tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN August 30, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
i'm brooke baldwin here in new york. thank you so, so much for being with me. we're going to send things to washington. my colleague brianna keiler is sitting in for jake tapper "the lead" starts right now. >> thanks, brooke. it's the storm that just won't end. "the lead" starts right now. no mercy. the life-threatening, record-breaking, landscape-altering floodwaters of former hurricane harvey dumping a record amount of rain all over again as moms, dads, pets and babies are pulled from the floodwaters. president trump already promising to go back to the disaster zone in texas. but what will he do now that kim jong-un seemingly called his bl bluff and is once again threatening to attack a u.s. territory. plus, pivoting a short time ago, making a pitch for big tax
cuts amid questions of his timing and his tone. welcome to "the lead." i'm brianna keiler in for jake tapper and we begin with breaking news on snoolt lead." harvey on the move. at least 20 people now have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of harvey. the coastal cities of beaumont and port arthur got pummeled with 26 inches of rain in 24 hours, and it's still coming down. the mayor of port arthur says his entire city is under water, and that includes a shelter that is overflowing with more than just people. this is interstate 10 near winnie, texas just west of beaumont. on the left is what this stretch of highway looks like on a normal day. and right is the same spot during harvey. whitecaps on the highway. rescuers are still under way in the storm's wake across texas, including heartbreaking photos, the heelderly being lifted to safety after their nursing home flooded in port arthur. and then the youngest and the
oldest survivors. some being plucked to safety by the national guard, a one-month-old baby. this is near the border with louisiana where harvey made another landfall, and that's where drew griffin is. drew, tell us what the conditions are like there. >> reporter: just within the last half hour, the rain has abated a bit, but this emergency situation is far from over. port arthur, texas really under water, and there is a rescue going on, as you mentioned, of a nursing home. residents, we're told, 70-some, who have been in water for 24 hours, they are being removed along with their nurses right now in an emergency situation down there. we do have some heartbreaking pictures. but as it has been in port arthur, there is just nowhere to put them. several of the shelters there flooded or taking on water as this water continues to drain that way. just behind me, brianna, you can see what's left. this was maybe five foot deeper just early, early this morning. the remnants of the cars are
still here. this was the scene also of an emergency that we took part in earlier in the day when a man just decided he was going to cross a parking lot, he thought was a parking lot, and he wound up right into a ravine. take a look. >> look at this. get out, dude! you got a power cord? you got a rope? all right, buddy, come on. don't go backwards. you all right? no, ma'am. no, ma'am, we got a car in a ditch. we just pulled a fellow out. >> reporter: those kinds of scenes are happening all across this county, jefferson county. we also just found out there is
a potential, they're watching a levy that could breach. it's near gilbert lake estates. they're watching it very closely. like i said, brianna, although the rain seems to have abated and the storm is moving on, the water left behind and draining is creating and continuing to create emergencies all over southeast texas. brianna? >> the disaster very much ongoing there. drew griffin, thank you very much for that update. joining me now by phone is congressman ted po e of texas. he is in humble, texas. can you tell me what you're seeing as victims come in. >> people are coming in from all over the area. they are being flooded out. the shelters, the churches, the sifrk cent civic center in humble, so we're seeing people come in. we're also seeing people not
flooded bringing supplies to those shelters. >> you're also looking at ktrt. they're getting people evacuated who have been spending time in water. congressman, tell us about rescue efforts, how they're going today f you've been able to keep tabs on that? >> yes. they're going very well. we have all of the law enforcement agencies, government agencies, coast guard, army national guard, the u.s. army and lots of volunteers who have old-fashioned bass boats going up and down the streets picking up people. so you got the volunteers who are regular citizens, many of whom railroad already flooded themselves and they're helping other people. everybody is in this together. we see helicopters flying over, looking for people that are still on rooftops, and i think it's going extremely well rescuing people. >> you mentioned the bass boats,
people who port arthur have asked just regular citizens to come out and help with those rescues, so those are ongoing. do you have concern that a lot of people are still stranded because of the flooding that those helicopters have really been able to figure out how many people maybe they cannot see who need help? >> that may be so. people, i think, have gotten the word to get on your roof, get outside where you can be seen, get on top of a vehicle, but don't stay inside and certainly don't go to the attic. that's where people are being found. even as the waters are being -- as houses were being flooded in the middle of the night, citizens in neighborhoods were going door to door banging on doors, telling their neighbors if they were there to get out of the house, get on the roof. so i think as much as can be done is being done to let people know be visible so people can rescue you. >> what's your biggest concern
