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Trump Accuses Democrats Of Fostering Anti-Semitism; Trump, "The Asylum Program Is A Scam"; Chaotic NCAA Tournament Celebration; Wild, Controversial Finish At Final Four; Spectator Arrested For Tackling Wrestling Legend At WWE Event. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired April 7, 2019 - 06:00   ET

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


[06:00:15]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump sending his most direct message yet, his most blunt message to people thinking of crossing the border.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the asylum program is a scam. People that look like they should be fighting for the UFC. You look at this guy, you say, wow, that is a tough cookie! Asylum. Oh, give him asylum. He is afraid!

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People were hesitating coming here to Iowa because President Trump --

TRUMP: If you have a windmill anywhere near your house they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one. OK?

SANDERS: We have got a lot of wind turbines and I'm worried am I going to down with cancer.

JASON SUDEIKIS AS JOE BIDEN: I'm a hugger, I'm a kisser, and I'm a little bit of a sniffer. OK? But the last thing I ever want to do is offend anyone. The important thing I think is that I'm listening. I hear you. I feel you. I feel you.

KATE MCKINNON, COMEDIAN: Not the right direction.

SUDEIKIS: OK? So come on. Let's talk it out, America. What do you say, huh?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning to you. President Trump is back at the White House this morning after going on the attack in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas yesterday.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: He hit some of his favorite targets accusing Democrats of letting anti-Semitism take root he says in their party and America.

BLACKWELL: He also I taunted asylum seekers and compared immigrants to UFC fighters, cage fighters as he rallied his base on the -- this really divisive issue of immigration.

CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood has the latest on the president's comments. Sarah, good morning to you.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning, Victor. And President Trump returned here late last light from that speech in Las Vegas to the Republican Jewish Coalition and he spent much of that lively speech going after Democrats and criticizing the immigration system, and specifically he was focused on the issue of asylum.

He claimed that migrants who were coming over the border seeking asylum claiming many of them had been coached by lawyers as to what to say to guarantee that they could achieve that status. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The asylum program is a scam. Some of the roughest people you've ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the UFC. They read a little page given by lawyers that all over the (INAUDIBLE) of lawyers. They tell them what to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: Those remarks from President Trump came one day after he visited the border and this is also as he seemingly back pedals a threat he recently made to close the border in the coming days if Mexico didn't do more to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the southwest United States.

President Trump now setting a year-long deadline to shut down the border if Mexico doesn't step up, help with apprehensions. Trump also reprised attacks on Democrats claiming that they are anti-Israeli and that they had allowed anti-Semitism to spring up within their party and within this country. Here is what the president had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Now the Democrats have even allowed the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party and in their country. They have allowed that.

Special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota. Oh. Oh. Oh, I forgot. She doesn't like Israeli. I forgot! I'm so sorry!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: President Trump has, in the past been critical of the way Democrats did handle controversial comments that Congresswoman Omar previously made. These are not new attacks that the president has made but he did make them in front of this different audience -- audience of Jewish Republicans in Las Vegas. President Trump touting his own accomplishments towards Israel including his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much for the update.

BLACKWELL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot back at the president's claim that Democrats have allowed anti-Semitism to take root in their party. In a statement to CNN, a spokesman for the speaker said that, "Politicians who seek to weaponized the U.S.-Israel relationship and turn it into a wedge issue are no friends of Israel, and the transparent cynicism of their words are clear to all."

PAUL: And the president played a large role in shaping public opinion around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday. The prime minister will face a challenge at the ballot box. And a lot of people are wondering how important has Netanyahu's relationship with the president been in an electoral sense?

[06:05:05]

CNN international anchor and correspondent Michael Holmes has the latest from Jerusalem.

Good morning to you, Michael. Can you answer that question for us? What is the influence President Trump may have here?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good morning to you, Christi.

