Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

U.S. And China Trade Accusations After Warships Nearly Collide In Taiwan Strait; Caucus Season Kicks Off For GOP In Iowa; Directors Guild Of America Reaches Tentative Deal. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 04, 2023 - 15:00   ET


EMILY CALANDRELLI, AUTHOR, "SEARCH FOR THE STARS": It's so incredibly beautiful.

So October 14th is when we'll be able to see that and that's something I'm really looking forward to.

PAULA REID, CNN HOST: Well, Emily, thank you so much for joining us and helping to educate us about all of beauty and wonder up there.

CALANDRELLI: Thanks for having me.


REID: Hello, thanks for joining me. I'm Paula Reid in Washington, in this weekend for Fredricka Whitfield.

And we begin this hour with a dangerous near collision between Chinese and US warships. Accusations are flying between both sides after an incident during a joint naval exercise between the US and Canadian Navy in the Taiwan Strait.

Video showing the near collision was captured by a news crew on a nearby ship. You can see the Chinese destroyer cutting directly across the front of the US ship.

We've got full coverage of this story. CNN Pentagon correspondent, Oren Liebermann is with us. Also joining me is David Sanger. He is a CNN political and national security analyst and a White House and national security correspondent for "The New York Times."

All right, Oren, both sides are blaming each other for this incident. What do you know as of now?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Paula, it's not uncommon at all when you see an encounter between the US and the Chinese military. They've got two entirely different narratives about a single incident as if both are describing something completely different.

US Indo Pacific Command says, what a ship a US destroyer, the Chung- Hoon was sailing through the Taiwan Strait with a Canadian ship in an exercise in international waters, which ships including the US military have the right to do.

It is during this transit that a Chinese military ship got 150 yards in front of the US ship, then circled back and cut in front once again this time 2,000 yards. The US calls it an unsafe maneuver carried out by the Chinese vessel, one that endangered mariners, not only Chinese mariners, but also US and Canadian mariners.

For the Chinese, it is an entirely different narrative, a different way of describing what happened. They say hours later, it was China's Defense minister who had spoken at a Defense conference who said it was the US that was acting provocative here and wasn't just there for a transit.

There is a fundamental disagreement about what happened here, China largely viewing the Taiwan Strait as its own waters, while the US has said and continues to say that it views it as a free and open Indo- Pacific and commercial traffic is allowed to go through there and so is the US military.

REID: Oren, an as you know, this isn't the only recent incident. A Chinese fighter jet intercepted a US spy plane in international airspace just last week. So what is China's strategy here?

LIEBERMANN: It certainly seems like we're seeing more of these encounters. This one happened over the South China Sea. So two of the very sensitive points there for China, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

This time was a US reconnaissance aircraft, that RC-135 Rivet Joint that the US says was in international airspace doing what it's allowed to do when it was intercepted by a Chinese fighter jet, a J-16 that cut right in front of the US aircraft close enough that the wake turbulence of that jet rattled or disturbed the US aircraft.

For China, it appears this is essentially trying to establish that this is Chinese territory or areas with Chinese sovereignty. China claims much of the South China Sea as its own territory or its own sovereignty, the US and others not recognizing that under international law, and according to the US, it is part of what they're doing here to make sure that these airways, these waterways stay free and open.

REID: And David, as you know, relations between China and the US, they've been particularly strained since the spy balloon incident earlier this year. And then just last week, China declined an offer to meet with Defense Secretary Austin. So where did things go from here?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's a really good question, Paula, because we thought for a while that the US and China were actually beginning to stitch things back together, and you heard President Biden at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima at the final press conference, say he thought the moment had arrived and the fall was about to go happen.

Well, what's happened since then? The Defense minister, who is on a banned list by the United States sanctions list, I should say, refused to meet with Secretary Austin. You've seen now an air incident and this sea incident.

They do have this commonality that Oren referred to, which is that we're going through these operations, the United States doing these operations to demonstrate that these are international waters and international airspace, and the Chinese position is that we are interfering in what is essentially their airspace and they have expanded the definition of that since Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.


They used to stay away going over the Median Line in the Taiwan Strait, and now, they are doing it regularly. And now you saw the kind of operation that they were conducting that looks pretty dangerous from the video.

REID: David, is China just biding its time until the US elections next year?

