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Former National Intelligence Director Calls the President's Behavior Disturbing; New Fallout from Firing of FBI Director James Comey; White House Blasting North Korea after Latest Ballistic Missile Test; President Trump Says Pick for FBI Director This Week; Impeachment Investigation for Trump; Fate of DACA Dreamers Unsure; Saturday Night Live Targets White House; Mother Around the World. Anthony Bourdain in Laos. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 14, 2017 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Thanks again for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Happy mother's day.

The pursuit of justice. Can an administration being investigated by the FBI choose the bureau's new chief without bias? We have details on at least eight candidates now being interviewed this weekend.

And President Trump still standing by his decision to fire James Comey and downplaying claims that his actions were an abuse of power.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there is no right time. Let's say I did it on January 20th, the opening. Right? Then that would have been the big story as opposed to the inauguration and I was thinking about it then. I was thinking about it during this period of time. There's really no right time to do it, but I mean I'm OK with it. As you know, I have the decision to make and I have to make the decision. He agrees that I have the absolute right to do it. Everybody agrees.


WHITFIELD: But the former director of national intelligence is calling the President's behavior disturbing and issuing this ominous warning today.


JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I think in many ways our institutions are under assault, both externally -- and that's the big news here is Russian interference in our election system. And I think as well, our institutions are under assault internally.



WHITFIELD: This as North Korea once again fires a ballistic missile test overnight. We will discuss the sharp response from the White House.

But first, President Trump is brushing off the backlash over Comey's firing. This as the White House looks ahead to a key meeting this week and the President's first foreign trip.

CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones is following the story for us and joins me with the very latest -- Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. That's right. It's remarkable to hear the President talk about the backlash to his decision to fire director Comey. He sounds both surprised and defiant in talking about it with Jeanine Pirro on FOX late last week. Watch.


TRUMP: I thought that this would be a very popular thing that I did when I terminated Comey because all of the Democrats couldn't stand him. But because I terminated him, they said, we get some political points, we will go against Trump. So I assumed it would be fairly popular and they got together and they said -- again, we are talking obstruction. This is total obstruction.


JONES: So there you hear the President saying that he was surprised. But he also sounds defiant. And this goes along with one of the tweets, the many tweets the President sent this past week amid the uproar over his firing director Comey. He tweeted out a long clip of a bunch of Democrats cut together criticizing director Comey. So he clearly thought that this would be received differently.

But one more note on that, Fred. And that is that we hear from our reporting from some various officials at the White House that this was a decision that was kept very close to the vest. And not a lot of people knew about this. We know chief of staff Reince Priebus argued against it. But a lot of other folks didn't know that this was coming down the pike. And that is one reason that the administration wasn't prepared for the explosive fallout because you didn't have seasoned political hands who were involved in the decision able to say, wait a second, this is going to be taken the wrong way. You are firing the person who was in charge of the Russia investigation. So very interesting -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Athena Jones, thank you so much from the White House.

All right. President Trump has said that we could get a pick for FBI director as early as this week. Attorney general Jeff Sessions and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein met with at least eight candidates this weekend.

CNN crime and justice producer Shimon Prokupecz is following the story and joins me now live.

So Shimon, the President is laying out an ambitious timeline for a pick this week. And list seemed to have gotten longer just overnight.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Well, that's right. I mean, yesterday, you know, we were sitting here and each hour we would hear about another person that was coming in for an interview. And then another person. And by the end of the night we wound up with eight people.

We are no closer today to knowing who the next FBI director is. All these names, perhaps maybe except for two people, Senator John Cornyn and Judge Henry Hudson, seem to be more political picks which would concern some folks over at the FBI. But generally, everyone else that has come through the department of justice yesterday -- this was like a reality show. They would bring someone in every hour. Then they would come out and drive away.

Mike Rogers is one of the people who was a late addition yesterday and it was interesting to see that the FBI agents association came out in support of him. And today they actually spoke about that and why they did that. Take a listen.


THOMAS O'CONNOR, PRESIDENT, FBI AGENTS ASSOCIATION: Mike Rogers is someone that we have worked with for years. He is a former FBI agent. What we are looking for in our next director, and we feel it is important for us to have a voice in this selection process, and that's why I'm here today. It is not normal for us to come out this publicly on things. But we feel it is important that we have that voice because the next director we want to have that person have the principles of understanding the centrality of the FBI agent and understanding what FBI agents do on a daily basis and how their work is so important. And we feel that this gentleman, Mike Rogers, is someone who fits those principles that we have set forward.


