Return to Transcripts main page


Massive Wildfire Kills 2 Children, Great-Grandmother; Giuliani: Cohen "Tampered" With Trump Playmate Tape; Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis in Hospital; Russia Shows Off Military Might In Navy Day Parade; Scientists Discover Large Liquid Body of Water on Mars. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 29, 2018 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:03]UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put the beer down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. Actually, I'm going to mention the beer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we celebrating?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three million users.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three million users?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long has Facebook been around?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not that long. A little more than a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a 19-year-old kid who had dropped out of school and basically trying to build something that college students would use.



It's an all-new episode of "The 2000s" tonight at 9:00 Eastern, only on CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of here as quick as you can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fire ran with such thrust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whole neighborhoods have disappeared as a result of this fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave when we ask you to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is almost apocalyptic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we have determined the fact that he tampered with the tape. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Cohen, himself, is not a reliable narrator

in this story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be better if Michael Cohen raise his hand and come back to our committee or the House Judiciary Committee or even talk to Bob Mueller.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you are up early at 7:00, 7:01 to be exact on a Sunday. Good morning to you. We're glad you are. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge, in for Victor Blackwell.

We're going to begin with a path of destruction cut across northern California. Firefighters struggling to contain that Carr Fire which is now doubled in size covering more than 80,000 acres.

PAUL: We know a state of emergency is in place here. A disaster declaration in effect. And federal help is on the way for thousands of people who are out of their homes right now, and we have learned a woman and her two great grandchildren are the most recent victims of this fire.

We told you yesterday that they were missing. Relatives now say Melody Bledsoe and her two great grandchildren were inside their home when it was engulfed by flames.


SHERIFF TOM BOSENKO, SHASTA COUNTY: This is a very unfortunate situation. It's an active ongoing investigation. Again, my sympathy goes out to the family. This is an ongoing investigation.


SAVIDGE: The death toll is up to five. CNN's Paul Vercammen joins us from Redding, California, for what is still an extremely dangerous fire.

Good morning, Paul.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martin and Christi.

You can see behind me, one of those houses that perished, some 536 houses in all that you move over here. This fire just absolutely roared through here. It's now burning to the west about 30 miles to the west of Redding in the hills. And we now understand it's burned 83,000 acres.

Something at play for firefighters, you can almost not get your head around what it's like to battle a blaze like this burning so hot here. You can see that firefighters, some of them working 24-hour shifts have been grabbing sleep any way they can. That's what they are up against. And so, not only are they fighting it in terms of fatigue, but in these conditions, there is a problem with equipment as well.


GREG POWELL, BATTALION CHIEF, SACRAMENTO FIRE: We are used to hot but, you know, 116, 117 degrees on the fire line, humidity is hovering around 10 percent or less during the day, which is critical fuel moisture for us, which means that we have 100 percent probability of ignition. So, we are just battling those two things right there, just the fatigue on the firefighters putting out fires is horrendous, let alone the equipment fatigue because just the absolute heat is causing the equipment to overheat, helicopters are overheating, have to put down to cool off. So, it's putting a dramatic step back as far as fighting the fire.


VERCAMMEN: They also say some of the bulldozers are breaking down, those bulldozers critical to cutting fire breaks or fire lines. And the smoke, it's something. Go ahead.

That is the mood. It is not supposed to look like that right now. So much smoke throughout this area that now that orange color and makes it very difficult, as you can imagine, for these firefighters on a daily base to reckon with all of this.

There are fires throughout northern California, as you've heard. But this one now having burned more than 83,000 acres. It's killed five people. You have a matter of 536 homes completely destroyed.

Back to you, Martin and Christi.

PAUL: Paul, thank you so much.

And just to reiterate, that picture, I mean, it's a really jolting picture in a sense that these firefighters who are just laying on the ground and we have it for you here, just to reiterate, they are just sleeping. But this is what we have to do because the fatigue is just so intense amidst the battle that they are fighting in that deadly Carr fire. It's called the Carr Fire, and there are some other pretty frightening scenes.

SAVIDGE: Yes, there are. In fact, we want to show you one of them now. Flames whipping and whirling and forming what is called a firenado. Yes, a fire tornado. You can see the funnel of fire and ash. It's raining hot embers on emergency vehicles.

PAUL: And you look at the cars that are just driving almost right up to it to try to get through it and past it to get to people and fight these fires.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is with us.

