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President Trump Today Unleashing On Twitter Slamming The Investigation; Very Emotional Service After Ten Students And Teachers Were Gunned Down At A Texas High School; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Is Slamming The President's Demand Here That The DOJ Open An Investigation; Staggering Site And Sound Of Volcanic Bombs Exploding As Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Hurls Molten Rock High Into The Air; Meeting Between President Trump And North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un Just Over Three Weeks Away, June 12th. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 20, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And before the deportation bus drives away for the day, someone places this on the front of it, words from the poem on the pedestal of the statue of liberty.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Decatur, Georgia.
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ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[19:00:24] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for being here.
President Trump today unleashing on twitter slamming the investigation. He calls a $20 million witch-hunt. Raging on the media. What he calls the fake news. Calling a "New York Times" story long and boring. And then this from the President.
I hereby demand and will do so officially tomorrow that the department of justice look into whether or not the FBI, DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump campaign for political purposes and if any such demands or requests were made by people in the Obama administration.
He is referring to recent reports that the bureau sent someone into the campaign in 2016 looking for potential ties to Russia. President Trump equates that to the FBI spying on his campaign.
CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles is at the White House right now. The justice department is already responding to the President's demand.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right, Ana. The President's tweet this morning yielding results already. The department of justice saying today that they are going to instruct the inspector general to expand the investigation which we should point out was already taking place into whether or not the FBI correctly acquired surveillance waivers to look and to track certain people that were involved in the Trump campaign. This is a statement that came out earlier today from deputy attorney
general Rod Rosenstein. It says quote "if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a Presidential campaign for inappropriate reasons we need to know about that and take appropriate action.
So essentially what the inspector general is going to do now is expand this look into those tactics by the FBI to see if there was any political motivation behind it, and that's what the President has been harping on over the past two days on his twitter feed, suggesting perhaps that someone connected to President Obama himself personally instructed the FBI to look into this potential action by the Trump campaign as an effort to help another Presidential cape. It doesn't mention Hillary Clinton by name, but you can certainly see that's what he is alluding to. So we will see if this impacts the Mueller investigation at all, Ana, but we do know here it only took a tweet and the department of justice is taking action.
CABRERA: I mean, this is something he has been harping on for the past couple of days but really for month, as we know, Ryan.
Our colleague Dana Bash I understand spoke with the President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani who apparently had a lot to say as well about the President demanding this investigation. What more can you tell us?
NOBLES: Yes, that's right. I mean, Rudy Giuliani said that he agreed with the President, that this is something that the department of justice should look into and said that it was quite possible that there was a political motivation behind this investigation. But the big revelation from Dana's conversation with Rudy Giuliani is that he said that Robert Mueller told him that the investigation into the President's campaign could end by as soon as September 1st.
Now, there are a lot of caveats to put alongside this declaration by Rudy Giuliani, the first being that the conversation with Mueller he said took place more than an hour ago and a lot has happened in that month. The other thing is that Giuliani indicated that this was part of a conversation with Robert Mueller about whether or not the President would sit down for an interview with the special counsel. And he seemed to say as though Mueller said, well, if he grants this interview that we could wrap things up as soon as September 1st. And that, of course, the other caveat, Ana, and it is a big one, is that it is probably worth looking at anything that Rudy Giuliani says with a degree of skepticism.
There has been numerous times since he became the President's lawyer where there have been contradictions between what he said and what the President himself and his own client has said much less what's coming out of special counsel's office.
So this is an important note, you know, that at least from this perspective the President's own council thinking that the investigation of the Trump campaign could be over as soon as September 1st -- Ana.
CABRERA: A lot there. Thank you, Ryan, for helping to unpack all of it for us. I want to bring in our panel for analysis on this. Joining us now CNN
intelligence and security analyst and former CIA operative Bob Baer and CNN legal analyst and former prosecutor Paul Callan.
So Paul, I want to start with you and discuss first the President's tweet today and now the response from the DOJ from Rod Rosenstein. What do you make of the response?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I find it to be bizarre on two counts. Number one, that the deputy attorney general of the United States would take an order to start an investigation via tweet. I mean, wouldn't the President call him in? Wouldn't there be had a little bit of nuance in the order? He is just reading a twitter feed and telling the justice department how to operate. I just find that bizarre.
