Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Administration Says It May Miss Deadline to Reunite Children It Separated from Their Parents; Manafort Bank Fraud Trial Has Trump Campaign Connection; NY Times: President Trump's Lawyers Set New Conditions for Mueller Interview, Say it's Increasingly Unlikely; Oxygen Levels Dropping In Cave Where Boys Are Trapped; President Trump on Jim Jordan. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired July 6, 2018 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:08] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The nation's chief law enforcement official once cited Scripture to defend separating thousands of children from their parents. Tonight, the process of reconnecting them is revealed as unholy mess.

John Berman here in for Anderson.

The Trump administration had a deadline tonight, not to reunify all families or even some families, merely to make sure every separated parent has a way to simply contact their child. So far, no answer on whether they succeeded with even that.

The administration faces a new dateline tomorrow when the bar is lower still, simply produce a list of all children under age five in custody and covered by the reunification order. More in a moment on that and what else the judge said.

First, though, a simple question about HHS Secretary Alex Azar, whose department is responsible for caring for these children through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Keeping them honest, what in heavens name was he thinking when he said this.


ALEX AZAR, HHS SECRETARY: There is no reason any parent would not know where their child is located. I could at a stroke of -- at key strokes I sat on the ORR portal with just basic key strokes within seconds could find any child in our care for any parent.


BERMAN: So, Secretary Azar said that 10 days ago, the same day a federal judge gave the administration on July 10 to return kids under five to their parents and set July 26 for the rest. No problem, just a few key strokes, just a few seconds, he said.

But by yesterday, Secretary Azar was saying HHS did not even have an exact count of how many children it had, somewhere below 3,000 he said, an estimate about children. An estimate.

So what happened to those magical key strokes, those special buttons that find people within seconds? It seems their super powers don't include actual counting.

Still, he did say that HHS would meet all the deadlines.


AZAR: We will comply with the artificial deadlines created by the court. We will comply even if those deadlines prevent us from conducting our standard or even a truncated vetting process.


BERMAN: Well, it turns out yesterday was so yesterday. Today, the administration said it might need more time and Secretary Azar gave another conference call this time for lawmakers.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, wrote, I just got off the phone with HHS. I am furious and horrified after immigration conference call. Virtually, no separated children have been reunited. No system, to plan, to path to assure reunification, no answers to key questions. Strategy seems to be: blame everyone else.

Another Democratic senator said the call was and I am quoting here, it was Orwellian in its overconfidence and vagueness. Sort of the way this is.


AZAR: There's no reason why any parent would not know where their child is located.


BERMAN: Keeping them honest, there is evidence the process was flawed from the outset in order to take the kids from their parents. They were essentially reclassified as having entered the country unaccompanied, which obviously they were not. And then after a few days in border holding facilities, they were handed over to HHS and taken to all corners of the country.

Their parents meantime stayed in Border Patrol custody with records in separate databases. So, "The New York Times" citing officials directly involved in the reunification process says this was a big problem. HHS today said it's not.

But, again, the department is still scrambling after a week and a half to reunify even a single-family, recruiting volunteers, using DNA testing. And then there's this -- in its court filing today, the Justice Department sought clarification on whether they have to reunite migrant kids with parents who are already deported and appear to argue that it would be too difficult and time consuming.

Meaning what exactly? Is the DOJ asking, why even bother? What does it say that the people who took these kids in the first place are now asking a judge if they really have to bother to give them back? More now on the breaking news, the court hearing in the new deadline in what the administration said, CNN's Sunlen Serfaty joins us now with that.

Sunlen, what is the latest from the court today and do we know if any of these deadlines are going to be met?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's pretty unclear tonight, John. They say they'll believe they'll make at least one of those deadlines. The decline today to have phone calls between the separated kids and their parents.

But on these more important deadlines about reunification, they say they will likely fall short and likely need more time. Reminder, Tuesday here, that's the deadline for them to reunite all kids under the age of five. We know that's about 100 kids: And by July 26th, they'll need to have reunited all children that have been separated from their parents.

So, today, the administration in court saying they do not expect to meet those two deadlines because officials today said they still don't necessarily know the location of every parent.

[20:05:03] And in court today, they really attempted to lay out before the judge why they believe in their opinion this process is so challenging to them -- notable that these are challenges of course of their own making, saying things like DNA testing, that takes a long time. And so, that was significant today here in court.

