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CNN NEWSROOM

Search and Rescue Efforts are Over for American Warship; At least 43 Killed in a Wildfire in Central Portugal; Future of the Senate Health Bill; Bill Cosby Mistrial; Theresa May Admits Support For Grenfell Tower Victims Not Good Enough; Political Newcomers in France; Mike Pence Navigates Awkward Situations for His Boss; Justin Thomas Makes History in U.S. Open. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 18, 2017 - 05:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:00:13] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The quote, "This was not a small collision." That's the word from the U.S. navy giving details about a warship's collision with a merchant vessel, a collision that left seven U.S. sailors dead.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Fleeing the flames. A deadly wildfire devastates a small town in Central Portugal as the weather heats up. Dozens were killed trying to get away.

HOWELL: And, a mistrial for Bill Cosby. Jurors in the indecent assault case against him can't reach a unanimous decision.

ALLEN: All these stories ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And, I'm George Howell. From CNN world headquarters, NEWSROOM starts right now.

ALLEN: Breaking news this hour out of Japan, search and rescue efforts are over after an American warship collided with a merchant vessel Saturday. U.S. military officials tell CNN, seven sailors reported missing from the USS Fitzgerald are dead.

HOWELL: The commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet declined to confirm that number though. The ship's commanding officer was seriously hurt in the accident and was taken to a navy hospital by helicopter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VICE ADMIRAL JOSEPH AUCOIN, COMMANDER OF THE U.S. SEVENTH FLEET: His cabin was destroyed. He's lucky to be alive and he's at the hospital right now. He's undergoing treatment but he's not available for questions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: That's Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet speaking there, a short while ago.

For more, we're joined by journalist Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo. What more did we learn from him, Kaori?

KAORI ENJOJI, TOKYO BUREAU CHIEF, CNBC: Well, Natalie, I think we now have a better sense of the level of frenzy and panic aboard the USS Fitzgerald when this collision occurred off the coast of Japan in the early hours of Saturday morning.

It was so severe that they were trying to pump the water out of key areas of the ship to prevent it from trying to sink but take a listen to what the vice admiral had to say and explaining that situation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 VIDEOTAPE)

ENJOJI: He went on to explain that there was a big gash in the area where the collision took place between the Fitzgerald and this merchant ship that was traveling across the coast of Japan and so big was it that there was flood -- flooding in certain areas, machine room, in the sleeping quarters -- two of the sleeping quarters where more than 100 of the seamen who were aboard the Fitzgerald were probably sleeping at 2:30 a.m., so, it was definitely a sense of panic as this collision took put -- place.

ALLEN: I guess there could've been more people hurt, thankfully, they weren't but what do we know about the people who were killed, the sailors that didn't make it?

ENJOJI: You know, there was a search and rescue mission that continued throughout the night but as the divers went in to try and gain access to the areas that were flooded in the Fitzgerald, they found the bodies and although the vice admiral would not say whether all seven were found the U.S. defense official has confirmed to CNN that seven missing -- that the seven missing, the bodies have been found.

The Japanese coast guard too has halted their rescue operation. We know that the three people who were injured were air lifted out, including the commander of the ship, stable condition but in no way ready to take any questions as to how this collision could have happened in the first place.

ALLEN: All right. We thank you, Kaori Enjoji, in Tokyo for us.

HOWELL: Joining us now 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, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Exactly. You've got a

U.S. navy ship. You've got a Philippine flag 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 its warship out there. There are very strict rules that govern passage in these commercial sea lanes and they're going to figure 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 are missing, the seven, 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 and, of course, this just underscores the sacrifices that the men and women of our armed forces face every day.

This was not a battlefield in Afghanistan, a battlefield in Iraq, Syria. This was a rather routine transition from one place to another. They were headed for port, they were heading for home in (INAUDIBLE) 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? I mean, basically, what would its mission have been in that part of the world?

FRANCONA: Yes. Well, this is a -- this is the backbone of the U.S. destroyer fleet. This is the Arleigh class Burke -- the Arleigh Burke- class destroyer.

