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Trump: Kim Jong-un "Better Behave"; Protests And Complaints After Turkey Vote; U.S. Vice President Pence Arrives In Tokyo After South Korea Visit. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired April 18, 2017 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, Donald Trump says Kim Jong-un better behave. But the threats of nuclear war keep coming from North Korea.

SESAY: Plus, protests in the streets and complaints from election monitors, calling the vote that expanded the powers of Turkey's President.

VAUSE: And later, "Fast and Furious" opens with a record box office. The eighth installment of the muscle car franchise showing no signs of slowing down.

SESAY: Hello, and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. This is NEWSROOM L.A.

SESAY: U.S. Vice President, Mike Pence, is in Japan to talk about economic issues. But the rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear program are sure to come up as well.

VAUSE: During his visit to South Korea, Pence, warn the North not to test the resolve of the United States or the strength of its military. Washington, President Trump had this to say.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Any message for North Korea, Sir? Kim Jong-un?


VAUSE: CNN's Alexandra Field is in Tokyo, and our Paula Hancocks is standing by in Seoul. So, first to you, Alexander, there in Tokyo. Given the increasing threat of North Korea, Mike Pence have to walk back that campaign from us, from Donald Trump, suggesting Tokyo: it has to pay more for its own security.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Walking back kind of campaign, that rhetoric has been largely abandoned - really hurting on the campaign trail. And you did hear in the inaugural address from President Donald Trump; this warning to the rest of the world that the policy would be America First; and that the U.S. would re-evaluate its defense commitments around the world. But the actions that the Trump administration has taken since January seemed to show a very different objective here.

This visit from Vice President, Mike Pence, was meeting here in Tokyo with Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is not the first time that the Trump administration has sent a high-level delegate out here to re-affirm the U.S.'s commitment to the alliance. The was also the visit from Secretary Mattis, and the Secretary Tillerson; both the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State who're here in Tokyo and also in Seoul to commit to South Korea and to Japan, to show them that the U.S. is standing firm in terms of its commitment when it comes to confronting a threat from North Korea. And that is exactly the kind of language that people not just in Seoul, where Paula, want to hear but people in Tokyo want to hear because they know that the risk is real. Yes, North Korea's nuclear ambition have captured the world's attention. Kim-Jong-un's desire to launch and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, capable of tearing a nuclear warhead to the continental.

The United States does raise the global alarm, but here in the region, there are other equally pressing concerns. Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, pointed out the Parliament just last week, that he believes that it's possible, that Kim Jong-un could lead a chemical weapons attack. Mounting Sarin Chip Warheads to missiles. There's also great concern about North Korea's missile program. It was just last month, John, that North Korea test launch's several missiles which landed off the Coast of Japan. Prompting officials here, to order a practice evacuation drip for people who could potentially, be in the line of fire, because of these threats from North Korea.

VAUSE: OK. Alexandra, Thank you.

SESAY: Well, let's cross over to Seoul in CNN's Paula Hancocks. Paula, before heading to Tokyo, as well a know the Vice President was in South Korea. And the tough talk and the DMZ, which is then that North Korea did not go over well with Pyongyang. Let's take a listen to the response from the North Korean - the Deputy North Korean Ambassador to the U.N.


KIM IN-RYONG, NORTH KOREA AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATION: It has been created a dangerous situation in which the thermonuclear war may break out at any moment on the Peninsula and poses a serious threat to the world peace and security, to say nothing of those in the Northeast Asia.


SESAY: So Paula, given the tensions on the Peninsula being high than they have been in the very, very long time. Is Seoul actually in favor of the Trump administration's talk of abandoning strategic patience with the North.

PAUL HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isha, there were certainly many critics in South Korea of the strategic patience. Quite simply, because over the past several years, Kim Jong-un has been able to, to continue with his nuclear missile program and make some pretty impressive movements towards his capabilities considering he still has heavy sanctions against him. So, simply, that was a sense here that something had to change. Although, of course, the options are limited no matter what experts or Trump administration officials will say. There is some concern that there is a more open discussion.

Now, it appears to be, that a pre-emptive strike could be possible. There are hearing from Vice President Pence, all options are on the table, we're hearing that from all the Trump administration officials. But the fact that he has said the peaceful option is preferable. Potentially, negotiation is preferable. That will come as a welcome, as a welcome statement to South Korean officials because, of course, this talk of pre-emptive strikes does make people nervous.

[01:05:32] SESAY: Yes, understandably. So, Alexandra Field, in Tokyo; and Paula Hancocks there in Seoul. Our thanks to you both.

VAUSE: Well, joining us now for more of this is Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson; and Republican Consultant, John Thomas. OK. So, (INAUDIBLE), the President's getting a lot of good - I think for some quarter of this, sort of muscular foreign policy that he's taking. But in some ways, you know, it's the same foreign policy that we've seen from preview administrations.

And you know when this happened, you know, the U.S. Embassy, it is relevant to (INAUDIBLE) while the nuclear deal is still in place. Lobbying missiles into a foreign country aren't exactly what you asked Bill Clinton about that one. And the whole idea of engaging China to pry and rein in North Korea - well, that isn't new, is it?

DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's almost as if the President's going through a political identity crisis. But I think the reality is - look, you've got a guy who can't pan on the sort of isolationist approach where it was America First, right? We would focus on ourselves, on our borders, on our economy, we want to focus on world affairs or police the world. And now you've got this 180- degree pivot where now he's engaging in Syria, he's engaging with the Koreans - the North Koreans. And so, I think - not only is it perplexing, but the question is like, what's the Trump doctoring? Like, what is the - what is the long-term strategy?

VAUSE: Sorry, this is the stage of the presidency where it's - you know, what does this button do?

JACOBSON: Look, clearly, it's not working, right? According to a few research, he's had a 39 percent approval rating. So, he's got to pivot, he's got change and do something different.

SESAY: Yes. But then the question is about (INAUDIBLE), the way they collect their numbers. But moving on from that, you know, begs a question. And Politico, as you know, the news website actually, asked this in an article: "does Trump still believe in Trump-ism?" I mean, that's the question they talked about an identity crisis. That's the question here, does he still believe in what he campaigned on? And what does that mean for those who voted for him?

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Sure. I mean, Trump isn't an idea log. And I think the American people, when they appoint, whether it's a CEO to run their business or their country. Hopefully, that that CEO or President, in this case, can evolve with the circumstances. There's a difference between the campaign trail, thinking that Syria didn't have chemical weapons because Barack Obama said that program was shut down, and getting into office and realizing: Whoops! They do. There's something we have to do about it. Thinking that North Korea might have been handled, when in fact, Barack Obama in eight years, did nothing. So, I think just a reality of sitting behind that desk is forcing Trump to evolve.

VAUSE: You know - I guess we'll find out what the voters think in a couple of hours. As you said, there's always a special election in Georgia, normally no one cares about these Congressional races. This time it's different. Many Democrats are playing this is a referendum on Donald Trump. He won the seat, I think, by a point in the election. (INAUDIBLE) by Tom Price, it's now being - this special existing help because he's the director or the Secretary of Health and Human Services. You know, the Democrats have what, they've to raise about $8 million which is unheard off. Dave, if the Democrats don't win this seat; given that money and that time, and just how unpopular Donald Trump is right now, is that the biggest story for the Democrats if they win?

JACOBSON: Not necessarily. Look, this is a seat that Tom Price won by 24 points the last cycle, the Donald Trump won by about two percent. But I think it's emblematic of this sort of grounds. Well, what we're seeing on the ground; you're seeing this protest across the country. People are frankly upset, they're anxious, they want change, they're salivating for an overhaul. And so, I think the fact that this race is in play. This is the safe Democratic seat. In Georgia, in a red state, right? So, the fact that this is in play, I think it's a testament to the fact that people are salivating for something new. And I think it could potentially be the very beginnings of a wave election; be seen in 2018.

SESAY: And John, do you agree with that, that this race being as competitive as it is, foreshadows issues sort of the Republican (INAUDIBLE) when it comes to the midterms?

J. THOMAS: Certainly, it wouldn't be good for Republicans if they lose the seat. But I think it's too early to foreshadow anything. If there's something we've learned, it's that the new cycle can whipsaw and public opinion can change pretty quickly.

VAUSE: Scott Brown, Massachusetts, special election back in what-

JACOBSON: I've worked on that-

VAUSE: I was getting upset that's the state of Tea Party.


VAUSE: OK. Let's move on to the White House Strategist, Steve Bannon, and his on-going civil war with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Incredible, incredibly detailed story came out, kind of the affair about just what's going on behind the scenes in the White House. And what's stunned me was this one line about Kellyanne Conway. She, of the Trump whisper of fame, who took his campaign; saved the campaign. She's now, basically, being banished to the basement.

This is one line: "Conway's strategy of pivoting away from a question about Trump who attacked his rival, was no longer available." This is when she got into the White House. "It was very different defending a policy decision." Here's a quote, "The way we dealt with her is that she's not in meetings anymore." John, that says a lot about Donald Trump, his loyalty. And the fact that it's all about winning.

[01:10:09] THOMAS: It is. And it's all about what have you done for me lately. I mean, if you're not useful in the moment, he'll kick you to the curb unless, of course, you're a family. And that's the problem with Kushner. He's both here in the moment. Bannon's made some arguably bad recommendations with the travel ban and some other things that haven't worked out smoothly for him. And he's going against family. So-

VAUSE: I was - I quietly doubt he has that one.

J. THOMAS: Yes, that's true.

SESAY: So, Dave, what does your gut tells you? Once the 100 days are up, do we see the big shake up? Do we see people packing their bags and shipping out?

JACOBSON: Perhaps, but the question is like, does Donald Trump really want Steve Bannon to be an enemy of the White House and to be on the other side? And to be the mouthpiece of Breitbart, essentially, the organization, the news publication that helped propel his campaign to victory? I think that's the bigger question. Does he want to keep him close; keep your enemies close? You know, that's the big question. Or potentially, does he create some other shake up inside the White House where, you know, maybe he brings in new staff, maybe - you know, there's this movement that you've got these neocons coming in, sort of advising the President. Does he embrace that strategy more and keep Bannon close, but keep his distance as well? Who knows.