Now in court, we did also learn new information about that group of kids about 100 kids who were under the age of five. Among that group, 19 parents, 19 parents of those children have already been deported. That really speaking, John, to they still don't know exactly where these parents are if they were to try to reunite these kids with their parents. The judge did ask the government to list by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow on Saturday of all these children under five and they will reconvene court on Monday morning.

BERMAN: Sunlen, what more do we know about what was said during this HHS conference call with lawmakers, lawmakers critical about it.

SERFATY: That's right. They're very unhappy about that call. There was a call on the House side with House members and Senate side with senators and I spoke to many members after that call and aides who were also on the call.

And they're dissatisfied. They say it's just appointing the level of information, really wasting no time to blast that HHS Secretary Azar over Twitter. You highlighted that one tweet from Senator Blumenthal who said he's furious, horrified after the call. That was is sentiment I heard from many members. They expected there would be some new information from the secretary today and they did not give any new information beyond what they gave to press 24 hours ago.

And significant that many of those aides said they thought it was a waste of time, total propaganda. So, certainly, lawmakers very disappointed and expect to push the secretary for more. But as of now, they have answers or even less than it seems the press has.

BERMAN: All right. Sunlen Serfaty, thanks very much.

With me now is Ana Navarro and Jason Miller.

And, Jason, you were very critical of Secretary Azar and his mixed message yesterday. Yesterday's mixed message became today's muddled message. Yesterday, he essentially admitted he couldn't count how many kids had been separated from their parents who were in custody.

But the one thing he clearly did say yesterday was that they would meet the deadlines in reunifying them with parents. Today, the government says, no, we're not going meet the deadlines. We need an extension.

What's going on here?

JASON MILLER, FORMER SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, again, today, we're seeing same problems we saw yesterday with the mixed messaging coming out and not having facts. And I think this is really what the problem is with us and where the administration needs to do much better is we can't have this information coming out in bits and pieces and being incomplete and contradicting previous pieces.

We need to be on top of details. We need to get these kids reunited with their families and then have them go through the process and then deported out of the country if they're not accepted through the asylum process.

And, obviously, we're finding out now where we did get some more information today about the 49 children that have now spoken with their parents. We are seeing some of them being brought together in very short order here. And I can understand if they say where we've matched up children with their parents, we need a little extra time because we want to make sure that we're getting the right kids with the right parents, want to make sure there aren't criminal backgrounds that we need to be concerned.

I totally understand that, if it means a couple extra days. But that needs to be communicated, needs to be a clear, consistent message and a game plan for how they're going to get to this, because again, the bigger problem here is there are still folks who are trying to come across the border every single day.

BERMAN: Well, but again, but we are -- but we are talking about a group of people again separated from their parents by the U.S. government. When you said they need to match them, it was the government that split them up, so I would hope the government had a process when they get -- hang on, I want to get Ana in --

MILLER: But, John, critical point and this was part of the thing that we found out over the last 24 hours or so. And this is part of the hang-up with the judge and we have a problem getting this done, is a lot of the kids have been separated from the parents. This happened even before zero tolerance policy went into affect, but the judge's ruling said that all had to be together is what we found. That's why DHS knows to the exact number of children.

BERMAN: That doesn't explain -- that doesn't explain why the government couldn't count them. That doesn't explain why the government hasn't been able to connect them all by phone call and that doesn't explain how the government hasn't been able to match them when this is the government that did it.

Ana, you heard Secretary Azar say this is an artificial deadline presented by the judge here. Is that a compelling argument?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think it's how they see it. I think they're being truthful. What we can see from the government is number one, they're incompetent. Number two, they're despicable liars and they have been lying about this since day one.

Number three, they can't get this done. They feel no sense of urgency. And I would tell you, there seems to be very little, genuine will to get this done, because it's immigrants, right? Because they can abuse immigrants. Because they can offend immigrants. Because they treat immigrants this way.

Listen, John, any 16-year-old kid in a summer job would be expected to keep a count of inventory. This is an inventory of widgets or gum. This is inventory of human beings and they're not able to do it.

They can't give answers to the court. They can't give answers to the press. They can't give answers to lawmakers.

Here in south Florida, Carlos Curbelo, Republican, Republican congressman from district 26 tried to go visit one of the centers that is in his district, he had given HHS all of the ample time and advice and announcement, he wasn't allowed in. They canceled his visit last night with less than 24 hours because they have no answers. They are the Keystone cops.

