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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  September 12, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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consumers. >> for the sake of time i need bob to respond. >> let's eliminate all those subsidies. >> let's do it. >> and then have full accountability so that the burning of fossil fuels would be charged with all of the health cost associated with those and the climate damages, put those on the meter, at the pump, eliminate all of the subsidies you were talking about and you have a smaller government not a bigger one. and so what you are doing is standard merchants of doubt play, which is generating some fear that oh, my gosh this could be catastrophic to our economy. no it is going to expand our economy. going to create wealth and jobs if we americans reinvent energy and sell it around the world. we're energy optimist and climate realists at
8:01 pm we're conservatives of the future you're talking about holding on to a mythical past that doesn't exist any more but really never exists, in a strange position you're basically defending the buggy manufacturers when we are talking about the future fuels and future edwealth generated o of this. >> we're out of time. thank you gentlemen. >> appreciate it. this is cnn breaking news. >> it's the top of the hour this is the breaking news at cnn, death toll from hurricane irma rises to 24 in the u.s., at least 38 in the caribbean, this is cnn tonight. thank you for joining us. the deadly storm has passed but 500 homes and businesses including gas stations without power in the sweltering florida heat. could be days or longer until the electricity comes back on. one in four homes in the florida
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keys destroyed. fema is saying every home there is impacted in some way. frightened families searching for those who rode out the storm in the keys. with bridges battered by the storm reaching those people will be difficult. in the caribbean one is saying 200,000 people desperately need help. now on the ground, brian with the latest in matecumbe key, what are you seeing there tonight. >> well, don, devastation here at matecumbe key. this behind me is third floor rind behind me. the garage was crushed. second floor was crushed. this got crushed on top of it. you have devastation like this playing out further here and
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south of here beyond marathon key and toward key west. a lot of residents frustrated trying to get back to their home. sheriffs are setting up check points, not letting them back in these neighborhoods where there could be downed power lines and hazards there's no cellphone, no land line, no power, if anything happens to them they are not going to be able to call first responders. officials are afraid of missing people. they are setting up check points and not letting residents back and a lot of residents are complaining but officials are telling them try to be patient we know what you're going through. it's a difficult situation all around. because look this is a tourism-dependent economy in the florida keys and we witnessed a
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lot of businesses destroyed. popular restaurants. two dock sidebar and restaurants gutted. you got fishing boats over turn and tossed into neighborhoods. you got that aspect too. you are just wondering is the florida keys going to get up online as far as their economy and the people who are the under pinnings of this place any time soon. it is hard to see that they will earlier than several weeks. >> couple things i want to ask you because i've been looking at random video online and see people trying to return to the keys to their homes and there are authorities, police officers, what have you, men and women in uniform who are blocking them. and those people are very frustrated and yelling at the officials what are you going to do, are you going to arrest us. we want to get back to our homes. why are you not letting us. it's tough to get there. and people are really, really upset and frustrated. >> they are, don, and what they
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are afraid of is coming back to see something like this. they just got to get there and see it. they want to see if their home is in tact if the roof is blown off. any of us would want this if went with through this. i can understand what they're going through. officials say you can try to get into this remote corner of this key but if you do we can't come get you if you get electrocuted, you can't call us. we can't es court you and we can't let you through. wecort you and we can't let you through. we saw deputies faces they don't want to turn people away they have to do it. it's horrible for everyone. they hope people can trickle through and get less frustrated as we go. >> how bad are the roads. how long did it fatake you to me your way down there? >> left miami this morning.
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probably took a couple hours. the traffic was not bad. it was moving. it was slow. that's not all that unusually. it's when you hit the check points things get backed up. you don't have those huge miles and miles long back ups that you had when people were evacuating the keys and south florida ahead of hurricane irma. the traffic has been pretty steady. now when people get the word and start to trickle back into the keys from northern florida, georgia, alabama, wherever they have gone before the hurricane we're expecting traffic to get backed up so you may see some really increased traffic volume and heavy lines and you may again then see a lot more frustration. people sitting in their cars and yelling at police. >> brian todd thank you sir. appreciate your reporting. joining me now the commissioner for monroe county, home to the keys. heather welcome back to the program. how you doing?
