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Norht Korea Test Fired First ICBM Under Trump's Administration; Japan's Prime Minister Visits U.S.; Deportations Under Way; Trump Aide: All Options On Table For Travel Ban; Overdoes Spike In Louisville: 52 Calls In 32 Hours; Melissa McCarthy Reprises Role As Sean Spicer. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 12, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, thank you so much for joining me this Sunday, I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Absolutely intolerable, that is the joint response from the U.S. and Japan after North Korea test fired a ballistic missile during a U.S. state visit by the leader of Japan. South Korean officials say the North fired an intermediate-range missile from the western part of the country. The missile traveled about 300 miles before crashing into the sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.

This is the first North Korean ballistic missile test of Donald Trump's presidency, taking place just as Trump was hosting Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, in Florida. The two appeared in an impromptu press conference last night. Here is the president's full statement.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent, thank you.


WHITFIELD: So we have a team of reporters answer analysts standing by to talk about all of this. Let's begin with CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott in Washington. So Elise, Trump was outspoken about North Korea during his campaign but that was an extremely short statement last night from the president. Are we expecting to hear any more from the White House today?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, it was. It was a very short, it was a very sober statement after all that bombast that we heard from President Trump on the campaign trail and really leading up to his inauguration. That very short statement about supporting japan, didn't even mention North Korea and the actual missile test in this statement. Certainly didn't mention South Korea, the other ally in the region.

This morning, White House policy rector, Steven Miller, was on the $Sunday talk shows defending that statement. Take a listen to Steven Miller.


STEVEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE POLICY RECTOR: Last night was a show of strength, saying that we stand with our ally, having the two men appear on camera, worldwide, to all of planet earth, was a statement that will be understood very well by North Korea.


LABOTT: I think that that statement was probably more for Prime Minister Abe's benefit. Of course, he is at the Mar-a-Lago Resort with President Trump and needed to show a message to his people.

But, obviously today, the White House huddling about what they want to do. I think it was very notable the president was very restrained after all that rhetoric that we heard, certainly doesn't want to escalate this confrontation. Very important that after coming into office, very nervous about North Korea as a national security threat and that was something that President Obama warned President Trump about before the inauguration.

This is something that this administration has been obviously looking for, some kind of North Korea provocation and now they have really President Trump's first national security test, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Let's bring in CNN's Matt Rivers who's joining us from Seoul, South Korea. So Matt, I understand there was a call between South Korea and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. What do we know about what was said?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was a relatively short call that was taken at the request of the U.S. side of Michael Flynn, according to South Korean officials here from the Blue House that, of course, the executive mansion here in South Korea.

And we're told that Michael Flynn talked to his counterpart here, the director of National Security for South Korea and that Michael Flynn said that both sides just were to agree that all necessary steps should be taken to prevent further provocations from North Korea. But in terms of specifics, we didn't really get much more than that.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and of course, this isn't the first from North Korea. We've seen all kinds of tests before but this is the first of this U.S. presidency. Any expectation of whether there will be more or if so, when?

RIVERS: I think you can expect there will be more missile tests for more reasons than one. I mean, look at just last year alone. In 2016, there was some two dozen separate missile tests conducted by the North Koreans and that was just from January to October. This, of course, the first test that the North Koreans have conducted since Donald Trump was elected back in November.

But I think the other reason you can really look at here is the words of Kim Jong-un himself, it was on January first, on New Year's Day that Kim Jong-un said that his regime was in the final stages of preparing a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, a long range missile; the kind of missile that could potentially reach the continental United States. That, of course, has been a goal of the Kim Jong-un regime for some time now.

And most experts that we've spoken to say even though that didn't happen with this particular missile test that happened yesterday here local time, it's a matter of when rather than if Kim Jong-un will be able to show off that technology that he's been seeking so desperately for such a long time now.

WHITFIELD: All right Matt Rivers in Seoul, (00:05:00) Elise Labott in Washington, thanks so much to both of you.

I want to bring in now Bill Richardson. He is the former Governor of New Mexico, former U.S. Energy Secretary and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Good to see you. Also, you traveled to North Korea. So, in your view, did the president's words of sporting Japan send a strong enough message to North Korea?