SANGER: I think that there is a good deal of hedging on the elections going on for both China and Russia. The Russians take a look at the two leading Republican candidates right now, former President Trump and Governor DeSantis and they see two people who have said that Ukraine is a regional conflict, the United States shouldn't be in it.

We also know that there has been a reluctance on the part of many, the MAGA side of the Republican Party and some on the far left to commit many more forces to the Indo-Pacific.

And so, China and Russia are wise in some ways to bide their time. What is interesting, though, is that you would have thought after the balloon incident, and after some of the conversations we've seen take place between US diplomats and the Chinese government, that they would have looked for an opportunity to begin to invite people back, try to get the Treasury secretary, the Commerce secretary, and ultimately Secretary of State Blinken back on the schedule. That isn't happening right now.

REID: Oren Liebermann and David Sanger, thank you both.

We turn now to the race for the White House. This weekend marked the unofficial start to the caucus season. On Saturday, eight GOP presidential hopefuls gathered in Des Moines, Iowa. The expanding GOP field is expected to get even more crowded this week, as three more candidates including former Vice President Mike Pence and former Trump-ally turned critic, Chris Christie are poised to officially join the race.

Current frontrunner, former President Donald Trump chose to skip the Iowa gathering, giving his challengers an opportunity to make their pitches and take their shots at the former president.

The Republican presidential race picks up more steam tonight, as CNN hosts a townhall with GOP candidate, Nikki Haley in Iowa.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Des Moines for us.

Jeff, give us a recap of how events are playing out there this weekend? JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Paula, the

Republican candidates have been fanning out for several days, but they descended to the same room on the same stage on Saturday at Senator Joni Ernst Roast and Ride. Of course, she's the Iowa Republican senator who is playing a bit of host, if you will, for this growing field of Republican presidential candidates.

These candidates were introducing themselves to voters they are sounding some themes that may work in campaigns, of course, they are joined in unison in their criticism of the Biden administration.

Most of them held their punches when it came to try to define themselves or distinguish themselves with former President Donald Trump.

But take a listen to former South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley. She was urging Republican voters to look forward, not back.


NIKKI HALEY (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've got to start doing this in a way that we can win a general election. It's time for a new generational leader.

We've got to leave the baggage and the negativity behind. We've got a country to save.

Don't complain about what you get in a general if you don't play in this caucus, because it matters.


ZELENY: So saying leave the baggage and the negativity behind again, not mentioning any ones specifically by name, but certainly her point was former President Donald Trump, of course. She served in his administration as the UN ambassador.

Again, she has not to really spent much time criticizing him or distinguishing him. These Republican candidates, Paula, are all trying to walk a very fine line here into firing up voters and inspiring voters without turning off Trump supporters, but it is one of the central points here.

Many Republican voters are looking for a new choice. Some of course are staying with the former president, but that's what the challenge and burden is for some of these candidates and Nikki Haley will be here at Grandview University, on the stage you see behind me here this evening with our own Jake Tapper taking questions from Iowa voters as this campaign intensifies as the summer begins -- Paula.

REID: Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

And don't forget, Jake Tapper moderates a CNN Republican presidential townhall with former South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, eight o'clock only on CNN. And later this week, Dana Bash moderates a CNN townhall with former

Vice President Mike Pence live from Iowa. That's Wednesday at 9:00 PM Eastern only on CNN.


And fresh reaction today on CNN's exclusive reporting that federal prosecutors have obtained an audio recording of former President Trump. On it, he acknowledges that he held on to a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran.

Democratic congressman, Jamie Raskin, a member of the House Oversight Committee had this today to say on today's CNN "State of the Union."


DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR AND POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's talk about your reaction to CNN reporting this week that federal prosecutors have an audio recording of the former president talking about holding on to classified documents, at least one, about a potential US attack on Iran. He had that after he left office. Do you think this tape could be a smoking gun?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, apparently the recording also reflects Donald Trump's knowledge that he had not declassified the documents or he knew that it was still classified, and that's an additional element of importance to this recording.

And --

BASH: Can you explain why that's an additional element?

RASKIN: Well, for a while, at least, there was a half-hearted effort to claim by Donald Trump that he could just magically declassify, you know, telepathically or mentally. And this seems to reflect his clear understanding that he had not declassified this document and that it was still classified.


