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Turkey's State Media Says Early Results Suggest Presidential Runoff Likely; Migrant Mothers Make Dangerous Journey To Provide For Children; Still No Surge In Migrants Despite End Of Title 42; White House, Congressional Leaders Race To Avoid Default; DeSantis Campaigns In Iowa As Bad Weather Keeps Trump Away; Writers' Strike Set To Enter Third Week; Victims Of Buffalo Mass Shooting Remembered. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 14, 2023 - 19:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Happy Mother's Day, everybody. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

It is 2:00 a.m. in Turkey, and across that country, millions of people are still awake, waiting to learn the outcome of the country's crucial election. Right now Turkey's state-run media says that early results show that neither the current president, President Erdogan, nor his opposition rival got enough votes to avoid a runoff.

It now seems increasingly likely that the two men will face off once again at the end of the month in the next stage of an election that has been viewed as a referendum on the now 20-year tenure of President Erdogan.

Now Jomana Karadsheh is joining us now.

Jomana, what would this runoff look like? And what's happening behind you? It's still a pretty boisterous scene even at 2:00 in the morning over there in Istanbul.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Jim. We are right outside the headquarters of President Erdogan's AK Party here in Istanbul. And as you can see, hundreds and hundreds of people have been turning up here. You've got families who are out here. You've got people who are driving around on motorbikes and their cars waving the Turkish flag, and the flag of President Erdogan's party.

I mean, this looks like a celebration, but there is no celebration yet. As you mentioned, this is still too close to call. We understand from the country's supreme election council that nearly 90 percent of the vote has been counted so far, but they haven't given any indication of what each of these candidates have gotten so far. What we are getting is different sets of data coming from the opposition, who believe that they are in the lead.

They are also accusing President Erdogan's coalition, they say, of slowing down the system by making objections during the counting, that they are slowing down this process, telling them you cannot prevent this. This has to go on. And at the same time, you've also got the official data from the state news agency.

As you mentioned, President Erdogan dropping below that 50 plus 1 percent that is needed, that threshold, to win. So right now it is very unclear where this is all headed. If the numbers are going to change in the next few hours as the counting is continuing, or is this country headed towards a runoff in two weeks from now.

But the supporters of President Erdogan, Jim, are out here. They're out here in force. These are diehard Erdogan supporters who believe that only he can lead them and lead this country. They are repeating the government's line, President Erdogan's line about the achievements they say that he has done for this country. And they just can't imagine a Turkey without Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They say that even if this goes to a runoff -- still unclear if that will happen -- they will continue to support him, and they say they will come back and come back stronger. And you've got the opposition on the other side continuing to hold on to the hope that they can do this, that they can bring the change that they have been promising people. People they say could go back to a real democracy and reverse years and decades of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule that they say has turned it into an authoritarian state -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Jomana Karadsheh in Istanbul. A wild scene there in Istanbul tonight. Thanks so much. We'll check back with you as things develop. Appreciate it very much.

Now to the U.S.-Mexico border. It's now three days since the expiration of Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that stymied the flow of migrants coming into the United States. Many border communities were bracing for a surge of migrants, but at least for now, they have not seen that yet.

President Biden commenting a short time ago after his bike ride in Delaware. Here's what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How do you think things are going at the border, sir?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Much better than you all expected.



ACOSTA: Now here's a look at the numbers. Homeland Security officials say there were only about 4,200 encounters yesterday. That's a big drop from the day before. And yesterday's numbers are less than half of the 10,000 seen at the U.S.-Mexico border in the days before Title 42 ended. The Homeland Security secretary says the White House helped reduce these numbers by conveying a clear message of stricter punishments.



ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We have communicated very clearly a vitally important message to the individuals who are thinking of arriving at our southern border. There is a lawful, safe, and orderly way to arrive in the United States. That is through the pathways that President Biden has expanded in an unprecedented way. And then there's a consequence if one does not use those lawful pathways.


