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Iran Denies U.S. Shot Down Drone; Growing Calls for Puerto Rico's Governor to Resign; Trump Tries to Disavow Chant; Calls for Investigation into FaceApp; Woods Struggles at British Open. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 19, 2019 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:16] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A new escalation in the standoff with Iran. President Trump announcing that a U.S. Navy ship shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. But Iran is denying that this happened.

CNN's Ryan Browne is live at the Pentagon with more.

So what's the story, Ryan?

RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Alisyn, both sides claiming that something happened in the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. saying that they downed an Iranian drone. Officials telling us that was done with a sophisticated electronic warfare system aboard the USS Boxer, which is an amphibious ship. Iran saying it had nothing to do with anything that was going on in the area, said they -- was not involved and that its drones remain safe.

This isn't the first time there's been a disagreement. Of course last month Iran downed a U.S. drone in the same area and said it was in Iranian air space. The U.S. said it was in, in fact, in international air space. So this disagreement nothing new.

But we are learning new details, exactly what went -- what occurred yesterday when this Iranian drone was brought down. We're told that it was one of multiple provocations conducted by Iranian forces according to U.S. Navy officials. They said that Iranians flew a helicopter close to the Boxer. They sailed a ship within about 500 yards, which the Navy considers a warning distance, and that the U.S. had to use its own helicopters to counter these Iranian provocations.

This all comes amid real heightened tensions in the region. The U.S. is increasing the number of troops it has, recently deployed 500 troops to Saudi Arabia to man an anti-missile battery. Iran says that it's seeking to drive the U.S. from the region. And you can kind of see right there, that Strait of Hormuz, that very narrow stretch of water that is really just the -- is where so many U.S. and Iranian military forces operate in close proximity to one another, raising the risk of miscalculation.

John. JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Ryan Browne, I know you're watching this carefully this morning. Please keep us posted.

Overnight, new developments in the political crisis in Puerto Rico. A new round of celebrities joining the growing calls for Puerto Rico's embattled governor to resign. So far Governor Ricardo Rossello is refusing to step down as these protests continue.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is live in San Juan this morning for us.

Leyla, what are you seeing?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, take a look behind me, John. You can see that there are still people guarding La Fortaleza. La Fortaleza being the governor's mansion. And it's also been the site of sort of a standoff here between protesters and police in the last few days.

Now, let's go over sort of what developed overnight. As you mentioned, at the Youth Awards for Univision last night, some of the artists took to the stage to say "ricky renunciar" (ph) and that is what's being said here, "Ricky" for Ricardo Rossello, the governor, "renunciar" for "resign." That has been the chants we have heard here on the streets of San Juan.

[06:35:01] Last night, a bit of a quiet night. And I say that comparatively speaking. We saw some protesters here chanting, but it was very peaceful and really minimal compared to what we have seen in the past here.

You know, one of the things that people are telling me is that they want to make sure their message is heard and they are concerned that it is being lost in the tension that you see, the tear gas that has been dispersed, the back and forth between protesters and police. They want to make sure that their peaceful message for many of -- asking the governor or demanding rather that the governor resign does not get lost.

Now, for the governor's part, he's digging in. He is not saying that he's going to step down any time soon. In fact, I want to read you part of the statement that he released in the afternoon in which he says that the protests have not gone unnoticed. And, quote, I recognize the challenge that I have before me because of the recent controversies, but firmly believe that it is possible to restore confidence and that we will be able, after this painful process, to achieve reconciliation.

Now, tonight we are expecting a very big protest here. The unions have already said that they will participate. And we expect more and more to have more eyes on the legislature to see if they will begin impeachment.


CAMEROTA: Yes, this is far from over. Leyla, thank you very much for being on the front lines there of it for us.

CAMEROTA: Well, it started with a racist tweet on Sunday, and by Thursday is escalated to Trump supporters shouting an anti-American chant over and over. Michael Smerconish explains this historic week as he sees it, next.


[06:40:38] CAMEROTA: Well, it's been quite a week. President Trump started by tweeting out a racist tweet on Sunday about four congresswomen of color. And then it all escalated to an ugly chant at a rally on Thursday for President Trump.

So joining us now to help us put all of this in perspective somehow is Michael Smerconish, the host of CNN's "SMERCONISH."

How do you see this week, Michael?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the conventional wisdom is that it was a disastrous week politically speaking for the president. I'm not sure that's accurate. I'm not sure that's accurate because the polling data, and I'm thinking of Ipsos (ph) and Reuters, which was post-tweets, but before the rally, showed that he was up five points with Republicans. So you say, OK, maybe it plays with the base, but how about everybody else?

