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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Trump Visits Japan; Hiker Found Alive in Maui; Trump Considers Pardons for Military Crimes; Troops Being Deployed to the Middle East; Oklahoma Battered by Deadly Storms; Lawsuits Filed in States with New Anti-Abortion Laws; Processed Food Consumption Linked to Cancer; Trump's Intentions to Award Border Wall Contracts Questioned; "Jeopardy" Champion Passes the $2 Million Milestone. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired May 25, 2019 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States and Japan are hard at work negotiating a bilateral trade agreement which will benefit both of our countries.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Trump's arrival launches a four-day state visit to Japan.

TRUMP: We want to have protection in the Middle East. We are going to be sending a relatively small number of troops.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: There will be fighter jets now sent, additional patriot missiles, and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amanda Eller has been found and has been found alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank your Lord because this is an answer.

(END VIDEO)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good new day to you, I'm Victor Blackwell.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: Hi everyone, I'm Jessica Dean in for Christi Paul this morning.

Overnight, President Trump landing in Japan where he plans to play golf with the prime minister, attend a sumo wrestling match, and become the first foreign leader to meet Japan's new emperor.

BLACKWELL: And while it's on the books as a mostly ceremonial state visit, it's happening while the U.S. and Japan are in the middle of trade negotiations and a trade war with China is rattling the market. Let's go live now to CNN White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez in Tokyo. Boris, the president had comments as he arrived this morning. Did he make any news?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Victor and Jessica. Yes, President Trump had some negative words for the Federal Reserve, unhappy they are planning to raise interest rates. The president yet again attempting to intervene in the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve; something that's really uncommon, not traditional for most presidents.

He feels that the stock market would be performing much more effectively by several hundred points he says if the Federal Reserve were to keep rates low. The president, with much to discuss here in Japan regarding commerce with Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, the two sides still very far apart on a potential bilateral trade deal. President Trump wants access to Japanese agricultural markets while Shinzo Abe wants to talk president Trump away from potentially devastating auto and other electronics tariffs that the president has promised to install on a number of nations including Japan. President Trump spoke to several business leaders after arriving in Tokyo. Here is some of what he said and listen to what he says about the current state of the Japanese-U.S. relationship.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

TRUMP: If you join in seizing the incredible opportunities now before us in terms of investments in the United States, I think you are going to see tremendous return on your investments. It's my sincere hope that the Reiwa era, the economic ties between the United States and Japan, continue to grow deeper and stronger, if that's possible. I think we right now probably have the best relationship with Japan that we have ever had.

(END VIDEO)

SANCHEZ: President Trump touting the strength of the Japanese-American relationship. We should point out, White House officials said we should not be expecting any kind of breakthrough on this trip. In terms of trade, this is really setting the table for further discussions down the line. This is really a show of strength between the two nations, not just the partnership between the two countries but also the partnership between Shinzo Abe and President Trump himself.

Perhaps no other foreign leader has gone as far as Shinzo Abe in trying to court President Trump, really reaching out to him several times over the phone and meeting in person. He's met with President Trump more than just about any other foreign leader and now that he arrives here in Japan, he is as you said to attend a sumo wrestling tournament. He's obviously going to meet the new emperor, the first foreign leader to meet the new emperor here.

And of course, a lot of this has to do with what's going on domestically. Shinzo Abe is facing elections in July and he wants to show the Japanese people that no one can manage President Trump, a figure that is vital to Japan's future not only economically but also strategically in terms of geopolitics with North Korea and China next door. He wants to show the Japanese people that nobody gets along better with Trump than he does Jessica and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll see what happens over the next few days. Boris Sanchez, thank you.

DEAN: An joining us now to discuss all of this, Toshi Nakayama, a professor of policy management at Keio University. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

TOSHI NAKAYAMA, PROFESSOR AT KEIO UNIVERSITY: Thank you.

