Return to Transcripts main page


Journalists Targeted by Terrorists; Deal or No Deal with Iran; Migrants From Central America Now at the U.S. Border; Amber Rudd, U.K. Home Secretary, Resigns; Syria Military Bases Hit By Missiles; Nigeria's President in White House; North Korea and South Korea Pledges to Denuclearize; Sprint and T-Mobile Merger; White House Correspondents' Association Annual Dinner Criticized. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 30, 2018 - 03:00   ET



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Waiting for evidence. The United States reacts to Kim Jong-un's promise to shut down North Korea's nuclear testing facilities.

Plus this.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The caravan of asylum seekers from Central America arrives at the U.S. border. But they're not getting any welcome from the U.S. government.

HOWELL: Also, the U.S. president and Africa. The topics that may be on the table when the president of Nigeria visits the White House in a matter of hours.

This hour we're live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We want to welcome our viewer here in the United States and around the world.

I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. This is CNN Newsroom.

And we start with the potential breakthrough between the United States and North Korea. The White House is taking stock of the latest overture from Pyongyang. This after reports North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will shut down a nuclear test site next month. South Korea says he made the promise at a landmark inter-Korean summit on Friday.

HOWELL: The U.S. now faces its own possible summit with North Korea. President Donald Trump signaled on Saturday it could take place within four weeks. Top U.S. officials say they welcome offers by North Korea to get rid of nukes. But warned this could be a ruse.

In Sunday interviews, a U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. wasn't naive. He added North Korea had broken its commitments before.

Let's now bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks following the story live in Seoul, South Korea. Paula, we've started to get past the broad gestures of openness, getting into the details of what North Korea would want in order to give up its nuclear program.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, George. I mean, we had this from the summit itself in the Blue House, getting more details on what exactly was decided at that summit on Sunday. And they said that Kim Jong-un was wanting to make sure that the hostile policy as they call it of the U.S. changed, that there was no aggression, that there was an end to the war.

Now of course, the North and South Korea leaders said they have agreed to end the war at some point this year. But appreciating you have to have the U.S. and china involved as well as they were the signatories to the original armistice in 1953.

So, he has said -- he has said a few things about what he would like in return for giving up nuclear weapons program. But I don't think anyone's under any illusions that that is all he will be asking for. It's assumed that further down the line once these negotiations continue, there will be more demands from North Korea.

But he has said that he will shut down the Pyunggye-ri nuclear test site in May. Now, we don't have an exact date, but may starts tomorrow. So that's a fairly quick time table. He'll invite experts and journalists to come and watch for true transparency.

And so, we are getting more details about what exactly is going to be happening between North and South Korea. The South Koreans as well say that from tomorrow, from Tuesday, they will dismantle their propaganda broadcast speakers so they're in keeping with this lack of hostile policy between the two. They said this is part of their efforts to try and show that they want relations to improve. George?

HOWELL: All right. We'll have to see. You know, we're getting details. And now the question, you know, are these things real. That's the question the United States is trying to figure out. Paula Hancocks live in Seoul, thank you for the reporting.

At least 25 people have been killed in two blasts. This in the Afghan capital. Among those killed the chief photographer, Shah Marai, Agence France-Presse. He leaves behind six children, including a newborn baby daughter.

CHURCH: At least five journalists were killed. The second attacker was disguised as a cameraman and targeted a Briton journalist who rushed to the scene of the first attack.

And journalist Ali Latifi joins us now from Kabul via Skype. Ali, this is a terrible attack. And the details are indeed very shocking. What more are you learning about these two attacks?

ALI LATIFI, JOURNALIST: Basically what we're learning is that after the first attack, the second attacker reportedly came in with a camera and claim to be a journalist. This is a big deal because this has always been a big issue for journalists.

[03:05:01] For instance, I'm a print journalist. Whenever I go to a site where there may have been some danger in the past or right after a bombing, the first thing they'll say, where is your camera? That's one way to prove that you're a journalist to make it really clear who you are. And this is an instance again will not only journalists being targeted, but a print journalist the ability to question in terms of security forces.

CHURCH: And you know, what more authorities saying about who might be behind these attacks, and how might this change the way journalists cover some of these stories.

LATIFI: So there isn't any official claim of responsibility from any of the groups that (Inaudible) stage those attacks whether (Inaudible) who has targeted journalists in the past or the so-called Islamic state who has targeted journalists in the past. So there is no real evidence which side is claiming responsibility.

