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New Day Sunday
Two Women, Four-Year-Old Girl Hurt In Times Square Shooting; Out-Of-Control Chinese Rocket Crashes Back Down To Earth; CDC: Seven- Day Average Of Vaccine Doses Administered Fell To Fewer Than Two Million Daily; House GOP Expected To Oust Rep. Cheney From Leadership This Week; This Week: Biden Meets With Lawmakers After Dismal Jobs Report; Fifty Killed, 100-Plus Wounded In Explosion Near Kabul Girls' School; More Than One Trillion Cicadas Expected To Emerge Soon. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired May 09, 2021 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It is Sunday morning, and we're so grateful to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Boris Sanchez. We're thrilled that you're with us.
You can come out from underneath your dining table. The Chinese rocket hurdling toward earth has crash landed but exactly where is still a question.
PAUL: Yeah, and three people including a child are hurt following a shooting in Times Square. What we know about how all of this began.
SANCHEZ: Plus, vaccination numbers continuing to fall. With the country seeing its lowest average since early March. What that means for the effort to get to herd immunity.
PAUL: And the cicadas are coming out, about a trillion of them. Had in true 2021 style, what do you do if you find yourself in a cicada storm? We'll talk about it.
SANCHEZ: It is Sunday, May 9th. We wish all who celebrate a happy Mother's Day. Thanks for waking up with us.
And happy Mother's Day to you, Christi.
PAUL: Thank you, Boris. Yeah.
Happy Mother's Day to everybody out there.
As far as I know, I think everybody just wants some sleep, so just from everything I have seen on Instagram, just give me some sleep and a little bit of time by myself, which is counterproductive as a mother, but whatever, it's just what we need sometimes.
SANCHEZ: It's the perfect gift.
And we also needed to know what was going to happen with this rocket, right? Everybody was talking about it yesterday. The hours of guessing and uncertainty, they're over, this out-of-control Chinese rocket did make a crash landing overnight.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, U.S. space command has confirmed the Long March 5B rocket entered the earth's atmosphere over the Arabian Peninsula. You could hardly see just a blip at the center of your screen there. It is likely that most of the 20-ton rocket burned up as it sped to the ground, though it's unclear this morning exactly where any debris may have landed.
PAUL: Will Ripley is with us from Hong Kong.
We know, will, that the Chinese official says it crash landed in the Indian ocean near the Maldives. That's a group of populated islands. But we really, I guess, at this point, have to take them at their word. Yes?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this may be China's Mother's Day's gift, Christi, to everybody. Congrats, it didn't hit land. It didn't hit your house, but it could have. There was a chance.
And even though China claims it went down in the Maldives, southwest of Indian Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean, normally, space agencies want to put things much farther to the south, much further away from any possibility of interfering with aviation or shipping routes. That wasn't the case with China's rockets, because they didn't design it that way for controlled reentry.
They know that putting this thing up which we can show from the ground in Japan in its final hours of flight spinning and hurtling through the atmosphere at 18,000 miles an hour, getting closer and closer to an unknown impact site. There's a reason people were nervous around the world.
There's a reason why countries like the United States, why Europe's Space Agency, why China, all had different estimates up until the final moments as to where this thing might make impact and ended up being shortly before 10:30 last night, China claims in the Indian Ocean after passing over the Arabian Peninsula.
But when they launched the rocket back on April 29th, there was no talk about the possibility of a massive equivalent of a ten-story building with a weight, roughly 1/5 of the Statue of Liberty ever tumbling back to Earth, they were just excited because it was the first module of their space station, which they hope to complete by the end of 2022.
They're trying to get things up in space as quickly as possible, and some experts are saying not only is it fast but also reckless, because when you put something as big as a Long March 5B rocket into orbit, without a chance of getting it safely, playing the odds it's going to end up in the ocean, because more than 70 percent of the earth is covered by water, that is not good enough.
According to NASA administrator, Senator Bill Nelson who put out a skating statement overnight, criticizing China for the way they handled this, saying, quote, space faring nations must minimize the risk of people and property on Earth, of reentries of space objects, and maximize transparency regarding those operations. He says (AUDIO GAP) responsibility by responsible standards regarding their space debris.
Now, look, it's not like the United States had anything big fall uncontrolled back to the Earth. That would be incorrect. Skylab back in 1979, more than 40 years ago, scattered debris over Western Australia, but this is 2021. And what the United States and others are saying is that China needs to be held to a higher standard.