Whether you are for or against immigration, regardless of how you feel about this issue, you should be embarrassed. Every American should be embarrassed by the level of incompetence that is being revealed through this process.

BERMAN: Jason, where is -- hang one second, where is the president on this? I know he's got a Supreme Court nomination to make. But he was in Montana last night giving a political rally. Couldn't he be behind the desk making phone calls trying to figure out how to expedite this process? This is a president who ran a business, likes to say he gets things done. I haven't seen him working to reunite children with their parents.

MILLER: My understanding is the administration knows exactly how serious it is and moving behind the scenes.

BERMAN: Where is the president on it? Where isn't he the public face on this? Why isn't the president who's not afraid to call out his attorney general from recusing himself from an investigation, why isn't he calling at HHS saying, guys, get your act together, get this done? MILLER: M y understanding is that the president is making sure they

know how serious it is and they have to move on it quick. There's something that Ana said and I agree with, the fact that we're talking about people here. And, John, we discussed this a bit earlier that I think there's a rush to much to go and talk about this and the numbers. These are human beings.

And this is why I think the security side of this and making sure we're getting the right kids with the right parents and we're not handing kids over to drug traffickers or human traffickers or mules or anything like this is very important because it could be one child, it could be ten, it could be 50. We don't know how many could possibly be mismatched or sent to the wrong people.

And again, some of these kids put through perilous situations in their journey north from Central America. We don't know exactly who they might be sent back to. This is important.

BERMAN: Indeed. Perilous journeys and then separated when they got over here. Ana --


NAVARRO: Look, I don't think the president cares. OK? He has shown very little empathy towards any of this. It's a bunch of brown immigrants from places like Guatemala.

MILLER: Ana, you can't say that.


NAVARRO: Of course I can say that. He has been calling immigrants criminals and rapists from day one.

MILLER: You have no idea of that. No.

NAVARRO: He has shown us time and time again how he feels about immigrants.

MILLER: Ana, I get it that you hate the president --

NAVARRO: He has demonized immigrants from day one.


NAVARRO: From June 15, 2016, he came down the stairwell and first thing he did was focus on attacking immigrants and he has not stopped since.

MILLER: He wants to enforce our border and enforce immigration laws.


NAVARRO: He has called the country that they come from shit holes. He has given so many indications during the time as candidate and president that he does not give a damn. BERMAN: Jason, 10 seconds, we got to go.

MILLER: Completely disagree. I think the president wants to secure the border like a majority of Americans do. We need stronger of our immigration laws. And also, the president wants to get comprehensive immigration plan done.

So, kudos to the president pushing that. I said very clearly the administration needs to do a better job with the problem in front of us right now, and I've been very clear to that point.

BERMAN: Kudos to no one for getting these kids reunify with their parents --


NAVARRO: That's like Joe, tweeted a different conversation every day.

BERMAN: All right, guys. Jason Miller, Ana Navarro, have a great weekend. I do appreciate your time.

More breaking news tonight: a new court filing from the Russia special counsel's team for the very first time connects the charges against Paul Manafort with the campaign he ran, the Trump campaign. Remember, as far as the president is concerned, not only do the charges have nothing to do with this campaign, he practically suggests his former campaign chairman had nothing to do with his campaign.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I feel badly about a lot of it because I think a lot of it is very unfair. I mean, I look at some where they go back 12 years. Like Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign, but I feel so -- I'll tell you, I feel a little badly about it.

They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago. You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. He worked for Ronald Reagan. He worked for Bob Dole. He worked for John McCain. He worked for many other Republicans. He worked for me, what, 49 days or something. A very short period of time.


BERMAN: It was a pretty big job and it was longer than that. In any case, things change like today.

CNN's Sara Murray has the breaking news for us.

Sara, the Mueller team says that Manafort's bank fraud trial does have a campaign connection. What can you tell us about that?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESOPNDENT: That's right. They put out a new court filing tonight which is where we're getting these new details. And we didn't expect Manafort's role in the Trump campaign was going to be really featured in the trial that he was facing. It has to do with financial crime, it has to do with foreign lobbying allegations that he's facing.

But Mueller basically said, look, we intend to present evidence that a banker helped Paul Manafort secure more than $6 million in loans while seeking a position within the Trump campaign and that this person eventually went on to become an adviser to the Trump campaign and try to get a role in the administration although they were not capable of doing it.