There are about 62 of them in service right now. There's still some of them being built. It covers the entire range of weaponry. It can do antisubmarine warfare, antiaircraft 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, it's -- you find them everywhere.

HOWELL: But, the big question that many people are asking, just looking at this warship particular, very sophisticated piece of equipment. How could this have happened?

FRANCONA: Yes. That's the big question everybody's asking right. And now, this one's got all of us puzzled. I mean, you were -- granted, they're operating a very congested shipping lane but there are very strict rules about how vessels conduct themselves in the 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 USS Fitzgerald had a complete deck crew. The combat information center was up and running, observers. So, they would've 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 those very few moments before those ships collided to bring them close together.

HOWELL: Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, thank you so much for your insight.

All right, another story we're following in Central Portugal. At least 43 people have been killed in a wildfire there.

ALLEN: Many of them died in their cars trying to get away and according to the government, the fire spread fast after reaching a small town north of Lisbon, Saturday.

HOWELL: Some nearby villages are completely surrounded by this fire and the government says it doesn't have enough firefighters to fight it.

ALLEN: Let's go to our meteorologist Derek Van Dam. This is serious, serious story, Derek, very tragic.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it is. Natalie, George, a tragedy unfolding. The numbers continue to climb. Difficult to see what has taken place over the past 24 hours across central Portugal over and we're trying to break it down and talk about what's next for this particular area.

First of all, this is a nighttime shot of the fires that engulfed this particular community and this is called the Pedrogao Grande of Portugal. This is about 200 kilometers to the north of Lisbon.

Get to the video and you'll be able to see, again, just what people had to contend with there, with houses and communities being completely surrounded by fires. Now, we are learning that this could potentially be the deadliest wildfire in Portugal history.

The first -- the fire spread, really, in a small town about 200 kilometers north of Lisbon on Saturday and the government says that it continues to battle the blazes. The Portugal national authority for public safety issued wildfire alerts due to the high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds that continue to fan these fires.

So, come back to the graphics and you'll see the area that has been impacted by the strong winds and the wildfires and it's been across the Iberian Peninsula that has really just been dealing with the heat wave, an immense heat wave that has seen the mercury in the thermometer soar to the upper 30s and lower 40s, more of that in just one second but this is a NASA product that shows all the hot spots across Portugal and into Central Spain.

Here's Lisbon. Just to the north of Lisbon, about, 200 kilometers away, you can see the hot spots that were responsible for the fatalities and you just got to pay attention to the topography across this area, it's more hilly and not, more or less, mountainous regions but enough to create those spot fire that easily spread from one location to the next and when you start talking about temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s Celsius, you add another 40 kilometers per hour wind gusts to that, it doesn't take much to push those embers along and help create new spot fires that eventually cause a larger forest fire that ultimately led to these fatalities.

Now, the hot weather will continue for the next foreseeable future. When you see that dark shading of red across that region you know that it will be hot and we don't want to see this weather forecast especially when we're contending with dry, almost, timber box conditions.

Windy weather continues today. Temperatures up 36 degrees, this is for Lisbon, the closest reporting station that we could find. There's the cooler temperatures, though, we have to wait until middle of next week, Madrid also under the spells of a heat wave, doing whatever they can to get out of the heat.

You can see some people trying to fan themselves with -- one of the local cafes there, just spritzing with water. Forty-one degrees, their maximum temperature today and, by the way, this could potentially break the all-time June record high temperature that was set back in 2015.

So, under the grips of an immense heat wave across the Iberian Peninsula, Natalie and George, and when you're talking about strong winds, that only leads to the potential for more forest fires.

HOWELL: All right, Derek, thank you.

VAN DAM: All right.

HOWELL: Now on to Iraq. The military there says its security forces have launched an assault on the Old City in Western Mosul. They're trying to liberate the historic area from ISIS.

ALLEN: Thousands of civilians remain trapped there, as we have talked about for many months and have feared ISIS will use them, as they have before, as human shields. The Iraqi army recaptures Eastern Mosul from the terror group earlier this year.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM this hour, the U.S. republican senators have kept democrats in the dark while they draft the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

ALLEN: But, it's not just democrats who are upset about that. We'll have details next.

