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Clinton Says He Doesn't Owe Monica Lewinsky an Apology; New Trouble for EPA Administrator Pruitt; Study: Many Breast Cancer Patients Could Avoid Chemo; Quake Hits Kilauea Summit, Ash Plumes 8000 Feet, Stands Residents. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired June 4, 2018 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:00] BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've had nothing but women leaders in my office since I left. You are giving one side and omitting facts.

CRAIG MELVIN, NBC NEWS ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: But you didn't apologize to her.

CLINTON: I have not talked to her.


MELVIN: Do you feel you owe her an apology?

CLINTON: No. I -- I do not -- I never talk to her. But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That's very different. The apology was public.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Joe, Kim and Congressman Dent back with me now.

Joe, what is your reaction to President Clinton here?

JOE LOCKHART, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is interesting because I think it highlights the vast difference between what it was like 20 years ago and today. I think in that interview, he succumbed to being the victim and feeling victimized. And the reason that the president succeed 20 years ago was he didn't do it then. He made it about the country, he did apologize, he did all of those things. And I think in that moment, you're seeing Donald Trump a little bit. And I am not comparing them on any other level beyond the terrible strategy it is to make himself, you, the issue here, and to be victimized. He was not the victim then. Donald Trump is not the victim now. What is going on with the president now is all of his own doing. And I think, you know -- but I think politicians and human beings at times go through and are treated unfairly at certain points, and they forget the, you know, both the underlying issue and what the best strategy is to just move on. BOLDUAN: But, Kim, the question that Craig Melvin posed to the

president was, looking back through the lens of "Me Too" now, do you think differently or feel more responsibility? You were an attorney in the Whitewater case. Does Clinton's response suggest to you he sees this differently today?

KIM WELHE, ASSOCIATE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL IN WHITEWATER INVESTIGATION: It was an unfortunate response. It was hard to watch. I think there are a number of things going on here. Number one, is what Joe mentioned, which is a broader picture with respect to accountability at the highest levels of office. I think it is unfortunate that President Clinton didn't take this moment in time to send that message to the American public. Number two has to do with whether there was any criminal wrongdoing. People ask me all the time, they make comparisons between President Trump and the Clintons. I said, listen, I was there, I can tell you there were smart, really good prosecutors. If there was a prosecutor -- a crime for which there was a reason to prosecute, those people would have been prosecuted. There wasn't anything there. So the Clintons were vindicated. But the third piece really has to do with Monica Lewinsky. She was hurt. And this was trauma for her and trauma for her family. And it was an abuse of office on the facts. That is really unfortunate that, at this point in time, that aspect of it can't be put to rest, because the public reports are that she's really struggled, understandably. She was a young woman. And I do think what happened in the White House is not inconsistent with what we're seeing people being held accountable for. And it is unfortunate, again, the president didn't take this moment to take responsibility for that part, for the harm and the hurt that was caused to -- a woman that has had to live with it every day of her life.

BOLDUAN: And, Congressman, I also am left wondering, how is Bill Clinton, who is now kicking off a book tour, that was the -- the point of the interview, not prepared to answer this?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Who knows why he's not prepared. But I'll tell you what, as a former chairman of the House Ethics Committee, I can tell you that, had a member -- a male member of the House of Representatives done what Bill Clinton did in the -- in his office, with an intern, and had been publicly discovered, that member would be out of office by the end of the day. And it would go something like this. You would be summoned to the speaker's office and have a conversation, and it would be a letter placed in front of you that you're expected to sign. It would be your resignation letter. That's how it works. This is before the "Me Too" movement.


DENT: I've been through this.

Oh, I can assure you of that. Oh, Joe, please. I've see members resign this year, Franks, Franken, man, I have a whole list --


LOCKHART: And, Congressman, things are changing. (CROSSTALK)

LOCKHART: If you go back over time --


LOCKHART: -- and you'll have more cases of -- taxpayers paying for the defense of members of Congress who have sexually harassed members. So the idea that if a member of Congress over the last 20 years --


DENT: I didn't say sexual harassment, Joe. I didn't say -- look, I said what Bill Clinton did in the office with an intern -- I can't say it on television. We know what it was. But had a member of Congress done that in his office, with an intern, I guarantee you that they would be forced from office. Almost immediately.

LOCKHART: And history shows just the opposite.

BOLDUAN: But I will say this, I don't understand --


DENT: Not in recent years.

BOLDUAN: I am truly struck, Joe, how Bill Clinton who is as polished a politician as they come, can't answer this question. He seemed truly caught off guard, which blows me away. He goes from -- do you look at this differently, is the question that Craig asked. Good on Craig for continuing to push. And he goes to, and don't believe that I got out of this free, scot-free.

