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Trump Hires Second High Profile Attorney; U.S. Navy Searching For Missing Sailors After Ships Collide; Steve Scalise Still in Critical Condition; GOP Lawmakers Express Alarm Over Secretive Process; Democrats May Shut Down Senate to Protect Health Care Bill; Mistrial Declared in Bill Cosby Case; An Eventful Year for London's Muslim Mayor. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired June 17, 2017 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: The President is playing defense basing up his outside legal team after tweeting that he's being investigated for firing former FBI Director James Comey. Now, this tweet reportedly came as a surprise to his own legal team. His source tells CNN high profile Washington Attorney John Dowd is now the newest member of the President's legal offense. Others on team Trump now lawyering up include the Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's personal attorney during the campaign Michael Cowen.
Let's talk it over with The Hill's national correspondent Reid Wilson and also with me here in New York, CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos, a defense attorney.
So, Danny, first to you, what does all this lawyering up, we just show that huge line up of people who now have their own personal lawyers?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'm a defense lawyer so I am biased but look these people are being investigated, it would be prudent for them to hire a defense council. And anytime, you have allegations that a bunch of people did something in collusion or some kind of conspiracy than each one of them should and usually does get their own lawyer. In fact, even if the lawyers appointed through the courts system, one might get the public defender but the public defender can't represent both. The law recognizes that each of those people needs separate council.
CABRERA: So, you're saying that this is smart. But yet the "New York Times" is now reporting that the President's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz who is supposed to be the liaison for the Russia investigation question. He's telling White House aides, don't get your own lawyer and he's now coming under fire for doing that saying, it's violation of D.C. bar rules. Why is that problematic?
CEVALLOS: I can understand that look, every lawyer is zealously representing their own client. And someone like Kasowitz is thinking, how can I best represent Mr. Trump within the boundaries of ethics and the rules. And if that includes recommending to other people that they should or should not get counsel, as long as it's ethically responsible, then fine. If that's what the DC bar rules require, then I think they should get a second opinion and not just foreclosed hiring council. Because anytime you're under investigation, federal investigation, it is no joke that the Feds investigate the heck out of cases.
Once they make a case, it stays made. Once they've narrowed on a target or a subject, then that case against them usually is pretty airtight. Look, the Feds have an over 90 percent conviction rate, federal investigations are no joke.
CABRERA: No joke at all. And yet the President keeps on calling it a witch-hunt and he keeps tweeting about it. He keeps talking about the Russia investigation raid. The President, you know, spent years trying to prove President Trump wasn't a citizen, for the last couple of decades he sent pictures of his hands to a writer that called him short fingered. He asks Jim Comey three times if he was under investigations. So, he's persistent to say the least. Do White House officials have any hope he's going to stop tweeting about this investigation?
REID WILSON, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE HILL: No. And that's the big problem in all of this. Michael will know the quote better than I will. But what's the old line, anybody who represents themselves has a fool for a client and that's what President Trump is trying to do. He's always felt like he's his own best representative whether it was dealing with the New York tabloids during the 1980s and 1990s as he tried to build up his own image or even now in the White House when his tweets and his sort of communication over the heads of the news media go over the heads even of his own communication's team.
Now, how many, it is not just his legal team that gets surprised by the tweets, Vice President Mike Pence reported this week learns about tweets, the President's tweets when his own aides have to brief him. So, you know, President Trump is somebody who speaks for himself, that has worked for him in a lot of severs in the world, it might not be the best strategy this time.
CABRERA: Danny, you have said that legally it's okay or might be okay for the President to interfere in the FBI's investigation. Explain.
CEVALLOS: Not necessarily. On the one hand, there really two schools of thought. On the one hand, the President is the unitary executive, he can hire and fire officials in the Department of Justice theoretically as he sees fit. On the other hand, simply because an action is lawful does not mean that it can ultimately be a crime -- that it cannot be a crime if it's done with corrupt intend. And let me say it another way.