Donald Trump and his unbridled support for Israel it's undoubtedly made him a popular figure here and that relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump without question has been an electoral plus for Netanyahu being seen with Donald Trump just last month. That made the news, of course.

The U.S. president he recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights at the border with Syria. That's something not recognized by the broad international community. And of course you've got the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli's capital, the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Now the timing in particular of the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory just ahead of the election. That visit with Donald Trump just ahead of the election all seen as pretty cave for Netanyahu who loves, of course, loves to shove off his connection with world leaders. That promise that he made to annex Israeli settlements if he wins obviously a controversial one.

Just want to read part of what he said -- quote -- "I'm going to extend Israeli sovereignty and I don't distinguish between settlement blocs and the isolated settlements."

Now, of course, the broader international community sees those settlements as illegal, something Israel disputes and the comments are already attracting fierce criticism not surprisingly from Palestinians but also others who see those settlements as making a potential Palestinian state unworkable.

Now if Benjamin Netanyahu were to be re-elected, follows through on that promise, U.S. support is going to be crucial. And let's not forgot that we still waiting, of course, for the Trump deal of the century when it comes to the peace proposal the administration promises to unveil after these Israeli elections.

So, you know, Donald Trump the other day called both Netanyahu and his chief opponent in these elections, Benny Gantz, good men. But only one of them, Benjamin Netanyahu, has had to face time, the fulsome support of the U.S. president with Israelis at the polls and voting less than 48 hours from now -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Michael Holmes, thank you so much. Appreciate the update.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in now Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and historian and professor at Princeton University, and Siraj Hashmi, commentary writer and editor for "The Washington Examiner."

Welcome back, gentlemen.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

SIRAJ HASHMI, COMMENTARY WRITER AND EDITOR, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So, Julian, Republicans and let's put the numbers up on the screen now -- historically struggle to win the Jewish vote. In 2016 Hillary Clinton won 71 percent, Donald Trump won 24 percent but he obviously won the White House. Is President Trump making any inroads to change this trend? He had a lot of policy to brag about in front of the RJC yesterday.

ZELIZER: No, he is not. And in fact the American Jewish vote during the midterms of 2018 overwhelmingly went to the Democrats, I believe it was 82 percent which was up from the previous few elections.

So the thing is that President Trump and his policies are really, in many ways, antithetical to where much of the American Jewish community is on issues like immigration, on his own rhetoric about Israeli. Most American Jews are not supportive of Netanyahu so I don't expect him to make many inroads. I think it might go the opposite way in 2020.

BLACKWELL: Siraj, let's turn now the asylum progress -- the process rather -- and President Trump calling it a scam. How much of this asylum is scam, the country is full, is just rhetoric? More than trying to have people to wait in Mexico to apply to for asylum, slowing or metering the process, can or will this administration do any indications?

HASHMI: I would say a lot of the rhetoric you're seeing coming from President Trump would be a distraction to kind of provide cover to show how weak his administration has been on immigration, despite the fact that you had child separation last year, his threats to close the border and then eventual walk-back shows he is not being serious about actually solving the issue. Because if you actually shut down the border you're shutting down whether it be just people coming into the country from Mexico, whether they are coming legally or illegally versus commerce, he didn't really specify which one way or another.

But the fact that just shutting down the border with respect to trying to curb illegal immigration doesn't solve the actual problem and giving a one-year deadline to Mexico to basically clean up the act is not going to work.

[06:10:02]

It's actually going to increase illegal immigration numbers. It's probably going to increase drug trafficking and it really -- he really needs a (INAUDIBLE). I mean, Kirstjen Nielsen probably has been the worst thing for him in terms of immigration.

And this idea about getting a border wall built is just not working in his favor right now. And this rhetoric we're seeing with the asylum seekers, you know, characterizing them as UFC fighters, I mean, I wouldn't say that majority of asylum seekers are -- I would say that maybe --

BLACKWELL: Yes.

HASHMI: -- there is a room for some people to take advantage of this system but not that much.

