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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  September 12, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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it's all online. go to cnn.com/americanwomaninpolitics. again, that's cnn.com/american woman in politics. and i'll post some behind the scenes clips on my instagram. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. fema warning us all that the hurricane will pack what they call a mike tyson punch. they are clearly trying to get us to flee. "the lead" starts right now. breaking news. potentially catastrophic. hurricane florence barreling toward the carolinas, 20 million people in the danger zone. and officials are warning, if you don't get out by tonight, well, it might be too late. the hurricane could be like harvey, it could be like irma. rolled up into one big disaster. why scientists say they're not shocked that storms like this one increasingly seem to be on steroids. plus, president trump
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standing his ground after defending his administration's puerto rico response with another disaster on the doorstep. so is the new trump standard for success a death toll that approaches 3,000? ♪ to our viewers in the united states and around the world from bordeaux, south carolina, to bordeaux, france, welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. we start with a stark warning now about hurricane florence. the category 3 storm, just a day away from hitting the east coast of the united states. >> the time to prepare is almost over. disaster is at the doorstep, and is coming in. >> this storm threatens life. >> hurricane florence seemingly taking direct aim at the carolina coast. and once it makes landfall, get ready for another disastrous problem. forecasters say the storm will essentially come to something almost like a stop, moving only two to three miles per hour. that's like a brisk walk.
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some coastal areas could get hurricane-force winds for more than 24 hours, and more than 3 feet of rain. not inches, 3 feet. and in some cases, resources are already hard to come by. we found gas stations in north carolina not only out of fuel, they're apparently not expecting any fuel any time soon. we have a team covering this powerful hurricane. meteorologist jennifer gray will have the latest forecast in a moment. cnn's diane gallacher is near camp lejeune. let's start with martin savidge at carolina beach in north carolina. nearly 2 million americans you said mandatory evacuation orders according to fema, the federal emergency management agency. time is really running out for people to take cover. >> reporter: it is almost completely gone, jake. in fact, they are down to just a handle handful of hours in many of the most vulnerable communities, the barrier islands and the beach front communities of north carolina. like here, they're saying this bridge closes at 8:00 p.m.
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after that, you're on your own. the warnings for this monster hurricane could not be more dire. >> north carolina, my message is clear. disaster is at the doorstep, and is coming in. >> this is going to be, you know, a mike tyson punch to the carolina coast. >> reporter: officials can't stress enough, this is the last chance to get out of its path. >> this is a dangerous storm. we ask that you heed the warnings. today's is the day. >> reporter: this is storm projections suddenly turned southward, potentially delivering a days'-long deluge on cities such as charlottesville, south carolina. >> i know a lot of folks have been watching the weather reports over the last few days, and thinking, well, we might just dodge this bullet. well, now is the time to make that decision to go ahead and get out of town. >> reporter: hurricane florence now threatens more than 25 million people, with a forecast cone larger than every state east of the mississippi.
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1.8 million americans now under mandatory evacuation orders. many in the carolinas are boarding up and clearing out. as what were once boat-filled marinas now sit elemenmpty. >> it's unpredictable. we need to get out of here and be safe. >> reporter: others are anticipating the worst of it. >> i would be a fool to say it doesn't scare me. but i think i would be more afraid being inland. because after the last hurricane they had down here, we evacuated. we wound up getting stuck in the middle of the state. >> reporter: but still, some, like thomas lafleur, say finances are too tight to leave. so they're staying. >> just hunkering down. and bring it on. i mean, there's nothing more i can do. >> reporter: all this as the cavalry is already coming in. in north carolina alone, more than 2,800 national guard troops are ready to serve in what has been called the storm of a lifetime. >> nobody should have any false
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assurance about this. i think we all better just get ready to the maximum. >> reporter: a lot of holdouts had been hoping that this storm, jake, would either turn north or weaken. it is clear now, that's not happening. time is running out. they have either got to stay or go, and officials are adamant, you've got to go. jake? >> yeah. get out. let's go to meteorologist jennifer gray. she's in the cnn severe weather center. jennifer, hurricane florence is going to be a slow-mover. exactly who will see what, and for how long? >> well, and with the latest shift in the track this morning, it means more of the coastline is going to be battered by this storm and more people are going to get this extreme flooding. 125-mile-an-hour winds is a major storm category 3. 160-mile-an-hour gusts moving to the northwest at 16. so nothing has changed with
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where it's going to intersect with the u.s. from where we talked yesterday. still a category 3 on friday. around this area, anywhere inside this cone, it's going to either make landfall or be just offshore. some of the models show it hovering just offshore before making this crawl to the south. and yes, you will be able to walk faster than this storm will be moving. that's how slow it will be going. and so it's going to sit here for several days, and bring flooding rain all across north carolina, south carolina, even eastern portions of georgia before this thing finally shoots off to the northeast. not only that, you're going to have storm surge. 9 to 13 feet of it. and because this storm is sitting so long, we could see storm surge for several high tide cycles. and that means the storm surge is not going to move in and move out. it is going to move in and it's going to sit there. that storm could be sitting there for 24 hours or more. let's look at the floor. and i want to show you what we're talking about with storm surge. and you talk about 9 to 13 feet of storm surge.
