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Colin Quinn, "Red State, Blue States" Premiers Memorial Day at 9:00 P.M.; Man Who Kidnapped Teen, Killed Parents Is Sentenced. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 25, 2019 - 17:00   ET


[17:00:45] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for rolling with me into the 5:00 hour Eastern Time.

Sumo wrestling, steak, a meeting with the new emperor, and a round of golf, all of the above on President Trump's agenda this weekend in Tokyo as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rolls out the red carpet. While Washington boils over with talk of impeachment and other political drama, this state visit may be a welcome distraction for the president.

Still, there is serious business on his mind. At a dinner with Japanese business leaders, he brought up the trade agreement he's pushing. It would reduce, say, $68 billion trade deficit with Japan.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As you know, the United States and Japan are hard at work negotiating a bilateral trade agreement, which will benefit both of our countries. I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years. But that's OK. Maybe that's why you like us so much. But we'll get it a little bit more fair, I think. I think we'll do that. With this deal, we hope to address the trade imbalance, remove barriers to United States exports, and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship.


CABRERA: CNN's Pamela Brown is traveling with the president, and Pamela, Prime Minister Abe is doing an awful lot it seems to show he is the president's closest friend in Asia. Why is that so important to him? I'm wondering, do upcoming elections in Japan have anything to do with it?

PAMELA BROWN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly could. And you're right, Ana, Prime Minister Abe has been on this charm offensive with President Trump since the very beginning. He was the first foreign leader to visit Trump after the election, and you're right, there is an important election coming up here in Japan, in July, so this could be an opportunity for Prime Minister Abe to showcase the close relationship he has with President Trump.

At the same time, that election could impact any deal being reached between the U.S. and Japan on trade because Abe wouldn't want to make any major concessions to the U.S. without getting something in return.

Now President Trump, as you pointed out, talked about the trade deficit with Japan, during this dinner with business leaders last night, and that has been something that the president has been focused on since the 1980s. At the same time, Japan counters and says, look, a majority of our military equipment, we buy from the United States. So we do expect all of this to come up in this discussion between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, along with the threat of tariffs from the United States on auto parts and autos from Japan, also agriculture. President Trump wants to remove some of the barriers on U.S. agriculture products to Japan.

And then of course, there is defense. All of these talks happening against the backdrop of renewed short-range missile testing in North Korea. And so there is going to be a lot in the discussion but at the same time a senior administration official is downplaying anything big, substantive, coming out of this visit, basically saying it is more about ceremony than substance.

President Trump will be the first foreign leader to meet with the emperor and I'm told by a U.S. official that Abe has really played this up to President Trump, saying this is a huge deal, that this is an even bigger deal than the G-20 which will be here in Japan next month. And I'm told that President Trump is flattered by this. As you know, he prizes pageantry and Abe is really rolling out the red carpet for him.

The two leaders are going to be playing golf today. And then there is this sumo wrestling match later tonight where the president will be presenting the President's Cup, which we're told is 54 inches tall and weighs 60 to 70 pounds. That may seem big to you and I, Ana, but to a sumo wrestler perhaps not so much. So really, we're told that this trip is about diplomacy more than anything else, and not to have high expectations for anything big to come out in terms of trade talks.

And in defense, the president did allude to something happening maybe on the arms sales front. He hinted at that at that dinner last night with business leaders. So we'll have to wait and see what happens there -- Ana.

CABRERA: OK. I wonder if President Trump has been pumping some iron in preparation for having to present that giant President's Cup at the sumo wrestling tournament.


CABRERA: Pamela Brown, thank you so much for reporting, from Japan for us.

[17:05:01] Let's dig deeper now. With us is Joel Payne, former senior aide for Hillary for America, and host of "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" here on CNN at the top of the hour, S.E. Cupp.

S.E., what would a win look like for President Trump on this trip to Japan? S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, we could sure use one,

not just because of the bruising week he has had at home, but because trade has stymied him. It's a huge part of his agenda and a lot of his supporters and voters are with him on this, and, you know, China has sort of outplayed him a bit, so he could use a win to.

