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Sen. Cory Booker (D) New Jersey Open To An Impeachment Inquiry Against President Trump; West Point Graduates Most Diverse Class In History; Videos Show Officer Involved Shootout, Both Cop And Suspect Survived; Mountaineer Posted Concerns About Everest Climb Days Before Death; Former Baylor Football Coach Hired By Texas High School; SpaceX Launches 60 Satellites In Internet Constellation Mission. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired May 26, 2019 - 06:00   ET




RACHEL GARRISON, OKLAHOMA STORM SURVIVOR: I felt the trailer 80 hit our trailer. I know trailer 80 flipped over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all shook up. Prayer for the first responders. Prayer for that people that are searching the hotel and the mobile home site.

AMANDA ELLER, MISSING HIKER RESCUED: The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest. It did come down to life and death and I had to choose and I chose life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. president is getting a front row seat for the finals of the grand sumo tournament during his visit to Tokyo.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How big is that event compared to the Super Bowl for the Japanese? And the prime minister said it is about 100 times bigger. I said I'll be there.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We begin with the breaking news overnight, two people are dead after a tornado tore through El Reno, Oklahoma destroying a hotel and a mobile home park.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I want you to take a look at some of the latest video that we're getting in here. That area as you see there has been leveled and you see the lights flashing from all the emergency crews that are there. This is a storm that blew through very quickly. People inside the trailers say it felt -- they felt it before the warning sirens even went off and the city's mayor is calling the scene -- quote -- "horrific."

BLACKWELL: Now this is roughly six years to the day since El Reno was hit by another tornado that killed eight people including three storm chasers.

PAUL: CNN national correspondent Omar Jimenez is live from Mt. Pleasant, Texas with us. Omar, what are you hearing about what happened the moment that the storm hit?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean you said it correctly, we've been really trying to hone in on this mobile home park and this hotel, they got slammed when this tornado came through. Let's remember it came in the overnight hours, so it was completely dark out. As far as visuals go, no one would have been able to get any context as to where the storm was coming through.

And when you talk about the mobile home park in particular to start with, we heard from Rachel Garrison (ph) who is a resident who actually rode the storm out as it sounds like the tornado came right over where she was with a child inside. Listen to some of what she said.


GARRISON: I heard it coming. I felt the trailer 80 hit our trailer. I know trailer 80 flipped over on top of 81, which we were in. And after everything was over with and all the shaking and jarring and everybody landing on the floor, the sirens went off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) a little too late. It just got real dark real fast and everything started shaking violently.

GARRISON: I told him to hit the floor.


JIMENEZ: A scary set of moments there overnight again as the storm completely rolled through. Now in addition to the mobile home park, we know a hotel was pretty damaged, almost leveled really at this point. It's probably a better way to describe it.

Now the good news on the front the hotel staff says everyone has been accounted for, but one staff member did suffer a broken leg and is being treated at the hospital. And damage assessment continues even before the sun comes up now.

BLACKWELL: So, Omar, when will we get the details about this expected tornado, the level, the intensity about this storm?

JIMENEZ: Yes, so those are all things that are being worked on at the moment. I mentioned, one, the damage assessment is happening on the ground as far as going door to door and trying to locate potential victims and to see other pieces of infrastructure that were destroyed. And when the sun comes up, they are going to get a better idea of the context and scope of this tornado that ripped through this town just west of Oklahoma City.

Then on the actual storm front, the National Weather Service still gathering data to determine how big this tornado actually was. We don't know at what level on the enhanced Fujita scale this was whether an EF2, EF3 or something lower than that. So that is what we are waiting on as well.

And then let's remember, this did not happen in a vacuum. This comes in the context of what has been a week full of deadly tornadoes, flooding, water rescues even in some places across Oklahoma, Missouri, even in parts of Texas as well. And all 77 counties of Oklahoma were under a state of emergency before this storm came in, which just gives you an idea of how much they were dealing with already on the tail end of this week. Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Well into a second week of tornado threat. Omar Jimenez for us there. Omar, thank you.

PAUL: We want to get to CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Because, Allison, I know that one of the things you were saying to us before the show was that this is one of those storms that comes in so quickly, you just don't have time to take cover.


ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it is called a QLCS. It just means that they're very brief. Now you know the storm overall has the potential to cause a lot of damage, but you just don't ever know where within that line of storms that a tornado may drop. And that is why you end up having very little if no warning time when these tornados take place.

Here is a look at some of the damage. Now I want you to take a look at this. You don't see much here. This is what the picture should look like. This right here. This hotel.

Now here it is once again. This is now. Again you can see entirely leveled down to the ground.

This is the storm system as it made its way through. And you can see what is called a bow, that usually indicates very, very strong winds. Right here this is the town of El Reno as it was moving through.

Let's breakdown the timeline at 11:26 p.m. Eastern Time, 10:26 Central Time, local time there. At 11:26 the tornado warning was issued. One minute later the sirens went off at 27 past the hour. And then just two minutes later at 11:29 Eastern Time, that is when you really started to have a lot of that damage begin to come in from the town of El Reno.

So again, you are talking minutes here that really made the difference as this tornado ripped through this area. One other thing to note, this was a nocturnal tornado meaning it happened when it's at night, people are sleeping, they are unaware. 37 percent of all the tornadoes that take place in Oklahoma are actually nocturnal tornadoes.

So again, keep that in mind. That and of itself is not rare but that's usually where we end up getting the highest fatalities because people just aren't paying attention. They're asleep.

Here's the thing though. This was only one of nine possible tornadoes yesterday. And again, we had over 100 total storm reports.

But this is where we expect us to move forward. We still expect severe weather today for Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and another round of severe weather across portions of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic, guys.

BLACKWELL: So, Allison, talk to us about what is happening in South America, the strong earthquake that hit overnight.

CHINCHAR: Yes, very strong earthquake. An 8.0 in fact in Peru. Pretty far inland and also very deep. We're talking 109 kilometers or 68 miles deep.

That is very important because depth plays a huge factor when we talk about these because the deeper a quake is, the less significant the damage is likely going to be. Here is a look though, an 8.0, we typically only average one of those per year. So this is the largest one we've had so far this year.

The other down fall, the larger earthquakes that you get like that, Victor and Christi, it also means you're more likely to get significant aftershocks. It is very likely. You could have 6.0s, 7.0s and multiple of those categories for aftershocks going forward.

The other thing, liquefaction is going to be a big concern for this area. So anything that may have already been maybe even slightly damaged could potentially get even more significantly damaged during several of those aftershocks.

PAUL: My goodness. All right. Allison Chinchar, it's good to see you this morning. Thank you so much for walking us through it.

BLACKWELL: Today two of President Trump's state visits to Japan and another full day of bonding with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trade talks, golf, sumo wrestling. Yes, let's start with golf though. The golf selfie from earlier after that a more traditional Japanese sport.

PAUL: A short time ago the president and first lady joined the prime minister and his wife for this, this is at a stadium in Tokyo, to watch some matches in the sumo grand championship. They sat ringside taking all of it in. President Trump then presented an enormous trophy it's called the President's Cup to the winner.

CNN's Boris Sanchez is traveling with the president right now joins us live from Tokyo. So it has been a busy day. But we know that there is a dinner for just the couple if I understand it as well, for both the prime minister, the president and their spouses. What is happening?

BORIS SANCHEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christi and Victor. Right now the two leaders are enjoying dinner with their wives. This is a traditional hibachi dinner. On the menu there's Wagyu beef and grilled chicken.

Earlier they spent some time at that sumo tournament you were talking about, the crowd giving a very warm reception to President Trump when he presented that Presidents Cup to the grand champion of the tournament. The president telling reporters at this dinner that he had always wanted to see a sumo match in person.

He told reporters that he's having a great time here in Japan. Him and Shinzo Abe, the prime minister as you said played golf earlier in the day. One Japanese official telling CNN that this was an opportunity for the two of them to build even stronger bonds.

They already have a pretty strong relationship, a good foundation. A lot of that has to do with Shinzo Abe's efforts to sort of court President Trump. Remember a couple months ago President Trump talked about the letter that Abe wrote him and that he nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.


