Return to Transcripts main page


At Least 23 Now Dead in California's Worst Ever Fire; World Leaders Mark 100 Years Since End of World War One; Tensions Escalate As Florida Recounts Get Underway; 17 Black Women Elected Judges in Largest Texas County; "SNL" Mocks Firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Fighting IBS with Mental Health Therapy. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 11, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump accuses Democrats of trying to, quote, steal this election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a cute mug and says it's not about hatred, it's about heritage, and then inside is a second secret mug that says, J.K., it is about hatred!


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Seven o'clock on this Sunday morning. So grateful to have you with us as we watch what's happening in California and it is hard to look at, because more people have died, more homes have burned.

Officials say now at least 23 people have died in the camp fire, the one north of Sacramento. The Woolsey and Hill Fires burning in southern California have killed two people.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: More than 300,000 people have been evacuated and forced out of their homes and buildings there burning. Officials say at least 180,000 acres have been scorched up and down the state.

CNN's Kaylee Hartung is following the latest from Malibu there in California.

Tell us what has happened around you and the threat still in Malibu.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi.

A small window of opportunity is closing for firefighters today. We had a reprieve from winds, winds that were shifting nonstop and whipping around, winds that really helped unite this fire storm in its early stages. But with that reprieve that they had yesterday, they had some time, as these winds died down, to get some containment lines in place.

The Woolsey fire now standing at 5 percent containment. Winds are expected to pick back up later today and carry into Tuesday. Authorities now projecting that by Thursday, they could have this fire that they say has touched about 80,000 acres. They could have it contained by Thursday.

But I want to put that number into perspective, because that number is startling when you hear 80,000 acres have been impacted by the Woolsey wildfire. Here in Malibu, that fire though has been indiscriminate, about which home it has touched, and which it is not. This home behind me destroyed, but the one just next door, still standing.

As you look through this wreckage here in Malibu, the point dune area, very popular, very incredible real estate along the coastline, you see nothing but devastation in this one particular lot. But, again, you could see the home next door still standing. The one on the other side of that still standing. So many people I've talked to from this area who have been forced to evacuate concerned not just for their personal property but also what this means for the community, the small businesses, grocery stores, those places that help keep this community thriving. We'll do our best to continue to get you pictures of more of the coastline here in southern California.

BLACKWELL: And we know the situation there is urgent. Yesterday at this time, you had to move pretty quickly because firefighters and police were coming in telling you had to come in and get out of the way. We understand you and the team there are working hard. And we thank you for it. Kaylee Hartung, thanks so much.

PAUL: CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is looking at all of this as well.

She mentioned that window, Allison. Talk to us about that.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And she could not have said it any better. The window of opportunity really is closing because not only will you see the wind shift, but the winds are going to increase. You've got twofold there and two things that firefighters really don't want to see in the next 48 hours. You've got an elevated and critical threat for areas of northern California today. In southern California, you also have the addition of the extreme fire threat. That is the top category that you can get. That's because not only do we have those incredibly low humidities but the winds are going to be back up.

Take a look at this. Some sustained winds about 20 to 30 miles per hour with the wind gusts up around 40 to 50 miles per hour. That is in the valleys as high as 60 miles per hour along the mountainous terrain that's there.

But here's one thing I want you to take a look at. OK? This is a smoke map. This would be have Los Angeles would be down here. Most of the day yesterday, that smoke was blowing away from Los Angeles out of the Pacific Ocean.

But last night, and into this morning, that smoke began to shift back inland. That makes it very difficult for those firefighters to be able to see what they are doing because of the visibility goes down to pretty much zero. Not to mention anyone evacuating on those roads it makes it difficult for you to see and as well, we talk about the air quality. It has been tremendously poor across areas of Los Angeles. Sacramento in the hazardous category, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the unhealthy category and that's likely to continue, because for much of California, we have about 25 million people under red flag warnings today and, again, that really all stems around from the incredibly low humidities.

We are talking about those very strong winds starting to pick back up and in southern California the wind is shifting later this afternoon, Victor and Christi, and turn into those dangerous Santa Ana winds, as we mentioned, about 40 to 50 miles per hour.

