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White House Silent as Russia Drives Summit Narrative & Trump Talks 2nd Putin Meeting at White House; All 17 Victims Identified in Duck Boat Accident; Sources: White House Waives Privilege on Secretly Recorded Trump-Cohen Tape; New Drinking Water Worries as EPA Rolls Back Regulations; Former George H.W. Bush Doctor Gunned Down While Riding Bike; Symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired July 21, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: After a week of intense damage control following President Trump's stunning and controversial press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House is remaining silent so far this weekend. Still no official read out on that summit.
But we are hearing details, not from the Trump administration, but from Russia. The Kremlin sharing their version of events. And the Russian foreign ministry -- minister, rather, saying the meeting was, quote, "better than super." Now President Trump says he's ready for round two. This time, he's hoping that Putin will come to the White House this fall.
CNN's Ryan Nobles join us live from nearby Trump's golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is spending the weekend.
Ryan, what do you know about this possible second summit?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not a whole lot, honestly, Fred. Much of Washington is still trying to figure out exactly what the impact of this second summit with Vladimir Putin and President Trump could mean, especially because it is scheduled to take place in the United States and even in Washington, and perhaps include a visit to the White House. The only thing we know right now is a message from Sarah Sanders on her Twitter account that said the Ambassador John Bolton had extended an invitation to President Putin. We also know Secretary of State Pompeo had said it would be a next good step in this process between the two countries if they met.
But the timing of all this could make for an interesting and awkward position for not just the White House but for Republican members of Congress. The only thing we know is that it is scheduled to happen sometime this fall. Now, does it happen before the midterm elections, which would be a precarious position for many at-risk Republicans that are running in swing districts around the country that are hoping to hold on to the majority in both the House and the Senate? Or does it happen after the midterm elections around the November 10th military parade that President Trump and secretary -- Defense Secretary James Mattis have planned? Either one of those scenarios would make for an interesting talking point for the White House and everyone that's following this very closely. Now, it's important to keep in mind that even though the White House
continues to explain that they believe that this relationship, that Donald Trump is building with Vladimir Putin, is a good one and it is good for global security, much of Congress, including Republican members of Congress, continue to view Vladimir Putin and the Russian government as an adversary. In fact, the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, was asked if Vladimir Putin comes to Washington, will he be invited to the capital, and Mitch McConnell said that would not happen. So this is definitely putting Republicans in particular in a very difficult spot as the White House continues to sort out their response to this summit that already took place in Helsinki and this potential summit that could take place in the next few months.
And of course, Fred, the backdrop of all this is against the Russia investigation by Robert Mueller seeking potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Still don't know the full outcome of that, but these continued conversations between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump continue to add to that conversation -- Fred?
WHITFIELD: All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much, in New Jersey. Appreciate it.
Let's talk more about all this. Joining me right now, CNN intelligence and security analyst, Bob Baer, also a former CIA operative. CNN political commentator and senior columnist for the "Daily Beast," Matt Lewis. And CNN political analyst and politics editor at the "New York Times," Patrick Healy.
Good to see you all.
Matt, you first.
Still no clarity on the White House on what exactly was discussed in Helsinki, so why does the White House think scheduling another meeting with Putin this time in the White House is, as Pompeo would put it "all good"?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not sure we can handle another one of these meetings based on the way the last one went. The last thing I would want to do is have another one of these meetings. But Donald Trump likes this. He believes if he can look at somebody and look at them in the eye that he can win. And we don't actually know what was said during the actual summit, so-called summit. Because nobody was there except for some translators and the principals. But Donald Trump believes that if he can talk to somebody, that he can persuade them and he can win. I think that's a naive idea, that you can persuade a former KGB agent, who has been president of his country a lot longer than President Trump has been president of America, but that's what he believes.
WHITFIELD: Matt, is it he wins or is it this country wins? I mean, you know, or is there even a separation in the way in which this president is thinking?
