tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN June 18, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
5:00 eastern, 2:00 out west. i'm ana cabrera in new york. you are live in the "cnn newsroom." thanks for being with me. we have breaking news on this sunday here on cnn. the united states military has shot down a warplane in syria. it is the first time this has happened since the u.s. took an active role in the syrian conflict. plane was shot down, it was a syrian regime bomber, we are learning, that is said to have attacked coalition supported fighters on the ground. this is where it happened, near the city of raqqa, the isis stronghold in northern syria. a statement from the coalition, which is led by the united states, that its forces were responding to the syrian bombing which did cause casualties on the ground, and that the syrian jet was shot down in self-defense. again, the u.s. military for the first time has shot down a syrian air force warplane. we are closely following these developments. stay with becnn for more detail as we get them. now to politics and the
question of whether president trump himself is under investigation. he tweeted on friday that he is, but just 48 hours later his lawyer says, no, the president is not being investigated, period. confused? a bit perplexed? here's what we know. last week "the washington post" that special counsel robert mueller is investigating president trump for possible obstruction of justice and that mueller is interviewing at least three senior intelligence officials as part of this expanding probe. the post report was the most significant sign yet that mueller's investigation is growing beyond questions of russian interference in the 2016 election. president trump called the report phony, then on friday he tweeted this, and i quote -- i am being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. let's bring in white house correspondent, athena jones. the president's lawyer was asked point-blank about that tweet. >> hi, ana. he was. look, these are exactly the sorts of mixed messages that
have come to define this white house and the president's lawyer is just the latest example of someone who's working for the president who doesn't seem to be exactly on the same page as the president. you laid it all out with the "washington post" reporting on wednesday, with the president responding at first saying that it was phony, then friday sending out this curious tweet that seemed to confirm that he is under investigation. sources close to the president -- familiar with the president's thinking said he had hadn't been officially informed that he was under investigation. he was just basing that tweet on news reports. listen to what jay sekulow, one of the president's lawyers, said in response to all of this this morning. >> should we take that tweet as confirmation that the president is under investigation. >> let me be clear. president is not under investigation. as james comey said in his testimony, the president is not target of the investigation on three occasions. the president is not subject or
target of an investigation. >> the president said, "i am under investigation," even though he isn't under investigation? >> that response on social media was in response to "the washington post" piece. it is that simple. the president is not under investigation. >> you're saying that the president when he said that was not accurate? >> no. the president was -- it was 141 characters. there's a limitation on twitter. as we all know. the president is a very effective utilization of social media. so here's what you have. the president issued that tweet, that social media statement, based on a fake report, a report with no documented sources, from "the washington post." >> so a couple of things there about that interview with jay sekulow. for one thing, for months now we've had white house officials telling us that we should take the president's tweets at face value. they are presidential statements. and now we're hearing something different from one of his lawyers giving excuses as to why
he was mainly a little unclear in his message in that tweet. the other part is that the president's allies, his lawyers, the folks at the republican national committee, have been pointing over and over again to comey's testimony that he did in fact tell the president on three separate occasions that he was not personally being investigated. the problem here, ana, is that is that information is out of date, or certainly potentially out of date. comey has not been in charge of the fbi, as we all know, since the beginning of may. i should mention, of course, that cnn has not confirmed "the washington post's" reporting that special counsel bob mueller is investigating the president for obstruction but we do know from law enforcement sources earlier that mueller is gathering information to determine whether to open a full-scale investigation in to obstruction. >> so athena, what about the tapes, the same lawyers that just last weekend would address the "are there tapes" or no tapes of the oval office conversations issue within a week? that didn't happen.
so what's going on? >> well, exactly. jay sekulow said last week that we would hear an answer next week, meaning this past week. that didn't happen. sekulow said that, well, there was a lot going on this past week. the president had that big address on cuba policy. there was also what he described as an assassination attempt against house majority whip steve scalise and other gop members of congress. so the way he put it on "face the nation" was the issue of tapes i think right now was not a priority issue this past week. he said he expects it could be addressed this week, but this is just one more example of these deadlines being set that are not met. we really don't know what we're going to get an answer on that issue. >> athena jones, thank you. joining moo he n ing me now. also, michael zelden.
and jewelette kayam. listen to another part of attorney jay sekulow. >> in this particular case you had a scenario where the president, receiving advice from a variety of government officials, was told by his attorney general and by his deputy attorney general that james comey should not be leading the fbi. it is ironic that based on the action that they recommended, that he took, in consultation with others, that he is now being investigated by the agencies that told him to take that very action, removing the fbi director. >> so, michael, the president's lawyer said multiple times, which we heard in a sound bite that athena played us, that the president is not under investigation, only to then stay in that last statement we played that it is ironic the president is being investigated by the agencies who told him to fire james comey. so his statements are at odds with one another. what do you make of that?