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you talk about filling your complete first level of your home and even part of the second. that means the water could be in your attic. that's where we see people in so much trouble in storms past, where they have been stuck in their attics, they can't get out. we don't want this to happen to people. that's why we're telling you to get out, because the storm surge is going to be very real. also, the rain. on top of the storm surge, you're going to have rain. we're talking about 20 to 30 inches of rain across portions of eastern north carolina, south carolina and if you've evacuated from the coast and moved inland, be careful where you go. because say you left portions of north carolina, went to colu columbia, we could see 10 inches of rain there. so you have to be very careful where you go and be very careful not to get stuck in this flooding, jake. >> jennifer gray in the cnn severe weather center, thank you so much. let's go to jacksonville, north carolina. cnn's diane gallacher is near the marine corps base, camp lejeune. and despite the location, the base is not under mandatory evacuation orders. and that, frankly, has some
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people very worried. >> reporter: yeah. that's right, jake. it's the family members of those active duty marines. there are tens of thousands of them who live here on camp lejeune and in the area of jacksonville, which really these communities completely surround water. there are inlets of waterways that make it beautiful to live here but also very dangerous when the hurricanes come. now family members have taken to facebook, they have talked to journalists like myself, saying that they're frustrated, because they're afraid. they're from all over the country. many have never been to a hurricane or lived through one, and they wish that the marines would take this more seriously, they said. the marines have pushed back pretty hard, jake. the base commander, general julian alford, putting on social media, that this is simply not the case. some family members accusing them of making this a financial decision. he says that's not it at all. i assessed the situation. i want to read you a portion of what he posted online, saying, quote, the majority of camp lejeune is not in a flood-prone
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area. we have reliable, historical data on what areas would be affected by storm surges and flooding and have already directed the relocation of those personnel and residents away from those vulnerable locations. he added, i give you my personal assurance, we are going to take care of everyone on the base. now, a lot of the marine families were upset because several other military installations across the carolinas and virginia had declared mandatory evacuations which means those families will likely be reimbursed for their expenses to get out of town. if they choose to leave here, they're not going to be. and we look at ft. bragg, further inland here in north carolina. they're not being evacuated, but they are standing ready. and part of that is because fema has chosen that as an area to stage all the supplies needed in the days after hurricane florence hits, and the flooding that's likely going to occur afterward. back here at camp lejeune, though, jake, the shelters, they opened about two or three minutes ago. they said they have more space
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if more people need to take shelter here, and they are ready. >> diane gallacher near camp lejeune in north carolina. thank you so much. president trump is trying to assure the nation that the federal government is ready to respond to the hurricane, but do his words ring hollow because of what he has had to say about the response to hurricane maria in puerto rico? plus one republican senator trying to get the president people have been asking him to do for years. what is it? stay with us.