right now? >> well, there's a lot of concern, but the biggest concern now immediately is making sure everybody is rescued and that they are put someplace, that there is a shelter available for them to go to and they have what they need. clothes and food and necessities. and then we have to get people moved out of these temporary shelters into a better permanent housing. so that's what we're working on and that's what we see as the biggest need. but, you know, the flooding isn't over yet. some parts of the county, harris county, which is mostly houston, waters are rising and in other places the waters are going down. when this flooding gets over with, we're going to deal with the issues of taking care of people short term and long term. >> this is going to move into that long term that is so important, and do you think that you have all of the funds that
you need in texas? >> well, the state and the local folks are responsible first for disaster relief funds, and i think they have spent all of those. there are some funds available already, but i do believe that there will have to be some type of appropriation specifically for hurricane harvey for the entire gulf coast, wherever it goes. i think that will have to be done when we get back to congress. >> do you have any concerns that there could be hangups with that? >> well, i'm always skeptical sometimes about legislation, but there shouldn't be. people should -- i think people get it, that this is a national disaster that affects everybody, and i think there will be appropriations. if it's specific for harvey, i
think that will be successful. i am so impressed with other parts of the country, other members from boston to california are sending help, they're sending volunteers to come to the area to help, because a lot of these areas have had problems itself, so that's heartwarming, but i think there will be a consensus to have specific funding for harvey relief. >> all right, we will certainly be keeping our eye on that, congressman ted poe. thank you so much for giving us an update on what folks there in your district are dealing with. >> thank you, brianna. >> and in other parts of texas and louisiana, we have seen rescue after rescue play out all day long. often volunteers are putting their own lives at risk, as we just talked about there, trying to save other people. cnn's brian todd has been on a boat with one team today. we're going to check in with him right after the break.
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the devastation and rescue operations in texas are still ongoing right now. fema says they are still in lifesaving and life-sustaining mode, with some homes expected to be flooded for weeks. cnn's brian todd is in houston with the very latest. >> reporter: a volunteer rescue team tosses a line to a man in fast-moving water, clinging to branches. his car was swept away. he and other passenger were rescued after five hours in the water. port arthur is the latest part of texas to be hit with floods, with rescuers rushing to get to residents as water hits their yards. one family used a plastic bag to protect their newborn baby as they were evacuated. the port arthur mayor said the whole city is under water. even this shelter was flooded overnight. all itsie evacuees had to be evacuated again. even this bowling alley has become a refuge for the city's
displaced people. the mayor warns there is more coming to the state. >> there is more to come. there is no rest for southeast texas as far as the rain is concerned. >> reporter: the water was still coming even as the sun came out. >> the water came in the back and slowly started rising. >> reporter: some of the people being rescued thought they had dodged a bullet. >> yesterday afternoon the sun came out. it receded a little bit. we put everything back that we had put upstairs and then we had a little hurricane party last night until about midnight. and at 1:00 we had a foot of water. >> reporter: volunteers like these pilots are out looking for victims that need help, especially those with towels and blankets out. >> do you thi do you think about the danger out here? >> not really. >> reporter: why not? >> just come out and do it.
i deal with horrible crap on a consistent basis. i don't think twice. if people need help, come help them. >> reporter: air rescues as well, including this family in houston by air national guard. with no boat, this man formed a human chain to save an elderly man in a vehicle that was being swept away in houston. so far 17,000 people have been rescued in houston alone. >> i never in my life thought this would happen to us. i knew it flooded bad in houston but i never thought it would get like this. this is just horrible. >> reporter: and the damage in texas and louisiana is only growing. >> the cost of this disaster, the economic cost to measure the disaster versus our physical cost as the federal government family, we're not going to know a true cost for that for many, many years to come. >> reporter: we're back in the lakewood estates region, the walnut bend area of houston, and we're in slightly shallower water because we just dropped off an elderly couple that was
rescued by the air boat that we're on. we talked to a lot of residents here asking if they want to come backme back. some have deep ties and said they wanted to come back and others have big decisions to make as to whether they want to come back to these heavily flooded neighborhoods. brianna? >> president trump says he's going to return to the devastation in texas this weekend. but first he took a moment to talk taxes. how this presidential pivot is being received. plus, is there really room for peaceful pressure on north korea? yes, if you ask trump's administration. no, though, if you ask president trump himself. we're going to talk about what to make of the mixed messages.
