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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Fleet of Candidates in Running to be Next FBI Director; White House: North Korea is "A Flagrant Menace"; Cyberattack Hits 200K in At Least 150 Countries; FBI Agents Association Endorses Mike Rogers; Trump: FBI Hire Could Be Announced by Friday; National Mama's Bailout Day; Baldwin Makes "SNL" Great Again, McCarthy Makes It Spicey. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired May 14, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: -- hold talks with the U.S. if the conditions were right.
[07:00:03] Now, let's turn to the search for a new FBI director. A revolving door here. Look at this. We've got eight on the screen. There have been more who have been interviewed. The hopefuls here you see at DOJ this weekend.
Now, President Trump is speaking out on the timing of the former FBI director's firing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS: Was this the wrong time to fire Jim Comey?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there's no right time. Let's say I did it on the January 20th, the opening, right? Then, that would have been the big story as opposed to the inauguration and --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And while the White House spends the weekend looking for a new FBI director, James Comey, the former director, was spotted attending a Broadway musical "Fun Home" and having his picture taken there with the cast. He is really, really tall one in the back!
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: In the back, yes, exactly. So, we should be looking for a line I supposed going into the Justice Department, because at least eight more people we know are being considered to replace fired FBI Director James Comey.
BLACKWELL: They have all been seen going into the Justice Department building this weekend. More interviews with the new candidates are expected today.
But as for President Trump, he tells FOX News he could make a decision on the hire before leaving for an overseas trip at the end of this week.
PAUL: So, let's go to Ryan Nobles. He's got some more information for us this morning.
Ryan, what are you hearing? And good morning to you.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christi, good morning to you.
This could be a big week for the Trump administration, no doubt about that. The president has a very important decision to make and as you guys mentioned, a parade of candidates yesterday making their way to the Justice Department. More will be there today being vetted by a team that includes the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Now, according to Jeff Zeleny, our senior White House correspondent, a small group of these finalists will eventually meet one-on-one with the president before he makes his final decision. And among those being considered, Judge Henry Hudson, he's a former prosecutor. He was the federal judge who presided over the Michael Vick dog-fighting case if you remember that. Mike Rogers, a former congressman and FBI agent, he's also a CNN contributor, and Senator John Cornyn of Texas, as well as the current acting director, Andrew McCabe.
Now, there's the possibility that the president puts an interim director in place before making the push for the final choice, one that could come with a political fight as Democrats and some Republicans have raised questions about the way James Comey was fired.
Now, there are some concerns about the selection process, in particular, the role of Attorney General Sessions who has recused himself from all matters related to Russia but still actively involved in Comey's firing and he's also involved in the picking of his replacement. The president signaled yesterday as you mentioned that his decision could come quickly even before he leaves on this first big foreign trip at the end of next week -- Christi.
PAUL: All right. Hey, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much for wrapping it up for us. We appreciate it.
NOBLES: Thank you.
PAUL: Now, the FBI Agents Association is endorsing we should point out Mike Rogers. He is the former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and in full disclosure here, I want to point out, he's also a CNN national security commentator. So, we're going to the president of the FBI Agents Association in just a few minutes.
BLACKWELL: All right. Let's bring in our panel, CNN politics reporter Tom LoBianco, and James Antle, politics editor at "The Washington Examiner".
Good morning to you.
And I want to start with you, Tom. We've got the list of those candidates who have been up at DOJ this weekend. Got eight here. There have been more. Is anyone here more viable choice than any other? Is there a front-
TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, you know, looking back on the past week, it does look like based on Thursday's testimony that perhaps Andrew McCabe, the acting director, may not be a front-runner. I think that we can say safely after he kind of perhaps whether he did it intentionally or not, undercut a lot of the White House's arguments regarding the Russia probe and the firing of James Comey.
