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Obama Pokes Fun at Himself; Clippers Win, Advance in NBA Playoffs; Police to CNN: 11 Arrests Near Kuala Lumpur Not Connected to Flight 370; Will Russia Send in Troops to Ukraine?

Aired May 4, 2014 - 07:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I look like the sixth temptation. It was all bad.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you guys for humoring us today.

BLACKWELL: I immediately regret it.

PAUL: Happy prom season to you all.

BLACKWELL: Thanks for staying with us. We've got more.


PAUL: I hope we started you out with a laugh for that one.

BLACKWELL: I just want to just go. I just want to go.

PAUL: That looked great. I'm more excited about giving it to Randy, my friend in Columbus.

BLACKWELL: I got to come back, I know. Randy, I mean, yes, he's got the mullet but you can cut that off.

PAUL: They were call him mullet man. They were. You look dapper.

BLACKWELL: Nobody said a damned thing, nobody said anything. All right.

PAUL: Because they were laughing too hard.

Welcome to Sunday, everybody. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, 7:00 here on the East Coast, 4:00 out West. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I'm feeling sorry, believe it or not, for the speaker of the House as well. These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me -- which means orange really is the new black.



BLACKWELL: Got some laughs from the president last night, you know, had to hit Obamacare, also hit bridgegate, John Boehner's tan, you know, that orange tint. Few topics were immune to the zingers at last night's White House Correspondents Dinner. The political power brokers, Hollywood A-listers, you saw the crowd out in full force.

Erin McPike was in all the action just a few hours ago at the Washington Hilton.

So, Erin, good to see you up early with us this morning.

PAUL: Did you get any sleep?

MCPIKE: A little. Little. Not much.

BLACKWELL: Who got the biggest laugh?

MCPIKE: Well, I will have to say, you know how we were talking about yesterday morning that Joel McHale would be talking about "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" and the Kardashians?


MCPIKE: That didn't happen at all. He took quite a few pot shots at Chris Christie, so you heard a lot of audible whoas from the crowd. But I will have to say, that President Obama was funnier as he is basically every year because he's mastered the art of self- deprecation.


OBAMA: I admit it -- last year was rough. Sheesh. At one point, things got so bad the 47 percent called Mitt Romney to apologize.

Of course, we rolled out That could have gone better. In 2008, my slogan was "Yes, we can." In 2013, my slogan was, "Control, alt. delete."

Michelle and I watched the Olympics. We cannot believe what these folks do, death-defying feats, haven't seen somebody pull a 180 that fast since Rand Paul disinvited that Nevada rancher from this dinner.

I am happy to be here, even though I am a little jet-lagged from my trip to Malaysia, the lengths we have to go to to get CNN coverage these days.

I think they're still searching for their table.

The Koch brothers bought a table here tonight but as usual, they used a shadowy right wing organization as a front. Hello, FOX News.

I'm just kidding. Let's face the facts, FOX, you'll miss me when I'm gone. It will be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.


MCPIKE: Now, there was also a hilarious introductory video with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Joe Biden, they got matching 45 tattoos, as in 45th president of the United States.

So, all in all, very funny and very forward-looking to the next election, Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Got the zingers in on everyone.

PAUL: Everybody. And you know what? If we can't laugh at ourselves, we've got a problem.

BLACKWELL: That's true.

PAUL: Erin McPike in Washington, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: The other big story this weekend, the L.A. Clippers, they have a new leader at least soon they will, Donald Sterling the owner of the team, of course you know, banned from life from the league over those racist audio recordings that leaked last weekend. The NBA is trying to force out the 80-year-old billionaire to sell the team.

The league announced that it is appointing a new chief executive officer so oversee the day-to-day clippers operations.

PAUL: This, of course, all coming as the team knocked off the Golden State Warriors in front of 20,000 screaming fans last night. The final was 126-121, congrats to them. Even Sterling's wife Shelly who is a co-owner of the franchise -- think about this -- showed up to the game to watch her team advance in the playoffs.