>> there is a schizophrenia to what he has been saying this morning on talk shows. as i try to divine it, a couple of things come to mind. first is he's saying in very legalistic terms that the president has not received a target or subject letter from mueller so that he is technically in legal terms not a target of criminal investigation. fair enough. the president, of course, doesn't talk in legal terms, he talks in lay terms and he feels that he's under siege or under investigation, broadly speaking. those things are not necessarily in conflict with one another. with respect to the president being -- having received advice about the firing of comey and acting on that advice, the president said that that's not true. he said that he fired him because he had russia on his mind and that he was going to fire him regardless of those recommendations from sessions and comey. and, of course, it is not the justice department who is investigating the president now, it is the special counsel. the reason there is a special counsel is that it would be
ironic if the justice department were investigating him because they would have a conflict of interest. there is no irony there because they appointed muler eller to d that because they couldn't do it themselves without it being a conflict. they're segregated so they can line up into a sensible narrative. >> the president also mentioned rosenstein, the deputy ag's, recommendation to fire comey, that memo that was included in the president's letter about why he was firing him. does rosenstein's memo offer the president some protection? >> if he hadn't said to lester holt that he wasn't listening to the rosenstein recommendation or the sessions recommendation, but that he had russia on his mind and that's what he used as the basis to fire, then he reiterated it with the russians in his oval office that he fired him because it was to take pressure off of him from the russia investigation. so rosenstein's memo, which may
have been a pretext for what he wanted to do anyway, if he had kept it to himself, maybe he gets away with it. but because he talked, he can't. >> juliet, might there be a clear answer to whether or not the president is actually under investigation himself for potential obstruction of justice? is someone usually told when they're being investigated by federal authorities? >> again, he might eventually be told. but let's just be clear here. mueller has over a dozen prosecutors. the best of the best. the notion that there's not some underlying crime, whether it is collusion or some financial dealings or this data -- the sort of data issue that's come up in the last week, what did his data team did, were they sharing information with the russians, that's with where the mueller investigation is. not to say the obstruction charges aren't feel. i would find it sort of
inconseevl with muinko inreceivable with mueller and -- >> juliet, you have an audio issue going on. while i ask doug a question about what we've been hearing from newt gingrich, a close ally on the president. listen to his take on the president's tweet that he is being investigated. >> trump has a compulsion to counter attack and is very pugnacious. i don't think it serves him well. i don't think that tweet helped him. he is infuriated and legitima legitimately, in my judgment, by this whole russian baloney. there's not anything on russian, maybe obstruction. maybe there will be perjury. you go down the list. >> doug, you are a republican strategi strategist. the president calling this all a witch hunt. suggesting people should be outraged.
