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U.S.-Iran Tensions; Writer Accuses Trump of Rape; Filthy Conditions at U.S. Border Facilities; Oregon at War over Climate Crisis; Next U.S. Moon Landing. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired June 22, 2019 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president Donald Trump scraps a military strike on Iran minutes before it was meant to happen, saying he doesn't want to go to war.

Plus, millions of undocumented immigrants are under threat of deportation, as the Trump administration prepares to ramp up raids across several U.S. cities.

Also ahead this hour, nearly 50 years after humans first stepped on the moon, NASA is planning to go back, this time, with a woman leading the way.

Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell, CNN NEWSROOM starts now.


HOWELL: We're learning more about the U.S. president's decision to call off a U.S. military strike against Iran. On Twitter, on Friday morning, the president pointed to the shootdown of a U.S. drone, saying the United States was cocked and loaded to strike three Iranian missile sites in retaliation.

Then backed off when he learned that 150 Iranians might be killed. Iran said that drone was in Iranian airspace when it was shot down. United States says, no, it was in international airspace. We get more from Abby Phillip who has this report from the White House.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, President Trump offering candid details into U.S. war strategy and his own personal thinking after he was minutes away from a military strike against Iran.


TRUMP: We had something ready to go subject to my approval.


PHILLIP: President Trump pulling the plug, worried that the death toll in a counter strike would be too high.


TRUMP: They shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it and here we are sitting with 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead. And I didn't like it. I didn't think it was - I didn't think it was proportionate.


PHILLIP: After days of hinting that he was not inclined to use military force against Iran, Trump came to the brink only to make a sudden U-turn.


TRUMP: And things would have happened to a point where you wouldn't turn back and couldn't turn back. So they came and they said, sir, we're ready to go. We'd like a decision.


PHILLIP: Behind the scenes is CNN learning the top aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton all argued military action was necessary.

Tonight, Iran not backing down warning the Trump administration to back off claiming its military chose not to target a second U.S. plane flying in the vicinity of the drone, this one with American personnel on board.

And as tensions with Iran threaten to bubble over, some of the president's critics say the administration is to blame for pulling out of the Iran deal in the first place.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), CHAIR, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: If we caused other nations to once again impose sanctions on Iran then we shouldn't be all that surprised that Iran is going to lead the deal and go back to enriching or that we're going to get this increased tensions in likelihood of conflict.


PHILLIP: Trump firing back, tweeting, "Obama made a desperate and terrible deal with Iran," adding that Obama "gave them a free path to nuclear weapons and soon.

"Instead of saying thank you, Iran yelled death to America. I terminated deal, which was not even ratified by Congress and imposed strong sanctions. They are a much weakened nation today than at the beginning of my presidency, when they were causing major problems throughout the Middle East. Now they are bust."

Trump's campaign promise to avoid foreign wars now becoming a reality in office.


JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: You know his instincts are no foreign engagements. It's much easier to start one of these fights than it is to end one.


PHILLIP: Sources tell CNN that some of Trump's allies on Capitol Hill advised him against being dragged into war. But other prominent Republicans are warning it's naive to think Iran will come back to the negotiating table.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-MT): If, you know, Iran thinks it can demonstrate to the world that somehow it's able to take advantage of the United States, that it's able to attack and destroy one of our drones without any consequence or with the only consequence being that we now ask to speak with them, I think that's very dangerous.


PHILLIP: As the potential for conflict breaks out in the Middle East and other parts of the world, Trump's Defense Department still lacks permanent senior leadership.


REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: I think the problem is not to commend him or not but to take a look at --


GARAMENDI: -- the chaos that exist within this administration. Take a look at the fact the entire leadership of the Department of Defense is turning over.


PHILLIP: Sources tell CNN, Trump is expected to permanently name Army Secretary Mark Esper as Defense Secretary just days after his initial choice, Mike Shanahan, decided to withdraw.

Sources tell CNN that President Trump is moving away from a military focus and more on sanctions, which the administration thinks is working, putting pressure on Iran.