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>> i'm fine how are you. >> i'm great. i can't imagine what you're dealing with in the keys. we're seeing mass destruction. >> i think it's premature for folks to be making estimates. fema only arrived today and most estimates are being done from aerials, visuals and what we've come to understand is that sometimes those can be misleading because a lot of the damage is really landscaping, downed tree that's are covering things and once that debris gets removed -- >> -- let me ask you that fema is wrong on the assessment. >> i don't know how that was made. >> let read it and get your response. let me just read it. we are seeing according to what we're getting from officials 25% homes destroyed. 65% suffered major damage with every house impacted in some way again. this come from fema.
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officials from brock long. some residents in the upper keys can get back others can't, my question is how long do you think will be before people start assessing their homes. i see the footage of the people there and they are really upset. they want to get back to their homes. they are concerned about looting of their homes. >> well, i think there's more concerned if there's a breach in their home potential water getting in later and see forget there's anything to salvage if their homes are destroyed. i do take exception that 90% of the homes in the keys were damaged. i know that's certainly not the case in key west unless you start talking about things like my house where i lost one gutter, that's a damage that came from the storm is it significant, no, it could have happened in a regular rain storm so i think we need to back up a second. we're in the midst of search and
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rescue right now which we hope to be about 90% complete by the end of the day tomorrow. and i have to tell you that so far we have found no casualties in that. now that does not mean we've been able to get into every house because some houses have been very well shuttered and bordered up and hopefully the people are not inside them. we believe that's the case because so many folks did evacuate. i just think it's premature to make estimates. >> i just want to be clear. >> the manager of the city of marathon today said -- >> -- i just want to be clear, you may have heard us wrong. he said 25% of houses destroyed. 65% -- didn't say anything about 90% or 95%. >> in my math 25 plus 65 equals 90 so that's why i say he's saying 95% of homes are damaged
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and i'm relukt actant to say th particularly given how many were not damaged structurally at all. i think it's premature. we're 48 hours out. we've just been able to get teams in there in the last 24 hours. i've been completely impressed with the work we've made clearing u.s. 1 from key west all the way to the mainland. we're going to be picking up that debris but it certainly is in most of the neighbors and municipalities with which we spoke today at 6:30 most of them have even their secondary roads are passable. there's n does not believe there's not debris piled up on the side of the road there certainly is. but every day we are making progress. 30% of homes have electricity and some pockets that have pressure in the water. we're making progress every
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single day and i think it's premature to say 90% of the keys have been significantly damaged when we haven't actually done the assessments that folks are going to start doing in the next day or two. >> listen, i know you're frustrated but i don't think that's what he is saying. listen, i think you are making major progress and the fema director brock long would say that but i don't think he's saying what you're saying. i understand it's frustrating. i want to ask you about the loss of life. you said last night you were finding bodies so tell me tonight about the loss of life. what can you tell me. >> what i said to you last night, i think you were the one that asked me how many of the 5,000 people that -- 30,000 remained were fatalities and i said i -- as far as i know, i don't -- first that math doesn't make sense because we have about 27,000 people in key west, not a single fatality in key west alo alone.
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he i i do believe that there was maybe one body found in marathon so far. that was really very early on. we had two fatalities during the storms that we don't know were related to the storm, one was natural cause and another an automotive accident, don't know know if it was related to the guy evacuating at the time. so again, we had from all of the search and rescue that we've done so far, and we've done quite a bit we've not found any casualties in any of the homes we have approachd. >> okay. heather carruthers monroe county we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> when we come back 500,000 without power. sho shortages in gas making it difficult for millions desperate to go home.
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♪ when the dew is ♪ on the ground ♪ will love you... man: hey, good luck! dad, dad, your tie! ♪ when the sun is ♪ rising millions of people trying to get back to their homes situation complicated by gas shortages across the state but help is on the way in tampa. we have more for you this evening. ryan, you toured the port of tampa with the coast guard, tell us what you saw. >> well we did. the coast guard went out to make sure those shipping lanes were open. it was a pretty exhaustive experience as we watched those coast guards go out.
