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Rudy Giuliani Says President Trump Has No Intention of Pardoning Himself; Republican Lawmakers Lining Up Against Trump on Trade; U.S. Vows to Keep up Pressure on North Korea Ahead of Meeting; Nearly a Dozen People Stranded by Lava Flow in Hawaii; Gun Violence in Chicago Has Now Fallen for 15 Straight Months. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 3, 2018 - 14:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, thanks for joining me on this Sunday. I'm Pamela Brown in for Fredricka Whitfield. And we begin with the latest turn in the Russia investigation.

The president's lawyer sending Special Counsel Robert Mueller a 20- page letter this past January arguing that Trump cannot obstruct justice. This is according to the "New York Times," which could obtained the letter that was sent to Mueller's team.

Now the attorneys say President Trump, as the country's top law enforcement officer, can end an investigation, quote, "at any time and for any reason." All of this as Trump's new lawyer Rudy Giuliani is making the TV rounds once again warning that if Mueller threatens to subpoena Trump that they will battle it out in court, and he also weighed in on the chances the president will sit down for an interview with Robert Mueller.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Jay and I want to keep an open mind and I have to just be honest, I mean, we're leaning toward not, but look, if they can convince us that it would be brief, it'd be to the point, there are five or six points they have to clarify, and with that we can get this over with.


BROWN: And the Russia meddling probe is top of mind for the president today once again as he attempts to distance himself from his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort asking why the FBI did not warn him it was investigating Manafort during the campaign.

Let's get straight to CNN's White House correspondent Boris Sanchez. A lot to break down.

What more can you tell us about Giuliani's message today -- Boris.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Pam. Yes. Rudy Giuliani echoing much of what was in that letter published yesterday by the "New York Times," that memo sent from the Trump legal team to the special counsel, Giuliani in fact says that he agrees with about 80 percent of it, and he makes the case to the president as you noted could constitutionally end any investigation even one that pertains to him, though he says the president likely won't do that.

Here is the specific portion of that memo that Giuliani was talking about. The president's legal team writing that, quote, "if he wished, the president could terminate the inquiry or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired." Giuliani making a similar comment when it comes to the issue of a self-pardon, arguing that though the Constitution theoretically makes it possible for the president to pardon himself, the president likely won't because it will trigger an immediate impeachment.

Listen to this from the former mayor of New York City.


GIULIANI: It's not going to happen, so it's a hypothetical point. The president of the United States pardoning himself would just be unthinkable and it would lead to probably an immediate impeachment. You know, you get your House, Senate would be under tremendous pressure. President Trump has no need to do that. He didn't do anything wrong. This is a terrible investigation.


SANCHEZ: And Pam, former mayor of New York also arguing that one of the remedies for the Russia investigation is for the president's legal team essentially to approach a judge and have that judge declare the investigation illegitimate, something that he says they reserve the right to do.

BROWN: And something else that was on the president's mind today, Boris, was Paul Manafort. He was tweeting about him. What you can tell us about that?

SANCHEZ: That's right. The president apparently trying to put some distance between himself and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Here's what the president tweeted, he writes, quote, "There was no collusion with Russia," I don't believe that's the right tweet so we have another one. Here it is. "As only one of two people left who could become president why wouldn't the FBI or Department of Justice have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped during my campaign. Should have told me."

The president then went on, "Paul Manafort came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time. He represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many others over the years but we should have been told Comey and the boys were doing a number on him, and he wouldn't have been hired."

Of course the timing here is of note, because there have been widespread reports including from "The Wall Street Journal" that have indicated that FISA surveillance of Paul Manafort didn't begin until August of 2016, once he had left the Trump campaign. Further the president continues to push this idea that he was only with the campaign for a short amount of time.

He was the campaign manager for approximately three months, including during a crucial phase during the Republican national convention and of course that controversial meeting with Russians in Trump Tower, where he was alongside Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner as well, Pam.

BROWN: Yes. He was certainly there for some very key moments during the campaign.

Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.

