Return to Transcripts main page
President Trump Meets with North Korea Representative in Oval Office; President Trump Prepares at Camp David for Upcoming North Korea Summit; Melania Trump Has Not Appeared in Public in 23 Days; Doctor Caught on Tape Dancing During Procedures Being Sued; Uber Driver Accused of Killing Passenger. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 2, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It's Saturday, June 2nd. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell.
Top stories this hour, President Trump is at Camp David right now preparing for an unprecedented meeting with North Korea's dictator. That's just 10 days away.
PAUL: And the president has most of his family with him. One person who is not at presidential retreat this weekend, the first lady. She still hasn't been seen in 23 days now.
BLACKWELL: And look at this Georgia doctor, videos of her jumping around the operating room caught fire online. And now nearly 100 women are complaining about this so-called dancing doctor.
PAUL: And if traffic is not crazy enough in southern California, look out for a small plane that miraculously landed in the street. We have more of these incredible pictures to show you ahead.
You're in the CNN Newsroom.
BLACKWELL: President Trump is at Camp David this morning prepping for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
PAUL: And joining him we have Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, as well as Donald Trump Jr., Tiffany Trump. But as we said, staying behind at the White House it seems, first lady Melania Trump. The public hasn't seen her in 23 days, many wondering where she might be.
BLACKWELL: News of the North Korean summit restart is getting some mixed reactions from U.S. allies.
PAUL: We're live from Singapore where it's set to take place in just a little more than a week. We're also at the White House where we start now with Ryan Nobles. Ryan, good morning.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, good morning to you. This summit that was on and then off is now back on again after the president making a surprise announcement coming out of the lengthy meeting in the Oval Office with Kim Yong-chol who is a former intelligence officer from North Korea and a close deputy of Kim Jong- un. The president emerging from that meeting, announcing that the summit planned for June 12th would go forward as planned, this despite the president himself saying in a letter to Kim Jong-un not too long ago that the summit wasn't going to go forward.
And the president clearly taking a different tone as it relates to North Korea. Remember, it was just a few months ago where the president described Kim Jong-un as little rocket man and was talking about being -- or talking about the size of his nuclear button. Now the president saying that things are going along very nicely with North Korea, and as it relates to maximum pressure, well, at this point he doesn't even want to talk about that. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's going to remain what it is now. I don't even want to use the term maximum pressure anymore because I don't want to use that term, because we're getting along. You see the relationship. We're getting along. It's not a question of maximum pressure. It's staying essentially the way it is. At some point hopefully for the good of millions of people a deal will be worked out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Now there were many in the president's administration, some prominent leaders of Congress that were cautioning the president not to forge ahead with this meeting, particularly because North Korea didn't seem to be coming to the table with all that much. But the president was insistent. And one of the reasons he was able to get this done was dialing back the expectations in a big way. No grand bargain expected to be struck at this summit on June 12th. Instead the president describing it as a get to know each other meeting.
Today the president at Camp David. He is there with many members of his family, including his son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Tiffany Trump, his daughter, and Ivanka Trump, his daughter as well. Not there, Melania, the first lady, who hasn't been seen in public in more than 23 days. Victor and Christi?
BLACKWELL: Ryan, what do you know about reports that there's early talks potentially for a summit with Vladimir Putin?
NOBLES: "The Wall Street Journal" reporting this, that the Trump team in talks with the Kremlin about getting together with Vladimir Putin. They say this is the very early stages of the conversation, the negotiations being led by Jon Huntsman, who is the ambassador to Russia. Huntsman was actually at the White House yesterday.
The president and Vladimir Putin have only met in person on two different occasions, and of course if the summit takes place, it would be against the backdrop of this investigation into Russia's conduct during the 2016 election and whether or not the Trump campaign was involved in that conduct at all. At this point the White House telling "The Wall Street Journal" that if it happens they're not even going to begin the serious planning of that summit until after everything is cleared with the North Korean summit. Long way to go still.