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but despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size. it's called mother nature. >> it is, of course, the president's continued insistence that the trump administration did a quote, unappreciated great job with hurricane maria in puerto rico that is raising eyebrows. democratic senator chris murphy tweeting, i mean this seriously. not as a political dig. if you're in hurricane florence's path and considering riding it out, your president just said that a hurricane response where 3,000 die is his measure of success. get out of there! unquote. as cnn's kaitlan collins reports, the president's perceived tone deafness on the devastation that hit puerto rico is for the residents of that u.s. territory adding insult to injury. >> reporter: the white house tonight bracing for hurricane florence, as it barrels toward the east coast. with president trump warning that the storm will be even bigger than anticipated, and extremely dangerous.
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>> we are sparing no expense. >> reporter: trump, asserting his administration is fully prepared. >> we're ready. we're as ready as anybody has ever been. >> reporter: as he faces criticism for bragging once again about the government's response to hurricane maria, which devastated puerto rico last year and killed nearly 3,000 people. trump, writing on twitter today, it was an unappreciated great job, as he leveled new attacks at the mayor of san juan, accusing her of being totally incompetent. those comments coming after mayor carmen yulin cruz said this on cnn. >> the president keeps adding insult to injury. and i think his words are despicable. he thinks that 3,000 people dying onhis watch isa good news story or is an unsung success? no. nobody is going to be singing his praises. >> reporter: hurricane florence
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giving trump a second chance at being the consoler-in-chief. after he was widely criticized for actions critics said were tone deaf when he visited puerto rico after hurricane maria. all this as senator jeff merkley, a democrat from oregon, released a document showing nearly $10 million in fema funding, less than 1% of its overall budget, were transferred to immigrations and customs enforcement earlier this year for detention and deportation efforts. >> i'm simply saying, we'll have $10 million less than it would have, and $10 million is significant. >> reporter: fema administrator, brock long, insisting that money didn't come from the disaster relief fund and won't affect relief efforts. >> does not come out of the disaster relief fund. the funds everything behind me, the fund is everything in the field. so it's a nonissue for us at this moment. >> reporter: jake, this white house has been under siege in recent weeks with that anonymous op-ed and tell-all book from bob
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woodward. this week they would be hoping to change the tune here and to keep the president's focus on this approaching storm. jake? >> all right, kaitlan collins at the white house for us. let's talk about there with my experts. take a listen to president trump just last night. >> puerto rico was an incredible unsung success. i think in a certain way, the best job we did was puerto rico, but nobody would understand that. >> you're from north carolina. you're sitting in north carolina, getting ready for hurricane florence, and you hear the president say that puerto rico was a success? with a death toll of almost 3,000. what's going through your mind? >> yeah, look. it's just the wrong way to talk about this. and there are ways you can talk about it. you can say, we faced a lot of challenges in puerto rico. it's an island. there were two hurricanes. we really did a lot of work. we put an unprecedented amount of money into this effort. perhaps the death toll study was more expansive than other versions have been, including a lot of time after the storm. but we tried real hard, but it's a disaster.
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and you address it that way. because people are facing an incoming disaster, and they want to be assured that you're thinking about the things that went wrong before. not just the things that went well before. because you will not correct them if you're not thinking about the things that went wrong. >> you know who said the government was badly unprepared for hurricane maria? >> fema. >> fema. the federal management agency. they did a study and said, yeah, we could have done this better. i don't understand -- i mean, this is, again, the president just creating his own problem, where none existed previously. >> yeah, but i think that he believes this. i think he's bought into this narrative that i've heard in the conservative media that, you know, puerto rico owe this is not how they describe it. but it's one of the s-hole countries, basically. right? it's this country that's -- >> even though it's part of the u.s. >> right, exactly. but that's how they talk about it, right? and that the infrastructure is so terrible, and everything is so terrible there. it's nothing anyone would recognize. but this description of puerto rico as being such a mess that
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actually the u.s. government did a good job handling this, because it was such a screwed up country that in spite of that, they did a good job. that's the narrative that he seems to have bought into and believes to be true, even though it's not. >> you worked for george w. bush. you know this reminds a lot of people of heck of a job, brownie. you don't praise when people are dying, especially if it's in the hundreds. you don't praise the response by the government. i mean, it's never going to be enough on a theoretical basis. >> well, and i didn't hear the president saying that 3,000 people dying is a good thing. i think people are reading too much into that. >> he didn't mention them. >> but people are saying today -- some of the democrats are saying, oh, that's his measure of success. that's ridiculous. you know, overstatement. i think what the president should talk about is what mary kathryn said. and look, puerto rico was not in great shape before the storms hit. the electrical grid totally failed. it was rickety to begin with. the water system totally failed.