CNN sports Joe Carter joining us now.

This is obviously a huge win, Joe, not only because of the drama off the court but the Clippers. I mean, my goodness, they've only advanced in the second round what, three times since 1976?

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS: Yes, I love the basketball knowledge, Christi, very good.

This team has been known as the bad news bearers of the NBA for years and they've been building toward this process since they drafted Blake Griffin back in 2009. He was the first overall pick. They got Chris Paul through a trade in 2011. You know in the NBA, if you've got two stars you have a great chance of making playoff success.

What a win last night. I felt like the Clippers showed really a lot of moxie, because in that game, they were down by double digits at halftime, they trailed for three quarters of the game and they came back and Doc Rivers the coach you see on the screen there at the end, the last 20 seconds of the game started giving high fives, start pumping his fist. You could tell this has been the longest week of this basketball franchise's life. And Chris Paul afterward, star point guard for the team, told reporters his team put aside a week's worth of controversy and really focused on the task at hand.


CHRIS PAUL, L.A. CLIPPERS: It's going to sound crazy but it was all about tonight. Everything else was in the past, couldn't dwell on all that different type stuff and not to diminish how serious everything's been the past week or so, it was all about basketball tonight.


CARTER: Christi and Victor, they have a tough task ahead of them. They play the Oklahoma City Thunder next. Lot predict Oklahoma to take on Miami in the finals. But I like the Clippers in seven. It's all about emotion and momentum and, obviously, the Clippers have both right now.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely. Joe Carter, thank you very much.

CARTER: Thank you.

PAUL: All right, let's talk about Malaysia because there's a new report fueling suspicions that terrorism may have played a part in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. We want to make sure we clarify all of this because according to "The Daily Mail", 11 terrorists with al Qaeda ties were arrested last week near Kuala Lumpur and interrogated about the missing plane. That's what "The Daily Mail" is reporting.

This morning, Malaysian authorities, though, are really pushing hard against that report.

BLACKWELL: Yes, CNN's Will Ripley joins us from Kuala Lumpur.

So, what are you hearing from the official there about, again, this is just a report solely from "The Daily Mail". What are the officials there in Malaysia are saying?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, they're saying that the only thing that's accurate in "The Daily Mail" report is the fact there were 11 suspected militants arrested. Any tie to the missing plane they are outright dismissing, strongly denying, even told one local newspaper here it is rubbish.

So, here's the bottom line -- Malaysia and the United States often work together on these counterterrorism operations, and it's something they're constantly investigating. We know that these suspected terrorists, 11 of them were arrested, they're actually expecting more arrests relatively soon as part of this ongoing investigation, trying to prevent attacks in Malaysia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Thailand, where some of these people were arrested. So, that's what we know. No link being confirmed to CNN or any other news outlet other than this one report connecting it to the missing plane. Of course, we're constantly checking leads all the time and if we get any information that's verified, we will pass it along to you.

PAUL: All right. Well, thank you so much for making that clarification, because we just want to make sure the right information is out there.

Listen, tomorrow, we know that we're expecting that trilateral meeting so they can talk about the next phase of the search operation. Do you know where that stands?

RIPLEY: Yes, Christi. So, we know that the delegations from Malaysia and China are in Sydney, Australia, right now. Earlier today, they had some briefings which are not the trilateral meeting, but these were briefings to get them prepared for the big meeting which happens in Canberra, Australia, first thing Monday morning.

So, we have the delegation from Malaysia, including the acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein. We have the delegation from China and then they'll be getting together with the delegation from Australia in Canberra and they'll talk about the next phase of the search for Flight 370. How are they going to spend that estimated $60 million and how are they going to spend the next up to a year search this area in the southern Indian Ocean where they still believe they have the strongest information that this is where the missing plane is.

BLACKWELL: Will Ripley for us in Kuala Lumpur -- Will, thank you very much.

