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More than 150 Million People Threatened by Potential Deadly Heat; U.K. to Hold Emergency Meeting after Iran Seizes Oil Tanker; Impeachment Committee Formed as Governor Refuses to Resign; Father's Fight to Reunite with Daughter Ends in Tragedy; Salary Dispute Rocks the Sanders Campaign; NASA celebrates 50 Years Since Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 20, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. Thanks for joining us.
I'm Martin Savidge, in for Fredricka Whitfield.
Right now, more than 150 million people are being told to stay inside as dangerous heat grips more than half the country. Take a look at this. Cities from New Mexico to New Hampshire -- sweltering today with heat indexes as high as 110, the result of a so-called heat dome.
People in major cities like Chicago, Indianapolis and Philadelphia are doing whatever they can to stay cool amid excessive heat warnings. City leaders encouraging people to be vigilant for signs of heat illness in themselves and those around them.
Even zoo workers are doing what they can to help the animals beat the elements.
And then there is Michigan after severe storms left more than 200,000 people without power amid this dangerous heat wave. It's going to be feel like 106 degrees in Detroit today.
We have live team coverage.
Let's begin with CNN's Polo Sandoval in New York where the city has opened hundreds of cooling centers. And Polo -- what else is the city doing to prepare?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Martin -- they are starting by issuing this excessive heat alert that is issued for the New York area recommending people either stay indoors, in the airconditioned indoors. If you're going to be out and about, either go to a nearby cooling center that's been established here in and around New York City or find any other means of staying cool which is as we have seen in the shadow of the iconic Unisphere Fountain in Queens, New York.
Let me tell you, Martin -- when you look at the numbers here broader, right. You look -- according to meteorologists, about 40 percent of the population in the lower 48 are expecting at least 95 degrees or hotter. We're talking about 95 degrees in the shade. Factor in the sun, factor in the humidity and you do have those potentially deadly conditions, particularly for the elderly and for children, those who perhaps cannot regulate body temperatures well. So authorities recommending that people certainly take care of the sections of the population here.
We have seen real impact here in and around the New York area. There was a massive festival that was canceled in New York City that was expecting a large turnout. There was sporting events that have been canceled. It's even too hot for the horses in Saratoga Springs, two races were canceled the first time in 13 years.
So it is certainly speaks to the levels of effects here.
Finally, I will say this. The concern here is that the utility grid could potentially bend under pressure. However, utility officials are saying that they are prepared and they do not expect any sort of utility shortages.
Back to you.
SAVIDGE: All right. Good news. Polo Sandoval -- thanks very much, in the heat.
Let's break down just how dangerous it can be. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins me now from the weather center. And Allison, explain why people in big cities are more susceptible than those say in outlying areas?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well yes. So both of those places re going to be warm, that's not the question here. Both of them are looking at very warm temperatures today.
But it is what happens to that heat once it gets to those areas. Here's what happens. During the day the heat comes down, it heats up both of these spaces. But it's at night, in the rural areas at night when things start to cool back down, some of that heat can be released back into the atmosphere, because it is mostly grassy surfaces, trees, plants -- things like that.
Whereas in the big cities, it is a little bit different. The pavement, the concrete which is what the majority of cities are made out of, that absorbs and retains all of that heat. So it means at night, the cities are not cooling down nearly as much as the more outlying areas are.
And that poses a threat, because if the temperature overnight cannot get below 80 degrees, that is when you start to have a lot of health problems, not just for the elderly or children, but even regular adults will end up having some health issues with this.
And again, we're not talking one or two degrees warmer. In many cases, you're talking up to 22 degrees warmer in the cities than compared to some of the outlying areas.
And this isn't just for one city we're talking about. We are looking at excessive heat alerts stretching from New Mexico all the way up towards Maine. So this is going to be a very widespread problem.
Looking at the temperatures -- these are the forecast highs for today. 96 in Chicago, 98 for Oklahoma City and Dallas, 100 degrees for the high today in Washington, D.C.
But this is different than most high pressure systems that trigger this intense temperatures. This one actually comes with very high humidity levels, too. So the heat index is what the feels-like temperature is going to be even higher.
It is going to feel like it is 108 for places like Washington, D.C. and Kansas City. 106 is what the temperature will feel like this afternoon in Chicago.
