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U.S. Troops Expected to be Sent to Middle East; Egypt's Mohamed Morsi Died While in Trial; Mexico Failed to Keep its Promise; Britain to Choose Its New Leader; U.S. Sending 1000 More Troops To Mideast; Morsi Buried Next To Other Muslim Brotherhood Figures; U.N. Food Aid In Yemen May Be Suspended This Week; Trump Rejects Polls Showing Him Lagging In Key States; Trump Berates Mulvaney For Coughing During Interview; Poll, Five Democratic Candidates Leading Trump; A Son Remembers Gloria Vanderbilt; Extreme Weather In Bihar; Nighttime Treat; Political Cat-astrophe. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired June 18, 2019 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: An extra thousand troops the U.S. is stepping up its military presence in the Persian Gulf as diplomatic tensions with Iran spiral again.
Plus, the first Democratically leader of Egypt has died. We look at the legacy of Mohamed Morsi and the circumstances surrounding his death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TINO KAMAL, RAPPER: It's becoming like a fashion to go and stab someone. I mean, but that wrong because there are babies killing babies now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: We take a look at the knife attacks targeting young children in London.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.
Increasing tensions are leading to an increase in troops, the U.S. plans to send 1,000 personnel to the Middle East with one mission to deter Iran from making any hostile moves. Now this comes after the attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, attacks the U.S. blames on Iran. Tehran denies this saying the U.S. is pushing towards a confrontation.
Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Tehran with the details. So, Fred, the U.S. sending an additional 1,000 troops and military assets to the Middle East and that has many worries that this is moving towards some sort of confrontation. What's being said about this in Tehran? FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're
absolutely right, Rosemary. Of course, a lot of people are quite concerned that this could move to being a military confrontation at some point in time. And certainly, the Iranians are very much going to see this as a hostile move, and you are absolutely right.
A senior Iranian diplomat last night telling our own Christiane Amanpour that he feels that Iran and the United States are moving towards a confrontation, and then Christiane ask him is that mean a military confirmation, he says he does not know. But he also said that it does come to that it will be detrimental not just to Iran and the United States but to the entire Middle East region.
Now, the Iranian assessment at this point in time, and I've heard this again and again, Rosemary, is that they believe that President Trump himself does not want a war with Iran, he does not want this to escalate into some sort of military confrontation between these two countries. But they do feel that there are some of the administration who do or who are more inclined to allow things to go into that direction.
The Iranians for their part, however, are saying even if President Trump does not want this to escalate into some sort of military confrontation, I think the way the Iranian diplomat put it, was that the Middle East is an area of unintended consequences which means that right now on heightened alert you have a lot of American forces and a lot of Iranian forces in very, very close proximity, you had those tanks, tanker incidents taking place.
And so, therefore things down there especially in the Persian Gulf region, obviously right now very, very heated up. And then of course you have some pretty bellicose rhetoric coming from the Iranians themselves. They are continually to adamantly deny that they were behind these tanker attacks they say in the form of the head of Iran's general staff.
That it if they want to shut down the Strait of Hormuz and they would shut down the Strait Hormuz and they wouldn't do so secretly, for example, to these tanker attacks they would to do so openly because they feel that they have the military power to do that.
And so, you do see some bellicose rhetoric coming from that side as well. Now you have these additional troops that are coming into the region. It certainly shows that if anything the situation is somewhat escalated, rather than being tone down, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes. And that fear of miscalculation is always the major concern, isn't it? So where is the off ramp with these increased tensions?
PLEITGEN: Well, it really is difficult and I think right now both sides are saying that they don't want any of this to continue to escalate.
One of the things that I think Secretary of State Pompeo said yesterday or it was the day before yesterday is that he wanted to assure everyone that President Trump is doing everything he can to try and solve all of this diplomatically.
Well, the Iranians don't see it that way, they say at this point in time with these heavy sanctions that are in place, with this policy of maximum pressure that's coming from the U.S. side they don't consider that to be a diplomatic tool, they consider that's to be economic warfare.
So essentially what the Iranians are saying that for them the first thing they would want to see to deescalate tensions is for some sort of sanctions relief to happen. Now of course, the Iranians themselves are piling on more pressure as well.
They came out yesterday and said that they are going to curtail some of the obligations that they have under the nuclear agreement. They are going to produce more low enriched uranium. They are going to reach the ceiling for the amount of low enrich uranium they are allowed to stockpile in just a couple of days. I think now it's nine days. Yesterday it was 10 days.