do you see a political up side to what he's saying? >> i really don't. one thing that we've seen that's consistent, michael talked -- used the word schizophrenic earlier. athena talked about mixed messages. as somebody who used to work as a communicator on capitol hill i see mixed messages coming from the administration and their allies every day. certainly what we saw with jay sekulow this morning, the impossible situation he is in where he ha is to defend the president who said something very clearly that they now have to say is not true. i was getting e-mails from the administration and rnc saying james comey was a liar. later they said james comey exonerated him. what are we supposed to believe? we are being told two different things of a problem. find their message and stick to that. that's the best thing they can do to help donald trump on the staff level and certainly for the president to do the same. >> but, doug, if the president is trying to poke holes in the credibility of people who are investigating him, then let's
say the conclusion is the president did something wrong, his team did something wrong, is that going to help him make the case that these guys have some kind of an agenda? that's what i'm talking about in terms of politically could it be helpful for him long term to do what he's doing? >> i think we see more and more of a divergence. if you supported trump, you by and large still support trump, a small amount of erosion so far. that's what republicans on capitol hill are looking at because they know how popular donald trump in their districts. they are the ones who will be voting in republican primaries so that's what they're watching. if you didn't believe or you didn't support donald trump, everything you've seen so far just recon firms that to you as well. >> all right, plikle, from l mi legal perspective, did the president's tweets make it harder to defend him? >> i don't think so. the tweets are more rants than they are in any respect legally compromising for him. what's more challenging for him
are the things that he said to lester holt, and then again at that press conference or -- with the romanian president where he said, no, no -- i never said those words to comey with respect -- so there he is making affirmative statements which can be used against him in some respects if there ever was a court or impeachment hearing. >> those are the words he was saying, no, no, i never said -- i hope you would let the michael flynn investigation go. >> that's right. so it is those types of things that i think pose more jeopardy for him legally than the tweets which really i think -- i would characterize them as sort of rants and that's not really so much a legal problem as it is a political one, as doug mentioned. >> michael, doug, juliet, who we lost, thank you all. straight ahead, tragedy at sea. seven that ivy sailors are now
confirmed dead after a dramatic collision in the waters off japan. coming up, what we've learned so far about how it happened. retired rear admiral john kirby joins us live next. t day ♪ ♪ he was talking 'fore i knew it, and as he grew ♪ ♪ he'd say i'm gonna be like you, dad ♪ ♪ you know i'm gonna be like you ♪ ♪ and the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon ♪ ♪ little boy blue and the man in the moon... ♪
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more break being news this hour. a gun battle going on to stop terrorists who stormed a luxury resort popular with western tourists in mali. mali's ministry of security issued a statement claiming that armed individuals certainly terrorists, attacked the resort just outside the capital. anti-terror forces are on the scene exchanging gunfire with these attackers. the eu training mission in mali tweeted a statement that they are aware of the attack and are assessing the situation. this all happening less than ten days after the u.s. embassy in mali's capital city warned americans traveling there about an increased security threat to westerners. now we are continuing to monitor this story. we'll update you throughout the evening. also overseas, we are getting a stunning look at what portuguese officials are calling the greatest wildfire tragedy of
recent years. look at this. at least 61 people are dead and dozens injured after a massive fire raced through central portugal. it has spread so quickly, some victims were burned to death in their cars as they tried to escape. the area's mayor says many villages were completely surrounded by the fire and there was simply not enough firefighters to stop the flames. i want to get to some other breaking news from the pacific now, the possible result in the weekend's frantic search for those american sailors missing at sea. they've been found but sadly, they did not survive the accident. their ship, the "uss fitzgerald" is now back in port after colliding with a much larger cargo ship in waters off japan. parts of the destroyer flooded with seawater, and it is in those flooded compartments that recovery divers found the sailors that were missing for more than 24 hours. our military analyst, retired
u.s. navy rear admiral john d kirby is joining us now. admiral, you and i spoke yesterday about this situation. we discussed this possible scenarios and outcome. we learned that this collision happened while most of the crew on board was asleep. what are your thoughts about this tragedy today? >> well, it is just absolutely heart rending. i want to start by offering my thoughts and prayers to everybody aboard "fitzgerald." all the crew and their families, of course in particular the families of these seven sailors that were lost. it is just heartbreaking outcome to a horrible tragedy. it doesn't surprise me some of the casualties were found at berthing compartments at 2:30 in the middle of the night, you would expect most of the crew to be asleep. obviously some crew are up standing driving the ship and navigating it, but most of the crew would be asleep at that time of day. >> the fleet commander today said this collision had the potential to sink the
