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Details on Deadly Shooting in California; Sri Lanka Marks One Week Since Easter Sunday Terrorist Attacks. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired April 28, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: Violence at a place of worship, a second week in a row, this time a deadly shooting in a synagogue in Southern California. We'll have the details for you there. Plus public church services suspended in Sri Lanka, so one archbishop holds mass at his home.

CNN is live in Colombo as the country marks one week since the Easter bombings. Also ahead this hour, the U.S. President again boycotting the White House Correspondent's Sinner, holding a counter rally instead of his own. We are live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta and we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

At 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast we start in the state of California, the aftermath of the shooting at a synagogue just outside San Diego and we're learning new details about a victim of the attack. Authorities have identified this woman, 60 year old Laurie Kay who was shot and killed by the shooter. A friend says she died after stepping between the gunman and a wounded rabbi. The rabbi told the friend Kay saved his life. The story of a heroic act of sacrifice. IT came as Jews were marking the last day of Passover. The gunman opened fire at the synagogue near San Diego.

Officials say a 19-year-old suspect is in custody and he purportedly wrote a manifesto. It references past shootings and claims responsibility for arson at a California mosque. Here's the U.S. President, Donald Trump, speaking about the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America's heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in Poway, California. Just happened. Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn evil and anti-Semitism and hate, which must defeated. Just happened. Must be defeated.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: For the latest reporting on this incident, CNN's Sara Sidner has more on the attack from Poway. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The city of Poway, California is in mourning after a 19-year-old suspect opened fire in a synagogue, shooting those who were there to celebrate the end of Passover. This is the eighth day of Passover, a day when Jews remember those who have died, their relatives who have died. Now there is fresh pain after one woman killed, three others injured, including the rabbi -- one of the rabbis here at the synagogue. Now what we know about the suspect is that he was captured a couple of miles from the synagogue and he's 19 years old and police say that he actually was engaged by an off- duty border patrol agent who happened to be here inside the synagogue when the shooting took place.

This also happened on the very same day, six months ago, of the worst and most deadly anti-Semitic attack in recent U.S. history. That happened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and that mayor reached out to the mayor of Poway, and here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE VAUS, MAYOR, POWAY, CALIFORNIA: They'd be standing with us, they'd be praying for us and they're having a vigil there starting shortly for the community of Poway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[04:05:00] SIDNER: THE police also say that they are looking into what they are referring to as an open letter that they believe was written by the suspect. In that open letter the suspect refers to other attacks on other places of worship, including the devastating attack in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life Synagogue and in Christchurch at the mosque there. They are delving into his background, looking into if he is affiliated at any particular groups. At this point they have not found any affiliations.. We should also mention that this is a community shocked by this in part because there's a very strong interfaith community here.

If you will look behind me, you will see the synagogue. Just down the street -- just down the street, just walking distance, there are two churches, one of them an orthodox church that will be celebrating Easter -- eastern Easter, if you will, tomorrow. We do expect a lot of folks bringing flowers, a lot of people showing that this community is strong and this community plans on sticking together through one of their most tragic days. Sara Sidner, CNN, Poway, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: I want to delve into this a bit more now with Steve Moore. Steve is a CNN law enforcement contributor and retired supervisory special agent joining this hour. Steve, good to have you with us.

STEVE MOORE, LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Good to be here, George, thank you. HOWELL: This attack, Steve, happened at a synagogue with people

celebrating the end of Passover, and just the latest in several attacks that we've seen around the world in places of worship. So, if this trend is continuing, what sort of things can be done, what can people do to try to prevent or guard against things like this?

MOORE: Well, you know, George, it's one of the sad things about the world right now that we're seeing this. It's a common thing now in synagogues, in Christian churches, in places where people have been attacked in the past, for there to be security teams. And if you have law enforcement officers, say in your synagogue or at your -- your church, they tend to be carrying weapons to church and to synagogues now. And as we saw in the attack in Poway, it's very possible that this -- this off-duty officer saved lives.

HOWELL: And that is important to talk about because with that off- duty officer there, tell us about, you know, what happens, when shooters -- when people are confronted with others who do have weapons.

