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Monsoon Seasons Impedes Rescue of Soccer Team & Coach in Thailand; Former Thai Navy SEAL Dies Trying to Help Soccer Team & Coach;. EPA Chief Scott Pruitt the Latest in White House Revolving Door; Michael Cohen Hires Former Special Counsel for Bill Clinton, Doesn't Expect Pardon. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 6, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00] JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEROLOGIST: And can you see the clouds in the area. The forecast radar doesn't look so bad over the next couple of days, but once we get in today. And 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, that's where when the rain is going to pick up.

Here's the next five days. And you can see one to two inches really. Possibly up to four on the tail end of that. Day six through ten, that's where we're looking at possibly four inches of rain. That's really going to fill that cave. Here's a graph. The rain staying pretty small, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. By Tuesday, possibly half an inch. Wednesday, we could get more than inch. And, Brooke, those rain totals stay high over the next couple of days. That will make the current in those caves even stronger and waters to rise even more.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Jennifer, thank you.

Another note on this rescue. Teams have now drilled 100 holes trying to find a route for the trapped but that they're saying there are 18 potentially. Just an idea of what they're working with.

CNN joined a group of National Park rangers and Thai military on a mountain trek to find other entrances to the cave system. Teams drove up a steep muddy hillside and through thick vegetation just to find potential access points. These rescue divers have been navigating the waters in narrow tunnels inside the cave.

And our own correspondent, Gary Tuchman, actually went underwater in a cave similar to the one the boys are trapped in just to show how perilous this rescue job really is.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I walk in 40-degree water with two of the preeminent cave divers in the United States. Sgt. Wendell Nope is the trainer of the Utah Department of Public Safety Dive Team. Richard Lam is a civilian who is part of the team.

We're in northern Utah's Logan Canyon in a cave system geographically similar to the cave in Thailand where the young boys and coach are trapped, and it's similar to other ways, too.

SGT. WENDELL NOPE, TRAINER, UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY DIVE TEAM: This cave is flooded with snowmelt water. The cave in Thailand is flooded with monsoon water.

TUCHMAN: Both men begin their scuba voyage into the cave with our cameras to give us a look at the dangers and show us why you absolutely never do anything like this without diving certification. Just getting into this nearly half-mile the cave system requires squeezing through a narrow tunnel. And this is not the narrowest tunnel they will face. Waters that go as deep as 90 feet.

(on camera): Are you scared sometimes when you go in a cave like this?

NOPE: I have at times been afraid when something unexpected happens.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Something unexpected includes equipment failure, changes in water depth, and falling rocks and boulders that could leave you trapped.

RICHARD LAM, CIVLIAN MEMBER, UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY DIVE TEAM: My greatest fear is running out of air before I make it out of the cave. The truth is, I have been stuck in this cave.

TUCHMAN: Stuck for about six minutes, Richard Lam says. It crossed his mind that he was in serious trouble. He was rescued by Sergeant Nope.

To become cave diver certified, one of the requirements is that must be at least 18 years old due to the difficulty in skill needed, which raises yet another concern for those boys in Thailand, some as young as 11, and several who can't swim.

NOPE: In my perception it's a last resort. It is a viable means of providing them an escape route.

TUCHMAN (on camera): If it's the only resort.

NOPE: If it's the only resort.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Officials in Thailand are pumping water out of the caves around the clock. A much better option, says this master diver.

NOPE: I believe if the rain were to subside enough that the pumps could draw enough water out of the cave, that would be an optimal scenario.

TUCHMAN (on camera): This frigid watery cave is so inherently dangerous that we're told that more people have walked on the moon than have navigate through this. Our two experts tell us, in addition to themselves, they know of only five other people who have gone through here.

(voice-over): The circumstances for the boys and their soccer coach in Thailand remain life-threatening and extremely challenging.

But these Utah experts have faith in their diving colleagues on the scene. NOPE: When a human being is faced with seemingly insurmountable

challenges, we seem to rise to that challenge.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Logan Canyon, Utah.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[14:34:25] BALDWIN: Quite the challenge. I don't think I could ever do that.

As Scott Pruett resigns, he may be hard to keep track of, as far as who has left the White House, who is still there. The "New York Post" trying to keep track this way. We'll take a look at the revolving door.