So, certainly, they are also piling on the pressure to a certain extent as well. But the Iranians are saying if all this is to stop, at least from their vantage point, they want to reap some of the benefits that they were promised under the nuclear agreement.
[03:05:05] That is a direct message obviously to the United States that they are not going to back down in the face of pressure from the U.S. but it's also of course very much a message, Rosemary, to the European nations who are also signatories of the nuclear agreement that the Iranians want them to do something to be able to get business going then -- going here again and also to be able to export their oil which right now is a big problem for the Iranians. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Indeed. Many thanks to our Fred Pleitgen bringing us the very latest there from Tehran, where it is just after 11.30 in the morning.
Well, the first Democratically elected president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi has been buried alongside other Muslim Brotherhood figures. That is according to his wife's Facebook page. Morsi collapsed and fell unconscious after making a five-minute statement at his espionage trial. He was dead by the time he arrived at the hospital. State media reports he died of a heart attack.
Human rights groups and his fellow Muslim Brotherhood are calling for a full investigation into Morsi's death.
And now our Jomana Karadsheh joins us now live from Istanbul with more on this. So, Jomana, what are you learning about the circumstances leading up to the death of Mohamed Morsi in that Cairo court Monday, and will we see that full investigation to his death that's been called for?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a lot of skepticism about, you know, how much of an independent and credible investigation there will be, if any, into the death of the former President Mohamed Morsi. And what happened in that courtroom on Monday, Rosemary, is
information that we're getting from his lawyer, from the state prosecutor in Egypt and from state media, as you know the situation there these court hearings are very tightly controlled, there is no access to the media to most of these cases.
But what we understand is that this was this espionage trial, one of several trials that he has faced since his ouster in 2013. And at the end of that session on Monday he asked to speak, the judge gave him to speak and he addressed the court for about five to seven minutes. And when he was done he returned to that glass cage where the defendant are kept and that is where he collapsed. He fainted and he was taken straight to a hospital.
According to the state prosecutor he was dead on arrival at the hospital. Now state media reported that he died as a result of a heart attack but this is not being accepted by many of his supporters in Egypt and beyond, the Muslim Brotherhood, this group that is outlawed that is banned in Egypt have described his death as an assassination, as a murder by the Egyptian authorities.
We have also heard reaction here from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, calling him a brother and a martyr, and blaming his death on what he described as the tyrants, of course this is because there has been so many concerns about the conditions of his detention and his treatment over the past few years, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And Jomana, what have you learned about the conditions of Mohamed Morsi's detention since 2013?
KARADSHEH: Well, I think, while his death was sudden, Rosemary, what really summed it up is the first reaction we heard from rights organizations like Human Rights Watch yesterday in their first statement saying that his death was entirely predictable.
They have been warning about this. They have been really concerned raising these concerns over the past few years. For several reasons, they have been worried about the fact that he has been in solitary confinement for prolonged periods that he's not had access to his family and to his lawyers. He's only met his family three times over the past six years.
They say that he has been isolated from the rest of the world, cut off from the world not really receiving news, but most importantly, they have been really concerned about his health conditions. They say that he had a liver condition that he was a diabetic and that he was not receiving the specialized treatment and care that he required.
Now, this is all being dismissed by the Egyptian government that is accusing Human Rights Watch of, you know, political exploitation they say in the name of human rights.
But this is not just Human Rights Watch, Rosemary. So many other groups have been raising concerns. For example, last year a report came out from a panel of British lawmakers, British M.P.s who were commissioned by the family of the former president to look into the conditions.
[03:09:57] And they also were warning about they're saying that the way that he was treated, the ill treatment and the cruel inhuman treatment of former President Mohamed Morsi could meet the threshold of torture under international and Egyptian law.
And they also warned in that report last year that this could result in premature death. And so, we have been hearing from various organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch calling for an independent and thorough investigation not just into the death of the former president Mohamed Morsi but also into these allegations of abuse and ill treatment of thousands of political prisoners in Egypt, Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Our Jomana Karadsheh bringing us the very latest on the death of Mohamed Morsi. Many thanks.
Well, Mexico does not have as many troops deployed at its southern border as it initially promised. Mexican officials made a deal with the U.S. last week to boost its personnel levels in order to avoid President Trump's threat of tariffs.
But as our Michael Holmes discovered many at the border say this is not a job for soldiers.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT: The Mexican government initially said 6,000 troops and police would be in place along the southern border with Guatemala by Tuesday to deal with the migrant crisis. But at a news conference Monday a government spokesman said that won't happen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAXIMILIANO REYES ZUNIGA, MEXICAN UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE (through translator): I think that finishing this week, there should be approximately 50 percent of those 6,000 assigned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Still activity has increased in the last 24 to 48 hours. Here entire truckloads of migrants found in the state of Vera Cruz, also more checkpoints, road blocks, and a growing number of detentions. But here in a pack human rights center in Tapachula, those in charge say this isn't a job for soldiers not trained to deal with women and children who are fleeing for their lives.