The two men have frequently met bonding over golf with Abe presenting President Trump with some really fancy golf clubs. President Trump at dinner though did talk about the main event coming tomorrow and that is going to be his meeting with the new emperor, Emperor Naruhito.

It's the first time any foreign leader is meeting the new emperor. It's really a significant moment for these two countries, one that underscores the importance of the alliance for Japan, not only in terms of security but also economically here in Asia -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Boris Sanchez for us there in Tokyo. Thank you, Boris.

PAUL: Earlier President Trump tweeted something that contradicts his own national security adviser. And seems to downplay something that often puts the people of Japan a bit on edge. I want to read the tweet to you here.

He said, "North Korea fired off some small weapons which disturbed some of my people and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me."

But Japan has good reason to be disturbed when North Korea test files missiles here. I mean, take a look at this map. It shows the most recent test launch from North Korea.

The missiles landed in the sea, but not always so close. Some of North Korea's test missiles have flown over Japanese territory in the past and again, that is very unnerving to the people there.

BLACKWELL: The Maui hiker who lost more than two week -- was lost for more than two weeks rather says she chose life over death.


AMANDA ELLER: People that know me, people that don't know me, all came together just under the idea of helping one person make it out of the woods alive.


BLACKWELL: We'll share her survival story and how she made it out with only minor injuries.

PAUL: Also, an officer and suspect shoot at each other and despite coming nearly face-to-face, both of them survived. We have a look at two videos that show the moment of the ambush.

BLACKWELL: And later, the vice president's message to an historic graduating class at West Point.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I couldn't be more proud to stand before the graduating class of 2019 that includes the highest number of African-American women cadets in the history of the United States military academy.




BLACKWELL: Fifteen minutes after the hour now. Amanda Eller, the hiker who was lost in Maui for more than two weeks is recovering in a hospital this morning.

PAUL: Yes. And her doctors are mystified really at the end of the day at how well she's doing. They say she is looks amazing even after suffering infections and sunburns, a broken shin. She lost 15 pounds.

CNN's Paul Vercammen has her story.


AMANDA ELLER: The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest days of my life and it's been really significant spiritual journey that I was guided on.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A voyage Amanda Eller described with her ecstatic boyfriend in her hospital bed.

AMANDA ELLER: 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.


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.

JOHN ELLER, AMANDA ELLER'S DAD: That was not expected. That was not expected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can cry now, it's awesome. That's like the best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did pretty well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have got a good Memorial Day now.

JOHN ELLER: No. I was bawling like a baby.

AMANDA ELLER: Seeing the way that 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 looked.

DR. ZORA BULATOVIC, 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.

BULATOVIC: 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.

Paul Vercammen, CNN Los Angeles.


PAUL: All right. Breaking overnight there are police in Chesapeake, Virginia who say multiple people have been shot. This was during a neighborhood gathering. A police spokesman tells CNN they don't even know the exact number of people injured yet.

BLACKWELL: They say all the victims have been taken to local hospitals. They say this all started a little after 9:00 last night. Police say shots started when they were on the scene investigating a traffic disturbance. We'll keep you updated on the story as we learn more throughout the morning.

PAUL: I'm sure you've heard that it has been a pretty deadly climbing season on Mount Everest. We're learning that one of the mountaineers who did lose his life posted a warning just days before making his own climb.

BLACKWELL: Plus, presidential candidate Cory Booker says he's open to an impeachment inquiry against the president. Next, what he says he needs to see first.



PAUL: Twenty-two minutes past the hour right now. Good morning to you.

The president's lawyers have reached an agreement with two House committees over their attempt to get president Trump's financial records.

BLACKWELL: According to a court document and a source familiar with the agreement, the lawmakers will hold off on enforcing subpoenas on the two banks putting the issue on hold until an appeals court can make a decision.

PAUL: Earlier this week a New York judge refused to block the subpoenas that started one week of deadline for the Trump team to find a way to stop his financial information from being released.

BLACKWELL: While on his trip to Japan, President Trump responded to a setback in federal court Friday. A federal judge blocked him from tapping defense department funds to build parts of his U.S./Mexico border wall.

PAUL: In a tweet the president called it a ruling against border security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking. He called the federal judge an activist Obama appointed judge and said that his administration is appealing that ruling.

