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Thai Navy Official: Rescue of Soccer Team May "Happen Soon"; Anti-Gun Protesters Shut Down Part of Chicago Freeway; NK: U.S. Attitude on Talks "Regrettable". Aired 11-12p ET
Aired July 7, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:59:46] SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Suzanne Malveaux in Washington in for Frederica Whitfield.
Breaking news now -- a desperate race to save lives. Twelve boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a dangerous cave in Thailand. Now rescuers now say they have a new plan to free the group soon, but these next 24 to 48 hours, they are going to be critical.
Monsoon conditions are now moving in, adding torrential rain and a threat of more flash flooding to an already intense operation with the air inside that cave, it is also a major concern.
But the boys for now are said to be safe. Rescue attempts have already claimed the life of one former Thai Navy SEAL. His oxygen ran out while navigating the underwater tunnels.
It is now an international effort to save these boys. And for the first time now since being stranded two weeks ago they were able to communicate with their families.
Our CNN international correspondent David McKenzie, he is at the scene now. And David -- I understand that it is now starting to rain where you are and that could potentially cause a very big problem. Tell us what is happening on the ground and if rescuers are any closer to getting these boys out and coming up with a plan that's going to work?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne -- they have a plan. And this rain could complicate that plan. It all depends whether the rain falling on my head near this cave site where these boys have been holed up now for 15 days or so, whether it is sustained or it is patchy.
If it is a sustained rain and if it keeps going for, you know, several hours, that could pose a problem, of course, because water could rush back into the cave and into the area where those boys are hunkered down.
And as you say, Suzanne, they've managed to communicate with their parents; very poignant notes coming from the boys, some of them as young as 11, trying to say, you know, just be calm, keep calm to their parents, these young kids. One kid, 11 years old, said he wants to have fried chicken when he gets out. His dad said, sure, when you get out safely, which you will, we will do that.
But there is a sense of for foreboding with this rain, I have to say, coming down now. This international effort with U.S. soldiers here working alongside the British, American -- of course, American, British, U.K. and Chinese, all in this effort to get these kids out -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: David -- tell us about the concern of the rain. I know that it just started and people must be talking about it, officials there. I mean will that impact the plan or does this give it a sense of more urgency now that something has to be done very quickly?
MCKENZIE: Well, we don't know. They will have to make that judgment call -- Suzanne. Now, what they've been doing for several days now is pumping water out of the cave system.
They've been successful with that effort. New photos from the Thai navy show they've been in the command center, able to take a lot of the water out. There could be large sections of the cave where the boys will be able to wade or even crawl out. Even so, that still means there will be sections they have to dive in zero visibility, buddied up with these Navy SEAL divers from Thailand and elsewhere to get out.
If it is a real sustained rain as it is falling on my head now much more heavily -- if this lasts, you know, for several hours or even overnight, that could complicate matters because then the water might push into the cave system.
They said earlier today if you have a long, sustained rain -- and we're not there yet, of course -- the boys could in fact be inundated and that would, of course, be the worst case scenario -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: David McKenzie, thank you so much. We're going to keep an eye on this breaking news.
Meanwhile officials there, monitoring these powerful storms in the region that could certainly complicate this already delicate rescue mission.
I want to bring in our CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. And Allison -- we saw David in the rain. This has just started here.
So first of all, if you could, just give us the window of time that these rescuers have.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it is going to be a very, very short window. Now, they've been fortunate enough really the last few days that it has been relatively dry. Starting July 2nd all the way through the beginning of July 7th, because it is already now getting very late into the day, and the next day, their Saturday into Sunday. So here is the thing you have to understand. These last few days have been very dry. That's been great helping the water to recede a little bit but now it is changing.
Here is the location around where that cave is. Notice all of these orange and red colors coming back. That's the moisture. It is returning back to this area. The big problem is once it returns it is not really going to go away any time soon.
Looking at the forecast. Sunday, 80 percent chance of rain. The same thing on Monday and the same thing on Tuesday. But it is not just the longevity of these storms. It is the amount of rain that those systems can drop.
