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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Eight Dead Bodies Found In Trailer In San Antonio; This Week: House To Vote On New Russia Sanctions; New Poll Show Dems Struggling To Gain Support; Russian Sanctions; Colorado Dad Indicted In Missing Son's Murder; Crisis In Venezuela; Israeli-Palestinian Clashes; President Trump Pitches Defense Budget; New Episode of "The Nineties;" Storms Knock Out Power To Thousands In Kansas City; Senator John McCain Recuperating From Surgery; Trump Behind The Wheel Aired 6-7a
Aired July 23, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: America mite is second to none. When it comes it battle, we don't want a fair fight. We demand victory and we will have total victory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can tighten up that message and we can expand the through put of that message. I think we continue to win.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Obamacare is dead. Democrats are obstructionists and it's solely up to the Republican senators to rescue the American people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to have Republicans and Democrat come together to solve the problems in this nation. We cannot continue this way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any doubt Russia meddled through an organized covert influenced campaign in our presidential election last year?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No doubt at all and I stand behind the intelligence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. We will get to politics in a moment. But first, breaking news out of Texas.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Horrible news. Eight people have been found dead in the back of a semi-truck in San Antonio. Dozens of others were pulled alive from the truck, but in really poor condition and fighting for their lives in hospitals right now. We know that children are among them.
We want to go straight to CNN correspondent, Polo Sandoval. Polo, what are you hearing?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Guys, this was massive triage operation that was taking place in a parking lot of a Walmart southwest of downtown San Antonio overnight. Let me bring you up-to- speed on what we know at this point.
About 38 people were discovered in a tractor-trailer. Eight of them now confirmed dead. All of them males according to authorities. What we also know is that overnight, a Walmart employee contacted a police officer after being approached by an individual who was believed to have been in the back of that tractor-trailer rig.
Police and medics arrived finding dozens of people suffering from heat exhaustion and also dehydration. We understand that about 17 of them are being treated for life-threatening injuries.
Again, many of those heat-related injuries down in South Texas last night in the triple digits. So, as you can may imagine inside that tractor-trailer it was extremely hot and we were told the refrigerator unit was not operating at the time.
Authorities saying that all signs seemed to point to a human smuggling operation at this point. While this is tragic, this is, sadly, not new. We have seen these kinds of situations before, these kinds of smuggling attempts in which some of these human smugglers putting people back in trailer rigs has happened several times in the past.
Back in 2003, for example, 19 illegal immigrants suffocated to death near Victoria, Texas. In 2015, about 40 people were rescued from inside a tractor-trailer rig and also, most recently, in July, about 12 people rescued from one of those tractor-trailer rigs.
So again, this is something that we have seen before. This is a known smuggling route, especially since that is the segment of interstate runs from the U.S./Mexico border and would spread out through a network throughout the country.
So again, this is something that we have seen before. However, in this case, now eight people confirmed dead with dozens of others currently being treated in local hospitals in San Antonio -- Victor, Christi.
PAUL: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you.
SANDOVAL: You bet.
BLACKWELL: With us on the phone right now, Henry Valdez, who was at the scene. Henry, thank you for speaking with us. First, tell us what you saw. Starting with where was this truck?
HENRY VALDEZ, WITNESS (via telephone): This truck was behind the Walmart where they usually do the deliveries, where they unload the 18 wheelers. Like you said, a man went up to an employee and asked him for a drink of water. So, when he went back to the trailer and they opened the back door, that's when they found the 38 people. BLACKWELL: We heard from polo a few moments ago and I spoke to you a few moments ago off air and I asked this is a route that typically we see human trafficking and human smuggling. Explain more about that.
VALDEZ: Well, this is the first time that we have had in San Antonio this big of people being smuggled into San Antonio. It's usually on the outskirts of San Antonio like Victoria, another place, but this is the main route between San Antonia and Laredo, Texas.
