Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. Border Patrol Agents Overwhelmed In El Paso; Manafort Charged In N.Y. Minutes After Federal Sentencing; Fed Meets Wednesday, Expected To Hold Steady On Rates; 24-Year-Old Man Arrested In Killing Of Frank Cali. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired March 17, 2019 - 18:00   ET



[18:00:41] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being here.

President Trump on this Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, leaving the White House briefly to attend church services. Well now he is back and he's tweeting quite a lot, in fact. But so far, nothing today about the horrific and deadly terror attack in New Zealand. Nothing to condemn the scourge of violent white supremacy that drove a gunman to kill 50 innocent people. Nothing even about the natural disaster happening right now in the American heartland. Historic flooding in Nebraska where families are being rescued from their homes in boats.

This weekend, the President appearing more focused on things that are upsetting him. Here's some of what he's been tweeting about.

The weekend TV anchors at FOX News making fun of their ratings, calling out a few of them by name.

General Motors. Google. Saying the company doesn't help America.

Hillary Clinton.

And this is random, a local union boss in Ohio.

That's not all. He called "Saturday Night Live" not funny because they laugh at his expense. He blamed Democrats for getting an on-air personality suspended from FOX News. He mocked the Steele dossier. Made light of the violent protests in France. And he slammed the legacy of the late Senator John McCain, twice.

To the White House now, and CNN's Boris Sanchez.

Boris, the acting White House chief of staff was on the Sunday morning show circuits today and one of them he had to ma something very clear about the President.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. There was a question that sort of suggested President Trump may have white supremacist leaders or rather asking why President Trump hasn't come out and condemned white supremacy further and if he would. Mulvaney sort of laughed out the question seeming to be annoyed at yet again being asked about the President's feelings about race own Islam- phobia. A question that is frequently come up during his administration. A question that has been asked about Donald Trump long before he came to the White House, before he proposed the Muslim ban during the 2016 campaign. Before he alleged that some Mexicans were thieves and rapists. It's something that he has faced for a long time during his public life. Here's Mick Mulvaney's answer.


MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: The President is not a white supremacist. I'm not sure how many times we have to say that.


SANCHEZ: So most recently, the criticism toward President Trump has been about his response to the attack in New Zealand. The President not really naming Islam-phobia or condemning it explicitly. Also saying he doesn't believe that white supremacy is a growing problem even though is there evidence to the contrary. Critics are essentially saying that they would like to see President Trump use as much energy as he does in attacking "SNL" or all of those things you just mentioned in attacking white supremacists. There's no indication the President or the White House plans to do that any time soon, Ana.

CABRERA: And he's been attacking Senator John McCain, as we mentioned. How is John McCain's family reacting?

SANCHEZ: That's right, Ana. Meghan McCain, John McCain's daughter, put out a scathing statement rebuking President Trump. In it she writes that President Trump will never be loved the way that her father was. Look at this. She writes, I wish I had been given more Saturdays with him. Maybe spend yours with your family instead of on twitter obsessing over mine.

President Trump still angry over John McCain's vote on a slim repeal of Obamacare some two years ago. The senator passed away some seven months ago, but clearly, that wound is still there for President Trump, Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez at the White House. Thank you.

To the campaign trail now. Another Democrat officially jumping into the 2020 race this weekend. New York senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, formed an exploratory committee a couple months ago, but today, she declared her formal candidacy. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need a leader who makes bold --.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone isn't afraid of progress.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: That's why I'm running for president.


CABRERA: Gillibrand's announcement ends with an invitation to join her at the Trump international hotel on March 24th where she plans to deliver quote "her vision of restoring America's moral integrity" straight to President Trump's doorstep.

And joining us now, CNN national correspondent Athena Jones.

Athena, Gillibrand is now one of six women who have jumped into this 2020 race in the democratic field. How is she trying to distinguish herself when it comes to gender issues?

[18:05:008]ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she is running unabashedly on gender issue. She is really the only one of these women who has highlighted these issues so much. She has put it front and center. She made her announcement talking about herself as a young mom willing to fight for other people's kids as hard as she will fight for her own.