We're talking widespread amounts up around that cave location of two to four inches. Now, that may not sound like a lot to you, but you have to understand that inside some of those caves and in those channels they're very narrow. Two to four inches can fill those up very, very quickly.
[11:05:06] The long-term concern is we're at the peak rainy season right now. Those months are July and August. So these systems as they come through one after another are going to continue because that's the time of year we're in.
Now, we talked about these narrow channels that go through here into the cave. Not only do you have the concern obviously of them filling up with water as more rainfall comes back in, but you also have to understand normally air flows freely through these locations. But once they fill up with water, Suzanne that effectively cuts off that oxygen supply.
And we already know that the oxygen levels those boys have been breathing in are very, very low and getting awfully close to dangerous levels. So obviously, any additional water that comes in could make that even worse.
MALVEAUX: Allison Chinchar -- thank you so much. I appreciate it.
We have seen just how treacherous this rescue mission can be. Want to bring in -- we also saw the former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan. He died Friday while traversing these murky waters that was flooding those cave tunnels. And his oxygen, it ran out while he was trying to return to the command center.
Before his passing, he left this message on his Instagram account saying, "May luck be on our side. Bring the kids home."
Joining me now an expert on these types of rescues; I want to bring in Butch Hendrick. He is a rescue diver and the president and founder of Lifeguard Systems.
Butch -- you know, we know things are getting very, very tight here and people are watching at home. They know that this is a very dangerous situation. I want to, first of all, talk about the rain, the fact that we've just started to see it rain there. Does this make this window of time much narrower, that they really have to make some decisions within hours?
BUTCH HENDRICK, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, LIFEGUARD SYSTEMS: Yes, Suzanne -- they definitely have to start making decisions. It is not just going to be the rise of the water within the caves as we're seeing, showing how the water is rising already. But once the water starts to rise to a certain point the flow, or what we would refer to as the current, is going to make it even more difficult for us to get those children out because our divers are going to have to fight the strain of the current. They're going to be using more air than they have been normally.
MALVEAUX: And Butch -- we understand as well reports that the oxygen level inside that chamber where the boys are is essentially, it is -- it is decreasing. It is depleting. What happens?
You have boys who are as young as 11 years old that are in that chamber. How does that impact their health and their ability to even attempt to make a dive?
HENDRICK: Obviously being low on oxygen is going to almost make them euphoric. What I would imagine, if the O2 levels get to be that low that the divers are going to start bringing them scuba tanks. What is going to happen, they're going to have to have them each one breathing off a physical tank that needs to be constantly replaced.
Once the oxygen supply in the cavern they're in is depleted, we have to keep the boys alive. So they're going to be bringing in tanks and having them breathing off of a compressed gas system.
MALVEAUX: And how do the caves present a particular set of challenges that are different than these normal underwater rescues?
HENDRICK: One is -- again, the total lack of visibility. Most cave divers -- cave diving as we know is one of the most dangerous activities we could do, even for experts. But with no visibility it is obviously extremely difficult.
And we've now got a flow of water that's moving back into the cave, so we are now physically forcing ourselves against a new force to get out. It is going to extend the time window and use more energy and, therefore, require the use of more air.
And those spaces in some ways are so small that with the extra increased current it is going to be even more difficult to get through those small, narrow passageways.
MALVEAUX: So Butch -- we are looking at 11:09 our time, Eastern Standard Time. In Thailand it is 12 hours ahead, so it is approaching -- just a little bit after 11:00 at night. So I imagine it is very dark in those caves.
You say the passageways are already very dark, so does it matter if it is late at night when the rescue attempt happens when they are actually able to get to the boys and have them try to attempt that dive if they need to?
HENDRICK: In all honesty, in my opinion, no. The time window is not going to make any difference because the boys inside don't know whether it is light or dark outside. They are dealing with days on end with very little or no light.
So for them, the time window is not important. The time window that's important is, ok, boys, let's get ready for the next part of your adventure. We're going home.