And joining me now to discuss all of this, CNN political analyst and CNN -- senior political correspondent for "The Washington Examiner," David Drucker, contributor for "TIME" magazine Jay Newton-Small, and CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin. He was also Robert Mueller's former special assistant at the Department of Justice.

[14:05:01] Thank you, three, for coming in on this rainy Sunday in Washington.

I want to start with you, Michael, on just kind of breaking down this 20-page memo because there are a lot of gray like legal areas in this, you know, raises the question of obstruction of justice, whether the president can even obstruct justice, they make the case that he can't because he is the chief law enforcement officer and therefore can end any investigation. Is that true?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's their theory of the case, and that's what they are arguing, and if the case were to go to court, that would be what they would argue to the court, but it's unknown. There has been no decisional law by a court that says if the president of the United States exercising his constitutional rights does something with corrupt intent, he is able to avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice or bribery or any other related crimes.

So it's a theory, and we'll have to see how it gets, you know, joined at one point before the courts to know whether that theory, you know, holds water or not.

BROWN: Because it makes you think, OK, even if he can end an investigation, what about intent, if there is a corrupt intent? All of this has really been untested in the courts and of course this could all end up before the courts if it gets to a subpoena, David.

Trump tweeted yesterday, when I was working, we were all sort of dumbfounded. What is he talking about this letter from his lawyer? So he tweeted this before the "New York Times" article came out asking if the special counsel leaked his lawyers' letters to the news. There is no proof of that, but who has the most to gain by this letter coming out?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the Trump -- the Trump White House and President Trump specifically. And I think if you look at Mr. Mueller's investigation and his team, it's been pretty airtight. This is not the kind of thing I think they're going to leak. It doesn't serve them to leak it. It serves the president's team to leak this because the president can complain that Mueller has ill intent, he's leaking this to try and shape public opinion, number one.

Number two, look at everything that was in the letter that we've been discussing over the past 24 hours. There are all sorts of legal precedents that the Trump -- I keep saying Trump campaign here but that the Trump team is trying to establish but also political conditions that they are trying to shape. One is to take away this notion that the president could possibly do anything wrong, that there's a legal aspect to that. There's also a political aspect. If you get all of this out there and it's aired out in the court of public opinion before Mueller issues his report, whenever that is, this is old news by then, and so everybody's digested this, and the Trump team with Trump obviously at the heft of that team via Twitter and everything else because he's really his own chief communications director, has shaped a narrative here.

And one key thing you've seen, you have seen now not on the Senate side but in the House of Representatives you started to see not just Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee but top House Republican leaders come around to Trump's way of thinking publicly and say so. This investigation is iffy. We don't know if it's legitimate and at any event it's time to wrap it up, and so the whole party is closing ranks in advance of the midterms and all of this serves the president's need to politically own this thing the way he wants.

BROWN: No. You're seeing it have an impact in the polls in terms of -- especially how Republicans view the investigation.

Jay, I want to listen to what former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning.


PREET BHARARA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I think it would be outrageous for a sitting president of the United States to -- I think if the president decided that he was going to pardon himself, I think that's almost a self-executing impeachment.


BROWN: Your reaction, Jay?


JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Preet always comes up with one great one-liners, doesn't he?

BROWN: He does. He knows how to get to those zingers.

NEWTON-SMALL: But to be fair, Giuliani did say like, look, this is not an option that we're thinking about, this isn't something we're thinking about doing, and it is something that clearly the moment he said it, it sparked a lot of outrage. And you saw not just Preet Bharara but you saw Republican members of Congress, Kevin McCarthy on your air on CNN this morning saying that is -- the president would never pardon himself, that's an unrealistic possibility, and it's not going to happen.

So I do think that the idea, you know, floating out there came from this whole Dinesh D'Souza pardoning and the floating of the pardonings of Martha Stewart and other people, but the idea that the president might actually do it, that was a question that was asked, and I don't think it's going to happen.