And so she is continuing in that theme focusing on issues like equal pay, paid family leave. This is something you hear her stress at all of her appearances, all of her Q&A sessions when she has been meeting with voters in the last couple months during this exploratory phase.

I will say, she had a pretty bad headline last week when it come to this reputation she established for herself as the kind of Me Too senator. She has been a champion of protecting women from sexual harassment, sexual assault in the workplace, in the military, on college campus. And last week, her office, her Senate office, faced accusations that they had mishandled a sexual harassment complaint within that Senate office last summer.

So that's her office insists they handled it well and maybe there was a little bit of miscommunication after the investigation they carried out on the staffer who was eventually fired. But it's still not a good mark for someone who's made a name for themselves by being a champion of women.

CABRERA: All right. She's hoping to do a reset here.

Thank you, Athena Jones, for that reporting.

Former vice president Joe Biden coming very close to announcing his candidacy in the Presidential 2020 race this weekend then he stopped short. Watch this.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm told I'll get criticized by the new left. I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the -- anybody who would run. I didn't mean -- anybody who would run.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Just in case he didn't make that clear.

Arlette Saenz has been following Joe Biden and all this sort of dancing with teasing a presidential race. It sounds like he's going to run, Arlette.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Right now, Ana, all the signs seem to be pointing toward him launching a presidential bid, potentially, in a few weeks. But he has been leaving these little clues and crumbs all along the way about what his current thinking. We are told by those close to him that we can't expect some potential announcement coming as soon as April.

And you saw him in front of that crowd in Delaware last night really road test and test drive a potential message for a campaign. He talked about the need to rise above the pettiness of the current state of politics and that America needs to choose unity or over division. I want you to take a listen to one way that he could frame his campaign against President Trump, one of the messages that he gave last night in that speech.


BIDEN: We must be clear, everybody knows who he is. We got to be clear who we are. Who we are. We got to understand that we Democrats, we choose hope over fear. We choose unity over division and we choose truth over lies.


SAENZ: Biden also very directly went after President Trump criticizing his response to the clashes in Charlottesville, also criticizing the tax cuts and the recently released budget. This is definitely showing that vice president Joe Biden is willing to directly take the fight to President Trump as he is gearing up for a potential campaign, Ana.

CABRERA: Arlette Saenz, thank you.

A slew of 2020 Presidential candidates hitting the campaign trail on this St. Patrick's Day. We have senators Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker in Iowa. Former congressman Beto O'Rourke in Wisconsin. Senator Elizabeth Warren meeting voters in Tennessee. Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in California. And former Obama cabinet member Julian Castro is in South Carolina.

Let's talk it over with Democrat Bakari Sellers. Attorney, CNN commentator and former South Carolina House member. And CNN political commentator, Tara Setmayer, host of "Honestly Speaking with Tara" podcast.

Bakari, aside from that slipup about running, not so much of the focus has been on Biden was defending criticism from other candidates and those in his party who don't think he is progressive enough. Do you think that's the crux of why he hasn't jumped into the race yet? BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I actually think he doesn't

lose anything by waiting any longer. In fact, I question why so many people jumped in so early sometimes. The donors aren't going anywhere. This pie is going to be split up so many ways to Sunday. And Joe Biden has name I.D., so there's really no rush.

Talking about his progressive bona fides, you know, he was vice president of the United States to Barack Obama who for everyone not named Bernie Sanders was a very progressive President. And so he does have some bona fides. But, again, he has some of those issues and one of the things that Joe Biden is not looking forward to are people coming back in his record from the '70s, '80s, and '90s talking about things like Anita Hill and the crime bill. And so, those are going to be issues he has to deal with.

But I'm ready for Joe to get in. I think the field is. There's only one more name that's not Joe Biden, the people are waiting to see what they are going to do, and that name is Stacey Abrams and they wull have a full filled.

[18:10:43] CABRERA: Tara, happy St. Patrick's Day. And take a look at how the official GOP twitter handle is celebrating the holiday. You have a picture of Beto O'Rourke, referring to him as Robert Francis with a mug shot from 1990s saying, "drink responsibly." Safe to say Republicans see him as Trump's biggest threat?