HOLMES: Are troops the answer, is the military the answer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because they need protection, they don't need more violence, more detention and being deported send back again into the violence in their countries.
HOLMES: So, do you think it will make it worse?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm sure about this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Salvador Cruz (Ph) says the center he runs has seen more migrants in the past five months than the previous three years combined and what people are fleeing in their home countries is worse than dodging troops to get here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The situation we have here is people hiding away from violence and trying to save their life because if they don't leave their countries they will die and they will be killed.
HOLMES: Mexico's government says it is unable to cope alone needing international help including from the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZUNIGA (through translator): Without a doubt the U.S. will have to invest because the Latin American migration phenomenon is not exclusive to one country and all those involved should be doing this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The migrants come from many countries but the vast majority comes from right there, Guatemala. More than 210,000 apprehended at the U.S. border in the eight months to main, this is one of the ways they get there. Jump on a pontoon to go from there to Mexico a dollar ahead and you're there.
There are dozens more crossing points of porous nearly thousand- kilometer border and human rights groups say migrants will take more remote and potentially more dangerous routes to avoid security forces. But while the reasons they left in the first place remain they will still come.
Michael Holmes, Tapachula, Mexico.
CHURCH: Well, the field is expected to get smaller. A second round of voting in Britain's Tory leadership race is just hours away, where the candidates stand. We'll take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you do as a parent knowing that your child is not safe in your home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Parents in London are taking extraordinary measures to keep their children safe from stabbings. We'll explain when we return.
[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: A second secret ballot is just hours away the race to name a new leader of Britain's conservative party. It's down to six contenders now.
Former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is the acknowledged frontrunner, whoever comes in second is expected to face him in a televised debate.
Johnson skip to Sunday's debate but he got a boost Monday when one of his former rivals Matt Hancock announced that he was backing Johnson.
And joining us now from London is John Rentoul, he is the chief political commentator for The Independent. Great to have you with us.
JOHN RENTOUL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, THE INDEPENDENT: Hello there.
CHURCH: So, you and I spoke on this very topic just 24 hours ago, and you told me you thought frontrunner Boris Johnson had this in the bag. Do you still think he will be the country's next prime minister? And is there anything at this point that could put that outcome in doubt?
RENTOUL: Did I make a prediction?
CHURCH: Yes, you did
RENTOUL: Yes. I did. He is very, very likely to win this thing. I mean, the excitement about today is which of the other candidates are going to be up against him in the final round of voting which will be decided by conservative parliament members. There are about 160,000 of them around the country and they will choose between the final show a at least of two.
Boris Johnson is almost guaranteed to be one of those two. The question is who is the other person going to be and of the other five candidates I think four of them are in with a realistic chance. You got Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, and Rory Stewart.
I mean, the final candidate is Dominic Raab but his views on Brexit are rather similar to Boris Johnson so therefore I don't think he will make it to the final two.
CHURCH: Interesting. He's sort of, he would be canceled out. So, let's look at the process ahead. We're looking, at six conservative leadership candidates. They will face the secret ballot of M.P.s in the coming hours, each needing 33 votes to proceed in this contest. Who would you expect to be left standing next to Boris Johnson? I mean, what's your sense here?
RENTOUL: Well it's very high -- it's wide open actually. I mean, Jeremy Hunt the current foreign secretary came second in the first round of voting last week but he was a long way behind Boris Johnson, 43-vote, only just ahead of Michael Gove on 37.
And who knows how the -- you know, there are several candidates who've dropped out with 50-vote between them. Who knows how those 50 votes are going to end up allocate themselves, who knows which candidates are going to see their voters switch to another candidate at this stage, because Tory M.P.s can do that. And Rory Stewart is the, you know, the rank outsider. He came bottom
of the qualifying candidates last time, and yet he is making all the waves and everyone is looking to him to be sort of the shock object but I think that is asking quite a lot of him because he is much too left wing for the modern conservative party I think.
[03:19:57] CHURCH: Right. And then of course after that secret ballot and they work out who the two men stand -- left standing are the winner in the runner-up will take part in another televised debate. We know Johnson was a no-show for Sunday's debate. How would you expect --
CHURCH: How do you expect this next debate to go and has there ever been an instance where a debate like this could change the outcome, something could happen?