To Pam's reporting, you know, likely not anything too substantive here but he is looking for some gains on trade. And by all accounts Abe is willing to give him some concessions. Now in exchange, as Pam alluded, they'll want some security, not just when it comes to North Korea, but Iran is also on the table. So there's a lot at play. And I'm hoping that some of these big agenda items get, you know, addressed in between golf and steak and sumo wrestling.

CABRERA: And sure, based on what you just said, too, it seems like Japan and Abe really have Trump's number here. They know how to get him on their side in terms of wining and dining and lavishing --

CUPP: They know his love language.

CABRERA: -- him with all these things. His love language. That's a good way to put it. What do you think the goal here is for Japan here, Joel?

JOEL PAYNE, FORMER HILLARY FOR AMERICA SENIOR AIDE: I think the goal was -- I think S.E. hit it exactly right. And, you know, particularly with Iran, that's really interesting because Japan actually has a good relationship with Iran, so I wonder, you know, while we're talking about all of the, you know, theatrics of this trip, there is some really important national security issues. You know, Sam Vinograd who's an analyst on this network actually wrote very eloquently about it earlier about there is some really important national security issues that are -- you know, that Japan is right at the center of.

So I think this is a really, really consequential trip. But you know what's so interesting to me, the subtext of these trade wars that the president is pushing, it's culture. His people like seeing him as the brut who will go across the world and defend America. This is a part of his offensive to his electorate, to his core voters. And you know, honestly, even though the president is maybe losing on points, I think he's winning on style here with a lot of his supporters based on the trade war that he is fighting on behalf of America and on behalf of that forgotten man that he likes to talk about.

CABRERA: Let me pick up on that. Because trade is supposed to be part of the agenda here for President Trump in talking with Japan, but he hasn't necessarily been getting any trade deals done. Particularly when it comes to China, most notably.

CUPP: Yes.

CABRERA: And we know farmers are hurting because of the tariffs.

CUPP: Yes.

CABRERA: That this country has imposed on China, as he tries to sort of muscle them into agreeing with some of the U.S. terms. We did hear from a farmer just today, here on our air, here is farmer James Boyd. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how are you going to pay your mortgages and light bill, and college tuition for your children, all of these things, and the president needs to take those things into consideration when he speaks off the hip and off the cuff like that, and just makes comments, oh, you know, farmers can kind of stick it out and wait it out. I'm not in the financial condition to stick it out and wait it out for the president.


CABRERA: Why do you think, S.E., Trump sees the trade war as a winning thing for him politically?

CUPP: Well, I mean, according to just general polling, a very slim majority of American voters view trade as benefitting American workers. That's not just among Trump supporters. That's general polling. And so I think Trump has identified that. Where his solutions, i.e., tariffs probably aren't having the intended effect, because they are just a tax on consumers including farmers, that politics of punishment does appeal to his base.

And we've long known Trump has sort of foregone trying to pick up new voters. So identifying an enemy, in this case, China or Japan, generally trade, has been profitable for him among this group of supporters. So whether farmers at home or farm senators like Chuck Grassley or Joni Ernst thinks it's working and they clearly don't, trade as an issue was a popular one and continues to be a potent one for him as president.


CABRERA: Go ahead.

PAYNE: I'm sorry, I was going to say the inconsistency, too, given the fact that he is hauling out, what, $280 billion or sorry, million, in bailouts to farmers, to kind of pay for this, this tariff-laden policy, this, you know, brut trade policy that we're talking about, you know, I wonder when, you know, those -- you know, the kind of mainstream conservatives that have really buttressed the president and really given him the room to expand here, I wonder when they are going to start to bite back at him because he is going so against Republican orthodoxy. I wonder how long that's going to last.

CABRERA: Well, I wondered because they haven't really pushed back on some of the other things that he's done.


CABRERA: That is against traditional Republican orthodoxy.