CABRERA: Do you think this investigation is legitimate?
CALLAN: Well, I think that if the President calls for an investigation he is technically in-charge of the department of justice. He has the right to ask for an investigation. Whether this would be the format for it, having the inspector general, which he is sort of the internal investigator for the department of justice, and the President's tweets and his entire attack on the investigation to date have hinted at this deep state conspiracy involvement of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrats to put their thumb on the Trump campaign.
[19:05:27] CABRERA: And the Obama administration which he brought up here.
CALLAN: It seems to me bigger than having the inspector general, who is an internal investigator for the department of justice, handle the investigation if you are going to have one.
CABRERA: Bob Baer, what the President appears to be talking about are these recent reports that the FBI dispatched a confidential source to talk to Trump aides during the campaign to try to get information out of them. How unusual is that?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Ana, it's not unusual at all if the FBI believed at the time that the Russian intelligence was trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign through Carter Page and a couple of other people. It's natural for the FBI to collect intelligence on that, counterintelligence. So this is an unusual, I mean, that's what the FBI does for a living. It stops espionage. And to do that they run confidential informants into the suspects. And they do it all the time every --you know.
In this case it was the national security agency which referred it to the FBI, possibility that Carter Page had been recruited or was being recruited. And so, FBI as far as I have seen. I have seen no other evidence is doing what it's supposed to do.
CABRERA: Based on what our sources at CNN had telling us this person was not embedded or planted inside the campaign. But help me understand would you consider what we've learned spying?
BAER: No, not at all because the FBI does not collect political intelligence. It investigates crimes. In this case it's the crime of espionage, and this is what the FBI was doing. Unless there's a new piece of evidence but certainly that's not come out.
Ana, this reminds me when Trump said a couple of months ago that Trump tower had been tapped, the phones there, and that turns out to be absolutely wrong. I don't think that this President understands how the intelligence community works. And he does believe in the deep state and he believes there was a conspiracy against his campaign, but I could never see the FBI responding to a President who said go after an opponent of the Democratic Party. It's not the way the FBI works.
CABRERA: Guys, I want you to listen to what Democratic congressman Ted Lieu had to say earlier about the President's demand.
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REP. RED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: I'm glad you brought that up because the President's tweets today could suggest he want to obstruct justice again. If he is trying to influence a federal investigation against him by saying we now need to investigate that investigation, depending on how he does it, that could be obstruction of justice. He needs to let the investigation against him proceed without any political interference.
CABRERA: Paul, do you agree that this could be potentially obstruction of justice?
CALLAN: Well, I think there is a theory that would support, the theory being that if this new investigation, the purpose of it that was ordered for one reason and that was to hurt the Mueller investigation because the Mueller investigation is getting close to the President, that would be the kind of corrupt purpose or corrupt intent that would support an obstruction of justice charge.
And, you know, it has -- the two are related very, very -- very -- in a very important way because probable cause for FISA warrants that were issued back at that point in time may have emanated from some of the information by these so-called spies or informants.
CABRERA: All right. Thank you, both. Paul Callan and Bob Baer, appreciate it.
Let's discuss the politics of this latest news. Joining us former Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona.
So Maria, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is slamming the President's demand here that the DOJ open an investigation. But if Democrats think an investigation would ultimately clear the Obama administration and the FBI, why not welcome such the probe?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think a couple of things here, Ana. Number one, this is not an appropriate call for an investigation by this President because the reason he is doing it is because he believes or he seems like he was slighted by a political opponent.
This is a very autocratic dictator style move on behalf of this President who believes that any government agency within his purview under his direction can be used against political opponents and that is not the kind of country that we live in. If that's the case he should go live in a dictatorship which is clearly something that I believe he really wants as opposed to a real democracy. And, number two, it also shows, Ana, that the way that he is conducting himself in public underscores just how inept, clueless, out of the loop and uninformed he is about how the FBI functions, about how the intelligence agencies function, and I think that his own advisers have not done him a good service if they haven't briefed him and he's what, a year and a half into his presidency.