[11:10:00] MALVEAUX: All right. Butch Hendrick, thank you very much. We appreciate your perspective.
And obviously we're going to be keeping a very close eye on this breaking news.
And parents, as you can imagine, waiting outside this cave -- they are devastated. They're worried. They're anxious. And they told the coach, it is not your fault. They sent him a letter to him and as well as the trapped boys.
I want to read part of that letter to you, and some of the other messages that have been sent to the boys.
This one to the coach here: "We, as your soccer team members' parents believe in you and your spirit, that you have been taking good care of our kids. We just want you to know that this is not your fault. We are all here. Don't blame you. Just want to -- do not blame yourself. We understand all the situations that have happened and we are here, supporting you."
The next one reading, "We just want you to know that we are waiting to have a birthday party with you, my son. So please take care of yourself and we'll celebrate together. Don't be so worried. Now we're all here together with your grandparents and your cousins, waiting for you. We love you."
And there's this one as well. "I'm waiting here for you at the cave entrance, my brave son. I miss you, and you're a strong and patient son. I believe that you will make it. We miss you, love you. You're the only one for me."
These are the parents reaching out to their kids, to their sons, giving them hope and strength for the journey that is ahead. It is heartbreaking but they are optimistic still.
Still ahead right after, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed progress in his two-day talks with North Korea, well, the North calls the U.S. attitude now, quote, "regrettable", but also says it still has faith in President Trump.
Plus, new wildfires swept through California. Hundreds forced to evacuate as record-breaking temperatures now threaten the state.
And new demands: President Trump's legal team says there will be no meeting with special counsel Robert Mueller unless there is proof of Trump committing a crime.
[11:12:05] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
MALVEAUX: Breaking news out of Chicago right now. There are protesters who have shut down part of a major interstate as part of an anti-gun violence march.
I want to bring in our CNN's Ryan Young who is covering these protests. And Ryan -- I understand this is I-94. This is a major thoroughfare. I used to live in Chicago so I know what that could possibly look like and what kind of chaos could ensue. What are you seeing?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Look, the protests just started, so we're making our way toward the highway. There's been a lot of conversation about whether or not this could happen, but after a long conversation overnight they decided to let the protesters walk several blocks down the highway. We're keeping some of the highway open.
But, look, as this conversation starts to happen, the whole country is watching, trying to figure out exactly why this action was needed. Tell us why you think this needed to be done to send a message.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was needed to send a message to not only to the city of Chicago but to our state and state officials that we need investments in our community. We don't have enough investments in our community.
It is bringing more gun violence out here. We need better gun laws and gun legislation but we need better schooling. We need a better education system. We need better housing in the black community in Chicago to fight this gun violence. And it is not just community violence. It is also police violence as well.
YOUNG: Just describe the effort that's been taking place. Because we're having a lot of young people get engaged in the idea of trying to stop the violence in the streets here. What do you want to hear the message in terms for the neighborhood because there are people who haven't laid the guns down yet as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. So people that's in the community, people that's in a community with the guns, we love you. We love you. We want to embrace you. We want to do whatever we got to do to bring you out of a life of crime, out of the streets.
And Chicago, we love you. All the people that's in the streets we love you, and we're trying our best out here to make sure that the community, our city is safe for everybody.
YOUNG: Fantastic. Thank you so much.
And as you can see, that's Father Pfleger right there. He is part of making sure this march happens and the communication with the police department. So as we are walking towards this exit right now so not sure how it is going to go as we get to this highway exit in terms of the conversation, but they've been having over and over.
They said they wanted to make sure that the protesters could continue to protest but at the same time, like you can see, they're stopping this man who was trying to get on with the motorcycle.
If that is part of the conversation, here is the front part of that protest as we speak now, trying to squeeze towards the highway. You can see all this sort of unfolding right as we speak, as we're making our way down toward the highway.
MALVEAUX: Ok. Ryan -- can you hear me?
YOUNG: I can. Go ahead.
