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Dramatic Scene On The U.S.-Mexico Border; President Trump Says He Could Meet With Kim Jong-Un In The Next Three To Four Weeks. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 29, 2018 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] RYAN NOBLES, CNN HOST: Hello and thank you for joining me, I'm Ryan nobles in Washington in for Fredricka Whitfield.

And we are following breaking news this hour. A dramatic scene on the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants from Central America gathering along the fence between Tijuana and San Diego. They are part of the migrant caravan that has been headed to the U.S. border for weeks. And on the other side of the fence, a group of pro-immigrant protesters.

CNN's Leyla Santiago just got off a bus with those migrants. She is now at a shelter where they are staging before attempting to make their effort into the United States to seek asylum.

Leyla, give us the latest.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, Ryan. So right now the migrants have gone into this building right here. They are actually meeting with attorneys and immigrant advocates to sort of go through what will happen in the next few hours, when they attempt to make their way to a U.S. port of entry.

Let me sort of back up a little bit so that you got a better understanding of what happened earlier today.

As you mentioned, they were all at the area of Friendship Park where they have a sort of rally. Some people actually climbed the fence, but did not cross, with immigrant advocates on the other side, also supporting them. Many of them chanting, we are not criminals.

And in terms of what the atmosphere is, what the mood is, when you talk to any of those migrants inside, most of them have told us, if not actually all of them have told me, we are excited. It's been such a long journey to get here. But there's also a lot of anxiety.

Many of them saying that they are concerned that women could be separated from their children. I did check in with immigration officials. They tell me that they will only separate adults from the children if there is some sort of concern about the safety of the child or if there is no proof that that adult is the legal guardian.

And you can see over on this side, we actually have federal police from Mexico. I have spoken to them. They tell me that they have spoken to their counterparts in the United States. And that they are coordinating this effort. For them, they say, it's important to make sure that these migrants are safe.

So what's at stake here? Well, many of these migrants will tell you that they are going to the United States to seek asylum. They are from Central America, most from Honduras. And for them this is about survival. They left Honduras or El Salvador or Guatemala because of some sort of threat that they felt. That is what they will tell you when you ask them about the journey.

And for them, this is about going illegally as U.S. federal law allows, legally, to a border (ph) entry, turning themselves in and then hoping for the best. That they are allowed for them. The best for them to seek asylum in the United States of America.

Now, you know, the United States, the attorney general has already said that they are going to be sending U.S. attorneys to the border as well as extra immigration judges to make sure that those cases can be adjudicated. That they can handle this crowd.

This crowd, by the way, I mean, what you see right here, many of these are advocates. But inside, I'm told, it is about 100 to 200 that planned to turn themselves in. We are now allowed into this area. But we are told that this is a private meeting in which they are meeting with immigration advocates as well as attorneys.

So right now, it's just this sort of uncertainty, with so much at stake, as they wait to see what the Trump administration will do when they arrive? What border patrol agents will do, in terms of the orders they have been given? We will see how that plays out in a matter of hours -- Ryan.

NOBLES: All right. Leyla Santiago, live in Tijuana. Leyla, thank you for that report.

Let's bring in CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. Juliette is going to break down the national security implications of all of this.

You know, the President last night talked about caravan three different times in his speech. He is trying to link it to his need and desire for more border security. Does this caravan have anything to do with the United States need for more border security?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Absolutely not. I mean, even the pictures show -- are the proof of that, because essentially these are just about 100, 150 migrants, to just put it in perspective. This is barely a blip in the amount of immigration we have in this country, seeking legal status, which is asylum status. That is as our reporters have been saying formal process with the department of homeland security, department of justice.

So the walls are not crumbling. The system is not broken. This is exactly what anticipated. It's just getting more media than normal. The concerns that Donald Trump raised are really about his desire to have, you know, sort of a bigger wall which, of course, we know is not happening because it has not been budgeted for in the upcoming budget. [16:05:02] NOBLES: You mentioned the media attention that this is

getting, Juliette. And it seems just like both sides of this argument are using these pictures to their benefit, the President trying to depict this group of people as illegal immigrants trying to steal over the border, while the other side trying to show the human cost of that some of these people are expending.

I mean, is this important for the average American to see, you know, many Americans have strong opinion on immigration and that nowhere hear a border. Do they need to see something like this play out so they can see it from both sides?