[07:05:04] This will keep up for at least the next 48 hours. So, that is going to be a very critical time for those firefighters.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's hope they can get some advantage over this fire pretty soon. Allison, thanks so much.

Well, President Trump, seated before -- going to Paris now, French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a pretty important message about nationalism and the threat it poses. Remember, President Trump declared himself a nationalist. We are live in Paris, next.

PAUL: And the midterm drama is unfolding right now in Florida. They just started counting votes in recount in two key races, but the president is calling it an attempt to, quote, "steal" two big elections.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back. Nine minutes after the hour now.

Today, dozens of world leaders are in France marking 100 years since the end of World War I.

What you're looking at here are live pictures from Paris where Armistice Day services at the Arc de Triomphe have concluded.

[07:10:07] Speaking an hour ago, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a very important message on the lessons that were learned from the Great War as it's called, World War I calling nationalism a betrayal of patriotism. There were more than 20 million civilians and soldiers killed in that war in 1914 and 1918.

And on the way of ceremony, president's motorcade in a separate event here, was stopped by, we highlighted it there for you so you can see this protester who was topless protesters. The words fake peace maker on her chest. She was able to jump those barricades somehow. She was tackled by police and the president was not in danger.

BLACKWELL: The president's visit to France has had a bit of controversy. The president and Emmanuel Macron, they have had several indirect exchanges, let's call them.

Let's go to CNN's White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins in Paris.

And Macron's speech first, nationalism versus patriotism. Kaitlan?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he wanted the speech today to have a very clear message during this ceremony and that message essentially that nationalism is dangerous. Those -- that is what he wanted to warn about during this. But at one point while French president was speaking, it was hard to see it as anything but a rebuke of President Trump and his America first agenda.


PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, FRANCE (through translator): Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying our interest first. Who cares about the others? We erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential. It's moral values.


COLLINS: So it's hard to hear those remarks from the French president and not think of president Trump, who has proudly identified himself as a nationalist. Speaking about it in recent weeks, saying it's a term he thinks should be able to be brought back and also coming alongside those complaints about European security, something that we saw from President Trump, even just minutes after he landed here on French soil on Friday. So that just adds to that already what we saw that tension between he and the French president and this comes on a day where the president is now expected to go on to a cemetery today where American soldiers who were killed in World War I are buried. That's where he's going to make his first formal remarks of the trip, the first remarks we have heard from President Trump since he sat down about the bilateral meeting with the French president.

And that comes after today at this event, we saw President Trump arrived separately than the other world leaders. He came down in his motorcade, the Beast, then we saw him come down and then the buses come down that were carrying the other world leaders who had convened before the ceremony got started. It was hard to not notice, because President Trump was not in the group of world leaders walking side-by- side down the street during the ceremony but the White House said that was for security concerns.

Now, one other world leader who was also arriving separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin who took his spot on the stage next to President Trump a few leaders down but shook hands with the American president before doing so.

PAUL: All right. Kaitlan Collins, thank you for the update there and what is happening.

Now, there are thousands of anti-Trump protesters apparently preparing to march through the streets of Paris.

BLACKWELL: Yes. CNN correspondent Melissa Bell joins us and she is watching the protesters expected to get started soon.

What are you seeing now, Melissa? MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for the time being, protesters

are gathering around the square. We are here from the French traditionally gather and big gatherings here at the time of the attacks. Now, the protesters not due to start for more than half an hour. Police have cordoned on the square.

But already, we have the Trump baby flown here from London. It was, of course, the Trump baby on display in London several months ago in July when tens of thousands of people turned out to protest.

How many do you expect here today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're expecting a few thousand. We're hoping with that, but the rain it's hard to tell.

BELL: And what is the idea of protesting? What should Paris be protesting about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Paris should protest not only Trump's presence here but should be trying to send a message to President Macron for having invited him here and especially on the anniversary of the signing of the armistice.

BELL: Thank you so much.

We'll be keeping a close eye on events here. You mentioned that protesters protest by the women outside the motorcade. The question is, how many people will brave the rain today to make it (INAUDIBLE)?

BLACKWELL: All right. Melissa Bell, thank you so much.

[07:15:01] Our Fareed Zakaria sat down a few hours ago with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace there in Paris.

