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Trump Praises Chinese President For Ending Term Limits; Trump Looking To 2020 Amid White House Chaos; Trump Stuns Lawmakers With Shifting Gun Control Stance; Florida Lawmakers Underpressure To Act On Gun Control; Italian Vote May Signal Return Of Silvio Berlusconi; CNN Goes Undercover, Exposes Human Trafficking; Oscars To Close Out Awards Season Amid #MeToo Movement; Mr. Magoo Steals The Show. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired March 4, 2018 - 17:00   ET




[17:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China is great and Xi is a great gentlemen. He's now president for life.


TRUMP: President for life! No, he's great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day.



ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Now, the president said this during a private fund-raiser at Mar-a-Lago this weekend. I want to go live now to the White House and CNN white house correspondent, Boris Sanchez.

Boris, it's kind of shocking to hear a U.S. president praise an authoritarian leader. And then again, we've heard this president do many a-things, many a-times, praising strong men like Putin.

And then he suggests that America should give it a try. But, Boris, this isn't even the only event the president spoke at this weekend. What else has he said?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana, the president obviously in a joking mood. Some people not very amused at that joke. The president joking about an oppressive and authoritarian regime like China, not exactly in line with how past presidents have approached China and other repressive regimes.

The president also took part in the Gridiron dinner last night. It's a roast-type event that happens every year, where journalists get to lampoon politicians and politicians get their chance to mock journalists, as well. The president had a few zingers that drew some laughs. He joked about

being late, because his son-in-law, Jared Kushner had trouble getting through security. Obviously, joking about the controversy surrounding security clearances at the White House and the downgrading of Jared Kushner's, this past week.

He also joked about Jeff Sessions, saying that he offered Sessions a ride to the event, but that he recused himself. The president also had a funny line about North Korea, but then he got a bit serious there and made some news.

Here's that portion now. The president saying, quote, I will not rule out direct talks with Kim Jong-un. I just won't. As far as the risk of dealing with the madman is concerned, that's his problem, not mine -- the president obviously joking there.

And then he said, by the way, a couple of days ago, they said we would like to talk, and I said, so would we, but you have to de-nuke. You have to de-nuke. So let's see what happens. Maybe positive things are happening. I hope that's true. We will be meeting and we will see if anything positive happens.

The foreign ministry of North Korea put out a statement saying that the United States should not misjudge the intent of the North Korean leadership, saying that it is beyond ridicule that the United States would set up these preconditions before having any talks with that regime, Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez at the White House with the White House looking lovely behind you tonight. Thank you, Boris. As we head into another week, the White House is looking to leave the chaos of the last week in the dust.

And President Trump is already planning for four more years. The Trump campaign and the RNC just unveiled a new fund-raising push. And during that re-election event yesterday, that fund-raiser at Mar-a- Lago, the president made clear he has some issues with his own party for investigating him instead of Hillary Clinton.


TRUMP: I'll tell you, it's a rigged system, folks. I've been saying it for a long time, it's a rigged system. And we don't have the right people in there yet. We have a lot of great people, but on certain things, we don't have the right people in there.


CABRERA: I want to bring in my panel, CNN political analyst, Ryan Lizza and political reporter for Bloomberg, Sahil Kapur. So, Ryan, the president is saying, the Republican-led Congress, we don't have the right people in there yet. How did you interpret those comments?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Trump has still not taken on the mental of the leader of the Republican Party in the same way that previous Republican presidents have. And he is willing at any time to go after the leaders up on the Hill,

whether it's Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell, when he feels it's necessary, or the leaders of these committees that he apparently thinks are unfairly investigating his administration over the Russia probe.

The interesting thing is, Republican voters don't seem to have much of a problem with that. Trump has 80 percent to 85 percent approval among Republican voters. So the party is very much in his control in a lot of ways, at least at the grassroots and voting level.

But he's, he's not a normal party standard-bearer in that sense, that he still sees himself as a bit outside of the system and willing to take shots at his own people if they don't -- they don't step in line. And it goes both ways...