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about 15 miles down the bay here. this is what they were doing, by opening those shipping channels the big boat over there you see was able to come into port. people want gas. the people we seen over and over is if a gas station opens, someone puts it on facebook, next thing you know there are long lines. people want to fuel their cars. they want fast food. they want air-conditioning back. these are things we notice over and over again. we know seven more tankers will come into port next few days. you can understand people want to fill up their cars. the other thing there's no electricity in some of the gas stations and can't pump gas and there's constant run because all these people are looking for gas soon as they hear of a gas station opening they run it to it. the portfolis here supply most central florida and airports so
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you can understand they need the gas and elect risity to get everything up and running. >> absolutely. now that the portfolio has bee reopened when will it be distributed throughout the state, has that begun. >> absolutely. talking to people at the port they said it never stopped flowing. you have to have the elect is t electricty] electricity to run the gas. everything bottling up. we have been in line and watched people fill up their car and separate containers of gas because they're worried about gas running out. we understand this. as crews we have also been looking for gas. it's a tough situation. you heardet priority from government officials, they are
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trying to get the gas back out so people can get back to normalcy. the heat is back here strong today. you can feel the idea we talked to someone who said they wanted to go to their car to get some air because they don't have air-conditioning in their homes and they are trying to charge their cells. put that combination together. frustration starts to rise. you understand the stuff behind me, that gas, getting it back to the gas stations is really important. >> ryan young, thank you very much. now bringing in cnn contributor of task force in florida division of management. top priorities as a recover yji process is under way. >> saving life. we got a lot of people whose food and water is running out. those with shelter in place. get those pods stood up by the
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parish, the city, with the help of the national guard and fema. there will be a few more days without electricity maybe another week getting those pods set up is very critical. other is getting fuel in. florida is one of the few states that have generator law that certain gas stations must have generators i hope they change it in the future to make every gas station get a generator because it's key to sustainment of life. if people can't get gas they can't get to the distribution point to get food and water that's very critical. also keep those stores open so they can restock. a lot of the curfews people don't understand if you put those curfews in place it prevents the stores from restocking, so when the stores come back up with big generators people will be able to buy food. the other piece people need to
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know about is if the roads are open and if the streets are flooded. so we created a checklist earlier today and posted that on twitter. people ought to look at it. make that decision before you go home to make sure there is food and water that the roads are open. there's fuel in there and that the pods are set up so you can get food and water if you need it. you also need to make sure that when you going back there that the electricity is about to come up, if you get there too early the grid cannot support people like we had the case down in the keys right now, they're going to have to move generators in there. the aircraft carriers arriving there with more helicopters but the distribution of food along the keys is going to be very difficult because you have to set up a pod every four to five miles and people don't have gas to go to the pod. so will make it very difficult. it will get done. we got the right people on the ground. got a good team with the
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national guard working with the sheriff and the police department. gotsing to take time. people going to have to use their patience. some people might decide to come to the mainland and spepd few days in the hotel. they need to sign up with fema soon as you can get online and will you have money in your account to try to get you to a place to defer your hotel. >> david, 5 million homes organizations and businesses without power across florida. for the west coast of the state won't have power until the end of next week. what's it mean for people trying to get back to their homes? >> well i think the general hits the nail on the head. you're going to go back to that affected area to check on your home that's fine unless you are garying a generator and food and water to support yourself what you become is another liability in an area already affected. now you're taxing the suppose
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chain. after the '04-'05 season we required generators at the distribution point at the ports. before that did not have a generator to off load all of that product into trucks and to move it around the state. so they did that additionally they required wiring to go into all of those gas stations up and down it's evacuation routes so most of them as pointed out have generators. so we have gas going in there. additionally some of our food markets put about $100 million, one of our large food markets put $100 million into nothing but large generators at their stores in their most vulnerable areas. so there's been a lot done since then but unless those power grids can come back up and the west coast is vulnerable because typically those are low to the ground it floods on the west coast and probably takes out
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some of those transmission points and those are going to have to be rebuilt. >> we saw some people, especially those living in the keys, who can't get back to their home, losing patience, how long can people be patient about this, david? >> i don't think patience is going to be granted much longer to law enforcement. i think at some point they're going to have to let them in. but those going in and the elect the officials have to realize you're bringing more liability in. if it is to come in to ensure you can help lessen the damage and then leave the keys but if you come back to a home you can't sleep in it my question to you is, what do you plan on doing? >> yeah. thank you david and gem. general. when we come back businesses and homes wiped out, the
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we want to stream nfl sunday ticket live, every sunday. even if we can't get directv where we live. cause we want every play. even if we don't live in a house.