DEAN: The Prime Minister Abe has embraced President Trump since before the president's inauguration and we heard Boris talking a little bit about their relationship. What is different about the timing of this particular trip? We know Abe is facing his own situation there in Japan.

NAKAYAMA: Well this time around it's much more ceremonial than policy because we just had a new emperor and President Trump is going to be the first guest. That symbolic side is quite different. Both leaders met a couple weeks ago and they are going to meet again in late June.

[06:05:00]

This time around, I think it's symbolic but the symbolic importance is to show the world that U.S. and Japan are really important as President Trump just mentioned in Tokyo at the ambassador's residence.

BLACKWELL: Now is this ceremonial symbolic, as you refer to it visit happens, of course, is this ongoing negotiation over a trade deal with Japan. The Japanese economy is slowing down. As Boris mentioned, there's the election coming up in a couple months. The president, President Trump on the other hand, he is ensnarled in this, I guess stalled negotiation with China. Who needs a deal out of this U.S.- Japan relationship more?

NAKAYAMA: Well, we both need deals. But, you know, this time around, I think Prime Minister Abe's intention is to try to embrace Trump fully and I guess the difference from other countries that the Japanese public support prime minister is our best decision as well. Because, for a Japanese leader, it's really important to manage the relations between the U.S. and you could have, you know, gotten a worse scenario.

But precisely because of Prime Minister Abe embraced Trump fully, I think sort of the relations has been more or less managed. The reason why Prime Minister Abe's embrace has been supported by the people is that, you know, the president is not someone who understands nuance, I think. If you are going to embrace him, you have to embrace him fully and I think there's a strategic thinking behind that. So this is to get ready for the sort of the difficult negotiations on trade and try to manage the alliance relations which U.S. has been having a difficult time with other allied countries, but in the case of Japan, it is working out quite well.

DEAN: And how would you say that President Trump's relationship with North Korea and Kim Jong-un plays into all of this. Where does that fit into their relationship?

NAKAYAMA: Initially, we were worried because we weren't sure which way it was going but it more or less turned out as we expected, you know, without any results. So, you know, the situation is not better. We are still worried about the situation in North Korea but we are kind of relieved that Japan wasn't left behind.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. I just wonder how that, I guess 270 degree turn is resonating. Because it was first "Little Rocket Man," then they fell in love. Now, there's a hybrid as we are seeing the short range missiles. Toshi Nakayama, thank you so much for being with us. We'll talk more about this U.S.-Japan relationship throughout the morning.

NAKAYAMA: Thank you.

DEAN: And breaking overnight, a yoga teacher who went missing in Maui more than two weeks ago has been found alive. We have new details coming in of Amanda Eller's dramatic rescue.

BLACKWELL: Plus, the president plan to pay for the construction of a border wall comes up against a legal roadblock.

DEAN: Also Pete Buttigieg is calling out President Trump on his plan to possibly pardon U.S. troops accused of war crimes. The democratic presidential candidate says it would erode the integrity of the military.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:10:00]

BLACKWELL: Twelve minutes after the hour now, a federal judge has ruled President Trump cannot use Defense Department funds to build parts of his southern border wall.

DEAN: The judge said the Trump Administration would need approval from Congress first to use those funds. The decision affects specific projects in Texas and Arizona that could have begun as early as today according to the ruling. It does not prevent the use the funds from other sources. The decision comes more than three months after the president declared a national emergency in order to be able to put Pentagon funds toward border construction.

President Trump is approving the sale of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan. He says this to counter Iran malign influence, but to push through the $8.1 billion sale, the president is using a rarely used federal law to bypass Congress.

BLACKWELL: Now on the same day, he approved sending 1,500 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran. CNN's Pentagon Correspondent, Barbara Starr has details.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The Trump Administration made the expected announcement its sending about 1,500 troops to the Middle East to help provide deterrence and force protection for the United States against what it says is still a significant Iranian threat. There will fighter jets now sent, additional patriot missiles and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft all aimed at keeping an eye on Iran and being able to push back if they were to launch an attack.