BLACKWELL: Did you get to see -- I know -- we can see the tape there cordoning off a crime scene, but did you get to see any of the people pulled out of this truck or the driver?
[06:05:02] VALDEZ: The driver was in custody and that is what our police chief said. I got to see one that had been air-lived to one of the local trauma hospitals.
BLACKWELL: Henry Valdez who was there at the scene. Again, eight people dead pulled out of the back of this trailer. Dozens more injured. Henry Valdez, thanks so much for being with us and we'll continue, of course, to follow this story as we learn more about this tragedy in San Antonio.
PAUL: A new White House communications director says he is ready to deliver what you he calls President Trump's quote, "very compelling message" to the American people.
BLACKWELL: We will hear it later this morning when Anthony Scaramucci talks with our Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION." Scaramucci says that he can push the president's vision through tough headlines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (via telephone): We were talking about this yesterday in the president's study offer of the oval office where I said, OK, yes, we are having a tough time mainstream media, but last time I checked we were having a rough time with the mainstream media and that people see through it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Scaramucci starts on a critical week for the president's inner circle. Senior Advisor Jared Kushner will tomorrow be facing the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its probe into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.
BLACKWELL: Plus the White House says it is time to step up as Senate Republicans vow to hold a vote this week on their bill to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.
But leaders aren't saying yet what they are going to vote on, if it will be a repeal and replace plan or if it will be just a repeal. Will this be make or break week for Republicans?
PAUL: Also the House will vote this week on fresh sanctions against Russia for election meddling and it could reach President Trump's desk as soon as the end of the month.
BLACKWELL: Despite lobbying from the White House, the bill would also give Congress new power to block any potential easing of the sanctions. CNN White House reporter, Kaitlan Collins has the latest for us.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: House and Senate negotiators announced Saturday that they had come to an agreement on a new bill that would play sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran.
Now these sanctions against Russia would be in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election as well as their military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. Now according to health majority leader, Kevin McCarthy's schedule, this could come to a vote as soon as Tuesday.
It would go to the Senate after that and then it could hit Donald Trump's desk before August. Now a key part of this bill is a congressional mandate that would require a review if Donald Trump decided to end or ease these sanctions against Russia.
This is a key part of the bill that the White House has pushed back on as it has been crafted. But if Donald Trump decided to veto this legislation, he would almost undoubtedly face backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike who think that the president should take a tougher stance against Russia.
Meanwhile, all of this is going on, Donald Trump has been very active on Twitter blasting Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and the special counsel. His most notable tweet on Saturday was about pardons, though. Let's take a look.
"While all agree the U.S. president has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is leaks against us, fake news." Now this tweet comes after a "Washington Post" report that claimed the president and his legal team were exploring his pardoning abilities and seeing just how far his authority does go.
Now a source familiar with the discussion told CNN that a curious Donald Trump was asking questions in an informational way. Donald Trump's lawyer, John Dowd pushed back on this "Washington Post" report calling it nonsense and saying that his team is cooperating fully with the special counsel's investigation. Back to you.
BLACKWELL: All right, Kaitlan, thanks so much. With me now, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, Errol Louis, and Kelly Jane Torrance, deputy managing editor at the "Weekly Standard." Good morning to both of you.
So, Kelly, let me start with you. This bill on sanctions goes specifically to the president's ability to ease them or to pause them. No executive likes limitations on their powers, but is the president considering the vote in Congress expected to veto this one?
KELLY JANE TORRANCE, DEPUTY EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": This is a tough one for President Trump, isn't it? And, you know, he is not a typical Republican. We have known that from the start, but I've actually thought since the beginning that Russia is likely to be the issue in which he is going to have the most trouble with his own party.
Because Republicans have been very cautious and some of them very hawkish on Russia for years now. And it's amazing to me that Republicans in the House and the Senate have finally gotten some backbone and have pushed back against the president.
And of course, it took an issue as important as this one that they have all cared about for years. You know, I think he is considering vetoing it, but think about how bad that would look.