Also, former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, makes this unusual move. Hires one of Bill Clinton's former lawyers to join his legal team. What this might say about his case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The constantly revolving door of the administration. EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is out, not before he was subject to at least 14 ethics investigations. And while his exit presents its own set of dilemmas for this White House, it adds to the unprecedented level of turnover for a first-term president.

Our scorekeeper, Chris Cillizza, is with me now, CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large.

Chris, so starting with the communications staff, because that story is coming up varied this week with all the headlines.

[14:39:27] CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT- LARGE: Well, this is just prominent folks who have left. According to the Brookings Institute, 54 percent of the cabinet level positions have already left. You mentioned communications. Bill Shine comes on board as the director of communications, former FOX News head. Hear all the team he has left, Scaramucci, Sean Spicer, Omarosa, Hope Hicks. This doesn't even include Jason Miller, who was named communications director in the transition, but wound up not actually taking the job.

Aides, lots more here. We've got Ty Cobb, one of the faces of the legal team. Reince Priebus, former chief of staff. Gary Cohn, his economic advisor. You'll recognize this guy, Steve Bannon, over here.

We're not done yet. National security, OK, national security folks. You've got how about that guy there? I don't know if you can read it. Mike Flynn, former national security advisor. Not only out, but cooperating with the probe by Robert Mueller. Andrew McCabe over here. FBI. I'm getting in the way of his head. H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor. A second national advisor.

There's just person after person. You can literally pick almost anywhere on here. And what this last one that we're looking at is economic stuff. Larry Kudlow. Steve Mnuchin, as Treasury. These are people left standing. Not many, Brooke. So we've got, out of all, a reminder, a reminder, this is not everyone. This is not everyone.

BALDWIN: These are the primary people.

CILLIZZA: But these are the people who are still there. Kellyanne. I mean, this might be the most amazing one. Jeff Sessions still there. These are sort of survivors.

The truth of the matter is here are the two that aren't going anywhere under any circumstances, Ivana and Jared. Everybody else, the amount of turnover at the senior level. Remember, Donald Trump has said very famously in response to the idea of Rex Tillerson leaving, which he eventually did, it doesn't really matter. The only person that matters is me. That's ultimately what all of this -- that's the story that it tells. Everybody else is, in Donald Trump's mind, extraneous other than Donald Trump.

But this is record-setting revolving door chains. Don't under estimate it. It means conventional wisdom, it means knowledge is leaving a White House, and ultimately not being replaced.

BALDWIN: Sometimes you can read all the reports, but to see it visually like that --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: That's amazing.

(CROSSTALK)

CILLIZZA: I spend every day with it.

BALDWIN: That is what tells the story.

Chris Cillizza, thank you very much, my friend.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Enjoy the beach.

As legal pressure mounts, friends of Michael Cohen now telling CNN he is pessimistic. He is pessimistic that President Trump will offer him a pardon. We'll discuss what that means.

Also, hear the interesting background of the lawyer Cohen just hired.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:47:05] BALDWIN: This is a man who once said he would take a bullet for President Trump. And now the president's former personal attorney is so sure the president will have his back. Friends of Michael Cohen tells CNN friends he doesn't believe the president would grant him a pardon.

This comes as Cohen hires an attorney who once worked as a special counsel for president Clinton during the 1990s. All of this before he is even charged with a crime.

Let's bring in former federal prosecutor, Glenn Kirschner.

Glenn, thank you for coming in. I appreciate it.

GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Your reaction to the fact that Cohen is saying that he thinks the president won't have his back. Feels abandoned. Your read on that?

KIRSCHNER: It's probably a reasonable position for him to take. I think with his now hiring of Lanny Davis to be part of his defense team, he is unmistakably on the road to cooperation. I think the first step he took was when he hired Guy Petrillo, a former chief of the criminal division for the southern district of New York, U.S. attorney's office. That was a pretty early indication that Michael Cohen wanted someone who could work with the authorities. Not just somebody who was going to prepare for a trial. You know, the next step that he took was --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Hang on. There's a lot of lawyers out there. There's a lot of, you know, wonderful, fancy, smart lawyers. This is a guy who worked with, of all people, Bill Clinton. Why hire him?