BLACKWELL: There is no 100 absolute rule for most things, right?

HASHMI: Right.

BLACKWELL: So let's look at the numbers because on this, Julian, the president is just wrong. Let's put up these numbers. These are from the CBP.

In February of 2017, family units and unaccompanied minors accounted for 27 percent of the apprehensions at the southern border. Last February there were 32 percent.

February 2019, the most recent months they report, they compromised 65 percent of the apprehensions at the border. So he is creating this big dangerous straw man and this UFC fighter story just isn't true.

ZELIZER: It's not true and it's a dangerous type of rhetoric. He is dehumanizing and vilifying the people who are seeking asylum. He's doing it for clear political purposes to whip up opposition to what is going on and to build support for his policy prescription, a wall in shutting down the asylum process essentially. And he is giving the presidential stamp of approval to a kind of reactionary rhetoric which really has no place in American politics.

So rather than that, right now, we need serious policy discussions about how to deal with what is going on in the border and in a humane and efficient manner. BLACKWELL: All right. Control room. Full screen 3 here now. We want to show the numbers from Mexican officials because the president says that Mexico has to start to get under control. He says the Mexico has to get people deported from their country, send them back to their country of origin.

Mexican officials, according to their government statistics have deported 841,226 Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorians since 2011. Siraj, now that we know the numbers compared to what the president says Mexico is or is not doing what is the U.S. plan if -- if there is any plan to keep people in the Northern Triangle there? Now that he has cancelled the funding -- the aid for these three countries, what is the next step?

HASHMI: That's a very good question, Victor, because I personally don't know what the next step will be. Obviously Trump has talked about building the border wall but, in many ways, President Trump is using the issue of immigration as a political issue and I could make the same case about Democrats using it immigration as a political issue, but specifically focusing on Trump.

We have an election coming up in a year and a half and immigration was the one primary policy platform that he ran on in 2016 and arguably won on. If he has any chance of winning in 2020 he's going to try to point the finger at Democrats for saying that the immigration problem has gotten worse and not better.

Kevin McAleenan, the CBP commissioner, Customs and Border Protection said that the numbers of migrants coming into the United States have actually risen on average from October to December, it was 50,000 per month. In March, it was 100,000 per month. So he is going to try to use this as a political issue in the 2020 presidential election and say Democrats don't have a way of fixing it and I am the one who has only the solutions to fix it. Right now he is simply not doing the job that needs to be done.

BLACKWELL: All right. We will wait for those official March numbers and the April numbers to see if any of these changes over the last several weeks have made a real impact which we know is often seasonable but we are seeing still the increase from year-to-year.

Julian Zelizer, Siraj Hashmi, thank you both.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

HASHMI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Larry Kudlow, Senator Michael Bennet and Congressman Adam Schiff all join Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" later this morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: What in the world is happening in West Texas? Andy, is it possible to be too excited about a big win?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi when you never really won anything before it's kind of hard to prepare yourself for a little bit of success and let's just say the kids at Texas Tech a little too excited about their big win over Michigan State last night. Coming up, we will show you the wild celebration that took place in Lubbock, Texas.

BLACKWELL: Plus, there are three churches that were burned in a span of 10 days in a single parish in Louisiana. Why officials are calling this fire suspicious.

PAUL: Also SNL is bringing back its own version of Joe Biden as they put him through sensitivity training. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[06:15:02]

CECILY STRONG, COMEDIAN: It's the vice president.

SUDEIKIS: Hey, Jackie, how are you? Nice to see you. It's so good to see you.

Brother man, Gary! How are you doing? Good to see you! Oh, look at that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Police in riot gear were called in overnight to break up crowds after celebration by Texas Tech fans escalated into this, this riot in Lubbock, Texas.

PAUL: Yes. Look at the huge crowds there. Streets were filled after the men's basketball team defeated Michigan State to secure the place in the NCAA national championship game.

