tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN June 4, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
core reason why they're letting their grip on the possibility of winning the midterms slip away. >> scott jennings, keith boykin, out of time, you'll both be back, thank you very much. thank you, all, for being with us today. i'm poppy harlow in new york. "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. let's begin with the breaking news out of the supreme court, a case that put religious liberty up against gay rights. the justices, for all of this, i want to get to the supreme court, cnn's jessica schneider is there. it was a decisive majority ruling in favor of the baker ruling narrowly though on the facts of the case. lay it out for us. >> reporter: that's right. a 7-2 ruling,poppy, in favor of the baker, but in terms of the
actual decision here, it was quite narrow. it did not get to the constitutional questions here as to whether has a broad religious or free speech right to refuse services to gay couples. so it really -- this wasn't the big religious liberty case that many peopleere expng here. this majority opinion, it was written by justice kennedy, of course, he has been considered a champion o rights because he was the one who also wrote the opinion in obergefell, the case that granted same sex couples the right to marry. what did happen in this case, some people might kennedy was champion of gay marriage and now ruling for the baker in this case, how can we square that? we can square that because justice kennedy here in writing this majority opinion with the six other justices who joined him had a problem with the fact that the colorado civil rights commission appeared to show animus toward the baker's
religious beliefs here. and they wrote extensively in the opinion about the fact that there may be other cases that have to come to the forefront in order for these broader constitutional questions to be answered. let me read you from the opinion from justiceennedy, he said, the outcome ofesike this and other circumstances in the courts all in the context of recognizing these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs and without subjecting gay persons to indignitie when seek goods and services in the open market. so you can see there from the language that justice kennedy wanted to toe this line from respecting the religious beliefs of this baker in particular, but also maintaining the dignities of these same sex couples. so a narrow ruling here, a 7-2 decision, 7-2, justice clarence thomas, though a conservative,
he joined in the decision, but dissented in the reasoning here. so not quite the big religious liberty case that many had expected, but still a narrow ruling for this baker saying that he does not have to make this cake for the same sex couple. >> kate? >> jessica, thank you so much. let's talk more about this. cnn senior analyst mark preston and paul callan. give me your take. >> i was in the courtroom and when justice kennedy came in, he was holding two sets of papers, he had given an earlier decision and the climax of the morning is when he announced this. it seemed this entire opinion seemed to be designed to sort of lower the temperature on this issue at this point. couple of things to add to jessica's report, justices kagan and breyer, from the liberal side, join in, kind of as a sign that, okay, we're not trying to do too much here, but i would say that the two bader ginsburd
justice sotomayor said, look, even though the commission may have made -- commissioners may have made disparaging comments about religion, this was assessed by other entities, by courts, and there was no need to say that the context here affected t case. that these two individuals did face discrimination and it should be read as that. so they were the only two that broke off, but as i say, justice kennedy, i think he wanted to caution everyone in the courtroom, and probably anyone reading this opinion, that this is a very small step in the case of these particular men. again, justice ginsburg and sotomayor said otherwise, but i think it really opens the door to what would come next from the next case. i would just add one other thing, justice kennedy noted that in 2012, when this had happened, colorado was not
allowing gay marriage. and he seemed to talk a lot about that historical context in that moment that now will be so different going forward. >> and that's fascinating and important because, paul i'm left to wonder here, this baker wins this case, does another baker win a future case? >> yes. i think that another baker may lose a future case. the reason i say that is because this is kind of typical of the that took place in the lower ss courts, in this case in the commission. a lot of times, for instance, in a criminal case, anellate court isn't deciding necessarily that somebody is innocent or guilty of a trial. a jury has already done that. what they're trying to decide is was it a fai trial? and here the that two liberals, kagan and breyer, joined in the majority decision, it suggests that they thought the commission treated the baker unfairly. i was looking at the specifics of it, and apparently the baker