ACOSTA: Let's go straight to the border. CNN's Polo Sandoval is in El Paso, Texas.

Polo, have things picked up at all, or are you seeing a continuation of what we've seen all weekend, which is kind of a surprising development, just not as many folks coming across as we thought we were going to see?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. It is perhaps a moment where the system is resetting, right, especially with those numbers that you just shared, where you don't have that sheer volume of people going into the system. So what we're seeing here is at least this brief moment of recovery. All weekend long, the rate of release at DHS facilities, that is of course the number of people that are processed and then allowed to go on their way, in many cases, that has remained relatively steady, allowing the shelters here in El Paso also a moment of recovery.

We actually spent some time in one of these shelters, heard from many people, including migrant moms. So it may have been Mother's Day last week in their home country. Today they say there's a reason to remain hopeful about what may come.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): Step inside this shelter in the heart of El Paso, Texas, and you'll find people waiting in limbo. They're migrant families. Some single mothers who told us they were recently processed and released by border authorities.

While some children visibly exhausted nap inside, others play in the courtyard. Their young minds spared the anguish of moms and dads trying to figure out when or even if they can continue the rest of the journey in what can easily become a hopeless space.

It seems the migrant mothers keep hope alive here. Conny Barahona keeps it together for Daniella, her 9-year-old. She says two of her older daughters ages 18 and 20 remain in federal detention. It will be a sad Mother's Day, she tells me. My daughters won't be by my side.

In the last three days Barahona turned down coveted opportunities to travel to Houston, refusing to go anywhere without all her daughters. We left Honduras together and that's how we must remain until God allows, the single mother says.

She forged a friendship with fellow migrant mom, Yascadi Gonzalez (PH), who've left South America three months ago with her partner and their son Jason. We found another motherly bond in this corner of the shelter where (INAUDIBLE) Falcon receives help when caring for baby Yeremy just 2 weeks old. This mom tells me she carried him from Venezuela to Texas where she went into labor immediately after stepping on to U.S. soil.

All of the migrant mothers we spoke to say maternal instinct to provide for their children is what drove them to make the perilous journey in the first place. A parent will do anything to see their children safe, says Barahona. A hug from Daniella seems to help ease any of mom's sorrows. We asked her what she wants to be when she grows up. A seamstress like mom.


SANDOVAL: And today I checked back with Conny and she told me she still has not received any news, any word on when her two adult age daughters will be released from detention, Jim. So at this hour, she waits in that shelter, still with an uncertain future on when she may be able to actually continue with her travels.

But it really speaks to that level of uncertainty on really all levels, not only with many of these migrants but also city officials here that are hoping that they won't see any sort of projected increase that we heard about, about a possible increase. But I'll tell you what, the numbers that are likely to continue to rise are the numbers of asylum seekers arriving in American cities -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Polo Sandoval, thanks so much for all your work this weekend. We appreciate it.

Let's continue this discussion. Joining me now is Andrew Selee. He's the president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. I guess, let me just start off with these numbers. Were you anticipating higher numbers than what we're seeing right now? What do you think is going on? Why are we seeing these lower-than-expected numbers that we saw the president commenting on?

ANDREW SELEE, PRESIDENT, MIGRATION POLICY INSTITUTE: I think we were expecting much higher numbers. I think the president was expecting higher numbers, and I think the word got out that, you know, what is true, that Title 42 is probably less tough than most people made it out to be and what's coming now, what started on Friday, Title 8, is actually a lot tougher. And so there's a huge rush right before Friday for people to get in, and then it dropped off.


ACOSTA: And so obviously had, you know, people been streaming across the border in record numbers and far surpassing what was anticipated, the Biden administration would have been hammered for that.

SELEE: Completely.

ACOSTA: Does the administration gets some credit here for the numbers being lower than expected or do we have to wait and see as the days go on?

