Return to Transcripts main page


Israel Launches Attacks in Gaza; 17 Confirmed Dead Missouri Duck Boat Capsizes; CNN's "THE TRUMP SHOW" Explores Trump's Impact on Primetime TV. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 20, 2018 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: What could this mean for the president?

Also ahead, Israel launching what's being described as a wide-scale attack on Hamas military targets in Gaza in response to a shooting attack against its soldiers. We're live in Gaza, next.


BALDWIN: Breaking news now. Israeli war planes began attacks against military sites in Gaza.

Let's go to Ian Lee with the breaking news.

Ian, what's happening?

[14:34:55] IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now, it is pretty tense in Gaza, Brooke. We've seen a number of airstrikes towards the central part of the Gaza Strip. When you talk to people here, war is really on everyone's lips.

And it all really began, today's violence, along that fence that separates Gaza from Israel during the protests. And we heard from the Israeli military that Hamas carried out a severe shooting attack against Israeli soldiers. We do not know the status of those Israeli soldiers. Israel responded with airstrikes, killing three members of Hamas' military wing, and also one civilian was killed. Over 100 people injured.

What we're watching now is continued airstrikes and attacks by Israel, they say, against Hamas targets in retaliation. We also have seen reports of rockets and mortars being fired from the central part of Gaza toward Israel. Those have been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system.

But really, Brooke, we're bracing for a tense night. Last week, we saw the largest bombing campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war. This has been simmering for months. Over 140 Palestinians have been killed in these protests. We've seen large bombing campaigns.

We're hearing from U.N. special coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, tonight. He tweeted out, "Everyone in Gaza needs to step back from the brink, not next week, not tomorrow, right now. Those who want to provoke Palestinians and Israelis into another war must not succeed." And, Brooke, tonight, I'm sure the U.N. and Egypt, two people that

have been talking to both sides. They're working overtime to prevent a war from happening -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: We're watching. We'll stay in close contact with, Ian. Thank you, in Gaza.

Meantime, back at home, tragedy in Missouri. Seventeen people are dead after this tourist boat capsized in a strong storm. Investigators are trying to figure out exactly what happened. We'll hear from two eyewitnesses that witnessed the whole thing.


[14:41:13] BALDWIN: A deadly accident in this freak storm has killed 17 people. Emergency dive crews pulled the last bodies out of Table Rock Lake in Missouri after a tour boat, a duck boat, capable of traveling both on water and land, sunk near Branson.

And we now have absolutely disturbing video here. You see waves, the wind, the boat is sinking. And you can see the boat violently rocking as the winds are really picking up.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is some water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, those poor people. Oh, my gosh. Poor guys.

Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh. Oh, no.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no. Somebody needs to help them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No kidding. Oh, my gosh.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's another one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my gosh. Oh, my gosh.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should have never came out here with them banging. What is that blowing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is water.


BALDWIN: Strong winds, whipped waves, head on onto two boats. One returned to shore safely, the other sank. The area was under a severe thunderstorm warning at the time. Witnesses and the president of the business's parent company say the storm hit so suddenly, no one saw it coming.


JIM PETTISON JR, PRESIDENT, RIPLEY ENTERTAINMENT (voice-over): Working with National Transportation Safety Board and Coast Guard that regulate our industry, but it was almost like a micro burst. We had boats out there. It was perfectly calm. And we had a high-speed wind system that just came out of nowhere ahead of that storm front, and there we were.


BALDWIN: So with me now, Curt Elleman and his 14-year-old son, Wagner. They witnessed this whole thing.

So let me first say, of course, our condolences to those on the boat and their families. This is a beautiful part of the country. To have this happen is absolutely tragic.

Curt, you were there. And you hear folks on the tape saying what was the boat doing out there because of the weather. What were the conditions like?

CURT ELLEMAN, WITNESS: Well, the conditions were fine. It is just like any day in the Ozarks, storms can come out of anywhere, and they do frequently. There was other boats on the lake at the time, private boats. You could see them in the video. And you could also see them, they were the first ones out there to start doing the rescuing, you know. That thing came out of nowhere, moved through quick. It was just one of those things.

BALDWIN: Wagner, when did you guys realize this duck boat was sinking?

WAGNER ELLEMAN, WITNESS: Well, once we saw it start taking water through the front, we knew nothing was going good from there. Then it started taking water from the back-right corner, and then just stuff went downhill from there.

BALDWIN: And how helpless, with the storms coming out of nowhere, to see this boat, and there's almost nothing you can do. I have to imagine rescue crews jumped in quickly, Curt. Did you see rescues?

CURT ELLEMAN: Yes, they got here quickly. Like I said, the first rescuing was private boats, people that were already out there in the storm with those boats, with those ducks. They began pulling people out immediately, and then rescue people started showing up very quickly and just kept coming and coming and coming.

[14:45:11] BALDWIN: Could you tell, I don't know if you have been on any of these duck boat tours, were they wearing life jackets?

CURT ELLEMAN: I couldn't tell if they were or not. I have ridden them before. When I rode them, you didn't wear a life jacket.