[19:10:20] STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Maria, you know what.
CARDONA: It makes him seem unfit for the office of the President.
CORTES: Maria, for you to call him clueless and inept, you know what really reminds of? It reminds me a lot of 2016, the very thing you said then, that you' have been saying for two years, when you dismissed our entire movement, when you said we had no chance of winning, and more importantly.
CARDONA: I never said.
CORTES: When you dismissed the voters.
CARDONA: I never said that he never had a chance of winning.
CORTES: You have been dismissing, every time I have been with you on air you have been dismissing the Trump voter and you have been dismissing the Trump movement.
CARDONA: When did I mention the Trump voter just now, Steve? I think you should listen. This is part of the problem with the President. I called the President inept. I never mentioned any Trump voter.
CORTES: Well, because the voters support what you say is an inept person, OK. This inept person --
CARDONA: I did not mention the Trump voter.
CORTES: OK, fine. This inept person by the way who is a self-made billionaire and is the President of the United States of America. He is that inept. I would love to be that inept someday. And you know, I think we can all hope for that. But, look --
CARDONA: Whom the majority of Americans did not vote for.
CABRERA: OK. Let Steve finish so we can keep our eye on the ball here, guys.
CORTES: Did he win?
CARDONA: He did not win the popular vote, no.
CORTES: Did he win the presidency?
CARDONA: He lost by almost three million votes.
CABRERA: Steve, let me ask you this question. Hey, guys. Excuse me.
Steve, let me ask you this question. If the President didn't do anything wrong as I know he has said over and over again, I know you believe him, why is he working so hard to discredit this investigation into Russia election meddling and the potential of any connection with his campaign?
CORTES: Right. No. Listen, Ana, I'm glad you asked me that because as Americans we don't believe in the principle of let's start an investigation and see if there was a crime. None of us would agree to that, right? I mean, it's not OK for me. It's not OK for you.
CABRERA: That's not what started this investigation, though. There was evidence that Russia was meddling in the 2016 election. That's what started this investigation and George Papadopoulos is the one who was part of the Trump campaign who said he had heard from somebody that they had -- that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
CORTES: George Papadopoulos was an utterly irrelevant figure, somebody who is deeply involved in the Trump campaign I had never heard of. I had never met. He was an extraneous figure. Whatever he believed was irrelevant.
Here's the point. There was no collusion. And by the way, even if there was collusion which there wasn't, not a crime, so what we have here is an investigation in search of a crime which is utterly un- American. And I think what the President is finally doing, thank goodness, is saying enough of this nonsense.
There is a way to investigate a President per the constitution, and that is the congress. The Congress has every right to oversee the executive branch. It has the right in fact to impeach the President. What is not OK is the President's own department of justice creating an internally untouchable investigation, an untouchable force of attorneys, most of whom hate President to pursue the President without any oversight and that's the problem we have with the Mueller investigation.
CABRERA: But that's not true.
First of all, it's the people that he appoint who had are leading the department of justice, and they are Republicans, Steve, when you look at Rob Rosenstein.
(CROSSTALK) CORTES: I mean, that doesn't mean anything. The Republicans have been asked obstructionist as the Democrats have been towards Donald Trump as he got into office. Here's the thing. It is Donald Trump against the Washington swamp so the idea that they are registered Republicans, Comey and Mueller, does that mean a thing, of course it doesn't? It means nothing.
CARDONA: But are you hearing yourself? Steve, this justice department is not the Trump justice department. This justice department --
CORTES: Yes, it is.
CARDONA: Does not work for the President of the United States.
CORTES: Oh, yes it does. Study the constitution.
CARDONA: This justice department works for the American people and that's exactly what this President who is so inept and unfit does not understand.
CORTES: The American people hired him to lead the justice department which is part of the executive branch. If you need -- if you need -- listen, if you need to study the contusion please study it.
CARDONA: I think you need to read it.
CORTES: The executive branch includes the department of justice.
CABRERA: It is independent of the President.
