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Frantic Search Is Underway Right Now In The Waters Off Japan After A Navy Destroyer Collided With A Philippine Merchant Vessel; President Trump Is Expanding His Own Legal Team; Judge Declared A Mistrial In The Bill Cosby Assault Case; Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Is Considering Recusing Himself From The Russian Investigation; Democrat John Ossoff And Republican Karen Handel Are Vying For Georgia's Sixth Congressional District Seat; Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, Bad Ass Women Of Washington. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 17, 2017 - 16:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:00:25] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Top for the hour. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you with us.

We are following breaking news right now in the pacific, a desperate search of rescue mission against the clock for a number of Americans sailors whose fade (ph) and location are not known. They have been missing since their shipping, a U.S. destroyer collided with a massive cargo vessel in waters off Japan at night. Now the navy doesn't yet know if those missing sailors were thrown overboard or perhaps are trap in parts of the destroyer that flooded when the hole of the ship was torn open.

CNN international correspondent Alexandra Field is at the navy seventh fleet headquarters in Japan and joins us now.

Alexandra, it is 5:00 in the morning there where you are, but this rescue work is certainly still going on. What are Navy officials telling you?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look. This is the home of the seventh fleet, Ana. It is really the heart of U.S. naval operations here in Japan and in the region. And this morning heart breaks for so many members of this community. They were here, the friends and family member, the U.S. service members, men and women, when that ship returned to port, it was badly damaged. The devastating news being that seven sailors were still missing after that disaster collided with the cargo ship about three times its size, Ana.

Divers have now met the ship it is back here at the U.S. base. They will be searching every part of it. And yes, there is the possibility according to officials that those seven sailors could be trapped inside one of the compartments in the ship.

There is also, of course, the possibility that they could have been forced overboard at the time of the collision. And that's why you had search parties who have been out in the water all through the night. We are talking about a combined efforts that involves the Japanese coast guards and Japanese defense forces and US military forces, all of them looking for these seven sailors who have gone missing from that destroyer.

Three others were onboard the ship at the time of the collision were also injured. The commander of the ship and two others Medivac taken by helicopters to receive medical treatment. The crew that was on board the ship the time of the collision receiving commendation from their leaders though saying it is to their credit that they were able to stabilize the ship. That they were able stop the ship from taking on water and pump some of that water out allowing it to safely return to port. Of course, with escort and help from both U.S. boats and Japanese boats. But that crew is being commended. Question, however, have not been answered, Ana, about how is something like this could have happened. We are talking about a U.S. warship that was out for regular routine operation. This was in an area that has a huge volume of maritime traffic. You are talking about some 400 or 500 vessels that are passing through that area every day.

There are very strict and clear international maritime laws that govern that water. They are meant to help to avoid these kinds of situations, to make navigation rules and laws very clear. So big questions being asked right now by the Japanese coast guards and of course by U.S. military officials. The priority right now in in the waters behind me about searching that ship for the sailors who could have been trapped inside searching water for the sailors who could of course been thrown overboard, Ana.

CABRERA: Focused on finding these missing service members.

Alexandra Field, thank you.

President Trump, the first lady and their son, Barron, are in Camp David in Maryland for the very first time this weekend. We know the President has been briefed on that situation that's happening in the pacific. He is also playing defense focusing on the Russia probe. He is apparently expanding his own legal team after tweeting that he has being investigating for firing former FBI director James Comey. That tweet reportedly came as a surprise to his own legal team.

A source familiar with the hiring tell CNN, high-profile Washington attorney John Dowd is now the newest member of the President legal defense. Dowd is best known for leading the investigation into baseball legend and former Cincinnati manager Pete Row (ph) over gambling charges. And I want to bring in global affairs correspondent Elise Labott who is following the latest in the Russia investigation.

Elise, what can you tell us?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the question now is whether deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein will need to recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel's investigation. He is on pressure from all sides as Robert Mueller weighs whether to investigate the President for obstruction of justice. President Trump is lashing out for Rosenstein for his role in the winding probe and its renewing concerns that Trump could get Rod Rosenstein, the only man who can currently get rid of Mueller.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LABOTT (voice-over): The deputy attorney general could be the next of department of justice official to recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel's Russia investigation. Rod Rosenstein said himself the possible move in motion by hiring Robert Mueller to lead the prob.

