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An erratic and out of control California wildfire; Rudy Giuliani says Cohen tampered with Trump tape; Government shutdown threat on border wall; Kidnapped baby reunited after 36 years; President Trump attacks the special counsel; 700 immigrant kids still not reunited with parents; Unity of press after being banned from White House; Russia shows off military powers; Jennifer Garner fights poverty. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 29, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[17:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: The biggest of those fires the Carr Fire. It has now consumed nearly 90,000 acres and it is moving so fast and it is so erratic, fire crews have barely managed to contain five percent of it, and that is after fighting it for a whole week.
Today, they are being warned it could become even more unpredictable. The Carr Fire is just one of 17 burning in California right now. Firefighters are spread thin. And add in today, we learned crews are also searching for 12 missing people. We are waiting for a live update any moment with California officials. While we wait, let's go to CNN's Dan Simon in Redding, and Dan, this just does not sound good.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, conditions remain quite challenging, Ana. I want to the show you the front page of the local paper today. This kinds of tells you everything you need to know. No end in sight. And the reason for that is because this fire continues to burn in all directions and it is just five percent contained.
We are in the Lake Redding Estates neighborhood and every now and again, Ana, you come across something that kind of defies logic. You can see this long piece of metal here, heavy piece of metal. We believe it came from this truck. Actually, we think it was one of the wheels. And you can see what this debris looks like behind me. Obviously, this is just one of several neighborhoods that has been leveled here in the community.
And Ana, you talked about that missing number. Right now, that number is at 12, but authorities are optimistic that eventually it will get decreased because perhaps this was just a communications problem with some of them where people had to leave their homes in a hurry and just simply could not reach their relatives. So they are hoping that some good news there.
In the meantime, Ana, this is also a region that remains paralyzed in many ways because you do have 38,000 people who have had to evacuate. All of the hotels that are full and some of the evacuation centers have also reached maximum capacity so you do have all of these people who are just out of their homes and many wondering if they will have a home to come back to. Ana.
CABRERA: Dan, what would you say are the biggest challenges right now for firefighters?
SIMON: Well, really, it is just the elements. It's another hot day. I just checked the temperature and it is about 105 degrees out here, and so battling this heat of course is very difficult, and just when you get, you know, past 7:00 or 8:00 at night, that is when the winds really pick up and this area does remain under a red flag warning so, the concern is that once again tonight, the winds could push this fire even more.
We just saw some firefighters just a little while ago putting out some hot spots in this neighborhood. Keep in mind, the fire already swept through this neighborhood and they keep coming back because there do tend to be some flare ups at times and they are concerned that the winds could come in, pick up a piece of debris and then ignite some of the homes in the neighborhood that are still standing. Ana.
CABRERA: There is so much that is unrecognizable right now with those homes. Thank you, Dan Simon, for being there and your photographer as well. Please stay safe and we appreciate you keeping us updated of what is happening on the ground. Emergency crews from all over the state and even other states are hammering this fire from all sides, trying to get under control. This firefighter is from Chico, California and more than 70 miles away, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN FELLERS, CHICO CALIFORNIA FIRE DEPARTMENT: There are agencies from all over the state and including out of the state all trying to help put together a good aggressive firefight and try and get this thing put out.
LAURA MARTINEX, REPORTER, KHSL: You have been with the Chico Fire Department for 16 years. You've been a firefighter for almost 20. How would you describe the Carr Fire from your experience?
FELLERS: Well, liked we talked a little bit earlier, it's been something a lot of us have never seen before. The fire behavior has been very spectacular. That first couple of days was a very fast moving fire. It wasn't a whole lot of things we could do other than try and protect structures and just move with it. There wasn't a lot of chance to build fire line and hold it from there so, we were doing our best just to protect structures and move with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And it is frightening to think these fires could actually get worse before they get better. CNN meteorologist Tom Sater is joining us now from the weather center. Tom, these wildfires, they create their own weather systems. We know that could mean even more problems, right?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, there is no relief in sight. There is no rain in the forecast, triple digit heat. Dan said it right. If you were to ask a firefighter just like we had there, it is the heat and the terrain. You take erratic terrain, you put a fire in there and it creates its own winds. You are not sure what direction it's going to blow ans just how strong.
