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Search And Rescue Missions Are Underway In El Reno, Oklahoma; President Trump Brushes Off North Korea's Missile Launches; Hiker Missing For 17 Days And Injured In A Hawaiian Forest Was Rescued; A Football Coach With A Controversial Past Is Getting A Second Chance; Dow Jones Racks Up Its Fifth Consecutive Weekly Decline; A 30-Year Tradition Is Making Its Final Run This Weekend. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 26, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN HOST: Hello there. And thanks for joining me. I'm Martin Savidge in for Fredricka Whitfield.
We are going to begin with breaking news out of El Reno, Oklahoma. Two people are dead nearly 30 are injured after a tornado tore through that city destroying a mobile homework park and a motel. Right now, search and rescue missions are underway. This is all part of a massive tornado outbreak across is central U.S.
Oklahoma has been the target of dozens of tornados. This latest twister just one of more than 200 that the region has seen over the past ten days.
Let's check in now with CNN's Omar Jimenez. He is in El Reno, Oklahoma. And this is the same city that got hit hard with the widest tornado ever six years ago. That was killing two dozen people. So what are you seeing there now today, Omar?
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, six years ago almost to the day and when you look at today as the sun came up, we really saw horrific devastation of a tornado that came through very quickly, but brought a lot of damage with it. Two people killed. At least up to 29 people are injured in this with conditions as we heard from the mayor ranging everywhere from minor up to critical as well.
As you can see, crews are still hard at work on the hotel behind me. It was the mobile trailer park just behind it that was also devastated in this. We heard actually from a man who was inside the hotel when this tornado came through. If you can believe it, he survived with his life, but he told us a horrifying story, saying that he was laying in bed. He knew that it was storming pretty heavily, but then his windows began to rattle and then a few minutes later, they completely shattered. He dove to the ground. The entire roof actually fell down almost on top of him. He says if it was not for the support of the bed next to him, he would have been completely crushed. He had no shirt on, just his shorts, no shoes then wandered out luckily with his life only a few minutes later, he says. That's how quickly it came through. He is actually waiting to have the chance to go back in because all
his clothes and everything he opens and has with him is still in there. Because as you can see, crews are still working. They have been going door to door over the course of today trying to make sure everyone is accounted for also assessing from the damage as well.
We spoke to the mayor a little bit earlier and here's how he describe going up to the scene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MATT WHITE, EL RENO, OKLAHOMA: I don't think you fully understand the mammoth of it until you get up close to it. And start knocking on doors, clearing doors to make sure that the people are alive. And second thing is when the light comes up and you see the true damage. It's just horrific when you go there and you see all these walls laying down. You know, it was absolutely decimated. You know, those trailers were absolutely just taken apart. I mean, all there was was card board and, you know, insulation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIMENEZ: And people are still trying to get access back into the trailer park as well again because it was so mangled in this. Now, it is important to know that this didn't just happen in a vacuum. It came on the tail end of what has been a week's worth of deadly tornados, flood, high floods, water rescues as well and in fact, the mayor told us here in the El Reno area specifically earlier this week, they had 46 water rescues. And here we are just days later on the scene of horrific tornado devastation -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Omar, we do grieve the loss of life there, but it's also amazing considering the damage more lives were not lost.
Omar Jimenez, thank you very much for that report.
This recent tornado outbreak has been ravaging the central United States as you just heard. And there is a chance for more severe storms in that area again tonight.
Joining me now on the phone, accuweather storm chaser, Reed Timmer.
And Reed, thanks for joining us. Where are you right now? Where are you going?
REED TIMMER, ACCUWEATHER STORM CHASER (on the phone): Well I'm in Lamar, Colorado right now. I'm monitoring super cell development to my southwest. And it got severe thunderstorm warning right now north of Clayton, New Mexico, that's heading in the direction of Springville, Colorado and the as far southeastern part of the bay. And the atmosphere is extremely volatile today. Even more so than previous days over a widespread area. Extreme eastern Colorado into western Kansas especially and then building down the dry line later today in the Texas panhandle and all the ingredients are in place for even strong tornado threat. It looks like focus in far eastern Colorado, into western Kansas. However, it's going to be a highly unstable environment. You are
going to have extremely dangerous long track super cell storms that is moving across the southern high plains once again today and the atmosphere down here has plenty of time to breathe.