BLACKWELL: With a single tweet responding to North Korea's latest missile test, President Trump has now put himself at odds with his own security team and his hosts in Japan.

He tweeted this. "North Korea fired off some small weapons which disturbed some of my people and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me."

He also went on to say that he smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low I.Q. individual and worse. Perhaps that is sending a signal.

Joining me now to discuss, Siraj Hashmi, commentary writer and editor at the "Washington Examiner." And CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, historian and professor at Princeton University. Gentlemen, welcome back.



BLACKWELL: So let's talk about the North Korea half of this tweet. And, Julian, let me start with you and split it first policy versus the actual missile here which is a concern for Japan obviously.

The missile -- the policy first. Let me read for you what John Bolton, the president's national security adviser, said just hours before the president sent that tweet. He wrote this -- said this rather, "In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there is no doubt about that. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will talk about making sure the integrity of the Security Council resolutions are maintained."


No doubt from Bolton. Who is the outlier here, is it hawkish Bolton away from the rest of the security apparatus and the president or is the president out of step with his administration?

ZELIZER: Well, I think president through his tweet is out of step. I think there's an agreement this is a violation and I think it's yet another provocation in a long line of them. The question always remains what to do. And here the president is something of a mystery.

Bolton has been much more clear in terms of his preference of using military force. But the continued use of missiles goes against the promise that North Korea made. And I think that is pretty clear at this point.

BLACKWELL: Siraj, let's talk about Japan has pushed for tougher policy with North Korea. This personal confidence that president tweets about is obviously not shared by Abe. What does an attempt at reassurance while he is there in Japan potentially mean for the prime minister?

HASHMI: That is a very good question, Victor. Right now we're not entirely sure what the president's stance is in terms of reassuring the Japanese prime minister and Japan as a whole in terms of making sure that U.N. Security Council resolutions are enforced.

But with respect to how Trump has been approaching North Korea, it echoes very similar to the way that President Obama approached Iran. They want a deal to be successful and they are willing to ignore a lot of the transgressions that both countries are committing with respect to North Korea firing short range missiles or even their torturing, imprisoning and leading to the eventual death of Otto Warmbier.

So these are things that Trump has to come to grips with. And he does have to have a strong hand in dealing with Chairman Kim, but at the same time, he can't be like siding with him while dunking on the former Vice President Joe Biden at the same time.

BLACKWELL: So, Siraj, it is also important to say when the president says these small weapons, short range missiles are a threat to Japan. I mean, so to say this while in Japan, it is not something that goes without disturbing the prime minister.

HASHMI: Right. It is dismissive of the security concerns that both Japan and South Korea have. Because it is not like missiles have just been fired at Japan. South Korea has basically been under threat for the last 50, 60 years since the armistice between the United States and North Korea happened in the early '50s. So basically what we're looking at here is if Trump is trying to actually get a deal here, he can't get a bad deal. Obviously would hurt Americans and would hurt Japan and South Korea. But he has to really understand that Kim Jong-un, his last line of defense is having these nuclear weapons and developing them as a way of getting attention.

And so long as he has those, he is at least at the table with the United States. And if he backs away from that, they basically have nothing.

BLACKWELL: So, Julian, let me come to you and I want to come back to stateside here. And members of Congress they'll be home next week. They're going back in early June to Washington.

But House Democrats will likely hear from constituents, one way or the other, about impeachment. And you have a piece up on arguing that Nancy Pelosi is making a big mistake on impeachment. And it is not just resisting the impeachment call, I read it. You make a broader point. So what is the mistake?

ZELIZER: The mistake is following partisan incentives and thinking about partisan interests above what is best for the democracy. And I argue that Republicans made this mistake by putting -- protecting the president ahead of the very obvious abuses that they saw in their time as majority. And I think the way that Pelosi is thinking about it is what is best for the party in 2020 and trying to figure out how it will unfold politically as opposed to really looking at very obvious and blatant violations and misuses of presidential power that are taking place.

And on some level, I think that is how the party has to make these decisions in terms of do you start impeachment proceedings. And there are many Democrats who are concluding this is so egregious by not doing this, in some ways the Democrats become complicit in normalizing this kind of presidential behavior.

