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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Lashes out After Mueller Statement; Israel To Vote Again After PM Fails To Form Govt.; Climbers Fear For Their Lives On Mount Everest; "Jeopardy!" Host Responding Well To Cancer Treatment; Star Wars Come To Disneyland. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 30, 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] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN London this Thursday. I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, Donald Trump responds to Robert Mueller with a flurry of lies outside the White House. What he said and why it's simply factually
inaccurate. Then a European sight seeing tour turns deadly. Seven tourists were killed in a boat collision in Budapest.
And later --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was up there with our guide. He looked at me and it was like, hey, we're really low on oxygen. We have to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: One climber's shockingly close call. How he survived a journey on Everest with barely enough oxygen. The U.S. President Donald Trump is
firing back after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement yesterday on the Russia investigation. That statement is notable for what Mueller did
not do, namely, accuse Mr. Trump or and this is important, clear him.
In contrast, the President appeared to leave nothing unsaid. Mr. Trump is now at the U.S. Air Force graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs,
Colorado. Here's just a sample of what he said about Mueller just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Mueller is a true Never Trumper, he's someone that dislikes Donald Trump. He somebody that
didn't get a job that he requested that he wanted very badly and then he was appointed.
Despite that and despite $40 million, 18 Trump haters, including people who worked for Hillary Clinton and some of the worst human beings on earth,
they got nothing. It's pretty amazing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We're growing to fact check all of that in a moment. But first CNN's Jeremy Diamond is in Washington. Sarah Westwood in Colorado, where
Trump has started speaking. Jeremy, let's start with you, this tweet storm even by the standards of the President was remarkable today.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was. And of course what was more remarkable is when we heard him actually say many of these things
in person, before he boarded Marine One. It's interesting, we saw the President deliver this relatively muted response to Robert Mueller, which
was surprising to many of the President's allies who knew how unnerved he would be by hearing Robert Mueller give voice to many of these key
conclusions of his investigation.
And in which Robert Mueller left the impression that had -- if President Trump were not the sitting President of the United States, he may very well
have been indicted on charges of obstruction of justice. And so we saw the President now give voice to his own frustrations with Robert Mueller and to
the extent to which he was unnerved by Robert Mueller's remarks yesterday. And in doing so, of course, unleashed several falsehoods, including his
claims about the conclusions of Robert Mueller's investigation.
Suggesting Mueller had essentially declared him innocent by not indicting him on any charges of course that's not the case, Robert Mueller made very
clear that the key reason why he did not reach a determination of whether the President committed a crime was based on this Office Of Legal Counsel
justification that you can't charge a sitting President with a crime. And also because he didn't want to charge the President with a crime or accuse
him without the ability to have a court process to defend himself.
But again, we are getting a little more insight into the President's thinking as he does deliver these kinds of remarks as he did this morning.
GORANI: Sarah, you are in Colorado. It's an Air Force Academy graduation he will be making an appearance on stage I believe perhaps he has even started
speaking. Is he expected in this type of forum to address the Mueller report, and what Robert Mueller said about the President? Sarah Westwood,
can you hear me?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: es, I can hear you now, I'm going to keep my voice a little low, because the President has started speaking
behind me. President Trump, there is a disconnect here between what the President is saying on impeachment in public. He's calling it a filthy
word, the "I" word, and railing against the fact that Democrats are even considering. But sources tell CNN that in private he's expressed to allies
a willingness to wade into the impeachment fight.
[14:05:00] He's ready and thinks potentially it could boost his prospects in 2020. He knows the pressure is building on Speaker Pelosi to proceed
with an impeachment inquiry. here are a growing number of Democratic members who want to go in that direction. And no set that is becoming an
inflection point in the 2020 election. The President this morning, we also saw him reprise that false claim that Robert Mueller is conflicted. That's
really key because that is his central claim in one of the most damaging incidents in the Mueller report.
Which is the reason why he asked his then White House counsel to remove Mueller. He's still clinging to that claim, even though it has been
disproven at this point.
GORANI: Sarah Westwood in Colorado, we'll get to that live event in Colorado if the President makes any newsworthy remarks there. Jeremy
diamond, thanks very much. Let's check some of what Mr. Trump said today, and see if he was on base with anything at all at this point. I'm joined by
Michael Smerconish. What did you make, what was your takeaway from what the President said on the White House lawn today, and this flurry of tweets, it
was almost like rage tweeting by the President?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: Well, despite what he says, Hala, about having been vindicated. Having vanquished his opponents. That he was
successful in the end relative to the Mueller probe, he seems angry about it, and carries with him a high-level grudge against Robert Mueller.