MALVEAUX: Yes. If you could put the mike close up to your mouth, I have a quick question here. We do see the protesters --
MALVEAUX: -- on the interstate and we also see the police that are on the bicycles there. If you will, have there been conversations between these groups, the police and the protesters, ahead of time here about how to prepare for this moment? You said that they do have permission, but I assume that tensions are very high and potential -- there is the potential for both sides potentially to overreact here.
So have they -- have they had those kinds of conversations so that this does not end up badly?
YOUNG: Well, that is a great conversation. And that's something they actually did. In fact, before the protest started the superintendent of police had a conversation with the protesters to remind them of sort of the guidelines that they were going to try to work through here because there's been a conversation about whether or not people were going to get arrested if they entered the highway or if not they're going to do something different.
After a long conversation, they decided to make sure the protesters would be allowed to walk toward the berm over here. And they will have one lane. As you can see, they're going to separate the people using a long line of officers and cars to make sure there's hopefully no way that any traffic could get close to the people as they're marching.
[11:20:07] And I see a volunteer who is walking in our direction here as we start going this -- going down toward the highway. The major conversation here was how do you keep people from being safe? There were rumors that some of the protesters wanted to make sure no matter what they were able to stop the traffic here.
There was a large conversation about making sure that did not happen. Because what they were scared of is someone would get in front of a car and they would be hit. We were told they came to an agreement, and that they would be able to walk down this side without them arresting all of the protesters. MALVEAUX: All right. Well Ryan -- we certainly hope that that ends
well, that they are able to peacefully demonstrate and to protest to get their point across, that no one gets hurt on the highway there. And we are watching as they are walking across and the cars that are passing them.
So we will be keeping an eye on that. And please come to us again. Make sure to let us know what the latest is on how that's going, Ok. All right.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he is briefing his Japanese and South Korean counterparts following two days of denuclearization talks in North Korea. The question now, of course, is this U.S. deal falling apart?
North Korea already releasing a statement, calling the U.S. attitude in Pompeo's talks "regrettable" in their words. The statement reads in part, "We expected the U.S. to bring constructive measures, to build confidence in accordance with the spirit of the U.S.-NK summit. However, the attitude of the U.S. in the first high-level talks held on the 6th and 7th were, indeed, regrettable."
We are covering this from all angles.
Our CNN Asia Pacific editor Andrew Stevens is in Seoul, South Korea. CNN Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne is in Washington.
So Andrew -- I want to talk to you first here. This is just hours -- just hours after Pompeo said that these were talks that were productive. Are they on the same page? Is it possible here that you've got people sitting in the same room and coming out with very different stories for their own domestic audiences, for their own domestic purposes here. That we don't really know what's going on?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Well look, there might be part of that at play here, but certainly there is a very clear message that's being sent by North Korea, and that is that the old playbook, which they claim the U.S. is using in these negotiations, is not going to work.
And by old playbook, I'm sort of reading between the lines here, the North Koreans have accused the U.S. of basically coming and saying -- and this is a direct quote, "strongly demanding only unilateral denuclearization, only talking about CVIB." This is the complete, verifiable and irreplaceable denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
The problem here is the North Koreans say, "We will not accept America telling us what to do and not giving us anything back. We want a step-by-step approach."
They call the America way is an obsolete way, an old way. But I mean this all plays in, Suzanne, but the fact is just how much the North Koreans want to give up anyway of their nuclear arsenal, of their nuclear infrastructure.
So it is amazing really to come out this strongly, using this sort of language that we haven't heard for quite a few months now when North Korea and the U.S. were sort of previously bitter enemies.
And interestingly, North Korea is saying that they still trust Donald Trump. So they're putting the ball right back in his court to change the dynamic, if you like -- Suzanne. But at this stage, you know, we haven't heard the U.S. reaction to that, but obviously Mike Pompeo was saying that we had many hours of productive talks, that we're both fully committed to the denuclearization.
But looking at this angry response from North Korea, it is anything but that case.
MALVEAUX: Ryan -- I want to bring you into the conversation. You cover the Pentagon. Obviously there is a big question here about the commitment to denuclearization on both sides.