HOWELL: Plus, the jury fails to reach a verdict in the Bill Cosby indecent assault trial. So, is the case over yet? What the judge and prosecutors are saying about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: Sources tell CNN democrats in the U.S. senate are considering whether to force a stop to other business next week to protest the republican's health care bill. HOWELL: They're upset because legislation has been kept tightly under

wraps. Republican senators want to pass their version of the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare by the July 4th recess.

For more on this story, our congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly, has more for us.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here's 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, kind of, public negotiations at all and that's by design. When you talk to senators who are familiar with the process, they made clear, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to do this behind closed doors.

He wanted to give his members the opportunity, the space to try and to negotiate on some divisive issues, whether it's the expansion of Medicaid or the cutting back of Obama regulations or even the tax credit, 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 VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: Yes, I got a problem with it. If I'm not going to see a bill before we have a vote on it, that's not a good way to handle something that is as significant as -- and important as health care.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY: Those senate republicans, including Lisa Murkowski, including several that've 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 a vote before our lawmakers leave for the July 4th recess.

That gives them 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're 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 sayings, so, now we're in a little political back and forth, a lot of posturing here.

The reality is democrats were not involved in this process. They won't be involved in this process. That's frustrating to many of them but the bigger question now is the frustrations we're hearing from republican senators. Will that set this process back? Will they ever actually come to a conclusion on their own internal debates?

HOWELL: All right. Thanks to Phil Mattingly there on Capitol Hill.

Now, to the First Family, They left the White House, Saturday, to spend the weekend at Camp David. That's the official presidential retreat in Western Maryland. It's the first time the Trumps have been there, you -- remember, they've been in Florida most of the time on the weekends but first time they've been there since he took office.

ALLEN: And, when they get back to Washington, the ongoing federal investigation will be waiting, because of that the President, the vice President, others who work on the Trump campaign have now hired private defense attorneys this week.

Joining me now is Michael Genovese. He's a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Leadership Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Thank you so much for being with us.

I want to start with the whole thing about President Trump and tweets. Republicans, even some supporters are all saying, you know, he needs to stand down the tweets but, clearly, he's doing this his own way. His base likely appreciates this is how he does things. So, his game plan is tweeting, but it -- could it come back to bite him? Already, he's tweeted one thing and his spokespeople say something else.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, DIRECTR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR LEADERSHIP STUDIES, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Well, you know, he can't stop. That's the key. He keeps doing it. He's self-incriminating himself. He's, every day, giving the prosecution more ammunition.

Trump is on the defensive and that's really unusual. He likes to be on the offense. He likes to be the hunter, now he's the hunted and so the optic that it's created is of someone who's panicking a little bit, who's worried and he needs to exercise more personal discipline because he's becoming his own worst enemy and shooting himself in the foot with these tweets.

ALLEN: Yes, and a lot of it, these days, as you say (INAUDIBLE) it's a lot like, can you believe this is what they are doing to me? I'm being treated so unfairly and that only goes so far, doesn't it, from a President?

GENOVESE: Well, you know, presidents are not supposed to be worried about themselves, they're supposed to be worried about the country and when it appears that they're more concerned about the way they're treated and the way people are talking about them, that distracts them from governing, it takes them out of their governing manifesto. It doesn't get the agenda moving. It looks small and it looks un- presidential.

ALLEN: And, speaking of governing, we've got health care reform coming up, yet again, trying to push back Obamacare and it's really important that he has a win in this area, isn't it?

GENOVESE: Well, he's had no legislative wins. He's used a lot of executive action to get some things done and just five minutes into his presidency, he made very bold promises.

He hasn't been able to keep them legislatively, even though the republicans control both houses of congress. So, he really is almost to the point of desperation on congress and Obamacare, for his constituency, for his base is new.