REID: Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Ken Buck, also on "State of the Union" with Dana Bash responded this way.


REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): As a former prosecutor for 25 years, I think it goes beyond just irresponsible. I don't know if anybody has located the document or there's a copy of the documents somewhere that can show just what kind of information and classification that that document had, and I don't know if anybody saw the document.

BASH: If it is found or if they can prove it at DOJ based on your years as a prosecutor, did he break the law and should he be charged with a crime?

BUCK: Well, I again, I am not going to second guess the prosecutors at DOJ. I worked there. I have a huge amount of respect for them, and I'm sure they'll do the right thing.

But without knowing, without seeing the witnesses, without examining the documents, it would be irresponsible for me to suggest that he should be prosecuted or should not.


REID: Trump has denied any wrongdoing. When asked during a CNN townhall if he ever shared classified information with anyone, he said, "Not really," but that he would have had the right to.

New today, the Directors Guild of America reaches a tentative deal, what they're getting and what this could mean for the writers' strike that continues to drag on.

And keep your distance: A new warning from Yellowstone National Park after a series of close encounters between park wildlife and visitors.



REID: The Directors Guild of America which represents 19,000 TV and film directors has reached a historic, tentative New Deal even as Hollywood writers continue their walkout. The DGA's pact set the terms of a new three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television producers.

The deal addressed his concerns over wages, work hours, residuals, even artificial intelligence.

CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me now with the latest.

Polo, what more are you learning.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Paula, good to be with you.

And to be clear to viewers, this is obviously under the same industry, but these were ongoing negotiations that were happening on two separate lanes.

So let's get to this first one. The Directors Guild of America reaching this deal with members of the top studios over the weekend. Let's break that down for you, again, as that separate writers' strike continues now. The so-called historic three-year agreement is part of this, the roughly 19,000 members of the Directors Guild of America that represents film and TV directors. They are slated to see an increase in their wages that varies from 3.5 to five percent over the next three years.

Assistant directors, they would also see a decrease in their work day. In addition to requiring safety supervisors on set, the contract would ban live ammunition, which we have to remind viewers this just recently, a judge approved a settlement agreement in the wrongful death suit filed in connection to the 2021 "Rust" movie set shooting. This agreement also addressing industry fears that artificial

intelligence may basically intrude on creative jobs. So, specifically this agreement will put into writing a clause that states that AI cannot replace the duties performed by members and a first, global streaming residuals that will be paid based on the number of international subscribers.

This is a tentative agreement. This is going to be submitted to the guild at their national board special meeting on Tuesday and then eventually be put up for a vote.

But as you can imagine, the reaction would be wide ranging in the industry, especially from the Writers Guild as they enter now Week 6 of their strike. Their reaction would go anywhere from obviously celebratory to extreme disappointment as it may make it more difficult to secure the goal that they're trying to reach here.

In fact, before this agreement was reached, a member of the Writers Guild putting out in a video statement saying that they are -- that the group would not let up until it secured exactly what they wanted, that it wished the DGA the best in their negotiations, which were still ongoing yesterday when this was put out. And that they, the Writers Guild are strong enough to reach their goal on their own.

As you might expect that really probably hasn't changed on that front since this separate agreement was announced, but nonetheless, CNN has reached out to the Writers Guild for fresh comment as they continue with their list of demands as their strike entering now Week 6 -- Paula.


REID: Polo Sandoval, thank you.

SANDOVAL: You bet.

REID: And coming up, a huge victory for the LGBTQ community, a judge has just deemed that a law restricting drag shows is unconstitutional.

We'll discuss next.


REID: A major victory for LGBTQ+ advocates in Tennessee. A federal judge ruled that the state's newly passed law limiting public drag show performances amounts to "unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of speech."

CNN's Isabel Rosales is here with details.

Isabel, what happens now?

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Paula, this is a big win not only for the LGBTQ community, but also for the nonprofit, Friends of George's. They produce drag performances and they are the ones who sued to stop this law, tweeting out, "We won." In terms of what happens next, Judge Thomas Parker has barred Shelby

County, where this all originated from, from enforcing that law finding in a 70-page ruling that this law was unconstitutional, "unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad," also saying in part of that ruling, "As a matter of text alone, the Adult Entertainment Act is a content and viewpoint based restriction on speech. The AEA was passed for the impermissible purpose of chilling constitutionally protected speech."