Well, we are not used to having TV debates in the middle of internal party elections. I mean, this is an internal conservative party affair and there haven't been TV debates in the past, so nobody knows quite how it's going to work.
And that's one of the reasons why the frontrunner Boris Johnson has refused to take part by far because he is very aware that as the leading candidate where the risks for him are greater than for other candidates who have less to lose.
So, it will be happening tonight, there will be a TV debate among the remaining candidates, because we are expecting one of two of them to be knocked out in today's ballot. And I suspect Boris Johnson will perform very well. I mean, it's a good format for him but as the frontrunner he is worried about you know making a mistake that will lose him ground.
CHURCH: Yes, that's the critical thing here. We shall watch to the very end. John Rentoul, thank you so much. So, we'll see if you are correct and Boris Johnson gets the top spot. Thank you so much.
RENTOUL: Only a few weeks now.
CHURCH: All right. Well U.S. President Donald Trump has taken aim at a London's mayor on Twitter after a rash of deadly attacks in the capital.
Mr. Trump accused Sadiq Khan of destroying the city saying, quote, "London needs and new mayor as soon as possible. Khan is a disaster. It will only get worse." It followed his retweet of a post from right wing commentator Katie Hopkins who appeared to blame the violence on Muslims. London's mayor responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR, LONDON: Well, it's for him to answered why he tweeted -- why he retweeted that we have a racist, it's for him to answer why he's amplifying the -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you're a Muslim as well.
KHAN: That's for him to answer. Because my view is, I'm not going to respond tit-for-tat to what Donald Trump is saying. What I'll do is make sure is my energy is focused on trying to do why I can to keep our city safe.
Our city is a lot safer than many of the other cities that Donald Trump is in charge of. But it's not-for-tat. Just making sure we do what we can to keep our city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And Mr. Trump's remarks came in response to a series of attacks in London that left three people dead in 24 hours, two of them were stabbed.
CNN's Phil Black has the more on the rise of knife violence in the British capital.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For around nine million people who live in London it is an undeniable fact, a potential crisis, London has a problem with knives. Across the city in every direction young people are using sharp blades to kill harm and terrify.
A quiet street in East London where Samer Sidhom tries to explain what it's like to lose a son, his only son.
SAMER SIDHOM, VICTIM'S FATHER: These are just memories and photos, you know. That's all I have left. I just have happy memories.
BLACK: Sammy was 18, a law student and his father's best friend. He was attacked on his own street and stabbed repeatedly in the back.
SIDHOM: He was all my life, all that I lived for, so my life now, you know, just has no meaning anymore.
BLACK: Samer shows me where he last saw his son alive, on the ground by a tree just outside their home as paramedics try to save him.
SIDHOM: The last thing I could remember, you know, his eyes were open but they were not moving and that was such a difficult horrible thing to see.
BLACK: Police think Sammy was mistaken for someone else after two gangs had faced off up the road just minutes before. They are still hoping to find witnesses, no one has been charged with his murder.
But in north London housing stat with a deadly reputation for knives a mother and activist say she and other patients are taking extraordinary steps to keep their children safe.
Sadia Ali fled Somalia for a safer happier life but she sent her son back there because she believes the risks are now greater in London.
ALI: I am not the only one. One doesn't come to that conclusion lightly, but what you do as a parent knowing that your child is not safe in your home.
[03:25:05] BLACK: Sadia is campaigning for officials at every level to do more to keep children safe.
ALI: If this continues to be allowed then we will lose many young people to this epidemic of knife crime and gang crime and crime, you know, criminal grooming, I think we will lose generations.
BLACK: In the west London park I met someone who's carried knives, been cut and stabbed by them and lost friends to them.
How old are you when someone first pulled a knife on you?
KAMAL: About 13. About 13.
BLACK: Tino Kamal says he grew up with violence and there is nothing new about knives on London streets, but something has changed.
KAMAL: It is becoming like a fashion to go and stab someone, but that's wrong because it is babies killing babies now.
BLACK: Why do they pull them so easily, why do they use them so easily, and why do seem so willing to take a life?
KAMAL: All right. Put it this way. Put it this way. If someone is going to try and take your life you are going to make sure that you can do something, because you can out of (Inaudible), you can go to a jail at the end of the day. That's how people are thinking.
BLACK: Tino is now a musician who's rapped about knives and the injuries they have; he is scared too by a young life which has seen too much.
KAMAL: I've been stabbed in my dream. I've seen people that are dead in front of me in my dream and I have suffered, man, mentally suffered.
