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Migrants Arrive at U.S. Border Seeking Asylum; Comedian Michelle Wolf's Jokes Stuns White House Correspondents Crowd; President Trump Brags in Rally About North Korea Meeting. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired April 29, 2018 - 18:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

[18:01:05] DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: It's the top of the hour and you're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Dana Bash in Washington in today for Ana Cabrera.

In breaking news right now, hundreds of people, mostly migrants from Central America, are on the southern border knocking on the door to America.

They're the people who have spent several weeks on foot or hitchhiking in buses, in trains, crossing all of Mexico with the goal of reaching the U.S. border and today the main part of that so-called caravan reached that goal. Some of them you see there climbing the border wall near San Diego but stopping short of entering the United States illegally. They say they want to enter the U.S. through the proper channels by requesting asylum.

I want to get straight to CNN's Leyla Santiago in Tijuana, Mexico in fact where we are -- excuse me, we're told that Leyla is not yet ready. She of course has been on the border. We're going to get to her when she -- when she is available. Right now instead we are going to turn to the plight of these migrants and the stated goal which is to reach the U.S. border, and the second part is when they get to the border, how do they get the asylum, all of these migrants that we've seen, those who Leyla has been traveling with.

I want to talk to an immigration attorney, David Leopold, he is here with now to get some of those answers.

Thank you so much for coming in. Take us into this process because people are watching, they're seeing mothers and children and families looking for what they hope is a better life in the U.S., but there is a very sort of treacherous legal process for them to try to claim asylum. Explain how that will work for them when they get to the border and for many of them now that they are at the border.

DAVID LEOPOLD, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Yes. Well, it certainly is treacherous what they've gone through. Let's start there, Dana. They've come from horrific violence in Central America and we're talking about children, we're talking about mothers and children, and, you know, what country would send these children back to its probably certain death. The process coming into the United States, first of all, let's be

really clear. It is absolutely legal to come to the U.S. border like they are doing and to apply for asylum. It's part of international law. It's part of our own immigration law. That doesn't make the process easy, but it is legal. So any tweets from the president or the secretary of Homeland Security claiming that these people are trying to enter illegally is just plain wrong. That's not the case. This is a humanitarian crisis.

BASH: And David, I want you to stand by because Leyla Santiago in Tijuana is now available, we have some live TV gremlins before, but, Leyla, I want to get to you. We'll get back to David in a second. But take us to the human element that he was just talking about. What are you seeing right now? What is happening on the border?


BASH: OK. Forgive us. We clearly are having some technical issues. We do want to hear from the people that Leyla is talking to when we get to her as soon as we can get that audio squared away.

[18:05:01] David, I want to get back to you and talk a little bit more about these asylum seekers that Leyla has been with that are at the border. I was reading that, according to an academic study done by Syracuse University, from 2011 to 2016 more than three quarters of the immigrants from these various countries that we're seeing, countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, lost their cases in their quest to get asylum in the United States. So this is not a sure thing.

LEOPOLD: No, it's not. It's a very difficult process and it's always been a very difficult process. You know, I guess one of the frustrating things is you have an attorney general in Jeff Sessions who wants to make this process even more difficult, who wants to streamline or cut short the due process that we have in the immigration courts, what little of it that there is now. We have an administration that is extremist in its anti-immigrant views that really looks at this as a law enforcement problem, it's a border security problem, when in fact this is a humanitarian problem.

These are children. My gosh, these are children coming from horrific violence, and they have the absolute rights. These folks who have come in these so-called caravan, they have the absolute right to request asylum, and as you point out, the next step would be whether they get asylum and that is a process by which they would be interviewed by our officials at the border, Customs and Border Protection, and those who are deemed to have what we call a credible fear would then go to the asylum process.

So there is a legal process that they go through, that's in place, that the United States has always adhered to. So it's shocking, Dana, that the president of the United States and the secretary of Homeland Security, President Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen, would talk about prosecuting people. My god, are they going to prosecute children at the border for applying for asylum? That would be something new and different. And this kind of rhetoric is irresponsible coming from the president

of the United States, coming from Donald Trump, and its irresponsible and despicable frankly to threaten children, to threaten asylum seekers with prosecution. This is a humanitarian issue, it's not a law enforcement issue.