was accused of harboring opinions similar to those in favor of slavery and saying that the holocaust didn't exist. and so he was being subjected to ridiculeor hiseligio beliefs and i think the court felt that that was an important principle and so i think this is about how the decision was made, not what the decision was and we'll see a different decision in the future probably more favorable to gay rights. >> mark, this was a case that was rife with politics in the sense that there were so many friends of the court briefs that were submitted, 86, i think, was members of congress, kind of signed on to support the baker. what is political fallout if there is? this, does this become a bigger issue in the midterm now? >> as this ruling was coming down, a very well known republican pollster was sitting in my office and just kind of looked up at me and said, this
is interesting, how this is going to play out over the next six months or so. and i said, well, explain. he said, well, is going to bed by republicans as an effort for freedom, for ligi going to help us with our base. but in the near term, he thinks that it is actually going to hurt republicans a little bit because it is going to be framed as discrimination or this is what he thinks by the media, that in fact that they're allowing discrimination to move forward. now, whether or not this plays out in the midterm elections we'll have to see what happens, but whenever y talk about religious freedom, these are the kind of hot button issues that do get people out to vote. so i would expect conservatives and republicans to really play this out. >> you know, john, kennedy was the deciding voice in the 2015 gay marriage decision, writing the majority opinion here. in your view, is this decision by the justices complicatin things or clarifying things with regard to gay rights in america
today? >> is there a third choice? it is not clarifying for sure, but it is saying in this particular instance, given what the commissioners had id, religion trumps everything. and, but, justice kennedy during oral arguments was the ones who pointed out the commissioner's statements or focused on one commissioner at the time. and it is a dual principles we have here, one is that justice kennedy is very serious about religious liberty at the same time he talks about the dignity of gay people. and when he started speaking from the bench today, the first thing he talked about was the dignity of gay people that they cannot be regarded as outcasts and that's how he led off his analysis also. but it is essentially a warning to people who are deciding these cases out, you know, beyond the beltway, that be careful your rational for this. and, give both sides a fair
hearing. that's what it is about, giving both sides a fair hearing, but i don't think he undercut his decision in obergefell from 2015 at all. and i think, t's why he was able to draw in the votes of people on the far right, and people on the far -- not the most extreme left, but enough on the left to make it seem better than the usual 5-4 decision, which is what it was in 2015. >> yeah. this is far from over. this case, though, decided. guys, thank you very much, i was just handed a first statement coming from the attorneys who were representing the baker -- representing masterpiece bakers in this, jack phillips. jack serves all customers. he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events this violate his deeply held beliefs, creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convicts without the threat of government punishment.
that from the attorneys representing jack phillips of masterpiece bakers who just won before the supreme court. thank you all so much. coming up for us, president trump says he has the absolute right to pardon himself as his lawyer rudy giuliani says trump could shoot james comey and get away with it. what's going on here, honestly. that's coming up. plus, bill clinton gets heated over questions about monica lewinskying he doesn't owe her a personal apology. does he see that scandal in his political past any differently in the age of the me too movement? we'll play it for you. you can be the judge. sleep disturbances keep one in three adults up at night. only remfresh uses ion-powered melatonin to deliver up to seven hours of sleep support. number one sleep doctor recommended remfresh.
