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Frantic Efforts to Rescue Trapped Kids; Relentless Heat Grips Northeast; England wins over Colombia; Trump Tweets Dubious Fox Report. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 4, 2018 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:50] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Frantic efforts to rescue 12 boys and a coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. It is still not clear how rescuers will get them out. They're looking into maybe trying to get to them through cave chimneys and also a plan might be underway to use full face diving masks so they can swim out.

CNN's Anna Coren live in Thailand with the very latest.

Anna, so great to have you there on the ground. What are you seeing?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, I just want to set the scene for you. Right now, the friends of these boys have just arrived and that is what you're seeing behind me. There is a media scrum.

But these children, they are playing music and singing in front of the entrance to the cave. The entrance to the cave is about 150 meters in that direction. And then the boys are in the bowels of the cave, about four kilometers in. But their friends have come to basically sing to them in the hope that they get out very soon.

Now, we discussed at length the options for getting these 12 boys and their coach out. Obviously they want to do it as quickly as possible because they are really facing bad weather conditions in the coming days. We know that they're pumping water, hundreds of thousands of liters, every single hour. And if the rain comes, at the extent of what they think it will, then it's just going to undo all that good work.

The diving option, that is still being looked at. The boys have been practicing using the full face oxygen masks. But, you know, we've seen the videos of them. While they're smiling, they are gaunt. They are very thin. They've lost a lot of weight. So, you know, they need to rebuild their energy.

There has been a development today. And that is one of the boys heard a rooster crowing and has alerted authorities that maybe there is an air hole close to where the boys are. So now there are rescuers up the mountain. They've climbed up the mountain. And they are looking for those air holes. If they can find those air holes, and if they can make their way down through the roof of these caves, then that would, obviously, be a lot easier and also a lot safer for the boys, John and Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Anna, thank you very much.

Oh, my gosh, I mean every hour there are developments, but, still, they haven't been able to (INAUDIBLE) exactly what the right way out is because how could they? I mean this is -- this is uncharted territory. Are they going to drill a hole to try to pull them out? Are they going to swim them out? It's really terrifying.

BERMAN: These are the options they're looking into right now. I just can't imagine being one of those kids, one of the 12 kids with the coach underground for nine days. You finally see someone coming to get you, and then they explain to you, you know what, we can't get you out just now. It's got to be hard for them to process what's going on here.

CAMEROTA: Oh, that's the worst, the waiting and the -- the -- and you know this, the finish line moving.


CAMEROTA: The finish line moving is what plays on you psychologically.

BERMAN: These pictures we're looking at right now. These just came in overnight. These are really the best new look we have here. And you can see what look like smiles on some of these kids' faces, which is remarkable, right? I mean it's wonderful that they're smiling.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you know, they have the comfort of knowing that the world is watching.

But what's fascinating is this cave chimney development. This idea of, you know, a phrase I was not familiar with, but the idea that they could perhaps drill down, but presumably among the many dangers there, could it, you know, collapse? Is there a way through that's faster?

BERMAN: They also don't know where they are from the -- from the ground. It isn't clear. My understanding is that these caves are not mapped in any kind of meticulous, precise way. So how do you know with 100 percent certainly you're drilling in the right place.

CAMEROTA: All right, well, let's go to the expert, and luckily we have him here. He is Claus Rasmussen. He is a cave diving instructor who is part of the support team with the Thai navy seals who are working to rescue the boys.

Claus, thank you so much. I know it's a busy day for you. Thank you so much for taking the time with us.

Can you just explain to us where you think we are with the rescue? Is one method of getting the boys out emerging as better than the rest yet?

CLAUS RASMUSSEN, PART OF THE SUPPORT TEAM WITH THE THAI NAVY SEALS: I mean right now what is coming back from the teams that has just come out is that they are -- put a lot more divers in today. We've had extra support from the Thai rangers to come in. And what they basically are trying to do is that they're trying to clean out the whole pathway and tunnel out to make it easier if the option will be to actually take these divers out.

[06:35:25] CAMEROTA: And how do they clean out that pathway? How do you make a small crevasse in a cave, in rock, how do you make it bigger for a boy with a huge mask on to be able to get through it?