BLACKWELL: You know, Julian, and you talked about 2020 there. We're seeing what appears to be a shift from at least one 2020 candidate over the last couple of weeks. I want you to watch here -- this is Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker.

The first sound bite is in his conversation with David Axelrod on the "Axe Files" about two weeks ago and then the second sound bite is in response to a question from a voter yesterday. Watch.


DAVID AXELROD, "THE AXE FILES" HOST: So you are open to the idea that impeachment still may be necessary --

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am going to -- first of all, I'm a senator so I don't --

AXELROD: I understand that. But I'm not going to give you that cheap out. BOOKER: Where I stand right is I want to see the unredacted report.


I will make a decision on what I think in a -- with the gravity of what's at stake with a president that's done high crimes and misdemeanors, I'll make the decision on what's best for the country.

So I've never seen this kind of obstruction in terms of Congress doing their duty. We have a constitutional obligation to provide oversight and I'm stunned that this president is flaunting, not just democratic traditions but the intention of the constitution.

And I'm one of those people who've said we shouldn't vote on impeachment yet. I want to do the investigation. But if he is not allowing the investigation to go through, then we need to start an impeachment inquiry.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN NEW DAY: Yes, I know you are on Skype, Julian, so maybe you didn't hear that second one. He said that if we continue to see the President not let the investigation go through, then he will support starting an impeachment inquiry. Is this still a difficult call for these top two tier presidential candidates or is this becoming easier now over the last couple of weeks?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's always a difficult call. It's difficult politically because you worry about you how it will unfold, but more importantly, this is a method of a mechanism of last resort, and it's proper for every politician to think of it that way. So it should always be difficult. But that doesn't mean it should never be used.

And I think what you are hearing certainly within the democratic caucus and a handful of republicans is not only do the contents of the Mueller report and other kinds of investigations really lead to troubling conclusions, but how the President and his administration have essentially rejected the idea of oversight since that came out are forcing their hand. And so it's always difficult. But I do think we are very close to democrats possibly going in that direction.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll see if Speaker Pelosi shifts her position. Julian Zelizer, Siraj Hashmi, thank you both.

ZELIZER: Thank you.


CRISTI PAUL, CNN NEW DAY: Vice President Mike Pence delivered the commencement address this weekend at the United States Military Academy. This is a historic class at West Point. The class of 2019 is the most diverse class ever in terms of both race and gender. West Point graduated the most African-American and Hispanic women in its history. And the Vice President praised the class for its diversity, also giving them a reality check.


MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life. You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen. And when that day comes, I know that you will move to the sound of the guns. Do your duty. And you will fight. And you will win.


PAUL: The Vice President also told the graduates that they are joining an army that is better equipped and better trained than at any time in the nation's history.

BLACKWELL: Concerns are growing over climbing conditions on Mt. Everest and there is this also a tragic twist, a climber posted a warning just days before his own death. What he said about the number of people planning to make that dangerous trek.

PAUL: First though, a comedy special that is bigger than both sides. Which sides? Colin Quinn, Red State Blue State, premieres Memorial Day, tomorrow at 9:00 on CNN. Here is a preview for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is comedian Colin Quinn. You know him from SNL's Weekend Update, MTV's Remote Control, and Comedy Central's Tough Crowd. And now, he's coming to CNN with Red State Blue State.

COLIN QUINN, AMERICAN STAND-UP COMEDIAN: Anybody can grow up and become President of the United States. And he said anybody. They weren't kidding on that one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The comedy special based on his hit off Broadway Show. The critics were impressed. Colin takes aim at both sides of the political divide.

QUINN: Russia paid history perfectly. From day one, they go, (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With his signature mix of history, social commentary and pop culture.

QUINN: If you could name 20 great speeches since our country began on one (ph), but you can't. There has been like five. The Martin Luther King speech, the John F. Kennedy speech and next three were end of the season monologues on The Bachelor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Colin Quinn, Red State Blue State, CNN's first comedy special premieres tomorrow at 9:00.