"fitzgerald," but the crew scrambled and were able to keep her at sea. what happens onboard a emergency situation like this. >> everybody aboard a ship is a fireman. everybody aboard a ship is trained to flighight floods. it's called damage control. from the first day you join the navy you learn basic techniques about how to preserve safety and security of a ship at sea. it is something that always comes back to you throughout your career. you constantly go through this training, particularly on small warships like destroyers. i think when all is said and done, the investigation's over, when stories can be finally be told, i think you're going to hear dozens of stories of incredible bravery and skill and team work to keep that ship afloat and to keep her from floundering. the strike below the water line had to have been massive because those freighters had those big bulbous bows. you can't see them underneath there but they are bulbous. it probably punctured right through. that they were able to keep the
ship afloat is truly a story of great heroism. >> we know it knocked out the communication systems they were using so there was that additional challenge they were facing. really amazing they could get it back to shore and it wasn't any worse. >> could you give me a second? i would also mention that our japanese partners, our allies, the japanese coast guard which came right to the scene and right to the rescue and from talking to my former friends in the navy, they tell me that without the japanese help this would have been even worse. >> i do want to ask you about the investigation real quick and how it was perceived. you wrote if had an op sed so-e pretty strong words. you feel strongly about lou thos will shake out. navy warships are not supposed to hit anything. not the ground. not each other. and certainly not container ships in the middle of the night. so how do you see the investigation proceeding? >> there's a strong culture of accountability in the navy, particularly for those who command at sea. it is an absolute
accountability. there is no getting around that. this investigation, which is just now getting started, will be run by another admiral, not the 7th complete th commander b that he chooses. they will do a complete forensic analysis of what happened, almost minute by minute. they'll talk to every relevant witness. they'll look at every piece of equipment such as the radar system that could have been involved, make sure it was operating or not. they'll look at every bit of recorded data because there will be some electronically recorded data that they can assess, almost like a black box kinds of thing. they'll look at it all and be able to determine exactly what happened. just as importantly, they'll be able to determine what didn't happen, in other words, what decisions should have been made at certain periods of time and weren't, and did that lead to this catastrophe. >> while i have you here, admiral, this breaking news about the u.s. shooting down a syrian air force jet. this is the first time this has happened, though coalition partners have engaged in direct combat in the skies over syria.
how big of a development is this in the coalition's war against isis? >> i think we need to be careful in talking to this in terms of es c es claer to measure. this was done in defense of syrian democratic forces that the coalition was supporting and has been supporting on the ground. that is a commitment that coalition made a long time ago when we agreed to help the syrian democratic forces on the ground. we made it very clear publicly -- not just to them, but publicly that if they came under fire, if they come under attack, we would come to their defense. so this was a long-standing understanding between the coalition and the regime. two, i think you can look at this as potentially a deterrent attack. in other words, they had to do this but maybe it will have a deterrent effect on the regime. i don't see this as escalatory. >> how far up the chain of command would that decision have gone? >> i don't know since i am not
inside the chain of command anymore. i doubt it would have to go very, very high. again, commander on the ground has authority to defend his forces and we have the authority to defend the forces that we are supporting on the ground. so i don't think this left theater -- if you're asking if this had to go to the pentagon or to washington, i highly doubt that. i would suspect the commander there in charge of the coalition ops had the authority to do this on his own. >> retired rear admiral john kirby, thanks, as always, and happy father's day. >> thank you so much. the fate of president trump's travel ban is in the hands of the supreme court, and there will be developments this week. will the justices save the ban or will one of the president's signature promises be broken by the courts? that's ahead live in the "cnn newsroom." the average family's new, but old, home: it stood up to 2 rookies, 3 terrible two's, and a one-coat wonder named "grams". it survived multiple personalities, 3 staycations,
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trump's travel ban will face the ultimate test. we could know by the end of this week. only the supreme court can save trump's travel ban now after the 9th circuit court of appeals upheld the ruling. here's this week's crucial timeline. challengers of the ban must file reply briefs by noon tuesday. then government can respond on wednesday and the supreme court is expected to take up the matter thursday behind closed doors. let's talk it over with hawaii attorney general, douglas chin, who filed one of these lawsuits against the travel ban. thanks so much for spending part of father's day with us. i know we've spoken before along the different steps of your battle. you've now fought the courts -- or fought the travel ban in two different courts already. it is going to the highest court next. how big of a deal is this? >> well, right now the trump administration is up against a very important deadline which is the end of june. that's typically the time when the supreme court recesses for the summer.