Now look at this. The local CNN affiliate says people burned couches, they flipped cars before police were able to break up that crowd. The city of Lubbock issued a statement calling the postgame violence extremely dangerous and disappointing.

Let's bring in Andy Scholes now live in Minneapolis this morning. Andy, you lived in Lubbock for a few years. What can you tell us about what this moment means for this city?

[06:20:05]

SCHOLES: Well, I'll tell you what, Victor and Christi, the fans there in Lubbock, Texas, they are craving a championship. They have really never won anything in terms of team sports. The only team sports championship they have ever won was women's basketball back in 1993 and that championship meant so much to the city they named a freeway after the coach Marsha Sharp and the team is still revered there in Lubbock, Texas.

They want to win the championship just desperately and the fans there and the students at Texas Tech are known for being a rowdy bunch. I remember back in 2008 when the football team beat Texas at the late second. The famous Michael Crabtree catch. I mean, it was kind of the same scene. I think there are less fires and not many cars being tipped over but it was still quite the celebration.

Right where those scenes we were showing people that's right across the street from campus and a stretch of bars and been there quite a few times when I lived there. But unfortunate to see a little too excited from the students there in Lubbock, Texas. But I'd tell you what it doesn't surprise me considering last night's game against Michigan State was the biggest moment in that school's history in terms of sports.

PAUL: All right. Well, let's talk about the game everyone is talking about. The other one. Virginia and Auburn. That had a controversial finish, as we understand.

SCHOLES: It certainly did. And you have got to feel for Auburn University this morning. So they were losing this game in the second half but went on a huge 14-0 run to take the lead. But then a no-call by the officials and then a controversial call in the final second. Both didn't go Auburn's way and those two calls are going to haunt that school forever.

I'll show you what happened. There were five seconds left in this one when Ty Jerome dribbled off his foot. It was a clear double dribble but the officials just flat-out missed it. Virginia was able to keep the ball and they -- called a great play.

They got the ball to Kyle Guy. He missed the three in the corner but the refs call a foul, many people didn't agree with that call. Auburn fans actually thought they had won the game because they didn't hear the whistle. Guy said he was terrified but he went for the line, didn't look scared at all, knocked down three free throws, they won the game by one.

Auburn, their fans just beside themselves -- I went in the locker room after the game, spoke with Auburn team and they were understandably devastated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JARED HARPER, AUBURN GUARD JUNIOR: This is definitely up there with one of the tougher ones. We are just excited to be in March Madness and it's the right tournament, in the final four to (INAUDIBLE) lose (ph) is definitely tough.

HORACE SPENCER, AUBURN FORWARD SENIOR: It was probably was the toughest basketball career honestly. I really never had a close loss like that. I can recall -- I never lost by almost a buzzer-beater.

BRYCE BROWN, AUBURN GUARD SENIOR: Felt like we had the game in the bag. The last 30 seconds -- (INAUDIBLE) of the game just don't know was to say, honestly.

BRUCE PEARL, AUBURN HEAD COACH: We focused on how we were going to handle the defeat at Auburn, with class and dignity. There are lots of calls during the game and you got to -- you got -- you're going to get some and some you're not going to get.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: So Auburn fans back on campus and in bars everywhere. They thought they had won the game before realizing that that foul had been called and I was sitting behind the Auburn student section actually. Many of the fans there, they just started crying when they ended up losing this game. I actually caught up with some of those students when they were leaving the game and they felt cheated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so upset! Auburn basketball has come so far this year and it has been so phenomenal to see it come this far and to see it in this way is just awful!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like it at all. I don't like it. Not one bit.

SCHOLES: You feel like you were cheated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit, a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disappointment. I mean, every step of the way, we fought and fought and fought and to have it taken away like that in the last seconds, it's just ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I think sometimes you got to let I play aside. It wasn't our day at the. We came out. We played our hardest and do what we got to do but came up short.