BASH: They certainly have threatened prosecution but they are also saying, in fact, the Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that the DHS in partnership with the DOJ, they are trying to send individuals who can try to process this in a more expeditious way as quickly as they can to the border. We'll see if that happens. But also, the thing that strikes me is, this is not the first time there has been this so-called caravan. It happens to some extent annually is my understanding.

This time seems to be different for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the president of the United States shined a light on it with his tweets. So how much is the public relations coming from the president and his supporters worried about these immigrants actually coming through the border versus the public relations for those who see this as you said as a humanitarian crisis?

You think that this at the end of the day could be helpful to those seeking asylum or because of the divisive nature of this debate in this country have the other effect?

LEOPOLD: Well, I don't think the president's motive -- I don't think Donald Trump has any interest in granting anyone any kind of benefit under the immigration law, whether it's asylum to children who are fleeing horrific violence or to a business person who's trying to create jobs in the United States. This is an administration, Dana, that is completely extremist anti-immigrant. It is broadened people from some of the most nefarious anti-immigrant groups in the country to run agencies and --

BASH: But, David, right now the law is the law.


BASH: I mean certainly the executive branch has a some leeway.

LEOPOLD: Absolutely.

BASH: But they do -- they are supposed to process, as you mentioned, the asylum requests.


BASH: In a way that has been approved in a bipartisan way in the past.

LEOPOLD: That's exactly right, which is why it's shocking when the president as you pointed out brought a public -- made public statements in his Twitter account over and over about disparaging these people, that he was angry that they were coming, trying to shine light on this caravan and trying to make it more difficult, calling for Mexico to break up this caravan.

I mean, to me that's a violation of our international protocols. We are supposed to be considering, as you just pointed out, we are supposed to be considering as a nation, America, has in its law the obligation to consider asylum requests at the border, not for the commander-in-chief, Donald Trump, to tweet about it in a negative way and for the secretary of Homeland Security to talk about prosecution.

[18:10:03] That's not what the law says and, you know, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, ought to be following the law.

BASH: Well, this is one of those --

LEOPOLD: And he's not.

BASH: This is one of those instances where we're seeing the red hot rhetoric -- partisan rhetoric clash or come up against the image that's these are real people that we're talking about.


BASH: So we'll certainly see how this plays out and how those two hopefully will find a way to intersect.

David Leopold, thank you so much for joining me and taking us through the process and the law and what these refugees are dealing with.

Up next --


MICHELLE WOLF, COMEDIAN: There's also of course Ivanka. She's done nothing to satisfy women, so I guess, like father like daughter.


BASH: That wasn't the only cringe worthy moment at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. You'll hear more up next.


[18:15:05] BASH: If you thought America was divided and Washington is broken, what happened last night may have just helped your case. Two competing events, one hosted by the president actually outside of Washington, a rally for his supporters in Michigan, but the other right here in the nation's capital hosted by the White House Press Corps, those who covered president, the White House Correspondents Association. It was a big annual dinner here in D.C. and here's what you heard if you watched the president's rally.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Is this better than that phony Washington White House Correspondents' Dinner? I could be up there tonight smiling like I love where they're hitting you shot after shot, these people, they hate your guts. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: And here's what you heard if you tuned in, rather, to comedian Michelle Wolf performing at the Correspondents' Dinner.


WOLF: And of course we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders, we are graced with Sarah's presence tonight. I have to say I'm a little star struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in "The Handmaid's Tale." I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful. Like she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. Probably lies.


BASH: Some White House staffers were so offended by Wolf's jokes that they got up and left the dinner and the president has since tweeted, calling it a very big and a very boring bust.

So what does my panel think? With me now CNN political commentator and former senior adviser to the Trump campaign, former congressman as well, Jack Kingston, and CNN political commentator and former national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders campaign, Symone Sanders.

Symone, you were there. What did you think?

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I was there. You know, Dana, the room was tense. I remember saying that wow, Michelle Wolf was standing up there giving her jokes. I thought some of her jokes were in fact a bit crass but I thought she was funny. I laughed. And the White House Correspondents' Dinner is always this place where the comedian comes and they make fun of usually the president and sometimes the people that work in the White House, and so I thought it was all in good fun and I appreciated the Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not get up and leave.