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because a lot of us live in apartments. or on campus. paying attention mr. beasley? what did i just say? something about football? stream live games, every sunday, on your devices. with nfl sunday ticket .tv. hey you've gotta see this. cno.n. alright, see you down there. mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. . irma's destructive winds and
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rains did a lot of severe damage especially in the caribbean. on top of these photos see some of the virgin islands, on august 25th lush with green vegetation. bottom same islands on september 10th, almost completely brown right now. irma definitely had an impact on wild life. people in florida try fing to se a manatee, pulled him back to the water on green tarps. want to bring in our senior nasa earth scientists and project manager for the u.s. fish and wild life services florida keys national wild life refuge. thank you so much gentlemen. i appreciate it. first come ton you were on the team that took that amazing
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before and after satellite image i should say of areas ravaged by hurricane irma. we're looking at them now. explain the differences you see. >> when you look at the satelliteim pa satellite images, what they show is in the green image you see a completely forested, especially st. john's island, almost completely cover in forest and then after the category 5 hurricane irma passed through you see a complete defoliation of all of the vegetation on the island. it's remarkable, something i've never seen before, only thing comparable is looking at isolated tornado tracks where you have a narrow strip across some area where the tornado passed. but the destruction of irma when it was category 5 storm was
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so great it levelled the vegetation on the island and defoliated all of the trees. >> how are these images different from before and after images you have taken in the past. >> well in the past we haven't had a category 5 series of images where we can look and see what's happened because this hasn't happened during the satellite era in terms of earth-observation satellites. this was remarkable and shows the damage which would have occurred to florida had irma stayed category 5 and slammed into florida it would have been catastrophic. >> why do you say it is eco logical case to be made that a hurricane like this comes through every couple hundred years. >> well the vegetation on these caribbean islands have evolved in the presence of hurricanes. so the vegetation can adapt to disturbances like a hurricane
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which levels everything and then in 20, 30, 40 years regenerate back. that's just a consequence of periodic disturbance. >> dan, do you agree with that? >> i sure do, yeah, that's a great point. we certainly know vegetation is very estill ient and one interesting thing that's important not only do those disturbances allow an opportunity for that vegetation to come back but also provides an opportunity for non-native species to get a foot hold too. that's a concern as well. >> what about the wild life. florida is known not only for al gators but pythons in the everglades how does hurricane impact them. >> a lot of the wild life down there is used to the hurricanes.
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a lot made about k dear has been around since the ice age. they've adapted well. they're still there in the florida keys and a lot of the wild life is used it to it, like the vegetation. no question it was significant. we definitely have concerned about wild life especially 25 endangered species that are low in numbers in the population. we're very interested in getting down when it is safe and start looking at the habit in the wild life down there to assess what's going on. >> let me ask you dan when you look at nasa before and after images, how long will it take for the sediment to settle and the water to go back to turquoise blue? >> that's a great question. it's a resilient eco system both marine and thresh eco system in the florida keys, those things will take a little bit of time to work out.
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you heard 25, 30, 40 years for those eco systems to recover. and they have. and will again. we'll do our best to continue to do that through our active stewardship down there as well. hard to say. i think there will be areas more impactful than others but i think they are resilient and we'll do our best to keep it whole. >> thank you gentlemen. >> my pleasure thank you don. >> when we come back 200,000 people in desperate need in the caribbean tonight. we'll go to the scene of some of the worst devastation when we come back. ♪ "grandma! grandpa!" ♪ thanks mom.
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tonight world food program says 200,000 are in desperate need of aid after hurricane irma slammed into the island killing at least 38 people. we are in st. thomas for you. sarah. >> this island st. thomas was one of the first to get hit by hurricane irma. category 5. when it hit last wednesday.