[11:35:13] LOCKHART: Listen, I think what he failed to do was separate the two issues. One, he was treated unfairly. He was impeached for something that should have never gotten there. On the other hand, he did do something wrong. And he has publicly acknowledged that. He has publicly apologized. I was standing right there next to him, multiple times when he did it. But he didn't separate those two things. And I think it goes to -- it wasn't his best answer.

BOLDUAN: But, Joe, in the present and looking forward, is this everything you need to see, the Democratic members of Congress need to see to answer yes or no if they want Bill Clinton campaigning for them now?

LOCKHART: They'll make the --


BOLDUAN: In the era of the "Me Too" movement.

LOCKHART: They'll make their own decisions on that. And I think he's been an asset to the Democratic Party over the last 30 years. I think that's -- you know, I don't think anyone would dispute that. But going forward, I think -- if he did another interview tomorrow, you need to separate those two things, and then I think the -- I think he's got an answer to it.

BOLDUAN: Joe, thanks so much.

Congressman, thank you.

Kim, great to see you. Thank you so much.

Coming up, new trouble for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Yes, new trouble. How Democrats say Pruitt used his staff to run personal errands, including trying to buy a used mattress from a Trump International Hotel during his controversial apartment search. We'll learn about it. That's next.


[11:40:54] BOLDUAN: More breaking news this morning. Yet another potential ethics problem for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

CNN's Rene Marsh has the details. She's joining me now.

Rene, what does this have to do with a mattress from the Trump hotel?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Interesting details from Democrats with the House Oversight Committee. They interviewed a top EPA aide recently and now they're releasing new details from that interview with that aide. They say that, walking away from that interview, it became apparent that Scott Pruitt has been using his personal staff there at EPA to run personal errands for him from house hunting to even getting a good price on a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel, a plush Euro pillow-top mattress to be exact.

Again, this is all coming from an interview that House Oversight Committee members had with one of Pruitt's top staffers. This staffer, her name is Millan Hupp. She also describes herself as a personal friend of Pruitt. She also said that she, during her work time and work hours, did house hunting trips for him. According to her interview, she searched for several rental properties for Pruitt and his wife for several hours a week over the course of several months, touring more than 10 of those properties during work hours. And that is what the potential violation is, according to Democrats. They say it is a violation of the rules for a federal employee to be working in this manner outside of any EPA duties to do something like this for Scott Pruitt. They say that essentially this is an example of federal employees using the public office for private gain. That is the latest to come out of that interview.

BOLDUAN: And the latest ethics issue to be stacking up against Scott Pruitt now.

Rene, great to see you. Thank you so much.

MARSH: That's right. BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a groundbreaking new study says that tens of thousands of women with breast cancer may not need chemotherapy after all. What you need to know, that's next.


[11:47:29] BOLDUAN: A major development in the battle against breast cancer, and it could save thousands of women battling breast cancer without the use of chemotherapy. Researchers say, by using genetic testing on tumors, they can determine whether or not a patient needs chemotherapy or will be treated just as well with other treatments. The results, 60,000 women a year could skip toxic chemotherapy treatments in the United States. That's a new sign of hope for the 260,000 new breast cancer cases expected just this year. The study was published in the "New England Journal of Medicine."

Joining me now is the lead author of the study, Dr. Joseph Sparano.

Doctor, thank you so much for coming in.


BOLDUAN: Good morning.

So for every woman walking into their doctor today, receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, what do they need to know? What do they need to ask?

SPARANO: Well, chemotherapy is typically recommended to help reduce the risk of occurrence after potentially curative surgery. Up until now, we haven't really had great tests to help to decide who really benefits from chemotherapy and who doesn't. So what we did was a trial to integrate this test into the decision-making process. And we confirmed that for the vast majority of patients, chemotherapy is not necessary.

BOLDUAN: It is pretty amazing. It almost flies in the face of everything that we have thought until now. If you have cancer, the best course of action, just to be safe, if you will, is to have chemotherapy. What do you say to a woman who says, why not just get chemo just to be safe?

SPARANO: Well, that was -- that was the recommendation we gave up until yesterday. We now have the results -- it was essentially like rolling the dice, in terms of trying to figure out whether a specific individual was going to be the one who was going to benefit from chemotherapy, but now we have this test that can help us determine who exactly will benefit.

BOLDUAN: What did you think when you saw the results coming in?

SPARANO: Well, you know, it's amazing. I mean, this test has been available for about 15 years. We integrated into our clinical practice. It has already resulted in the decline in the use of chemotherapy. About two-thirds of the patients who had the test, the result produced a finding that was still in the gray zone, where a patient still had a substantial risk of recurrence but where we weren't quite sure whether chemotherapy would benefit them. And now we have that information and we know that chemotherapy is not beneficial.