SCHOLES: That call?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: So the stage is set. Texas Tech going to play Virginia and we're going to see history tomorrow night. Neither school has ever won a men's championship. Tip off the late one. That's going to be 9:20 Eastern.

And, guys, you know what one school is going to be celebrating heavily Monday night. Hopefully safe celebrations.

PAUL: Yes. Amen. And Coach Pearl is a pretty classy guy.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: Pretty classy guy. Thank you so much, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

PAUL: So WWE hall of fame wrestle Bret "the Hitman" Hart took one more hit in the ring. This time the guy who landed is in jail. Take a look at this. He was giving a speech during the WWE hall of fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn, there he is.

[06:25:04]

And there is a -- quote -- "fan" who rushed the ring, tackled him. Others piling on now. The man was arrested by the NYPD. He is charged with two counts of third-degree assault, criminal trespass and one other misdemeanor charge -- misdemeanor charge I should say. Hart did not have to be taken to the hospital, by the way.

BLACKWELL: You know, when you watch that, I'm sure a lot of fans were thinking is this planned?

PAUL: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: -- was it supposed to happen

PAUL: Is this for real?

BLACKWELL: Is this for real?

PAUL: Just questioning.

BLACKWELL: Yes. All right.

Still to come, President Trump lashing out on Democrats and the special counsel's Russia investigation. Sources say he wouldn't be bringing this up still if everything was "hunky-dory." That is on quote. More on that with our guests Alice Stewart and Rochelle Ritchie, next.

PAUL: And watch the CNN original years of "THE BUSH YEARS" tonight. Here's a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANITA MCBRIDE, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO FORMER FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH: The Bushes tenure in the White House ended the same way with started, with family. George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush were there and there were lots of tears.

BARBARA PIERCE BUSH, DAUGHTER OF GEORGE W. BUSH: It was very bittersweet because we have had so many memories in the White House throughout my life starting when I was seven. But it took closing of a chapter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the last day, I came in and I said, thank you, Mr. President, for the privilege of serving and then he put on his coat and his cowboy hat and he walked out the back door of the Oval Office and he didn't look back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: "THE BUSH YEARS" airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:31:14]

PAUL: So glad to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

So President Trump was on a Twitter tirade before he addressed the GOP donors at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition, this was yesterday. He called the special counsel's 22-month investigation a -- quote -- "total waste of time." Said Democrats found no wrongdoing. This is after some members of the special counsel's team say that the 400-page report is far more troubling for President Trump than Attorney General Bill Barr indicated to Congress.

To discuss this former press secretary of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Rochelle Ritchie, as well as former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz and CNN political commentator Alice Stewart. Ladies, thank you both for being here.

ROCHELLE RITCHIE, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY, HOUSE DEMOCRATIC POLICY AND COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE: Good morning, Christi.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Christi.

PAUL: Good morning. Alice, President Trump said Democrats will never be satisfied. He is referencing their demand for this unredacted copy of Robert Mueller's report. The House Judiciary Intelligence and Oversight Committees they are ramping up probes into his financial history, his policy agenda, his campaign, his tax returns. How prepared is the president to defend all of this off?

STEWART: Certainly time will tell. Unfortunately the worst fears that many had about the Democrats taking over control are coming true, they are more concerned with investigating rather than legislating and that certainly turning out to be the case.

But I have said from the beginning and I continue to say that we need to reserve all comments on the Mueller report until we see the full Mueller report. I don't think it's a good idea to attack what we don't know about this report.

What we do know, though, is the Barr summary of it and it is positive for the president. He should take delight in knowing that the Mueller report, based on the summary, did not show any collusion, did not show any conspiring with the Russians and no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of the president or the campaign and certainly no obstruction of justice.