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and it has become very clear that it is going to be one of the last to fully recover from that storm. as we approach today six days later, it was immediately clear there is still devastation across this island. barely a structure that wasn't touched. barely a leave still on a tree. we spoke to people who spent days just chain sawing themselves out of their own local roads, their own community to get to the main streets. we saw people who six days later are still trying to get off the island. that's the main problem here. getting in and out of this island is incredibly difficult. with the airport and ferry ports damaged just now are people beginning to be able to leave and just now are supplies beginning to come in. we have seen locals helping each other using private resources like private yachts and
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airplanes to ferry in medicine, food, diapers, formula, things people desperately need as they move forward in recovery. i'm here in local headquarters for emergency management. fema came before the storm hit and military assistance has since arrived. just now starting to get to some people. authorities admitting to us they have not yet been able to search all of the far corners of these islands specifically st. thomas and st. john. at this moment authorities believe the death toll is at four and will remain at four but they admit they have not been able to get to everyone on these islands just yet. back to you. >> appreciate that very much. want to bring in trinitiy houston who was stranded in st. martin but arranged for the evacuation for hundreds of americans.
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you helped rescue hundreds of americans who were stranded on st. martin after the storm hit. you were planning to evacuate the island but the hotel director called to ask you to stay because of your previous experience with hurricaness so what made you decide to stay, trinity? >> i guess just that, one there were no flights out, and two because i had gone through the hurricanes before. i knew what our guests were going to need at the hotel. and so i did go ahead and stay because i wasn't able to get out either. and started to make phone calls to get help prior to the hurricane hitting. >> so you were looking, we're looking at video that you shot of the damage left behind by irma. what was it like riding out that storm? >> it was, just, it's indescribable. i had been in a hurricane 5
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before which is 153 miles an hour inland winds this was 180 with 230 miles an hour gusts it is like a 6 or 7. it was crazy. we prepared all of our guests before hand on what to do before, during and after. they already had food ready to go. we knew it was going to be a big one and had already made calls to friends back home to start mobilizing to get help. >> trinity officials are saying 90% of building are destroyed on the island. describe the scope of the damage you saw. >> i mean, that's appropriate in our own resort. roofs were torn off, the glass was shattered, walls were gone, what i think was so impressionable were the cars were flipped over on top of each other. it was just mass destruction. and again one of the reasons why we started to plan ahead to try
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to get planes there before hand because we just knew that that was a monster of a storm and we were going to have to get people out afterwards. >> how bad did the conditions in st. martin get. did you guys have enough food and water when you were going through this. >> i would say our resort particularly did just because we did ask people to prepare a few days before, told them to get three to four days worth of food and stock up water so most of our guests already had that. all of our kitchens and everything in our resort already started to prepare for that. so we were in good shape regarding that. what we noticed afterwards is that a lot of other hotels in the surrounding areas ended up coming over to us because they didn't have those things so we ended up being a hub for a lot of other hotels as well. >> so tell us about the repeated efforts to get a plane on the island to transport you guys to puerto rico. how difficult was that? >> well i did call back home in
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a little town called hemet i have amazing group of women there who started to call congressmen and just start to get some type of gonch. coverage. there's so much going on in the u.s. already. who will pay attention to a little place like st. martin. a right after it hit we went to abc and eyewitness news and didn't get a lot traction but we kept making noise finally got through to senator rubio, his office held our hand throughout, got us in touch with the justice department and wept all the way up to the went all the way up to the white house. they said they will come in and help us. so from that persistence we were
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able to get in touch with the state department who then coordinated with our corporate office that is actually in mexico. and between that the state department coordinated through our corporate office and we also had a talk with the dutch military, with the air traffic control which is in core sal, and really called in a lot of favors and call in on the relationships that we had throughout the caribbean to really make things work. because planes were sent on that friday and because the communication still wasn't crystal clear they weren't able to pick us up on friday. we had a very small window of time on saturday morning because we had another category 5 hurricane, jose', barrelling straight for us. and we just knew that we would suffer immense damage not to property but to actual lives at that point because there's so much debris that just the winds
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were going to be difficult to survive. >> it sounds like it was a major ordeal. we're glad you're safe. thank you for coming on. we appreciate it. >> thank you so much. >> when we come back he's out of the white house but definitely not out of the headlines what steve bannon says about the firing of james comey.