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he's the commander in chief and he's turning into something of a partner in chief. could president trump pardon himself if the special counsel found he committed a crime? this morning, he tweeted in part, basically that, as has been stated by numerous legal scholars, i have the absolute right to pardon myself. but why would i do that when i
have done nothing wrong? followed by this, the appointment of the special counsel, his spelling not mine,. despite that, we play the game because i unlike the democrats have done nothing wrong. so where would president trump get such y pardon idea? hello, rudy giuliani, once again. >> he has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably -- doesn't say he can't. that's another interesting constitutional argument, can the president pardon himself. it would be an open question. >> and rudy giuliani is on a role, again. he went on to make another shocking claim to the huffington post saying the president could have shot former fbi director james comey and not be prosecuted. here is the quote. if he shot james comey, he would be impeached. the next day. impeach him and then you can do whatever you want to do to him. it is a theoretical argument and clearly an extreme example, of course, but what are they trying
to do here? joining me right now, senior white house correspondent at the huffington post who conducted this interview with rudy giuliani. what did you think when r uni told you that? >> i was very interested in how far they would take the argument they can do basically that they want. they seemed a very regal expansive view of the presidency. when it came out that he could end any investigation, i was curious what else could they -- what other kind of investigations could he stop? i said, well, what if hypothetically he -- you got angry at james comey and shot him instead of firing him. mr. giuliani said, yeah, includes that, no crimes. they would have to impeach him first. and confident that that would happen very quickly. >> i'm struck also by how often and openly rudy giuliani seems to be talking about impeachment here when it seems the furthest thing from what the president would like. that also is starting to tell me
it is looking something like a strategy. what does it tell you? >> strategy, i'm not so sure about that. you know, the mayor likes to talk to a lot of folks about lots of different things. and we asked him questions you get an answer at least. i was expecting to say, well, no, that's an outrageous thing and just a crazy hypothetical and i'm not even going to answer that. he was -- he went there. he said, yeah, any crime means any crime. and with the president, he's immune from that while he's in office. so it is not surprising then that the presi had that tweet this morning about he can pardon himself because it is obvious he's thinking more and more about that. >> but we also heard two, maybe more than two, two things about rudy giuliani, it is he speaks for the president and also that the president himself is suggesting he does not speak for the president because he doesn't get his facts straight. do you at this point get a sense now that rudy giuliani speaks for the president? >> well, i don't know.
depends on the time of day, i guess, what day -- >> honestly. >> you get all kinds of answers when you ask things of the white house, right? i mean, we had that statement multiple statements from the white house about that statement aboard air force one, that he dictated, did he not dictate and that that letter they sent to the special counsel's office in january, turns out,yeah, he did dictate it. so, i think we're getting about as much accuracy and consistency with rudy giuliani as from the president or from the white house generally. >> not a high bar at this point. s.v., thank you for coming in, appreciate it. >> my pleasure. so, as s.v. was talking about, rudy giuliani comments came after the new york times had a confidential letter that jay sekulow and john dowd at the time sent to robert mueller in january and claimed the president cannot obstruct justice because the constitution gives him the authority to, quote, terminate the inquiry. in that same letter, a buried
bombshell, the president's attorneys admitting the president, quote, dictated, that's a key word, that first m misleading statement from donald trump jr. about the purpose of his meeting with the russian government lawyer at trump tower during the 2016 campaign. here is a quote for you, you have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the president dictated a short, dictated a short but accurate response to the new york times article on behalf of his son donald trump jr. his son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting including his public ttimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion. nothing to meeting, we can debate for days that we have discussed that quite a bit when we said he would love to get dirt on hillary clinton. regardless, the president's involvement in that misleading statement was something sekulow and the white house denied and denied and denied and denied when the news of the meeting first came out. >> that was written by donald trump jr. and i'm sure with consultation with his lawyer.
