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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Trump's Immigration Policy; Texans Divided Over Border Wall; Battle for Mosul; Tombstones Knocked Over At Jewish Cemetery; New York Governor Visits Israel; Jeff Sessions as Forrest Gump In "Saturday Night Live;" John Ross Cost Himself An Island; New Rule Bans Protest During National Anthem; UNC Beats Duke In Rivalry Game; Michael Jordan's Half Time Quote Goes Viral; Sources: Trump Angry At Staff Over Sessions Fallout; Trump Offers No Proof That Obama Wiretapped Him; Updated Travel Ban Could Come Monday; FBI Investigating The Shooting Of A Sikh Man In Washington; Mexico Opens 50 Legal Aid Centers For Migrants. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired March 5, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president is accusing his predecessor, Barack Obama, of tapping the phones at the Trump Tower.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has made the allegation. He better have the evidence to back that up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is very frustrated with his senior staff in the communications team. Nobody has seen him as that upset.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The news that Jeff Sessions recusing himself has overtaken the narrative of the week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the attorney general of the whole United States. I got to meet the president and everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This meeting every happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't remember it anyway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All righty. Sunday is upon us, and we're so grateful to have your company. I am Christi Paul.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: I am Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: So, we, of course, want to start this morning with President Donald Trump's steamed over Sessions. Attorney General Sessions, we should point out, sources are telling us the president's frustration is mounting over the firestorm that is surrounding his attorney general.
SAVIDGE: This morning, the renewed focus on Russia is being seen as a major let down within the administration after Trump's well received speech to Congress last week. Now as Sessions is set to amend his testimony on Russian contacts during the campaign, we are hearing new details on the uproar inside the oval office.
PAUL: Also reaction to the president's explosive and unsubstantiated wiretapping claims against President Obama, at least one Republican senator now saying he wants to know more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't know if it's true or not, but if it is true, illegally, it would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate. So it's my job as a United States senator to get to the bottom of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Where is Trump's new travel ban? He originally argued it was urgently needed to stop, quote, "bad dudes" from rushing in, and now weeks after delays, we are hearing of an update that an executive order is expected to come out perhaps as early as tomorrow.
PAUL: So we have a team of political correspondents and experts standing by to breakdown all of this news for us. We want to begin with CNN correspondent, Ryan Nobles, who is live in Washington this morning. Ryan, good morning to you. What are you hearing about the mood inside the White House?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, good morning to you. Sources telling CNN that the president was frustrated and angry after the fallout from the revelation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact with the Russian ambassador after telling a Senate panel that he had not.
Now Sessions ultimately recused himself from any investigation related to the alleged Russian interference into the election and that was something that left the president hot. One source telling our White House team that the president felt his recusal was hasty and overkill.
It led to a fiery meeting in the oval office where there were, quote, "a lot of expletives." The president accusing his staff of fumbling the situation with Sessions. After that angry White House meeting, the president left for Florida.
And it was from his Mar-a-Lago estate Saturday morning that Trump tweeted out the explosive accusation that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of his phone and Trump Tower during the campaign.
Now this is a claim that the White House is still yet to provide evidence for and one that former President Barack Obama vehemently denies. Now this morning, we are learning that White House counsel, Dan Megan (ph), is reviewing what options are available to them to see if they can obtain records from the Justice Department that would prove that a warrant was issued to conduct surveillance on Trump or his associates.
But it's important to keep in mind that protocol has normally walled the Justice Department off from such a White House request. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska, not known as a Trump supporter, issued a statement yesterday demanding that any information related to the president's claim should be released to the public. He said that we are currently, quote, "in the midst of a civilization warping crisis of public crisis of public trust" -- Christi.
PAUL: So in the midst of that possibly. I want to look ahead to what we are expecting this week because tomorrow essentially could be a big day in Washington.
NOBLES: Yes, that's right, Christi. You know, for the most part the White House expected the end of this past week and the beginning of this week to be a victory lap, the continuation of the president's successful joint address to Congress.
And it could be as early as tomorrow that the president unveils that new executive order relating to travel from those Muslim majority countries that is currently being held up in court.
There's also more that will be done with the saga related to Jeff Sessions. He's going to amend his testimony to that Senate committee where he initially told them that he had not met with the Russian ambassador.
[06:05:06]PAUL: All righty, Ryan Nobles, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.
