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Debt Ceiling Talks Resume, Biden And McCarthy To Meet Tomorrow; Interview With Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA); Wagner Mercenaries Claim They Have Captured Bakhmut; Crowd Crush At Soccer Venue Kills 12 And Injures Dozens In El Salvador; Soon: SpaceX To Launch Mission Of Private Passengers To ISS; Biden Bets DeSantis' "Florida Blueprint" Will Help Him Flip The Sunshine State And Win Reelection. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 21, 2023 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

And we begin this hour with breaking news on the ever-changing status and tone of the high stakes debt talks. Just moments ago we learned that President Biden has agreed to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tomorrow in the nation's capital. And staff level talks between the two sides will resume in just a few hours.

The two men agreeing to a one-on-one meeting after what McCarthy called a productive phone call today with the president as he flew home from the G7 aboard Air Force One.

And before departing Japan, Biden painted a grim picture telling reporters that he cannot guarantee the U.S. will not default in 11 days when the U.S. government runs out of money and is unable to pay its bills.

We've got team coverage of these new developments. Phil Mattingly is in Japan at the G7 summit. But let's begin with Melanie Zanona on Capitol Hill.

So Melanie, Speaker McCarthy just spoke about his call with the president on Capitol Hill. What did he say?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is signaling that this could be a much needed reset for these talks after a weekend of stalled negotiations and rejected offers.

They connected on the phone today. Speaker McCarthy said they talked about a number of things. It was a cordial phone call. They talked about debt ceiling. They talked about the president's trip abroad but perhaps most importantly is that they agreed to continue talking.

President Biden and McCarthy will meet in person tomorrow and some of the key negotiators are going to continue to meeting later today. Here's a little bit more about what Kevin McCarthy said of that phone



REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I believe it was a productive phone call. And so at the end of the phone call what we agreed to do is we're going to have Congressmen Garret Graves and Patrick McHenry get back together with -- he's going to ask his team to get back together so we can walk them through literally what we've been talking about.

I think some of the challenges here is they might not completely understand how we're coming about this.


ZANONA: Now, these types of breakdowns in these high stakes negotiations are not uncommon. Sometimes the negotiators just need to step away, cool off, take some time to reset.

So now that Biden is back in the country perhaps what we could see is some movement forward. But I would caution here that the two sides are still very far apart.

And sources tell me that the biggest sticking point is spending levels. Republicans want to impose fiscal 2022 levels on future spending. The White House wants to freeze spending so essentially sticking where we are now, which they said still would amount to cuts over time when you account for inflation which is how the score keepers score it.

But Republicans say that is not enough. So all the other sticking points that also need to be resolved, none of that is going to fall in place until they can resolve this big issue which is the spending cuts.

And on top of there being, you know, wide gaps between the two sides, there is also the time line. Kevin McCarthy initially had said he wanted a deal in principle by either today or tomorrow in order to be able to move this through in time to avoid a default. So the clock is ticking and the stakes couldn't be higher.

WHITFIELD: Ok. Melanie, thank you so much.

Phil, where you are in Japan, I mean this back and forth, this is customary, right, when we talk about this juncture. But is the president particularly optimistic about what may be next?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look Fred, I'll tell you, it is late in the game, right. We've been through many of these over the course of the last several years. You have, Mel has, I have.

It is very late in the game right now for the two sides to, a, be this far apart and, b, just be now trying to pull things back together. But that was very much the intent of the president's very stark warnings, very steadfast position that he laid out at his press conference before departing Hiroshima earlier this afternoon.

This evening could be another day, kind of losing track of time at this point over here. But what they were trying to do is essentially set up the mechanism for that reset. Obviously the staff level discussions had had some productive days, had met for many hours. However when they started trading proposals back and forth, every proposal had been rejected and not just rejected but made very clear from both sides that they were complete nonstarters on their face including on all of the top line critical elements.

So the biggest question is tonight when the White House negotiating team gets back together with their House Republican counterparts, it is not just are there cooler heads, it's is there actual policy where they think can thread the needle between these two very divergent sides of things and what does that set up for the meeting of the principals tomorrow.

You know, the president said something interesting, kind of just flicked at the idea that perhaps the speaker wants to have a one-on- one negotiation with me.