Right now the U.S. is watching very carefully. They say that the Iranian aggression really has not turned around. They see chatter, if you will, conversations that are being monitored between Iranian officials still calling for the possibility of planning attacks against American forces in the region. That is what made the acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan and General Joseph Dunnford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs go to the president, go to the White House, brief him on all this and get his thumbs up for this deployment.

He didn't have to approve it per se, but they wanted to make sure the president knew exactly how the Pentagon views the situation with Iran and the door is not shut if the threat continues. There could be additional deployments to the region. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

BLACKWELL: Barbara, thank you. Joining us now, Errol Louis, CNN Political Commentator and host of the podcast, "You Decide." Errol, good morning to you.

ERROL LEWIS, JOURNALIST AND CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So let's talk the arms sale first. Typically a sale of this type is subject to a 30-day Congressional notification period during which they could block it. Now this comes after last month the president vetoed Congress' resolution to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Iran. Is the expectation that this would have followed that pattern considering that many of these arms sold to the Saudis would end up in Yemen?

LOUIS: Yes. Look, clearly, Victor, the congress wanted to put the brakes on what is going on as far as the U.S. deepening its involvement in this regional conflict. And to the extent that Congress wants to defend its prerogative, this is in some ways a slap in the face. I mean the Arms Export Control Act has been around since the 1970s specifically to stop the sale of arms into that region. I mean all of this came about because the Ford Administration was contemplating sales to Jordan and to some of the other regional players over there.

If they want to let it go, because keep in mind, Victor, it was a very unspecified emergency that Mike Pompeo sort of sited saying well, there's a lot of problems, so we are going to go ahead and override what congress wants to do. Well look, either Congress is going to have to stand-up and defend its prerogatives and fight to keep this administration on track and clear about what it will and will not do in this conflict or we really run the risk of getting involved much deeper in a very, very thorny humanitarian crisis there.

BLACKWELL: Yes, there are a couple of issues on which there's a by partisan broad agreement and one of them is when the executive branch tries to encroach on the territory or the purview of the legislative branch and this may be one of them. Let me ask you though, this is something that predates the Trump Administration, this opposition to what's going on in Yemen and the Saudi's involvement - the U.S. involvement. I was reading in preparation for another interview that there were attempts, bipartisan attempts, to stop President Obama from selling arms to the Saudis?

LOUIS: That's right. There's a very dangerous game that's playing out here. In fact, the Obama Administration with the Iranian nuclear deal was trying to dial back some of what is going on there. This regional conflict, this regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is playing itself out in a range of sort of proxy wars, the most disastrous of which is happening in Yemen. The United Nations estimates that there's a humanitarian crisis there that could affect upwards of 20 million people, the starvation, there's civil war, there's separatism.

All this stuff going on in a region of the world where it's the opposite of what you want. So, yes, this is -- this is very, very tough stuff. The Trump Administration clearly taking sides, clearly wanting to get more involved, wanting to sell $8 billion worth of arms into this mess is a really dramatic step and Congress is going to have to speak, I think clearly, with one voice, if they want to stop this.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the pardons that could be coming. The president said that he may wait now until after the trials of several service members, Navy S.E.A.L. Chief Eddie Gallagher and others who have been charged with war crimes to decide if he will pardon them. I want you to listen to democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the potential pardons, the consideration these cases are receiving.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

PETE BUTTIGIEG, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So when a president joins in with this idea that it's just natural that if you serve in conflict that you are going to wind up murdering someone. He is eroding the integrity of the military and insulting the Constitution.

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: The White House has also asked for documents for potential pardon for Marines convicting of urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters. What is, from your perspective, the potential strategy for even floating the idea of pardoning these men? What is the win here for the president?