BALDWIN: You didn't wear a life jacket.

CURT ELLEMAN: I don't know though.

BALDWIN: It seems pretty safe. You're on a big, beautiful lake, obviously, I am sure there are rules, but who knows what the rules and regulations were for these particular boats.

Just can you tell me, lastly, about, I don't know, your thoughts on what happened and just how tragic this was.

CURT ELLEMAN: You know, it is very tragic. I do believe they are safe. They take lots of people out, but stuff happens. When you're driving your car, stuff happens. That storm came out of nowhere. They were doing their best to get back, get on land. One of them did, the other one didn't quite make it. It is tragic.

We watched them pull a guy out just a private citizen in a pontoon boat, pulled a guy out and had him in his boat. And there's another boat ramp just around the corner from where it happened, and that gentleman drove his boat right up onto the concrete boat ramp and there were some rescue guys just getting there, and they reached on, and this guy was clearly gone, picked him up by his hands and his feet and put him up on the dock and they went to work on him right then. CPR for two, three, four minutes. Everybody was doing something. Then they shocked him twice, put an I.V. in him, and we could see him breathing. He wasn't breathing well. His chest was moving and he was breathing. They put oxygen on him. Then an ambulance arrived and took him away. I hope he made it. I hope there's a good ending for that guy.

But everybody jumped right in. It's a tragic thing.

BALDWIN: Let's hope so. What a total tragedy and horrible thing for you and your son to be there and see.

Curt Elleman, Wagner Elleman, thank you so much.

We'll be right back.

CURT ELLEMAN: You're welcome.


[14:51:58] BALDWIN: Constantly changing cast members, tension among the ranks, cliff hangers that leave you on the edge of your seat. These made-for-TV plot elements could all be used to describe the Trump White House. Tonight, we explore the president's impact on primetime TV, in a CNN special report, "THE TRUMP SHOW," TV's new reality, and the blurring of the lines between entertainment and reality.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Fake game. I was cheated big leagues.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I need to be sure it works with this color.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Yes. That's the one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you avoid literally the elephant in the room.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES" (voice-over): The president, he is taking over primetime TV.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a cartoonish larger than life president, so it becomes easier to make fun of.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: You know, we have that monster in the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not possible.

STELTER: Trump would say these shows beat up on him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't zing (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Trump. We like to annihilate.

STELTER: Blowing up scripts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just started over again.


STELTER: Transforming story lines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It becomes my duty as a Latina to set that record straight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say hello to my little friend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People always accuse "Homeland," they have a crystal ball in the story room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're calling on the media to check their facts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America benefits from anything that gets it talking about what's going on.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Have you looked at the news? Now things are worse.

ROSEANNE BARR, ACTRESS: Not on the real news.


BARR: I realize that I did have a lot more to say.

STELTER: Resonating with Trump's America, the smash hit re-boot.

TRUMP: Look at Roseanne. Look at her ratings.

STELTER: With a shocking plot twist.



BALDWIN: Oh, my goodness. He really is everywhere.

Brian Stelter, you're everywhere, too.


BALDWIN: Senior media correspondent, host of "RELIABLE SOURCES.

You played all these clips. You talked to these TV producers. Why are they putting so much Trump?

STELTER: Yes. Working him in.


STELTER: I think it is interesting how he permeated even primetime TV. When you're not watching CNN, trying to get away from the news --

BALDWIN: He's still there.

STELTER: -- he's still there. That's different from the Clinton or Bush or Obama years. That's because, in part, he is a reality star. Some of the show runners and producers may not like him but feel like they know him. They feel like he is a colleague because he is a product of Hollywood and a product of TV. So it is natural to work him into scripts on a comedy like "Will & Grace" or "Roseanne." We know Roseanne Barr was fired, but no ABC is making a version of the show without her. We'll see if Trump is still incorporating those ideas still in the show, Make America Great Again, that idea so incorporated in the show. But is interesting how, all across TV, even if they don't mention him by name, on shows like "Homeland," you're thinking about --


BALDWIN: Is it a matter of staying relevant, and do they think it is resonating with those watching?

[14:55:02] STELTER: That's part of it. There's also some political agenda in play. Hollywood leans left. A lot of these writers and producers were horrified by Trump's election. They want to use their platform to speak out and make statements. However, they say, we're not trying to lecture the audience. We're trying to entertain people. If we can slip in a civics lesson, at the end of a week like this, when the world is upside-down, I think entertainment can help us process some of the craziness.

BALDWIN: Happy Friday.

STELTER: You, too.

BALDWIN: Made it.

Make sure you watch "THE TRUMP SHOW," TV's new reality. Tonight, 10:00 eastern on CNN.

Stelter, thank you.

Coming up, more on breaking news this hour. The FBI has a tape of President Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, discussing this payment to a former "Playboy" model. How the president is reacting to this bit of news.

Also, new revelations from Stormy Daniels' attorney who says he had a --his words -- "coincidental" run in with Cohen at a New York City restaurant this weekend, which included a rather lengthy discussion. What we now know about said chat, next.