In otherwise completely lawful act can become obstruction of justice if done with that intent which is defined as corrupt for an improper purpose. And given how broadly drafted federal criminal law is, and especially the obstruction of justice statutes, any defense lawyer practices in federal court knows that almost any conduct could arguably fit into that statute or a host of other obstruction-type federal statutes.
CABRERA: So where is that fine line when we're talking about the President of the United States?
CEVALLOS: Well, the fine line is if you are in a camp that believes that the President can obstruct justice if he's doing so for a corrupt purpose then it still has to be that corrupt purpose. For example --
CABRERA: You have to prove that.
[17:05:10] CEVALLOS: Right. Exactly. You have to prove what exactly was in the President's mind. Did he do this because -- there might be a good reason. Maybe he truly and honestly and reasonably believe there's no there there. In that case, it will be hard to make out an obstruction case. The easier case would be concealing evidence, lying about evidence, something in that category, but merely firing somebody, even if it's proven that it's because he wanted to avoid the investigation, you still have to show a corrupt purpose. That he knew what he was doing was wrong when he was doing it.
CABRERA: So Reid, the President has repeatedly called this a witch- hunt. He says the investigation is simply an excuse for Democrats losing the election. Is this his way of downplaying the whole thing to voters or does the President truly thinks there's a deep state out there to get him?
WILSON: Well, the President is well trafficked in conspiracy theories, you've mentioned earlier his crazy notion that President Obama was not born in the U.S., which of course was false. He has never even apologized or gone back on that particular word. A lot of this is an effort to delegitimize this investigation even before, you know, the real heat sets in, whether it's questioning the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which we've heard a lot of Trump associates, including Newt Gingrich and folks like that begin to question the integrity of Robert Mueller.
And even as we're talking about the potential of the President firing whether it's a special counsel or somebody from, you know, somebody in the Department of Justice over this, the fact is that is -- that it may be legal, it is terrible politics though. President Trump was talking to his narrow base, that narrow base is not going to be sufficient next time around when he's running for re-election. So, this is a president who's got to reach out beyond what is sort of fan base so far.
CABRERA: To that point, his approval ratings is still in the 30s right now. Reid Wilson and Danny Cevallos, thank you both.
So far, President Trump has been pretty quiet on Twitter today. Some analyst would say his silence shows some restraint. But that would also imply that his twitter outburst are uncontrolled. So, what here?
I talked to CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large Chris Cillizza about this and asked him if there is a strategy behind the President attacking Rod Rosenstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Sometimes I wish I knew. I'm caught forever Ana between thinking Donald Trump is playing three dimension chests and thinking he's playing zero dimensional chest, right? Either there's a grand strategy that I'm not smart enough to see or there isn't as much a strategy as we tend to associate with it. I think he is very frustrated by the fact that there's a special counsel at all. Period. He did not think that it warranted it.
CABRERA: And Rosenstein of course who appointed --
CILLIZZA: And Rosenstein was the person he appointed. Now, the reason that's the case is because Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General who would normally do that recused himself because he had had conversations he didn't disclose with the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. So, this -- to Rod Rosenstein is not as though he sees it but Donald Trump tends to look for someone to blame who's not him or his immediate family when things starts to go south. So, that sometimes is Steve Bannon, it's sometimes Reince Priebus.
It can be any one of a number of people, Jim Comey. But in this situation it appears to be Rod Rosenstein who Donald Trump feels as though you told me to get rid of Comey, I get rid of Comey and now I have to deal with this investigation. The point is though Rosenstein is not leading this investigation, he's the boss of Bob Mueller who is the special counsel who he appointed, but he's not leading it, Bob Mueller is leading it. Rosenstein is not really involved in any way other than the fact that he's ultimately Bob Mueller's boss.
CABRERA: Now, Rosenstein put out an interesting statement as well, it had to do with anonymous sources saying, don't believe media stories that site anonymous sources. We of course have heard the President say something similar before. Was it surprising for you to hear this from Rosenstein? What do you think this is all about?
CILLIZZA: Yes, in a word it was surprising. It also came out of sort of an odd time Thursday night where it wasn't clear that Rosenstein was responding to any one thing. "The Washington Post" reported a few things including that Donald Trump was under investigation for obstruction of justice. But that had been 30 hour beforehand. What it is about I believe without unknowing, let me say this is an educated guess, is that Rod Rosenstein is in a very difficult position. He wants to keep his job as deputy attorney general.