VAUSE: It seems to me, John, that the story now isn't so much about, you know, Steve Bannon and will he stay in the White House? It's how they're going to ease it out of the way.

J. THOMAS: You know, I think that's exactly right. He's gone. I think Reince Priebus is next as Chief of Staff. One thing I've learned - advise the officials, never be afraid to fire somebody if you think they've outlived their usefulness. Don't be afraid of the backlash.

SESAY: Even if they are Steve Bannon who has these assets-

J. THOMAS: You know, I think Steve's a very smart guy and useful, but there are lots of great Chief Strategist.

JACOBSON: But Donald Trump is a Chief Strategist, right? At least he's said recently.

VAUSE: What was his favorite? Yesterday's don't mean tomorrow's matches.

J. THOMAS: That's right.

VAUSE: OK. Dave and John, good to see you.

J. THOMAS: Thanks, guys.

JACOBSON: Likewise.

SESAY: Thank you. Always a pleasure.

VAUSE: And with that, we'll take a short break. And when we come back, Turkey's President is about to gain sweeping new political powers. Up next, how Sunday's referendum exposed a deep divide in the country, and opponents are saying the vote was not there.

SESAY: Plus, the push is on. Presidential candidates are trying to sway undecided French voters.


DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there! I'm Don Riddell with your CNN WORLD SPORTS headlines. This has been a very forgettable Premier League campaign for Arsenal but they're trying to salvage something of it in the last few weeks, making a late push for the Champions' League. The Gunners have lost their last four away games but they found better luck. The Middlesbrough taking the lead with an Alexis Sanchez free kick. Boro, fighting relegation but they made a game of it and Alvaro Negredo's equalizer made the Arsenals sweat. But in the end, the Gunners had enough like Sanchez. Mesut Ozil has been criticized lately, but he produced the winner which takes Arsenal back into the top six.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has a new member. Next season, Brighton & Hove Albion will be on the fixed list. After the Seagull's secure promotion to the top five Monday, Brighton's brilliant season culminated with the 2-1 win against Wigan. And if they win any one of their last three games then they will go up as champions. Brighton hasn't been on the top plight since 1983, as before the Premier League era.

And it has been another memorable day for Kenya's long distance runners - cleaning up in the Boston marathon, Geoffrey Kirui, won the men's race leaving American, Gaylen Rupp by 21 seconds. On the double world champion, Edna Kiplagat won the women's race. Set the first attempt adding to her victories in London, New York, and Los Angeles. And that is a quick look at your sports headlines. I'm Don Riddell.

[01:16:05] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody! The opposition in Turkey is challenging the biggest political change since the creation of the modern republic. U.S. President Donald Trump has congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday's referendum result. But he won by a very thin margin and the changes will be drastic. Turkey's parliamentary democracy will be gone, and the President will gain sweeping, mostly, unchecked new political powers. The vote shows a deep divide between urban and rural areas. Ian Lee has more now from a neighborhood in Istanbul, which voted against the constitutional changes.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ida and Shukran say, they need a bit of retail therapy. The life-long friends have lived in Besiktas since the 60's. Yesterday's referendum left them in a daze. Ida tells me: "Our souls are suffering. We were not expecting this outcome. We need to let it sink in, but we won't let it go. This is for our republic, for our children." In this neighborhood, a common word you'll hear these days is "hayir," Turkish for "no." Something else you should know, locals are as passionate about politics as they are sucker 17:12. Sunday's referendum proving no exception, 83 percent of voters here rejected President Erdogan's proposal with the defiant "hayir."

This rally isn't just saying "no," it's saying "no, we won." People here believed the referendum was daunt, and they're saying they're going to keep up the fight. Yes, it was a loss for the No campaign but the odds were heavily stacked against them, say European observers. While opposition party's alleged voter fraud and the demand the Supreme Election Council, void the referendum's results. This marcher tells me: "We are unified, this is the common fight across the political spectrum to defend our rights." But President Erdogan has planned this constitutional change for years. With new presidential powers within reach starting in 2019, don't expect him to let any amount of protest stand in his way. Ian Lee, CNN, Istanbul.

VAUSE: Lisa Daftari is the Editor in Chief of the Foreign Desk, also a Middle expert. Lisa, good to see you. If you look at the unexpected close result, and it was a lot closer than many people had expected, I think like one percent - only a couple of percent really. And also, European monitors are saying, hang on, there are some irregularities here as well. So - how will this now play out in the country which is deeply divided, as Erdogan then moves to sort of, you know, make the most of his new-found power.

LISA DAFTARI, FOREIGN DESK EDITOR IN CHIEF: Yes. This is formalized with started it in the coup, in July. Meaning, that Erdogan has suffocated the opposition in a formal and informal way. He shut down the press, he imprisoned teachers and government workers and the journalists. Anyone who would speak out against him was just shut down. This' just formalizing made ironclad what he had been working towards.