The good news is the heat is finally going to start to give way once we get to say Monday, Tuesday of the upcoming week. Then it actually switches, Martin -- for the heat to then push out to areas in the western half of the country. Places like Las Vegas and Los Angeles will get their turn for some incredibly hot temperatures.
SAVIDGE: All right. Allison Chinchar -- thanks very much for the update.
[11:04:52] Now to our other big story. Tensions are soaring right now between Iran and West. The U.K. emergency response team is meeting today after Iran captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the critical shipping area of the Strait of Hormuz. Britain warns there will be quote, "serious consequences" if Iran does not release the ship.
A short time ago, the British foreign minister spoke with his Iranian counterpart about the incident. Earlier this month Britain seized an Iranian ship it said was involved in oil smuggling. And just days ago, the U.S. claimed it destroyed an Iranian drone in the very same area.
With me is chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward, and national security reporter Kylie Atwood. Clarissa -- what is Iran trying to accomplish here?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think essentially, Martin -- what you are seeing here is that Iran has been painted into a corner in a sense. Obviously with the U.S. having left the Iran deal and having re-imposed sanctions with Iran's oil output down millions of barrels a day, with its economic situation incredibly challenging -- Iran needs to try to escalate this situation.
It needs to push its European partners who are still part of that Iran deal in order to try to facilitate some kind of movement on this because the status quo is simply unsustainable or untenable for Iran. And it is willing in the process to risk war if that is what is at stake.
Now the issue becomes the Europeans here do not want to see war, do not want to see conflict, and would like to see the Iran deal being maintained in some way, shape or form. But the reality of course, is that with the U.S. squarely now opposed to the Iran deal, with the U.S. threatening private companies in Europe who do cooperate or do business with the Iranians, and makes it virtually impossible for the Europeans despite what their intentions may be to actually follow through on implementing the deal.
And that of course makes it almost impossible for the Iranians to continue to fulfill their end of the deal.
The question then becomes, Marty -- where do we go from here? This is a very dangerous diplomatic tight rope to be walking, and many sides are very concerned that this could very quickly devolve into an all- out military conflict.
SAVIDGE: Well KYLIE -- I mean given, everything that Clarissa has said and we'd point out the U.K. is a strong ally of the U.S. But it's also been a defender of the Iran nuclear agreement. So how much damage will this relationship suffer between Iran and the U.K. and maybe even the rest of Europe as a result of this?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Right. And that is what is yet to be determined as we track how the U.K. is going to respond to this incident, because the truth of the matter is that Europe is the lifeline for Iran right now.
The U.S. has imposed sanctions, and more sanctions and more sanctions under the Trump administration after they pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Now, that has really, really tied a knot around the neck of the Iranian economy. They are struggling. That is why they are acting out here.
And the director of Defense Intelligence Agency was out here at a security conference saying that Iran is trying to change the status quo here. They can no longer operate with these tightening of the sanctions, this economic stranglehold that the U.S. has put on them.
But the question is now are they kind of putting themselves into a corner and pushing Europeans further away from them versus pulling Europeans back in to try to help them during this tough economic time.
SAVIDGE: And Clarissa -- Britain seems to be careful here in its language saying it wants to solve this diplomatically. It isn't so much stressing military here, right?
WARD: Emphatically definitely not -- Marty. Diplomatic over military -- I believe the wording that the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt used was robust but considered. And certainly just looking through the Secretary's activity on Twitter over the last day and the tone that he is taking while the U.K. wants to be unequivocal that this was wrong, that Iran is way out of line in taking this tanker, that it is nothing like the U.K. Navy seizing of an Iranian tanker that it reportedly said was trying to smuggle oil illegally into Syria.
There is also a sense if you are looking at those tweets that there is a desire to have a slightly more conciliatory tone to try to bring everyone back from the brink because the real concern here is that Iran is getting to the stage where it has nothing left to lose.
And Europe is in a much more difficult situation here. Do they try to take a stronger tone with the U.S. and say, hold on a second, because we need to keep this deal going. We need to make it work. You need to allow our private companies to continue to do business in Iran.
[11:09:59] Or do they try to take a much tougher tone on Iran? Neither of those options are very appealing for the Europeans.