PAUL: Ryan Nobles for us there. Thank you, Ryan.
BLACKWELL: Let's go live to Singapore now where this meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un is scheduled to happen in 10 days. CNN Correspondent Will Ripley is there. Will, let's start with the reporting from CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr in that what you saw several days ago, those explosions at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site really weren't potentially what North Korea wanted the world to believe that they actually were, that this detonation really didn't cause as much damage as they wanted people to believe.
[10:05:01] WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The thing is, Victor, when we were on the ground at Punggye-ri we stated repeatedly that we had no way to verify what the North Koreans were telling us, that the tunnels were irreparably destroyed, because all we saw were those big explosions on the surface that sealed off the entrances. But the entrances could be bull dozed. They blew up all the log cabins that were on the site. Those could easily be rebuilt.
So there was this kind of lingering question that the North Korean officials on site really couldn't answer. We said is really theatrics or is this actually the permanent closer of Punggye-ri? They said you've seen it for your own eyes, we're being transparent here. But there are obviously a lot of people, a lot of experts that disagree, that don't feel that based on looking at seismic data and whatnot that the explosions went deep enough into those mountains to permanently close those tunnels.
But on the ground as observers we really only could see and explain what we were seeing on the surface, which were large explosions and describing everything as it unfolded.
BLACKWELL: Will Ripley for us in Singapore. Thank you, Will.
PAUL: This isn't the first time North Korea has made promises to the U.S. Let's add some context to what's unfolding this morning with Tim Naftali, CNN presidential historian. Tim, thank you so much for being here. First and foremost, with the Japan defense minister this morning as well saying that North Korea should not be rewarded for agreeing to talks. He said in light of how North Korea has behaved in the past I believe it's important not to reward North Korea solely for agreeing to have a dialogue. To that, you say what?
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, look, the objective here is to dial down the pressure and anxiety and feeling of crisis that was in the region. Let's not forget how this all started. It started with the North Koreans testing missiles which they said could reach Guam, potentially Hawaii.
So what's happening here is we've moved from a situation where the North Koreans are threatening their neighbors in the United States to a situation where they appear now to want to normalize relations with Washington and perhaps even sign a peace treaty with South Korea. So we have moved many, many steps in a very positive direction.
The Japanese, understandably, have all kinds of concerns about the future of the strategic architecture of their region. They don't want the United States to pull out. They want the United States to stay strong with regard to China because the Japanese are concerned about the Chinese military posture in the region. So, those are the issues for the Japanese and they just don't want the U.S. government to be naive and to say oh, my goodness, we're going to reach an agreement with North Korea. We can get out of the region. I think that's what's behind the Japanese statement.
PAUL: So you just mentioned China. Defense Secretary Mattis is accusing Beijing of, quote, "intimidation and coercion" in the South China Sea right now. Is that, based on what you were saying, is that a way of reassuring allies?
NAFTALI: Christi, I don't know for sure. But my sense of what's going on here is that so much has happened so quickly in the relationship, or at least the tentative relationship between Washington and Pyongyang, that the United States is, I think very sensibly, sending signals to its regional allies in the area saying, look, our basic policy hasn't changed.
And Secretary Mattis is reminding the Japanese and the Singaporeans and the Thai and even the South Koreans that our commitment to making sure there's freedom of navigation in the South China Sea hasn't changed. China is a very important player in our conversation with North Korea. We need China to be helpful to us, but we don't want the Japanese and the Filipinos to think that we're no longer going to have their back.
PAUL: So lastly, I wanted to as you about these reports that the White House is in the early stages of planning some sort of summit between President Trump and President Putin, most likely would discuss Syria, Ukraine, nuclear arms control. But how does President Trump balance that when simultaneously there's this investigation by Mueller?
