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Pressure on U.S. to Take Action After Warmbier's Death; Record Breaking House Race Tests Trump's Popularity; Sean Spicer to Hold On- Camera Briefing Today; Bodies of Seven Sailors Killed in Crash Return Home. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired June 20, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:44] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Heightened tensions this morning between the U.S. and North Korea after detained American Otto Warmbier died just days after being released by North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a brutal regime and we'll be able to handle it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: This as the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, they prepare to meet with China, a key North Korean ally.
I'm joined by CNN national correspondent Miguel Marquez and CNN senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski.
Miguel, first to you. The family response and also some of the strong language we're hearing from U.S. senators.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is interesting. And two very powerful Republican senators, John McCain, who's on the Armed Services Committee, and Marco Rubio, former presidential candidate, who's on the Senate Intel Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee. Both calling this murder.
The administration, itself stopping short of that, saying, look, the president calling it a brutal regime and we'll handle it. I thought the secretary of state said -- the statement was very interesting saying, this was unjustified imprisonment of Mr. Warmbier. So a very different nuance in their reactions.
There are three U.S. American citizens still in North Korea, being held by the North Koreans. Clearly the administration does not want to upset that situation anymore.
BERMAN: And the family response at this point?
MARQUEZ: And the family is absolutely heartbroken. It was very, very difficult to be there in Cincinnati last week when he came in, to see him come off that plane, in that state. It was very clear that this was a young man who was not going to have a normal life. The family, after not knowing what his situation was for over a year and a half finds out his son is coming home and essentially in a coma.
In their statement they said yesterday, "The awful, torturous mistreatment of our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today. We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home, too."
They said that basically he -- once he got home, they saw him go from being agitated to at peace and feeling.
BERMAN: And Michelle Kosinski, you know, Miguel noted that the administration not going as far to call this murder yet. They do say they will hold the North Korean accountable. Any sense of the secretary of state intends to do that in the coming days?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: So remember they still want to find out as much as they possibly can through intelligence sources what went on here. They want to know the situation before there's any kind of a response. And what we initially heard from the State Department, remember, was just their pleas that he's released and that he's home.
Now that he's passed away, though, that statement gets stronger. Here is what Secretary of State Tillerson put out, saying, "We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier's unjust imprisonment and demand the release of three other Americans who've been detained illegally."
So we know that the State Department has, through representative, seen and met with those other three. But they are not saying much about their conditions, how they are doing and one of them, a businessman, has been held for nearly two years. So that sets the stage for how delicate a situation it is.
Now comes time and the world is going to be watching for how the U.S. responds to this. There's not necessarily a proportional response. But it's likely to start incrementally, maybe with the U.S. banning all travel by Americans to North Korea. Possibly by increased sanctions. And, you know, actions like this don't necessarily have a huge impact on such a closed economy and society as North Korea, but it is a start.
And as you mentioned, John, tomorrow, there's this dialogue between the U.S. and China that's been established, not because of this, but it's to discuss security and diplomatic matters. So the U.S. is going to be continuing that pressure, now more than ever, for China to stop doing its business with North Korea because that's where the impact really could be.
BERMAN: All right. Miguel Marquez, Michelle Kosinski, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
New questions this morning in the deadly U.S. destroyer collision as the remains of seven sailors killed are returning home today. Japan's coast guard now says the crash happened 1:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, but the U.S. says the crash was nearly an hour later. There's no word yet on why the times declared are different.
[10:35:06] Several investigations will now be launched to figure out what happened. Japanese authorities say these investigations could take months or years to be completed.
More than $50 million pumped into the special election in Georgia. That election is today. Within hours, we will know what this race means to the country, means for the political climate? But what it mean to the people who are actually voting? What do they make of all this? Stay with us.
BERMAN: The polls are finally open in Georgia's Sixth District which for voters there means that the polls will finally close. This has been the most expensive House race in the country's history. Money pouring in from all over the country. Interest focused on this district from all over the country.
[10:40:08] But what has it been like to be in this district, to be living the last few months there and making your decision who to vote for?
Joining us now two voters. Tricia Templeton voting for the Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff and Adam Kaye voting for the Republican Karen Handel.
First, Tricia, to you. Have you ever seen a House race like this?
REV. TRICIA TEMPLETON, VOTING FOR DEMOCRATIC JON OSSOFF: No, I haven't. It's been pretty intense here in the Sixth District.