This is the drought index across the southern plains into the desert southwest all the way up the Pacific Northwest -- 89 large fires where we are looking at the drought and this does not include a northeastern Canada. They've got 29 fires and 19 of those are totally out of control.
But if we break it down on Thursday, the Carr Fire jumped over the Sacramento River and put it in the west end of Redding. Friday night into Saturday, it doubled in it size. And so with the conditions right now, these embers are jumping ridge top to ridge top, but it's really these canyons and the steep slope.
[17:05:04] Whatever the degree of the slope is, the more severe, the faster these flames are blowing. I mean, you can get them up to 50 miles per hour on a 40 degree slope and they are dealing with more severity than that. The smoke is an issue too. Across several states now, the air pollution, the air quality is so bad we're starting to see a lot of respiratory issues. That is in southern Oregon and most of central California.
So the heat is going to continue. There is no humidity, tinder-dry vegetation. Here are the numbers, Carr Fire will be at 90,000 in just a little while, five percent containment, 3,500 firefighters battling this one alone with a squadron of 17 water-dropping helicopters. Ferguson is about 30 percent contained and the Cranston fire, this one at 29 percent contained.
This is the one that prompted (ph) a very rare closure of Yosemite National Park, so we ar watching all of these. Unfortunately, we are not seeing any good news when it comes to the temperature, the wind, the drought. No rain in the forecast. This is crazy. We have seen already this year, Ana, 4.3 million acres scorched in the U.S. Now, that is below last year's number which was a crazy year, but it still above the 10-year average, and we are only here at the end of July.
Look at the numbers, all the way up to Seattle, normal high is 77 and they are going to be in the low 90s. Boise is in the triple-digits so this could get worse. I don't know how the firefighters do it, but we don't give them enough credit that's for sure.
CABRERA: Oh, I know, the firefighters and all the emergency personnel, and the Red Cross, and those responders too working so hard to help those who are evacuated. Tom, we did some checking and in California, no month has passed without a wildfire since 2012.
SATER: Yes, and we are seeing more and more each and every year. And of course, that is a big concern with those -- you talk about the change in the climate that we're going to see more wildfires. It has been a crazy month around the globe. You talk about the 80 fatalities in Greece, Sweden's got fires that have been burning for over two weeks near the Arctic Circle, the ones in Canada, I mean, they are everywhere. It's a terrible year for the U.S. and many other countries.
CABRERA: Thank you for helping to walk us through it. Thank you, Tom Sater. Just this hour, we are just getting started. Still to come, tampering with the tapes. The president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, doubling down on his claim that Michael Cohen tapes were altered. And moments ago, the president weighing in attacking the credibility of the special counsel and calling out Robert Mueller by name.
Plus, border battle as a deadline passes. Children remain in limbo, this as President Trump threatens a government shutdown.
And kidnapped as a baby, a woman finally gets to meet her biological mother 36 years later. You are live in the "CNN Newsroom."
[17:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, coming out with a major claim that the tape we heard of Trump last week, the one secretly recorded by the president's former friend and lawyer, Michael Cohen, is doctored. The tape I am talking about is that one in which Trump and Cohen are heard discussing a possible payment to silence former playmate, Karen McDougal.
McDougal is the woman the president allegedly had a month-long affair with around the time that his son Baron was born. You'll recall in that tape, Trump and Cohen discuss whether they should pay with cash or check, and then the tape abruptly cuts off. Here it is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER DONALD TRUMP ATTORNEY: -- so I'm all over that. And I spoke to Allen about it. When it comes time for the financing, which will be --
DONALD TRUMP, PRSIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What financing?
COHEN: Well, I have to pay.
TRUMP: So, we'll pay with cash?
COHEN: Oh, no, no, no. I've got it. No, no, no.