But the president tells NBC News it's not going down that route and would cause obliteration like Iran has never seen before. The tough talk is back for now. But President Trump reiterated he wanted to bring Iran back to the negotiating table -- Abby Philip, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: For the Pentagon, it's one of the most important responsibilities, to lay out the plans for attacks like these and the risks of a military strike. In this case, one of the biggest dangers was the unknown.

How would Iran react to it?

Our Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: With President Trump calling off strikes against Iran and refocusing his attention on the possibility of additional economic sanctions, the Pentagon is candidly taking a bit of a deep breath. There have not been overwhelming enthusiasm for those strikes against Iran because one of the enduring question that military leaders had here was what Iranian reaction be to a U.S. strike?

They were very clear in their minds that they simply could not predict how Iran might react if the U.S. was to engage in military activity. The plan had been to strike three missile sites along the coastline. There were U.S. aircraft and U.S. warships at the ready when the president called the mission off.

Now those aircraft and ships are likely to stay in the region; tensions still remain very high. What Pentagon officials are telling us, they are going to keep those ships and aircraft there at a very high state of readiness if they are needed, if Iran were to engage in additional provocations, more tanker attacks or something like that, shooting down another drone, that the Pentagon may have to go back to the president and ask him what he wants to do next -- Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


HOWELL: And CNN is live in the region this hour, our Sam Kiley joins us from United Arab Emirates.

And Sam, I'm sure the nations there throughout that region breathing a sigh of relief.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, breathing a sigh of relief. And now a short, sharp intake of breath, I think, George, because the Iranian parliament speaker has just said that parliamentarians will be called to the assembly there in Tehran to discuss what they described as the provocation by this drone.

What is important here, George, is the role of United Arab Emirates providing the airbase from which that drone is believed to have taken off. That would cause a little heart flutter here in the Emirates. It's not the first time that there have been suggestions from Tehran, that they are backing the wrong side, that they are too closely enveloped in the whole American program in the region.

But nonetheless, given the context of what looked like potential for American retaliation, shedding blood, which could have led to rapid escalation to some kind of conflict here in the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Gulf, think that the Emiratis will be a little bit concerned as to what will come out of that parliamentary debate.

The real power, of course, rests with the supreme leader in that country, Ayatollah Khamenei. And the military power is vested very strongly in the IRGC, the Revolutionary Good Corps.

In that context, I also think the Emiratis may be a little more relaxed. But it is a symptom of how relatively small changes and gestures could have ripple effects that are profound. At the same time, the Saudis remain in lockstep with the United States, over their continued pressure that's being brought on Iran -- George.

HOWELL: All right. Sam Kiley with reporting, Sam, thank you.

Let's get perspective now with Amy Pope. Amy a former member of the U.S. National Security Council under --


HOWELL: former president Barack Obama, now an associate fellow with Chatham House. Joining us from London at this hour.

Glad to have you.


HOWELL: So from a big picture perspective, you have a U.S. president who seemed to be initially painted into a corner to act on this strike and risk war or not to act and signal to adversaries that the U.S. will blink.

What do you make of this suggestion that President Trump took this approach to effectively have it both ways and come off a hero for calling it off?

POPE: It's hard to see these actions as heroic. What they've done is they've escalated tension with Iran but without any discernible end in sight. It's not clear what the bottom line strategy is here.

And the fact is, the president triggered the action and then pulled it back. That suggests chaos, that suggests confusion, that does not present a situation where Americans are safer.

But it does point to a breakdown of bureaucracy within the White House. It appears that John Bolton is consistently at odds with the president. Time and time again he's out there, advocating a course of action that the president backs away from.

And that's a real problem. We don't have a Secretary of Defense. We have the president publicly undermining other officials. It's just chaos within the White House. That's bad for the U.S. in general in terms of its strategic goals.

HOWELL: Curious to get your thoughts on the reasons why the strike was called off. President Trump was told 150 lives would be lost just a short time before the strike would take place. Again, only after he asked about that.

Several analysts have pointed out -- they've indicated it's hard to believe the president wasn't briefed about that critical information before the strike, well before the strike.

What are your thoughts?

POPE: It's just not credible to suggest that he didn't have that information. If he didn't have that information, it's because he willfully chose not to get that information.