SAVIDGE: All right, let's continue the conversation with CNN politics reporter, Eric Bradner, Julian Zelizer, a historian and professor at Princeton University, and CNN legal analyst, Danny Cevallos. Good morning to everybody.
All right, Eric, let me start with you. Our sources are saying Trump is frustrated and the White House is on edge, so how can they reset the narrative this week when you have got the whole talk of Russia coming back again with Sessions, obviously going to give more explanation as to what his connections were? So how do they reset their narrative?
ERIC BRADNER, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Right. It's going to be difficult. An executive order on travel, the new travel ban is going to get a lot of attention. We have seen this time and time again, when President Trump thinks he is not being defended adequately, he goes out and does it on his own whether that means on Twitter or in front of a big support of crowd.
He sort of launches into these attacks that are sort of disconnected from the White House's policy message and sometimes it works. Sometimes it helps to muddy the water and gets journalists and others talking about something disconnected from whatever struggles he was having the day before. But this time what he has done is manage to put pressure on Republican lawmakers to say that they are going to do something to follow-up on these really big claims about President Obama.
So you are already seeing Lindsay Graham and Ben Sasse, two Republican senators say with sort of a wink and a nod that they need to investigate this. That's what Trump supporters want to hear, but it's also what Trump critics who sort of hear that.
And understand what they saying that they are going to disprove his claim. That's what they hear too. So Trump has really sort of taken a step that takes control of the narrative away from him in a sense.
SAVIDGE: Right. Julian, I want to bring this point up. Trump in all of his talk has had a rather complicated history with President Obama, and here's a quick reminder for all of us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it.
And we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, for their gracious aid throughout this transition.
He is the founder of ISIS. He's the finder of ISIS. I have great respect. The meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half, and it could have gone on for a lot longer.
Our president is the greatest divider I have ever seen. There's one line called place of birth and I would like to see what he said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Talk about whip saw there. Julian, do you think that President Obama will continue to be a target for President Trump?
JULIAN ZELIZER, HISTORIAN AND PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Yes, I think he will. President Trump started his national political career really in part with the birther movement, and raising questions about where Barack Obama was born and he's continued to make these kinds of inflammatory and conspiratorial statements throughout.
There was a little balance after he was elected, a little more diplomacy, but I don't think that's really the norm. I think former President Obama offers President Trump a foil, and President Trump loves a foil whether it's the media or liberal activist or President Obama.
I think he will continue to come back to him as someone who is behind the problems that he is facing in Congress and nationally rather than looking at himself.
SAVIDGE: Danny, let's talk about the wiretapping issue that the president has brought forward. Administration officials tell us that the White House counsel is reviewing what options are available to back Trump's wiretap claims. Could they get court records from the Department of Justice?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It would be difficult. More problematic is a policy issue that you would have a -- the White House arguably interfering with a DOJ investigation if there is one. That would be a real problem.
And then you add to the fact that if this is something authorized or involving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the courts, those are highly secretive, and this is the kind of information that really could create a problem down the road.
Not only for disclosing this information, but for the fact that it would demonstrate what the DOJ is doing in terms of investigating foreign agents and foreign governments that may be operating inside the United States. It's the entire purpose for which the FISA courts were created.
SAVIDGE: It's interesting to note, Julian, that, you know, with this accusation, you would have expected many Republicans to come out and speak in support of the president.
[06:10:11]But, of course, it's such an explosive accusation, many of them are not really sure what to make of it. We should point out that Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse did release a statement in part warning of a civilization warping crisis of public trust.
He is calling on Trump to show evidence to support his claims, but of course, it's going to be harder for a president who is already well- known for pedaling conspiracy theories, right?
ZELIZER: Right. So President Trump is dependent on Republican unity in his first month plus in officer and you are starting to see some of that crack. More Republicans are now saying there needs to be some kind of investigation into the connections with Russia among his advisers.
And this last claim to really allege that the former president of the United States engaged in this kind of activity without having any apparent evidence is something that is more difficult for a lot of Republicans to sit on.
And some of it might be principle, but a lot of it is politics. They are looking at their constituencies and saying this is going to be a problem for us in the mid-term election. So that's how this pressure is starting to build.
SAVIDGE: I don't know if we have to go that far into the future. Stick around, all of you, there's plenty more to discuss right after the break.
PAUL: And some dicey moments we should point out at a pro Trump rally.
(VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: It became an all-out brawl and we will tell you what police found.
SAVIDGE: Plus as we mentioned earlier, President Trump could issue a new travel ban as early as tomorrow. Will this be a significant change from the original order or will the White House find itself back in court? Our team of analysts standing by.
PAUL: "Saturday Night Live," they are back taking on the Trump administration again, adding a few twist to, you know it, this classic movie.
SAVIDGE: It was a protest that turned into something quite different, an all-out brawl in Northern California. This is just one of several violent demonstrations at the "March for Trump" rally in Berkeley. At least ten people were arrested yesterday when pro and anti-Trump supporters clashed.
Cameras captured people beating each other and pulling each other's hair. Several people including an elderly man were pepper sprayed. Police tell CNN that several weapons were confiscated during the chaos. They found a dagger and old pipes, bats, bricks, and 2 x 4s.
PAUL: President Trump is expected to sign an updated travel ban on certain Middle Eastern and African countries. It could happen as early as tomorrow, but an official with the Trump administration warns CNN plans could change.
Let's bring back, Eric Bradner, Julian Zelizer, and Danny Cevallos. Thank you all, Gentlemen, for being with us. Eric, I wanted to ask you about the changes in particular when it comes to Iraq. We know the secretary of state, the defense secretary, the national security adviser, the homeland security secretary, all advocating to delete Iraq from this list. How likely do you think it will be?
BRADNER: Right. It sounds likely at this point. So their argument is that eliminating Iraq would make it sort of easier to fight this battle against ISIS. Their argument is that there are translators, for example, who work with the U.S. military in Iraq, who were affected by the travel ban.
So the question is whether Iraq will be eliminated, and critics of the travel ban, of course, point out that there are similar instances you can point to from other countries included in this ban as well.
And not that just work with the U.S. military but people who have long periods of having done business with the United States, having cooperated with the United States in terms of diplomacy, and et cetera.
So it sounds like Iraq is going to be the big change, though. That's something that several people within the Trump administration, high ranking officials, have been pushing for.
PAUL: OK, so Danny, by extracting Iraq alone, what kind of a legal impact might that have?
CEVALLOS: In terms of choosing the countries, it's still very much within the president's or the executive branches Provence. The real conflict will be, to what degree -- and that's what this travel ban has always really boil down to.
On one side you have the president's statutory authority to exclude people from other countries based on national security interests, but on the other hand, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out, this power is not absolute.
The courts are designed and they have done so for centuries, they have reviewed the constitutionality of executive orders and federal laws that are passed by Congress.
And if they discriminate unlawfully and there is a discrimination provision in federal law as well as a constitutional claim, then this new travel ban will be surely equally challenged if it's perceived as discriminating in a way that is constitutional or contrary to provisions of federal law.
PAUL: All right, Julian, this is supposed signed, as we said, last Wednesday, a senior administration official said they just wanted to give it time to breathe, meaning the speech that the president gave to joint Congress on Tuesday because it seems like such a success.
[06:20:05]What do you make of the timing? Was it smart for them to hold on to this until this week?
ZELIZER: Well, obviously the first thing they want to make sure is that this is not held up in court again. So part of the slowness is to make sure that the executive order is written in a way that protects itself, and part of the hope was that speech would create this political moment where people weren't focusing on the problems of the administration.
But seeing President Trump as presidential, but that delay did not work, because in the intervening moments we are back to tweets and back to Russiagate, and so that's the context in which this executive order will now be released.
PAUL: OK, so Eric, what about this DHS assessment out there that says individuals that are radicalized are not radicalized when they come into the country, as they are coming in, but after they have been here for a while. How will that argument in that report play out in what is in the travel ban?
BRADNER: Right. Politically this makes it more difficult for Republicans to back the president. We have seen this, you know, time and time again, people who are foreign policy hawks on the right are sort of eager to back a more assertive vision of U.S. military might, and so they sort of want to get behind Trump, but they see these steps as unproductive or counterproductive.
So the question is -- there are two questions. One is the legal issue and one is how this sort of plays on Capitol hill whether Trump is able to get Republicans behind him, and that assessment does make it more difficult. It's one of several factors that have people like John McCain and the Lindsey Grahams of the world sort of hesitant to support the president.
PAUL: Danny, is there any way to craft this without naming countries? If you extracted those countries that would take a big legal aspect out of it, would it not?