At the same time he knows that Trump is not happy with him for doing something I think Rosenstein felt was absolutely necessary in appointing the special counsel after Jim Comey's firing. So, what does he do? He puts out a statement essentially saying what Donald Trump says which is, anonymous sources, fake news don't believe any of it.
CABRERA: So, that what's obvious --
CILLIZZA: Yes. I think you always have to remember with the administration officials whether it's Sean Spicer or whether it's Steve Bannon or whether in this case it's Rod Rosenstein. They basically have an audience of one, Ana. And that one is Donald Trump. So, we can talk about how it was odd and strangely phrased, why did Rod Rosenstein do it. But if Donald Trump likes that Rod Rosenstein did see, he is standing up against fake news, that's really Rod Rosenstein's goal has been met.
[17:10:44] CABRERA: All right. Thanks Chris Cillizza. Coming up, the frantic search for seven sailors unaccounted for after
a U.S. navy destroyer smashed into another ship in waters off Japan. We'll have the latest on the search just ahead.
And then the battle on Capitol Hill over the President's healthcare plan. Democrats aren't happy but it's the irritation on the Republican side of the chamber that could cause the trouble for this bill.
Plus a mistrial in the Bill Cosby's criminal assault case. We'll speak with one of the comedian's accusers and her lawyer about the hung jury and what comes next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:15:23] CABRERA: Seven U.S. service members were wounded today on what's being called an insider or green on blue attack, this happened at Camp Shaheen in Northern Afghanistan. An Afghan military spokesman tells CNN, an Afghan soldier opened fire on foreign troops and other foreign soldiers were also injured in this attack. Currently, there are about 84 hundred U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the administration right now is weighing, sending thousands more.
More breaking news we're closely following tonight, the desperate search for seven American sailors, their whereabouts and their conditions are unknown after a major accident at sea.
CNN military analyst retired U.S. navy rear admiral John Kirby is joining us to discuss. Admiral, this happened off Japan, a navy destroyer somehow collided with a massive cargo ship. The American ship is badly damaged. Several people are hurt. Seven others are missing. First of all, how could this happen that these two giant vessels just smash into each other?
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, that's what the investigation is going to try to uncover, Ana. And I can tell you, it will be a thorough, very complete, very exhaustive investigation. It is rare for U.S. navy warships to suffer collusions, to be involved in collusions. And it's also an extremely serious thing to happen. Obviously in this case, it's very, very serious given the damage and the fact that we still have seven sailors that we can't account for.
And the investigation will take a look at all that. And I can promise you, it will be very thorough and there will be people held to account on this. The navy is very firm about that. There is no question that there will be a measure of accountability applied here.
CABRERA: Are our ships that close together in this zone when we know it's a very busy shipping area?
KIRBY: It is a heavily traffic area. I would caution your viewers not to think of it as some sort of a very close little, you know, channel where there's a lot of chaotic activity. It is largely what we call a traffic separations team where ships coming into a major porter departing and sort of observe common rules of a road and courtesies and give themselves distances. So there's a lot of traffic there, but the ships and the people operating those ships, they know that and they have measures and procedures in place to make sure that they are able to navigate those heavily trafficked areas very, very safely.
CABRERA: Let me ask you about the missing sailors. One theory is these sailors could be trapped inside flooded parts of the ship. From your experience serving aboard ships at sea, what would this rescue operation look like right now?
KIRBY: Well, from what I understand they have navy divers that are trying to access those compartments which were flooded as a result of the collusion. Now, the crew was able to heroically dewater the ship enough to keep it from foundering and from going under obviously and get it back into port. That doesn't mean that there isn't still water in there which would account for why they have navy divers looking at this and trying to get access to these spaces where hopefully they can find survivors. And if there are a crew down there, that we can get them out.
CABRERA: Real quickly, we're looking at some of the pictures and what we've been able to see is the front of the cargo ship is pretty badly damaged and then the side of the navy destroyer is damaged. So, does that tell you anything about who hit who?