Anyway, with regards the opposition - I mean, it was such a close vote that it speaks the fact that he's not as popular as he thought he was, but he did get what he wanted. And that's how we've played it out. With the West, Erdogan gets what he wants because it's a conduit to the East. And with the East, he plays out the way that the wants because he's got the geographical location - we need him for our fight against ISIS, they need him because they are - he's a so-called "moderate Muslim country." VAUSE: Speak to Turkey, was it like, a country without any - with no

problems with its neighbors. And now, it's a country with neighbors, you know, all have problems. So, you know, they're in a very difficult position.

DAFTARI: Yes. They've fully isolated themselves, and Erdogan loves it. Because as I've said, he plays both sides and marches forward with, you know. The best line that I've heard about this whole referendum is that: "In the name of democracy, Turkey voted for dictatorship."

VAUSE: Right. Yes. On Monday, the U.S. President actually, you know, called Erdogan, congratulated him-


VAUSE: On the referendum win. On the other hand, we had new leaders in Europe (INAUDIBLE) Germany. You know, we're saying we respect, you know, Turkey's sovereignty and their right to make their own decisions. But you know, let's have respect for (INAUDIBLE) with all the political entities within the country. You know, raising concerns about how the election with that friend is carried out. That says a lot about where the world is right now.

[01:20:23] DAFTARI: Oh, absolutely. The Europeans have been calling Turkey off for a very long time. I think this just adds to their checklist of things that Turkey has done to not warrant entrance of tomato to the E.U. and etc. With regards to Donald Trump's call, I think this is where - I mean, he plays "good cop, bad cop." The State Department called out Turkey on this-

VAUSE: Right.

DAFTARI: I mean, called out Erdogan on this. But at the same time, I mean, this is more of possibly this interest aligned foreign policy that we're seeing from Donald Trump. He did 180 on NATO. He did 180 in China, who sort of backed down from a lot of threat that he made during his campaign.

VAUSE: Now, you mentioned the State Department, you know, what they put out on the referendum result - I mean, it's almost like Donald Trump and the State Department are on two different planets.

DAFTARI: Are they thinking-

VAUSE: Do they know what this Turkey country is? Because it seems like there's two of them.

DAFTARI: There's always been this back and forth regarding our relationship. The U.S. policy with Turkey has always been on eggshells. And the reason is because we need them - they've been a frenemy because we need them and they know that we need them. Donald Trump is very, very much for the fight against ISIS and he wants to go ahead with that. At the same time, we know that Turkey wants to kill the Kurds inside Syria, that's why they're involved. So, we know that Turkey's intentions were never for the - our interest. But at the same time, because we need them they've taken advantage of this relationship; they've never been called out on it.

VAUSE: You mentioned the fight against ISIS in Syria, the United States has aligned itself with the Kurds in Syria. But the Turkey, the number one enemy are the Kurds, the number two enemy are the Kurds, the number three is in-

DAFTARI: All the way.

VAUSE: So, now, how does this all play out for the United States?

DAFTARI: Right. This is, this is also the other elephant in the room, along with the fact that we're arming the rebels, and then, you know, Putin wants Assad to stay. We're fighting Assad. All of these different layers within, within Syria, but I think the one point where everyone comes together is that ISIS must go.

VAUSE: Right.

DAFTARI: And that's the smallest, actually, part of the whole puzzle. Because take ISIS out overnight, you still have this Syrian civil war that remains at the surface. And until we figure out where we stand with regards to where we want Assad to go, I don't think we can have a serious conversation about that.

VAUSE: You mentioned the E.U. Turkey for decades, has been pushing, trying to get its membership for the E.U., that's been a lot of resistance from the E.U. Now, it seems like Erdogan just doesn't care. That deal is done, right? That's not going to happen.

DAFTARI: Well, they kept in waiting for around for so long, that's like expecting the letter that was never going to come. But I think, at this point, making his reign back at home, ironclad, with a much cell for him. Then, it would be a, you know, potential - acceptance letter that might have never come from the E.U. anyway.

VAUSE: Right. Yes.

DAFTARI: I think he's very happy with the result. I think he's claiming it to be a much bigger victory than the results show. And in coming days we'll see how the opposition reacts.

VAUSE: Lisa, good to see you. Thank you so much.

DAFTARI: Good to see you. Thank you for having me.

SESAY: Well, the first round of voting in France is unpredictable, the presidential election is just days away. Protests have interrupted Marine Le Pen's rally in Paris, twice. The far-right leader is promising to suspend all immigration if she's elected. The latest poll shows Le Pen's slightly behind Emmanuel Macron, while the same poll shows a slight definite support for leftist, Jean-Luc Melenchon. He had been seeing solid gains over the last month of televised debate. The top two vote gets it in the field of 11 candidates, will face each other in a May 7th run-off. Polls indicate nearly a quarter - nearly a quarter of French voters are still undecided. Let's bring in a friend of the show, Dominic Thomas. He joins me now here in L.A. He's the Chair of the UCLA's Department of French and Francophone Studies. Good to have you here, my friend.


SESAY: Let's talk about these polls, shall we. I mean, once again, this election has been something quite different from anything we've seen in decades. And now, even though we're seeing this Melenchon dips slightly; the race is tightening.