CABRERA: And he hasn't stopped doing things differently either, in terms of what we saw in the campaign and continuing that into this administration.

LIZZA: Absolutely.

CABRERA: You mentioned how it seems how some of these unusual comments are being well received by those voters, those supporters that were even in that room at the fund-raiser. Sahil, I want to play you another comment that the president made, this one praising a leader who jailed political opponents and who just raised term limits for his power.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: China is great and Xi is a great gentlemen. He's now president for life.


[17:05:04] TRUMP: President for life! No, he's great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day. He's the most powerful president in a hundred years -- you know, person in a hundred years in China.



CABRERA: So, these were light-hearted comments, made in jest, but is this something to joke about?

SAHIL KAPUR, POLITICAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: It's an unusual thing, Ana, to joke about. It's not something that I could imagine prior presidents like Barack Obama and George W. Bush, joking about, you know, becoming president for the life.

And it sounds like the crowd took it in jest. But one important thing here is that there is bit of a grain of truth to this, which is that President Trump has a long history of praising dictators and strongmen, the most notable example is Vladimir Putin in Russia.

And he has also done that with Duterte in the Philippines and we see him now doing that with Xi in China, as he has done many times before. So this is a long-standing thing to him.

And to your earlier question, I think it connects to it, which is that, when there are -- when there is a conflict between, you know, people who are nominally his allies being loyal to the institutions they serve and being loyal to him personally, he always expects them, these Republicans, these administration officials, to be loyal to him.

And that's why we saw him having a conflict this week with attorney Jeff Sessions, who put out a remarkable statement, responding, saying he's going to continue to carry out his duties with integrity, essentially making clear he wants to serve the institution, not the man who's president himself.

And sometimes we have seen him get frustrated with Republican allies as well, you know, when they do things that in their view, goes to serve the constitution and the oath they took, but doesn't directly benefit the president himself.

CABRERA: I want to ask you about some comments that the president made last night about Jeff Sessions, specifically, Ryan. Because as much as the president hates the media, he did join the press at the Gridiron Club dinner and he made some remarks, the whole idea of course to poke fun at himself and the media, much like the White House correspondents' dinner.

Here's a quote from the president last night, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is here tonight. I offered him a ride over and he recused himself -- laughter. But that's OK, that's OK. Do you take it as a good sign that the president is now joking about this? We know how tense their relationship has been.

LIZZA: Yes, I mean, he is not -- I don't know what was unusual about last night and he even made a joke about this, is that Trump doesn't have a history of these self-deprecating jokes at these press dinners.


LIZZA: Which one of the jokes he made was about that saying, you know, his staff was worried he wouldn't make any self-deprecating jokes, and then of course he went on to say, you know, he's the greatest at self-deprecating jokes. You know, it's like the Xi quote.

It's funny, and then you kind of think about it, and it's not so funny. Because underlying the joke is that he really did try and -- he really was angry at Jeff Sessions for not recusing himself in an investigation.

Jeff Sessions, we now know, threatened to resign over it. And the Special Counsel is actually investigating -- has a criminal investigation open, and Trump is under the microscope for this and other actions that could amount to obstruction of justice. So, you know, it suppose maybe to strength of our democracy that the

president gets up there in front of the press and jokes about anything, but it's a pretty serious issue that's underlying that humor.

CABRERA: Sahil, the fact that Jeff Sessions actually pushed back this week, do you think this president now respects him more for it or will this just deepen the divide?

KAPUR: I suspect he will end up respecting Jeff Session more. We know this is a president who doesn't respect people who kind of roll over and who are easy to push around. We've seen that time and time again.

But it was very notable though that the president as, Ryan, mentioned was joking about things that are very, very serious. Now maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing. You know, maybe it is and maybe it is a sign of strength that we can do that.

One thing that stuck out to me toward the end, after he took a number of shots at various media outlooks, including this network which he after many times, including The New York Times, which he likes to do over and over again.