So, here's how that fits in. Prosecutors have alleged that Paul Manafort used false information to get mortgages and then he turned around and used that mortgage money as free income and they're saying, you know, we need to explain how he was able to continue to get these loans, and the reason at least in this case they say, he was able to get these loans despite the dubious loan application was because the banker who was helping him get the money had personal ambitions of his own.

BERMAN: Sara, Manafort's counsel also asked the judge to move the trial from Alexandria, Virginia, to Roanoke. What's that about?

MURRAY: That's right. They want to move the trial to Roanoke. They also put out another filing tonight, saying they don't want his Virginia trials to start until after the trial in Washington, D.C. is concluded. So, this could stretch on for a while if the judge decides to grant these requests.

But in terms of changing the area where the trial is actually going to happen, the first trial that's in Virginia, Manafort's team is arguing that it's so saturated around Washington, D.C. in the beltway that there's no way he could get a fair trial, an impartial jury and Alexandria, Virginia. And they're saying, we should move it over to Roanoke.

They also pointed out the way these two areas voted in the last election and said Alexandria overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton for president and because the nation is so partisan right now, particularly in the area surrounding the beltway, people's political views the way they voted could ultimately play into how they decide a case about Paul Manafort who worked on the Trump campaign.

BERMAN: Sara Murray, great to have you tonight. Thanks so much.

MURRAY: Great to be here.

BERMAN: Next, another sign that the Republican Party is truly Donald Trump's party, even at the expense of some of the party's best loved former leaders. We'll talk about what the president said about John McCain and George H.W. Bush and what the reaction says about, well, a lot of things.

Later, a live update from the Thai cave disaster where oxygen levels are dropping and the danger is growing.


[20:21:05] BERMAN: So, President Trump made a political name for himself in part by trashing his political elders and he's doing it again. Early in his campaign, he thrashed John McCain, said he wasn't a true war hero because he'd been captured. Now, he's taking heat for saying this last night about the senator who is fighting brain cancer not mentioning him by name, but singling out nonetheless for his no vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act.


TRUMP: You all remember that evening. Somebody came in with a thumbs down after campaigning for years that he was going to repeal and replace, but that's OK because we for the most part have already done it.


BERMAN: He also refrained from actually naming President George H.W. Bush. Instead, he mocked the charitable movement that he launched.


TRUMP: We are finally putting America first. We're putting America first. And by the way, you know, all the rhetoric you see here, the thousand points of light. What the hell was that by the way? Thousand points of light, what did that mean? Does anyone know?

I know one thing, make America great again, we understand. Putting America first, we understand. Thousands points of light. I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that out? And it was put by a Republican, wasn't it?


BERMAN: Today, the reaction came and it was harsh from all corners. Ari Fleischer, a former Bush 41 and 43 staffer, actually, just 43, called it rude. The Reverend Jesse Jackson defended Mr. Bush as a soldier, servant and president, the thousand points of light representing a thousand ways people can serve and share.

As for the Thousand Points of Light Foundation, it generates 20 million hours of volunteer service a year. Last year, it brought together five presidents to raise money for gulf coast hurricane recovery. Five presidents, but not President Trump. His charity is being sued by the state of New York.

Joining us now is Jim Shultz, Alice Stewart and Van Jones.

Alice, I want to start with you on this question. The criticism again from Republican circles about the president's words, pretty harsh, pretty swift. What's the purpose of attacking George H.W. Bush and specifically the words about a thousand points of light, a call to service?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't understand why he ever would attack George H.W. Bush or any Republicans or John McCain or war veteran. It makes no sense. I'm sure in his mind this is throwing red meat to his base, but it's rude. It's not very kind. And look, if he's trying to make a point about slogans and granted he's the king of slogans, I'm all about make America great again, but let's make America gracious again. Let's not have this insults that are completely unnecessary.

Republicans across the board think that in a rally like this, when he's out there campaigning for Matt Rosendale to beat Senator Tester, let's talk about jobs, let's talk about the economy. Let's talk about taxes which he did, but it got overshadowed by constant need for attack and criticizing people which in his mind, it worked throughout the campaign, worked throughout his administration.

If it ain't broke don't fix it, but I think it's time for this kind of conduct and insulting especially of war heroes to stop.