GORANI: He also -- this is a bit of what he said on the White House lawn. Apart from his attacks against Robert Mueller. He mentioned Article 2 of
the Constitution. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Some day you ought to read something called Article 2, read Article 2, which gives the President powers that you wouldn't believe, but I don't
even have to rely on article 2. There was no crime, there was no obstruction, there was no collusion. There was no nothing. And this is from
a group of people that hate me. If they only found anything, they would have had it, and he knows that better than anybody. There was no crime,
there was no charge, because he had no information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Michael, this is an angry Donald Trump.
SMERCONISH: So there were two lines of inquiry from the Mueller probe. One was potential conspiracy or collusion. The word the President likes to use.
He was cleared in that regard of any wrongdoing by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the secondary is it obstruction of justice. And you heard
yesterday Robert Mueller say, look, if I thought that I could give him a clean bill of health, I'm paraphrasing, I would have said so, and he didn't
This is the President's response, this is the President pointing to a particular part of the Constitution that identifies the powers that are
inherent in the office, so this is the President saying, all those things that others wish to critique me on and say I was obstructing justice. Those
are powers that comment with the office.
GORANI: Right, but what is -- how will this Mueller appearance -- the first time we heard him speak in public since the report was released. Or since
he gang this investigation. This inquiry. What difference, political difference it will make, do you think?
SMERCONISH: I don't. I think when all is said and done, it won't, I don't think so, Mueller was particularly vague. There are some things he could
have said yesterday to serve up the impeachment process to the Congress. But instead, I mean, today in the states, it's like a Rorschach test, where
everybody is looking at what he articulated, and they're reading into it, the conclusion they would like.
I think in that level of confusion, the President continues to be the winner, because although the votes exist for him to be impeached by the
House of representatives, there are not a sufficient number of votes for him to be convicted in a subsequent trial by the U.S. Senate.
GORANI: A couple questions, first, what the Democrats are going to do, but -- or second, I should say, but first, the American public. Is there no
impact on their opinion of the President, on the favorability, the popularity rating of the U.S. President? All of this pressure, all of the -
SMERCONISH: I think what --
GORANI: All of what Robert Mueller said and reiterated, most Americans didn't read the report, they heard from Robert Mueller in person.
SMERCONISH: Right, OK, that's a really important point. Because what happened first, is that the Attorney General, Bill Barr, appeared before
the American people having written a four-page summary, by the way, a summary he wrote after only 48 hours of himself receiving the 440-page
report. Somehow, he was very easily able to digest it. He put out a four- page letter and appeared before the American people.
[14:10:00] There was another three or three plus weeks before the report came out. Here's the point. By the time the report was actually released,
opinions had baked in, because you had Bill Barr saying one thing, you had the President saying he had been vindicated, and frankly most people are
not going to investigate the time, especially where they think they already know the conclusion.
GORANI: As far as the Democrats are concerned, there is a lot more pressure now on Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House to start an
impeachment inquiry. There are some top-level Democrats who are saying they want to go ahead with it, Elizabeth Warren appeared on an American talk
show this morning, had this to say about Donald Trump and the potential for impeachment proceedings to begin in the House. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That is a violation of the law. If he were anyone other than President of the United States. He
would be in handcuffs and indicted. And Mueller served that up and says, basically, by the time you get to the end of the report, there are all the
facts. Multiple examples of obstruction of justice. I can't indict, it's up to Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: What do you think the Democrats will do, Michael?
SMERCONISH: This is what's important for our friends around the globe to understand. The way this process works. Two things would need to happen.
First, for an impeachment vote to be taken in the House of Representatives, Democrats control the House, that could happen. But then a trial ensues in
the United States Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans, and it takes two thirds vote for a conviction in the Senate for the President to
be removed from office.
There's not a single Republican out there in the Senate who has any appetite for impeachment, so if Democrats engage in this process as things
stand now, they will ultimately lose. And we will be much closer to the general election giving the President the opportunity to stand up and say,
what a waste of time and resources that was. Look at me, once again I've been vindicated.
GORANI: There was one tweet in particular among the avalanche of tweets this morning that caught many people's eyes, the one in which he says,
we're going to put it up here. Essentially, he says, "I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected." He walked that back a little bit.
The fact that this has been tweeted out is in itself remarkable.
SMERCONISH: It is, and, of course, it stands in the face of all of his denials that the Russians played no role whatsoever. Didn't impact the
outcome of the election, and boy, if there's one thing that seems to get under his skin it is to question the legitimacy of his presidency by
raising the way in which the Russians did hack and play a role.
GORANI: Michael Smerconish, as always, pleasure to talk to you.
SMERCONISH: Thank you.