But it's unclear if they're going to buckle to international pressure, given their push to conduct more launches like this. People can see more debris coming from the ground. Yeah, it's a tiny speck but the fact that it was visible from the Middle East, from countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Israel, just before making impact, who's to say China would be so lucky next time around and it wouldn't hit a densely populated area.
That is the concern, Boris and Christi.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, and something to watch going forward is whether or not this leads to rules of the road when it comes to space travel and specifically space junk.
Will Ripley, thank you so much for that report.
We want to move now to New York and the hunt for a gunman who shot three people. One of them, a 4-year-old, all of this happening until the middle of Times Square.
PAUL: Yeah. Police say the shooting started as a dispute involving a group of men. And at least one of those men pulled out a gun and started firing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DERMOT SHEA, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: At this point in time, we have one person of interest that we are seeking information. We have at least one shooter that's very active in the investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Let's get to CNN's Alison Kosik now.
Alison, what do we know about what happened and how the victims are doing? ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Boris.
Well, this morning police are still searching for the suspect in connection with the shooting that happened three blocks from where I am.
One of the most iconic places in the world, and in that shooting, three innocent bystanders were hit with bullets, including as you said, one 4-year-old girl from Brooklyn who was here in Times Square, shopping for toys with her family. She was reported to have needed surgery. She was shot in her leg.
The victims also included a 23-year-old tourist from Rhode Island. She was also shot in her leg. And a New Jersey woman, 43 years old. She was shot in her foot. All the victims are expected to be okay.
All of this unfolding just before 5:00 yesterday, the shots creating havoc, sending pedestrians running. Police were already on the scene here because they regularly patrol this area, so they responded. Witnesses told police that the shooting stemmed from an argument between at least two to four men, and during the dispute, one of the men pulled out a gun.
At the press conference after the shooting, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea expressed his frustration about a change of policies in New York and New York City that he believes are contributing to an increase in gun violence. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEA: How many kids have to be shot before we take this seriously? How many more kids do we need to be shot before we realize that bad policies have consequences? And we need action. And we need policies regarding laws to have consequences for the arrests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Shooting incidents and gun violence have exploded in New York City last year, and continue to surge this year. New York Police Department crime statistics show a jump in gun violence and shooting incidents of 83 percent, through May 2nd. That's compared to the same time last year, and if you look at the first three months of this year, January, February, March, there have been almost 300 shooting incidents city-wide -- Boris and Christi.
PAUL: Alison Kosik, good to know. Thank you so much.
So, I want to tell you, there are growing concerns this morning regarding the signs of a vaccination slow down. The CDC saying the average number of Americans getting COVID shots fell below 2 million people per day over the last week.
SANCHEZ: It is the first time since early march that so few people in a week received a vaccine shot. And with only about 34 percent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, the country remains far short of that level, that herd immunity goal of 70 to 85 percent. PAUL: Yeah.
CNN's Natasha Chen has more from the FEMA vaccination site there in Norfolk, Virginia.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Taking a stand to end the pandemic, celebrities joined together during the Global Citizen Vax Live telecast.
PRINCE HARRY: And that is our starting point.
CHEN: An urged for greater access to COVID-19 vaccines.
In prerecorded remarks, President Joe Biden joined in with his appeal for Americans to get vaccinated.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The vaccines are safe. I promise you, they're safe. They work. Everybody in America 16 years old and older is now eligible to get vaccinated for free now.
CHEN: The seven-day average of doses administered now sits at 1.9 million. The last time the daily average was below 2 million was March 2nd, according to data published Saturday by the CDC.
It's an indicator that vaccinations are gradually slowing and the U.S. remains far short of the levels of immunization needed to reach herd immunity. About 113 million people or at least a third of the population have been fully vaccinated per CDC data.
About 45.6 percent of the population or 151 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We're focused on three key areas, first, improving access in making even easier for everyone to get vaccinated. Second, building confidence, vaccine confidence, by empowering every American with facts and answering their questions. And third, ensuring equity is at the center of everything we do.
CHEN: Health officials are preparing for making COVID-19 vaccines a regular thing. CDC researchers are determining whether it will be necessary to give regular boosters shots, similar to flu vaccines to address specific variants like the one first discovered in India.