BERMAN: All right. My friends, we do have some breaking news, I just had some papers handed to me from Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt of the "New York Times." The headline of the article, the shifting strategy. Trump's lawyer set new condition for the Mueller interview.

Rudy Giuliani is apparently saying that the president will not sit down with Mueller's team unless the presidential counsel has evidence the president committed a crime. The president will only speak to them if they can prove they have evidence he committed a crime.

Jim, does that make any sense to you?

JIM SCHULTZ, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Look, I'm not surprised. It seems it's been going in that direction. You know, Rudy Giuliani has been inching closer and closer towards that as think this strategy has played out.

[20:25:00] I'm not surprised that now he's saying that perhaps the president might not speak with Mueller's team unless those conditions are shown.

It remains to be seen whether that's a negotiating point or not, wouldn't be surprised if it's a negotiating point. Certainly, it would be something to watch in the coming days for sure.

BERMAN: And, Van, the other part of it, is that he won't sit down unless that the prosecutors could prove that he exhausted all other possibilities before coming to the president. It just seems to me that they're raising the bar to this level where it makes it, you know, unlikely if not impossible that the president will voluntarily agree to sit down.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We're headed for a showdown, potentially a constitutional crisis in that, you know, Bill Clinton said, look, I don't want to answer to a subpoena. I'll sit down. But he was trying to get himself to be a part of the process without giving up presidential prerogatives. People didn't like it, but they had respect for it.

This seems to be a very different approach of Donald Trump. He's trying to not participate. He's trying to create a situation where the bar is too high for a president to participate. I mean, you can't actually come up with the evidence of a crime sometimes if you can't talk to the person who may have committed the crime.

And so, we could be headed towards a real crisis. If Mueller says I'm going to bring you in here and Supreme Court now to make a decision, does this president have the right to stand above the law. That's where we could be headed.

BERMAN: If you're talking about obstruction --

SCHULTZ: Well, hold on, Van --

BERMAN: Let me just ask a question, because if you're talking about obstruction, the president's mindset matters and no one besides the president can really speak directly to his mindset. So, he would have to testify in order to find out more about that. I'm not saying he down forced to necessarily, but if that's what they want to find out, he could be the one to talk to.

SCHULTZ: Look, just saying at the outset, Van, that Bill Clinton just -- President Clinton just volunteered out of the goodness of his heart because he cared about the Constitution is just ludicrous, first of all.

JONES: You might want to get your hearing checked. You might want to get a hearing checked before you responded to what I just said. Luckily, there's something called YouTube. You can go back and look at what I said.

I didn't say that. If you thought I said, you get your hearing checked. What I said was that Bill Clinton did not want to respond to a subpoena. No president wants to give the law enforcement that power and concede to it.

That I understand, but he did get himself in that chair. Donald Trump seems to not want to get this that chair.

SCHULTZ: Sure, it's part of the negotiation. And that's what happens. You know?

BERMAN: But you think, Jim, this part of the negotiation, because it doesn't really seem like the end game here is to have the president sit down on his terms. It seems to not have him sit down at all.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think the determination as to whether he sits down or not is between the president and the president's lawyers. That can be argued back and forth. The issue of Russia, the issue of the interference with the election, all of those issues are going to be front and center on the questions that Mueller going to ask.


SCHULTZ: We've seen some of that already.

BERMAN: Alice, I think one thing is clear that the president and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani have laid the groundwork not to do this. They've been making this political case and this PR case for him not to sit down with Mueller for months now.

STEWART: Right. Finally, Rudy Giuliani said something that actually makes sense and this was good advice. Hopefully, the president will embrace this advice and do everything he can to try and avoid testifying or if he can try to limit the scope, limit the amount of time and limit the topics.

However, it's not up to him. It's up to Mueller and what he wants to do and how he wants to conduct the investigation.

BERMAN: You know who might be up to, Van, and this is the last question before we have to go. It might be up to the Supreme Court, right? If Mueller issues a subpoena, the president fights it. This could ultimately get all the way to Supreme Court. And the deciding judge, we don't know, could be a person who's announced Monday night by President Trump.

How's that?

JONES: Listen, it's reality television show inside of a soap opera wrapped up in a thriller and deep fried in some crazy. I mean, the whole thing is just -- you know, it's just insane. You really could be in a situation where the president right now is picking the Supreme Court justice that will decide whether or not he has to answer to subpoena. That's just the -- that's just called Friday in America nowadays.