NAFTALI: Christi, if this were a normal presidency, it would make perfect sense for the president of the United States, after meeting with the North Korean dictator, to talk to all of the regional players, and Russia is a regional player. Let's not forget that Russia is a Pacific power. So it would make perfect sense for the United States to tell the Russian leader this is what we're trying to do with North Korea, these are the steps we're doing to take to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula. These are the reasons we may be able to sign or at least watch South Korea sign a peace agreement with North Korea. That would make perfect sense.
Because this would happen against the backdrop of the Mueller investigation and because the U.S. president has not been straightforward about the Russia hacking, that makes it all more complicated, more political. But it is a good idea for Washington to send signals to Moscow about what Washington intends to do in the north Pacific. [10:10:03] PAUL: The president, when you look at the president and
North Korea and the history there, President Trump specifically, we've heard fire and fury. We're heard talk about the size of nuclear buttons that can be pushed, whatnot. And the president now saying, quote, it's a getting to know you meeting, referring to the summit, a getting to know you meeting plus. Do you see a shift in the way the president is going to be dealing with North Korea other than what he has said in the past? And is that part of his talent at negotiating?
NAFTALI: Christi, what's very exciting and interesting for those of us who are observing this administration is to see the extent to which the president is a strategist. Up to now it's been very hard to believe that he really has a sense of international politics. He sees everything as a one-on-one transaction with another state. Bolton and Vice President Pence apparently were not participants in the big meeting yesterday. That's really important because both of them had sent the wrong kind of signal to Pyongyang.
Is the president working closely with Mattis and Pompeo, drafting a strategy for making the north pacific a more peaceful place? I don't know, but that seems to be the direction that the rhetoric is leading us in. And I think that would be the right direction for both the United States and South Korea.
PAUL: All right, Tim Naftali, always appreciate your perspective, sir. Thank you.
NAFTALI: Thank you, Christi.
BLACKWELL: As we said, President Trump is at Camp David with the first family today. But the first lady is staying at the White House. Why hasn't Melania Trump been seen in public for 23 days now? We'll talk about that.
PAUL: I want to tell you about a dangerous wildfire that's forcing hundreds of families out of their homes. Officials say a milder winter may be partially to blame here.
BLACKWELL: And we're hearing from family and friends of the Uber driver accused of killing one of its passengers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's very sweet. I wouldn't know him to be negative to anybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a family man. He has two beautiful children. He was doing Uber because he'll work two or three jobs to take care of his wife and kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:16:19] PAUL: It's 16 minutes past the hour right now, and first lady Melania Trump isn't spending the weekend at Camp David with the president, and really it seems to be most of the rest of the family.
BLACKWELL: There's been no sign of the first lady in more than three weeks. Melania Trump was treat for a benign kidney condition in May but has not been seen since, which has many wondering about where she is, how she's doing. She tried to put the rumors to rest this week, tweeting "I'm here at the White House with my family, feeling great and working hard." But as "Huffington Post" reporter Laura Bassett explains that tweet may have started more speculation.
LAURA BASSETT, REPORTER, "HUFFINGTON POST": It seems like all she really needs to do is just step outside of the White House, just show her face, to prove that she's fine, to prove that everything is as she says it is. Instead she gives off this tweet which doesn't sound like Melania at all. It actually sounds more like her husband. She jabbed at the media a little bit. That's not something Melania usually does. And so instead of ending the speculation and putting out the fire, it just kind of fanned the flames.
BLACKWELL: There are Some who say she doesn't owe us an appearance because she wasn't elected. She's not a federal employee. In fact, CNN contributor A.B. Stoddard wrote this for Real Clear Politics. She wrote "Missing Melania-gate needs to end now. No, the first lady doesn't need to resurface in a smashing outfit at a public event with the President Trump. The media and the Twitter mob just need to let it be." What do you say to those who say it's not our business to know where the first lady is?