ANDY SLAVITT, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER FOR COVID RESPONSE: I think we're going to see data come out even in the coming weeks. I have seen some earlier data, which is quite relieving and confirming that shows that this variant while certainly causing more trouble is not nearly as troublesome as say, for example, the South African vaccine variant.
Therefore, it looks like we're going to get very good levels of protection from our current vaccines. I think we'll see that confirmed over the coming week, but Americans should expect if they're not vaccinated, they're going to be more exposed. If they are vaccinated, I think they can look at the variants, and there's going to be very good levels of protection so far.
CHEN (on camera): Right now, teenagers 16 and older can get the Pfizer vaccine at vaccination sites like the one behind us. Early this week, though, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could approve the Pfizer vaccine for children and teens 12 to 15 years old. The FDA is reviewing the data right now. In late March, Pfizer said that the clinical trials which included more than 2,200 people in that age group showed 100 percent efficacy, and that it was well-tolerated.
Christi and Boris, back to you.
PAUL: Natasha Chen, we appreciate it. Thank you.
Listen, the pandemic and the economy are driving up the cost of everything if you haven't noticed, from rental cars to ketchup, and our chief business correspondent Christine Romans explains all of this to us.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Call it the big I, inflation, the downside of a hot economy. The pandemic disrupted supply chains and consumer behavior. Working out kinks in distribution is causing shortages and price spikes from lumber to steal to rental cars.
Add in the historic stimulus to keep the coronavirus recession from becoming a depression, more people have money in their pockets and they're chasing after higher prices as the economy reopens. If you haven't felt it yet, it's coming.
You can expect higher prices for toilet paper, diapers, soft drinks, plane tickets a tank full of gas. Whirlpool is raising prices of appliances up to 12 percent. A shortage of lumber is adding $36,000 to the cost of building a typical single family home.
Rental car prices, incredibly high if you can find one. There are chlorine shortages for polls. The global chip shortage is halting car assembly lines, even ketchup packets are in short supply.
The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, said he sees substantial inflation, 85 percent of the economy, he says is in super high gear right now. Fed officials are reluctant to raise interest rates before Main Street is truly recovered.
The Fed Chief Jerome Powell said, while there's been progress, there's still work to do.
JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: The downturn has not fallen equally on all Americans, and those least able to shoulder the burden have been most affected. ROMANS: Only time will tell how long these higher prices will last,
but the practical effect of inflation on your budget, every dollar you have buys a little bit less.
PAUL: Thank you to Christine Romans for that.
So, Congresswoman Liz Cheney could lose her leadership role this week. Why House Republicans are backing Elise Stefanik, and what that tells us about the direction of the party overall.
SANCHEZ: And at least 50 people are dead following an explosion near a girls school in Afghanistan. How much is the impact of a pullout U.S. troops are having. We'll discuss.
This is NEW DAY WEEKEND on CNN. Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: Washington is bracing for two big moments this week, and both might reveal a lot about the state of U.S. politics right now. President Biden's economic agenda is at stake as he gets ready to host a pair of meetings with lawmakers that includes bipartisan outreach to a group of Republican senators, led by Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, amid a disappointing jobs report that looms large.
PAUL: Yeah, before that, President Biden is facing -- actually face to face with a group that includes House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and on that same day, we may learn the fate of Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, and her role in the Republican conference.
I want to start there with CNN's Daniella Diaz on Capitol Hill.
Daniella, always good to see you this morning.
At this point, it seems as though it's not if Congressman Cheney will lose her leadership, it's when. Is that definitive at this point?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Absolutely. This is about whether a Republican member of this conference stands with Donald Trump or is against Donald Trump. Look, it's almost certain that Congresswoman Liz Cheney is going to lose her leadership position at a conference meeting next Wednesday and be replaced by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who's the leading contender to replace her in this role.
Cheney has been very clear that she does not stand with former President Donald Trump especially as he spreads this big lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. And she's been very critical of her colleagues in the conference for standing by Trump and trying to overturn the election results on January 6th.
You know, she's very comfortable with the fact that she's going to lose her leadership position.
She believes that this fight for the party is bigger than her, and is willing to lose this leadership position over what she's been saying these past couple of weeks.
So, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has now set up to replace her in this role. Cheney votes with Trump more than Elise Stefanik did in her tenure. She's broken with Trump over the tax cuts, the border wall, the environment.