KAYYEM: I think so. And I think it is important for people to understand that there is different types of migration. We tend or President Trump tends to lump all these people into the sort of this illegal notion. These people coming over the borders said that millions and millions of people that are lawfully migrating, students, you know, people who want to work as a cultural workers who need to get into this country.

Now, as Donald Trump admitted yesterday that he had made some mistakes regarding the enforcement of some immigration issues. And there is a status known as refugee status. And it's understood by law that people who are, you know, facing harm, you know, based on political persecution can actually seek asylum in the United States. They have to prove it. Courts have to adjudicate it. And this is the way the system works.

So I think it's important for Americans to see the different types of migration that occur in the United States so they understand the impact of simply having a sort of, we need more wall mentality.

As we have seen in New York and Boston certainly, the immigration system has hurt our colleges and universities, has hurt tourism. And so people should understand it's a complicated border and it needs sort of tears and varied response. And refugee or asylum seekers are one step response.

NOBLES: Do you think there is any credence though to the argument by some on the right, and the President and his administration in particular that these asylum seekers once they are granted access to the United States live in some sort of an immigration limbo. They end up having to renew their asylum status. They don't ever really dig into roots here in the United States. They are always kind of in that uncertain threshold between whether or not they are actually citizens of the U.S. or citizens of another country, you know. Are reforms necessary to that process so that people don't take advantage of that system?

KAYYEM: Reforms would be necessary be speed up how the status is finally determined. But it's simply not true, that people who seek asylum here never plant roots here. Indeed, once the court adjudicate that they are allowed to stay, they can stay for some period of time. No different than a green card holder. No different than a student visa. And so, you know, part of where our immigration policy ought to be is

we are a country that accepts people, that might be religiously persecuted, politically persecuted. It's such a small number of what's happening in immigration that there is a concern that the right and Trump administration officials are manipulating this story line, which I think they are. The secretary of homeland security really got criticized by Republicans and Democrats last Thursday for sort of focusing on a hundred migrants, you know. It is like nothing compared to the issues that Americans actually faces.

So I think that it is important for Americans to understand that there's a legal reason for allowing this kind of status. And for all we know, this status, that some of these people will not be granted it. And that's why this system should work.

NOBLES: OK. All right, Juliette Kayyem, thank you for that information and putting the situation into context for us. We appreciate it.

President Trump taking a post-rally victory lap today touted his Michigan reelection speech a big success while bashing the White House Correspondents dinner as a big boring bust. And as journalists and politicians were gathered in Washington for a night of plenty jokes and jabs, the President also taking a few shots at his favorite targets.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The only collusion is the Democrats colluded with the Russians and the Democrats colluded with lots of other people. They are very, very dishonest people.

Fake news, Comey's a liar and a leaker. And if our justice department was doing the right thing, they would be a lot tougher right now on those people.


NOBLES: He didn't stop there. The President also taking full credit for the North Korea breakthrough, basking in the crowd's phrase as they chanted, "Nobel."


CROWD: Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!

TRUMP: That's very nice, thank you.


NOBLES: The President also giving a timeline for his historic sit down with North Korea's leading Kim Jong-un, saying the meeting could happen in the next three to four weeks,

CNN's Boris Sanchez joins us live now from the White House.

And Boris, the details of this meeting are starting to take shape. What more can you tell us?

[16:10:09] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Ryan.

Yes. The details are still being ironed out, specifically the location. Previously, there were a number of different possible destinations for this proposed meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump to take place. The President announced on Friday that they had whittled that down to two possible locations. Still no indication of where the two leaders will meet. But certainly, all the positive rhetoric surrounding the events in the North Korean peninsula of the past week, has led to a belief that re is momentum toward that meeting actually taking place with Kim Jong-un saying that he is not the type of leader to use nuclear weapons. The shifting of the North Korean time zone to match the South Korean time zone, purely a symbolic move by one that really resonates with the disparity between the two nations and trying to bridge that gap.

Further, one other thing that Kim Jong-un announced that was noteworthy, that he would let in foreign observers to watch the dismantling of one of his nuclear facilities. That's certainly being met with some skepticism by some in the Trump administration who are well aware of the history, of deals made with North Korea. Keep in mind back in 2008, Kim Jong-un invited observers to watch them dismantle this tower that was used to enrich plutonium, only to find out later that it is one of several towers of being used to do that. Of course, as I noted, the administration is well aware of this. And they are making this clear.