TRUMP: A check?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CABRERA: Well here's what Giuliani is saying about the tape now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY (via telephone): He abruptly ended that recording as soon as the president said the word check. We are now -- what we are investigating is how did that happen? What actually did happen? What was eliminated? And then he is going raise that question with every one of these tapes. How many of them did he play around with? We have determined the fact that he tampered with the tape in the sense that he abruptly, mid conversation, turned it off. Now, we know he didn't do that for a good reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez is live in New Jersey near the president's golf club, that's where he is spending the weekend. Boris, Giuliani claiming that this one tape was doctored. We know the FBI has more tapes. Does he think those are doctored, too?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We don't know quite yet, Ana. Rudy Giuliani has gone through the spectrum when it comes to talking about the president's former attorney, Michael Cohen, from calling him an honorable man to flat out now calling him a liar, taking to the Sunday morning talk shows to dispute exactly what the president said during his conversation, that recorded conversation, with his former attorney.
The president and his legal team clearly on the defensive here following the explosive claims made by Michael Cohen and namely the idea that President Trump approved that June 2016 meeting between his son, Donald Trump, Jr., some other campaign officials, and Russian nationals, promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, something that the president has denied any awareness of. Here is more from Rudy Giuliani, now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: We know of something like 183 unique conversations on tape. One of those with the president of the United States, that's the 3- minute one involving the McDougal -- (inaudible) McDougal payment. There are 12 others, maybe 11 or 12 others out of the 183 in which the president is discussed at any length by Cohen, mostly with reporters.
All clearly corroborating what the president has said in the detail on many of those tweets. In other words, that he did not know about the payments to either one when it happened, that he only found out later. These are the tapes I want you to read, I want you to hear them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Now, Giuliani, has served as a long time prosecutors.
[17:15:04] He's making the case that now as the president's defense attorney, that Michael Cohen would not help the prosecution. He points to previous statements that essentially as you sort of heard there, corroborated positions that the president has held in the past. It will be interesting to see exactly what Michael Cohen says to federal prosecutors and how that plays out in court, Ana.
CABRERA: So Giuliani, talking to the press this morning. Now, the president speaking out himself on twitter. He is on the attack. What is he saying?
SANCHEZ: Yeah, the president launching some fresh attacks on the special counsel. His most direct attacks yet naming Robert Mueller. Here are the tweets coming in just a little under an hour ago. The president writing, "Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump including the fact that he we had a very nasty and contentious business relationship. I turned him down ahead the FBI one day before he was appointed as special counsel, and Comey is his close friend."
The president then goes on to write, "Also, why is Mueller only appointing angry Democrats, some of whom have worked for crooked Hillary, others including himself have worked for Obama. And why isn't Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity and real Russian collusion on the Democrat side. Podesta dossier."
There is plenty to fact-check in those tweets, Ana, Let's, for the sake of brevity, suffice to say that the president's own Department of Justice has looked into claims of conflicts of interest for Robert Mueller. Ethics lawyers have looked into this, and a spokesperson for the Department of Justice put out a statement writing, "Those ethics lawyers determined that Mr. Mueller's participation and the matters assigned to him is appropriate."
The president, in private at least according to sources, has talked about these alleged conflicts of interest before, some golf fees that were disputed between him, his Virginia golf club, and Robert Mueller. A spokesperson for the special counsel says that that was not an issue at all, that it was not part of the reason that Robert Mueller ultimately decided to leave that golf club.
But as I just noted, the Department of Justice has reached the conclusion that Robert Mueller is appropriate -- the president though calling his investigation illegal, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, thank you very much, Boris Sanchez. I want to bring in now CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI supervisor Agent Josh Campbell, and CNN political commentator and "Washington Post" opinion columnist, Catherine Rampell. Josh, I'll start with you, and the president's new tweet, attacking Robert Mueller. You know both, Mueller and Comey, who was also mentioned in those tweets. What do you make of the president's claims?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, this is a certainly bizarre behavior. I mean, it's not the stuff of statesmen, but I think if you look at these tweets, if you look at this ongoing campaign to discredit Robert Mueller, it really serves two purposes.