BERMAN: And Brett Kavanaugh, who may be the leading cabinet, has written he doesn't think in most cases the president should be investigated. This will be fascinating.

Jim Schultz, Alice Stewart, Van Jones, appreciate you being with us and helping us cover the breaking news.

And when we do return, breaking news out of Thailand. We're now learning about a planned rescue attempt to free the soccer team as soon as this weekend as conditions inside the cave grow dire.

We're going to have the latest from the scene next.


[20:33:11] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Circumstances have changed in Thailand. They have grown divers. The country's navy Seal commander now says time is limited to rescue those 12 boys in their coach from the flooded cave.

The breaking news there could be an attempt to get them out as soon as this weekend as oxygen levels decline and more rain sets in.

Let's go to Matt Rivers, he is on the scene and joins me now. Matt, tell us about the status of this latest possible operation that could involve support from U.S. divers.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're told that U.S. divers could be involved in an operation as soon as this weekend trying to get these kids out of this cave. Basically the situation has become more urgent. Because oxygen levels inside that cave have gone down, they're down to around 15% right now, John. Normal would be around 21%. So at that 15 level, you're talking about hypoxia that can lead to altitude sickness and worse. And there have been a thought for a long time that worst-case scenario these kids could ride out the rainy season here in Thailand for months if necessary under ground, but given the oxygen levels, that's not really an option anymore.

And so now, rescuers are facing a situation here where they might have to go in and get these kids out sooner even if they're not ready, even if their health disintegrate, even if water levels aren't low enough, that would mean a diving operation, the kids would swim out with divers, possibly U.S. divers involved there but remember, John, these kids have no diving experience. They can barely swim a lot of them. And so that would be an operation fraught with danger.

BERMAN: And Matt, we also know that this experience Thai diver died, returning for a mission to deliver oxygen tanks to the trapped soccer team, how has moral been since that happened?

RIVERS: I mean, when that happened, it kind of crystallized in a really heart breaking way, how dangerous this is. You had jubilation of initially finding these kids. And then this reality has set in about how difficult it's going to be to get these kids out of here safely.

[20:35:03] I mean, take a look at the man who lost his life, a 38- year-old tri. athlete, a former professional Thai navy diver. And he ran out of air inside this cave and lost his life. If that can happen to him, how would a group of boys who have no diving experience handle that on their own? I mean, that's a question and because of that, moral has dipped a bit. Everyone is still optimistic. Everyone still has a sense of mission and sense of purpose. They want to get these kids out safely. But there is a strong sense of reality here, John, this is not going to be easy and this really is a choice between a lot of bad options.

BERMAN: Matt Rivers, thank you.

So since oxygen levels are dropping inside the cave, time is of the essence. We go to Tom Foreman with more on the restricted air flow and virtual look at the layout of the cave. Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, the only thing that makes air move in and out of a cave typically is a change of temperature outside. And once you move two and a half miles in and more than a half mile down like this, that produces very little effect.

So in practical terms, these boys and their coach are in a sealed chamber where the air is indeed running low. How low, they should be getting 21% oxygen in every breath they take. Right now seems to be like 15%. Stick with that long enough and that will decrease ability to work strenuously, or impair their coordination, maybe their thinking. There are even instances where what this causes a decreased vision in low light. Yes, they're taking oxygen in to them. And that could help some but this is a very worrisome development. John. BERMAN: So Tom, how much progress are they making in terms of getting water out of the cave?

FOREMAN: A lot, but not enough yet. They're pumping a tremendous amount right now. They're pushing out about 435,000 gallons per hour. That's two-thirds of an olympic swimming pool just trying to open some brief narrow window to rush these kids out, but the indications we're getting from inside the cave is that they're not making enough progress. There's still many places that are flooded so much they absolutely would have to take them in scuba gear under water in the dark for 20 minutes, 30 minutes and hour in a pump. We don't know. We just know that it's difficult and not getting better.

All the pumping they've been doing so far has been aimed at the rain that fell since the boys went into the cave right here. They've had a little lull. But much worse rain is showing up in the next few days. And there's no indication that the pumps can handle that, John.

BERMAN: So Tom, we've heard so much about the difficulty for even professional divers getting back and forth to the boys. One has now died in the process. Can you explain?

