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Caravan Arrives at U.S. Border; GOP Holds Arizona Seat; Comey Questioned in Town Hall; Trump and Macron Bromance; Wounded Teen Becomes Surgeon; Massacre Survivor Pays it Forward. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 25, 2018 - 08:30   ET


[08:31:58] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Dozens of Central Americans from a caravan that included more than 1,000 people at one point have reached the U.S. border with Mexico. What's the plan? For many it's to ask U.S. authorities for asylum despite orders from President Trump to turn them away.

So what's going to happen? We have CNN's Leyla Santiago live in Tijuana, Mexico, with more.

What are you seeing?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now the caravan actually arrived yesterday to Tijuana and right now many of them -- I'm speaking quietly because you can see behind me, many of them are in tents at a shelter here in Tijuana.

And I've got to tell you, yesterday when they arrived, one of the things we talked about was President Trump's last tweet, that important tweet for them anyway, in which Trump says, you know, he's instructed the homeland security director -- secretary, rather, not to let folks in. And so I -- that was one of the first things I talked to them about, Chris, when I saw them yesterday. And they are well aware of it. But they said, and this is kind of a quote that stuck with me when I spoke to a 17-year-old girl fleeing violence in El Salvador. She said, look, I am aware. I know there are rules. But that's what we're doing what we're doing. They're going as a caravan across the border, turning themselves into border patrol in just a matter of days. So this is the final stretch for this caravan.

Where are we on the numbers? Right now we have about 60 tents that are set up in this settler, about 130 people. We expect more of them to arrive today in several buses. So the group has sort of split up a little bit. But they are expected to be in total here somewhere between 400 to 600 migrants arriving today and moving forward with their plan to cross the border and get into the United States to seek asylum in what they believe is the legal matter -- or the legal way to do so.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Leyla, it has been so helpful to have you traveling along on this odyssey with them so that we could see what was really happening outside of all of the hype about it. Thank you very much for the reporting.

So the GOP won this special election for Arizona's eighth congressional district, but Democrats say they have reason to celebrate. We'll explain in "The Bottom Line."


[08:38:09] CAMEROTA: President Trump congratulating Republican Debbie Lesko for winning in a House seat in a special election in Arizona. Lesko won by five points. President Trump won that same district by more than 20 points back in 2016.

So what does all of this mean for Democrats and Republicans moving forward?

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN's senior political analyst Mark Preston.

So, it seems like both sides are celebrating this morning. That's in interesting win.


CAMEROTA: But Democrats, I guess, are buoyed by the -- how narrow the margin was comparatively?

PRESTON: Yes, no doubt. I mean -- I mean, look, Alisyn, what we're seeing right now is that Republicans can claim that they -- that they have won in this special election, of course, in recent months, stemming a tide of Democratic wins. But at the same time, that victory -- or that margin of victory was very, very small and it's a trend that we're seeing all across the country, especially in states, as you noted, where Donald Trump did very well. You know, four times the margin he won by that Debbie Lesko was not able to match. And we are seeing, as I said, that across the country.

Republicans that I talked to on Capitol Hill right now, Alisyn, are very fearful, all but thinking they are going to lose the House of Representatives. And now there is real serious consideration that they may lose the United States Senate as well.

CUOMO: All right. So, appreciate your take on that point.

Let's get a sense of why you are where you are. Williamsburg, Virginia. Brushing up on your colonial history. A little tour with the kids. What are you doing down there?

PRESTON: Hey, listen, you know, we've seen James Comey, Chris, do multiple interviews, including here on CNN. But what we haven't seen is we haven't seen James Comey actually take questions from real people. He's taking it from the journalists, but today it's going to be from real people. And we've heard James Comey talk a lot about leadership. He's going to teach a course for William and Mary next year on the idea of leadership. Well, guess what, now he's going to take questions from our future

generation of leader. And, of course, that's going to happen here tonight at William and Mary here in Virginia.

[08:40:01] What's worth noting, James Comey came to this school, Chris. This is where he met his wife. This is where his daughter went to school. But it's also a school that is also very divided, much like the nation is, on how James Comey acted when he decided to talk about Hillary Clinton during the campaign and not take any action with Donald Trump during the campaign.

So we expect some very sharp questions tonight and a lot of people don't think, Chris, that there's any news that could be made. But let me tell you this, it's all about the setting you're in. And I believe that James Comey could have been hiding something or holding something back -- not hiding, holding something back, maybe to break it here on the campus of his alma mater. And it's also the setting we're in. He could be answering these questions a lot differently to these younger children -- or these young adults than he did to these professional journalist.

CAMEROTA: You've learned the art of the tease, Mark Preston. That sounds like a must see moment.