First, it serves to distract. When you have all those other news that's out there, about Cohen, about Trump's CFO being subpoenaed, all this that's building, this is one way to help re-direct attention and move it away from that, by continuing launching these attacks.
The second is being, if you continue to perpetuate this lie that Robert Mueller, a decorated Vietnam veteran who served this country as a prosecutor and FBI director, one day decided that he was going to cash in his principles and, you know, goo after the president, that's just strange to do. I mean, it is certainly a lie.
But the more you repeat it, the more people will believe it. The problem is here, you know, the president is clearly peddling conspiracy theories. No one knows if he actually believes it. We can't get into his head. But regardless of his, you know, beliefs, they serve the same purpose, to distract and to deflect and to try to undermine Mueller.
CABRERA: So you are saying there is absolutely zero credence to his tweets about conflict of interest?
CAMPBELL: Right. And we know that the Department of Justice went through. You know, if you are just going to go line by line and not only the ethics lawyers looking at this, but also look, yet who actually appointed Robert Mueller to the office. It was someone that the president, himself had appointed.
You know, he mentions that Bob Mueller served under President Obama, which happens to be true. He had a long term, but he was appointed by George W. Bush. So, again, you selectively release information. It helps paint the narrative that just doesn't square with reality.
CABRERA: We also know Mueller is a Republican. Rosenstein who appointed him is a Republican. Jeff Sessions obviously a Republican so, we could go on and on, but Catherine, again, seven tweets so far today attacking Robert Mueller, attacking the investigation. Do you get a sense something is perhaps going drop that Trump doesn't like?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Possibly. I mean, I don't know what could give you that impression. I mean, this certainly reeks of desperation. Trump is sort of trotting out all of his greatest hits, how the world is out to get him, everybody is biased, this golf fees thing seems pretty desperate as well.
But look, he has been in this escalating feud with Michael Cohen and it seems like there maybe something else that comes out of that Trump is not looking forward to. We don't know what that might be, but Cohen has certainly floated some trial balloons suggesting that he has much more incriminating information.
That fact that you mentioned earlier in your conversation that Giuliani is now arguing that the tape that was released by Michael Cohen's lawyer was doctored is an interesting turn of events considering that only a few days ago, Giuliani claimed that tape that we were all hearing was exonerating --
[17:20:11] CABRERA: Right, that it's exculpatory.
RAMPELL: President Trump -- exactly. So, it certainly seems like Trump is very worried about what the next shoe will be to drop.
CABRERA: I want to ask you about these tapes, Josh. How reliable are these recordings Cohen made if they start and end abruptly? There is no way to telling if these conversations were taken out of context. I mean, what do investigators do with it?
CAMPBELL: So, determining the authenticity of a piece of evidence is always a crucial, I mean, aspect of a case. I think what we have to remember here is that this is not yet considered investigative evidence. What we see is one party unilaterally releasing a recording that they made via the press not into a curt of law. So, I think we have to keep that in mind that you don't have investigators that have actually weighed in on this.
I will say that, you know, assuming down the road that this does make its way into a court of law, it will be scrutinized by the FBI. There's a team down at the FBI Academy in Quantico, the special license and audio forensics. I use them on my cases. They are very good at what they do, and they'll be able to dig in and look and see was this something that was doctored, was it altered? Is it, you know, simply incomplete? That will be part of that.
I will say that looking through an investigative lens, you know, obviously we're concerned about what is on the tape, but I'm also curious and concerned about why the tape even exists in and of itself. I mean, we know that, you know, a lawyer taping his client is obviously, you know, not something that they are ethically, you know, trained to do.
But the fact that you have Cohen who thought that he had to capture the moment that his client would respond to something that, you know, was a very serious allegation. At least we believe that he didn't think that the response would be innocent and he needed some type of evidence or some type of, you know, corroboration information maybe to blackmail or maybe to cover himself down the road, it just -- the whole thing smacks of malfeasance.
CABRERA: Go to leave it there, Catherine. I owe you a question first next time. Thank you very much, Catherine Rampell and Josh Campbell. I appreciate it.