D. THOMAS: It's tightening. There were, a few weeks ago, five horses; now, there are four left. What we've seen in the last few days is the right of Melenchon, on the far-left for a number of reasons. From the moment of which Francois Holland stated that he wouldn't run, to seek re-election, the socialist run a primary and whoever ended up winning that primary was going to be a sort of, you know, a damaged candidate. Held accountable for the Hollande presidency, and we've seen that happen to Benoit Hamon. This has left the gap between Macron, running as an independent centrist and the far-left. So, he's benefited from that.

As we've talked about before on the show, this is the first time in the history of France that debates have been held in the first round, and Melenchon out-performed the other candidates for a number of reasons. First of all, when he went into the first debate, he was polling around 10, 11, 12 percent, he had nothing to lose. Where the other candidates were a bit more guarded. So, he did very well and rose up. And the third issue is, really, around the candidacy of Macron, who have the many people in the left is considered far too right on issues of security, imprisonment, police, all these categories that he wants to increase support for. So, some of his support has kind of leveled off and gone over toward Melenchon, which has leveled things out.

[01:25:41] SESAY: Let's talk a little bit more about Melenchon, himself.

D. THOMAS: Right.

SESAY: OK. He's a 65-year-old leftist with a love of technology; using these holograms appear in multiple places at the same time. If you are a politician sitting in Brussels, obviously, the thought of Marine Le Pen winning fills you with absolute dread. But the thought of Jean-Luc Melenchon taking the presidency, that doesn't provide much comfort either. Tell us about this man, and what he could mean for France.

D. THOMAS: Right. So, a former socialist that moved to the left, and then decided to run as an independent under a new party which used to take any part in the left-wing and socialist primary. This is somebody who's different to Le Pen, to the extent that he's not an economic nationalist. He's really about, you know, job protection, France first, leading the E.U., and all those kinds of things. And he's against NATO and would've to take France out of NATO.

He's a Euro-skeptic at best, who's talked about the fact that the relationship between France and the European Union would have to be completely revised. Which essentially wouldn't work because the European Union is not going to agree to those terms, but it creates a further havoc for the European Union. It's already gone through one divorce in the family over the last few months. The last thing it wants is an earthquake with the sort of second round pitting Melenchon against Le Pen, you know, for that in that particular aspect it would be, you know, absolutely disastrous. So, the interesting thing is, that the both ends of the spectrum - you start to see the far-right and the far-left meet of certain aspects, and they're very candidate.


D. THOMAS: But the fact is that Melenchon, is also appealing to that segment of the population that feels left behind. You know, his anti- globalization, he's everything that the candidate feels not in terms of protecting, you know, jobs, giving better benefits, retirements, and so on. The big question around his, his sort of platform is, how is he going to fund all of these measures. And that, of course, is shaking up financial institutions and is a great concern to the European Union.

SESAY: Yes. We've seen the markets already. You know-

D. THOMAS: Absolutely.

SESAY: Quite about with Jean-Luc Melenchon. Very quickly, to talk about these affected voters. Such a significant quarter of the country, (INAUDIBLE) they just won't bother turning up. Who are these people?

D. THOMAS: Well, they're all over the political spectrum. First of all, they didn't know the turnouts and French election's always been pretty good, you know, 79, 80 percent, and so on. So, a lot of people actually go to vote, and a lot of them do make up their mind at the last minute. And one of the things about this two-run stage is that you get to sort of vote first time around and then cool off a bit, and then decide on who you want on the second round. But that has relied on the very traditional structure, where you sort of known that it was essentially the two mainstream parties that we're going to go through. That's no longer happening.

So, you've got the whole Fillon, sort of financial controversy which has turned people away. Le Pen turns people off. The collapse of the left has turned people away that we have seen in the last few days; increases the number of people that has stated: who it is that they're going to sort of vote for. And it's planning to sort of wake up a little bit and realize that this is an important vote that is going to shape France, but that doesn't mean that the outcome remains any more predictable than it was just a few weeks ago.

SESAY: Wow! Dominic Thomas, these are critical times and we'll be watching that very closely with your help in the days ahead.

D. THOMAS: Absolutely.

SESAY: My pleasure.

D. THOMAS: Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, next here on NEWSROOM L.A. with the living showdown in the White House over the past climate agreement. One former Republican lawmaker turns climate change believer, now on a mission to win over his service.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headline this hour. Turkey is extending is state of emergency by the months. It's the third extension sense the quo last year.

Meanwhile, international election monitor is criticizing how the countries constitutional referendum would handle against President Erdogan extensive use of political power.

VAUSE: A new poll show like deep on powerful for a French presidential of Canada is Jean-Luc Melenchon, the left has tightening the gap with fun run as Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, eleven candidates during the running. First round voting is Sunday. The top two vote-getters who will then face each other in May 7th run off.

SESAY: Well, here's Vice President Mike Pence is meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo is come in mid rising tension is on the Korean Peninsula. On Monday in North Korea's Deputy U.N. envoy warn that nuclear war could break out at any moment.

VAUSE: Another showdown could be moving in the White House. This time over the Paris agreement on climate change, the President Spoke senior advisors are expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday to decide if the U.S. should withdraw from the international accord to slash carbon emission.