Last night, there were clear skies up above and the instability is building. And it does looks like a widespread severe weather that will continue for at least a few hours after dark. And that means super cells will congeal into a complex of storms with more of a widespread damaging wind event. And look like tornados (INAUDIBLE) like what we saw last night in the El Reno area. They call that (INAUDIBLE) tornado. So just because these individual storms congeal into a line, it doesn't mean an ending to the tornado threat.
[14:05:24] SAVIDGE: Well, this is something we have been watching for I think now, it feels like weeks. And I'm wondering why is it this threat has pretty much stayed in the central part of the nation there and continues to dominate in an area? What's going on overall?
TIMMER: Well, we have a very stagnant pattern in place right now where there's a trough of upper level low pressure that's been dominating the western U.S. in general. And just like smoke rotating around a wheel, you get disturbances coming through one after another, day after day here across the southern high plains. And you have a dry line in place that separate moist air to the east and the dry air to the west and that sloshes back and forth (INAUDIBLE). So while severe weather threat does changes a little bit in location from region to region in general, the southern and central plains here have just been getting hammered because of that trough dominating the western U.S. There's some snow in areas like flag staff. The Colorado Rockies are getting hammered by snow and all that cold air aloft comes up and over the moist, warm temperatures aloft here across tornado alley and the adjacent high plains and that creates extreme instability day after day. And until we break out of this very stagnant pattern, we are going to continue to see severe weather. Looks like we are at least the middle part of this week before we start to get a pattern change.
SAVIDGE: And real quick here, I know you are out there and you are warning people of the risk, but you are also facing a risks as well. What's it hike to physically be there?
TIMMER: Well, I have been chasing storms my whole life. It is really my only skill that I have. So I feel very comfortable around these storms. I can read certain signs if they get (INAUDIBLE). They are going more severe. So I honestly feel comfortable chasing these supercell storms that I do even crossing the street in a big city for example. But I do feel for the people in the path of these storms. I'm very concerned for the residents out here in western Kansas and far east Colorado because -- and down into the Texas panhandle because they didn't know how dangerous these storms are going to be for the people in the path of them. And that's why through Accuweather, we work to warn people in the past of these storms. But we are also doing science with our armored vehicles. We are launching rocket vehicles into these tornados. We have traceable sensors that are attached to our drones and try to capture data inside these storms. Other people can't take look at.
SAVIDGE: All right. Well, we wish you well in your efforts. And we certainly hope that anyone in that area pays close attention to the weather conditions tonight. As it looks like we are going to face another dangerous afternoon and evening.
Thank you very much, Reed Timmer.
The storm threat is also reaching all the way to the east coast. So let's check in with out meteorologist, Ivan Cabrera.
And what can we see there, Ivan?
IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes Martin, more of the same. And as reed mentioned, and you can throw all the technology you want at all of this, the point is though folks have to heed the warnings, so right. And we try to give them as much lead time as possible. Sometimes it's only a fortunately few minutes and this is of course a holiday weekend so there are a lot of people that are going to be out.
Check this out. Last ten days, 237 tornados. We have to go back to mid may for the last time we didn't have a tornado on the ground in the lower 48 and that is quite something. Day 11, I think that's today and perhaps even up to two weeks because we have more weather on the way.
But let's focus in on the area areas of the highest threat will be today. We are talking to the Ohio valley and that extends into the mid-Atlantic including I-95 corridor. That's going to impact a lot of people. And then as Reed was mentioning there across the southern high plains, that's going to be the highest threat.
We talk about levels one through five. Where are we today? We are at level four. That means the potential for widespread damaging wind, large hail and also even tornado outbreaks. That is when multiple tornados get going sometimes from the same storm.
One system already going here. This is a severe thunderstorm watch in that is in effect. So things are starting to bubble up. Things are starting to begin to get going. And then by the afternoon and evening, the area to the west, that's where I think we are going to see tornado watches come up and that's I think the worst of the weather.