that wasn't written by the president. >> the president didn't sign off on anything. the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. it came from donald trump jr. >> he certainly didn't dictate, but, you know, he, like i said, he weighed in,ggestions like an woulddo. >> let's get to it. with me now, kim waily, former assistant u.s. attorney who worked in the clinton whitewater investigation, joe lockhart, cnn political commentator, and joining us, former republican congressman charlie dent. let's do this. congressmen, someone is lying, either the president or his attorneys. do you care to take a bet? >> well, i don't know what the president shared. i have n idea what the president shared with his attorneys. could be the attorneys were stating what they thought was the truth as they knew it. but clearly someone is not telling the truth here, either the president or the people who spoke on his behalf or both. it is pretty inexcusable, really
indefensible. >> joe, look, lying to the media, lying to the american public, is not a crime. but this is so blatant on the dictate the statement, dictate the statement. he did not dictate the statement, absolutely he did dictate the statement. i don't think you can find another example, but this is today's outrage du jour. if you were in your old job, what would you do with this today? >> if i was in my old job, i probably would have left several months ago. i would be here talking to you about how the president doesn't have a -- the difference is the timing here. when he told jay sekulow and sarah sanders before january i didn't do it, he knew mueller hadn't spoken to the people in the room. now they have written this letter because he knows the people have gone in and underwrote, told mueller what really happened. so i think it is another example about trump's lack of any sort of concept of how important the
truth is, and the fact that he'll put anybody out to say anything to protect him and everybody is just sort of cattle to him. all about protecting him. >> and, kim, why would they ever admit this to the special counsel? is it they had to? what do you think? >> no, i mean, that entire letter is unnecessary. there are two issues here, one is people are talking about whether it is truthful or not. of course, lying to the press is not illegal, it gets to why the president's lawyers don't want him to sit down and testify under oath, because he's extremely vulnerable to criminal liability for perjury. the second question has to do with obstruction of justice and the letter goes into that in great detail, did the president make decisions with the corrupt intent to flout the criminal justice system to the extent to which it is engaged in a legitimate probe of russian interference with our election. and that really gets to state of mind and the evidence including this little fact is mounting that the president certainly had that intent. now, then we get into bigger
constitutional questions as to whether he can be indicted, if he's indicted, prosecuted and convicted by a jury, then could he be pardoned? i think the president is making a case, a very complicated, i think obfuscating one for the american public, that he can pretty much do what he wants and i think it is actually a good thing that that's now being put out in the open because it is so outrageous as a matter of democratic theory, we all need to pay attention to it. >> congressman, i don't want to go down the rabbit hole of can he or can't he pardon himself or is this special counsel constitutional or unconstitutional because i think the question is really why is the president doing this? >> well, call me old-fashioned, but i do not believe that the presidential authority is absolute. and i think we talk about pardons, you know, this process should be done in a thoughtful, considered manner. i have been involved with some individuals who wanted pardons, and there is a process that should be observed that the justice department conducts, and i don't think these pardons should be handed out on a
presidential whim or to send a message or to retaliate against a certain prosecutor. i'm deeply troubled by this. and i'm very concerned that the congress has given up a lot of its article one authority over the years, didn't start with this president, this has been going on for a long time. we have seen executive actions under president obama and others and congress needs to step in and assert itself. the founders established congress -- the first branch of government, article one, and so i think this notion of absolute presidential power is absurd. >> guys, stick around. if you can believe it, i won't let you leave, a whole lot more to discuss and doesn't have to do with president trump at this moment. coming up, bill clinton gets testy when faced with questions about the me too movement and monica lewinsky, saying he doesn't own lewinsky a personal apology. that's next. hey! we didn't have a homeowners claim last year so allstate is giving us money back on our bill. well, that seems fair. we didn't use it. wish we got money back on gym memberships. get money back hilarious. with claim-free rewards. switching to allstate is worth it.
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himself from renewed criticism of the monica lewinsky scandal in the era of the me too movement. asked a question about how he feels about -- if he feels differently about that snd day ithe light of the me too movement by nbc, here's his response. >> no, i felt terrible then. and i came to grips with it. >> did you ever apologize? >> yes,nd nobody believes that i got out of that for free. i left the white house $16 million in debt. but you typically have ignored gaping facts and describs and i bet you don't even know them. this was litigated 20 years ago, two-thirds of the american people sided with me, they were not insensitive to that. i had a sexual harassment policy when i was governor in the '80s. i had two women chief of staff
when i was governor. women were overrepresented in the attorney general's office in the '70s. for their percentage in the bar. i had nothing but women leaders iny office since i left. you are giving one side and omitting facts. >> but you didn't apologi her. >> i have not talked to her. >> do you feel you owe her an apology? >> i do not -- i never talked to her. but i did say publicly on more than one occasion that i was sorry. that's very different. apology was public. >> joe, kim and congressman dent back with me now. joe, what is your reaction to president clinton here? >> it is interesting because i think it highlights the vast difference between what it was like 20 years ago and today. i think in that interview he succumbed to being the victim and feeling victimized. and the reason that the
president succeeded 20 years ago is he didn't do it then. he made it about the country, he did apologize, he did all of those things. and i think in that moment you're seeing donald trump a little bit. and i am not comparing them on any other level beyond the terrible strategy it is to make himself, you, the issue here, and to be victimized. he was not the victim then. donald trump is not the victim now. what is going on with the president now is all of his own doing. and i think, you know, but i think politicians and human beings at times go through and are treated unfairly at certain points and they forget the, you know, both the underlying issue and what the best strategy is to just move on. >> but, kim, the question that craig melvin posed to the president was looking back through the lens of me too now, do you think differently or feel moreresponbility? you were an attorney at the whitewater case.