ALLEN: Exactly. So, meantime, he's got to balance trying to get something done in that area with his tweets, I guess, about this ongoing investigation. And as far as Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor, we're seeing a series of attacks from Trump loyalists. Can we likely expect to see more personal attacks on Mueller, perhaps his integrity, as this investigation goes forward?

GENOVESE: You know, Mueller's a really hard target to go after. His integrity is unquestioned, he has an impeccable reputation. Democrats and republicans respect him. Attacking Mueller is done on its own peril. They're trying now -- with some republicans, at least -- to soften him for what they think will be the kill. If President Trump decides to fire the special prosecutor. It's clear that he has the ultimate authority to do so through his attorney general. And so, he has the power to do it. Should he do it? That might be political suicide for him. So going after Mueller has very little upside.

ALLEN: But at the same time, we -- Mueller is hiring more investigators, so he's ramping up this investigation. But if it goes on and on and on without some sort of evidence of collusion, does that weaken his investigation?

GENOVESE: He'll do that in the background. He won't do it on CNN. And so, what you're going to see is he's going to build a case slowly, from the ground up. Think about the Bill Clinton investigation with Whitewater. It started as what? A small investigation into a land deal somewhere in the middle of Arkansas. And at the end of the process, they added more and more as they got more and more evidence, it became Monicagate, it became impeachment.

And so, the fear for Trump is that, it's not that there' is proof of collusion, there's probably very little evidence of that, certainly at this point. The fear is, for example, that as Watergate, 45th anniversary of the break-in today -- Watergate suggests the cover-up is worse than the crime. And so, for the Trump administration, they cannot engage in a kind of obstruction of justice. They have to play it pretty, pretty close to the vest on this.

So it's kind of a no-end situation. It's going to be a long investigation. We're only at the very beginning, tip of the iceberg. Mr. Mueller knows what he's doing, he's hiring good people. If there's something to be had, he'll have it.

ALLEN: Thank you again for joining us, Michael Genovese. I'm sure we'll talk again. Thank you.

GENOVESE: My pleasure. Thank you.

HOWELL: The judge in Bill Cosby's indecent assault case says that he will schedule a new trial within months now. He declared a mistrial on Saturday after the jury's deliberations ended in deadlock.

ALLEN: Cosby's wife blasted prosecutors, the court and the media in the wake of her husband's mistrial. Her publicist delivered a scathing statement from Mrs. Cosby.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: How do I describe the district attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly arrogant and collaborating with the district attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. 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 greatly selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Prosecutors say they will review the case and will retry Cosby. The case centered on the testimony of accuser, Andrea Constand. Cosby himself did not take the stand. CNN's Jean Casarez spoke with Cosby's attorney in this exclusive interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The judge has declared a mistrial. Is that a win for you? Is that a loss for you?

BRIAN MCMONAGLE, ATTORNEY FOR BILL COSBY: Anytime you start a trial and end a trial with your client being presumed innocent, it can't be a loss. Having said that, there are no winners here. We tried a case for a week, the jury deliberated for 50-some hours without a verdict. But, you know, as I've said many times before, as long as you can leave that courtroom, with your client presumed innocent, as he began, then I'm satisfied.

CASAREZ: This was a drug facilitated sexual assault case. Did you pause at all?

MCMONAGLE: I never pause when I have the opportunity to defend someone like him, who maintains his innocence. Who, from the beginning, has assured me that I'll be able to represent him and do so with dignity. And I'm a trial lawyer. My job is to win and defend people who are accused of a crime and require that the prosecution be put to the test.

No matter what's written, no matter what's said outside of a courtroom, I require people who are going to make accusations to be put to the test. And I welcome that opportunity here. I will say to you, though, that I was always a big Bill Cosby fan. I'm from Philadelphia. I was born there and Bill Cosby means a lot to a lot of us in this area. So when I got that call, I said yes.

CASAREZ: Had you ever met him before?

MCMONAGLE: Never. Never met him. I'd never seen him before. But I probably watched him on T.V. more than I care to admit. I go back to I-Spy. So I go way back. But I've been a fan of Mr. Cosby's forever. And now, I get the opportunity to call him my client and my friend.