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try midnite® tonight. we discuss with former white house senior council . >> a lot to get to, gentleman. white house press secretary sanders was asked about the comments. here's what she had to say. >> comey by his own self-admission leaked information. >> did the president encourage it the dodge to prosecute comey? >> that's not the president's role but the department of justice and something they should look at.
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i'm not sure about that specifically, but i think if there's ever a moment where we feel like someone's broken the law, particularly if they're the head of the fbi, i think that's something that should be looked at. >> so sanders suggesting the leaking was illegal, but unless there was classified information in those documents, and there's no indication there was, would that be an indication for the dodge to look into. >> it's funny that jim comey is now being suggested should be investigated for mishandling classified information. it's one of the more ironic things in american politics currently. >> i mean, john, sanders was responding to comments bannon made in the interview room. let's watch a clip and then we'll talk about it. >> someone said to me you
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described the firing as james comey as the biggest mistake in political history. >> that would probably be too bombastic even for me. i don't think there's any doubt if james comey had not been fired we would not have a special counsel, yes. >> i mean do you agree with that, because would the mueller investigation even be happening if he hadn't fired comey? >> you would have thought the strategic advisor would have been in that loop in that decision. i think the latter part of the statement was right. it was a serious mistake to do it, and they're paying the consequences now. and i think that bannon is probably happy to be out of there and not take responsibility for that decision. >> listen, i don't think it went unnoticed that matt didn't really answer my question.
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so i'll ask you the question that i asked. do you think there's any there there about leaking classified documents especially if the documents were not classified? >> it is not a crime to state what the president said. in fact it happens all the time. the press secretary does it every day. this is clearly an effort to try to tarnish and discredit comey. they think he might be a potential witness against the president at some point, so they want to smear him a little bit. and that's exactly what they're doing. >> what stood out to you. >> i think you're seeing the steve bannon everyone emphasis known and loved for the last few years. someone not shackled and limited by the confines of the white house. at least back to being his own self again. and this is just the beginning of seeing a very public facing
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steve bannon. he singled out paul ryan and mitch mcconnell as trying to undo president trump's election and really putting forward the failures of trump at the feet of mitch mcconnell and paul ryan. bannon's gearing up for a war against them. >> i've got to say, curt, this hurricane, two we've had in a row and horrific. death and destruction and tragedy everywhere. but if we didn't have that, this would probably be the lead story. because a lot of things he said were shocking to a lot of people. he was talking about the catholic church having a vested interest because it puts money in their coffers. slavery, blamed republicans for the failures, whatever failures the trump administration might have. just one nugget in thereafter another, curt.
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>> and going after comey saying he should resign. he's removing himself from the decision making process, the spault and putting it really at the feet of the people still there in the white house, who he believes are the enemy, the west wing globalists steering trump wrong. remember when bannon left the white house he said the presidency we all fought for is dead. he's going to go on a mission to really have it both ways. say he's there for donald trump but attack everyone in donald trump's family, his advisers. it's a very tightrope to walk. >> what they called the billy bush weekend, the access hollywood weekend, what did you make of that part of the interview? >> i thought that was interesting because i've seen actually friends and colleagues -- >> i've got ten seconds. >> who have not been able to be
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in this administration because the stand they took. >> that's if for us tonight. thank you so much for watching. i'm going to see you back here tomorrow night. but our coverage is going to continue in just a moment on cnn. and i get back to business. ♪
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no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit or go to good evening, we're broadcasting tonight from florida. a street as you see has no power, a street of which most of the houses escaped unscathed. certainly not the house behind me where a tree was up reted and lifted up about half of the house. the effects of hurricane irma are being felt all over this state. still, there's a lot to report over the next two hours. we're also going to be focusing what's happening in the caribbean where the storm has passed. there's now 15 deaths attributed


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