does clinton's response suggest to you he sees this differently? >> it was an unfortunate response, hard to watch. i think there are a number of things going on here. number one what joe mentioned, which is a broader picture with respect to accountability at the highest levels of office. i think it is unfortunate that president clinton didn't take this moment in time to send that message to the american public. number two has to do with whether there was any criminal wrongdoing, people ask me all the time, they make comparisens between president trump and the clintons. i said, listen, i was there, i can tell you there were smart, really good prosecutors. if there was a prosecutor -- a crime for which there was a reason to prosecute, those people would have been prosecuted. there wasn't anything there. so the clintons were vindicated. but the third piece really has to do with monica lewinsky. she was hurt and this was trauma for her and trauma for her family. and it wasn't abuse of office on the facts. that is really unfortunate that at this point in time that aspect of it can't be put to
rest because the public reports are that she's really struggled understandably. she was a young woman and i do think what happened in the white house is notnconsient with what we'reeeing people being held accountable for and it is unfortunate again, the president didn't take this moment to take responsibility for that part, for the harm and the hurt that was caused to -- a woman that has had to live with it every day of her life. >> and congressman, i also am left wondering how is bill clinton, who is now kicking off a book tour, thatas the -- for the point of the interview, not prepared to answer this. >> who knows why he's not prepared. but i'll tell you what, as a former chairman, of the house ethics committee, i can tell you that had a member -- a male member of the house of representatives done what bill clinton did in the -- in his office, with an intern, and had been publicly discovered, that member would be out of office by the end of the day. and it would go something like this. would be summoned to the speaker's office and have a
conversation, and it would be a letter placed in front of you that you're expected to sign. it would be your resignation letter that's how it works. this is before the me too movement. i've been through this. i can assure you of that, joe, please, i see members resign this year, franken -- a whole list -- >> things are changing. if you go back over time and you'll have more cases of -- taxpayers paying for the defense of members of congress who have sexually harassed members. so idea that if a member of congress over the last 20 years -- >> i didn't say sexual harassment, joe. i didn't say -- look, i said what bill clinton did in the office with an intern, i can't say it on television, we know what it was,ut had a member of congress done that in his office, with an intern, i guarantee you that they would be forced from office. almost immediately. >> and history shows just the opposite. >> but i will say this, i don't understand -- >> not in recent years. >> -- i am truly struck, joe,
how bill clinton who is as polished a politician as they come, can't answer the question. he seemed truly caught off guard, which blows me away, he goes from do you look at this differently is the question that craig asked, good on craig for continuing to push, and he goes to and don't believe that i got out of this free, scott free. >> i think what he failed to do was separate the two issues. he was treated unfairly. he was impeached for something that should have never gotten there. on the other hand, he did do something wrong. and he has publicly acknowledged he has publicly apologized. to him, multiple times when he did it. but he didn't separate those two things and i think it goes to -- it wasn't his best answer. >> joe, in the present and looking forward, is this everything you need to see, the democratic members of congress need to see to answer yes or no
if they want bill clinton campaigning for them now. >> they'll make the -- >> the era of the me too movement. >> they'll make their own decisions on that. and i thinke's beenet to the democratic party over the last 30 years. i think that's, you know, i don't think anyone would dispute that. going forward, i think if he did another interview tomorrow, you need to separate those two things and then i think the -- i think he's got an answer to it. >> joe, thanks so much. congressman, thank you. kim, great to see you. thank you so much. new trouble for epa administrator scott pruitt, new trouble. how democrats say pruitt used staff to run personal errands including trying to buy a used mattress from a trump international hotel during his controversial apartment search. we'll learn about it. that's next. join t-mobile. and get netflix included. so your family can watch what they love in more places. get an unlimited family plan with netflix on us. and right now, buy one samsung galaxy s9 and get one free.