SELEE: I think we have to wait and see. I mean, we have to wait -- I mean, certainly they get credit for how they manage the moment, for having actually changed expectations, and been I think really on message. I mean, I think they truly have been on message on this. But I think we have to see what happens in the coming days and if they're able to maintain this. If they are, then I think there's some opportunity to figure out what they do next to improve the system, and they do have some ideas how to do that.

ACOSTA: And we've done a number of interviews over the weekend and just getting anecdotal reports from people down at the border, mayors, people with charity groups and so on. And almost every time we talk to somebody, they talk about all these migrants coming from Venezuela.


ACOSTA: The number of people from Latin America highest seen in decades. What is going on? And is this a surprise as well?

SELEE: You know, I think it's a surprise on one side and not on another. I mean, seven million people, which is a quarter of Venezuelans, have left their country in the last few years. Most of them have gone elsewhere in Latin America, especially to Colombia and Peru, but now we're seeing them head north as well.

We thought the numbers were going to go down after the U.S. government opened a parole program, a special program for them to come in legally into the United States. Some people have done that. Actually quite a few have. But we're still seeing people show up at the border trying to get in as well from Venezuela.

ACOSTA: And the pandemic, inflation, joblessness, political instability, gang violence. I mean, is it just sort of a perfect storm of bleak conditions in all of these states? Is that what's driving a lot of this? Or is it, as some, you know, critics of the Biden administration has said, is it just the end of Title 42 that sort of put up this big neon sign saying come, come, come?

SELEE: I think it was both. I mean, I think you have on one hand a perfect storm in Latin America, meaning sluggish economy after COVID. You have the crises in Venezuela and Haiti and Nicaragua and Cuba. Add on to that that you've got a really robust economy in the United States right now. There's a lot of jobs. People know they're going to get a job on this side. And then add to the fact that Title 42 sent people back to Mexico and they could try again two or three times, four or five times to get into the United States.

What's coming now or what's come now actually since Friday is a lot tougher because they're going to be sent back to their country of origin.

ACOSTA: And how much is -- I mean this is something you hear time and again, that misinformation plays a big role in driving some of these surges of migrants. How does the administration tackle that?

SELEE: Yes. I think misinformation often confused signals from the government. And we saw some under the Trump administration, the Biden administration. They changed policies and smugglers sell misinformation. One of the things that the Biden administration wants to do which I think is a good idea is open up these regional processing centers where people can get good, you know, factual information.

They can apply for legal pathways to come to the United States. I know it's going to take a long time to build that, but that ultimately is the solution to this, that people can get their own information.

ACOSTA: As opposed to hearing from various groups that are offering you, you know, sort of a pipe dream in terms of being able to get across.

SELEE: That's right.

ACOSTA: And having no problem at all. You can go to a processing center and the information will be very different.

SELEE: Exactly. Information will be there and they'll also tell you how to apply, and in some cases they can help you apply. And if you need protection, they'll be able to actually provide some of those protection pathways. But, you know, it's going to take some weeks and probably some months before you see these popping up in first Colombia, Guatemala and then some other countries.

ACOSTA: All right. Andrew Selee, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

SELEE: Thank you, Jim.

ACOSTA: The best word to describe negotiations to avoid a debt disaster in Washington, according to the White House, constructive.


WALLY ADEYEMO, DEPUTY TREASURY SECRETARY: So the conversations are constructive between all the parties.

LAEL BRAINARD, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: The staff is very engaged. I would characterize the engagement as serious, as constructive.


ACOSTA: Should we feel optimistic for a deal heading into the week? What the president just told reporters a short time ago. We'll have that.

Plus, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gets good reviews for his weekend trip to Iowa and shows he can improvise when given the opportunity.

And later, New York marks one year since a gunman killed -- a racist gunman killed 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store. How the community there and the country are paying tribute to the lives lost. That's coming up as well.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Leaders in Washington are scrambling to avert what experts say could be a catastrophic default on our nation's debt. White House officials say talks have continued through the weekend. Sources telling CNN negotiations have been productive, and the president is expected to meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday.

CNN's Alayna Treene joins us now.