Watch the clock here. By the way, if you are outside again enjoying the holiday weekend, Richmond, Washington, Philly, even in New York, thunderstorms are going to be brewing to your west and moving in across the east rapidly. So keep that in mind as we head in to the next several hours.
And I will leave with this, Memorial Day itself also under the gun for severe weather here across the Midwest. And into Tuesday, another enhanced day for severe weather as Reed was mentioning here. We talk about the different patterns. We got winter in the west, summer in the east. They are fighting, clashing, and the results have been deadly at times -- Martin. SAVIDGE: All right. Ivan, thanks very much. Appreciate that.
CABRERA: You bet.
SAVIDGE: Developing right now, Peru dealing with the aftermath of a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake. One person has died, nearly a dozen others have been injured. Officials are reporting damage to a lot of structures including schools, churches, temples and health centers. We will continue to watch this story and keep you updated as more details become available.
And still ahead, during his second day in Japan, President Trump brushes off North Korea's missile launches as quote "some small weapons." And takes a swipe at former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
And then later, a hiker rescued after missing for more than two weeks in Hawaii now telling her story. We will hear from her coming up.
[14:14:16] SAVIDGE: It is day two of President Trump's state visit to Japan, if you keep in count. So far, it's been mostly ceremonial receptions and another full day of bonding with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the two played golf and then attended a traditional sumo wrestling match where the President awarded a four and a half foot tall, 70 pound trophy that he had specially made for the event.
CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is in Tokyo.
And Kaitlan, the President and prime minister have been obviously very chummy, getting along, but the President has also been tweeting about North Korea saying that he has no problem with Kim Jong-un firing off short range missiles. And I'm wondering how is that going over with the Japanese prime minister?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: And that is something the President tweeted just about an hour before they were scheduled to go play golf. Now, we saw a lot of chummy photos coming out of that golf outing between the two leaders including a selfie with President Trump and Abe.
But the question looming in the background in all of this is what his response was to the President's tweet because of course, the Japanese prime minister has long advocated for a tough line against North Korea including no sanctions relief and they want a resolution to those Japanese who were abducted by the North Koreans.
But when Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, was asked why the President was tweeting not only down playing these missiles, but saying he appreciated the fact that the North Koreas were critical of Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate who has been leading in the polls, this is how Sarah Sanders responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [14:15:47] CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, MEET THE PRESS DAILY: Can you explain why Americans should not be concerned that the President of the United States is essentially siding with a murderous authoritarian dictator ore a former vice President in the United States?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Chuck, the President is not siding with that, but I think they agree in their assessment of former vice President Joe Biden. Again, the President's focus in this process is the relationship he has in making sure we continue on the path towards denuclearization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Now Sarah Sanders also did not answer whether or not these North Korean missile tests violated those U.N. resolutions which just the day before, the President's national security advisor John Bolton said that yes, in fact that they did and there was no doubt about that.
Now the question of whether or not this came up between the prime minister and the President, is likely to be a question when the two of them holds a press conference in the next 12 hours, so we are waiting to see what it is the Japanese prime minister has to say about his response to the President's tweet.
SAVIDGE: Kaitlan Collins in Tokyo, thank you very much for that.
Earlier, Republican senator Joni Ernst told CNN that she thinks the U.S. has to get tougher on North Korea after its recent missile test. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JONI ERNST (R), ARMED SERVICE COMMITTEE: I find them very disturbing and certainly when trust Kim Jong-un. So I think we need to keep our eyes on North Korea. I understand the President wants to maintain a relationship with North Korea so that we can work with them. However, those strikes are disturbing.
I think Japan has reason to be concerned and I am concerned as well. We need to see North Korea back off of those activities and we need to take a very strong stance on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: With me from Washington, Karoun Demirjian, congressional reporter for "the Washington Post" and Lynn Sweet, the Washington bureau chief for the "Chicago Sun Times." Welcome to both of you.