KIRBY: No it doesn't. Again, that's what the investigations going to look at. They're going to take a look at the timeline minute by minute to see exactly what happened here and how these two ships came to collide. All I can tell by the images is that it's the port ball of the container ship. This ship is about 40,000 tons, it's a very big ship and even it slows speeds would have an amazing crushing momentum to it.
And it struck the star burn side, a little forward of amidships of the Destroyer just about where the bridge is. There's a radio control room there. There's some -- the captain's cabin is there. So, that tells you that it was not quite a T-bone hit, 90-degree angle but sort of off that a little bit. But it doesn't really tell you who's at fault here, what speed they were going at and how this could have occurred. Again, that's what they're going to look at very deeply.
CABRERA: Yes. Lots to be learned. All right. Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby. Thanks for your time.
KIRBY: My pleasure.
CABRERA: Now, the clock is ticking for the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP colleagues are under increasing pressure to deliver on the President's promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The major deadline looming. Can Senate Republicans deliver for President Trump? That's next. Live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
But first, let's take a moment to honor this week's CNN hero, former teacher Jennifer Cox. She saw firsthand the struggle that homeless student faced when she started teaching in Baltimore. And across the country more than 100,000 children live in shelters. Cox is doing her part to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER COX, FOUNDER.EMPOWER4LIFE: Kids are never going to learn in school. They're never going to be successful if they don't feel good about who they are.
I think that's a great answer.
Children don't have a lot of space in shelter life to truly be kids. They're experiencing very stressful turbulence situations.
What we are going to learn here today -- the best way to better the situation is to offer them opportunities to feel empowered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:20:25] CABRERA: To see Jennifer's full story, go to CNNheroes.com and while you're there nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero.
[17:24:54] CABRERA: The third most powerful Republican in the House is still in critical condition in the hospital after being shot this week at a practice for the Republican Congressional baseball team. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip, the bullet damaged some of his internal organs. He lost a lot of blood which sentiment a shock. The shooting happened at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia.
And the FBI we've learned today has now concluded, collecting evidence at this park, the city of Alexandria announced the reopening of all the streets and the recreational areas around the park except for the baseball field after it was closed for clean-up and evidence collection following the shooting. Ryan Nobles is joining us now from MedStar Washington Hospital where Scalise is currently recovering. What's the latest from the doctors there, Ryan?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, Congressman Scalise remains in critical condition. He's being treated in the Intensive Care Unit here at Washington MedStar Hospital Center. And even though his condition is critical, doctors overall seemed to be encouraged by his progress. He's had a number of surgeries. That initial surgery was designed to stop the bleeding, they believe they had that taken care off. And now it's a process of repairing those organs and the shattered bones inside his body. That shot went into his hip. It broke his pelvis and a number of bones in that area.
So, it is going to be a long and lengthy recovery for the congressman. But in a press conference yesterday, doctors told us that they believe he can make a full recovery even to the point where he may be able to walk and even run again. They did caution us all that there could be set backs, this is going to be a difficult recovery. He'll be in the hospital for some time and then after the hospital require a lengthy rehabilitation. But Ana, there is hope that he will eventually be able to return to Congress and represent the people of Louisiana which makes many of those close to him feel very good about this situation. And given everything that's happened here over the past week -- Ana.
CABRERA: It does sound like some good news. And Ryan, of course, Scalise is not the only victim from this horrible attack. What can you tell us about the condition of some of the other victims?
NOBLES: Well, Crystal Griner who was one of the law enforcement officers, the Capitol police officers who responded to the initial shootings, she's also being treated at this hospital. And we were told she suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, she is in good spirits and is recovering. She is expected to make a full recovery. And Matt Mika who was a lobbyist, who was shot twice. He is being tweeted at another hospital in Washington. He's situation is more serious. He is also in critical condition and in the Intensive Care Unit. His family put out a statement today, those saying that he is also improving but has a long road ahead of him. So, everyone feeling encourage by the progress of the victims of this shooting but it's going to be sometime before all of them are completely recovered.