We saw the President after the Singapore summit. He had a paper in hand but there really weren't any solid things that you could hold your hat on here. So what are you hearing from the Pentagon, from your sources about the reaction here?
RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: Well, I think the question has always been what does denuclearization mean that was agreed to in the Singapore summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim but it was always very unclear what the specifics were. And I think these meetings between Secretary Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart, a big part of that was hammering out those specifics.
Now, you hear very two different takeaways from those conversations. The North Koreans coming out and railing against this idea of verification regimes, intense inspections, saying that that was never part of the agreement. That's a unilateral disarmament.
Meanwhile, Secretary Pompeo striking a much more optimistic tone, saying -- talking about the future conversations, that both sides are committed to denuclearization and additional conversations will continue.
[11:25:02] MALVEAUX: And also, Andrew -- I want to ask you this question. I mean the President tweeted before, he said, hey, this is all -- you can rest easy, you can sleep at night, this has all been solved, no problem with North Korea. How does this undercut the President in these negotiations?
STEVENS: Well, the President has a -- on the evidence of this, a major problem with North Korea once again because the North Koreans are talking about the U.S. robber mentality in their demand. They're talking about if there are adverse winds starting to blow as in they cannot reach an agreement, that there could be -- there's no guarantee that it will not lead to tragic consequences -- Suzanne.
Just to give you an idea of just how strong the language is coming from North Korea, so Kim Jong-un and his people are saying quite clearly they want a different approach than the one which is currently being offered by the U.S. They claim the U.S. is wanting this unilateral moves from North Korea while the U.S. is not going to give anything in return, where the North Koreans are saying very clearly we only want a step by step. We make one move and you make one move and so on.
Interestingly, that was the approach which was pushed by both Russia and China very hard when there was talk of war, there was talk of military action on the Korean Peninsula by the U.S.
So you know, we haven't got back to that stage by a long shot. But certainly the North Koreans are making it very clear that Donald Trump needs to change the administration's approach on this and to get them back, if you like, to the negotiating table.
MALVEAUX: All right. We'll see where that goes.
Andrew Stevens, Ryan Browne -- thank you so much. We appreciate it.
And still ahead, a shift in strategy from President Trump's lawyers on the Russia probe -- how they may be planning to fight back against Robert Mueller's team.
[11:26:53] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: We are following breaking news now. Looking at pictures out of Chicago there, the aerial view, of protesters now shutting down part of a major interstate. This is all a part of an anti-gun violence march. These live pictures, this is I- 94 just south of Chicago and the Dan Ryan Expressway.
It is a march for peace led by community leaders and clergy. They have had conversations with the police ahead of time to allow these protesters to take up one lane of this interstate here.
There is a little bit of tension right now in terms of whether or not these protesters will stay in the lane or cross the barrier that's been set up on to the highway. Protesters have said they, in fact, want to disrupt -- disrupt the traffic to make their point here.
But they have also talked with police prior about no arrests and that this will remain peaceful. So, we are keeping a close eye, a close watch on this peaceful protest nevertheless on the interstate out of Chicago.
President Trump and his legal team appear to be shifting now their strategy in the Russia investigation. There's a new report from "The New York Times" laying out new demand from Trump's lawyers.
The special counsel's team must prove that it has evidence of Trump committing a crime and that his testimony is now crucial to ending the probe, well, before the president would agree to sit down for an interview with Robert Mueller.
Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani admits that Mueller likely is not going to agree to these conditions, but it highlights the main focus of Trump's legal team, discrediting the investigation and swaying public opinion. Joining me now to discuss this, CNN political commentator, David Swerdlick, and CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu. Shan, I want to start with you here. How significant is it from a legal perspective? I mean, what is the bar here that is set? Mueller doesn't really have to even abide about any of these conditions, does he?
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. It is a high and ambiguous legal bar, which is being set by Trump's team so they can define when the elements are met. So, for example, saying that Mueller has to prove that there's evidence of Trump committing a crime, the question is who decides if that evidence really is there or not?