MOORE: Well one of the things, George, is the FBI has studied this, and what we've found is that active shooters, school shooters, things like that -- people like that, usually they will shoot until they are confronted by some type of organized resistance, and one form of organized resistance is a person with a gun or a policeman in a uniform, something like that. And almost without fail the attack ends at that point, whether they're hit or not. The individual will almost always cease the attack and escape or they will sometimes end their own lives. It depends on their script for how this was going to end.

HOWELL: The U.S. president has called this a hate crime, Steve, and I want to take a look now at some stats from the FBI that really indicate what's happening as of late. You can see stats here in the United States are on the rise. Given your background, what do you think might be behind this trend?

MOORE: You know, it's -- it's hard to -- there's different opinions on this. Some believe that the rhetoric from both sides are -- are causing a lack of civility and a feeling on both side -- you know, a bunker mentality that -- that people feel like they're -- the government's powerless to do anything and the people with -- who are on the fringe of -- of sanity feel that this is the time to take arms, and I think it's a sign of the times. We've become a less talking society and more -- or less of a reasonable society. And when that happens, the people on the fringe of sanity will take things into their own hands.

HOWELL: The other things about this attack, a manifesto was posted online, Steve, purportedly written reportedly by the shooter. Similar to what we saw during the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand.

MOORE: Yes. Frequently, George, I saw when I was with the FBI I saw white supremacist groups, as an example, they tend to want their ideas out there. As sick as they are, they believe they're valid. And so this is not uncommon for them to write these manifestos, these grand statement, trying to justify a very ugly thing and -- and -- and you know, shine it with some kind of virtue. Doesn't exist, but in their own minds, I think somehow before they do this they have to justify it to themselves. They know what they're going to do but they have to make themselves feel better about it.

HOWELL: And Steve, what do you make about the fact that at the end, you know, this shooter ended up driving away and later turning himself in?

MOORE: You know, I investigated a Jewish community center shooting where the -- where the shooting machine gunned a class of kids. And I interviewed him just hours after he had -- after he had executed the attack, and I said what were your plans. Because he ran away. And he said, my plan was to die in the attack. And he said I lost my nerve. And I think sometimes people who are cowardly enough to shoot unarmed people, especially because of their religious beliefs, are the kind that can't even -- can't even follow-through on those types of plans.

HOWELL: Steve, we're just too much of this. Steve Moore, we appreciate your time today. Thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.

HOWELL: And now to Sri Lanka. It has been a week now since the massacre there when terrorists targeted places of worship and popular tourist hotels. That nation still feeling the pain of what happened on Easter Sunday and on this day. A vigil outside Saint Anthony's Shrine in the capital city of Colombo, prayers for more than 250 people who were killed and the hundreds more who were injured. Earlier today the archbishop celebrated mass in his home. This after suspending church services as a precaution. Many of the last Sunday's victims, of course, were in church celebrating Easter mass.

Let's get the very latest now. Live in Sri Lanka, our Nikhil Kumar is in the capital city of Colombo. And Nikhil, since the bombings, of course, what is the mood there for people who are obviously trying to regroup and what's the latest on the investigation?

[04:10:00]NIKHIL KUMAR, NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF, CNN: Well, George, the mood here, there's a very palpable sense of fear still, because, of course, we're one week on from those bombings -- from those devastating bombings, more than 200 people died, but this is still very much an active investigation. On Friday you had the shoot-out in Eastern Sri Lanka when police raided some safe houses, they found a massive haul of explosives, 150 explosive sticks, they found 100,000 ball bearings, a drone, ISIS flags, other paraphernalia, all of which underline something that we've been talking about for the last few days, ever since those bombings, which is the sophistication of the cell, just how well funded they were, just how well organized they were.

So even as people try to come to terms with what happened and they mourn, there is this sense of fear, which is why curfews have been in place, which is why people are being stopped and checked. And you know, all of that -- you know and I have talked about this previously earlier in the week, that all of this for many people here, it's like shoving the country back into a past that it thought it had left behind in the '80s and '90s and the 2000s when the civil war over here was still on. This was commonplace. People didn't congregate, people were careful when they went out, when they left home to go to their places of work or worship, they were always concerned that something might happen.

