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Major Conflict Possible; Trump's First 100 Days. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired April 28, 2017 - 00:00   ET



ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour:

In a new interview, President Trump says major, major conflict could be looming with North Korea.

With scandals and investigations plaguing the Trump administration a former White House ethics czar helps us rate his first 100 days in office.

And why the U.S. State of Arkansas is racing to kill death row inmates, another set for lethal injection at any moment.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he prefers diplomacy to rein in North Korea but he bluntly warns of possible hostilities if Pyongyang doesn't change its stand on nuclear weapons. Here's what he told Reuters News Agency just a few hours ago.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well there is a -- there is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea, absolutely.


SESAY: Well, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson chairs a special meeting on North Korea at the U.N. Security Council on Friday. China's foreign minister will be there at that meeting.

Our Paula Hancocks is standing by for us in Seoul South Korea while David McKenzie joins us from Beijing. Welcome to you both.

Paula -- to you first. While President Trump is once again sounding the alarm over North Korea in this Reuters interview he also leaves a window open for diplomacy. But does Pyongyang show any sign of being interested in talks at this time?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isha -- it's interesting because as soon as the election happened last November we did see a lull in activity from North Korea. In fact just before as well. We also heard some diplomats saying that they wanted a different relationship with President Trump.

We had articles and state run media opinion pieces saying there could be a different framework in the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. So it was assumed at that point that they would be receptive to talks.

Now of course a lot has happened since that time. And certainly we have been seeing from the U.S. Side a pull back as well. There has been some pretty strong rhetoric from the President himself. We've seen the build up of U.S. assets, military assets in the region. And now you hear them saying that negotiations are a possibility. So that is a relatively new line from the Trump administration.

But certainly in the past in recent months there has been a suggestion from North Korea that they would be open to negotiations.

SESAY: David, to you next, in this same interview President Trump lavishes praise on China's President Xi. Saying this, "I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn't want to see turmoil and death. He doesn't' want to see. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well."

"With that being said he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something. Perhaps it's possible that he can't." Obviously referencing China's relationship with North Korea there.

It will strike some as odd, David, to hear the U.S. President effectively making excuses for China in saying possibly President Xi can't rein in North Korea which is contrary to what many analysts believe.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well certainly Beijing and China does have that strong trade relationship with North Korea. So it is unusual in one sense because China could really slow or stop the trade with North Korea should it come to stronger sanctions. And China has repeatedly said that it really will only work within the confines of any existing or new foreign sanctions.

I think what President Trump might have been referring to there is a political calculation or the different way that China looks at this problem because North Korea, as you alluded to there, is a close ally of China. But, yes, unusual that the President would in a way make an excuse for the Chinese president on this issue -- Isha.

SESAY: Yes. And David to stay with you, this comes on the heels of hearing from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who revealed on Thursday that China has turned up the heat on North Korea. Take a listen.


[00:05:06] REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We know that China is in communications with the regime in Pyongyang. They confirmed to us that they had requested the regime conduct no further nuclear test.

And in fact we were told by the Chinese that they informed the regime that if they did conduct other nuclear tests China would be taking sanctions actions on their own.


SESAY: So David -- this goes back to what you were referring to, you know, and the question of sanctions and what China could or couldn't do rein in North Korea. I mean hearing Rex Tillerson say that, saying China has leveled this threat still comes back to the question how harsh would any sanction be, any sanctions leveled by China to North Korea given the fact that China fears seeing a North Korea collapse and all the ramifications that could lead to.

MCKENZIE: Well that's certainly been the conventional wisdom. And I think that still holds true -- Isha. But I think the calculation here in Beijing has changed somewhat as North Korea continues to test its missiles and potentially could test a sixth nuclear test in the coming days or weeks or months perhaps or never. As that has really led to China to think about this problem I think a little bit differently.

You had the foreign minister of China, Wang Yi, speaking to his -- the deputy foreign minister on the sidelines of the U.N. of Russia saying that they fear that the situation could spiral out of control according to Chinese government officials.

So certainly there is a worry here that the situation is escalating in such a way that China is calling for everyone to calm down. The Chinese strategy or what they want to happen is that both North Korea and the U.S. stop any military exercises and then move towards talks -- very few takers at this stage on that strategy.

We'll have to wait and see how far China is willing to go in U.N. Security Council meetings at this stage.