Trump supporters support rather for Kim Jong-un is at odds with of course his Japanese host and yet, the two leaders seem to be for the moment, pushing Kim Jong-un to the side or at least trying to down play it. The President definitely is. And I'm wondering, are they doing this for the sake of a photo op? And Karoun, let me start with you. KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, yes and no. I think
that there - it behooves both Trump and Abe to project this image that everything is fine between them. But I also think Abe probably realizes that the way to win Trump over, the way to win him over, when you disagree something, to pull him over to hear a view point is to appeal to him on a personal basis.
President Trump very much values the personal relationships he built - believes he had built with various leaders across the world. Some allies like Abe, some not so much allies, and actually antagonists, traditionally speaking.
But the way to get Trump's attention, the way to persuade him of something and the way the get your voice heard on the international stage is to get President Trump to like you and Abe has done a very good job of maintaining that throughout his presidency and he is continuing that on this trip.
SAVIDGE: OK. So a charm offensive on the part of the Japanese prime minister.
I want to play for you Senator Lindsey Graham who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. So of course a big Trump supporter. And he was talking about North Korea. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't think it's remotely possible that Chairman Kim will give up his nuclear weapons until he feels the threat to do so. I'm glad the President is engaging him, all those before President Trump failed on their watch and President Trump has finally got Kim Jong-un's attention.
But I'm not naive about this. I think they are trying to run out the clock on President Trump. The only way Kim will give up his nuclear weapons if he believes he is better off without them and you have got to make the threat of military force real if he continues to develop missiles and bombs directed at America.
What we do in Venezuela and what we do in Iran will make a difference as to how Kim reacts to us in North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: All right. So we have them Senator Joni Ernst, we have Lindsey Graham and even Trump's own national security advisor John Bolton, all calling for a tougher approach and yet we have a President that seems to be down playing what North Korea has been doing. How do we -- what do we make of this, Lynn?
LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, I make of it I take the President's tweets seriously. And when he combined in an earlier tweet, his latest insults at Joe Biden along with the - and saying that the prime minister agreed with him on the insult, it means that Trump is playing the Trump game. Everyone else you have just mentioned has suggested a unified approach
in dealing with these trouble spots of the world. So what this seems to me is a simple analysis might be close tore what we have here. Trump just sees everything in a personal team and since he has for the moment no better idea to a larger end game, he is just trying to himself buy some time and assure everybody everything's going to be OK.
I don't think that Senator Lindsey Graham is wrong in his analysis of what it would take and to be realistic in thinking that no nuclear weapons will be surrendered by North Korea without a lot more on the table than Trump is willing to put on right now.
[14:21:03] SAVIDGE: Well, Karoun, let me ask you this. Maybe there is counter strategy here. We know that traditionally, this is always the way North Korea acts. In other words, they seem like they are cooperating. They go along for a bit and then they break the rules and they begin launching missiles and doing bad things. And every time in response to that, the U.S. rattles sabers, it gets angry and it says don't do that.
Trump is now down playing all this. It's a different strategy. Do you think it is actually a strategy or more of he just wants to deal with it in another time and place?
DEMIRJIAN: If it's a strategy, it's not one that has become - that he is putting out there after a great consultation with all of his advisers. Because you can see that there's division within the White House, within his top national security advisors about what to actually be doing about this.
Clearly, people like Bolton are advising a more serious tougher stance and warning of greater dangers than the President is projecting that he is nervous about or even acknowledging in tweets like this.
But, you know, I think - yes, the President has been trying to do this to the opposite way of many other presidents. He got to the table with the North Korean leader much, much earlier than his predecessors have with previous North Korea leader against the advice of many people who then said, OK, if he is going to be able to do something with this, that's great.
But if Trump is pursuing a strategy and at some point and some point fairly soon because we are looking towards potentially a third summit here, he has got to be able to produce something that previous Presidents could not. He has to be able to get the North Koreans to actually agree to a denuclearization plan. It look like anything the United States would accept.
And so at this point, it's kind of still the status quo. So it's very difficult to judge if this is a strategy, if it's doing anything different or just perpetuating the status quo for slightly longer. And looking at slightly smaller missile tests maybe than we would be in a different situation.