As far as how journalists are treated and how journalists will proceed, unfortunately this is not the first time that journalists have been targeted or attacked. You know, the largest television station in the country Tolo TV was targeted a couple of years ago.

We've had local radio stations and TV stations being targeted in the provinces and in the city. And you know, unfortunately, this is the reality of the job. You know, these were my colleagues. These were my newer friends. And this is what they do. They're photographers. They're video journalists. They have to go and get the shot at all costs.

And it's unfortunately just part of the trade that, you know, adds to the difficulty of the job and leads to more questions of what story is really worth it. Am I willing to take this risk?

CHURCH: Yes. It brings into stark focus just how dangerous journalism can be in some parts of the world. Ali Latifi reporting there from Kabul, thank you so much and take good care of yourself. I appreciate that.

HOWELL: Absolutely.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce a new home secretary in the coming hours. Amber Rudd resigned on Sunday, saying she inadvertently misled a government committee when she said she wasn't aware of deportation targets for immigrants.

CHURCH: Her resignation is part of an ongoing controversy over the treatment of Caribbean migrants that the government invited into the country after World War II. Rudd has been one of the prime minister's closest allies. Her departure comes as May's government struggles with Brexit negotiations without a majority in parliament.

And for more on this, our Erin McLaughlin joins us now from London. Good to see you again, Erin. So given Rudd has been such a firm supporter of Prime Minister May, how did May lose one of her closest allies?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Rosemary, Amber Rudd may be saying that she inadvertently misled when it comes to the setting of deportation targets for illegal immigrants. But the opposition is insisting that she deliberately misled. And the mounting evidence over the weekend really suggesting that as well.

Now initially Amber Rudd said that she denied the existence of targets within the home office with deportation of illegal immigrants. Then she acknowledged that the targets existed, but she had no knowledge of those targets. Then over the weekend to The Guardian, a memo leaked copying in her office suggesting that she may have known about specific targets in existence.

And then on Sunday, around 5 p.m., another leak to The Guardian newspaper, this time a letter from Rudd to Prime Minister May suggesting that a target of a 10 percent increase in deportations was achievable over a few years.

Now in her resignation letter to the prime minister, she only really addresses that memo leak. Let me read you a bit of what she had to say, saying, quote, "I have reviewed the advice I was given on this issue and become aware of information provided to my office which makes mention of targets. I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility for the fact that I was not."

But you know, that was really a tipping point. Rudd had been under pressure for weeks relating to a separate scandal. The Windrush scandal. A Windrush is reference to a whole generation of migrants who are encouraged to come to the United Kingdom following World War II in recent years had come under pressure by the home office to provide documentation that they were rightfully in country, a documentation that many did not have.

Rudd had apologized for that scandal saying she was not aware that it was a systemic issue. But that apology for people like Barbara Isaacs who ended up homeless according to Isaacs as a result of the home office policy. While Rudd's apology too little too late. Take a listen to what Barbara Isaacs has to say.


[03:10:04] BARBARA ISAACS, WINDRUSH IMMIGRANT: We're not wanted here. That's the way they make me feel. I'm not wanted. I'm not valued. I'm not nobody. I have no identity. As far as they're concerned, I'm an alien.


MCLAUGHLIN: Barbara Isaacs says in 2008, her life forever changed. A mother of six struggling with mental health issues and living on benefits, she applied to the British government to renew her welfare, something she received for decades. Only to suddenly be told there was no record she existed.


ISAACS: How can you throw away a whole generation of people that you invited to come here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is the arrival of more than 400 happy Jamaicans.


MCLAUGHLIN: Barbara is part of what is known as the Windrush generation, a wave of migrants from the Caribbean encouraged to come, rebuild the U.K. after World War II. They were told they could stay for the rest of their lives. Many lived in the U.K. without paperwork.

Decades later, the government would begin to demand documentation to prove their right to stay. Documentation many say they don't have. To make matters worse, the British government acknowledges it destroyed thousands of landing cards. As a result, some were threatened with deportation and deprived of badly needed benefits.


AMBER RUDD, FORMER BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: I bitterly, deeply regret that I didn't see it as more than individual cases that had gone wrong that needed addressing. I didn't see it as a systemic issue until very recently.


