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Thai Navy Official: Rescue of Soccer Team May "Happen Soon" as Monsoon Rains Move In; Cave Rescue Physically, Emotionally Draining for Soccer Team, Rescuers; Anti-Gun Violence Protests Shut Down Parts of Chicago Freeway; North Korea: U.S. Attitude on Talks "Regrettable," Still Have Faith in Trump; Trump Lawyers' New Demands Before a Mueller Interview; Mueller Team: Manafort Trial Has Trump Campaign Connection; NATO Servicemember Killed in Afghanistan; Winds Whip Wildfires Raging in Southern California; Some Immigrant Parents Demand They Be Reunited with Kids Now. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired July 7, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:20] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Joe Johns, in for Fredericka Whitfield.
Breaking news. A desperate race to save lives, twelve boys and a soccer coach trapped inside a dangerous cave in Thailand. Rescuers now saying they have a new plan to free the group soon. But these next 24-48 hours will be critical. Monsoon conditions are moving in, adding torrential rain and a threat of more flash flooding to an already intense operation. The air inside the cave is a major concern. But the boys for now are said to be safe. And for the first time since being stranded two weeks ago, they are able to communicate with their families.
Asia correspondent, Jonathan Miller, is at the scene.
Jonathan, are the rescuers getting any closer to getting these boys out?
JONATHAN MILLER, ASIA CORRESPONDENT: I think they are, Joe. The last hour has seen a torrential downpour here, which is a reminder of things to come, with heavy monsoon rain forecast for the days ahead. They've got a very small window to get these boys out. But we understand that the situation inside the cave is being prepared. And in the words of the governor, the conditions are appropriate for evacuation. We think that it's pretty much everything is in place and they're ready to go. The situation is still fluid. There are things that could go wrong or could delay the situation. The boys still need to be medically checked over. There are final checks to make sure this incredibly risky rescue operation is at least as safe as they can make it. But expect it very soon.
JOHNS: Jonathan, give me some idea how open and available the authorities on the ground there have been with information going on particularly not only to the families but also to the news media? For example, would they tell us if they've already begun this rescue operation given the fact that we're told there's a very limited time line?
MILLER: Well, it's a fascinating question, Joe, because, yes, you're right, it could be going ahead, even as we speak for all we know. This afternoon, for the first time, they erected screens around the divers' quarters leading up to the cave entrance. The media has been kept very separate. No, there isn't a huge amount of information out there. You know, in the past few days, we've been able to speak with divers themselves. They've been fairly open with the situation down there. They've been telling us about how dangerous it is down there, how difficult it is. The last time I spoke to a diver was overnight. I met four of them. They were -- they were pretty confident. They said the water levels had reduced significantly. And so although we're not getting much information, it's very much the sense it's imminent.
JOHNS: You've met four of those divers, you just said. Do you have a sense of how many divers, who are experienced, are available on the scene to act as buddies, escorts, if you will, for those young men, trying to bring them out of the cave?
MILLER: Yes. There's two sorts of divers down there. One lot are the ones who've been ferrying in the oxygen canisters deep down into the cavern system to have a backup in case something goes wrong and to make sure the oxygen levels in the cave stay relatively high. As you said in your introduction, those have fallen to dangerously low levels. Those divers are often volunteers who come from around this region and abroad. There are Thai Navy SEAL divers. There was a tragedy the other day when one died down there a mile into the cabin system. But these are the guys who are highly trained. They are Thais. They're the ones down with the boys. We understand there are three with them right now, as well as a doctor and a medic. So they will be the ones escorting the boys out as buddies and will be helping them out all the way out through the subterranean submerged passageways before they can start wading the final mile and a half to get out.
JOHNS: Jonathan Miller on the ground there. Thanks so much.
We'll be checking back. an extraordinary human drama going on, the likes of which most of us have never seen before.
Meanwhile, officials are monitoring powerful storms pushing through the region.
Here with me now, CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar.
Allison, from your perspective, from the perspective of the meteorologist, what's the time line the rescuers are looking at, given the fact these storms are rolling in?