She is a strong Trump ally and praises the former president in many interviews, starting during his first impeachment trial, and she actually slammed Cheney in an interview she did yesterday, a radio interview where she said there's been frustration from her colleagues over Cheney not spreading the message they believe they need to spread to win back the majority in the House in 2022.
Here's what she had to say.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (D-NY): We need to speak with a unified voice. The role of the conference chair is very different than a rank and file member. Rank and file members vote how they want. They vote their districts.
But when you are the conference chair and communicating and in charge of the message of the party in the House, you have to represent the majority of the members, and the majority of the voters across this country.
So, regardless of what the establishment says, regardless of the editorial boards and that, it's an elected position. And when you no longer have the confidence of your colleagues, it's time for a new direction.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
DIAZ: Now, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has signaled to some of her Republican colleagues that she only plans to have this position, this congress, and wants the top job on the House Education and Labor Committee in 2022. We might be having this conversation again, depending on how this plays out next week, when they're set to oust Cheney from her leadership position and vote Stefanik into the leadership position -- guys.
SANCHEZ: We will mark it on the calendar and look forward to it.
Daniella Diaz on Capitol Hill, thanks so much.
On the same day as that expected vote on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, almost simultaneously, President Biden will be hosting a pair of meetings with lawmakers on his economic proposals.
PAUL: CNN's Jasmine Wright is with us now from the White House to talk about that.
So, we know it's a rough jobs report that we saw on Friday. What is the president -- what is his hope and his intention with these meetings?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Look, President Biden is looking for compromise on his multitrillion dollar economic agenda, and honestly, he is looking for it anywhere he can get it. So, the president will meet really in these big high profile oval office meetings.
On Wednesday, he will meet with the big four congressional leaders. That includes Senator Mitch McConnell, House -- excuse me, Senate minority leader, that includes Senate Majority Leader Schumer, House Speaker Pelosi, House Minority Leader McCarthy.
Now, a White House official tells CNN that it will be the first time that McConnell and McCarthy are in the White House, excuse me, in the Oval Office since President Biden took office. And this meeting comes just days after Mitch McConnell basically threatened to oppose President Biden's economic agenda.
Now, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says that President Biden will be looking to talk about how to give Americans jobs. Get Americans working, particularly after that really dismal jobs report on Friday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He's hoping to talk about ways that we can work together to put people back to work, to ensure we are making our work force more competitive, to competing with China, and he's hoping that these leaders will come together, and join him in the Oval Office to have a discussion about doing exactly that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: Now, White House officials also want to see some movement with President Biden's multipronged, multitrillion dollar infrastructure and jobs package.
So on Thursday, he will be meeting with Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito who he invited to the White House after she produced that counter-proposal that came in at just a fraction, guys, of the price of President Biden's initial multi-trillion dollar asking price. She will bring along with her a gang of Republicans, and they will sit down and hash it out, trying to look for compromise.
But the question going into this week is whether they can find it and what actually that looks like. President Biden has been clear that he wants Republicans to meet him halfway. But it is not clear that they are actually willing to get to that point -- Christi, Boris.
PAUL: Jasmine Wright at the White House for us. Always good to see you, Jasmine, thank you.
WRIGHT: And happy Mother's Day, Christi.
PAUL: Thank you so much. I take that with great joy. Thank you.
So, CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" reporter Karoun Demirjian is with us. Also joining the conversation, CNN political commentator, and former Republican congressman, Charlie Dent.
Thank you to both of you for getting up early with us this morning.
So, Congressman, I wanted to start with you on all of this GOP -- all the questions about where this party stands.
CNN was in Wyoming talking to voters this past week, actually, and one man told us, referring to Congresswoman Cheney, he said, quote her conscience isn't why she was elected. What does that tell you about the state of this party as a congressman who asked people for their votes? Was that of value to you?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Of course, members of Congress had to consider their own conscience. You're elected not only to represent your own constituents but to do what you think is right. I think there are probably people in Wyoming as there are across the country who do understand the truth.
And the simple truth is that Donald Trump lost the election, Joe Biden won it. Liz Cheney is stating that truth, and too many people within the House Republican Conference find that it is much easier to cancel or silence Liz Cheney than to condemn the man, former President Trump, who continues to spread these lies about what has happened.