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>> to be more prepared and more -- isn't that an argument to be more prepared and more involved? >> yeah, but you can't fix puerto rico's entire electrical grid in five days. >> the electrical grid wasn't rickety. >> it totally failed! >> this is part of the republican talking point, which is that they were a mess to begin with. >> which happens to be true. >> and therefore, the storm really didn't do that much. the other piece, though -- >> are you saying these storms were not catastrophic. >> they were catastrophic. that's exactly my point. and it goes to this issue that republicans consistently apologize for, which is to make things about him and how great he is. instead of just saying to the american people, people died. this was a terrible thing. i don't want anyone to die in north carolina. so get moving. there's no sort of general recognition that these issues are about somebody else. about other people's opportunities and pain. and that is kind of when you start from that premise, you will never be successful as a leader. >> so point taken, there is,
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however, a political dimension to this. and i think we can all acknowledge. i want to read something that cnn, steve collison pointed out in his analysis of the political implications of a strong performance by the president might even temporarily boost his approval ratings, but the risks are also high. no one in the white house will need reminding that a presidency already in crisis simply cannot afford the new hit of a botched response. obviously, the focus should be on saving people, to save people. but there is a political dimension to this. >> yeah, but it's not about pretending anything. it's about being honest. because the thing that real people need in a crisis is authenticity, honesty, is real facts. they don't need blow-hards figuring out, like, how to look good in this process. and that, i think, is so much of the problem. so when the -- you know, the president sets up a fight with fema and local officials like he did in puerto rico, which fema and local officials did not want to have and did not experience as much as the president kept saying, that doesn't help the
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people on the ground. >> so the question was yesterday when president trump was asked if this prompted it all, what lessons has the trump administration learned from puerto rico that it can -- learn from and save more lives here. that's what prompted this all. what response would you have given? >> i would say the way you accentuate the positive here is to say i want to thank the army of first responders and fema folks and local officials who were on want groupnd doing the absolutely best in a rough situation. we have figured out how to partner better with our local groups in north carolina. we hope to improve on some of the things we did wrong in the first place and moving resources where they need to go. i mean, you can go through a litany of things that's in the fema -- the study of how fema responded without trashing anyone or trashing your own response and acknowledging that even though this is a giant response, it's not perfect, because it is literally a disaster. >> it's a disaster. >> so there are going to be issues. but i just think there is a
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better way to talk about it without sort of dismissing. >> there is no question, when he is trying to show the emotional response to some of these things, he doesn't do as well as other presidents have. some are better at it than others. but at the same time, i think the piling on of him that goes on when he's trying -- you all no he what point he's trying to make. >> the point he's trying to make is, this was a catastrophic. they weren't prepared. we did the best we could. there are better ways to say it. but then -- >> that's completely different from what he said. that's not what he said. >> when i see democrats today -- when i see democrats today saying, oh, donald trump thinks if 3,000 people died, that's successful? who -- you said we don't want blowhards in this. what do you think that does to this debate? >> i don't think he was actually trying to make this point. i think the point he was trying to make was, we got this covered, don't you worry about it. we've got it covered, just like we had puerto rico covered. instead of saying, we studied puerto rico. we have learned some things. here's what we're doing. and here's what we're doing differently. instead of just being honest, or saying, you know, i'm not sure.
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let's talk to fema, because they're the experts. that's not what he did. >> stick around. more to talk about on the day president trump signed an executive order allowing him to punish russia or any country if it's caught at election meddling. how he is perceived as handling the investigation. and it doesn't look so good. stay with us. (music throughout) but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory.