And keep in mind, Marty -- as well the U.K. is in a political quagmire. There is essentially no prime minister here. Prime Minister Theresa May on her way out next week. Coming in will be a new prime minister, perhaps Boris Johnson. So all of this coming at a particularly turbulent time.
SAVIDGE: It is indeed. Clarissa Ward and Kylie Atwood -- thank you both.
So why is the Strait of Hormuz so important? It is the most crucial -- or at least one of the most crucial waterways in the global oil supply chain. This is a real-time look at all the traffic that is moving through it.
The channel is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point. 22.5 million barrels of oil pass through the strait everyday. That is nearly a quarter of the daily global oil production. If the strait were to be closed because of the threat of ongoing attacks, it could be a huge blow to the world's economy and a spike to oil prices.
Still ahead, President Trump says that he doesn't care if his attacks on four sitting U.S. congresswomen are good or not for politics. And now he is doubling down on his original attack again.
SAVIDGE: President Trump is once again on the attack and on defense as he tries to play both sides of a racist controversy surrounding him.
[11:15:01] After critics and some allies expressed concern over racist chants at one of his rallies, the President somewhat distanced himself claiming that he was quote, "unhappy" with that "send her back" chorus, but at the same time he appears to be embracing it.
The President calling the crowd incredible patriots and then reiterating that sentiment on Twitter earlier today.
I am joined by CNN White House correspondent Sarah Westwood. And Sarah -- I guess, I should begin by asking, what is the President saying now?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, President Trump this morning still standing by his initial attacks on those four progressive House Democratic freshmen, but now he seems to be sending some mixed messages about that racist chant that broke out at his Wednesday night rally in North Carolina.
The President writing on Twitter this morning from his Bedminster resort. "As you can see, I did nothing to lead people on, nor was I particularly happy with their chant. Just a very big and patriotic crowd. They love the U.S.A."
But I want you to listen for yourself just how long the President seemed to indulge that chant of "send her back" from the crowd in North Carolina before he broke in. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Send her back. Send her back. Send her back. Send her back. Send her back. Send her back. Send her back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD : Now, Trump on Thursday said that he interrupted quickly. He spoke quickly after that chant broke out in order to put a stop to it, but you heard for yourself that 13-second pause.
Trump is still continuing to double down on his attack on those four Democratic freshmen. Sources tell CNN that the President actually views that line of attack as a political success that's elevating those four congresswomen and tying them to the larger Democratic Party could be politically successful because it could help him in his quest that we will see during the 2020 race to elevate those women and define the entire Democratic Party by the far left ideas of their most progressive members.
So it hasn't all been politically successful for the President. sources tell CNN that Trump faced pressure from his aides, allies, even his own daughter Ivanka Trump to disavow those racist chants after Republicans were having a difficult time defending them.
The President yesterday as he was on his way to Bedminster said he wasn't quite sure about the political effectiveness of his attacks on Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others. Take a listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know if it is good or bad politically. I don't care. But when people are speaking so badly, when they call our country garbage -- think of that. That is worse than deplorable. When they call our country garbage, I don't care about the politics. I don't care if it's good or bad about politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: And we should note that none of the congresswomen under fire have called America or Americans garbage, they've not said that they hate America as President Trump is claiming. But he is showing no signs, Martin of down this effort to try to paint these congresswomen as anti-American. SAVIDGE: Sarah Westwood -- thanks very much for the update on the
Let's turn now to David Swerdlick. He is an assistant editor for the "Washington Post" and a CNN political commentator; and Margaret Talev is senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News and a CNN political analyst. Thank you both for joining me this morning.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: David, let me start with you. We are seeing often-used patterns from the President here from Charlottesville to the lock her up chants before that. I'm wondering, you know, the President starts a controversy, seems to embrace it, then he begins to distance himself from it. Is this just a president who can't seem to get his story straight or is this really a strategy that he believes in?
SWERDLICK: Yes, Martin. Good morning.
So the President was against send her back before he was for it, right. And I think you hit the nail on the head there. In the clip that you and Sarah just played he said I don't care about politics, but if he didn't care about politics I think it's fair to say that he would have stuck with whatever original position or whatever original conviction that he had when he did those racist tweets this past Sunday morning.