For the last decade they've been trying very hard to move on from that. A process of reconciliation began but there were problems along the way. But it was a process that everybody tried to ensure can be completed as best as possible but that's what's changed in the last week, that that reality that people here, they thought they'd left behind, that it's back again, which is why today church services didn't take place. Catholic services didn't take place in churches across this country because of the threat. The archbishop of Colombo who lives about 10 minutes from where I'm standing, he had a service at his house where the prime minister, the president and the leader of the opposition showed up in a show of unity.

It was televised so worshippers could worship remotely, really, because of this continuing threat at places of worship and in this country at large. George.

HOWELL: Nikhil Kumar live for us in Colombo. Nikhil, thank you for the reporting. There is an ongoing effort to root out the terrorists behind these attacks in Sri Lanka. And let's talk more about that now with Sajjan Gohel. Sajjan is a terrorism expert who serves as international security director at the Asia Pacific Foundation joining us in London. Good to have you with us, Sajjan.

SAJJAN GOHEL, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Good to be with you.

HOWELL: So we've reported on the raids playing out across Sri Lanka and now there's also a better understanding of the scope and scale of that operation that was behind these bombings. There were many people involved in this. What do you make of the nation's efforts to track down all of the people behind it?

GOHEL: Well, George, this is going to be an ongoing challenge now for Sri Lanka's security forces. They do seem to have made security progress, and that is illustrated, as you mentioned, the size, the scale and these cope of the terrorism challenges that Sri Lanka is facing. But that doesn't mean the situation is over. There could be other individuals tied to the Sri Lanka blasts, and there could be connections not just physical but virtual, through the dark web, through encrypted messaging that the Sri Lankan authorities are going to have to readjust their whole apparatus to understand, because the threat is different to what they faced with Tamil Tigers some 10 years ago.

HOWELL: One big factor that still remains is the focus of that intelligence memo, that memo that forewarned of a possible suicide attack. I'd like to get your thoughts around that gap in security and how officials are trying to track down how it happened.

GOHEL: Well, my concern is that the intelligence gap may not be entirely filled even in the aftermath of the Sri Lanka attacks, because the United States and several other countries warned the Sri Lankan authorities there could be potential threat to churches, religious institutions during Easter Sunday, it went to President Sirisena's office. The information should have been shared with the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, it wasn't and that's because Sri Lanka has a political system of co-habitation where the president and prime minister can be from two different political parties.

There's an enormous rivalry between the president and prime minister, Sirisena is very close to the leader of the opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and there's a belief that they have been trying to isolate Wickremesinghe. Now, their political agendas aside, they are talking about national security and it seems that potentially because of that intelligence gap hundreds of people have been killed. It could have potentially been avoided and those political rivalries are not going to end just because of this attack, and that's what worries me as Sri Lanka moves forward.

HOWELL: What can you done looking forward? What can be done in the long run to better guard against attacks like these, these soft targets, keeping in mind just hours ago we saw another place of worship targeted here in the United States, a synagogue shooting near San Diego.

GOHEL: It's incredibly sad whenever there's a terrorists attack but particularly when places of worship are targeted. We've seen this now happen far too often and it seems the terrorists target any religious institution. They will even have terrorists from the same faith targeting another institution because they believe that that place is not religious enough or doesn't follow their particular warped doctrine. Though we are seeing a situation where potentially security is going to have to be there, present, visible at religious places of worship and that is extremely unfortunate, perhaps a sign of the times of the new normal with terrorism that we're having to witness and face.

HOWELL: Keeping in mind, Sri Lanka, this is a place that, you know, just coming out of a civil war back in 2009, and now we're -- we're back to a place where people see security forces on every corner. The question, though, people are asking, Sajjan, was there a time here where Sri Lanka became too complacent?

[04:15:00] GOHEL: It's a very important question, George. You can go back to 2014 to see the problems emerge. That was then during the period of ISIS' growth and expansion and we know that western foreign fighters from European countries travelled to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but there were also some two dozen Sri Lankan nationals that also traveled there. And the warning signs were back then, where it looked like they were having to deal with a problem of individuals traveling abroad and Sri Lanka's system to deal with foreign fighters is very complicated, because they don't have a system where if you align yourself officially with Al Qaeda or ISIS you can be prescribed (ph) or banned or arrested or prosecuted.