Alayna, some possible signs of progress? So the president sounds a little optimistic. What's going on here?

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He does. And I will say the fact that the president and the top four congressional leaders, the fact that they're meeting on Tuesday is a good sign. They were originally slated to meet on Friday. And that meeting was scrapped because they didn't think there was enough progress to have that type of meeting. And since then, daily senior staff for these leaders have been meeting as well.

And I am told they've made some modest steps in the right direction. They've targeted some areas where they think they could find common ground. Places like looking at permitting reform and rescinding unspent COVID relief money as well as spending cuts.

Now the spending cuts issue is something that the president and the administration have repeatedly said that they did not want to be part of a deal. But people that I've been talking to who are close to these negotiations say that it's very likely that spending cuts will need to be at least included in this deal in order for something to materialize.

I'm also told that people who have been close to this saying if these talks were happening in February, they'd be very bullish about the prospects for a deal. But we are two weeks away, 2 1/2 weeks away from June 1st. That is the deadline that the Treasury Department has said that we could potentially -- the government could default on its debt. So people are anxious here.


But we did hear from the president this evening after his bike ride in Delaware. He said that he remains optimistic and he's looking forward to meeting again with these leaders. Let's listen to what he had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I've learned a long time ago and you know as well as I do, it never is good to characterize a negotiation in the middle of a negotiation. I remain optimistic because I'm a congenital optimist. But I really think there's a desire on their part as well as ours to reach an agreement. I think we'll be able to do it.


TREENE: So he remains optimistic, but the reality is they need to have at least an outline in hand by the end of the week in order for a bill to pass through Congress by June 1st. I mean Congress moves very slowly. They need to put together a bill after a deal is reached. Then they need to sell it to both the House and the Senate and then try to get enough support for it. So that's a very big obstacle to overcome, but the president remains optimistic, and I know that other leaders do as well. So we'll see if this can come together.

ACOSTA: Yes. They've got to budget some time in to craft a deal after they're done playing chicken is basically what they need to do.

TREENE: And get enough support from both sides, which is a tall task.

ACOSTA: All right, Alayna Treene, thanks very much.

Coming up next, if you missed what we were talking about in the last hour, former Texas Governor Rick Perry told us that he may run for president again in 2024. We'll break that down. We'll also talk about the race coming up in Kentucky. You'll want to know more about that. That's all next with our political panel. Stay with us.



ACOSTA: As the 2024 election cycle starts to take shape, the battle for the Republican nomination could come down to a fight between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Even though he hasn't announced as a candidate, DeSantis spent part of the weekend campaigning in Iowa. Trump was supposed to hold a rally there last night, but his campaign says the event had to be canceled due to the potential for severe weather. So what did DeSantis do? He went to a restaurant just down the road from where that rally was supposed to take place and he met with voters.

Joining us to talk about that and more, former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh and former Democratic Congressman Mondaire Jones.

Guys, great to see you.

Joe, what do you make of that move from DeSantis?

JOE WALSH (R), FORMER ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN: Nothing. Jim, good to be with you. Nothing. Ron DeSantis spent yesterday in Iowa, Jim, and right now Donald Trump is the clear frontrunner. He's the overwhelming favorite to get the nomination and there's DeSantis in Iowa yesterday, and he never mentions the name Trump. He never attacks Donald Trump.

Jim, DeSantis has the same problem all of these Republican challengers do. They're afraid to go after the frontrunner because they want the frontrunner's voters. You can't win the nomination doing that.

ACOSTA: Mondaire, what do you think?

MONDAIRE JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I would go further and just say that with the possible exception of Ron DeSantis, they don't want to criticize Donald Trump because they're all looking to be his vice presidential nominee. I think with very few exceptions, these people know that they cannot defeat him in the Republican primary.

And for all of the controversy surrounding CNN's town hall last week with Donald Trump, one of the things that did emerge that has not changed is that he has got full control over this Republican Party apparatus, and I think anyone running against him is certainly not likely to defeat him in the Republican primary.