LEWIS: I mean, I think that's a very important point. And I think Donald Trump views a lot of this in terms of his own ego. And, in fact, some people say Donald Trump has been compromised. Well, that's one potential excuse for his behavior in Helsinki. Another is just his ego, right? He doesn't want to admit that Russia meddled in the election because, in Trump's mind at least, that suggests that -- you know, that impugns his electoral victory somehow.
[13:05:02] WHITFIELD: Bob, this week in Helsinki and then afterwards, too, you know, all that would or wouldn't be said? What are your suspicions?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you know, I worry about what he told Vladimir Putin, Fred. I mean, you know, what did it lead to? What do the Russians understand? Do the Russians have a tape of this meeting? Are they going to call them out on this? Remember, they are an adversary. They are trying to undermine us in Europe. They're undermining us definitely in Ukraine, the Baltics, and the rest of it. So what are they going to do with this? They're brilliant at this. Vladimir Putin is a KGB agent, was a KGB agent at the very least. He understands covert action. He understands how to undermine U.S. foreign policy. He's doing a brilliant job at it. Look, he's got half this country wondering whether Putin has something on Trump. And, you know, you do have to wonder.
And, Patrick, we never really heard from the president what the goal was. What was the goal? He did say, you know, he could talk about a few things, you know, Syria, you know, et cetera. He went down a list. But we didn't hear a goal, because he said we'll figure it out when we get there. Now we're hearing of another potential meeting. And absent still is what would be the goal? What would be to gain from another meeting?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's right, Fred. The total lack of clarity around Trump's if you want to call it strategy with Russia is or, you know, just the history and the relationship between him and Putin is a big part of Trump's problem and it's a big part of what is fueling a lot of the questions about what happened in Helsinki. Donald Trump still has not gone before the American people, both during the campaign and as president, to explain what he wants from this relationship with Russia, why it is so important that we have a better relationship with Vladimir Putin. He sort of suggested that Putin could certainly help in Syria and in North Korea. But we have no sense of what strategy really Donald Trump is trying to advance.
The result is twofold. Donald Trump is so isolated right now with regard to Putin, even members of his own intelligence -- you know, intelligence apparatus, people at the White House, they are sort of sending messages that, basically, you know, conflict with what the president is trying to say. Mitch McConnell doesn't want Putin at the capitol. He's incredibly isolated.
And the second part of it, like Matt and Bob said, it just raises all of these questions about whether Russia has something on Trump. And going into the midterms, you know, in October, the Democrats would love to be talking about that and to be insisting that Trump needs a check from a Democratic Congress.
WHITFIELD: I wonder, Matt, this isolation that Patrick so aptly laid out, there's this -- or could it be, you know, President Trump laying some groundwork for his post-presidency. That it really has nothing to do with his term right now in terms of these relations, building the relations with Vladimir Putin, but more so, later for him, personally, not necessarily for this country. It's just all so confusing.
LEWIS: Well, I think that Trump's behavior has been so unorthodox and bizarre that it leads people to speculate. And in some cases, you know, come up with theories like this, right. So one idea is he's already been compromised. Another theory is he is -- Trump is focused on making money in Russia, sort of after the fact. You know, another theory that I mentioned, it's about his ego, you know. He doesn't want to admit that Russia meddled because somehow that implies he didn't win the election fair and square. I mean, I guess you could throw in the fact that maybe he's just naive or stupid.
And then the other option, which I think isn't terribly flattering either, is just that he has this misguided notion that somehow Russia could be an ally of ours, a trusted ally in the war against global Islamism or something or other. I don't think there's any scenario though whether it's the most, you know, sinister or maybe just the most -- the least sinister, none of them actually look good, you know, but one of them has to explain what Donald Trump is up to.
And so, Bob, you know, these relations, meeting one, potentially a meeting two, how does it at all impact the Mueller probe or distract or redirect, anything? Do you see anything correlations that could be made here?