And it might not even mat if he vetoes it because it looks to me like the House and Senate have veto proof majority so they can just go back and get rid of that veto and that would certainly be a dramatic development.
[06:10:04] BLACKWELL: So Errol, let's talk about that. If the president, you know, signs this because he knows there is overwhelming support for this on Capitol Hill, we know that there have been times we consider the relationship with China.
We talk about the second travel ban that he actually signed and then said he didn't want or didn't like. This president can offer a running commentary through the statements on twitter that could be a wink and a nod to Russia.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he could give all of the winks and nods that he wants, but reality is he has been boxed in politically and he may have outsmarted himself.
I mean, the very policy that he promised to pursue during the campaign and has said that he wanted to pursue as president seems to be a little bit further out of reach as a result of the leaks and the collusion and the double statements and the multiple investigations.
He is no longer politically in a position to simply veto this bill. It's also worth keeping in mind, Victor, it's not simply about the collusion that is leading to these sanctions. There is a long list of human rights abuses that are part of this as well.
There is the annexation of Crimea that's part of this as well. There is the military aggression in the Ukraine that is also part of this. So, you know, the entire Russia policy has to be looked at, not simply collusion and that's going to have to be where Donald Trump puts his efforts. It's not simply in sort of healing an alliance that he had hoped to create.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about another portion of the U.S. relationship with Russia and that is the news that the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Mike Rogers is making this weekend talking about the cyber security unit that was discussed during Putin's meeting with the president at the G20.
The president tweeted this on the route back from the G20 meeting, "Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded."
There was onslaught of criticism from Democrats and Republicans and experts the same day the president then released this statement, "The fact that President Putin and I discussed this cybersecurity unit doesn't mean that I think it could happen." This weekend, Director Rogers said this about that unit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADMIRAL MIKE ROGERS, NSA DIRECTOR: I'm not a policy guy. You have to talk to somebody else. It's not what we do. In terms of, hey, what is my thought? I would argue now is probably not the best time to be doing this, that on the other hand, perhaps this is something that you could hold out that we might want to build to over time were we to see changes in behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: It got a laugh in a room and from the director of the NSA there not the best time. Kelly, is this still even on the table?
TORRANCE: Yes. The fact that you could hear laugher throughout the whole room when he said it shows what an understatement that is from Admiral Rogers. No, I mean, it's quite amazing, you know? Trump made that tweet and then he sent out people to defend it.
You know, you had Steve Mnuchin, Rex Tillerson, going out talking about it, and then he then tweets and claims that he didn't really mean it. It's kind of incredible that he actually thought this might be a good idea.
And I think the fact he sent out surrogates to talk about it meant he did it take very seriously. When you have the head of the NSA and this is not a man who is a partisan hack by any stretch when he is saying something like that, you know that there is something seriously wrong with that idea.
WHITFIELD: All right, Kelly Jane Torrance, Errol Louis, stick with us. We have a lot more to talk about in just a few minutes.
Also remember later this morning, Senators Rand Paul and Al Franken, and White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci will join Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
PAUL: It is time to step up to the plate. The White House pressures Congress to vote on health care this week. That's what they have said, step up to the place. The vice president calling out members of his own party. Here is the question -- does Congress -- do congressmen and women even know what they are voting on?
BLACKWELL: Plus, so many challenges in the White House and really low approval ratings for this president have Democrats optimistic about their challenges moving forward. But amid dreams of retaking Congress next fall, we have new poll numbers that really are keeping Democrats awake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You can also call those senators to make sure you get health care.
PENCE: Some people around the country harbor the belief the Democrats will help us clean up the mess they made but, as I said and the president said this morning, Republican senators must step up to the plate after seven years in vote to repeal and replace Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Pressure from the president and the vice president there as the Senate prepares to vote on a plan to overhaul Obamacare this week. Here's the catch, no one has announced specifically what is in this plan.
The deadlock on health care and failure to pass any major legislation is certainly hurting President Trump's approval ratings, but you know what, new polls are pretty grim for Democrats as well.