FOREMAN: Yes. Look, the currents are bad. The limited visibility is bad but the single worst thing they seem to be encountering here is the length of the package. And the fact that some portions of it are so small only one person can fit through. Even the divers are taking off their tanks to go through some parts here.

You can see how that would make it very hard to bring in supplies. Virtually impossible along with the distance to run some sort of an air duct through here. And imagine pulling a frightened, exhausted teenager under water through a distance like that. Remember, even for the professionals it's taking six hours to get from outside to where the boys are. That's why some engineers are saying, look use this just as a highway of aide. Take stuff into these kids. Try to take care of them and get up top and start pounding through a supply hole. Not a very big one but enough to put water and food and air into them and keep these young people alive until you can effect a rescue, John.

BERMAN: It is a daunting challenge. Tom Foreman, thanks so much.

FOREMAN: You're welcome.

BERMAN: Stay with us. A lot more news ahead including President Trump's defense of Congressman Jim Jordan accused of ignoring years of alleged sexual abuse by a team doctor when Jordan was an assistance wrestling coach at Ohio State.


[20:42:43] BERMAN: President Trump as you may recall took a swipe at the Me Too movement last night at a speech to a friendly crowd of Montana. We also have Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who has claimed Native American heritage as part of her background.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Pocahontas. They always want me to apologize for saying it. Let's say I'm debating Pocahontas, right. I promise you I'll do this. I will take -- you know, those little kits they sell on television for $2. Learn your heritage! We will take that little kit and we will say, but we have to do it gently, because we're in the #MeToo generation so we have to be very gentle, and we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn't hit her and injure her arm.


BERMAN: The President of course is famous for attacking people. But he is also been quick to defend those who have been accused of bad acts. During the case of the most recent example Congressman Jim Jordan accused of ignoring them. Randi Kaye reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Board Air Force One President Trump quick to defend Congressman Jim Jordan telling reporters I believe him. I believe him 100%.

The Ohio Republican is facing allegations that he ignored years of sexual abuse by a team doctor when he was assistant wrestling coach after Ohio State University. Jordan has denied that.

It's unclear what evidence, if any, the President has seen, but that didn't stop him from dismissing the accusers saying simply I don't believe them at all.

This is hardly the first time Trump jumped to defend the accused and rejected the accusations against them. After Trump nominated his White House Physician rear admiral Ronny Jackson to run veterans affairs, Jackson was accused of multiple drunken episodes overseas, even banging on hotel room door of a female employee. Jackson said the allegations were without merit, but ultimately took himself out of the running, Trump still publically supported him.

TRUMP: He would've done a great job --


TRUMP: He's got a tremendous heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any idea who you might --

TRUMP: You know, these are all false accusations that were made. These are false --

KAYE: The president also defended Rob Porter after both ex-wives accused him of domestic abuse, which he denied. After Porter resigned as the White House Staff Secretary, Trump said this.

[20:45:05] TRUMP: As you probably know he says he's innocent. And I think you have to remember that. A series of women accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore for suing relationships with them as teenagers and in some cases forcing himself on them. Moore denied the claims. Trump still supported Moore in his Senate run.

TRUMP: He denies them. Look, he denies them. He totally denies them. He says it didn't happen.

KAYE (on camera): And after Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly was accused of acting inappropriately with co-workers and female guests on his show, the New York Times reported he and Fox News paid five of the accusers a combined $13 million in exchange for their silence. Knowing that Trump still had his back, telling the times, I don't think he should have settled. I don't think Bill did anything wrong. O'Reilly denied acting inappropriately.

(Voice-over) Also when multiple people complained that Fox News President Roger Ailes had sexually harassed them, ultimately leading to his firing from the network, Trump called the accusations totally unfounded and painted a rosy picture of Ailes who also denied the claims.

TRUMP: Some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them and even recently.

KAYE: Perhaps all of this had come as no surprise after all, Donald Trump has defended himself too, after more than a dozen women accused him of behaving inappropriately with them. He denied it all, even mocking one at a campaign rally.

TRUMP: When you looked at ha horrible woman last night, you said I don't think so. I don't think so. The stories are total fiction.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN New York.


BERMAN: Coming up, ever feel like the Trump presidency is one giant reality show, the former Apprentice host certainly knows how to grab attention when his own camera, two other men who took part of golden age of reality TV share their thoughts on the subject. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen with the premiere of the CNN Original Series, the 2000s debut in this weekend Anderson and Andy get real, next.