POLITICO reports the President's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have recruited energy companies like Shell and B.P. to lobby for the U.S., to stick with the deal. Exxon and its former boss and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have also endorse the Paris accord, arguing though to withdraw, White House strategist Steve Bannon and APA Director Scott Pruitt.


SCOTT PRUITT, EPA DIRECTOR: Well, Paris is something that we need to really look at closely because it something we need to exit, in my opinion. It's a bad deal for America. It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligation on the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.


VAUSE: Welcome Bob Inglis, joins us now from Travelers Rest in South Carolina. He's the former Republican congressman and a former Climate Change skeptic but not now. So Congressman thank you for being with us, just a little bit more of your background here.

You're actually the founder of the Energy and Enterprise initiative which among other thing is trying to create conservatives that the treat from climate change is real and it can actually be sold by using the free market. So how all that working out for you?

BOB INGLIS, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSMAN: Well, it's pretty good. Yes, you know, we travel under the trade name Republican E& Republic E& and we're gathering a lot of conservatives to this idea if free enterprise has answer to climate change.

Up until now I think conservatives sort of shrunk in science denial because they didn't think we had a solution. But we live to show that we got a great solution and free enterprise.

[01:35:09] VAUSE: And money all your solution is actually tax carbon, the cost of carbon emission.

INGLIS: That's right. And then either give all that money back through a dividend or cut taxes elsewhere an equal amount. So there's no growth the government. And make it a supply to import as well as good made here. So there's no reason to pick up and moved to some greater emitting country.

And so, those two things are essential for us but we get that in free enterprise can fixed climate change.

VAUSE: So when you be like Scott Pruitt who said that, you know, and the president who also said that, you know, all these restriction could had put on the EPA when it comes to carbon emission. It's bad to the economy. You know, its costing jobs. What do you say?

INGLIS: Well, a couple of things. One is,, we're not a big fan to claim power plant. We think it's not exactly the best way to go about doing this. It doesn't meet the test that I was just saying. It's a growth the government and it does find the important.

So for that reason we're not sad to see that go. But we would be sad to see the Paris agreements go, because that would be America giving up a key role in the world.

VAUSE: Well, what's interesting about your story is that, you come from the, you know, you represent a very conservative state. You were a climate change skeptic. You question the signs. But it was your children who were among those who convince you that the treat from Climate is real.

But when you spoke out publically, it was the end your political career that seems to be something which it facing a lot of Republican lawmakers.

INGLIS: Well, yes that is -- maybe not exactly a good timing on my part to SAT (ph) party and all of that and the great recession on Dwane (ph). But things are better now John. You know the economy is better. We're looking more to the future.

So now is a very different time than it was in 2010. And as a result, I think conservatives can begin to engage particularly if we at are successful in gather conservatives support. So the elective officials can see there is people out there and know in their districts. Know they're going to be supporter and then they'll lead on this.

VAUSE: When you look what happening in the White House and what we're hearing, you know, that there's a standoff right now between Steve Bannon the other distance (ph) Scott Pruitt through the EPA, director who does not believe the science of climate change.

And on the other side you have Ivanka Trump her husband Jared Kushner. And actually the big energy company for lining up, to stay part of the Paris climate accord. Does that give you, you know, is actually some optimism that the U.S. will stay within this deal?

INGLIS: Yes, particularly it gives optimism that Rex Tillerson is Secretary of State, because in this 10 year at ExxonMobil, he said that the solution of a revenue neutral boarder adjustable carbon tax. That's where you contact is somewhere else, if can you put on carbon tax where there's no growth the government. And you apply to imports.

That solution is what he proposed an ExxonMobil. It also what Darren Wood say this is the right policy. And so does Shell and so does B.P. and these companies know that what they really need is just a certainty of a price signal. What they don't need is regulation that vary from state to state or form country to county.

This is an incredible opportunity for America to lead and saying we're going to do this. We're going to apply to imports. And after China have challenges and losses in the World Trade Organization. They can make your own decisions and so can the rest of the world.

We think what they do is follow American leadership. And then you have the whole world in on a truer cost of energy that would unleash innovation around the world.

VAUSE: Well, Congressman that's sounds like a plan that even Republicans can get behind. Thank you so much pretty much sir.

INGLIS: Great to be you John. Thanks.

SESAY: Well, yes investigated our chasing lead as they search the country for suspect accused of killing a man and sharing the video of it online. Early police warn people in Pennsylvania and New York, Indiana and Michigan to be on alert.

Now there's a new reward of $50,000 for any information leading to Steven Stephens arrest. Police are also urging Steven to surrender.


CHIEF CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're still employing Steve to turn himself in. Definitely to contract the relative or friend because there are a lot of folks out there that want to talk to him, want to get this resolve peacefully.

So Steve, if you're out there listening call someone.


SESAY: Well, police haven't mentioned a possible motive in this case to say Steven and the victim Robert Godwin didn't know each other.