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know if his biggest threat. I think Biden is his biggest threat. But a Beto/Biden ticket or Biden/Beto, some form of that, could be formidable. But, you know, Beto O'Rourke is still relatively unproven on the national scene. Running for Senate in Texas against Ted Cruz is very different than running for President. And we have seen that with the opposition research dump just over the last couple days into him.

But let me say something about that tweet. It's utterly tasteless. What is a national party doing with sending out a tweet like that? That's embarrassing and should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, if you want to go after Beto O'Rourke, go ahead and do that, if you want to call him by his government-given name, God-given name, then fine, do that. But to the implication of it with the mug shot, with you know, drinking, the Irishman think, it's just completely beneath what a national party should be doing.

And this is just -- I mean, it flows from the top. This is the tone that they're setting for the national party. Just like what Trump does with the insults and low, low blow, low class, low-brow attacks.

I think people are sick of that. And Beto O'Rourke's campaign so far thin on issues, but he's been talking about unifying the country and I think people will resonate with that.

CABRERA: And he did not hit back. He was asked about that tweet.


CABRERA: He did the, you know, they go low, we go high -- SETMAYER: Right.

CABRERA: -- tactic there. But Bakari, is that an early indication of how dirty this fight's going to be?

SELLERS: I'm not sure how dirty this fight is truly going to be. I mean, when you get to the general election, it has to be dirty because Donald Trump is just a dirty competitor. I mean, at the end of the day, unfortunately, you are going to have to get in the pen and roll around with pigs. That's what people don't like about politics.

SETMAYER: Yes, unfortunately.

SELLERS: But you can't have Donald Trump talking about your wife and saying your daddy was on the grassy knoll. I mean, that certain things that crosses the line. You got to punch back.

But in the Democratic primary, I don't think it's going to be that dirty. I do think people are going to call out Beto O'Rourke for having a lack of policy, as Tara said. But even more importantly, you have rising stars who are just shining through in the primary season already. What comes to mind is I think a lot of people are getting caught up on Beto and Biden, but the name that's skyrocketing is Buttigieg if I said that right. I hope he didn't yell at me for that.

CABRERA: Mayor Pete. Mayor Pete.

SELLERS: Mayor Pete. I hope he puts that on the ballot, should just have Mayor Pete on the ballot. But you know, Mayor Pete has been a shining star from his interview today with Chris Wallace, to, you know, everything that he's -- his town hall right here on CNN. And I think that people are looking at him and saying to him, this is what we expected from Beto O'Rourke but get it from the mayor of south bend. We have an amazing field. It is just going to get better and better.

CABRERA: I have to get both of your takes on the President's continues attacks on late senator John McCain. Tara, what gives?

SETMAYER: Listen. You know, every time this happens, I have to say this over and over again, the President of the United States has zero empathy. He has zero moral compass. And he attacks John McCain because John McCain is more of a man than Donald Trump could ever hope to be.

Donald Trump is a silver spoon draft dodger. John McCain is an American hero who suffered as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton for many years. When he could have used his privilege to leave and did not do so and stayed there with his fellow soldiers.

Donald Trump has zero idea of what that kind of honor and selflessness means. And the fact that he continues to go after John McCain, even in his death, is despicable and it shows what a sad, soulless person Donald Trump is. And the people who continue to make excuses for that, shame on them, too.

CABRERA: Bakari, what's your take?

SELLERS: Well, my take is simple. I think the President of the United States is a sociopath. That's first. I think anyone who goes after someone who is a hero, you know, I can disagree with John McCain's political policies --

[18:15:01] CABRERA: Right.

SELLERS: -- until the cows come home. I mean, that is what we do. That's what democracy is. But that's also what he fought for. He fought for our freedom. He fought so that we could have this exchange of ideas. And so he truly is a hero. And on days like this, I just -- I feel for Cindy and I feel for Megan, his wife and his daughter, for having to go through this again.