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER GOVERNOR, NEW MEXICO: Yes. I think it was the appropriate message. It was measured. It did not overreact. North Korea was testing the new administration. OK, U.S., what are you going to do?

I think the president's statement saying he stands behind his ally, Japan, probably should have mentioned South Korea, but doesn't talk about what the U.S. might do. The national security adviser calling the South Korean, that makes sense, too. So it keeps the options on the table on a policy that I think needs a new look by this administration.

Yes, we need to get the Chinese more involved. They don't help us with North Korea. Yes, we need to probably develop that ballistic missile system with our allies in Asia. Yes, we need to reassure our allies that we're behind them.

But really, this policy of strategic patience that we've had has borne few results. Let's try something new, and I think the president, by being very vague, by not overreacting, has kept some good options on the table.

WHITFIELD: So you do not believe President Trump should've said something directly to even North Korea?

RICHARDSON: Well, I think a lot of preparation needs to happen with the secretary of state, with his national security team, Fredricka. I think a new approach is needed. We seem to forget that we have an American named Otto Warmbier, a young college student in prison for 15 years.

A humanitarian negotiation to get this young man back might be a path forward to discuss with the North Koreans, a dialogue. I think eventually you're going to need a United States-North Korea dialogue. Not at the presidential level but a lot of preparatory work that might be opened up by this humanitarian negotiation. I mean, we forget about this young man. He's been there almost a

year. He's a good kid. He made a mistake. But sometimes, those humanitarian gestures open up opportunities in the diplomatic field. What we don't want is an altercation because we've got a lot of interests here. We have troops here. We have the South Korean and Japan, we have treaties with them. They want to keep things cool.

And unlike Donald Trump's lack of coolness on a lot of foreign policy issues outside of this, I commend him for being cool and measured in this first test clearly by the North Koreans.

WHITFIELD: So you're saying there is time for a new approach. And, you know, this is just a reminder, I know you're already commenting about Donald Trump's coolness or lack thereof, but this was Donald Trump on the campaign trail when he was talking to Anderson Cooper about this sort of matter.


TRUMP: Wouldn't you rather, in a certain sense, have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons? And they do have them, they absolutely have them. They have no carrier system yet but they will very soon. Wouldn't you rather have Japan perhaps -- they're over there, they're very close -- they're very fearful of North Korea. And we're supposed to protect.


WHITFIELD: So do you anticipate a revisiting of that statement or encouragement of that view?

RICHARDSON: No, no. I think that the Trump administration has walked the way back again from getting Japan and South Korea to think about nuclear weapons. I think this visit by the Prime Minister Abe has cleared that up. We don't want that to happen. that's the worst thing that could happen.

What has happened in a positive way was the secretary of defense, making his first trip to Japan and South Korea, want to reassure our allies of our support with North Korea too to tell them, look, we're not going to lean on you to pay more for the defense of your country the way we did in the campaign.

Look, I've been in politics. You say some things on the campaign trail that you have to walk back. And clearly President Trump has done that. But I will say unlike what he said with China, with Taiwan, unlike what he said on the nuclear weapons in Asia at the beginning of the campaign, those were mistakes.

But now the fact that we have a relationship with Japan that is clear, that we stand behind them, measured with North Korea, we keep our options open, I have to say that it was the right move. The short statement was clear. But at the same time kept his (00:10:00) options open on what our response might be from a provocative act at a North Korea that was testing him; his first big test. WHITFIELD: And now shifting gears a little bit, you have served as

energy secretary, a former Texas Governor, Rick Perry is hoping to get that job. Any advice for him or do you have any strong opinions as to whether he should have that job?

RICHARDSON: Well, I do think he suited for that job. I would say, you know, energy secretary is not just oil and gas, it's not just renewable energy. It's nuclear weapons.

So let's be sure that, one, we reduce our nuclear weapons. Yes, we should modernize them, keep an eye on Russia, that's the main issue and that worries me, the too-close ties of the Trump administration with Russia.

But remember that North Korea, the nuclear agreement with Iran, are in your portfolio so watch and get briefed and find the best experts to lead us into strong negotiations with North Korea, which hopefully would reduce or eliminate their nuclear weapons in Iran so that they keep the nuclear agreement.