GORANI: Officials in Hungary say there is little chance now of finding any more survivors after a terrible boat collision in Budapest. None of the 7
South Korean tourists who died in the Danube River Wednesday night were wearing life jackets. 21 others are still missing. Obviously, that death
toll could still go up. Atika Shubert has our story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was the moment the tour boat was rammed by a larger ship, capsizing the small vessel and the 35 people
aboard. According to Hungarian police, it sank within 7 seconds.
ADRIAN PAL, BUDAPEST POLICE SPOKESMAN: We can see on the footage the small boat, the mermaid is sailing up north. Both boats are, the bigger ship, the
Viking too. When they reach the pillars of the Margaret Bridge, the Mermaid boat turns in front of the Viking, for some reason. As the Viking touched
the Mermaid, it got turned to the side, and seven seconds after, it sank. It is visible how it turned when it got under the pillar.
SHUBERT: Low visibility hampered rescue operations, and heavy rain created a strong and dangerous current on the Danube. Some passengers were plucked
miles downstream, none were wearing life jackets. The vast majority on board were South Korean tourists, nine families, including a 6-year-old
child. Prompting a swift response from the South Korean government.
GOVERNMENT SPOKESWOMAN, SOUTH KOREA: Regarding the accident of the cruise ship carrying South Korean tourists, President Moon Jae-In immediately
orders to put every possible means into the rescue operation in cooperation with the Hungarian government.
[14:15:00] SHUBERT: By morning, rescue teams were still searching the waters. Investigators have found the wreckage of the ship and are looking
for clues to piece together what happened. Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Gabriella Gyorgy is from our Hungarian affiliate and she joins us live from Budapest with more. Tell us more about the missing, those still
GABRIELLA GYORGY, JOURNALIST: We are here as one of the searching boats of the Hungarian police force. They are on duty day and night. They are
searching for all the possible survivors and the possible death. Unfortunately, there is a low chance to find any survivors as there is
already 23 hours after the accident has happened. So there is a low chance as I mentioned, right now, they are even searching for the Danube, the
river Danube, 15, 20 of these boats are on duty.
And we managed to talk to one of the police officers on duty yesterday. And he was in that team that found two of the survivors of the 7 who are
already found. He was telling me that one of them was in a terrible shock. The other one had to be reanimated. It took them 40 minutes to help, to get
back to life, and they were telling terrible stories, but they are working hard to find any survivors.
As you mentioned, 21 still missing, the Hungarian army decided they won't do any diving as it's dangerous for them in such circumstances as the water
level is really high right now. There's a flood at the river Danube, and there's a strong current. It's dangerous for them to enter the water that's
why they are using such boats to be able to find any survivors.
GORANI: Gabriella George, thanks very much for the update. She's on the Danube on one of the search and rescue boats. 21 people still missing after
that bolt capsized.
Still to come tonight, remember reality winner, we haven't heard anything from her since she went to prison for leaking classified material. Coming
up, we'll tell you where that is.
Also ahead, the danger of an obsession. Mt. Everest has claimed 11 lives this year. We'll talk to one climber who experienced the deadly conditions
firsthand and barely made it down alive.
GORANI: Now an update on Reality Winner, she's a former US government contractor serving time in prison for leaking classified information.
Prison officials have barred her from talking to CNN. Instead, we got an exclusive interview with winter's
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILLIE WINNER-DAVIS, MOTHER OF REALITY WINNER: This is a soldier who protected us.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Reality Leigh Winner. A decorated airman and veteran of America's drone program.
WINNER-DAVIS: She said, when you see somebody go poof on your screen. You've got to have it right.
ELBAGIR: A Russia whistle blower. The first to be arrested in the Trump era. CNN has learned, currently blocked by U.S. prison authorities from
speaking to the media for any publication purposes. In May 2017, Reality Winner leaked classified NSA documents to a media organization describing a
Russian cyber-attack on a U.S. voting machine company.
It was the first time the extent of Russia's war on the U.S.'s electoral machinery was revealed to the public. Winner did little to cover her tracks
and was arrested even before the document was published online. She pleaded guilty and is currently serving a sentence of over 5 years. The prosecutor
said Winner had leaked top secret information that revealed sources and methods. Reality's mother, Billy, invited us along as she went to visit her
daughter in jail.
WINNER-DAVIS: Today we are traveling up to Ft. Worth, which is -- it's probably about a 7, 7 1/2-hour road trip.
ELBAGIR: What are you thinking about?
WINNER-DAVIS: The anticipation of seeing her, being able to hug her.
ELBAGIR: So this is as far as we are allowed to go, even though we've been seeking permission for months now to interview reality in prison. We've
been stonewalled by authorities.