MCLAUGHLIN: Barbara is one of the lucky ones. She kept her old passport which shows she arrived when she was 6. Even still, she had to prove shed that right to remain in the United Kingdom.


ISAACS: They wanted 42 years' worth of information. They didn't even save their paperwork for 42 years.


MCLAUGHLIN: It took Isaacs three years to come up with the money and the paperwork necessary to apply. In the meantime, she says she lost all government support.


ISAACS: How can you have lived somewhere all of your life and 50 years later you're sleeping on the streets, begging people for certain things?

MCLAUGHLIN: You were homeless?

ISAACS: Yes, totally. I was homeless, destitute. It's so degrading. So degrading.

MCLAUGHLIN: Isaacs was granted residency in 2011, the same year she applied. Something the home office appoints to in a statement responding to CNN's request for comment adding that it's looking into her case, quote, "as a matter of urgency." Even though she once again receives government support, for Isaacs and so many others from the Windrush generation, the damage is deep and permanent.

ISAACS: I've cried me a river. And I've almost drowned in it. A part of me has died, completely dead.


MCLAUGHLIN: Now it's unclear how many people like Barbara Isaacs are out there. But what is clear is that any remaining questions relating to the Windrush scandal will fall to British Prime Minister Theresa May, herself. She was after all home secretary prior to Amber Rudd. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes. People are looking for answers on this. Erin McLaughlin, joining us from London where it's 8.15 in the morning. Thank you so much.

HOWELL: In his first days on the job, the new U.S. Secretary of state is already on a diplomatic tour across the Middle East. We'll take a look at what Mike Pompeo is telling Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan ahead.

CHURCH: Plus, the jokes that this year's White House correspondents dinner stunned some of the attendees. The response to the controversy. We'll have that for you in just a moment.


HOWELL: Welcome back. We're following a story of dozens of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, now seeking asylum at the U.S. border.

The migrants celebrated when they reached the border. They spent a month trekking across Mexico. But now their legal journey is just getting started.

CHURCH: Yes. Many are afraid of being deported if they're not granted asylum. And mothers keeping separate from their children. Some 50 migrants have been admitted into a processing center at a point of entry in San Diego. Dozens more are waiting outside until authorities consider their case.

Our Leyla Santiago has more.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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.

That it 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 on the floors of shelters to arrive at this very moment.

Something that stuck with me, one woman who said I think a lot of people think we just woke up one day and said, 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 to come here.

This woman obviously in a wheelchair that quite frankly looks very sort of beat up. So I can only imagine what that wheelchair, the story that that wheelchair would tell.

I want to sort of make sure you understand what's happening right now. Beyond the high emotion, the migrants that are very excited but also anxious. We are right now not far, within feet of the United States of America. So many of these migrants will tell you horrific stories of what they left behind in Central America.

So what they see on that other side is hope. And what they're hoping for is to seek asylum. This is the legal way to do it. U.S. federal law says if you want to seek asylum, you go to a port of entry. That is what they're doing.


[03:20:07] HOWELL: Leyla Santiago on that story, again pointing out that is the legal process. But so many people going through that, just trying to seek better lives.

CHURCH: Yes. And President Trump saying he doesn't want them in. He doesn't want them in the United States. We'll see what happens there legally and politically.

Well, what about this story? We will fix the Iran nuclear deal or we're out. That is the message U.S. President Donald Trump is sending to allies in the Middle East.

HOWELL: It's being delivered by the new U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo on a trip throughout the region. He is in Amman, Jordan for meetings with King Abdullah and the Jordanian foreign minister.

During a stop in Israel, Pompeo said the Trump administration's problem with Iran deal goes beyond just nuclear weapons. Listen.


MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: President Trump's been pretty clear. This deal is very flawed. He has directed the administration to try and fix it. And if we can't fix it, he is going to withdraw from the deal.

As part of the president's comprehensive Iran strategy we are also working to counter the broad set of non-nuclear threats, for instance, its missile systems, its support for Hezbollah. The importation of thousands of proxy fighters into Syria and its assistance to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. We look forward to working closely with strong allies like Israel encountering these threats and rolling back the full range of Iranian influence.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: On this story, CNN senior correspondent Ben Wedeman live in Amman, Jordan. Ben, look, Pompeo has traveled through several different countries. One theme though, was consistent - countering Iranian influence.

BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And this seems to be the obsession of not only this administration, but also Israel and Saudi Arabia, where he had a fairly friendly hearing, since they all seem to really see the same way, see the matters the same way.

Here in Jordan, it's a little different. Jordan, for instance, went to a summit in December in Turkey, attended by the leaders of Turkey, Iran, and other countries which were opposed to the American decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

There is a feeling among many outside places like Saudi Arabia that this administration is more pro-Israeli than any before, and has simply given up any pretense of being even handed on the Palestinian- Israeli conflict which for Jordan where much of the population traces its roots back to Palestine is a key issue.

So, for instance, Secretary Pompeo did not meet with any Palestinian officials while he was visiting with Israeli leaders. There are dozens -- they didn't really barely mention the topic at all. This, at a time when tensions between the Palestinians and the Israelis are at a very high level.

But it does appear he is in -- Pompeo is pursuing this one track, one priority which is some sort of confrontation with Iran, which of course could mean bad news for the stock market, oil markets, regional stability. But such is the course this administration has embarked upon. George?

HOWELL: Ben Wedeman on the story. Ben, thank you for the context and the reporting. We'll stay in touch with you.

CHURCH: Well, despite Mr. Trump's reservations, his allies want the U.S. to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. Let's take a closer look at this. So we're joined by Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham and the founder of E.A. Worldview. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So even after French President Macron's charm offensive, it seems Mr. Trump will not stick with the Iran deal if he can't fix it. What might be the ramifications of the U.S. withdrawing from this deal?

LUCAS: First of all, let us talk about what (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) -- the Europeans have proposed that the deal could be, quote, "fixed." It will suffer over Iran's ballistic missiles and possibly by amendments to the deal, including extending its term limits.

But the suspicion is that Trump doesn't want to fix the deal. His officials actually are going outside its summits by talking about Iran withdrawing forces from Syria. Iran cutting ties with Hezbollah. All of these are viable issues. But they're not supposed to be within the context of where the deal goes.

One of the ramifications (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) the nuclear deal was holding a line in terms of some type of channel where you could possibly work with Iran and not only to limit their program. And they have complied with the deal. But also to possibly eventually talk about those Middle Eastern issues.

You give up the deal, Iran will resume nuclear enrichment. Not to military grade immediately, but it will resume enrichment of 20 percent uranium and Iran will probably be sort of more in the Middle East at the possible risk of confrontation with the U.S. and others.

[03:25:09] CHURCH: A sobering thought indeed. I want to ask you about this, because over the weekend Mr. Trump tweeted this. "Just got recent poll much higher than president O, being Obama, of course, at the same time, well, much more has been accomplished. Is he right about the polls? And what about the accomplishments? What would you say at this juncture?

LUCAS: That's just a shocker. Donald Trump (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) being serious. Look, Donald Trump's poll ratings, and this has been consistent now for months is around about 40 percent approval when you average out all of those. There are some polls which have him higher such as Rasmussen and there some that have him lower.

(TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) and versus Obama on some type of, you know, celebrity apprentice contest. The point is here is that Trump has a base of supporters who are really sticking with him, whatever happens with the economy, whatever happens in foreign policy like Iran and North Korea, whatever with the Russia investigation.

But there are a majority of Americans who still do not support him. There are a majority who are at least skeptical about him. And the problem here for Trump is simple. And that is that he has chosen not to rule by trying to build a consensus around his policies, but in ours versus them approach.

How far can it take him and take the Republican Party? I think we'll find out soon. And we'll definitely find out in November in the midterm election.

CHURCH: We certainly shall. We're having a few audio problems, Scott Lucas, so we will leave it there, but thank you so much for your analysis. We always appreciate it.

HOWELL: Still ahead this hour, after a landmark summit between the two Koreas, the U.S. Wants real results from North Korea. The latest on peace offerings from Pyongyang, ahead.

CHURCH: Plus, President Trump plans to host his Nigerian counterpart at the White House Monday. How Mr. Trump's past comments might affect this meeting. We'll take a look. Stay with us.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States, and of course all around the world. You are watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell with the headlines we followed for you this hour. After a month-long trip to Mexico, dozens of migrants from Central America have now reached a U.S. border. An organizer for the group says they will stay outside an immigration processing center until, quote, "every last one is admitted into the United States." The U.S. President Donald Trump says he told his homeland security secretary not to let them in.

