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GOP Scrambles to Muster Support for Bill in Senate; President Seeks Out Friendly Fox Interviewers; Raging Wildfires Spread Across Southwest; Publicists: Cosby Town Halls Not About Sexual Assault; Assange Blasts "Doomed" Dems Over Russia Investigation; Supreme Court Could Issue Travel Ban Order Tomorrow. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired June 25, 2017 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:00:34] ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Always so grateful to have your company in the morning here.

We talk about two big stories this hour. First of all, the mad dash to muster up yes votes on the health care bill. It is on. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell working on his art of the deal. But with some GOP holdouts, if there is a vote on Thursday, he may not have enough votes to get that bill through the Senate.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Now, this comes as President Trump is slamming Democrats' resistance of the health plan. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Their theme is resist. Their theme should be let's get together and develop, let's get together, but their theme is resist. It's obstruction. The problem is they become obstructionists and their voters happen to like it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Also, President Trump is criticizing the Obama administration on the Russia hacking allegations in the run-up to the 2016 election, accusing the administration of not taking action to stop it to help Hillary Clinton's presidential run.

We are covering this story from all angles with CNN's Ryan Nobles and Brian Stelter.

Let's start with Ryan.

What else are we hearing from the president today?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, there's no doubt, though, the president has a big fight against him this weekend, not just from Democrats but from Republicans that are nervous about the GOP health care bill from the right and the left. Republicans can afford to only lose two votes if they hope to get this bill through the Senate. And right now, there are five Republicans that are openly opposed and at least two others that have voiced serious concerns.

But the president himself is cautiously optimistic. He has backed a bill, but instead he is willing to negotiate with senators that have concerns. And this comes as Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, have argued that these changes could negatively impact millions.

Well, this morning, in an interview that aired on FOX, President Trump pushed back on Obama's criticism but also acknowledged the challenge in front of Republicans in the Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: That was my turn, because I was to see -- I speak from the heart. That's what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart.

Health care is a very complicated subject from the standpoint that you move it this way and this group doesn't like it. You move it a little bit over here, you have a very narrow path. And honestly, nobody can be totally happy. Even without the votes -- forget about votes. This has nothing to do with votes. This has to do with picking a plan that everybody is going to like.

I'd like to say love, but like. We have a very good plan. We have a few people that are, I think you could say, modest. They are not standing on the rooftops and screaming. They want to get some points. I think they'll get some points.

INTERVIEWER: Are Republican senators doing enough to have your back to get that health care bill through?

TRUMP: I think so. You know, I have great relationships with most of the people in the Senate, with as you know most of the people in the House. I think I really -- I work very hard. I made a lot of great friendships with the people in the House, a lot of them. Same thing in the Senate. They are very good people and they are friends of mine.

I don't think they are far off. I don't think they're that far off. You know, the famous last word, right? But I think we are going to get there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: You can sense from the president's voice that he too not 100 percent sure this can get done. And another big problems for the GOP at the timeline, as it stands now, Republicans will need to make these major changes to the bill if they hope to get it passed and Mitchell McConnell's promise to vote before the July 4th recess. That would mean they've to get it done by Friday.

So, expect the wheeling and dealing to begin first thing Monday and another big issue that is going to complicate this debate is the score from the Congressional Budget Office. That is expected on Monday or Tuesday, and it could change the direction of the debate as well.

A lot going on here in Washington at the beginning of this week, Victor.

BLACKWELL: A busy week. Ryan Nobles in Washington, thank you so much.

NOBLES: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's turn back to this interview with FOX News this morning. I want you to listen to a couple of the questions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

INTERVIEWER: Who has been your biggest opponent? Has it been Democrats resisting? Has been it fake news media? Has it been deep stake leaks? How frustrating is to have former President Obama out there leading resistance?

I opened up the failing "New York Times" and "The Washington Post" this morning. No mention at all of this bill that you're signing today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: OK, let's bring in Brian Stelter, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES".

[07:05:00] Brian, good morning to you.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: And the president from my search, correct me if I'm wrong, hasn't done a sit-down one on one TV interview with a non-FOX reporter/anchor in about six weeks. He clearly likes the questions he is getting there.

STELTER: You're absolutely right. Six weeks ago, NBC's Lester Holt had an interview with the president, didn't go very well for the president. Since then, no interviews outside FOX News. It's not just that he's only speaking with FOX, he's really only speaking with the friendliest possible interviewers at FOX, people that are supportive of his presidency, who ask him softball questions.