John Bolton, the national security adviser talked about this on one of the Sunday morning talk shows. Listen to what he said.


JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The North Koreans have already agreed to this. They agreed to it in 1992 with South Korea. And they have pledge similar things since then. Now, it's also the case that they have lied about it and broken their commitments. Just one reason, there is nobody in the Donald Trump administration starry- eyed about what might happen here. But by demonstrating they have made strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, it would be possible to move quickly.


SANCHEZ: Now, Bolton also want some of the other topics that are likely going to be discussed between the two leaders, not just denuclearization, but also North Korea's ballistic missiles program, their biological and chemical weapons program. Americans that are currently imprisoned in North Korea, as well as sanctions and a plethora of regional issues to discuss, all of that, you know, cautiously optimistic if this meeting does take place, Ryan.

NOBLES: All right. Boris Sanchez, thank you for that update live from the White House.

Still to come, President Trump weighing in on the new reports about a Russian lawyer being closer to the Kremlin and she previous disclosed. Hear what he has to say and what are penalties of the President's new theory? That's after this break. Stay tuned.


[16:16:50] NOBLES: President Trump is now weighing in on the new reports that a Russian lawyer, a key player in the 2016 Trump tower meeting is actually a Kremlin informant.

Listen to what the President had to say about this at his reelection rally in Michigan last night.


TRUMP: Have you heard about the lawyer? For a year, a woman lure, she was like, know thing. Know anything. Now all of the sudden, she is supposedly is involved with government. You know why? If she did that, because Putin and the group said, you know, this Trump is killing us. Why don't you say that you are involved with government so that we can go and make their life in the United States even more chaotic?

Look at what's happened. Look at how these politicians have fallen for this junk, Russian collusion. Give me a break.


NOBLES: And joining me now to discuss is CNN political analyst David Drucker and CNN presidential historian Tim Naftali.

David I want to start with you. You listen to the President talk about this lawyer who is obviously has gotten into this conversation in a much bigger way. Does he have a point? Could this perhaps be a ploy by Putin to sew even more chaos?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So, it is very interesting. In some sense, it is the President recognizing, which he does only rarely, that Vladimir Putin doesn't have U.S. interests at heart. And he actively works to undermine U.S. interest. And that Russian is an adversary, not some sort of country that he can charmed.

He has a point though that he has been tougher on the Russians policy wise, not with this rhetoric so much but policy wise that has given credit for than I think people realized given his rhetoric, which seems to masked. The fact that he is so unwilling most of the time to criticize Vladimir Putin in the way he will criticize the Chinese or criticize NATO has masked the fact that actually this administration's policy toward Russia are a lot tougher than people understand it.

However, in recognizing now that Putin may have turned the screws on this person, let's say it is true, so what he is saying is that the person in the meeting was actually closer to the Kremlin than his campaign wanted to acknowledge all along. And that Putin has actually been meddling in elections and in the United States.

It doesn't mean that that's why Trump won, but it's an acknowledgement, it has to be, that they meddle, that they are trying to meddle and that you cannot trust the Russians or Putin, and that maybe it would be helpful if he was more critical.

NOBLES: Yes. It seems, at the very least, they are trying to have it both ways. They weren't involved then, they are involved now, something along those lines.

And Tim, you know, we also heard the President slam the Russia investigation, saying there's no collusion, also bragging about how tough he is on Russia. This is a line that we hear over and over again from the President. But we hear it in front of a crowd like this, is this something that really works with his base? What are your thoughts on the President's tone last night?

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, I think he wouldn't use it if it didn't work with his base.

I would like to address this issue of how the President's rhetoric is shifting. Because really, Ryan, I agree with you. I think he is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, he says the Russia investigation is a witch-hunt and it's unnecessary. On the other, he is admitting that Putin, Vladimir Putin, has an interest in creating chaos in our country. So if that's true, then why not investigate the role of creating chaos by the Russians in 2016.

There's a basic contradiction here. And I believe he knows that. The President knows it. But what he is trying to do is, he is trying to appease his followers, his supporters. And I believe if he didn't feel it was having an effect on them, he wouldn't being do it.