That is something they'll need to address. And they also don't seem to have a proper effective system of seeing people coming back into Sri Lanka that have possibly travelled abroad for terrorists training. So even though the warning signs were there prior to the Easter Sunday massacre, they -- we could even go back further to 2014 where the seeds were being laid for transnational terrorism in the country.

HOWELL: Sajjan Gohel joining us in London. Thank you again for the insight and perspective.

GOHEL: Pleasure.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, Spain is holding national elections in the midst of a deep political crisis. What is at stake in this vote and why Europe is playing very close attention to it. Plus, the latest Avengers movie is now in theaters and we hear from one man, well you see him before he watched the movies and then after right there. He watched all 59 hours, a movie marathon. He did that and we'll tell you about it. Stay with us.

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Where they are celebrating another title, not just their fourth in five seasons but eighth in the last 11. On Saturday they did what was expected of them to take it title number 26.

[04:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN "Newsroom." I'm George Howell. Polls are now open in Spain, in its third general election in four years. The result is far from certain though, and it just may add to that country's political turmoil. You see this live imagine in Madrid, Spain. That's where polls are open.

Voters will choose from five parties but none are expected to win out right, and forming a functional coalition government could be very difficult, a challenge for them. Also for the first time since the death of the dictator, Francisco Franco, the far right party, VOX, could pick up seats in the country's parliament. CNN Espanol reporter, Vera Catano, is in Madrid for us. And Vera, the polls there are open, as we see where you are. Who is the favorite at this point?

VERA CATANO, CNN ESPANOL: Hi, George. Good morning. As you said, the election center's open this morning, in Spain, at 9:00 a.m, local time. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, from the Socialist Party, is one of the favorites to win this election, although, as you said, it won't be apparently a big majority (ph).

And it will be necessary to make agree between different parties, to make agreements, or even a coalition. And Spain has this tradition. We remember the general election in 2015, then 2016. They had to repeat this election because of our very fragmented parliament that couldn't allow to form a government.

And in this situation now, in 2019, we are in an more even fragmented situation with, also, this new party. You talked about it, this far right, VOX, who appeared in 2013, due to corruption cases that have been affected, what we call traditional parties, but also due to the economical crisis. So that would explain these five parties we have now, which makes a big difference what we had before 2015.

We have to remember that, in Spain, there mainly two parties, and the Socialist and the People's Party. And once - sometimes there was the right who won, and sometimes it was the left who won. But now, we have a load of different parties, these main five parties that could get a big result today. Although, as you also said, the result is still uncertain because there's a lot of undecided votes. Some of them will decide their vote today.

HOWELL: Vera, thank you, again. We will continue to follow these elections, as the polls are open now, and we'll just have to see who comes out ahead. Thank you.

[04:25:00]

Let me tell you terrible situation in Seattle, Washington that happened. It claimed four lives on Saturday. This is a large construction crane, break loose from a building and toppled onto a busy intersection.

Six vehicles were smashed by that crane. Emergency officals say two crane operators were also killed. Two people in cars also died. Several other people were hurt in that incident. A shake-up in leadership at America's most powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, is happening. The group's president, Oliver North says he isn't being nominated for a second term.

His surprise announcement follows a reported power dispute with the organization's CEO, Wayne LaPierre. It also comes as the NRA's finances are being investigated by the New York attorney general. Still ahead here on CNN, the Israeli prime minister speaking out about the synagogue shooting. We will go live to Jerusalem with the latest. Plus, Washington journalists hold their annual celebration of the 1st Amendment, but a key person was missing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Welcome back to viewers here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN "Newsroom," live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell, with the headlines we're following for you this hour. Sri Lanka's archbishop held Sunday mass in his home, after suspending services at Catholic churches in the country. This, as that island nation marks one week now since the terror attacks that killed 252 people.

Security forces have been carrying out raids as well, trying to find the people behind those attacks. In Spain, the polls are open this hour for the country's third general election in four years, and voters will choose among five national parties, including a new far right party that's called VOX that has been growing in popularity.

[04:30:00]

Pope Francis is directing half a million dollars in Vatican charity funding to programs helping Central American migrants in Mexico. The money will be used for food, for housing and other aid. The Vatican says it wants to bring attention to the plight of the thousands of people stranded in Mexico, unable to reach the United States.