MATTINGLY: And I can say unequivocally that is exactly what Speaker Kevin McCarthy wants. It's what he's wanted for several months when the White House has been unwilling to negotiate because they don't think you should negotiate over raising the debt ceiling.

That appears to be where things are headed. Staff level discussions on a regular basis and the two principals trying to hash things out. That is a kind of formula that works traditionally if you look at past precedent. The problem right now again it's not only the two is you have 11 days to figure this out. This is not an easy process and it is not just about can the two leaders reach an agreement. Can the two negotiating teams reach an agreement.

Then you have to make sure that the votes are there. How many Republicans can you lose? How many Democrats can you lose. That's something White House officials have been trying to map out and game out.

And then how do you actually get it across the House and the Senate floors and to the president's desk for his signature. This is a very compressed time line. The two sides are very far apart.

However, given how bad things appeared to be over the course of the last 24 hours, this is progress. The question is does this develop into anything real because they simply don't have time for anything else, Fred.

WHITFIELD: We'll soon find out, won't we. Phil Mattingly, Melanie Zanona, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

Let's talk more about all of this, about the G7 and of course, the debt crisis. Here he is, Congressman John Garamendi. He is a Democratic representative from California and a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Congressman, great to see you. I mean I wonder, do you agree with, you know, what Phil Mattingly was just saying and that this is late in the game. At the same time perhaps was this or is this part of President Biden's strategy, does he find this is advantageous to be at this juncture on the eve of a face-to-face meeting with Kevin McCarthy?

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Well Fred, it's good to be with you this morning and Phil did a good job laying out some of the issues.

But the reality is Congress rarely acts ahead of a very serious deadline. Really, I've been around long enough both in the state and the federal level to know that it is up to the last moment when people have to either give in or pay the consequences of not doing so.

We're not quite there yet. 11 days out. We're going to see some back and forth. But the president has been very, very clear. It is wrong. It is wrong to use the debt limit which has catastrophic economic effects in the United States and around the world as a fulcrum (ph) upon which to leverage appropriations.

The appropriation process takes place every year. And that remains available to the Republicans in the days ahead. Let's get this debt limit out of the way. And I would hope that when the president lands here in Washington in the hours ahead, that he gets off the plane and he says ok, Mr. McCarthy, we'll meet, but my lawyers are writing up how to use the 14th Amendment to put all of this foolishness behind us. And then you and I, we'll get on, we'll talk about the appropriations process over the next several weeks and months.

Why do you think it is important to proceed with the 14th Amendment option? The president said he thinks he could invoke that. You are one of many who penned a letter encouraging the president to do so. I mean do you believe that this is important leverage? Do you believe he does indeed have the authority to use it if and when we get to that point?

GARAMENDI: Well, I'm certainly not a constitutional lawyer. But top constitutional lawyers, Tribe among them, have said to do this. Get this foolishness, get this debt thing out of the way.

It has been in the way back in 2011, we came within 72 hours of a debt crisis. The result of that was ten years of sequestration in which the budget of the United States was seriously hindered and reduced compared to inflation.

Now, it appears as though the Republicans are going to go back and play that same play once again using the debt limit to restrict appropriations into the future.

At the same time they are demanding a 5 percent increase in military spending while looking to a 20 percent cut on everything else. And also keep in mind that they have demanded, although this is not discussed much, I think it is still on the table, still a demand of the Republicans, that the Inflation Reduction Act which has a tax increase on corporations and on the super wealthy and most important of all $360 billion over the next five years to move the American economy from a petroleum oil economy to a green renewable economy.


GARAMENDI: The Republicans have demanded and as far as we can figure out are still demanding the repeal of that legislation. And I should also mention significant health care cuts.

So you look at the -- they are demanding the end of the green technologies, the continuation of oil and gas, and the elimination of the tax increases on American corporations that have paid no taxes for the last decade, 15 percent minimum tax for those corporations.

WHITFIELD: And one of the other, you know, key sticking points is new work requirements for some recipients of federal anti-poverty assistance. I mean is that an area or any of the other areas that you just spelled out -- are those areas in which the president is willing to give in on incrementally? And if so, would Democrats like yourself be on board with that?