This ruling was celebrated at the Memphis Pride Festival. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's fantastic. It was just very vague and very just ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good on them. I feel like that's what judges are supposed to do.


ROSALES: Yes, and earlier this year, we saw the Tennessee Republicans hold a supermajority in the state legislature pass this measure and then later on, it was signed into law by the Republican governor, Bill Lee.

Here is what the law sought to do: To limit adult cabaret performances on public property, which shielded children from viewing them. Also, it threatened violators with a misdemeanor, repeat offenders with a felony, and the ban specifically included, "male or female impersonators who perform in a way harmful to minors."

This law was originally set to go into effect April 1st.

We did get a statement from the Republican Tennessee, attorney general, Jonathan Skrmetti. Here's what he said in part: "The scope of this law has been misrepresented in public by those more interested in pressing a narrative than in reading the statutory text. The Adult Entertainment Act remains in effect outside of Shelby County. This narrowly tailored law protects minors from exposure to sexually explicit performances."

Now his office is reviewing this order, and they say that they will appeal at an appropriate time -- Paula.

REID: Isabel Rosales, thank you.

Here with us now to talk about all of this, one of the co-hosts of the HBO Original Series, "We're Here" and also a Tennessee native, Eureka O'Hara. Eureka, thank you so much for joining us.

EUREKA O'HARA, CO-HOST, "WE'RE HERE": Hi. How are you? I'm excited to be here.

REID: You spoke to CNN back in March when this law was passed. Now, it's been struck down. What was your reaction when you first heard this news?

O'HARA: You know, when I first heard, I wasn't insanely surprised just because being a native of Tennessee, I've been used to a moral compass where a traditional view of roles, I guess, or societal aspects be pushed on me and a narrative pushed on my existence as a queer person.

So to hear like such a negative connotation brought in towards drag, I wasn't extremely surprised, but at the same time, it was a little bit more of an alert that we were being compared to such sexually explicit references.

You know, for me, obviously working on "We're Here" with HBO Max, we work in a sense where we really try to uplift communities that we go into and drag is such an expression of who we are and freedom of who we are.

So to be co-put into a box with something so sexually explicit, it really just kind of demeaned the message that I was doing, especially from my work specifically with "We're Here." So it was saddening at the same time.

REID: Tennessee's attorney general, Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement that his office is reviewing the order and expects to appeal at the appropriate time. Does the specter of an appeal concern you?

O'HARA: Yes. I mean, I think that's the biggest thing that we need to worry about right now. Right? Obviously, this is definitely a win. Thank you so much to Thomas Parker for having our back regardless of being assigned by Donald Trump, and that that was a big conversation piece, but at the same time, this is just someone who looked at something that was unconstitutional, thank goodness.

And it just goes to show that through all politics, that there are people paying attention to all sides and the true fairness of it, but if we do have the Tennessee attorney general who want to appeal and move this to a higher court, it really just starts our process all over again and it can trump anything that has been decided so on and so forth.

So just remember everyone out there like continue to put your opinion forward and keep fighting positively and calling your representatives and letting them know what you feel about this and where we stand.

REID: As you know, Tennessee's law is just one of a slew of other similar measures and Republican-led state houses across the country have considered this year. Given this was a federal judge's ruling, do you think that this will have an impact on other states passing laws or those who already have them on the books?


O'HARA: I hope so, you know, but as we have found in the past, like, it does take one person to show face for the other side. And I think that was something that Thomas Parker did in this moment. And I just can only hope that it enlightens other people to look at it in a form because obviously, being a federal judge, it does give you a sense of power in our community, and thank goodness we have someone using their power for good today.

REID: What has it been like for you and your drag sisters seeing this fight for your livelihoods playing out across the country?

O'HARA: Yes. Honestly, it's been hard. There's been a lot of what it's done is it's actually I want to say entitled and also encouraged other negative hate speech. As you've noticed, we haven't had so much pushback even for Pride things as we have this year.

When it comes to branding and showing their support for queer people, when it has done is it has lit up people that are discriminatory and want to find a reason to hate the LGBTQ community or people that are supporting us and it has really instilled a lot of fear.

