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Seven Missing U.S. Sailors Found Dead; Congressman Steve Scalise Shows Signs of Improvement; Russia Investigation; London Fire; French Elections; U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Put in Awkward Position Again; Mistrial Declared in Cosby Case; Justin Thomas Makes U.S. Open History; Chicago Teens Overcome Despite Surroundings. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired June 18, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Seven missing U.S. sailors now confirmed dead and the Navy speaks out about the collision with its destroyer.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president getting some R&R over the weekend. But the federal investigation into the alleged Russia meddling is waiting for him when he returns to the White House.
ALLEN (voice-over): And Theresa May finally meets with survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
But is it too little too late for the embattled prime minister?
HOWELL (voice-over): From CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell.
ALLEN (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen. We're coming to you live from Atlanta. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
ALLEN: We have breaking news out of Japan this hour. Search and rescue efforts are over after a U.S. warship collided with a merchant vessel Saturday.
HOWELL: A Navy official tells CNN seven sailors reported missing from the U.S.S. Fitzgerald are dead. They were found in the ship's flooded berthing compartments.
ALLEN: The commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet declined to confirm the number of the dead at a news conference. He said his focus was on the ship's grieving families and crew.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VICE ADMIRAL JOSEPH AUCOIN, COMMANDER, U.S. 7TH FLEET: we have transferred the remains to the Yokosuka Naval Hospital. The families are being notified and are being provided the support they all need at this difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Following this story, journalist Kaori Enjoji is live in Tokyo this hour.
It's good to have you with us talk about this, keeping in mind it happened in the early morning hours, a day ago; we are getting a better sense now of what it was like on board that ship.
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Definitely, George. We now have a sense of the panic and the sheer scale of the collision that occurred between the U.S.S. Fitzgerald and a container ship in the very early hours of Saturday morning, about a day and a half after this incident.
It was sheer panic and frenzy and, as the 7th Fleet described, the damage was so great in some of the areas where the seamen were living and also the captain's quarters as well. But here is what the vice commander had to say about the scene during the collision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUCOIN: it was traumatic. As to how much warning they had, I don't know. That's going to be found out during the investigation. But it was a significant impact that the crew had to fight very hard to keep the ship afloat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ENJOJI: He also said it was a heroic effort to try and keep the water out of the ship to prevent it from sinking. It came back to Yokosuka and only earlier this morning, when the divers got a chance to go in, were they able to identify the bodies.
HOWELL: Kaori, the vice admiral also talked just a bit more about the extent of the damage on the ship.
What more did you learn, can you tell us?
ENJOJI: Well, until this news conference a couple hours ago, what we were only relying on were the visuals. And we could only see what happened above the waterline, which was extensive already to begin with. But now we know that the serious damage was beneath the waterline.
We are talking the berthing area, the machine room, the ship's captain's quarters. All of these seem to have suffered extensive damage. We still don't know what triggered the collision in the first place.
But they did tell us an investigation has now been launched. It was going to be underway. He wasn't ready to tell us when this investigation would be able to wrap up.
But he did say they are going to start repairs on the U.S.S. Fitzgerald. And judging by the comments to that, that it may take months before the repair is complete. You can tell and you can fathom how great the extent of the collision and the damage incurred by the vessel was.
HOWELL: So, again, we know that there will be investigations underway. We understand a bit more about the damage. The main thing, we now confirmed the seven missing sailors have been confirmed dead.
Thank you so much for the reporting.
Joining us to talk more about this is Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, CNN military analyst.
It is good to have you with us this hour, sir. Let's talk about the next steps here, the Navy to launch a fact-finding mission, we understand. But there could be a multitude of investigations, considering the circumstances here, from Japan to the Philippines being involved.
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Exactly. You have got a U.S. Navy ship; you've got a Philippine flagged commercial vessel, taking place in Japanese waters. So a lot of different agencies are going to have a say in what -- in the investigation.