RASMUSSEN: Well, they're doing it in the best way that anybody in the army can do. They're putting in a lot of manpower, and a lot of hours, and a lot of tanks and a lot of power.

What we just heard is that they've been taking tanks in every (INAUDIBLE) stage, but they're still working on it and doing the final revaluations. Right now the two British cave divers that found them, in trying to check and see if it still is a fishable option. They've got to look at the water levels. They've got to look at what the flow is now because, obviously, safety is the key and it would be a very, very bad outcome if even one of these kids gets injured when they try to take them out.

CAMEROTA: And, plus, describe the conditions down there. And starting with the idea that the water that they would have to swim through is coffee colored.

RASMUSSEN: I mean if you have looked at any of the media footage around here, the whole area is obviously mud. And that also means that any sediment there is inside that cave, as soon as you touch it, as soon as you move yourself, it gets stirred up and it becomes muddy water. And that is why the first person will go through and everything is nice and clear. But as soon as one person's been through, everybody can't see anything behind that. And that's why in cave diving basically the line is your life and why the many, many research hours that we're doing initially searching for them would actually (INAUDIBLE) just lay (ph) lying in there so they could be safe for the divers going in to try and find them.

And now, obviously, the other side of it, use those lines to actually come out safely with the kids.

CAMEROTA: And, Claus, we understand is that some of the diver s down there, the navy SEALs, have been helping the boys practice wearing the big masks, wearing the big diving oxygen masks, because they're not divers. These aren't trained -- some of these kids can't even swim. And so is that what's happening, they're -- for the eventuality that they may have to swim them out, they're training them down there how to scuba dive right now?

RASMUSSEN: Well, what they've been doing is they're trying to deduce and see how they respond to it. And I think that's part of the evaluation. Again, no decision has been made whether it's going to be waterway or if it's going to be anything else, and that's -- I think that's very important to bear in mind. The masks are not the big commercial diver mask. It's a small diving mask. They're just like -- bigger than the standard scuba diving or snorkel mask that would be used. And if they can fit, they can be quite, quite safe.

Effectively, nobody in normal recreational world needs to know how to dive to try and scuba dive. And using that philosophy, that can be a safe way to actually bring them out. But the guys, the -- all the children don't have to learn to swim and dive, but they have to be (INAUDIBLE) relax and breath at all times.

CAMEROTA: That's exactly right because it's the panic. You know some people can't scuba dive because they feel claustrophobic in that mask and so, obviously, down at that depth and with this kind of level of precarious situation, the panic is what could be a problem. But, you know, the boys -- one of the things that people have suggested is, why not use the sky diving method, where you just strap the person who's not experienced to the experienced diver and they swim you out. What's the problem with that one?

RASMUSSEN: Well, the problem is, in skydiving, you're hanging below the guy doing it with your face facing away from that. That means that the diver can't actually see what's going on with the child. Regardless of (INAUDIBLE), we still need to insure that there's air coming to the child. So whether you're using that or you just have the kid actually holding on is -- is kind of irrelevant.

But the real key is that if they can make the passageway safe and make sure the kids are breathing and (INAUDIBLE), it's not a safe option. That's why they're looking at all the drilling in and all the other options that they're doing. But also why they're now putting extra pumps in to try and clean the water out so there is air space all the way. So maybe they can get away with just snorkeling.

Again, we will know more hopefully by tomorrow morning because the last teams, they'll be coming out. Won't be coming out until like 4:00 in the evening or night from the estimations that they're doing.

CAMEROTA: And we understand that the weather is not cooperating and that there are more storms predicted. So, obviously, time is of the essence.

RASMUSSEN: Well, right now it's beautiful. It's been sunshine all day. There haven't been any rain. But we are told that will not last.

[06:40:04] CAMEROTA: Yes. Claus Rasmussen, thank you very much for all of the work that you're doing down there and taking time to share it with us. Obviously we will check back throughout the program.


BERMAN: All right, we're watching that very closely, obviously.

It is Independence Day. America 242 years old. Yes, England lost us all those years ago, but they did just win a World Cup shootout and I think they would take that trade. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: A relentless heat wave smothering much of the northeast U.S. on this Fourth of July. How much longer will it last?