PAUL: Okay. Sometimes you just got to laugh at it all. Be sure to watch the CNN original series special presentation, Red State Blue State premiering tomorrow, Memorial Day, at 9:00 P.M. Eastern right here on CNN. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BLACKWELL: Police in Los Angeles have released videos that show a gun battle between a man and an officer. We have the video. This happened in April. Both the officer and the suspect survived. But we understand that there is a good chance you will find this video disturbing. Watch.

PAUL: Modestly stopping in at that moment. The officer's body camera video shows them behind another officer as they chase the suspect on foot. And, suddenly, you see another man come into view and open fire.

Now, this surveillance does give us a better view of the gunman appearing to ambush that officer. It happens moments after his partner and the original suspect they were chasing rushed by. Officer Enrique Trujillo was able to fire back, both Trujillo and 39-year-old Curley Lee Duff were struck but they survived.

You know, you've probably seen this story, but it has been really a deadly climbing season on Mt. Everest. At least nine people have died this month.

BLACKWELL: Ad we're learning one of those victims was concerned about climbing conditions days before his death.


ROBIN HAYNES FISHER, BRITISH CLIMBER: A little bit of an interesting climb coming to be. And to my left, we can see Everest.


BLACKWELL: The British climber, Robin Haynes Fisher, reported -- posted rather this video to Instagram on May 13th prepping for the trek. He wrote in his caption, I'm hopefully -- I'm hopeful rather that my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people unless, of course, everyone else plays the same waiting game. But, sadly, he died yesterday from what appeared to be altitude sickness.


The death toll is not unusual for Mt. Everest, but it has been striking to see images of what's being described as a traffic jam of climber waiting to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain. CNN's Alexandra Field has more on the dangerous adventure seekers are facing.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For Donald Cash, it was the final frontier, the summit of Mt. Everest, the crowning achievement for the 55-year old from Utah, who had met his lifelong goal, reaching the top of the highest mountain on every continent. But his few minutes on top of the world's highest mountain would be a few of his last. His expedition group says Cash died of high altitude sickness.

SKYLER PEARSON, DONALD CASH'S FRIEND: He fell on the way down just below the summit and then they kind of carried him down and helped him down a little ways and then he kind of took his last breaths.

FIELD: On the same day during her descent, Anjali Kulkarni took her final breaths. She had trained to summit Everest for six years. She had trekked for 25 years and she was an avid marathoner. Kulkarni's son tells CNN she collapsed and died while caught in a human traffic jam coming down the mountain.

A picture taken on the day of the Cash and Kulkarni's deaths, May 22nd, shows a long line of trekkers along the ridge of Everest's summit in an area known as the death zone. It has raised concerns about the possible dangers of congestion on Everest among mountaineers.

KENTON COOL, VETERAN CLIMBER: And I think you would have to be foolish to say that that queue in or that waiting at such high altitude isn't having some impact on the numbers of deaths that we've seen this year.

FIELD: Nepal's tourism board says more than 200 mountaineers ascended Everest on May 22nd after a bad patch of weather cleared, giving climbers a key opening to reach for a dream.

But the tourism board says claims that congestion contributed to deaths are baseless. There were five deaths on the mountain last year, six deaths the year before that and one before that.

The site of Cash's final climb will likely be his final resting place. It's where the bodies of most who die trying to scale Everest remain, climbers who continue to inspire others to dare to try to reach that height.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he did make it. He actually summitted.

FIELD: Alexandra Field, CNN, New York.


PAUL: Well, a college coach once fired for allegedly allowing sexual assault to run rampant on his team will now be coaching high school football. Details and reaction to former Baylor coach Art Briles' new job.



PAUL: One of the former head coach for Baylor Football who was fired in 2016 because of a sexual assault scandal that involved his team, well, he has a new job today. BLACKWELL: Art Briles will be coaching high school football in Texas, high school. Coy Wire is here.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The decision of this high school in East Texas to hire Art Briles as their head football coach is certainly a controversial one. We'll show you some video of an official at the school introducing Briles to some players and others via video conference on Friday night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, are you all okay 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 succeed both on the field and in life, unquote.

Briles took Baylor University to unparalleled success as its 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 get jobs since then, getting hired in Canada, then fired almost immediately after public backlash. He then took a coaching position in Italy in 2018. According to ESPN, Briles said in a statement, Friday, he is looking forward to returning to his roots as a high school coach in Texas.