But the bottom line will be that the U.S. Navy will want to know what happened to --
FRANCONA: -- its warship out there. There are very strict rules that govern passage in these commercial sea lanes. And they are going to find out who violated it, if there was any violation and how to prevent this in the future.
HOWELL: And we now know that the seven who were missing are now confirmed dead. But this process now underway to notify next of kin.
FRANCONA: Yes, this is one of the worst things that can happen. Of course, this just underscores the sacrifices that the men and women of our armed forces face every day.
This was not on a battlefield in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, this was a rather routine transition from one place to another. They were headed for port. They were headed for home in Yokosuka and, in the middle of the night, this happens. It's just one of the things that our men and women face every day.
HOWELL: What can you tell us about this U.S. warship itself?
Basically, what would its mission have been in that part of the world?
FRANCONA: This is a -- this is the backbone of the U.S. destroyer fleet. This is the Arleigh Burke class destroyer. There are about 62 of them in service right now. There are still some of them being built. It covers the entire range of weaponry.
It can do anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft defenses as well as surface combat. So it's kind of the workhorse of the fleet. There's a lot of them. They are good ships. They have been tried in combat, so you find them everywhere.
HOWELL: The big question many people are asking, just looking at this particular warship, very sophisticated piece of equipment, how could this have happened?
FRANCONA: Yes, that's the big question everybody is asking right now. That's what's got all of us puzzled. Granted, they are operating in a very congested shipping lane. But there are very strict rules about how vessels conduct themselves in these shipping lanes.
If everybody was following the rules, of course, this wouldn't have happened. So somewhere, something went wrong. And we have to figure out what that is. Of course, the U.S.S. Fitzgerald had a complete deck crew, combat information center was up and running, observers.
So they would have known that the vessel was out there but they could not have foreseen the collision. And that's what we have to find out, what happened in the very few moments before the ships collided to bring them close together.
Lt. Col. Rick Francona, thank you so much for your insight.
Back here in the United States, the congressman shot during a congressional baseball practice is showing signs of improvement.
ALLEN: Steve Scalise had additional surgery Saturday for injuries sustained in Wednesday's shooting. He arrived at the hospital in very critical condition. Here is Ryan Nobles with more on his update.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very encouraging news for Congressman Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, the third most powerful Republican in Congress, and his family as the MedStar Washington Hospital Center where he is being treated has announced that his condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.
They released this statement, "Congressman Steve Scalise is in serious condition. He underwent another surgery today but continues to show improvement. He is more responsive and is speaking with his loved ones. The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers."
The said it would be the final update for the weekend but this is an important update for a number of reasons.
Obviously, the first being the upgrade in his condition. But another point that should be raised is the fact that he's able to have conversations with his family. Doctors described on Friday that the congressman was in a constant state of sedation. They have been able to reduce the sedation a bit for him to have some interaction with the family but not much.
The fact that he's been able to have a conversation should be making the process a little bit easier for his family. The congressman shot on Wednesday at that congressional baseball practice.
The man who was the shooter, James Hodgkinson, found with a list of names after the shooting. He was, of course, killed in the response. This an important development for the congressman as he continues his long and lengthy road to recovery -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.
HOWELL: All right, Ryan, thank you.
The first family left the White House Saturday to spend time at Camp David over the weekend. That's the official presidential retreat in Western Maryland. It's the first time the Trumps have been there since he took office.
ALLEN: And as we know, the first lady and their son, Barron, just now moving to the White House. But when they get back to Washington, the ongoing federal investigation into Russian election meddling will be waiting.
Because of that, the president, the vice president and others who worked on the Trump campaign have now hired private defense attorneys.
To talk more about it, Scott Lucas, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England.
Scott, thanks for joining us. Want to ask you, what does it indicate that lawyers are being hired?
SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: It indicates what we have known for some weeks: this is a very serious --
LUCAS: -- investigation into the possible links between Trump's associates and Russian officials. And it is an expanding investigation.
Of course, the greatest signal of that was the confirmation from U.S. officials this week that the president himself is now a subject of this investigation, as is his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top White House adviser.