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welcome back to "the lead." politics now. deal or no deal. president trump's former campaign chief, paul manafort, is in talks with special counsel, robert mueller, about possibly pleading guilty. just days before his second trial is supposed to begin. that's according to a new report in the "washington post." let's get right to cnn justice correspondent, jessica schneider. as of now, the manafort trial will proceed as scheduled? >> jake, that's the plan for now. the jury questionnaires have been handed out. jury selection itself set for monday. and this trial is supposed to begin on september 24th. but the question lingers with these latest reports of plea talks. will paul manafort change course and possibly strike up a deal? with the start of paul manafort's second criminal trial just days away, his team is in talks with the special counsel about a possible plea deal, according to the "washington post." at this point, these are ongoing conversations that might not result in a plea. but either way, it's a sudden shift in strategy for manafort's
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defense team, who waived off any such talks at the start of manafort's virginia trial in late july. >> feeling good. >> any chance he may decide to flip and cooperate? >> no chance. >> reporter: but three weeks after saying that, manafort was found guilty on 8 of the 18 charges against him, possibly alerting manafort's team to the uphill battle they face in the d.c. says, where manafort is charged with money laundering and failing to file as a foreign agent. if manafort were to work out a plea deal, it's unclear if he would provide any information about the president, who praised his former campaign chairman after the guilty verdict. >> one of the reasons i respect paul manafort so much is he went through that trial. >> reporter: meanwhile, as the president continues his sustained attacks on the special counsel -- >> it is a rigged witch hunt. i've said it for a long time. >> reporter: a new cnn poll shows robert mueller's approval rating for handling the russia investigation now outpaces the approval rating for donald trump's handling of it by 20
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minutes, 50 to 30%. that's an improvement by three points since august and a dip for donald trump of four points from the same period. the latest poll is the first since manafort's partial guilty verdict, and michael cohen's guilty plea. and it suggests the repeated renunciations of mueller's probe -- >> i say it, i say it again. that whole situation is a rigged witch hunt. it's a totally rigged deal. >> reporter: might not be working. president trump did sign an executive order today that will punish foreign actors for interfering in the u.s. election. the president, of course, has been repeatedly accused of do downplaying the threat and less than two months out from the mid terms, trying to show muscle and allow new sanctions against nations or actors who might be responsible for election meddling. jake? >> jessica schneider, thank you so much. so this executive order that the president signed today clearly designed to show and also convey to any foreign hostile foreign
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actors, don't interfere in the u.s. elections. but i do want to take a listen to former director of the national security agency, admiral mike rogers, who stepped down and spoke at a think tank about his thoughts about whether president trump should have been more aggressive with president putin of russia about russian election interference when they met in helsinki. take a link. >> i thought there was an opportunity here that we could have taken advantage of. now, he opted to go a different direction. that is certainly his right as the president. but i wish we had taken advantage of that opportunity. i thought that could have sent a very powerful message. >> now admiral rogers is not one to criticize president trump. he didn't do it as head of the nsa and hasn't done it since. but for him to say, you know, there was an opportunity that we could have taken advantage of and i thought it could have sent a powerful message, that's strong criticism for him. >> that's the general take most people had, unless you're an avid trump supporter that basically is happy when he does anything. that that's what you would expect the president of the
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united states to do in a situation like that. it's sort of unthinkable that you wouldn't use that as an opportunity to say something about something that really was such a huge thing in the united states. >> so admiral rogers saying i wish we had taken advantage of that opportunity. do you agree? >> i totally agree. because i think the administration actually has a pretty decent story to tell on being tough on russia. we've talked about it before. you know, there's been a number of sanctions imposed. multiple parts of his administration are doing things to the russians that the russians hate. he's got this executive order today. but that moment, that presidential moment, could have locked in a much, much better narrative for him when this has obviously been one of the dominant narratives of his presidency. so it was a missed opportunity, and maybe he'll get another one in the future. but i agree he with mr. rogers. >> so mary kathryn, let's talk about what he's signing today. one of the things that's interesting, it was closed press, so they didn't allow photographs to be taken of the president signing this legislation. and marco rubio and his democratic counterpart, chris van hollen be, put out a statement about the executive order, saying, quote, today's
