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Tornado Threat in U.S.; Central Americans Seeking Asylum; Cavs Stole Game; Error in Iran Statement. Aired 6:30-7:00a ET

Aired May 2, 2018 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:31:37] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, boy, severe storms and the threat of tornados across the central U.S. Meanwhile, summer-like temperatures in the East.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast.

It's a busy one.

CHAD MYERS< CNN METEOROLOGIST: It really is. Eighteen tornados yesterday, the first tornados of the year for places like Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

This weather is brought to you by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, packed with goodness.

More tornados today anywhere in the orange and possibly even in the yellow, but the bullseye is Kansas City. That's where the big red spot there for a moderate risk of severe weather. This is what the radar looks like this morning, no severe weather. There are storms, but nothing where we consider hail, or tornados, or lots of lightning.

Watch what happens by 2:00 this afternoon over parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, these storms erupt, the radar lights up and by 5:00, 8:00, it is all the way through eastern Kansas, all of Oklahoma and even into Nebraska.

Now, same story for tomorrow, just slightly farther to the east. The same risk. We are finally into spring. It finally feels like spring in the Northeast. Warm weather all the way through the weekend. In fact, well above 80.

Chris, you should like that.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I'll take it, but you've got to feel for those people.

MYERS: Yes. I know.

CUOMO: I mean this time of year, you're always on edge. Nothing like a tornado. You and I have lived it with them many times. All right, Kanye West responding to the firestorm that he created

after saying slavery was a choice. All right, so, here's what he said during an appearance on "TMZ Live."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KANYE WEST, RAPPER: You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years, that sounds like a choice. Like you was there for 400 years and it was all of y'all. You know, like, it's like we're --- we're mentally in prison.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The rapper was then confronted on the live show by a TMZ staffer, whose name is Van Lathan. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN LATHAN, TMZ: I actually don't think you're thinking anything. I think what you're doing right now is actually the absence of thought. And the reason why I feel like that is because, Kanye, you're entitled to your opinion. You're entitled to believe whatever you want. But there is fact and real world -- real life consequence behind everything that you just said.

The rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice. Frankly, I'm disappointed, I'm appalled, and, brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me that's not real.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now many share that very articulate description of an argument that other people expressed in much uglier and angry, understandably so terms about Kanye. So what did Kanye do? He tried to explain himself in this bizarre tweet storm.

He said, he knows that, quote, slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will. True. But that they were mentally enslaved. Even that would not be a choice, by the way, even if that were the case. The rapper even compared himself to anti-slavery heroes Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner.

CAMEROTA: All right, so I thought that the staffer did an incredible job of pointing out that what Kanye is doing is not showing intellectual rigor. He is not showing intellectual curiosity. He has a feeling, right? So this is where we are right now. I mean I just see it everywhere. And, obviously, we see it in the president. He has a feeling that they must -- it must of somehow been a choice. So he runs with his feeling.

[06:35:11] He's not doing the research. He's not checking his feelings against facts. And that's what the staffer pointed out. Like, you're really disappointing me because I don't think that you're expressing any thought at all, he just said.

CUOMO: Right, because it doesn't take rigor. My eight-year-old knows that slavery wasn't a choice. And, but the way, she doesn't have to live with the culture and the stigma and the pain that African- Americans do.

CAMEROTA: For sure. And, listen, my 13-year-olds now know this also because they go to school and they study it. But Kanye's so far from that.

CUOMO: Well, he's trying to be provocative. Look, I got beat up the other day for saying what he was saying about Trump was for -- put himself in the spotlight. This is what the guy does. But you have to believe that there's a price to that and he should have to pay it. And he's paying it right now.

CAMEROTA: Tell Chris how you feel on Twitter.

And, meanwhile, a handful of migrants at the Mexican border are now under consideration for asylum in the U.S. Dozens more from that caravan are waiting to learn their fate. So what is the process? How many will come here? What happens next?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:40:08] CUOMO: All right, now to the latest showdown between President Trump and the caravan of Central Americans at the U.S./Mexico border. U.S. boarder officials say they are processing migrants. Remember the president had suggested that they should be turned away. But the government isn't listening, and they're doing their job and following the law. About two dozen have been processed out of over 100. But this is not a fast process.

Let's bring in CNN's Leyla Santiago, who has traveled with them to Tijuana, and also let's bring back Chris Cillizza.

First of all, the facts.

Leyla, you've literally been living with these people on the ground. This is going to take time. There is hardship. What is the state of play right now?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of people are wondering what their odds are. I mean just yesterday I was talking to a 15-year- old boy from Honduras who said, look, what's going to happen? There's so much uncertainty.