There's a firm called Engagis (Ph). Engagis is doing focus groups of swing voters. People who went for Obama and then Trump. Romney and then Hillary. I just interviewed Richard Tow (ph), who ran one of these in Macomb County, Michigan, and the morning of the rally, he was on my radio show and I said, Richard, some up there thinking relative to immigration, which he told me was the push button issue. And in his words, and I took notes, he said, their mind-set is, "send them back." Then came that rally that same night in North Carolina among the hardened Trump supporters. And what I'm suggesting is that as offensive, as racist as it may be, it's striking a chord with more than just the Republican base.

BERMAN: We'll have to see. And there is a question of how it plays politically. But then there's also a question of history and morality. And I know this is something that you've been thinking a lot about, Michael. Let me just read a little bit of "The Wall Street Journal" editorial. This is P307 titled "Vicious." The 2020 campaign is shaping up to be vicious even by recent political standards, and mass antipathy is hard to control once it's unleashed. Americans will hold Mr. Trump and Republicans responsible if yahoos take Mr. Trump's words as a license for violence.

"The Journal" even saying there's something bigger going on here.

SMERCONISH: Well, it concerns me as one who has the privilege of 15 hours a week after a radio microphone, an hour a week on CNN, I'm forever mindful of the people who are listening and the people who are watching who might be unhinged and might misconstrue something that I would say, a guest would say, or a piece of tape that I would play. So it worries me as I watch that rally to think about individuals who might be incited.

And, John, here's another consideration. What happens at the next rally? What's going to be the response from the president when there certainly will be some other form of spontaneous chant? We really don't know which way this is going to go in the future.

CAMEROTA: Hey, Michael, there's already been yahoos that have been driven to violence.


CAMEROTA: There was the kook in the van with all of the Trump stickers plastered all over his van who sent bombs to news organizations and to Democrats. And there was the Tree of Life mass shooter who used the exact same terminology and talked about liking President Trump's terminology of invaders and caravans. It's already happened. We don't have to wait to see what happens when this vitriol ignites something.

SMERCONISH: Well, I think it's a good observation. And the social media world is full of it, as -- as we all know and have to live in that space.

CAMEROTA: Let's show a moment where there's another option for a Republican candidate when somebody in the crowd that you're trying to curry favor with, a voter, says something offensive. There is another option. You can take a different tact. Here is what John McCain did when it happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't trust Obama.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I -- I have read about him and he's not -- he's a -- he's an -- he's an Arab. He is not --



MCCAIN: No. No, ma'am. No, ma'am. He's a -- he's a -- he's a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that's what this campaign is all about. He's not. Thank you.


CAMEROTA: You take the microphone back from that person. That's how you do it.

SMERCONISH: Well, there was an opportunity this week for many people on the Republican side of the aisle to channel John McCain and, as you know, only four stood out and did so. It's sad that his was not the example that more sought to emulate.

[06:45:13] BERMAN: All right, Michael Smerconish. Thank you very much. I know you'll be talking about this and much, much more on your show.

CAMEROTA: Be sure to watch "SMERCONISH" tomorrow morning. He will be joined by former National Security Adviser Richard Clark to discuss cybersecurity. You can watch it, 9:00 a.m. Eastern only on CNN.

BERMAN: All right, here's a question, what do the Russians want with your face? The mega popular app that's causing all kinds of controversy. Why the U.S. Senate is now stepping in. To your face.


BERMAN: All right, new this morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate FaceApp, saying this viral app raises serious privacy concerns.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is here with the very latest.

FaceApp is this thing that makes you older. So why is Congress concerned it's so dangerous?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Sure. There's two main parts to this, John. First the terms of service, which normally nobody reads the small print, but because this app has gone so viral, people have been looking into that and they're saying, wow, this app, when you sign up to it, you're basically allowing the company to do whatever they want with your image. The fact of the matter is, though, that most apps, many apps in the app store, already sort of have terms of service like that.

[06:50:22] The second part, and the real reason we're talking about this, Schumer and the Democratic National Committee, is that the develop -- the app has been developed in Russia. So the DNC obviously hacked by Russians in 2016 warned all presidential campaign staff to delete the app immediately. But I think, you know, the app developers, of course, for their part saying, everything is above board. The images are never transferred to Russia. And that's -- in most cases they deleted the image after two days.

I think what's good about this is that we are having a conversation about the small print, which none of us normally read. And we're seeing, I guess, that people got a bit freaked out once they read this terms of service. That is in a lot of apps already. So I think it's a wider industry issue.