PAUL: Yes. And in his exclusive interview, he asked about the tweet that President Trump sent moments after arriving in Paris, the one that criticized Macron.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Obviously, your expression about the European army irritated President Trump. He tweeted something about it.

Do you think that there is an inevitable clash here?

MACRON: No. We had a very good discussion this morning and it confirmed in front of the press that he was okay. I think --

ZAKARIA: Does that mean hit tweet was a mistake?

MACRON: I don't know. I'm not the one to commend his tweets. I also prefer having direct discussion or answering questions than making my diplomacy for tweets. But I think we had a very clear discussion.

He is in favor of better burden sharing within NATO. I agree with that. And I think in order to have a better burden sharing, all of us do need more Europe. I think it's a big mistake, to be very direct with you, what I don't want to see is some European countries increasing the budget in defense in order to buy Americans on other arms or materials coming from your industry. I think if we increase our budget is to have to build our autonomy.


PAUL: That was French President Emmanuel Macron speaking with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. And you can see that exclusive interview in full at 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

So, the midterm drama is essentially under way in Florida right now. Votes are being recounted in two key races. These are live pictures from Broward County where that recount just got started. We are live there for you.

BLACKWELL: And "SNL" had some fun with the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week. We will show that to you coming up.


[07:21:53] PAUL: Welcome back to your wake-up call at 21 minutes past the hour. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Florida counties have until 3:00 p.m. Thursday to finish the machine recounts for three important races. The margins in the unofficial results in the races for state agriculture commissioner, governor, senator are less than half a percent. Legally, this forces these recounts. The outcome of the two races you see on your screen there could have major implications for President Trump's 2020 election bid.

PAUL: There are some counties that started last night. Several more starting this morning, including Broward County, which started a few minutes ago and that's where CNN's Jessica Dean is at the moment.

So, Jessica, we do know President Trump is already tweeting about the recounts, the gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Andrew Gillum, responded to that when he withdrew his concession. Walk us through what's going through here.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There is a lot to kind of unpack and sort through as we take a look what is happening here in Florida. So, yes, as you guys mentioned, the recount is now under way across the state of Florida. We are in Broward County. You see people going in here behind me, that is the supervisor of elections office. They have got the recount machines in there. They are calibrating them right now.

I believe we have some video from inside that we can show you. They are calibrating those machines and then around 8:00, we are expecting them to begin recounting all of those votes. That is what is happening right there in Broward County today. Now, you mentioned President Trump while he has been in France is

keeping an eye on the Florida races and what is going on here. We want to take a look at some of his tweets. He tweeted once trying to steal two big elections in Florida. We are watching closely, among other tweets, about this race.

So, he's obviously got an eye on this and a lot of people have eye on his tweets as well. That includes the gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, the Democrat who as you mentioned withdrew his concession and talked a little bit about that. Take a listen.


MAYOR ANDREW GILLUM (D), FLORIDA GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: I also have to say what has also changed since election night have been the chorus of voices from the president of the United States, the junior senator of the state of Florida, and the governor of the state of Florida, a chorus calling for the ending of the counting in this process. What I do know is that we don't just get the opportunity to stop counting votes because we don't like the direction at which the vote tally is heading. That is not Democratic and that is certainly not the American way.


DEAN: There has certainly been questions of competence here in Broward County and also in Palm Beach County when it comes to how long it's taking them to count these votes, their organization. But as of right now, the secretary of state's office here in Florida, that is a Republican appointee and the Department of Law Enforcement say no evidence of criminal activity.

But that hasn't stopped protesters from coming here. We have seen them all day Friday, all day yesterday. We are expecting to see them all day today as well.

[07:25:02] In fact, we are starting to see a couple of them beginning to show up early this morning, so we are going to keep an eye on that.

As far as what comes next with the recount, as you mentioned, Thursday is the day to watch to get this machine recount to get those results back in. Then what happens is if any of these races are within a 0.25 percent margin, that is going to trigger a hand recount of over ballots and under ballots and that is exactly what it sounds like. Any ballots that anybody voted for more than one candidate and any ballot where anyone didn't vote in a particular race, they're going to hand count those.

So, guys, we're going to keep an eye on this. Much more to come from Florida.