[16:05:37] PROKUPECZ: Mike Rogers is no stranger to us, you know, who cover the FBI and really to the country. I mean he was a congressman. He was the chairman of the house Senate -- house Intel committee. So he has a pretty much history working with the FBI. He was an FBI agent. Sometimes when, you know, it is a good thing to keep in mind when these associations come out and endorse someone, it actually hurts the person. So it will be interesting to see what happens here, if it actually helps him. But there are still many more candidates that are just as qualified as Mike Rogers. And so far, I could tell you in talking to some of the folks over at the FBI, they've been pretty happy with some of the people that the department of justice has been interviewing, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And then you mentioned that an endorsement just might distract from that person actually getting the job. Why is that? Because President Trump wants to be able to make the decision without anyone's influence or what do you mean? PROKUPECZ: Yes, I mean, exactly. You know, we know that President

Trump likes to do these big announcements and he likes to seem independent, and like, you know, he is working with his team and he doesn't like any sort of outside influence.

I think generally speaking, these associations who come out and endorse someone, it's so rare for that to happen. And this is just very uncommon. This entire process, Fred, is important to note, has been uncommon. You just do not parade potential FBI directors in front of cameras for hours like this. So it will be interesting to see what happens next week.

WHITFIELD: So potentially you are saying whoever is selected was not even part of the eight paraded in.

PROKUPECZ: That's exactly right.

WHITFIELD: Could be that, too.

All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much.

All right. As the President continues to deny that his campaign had any political ties to the Russian government, he consistently cites one man to prove there is no evidence. Last week the President tweeted this. Quote "when James Clapper himself and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt says there is no collusion, when does it end?" end quote.

Well, Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper to clarify those comments.


CLAPPER: I deferred to the FBI director, both Director Muller and then director Comey, as to whether, when and what to it el me about any counterintelligence investigations that they might have under way. So it was kind of standard practice. So my statement was premised on first the context of our intelligence community assessment on Russian interference with the election. We did not -- there was no reporting in that intelligence committee assessment about political collusion. I did not have any evidence. I did not know about the investigation.

TAPPER: You didn't even know that the FBI was conducting an investigation.

CLAPPER: I did not. And even more importantly, did not know the content or the status of that investigation I did not know. And there's all kinds of reasons why that's so, but this -- these are sensitive. We try to keep them as compartmental as possible. And importantly, these very likely involve U.S. persons. And so we try to be very deferential to that.

TAPPER: This week where the President firing the FBI director while this investigation is going on, and then saying that he was thinking about the Russia probe when he was making the decision. Have we crossed a line here? CLAPPER: Well, I will just say that the developments of the past week

are very bothersome, very disturbing to me. I think in many ways our institutions are under assault, both externally. And that's the big news here is Russian interference in our - election system. And I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.

TAPPER: Internally from the President?

CLAPPER: Exactly.

TAPPER: Because he is firing the checks and balances.

CLAPPER: Well, I think the founding fathers in their genius created a system of three co-equal branches of government, and a built-in system of checks and balances. And I feel as though that's under assault and is eroding.


WHITFIELD: Let's get a wider view of those comments with my panel now. Brian Morgenstern, a Republican strategist and Ellis Henican, a columnist and political analyst.

Good to see you both.

All right. So Brian, your reaction to that pretty strong and powerful words coming from the former DNI, Clapper there, saying our institutions are under assault.

[16:10:12] BRIAN MORGENSTERN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It was incoherent nonsense, albeit provocative. I mean, first of all, the President fired an executive branch appointee. He is not trying to fire congressmen or judges. Second of all, the two bipartisan congressional investigations are continuing. The FBI's own investigation is continuing. When President Obama was using his pen and phone to legislate, maybe Dem congressmen would have spoken up at that point. But the Democrats have nothing to say about that.

And finally, both Democrats and Republicans were calling for the firing of Jim Comey. I think they are just mad about who got to fire him. That it wasn't Hillary Clinton that got to fire him. So I mean, the idea that our system of checks and balances and the co-equal branches are under threat just makes absolutely no sense in this case.

WHITFIELD: And so Ellis, do you agree, he was out of left field?