CORTES: No, it is not independent of the President. The justice department is absolutely not independent of the President. The Congress is.
CABRERA: They need to have the ability to do their investigations without influence by the President.
Maria Cardona and Steve Cortes, thank you guys. I always can expect a heated and passionate discussion of the issues when we are on to go. I appreciate it.
CARDONA: Absolutely, thank you.
CABRERA: Chilling details tonight about the school shooting in Texas. Just ahead, new information about the gun battle between police and the attacker.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:19:17] ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Erica Hill live in Santa Fe, Texas where we have new information for you this hour about the suspect who is charged with capital murder.
The grandmother of one of the suspect's reported best friends telling CNN her grandson was questioned by investigators on Friday night. (INAUDIBLE) described Dimitrios Pagourtzis as a respectful and very intelligent young man who live under the sum of restrict Greek father. She says her grandson told investigators Pagourtzis told him, he took journals of this thoughts. Both boys she said had a strong interest in guns and violent video games.
As we continue to learn more about the suspect, we are also learning more about this community.
CNN's Polo Sandoval has been speaking with survivors about other members of the community just to get a better sense of how they are holding up.
And I know you are there at the baccalaureate services for senior in Santa Fe high School which is happening now, Polo.
[19:20:08] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erica, once again, this community turning to the power of prayer and hoping for healing on this very long and difficult here as that investigation presses on for about 350 high school seniors. They are in a very difficult place. Their graduation is scheduled to happen in the next week and a half or so. Tonight, as you mentioned, the baccalaureate service that leaves many of these students in a moment of pause and reflect on some of their classmates as well including Tom Perick who I had a good conversation with.
Todd, we have been talking you since the start here. Tell me what tonight's celebration was like tonight's service was all about? And what have the last 48 hours been like for you?
TOM PERICK, 18-YEARS-OLD AT SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL: I'll start off with the service. It was great to have everyone there, all my friends and all my family. It was great to have everyone there together because, I mean, when we are together it's just -- it is like this huge amount of positive energy. It just fill the room. And it was great to be able to step back for a second. It was great to be able step back and realize that everything is going to be OK because we have a great community here. And I mean, there's a lot of love here.
SANDOVAL: You told me earlier today that whatever troubles you may have are small compared to the families who lost their loved ones.
PERICK: I mean, there's been plenty of people asking me, I mean, how do you feel that you have had the graduation joy taken away from you? And I responded to all of them, I mean, it's really hard to even think about graduation joy when there are families and friends of people. I mean, I have had -- I had friends that were lose their lives. I mean, they don't get to go home and hug their families and say goodnight. And it really puts everything in perspective. It really makes you realize what's important here.
SANDOVAL: During the service for Sabika Sheikh, one of your fellow classmates who died on Friday, there was a speaker who said there was calling on Texas teen or the youth of Texas to walk the footsteps of the Parkland students, who were went to similar situation. Do you think we may see that in Santa Fe?
PERICK: I'm not sure if I understand what you are saying.
SANDOVAL: The movement that we have seen after the Parkland, Florida shooting, the students speaking out and trying to prevent something like that happening again. Could we see that play out in Texas?
PERICK: I mean, possibly. I can't tell you right now. I mean, we are just coming together, just really loving each other and trying to comfort each other right now. It's a hard time, and through the love of God we are just trying to give it to everyone now.
SANDOVAL: OK. Thank you so much for take the time.
PERICK: Of course.
SANDOVAL: Of course, congratulations on your graduation and our thoughts and prayers.
We just heard it Erica, one of the about 350 stories or so of these young men and women who are on their way out of high school headed for the next chapter of their lives but they have already lived through so much more that many of us may have seen in a lifetime.
HILL: Certainly, a lot, especially at that age.
Polo, appreciate it. Thank you.
We also want to share with you some brand-new details which are emerging just in the last hour or so about exactly what happened inside Santa Fe high school early Friday mornings. How the 17-year- old shooting suspect battled police before surrendering. Dimitrios Pagourtzis, of course, is charged with capital murder. As you mentioned, he is being held in solitary confinement at a local jail.