You know, looking forward, do they take John Cornyn, right? A top Republican inside the Senate, someone with, you know, a lot of stature, a lot of connections. Do you go with Mike Rogers, someone who's well-known? You know, those could be good picks but they are fought with peril because the rank in file have problems with political type of appointee. They want more of a career law enforcement type of person.
LOBIANCO: You know, hard to say at this point.
BLACKWELL: James, let me come to you and I want you to listen to what Florida Congressman Charlie Crist, former Florida governor, said about this process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLIE CRIST (D), FLORIDA: You have the investigated, the president, selecting the person who will be investigating him. And so, you have to wonder about how objective can that whole scenario be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The question is what's the alternative here? You can't take everyone above the position for which they're interviewing out of the process. You've got the deputy AG who wrote the letter recommending the dismissal.
[07:05:00] You've got the attorney general who said he would recuse himself. You've got the acting -- the FBI director is applying for the job.
JAMES ANTLE, POLITICS EDITOR, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Right. There is no alternative and the president, ultimately, is the person who has the power to make this appointment. That's one of the reasons why the confirmation hearings in the Senate will be so important. At bare minimum when the president fired Comey, he guaranteed that the Senate hearings about the new FBI director would be dominated by discussions of Russia and discussions of the Russian probe regarding the 2016 presidential election.
So, if there was any desire or intent to minimize this probe or to sideline this probe, I think there are going to be a lot of unintended consequences here as it's going to really dominate the discussion of the new FBI director's confirmation. BLACKWELL: So, Tom, let's talk about that confirmation. There are at
least a few Republican senators who were troubled with this entire affair. Is Washington ready? Although the president says he could nominate someone within just a few days. Are they ready for the confirmation process to begin without having all of the details about why the last director was fired?
LOBIANCO: Well, it's a great question. I think looking forward to this, you know -- this coming week, we know that Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, is supposed to appear before the Senate for an all senators briefing where they hope to find out some more information. This was something pushed by the Democrats and signed off on by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, significant in and of itself.
You know, looking forward, Senator Richard Burr, someone who was, you know, I want to say necessarily a pro-Trump senator to begin with, had always kind of taken the Russian investigation seriously. His tone shifted after the firing, OK?
So, this is, you know, looking forward, you know, as Jim pointed out here, the confirmation hearing becomes about Russia. This is not something that goes away any time soon and now you have more Republican senators out there openly questioning what's going on. Nobody going as far as saying, OK, it's time to get a special prosecutor involved here. But more serious questioning and out in public.
BLACKWELL: Let me take a turn here. Stay on the Hill but return to the House, James. This is, first, you're going to hear from Speaker Paul Ryan in response to a question about the president's tweets on Friday. But then you're going to hear from CNN commentator Ana Navarro. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I'm going to leave it to the president to talk and defend his tweets. You know what I'm focusing on, Ken? I'm focused on what is in my control and that is, what is Congress doing to solve people's problems.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think people expect for leaders to step up and condemn that. That you are a Republican leader does not mean that you are a cult member of a Donald Trump cult. It means that you call them as you see them and when he does things that should be applauded, you do. When he does things that you should be condemned, you have a spine. You have a conscience and you have loyalty to the country and the Constitution of the United States and you speak up, you wake up, and you act up!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Do we expect that anything has changed or has been changed by not just the firing, but the president's tweets on Friday suggesting tapes that we will hear more from Republicans on the Hill? ANTLE: I think it's troubled a lot of Republicans and I know that, in
general, Republicans on the Hill have been bothered by the president's tweeting habits regardless of these particulars specific tweets. But in terms of what the Republican congressional leadership is doing, it really doesn't seem much of an impact and working with the president on a legislative agenda and they really don't seem to want to criticize him in any ways that are going to undercut or undermine that agenda.
Speaker Ryan, in particular, was a frequent detractor of the president during the campaign, but now that they are partners in governing, he has been a little bit more diplomatic in how he has discussed his differences with the president. So, you've seen a lot of rank in file I think start to speak out. But I haven't heard very much from leadership at this point.