You know the violence in Ukraine -- it's increasing every day, also every hour. Russia is blaming the Kiev government for killing four Russian separatists. So, will Russia send in the reported 40,000 troops according to NATO that are right at the border? Will they go in?

PAUL: Plus, the rising call to bring back our girls. Famous faces from around the world are now calling on Nigeria to rescue those 223 kidnapped young girls.



CROWD: African lives matter. African lives matter.


PAUL: What you're watching there are just some of the thousands around the world who are rallying in support of more than 200 girls -- school girls who have been kidnapped in Nigeria. It's widely believed the anti-Western group Boca Haram is responsible. But the group hasn't taken responsibility yet.

BLACKWELL: Yes. In the meantime, though, Secretary of State John Kerry is calling those crimes, quote, "unconscionable." "The New York Times" reports Kerry is pressuring the Nigerian government to act and act quickly.

PAUL: Now, the call to bring back our girls is sounding around the world.

Earlier, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for her own efforts in education, tweeted this image showing her holding a card reading #bringbackourgirls.



BLACKWELL: Yes, that pop, pop, the sound of gunfire, has become common on the streets of eastern Ukraine as days of chaos and violence appear to be pushing the country potentially closer to civil war.

PAUL: With violence spilling into even more cities this weekend, Russia's blaming the Kiev-based government for targeting pro-Russian separatists.

BLACKWELL: Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is live from Moscow for us.

Matthew, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on the phone.

What is Moscow's reaction to this escalating violence?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Moscow's reaction is that it's appalled by it and it's acted and responded with outrage verbally at least, with what's taken place. We've had at least 42 people killed in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, the majority of them pro-Russian supporters. That's something that's outraged the governments of Russia, the Kremlin saying they've received thousands of pleas of support, pleas for help from people all across southern and eastern Ukraine.

And, of course, the big question is whether the Russians are going to go further than that and perhaps deploy the tens of thousands of Russian troops they've had stationed for several months on the border of eastern Ukraine and western Russia to carry out a further invasion.

Remember, Russia has reserved the right to protect the interests of Russian speakers and ethnic Russians all over Ukraine, and so, this Ukrainian military operation is a big risk. It could provoke a very violent military backlash from the Kremlin. At the moment, it hasn't, but that's high up in people's minds, Victor.

PAUL: Well, I think everybody knows the Kiev government Ukraine is just not prepared to fight off the power that Russia has. I know Ukrainian prime minister spoke in Odessa earlier. What did he have to say about this?

CHANCE: Yes, Arseniy Yatsenyuk is his name. He's a relatively young prime minister. He's obviously inherited an extremely difficult situation in Ukraine. He traveled to Odessa in southern Ukraine, where so many of those people died over the past 24, 36 hours, and basically called for unity amongst the Ukrainian people. He accused Russian special services, effectively Russian special forces, of orchestrating the violence in eastern and southern Ukraine, arming locals who are then firing upon Ukrainian troops. He also issued some guarantees there would be a devolution of power to the eastern region and a sort of guarantee enshrined in a new Ukrainian constitution that the Russian language would be an official language in Ukraine as well. That's something that's been a major concern for Moscow, in fact.

And so, it seems that Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is talking the language of federalism, kind of giving as much as he can to try and keep this very fragile country together.

PAUL: All right. Matthew Chance, so appreciate the update there from Moscow, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Matthew.

President Obama also struck a serious tone during last night's White House Correspondents Dinner. Just for a moment.

PAUL: Just for a second, because he had some fun and he did it at his own expense.



OBAMA: We rolled out That could have gone better.


PAUL: To say the least. That wasn't, right?

BLACKWELL: The only dig at himself. You'll hear a few more.


BLACKWELL: Oh, yes. Nice and smooth this morning. Live look at the White House.

Good morning, Washington, D.C. You got a nice forecast today, 74 degrees, partly cloudy. Most of the folks are probably still in bad after all of the laughs and the parties late last night after the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

President Obama spent a good portion of his speech taking a few jabs at himself.


OBAMA: An American won the Boston marathon for the first time in 30 years.