And with Russia, don't let them forget that they're an important ally when it comes to nuclear weapons and they have not lived up to their side of the bargain.

WHITFIELD: So versed on so much, Ambassador Bill Richardson, thank you so much, appreciate it.

All right. President Trump also must decide what to do about his executive order on immigration. Ahead, a Trump aide says all options are on the table, including a possible revision.

Plus, "Saturday Night Live" taking more shots at the Trump administration.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, you understand this is a TV court, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's OK, I'm a TV president.

WHITFIELD: Much more ahead in the "NEWSROOM".



WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Protests have been erupting across the nation, blasting the government's crackdown and deportation of undocumented immigrants.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show me what community looks like!

PROTESTERS: This is what community looks like!


WHITFIELD: These protesters gathered outside the White House yesterday with cries of undocumented, unafraid. And then in Austin, Texas, overnight, demonstrators held signs denouncing Trump's plan for a border wall. The protest spilled into the roads, tying up traffic for hours.

This follows the arrest of hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least 12 states. We're told most of them had criminal convictions. At least 37 of those arrested in California have been deported to Mexico. These raids were initially planned under the Obama administration but President Trump is taking credit.

This morning tweeting this, "The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers and others are being removed."

Fear among immigrant communities is mounting and it's being noticed at a one-of-a-kind call center in Arizona. Here's Polo Sandoval.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You wouldn't know it if you drove by this Tucson, Arizona building that bears the Mexican seal. But inside, it's a small army of call takers. This is more than just a phone bank, it's a clearing house for Mexicans run by the Mexican government. It's called CIAM or the Center for Information and Assistance for Mexicans. It's the only one in the U.S..

PATRICIA AHUMADA CALL CENTER OPERATOR, CIAM: We also explain all the customer services that we offer.

SANDOVAL: These days, Patricia Ahumada says people are concerned about more than just basic services.

AHUMADA: It can be a really tough for us as well. Because every story, every call is another story. And I can have a call, they can be about a passport, but I can also have a call saying that what happened if my kids are U.S. citizens and they have to go back to Mexico?

RICARDO PINEDA ALBARRAN, MEXICO CONSULATE: In the (inaudible) that's why we have around 40 people working out here.

SANDOVAL: Consul General Ricardo Pineda who leads his team noticed a risen 100 percent increase in call traffic. The center received an average of 700 calls a day before Donald was sworn in. Today, nearly 1,300 according to Pineda who thinks more of his fellow

Mexicans want answers about President Trump's immigration orders. He says many of the calls come from undocumented Mexicans with the new fear of dealing with U.S. immigration authorities, they fear deportation.

PINEDA: What we are trying to do is refer our community to professionals, to duly authorize attorneys here or in any location around the U.S. that can provide information. We are doing that and we are continue that on a more intensive manner.

SANDOVAL: Pineda echoes a new message from his swore ministry's office warning Mexican citizens in the U.S. to take precautions. The advice coming as hundreds of undocumented immigrants are being arrested in several states. The Mexican government foresees more severe immigration measures to be implemented with possible violations to constitutional presets. Pineda says those concerns have prompted them to keep their lines open 24/7.

PINEDA: Call your consulate. Please come to the consulate. It's our to duty get along with you to accompany you in any possible process.

SANDOVAL: With concerns about what the White House's next step will be, it doesn't seem that the phones will stop ringing any time soon. Polo Sandoval, CNN, Tucson, Arizona.


WHITFIELD: Meanwhile, tensions are also rising across the border with anti-Trump protest underway in Mexico City. And that's where we find CNN's Leyla Santiago. So, Leyla, organizers, are they getting the kinds of crowds they were hoping for?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, I will let you decide. Go ahead and take a look. All of these marchers coming down Paseo de la Reforma where we typically see mass protests but today, we are seeing anti-Trump protest. We're going to tell you exactly what message these protesters have for the president, when we come back.


WHITFIELD: All right. We're following anti-President Trump demonstrations across Mexico today. The biggest one is in the capital where protesters are gathering near the city's independence monument. CNN's Leyla Santiago is in Mexico city. So, Leyla, pretty significant crowds there.