There have been performances that have been boycotted, that have been tried to be shut down in some of these states, as well as also as you know, brands and other marketing that are trying to show their support for Pride Month this month have gotten a lot of backlash as well.

REID: Eureka O'Hara, thank you for joining us.

And you can watch all three seasons of "We're Here" now streaming on Max.

And new today, the Book of Mormon is now under review in a Utah school district just days after the Bible was pulled from elementary and middle school libraries. It comes after the state enacted a new law prohibiting sensitive materials in public schools.

The Davis County School District is home to nearly 74,000 students and is in a suburb of Salt Lake City where the Church of Latter Day Saints is headquartered. "The Salt Lake Tribune" reports that the request calls for books to be reviewed for containing violence, including battles, beheadings, and kidnappings.

A spokesman for the school district says the review the committee will do will, whatever decision they come up with will be honored, but it could also be appealed.

Classes resume in the district in August.

We'll be right back.



REID: Officials say a fresh round of shelling has hit Russia's Belgorod border region. There were no reports of casualties. In recent weeks, anti-Kremlin groups aligned with Ukraine have been shelling the region. Meantime Ukraine says, a two-year-old girl was killed and 22 others were injured in Russian strikes in the Dnipro region.

CNN's Sam Kiley is in eastern Ukraine. Sam, what do we know about the shelling? SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the shelling

of Ukraine overnight last night into the small hours of this morning hit not only Dnipro where that two-year-old child was killed with an Iskander missile that hit yet another residential building injuring more than a dozen others, but very unusually, the Ukrainians also admitted that two airfields were hit.

I think this is part of their ongoing campaign to point out to the international community, their continued vulnerability to airstrikes. They did say that they needed to get more air defenses, a need that grows with every day that the Russians soak up those air defenses with these very substantial missile attacks. They did manage to shoot down all of the missiles that were headed for Kyiv, but at the same time, there is this ongoing fight essentially inside Russia being conducted by Russian dissidents backed by Ukraine that is appearing to escalate.

There is now the local authorities inside Russia, the local governor of Belgorod saying that they've had to evacuate some 4,000 or more people from a large number of villages close to the border areas that both sides have been posting social media pictures of the damage done as a result of the fighting and the exchange of artillery and mortar fire.

And on top of that, the Russian dissidents back by Ukraine have been posting social media now, two separate posts saying that they've captured Russian prisoners, the first occasion they posted. They are offering to hand those Russian prisoners over to the local governor. He said he would come to the meeting to do so, but he didn't make the rendezvous.

So they then posted a larger number of prisoners saying that they would then take them into custody and hand them on to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Now, we've got no independent whatsoever proof of the veracity that they do indeed have these prisoners, although there has been some confirmation that at least one of them is indeed a member of the Russian Armed Forces that's coming from Russian media.

But what they are very quick on, very quick on the draw, indeed, is to get this sort of information out true or false onto social media. The Russian dissidents are using social media as effectively as they are old fashioned guns and mortars.

REID: And Sam, Ukraine's president, Zelenskyy used his daily address last night to thank individual soldiers. Some people are saying this is a nod to the difficult battle ahead. Why are they taking it that way?

KILEY: They are taking it that way because there is a real sense in this country and I was recently up very close to the frontline today that something very bloody and violent is coming in the form of the full-scale summer offensive much trailed by the Ukrainian authorities.

[15:40:10] Now, President Zelensky is adding to the kind of pressure being put on

the international community to help out with air defenses by repeating his call during those meetings with individual soldiers, that they need more air defenses and they need aircraft,

They are pushing very hard indeed to get F-16s into their armory as quickly as possible, because as he said, control of the skies will make the difference between losing a lot and a really very substantial number of soldiers in this push.

He is very, very conscious. He makes no bones about the fact that this counteroffensive is going to result in significant Ukrainian casualties. I think by singling individuals out, he is reminding the population that this really is not an abstract concept.

There are parts of this country where you might not know that there was a war on. They are very, very resilient, the Ukrainians, they are getting back to life as normal in relatively close to frontline areas, and he is reminding his population that this is a tough fight and it's not over.

REID: Sam Kiley in eastern Ukraine, thank you.

And still ahead, Yellowstone National Park issued a new warning to tourists after a series of close encounters with some of the wildlife.