Up next in the "Newsroom," threats of another government shutdown. President Trump making his case to fund the border wall ahead of the September budget deadline. But what does this mean for hundreds of migrant kids still waiting to be reunited with their families? Live to south Texas, next. We are live in the "CNN Newsroom."
[17:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Long time U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis is still in the hospital. Very few details from the congressman's office, but his people tell CNN Lewis was not feeling well Saturday night and is right now under routine observation in Atlanta. He is expected to be released some time today. The congressman is 78 years-old.
Just 100 days until the midterm elections and President Trump is returning to the one campaign is issue that fired up his base in 2016, his promised border wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMNP: We are going to build a great border wall.
We will build a great, great wall.
We're going to build a wall. Don't worry about it. Oh, we are building it.
I promise we will build the wall.
And who is going to pay for the wall?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: Mexico.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
CABRERA: Well now, apparently, President Trump expects Congress to foot the bill for his border wall, meaning the American people will pay for it, and he's threatening a government shutdown if he does not get his way tweeting today, "I would be willing to shutdown government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for border security which includes the wall. Must get rid of lottery, catch and release, et cetera, and finally go to system of immigration based on merit. We need great people coming into our country."
Meantime, more than 700 children separated at the border from their parents still have not been reunited with their families after the court order of reunification deadline passed Friday. Kaylee Hartung is joining us now from the Texas border town of McAllen. Kaylee, I know you have been in touch with some of these families in limbo. What are you hearing from the parents of these children?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, in the past couple of days, the government has been patting itself on the back saying they reunified all eligible families for reunification by the court ordered deadline, but 711 children at the government's last tally remain separated from their families because the government says they are ineligible to be reunified.
Over the course of reporting on this story, the impact of President Trump's zero tolerance policy, no two families' stories are the same, but the common threads have been confusion and frustration and incredible challenges in communication for them. And the story that best encapsulates where we are today is that of a woman who we'll call Alejandra.
About a month and half ago, she and her 6-year-old daughter crossed the border into the U.S. They had fled gang violence in their native country of Honduras. Well, they were detained and separated 10 days ago. Alejandra was told that here were her documents for release and she would be reunited with her daughter later that day. Well, that didn't happen
Today, she still sits in a detention facility in Texas -- her daughter still in New York. And while she looks for answers in limbo, here's what she said she is being told.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP):
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The first thing that I asked is always, do you know when it will be my girl will be brought here so she can be reunified with me? And they tell me, no. I don't know anything, they say to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARTUNG: Her daughter's attorney has been told that a red flag has been raised in the child's case by HHS that is holding up their reunification. HHS is saying they will not comment on specific cases, but a spokesperson told CNN today, "Parents in ICE custody that have not yet been reunited with their child are a result of concerns over safety or parentage. ORR, that is the Office of Refugee Resettlement, is working with DHS to evaluate if a parent is eligible for reunification on a case by case basis and will continue to put the safety of children first during this process."
[17:30:04] But Ana as I said, no two stories are the same and we're being reminded everyday that timing has been everything for these families. Alejandra is saying she wouldn't have come to this country if she had known that she and her daughter would be separated. She wasn't aware of what President Trump's zero tolerance policy would do to her family.
And yet I met e family just yesterday, another mother and daughter here in McAllen, Texas who had crossed the border just four days ago after a month-long trip from El Salvador. They were detained briefly, never separated. They were getting on a bus to meet family members in Indianapolis and that's where they are today, together and awaiting their first hearing.
CABRERA: Wow. There is still so much more to the story, to this issue. We will stay on top of it. Kaylee Hartung in McAllen, Texas. Thank you.
Up next, fresh attacks from President Trump against one of his favorite targets, the news media. Four separate tweets aimed at the press just today. Up next, is this becoming a dangerous trend? We will discuss live in the "CNN Newsroom."
[17:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: It was a show of solidarity that rarely breaks through in the ultra competitive world of journalism and it began with my colleague, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins and a decision by the Trump White House to keep her from attending presidential events on the Rose Garden.