But it also makes me question the lack of testicular fortitude and lack of courage and heart of the Republican Party today, you know. You have people like Ted Cruz, you have people like Marco Rubio, you have people like Lindsey Graham who was John McCain's best friend and the best he can do is come up with threaded tweet but would not dare say anything to Donald Trump.

And you know, I wish we got back to a politics of courage. And that is what Donald Trump has taken away from this discourse. We have men and women of the United States Congress. We have those we hold in high esteem, which simply don't have courage, courage of ideas and courage to fight back when things are going wrong, and courage to stand up for what it means to be a true American which John McCain was.

SETMAYER: That's right.

CABRERA: I got to go, guys, Bakari --

SETMAYER: They'd rather bow to the knee of a cult of personality than stand up for courage, decency and what's right in the oval office. Hundred percent, Bakari. You're right.

CABRERA: Real quick, Bakari, because I know you are still connected. When you said you think Stacey Abrams is going to get in the race, I know she tweeted earlier this week, "doors still open." She met with Kirsten Gillibrand, Joe Biden earlier also. Have you talked to her? Did she tell you she was going to run?

SELLERS: Well, I think the door's open. I think people need to wait and see what Stacey Abrams is going to do. I think Stacey Abrams can do about four different things. She can either wait and run for governor again. She can run for United States senate --.

CABRERA: But you don't have any inside knowledge --.

SELLERS: You're trying to get me to break news. Trying to have a dun, dun, dun at the bottom of the screen.

CABRERA: I want to double check.

SELLERS: No, I don't have news. But I do know Stacey Abrams would like me to tell the people to wait.

CABRERA: OK. Bakari Sellers, Tara Setmayer, we will leave that cliffhanger for our viewers. Thank you.

SETMAYER: Thank you.

CABRERA: All right. On a very serious note this week weekend. We are still continuing to follow the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand, sparking new discussions about the rise of far right extremism.

And the internet's role in spreading hateful views. A former neo Nazi is going to join us live next to discuss what can be done to stop the spread of far-right ideology.

Live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.


[18:21:28] CABRERA: As New Zealand is still reeling from the terror attack that killed 50 people, cabinet ministers are already discussing new restrictions on firearms. Now the country's prime minister said quote "our gun laws will change" immediately after the shootings.

On the ground in Christchurch, officials are rushing to identify the victims so the families can bury them as soon as possible in accordance with Muslim tradition.

Linda Armstrong was one of those killed in Friday's attack. Family members say she put others first and she opened her home, her heart, and her kitchen to anyone who needed help.

The attack is also sparking a renewed discussion about the rise of far-right extremist views around the world.

And let's discuss with former CIA counterterrorism official, Phil Mudd and former neo Nazi, Christian Picciolini, author of "white American youth: my descent into America's most violent hate movement and how I got out."

Phil, we know when it comes do international terrorists, ISIS, Al- Qaeda, al-Shabaab, there's a lot of intel sharing between countries. What about for domestic terrorist terrorists?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think if you see a direct threat to a country, the New Zealanders, or Australians, for example, had information someone was going to attack in Washington, or New York, they would pass that information along. I don't think that's the right question, Ana.

I would look at this question and say, after 9/11, politicians rightly gave the intelligence community and law enforcement like the FBI a charge. They said, make sure there's not another 9/11.

People didn't talk about white supremacists, right-wing extremism. There has to be a conversation not among intelligence professionals. They will pass the information if they get the political authorization to do so. There has to be a higher-level conversation led by the White House that says, look, we did ISIS, we did Al Qaeda, now we have to add another element and I'm giving you, the intel guys, top cover to do that. That doesn't start from the bottom, Ana, that's got to start at the political level.

CABRERA: Let me come back to the resources in a second, but here we are now in the wake of an attack like we saw in New Zealand, Christian. And I'm wondering what are white supremacist groups doing right now? Are they feeling emboldened or retreating because oven increased focus?

CHRISTIAN PICCIOLINI, FORMER NEO NAZI SKINHEAD: No, they are absolutely feeling emboldened. They are celebrating this as an act of heroism on online forums.