As we wait for Billy, prison officers come by.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE PRISON OFFICER: What are you all doing?
ELBAGIR: We're with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE PRISON OFFICER: CNN.
ELBAGIR: Trying to block our line of sight.
Eventually we just leave. The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons told CNN the warden's decision with regard to interview requests is respected
and final. The U.S. government had labelled a quintessential insider threat. Because we've been blocked from interviewing Reality. Her mother
agrees to give us her first major TV interview since Reality began serving her sentence.
How is reality?
WINNER-DAVIS: That's a hard question to answer. I can see the sadness in her, when we show up. I feel like she's really embarrassed to be where
ELBAGIR: The prosecution argued that the release of those documents endangered American national interest.
WINNER-DAVIS: I think we as Americans deserved that proof. And so how is it that she put us in danger by giving us that proof? I wouldn't change what
she's done, because I think that what she did was noble, and I think that what she did was patriotic.
ELBAGIR: We have been blocked from accessing Reality, has Reality as far as you know come under any pressure to stop her from speaking to the press?
WINNER-DAVIS: She has been warned and she has been frightened, as far as the restrictions on her communications. She knows with her plea agreement
what she can and cannot discuss. The Bureau of Prisons has made it harder for her, they're telling her she cannot even have any contact with any kind
of journalists or media in anyway shape or form.
ELBAGIR: Why do you think the authorities are trying so hard to block Reality's access with regards to the outside world hearing her voice?
WINNER-DAVIS: The prosecution painted her to be a very evil person. And I honestly believe that they are afraid if America gets to know who Reality
Leigh Winner really is, they'll see that wasn't the case at all.
ELBAGIR: If you could say anything to the President, what would you say to him?
WINNER-DAVIS: Please release her, she deserves it above anyone else. She has served her country. She deserves this.
ELBAGIR: Back at home, Billy says she's going to keep campaigning for her daughter to be released. Keep trying to show the world that her daughter is
not the traitor she was portrayed as.
WINNER-DAVIS: This is my Christmas card when she was in jail that first year. You deserve so much more than this little card because you are my mom
and my home. That's who Reality is. You know.
ELBAGIR: Nima Elbagir, CNN, Kingsville, Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:25:16] GORANI: To Syria now, where the Assad government backed by Russia and Iran has launched an offensive against the last rebel strong
hold of Idlib. CNN has obtained video from inside that region sot by a freelance cameraman. In it we meet some of the war's youngest victims and a
warning, the images in Ben Wedeman's report are graphic, and you will find some scenes difficult to watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rescue workers pull a small boy, 12-year-old from the ruins of his home, struck by a Syrian
government air force bomb Monday morning. He's alive. A Syrian government air force bomb Monday morning. He's alive. Moments later, out comes another
boy, his 9-year-old brother Zain. He isn't moving. Workers rush the boys to a waiting ambulance. Struggling to resuscitate Zain.
These boys perhaps too young to make since of the war raging around them. This is not a tale of factions and fighters. It's the simple story of
innocence caught up and destroyed by forces far beyond their control or comprehension. His body is warm insists this man as they arrive at the
He's alive, he's alive someone says. Medics try to coax signs of life out of Zain. He doesn't respond. His twin 4-year-old sisters and his
grandmother were also killed. The medics lower Zain into a black body bag. Four more statistics with names and a family lives cut short added to
Syria's grim and growing toll, more than half a million dead in this madness. In an adjacent room. Do you remember what happened? He's asked. I
thought I was dreaming he whispers, it wasn't a dream. It's a nightmare. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Still to come after a break on CNN. The U.S. President is lashing out at Robert Mueller a day after the special counsel made it clear Donald
Trump is not exonerated. A case of bad timing. Why Jared Kushner's deal of the century will have to wait as Israel heads to another snap election.
[14:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: A day after Mueller's first public comments on his two-year probe of Russian interference in U.S. elections. Donald Trump said Mueller never
should have gotten the job and repeated he was innocent of all charges of collusion and obstruction which is not what Mueller said. Mueller did not
clear the President of obstruction of justice, either in his written report or his comments.
Many Democrats viewed Mueller's statement as a clear signal to Congress now that it is up to them to hold the president accountable through impeachment
Joining us now from Washington, CNN political commutator, Doug Heye, he's also a former communications director for the Republican National
I think what's getting lost here, Doug, is that what Robert Mueller bookended the statement with twice is that he said the country is under
attack, and that it certainly was under attack in 2016 by a foreign government trying to interfere an American elections. A lot of people are
focusing on whether or not he exonerated Trump.