CNN's Rosa Flores has more on this reporting.
So you had been speaking with the county sheriff.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And he described this as a 25- minute gun battle with crossfires. So let me get you through these details because these are breaking details into the CNN NEWSROOM.
The county sheriff telling CNN that this shooting was contained in the art lab section of the school. And that four minutes into the shooting that's when officers engaged the suspect. Then there was a 25-minute gun battle. So process this for a moment with me. A Texas school, Santa Fe,
Texas, and there's a gun battle inside that school in the art lab section of the building between the shooter and police officers. Now, when we asked the sheriff if all of the ten individuals who died were shot by the shooter, he said that we were going to have to wait until the autopsy reports were completed and finalized by the medical examiner. After those final 25 minutes, the sheriff says that the shooter surrendered to police.
And Erica, from the probable cause document then we know that the shooter, the accused shooter told officers that he spared some of those students because he was hoping that they could tell his story. But, again, this tells us for the very first time, Erica, what transpired inside that school.
HILL: And that is raising even more questions as you point out specifically, whether or not some of these victims were in fact killed by the shooter, and that's something we are waiting to find out as well.
Rosa, appreciate it. Thank you.
Send it back now to my colleague Ana Cabrera in New York -- Ana.
[19:25:06] CABRERA: Thank you, Erica. To think that that shooting lasted 30 minutes. Must have felt like an eternity for all involved. Thank you.
Up next, Armageddon in paradise. Live pictures out of Hawaii where dangerous lava is on the move. We will take you to the foot of a volcano.
Plus, it's the event that the world still talking about, but what was it like once the cameras stopped rolling? New details next.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:30:02] CABRERA: It's been a day since an American actress named Meghan Markle married other British prince in a televised extravaganza that drew a combined audience of nearly 40 million viewers between the U.S. and Britain, according to the early ratings.
Today is the tea party for the newly wed. Tuesday, their official royal engagement began. And the honeymoon that's somewhere off in the near future.
Hillary Fordwich is a royal watcher and joins us now from Washington.
Hillary, lots of rumors out there about last night's private party. Any idea what went down after the cameras stopped rolling?
HILLARY FORDWICH, ROYAL WATCHER: Well, yes, Ana, a few things. Elton John did play at the luncheon that the queen held at St. George's hall, and he did play three songs. He sung for Meghan, you know, your song, and he also was very touched I think everybody was touched when they were there.
Other things that happened were that when Prince Charles made his remarks basically everybody was almost teary. And that was a very emotive moment because he referred to Harry as my darling old Harry. You don't say something unless you really mean something like that. I think his emotional outpouring to his son, called him his baby boy,
was very moving for everybody. And then also I think he saw, you know, the deejay, a very famous actor, American-English actor. So I think he saw a lot of different people we didn't expect. And the only person that was really annoyed not to be there, and that was the former duchess of York.
CABRERA: I heard that their first dance was to "I want dance with somebody."
FORDWICH: The Whitney Houston song.
CABRERA: Whitney House. I thought that that was fun, a fun detail.
FORDWICH: Yes, you are right. You are totally right. And in 2016, actually, Meghan Markle had shared with "Lifestyle" magazine we know that that was her happy song. So we know that that was her choice.
CABRERA: A feel-good song is what I would call it.
FORDWICH: We know that they aren't going to go on a honeymoon right away. What do we know about what's next for the duke and duchess of Sussex.
FORDWICH: You are right. They are not going away immediately. They are actually staying in town. And again this, shows the closeness with Prince Charles because they are staying and going to Buckingham palace to a garden party on Tuesday. That is for his 70th birthday. And it's going to be honoring lots of the charities that he has been involved with. So I think it is wonderful. They have postponed everything for him.
There are rumors, albeit not confirmed, that their first stop after that might be Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and then after that delayed somewhat they may depart well after Tuesday and later down the road, perhaps to Botswana. That's, of course, where Prince Harry took Meghan when they were dating. And he took her out there to be alone totally with her.