[16:20:36] NOBLES: Right.

And let's talk politics now, David. This is a good question for you because I'm sure you are following the situation with Senator Jon Tester in the Ronny Jackson pick, this picked bone arch for the President to appoint in his VA secretary. President talked about that as well last night. Take a listen.


TRUMP: This is a high quality individual like they would love in Montana. And Tester started throwing out things that he has heard. Well I know thing about tester that I could say too. And if I said them, he would never be elected again.


NOBLES: We can probably spend a half hour unpacking just that sound bite because the President packed a lot of in to there. But the question I had for you, David, as someone who really understands Capitol Hill, why is the President now spending so much bandwidth defending his nominee when he has already pulled that nominee back? Why didn't he do this from Ronny Jackson who (INAUDIBLE).

DRUCKER: Well, look. They did not vet Ronny Jackson. And it's clear that as distinguished as his service has been, there were serious questions both from Republicans and Democrats, but especially Republicans, about his fitness to serve in a managerial position, one, a trouble Veterans administration.

NOBLES: Huge administration.

DRUCKER: Yes. And look. President Obama nominated somebody from the corporate sector that was supposed to be the turnaround artist that would bring business sense and fix it, failed. You had Schulkin in there. The President wasn't happy with his performance. There was still a lot of complaints. And now you move somebody in that doesn't appear to be equip to deal with this because this is a different job in what he has been doing, as distinguished that he has been. And it fell apart on the President. I think he took it very personally. He takes this as very personally.

I think what's very interesting here is that if he wants to make Jon Tester's life miserable in Montana, I wouldn't rule out his ability to do it. As low as the President's approval numbers have been, there are not spread evenly throughout the country. There are states that Montana where he has thought very well off. And what voters may respond to a concerted attack on the incumbent. The key is what else do we find out about Ronny Jackson and about what was investigated because John Isakson, the chairman of the committee is not upset with Jon Tester for what he did. And I think there's still a lot more for us to know here.

One last thing, the President is the king of innuendo, is the king of throwing out allegations with no proof whatsoever. So he understands this game very well.

NOBLES: Right. Exactly.

And to your point about that, we did learn a little bit more today, Republican representative Trey Gowdy weighed in on the Jackson allegations. Listen to what he said.


REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think some of those allegations do warrant being investigated. I don't think you want members of Congress deciding whether or not the prescribing of Ambien is within the course of professional medical practice. In fact, I can't think of anybody less well-qualified to decide whether Ambien should be prescribe than a bunch of lawyers. So that's a medical license issue. Hostile work environment would be some combination of the Veterans Affairs committee and House oversight.


NOBLES: Tim, doesn't it seem like we are spending a lot more time vetting Ronny Jackson after he already did not earn the confirmation of his job than we did before he was nominated?

NAFTALI: Well, Ryan, I think the issue here is that he is -- he still works for the U.S. government and he happens to be the physician of the President of the United States. If he were in the private sector and he had withdrawn his -- and the nomination was withdrawn, no one would bother with this anymore. But he actually is close to the President still. And that's why the issue is being raised.

By the way, I mentioned about the Tester story. I think it is really harmful for the President to engage in the I know a secret about this person, but I'm not going to tell you, and he doesn't want me to tell you, that's McCarthy-like tactics. That is terrible. It is a very, very poisonous thing for the President to be doing.

NOBLES: And it is not the first time we have seen him go down that road before.

Tim Naftali and David Drucker, thank you both for your perspective. We appreciate it.

DRUCKER: Thank you.

NOBLES: Still ahead, President Trump says he could meet with Kim Jong-un in the next three to four weeks, this as the North Korean dictator says he is willing to allow journalists in to witness the shutdown of his nuclear test facility. So why such as dramatic change in the thinking now?


[16:29:28] NOBLES: President Trump now putting a timeline on his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


TRUMP: I think we'll have a meeting over the next three or four weeks. It's going to be a very important meeting, the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula of North Korea. Denuke. Denuke. But we'll see how it goes. And again, whatever happens, happens.


NOBLES: North Korea says it is offering to make concessions to achieve a deal with the United States, including shutting down its nuclear site and allowing inspections by journalists and experts and even suggesting it is willing to disarm if U.S. promises not to invade.