BLACKWELL: Well, we could be days away as we said from learning the president's nominee for FBI director. The interviews continue.
Tom LoBianco and James Antle -- thanks so much.
LOBIANCO: Thank you.
ANTLE: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: And today on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper, the former director of the national intelligence, I should say, James Clapper is on the show, along with Senator Chuck Schumer. That's "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper today at 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.
PAUL: The White House we here is furious with North Korea over its latest missile launch, vowing to ramp up sanctions, the White House says, if Pyongyang continues to be, quote, a flagrant menace.
BLACKWELL: Also, Melissa McCarthy returns to "Saturday Night Live", and brings her popular Sean Spicer impersonation, she called him Spicey, back with her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just do this full-time instead of him?
[07:10:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'd also like to ask that question because you are clearly articulate and charming, whereas, Sean is bullish.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Fourteen minutes after the hour.
And this morning, President Trump is blasting North Korea for its latest missile test calling Pyongyang a flagrant menace.
Now, the missile landed in waters just 60 miles south of the Russian coast.
PAUL: Yes, just moments ago, Russian President Putin and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping met in Beijing. And the Chinese president is saying both countries are playing the role of, quote, ballast stone in world peace and stability.
So, we have reporters covering this story from all angles. Alexandra Field is in Seoul. David McKenzie is in Beijing. Matthew Chance is in Moscow.
Good to see all of you. Thanks fore being with us.
Alexandra, I wan to start with you. Help us understand what South Korea is saying in reaction to what happened overnight.
[07:15:06] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Christi, they are still trying to figure out exactly what type of missile was launched. It does appear that it reached a higher altitude and that it landed closer to Russia than recent previous ballistic missile launches, but this does come just days into the administration of the newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
This is a Democratic Party president who campaigned on platform of greater engagement with North Korea. He has now been forced to quickly respond to this latest provocation from Pyongyang. He convened a meeting of the national security council. As you might expect he was quick to condemn the latest launch, but he has gone on to say that the possibility of talks with North Korea does remain if North Korea changes its attitude.
Just a day ago, we heard from a senior North Korean diplomat saying they could be open to talks if the conditions were correct and we have heard repeatedly from Washington in recent weeks, that the door for dialogue remains open if North Korea proves it can meet certain requirements in terms of getting on that path to denuclearization. The word from Washington in light of this latest ballistic missile launch has been a response which you have heard before. Washington now calling on all countries to continue to strictly enforce sanctions against North Korea.
For more reaction from Russia, let's go to my colleague in Moscow, Matthew Chance -- Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alexandra, thanks very much.
That's right. The White House suggested that they did not imagine that President Putin of Russia would be best pleased with the fact that this missile struck so close to Russian territorial waters. It was just a hundred kilometers or 60 miles or so off the coast of the Vladivostok region in the Russian far east, and that instinct was absolutely correct because within the past few hours, President Putin has issued his condemnation of this through his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, saying that they are concerned about the escalation on the Korean peninsula, particularly about the launch of that missile, you know, calling on all parties as well for restraint.
There's also been an additional statement issued by the head of the senate essentially, that the upper house of the Russian parliament defense committee, his name is Viktor Ozerov, and he said this: In order to protect ourselves from possible incidents, we must keep our air defense systems in the Far East in a state of increased combat readiness.
So, the Russians are playing anti-missile defenses on high alert. They're saying that they recognize that the target was not the Russian Federation but, nevertheless, because of the proximity of this missile where it landed so close to Russian territory, they have placed their forces on a certain degree of alert.
Now, I mentioned Vladimir Putin. He is in the Chinese capital right now, meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese president. He is also hosting -- we also find David McKenzie in Beijing where the Chinese president is hosting a delegation from North Korea -- David.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And, Matthew, there is not just the North Korea delegation. There's also many world leaders here in Beijing. And make no mistake: it's deeply embarrassing that this missile test has happened right as Xi Jinping is hosting all of these leaders including Putin and Erdogan of Turkey, as well as other leaders.