[16:05:14] ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct an investigation appropriately.

LABOTT: Rosenstein's role is under scrutiny now that it appears Mueller's probe could broaden to investigate obstruction of justice, which could include the President's firing of FBI director James Comey. Rosenstein played a role in that decision. His memo critical of Comey was initially used by the White House to justify the termination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump made the right decision at the right time. And to -- to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general.

LABOTT: The President later admitted he was going to fire him anyway.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

LABOTT: A justice department spokesman told CNN this is about Rosenstein's future quote "if there comes a point where he needs to recuse he will, however nothing has changed."

Questions about his recusal come after Rosenstein released this strange statement late Thursday saying quote, 'Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations."

The President himself lashed out on Rosenstein on twitter writing I'm being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director. Witch hunt.

That drew concerns from Democrats like Diane Feinstein who sits on the Senate intelligence committee that Trump was not only considering firing Mueller but Rosenstein as well. In the statement calling such a move a blatant violation of the president's oath of office, Feinstein warn quote "if the President thinks he can fire deputy attorney general Rosenstein and replace him with someone will shut down the investigation, he is in for a rude awakening."

If Trump does fire Rosenstein or he recuses himself, Mueller's investigation would be overseen associate attorney general Rachel Brand, who the Senate confirmed in May to be the third highest ranking official of the justice department. Brand previously serves at DOJ under President George Bush.

RACHEL BRAND, ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: If confirmed I will strap to undertake my role with integrity, independence and fidelity and constitutions with the rules of law.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LABOTT: Now, in addition to the President beefing up his legal team of flew of Trump associates including his personal lawyer Michael Cohen are now lawyering up. Vice President Mike Pence hired a personal attorney although he downplays the significance yesterday calling it routine. His former campaign aide Michael Kaputo (ph) has hired a personal lawyer. Sources tell CNN Kaputo (ph) has been contacted by the FBI. It's just the sign of the widening of those probes to the top of the White House -- Ana.

CABRERA: And we also learned Michael Cohen who is, again, a lawyer for President Trump during the campaign also hired his own lawyer. So I can sense a lot happening.

Elise Labott, thanks for update on all of moving parts there.

In Congress, Democrats and Republicans, meantime, are united in their hopes for House majority whip Steve Scalise to make a speedy recovery. The latest information on his condition is that he is improving but he is still in critical condition at a Washington hospital after a gunman shot him Wednesday on a baseball field where the Republican congressional baseball team was practicing. That baseball field is set to reopen tomorrow, perhaps a sign of moving forward after such tragedy. We saw a big push this week for the two parties to put aside their partisan bickering and work together in the wake of the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I think we need to fine more opportunities for us to work together. We actually know each other well. And many of our members do, but enough do.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOSE MINORITY LEADER: I do think when families get to know each other, but we are proud of the differences of opinion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.

PELOSI: That is now true. Bit we have a responsibility to try and find common ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So let's talk it over with Democratic congressman Ted Lieu.

We have learned now, congressman, that the shooter has anti-Trump postings on social media. Also new to CNN, we learned the shooter has a list of Republican names on him, an important to note nobody was shot that was on that list. So it is still unclear exactly what that list was. But we are seeing a time in our country where political discourse has become so angry, so divisive and the bottom line is we are all Americans. So, how do you do your job as a member of the minority party in

Congress and fuel the passion among your supporters but yet not inflame what has become such a volatile political environment?

REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you Ana for that question. Let's me first say I'm continuing to play for Representative Scalise as well as other victims who were injured by the shooting. I condemn all violent political rhetoric. And we need to look, all of us, all Americans, on how we can make our civil discourse better.

CABRERA: You have called the President stupid, a liar, accused him of obstructing justice. Do you think your rhetoric need to be toned down?