GARAMENDI: Well, we have had work requirements since well, back in 1998 when Clinton agreed to work requirements. They have been modified over time. It really depends what are the Republicans demanding here. Are they demanding that the age of the infirmed, the people that have mental illness, the people that cannot work, they want them to work? Is that what they're talking about.

Do they want children and families to go hungry because parents are unable to find a job and they need the food stamp program?

What are they talking about here? So we have to be really careful. There is a lot of hurt. There's a lot of hurt in America. There is a lot of people that are seriously hurting. Hurting for food, hurting for housing, hurting for support, medical support.

What are the Republicans talking about here? You either go to work, what kind of work, how many hours a day, where are the jobs, where is the preparation for the work. All of those things are critically important in the discussion about work requirements and thus far Republicans are very, very simplistic about a very important and difficult process.

WHITFIELD: And it will hurt if the president and the GOP can't come up with a deal to avoid a default. How immediately do you think Americans will feel it?

GARAMENDI: Well, immediately. Interest rates on credit cards will go through the roof. Interest rates on government borrowing, all kinds of corporate borrowing, business borrowing all of that.

And importantly in terms of national security, the American dollar has been the reserve currency for every country in the world including China. If we cannot pay the interest and redeem the bonds that come due, then the American dollar will fail as reserve currency. Guaranteed. China will step in. It is extremely important who controls the reserve currency around the

world. Right now America does. Do you want to hand that to China? Is that what the Republicans want to do? They want to give China one more advantage? They already have other advantages.

The reserve currency, China has been trying to make beyond the reserve currency of the world. They failed because the American economy is coming back, is strong, has been stable.

Republicans are about to throw all of that over the bridge and let China have that advantage. No way, no how. This is a major international security issue for the United States.

WHITFIELD: Another global issue if I could shift gears now to President Biden's decision, you know, to finally allow U.S. allies to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and help train their pilots. Do you agree with this? What's been really a reversal, the president wasn't on board for a very long time and now he is giving a green light to that.

Do you agree with him or are there any remaining concerns that you have?

GARAMENDI: Well certainly the concern has always been how would those fighter jets be used. They can reach into Russia and we don't want that to happen. So apparently there has been some agreement with Ukraine about that issue.

Also the Russians have a very powerful air defense system called the S-400. It sits just inside the Russian border. It has a 500 mile reach, way into Ukraine.

There has been serious concern about the use of these F-16s up against the S-400. Obviously we like our Lone Patriot. But we know that the S- 400 is near equal and perhaps equal to the Patriot in its lethality.

So we want to be very careful here about how these jets are going to be used. The Ukrainian pilots have been extraordinarily successful with the MIG-29. Being able to use a very old jet very successfully and countering the Russians' much more advanced jets .


GARAMENDI: They get their hands on the F-16, then within the Ukraine border, keeping an eye on those S-400 air defense systems that the Russians have, they can be very, very useful Particularly in an offense that Ukrainians are about and perhaps are already doing to provide support on the frontlines.

We'll see what happens. I think that the decision by the president over the previous time was wise. The decision to move forward now is probably out of date. Should have happened a little bit earlier. But here we are. Let's move forward.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it there. Congressman John Garamendi, great to see you. Thanks so much. GARAMENDI: Thank you, Fred. Have a good day.

WHITFIELD: Thank you. You as well.

All right. Along with the jets, President Biden also pledging a new $375 million military package for Ukraine during his meetings with Ukraine's President Zelenskyy. And he also got a big demonstration of unity from G7 leaders. They're vowing support for quote, "as long as it takes", end quote.

Meantime back in Ukraine, the war rages on. Russian-backed mercenaries are claiming they have captured the town of Bakhmut after months of brutal fighting.

Ukraine says it still holds some of the territory. Here is what Zelenskyy said earlier today.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I clearly understand what is taking place in Bakhmut and we all clearly understand why all of that is taking place. I cannot share with you the technical views of our military, of our warriors, but as of today, we can see that the country which dozens times is bigger than we are, cannot occupy us, cannot win in this war.