But I do think it will be fascinating because any time you open it up to the public -- I mean, look, anchor people and journalists ask interesting questions, but the public asks really interesting questions. So how did they decide who's going to be in that audience tonight?

PRESTON: So how -- right. So a very good question because there's obviously a lot of interest in James Comey and there's a lot of people that want to come and see this, not only here within the campus community, but, of course, in the surrounding region.

It was a lottery. And what William and Mary did, they were very smart in doing this, they just kept it to their community. They kept it to the students here. They kept it to the staff members. They kept it to the faculty. Those who will be interacting with James Comey next year. Those who may know James Comey. Those who have questions for James Comey.

So they did it by lottery. It should be about 600 -- more than 600 people tonight, Alisyn, who will be in this audience. And, of course, people around the world will be watching.

CUOMO: All right, Preston, give us a quick take on what you think may surprise people tonight. What's your guess?

PRESTON: I think that what we're going to see, is we're going to see some very sharp questions from -- from these students who are unencumbered by -- by the norms of society, right? These are college kids. They can ask what they want in a language that they are used to, language that the three of us probably most of our adult viewers don't understand. But it's about how they ask the question. It's about how he answers the question back to them. And I think, who knows if this is going to happen, but I do think that how he answers his relationship with President Trump and what he thinks about him as the president is going to be very telling about how he is going to interact and discuss President Trump in the coming months.

CAMEROTA: I really hope there's no boxers or briefs question, because that does happen sometimes when you open it up to the student audience, as you'll remember at MTV.

CUOMO: Well, we -- they -- we talked to them with the team about what they want to ask and what before.


CUOMO: Hopefully it's not all expressed in emojis.

CAMEROTA: OK. Mark Preston, smiley face, thank you.

CUOMO: All right, so, you're going to have the big town hall tonight. You're not seeing James Comey in this kind of environment. Anderson Cooper, the man, is going to be moderating at 8:00 p.m., and we'll going to do the after action report tonight. I'll be there with people to discuss what ground was broken and what it means for the national dialogue.

CAMEROTA: And it is the new PDA, presidential displays of affection, between Presidents Trump and Macron during the state visit. CNN's Jeanne Moos has more on the bilateral romance bromance.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): These two just can't quit each other when it comes to public displays of affection.



MOOS: Get a room.

Actually, they did, the Oval Office.

TRUMP: Thank you. And you are a special friend. Thank you. Thank you.

MACRON: Thank you.

MOOS: President Trump and President Macron didn't just shake hands, they had to add a pat or a hand on the back, taking turns. Even a hand on the chest. They stared into each other's eyes and uttered sweet nothings.

MACRON: No, thank you.

MOOS: Using first names, my dear Donald --

MACRON: (SPEAKING IN FRENCH). TRUMP: Emmanuel and myself --

MOOS: Dialogue out of a bromance novel.

TRUMP: I hope you feel the same way.

MACRON: Definitely.

MOOS: The French president even tweeted their class pants.

MOOS (on camera): Brace yourself. I've bet you've never seen this before, one world leader grooming the other.

TRUMP: Well, we do have a very special relationship. In fact, I'll get that little piece of dandruff off -- there -- little piece. We have to make him perfect.

MOOS: One French newspaper called the gesture disturbing. We noticed Macron later examining the spot President Trump flicked.

The first lady was less accessible. Her hat made attempts to air kiss even a wider miss than usual. Tweeted one critic, that hat is called the Trump repellant hat.

As they posed for pictures, the president and Melania seemed to play footsie with their fingers, which "The Daily Show" put to music.

But the presidents couldn't keep their hands apart.

MACRON: Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you.

MOOS: All the hugging left them so slap happy --

TRUMP: It's an honor to call you my friend.

MOOS: That President Trump missed a slap. The French disconnection, rare for these two.

[08:45:08] Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CAMEROTA: Wow. The music helps.

CUOMO: Look, it is funny. However -- look, you know what's more interesting is just our discussing this creates division. Everything creates division.

CAMEROTA: How does this -- this is about hand-holding. How is this divisive?

CUOMO: I know. Well, on the -- on the bogus level, it will be, see how you talk about everything that he does in the negative. He can't do anything right for you guys. CAMEROTA: I think that you're on record. You like the kissing.

CUOMO: I do.

CAMEROTA: You like the hugging.

CUOMO: I -- actually my concern is something else. You can't please the fringe of the partisans right now. You just can't. But I think that -- I don't like the bromance talk because I think we've got to do everything we can to encourage men to be more affectionate and more positive, more loving. There's nothing wrong with this.

CAMEROTA: Well, these two are blazing the trail, I think, for everyone.

CUOMO: Right. I've never seen anything like it. I know we keep saying that, but I've never seen anything like it.

CAMEROTA: I haven't either. I thought they were going to skip out of camera when they had their hands together.