they don't come back until the beginning of november. so in terms of timing, what the trump administration is trying to do is to allow -- or convince the supreme court to allow it to be able to hear and review the lower court decisions that have occurred. >> would you expect that they would take up the case? >> i think there is a really good chance that they will. i mean even though you have a decision that was based on -- in the 4th circuit for one reason, that stopped the travel ban, you now have the 9th circuit decision that has stopped the travel ban. there are a lot of indications that the supreme court is going to be interested in this case because of the national security implications. >> now while the 9th circuit kept the block of the travel ban in place, the court did allow one portion of that executive order to proceed, and that was the reviewing of the vetting process as dhs secretary john kelly said, the administration saw that as a win.
do you see that as a loss? >> we never had a problem with the department of homeland security engaging in research or studies. what we had argued was the problem with the entire travel ban is that it was a muslim ban. so anything that was carried out under the auspices of that executive order would be something that would be either discriminatory under the constitution or illegal under our immigration laws. and so when the 9th circuit allowed the studies to be able to continue, they were simply allowing the department of homeland security to do what it's always been capable of doing, which is essentially to be able to examine and decide what constitutional orders it can put out in the future. >> so assuming the supreme court says it will take the case, with the president's pick judge gorsuch now on the bench, there is a court that's more conservative leaning. does the make-up of this court present a bigger challenge for you? >> you know, you have justice
gorsuch who replaced justice scalia and where the rub is really going to be is most people are thinking it is going to have to do with how justice kennedy rules. he'll be the fifth vote. we think we're positioned about as well as we could be because you have now two rationales for stopping the travel ban that are out there. the first one is that this is unconstitutional travel ghan discriminates against a religion. government's not supposed to disfavor one religion against another. and then the other rational that's coming out of the 9th circuit is that when the president issued the executive order, he simply didn't make enough findings. there was just too flimsy evidence that was there to be able to justify banning 180 million people from the six muslim majority nations and presuming that all of them are terrorists. >> now the president has spoken recently about his travel ban, at least on twitter. he brought up the travel ban in the wake of the london terror
attacks earlier this month. then just after the 9th circuit ruling came down he tweeted again -- before the ruling he writes, the justice dpd should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down politically correct version they submitted to supreme court. then after that ruling, well, as predicted, the 9th circuit did it again, ruled against the travel ban at such a dangerous time in the history of our country. sc. do you think the supreme court will take into consideration these tweets? >> well, that certainly is a fair argument, is that the president's tweets are his official statements. that was confirmed by sean spicer the day after that president had issued his june 5th tweet that said that he wished that everything would go back to the first -- >> so you think the tweets work in your favor, your case. >> oh, yeah. i mean essentially he's saying -- or confirming that this is a muslim ban. there actually seems to be a
theme going on in your show about how the president's tweets are what comes back to haunt him. that's exactly it. he's making these statements in ways that just directly telegraph that he has a discriminatory intention behind what he's doing. and it is not based on keeping out terrorists. it is based on religious discrimination and discriminating of people bases upon their nation of origin. that's not okay. >> douglas chin, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. democrats bracing for a defiant stand against the republican health care bill. but account dems take down a bill that the gop appears determined to pass? you're live in the "cnn newsroom." but at night, it's the last thing on my mind. for 10 years my tempur-pedic has adapted to my weight and shape, relieving pressure points from head to toe. so i sleep deeply but feel light.