CEVALLOS: It's not so much -- some of the primary concerns -- the religion testing in the prior executive order and obviously the due process concerns, I think the biggest carve out that will insulate a new executive order would be that for lawful permanent residents, green card holders, the class of people being excluded.
The more the order goes towards trying to exclude, not necessarily people from specific countries, but that class of people that never had any due process or other right to enter the country, for example, people who have never set foot in the United States, who are non-visa holders.
That is a group of people that are likely to have least right to try and travel here. Not necessarily people from particular countries, although that, of course, is a very important political consideration, less so a legal one, certainly when compared to the religion testing in some of the other constitutional challenges.
PAUL: All right, just a couple of seconds left, Julian, do you think we will see the travel ban announced this week?
ZELIZER: Yes, I think we will see it announced and see it challenged legally and politically. I think the system might (inaudible) is the system that we have. It's already a very heavily vetted system, so whatever comes from the White House will be challenged I am certain in the coming weeks.
PAUL: All righty, Julian Zelizer, Eric Bradner, Danny Cevallos, we so appreciate you being here. Thank you, Gentlemen.
Also ahead on CNN, Nancy Pelosi and Marco Rubio are with Jake Tapper today on "STATE OF THE UNION" at 9 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
SAVIDGE: After a direct request from the president of Mexico, 50 legal centers now have been opened in Mexican consulates here in the U.S. Next, who will they help and what services will they provide?
PAUL: Also a Texas border rancher lives on land his family has owned for centuries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That property has been in our family since around 1767.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: But he says there's one reason and one alone that he would give part of it up to the government.
PAUL: Welcome back at 6:28 on a Sunday morning. You are up early. I am Christi Paul.
SAVIDGE: I am Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. It's great to be with you.
Authorities in Washington State investigating the shooting of a 39- year-old Sikh man and they are now calling that incident a hate crime. According to police, the Sikh man was in his driveway when a white man told him to go back to his country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN THOMAS, KENT POLICE CHIEF: He was approached and confronted by the subject, and some comments were made to the effect of get out of our country, go back to where you are from, and our victim was then shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: The shooting comes just two weeks after a white man allegedly shot and killed an Indian man and wounded another in Kansas.
PAUL: Mexico is moving to protect its citizens in light of tougher deportation standards in the U.S. They are spending $54 million to help defend Mexican immigrants at the direct request of the Mexican president. More than 300 workers will be hired to staff centers inside Mexican consulates and embassies in all 50 states. According to a statement, the centers will assist migrants with legal help information even printing birth certificates for those who don't have one.
SAVIDGE: As undocumented immigrants make their way across the southern border, some of them cross the Rio Grand unto Roberto Escobar's land. That's in Texas.
PAUL: He says he has sympathy for those crossing the border.
[06:30:00] The property has been in his family for generations, but he said he would gladly give part of it up for a border wall.
Here's CNN correspondent, Polo Sandoval.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RUPERTO ESCOBAR, BORDER LANDOWER: I was born in February 26, 1944.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Where?
ESCOBAR: About 100 yards from here in that direction.
SANDOVAL: Ruperto Escobar's roots run deep into these 600 acres of south Texas soil.
ESCOBAR: My ancestors lived here as well.
SANDOVAL: Like six generations before him...
ESCOBAR: That is the Rio Grande right there.
SANDOVAL: ... the 73-year-old farms and ranches this river side property in Starr County, Texas.
ESCOBAR: Through the years we have worked the land, took all the brush and leveled it out.
SANDOVAL: This rugged and dusty land has carried the name of the Escobar family for centuries long before it was annexed by the United States or even made a part of the Republic of Texas. By all accounts, this teacher, farmer and rancher is as American as it gets.
ESCOBAR: That property has been in our family since around 1767.
SANDOVAL: Escobar says as long as there has been a border there have been smugglers determined to cross it illegally. His father saw bootleg Tequila snuck over the Rio Grande during Prohibition. These days it's people and drugs.
ESCOBAR: I'm not sure that a wall will ever stop all of these. I would like to see it stopped.
SANDOVAL: You won't find many neighbors who share Escobar's views in this part of Texas, he is after all a conservative in a predominantly blue region of a red state.
ESCOBAR: Our president and his own party beat 16 other candidates. What does that tell you? The American people were listening to him. So at some point I started listening to him as well. The pirates, of course, are right there.