LOUIS: Well look, the president seems to think, and if you go back to the speeches on the campaign trail and since he's been sworn in, he seems to think that tough talk and almost uncritical support of the military is the path to getting their support. They vote, they are citizens, they are an important voting block to the president. On the other hand, he may not fully understand that there's a segment of the military that does not want this level of interference in their institutions and that understands as candidate Buttigieg was trying to convey, that being able to fall back on the institutions, the uniform code of military justice and other procedures enables the military to function sort of clearly, to keep discipline, to keep on the right side of conflicts and stop its troops from running out of control in tense situations. So, while he may think that he is helping himself politically and

giving uncritical support to the military, the institution is kind of pushing back and it's not just a political fight from Pete Buttigieg. You are hearing from commanders as well and former commanders. We need this. We need to be able to say you will be held accountable if you don't follow orders when you're in these very, very front situations.

BLACKWELL: Well there was an expectation that the president would make that decision this weekend. He says he will at least wait for the trials to happen.

LOUIS: And Victor, that's a good sign that some of what he has been hearing is having an effect in the White House.

[06:20:00]

BLACKWELL: Yes, we'll see what the president decides. Errol Louis, always good to have you.

LOUIS: Thank you, Victor.

DEAN: A yoga instructor vanished more than two weeks ago while on a hike in Hawaii but this morning her family is celebrating. We're going to have the emotional reaction her dramatic rescue. We'll also be speaking with one of the rescuers, live.

BLACKWELL: Plus, after days of damaging storms, more wind, more rain and more hail and tornadoes are possible. At least more than 40 million people from the Central Plains to the Great Lakes are under severe weather threats this weekend. We'll talk about who is getting it the worst.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell.

DEAN: Good morning, I'm Jessica Dean in for Christi Paul.

According to a Facebook, Amanda Eller, a 35-year-old yoga instructor who went missing in Maui more than two weeks ago has been found alive. The Find Amanda Facebook page made that announcement over night. It says she was found deep in a ravine between two waterfalls.

BLACKWELL: According to that Facebook page, this picture was taken moments after Amanda was found by a rescue team. The post says she was air lifted out of the forest after taking or rather talking to her dad on the phone and her mom spoke to local affiliate KHON last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

JULIA ELLER, AMANDA ELLER'S MOTHER: I was crying with tears of joy, you know? I just am so incredibly grateful to have my girl home. She has some - a fracture on her leg and she's got some things to contend with on her ankles like, I'm not sure what you would call it but it needs some treatment but overall, you know, all her blood work was good and, you know, the fracture she had been working it herself. She is a physical therapist by training so apparently the healing touches had done her well.

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: Some really good news there. The last time she was seen was May 8th. That's after she went for a hike in a Maui forest reserve and we will talk to her rescuer later in the show so be with us for that.

DEAN: Meantime officials in Oklahoma say at least two people have died after a week of severe weather slammed that state. Take a look at this incredible video. You will see two homes hanging over the water after floodwaters wiped out the ground underneath them.

BLACKWELL: Officials say more than ten inches of heavy rain has led to widespread flooding and has impacted at least 1,000 homes. The governor in Oklahoma has issued a state of emergency for all 77 counties. CNN National Correspondent Omar Jimenez has the latest for us.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All Kent Bruce could do was stare, knee deep in water, his home flooded.

KENT BRUCE, OKLAHOMA RESIDENT: I knew it was here, so -- I'm just speechless right now.

JIMENEZ: It's a familiar feeling for all too many across the Plains and Midwest; many places still recovering on the tail end of a week that brought deadly tornadoes, heavy rain and life-saving water rescues.

LT. COL. ADAM WEECE, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: It's important for us to maintain this series of dams because the water continues to flow in.

JIMENEZ: Lieutenant Colonel Adam Weece is with the U.S. Army Core of Engineers. Over the course of days, they've slowly had to increase the amount of water they release from the Tulsa are Keystone Dam to near historic levels just to keep up with the high water.