BROWN: Well, and also in the 20-page memo it sort of raised the possibility potentially because it said in the memo that the president can pardon whoever he wants. We know that Mueller has been looking at his actions and the obstruction of justice probe and it raises the question, can the president even pardon himself if he wanted to? Again, Rudy Giuliani said that's not an option but could he?

ZELDIN: I don't think so and in fact there's an Office of Legal Counsel Opinion within the Justice Department from August 5th, 1974, which says no one can be the judge in his own case and therefore the president cannot pardon himself. Full stop.

[14:10:01] So I think that if OLC opinion govern whether or not a president sitting can be indicted, it also governs the question of whether a president can pardon himself. So I think it's off the table politically and also legally.

BROWN: I want to also call attention to something, David, that was in this 20-page memo, where the legal team actually acknowledged that the president dictated a, quote, "short but accurate statement" on the Don Jr. meeting at Trump Tower. It was not -- it was very misleading, let's just put that out there. I mean, this was a statement that as you'll recall said it was primarily about Russian adoption, then we find out no, it was actually to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, but this also comes after the president's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, and Sarah Sanders had said he didn't dictate it. Sarah Sanders later saying he weighed in. What do you make of that?

DRUCKER: Well, look, it's a problem when a president misleads the press because you're really just misleading the public and Bill Clinton found that out when he told everybody he didn't have sexual relations with a particular woman. It wasn't that he was misleading the reporters asking the question, he was misleading the American people, and he suffered politically because of that at that time.

I think that this tells us, there's a lot we probably do not know about what Mueller is investigating and what he has found out and you've seen especially since Giuliani came on as the president's lead legal spokesman and lawyer this desire to get out in front of things that Mueller is probably going to expose again so they can control the narrative, and I think a part of this, and this gets to what we've been talking about is that the president's team is trying to send a signal even with things they may not ever do that you don't want to create a constitutional crisis and maybe, and this is to Mueller's team and the members of Congress, you should tread lightly because there are things, of course, we wouldn't do but you know we could do them, and does anybody really want to have the country tested that way?

I don't think you mention something you're never going to do unless the point is to send a signal that it's something you're keeping in your back pocket and does anybody really want to go there.

BROWN: Interesting. And as I was reading through this 20-page memo I just kept thinking I wonder what Mueller and his team, what their reaction was as they read through that back in January.

Thank you so much to you, guys. I really appreciate it, David Drucker, Jay Newton-Small and Michael Zeldin.

And coming up a key Republican is forming a coalition of lawmakers to challenge the president. Why Senator Corker says President Trump's plans to levy tariffs on U.S. allies is, quote, "damaging to our country and our allies." We'll be back.


[14:16:34] BROWN: Well, the threat of an impending trade war has some political opponents now considering working together. Last week President Trump announced sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from key U.S. allies, Canada, Mexico and the European Union condemned the action and announced their own tariffs on U.S. products.

Well, now there seems to be a split within the president's own party. Republican Senator Bob Corker tweeting this, "I am working with like- minded Republicans senators on ways to push back on the president using authorities in ways never intended and that are damaging to our country and our allies. Will Democrats join us?"

Compare that to what House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said just this morning.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), MAJORITY LEADER: We believe in free trade but we believe in fair trade. The president is standing up. Think about every country around this world would agree with us, even the EU that's why they ended the WTO complaint against China on the theft of IP.

I think what we're finding here is we're in the middle of a trade discussion. Nobody wants to be in a trade war. Nobody wins a trade war, but we're standing up for the process of where we're moving forward that we have fair trade. If you're talking about Canada, look what they do when it comes to our dairy products. Look at -- our wine cannot sit on their supermarkets.

I think this is a discussion trying to finalize the NAFTA agreement, going through on renegotiations and you're just in the middle of it.


BROWN: And back with me now, David Drucker and Jay Newton-Small. David, I want to begin with you on this tweet from Bob Corker, a

Republican, and as we were just talking about during the break, look, there has been an interesting dynamic between Corker and the president but still this tweet was sending a pretty strong message on the president's tariff.