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers joins us now.

It's swampy, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is swampy. It's not the heat, it's the humidity, no, actually, it's both. You add them together and you just get the swamp.

So temperatures today, though, will be hot. We're already in the 70s. Feel like temperatures in the 80s. But we're not going to feel like 110 today, maybe 97. And once you've been 110, 97 is a picnic. It's a walk in the park.

So the heat is moving back out to the west. It will cool down by Saturday. Below normal by Saturday.

Now, the feels like this afternoon will be 105 in Cincinnati, 106 in Nashville. That's where the bulk of the heat is. New York, 91. D.C., 97. That's much cooler than you have been.

There will be a few showers on the map for later on this afternoon, by I don't think anybody really gets rained out when it comes to Fourth of July fireworks this afternoon and into this evening. It looks pretty good.

[06:45:02] By the time we work our way into Saturday, this cold air mass is going to run down from Canada and increase the temperatures down across the south, but cool you down below normal in the northeast.


CAMEROTA: You can't scare me, Chad. I like hot weather. It's summer. I enjoy it.

MYERS: It is.


BERMAN: This is your (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: This is my -- yes, I like it. I like it.

Thank you very much, Chad.

England with a dramatic win over Colombia to reach the World Cup quarter finals.

BERMAN: This is soccer.

CAMEROTA: Oh, thank you. For the first time since 2006 -- I was wondering.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

This sounds exciting, Andy. Am I right?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It was -- it was exciting, Alisyn, especially for England. It's kind of ironic, 242 years after signing the Declaration of Independence, we're talking some English soccer this morning.

England ending their penalty kicks curse yesterday against Colombia.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

Now England previously 0-3 in their history when going to penalty kicks in the World Cup. And their goalie, Jordan Pickford, coming through with a great save here. He was pretty pumped about it. Then the hopes and dreams of the entire nation riding on Eric Dier's right foot, and he delivered, sending England through the curse of penalty kicks finally over and the fans back home, as you can imagine, just going crazy when they won. They partied in the streets all night.


SCHOLES: As the fans singing the songs "Three Lions," first released in the '90s, a song about how England invented football and it trying to win their first World Cup since 1966.

Prince William probably singing along, too, last night. He tweeted, I couldn't be prouder of England. A victory in a penalty shootout. You have well and truly earned your place in the final eight of the World Cup and you should know the whole country is right behind you for Saturday. Come on, England.

And up next for England, they're going to take on Sweden, Saturday, John, with a trip to the semifinals on the line.

BERMAN: It was an incredible game, an incredible finish. I feel all the better about it now that Prince William is tweeting about it.

CAMEROTA: Well, now you have my attention.

BERMAN: Yes. Yes.

CAMEROTA: You should include the royal family --

SCHOLES: I put that tweet in for you, Alisyn. I knew --

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

SCHOLES: Oh, wait, he's paying attention? I should too.

CAMEROTA: No, seriously, I perked up at that moment. Royal family. Royal news. BERMAN: It's Independence Day. It's the Fourth of July.

CAMEROTA: So you don't want me celebrating the royal family? All right. All right.

BERMAN: No, no, you're supposed be to splitting from the. The break- up. This is the anniversary of the break-up.

CAMEROTA: You make a good point. I'll get back to it tomorrow.

BERMAN: All right. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Today, only American news.

BERMAN: Only American news.

The president of the United States, how does he come up with his communications agenda? He watches TV. One particular station in particular particularly.

CAMEROTA: Wow. From the department of redundancy department.

BERMAN: Yes, next.


[06:51:40] BERMAN: All right, a remarkable few days in presidential statements. President Trump seems to be watching TV and repeating things that he sees with any kind of verification at all, including now this claim from a hard ling Iranian cleric. You might think he wants to fact check that.

Let's bring in CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter, and CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.