Two White House officials, Bill Shine and Sarah Sanders told Collins that she asks inappropriate questions during Trump's earlier meeting with the European Commission president. Collins was the pool (ph) reporter at that event representing all media outlets. So, this ban, an apparent retaliation move, the reaction was swift even from Trump's favorite broadcast network. Here's Fox News host Shepard Smith.
(BEGIUN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS HOST: When the president attacks journalists, we question his motivation and try to discover the underlying reason. For, historically, those who regularly and as a matter of pattern attack the messenger, who degrade and belittle the purveyors of truth, and work to diminish the free press, often the facts displeasing and endeavor to keep you from knowing them. We are on guard, and we hope -- politics aside, for the greater good -- that you are, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The White House Correspondents Association weighed in as well saying, "This type of the retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed and weak. It cannot stand." Let me bring in CNN media analyst Bill Carter. Bill, always good to talk to you. This is far more than just a conversation about a CNN reporter. There have been fewer White House briefings, fewer Pentagon briefings. What do you think this is all about?
BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, it's pattern clearly of, you know, trying to be as nontransparent as they can be. I mean, they are throwing up roadblocks everywhere. They are not releasing, you know, what the president says to foreign leaders. They are not releasing the logs of who visits the White House. They are having very few briefings. They are not having any press conferences.
So, it is the all the piece of whole of that, and you know, at the same time, you have the president still claiming that the media is the enemy of the people. And you know, that is a loaded phrase, a really dangerous and loaded phrase. And you know, CNN -- Kaitlan Collins is there doing her job. I mean, inappropriate questions, I mean, the question is completely appropriate and to make that kind of the call is just showing A, they are very thin-skinned and B, they are really trying to control the message.
CABRERA: How significant is it now that even outlets like Fox News are standing in solidarity to call out the move by the White House?
CARTER: Well, it is significant because Fox News generally is very sycophantic towards the president and supports virtually only outrageous things he does. But in this case, it does hit close to home. I mean, you know, in the past, they had some issues with the Obama administration and other news organizations stood up for them and said, no, they have to be included.
And I think there is really a feeling, at least among the professional journalists there, with Shep Smith is clearly one -- that, you know, this is a professional question, not a political question. These people are doing their jobs. They are doing a job, CNN is doing a job, NBC is doing a job.
Everybody has the right for access to the president who, let's face it, is a representative not just of, you know, his party, but of the whole country and all the people in the country. This is a government of and by the people, and he does not have the right to shut down a free press. We put that it in the First Amendment for a very good reason.
CABRERA: And just again, to reiterate, Collins was not in the room as somebody who was just representing CNN. She was there as the pool reporter to represent all media networks. Explain why that's important.
CARTER: Well, that is important because that is a longstanding tradition that each time there is a presidential opportunity, there is a pool reporter, and that reporter represents everyone, and will give any information they get to all outlets. So they are in fact a representative of all of the media.
And her questions, they were questions that anyone would have asked. Anyone in the media wanted to know what his feeling was about Cohen, which is what she asked that day. And for her then to be disinvited to an event after that sends a chilling sort of message, you know. If you want to be -- even the pool reporter, you can't ask questions they don't like.
So, it was a very extremely bad precedent. I think the blowback has been pretty strong and it will be very interesting to see if they can keep this up. But you know, this guy -- this president goes after the press every opportunity he gets and is -- they supports him on it. They don't -- they are not paying attention to the constitution they love, yet they oppose the First Amendment, but that's what the outcome is. That's the eventuation if they keep this up.
[17:40:03] CABRERA: And there was in fact a new poll today that shows that 90 plus percent of his supporters believe him even over their own family members when it comes to their information sources. I just want to ask you about the "New York Times" publisher real fast, A.J. Salzberger, who apparently told President Trump during a meeting that they had earlier this month, that Trump has put out there, it was supposed to be off the record, but (inaudible) Trump's language, "was not just divisive, but increasingly dangerous," and he said, "he implored him to reconsider his broad attacks on journalism."
Do you think that statement, that conversation with the publisher of the "New York Times" and the president, does it help or hurt the relationship between the president and the press?