CABRERA: And then there's this new bio of Meghan Markle that is now on the royal family's Web site. It really plays up her activism, her female activism, her work with social justice issues along with her life style blog that promoted female empowerment. Will Meghan Markle be able to continue these things now that she is officially the duchess of Sussex given royals are not supposed to make any political statements?
FORDWICH: Well, actually, you just mentioned the operative (ph) word there, Ana. And that was that it was official. They acknowledged this. But remember, actually, if you look at it, the queen really has been a feminist but not declared it because she has been a woman in her own right and she has roared.
So I think that you will see not political overtones. I don't think this is political anymore. Look, Theresa May is the prime minister of England and she is English. She is a woman and is English.
So I think that this is something that is an evolution that they can declare now. Meghan Markle is going to stand her ground. She doesn't need directing because she has played many, many roles and she has taken orders. And I think you will found that she adjusts very quickly.
CABRERA: And quickly, if you will, I have to ask because there's lots of people around me curious about this. Has the royal baby watch already begun?
FORDWICH: Well, I -- obviously, everybody obviously thinks about that but we are not going to go there. I don't think that is quite appropriate. But they both declared that they do want children. And if you recall Meghan Markle had been in Africa and she was very involved with a girls' school out there. And she had helped them to establish a well so they didn't have to spend so much hours carrying water and that's when Prince Harry fell in love with Africa when he went out there to the schoolchildren. And remember, he said he first felt a connection with the children there for those that had lost their mothers because of who he had lost.
So I believe the two of them couldn't want children anymore and they have been practicing, of course, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte because they live there in Kensington palace close to apartment 1A where they all live.
CABRERA: All right. Hillary Fordwich, thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us.
FORDWICH: You are welcome, Ana. Absolutely.
CABRERA: Up next, geysers of lava spewing from the ground in Hawaii. We will tell you where the dangerous molten rock is headed next. We will check in with Stephanie Elam.
[19:34:06] CABRERA: Listen to this. A cyclist from Washington State is lucky to be alive after a rare cougar attack that left another man dead. It happened near Seattle in the Cascade Mountains, the two men were riding their bikes down a remote road when a cougar began chasing them. And then at one point the survivor said his entire head was inside the cougar's mouth. He managed to escape when the big cat left him chasing and killing his companion.
The injured man rode nearly two miles before he had cell phone reception and was able to call 911. That cougar was later tracked and killed. Authorities say this is only the second time a person in Washington stayed has died from the mountain lion attack in the last 100 years.
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CABRERA: That staggering site and sound of volcanic bombs exploding as Hawaii's Kilauea volcano hurls molten rock high into the air. And if the volatile hot lava and sulfur dioxide weren't enough, Hawaiians on the big island now face another threat. It's called lays. Laze forms lava reaches the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and glass particles in the air and can cause lung damage and skin irritation. Officials even warn people near the coast that that laze can be deadly. Two people died from exposure to it back in 2000.
Our Stephanie Elam joins us now from Hawaii.
And Stephanie, Hawaii we know is known for its beaches. How are they going to keep the people away from the coast with this new laze threat?
[19:40:42] STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, Ana, one thing will do it is the fact that the lava has flowed over 137 which is a highway that runs along the coast in this part, the southeastern part of the island here, that's one way and then also from the water. The U.S. coast guard is keeping a perimeter there to keep people away from getting close that lava flow into the ocean of about 1,000 feet they want people to stay away from it. So that's a concern.
And then here on land, let me step out so can you see what this looks like here. It's still bubbling here and throwing lava up into the sky. Since we have been out here today we have watched as the volcanic gases have increased behind that fountain that you see there. And then also to the side there's another bit of gas being emitted from there.
This is new developments as this eruption continues to move. It seems so malleable. Some of the fissures that used to be sort of dormant coming back to life, the lava still splattering. And then you see that sea of black lava cascading down the hill going towards the ocean here. And what you understand is there's at least two structures in this area here that were taken out by the lava. And then in the distance there's another fissure that is still very active and it's mainly active with volcanic gases.
During the day you don't see as much red and at night. You can see some red coming out of there. But when it goes off like that, you can see it launching rocks and volcanic gases high into the sky. It looked like at one point you saw him go several hundred feet into the sky from there. So that is obviously a big concern when those lava bombs come down. They can be very, very dangerous ad deadly, Ana.