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announcement by the administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it. the united states can and must do more, mandatory sanctions on anyone who attacks our electoral systems serve as the best deterrent. that's a bipartisan rebuke. >> yeah. i think rubio is obviously extremely hawkish on this issue, remaining consistent over the years, as many have not. and continues to push the administration and should. i do think i have the same issue as i always do, which is the automatic sanctions on board for it, and i think it solves some of that lag time with the president maybe not enacting sanctions immediately. so i like that. and then when it comes to the words that come out of his mouth, with putin, not a huge fan. because he plays in a footy that you could come around with a left hook easily and make a statement to him. >> so i want to turn to the russia investigation, if we can. there's a new poll about the russia investigation, suggesting that mueller's approval rating is up nine points since june. so this, of course -- the president's former campaign chair, paul manafort, was
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convicted and michael cohen took a guilty plea from federal prosecutors in new york since the previous poll. do you think that's why his approval rating is up nine points from june, now at 50%, because there has been this record of success? or might it be other things? >> you know, the manafort trial did get quite a bit of publicity. but i do think it's just that the americans are tired of feeling like we aren't being told the truth. that we don't know what's going on. and, you know, the russia sanctions today, when you do something important with closed press, what, so vladimir putin can't get, you know, embarrassed by news reports of it? there's just this constant sense, i think, of american people that is growing and growing. and the longer that bob mueller goes on looking at this investigation, the president thinks the american people are going to get tired of it. i think what we're finding is the american people are starting to assume that bob mueller must be finding some things. because he is a serious and thoughtful investigator. >> so that brings us to my next question, scott, which has to do with the cnn poll about whether
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or not president trump should be impeached and removed from office. that has gone up from june, 42%, now it is 47%. and that's jumped up ten points among independents. president trump is out there actually talking about this threat of impeachment using it as a political tool to keep the democrats from retaking the house and senate. >> and for good reason. because two-thirds of the democrats in this poll say there is cause to do impeachment proceedings. if they take the house, i know what nancy pelosi says today, but she is not going to be able to hold back a blood thirsty majority that got elected on the backs of people that believe they are going to frog march donald trump out of the white house. so they're going to impeach him -- >> have you seen enough facts to impeach president trump? >> i don't think so. they're not at that point yet. and i don't think that the -- i think the democrats recognize how much it would be overreach. the thing about this poll, it's
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not totally clear people are just thinking they don't want donald trump to be there. if you look at the partisan breakdown. i think the independent number is the more telling. that they would go up that much. >> up from 38% in june to 48%. yeah. >> that suggests that's not a partisan thing. that there actually is, you know, real concern about his performance. so who knows. democrats, you never know what ultimately they will do. but it seems pretty clear they recognize -- they saw what happened the last time this happened. >> the rank and file is going to demand it. they will not stand for anything less. >> well, you know, kristen is exactly right. the news here really is that donald trump has lost independents in terms of approval. and voracity. i think nancy pelosi and the leadership are across the board smart about this. there aren't facts right now. they need more facts. and that's what pelosi has pledged to do. that's what the american people
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want. >> all right. everyone stick around. we're moments away from the next hurricane florence update. just how long will this massive storm sit over the coast of the carolinas? stay with us. first man to walk on the moon. it'll be a hell of a ride. it's a job so difficult, we're gonna have to start from scratch. we need to fail down here so we don't fail up there. this isn't just another trip, neil. we have serious problems. do you think you're coming back? five...
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four... three... two... first man. rated pg-13.
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and i am a certified arborist for pg&e.ughes i oversee the patrolling of trees near power lines and roots near pipes and underground infrastructure. at pg&e wherever we work, we work hard to protect the environment. getting the job done safely so we can keep the lights on for everybody. because i live here i have a deeper connection to the community. and i want to see the community grow and thrive.