CARTER: Well, I don't really know anything that is going to help the relationship with the president and the press, but it is certainly something that needs to be said. I happen to know A.G. He is a very impressive young man and I think he is, you know, he's got the right idea. He wanted to confront the president. Now, he's been criticized in some circles even meeting with the president and of course it is an opportunity for the president to misrepresent what he said, which is what happened.
So he had to come out with the statement even though it was off of the record. The president then obviously put it on the record. But his point is clearly the same point we were just making. You keep abusing the press. You keep saying that the enemy and you are opening a door to all kinds of danger, and not just in our country, but around the world.
People in the media are being attacked namely by tyrannical regime, and I this president prefers that. He prefers that kind of control. And it is clearly dangerous and Mr. Salzberger I think was right to bring it up and defend himself as aggressively as he has today.
CABRERA: Bill Carter, thank you so much for joining us.
CARTER: All the pleasure was mine (ph).
CABRERA: Good to have you. Coming up, Russia flexing its military might today. We will show you how much of its new firepower is aimed at matching the U.S. You are live in the "CNN Newsroom."
[17:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: The Russian military put on a massive show today meant to send a message to the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin there leading his ships and sailors at today's Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is also there and says the show of force is carefully choreographed to show how Russia's military compares to the United States. Fred?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): A display of Russia's naval power in the heart of St. Petersburg. Vladimir Putin inspecting the vessels from his own presidential boat, then touting the advances of the country's naval forces.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The Russian fleet successfully resolves the task of the country's defense capability, makes a significant contribution to the fight against international terrorism, and plays an important role in ensuring strategic parity.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Strategic parity means parity with the U.S. and its NATO allies. Russia showcasing a submarine nicknamed "the carrier killer" designed to hunt U.S. aircraft carriers. A new stealth frigate and a spy vessel aimed at countering American missile defense technology.
(on-camera): On this day, Vladimir Putin's message to the west is very clear, even though Russia's military may not be as big and as well-funded as militaries in the west, it can still be a threat to America and its NATO allies.
(voice-over): Last week, Russia also showing off new missile technology including a hypersonic missile the Kremlin says can beat American defense systems. All this right after both President Trump and Vladimir Putin discussed working together to prevent a new arms race at the recent summit in Helsinki, a point Putin reiterated this past week.
PUTIN (through translator): Russia and United States have a stake in that. The whole world has a stake in that and not starting an arms race.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): But while Russia maybe interested in preventing an arms race, Russia also clearly wants to show America and its allies that its forces are stronger and more advanced than at any time since the Cold War. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, St. Petersburg, Russia
CABRERA: An American woman waited 36 years to find out the relationship with her birth mother. She didn't even know what happened to her and her mom on the day she was born. Coming up, hugs, kisses and tears of joy when she meets her birth mother for the very first time.
But first, nearly one in four children in rural America grows up in poverty. Actress Jennifer Garner has teamed up with an organization to make a difference in today's "Impact Your World."
(BEGI VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER GARNER, ACTRESS: I grew up as I have often told people one generation and one holler removed from poverty.
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BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For more than a decade, Jennifer Garner has stood up for America's poorest kids can as a Save the Children ambassador.
GARNER: The playing field for kids in America is not equal.
MARK SHRIVER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SAVE THE CHILDREN: We have been working in primarily rural America for the last 75, 85 years focusing on education, making sure kids are entering kindergarten ready to learn. We have a home visiting program working with the parents in the home to make sure that they are stimulating their kids socially and emotionally.
BALDWIN (voice-over): Save the Children also offers a two-week intensive program for students heading to kindergarten like Elena (ph) who has autism.
HEATHER FINCHER, PARENT: Some of the stuff that she has learned over the past year is really just, really blows my mind. I wish that you could have met her at the beginning of last year.
[17:50:01] SHRIVER: We run in school, after school and summer literacy program that have a physical activity and a nutrition component as well.
BALDWIN (voice-over): Jessica Babb's son, Levi, entered the program four years ago.
JESSICA BABB, PARENT: He just took off from the moment we started this. He just has this love and desire for reading that I love and admire about him.