And, of course, you know, I think it's good that we -- some of us pause to -- to read those terms and conditions, including myself. I downloaded the app before the fallout and I think we have a picture of how I look on --

BERMAN: You've got to take care of yourself.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes. Yes. I think -- apologies to our -- the viewers for the graphic image.

BERMAN: Wow. Wow. All right, Donie O'Sullivan, thank you very much. But the bottom line is, there is concern that if the Russians wanted

to, they could use this information, facial recognition software, things like that. It could be an issue going forward is why the DNC says delete it.

O'SULLIVAN: That is the concern. There's no evidence for that, but that is the concern.

BERMAN: All right, Donie O'Sullivan, thank you. Great to have you here.

CAMEROTA: You know what I use when I want to see myself aging? A mirror.


CAMEROTA: OK? You don't need this app.

BERMAN: I keep telling you though, now you can blame the Russians.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Finally.

BERMAN: You can blame the Russians.

CAMEROTA: It's not my face cream. Thank you.

All right, meanwhile, CNN has new reporting out this hour on exactly how Democrats and Republicans are each preparing for Robert Mueller's testimony next week. We share the game plan, next.


[06:56:29] BERMAN: All right, this morning, the second round of the British Open is underway. There are roughly 600 golfers playing better than Tiger Woods right now, yet we're still going to make this story about Tiger.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Bring it, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You say this all the time and you were off the week he won the Masters, conveniently --

BERMAN: Conveniently.

SCHOLES: Because that's -- we were talking about Tiger a lot. But we talk about Tiger now because he's not going to be around to play the weekend more than likely. He had a very rough opening round. He shot 7 over par. It was his worst opening round ever at the British Open.

And things went south for him rally right off the 1st tee. Tiger lined up his shot, hit it and then started grimacing. Never a good sign after four back surgeries. You know, after winning the Masters, many had hoped Tiger was back, but he gave a really grim assessment of where he is physically. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIGER WOODS, 15-TIM MAJOR CAMPION: Just the way it is. Just -- father time and some procedures I've had over the times. Just the way it's going to be. As I said, one of the reasons why I'm playing less tournaments this year is that I can hopefully prolong my career and be out here for a little bit longer.


SCHOLES: Yes. Now, going into the first round, Rory McIlroy was the favorite to win. He grew up right near Royal Portrush, but Rory had an even worse day than Tiger. He had a quadruple bogey on hole number one, then he finished the day with a triple bogey on 18. Rory shooting 8 over for the day. Very disappointing for him. American JB Holmes right now, he's your leader. And Jordan Spieth this morning having a fantastic day. He's just two shots off the lead, John.

BERMAN: I'm rooting for JB. That's all I'm saying. Nothing about him, but I like him already.

Andy Scholes, thank you very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

BERMAN: We have incredible video of a man climbing down the side of a 19-story high-rise to escape a fire in west Philadelphia. Look at that. Just --

CAMEROTA: How is he doing that?

BERMAN: I have no idea what he's grabbing onto.

CAMEROTA: Does he prepare for that? I mean how do you -- how does he do that?

BERMAN: There was heavy smoke in the hallways. The fire started traveling up the trash shoot. Four people and three police officers were injured. The man who climbed down the side of the building, he did made to all the way to the ground safely. Wow.

CAMEROTA: What a story. What video. Oh, my gosh. I -- I would like to believe everybody would be capable of that, but I don't think we would.

OK, it's been more than 30 years, but Maverick is back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a two-star admiral by now, yet here you are, captain. Why is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's one of life's mysteries, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: Ooh, that does look good. That looks really good. I think that Tom Cruise guy has got something. I think he's going to be a big star. This is the "Top Gun" sequel, "Maverick." Tom --

BERMAN: That no one asked for.

CAMEROTA: Tom Cruise still -- he still has the iconic bomber jacket, OK? He keeps things.

BERMAN: Hasn't washed it.

CAMEROTA: He also has his aviator sunglasses. I would have lost them by now. But hot-shot young fighter pilot is now an old school flight instructor. "Top Gun: Maverick" hits theaters next summer.

I think you're underestimating this, John. I think it's going to be great.

BERMAN: Is Goose going to be in it?

CAMEROTA: I don't know.

BERMAN: He's dead.


BERMAN: All right? He's not going to be in it.


But, I mean, every 30 years, you never know. He might be back.

BERMAN: He might be back.


BERMAN: That could be a twist. That would get me to it. Go back and watch "Top Gun" again. I promise you, it's not as good as you remember, all right? It isn't. It isn't. I don't want to have to break it to you, but it's true.

[07:00:08] CAMEROTA: Well, I --

BERMAN: All right.

CAMEROTA: This one.