CABRERA: And it's good to see that Mika be able to communicate with his family writing notes. Long road ahead though. Ryan Nobles, thanks for the update.
Meantime, sources tells CNN, Senate Democrats are now weighing ways to protest the Republican healthcare bill. One options they're considering at least is shutting down the Senate. Essentially this means they would prevent the chamber for caring out even the most routine business while demanding the GOP being more transparent about this healthcare bill.
CNN's Congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill. And Phil, what do we know so far about the Senate Republican's healthcare bill?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here's what we know about the Senate Republican healthcare negotiations. They're happening, and that's about it. At least at this point. This has all been behind the scenes. There's been no hearings. There's been no kind of public negotiations at all and that's by design. When you talk to senators who are familiar with this process they make clear, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to do this behind closed doors. He wanted to give his members the opportunity to space to try to negotiate on some very divisive issues.
Whether the expansion of Medicaid or the cutting back of ObamaCare regulations or even the tax credits, structure of that. All of these are issues that within the Republican Party, within their own conference there are major, major problems. But the result of that is nobody has any idea at least outside the room of what's going on. And frankly, some members inside don't. Take a listen to what Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Alaska public radio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: Yes. I've got a problem with it. If I'm not going to see a bill before we have a vote on it, that's just not a good way to handle something that is as significant and important as healthcare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Those Senate Republicans including Lisa Murkowski, including several that have voiced these concerns are eventually going to have to not just digest this proposal but decide how to vote on this. Republican can only loose two of the 52 senators in their conference and still have an opportunity to has it. And the reality is this, they haven't solved these big problems that they still have on these crucial issues and time is running out.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear to his conference he wanted to try and vote before lawmakers leave for the July 4rth recess. That gives him ten legislative days, legislative working days left to actually get something done.
[17:30:00] Now, the big question is, with all this being done behind the scenes, where the Democrats right now? Well, they're upset. Very upset.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sending a letter to Mitch McConnell inviting Mitch McConnell, all Republicans and all Democrats to an all senators' meeting inside the old Senate chamber to have a lengthy discussion, negotiation, debate about healthcare. Mitch McConnell's team firing back saying, if you want to sit down with us, you're essentially taking off this notion that you won't negotiate so long as repeal is on the table. Well, that wasn't what Democrats were actually saying.
So now we're in a political back and forth, a lot of posturing. The reality is Democrats aren't involved in this process and won't be. That's frustrating to many of them. But the bigger question now is the frustration we're hearing from Republican members, will that set this process back. Will they ever actually come to a conclusion on their own internal debates?
CABRERA: All right, Phil Mattingly reporting. Thank you.
It's one of the most high-profile court cases we've seen in months. The criminal trial of Bill Cosby has ended in a mistrial. I'll speak with one of Cosby's accusers and her attorney, Gloria Allred, about their reaction to the hung jury next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:35:14] CABRERA: Another major story that broke today, the mistrial in the Bill Cosby assault case. The jury in Norristown, Pennsylvania, failed to reach a verdict. But the story hardly ends here. This could all play out in court again. Prosecutors say the accuser, Andrea Constand, is entitled to a verdict and they will retry Cosby. The judge wants a trial in scheduled within 120 days.
Cosby's defense team celebrating the jury's indecision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN STEELE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We will evaluate and review our case. We will take a hard look at everything involved. And then we will retry it. As I said in court, our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible.
BRIAN MCMONAGLE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The judge is right, justice is real. It's real in Montgomery County. We came here looking for an acquittal, but like the Rolling Stones song says, you can't always get what you want sometimes. Sometimes you get what you need. This court system was tremendous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Bill Cosby's legal team might be celebrating the hung jury, but has the court's public opinion already made up its mind?
CNN senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter, is joining us now.
Brian, even though there was no verdict here, I'm wondering is the damage already done when it comes to Cosby, his representation?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: In the court of public opinion, this case does seem to be settled. If you look at the social media reactions, the feelings of the public as measured by their comments online at least, they believe he would be found guilty and if not it's because of his celebrity. That was the subtext outside the court today. We heard Gloria Allred say we can never underestimate the blinding apparel of celebrity. We'll see two years down the road if she's able to find him guilty in civil cases she's alleging against Cosby. The time that these women started to come forward in mass, in terms of many numbers tame.