CABRERA: And it just seems never ending especially looking at those live images, Stephanie. And now we hear about this laze threat sending volcanic glass particles and hydrochloric acid into the air. What are Hawaiians doing to stay safe?
ELAM: Right. Well, that is one thing that is keep people out of that, really one of the biggest concerns is the sulfur dioxide. Now they are seeing that those levels have tripled over the last day or so with this moving eruption there. Deadly gases, so toxic and if you can get too much it can give you a headache. They can weigh on your lungs. So they are asking people to be careful because of that. And that can be part of what you see behind me, that big white cloud. That is what we are talking about there. They are strong. You need gas masks to be around them. And so, that
is part what have they are asking people to be vigilant about and staying away and watching the winds. If the gases in our case were to change and come this direction we would have to leave. But it's a lot of paying attention to how things are blowing, how things are moving. It's something that requires much attention in this smaller area of Hawaii.
CABRERA: I know you were doing what you need to do to stay safe, Stephanie, but definitely I'm concerned for you on our team there. We appreciate you keeping us appraised of what's happening on the ground in Hawaii as the lava continues to spew from the fissures.
For the science of what to expect next from the Kilauea volcano, I want to turn to CNN meteorologist Tom Sater.
Tom, Hawaiians are having to deal with hot lava, sulfur dioxide and now laze. What's the outlook?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It seems like it is getting worse, Ana. I mean, really, what we do not know is how much longer this is going to go on. I mean, we know the hazards are all there. We are all becoming better educated with the terms like vog (ph) and fountaining and spattering. But homes are still, you know, in danger.
Ad take a look at this. Can you believe they are having lava viewing parties? I just can't believe that people have not evacuated the area. Now please understand that only five percent of the Hawaiian Islands are being affected.
Now the other end of the big island is a good 70 miles away. But the scientists and geologists that are studying the lava put out a report even a week ago, almost a week and a half, saying that the lava that we have been seeing through the fissures is from the 1955 eruption. That at some point it was going to become much hotter and more liquefied, and that's what happened in the last 24 hours.
So if you notice this lava trail, again, Ana, on a grander scale, fissure 20 has met up with fissure 22, so the lava that's now coming and oozing out of the ground is much hotter. It moves much faster and now that these two have joined they have moved three miles all the way to the ocean. And that's where you get into that problem of laze.
If you look at the other issue, as sulfur dioxide emission have tripled, because there is ore venting taking place, we have more brush fires now because the lava is oozing much further.
Back in the 90s we had a lava flow that added 500 yards to the big island. But on the other end of the island is a good 300 miles away. So again, this laze is really only impacting one area.
Let's look at another issue, too. And I just want to go on with this because the laze, the hydrochloric acid and that glass, one small area right now. But on a grander scale when we pull out, they are open for business. They want you to know we have heard that there are cancellations taking place next September and October. Now, commercial flights will not go into this -- this ash. We had two
eruptions over the weekend. One registering a 5.0 on the Richter scale, but these jet engines, when the ash gets into these engines, first it gets warmed, liquefies and then the air flow cools it down and it becomes a gummy tar, so they are going to stay away. There's really no air restriction because it's such a small area, but, again, tourism is still booming. We want everybody to know, yes, it's a phenomenon that is scary and frightening. We have an injury with a man getting hit with an (INAUDIBLE). But again, if you go to the Hawaiian Islands this is not going to affect you unless you go to the volcanic national park. Something we should all know.
[19:46:05] CABRERA: All right. Tom Sater, thank you.
Just ahead, despite a bump in the road the meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is still on. How President Trump is preparing nest live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:50:42] CABRERA: Welcome back.
The countdown is on. The high stakes meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un just over three weeks away, June 12th. And we are learning, Trump spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday to discuss the recent developments. The North will likely be a topic of conversation when Moon visit the White House on Tuesday.