Errol Louis, Kelly Jane Torrance are still with us here. I want to show you, and thank you for sticking around, one of these latest polls. Only 37 percent of Americans think the Democratic Party stands for something, 52 percent say it just stands against Trump.
So, Kelly Jane, how do they fix that? How do they prove that they are purposeful and not just seemingly spiteful of the president?
TORRANCE: You know, they have a lot of work to do and it's a little disappointing to think that they don't seem to have learned anything from the election. I mean, they had a candidate they were running against who insulted minorities and insulted women and had no experience in political office, and beat them.
And they still think that the way to win is just to do the same thing they did in the election and point out what an awful person Donald Trump is. That's not enough.
[06:20:07] Clearly the polls show that people don't really like any of the politicians out there. They want something new, they want something fresh, and the Democrats really need to step up and give it to them and start talking about policies.
Things that they would like to do if they got power, rather than just saying Donald Trump is a mess and Republicans are a mess and we are going to stand and obstruct everything they want to do.
PAUL: Well, the president's approval ratings are not strong by any means either but you know what? The economy is and that matters too, 43 percent approve how he is handling the economy when you've got 225,000 jobs in June and unemployment at 4.4 percent. That is in his favor. He's on the upside in that regard. With that said, look at these numbers, 48 percent of Americans have a negative view of Democrats, this is according to Bloomberg News poll that was released Tuesday.
But look at these numbers here, but it amplifies the problem that these numbers are steady, 49 percent in December, 47 percent in August. Errol, what does that say to you where the Democrats go now because they have not made any gains in the nine months since President Trump was elected.
LOUIS: Well, that's right. Look, the kicker to all of that is that the Democrats for whatever reason, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently had a public contest and wanted a new slogan and came up with these incredibly partisan slogans like, you know, she persisted, we resisted or turn Congress blue again and things like that.
The numbers you just showed indicate that the public does not care about that. There is something like 22 counties in Wisconsin out of 72 counties that went from Obama to Trump the last time around.
Voters are willing to give anybody a chance if it looks like they know how to handle the economy and it looks like they are speaking to their value and their preferences. This sort of obsessive focus on the unfitness of the president, that case was made and it was a reasonable attempt by Hillary Clinton, but it did not work.
The Democratic Party has got to stand for something. There are huge issues that are out there not just health care reform. You know, something -- the price of housing has shot up 34 percent over the last five years. That's a serious problem.
What do the Democrats intend to do about it? You can go issue by issue and ask them what do they intend to do and that starts to raise the question that could maybe get them to lower those unfavorable numbers.
PAUL: OK, Errol Louis and Kelly Jane Torrance, always appreciate your input. Thank you.
Also Kellyanne Conway is going to be Brian Stelter's guest on "RELIABLE SOURCES" at 11:00 a.m. Eastern today on CNN.
BLACKWELL: Ahead, we got more on our breaking news, eight people dead and dozens pulled out of a tractor-trailer in Texas. Children among them. We have got more after a quick break.
PAUL: Thank you so much for spending some time with us this morning. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 27 minutes after the hour now. We want to get you more on the breaking news out of the Texas. PAUL: Eight people have been found dead in the back of a semi-truck in San Antonio. Dozens of others were pulled alive from the truck, but we understand they are fighting for their lives in hospitals right now.
And we do know that some of them are children. The San Antonio police chief said the temperature inside that truck was suffocating possibly as high as 115 degrees. I spoke to him about the conditions that he found when he arrived on scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF CHARLES HOOD, SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT (via telephone): Our units arrived about 12:36 this morning would for a welfare check on a semi-truck that was parked behind a pharmacy -- on the side of a pharmacy at Walmart. So, first units arrived and quickly found multiple patients in various levels of heat distress.
Some unconscious, some were dead. We quickly called a mass casualty incident and had about 29 units arrived out there and start transporting people. Initially, we had eight dead on arrival and then we ended up transporting a total of 30 patients, 17 of those were in critical condition and with heat strokes or heat injuries.