You know, it is bad enough that you have a president who will send out racist tweets. In some ways politically, it is adding insult to injury to be a hypocrite in this case, the president, and then not even be willing to stand behind your own racism in this case.
So I think what we are seeing is him trying to figure out how much this benefits him with his base which in my view does some of his base, not all of his base, does relish this tweeting and how much of it is going to cost him as he enters his re-elect, knowing that his campaign probably does need to at least try to make an appeal to swing voters or voters in the middle even if they ultimately don't win them.
SAVIDGE: And Margaret -- do you agree with David that even though the President says he doesn't care, he doesn't think it's you know, politically expedient one way or another, he really does care, doesn't he?
[11:20:04] MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Martin -- I think we have seen the President try to calibrate or recalibrate or redefine or reposition this message over the last couple of days. Thanks to the feedback not just internally from his own team but from several Republicans in Congress.
Of course, the next election will -- is where the President is standing for re-election, but also will deal with control of the Senate, the Margin in the House, and as the Republicans have found, what is good for President Trump is not always good for them. That has to be just on pure political terms part of the President's calculation. So what we have seen over the course of the last couple of days is him attempting to redefine what he said to be more about patriotism and less about immigrants.
But it is also true that the President and his political team look very closely at data, at analytics, at polling, at the makeup of their base, and that there is a large component of voters not just in the Trump base, but in that special category of people who voted for Obama once and voted for Trump in 2016 for whom concerns about immigrants taking their jobs or themselves being displaced in the economy are real concerns.
He is still (ph) looking for ways to fine tune or readjust his message so that it becomes that. And I think when you juxtapose it with this case that we've seen pop up in the last 24 hours or so, the President stepped up engagement in the case of the rapper who is now in Sweden in a jail situation, because of assault charges and the President's very personal engagement in that front.
The President is trying to make a parallel case that shows voters of color in the U.S., African-American voters, another group he says he's been working on, on the economic message, on the jobs message where he's trying to make the case that this is not about Trump versus people of color, that he is personally vouched, as you see in the tweet this morning, telling the prime minister in Sweden he is going to personally vouch for ASAP Rocky's character.
So I think this is a sort of emerging story that the President is hoping to use to kind of offset or put in context, the blowback --
SAVIDGE: Right. And feel I have black friends, too, kind of line.
So, David -- real quick, I want to ask you. You know, the President is not talking about the Democratic candidates that could be his opponent.
SAVIDGE: -- instead, he is defining the party by the squad who are people who are not running, at least not running to be candidates for president.
SIDNER: Yes, because I think he likes the matchup with the four members of the squad, all young freshmen women of color members of congress, as opposed to a message with people that even if he disagrees with them, even if he's willing later to belittle them, he sees maybe more as contemporaries.
Senator Warren, Vice President Biden, she is not running for president but Speaker Pelosi -- even if he reviles them, is willing to mock them, he sees those people as contemporaries in part because they are of a similar age.
And I think Martin, again I don't take any joy in saying this, but two and a half years into Trump's presidency I think it's fair to say also because they are white.
You have these women of color like say Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez that President Trump sees sort of coming down the way, recognizes that they have the energy in the Democratic Party. But I think from his sort of unreconstructed 80s white male business executive framework, he looks at her and says look, that is someone I would hire as a bartender at my country club, but I don't see her as an equal member of Congress, an equal branch of government.
If I can just dial down on thing Margaret said a minute ago, I agree with Margaret that that is probably how the White House sees this in terms of reframing this around patriotism. The problem, of course, is that what is more patriotic than someone like Congresswoman Omar who I personally disagree with, who I personally would criticize for having made anti-Semitic statements, but being a Somali refugee who decides to go on and serve in Congress and take an oath to the constitution. That's the problem.
SAVIDGE: Margaret, you know, you obviously cover the White House extensively. What are you hearing behind the scenes?
TALEV: I mean there is -- this is not an area of unanimity. There are some people for whom this has been a real cringe-worthy or worrisome experience and other people who say look, the President knows exactly he is doing and he is talking about the language that these members of Congress have used that a lot of American voters find offensive.
But as you could see, not just from the inside but from outside, with the engagement of the folks like Lindsey Graham, there is a lot of the multiple messaging going on here from people who are telling the President, look, make your case, but do it in a different way. You crossed a couple of lines last week.