Now, Baltimore Ravens 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 a good look to support someone tied to such a sensitive scandal. Coach is family. And I've been praying he gets a second chance to prove himself and I'm hopeful people will give him a second chance to prove that what happened isn't who he is, unquote.

While some support the hiring, there is plenty of backlash. A Yahoo sports opinion piece calls the school official's decision, quote, a trifecta of incompetence, ignorance and arrogance, unquote. One woman Tweeting, as a Mt. Vernon resident and a survivor of abuse, I'm terribly upset by this. 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 ignore it.

More to come surely in these next few days.


PAUL: Coy, thank you. BLACKWELL: SpaceX is hoping to deliver cheap internet to every part of the world. A dedicated mission for an internet constellation blasted off on Thursday.

PAUL: Retired astronaut Leroy Chiao is joining us next to talk about the internet space race.



PAUL: Internet for everyone and all over the world. Well, SpaceX hopes so. That's their goal with their goal with their mission, Starlink. It's an array of 60 satellites, look at this picture that was captured, 60 satellites in space with the idea that they will beam cheap internet all over the globe.

BLACKWELL: So, on Thursday, SpaceX launched the satellites in to orbit. It was the company's first dedicated mission to create an internet constellation, as they are calling it.

Joining us now to discuss, Leroy Chiao, our favorite retired NASA astronaut. Leroy, welcome back, good to have you. Let's start here because this sounds like a great idea, to launch these satellites all over to provide internet to everyone. Is it realistic?

LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASAS ASTRONAUT: I think it is. I mean, this is obviously just the first step launching 60 satellites out of what is intended to be about a 12,000 satellite constellation. And so pretty exciting that it appears to have gone off without a hitch. This is the largest payload launched by a Falcon 9, a novel packing system and deployment system that has never been used before, these 60 satellites.

So each satellite sounds very sophisticated as well, about 500 pounds each, with ion thrusters, very sophisticated ion thrusters, an active collision avoidance system. So very exciting to see how this will all progress.

PAUL: Now, as I understand it, this was a test launch and they are planning to -- their hope is to launch thousands, I think up to 12,000 of these. And it made me wonder, first of all, how plausible is that? And, secondly, is there a risk or a downside to having that much hardware floating around the lower levels of the atmosphere in space?

CHIAO: Ambitious plan, to be sure. The plan is to launch about 12,000 satellites into this constellation. There is going -- you know, they're going to be up and obviously about 550 miles, which is not too much higher than where the International Space Station is flying.


And so, you know, you do wonder a little bit about debris avoidance and collision avoidance. But I think that these are all things that can be worked -- PAUL: Oh, did we lose him? He is in Singapore, by the way, which we didn't realize when we were told we were doing this segment. So he's in Singapore via Skype. We tried. We got some good information out of it though.

BLACKWELL: Well, he is back. And that's an amazing video, if we could put that back up. That -- yes, you're back now, That string of the first 60 satellites and imagine 12,000 of these going up, as it is part of the plan. Is this the new space race?

You know, we've talked a lot on this show between the U.S. and China going back and forth, but now you've got these private companies. Amazon may want to get in. OneWeb may want to get in it as well.

CHIAO: Absolutely. here are some big players. Airbus has been looking at this. Big players like you mentioned, Google, Facebook looking at ways to get global coverage of internet, obviously, good for their businesses as well. But this is an exciting time and I think these small sats, you're seeing a lot of potential.

The question about debris, of course, they are at an altitude just above the International Space Station, so debris is a concern. You are putting a lot more objects up there. But if you can keep track of everything and do collision avoidance, I think that it can be solved.

PAUL: All right. Leroy Chiao, we always love to have you. Thank you so much for even making the effort from Singapore.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Leroy.

PAUL: We appreciate you.

CHIAO: My pleasure. Great to be with you.

PAUL: Thank you.

Listen, ahead next hour, we're talking with the Mayor of El Reno, Texas.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Two people there have died after a tornado hit overnight. Stay with us for that conversation. We'll be back in a moment.