But that is the standard kind of information that his advisers would have provided in a briefing, before they decided to move forward with this plan. So it's not clear, was he not listening, was he not in the room, was there considerable planning going on without him?

All of those are not great scenarios in terms of his leadership and his critical thinking. But more likely, this is part of the theater that we see consistently from this president. He sees governing as political theater.

And he paints it in a way that doesn't really fit with the way the government works. And he does so, I think, to make himself look like a more decisive actor.

HOWELL: Play it forward, Amy, for people around the world to get a sense of what would a war with Iran look like?

POPE: This is clearly not a good outcome. Congress has been clear with the president and with the public that they would not support these actions. The American public is not looking to get into a war with Iran.

I mean, this is not where the United States wants to be -- it's not consistent with the president's policy to the extent there is any foreign policy to date. It's not an easy resolution.

So why we would consider getting into a protracted conflict with Iran is beyond me. And I don't think that's where the American people are. And I think that would be a very damaging move for this president to take.

HOWELL: But, again, Iran, its proxies, how would it play out?

Iran does have quite a deal of ability in that region, doesn't it?

POPE: It does, it has tremendous influence in the region. Then, again, we're looking at beyond the region itself. What is the impact on Russia? You look at where China has been. China has been progressively making inroads across the world, globally extending its power. It has significant infrastructure initiatives, where it is building

roads and infrastructure across the world. And all this time, the United States is being distracted by something with Iran.

So I think it's dangerous in terms of the actual impact, in terms of the conflict with Iran. But more importantly, it's dangerous because of the channel that it opens for China to cement its influence around the world.

HOWELL: Also, to get a sense of what this would mean, so the president doing this 180 on this strike, what message does it send to Iran?

What message does it send to other adversaries around the world?

POPE: It sends a message that when you cannot trust his advisers, that they are not speaking for him, that they do not know what he's thinking and that they cannot be relied upon to telegraph his actions. And that's problematic, because that means that the kind of diplomacy we would normally expect --


POPE: -- to go on between countries before you get to the brink of a disaster has been undermined.

Secondly, it suggests this president is not someone whose word can be counted on. Now clearly, that's been evidenced throughout the last 2.5 years. So that should not be news to them.

But how you can enter into a association with someone you fundamentally cannot trust to get the deal done?

I think that's the problem, the president has said he's looking for a new deal with Iran. If I'm sitting in the Iranian government and if I'm listening to the hardliners, there's no way this government is prepared to enter into a negotiation with the United States.

I think that's going to be true with North Korea and I think, across the world, we're undermining our foreign capability, our leadership and our ability to bring allies along with us as we try to negotiate deals.

HOWELL: Amy Pope, thank you for your time.

POPE: Thank you.

HOWELL: Now Iran insists that its airspace is safe. But the shooting down of a U.S. drone has created a real nightmare for air travel over the Middle East. United Arab Emirates has ordered their airlines to avoid operating in that area. America's Federal Aviation Administration has banned flights in part of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. United Airlines announced it is cancelling flights from Newark to India until September. Other airlines, several of them avoiding that area as well as you see here on a list. Immigration officers plan to swarm 10 U.S. cities this weekend. We'll tell you what they're looking for and why they won't find much help when they get there from those cities.

Also, some of the Central American migrants who put their lives on the line for a better tomorrow, they share their stories with CNN. Stay with us.




HOWELL: We have some tragic news to share with you from the state of Hawaii. Officials say that nine people were killed Friday night. This when a small plane crashed near the airport. That plane reportedly on a skydiving excursion when it crash-landed on a fence away from the airport.

Hawaii's Department of Transportation says there are no survivors there. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, called ICE --


HOWELL: -- will sweep through U.S. 10 cities over the weekend. Their mission is to round up families under court order to leave the country. In all, about 2,000 people will be affected.

But leaders of those targeted cities say they're not on board with it. The mayor of Houston saying this, "The city does not try to do ICE's job nor does it try to impede ICE and we will continue to be a city that builds relationships, not walls."

And the Los Angeles Police Department sent out a memo that reads in part, "Department personnel are reminded that the department does not participate or assist in any enforcement actions involving immigration status violations that are civil in nature."

Meredith Wood taking a look at those raids.