SANDOVAL: Escobar says he has seen firsthand the face of immigration from his doorstep.
ESCOBAR: So we've been moved by many of these cases, absolutely, Polo. And so many of them come and tell us their stories about their -- their -- their hunger pains over there, about the corruption, about the illegal activities going on in their country. It breaks our heart.
SANDOVAL: Something else will break his heart, he has to part with something he holds dear. ESCOBAR: If my country needs a part of my property I'd be willing to give it up so we can continue to be the land of the brave and the home of the free. Like it always has been for immigrants from all over the world that come here seeking to be a part of this country in a legal way.
SANDOVAL: This man gave Trump his vote. Now he's prepared to give Trump his land.
Polo Sandoval, CNN Starr County, Texas.
PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) that report not everyone in the Rio Grande Valley sides with Escobar. Ruben Villarreal, former mayor of Rio Grande City is a vocal critic of it. And he joins us now.
Former mayor, good to have you with us. Thank you for being here. I want to get your reaction, first of all, to the piece on Mr. Escobar and the fact that he would give up part of his family's land to build a wall, is that -- is that something that you see a lot of in people in that area, in that community? Do a lot of them support the wall?
RUBEN VILLARREAL, FORMER MAYOR, RIO GRANDE CITY, TEXAS: Let me tell you. I know Mr. Escobar quite well. He's a very patriotic man. He's a -- he's a very good citizen of this country. What you want along the border and very common is people want border security. That goes without a doubt.
Now, from my standpoint, a former public official, I want the best alternative. I want the biggest bang for the buck, so $21 billion being talked about doesn't sound like a good investment for something that is going to provide us that security over a generation, so from our standpoint it's about spending the money correctly using technology, boots on the ground, and a combination obviously even though a border wall might work, a border fence that is, but we need a combination of things that give us real security.
PAUL: Do you -- do you have a feeling -- I think I read an article where you said, you think Washington is in a sense out of touch with what the people in your community really want. How so?
VILLARREAL: Washington is very out of touch. They're 1,700 miles away. They don't often understand the dynamics of this area, the region. The region needs a solution to border security that's flexible, that's dynamic, that can change. A bordered fence, per se, once you put it up, it doesn't have a lot of those qualities. It's stagnant. It becomes a multi-billion dollar scarecrow and becomes a symbol of not what works but what doesn't work. So you've got to influence or influx an awful lot of boots on the ground, and a lot of technology. People think it exists here.
The technology has just arrived so we don't know the outcome of what new technology we have. PAUL: Help us understand what you're talking about in terms of what you think will work. A wall won't work necessarily, what kind of technology do you advocate?
VILLARREAL: Just recently in 2014, we saw TARS, that are aerostat radar systems. We saw cameras coming in in great number. I think drones would do a wonderful job of keeping a very close watch on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The fact of the matter is that technology only exists in pockets. It's being spread out as we speak but as of 2015, for example, cameras were being installed. And I am talking about basic cameras that can take an image of somebody coming across and then report it to the proper authorities.
So the technology is a much better option for what we need to do, because one thing is for sure, we have 56 miles of border fence already. In 2014 we had 60,000 immigrants coming across the border and the Rio Grande Valley, so that's a great example of how a border fence can be very ineffective and doesn't go with the dynamics of this area.
PAUL: So what is the main problem the border security itself or the immigration process and the protocols that need to be followed?
VILLARREAL: It's a combination of both. Look, before we look at comprehensive immigration, we have to secure the borders. That goes without saying. If we do one the other won't work.
But what I will tell you that, like Mr. Escobar mentioned, you know, he supported Trump, and ironically or interestingly so did I, but we have different reasons for doing that. Now I believe that border security needs to be influenced with the modern technology that we have, and then fall back on the, again, the human spirit, which is the dynamics of people on the border to solve a problem versus the investment of billions and billions and billions of dollars on a technology that's very antiquated that goes back to the 14th century. That doesn't show how advanced we are. It shows how limited we are and how short sighted we can be.
PAUL: All right. Former Mayor Ruben Villarreal, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Good to see you this morning.
VILLARREAL: Thank you so much.
PAUL: Thank you.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Tomb stones were found knocked over at a Jewish cemetery in New York. Now investigators are trying to figure out if this is the latest in a rash of anti-Semitic crimes in the U.S.