And indeed of course, it's only a few days ago that Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared before a Senate Intelligence Committee to try to reduce the pressure on him over his meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year.
ALLEN: And we have now Rosenstein, the number two at Justice, who stepped in when Sessions recused himself. He may recuse, according to reports. The president has considered sacking special prosecutor Mr. Mueller. So where this turns is anyone's guess, right?
LUCAS: Well, let's be clear about what happened a couple days ago and that is that President Trump went after Rod Rosenstein on Twitter. Although he didn't name him, Rosenstein was clearly the subject of an attack by Trump in which he said the man who told me to fire James Comey -- which is actually incorrect -- but the man who told me to fire Comey is now the one who is standing, again, in the way of him dealing with the investigation.
What Trump is trying to do is get Rosenstein to fire the special counsel. Trump wants rid of Mueller. We knew that since last weekend. But Rosenstein has to be the person who carries out that dismissal.
Now Rosenstein doesn't want to do that. Rosenstein, who is already upset that he was used as a foil in Comey's dismissal last month, stands in Trump's way.
That's the big question.
Will Trump not only try to fire Robert Mueller but fire Rosenstein when he does not carry out the dismissal?
And if so, we have got a political crisis reminiscent of Watergate in the 1970s.
ALLEN: And all the while, the president calls this a witch hunt.
Is there any credence, since we haven't had any details about possible collusion?
Is there any credence to what he says about that?
LUCAS: Well, we may want to talk to folks in Salem, Massachusetts, in the 17th century about whether this, today, is the greatest witch hunt in American history.
That aside, the fact is that Trump, like many people under investigation, the suspect likes to play the victim. The fact is that there is no deep state, you know, the CIA, the FBI, other murky agencies in a vast conspiracy, that is trying to unseat this president. There is evidence Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
There's evidence that it may have -- and I stress may have -- been in contact with Trump officials about that interference.
By any necessary means of American democracy and American law, you have to investigate that evidence and see where it leads. And Trump is trying to shut it down through Twitter.
ALLEN: But it's been going on for months, now of course, it's had a hitch or two, Comey being part of that.
What if this goes on and on for a while and the American people just don't hear anything that's a serious indicator of wrongdoing? Do they lose perhaps faith in this investigation?
LUCAS: Well, it's a little bit of perspective here. Remember, it was two years between the break-in at the Watergate Hotel in 1972, the anniversary of that being this week and Richard Nixon's resignation to avoid impeachment.
We are only a few months into Donald Trump's presidency. We do have evidence. It's not that nothing has been happening. It's not white noise. We do have evidence Russia tried to influence the election, that Russian finance may have -- and I stress may have -- gone into the Trump campaign or into Trump advisers.
We have evidence that there was meetings between Trump's associates and Russian officials, which may have been about that interference.
It takes time to establish that evidence because, when you move, if you move, to a criminal case or impeachment, it better be conclusive. That's why it's taking time because the FBI and congressional committees want to do as thorough a job as possible.
ALLEN: Scott Lucas for us, we thank you for joining us, Scott, thanks.
HOWELL: Still ahead this hour on NEWSROOM, amid growing anger, Britain's prime minister speaks up about the response to the London fire disaster.
ALLEN: And in France, the new president is expecting another triumph in today's final round of parliamentary elections.
ALLEN: Welcome back.
The Italian Coast Guard said it rescued 800 migrants from rubber boats in them Mediterranean. You think see them jumping onto an Italian rescue vessel here. Those rubber boats were trying to make it to Europe.
HOWELL: So many people on that boat.
The International Organization for Migration says more than 65,000 migrants have used the Mediterranean route to get to Italy. And that's just this year alone.
A rising death toll, growing anger and an embattled leader. The British prime minister, Theresa May, admits the support for the victims of the London tower fire was not good enough, especially in the early hours after it happened. ALLEN: On Saturday, she met with some of the survivors at Number 10 Downing Street. She said her government will do whatever it takes to help. Police say 30 people were killed in the disaster and another 28 are missing and presumed dead.