WEECE: The Keystone Dam, which has been the focus point for us most of the time has a release rate of approximately 250,000 cubic feet per second. If you do the math, that equates to approximately 1,000 school buses per second going through the dam.

JIMENEZ: Across the Tulsa area, more than a thousand residents have been impacted by flooding so far.

KAREN KEITH, TULSA COUNTY COMMISSIONER: Please, please pay attention because the weather can be fickle as can the river. And obviously we're watching the levys very closely.

JIMENEZ: It's advice that applies across the state; the governor declaring a state of emergency for all 77 counties in Oklahoma. Just north of Oklahoma City, these homes are barely hanging on after flooding eroded the ground beneath them. And in Tulsa, this riverside neighborhood is now very much part of the river.

ANN HALL, TULSA RESIDENT: I walk to the end of the street. Everything is under water. I wasn't going to go wading through. I didn't know what I might step on.

JIMENEZ: The risks are still very real.

WEECE: Even though the rain has stopped here, water that is falling north of us is falling up stream is continuing to gather and continuing to funnel toward the areas here.

JIMENEZ: Which means more people could be affected and more homes, like Bruce's. Where do you go from here?

BRUCE: Probably higher ground.

JIMENEZ: Omar Jimenez, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

BLACKWELL: Thanks to Omar for that story. Now as the flooding in Oklahoma continues, another round of severe storms moves in later today. More than 40 million people are under severe weather threat from the Central Plains to the Great Lakes.

DEAN: CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us for the latest. Allison, it really feels like these storms have been just hitting the same area for over a week now.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and that is the truth because they have. In fact, take a look at just the last 24 hours, over 100 storm reports just came in; 11 of those were tornado reports. That means we have nine straight days in a row of tornado reports. Again, as you mentioned, it's really been for much of the same part of the country. Now here is the other thing, in terms of whether or not this is above average, below average in terms of May.

Let's take a look at some of the numbers. The average for the month of May is 268 tornadoes. So far, we have had 315; that's a preliminary number, keep that in mind, for the month of May but it seems like a lot. Yes, it's above average but I think for a lot of people, it seems even more above average because last year, we only had 170. We are also coming off of a year that was relatively low.

The concern now going forward, is that more severe weather is expected, and yet again, for much of the same parts of the country. You are talking about the Plains. You are talking the Midwest. The threat today extends from Texas all the way over to portions of Pennsylvania and upstate New York. The threats remain the same -- damaging winds, the potential for large hail and even some isolated tornadoes. We already have some storms already across portions of the Midwest that are going to continue to push off toward the Great Lakes region but we also have other development that will take place for places like Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas later this afternoon and evening.

We also talk about the rain. An additional 2 to 5 inches expected for areas that don't need to see it. All these dots are river gauges that are at or above flood stage. Omar just mentioned that a few minutes ago and that's going to add to the problems. But again, notice going forward, we still have more threats for Sunday, even Monday. Notice again that they are all in the same location. That's due to this ridge right here. All of those storms are being forced to stay along and ride that ridge. South of that, however, we are talking about oppressive heat, record heat that is going to take place for the southeast the next several days. Seventy potential record highs, Victor and Jessica, just over the next five days. Atlanta being one of them; they may have five days in a row of record highs. You are welcome, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes, thank you. You know, I had a comment right after that -- 1,003 degrees outside.

DEAN: Thanks so much.

BLACKWELL: Thank you very much.

All right, a strong turn here. Strict abortion laws recently passed in several states are facing their first legal challenges. In Mississippi, a federal judge blocked a law that bans abortion after a fetal heart beat is detected. It is a decision the judge said the law prevents a woman's free choice. The law would have taken effect in July.

Alabama's abortion law is facing a lawsuit from the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. The suit argues that the law conflicts with the Roe v. Wade decision which the bill's sponsors say they are aiming to challenge at the Supreme Court. The ACLU is also vowing to stop the abortion ban just signed yesterday by the governor of Missouri. It bans abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy and does not have an exception for cases of pregnancies that result from rape or incest.