BASH: You've been in Washington a while. You've seen sort of the goings on and dinners like this, people try to have a sense of humor, that is what these dinners are all about to kind of let loose and also inherently show the respect that each institution has for the other. It hasn't been that way for a while. At least this dinner for lots of reasons. You were not there but you certainly have watched a lot of it. What's your take?

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I've been to my share, and I think in the past what you've seen is a little better sense of fair play. You know, it's OK to jab fun at politicians and the press and at each other, it's OK, but do a little on the right, do a little on the left. Make people feel comfortable. Instead this was as Trump has said it was just attack after attack after attack, why should he go?

And if we're going to call it the White House Correspondents' Dinner, don't we want to make it such that a Democrat or Republican president could go and have fun and, you know, you understand you're going to be the brunt of the joke but you don't have to be the brunt -- you know, the viciousness, the hatred that I think Michelle Wolf had.

SANDERS: Look, I just want to remind folks that Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other people from this White House come on this network and other networks every single day on a regular basis vilify and attack the press. And so if you literally cannot take a joke, I think it's problematic.


KINGSTON: Then don't get mad for them not coming.

SANDERS: So no one's -- I don't think people are necessarily too broken up about the fact that Donald Trump wasn't there. I think the White House Correspondents Association would have liked the president to attend. I think they're hoping he attends next year as is tradition but many people from the White House were there. Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mercedes Schlapp, Matt Schlapp, were there. Many people were there.

KINGSTON: If you strip off the bark, really, I mean, this town is cynical. But if you strip off the bark, being in politics is a noble profession. Being in journalism is a noble profession. We've let our cynicism rule the day. I don't think the press took the high road. I think the press could have taken the high road and had some --


KINGSTON: But you know what Robin Williams was very hard on President Reagan, for example, but it's OK if he's on Comedy Central. That's what they do on Comedy Central.

BASH: OK, guys

KINGSTON: This is the press.

BASH: On that note. On that note, look, you're right, she's not a member of the press corps. She was invited to do what she did. She -- but there were cringe worthy moments for those of us who are not used to hearing that. It's not the first time this has happened, both with a Democratic administration and a Republican administration. Let's show our viewers a reminder.


[18:20:01] DON IMUS, RADIO HOST: When Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive game record, the president was at Camden Yard, doing play- by-play on the radio with John Miller. Bobby Bonilla hit a double and we all heard the president in his obvious excitement, holler, go baby. I remember commenting at the time, I bet that's not the first time he said that. Remember the AstroTurf in the pickup? And my point is --

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things, not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble, and recently flooded city squares, and that sends a strong message that no matter what happens to America she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo-ops in the world.


BASH: And those were with the President Clinton and Bush actually sitting right there and both of those comedians got a lot of pushback for first kind of being over the top. I guess it sort of begs the question whether or not we've reached the point where this -- we're beyond this kind of dinner because of the intensity of the partisanship and the very tough relationship that this president has with the press, that maybe we need to completely go in a different direction for that moment when we try to come together and show some respect for one another.

KINGSTON: You know, if I had taken my 17-year-old next door neighbor Hunt Anderson and -- who's a very idealistic guy, he wants to grab this town and he wants to come to Washington whether it's in the press, whether it's in the politics or whatever, had him sit next to me while this woman is talking about abortion jokes, while she's making fun of the way Sarah Huckabee looks -- Sarah Huckabee Sanders, how she looks, talking about empty boxes of feminine hygiene products, I just would not feel good about it.

Now if we were at Comedy Central --

BASH: But that's about --

KINGSTON: -- that's what you get. This is -- if you're trying to build a better -- you know, a loftier ideal in society, I don't think the press should invite somebody like that.

BASH: Guys, stay with us. We have to take a quick break. But there's a lot of conversation going on about that very thing. It wasn't Michelle Wolf's fault. She came to do what she was asked to do, sort of the whole notion of where we are right now.

We're going to talk more about but first this week's "Before the Bell," here's CNN's chief money correspondent Christine Romans -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Dana. A busy week of company news this week. Quarterly earnings have been phenomenal and the big question, can it last? Now earnings season began with huge profits for the nation's big banks, then last week Caterpillar and 3M reported big outlooks. McDonald's, Merck and Pfizer report this week, as well Apple and Tesla and watch Snap.