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garlique.® more breaking news, yet another potential ethics problem for epa administrator scott pruitt. rene marsh has the details. what does this have to do with a mattress from the trump hotel? >> interesting details from democrats with the house oversight committee. they interviewed a top epa aide recently and now they're releasing new details from that interview with that aide. they say that walking away from that interview it became apparent that scott pruitt has been using his personal staff there at epa to run personal errands for him from house hunting to even getting a good price on a used mattress from the trump international hotel, a plush euro pillow top mattress to be exact. this is all coming from an interview that house oversight
committee members had with one of pruitt's top staffers. this staffer, her name is millan hobs, she also describes herself as a personal friend of pruitt, she also said that she, during her work time and work hours, did house hunting trips for him. according to her interview , she searched for severalental properties for pruitt and his wife for several hours a week over the course of several months, touring more than ten of those properties during work hours. and that is what the potential violation is, according to democrats. they say it is violation of the rules for a federal employee to be working in this manner outside of any epa duties to do something like this for scott pruitt. they say that essentially this is an example of federal employees using the public office for private gain. that is the latest to come out of that interview. >> and the latest ethics issue
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could skip toxic chemotherapy treatments in the united states. that's a new sign of hope for the 260,000 new breast cancer cases expected just this year. the study was published in the new england journal of medicine. joining me now is the lead author of the study, dr. joseph sparano. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. good morning. >> good morning. for every woman walking into their doctor today, receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, what do they need to know? what do they need to ask? >> well, chemotherapy is typically recommended to help reduce the risk of occurrence after potentially curative surgery. up until now we haven't really had great tests to help to decide who really benefits from chemotherapy and who doesn't. so what we did was a trial to integrate this test into the decision-making process. and we confirmed that for the vast majority of patients chemotherapy is not necessary. >> it is pretty amazing.
it almost flies in the face of everything that we have thought until now. if you have cancecancer, the be course of action to be safe if you will, is to have chemotherapy. what do you say to a woman who says, why not just chemo just to be safe? >> well, that was -- that was the recommendation we gave up until yesterday. we now have the results, it was essentially like rolling the dice, in terms of trying to figure out whether a specific individual was going to be the one who was going to benefit from chemotherapy, but now we have this test that can help us determine who >> what did you think when you saw the results coming in? >> well, you know, it's amazing. i mean, this test has been available for about 15 years. we integrated into our clinical practice. it has resulted in the decline of chemotherapy. about two thirds of the patients who had the test, the result
produced a finding that was still in the gray zone where a patient still had a substantial risk of recurrence but where we chemotherapy would benefit them. and now we have that information and we know that chemotherapy is not beneficial. >> it's pretty amazing when i was looking at and of course i am no docr and play one on tv, but when you see the statistics of recurrence for women who received chemotherapy and women who received hormone therapy when they're in this gray zone, there was no statistic difference in recurrence, it was amazing. >> yeah, that's absolutely right. i think what's important to emphasize, though, is that all these women received standard care, standard surgery, radiation. they had surgery and also the endoe krin therapy, the critical component is the endochrine
therapy. it requires that women take their hormone therapy to prevent a recurrence. this does not mean they don't need any therapy. it's to ensure the good results that we see. >> doctor, as i was r through about your study, it had me thinking about the women who took part in therial and who took part in the study and how they took a risk, right, not knowing if going withochemo wou help or hurt them? what's your meso them today? >> thank you. >> thank you for all of us. >> yeah. the trial really wouldn't have been possible without them. and this was -- these are the people who deserve the most crit, the individuals who -- the woman who volunteered for this trial and there were over 10,000 of them. >> just amazing. wow. thank you, doctor, for doing the
study, putting it out and now it seems like a new day in terms of the battle against breast cancer and what this means for women. great to see you. thank o much. >> thank you. coming up for us, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in hawaii sending ash plumes up to 8,000 feet. while nearly a dozen people have gotten stranded in an area cut off by lava. we'll go there live to try to get an update. we'll bring you there. (laugh) no. with claim rateguard your rates won't go up just beacuase of a claim. i totally could've... (wife) nope! switching to allstate is worth it. that's confident. but it's not kayak confident. kayak searches hundreds of travel and airline sites to find the best flight for me. so i'm more than confident. how's your family? kayak. search one and done.