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every year we work with cities and schools to plant trees in our communities. the environment is there for my kids and future generations. together, we're building a better california. and we're back with our politics lead. candidate donald trump promised to drain the swamp. has he? good government groups say actually the trump administration has too often been bogged down by ethics concerns, and now one republican senator and frequent critic of the president, ben sas, is introducing an ethics bill tomorrow which would include requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns, hello donald trump, banning foreign donations, hello
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clinton foundation, creating a database of hr settlements for members of congress, hello too many to name. and banning members of congress from making money as lobbyists when they leave office. again, hello too many to name. here with me is senator ben sasse. thank you for joining us. i want to ask about hurricane florence, because obviously it's on everyone's mind. we're all concerned about people in the path of the storm. president trump saying that the response to hurricane maria in puerto rico, that it was an incredible unsung success. a lot of people upset about that. especially democrats. but also people in puerto rico, since the death toll is estimated to be almost 3,000. you've talked a lot about president trump and his ability to rise to moments like this or not. what do you make of this? >> i didn't see him make those comments. but obviously the congress needs to do a better job of doing oversight of fema across time to see how we respond to these kinds of disasters. and obviously our thoughts are with a lot of the hard working folks in fema and in governors' offices across the coastal states that are worried right
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now. but i don't think puerto rico was some great success. i think we need to do more oversight to look at how fema can get better over time and hopefully perform this weekend. >> one things the ethics would do would be to require that presidential candidates release their tax returns, that presumably if this passed would affect president trump in 2020. do you think that that will prevent it from becoming law, that provision, even though i certainly understand why you put it in there? >> i would say that, you know, in five different bills i'm going to introduce tomorrow, and i think a lot of them are going to make everybody mad. frankly, every election cycle, people talk a lot about draining the swamp, and nobody ever does it. it's a campaign issue and governance issue and nobody is making progress and the american people have more and more distrust of this city. so i think there are things about the tax returns provision that has been a norm of american politics for decades. >> yeah, since ford. >> it's never been a law, but everybody has always done it. this is the first time it hasn't happened. the president said he would
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release them once he got the nomination and then once he got elected and then he said the people lost interest. i can i think there is a lot of distrust. but on the other side of the aisle, a lot of democrats frustrated, as well. but hillary clinton as secretary of state had lots of public trust responsibilities and has family members out there making speeches for six figures and enriching the clinton foundation at the same time. there's just a lot we need to do to drain this swamp. and to tackle the culture of corruption that's in washington, d.c. because public distrust is only going to get worse in an era of not just russia but chinese information operations against washington, d.c. and against public trust in america. >> so one of the things that you point out in the bill, one of the things you put in the bill is members of congress could become lobbyists. to be frank, what member of congress is figugoing to -- oth than you, what member of congress is going to vote for that? they want to preserve they'll have some cushy job when they leave the senate or the house on their own terms or not. >> if what i'm talking about here is really that strange in washington, d.c., then
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washington, d.c., is even further removed from the public than -- >> it is. i'm not saying you're wrong. >> the founders -- >> they're not going to vote that. >> the founders envisioned a world where the kinds of people who represent the american people in washington, d.c., do it as a public service for a time. not as a business proposition for how they were cash out afterwards. people are supposed to want to go back to their mt. vernon afterwards. if they don't want to do that, they shouldn't do these jobs. these are jobs of public trust. you should prefer to be from where you're from, come and serve for a while and go back home. >> i can already anticipate critics saying you have a bill that would have impacted secretary clinton when she was secretary of state. what about ryan zinke, scott pruitt, tom price, cabinet officials of president trump, two of whom resigned, one still there, zinke. all three of whom you voted for. what about doing -- passing laws that would make it so they didn't have all these ethical concerns? >> yeah, there should probably be lots more. in general, i'm a small government guy who doesn't think we need always to be passing
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more laws. but at the level of ethics, we need a lot more. so i'm starting out with five provisions tomorrow. but my guess is, there are 20 or 30 more good ideas people should add to this. let's build a big package and try to restore some public trust. >> but you voted for all of them. for some of them, at least, especially for pruitt and tom price, there were ethical concerns about them raised ahead of time. >> i would say in the case of pruitt, by far the most scandalous of all of these, almost all of it is stuff that happened once he was in office and happily people decided that shouldn't be and so he was removed from office. again, if there are more things we should do to tighten the screws of members on congress and cabinet officials and presidential and vice presidential candidates, let's hear it. >> so let's talk about tightening the screws on members of congress, because president trump tweeted early this month about republican congressman chris collins and republican congressman duncan hunter, both of whom have been indicted, writing, quote, too long running obama-era investigations, brought to a well-publicized charge ahead of the mid terms by the jeff sessions justice department. two easy wins now in doubt