[13:09:51] BAER: I do, Fred. Here's what's going on. The Republicans are clearly alarmed. They may not have done anything substantive to stop Trump, this relationship with Putin, but right now, I don't see how Trump could fire Mueller, Rosenstein, or anybody without getting impeached. He can't do it. So Mueller's going to keep marching on. We're going to see more facts. We're depending on him to see explain this relationship. I hope he gets into Trump's business connections with Russia because a lot of his projects are done with Russian businessmen who are under the thumb of the Kremlin, i.e., Putin's. I would like some clarity on that to see what this relationship means. It's all very troubling, whether it's ego or money or some sort of compromise. I agree with everybody, it's not good either way.
WHITFIELD: Bob Baer, Matt Lewis, Patrick Healy, thanks to all of you. Appreciate it.
WHITFIELD: The search for answers in the wake of that duck boat sinking that killed 17 people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIA COLEMAN, DUCK BOAT ACCIDENT SURVIVOR: And I was yelling, I was screaming. And finally, I said, Lord, just let me die, let me die.
UNIDENTIFID MALE: What a storm --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: We'll have more from that survivor ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Plus, a murder mystery involving a doctor who treated President George H.W. Bush. The former doctor killed in a shooting while riding his bike to work.
[13:15:33] WHITFIELD: Today, investigators in Branson, Missouri, are piecing together what went wrong after a duck boat with 31 people on board sank during a storm Thursday evening. All 17 victims of that accident have been identified. And last night, the community held a candlelight vigil.
A mother who lost nine family members, including her three children, is sharing how she struggled to survive as the boat went under.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLEMAN: I couldn't see anybody. I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't hear screams. I just -- it felt like I was out there on my own. I was yelling. I was screaming. Finally, I said, Lord, just let me die. Let me die. I said, I can't -- I can't keep drowning. I just can't keep drowning. That's how I felt. And then I just let go. And I started floating. I was floating up to the top. I felt the water temperature raised to warm. I jumped up and I saw the big boat that sits out there. I don't know what kind of boat it is. It's huge though. When I saw them, they were throwing out life jackets to people. I said, Jesus, please keep me, just keep me so I can get to my children. Keep me, Lord.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN correspondent, Kaylee Hartung, joins us live now from Branson.
Kaylee, what are investigators saying?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, the NTSB taking the lead. One official saying it could take as long as a year to release a report detailing what led to the deaths of 17 people. Four of the 14 survivors, including Tia Coleman, who you just heard from, are still hospitalized. It will be key for investigators to speak with those survivors as well as witnesses and first responders to better understand what happened on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, those people, those poor people, oh, my god.
HARTUNG (voice-over): Cell phone video capturing the moments before the amphibious tour boat carrying 31 people capsized on Table Rock Lake nearly Branson, Missouri.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no.
HARTUNG: The duck boat struggling, fighting 60-mile-per-hour winds and massive waves before overturning just after 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening. A severe thunderstorm warning issued about half an hour before the boat capsized.
JIM PATTISON JR, PRESIDENT, RIPLEY ENTERTAINMENT (voice-over): My understanding was when the boat went in the water, it was calm. That partway through coming back is when everything -- when the waves picked up and then obviously swamped the boat.
DISPATCHER: Western units. Will need a water rescue. Will be north of the show boat. Will be a duck that has capsized. We have approximately 30 individuals in the water.
HARTUNG: Seventeen people killed. And Missouri's governor telling CNN that 11 members of one family were on the boat. Nine of them dying when it sank.
MIKE PARSON, (R), MISSOURI GOVERNOR: They're still somewhat in shock at the incident, trying to figure out all the things that happened in that tragic event. But it was tough. It was tough to go in there and talk to them and to see them in that position. Because all of us that have family members and children, you know, it's just hard to imagine being in that situation.
HARTUNG: Choppy waves began crashing against two duck boats in the Missouri lake. Courtney Parker was on board the boat just a few feet in front of the one that sunk. She told CNN, "My husband was holding our daughter and tried to get life jackets for them and jump off. But then we got out of it and made it to the ramp. And I turned around and watched the other boat nose-dive and my heart dropped."