hawaii is now bracing for aftershocks after a magnitude 5.5 earthquake rocked the kilauea volcano summit. ash plumes sent 8,000 feet into the air and now c to a dozen people have been left stranded in an area cut off by lava. cnn scott mcclain is on a boat off the coast of hawaii is joining us right now.
scott, what are you seeing? >> reporter: hey. one of the big concerns that we're seeing out here is people being stranded by lava. right now, thi white smoke that you see in the distance, this is something called lava haze or lazend it is a potentially deadly gas. it's also a sign that the lava has entered the ocean. that is bad for the people who live on the left side of yoursc you can see there quite a lot of them. a couple hundred homes in the right now from this lava that is heading toward the n. right now this front of lava, this lava flow, is about half a mile wide. and between it and where we are obviously is those couple hundred houses. you can see just how much is entering and how much smoke is created. there's actually a bay there. you can't really tell from here just because the so much smoke that filled it up. if you look over to the right side, ty, want to look to the right side of the smoke there, it's hard to see but you'll see
black smoke coming up. that's a home burning or that is a structure of some type burning. and so, we're seeing that from time to time, those flareups of that dark black smoke. the y, you want to go to the left here, you can see through the haze that fissure that's feeding all this. we're about 7 or 8 miles away from the main fissure located in the leilani estates ighborhood. and you can see it from here, shooting some 200 feet into the air. even from where we are, it is bright in the distance. the only t that's obscuring it right now is a little bit of smoke. as you mentioned, there were about a dozen people who were stranded by lava just on south side of this lava flow. there were actually three that were rescued over the weekend, now they're down to nine. these people an't in any immediate danger per se, the reality is they have no water, power, land line service, cell phone service out there either so essentially they are cut off from the rest of the island. on one side, they have literally
a river of molten lava and on the other side they have the pacific ocean where we are and there aren't have many good access points on this side. and so really they're kind of on their own. and so, if they're looking for help, essentially authorities have promised to fly helicopter flights over there looking for smoke signals. maybe someone writing s.o.s. on their lawn, anything they can do to get the official's attention and get rescued. but for right now, we have no way to know exactly how many people are over there, where they are and whether or not they're in need of any kind of help. >> and scott, when you're pointing out where the lava haze is kind of threatening these homes over to the left hand side of our screen, do you know if those -- where those are in relation to the fissure, they're not in danger of lava flow but they are in danger of that haze? >> reporter: yeah. so they are definitely in danger of the lava haze.
this is a mix of hydrochloric acid, steam and tiny bits of glass. but then if you look to the left side, ty, you can see the green stuff where the houses are. those are the houses where people live. they're threatened to be cut off but not necessarily in danger of lava. >> another new perspective of the threat there. thank you for joining me. "inside politics" with joh king starts right now. ♪ ♪ thank you and those images again, just wow. welcome to "inside politics." thank you for sharing your day with us. bizarre but bold power play. the president says he can pardon himself if he wants andhe top lawyer says the president cannot be prosecuted even if he shot the fbi director in public. it's all part of an effort to bully the special counsel. plus, the international outrage over new trump trade tariffs grows. a cal