It's the parent company of Snapchat, the stock tanked last week after it launched a redesign of the redesign of its app. It's still trading below its IPO price of $17 a share. Investors worry Snap will not be profitable enough to live up to the hype before it went public.

We'll get a good read on the strength of the economy this week. Reports on consumer spending, trade, construction and manufacturing and the monthly jobs report on Friday. And if that all weren't enough the Federal Reserve starts a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. Now don't expect a rate hike. Investors think the next one will come after the June meeting, but any hint from the Fed about the future pace of interest rate hikes could move the stock market.

Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


[18:28:21] BASH: President Trump is taking full credit for this week's historic breakthrough between North and South Korea. The leaders of two nations agree to end long-standing hostilities and work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, no small feat on both sides. Last night in Michigan the president basked in the crowd's praise asking -- excuse me, as they chanted "Nobel." Watch this.


CROWD: Nobel. Nobel.

TRUMP: That's very nice, thank you. That's great.


BASH: Let's talk it over with Democrat Symone Sanders who as we said is the former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders and Jack Kingston, former congressman from Georgia.


SANDERS: Nobel, Nobel. Look, I think that if North Korea were to fully denuclearize that is the -- and President Trump is the one that brokers that deal, absolutely, that's right up there for the Nobel Peace Prize. But words here definitely matter and what we're talking about is denuclearization of a Korean peninsula, ie, the DMZ, the line between North Korea and South Korea and not North Korea itself, and that is very different. It's good but it's very different.

BASH: In politics, in diplomacy, it's all about expectations, you know that. You have been in politics your adult life and you understand that. Is he setting expectations too high ahead of this meeting, he, the president?

KINGSTON: I worry about it. I'm assuming that they've done a lot of ground work all ready in terms of how to deal with the inspections, where they can go, how much they can see and so forth. Closing down the nuclear test site. I think they're making the right signals.

You know, the idea about moving the time zone to the same as South Korea is actually about communication. So that's not just a symbolic move. So I'm excited. I think everybody --


[18:30:00] JACK KINGSTON, FORMER GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN: -- I think they're making the right signals. You know, the idea about moving the time zone to the same as South Korea is actually about communication. So that's not just a symbolic move.

So I'm excited. I think everybody on Capitol Hill is excited, but the President, on the same hand, said I'm going to walk away if there's nothing that's -- no progress is being made.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Is that appropriate?

KINGSTON: I'm not going to get sucked into it like John Kerry and Iran, that's -- those were his words. And so, you know, it's not over.

And I agree with Symone. I don't think we're talking Nobel Peace Prize until the ink is dry and, probably, the inspections are done and we know that this is real.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's one other thing to be said, Dana, is that North Korea did -- has signaled that perhaps they would be willing to completely denuclearize themselves if the United States would promise not to attack them militarily.

And I think we're seeing North Korea say that because North Korea, you know, they're not oblivious to history, and they saw what happened when Gadhafi in Libya totally gave up his nuclear weapons. And he was no longer in Libya anymore.

And so I think North Korea is also in a position of trying to preserve and protect themselves, and I think they are playing a very strategic game that perhaps, currently, our President is not playing.

And if we're going to play hardball with the big dogs, we have to willing to come to the table --

KINGSTON: Well, but --

SANDERS: -- looking at the forest not just the trees.

KINGSTON: But let's all agree, at least, that we're here because of Donald Trump.

SANDERS: Yes, because he went crazy.

KINGSTON: We are here because --


SANDERS: He went crazy talking about a button that he had and --

BASH: Yes, but you know what? That's the message that I'm hearing (ph).

SANDERS: And North and South Korea and the Chinese were --

KINGSTON: It was tactical --

SANDERS: -- like, we got to get this thing together.

KINGSTON: It was tactical and it worked.

SANDERS: Do we think it was tactical or do we think that --

BASH: Yes.

KINGSTON: Absolutely.

SANDERS: I don't think it was tactical. I think it was Donald Trump puffing smoke, and I don't think we knew how North and South Korea --

BASH: Do you think he just fell into it?

SANDERS: I think we just fell into it. Honestly, I don't think Donald Trump is as strategic as folks want to give him credit for. I think North --

KINGSTON: Yes, let me --

SANDERS: I think the South Korea and the Chinese --

BASH: I'm not so sure.

KINGSTON: Let me tell you --

SANDERS: -- were strategic. Do you think so?