DEAN: Members of the U.S. military are accused of heinous war crimes but many are maintaining their innocence. Should they get a pass from the president? A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel weighs in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:35:00]

BLACKWELL: President Trump says he will wait to decide on potential presidential pardons to alleged U.S. war criminals until after their trials. The president was criticized after saying he would give preemptive pardons before anyone convicted. Now one of those cases centers around Navy S.E.A.L Chief Eddie Gallagher. Now Gallagher is accused of premeditated murder, stabbing a captured ISIS fighter to death but many say he is innocent. And there's this, Gallagher's new lawyer currently works for the Trump organization. So, the question here, should the president pardon these men. I spoke to Rachel VanLandingham, a professor of criminal and national security law. She's also a retired Air Force lieutenant Colonel who served as a military legal adviser on criminal law and issues of war.

RACHEL VANLANDINGHAM, PROFESSOR AND RETIRED AIR FORCE LIEUTENANT COLONEL: Preemptively pardoning the service members who are accused of war crimes not only undermines the very moral foundation - the moral foundation of our military, it degrades combat effectiveness and it damages good order and discipline.

BLACKWELL: And you actually point out both in your op-ed and here in this discussion that this is pretrial, pre-conviction, these pardons if they come this weekend. What is the significance of that specific element for you?

VANLANDINGHAM: Well, the military justice system is the system that is set up with a disciplinary and fact-finding obligation. So, the system, we have senior commanders, a general officer and an admiral who have formally accused these service members of killing, of murdering outside of what American law allows. Therefore, the system is just getting started. Again, these are criminal trials -- criminal tries the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt these service members stepped so far out of the bounds of the very clear rules established for them that they should be convicted.

Why degrade this process? In fact, military commanders have a legal and moral obligation to investigate and take appropriate action when faced with strong probable cause, strong evidence of murders of crimes by their service members. They owe it not only to troops, they owe it to this nation.

BLACKWELL: Well Congressman Duncan Hunter of California, also a Marine combat veteran says he's watched helmet cam from Chief Gallagher. It says Gallagher was attempting to give medical attention to an ISIS fighter. He says that for that reason and others, there is no case here. Gallagher should be pardoned. You say to that, what?

VANLANDINGHAM: I say Representative Hunter does not have the legal responsibility nor authority to make that decision. In fact, the three-star army general or excuse me the flag officer, the Admiral at Coronado has the responsibility to review all of the facts and evidence beforehand according to the military justice process and make the decision based on probable cause. And again, once it goes to trial, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that Chief Gallagher murdered a defenseless detainee.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask a broader question. "The New York Times" also reports that the Trump Administration requested expedited pardon paperwork for a group of Marine Corps snipers accused of urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters. Beyond the military, is there a broader message to the rest of the world? Is that attributed to the president and his choices or to America and Americans?

VANLANDINGHAM: Well, the fact that they were convicted, they were convicted of crimes for desecrating enemy corpses, something which, by the way, we have for Guantanamo Bay, that is eligible for the death penalty if our enemies do it against us. The fact that these individuals were convicted of the war crime of desecrating enemy corpses shows to the world that we do not tolerate that kind of immoral and dishonorable behavior and by a pardon, would completely exonerate these individuals and morally delegitimize the American way of fighting.

BLACKWELL: Professor Rachel E. VanLandingham, thanks so much for being with us.

LANDINGHAM: Thank you so much for having me.

DEAN: The lunch lady fired for giving free food to a New Hampshire high school student is now being accused of a cover up. That teenager's mother reveals Facebook messages she says shows an attempt to get her son to go along with a lie.