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it's dominating the white house's agenda as well. cnn correspondent jeff zeleny is live in springfield, missouri, and jeff, the president was criticized for not talking more about the storm. did he remedy that today? >> reporter: an entirely different message today, a message directly to the people of houston and louisiana as well. the president talking directly to these storm victims, something he did not do yesterday. the white house acknowledges that was maybe a mistake, but the president today tried to fix that. the president traveled ho louisiana todla -- to louisiana today. >> we are with you every single step of the way. >> reporter: the deadly storm and unprecedented recovery is now the urgent challenge facing the president. the full scope of the crisis
still unclear. >> recovery will be tough. but i have seen the resilience of the american spirit firsthand all over this country. >> reporter: it's the biggest test yet for how the president and congress will govern in the wake of the crisis, likely requiring the biggest government aid package on record. the president is also navigating the front politics of responding to a natural disaster. >> thank you, everybody. what a crowd, what a turnout? >> reporter: on tuesday he did not directly acknowledge the rising death toll in flood-ravaged houston or victims across south texas. focusing instead on how great the recovery would be. after receiving a wave of criticism about a lack of visible empathy, the president made a clear course correction today. >> our thoughts and prayers remain firmly with the citizens and our fellow people. people. great, great people all affected by this tragedy. >> reporter: five years ago he blasted president obama in the
aftermath of hurricane sandy, writing on twitter, obama is now standing in a puddle acting like a president. give me a break. now it is mr. trump who must corral republicans, whose divisions over government aid for sandy victims boiled over again today with new jersey governor chris christie on new day taking sharp aim at texas senator ted cruz for voting against it. >> senator cruz was playing politics in 2012, making himself look like the biggest conservative in the world. what i said to him then and to everybody else was, if you represent a coastal state, don't do this because your day is going to come and you're going to expect people to help you. >> reporter: cruz fired back on fox news. >> i'm sorry there are politicians who seem really desperate to get their names in the news and are saying whatever they need to do that. >> reporter: when we caught up with cruz on tuesday in texas, he said the president assured him this aid package, possibly twice sandy's $50 billion, would quickly go through.
>> it had a powerful impact on him. >> reporter: all this as the white house is sending mixed messages amid the new threats from north korea and its latest missile test over japan. the president issuing a firm rebuke, tweeting, talking is not the answer, yet defense secretary james mattis striking a softer tone, all but contradicting the president. >> we're not out of diplomatic solutions. we continue to work together and the minister and i share a responsibility to provide for the protection of our nation, our populations and our interests. >> reporter: now, the challenges for north korea, of course, front and center for the president, hurricane harvey as well. but brianna, it is the tax reform plan the white house hopes will help jump-start its agenda. it's why the president traveled here. a few highlights from that plan. it was mainly broad principles, but some specifics, he wants to lower the corporate tax rate to 15%. many republicans think that is
an optimistic, to say the least. he also wants to simplify the tax code, eliminating loopholes to benefit wealthy taxpayers. then he called on congress to put, quote, the politics behind us. he did that, brianna, and then in the next breath he called on senator clair mccaskill, a democrat, to vote for his plan. he said if she does not, the voters of missouri should vote her out of office. that is why he is here in missouri today trying to push the tax plan. brianna. >> right in her backyard. jeff zeleny, thank you. this week has been a major test for the trump administration. so how is he doing? the report card for the week ahead. we'll be talking with our panel next. and i was wondering if your brokerage offers some sort of guarantee? guarantee? where we can get our fees and commissions back if we're not happy. so can you offer me what schwab is offering?
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this is so wonderful. thank you. >> here's another leash. we saw that. >> thank you. this is the last concern i would have. thank you so much. >> zoe happily reunited with her owner there in houston just moments ago. we wanted to bring you that sweet moment coming to us from the devastated area there from hurricane harvey. president trump is outlining his hopes for tax reform as the white house plans another trip to the flood-ravaged coast there. on one hand, i wonder what you think as a top aide to president obama. you want to juggle priorities in the white house, and i remember hearing time and again that you can walk and chew gum at the same time in the obama white house. but you have harvey still dumping more rain. the flooding, we're in the middle of it there on the gulf coast. should the white house have postponed this pivot to tax reform? >> that's a good question.