CASAREZ: What was it like to meet him way back then?

MCMONAGLE: I met him in New York at his home there. And it was rather awesome. He is a very engaging fella. He's remarkably funny and amazingly bright. I think that's the one thing that stunned me the most on ever having met him before, was his ability to interact on any number of levels about any number of subjects. He's just a remarkably brilliant man.

And he put me at ease, which was much needed the first time I met him. He was a lot taller, more gregarious than I would have expected, and we got along right from the start.

CASAREZ: Do you believe, though, that Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted women for decades?

MCMONAGLE: I don't, because he swears to me he didn't.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Bill Cosby's attorney there. But again, prosecutors say they will retry Cosby.

Just ahead, more questions, more anger and a promise from the British Prime Minister as the U.K. tries to come to terms with the London fire disaster. We will take you live to West London, coming up here.

HOWELL: Plus, the party of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, is expected to win in a majority -- a majority, I should say, in parliament. We'll have more on that ahead as NEWSROOM continues.

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[05:30:03] HOWELL: 5:30 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back to viewers in the United States and around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM, I'm George Howell.

ALLLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.

The commander of the U.S. (INAUDIBLE) fleet in Japan says the speedy actions of the crew kept a U.S. destroyer from sinking after it collided with a cargo ship. Seven U.S. sailors died in the crash, which cut a huge gash below the water lines. Their bodies were found in the flooded compartments, where they slept.

HOWELL: In Central Portugal, a forest fire that spread to a small town has killed at least 43 people. A government official says many of the victims burned inside their car as they tried to escape. A local leader described the desperate situation with many areas surrounded by flames.

ALLEN: Afghan officials tell CNN five police officers have been killed, at least 18 others wounded in a Taliban attack. An interior ministry official says five attackers detonated a car bomb at the entrance to police headquarters in the province. He says all five of the Taliban fighters were killed. This is -- comes one day after seven U.S. service members were wounded in a so-called insider attack on a military base in Mazari Sharif in Northern Afghanistan.

HOWELL: Now, to the tragedy in London. 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 when it broke out.

HOWELL: And on Saturday, she met with some of the survivors there at number 10 Downing Street. She said her government will do, quote, "Whatever it takes to help people." Police say 30 people were killed in this disaster, another 28 are missing and presumed dead.

ALLEN: And the anger continues to rise since the fire. You can see protesters here back on the streets of London this weekend.

HOWELL: And live in West London this hour, CNN's Fred Pleitgen is following the story. Fred, in front of a church there, keeping in mind the United Kingdom is set to observe a moment of silence -- one minute of silence on Monday -- to remember the victims, and we know that the death toll could still in fact rise.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, George. And that's one of the things, of course, that the people here are bracing for.

I want to show you where I am. As you've noticed, it is a church. It's the Notting Hill Methodist Church and it's really sort of the main place where people are going, you know, to remember the dead. You can see that wall and sea of flowers that really is growing by the minute, with people laying down flowers.

Many of them have also, you know, written posters like the one that you see there, even some paintings, as you can see, of Jesus Christ looking over the folks in that burning building. It really is a very, very emotional place here and you noted that moment of silence that's set to take place here on Monday. Well, at 11:00 a.m., it's only about half an hour. There's also a memorial service that is set to take place at this very church as well. And many people, of course, half an hour beforehand, are already gathering because they want to attend that service. This really is, George, a very close-knit community.

And, you know, I've been here since the fire broke out on Wednesday and you could really tell how affected this community has been by these tragic events because many, many people who lived here knew folks who were inside that building. They were friends, and of course, there was a big outpouring of support. But then, of course, on the first Sunday, since that disaster happened, you also see that big outpouring of sadness and of grief where people reflect on the tragic events that happened here last week. George?

HOWELL: And Fred, you have seen -- you know, since this fire occurred, you have seen the grief there on the streets. You've also seen and witnessed the anger that many people are feeling, especially to officials. Who are their officials? What has been the response of the prime minister and her comments that the support was not good enough after this happened? She, herself, has felt backlash in the aftermath.