Officials say there were life jackets on the boat but it's unclear if anybody was wearing them.
Among those killed, the driver of the boat, Bob Williams. A second crew member, the boat's captain, among the 14 survivors.
HARTUNG: According to survivor, Tia Coleman, she said the crew instructed the passengers on where the life jackets were stored on board but told them, don't worry, you won't need them. As swells of water entered the boat, she says the crew instructed them to stay in their seats. She says when that boat is found, she believes all of the life jackets will still be on board because she didn't see anyone grab one. Fred, that boat, I should say, still at the bottom of Table Rock Lake
behind me. Investigators saying there's a plan they're working on to retrieve it. That retrieval, of course, very critical to this investigation. But they want to ensure that they're bringing that boat up, salvaging it, in the best way to move forward with the investigation.
[13:19:57] WHITFIELD: All right, it is heartbreaking.
All right, thank you so much, Kaylee Hartung. Appreciate it, live in Branson, Missouri.
All right, President Trump lashing out against his former attorney over a recording the FBI confiscated. Should Michael Cohen have secretly taped the president? The story, next.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. The White House has waived privilege on a secretly recorded conversation between Trump and longtime fixer, Michael Cohen. That means the FBI can now access the recording as part of an investigation into Trump's former lawyer. And on that particular tape, President Trump and Cohen reportedly heard discussing a payment to a former "Playboy" model. And it's not the only recording Cohen made.
Joining me right now from Cleveland, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor. And from New Orleans, today, Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor.
Good to see you both.
[13:25:20] RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Good to see you, Fred.
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Hi, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Richard, you first.
Do you think the president's attorney would waive privilege?
HERMAN: Listen, if Barbara Jones, the appointed special master, ruled that this particular document was not subject to attorney/client privilege, whatever Trump and his group are doing is irrelevant. She has already probably made a ruling this is not having anything to do with attorney/client privilege and that takes that away. The question then becomes whether or not the recording is legal or illegal. Under New York law, this recording would be legal --
FRIEDMAN: That's right.
HERMAN: -- because, in New York, it's one-party consent for these types of recordings. Next question, is it ethical or unethical, that has nothing to do with whether or not it would be admissible. It may be unethical under New York disciplinary rules. It may not be. So that's an open issue. (CROSSTALK)
HERMAN: Is the tape authentic? Is it real? Was it doctored? If the ruling is it's a real tape, then it's admissible.
HERMAN: And then they play the tape, Fred. When the tape is played, the government sits down and looks at the defense, and the jury looks at the defense because you can't cross examine a tape.
FRIEDMAN: You can't cross examine a tape, that's right.
HERMAN: So it's pretty devastating. And these tapes and these videos are like cockroaches, Fred. Where there's one, there's many, many more.
HERMAN: And that's what Trump has to be worried about.
WHITFIELD: And, Avery --
HERMAN: He has to be very worried about what else is there.
WHITFIELD: And, Avery, you say this really is more about the campaign finance law and less about who knew what when in terms of what this tape might demonstrate.
FRIEDMAN: Well, I think it's significant because legally what we should be talking about is whether we have a conspiracy to commit federal election law violations. You have Mr. Pecker, the owner of the "National Enquirer," who's a good friend of Mr. Trump's, you have Mr. Trump, and then you have Cohen, the so-called trusted lawyer, who probably never told his client he was tape recording him. You put that together and what you learn was there was a process. Do we pay by check, do we pay by cash? This is literally a couple of months before the election. And what's significant is Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer for Donald Trump, says, you know, this is perfectly exculpatory evidence. No, it's not. That's the crazy uncle --
WHITFIELD: Giuliani would be saying that to say that it proves Trump didn't know anything about it. Then, if you're asking about check versus cash --
WHITFIELD: -- then it does show some knowledge. And when it comes to the finance, campaign finance laws or suggestions that this may have been violated, Avery, I think I understand you saying if there's some acknowledgement, it's paying something to go away, which rolls into the whole campaign --
(CROSSTALK) WHITFIELD: -- putting him in a position where he's, you know, a viable, better candidate.