[16:10:04] LIEU: The President did obstruct justice so I'm going to continue to tell the truth. Now, the White House does do thing that are inappropriately wrong. I think it's important that people point that out. But I do agree all of us should look at our rhetoric to see if we can make it better, absolutely.

CABRERA: And can you commit to working with Republicans on any specific agendas, legislative issues?

LIEU: Absolutely. And one of things that does frustrate me is Congress has actually worked on a bipartisan basis to pass a number of laws to help the American people. So in April, for example, we passed the veteran's choice act that makes healthcare for veterans better. It was bipartisan. President Trump signed it. I would like to continue to work on issues such as veterans as well as cybersecurity.

CABRERA: And I know that this week there was also passed in the Senate at least, the sanctions on Russia and it will go before the House. That pass by far by partisan. It was 98-2 t vote on that. So to your point, there is some bipartisan work happening but not enough of it if you ask most Americans.

Let's talk about one of President Trump's most recent tweets that's turned a lot of heads this week. I quote "I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director, witch hunt."

So he is referring there to the deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and there is talk about whether Rosenstein should recuse himself as early planned that was just reporting. Do you think that will be in the best interest of this investigation?

LIEU: Absolutely not. Let me say that this week is the 45th anniversary of Watergate and we are watching history repeat itself. Nixon ignored his advisors and went in full attack mode attacking is only part of the justice and saying that the press is an enemy to people.

We are seeing President Trump do something similar. He fired the former FBI director. He is looking at firing the special counsel. He is now attacking deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and he has called the press, the enemy of the people. But the lesson from Watergate is that no one is above the law, not even the President.

CABRERA: The Senate Judiciary Committee is now broadening the scope of its investigations to look into in the efforts to influence FBI investigation. And as a member yourself of the House judiciary committee, do you believe the House investigation should be brought in to include obstruction of justice?

LIEU: Absolutely. I believe the firing of FBI director Comey was a size mick event in Washington, D.C. It did remind people of Watergate. And let's keep in mind that our democracy only can function because of the rule of law. And the rule of law depends on law enforcement investigation being conducted fairly without interference whether it's political or otherwise. That's why obstruction of justice is a felony. That's why it is important to preserve this principle.

CABRERA: Do you believe that your committee, the judicial committee in the House, will get involved in the Russian investigation? I know right now it's all in the House Intel committee.

LIEU: The Democrats Judiciary Committee has certainly asked for that to happen, so far the chair has not. But with every passing week as we get more and more facts and evidence about the wrong doings, and I do think eventually the House Judiciary Committee will take some action.

CABRERA: Real quickly, I do want to ask you about something that I think was buried this week and that is the lawsuit that you and 190- plus other Democrats filed a complaint against the President, believed to be the largest congressional-type lawsuit against the sitting President this week claiming he is violating the emolument clause of the constitution by accepting foreign money through his businesses. So what do you hope to accomplish through this lawsuit?

LIEU: The framer of the constitution put in that clause because they were worried that foreign powers could influence elected officials. So basically it says that if you are elected officials including the President, you can't accept foreign payments or gifts.

President Trump has a vast network of business holdings all over the world. He is accepting foreign payments all the time and he is violating the constitution. So we are just asking him to stop doing that and to get the consent of Congress before he continues getting the payments.

CABRERA: So you want to see Congress get involved in his business dealings?

LIEU: We want him to take his business dealings and put them into a blind trust which he has refuse to do so and to stop violating the constitution because he is violation emolument cause as we speak right now.

CABRERA: Are you hoping to get to his tax returns through this?

LIEU: His tax returns will show an awful lot about how much he is violation the constitution. And he actually needs to show his tax returns. And whether you are Democrat or Republican, people understand that you shouldn't be hiding information from the American people.

CABRERA: Real quickly. I just want to read you this. I mean, there have been other similar lawsuits and the DOJ has argued that the emolument clause has no bearing over private business and those transactions. It only deals with specific gifts offered to U.S. official because of their position as a U.S. official. What's your response?