MEREDITH WOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "They will be removed as fast as they come in."

President Trump sending out a warning on Twitter, hinting something big was about to go down involving undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Now a senior immigration official has confirmed that ICE, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, is set to launch raids in 10 U.S. cities this Sunday, targeting about 2,000 people.

Acting ICE director Mark Morgan told reporters, quote, "If you're here illegally, then you should be removed and, in this case, that includes families."

Democratic leaders are responding, calling the raid plans, quote, "shameful," "a re-election stunt" and "a despicable act of racism."

Morgan says their goal isn't to separate families; it's to deter migrants from trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. To which Texas' governor is now deploying an additional 1,000 Texas National Guardsmen in an effort to combat what he calls an escalating humanitarian crisis at the border.

GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS GOVERNOR: The personnel at the Border Patrol is overwhelmed. They need more assistance. Congress is not providing the funding or the assistance, while we wait to provide the funding, Texas is stepping up and helping out.

WOOD (voice-over): I'm Meredith Wood reporting.


HOWELL: In the meantime, migrants who come to the United States are reportedly being held in filthy conditions. A group of doctors and lawyers visited Border Protection facilities, they didn't get to inspect the facilities but interviewed children there, children who told them horror stories of people being sick, not having access to soap and showers.

In some cases, preteens reportedly taking care of toddlers. At a hearing, a Justice Department lawyer was asked about those conditions.


JUDGE A. WALLACE TASHIMA, U.S. 9TH CIRCUIT COURT: It's within everybody's common understanding that if you don't have a toothbrush, if you don't have soap, if you don't have a blanket, it is not safe and sanitary.

Wouldn't everybody agree with that?

Do you agree with that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think it's -- I think those are -- there's fair reason to find that those things may be part of safe and --

TASHIMA: Not may be; are a part.


In a statement, in U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has noted numerous times that its short term holding facilities are not designed to hold vulnerable populations and it urgently needs additional funding to manage this crisis. It says, all allegations of mistreatment are taken seriously and investigated.

To try to slow the migrants moving north, Mexico and El Salvador launched a new program. Our Michael Holmes traveled to the Mexico- Guatemala border to show us what life is like for those trying to make that dangerous trip.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Mexican troops patrol the border with Guatemala to intercept migrants as Donald Trump promises mass deportations from the U.S.

And yet here in the town of Tapachula, the human faces behind the politics, entire families sleeping on the street and at the mercy of bureaucracy and politicians.

HOLMES: You've been here on the street for a week?


HOLMES: And when is your appointment to get your papers?

BINEDA: My appointment is on July 15.

HOLMES: So you have a month.


BINEDA: I'll be on the street because, yes, I have no choice. I got no money to pay a room.

HOLMES (voice-over): Elmer Bineda says he lived, worked and paid taxes in the U.S. for four years before being deported back to Honduras. But gang extortion and violence in his homeland sees him and his wife and daughter making the trek north again.

BINEDA: You know, like people threaten you, ah, I'm going to kill you if you don't do that.

So why?

I'd rather be here, living on the street over here, sleeping on the street and to change my situation, my life, you know.

HOLMES (voice-over): The migrants we meet here want the world to know they're not numbers, that they have names and lives that are being turned upside down, that they didn't want to leave their homes; it was that or risk death.

JUANA ISABEL GONZALEZ TREJO (through translator): I feel bad. I feel shattered to know how a country is, Honduras.


GONZALEZ TREJO (through translator): I never thought that my country would ever be this way. I cry because of the situation that we're living here.

HOLMES (voice-over): We meet three generations of the Gonzalez Trejo family from Honduras, the youngest just 5 months old, all sleeping on the streets in the heat and the afternoon downpours for nearly a week. Their next immigration appointment, a month away.

GONZALEZ TREJO (through translator): If we can go to the United States, that would be good. But I don't know if they will give us the visa to continue or not.

HOLMES (voice-over): Juana Isabel's husband was murdered by the gangs. When her son-in-law refused to pay those same gangs, they fired shots into the bus he drove for a living.

"We left our country not because we wanted to," he says, "but because the situation is critical. Extortion, gangs. Any moment there is death. So we fled."