FRIEDMAN: It also rolls into the Stormy Daniels. This is the consistent approach to trying to get around federal election law. That's what's so serious about this.
HERMAN: Fred, they've never brought any charges in the history of the republic for these campaign finance violations. That's not where the juice is here. The question is whether or not it's money laundering and what the source of the funds are that are used to make these hush payments with Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and who knows how many other people out there, Fred. So that's really what the issue is going to boil down to here, the source of the funds.
And when Giuliani says, oh, this is great for us, well, it really isn't. Because the discussion with Cohen is, are we going to buy this from AMI? In other words, AMI gave her, McDougal, $150,000 to be quiet. Now Trump and Cohen are saying, let's buy this -- these rights from AMI --
HERMAN: -- which looks like a payback to them for making the payment in the first place. So that's ridiculous. Because we're not going to go -- we're not stupid. They think we're so stupid, Fred, and we're not.
And the next issue is, you know, why would Michael Cohen record his own client? Because, in my experience, the only reason why people record people is to protect themselves. You really have to ask, why is he recording his own client, Trump?
WHITFIELD: It's a trust issue.
HERMAN: I've never heard of an attorney doing that.
WHITFIELD: Avery, along with Cohen, you know, even tweeting, you know, about the value of the free press, is this kind of an indicator that Michael Cohen may be willing to share as much as he can willingly in which to protect himself and his family?
FRIEDMAN: I think we all know that. The fact is that if Donald Trump didn't know -- and it's interesting. If Barbara Jones, the special master, concluded that this wasn't privileged, it's kind of interesting, because if Trump thought that the communications he had with his lawyers were privileged, that opens up a whole other ball game. But on the assumption, I agree, I think that's going in. Thousands of documents were turned over, including that tape recording. And I think it tells you something serious. And that is that Michael Cohen is looking for a lot of years behind prison, behind bars, and that means that that tape recording and other evidence is going to be turned over to the U.S. attorney in Manhattan. That's a big problem for him. That's the only way he's going to save himself.
WHITFIELD: You see it, Richard, as potentially laying the groundwork for, you know, cooperating?
RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Well, I think Michael Cohen would be on his hands and knees begging for cooperation right now. I think Mueller and the team and the U.S. attorney's office in the southern district want to cull through all of these documents to see, do they even need Cohen.
HERMAN: Because the tape speaks for itself, Fred. I mean, you play a tape, you don't need Cohen. There it is. There's the president's words. There's Michael Cohen's words. So I think Michael Cohen, he's got a great lawyer now, who's very experienced in the southern district and the way things work there, which he needs. And I think they'll do everything they can to get some sort of cooperation deal. Because that's the only way.
And don't forget, Cohen hasn't been indicted yet. There are no charges right now against Michael Cohen.
HERMAN: If they come, and based on that -- the warrants that the government achieved, to do the surveillance and the searches in his home, in his business, it's pretty serious, Fred.
FRIEDMAN: You bet.
HERMAN: So I think all the -- if you're betting, you're going all in. He's going to be indicted pretty heavy in the southern district of New York and have to cooperate to save himself.
WHITFIELD: All right, Richard Herman, Avery Friedman, always good to see you. Thanks so much.
FRIEDMAN: Good to see you.
HERMAN: Thank you, Fred.
WHITFIELD: There are no worries about industrial waste seeping into drinking water. It's because the head of the EPA has rolled back regulations involving power plants. Power plants that he used to lobby for. Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks at the controversy, next.