It is just -- I don't even think there are words for what -- to think of what these people are going through as they try to help other people, because the pictures are so riveting. ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, scary is probably about the

only word I can come up. And this video is that. It's incredible. But it's also scary.

But I want to point out, it also teaches us something about how fire can spread, OK? So, here is what you have. You have your fire that's in place. We all know heat rises, so as that air goes up, new air is actually going to come in and replace it but it's coming from multiple different directions.

So, you're starting to get that swirling rotating motion as that column of air is going up. When it does, it ends up looking like a tornado, except being made out of fire. Well, very similar to what a traditional tornado would do, it has debris in it.

The problem is we are not talking cars or pieces of homes. You're talking embers. You're talking fire, basically. And that fire can potentially spread to places where it did not exist before.

Now, that is a concern that firefighters are dealing with but there is also other concerns at play here and that's the topography of California. It's very mountainous. So, when you have, say, a 20- degree slope of a hill, fire will travel up that hill at about 20 miles per hour.

If you make even a 10-degree slope of difference, you're now talking that fire speeds up to double its speed, now 40 miles per hour. And we know California is very mountainous. It's very hilly.

That makes it much harder for those firefighters to fight those fires than it would, say, if that ground was flat like in Kansas or even Florida. The other thing you have to note with all of that smoke, people are breathing that in. As they are trying to evacuate their homes and get whatever last-minute supplies they can out of those homes, they are breathing in that smoke.

You have very poor air quality, not just in California, but some of the surrounding states as well. We have also talked about the forecast and the fact that it's just not going to be good for days on end.

Guys, take a look at this. Martin and Christi, triple-digit temperature expected the next three to five days and absolutely zero percent chance of rain in the forecast.

PAUL: My goodness.

SAVIDGE: (INAUDIBLE) much worse really.

PAUL: No, no.

Allison, thank you so much.

We will keep you posted on the fires, of course. I want to head into the political arena right now.

President Trump is returning to Washington later today before meeting with the prime minister of Italy. That happens tomorrow.

SAVIDGE: The president has been pretty much quiet throughout this weekend, surprisingly so. But that's not necessarily stopped his lawyer, that's Rudy Giuliani, from firing back at Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Giuliani says that Cohen tampered with his tape of then-candidate Trump talking about a payment to a Playboy model.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL LAWYER (via telephone): I always thought of Michael Cohen as a responsible guy. I used to hear rumors about him, about his character and some of the things he did. And now, I find he does things like records his client, doesn't even tell them.


PAUL: President Trump is staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

CNN White House reporter, Sarah Westwood, is nearby.

Sarah, is the president saying anything about what Rudy Giuliani is talking about?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, President Trump is staying quiet on this weekend here in Bedminster, New Jersey, as his lawyer is out defending him against these bombshell new allegations about the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia. Rudy Giuliani had already accused Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, of being a liar after Cohen signaled his willingness to tell investigators that that Trump had advanced knowledge of that Trump Tower meeting involving his son Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

But last night, Giuliani accused Cohen of tampering with a recording of a September 2016 conversation with then candidate Trump. Now, we should note there is no evidence that the tape was actually altered. But this is what Giuliani had to say about it.


GIULIANI: We've got to hope it exists. This could be a recording of a recording. We are not sure yet. That, they can probably determine. And then you're right, we may never be able to determine that, but we have determined the fact that he tampered with the tape in the sense that he abruptly, mid conversation, turned it off.


[07:10:05] WESTWOOD: Now, the Cohen camp is responding by mocking Giuliani. A source close to Michael Cohen said this to our colleague Jake Tapper. You mean Rudy is floating reckless, fact-free, false, wild speculation as if he were unhinged? Obviously, it's a lie. Shocking. Now, Trump has largely invoicing speaking out on the Cohen controversy

and instead he has been touting academic growth figures and unveiling his plans to campaign extensively for Republicans in the fall. But after the president returns to Washington later tonight, he'll likely have to confront these un-answered questions about his lawyer when he meets face-to-face with the Italian prime minister tomorrow at the White House and perhaps we could see him address this controversy before then, Christi. But so far, the president has been uncharacteristically quiet on social media this weekend.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: So, how is this going to affect the president?

Joining me now to talk about it all is Siraj Hashmi, commentary writer and editor of "The Washington Examiner". And Daniel Lippman, he's a reporter and co-author of "The Political Playbook."