KIRSCHNER: I think the reason he hires him is because -- look, Lanny Davis is not really a trial lawyer. He is more than a political operative. He is obviously something of a Clinton loyalist. You know, he, as you mentioned, was special counsel to president Clinton back in the late 1990s, including in the impeachment hearings. He also worked with Hillary Clinton. Because he is not a trial lawyer and more of a political operative, it seems to me that he is being brought on as somebody who can perhaps be the public face of Michael Cohen's defense with Guy Petrillo being sort of the legal behind-the- scenes attorney who is going to be negotiating with Bob Mueller's team.

BALDWIN: So you think this is sort of a harbinger of cooperation. If he's already decided to cooperate before he's facing charges, what does that tell you?

KIRSCHNER: It tells you he knows he has done wrong, that he's going to be charged, perhaps both federally and locally in the state of New York. You could see that cooperation coming when he gave that interview earlier in the week to George Stephanopoulos, and he said things like, I have great respect for the FBI, great respect for the prosecutors, and anybody who vilifies the FBI is just dead wrong. Who was he referring to there? I think we can probably guess that it was the president because the president seems to wake up every morning and his first inclination is to treat -- tweet something derogatory about the FBI or the Department of Justice. And then the final step, Brooke, that I would maintain, shows that he is firmly on the path to cooperating is when he scrubbed all references to Donald Trump from his social media accounts. BALDWIN: Twitter feed, yes.

KIRSCHNER: On the Fourth of July, we saw the symbolism there. Michael Cohen declaring independence from Donald Trump. Sign after sign after sign makes it clear that he is on the road to cooperation.

[14:50:35] BALDWIN: Wow. If he is sending out signals to get legal fees paid and President Trump wanted to, you know, do something about it, does the president have any options in that regard?

KIRSCHNER: I think the president's only option is for sit and wait and see what and probably tweet out derogatory things about Michael Cohen, which we all know would be a change in what the president had said about him before. He is a fine man, he is my lawyer, and I trust him. I suspect we're about to hear different things coming from the president concerning Michael Cohen.

BALDWIN: Glenn Kirschner, we'll get back with you when and if you're prophecy proves true.

Glenn, thank you so much.

KIRSCHNER: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Have a good weekend.

KIRSCHNER: You, too.

BALDWIN: In a couple of minutes, the Trump administration is expected to tell a federal judge in San Diego that they may need more time to reunite migrant families before the fast-approaching deadlines. This, as we begin to see emotional reunions between separated parents and their children just like this. A CNN exclusive, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:56:05] BALDWIN: A North Carolina man has been fired from his job after he demanded to see the I.D. of a woman trying to get into a neighborhood pool. When she refused, he called police. CNN affiliate, WXII, reports that the man was member of the homeowners' association. The woman who lives in the community claims she was racially profiled. She recorded the confrontation on her cell phone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I live in this neighborhood. You tell me is there a --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a camera on right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good. Is there an ordinance that we have to show I.D. to use the pool?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the -- it's right there. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where does it say that I have to show an I.D. to

use my pool, my own pool?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you recommend in terms of proceeding?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody else is asked their I.D. I feel this is racial profiling, and I'm the only black person here with my son in the pool. I'm just here with my baby swimming.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: I understand. I understand completely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just wasted taxpayers' money, wasting your time to come here. That's what it is.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: If she has a card to get in the pool, then I believe that should be enough.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's validate that it works then.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So the officer tested the woman's key card, and it worked. The man said he asked to see people's I.D.'s a couple of times a week. But the HOA apologized for his actions and issued this statement saying, in part, "The pool chair escalated the situation in a way that does not reflect the inclusive values Glenridge seeks to uphold as a community." And the man's employer tweeted today that he has been released.

Even as Health and Human Services officials say they may need an extension on the deadline to reunify these families, there are some heart-wrenching reunions now taking place. CNN had cameras rolling as a mother and daughter find one another in Boston after some two months apart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CRYING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(CRYING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(APPLAUSE0

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Oh, and the little girl patting her mom's back. As we wait for more of these reunions, the Trump administration now

says it needs more time to reunite these families as --