But I can tell you. This isn't just a recent rise. This is something that's been happening for 30 years. This is -- since the 1980s, white supremacists when I was a member of that movement, were going underground into law enforcement, and to the military, to get weapons training and even running for political office.

So this is a long time coming, you know. They knew that they were unappealing to the average American white racist in the '80s and '90s so they have transformed themselves into a more palatable image and more palatable message and this has always been transnational.

Connections between extremists existed back in the '80s and '90s when I was involved and even in '91 when I was approached by folks from Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, you know, to fund my organization for, you know, a race war against Jews in America. These connections have existed for a long time. And we can't ignore them anymore.

CABRERA: Phil, places of worship, soft targets, right? Providing easy opportunities for terrorists. Is boosting security at mosques, churches, synagogues, the answer?

MUDD: Boy, I'm not sure that's the answer. If you look at what we faced after 9/11, you have to start to say we started with airlines then you go to places like subways. We saw an attack on a major attack on a subway in London in 2005. Buses, you go to places like schools. You go to every government building, every federal government building across America. We have seen attacks on military recruitment centers.

At some point you have to step back and say, look, we have to persuade our children. We cannot protect every place on the planet. If you see something on the internet that suggests you want to commit an act of violence against a Jew, against a black person, against a catholic, against a Christian, against a Muslim, the murder of innocence is wrong.

I'm tired about the conversations of protecting every facility by asking 6-year-old to go through a metal detector. I don't think at the end of the day that's the answer.

[18:25:46] CABRERA: I asked the question because I'm seeing discussion about this sort of thing online, on social media.

Christian, do you believe armed guards at places of worship could prevent someone driven by white supremacist ideology from committing an attack like the one we saw in New Zealand?

PICCIOLINI: Well, I think, you know, vulnerable places need to be protected, but I think what we need to do is protect vulnerable people before they become radicalized. Because ideology is not what leads them there in the end. It's -- the pre-radicalization, it's the trauma, it's the abandonment, the isolation, it's the marginalization, even the mental illness that leads people to the fringes to accept this narrative and when they're there, somebody is absolutely waiting to give them this narrative.

So I don't know that armed security guards are necessarily going to stop this. What we need to do is protect our most vulnerable communities online like depression forums where they are targeting people or autistic and Asperger's communities where they know vulnerable people might be that maybe aren't making connections in real life. And those are the people that we really need to protect. We are failing our children right now.

SANCHEZ: Phil, talking about prevention here, we know DHS has cut resources for a program that funded community-based efforts to prevent radicalization and recruitment to terror groups. Is the U.S. investing enough resources to deal with extremism, especially white supremacy?

MUDD: Boy, I'm not comfortable with this. I think Chris hit it dead- on. Let's make sure we know what we are talking about. We are not talking about criminal behavior. We are talking about whether you want in an open society the federal government to step in when they see online activity that's not criminal and say, look, we are responsible for hate speech. Hate speech may not be illegal, but if someone is talking about hate, we need to intervene. We need communities to say, I want federal government support to intervene with a child who is never committed a crime but is talking about hate.

I think -- I'm comfortable with that as an American citizen. But you realize, Ana, we are stepping into a situation where we are asking the federal government to intervene with a 16-year-old before that 16- year-old ever does anything wrong. I'm good with it. I think a lot of Americans would say, that's a violation of free speech and I don't want the federal government looking at Facebook. That's the choice you make. If you don't want them to look, you are going to get people who go down the path Chris described. He nailed it.

CABRERA: Let me --


CABRERA: -- real quickly follow up. I do remember covering a case when I was a correspondent in Colorado dealing with a young woman who had been recruited by ISIS who ended up going to prison for being a recruit. And FBI officials contacted her prior to her taking any actions that would have, you know, been deemed a crime. So how is this different?

PICCIOLINI: Well, listen, there are Americans that are going over to the Ukraine to right now to places in eastern Europe and even Russia to train in paramilitary partisan camps, going off to fight in Ukraine or coming back to the United States. The same thing that's happening to young people flying to Syria to join ISIS is happening to young Americans now joining, you know, extreme right paramilitary groups overseas.