Certainly, Trump's people are not going to agree no matter what Mueller puts out. There's a second point to that too, which lays out a foundation, if they do put forth evidence about the possible criminality of it, later Trump's folks can try to argue, well, there's a Fifth Amendment concern here, which might be another argument for not letting Trump testify.
MALVEAUX: David, we have heard from the president before many times. He has said he wants to testify before Mueller's investigation, before his committee, that this is something that he would like to do.
At the same time now, his legal team is saying, well, there are these conditions that look like it makes it almost impossible to do so. Do you think they're on the same page? Are they not on the same page with this or is it kind of a little bit of a play?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it is a little bit of a play. Good morning, Suzanne. I agree with Shan. There's a legal component to it and then there's also the political component to it. The president can't go around saying he refuses to talk because that suggests that he has something to hide.
Whereas he wants to project the image of, yes, I'm willing to talk to prosecutors, but his legal team is saying, look, let's set these conditions to either slow down the process or narrow down the focus of the investigation.
The problem with this, if I can use sort of a weird analogy, is that this is like a police officer pulling you over on the highway and you say to them, I won't answer any questions until you prove I broke the speed limit.
[11:35:03] That's not how it works. You get a ticket and then you go to court to prove your innocence. I think that's the problem with the stance that Mayor Giuliani --
MALVEAUX: We know that's not how it works.
MALVEAUX: I want to show you this here. This is Trump's use of the term witch-hunt on Twitter to delegitimize the probe. It has dramatically increased in the past few months. You see where the use of the term spiked this year, and Giuliani telling the "Times" here, "Nobody is going to consider impeachment if public opinion has concluded. This is an unfair investigation, and that's why public opinion is so important."
So, Shan, I imagine that they are focused on public opinion. That this is what they think is essentially going to sway perhaps, you know, the possibility that the House would even bother to bring up this impeachment.
WU: That's exactly right, Suzanne. As David points out, there's the political and legal piece of it here. Again, legally Giuliani is saying he gets to decide if the crime has been committed or not.
They also want to say that they need to be shown that Trump's testimony is really necessary for Mueller to complete his report. Again, they can then say, well, whatever you say, we don't think it is necessary.
And the strategy there legally and certainly politically would be let Mueller put out his report and then they are free to counter-spin that to say we would like to have participate, we wanted to talk but they weren't reasonable about their conditions.
MALVEAUX: David, why do you suppose it is that they changed the strategy here, I mean, especially when you take a look at the timing? Does it indicate potentially a sense of desperation or anxiety, that you do have that deadline, supposed deadline coming up when he is wrapping up, Mueller is wrapping up?
SWERDLICK: Right. I don't sense desperation on the part of the president or his legal team, but I think Mayor Giuliani and the president for a while now have been out there with this idea that, look, the president hasn't done anything wrong, all of those tweets, no collusion.
So, their idea by furthering this argument now is to sort of say, look, why should we even sit for this interview. Maybe we will, maybe we won't if the president has done nothing wrong. That's their theory of the case.
But as we know, and Mayor Giuliani knows because he is a former prosecutor, Special Counsel Mueller can always subpoena the president, and I defer to Shan on this. That even though there's some dispute about whether a president can be indicted, I don't think there's that much dispute about whether a president can be subpoenaed or called to a deposition or to testify, is that right?
WU: Right. I agree on that point. In criminal defense delay helps the defendant. So, the longer they drag this out, the more legal obstacles they can fight about, subpoena, Fifth Amendment, the closer they get to the elections.
MALVEAUX: All right. We have to leave it there. Hopefully not too many delays. I know everybody wants the see where this goes. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. David Swerdlick and Shan Wu, thank you very much. We will be taking a quick break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
MALVEAUX: For President Trump the next 11 days are shaping up to be some of the busiest of his presidency. On Monday, he announces his pick for the Supreme Court, then he heads to Brussels for the NATO Summit followed by a visit to Great Britain for talks with the prime minister and the queen, and then he caps off the trip with a summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
I want to bring in Jill Dougherty, a CNN contributor and global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, as well as Samantha Vinograd, a CNN national security analyst who was an advisor in the Obama administration. So, Jill, good to see you. We have known each other for a long time. We'll start with you.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: All right.