DRUCKER: Yes, look, he basically said that we're headed toward Venezuela and --

BROWN: Right.

DRUCKER: We've seen the breakdown there, that country almost is imploding because its economy is under a socialist dictator essentially, has completely fallen apart. And I think the trade issue is interesting because if there's anywhere where Republicans have been willing to push back not withstanding Leader McCarthy's comments earlier this morning to Dana Bash, it has been on trade.

Speaker Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader, both issued critical statements. This is one of the few areas where Republicans are willing to speak out, tell the president that they think he's wrong. So now the question is, what do they intend to do about it?

BROWN: Right.

DRUCKER: Because they can work with Democrats who will work with them to stop anything Trump does anyway and they could deliver a veto-proof majority legislation stopping this. Will they?

BROWN: Well, that is the question because he says he wants to push back. And what do you make of Kevin's -- Kevin McCarthy's argument that this is all just a renegotiation for NAFTA, this is just a trade discussion, not a trade war. Do you buy that?

NEWTON-SMALL: Well, I think it's been one of the classic sort of Republicans kind of trying to pull back the president's remarks and pull back the president's actions in a diplomatic way but they also -- Kevin' job, you know, Leader McCarthy's job is to keep together his own conference, right? And this is a conference that is -- there's a huge number of them that are pro-traders that really love NAFTA, that really, really want to see more trade deals signed into law, and so it's always been one of these issues that's divided the Republican Party and Kevin McCarthy's job is to bring his party together in this and that's what he's trying to do, he's treading a very fine line here.

BROWN: And in the wake of the tariff announcement U.S. allies announced retaliatory tariffs. Here's what Canada's Foreign minister said to my colleague Dana Bash this morning.


[14:20:02] CHRYSTIA FREELAND, CANADIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I can say very clearly that this particular policy, the imposition of tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum is going to hurt Americans first and foremost, and it is going to hurt all of those American companies that need Canadian steel and aluminum, and will now face higher prices and will therefore be less competitive.

It is going to hurt all of those American consumers who will have to pay more, and the retaliatory measures which we have been compelled to take in response, those will also hurt and I really regret that.


BROWN: So, David, will these tariffs end up hurting Americans?

DRUCKER: They really could hurt a lot of Americans. In fact, and we've written about this at "The Examiner," they could hurt millions of Americans who are some of the president's most ardent supporters. They could hit those industries in parts of the country that voted for Trump and some of the strongest numbers. They could undermine the growth that we have seen coming out of the Republican tax reform bill that Republicans are so proud of, and are counting on to help them in the midterm elections.

And I think, you know, part of what I think we need to understand here is there's a difference between China and Mexico and Canada and our European allies. We notice McCarthy in that interview focusing on misdeeds by China and if it's just China we're talking about, the president will have a lot of sympathy in his own party on the Hill for fighting back and playing hard ball.

What's really going to concern them is the impact of going after our allies. They're really worried that it could hurt, it could cause inflation, it could put a wet blanket on the economy which is a favorite Republican term during the Obama years, and so this thing could get very tricky and it's going to be hard for other leaders of our allies to go to their own voters, and say, well, we backed down because President Trump is not very popular there. And so they have their own domestic issues that's going to make this potentially a big problem.

BROWN: And also what -- you know, how much we need our allies in dealing with China, that's another question all of this raises.

So anyway, thank you so much, David and Jay. I do appreciate it.

And still more to come, the Trump administration vowing to keep the pressure on North Korea. What the U.S. is demanding less than 10 days before the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. We'll be back.


[14:26:43] BROWN: Well, the U.S. is vowing to keep up the pressure on North Korea ahead of the upcoming summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump in Singapore. Defense Secretary James Mattis says it won't be enough for North Korea just to show up for the meeting.


JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Especially now we must remain vigilant. And we will continue to implement all U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea. North Korea will receive relief only when it demonstrates verifiable and irreversible steps to denuclearization.


BROWN: CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins me now from Seoul, South Korea.