[16:15:01] LIEU: That's simply not true both factually as well as in perception. You have foreign dignitaries and foreign leader stays at Trump hotels worldwide specifically because they want to curry favor with the President. You have the President taking action in certain countries where he has a lot of business holdings. And Americans should never wonder if the President is taking action because he wants to enrich himself or his family or he is doing it because he thinks it is the best for the country.

CABRERA: Congressman Ted Lieu, thanks for your time as always. We appreciate it.

LIEU: Thank you.

CABRERA: And coming up, the stunning outcome in the trial of actor Bill Cosby after more than 50 hours of deliberations, the jury's job is over. How the trial ended next.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:19:52] CABRERA: Twelve jurors, 53 hours of deliberations, zero verdict. Today a judge declared a mistrial in the Bill Cosby assault case after the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision. Now, Cosby defense team says they would have preferred an acquittal but they will take what they got. Prosecutors say they will evaluate, review and retry the case.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is joining us now.

Brynn, the defense almost declaring a victory here even though isn't over.

[16:20:18] BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, the defense was a little more measured in their statements because they do realize that they probably have some legal battles ahead to face again. His publicist was definitely declaring a victory and very theatric in his response. In fact, they brought to the podium one of his publicist who is ready a statement from Camille Cosby, Cosby's wife, who let's remember, she was in court one time obviously for a few hours. She was not the full ten days of this trial. And she has some choice words. I mean, talking about the media, talking about the accusers, talking about the judge, talking about the district attorney. So it certainly flared a lot in that defense response. But certainly

they know that this case isn't over. And in fact, the judge said to Cosby in court exact quote, although this decision does not have to be made. This is not an old. This is not a failure or a victory. There is certainly a warning there from the judge.

CABRERA: So he is free for now, but the jury is still out to some degree in the event they do retry the case. How soon could we see the case retried?

GINGRAS: Well, they have -- the DA has a year. But the judge did off to say in court, you know, you should start filing things in the next four months.

We do know that Andrea Constand, the accusers in this trial from the 2014 incident, she is on board. She wants to re-testify. She wants to be a part of it. She wants to break right now, but she doesn't want to be a part of it. And the DA says he is interested, you know. He wants to move forward. And he didn't declare a victory either. He was very measured in this words when he stepped to the podium. However, he did say that good came out of this trial. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN STEELE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Too often, these types of crimes, sexual assault, do not get reported, especially cases where a drug has been used in a drug facilitated sexual assault, an intoxication so that a victim does not have a clear memory of what went on. So we hope doing this and moving forward in this case sends a strong message that victims of these type of crimes can come forward and can be heard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRAS: And you have to remember Ana, that there were a number of accusers that were in court for this whole trial. And they did come, some of them, you know, talk afterwards they were disappointed but we also reach out to the bunch of them. Remember, there are dozens now that have accused Bill Cosby of something.

You know, one person said they were nauseated by the Camille Cosby statement. Another said, you know, she is OK that Bill Cosby actually isn't going to jail right now. She just thinks that it is good enough that his reputation has been completely tarnished. So we have varying degrees of response to this. But as you heard from the DA, this is about that, in his words.

CABRERA: All right Brynn Gingras, thanks so much.

And still ahead playing defense, we have learned President Trump is expanding his legal team, but has he simply become his own worst enemy when it comes to the Russian investigation? We will discuss.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:27:32] CABRERA: Forces inside the justice deputy tell CNN deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein is considering recusing himself from the Russian investigation to become a witness instead. Now, Rosenstein has been the top justice official overseeing the Russia investigation since attorney general Jeff Sessions recused himself. And you will recall Rosenstein also wrote the memo the White House originally said led to James Comey's firing.

Now, that fact is what President Trump seems to be referring to yesterday when he tweeted this. I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director, witch hunt.

Joining me to talk about what this could mean, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Doug Heye and CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary of Homeland security Juliette Kayyem.