[17:10:02] But I want to turn to 2020 because Trump has -- he really has to consider this as well, right? We have Senator Bernie Sanders today holding a rally in Vermont and it comes as he is starting to slip in the polls. We saw he's gone down 10 points at least in the last couple of months according to Monmouth. Why do you think that is, S.E.?

CUPP: Well, it's a crowded field, right? And every day and every week, a different candidate gets sort of their moment in the sun. Some have been better at others at using media and getting attention. Elizabeth Warren has sort of crept up in the polls. We remember Buttigieg had really great media attention for a few weeks there.

So I'm not surprised, there's been some movement, but actually if you compare current polling to last year, things are basically static. Biden and Sanders and Warren are sort of at the top, and everyone else is just below. So I know we're trying to watch these marginal, you know, granular changes and read the tea leaves in the election, that's our job, that's what we do, but really, things are about the same, and they haven't really changed all that much over the course of the beginning of 2019 yet.

CABRERA: So we heard Senator Sanders go after Trump for about five, six minutes today even though he sort of started out saying I don't want to talk much about the president, I'm not here to do that, but then he went after him. Do you think that's good strategy?

PAYNE: Well, look, he knows it's going to gin up his base. You know, I think something that deserves some inspection here is how much of Sanders' appeal in 2016 was just given the fact that he was just the antidote to Hillary Clinton versus people actually proactively supported Bernie Sanders.

CUPP: Yes.

PAYNE: And I think what we've seen so far is that he doesn't have much staying power outside of about a 15 percent to 20 percent cadre of voters, who --

CABRERA: You think he has a ceiling?

PAYNE: I think he has a ceiling and I think what he is trying to do is now trudge on some of that territory that an Elizabeth Warren has been on.

CUPP: He'll have to. Yes.

PAYNE: He's got to in order to grow his base. He's got a little bit of a Trump problem. It's just the difference is, President Trump is the president and Bernie Sanders is trying to become the president.

CUPP: Yes.

PAYNE: They both have a ceiling. It's just the president's ceiling is a little bit higher.

CUPP: Well, he was a protest candidate, right, in 2016. And that is a different thing. Now that he wants to be taken seriously, he's got to do some of the serious traditional, orthodox things you do when you run for president, like sit down for lots of interviews. He's been fairly skittish with the press. We'll see if he can sort of go all-in this time instead of just kind of hanging on to Hillary's coat tails as it were.

CABRERA: One in Harris' favorability numbers are going up. Is that surprising or what do you attribute that to, Joel?

PAYNE: Not at all. That's not surprising to me. And, you know, Elizabeth Warren has been really smart about not just presenting it as hey, I'm a policy laden candidate but I have a plan. Policy and plan are different. Policy is I'm walkish, I'm a technocrat, I'm from D.C., be scare of me. A plan is I'm prepared and I have a plan to get us out of the trouble that we're in.

She's been able to make that pivot that Hillary Clinton maybe was not able to quite make. She's been able to do it better and not fall into that trap. And as for Senator Harris, you know, it's so funny, you talked about Senator Sanders, we're in kind of the valley of the rebrands and the re-launches now.


PAYNE: And they've all really kind of had that. Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, now Senator Sanders. I look at that press conference or rather that rally.

CABRERA: The rally. Yes.

PAYNE: In Vermont today, that's a re-launch essentially in my mind.

CABRERA: Guys, got to go. Thank you so much. Joel, S.E., good to have you with us.

Don't forget S.E. Cupp at the top of the hour at 6:00, with "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED."

A woman strolled through paradise turned into a couple of weeks in hell. She got lost. She was injured in the Hawaiian wilderness. We'll show you how she was rescued next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[17:17:18] CABRERA: Three more people have died on Mount Everest. A climbing guide from Nepal died Friday after being air lifted to base camp. A day later, an apparent case of altitude sickness claimed the life of a British climber. Now on the Tibetan side of the mountain, Irish climber Kevin Heinz died in his tent also on Friday.

This has been a deadly few days as climbers are scrambling to reach the world's highest summit. Earlier in the week, crowds got stuck in a packed line to the top and two climbers died on Wednesday after coming down from the summit. Two others died while descending the mountain on Thursday. Nine people are now dead or presumed dead on Everest so far this season. That number, though tragic, is not unusual. Five climbers died last year and six in each of the previous two years.