[20:51:17] BERMAN: This Sunday night, prepare to be taken back in time to the 2000s, the aughts, if you well, another deep dive into another fascinating decade here on CNN. One of the phenomenons that exploded during that decade the reality TV, Anderson Cooper was part of it and so was his good friend Andy Cohen of Bravo TV Fame. Two pioneers if you will. The pair just sat down together to reflect back on the era that reshaped the world of television as we know it.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So when you started in like 2004, you started at Bravo.

ANDY COHEN, TALK SHOW AND RADIO HOST, AUTHOR, PRODUCER: Yes. COOPER: And you were the executive producer or executive producer on Queer Eye?


COOPER: As well as --

COHEN: Queer Eye, Project runway, those were the two big shows at Bravo at that time. Off the back of Project Runway, we created Top Chef. We wanted to do for food what we had done for fashion and really shows that highlighted creativity.

COOPER: What do you think it was about reality TV, particularly at that time that exploded?

COHEN: For us, it was about unique people who were super talented --

COOPER: Why are you shouting by the way?

COHEN: I know. I always shout.

COOPER: I feel like you're shouting.

COHEN: I always shout in interviews.

COOPER: No, it's OK.

COHEN: For us, it was about unique, creative people who were extremely talented being creative on TV in the fields of food, fashion, beauty, and design. Those were the shows that really launched Bravo starting with Queer Eye.

COOPER: I mean, I've heard you described housewives as sort of a modern-day soap opera?

COHEN: I think housewives --

COOPER: -- sort of replaced soap operas completely.

COHEN: Housewives have replaced soap operas completely. It's the great modern-day soap opera. It's been going about 12 years. And I don't think even we realized what we had in 2006 when the real housewives of Orange County premiered.

COOPER: But -- I mean, how is of the success of reality TV is the economics behind it, that it's obviously cheaper to do than, you know, scripted programs?

COHEN: I think the economics of reality TV was a large driver in the huge output of reality TV in the early 2000s. I think people started saying, wait a minute, "Survivor" is hitting. "Big Brother" is hitting.

COOPER: "The Mole" was hitting?

COHEN: "The Mole" was hitting. And then kind of went out like a thud, but noble try, too confusing, right?

COOPER: It was confusing. Yes, it was confusing.

COHEN: I tried. I was your friend. I don't understand this.

COOPER: Yes, yes.

COHEN: If you're the host of "The Mole," and you don't understand it, problematic. Anyway --

COOPER: There was a lot going on.

COHEN: Yes. But -- yes, the economics are what got people in. And then once people were in, it was like, wait a minute. You realize that this is a format where you can do anything. If you look at the different genres of reality TV, there are so many. There are talent- based. There are competition shows. There are closed-ended shows. There are shows that have no format that are just fly on the wall docu. series.

COOPER: It is interesting though how -- I mean the world of politics has now been impacted by reality TV. I mean, obviously we have a President --

COHEN: We have a President who is a reality star, and I think one of the reasons for his success is that he knows how to grab people's attention in front of the camera. There's no one more comfortable in front of a camera, and arguably there's no one who loves a camera more than Donald Trump. And all those years on "The Apprentice" I think really taught him how to communicate with people, not that he didn't have it originally, but you got to give it to the guy.

COOPER: Andy, thanks very much.

COHEN: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks, Andy.


BERMAN: So it wasn't just The Mole or reality programming that changed TV and the landscape forever in the first decade of the millennium. The CNN Original Series "The 2000s" kicks off with the platinum age of TV this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Here's a preview.


[20:55:07] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't need to call it a guilty pleasure. Just call it a pleasure. It's something you love watching.

Great TV comes in many forms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was more cinematic looking. It was a whole new level on television.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The decade gave us television reflecting what America looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is CNN's coverage of election 2000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The system had never had this kind of stress test before, and it failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has just been a huge explosion. I can't see that second tower.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has changed everything. They created the global war on terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Person after person saying where is the federal government?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really did think the financial world could collapse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think? Christina or Britney? I said Beyonce.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I could not believe I could take my music with me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The notion of living a digital life began to take hold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the course of a decade, the world was changed forever.



[20:59:58] BERMAN: Thanks so much for watching "360." I'm John Berman. The CNN Original Series "The '80s" starts right now.