BLACK: South London and people here are trying to protect children using a technique every parent knows, keep them busy. The unity football club is run by parents who hopes to change their community and make it safer.
STEVE O'CONNER, CHAIRMAN, UNITY: It's pretty frightening, I think, if you look at the news in any given day even within very close proximity to our training ground, we have three fatalities over the past several months, so we're kind of really touched by it.
BLACK: Touched and frightened, Lucas' mom has already decided to take her family out of London. MARTHA NUNES, MOTHER: I definitely don't want my child to be in that
kind of danger, you know. I want the opportunities but I don't want the danger, so we are saving up to try and just get out of here, you know, as quick as possible.
BLACK: Travel across London in any direction and you'll meet people whose lives have been touched or worse by knives.
It means this is a city where some parents fear it's too dangerous to raise a family where too many children are growing up with knives in their pockets and the will to use them. Where too many parents are left experiencing a loss too painful to express.
Phil Black, CNN, London.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we are following this hour. The U.S. military has announced it will send a thousand additional troops to the Middle East, this follows Thursdays attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman which the U.S. blames on Iran. Iran denies this and accuses the U.S. of pushing a narrative that could lead to a confrontation.
The wife of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi says that her husband has been buried in eastern Cairo next to other Muslim brotherhood members. The ousted Egyptian leader died shortly after collapsing in court Monday. State run media report, he died of a heart attack. Last year, a report by a panel of British MP's describe Morsi detention as inhuman and warned it he would likely lead to a premature death.
The World Food Program is warning that food assistance in Yemen may be suspended this week if Houthi rebels don't stop diverting the aid for profit. Officials with the U.N. food aid agency says they need assurances the Houthis will not interfere in the distribution of aid.
In the United States it is not the sort of news President Trump wanted heading into his official reelection campaign rally. Poll numbers showing him trailing Democratic candidates in key states leaked and while rejecting those numbers as fake, Mr. Trump also took action. Abby Phillip reports.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: President Trump on edge tonight on the eve of the official launch of his re-election campaign in Orlando tomorrow.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't believe these polls. PHILLIP: Slamming his own campaign's polls that show him losing to
former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats in key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan and moving to purge the officials who made them.
TRUMP: These polls don't exist. But I just had a meeting with somebody that's a pollster and I am winning everywhere, so I don't know what you are talking about.
PHILLIP: Trump falsely tweeting that the polls which are conducted in March are fake and adding, we are looking really good, but it is far too early to be focused on that. Yet the campaign is moving quickly to call Trump's fury, purging three pollsters who conducted the 17 state survey over the leaks. Those officials privately acknowledging that the firings were less about the accuracy of the polls and more about satisfying Trump's demands. The president also offering an expansive view of his presidential powers. Telling ABC News that he believes that the constitution gave him the power to fire former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
TRUMP: Article two would have allowed me to fire him. I wasn't going to fire him. You know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon go around firing everybody and that did not work out too well.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, THIS WEEK'S SHOW HOST, ABC NEWS: So your position is that you can hire or fire anybody. Stop or start --
TRUMP: That is the position of a lot of great lawyers.
PHILLIP: Trump repeatedly citing article two of the constitution, but dodging questions about whether he believes the president is above the law.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So the president can't obstruct justice?
TRUMP: A president can run the country and that is what happens George, I run the country and I run it well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And if the president does it is not illegal?
TRUMP: I'm just saying the president under article two is very strong. Read it.
PHILLIP: The interview also offering a window into the former TV executive's fixation on optics. Trump snapping at his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney who interrupted him in the middle of an answer in which he claimed that he might one day release his tax returns.
TRUMP: You know at some point I might, but in some point (inaudible) it is a fantastic financial statement and let's do that over, he's coughing in the middle of my answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. OK.
TRUMP: I don't like that, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Chief of Staff.
TRUMP: If you are going to cough please leave the room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm over here.
TRUMP: You just can't, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: OK. Do you want to do that a little bit differently then?
PHILLIP: And while Trump was quick to throw his senior official out of the room, the president found himself out of the loop on major U.S. strategy to counter Russians cyber-attacks. According to The New York Times there was broad hesitation to brief Trump about a plan to place software code in Russian power grids that could be used for future cyberattacks or surveillance.
Two administration officials said, they believe that Mr. Trump had not been briefed on any detail over concerns about how he might react and the possibility that he might share sensitive information with foreign officials, like he did in 2017 when he discuss a classified operation in Syria with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval Office. Over the weekend the president slam The New York Times accusing the paper of a virtual act of treason and calling the report not true.