BERMAN: And Adam, has anything been on TV the last two months other than political ads? Have you been able to see anything?
ADAM KAYE, VOTING FOR REPUBLICAN KAREN HANDEL: Well, I must admit I don't watch too much TV. But when I am watching TV, it seems like most of the ads are political between either Ossoff, or Handel, one of the others. And it seems to be consuming much of the airwaves.
BERMAN: Yes. There doesn't seem to be much else to watch down there.
Adam, a lot of Democrats are looking at this as a referendum on the president. You are supporting Karen Handel. Does your support or lack of support for the president figure into that at all?
KAYE: It doesn't necessarily figure into my support of Karen Handel. I think, especially in this race, we need to look at local politics. And Karen Handel is someone with a proven track record of success in and around the Sixth District. And I think as Americans, we should all hope that the country as a whole does well and succeeds. But in this election here today I think we need to focus on what each candidate can do for the Sixth District. BERMAN: Will you consider yourself, Adam, a Trump voter?
BERMAN: All right. And Tricia, to you, how much of your vote for John Ossoff is a vote against President Trump?
TEMPLETON: Well, it definitely is a vote against President Trump and his policies that he has proposed and is trying to enact. As a person of faith, I base my vote on issues that I believe our faith has something to say about like immigration and stewardship of the environment, health care, civil rights. And on all those issues, no party and no candidate is perfect on those issues but I believe that the Democratic Party's platform and Jon Ossoff's candidacy move us in the right direction on those issues.
BERMAN: Tricia, do you think that national Democrats, and I'm sure you watch every day, whether in the papers, or online or on TV, you know, what Democrats are saying about the administration. Do you think Democrats are focused too much on the president, himself, and the Russia investigation, and not on issues that matter to you?
TEMPLETON: I think that if the Russia investigation is an issue that matters to me. The Democrats I know are also very involved in other issues in health care, in working on the environment. In -- on immigration and so I don't think it's one or the other. I think it's all those things.
BERMAN: And Adam, what about you? Has this tempered your support for the president at all? Has there ever been something, you know, in the last five months of this administration that has caused you to pause and say, hey, wait a minute, I need to learn more about this, this is making me rethink things?
KAYE: I think it's always important to learn as much as you can about all the issues. But I feel confident that if you ask the voters of the Sixth District what is important to them, Russia will be nowhere near the top of the list or any of these other investigations. I think what people care about is education, health care, the economy. Those are the issue that are important to the voters of the Sixth District. And I think those are being largely ignored or overshadows by some of these other investigations including what is going on with Russia.
BERMAN: Adam, what's the number one important issue to you?
KAYE: The economy.
KAYE: And I'll explain --
BERMAN: Tricia, to you?
TEMPLETON: Health care. BERMAN: SO it's interesting because those are both issues being
discussed now around the country. Health care, repealing or replacing Obamacare is of paramount importance right now. We just had an interview with the senator on that. The economy obviously very important to everyone. So it does seems as if, Adam, that these issues are the central factor, you know, in your vote.
KAYE: Absolutely. I think, like I said, the issue is not Russia, but it's things like health care, education and the economy. And the reason I mentioned the economy is not that I feel that health care or education or other issues are not as important, but without a healthy economy, how are we going pay for teachers to go teach our students and get Georgia out of the bottom tier of public schools in this nation. Or how are we going to provide health benefits for our veterans and others in the Sixth without a healthy economy?
BERMAN: I think Tricia probably agrees with that, but maybe has a different view of how to address it going forward. If I can ask you, Mr. Jon Ossoff, 30 years old, you know, a young guy, doesn't live in the district. Are either of those causes of concern to you?
TEMPLETON: No, they are not. He grew up in this area. He knows the issues of this area. He's young, but he's enthusiastic, has energy and is very intelligent. And so his age does not bother me at all.
[10:45:05] BERMAN: So scale of 1-10, Adam, how glad are you that this will be over by tonight?
KAYE: I'm excited to see what happens tonight. I am excited for it to be over, for it to be settled, so we can move forward with progress and start achieving things for the district instead of all of the fighting and bickering that's been going on.
BERMAN: You'll get your TV airwaves back.
Tricia Templeton, Adam Kaye, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
TEMPLETON: Thank you.
KAYE: Thank you for having me.
TEMPLETON: Thank you, John.