Now, the ministry of foreign affairs telling CNN they oppose any moves from the North Koreans like this missile test that break U.N. resolutions. They say that everyone needs to work together to calm the situation down. But it's also embarrassing because recently, President Trump and the U.S. has said that China holds the key to fixing the North Korean problem by applying pressure on its close ally and NATO.
Well, it appears with this latest missile test that China's calls have really landed on deaf ears next door in North Korea -- Christi.
PAUL: All righty. Alexandra Field, David McKenzie, Matthew Chance, so appreciate all of you chiming in today and getting us up-to-speed. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. New this morning, according to British broadcaster ITV, over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries were hit by a massive cyber attack. This comes after an anonymous malware researcher inadvertently stopped that widespread outbreak.
CNN managed to speak with that researcher who halted that spread. A 22-year-old from the U.K. who goes by the name "Malware Tech". Now, this person did not disclose his or her identity, the gender to CNN. So, that's why we are saying they them there.
Malware Tech warns that the threat is not over. There are different versions of the ransomware that still can spread.
All right. Eight more candidates now in contention for the role of FBI director. Only one of them has been endorsed by the FBI Agents Association. We will talk with the leader of that group about why the group made that choice.
PAUL: And a national coalition now bailing out jail mothers for Mother's day.
[07:20:04] We're going to talk to one of the organizers behind this new movement.
PAUL: Always grateful to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.
Another eight people now added to the list of candidates trying to replace fired FBI Director James Comey. But the FBI Agents Association endorsing only one of them -- Mike Rogers, former chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, former the House there, representing the state of Michigan.
Thomas O'Connor joins us now. He's the president of the FBI Agents Association.
Thomas, good morning to you.
THOMAS O'CONNOR, PRESIDENT, FBI AGENTS ASSOCIATION: Good morning to you, guys. Happy Mother's Day to everybody out there that fits that category.
BLACKWELL: All right. I'll pass that on to Christi.
[07:25:01] PAUL: Thank you!
O'CONNOR: I heard you forgot it earlier.
BLACKWELL: Yes, I did, I did forget. Thanks for bringing up old stuff.
All right. Tom, get to the topic we are here to discuss. You're endorsing Mike Rogers. Your group is endorsing Mike Rogers. You did the same thing in 2013 when now former Director James Comey got the job. Why is Rogers the right man for the job?
O'CONNOR: So, Mike Rogers is someone that we have worked with for years. He is a former FBI agent, former military officer and a member of the Congress. He is someone who we have worked with in his position as congressman on the House Intelligence Committee and he also has been an ally of the agents.
What we are looking for in our next director and we feel it's important for us to have a voice in this selection process and that is why I'm here today. It's not normal for us to come out this publicly on things but we feel it's 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 during one of our conferences years ago.
BLACKWELL: All right. Full disclosure here: Rogers is also a CNN national security analyst.
Let me ask you about the timing of all of this. And this is something I ask one of our reporters a few moments ago. Maybe you saw it. Is Washington -- that was his question. I'm putting it to you, or agents. Is the process prepared now to confirm the next director with so much ambiguity surrounding why the previous director was fired?
O'CONNOR: So what I can comment on that is that Director Comey enjoyed a widespread support by the FBI agents. He was someone who understood the agents and understood the centrality of the agent to the organization.
BLACKWELL: Now, Thomas, you know that is not what the president said and that's not what his deputy press secretary said. I hate to interrupt but I want to remind people of what we heard from the White House. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I've heard from a large number of individuals that work at the FBI that said that they are very happy with the president's decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Thankful and grateful she added that many of the people she's spoken with that the FBI were with the president's decision. Your assessment of what you heard there?