But it's not clear what the President, that the United States President, has full control of its situation given the way the North Koreans act and given the fact that they don't seem inclined to change their strategy necessarily in response to the U.S. that quickly.
SAVIDGE: All right. Well, will continue to follow and see how this develops here. I mean, clearly, the situation is one that bears a great deal of watching.
All right, Karoun Demirjian and Lynn Sweet, thanks very much for joining us this morning actually - actually, this afternoon. Thank you.
Coming up, a rescue that many are calling a miracle. Now a hiker missing for 17 days and injured in a Hawaiian forest is telling her amazing story about how she made it through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest. It did come down life and death and I had to choose and I chose life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: We will hear how she got out of that forest alive next.
[14:27:33] SAVIDGE: A yoga instructor who got lost in the Hawaiian forest for more than two weeks said she survived on berries and river water. Amanda Heller had a broken leg and had no shoes, but she refused to give up, saying she had to choose life over death.
CNN's Paul Vercammen joins me now with this incredible story of survival and rescue.
And what else is Heller saying, Paul?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have good news for you. First, Martin, she has been released from the hospital. And her friends tell us that she has been treated at undisclosed location by a lot of her friends who are very skilled in the area helping someone with both their physical and their emotional issues. We understand now that she is walking around on crutches. Let's listen to her tell her tale of survival.
AMANDA HELLER, MISSING HIKER RESCUED: The last 17 days of my have been the toughest days of my life and it's been really significant spiritual journey that I was guided on.
VERCAMMEN (voice-over): A voyage Amanda Heller described with her static boyfriend in her hospital bed.
HELLER: And there were times of total fear and loss and wanting to give up and it did come down to life and death and I had to choose and I chose life.
VERCAMMEN: Eller got spotted by rescuers in a helicopter and hoisted out of peril in this lush Maui paradise Friday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. We (bleep).
VERCAMMEN: Eller lost her shoes set out to dry in a flash flood, lost her ability to walk properly when she broke a bone in her leg, but hope was not lost.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was not expected. That was not expected.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can cry now, it's awesome. It's like the best.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did pretty well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a good memorial day now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was bawling like a baby.
HELLER: Seeing the way the community of Maui came together, people that know me, people that don't know me, all came together just under the idea of helping one person get out of the woods alive. It's just warms my heart.
VERCAMMEN: This yoga instructor and physical therapist shed almost a pound a day for each day she went missing, 15 pounds total. Her doctor expressed surprise and relief at how well she liked.
DR. ZORA BULATOVC, TREATING PHYSICIAN: Tears caved down because, you know, we have all been following her story.
VERCAMMEN: This physician explained how this model patient survived on river water and what food she could pick.
[14:30:08] BULATOVC: Eating fresh fruits from the trees, trying to keep her nutrition up, so she was very well educated in that and she knew exactly what to take and managed to stay well hydrated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is a trooper, man. She is a real warrior. And I had no doubt if anybody could make it through, it was her.
VERCAMMEN: Amanda Eller fought for her life and won armed with undying spirit and true grit.
SAVIDGE: And that is just such a wonderful story, Paul. I talked to one of the rescuers yesterday. There seems to be a whole back story with all of them. Tell us more about who rescued her.
VERCAMMEN: What a great assortment of people, well equipped to find her because of their survival skills. And Javier Cantalof (ph), if you look into his background further, I just spoke to him on the phone, he is a former army ranger with two tours of duty in Afghanistan, one in Iraq. And if you listen to him talk he would explain they were looking for an LZ when they were searching for her, meaning landing zone. Clearly, that military background played a huge role in this. And he tells me, Marty, there is going to be one heck of a bash tomorrow afternoon on Maui.
SAVIDGE: Well deserved. Well deserve indeed.
Paul Vercammen, thank you very much for telling the story for us.
Coming up, a controversial coach gets a new gig and not everybody's happy about it. How former Baylor head coach, Art Briles, ended up on the football field next.