A lot of hem them are going to have some irreversible brain damage unfortunately. Some of them were severely, you know, overheated and that was a refrigerator truck with no refrigeration.
So, the inside of the truck was (inaudible) conditions that nobody would survive and so we are very fortunate that they were found because if they would have spent another night in that environment, we would have 38 people would not have survived.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Actually that's Fire Chief Charles Hood, but the San Antonio police chief says the driver of the truck is in custody and will face state and federal charges.
Set for a vote in the House on Tuesday a bill slapping new sanctions on Russia. It will also give Congress a new ability to block the Trump administration from easing any sanctions on Moscow. That is in direct defiance of lobbying from the White House.
Joining us live from Moscow now with the kremlin's reaction, CNN international correspondent, Claire Sebastian. Claire, what are you hearing there in light of what we are hearing this morning here?
CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi. We asked the kremlin yesterday how they viewed this new agreement in Congress. Kremlin spokesman responding to me via text message with two words, "quite negatively."
Now there may be some irony in the understatement of those two words firstly because the kremlin has always been vehemently critical of any sanctions that have been imposed on it. They say (inaudible) is simply worsens relations and that they only hurt companies and the economy and the economies and the countries which impose them.
[06:30:00] And secondly because we really have seen a level of anger coming out of Russia about sanctions recently that perhaps is slightly above average. Not only about this potential package of new sanctions but about existing sanctions.
There is an ongoing (INAUDIBLE) going on about these diplomatic compounds that were seized in December in that -- in those -- that package of Obamacare era sanctions over election meddling. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov saying this week that that is daylight robbery.
They are trying to secure the return of those compounds and if they are not returned they say they reserve the right to retaliate. And they have said the same thing about any new sanctions that come in. So quite negatively, you know, suddenly a bit of an understatement but the mood here is that they really are ready to retaliate if any more sanctions come in.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. All right. We'll see what that means.
Clare Sebastian, thank you.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A father in Colorado has been indicted in the death of his 13-year-old son who disappeared in 2012.
Mark Redwine was arrested yesterday in Washington State. Now a grand jury determined that there is probable cause to charge him in connection with the murder of his son Dylan.
Dylan Redwine's body was found seven months after his mother reported him missing. He had been staying with his father for Thanksgiving on a court-ordered visit. Well, the death investigation lasted almost five years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELAINE HALL, MOTHER OF DYLAN REDWINE: There was never any doubt in my mind ever from day one, I knew that Mark had something to do with Dylan's disappearance and then, unfortunately, his murder.
And now I know it. I know what it feels like to hate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Mark Redwine is being held on a $1 million cash bond and Dylan Redwine would have been 18 years old this year.
PAUL: All right. Well, tensions are high in Jerusalem and the West Bank right now. New clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces are escalating. Some of the worst violence in years is what they are seeing now. We're going to tell you how the international community is trying to calm things down.
BLACKWELL: Plus, President Trump says it's been a very, very bad time for our military and he is promising change. Our military analyst weighs in on the president's plan to make the military bigger, better, and stronger.
PAUL: Thirty-six minutes past the hour right now.
And opposition leaders in Venezuela are increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro. They're calling for a two-day nationwide strike beginning Wednesday.
Now, yesterday, police clashed with protesters over the president's plan to rewrite the constitution. Look at what they were dealing with there.
The demonstrations come ahead of a vote scheduled for next Sunday to elect lawmakers who would have the power to rewrite the constitution. Now Maduro isn't backing down despite the threat of economic sanctions from the U.S.
And in the meantime, this side note. A violinist who has really become a symbol of anti-Maduro protest was wounded yesterday.
The 23-year-old is famous for playing the violin amid the violent clashes we see there. He tweeted a video from the hospital saying, bullets will not stop the opposition. About a hundred people have died in just three months of protests at this point.