Which was inspiring, and only fair, since a Kenyan has been president for the last six.


BLACKWELL: Of course, that was President Obama at last night's White House Correspondents Dinner.

Joining us is John King, host of CNN's "INSIDE POLITICS", that starts at the top of the hour.

PAUL: Yes. John, you've covered a lot of presidents, you've been to many correspondents dinners and I think a lot of people watch this and they do think is there any political effect to the president's comedic delivery?

JOHN KING, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": I think -- Christi and Victor, good morning. I'd rather talk about the prom pictures by the way. Those were great.


KING: You guys haven't aged a day. I wish I had that secret.

PAUL: Guess what? Yours have to come next, buddy.

BLACKWELL: Yes, sir.

KING: They would show you I didn't have any of these gray hairs. I'll tell you that.

Look, does the president buy himself some goodwill, any president being self-deprecating, by joking about the moment? You know, He talked about several times, made a lot of jokes about Hillary Clinton being next in the Oval Office.

Yes, he buys himself some goodwill inside the room. Is it going to change his poll numbers when it comes to the economy? Is it going to change the key Senate races around the country? No, it's not to be honest.

So, whatever he gets is a temporary blip inside Washington but it is a tradition here in Washington. Some say it's overdone with all the Hollywood people and all the big parties. But it's a tradition to take the night off, share a cocktail, share a meal, and guess what? You'll see it on the program with Candy this morning, you wake up the next day and you get back to work.

PAUL: All right.

BLACKWELL: Certainly a lot of good jokes.

PAUL: Some that just made you go, oh, oh! That was a little uncomfortable.

John King, so good to see you this morning. "INSIDE POLITICS" begins at 8:30, right here on CNN. Be here with him.

BLACKWELL: There cannot be a controversy without the folks over at "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" having something to say about it.

Next, we're going to show you how they kicked off last night's show by taking on embattled clippers owner Donald Sterling. Oh, boy.


BLACKWELL: This is a good one. It happened to a New Jersey couple this week, a happy surprise. Chuck and Elisha James, they lost their dog just after Hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey shore. So, 15 months later, I mean, they've given up all hope of ever finding their dog. His name is Reckless. Again, they headed to the local animal shelter.

PAUL: And guess what they saw! Reckless! Their Reckless! Yea!

I mean, can you imagine that reunion? Talk about emotional for both of them. The animal shelter actually said they found reckless roaming the streets in that area, but we are so glad you are all back together again as one big happy family.

BLACKWELL: That's an amazing moment.

PAUL: I got my dogs from the Humane Society. I get it. They do. The shelters, they do everything they can.

BLACKWELL: So, last night, the folks at "Saturday Night Live", they had of course something to say about Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the racist audio recordings of him that at least leaked last week. And, of course, we expect they would have something to say.

PAUL: Yes, you would check it. Check out how they kicked off last night's show.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have decided to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for the bargain price of $1 billion. I know that sounds like a lot of money, I'm making a lot of money but remember , the NBA already fined me $2.5 million. So, I'm only be clearing, what, like $998 million.

Now, I hope to use every penny to repair my relationship with the black community, especially magic Johnson who is clearly one of the good ones.

So I have been learning about your history. Today, I watched "Roots" on TV and let me tell you that Questlove very talented -- very talented boy, you know? I have also agreed to put up $3 million to do my own version of the Million Man March.

So this June, Donald Sterling's million man cruise will take thousands of black men on a wondrous journey to the beautiful ivory coast of Africa, to never come back.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: Oh. "Saturday Night Live."

PAUL: They know how to bring it. Don't they?

BLACKWELL: They do indeed. Joe Carter pointed out where did that accent come from?

PAUL: Yes, I don't know but I said I don't really know what he sounds like, do you, other than what we heard on tapes.

BLACKWELL: Only from that recording.

Hey, we just tweeted out those prom pictures so go find those. We'll see you back here at the top of the hour.

PAUL: "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." starts now.