And I think when you can see the President tweeting and retweeting kind of this is what really happened, you know, people say I am doing this, but that is not what I am doing.
[11:25:00] That is reflecting that advice that he is getting both internally and externally which is this could be an effective political message from you, but you may have crossed the line last week.
I mean look, there's two different calculations here. There are the national polls where he is facing wide condemnations from Americans who did not like that message. And then there is the reality which is that the presidential contest and electoral contests. And that sometimes politics and, you know, emotion are two different things -- so.
SAVIDGE: Well, there is still time before the election, so this could all change and go the wrong way very much for the President depending on how things turn out.
David Swerdlick, Margaret Talev -- thank you both for joining in this morning. SWERDLICK: Thanks -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: And still ahead Puerto Rico protesters, they are calling for the police to join their cause as they demand the governor's resignation. Is he on the verge of being impeached?
We'll get a live report in just a bit.
SAVIDGE: "Ricky resign" is the prevailing message to Governor Ricardo Rossello from thousands that are crowding the streets of Puerto Rico0. Lawmakers there are even taking it one step further creating a special committee to advise the House president on the impeachment process.
[11:30:02] 900 pages of leaked private chats from Rossello's messenger group have ignited fury that it contained misogynistic and homophobic exchanges between the governor and his cabinet.
CNN's Leyla Santiago is in San Juan for us. And Leyla -- the governor's press secretary resigned last night but apparently the governor is showing no sign of doing the same even though he's facing possible impeachment, right?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I checked in with the governor's office and they say they are not even considering that. This morning he continues to work.
But about those chats -- Martin. Right now here at the capitol, there are a group of people actually reading out the nearly 900 pages of those chats. But it's important to note that for many Puerto Ricans here, this is not just about those chats. They consider those chats sort of the boiling point.
For them, this is about years of corruption that are sort of displayed, many will tell you, in those chats. The insults that were exchanged were personal for many people, but this is a much bigger picture. This is about the people who were involved, who were public and private officials, and so, this is the word that we keep hearing is corruption and resign.
Now, there have been days of protests, I will say that last night was festive and peaceful. A few days ago that was not the case. Tear gas dispersed into the streets of San Juan.
But there is a standoff here, all right. The governor is saying I am not going anywhere. The protesters are saying I am not going anywhere and there are more protests planned specifically for Monday.
Monday is what many here are planning for. There are talks of what will happen to sort of cut off parts of the roads to make sure that the calls for resignation are heard beyond this island as the governor continues to say, again, we just checked in with them, that he has no plans. He is not even considering the possibility of stepping down.
SAVIDGE: Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, I believe, is in Puerto Rico, she says to stand with the people. What does she say?
SANTIAGO: Well, she is in San Juan. She arrived last night. And yes, she too, has joined the conversation saying that she stands with the people.
But let's go a little broad here, Martin. She is not the only candidate doing so. We have heard from Castro, O'Rourke, Biden this morning, Warren -- all chiming in here. And so the context there is that this is becoming a talking point on the 2020 campaign trail.
And let's keep this in mind, remember, after Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans were forced to leave this island, to flee over to the states. This is U.S. Territory, and while Puerto Ricans do not have a right to vote for the President on this island, when they leave to go to the states, they do.
So these candidates that are now chiming in are also speaking to the diaspora, the thousands of Puerto Ricans in the States that are paying close attention to what is being talked about for 2020 and now have the right to vote for the President of the United States.
SAVIDGE: Well, that is a great point.
Leyla Santiago -- thank you very much for joining us.
Still ahead, a heartbreaking story. A father tries for years to join his daughter in the U.S., but the reunion came too late with the 13- year-old on her death bed after a suicide attempt.
[11:33:39] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAVIDGE: A 13-year-old girl from Honduras thought that she would never see her father again after he was denied asylum in the U.S. so she attempted to take her own life. And now her father must make the most heartbreaking decision any parent can make.
Our Ed Lavandera has more on this tragic story.
MANUEL GAMEZ, HONDURAN ASYLUM SEEKER: This is the hardest thing for a man. To know that the most important thing in his life is gone.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Manuel Gamez is living nightmare, watching his life unravel. He's on his last walk to say good-bye to his 13-year-old daughter who's been on life support since she attempted to take her own life in early July and the pain of knowing his attempts to cross the border failed to make it in time is too much to bear.