He joked about Fox News being as being the fourth branch of government, which is a funny -- which is kind of a funny moment. Then at the end of it, he said some words that I found very interesting. I'm just going to quote this here.

He said, I want to thank the press for all you do to support and sustain our democracy, I mean that, unquote. Does he really mean that?

This is a president who's launched unusually fierce attacks on the press, calling the press the enemy of the American people, calling on -- or endorsing the idea of weakening the First Amendment to make it easier to sue reporters.

It makes me wonder though, are these words really durable? Does he mean that or was he just saying it in a crowd? Because the president is nothing if not a good showman with an instinct for -- you know, for how to please a crowd.

CABRERA: But it's interesting what he chose to comment on. As you both have talked about, this is a guy who doesn't often poke fun at himself. And he even showed off self-deprecating humor when talking about North Korea at this dinner. Here's the quote from this.

[17:10:00] I won't rule out direct talks with Kim Jong-un, I just won't. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, well, that's his problem, not mine. So where did this come from, this humor, all of a sudden, about himself, Ryan?

LIZZA: He's got some people around him at the White House who wrote some jokes and said, Mr. President, you're going to delivery these whether you like it or not. CABRERA: You think so?

LIZZA: I think so. Because there are -- if you've seen Trump in other settings like this previously, there were some moments in 2015 and '16 when he did some similar events, and he simply does not find these kinds of jokes funny and does not do them.

And so I think he was trying to defy expectations for him last night by, you know, crossing a number of red lines and poking some real fun at himself. But in any casual setting, in any of the interviews I've ever seen him in, these are not -- this is not his sense of humor.

So I think -- you know, I think he was playing along with this, you know, this Washington ritual that presidents are supposed to do. He's supposed to go before the press at these fancy events and make fun of yourself.

And he's resisted it for a number of years and I think he had some people around him and said, you know, you're going to bow to this one Washington institution at a time when your White House is in a lot of trouble and things aren't going so well with the press.

CABRERA: Oh, I remember last year he decided not to show up for the White House correspondents' dinner, which was, you know, eye turning. And the president last night hit on something that was even more personal in terms of his relationship with his wife, as he addressed staff turnover in the west wing, he said this.

I like chaos. It really is good. Now the question everyone keeps asking is, who is going to be the next to leave -- Stephen Miller or Melania? That is terrible, but you love me, honey. Of course, addressing Melania, oh, I won't tell you what she said, and then he does, he says she told him, behave. Do you think that's a good way to play it off, Sahil?

KAPUR: Well, the context is kind of unmistakable there, you know, where we have revelations coming out about affairs that the president has had in the past and there have been all sorts of reporting, and rumors, and some speculation about the relationship between the president and his wife.

I don't know that that's necessarily what he was thinking. I think he was trying to make a joke in the vein of the self-deprecating humor that kind of permeated that speech about the chaos in the White House, about all the turnover that's happening, most notably this week, Hope Hicks, the communications director announcing her resignation.

There have been rumors about John Kelly being on the ropes, there's a talk about H.R. McMaster possibly being on the ropes. So I don't know -- I don't know what was going through the president's minds. I don't know what's going through the minds of the writers who wrote that.

I don't necessarily think it means that, you know, he's worried about his marriage or that something big -- you know, some big news is going to break soon about that. But, you know, it does -- it's interesting to see him joking about, joking in a self-deprecating way about the chaos around him, because usually that indicates a level of security with one's self that people have always questioned whether Trump has on these issues.

CABRERA: Exactly. I sure wish we had the audio or some video from these comments to see how he delivered these lines, but the cameras and recorders weren't allowed, but we did get these readouts from the dinner. Thank you, guys, so much. Good to see you both, Sahil and Ryan Lizza, as always.

KAPUR: Thanks, Ana.

LIZZA: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, the president broke with his own party and one of his biggest supporters, the NRA in a very public way this week. Listen to this.