Nonetheless, as Ryan was just saying there, there is more some news out of this recent interview. You know, the president for the first time confirming that he thought the House version of the health care bill was mean. Remember, that was leaked out by a GOP source. And the White House wouldn't confirm it, but now, Trump in his own words is saying, yeah, I called the bill -- I called it mean.

And then there was there lip clip, another soft question from the FOX interviewer. Take a look at Trump's answer, talking about Russia, talking about President Obama's alleged inaction about Russian hacking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I just heard today, for the first time, that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election and he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that. That the CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even, you know, before the election. And I hardly see it. It's an amazing thing to me.

You know, in other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: Two fact checks about the really interesting response. Number one, the entire country has known for many months that President Obama knew quite a bit about the Russian hacking last fall and last winter. President Obama put sanctions into place, for example.

The issue is not why Obama did nothing. The issue is why Obama didn't do more. Surely Trump has been briefed on all of the actions that the U.S. government took before he took office in January. So, it's interesting the president was saying in that clip, this is the first time today that I've ever heard that Obama knew about the hacking before the election.

Trump is referring to a "Washington Post" story from Friday that went into new detail about exactly what Putin was doing and when he was doing it. But I think it's interesting, Victor, that the entire country knew many months ago about the extent of the Russian hacking and about Obama's response, about the sanctions and things like that. The debate now is, why Obama didn't do more? Why the steps are relatively modest?

But there in the sound bite from FOX, the president acting like he didn't know it until now. I think the disappointment is when you have a friendly interviewer who is just there to make the president look good and not follow up with tough questions, there was a lack of follow-up in the interview.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the president feigning surprise here because he was briefed by intelligence head several months ago on the Russia meddling.

Brian Stelter, see you later this morning.

STELTER: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: We want to update you now on the massive wildfires that are blazing under some really extreme heat across half a dozen states out west. Tens of thousands of acres now scorched, people are being forced to abandon their homes as that deadly heat wave continues. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL (voice-over): Two massive wildfires in southern Arizona and Utah are threatening homes, properties, and lives. The so-called Brian Head Fire in Utah has already expanded to more than 40,000 acres and it's only 8 percent contained. Nearly a thousand firefighters are trying to save communities, and while some spots are cooled off enough for residents to return for a short time.

SHERIFF DANNY PERKINS, GARFIELD COUNTY: We will all go in and get what they need for 15 minutes, we're all going to come out together.

PAUL: Others gathered at this community center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is where the fire started was there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

PAUL: Are still waiting to go behind fire lines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got out there last night about 1:00, and we could see the flames up over the top.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sleepless nights. We have 20 years of memory on that mountain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So no go to go up there, they said. So, we can't get in.

PAUL: Residents are relying on burn maps to see if their properties are damaged. Officials are urging people who can't get back to please be patient.

SHAYNE WARD, FIRE SPOKESMAN: It's heart wrenching. I get it. You know? There is cabins up there that are generations old. With the cabins we have lost and that is heart wrenching. It could have been much worse.

PAUL: In the meantime, Arizona's governor has declared a state of emergency, as crews battle the Fry Fire northeast of Tucson. That fire was sparked by a lightning strike. It's burned more than 35,000 acres and is 29 percent contained. Despite the frustration for so many in both states, one woman just wants to get on with the cleanup.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just hope I can go back to rotten food in the freezer and the refrigerator stinks! Yeah. It would be nice if those things are still there to have to deal with!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[07:10:01] PAUL: No doubt about it. The power outages, flight cancellations, also some of the results of that heat wave. We're going to continue to watch it and bring you any changes as we hear them.

We have a heart breaking message here from the mother of a child who was born with a genetic disorder, and her call to lawmakers who are working on health care bill. She says, look, my son in the eyes and tell him that he's fought so hard to be here. But, sorry, you're just not worth it any more. I dare you.

We're going to talk to that mom in jus a moment.

BLACKWELL: Plus, these disturbing images of a burned Koran stuffed with bacon. This was near an Islamic center in California. We will talk about the possible hate crime ahead.

PAUL: And powerful images coming into us this morning from Pakistan. Look at this. This is an oil tanker explosion. More than 130 people have been killed. We'll have more details for you as they come in. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:15:01] BLACKWELL: Bill Cosby's publicists are now denying that a potential upcoming tour of town halls will be about sexual assault and how to avoid being accused of it.

PAUL: Yes, I spoke to Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt last hour. They adamantly said at the time that the tours are not about sexual assault. They're about restoring Cosby's legacy following this mistrial in this high profile sex defense case.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EBONEE BENSON, BILL COSBY'S PUBLICIST: First, I just want to be clear. The town hall meetings are not about sexual assault. I will repeat. These town hall meetings are not about sexual assault.

This went way beyond a comment made from an interview by my colleague a couple of days ago when we initially talked about the town hall meetings, it was about restoration of legacy, much to what Mrs. Cosby spoke on in her statement is the sensationalism brought on by the media. This is another example of that. To take something meant to talk about the restoration of this man's legacy that was destroyed by the media before he even had a chance to step into the courtroom. That's what this is about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Restoration of legacy. You heard that is when she had there, that this tour is about.

PAUL: Right.

BLACKWELL: But that does not match at all what she and her colleague told an interviewer on Thursday where they unprompted, brought up the idea of town halls and what they will be about. Watch and listen carefully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDREW WYATT, BILL COSBY'S PUBLICIST: We are now planning town halls and we're going to be --

INTERVIEWER: Really?

WYATT: -- coming to this city sometime in July.

INTERVIEWER: Like a town hall and just talk with people.

WYATT: Talk to young people, because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. You know, this issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they're facing when they are hanging out and partying, when they are doing certain things that they shouldn't be doing. And it also affects, you know, married men.

INTERVIEWER: Is it kind of do as I say but not as I do situation?

BENSON: Laws are changing. Laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So, this why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder. You know, anything at this point could be considered sexual assault. It's very -- it's a good thing to be educated about the law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: OK. So, notice, they didn't say anything about restoring his image in that clip.

BLACKWELL: Not at all.

PAUL: To be clear, this was not a media narrative. This came from Cosby's publicity team on tape replayed as you saw for national audiences. Prosecutors we know plan to retry the case after the jury deadlocked 10-2. We will see what happens with those town halls as we move forward.

All righty. This morning, authorities in California are investigating two separate incidents outside mosques as possible hate crimes on the eve of one of the holiest days of Ramadan. In one incident, turn pages of a Koran were thrown out of a moving car in front of a mosque in Davis. There was a second incident a burned Koran filled with bacon found hanging by handcuffs from a fence outside another mosque in Sacramento.

BLACKWELL: Civil rights groups are now coming out to slam these incidents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASIM ELKARRA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CAIR SACRAMENTO VALLEY: They want to rip out pages of any book, you know, in their homes, there's no issue. But when you try to intimidate a community, unfortunately, we have been seeing a lot of these type of cases around the nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: The Council on American Islamic Relations also issued a statement. Here is part of it: Decisive action by law enforcement authorities sends a strong message to deterrence to anyone who contemplates turning their bigoted views into acts of intimidation.

At least 135 people are now dead and dozens more are injured after an oil tanker exploded in Pakistan in Sunday. This happened after a truck came off the road. Villages then tried to siphon off oil. That death toll has risen during the hour and a half we have been on television and it is expected to continue to rise.

PAUL: And let's talk about what's happening in China this morning as well, because rescue crews are working around the clock to find survivors of that massive landslide. Here are some of the latest pictures we're getting in. But authorities have revised a death toll with the government press offices, office, telling CNN now ten bodies have been recovered. Chinese media says at least 93 people are still missing.

Authorities believe heavy rainfall yesterday morning is what triggered the landslide. This is in the southwest part of the country. But they are all still there seeing if they can recover anyone who may still be buried.

It is no doubt an emotional message from the mother of a seriously sick child to lawmakers on the health care bill issue. She says, quote, his life is intimately precious. That's why we fight so hard.

We are talking to her, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:24:01] BLACKWELL: Extra police officers are now on patrol in northern England. They are in Newcastle after six people there were injured, according to police, when a car ran into a group of pedestrians. We've got some new video that came in the last couple of minutes. I want you to watch and listen.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

BLACKWELL: What is happening there in the context of what has happened in the last couple of weeks, you can understand why people are running. It happened here outside the Westgate sports center immediately after Eid prayers. That's according to the Newcastle central mosque Facebook page.

PAUL: Here's what we know. Police have arrested a 42-year-old woman but they do not believe, they say, that it was a terror attack. They say they are not looking for any other suspects. But as Victor mentioned, when you put it into context the tensions are high in U.K. after a rush of terror incidents, including a van attack just last weekend in London in front of a mosque there.

[07:25:06] BLACKWELL: All right. The clock ticking now on the health care bill sitting in the Senate with the GOP hoping to vote on this plan by Thursday. There is a lot of dealing that is going on right now. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to just get together enough yes votes.

But so far, there are several GOJP holdouts and combined with all of the Democrats who are voting no. Right now, the prognosis for the bill is not looking good.

This morning, President Trump is slamming Obamacare on FOX News. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The bottom line is they worked so long and so hard, they got a plan that didn't work. They got a health care plan that didn't work. And I've only been there for five months. You know? They worked for a long time.

During the Clinton administration, they worked essentially during the entire administration. Health care is a very, very tough thing to get, but I think we're going to get it. We don't have too much of a choice because the alternative is the dead carcass of Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Lawmakers push to get a health care bill through the Senate, there is a mom who is speaking out about it. Alison Chandra's son Ethan was born with a serious genetic defect. It's a rare disorder in which some organs form on the wrong side of the body and results in heart defect as well. She tweeted her son's hospital bill and it went viral.

This morning, both Allison and Ethan who is now nearly 3 years old are joining us.

Good morning to you. Hi, Ethan! How are you?

ALISON CHANDRA: Can you say hi?

ETHAN CHANDRA: No.

ALISON CHANDRA: No, OK, he's almost three. So --

PAUL: Understandable. Understandable. No doubt about it.

So, Allison, we are so grateful you're with us. Help us understand here. I know that Ethan's heart is now formed from this syndrome.

What else has happened to his body? Help us understand the health challenges he face now.

ALISON CHANDRA: OK. So, heterotaxy syndrome literally means different arrangements. So, any of the internal organs can be malformed, missing, multiplied, or misplaced. So, Ethan was born with nine heart defects, nine congenital heart defects. He has two with left lungs. Five or so spleens of dubious function and his liver and his gallbladder are down the middle of his body along with his heart and then his stomach is on the ride instead of the left side. PAUL: Seeing the pictures on the right are so -- such a stark

contrast to what we see from him on your lap, because he is happy, he seem to be doing really well. Yeah, that is you, Ethan!

ETHAN CHANDRA: That is me!

PAUL: As we said, I know he is turning 3 this coming week.

ALISON CHANDRA: Yes. On Saturday!

PAUL: I want people to understand, though, what you're dealing with here. He has had four open chest surgeries in his short three years.

ALISON CHANDRA: Yes.

PAUL: Eight E.R. visits. Regularly sees a pediatrician, immunologist, cardiologist, electrophysiologist for the pacemaker that he has and five prescription meds multiple times a day. I know that you contend the new health care act would change all of this.

Help us understand how the health care act, Obamacare has helped you thus far.

ALISON CHANDRA: Yes. So, when Ethan was first diagnosed with heterotaxy, I was 24 weeks pregnant. We were on maternity leave from a hospital ship where my husband and I worked in West Africa providing free surgical care, and health care development for the poor and underserved in that area of the world. We worked for nearly six years with an organization called Mercy Ship.

And we came home expecting to have our baby and go right back to the ship once he was 8 weeks old. But instead, we are facing this incredibly uncertain future for our kid. We had been volunteering for nearly six years, so we didn't have a huge bank account left to draw from for his costs. And the travel insurance that we carried while we were on the ship maxed out before we even had Ethan completely diagnosed in utero.

So, we were able, through the Medicaid expansion --

ETHAN CHANDRA: That's me.

ALISON CHANDRA: That is you -- we were able to turn to Medicaid, and Medicaid covered his -- the rest of my pregnancy care, it covered his birth at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It covered his first two surgeries, until my husband was able to get a job and we were able to go on to his work insurance.

Would you like your water now?

PAUL: His work insurance, was that part of Obama?

ALISON CHANDRA: So --

PAUL: Or no? ALISON CHANDRA: So, we don't -- we have an employer plan, so it's not

technically through an Obamacare exchange. But what I think what a lot of people are not really noticing or not really talking about is that this new bill that's before the Senate right now is not just affecting those who are insured through the Obamacare exchanges.

[07:30:06] PAUL: Uh-huh.

ALISON CHANDRA: This bill will have serious negative effects on people who have employer plans like us.

It allows for the stripping and the waving of essential health benefits. Essential health benefits are things like hospitalization. We have multiple hospitalizations a year. We have two extra ones this year just for common viruses.

PAUL: So, preexisting conditions is something concerning to you. The federal plan, plans for it, but they give the states the option to opt out of it?

ALISON CHANDRA: Right, exactly. Ethan didn't ask to be born with a preexisting condition. He is who he is and I wouldn't change him for anything. But the fact is that he was born with a laundry list of preexisting conditions.

PAUL: So, what is your biggest fear at this point?

ALISON CHANDRA: My fear is that this bill will come into effect and that we will no longer be able to -- he is drinking water, by the way, not coffee. Just for anyone --

PAUL: I believe you. I've got three myself. I know they don't need any caffeine at that age. Trust me, I get it.

ALISON CHANDRA: Only me, only me. Say hi, everyone.

Yes. So, my fear this bill comes into play and suddenly health benefits are no longer covered, which is things like hospitalizations. Prescription medications, he will rely on prescription medications for the rest of his life. He is functionally a splenic and he will need to take prophylactic antibiotics for the rest of his life to prevent and protect against sepsis, which is a huge risk of death for our kids in the heterotaxy community.

And the other thing that it does is it allows states to waive -- through waivers, states will be allowed to reinstate lifetime caps on services. The lifetime caps, the typical -- can you wait for me for one minute? Can you look at yourself? Can you wave to yourself?

ETHAN CHANDRA: No.

ALISON CHANDRA: Wave to dad. The typically -- she is waving to you!

The typical cap on insurance, lifetime pay-out before the ACA -- you can go down. Here. You go down and you see if you can find daddy.

Typically -- sorry.

PAUL: That's OK. No, we get it. We get it.

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: No, it's OK. Let me ask you this. I want to put up this picture because it was really moving. It went viral that you put on Twitter of Ethan and you said, look at my son in the eyes and tell him that he has fought so hard to be here but sorry, you're not just worth it. Anyone, I dare you.

It is impossible, no doubt not to take what's happening in Washington personally. This isn't about statistics. This is about people. People like your son.

ALISON CHANDRA: Right.

PAUL: Do you, however, really think that legislators want him to die, that they don't think he is worth it, or do you they are just disconnected from the work they are doing and the people it affects?

ALISON CHANDRA: I don't think that -- I honestly -- this is why I post our story. This is why I share our story. I don't think anyone can look a 2-year-old child in the face and say, I think you're not worth it. But what they are doing with these bills, what they are doing with a lifetime cap is saying you have used up enough resources. I'm sorry you were born sick and sorry your mother chose life for you and you were born sick, but now that life is not worth saving any more.

You can't be -- you can't call yourself pro-life if you're not willing to be a part of the system that protects the most vulnerable, protect life from birth to death.

PAUL: Alison and Ethan, it's been a pleasure to have you here and to hear your story, to follow you on Twitter and see what is happening. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us.

ALISON CHANDRA: Thank you.

PAUL: And very best wishes to all of you for health and happiness.

ALISON CHANDRA: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

So this morning, to defend the health care bill, Tom Price, secretary of health and human services, is going to be on "STATE OF THE UNION". That's coming up at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

We hope you'll stick around for that.

BLACKWELL: Coming up on your NEW DAY, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has advice to the Democrats? Why he's -- it's a backhand slap to the Democratic Party on Twitter? That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:38:26] BLACKWELL: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is blasting the Democratic Party over the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump transition team and Russia in the 2016 election.

PAUL: In a lengthy essay posted to his Twitter account, he said the party is doomed, adding, quote: The Trump-Russia collusion narrative is a political dead end. Despite vast resources, enormous incentives and a year of investigation, Democratic senators who have seen the classified intelligence at CIA headquarters such as Senator Feinstein, as recently as March, are force to do admit that there is no evidence of collusion.

It is starkly obvious that were it not for this hysteria, insurgent narratives of the type promoted by Bernie Sanders would rapidly dominate the party's base and its relationship with the public.

BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now to discuss, Al Weaver, political reporter for "The Washington Examiner."

Al, good morning to you.

And I know the Democrats are taking any advice from Julian Assange how to improve their relationship with the public with a shaker full of salt. But what do you make of the comments there from Julian Assange?

AL WEAVER, POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, I'm not sure I'd say the Democratic Party is doomed by any means right now. I mean, I think it's more apt to say they are facing a tricky situation. I mean, you have House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, very polarizing figure, even, you know, including her own caucus to some degree, and you have a string of special election losses --

BLACKWELL: Yes.

WEAVER: -- you saw culminating with Jon Ossoff on Tuesday.

I think it's more of a tricky situation right now that they are facing and it's going to show -- it's going to preach patience right now. I mean, they are shaping up to have a good midterms in 2018, depending on what happens the next year and a half, obviously.

[07:40:05] But they are facing, you know, a sticky situation a little bit right now.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the 2018 midterms and this I guess divided caucus on what should be their strategy? Should this be hundreds ever referenda on the Trump agenda and the president, or should they go local like Jon Ossoff trying to do in the Georgia sixth but came up short?

WEAVER: Well, they're just going to depend on a few things. It's going to depend on what happens with the Trump administration obviously over the next year and a half. A lot of things can happen there. And, obviously, negatives could go even further south from where they are right now. But I do think, obviously, you have to keep it local right now, or

right now and going into the future. I mean, you saw what John did. He cut a 20 some point deficit that Tom Price won in November to only four or five points. You know, he is, obviously, doing something right in that sense, despite all of the money that was spent on behalf of him and behalf from the Democrats.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

WEAVER: So, it's going to have to be a little bit of both if they really want to get the House back and pull off what they did in 2006.

BLACKWELL: So, you wrote a piece late this week about Nancy Pelosi saying that she is worth a fight after we heard from some Democrats in the House on a challenging she should be the leader moving forward. She is a fund-raising powerhouse. We've got some of the number, $141 million for the 2016 campaign cycle alone and more than a half billion dollars during her time in leadership. That's back to 2002 since she was elected leader.

How real are these rumblings? Is her leadership in jeopardy?

WEAVER: I'm not sure if I'd say it's in jeopardy right now. I mean, one point she made at her press conference on Thursday at a press conference routinely check in with her members to see what her standing is like within the caucus. I don't see her going anywhere.

The main issue right now as far as that's concerned is who would replace her. And it's kind of like the same question the Republicans when some conservatives raised the prospect of Paul Ryan losing his speakership is, who would replace him or her? And they don't really have that answer right now. And, obviously, Tim Ryan ran against her back in the winter. He fell short, obviously, of reaching the post.

So -- but that is the big issue. Who could even replace her? They don't really have an answer for that right now.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Finally, a broader question about the Democrats. We understand they do not control either chamber of the House or on the Senate or the White House. So, the challenges of execution are clear here.

But are you seeing any coalescence around a clear, concise message of what Democrats are for in 2018, opposed to what they want to stop or what they are against? Are we seeing that coalescence yet?

WEAVER: I don't think we have yet. I think it's going to take some time still because, obviously, you know, you want to make note of the Trump negatives. I mean, he is in the mid-30s. He has been for the last month or two.

But on the other hand, it's kind of like the conundrum that faced Hillary Clinton. She never really brought out a message that, you know, brought voters to the polls other than saying vote for me, it's my time. So, I think that's the real issue facing Democrats heading into 2018 is what is going to be the message? And, you know, a lot of the Trump voters, especially the swing voters who voted for Trump are, you know, looking for an economic message about jobs and that's part of why Trump won and why Democrats, if they end up winning in 2018, will have won.

BLACKWELL: All right. Each party has been here. We'll examine the strategy moving forward.

Al Weaver, thanks so much.

WEAVER: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: Sure.

PAUL: Well, for the last time this term, the Supreme Court set to release orders and opinions tomorrow morning. What everybody is wondering, could we hear from the court on the travel ban?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:48:05] BLACKWELL: Tonight on "PARTS UNKNOWN", Anthony Bourdain eats and drinks his way across Trinidad. He dives into the mash-up of cultures that make this beautiful island really unique.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN: Trinidad is not the sand strip, tourist friendly, has your waters, Caribbean water of my dreams.

It's much more interesting than that.

(MUSIC)

It's a glorious and complicated stew pot of African, European (ph), Chinese, Syrian, Lebanese, and, of course, Indian. All come together and make for 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)

BLACKWELL: Experience Trinidad tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. "PARTS UNKNOWN" with Anthony Bourdain. Be sure to watch it, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

PAUL: You know, we could hear an order from the Supreme Court on President Trump's travel ban as early as tomorrow. It's one of six cases that had not received a ruling just yet this term. Chief Justice Roberts says those opinions will be announced tomorrow.