PLEITGEN: Yes. Oh, yes. Absolutely. And, you know, many people have said from the very beginning that they felt her response to this was not adequate. And it was interesting to see some of the things Theresa May said, as we take a look at some more of the folks here who are coming out this morning, you know, just reflecting on what's been going on.

She, herself, said that there were several things that were inadequate. She said on the one hand, the information that was passed on to people, especially in the early stages of when the fire was breaking out, when it took place, people wanted information about their loved ones.

Also, of course, about their immediate future as well. I mean, we have to keep in mind that it was also a lot of people who just lost everything that they have. So she felt that was inadequate, both on the part of local officials, on the part of government officials nationally, of course, as well. And then, quite frankly, also, she says that generally, there was a lot of inadequate response and she, herself, of course, was also criticized for coming here, speaking to first responders, not really speaking very much to the people who were affected. She's done that at Downing Street, didn't really do that here on the scene, and that certainly is something where many people are criticizing her for that. George.

HOWELL: Fred Pleitgen, live in London, following the story. Fred, thanks for the report.

ALLEN: The face of the French parliament could change drastically. We have live video of here, people across the nation, voting in the second round of the parliamentary elections. And all eyes are on the party of French President, Emmanuel Macron, if candidates could win a historic majority of parliament, and that could help Mr. Macron push his ambitious social and economic reforms. HOWELL: That's Mr. Macron right there. Moments ago though, we saw the far right leader, Marine Le Pen, voting -- we see her here -- after losing her Presidential bid. Le Pen had hoped that her party could secure a massive presence in parliament, but some experts say the National Front may only receive up to 10 seats. That could include Le Pen herself, since she is running for parliament.

ALLEN: President Macron promised to overhaul the politics, and many of the candidates running under his party are total political newcomers.

HOWELL: That's right. Our Melissa Bell met with newbies who want to make their debut as lawmakers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL 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 ambitions.

CEDRIC VILLANI, CANDIDATE, EN MARCHE!: I know about science, and science is more important than ever in the public debate, even very technical (INAUDIBLE) questions are now everyday debatable, climate change or artificial intelligence, or you name it.

I've been a teacher and very much involved in the scientific culture. And this would be important because one of the crucial things needed in politics now is people being able to explain to 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.

JEAN-MICHEL FAUVERGUE, CANDIDATE, EN MARCHE! (through translator): He's a man who could 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 bull ring. Polls suggest she's on course to beat the far right incumbent.

MARIE SARA, CANDIDATE, EN MARCHE!: There's an extraordinary movement which is happening in France. With the real renewal of the (INAUDIBLE) class, if I can be a part of that, then I will be very proud. And 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 (INAUDIBLE) 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 (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: A new leader in France, the EU looking to have a stronger presence with him on board. And one of the first issues that Mr. Macron will face with his new parliament is Brexit. That's where an embattled Theresa May is gearing up for the formal start of Brexit talks set for Monday. The British Prime Minister is fighting for political survival at this point.

ALLEN: After losing her conservative party's majority parliament in a snap election less than two weeks ago, now, her government will sit down to negotiate how the U.K. leads the European Union. Max Foster looks at what's at stake.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: I'm thinking more than 40 years' worth of treaties and agreements covering thousands of subjects won't be easy and it won't be quick. Vast negotiating teams on both sides will need to work around the clock. The priority will be the breakup.

Key issues there include, what happens to brits living in the EU? What happens to Europeans in the U.K.? How are we going to lead the single market and stop the free movement of labor? Where do we move the EU agencies overseeing banking and medicine, for example, currently based here in the U.K.?

And perhaps the most difficult issue is the divorce bill. Some EU officials argue that the U.K. should contribute billions of dollars into ongoing projects, at least for a while. And that is a suggestion the U.K. government thinks is absurd. Once they do reach a deal, at least 20 of the EU's remaining 27 heads of state will need to approve the deal. This could include separate time-consuming votes in national and some regional parliaments before the European parliament is then asked to sign off.