[13:05:04] ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I hate to sound too depressing, but the time line has really run out. It been the last few days when they've been lucky enough not to have too much rain. This is over the past couple of week. You can see all of the rain. Notice, July 2nd through July, they had no measurable rain. But the rain has started. You saw that from Jonathan's live shots there. At times, it's coming down in torrential downpours. The problem is with all of this moisture coming back into the region, this is where that cave area is, with that moisture coming back, they're running out of time quickly because that moisture will come back in. Not only is it flowing into the cave system, but you have the chimneys, other areas the water comes in through. There's not going to be much time before the water starts to fill up again within the cave system.
Unfortunately, we're looking at a lot of rain chances in the forecast. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, all have an 80 or 90 percent chance of rain. And those rain chance extend beyond that. There are rain forecasts for this region for at least the next week. You have to understand this is the rainy season. July and August being the peak months of that rainy season.
And, Joe, when we look at the forecast, this area likely to pick up an additional two to four inches. That may not sound like much, but you have to understand this is on top of what has already fallen over the past few weeks.
JOHNS: Wow. What a situation.
Thanks so much for that, Allison Chinchar.
Parents waiting outside the cave told the coach, "It's not your fault," in letters to him and the trapped boys. We want to read that to you and some of the other messages that have just been sent to the boys.
This one to the soccer coach. "We, as your soccer team members' parents, believe in you and your spirit, that you've been taking good care of our kids. We just want you to know this is not your fault. We all here don't blame you and just want you not to blame yourself. We all understand the situations that have happened and we're here supporting you."
The next one reads, "We just want you to know that we're waiting to have a birthday party with you, my son, so please take care of yourself and we'll celebrate together. Don't be worried. Now, we're all here together with your grandparents and cousins waiting for you. We love you."
And then this one, "I'm waiting for you here at the cave entrance, my brave son. I miss you. You're as strong and as patient a son. I believe you'll make it. We miss you, love you. You are the only one for me."
This rescue is both physically and emotionally draining for the rescue crews and the boys trapped inside.
Joining me now, clinical psychologist of Oxford University, Jennifer Wild.
Jennifer, the boys have already been inside the cave for two weeks. Let's talk a little bit about the effects of that isolation and how it works on the mind.
JENNIFER WILD, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: Well, being trapped in a cave even for one night is absolutely terrifying. And being trapped without any information about whether or not you're going to get out is highly anxiety-provoking. They were found. They know that there's a rescue operation in play, so that will help reduce anxiety. They likely are unaware of the risks it will take to get them out. So, again, that can help the anxiety, as long as they can focus on that there's a rescue mission and they can get out and that they have a lot of help. But being trapped for two weeks is absolutely terrifying, especially at that age.
JOHNS: Jennifer, let's talk a little bit about hallucinations. There are reports these boys have been hearing sounds like children playing. What do you make of that?
WILD: We know that oxygen levels have dropped in the cave, so this could have an impact on information processing. But we also know that in the dark, it is harder to see, and so our other senses can feel as though they're enhanced. So it's possible that because of the drop in oxygen, because they're less able to see very well, that their hearing may be enhanced. It could also be a result of a change in their diet and regular eating, as well as the result of anxiety. So certainly, when some people develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress, one of the symptoms can be an auditory type of hallucination.
JOHNS: Now, let's talk a little bit about the situation for the rescue teams. How do they handle the mounting pressure to get these boys to safety? And, if you will, the question that's been on my mind, how do they select the first boy to go, because it's so important to get a good start. How do you select that kid? How do you know which is the one you take first? Do you with the weakest, the one you're most concerned about? Do you go with the most competent swimmer, the bravest, the most courageous? How do you pick that person?
[13:10:05] WILD: I think they'll want to go with the person they perceive to be most likely to make it all the way out, because that gives hope to the other children come behind them. I think they're more likely to take one of the stronger ones. I think this is an incredibly scary mission not just for the experienced divers as well as the kids. It's a five-hour trek back out of the cave. If you can imagine kids go swimming for half an hour or an hour, but they certainly don't go swimming for five hours nonstop in murky muddy waters flowing at a really fast speed with an oxygen mask. It's a frightening situation. It's very new for them. So to some degree, if they can focus on it as being more an adventure. They have a lot of encouragement from their parents. Their parents conveying messages, if they're worried, they have a lot of faith in the rescue mission. I think this creates a lot of hope for the kids that they can have some confidence, if they trust the divers, that they can get out safely.