President Trump seemed to suggest that The New York Times is putting national security at risk by publishing the details of the secret cyber activity, but at the same time, the paper reports that they reached out to the National Security Council, which declined to comment and also declined to raise national security concerns about those details that may suggest that the administration wanted to very much get that Russian attention by publishing the details of these operations. Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.
[03:35:23] CHURCH: So, let's get more on all of this with CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer, he is a historian and professor at Princeton University, always good to have you with us.
JULIAN ZELIZER, HISTORIAN AND PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: So ignoring his own polling, President Trump falsely denied the existence of internal poll showing him trailing his Democratic rivals in key battlegrounds states, but then he fired three of his pollsters, was that for leaking the information or for collecting numbers that made him look bad?
ZELIZER: I think leaking the information, President Trump likes to control the narrative on media stories that are being told and so obviously the leak on internal polls that were unfavorable which complement other polls that exists about some of the problems that he faces in 2020, angered him for sure, so I assumed this is a part of an effort to centralize and take control over his one shot.
CHURCH: So why did someone leak this internal polling, what message do you think they were trying to send the president, because he thinks his numbers are great?
ZELIZER: Yes, this very much could be from people in the administration who are sympathetic and trying to send a message that he needs to be pay attention and that he needs to see that he has any weaknesses going into the election. It's like advisers who sometimes go on television to send a message back to the president about what, so that very well might be what just happened.
CHURCH: And of course, in the meantime, Joe Biden is enjoying all of this, predicting the Democrats can win back Florida taunting Trump before his big official campaign launch Tuesday, is Biden right? Can the Dems win Florida and perhaps a number of other battleground states as some of these polls predict, to put Trump's reelection under threat here?
ZELIZER: Some of the battleground states they might be able to win, it is very early the poll numbers could change and the president has the power incumbency and a strong economy, so maybe Florida is in play. I am dubious that some of the bigger states, like Texas or Georgia are really going to be at play for Democrats, but clearly there are these swing states, every election in recent cycles have been closed where the president's strongest approval numbers might be just what Democrats need to take those back.
CHURCH: All right. And of course another issue that is bubbling along according to The New York Times, Intelligence officials are hesitant to fully brief Trump on escalating U.S. cyber-attacks on Russia, he was kept to the dark apparently about cyber-attacks on Russia's power grid, Trump was furious so why are they avoiding briefing him on such topics and has this ever happened to any other U.S. president in your memory?
ZELIZER: No, it is pretty dramatic if those stories are accurate they are basically working around the president not for a low level issue, but for a pretty central issue in our election process and the suspicion is that they are doing so because they don't have full confidence he will contain the information or if he keep it from Russian officials even. So that is a different kind of story that we have had from recent presidents in the American history and it shows a level of distress and uncertainty that exists in this White House.
CHURCH: It is pretty damning isn't it? When you can't trust the president, of course to in the ABC interview that Trump did, he revealed that he believes that article two of the constitution allows him to do whatever he wants. What would you say to him on that point and why do you think he believes that?
ZELIZER: Yes. I mean, that is not true the president does not have the power to do anything he wants and certainly the president can't obstruct justice when an investigation is being conducted on his administration. This is incredibly broad reading article two, he does have supporters, advisers who believe the same thing, but most things are skeptical and downright opposed to this kind of interpretation, because basically what he is saying is the president can do whatever the president wants and that is antithetical to what the founders of our system wanted.
CHURCH: Indeed. Julian Zelizer, always great to chat with you, and to get your analysis on this matters, I appreciate it.
And coming up next on CNN Newsroom, our Anderson Cooper offers a deeply personal and heartfelt tribute to his mother, the late fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Gloria Vanderbilt has died of cancer at the age of 95. The world knew her as a famous fashion designer, artist, and socialite, but to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, she was so much more, she was his mother, he takes the loving and deeply heart filled look back at her life.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gloria Vanderbilt, my mom live her entire life in the public eye. Born in 1924, her father Reginald Vanderbilt was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune, but gambled away most of his inheritance. And died when my mom was just a baby. Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, her mother, wasn't ready to be a mom or a widow. My mom grew up in France, not knowing anything about the Vanderbilt family or the money that she would inherent when she turned 21. She had no idea the trouble that money would create.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the first movie of Gloria. Frightened by the curious crowd, she flees into her (inaudible) car. Money isn't everything.
COOPER: When she was 10, her father's sister, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sued to have my mom taken away from her own mother. It was a custody battle the likes of which the world have never seen. It was called the trial of the century. And it took place during the height of the depression. Making headlines every day for months, the court awarded custody of my mom to her Aunt Gertrude, who she barely knew. The judge also fired the one person my mom truly loved and needed, her, nanny whom she called Dodo.