[11:50:05] BOLDUAN: It's pretty amazing when I was looking at -- and, of course, I am no doctor and don't play one on TV -- but when you see the statistics of recurrence for women who received chemotherapy and women who received hormone therapy when they're in this gray zone, there was no statistic difference in recurrence. It was amazing.

SPARANO: Yes, that's absolutely right. I think what's important to emphasize, though, is that all these women received standard care, standard potentially curative surgery, radiation. They had breast surgery and also the endocrine therapy. The critical component is the endocrine therapy because these tumors are independent. So these really good results really require that women take their hormone therapy, their endocrine therapy to prevent a recurrence. This does not mean they don't need any therapy. The endocrine therapy is really a critical component to ensure the good results that we see.

BOLDUAN: Doctor, as I was reading through, ready about your study, it had me thinking about the women who took part in the trial and who took part in the study, and how they took a risk, right, not knowing if going with chemo would help them or hurt them? What's your message to them today?

SPARANO: Thank you.


BOLDUAN: Thank you for all of us.

SPARANO: Yes. The trial really wouldn't have been possible without them. And this was -- these are the people who deserve the most credit, the individuals who -- the woman who volunteered for this trial. And there were over 10,000 of them.

BOLDUAN: Just amazing. Wow.

Thank you, doctor, for doing the study, putting it out. And now we have clear -- it seems like a new day in terms of the battle against breast cancer and what this means for women.

Great to see you. Thank you so much.

SPARANO: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in Hawaii sending ash plumes up to 8,000 feet. While nearly, a dozen people have gotten stranded in an area cut off by lava. We'll go there live to try to get an update. We'll bring you there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:56:26] BOLDUAN: Hawaii is now bracing for aftershocks after a magnitude 5.5 earthquake rocked the Kilauea Volcano summit. Ash plumes sent 8,000 feet into the air. And now close to a dozen people have been left stranded in an area cut off by lava.

CNN's Scott McLean is on a boat just off the coast of Hawaii and he's joining us right now.

Scott, what are you seeing?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate. One of the big concerns that we're seeing out here is people being stranded by lava. Right now, this white smoke that you see in the distance, this is something called lava haze, or laze, and it is a potentially deadly gas. It's also a sign that the lava has entered the ocean. That is bad for the people who live on the left side of your screen there, in those homes. And you can see there are quite a lot of them. A couple hundred homes in the way right now from this lava that is heading toward the ocean.

Right now, this front of lava, this lava flow, is about a half a mile wide. And between it and where we are, obviously, is those couple hundred houses. You can see just how much is entering and how much smoke is created. There's actually a bay there. You can't really tell from here just because there's so much smoke that filled it up.

If you look over to the right side -- Ty, you want to look to the right side of the smoke there? It's hard to see, but you'll see black smoke coming up. That's a home burning or that is a structure of some type burning. And so, we're seeing that from time to time, those flareups of that dark black smoke.

Ty, do you want to go to the left here, you can see through the haze that fissure that's feeding all this. We're about seven or eight miles away from the main fissure located in the Leilani Estates neighborhood. And you can see it from here. It is shooting some 200 feet into the air. Even from where we are, it is bright in the distance. The only thing that's obscuring it right now is a little bit of smoke.

As you mentioned, Kate, there were about a dozen people who were stranded by lava just on the south side of this lava flow. There were actually three that were rescued over the weekend. Now they're down to nine. These people aren't in any immediate danger, per se, the reality is they have no water, power. There's no land line service, no cell phone service out there either. So essentially, they are cut off from the rest of the island. On one side, they have literally a river of molten lava and, on the other side, they have the Pacific Ocean, where we are, and there aren't have many good access points on this side. And so really they're kind of on their own.

And so, if they're looking for help, essentially authorities have promised to fly helicopter flights over there looking for smoke signals, maybe someone writing SOS on their lawn, anything they can do to get the official's attention and get rescued. But for right now, we have no way to know exactly how many people are over there, where they are, and whether or not they're in need of any kind of help -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: And, Scott, when you're pointing out where the lava haze is kind of threatening these homes over to the left-hand side of our screen, do you know if those -- where those are in relation to the fissure? They're not in danger of lava flow but they are in danger of that haze?

MCLEAN: Yes. So they are definitely in danger of the lava haze. This is a mix of hydrochloric acid, steam, and tiny bits of glass. But then if you look to the left side, Ty, you can see the green stuff where the houses are. Those are the Houses where people live. They're threatened to be cut off but maybe not necessarily in danger of lava -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Scott McLean, thank you so much. Bringing us another new perspective of the threat there from the Kilauea summit.

And thank you all so much for joining me.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.