And I think Liz Cheney is to be commended. She should be -- more members should be backing her up. The more members who state the truth can help change the narrative about what happened. The reason why 70 percent of many Republican voters believe that Donald Trump had the election stolen from him is because that's all they hear from Republican leaders, from Donald Trump.
And the silence from other Republican leaders is deafening. So, Liz Cheney is trying to start a movement. Good for her. Once she -- hopefully, she will be rewarded for this. I know in the short-term it doesn't look good for her. But in the longer term, I think she will prevail.
PAUL: Here's what's interesting, Karoun. So we know that Stefanik voted about 48 percent of the time on policy that aligned with former President Trump. And it was about 80 percent for Representative Cheney.
So, Stefanik is saying the words that people want to hear but the policy is that they supposedly want is coming from Cheney. Can that be reconciled with what they're talking about when they're pulling her out of this leadership position, that the voice seems to be louder and more valued than the actual -- the votes? KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I mean, part of
the position that Cheney is in is to be in charge of messaging for the party and so what you're saying, you know, you can make the argument of, you know, it doesn't match up the voting record, these numbers are not exactly Congress, but what she is saying is very, very clear, and it's very clearly different from the things that Stefanik is saying since we were in the first two impeachments of the former president.
So, you have the messaging being a very different choice if you switch the women who are in the role right now. You also are talking about, you know, a party that is in many ways beholden to a president who cared about messaging, who was not going through with a magnifying glass and fine-toothed comb and looking at the charts of exactly what the votes were and the parsing out of bills but watching Fox News and reacting to what he was hearing being the chatter and the assessments of him, talked back to him across cable news.
And so, it's a different question of what you choose to evaluate, both the party but also party values, and I think it's not out of character given the course of the last few years that the sound of what people are saying ends up becoming elevated over what they're necessarily doing.
Now, does that potentially cause problems down the line when we start talking -- you know, Trump isn't the president now, there's going to be a lot of policy debates and positions staked out. Is Elise Stefanik going to end up in a situation, if she ends up taking Cheney's place, where she has to change the way she starts to vote to match up with the way she's talking or gets into a similar jam of people criticizing her for not voting with the party she's supposed to be and the leadership team representing.
There's no easy answer, except people are mad at Liz Cheney, saying what she's saying about January 6th, for criticizing the president. They want somebody who's talking a different way in the spot, and here's where we are in the juncture.
PAUL: So, when we look at the future of the GOP, congressman, and you have a unique view on this as well having served in the U.S. Senate, it's not -- or in the House, it's not the party. I want to listen to what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, and I'm going to just quote him here.
He said: It's not the party I served in the U.S. Senate that he's seeing right now. He said the Republican Party today is leaderless, confused, I think they don't know what they stand for or who they are. But he believes that they will straighten things out.
Do you believe that the GOP can straighten things out if Donald Trump still has some sort of a role in it?
DENT: Well, not if Donald Trump still has a role in it.
And, Christi, just to further elaborate on what Karoun just said, this party -- you know, this whole issue about, is Elise Stefanik conservative enough ideologically? Ideology has nothing to do with what's happening in the Republican Party.
We used to have the self-designated chiefs of the Republican purity police, like those groups like the Club for Growth and Heritage Action saying, to be a good Republican, you must be, you know, pro-life, pro- gun, you know, free trade, had all of these litmus tests.
Well, you know what, they have all lost credibility. It's all about loyalty to a man. That's what this is about. Donald Trump is the most non-ideological, transactional man on the planet.
Do you think he cares about Elise Stefanik's conservative rating, or Liz Cheney's? All he cares about is loyalty to himself, and that's what leadership in the House has capitulated to. A party that is really devoid right now of any real ideals or policy positions, it seems, other than to fight Joe Biden, and I get that, if you're the party out of power. But that's where the party is.
And so, what Chuck Hagel is saying, yes, the Republican Party is in a really bad spot, and I don't think it gets back to a better equilibrium until it figures out a way to remove Trumpism from its midst.
PAUL: Congressman Charlie Dent, Karoun Demirjian, we appreciate both of you and your perspectives so much. Thank you.
DENT: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: An explosion near a girls' school in Afghanistan rocking the capital of Kabul. Is this related to the U.S. troop withdrawal or a sign of something else? We'll discuss, next.
