, China. Just imagine China was a
part of this opening, dozen opens there until May 11.
And it was -- we could see maybe something more than 700 million in the weekend. It just the records are broken across the board.
GORANI: What's the specifically why this film?
PALLOTTA: This film because it's the culmination of what Marvel Studios and Disney has been working on for the last decade. It has all of the
major characters, it ties together all the storylines, and it really feels more like a TV series finale than a major motion picture.
GORANI: OK. So, and then, so could we expect another installment?
PALLOTTA: Oh, yes. Marvel is very far from (INAUDIBLE).
GORANI: I imagine, we're all about people these days, right?
PALLOTTA: Yes, yes, I mean, there's -- the Marvels been on a huge role the last four films. Their last film was Black Panther, which was a huge
phenomenal cultural moment, that's made $1.3 billion dollars so far. Now you have Infinity War. There's going to be two more movies after this, and
then, will get those part two, a pure sequel to this -- a movie that just came out next summer.
GORANI: All right, so it's all about these big productions with people with superhero character. Black Panther was the first movie to be shown in
a movie theater in Saudi Arabia, imagine that.
GORANI: So it's really -- it's really making the rounds and raking in dollars. Thanks so much, Frank Pallotta, for that interesting look at what
movies are doing very well, and setting records. I'm Hala Gorani, stay with CNN, a lot more ahead. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.