[14:35:12] SAVIDGE: A football coach with a controversial past is getting a second chance, but not everybody's on board. Former Baylor University coach Art Briles was hired Friday by a high school in east Texas. The hiring comes controversial hiring comes three years after Briles was fired amid a sexual assault scandal involving some of his players.
And CNN's Coy Wire reports strong reactions both for and against are pouring in.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the decision of a high school in east Texas to hire Art Briles as head football coach certainly a controversial one. Let's take a look at video of an official at the school introducing Briles to players and others via video conference on Friday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guy, you all OK with this?
WIRE: Applause filling the room at Mt. Vernon high school about 100 miles east of Dallas. The school superintendent also praised the hiring saying in a statement that Briles quote "brings with him a wealth of not only football experience but also life experience. He is passionate about investing in the lives of young people and helping them to succeed both on the field and in life," unquote.
Briles took Baylor University to unparalleled success as is football coach, but in May of 2016, he was fired after an independent investigation showed a fundamental failure by officials to respond adequately to students allegations of sexual assault. Some of which involved players on the football team. Briles struggled to find jobs since then. Getting hired in Canada, but fired almost immediately after public backlash. He then took a coaching position in Italy in 2018.
The reactions as you can imagine to the hiring have been mixed. (INAUDIBLE) quarterback Robert Griffin III won a Heisman trophy at Baylor. He congratulated his former coach on twitter then posted quote "I understand why it's not always good look to support someone tied to such a sensitive scandal. Coach, his family, I have been praying he gets a second chance to prove himself. And I'm hopeful people will also give him a second chance to prove that what happened isn't who he is," unquote.
A yahoo sports opinion piece calls the school official decision quote "a trifecta of incompetence, ignorance and arrogance."
One woman tweeting as "a Mt. Vernon resident and a survivor of abuse, I'm terribly upset by this news. My heart is hurting for all the Baylor victims. You are not alone. Many in our town do not support this decision. I won't stand by and I ignore it," unquote.
Briles said in a statement on Friday, he is looking forward to returning to his roots as a high school coach in Texas.
SAVIDGE: Coy Wire, thanks very much for the set up there on this.
For more on the reaction to this controversial hire, I'm joined now by Jenny Dial Creech. She is a sports columnist for the Houston Chronicle. Thank you for joining us.
JENNY DIAL CREECH, SPORTS COLUMNIST, HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Yes, you bet.
SAVIDGE: In your column, you write quote "for everyone calling for second chances, please keep in mind that Briles has never shown accountability or remorse and has repeatedly been dismissive of survivors. He hasn't earned a second chance because he has never atoned for the life altering mistakes he made."
We want to point out that Briles apologized in 2016 on ESPN saying he takes responsibility for what happened. And that his heart quote, "aches," unquote, for the victims.
So I guess my question is to begin, what more do you want to hear from him?
CREECH: He did do an interview with ESPN shortly after he was fired. And it was very disingenuous. A lot of survives did not take anything from that. That let them go on feeling better.
Also since the interview, more lawsuits have come out, more survivors have come forward and we know this was lot worse than we initially thought. One lawsuit alleges that there were 52 counts of rape by football players under Art Briles watch.
What we know is that he helped foster a culture where football players were getting away with this. He has never come forward and taken any sort of responsibility for his actions. He hasn't met with survivors. He hasn't talked to anyone about how he is moving forward or making this right in any way. He has collected a settlement, continued to try to get a job and all the while, every time this comes back up, survivors are the ones who have to relive their trauma over and over and over again for the sake of this man being able to coach and win football games.
SAVIDGE: Jenny, why do you think this town was selected or how did it come about? There's only about 3,000 people as far as I know.
CREECH: I mean, he is a well-connected coach. Look. He is a very good football coach. There is no doubt b about it. This man can win football games. I understand why people would want him to coach for that reason.
However, you have students here. You have young men and a high school football coach, we know this, that's a role model in a lot of kids. He is a father figure. I'm not sure that you want someone who turned his head repeatedly when he heard rape allegations, also other allegations that his football players were using drugs, things of that nature, turned his head, helped to cover some of these things up by burying them all for the sake of winning. I don't feel like this is the kind of guy you want in charge of young men. That being said --
[14:40:20] SAVIDGE: Let me say this.