MALVEAUX: You know Putin well. You have been covering him for decades. Tell us about what you think this meeting will accomplish here. What is the real value?
DOUGHERTY: You know, I think for Putin, to begin with him, I think the mere fact that this happens, that Putin is meeting with the president of the United States implies to a certain extent that they are coming out of the isolation that they feel they've been in, that they've been pushed in by the U.S. and the allies in Europe, especially vis-a-vis the sanctions.
So, I think it is kind of -- you know, even beyond what they could get. Of course, he does -- President Putin wants the sanctions to be ended. He wants Russia back on the stage. I also think, Suzanne, that he thinks that he and Trump kind of look at the world the same way.
That they're both important countries and who needs these organizations like, you know, NATO and the E.U. and all of that. It just slows you down. So, if you do things on your own -- this is all in quotes, of course -- America, you know, on its own, Russia really kind of on its own except for the United Nations, then the world will function better.
That's what I think the danger could be. I think the two men actually do look at the world pretty similarly, but it will work better for Putin to have a world like that.
MALVEAUX: Samantha, when you look at this meeting and you look at the optics and the politics, domestic as well as international, who has the upper hand here? Is it Putin? Is it Trump? Do you think that Trump would actually bring up anything like election meddling in a meaningful way or does that just seem to go by the wayside to please Putin?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think Putin has the upper hand for several reasons, and Putin is the most popular ticket in town this summer. He is actually meeting with a host of world leaders. He is meeting with Macron. He is meeting with Merkel. He met with the prime minister of India.
[11:45:10] He is actually quite popular and, frankly, President Trump's policies on issues like trade have pushed Vladimir Putin and Iran closer to our allies. Russia is working with so many of our friends against U.S. policies on Iran and on trade.
And I also think that Putin has the upper hand based upon the fact that he is going to be meeting one-on-one with President Trump. I staffed a lot of these head-of-state meetings, and typically who is in the room, the choreography of the meeting is actually negotiation.
You want to set your boss up for success, and typically the national security adviser is in these kind of restricted meetings with another head of state. You want an extra set of eyes.
In this case, Vladimir Putin is like the Olympic gold medalist at manipulation and negotiation. He is a 20-year veteran of the services in Russia and Donald Trump is not. He is easily manipulated, and he does not like direct confrontation one-on-one.
We saw it in his phone call with Vladimir Putin when he did not bring up election meddling or even Russia's poisoning of a spy on U.K. soil.
MALVEAUX: Jill, this was kind of an unusual thing that happened ahead of Trump's summit with Putin. You had a group of Republican senators that went to Russia and said, hey, you know, we're going to hold Russia and Putin accountable, setting the stage here, saying, you're not going to meddle in our elections anymore, you're going to comply with the nuclear arms treaty and so forth. It was widely panned we believe in Russia. Tell us about that. I mean, was there any kind of influence that they might have had?
DOUGHERTY: You know, I think the way the Russians looked at it was come to us, we're the guys who are kind of running things, you should come talk to us. They depicted the senators as actually being quite submissive and asking for, you know, kind of begging for a relationship.
I mean, Russia, even though when you look at it objectively does not have a very strong hand, as was just pointed out, they are able to play their cards quite well. So, I think, again getting back to where Putin plays into this, he knows what he wants.
And my feeling and I think a number of people would agree with this or at least, you know, this common view that he will bring something. Now, what that will be specifically, you know, it could be Syria, it could be Ukraine, maybe Syria.