CHURCH: Britain's home secretary, Amber Rudd has resigned. The prime minister is expected to name a replacement in the coming hours. Rudd said she inadvertently misled a government committee about deportation quotas for immigrants.

HOWELL: Syrian state media say some of the country's military bases were struck by missiles. They reportedly hit bases in Hama and the countryside near Aleppo. It's not clear yet who launched the strikes, and Syria hasn't said anything about casualties or damage. U.S. defense officials say the United States and its coalition partners are not responsible.

CHURCH: President Trump hosts Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, in the coming hours.

HOWELL: He will be the first African leader to visit the White House since Mr. Trump's derogatory comments about some African countries. CNN's Eleni Giokos reports.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: When it comes to Africa, the Trump administration's attitude has at times seemed more hostile than harmonious.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich.

GIOKOS: The continent has been the target of travel bans and derogatory comments.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump today tweeted a half hearted denial that he denigrated immigrants coming from -- and I won't use the slur -- let's leave it as s-hole countries.

GIOKOS: But on Monday, the administration hopes to take a more traditional diplomatic approach when it welcomes Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, to Washington. The White House said the two presidents will discuss shared priorities of combatting terrorism, promoting economic growth and commenting on Nigeria's role as a democratic leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, in the pre-Trump era, that would have been a home run. But every since President Trump made his remarks about African countries, it's controversial to meet him.

GIOKOS: For Buhari and Trump, oil is likely to be near the top of the agenda. Last week, Trump lambasted OPEC on Twitter for withholding supply, saying, "Oil prices are artificially very high. No good and will not be accepted." Nigeria is an OPEC member, and it's been hurt by the growth of cheap U.S. shale oil.

In 2017, Nigeria exported less than half as much oil to the United States than it did in 2010. Given Trump's tough stance on trade, Buhari might be walking a tightrope when it comes to strengthening economic ties. In 2016, the United States had a $2.3 billion trade deficit with Nigeria. And then there is the issue of fighting the Boko Haram insurgency, which is in the U.S. favor as well as Buhari's.

Last year, the State Department approved the sale of 12 military planes to Nigeria for nearly $600 million. It's -- deals like these that will keep both sides of the Atlantic content. Eleni Giokos, CNN, Johannesburg.


CHURCH: Well, it could be an olive branch or just another ploy. That's what some U.S. Officials are saying about the latest overtures by North Korea.

HOWELL: At the historic inter-Korean summit that took place Friday, South Korea says the north vowed to close its nuclear test sites. Leader Kim Jong-un also pledged to denuclearize. All of this comes ahead of another potential diplomatic breakthrough, direct talks between the U.S. President and Kim Jong-un. Donald Trump signaled on Saturday they could happen within four weeks' time.

Let's get some analysis on this with Chad O'Carroll. Chad, the managing director of the Korea Risk Group Analysis Firm live in Seoul, South Korea this hour. It's good to have you with us. The U.S. making it very clear actions mean a lot more than words moving forward, but North Korea is also responding in kind, wanting security assurances of U.S. non-aggression. The U.S. has done this before. Should such an olive branch be offered again ahead of a possible meeting do you think?

[03:35:12] CHAD O'CARROLL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KOREA RISK GROUP ANALYSIS FIRM: Well, the security assurances that North Korea are looking for are in some ways very difficult to provide because whether it's an election in the United States, any security assurance provided by a former president can certainly go out the window. That's certainly how the North Koreans have experienced things over the last few decades. Bill Clinton made assurances, and we had George W. Bush come in power after him. So it's very difficult to see what kind of security assurance will be satisfactory for the North Koreans to really embrace denuclearization.

HOWELL: It is interesting that you put it in the context of election cycles. Let's talk more about skepticism despite North Korea's pledges. We heard from president trump's new national security adviser, John Bolton, saying essentially the U.S. has been here before. Listen.


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


HOWELL: Bolton there essentially saying, again, we've seen this movie before. In your estimation, what makes these latest overtures different?

O'CARROLL: Well, the biggest difference this time is that the two Koreas have agreed to pursue a peace treaty before the end of this year. That's a big difference to prior inter-Korean arrangements. Also, on the aspect of denuclearization, things are not that different because also within the agreement is a commitment to a phased approach to disarmament. And that is something that is likely going to cause a lot of friction with the likes of John Bolton, who really want to see North Korea make some very large concession up front.