GLORIA VANDERBILT, FASHION ICON: She was my mother, my father, she was everything. She was my life line. She is all I had.
COOPER: As a teenager, she try to avoid the spotlight, but reporters and cameramen would follow her everywhere. She was determined to make something of her life. Determined to make a name for herself and find the love and family that she so desperately craved. At 17, against her Aunt's wishes, she got married. She knew it was a mistake from the get go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wedding bells at Santa Barbara's ancient Spanish mission. He is a Hollywood actor's agent and he is 32.
COOPER: He was described as a Hollywood agent. Was he an agent?
VANDERBILT: Well maybe at one point. He had been married to (inaudible) who is quite a well-known actress. And she was -- died under mysterious circumstances. There were rumors around that maybe he had killed her, you know.
[03:45:08] COOPER: Wait a, minute you got married to a guy who there are rumors that he had killed his former wife?
COOPER: Did that not seem like a bad idea?
VANDERBILT: Well, I thought all he needs is me. You know, sweetheart, I was only 17.
At, 21 she married again. And had two sons with the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski.
This is what he looked like when you first met him?
VANDERBILT: Well, it's a terrible photograph of him, but he was 63 when I first met him and married him.
COOPER: Was it, like, as soon as you saw him, you thought --
VANDERBILT: I have known him for a week. And I am three weeks late.
COOPER: I didn't know that.
COOPER: He was 63?
COOPER: Wow. Did any of your friends think it was weird?
VANDERBILT: I don't know. I mean --
COOPER: They didn't say anything?
VANDERBILT: Didn't matter to me.
COOPER: The marriage lasted more than a decade. Then she met and married Director Sydney Lumet, and then, my, father writer Wyeth Cooper. Over the course of her life, my mom was photographed by all the great photographers who worked as a painter, a writer, an actress, and designer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gloria, you are terrific.
COOPER: If you were around in the early 1980's, it was pretty hard to miss the jeans she helped create, but that was her public face. The one she learned to hide behind as a child. Her private self, her real self, that was more fascinating and more lovely than anything she showed the public. I always thought of her as a visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who had come from a distance star that burned out long ago.
I always felt it was my job to try to protect her. She was the strongest person I've ever met, but she wasn't tough. She never developed a thick skin to protect herself from hurt. She wanted to feel it all. She wanted to feel life's pleasures, it's pains, as well. She trusted to freely, to completely and suffered tremendous losses, but she always pressed on. Always worked hard, always believed the best was yet to come.
You think the next great love is right around the corner?
VANDERBILT: Absolutely. Absolutely.
COOPER: Is there anyone I should know about right now?
COOPER: I think (inaudible) said, he has never met somebody over the age of 16 who loves being in love as much as you.
VANDERBILT: That's true. I think we should always be in love.
COOPER: And she was always in love. In love with men, or with friends, or books, and art, in love with her children and her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren. Love is what she believed in more than anything.
Earlier this month we had to take her to the hospital. That is where she learned she had very advanced cancer in her stomach. And it had spread. When the doctor told her she had cancer, she was silent for a while. And then she said, well, it's like that old song. Show me the way to get out of this world. Because that is where everything is. Later she made a joke. And we started giggling. I never knew that we had the exact same giggle. I recorded it and it makes me giggle every time I watch it.
Gloria Vanderbilt died as she lived, on her own terms. I know she hoped for a little more time, a few days or weeks, at least, there are paintings she wanted to make, more books she wanted to read, more dreams to dream. But she was ready, she was ready to go.
VANDERBILT: Once upon a time --
COOPER: She spent a lot of time alluding in her head during her life and when the end came she was not alone. She was surrounded by beauty and by family and by friends.
The last few weeks, every time I kissed her goodbye, I'd say, I would, say I love you mom.
She would look at me and, say I love you too. You know that. And she was right. I did know that. I knew it from the moment I was born, and for the rest of my life. And in the end, no greater gift can a mother give to her son. Gloria Vanderbilt was 95 years old when she died. What an extraordinary life. What an extra ordinary mom, and what an incredible woman.