BASSETT: I think it's a little bit of a double standard. People were practically pawing through Michelle Obama's trash when she was first lady. Melania is not just the president's wife. The first lady of the United States is a position in itself. It is her job to be seen, to be present, to participate. Every first lady before her has done so. No one has ever disappeared for 23 days before. This is a really conspicuous amount of time. And so I think that it's fair to ask these questions. Where is she? Why is the White House not being honest about what's going on?
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about if this being the potentially new normal. We know that this was not a role that Melania Trump initially wanted. Should we expect that she'll be more private moving forward?
BASSETT: I wouldn't be able to answer that question for her. I will say that Melania has always been a little bit more independent than other first ladies. There was speculation at the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency as to whether she might just remain in New York. She didn't necessarily want to move to D.C. She was pretty clear about that. She has at times not appeared at rallies, done separate motorcades. I think she has been a more independent first lady this whole time.
This is just really interesting timing because she's had a more high- profile month leading up to this disappearance. She rolled out her be best campaign, she hosted the state dinner. Everyone was talking about her fashion choices. Her approval ratings have been ticking up. So I think it's really interesting that right now she suddenly disappears.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: All righty, they are the longest married presidential couple, and even with the passing of Barbara Bush their love story lives on here. A moving tribute to a decades-long romance that endured war, loss, and political limelight.
BLACKWELL: Firefighters are struggling to get the upper hand on this wildfire in Colorado. Look at these flames. And there's concern that storms in the forecast may not give firefighters the relief they're hoping for.
PAUL: Sunday on "Parts Unknown" Anthony Bourdain is headed to one of his favorite cities, Hong Kong. Be sure to watch Sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on CNN.
[10:24:23] PAUL: The North Korea summit is happening for now. But the Trump administration is keeping expectations low, billing it as a getting to know you better meeting.
BLACKWELL: Although there have been no assurances from Kim Jong-un on whether he will give up his nuclear weapons. Experts say the tunnels to the nuclear site there at Punggye-ri may not have been destroyed after all. President Trump gave a former North Korean spy chief accused of human rights abuses 90 minutes of one-on-one face time in the Oval Office. Here's CNN's Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kim Jong-un is on a roll. One of his top lieutenants, a man believed to have a lot of South Korean blood on his hands and who led a major cyberattack on the U.S., met in the Oval Office with President Trump and, in a remarkable moment, got a handshake from the president.
[10:25:13] JOSEPH YUN, FORMER U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR NORTH KOREA POLICY: This is an amazing turnaround in events.
TODD: All the more amazing considering less than six months ago this violent, impulsive dictator was considered an international pariah.
JEAN LEE, DIRECTOR OF KOREA PROGRAM, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: At the end of 2017 Kim Jong-un was a leader who hadn't even met the president of China and was very reclusive, much like his grandfather and his father, and really lived up to the moniker leader of a hermit kingdom.
TODD: At that time CNN was even told plans were being drawn up for a possible U.S. military strike. Then came Kim's New Year's Day speech, expressing his desire to soften relations with his enemies, the so- called Olympic thaw with his sister Kim Yo-Jong extending a warm hand to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Two meetings between Kim and Moon, including the optics of a groundbreaking summit, even holding hands, and the announcement of a planned summit with President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll be meeting June 12th in Singapore. It went very well.
TODD: There were two meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And now the Russians want in, arranging their own meeting with Vladimir Putin.
A crucial question now, what made Kim change?
GREG SCARLATOIU, COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA: The maximum pressure campaign, the sanctions regime against North Korea has taken a serious bite out of the regime. Kim Jong-un has been quite desperate.
YUN: Most important, he now has the weapons. He has the weapons and he has the delivery system. So he feels more confident.
TODD: Fueling Kim's confidence, the fact that the U.S., South Korea, and China have been willing to look past his egregious human rights violations.
TRUMP: We did not talk about human rights.
SCARLATOIU: You're talking about five to six political prison camps, 120,000 men, women, and children held in political prison camps pursuant to a system of guilt by association, induced malnutrition, torture, public executions, secret executions. You're talking about a regime that's investing heavily in its tools of death.