REID: Yellowstone National Park has a new warning for tourists after multiple incidents involving wildlife. Last month, a man pleaded guilty to intentionally disturbing wildlife after an encounter with a newborn bison resulted in it being euthanized.

And an investigation is underway after visitors put an elk calf in their car last weekend and brought it to a police station, and then this wild video of a woman trying to pet a bison in Yellowstone a few weeks ago.

I want to bring in wildlife conservationist, Griff Griffith for more. He is the host of Animal Planet's "Wild Jobs."

Griff, thanks for being with us.

GRIFF GRIFFITH, HOST, "WILD JOBS", ANIMAL PLANET: Thank you for having me. Super excited to be here.

REID: Look, Yellowstone is calling on visitors to protect wildlife by just staying mindful of how their actions negatively impact animals, so what are some of your important guidelines for folks going to visit these areas?

GRIFFITH: Well, first of all, is to keep your distance, but I want to backup. Before you go to a park, before you go to Yellowstone, go visit their website. Their website is super good. It's got helpful information, and at the front page, at the bottom, it shows you how far away you should stay from some of their animals.

It is a really good tool that you don't want to miss. Plus, the information on there will make your trip so much more interesting because you can learn the backstory. Maybe if you're going with your family, you can assign the site to your kid if they're old enough, and they can be the tour guide.

But it could do more than make your trip interesting. It could prevent you from getting like gored between the two back pockets, you know. So it's a good idea to check that out first.

Also, being able to speak some bison really helps.

REID: Well, I will work on my bison before I go to the next park. But it's interesting, the park's warning, it addresses all kinds of harmful behaviors, some of which people may not even think about, like how you drive.

You know, there are many examples of animals being hit by vehicles. So what are the other kinds of tips that you think people should be aware of before they go on a visit?

GRIFFITH: Well, as learning how to speak bison, so knowing the signs, because when you go to Yellowstone Park or any place that has bison, you're basically going into a different culture than your own. Bison have their own little culture and they have a language that you can see and know that it's not a good idea to get any closer, even in your car.

So bison will bellow really low, it is like -- it is more rough than that, but it's really low. You see them pawing the ground with our hoof, that's like them saying you better not, okay. If they're swinging their head, you want to stay away from that.

But if you're in your car, usually if they're on the side of the road, you can pass them really, really slow. But you don't want to get out. And if you get out, you'll see some bison language that you will wish you hadn't seen before. It's the tail going up.

In the old school -- the old school Yellowstone Rangers used to say when a bison lifts its tail, they are either going to charge or discharge. And a lot of times they don't give you a lot of warning. So stay in your car, folks. Please stay in your car.

And if they're in front of you, they know like the bison in Yellowstone know that cars come through, and so they're going to get out of your way eventually, just be patient.

REID: And you can see the little tail, the tail going up in the video that we're running on loop while we talk. Look, I mean some people, I'm sure plenty people have judgment for what we're seeing right now in this B roll with the bison selfie, but some people do believe that they are helping, like the incident involving the bison calf, right?

The man was lifting the newborn from the river after it became separated from its mother. What is your advice for people who wants to intervene if they think an animal is in distress?

GRIFFITH: First of all, for people who do that, thank you. I appreciate you caring about wildlife. We need more of you because wildlife are in dire straits right now all over the planet.

Bison almost went extinct. They got down to just like a couple dozen in Yellowstone Park, and it was animal lovers that brought them back.

But better than just being an animal lover is being an informed animal lover. So the guy who did that, I'm sure he feels terrible because he thought he was trying to help this bison.


If you download the app, Animal Health Now before you go anywhere, like do it now, it has a feature where you could put in a zip code or a city wherever you're at, and it will show you the closest wildlife rescuers.

So if you see an animal that needs to be rescued, don't touch it. Find a professional. If you're in Yellowstone, call it Ranger, or look at your Animal Health Now app, because if you touch the bison, there are some animals that if you touch, the animal will smell like a human. We have a strong smell, like the way we smell and bison have a good sense of smell.

So when you touch a baby bison, it now smells like a threat to the rest of the herd and that is not what you intended, and that baby will get a lot of the times, it will get banned from the herd.

So it's great that you're compassionate, great that you want to help. Please get informed and while Animal Health Now will really, really help you to know what to do in these situations.