We are learning new details about the deadly shooting at the synagogue in the United States. The victim, killed in Saturday's shooting, identified as this woman, Lori Kaye. A friend of the victim said she died stepping between the gunman and a wounded rabbi. The rabbi told the friend that Kaye saved his life.

Israel is reacting to what happened in Southern California. Let's bring in our Oren Liebermann with the very latest in Jerusalem. Oren?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, it was right about the end of the Sabbath here as this shooting happened in California. And the responses began coming in last night and have, of course, continued to come in this day, as we begin the work week here and as Israel marks the end of passover here, the holiday on which this shooting happened.

Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin, of course, condemned the shooting and said, Israel's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye. He says, "The Jewish people will never allow anti- Semitism and hatred to triumph the murderous attack on the community of Pesach, our holiday of freedom. And just before Holocaust Memorial Day is yet another painful reminder that anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews is still with us everwhere. No country and no society are immune."

Jew a few short moments after that, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also responded. He said, "I condemn the criminal attack in the synagogue in California. It is a strike into the heart of the Jewish people. The international community should intensify the battle against anti-Semitism.

Netanyahu, as well, expressed condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye. He also said he would be reaching out with - to the factors of the elements that work on anti-Semitism around the world and discuss with them - have a special discussion with them this week, in light of another anti-Semitic attack like this, especially one with such horrific consequences, George.

HOWELL: And - or - and of course, this - not to be forgotten what happened in Pittsburgh as well, the synagogue shooting there.

LIEBERMANN: Of course, and it's worth noting that, in terms of the time these happened, at least in relation to the time here, it was at the same time. It was right after a holiday. It was the end of the Sabbath in both cases. And as Israel came out of the Sabbath, a traditional day of resting, a religious day to reflect, a religious day of, generally, peace and quiet, they wake up to these horrific attacks.

And that is how the holiday ends here, moving into a work week, obviously, with a very, very difficult beginning. And that Pittsburgh attack, very much on everyone's mind as well, as now the Jewish community in America, in Israel and worldwide deals with another similar attack. HOWELL: Coming six months after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Oren Liebermann, live for us in Jerusalem, with reaction. Oren, thank you. Now, back here in the United States, the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, it happened Saturday night in Washington, and the U.S. president was notably absent from that event, the third straight year that Donald Trump has boycotted that dinner.

In fact, his entire administration was a no show this year. The president has often attacked the news media, but historian Ron Chernow told the room full of journalists not to be discouraged in their pursuit of truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD CHERNOW, HISTORIAN & KEYNOTE SPEAKER: This is as good as any to take stock and rededicate yourself to the highest standards of journalistic integrity and accuracy. Donald J. Trump is not the first and won't be the last American president to create jitters about the 1st Amendment. So be humble, be skeptical, and beware of being infected by the very things you're fighting against. The press is a powerful weapon that must always be fired with reluctance and aimed with precision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

President Trump held a campaign rally in Wisconsin, a counter-rally, while that dinner was taking place. Let's talk about all of this now, with Scott Lucas. Scott is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, joining live this hour from Birmingham, England. Good to have you with us, Scott.

SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: Let's start with the White House Correspondents Dinner. There is a good article in "The Washington Post" that really hits the mark here. This event that is usually built around comedy, Scott, self- deprecation, underwent what's described as a reset this year. Instead of selecting a comedian as the keynote speaker, attendees welcomed a historian, which set a very different move there.

LUCAS: Well, of course, it did. And there's the headline, of course, about the person who wasn't there, the president of the United States. I think in part this was because the Trump administration is aiming at you folks.

[04:35:00]

Y'all are enemies of the people. Y'all are the threat within. And last year, they aimed at the comedian, Michelle Wolf, who was there and said her humor was part of this assault on the American values. I think it was good to hear Ron Chernow. I think he's absolutely right, that this is a serious time in America, but I would go further.

He said this won't be the last threat to the 1st Amendment, but this arguably is the most serious threat to the 1st Amendment that we have had for generations and will have for sometime to come, because we are now at the point we're beyond y'all having a good time, which I hope you did.