KINGSTON: -- if I'm China and I'm seeing him demand that NATO increases their ante on their defense spending, if I see that the troop exercises and the movement of troops to the Baltic States, I see the mother of all bombs being dropped, and I see attacks from of Tomahawk missiles into Syria, I'm thinking, you know what? Maybe that -- what you would call crazy, maybe that would scare me.

So I'm not -- I don't agree with you but I will say --

SANDERS: Well, however --

KINGSTON: -- of Kim Jong-U.N. --

SANDERS: However it happened --

KINGSTON: -- he is not George Bush, he's not Barack Obama, and he's not Bill Clinton. And that's the big difference.

SANDERS: Right. But so I'm saying that, clearly, the Chinese, the South Koreans, and the North Koreans decided to get together -- and I don't want to -- I don't know if we want to call it an Asian alliance.

Whatever we're calling it, they decided to get together and do something about these themselves. And they started the conversation.

BASH: Well, we'll see -- well, we'll actually --

SANDERS: The United States was absolutely at the table, but.

BASH: I guess. And as we get closer, we will have a better stance of whether --


BASH: -- again, that happened because they were concerned that the President was getting closer to actually using conventional weapons, which, certainly, I was hearing from my sources, as you were as well.

Thank you so much. What a great substantive conversation about an important --

SANDERS: Oh, really.

KINGSTON: Well, thank you.

BASH: -- an important hot spot in this. I want to thank you so much for coming on in on a Sunday night.

SANDERS: Thank you. Yes.

BASH: And up next, more on our breaking news, that dramatic scene on the U.S./Mexico border. Migrants from Central America gathering along a fence between Tijuana and San Diego.

It's the exact topic of tonight's premiere of CNN's "UNITED STATES SHADES OF AMERICA." W. Kamau Bell joins me live next.


BASH: A massive migrant caravan arrived at the U.S./Mexico border today, making a loud and powerful statement.

The migrants, mainly from Central America, say they want to seek legal asylum in the United States. Some climbed the border wall as you see there, the one near San Diego. They sat on top of it, but they made clear they have no intention of crossing over illegally into the United States.

Border politics is also the topic of tonight's season premiere of the CNN original series, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA." And host, W. Kamau Bell, joins me now to discuss.

Kamau, I'm so excited for Season Three. And it kind of fits perfectly. The synergy is kind of remarkable because you spent time on the border.

First, let me just ask you about some of the news. Do more Americans need to see the images of what we are seeing today before forming their own views on border politics?

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: Yes. I mean, that's part of the reason that I went down there and shot this episode of "UNITED SHADES" down there because a lot of Americans talk about what's happening at the border, and they listen to politicians like President Trump tell us what's going on at the border.

But if you go down there, you can see it. And I was in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico right over the border from the Nogales, Arizona, and it's not -- it doesn't feel crime-ridden. It doesn't feel dangerous. Everybody was smiling.

The economy over there feels stronger than the economy in Nogales, Arizona. You have to see it. And that's why this reporting today is so important, so you can see the faces of the people.

[18:40:03] BASH: Yes, you certainly do. Let's play a clip from tonight's border episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA." Let's look.


BELL (voice-over): This morning, I'm headed to the Mexico side of Nogales. And if you need an example of how Mexico views Americans coming to their country? Here it is.

Yes, I'm just walking in. Harder to get on the subway.

BELL (on camera): Where you from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want it in Spanish or English?

BELL (on camera): Oh, let's try Spanish.


BELL (on camera): So you're from Sonora, Mexico.


BELL (on camera): OK. I'm trying to see how good my Spanish is. Where do you live now?


BELL (on camera): Here in Nogales, Sonora. Oh, I'm better than I thought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're getting me.

BELL (on camera): Yes, I'm getting you.


BELL (on camera): And what are you doing today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I work in real estate independently. So then I work on the street. I move --

BELL (on camera): You should probably go back to English.


BELL (on camera): I heard you work. That's all I got.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Here, I have a pharmacy business. Thanks to the people who come from the United States.

BELL (on camera): Oh, so it's true that American citizens can come to Mexico and buy pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Oh, no, no, no. Here, we give a prescription if it's a controlled substance.

BELL (on camera): OK. And what about Cialis?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Cialis, there's no problem.