SESAY: Yes. We will. And Paula -- last question to you. Also note in this interview is what President Trump said about THAAD, the U.S. missile system being deployed to South Korea. Take a listen.


TRUMP: You know, I informed South Korea that it will be appropriate if they pay -- nobody is going to do that. Why are we paying a billion-dollar system? The billion-dollar system is phenomenal. It's the most incredible equipment you've ever seen. It shoots missiles right out of the sky and it protects them. I want to protect them. We're going to protect them but they should pay for that. And they understand that.


SESAY: Paula comments from the U.S. president there saying South Korea should pay for THAAD. Any reaction from Seoul?

HANCOCKS: There has been nothing. As soon as that was said there would have been panic within the defense ministry. That's never been an issue because it was going to be paid by the United States. They've already got a statement out saying there's been no change in the basic system that the South Korean government provides the site and infrastructure for THAAD, the U.S. shoulders the cost of its deployment, operation and maintenance.

So a very basic statement saying that that has not changed; and very quick for the defense ministry to come out with that statement as well -- Isha.

SESAY: Yes, indeed. Paula Hancocks, joining us there from Seoul, Korea; David McKenzie in Beijing China -- appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Now, the tough talk and saber rattling from both Washington and Pyongyang are weighing on the minds of many Americans. The new CNN/ORC poll shows that 86 percent of those surveyed believe North Korea is an existential threat to the U.S.; 37 percent think that threat is immediate; while 49 percent say it is long-term.

The view that North Korea poses an immediate threat to the U.S. is only slightly changed from 2013 when Pyongyang said it would restart a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium.

Well, joining me now here in L.A. Democratic strategist Robin Swanson and CNN political commentator and Trump supporter, and John Phillips. Welcome to you both.

Robin -- to start with you there are some who fear that the rhetoric that is coming out of the Trump administration when it comes to North Korea is unhelpful, that it is only inflaming tensions and President Trump saying there is a chance we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea -- absolutely. It's going to strike some people again as just dialing things up. Where do you stand on that?

ROBIN SWANSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It's irresponsible. It's absolutely irresponsible. It's not something that the leader of the free world should be saying nor should he be professing his love for the leader of China. It's much like the bromance that he had with Putin.

I mean it's irresponsible and it just shows a lack of understanding of America's role in the world. And you know we're all kind of along for this ride without much -- he is not putting a lot of thought into his words and his words do matter.

SESAY: John.

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Trump is a guy that wrote the art of the deal. And this is him negotiating. And he is much more comfortable negotiating with the Chinese.

[00:09:58] He is used to negotiating sitting across the table from guys in suits, not mental patient dictators in Three Stooges haircuts.

So he is talking to the Chinese and he's getting the Chinese or at least attempting to, to put pressure on the North Koreans because the North Koreans are irrational actors. This guy tells his people that he can read their minds.

SESAY: Though Trump did not go as far as to say that Kim Jong-Un was irrational. He wouldn't weigh in on that. But do you have any concerns about this bromance with China before we move on to talk about Flynn.

PHILLIPS: I think that if we're going keeping North Korea in line we're going to need help from the Chinese. So for him to go over there and open up a dialogue with the Chinese and make sure they know it's a priority for us is a good thing.

SESAY: All right. I want to move on and talk about -- about Michael Flynn and the problems he is in. More trouble for him, the Trump -- the Trump administration's former national security adviser.

The Pentagon is now investigating him for accepting payments from foreign sources even though he was warned against that back in 2014.

Meanwhile -- a new CNN/ORC poll shows a majority of Americans believe it's at least somewhat likely the Trump campaign and improper -- had improper contact with Russia.

Back to you -- John and Robin.

The White House, John, is refusing to cooperate with the House Oversight Committee on this matter of Michael Flynn. They've asked for some paperwork. They basically said no. They said they don't have it or what they have they're not going to hand over.

Take a listen to what Elijah Cummings had to say. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD), HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: I honestly do not understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn -- I don't get it -- after the President fired him for lying.


SESAY: I mean, John that is a question there. I mean it does raise questions as to what the White House is hiding, whether they're engaged in a cover-up.

PHILLIPS: Well, Flynn certainly had some problems and that's why he lost his job but he didn't fall out of the sky. It's not like they hired a general out of Angie's List.

He came from the Obama administration where he was our number two under Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan. He ran DIA. He was a guy who had been involved in that world for years.