HOWELL: Anger has been rising since this fire happened. Protesters were back on the streets of London over the weekend. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live following the story in London this hour.
It's good to have you with us, Fred. The United Kingdom is said to observe a minute of silence on Monday to remember the victims, though the death toll could still rise.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it certainly could still rise, George. One of the things we heard yesterday about the death toll is that it was the 30 people who were already confirmed dead and then, on top of that, they had 18 that they said were still missing -- or 28, I should say, who were still missing.
And they think that those people are -- there's no hope of finding them alive anymore because the tower was so badly damaged in that fire.
I want to show you where I am right now, George. We are at the Notting Hill Methodist Church, and you were talking just a second ago about that moment of silence that is going to be observed on Monday.
PLEITGEN: Well, at 11:00 am local time here, there is going to be a memorial service at this church that is going to take place. As you can see, this is also one of the places where people lay down flowers, pay their respects as well.
As you can see here, many people have already done that. So there is that growing anger but at the same time, of course, this is a community that is very much in grief.
And I can tell you, George, from having been here over the past couple of days, you really do feel that. This is a very close-knit community. Many of the folks who live around the area know people who were inside that building. Many of them also watched this tragedy unfold as well.
So this is a community that was hit very, very hard. And the first Sunday after the disaster is one of those days people pray for those who were affected by this and will come to this memorial service that's set to take place in this church right here in about an hour and a half from now -- George.
HOWELL: There is a sense of grief there on the streets across London. There's also that sentiment of anger, Fred.
What has been the response to the prime minister's comment that support was not good enough after this happened? She, herself, felt the backlash since this fire occurred.
PLEITGEN: Yes, she certainly has felt the backlash. Many of it is because of the way that many people felt that she conducted herself, as we see more people coming here to this wall and just taking a moment to look at the flowers, to look at things. Also, of course, many people laying down flowers of their own.
But you're right. Theresa May has been under a lot of fire. And that's because of the official response that took place with the local authorities. Many people believe not doing what they should have done in the early stages. And I think a lot was also about the flow of information.
That's something Theresa May also said when she met with the folks who were affected by it yesterday at Number 10 Downing Street, she said, in the early stages people needed more and better information. And that was not something that's forthcoming.
And then of course now it's the immediate aid that people are going to get. She put together this fund of 5 million pounds. That's about $6.5 million that she said is going to be used and is already getting distributed.
And if that's not enough, then more will be forthcoming as well. But then it was also the way that Theresa May conducted herself that many people didn't like, especially around this area. She came, initially, to this area here, met with firefighters, met with first responders but didn't really meet with members of the community and people who were affected at that point in time. That's certainly something that did rub a lot of people the wrong way.
So now it seems as though she's doing that. She has invited those people to Number 10 Downing Street but it does look as though it has done a lot of damage to her reputation.
People here did feel that she was quite detached while, on the other hand, for instance, the queen came out here with Prince Harry and actually met with people who survived.
Jeremy Corbyn, her political rival, also came out and met with people. So it certainly is the case that she is a leader who, at this point in time, as you mentioned, is quite embattled and this certainly has not done a lot to shore up her leadership.
So there is that anger, not just at Theresa May here but also at the local authorities as well, where many people believe that, in the early stages after this happened, there was a big outpour of support from within the community.
There were people making donations, coming out, offering their apartments. They feel that the officials, they are the ones where the response was lacking -- George.
(CROSSTALK) HOWELL: The officials certainly taking a great deal of pressure from this. But, Fred, that scene behind you tells the story of that community throughout West London, people coming together to remember the dead and to support these survivors.
Fred Pleitgen, live for us in London. Fred, Thank you.
ALLEN: The face of the French parliament could soon change drastically. People there are voting in the second round of the parliament elections. And the party of President Emmanuel Macron could win a historic majority. That could help Mr. Macron push his ambitious social and economic reforms.
Many of the candidates running under Macron's party are total political newcomers. Our Melissa Bell spoke with some of them.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cedric Villani was known as an award-winning mathematician. Now he's campaigning as part of Emmanuel Macron's movement to become a member of parliament.