[13:35:00] WHITFIELD: A new report from the EPA's watchdog unit criticizes government at all levels for its response to the Flint water crisis in 2015 and 2016. The report says the lack of EPA oversight contributed to a catastrophic situation and the agency had the information it needed about the crisis but waited seven months to issue an emergency order. In addition, the report says the EPA knew Michigan's water standards were not up to par as early as 2010.
The new acting head of the EPA has rolled back Obama administration power plant regulations effectively allowing the industry and states to regulate their own coal and ash waste. They are the same power plants that EPA head, Andrew Wheeler, used to lobby for. Moreover, this toxic waste is made up of chemical contaminants linked to cancer that could be seeping into the drinking water.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Charlotte, North Carolina, with more on the growing health and environmental concerns.
DANIELLE BAILEY-LASH, NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENT: It's quiet. It's safe. It's a family atmosphere.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Danielle Bailey-Lash grew up in Walnut Cove, North Carolina. The tranquil town of just over 1,000 people sits right along picturesque Belews Lake.
(on camera): The lake that was a big reason to move into this area?
BAILEY-LASH: Dream location. It had everything that we needed. The price was right.
GUPTA (voice-over): The price was right because. just over those trees. is the Belews Creek Steam Station, one of Duke Energy's largest coal burning power plants. One of the realities of coal burning plants is you need a place to dispose of the waste. And that traditionally has meant coal ash ponds like this.
It may look like a beautiful lake but it is basically an unlined pit in the ground with millions of tons of ash. Mercury, cadmium, arsenic, contaminants associated with cancer, right in Danielle's backyard.
In 2009, Danielle began experiencing headaches.
BAILEY-LASH: I went to the hospital and they told me I had a brain tumor. They weren't lying. They said it was the size of a drink box.
GUPTA: She was diagnosed with stage-3 astrocytoma, brain cancer.
(on camera): What do you think caused this?
BAILEY-LASH: I'm 100 percent sure I know what caused it, Duke Energy.
GUPTA (voice-over): Of course, that is impossible to know for certain. Her doctors can't say. There are been too few studies to make any conclusions.
But I wanted to see the water myself. (on camera): This is the beautiful Catawba River. These waters
travel from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains some 400 miles out to the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. All along the way, you're going to see these coal powered plants. Like this one you see behind me. Some have called this the most electrified river in America as a result.
With those plants you see coal ash ponds. That's a concern because if there's seepage from these coal ash ponds into the river or the river becomes inundated with contaminates because of the break in the dam, that would devastate the drinking water for two million people living in this area.
(voice-over): River keeper, Sam Perkins, is giving me a tour of what he calls the capital of coal ash.
[13:40:29] SAM PERKINS, RIVER KEEPER: You're looking up about 100 feet that has built up over the years holding back all that ash.
GUPTA (on camera): How safe is it?
PERKINS: It's earth. You have freezing, thawing, expansion, contraction. And you have dam safety issues.
GUPTA (voice-over): In fact, in 2008, a break in the dam at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant inundated the surrounding area with over one billion gallons of ash and sludge.
In early 2014, a corroded pipe at Duke's Dan River Station here in North Carolina, released up to 39,000 tons of coal ash into nearby waters. More than three years later, the state still warns against eating some of the fish because of high mercury levels.
ERIN CULBERT, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, DUKE ENERGY: We quickly sprung into action to not only address what was happening at that particular site --
GUPTA: I met up with Duke Energy's Erin Culbert at one of their sites.
CULBERT: We also set up an entire task force at our other facilities and make sure we didn't have that kind of risk anywhere else.
GUPTA (on camera): Can you say for sure that you do not?
CULBERT: We can't say for certain we've got every pipe. But I can say for certain we have grouted many, many, many pipes that would allow any chance of risk from the basins.
GUPTA: You don't know where all these pipes are? You don't know what's risky, what's not risky?
CULBERT: We can chase pipes all day long, but the ultimate way of making sure that we have safe closure is to remove the water and close these basins in a way that's federally approved by the EPA, and that's what we're working to do. GUPTA (voice-over): In 2015, the EPA did finally take action and
began requiring straight-forward measures. Test the ground water. Close contaminating coal ash ponds. Place future waste in basins that have linings.