Let's bring in Aaron David Miller. He is a CNN Global Affairs Analyst, and spent more than 20 years as an adviser at the State Department.

Aaron, what do you think is the catalyst for Kim Jong-Un proposing these concessions now?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN, GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean I think that -- look the guy's 34 years old. He could rule North Korea for the next 50 years, and I think he's got a strategy. His strategy was to develop a nuclear deterrent, an ICBM capacity, which he probably has do deliver it to the continental United States, and then to the best of circumstances. I didn't ride in on a bale of hay yesterday, but under the best of the circumstances, you would think he would trade this nuclear deterrent away for investment, relief from sanctions, peace treaty with the United States and reconciliation with the South.

All of this though is going to be an incredibly difficult and heavy lift, and it's going to require a degree of trust and confidence on both sides that just doesn't exist right now.

NOBLES: So let's about that level of trust because what Kim Jong-Un is saying that he's willing to do is disarm, as long as the U.S. promises not to invade North Korea, and he's even going to allow journalists and experts in for inspections at the nuclear site. I mean is that -- that's what we're talking about when we're talking about trust. It's got to go beyond just his word, right? There needs to be some verification here.

MILLER: (Inaudible) confidence building measures. But in the end, this deal is not going to happen in a month or even in a year. It's going to be a long process in which both sides are going to have to take a series of sequenced steps to determine just how credible and reliable and willing both of them are to deliver. At the end of the day, look, skepticism runs high in this. The fact is it's hard for me to understand or even concede that this guy, Kim Jong-Un, is going to give up all of his nuclear weapons, but if this in fact, is going to work, it's going to have to be played out over time, probably several years.

It's going to involve North and South Korean reconciliation and it will involve, ultimately, a relationship between the United States and North Korea. Look, I helped prepare Presidents for five Middle East summits, three of which failed, and the reality is this is an unprecedented encounter. There's no precedent in diplomatic history for an American President sitting down with an avowed enemy, leading an opaque regime to try to figure out a way to deal with the issues that are existential.

So again, very tough -- but at least we're not talking about the opposite, which is a drift toward war. And I think -- final point this President wants a deal, and I think his advisors are going to have to understand that and work together to achieve that.

NOBLES: All right. You mentioned the Middle East. Let's turn to the Middle East now and talk about Iran nuclear agreement for a moment, and National Security Advisor John Bolton said that President Trump has decided what to do with the deal, which basically could expire in two weeks if he doesn't renew it. Listen to what the new National Security Advisor said this morning.


JOHN BOLTON, UNITED STATES, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: The President has said this repeatedly, his views on the nuclear deal have been uniform, consistent, and unvarying since the campaign of 2016, and we'll see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBLES: So I should point out he's saying that the President has not

decided what he's going to do about this deal. You know -- and Aaron, we saw the French President try to convince President Trump to remain in the deal while he was visiting recently. From your point of view, is there any way the U.S. remains a part of this deal with Iran?

MILLER: It's really difficult to see right now. Merkel, Macron, none of them, (Inaudible) the four of them (Inaudible) being the President of the United States, Mr. Trump to disavow his campaign pledges and endorse what was predecessor's singular most important diplomatic achievement. So right now if you had to bet, I bet on what.

But again, you're Mike Pompeo, right? You're the new Secretary of State of the United States of America. You have a chance to offer two kinds of conversations to the President. First conversation, Mr. President, I hate this deal just as much as you do. But there's plenty of time to kill it. Let's wait 120 days. Don't do anything to jeopardize what the real strategic prize here is, and that is a deal with North Korea that'll take you to the history books.

[16:34:54] Don't isolate us with European allies. Don't give the Russians and the Chinese an opportunity, and don't give Kim an excuse, if he's looking for one, to walk away because he's going to accuse you of not keeping your word. That's the first conversation. I would argue that conversation is in the national interest. Then there's the second conversation. (Inaudible) Pompeo says I hate disagreement. We've got to get out of it now.

And reason we have to get out of it is we have to send an unmistakable message to Kim Jong-Un, that there will be no more JCPOA's. No more creative ambiguity, either denuclearize -- gives up all his nukes, or there are all kinds of other options that he can pursue. Those are two conversations. One's in the national interests in my judgment, one is in Mr. Trump's political interests.