TRUMP: I like taking the guns early. Take the guns first, go through due process second. It doesn't make sense that I have to wait until I'm 21 to get a handgun, but can I get this weapon at 18. I don't know. If you add conceal/carry to this, you'll never get it passed. I would rather have you come up with a strong, strong bill, and really strong on background checks.


CABRERA: So is this the time for gun control? I'll ask Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy what he thinks, next.


CABRERA: Where does President Trump stand on gun control? That answer seems to depend on who the president has talked to last, perhaps even what day it is.

On Wednesday, during a roundtable with lawmakers, he supported gun control measures, even suggesting some changes that went beyond what Democrats were even asking for. Listen.


TRUMP: Now, this is not a popular thing to say in terms of the NRA, but I'm saying it anyway. I'm going to just have to say it. You can't buy a handgun at 18, 19 or 20, you have to wait until you're 21.

But you can buy the gun, the weapon used in this horrible shooting at 18. It doesn't make sense that I have to wait until I'm 21 to get a handgun but I can get this weapon at 18. I don't know. I was just curious as to what you did in your bill?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we didn't address it, Mr. President? Well, I think... TRUMP: You know why? Because you're afraid of the NRA, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allow due process so no one's rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and collect not only the firearms, but any weapons in the possession of...

TRUMP: Or, Mike, take the firearms first and then go to court. To go to court would have taken a long time. So you could do exactly what you're saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talked about the bump stock issue that Senator Feinstein, I know, cares passionately about.

TRUMP: And I'm going to write that out because we can do that with an executive order. I'm going to write the bump stock, essentially, write it out. So you won't have to worry about bump stock. Shortly, that will be gone.


CABRERA: Joining me now is Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy. He was in office during the Sandy Hook School shooting. Governor, thank you for spending time with us today. Are you encouraged by what you heard?

GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Ana, it's good to be with you.

CABRERA: Are you encouraged by what you heard from the president?

MALLOY: No, I'm -- no, because you haven't heard it since then. In fact, he's had another dinner or meeting with the NRA and they have pulled the leash that they paid $30 million for, that $30 million that they spent on getting him elected to begin.

They've tweeted out and they've put statements out that he's back on -- they haven't said he's back on the ranch, but effectively, that he's back where he needs to be.

[17:20:00] You know, if the president really meant this, we would already have that executive order drafted. If he really meant this, as opposed to playing what is the NRA typical game after these things, that we bait and switch until people go on to another issue.

That's what they're guessing is going to happen. I mean after all, even in Florida, the site of one of the worst mass shootings in American history in Orlando, you know, it only took a few weeks to get beyond that.

And of course, we discounted because it was black people and brown people, and gay people. Now this is a little harder, maybe, in Florida politics, because it's school kids, but the president's not there. And if he was, he would already be doing something about it.

CABRERA: And yet, it has been more than two weeks since Parkland. And now we're still seeing businesses around the country take action, students organizing an upcoming march. The pressure hasn't let up. What do you think? Will the result be

different this time? Could these teenagers essentially overturn the cynicism that nothing will ever be done when it comes to gun control?

MALLOY: Ana, I happen to love CNN, but you didn't lead with guns this hour. You led with the president telling stories that somebody else had written for him. Of course we're moving on.

Now, you know, it's sticking around a little bit longer, because we have these wonderful young students, but it's no longer the top story. It's moved down a notch or two.

The fact that Florida legislature appeared to have voted to outlaw the sale of these weapons, which is something Connecticut did five years ago, and then reversed itself didn't get a whole lot of coverage in the nation today.

The reality is that Americans are busy. And that's what the president and that's what the NRA are betting on. Is that we'll move on to the next subject. Maybe it's the primaries in Texas that will happen on Tuesday, maybe it's something else.

Their nightmare is it's another mass shooting. By the way, we don't even talk about -- you know, mass shootings are anytime that four or more people are injured or dead.

We don't even talk about most of those anymore, because we're so used to these astronomical numbers of people dying that we just kind of move on and we got the rest of our lives to live.