The historic summit between Kim and Trump again is set for June 12th in Singapore. And brings us to the weekend Presidential brief, a segment we bring every Sunday night highlighting some of the most pressing national security information the President needs when he wakes up tomorrow.
And joining us now, CNN national security analyst and former national security council adviser Sam Vinograd. She spent two years in the Obama administration helping prep for the President's daily briefs.
Sam, let's dive in. We have seen the President tweeting an awful lot about the Russia investigation this weekend. Shouldn't he be focused on this upcoming summit and whether to even proceed?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I would hope so. We have three weeks to go. But Ana, I think that North Korea is already counting this as a win because it looks like Kim is calling the shots.
Think about it. They have got us to change our pre-conditions for meeting. Several weeks ago, we said we wouldn't go unless North Korea committed to denuclearize. Last week, North Korea walked back on that commitment. Bolton said that we are still showing up. So it looks like we are overly flexible and Kim is determining what the pre- conditions are.
Donald Trump also said before that we haven't given anything to North Korea before we sit down at the table. Now there are reports that we have agreed not to fly b-52 bombers over the Korean peninsula because we don't want to make Kim anymore upset. We want to salvage the summit. So again, it looks like Kim is dictating what it is going to take to get us to Singapore and what the United States can and cannot do.
CABRERA: Putin obviously has some role in this region but he is awfully silent. Why?
VINOGRAD: He has been which is a little creepy. But, you know, I think he is really delighted to see this breakthrough shakier and shakier. And to see us get more isolated from our allies on issues like Iran and just because he has been quiet, it doesn't mean that things aren't trending in his favor.
Last week, an amendment was introduced in Russia parliament that would extend his term limits. I'm guessing this is going to pass. He went to Sochi and hosted major meeting with his military brass. He unveiled an illegal bridge to Crimea just to show that he could. He brought Assad to Russia again just to show that he could, to show that he had that kind of power. And he met with Angela Merkel in Russia. He gave her flowers this time. And they talked about that issues that Russia and Germany are aligned on against the United States like Iran and an energy pipeline.
CABRERA: You mentioned Iran. Obviously, still unknown what is going to happen with the Iran deal that the U.S. has removed itself from. Where do you think Putin wants to see things go?
VINOGRAD: Well, I think this is a win-win for Putin any way you cut it on Iran because first off, the United States is the outlier. We are isolated from our allies which Putin likes. It looks like we are not that credible. We backed out of an agreement arbitrary so we look less trustworthy. And remember, the Russian economy is highly dependent on oil. So if we sanction Iran, if we don't give these waivers, oil prices go up because more Iranian oil is taken out of the global market. That is good news for Russia. The higher the oil price is, the better for the Russian economy.
I do think that we are waiting to see if and when Iran changes its tune. It has been oozing up their allies in saying things like it is going to stay in the deal but the clock on U.S. sanctions is ticking. And unless Iran gets some certainty that it will be able to continue contributing the global economy I think they are can certainly can (INAUDIBLE).
CABRERA: Another country the Trump administration has tough talked about is Venezuela. They are having election today. What do you expect?
VINOGRAD: Well, calling this election is really going way too far in that it's a sham. Secretary Pompeo said that earlier today. We know that this is an entirely staged operation by the Maduro regime. We know that the current President is going to win. And what we don't know is how the United States is going to respond. The Trump administration has sanctioned Venezuela several times over the past year or so. And what we are waiting to see is how it reacts to this latest election and these results which aren't credible. And if it does things like sanction Venezuelan oil and as we just discussed, Ana, if more Iranian oil is coming offline, it is less likely that the Trump administration is going to put constraints on Venezuelan oil going to market because it doesn't want to further restrict oil to pipes.
[19:55:12] CABRERA: And gas prices up here in the U.S., obviously.
Thank you so much, Sam Vinograd. Good to have you.
We are back in just a moment.
[19:59:49] CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
And we are following two breaking news stories in the White House Russia probe.
First, in a shocking move, President Trump announcing on twitter he will officially demand tomorrow that the justice department look into whether the FBI infiltrated his 2016 campaign for political purposes and whether it was at the request of people within the Obama administration.
Also, breaking tonight, the President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani --