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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Missing U.S. Sailors Found Dead in Flooded Compartments; Attorney: Trump Will Answer "Tapes" Question Soon; Prosecutors Plan to Retry Cosby Case; Mike Pence's Awkward Positions as Vice President. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired June 18, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: -- catcher grandson Pete Rose III on the mound and his son Tyler Rose with playing umpire there guys.
[07:00:06] So, Pete Rose having a fun day at the ballpark. Don't think he is ever getting into the baseball hall of fame considering he is still banned from baseball.
RENE MARSH, CNN ANCHOR: I'm still thinking about the pink pants!
SCHOLES: He played so well yesterday.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Andy.
SCHOLES: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven U.S. sailors reported missing after a collision at sea are dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A U.S. warship collided with the container ship when that crash happened. The ship took on water. It was damaged both above and below the water line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't tell you how proud I am of the crew for what they did to save the ship. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those ship mates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are looking now at whether there is obstruction of justice charge, chargeable against the president of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will the president move to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rosenstein is a key witness in the case and you can't be supervising an investigation where you are a key witness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump, by statute, can't fire Mueller.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His tweets on this matter have been unending and unceasing. I don't think most people are taking it very seriously.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
MARSH: Well, good morning, everyone. I'm Rene Marsh in for Christi Paul today.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.
MARSH: And this morning, a U.S. defense official is confirming that seven sailors went missing after a collision involving a destroyer near Japan are dead. Their bodies were found in flooded compartments of the USS Fitzgerald. The commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet says that the ship suffered significant damage, but that, quote, heroic efforts of the crew prevented the destroyer from sinking.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Alexandra Field joins us. She is in Yokosuka, Japan, the home base of the USS Fitzgerald.
Alexandra, good morning.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And of the Seventh Fleet, Victor. They are grieving this morning for the loss of the ship mates who were on board the USS Fitzgerald when that collision happened. It is still an inexplicable crash for so many reasons, so difficult for so many people at this point to understand how a U.S. warship out on a routine operation could have collided with a container ship some three times its size.
But the naval community here and the family members of service men and women were holding out hope for more than a day as search efforts continue to try and locate seven missing sailors. Those search efforts coming to an end with the Navy announcing that divers had made a discovery going down into the flooded compartments of a ship that has returned to port now. They say they discovered remains of sailors.
The commander of the 7th fleet here in Yokosuka spoke to the media today, talking about what the final moments on board that ship may have been like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD: Is there anything you can share about the circumstances that those sailors were facing in those moments down in those birthing areas? Do we know if these sailors were awake at the time of the collision, if they were awake afterward and if they tried to escape? And also, if you could just very briefly give us the mechanics of this crash? Are we talking about a t-bone, a sideswiping? Were there any calls for help in advance or any efforts to maneuver to avoid a collision from either vehicle? VICE ADMIRAL JOSEPH AUCOIN, COMMANDER, SEVENTH FLEET, U.S. NAVY:
Thanks for your comments there. So, it was at 2:20 in the morning. We do have watch teams that are awake throughout the night. But a significant part of the crew was sleeping.
And as I said before, two compartments that house 116 of the crew are in those compartments. And it was a significant impact to the side of the ship, and you can't see most of the damage. The damage is mostly underneath the water line and it's a large gash and near the key of the ship. And so, the water flow was tremendous.
And so, there wasn't a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea. And as you can see now, the ship is still listing and so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface, so it was traumatic.
As to how much warning they had? I don't know. That's going to be found out during the investigation. But it was a significant impact that the crew had to fight very hard to keep the ship afloat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[07:05:04] FIELD: The Navy has ordered that investigation into what went so terribly wrong. Three people who were on board the USS Fitzgerald had to be medevaced away from the crash site, including the commander of that ship. Tonight, he is being described as being lucky to be alive after his quarters were decimated during that crash. We are told he and others are in stable condition, but that he is not able to speak with investigators. So, certainly, so many outstanding questions at this point, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Alexandra Field for us this morning. Thank you.
MARSH: And joining us now, CNN military analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.
I want to start with the vice admiral of the Seventh Fleet. He wouldn't speculate on exactly how this accident happened. We do know there are multiple investigations happening, including one by the Navy and the Coast Guard. But what will they be looking for during the course of this investigation?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think, as you say, we know now what happened. We just don't know how it happened. How did these two vessels converge in the middle of the night?
You know, there are very strict rules, the law of the sea, about how vessels pass each other and how they conduct in these shipping lanes. It's a very congested shipping lane. Now, we have to find out which one of these ships altered course or was not following the proper guidelines because, you know, it's unusual for ships of this size to get that close.
MARSH: All right. I want to switch gears and turn to Afghanistan. As you know, seven U.S. soldiers, they were wounded in the northern region of Afghanistan. One of those so-called green on blue attack, an insider attack. Of course, this is all happening when Defense Secretary Mattis is preparing to increase the number of troops dispatched to that area.
How do you think this latest attack may influence his decision as far as how many troops to send?
FRANCONA: Well, you know, every time we have one of these attacks, we go back and we try and find out what happened. But that's not the big problem. As you say, is what are we doing in the future?
General Mattis is talking about deploying another 4,000 American troops to a war that is 16 years old. I think many of the Americans are tired of it and they want some clarity. They want to know, what exactly is the mission in Afghanistan? Is it winnable? And are we going to continue to send American troops there when we have these incidents?
When you have these incidents, it underscores the inability of the Afghan government to properly vet their own people and it also tells us that the Taliban has been very effective in putting sleepers into the Afghan army and then they conduct these kinds of operation. So, it's just a very confusing situation and General Mattis really has to define what he wants to happen in Afghanistan before I think he should deploy any more troops to Afghanistan.
MARSH: And speaking of Mattis -- I mean, he now has the authority to increase the number of troops in the region. President Trump gave him that authority. This is what Mattis told lawmakers on Capitol Hill recently.
He said, quote, the president gave him the authority to turn numbers up and down as necessary when it comes to U.S. troops in the region. Some, though, have criticized this move saying that the president shouldn't be giving Mattis all of this discretion here, that this should be something that the president should be responsible for. What are your thoughts on this?
FRANCONA: Well, as long as the president exercises oversight of what General Mattis does, I don't have a problem with that. We've been -- we have been calling for the decentralization of some of these authorities for a long time rather than everything being controlled right at the White House. You give the Pentagon, give the secretary of defense, and give some of the generals in the theater some control over what the troop levels are. They are there. They know what the troop levels are required.
MARSH: All right. Well, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, thank you so much for joining us today.
FRANCONA: Good to be with you.
BLACKWELL: All right. We've got the latest now on a raging wildfire in Portugal and going on this morning, it's already killed dozens of people already, 57 people have died, dozens of injuries. Officials are describing it as the greatest wildfire tragedy of recent years.
MARSH: And some victims burned to death trapped inside of their cars while trying to get away. Portugal's president offering a word of comfort to those still battling the fires, saying, quote, all that can be done was done. Authorities expect that the death toll will continue to rise.
BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump's big reveal is expected this week? The question here, will we find out if there are actually White House tapes of his conversations with a FBI Director James Comey.
MARSH: Plus, new details about a third noose that's been found outside a museum in the nation's capital.
BLACKWELL: Also now that the Bill Cosby case is over, his attorney is raising questions about the comedian's health.
[07:10:05] CNN sat down for an exclusive with one of his attorneys, just hours after the declared mistrial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe, though, that Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted women for decades?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, TRUMP LAWYER: President said he is going to address the issue of the tapes, whether the tapes exist or not, next week. That's a decision the president will make in consultation with his chief lawyer Marc Kasowitz, and the president said he'll dress it next week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: OK. So, now, next week is this week. And you heard it there directly from a member of the president's legal team. That was Jay Sekulow saying that the president would reveal to the country this week whether or not there are recordings of his conversations in the Oval Office.
MARSH: And to remind you, this comes after the president appeared to threaten fired FBI Director James Comey in a tweet last month.
[07:15:00] You can see where he put the word tapes in quote. Well, as we wait for the answer, we have getting account of Trump's tendency to tape conversations while he was a businessman, and the lawsuits that transpired.
Here is CNN correspondent Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are either a vital threat or important evidence.
REPORTER: Do tapes exist of your conversations with him?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future.
TODD: Alleged recordings or tapes as the president describe them on Twitter of meetings between Donald Trump and fired FBI Director James Comey, that the White House has yet to release or confirm they are real.
But some people who have worked with or interviewed Trump in the past say they believe the president's Twitter tease may be nothing more than a tantalizing trick.
MARC FISHER, SENIOR EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: He certainly has made comments along the way to reporters about taping us while we are having conversations with him, especially on the phone.
TODD: Marc Fisher is an editor at "The Washington Post." He says despite those claims, he has never seen evidence those recordings exist, but when he interviewed Trump for a biography, he says, it became clear that Trump had other people listening in on conversations in his office at Trump Tower.
FISHER: In the middle of a discussion, he asked if we wanted anything to drink. And we said, sure. And he, in a very soft voice said, two waters and a Coke, and there is nobody else in the room, and less than a minute later, the secretary walks in with two waters and a Coke, and turned out from our discussion later on the second was, indeed, listening in on the conversations in the office.
TODD: Casino developer William Weidner told "The Wall Street Journal" that during a lawsuit, Trump's team once produced a recording of a phone conversation Weidner had with Trump which Weidner never knew was being recorded. "The Journal" cites three former high level employees of Trump as saying Trump sometimes tape conversations from his Trump Tower office, where he had one or more recording devices that he used to record calls.
When biographer Timothy O'Brien was sued by Trump, he says Trump threatened that he taped O'Brien him.
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, SUED BY TRUMP FOR LIBEL: During our deposition with Trump which was over two days in December of 2007, we asked him, do you, indeed, tape people and he said, no. And we had so you don't have a tape recording system set up in Trump Tower? He said, no, I do not have that set up.
TODD: In talking to reporters, Trump has raised other questions about his honesty.
TRUMP: Well, I'm sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it.
TODD: Trump biographers say in the 1980s and early 1990s, Trump would speak to reporters on the phone masquerading as his own PR agent, fictitious front man he called John Miller or John Barron.
"JOHN MILLER": He's somebody that has a lot of options. And frankly, he gets called by everybody. He gets called by everybody in the book, in terms of woman.
TODD: Trump denied doing that, but his answers to reporters this time about whether tapes of White House conversations exist have sounded less like a denial and more like a cliffhanger.
REPORTER: When will you tell us about the recordings?
TRUMP: Over a very short period of time.
REPORTER: Why won't you tell us now? Are there tapes, sir?
TRUMP: Oh, you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don't worry.
TODD (on camera): We also reached out to President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen and the attorney for the Trump Organization Alan Garten. Both of them told us they are not aware of any instance where Trump secretly recorded any conversations with anyone while he was in the private sector and they say they never saw any recording devices in his offices.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
BLACKWELL: All right. Let's discuss now. Josh Rogin, CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist is with us. Sarah Westwood, White House correspondent for "The Washington Examiner" is back. And we had Danny Cevallos, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney.
All right. So the tapes. One of the president's attorneys, Jay Sekulow, is going to be on with Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning. He said that this is the week we are going to learn if there are tapes.
Why drag this out, Josh?
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, basically, this is what Donald Trump does any time he doesn't want to tell us something. He says next week or in two weeks. It's convenient because it's long enough that you don't ask every day, but it's short enough that you still stay excited. You know, it's sort of his way of stringing everybody along without actually making a decision.
So, I don't think, you know, Jay Sekulow was speaking for himself. He was referring to the president's statements which as we know is a perilous thing for a spokesman of this president, right? That's all they can do. They don't have any more information than we do when these decision are coming out. They are forced to refer to the president's statements. These president's statements often proved to be totally incorrect and
then they are left holding the bag looking like they've sacrificed their credibility and that's not a Jay Sekulow problem. That's a Trump problem and a problem that everyone -- all of the rest of his aides have also experienced.
BLACKWELL: OK. So, Sarah, let's game it both ways, If there are tapes, by tapes, some rig in the Oval Office or cell phone recordings. If there are no tapes, what was the point?
SARAH WESTWOOD, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: That is a great question.
[07:20:00] I mean, this tapes tweet has turned out one of the most costly mistakes the president has made in retrospect, at least when it come to social media. I mean, keep in mind that former FBI Director James Comey said that he only decided to leak portions of his memos after he saw the president vaguely threatening him on Twitter with secret recordings. And then the deputy attorney general only decided to appoint a special counsel based on the details of James Comey's memos that had come to life.
So, beyond just the fact there are questions hanging over the White House daily about whether there are or are not tapes, the tweet has far more expensive damage on the administration so far.
BLACKWELL: So, Danny, you know, I know that we may be trying to make sense of something that is completely nonsensical here, but let me ask you. If there are tapes and we know the legal process sometimes does not keep up with the public's desire to know, is there potentially a legal strategy that prevents the White House or his attorneys from acknowledging that there are recordings and releasing them?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: When we talk about President Trump's tendency to tape things in his private life, things are totally different once he becomes the president. Tapes made in the White House are presumptively the property of the office of the president. Not -- they're not private items and that's because of the Presidential Records Act, a product of the Nixon administration.
However, that doesn't really help us much today, because all that does is five years after Trump's presidency, it allows us to obtain those record by a FOIA request. So, that's not much help today. But what else Nixon also taught us is that these tapes may be subpoenaed, so that if they are, the White House will be forced to acknowledge whether they exist, whether they don't exist, or refuse to hand them over.
And we saw in the Nixon presidency that often that claim of executive privilege is not as blanket, it's not as forceful as a president might want it to be.
BLACKWELL: So, Danny, let me ask also ask you quickly. One thing Nixon did not have was a cell phone. Is there a legal distinction if they are recording -- using government recording devices or if it's the president's personal cell phone in his pocket? CEVALLOS: It's interesting how technology has sort of evolved our
notion of recording. We talk about recording systems in the White House. I have a recording system right here in my iPhone and we all do. So, recording systems can fit in a pen nowadays.
So, it really raises the question whether or not a pen recording or something you can buy at sharper image is a presidential recording under the Presidential Recording Act and it appears that it is. And again, the breadth of a subpoena from Congress can be very, very broad. It can cover something like a pen just bought at a store that happens to record and it's kept in your pocket.
So, there is very little distinction but technology forces us to re- evaluate and re-examine the federal laws that were enacted decades before we imagine this would exist.
BLACKWELL: Josh, we follow the patterns or claim of statements on Twitter of 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally or the previous president tapped the phones at Trump Tower, there will not be a clean yes or no on this tweet. Is that what -- are we expecting they will say, yes, there are tapes, no, there are no tapes without some action from Congress?
ROGIN: Yes, the only pattern is that there is no pattern and there is no way to predict whether or not the president will make good on his promises, explain what he is talking about, explain what he is tweeting, or force his surrogates to continue to sort of tread water in a way that satisfies no one. I mean, you know, it's one thing for the president to make these claims. It's another thing for him to send out his people -- to back them up with no assurance whatsoever that he is going to back them up two days, two week, two months, or two years down the line.
So, we've entered this space where, you know, presidential tweets, which the press is tweeting as presidential statements, don't really have the credibility that presidential statements would have in any normal environment and that is disruptive not just for the sort of understanding of what our government is doing, but for all of the people who work for him who are put in this position where they simply can't win because there is nothing they can say that they can be sure of.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we treat them as official statements for two reasons. One, the White House communications office calls them official statements from the president and because it's the president. It's the most direct route from his brain to the American public and he gave us two this morning.
Josh Rogin, Sara Westwood, Danny Cevallos, thanks so much.
ROGIN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. And be sure to watch "STATE OF THE UNION." Jake Tapper will have Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump's legal team on and we will be hearing from Senators Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders as well. [07:25:00] That is today on "STATE OF THE UNION" at 9:00 a.m. Eastern,
right here on CNN.
MARSH: And authorities in Washington, D.C. investigate another incident involving a noose left near a museum.
BLACKWELL: And Bill Cosby's case ended in a mistrial but now his attorney says that he is worried about the star's health. He speaks exclusively with CNN.
MARSH: Welcome back. I'm Rene Marsh, in for Christi Paul this morning.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victory Blackwell. Good morning to you.
MARSH: And taking a look at our top story morning. A U.S. military official says the body of seven sailors who went missing after a Navy warship collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan have been found.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUCOIN: We have found a number of -- the remains of a number of our missing shipmates and our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those shipmates.
[07:30:08] Out of concern for the families and the notification process, I will decline to state how many we have found at this time. We owe it to the families and friends of the shipmates and hope you can respect this process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: A naval official says there was significant damage to the USS Fitzgerald, including a big gash under the water line and both the coast guard and navy are expected to launch investigations.
Attorneys on both sides are now talking about the Cosby mistrial. Andrea Constand's lawyer told CNN she was not surprised by the outcome but was thankful to the diligence of the jury.
MARSH: And in an exclusive interview with CNN's Jean Casarez, Cosby's attorney says that he is worried about the aging entertainer's health.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN MCMONAGLE, BILL COSBY'S ATTORNEY: I have been greatly concerned for his health. I don't know that I'll ever see 79, but if I do, I don't know that I could survive what he survived this week.
I've been trying cases for 30 years. And it was difficult for me and I have no idea how he managed to sit in a room and endure while strangers were deciding his destiny and his fate. I think it did take a tremendous toll on him. Any time you start a trial and end a trial with your client being
presumed innocent, it can't be a loss. Having said that, there are no winners here. We tried a case for a week. A jury deliberated for 50 some hours without a verdict.
But, you know, as I've said many times before, as long as you can leave that courtroom with your client presumed innocent as he began, then I'm satisfied.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH: Well, the county prosecutor says that he will retry this case.
Joining me now is Danny Cevallos, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney.
Hard to draw any real conclusions here. I mean, the judge told jurors not to discuss their deliberations. So, we really may never know either way how they were leaning.
But, Danny, I do want to ask you about strategy going forward. They said that they going to retry this case. Does the prosecution keep the same strategy that they have? Do they need to regroup? And I ask you the same question about the defense.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The prosecution has to keep the same strategy. It would be very odd if they came up with alternate theories at this point after all of their witnesses have locked in their testimony in a transcript throughout this five-day trial or at least their case in chief. The case, at this point, when a mistrial happens, reverts to its pretrial status. But all of the motions that dealt with issues of law are already decided.
So, the prosecution has very little to do, other than cart over their file back to the courthouse several weeks from now, and try the case again. The defense, on the other hand, has gotten a free look at the prosecution's case in chief. There will be no surprises at this point. And they will have all of that testimony of the prosecution's witnesses locked in as well and available for cross-examination.
So, while this does slightly benefit the defense, there is also the other costs of a second trial on the defense, which is both a massive financial cost that few people can take on, other than someone like Bill Cosby. And then sort of the emotional physical toll of going through a trial again.
So, any benefit to the defense in a mistrial is sort of cancelled by having to go through it again because double jeopardy does not attach.
MARSH: Right. So, I want to talk a little bit more about the defense. I mean, we heard the attorney for bill Cosby essentially saying that he is worried about his health. How may even that aspect about Cosby and his ailing health play into their strategy when they have to defend him a second time around? What do you think the impact will be there? CEVALLOS: Constitutionally, a client must be able to understand the
proceedings and they must be able to assist their lawyer in their defense. That is a fundamental issue of any trial. And Cosby's attorney is right on when he says that, look, at his advancing age, the toll of repeated trials is going to be devastating on him and it's going to eventually raise a question as to how much this defendant can take. There may be just principles of justice that indicate that he should be tried again.
Of course, the prosecution would counter that principle of justice support trying him again on behalf of the victim. But, you know, this is a case that the prosecution did sit on for ten years and just before the statute of limitations they tried to resurrect it and tried this case, which they would have reasons for, but I would be curious to see if the D.A.'s office does this with all sex cases, keep them around for 10 years and reevaluate them every year for strength.
[07:35:18] MARSH: So, if I understand you correctly, are you saying the fact that Cosby's attorney is saying his health is failing, that could essentially play into this case not getting retried if he is just not in any shape to even help to advise his attorney?
CEVALLOS: I'm not saying that yet. I mean, it's something they would have to consider if it came up. If his health declines, which is certainly possible. That may be something -- that wouldn't even be a strategic choice. That is just a constitutional issue that may come up. Mr. McMonagle is probably making the point that, look, in any criminal trial, yes, there is a victim, but especially in the case of somebody who is ultimately not guilty, that person has gone through an ordeal of their own. And he is reminding the public that Mr. Cosby, like any defendant, is a human, he is presumed innocent and any criminal trial takes a devastating toll on everybody.
And again, I'm not saying that without keeping in mind that there are always victims in these cases or complainants who are alleging that they have been injured too and they have been seeking justice. But we should always remember that defendants, especially those who are acquitted, have undergone an ordeal of their own.
MARSH: Right. Danny Cevallos, thank you so much for that.
BLACKWELL: All right. There has been another noose found on the National Mall in Washington.
MARSH: Park police say that this is the latest incident that happened. It happened Saturday, outside of the National Gallery of Art. The noose was hanging from a lamp post.
BLACKWELL: And this is the third time in recent weeks that a noose has been found there at the Mall. One was found inside the African- American Museum of History and Culture. And another was found inside the Hirshhorn Museum.
Coming up, what is it like to be Donald Trump's second in command? The awkward moments that Vice President Mike Pence has found himself in. MARSH: Plus, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is out. The Trump
administration officially announces the controversial conservative is no longer up for a job with Department of Homeland Security. Those details, straight ahead.
[07:41:31] BLACKWELL: This week, we learned that Vice President Mike Pence has obtained a lawyer to respond to inquiries related to the Russia investigation. The vice president, he has remained the loyal soldier and supporter to President Trump, although he has repeatedly found himself in some tricky positions.
Our Randi Kaye reports on the awkwardness and it goes all the way back to the campaign.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And thanks to the leadership --
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After the firing of FBI Director James Comey last month, Vice President Mike Pence insisted the president base his decision on recommendations he'd received.
PENCE: Let me be clear that the president's decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interests of the American people.
KAYE: But the very next day, President Trump put his vice president in an awkward light, by telling NBC he had made the decision to fire Comey on his own.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I did is I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not --
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: You had made decision before they came into the room?
TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey.
KAYE: And on top of that, even though Pence had said publicly that Trump's decision to fire Comey was not related to the Russian investigation.
PENCE: There is no evidence of collusion between our campaign and any Russian official. That is not -- let me be clear.
REPORTER: This investigation --
PENCE: That was not what this is about.
KAYE: He was proven wrong again.
TRUMP: When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.
KAYE (on camera): Also on Russia? Back in January, after then national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled the vice president about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, Mike Pence went on national television defending Flynn's actions.
PENCE: They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose a censure against Russia.
KAYE (voice-over): Later, a spokesman for Flynn said he couldn't be sure that the topic of sanctions hadn't come up in conversations with Russia. He was soon fired but not before embarrassing the vice president.
In February, after Trump blasted a judge for blocking his immigration ban, referring to him as a so-called Judge, Pence once again was on cleanup duty.
PENCE: The president of the United States has every right to criticize the other two branches of government. I think people find it very refreshing that they not only understand this president's mind, but they understand how he feels about things. He expresses himself in a unique way.
KAYE: And even before the election, there were moments on the campaign trail that proved awkward for Pence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa. Whoa!
KAYE: Like when this "Access Hollywood" tape came out.
TRUMP: When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
TRUMP: You can do anything.
KAYE: Pence said in a statement he was offended and cannot defend his then-running mate, but soon after when several women accused Trump of inappropriate behavior, he did just that.
PENCE: He has made it clear that was talk, regrettable talk on his part but that there were no action and he has denied these latest unsubstantiated allegations.
KAYE: Mr. Vice President, a royal soldier, despite it all.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
MARSH: Well, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke won't be taking a homeland security position, a job he claims he accepted months ago. But a DHS spokesman tells CNN, Clarke is no longer being considered
for the position saying, quote: We wish him well. When CNN contacted the agency just last month, it wouldn't confirm that Clarke was offered a position. President Trump met with Clarke just last week during his trip to Milwaukee where they reportedly talked about alternative roles. A representative for Clarke did not respond to a question for comment from CNN.
BLACKWELL: What happens when a former football star turns to baseball? Andy Scholes hat story. Andy?
SCHOLES: A former Heisman Trophy winner has made good throws in his time but this is probably the scariest. We're going to show it to you, coming up next.
MARSH: Well, if you're a competitive runner, you know the routine. You set goals, you train hard and you get injured.
One group wants runners to enjoy the journey more by using their minds to go the distance.
MARTY KIBILOSKI, COACH, RUNNING WITH THE MIND: Mindfulness running is really just being present, being in the moment while you're running, paying close attention without judgment. People I think are drawn to running tend to be goal setters, they really focus on the result.
We can be really hard on ourselves, I must do this. I can't fail at that. It drains energy from your body. You won't do as well in the event you're trying to do, whether it is training or racing.
Typically, we focus on our breath because our breath is there, it's in the present moment. It keeps us in the present moment like an anchor. Sound of your feet hitting the ground, that could be your anchor to present moment.
You can also focus on body sensations, like the wind on your face or the wind across my arms. I can place my mind on my body as I'm running. I can notice my knee is a little sore. I can notice that my hamstring is bothering me today or my hips.
You can be mindful in that way as well to prevent injury. I found that yes, you can still try to achieve, but you can also really enjoy the journey along the way, and that's what I want to help people be better at.
[07:51:38] MARSH: Well, some big names might be missing from the U.S. Open, but one golfer still making history.
BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes has this morning's "Bleacher Report".
A record here, huh?
SCHOLES: Absolutely, guys. Good morning.
Justin Thomas, only 24 years old but that did not stop him from setting the best round ever in the 117-year history of the U.S. Open, and you know what? Maybe it was the pants. Check him out, Thomas rocking the fluorescent pink pants in round three yesterday. And look at his, just incredible.
Thomas shot a 9 under par 63, which was a U.S. Open record. The record-setting round wasn't quite good enough to get him in the lead. He's in a three-way tie for second place right now, one stroke behind Brian Harman, entering the final round. Unless something wild happens today, we're going to see a first-time major winner for the seventh straight time.
Now, if there is a tie at the end of today's round and they don't play a sudden death hole, they're going to play a whole another 18 holes tomorrow.
All right. The NBA draft coming up on Thursday. Most experts thought Washington guard Markelle Fultz was going to be heading to Boston with the number overall pick. Well, that changed yesterday after the Celtics and 76ers agreed on a blockbuster trade. According to multiple reports, they're going to swap number one and number three. The Celtics also going to receive a future first round pick in the deal.
Now, Sixers star Joel Embiid posting a picture with Fultz and teammates Ben Simmons and Robert Covington on Instagram after a workout yesterday, saying "This should be legendary if it happens."
All right. Trending number one on bleacherreport.com this morning, Tim Tebow had an embarrassing moment during last night's game. The former Heisman Trophy winner throwing his bat way up into the stands. Look how far the bat went before it finally landed. Now, luckily, no one was hurt. Tebow did end up striking out in that at-bat.
All right. Finally, Pete Rose still banned from baseball, but that's not stopping his old team from honoring the all-time hits leader. He helped the Cincinnati Reds unveil his statue at Great American Ballpark with Major League Baseball's permission, of course. The larger than life bronze sculpture captures Rose's famous head first slide.
And there was another awesome moment from this game, a three- generation first pitch, his son Pete Rose Jr. And catcher grandson, Pete Ross III on the mound and his son Tyler rose playing umpire there, guys. So, Pete Rose having a fun day at the ball park. I don't think he's ever going to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame though, considering he's still ban from baseball.
MARSH: I still think about the pink.
SCHOLES: The pink pants, in your head now. We'll see what he brings today. He played so well yesterday.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Andy.
All right. Tonight on "PARTS UNKNOWN", Anthony Bourdain eats and drinks his way across Trinidad.
MARSH: That's right, he dives into the mash-up of cultures that makes this beautiful island unique.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN: Trinidad, look, it is not the idyllic sand strip, tourist-friendly, has waters Caribbean island of my dreams.
It's much more interesting than that.
It's a glorious and complicated stew pot of African, Korean, Chinese, Syrian, Lebanese, and of course, Indian.
[07:55:13] All coming together, to make some of the best food, maybe the best food in the Caribbean, and a really fascinating place that I have yet to figure out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH: Well, experience Trinidad tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on "PARTS UNKNOWN" with Anthony Bourdain, right here on CNN.
Thanks, everyone, for joining us this morning. And I want to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day.
BLACKWELL: And Happy Father's Day to mine, too.
"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after a short break.