And, Nic, this appears to be tough talk but at the same time the president is changing his tone on the meeting calling it a get to know you session, saying that he no longer wants to say the phrase maximum pressure campaign. Is he edging toward a water-downed deal here?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, that's certainly what some of his allies in the region, Japan in particular, are concerned about. Secretary Mattis on Sunday had a one-on-one bilateral meeting with the -- with Japan's Defense minister, and it was Japan's Defense minister on Saturday who'd said what -- essentially what does President Trump mean by not using this term, extreme measures? What does he mean in terms of sanctions, and it also said that the United States shouldn't sit down at the table with Kim Jong-un unless the North Korean leader is putting more on the table in terms of his comprehensive -- complete irreversible verification of denuclearization.

So United States allies, in this case Japan, are precisely concerned about that. They see the historic parallels where other American presidents have gone into similar situations with North Korean leaders only to find that they don't start off on a strong footing and it never really gets any better. The commitments are hollow or they don't follow through. So there is this concern.

But if you're in South Korea's position, also a U.S. ally, it feels that this is an opportunity that North Korea shouldn't be pre-judged on what's happened in the past, but there certainly is a lot of concern now really on President Trump to come to this meeting and deliver as, you know, a strong businessman as he portrays himself, a businessman who can negotiate one-on-one, face-to-face, to pull it out of the bag essentially. The round view here is that he's not starting at the moment from what everyone can see in a very strong position.

BROWN: All right, Nic Robertson in Seoul, thank you so much for that.

And with me now Aaron David Miller, he is a CNN global affairs analyst, and spent more than two decades at the State Department and served as an adviser to several secretaries of State.

So first question just on the heels of what we heard from Nic, what does the president have to lose going into this meeting? Do you think he's on weaker footing now?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: A weaker footing, no. I think he's accepted certain realities. He can have a meeting and use the words like maximum pressure and be tough with Kim but he can't get a deal. The reality is if he wants a deal and this is a president driven by any pre-acclamation, Nobel Peace Prize, a place in history books, a desire to separate himself from all of his predecessors, he's going to have to recognize certain realities. And reality number one is you're not going to be able to get the zero war heads with Kim within a matter of years so I think he understands that.

[14:30:09] He also understands that --

BROWN: You think he's gradually understood that, though?

MILLER: I think --

BROWN: Like do you think that has evolved since the beginning when he said hey, we are going to meet?

MILLER: I think some of his advisers, particularly recently appointed National Security adviser John Bolton and the vice president, have gotten far out ahead of the president with respect to being too tough on North Korea and I think the president wants to reel it back.

I think he's also recognized something that he sees in himself, the fact is you've got two mercurial volatile leaders, Kim and Trump, both focused on their needs, and I think Kim -- Trump understands that if he wants to get through to Kim, he's got to treat him with some measure of respect, which is extremely important to the North Koreans, and to Kim.

BROWN: Do you think, though, you know, as you watch the meeting play out on Friday with the second most powerful man in North Korea, it's clear that the president also likes the theatrics surrounding this, you know, they have the long good-bye outside of the White House and so forth? Is he in danger of embracing the theater of this more than the substance and content of a potential meeting? What is your view?

MILLER: Well, all presidents are actors. I mean, they're characters- in-chief. Right? I mean, this is not a great president, but the greatest presidents were in fact characters-in-chief, Washington, Lincoln, FDR, they all loved the stage, they all loved acting, they all understood you've got to present yourself on the international state. I think he does like drama but more than that I think he -- believing he is the world's best negotiator, he is absolutely persuaded and this I think is mistake number one that he, in fact, has the personality and the skills to do a deal with Kim.

BROWN: This is certainly a big test for that.

Now Korean state media says that Kim Jong-un will meet with Syria's Bashar al-Assad, this of course comes on the heels with the meeting he had with President Xi, with South Korea's leader as well as the Lavrov of Russia. What do you think is going on here? I mean, this is to someone who all of a sudden is meeting with all of these world leaders ahead of the summit. Is he trying to raise his stature in advance of it? What do make of all of this?