i would say if i were advising them, i would say yes, because the president's focus should be on harvey. he should be communicating mainly about harvey. what he is saying this week when congress is not back is not changing the momentum for tax reform. congress isn't even in washington at this point in time. >> what do you think, alice? if congress isn't here, is this something that he might have been better just waiting a few days, waiting a week or so for? >> if he hadn't gone to texas yesterday, i would say yes, postpone it. but going to texas yesterday and showing his support and reiterating that the federal government is here to help you, that was critical. look, we have the federal, state and local units working together to get the help that is needed. it's not going away, this will be an ongoing effort, but walking and chewing gum at the same time, pushing the agenda down the road and getting the message out there. it's good to talk about the tax cut, the corporate tax, but also
good for people watching. contact your members of congress, let them know you support tax reform, because this is an important agenda to get passed. >> the president talked about the storm in what was really about the victims. he's focused more on the recovery efforts, the response efforts, but he was talking very much on a more compassionate level today because he has had some criticism. do you think it's warranted? >> i think he showed yesterday by being there, he showed that he is committed and compassionate to the people there. governor abbott said, i know having talked with him at length on these issues, he is committed to seeing this through. glen thrush of the "new york times" today said he is better at skimming the surface rather than delving into it. he was focused on texas and asking, what do we need to do? it's about getting the resources they need to rebuild their lives. >> you just heard alice there
talking about skimming the surface. i think arguably there could be some bipartisan agreement that that's really what the president did today with his remarks on this. the short list of details that we do know include reducing the corporate tax rate, down from 35% to 15%. when you look at what was sort of a populist tone that he did take, is the plan as you know it in line with the rhetoric? >> no, of course not. look, i would say two things. first, he doesn't have details. the president has made clear he's not in command of the details of tax reform and he's not going to put them forward. this isn't a pivot. this is literally the fourth time the president has given a major address saying he wants us to have tax reform. it's not a pivot, it's a sit and spin. if he's just going to keep stating that he wants to cut taxes by something like $6 trillion, somebody somewhere has
got to say how they're going to pay for it. and thus far, no one has done so, and that's why they're stalled out. >> i worked with then-candidate donald trump in helping put this tax plan together. he does know the details, he was very specific to larry kudlow and i and others who were working on this on exactly what he wanted to do. he always talked about wanting to cut the corporate tax rate because it's just uncompetitive. we can't go forward in a global economy with the highest business tax rate in the world. i just got back from ireland about a year ago. every other company is an american company that's moved to ireland because their tax rate is one-third of what ours is. he also talked today, and whenever i met with him, about there's 26.5 million small businesses out there. he always said i want to make sure every small businessman and woman get a tax cut, too. the message is simple. you can't have healthy jobs if
you don't have healthy businesses. >> steve, can i ask you a question about that just because you have a lot of economists, steven, who have said this is not going to boost wages, it's not going to boost jobs. so you're saying healthy corporations, healthy jobs, but some economists are saying, look, in the near term that's not actually what's going to happen. >> look at the history of this. look what happened under john f. kennedy when we cut tax rates, under ronald reagan when we cut tax rates. by the way, john f. kennedy was a democrat and he basically talked about how getting tax rates down and getting jobs for people would cut taxes in the '80s. we're at 40% and the rest of the world is at 20%. it leads to companies leaving the united states. we just see this month after month. >> let us return to reality, okay? the last time the country did this was when george bush cut
taxes for high-income people and big corporations exactly like donald trump is proposing to do now. let's remember the gdp growth is fairly strong, the unemployment rate is very low, so how will we increase the growth rate? will it increase to 6%? >> we just had -- we just had a report that came out today -- hold on. we just had a report that came out today that found the second quarter of gdp growth is 3% which is a lot higher than what we had under obama, which was 2%. and another report that came out said so far this quarter we had 3.5% growth. >> steven, i want to bring alison in on this. steven, after i have jen respond to this as well, maybe you can weigh into this because this is a conservative. ann coulter, obviously a pundit, responding to this and saying, oh, stop pretending this is
about letting families keep more of their money. half of americans don't pay taxes. this is for wall street. what do you think, alice? >> it's not for wall street, and to austin's point about not being any more details, when wall street does well with regard to businesses doing well, america does well. jobs are created. they are higher paying jobs. to austin's point, no specifics, if the president said today we're reducing the corporate tax rate down to 15, that's a pretty powerful specific and detail of what we're going to do. when america pays a higher tax rate than 35 other economic countries, that's a real problem. that sends jobs overseas. we need to become a jobs magnet here and not an outsourcer. >> what do you say, jen? i want to give jen a chance here. >> i'll be pretty in line with austin. most of what alice are saying and steven is saying are in line with city addresses. everybody is for tax reform.