But I wonder, Republicans are not picking up on that, why not?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, they aren't, because Donald Trump is so overwhelmingly popular in their districts. He's overwhelmingly
popular with Republican voters. And also that intensity with those Republican voters is high. They don't just like Donald Trump, they really,
really like Donald Trump.
And so anything that questions the viability or the legitimacy of Donald Trump's election is something that they don't really want to go to.
Whatever they feel privately, publicly, it's just not a place they want to go to. And then the rest of the public doesn't really hear this on the same
And I would say, Hala, too exactly how you opened this segment, an angry president lashes out. We've had that happen so many times in the United
States over the past two, two and a half years now. That a lot of voters are really tuning out at this point.
GORANI: So there are the voters tuning out, but then there is that kind of really stable core of Americans, not Republicans who still support Donald
Trump. Sometimes the percentage is close to 40 percent, four-zero. Around the world, people usually ask me, why is the president's popularity rating
still so close to that 40 percent mark after all that's happened in the last year, year and a half?
HEYE: Well, I think that the reason that his approval level hasn't really moved so much and his disapproval level hasn't moved so much, is the minds
of voters have been made up on Donald Trump for a long time now. So you're not going to really get a huge shift in numbers. Especially because voter's
minds are so cemented now, voters have become more tribal in how they view things, they look at things in black and white in a way that they didn't
necessarily in the past.
Donald Trump has been able to exploit that. And then in part, the reason that the number is as high as it is, compared to what most people think is
the American economy is doing extremely well. And as long as that's the case, it's going to be very hard for Democrats to defeat Trump.
GORANI: And do you think that -- I mean, Democrats are obviously weighing their options now, strategically, going into 2020, about whether or not to
start an impeachment inquiry or impeachment proceedings. There are now some pretty key Democrats saying they might support that move, is it risky,
though, for them if they start going down that road?
HEYE: It is risky, and those Democrats who have been in the House for a long time, certainly remember what happened to the Republicans in 1998. I
worked in the House of Representatives at that time, when Bill Clinton was impeached. It was a disaster for Republicans. And really can't -- not just
calcify those attitudes, and that loyalty, and base excitement that Trump has, but also be a huge financial boon for him. He'll raise a ton of money
off of this.
I would urge Democrats, learn from what Republicans experienced in 1998, go as far up to that line as you feel that you need to or can, politically,
but if you -- if you make that extra step into impeachment, it's politically very bad for you. I think it also takes the country in a much
darker place than we already are at now.
GORANI: Bill Barr, the attorney general whose four-page summary of the Mueller report was described as not necessarily reflecting what was in that
report by Democrats. Especially gave an interview to CBS News. And he talked about whether or not Robert Mueller could have reached a decision.
Not an indictment, but a decision about whether or not a criminal act had been committed. This is what he told CBS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAN CRAWFORD, CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, CBS NEWS: We saw the special counsel yesterday make that statement. He analyzed 11 instances where there
were possible obstruction. And then said that he really couldn't make a decision. Do you agree with that interpretation?
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I personally felt he could have reached a decision.
CRAWFORD: In your view, he could have reached a conclusion?
BARR: Right, he could have reached a conclusion. The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he's in office. But he could have reached a
decision as to whether it was criminal activity. But he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained. And I'm not going to argue about those
But when he didn't make a decision, the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein and I felt it was necessary for us as the heads of the
department to reach that decision.
[14:35:01] CRAWFORD: Well, he seemed to suggest yesterday that there was another venue for this and that was Congress.
BARR: Well, I'm not sure what he was suggesting. But the Department of Justice doesn't use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Doug, doesn't Barr have a point here? I mean, the policy is that you don't indict a sitting president. But can you not reach a conclusion in
a two and a half year report about whether or not there was criminal activity?
HEYE: Well, I think that's why there's still confusion in this process. And let's face it, the Trump administration and the Department of Justice wants
this to be muddied a little bit. The less clear it is, I think the more it benefits Donald Trump to say, well, he could have made a decision.
Certainly, I think the attorney general would say that that decision would be that there was no wrong doing which we saw basically in his speech a few
weeks ago. But the muddier these waters are, politically, the better it is for the president.
GORANI: So you were -- you're essentially saying that if the Democrats become too aggressive with the president and start really contemplating
impeachment proceedings, that his could actually hurt them.
So in your opinion as a political strategist, what could help the Democrats at this stage?
HEYE: Well, if there were clear findings of guilt, certainly that could help them. If the economy took a turn to the worse, that could certainly
And we're talking about a small universe of voters. We're talking about voters in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona. We're not
really talking about all 50 states, politically, on where these things can turn.
Democrats need to focus on those without giving Donald Trump another weapon to use against them. And if he basically can say these people would never
work with me, they've been against me from day one, that's something he can sell. And we know he's a good salesman, he can sell well to voters.
GORANI: I wonder if the strategy should be -- when you look at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or others, you know, they actually -- when you analyze what
they say, don't talk a lot about Donald Trump. They have proposals and policy proposals. Obviously those are partisan in the eyes of many.
But is the democratic strategy going-forward perhaps talking less about Donald Trump and the Mueller report and more about tangible policy
proposals to the American voters?
HEYE: Without question we'll have to debate what those policies are, obviously. But Donald Trump knows one thing and it's certainly what we all
learned I 2016, is that the more the conversation is on him, however it's on him, it benefits him. If we're talking about other things, maybe
policies that aren't working for this administration, things that voters aren't happy with, that's something voters can have big success.
The question then being again, you know, the economy, so Joe Biden has said, yes, there's a great economy, that Donald Trump inherited from the
Obama-Biden administration, maybe not every Democrat is going to talk about it like that, but that's certainly an open question moving forward.
GORANI: Doug Heye, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
HEYE: Anytime. Thank you.
GORANI: Thanks for coming on.
Meanwhile, the president's senior envoy to the Middle East, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, thought he was heading to Jerusalem to promote his peace
plan. He was half right, he's there now. The problem is, a functioning government is not there.
Israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, failed to form a coalition after his Likud Party won the April elections. But that means round two
will happen in September. He couldn't form a coalition, so we need a redo basically in Israel.
Oren Liebermann joins me now live from Jerusalem with more.
So, what should we expect in the coming months? More campaigning? And where is the Likud Party and Benjamin Netanyahu in terms of popularity in Israel
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, we just got the first election polls for what would be the 22nd Knesset, which will take place
the elections that is on September 17th. And those elections polls show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party as the front-runner. Either
hanging on to his 35 seats or even picking up a seat to 36.
But it's not all good news for Netanyahu. In fact, it's not good news at all. That's because the person who is now his rival, former defense
minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who prevented him from forming the government, has picked up ground. Ground going from one of the smaller parties of five
seats to the third biggest party at eight or nine seats. That means Netanyahu cannot form a right-wing government without him. And that's why
the latest election polls, even though they show Netanyahu hanging on to his power or picking up some, are not good news looking forward for
It was clear, Hala, that Netanyahu's strategy in the moments after he couldn't form a government, in the moments after he voted to dissolve the
Knesset go into elections, his strategy would be to try to crush Lieberman politically, to try to keep him out of the next Knesset. Therefore, he
wouldn't need him. And that, at least according to the first polls that we're seeing, is not what's going to happen. Meaning this deadlock could
very much continue.
GORANI: So what happens of this deal of the century that Kushner is trying to sell everybody in the region?
LIEBERMANN: The short answer to that is who knows? The Bahrain conference just under a month is still happening. Whether they're going to try to have
what they call a workshop for the economic parts of the plan, they're still not promising to reveal any of the political parts.
[14:40:04] But where does it go from there, given the fact that that conference will be in the middle of a new campaign season and who knows
what will happen after that?
Frankly it is a good excuse of the Trump administration once to dump the peace plan and move on to other things. But so far, they're sticking with
it. As for where it ends up, I don't think we have even a remotely good idea of what might happened to it and how Netanyahu will respond to it. Or
for that matter, the Palestinians, given that this is frankly chaotic.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Oren Liebermann.
Still to come tonight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And from there it just felt like the next five or six hours was just sort of -- not to be dramatic, but like a race for my life
to get back down the mountain safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: A deadly season on Mount Everest is sparking debate and some real soul searching. We'll hear from one climber who says he's lucky to be alive
after his harrowing trek up the mountain.
GORANI: Well, it's currently peak hour in London where traffic jams are annoying but they are expected. They're not however, expected on Mount
But that's the story for this season of climbers, 11 have died and many people are blaming overcrowding. You're seeing some of that in the video
we're showing you on T.V. right now.
Fresh from his summit, climber Ian Stewart tells CNN's Arwa Damon about what became the race for his life.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The same day this viral photograph was taken.
DAMON (on-camera): And at what point where you at when you realized and said to yourself, I think I'm going to die?
IAN STEWART, CAUGHT IN TRAFFIC ON EVEREST: So the first point that panic really hit me was at the summit.
DAMON (voice-over): Weeks earlier, he had said goodbye to his wife Katie at base camp. The day before their first anniversary. She went back home to
the U.S. He was about to tackle Everest, a summit he had been training for, for a decade.
DAMON (on-camera): What was the last thing you said to Katie before she said goodbye to her at base camp?
STEWART: That I'll be safe and then it's just a hill. And that I won't prioritize the summit over coming home safely to you. I feel like I looked
my wife right in the eyes and told her that, and then almost didn't fall through.
DAMON (voice-over): For the next weeks, during the acclimatization period, Ian and other climbers put themselves to the test. Moving in between the
camps at different altitudes to get their minds and bodies adjusted.
STEWART: Sadly, there were a bun of examples of inexperienced all across the mountain.
DAMON: When the weather window opened on the 23rd, Ian waited a bit hoping the crowds would clear and then went for it.
STEWART: It's difficult to move up, because there's also were coming down and they're trying to unclip around you.
DAMON: Ian planned for an eight-hour trek to the summit. It took him 12.
STEWART: So I was up there with our guide and he looked at me and he was like, hey, we're both really low on oxygen. We got to go. And immediately
got back to make sure to get down. So I mentioned very critical we got stuck at the -- at the top at of the Hillary Step.
[14:45:11] And from there, it just felt like the next five or six hours was just sort of -- not to be dramatic, but like a race for my life to get back
down the mountain safely.
And as I've mentioned, I was very lucky that one of our Sherpas in our group decided to make the decision to bring an extra bottle of oxygen up
from the balcony.
DAMON (on-camera): When you have that moment of, I might die because I just decided to pursue by dream, what's the thought process that keeps you
STEWART: For this mantra that I kind of reiterated in my head over and over again was promised Katie I'd come back to her safely. When I finally got to
the very end of kind of the dissent, when I was about half an hour away from camp four, just started breaking down crying. Just out of anger at
myself for coming that close to not fulfilling that promise of coming back.
DAMON (voice-over): Ian later found out that another member of the group he had started out with didn't make it. Robin Haynes Fisher who posted this
video to Instagram concerned about the crowds writing, "I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people."
Ian is still processing, coping with the entire experience. Summiting Everest changed him, just not in the way he had always dreamed it would.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Kathmandu.
GORANI: More to come, including a trip to a galaxy far, far away. Just a few miles from Los Angeles. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out. Yes, yes.
GORANI: Can you name a more iconic American trivia host? Jeopardy's Alex Trebek has been a living room staple for decades.
But earlier this year, he asked the viewers a question he couldn't answer. What is his future? He just been diagnosed of an aggressive form of cancer
and given a slim chance of survival.
Now, as Elizabeth Cohen reports, Trebek has reason to feel optimistic.
ALEX TREBEK, AMERICAN-CANADIAN TELEVISION PERSONALITY (voice-over): I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In March, Alex Trebek revealed he's battling stage four pancreatic cancer. Now, in a
new People Magazine cover story, the legendary Jeopardy! Host says his doctors tell him he's in near remission. And that some of his tumors have
already shrunk by more than 50 percent.
Oncologist Dr. Otis Brawley, who is not treating Trebek, says near remission doesn't mean cured. But it is positive for cancer patients like
Trebek. Generally, Brawley says the significant shrinkage of tumors has been shown to extend survival and decrease pain and other side effects like
weight loss and loss of appetite.
[14:50:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now, here is the host of Jeopardy! Alex Trebek.
COHEN: 78-year-old Trebek has had a hard fight, painful chemotherapy treatments.
TREBEK: I got to tell you, that stuff really kicks the slats out of you.
COHEN: And depression from the chemo. He told ABC's Good morning America --
TREBEK: I'm used to dealing with pain, but what I'm not used to dealing with is the surges that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness.
COHEN: Last year, pancreatic cancer was the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. It's claimed the lives of Steve Jobs, Patrick Swayze,
Joan Crawford, Margaret Mead, and Luciano Pavarotti.
According to the American Cancer Society, only three percent of patients with Trebek's kind of cancer are still alive five years after their
So while that's a very sobering statistic, there's no way to predict what's going to happen in any one person's situation. Trebek says he has several
rounds of chemo still to go, hopefully leading to a full remission.
Trebek says the positive response he's had to his treatment so far is mind- boggling. And it's led him to tears of joy that he may beat the odds.
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, reporting.
GORANI: Well, we wish Alex Trebek all the best. Some good news there.
The Walt Disney Company is getting ready to launch its Disney plus streaming service in November. The Disney CEO, Bob Iger, spoke with our
Christine Romans about how people are changing the way they consume media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT IGER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, DISNEY COMPANY: I think that you're going to see a lot of change in media due to technological disruption. And
that will create change in consumer behavior. And I think it's likely that direct to consumer over the top platforms that are focused more on program
consumption versus channel consumption are likely to grow significantly over time. And I think you're going to see consolidation on the linear
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Separately, Iger was asked about a controversial topic in the United States. Restrictive abortion laws being passed in several states
across the country.