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hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flulike symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. talk to your doctor and visit humira.com this is humira at work. battle over health care is heating up in the senate. democrats and some republicans are upset that the group of republicans crafting the health care bill have shrouded it in
secrecy, drafting it behind closed doors. now democrats are considering a dramatic senate shutdown to force republican senators to open up the health care debate. senate minority leader chuck schumer sent a letter to majority leader mitch mcconnell calling for an all-senators meeting this week. our ryan nobles is joining us now from washington with details. ryan, can senate democrats really shut down business over this health care debate? >> they're threatening to at the very least grind the senate to a halt, in that they want to make it hard for republicans to schedule votes and potentially keep nominees from the trump administration from getting confirmed. that would create a glacial pace of work in this senate and that's a body that doesn't work very fast to begin with. among techniques they may employ, stopping committees from meeting or extending their hearings when the senate is in
session. and the goal here would be to force republicans to open the debate on the health care bill which at this point, as you pointed out, has been done mainly lined clomain ly behind closed doors. all democrats, even some republicans, have yet to see what's in this bill. despite that, the democratic leadership has vowed to vote before the july 4th holiday. caucuses for the democrats endorse this morpve. >> we have an insane process. insane. here you have legislation which deals with one-sixth of the american economy. that's the health care situation. and there are republicans who haven't even seen this legislation, and certainly no member in the democratic caucus has. what kind of process is it that when you deal with an issue that affects tens of millions of people in this country, republicans don't even have the guts to allow it to go to a committee where we can have an open hearing where questions
could be asked. >> we do have some new information about this. our capitol hill team has been ringing the phones of democratic senators and their aides. we learned that they are in the process of planning innin inni floor of the senate tomorrow through midnight. among things i'm hearing is that they may potentially have members of the senate stand up and tell the stories of their constituents that were impacted positively by the affordable care act. one of the reasons that they want to see the plan put in place by barack obama stay in place, to a certain extent this is all a public relations game for democrats. they don't have the votes. their goal here would be to put some of these republicans that are a little squeamish about this version of the bill in a difficult spot so that they do not support it going forward. >> is the big question is, do republicans even have the votes at this point in the senate. they can only lose two people from those republicans. thanks so much, ryan nobles, for the update. donald trump tweeted his way to the white house, and for reporters his twitter feed is
the best way possible to know what the president is thinking. but we'll talk about why it is also a major problem. and, michael phelps has won 23 gold medals. but the olympic legend could soon be in the race of his life. we'll explain. you're live in the cnn newsroom. "how to win at business." step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses. abracadabra. the stage is yours. step two: choose la quinta. the only hotel where you can redeem loyalty points for a free night-instantly
welcome back. breaking today, president trump's lawyer telling cnn that the president is not under investigation. now that contradicts a tweet from the president in which the president became his own leaker and seemed to confirm he's being investigated for obstruction of justice. couple of days ago the president suggested that the media doesn't like this unfiltered portal into the mind of the president, tweeting, the fake news media hates when i use what's turned out to be my very powerful
social media. over 100 million people. i can go around them. earlier i spoke to chris celizza. >> this is the second tweet the president had this month that gets at the basic idea the media hates when he tweets. it is just not true. the fact is reporters like myself, the thing that we are most interested in and the hardest thing to get, ana, is real insight into how a president is thinking. these are people who are walled off by a huge amount of hate, a huge amount of bureaucracy, a huge amount of infrastructure. it is very hard to get a sense typically of what they think. not the case with donald trump. his twitter feed i think is a very close representation of what he thinks and feels at any one time. you know when he's angry. you know when he feels like his staff has failed him. you know when he feels like they haven't got the message out. that's an invaluable resource for someone like me. a tweet away, donald trump. doesn't bother me in the least. >> but, twitter can be a one-way
conversation. the president doesn't have to answer reporters' questions on twitter. we've learned he's even blocked people on twitter who have been adversarial. do you ware though, if he's using twitter as his main form of communication, or desires to use it as main form of communication, that it might replace the traditional white house press briefing, for example? >> it's possible. if you'll notice, in the last few weeks the traditional white house press briefing has really, really been down played. sarah huckabee sanders, the deputy press secretary is doing some of them. sean spicer doing some of them. but many of them off camera. that said, the way in which they had evolved in which they really didn't answer any questions, they said, we can't answer that, the tweet speaks for itself, one of sean's favorite lines. at least we are getting insight. i take it to be insight and real -- a real way in to what donald trump is thinking. i will take it at this point. it is not ideal, by any means.