it's like bunnies and ice cream. the problem is how do you get it done and how do you pay for it? you can't lower the tax rate to 15% and keep the tax rate at the same rate for middle income americans. that's where people are concerned on the democratic side, that's where many economists are concerned who will say that's the way to raise gdp and help people who are -- >> i'm going to have to leave it there. we have much more to talk about ahead, so stay with me. but when it comes to north korea, the president says talk is not the answer. so what is the strategy as north korea threatens to point a missile at a u.s. territory. we'll go live to pyongyang next. plus hot deals on jeans for kids, starting at 8.99. hurry - sale ends september 4th.
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we're back now with our world lead. despite president trump's scorched earth rhetoric, north korea may be calling his bluf. north korea state media emitting a new threat that the ballistic missile that flew over japan is just a hint of what's to come over the u.s. territory guam. the u.s. has been talking to north korea and paying them extortion money for 25 years. talking is not the answer, says president trump. will ripley is in north korea. you have actually spoken to north korea officials. what are they saying to you? >> reporter: that's exactly what north korean officials said when we came here, the time for talk is over. we talked to people on the street and they said, it's time for action. i said, what kind of action, and they said the kind of action that their leader, kim jong-un, would order. the question really remains if not talk, then what?
does the united states push for more sanctions? the seventh round was just passed, hasn't even taken effect yet, and then there's a military action that all sides agree would be catastrophic. meanwhile, the north korean regime continues to put out news in force. we went to watch the official announcement for the north korean missile launch. it was belicose rhetoric, lots of fanfare and one day late. we're approaching the top of the hour here in pyongyang, and right now crowds are gathering outside the central train station. all eyes are on this big screen for what we're told will be a major announcement about the missile launch. [ speaking japanese ] >> you may recognize the news reader making the announcement. she is essentially the face of north korea state tv. every event in this country, she
is the one on television. she reads the official government announcement. north korea launched an intermediate range ballistic missile. this is the first time that many of these people are hearing about this, because the government waited more than 24 hours after the missile launch to make their official announcement. their supreme leader, kim jong-un, says more missile launches toward the pacific will happen. this, he says, is just a prelude at guam.e military options aimed many people around the world are frightened when they see things like this. how does it make you feel? >> translator: i feel very proud of this brilliant achievement, he says. i've seen the launch and feel our military is improving. i feel very proud to be korean. president trump says launches like this shows north korea has contempt for its neighbors. what's your response? >> translator: we're simply acting in self-defense, he says. we shot one yesterday, we could
shoot one today. maybe tomorrow we'll shoot 10 more missiles. we have to do it to defend our country. ♪ >> reporter: a lot of people in the outside world worry that your future will be much harder because your country does things like this. what would you like to tell them? she pauses as if she's searching for the right answer. >> translator: with our army and the leadership of martial kim jong-un, she says, we can conger any enemy. unsurprisingly, everyone we spoke to here said they are 100% behind their supreme leader kim jong-un. they say launches like this won't leave their country isolated or impoverished, but in fact will make their country stronger. what else would they say? i've been to north korea 14 times, and i have never heard anyone openly criticize their authoritarian government. you can probably imagine why, brianna. >> you certainly can. will ripley in pyongyang for us. thank you for that live report.
my panel back with me now. so alice, president trump tweets talk isn't working, but then you have the defense secretary striking a very different tone. let's listen to defense secretary mattis. >> we're never out of diplomatic solutions. we continue to work together and the minister and i share a responsibility to provide for the protection of our nations, our populations and our interests. >> he's there saying that alongside south korea's defense minister, obviously with considerable interests in maintaining stability in the region. those are very carefully thought-out words. what do you make of what are two strikingly different sentiments? >> look at it this way. the president has said all along more options are on the table, more so now. that means the path to dialogue is still on the table, so i think it's important to understand that the message to north korea is we're looking at all possible options with regard
to how to go about this. and i think will made an important point in his piece, this is not only to contempt in the u.s., it's to contempt in north korea to meet all international standards of their behavior. this is an international problem, and i think the u.s. is correct to show the car rrot an the stick. >> isn't there a difference to saying all options are on the table and then to saying fire and fury locked and loaded and really leaning into the rhetoric? >> fire, fury and dialogue. so i think it's important for north korea to understand, we're not just putting all eggs in one basket, we're putting all options out there with regard to how to respond. >> saying talking isn't helping, north korea is such a big problem, but when he says north korea talking isn't working, does he have a point, jen? >> first i think north korea's rhetoric has certainly escalated in the last seven to eight months.