The U.K. parliament will also be expected to sign off on any deal, and there is the potential of no deal. The parliament won't agree. In that case, the talks could be extended, but all sides will have to agree on that. Otherwise, the U.K. would have to leave the EU with no trade deal or key policy arrangements. Meaning, the World Trade Organization rules would have to be something that the U.K. falls back on.

Alongside all of this, there will have to be a whole new set of agreements as well, which will underpin the new relationship, priorities there will include immigration of border control, trade deals, and customs agreements, security and intelligence. I haven't mentioned the deals and agreements the U.K. is going to have to reach with non-EU countries. The British government is going to have to work on lots of new trade deals and immigration deals with countries around the world. The U.K. says it wants to avoid falling off a destructive cliff edge. Well now, the clock is ticking.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Max Foster, thank you. Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, we will take a look at some of the awkward moments the Vice President, Mike Pence, has experienced since taking office.

ALLEN: Also, Congressman Steve Scalise underwent another surgery after getting shot during baseball practice Wednesday. We'll have an update on his condition.

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ALL: During his nearly five months, as President Trump's Vice President, Mike Pence has had to navigate some awkward situations for his boss.

HOWELL: And things seem to be getting more complicated. Randi Kaye has this report for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): after the firing of James Comey last month, Vice President, Mike Pence, insisted the President based his decision on recommendations he received.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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 interest of the American people.

KAYE (voice-over): 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 --

UNIDENTFIED MALE: You had made the decision before they came around?

TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey.

KAYE (voice-over): And on top of that, even though Pence had said publicly that Trump's decision to fire Comey was not related to the Russian investigation --

PENCE: There was no evidence of collusion between our campaign and any Russian officials. That's not what -- let me be clear.

UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) this investigation (INAUDIBLE)

PENCE: That was not what this is about.

KAYE (voice-over): 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: Also on Russia, back in January, after then-National Security Advisor 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 a (INAUDIBLE) against Russia.

KAYE (voice-over): Later, a spokesman 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 clean-up 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. Like when this "Access Hollywood" tape came out.

TRUMP: when you are a star, you can do anything.

BILLY BUSH, FORMER TODAY HOST: Whatever you want?

TRUMP: Grab them by the (bleep). You can do anything.

KAYE (voice-over): 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: Well, he's made it 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 (voice-over): Mr. Vice President, a loyal soldier despite it all. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Randi Kaye, thank you very much. The U.S. politician shot during a congressional baseball practice is showing signs of improvement.

ALLEN: Steve Scalise was near death when he arrived at the hospital. Here's Ryan Nobles with the latest report. 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, quote, "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 hospital 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 been able to have conversations with his family. Doctors described on Friday, that the congressman was in a constant state of sedation. They've been able to reduce the sedation a bit for him to have some interaction with his family, but not much.

The fact that he's been able to have a conversation should be making this process just a little bit easier for family. Of course, 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 the long and lengthy road to recovery. Ryan Nobles, CNN Washington.

ALLEN: How many of you are fathers? Happy Father's Day.

HOWELL: Well, thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: You may sit around and watch golf on Father's Day. It's (INAUDIBLE) the final round of U.S. Open begins Wisconsin. And an American golfer has already made history. More about it coming up here.

(WORLD SPORT)

ALLEN: All right. Well, the final round of the U.S. Open is coming up in just a few hours.

HOWELL: And American, Justin Thomas, has already made history. Our Patrick Snell has more from Erin, Wisconsin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 book.

Wearing pink pants, it was truly a dazzling display from him. A fifth 63 in U.S. Open history. And that is historical because it's nine under par, the lowest ever score in relation to par at a U.S. Open on Saturday, marking 44 years to the day since Johnny Miller shot his 63 at this very tournament at Oakmont. You know, going low is nothing new for J.T. 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 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 that putt and the significance of it all meant to him.

JUSTIN THOMAS, PROFESSIONAL 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'd 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, you know, 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: And Patrick will have that for you, coming up later today. That's CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. I'll be back with your world headlines in a moment for our international viewers. "NEW DAY" is next for viewers in the United States.

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