Villani is one of 525 candidates standing for Macron's movement, about half are new to politics and, like Villani, hope to bring to parliament more than just their ambition.
VILLANI: I know about science. And science is more important than ever in the public debate, even very technical scientific questions are now everyday in debate, about climate change or artificial intelligence or you name it.
I've been a teacher and very much involved in the scientific culture. And this will be important because one of the crucial things needed in politics now is people being able to explain to a wide audience, not thinking that people are too dumb to understand the complexity but explaining the complexity in simple terms.
BELL (voice-over): Jean-Michel Fauvergue hopes to bring another set of skills to parliament. The former head of France's elite police force says security is why he joined Macron's movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He's a man who can bring people together and, more importantly, for the cop in me, he's a real commander in chief.
BELL (voice-over): Another candidate is Marie Sara, the former bullfighter says she's simply taking to another arena the determination she's shown in the bullring. Polls suggest she's on course to beat the far right incumbent.
MARIE SARA, EN MARCHE MP CANDIDATE (through translator): There's an extraordinarily movement which is happening in France with a real renewal of the political class. If I can be a part of that, then I will be very proud. I'm going to try and meet people to explain to them that they don't need to be scared.
BELL: The En Marche candidates will find out on Sunday night whether their campaigning and the meetings they've held in town halls like this one in Gevre (ph) have actually paid off.
Emmanuel Macron will also find out whether he's won the second part of his gamble. Last month, he became president without the benefit of an established party, something that's unprecedented.
Now he's hoping to secure a parliamentary majority, the likes of which have never been seen in the history of the Fifth Republic -- Melissa Bell, CNN, in Lucerne (ph).
ALLEN: Back in the United States politics, U.S. Republican senators kept Democrats in the dark while they draft a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
But it's not just Democrats who are upset about that. We'll have the story as CNN continues in the United States and around the world this hour. Stay with us.
HOWELL: 4:29 am here on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back.
HOWELL: Yes, early, early, yes in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our headlines at 4:30.
HOWELL: After nearly five months as president, Trump's go-to guy at the White House, the vice president, Mike Pence, has been busy navigating some awkward situations, you could say, for his boss.
ALLEN: He has certainly been a loyal soldier but things keep getting more complicated. Our Randi Kaye reports.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And thanks to the leadership --
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After the firing of FBI director James Comey last month, Vice President Mike Pence insisted the president based his decision on recommendations he'd received. PENCE: Let me be very clear that the president's decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interests of the American people.
KAYE: But the very next day President Trump put his vice president in an awkward light by telling NBC he'd made the decision to fire Comey on his own.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I did is I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not --
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: You had made the decision before they came --
TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey.
KAYE: And on top of that, even though Pence had said publicly that Trump's decision to fire Comey was not related to the Russia investigation --
PENCE: There is no evidence of collusion between -- between our campaign and -- and any Russian officials. That's not what -- and let me be clear.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But this investigation --
PENCE: That was not what this is about.
KAYE: He was proven wrong again.
TRUMP: When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.
KAYE (on camera): Also on Russia, back in January after then national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled the vice president about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, Mike Pence went on national television defending Flynn's actions.
PENCE: They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.
KAYE (voice-over): Later a spokesman for Flynn said that he couldn't be sure the topic of sanctions hadn't come up in conversations with Russia. He was soon fired but not before embarrassing the vice president.
In February after Trump blasted a judge for blocking his immigration ban, referring to him as a so-called judge, Pence once again was on cleanup duty.
PENCE: The president of the United States has every right to criticize the other two branches of government. I think people find it very refreshing that they not only understand this president's mind but they understand how he feels about things. He expresses himself in a unique way.
KAYE (voice-over): And even before the election there were moments on the campaign trail that proved awkward for Pence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, whoa, whoa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa!
KAYE (voice-over): Like when this "Access Hollywood" tape came out.
TRUMP: When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH, FORMER HOST, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD": Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (INAUDIBLE). You can do anything.