BERMAN: All right, the personal information of nearly 200 million registered U.S. voters has been leaked. The security firm UpGuard was working for the Republican National Committee when the data was accidentally exposed after a security setting was not installed correctly. The leaked information or the vulnerable information includes names, birthdays, addresses, even social media history.
So How hot is too hot? Dozens of flights have been canceled over a record- breaking heat wave. We're talking temperatures of 125 degrees today. Chad Myers has more from the weather center -- Chad.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It sounds like a joke. So how hot is it? It's so hot planes can't take off. There's not enough air at the surface for the planes to get lift so they will not leave Sky Harbor Airport this afternoon. We'll have those details coming up right after this.
[10:50:26] BERMAN: Dozens of flights have been canceled today. All passengers stranded. But not because of computer problems or a pilot strike. It's too hot. Temperatures expected to top about 120 degrees in some places today, creating dangerous conditions for planes to take off.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers, who can explain anything, is here to explain this to us.
Chad, what's going on?
MYERS: There's not as much there-there. There's not as much air there when the temperature is 120. The air rises like a hot air balloon, John. So you don't have the density at the surface, you don't have the thrust coming out of the jets and you don't have the lift on the wings of some of these Canadair Bombardier CRJs, these all little regional jets. Now the big planes, the Airbuses and the 737s, they're just fine. But when you get to 120 in Vegas or 118, to be official, you cannot take off these RJs. You can take them with a half full of gas and half full of passengers and still get them in the air, but why take that risk? This is just not where we go here.
BERMAN: Chad Myers, tank top weather, at least for you. Thanks so much, Chad. I appreciate it.
MYERS: All right.
BERMAN: All right. The Tiger Woods saga takes another turn. Coy Wire following all the details for us in the "Bleacher Report."
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. The golfing legend taking to Twitter to reveal some of that which has been causing him to struggle. And we'll share those details with you coming up after the break.
[10:57:08] BERMAN: All right. Tiger Woods given an update to his fans following his arrest three weeks ago. Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report." Hey, Coy.
WIRE: Good morning, John. Tiger said he is receiving professional help to manage his medications and help him deal with his back pain and a sleeping disorder. Woods was charged with driving under the influence after he was found sleeping at the wheel of his car near his Florida home. He told officers his condition was, quote, "an unexpected reaction to prescribed medication," unquote. No alcohol was found in his system.
In a span of just two months, Dodgers rookie, Cody Bellinger, went from minor leaguer to making history in the majors. He hit two homeruns and the Dodgers win over the Mets last night, making him the fastest player to ever hit 21 homers. Bellinger, get this, was playing Little League World Series just 10 years ago. He's 21 years old, leading the National League in homers. And he's just two shy of another rookie. The Yankees' Aaron Judd who has the most in the majors.
Fresh off their third straight NBA Finals appearance and just days before the NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers are parting ways with their general manager David Griffin. Griffin has played a significant role in bringing Cleveland its first pro-sports championship in 52 years. The team said it was a mutual decision. And LeBron James reportedly surprised by the news publicly thanking Griffin on Twitter, saying, quote, "If no one appreciated you, Grif, I did. And hopefully all the people of Cleveland. Thanks for what you did for the team for three years. We got us one," unquote.
Finally, a great story on bleacherreport.com. Top NBA draft prospect Jason Tatum played at Duke and his mom Brandy Cole had him when she was 19 years old. She raised him by herself in St. Louis. And at times their utilities were turned off, they had to sleep in the same bed. Tough times. Tatum remembers being 11 and feeling helpless when his mom cried after they found a pink foreclosure notice on their front door.
But Jason's mom never gave up. She went to college, got a degree in communications, then went in political science, and then she went to law school. She had to take her son to class at times, but she used her struggles to teach Jason that anything is possible. Her work ethic was instilled in him. Going to school at 5:30 in the morning before class so he could work out. Brandy Cole is now lawyer and her son Jason will likely be a top five pick in Thursday's NBA draft -- John.
BERMAN: What a great story. Could be a top three pick. The Celtics at number three had him into work out the other day, I happen to notice.
WIRE: You'd probably like that, wouldn't you?
BERMAN: I would. He's pretty good. All right, Coy Wire, thanks so much. Appreciate it, Coy.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm John Berman. "AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BOLDUAN" starts right now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, John. Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. A critical 24 hours for a president who we're told is growing more frustrated, more agitated by the day.