Good morning to you both.


SAVIDGE: Let me start with where Sarah left off, which is, of course, the president is returning to Washington. He's got a very public meeting tomorrow with the Italian prime minister and no doubt, the whole issue of Cohen, what he has said or what he is alleged to have said and willing to say to the Mueller investigation is going to come forward.

How do you think the president is going to handle it? Some expect him to confront it face on. Others expect he won't even acknowledge it.

So, Siraj, let me start with you. What do you think?

HASHMI: Well, president Trump has sort of backed himself into a corner by tweeting out a response to the Cohen tapes this week, saying that he was about to say something positive. You know, he could have gone with the excuse that was not him, concerning the fact that in previous times, he's used different aliases to say that a recording that sounding like him was someone like John Baron who is an alleged alias of Donald Trump when he was back before he was before president.

With respect to confronting it head on, I do expect President Trump to be tweeting about it probably pretty actively. This weekend might be an outlier. We may not see something from him because his advisers or his attorneys have told him not to tweet about it. But Trump tends to do whatever he wants to do and there's going to be a time when he has his phone and there are not going to be any advisers around him.

SAVIDGE: Daniel, why wouldn't he just ignore it? In other words, he had really good economic news he could deliver on Friday. He's going to be meeting and looking international with the Italian prime minister and then he's on the campaign trail. Why not just ignore it?

DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER & CO-AUTHOR OF PLAYBOOK, POLITICO: Yes, once in a while, once in a blue moon, Trump listens to his advisers and his lawyers. I think that he thinks that it would just add fuel to the fire. But it's really hard to hold Trump back from defending himself. For the last three years, we always hear, oh, Trump is going to be more presidential or he's going to turn a corner and that never happens.

And so, you know, I guarantee you by next weekend, you will have a number of other tweets slamming Michael Cohen and you kind of see this public breakup in real-time which is just quite amazing to watch because Cohen was just praised by Rudy Giuliani a few weeks ago as an honorable lawyer who might cooperate and now, Rudy Giuliani is claiming he doctored tapes, which Sarah pointed out, there is no evidence and that is also a crime if he is going to present that as evidence.

SAVIDGE: Right. I mean, when you look at those sound bites back-to- back of Rudy Giuliani, when he is praising Michael Cohen, then, all of a sudden, you know, he is doing exactly the opposite. As much as it criticizes Cohen, it seems to really criticize Rudy Giuliani as a man who can just quickly flip on any kind of person. And I'm wondering, has his credibility as representing the president now really been tarnished in all of this, Siraj?

HASHMI: Well, that's the thing. You know? In the Trump White House, his attorneys, their credibility is constantly questioned and I think they don't really care so much about their credibility. What they are really trying to do right now is question the authenticity of the tapes because they are now being presented to basically incriminate President Trump.

But the allegations that Cohen later made about, you know, Trump knowing about his son's meetings with the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, you know, is a pretty huge indictment to make against Donald Trump as a candidate running for president, saying that he knew about this alleged collusion.

The only problem is this is the one thing that he doesn't have a tape for. There's no way corroborate it unless he presents some sort of evidence and, right now, we simply just don't have that.

SAVIDGE: Daniel, the president is going out on the campaign trail this week.

[07:15:01] I'm wondering, is there a strategy to this? Is he going out there to simply get away from all of what we are talking about?

LIPPMAN: Yes, I think as the midterms approach, it's not a surprise that the sitting president wants to rally support for his party and try to save the House. Although you have David Wasserman (ph), the noted political strategist, he looked at the map and it's gone, the House, in terms of Republican control. So, it might be a fool's errand.

And Trump has said he wants to campaign six or seven days a week, but there are a lot of Republicans in moderate or blue states that just don't want the president's help. It would only hurt them to be seen with Trump. So I think the White House political shop has to figure out how to make sure -- how to leverage the president's, you know, good campaigning style without just shooting yourself in the foot.

SAVIDGE: Right. I think also the president enjoys getting in front of a crowd that's very supportive of him.

Siraj Hashmi and Daniel Lippman, thank you both for joining us this morning.

HASHMI: Thank you.

LIPPMAN: Thank you, Martin.

SAVIDGE: Don't miss "STATE OF THE UNION", that's with Jake Tapper today at 9:00 Eastern. Jake will be joined by President Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Anthony Scaramucci.