And this was the final straw, a note on the family's front door saying, "Leave within 24 hours or you all die."

And so here they are, on the sidewalk in a Mexican town, not knowing where they'll end up but knowing they can't go back.

GONZALEZ TREJO (through translator): I want help for my family. I don't want to be abandoned.

HOLMES (voice-over): Michael Holmes, CNN, Tapachula, Mexico.


HOWELL: The FBI confirms it has people on the ground in the Dominican Republic investigating the deaths of nine Americans while on vacation the past year. Agents are assisting local authorities. They're awaiting results of toxicology tests. These are some of the American tourists who died at the Dominican Republic's resort.

The country's top tourism official is trying to downplay the investigation, calling the spate of deaths "exaggerated."

President Trump's decision to attack Iran and then changing his mind. How he went against the advice of some of his closest and most important advisers. Plus, the reaction from Capitol Hill. The support and criticism from some unlikely places. Stay with us.





HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you at this hour.


HOWELL: The shootdown of a U.S. drone is just the latest in an escalating set of tensions in that region. On June 13th, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. blamed Iran. Iran denied any involvement.

Then on Wednesday, a facility in Basra, Iraq, used by numerous -- a number of oil companies, including Exxon, came under rocket attack. It is the fourth time in a week that rockets have struck near U.S. installations.

There is no immediate claim of responsibility. But an Iraqi security source is pointing to Iran-backed groups. And then on Thursday, Iran shot down that U.S. drone, later displaying what it says is debris from the aircraft you see there.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle breathed a sigh of relief when President Trump changed his mind about attacking Iran. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was not given a heads-up that an attack was about to take place but she, along with House Republican leaders ultimately praised the president's reversal.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: What are our interests?

How do we define them?

That is broadly, as I'm hearing some define them in terms of other countries.

What are our interests?

How do we define our interests?

How do we engage our allies and how do we take actions which do not inflame the situation?

Deescalate, deescalate, deescalate. Take a deep breath and deescalate.



REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), MINORITY LEADER: He has a long-term game plan here and it doesn't mean you have to act within a few hours. What the president is trying to do is achieve something very large. They are well prepared. They're composed with what they're going to do. It's going to be measured.

But it's all within the basis of getting the ultimate goal that Iran can never achieve a nuclear weapon.


HOWELL: In the meantime, lawmakers are reportedly trying to amend legislation which would state that Mr. Trump can't engage in hostilities in Iran without their approval.

Let's talk about all of this now with Leslie Vinjamuri, the head of the U.S. and Americas Programme at Chatham House in London.

Good to have you with us.


HOWELL: We know that the secretary of state Mike Pompeo, the president's national security adviser, John Bolton, and vice president Pence, all side with carrying out this strike. The president made the call against his top advisers by calling it off.

Does it seem in line with President Trump the way he operates or different in your view?

VINJAMURI: It's certainly in line in that there wasn't a very clear process from all that we can tell of careful consideration about all angles of what this might lead to unintended and intended consequences.

The decision albeit, reminds me very much of the right one and we've seen broad support for the president's decision to walk back from this response, this military response, but in an unpredictable way. And not in a well considered way and one that doesn't give the sort of confidence that we need or expect from the leader of the United States.


HOWELL: Can Congress basically restrict the president from taking action in a situation like this, which is something it seems some legislators are interested in doing?

VINJAMURI: Yes. I think there is, and there is of course, an ongoing battle between this president and this White House, over who will have the authority over the use of force. Now a very immediate response, it would be difficult for Congress to exercise that authority.

But if there was going to be sustained use of military force, it's absolutely vital that Congress be brought in. And of course, one thing that this is triggering quite apart from the most immediate problem, which is what will happen with that deal and how will the U.S. exercise constraint and walk back from a very dangerous situation.

There is this very broad and fundamental institutional question about how much Congress will be able to exercise oversight over the president's use of military force. And steps are being taken now by Congress and I think it's very encouraging to see support from both sides of the aisle in reinstating Congress' very fundamental role.

HOWELL: What do you make of President Trump saying he was told about 150 lives would be lost had he gone through with the strike, just a short time before it was to be carried out?