You are talking about a president who is not embracing the press as being as a part of the American system, even if he disagrees with him. You all are the outsiders. You all the outsiders at least, if you disagree with him. Of course, those media who do support him, they're the good guys. And that type of division, beyond being a republican or democrat, doesn't do anybody any good at all.

HOWELL: It is a very confusing time, Scott. The U.S. president, as you point out, did not attend, nor did we see top staff onstage with journalists. Mr. Trump has made it clear. He does not take well jokes at his expense. The media, to whom he attacks, aren't as open to humor either, as well, given those circumstances. So it's kind of, Scott, like humor left the room.

LUCAS: Oh, come on, now. It's not like y'all can't have a good laugh. And if you look, I think, day in and day out, on American television, you can look at folks. I won't name a specific show, but those who will make light of the, let's say, pretenses of power. We've done it for generations. We'll do it for generations to come. But I do think you got to question here, which is out of spectacle verses substance.

And there's a real risk, and Donald Trump tried to do this last night. Make it all about me. Make it about the show. Make it about how I wasn't in Washington but I was in Wisconsin. And I think the more that you don't focus on the spectacle and you don't focus on the personality, and the more you focus on issues, the better off you'd be. So let's just try a bit of this.

Let's just talk about the fact that last night in Wisconsin, Donald Trump, facing the ongoing question of obstruction of justice out of the Mueller report, again declared that there's an attempted coup to remove him from office. He called current and former U.S. officials scum for pursuing investigations. Or when he talked about immigration, instead of dealing with the issue, he said, "Oh look, I have this sick idea that I would release detained immigrants," people worried about their lives," I'd put them in to sanctuary cities to try to embarrass the democrats."

This attempt to take issues and make it not only about Trump, but to highlight this idea that he is the wizard, he is the man controlling all the strings, well, the more you puncture that by talking about environmental change, by talking about the economy, and about health care possibly, and sometimes even joking about, well, the emperor who has no clothes, or at least tattered clothes, I don't think it's a bad thing to consider both human and serious investigation, instead of getting drawn into Trump's spectacle.

HOWELL: I do want to touch on what you just mentioned, the president speaking about sanctuary cities. Let's listen, Scott, to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Now, we're sending many of them to sanctuary cities. Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

They're not too happy about it. I'm proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: OK, so the administration initially denied, Scott, that that plan was under consideration. As of this point, the Department of Homeland Security has not announced that it is sending migrants to sanctuary cities. But given the comments from President Trump, what do you make of the possible change in strategy from an administration that is focused on setting a very hard line tone on immigration?

LUCAS: Well, there is no change in strategy or tactics, George, because the plan has been nixed. It will not - you will not see the release of thousands of immigrants into sanctuary cities, even though democratic administrations in those cities have said they would welcome them, because we're talking about myth versus reality.

And the reality about the serious discussion of immigration is not where Donald Trump wants to be. Instead, he wants to give you the specter, the wall, the wall that still hasn't been built and won't be built, or closing the U.S.-Mexico border, something that won't happen either, or even the idea that he can pardon any official who commits a crime by blocking asylum seekers.

Now, he may not do any of those things, but you get people talking about it because, of course, it's us verses them, or at least Trump's us, and that is his people versus the supposed enemies that are trying to invade America.

[04:40:00]

What he did last night in Wisconsin, one that got disturbed by it is that he whipped that crowd up in to a frenzy to try to say that all immigrants were threats and to try to say that anyone who's concerned about law, that's a threat as well.

And when you had a crowd that was screaming lock her up about Hilary Clinton or cheering when he made fun about democratic candidates more importantly they were making fun of people who are just committing the supposed crime of trying to come in to America and being detained for it.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas with perspective live for us in Birmingham, England. Scott, we always appreciate your time and perspective.

LUCAS: Thank you all.

HOWELL: April is almost over, but a surprise snow storm--

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-- makes it feel like winter in parts of the United States. The forecast ahead, stay with us.

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HOWELL: A rather unwelcomed blast if late winter weather is hitting the Midwestern part of the United States.

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Take a look at that. Millions of people were under winter storm warnings even though it's supposed to be spring right now. Not so in Rochester, Minnesota there. Forecasters say up to eight inches.