[01:39:50] VAUSE: Well, after the break. Political comedy in the age of Trump, don't even a hundred days into his first term and the President is making American political comedy great again.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared, Steve standing before me my two top advisors. But it only have one photo in my head. That's right tonight is elimination night. There's been a lot of drama in the House and that's OK, but one of you must go now.

The person who will stay and my top advisor is Jared.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulation Jared.


VAUSE: You may have notice this. But apparently Donald Trump presidency has been really good for political set on U.S.

SESAY: Indeed, every week you will tuning into shows like Saturday Night Live, you see which of week headlines will be mind for comedy gold.

VAUSE: Well, from all comedian actor Hal Sparks to help us join to help more. Hal thank you for being with us and wearing a suit.


VAUSE: Very good.

SPARKS: The illusion of respectability, I'm not above a good facade, I think we're in that age aren't we? Just project whatever you want people to think is reality.

VAUSE: Thank you, you make it.

SPARKS: That's right. Absolutely.

VAUSE: So you think as the reelection campaign number stay here.

SPARKS: We're still thinking it.

VAUSE: We think we're going to make it. SPARKS: Yes.

SESAY: You made --


SESAY: All right.

VAUSE: When you look at happening. SNL night now, the data show Stephen Colbert doesn't get any better than this Trump administration. They seem to no shortage of material, almost an hourly basis.

SPARKS: Yes, I mean, if you look at back at political comedy. It rise and comes indirect a proportion to the treat faced in the genuine reality of people's live. So, during Nixon, during the, you know, especially during this civil rights era and in the 60s as well. And of course the Reagan years were fantastic, literally the first kind of comedy boom happened during Reagan because we were blessed with a couple of things that are great for comedy.

One is, the promise of eminent death, a terrible solution like hiding under you school desk and certainty that would never actually save you and a cartoonist president who had mannerism that were easy to mock.

VAUSE: Right.

[01:45:08] SPARKS: And we're almost right back there again, you know, a couple of shuffle a rounds.

SESAY: Yes. It's not just the president that is a gift in the comedy garden, comedy rising. It's those around him like Sean Spicer as well who's also being the target of Saturday Night Live. Take a look at this clip from last Saturday.

SPARKS: Right.


MELISSA MCCARTHY, COMEDIAN: Now in defending the president's decision, I said that unlike Syrian leader, the leader of -- what his stupid name? I got a Bazooka Felicia Ahmad Rashad. At least Hitler never used chemical weapons and every body freaks, OK? They were all like boohoo, boohoo what about the holocaust centers?

And yes, I know they're not really cold, holocaust centers. I know that. I'm aware, I clearly meant to say concentration clubs.


SESAY: Sean Spicer there. Well, Melissa McCarthy does it Sean Spicer in Easter bunny outfit. Talk to us how about why does it work so well.

SPARKS: Well, both of them, Sean Spicer is a perfect foil largely because the anger. It just go, asked John Cleese who well milking anger for its comedic effects works so well. And there is nothing funnier in many ways than misplace anger or arrogant displaced anger.

You know, Inspector Clouseau and his insistence that he, you know, everyone around him was an idiot, is essentially what Sean Spicer is doing every single day in a genuine sense. So it's funny what they're doing. This harkens back away when Sarah Palin was on the rise.

And literally Tina Fey is just doing actual sentences from her and getting laughs as if they were written jokes.

VAUSE: Right. You know, it's good for SNL. It's good for the daily show. It's not specially good for --

SPARKS: Humanity?

VAUSE: Well, that too. But political satire just like Veep, I mean there's a headline. And we can't (INAUDIBLE).


VAUSE: The headline is Veep still funny during the age of Trump? I mean you, still an argue right now Veep is more sort of documentary than comedy.

SPARKS: Well, like House of Cards, they've add character (ph) to stay relevant. It was like the absurdity factor has gone outside the bounds of what passes for a normalize comedy. There's a high comedy, there's Martin short level like swing from the Fence's (ph) comedy which is one of my favorites.

But often times you don't find that in the world of political comedy. Usually it's in a state kind of, you know, slight exaggeration or, you know, in the case of Donald Trump human exaggeration being exaggerated. But in the case of Veep, they're operating in this kind of false reality they've created and so crazy outside. They seemed normal but during -- they're becoming the west-wing.



SPARKS: In the west-wing was basically Democrats fantasy camp during the bush years. You know like let's pretend it's really the President. That's really watch after eat and see the president and just your --


SESAY: Just a point of the difficulty for sure like me and for comedy rising when you have, you know, so much going on in the White House. Does the challenge now become or does it now become a task book trying to outdo yourself ever end raise the anti each week. And what was kind of reached the ridiculous?

SPARKS: Well, I think that the essence what they're doing on SNL, why it's working so well across the board and why, what's Stephen Colbert doing in his monologue and it's effected it's rating so well, is that they're taking what's legitimately there and making a genuine statement about it.

Like, you know, comedy is at it's most potent where it has the solid POB. When the point of view of the people is expressed, it's not just he said something dumb, let's exaggerate that, show how dumb it is. Let show why in context it's dumb and dangerous and extended. Because even the Sean Spicer bit ended by this, going to be our last Easter, we all going to die anyway --


VAUSE: And they would laugh.