Meanwhile, a show of support for the Jewish community amidst these crimes the governor of New York heads to Israel, what he had to say about those crimes, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:41:44]
PAUL: All right. I want to share with you some of the new videos that we're getting in this morning.
Hundreds of civilians as they leave Mosul and U.S. backed forces there in Iraq hammer ISIS targets in that city. The Iraqi military believes several thousand militants are still hold up in Mosul and it had control that ISIS had since 2014. But aid agencies say thousands of people have been killed or wounded since fighting began in October.
Look at these pictures. Again, coming into us and the people of that city who are trying now to get out and find a place to go.
Can't imagine what that is like for them.
SAVIDGE: New York police are investigating a possible hate crime at a Jewish cemetery. Police found five tomb stones knocked over in Brooklyn last night. They are working to try to find out if this was a case of vandalism or maybe the weather might have caused it.
The investigation comes after a series of anti-Semitic attacks across the U.S. Tomb stones in Jewish cemeteries were damaged in three states over the last few weeks and bomb threats have been called in to Jewish centers and schools across the country this year.
So far one man has been arrested and accused of making those threats and because of those recent anti-Semitic crimes New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is visiting Israel this morning.
PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) Holocaust memorial last hour with the country's president. This of course is a show of solidarity against anti- Semitism.
CNN international correspondent Oren Liebermann has more for us from Jerusalem.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Governor Andrew Cuomo's first in Jerusalem this morning was Yad Vashem, the Israeli holocaust museum where he stopped and he paused with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to lay a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance paying his respects to 6 million Jews killed in the holocaust.
But the lessons of the past are more relevant than ever in a president with a wave of anti-Semitism across the United States including bomb threats called in to more than 100 JCCs, Jewish Community Centers, and then it was in the Jewish cemeteries across the country. The latest happening as Cuomo was on his flight here, vandalism, grave stones knocked over at a largely Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn. Hitting very close to home for Cuomo who spoke out against anti-Semitism and need to fight this rise of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: In New York now and in the United States we have had a rash of anti-Semitism, over 100 acts of anti- Semitism, and I am sad to say also in my state, the state of New York. It is disgusting. It is reprehensible. It violates every tenant of the New York State tradition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: Cuomo pointed out that the New York State Police have set up a task force to find those responsible for these anti-Semitic attacks as well as a reward to help find those responsible.
President Donald Trump has spoken out against this anti-Semitism. It was right (INAUDIBLE) speech before Congress. Those words and that strong condemnation was welcomed here. But his critics wondered whether those words would be followed up by actions.
Cuomo wrapping up his visit here with economic meetings, striking partnerships between New York and Israel.
In Jerusalem, Oren Liebermann, CNN.
SAVIDGET: "Saturday Night Live" taking on the Trump administration once again, and this time they brought back a classic movie to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE MCKINNON AS ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: I was on the cover of the "New York Times." You want to see?
KYLE MOONEY, ACTOR: This says you might have committed perjury.
MCKINNON: Yes, I had a bad week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Plus the quote from basketball legend, Michael Jordan, at the North Carolina game that has gone viral. You will hear it ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCKINNON: I just going to prove to everybody that I don't have any ties to the Russians whatsoever.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BECK BENNETT AS VLADIMIR PUTIN: This meeting never happened.
MCKINNON: I wouldn't have remembered it anyway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: "Saturday Night Live" back last night, finding a lot of work to do -- had lots of headlines from the Trump administration obviously (INAUDIBLE).
SAVIDGE: It's almost like their scripts are written for them by the administration.
SAVIDGE: But the focus of course wasn't this time of the president, it wasn't on Sean Spicer or even Kellyanne Conway. Instead the show made fun of Attorney General Jeff Sessions with the help of Forrest Gump.
CNN senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter is here with the highlights. Good morning to you, Brian.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
No Donald Trump impersonation last night. There was no Alec Baldwin but Putin did play a big role, at least the show's impression of Putin.
Let's go back to the bench. Here's part of that clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCKINNON: Being in the government was so fun. Have you ever been in it?
LESLIE JONES, ACTRESS: No, never.
MCKINNON: Oh, right. You meet so many nice people. Like this, this is my best good friend, Kellyanne. She ain't got no legs. We're about as close as peas and carrots.