CREECH: People love him and respect him.
SAVIDGE: This is a very impressionable age we are talking about in a young man's life. You have heard from a lot of women on this and what are they saying?
CREECH: It's bad. I mean, they are hurting. I spent several years covering since this came out, I have spent several years talking to victims of assault by the university. Some by football players, some by other students. I mean, this was to be b fair, an institution wide failure that Baylor has been working to correct. I mean, they have made a lot of changes at the school to stop this from happening again.
It wasn't just Briles, but Briles was a big player in this. And winning games mattered more than women. I mean, that is what it comes down to. It mattered more than the safety of these women. So the survivors and victims of these awful crimes have been texting and calling me. Women I have known for the past few years now and they are heartbroken. And every time something like this happens, they feel once again like they don't matter.
What people need to realize is that victims of sexual assault relive this every day for the rest of their life. This isn't something that happened once.
SAVIDGE: Can I just stop you? Real quick before we run out of time. What is it you would like to see happen next?
CREECH: I just don't think he needs to be coaches at a high school or college campus. If he ends up in the pros as a quarterback coach or somewhere in office, you like the think that those men are already shape and know how to be who they are going to be, but I don't think that this man should be leading anyone impressionable and young.
SAVIDGE: OK. We should point out we have reached out to coach Briles. And have not received any response back.
Jenny Dial Creech, thank you very much for joining us this afternoon.
CREECH: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: Up next, despite booming economic numbers, President Trump is blaming the Federal Reserve for stifling growth. Should he be criticizing the usually not political banking body or is he making a fair point? We will talk about it, next.
[14:46:28] SAVIDGE: President Trump may be halfway around the world in Japan right now, but that hasn't stopped him from trotting out one of his favorite punching bags from back home, the Federal Reserve.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last year for the first time in a decade, the United States was ranked the most competitive economy anywhere in the world. During that year our economy grew at three percent. And if the fed didn't raise interest rates frankly, it would have been much higher than three percent. And the stock market as high as it's been would have been at least I think probably anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 points higher. But they wanted to raise interest rates. You will explain that to me.
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SAVIDGE: The President's remarks come as Dow Jones racks up its fifth consecutive weekly decline. That's the longest streak since 2011. At one point, reports surfaced that Trump discussed firing Jerome Powell. He is the head of the fed.
I want to bring in Catherine Rampell. She is a "Washington Post" opinion columnist and CNN political commentator.
Hello, thanks for joining us.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Good to be here.
SAVIDGE: So the basics, let's start with that. Is there any credibility to the argument that the Federal Reserve is holding back the stock market and U.S. economy?
RAMPELL: I think there are a few things to lay out at the outset, right. One is that first of all, it is completely inappropriate for the President to be commenting on monetary policy full stop, regardless of the content of that criticism.
For decades, we have had a policy within the White House to never comment on any fed action because in order for the central bank to work, it needs to be independent in both practice and in perception. So if it looks like the President or any of those around him were not actually at the fed are trying to strong arm the fed, that could compromise the perceived credibility of the fed's commitment to stable prices and to maximum employment.
But as to the actual content of Trump's criticism, that's also you know, confused, shall we say. You know the fed's objective is not to be maximizing stock market values. Again, it has a dual mandate set by Congress. It's about maximum employment, stable prices, not the stock market. I mean, beyond that, stock markets has been growing for about the past ten years. Arguably, stock prices are expensive if you look at historic price earnings ratios. So we are in basically what is arguably the longest bull market in history.
So to suggest that the fed is trying to hold back stock markets when that's not even part of its mandate and that they actually are holding back stock markets, it's all very confused.
SAVIDGE: But it is understandable since the economy tends to be the biggest barometer by which people decide if they are happy about how the President of the United States is leading a nation. So Trump obviously has his faith he believes in many ways tied to how the economy is doing and there by what the fed is doing to manipulate the economy.