At least that's what the NRA and Republican senators in the Senate and Republican representatives in the Congress, that's what they're all hoping for. They want us to move on. They want you to drop it in the order of importance.

CABRERA: I hope you're wrong about everybody moving on, because like you said, these are lives that matter...

MALLOY: I hope I'm wrong.

CABRERA: ... when we talk about children's lives. And we know that there are lawmakers who aren't giving up. I want you to listen to Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, what he said this morning on State of the Union. You'll recall he and Republican Senator Pat Toomey introduced that bill after Sandy Hook to close the gun background check loopholes. Listen.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: So our bill is basically crafted, that basically accepts a law-abiding gun owner, doing the things that we've done in our culture, but also making sure that the bad person or the terrorists that advertise on the internet say, go down to the gun show and get whatever you want. That needs to be closed. That should be the base bill that we work on.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you have any idea, if the Manchin-Toomey bill were to come to his desk, would he sign it?

MANCHIN: I really believe he would.

TAPPER: You believe he would?

MANCHIN: I would. In my heart of hearts, I believe that.


CABRERA: So, Governor, should Congress move forward on those expanded background checks without the gun restrictions, if that is what's realistic that the president would sign?

MALLOY: Yes, sure, if the president would sign it. But you know, he's president. He should get it passed. Let's not set the bar so low that we allow him to make statements and then reverse himself on those statements and say, and then be able to blame someone else, because it didn't get to his desk.

What ounce of effort is he willing to put into making sure we have universal background checks in America? What ounce of effort? You know, he folds his arms and he scolds people, and he makes jokes about the NRA at the same time he's taking $30 million from them.

You know, I know he has blown through the norm. I know that we can no longer compare him to any other president who's lived in any of our lifetimes. But have we sunk so low that we're going to believe that he actually means some of the things he says? Come on. Give me a break.

CABRERA: I know you are pessimistic about any action taking place. And yet there are still a lot of people who are skeptical that gun control is the answer.

We know since Sandy Hook, more than 200 laws have been enacted to strengthen gun safety. This is according to the Giffords Law Center to prevent gun violence.

Of course, it's almost entirely at the state level. What do you tell people who point to that and say, look, even with all these gun laws, we're still seeing unspeakable gun violence? Maybe more gun laws aren't the answer.

[17:25:00] MALLOY: Ana, the young man could not have purchased that gun in Connecticut. Connecticut loses 4.6 people to guns per 100,000. And that includes about two-thirds are suicides. Florida has about 13.

If you really want to hit a home run, you move to Alabama or Alaska where it's 23 people per 100,000 that die per year. We have to get serious about changing our culture. We have to make sure that people with mental illness can't buy guns. How do you do that? You don't sell them guns.

CABRERA: This is an important issue. We won't let go of it. Thank you, Governor Dan Malloy, for joining us. MALLOY: Thank you.

CABRERA: Meantime, lawmakers in Florida, they are considering some changes to the state's gun laws in the wake of last month's school massacre in Parkland. We'll tell you what is in their controversial proposal, expected to have a vote tomorrow.


CABRERA: Florida lawmakers under pressure to do something following the Parkland school massacre. I have been on the job this weekend, holding a rare weekend session and under consideration, a plan to arm teachers -- already rejected, a ban on assault weapons.

The Florida lawmakers are working against the clock, hoping to have something by the time their legislative session ends this coming Friday.

CNN's Athena Jones joins us now from Florida's capital. Athena, there are a lot of deep divisions over guns in the Florida legislature. What more are they considering and are they finding common ground?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Well, that's the big question. What can they agree on? There was a lot of disagreement in that rare Saturday -- that Saturday session you mentioned. Lawmakers spent some eight hours debating this school safety bill.

The measure would raise the age to purchase a firearm to 21 years old from 18. It would require a three-day waiting period to buy a gun with some exceptions. It would ban the sale or possession of bump fire stocks, those accessories that can make a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon.