Joan Biskupic, a CNN Supreme Court analyst, is joining us now.

How likely the travel ban is something that we're going to hear about when they announce some of these opinions?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: It might come tomorrow, on Monday. But it might not come until Tuesday or even later in the week. What we know for sure, this is our period of uncertainty at the last week of June here.

[07:50:03] We know for sure that there are six undecided cases that were actually argued this term. That's exclusive of the travel ban dispute.

So, we're going to get answers on those six, for starters, how are they going to rule on an important church state case. How are they going to rule on an important border shooting case, involving a little 15-year-old boy. We'll get answers on those.

But then also, we'll get an answer, at some point, maybe Monday, maybe Tuesday, on whether this court is going to how -- question is not whether it will intervene. It will intervene in some way. But the question is, will they lift the postponement that lower court judges have put on -President Trump's travel ban? Will they lift that and let it go into effect or put that in place? And then, also, will they actually hear the merits of that case? But that might not come until Tuesday or later.

PAUL: Tuesday or later.

All right. There is another topic for court watchers right now.

BISKUPIC: Right.

PAUL: It has nothing to do with the case. It's court -- the Justice Anthony Kennedy, what are you hearing in that regard? He is a famous swing vote, remember.

BISKUPIC: That's right, and he's our -- he's our most critical justice but he is also our most vacillating justice. And he has been there nearly 30 years. He has definitely thought about retirement. But I think at this point this late in the term, that we might see him stay for one more year. We don't know.

Last night, he was with some law clerks of his at a reunion and he didn't drop any hints. In fact, he sort of joked about the fact that he didn't have that kind of announcement coming yet. So, we just don't know.

PAUL: All right. Joan Biskupic, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

BISKUPIC: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Well, she is 93 years old and so proud to have attended an event every year for 50 years. Missing only one. Next, you'll meet Frances Golden, and you'll hear why last Sunday in June, last Sunday of the month is so special to her, especially in New York City.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:56:23] BLACKWELL: So, here's an interesting concept, rewriting nightmares. CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen shows us a new app that can really help you ease nightly fears and then put you back to sleep.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the stuff of nightmares for many of our veterans, disrupting their sleep long after they come.

DAVID COOPER: Chronic, recurrent, traumatic nightmares. People become afraid to fall asleep.

COHEN: To help them cope, the Department of Defense is using imagery reversal therapy assisted by an app, like rewriting grisly dreams with less dramatic endings, vets can reduce the impacts of their nightmares until they finally go away.

COOPER: They just complete the mission without the IED missing or that the IED explodes but it's a narrow miss and that everybody in their convoy returns OK.

COHEN: You don't have to be a veteran to be affected by trauma, domestic violence, rape, robbery, even witnessing a horrific car accident can result in dreadful dreams. If you suffer from nightmares, rewriting them with a help of a therapist and maybe an app could ease your nightly fears and put you back to sleep.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: All right. Now, we're about to show you something you don't generally see in Hong Kong.

BLACKWELL: No.

PAUL: Let alone in the financial district. Look at this.

There's a wild boar back there that injured two people after it ran through that area of the city, the financial district.

BLACKWELL: I mean, you see here, this thing is really not interested in playing with the police, bad mood on this day. Nets, cages, riot shields, I mean, folks trying to get this thing under control. You see here, it was eventually captured.

PAUL: We do not know what they did with the wild boar, just so you know.

BLACKWELL: I have a guess but I'm not sure. Maybe.

PAUL: Yes, exactly.

All right. Let's talk about this beautiful 93-year-old lady.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it's been a tradition for 50 years almost. New York City's pride parade. One mother carrying the same sign on the last Sunday in June the entire time.

PAUL: The same sign! BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: Over the decades, 93-year-old Frances Goldin has gained quite a following herself, and prompted a flood of emotion. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCES GOLDIN, 93-YEAR-OLD: It was amazing and has remained amazing every year since.

I didn't know what magic was in that sign. But when I took it to the parade, I was overwhelmed.

I can't tell you the number of people who ran to me and said, will you call my mother? Will you call my father?

That same sign, which I have patched and reinforced. After three years, I added three words.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: It's got to mean an awful lot to her kids and her family.

BLACKWELL: And a lot of kids across the country.

PAUL: No doubt about it.

Thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We always appreciate your company. We hope you make some good memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" starts right now.