NOBLES: OK. All right, thank you, Aaron David Miller, talking about Iran and the North Korea deal, we appreciate you being with us today.

MILLER: Always a pleasure.

NOBLES: Up next, a new report says that President Trump is ignoring GOP warnings of a possible blue wave in the November midterms. We'll talk with a Democrat about how her party plans to win back the White House, or just with back the house I should say. Not the White House. We'll be right back.


[16:40:00] NOBLES: President Trump returned to campaign mode at a rally in Michigan last night. The President went on a tirade against the media and several of his other favorite targets. He also spent time firing up his base in the hopes they head to the polls in November and prevent a blue wave from kicking Republicans out of office in the 2018 midterms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We got to win the house, and you know what? We're going to win anyway. But we're going to win the house. We're going to win the house. Now, historically, when you win the presidency, the person that wins, the party that wins does poorly in what they call the midterms.

And the reason is I guess you take it easy a little bit, right? Something happens. I guess it's 93 percent, 94 percent of the time. This is over a long period of time. You know what? You get complacent. We cannot be complacent. We got to go out, right, we got to go out and we got to fight like hell and we got to win the house, and we got to win the Senate. And I think we're going to do great in the Senate, and I think we're going to do great in the house because the economy is so good. The economy is so good.


NOBLES: Here to discuss the midterms with my next guest. Joining me Representative Karen Bass, she's a Democratic Congresswoman from California, a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees. Congresswoman, thank you for joining me, we have been hearing a lot of talk about this blue wave in November.


NOBLES: How confident are you that Democrats will take back the house?

BASS: Well, I am very encouraged and very excited. I can tell you over the last couple of days, I attended a rally last night in Orange County, an area that typically has been very, very Republican, a group of women organized an effort there to turn out the vote. Today this afternoon, Sunday afternoon, I was at resistance boot camp, where there were a couple of hundred people representing a number of different organizations.

So the level of activism and then what has already happened in a number of elections across the country on every level of government gives me tremendous encouragement. I don't want to be cocky about it. I don't want to be overconfident. There is a long time between now and November, but I feel very good about the energy that is out there now.

NOBLES: I want to play some sound for you from Ohio Governor, Governor John Kasich, of course, a Republican. He was on CNN earlier today. He was talking about the midterms, he's of course been very critical of his fellow Republicans, but he thinks that you Democrats have a problem going into November as well. Listen to Governor Kasich.


JOHN KASICH, OHIO, GOVERNOR: I don't know what they're for. They're really betting on the Republicans just bouncing the ball off their foot out of bounds, and that they'll win the game that way. So I believe it will be a decent Democratic year, but it could be a big year if they stood for something. You know they're all screwed up too because the left wing is really dominating them, just like the right wing is dominating the Republican Party. It's an amazing situation.


NOBLES: In the follow up on the Governor's point, Congresswoman, I have talked to a lot of Democratic advisors and it depends on who you talk to in terms of what the overriding message is for your party in these midterm elections. If it were you that got to decide that, what do you think is your party's message other than just being the anti- Trump party?

BASS: Well, first of all, I don't believe especially in all of these elections that you have seen around the country, that Trump has been the primary message. If you look at the election that happened in Pennsylvania and all of the other elections, people have localized the message and the issue to what is happening in their district. And so if it's health care, if it's jobs, if it's the environment, you know all of these races have to be local.

And I believe that they are. Now I know that Democrats overall feel that we certainly have a better deal. We have a better deal in a lot of different areas, but each race is local based on the constituents there.

NOBLES: Well, you heard the President at that Michigan rally. He obviously feels pretty confident that the Republicans can hold the house in November. And there's a report out this morning in the New York Times that goes into some detail on that. The article talks about how the President actually rejecting the warnings among the Republicans that they could lose the house -- a passage from that article.

[16:44:51] It says, "If Mr. McConnell's warning was not clear enough, Mark Short, the White House's Legislative Liaison, used the dinner inner to offer an even starker assessment. The GOP's house majority is all but doomed," he said. But Mr. Trump was not moved. That's not going to happen, he said at different points during the event, shrugging off the grim prognosis according to multiple officials briefed on the conversation.

The disconnect between the President, a political novice whose confidence in his instincts was greatly rewarded in 2016 and more traditional party leaders demonstrates the depth of the Republican challenges in what is likely to be a punishing campaign year. Congresswoman, do you think the President doesn't understand how his presidency has possibly motivated his opponents to head to the polls in November?