TODD: A record that a veteran diplomat says Trump and his allies might have to look past to reach the ultimate objective.
YUN: If we are to lower the agenda to include denuclearization, human rights, then we'll have to include Japanese abductees would be another example. Bio-chem weapons, conventional weapons, it does get overcrowded. So I don't blame them for prioritizing denuclearization and security at the highest.
TODD: One of the dangers of embracing Kim Jong-un as a statesman, veteran security experts warn that President Trump, Moon Jae-in and their allies could lose sight of Kim's ultimate objective, staying in power, and they worry that the leaders Kim's dealing with will look past the fact that he'll do anything to stay in power, including possibly cheat on a nuclear deal or maybe even start a conflict.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
BLACKWELL: Joining me now, Scott Jennings, CNN political commentator and former special assistant to George W. Bush, and A. Scott Bolden, former D.C. Democratic Party chairman and chair of the National Bar Association PAC. Gentlemen, good morning to you. So we've got Scott and Scott. A. Scott Bolden, just this one time, please, may I use your first name so we're not confused on who I'm asking a question to? A. SCOTT BOLDEN, CHAIR, NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION PAC: Absolutely.
You mean my first name Alan?
BLACKWELL: Just for today.
BOLDEN: My mother will love you for that.
BLACKWELL: Thank you very much. You're Alan for just the next six- and-a-half minutes.
So let me start with Scott then. Scott, question for you. Have the North Koreans done enough to earn this 90-minute one on one in the Oval Office with the president, have they earned it?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think they've done enough to get relief from the sanctions. I think both sides are inching towards a meeting that is absolutely necessary if we want to have a denuclearized peninsula. One thing is clear, if they don't talk and they don't meet, we're going to have the status quo, and the status quo is not acceptable to the American people and it's frankly shouldn't be acceptable to the rest of the world.
So I do think they have to do certain meetings like this to get ready for a summit. And I want to see this succeed. I'm dubious that the North Koreans are ever going to denuclearize. Obviously their mission is to get sanctions relief while giving up as little as possible, and we have to probe their government to see if they're willing to go farther than what they have in the past. So I'm cautiously optimistic --
BLACKWELL: But could this meeting with Kim Yong-chul just happen with the secretary of state? To invite a second-tier leader in to meet with the president of the United States for an hour and a half, that seems like a gift already for a regime that's looking for legitimacy on this stage.
[10:30:08] JENNINGS: It's a legitimate point. On the other hand I think Donald Trump probably believes he is the best negotiator in his government. He's the one who is going to be able to read these people the best. That's how he ran his campaign, it's how he runs his administration. So I'm not surprised that he's in the weeds on this.
Also, this is a legacy issue for him. If he were able to somehow solve this, this goes down as the defining foreign policy issue of his term in office. So given the way he has positioned himself as the principle, prime negotiator of the American people, I'm not surprised he's in every single meeting.
BLACKWELL: Alan, now to you. The president, instead of what he said several weeks ago, that he's hoping this meeting will be a success and getting rid of the nukes in a single meeting, he is now suggests that there will be a series of meetings, this is just a getting to know you. Is this a tempering of hopes, lowering of expectations? BOLDEN: Politically for him it is. But I think it's really a very
wrongheaded approach, because look at the history of the U.S. and North Korea negotiations over 20, 30, 40 years in prior presidents. They have these very elongated meetings. We make a lot of economic support and concessions to North Korea in exchange for them either trying to accept democracy or reducing their weapons or reducing their human rights, and it never happens. They get the economic support but America, historically, has not gotten much out of those elongated meetings.
I think The president's approach for any negotiation, whether I'm settling the case or whether I'm on the world stage with North Korea, is you settle, you negotiate from a position of strength. You do it with maximum pressure versus saying we're not going to use that term anymore. And the North Korea has shown you who they are. This say rogue regime. And he has a nuclear warhead now, at least most of us think so. And it's gotten him to the world stage. It's gotten him to the negotiation table with Donald Trump and the U.S. And guess what, it's worked to getting there. He has shown you who he is.