BLACKWELL: Twenty-five Palestinians have been arrested in an overnight sweep in the West Bank.
An Israeli military official says they are suspected of preparing attacks or being members of Hamas. The arrest comes as the U.N. Security Council prepares to meet tomorrow to address the escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence.
The protests are continuing around Jerusalem's old city. A Palestinian man died in the hospital last night after another day of fighting there.
Let's go now live to Jerusalem. CNN international correspondent Oren Liebermann is there.
Oren, this is some the worst violence that we have seen there in years.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. Probably since a wave of violence began right at the end of 2015 and lasted for months in the early 2016.
It feels like that now. Or at least it feels like it could be heading in that direction. We have three Israelis who were killed on a settlement last night as well as Palestinians who've been killed in clashes.
And this only started only a week and a half ago. The question is where does it go today?
Today is a critical day. As you said, this is very much on the international radar. The quartet, that is the U.N., the E.U., the U.S. and Russia have all stepped (ph) together to urge all sides to deescalate the situation right now and that could happen.
You could see a quieting of tension but very much it could go the other way as well. As I said, today is a critical day for that in term of decisions from the Israeli government.
They're meeting and have met and will meet again the security cabinet to decide what to do here and we'll see how this proceeds. Victor, the Palestinians have called for a day of rage here that is largely symbolic. You don't see that rage on the streets but that is an indication of how sensitive the entire situation is right now.
BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about another element of security there and it's these metal detectors.
The Palestinians have rejected Israeli putting in metal detectors at the entrance to the holy site. Give us more on that and what we are learning.
LIEBERMANN: So this isn't just about metal detectors. It's about the holy site right behind it and that's why it's so sensitive.
This goes back to about a week and a half ago when two Israeli police officers were killed at this holiest site. The holiest in Jerusalem known as the Temple Mount to Jews. The Nobel Sanctuary to Muslims.
After the attack Israel put in the metal detectors but it was how it was done. Israel made that move on its own without consulting with the Palestinians, the Jordanians, the U.S. or the larger Arab world.
Israeli says it's a security there but the Palestinians see that it's Israeli trying to control this holy site. And that is why it's about the holy site, itself.
It's seen as a move of Israeli trying to unilaterally impose its own control there and that's why this is so sensitive. That's why on top of the political layer that always exists here there is now a religious layer on top of the struggle right now and that's why this could go downhill very quickly here, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Yes. As you say the international community coming in and trying to help and in that Security Council meeting happening at the start of the week.
Oren Liebermann for us there in Jerusalem. Thank you.
PAUL: Well, President Trump says it's been a -- quote -- "very, very bad time for our military," and he is promising change.
Our military analyst weighs in on the president's plan to make the military bigger, better, and stronger. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is joining us next. Stay close.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: American might is second to none. And we're getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration.
If a fight does come it will always end the same way. We will win, win, win. We will never lose.
We will win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: President Trump stressing America's military mite there speaking during the commission of the newest naval warship the "USS Gerald R. Ford."
He used that moment also to derive the drops and defense spending and play up his promise to beef up military funding. Now in his budget he is pushing Congress to include an additional $54 billion for defense next year.
CNN military analyst Lieutenant General Mark Hertling with us now. So good to have you on with us, General Hertling.
When you hear that figure, $54 billion, it's impressive. What do you take away from that? How much good will that do?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It is impressive. It will contribute, but, truthfully, Christi, and not to disavow anyone, but it is normal of that historic increase which had been planned for the military.
Mr. Trump said that he had $19 billion more this year and that is in fact that's a historic budget. And he is standing in front of an aircraft carrier that truthfully is a marvel, a technological marvel, but it was -- the construction for that carrier began in 2005 under the Bush administration and was actually built from 2009 until it was commissioned yesterday under the Obama administration.