You know, Brian, this has to do specifically with a statement I'm not even sure it's worth repeating because I don't want to give it credence here, a statement that -- about Iranians becoming U.S. citizens. Now, clearly, the president heard this on Fox News, but it turns out it was a statement from a hardline Iranian cleric and the president just blurts it out.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the chain seems to be from a cleric to an Iranian newspaper, then to Fox News and then from Fox News to the president's Twitter feed. It's a conspiracy theory type of things that makes Obama look bad, it makes everything sound bad involving the Iran deal. That's the idea behind it. But it's another one of these strange examples where the president is learning something from Fox News, in this case something bogus without any proof of it, and then circulating it all around the world. You know, whether it's a liar conspiracy theory or another form of deception, he seems to prefer to learn things from this box you're watching, the television set, as opposed to his intelligence experts.

CAMEROTA: Because it's easier. STELTER: Easier.


STELTER: Easier.

CAMEROTA: In the morning you can turn on the TV and whatever they're feeding you, you can then parrot on your Twitter feed. And that's what we're seeing.

I mean, Doug, this is the anatomy of conspiracy theory. This is how a conspiracy theory is born.

So this hardline cleric says that as part of the Iranian deal, the Iranian nuclear deal, 2,500 Iranians were made U.S. citizens. There's no evidence. This is -- and, in fact, it's worse than no evidence. When even Fox tries to go and check it with people who were in the State Department at that time -- or maybe CNN actually tried to go and check this with -- CNN -- they said --

STELTER: CNN definitely did.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I know CNN did, but I don't even know if -- this is shoddy reporting on Fox's part. I don't even know if Fox tried to. But Marie Harf, who's on their staff, said patently false. This sounds like compete made up BS. But they run with it. They put it in the headlines. Then "Fox and Friends" parrots it and then the president absorbs it and tweets it. This is the anatomy of a conspiracy theory, Doug.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: And he is our conspiracy theorist in chief. I mean he's been doing this now for decades. I -- it kind of came to the public consciousness with Barack Obama's not born in the United States birther lie. But at any opportunity he can, he grabs the conspiracy theory. Why? You offer the reason because it's easy just getting junk on TV. We could read polls that talk about, you know, 30 percent of the American people don't think Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. But it's really -- it gets, I think, back to Donald Trump's thinking that you just shop for the story you want and internet is a worldwide web that gives you an opportunity to grab the story that fits what you want to believe for the minute.

And this Iranian story, Donald Trump will buy any amount of bogus news to make the deal that John Kerry and Barack Obama made look like a lightweight negotiation deal. Why? Because he said it over and over again on the campaign trail. And so suddenly he stumbles upon something that backs his gut, he will go with it, whether it's verified or, you know, is just completely kooky or not.

[06:55:11] AVLON: But the obvious reality check here is, this is a man who has access to a daily intelligence briefing. He has access to the best information in the world in real time and yet he prefers to go with confirmation biased conspiracy theories he picks up from partisan cable TV, which itself isn't doing its job. I mean, you know, this is all -- this is Iranian local politics and a discredited news organization that's fallen for onion stories before. So the fact that the president's first impulse is to parrot this rather than going to the intelligence agencies is a real problem, not a manufactured crisis.

BERMAN: You know, and, Brian Stelter, Bill Shine just got hired as the White House communications director basically --


BERMAN: Or the --

STELTER: In charge of communications.

BERMAN: Exactly, in charge of communications right now.

STELTER: Yes. Yes. Yes.

BERMAN: He used to be at Fox News. Is the job any different? Is it the same job?

STELTER: It's a slightly different job. But this merger is almost complete. We've seen this merger between the pro-Trump hosts on Fox and the White House. And Shine -- Shine's interesting because he says right now he's just a private citizen there at the White House helping Trump while he's being vetted. Here's actually a push from some right wing media to try to get him to lose the job before he actually gets his (INAUDIBLE) job.

CAMEROTA: Why's that?

STELTER: And there's some rivalries going on, some criticism of him. There's a lot of criticism of him about how he handled the harassments complaints against Roger Ailes.


STELTER: Whether he was a part of the problem at Fox News. Whether he covered things up. So there's this -- been this issue of whether Shine is the right guy for the job. Frankly, whether he'd be hired by any other company.

BERMAN: There's irony in that, right? He's going to get hired --

STELTER: Even though the president wants to hire him at the White House.