And now why would he stop, if you will, because he has been very successful. The pressure is all on the U.S. to get a deal. There's no pressure on North Korea. And by the way, they've got some new friends now, China and Russia, which is really going to make negotiations and long-term impact really messy.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Lavrov in Pyongyang just a couple of days ago. Scott, back to you and this decision not to talk about the human rights in this first meeting yesterday. We know the president also didn't talk about human rights with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, didn't talk about it with Duterte of the Philippines, didn't talk about it with Xi of China, didn't talk about it with Erdogan of Turkey, and on and on. Why isn't this president having these conversations, and should human rights be part of this discussion with North Korea?
JENNINGS: I hope it's part of the discussion. But I think ultimately the number one goal here is denuclearization. And until we achieve denuclearization, everything else, unfortunately, I think, has to be secondary.
I would like to go back to a point that is just made. All the pressure is not on us. The pressure is on North Korea. The only reason they're at the table here is because the maximum pressure sanctions have worked. This nation is being starved and that now has reached Kim's inner circle. And number two, we have the military resolve that they now believe we are willing to use.
So the pressure is not on us. The pressure is on Kim to get sanctions relief, and the pressure is on Donald Trump to continue to show that kind of resolve so that they understand. They can't come into this process and leave without giving up their nuclear weapons. They have to believe that we're willing to use our military. I think that's ultimately, frankly, What's driven them to the table.
BLACKWELL: Alan, let me ask you quickly about the human rights issue. And I want to flip the question this way. In 2015 when President Obama was pushing the Iran nuclear deal and there were questions about why doesn't this deal approach ordeal with the American detainees? Why does this not impact any of the actions as relates to sponsoring terror across the Middle East? And President Obama said there's one goal, to keep Iran from getting a weapon. Why doesn't that justification apply here for North Korea?
BOLDEN: Well, that justification does at least according to the Trump administration. But here is the deal. North Korea is far more dangerous to the world, far more isolated than Iran is or could ever be. And so I agree that if denuclearization is the number one goal, and I think it is, but the history of North Korea against South Korea against Japan and others, they're loaded up on issues that have been unresolved because North Korea simply has not been accessible by the rest of the world.
And so I think this whole idea of ignoring North Korea's prior human rights violations and what have you is very dangerous because they are not to be trusted. And I think any good deal to denuclearize North Korea has to include not only verifying that they're doing, because having the nukes has helped to get to where they are, but secondly the human rights violations has got to be monitored and addressed because over several decades it's gone unresolved.
[10:35:16] BLACKWELL: I've just got to point out that this is the exact opposite argument that we heard from Democrats in 2015 when they supported the Iran deal that dealt with nothing more than the inspections and making sure that Iran did not get --
BOLDEN: Perhaps that was all that could be on the table at that time. It's a different deal.
BLACKWELL: And for those who are saying that human rights should be discussed as part of this deal, they can only go back to their quotes from three years ago. Alan Scott Bolden, back to A. Scott Bolden, and Scott Jennings, thank you both.
BOLDEN: Thank you.
JENNINGS: Thank you.
PAUL: So the epic romance of former President Bush and Barbara Bush lives on even after she's passed. Bush 41 tweeted this message. Take a look here. "Enjoying a great book and a wonderful walk down memory lane this morning, yet another reminder of just how lucky I've been in life." Obviously a photo of him there, 93-years-old, in his hospital bed, holding a copy of "George and Barbara Bush, A Great America Love Story." The book coauthored by granddaughter chronicles the Bushs' 77 year relationship. The former president meanwhile is expected to remain in the hospital for several days after experiencing some low blood pressure and fatigue. Hoping he's better soon.