One other difference is the fact it seems journalists are going to be invited to Punggye-ri (ph), really the nuclear test site in a mountain in Northeast North Korea to see its closure. These are steps that the North Koreans are trying to take to show that they are being sincere. But from an arms control perspective, don't really make much difference at this stage.

HOWELL: So this back and forth and what we're hearing from these various countries in play, are they sending the right signals to one another in response to build some level of trust? And the greater question here for Kim Jong-un, when does he play his hand? Is he playing for time here or is he just trying to see what he can get?

O'CARROLL: Well, in a way this summit that we've just seen on Friday couldn't set thing better up for Trump. Things are really in a pretty favorable state as Trump moves into this summit. So, I think things are really as good as they can be in terms of what's going to be a very important meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. They have a lot to figure out, and it's hard to see how some of these issues will be resolvable. North Korea's security interests, for example, as I said, very tough to resolve in the long-term. But we'll see how it goes.

And I think, you know, the likes of Bolton being involved in this process mean that the North Koreans are aware that they can't do the same kind of things that may have bought time under previous administrations in Washington.

HOWELL: Well, the U.S. president certainly looking forward to the possible meeting, the possibility of this happening at the same time there are many in his administration who would want to make this very difficult certainly, would want great concessions from North Korea. We'll see how it plays out. Thank you so much for your time, Chad O'Carroll. We'll be in touch with you.

The sources tell CNN President Trump will address the National Rifle Association's annual meeting this week. His appearance would come just over two months after the Parkland, Florida shooting, that shooting which left 17 people killed.

CHURCH: Mr. Trump made a few gun control suggestions then, but backed off them after heating with NRA leaders. The NRA spent more than $30 million to help elect President Trump.

HOWELL: Two of the big four -- two of the big four, I should say, U.S. mobile companies want to become one. And it might actually happen this time. We'll have the details of the T-Mobile-Sprint mega merger.

CHURCH: Plus how a survivor of one of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States is working to help heal others' wounds as he is dealing with his own. We're back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Once bitter rivals, now Sprint and T- Mobile are poised to be one company.

HOWELL: That's right. The two U.S. mobile providers have agreed to merge in a $26 billion deal. U.S. regulators still have to approve that deal since it would leave the country with just three major carriers. That was a sticking point in their previous attempts to merge. If approved, the new company would keep the name T-Mobile.

CHURCH: In their announcement, the CEOs of the companies counted the jobs the merger will create and the innovation their combined resources will bring to market.

HOWELL: And another big merger to tell you about. This one announced in the U.K. Sainsbury's is joining with Walmart's Asda to create Britain's biggest supermarket group.

CHURCH: The merger will give the group a combined market share of over 31 percent, topping Tesco. It's reportedly worth over $13 billion. However, it's subject to approval by Britain's competition regulator.

HOWELL: After what has been a long and cool spring for millions in the eastern U.S., summer-like weather is on the way later this week. Our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, is here with more. Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Are you guys ready for this? Ready for the big ...


HOWELL: Yes, we are. JAVAHERI: Absolutely. It's been very unusually cool too. I was just

breaking down the numbers across the southern U.S. And the pattern really for much of the latter half of April of the jet stream that has taken a nosedive towards the southern U.S., only five days in the city of Atlanta, for example, that have 80-degree temperatures in the entire month of April. I guess by the month of May starts, the first five days that it could be an entirely different story and the warmth really begins to build on a tremendous scale.

Look at the trend here. Places like Minneapolis shooting up to 78 degrees by this afternoon. Two weeks ago, Minneapolis had 1.5 feet of snowfall. Parts of Northern Michigan into the 70s, comparable of what's happening to the Gulf Coast states, also into the mid-70s. Now, as high pressure begins to build out towards the northeast here, we begin to see that heat really expand in towards New York City, Washington, D.C.

[03:45:02] In fact, the U.S. capital cannot only climb 10 degrees each of the next several days, but get up to almost 90 degrees by the latter portion of the week. And of course, we're talking early May where that is essentially July to August-like temperatures that are in place.

Cools off significantly going into the weekend. But even Chicago gets a taste of early summer here with big time where we could see some thunderstorms begin to pop up later into the week. And call Michael Jackson, call Prince, call Madonna, the 80s are back in Atlanta. We're taking to that five consecutive days. Again, mind you, five days in the month of April we had 80-degree temperatures. We get the first five days of May to bring in similar temps over the next few weeks.