JOHNS: Jennifer Wild, thanks so much for that. Insights on the psychological situation for the people involved in this great human drama in Thailand. We're following breaking news out of Chicago. Protesters have shut
down a major interstate as part of an anti-gun violence march. Now all five northbound lanes of Interstate 94 have been blocked.
CNN's Ryan Young is out with the protesters.
Ryan, what are you seeing right now?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joe, there's a message they want you to hear. If you look behind us, they want to make sure the community understands they're standing up against gun violence. Especially during the Fourth of July holiday here in Chicago, because we know it came be very violent. Last year, more than 100 people were shot during that weekend. The numbers are down so far this year. But sometimes you hear, why are people protesting for what's going on in the community. Protesters say, look, they don't always get the coverage they always want. They thought by shutting down the highway, that people would pay attention. That's what's did happened. You can see the stream of people. This is stretched probably for over a mile at one point in terms of the highway. Northbound lanes shut down about 35 minutes ago. The first protesters were frustrated they weren't going to get out of the highway. But that did happen. In fact, we saw the superintendent of police marching with the protesters in lockstep as they talked about getting guns of the street. Just think about this. On the Fourth of July, they were able to get 50 illegal guns off the streets and that's the kind of conversations people in the neighborhoods want to have. When you see this, you can see the collections of people, the different colors and nationalities, but especially here on the southside. They want a rallying cry because they want to stop the violence in their community -- Joe?
JOHNS: Ryan, the superintendent marching with the protesters? I assume the police knew this protect was going to come off today.
YOUNG: Yes, they have a conversation beforehand. We thought they were never going to step out here. At first, the state police said they were going the arrest protesters who came out here. You saw the superintendent of the police, you saw that state troopers had a conversation. At some point, they decided to take to the street. They never had a confrontation between the officers and the protesters. It's almost like they decided to open up the roadway. We have seen some of the protesters high-fiving with some of the police officers here today. Yes, they're frustrated about gun violence. They want to see more presence in the neighborhood. If you look over here, that's where the officers are. They're out of the way. Some of them are marching with them. So you can see this sort of worked out as a win/win for everyone.
JOHNS: Peaceful protest on Interstate 94 in Chicago over stopping gun violence.
Thanks so much for that, Ryan, in Chicago.
Next, as Mike Pompeo celebrates what he calls progress with North Korea, the regime is slamming the secretary of state, saying he needs an attitude check. What does this mean for Kim Jong-Un's relationship with President Trump?
[13:14:00] Plus, raging wildfires in California consuming thousands of acres of land, killing at least one person, forcing hundreds to leave their homes. A live report coming up.
JOHNS: "Regrettable," that is the word North Korea is using to describe talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo, on the other hand, used the word "progress" to describe two days of denuclearization talks with North Korea.
Joining me now to discuss it is CNN global affairs analyst, Joseph Yun. He's also a former special representative for North Korean policy.
Welcome so much. And thank you so much for coming in on a Saturday.
What are we make of the words North Korea is using in this latest statement?
JOSEPH YUN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think this is bad diplomatic language, kind of rude, if you ask me. What you heard Mike Pompeo say, progress, it's like the equivalent to diplomatic Band-Aid. North Korea just took that Band-Aid off, you know? And --
JOHNS: Is this part of the North Korea playbook?
JOHNS: Is this what other presidents and other administrations have done all along? Are we right back where we started?
YUN: That's a good question, Joe. Is this beginning of the end of what President Trump started in Singapore? I certainly hope not. We do not want to go back to "fire and fury." We don't want to go back there. But I think what happened in Singapore, expectations did meet. They got away. They thought something else was said. And I think Mike Pompeo gets an "A" for effort for doing all of this. He's been to Pyongyang three times in as many months. He's met his counterpart five times but still he's coming back empty handed.