Now he said that he is going to cooperate with the House committee. That he is going to testify. So I don't see what the problem is. SESAY: Robin -- before you pick up on that line about them laying it

at the Obama administration's doorstep. Listen to what Sean Spicer said because he basically said the same thing John says. You know, lay the blame on Obama. Listen to what he said earlier -- Sean Spicer.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Congressman Cummings accuses this White House of a cover-up. You say what?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I was frankly taken aback by his comments today because they're frankly not true.


SESAY: He says they're not true. And again to echo what John said at the end of the day he was part of the Obama circle -- Obama administration. You say what?

SWANSON: I say it's about time they take responsibility for their own actions. This is -- this is the Trump administration. This is -- was a Trump hire. It was his responsibility to vet that position and that candidate for that position.

They -- the fact that they're so backward looking whenever it is convenient, when things don't go their way they always find somebody to blame. And I think at this point America has had enough of the -- the blame game, the pointing fingers and no one believes it anymore.

SESAY: Thank you for that perfect segue of backward looking because I also want to reference the Reuters interview. And President Trump is looking backwards it would seem. He is looking backwards to his old life. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Well I love -- I love my previous life. I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. I -- I actually -- this is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a -- I'm a details oriented person. I think you would say that. But I do miss my old life. This -- I like to work so that's not a problem. But this is actually more work.


SESAY: It's not even 100 days yet John, and he is already -- he is already pining for the old life.

PHILLIPS: I feel bad for the guy. He had to move into a much smaller house.

SESAY: oh, come on. Break out the --

PHILLIPS: It would be like you moving into my house -- Isha.

SESAY: Don't get me involved in this.

Robin -- what do you make of that?

SWANSON: I say break out the world's smallest violin. No one is feeling sorry for the leader of the free world for actually having to do the job of the leader of the free world. And yes it is, in fact, hard work.

SESAY: But he's compensated for it.


SWANSON: -- it's complicated. Everything is complicated and, you know, he is learning that he cannot do everything by executive order. That he actually has to make friends in Congress. That he is actually going it to have to work with other areas of government. He might even actually have to study policy every now and again and know what he is talking about.

And I think with these sorts of issues with complicated issues he has just given up, taken his toys to the other side of the sand box and he just wants to go be Richie Rich again. It's goofy.

SESAY: Is he going to pack his bag and disappear in the middle of the night -- John.

[00:15:03] PHILLIPS: No. This is why a lot of people don't run for office. There's lots of grid lock. It's a very dysfunctional system but it's the system we have. It's the best system in the world and he is doing just fine.

SESAY: Ok. Robin and John -- always a pleasure. Round two, next hour. Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Thank you.

SESAY: All right. Time for a quick break now.

Donald Trump is fast approaching an important day in every presidency. We'll review his first 100 days next.

Plus an ugly scene in the Macedonian parliament. We'll explain why protesters stormed the building and started a brawl.


SESAY: Hello everyone.

Mr. Trump will hit his 100 days in office on Saturday and just as promised he's been a very different kind of president. That may be most apparent in his forays into foreign policy.

Our own Nic Robertson looks back at Mr. Trump's ups and down on the global stage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TRUMP: That all changes starting right here and right now.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: For President Trump, the first 100 days in office has been full of surprises --

TRUMP: NATO is obsolete.

ROBERTSON: -- such as discovering he likes NATO.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Mr. President, I think you said you confirmed that you're 100 percent behind NATO.

ROBERTSON: Although it was several months before he was able to say it for himself.

TRUMP: I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete.

China -- a currency manipulator.

ROBERTSON: And discovering enemies can be friends; that China is more than a currency manipulator.

TRUMP: I have great respect for the President of China.

ROBERTSON: It can be an ally against even worse enemies like North Korea.

Another discovery, enemies will pick the worst time to act tough like while you're hosting the Japanese prime minister at your favorite club -- North Korea testing multiple missiles. Side lesson here -- don't do the national security on a public patio between the salad and main course.

And then perhaps his toughest discovery --

TRUMP: If Putin likes Donald Trump I consider that an asset not a liability.

ROBERTSON: -- that would be friends turn to enemies fast.

TRUMP: It crossed a lot of lines for me. When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies.

ROBERTSON: To wit, smacking down Assad for killing babies with nerve agents prompted a show of U.S. strength. But it turned Assad's sponsor Putin into a foe.

TRUMP: Hello.

