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CNN NEWSROOM

Nearly 500 Civilians Killed In US Military Operations In Trumps 1st Year; Hurricane Season Day 1: Puerto Rico Still Struggling 9 Months After Storm; Puerto Rico Has Longest Power Outage In Modern US History; Trump: Why Hasn't Samantha Bee Been Fired?; Cavs Costly Last- Second Error; 14-Year Old From Texas Wins With Koinonia. Aired 10:30- 11a ET

Aired June 1, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00]

GARY SAMORE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR RESEARCH, BELFER CENTER, HARVARD: June 12th, and that at the meeting Kim Jong-un would be willing to commit in a general way to denuclearization.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You've said that the real work here is after the summit. If the summit doesn't happen, you seem to feel like it will, but if it doesn't happen, what does that mean for all the work that would need to be done after the summit? Is it just dead in the water?

SAMORE: Well, I wouldn't say that, because you could always delay the meeting. I mean, if the arrangements for the meeting, like the negotiations of this summit communique can't be finished by June 12th, there is no reason why you couldn't have the meeting a month later on July 12th.

So I don't think Trump and Kim are prepared to give up. I think both leaders want to have a historic summit. And sooner or later, they will come up with compromises and the summit language that make it possible for them to go ahead with the meeting.

KEILAR: Yes, they do both seem very invested in this. Gary Samore, thank you, I really appreciate your insight here.

SAMORE: Thank you, happy to do it.

KEILAR: Minutes ago, a new report from the Pentagon, officials there saying that at least 499 civilians were killed during US military operations in President Trump's first year. CNN's Ryan Browne is at the Pentagon to put this in context for us. Ryan?

RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, this new report being sent to Congress this week detailing what the Pentagon believes to be the number of civilian casualties caused by its military operations in places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen. Now, they say the number is about 499 assessed civilians killed during these military operations over the course of 2017. Now, they do say that 450 additional reports need to be assessed. But these numbers are the first of its kind. The Pentagon recently being tasked, last year at the end of the Obama administration, they were tasked with producing this report, assessing how many civilians are killed in military operations. Now, outside groups, independent monitors have put the numbers of civilian killed by US military during these operations at a higher level.

Pentagon acknowledging that it has its own kind of methodologies that it reviews every case. But this report, first of its kind, and really tracks with what we saw in the first year of the Trump administration, there were a series of increased air strikes against ISIS in places like Iraq and Syria as they fought their biggest cities, Mosul, Rocca, there was a lot of increased fighting, the Trump administration rolled out its new strategy for Afghanistan, which also included some increased military operations, some increased air strikes, so this kind of tracks with this report.

Now again, it's the first report of its kind, difficult to assess previous years and the years the Obama administration, whether they were higher or lower, but it is an interesting report and is -- will be continued and carried forward in future years. Back to you.

KEILAR: All right. Ryan Browne at the Pentagon, thank you.

Today is the first day of hurricane season and Puerto Rico has not recovered from Maria last season. We're going to go there next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:37:09] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ACNHOR: Today marks the first day of hurricane season and the people of Puerto Rico are bracing for the worst. Thousands are still without power since hurricane Maria devastated the island nine months ago. And this is a new study out of Harvard, finds the death toll is nearly 70 times more than Puerto Rico's government said it was. That study says close to 5,000 people likely died as a result of the hurricane.

The Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello told Anderson Cooper last night this when asked why his government didn't provide the mortality numbers for the researchers when they asked.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO: I signed on Executive Order whereby this data is being accessible. We opened the books. I remember on February when we made the announcement of this Executive Order and the collaboration with George Washington that was precisely my mandate. So obviously I will look into it. I will certainly look into it. And if it is true, Anderson, you know, there will be hell to pay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Governor Ricardo Rosello there. Joining me now, Leyla Santiago who has been covering this from before Maria even hit. And Leyla what can you tell us about how people feel on the island right now?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. Today sort of brings a lot of anxiety as the Atlantic hurricane season begins. When I've asked people across this island from San Juan to even in the interior, in Utuado, if they're prepared, you can just sense that they are anxious.

One woman in Utuado that conversation sort of sticks with me, because she actually began to shake when I asked her if she was prepared. Everyone I have talked to tells me the island is still in recovery mode.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANTIAGO (voice-over): This looks like progress. It is actually a sign of desperation in Utuado, one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

He says they're repairing the power themselves because they're almost at nine months without power. And they feel abandoned.

Charlie Reyes has no experience doing this. Climbing polls, working with live wires, restoring power, something he says he learned in one day from a retired power worker. Using any materials they can find, their risky mission turned the lights back on for more than a dozen. The home of Samuel Vasquez is next.

SAMUEL VASQUEZ, RESIDENT: I feel bad because it just -- I can't get no power. I can't get no light.