KAYE: Pence said in a statement he was offended and cannot defend his then running mate but soon after when several women accused Trump of inappropriate behavior, he did just that.
PENCE: What he's made clear is that was talk, regrettable talk on his part, but that there were no actions and that he's categorically denied these latest unsubstantiated allegations.
KAYE: Mr. Vice President, a loyal soldier despite it all -- Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
ALLEN: The Cuban government is lashing out at the U.S. after President Trump announced he's rolling back efforts by Barack Obama to normalize relations between both countries. Cuba says the U.S. is in no condition to lecture it about --
ALLEN: -- human rights.
HOWELL: It cited racial discrimination, police abuse and the Republicans' health care bill, which it says will deprive many Americans of coverage. A Havana resident struck a similar note of defiance. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEDRO DIAZ, HAVANA RESIDENT (through translator): Cuba is not scared. We Cubans are not going to be scared. We have gone through much more. We got through the October crisis and we are willing to go through many more crises, not just October but December, September and the coming months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: President Trump announced Friday that he will impose tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and on doing business with Cuba.
ALLEN: More now on the U.S. Republicans' health care bill that even got Cuba's attention. Sources tell CNN Democrats in the U.S. Senate are considering whether to force a stop to other business in the chamber next week in protest.
HOWELL: They are upset because the legislation has been kept tightly under wraps. Republican senators want to pass their version of a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare by the July 4th recess. We get more on this story now from our congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here is what we know about the Senate Republican health care negotiations. They are happening. And that's about it, at least at this point. This has all been behind the scenes. There's been no hearings, there's been no public negotiations at all. And that's by design.
When you talk to senators who are familiar with this process, they make clear, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wanted to do this behind closed doors. He wanted to give his members the opportunity and the space to try and negotiate on some very divisive issues, whether it's the expansion of Medicaid or the cutting back of ObamaCare regulations or even the tax credits, the structure of that.
All of these are issues that, within the Republican Party, within their own conference, there are major, major problems. But the result of that is nobody has any idea, at least outside the room, of what's going on and, frankly, some members inside don't. Take a listen to what Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Alaska Public Radio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: Yes, I have got a problem with it. If I'm not going to see a bill before we have a vote on it, that's just not a good way to handle something that is as significant and as important as health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Those Senate Republicans, including Lisa Murkowski, including several that have voiced these concerns are eventually going to have to not just digest this proposal but decide how to vote on this.
Republicans can only lose two of the 52 senators in their conference and still have an opportunity to pass it. And the reality is this, they haven't solved these big problems that they still have on these crucial issues. And time is running out.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has made clear to his conference he wants to try and vote before lawmakers leave for the July 4th recess. That gives him 10 legislative days, legislative working days, left to actually get something done. Now the big question is, with all this being done behind the scenes, where are Democrats right now?
Well, they are upset, very upset. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, sending a letter to Mitch McConnell, inviting Mitch McConnell, all Republicans and all Democrats, to an all-senators meeting inside the old Senate chamber to have a lengthy discussion, negotiation, debate about health care.
Mitch McConnell's team firing back, saying, if you want to sit down with us, you're essentially taking off this notion that you won't negotiate so long as repeal is on the table.
Well, that wasn't what Democrats were actually saying. So now we are in a little political back-and-forth, a lot of posturing here. The reality is, Democrats are not involved in this process and they won't be involved in this process. That's frustrating to many of them.
But the bigger question now is the frustrations we are hearing from Republican senators.
Will that set this process back?
Will they ever actually come to a conclusion on their own internal debates?
HOWELL: So we will have to see how that plays out. Obviously, July 4th is the deadline. Phil Mattingly there on Capitol Hill. Phil, thanks.
Still ahead her, a jury fails to reach a verdict in the Bill Cosby indecent assault trial.
ALLEN: So is the case over?
What the judge and prosecutors are saying about that -- coming up here.
HOWELL: The judge in Bill Cosby's aggravated indecent assault case says that he will set a date for a new trial within months.
ALLEN: He declared a mistrial after the jury told him they couldn't reach a verdict following 53 hours of deliberations. They certainly tried. Brynn Gingras has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just one hour into their sixth day of deliberations jurors handed the judge a note which read, "We, the jury, are deadlocked on all counts.""
For 53 hours, jurors deliberated on the three counts of aggravated indecent assault against comedian Bill Cosby.
And the judge declared a mistrial in the case, telling the jurors, quote, "I feel bad for you all. Do not feel like you have let the justice system down."
Cosby remains stoic in court while the judge address each juror. And the prosecutor said it will try the case again. Andrea Constand, the women who accused Cosby of the 2004 incident, has vowed to testify in a second trial.
Now Cosby did not speak to reporters after court was adjourned. But one of his publicist read an emotionally charged letter written by Cosby's wife, Camille, who, a reminder, only appeared in court one time during the two-week trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EBONEE BENSON, CAMILLE COSBY'S PUBLICIST: How do I describe the district attorney?
Heinously and exploitively (sic) ambitious.
How do I describe the judge?
Overtly arrogant and collaborating with the district attorney.
How do I describe the counsels for the accusers?
How do I describe many but not all general media?
Blatantly vicious entities, that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truth for the primary purpose of selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRAS: The Montgomery County district attorney expressed his gratitude for the jury's work and said that some good did come from this. He said Constand was able to face her accuser for one.
And he also noted that too often cases like this don't even get reported, never mind brought to trial. Dozens of women have accused Cosby of assault. This is the first criminal case to have gone to court -- Brynn Gingras, CNN, New York.
HOWELL: Brynn, thank you. Now in Central Portugal, we are covering a story; at least 43 people
have died in a wildfire there.
ALLEN: Derek Van Dam joining us with more about it.
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and unfortunately, George and Natalie, the death toll continues to rise in this tragedy in Central Portugal. This is about 200 kilometers just outside of Lisbon, where victims who were trying to flee from the wildfire were caught as the fire surrounded them.
We are learning more information about this. But the officials, Portuguese officials are calling it the greatest wildfire tragedy in recent history.
Take a look at the footage to see why and what people had to contend with. This is a fire that spread very, very fast in a very small town, again, about 200 kilometers north of Lisbon on Saturday. Some nearby villages are still completely surrounded by the blaze.
The government says it doesn't have enough firefighters to combat the sheer size of this fire. Portugal's --
VAN DAM: -- national authority for public safety issued wildfire alerts due to high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds that continue to fuel the flames. Check out the nighttime photo behind me of the flames that were burning still early this morning, scary, scary moments to say the least.
ALLEN: The final round of the U.S. Open is coming up in a few hours.
HOWELL: And American Justin Thomas had already made history. Our Patrick Snell has more from Erin, Wisconsin.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was a truly historical day here at the U.S. Open for American golfer, Justin Thomas, just 24 years of age and already rewriting the sports history books.
Wearing pink pants, it was truly a dazzling display from him. A fifth 63 in U.S. Open history, about his historical because it's -9, the lowest ever scored in relation to par at a U.S. Open. Saturday marking 44 years to the day since Johnny Miller shot his 63 at this very tournament at Oakmont.
Going low is nothing new for JT. Earlier this year, he shot 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He has four tour victories to his name, three alone this season. And there's one iconic picture that really says it all for me before he made that historical putt on the very last green to clinch that 63, head in hands. He said afterwards, he was hungry but he wanted to calm himself and
compose himself before making that putt. After his round, I asked him just what making the punt and the significance of it all meant to him.
JUSTIN THOMAS, PRO GOLFER: I'm not sure when it's going to sink in or when I'm going to realize what I did but I know one thing, if it happened tomorrow and the result is what I want it to be, then I would probably have a little different feeling.
But I'm just -- I'm so excited to give myself a great chance to win this golf tournament. And it's -- I felt like my game has been good enough to compete in the majors this year. So, to be able to do so and have a chance tomorrow is just going to be great.