ACOSTA: Joe, DeSantis is really hammering, I guess not totally in his face, but I guess in a veiled sort of way Trump on electability rather than questions of policy. But, you know, pro-business conservatives don't like this feud with Disney, and others have been griping about his icy personality.

I mean, what do you think? Is DeSantis more electable than Trump? Does he have the potential there to be more electable?

WALSH: No. DeSantis' biggest problem, Jim, he's just not very likable. I think as more people get to know him he will not wear well on Republican voters around the country. He's been the default guy for Republicans who are Trumpers, but they want to win. And so for the last year, they've gravitated toward him without really knowing who he is. But as people get to know who he is, look what Donald Trump's done. He's increased his lead in the polls.

The one thing you can say about Trump, Jim, is he's entertaining and he's got charisma. DeSantis has zero charisma. And, again, if you can't attack Trump by name, if you can't go after the frontrunner, you don't deserve to get the nomination.

ACOSTA: And Mondaire, on Tuesday there's this interesting primary battle taking shape in Kentucky in the governor's race. On the Democratic side, the incumbent Governor Andy Beshear is considered a shoe-in. But on the Republican side, we've seen a bitter battle between the state attorney general Daniel Cameron and Kelly Craft, the former Trump ambassador to the United Nations. Folks in Washington may remember seeing her face during the Trump years.

You know, Mondaire, Trump has endorsed Daniel Cameron even though Craft worked in his administration. Is this another example of loyalty only being a one-way street in Trump world? JONES: Look, I think by Republican standards, these are excellent

options and that Donald Trump would probably have preferred he not be asked to choose among the two.


And I think for that reason that whatever happens in the primary on Tuesday is not going to be so much a reflection of the continuing power of Donald Trump in the Republican Party as it is, you know, simply who has higher name recognition and who voters like more.

I mean, even Kelly Kraft, his former administration official, who did not get his endorsement has, you know, aligned herself with him, with Donald Trump and has talked very positively about him.

ACOSTA: And, Joe, I have to ask you about a comment today from James Comer, the head of the House Oversight Committee. He was on Fox this morning talking about the Biden administration. Let's watch.


MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: You have spoken with whistleblowers, you have spoken -- you also spoke with an informant who gave you all of this information. Where is that informant today? Where are these whistleblowers?

REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): Well, unfortunately, we can't track down the informant. We're hopeful that the informant is still there.

BARTIROMO: Did you just say that the whistleblower or the informant is now missing?

COMER: Well, we are hopeful that we could find the informer. Now, remember, these informants are kind of in the spy business. So they don't make a habit of being seen a lot or being high profile or anything like that.


ACOSTA: Joe, what is going on when they are losing their witness? What's that all about?

JOE WALSH, FORMER US REPRESENTATIVE: Jim, this is these House Republicans in a nutshell. You knew it, I knew it Mondaire knew it.

Everybody in the country who is paying attention knew it, that all of these Republicans were going to do if they took over the House was investigate, investigate, investigate, because it's a two-year revenge tour to make up for how they believe Donald Trump was treated.

So they'll investigate everything and anything related to Biden, even if there's no evidence there are and there are no facts there. I mean, they charged Biden with crimes a week or so ago, and said, we are going to go out and try to find the evidence. Hello?

ACOSTA: Yes, I mean, hello, indeed. And Mondaire, I have to talk to you -- both of you if I can -- about something that happened in the last hour. I spoke with former Texas governor and Energy secretary, Rick Perry and I kind of offhandedly asked him if he was thinking about running again and here is what he had to say.


RICK PERRY, FORMER US ENERGY SECRETARY: It's early in the process, I think, for any of us to sit back and say, I'm for this person, or that person. It is a little early in my process.

So, you know, it certainly is something that I haven't taken off the table. But you know, the chances of it happening are probably a little bit slim. But who knows, there's a lot of time left, and we'll see how this all works out.