ELLIS HENICAN, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Let me help Brian with his coherence, if I can on this. Absolutely we have seen a series of disrespecting of those core principles of our nation. Whether, Brian, it be dissing federal judges in their roles, the important process, whether it be trying to do things that the elbow aside the opposition in Congress, and whether it be firing an FBI director who had a ten- year term, by the way, and should not be fired except in cases of absolute malfeasance in office.

And then lying about and sending his folks out to lie about the reasons for it. Well, we now find out the reason is primarily an investigation that Donald Trump and his campaign are at the very center of. So indeed I think you are going to be hearing more and more comments like those of Mr. Clapper in the days to come.

WHITFIELD: So, gentlemen, how about more of what James Clapper had to say in this interview with Jake Tapper? Let's listen.


TAPPER: There are a lot of Americans out there who are scared this week. Democrats, Republicans, independents. Because of the behavior by the President. Are you among them?

CLAPPER: I'm concerned. I will say that.


WHITFIELD: So, Brian, should people be concerned? And do you think that there are others, including clapper, who are concerned?

MORGENSTERN: Well, people are always concerned. And particularly when they are in an opposition party. But the fact of the matter is, as I have said, there are two bipartisan investigations going on, and the FBI's own investigation going on.

And Ellis, even director Comey recognized that the President can fire the FBI director for any reason or no reason.

WHITFIELD: So how about this? Do they have reason to be concerned?

MORGENSTERN: Reason to be concerned, no. Because these investigations are ongoing and we will have a result at some point and we will figure out what's going on. And they are not interfering with that. The FBI's looking into it and two bipartisan congressional committees are looking into it. So this notion that our republic is collapsing I think is just hair on fire nonsense.


HENICAN: Let me toss a couple more logs on to your fire here, if I might, Brian.


HENICAN: Listen. The fact that we have a President now who is seemingly with the support of Republican Party in general inalterably opposed to any kind of independent investigation on this, ought to give us further reason for concern. Right? We have got the two congressional committees doing it. One in the Senate, one in the House, whose role is to put it kindly, quite constrained. Right? And then we have an FBI investigation whose boss is removed over this very topic. When are we going to get a real investigation that will help us make a decision about whether there really is some kind of appropriate collusion or not? This isn't resolved. It's only begun.

MORGENSTERN: A fourth investigation. What on earth? HENICAN: One good one, Brian. One good one. One good one, my


WHITFIELD: And depending on who you ask, they are either four investigations or five investigations as it relates to, you know, Russia and the Trump campaign parties.

All right, Brian Morgenstern and Ellis Henican, thanks so much. Good to see you.

HENICAN: Good to see you guys.

MORGENSTERN: Good you see you guys.

WHITFIELD: All right. After a break, a sharp warning from the White House aimed at North Korea after that nation fired a new ballistic missile overnight. Details on the administration's response next.


[16:18:24] WHITFIELD: The White House is blasting North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test. In a statement released last night, the White House said quote "North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long," end quote. But it also speculated on Russia's take on the launch saying quote, this from the White House, "with the missile impacting so close to Russian soil, in fact closer to Russia than to Japan, the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased," end quote.

CNN's Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne is joining us now.

So, Ryan, the White House response to this is getting a little bit of criticism, at least from one U.S. senator.

RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: Well, that's right, Fred. It could be seen as a White House's attempt to get Russia more involved in curbing North Korea's missile and nuclear program, potentially at the U.N. But at least one U.S. senator, Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, called the reaction weird, beyond weird, in a tweet saying, this is beyond weird. I would like my President to speak for my country, not to speculate on the view of another country.

So, again, you know, officials said that it was noticeable that this missile flew relatively closer to Russia. Russia through a spokesman said Vladimir Putin was concerned about the recent missile test. And another official saying that their missile defense systems have been put on high alert. But again, a little bit of push-back on bringing Russia into this, at least from one U.S. senator.

WHITFIELD: So Ryan, this comes just weeks after Trump said he would be honored to meet with Kim Jong-un under the right circumstances. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, actually addressed that possibility this morning. What did she say?

[16:20:02] BROWNE: Well, she made it very clear that any summit or meeting would have to be contingent upon Pyongyang stopping these kind of provocative missile tests. Here is what she said.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the President. Because he is absolutely not going to do it. And I can tell you, he could sit there and say all the conditions he wants, until he meets our conditions, we are not sitting down with him.