when president obama left and he had conversations with incoming president trump, he said, this will be one of the biggest challenges you will face. if you hear from mattis and tillerson and many past military experts, they all say a diplomatic resolution is the only way to resolve this. even military action wouldn't solve this crisis over the long term and there are significant consequences to it. his rhetoric isn't helping the situation and it isn't changing the behavior in north korea, either. >> let's turn now and talk about russia. president trump's long-time personal lawyer and the executive vice president of trump organization, michael cohn, has told investigators he did pursue a whole deal looking to build trump tower in moscow, and this happening in late 2015, early 2016 in the heart of the election. and that cohn had asked vladimir putin spokesman and top aide about this. list ten to what trump said,
though, about his business dealings with russia. >> i have no idea about the inner business dealings with russia. i have no loans with russia. i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia because we've stayed away. i have nothing to do with russia. i have no investments in russia, none whatsoever. i don't have property in russia. >> it seems like he's leaving some things out about the dealings that he pursued in russia there, alice. >> clearly what his attorney michael cohn said and what the president said are not consistent. they're saying two different things. this is yet another reason why i think it's important for this administration to fully embrace this investigation, get all the information out there on the table so we can put this behind us. there is a lot of smoke surrounding russia, and until we put it completely out, there is going to continue to be questions about this. >> alice stewart, gljen saki,
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welcome back. as harvey continues to pummel the gulf coast, the managing editor of the houston chronicle is arguing the storm should mark a turning point in the fight against climate change. he writes, quote, it may not be too late to save the planet if we heed harvey's hard lesson here in texas, a proud state that doesn't like to be messed with. it could be the perfect place to start. but trump has shifted policies
away from climate change and moved them to the community. sandy marsh has the story. >> our plan will end the epa. we have a blizzard outside, there is no warming. this is a landmark event. do you see it as a war on science? >> there is definitely a battle going on. >> he says after 20 years at the epa, he was one of the employees to resign in protest at the science approach. what would make you give that snup. >> the lives of the community i come from and the lives i served. >> reporter: and you felt they were under jeopardy with this new administration? >> i know they're in jeopardy. >> reporter: he says he was silenced after speaking about climate change. >> i was reassigned to an accounting office in the department. >> reporter: interior said it moved him to create seasoned leaders with broad and diverse experience. >> every president since franklin roosevelt has had a science adviser except for this
president. >> terry yosi is the director of the science advisory board under president ronald reagan. >> they are trying to uproot accepted, settled, credible scientific principles and practices. >> what's the risk in that? >> we don't discover when the next flint, michigan drinking water contamination occurs. >> reporter: at trump's agriculture department, his nominee for chief scientist is a man with no science qualifications. >> a lot of what we see is junk science, so i'm skeptic. >> a former conservative radio host, but law requires trump to hire a registered scientist. staff were told to avoid terms like climate change, and agency web sites like the epa, have
even wiped away some references to climate change. scott pruitt, the man leading the epa for years, challenged them on violating the laws. >> i think the trump administration thinks we're with overreach. >> reporter: he helped lay out the epa and the climate agreement. >> economic prosperity will not only put more money in american workers' pockets, it will also improve their health and the quality of the environment. >> reporter: this month, the trump administration shut down an independent study on health effects of a common mining technique. and some corporate polluters are seeing fewer fines. the trump administration has collected $12 million for violating anti-pollution laws. previous presidents have each issued up to 36 million in fines in their first six months. cnn reached out to the white house for comment on this story
but did not get a response. it is worth pointing out the president has repeatedly said he does want crystal clean water and clean air. back to you. >> renee marsh, thank you so much for that. that is it for "the lead." eye brianna keilar in for jake tapper. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer starts right now. happening now, breaking news. in the deluge, tropical storm harvey hammers communities near the texas-louisiana border. the port arthur mayor says his entire city is under water. an emergency shelter and a nursing home are flooded and officials are pleading for more rescue boats. rescue mission. emergency workers and volunteers take their boats door to door, evacuating people trapped by the flooding. our crews are out on the water with live coverage. death toll rising. as the sun finally breaks through over parts of the disaster zone and some waters