And we understand that a bit more and then we will be prevailing. That is why we are acting how we're acting, valuing lives of the people. The hardest is if Bakhmut had some military technical mistake for instance and people could be surrounded. Then all the military know what could happen.

How we could create a situation for people not to be captured. Now our people are accomplishing a very important mission. They are now in Bakhmut. I will not share where exactly but it witnesses that Bakhmut is not occupied by Russian Federation as of today.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Sam Kiley is in southeastern Ukraine. So Sam, what is the status of Bakhmut?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a city of little tactical and almost no strategic value that is subjected to a bloody, bloody campaign conducted over nearly a year now between the two sides.

And at the moment in the ebb and flow of the battle, the Russian mercenary organization is claiming to be in control of the urban area but not in the peripheral areas, the north and southern flanks are increasingly being controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces who show every sign of being able to crush them in the jaws of those flanking movements, crush down on the mercenaries inside the now destroyed towns.

So this may well be apparent (ph) victory for Prigozhin, leader of the mercenaries, because it now creates Bakhmut town which is rubble in any case a free fire kill zone for Ukrainian forces and no doubt they will be taking advantage of that status over the coming days. I think almost inevitably and there has been a lot of hints about that.

But this doesn't represent even if they don't manage to do that a very significant tactical step forward for the Russians. It remains a symbolic victory that no doubt and is being drum trumpeted somewhat by the Kremlin because after very many months of bitter fighting and military disasters in Kherson and in the Kharkiv campaigns at the end of the last year, Russia lost ground that it captured very quickly at the beginning of this war and has been on the back foot ever since.

So a minor tactical victory trumpeted by the Russians, and one they may yet regret.

WHITFIELD: All right. Sam Kiley in Ukraine, thank you so much. Be safe.

All right. Coming up, an investigation is under way into what caused a deadly crowd crush at a soccer stadium in El Salvador. At least a dozen people were killed and nearly 100 injured.

Plus four private civilians will blast off to the International Space Station in just about three hours from now if the weather holds. We're live at the Kennedy Space Center next.



WHITFIELD: At least 12 people are dead and dozens more injured after fans were crushed when they rushed through a gate at a soccer stadium in El Salvador last night. A health official said around 90 people are being treated for injuries, most are in stable condition. According to police, the incident happened when fans tried to enter the venue to watch the match between two of the country's most popular soccer teams.

The country's president promised an exhaustive investigation into the incident and that those responsible will not be unpunished.

CNN's Stefano Pozzebon is joining us with more on this. So what is the latest and how did this happen?


The latest is that authorities in El Salvador are believing that the issuing of extra tickets or even overselling the tickets or even issuing fraudulent tickets is one of the causes behind the tragedy. Essentially fans were outside. They're trying to enter the stadium and realized that they were sold -- that their tickets were not valid.


POZZEBON: And so a mass was outside they tried to enter the stadium and that caused the stampede that led to the death of up to 12 people at this moment.

That also makes sense because the match was suspended around the 20th minute of the first half which suggests that it was still early in the evening when the crash occurred.

The authorities in El Salvador are saying that they want to get to the bottom of this. They want to start an investigation and the company that manages the Estadio Cuscatlan, the Cuscatlan Stadium which is the largest in the country is being formally investigated earlier today on Sunday.

But this is also a test I think, Fredricka, for Bukele himself, the president of El Salvador, who has ruled in the last few years and has cemented his power with a certain disdain frankly for democracy but on the promise that he was the right man to bring back peace, order to a country that has been ravaged by organized crime in the last few decades.

And seeing the scenes of total chaos in the largest stadium in the country just a few hundred meters away from the capitol city of El Salvador of course, spells nothing of orderly. And so it's interesting to see how Bukele will react to such a tragedy and what comes further for El Salvador, frankly, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Stefano Pozzebon, thank you so much.

All right. And this quick programming note. Shimon Prokupecz will returns to Uvalde, Texas where the community is still seeking answers and families have turned to CNN for the footage that Texas authorities refused to release.

A new episode of "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER" airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. right here on CNN. We'll be right back.