The bill would also give law enforcement more power to seize weapons and ammunition from people deemed mentally unfit or otherwise a threat. And it would provide additional funding for armed school resource officers and for mental health services in school districts across the state.

And as is often the case and as we saw yesterday, you had Democrats arguing that the gun control measures don't go far enough. They wanted to see an assault weapons ban included and a ban on high- capacity magazines.

And you have republicans arguing that the gun control measures go too far. And while we have been hearing a lot from the students of Parkland -- the survivors of the shooting at Parkland who have been arguing for gun control measures, there was a gun rights rally just a little while ago, outside the old capital building behind me.

And I talked to a college student who had a very different opinion from the Parkland students. Her name is Tiffany Berkeley. Watch what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIFFANY BERKELEY, GUN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I would have to say raising the age to 21. Because you have a gap between 18 to 20 of people that completely don't have any Second Amendment rights anymore. You already can't purchase a handgun until you're 21. So if you can't purchase a rifle or a shotgun, that completely eliminates your Second Amendment right.


JONES: So that's just one example of the kind of resistance we're seeing from those who don't want to see any of these gun control measures as part of this bill. Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Athena Jones in Tallahassee, thank you. Remember former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore accused of child

molestation along with other accusations of inappropriate sexual molestation?

Well, he's making news again, pleading for money on Facebook. Moore says he has, quote, struggled to make ends meet, and he needs $250,000 to cover his lawyers and covering his legal bills.

Now, in the fund-raising post, Moore writes, and I quote, gays, lesbians, and transgender have joined forces with those who believe in abortion, sodomy, and destruction of all that we hold dear.

Please send a generous gift today to the Roy Moore legal defense fund to help me defeat, once and for all, those who would destroy America.

Moore lost the December election to Democrat Doug Jones amid the allegations that he pursued romantic and sexual relations with some teenage girls when here was in his 30s. Moore has denied all the allegations.

Coming up, an outspoken politician for a lifestyle to the rich and famous but before there was Donald Trump and the Access Hollywood tape, there was Silvio Berlusconi and his infamous bunga bunga parties. And now he could be making a political comeback.


CABRERA: This just into CNN. The expected winner of 2018's most unpredictable election to date, according to exit polls, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, who wasn't even on the ballot.

Decades before Donald Trump even considered entering the political fray, Berlusconi was making headlines as the wealthy billionaire tycoon dominating Italian politics.

The scandal plagued former prime minister was convicted of tax fraud in 2013. He's barred from running for office until next year, but make no mistake, Berlusconi is back as a power broker, resurrected.

Today's election likely to determine whether the populist far-right sentiment sweeping through Europe gains a further foothold in Italy. Let's get right to Ben Wedeman, our senior international correspondent there in Rome. Ben, tell us more about it.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, well, it's an interesting result at this point. There's no clear winner in the sense that no single party got the 40 percent of the vote required to be able to form a party or rather a government on its own. So we're sort of hanging at the moment.

The party that actually did the best was the five-star movement, which according to the first exit polls that have come out has won somewhere between 29 percent and 32 percent of the vote. Now, the five-star movement, you can't really characterize it as a right-wing party.

In fact, it's very populist, but it sort of scans -- spans the political spectrum. Silvio Berlusconi did not do that well according to this initial exit poll. His Forza Italia got somewhere between 13 percent and 16 percent of the vote compared to 21 percent of the vote in the last election in 2013.

I think what these results show is that the anger at the establishment here is very deep and strong and the establishment, to the extent that it exists, is going to have to change their ways if it wants to stay in power. It's important to keep in mind, Ana, that per capita income in this country is the same as it was 25 years ago.

[17:40:00] You see more and more Italians essentially giving up on this country. In 2016, 124,000 Italians between the ages of 18 and 32 left the country in search of work. And more will probably leave if this country doesn't get its act together. Ana.