So I think this president and the administration and all Americans can take some comfort in knowing that there was no working with the Russians in this election and in terms of the details and specifics of that, I think everyone would do best to take a pause, take a deep breath and sit back until we get more of that report. PAUL: OK. Rochelle, listen. President Trump attacked a wide range of topics and people, including freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota yesterday in his speech in Las Vegas. Let's listen to this together here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And a special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota. Oh, oh, oh, I forgot, she doesn't like Israeli. I forgot. I'm so sorry. Oh, no, she doesn't like Israeli, does she?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Feigning an apology there obviously. But I think what is so jolting to some people is that this was just a day after a man in New York was charged with make ago threatening call to her office. He has now been arrested, we should point out.

What is left in the wake of this for people to deal with?

RITCHIE: Well, you know, I think when you listen to those comments, this shows why you have a number of people receiving bomb -- pipe bombs to their networks when you have a number of people being threatened online. I was threatened Cesar Sayoc the pipe bomb -- bomber that actually pled guilty, I think, a month ago or so.

And so I think it's unfortunate that these sort of comments continue to happen, despite the fact that a congresswoman's life was actually threatened. I mean, a lot of people tried to blame Bernie Sanders for what happened to Steve Scalise on Capitol Hill. I worked on Capitol Hill at that time when Steve Scalise was shot at the baseball field.

[06:35:03]

And so when you have this sort of rhetoric continuing to come out and this woman's life was sort of threatened it really just shows that there is no concern about dying down that sort of rhetoric and trying to make some sort of peace.

Like if you don't like Congresswoman Ilhan Omar understandably you have the right to not like her comments and feel that some of the things that she says are questionable. But, at the same time, you know, her life should matter and coming from the Oval Office, you would think that, you know, he would have refrained from making such comments to influence more of the crazy people out there that want to attack people based off of their religion.

STEWART: Hold on a minute. I think it's really important to note that this president was speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition and he was talking specifically about comments that Congresswoman Omar had said that were disparaging against people --

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: So does that make it OK?

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: She was still the target of a threat of somebody who wanted to murder her. Is there not a sense --

(CROSSTALK)

RITCHIE: Kill her!

STEWART: And that is awful. That is awful and should not be tolerated and thankfully that person is being held accountable for that. But you also have to keep --

RITCHIE: That one person.

STEWART: You have to keep in mind the president was speaking to a group of Jewish supporters about a congresswoman who had said things that were very insulting to people that supported Israel. Saying that people only supported the people of Israel because of the Benjamins. And saying that Israel people that also supported America had dual loyalty.

Those kind of comments were hurtful to the people in that audience and he was simply using the time that he was speaking to them to call attention to those comments. It had nothing to do with the threat that she faced --

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: But the sensitivity -- the sensitivity though -- I know but coming off the end of it, I think the sensitivity may have been what was a little jarring for some people.

I want to move on here because, Rochelle, I do want to ask you about President Obama at a town hall in Berlin seemed to say that he is really concerned about the future of the Democratic Party. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And one of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it's true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ah, I'm sorry, this is how it's going to be and then we start sometimes creating what is called a circular firing squad where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Rochelle, talk to me about the significant of those statement and he is having these conversations with Democrats behind closed doors?

RITCHIE: I'm hoping that he is because if you look at what is happening right now within the Democratic Party you definitely see some people going too far to the left and that is not going to be attractive in a 2020 election. It's not going to be attractive for those independents. It's not going to be attractive for those that actually voted for Obama and then turned around and voted for Trump. And so I think that he is making a very clear point that we have to work together.

What we saw happen with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is a result of people not working together. Either it's the my way or the highway sort of mentality. And so when you have Bernie Sanders folks not vote for Clinton because they were upset that Bernie Sanders didn't get the nomination, well we saw what happened. And so I think he is making a very clear point and I'm hoping that he's having those conversations with Democrats to bring them back to the middle.

PAUL: Alice, your thoughts?

STEWART: I think we can all take a step back and say how refreshing it is to see the civility of President Obama.

And here it is. The truth is this happens every time in a primary. You're going to have the so-called circling firing squad because so many people are trying to set themselves apart from the other members of the party.