[03:50:00] (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: At least 70 people have died in the eastern Indian states of Bihar since Saturday, due to a severe heat wave, most of the victims are over 50 years old and lived in rural areas, officials have instituted curfews to keep people indoors, the current heat wave has lasted for more than 30 days, making it one of the longest in India's history, so let's get more on all of this with our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, and everyone is looking for when the relief will come, Pedram.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, it comes with the monsoons, Rosemary and unfortunately has been very slow to arrive across this region and unfortunately when you look at what has happened here, not only as the extensive heat continue, we know the monsoon or moisture well to the south as this time of year and you expect to see that far more northward across this region and in fact if you take a look at the progression, climatologically speaking, June 15th this is where you expect it to be almost clearing the entire sub- continent and of course we are still locked in across the southern tier of the sub-continent and the pattern remains very hot over the next couple of days, Rosemary. Alluded to some 30 plus days of extensive heat and in fact, if you take a look at this, look at the air temperatures, the ambient temperatures in the shade compared to the heat in the seas, what it feels like when you factor in the humidity.
Some of the observation points in the state of Bihar, right here across the northern east. Some of these regions are running some 10 to 15 degrees above what the actual high temperatures and in fact, when you look at the observation points in the next couple of days, we will see this continue, Kolkata sits at 34 heat on the seas at the middle and upper 40's.
In fact the past 24 hours, look at Patna, right there in the heart of the state of Bihar, coming in with a heat index of 53 degrees, we are talking about 130 degrees Fahrenheit, that is in the range of temps across this region of northeastern India and portions of Bangladesh and unfortunately a trend has been an excessive one in recent weeks and Delia in particular has had a run of 20 consecutive days exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, of course, this time of the year, you see the monsoon comes in, with it moisture as it arrives, temps begin to drop and has not been the case in fact the northern tier of India here remains in a red alert, the highest alert for extensive heat and we see that drop a little bit come Wednesday afternoon and we take you inside in the next couple of weeks as more moisture progresses northward, we will see the temps drop and notice, Delia, the next couple of days in fact finally dropping below the 40 degree threshold, but it wants to get hotter, Rosemary before it gets cooler again later in next week, so another week of extensive heat at least left in the forecast.
CHURCH: All right, thank you so much for keeping such a close eye on that. I appreciate it, Pedram.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, you may have missed a noteworthy celestial event, Monday night. A strawberry moon lit up the sky across the world and for those of you wondering, the moon isn't really supposed to look like a big round strawberry according to old farmer's Almanac, the name comes from a Native American tribe that believed a full moon in the month of June was assigned to harvest wild strawberries. Great name.
And take a look at this political catastrophe in Pakistan, a regional minister was live streaming his news conference on social media, but he did not look quite as serious and credible as he would've like and that is because a staff apparently left a cat filter on so the minister inadvertently appeared with kitty ears and whiskers and you can imagine online catcalls, but the minister seemed to take things in stride after all, nobody is perfect.
[03:55:06] All right, so when U.S. President Donald Trump speaks you have better think twice about coughing. Our Jeanne Moos explains.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you have to wipe your nose, don't wipe it near this guy.
TRUMP: I'm also very much of a germaphobia.
MOOS: And if you cough during an interview.
TRUMP: But at some point I hope they get it, because it is safer (inaudible) fantastic financial statement.
MOOS: Prepared to be thrown out like used Kleenex.
TRUMP: And -- let's do that over. He's coughing in the middle of my answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, OK.
TRUMP: I don't like that. You know, --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're Chief of Staff.
TRUMP: If you're going to cough please leave the room.
MOOS: Not some intern but acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. On the bright side Kim Jong-un would've had him killed, a former campaign staffer told the Washington Post that is something there warn not to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Though shall not cough.
MOOS: Imagine how Hillary would fare.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Can I get some lozenges or something.
Every time I think about Trump I get allergic.
MOOS: All the people kept coughing up the coughing conspiracy theory.
That Mulvaney was trying to signal Trump to shut up about his financial statements.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my theory, I think he was -- don't talk about how you are broke.
MOOS: Anthony Scaramucci tells the Time, he has a sore throat while meeting with President Trump aboard Air Force One, the president banished him to the sick bay for a shot.
ANTONY SCARAMUCCI, TRUMP'S TRANSITION TEAM MEMBER: There I am traveling on the most famous plane on the world, my pants are down and I'm taking a shot of penicillin. Like I was in the second grade.
MOOS: the ban on coughing left someone during sniffing OK, though?
Trump has a tendency to order things out, from teleprompters, to crying babies, but at least he is no coli glia, when a young man coughing irritated him, off with his head. Will President Trump keep his head next time someone coughs? Jeanne Moss, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: There is a guaranteed cure and thanks for your company this hour, I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter @rosemarycnn. We'd love to hear from you, and the news continues next with our Max Foster in London. You are watching CNN, have a great day.