PAUL: So, could there be life on Mars? I know people ask that question forever, right? Well, guess what, the possibility of it just might have gotten a little clearer since scientists discovered a large body of liquid on the Red Planet. We have more on that.

SAVIDGE: Plus, civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis is in the hospital. We'll have an update on how he is doing. That will be next.

PAUL: And a manhunt underway in New Orleans this morning after gunfire near the French Quarter. Three people are dead, several others are injured.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people we know saw what happened, heard what happened, and we need more than anything for people to come forward to help the NOPD right now.



[07:21:11] SAVIDGE: A manhunt is under way in New Orleans this morning after two suspects opened fire, killing three people and wounding several others three miles from the French Quarter.

PAUL: Police say the suspects approached the victims from behind. They started shooting. The other victims were taken to several hospitals in the area. We know one is currently in critical condition. As we continue to get more information, we'll certainly bring it to you.

I want to let you know too that civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis is in the hospital. He is expected to be released today, though.

SAVIDGE: CNN's local affiliate WSB-TV is reporting that Lewis became ill on a flight to Atlanta and his spokeswoman says Lewis is under routine observation. The 78-year-old Lewis was or has represented Georgia since 1986. And in 2011, he was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

PAUL: Well, there is supposed to be development experts with technical expertise, but, instead, according to "The Washington Post," the report there is that the Trump White House is giving jobs to political allies and loyalists instead. This is happening at the Millennial Channel Corporation, that small federal agency in charge of promoting economic growth in poor countries.

Walter Shaub, CNN contributor and former director of the Office of Government Ethics is with us now.

So, Walter, when we look at the background of someone who is typically hired, how do you compare that to what we are seeing in terms of the people who are now in those positions?

WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, well, this is quite an incredibly story. And just when you think that you've seen the layers of the swamp in this administration, it just gets deeper.

This agency has an $800 million budget, so it may be small, but it's, you know, using a lot of tax dollars. In 2003, George W. Bush had emphasized that as that agency was set up, it was going to be more technical and accountable than a lot of other foreign relations and foreign aid type positions -- agencies. So, they have always filled those positions with highly technical experts.

Well, now, they are filling them with college graduates and the grandson of one of the members of the Presidential Personnel Office. They've got an acting leader who sort of politicized things by telling his career staff that they should be reading Breitbart and who put all kinds of campaign paraphernalia up in his office until they told him that was a no-no in the federal government. So, it's a very significant departure from what's gone before in this agency.

PAUL: So, it is -- you would characterize it as unprecedented?

SHAUB: Yes, I think so. I mean, there maybe random individual examples, or something went awry in the past. But this is an agency that we dealt with when I was at the Office of Government Ethics and it's always highly technical and focuses on development in foreign countries that are in dire need.

The -- this is part of a trend. The Office of Presidential Personnel has always been headed by somebody who is very senior and very experienced and respected in Washington and any administration, Republican or Democratic, they have put a 28-year-old in charge of this agency and there was an article in "The Washington Post" recently about how he has been using that office to throw drinking parties and people sit around there, the youngest staff members in the White House vaping, smoking electronic cigarettes. And it's apparently become the social hub of the White House.

And he is now using this office to fill jobs for people like this -- he filled the Millennium Challenge Corporation with an individual who is a friend of his who he had worked with at a prior federal contractor job that he had filled. He went on a vacation with one of his senior officials and a bunch of other people and when he came back, a few months later, he filled the job with her grandson who had just graduated from college about a year before.

[07:25:06] That individual who also works in the Presidential Personnel Office has become something of a one-woman employment agency for her family and counting her, there are five members of her family working for the Trump administration and, after all, if our president is going to engage in nepotism, why wouldn't his personnel office follow suit?

PAUL: All right. Walter Shaub, we appreciate your insight on this. Thank you so much.

I do want to make a note here that the White House and MCC did decline comment when contacted by "The Washington Post."

SAVIDGE: Russian President Vladimir Putin showing off Russia's new warships in its annual navy day parade. We'll tell you what this display of military might could mean for the U.S., ahead.


[07:30:36] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, this morning, Russia is holding its annual navy day parade. Russian President Vladimir Putin is at the event which is a chance to show off the country's naval might.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: The parade is featuring Russia's newest warship, which weapons experts say could have some features that are an advantage over U.S. Navy ships.