But here is the trend again, the warming trend is in store. Now, with that said, there is a risk for severe weather back towards the Midwestern states and also parts of the central U.S. where frankly it has been incredibly quiet. You look at the red bars, those are the actual number of tornadoes each of the first four months of the year. The yellow bars are where average it should be. And notice three of the four months have been below average.

So it's been very quiet. The month of May, historically speaking, is the busiest time of year for severe weather in the United States. And of course, it's too cold in parts of the U.S., too dry elsewhere, and too wet towards the Gulf Coast states that attribute (ph) to this to a record number of now zero for the latest date of the year there for parts of the Midwestern U.S. and also the plain states where tornadoes have yet to be recorded. Now, we think that will change the next couple of days.

The severe weather threat does begin to push in across parts of the plains, eventually down towards Oklahoma and Texas. In fact going into Tuesday, the risk really begins to build. And I think by Wednesday, even a better chance for severe weather. So certainly going to see the risk here really pick up over the next several days, Rosemary and George. And of course, the story there, the warmth returning, but a price for parts of the country.

CHURCH: Yes. Always.

HOWELL: All right, Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

CHURCH: Thank you. Well, the mass shooting in Las Vegas last October left more than 50 people dead, and many who survived are still recovering both mentally and physically.

HOWELL: As CNN's Nick Watt reports one survivor is making it his mission to help others affected by the massacre.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're so beautiful.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So good to see you.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you doing?


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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are truly amazing.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please do not lose help.

WATT: Luca is shy, wouldn't be interviewed, and strangely, I like him more for that.

Is the sentiment and emotion behind this as important as the money itself?

XANI MANGIBIN, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: It's actually more important. Just really somebody who is 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: But that thousand dollars will help take care of some bills.

MANGIBIN: I'm not going to say no.

SHAYNA CATALDO, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: What a beautiful thing he is doing. And makes me want to see what I can do to help the next person.

WATT: Shayna Cataldo and Xani Mangibin were bar tending that night at the Route 91 Festival. Xani tried to help the injured.

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

WATT: There is no real clear motive as to why this guy did it.

CATALDO: One of the biggest things, 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: 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.

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, CO-FOUNDER, ROUTE 91 STRONG: 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.

WATT: Brian Claypool was there that night under fire, then on CNN's "New Day".

CLAYPOOL: Everybody was screaming. I didn't know what to do.

WATT: With fellow survivor, Lisa Fine, they co-founded Route 91 Strong.

LISA FINE, CO-FOUNDER, ROUTE 91 STRONG: Our team is unstoppable. And our team is going to move mountains for you, survivors.

WATT: They're holding a fundraising concert in June, and right now, distributing Luca's donations.

There were thousands of people who were there like you and who are scarred by this.

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


WATT: Nick Watt, CNN, Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm happy you're OK.


HOWELL: Welcome back. It seems the U.S. president has a new target for his personal war against the free press. It's the White House Correspondents' Association. CHURCH: The comedian who headlined the group's annual dinner,

Michelle Wolf, has come under criticism for some of her jokes roasting the president and his aides, which many people found uncomfortable and cringe-worthy. Wolf took some particularly harsh shots at White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders.


MICHELLE WOLF, COMEDIAN: I actually really like Sarah. I think she is very resourceful, like she burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye, like maybe she is born with it. Maybe it's lies. It's probably lies.


HOWELL: After the event, the U.S. president tweeted this, "The White House Correspondents' dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy comedian totally bombed, put the dinner to rest or start over".

[03:55:00] CHURCH: The association's president did not apologize but did offer this statement, "Last night's program was made to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting, and scholarship winners, not to divide people. Unfortunately, the entertainer's monologue was not in the spirit of that mission."

HOWELL: All right. We end the hour with this story about the mystery over a missing tree at the White House. It seems to have been solved. Well, this one, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, visited president trump in Washington last week. They planted a young oak tree right there which came from the site of a World War I battle in France. And soon after, that tree will disappear.

CHURCH: That is when the mystery ensued. But a French official now tells Reuters not to worry. The tree was simply quarantined to make sure no parasites would spread, and the oak will return to the White House gardens very soon.

And thank you so much for your company this hour on "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. For our viewers in the United States, "Early Start" is next. For viewers around the world, the news continues with our colleague Max Foster live in London. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.

CHURCH: Have a great day.