ROBERTSON: Indeed Trump has not been idle hosting leaders -- Israeli Prime Minister, Jordanian king, Saudi royals, Egyptian president, Canadian prime minister -- to name just a few.

[00:20:01] But still some nuances of hosting big shots need finessing like shaking hands when asked. And then not saying stuff that embarrasses your guest. TRUMP: Wiretapping I guess by, you know, this past administration --

at least we have something in common, perhaps.

ROBERTSON: Still better than his first few days in office. Hanging up the phone on the Australian prime minister a big ally, or Twitter spatting with the Mexican president that shut down his visit over a border wall that neither says they'll pay for.

But the first 100 days has not all been meetings and missteps. Dropping the mother of all bombs fulfilling a campaign pledge, too.

TRUMP: Bomb the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of them.

ROBERTSON: So what then of his number one overseas campaign pledge?

TRUMP: My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.

ROBERTSON: On Iran, not much. Trump's biggest surprise, it's a complicated world. More than he might have imagined.

Nic Robertson, CNN -- London.


SESAY: Joining me now is CNN contributor and former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Norm Eisen. He's also a former White House ethics czar in the Obama administration. Ambassador Eisen joins from us Washington, D.C. Good to have you with us.

NORM EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks -- Isha, great to be here.

SESAY: So in an article you co-wrote with Richard Painter published in "USA Today" this is what you said about President Trump's first 100 days. "We rate President Trump's the worst on record with no major legislative victory and a string of policy and personnel embarrassments. A common theme that ties these calamities together is a contempt for ethics. Trump's conflict of interest and other ethics troubles contributed to each of his major stumbles."

So let me ask you as you list quite a number of these stumbles in the article, what strikes you as the most -- the most ethically-egregious in all of this?

EISEN: Well, the very worst of Trump's ethics violations is the fact that unlike every American president for the past four decades, Democrats and Republicans alike, President Trump has refused to relinquish the ownership interest in his businesses. And the situation is even worse -- Isha, because he has so many more conflicts than any of the others would have had. And that's had a devastating effect.

He spent a third of his presidency visiting his properties, a third of the days that he's been president he has visited at least one of his properties instead of doing his homework and his job in Washington. He's been out on a self-promotion tour. And that explains why health care has flopped for example -- perhaps his biggest embarrassment, health care reform. So that's the biggest problem.

SESAY: You know I've got to ask you as you go through in the article the stumbles and you talk about, you know, this contempt for ethics as you describe it. It begs the question about his ethics czar and his fleet of lawyers there in the White House.

EISEN: Well, it's a pretty rough assignment to be Donald Trump's ethicist. You deserve battle pay for that in the ethics profession. His White House counsel Don McGahn has a long history of before going there of thwarting the law, not following it. He is known as the man who helped destroy the Federal Election Commission in Washington and cripple campaign finance enforcement.

So he was not the right person to do that job. And he has stumbled badly, including on another black eye that is an ethics problem as well as constitutional one. And that's the Muslim ban. Any decent White House counsel would have told the President this is unconstitutional, don't do it.

And the Muslim ban of course is an ethics problem because Trump only banned Muslims from countries too poor to do business with him. He let the others where he has had business relationships come right on in. So that's the problem at the top.

And then the people who work for McGahn are lacking as well. It's a travesty.

SESAY: As you talk about personnel issues in the White House we know that news headlines right now dominated by former national security advisor Michael Flynn who's in major trouble because he didn't disclose payments from Russia, may have in fact broken the law.

[00:24:57] The White House is refusing to cooperate with the House Oversight Committee which is giving the impression of a cover-up. What stands out for you from all of this? Are you surprised by how this playing out?

EISEN: It's not surprising given Donald Trump's disdain for ethics, for law, for the constitution that he is already facing potentially a Watergate-style investigation, a crisis far years' earlier than any other major president in the form of the investigation of his possible ties and that of his campaign and his aides to the Russian attack on American democracy.

And here again, when you look at Flynn -- these payments, the problem with the payments is that he hid them and they're against the constitution. You can't accept foreign government payments if you're an American official.

Guess who else is in trouble for that -- Isha? Trump himself. In fact the watchdog group that I chair, Crew, has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump because of these prohibited foreign government payments and the lying. That was the problem with Mr. Flynn. And of course, Mr. Trump himself has a broken relationship with the truth.