BASS: Well, I would encourage the President to maintain that perspective. I think that's just fine. If he thinks that there's not going to be a problem in November, and he continues on the course that he's doing now, I think that's very helpful. I think that he made a commitment that he was going to bring the country together. And I think he has done that. He has brought the country together. What he doesn't realize, though, is that he's brought the country together in opposition to him.

But now you have people who are working on issues together like they never have before, and I think that's a very positive thing. Also, at the end of the day, that what Trump cares about is himself.

NOBLES: OK. Congresswoman Karen Bass of California, thank you so much for joining us, enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

BASS: Thanks for having me on.

NOBLES: Still to come, some of the big names are back in the headlines, but are the 80s making a come back? Find out next.


[16:50:00] NOBLES: After years of negotiations, T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to a massive telecommunications merger to the tune of $26 billion. T-Mobile CEO John Legere told reporters that the company plans to deliver the highest capacity network in U.S. history. The move would combine the third and fourth largest wireless service providers in the nation.

Cosby, Abba, Trump, the names streaming across the headlines today could very well be pulled from another decade, a decade of opulence and excess of resurgent conservatism of radical, technological, and cultural change. It's enough to ask you are the 80s striking back. CNN's Paulo Sandoval has the answer.

PAULO SANDOVAL, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Ryan, here's what we did here. We took a closer look at some of the recent news and some of the recent newsmakers, found many of them were so relevant in the 1980s. A couple of reasons for that in some cases of course, that fondness of the era wanting to relive those days from the 80s. But for other cases and other figures from the 80s, well, they're back in the news, except not for the right reasons.


SANDOVAL: It was 1984 when America grew to love and laugh with Bill Cosby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here to say goodbye to Lamont Goldfish.

SANDOVAL: On the sitcom the Cosby Show, he brought a lovable father figure character to life, becoming America's Dad. It was a far cry from the man who made headlines decade later, this time as a convicted sex offender. Cosby, one of several figures and events from the '80s, making a reappearance in both cultural and political discourse.

Before becoming President, Donald Trump was known as a real estate giant, riding a wave of success through the financial boom of the 80s.

TRUMP: Money is a scorecard as far as I'm concerned.

SANDOVAL: Even Trump may not have imagined where a future ride down that Trump Tower escalator would take him, the White House in 2017 and a diplomatic dance in 2018 that could soon end a Cold War era conflict between North and South Korea. Then there are the sights and sounds of 80s pop culture. Roseanne is back on TV, this time tackling political themes. On the run way, designers rolled out 80 inspired fashion lines at this year's New York fashion week, from the primary color palettes to power shoulders and banana cliffs.

And here we go again with Abba. On Friday, the Swedish pop group announced they're getting the band back together to release two new songs. It would be the first since 1983. Too soon to say if that chance will pay off in today's music market.


SANDOVAL: And of course, we would be remiss if we did not mention Star Wars as well, continuing its saga this year. In the meantime of course, we also spoke to a culture critic as part of our research here, told us there could be something else at play here. But if you think about it of course, many of those of us who were children back in the 80s well, they grew up to become adults, become decision makers, influencers, and now could be at play at least when it comes to the pop culture part of the 80s that is at play again this time in 2018.

NOBLES: I count myself among those children of the 80s, Paul. So no doubt I enjoy seeing the 80s come back in a big way. Great, great story, we appreciate it, Paul.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, Ryan.

NOBLES: Now to this week's CNN Hero. According to the CDC, homicide is the number one cause of death for black men between the ages of 15 and 34. It is a staggering statistic that pushed one doctor to take action in and out of the hospital.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like pronouncing people dead. It's probably the worst thing that I have ever had to do. I want to preserve life. When I see patients that are coming in with violent injuries, when somebody looks like you from your neighborhood, a lot of this stuff really hits home. You realize I don't want this to happen anymore. What do we do about it?


[16:55:06] NOBLES: To find out how Dr. Rob Gore is working do end violence in his community, go to While you're there, nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero. Thank you so much for joining me this weekend. I am Ryan Nobles in for Fredericka Whitfield. The next hour of Newsroom with Dana Bash starts after this quick break.