SANTIAGO: In Utuado, tarps are still being used, roads washed out and emergency plans are still being worked out. Mayor Ernesto Irizarry says his municipality cannot take another storm. So how frustrating is that as the leader of 30,000 people in Utuado?

[10:40:07] MAYOR ERNESTO IRIZARRY, UTUADO, PUERTO RICO: It is difficult and hard because you see in the eye of the people the frustration.

SANTIAGO: He says he doesn't have the basic resources or the money to respond to a natural disaster. Eight months after Maria, parts of the island are still dealing with what FEMA calls the longest power outage in modern US history more than 10,000 customers are still in the dark.

Can this power grid, can it sustain itself if another hurricane were to come?

WALT HIGGINS, CEO, PREPA: Most honest thing to say about our grid is that it is weak or fragile.

SANTIAGO: Walt Higgins is the new CEO for Puerto Rico's power authority, tasked with fixing a power grid never built to handle a four or five hurricanes. Just weeks ago, an island wide blackout was caused by a fallen tree. Higgins promises most of those still without power, though, not all will have it restored in a matter of weeks. When it cannot say is what will happen if another storm plunges the island into darkness.

HIGGINS: My straight answer to that is we are readier this year than we were last year.

SANTIAGO: And people on the island will be counting on it for their very lives. Harvard study now indicates a lack of power after Maria is partly to blame for more than 4,600 deaths, far more than in Puerto Rico's official death toll of 64. Will this be enough?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, yes.

SANTIAGO: For FEMA's part, it is showing off this warehouse full of disaster relief supplies. The plan for the next disaster compared to Maria preparations to have seven times more water and meals, six times more generators, eight times more tarps, all on the island before the next hurricane. The agency admits it learned some lessons.

Will FEMA be ready for a faster response if a hurricane --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, there's no doubt. No doubt.

SANTIAGO: But for those in Utuado, taking matters into their own hands, any sign of recovery is a victory.

You get a little emotional about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. You know how long that I didn't see the light at my house? Nine months. Nine months.

SANTIAGO: Now, another hurricane could be around the corner for the next season.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I guess I got to do it again, by hand again, the people.

SANTIAGO: The hope here is that power returns before the next storm. And, Poppy, I've spoken to a handful of mayors and I couldn't get one of them to say yes, period. We are prepared for the next hurricane season.

A few told me that they are more prepared now than they were before Maria but the majority said that they are not and, in fact, I just got off the phone with the mayor of Corozal, Puerto Rico the is in the interior part of the island and he tells me that about 20 percent to 25 percent of homes are still depending on some sort of temporary roof as shelter eight months after Maria and on day one of the Atlantic hurricane season.

HARLOW: I can't believe it. If this were Houston, if this were New York, is this for Minneapolis, LA, you think the people would even -- would even be nine months with this many people living without power? It is unbelievable.

Leyla, before you go, you, your heart has been in this story. You raised a ton of money, tens of thousands of dollars for this town, Corozal, that is very close to your heart and very close to your family. There it is on the screen, the people want to donate and help. Can you tell me how they're doing?

SANTIAGO: Yes. Again, I just spoke to the mayor. He says the majority of the people, 95 percent do have power. So, look, I don't want to take away from the progress that has been made. There has been progress made. But as he said, there is still so much more to do, so many homes still without roofs over their head and most of this, the municipalities Corozal included are broke. They don't have the money to recover.

HARLOW: So people can help there by going to the go fund me page. Look, a lot of journalists cover stories; you covered it, made a big difference. Thank you for what you've been doing Leyla. We appreciate it, all right.

[10:44:25] So advertisers are pulling out of her show, now the President is calling for her job. Should Samantha bee be fired for the crude comment she made about Ivanka Trump?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: This morning, President Trump is hoping Samantha Bee will hear one of his favorite one liners, you're fired. In a tweet, the President questioning why the comedienne still has a job after her crude comment about his daughter, Ivanka? President Trump trying to link these jokes where a lot of people found it not funny and be apologized, but trying to link that to the racist comment that got Roseanne fired. I want to bring in Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter to talk about this.

No doubt this word that was used by Samantha Bee is a terribly offensive word, Brian. The President as we listen to him react to it, he's jumping on kind of the bandwagon of the sort of double standard bandwagon that we've seen from conservative pundits.

BRIAN STELTER SENIOR AENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right. Really embracing this as an opportunity to play grievance politics, to say he's the victim and the conservatives are the victim of a liberal media double standard.

The first things first, in a couple of facts, there's no indication TBS is going to fire Samantha Bee. TBS did support her statement yesterday where she took responsibility and apologized. And the network also acknowledged it had responsibility as well. Because this was scripted, it was pretapped that means producers and writers knew about it ahead of time and so allowed it to air.