CABRERA: So, Ben, I know that this isn't over yet, because that 40 percent threshold hasn't been reached. But with the five-star movement looking to be the victors here in terms of the vote, what does it mean for Italy's future in the E.U., given this is a populist, nationalist movement?

WEDEMAN: Well, in the past, it was very Euro skeptic. It's against the Euro, but many Italians have seen the train wreck that Brexit is. And have started to step back from leaving the E.U., dropping the Euro, because they see the price is far too high.

Now, the five-star movement, in the past, has said, it's not going to do any horse trading, any backroom deals with other parties, but it now finds itself the strongest party after the elections.

It may decide, for instance, to form a coalition with some other party. It's not quite clear what, but I think we're going to have to just wait and see, to see what sort of horse trading they all get down to before they can actually form a government. It could be quite a while before that happens. Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Ben Wedeman in Rome for us. Thank you. Up next here in the Newsroom, an exclusive look at Nigeria's slave trade. CNN takes us inside one man's journey to freedom and why the fight for survival is far from over.

[17:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: Men and women bought and sold. It may be hard to believe, but modern-day slavery exists. Last year, senior international correspondent, Nima Elbagir and her team uncovered a slave market in Libya.

Now, they have traveled to Nigeria and for many, it is the first stop on a hellish tracking trip to Europe. Nima introduces us to a man saved from the slave trade, only to return to a life where every day is a struggle.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Benin City in Nigeria is the trafficking capital of the country. It's one of the most trafficked from departure points in the whole continent.

It's where tens of thousands of young people, men and women, head off for their dream of Europe. It's also where tens of thousands of them are returned with that dream shattered, and today, we're hoping to meet one of those returnees.

VICTORY, LIBYAN MIGRANT: (Speaking Foreign Language)

ELBAGIR: The last time we saw Victory, he was lying on the floor of a Libya Detention Center, just rescued from slavery, begging to be sent back home. Now, he is back in Nigeria but have he found his happy ending? How do you feel coming back here?

VICTORY: A lot of people lost their lives over there, I am happy that I didn't lose my life. I'm back home now, so I can take another step. So I am happy.

ELBAGIR: Victory is responsible for his mother and three younger siblings. His mother says she's too embarrassed to show her face on camera. Too embarrassed to admit her family was desperate enough that her son risked everything to try and make his way to Europe.

VICTORY: I also have the children to care of, so just to see what I can for myself. Even where I am working now, if I get 3,000 naira a day I have to split it into three. The money is not even enough to feed us.

When I go to work I don't even eat. If I eat from that money there will be nothing left for me. Maybe if I want to eat dinner, maybe once, it should be in the evening so that is just it.

If I was to come here and eat with them when there is no much food to eat. So I just have to face everything on my own. So let me see what I can do for myself. So I'm happy to work even though the pay is not good.

ELBAGIR: Victory is homeless, afraid to burden his mother with his presence, another mouth for her to feed. If anything, Victory, says their life now is worse since his return from Libya, but that doesn't mean he's giving up. VICTORY: Because everything I do is because of them. I believe that I have to be somebody tomorrow. I have to do something with my life, things will go well, just move on with my life, that's it.

[17:50:00] ELBAGIR: After we did the interview with you in Libya, a lot of people got in touch to say that they thought that you were a hero, for having survived what you survived. Do you feel like a hero?

VICTORY: I am happy that my life has a day to face tomorrow to see what I can do for myself.

ELBAGIR: How many more like Victory will attempt the journey to Europe, thousands, maybe tens of thousands. Many returning to poverty they say is even more dehumanizing than the horrors they down in Libya.

Victory, though, is convinced that his will be a happy ending. But like he did in Libya, he will again find the strength to survive. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.



CABRERA: Welcome back, we're just a few hours away from Hollywood's biggest night, the 90th academy awards. And while the film industry's bigger stars will take center stage, the Me Too and Time's Up movement could steal some of that spotlight. CNN's Stephanie Elam joins us from the red carpet. Hey, Steph, any indication what to expect tonight?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if it's any indication from the red carpet which is now under way here, Ana, Time's Up is still something that is very much on people's mind. Me Too is very much on people's mind. I see Tarana Burke, who is the founder of Me Too, she is right here now on the red carpet as well.