Manuel says he was in a detention facility in Texas when he got the news that his daughter had tried to commit suicide by hanging herself.
GAMEZ: I promised her that we would be together. I think she lost faith.
LAVANDERA: Gamez was given an ankle monitor and a two-week humanitarian parole so he could see his daughter one last time.
Why do you think your daughter did this.
He says she lost hope that they were going to be reunited.
LAVANDERA: This family's story captures the often excruciating reality of desperate families separated by a border. In 2014, Manuel Gamex was an undocumented immigrant who had spent seven years living on Long Island, New York working as a mechanic. His father was taking care of his daughter in Honduras.
Manuel says that his father was killed by MS-13 gang members in 2014 for not paying extortion bribes. And then after that he decided to send his daughter here in the United States to live with family members in New York, and that she was granted asylum.
LAVANDERA: Gamez thought if his daughter had been granted asylum he would as well but he was denied. After that he crossed the border illegally twice hoping to reunite with his daughter who was now thriving, learning English and dreaming of a career in medicine while living with his sisters.
But Heydi would often break down in tears because she missed her father. Jessica and Zoila Gamez-Garcia are Heydi's aunts. Zoila was the one who discovered her after she attempted to take her own life.
Earlier that night, Heydi was distraught over learning her father was once again caught by border patrol and was being held in an immigration detention center.
ZOILA GAMEZ-GARCIA, HEYDI'S AUNT: She often cried when we would tell her that her father couldn't come. She would cry and lock herself in her room and when she didn't feel like talking she would tell me I don't want to talk. I would say that's ok and I would give her space.
[11:40:04] I feel I didn't know how to take good care of her. I feel like I failed her. I didn't know what it was. I don't know why. I don't know why I didn't know how to protect her.
LAVANDERA: What are you going to tell your daughter there at the end?
He says that he is going to ask her to forgive him for failing her.
He says that it was never his intention to leave her alone.
Manuel Gamez was by his daughter's side when she was taken off life support. As he stood by her the day before, he caressed his daughter's hand and face and whispered, "we love you, don't leave us".
And now Manuel Gamez prepares to be deported.
Manuel Gamez must turn himself in to immigration authorities again by July 27th, a little more than a week away. His lawyer tells us that they would try to file some sort of legal motions that would grant him a reprieve, but because he has entered the country twice illegally, that becomes a much more difficult fight.
Ed Lavandera, CNN -- New York.
SAVIDGE: Still ahead, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders getting slammed over so-called poverty wages that he is paying his campaign team. How he is responding, next.
[11:41:46] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAVIDGE: On the surface it looks like a case of practice what you preach. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has campaigned around the country to raise the minimum wage to $15, but a salary dispute between his unionized campaign staffers and upper management threatens to undermine his political message. The issue is bound to come up today as he is campaigning in Iowa.
CNN's Ryan Nobles is in Council Bluffs. And Ryan -- what is the crux of the matter and more importantly, what is Sanders saying about it?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Martin -- it actually is a pretty complicated issue at its core because the field staff workers for Bernie Sanders are not paid by the hour. They are salaried employees. And the original salary that was agreed to and negotiated through their union, the Union of Food and Commercial Workers worked out to $36,000 a year salary which on a 40-hour work week works out to be more than $15 an hour.
But the demands of the campaign require these workers to often work much more than 40 hours a week, sometimes 60 hours a week, and that is why many of them went to the "Washington Post" to complain that they believe that their salaries should be increased.
Now we should point out that the union and the campaign were in the process of negotiating a raise when this story first came out. And that is what has Bernie Sanders a little upset today. He is right now speaking behind me at this office opening in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Sanders is upset that he feels staff would decide to go to the press instead of work through the negotiating process to try and come up with a solution to this problems. And Sanders told the "Des Moines Register" last night that he was disappointed that they decided to take that route.
And he also told the "Washington Post" this. He said quote, "We have a historic contract agreement that provides unprecedented protections and benefits. Through that framework, we are committed to addressing concerns and good faith through the bargaining process and that is continuing."