JOHNS: What do you make of the fact that Secretary Pompeo did not meet with Kim Jong-Un himself?
[13:20:00] YUN: That's a huge negative sign. It tells you the meetings did not go well. In the end, Kim Jong-Un said, no, I'm not going to meet him. He didn't bring me anything. It was doubly rude because Mike Pompeo brought the presidential letter, perhaps even a gift, too. When you do that, you're completely expected to hand over the note and anything else the president gives you to the leader himself.
JOHNS: Do we even know what denuclearization means at this point? It doesn't seem to have been defined at all. YUN: Yes. It has not been defined, and that is the key issue. That
is very much the issue. North Korea is saying, you've asked us to do all this, but what have you done in return? To me, we need to fix what's going on in Washington. North Koreans are hearing many, many messages, and they're mixed. They're hearing from Bolton, well, they could denuclearize within one year if they wanted to. They're hearing from Pompeo, this has to go slow, they need more time. They need to hear a unified voice, and they're not hearing that.
JOHNS: One of the questions that always strikes me is, what would it take to make North Korea feel safe enough to seriously move down the road of denuclearization? Do we have some sense of what it would take to actually get there as opposed to talking about it and going back and forth and deciding we're not going to go anywhere?
YUN: That is the most difficult question. That is a question that I certainly don't know. I mean, I think what they want is a guarantee that the regime would survive, that Kim Jong-Un would survive. And so this is what President Trump told Kim Jong-Un. You know, he told him publicly that, we guarantee you, you and your family will be safe, and they will survive. But, again, how can we guarantee that? What happens -- it's been said many times, like Libya, Gadhafi was gotten rid of by his own people. Can we stop that? I don't this so, you know?
JOHNS: Joseph Yun, thank you so much. Thanks for coming in on a Saturday.
YUN: Thank you very much.
JOHNS: Coming up next, a list of demands from the president's legal team. Why they say President Trump will not meet with the special counsel on the Russian probe unless he has proof that the president committed a crime. The potential legal standoff coming up, next.
[13:27:08] JOHNS: President Trump and his legal team appear to be shifting their strategy in the Russia investigation. The "New York Times" says Trump's lawyers have laid out new demands before President Trump would agree to any interview with Robert Mueller. The legal team now insisting the special counsel must prove it has evidence of Trump committing a crime and that his testimony is crucial to ending the probe before any sit-downs will happen.
CNN's White House correspondent, Boris Sanchez, joins us live now from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, near President Trump's Bedminster golf resort where he's spending the weekend.
We've spent some time out there before, Boris. So give us an idea. What can you tell us?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Joe. Yes, Rudy Giuliani apparently telling the "New York Times" that he does not believe Robert Mueller is going to comply with these interview demands. This essentially could set the White House up for a legal fight with special counsel. If Robert Mueller issues a subpoena to try to force the president to comply to interview and the White House challenges it, this could wind up in court. It appears the White House prefers that over having the president testify.
As you noted, Rudy Giuliani is asking the special counsel to provide evidence, to show evidence that President Trump did something all legal before he has to sit down for that interview with Robert Mueller.
Here's the exact quote from Rudy Giuliani. He tells the "New York Times," quote, "If they can come to us and show us the basis that it's legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity."
Further, Rudy Giuliani made clear to the "New York Times" that part of the reason that the White House and the legal team continue to take this combative stance against the special counsel is partly because of public opinion. It's something that Giuliani has said before, even on CNN, this idea that if they go after the special counsel, it will sway Republican opinion, it will keep the Republicans in power in the House of Representatives, and it will help President Trump avoid impeachment.
Here's more from Rudy Giuliani to the "New York Times," quote, "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."
One last note, John. The special council has been apparently laying the groundwork, requesting an interview with Chief of Staff John Kelly. According to their reporting, the "New York Times" says the White House legal team has started pushing back on that, making more and more demands -- John?
JOHNS: Thanks so much, Boris. That sure sounds like a delay strategy to me.
Joining to discuss, CNN political analysts, Matt Viser, Amie Parnes, and CNN legal analyst, Areva Martin.
Areva, let's start with you.