Juliette, after the president's tweet there, Senator Diane Feinstein says she is becoming and frequently concern President Trump will try to fire Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller. So is it possible that the President is trying to force Rosenstein to recuse himself you think?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That may be possible or it may be possible that he understands that Rosenstein will likely not fire Mueller and they will have - and Trump will have to fire both of them. Remember, Rod testified earlier this week saying he will find -- without probable cause, Mueller is going to stay put.

And so, I think part of this is President Trump creating a narrative that the investigation is corrupt or taking too long or focused on all the wrong things and he is sort of fighting this in public.

Meanwhile, of course, though you have his lawyers as well as the prosecutors looking at the facts and evidence and making sure that those are not subject to I think a lot of political flurry that's going on right now.

CABRERA: And Doug, the President keep saying there is nothing to see. There's no there there. If he isn't scared of Robert Mueller and Rob Rosenstein's independence then why is he constantly calling the investigation a witch hunt and claiming it is being led by quote "bad people?"

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Ana, I think you could ask that question about any policy we have seen over the past 140 days coming from the Trump administration. We have seen such a volume of tweets, such a volume of comments and very loud and angry comments coming from the President on any issue. We can say this about healthcare. We can certainly say about the Russian investigation and now with Rod Rosenstein and the witch hunt.

I think the problem that I'm hearing so often from Republicans on Capitol Hill is it is further escalation from Donald Trump that causes them problems politically back home and shows that there is a real political problem, if not illegal problem and they are very real questions about that. And obviously, a lot of lawyering up throughout the administration. It's causing a lot of concern with Republicans on Capitol Hill.

[16:30:12] CABRERA: And Doug, do you think the President is becoming his own worst enemy on the Russian investigation?

HEYE: I mean, I might have argued that two years ago when he announced that he was running for President. But yes, I think the one thing we have heard so consistently from so many people is Donald Trump should put his phone down and tweet less. These tweets only cause problems for him. It is certainly things that his lawyers within the White House are advising him not do. These are problems. He should do them less.

CABRERA: One new nugget we are learning, Juliette, is House investigators want to talk to Trump campaign's digital director about the campaign's data operation. Now, it's the same thing the Senate intelligence committee want to talk to Jared Kushner about, what does this tell you?

KAYYEM: So it tells me something important about the investigation, which is it's not just about obstruction. I think one of the things that people are focused on is did Donald Trump try to obstruct this investigation. That's sort of - that's an important issue but not the substance of what the special prosecutor is looking at.

There are crimes, let me correct myself, there are potential crimes that are being investigated, whether there are collusion at the most extreme end or financial dealings that are illegal which you are hearing about in terms of Jared Kushner.

On the data issue, what's important to remember is we have learned from the intelligence -- Senate intelligence committee that what the Russians did was very targeted. They picked a particular jurisdictions, particular states, and so I think the investigation's trying to do is figure out whether that targeting was assisted by the Trump campaign.

CABRERA: And I'm glad you brought that up because here is what the top Democratic on the Senate Intel committee, Senator Mark Warner has said about what you just referenced there, Juliette and says one of things that seemed curious is would the Russians on their own have that level of sophisticated knowledge about the American political system if they didn't at least get some advice from someone in America.

Doug, what are your thoughts on this?

HEYE: Look. I'm very concerned about it. I use to work for Richard Burr who is the on the Senate Intel committee chair. I have watched these hearings supposedly. I talked to his staff and to him about the direction they are going. But I think we also need to step back and realize the American political system is the most followed, the most watched political system in the world. If you travel to Europe, if you travel to Asia, I was just the China

last month, people were asking questions not just about Donald Trump and tweeting and the things that makes the salacious headlines, but they are asking very serious and very incisive questions about our government.

They know our system better than anyone else. It's certainly not clear that there was collusion or anything like that with the Trump campaign, but let's understand the Russian operatives are very smart. Juliette knows this better than I. They are very smart and they are targeting a very sophisticated ways.

CABRERA: So Juliette, could the Russians have figured this out on their own?

KAYYEM: I think they could have. I think they could have been held. I think we don't know. I mean, I have been very honest with you. I think we just don't know the extent of the evidence on the collusion issue.