This is now a transnational terrorist network that needs to be addressed here in this country. We don't call it terrorism here. We don't have a domestic terrorism statute. But now that the links are established overseas, I think we have every right to call this terrorism.

But I agree with Phil. You know, the government shouldn't be involved in helping de-radicalize, quote/unquote, "anybody," but they should be funding organizations that are doing that work and they are currently not.

CABRERA: All right. Gentlemen, thank you so much for the conversation. I appreciate both of your insights.

U.S. border patrol agents stretched to the limit in one border city, they say, at times they say they are just overwhelmed. El Paso, Texas, a 500 percent increase in undocumented immigrants coming across the border since this time last year. Is it a national security crisis? Or a humanitarian emergency?



[18:34:13] ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM: Some immigration activists are calling El Paso, Texas the New Ellis Island, a place where U.S. border patrol agents say they are overwhelmed by an enormous leap in the number of people crossing the border illegally. It's a flash flood of humanity that officials on the border were not prepared for.

CNN's Nick Valencia is in El Paso.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the new reality in El Paso. Every day, several times a day, migrants arrive by the dozens, sometimes by the hundreds. Here, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say is the new ground zero for illegal immigration.

AARON HULL, CHIEF PATROL EL PASO SECTOR, U.S. BORDER PATROL: We're seeing an unprecedented influx of illegal entries here in El Paso sector.

VALENCIA: Chief patrol agent for the El Paso sector, Aaron Hull, says his agents have seen more than 550 percent increase in migrant apprehensions from this time last year.


HULL: We have to balance our humanitarian challenges along with the need to secure the people of this country from the many threats that are still trying to get in. And they're exploiting these family units. Smugglers are very aware of the dynamic that is created when a large number of aliens comes in requiring special needs. They know that it ties up our resources.

VALENCIA: Because of that, Customs and Border Protection says the immigration system is at a breaking point. Chief Hull blames the pull factor, and says it's not just family units from Central America.

HULL: We've arrested aliens from 60 countries other than Mexico and the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

VALENCIA: Just minutes later, agents spot two men from Brazil asking for asylum.

This is what the chief is talking about. It's not just Mexican national and Central Americans. It's also people from different countries like Brazil, Cuba, from everywhere.

Standing along the site of the newest construction of the border wall in El Paso, we meet local activist Fernando Garcia. He says this is the new Ellis Island.

FERNANDO GARCIA, LOCAL ACTIVIST: What we're experiencing right now is a humanitarian crisis, yes, but we need more officers at the port of entry. Building the wall is not going to stop the refugee crisis in this country.

VALENCIA: A crisis that Ruben Garcia says has left him feeling like he is living in a tornado.

Are you more stretched thin than you ever have been?


VALENCIA: Garcia runs the Annunciation House in El Paso. He along with his team of volunteers, help migrants after they're processed out of ICE custody. They're averaging 3,000 migrants per week, which has put him at capacity.

GARCIA: This Saturday, ICE released 600 people to us. We took in 600 people. And that maxed out our hospitality sites.

VALENCIA: Are you now having to turn people away?

GARCIA: Some days, we have had to turn some people away.

VALENCIA: So what do they do then? They go to the streets?

GARCIA: They are in the streets. They are in the streets when we cannot take them in. VALENCIA: Depending on who you talk two, what's happening along the southern border is either a humanitarian crisis or a threat to national security. What is clear is that everyone involved is desperately seeking for solutions as to how to best deal with their new reality.

Nick Valencia, CNN, El Paso, Texas.


CABRERA: In the days to come, the Special Counsel could finish the Russia investigation, but what are the chances the report is done and the public doesn't even know it? We're answering your burning questions in Cross-exam next. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.



[18:41:39] CABRERA: Less than an hour after a federal judge handed down an additional 43-month sentence, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was hit with new charges coming from the Manhattan District Attorney. And unlike the federal case, if convicted of these state crimes, the President would not be able to pardon Manafort. And that brings us to our weekly segment, Cross-exam with Elie Honig. Elie is a former federal and state prosecutor and CNN Legal Analyst. And he is answering your questions about the legal news.