I can see her, lots of Time's Up pins. So yes, the messaging is still very much going to be a part of the show, whether the show organizers expected it to be or not. We also expect some people will talk about it perhaps when we they get awards.

This has been a seismic shift within the entertainment industry. So for to not play out in Hollywood's biggest night, it would be a shocker for that not to happen. So we do expect it to be some way, somehow in the broadcast this evening.

CABRERA: There's been a lot of talk about Ryan Seacrest. And I am sure a lot of people are watching him on the red carpet. He's of course there for the E! Network and he's been defending himself against sexual harassment claims, what are the dynamics there regarding the situation?

ELAM: Well you know, it's live television. So anything could happen. Someone could decide to wait to go up to the camera and say something or someone just bypass talking to him all together. He has been vehement about the fact that this did not happen and says

that E! did an internal investigation and nothing came of it. And so he was still going to be here today.

Obviously he has relationships with a lot of people in the entertainment industry. We'll have to see how it plays out but the fact that this is even something that's being thought about shows you that there is a big difference in how this topic is being addressed and treated here in Hollywood.

CABRERA: Jimmy Kimmel is hosting for the second year in a row. And over the past year we of course, seen him enter into the political fray a lot on the Late Night Show. What do you expecting from him tonight?

ELAM: Right. And you know, it's always about the ultimate monologue for the host. That's really their moment. And then throughout the rest of the show, they are duties are lot smaller but I would be shocked if Jimmy Kimmel doesn't make some sort of political statement and if he doesn't make any reference to this Me Too movement that we've seen here.

I would be shocked if he didn't do that. The question is, how he does it and still keep the focus on the movies, and the actors, and directors, and everybody here who has put these productions that are now here on the display at the Oscars.

CABRERA: All right, Stephanie Elam on the red carpet for us. You look lovely, as always. My friend, I love your dress. All right, staying in the entertainment world now, Saturday Night Live had a field day with the chaotic week at the White House taking aim at President Trump for his public shaming with the Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's very funny Mr. President but I'm not going anywhere. I'm like skunk stink on a dog, I linger. And I just had dinner with all your friends at the Department of Justice, and wow, your name popped up more than a weasel in a pumpkin patch.


CABRERA: The president's reported secret nickname for his attorney general, Mr. Magoo is the focus of this week's state of the cartoonian.


TAPPER: After months of publicly complaining about Jeff Sessions...

TRUMP: We're very disappointed with the attorney general but we will see what happens. Time will tell.

TAPPER: The president has reportedly privately given the attorney general a new nickname. Mr. Magoo. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's terrible. It's just shocking.

TAPPER: That's of course a reference to the optically challenged crotchety cartoon character created in 1949 by subversive cartoonist, satirizing the myopic conservatism of the McCarthy era.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By Jupiter, if you're not on your toes, they'll stick you every time.

TAPPER: But we doubt that's what President Trump was referring to. He was probably trying to highlight Sessions' stubbornness, like Magoo, he refuses to bow down to authority.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I demand for complete satisfaction, is that clear?

TAPPER: Or maybe it's Sessions' confidence?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like a young man with ambition, confidence in his product.

TAPPER: Regardless of the visions, envisioning sessions as Mr. Magoo and the high jinks that ensue is probably really what the president was going for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twinkle toes Magoo.

TAPPER: Then again, Magoo is an extremely wealthy curmudgeon who never admits when he is wrong and somehow always ends up on top. Whom does that actually describe?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, Magoo, they can't bamboozle you. You never lost a fight yet.


CABRERA: You're in the CNN Newsroom. I am Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being here on this Sunday. We begin with the president letting loose at the Washington black tie affair, joking about White House chaos, Jared Kushner's trouble from getting a security clearance and even his marriage to Melania.