BROWNE: So very clear words there from the U.N. ambassador that no meeting or no direct negotiations would happen as long as North Korea continues to do these nearly weekly missile tests. This one being the first one in a while to not explode either on the pad or in flight and actually fly quite far and quite high into the sea of Japan. So again, the ambassador to the U.N. making it very clear that no summit will be taking place any time soon.

WHITFIELD: So, China, by the way, while all this is happening, is hosting an international trade forum to try to expand, you know, expand infrastructure projects and trade in Asia, Africa and even in Europe. And there are 29 countries that are in attendance right now in Beijing. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also there. And he also is trying to make a statement, is he not, on what's taking place in North Korea?

BROWNE: Well, that's right. And then through his spokesman, he expressed concern about the latest development which, again, U.S. officials say the missile flew quite close to Russia. Pyongyang in the past, North Korea has used these missile test to send signals. President Trump has been very vocal in recent days about how President Xi Jinping of China has been helpful in some of the economic curbing of North Korea in attempts to influence North Korea that China has been working to that effect.

So this could be North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's effort -- attempt to send a signal that we are not going anywhere while this big meeting is taking place in China with all these world leaders. This could be his attempt to signal to those leaders that North Korea doesn't plan on going away from this missile program any time soon.

WHITFIELD: All right, still able to get a lot of attention.

All right. Ryan Browne, thank you so much.

BROWNE: You bet.

WHITFIELD: All right. Next, a party in crisis? How the GOP can push its legislative agenda forward as turmoil continues to plague Washington. We will discuss that after this break.


[16:26:34] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. So new fallout from the firing of former FBI director James Comey. An NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll reveals only 29 percent of Americans approve of the President's decision. And now top Democratic leaders are criticizing some Republicans for their silence on the President's chaotic week and for ignoring his controversial tweets and statements. This morning on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on the GOP to set aside party loyalty and speak out against the President when the moment calls for it.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: It is a crisis of credibility with the President. I mean, so many things, you know, there's so much factual fabrication, and then backsliding and contradiction. We need our Republican colleagues -- not every day, but on the occasions when it is necessary, such as for a special prosecutor, such as what's happened in the last week, to speak out because this is country. This is an issue of country, not party.


WHITFIELD: Let's bring back Republican strategist Brian Morgenstern and political analyst Ellis Henican.

Here we go again.

Brian, you first, though. Does Schumer have a point? Does the GOP have a problem with, you know, party versus patriotism?

MORGENSTERN: I'm sure the GOP members of the Senate really appreciate Senator Schumer's invitation to do his job for him. But, no, I don't think there is much of a point here. As we have discussed, the independent council, special commission or whatever, in addition to the ongoing investigations is a partisan issue that he wants and he is just trying to pressure his GOP colleagues into supporting that.

In terms of some of the President's conduct, I mean, there are a number of senators who have spoken out when they disagree with him. Senators McCain and Graham, of course, do it more frequently than others. But this is just Senator Schumer trying to get his GOP colleagues to help him with his agenda as opposed to the Presidents.

WHITFIELD: But you do agree there weren't a whole lot of GOP leadership, representatives, who came out this week.

MORGENSTERN: Well, I mean, it is not really the President's party's job to come out and pile on him. That's Chuck Schumer's job and he's doing that. And so, you know, I think it would be reasonable again for the GOP to call Chuck Schumer out when he wasn't going after the Obama White House when Obama was usurping the role of Congress. He wasn't the loudest voice in the room either. He is the opposition party. He is doing what he's got to do but it is not the GOP's role necessarily is to always jump on the President.

WHITFIELD: So earlier I spoke with a Presidential historian Allan Lichtman of American University who argued that he says now is the time to begin impeachment hearings from the President. He went as far as saying that is something CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Bear also agreed with this in conversation. Listen.


ALLAN LICHTMAN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: We need an impeachment investigation by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. That's what happened after the Saturday night massacre when Richard Nixon fired Archibald Cox.

Here's what I have to say to Donald Trump. Mr. President, get off the cover-up if there's nothing to hide. Prove it to us and the only way to do it is through an impeachment investigation. That is the proper constitutional venue and our framers understood that.

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: I agree with everything Allan said. It is time to move to impeachment. We have to get to the bottom of this Russian meddling in our election. Otherwise, we don't have a democracy. We have to hold this country, department of justice, the White House, to standards we've lived by since our independence. There is no choice. And if it is impeachment, let's go there.


[16:30:07] WHITFIELD: So, Ellis, what's your response to that? Premature? Is now the time? Or is this ridiculous talk?