A young woman going missing in Hawaii while hiking for two weeks. She was missing, friends and family feared the worst, worrying she had been abducted and that they might not see her ever again but then search crews they found her lost in the mountains of Maui. And this video shows the dramatic moment the 35-year-old yoga instructor and physical therapist was air-lifted to safety.

CNN's Jessica Dean has details.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Missing more than two weeks, Amanda Eller is found alive in Maui, Hawaii.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there she goes. Yes.

DEAN: Her rescue was announced on this post on a Facebook page set up by family and friends. "Urgent update. Amanda has been found. She got lost and was stuck and slightly injured in the forest, way, way out. Somewhere way far above Twin Falls, between two waterfalls down a deep ravine in a creek bed."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoo-hoo. You can cry now. It's awesome. That's like the best --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did it pretty well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got a good Memorial Day now.

DEAN: A photo on the page showed Eller just before the air evacuation surrounded by members of a search team. She appeared to be only slightly injured. And this picture of the ravine where she was apparently found.

JULIA ELLER, MOTHER OF AMANDA ELLER: Well, I was crying tears of joy.

DEAN: Her mother, Julia Eller, told CNN affiliate KHON, Amanda used water sources and ate the berries she found -- strawberries, guava and other items -- to sustain her.

ELLER: I never gave up hope for a minute. And even though at times, you know, I would have those moments of despair, I stayed strong for her because I knew that we would find her if we just stayed with the program, stayed persistent.

DEAN: Authorities said Eller, a 35-year-old yoga instructor, disappeared after going on a hike May 8th.

[17:20:01] Her car was found with her cell phone inside at a forest reserve parking lot. A last image of her was captured on surveillance video buying a Mother's Day gift the day before she was reported missing. A $50,000 reward was being offered for information regarding her disappearance and possible abduction. But now there's an ending that some are calling miraculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable. If you believe in prayer, folks, thank your Lord because this is an answer.

DEAN: Jessica Dean, CNN, Atlanta.


CABRERA: Such a great ending to that story.

Pennsylvania is one of the states that helped President Trump win the White House. But the 2020 race, Joe Biden could present the president with a much different and tougher battle there.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: Welcome back. A key state in the 2020 election is Pennsylvania, and right now, most polls show Joe Biden with a significant lead over President Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup. Both the president and Biden held rallies in Pennsylvania over the past week hoping to sway would-be voters, but can either men really convince voters to switch sides?

CNN's Gary Tuchman found some people who may just do that.


[17:25:06] GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Attending a rally for a Democratic presidential candidate was not the top of George Gallagher's list.

SUSAN ROTHRACH (PH), PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I asked him if he wanted to come because I wanted to see Joe Biden, and he is such a dear.

TUCHMAN: Susan Rothrach (PH) and George Gallagher are partners and best friends. He's a lifelong Republican who enthusiastically supported and voted for Donald Trump in 2016. She's a lifelong Democrat who wants Joe Biden to be the next president.


ROTHRACH: One America.

TUCHMAN: And Susan hoped by bringing George to this Philadelphia rally and standing way in the back where it was quieter and easier for them to talk --

BIDEN: Barack Obama was an extraordinary man.

TUCHMAN: She could possibly start to convince him not to vote for Donald Trump in 2020. George did not seem impressed in the beginning.

BIDEN: I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That's what our party has always been about. That's what it's always been about. GEORGE GALLAGHER, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I don't know about that.

BIDEN: To demonize your opponent, to spew hatred, they don't need me, they've got President Donald Trump.


TUCHMAN: But as the speech continued, George started agreeing with some of what Joe Biden had to say.

BIDEN: Our principles must never be compromised, but compromise itself is not a dirty word.

GALLAGHER: It's not a dirty word. Compromise is a good thing.

ROTHRACH: That's what we need.

BIDEN: Folks, that success will come when we generate free community colleges, invest in job training and apprenticeships.