BELL (on camera): I'm just asking for a friend.


BELL (on camera): Oh, yes, it is for a guy I know. Yes.


BASH: There was no language barrier with Cialis. That was interesting. Kamau, what --

BELL: Yes, I can dare -- I could say the episode is more hard-hitting than me looking for Cialis in Mexico, just to be clear.


BASH: I have full confidence of that. But on that note, what do the people in Mexico tell you about life there?

BELL: I mean, it's really stark between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora in Mexico. Because it is so hard for Mexican people to cross the border, it takes a long time.

It used to be, back in the old days, people could live in Mexico, work in the States, go back to Mexico for lunch, and then go back to finish their shift in the States. But that's impossible, which means the economy of Nogales, Arizona is bad because not as many Mexicans can cross the border.

They don't feel like its violent there. They feel like the whole wall thing is ridiculous. They don't support the wall. They feel like more border restrictions creates more crime and more violence, actually.

BASH: You showed us the ease with which you went from the United States to Mexico. What else surprised you about the border?

BELL: The thing that I was most surprised about, again, is that when we talk to people about the wall -- we even talked to people in Border Patrol about the wall -- nobody believes that a taller wall is going to help anything.

Nobody seems to be in favor of this border wall. And every time I asked them about it, they just sort of sighed and got exhausted. Like, oh, not that again.

So I think that, you know, again, our politicians, President Trump, people in this country who don't live near the border, claim that this wall is needed. And the people on the border are not claiming that, according to what I saw.

BASH: I don't know, Kamau. I smell another Emmy. I don't want to jinx it, but --


BELL: Yes, don't jinx it. Don't jinx it. One is enough.

BASH: OK, I won't.

BELL: Give -- yes, I'll take thank you.

BASH: No, it's not. One's not enough. One's not enough.


BASH: I really look forward to seeing Season Three. Tune in tonight -- thank you for joining me.

Tune in tonight for the premiere of Season Three, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" and that is after Anthony Bourdain right here on CNN. We'll be right back.


BASH: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he thinks there's a real opportunity to negotiate an end to North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but he says the U.S. is looking not for words, but actions.

Pompeo is revealing more details of his secret meeting with Kim Jong- un over Easter weekend. He says he was assessing Kim ahead of a planned summit with President Trump.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We talked about serious matters. He was very well prepared. I hope I matched that. We had an extensive conversation on the hardest issues that face our two countries.

I had a clear mission statement from President Trump. When I left there, Kim Jong-un understood the mission exactly as I've described it today, and he agreed that he was prepared to talk about that and to lay out a map that would help us achieve that objective.

Only time will tell if we can get that done.


BASH: Joining me now to discuss all of this is CNN political analyst Josh Rogan who is also a columnist for "The Washington Post." Nice to see you, Josh. JOSH ROGIN, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Likewise.

BASH: So let's start with what we just heard, Pompeo saying the administration is going into negotiations with eyes wide open. But how skeptical, at this point, should the United States be, given the fact that Kim Jong-un is still Kim Jong-un and North Korea is still North Korea?

ROGIN: Very, very skeptical, OK? The North Koreans have a very well known, well-established playbook. They ramp up the tensions, then they come for negotiations.

And every administration, Obama, Bush, you name it, says the same thing -- this time it's going to be different. We're very clear-eyed. We're not going to get drawn into bribing North Korea in exchange for this and that. And then, of course, they go through the same exact process.

Now, what Pompeo is saying here is that he's going to do something different. He's going to demand actions before the pressure comes off. The problem, of course, is that, as you're negotiating, the pressure is already coming off. If you're not increasing the pressure, you're lowering the pressure.

BASH: OK, so you're right to be skeptical, of course. The difference between past administrations and now is that it's the President of the United States and Kim himself who are supposed to be meeting.

ROGIN: Right.

BASH: So the stakes are so much higher for both sides to have -- for this to bear some fruit, right?

[18:50:02] ROGIN: Right. So that's one difference. The other difference is North Korea already has a bunch of nuclear weapons and ICBMs. They finished their testing. So to think that they're going to give up all of that stuff is really kind of far-fetched when you think about it.

And when you heard Pompeo, he was very clear. He said, we're going to define the outcome and that that's going to be it for the meeting. And then after the meeting, the process will start. He is setting expectations low.