ACOSTA: Mondaire, what do you think about that? And also, I should point out, I asked him whether or not he might get behind his old boss, former President Trump and he declined to say that. So what do you make of all that?

JONES: You know, there is a way to answer that question that makes you as relevant as possible and he didn't do that quite well.

What he should have said, if he wants to be talked about, I guess, is, yes, I'm very seriously considering running for president and I will announce my decision at the appropriate time.

But he is saying that there's a very slim chance and I think this is also a recognition of the fact that the field is already very crowded, that no one is going to get traction with the possible exception of Ron DeSantis.

And that as the days pass, even that seems increasingly unlikely. And, you know, I mean, look, a lot of these folks have distinguished careers. And still, I think, you know, miss being in the spotlight and for that reason are trying to be part of the conversation.

I think ultimately people are not going to want to go with a candidate who they don't believe is going to ultimately be the nominee for president, that does not serve them well, I think in their own professional interests.

ACOSTA: Joe, what do you think? All hat no cattle here for Rick Perry or --

WALSH: Yes, Jim, all of that. Look, it's just silly. I really believe that CNN last week with that townhall, Jim, they performed a public service. They exposed Trump once again for who he is. But the bottom line is when you watch that townhall, it's still Trump's party.

The audience in the crowd were with him on every bigoted and cruel thing he said. None of these other people have a prayer, Rick Perry, all these other people, especially again if they won't even criticize Trump. ACOSTA: All right, Joe Walsh, Mondaire Jones, thanks so much.

We'll be right back.



ACOSTA: Hollywood writers are set to enter their third week on the picket line. The strike is casting a shadow over the annual TV upfronts that are about to begin. It's usually a glitzy time of year where major media companies make their pitches to prospective advertisers. Companies like Netflix are tuning things down and going all online for the first time.

CNN's Chloe Melas joins us now. Chloe what's the latest on these negotiations. A lot of folks are worried about their shows, they want those writers back to work.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: And unfortunately, Jim, it doesn't look like we are any closer to a resolution.

Remember when we went through this writers' strike before over a decade ago, it cost the California economy over $2 billion. The upfronts like you said, this is the moment where networks, they come and they put on a dazzling display with their biggest stars to showcase their upcoming slate of shows and projects in an effort to you know, get advertisers on board.

And usually, you see big names like Jimmy Kimmel and others at their respective networks upfronts and you're not going to see that, and like you just said Netflix, they're going virtual, and a lot of these really big glitzy events that were going to happen this week in Manhattan where I am are not going to be happening anymore.


So it's really unfortunate and you're seeing celebrities stand in solidarity. I mean, you're even seeing that maybe the Tony Awards aren't going to be happening either live.

ACOSTA: Fascinating and Chloe, I want to ask you about Jamie Foxx. That actor and his family had been fairly tight lipped about his recovery. What's the latest that you're learning about this?

MELAS: So his daughter, Corinne took to Instagram on Friday to say that her dad has actually been out of the hospital for weeks and that he was just playing pickleball the other day. That is very confusing to many reporters because all outlets were reporting that he was still in the hospital.

About a week ago, Jamie Foxx he did take to social media saying thank you for the prayers. Thank you for the love and that he was doing okay. But remember when this incident first took place about four weeks ago, we know that he was taken to a hospital, but not by emergency vehicle. His family, his friends have been very tight-lipped, but you've seen

people that know Jamie Foxx really well, Jim, taking to social media still as a Friday saying please pray for Jamie Foxx.

So again, we don't know what that medical incident was. We're hoping that Jamie and his family will share more details.

ACOSTA: Yes. People are really worried about him. He's such an amazing talent and Chloe, there was an unusual moment at the Taylor Swift concert last night in Philadelphia. What can you tell us about that?

MELAS: You know what? Instead of me telling you, let's take a listen and take a look at what happened with one fan in the stadium.


MELAS: So, you can hear Taylor Swift saying, "Hey, stop. She's fine. She's not doing anything."