O'CONNOR: Well, I am the president of the FBI Agents Association and in that capacity, I have contact with agents across the country. We have five regional representatives that sit on the board of the -- the executive board of the FBI Agents Association and those regional reps, they are in touch with the chapter reps which are at each field office. And I can tell you that our information and contact with our membership is that Director Comey enjoyed a very strong support.
In an example, this weekend, about 2,000 law enforcement officers rode their bicycles from New Jersey in different parts of the country to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week. And this year, the FBI is placing six name on the wall for 9/11 cancers.
And I rode that ride and I have Jerry Job (ph), who's an agent I worked with, his bracelet on me. My wife who also an agent rode for Bob Roth (ph). And last night at the memorial when the names were actually announced to be on the wall, we were with one of the families. And the little boy of one of the fallen turned to his mom and said, "We are not alone."
That's the kind of thing that Director Comey understood and without his leadership we would knot have gotten the six names onto that wall and trying to recognize the 15 other agents who are sick from different cancers and illnesses based off 9/11. That is something we say that the director understood us.
BLACKWELL: Thomas, one more question here -- what has or how has the way that this has happened over the last several days, the way that former Director Comey learned that he had been fired, how has that impacted the way that the agents who do the work view this president?
O'CONNOR: So, that is a great question, in that how that they view their work. And that is that FBI agents had case they were working the day before Director Comey was released. They had cases that they were working the day it happened. And I'm here to tell you that they are going to have cases that they are going to be working in the future.
The FBI is an organization that has been over a hundred years in the business of investigations.
[07:30:04] BLACKWELL: Yes.
O'CONNOR: We follow the rule of law. We follow the Constitution. And that is something that we want our next director to be so strong with.
The rule of law and following the Constitution and supporting the agent population, and that is why we picked Mike Rogers because he is a former agent. He is a former congressman who worked with us on several issues. Sam Hicks Bill, he was very helpful with, and what that does if an agent is killed in the line of duty --
O'CONNOR: -- before this bill, his family had to pay for their move back to their home state.
BLACKWELL: All right.
O'CONNOR: Now, because of his actions, those agents are -- it's paid for by the government for their families to be returned.
BLACKWELL: All right.
O'CONNOR: So things like that. We know that Mike Rogers has been instrumental in helping us and many others.
BLACKWELL: All right.
O'CONNOR: And so he understands the agent and that is what we are most important to us as the agents association.
BLACKWELL: All right. Thomas O'Connor, head of the FBI Agents Association, thanks so much for being with us this morning. O'CONNOR: Great. And call your mom.
BLACKWELL: I will. Thank you, Thomas.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And, listen, speaking of moms -- the gift of freedom is being granted to incarcerated moms across the country on this Mother's Day. We are talking to one of the organizers of the Mama's Bailout Day Movement. That's next.
BLACKWELL: First, have you ever thought about what it's like living on Native American reservation? Well, tonight, on "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA", W. Kamau Bell travels to a reservation to hear about their struggles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA": What do you think of is the future for Native Americans in this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don't realize how tough it is on the reservation.
BELL: Ninety-seven percent of the people here live below the poverty line.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have all these issues and there is no help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need more resources.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tribal nations have a history of being disempowered. We were emasculated as warrior people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has been clinically shown it harms to see this racial stereotype. Can you imagine a team call the Asians?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They like us in the 1800s.
BELL: They liked us in the 1800s, too!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Thirty-six minutes past of the hour.
And today, a Mother's Day movement across the nation and reuniting black women with their families. This is a campaign called National Mama's Bailout Day. It's supported by more than a dozen national and local justice organizations bailing out moms who otherwise would have to spend Mother's Day in a jail cell.
Here is their message: to bring families back together and again spread awareness about the disparate impact of incarceration and the bail system on black women.
So, let's talk about this with co-director for arranging this Mother's Day bailout day. Mary Hooks is with us here.
Thank you so much for being here, Mary.