Republicans try to stick by the Reagan rule of not speaking ill will of another Republican. That never happened.

PAUL: Really?

STEWART: I was going to --

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: When did that happen?

STEWART: It doesn't happen. We'd like to --

PAUL: I don't think either party adheres to that is what people at home are sitting at home thinking.

STEWART: We like to -- for that to be the case it's not. But the reality is they try to use the opportunity to compare and contrast with each other. Unfortunately, they affront an assault and that is how you do it and that is how you separate yourself from the pact but President Obama is making a very good case try as best you can not to eat our young and eat our own in this primary process.

But, unfortunately, with the way the Democratic Party is right now, you do have the more moderating force faction of the Democratic Party and the younger new progressive socialist part of the Democratic Party that is really trying to show that they are the more ideologically pure wing of the Democratic Party and they are butting heads.

So his advice is good advice, how strongly the candidates will take it as they slog it out to the Iowa caucus certainly remains to be seen.

[06:40:09] PAUL: Yes. We will see. Rochelle Ritchie, Alice Stewart, we appreciate both of you being here. Thank you.

RITCHIE: Thanks, Christi.

STEWART: Thanks, Christi.

PAUL: Thanks, ladies.

BLACKWELL: There are some rough storms across the country. We are talking before the Gulf Coast to the Ohio River Valley.

Ivan Cabrera, we saw some of that here in Atlanta. What's going on?

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Day three of four, Victor, another round of severe storms for today after we saw numerous reports of damage yesterday. I'm tracking the threat coming up. You're watching NEW DAY WEEKEND on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Severe storms affecting 30 million people from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio River Valley.

[06:45:02]

PAUL: The main threats are damage from winds, from hail, a couple of tornadoes are still possible yet again. CNN's Ivan Cabrera following all of this from the CNN weather center.

So how long is this going to last? How long is the threat?

CABRERA: Yes. We're going to continue this right through tomorrow. Christi, good morning.

And, Victor, this started on a Friday. So we are talking about through the weekend. Numerous reports. In fact, we had dozens of reports of hail and damaging winds.

National Weather Service will be out there surveying the damage for today to let us know whether this, in fact, was tornado damage or whether it was straight line wind damage. But I'd tell you what, if your home was damaged or vehicle or property, you don't care what came down from the sky. This is going to be on with your insurer on a Monday morning.

Severe storm threat continues. This is a slow moving system. We have also had numerous waves of energy moving through. Look at Texas. This is getting clocked right now.

Severe thunderstorm watch under way with frequent lightning, heavy rain and we're talking a potential for hail and also even some tornadoes. By the way that threat continues for eastern Texas but now for today, it expands well up to the north, well up into the Ohio valley with the same kind of threat. So we're going to watch that closely.

And watch as this spin up here. This almost looks like a hurricane but it's not. It's an area of low pressure that is going to continue to expand. When you see that bowing segment there that to me shows that we are in for another day of very damaging winds 60, 70, 80, a hundred-mile-an-hour wind not out of the question. Yes there's tomorrow, as I mentioned we're going to continue. Your day four now of the threat as it then begins to move closer to the I-95 corridor, guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ivan Cabrera, thanks for watching it for us.

CABRERA: You bet.

BLACKWELL: Three historically black churches destroyed by three fires in one 10-day stretch and this is all in the same parish in Louisiana.

PAUL: Yes. Fire officials can't say yet whether they're connected. But they are calling all of suspicious. Here's CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All three of these churches burned in the middle of the night so thankfully no one was injured but there are more similarities than just the timing of these three churches burning to the ground in the last 10 days that led authorities to believe this is more than a coincidence. Each of these three churches in Louisiana very active in their community over more than the last 100 years and each of these church buildings they were located on or near rural highways in the area.