You know, they have been working with some volunteer attorneys. So for the most part, they are aware of their rights. They are aware that, you know, because of U.S., as well as international law, as asylum seekers, they have the right to go to a port of entry, which is where we are right now in San Diego (ph), and say, I want to seek asylum and have their case heard. So many people just on social media and also critics of the caravan have said, you know, we don't support illegal immigration. Well, this is the legal way. This is what the law, U.S. federal law, says you're supposed to do if you want to come into the United States to seek asylum.

You know, when we arrived a few days ago, they were told that because of capacity they could not process their requests. That changed about two days ago. And so the organizers here say that they've gotten about 25 people past the door to begin processing those asylum requests. CBP says it's 28. So there's a little bit of a difference in the numbers.

But as far as how people are feeling, especially mothers and families, they're worried about what's to come. And, quite frankly, a lot of them are worried that they'll be separated. There's been so much talk about family separation. Immigration officials are saying that they will not separate a family unless they feel that the child is in danger or the adult cannot prove they are the legal guardian. But uncertainty is the word here.

Chris.

CAMEROTA: So, Chris Cillizza, if history is any guide, there are between 150 and 200 people right now with Leyla seeking asylum. Last year when this same thing happened, three of them were granted asylum, permanent asylum, here in the U.S., OK. So it's a fraction.

And as Leyla points out, this is the legal process. So I understand people who don't want any of this. They don't want anybody coming. They don't like this whole process. But this is our longstanding process of the United States granting asylum to people who are persecuted elsewhere.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: That's right. I mean I think what you're seeing here is the contrast between what Donald Trump has seized on to score political points, what he has created, which is an image of a horde of people trying to overrun the borders of the country. And the reality, which this is not the first time the caravan has gone, as you point out. There were two last year. Three total people were granted asylum.

And Leyla's point is the most important one. I wish we could say it at the top of every segment about the caravan, which is, this is the legal immigration process. These people have a right to seek asylum. The U.S. government has a right to decide their cases and say in some cases, no, we're not going to grant you asylum. In other cases, we are.

This is not people sneaking over the border, nor is it 200,000 people trying to overrun the borders. We're talking about a very small group of people. If -- Donald Trump seized on this because it was good for him politically, because it speaks to a lot of fears of the other -- of this idea that, well, people are just trying to -- they're trying to make it into our country and we need to look out for ourselves.

But in point of fact, it is not only legal, you're talking about such -- you're talking about a fraction of a fraction of people, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Yes. It's also a really long process. It takes on average six months. There's all sorts of paperwork. There's biometrics. There's an interview. This is not just like, OK, you look good, come on in.

CUOMO: Well it echoes the refugee process. People seeking asylum are trying to demonstrate to the U.S. government that they should qualify as refugees, but they're not doing it from their country of origin, they're doing it from the border here or even sometimes within the country illegally. So it winds up protracting an already onerous process.

But there is -- there is good news here. First of all, we'll have Leyla back at 8:00 to give us an update of what's going on. Thank you for the dedication of your team.

For all the talk of Donald Trump, the government is still doing its job. It's an interesting political commentary, that the president says he wants one thing to happen, and a government agency does the opposite. But it shows that these people who work in these agencies, often they put what's right before what's being told to them for political purposes.

[06:45:08] CAMEROTA: OK, now to my favorite subject, sports.

LeBron James was not impressed with himself. So how did the Cavs steal a game in Toronto? I can't wait to find out in the "Bleacher Report."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: LeBron and the Cavs stealing game one of their series with the Raptors.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

How did it go, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Alisyn.

Good if you're a Cleveland fan.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

You know, LeBron said he was just exhausted after that series with the Pacers. Only had one day to get ready for the Raptors. And LeBron was not at his best in this one. But in the closing seconds of regulation, he came up big. He's going to hit a fadeaway right here to tie the game at 105. It was the first time the Cavs pulled even since the score was 0-0.

[06:50:05] But we would go to overtime, and that's when LeBron's teammates stepped up big. J.R. Smith took three from the corner. He hit five in the game. And the Raptors, meanwhile, ice cold at the end of this game. They could not buy a bucket. The Cavs steal game one, 113-112.

And I'll tell you what, Chris, if you're Toronto, you've got to feel pretty bad this morning about that missed opportunity because when you've got a chance to beat LeBron in the playoffs, you've got to seize that opportunity.

CUOMO: Well, playoffs are different. And, remind me, what's the only part of the game that matters?

SCHOLES: The end.

CUOMO: That's right.

Thank you very much.

And we also saw the reality, LeBron can't do it alone.

All right, so the White House blames a clerical error for a mistake on the Iran nuclear statement. That kind of had a really big, big impact. Why? The difference between "has" and "had" explained in deep context, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:07] CUOMO: All right, now, this should matter. The White House downplaying a mistake in a statement about Iran's weapons program as a simple typo. The initial statement said that Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program, meaning right now, meaning what Bibi Netanyahu said. An updated and quietly corrected statement on their website changed it to the past tense, "had." Why does that matter? Because of typos? No. Because it's not about a clerical error, it's about creating a perception of a reality with respect to Iran that will motivate a political agenda.

Joining us now is CNN national security commentator Mike Rogers.

Or am I wrong? Do you believe that what Benjamin Netanyahu said in his theatrical display, in English, was new information that nobody knew about before that shows that Iran is still doing things that it should not?

MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, I reviewed as much of that material as I could but I would say some of it is dated. And I do think that what Netanyahu's point was, listen, they were lying before. Here's where they were doing where they were lying about. Here's where they're lying today. But I don't believe -- I do believe the intelligence assessment that they are not engage in the nuclear portion of the testing of their program.

And so why this is important is, I think you pointed out, Chris, is that, in -- you know, it's measure twice, cut once. When they're in a hurry, in a flurry of activity, this would have put Iran in violation of the agreement. And all of the seven nations who signed onto the agreement would have had to react to that. They would have to come together, determine the evidence and move out smartly to replace sanctions. So it did have -- you know, it startled that community. And we need to understand, our audience anymore just isn't us, it's also the world community who is looking at these things and hoping that we all get it right and they're looking for U.S. leadership on that particular point. CUOMO: Right. And they -- they seemed to have gotten the opposite in

this scenario. Look, here's what we know. Iran is the equivalent of a virus in that region right now. And they do pose a self-stated existential threat to Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu has every reason to want to be aggressive in repelling the threat. Makes 100 percent sense .

However, after he gave that presentation, all of the parties to it, even if you want to exempt Russia, right? Russia says the deal stays the way it is. All right, let's put them to the side as an inimical actor. Everybody says, we knew this. We get it. It doesn't change the analysis, including Secretary Mattis and Michael Hayden.

So my question is this. The president of the United States has the best intelligence, access to it. If all of his guys are saying what you're saying right now, the men and women who he's supposed to trust. This isn't new. We get what it is. They're not in non-compliance. The deal stands. The IAEA, the watchdog, says it. And then he comes out and says, Netanyahu's 100 percent right. I knew this was happening. We've got to get out of the deal. What does that tell you about what the president is relying on for the basis of his opinion?

ROGERS: Yes, no, I will say that there is always dissention in the intelligence community in a good way. This is -- you want that. You want two sides of this story arguing, debating the facts to which the intelligence community has. So even when the first report that Iran had suspended its program, meaning we knew they were doing it but stopped it in violation of U.N. resolutions, there was many, including me, who looked at the distention in the intelligence community and said, you know, there are -- there's things here that are missing for you to come to that certain conclusion. And then we know it kicked back in -- or we believe it kicked back in.

So I -- you know, there probably is some body of evidence that the president has seen or talked about in the community who says, ah, we still think they're lying and cheating. That is OK. I think we just have to be careful about how you approach it.

And, remember, May 12th, the day he decided it, there's two things going on. There's also the Iraqi elections. And we have a centrist there, a body who is trying to be pretty helpful and constructive.

And, again, it's not just Israel that's at stake here. Iran is messing in -- messing around in Iraq and Bahrain and they're using disruption in the entire region, including Saudi and Yemen, they're creating huge problems. And so Macron here, I think, Chris, has given a way out for the president. And if the president takes this, this is a -- could be huge for him because now you get a new consensus around all the other activities that those of us who were opposed to the deal thought we should get in the deal. This could be a big moment for the president. If he goes in and just signs it off, I don't think that's helpful at the time.

CUOMO: All I'm saying is, if they really had a reasonable basis of suspicion to agree with Netanyahu as the current state of play, they wouldn't have changed the White House statement from "has" to "had." That's all I'm saying. The politics and the intel seems to be at odds.

[07:00:08] ROGERS: No, that's true. Well --

CUOMO: That's all I'm saying, Mike.

ROGERS: No, Chris, that's complexly true.

CUOMO: Right. But your points are well taken.

ROGERS: Thanks, man. But that -- but that's completely true.