So these ethic concerns are all tangled up in the substantive concerns that have led this administration to do such a poor job, a terrible 100 days.

SESAY: Saying all of that as you have said in this piece, with Richard Painter, there is a contempt for ethics. You talk of almost a cultural issue there within the White House. Where is this headed?

EISEN: Well, it's already a disaster because of the Russia investigation, the low poll numbers, the many failed legislative initiatives. Trump has had record low number of candidates approved because the people around him we haven't talked about those conflicts is headed for -- it's like watching a slow motion disaster movie.

It's headed for a series of even worse calamities unless Donald Trump fixes the problem. And the way he needs to fix that, the first thing he needs to do it's right where we started -- Isha. He needs to say I was wrong, I'm going to cut off my ties with my businesses like every other president has done -- Democrat and Republican. I'm going to make a clean break and I'm going to fully cooperate with the Russia investigation.

If he does that, he still has hope that the second 100 days will be better than the disastrous first hundred ones. But if he doesn't -- but if he doesn't he may be facing his last 100 days sooner than he thinks. That's where it's headed.

SESAY: I don't know whether you're a betting man or not. But what are the chances that the President will go down that road and do what you just said?

EISEN: Zero.

SESAY: Well, on that optimistic note Matt (SIC) Eisen a pleasure. Thank you so much for joining us.

EISEN: Thanks -- Isha. Thanks for having me.

SESAY: Some breaking news just in to us now. The state of Arkansas has just executed this man Kenneth Williams. He is a fourth prisoner to be killed by lethal injection in Arkansas in the past week. The state has been trying to carry out a series of executions before one of its lethal injection drugs expires.

Arkansas' attempt to execute these men has created a host of legal battles and a lot of controversy. Some critics call the move cruel and unusual punishment.

We're going to have much more on the story, next on CNN. Stay with us.


[00:32:07] SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he will prefer diplomacy, but a major conflict with North Korea is still possible. Trump tells Reuters, he thinks Chinese President Xi Jinping is working hard to avoid any conflict with Pyongyang.

The Vatican is investigating whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn accepted payments from foreign sources even though he was warned against it in 2014. His attorney says Flynn notified the Defense Department about his payments for a speech in Russia.

Police arrested a man armed with knives near the British parliament on Thursday. The 27-year-old suspect is accused of planning a terror attack. Authorities say his arrest is part of an ongoing investigation. This security incident was near the scene of the ISIS- inspired attack that killed four people last month.

Now moments ago, the state of Arkansas executed its fourth prisoner by lethal injection in just seven days. 18 years ago, this man, Kenneth Williams escaped from prison and killed the man who live near that detention facility. During this escape, he was involved in a car wreck that killed another driver.

Williams was initially serving time for killing a Polish cheerleader. Well, the family of one of his victims had push for clemency. They pay for William's daughter and granddaughter to fly to Arkansas so that they can say goodbye.

You can see the two families here on your screens embracing in this video. It is very emotional and it is all in the spotlight because Arkansas is raising to execute as many death row prisoners as it can before its supply of lethal injection drugs expires.

Defense Attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez joins me now to discuss all of this.

Ambrosio, welcome. Good to have you with us.

AMBROSIO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you so much for having me.

SESAY: And you make the point that it is not the execution per se that troubles you in this case, Kenneth Williams and what has taken place in Arkansas. It is the manner with which things are being conducted.

RODRIGUEZ: Right. There is -- the state of Arkansas is basically trying to kill -- or execute as many men as possible in a short span of time. We've never really seen something like this in the United States since the days of the old west when they would kind of hang men, you know, en masse in front of a public square and this is really happening in the same fashion. They're just going for all of them as fast as they can in front of all of us.

SESAY: Some critics have use argument that this fits the bill for cruel and unusual punishment. How so? RODRIGUEZ: Well, I'm not sure if that's correct. I mean, there is procedural problems with what they're doing in terms of appeals and rushing to have this done by a certain time.

The cruel and -- the cruel and unusual punishment part comes with whether or not the injection -- that is the lethal injection causes -- I don't say discomfort but pain and anguish during the process in which these men die. That's really the issue.

Now, part of the problem is also that since the pharmaceutical companies are no longer making these kind of chemicals to make the --

SESAY: The cocktail.

RODRIGUEZ: The cocktail, thank you. There is an issue as to whether or not they've expired. Whether or not they're still safe. I know it's ironic to think about as safe lethal injection cocktail, but that is part of the process.