SPARKS: Yes, right. But there's a genuine feeling of dread and that's what comedy is here for is that the idea. You know, where the band on the Titanic sometimes. But there's idea that we're all going to continue going forward and we have to pretend like this thing does haven't control over it.

SESAY: So you're making beautiful music right now.



SPARKS: I feel a little guilty.

VAUSE: You feel guilty. No, I figured.

SPARKS: I feel like a person. Like a painter is woken up in a world full of sunsets. Just I don't know where to start.

VAUSE: Well, that's funny good to finish. Hal, thank you.

SESAY: Hal, thank you. Such a pleasure.

SPARKS: Thanks.

[01:49:40] SESAY: All right, time for quick break. Coming up, The Fate of Furious across the finish line in placers the box office this weekend. Details on the film record breaking race to the top, next.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri with you on CNN Weather Watch. Scattered storms widespread across the south here from stretching out areas of Texas and some part of Carolina. I think watching this over the last couple of days and we think some of the stronger storms will want to push off a little further out toward the east.

So, around Jackson Baton Rouge working way out toward New Orleans could see some of the heavier rainfall, Houston as well. A concern there for flooding over this region but notice going to be rather scattered from San Antonio all the way out there towards parts of the central and Easter Tennessee there with wet weather expected. Also watching the couple storms, look at this particular one, very symmetrical feature beginning to push in towards the western U.S. and a lot of wet weather even as far as south let say San Maria's, San Luis Obispo, California. The higher elevation continue to see record amount of snowfall come.

And (INAUDIBLE) about 19 degree same score out of Los Angeles, Denver pushing up close to 30. New York City a sunny day, a very comfortable day at 16 degrees expected across that region. At least city looking the upper 20s Managua about 34 and Mexico City some much deserve rainfall coming in around 21 degrees in the forecast there.

Across South America Lima, looking temps around 27 with partly cloudy skies and do you have weather photograph you'd like to share with us. We'd love to get it out on the air. Any social media platform of your choice just put on the hash tag CNN weather.

VAUSE: We had fantastic start believe Fate of the Furious the 8th installment of the car move franchise which has the same plotted every single movie actually race to the top of the box office over the weekend. The film gross more than half a billion dollars in ticket sales, the biggest global opening ever for a film.

It surpassed the previous record holder Star Wars, The Force Awaken. The movie also had the biggest international opening in movie history with 433 million overseas. The country with the biggest ticket sales is China, more than $190 million proving they like that movie in China just as much as everyone else. Isha.

SESAY: Well, actually I think these movies are a lot of fun. The 16- year-old Fast and Furious franchise will continue its strike to the finish line. Universal has announced the 9th and 10th installment are already in the work. You'd be fine John.

So, how had these films become such a box office smash? Frank Pallotta explains.


VIN DIESEL, ACTOR: Let's go a little ride.

FRANK PALLOTTA, CNN ENTERTAINMENT: The Fast and the Furious franchise. Everyone knows the deal. Expensive cars, big muscle and things like this.

In fact, we're so familiar. One might say, we're family.

DIESEL: Family.


DIESEL: Family.




DIESEL: Family.

PALLOTTA: With the franchise on its 8th and some and Fate of the Furious.

[01:55:04] The formula seems to be working. One of the main factors keeping audiences coming back for the last 16 years, diversity, it cast of birth and that helps it become a big hit with people from different background. Just look at how furious having compares to other 2015 releases, like Jurassic World and Star Wars the Force Awaken.

PAUL WALKER, ACTOR: Are you ready for this?

PALLOTTA: That diverse audience is also really big.

DWAYNE JOHNSON, ACTOR: We're going to need a bigger truck.

PALLOTTA: The franchise has earned $4 billion at the box office worldwide with more to come. Initially the movies were release in the summer. But lately Universal has mostly moved to series to a less crowded April release, where the filmed have drive.

Three Fast and Furious films are in the top five for biggest April opening ever.


PALLOTTA: Now, this has become a larger trend in Hollywood with traditional summer block bluster being release throughout the year.

And if you think the Fast and Furious is popular in America. That's nothing compare to the ticket sales overseas.

DIESEL: Home sweet home, to reason this day.


PALLOTTA: Four markets have becoming increasingly more important to Hollywood especially China. And the Fast and Furious franchise has done a great job translating it's popularity to that market, which has become the second biggest in the world.

WALKER: Winning is winning.

PALLOTTA: The series is well-known for its exotic local. And in the 8th installment, it's going some brand new location like Cuba and New York City.

The money on these films keep rolling in and even after all the sequels, there is still plenty left in the tank for the series with the 9th and 10th installment already in the works. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, this should be interesting.

PALLOTTA: Plenty for the friend of the Fast and Furious.

DIESEL: I don't have friends, I got family.

PALLOTTA: Yes, Vin, we know.


SESAY: All about family.

VAUSE: Gee, nine and 10. I wonder what's going to happened?

SESAY: It's my family. How can not like these films?

VAUSE: And people say creativity is dead, you know. Wow. Plenty more, two more.

SESAY: All right. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. That's killjoy.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause, killjoy. Back in the moment.