SNELL: Meantime, the tournament leader is 30-year-old American Brian Harman, who's looking to become the first left-handed player ever to win the U.S. Open. He has two PGA Tour victories to his name but never before has he made the cut at a U.S. Open.
In fact, he's never done better than tied for 26 at any major.
Could this be the year he finally gets the job done and makes a breakthrough victory?
We shall see -- Patrick Snell, CNN, Erin, Wisconsin.
ALLEN: Coming up here, they go to school in one of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods.
HOWELL: But the seniors at this high school aren't letting that interfere with their education. We'll explain ahead.
ALLEN: Bangor Academy High School in Chicago, if that sounds familiar, it was featured in the 2014 CNN documentary, "Chicagoland," because it's located in one of the city's most violent, gang-ridden neighborhoods.
HOWELL: South Side of Chicago, covered that story many times. But this year's graduating class defied the odds. Every single senior plans to go to college. That's something that has not happened in 20 years. Ryan Young has the story.
LADAJA FRENCH (PH), HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I'm excited about college. I have been dreaming about going to college since I was little.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like many seniors, Ladaja French can't wait for college.
FRENCH (PH): I've been through so much my four years at this school. I actually had a child my junior year last year. And I was out of school for almost three months.
YOUNG (voice-over): Despite missing months of class after having a baby boy, Ladaja (ph) will finish second in her senior class at Chicago's Finger High School, a senior class determined to defy the overwhelming odds that keep many of their South Side peers trapped. Every single senior, all 52 of them, have college plans.
FRENCH (PH): I want to go to medical school. So I'm going to major in biology. I want to be a surgeon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to major in business and own my own car dealership.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go into business and then go to law.
YOUNG (voice-over): It's the first time in 20 years that an entire class at Finger can celebrate that achievement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) 100 percent college (INAUDIBLE). Everybody in my class want to do something that they like.
YOUNG (voice-over): Situated in a neighborhood often plagued by deadly gang violence, Finger gained national attention in 2009 --
YOUNG (voice-over): -- when an after-school gang fight led to the brutal beating of student Darion Albert (ph), whose murder was captured on cell phone video. Tensions erupted after the fatal incident and gang fights were a common occurrence in the hallways at Finger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of the street, I'm not going to say it again.
YOUNG (voice-over): In 2014, CNN featured the school in the documentary series, "Chicagoland," that followed the battle to help empower and save students here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The climate in this school was just absolutely abysmal, like massive gang fights in the hallways, 300 arrests that first year.
YOUNG (voice-over): Then Principal Liz Dozier (ph) implemented programs to steer kids away from the streets. One of the students featured in the series, Lee McCullum (ph), gave a rare glimpse into his struggle to escape from his gang-riddled neighborhood.
LEE MCCULLUM (PH), FINGER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: (INAUDIBLE) help me get in college but I ain't had no hopes and no dreams of going.
YOUNG (voice-over): But just last year, he was killed by a gunshot to the head.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People talk down about Chicago. But it's still some good that's still here.
RICHARD SMITH, PRINCIPAL, FINGER HIGH SCHOOL: Ladies, just get to class. I saw you earlier.
YOUNG (voice-over): Principal Richard Smith (ph) attributes the success to intense test prep and social programs outside the classroom, tailored to meet a variety of student needs.
SMITH: They believe that they can be successful and they believe that they can put away all the negative images that -- or the perceptions that people have of Finger High School students.
YOUNG (voice-over): Success that has seniors like Ladaja (ph) beaming with confidence.
FRENCH (PH): It just feels good. I get to go outside.
"Hey, what's going, girl?"
Say, "Yes, I go to Finger. We got 100 percent college acceptance.
"How about your school?"
YOUNG (voice-over): Ryan Young, CNN, Chicago.
HOWELL: -- perfectly in the story, there are a lot of people trying to make a good difference. They made a difference there, all going to college.
ALLEN: Never give up hope on anyone.
Thanks for watching this hour, I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. The news continues here on CNN right after the break.
ALLEN: We'll be right back.