You heard several analysts suggest it seems like this kind of information would have been provided well before the 11th hour of such an attack. VINJAMURI: Well, of course, we don't fully know when he did receive that information. But it's an appropriate justification for him to use, to explain what would have been a very difficult thing for this president to do, which is to walk back from an action that would have made him look very strong, very presidential and responsive.

So to use that humanitarian justification, it's not only a good one, right?

It's the right one. But it's also one that I think helped the president to back down in a very difficult situation where there's a lot of military provocation. You know, the situation is one that, of course, the root cause of the problem was the United States' decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, a deal that Iran has been in compliance with.

But given where we are now, both sides, this president and Iran, need some sort of safe -- some sort of justification that they can use to explain to their people why they are going to de-escalate.

HOWELL: President Trump has signaled, Leslie, that he's open to dialogue with Iran.

Do you think there's an appetite in Iran to engage with this president or is the plan to keep up the pressure on President Trump and effectively wait him out?

VINJAMURI: Well, remember, yes, talks are very important. But they've got to come with a carrot. Right now, Iran is in a very difficult economic position, the sanctions are biting. And Europe has tried tremendously hard to devise some alternative so there can be continuing trade and exchange, which we haven't seen so far.

What we have seen is Iran pushing back on Europe, pushing back on the United States and talks without anything on the table that will alleviate what's very difficult economic pressure on Iran right now are not palatable and very difficult to sell, given that the hardliners in Iran have gained the upper hand in part of the U.S.; strategy with respect to this deal.

HOWELL: Leslie Vinjamuri, we appreciate your time as always. Thank you.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

HOWELL: Still ahead, the monsoon rain is finally falling in Southern India.

But is it enough to end the water crisis?

We'll have an update for you.





HOWELL: In southern India, a major water shortage has led to a great deal of desperation there. Reservoirs have nearly run dry. Businesses have been closed and now, in one town, hundreds were arrested at a protest. The good news here: the monsoon rain has finally started to fall but the long-term outlook, not looking so good.



HOWELL: So as the water dries up in parts of India, anger is overflowing in the state of Oregon and it's all to do with the climate crisis there. Republican lawmakers are so disenchanted with Oregon's climate legislation, they've literally voted with their feet. They fled the state. So the Democratic government is taking tough action to round them up. Our Sara Sidner has this.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Politics have gotten so ugly in Oregon, the Democratic governor has now ordered troopers to track down Republican state lawmakers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are rogue, they need to get back, they need to do their jobs.

SIDNER (voice-over): It all came to a head Wednesday with a warning from the governor saying she'd contacted state police after Republican senators said they would walk out of the legislature to block a vote on a landmark climate bill aimed at dramatically lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If any of you are offended, that's fine.

SIDNER (voice-over): One of those senators responded to the governor's warning with a threat of his own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I told the superintendent, send bachelors and come heavily armed. I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state or Oregon. It's just that simple.

SIDNER (voice-over): Thursday, all 11 Republicans made good on the promise to walk out, attacking the Senate president before leaving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're at the 11th hour, if you don't think these boots are for walking, you're flat wrong, Mr. President. And you send the state police to get me, hell is coming to visit you personally.

SIDNER (voice-over): The governor followed through as well; in an extraordinary move, she ordered the state police to bring them back to work.

SIDNER: It is an extraordinary move, would you agree?

KATE BROWN, OREGON GOVERNOR: Absolutely. But I would also argue that the challenges that we face as a state and a nation around tackling climate change also require extraordinary circumstances.

SIDNER (voice-over): The wife of one of the Republican senators told CNN the senators went out of state to Idaho.

BROWN: This is an embarrassment to the state of Oregon.

SIDNER (voice-over): The underlying reason for the standoff: Democrats have a super majority, which means they can pass legislation without a vote from a single Republican. But in order to do any of the people's business, they need at least two Republican senators to be in attendance for a quorum.

State police say they will politely ask senators to return and accompany them if need be. But if they can't find two senators to agree, they would need permission from their superintendent to use handcuffs.