WHITFIELD: All right. Let the countdown begin. In a few hours, SpaceX will launch four passengers on a private mission to the International Space Station. As long as the weather cooperates, the Axiom 2 mission will launch aboard a SpaceX rocket from the Kennedy Space Center. It is the next in a lineup of flights that Axiom and NASA hope will encourage more private participation in space flight.

CNN's Carlos Suarez is joining me now from the Kennedy Space Center.

Carlos, how are things looking?

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fred. So, things are looking good here at the Kennedy Space Center. The weather has cleared up giving us about a 75 percent chance of a launch later today. In fact, we're told that the astronauts are suited up, they are expected to walk out at any minute now. Now, earlier this afternoon, we were able to catch up with them as

they made their way here to Kennedy Space Center, they spent about 10 to 15 minutes saying good-bye to family and friends.

As you noted, the Axiom 2 space mission is going to be the second ever private mission to the International Space Station, four crew members are going to be on board. We're talking about Peggy Whitson. She is the commander, a former NASA astronaut with a great deal of experience. She was a commander at the International Space Station and has spent 665 days in space.

She was joined by John Shoffner, he is the mission pilot. And they were joined by two Saudi nationals, Ali AlQarni, he is a mission specialist, as well as Rayannah Barnawi. She's also a mission specialist. And she is poised to make some history here later this afternoon with the first Saudi woman in space, the four-member crew is expected to spend eight days at the International Space Station. They just walked out a few seconds ago. You can see them there in their spacesuits, waving and getting ready for this.

They're going to essentially undertake well over a dozen experiments during their time at the international space station. We're talking about testing out a new communications system to taking a look at some technology that Axiom 2 says will improve the life of space travelers. They're even going to take a look at some cancer research. It's going to take this four-member crew anywhere between 15 to 16 hours to reach the ISS after they take off from here at Kennedy Space Center.

The rocket booster for the first time we're going to see it essentially land here at Kennedy Space Center which is something that we normally don't see because the rocket booster lands out at sea really aboard a drone ship.

So, again right now, Fred, it seems like things are a go. Again, we're looking at about a 75 percent chance of launch later this afternoon with liftoff scheduled to take place at 5:37 Eastern Standard Time -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Very exciting. And, of course, they're going to be in Teslas there as they're about to make their way, you know, to the capsule. This is very exciting.

Do we know how -- how long their commute is before they actually load up?

SUAREZ: Well, Fred, it doesn't seem like it's quite long. Their commute from the helicopter to one of the cars is just really a couple of minutes and you'd imagine from here, getting out to the Axiom 2 spaceship. It won't be too long.

It's interesting. In hearing some of the conversations that they were having with their family members, at one point, you got a sense that they are just eager to get this mission going.

John Shoffner, the mission pilot, at one point told his family, let's go. [14:35:04]

We're excited, let's do this.

Everyone as you can see there by the live pictures is just ready to get this launch going here later this afternoon.

WHITFIELD: Very fun. And we're along with them on the journey thus far, as they're about to embark on a really, really big journey.

Carlos Suarez, keep us posted. Thank you so much.

All right. Coming up, when he enters the 2024 race, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will undoubtedly tout his far right agenda. What the Biden campaign is planning to flip that DeSantis blueprint and use it to win back the state.


WHITFIELD: All right. This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to make husband run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination official with an announcement. It's anticipated DeSantis will run a campaign based on his track record in Florida that he likes to call his Florida blueprint.


But it's also a record that President Biden believes has become too extreme for Florida voters. And CNN has learned that Biden and Democratic officials are now working on plans to use DeSantis' record against him to make a push to turn the state from red to blue in the next election.

CNN's Isaac Dovere is joining us with more on this exclusive reporting.

Isaac, what more are you learning about this Democratic plan to try to win Florida in 2024?


It's a plan that goes into Florida and trying to make the state competitive again. It has not been competitive since Barack Obama won there in 2012. But it's also a plan to talk about Ron DeSantis' record all around the country as sort of a warning the Biden people saying that they feel like America doesn't want to have the kind of laws in place that Ron DeSantis has put in place.