CABRERA: This was in 2014.
STELTER: Cosby had an NBC comeback in the works. He had a lot of media and celebrity driven projects in the works.
CABRERA: And he was on tour remember?
STELTER: That's right. All across the country in big arena, all that went away in 2014. I see no way that comes back now no matter what happened in Pennsylvania today.
CABRERA: You talked about the power of celebrity and either his own spokesperson says power is back. That seems like an interesting statement to make that comment.
STELTER: To some, found it insensitive. He said Mr. Cosby's power is back its back, he and Mrs. Cosby has been restored as a rule of this mistrial. A lot of people today saying, perhaps that's an inappropriate message to be sending to sexual assault victims or survivors to people who are trying to advocate to make it easier to speak up if you've been a victim of something like this. To have a source of Cosby come back and say his power is back now, maybe it was off note. And the other piece there's going to be more to come. There's silver cases pending. For publicist to say he has his power back seems immature.
CABRERA: It's to note that Cosby has denied on these accusations in the civil cases. This is the only criminal case against Cosby. When we talk about the power of the celebrity that Gloria Allred eluded to working in his favor, on the flip said I wonder can you argue he was somewhat vulnerable because of his celebrity and you know how people like to see those people fall?
STELTER: And as a result of the media coverage, yes. This was a shocking story for so many people in 2014. It fell off the public radar for a little while until the trial started this spring, but yes, the positive and negative impact of celebrities here. I saw someone regurgitating President Trump's quote from many years ago. He said to Billy Bush, "If you're a celebrity, they'll let you do it." And some look at Bill Cosby and see the same thing. His star power, isn't any of it anymore. It may or may not influenced the jury. We may never know. But that star power has fallen completely to the bottom now.
CABRERA: Thank you, Brian, for your take.
[17:39:56] CABRERA: We appreciate.
And don't miss Brian on "Reliable Sources," tomorrow morning, 11:00 a.m. eastern.
We'll be back, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[15:46:34] CABRERA: Arafat Gatabazi was separated from his family in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, helpless and homeless, and then he discovered the water and now he swims competitively. And last year, he was named open-water swimmer of the year.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta has his story in this week's "Fit Nation."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arafat Gatabazi is an open-water swimmer in Cape Town, South Africa.
ARAFAT GATABAZI, OPEN-WATER SWIMMER: I feel free. When I'm in the ocean, that's when I'm at peace most of the time. It takes me away from the outside world.
GUPTA: The outside world has not been easy for him. He's a refugee in the Democratic Republic of conga.
GATABAZI: I left my country in 2012 when the war broke out and when I was separated from my mother.
GUPTA: Unsure if his mother was dead or alive, he fled to Cape Town on foot and ended up living in this children's shelter, which offered swimming classes.
GATABAZI: I remember the first time I went to this swimming pool, it was a new planet. I realized that swimming was something I can use for the process of healing. I kept on doing it.
GUPTA: Swimming gave Arafat a new sense of purpose. He began training for long-distance swims. In 2016, he was named open-water swimmer of the year by the Cape Town Long-Distance Swimming Association.
GATABAZI: The moment I start, that's when I feel life is becoming like a mess, my mental focus, giving me as much hope as I can and challenging me.
GUPTA: Arafat's next challenge is a two and a half kilometers swim called the High-Tech Walker Bay Extreme.
GATABAZI: I don't compete with anyone when I am swimming. I just compete with myself.
GUPTA: What makes the race so challenging is not the distance but the frigid 55-degrees temperature. And Arafat does it without a wet suit.
GATABAZI: It is a very mental game. Your body does not know how to stay in but your mind controls your body saying you can keep going.
GUPTA: The cold water proved too much for some swimmers but he's able to finish.
GATABAZI: I am proud of what I have achieved today.