but that's not unique to donald trump, by the way, ana. every every president gets less transparent because technology allows them to do that. he is right that twitter, flickr, youtube, all of these things allow a politician to go around having to do an interview with me or you to get their message out, so he's right in that, but every president gets less and less and less transparent because technology allows it. >> i want to share with you some father's day wishes from the first lady. here's her tweet wishing a happy father's day to the president with the trophy and heart emoji. then ivanka trump tweeted a message to her husband, saying "thank you, jared, for loving, encouraging and teaching our kids and me every day. we love you very much." and of course, i have to take a quick moment to wish my husband a happy father's day, the dad of our two children, he's amazing. and my dad, who is also celebrating his birthday today,
father of five, all five of us. happy father's day, se llama, papa. michael phelps is fast, but can he outswim a shark? he will kick off the discovery channel's shark week marathon by racing a great white. a great white! no details on how the shark and phelps will face off, but discovery says it will be an event so monumental. no one has ever tried it before. phelps posted this photo of a cage-diving trip, perhaps scouting his competition. the question on this father's day, how will this new dad some day tell the story of how he raced a shark? all right, i want you to meet arafat garabazi. he is quite a swimmer himself. separated from his family in the democratic republic of congo, he was helpless and homeless, but swimming changed his life. >> arafat garabazi is an
open-water swimmer in cape town, south africa. >> i feel free when i'm in the ocean. that's where i'm at peace most of the time. it takes you away from the outside world. >> reporter: the outside world hasn't been easy for arafat. he's a refugee from the democratic republic of congo. >> i left my country in 2012 when they were broke up, when i got separated from my mother. >> reporter: unsure if his mother was dead or alive, he fled to cape town on foot and ended up living in this children's shelter, which offers swimming classes. >> i remember the first time i went in the swimming pool, it was like you were in a new planet. i realized swimming was something which i could use for the process of healing. then i kept doing it. >> reporter: swimming gave arafat a new sense of purpose, and he began training for long-distance swims. in 2016, he was named open-water swimmer of the year by the cape town long-distance swimming association. >> the moment i stop, that's
when i feel like life is becoming like a mess. my main focus is to try and give as much hope as i can through the challenges which i'm going. >> guys, what's up! go south to finish this swim! >> reporter: arafat's next challenge is a 2 1/2-kilometer swim called the high-tech walker bay extreme. >> i don't compete with anyone when i'm swimming. i just compete with myself. >> reporter: what makes the race so challenging isn't the distance but the frigid 55-degree water temperature, and arafat does it without a wet suit. >> it's a very mental game. your body doesn't know to stay in, but your mind controls your body saying you can keep going. >> reporter: the cold water proved too much for some swimmers, but arafat was able to finish. >> all done. >> i'm very proud of what i've achieved today. i don't want people to see me as a homeless boy. i want them to see me in a
different way, and that's why i keep going. swimming has changed everything which i do. >> fit nation, "around the world in eight races," brought to you by aleve. all day strong, all day long. bra that covers you part way, so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. rumor confirmed. they're playing. -what? -we gotta go. -where? -san francisco. -when? -friday. we gotta go. [ tires screech ] any airline. any hotel. any time.
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and today we wanted to remind you of something you might have seen already here on cnn, but now it's going viral online. it is an act of unthinkable bravery and human compassion that lasted just a few heart-stopping seconds. and you know what, we wanted to show you this again on father's day. i'm about to show you this man rescuing that little girl from certain death, and he did it by running through a hail of bullets. this is david eubank. he was with his aid group in mosul when isis started killing civilians, men, women and children. among the stacks of bodies, this
little girl, still alive. watch what he does next. hold your breath with me. [ shots ] >> david eubanks saved the life of that little girl, whom he didn't even know, by risking his own life. this amazing video is being forwarded now all over social media. people are watching this. father of three. incredible, selfless act. david eubank. he's an american aid worker and former u.s. special forces officer. google him, find out what brought him to iraq. this little girl is alive today this little girl is alive today because he was there. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com top of the hour. you are in the "cnn newsroom." thanks for being with me on this father's day. i'm ana cabrera in new york and topping the hour with breaking news. the united states military has
shot down a warplane in syria. it's the first time this has happened since the u.s. took an active role in the syrian conflict. the plane shot down was a syrian regime bomber that is said to have attacked coalition-supported fighters on the ground. and here's where it happened, near the city of raqqah, the isis stronghold in northern syria. our global affairs correspondent elise labott is joining us now. elise, again, this is a first in the war on isis, a syrian plane shot down by u.s. forces. what do we know about what happened? >> reporter: that's right, ana. well, of course, this comes as the u.s.-backed and coalition-backed syrian democratic forces are going against raqqah, that isis stronghold. what happened was at about 4:30 p.m. local time, the syrian regime forces were attacking those u.s.-backed syrian democratic forces. the u.s. offered this kind of show of force, flying low to the ground at a slow speed to, in essence, scare them off, and it did. in the me