I want to play something from your website real quickly before we get into this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We cannot raise our families in communities if our mamas a locked away. In cities all across the country, we are bringing our collective resources to free all of our mothers. We are trans, immigrant, young, elder and disabled. Our mamas are not disposable. We need our mammas back in our communities. They bring us love, justice, healing, and compassion.
Together, we will bring them home. Our mothers don't deserve this. Our mothers are not disposable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Powerful statement. Anybody who has mom knows your mothers are not disposable.
Listening to that, though, a lot of people might say are you saying that the women that are incarcerated are incarcerated unjustly?
MARY HOOKS, CO-DIRECTOR, SONG: Of course. Nobody deserves to be in a cage.
PAUL: Because? Meaning they were arrested unjustly that they are innocent of their crimes?
HOOKS: Innocent unless proven guilty, right? And these are folks who have not had an opportunity to stand before a judge. They have not been convicted nor tried. They haven't told their stories. We live in a country innocent until proven guilty but folks are putting in a cage as if they have already been found guilty and they just don't have money to pay their bail in order to --
PAUL: Tell us about some of the people that you are talking to that you're helping today. Tell us one of their stories.
HOOKS: We are seeing a myriad. We found a lesbian couple who was sitting in Fulton County jail and they had been in there since May 8th and they have not -- they hadn't seen a court -- a judge or anything and according to the law, you have to be seen within 24 to 48 hours if you're picked up without a warrant or 72 hours max. And they had not been seen. They literally were picked up and put in a cage with a 6- month-old child at home.
We're seeing folks have -- that is the only place, that is the only means of support that they have is the cage. We are seeing folks who have been in there since January and literally on charges like urban camping, on charges like the use of fighting words, minor traffic violations. And people have lost their homes, their jobs, their children, and it's unacceptable.
PAUL: So, what -- how do you infiltrate the system and how are you able to change it for these people and get some of them back home while they await trial?
HOOKS: Uh-hmm. Well, we have used a myriad of tactics nationally. You know, there is local nuances to all of this, so we are looking at open record requests. We have very friendly lawyers who are going in. There is places where clergy have played a huge support role.
And believe it or not, you know, there is -- it's about the system that is messed up. It's not always the individuals. And so there are some individual that are oftentimes inside that help to, you know, give us our North Star in this moment, right? To understand how we navigate the system and get our people out of the cage.
[07:40:02] PAUL: I was going to ask you that. How receptive are the people in this system that you go to when you plead your case for these women?
HOOKS: Uh-hmm. Well, we are not -- and we're -- yes, we're not necessarily -- are you referring to the people who are working?
PAUL: The people in the system.
HOOKS: Yes, I mean, I think --
PAUL: How receptive are they? Are they listening to you?
HOOKS: Yes. I think the spirit in which we are doing this, a gentleman told me, he said we have no choice but to support you all and give you all the help that you need because we know you're doing something right for humanity.
So, I think we are in a moment where everyone is filling the call and mandate to get people out of cages and everyone is seeing their role. Whether you're the lead organizer or making the banners for the food, everyone has a role in it. Even if you work inside of the jails and prison system you have a role in it in term of how our people are treated while they're in there, and how our people also in this process and even helping support people getting out. So, it's been really inspiring.
PAUL: Well, Mary Hooks, thank you for the work you do and Happy Mother's Day to all of those people who are able to spend their day with their kid because of you.
PAUL: Thank you. We appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: All right. Christi, thank you so much. Tough week in Washington. We have been talking about it all morning
but it means plenty of material for "SNL." After the break, a look at how Melissa McCarthy brings Sean Spicer back to TV and, yes, Alec Baldwin brings along President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA MCCARTHY AS SEAN SPICER: Mr. Trump, I need to talk to you. Have you ever told me to say things that aren't true?
ALEC BALDWIN AS PRESIDENT TRUMP: Only since you started working here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: But, first, there are some people like myself occasionally, who are injured because we really don't take the time to stretch regularly. Now, there are places with trained practitioners who will do the stretching for us. Watch.