Authorities have not yet been able to say that they can conclusively connect all three fires but they say they found suspicious elements at each that they say we thoroughly probed. The state fire marshal in Louisiana cautioning any arson investigation can take months because you're dealing with a very complicated and unconventional crime scene. All of your evidence has burned.

In the case of each of these three churches not much more than rubble remains so investigators have a lot of work ahead of them. That being said the sheriff in this area says he hears the community's pleas for this crime to be solved and he says some progress has been made.

Given that, we are talking about three churches with African-American congregation. It has been recognized that this could be racially motivated but authorities have not yet come to that conclusion and pastors for these churches are saying they don't want to inject race unnecessarily into this conversation.

One reverend saying he doesn't know who is doing this and he doesn't know why but he doesn't want to be the one responsible for injecting race into this conversations. In the meantime all three churches finding alternate locations for their Sunday services. One reverend Harry Richard saying this is the message he wants his congregation to hear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HARRY RICHARD, PASTOR, GREATER UNION BAPTIST CHURCH: God's grace is undeserved merit. I know we don't deserve this but he gives us something better than this and that is undeserved grace. I thank God for grace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARTUNG: Authorities say they are allocating more manpower authorizing overtime to ensure that people in this community are safe and protected when they go to church this Sunday.

Kaylee Hartung, CNN Atlanta.

PAUL: We hope they have a good Sunday service --

BLACKWELL: Absolutely.

PAUL: -- wherever they end up having that service and that they are safe.

Well, Saturday Night Live is bringing back Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden and his campaign aides are trying to put him through some sensitivity training.

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[06:53:34]

BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump claim that wind turbines cause cancer has become fodder for jokes on the 2020 campaign trail and elsewhere. But let's go to Iowa first.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and former Congressman Beto O'Rourke mocked the president's theory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: After years and years of deep scientific research, Donald Trump uniquely on this planet has concluded that wind turbines cause cancer.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think that wind turbines cause cancer. In fact, I think they cause jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Now President Trump has been critical of one turbines as you know ever since he thought that they would spoil the view from a golf course that he bought in Scotland apparently. So Saturday Night Live --

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: -- has gotten into the game not this particular --

BLACKWELL: Story line. PAUL: Topic. Yes. But --

BLACKWELL: They brought back Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden last night. So this sketch -- his campaign aides are trying to get him to change his personal style, let's say.

PAUL: Yes. They bring in Democratic voters one-by-one as they try to coach him in this skit. They had their work cut out for them, though, as they have planned out here. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUDEIKIS: Jenny! Jenny! It is an absolutely pleasure to meet you, OK?

[06:55:03]

And then what am I doing? Oh, I know. I should probably just cradle or face my hands, something like that?

MCKINNON: Definitely not that.

SUDEIKIS: Oh, right. Right, right, right. No, I got to -- I got to keep it neural. Greet her like I'm greeting a guy. OK. So, hey, come here, you son of a bitch!

KENAN THOMPSON, COMEDIAN: Hey, hey. Joe, stop that!

SUDEIKIS: No, I'm just messing around. OK? OK. Look, look, look.

Here let me tell you why you're going to vote for Biden, right? Hey! Well, you know, I'd say she is still on the fence. Yes. That is clear as day.

MCKINNON: I was going to save this for last because it's clear nothing is getting through to you. So our next voter is from Oakland, California.

SUDEIKIS: Oak town. Great. Love it.

MCKINNON: Yes. She's a sophomore engineer for Oracle.

SUDEIKIS: I love the "Matrix," the whole trilogy. Just get better as they go.

MCKINNON: And she is looking for a candidate who can beat Donald Trump.

SUDEIKIS: You mean the guy that actually brag about assault on tape.

STRONG: Yes, yes. But unlike his voters, your voters actually care.

SUDEIKIS: All right. OK.

MCKINNON: OK. Let's bring in --

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Ahead, more on President Trump's attack against the Democrats accusing them of abandoning Israel, mocking asylum seekers as UFC fighters. We will be right back.

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