So this is nothing new. Mr. Trump will probably not see his campaign promises come to fruition even with the increase in the budget and most of that is going to go for operations and personnel costs and maintenance, not any new ships. He promised, I think it was 350 new ships and a 540,000 soldier army, as well as increases in the Air Force and the Marine Corps.
The budget he has promised will not give that. It will probably maintain about 476,000 army and maybe eight new ships which were already on the drawing board.
PAUL: So you're saying the president isn't necessarily offering anything new?
HERTLING: Not much. It's a modest increase but factually it's only about a three percent increase and over the last several years under past administrations, those kinds of increases had been planned in the budget and many in Congress, primary the Republicans, say this is not enough to rebuild the military to the point where the new administration wants it. And even anywhere close.
PAUL: What would on it take to rebuild what we need?
HERTLING: Well, a lot more than Mr. Trump is promising.
Senator McCain and senator -- and Representative Thornbury had said it would take about $680 to $690 billion budget, that is about 60 billion more than what Mr. Trump is suggesting. But we have also got to consider that we have been in 15, 16 years of war and there's a lot of maintenance requirements on aircraft, ships and primarily personnel costs within the military.
So we have to watch exactly what is happening within the force and if new projects and new acquisitions are planned. Right now, they are not.
PAUL: OK. Are you confident in the strength of the U.S. military right now --
HERTLING: I am.
PAUL: -- especially what we're seeing -- what we're seeing from North Korea and what may be, you know, in the future?
HERTLING: Yes. We have several new demands and it's increasing complex in many areas. We have been on the edge, quite frankly, over the last 10 years or so in terms of operating costs and there has been many concerns among the chiefs of the various services about the effects of sequestration which has been occurring over the last several years and in fact has degraded the military.
So you not only have to have a new budget to build new things you have to have a significant amount of the budget go to things that have been cut over the last several years --
HERTLING: -- by the Congress during see sequestration. PAUL: So real quickly when we look at this ""USS Gerald R. Ford" now this new ship where do you think it should be stationed and what does this mite, this construction of this ship say to the world in your opinion?
HERTLING: Well, first of all, the Ford is a -- like I said before, a technological marvel.
HERTLING: It has 25 percent less crew members but it increases its ability to launch aircraft by 25 percent.
So you're seeing a lot of technological designs in this ship. It has touch screen navigation and electronic magnetic launch system, things that have -- the rest of the world is looking at, the rest of the navies of the world are looking at and saying, wow, this is an unbelievable aircraft carrier. Displaces 100,000 tons. It's the world's largest.
So it is certainly as Mr. Trump said yesterday, it is a symbol to the world that we are continuing with our attempts at having power to station aircraft around the world on these on floating platforms. So it does send certainly that message but it's a message we have been sending for quite a long time.
PAUL: All right. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, always good to have your input and insight. Thank you for the time.
HERTLING: It's tough to ask (INAUDIBLE) to talk about the Navy, though, Christi.
I appreciate it. Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Ahead, the breaking news.
Eight people dead, dozens pulled out of a tractor-trailer. This is in Texas. Some of them children. We have got more at the top of the hour.
BLACKWELL: New episode of the "'Nineties" tonight facing the challenges that many people watched on television in the '90s. The Rodney King police beating, the L.A. riots, the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
PAUL: Yes. Tonight CNN looks at race relations during the '90s. Here is a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, NEW ANCHOR, NBC: Good morning, everyone. Homicide detectives in Los Angeles are telling the associated press that O.J. Simpson' arrest is eminent in connection with the killings of his ex- wife and a friend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, my office filed murder charges against O.J. Simpson for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman. As of this time, approximately 3:00 p.m., no one knows where he is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought that the evidence was overwhelming. There is no doubt, this is the man who committed the crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're looking at a live picture right now. You believe that to be O.J. Simpson down there below you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. was a guy who felt like he was above race. He became the exceptional Hollywood Negro.