GALLAGHER: Make education cheaper, I think, we have to do that.

ROTHRACH: We certainly do. The most important thing is education.

BIDEN: Let's stop fighting and start fixing.

ROTHRACH: Let's fix it.

TUCHMAN: Here in Pennsylvania, polling shows Biden with a significant lead over Trump in a state Trump won in 2016. The polling, an early indication many 2016 Pennsylvania Trump voters are having some second thoughts in a state that is critical for both Republicans and Democrats.

(On camera): From Philly to Scranton, from Montoursville to Harrisburg, from Erie to Pittsburgh, expect a lengthy presidential Pennsylvania political battle royal that is now just beginning.

BIDEN: God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): So with the rally now over, what is George Gallagher's verdict?

GALLAGHER: I am open minded. I'll consider, yes. But the thing is --

TUCHMAN (on camera): What does she have to do in addition to taking to you a rally to convince you to vote for Joe Biden? Is it possible?

GALLAGHER: It's possible. And I have to listen more. If not Biden, maybe somebody else. Maybe another Democrat. I happen to like the girl from Minnesota. The governor. The girl. Begins with a K?

TUCHMAN: Yes. Amy Klobuchar, the senator.

GALLAGHER: Yes. I think I like her. ROTHRACH: I like her a lot.

GALLAGHER: She has some good ideas.

TUCHMAN: So you would consider a Democrat?

GALLAGHER: I would. Of course.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): George Gallagher hasn't voted a Democrat for president since LBJ in 1964. He has opened the door to voting for one again.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Philadelphia.


CABRERA: Just ahead, CNN's first-ever comedy special, Colin Quinn is here, he's going to talk about the show he created, "RED STATE, BLUE STATE," and why it's a perfect fit for a news network. Stay with us.


[17:33:05] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: This is a big moment for CNN. The first ever comedy special is happening on Memorial Day. And Colin Quinn, "RED STATE, BLUE STATE," is the name, created by and starring comedian, Colin Quinn. He takes a look at the sometimes-nasty rhetoric creating so much division in America today. And you wonder if the United States should actually stay united after all. Here is a preview.


COLIN QUINN, COMEDIAN & CNN HOST, "RED STATE, BLUE STATE": And I understand it's sad breaking up the United States. But we're already broken up. This would just be acknowledging it. We're already tribal. There's tribes already. It is over.

Liberal. Conservative. White. Black. Latino. Asian. Wall Street. Main Street. The working poor. The forgotten middle class. Feminists. Soccer mans. Bernie bros. Dad bods. Man tips; Mom Jeans.


Muffin Tops. Uni-brow. The paleo, cardio, keto, intersectional trans-vegan.

We're more tribal than 18th century Afghanistan.




CABRERA: Colin Quinn, the man, is here with me right now. Colin, for somebody like you, who is really always searching for the

odd and the absurd and really the unprecedented nature of things when it comes to politics, this must be the grave days for you. It must be that a stack just dropped in front of you every day.

QUINN: Because of Trump, you mean?

CABRERA: Yes, and politics in general that we're seeing right now.



CABRERA: Well, not just Trump but politics, in general.

QUINN: Well, yes, I mean, it is -- first of all, Trump is a blessing and a curse, because everybody is talking about him all the time. So with comedy when you say something that is in the news, on every comedy, you have to be -- you know what I mean, you have to be very spare about it and you have to try to find out. And like I said --


CABRERA: Almost like over stimulation.

QUINN: Yes. And you say it, and everybody said, I said that joke yesterday, Marge. Marge, I'm attacking a woman named Marge all these years.

[17:35:08] But, yes, but also, like I say, in the show, the problem began before Trump and it is going to be after Trump. Trump is just a symptom of what goes on in this country. Which is that people have different opinions. And they don't get along. You know what I mean? Why should they?

CABRERA: When you talk about -- when you talk about material, I think of what happened this week -- and there were a couple of moments that I thought, wow, they were striking.

Let's start with the HUD secretary, Ben Carson, appeared before Congress, and the conversation turned to Oreos. Let's watch.