SANTIAGO: Yes. And let me sort of lay this out for you, Fredricka. There are actually two protests that began about an hour ago and then they are coming together at that angel of independence. In about half an hour, we expect everyone to gather around there and then come together to sing the national anthem which is like many anthems of countries around the world, it is one that celebrates independence, one that says protect the homeland.

And, you know, that is sort of the message that we are hearing today. Not only are we hearing people say we need to get rid of Trump, but in this case, we're also hearing people complain about their own government.

You see the protests here on this side is about protesters who want the Mexican government to stand up for its rights, its human rights, certainly a word that we have heard quite a bit. We've also heard respect and dignity. And then on the other side of the angel is the strictly anti-Trump protest.

But both of them have that same message of wanting respect from the U.S. president. And I want to you hear what one protester told us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is against Donald Trump, who is a very mean, mean man (00:25:00) and I think that he will do a lot of harm to humanity. It's not only against Mexicans, I think he's on the wrong side of his street. And we don't like the way he's treating our people over there. I just want you to remind him that there were Mexican hands that built California, Texas, New Mexico and so many other states.


SANTIAGO: And, you know, one of the organizers told us that it was very important to make sure, very adamant about the fact that this is not an anti-U.S. protest. This is a protest against the U.S. president. Because what many leaders here and Mexican fear is any sort of development of anti-U.S. sentiment which we have not seen here thus far.

I actually spoke to three women that were coming in from Los Angeles. They were here visiting Mexico as tourists. And when they heard about this protest, they decided to join in as U.S. citizens in support of Mexico. But I asked them if they felt in any point that they were not being welcomed or if there was any anti-U.S. sentiment ever expressed to them and they actually said no, that's not the case.

So we're seeing these protests play out right here in the city. Dozens more across the country, all of them anti-Trump. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right. Leila Santiago reporting from Mexico City, thank you so much.

All right. These protest driven by the president's executive action to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and his immigration ban. Up next, how President Trump could impose a new travel ban and the potential impact of that around the world.

Plus, one stage dealing with an alarming spike in overdoses -- that is a state rather, 52 calls in just 32 hours. We will talk to the people on the front lines of the crisis.


WHITFIELD: Hello again everyone and thank you so much for joining me, I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

[14:30:00] All right, the Trump administration says all options are on the table as the White House looks for a way to push through with the president's travel ban of seven majority Muslim countries despite two setbacks in federal court, President Trump says he is confident he will eventually prevail.

A senior White House adviser making it clear in multiple interviews today the administration is pursuing all avenues to save the president's executive order on immigration.


STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right now we are considering and pursuing all options. Those options include seeking an emergency stay at the Supreme Court, continuing the appeal with the panel, having an emergency hearing en banc or going to the trial court in the district level and a trial on the merits.

They also include the possibility of new executive actions designed to prevent terrorist infiltration of our country. I want to say something clearly and disappointing to the people protesting the president and the people in Congress like Senator Schumer, who have attacked the president for his lawful and necessary action. The president's powers here are beyond question.


WHITFIELD: So with me now to discuss all of this, CNN contributor, David Fahrenthold, a reporter for "The Washington Post." David, thanks so much for being with me.

So the president and Mr. Miller all say that all options are on the table. The president's already said a new executive order is forthcoming within days. Is this an issue of trying to tackle all of it at once, continuing the fight in court, as well as releasing a new order?

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It seems like that's what they're considering. You also see an element of sort of indecision here. I think they have trouble understanding where to go next because they're not really sure what the salvageable part of this order is.

If they're going to lose part of it, if they're going to rewrite part of it, what's the part they want to save, what is the part they want to keep? You're not seeing a lot of clarity from them about that or about the strategy going forward.

WHITFIELD: Why is it that the Trump administration feels that this is advantageous to show that it is willing to fight on this?

FAHRENTHOLD: I think, A, it's their nature, that's the way that Trump himself is and Steven Miller are, they are people who have been combative and sort of relentless in their rise in politics, so I think it's their nature, first of all. I think they also see this as delivering on a campaign promise.

It's not exactly something Trump promised to do, but it sounds like something Trump promised to do, which is to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

So I think they see this -- if they surrender here, if they back off, if they lose, they lost sort of the most concrete and high- profile thing they've done to try to deliver on a campaign promise.