Had a blond wife. He lived in Brentwood. He played the role very well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. sitting in there in the passenger seat with a gun pointed at his own head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the person who had murdered two white people was a street thug it would not have been a big case. But it was this kind of icon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand O.J. is in custody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you do not want to believe that this kind of person would have done this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The full episode is tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Powerful storms have knocked out power to nearly 100,000 people in Kansas City. These thunderstorms moved through the area yesterday and the severe weather included really strong damaging wind.
Let's bring in now CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. And, Allison, the reports say that the winds are caused by downbursts. Tell us more about these.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. So in downbursts in term of the damage it actually is very similar to a tornado but also at the same time, very distinguishable when you're looking at the specific damage.
So here's what happens. In your thunderstorm, you have a lot of that cold air that comes in. Well, cold air descends.
But as its comes down it comes down incredibly rapidly. When it gets to the ground it has to go somewhere so it spreads out very quickly along the surface. Sometime those winds can reach 100 or 150 miles per hour.
Again, that is very similar to what a tornado would end up doing. The thing with yesterday was we had not just one downburst but multiple downbursts around the Kansas City area. And not just that we had reports of hail.
Also over 140 reports of damaging wind. This was why we have a lot of reports of power outages. Trees down.
There were also damages to buildings, as well as homes and vehicles around that similar area. Now, unfortunately, for today, this system is still continuing on.
Right now you can see some very heavy rain moving over towards the Louisville, Kentucky area just south of Cincinnati. And again that system is going to continue off towards the east, which means we still have the threat for severe weather today.
Mainly for cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., New York, even around Indianapolis. The main threats are going to be damaging winds, very similar to what we had yesterday but also the potential for some large hail, as well as tornadoes.
Again, the timing of this, Victor and Christi, is going to be late afternoon and as we go into the evening hours. And overnight, be extra careful because again when you're sleeping and you're not on your guard so make sure you have apps or your weather radios ready to go.
BLACKWELL: All right. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.
PAUL: Well, Arizona Senator John McCain is recuperating from blood clot surgery which led to a diagnosis of brain cancer.
BLACKWELL: It is already showing signs that he is working hard to get back on his feet.
McCain's daughter, Meghan, tweeted this photo of them resting on a bench on Saturday. The caption reads, "Amazing hike with dad. Senator John McCain this morning. Thank you all for your best wishes."
And of course we send those best wishes to the senator.
PAUL: We certainly do.
All right. I want to take a look at a photo here of the president, something he was doing this week for Made in America week and got behind the wheel of a vehicle that wasn't exactly moving. And with that said, Jeanne Moos had something to say about connecting the vehicle that wasn't moving to his agenda. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He did it in March and now he has done it again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And of course, his favorite activity fake-driving a truck.
MOOS: And both times he's been mocked for it. Most recently, this week, when he got into a fire truck parked at the White House --
TRUMP: Where's the fire? Put it out fast.
MOOS: -- for a "Made in America" event.
SETH MEYERS, HOST, THE LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS: First, he pretends to be a firefighter and then he dresses up as a cowboy. Is Trump trying to be all of the Village People before the end of his term?
MOOS: But every time the president gets in a big rig, something happens. Beware of the curse of the truck-driver-in-chief.
(on camera): When the president gets behind the wheel, legislation crashes.
UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: The vote on health care, not happening today.
MOOS (voice-over): Almost four months ago, the president got in a truck and blew the horn.
MOOS: But what really got blown that day was the House health care bill.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now we know they are postponing the vote, the scheduled vote that didn't actually happen --
MOOS: Then this week, the president climbed into the fire truck. That's Sean Spicer, visible in the side-view mirror, taking the president's picture. And guess what happened to health care in the Senate that day?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This bill is dead.
MOOS: We're not saying the president's fake driving made health care road kill. We're just driving home the coincidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with that.
MOOS: Even when the president gets behind the wheel of a golf cart, driving over a putting green backfired. "Slate" called it "the most monstrous act of this or any other presidency."
Commented one golf fan, "I don't care if he's God, you don't drive golf carts within 20 yards of a green."