Is there any legal standard for the president of the United States saying, I'm not going to sit down for an interview like this?
[13:29:56] AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He surely has a right to sit down with the special prosecutor or not and follow the advice of counsel. But what we're hearing from Rudy Giuliani is he's being very transparent. He's saying, look, we're going to fight this in the court of public opinion, and if we can sway public opinion to think that this investigation is not being conducted in a fair manner, then we can win. Because if we can hold the House, as Rudy predicts, no Republican Congress is going to vote to impeach Trump. But the demands his legal team is making, they know they're outrageous. They know that no prosecutor will agree to those demands. So I don't think the president or his team has any intention of ever sitting down with the special counsel, and this is more delay, delay, deflect, deflect from Trump and his legal team.
JOHNS: Boris made a very good point there that if you can push this thing past the election this year, perhaps they're clear. President Trump, of course, has said in the past he's not only willing to sit down with Mueller but that he wants to do the interview. Now, this, of course, flies in the fact of actually what we're seeing here.
So, Amie, I want to ask you, do you think the president and his legal team are on the same page or sit one person saying one thing and another person saying something else in order to lead public opinion in a certain way?
AMIE PARNES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think, in the past, they were all over the place, but I think they agree the delay tactic is working. And after all, they see these polls lately have reflected that. People are tired of the Mueller investigation. They want it to wrap up. You have people on the Hill saying that as well. You had Trey Gowdy, the Republican, telling Rosenstein a couple of weeks ago, this is dividing the country and they needed to wrap this up very quickly. I think they think as long as they keep delaying it, public opinion is going to back them and that's going to play out well for them.
JOHNS: Matt Viser, on the merits, if you will, of the delay, people will say the president wins if he pushes this past the midterm election, but couldn't there be a downside, too?
MATT VISER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. There's a downside if this continues. But I do think that their strategy is to continue to delegitimize the investigation. We've seen the polling on that where there's 45 percent now support Bob Mueller's investigation and how he's doing it, which is an increase of 14 percent -- 14 points from January.
JOHNS: All right. Muller's team says Trump's former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort's bank fraud trial does have a Trump connection. Prosecutors say the plan to present evidence that a banking executive allegedly helped Manafort obtain loans for something like $16 million while the banker sought a roll in the Trump campaign.
Amie, what's your reaction to this new development?
PARNES: It's definitely not good for the White House. All along they have said, oh, Paul Manafort has nothing to do with that. That was in the past. This is the president. This was the campaign. And if they can tie money that was linked to the campaign to this guy, you know, and he eventually ended up working for the campaign, that doesn't look good to him. That kind of runs counter to what they've been saying all along. So I don't think this is good news for them. I think they want to avoid this topic as much as possible.
JOHNS: Areva, they're also talking about a change of venue, sort of a bifurcation of issues, I believe. What is this going to mean for Manafort's future and direction of the Russian probe?
MARTIN: John, I don't think they'll be successful in their request to change the venue. They've made several arguments as to why the venue should be changed, to move it from the court in Alexandria, Virginia, to about four hours away from that court. One of the claims is that in the last presidential election, that Alexandria voters went two for one for Hillary Clinton, and there's no way you could find impartial jurors given that most of the jurors in that district voted for Hillary Clinton. No federal court is going to accept that as a legitimate argument. That would mean that defendants all over this country, their trials would have to be moved based on how jurors in those jurisdictions voted. I think that's a nonstarter. The claim that this is a high-publicity case, there's lot of high-publicity cases. Moving the trial four hours away is not going to change the national spotlight on this case. I don't think they're going get their request to change the venue or to change the time of the trial. They're asking the judge to delay this trial until after the D.C. trial that involves foreign lobbying allegations that have been made against Manafort. I think this trial moves forward on July 25th and Manafort is going to have to decide, either he's going to cooperate with prosecutors, or he's going to face some pretty serious jail time if convicted of these crimes.
JOHNS: All right. Areva, Amie, Matt, thanks so much for that. We'll see you again soon.
[13:34:58] JOHNS: Temperatures soaring into the triple digits added to whipping winds, making it difficult for firefighters to get an upper hand on several fires in southern California. A state of emergency is in effect as hundreds of residents are forced to evacuate. We'll get the latest, next.