WHITFIELD: Now what's the potential downside here especially if Donald Trump is surrounded by this same counsel that helped craft this travel ban that is now caught up in litigation? Why should anyone be so sure that the next executive order will be more legally sound?

FAHRENTHOLD: I think it's a good question. Presumably they might bring in somebody who has a little more experience writing these things and involve the Justice Department folks who might understand the kind of counter arguments likely to get from other plaintiffs, states, from judges.

It doesn't seem like any of that went into the drafting of this first executive order. The president has a lot of power to limit immigration, to change the immigration rules, but the way they went about this seems they've run into obstacles basically everywhere they went.

WHITFIELD: This is what Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had to say on this immigration order today.


SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: This executive order is so bad and so poisoned and its genesis is so bad and terrible that he ought to just throw it in the trash can and for two reasons.

First reason, it doesn't really make us safer. It doesn't focus on the areas where we really need to tighten up. They are, number one, on lone wolves. The last two major terrorist incidents in America didn't occur through immigrants. They were Americans importuned by evil ISIS.

The second reason this order is so bad is it's un-American and unconstitutional. A religious ban goes against the American grain. We believe in immigrants in this country, and we don't believe in a religious test.


WHITFIELD: So it's interesting, David, because the court has said that it wants to see more on the motivation, the inspiration behind the order, Chuck Schumer's point is pretty borderline to that. Is the expectation that the Trump White House would still explain itself on that, even if it is in the form of a new order?

FAHRENTHOLD: I think it's possible. I think you might see them try to do that in court as well. The Washington -- the Ninth Circuit Court did was say, well, no matter what you're saying now, during the campaign, now President Trump said, I want to ban all Muslims and so they treat this as an outgrowth of that campaign statement.

Other courts may not see it that way. They may take just what the White House is saying now and ignore what Trump said during the campaign. An executive order, revised executive order if it exempts things like students, green cardholders, if it's more narrow that might give a different impression what have they're out to do.

As I said, there's some confusion here about what they actually want to do with this order that I think they need to resolve before they pursue it either with a new order or in court.

[14:35:06]WHITFIELD: This isn't the only executive order that is in limbo. He is also facing a very divided Congress on how to replace, repeal, repair Obamacare, and a very divided Congress on spending the money that would be required to build the border wall. So is this symbolic of an uphill battle so to speak for this president?

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, I think what you're seeing in all three of these cases is the president trying to deliver on a promise quickly, without actually having sort of done the foresight, the planning, the sort of implementation needed to actually deliver on it.

This executive order on immigration, for instance, if they had done a few things earlier on, exempted green cardholders explicitly, not given some warning so there weren't some people in the air who were affected by the order when it went out and sort of not sowed as much confusion it might have worked better, they might have gotten the outcome they want.

And so I think there is a lack of sort of planning and understanding of the way government works that is across all three of those things that is going to -- other ones will play out more slowly but especially the questions about Obamacare.

If Trump really doesn't have a plan to replace Obamacare, if he's winging it and hoping something comes up that's a long and involved fight that will be equally painful for him.

WHITFIELD: And then now a new bruising, you know, so to speak, for one of Donald Trump's nominees, now confirmed as secretary of education from her department, a tweet that went out today, and a misspelling of the civil rights icon founder of the NAACP, a misspelling, and then also getting some flack over misspelling in an apology. How does this Department of Education recover?

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, I think ultimately they're going to have to reach out in substantive ways to people who don't trust Betsy DeVos and there is a lot of folks especially teacher unions who are very adamantly stirred up against her. That's why you saw her the Trump nominee, who has gotten the most flack, so far, and not other people like Jeff Sessions or Tom Price, who there were ethical questions about.

SO DeVos faces this sort of mobilized force against her. I think she has to do a lot to reach out and energize our own people in contrast to that or to reach out to these people who don't trust her. The tweets are important, but I think what we see in the next few weeks to reach out to her enemies will be a lot more important.

WHITFIELD: All right, David Fahrenthold, thanks so much. Always good to see you, appreciate it.