PAUL: All righty. Jessica Dean, thank you so very much.

There's another key Senate race that we are watching very closely, this one in Arizona. BLACKWELL: Yes, Democratic Representative Kyrsten Sinema, her

lead over Republican Representative Martha McSally is growing. Now, last night, Sinema stood just over 28,000 votes ahead of McSally, with 88 percent of the votes reported. The candidates are, of course, battling for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake.

Joining me to discuss is CNN political commentator Errol Louis.

Errol, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: Let's start with a tweet that Jessica just shared from the president, trying to steal two big elections in Florida, we are watching closely.

Now, again, there's no evidence of fraud and he is being echoed by the governor there, Rick Scott -- what are the potential impact of the president? Beyond he shouldn't say things like this, what could this mean for the race, if anything?

LOUIS: Well, not much. Honestly. They are attacking Broward County because it's a Democratic stronghold and they are expecting if there is anything that comes out of it that changes, it's not going to change in favor of the Republicans. So, Rick Scott naturally is very upset about that.

But in the end, we should really try to manage and control expectations around a lot of this stuff when a candidate is up by tens of thousands of votes, by 12,000 votes. It's highly unlikely that a full recount, even a hand recount is going to reverse that. So, to the extent that Governor Scott and the president are casting doubt on this whole process, they are just making it more difficult for people to accept an outcome that is probably going to go in Republicans' favor.

So, it's really a little bit of a mystery, I have to be honest with you, Victor, why they would denigrate and downplay the ability to get a solid count in an election that they had probably won.

BLACKWELL: Yes, this is one of the topics that the president has been tweeting about while he is in France. And we saw this morning, if we have the video of the group of world leaders along the Champs Elysee, if we can show that, I want people to see here. You've got Macron. You've got Merkel. You've got Trudeau. You've got Erdogan. You've got a long list of world leaders there, dozens of them. Absent here, President Trump.

This wasn't America first and it wasn't America alone, it was America absent. The president decided to take a different vehicle here and not walk with these world leaders. Pomp and ceremony means something on the world stage and in this moment.

What is the significance of the president not walking with the rest of the world, coming in late, sharing that distinction with Vladimir Putin from your perspective? LOUIS: Well, look, this is the politics of the moment as opposed to

sort of the broad historical politics that hopefully was intended to be what this commemoration was all about. You know, the White House has made some noises about this being dictated by security concerns but that is simply not the case. It really can't be when you see all of those other world leaders there.

If it's safe enough for the leaders of Canada and France and Germany and Turkey and all of these other countries, clearly, the president of the United States could have been there from a security standpoint. So then symbolically you get into the politics of the moment and both President Trump and President Putin have made clear that the Atlantic alliance as we've known it, that NATO, is not something they are interested in contributing to. In Putin's case, it's something that he is very much opposed to and sought to weaken in every turn.

So, it's a small kind of symbolic jab in the direction of a politics that we have seen in play for a couple of years now.

BLACKWELL: And while those world leaders were gathering this morning, those are a tweet came from the president about a domestic issue here which was our top story this morning and has been for days, these fires in California, now 25 people dead in those three fires on the coast. And he tweeted: With proper forest management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get smart.

I mean, the president's first tweet on the fires yesterday was about federal funds and threatening to cut those off as well.

[07:30:01] Again, let's look at this from a different protest perspective of not should he do this, but what is the upside of a president doing this? What could the strategy be while we are getting new numbers of additional 23 people who are killed, thousands of homes and businesses damaged, why is this the strategy?

LOUIS: Yes. I'd say, you may be putting a rational process when you use the word strategy on something that might just be emotional and based in large part on ignorance, you know? My understanding like 60 percent of the relevant forest in California are actually under federal management. So, you can point a finger and start making accusations at state official and it will blow back to Washington, D.C. where they are going to have to answer questions themselves about what federal programs and what federal management has meant and how it may have contributed to all of this.

BLACKWELL: Typically, when a president is overseas, the White House tries not to make any headlines that would interfere with the narrative of the president on the world stage, but just yesterday, the White House announced that 2018 recipients of the presidential Medal of Freedom, Babe Ruth, Elvis Presley, Justice Antonin Scalia, all posthumously obviously, outgoing Senator Orrin Hatch getting one.