CUOMO: The hand hold, come this way, darling, was impressive.


All right, meanwhile, a selfless survivor of the Las Vegas massacre donating money that was raised for him to help others in need. That incredible story, next.

CUOMO: Also, a teenage gun violence survivor returns to the emergency room later as a trauma surgeon. What a story. It's today's "Turning Points."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing that I love the most about what we do is being able to give patients a second chance and resonates with me as a victim of gun violence.

At the age of 17, I nearly died after a .38 caliber bullet ripped through my throat and ended up in my shoulder. I had a rupture of my windpipe. I had an injury of the carotid artery and injury of my vocal cord, and so it really changed my life.

I was inspired to go into medicine to become a trauma surgeon.

Machine (ph) 315.

And we see a significant amount of gunshot wound victims here at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Hey, Mr. Lowk (ph), how are you?

I understand and I can feel what a lot of these other survivors have gone through.

Yes, and you can see this kind of graphic here.

The other aspect is being an advocate when it comes to common sense gun legislation and to make our communities safer.

The worse day of my life in a very kind of odd way was probably also the best because it gave me this opportunity where I'm out here trying to make a difference in other people's lives.



[08:51:53] CUOMO: All right, time for "The Good Stuff."

Survivors of the Las Vegas massacre finding an important tool to help them move forward. You know what it is? Each other. For them, Route 91 Strong. Those are words to live by and they've inspired one another and especially one shooting survivor who's paying it forward.

CNN's Nick Watt is live in L.A. with more.

A great story for you to follow-up on. Thank you for doing it, brother.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is, Chris.

Listen, 58 people were killed that night, hundreds more were injured, and many others are still suffering from the trauma, suffering PTSD. But this is the incredible story of one badly injured survivor who decided that he wanted to give back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're so beautiful and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm glad you're here.

WATT (voice over): Hug after hug.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So good to see you.

WATT: Luca Eclodian (ph) was shot that Sunday night in October, lost most of a lung, has more surgeries to come.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Hanging in there.

WATT: But money his colleagues and bosses here at the Hard Rock Hotel gave him, Luca is now giving to other survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are -- you are truly amazing.

WATT: $1,000 each, $11,000 in all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please do not lose hope. WATT: Luca's shy, wouldn't be interviewed, and strangely I like him

more for that.

WATT (on camera): Is the sentiment and the emotion behind this, you know, as important as the money itself?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's actually more important just really somebody who's there to say, hey, I'm going to hold your hand and we're going to go through this together and you're going to be OK. That was the most important thing to me. More than money.

WATT (voice over): But that $1,000 will help take care of some bills.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to say no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What a beautiful thing he's doing and makes me want to see what I can do to help the next person.

WATT: Shana Cataldo (ph) and Zanni Manjabi (ph) were bar tending that night at the Route 91 festival. Zanni tried to help the injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even during the day, I feel like I'm still having nightmares. Like, flash backs of what happened and things that I felt I could have done and didn't have enough time to. You know, maybe saved more lives. I carried all that weight with me.

WATT (on camera): There's no real clear motive as to why this guy did it. I mean is that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which is one of the biggest thing. If we had some kind of reason of why it happened, it would kind of put some of us at a little bit of peace.

WATT (voice over): Millions have already been raised by other charities in the state but given mostly to families of the dead and the physically injured. The need goes on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean there are thousands of people who were at that concert who are in need of financial assistance to help with things like medical bills and mental health treatment.

Brian Claypoole (ph) was there that night under fire, then on CNN's NEW DAY.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody was screaming. You know -- and, you know, you -- you didn't know what to do.

[08:55:01] WATT: With fellow survivor Lisa Fine (ph), they co-founded Route 91 Strong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our team is unstoppable and our team is going to move mountains for you survivors.

WATT: They're holding a fun raising concert in June and right now distributing Luca's donation.

WATT (on camera): There were thousands of people who were there, like you, and who are scarred by this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, definitely. That scar, it's inside us, you know, for the rest of our lives.



WATT: There were 22,000 people at that concert, many of them still suffering the effects of -- remember, this was a lone gunman who terrorized all these people, the worse mass shooting by an individual in American history. And as Zanni just told us, guys, you know, many of these people will bear those scars for decades and even for lifetimes.

CUOMO: Nick, a beautiful piece. Well done. Important to remind people about what happened and the efforts to help going forward. It's amazing, it's been seven months for them. It's like it was yesterday.

CAMEROTA: You know, I think that that piece proves that goodwill is contagious also. You know, we sometimes think that criticism and toxicity is contagious, but so is goodwill. I mean what he did, you hear that the recipients saying it makes them want to do better for other people too.

OK, on that note, CNN "NEWSROOM" with John Berman will pick up after this very quick break. We'll see you tomorrow.