SANCHEZ: We're following developing news out of Afghanistan this morning. At least 50 people have been killed, more than 100 others injured after explosion near a girls' high school in Kabul. Officials there say the explosion was caused by a car bomb. They say two other improvised explosive devices blew up after that.
So far, no one has claimed responsibility. A Taliban spokesperson is denying their involvement. The region has seen a spade of car bombings over the last few months.
And joining us to talk about all of this is CNN military analyst, retired Air Force colonel, Cedric Leighton.
Good morning, we appreciate you joining us.
Given how close the school was to that car bomb, do you think that was the intended target? And if so, why? COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Boris, good
I think it was the intended target, and given the fact that it occurred when the students were leaving the school also lends credence to the idea that this particular bomb or these bombs were designed to really disrupt the whole student body and the school operation itself. So that's, you know, a very telling sign that this is a deliberate act.
SANCHEZ: The logical suspect here would be the Taliban. They have denied responsibility for the attack. You say it's possible that a Pakistani group may have carried this out. Why?
LEIGHTON: Well, it's possible Pakistan may be involved in this. The ISI, which is Pakistan's intelligence agency, has had a history of supporting Taliban actions or actions of other groups that actually lend support to the Taliban.
So Afghanistan is a very murky place, it's hard to attribute responsibility to this. There's no proof right now that Pakistan was involved in this bombing but it's certainly something that Afghan authorities and even U.S. authorities should look at to see if that's the case.
SANCHEZ: Now, we have been reporting on bombings just like this one for years now. It's not clear that the withdrawal of U.S. troops really has any influence on the kind of violence we've seen in Afghanistan, but should we anticipate more and more extreme attacks adds attacks as the number of U.S. troops goes down?
LEIGHTON: Sadly, Boris, yes. Unfortunately, the Taliban and other groups in Afghanistan are going to look for any kind of power vacuum that they can fill. And with the withdrawal of U.S. troops, there is even less of a control on the actions of these groups.
They are going to go into the cities, which nominally are controlled by the Afghan government, and they're going to wreak as much havoc as they possible can, in some cases before the U.S. withdrawal, but certainly as that withdrawal reaches its end stages. And we're going to, I believe, unfortunately, see a lot of carnage in Afghanistan in the next few months.
SANCHEZ: Does that at all change the calculation from the White House on the time line for a withdrawal? It's supposed to happen by September 11th.
LEIGHTON: Right. It could. It depends on if Americans are targeted in these kinds of blasts. Unfortunately, the Afghans are going to be on their own when it comes to getting the perpetrators of attacks like this, and it's also going to complicate any efforts to retaliate against these kinds of bombings.
So this is the kind of thing that we can expect from the White House perspective. There are going to be some issues with ramping up support for an Afghan government, once we have gone through the withdrawal phase, and that is going to be kind of a test of this withdrawal effort.
And it is going to be something where we're going to have to look very carefully at when and how we respond to these attacks, or if we even respond at all.
SANCHEZ: Colonel, I'm eager to get your perspective on the big picture on two decades of nearly incessant fighting, so many lives lost, so much money invested in the effort to build a democracy in Afghanistan.
How do you think history is going to look back at the longest war in American history?
LEIGHTON: I think we made one big mistake in Afghanistan. There are a lot of mistakes when it comes to this war. There are also some successes but what we should have done is declare victory after Osama bin Laden was killed. Once that happened, we should have declared an end to open hostilities, realizing there may have been other low level fires to put out.
But at that point in time, we should have in essence declared victory and left things to the Afghan government in Kabul. There were a lot of reasons for us not to do that, but I think in the final analysis, that would have been the right move because really, there is no way that our efforts to democratize Afghanistan, to increase human rights, especially for young girls and women in Afghanistan, there's no way that those efforts are going to outlast the American presence there, unless it's a major change within the Afghan government and frankly within Afghan society.
So that's, I think, how history is going to see it. It's going to be a mixed picture. In many cases, people will say that we lost Afghanistan. We could have avoided that particular label if we had withdrawn our forces and declared an end to major hostilities after bin Laden was killed a little over ten years ago now.
SANCHEZ: There's no question it hurts given so much sacrifice, still seeing things like this happen over and over again.
Colonel Cedric Leighton, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much.
LEIGHTON: You bet, Boris, any time.