QUINN: Right.


REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): But I'd also like you to get back to me, if you don't mind, to describe the disparity of REO rates. Do you know what an REO is?


PORTER: R -- no, not an Oreo. And REO, REO.

CARSON: Real estate.

PORTER: What's the "O" stand for.

CARSON: The organization?

PORTER: Real estate owned.


CABRERA: OK. And then there was this moment, when President Trump went around the room, asking his advisers about his temperament.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Kellyanne, what was my temperament yesterday.


TRUMP: What was my energy when I walked in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were very calm and you were very direct.

TRUMP: What was my attitude yesterday at the meeting?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kellyanne is right. You were very calm.


CABRERA: That was after Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, said he had a tantrum.

QUINN: Right, right.

CABRERA: I mean these moments must be like -- seem like they're straight out of "SNL." They must be comedy gold, right?

QUINN: That's like late-night-show comedy gold.

CABRERA: It looked straight out of "SNL" to me.

QUINN: Yes. But what my show is really about is our reaction to things, more than the actual -- these temporary things that happen. You know what I mean? It is more like what we're going to do, if we are going to break up. So these little things that happen, daily, they're good for like late-night shows and stuff like that, but not my show.

CABRERA: What do you take away those then when it comes to your show?


CABRERA: What do you take away from those moments?

QUINN: I don't think about those moments. It has nothing to do with what I'm doing. I mean, they --


CABRERA: Do you have to be a voracious reader of newspapers or just watching the news?

QUINN: Yes, I mean you do, but it is also, it is more about like -- it is more like I said, it is more about the people -- like it is more about people than it is about -- like one of the big instincts that happens, like, oh, the politicians are the problem, and my show is like, no, we're all involved in this. We're all complicit in what goes on in our society. So it is more like that kind of a show.


QUINN: It sounds boring but it is funny.

CABRERA: And let's get to more of your show. And I want to play another clip from "RED STATE, BLUE STATE." This is your take on the American two-party system. Let's watch.


QUINN: John Adams said the two-party system is the greatest political evil under our Constitution. George Washington cautioned in his farewell address against excessive political party spirit and geographical distinction. Wise words. Did they tell us what to do about it? They did not. They just said it. And they died.


Now, they left us to figure it out.


Real geniuses.


America, two parties. Still, all these years later, two parties.

There's 350 million people and there's two parties.

There's 15 genders, and there's two parties.


There's four bathrooms and two parties.


CABRERA: So what do you think is the solution, Colin? More parties? I mean, do you --


QUINN: More parties would probably. I remember seeing it work elsewhere. CABRERA: It hasn't worked here though.

QUINN: But what about this? What about a radical idea? We have a constitutional convention, once a year, where everybody says what they want, without any blowback, any social-media feedback, any feedback whatsoever, and get all of the great minds, for one month a year, but nobody is allowed to comment, nobody is allowed to have them fired for whatever they say, and try to get people to speak really brutally honestly.

CABRERA: You think social media is a big problem?

QUINN: Well, yes. I mean in the show, you know, it is one of those things, it sounded like a great idea. It sounded like the ultimate democracy that became drunks at a wedding, grabbing the microphone out of the best man's hand in the middle of the speech. Where everybody just feels they have to speak all the time.

Right now, they're tweeting about this. Everywhere you go, people like, I got to make sure I weigh in on everything. You know?

CABRERA: Gives everybody a voice.

QUINN: It's giving everybody a voice.

CABRERA: What do you think Trump will tweet after this special?

QUINN: I mean, the worst thing he can tweet is great special, fantastic.

CABRERA: Why is that --


QUINN: Are you kidding me? That's like, that's box office, that's like the producers.

CABRERA: They say all publicity is good publicity, right?

QUINN: I guess so, yes.

CABRERA: I want to show another clip from the show, another great moment. Here's where you imagine what a civil war would look like today. And it is not pretty.


[17:40:06] QUINN: So the problem is not out there. The problem is in here. We have met the enemy, and it is us. And now, we're at risk of a civil war. And you don't want to see a civil war in this country. This country is not built for another civil war.