SESAY: We saw that one of the victim's family members paid for the granddaughter of Kenneth Williams and there was a reunion that we just saw on the screens.

Talk to us about how much that weighs into the whole decision for clemency.

Do they consider the family's wishes?

RODRIGUEZ: They do, but not at this point. When -- a district attorney's office -- you know, I was a homicide prosecutor and I tried death penalty cases as a D.A., there was an entire process in which the D.A.'s office, usually the elected D.A. determines whether the case is a death penalty case or not. Not all murder cases that are eligible for the death penalty are prosecuted as such.

The D.A. will take into account what the family of -- the surviving family feels and wants in moving forward because it's a very long process. A death penalty case that is from the beginning to an execution can be 30 years, can be never because sometimes the prisoners will die waiting execution. And some families just want closure.

But at this point with this particular case, there is a very big difference between the widow in Kansas and the widow in Missouri, right. Just because of the facts of the case of what he did in Arkansas which was very deliberate, very specific, whether he kind of intent to go in to murder in his own home as opposed to what happened in Missouri, which was an accident.

That is a police. He had no intent to kill the man that he killed in Missouri.

So these widows although they're pain is forever are kind of weighed differently in the eyes of prosecutors and the governor of Arkansas.

SESAY: Ambassador Rodriguez, we appreciate it. Thank you. RODRIGUEZ: Thank you so much.

SESAY: Well, the political crisis in Venezuela is growing worse with massive anti-government protests now occurring almost daily. At least 13 people have died in clashes between the demonstrators and security forces since the protest erupted at the beginning of April.

On Thursday, the son of the nation's top human rights leader spoke out on social media after a 20-year-old student was killed in Caracas.


YABRIM SAAB, SON OF TAREK WILLIAM SAAB: I would like to directly address my father, dad. At this moment you have the power to put an end to this injustice that has sunk this country. I ask you as a son and in Venezuela's name which you serve to reflect and do what you are supposed to do. I understand this is not easy, but it's the right thing to do.


SESAY: Well that provoked this response from the son of Venezuelan President Maduro, quote, "I remember when we used to play and would spend hours joking as our fathers work. Your three minutes of fame could have been something different. You could have called your dad and listened to him."

SESAY: Well, Macedonia's parliament dissolved into chaos after an ethnic Albanian was elected by the people. That prompted hundreds of Macedonian nationalists to storm the building on Thursday. Witnesses say police fired stun grenades and disperse the huge crowd around the building.

Despite elections in December, the various parties haven't been able to form a government. E.U. leaders condemned the violence and called for the democratic process to be respected.

Time for a quick break here. And coming up, United Airlines has reached a settlement with a passenger dragged off its plane.

What we know about their deal, next.

Plus, the Simpsons are grading Donald Trump's first 100 days as president. We'll see the cartoon's version of the White House.


[00:41:20] SESAY: Hello, everyone.

From far out in space, some incredible new pictures of our solar system second biggest planet. NASA's Cassini's spacecraft took a risky dive between Saturn and its rings yesterday, snapping the closest ever views of the planet's atmosphere.

The pictures show intricate structures and a dark swirling storm like feature which NASA has called a giant hurricane. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn for the last 30 years. It's now entering the final phase of its 20-year mission.

Well, United Airlines has reached a confidential settlement with a passenger who was violently dragged off a flight earlier this month. Dr. David Dao suffered a broken nose and other serious injuries in the incident, which fueled a public relations nightmare for the airline.

His lawyer praised United CEO Oscar Munoz saying this, "Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing and he has. In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on flight 3411 without attempting to blame others including the city of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded."

United describes settlement as amicable and says new changes put the customer first.

OK. So a little comedy to go along with President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office courtesy of "The Simpsons." The show is focusing on that milestone in its next episode. Here's a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100 days in office. So many accomplishments. Mulled my golf handicap, my Twitter following increased by 700 and finally, we can shoot hibernating bears. My boys would love that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, here's a new bill that you must read immediately. It lowers taxes for only Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't "Fox News" read it and I'll watch what they say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you have to read it.



SESAY: Well, President Trump marks his first 100 days in office, Saturday's "The Simpsons" episode aired Sunday night. And it looks brilliant.

All right. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay. "World Sport" is up next, but then I'll be back with another hour of news from all around the world. You're watching CNN.