So a lot of questions, again, this week about Manafort because he was back in the public eye, being sentenced again, then we got these new charges, and so one of our viewers asks this question. Can Manafort's sentence be challenged in court and how long can he actually serve?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, a lot of viewer interest in sentencing this week. First of all, I believe Paul Manafort's total sentence now that all is almost said and done is too low and is unjust. Now --

CABRERA: Which is about 7.5 2 years total?

HONIG: Yes. And we're going to work out the exact day when we gets out. So federal prosecutors can appeal a sentence if they believe it's too low. But it's extraordinarily rare. In my 8.5 years with DOJ, I was never once given permission to appeal a sentence that's too low. You have to go all the way up to the Solicitor General of the United States. I was rejected a couple times. I don't think Mueller will appeal this sentence. It's too low, but it's not that far below where I think an appeal would be appropriate.

So how much time is Manafort actually going to serve? Now, in state criminal justice systems, there's parole, which, a lot of times, allows people to get out way earlier than the advertised sentence. You'll hear ten years but parole will actually get them out in three or four. Manafort, of course, is in the federal system, there is no parole. There's a different calculation that you have to do.

So first time here on Cross-exam, we're going to do some math, all right?

CABRERA: Get ready. I'm going to school here.

HONIG: If I can handle it, the viewers can handle it. So 47 months on his first sentence, 43 additional months last week, 90 months. Now, in the federal system, you can get 15% off for good behavior in prison, assume he'll get that. That's about 13.5 months off. He gets credit for the nine months he's already been in, which puts him at 67.5 months, which is a little over 5.5 years, which means he should be getting out November of 2024.

CABRERA: Wow. Okay. So mark that date on your calendar. Now, Manafort's lawyers spoke on the courthouse steps right after this latest sentence and repeated something that was not true, claiming the judge said there was no collusion. The judge said this case was not about collusion. So that's important to note. One viewer asks, could the lawyer face any punishment for lying about this?

HONIG: So the short answer is only from his bar association. It's not a crime to twist a judge's words beyond all recognition, as I think Manafort's lawyer did, but there are bar restrictions, the licensing agency for attorneys that he could be fined or potentially disbarred. I don't think it quite went that far and usually not on a first offense.

But, you know, you're right. The judge went out of her way to say collusion was not resolved one way or another in this case because she did not -- Judge Jackson did not want her words to be twisted for political purposes, the same way that judge Ellis's words were twisted the prior week. Well, look, there's obviously a difference between this case has nothing to do with collusion versus this case proves there was no collusion.

Now, despite Judge Jackson's efforts, it took a couple minutes until Manafort's attorney promptly twisted her words for political purposes, the President did so shortly after. Look, obviously, Manafort's attorney is playing for a pardon. My view is, if you want to play for a pardon for your client, but don't do it dishonestly.

CABRERA: There have been a lot reports that Mueller's investigation could be coming to an end.


And so one viewer asks, is it possible that Mueller has already submitted his report to Attorney General Bill Barr and the public just doesn't know about it yet?

HONIG: It is possible. So the regulations that Mueller is working on to require him to file a confidential report with the AG. And it's possible Mueller just walked it over to him and neither of them is going to leak. So it is possible that it's on the AG's desk. We wouldn't necessarily know.

The big decision then is going to sit with Attorney General Barr who can decide whether and to what extent to disclose the report to Congress and the public. And a big thing happened this week, which was this vote in the House of Representatives, 420-0. You don't see 420-0 on anything. It was a symbolic vote.

But I think it's important politically because it shows how strong the political pressure, bipartisan, is going to be to release this report. And it tells us that if Barr tries to sit on it or squash it, count on the House of Representatives to fight like mad to get that out.

CABRERA: Quickly, what are you watching for in the week ahead?

HONIG: What's going to happen with Rick Gates? We learned last week he's cooperating in multiple ongoing investigations with Mueller, perhaps the Southern District of New York. I think there's going to be more shoes to drop there.