It is going to be the first time in history that you see fat refugees.


That's not going to be a good look.


Shorts and flip-flops.


And Dunder Mifflin (ph) T-shirts.


Pulling coolers towards the Canadian border.


It will look like a giant cattle drive.


There's nothing glamorous. And 50 years from now, kids are in history class, reading about the battle of Six Flags.


The siege of Dave and Buster's.


CABRERA: All right. Let me put you on the spot. Name a person who could lead this country right now and unify the country and bring everybody back together without becoming a dictator. Who is that person?

QUINN: Caitlyn Jenner.

No, I don't know. I mean, I don't know right now. It's hard to say if there's one person who could do that.

Like I said, we're so divided and so tribal, that you would almost -- I feel like you have to break it up to bring it back together. I feel like it is one of those marriages where it's over. Just constant bickering, and everybody is at each other's throats.

CABRERA: And how would breaking it up bring it back together?

QUINN: Because somebody might say, I was too focused on the little problems.

CABRERA: And what you took for granted.

QUINN: Exactly.

CABRERA: Interesting.

I'm excited to see the special. It sounds very thought provoking.

QUINN: Thanks.

CABRERA: Colin Quinn, good to have you with us.

QUINN: Thank you.


CABRERA: Thank you very much for coming in.

Be sure to tune in to the CNN original series special presentation, Colin Quinn, "RED STATE, BLUE STATE." It premieres Memorial Day, 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Watch it as it airs or set your DVRs. Again, Monday at 9:00 p.m., only on CNN

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back.


[17:46:00] CABRERA: The man who abducted Wisconsin teen, Jayme Closs, and killed her parents, will die in prison. During his sentencing hearing, the judge called Jake Patterson one of the most dangerous men to walk this planet.

The court also heard from Jayme Closs herself. Through a statement read by her attorney in court, she described what she endured.

We have more now from CNN's Jean Casarez.


LINDSEY SMITH, JAYME'S COUSIN: You took so much from Jayme. You took her parents, her home, her childhood and all of her happiness.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A packed courtroom in Wisconsin listened as family members of Jayme Closs told the court how the kidnapping and brutal kidnapping of her parents devastated their family.

MIKE CLOSS, JAYME'S UNCLE: My wife came down screaming, your brother is dead, Denise is dead, and they can't find Jayme.

CASAREZ: The 21-year-old man, who pled guilty to the entire attack, Jake Patterson, listened as they relived the horrifying experience.

Jayme, not in the courtroom, had prepared a statement for the man who took her parents' lives.

CHRIS GRAMSTRUP, ATTORNEY FOR JAYME CLOSS: My parents, my home were the most important things in my life. You took them away from me in a way that will always leave me with a horrifying memory.

CASAREZ: Patterson then spoke through tears.

JAKE PATTERSON, SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDER & KIDNAPPING: I would do, like, absolutely anything to take back what I did. I mean, I would die. CASAREZ: Then it was Circuit Judge Babler who had the last word

before sentencing him to life in prison without the possibility of release.

JAMES BABLER, BARRON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE: And these crimes rank as the most heinous and dangerous that I have seen.

CASAREZ: It was an early Monday morning last October, James and Denise Closs were asleep, but their only child, Jayme, woke up. Her dog was barking. Jayme later telling police she alerted her parents that someone was at the front door.

Armed with a shotgun, the masked assailant shot and killed Jayme's father at the front door. Denise Cross called 911.


DISPATCHER: Barron County 911.


CASAREZ: She and Jayme hid in a bathroom where Patterson found them. He bound Jayme and fatally shot her mother.

Weeks before, Patterson had seen Jayme get onto the school bus from her home. He later told police, when he saw Jayme, he knew that was the girl he was going to take.

Patterson then dragged Jayme from the bloody scene, put her in the trunk of his car and held her captive at his remote cabin in the northern woods of Wisconsin.

A massive search began. Everyone trying to find Jayme.