And on the list, Miriam Adelson. She and her husband Sheldon Adelson donated $112 million this cycle line to Republican super PACs.

When you hear her name amongst that group, your thoughts? LOUIS: Well, it's a reminder that mixed in with all of the scientists

and the artists and the athletes and people unquestioned excellence who belong on the list of Presidential Medal of Freedom winners, you've also got a fair number of political celebrations. President Obama, for example, gave the medal to his own Vice President Joe Biden.


LOUIS: He bestowed it as almost like a personal gift to his closest political ally. In this case, you know, donors get certain things. They get ambassadorships and apparently they get Medals of Freedom as well. Doesn't take anything away from the other winners, and I was glad to see Elvis there. I visited Graceland earlier this year for the first time.

BLACKWELL: An Elvis Presley fan?

LOUIS: I appreciate it. If you got Stevie Wonder, if you got Duke Ellington there, you probably should put the king of rock 'n' roll as well.

BLACKWELL: All right. Errol Louis, thanks so much.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. With the Senate seat still in play as we discuss, and the recount battle that's happening, a controversial move at the Justice Department has Democrats warning about a constitutional crisis. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joins Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION." Tune in this morning at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern.

PAUL: I don't know what you're doing but hear me here, take a look at your screen, will you? I want you to see this image. Nineteen African-American women in one courtroom has gone viral. The significance behind it? That has gone viral as well.

We'll tell you why and we're going to talk to two of them.


[07:37:26] PAUL: Well, 17 African-American women in Texas have made history this midterm election. Beginning in August, I want you to take a look at this iconic campaign photo. This was featured on hundreds of protesters, billboards and African-American neighbors across the country, in fact. Well, 17 of these women ran for judgeships in Harris County and they won by a comfortable margin we should point out. They are going to join the bench in January for four-year terms across civil, criminal, family, probate courts here.

Two of the women are with me now, Judge-elect Latosha Lewis Payne, and Judge-elect Michelle Moore.

Ladies, first and foremost, congratulations to you both.



PAUL: Absolutely.

Judge Payne, can say judge already in if you're a judge-elect?

PAYNE: Well, I'll get used to it.

PAUL: We will get used to it.

Judge Payne, I want to know what your reaction was when you were watching election results that night and not just the reaction for yourself, but the reaction of the realization that all of these women were winning?

PAYNE: Well, I'll tell you that I was in shock and in awe of the amazing accomplishment that we were able to achieve and the long journey it took us to get there. Eighteen months of block walking and phone banking and learning about each other and showing up on the campaign trail and sacrificing, it just amazed me that I know how large now Harris County is and being the third largest county in the country, it's just amazing. It's an amazing accomplishment and I'm still in awe, actually. So --

PAUL: Yes, we should point out Harris County does include Houston, 4.5 million there. I understand Harris County, if you put it together, it's bigger 24 U.S. states in some capacity there. So, Michelle, with that said, I understand that you used to work with Child Protective Services, Judge Moore I should call you.


PAUL: I apologize. Judge Moore. I'm sorry about that.

You used to work with Child Protective Services. We know that those services are overburdened in many communities. As a judge, do you have goals in that area now?

MOORE: I do.

[07:40:00] I have goals when it comes to foster care reform and when it comes to juvenile justice reform. I think good work needs to be done and I'm excited to be one of the complement the changes that Harris County needs.

PAUL: What are the needs in that county?

MOORE: Well, right now, our foster care is overrun by children, so I'm excited to look for family members. I'm excited to look for many relatives or friends who take place another children, if it's safe to place those children out of foster care and get them in a more comfortable environment.

PAUL: I'm wondering when you look at that picture again of all of you in this campaign and this campaign, I should point out, was #blackgirlmagic. Who came up with that?

MOORE: Yes. Dallas Jones. Dallas Jones came up with the #blackgirlmagic slogan.

PAUL: All right. When you saw that, how instrumental do you think that campaign was? Because as I understand it, help me understand the strategy here. You all essentially kind of ran together, is that right, Judge Payne?