MILLER: Well, in the case of Assad he'd be the first head of state actually to meet Kim in Pyongyang. It would be a first. It's also the -- you know, the totalitarian club. I mean, you've got the world's last totalitarian, Kim Jong-un, meeting with an international pariah, Assad.

Now I think it's Kim sending a signal to the Americans, if you think that this process is going to domesticate me, if you think that somehow I'm going to compromise my allies, including the Syrians, you're wrong. And I think it carries a fair measure of symbolic value. Whether it will actually happen before June 12th thereafter is another matter.

BROWN: As Nic pointed out in his reporting, North Korea has sometimes made concessions that turn out to be reversible. How much do you -- how much weight do you think the administration should put on history with North Korea versus just starting on a clean slate and saying let's give them the benefit of the doubt?

MILLER: You know, Faulkner wrote in "Requiem for a Nun" history is never over. The past is never over, it's never even past, even past. And I think history is critical. It's certainly critical into forming Kim's view. I think history is a guide but it can't be a prison. The fact is, this is the first North Korean leader to sit with an American president, the first one who actually has nukes, so we're actually in a different space.

Whether or not the president can deliver sieved, comprehensive irreversible disarmament, verifiable disarmament is another matter. What he might be able to deliver, though, is a U.S.-North Korean relationship that changes the conversation from confrontation to peace, well, to more normalization, and another process that's happening in parallel fashion, North Korea and South Korea, so this could be a one-off, a train wreck, a -- it could crater but then again we might be on the verge of something extremely significant, having played a small role in planning three or four presidential summits, and at least most of which failed, it's a tough -- it's tough go under any circumstances.

BROWN: Certainly it is. But in your view, even if he doesn't achieve denuclearization, complete denuclearization, but helps repair the relationship, creates more peace, you think that could be a win.

MILLER: Well, yes, because the end state, look, let's realize what the goal here is. The goal is to avoid a war on the Korean peninsula. The goal is to deescalate and create another kind of relationship between the North Koreans and the U.S., and you know, I voted for Republicans and Democrats. I worked for them. I hope this guy actually is able to do that.

BROWN: All right. Aaron David Miller, thank you. Really interesting insight, appreciate it.

MILLER: Thank you, Pam.

BROWN: And just ahead on this Sunday, trapped in paradise, surrounded by molten lava, nearly a dozen people stranded in a disaster zone. Live report coming up. Stay with us.



BROWN: About a dozen people in Hawaii are now stranded in areas cut off by lava, from the erupting Kilauea volcano. Take a look at these images right here. Those residents who chose to ignore mandatory evacuation orders are now without power, cell reception, landlines and water service.

Hawaii's Civil Defense Service went through the neighborhood warning residents that the lava was about to cut off their final escape route but several chose to stay. On Friday, emergency responders said they had no plans to rescue anyone who did not evacuate, but authorities now say they plan to air lift the holdouts out of the danger zone if the lava spreads further.

[14:40:04] I want to go straight to CNN's Scott McLean in Pahoa, Hawaii.

And, Scott, what is the status of these holdouts trapped in the lava zone?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Pam. Well, the headline on the local newspaper here seems to sum it up best, it just says isolation, and that is really what these people are facing. We're talking about a dozen or less people who are in that area, that is according to Civil Defense officials and we've also gotten word that they've actually used a helicopter to rescue three of them, two men and a woman, early this morning were taken out of the area. So there may be now fewer than a dozen people in this area.

We're talking about an area that is surrounded on one side by molten lava and on the other side by the ocean and so there really isn't anywhere to go, and as you mentioned, it's not a fun place to be. According to Civil Defense, when they went by and did that final sweep that you mentioned, telling people look, you're going to be stranded, a lot of them said look, we just don't have a good place to go, so we're going to stick it out, but as you said, there is no power, there is no water, there is no landline, there is no cell phone service.

And so if you even want to be rescued you're going to have to send smoke signals, you're going to have to write SOS and big letters on your lawn to get officials' attention in order to get you out of there. But they do have aircraft on standby in order to do that.

The reality, though, is that this is all being fed by a massive fissure. In fact if you look closely in the distance there, you can see the smoke rising from it, and it is big. We're talking about lava shooting at times some 200 feet into the air over the past several days. Of course that is a heck of a lot of lava and it has to go somewhere. And so it is going toward the ocean.

And Pam, in the past, we've seen these flows toward the ocean be relatively benign, mostly through fields, you know, uninhabited areas but this one is different because this lava flow is actually on its way to the ocean, and it is going through a populated area of beachfront homes, an entire really village over there, and so not only is it going to cut off these people, these entire neighborhoods, and these dozen or so people who are still there but it is also going to destroy a heck of a lot of homes, 87 have been lost so far, and we can only expect that that number will rise. BROWN: Just so frightening for those residents trapped there. There

has got to be a better place to go than being trapped in that lava zone.

Scott McLean, thank you so much. Do appreciate it.

Well, chaos and uncertainty for a high stakes race, all eyes are on California this week for the so-called jungle primary. That's up next.

Plus Anthony Bourdain is headed to one of his favorite cities, Hong Kong, and here is a preview.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": Hong Kong, the city always in transition, always moving forward, money mad, unapologetically modern. But there's another side, a beautiful one, in danger of disappearing entirely.

We look at this city through the eyes and lens of one of the greatest cinematographers who ever lived.

CHRIS DOYLE, CINEMATOGRAPHER: To me, the energy is the noise. It's the people. I mean, the films that we made are only this way because we made them here.

BOURDAIN: A long time resident known abroad as Chris Doyle, and on Hong Kong streets as Du Kefeng.

DOYLE: Our job as artists is to show you the world that you think you know and celebrate it. I really believe my job is beauty.


BROWN: You can catch an all new episode of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN" tonight at 9:00 Eastern.


[14:48:08] BROWN: Well, the Cleveland Cavaliers might be trying to move on to game two but there's much more to talk about from the first game.

Coy Wire has more in today's "Bleacher Report."

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Pam, game two of the NBA Finals is tonight but the focus is staying on J.R. Smith because he may have just admitted that he had no idea the game was tied when he dribbled around, seemingly confused at the end of regulation in game one. Here he is.


JR SMITH, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: I said I thought we were ahead, I might have said that. I'm not sure, but I might have. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Not sure. Smith's blunder was likely the reason for Cleveland's loss. Had he just taken a shot, they may have won it. Well, yesterday LeBron James called game one, one of his toughest losses of his career. Now he says it's time to move forward.


LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: I mean, it's a new day and for me, you know, I woke up feeling excited about the opportunity for us to get better today, and excited about the opportunity that presents itself tomorrow.


WIRE: Game two tips off tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Now, Pam, did any roaring crowds keep you awake last night? It may have been the Washington Capitals, bringing out a special hype man as the team hosted a Stanley Cup final game for the first time in 20 years.


PAT SAJAK, HOST, "WHEEL OF FORTUNE": Are you as excited as I am?


WIRE: Pat Sajak in the house. Now it's not the wow factor of Vegas pre-games with the swords and flames and Twitter did roast the Caps but they don't care. The game show host helped hype that sea of red and it worked.

Pat, can we get an oh, like an oh, my goodness. Alex Ovechkin an incredible falling backhanded top shelf scoop to put the Caps on the board first and Pat, can they get a W? Yes, they can. Washington wins 3-1, securing a 2-1 series lead. Now our nation's capital just two wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup title for the first time ever. Game four tomorrow night in D.C.

[14:50:08] BROWN: Coy Wire, thank you so much. And much more news still ahead in the NEWSROOM on this Sunday right after this quick break. Stay with us.


BROWN: According to the Chicago Police, violent crimes are down for the 15th month in a row.

CNN's Ryan Young has all the details.


[14:55:05] RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chicago's struggle with crime continues to be one of President Trump's favorite targets.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We all know what's going on in Chicago. But Chicago has the toughest gun laws in our country. They're so tough.