But first a sneak peek at the CNN original series, "The 2000s."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's something about watching that and going
JON STEWART, FORMER HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: Please don't get drunk or get stoned tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. At least I'm not that. (SINGING)
STEWART: Why? 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 worst-case scenario.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tina Fey was the best joke writer in America.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the 2000s, the anti-hero rose to prominence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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)
[13:40:51] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHNS: And we do have breaking news. NATO coalition officials confirm a U.S. servicemember was killed in Afghanistan. It's being described as an apparent insider attack.
Let's get to CNN Pentagon reporter, Ryan Browne.
Ryan, what are you learning about this?
RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: We don't know much at this stage. this. We just received this announcement from the coalition that overseas U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. This is the first insider attack. What that likely means is that a member of the Afghan security forces that U.S. forces were advising, supporting, turned on them and attacked, causing one death and two additional U.S. servicemembers being wounded. Now, the incident is under investigation, we're being told. But this is the first insider attack in over a year. It questions a key strategy, part of the strategy in Afghanistan, which is advising these local forces.
JOHNS: So what we have on the ground in Afghanistan, we have advisers, some special operators. Who else? Who else might have been a target?
BROWNE: Those are the primary groups of forces? Likely, this was a U.S. force that was advising local host-country forces there in Afghanistan. Again, they do this all over the country, particularly in the south. It took place in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban are very present. So there's a robust U.S. military presence helping them. Much smaller than it was when the U.S. was in a direct combat role. So U.S. casualties are much more rare. This is only the third U.S. combat death in 2018. As you see, U.S. force casualties have gone down, but you do see incidences like this one where the U.S. are very much in harm's way.
JOHNS: One of the things we don't do enough of I think is, when we say advisers on the ground in Afghanistan, what are they advising, what specifically are they doing in support of the Afghan troops?
BROWNE: There's a wide range of things they're doing. You have elite Special Forces-type units that go in and sometimes participate in joint operations with the Afghans against senior terrorist targets. But you have logistics, things of that nature. We don't know what type of role these servicemembers were performing when they came under attack. But all across Afghanistan, you have U.S. forces advising, working closely with their counterparts, and often in cases sharing living areas, sharing meals together. There's a closeness. And they're always on the lookout for these types of attacks. It's been a while since there's been one, but it's still a threat.
JOHNS: Again, I imagine we haven't quite pinned down exactly where it happened.
BROWNE: That's right. We only know southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban have a large presence and where are U.S. forces are actively working with Afghan troops to fight back on that.
JOHNS: Ryan Browne, thanks so much for that.
JOHNS: We're monitoring breaking news out of California. Raging wildfires across the state are forcing hundreds of evacuations and have killed at least one person. Temperatures into the triple digits and strong winds are fueling fires across the state, making it difficult for firefighters to get control of the situation. In Santa Barbara County, a state of emergency as the fast-moving Holiday Fire forced thousands of evacuations and threatens homes in its path.
CNN national correspondent, Sara Sidner, is in Goleta, California.
Sara, how are local officials describing the situation on the ground?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Highly unusual, because of the temperatures and because of the fierce sundowner winds. These winds, by the way, are notorious for creating some of the worst or most devastating fires here in California.
This is what's happening here. Unfortunately, here in Goleta, which is a unique, tight-knit community, firefighters are battling this. It happened right in the middle of a heavily housed area. So lots of homes here. At least 20 structures have been destroyed.
You can see what firefighters are doing. They're trying to completely knock out every ember. It's so dry and so hot. You hear helicopters dumping water over some of these fires, these hot spots. It's not a huge fire, but it's devastating because it happened to spark right in the middle of a residential area. And that's why so many things have been burned and so many people have been evacuated. More than 2,000 people evacuated from this area.
[13:45:14] What's even more devastating, this is the same area, same county, Santa Barbara County, where thousands of people and thousands of acres burned in December. Some of the worst fires in recorded history in California, the largest in recorded history, the Thomas Fire. Many have been suffered from post-traumatic distress syndrome. They've had to evacuate several times. Some of them come back, they go back to evacuation centers or family and friends. This has been a very, very difficult time. And there are some people that do not realized just yet their homes have been lost.