SIDNER: This legislative session ends on June 30th. So if they're unable to convince a couple of Republican senators to come back to the capital, then all of the people's work will basically end for this session. But the governor doesn't want to see that happen so she's planning on calling a special session if needed in July.


HOWELL: Sara Sidner reporting, thank you.

It's been almost half a century since humans first set foot on the moon. Ahead, we'll tell you about the U.S. plans to return to Earth's closest neighbor and what makes this effort so different from the Apollo missions.






HOWELL: Here's the question, how much would you pay for some out of this world souvenirs?

Several artifacts from the first moon landing in 1969, they were auctioned off this week. Like an American flag flown on the Apollo 11 mission. It went for more than $27,000. There was also a roll of film with dozens of images taken on the moon, $11,000 for that. And a logbook signed from Air Force One signed by three astronauts, $8,200.

That mission half a century ago considered one of man's greatest achievements ever. Our Rachel Crane reports the U.S. space agency's plan to return to the moon in five years would use rockets and capsules but could inspire the same passions.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Nearly 50 years after humans first set foot on the moon --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one small step for man.

CRANE: -- NASA is planning to go back. This time, to stay.

JIM BRIDENSTINE, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: We're going to prove how to live and work in another world and then take all of that knowledge to Mars. That's the goal.

CRANE: Dubbed Artemis for Apollo's twin sister, NASA hopes to send a woman this time. The space agency originally planned a lunar landing for 2028. But in March, the Trump administration moved the deadline up by four years.

(on camera): Were you blindsided at all by the new time line?

BRIDENSTINE: Not at all. No. We have the opportunity to do this. A lot of things have to go right. I'm not saying that there's no risk here, but it can be done. It's good for our country. It's got NASA moving in a very serious way.

CRANE (voice-over): NASA has already spent years working on a new rocket booster and a crew capsule for the mission. Once beyond Earth's orbit, astronauts will dock with the small space station.

Lunar landers built by commercial partners like Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin will carry astronauts back and forth from the moon. There are still a lot to work out, but the biggest obstacle probably isn't technology.

LAURA FORCZYK, FOUNDER, ASTRALYTICAL: As the saying goes, it's not rocket science that's the hard part, its political science, convincing the politicians that they need to fund this adequately. Whatever it is you think it might cost, it's probably actually going to be more.

CRANE: NASA estimates total cost could hit $30 billion over five years. So far, the White House has only asked for an additional $1.6 billion, but it wants that money to come from the federal Pell grant program.

REP. KENDRA HORN (D-OK): I think that proposed source of funding is a non-starter for many people. Quite frankly, I was scratching my head as were many other people. If we are going back to the moon, Mars and beyond, we're going to need more rocket scientists, not fewer.

CRANE (on camera): What do you think it's going to take to get that bipartisan support and also to get the American public jazzed about going back to the moon? BRIDENSTINE: I think when it comes to science, there's not partisanship in Congress.


BRIDENSTINE: When it comes to exploration, there's not partisanship in Congress. You walk around this agency, you talk to scientists and engineers, they can tell you exactly where they were on when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, July 20th, 1969.

I'm the first NASA administrator that was not alive. I don't have that memory. I'll tell you what I do remember. I remember where I was in 5th grade, Ms. Powers' class when Challenger exploded. The whole world was watching.

Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space was on the mission, so all teachers were interested on -- I'm sorry I'm getting a little emotional here, but the reality is that's my kind of moment where I know where I was.

I want to be clear, shuttles, amazing program. International Space Station, amazing program. But I don't remember where I was on each one of those launches. I remember where I was on that day. We need to do these stunning achievements to inspire the next generation.

CRANE (voice-over): Fifty years ago, the Apollo 11 mission changed the world. Now, the Artemis program could inspire a whole new generation -- Rachel Crane, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: And we end this hour with a story that could be a fairy tale in the state of Montana. Authorities there were surprised when they answered a call about a furry home intruder that caused minor damage.

There you see inside, they found this young black bear lying on a closet shelf, napping apparently. That shelf was neither too soft or too hard but just right. Authorities sedated the animal and removed it from the home.

Thank you for watching this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. For our viewers in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For our viewers around the world, a CNN special report is ahead, "Woman of Mystery: Melania Trump." Thanks for watching.