PAUL: So, millions of -- all of you are going to be hearing this in the next few weeks.
Uh-huh. What you need to know about the 17-year-old cicadas that are on their way.
PAUL: So, scientists say, in the next few weeks, over a trillion cicadas will emerge in different parts of the U.S.
SANCHEZ: And you're going to hear them coming.
Here's CNN's Tom Foreman on what to expect when they arrive.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With a roar to rival a passing jet, the cicadas are on the move, a remarkable move called Brood 10 and when the males let loose with their mating call.
MARK SHEPERDIGIAN, ENTOMOLOGIS: That's airplane noise. We were in the center of Brood 10, you wouldn't hear that airplane.
FOREMAN: This particular strain emerges in the mid-Atlantic and a few Midwestern states, living underground on tree roots, counting the seasonal cycles of those trees and coming into the light only once every 17 years to fascinate entomologists in the right place at the right time like the Smithsonian's Floyd Shockley.
FLOYD SHOCKLEY, NATIONAL MUSUEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: Periodical cicada mass emergencies are one of those once or twice in a lifetime kind of thing. I hope people, you know, aren't scared but enjoy the show.
FOREMAN: In busy areas, a million and a half could appear per acre, a trillion in all, rising when the soil temperatures reaches 64 degrees. Are they dangerous? No, although they can damage some small trees where they lay their eggs. Are they edible? Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yeah. That's the sound you want to hear.
FOREMAN: There are videos online offering recipes like this one from the Tennessee Farm Bureau if you can stomach it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I eat the eyes, too? A little crunchy. Got a leg stuck between my teeth here.
SHOCKLEY: If you spice them right, they taste a lot like shrimps.
FOREMAN: Why are there so many? Because everything eats them. Cicadas survive only because there are too many to be devoured entirely. Will they be around long? No, just a few weeks.
SHOCKLEY: Periodical cicadas are only out as adults for that one thing, it's to mate, lay eggs and die.
FOREMAN: But will they bug some people? Absolutely.
There's even a new film this spring, and you guessed it. The creepy guys are called "Cicada".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable.
FOREMAN (on camera): So scientists say remember, if you're caught up in this periodic overwhelming cicada storm, it's not so much as a scary nuisance as a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls. That's what they say.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
SANCHEZ: If you spice them right. Thanks, Tom.
The cast of "SNL" celebrating mom like only they can. That's up after a quick break.
SANCHEZ: Now, for the good stuff.
Some cast members of "SNL" were joined by moms last night.
(BEGIN VIDOE CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I missed you mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't wait to give you a hug.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aw, mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm talking about the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Sylvia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my mom. The woman who taught me everything I know, including how to do reaction shots, isn't that right mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: I want to thank my mom, too, (INAUDIBLE). She's wonderful. She's put up with my crap for so long, Christie. And I'm grateful and my sister and my nephew and nieces.
PAUL: And I love it. She did a good job, Boris. She did a good job.
SANCHEZ: Oh, she did.
PAUL: And here is my mom who is also just the best grandma around. That obviously me way back in the day with her. She taught me a lot about forgiveness, because there is a lot of girl drama that goes on.
You forgive no matter what, and you love no matter what. She's pretty amazing.
SANCHEZ: Of course, of course. And we should note, you're going to be able to see her soon. You haven't since the pandemic started, right?
PAUL: I know. It's been almost a year -- well, it's been almost a year. Thank you for reminding us. Yes. Soon, we will see her.
Thank you, Boris.
And thank you for watching --
SANCHEZ: Happy Mother's Day to you, Christi.
PAUL: Thank you. I appreciate it more than you know.
SANCHEZ: Thank you so much for watching.
"INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY WITH ABBY PHILLIP" starts in just a bit.
PAUL: Yeah. But before we go, just a reminder to tune in to tonight's CNN's special, "What's Going On: Marvin Gaye's Anthem for the Ages".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Marvin Gaye's ground breaking "What's Going On".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the first time that I understood poetry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's one of the greatest albums ever made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His melody were like a voice of cry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He created something that will last.
ANNOUNCER: Fifteen years later, why is it an anthem for a new generation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was prophecy, man.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What do you think, Marvin, would think about what is going on.
ANNOUNCER: CNN special report, "What's Going On: Marvin Gaye's Anthem For The Ages," tonight at 8:00.
(END VIDEO CLIP)