Next up, an Uber driver accused of killing his passenger on the interstate. What his wife is telling CNN about her husband. PAUL: And listen to this. Nearly 100 women are now coming out with
complaints against the so-called dancing doctor, saying they were victims of her questionable practices. More details about her credentials and the facility that is allowing her to continue her practice.
[10:41:36] PAUL: All right, 41 minutes past the hour. And the wildfire burning in southwest Colorado has grown even larger just in the past couple of hours. More than 1,100 acres are burning in La Plata County just outside Durango. Officials say at least 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes. A local state of disaster has been declared, and we're told officials are bringing in extra reinforcements this afternoon to try to help get this fire under control.
BLACKWELL: An Uber driver is under arrest, accused of fatally shooting a passenger.
PAUL: Police say 29-year-old Michael Hancock shot and killed a man who appeared to be his passenger. According to court documents, a 911 caller said an Uber driver told him his passenger tried to attack him and the driver shot him. At least 10 rounds were fired, and the man who was hit multiple times was found lying on the floorboard of the front passenger seat.
BLACKWELL: Uber's policy prohibits riders and drivers carrying firearms in a vehicle while using the app to the extent permitted by local laws. In a statement the company says it is deeply troubled by the events, and the suspect's wife tells CNN her husband has never been to jail and has a five-star Uber rating and no complaints.
Have you heard about this one? Nearly now 100 more women are coming out with complaints that this Georgia cosmetic surgery doctor, who is seen on video singing and dancing around patients under anesthesia. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Five malpractice lawsuits against Dr. Windell Boutte. She's reached four settlements already. But these women say they were victims of Boutte's unprofessionalism and unsafe work practices. All of this is causing a national conversation about doctor's credentials and the facilities that allow them to perform procedures that they aren't necessarily qualified for. CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung has more.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, Victor, since these shocking videos were first exposed last week, one attorney tells me nearly 100 women have reached out to her office claiming that they, too, suffered under the knife of Dr. Windell Boutte. Attorney Susan Witt says some are unhappy with their results, but several others experienced serious post surgical complications due to infections. Many of these women believe these videos are evidence of the lack of care and lack of concern that this doctor has for her patients which motivated them to come forward with their complaints.
At least two of these women say they have identified themselves in the videos. Witt is already involved in litigation against Dr. Boutte and say her practices are just one example of a much larger problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN WITT, ATTORNEY FOR SEVERAL VICTIMS FILING LAWSUITS: I think in this day and age patients do have to be their own advocate. This has been a cautionary tale which I believe patients can learn from. One of the most important, second to checking your physician's credentials, is doing some research on the facility where these procedures are going to be performed. I would not recommend having surgery anywhere other than a hospital or an ambulatory surgical center.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: This is a cautionary tale beyond the Atlanta area Dr. Boutte practices in. Witt says she has received calls from women in Delaware, South Carolina, Louisiana, even one from San Francisco. We asked an attorney representing Boutte about the pending cases and the new allegations. We were told at this time they have no comment. Victor, Christi?
[10:45:10] PAUL: Kaylee, thank you so much. Earlier I talked with CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson about the legal ramifications of all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The issue then becomes, from a state perspective, is what are legislators doing to support and otherwise ensure quality service for people who are looking to get these procedures? Are there regulations to ensure that not only medical doctors, but medical doctors who are board certified in specifically plastic surgery or other issues, are there those types of laws set up in various states to protect people? That's number one.
Number two, what are the staffing requirements? Are the staff who are assigned at these procedures, do they have the requisite training skill and experience?
Number three, where are the procedures being held? Are they being held in office? And if they're in office, what are the regulations, if any, or are they simply guidelines, which are nice rules, but they just mean they're rules, they're not specific guidelines, or are there requirements that they be done at hospitals and outpatient facilities?