DR. DONALD PERRY, ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON: Most guys do not stretch before activity. If you don't stretch properly, it's been shown you're more prone to injury.
The more you stretch beforehand, you can lessen that likelihood. I try to stretch on my own at least two or three times a week, but try to get a professional stretch at least once or twice a week.
JENNY SEABERG, CO-OWNER, STRETCH ZONE: The practitioner helps take you through the stretch. You're able to get a deeper stretch. Stretching on your own, you're using muscles to stretch, whereas here, we're on these tables that have these straps. The straps allow your muscles and your complete body to relax.
BROOKE STRASSER, STRETCH PRACTITIONER: Most come in with complaints of hamstring tightness, hip tightness, back tightness, quad tightness, and also neck tension.
SEABERG: You're increasing your flexibility. You're increasing your range of motion.
STRASSER: My client's communicating how they're feeling during that stretch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three.
STRASSER: A three is when you start to feel a stretch, a five is about a medium stretch, and a seven is a about the stretch where the clients feel that they can't go any further.
PERRY: It is relaxing because it is time 30 minutes to myself, let them do the hard work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your staff has been insisting all week that you didn't fire him because of his Russian investigation.
BALDWIN: No, I didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that's obstruction of justice.
BALDWIN: Sure. OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait. So did I get him? Is this all over? Oh, no? I didn't? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters any more? Fine.
BALDWIN: That's right. Nothing is going to stop me because I have got the Republicans in the palm of my hand. Look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You called for ice cream, sir? Here is two scoops!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paul Ryan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Oh, what a week in Washington, wasn't it? It was almost guaranteed Alec Baldwin was going to make a return to "Saturday Night Live." He didn't have to take on the White House alone this week.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Melissa McCarthy hosted last night's show and reprised her role as press secretary Sean Spicer. And two teamed up to mock the Russia investigation, James Comey, Spicer's future.
CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter, is with us, and comedian and talk show host, Pete Dominick.
Good morning to you.
And, Pete, let me start with you. What did you think?
PETE DOMINICK, COMEDIAN: I loved it. Absolutely loved it and waited all week for it. I was very excited to see whether or not Alec Baldwin would show up. You always love it when Melissa McCarthy is on doing anything and playing Sean Spicer was amazing. We knew what, was it, Friday, when we saw that she was going through the streets of New York on the movable podium, that there was going to be some kind of a bit there. I couldn't wait for it.
And like always comedy points to the truth, which is the fact that the Republicans -- he does have the Republicans basically waiting on him. Nobody has stood up against what happened this week. At least in terms of leadership and I thought that was great.
And Happy Mother's Day, Christi!
PAUL: Thank you so much, Mr. Dominick. I appreciate that very much.
Listen, I want to play another clip here, because you mentioned, Pete, you mentioned Sean Spicer. A lot of speculation right now about his role. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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 bushes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that is a naval exercise, he is trying to blend in with his surroundings. Are there any more questions?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I have a question. Can you just do this full-time instead of him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he is your friend why is everyone about to say he about to fire you and replace you with Sarah?
[07:50:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, bless your heart. This is the first I'm hearing of that.
MCCARTHY: Get out. I got to find Trump. I'm going to New York! The press interview is over!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: All right. Brian, you're chuckling. What's your assessment here? And I've really, I can't help but wonder, what did Sean Spicer think of all of this?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think, you know, "SNL" has taken the Spicer character Spicey to the comedic extreme, right? You've got McCarthy last night tearing off pieces of the White House briefing room and throwing them to reporters.
It's good the finale of "SNL" is coming up next week, because I'm not sure how much further they can take this. But taking this to the real world, to what's going in with the real Sean Spicer. We've seen "The New York Times", "The Wall Street Journal", "Axios" this morning, a number of outlets saying Trump is considering a broad shake-up of his team broad pickup to his team but we've been here before.