It's talking about things like the ban on abortions after six weeks that the governor signed just a few weeks ago, cracking down on illegal immigration. The kind of feud that he has been having with Disney over the last few months that tracks back to the bill the critics call the "don't say gay" bill about how LGBTQ issues are handled in the classroom. And, of course, other things as well such as the change in the gun laws that are allowed there. So, those are things that are very much part of Ron DeSantis' record

that he is proud of, that he's gotten in Florida. Joe Biden saying Florida doesn't want that and the country doesn't want that is what we should expect over the course of the campaign.

Whether or not Ron DeSantis ends up as nominee. And we're going to see that be a big part of the conversation. I talked to Congressman Maxwell Frost, who is a 26-year-old freshman congressman from Orlando, and he said that it is about talking -- that whatever happens here, the president is not going to let Ron DeSantis move away from his record and the things that frost and others say are egregious attacks against democracy.

WHITFIELD: All right. I thought we're going to have a sound bite there, but you did a great job paraphrasing what he was thinking and saying. Sorry about that pregnant pause.

All right. Isaac Dovere, thank you so much.

DOVERE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, there is a nationwide shortage of umpires for Little League games and it appears that unruly and angry parents are to blame. We'll explain next.



WHITFIELD: Another mass shooting overnight, this time at a night club in Kansas City, Missouri. Police say three people were killed and two wounded when gunfire broke out around 1:30 this morning. One of the wounded is hospitalized in critical condition. The other is in stable condition.

Investigators are searching the scene for evidence and potential witnesses. They are asking anyone with information about the shooting to come forward saying that there is a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Youth sports, well, supposed to be a place where kids can pick up skills, have a little fun, important life lessons like learning how to play fair, to lose with grace. But the uptick in abuse against umpires in youth sports is now having a dramatic impact, a nationwide umpire shortage.

And as CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich reports, parents are not helping.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It's one of America's favorite pastimes.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Baseball is like, it's very fun.

YURKEVICH: But the kids fun is being ruined by -- adults. Around the country, brawls are breaking out at youth baseball games. A

coach coming after an empire at a Little League game in Alabama.

UNDENTIFIED MALE: We already heard you.

UNDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to forfeit the team.

YURKEVICH: Parents aggressively yelling at an umpire in Texas.

I can't understand what could get someone so upset at a children's baseball game.

JOHN DUGAN, PRESIDENT OF RAMSEY BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION: I'm with you. I don't understand it either. There is an expectation that, you know, every game is do-or-die for their kids future in this sport.

YURKEVICH: The physical and verbal abused by parents is having a dramatic impact. And umpire shortage. Since 2017, the number of youth umpires in the U.S. has dropped. And at the high school level, there are nearly 20,000 fewer referees across all sports than before the pandemic, but with signs those numbers may tick up this year.

DUGAN: We've suspended people from the park.

YURKEVICH: Suspended parents from the park?


YURKEVICH: For how long?

DUGAN: Usually, it's -- usually it's one game, two games to begin with, and then if it becomes worse than that, then we ask them not to come back.

YURKEVICH: On this picture perfect evening in Ramsey, New Jersey, that Robins are playing the Orioles.

Twenty-one-year veteran umpire Carl Kearny is calling this Little League game.


The balls out there, no doubt.

YURKEVICH: He is a calm boss.

KEARNEY: All right, here we go.

YURKEVICH: Which works in his favor.

How have parents been in recent years?

KEARNEY: Some can be a little louder than the coaches. Some vulgarity at times but I let the parents say what they're going to say. If they continue, then you have to tell the coach, we have to kind of manage the parents. [14:50:02]

If you don't calm that down, I'm going to have to ask you to remove them.

YURKEVICH: Mike Wood has gotten into his fair share of arguments with umpires.

MIKE WOOD, FATHER OF LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER: It has been suggested maybe I should leave the game, but --

YURKEVICH: Suggested by who?

WOOD: But we never -- we never got to that point.

YURKEVICH: Suggested by who?

WOOD: By the umpire. The umpire has said, look, I mean, if I don't like the way you are calling the game, you can leave. I'm not going to leave, and it doesn't mean I have to enjoy the way they are calling the game, you know?

YURKEVICH: But his son, Jack, catcher for the Orioles, and Evan, catcher for the Robins, see it from a different perspective.

JACK WOOD, LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER: The umpire is the top tier man, you have to respect him.