That's about 20 centimeters of snow could blanket the region by Sunday morning. The storm system has already impacted travel in Chicago and causing long flight delays there out of the airports there.

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Our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera is here right now with us. And whether you're flying out of O'Hare or whatever there, it's not going to be great--

IVAN CABRERA, METEOROLOGIST: Quite a sight. Yes, I know. I watching the Wrigley Field cam yesterday, people trying to get around. It's also very cold as you can imagine. Let's talk about more snow though. This is -- again, this was a scene by the river, something you typically don't see this time of year.

In fact, we'll get specific and talk about some of the numbers here because we do get late season events here but this one is really getting out of control and going right almost in to May, this the last weekend of April.

[04:45:00] There it is, some of the totals, half a foot on Oakley, Wisconsin. Then we go down to Chicago. Two and a half inches, that was enough for a record for the day of course, and then Milwaukee as well, another record there with 1.7 inches.

We have done this before. In fact in Chicago, the average last snow fall, right, is late March so we're well beyond that. And the latest is actually -- the latest was actually May 11, so we quite didn't reach that record but you get the idea here. Early April is typically the last time we see snow in the bit of west.

And we're talking here almost May. But the storm is done as far as the snow aspect it. There you see it, there it went. And it is pushing towards the northeast. We'll get to that in a second but I want to show you some of the wind chills in the wake of the storm here because it is not only looking like winter out side, it feels like it.

Temperatures feeling in the mid 20s, that is brutal for almost May here. So, there is a system. It is going to be mainly rain as it approaches the coast. We'll continue to see that. But I do want to talk about and I'll leave you with yet another system that is developing and that one is going to be bringing some snow to the northern plains.

How about places like Montana, you're under a blizzard warning. That means the winds in excess to 60 miles an hour and about a good foot of snow. So, well we're going backward here on the calendar even though we should be getting in to May. At some point things will calm down and will melt all the snow.

HOWELL: Hopefully.

CABRERA: Yes. Maybe in June, right?

HOWELL: Oh my gosh. But still ahead here, could you imagine watching movies for 59 hours? The fans of the Avengers watched every previous Marvel movies ahead of the latest release. Hear from one man who completed the marathon.

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PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTSCASTER: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN World Sport headlines. We start with tennis. And once upon a time on the clay, a certain Spanish legend by the name of Rafael Nadal was considered utterly unbeatable.

But Nadal losing recently in Monte Carlo in the semis and he's out again to get in the last four, this time in the Barcelona open Saturday. Dominic Thiem, the young Australian has contoured a team advancing in straight to book his spot in the final against Russia's (inaudible).

To Formula 1, the young Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is a rising star in F1. And he had very high hopes for this weekend as (inaudible) in Bioko. He was the fastest guy on the track but his qualifying hopes dashed Saturday when his car locked up and he crashed in to the wall, that left the door open to the rest of the fill.

Lewis Hamilton thought he was on poll but (inaudible) teammate came in right behind him to snatch it.

Finally the primary title race in England is rebutting (inayidble0 and Liverpool (ph) battling it out fir top spot. But the few other champ league sports are also up fro grabs on Saturday.

(Inaudible) losing to their London rivals West Ham. The only goal coming in through the second hall from Michael Antonia spurs dealt their first defeat inside their brand new stadium as well. Next up for (inaudible) is (inaudible) in the champion's league semifinals. That's it for your World Sport headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.

[04:50:00]

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HOWELL: It is a movie phenomenon 11 years and 22 films in the making; Avengers: Endgame made its worldwide debut just a few days ago and it's already breaking box office records. So far, it's racked up almost $650 million around the world which makes it the biggest global opening in film history. And the weekend isn't even over yet.

Some diehard fans prepared for the film by watching all 21 Marvel movies that came before it. It was a film marathon that lasted almost 60 hours.

Joining me to talk more about this is someone who watched all 22 Marvel movies. Herb Scribner. Herb is a staff writer for Deseretnews.com, joining this hour from Salt Lake City, Utah. Good to have you with us, Herb.

HERB SCRIBNER, DESERET NEWS STAFF WRITER: Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

HOWELL: So, let's start by reminding you not to give away any spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. With that out of the way, this was a lot more than just a movie marathon for you. In your blog, you get into some really interesting and specific detail. You mention the smell of popcorn, the smell of smelly feet. Just briefly here, how did it go?