WHITFIELD: All right, staying with politics now, once again "Saturday Night Live" taking direct aim at the Trump administration last night with female comedians taking on roles of men.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wanted to know what the president intends to do, now that the appeals court denied your request to stop the travel ban.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're testing me, big guy. Look, it's simple, if the appeals court won't do what's right, President Trump will see them in court specifically the people's court!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That isn't real.




WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A disturbing spike in overdose calls in Louisville, Kentucky. Officials responded to 52 overdose calls in just 32 hours this week, most of them heroin overdoses. Louisville is just the latest city added to the long list of places battling a heroin overdose surge.

Rachel Crane is following the spike in Louisville and joins us live now -- Rachel.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, that number 52 represents over double the amount of heroin overdoses that first responders had to deal with last week. And first responders, they had to deal with nearly 700 overdoses just in the month of January. That means it's about 22 overdoses a day.

Now, in regards to this recent spike in overdoses, several of the patients were transported here to Norton Audubon Hospital. We spoke to one of the doctors who treated those patients.


DR. ROBERT COUCH, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, NORTON AUDUBON HOSPITAL: We see it every day, in times past it would be unusual to have this many heroin overdoses. Now it's unusual if we don't have them. It's a good day in the emergency department if I don't see a heroin overdose. CRANE: How often are those days?

COUCH: I haven't had one of those days in a long time.


CRANE: Now, of course, the community has been completely rocked by this surge in overdoses. We spoke to a mother earlier today who has been deeply impacted by these overdoses.


ARLENE RICE, SON DIED OF HEROIN OVERDOSE: There does come a point where you sometimes wear down, but then you get back up and you fight. You're like I am not going to let this win. I will fight until the day that I day, to try to ensure that someone else's child doesn't die. I can't save all of them, but maybe one.


CRANE: Now, Fred, Arlene's passion for this cause stems from the fact that three of her four children have battled substance abuse, and she lost her son, Gabriel, four years ago to a heroin overdose, and her tale is just one of many in Louisville, Kentucky, who have been impacted by this heroin epidemic that has swept the country.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. So Rachel, overall, what is the community able to do to try to get a handle on this?

CRANE: Well, there's a drug called, name it goes by is Narcan (ph), that's what people call it, and it's the antidote to an opioid overdose. Doctors administer it here at hospitals and they've described the fact that they have to increase the dosage because this heroin that is now on the streets is much more potent.

But it's actually sold over-the-counter and a lot of the Narcan kits are handed out by community groups and activists to get it into hands of people so if in fact they encounter somebody who has had a heroin overdose, they can administer the drug, Narcan. It can be administered intravenously as well as nasal spray, but this is one of those kits right here.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks for showing us that. Thank you so much, Rachel Crane. Appreciate that in Louisville, Kentucky.

All right, still ahead, town halls are being held across the country giving people a chance to voice concerns over health care and other key policy issues. Why people are pushing back on lawmakers.



WHITFIELD: So you might have caught it, maybe you didn't. This is your opportunity. The political roast carried on last night as Melissa McCarthy reprised her role as a screaming unhinged Press Secretary Sean Spicer on "Saturday Night Live" referring to herself as spicy. McCarthy employed props to explain the Trump's administration's proposed travel ban.


MELISSA MCCARTHY: Here's how it's going to go down. You've got your TSA agent right here, OK, and first you got bar key coming in. Nice American girl, back from a dream vacation. We know she's OK because she's blond. So she gets in. Easy. We understand that perfect.

Now who is up next? Uh-oh. It's Melana. Whoa, slow your roll honey, and then we're going to pat her down and read her emails and if we don't like the answers, which we won't, boom! Guantanamo bay!


[14:50:03]WHITFIELD: All right, joining me is Dean Obeidallah, a former "SNL" production staffer and current host of Sirius XM Radio's "The Dean Obeidallah Show." All right, good to see you, Dean. It was side-splitting humor. Your take on the sketch?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, FORMER SNL PRODUCTION STAFFER: That was a great sketch. What a way to start the show, great energy, and it also right there, you really saw the height of political comedy. At its best it's funny and informing people about the issue many of us see, frankly, that the ban really is a Muslim ban trying to keep out brown looking people. That's the best form of comedy. It's not preachy. It's funny and makes a great point and I think that's what makes this all effective.