CNN's senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen is live in St. Petersburg for us this morning.

The weather looks lovely for a boat parade today. Fred, the president, and I'm talking about President Putin, has promised that there was not an arms race between the U.S. and Russia. And yet, we see all of this hardware.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martin. Yes, it certainly is a very nice day here in St. Petersburg, and it was for that naval day parade as well. But you're absolutely right. Both President Trump and President Putin have said that they want to prevent an arms race, but the Russians certainly didn't tone it down here at this naval day parade that we saw today.

It was interesting, because I was only a couple of feet away from Vladimir Putin when he was giving his speech for when the parade started. And he said two things that were quite interesting. He said, first of all, he believed that Russia's navy was very strong and had to Russia help fight terrorism but also to achieve parody and that's also something, of course, where he specifically is talking about the United States. The Russians are saying, look, we are spending less money on arms but,

at the same time, we are still very dangerous to the Americans and certainly they believe that some of the ships that they have showed here today are part of that equation. There was that you were talking about, a new stealth ship called the Admiral Gorshkov that the Russian pushed out for the first time and only went into service yesterday. So, a stealth vessel that could bring big problems they say to any American vessels.

They also had a big submarine which they call the aircraft carrier killer which launches long-range missiles designed to attack, of course, especially the United States aircraft carriers and also a new spy ship that they essentially unveiled here today as well that is directly aimed at targeting NATO facilities and, of course, ones that the United States has in the Baltic area as well. So, the Russians put a lot of their fire power on display.

And at the same time, this was very well-crafted and stage-managed show that we saw here today. Also, of course, aimed at Russian's domestic audience, but very much also at an international audience as well to show the Americans especially that the Russians will negotiate with them, that President Putin wants to speak to President Trump about things like stopping the arms race, but at the same time, the Russians saying that their navy especially and their armed forces in general are as strong as they have been since the end of the Cold War -- guys.

PAUL: All right. Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it so much the update.

SAVIDGE: And joining me now is David Priess. He's a former CIA intelligence officer and author of "The President's Book of Secrets".

Good morning to you, David. Thanks for joining us.

DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Good morning. Good to be with you again.

SAVIDGE: So, let's just talk about what Frederik Pleitgen was showing us with President Putin giving a kind of show and tell, I guess, of his military might on the water. Clearly, he is sending a message.

PRIESS: Yes. Let me hit this from two sides. First of all, from the intelligence side looking at this, these photographs and videos are going to be pored over to get anything we can about these different vessels, but don't fool yourself. The parade is not going to be the be all and end all of what we learn about Russian military might, the signal such it is that Putin is sending. He's not going to reveal things that he doesn't want us to see.

On the other side, why is Putin doing this? Well, it's not primarily for the United States and NATO. There is that showoff effect, but this is primarily about two things. It's about Putin himself. There's an ego trip to a large military parade. And there is the domestic audience showing the Russian people we are a strong country, we can stand up to others. That's the main audience for this kind of display. SAVIDGE: All right. There is so many things I want to ask you so

we're going to pivot here and may seem extreme but to Robert Mueller.


SAVIDGE: This is a person you know because of your capacity in the past as an intelligence officer having to brief officials, you briefed him. And as a result, I imagine you have a pretty good read of the man, himself. I'd just be interested in your professional observations.

PRIESS: Sure. Yes. I got to know him pretty well by briefing him his president's daily brief and other intelligence every working more than for more than a year, so we spent a lot of quality time together early in the morning.

The Mueller that I got to know had several characteristics which relate to this investigation.

[07:35:00] First of all, he is deliberate and exhaustive. There was no information that he did not want from me and very often he would ask question after question to get to issues that I thought was sending him down a rabbit hole and only at the end of that questioning did I determine, ah, that's what the purpose is. There was a reason why he was going for that.

Secondly, he doesn't forget or give up. That is if there is something that seems to be an obstruction at the time, something that seems to be an uncertainty. He's not going to let it go. He's going to continue to put out what he needs to collect more information. That tells us whole lot about this investigation. He is going to be persistent. He is going to exhaustive and he is not going to give up.

And as he gets information from the Manafort trial, from the Cohen proceedings, that's all going to feed into the larger investigation that he is doing.