We've been watching as firefighters have been battling this fire. But, Joe, it's not the only fire that is happening right now. There are fires all over the west. One of the biggest is the Clanafarn Fire (ph). Burned about 21,000 acres, though that is more of a wooded area, a lot fewer homes. But one person has been killed. And we should mention, as you just did, there's a state of emergency declared by the governor now.
I just want to give you one more sign of what people are going through here. If you'll come over here with me, this is what firefighters have been able to salvage from this home. Just a few things from the garage. And it really gives you an idea what happens here in this particular neighborhood. People love riding their bikes, and they love going out in the freezing waters of the Pacific here in Santa Barbara County. But this is really kind of all that's left of this home. It's been completely devastating, as you might imagine, for the neighbors here. People have been praising these firefighters because they have saved so many structured, but not this one. This one is a total loss -- Joe?
JOHNS: Thanks so much for that, Sara. That really brings it home. Some super-strong pictures of the California wildfires there.
Next, a key deadline. The Trump administration has until the end of the day to come up with a list of all immigrant children, 5 and under, who have been separated from their families. This, as mothers are at the border demanding to see their kids. A live report coming up.
[13:51:52] JOHNS: 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 court for more time to reunite those migrant children with their families. A judge will rule on that extension request on Monday.
As it stands now, though, the government has a Tuesday deadline to make sure every child under the age of 5 is reunited with their parents by July 26th. Every family must be reunited.
Some of those parents, who have been separated from their children at the border, are demanding to be reunited with their kids now.
CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Brownsville, Texas, and he's been speaking with some of the moms who are searching for their children.
Miguel, what are you hearing?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John -- Joe, we're starting to see some of those parents get out, get out on bond in their asylum cases. And the chances of the government making that 26th deadline doesn't seem very hopeful given the process that they seem to want these parents to go through.
So these are people who crossed in the last month or so. They've been separated from their kids for a month, most of them a little over a month. Most of them have had at least one phone call. One individual hadn't talked to his son at all. Some of them are in Texas. Others are in other parts of the country.
The problem for these individuals is that they get out of a detention center, the -- all their documentation that they had with them was taken by Department of Homeland Security and remains with them. They don't have the means, the ability to fill out and follow the process that HHS, the Health and Human Services, that now has custody of their children, that they want.
HHS, it seems, is treating these adults, these parents, as though they are strangers to their own kids. They're treating the kids as though they were unaccompanied minors, as they say, that they crossed the border alone, and that these adults now have to prove that they are their kids. So there's a 32-page form. It involves a lot of documentation that these individuals now don't have. And it will take weeks, if not months, for these individuals to not only fill out that paperwork, but then get to the place where their kids are and then make that reunion happen. It's going to be very, very difficult to make this happen by that 26th deadline. It is amazing to see the breadth of this.
Some of these parents getting out, now bonding out on their asylum process. Some of them have been deported. Some of the kids have been deported without their parents. Some of the parents have been released.
And HHS now saying that, while it knows where a lot of the parents are, it doesn't know where some of the parents are. So even those under 5s, that deadline coming up on Tuesday, it is not sure that it can make that deadline either. The government has said to us all along that they had a process. Now that parents are getting out, it's clear that there doesn't seem to be a process at all -- Joe?
[13:54:56] JOHNS: A 32-page document. I mean, it sounds that you're making the case there for overly cumbersome bureaucracy.
But thanks so much for that, Miguel Marquez. We will get back to that at a later time.
We have much coming ahead on NEWSROOM, and its starts right after a quick break.
[13:59:44] JOHNS: Hello. Thanks for joining me. I'm Joe Johns, in for Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin this hour with conflicting reports on the denuclearization talks out of North Korea. The North now slamming what it calls the United States gangster-like mindset, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo describing the meetings as "productive." He briefs his Japanese and South Korean counterparts. The question now, is the U.S. deal falling apart? North Korea released a statement that reads, in part, "We expected the U.S. to --