Second of all, does Mueller have another round of charges before he wraps up? I think he does. I think there're too many people where I can't quite explain what's gone on with them. Corsi, they gave him a charging instrument that he never pled to. Donald Trump Jr., there's questions about Eric Prince. There's still others. I think he has got one more round in him.

And the last one, changing topics a little bit, what are we going to see next in the college admissions bribery scandal? Again, we're going to see more. This is going to grow out. People are going to cooperate. And as they cooperate, more people are going to be implicated. And I'll just say, as a parent of kids who are a few years away, it's scary enough looking at this whole college process and read about how rigged it is in some cases and it's really disturbing. And it was great job by DOJ to uncover this and get some justice there.

CABRERA: I agree, as a parent, this is a hot topic. Thank you, Elie Honig. As always, great information. Make sure to read Elie's column on You can also ask your questions there.

CABRERA: Now, a man is in custody accused of killing a notorious mob boss. Why officials believe his death may have nothing to do with the mob. Details ahead.

But first, Alison Kosik is here with this week's Before the Bell.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Stocks are stuck in a pretty tight range. But the Federal Reserve could provide some direction this week. On Wednesday, the central bank meets. It's not expected to raise interest rates. But Fed Chief Jerome Powell will hold a press conference right after. Expect Powell to give his take on the U.S. economy.

Signals lately have been mixed. Last week, reports on manufacturing and retail sales were better than expected and inflation remains tame. But the February jobs report was surprisingly weak with only 20,000 jobs added.

On Wall Street, investors are also gearing up for an explosion of IPOs this year. Ride-hailing company, Lyft, could begin its road show this week. That's when it makes its pitch to the stock market investors and analysts. The company plans to raise as much as $100 million in its public offering, but that amount could change depending on investor demand.

In New York, I'm Alison Kosik.



[18:51:42] CABRERA: A mafia boss murdered days later, suspect is in custody. But here's the twist. Police say it appears the killing had nothing to do with organized crime.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.


DERMOT SHEA, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES, NYPD: Oftentimes, the first story is not the final story.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's looking less likely that the Wednesday murder of Gambino crime boss Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali was a mob hit. A source close to the investigation tells CNN Cali's killing may instead be the result of a personal feud. According to the source, the suspect, Anthony Camello, had some kind of relationship with one of Cali's family members that the mob boss disagreed with. Camello allegedly took offense to that.

On Saturday, detectives arrested Camello. Police say the 24-year-old is captured on video outside of Cali's Staten Island home the night of the murder. He say Cali was face-to-face with his alleged killer moments before the shots rang out.

SHEA: He has a conversation with an individual in front of that residence, and that individual, at some point in time, it's only about a minute into it, pulls out a firearm and shots are fired.

SANDOVAL: Cali was a reputed member of the Gambino family. He served a 60-month prison sentence for his role in an extortion conspiracy and was later released in 2009.

SHEA: We are well aware of Mr. Cali's past. That will be a part of this investigation as we determining what was the motive for the incident on Wednesday evening. There are multiple angles that we are still exploring.

SANDOVAL: Detectives have yet to find the murder weapon and are looking at Camello's past.

SHEA: Was he acting alone? Was he acting for other people? Are there others involved? What is the motive? I simply, standing here, do not have all those answers for you.

SANDOVAL: Officially, police are leaving all options on the table until they can definitively determine why Frank Cali was killed. Polo Sandoval at CNN, New York.


CABRERA: We're back in just a moment.



[18:58:48] CABRERA: The new four-part CNN Original series Tricky Dick explores Richard Nixon's, rise, fall, incredible comeback and political destruction with never before seen footage. Here's a preview.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But somehow, I had a feeling. I said, there's something about that fellow that doesn't ring true.

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It is the intention of the committee on un-American activities to pursue this investigation until we put the spotlight on those high officials in the State Department who are responsible for selling this country down the river.

I am holding in my hand a microfilm of the most confidential highly secret State Department documents. This microfilm was made for the purpose of transmitting these documents in reduced form to the Soviet Union.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew we had there the hard evidence we had lacked before. And this involved espionage.


That was what eventually brought his indictment and his conviction of perjury.