YURKEVICH: Do you think it is appropriate for parents to be so involved, yelling things at the empire?

EVAN PETERFRIEND, LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER: They should be excited and focused on the game but, like, when they talk to umpires and like yell at the calls and stuff, I think that's a little unnecessary, maybe.

YURKEVICH: Unnecessary because why?

PETERFRIEND: Because like, it's a kids game. It's just Little League. So, kids are just trying to have fun.

YURKEVICH: When adults behave badly, the kids lose.

KEARNEY: I have to stop the game. Nobody wants that. I can also understand that a parent wants their child to succeed, but not at that price.

YURKEVICH: In the end, the Robins beat the Orioles for first place. Really, everyone is a winner. It was a clean game by the kids and the parents.

KEARNEY: Good. It was a great game. Great game.

YURKEVICH: Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Ramsey, New Jersey.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WHITFIELD: All right. The PGA championship, golf's second major of the season, will crown a winner today. On Saturday, American golfer Brooks Koepka took the lead and hopes to become the first LIV player to win a major.

CNN anchor and correspondent Patrick Snell has been watching the drama unfold at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.



Yeah, pleased to say that the sunshine is out here finally in Rochester area after the downpour and deluge that we had on Saturday, pretty much right throughout the day. But the golfers are out on the course and we are shaping up into what should be an exhilarating next few hours ahead to see who gets crowned PGA championship winner for this year.

A lot of the focus, as you mentioned, on the American player Brooks Koepka. He is a 4 time major winner, but you have to go back to 2019 for the last time he won one of these big 4 of the sports men's majors. In fact, he's won two PGA championships to date in his career. He's trying to win a third.

But as you referenced, a lot has happened in his life since then. He's had to overcome injury. He had knee surgery. Last year, he did join the controversial Saudi-backed LIV golf series. And then earlier this, year he took a 2-shot lead in the final round of the Masters, only then to failed to hold off the challenger, the Spanish star Jon Rahm.

But he's well aware that there is history on the line here this weekend. And after his 3rd round on Saturday, I asked him what it would mean to add another major to his tally at this point in his career. Take a listen.


BROOKS KOEPKA, PRO-GOLF PLAYER: It would mean a lot. A major championship would mean a lot to anybody. So, yeah, to win one would be fantastic. I mean, I was just told that I think only Tiger and Jack have won 3. That would be pretty special to be on a list in a category with them. So, just got to go out and go play good tomorrow.


SNELL: That will be Tiger Woods and the great Jack Nicklaus, of course.

And Koepka, Fred, looking to become the first LIV golfer ever, ever to win a major tournament. So, all eyes on that narrative.

Now, I do want to talk about Michael Block, one of the feel-good stories here at this week's PGA championship. This is a 46-year-old cup professional, a PGA head professional teaches golf lessons for a living at a public access course in California. He's had a tournament to remember. He started out with 3 rounds at

level par, 70, 70, 70. And he got to play with his idol, Rory McIlroy, out there on the course right now at this hour with 4-time major winner Rory McIlroy.

He's just been wearing his heart on his sleeve. He's really full of emotion, as you can expect. The crowd loved him here. The thousands out on the course love him. He's feeding off the energy, and he's produced sizzling golf in return.

This is a fairytale run for him to remember. And here's the great start that we all need to take note of, Fred. No PGA professional has ever finished in the top 10 of this tournament. And this tournament goes back 105 years.


SNELL: As I asked him at the press conference last night, you know, however this transpires, however this works out, it is surely a week that he will never, ever forget, fred.


WHITFIELD: And I just love his expressions of disbelief. I mean, he's kind of -- he's amazed at himself. You know, that plus everybody else being amazed about him.

SNELL: Yeah.

WHITFIELD: I can't imagine what his students were feeling. Yeah?

SNELL: I was just -- yeah, you are spot on. I was thinking as well that the hourly rate he charges for his lessons is pretty much going to go up dramatically now, I would say.

WHITFIELD: It sure will. You better hope people are grandfathered in.

All right. Thank you so much. Patrick Snell, appreciate it.

We'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday, I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right. We begin this hour with the new developments in the high stakes talks to avoid a looming debt crisis.