SAVIDGE: And I'm wondering. Is there anything, as you sort of listen to it or follow this investigation now, that you know of the man that indicates to you he may be getting close to wrapping up or revealing everything knows about this investigation? In other words, some conclusion?

PRIESS: Yes, he was never big back in the day about publicizing what he was doing and he certainly that way now. The quietest person in all of Washington is the spokesman for the special counsel's investigative office. We don't hear anything.

Bob Mueller is not speaking through leaks. Bob Mueller is not revealing anything about the investigation, but he is speaking out in one way and that's through the indictments. He is revealing a lot of information when does that at the right time.

I've often told people that my experience with Mueller tells me that he could be wrapping up the investigation in the next week and we wouldn't know about it or this could be going on for the next year and we wouldn't know about it. Anybody who says that they have a high degree of confidence in where this investigation is, is fooling you, because he keeps his cards close to his vest and he's always known more than we do at any given point.

SAVIDGE: Well, then, let's try to read into maybe some of his work. The Manafort trial begins this week.

PRIESS: Right.

SAVIDGE: And do you think that is going to have any surprises, any big reveals for us?

PRIESS: I think it will have some surprises for us. That is, because you will have people testifying. I think Gates is scheduled to testify and he is already cooperating with the special counsel.

I think we are going to learn a lot about just how many things Paul Manafort was involved in and especially about the financial movements that are a core part of this. I don't think Bob Mueller is going to learn much, but the fact of people getting on the stand and talking about things and giving evidence, that is just going to give some additional information for us to put the pieces together that Bob Mueller has probably already been putting together for months.

SAVIDGE: David Priess, thanks very much. Your insights are really fascinating.

PRIESS: I appreciate it. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: And still to come, a wave of excitement in the science world after scientists discover large body of water on Mars. Of course, the next step is, could it mean there is life? A retired NASA astronaut joins us next.


[07:40:25] PAUL: Suicide rates often climb in the months after high profile deaths. This is according to the National Institutes of Health. But they say there are ways to get help and in today's "Impact Your World", there are also ways to help others who are struggling.


ANNA AKANA, YOUTUBE PERSONALITY: At the end of the day, you know, there is someone who is supposed to be in your life and they are not.

I'm Anna Akana, an actor and director and content creator on YouTube. I lost my little sister to suicide when I was 17. When I first started talking about it, I was very afraid of how it was going to be received. But, at the same time, I knew that my main demographic was young girls and that no one had ever talked to me about mental illness.

I'm a huge advocate for crisis text line because suicide is the second leading cause of death in teens and texting aspect is much more familiar, much more comfortable. I believe they have the capability to really connect with kids who want that help.

NANCY LUBLIN, FOUNDER, CRISIS TEXT LINE: You text us when you're in pain and we are there for you. So we can help you right in the heat of the moment. You text 741741, you can also reach us inside Facebook messenger and Cheq. We are handling about a hundred thousand conversations a month and we expect that to double by the end of this year.

We need more crisis counselors. So, America, you are need. Your empathy skills are needed. As long as you have a laptop and a good Wi-Fi connection, this is a great way to volunteer and have an immediate impact on someone else's life.



PAUL: I want to share you the views that we are getting of that blood moon lunar eclipse that happened this weekend. Look at these! Million of stargazers around the world were treated to this lunar showcase. Of course, here in the U.S., we missed it because it happened during daylight hours in the U.S. but the pictures are gorgeous.

And the thing is the moon was in totals eclipse for 103 minutes. It's the longest lunar eclipse of the century. Beautiful pictures there.

PAUL: And for the first time, scientists have discovered a lake full of water on the planet Mars. For decades, scientists have been hunting for any sign of water on the planet. There was evidence that water existed there in the past but, now, to find this pool suggests the possibility of life on Mars, of course.

Well, retired NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao with us here.

[07:45:02] So, as an astronaut, I have to wonder what was your initial reaction to the fact that they found this? And it's a significant amount of water comparatively to what they found before, yes?

LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: That's correct. And these are data obtained over a number of years from a European space agency and spacecraft and using radar imaging. They have determined what looks to be like a large body of liquid water kind of sandwiched between two ice layers in the south pole of the ice impact down there on the South Pole and that is really exciting because, as you know, water is one of the requirements for life as we know it. It doesn't prove it's there but it shows that the conditions could be possible for it to exist.