Now, one of those is Georgia, by the way, he says that Disney would find it very difficult to film in the state of Georgia if a new law there goes into
effect, it's called the heartbeat law, and says the company is watching the situation quite carefully. And you'd have to put that in context, Georgia
is getting a lot of revenue from some of these production companies and films and T.V. shows that are being shot and filmed and produced inside of
Georgia. So this could have a financial impact on this state.
It's not all streaming and filming plans for Disney. There's -- they are still into the theme park business. Our Frank Pallotta reports that a new
attraction opening at Disneyland in California Friday, takes visitors to a galaxy far, far away.
FRANK PALLOTTA, CNN MEDIA REPORTER (on-camera): How is Star Wars Galaxy's Edge a game changer for Disney parks?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the greatest attraction here is really the land itself. You feel like you're actually on the planet of Batuu.
PALLOTTA: So what ship is this?
SCOTT TROWBRIDGE, PORTFOLIO CREATIVE EXECUTIVE, WALT DISNEY IMAGINEERING: Well, this is the Millennium Falcon. Maybe one of the most famous
spaceships in the entire galaxy.
PALLOTTA: So, can it still do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs or no?
TROWBRIDGE: Well, you know what? That's really more about the flight crew than it is the ship and you're going to be that flight crew.
PALLOTTA: Oh, my god. Oh, there we go. Gunners. Oh, my bad, my bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man.
PALLOTTA: Take us to hyperspace. Yes.
There also seem to be attractions inside of the attractions. So when I rode the Millennium Falcon, I sat at the chess board and I was like, oh, man,
this is-- this is going to be even bigger than the ride to a certain extent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every cue itself into an attraction is an attraction. And then we have in-cue apps so that you can actually be within the
mythology going on your phone while you're in a cue and play a game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We went to set, we pulled the apparel pieces. We copy them stitch by stitch.
PALLOTTA: So I could literally walk in here, change my outfit where this for the rest of the time in Galaxy's Edge?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You absolutely can.
JOHN STATE, CULINARY DIRECTOR, DISNEYLAND RESORT: If you're looking for staying hydrated.
PALLOTTA: I am.
STATE: We have the most talked about chilled beverage here.
PALLOTTA: Blue milk.
STATE: Blue milk.
PALLOTTA: Which kind of like a little bit like a rice pudding. But it's very -- it's very sweet. That's really good. It's refreshing too.
If you created a Millennium Falcon ride, the Phantom would have come out and drove. You would have lines all the way to the front gate. Why be
immersed of at all?>
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because at Disney Parks, what we do is the physical embodiment of the magic. We make magic real and you can't do that on the
movie screen, you can't do that on the computer screen, but you certainly can do it when the Falcon is sitting right in front of you.
[14:55:15] PALLOTTA: So as you can see right behind me is the Millennium Falcon. This is the iconic ship from the Star Wars Trilogy and the other
films in the Star Wars Universe.
It's really important here that we kind of bring everyone into the world, that's what Disney is trying to do to have a kind of adventure where
everyone is connected rather than having a Star Wars story. It is your story in the Star Wars Universe. That's really important to one of Disney's
most important growing parts of its company. The theme park unit.
And other things about this park that is really interesting too is that you can discover things all over the place. You can see little characters that
are running around, you can kind of see all of this stuff just coming up to you at the last second.
And that's really important to really build the immersive nature of this park, so that when you go home and you watch Disney Plus or go see movies,
you remember this land. That is Disney synergy working at its best, everything is connected and playing into everything all at once.
It really does connect the consumer to the brand and to this vacation, which I have to say is an incredibly interesting and in depth place. It is
truly a Star Wars world in Anaheim, California.
GORANI: All right. A very excited Frank Pallotta who seems to be having a lot of fun on the job today. Good for him.
A quick recap of our top story -- and thanks to Frank -- an angry U.S. president lashed out at Robert Mueller a day after Mueller's first public
comments about his reports, his two-year probe of Russian interference in U.S. elections.
Donald Trump said Mueller never should have been picked for the job among other things and repeated that he was innocent of all the accusations. But
in fact, Mueller did not say that that was the case. He did not clear the president of obstruction of justice either in his written report or in his
And some Democrats viewed the comments and the statement by Robert Mueller as a signal to them to consider potentially an investigation of their own.
And perhaps even an impeachment inquiry going-forward.
All right. We will have a lot more news after a quick break. I'm Hala Gorani, thanks for watching. I'll see you next time. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS"
is coming up next.