BERMAN: He couldn't get hired anywhere else except for the White House.

STELTER: IT's a very strange thing. And, you know, I think yesterday we saw one of the president's conspiracy theories debunked around -- involving this Democratic IT staffer. That was an idea propped up by some Fox house in "The Daily Caller." That was debunked by the Trump Justice Department. So what did the president do? He moved on to other theories instead. I think it's comforting to think that he just doesn't have the right information. It's comforting to say, oh, he just didn't know the true, because the alternative is worse. CAMEROTA: What is comforting?

STELTER: The alternative is worse. You know, I sit here, oh, well, the president just didn't know the answer. That's a lot more comforting than, is he --

AVLON: But, you raised the --

CAMEROTA: But I just want to get back to the headline because I feel like this is something that even President Trump would reject. He is believing an Iranian hardline cleric over his own State Department. He is getting information -- his single source is an Iranian hardline cleric. How, Doug, does that make sense, even in President Trump's world?

BRINKLEY: This all makes sense because what John was just mentioning before. I mean he think -- you know, he rejects CIA, NSA information, real intelligence, because part of his conspiratorial thinking is that they're in the tank for Hillary Clinton. That they are working for the Democrats. That the intelligence I'm getting isn't real intelligence because they don't like me. They hate Trump. Hence, he just wipes it all away and goes back to cherry picking what, you know, fit his mood and needs of the moment.

CAMEROTA: Right. But Iranians tell the truth? I mean that's what you have to -- that's the leap you have to --

AVLON: Right, but --

BERMAN: You're assuming that he was watching carefully enough to actually discern that. I'm -- you know, I'm not sure. I think he just sees --

CAMEROTA: I'm just pointing out --

BERMAN: He just probably reads the bottom of the screen.

CAMEROTA: Of course, but I'm just pointing out the single source is something that he normally doesn't think is that trustworthy.

BERMAN: You -- so it's surprising to you that he's not doing real-time fact check --

BRINKLEY: Well, he trusts --

AVLON: Due diligence.

BERMAN: Yes, due diligence.

CAMEROTA: His due diligence is not up to --

AVLON: This is not a real (INAUDIBLE) fact check administration. Yes, but it's the enemy --

STELTER: But there's also (INAUDIBLE) responsibility about Fox News. Somebody decided to report this. Somebody decided to put it on TV. CAMEROTA: Even after it was debunked.

AVLON: Right.

STELTER: That's a mistake.

CAMEROTA: Even after they went to the people who were involved in the deal and it was debunked.


CAMEROTA: They still made it a headline.

STELTER: If you know that you're the de facto intelligence agency for the president of the United States, please be careful. Look, please, be careful what you --

AVLON: Well, that horse has left the barn.


STELTER: And, by the way, that counts for us as well.


BERMAN: But that's -- but that's the thing.

STELTER: But especially true at Fox.

BERMAN: But I want to say this, I want to say this. You know, we've been careful, and I don't think we've put the tweet up on the screen here because I don't want to disseminate this false information out there.


BERMAN: But now we've got a whole segment where we've been talking about this conspiracy theory out there and so it serves its purpose.

CAMEROTA: Well, sort of. I mean, but we're trying to talk about how it was creating, and how any place that calls itself a news organization should not run with a single source from an Iranian hardline cleric. That should not (INAUDIBLE).

AVLON: (INAUDIBLE) responsible.


CAMEROTA: OK. Thank you, Doug Brinkley. Happy Fourth.

BRINKLEY: Hey, back to you.

CAMEROTA: OK. Thanks, Brian.

STELTER: Thanks.

CAMEROTA: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continue right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Putin said to me, there was no meddling by the Russian state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am confident that the Russians meddled in this election, as is the entire intelligence community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American people have a right to think that their president is pushing back on Putin rather than buddying up to him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is an expectation that Pruitt will be gone soon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scott Pruitt went directly to President Trump and he suggested firing Jeff Sessions, putting him in at the Department of Justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only did we not drain the swamp with this man, I think we put a bigger swamp creature in there.

[07:00:05] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Authorizes here seriously looking at putting full face oxygen masks on these boys.