GARNER: We all talk about how kids are the future. We're not doing anything about it. We have to be aggressively out there helping them.
(END VIDEOTAPE) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[17:55:00] CABRERA: An American woman kidnapped as a newborn baby 36 years ago in Chile finally meets her biological mother for the very first time. You can see hugs, kisses, tears of joy after more than three decades apart. Her mother never intended to let her precious daughter go. CNN's Rafael Romo has their story.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): There were no words. Only tears of joy. It's the heart that Silvia Beatriz Cordova wishes she could have given her daughter 36 years ago.
ALISA CLAIRE COHEN, SEPARATED FROM FAMILY AS NEWBORN: I've been waiting my whole life to find my mother.
ROMO (voice-over): Alisa Claire Cohen grew up in the United States with her adoptive parents. Cohen says they were always forthcoming about her adoption and the country she came from.
COHEN: And the story that I was told was that my family had essentially never meant to keep me.
ROMO: But she says she always wondered if she had truly been abandoned as her adoption documents state.
She contacted Chilean authorities in February to ask for help in finding her biological parents. She got the answer she was hoping for. Her biological parents were still alive and very eager to meet her. Her biological mother says she never intended to give her up for adoption.
SILVIA BEATRIZ CORDOVA, BIOLOGICAL MOTHER (through translation): No, no, no. Never! Never! I had already made a bassinet for her. I made it myself. I made it when I learned I was in the third month of my pregnancy.
ROMO (voice-over): Cordova says she had a very difficult labor and nearly died.
CORDOVA (through translation): I saw her when she was born and didn't see her again. I was hospitalized for three to four months.
ROMO (voice-over): During that time, she, her husband and other members of the family asked employees at the state-run hospital about their daughter but they never saw her again. Chile was living under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and Cordova and her family feared that asking too many questions would put them in danger.
COHEN: With the politics at the time and adoption not being regulated until years after I was adopted and even looking at the social worker who processed my adoption, there are a lot of things, elements of it that were just incomplete and inconsistent with what I was told.
ROMO (voice-over): Chilean government officials today say there were so many questionable adoptions back then that authorities now have a name for babies like Alisa.
(on-camera): They're called children of silence. They're babies who were taken away from their biological parents in the '70s and '80s, in many cases without their consent or knowledge and given to adoptive parents. Those children are now in their 30s and 40s and are asking questions about their origins and about a secret that was kept from them for four decades.
(Voice-over): CNN has documented several cases of adoptions like these including that of Travis Tolliver who was also raised by American adoptive parents and didn't meet his biological mother until he was 41 years old.
TRAVIS TOLLIVER, ADOPTEE: I was wanted, you know, and I wasn't given up willingly like, you know, I thought for all these years. So that makes my heart feel wonderful.
ROMO (voice-over): In 2015, Chilean authorities named a special prosecutor to begin investigating a list of these so-called irregular adoptions, a list that is reported to include nearly 600 families. Constanza del Rio heads an organization that helps families find each other and has an even larger list.
CONSTANZA DEL RIO, DIRECTOR, NOS BUSCAMOS: We have 3,000 people that are looking for them. These are adopted people and families that are looking for these babies that were now -- they were stolen from them.
ROMO (voice-over: She says during those decades there were entire mafia stealing babies from impoverished families to profit from their sale while the Pinochet government looked the other way or simply ignored victims.
DEL RIO: Who is responsible for this? Doctors, mid-wives and social assistants that were looking for poor people to stole their kids because we need to understand that these kids were sold. This is not for good -- this is -- wasn't for a good thing. They were a mafia, selling babies to the -- outside Chile.
ROMO (voice-over: There will always be unanswered questions, the hospital where Alisa Clare Cohen was born no longer exists and the same goes for the adoption agency. For now, it doesn't matter.
How do you feel right now?
[18:00:00] COHEN: Happy. Very happy.
ROMO (voice-over): Her adoptive parents passed away a few years ago so she says her Chilean family and an adopted sister are all she's got.
COHEN: My mom, this is my family.