Measures that Murray Energy lobbied against back in March of 2017. Murray's lobbyist, the new acting EPA chief, Andrew Wheeler.
ANDREW WHEELER, EPA DIRECTOR & FORMER LOBBYIST: I did work for a coal company. And I'm not at all ashamed of the work I did for the coal company.
GUPTA: According to documents and photos obtained by CNN, Wheeler arranged a meeting between his boss, Bob Murray, CEO of one of the country's largest coal mining companies, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. They presented the secretary with an action plan for, quote, "reliable and low-cost electricity." A plan that included rewriting coal ash regulations. That same plan was sent to the EPA. The organization Wheeler now runs.
FRANK HOLLEMAN, ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER: The EPA is in a rush to do things that will benefit these coal ash utilities. Purely because of the influence of their trade associations and their lobbyists.
GUPTA: And this week, the first set of proposed rules changes were finalized. Among the changes, ground water no longer needs to be monitored if the plant can prove that it is not polluting the aquafer.
Our request to speak with Administrator Wheeler was declined. In a statement provided by the EPA, he said, quote, "Our actions mark a significant departure from the one-size-fits-all policies in the past and saved tens of millions of dollars in regulatory costs.
Duke Energy is steadfast that testing has shown that none of the coal ash contamination has reached public ground water.
CULBERT: Testing continues to demonstrate the coal ash operations are not impacting private wells.
GUPTA: It's something Danielle has heard before. But when you live next to a coal plant and an ash pond, even if it is your dream home, you're always living in a bit of fear.
BAILEY-LASH: It was the dream. We're still paying for that dream, unfortunately. But I'll have the dream somewhere else.
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Charlotte, North Carolina.
[13:44:08] WHITFIELD: Straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM, a murder mystery involving a doctor who treated President George H.W. Bush. The doctor was killed in a shooting while riding his bike.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: The New York police officer accused of holding Eric Garner in a fatal choke hold as Garner cried, quote, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe," has been formally charged in connection with that death. Police tell CNN that Officer Daniel Pantaleo was charged last night. An NYPD official with knowledge of the investigation says Pantaleo will face two separate charges, one for using the choke hold, and the other for restricting his breathing. His attorney declined to comment to CNN.
An esteemed cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was shot and killed yesterday while riding his bicycle. Dr. Mark Hausknecht was on his way to work at a Houston hospital. Authorities say he and the shooter passed each other, riding in opposite directions on their bikes, the shooter opened fire, rode away, and is currently on the loose.
CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the story -- Polo?
[13:49:41] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mark Hausknecht, Fred, has been described as a pillar in the medical community there in Houston. As he did so many times before, yesterday morning, he jumped on his bike and was peddling to work when he crossed the paths with a gunman who shot and killed him. The tragic irony is that Dr. Hausknecht was injured in the shadow of the same medical facility where he worked for many years saving many lives as a cardiologist.
So where does the investigation stand now? I can tell you investigators with the Houston Police Department are still trying to track down a suspect and a motive.
When it comes to the suspect, they've only said they believe the man was in his 30s, likely Hispanic or a white male, and also was riding a light-colored mountain bike at the time of the shooting.
When it comes to the motive, police have not established that publicly yet. They will say they still don't know if it was random or if Dr. Hausknecht was specially targeted. But I can tell you this is going to be an extremely difficult movement not only for his family but his colleagues as well. As they just described him, a family man, somebody devoted to his work. So we're following the investigation to see what turns out.
Of course, important to point out that Dr. Hausknecht had many patients at one point, including President H.W. Bush, treated him as a cardiologist. Certainly, somebody well respected not just by people in Houston but across the nation as well -- Fred?
WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.
We'll be right back.
(SHOUTING) [13:55:57] GUPTA: The trench. Man versus lake.