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, METOR PAPERS: Well, we're not there yet. I mean I think Allan, you know, has penned some arguments on that. It's interesting to hear his passion on it. But listen, Brian, there is a way that Republicans can sidetrack this stuff, which is to be open to reasonable things, right? To have a fair investigation. To denounce the times when the president really does seem to not understand the basic tenets of our constitutional system.

And all of our Republican friends understand, I think, that there really has been some kind of disturbing line crossing there. The way to guarantee that it blows up in a political problem is not to face it now.

WHITFIELD: And so Brian, do you agree that these are self-inflicted problems with this White House?

BRIAN MORGENSTERN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, it is -- this White House is obviously still learning. They're experiencing a lot of sort of, you know, I guess beginner's problems in terms of communications strategies and others. But calling for impeachment, my question to the professor is -- for what? There has been no crime. There's no evidence of any crime.

And during the Nixon years it was because there was a White House counsel, John Dean and others, testifying to the president's involvement in an obstruction scheme. There is nothing even close to that. And Bob Woodward, who is, you know, one of the heroes investigating Watergate, has said as much, that we're not even close to that.


WHITFIELD: -- directly to Allan Lichtman's argument he was making is that he was accusing this White House, this president, of potentially trying to get in the middle of an ongoing investigation which would provoke -- which he says did provoke the firing of Comey and that was the violation, that obstruction. So, one Republican who has been very critical of the president is Senator Ben Sasse, and here's what he had to say about the impact of the president's firing of Comey.


SEN. BEN SASSE (R), NEBRASKA: I'm not sure how this president makes lots of decisions, so I honestly don't know. But I do know that we are in the midst of a civilization warping crisis of public trust and we need to talk honestly about our institutions that need to be restored and need to have the ability for people in five and eight and ten years to trust these institutions.


WHITFIELD: All right, so, Brian, your reaction to that, the civilization-warping crisis.

MORGENSTERN: Well, we're in an odd time. And I think he's got a point but I don't think that's a partisan issue. I think so many Americans don't trust our politicians from both sides of the aisle and people's temperatures have turned so far up. People are just so angry to the point of like -- just sort of blind vitriol all the time. And I think a product of that is people calling for impeachment when there is no evidence of any crimes. I mean that's sort of a byproduct of that.

So, I would agree that getting back to a situation where we can disagree respectfully will be a step in that direction in restoring trust in our institutions.

WHITFIELD: Quickly, Ellis, is that why some people are hot? You know, is it the talk of impeachment or is it what preceded that?

HENICAN: There's heat. Listen, I don't like to demonize those who disagree with me, so let me think the best of it in this case. It may well be happening -- I hope Brian is going to lead this parade -- that the decent Republicans, fair-minded Republicans, patriotic Republicans, are going to say, you know what? There's some stuff we're not going to take, even from a president of our own party.

Not a lot of that has happened yet. But you know what? Hope springs eternal at times like this and I do have some faith.

WHITFIELD: All right, gentlemen. Ellis Henican, Brian Morgenstern, always very enlightening and fun to talk with you. All right, we will see you next week, and we'll be right back.


(TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- the life vest. And so they're weaving these and getting paid to weave them. And we are going to sell these in the U.S. and the idea is that we are laying down the welcome mat for them.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could do so much better in welcoming people into our country. This is a direct way to give empowerment and hope as something as simple as purchasing a mat.


WHITFIELD: All right, to find out more about the Welcome Project and how you can buy a welcome mat or to nominate a CNN Hero, go to

All right, in the immigration debate, the fate of so-called dreamers is still unclear as the country waits to see how the Trump administration will address their status. And that has many families on edge. CNN's Rafael Romo talks to a woman whose new DACA application has been

[16:40:00] denied and her work permit revoked.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Fredricka, Jessica Colotl has for years been the face of the so-called "Dreamers," children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents. During the Obama administration, she was twice granted permission to stay in the country. But it appears immigration officials have new enforcement priorities under the Trump administration.



ROMO: Jessica's days in the United States may be numbered. The federal government has revoked the status that allowed the undocumented immigrant to temporarily avoid deportation.

COLOTL: On Friday morning, last Friday morning, I realized that the U.S. CIS had recently updated their website to say that my case had been denied and I thought it was a glitch in their system.