I don't want to be seen as a homeless boy. I want them to see me in a different way so that's why I keep ongoing. Swimming has challenged everything in which I do.
CABRERA: A little inspiration this weekend.
We'll be right back. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:53:20] CABRERA: Mayor Sadiq Khan has been mayor of London just over a year, but in that time, is international profile has grown due to his war of words with President Trump and his defiant public message of following two terror attacks in the city. And now he's calling for a public inquiry into a massive building fire. The updates on that story today are horrifying. Police say at least 30 people are dead and 28 others are still missing and presumed dead.
Christiane Amanpour looks back at Khan's eventful first year in office.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Sadiq Khan was elected in May of 2016 after a tough acrimonious campaign. His opponent, Zach Goldsmith, was accused of running a race based on fear and loathing of Khan and his Pakistani- Muslim heritage.
Shortly after his victory, we met at the city hall.
SADIQ KHAN, LONDON MAYOR: The point I made last week during my acceptance speech was, you know, London has chosen hope over fear. I'm really proud that London chose unity over division.
AMANPOUR: Almost immediately, Mayor Khan became embroiled in the extraordinary and unprecedented Twitter presidential campaign across the Atlantic. Candidate Donald Trump had said he wanted to ban all Muslims from the United States. But with Khan's victory, Trump said there could be exceptions to this rule, but the mayor wasn't having it.
KHAN: I'm exceptional, so for Donald Trump to say Mayor Khan can be allowed but not the rest is ridiculous.
[17:54:51] AMANPOUR: In the year since his election, Sadiq Khan has faced even more daunting challenges in rapid succession. For instance, London voted to remain in the E.U. referendum, and the mayor has been working hard to hold onto its reputation as capital city of the world in a post-Brexit life. He declared London, the engine of the U.K. economy, is open for business.
And then there's been the terrorism. In March of this year, a man drove a vehicle into pedestrians walking across Westminster Bridge killing five before driving onto Parliament, leaping out and knifing a policeman to death before police shot him dead.
For some reason, Donald Trump Jr tweeted, "You have to be kidding me. Terror attacks, a part of living in big cities said London Mayor Sadiq Khan." The mayor had been misquoted and he refused to engage.
KHAN: I'm not going to respond to a tweet from Donald Trump Jr. I've been doing far more important things over the next 24 hours.
AMANPOUR: Then the terrorists struck London again, another horrifying attack on London Bridge that killed eight when a vehicle again rammed the sidewalk. And then three attackers ran into the famous Borough Market, filled with people enjoying dinner and drinks on a Saturday night. They slashed and swiped their way through with knives and machetes, wounding dozens of people before police shot them all dead. Again, the mayor had to mobilize London's resources and emergency services, comfort the wounded, mourn the dead and hold another vigil. And another interview, explaining that more security would not be deployed on the capitol's streets.
But in an early morning tweet from the White House, President Trump launched this missile at Khan, quote, "At least seven dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there's no reason to be alarmed."
Of course, Khan had not said that. He had said not to be alarmed by the added security, and his office said he had more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump's ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remark.
London rallied, and less than two weeks later, Borough Market was open again, rung in by the traditional bells.
AMANPOUR: But who could have imagined this twist of fate? Just hours earlier, before dawn, the worst fire in recent British history broke out in the West London's Notting Hill area. A towering inferno that made hundreds of low-income families destitute, homeless. More than a dozen have been officially declared dead, but there are so many missing that the death toll from this charred building will rise dramatically. Dozens of people were wounded.
And, again, the mayor, this time with his fire chief, on the scene of yet another disaster.
KHAN: Our thoughts and prayers, and I'm sure the thoughts and prayers of the entire country, over the family and friends of those in the building and affected by this tragic and horrific fire. I also make tribute to the amazing emergency services.
AMANPOUR: As this city, this country has been buffeted by unprecedented waves of disaster and violence, this son of a Pakistani bus driver, has been a picture of calm strength, of compassion and resolve. He has the mayor for all seasons.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, London.
CABRERA: And I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Thanks for being with me. I'll see you one hour from now, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
"SMERCONISH" is next.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish, in Philadelphia. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.
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