RAMPELL: Yes. Well, but remember there's a little bit of tension here in arguing that on the one hand, the economy is going gang busters and on the other hand, the economy is so fragile that it can't withstand these very tiny interest rate hikes when interest rates are still at close to historic lows.
So Trump kind of can't have it both ways. Either the economy is so strong and in everything that he has done, you know, through his magical tax cuts and deregulatory agenda and all that, have fully transformed the economy or the economy is incredibly fragile and nothing he has done makes a difference whatsoever. You kind of can't have it both ways -- yes.
[14:50:10] SAVIDGE: Before I have to say good-bye, let me ask you this. How much and this is something the President does control, is the trade war with China perhaps having an impact on the economy more so than say the fed?
RAMPELL: So, that's an excellent point. If you look at stock markets and stock markets I should clarify are not the economy, of course, stock markets recently have been volatile, have been falling precisely because of some of the trade war actions Trump has taken. You know you see Trump announces that we are going to have 25 percent tariff on all Chinese goods and of course, the next day, stock markets plunge.
In terms of the overall economy, the U.S. economy is still relatively close. Meaning trade is a small share of overall GDP. So probably around the edge, you are seeing a slowdown compared to what we would otherwise be expecting from economic growth. But you know, it doesn't look like the magnitude of that trade war while going in the wrong direction is large enough to for example tip us into recession, but certainly, it is not helpful. It's going on the opposite direction of some of the more stimulative activities that this administration has engaged in including physical stimulus, their tax cuts. So, it is not helping. And to scapegoat the fed, I think just suggests that he has not fully weighed the forcible consequences of some of the policies he has undertaken.
SAVIDGE: OK. All right, we got to leave it there. Catherine Rampell, thank you very much. Good to see you.
And we will be right back.
[14:55:05] SAVIDGE: A 30-year tradition is making its final run this weekend. You are looking at live pictures of rolling thunder's last Memorial Day, at least the last one to ride in Washington.
Thousands of bikers have been gathering since after the Vietnam War drawing attention to prisoners of war and service members missing action. National event organizers announced last year that this would be their final ride because of the increasing cost.
CNN national correspondent Kristen Holmes is on the ground where things are just getting started.
Kristen, good to see you. And will this really be the final ride?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, that is the big question here on the ground and that's because of a tweet President Trump sent out earlier this morning. And we are going to pull out for you. Let me read it.
The great patriots of rolling thunder will be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year and hopefully for many years to come. It is where they want to be and where they should be. Have a wonderful time today. Thank you to our great men and women of the Pentagon for working it out.
Now here's why there's a lot of confusion. Shortly after this, I spoke to the national president of Rolling Thunder and read him this tweet. He hadn't heard from the White House and he said they are still considering this the final major demonstration here in D.C.
Now, Joe Bean, the President said that he would be willing to go to the White House, be willing to talk to President Trump about this, hopefully doing something to keep the ride here in D.C. despite those high costs, but again, he had not heard and they are still saying this is the final demonstration.
Now this comes at a time when emotions are incredibly high here. You have to keep many mind, people have been coming to this for decades. We spoke to gold star moms, gold star and wives, he spoke to veterans, to civilians who have been coming for ten years just to show their support for veterans. And take a listen o to what they said about this being potentially the last ride.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will tell you, the first year I came, I knew I could never miss it. This is a brotherhood, whether you are veteran or you are not. I hope it continues, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand there's a lot of reasons because of money and mess and you know organization, but this is what makes it. It's the people. We decide if it's the last one. If we show up, then it's all the same.
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HOLMES: And of course, Martin, as you said, this is not the end of rolling thunder. They will still have those regional rides. But right now, this is still being considered the last national ride in Washington, D.C. Back to you.
SAVIDGE: Kristen Holmes, thank you very much for that. Love to hear the sound in the background there.
Meanwhile, tune in tonight on CNN to see what happens when victims and offenders of violent crimes meet face to face. That is on the new CNN original series, "the Redemption Project" with Van Jones tonight at 9:00 eastern and pacific, followed by "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" with W. Kamau Bell at 10:00.