ROMO: The 28-year-old has been twice granted an immigration benefit known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. She says she applied for a second renewal in December, but when months passed without an answer, she began to wonder if something was wrong.

COLOTL: Not only was my DACA renewal denied, but my current work permit was terminated.

ROMO: Jessica Colotl was born in Mexico. She was brought to the United States by her parents when she was 11 years old. The family had no legal status. She had been living a normal life and attending school until one day in the spring of 2010 when she was caught driving without a license. Colotl, then 21 was stopped at Kennesaw State University north of Atlanta for a traffic violation.

When she couldn't produce a valid driver's license, she was turned over to immigration authorities who put her in an Alabama detention center for 37 days. Her case made headlines and her ordeal made her a central figure for immigration activists.

DANIELLE MARIA CLAFFEY, ATTORNEY FOR JESSICA COLOTL: We can't figure out any other logical commonsense reason why this is happening.

ROMO: Why do you think the government is moving forward with this case when they haven't done anything before or very little?

CLAFFEY: We think there is a possibility that they're looking to either, I don't know, make an example or try to see how they can look into valid DACA status and in terms of revoking the status of other individuals in a similar position as Jessica.

ROMO: An immigration spokesman told CNN that about 1,500 DACA people have lost their deferred action status since 2012. He also said, "Jessica Colotl, an unlawfully present Mexican national admitted guilt to a felony charge in August 2011 of making a false statement to law enforcement. Her guilty plea is considered a felony conviction for immigration purposes." But her attorney contends there was never a guilty plea and is headed to court.

CLAFFEY: There has to be a formal plea of guilt before the judge. There has to be a formal finding of a conviction or a guilty plea by a jury, by the judge. There was none of that.

ROMO: What do you say to people who say she is in the country illegally, she doesn't have a right to be here anyways. What do you say to them?

COLOTL: Well, I was brought to the U.S. when I was 11 years old through no fault of my own.


ROMO: Colotl's attorney has filed an emergency motion at the U.S. District Court of northern Georgia. They expect a ruling within two weeks -- ruling that may determine whether she gets to stay in the country or not. Fredricka, back to you.

WHITFIELD: Thank you so much, Rafael Romo.

All right, still ahead, Melissa McCarthy pulling no punches last night when she hosted "SNL." that is next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now I'm filling in for Sean today. As you know, Sean is fulfilling his duty as an officer in the naval reserve and that is why he cannot be here. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm pretty sure I can see him hiding in those





WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. After a wild week in Washington, "Saturday Night Live" had no shortage of material as Melissa McCarthy hosted for the fifth time. She reprised her role as White House press secretary Sean Spicer, rolling around the streets in fact on that mobile podium there, and then ending up in the briefing room ready to tackle reporters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't it true that President Trump only fired James Comey to stop the FBI's investigation of him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think American people deserve to know.

MCCARTHY: Oh, do they? (INAUDIBLE) You stink, Glen!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you surprised that he fired Comey before he fired you?

MCCARTHY: Oh, god.


MCCARTHY: That answered your question?


WHITFIELD: Oh, boy. Let's talk about all of this with comedian and talk show host Pete Dominic. All right, good to see you, Pete. So we know effective comedy means, you know, some exaggeration, but at the same time, there's kind of a blurring of the lines. It looks like they accomplished both in being able to make all of this so funny, painfully funny.

PETE DOMINIC, COMEDIAN: Yes. I mean that's what "Saturday Night Live" does and they've always been doing it. If there is a president, there are people on "Saturday Night Live" and the rest of us comedians and satirists making fun of them, Fred. It is just a question about when do we cross the line.

Obviously, we don't make jokes about the president in terms of threatening his or her life and we don't make jokes about the president's kids as long -- if they're minors. If they're adults, Fred, and they're bragging about their wealth and hunting elephants, they're not of limits. But if the question is are they crossing a line,

[16:50:00] no. This is what SNL does and they do it almost better than anybody else.

WHITFIELD: Does it worry you sometimes that, you know, for a good number of members of the audience out there, they're not able to tell the distinction. I mean some people thinking that spicy really is a name that Sean spicy -- oh, god! Here I go! That Sean Spicer actually, you know, kind of embraces.

DOMINIC: Yes, it's fun to say. Of course that's why it catches on. That's when you know you have a good bit. But, yes, it concerns all of us, including us comedians and satirists because you don't know where the line is sometimes. You don't even have to write a joke, Fred. You just say what the president or one of his spokespeople said and therein lies the humor.