And so those are the things that state legislators can do. Remember, every state is a sovereign onto itself. There are 50 of them. And every state passes its own laws that are designed to protect people, consumers and other people looking for assistance. So when you have botched procedures, when you have, now a more specific discussion, Christi, people like Dr. Boutte who optically are dancing, you're there to get a procedure and they're dancing and carrying on, that could present specific problems. Apparently for her it did. And now the issue is how do you crack down on it to ensure that people looking for care get the care that they need without it suffering grievous injury or harm?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: All right, who are we?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Coming up, I get to do sports. What do I do? Run away from him.
BLACKWELL: The million views in just over 12 hours that one person making fun of this moment. We're going to talk about it. #JRSmithChallenge coming up.
[10:51:54] PAUL: Well, I've been told that golf feels different when Tiger Woods is doing well. And fans in Ohio got a big treat yesterday with that.
BLACKWELL: And Coy Wire is here with this morning's bleacher report.
WIRE: Good morning to you guys.
PAUL: Good morning.
WIRE: Tiger is now just six strokes behind the lead, that's a big deal. It's at the memorial tournament in Ohio. And a great second round was made greater by this shot. We're going to show you. It's trending on Bleacherreport.com. On just his third stroke on a par five, Tiger flies the ball past the hole, way past the hole, but it has more spinach on it than Popeye. Comes on back, look at this, all the way back into the hole, and Tiger raises his hand, that iconic fist pump. Watch the crowd. You don't see this every day on the golf course.
PAUL: That's Ohio peeps.
WIRE: They're going wild. If he could pull off some more shots like that in today's round, he'll be right there within striking distance for tomorrow's final round. Tiger is teeing off in about 28 minutes from now.
A new viral trend may have just been born all because of that mindblowing play in the final seconds of game one in the NBA Finals. J.R Smith, you remember, grabbing the rebound. But instead of shooting it for the potential win for Cleveland, he just seems to dribble around aimlessly, confused, instead of completing the task.
PAUL: Dude, what are you doing?
WIRE: What are you doing, man? LeBron can't believe it. So now the #JRSmithChallenge has been born. This is trending number one on Bleacherreport.com. Why? The video has over a million views in just over 12 hours. This kid is running down the highway, through the shopping center. So if you see your kids today and they're like, hey, dad, mom, can you film me dribbling away to nothingness, it's all because of J.R. Smith.
Before tomorrow's game two, we're giving you a 30-minute all-access look at the NBA Finals. Allie LaForce, Steve Smith hosting CNN Bleacher Report special, that 2:30 eastern today right here on CNN. Good stuff for you.
PAUL: Coy, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: Oh, no. We've got one more.
PAUL: Don't go anywhere yet. Witnesses are calling this an absolute miracle.
BLACKWELL: So the pilot of a small plane says she was experiencing engine trouble and was forced to land in a busy southern California neighborhood right in the middle of rush hours.
PAVLICH: Somehow she didn't hit anything or anyone. She walks away without a scratch. She was doing practice work at the time and didn't have any passengers apparently. But neighbors say she was calm, she was unfazed, and she waited for help to arrive. The FAA of course is investigating.
BLACKWELL: During his medical training in Lima, Peru, this weeks' CNN Hero noticed a lot of families sleeping on hospital floors to access the medical care that their sick children so desperately need.
PAUL: They had traveled from remote areas of the country to the big city knowing that no one -- they didn't know anybody, I should say, and they had nowhere to stay. So he opened his heart and a home for them. Want you to meet Dr. Ricardo Pun-Chong.
[10:55:00] DR. RICARDO PUN-CHONG, CNN HERO: The journey is very difficult. They come here and it's very expensive to stay here. They don't have enough money to continue their treatments. Sometimes families, they have to sell everything they have. They feel helpless. So I decided to do something for them. I want them to know that they are not alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: To see all of Ricardo's work go to CNNheroes.com.
BLACKWELL: And while you're there, nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero.
Thanks so much for being with us this morning.
PAUL: Yes, we hope you make some good memories today. There's so much more ahead in the next hour of CNN's Newsroom with Pam Brown in Washington taking over right after this break. Stay close.