Now outlets are reporting today that it was actually a mom who was standing in the front row of the stadium. We have reached out to this woman and to the stadium. And that supposedly she was being heckled by a security guard.

I've reached out to Taylor Swift's team to get more information, but this woman has come out and told some outlets that look, you know, I was just there dancing with my other mom friends. We were taking pictures and this security guard wasn't having any of it.

But Taylor Swift is not the only celebrity, Jim, who has stopped the concert, we've seen Harry Styles and others do it to check on their fans and make sure they're okay. And it is so important when you were in those big arenas with all those people for these stars to be aware of what is happening.

So it's great to see Taylor taking a moment to check in on one of her Swifties as you would call her fans.

ACOSTA: Yes. Taylor looking out for mom on Mother's Day weekend. I mean, you know, you've got to hand it to her.

All right, Chloe Melas, Happy Mother's Day to you as well. Thanks so much.

MELAS: Definitely do.

ACOSTA: Appreciate it.

MELAS: Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right and all the moms out there, of course.

It happened again. NBA superstar Ja Morant suspended for a second time from his team after appearing on social media and flashing what appears to be a gun. How the Memphis Grizzlies and the league are responding to all of that, next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: In Buffalo, New York today, residents marked one year since 10 people died in a racist attack at a grocery store. The victims were all Black.

A short time ago, a moment of silence followed by church bells to honor those who were lost.


ACOSTA: President Biden also addressed the anniversary in a "USA Today" op-ed writing that the plague of gun violence only appears to be getting worse in this country. And he once again called on Congress to pass urgent gun reform.

The NBA is reviewing the suspension of Memphis Grizzlies' star player, Ja Morant. He is involved in another incident where he is displaying a gun. The video appears to have been livestreamed on Instagram and shows Morant flashing a gun while in a car.

CNN has reached out to the player's representative, the Grizzlies and the NBA for comment. He just, two months ago served an eight-game suspension involving a social media incident, a separate social media incident, this time holding a gun at a strip club.

Meantime, an important update on women and breast cancer this week. Government experts now say mammograms should begin much earlier. Did you catch this? At the age of 40, lowering the age by 10 years. It's very important health news and CNN's Jacqueline Howard has the details.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: For women at average risk, the task force sees more benefits than risks for them to start mammograms at age 40.

Now this is a draft update. It's available for public comment from now through June 5. But based on current incidence rates, it's estimated that 12.9 percent of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives.

And it's important to catch these cancers early. That gives a better chance of survival.

Now meanwhile, this update does not change recommendations for women at high risk of getting breast cancer. Those women should still keep in contact with their doctors for what's best for them.

But for all of us, for all women, it's important to discuss with our doctors our family history of cancer, whether you have dense breasts. [19:50:10]

Ask for a breast exam at your next appointment and talk to your doctors about when to start screening for you based on your own risk factors and how often.

Back to you.


ACOSTA: Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much.

And like so many big cities in the US, San Francisco is grappling with an epidemic of drug overdoses. What's being done to help people there.

Our Sara Sidner looked into it and has a preview of her report for this weekend's episode of "The Whole Story." That's next. There is Sara right there. We'll talk to her in just a few moments.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


ACOSTA: One of the world's most beautiful cities, San Francisco is reeling from what some residents see is worsening living conditions.

A growing number of retailers are leaving downtown citing unsafe condition and the city by the sea this year -- by the bay this year has seen a 40 percent increase in fatal drug overdoses.

Tonight on "The Whole Story" with Anderson Cooper, CNN's Sara Sidner speaks to one mother, who said her drug-addicted son lived on the streets of San Francisco. The concerned parent went undercover to a place called the Tenderloin Linkage Center, a city run site that shuttered at the end of 2022. Here's a preview.


TANYA TILGHMAN, MOTHER AGAINST DRUG ADDICTION AND DEATHS: On a Sunday morning, I decided that I was going to go and I said to them that I wanted to get off drugs, and that I needed help. And you know, they laughed at me.