PAUL: So, what are the implications for future human missions to Mars? I would think this would be a real focal point.

CHIAO: Right. Of course, any future human mission to Mars, you know, one of the things that the astronauts will be looking for is water, number one, for, you know, to determine if it's there, if it's subterranean, whether we can get to it, what kind of clues it might offer as to past or even current some kind of microbial or other life on Mars. But, also, you know, the water is something, if you're staying for long-term, you're looking at what is called resource utilization.

So, you're going to be looking how can you use that water, how easy is it to get to the surface, can you, in fact, purify it so that you can drink it, can you crack it using electrolysis so you that you can generate oxygen for breathing, things like that. So pretty significant.

PAUL: Beyond what we might learn about life forms, anything else significant about this to you? Anything else that can be learned?

CHIAO: Well, this is very exciting because, just a month ago, a little bit over a month ago, NASA made announcement that the Curiosity rover drilled down into sedimentary rock in the bottom of what used to be a big lake billions of years ago and it found the presence of methane in the sedimentary rock, and that's exciting because methane is a possible byproduct of a biological process. And how did it get down in that rock? Well, you can imagine that lake, you know, billions of years ago at the bottom, there is mud and silt. If there was some kind of life going on there producing that methane and then over the ions and more creating the rock would trap the methane. That's not proof that there was life on Mars but it's an exciting possibility. So, this -- that coupled with this recent announcement of what appears to be a large liquid lake, that is pretty exciting because that implies that the conditions, at least perhaps billions of years ago, was conducive to some kind of life on Mars and, who knows. There could be some kind of microbial life or remnants today. I mean, that's a little bit of a speculation and a stretch, but it's exciting.

PAUL: Sure, I just want to see your face, Leroy, if it ever comes to fruition and it ever comes out, my goodness, we found life on Mars. I want a camera on you then and there because I think that would be --

CHIAO: Oh, yes, absolutely.

PAUL: Oh, thank you, Leroy, so much as always. Leroy Chiao.

CHIAO: Thanks.

PAUL: You're welcome.

SAVIDGE: Still to come, Coca-Cola says it needs to raise its prices and it's blaming in part President Trump's tariffs on aluminum. But that hasn't put the brakes on the president's obsession.



MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: They don't have a legitimate purpose.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:52:36] PAUL: The price of a can of Coke is on the rise. That's fallout from the president's tariffs on aluminum.

SAVIDGE: But as CNN's Jeanne Moos reports, that may not stop Trump from slugging down on dozens a day.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Talk about grasping at straws, have you heard the juiciest part of the Trump/Cohen tape?

TRUMP: Get me a coke, please.

MOOS: Incontrovertible evidence of a thirsty president.

TRUMP: Get me a coke, please.

MOOS: Living up to his reputation for daily consumption of --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twelve Diet Cokes, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's 144 ounces of president fuel.

MOOS: You'd be surprised how many commenters tweeted: my favorite part is when he quells get me a coke, please.

Others ranked it up there with mom, the meatloaf from wedding crashers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, mom, can we get some meatloaf?

MOOS: There were comparisons to JFK, my fellow Americans --

JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask --

TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please.

MOOS: But there was one thing that got the most comments, that even critics found pleasing.

Wow, he said please. He said please, must be a fake? Trump says please to the help? That's my president.

He hasn't always been complimentary about his favorite beverage, tweeting I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke, and I'll still keep drinking that garbage.

Jimmy Fallon once chronicled the president's behavior as he downed his daily dozen.

TRUMP: The American dream is dead. Bing bing, bing, bong and that. And God bless the United States.

MOOS: Now he has a red button on his Oval Office desk to push when he wants a Coke. But when he was a candidate, he actually had to speak. TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please.

MOOS: As one commenter noted, things, including hush money, go better with Coke.

COCA-COLA AD: Things go better with Coca-Cola

MOOS: Jeanne Moos --

TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please.

MOOS: -- CNN, New York.


SAVIDGE: Very human side.

PAUL: Yes, it is. He did say please.

SAVIDGE: He did, indeed.

PAUL: All right. Hey, we hope you make good memories today. Thank you for spending time with us.

SAVIDGE: Still ahead, president Trump's inner circle is under increasing scrutiny.

[07:55:01] Is one of his most valued traits, loyalty, at stake? "INSIDE POLITICS" starts after this break. Have a wonderful day.