In fact, I talked to a union official yesterday who described the contract that was signed between the campaign and the union as a historic one and he said it's a good contract. They get full health insurance benefits, 100 percent of their premiums paid for but this issue of compensation is one that still needs the be resolved. So as you point out, Martin -- it does put Sanders who was championing the idea of $15 minimum wage as late as the end of this week when the House passed that legislation. This is an example of him dealing with the reality of that and putting it into practice -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: It will be interesting to see if this follows Bernie Sanders into the next round of debates.
Ryan Nobles -- thanks very much for that.
And speaking of the debates the lineups are set for the CNN Democratic presidential debates. Two big nights, ten candidates each night. And that is July 30th and 31st live from Detroit. And of course only on CNN.
Much more ahead in the NEWSROOM.
But first, here is this week's "Wander Must".
SARA LACOCO, BRECKENRIDGE SKI RESORT: The town of Breckenridge is established as one of the largest historic districts in Colorado and we have a vibrant mountain community with a pretty laidback vibe. Breckenridge is known for its award winning arts and nature scenes. The culinary experiences and more than 250 miles of interconnected trails for hiking and biking nearby.
The peace of Breckenridge Ski Resort serve as the backdrop when you're here in town. The Breckenridge (ph) gondola is a free and fun trip for taking options and access to great views and summer activities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The electric bikes offer a super unique way to explore Breckenridge and get off of the beaten path of main street a little bit. There's a lot of hidden views up high here in the mountains. It's easier to get up there with an electric bike. People are always surprised by how much distance and height they can cover. Everybody who goes on an electric bike tour comes back with a smile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eating at the Hearth Stone is a unique experience because of the farm to table cuisine. We're in an old Victorian house that's over 140 years old.
Some of our favorite dishes are beef carpaccio salad with (INAUDIBLE) goat cheese. And my favorite and seems like everybody else's favorite is the Colorado rack of lamb.
Come to Breckenridge and enjoy our great hospitality. You are always welcome.
[11:49:52] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAVIDGE: 50 years ago today half a billion people -- I was one of them as a young kid -- glued to our television screens as two men walked on the moon for the very first time. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins all flew that historic Apollo 11 mission.
But it was Armstrong who took that first pivotal step. The mission wasn't without problems. NASA later said there were just 30 seconds of fuel left in the tank when Armstrong climbed down that ladder and said this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL ARMSTRONG, ASTRONAUT: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: CNN's Rachel Crane joins me now from Apollo Mission Control in Houston. And Rachel -- just tell us about the significance of what it's like to be in that room.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin -- this is about as cool of a location as it gets for a live shot. I mean this is the iconic Apollo Mission Control. This is the room where it happened, where 50 years ago today the scientists and engineers were able to pull off the incredible feat of landing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
And it feels as if the engineers and the scientists just stepped away from their desks as a result of a six-year restoration project. And the attention to detail is simply outstanding. Everything from the wallpaper to the carpets, to the cigarette butts, the ashtrays.
[11:54:56] I mean it is all as authentic as it gets and we have the opportunity to speak with Scott Millican, who was an astronaut trainer during the Apollo program. He was in the room when Neil Armstrong took those first steps.
He spoke about the emotion of being back in this room 50 years later, sitting in his seat. Take a listen to what he had to say.
SCOTT MILLICAN, FORMER APOLLO ENGINEER AND ASTRONAUT TRAINER: Well, sitting in the seat again after 50 years when we were stepping out on the moon is a really emotional thing. It's quite emotional for me this year especially.
And I wasn't so emotional about things back when it happened, and I really didn't realize that we were making a big historical event. I was doing my job as an engineer, doing my tasks that had to be done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CRANE: Now, Martin, I just want to point out a couple of incredible details, everything from these are the cigarettes that they were smoking. These are the actual Apollo 11 flight plans on the consoles. And Martin -- this is really an amazing ticker.
This here, this is where the flight surgeon sat. This is the astronauts' heartbeats here displayed on the monitor. So really such a labor of love restoring this iconic Apollo mission control room to all of its glory -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Well, you said it best. It looks just like they just stepped away for a moment.
Rachel Crane -- thanks very much for that fascinating stuff.
Still ahead, a dangerous heat wave is gripping more than half the country. It will feel like 110 degrees in some places this weekend. What's causing this blistering heat and how long will it last? We'll have the answers next.
[11:56:37] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
Hello there. Thanks for joining me.