[06:40:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Who saw this coming? The mother of a New Hampshire high school student who received free food from a cafeteria worker, you remember the story? Well the mom says her son is not a needy child. She also is revealing to a local newspaper, Facebook messages that she says were sent to her son to try and cover up the giveaways. Now the teen's mother shared the messages from Bonnie Kimball with the "Union Leader" newspaper.

She says they show Kimball asking the student to pay his tab and add money to his account so her manager would not see a problem. The food services company that fired her said she had been giving away food for months and lying about it. The superintendent of the district where the school is located says it is taking back its demand that Kimball be rehired in light of the new messages.

DEAN: All right, you might be planning to go to the grocery store today before the long holiday weekend to get food for a cookout, maybe. You might want to take a closer look at what you are serving. A study showing that about 5 percent of new invasive cancer diagnoses can be attributed to diet. So joining us now with details on this is CNN health and wellness writer, Jacqueline Howard. OK Jacqueline, we were talking before the segment started and everyone is like, wait, what - what can I not eat? And what I'm putting in my body - food I'm eating connects with cancer?

[06:45:00]

Break this down for us. What is the study really telling us?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH WRITER: It is a big wake-up call. So the study found that an estimated 80,110 cancer cases in the U.S. alone can be attributed to a poor diet. So, this is basically making that connection between what you eat can raise your cancer risk. The study found thousands of cases are evidence of that. So it's a big, big wake-up call for all of us.

DEAN: So what is the take away from it? What should we eating more of or what should we be eating less of?

HOWARD: So, in this case, when we say poor diet, we are talking three components. One is a diet high in processed foods, particularly processed meats, so hot dogs, deli meats; two, a diet high in red meats, sausages, steaks; three, a diet high in sugar, so consuming a lot of sugar particularly sugary drinks. If you drink several cans of soda a day, that's not particularly good so that's what we mean by poor diet.

DEAN: And then the study also showed that it was lack of eating other foods too that were contributing to this, which I thought was interesting. It's not just what you were eating, what you weren't eating.

HOWARD: So you want to eat more whole grains. Make sure you're getting get quinoa, wild rice are examples of that; fruits and vegetables and in place of sugary drinks, drinking more water. All those things can really help improve your overall health and particularly lower your cancer risks.

DEAN: And so when we're talking about these processed foods and when people hear that term kind of tossed around, what does that mean practically when you're going to the grocery store and you're thinking I know I'm not supposed to eat processed food but what exactly is that? I know a lot of these deli meats, sausages. What else are we looking at here?

HOWARD: Exactly. So one thing I like to do is when you look at the ingredients, if there are five or more items listed, that's a sign that the food is processed and it has a lot of additives, preservatives so make sure you look at the ingredients. Examples would be like, ready-to-eat cakes, frozen foods, so that's a sure sign. And you really want to eat more whole foods, simple fruits and veggies, you know, and that's the best way to go.

DEAN: Right. Don't add anything to it. Right?

HOWARD: Exactly.

DEAN: And, is there any way to know, at this point, like what these foods are doing that cause cancer or have they made the connection?

HOWARD: So that's a big area of research right now. There are several factors involved. One is when you look at foods that are high in sugars and particularly fats, that can also lead to obesity and weight gain, which we know is a major risk factor for cancer. So sometimes there's a next step involved to really connect the dots. Of course, you know lots of ingredients. Again, you have to look at what we are putting into our bodies at this point.

DEAN: Maybe throw some corn and chicken on the grill this weekend.

HOWARD: Exactly.

DEAN: Or something like that. All right, Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much.

HOWARD: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, Sunday on the new CNN original series, "The Redemption Project" with Van Jones, see what happens when victims and offenders of violent crimes meet face-to-face. "The Redemption Project" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern, followed by "United Shades of America" with W. Kamau Bell at 10:00. Coming up, the reigning "Jeopardy" champion had another big win Friday

and hit a huge milestone for his bank account.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:50:00]

DEAN: President Trump made a campaign promise to drain the swamp meaning he was going to get rid of cronyism, corruption and favors to people with big money.