GUPTA: And the world's longest set of monkey bars. Those are just three of the 200 challenges to overcome at the Rat Race Dirty Weekend, the largest obstacle course race in the world.
JIM MEE, COURSE DESIGNER: This is a single objective as the people to conquer it. And this might be the biggest thing they ever do.
GUPTA: Two hours north of London, more than 5,000 adults and children tackle a 20-mile course featuring 200 invented obstacles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know what to expect and what's next around the corner. You can't train specifically for it and that's kind of why I like it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything can happen in a 20-mile race. Mind games you overcome and push through the pain and just get to the end.
GUPTA: The challenge is daunting. But course designer, Jim Mee, carefully considered the race's degree of difficulty.
MEE: Obviously, there are physical challenging obstacles. We don't want it so difficult, there's no joy in coming in not completing something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite touch are the little things we do. We have an old London cab that people climb through. We have a few old phone boxes and we're buried features under the ground. A big jump on this core. When you stand at the top of that and peer over the surface, you can almost see the curvature of the earth. Jumping off that thing, that is a mind game. People get a great sense of achievement having done that. It's the quirky things I think sets this even apart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The camaraderie is amazing. Don't stop. Keep on doing.
GUPTA: For top finishers, there are cash prizes. But for most of the racers, finishing with friends is all the reward they need.
MEE: The majority of people come and want to do stuff they just don't get to do in everyday life and behave like kids. That's the opportunity we can give them and, at the same time, they're doing something really tough, really dramatic. Enjoyment, persevering, doing something arduous, and kicking back afterwards with mates and saying, wow, that was insane, that was epic.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WHITFIELD: All right. Are you upset about some of the things that President Trump does? According to some folks, you may be suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.
CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a look at its symptoms and cure.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The summit pushed Trump critics over the edge in their disdain for the president's behavior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slobbering civility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supine puppy.
MOOS: Such disdain has triggered a counterattack.
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R), KENTUCKY: Trump Derangement Syndrome officially has come to the Senate.
MOOS: Actually, it's been everywhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Full-blown Trump derangement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump Derangement Syndrome has become a thing.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: Now, I never heard of Trump Derangement Syndrome. I'm not a doctor but --
MOOS: You don't need a degree in psychiatry to make the diagnosis.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS: Trump Derangement Syndrome, hatred of Donald Trump so intense that it impairs people's judgment.
MOOS: The president himself is citing TDS.
On "The View," Judge Jeanine Pirro pointed at Whoopi saying she had it.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: Did you just point at me?
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, FOX HOST: Yes.
GOLDBERG: Listen, I don't Trump Derangement. You know what's horrible?
GOLDBERG: When the president of the United States --
PIRRO: -- sanctuary cities.
MOOS: It took a commercial break to calm her down.
GOLDBERG: I very rarely lose my cool but I also don't like being accused of being hysterical.
MOOS (on camera): TDS is nothing new. Fifteen years ago, someone coined the term Bush Derangement Syndrome, which was followed by Obama Derangement Syndrome.
(voice-over): And now.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER TRUMP COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: She's got a little bit of that Trump Derangement Syndrome, hoping one of these comedians will come up with an anti-anxiety medication for these liberals. Just take one tablet a day, maybe a suppository, and take it easy.
UNIDENTIFIED HOST: Whoa.
MOOS: Who needs a suppository when Jimmy Kimmel has a cure.
ANNOUNCER: Do you feel like the world is out to get you? You may be suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Ask your doctor about ReZine.
ANNOUNCER: ReZine, and get you back to living the life you used to love.
MOOS: Maybe critics have to resign themselves to feeling deranged.
Jeanne Moos --
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, RACHE MADDOW SHOW: It's called Obama Derangement Syndrome.
MOOS: -- CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we effectively call Bush Derangement Syndrome.
PAUL: Trump Derangement Syndrome.
ANNOUNCER: Make yourself great again. ReZine.
MOOS: -- New York.