We've heard the president has been before considering changes like this, and oftentimes when he's angry, when he's frustrated with what's going on with news coverage of his administration and he thinks about making changes. We'll see if this time he actually does it or not. But in the meantime, you know, this McCarthy impression has sort of haunted the White House and haunted Spicer for months and it continues to. As people are just saying, I think a lot of people are waiting all week to see how far "SNL" would push it this weekend.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And these impersonations can be influential. I mean, the golden example is Sarah Palin and Tina Fey, Pete. I wonder, as -- we know the president watches a lot of cable news. We know the president has watched the show because he tweeted about it.
But is he, do you think, concerned about these images, these caricatures of his team?
DOMINICK: I'm sorry, Victor, are you asking me to get inside President Trump's head? That's far too terrifying.
BLACKWELL: You're up to it? You're up to it?
DOMINICK: I mea, his ego is all that matters. He likes people when they're nice to him. He likes "Saturday Night Live" when they're not making fun of him.
But I disagree with my good friend Brian Stelter. I think, even though next week is the finale, they can getting so much further because every week, so many completely abnormal, not normal at all bizarre things happen. Sean Spicer puts himself in that situation when he takes questions outside the White House and near those hedges, near those bushes, whether or not he was in or among them, it doesn't matter.
When the president of the United States yesterday gives the commencement speech at Liberty University and says Jerry Falwell's name like 70 times, every week, we as comedians, as satirists, they give us so much material just by doing these bizarre things.
PAUL: They do, they give us a lot of material no doubt about it.
Brian, is there a point though where, is there a line of respect where maybe it's ever crossed?
STELTER: I think pro-Trump -- not pro-Trump, I think Trump loyalists feel that line was crossed a long time ago as opposed to in recent weeks. I think Trump loyalists, people who think no jokes at all from "SNL" are funny, feel that was crossed a long time ago.
You know, but I understand what you're saying, Pete, you know, when it comes to ice cream, for example. I don't think it's bizarre the president wants two scoops of ice cream. The joke was "TIME" magazine had dinner with Trump and he got two scoops, everybody has got one scoop of ice cream.
It was interesting to have Paul Ryan be the one bringing the ice cream out last night on "SNL". But the big story this weekend I think is the Republicans that are not speaking out Trump are not -- they're trying to avoid being asked at all about Comey. And that includes Paul Ryan. Ryan on Friday said, I haven't looked at all the tweets that Trump posted. To me, that was funny.
PAUL: Well, and he said straight out, I'm going to work on things with my constituents and I'm going to let Trump deal with his tweets.
So, Brian Stelter, Pete Dominick -- thank you both so much. I hope you have a lovely Sunday.
PAUL: We appreciate your voices.
DOMINICK: Christi, get home to those daughters, I can't believe they made you work today.
Happy Mother's Day, mom.
PAUL: Wishing all to you as well.
Thank you, Pete. Appreciate you.
And, listen, don't forget, Brian isn't going anywhere. He's on "RELIABLE SOURCES" this morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.
BLACKWELL: And tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Anthony Bourdain returns to Laos to take in the sights and sounds of a place he calls magical.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN: (INAUDIBLE) Laos, one of the most beautiful, enchanting, lovely, magical, mystical places on earth.
The Laotians, I like to tell you, is they are some of the nicest, kindest and most hospitable food-crazy generous people going.
[07:55:07] So glad to be back here, so pretty. It's just incredible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And before we go, a shout-out to all of you moms out there. We're all just doing the best we can, and as long as their kids know they're loved, we're doing OK.
And happy Mother's Day to my mom as well.
Ann Paul (ph), I appreciate you, I love you, and you are not only such a great mom but great grandmom as well.
BLACKWELL: Yes, happy mothers day to my mom, too. I didn't put a picture because she plays a premium on personal privacy.
BLACKWELL: Stay tuned. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King --
PAUL: You're a good son.
BLACKWELL: I'm doing my best -- coming up next.