PAYNE: Well, that absolutely -- absolutely. We are all Democrats and once we were able to get through filing our intent to be on the ballot and getting through the primaries, we realized that how historical it was for all of us to come together and be on the ballot, so we did. We went to churches together and we block walked together, all in the goal of being elected in this cycle. So it was fabulous, actually.

PAUL: Judge Moore, I have about 30 seconds left. I just wanted to ask you largest voter turnout for the voters in Harris County. Why do you think that is?

MOORE: Well, I just think it was the strength of us running together. It was such a diverse ticket. So, we had 19 black women, we had Latinos, we had Asian, we had LGTQ candidates. It was such a diverse ticket that reflected Harris County, and I think that was the momentum that pushed us and that's why the voter turnout in historical numbers.

PAUL: All right. Well, Judge-elect Latosha Lewis Payne and Judge- elect Michelle Moore -- thank you both so much. Congratulations again.

MOORE: Thank you for having us.

PAYNE: Thank you and thank you for having us.

PAUL: Absolutely.


PAUL: Uh-huh.

BLACKWELL: "Saturday Night Live" pokes fun at the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week. We've got the best for you ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen. Don't get cocky, Mr. Mueller. With than new attorney general you might be out of a job soon too. And you might be thinking -- sometimes it hurts less and sometimes it hurts instead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But sometimes it hurts instead.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:47:14] BLACKWELL: "Saturday Night Live" had some fun with the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week. Sessions, as you know, is being replaced by Matthew Whitaker, someone who has sympathized with the president's critical of Robert Mueller's investigation.

PAUL: So, the show opened with Sessions played by Kate McKinnon getting ready to leave his office. Sessions was visited by Vice President Mike Pence, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the people portraying them, of course, and even the person portraying special counsel Robert Mueller.

Take a look.


KATE MCKINNON AS JEFF SESSIONS: I can't understand why Trump would replace with Matt Whitaker. He's just a shady businessman with no experience who's been blindly loyal to President Trump. OK, hearing it out loud, it makes sense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry it has to end this way but we're going to need to you to clear out your desk.

MCKINNON: That's OK. Luckily, I still got the box I was born in!


PAUL: Oh, my goodness.

CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, I am amazed at her every time I see her, Kate McKinnon every time.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You know, they had to have McKinnon play Sessions one more time now that Sessions has stepped down or actually been forced out as attorney general, who knows who "SNL" will cast as Matt Whitaker.

But Sessions was greeted as you mentioned by Robert de Niro portrayal of Robert Mueller. It was awesome to see "SNL" get de Niro back in there. So, here's part of that.


MCKINNON: Well, I really did my best, Mr. Trump. After all we've been through, I thought you would at least say good-bye.

Never mind I'll find someone like you, I wish nothing but the best for you, too, don't forget me I beg, I'll remember you saying, sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead. Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.

Well, whatever happens, I know I made my grand daddy proud. Oh, wait. He right here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) STELTER: I tell you what, here is a little "SNL" intrigue. Alec Baldwin playing President Trump, it's barely happened to see this season. So, it was interesting to see Kate McKinnon coming back as Sessions.

But Baldwin is, of course, had his some criminal problems recently, his talk show cancelled, he's barely been on this season playing Trump. Maybe "SNL" is trying some other things, trying some other characters, trying to downplay the Trump role.

But, anyway, I think the most important moment on "SNL" was actually during weekend update.

[07:50:02] Last week, Pete Davidson, the comedian, really stepped in and caused a big controversy when he criticized now Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw, he called him a hit man, made fun of his looks. Of course, Crenshaw was wounded in the Afghan war.

So, what did "SNL" do this weekend? They had Davidson come back and apologize, but look who he brought with him.


PETE DAVIDSON, SNL: Last week, I made a joke about a picture of you, and I felt like it would only be fair if you got me back and made fun of a picture of me. Does that sound OK?

REP.-ELECT DAN CRENSHAW (R), TEXAS: I don't really need to do that.

DAVIDSON: Come on, I deserve it. Please?

CRENSHAW: All right. I'll do one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now, first impressions with Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw.

CRENSHAW: Thanks, Colin.

This is Pete Davidson. He looks like if the meth from "Breaking Bad" was a person.

DAVIDSON: Not bad. So, there, we're even.