And the guy at the door said, we can help you do drugs. But if you want help getting off drugs, you're going to have to come back tomorrow.



SIDNER: Someone at the door of the Tenderloin Linkage Center.

TILGHMAN: Yes, if you want to come in, you can do drugs.

SIDNER: What? TILGHMAN: But if want help, you can come back tomorrow.

So I was like, okay, well, I have some drugs on me. But I don't have anything to use them with. And he was like, well, we have everything but we don't have papers.

SIDNER: Okay, I've got to tell you, my mind is blown.

TILGHMAN: You know, there's music. There's like rap music. There were people dancing. I saw a few people passed out. There was like a little tiny table, probably, you know, probably like about this big with maybe some fliers on it.

There's like a bulletin board, then they have kind of like an area where you can go and take a shower.

This is where I would have sent my son to go get help and there is no way that he would have gotten help, like the minute that he would have seen that, he would have wanted to use drugs.

And forget about trying to get help. You should be arresting people for using illegal drugs, not watching people use illegal drugs. That's almost legalizing it.


ACOSTA: Joining us now to talk about her whole story report on what happened to San Francisco is CNN anchor, Sara Sidner.

Sara, great to see you. What is going on with this Tenderloin Linkage Center? I mean, that story from that mother is just heartbreaking.

SIDNER: Yes, the mayor and the city shut it down, eventually. It was supposed to be a place where you could go use safely so that you didn't overdose, but also was supposed to be a place where you were getting services to try and help you get off drugs and that is not what it ended up being.

The mayor saw that and was disappointed because it was one of her projects and ended up, it ended up closing. But there is still plenty of open air drug use on the streets.

We saw it with our own eyes, we walked the city, a city that by the way, I still love and I want to make that clear like this is not a city that is somewhere you can say, oh, forget it. San Francisco is just done.

San Francisco has it's -- it is still a beautiful place with wonderful people in it. But there are a lot of things that turn people off. And the residents, both housed and unhoused are dealing with a lot.

Those people who are housed saying their cars get broken into all the time. There are signs on a lot of cars saying the door is open, don't break our window because it's more expensive for them to replace a window than the things inside. And so there are a lot of things that make everyday life frustrating

for people. And that's why we're seeing numbers from the city's own count that people feel more unsafe now in the city than they have in decades -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And what surprised you in the conversations that you had? Because you're right. I mean, San Francisco is a beautiful place. We all love going to San Francisco, but you hate to see what it's been going through in recent years. What are folks telling you?

SIDNER: So we talked to a lot of different people. We talked to the mayor who talked to us about very candidly about the things that she is frustrated with. And she was extremely, extremely candid about how frustrated she is with the pace of things and trying to fix some of the problems of the city.

We talked to the former mayor, one of the most famous mayors of San Francisco, Willie Brown, who's known "The Mayor," who has lots of things to say about the city he loves.

We also talked to residents, business owners, and those people who are residents, but living on the streets and have lived on the streets for a long time, some of whom were still having problems with drug addiction and who were very candid about why they were there.

We talked to one specific couple, one of whom said, look, to be honest, we came here because the drugs are cheap. They're easy to use in the streets. Nobody bothers you. You can do it in open air and that is what we're doing here. That's what attracted us to San Francisco.

So hearing that directly from someone living on the street cannot be disputed. This is their real truth and that has a lot of people frustrated -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Sara Sidner, thank you very much. We're all going to be watching.

Be sure to tune in, an all-new episode of "The Whole Story" with Anderson Cooper, one whole hour, one whole topic, that is next.

If you haven't called your mother yet, please call your mother right now and wish her a Happy Mother's Day.

I got to see my mom, Barb, earlier today. We had lunch. It was terrific. But please call your mom.

That's the news.

Reporting from Washington, I'm Jim Acosta.

Have a great night and a great week, everybody.

Happy Mother's Day.