But something that looks like a win because he knows that Donald Trump needs a win. Donald Trump needs to look strong and Putin gets that. So, he will have something. And if they can agree with that, then Donald Trump can go home, kind of like after North Korea, and say, "Hey, I won" and Putin gets what he wants, too. MALVEAUX: Obviously, both of these leaders want their domestic audiences to know, the international audience as well, that they are strong and they're going to come away with a win. We will see how it goes. Jill Dougherty and Samantha Vinograd, thank you so much. We will be right back.
MALVEAUX: A federal judge has given the government until the end of today to turn over a list of very young children separated from their families at the U.S./Mexico border. The Trump administration is asking the courts for more time to reunite those migrant children with their families. A judge will rule on the question on Monday.
Meantime, the judge has given the government until Tuesday to make sure that every child under the age of 5 is reunited with their parents. By July 26, every family must be reunited.
For more, let's bring in my colleague, congressional reporter, Lauren Fox. Lauren, you and I covered Congress and the Hill on a daily basis here. What we saw before the holiday week is essentially they didn't have any legislation. They didn't get it done for immigration, and they're not solving this problem legislatively. So, I imagine the Trump administration is now struggling under this pressure to do something to fix this. Where are we with this?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Right. Back on Capitol Hill, they couldn't pass a comprehensive piece of legislation that would not only fix family separations from a legislative perspective, but also would have given a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and given Trump some of that money for his border wall.
But they also couldn't find some kind of way to have a narrow fix. The reason a lot of GOP aides told CNN that was the case was that they weren't getting a lot of clarity from the Trump administration on exactly what they would need legislatively.
As we saw in that first comprehensive bill, without the president's undying support for piece of legislation, House Republicans aren't willing to go out and vote for it. And so, what a lot of GOP aides have been arguing is we can't come up with a narrow fix unless we know that the president is going to be 100 percent for it.
And we just don't have the clarity yet from the administration on what precisely they want. Now, I was out on the campaign trail in Nevada and California this last week. This is a big issue.
A lot of voters are concerned about it. And a lot of members are telling voters, I'm going back to Washington and I'm going to try to come up with some kind of solution, but what we have to remember is there has to be clarity from the White House. A lot of members are looking for that.
MALVEAUX: They haven't seen that clarity so far. FOX: Right.
MALVEAUX: And they're looking for it. What do they hope -- what are they hoping the president is going to say in order to take a look at these kids, you know, because it looks like he is pushing that he's not only going to cut off illegal immigration but legal immigration as well?
[11:55:04] FOX: Well, right. One of the things that we heard from a lot of Democrats yesterday, they were on a call with HHS Secretary Azar, and one of their concerns was there is not a lot of clarity from the Trump administration or HHS specifically about how they are going to reunify children and their families.
Brian Schatz, a senator from Hawaii said it was, quote, "Orwellian," because he felt they were just too overconfident in how they were going to be reuniting these families. Given that he didn't just see the evidence of how they were going to be pursuing that.
Obviously, there's a pending court case up in California dealing with all of this. We're going to see more results from that on Monday, but, you know, a lot of questions are up in the air from lawmakers.
MALVEAUX: All right. Lauren will be back on the Hill on Monday when they come back to work to see how this all plays out.
FOX: It will be a big issue.
MALVEAUX: Absolutely. Thank you, Lauren. Appreciate it.
We have much more ahead in the NEWSROOM, but first a sneak peek at the CNN original series "The 2000s."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't need to call it a guilty pleasure. Just call it a pleasure. It's something you love watching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was more cinematic looking. It was a whole new level on television. "American Idol" reunited the family audience in front of the tv.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's literally a reality show for everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's something about watching that and going -- please don't get drunk or stung tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. God, at least I'm not that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do we have to fight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I could not have lived without "The Daily Show."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry and I would play the game of worst case scenario.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tina Fay was the best joke writer in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the greatest tv show to have black people on it ever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the 2000s, the anti-hero rose to prominence. It's much easier to make a crappy ending than a great ending.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was brilliant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The decade gave us television reflecting what America looks like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Hello to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Suzanne Malveaux in for Fredricka Whitfield.
Breaking news in the race to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. Officials are now saying that it is imperative that they move quickly as that window to save them might be closing.