SCRIBNER: I think overall it went great. It was a really fun experience. There were a lot of trying times during the event, like I wrote at one point there was a wave of just smelly feet that just washed over me as I walked by a trash can (ph) ...

HOWELL: That had to be just so gross, I mean you just wanted to walk out, I'm sure, at that point.

(LAUGHTER)

SCRIBNER: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I was definitely debating my decision to stay because it was just like such a heavy, heavy wave of the smell. And it was pretty - it was pretty bad, yeah.

HOWELL: I'm sure there was a lot of excitement going into this, Herb, but in the beginning, compare your feeling - what you were experiencing to what it was like at the very end. Because I'm sure you had to be exhausted.

SCRIBNER: Oh, totally. Yeah, when I first went in, I was excited, I was jazzed, you know, getting into a marathon like that. Obviously it's going to be exciting. And then - I mean, by the end, you're just so - you're in a haze and you're kind of in this like - you've just watched 20 movies so your brain's on like autopilot.

(LAUGHTER)

And so you don't even know what you're doing, you don't know what you're saying, you just keep going. And - yeah ...

[04:55:00] HOWELL: Herb, I want you to look, so we have this image that we're pulling up from your Twitter handle; Me before I started the marathon versus me now. And you really see it's night and day, man. On one of them you look crisp, you're excited, the other, you look tired. What was the atmosphere like in that theater for you? SCRIBNER: Oh, man. It was - the last movie, you know, the atmosphere was great, everyone was cheering, everyone was exciting and excited about it. And just like - I mean, it was an amazing moment to watch that final movie. But you could just tell when people were entering and exiting the theater, we were walking like zombies and we were just - and the way it changed, in the beginning, everyone was excited and then once we got to 2:00 a.m. one morning, it was like no one was saying anything, everyone was quiet because everyone was so exhausted.

HOWELL: I'm sure. So you mention in your blog, you have a new appreciation for the films. Explain.

SCRIBNER: Yeah, I think being able to watch all 22 back to back to back to back to back like that, you pick up on a lot of little Easter eggs, little nuances, a little bit more of the storytelling that you don't get if you see one here, one the next year, one the year after that. And there's also a lot to say about just films that highlight role models and the importance of role models and positive heroes in our lives.

I think that really came out to me this time around about how much people love that kind of story. And it was fun to see that play out in those movies like that. So, it was really cool, I think it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience too and it was definitely well worth it.

HOWELL: So, for our viewers who are watching, if you're not a super fan, this next question may be a bit meta for you. But, asking you that question, did it matter that the format was based on release date as opposed to chronological order?

SCRIBNER: Good question. I want to say no. However, I think - because I think it actually worked really well that way from a personal standpoint because you got to kind of relive your own nostalgia, like where you were when you saw what movie. But, I would say the one thing I did learn from watching all those movies is that it would have been really awesome, actually, if Captain Marvel, which came out last month, was - was shown first, which chronologically would kind of make sense - could actually have set everything in motion and it could have been really interesting that way.

Obviously that's not how it turned out but that is one thing I kind of did notice that, you know, it could have worked a little differently.

HOWELL: But to watch all 22 movies back to back, would you do something like this ever again?

SCRIBNER: Oh, completely. Yes, no, I - the day after, I went into the office and I told my boss that I'd love to do the same thing for the Star Wars movies because there's rumors that they're going to do another back-to-back thing when the new Star Wars movie drops at the end of the year. So, yeah, I'm totally down to do this again and just put myself through that kind of grind because that's what it's about and - yeah, it's really fun and it was cool to engage with people online too.

I mean, a lot of people were giving me positive feedback just about like covering it and they said they hadn't used Twitter in a long time and they were using Twitter to follow my updates. And I thought that was really - that was just really cool to see as a member of the media, you know, some positivity like that. I thought it was a great - great experience.

HOWELL: Aside from the smelly feet, I'm sure. Herb Scribner, we appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

SCRIBNER: Hey, thanks for having me, I appreciate it.

HOWELL: Well, we're not asking you to watch 60 hours of CNN Newsroom, just two. We'll be right back after the break with the second hour. Stay with us.

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