[10:50:18] So TBS now says this should not have aired, but there's no indication that's going to be disciplinary action as a result. The network is just totally ignoring Trump's tweet today, not responding to it at all. There have been a couple of advertisers that said they want to be removed from the show. They have suspended their ads on the show, that's Autotrader and State Farm. We'll see if more advertisers choose to do that. But this is a pretty common response when there is a controversy involve in TV show, some advertisers will, at least for the short term, remove their ads. KEILAR: And take a look at a photo of Ted Nugent with the President in the Oval Office. He called Hillary Clinton the C-word. We also -- I was reminded on Twitter looking at a tweet from one of the reporters who covered the Trump campaign, I guess there was a t-shirt that was worn in a lot of Trump campaign events that had the C-word on it. It makes you wonder if this is sort of, you know, didn't seem that outrageous to the President when it was on the other side.

STELTER: Right. An element I'm in hypocrisy here. There's even been allegations that he might have used that word in the past. Look, you know, there's a lot of issues that go around here. It is absolutely a cause for concern, what being said on the air. What she said was inappropriate. But it's also concerning that the White House responded the way it did.

Anytime you have Sarah Sanders, the first lady's office and now the President directly saying, hey, why is this person so employed? That can have a chilling effect on free expression. It is certainly is not in line with the values that past Presidents have promoted. So I think there is a lot of concern to go around here.

Certainly Bee is feeling some regret, I think she'll probably address this on her show next week. Let's see what direction she takes it in. But at the same time, the President being on Twitter saying why aren't they firing her, that can be concerning as well, concerning and having a chilling effect.

KEILAR: All right. Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

Still ahead, basketball blunder, a big one. Epic fail on the court, leading to a Game 1 loss for the Cavs in the NBA finals. See the play that has everyone shaking their heads today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:56:49] HARLOW: Did you watch? Did you watch last night, Bri?

KEILAR: No I did not but I watched this morning.

HARLOW: OK. I was still asleep, but yes a costly last second error may have cost the Cavs for a long time. Lindsay Czarniak watched and is here with this morning's bleacher report. Good morning.

LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How could you not watch, guys? This is truly going to hunt one player forever. What was JR thinking? That story is trending worldwide, because the Cavaliers were -- they were so close to stealing a victory on the road when one of their own teammates just blanked on what to do.

LeBron James put in the playoff performance of his life. He had 51 points and the Cavaliers were well on their way to possibly winning Game 1 of the NBA finals until that momentum was brought to a screeching halt. With mere seconds left, the game was tied, JR Smith got the rebound after his teammate missed a chance to take a lead.

All Smith had to do was shoot and instead, he dribbled towards half- court and time expired. That forced overtime, which the Warriors dominated and won. To fans across the country, it seems JR Smith believed his team was ahead when he decided to dribble the clock down. But here is Smith explaining what the heck he was thinking after the game.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JR SMITH, BASKETBALL PLAYER: Tie ball game, we have time-out. As I was trying to get enough space, I was thinking -- standing right there, trying to get enough space to bring it out to maybe get a shot off. And then I've seen -- I looked over LeBron, he was trying to call time-out, so I just stopped. And then the game was over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CZARNIAK: So he says he thought it was tied all along. Meanwhile, Smith's coach told reporters after the game, Smith told him he thought they were up one and was trying to run the clock out. Thought there's going to be a time-out. Regardless of what he was really thinking, it was infuriating. And look at this, this says it all. LeBron showing his frustration towards Smith on the court and afterwards in the press conference he was so irritated, he just left.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he think that you guys had it won or he was trying to make a play?

LEBRON JAMES, BASKETBALL PLAYER: Not sure. I don't know his state of mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know if he knew the score?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

CZARNIAK: So there you have it. LeBron wasn't going to stick around for that guy. He's on a very frustrating situation for all of them and obviously a lot of work cut out for them as they now prepare for game two.

HARLOW: Oh I'd like it hurts to watch Lindsay Czarniak. Thank you so much.

CZARNIAK: You got it, guys.

KEILAR: So an eighth grader from McKinney, Texas, is the new Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Koinonia, K-o-i-n-o-n-i-a.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is correct.

KEILAR: All right. Karthik Nemmani, he says he knew immediately when he heard that word that he was going to win, right? Didn't you? By the way, koinonia means an intimate spiritual communion. Karthik $40,000 grad, Poppy, he got a trophy, he got some encyclopedias. Yes wow. Right?

HARLOW: I wish you koinonia this weekend, my friend.

KEILAR: Thank you. Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: So nice to have you here, Brianna, from afar. But thank you for being here. See you Monday?

KEILAR: It's great to be with you. I'll see you on Monday. AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BALDWIN starts now.