But I don't think that we can sort of say well, it hasn't been found out yet so therefore it doesn't exist. In other words, I'm much more comfortable being patient. These national security cases take a long time. Data has to be mice. Witnesses have to be interviewed. New witnesses have to be interviewed.

So I do think what is essential to remember, though, is that Mueller's investigation involve some of the best criminal investigators and prosecutors. So they are not just looking at obstruction. They are looking at financial dealings and, of course, this data issue that is came up this week. And so, I think we all know the theory of the case yet, but we certainly know that we ca cannot say that legitimately that everything is fine here.

CABRERA: All right Juliette Kayyem and Doug Heye, thanks. Good to see you guys.

HEYE: Thank you.

KAYYEM: Thanks.

CABRERA: It's the most defensive congressional race ever and with just three days to go until Election Day, things are really heating up. Coming up, we will take you live on the campaign trail where Republican Karen Handel and Democrat John Ossoff are making their last-minute pitchers to voters.

But first, once thriving thanks in part to the coal industry. There are towns in this country that are now slowly dying away. On the next "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," W. Kamau Bell visit the cultural region of Appalachians to see if anything can save them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We went from 18 months in this town to three. We went from 1500 employees to 150 people working. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in economic downturn in the coal industry.

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And this is the main industry that blaster?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the loss of those jobs, it has really devastate families and communities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We scrape to get by. I just want a good job. That's it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No jobs leads to no money, which leads to depression, which leads to drugs.

BELL: How easy is it to fine drugs out here?

[16:35:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All you got to do is walk down the sidewalk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm concerned about the future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:39:13] CABRERA: With just three days to go before polls open, things are starting to heat up in the most expensive congressional race ever. Democrat John Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are vying for Georgia's sixth congressional district seat. Now, this is the seat left vacant when Tom Price was tapped by the President to be secretary of health and human services. This is a race that some observers see as a referendum on the administration, with national implications ahead of the 2018 midterms. Handel slammed Ossoff at a campaign event in Atlanta for the amount of out of state campaign donations she has received.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN HANDEL (R), GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I saw a stat the other day that something like three times the number of donors for John Ossoff came out in San Francisco. You know where most of my donors are from you all? You.

Now, John Ossoff might live five minutes outside of this district but his values are some three thousand miles away in San Francisco. So on June 20th, let's make sure we do our jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:40:19] CABRERA: Let's bring in CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung who is joining us from Marietta, Georgia.

Kaylee, you have been in touch with both the campaigns today. And the Trump administration is clearly keeping a close eye on this race. I understand the rally today, a couple members of the administration and his cabinet actually introduced Handel. What did they say?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, it's important to remember the sixth district here in Georgia, that congressional seat has been held by a Republican for more than 40 years. So Tom Price now the secretary of health and human services, the congressman here for the last 12. And Sonny Purdue, an important member of this state, Republican history, the former governor here as well. So Purdue and Price who is now the secretary of agricultural, two members of the Trump's cabinet but you wouldn't know it from the way that they talk today.

Price took the stage and made it very clear from the get-go that he was here today in his personal capacity as a long-term friend of Karen Handel and as then former representative of this district.

And on to Sonny Perdue, he opened with a joke about how he was glad to be home because he was able to take it is waiters off that he has to wear on Washington to keeps him from stepping in anything.

Now, Perdue, the only one of the three who we heard on stage today at Handel's rally even brings up Trump's name. And before he made the case for the good job that he believes President Trump is doing for this country, he went so far to say that he recognize that there were probably people in that audience who was turned off by President Trump.

Interesting today, Ana, to hear two insiders in Washington today posing as outsiders once they are back home in Georgia.

CABRERA: That is interesting. And we obviously played some sound from that rally. You spoke with John Ossoff also today. Talk to us about how things are going in his world.

HARTUNG: Well, Karen Handel's camp as we heard in the rally earlier today, Ana, very quick to knock John Ossoff on his experience to just 30 years old, as a documentary film maker, only a guy who is ever on the low end of the total poll in Washington, as a low level congressional staffer. But in talking to him one on one today, he knows how to stick to the talking points. Sonny Perdue, at Karen Handel's rally made mention of his charisma, and you can see that while speaking to him. He has not going to come out and say that this race has national implications. Any time you ask him about it, he brings it back local to the sixth district. But there is no denying the spotlight that is on this race. President Trump himself been went to shine a light on it.

CABRERA: And the pressure on both --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARTUNG: Back in April President Trump tweeted you'd be a disaster if elected to the house. If elected what do you anticipate your relationship being like with the President?

JOHN OSSOFF (D), GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Well, I don't expect a congratulatory tweet from the president if I win. I'm not sure if he is my biggest fan. But I sincerely hope he exercise a sound judgment in the leadership of the country. And I hope to have the opportunity to work with him on, you know, the potential issues of mutual interest for this country whether it's infrastructure and working to bring more jobs and investments to Georgia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARTUNG: The national narrative has become that the race may be a referendum on President Trump. You are hard pressed to get John Ossoff to admit that, much easier, Ana, when you ask some of he has supporters.

CABRERA: Yes. No congratulatory tweet expected from the President if he wins.

We talked about the money right at the top. Real quickly, Kaylee, how much money are we talking has been infused into this?

HARTUNG: Ana, when you look at these numbers, we are talking about the most expensive race in the history of the House of Representatives. So much of that money from John Ossoff coming in from out of state. That's something Karen group so quick to points to. I'm looking through my notes right trying to find the specific numbers so I don't get this wrong. But we are looking at $23 million raised by the Ossoff campaign, that's including $50 million in the last two months. Handel's campaign meanwhile bringing in $4 million in the last two months.

CABRERA: OK. Big disparity there. It will be interesting to see how that all shakes out at the polls.

Kaylee Hartung, by the way, thank you for joining us and welcome to CNN. Great to have you as part of our broader family. Welcome. Great job.

HARTUNG: Thank you so much, Ana.

CABRERA: Let's take a moment now to honor this week's CNN hero. Former teacher Jennifer Cox saw firsthand the struggles that homeless students face when she started teaching in Baltimore. And if you can believe it across the country more than 100,000 children live in shelters. Cox is doing her part to help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER COX, CNN HERO: Kids are never going to learn in school. They are never going to be successful if they don't feel good about who they are.

I have nothing great answer.

Children don't have a lot of space in shelter life to true will be kids. They are experiencing very stressful turbulence situations.

What we are going to learn here today --

The best way to better the situation is to offer them opportunities to feel empowered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:45:17] CABRERA: To see Jennifer's full story go to CNNheroes.com. And as always please do your part and nominate someone you think should be honored as a CNN hero.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:45:48] CABRERA: Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler was the ninth lawmaker in history to have a baby while serving in Congress. But what she went through to have and save her baby is truly remarkable. CNN's Dana Bash has the latest bad ass women of Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[16:50:05] REP. JAMIE HERRERA BEUTLER, WASHINGTON: We were king chatting away like all excited, you know, because we thought we were going to figure out what the sex was. And he just leaned forward and he said I can't see any kidney. I don't think your baby has any kidneys.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These days, more and more young women are serving here in Congress and having babies while in office. In fact Jaime Herrera Beutler was only the ninth lawmaker in history to give birth while serving. It would be difficult under normal circumstances and hers were any anything but normal.

So when you first were selected here you two had just gotten married?

BEUTLER: Yes.

BASH: That's a way to start a marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the first year of our marriage was a lot of campaigning. But you know go big or go home.

BASH: And how long after you were elected did you find out that you were pregnant?

BEUTLER: It was my second term. Right after my second term.

BASH: A few months after she was reelected in 2012 she and her husband Dan announced that they were expecting their first child.

And then came the devastating diagnosis, potters syndrome, they are unborn baby had no kidneys.

BEUTLER: They took us in the back room and just said there's nothing that can done. Your baby is going to die. And word as point, you are bleeding. If there are no kidneys there's no fluid and their lunges are not able to develop. And he said, you know, a lot of women at this point would be cross the street scheduling an abortion.

BASH: Did you consider at all for even a second taking his advice to go across the street the street?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Hear -- being able to hear the heart beat and knowing that she, Abigail, we had the gut feeling there has to be something.

BEUTLER: As a politician Beutler is (INAUDIBLE) anti-abortion. But in this, the most personal decision she says her political views were not a factor.

BEUTLER: What's it really like, let's go through where you know our mind in this, it was more of our gut and that was the word we used, contend. We are going to contend.

BEUTLER: For Beutler, that meant taking the heart wrenching news public.

BEUTLER: My colleagues were amazing but every time someone saw me on the floor, you know, you kind watch a little bit of a shadow, right, because it's sad.

BASH: Going public paid off. A stranger red their story in the paper and suggested an experimental treatment that might be possible, but most hospitals wouldn't even return their calls.

John Hopkins (ph) did. It is only at their first time. And she said, look, we don't treat this. I will not be able to do serial infusion. And so we really had almost a sales pitch.

BASH: So you were negotiating --

BEUTLER: My heavens. And any parent who in this situation you will tell you that this is you have to. You learn on your feet. And it is not new technology. It was a willingness issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immediately, (INAUDIBLE) introduced, her chest, even, she began to breathe that fluid in. So you don't know what's happening but you know she's doing what she's supposed to.

BASH: You started beginning to John's Hopkins how often and what time?

BEUTLER: Because I do it when I was here and we have both. So I try and get up there by like 7:30 so that I can -- and then you go on with your day. By the second and third week and the fourth week it all corrected.

BASH: Do you think that in all honesty you that were successful because you were a member of Congress and you could quince the doctor to listen to you?

BEUTLER: I don't think we'll know for sure. But the one thing we have committed and we know is true is maybe it took this to breakthrough, because now she's not the only, she's just the first. There are other babies who have survived because of her.

BASH: And you gave her your kidney so she could live a normal life? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think there are many parents who wouldn't

jump at the chance to help their kid.

BASH: Now Abigail is three years old and watching her you would never know the trauma that she went through. She is a medical miracle, the first baby to survive birth without kidneys. She seems like just an average kid. Playing with her baby brothers, playing with her doll, hanging out with her parents except of course that her mom is many Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House will be in orders. Members will please take your seats.

BEUTLER: I do bring my daughter with me to work. She goes on the floor to vote.

BASH: Dan Beutler not only gave up his kidney, he also gave up his career path. He quit law school to take care of his family and his wife says that modern approach to gender roll has helped her do what she's doing in Congress.

Let's just be honest. It usually is if there's a supportive spouse, historically, it's the woman who stands behind the guy.

BEUTLER: Yes. He is amazing. And what I'm proud of is like he is showing my daughter, he is showing my son that a real man looks at a family and says how can I help this family? For him right now that means he is taking care of my baby and he gave her a kidney, right. So he is quite an amazing person. And I hope to get the chance to do the same for him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[16:55:17] CABRERA: That's a beautiful family.

Still to come here in the NEWSROOM, a frantic search is underway right now in the waters off Japan after a Navy destroyer collided with a Philippine merchant vessel. The latest in the hunt to find them.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:59:15] CABRERA: Hello on this Saturday. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Let's get right to our breaking news overseas. The fate of seven U.S. Navy sailors is unknown right now after a devastating collision at sea. This is the "USS Fitzgerald," a Navy destroyer based in Japan severely damaged after smashing into a cargo ship three times her size. How it happened, the Navy doesn't know yet. But much more pressing right now is the search for those seven sailors who are either knocked overboard in the collusion or perhaps trapped below deck. Stay with CNN, I'm going to talk with our military analyst, a retired two-star navy admiral in just a moment. In the meantime, President Trump is keeping tabs on this situation

from Camp David this weekend. He is there with the first lady and their son, Barron. The President is playing defense basing up his outside legal team after tweeting that he is being investigated for firing former FBI director James Comey. Now, this tweet reportedly came as a surprise to his own legal team. His source --