But then if you heard John Bolton on another program this morning, he had a very different tune. He talked about the fact that they've done this before in 2008. They destroyed their cooling tower, the whole thing.

So you're seeing a break inside the administration, which reflects the fact that Mike Pompeo has got a mission. He's got a job to do. He's trying to make peace. He says there's an opportunity here, we have to test that opportunity. And John Bolton is saying it's -- there's a good chance it might not work.

BASH: Yes, he definitely -- there were a lot of tells from John Bolton that he is trying to be the person with the sort of fishing reel, trying to reel it back in a little bit.

ROGIN: Right. Plus, we also know what John Bolton really thinks about this.

BASH: We do.

ROGIN: Because two months ago, he said he wants to see a controlled implosion of the North Korean regime with Chinese help. He wants regime change. He knows that. And he can't say that anymore, but that's what he's thinking.

BASH: So you and I were on a trip together with Vice President Mike Pence a little more than a year ago. We went to the DMZ.

I do have to say -- and I'm guessing you agree with me here -- that that was so tension-filled. It was just a year ago. It was right when the administration was starting their new line, saying the era of strategic patience is over.

And here we are, a year later, with a -- with the now Secretary of State, then CIA Director, going and meeting with Kim Jong-un. Even if everything stopped there, it's light years away from where everything was a year ago.

ROGIN: Right, but I'm going to go back to what John Bolton said. We've seen a lot of words, we haven't seen a lot of action. So there's an opportunity, but there's really no evidence that North Korea is really going to make the actual changes that we need to see.

I went again to South Korea after our trip in February. We went to the Olympics. And there you had that standoff between Mike Pence and Kim Jong-un's sister. And it was clear then that the U.S. was in a position because the South Koreans have taken this process way ahead of where we wanted, that we had a choice.

We could either try to go with the South Koreans and see it through, or we could just throw up our hands and which is a path that leads to war.

So the Trump administration made the right choice. They decided to explore whether peace is possible. All of us have to sort of support that. At the same time, until we see actual signs, actual actions by the North Koreans, all of us should remember that we've seen this movie before, and we should go into it with that in mind.

BASH: I think that movie was Seth Rogan, not Josh Rogin.


BASH: Sorry, I had to go there. Thank you. It's always good to see you, Josh Rogin.

ROGIN: My pleasure.

BASH: Appreciate it.

And coming up, some of the big names from the '80s are back in the headlines. Is the decade making a comeback? Let's hope so.


[18:57:33] BASH: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Dana Bash in Washington and we begin with breaking news.

Seeking asylum. A migrant caravan reaches the U.S./Mexico border after a month-long trip that has drawn the ire of President Trump. Some of them climbing the border wall near San Diego but stopping just short of entering the U.S. illegally. They say they want to enter through the proper channels by requesting asylum.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is in Tijuana, Mexico where that group of people running from violence and poverty from their home countries arrived today.

And, Leyla, you are reaching the border now. They are reaching the border, getting attention that they wanted. How exactly are they dealing with what they have in store for them, which is no small feat, trying to get asylum?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, take a look at this woman. I think she sort of tells the story. She is at the front and she is crying. She has been crying for several minutes now as she gets ready to enter into the U.S.


SANTIAGO: I'm asking her why she's crying.


SANTIAGO: Well, I couldn't hear her very well because, obviously, she's very emotional, but she's saying she's leaving a part of herself in Mexico.


SANTIAGO: She doesn't know where she's going. She's just going to the United States.

And listen, this is just one of the many stories that we've heard. I don't know her story as well, but I've seen many people with tears, many people saying we're excited to finally be here, but we come here with excitement and a lot of anxiety.

They are very anxious, very nervous, especially the mothers and the grandmothers wondering what will happen when they cross this border.

This has been weeks and weeks of walking, of riding on a train, on a train in which I watched as a pregnant mother of two sat on top of scrap metal and trash for hours in the cold and through the night.

They have slept in on the floors of shelters to arrive at this very moment. [18:59:54] Something that stuck with me, one woman who said, I think a

lot of people think we just woke up one day and said, oh, I'm going to go to the U.S., but this has been a very, very tough, tough journey for them. Many people sniffling as well as coughing, many of them are sick because of the type of environment in which they have traveled through --