But usually there are some lines, but unfortunately, our president draws the lines himself. As long as he's calling people names like a child and having temper tantrums like a child, then we're going to make fun of the president all day long. That's our job.

WHITFIELD: Oh, gosh. Well, Alec Baldwin, he returned as President Trump poking fun at the president's relationship with Speaker Paul Ryan. Just look.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: -- because I've got the Republicans in the palm of my hand. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You called for ice cream, sir? Here's two scoops.




WHITFIELD: Oh, gosh. Is this getting harder, you know, to do or is the material just, you know, easy, easy plucking --

DOMINIC: I wish it were hard, Fred. I do. I wish there were different circumstances. But, no, every week there is a wealth of material. And Comey doesn't have to speak truth to power, but when it does, we talk about power. In this case, Paul Ryan's not challenging the president, even though he just fired the director of the FBI and many other circumstances. So, you know, there is truth in comedy and there's always a nugget and I think we saw it last night on "SNL." I thought that was hilarious myself.

WHITFIELD: And "SNL" really has been cathartic for a lot of America as people feeling very frustrated, you know, filled with a lot of angst, et cetera. But at the same time do you see, you know, a kind of a real deadline on this? Can it only go on for so long?

DOMINIC: Well, as long as the president of the United States is a former reality show television star who use to appear on professional wrestling and is a world class performer, the rest of us world class performers are going to find ways to make fun of him. It is going to go on as long as the president is the president. That's what we do.

We wish it were hard, we wish some of these things weren't so important but it's part of what we do and everyday on my radio show we find new ways to have fun with this while taking it as seriously as we possibly can, and being respectful as well. But you can only be as respectful as the subject of your jokes, Fred.

WHITFIELD: OK. Good warning. Thanks for that, Pete Dominic. Thanks, good to see you.

DOMINIC: Happy Mother's Day! Getting --

WHITFIELD: Thank you very much. Thank you so much, and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who might be in your life. Appreciate it.

All right, we have so much more straight ahead in the "Newsroom." stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are clearly articulate and charming, whereas Sean is bullish --




WHITFIELD: All right. It is Mother's Day and to celebrate we asked women from around the world to share their thoughts on motherhood. Here's a clip.


TEXT: This is what motherhood looks like around the world. Six months ago, we sent 20 disposal cameras to mothers around the world. To places like Nigeria, Kenya, China, Brazil, the West Bank. We wanted to see what motherhood looks like through their eyes.

Aki Yanazwa is a 35-year-old single mother who ran for local office in Japan to try and help improve the lives of working women. May works in Hongkong so she can support her family back in the Philippines. Now, she only sees her 7-year-old daughter on Skype. 42-year-old Rebecca Carter lives in the U.K. She convinced her 2-year-old daughter Harriet through IVF. From Mexico to Russia, to India to Iraq, each roll of film tells a different story, but motherhood, at its core, looks the same.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: A visual journey around the world through the eyes of moms.

All right, tonight don't miss an all-new episode of "Parts Unknown" where Anthony Bourdain takes us to Laos.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I'm the older sister and she's youngest.

BOURDAIN: How has the country changed since you were little kids?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. The country changed a lot. We open the tourism scene that is good for the local economy and local people, they can earn money direct from the visitor and tourists.

BOURDAIN: President Obama was just here a few months ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, a few months ago. He gave a lot of help for education and for --

BOURDAIN: And exploded ordinance removal -- $90 million --


BOURDAIN: That's a lot of money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help a lot. This is one of the local net (ph).

BOURDAIN: Chicken feet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the pork tendon.

BOURDAIN: Nice. Good. Got to try that.


BOURDAIN: We got squid. I love this. This is delicious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then we eat and there we enjoy food. In Lao we say "sep lai."

BOURDAIN: "Sep lai."



WHITFIELD: All right, I'm hungry. How about you? "Parts Unknown" airs right tonight at 9:00 eastern right here on CNN. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks so much for joining me. Happy Mother's Day to ever body. Happy Mother's Day to my mom Nola and my sister Nyna and to everyone else. And Happy Mother's Day, Ana Cabrera, up next in the "Newsroom."

[17:00:05] ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: Back at you, Fredricka. Thanks so much. It's 5:00 eastern, 2:00 in the afternoon out west on this Mother's Day. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York and you are live in the "CNN Newsroom." Thanks for being here. President Trump's --