BLACKWELL: "The Washington Post" reports the president is pushing for the company of a rich republican donor to get a contract to build the border wall. Alex Marqurdt explains.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was inside the oval office in a meeting on Thursday that the president stated his demands. He didn't like the design of the wall's gates, "The Washington Post" reported. They should be manually operated French doors instead and the president repeatedly urged, according to "The Post" that a specific company be given contracts by the Pentagon and Army Corps of Engineers that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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TOMMY FISHER, PRESIDENT FISHER INDUSTRIES: I don't think anyone can build the quality we can build in the time we can build it in.

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MARQUARDT: That company, Fisher Industries, is run by Tommy Fisher, a republican donor who has appeared on "Fox News."

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FISHER: We are here to do what we came to is deliver border security for every single American and we can prove it works.

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MARQUARDT: The president may have noticed, talking about Fisher on his favorite network, seemingly attracted to the company by their assurances of being cheaper and faster.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if you heard about this contractor who said he could build the whole wall cheaper than anybody else and get it done by 2020. Are you aware of that?

TRUMP: Yes, I am. We are dealing with him actually it's Fisher. He comes from North Dakota, recommended strongly by a great new Senator, as you know, Kevin Kramer.

(END VIDEO) MARQUARDT: North Dakota Senator, Kevin Kramer took Fisher to this year's State of the Union. Fisher and his wife had donated more than $10,000 to Kramer's Senate campaign. In an interview with "The Post", Kramer said that Trump always brings them up noting that he's talked to the president twice about Fisher, including yesterday.

The Army Corps of Engineers has passed over Fisher's bid for one part of the wall because it didn't meet the operational requirements an official told "The Post." They are in the mix for other parts of the $5 billion in contracts for the wall. To make their case this week, Fisher said he's using private donations to build a small section of the wall in New Mexico to show off supposedly superior construction techniques.

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FISHER: We will prove it in a half mile stretch where they said it couldn't be built.

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MARQUARDT: The president getting involved in who gets what government contracts, of course, yet again flies in the face of the president's campaign promise that he would drain the swamp. The White House is justifying this by saying it's all about speed and cost, telling "The Washington Post" that the president is one of the country's most successful builders and knows better than anyone how to negotiate the best deals. He wants to make sure we get the job done under budget and ahead of schedule. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.

BLACKWELL: Memorial Day honors service members who have given their lives for our country. This can also be a difficult time for anyone mourning a loss. This week's CNN Hero, Mary Robinson, is making sure children learn how to cope with unresolved grief.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Bella(ph). My dad died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kids in grief are kids at risk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Jaden(ph) and my mom died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time does not heal all wounds. Time helps, but it's what you do with that time and what you need to do is mourn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you hear other people's stories, it kind of brings comfort.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's why a place like "Imagine" exists to give children a place to mourn their loss and find out they are not alone.

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BLACKWELL: To learn more about Mary's work and to meet some of the families she is helping and to nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero, go to cnn.heroes.com.

DEAN: James Holzhauer is the reigning "Jeopardy" champion just hit another milestone, Friday night's win put him over the $2 million mark.

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ALEX TREBEK, HOST OF "JEOPARDY": He had $39,400 and his response was, " Sun Valley." You wrote down Las Vegas strip and you crossed it off. Why?

JAMES HOLZHAUER, "JEOPARDY" CONTESTANT: I didn't think - I just didn't think it was in Idaho.

TREBEK: Oh. OK. And you risked $35,000. That takes you up to $74,400 and $2,065,545. Enjoy the weekend.

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: Win number 27. Holzhauer is the second person in "Jeopardy" history to hit $2 million. Good for him.

Coming up at the top of the hour, Amanda Eller had been missing in Maui for more than two weeks. She is now safe this morning after a dramatic rescue. We'll talk live with one of the rescuers who found the missing hiker.

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