CHRIS FITZGERALD, BARRON COUNTY SHERIFF: I believe she is still out there. And the hope is what we're riding on.

CASAREZ: And 88 days later, she had the courage and ability to escape when Patterson left the cabin for a few hours.

With no coat in the frigid temperatures, she bumped into a local resident walking her dog.

UNIDENTIFIED NEIGHBOR: She just sort of fell into me and said, I'm Jayme, and I said, I know.

CASAREZ: The community rejoiced. Patterson was apprehended. Charges were brought.

FITZGERALD: He is currently being held on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the murder of Jayme's parents and one count of kidnapping.

CASAREZ: As Jayme remained in seclusion with her family.

Finally, this month, she appeared, before the Wisconsin legislature, accepting the Hometown Hero Award.

JENNIFER SMITH, JAYME'S AUNT: Her courage, her bravery and her spirit are things that inspire us and make us stronger and better.

CASAREZ (on camera): Jayme's family says the sentencing hearing was very important for her, that she has come a long way since January, but there's a lot left to do.

Jean Casarez, CNN, Barron, Wisconsin.


[17:49:38] CABRERA: Much more ahead on the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.


CABRERA: It's Memorial Day weekend. And for many people, that means kicking off summer and spending time with loved ones. But this holiday honors servicemembers who have given their lives for our country. It can be difficult for anyone mourning a lost loved one.

This week's "CNN Hero" lost her dad when she was 14 and struggled with depression for almost a decade. Now Mary Robinson is making sure other children don't lose years of their life to unresolved grief.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: My name is Bella and my dad died.

MARY ROBINSON, CNN HERO: Kids in grief are kids at risk.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: My name is Jade and my mom died.

ROBINSON: Time does not heal all wounds. Time helps but it's what you do with that time. What you need to do is mourn.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: When you hear other people's stories, it kind of brings comfort.

ROBINSON: That's why Imagine exists, to give children a place to mourn their lost and find out that they're not alone.


CABRERA: To meet some of the families Mary is helping or nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero, go to

You know the 2020 candidates but do you know their best friends?

Here's Jeanne Moos on the dogs of 2020.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's something about a candidate having a dog that seems to scratch an itch.

Whether you're Pete Buttigieg with two shelter dogs --


MOOS: -- or Senator Elizabeth Warren.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Say hello. Yes, yes.

MOOS: More than happy to talk baby talk to a Golden Retriever --

WARREN: That's OK.

MOOS: -- who she's been introducing along with her husband.

WARREN: I thought I'd bring the two guys in my life, Bruce and Bailey.

MOOS: Supporters can't keep their hands off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you, Sweetheart?

MOOS: Candidate and spouse stroll off holding hands and a leash.

[17:55:02] But there are perils to promoting pets. When Kirsten Gillibrand posted her Labradoodle, Maple, someone tweeted, "But if Maple isn't a rescue, I take issue."

Someone else suggested a new collar, "Trump take a walk."

Beto O'Rourke has two dogs, Artemis and Rosie.

Among the dogless contenders, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

She tries to make up for it by posting canine supporters.

Cory Booker got put on the spot by a kid.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Did you ever have a dog?


MOOS: No dog but Booker made a quick save.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NY): If I should become president of the United States, would you help me get a dog? Would you help me?

MOOS: President Trump says he doesn't have time for a dog.

TRUMP: How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn. How would that be?


TRUMP: Feels a little phony. MOOS: He prefers to call his opponents dogs.

Would-be opponent, Joe Biden, posed recently with a shelter dog, Major, that he adopted to keep his old German Shepherd, Champ, company.

JOE BIDEN, (D), FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's a walker. I say, hey, Champ, do you want to play golf?


MOOS: Even President Trump might like a dog that doubles as a golf partner.

BIDEN: Well, where's the golf clubs?


MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

BIDEN: Well, go get the golf clubs.


MOOS: -- New York.


CABRERA: I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Thanks for being here. I'll see you one hour from now.

My colleague, S.E. Cupp, continues our coverage of today's news right after a quick break. Stay with us.