REID: That is a great app. Everyone should get it because of course, we want to protect those precious babies. But you know, we live in the age of the selfie. So what do you say to visitors who just want the perfect selfie whenever there anywhere near an animal?

GRIFFITH: I'd say, you know, now there is AI so good that maybe you can just like put in a picture of animal close up. But whenever you do that, like one of the things we do at Jumpstart Nature is we help people get informed -- -- we help people get informed on how to act around animals and how to help them because when you get that close selfie, and then it attacks you, you know who's going to get punished? Well, you're going to get a little fine, but that bison might get euthanized, or that wild animal might get euthanized, like they don't get fair representation in court.

So you really want to be mindful. You don't want the animal to die. Do you really need a selfie that bad of the animal? But I appreciate people that want to do that because it means they're interested in wildlife, and I don't want to discourage that. I just want to encourage you to be informed so the animal doesn't get punished for your ignorance. REID: That's some great advice. Keep your distance. Leave it to the

professionals. Check out the website before you visit a park. Griff Griffith, thank you so much for joining us.

GRIFFITH: Thank you for having me, and thank you for all of you are helping wildlife. See you.

REID: Still ahead, a heated battle on the ice. The Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights are both playing for their first Stanley Cup Championship. We'll have the highlights next.


REID: Two professional South Florida teams are hoping to reverse their luck in their NBA and NHL finals.

CNN Sports anchor and correspondent, Coy Wire has more.


This isn't a must win for Miami, but it is pretty darn close.

Only five teams have been able to come back to win the title after an oh-two hole in the finals. The Heat hoping to avoid having to do that and bounce back tonight in Game 2 of the NBA finals after laying an egg in the opener in Denver. Two-time league MVP.

Nikola Jokic making his case in game one for why maybe he should have won a third straight MVP tallying his ninth triple double of the postseason. Jimmy Butler though, in his worst game of the playoffs so far, scoring just 13 points, making it literally the perfect time to spend some time with his daughter, Rylee.


JIMMY BUTLER, MIAMI HEAT FORWARD: I'm going to do an escape room tonight. I think my guys went and saw Spiderman today. Just doing normal stuff, because at the end of the day, I'm as normal as they come. It's not always about basketball. It will never always be about basketball.

Me and my guys, they are going to love me whether I win or lose. My daughter's going to love me whether I win or lose.


WIRE: NHL Playoffs now, in Vegas, the atmosphere on the strip electric, like Lionel Richie said we're going to have a party all night long.

Vegas looking to slay their Panthers opponents like Jonathan Marchessault slays goalies. Marchessault bearing his 10th goal in the last 11 games. Vegas though they wouldn't be here without the play of their goalie, Adin Hill. Look at the effort in the second period, lunging, falling away, but dude must do yoga, a ridiculous stick save, unreal stuff. The game was tied at two after two but then, Zach Whitecloud fires

what would be the game-winning goal pass Sergei Grabovski and five different players would end up scoring for Vegas to win five-two in Game 1.


MARK STONE, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS DEFENSEMAN: I don't get rattled. I scored the first goal shorthanded. It could have been a bit of a backbreaker for us. We get the next power play, we score. You know, Marchessault steps ups, Stevenson makes a great play and we just keep going, so that's what we got to do.

Can't let the momentum swings get too drastic in this series, got to stay even keel and keep on.


WIRE: The Panthers hope to even it up tomorrow night in Game 2. Puck drop is 8:00 Eastern TNT.

So Paula, both South Florida teams down. Oh-one now and just like the Heat, the Panthers they don't want to lose two in a row because just like in the NBA, only five teams have rallied after losing the first two in the Stanley Cup Final.

REID: Coy Wire, thank you.

And the son of one of the victims in the partial building collapse in Iowa says his father gave him the strength to attend his high school graduation yesterday.

Also yesterday, Branden Colvin, Sr.'s body was recovered from the rubble and debris. His 18-year-old, son Branden Colvin, Jr. slept on the pavement near the site and refused to leave although officials warned him the building could come crashing down.

Colvin, Jr. tells us that his father is the reason he was a able to walk across that stage. Members in the audience shouted, "We love you, Branden."

And thanks for joining me today. I'm Paula Reid. CNN NEWSROOM continues with Jim Acosta right now.