CRENSHAW: Wait, wait, one more.

DAVIDSON: All right.

CRENSHAW: He looks like a troll doll with a tape worm.

DAVIDSON: That's good. We should wrap this up.

CRENSHAW: Hold on. This is fun.


CRENSHAW: He looks like Martin Short in the Santa Claus story. By the way, one of these people is actually good on "SNL".


STELTER: And Crenshaw also thanked Davidson for making a Republican look good. You know, "SNL" obviously has a political perspective. I kind of missed the days when candidates for office and politicians would make cameos more often. So it was nice to see that last night and it was nice to see a resolution to this, because it was ugly. I think what Davidson said last week was ugly and it was good to see Crenshaw coming on, accepting the apology and having fun with the whole thing.


PAUL: No doubt about it. That was good.

Brian Stelter, always good to see you. Thank you, sir.

BLACKWELL: Santa Claus III, that was good.

PAUL: That was quite a jab, though.

BLACKWELL: Yes, one of these people was good on "SNL" yes.

PAUL: Brian, of course, is coming back on "RELIABLE SOURCES," 11:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

All righty. There's an anchor that does exactly what you want him or her to say. We're talking about artificial intelligence that has made its way into the newsroom. Uh-huh.


PAUL: Well, millions of Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

BLACKWELL: This week's "Staying Well" takes a look at one therapy that's helping patients get some improvements.


[07:55:03] ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Kevin Yu suffered for years with irritable bowel syndrome, a condition marked by stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, or alternating between both.

KEVIN YU, SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER: Only time I felt okay was when I was sleeping or sleeping on a toilet.

COHEN: Yu went to GI doctors who tried traditional treatments from over-the-counter drugs to diet changes, nothing worked.

YU: My doctors told me, Kevin, we want to try something new with you.

COHEN: They sent him to a psychiatrist who described an anti- depressant. Then he started seeing a health psychologist who diagnosed him with anxiety disorder and depression.

YU: She actually helped me realize that the stomach wasn't the source of my problems. I was under a tremendous amount of stress.

COHEN: After six weeks of talk therapy that included deep breathing and meditation, Kevin says his symptoms were virtually gone.

YU: One of the biggest takeaways is how you carry your anxiety and how you carry your stress.

LAURIE KEEFER, HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST, MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: We have a lot of nerves in our gut that are messaging the brain about what's happening.

COHEN: Studies have found that mental health therapy has helped thousands of patients recover from IBS.

KEEFER: They learn to think in ways that are more helpful and less worrisome. They're really working on solving problems in a more flexible way.

YU: My psychiatrist and my psychologist helped give me my life back.

COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, reporting.



BLACKWELL: Do not miss the final episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN" with a very personal tour of Anthony Bourdain's lower east side.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN: I remember (INAUDIBLE) square after the police fenced it up, it was in a lot of people's minds, the end of an era.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, yes, when they cleared it up, it drove a lot of people to say, hey, great, we're now going to have a neighborhood and everything is going to be safe. And then came a gentrification. So, the whole concept of America is being wiped out, because you can't pull yourself up by the bootstraps anymore, because you can't get in the game.

Gentrification has affected the whole city. You now have to make a huge amount of money to be here. You know, they've got skyscrapers in Midtown that are sold for millions of dollars apartments and nobody lives them, and now they're empty.

BOLDUAN: I live in one of those big empty buildings with absentee owners. Is that what's going to be left in New York?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. New York, there was always something that brought it back, but once you fill it with the corporate world, it's never going back. So, we turned a corner that we will never go back again. And so it's over.

BOLDUAN: It's over?




PAUL: Now, there have been huge advancements in artificial intelligence, but here's a new one that hits AI news anchors.


PAUL: Uh-huh.

BLACKWELL: Yes, so China state-run press agency has already created, just moving on here with that. This AI anchor to read the news, it's a digital composite related from footage of human hosts that read the news using synthesized voices.

Listen to a bit here.


ENGLISH AI ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm an English artificial intelligence anchor. This is my very first day in Xinhua News Agency. My voice and appearance are modeled --


PAUL: All righty. And there you have it.

BLACKWELL: Riveting.

PAUL: Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts now.