She's the best talker you ever heard. They said she can sell stink to a skunk but they don't let her talk no more. I miss you, Kelly.
Are you sure you don't want chocolate? I always say life is like a box of chocolates. There are a sure lot of browns ones in there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: All right. Let's just stop there. That's Kate McKinnon, by the way, playing Jeff Sessions. You can barely tell it's Kate McKinnon when you watch.
And then later in the show, guys, there was a movie trailer, a new movie trailer parody from SNL. This one targeting the GOP. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: It was a country in chaos.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bomb threats. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jewish community centers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anti-Semitic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a hate crime.
ANNOUNCER: A nation divided.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) immigration.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Absolutely no illegal immigration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deportation of --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mass deportation.
ANNOUNCER: Led by a president with unchecked power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump just spoke to Vladimir Putin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tax returns from Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans have blocked the first attempt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to get their act together.
ANNOUNCER: Until one Republican decided enough was enough.
The patriot who put country over party, who finally stood up for his nation's founding values, a man by the name of --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TBD.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: All right. SNL -- those liberal comedians of SNL having some fun this week. Some CNN cameos there in that fake movie trailer also. Guys, we'll have more SNL coming up next hour.
PAUL: Looking forward (INAUDIBLE). Brian Stelter, thank you so much.
PAUL: Don't forget not only next hour stay is he with us. You can catch him on "RELIABLE SOURCES" as well today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Guess what? There is a lighting fast NFL prospect making news. Any Scholes has more of a preview for us here. Hey, Andy.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hey, Christi.
John Ross breaks the combine's 40-yard dash record but cost himself an island in the process. Bleacher report is next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:57:19]
PAUL: So why (INAUDIBLE) John Ross making history at the NFL combine but misses a huge reward.
SAVIDGE: Andy Scholes explains this morning's bleacher report.
Good morning, Andy.
SCHOLES: Good morning, guys.
The 40 yard dash is the marquee event at the NFL combine, and this year if you broke the record wearing Adidas, the shoe company was going to buy you an island in the Caribbean. Well, John Ross ran the 40-yard dash in a lightning fast 4.22 second yesterday breaking the record set by Chris Johnson back in 2008. Look at this. Ross was wearing Nikes, so no island for him. But, yes, he didn't seem too heartbroken, telling reporters that, I really can't swim that well anyway and he doesn't have a boat to get to the island.
All right. U.S. soccer has passed a new policy that states that all players must stand respectfully for the national anthem going forward. The change comes after women's soccer player Megan Repinoe knelt during the national anthem in solidarity with quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest social injustice.
According to multiple reports Kaepernick has decided to stand for the anthem next session.
All right. North Carolina, Duke, adding another chapter in college basketball's biggest rivalry last night. Duke's Grayson Allen once again finding himself in a middle of a controversy. He seems (ph) to (ph) draw the foul but appears to throw an elbow. He's going to receive a technical foul for that. But UNC's Joel Berry (INAUDIBLE) difference maker in this game. He had seven straight shots late in the game put them to a 90-83 victory.
North Carolina legend, Michael Jordan, he was at this game, and during that time the hall of famer announced that UNC's football team would be part of the Jordan brand going forward, but it was his words at the end of his speech that has everybody talking this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JORDAN, BASKETBALL HALLF OF FAMER: The ceiling is the roof, let's make it happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: So guys, he said, "The ceiling is the roof." I'm guessing he was going for something like the sky is the limit for you guys. But ceiling is the roof.
PAUL: I was going to ask you to clarify because I was not sure.
Thank you, Andy. SCHOLES: You're welcome.
PAUL: All right then.
SAVIDGE: Proof again, words matter.
PAUL: Words do matter. Absolutely.
Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.
SAVIDGE: We've got a whole lot more ahead in the next hour of your NEW DAY. It starts right now.
CROWD: USA! USA! USA!
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: The president is accusing his predecessor, Barack Obama, of tapping the phones at Trump Tower.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has made the allegation. There has got to be some evidence to back that up.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump was very frustrated with his senior staff and communications team (ph). Nobody has seen him that upset.
The news of Jeff Sessions recusing himself that sort of overtaken the narrative of the week.
MCKINNON: I am the attorney general of the whole of United States.
I got to meet the president and everything.
BENNETT: This meeting never happened.
MCKINNON: I wouldn't have remembered it anyway.