YOUNG: On Twitter last week, the president called out Chicago's mayor and accused the city of preventing police from doing their job. "The killings are at a record pace and tough police work, which Chicago will not allow, would bring things back to order fast. The killings must stop."

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: This is a Trump-free zone. We have facts. So here's the thing. This is what matters. What matters is what happens on the street. We're making progress. We're not where we need to be. What we do have is a strategy that generally people buy into.

YOUNG: Mayor Rahm Emanuel tells CNN the police department is turning the tide against violence. And according to Chicago police data, for the last 15 months, violent crime has been on decline. So far this year there have been about 500 less shooting victims than in 2016 during the same time period, and about 50 fewer murder victims.

EMANUEL: And while we've added hundreds more officers and we're going to continue to do that with a thousand more, the biggest thing I am happy about is we have 32,000 kids, a record high, in our summer jobs program.

YOUNG: Michael Frederick (PH), a longtime Southside resident and business owner, believes so much potential has been taken by gunfire.

MICHAEL FREDERICK, SOUTHSIDE RESIDENT AND BUSINESS OWNER: You tend to want to stay in your house because there's so much shooting going on. Just this past weekend there was a shooting near the park earlier in the day and they taped it off. And then later on in the day, there was a shooting at the expressway. This way, on state. And it's just taped off. You can't even commute back and forth.

YOUNG: After a violent 2016, the city started adding social services, additional police officers and state of the art technology to assist officers in the 13 most violent neighborhoods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So ShotSpotter is probably key to what we're doing here. ShotSpotter it detects gunshots and notifies our officers a lot of times before 911 is called. In fact a lot of times 911 wouldn't even be called. Officers get that notification right away to cell phones that they have with them in their cars and they're able to respond to those areas.

YOUNG: Officers say as the numbers dip, more community members are engaging with them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love this town, man. I love this town. So I'm just in hopes that it will get better and different, and sometime real soon. EMANUEL: And we have to work at it every day. But we're doing it now

slowly but surely with a little more wind at our back, rather than a wind in our face.

Ryan Young, CNN, Chicago.


BROWN: Well, you probably know him as the fictional crime fighter Sherlock Holmes or super hero Dr. Strange. Well, now he is being called a real-life hero. This is quite a story.

According to the "Sun," Benedict Cumberbatch jumped out of his Uber ride in London and chased off a gang of four attackers trying to mug a food delivery cyclist. The victim's delivery company Deliveroo put out this tweet thanking him for his brave actions. And interesting to note that this apparently happened right near Baker Street, which of course is Sherlock Holmes' London address.

And finally Anthony Bourdain is headed to one of his favorite cities, Hong Kong. Here's a preview.


BOURDAIN: Hong Kong, the city always in transition, always moving forward, money mad, unapologetically modern. But there's another side, a beautiful one, in danger of disappearing entirely.

We look at this city through the eyes and lens of one of the greatest cinematographers who ever lived.

CHRIS DOYLE, CINEMATOGRAPHER: To me, the energy is the noise. It's the people. I mean, the films that we made are only this way because we made them here.

BOURDAIN: A long time resident known abroad as Chris Doyle, and on Hong Kong streets as Du Kefeng.

DOYLE: Our job as artists is to show you the world that you think you know and celebrate it. I really believe my job is beauty.


BROWN: And you can catch an all-new episode of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN" at 9:00 Eastern.

Hello, and thank you for joining me on this Sunday. I'm Pamela Brown in for Fredricka Whitfield. And we begin with the latest turn in the Russia investigation.

The president's lawyer sending special counsel Robert Mueller a 20- page letter arguing that Trump cannot obstruct justice. This is according to the "New York Times" which obtained the letter that was sent to Mueller's team back in January. The attorneys say that President Trump, as the country's top law enforcement officer, can end the investigation he wants at any time and for any reason. All of this as Trump's new lawyer Rudy Giuliani is making the TV rounds again, weighing in on the letter saying that the president probably --