WHITFIELD: And you know, last week it wasn't that effective from the point of view of President Trump because his biggest issue reportedly was that a woman played Spicer in last night's sketch. We also saw Kate McKinnon portraying the new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. So has "SNL" successfully struck a nerve with the president in your view as a former staffer? Is that kind of the objective?

OBEIDALLAH: I will tell you this, I worked at "SNL" for the eight years and every week you would hope that the person you were parroting, a politician or celebrity would watch. Donald Trump hates watching "SNL."

WHITFIELD: He tweets about it and says it's not funny, not a good show.

OBEIDALLAH: He's done everything to saying it's not funny to wanting it canceled in October. He's thin skinned. I have no doubt the writers in their mind are knowing that Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is going to watch what they put out there. Maybe it moves him a little bit. Maybe it changes perceptions.

They don't know, but they know they are trolling him effectively and slightly disappointed that Donald Trump only tweeted Mark Cuban mocking him and not "SNL." It's really effective stuff and a 22-year high in ratings. It's remarkable. What a resurgence. WHITFIELD: Donald Trump has been very critical of Alec Baldwin. Many people are referring to Alec Baldwin as really the impersonator-in- chief. He hosted the show and gave President Trump his day in court, the people's court, over that blocked travel ban. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here you want to bring in a character witness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, someone who has known me for years, he's family, he's an incredible person with impeccable credentials, Mr. Vladimir Putin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Russian President Vladimir Putin. He's an authoritarian leader who has invaded other countries and killed rivals. He's President Trump's long time crush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vladimir is an amazing person. He knows me better than anyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. Hey, everybody, come on, lay off President Trump, OK? This man is a great friend. He's my little American happy meal.


WHITFIELD: So from your perspective as a former staffer, was there ever a moment where you and other staffers feel like you could cross the line, you may go too far? It gets a little uncomfortable or is it just all bets are off?

OBEIDALLAH: I think all bets are off. The goal is to be funny and at the same time if you can be funny and make a political point, you've done a great thing in comedy. That was some great stuff there you could have the skeleton figure Steve Bannon behind him. The sketch they went after Kellyanne Conway for an entire sketch.

They are not content just mocking Donald Trump, but now going after the entire administration from Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer and the list goes on. "SNL" is on the administration and the more you tweet about SNL helps them.

I wrote an article Donald Trump please mock me on Twitter. Make fun of us on Twitter. Make fun of you, Fred, it helps book sales and ratings and Vanity Fair. We're under his skin. They've never seen comedy troll a president of the United States like this before. I don't know where it's going but Donald Trump is making America laugh again.

WHITFIELD: "SNL" has history with poking fun at a lot of past presidents even while they were in office, does this seem like unchartered territory. All right, Dean Obeidallah, good to see you, thank you so much.

OBEIDALLAH: Nice seeing you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.


MCCARTHY: And then there are some light terrorism this week when Nordstroms decided to stop from telling Ivanka Trump's line of clothing and accessories! OK, these are high, high quality products. In fact, I'm wearing one of her bangles right now. It's beautiful, it's shimmery, it's elegant.




WHITFIELD: All right, according to the American Heart Association, every minute a woman dies of heart disease in the United States, yet many women don't know what symptoms to look out for. CNN health has more in today's "Heartbeat."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all know the classic signs of a heart attack, crushing pressure in the chest, followed by collapse and unconsciousness. But would you call 911 if you had indigestion, shortness of breath, overwhelming fatigue or a sudden pain in your jaw? Yet that's exactly what happens to a majority of women who have heart attacks and even some men. So many ignore these atypical symptoms that the American Heart Association turned to Hollywood.

Actress, Elizabeth Banks, shows how easy it is for women to discount their symptoms. Such as cold sweats, jaw, neck, back, and shoulder pain, nausea or indigestion and extreme exhaustion or dizziness.

Heart disease kills more women than men each year so learn all the signs of a heart attack, and when in doubt, call 911.


WHITFIELD: All right, the next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

Hello again, everyone. Thank you for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

President Trump is pledging the country's support in solidarity with East Asian allies, after North Korea test fired a ballistic missile during a U.S. state visit by the leader of Japan.

South Korean officials say the North fired an intermediate range missile from the western part of the country. The missile traveled about 300 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.