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because there's not enough time. good job, jeff. now, i could spend an hour fact-checking that. obviously, one of these things happened while trump was president, not during obama. you criticized president trump for that when he said that -- how can you keep him in check? he's -- what he is saying there, he's -- involving himself, at least publicly, with two law enforcement investigations. >> yeah. so it's obviously a terrible sentiment the president expressed there. but the core problem is saying something like, the jeff sessions justice department. no, it's actually the people's justice department. it's the united states department of justice. and it's populated by lots of career officials that are there as public servants. and we want justice to be blind. we don't want one set of rules for a majority party and one set of rules for a minority party and now we've got different sets of rules. we want dispassionate justice. lady liberty to be advanced for the american people without regard to what color jersey public officials are wearing. but when you look at the 2016 election and the dumpster fire it was, most of the people who were voting in that election --
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there's lots of polling that shows people were more voting against someone than for someone. and so when you talk about the problems of politicizing justice in the trump tweet like that, or in some democratic sentiments we sometimes hear on similar issues, the response for most of the public is, what's wrong with all of these people? we shouldn't talk like that. we should want color blind justice. >> best of luck with your legislation and ethics bill. we appreciate anybody in congress trying to clean up the swamp. it doesn't happen very often. >> i'm sure i'm going to lose lots of friends and influence fewer people. >> you always have a seat her at this table. thank you so much. i appreciate it. and i want to get it breaking news in the national league now. >> this is cnn breaking news. a new update just came from the national hurricane center on hurricane florence. let's go back to general i haje. what's changed? >> if there is any take-away, it is that this track is narrowing down, very consistent. and i think the confidence is getting higher as to where exactly this is going to go. yet again, this has the storm
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making landfall right there, anywhere between say extreme northeastern portions of south carolina and central north carolina coast, as a major hurricane, category 3, at 120 miles per hour, with gusts 150, still showing this track to walk at a snail's pace, just crawl along the coast, shredding that shoreline for south carolina and north carolina. and then still a category 1 storm on saturday afternoon, well inland, possibly in western south carolina or even eastern georgia. so this storm is just narrowing down, because it's about 24 to 36 hours away. we'll be feeling the impacts tomorrow. category 3, 120-mile-an-hour winds, jake. >> jennifer gray, thank you so much. the big question now, are these strong and slow storms the new normal? cnn's tom foreman is in our virtual studio. >> that is the question some
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this is cnn breaking news. >> we have this breaking news for you now. cnn has learned that cardinal donald wuerl of the washington, d.c., archdiocese will ask pope francis to accept his resignation when he meets with the pope. this is according to wuerl's spokesperson, who did not specify when this meeting would
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happen. pu wuerl has been under scrutiny for what he may have known about abuse allegations about his predecessor in washington, and how he handled abusive priests when he was the head of the diocese of pittsburgh. his name was mentioned more than 150 times in the pennsylvania grand jury report about predator priests in pennsylvania, and those in the catholic church who helped cover up their crimes. we also have some breaking news on hurricane florence. the category 3 hurricane is an enormous storm, as you can see in this new photo of it from space, captured by satellite. and as florence approaches the east coast, it's expected to linger, to take its time, which increases the potential of catastrophic rain and flooding as the storm essentially sits over the same area. some scion scientific stauds sa it's because of climate change and rising sea levels causing hurricanes such as florence to be stronger and slower and more destructive.
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tom foreman is in the virtual sto studio for us. tom, scientists have been trying to find a connection to this in recent years. >> yeah, and they're still working on that connection. look at this. hurricane harvey dumped 27 trillion gallons of water on the texas coast, submerged a third of houston. 90 people died, more than 200,000 homes destroyed. hundreds of thousands of cars, as well. and this study from the national center for atmospheric research says there's a reason. because global warming is making storms more intense, bigger, longer-lasting and greatly increasing their flooding rains. in other words, this study says it is super charging storms out there. well, how would that work? we know that hurricanes are built on warm water. and we know from this study that the water in the gulf of mexico was at one of the hottest levels ever recorded right before harvey formed. 86 degrees off some parts of the texas coast. that made the storm big. that made it powerful. but it also pumped an awful lot
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of warm water vapor up into it, completely saturated the storm. and as it moved over land, started releasing it all in the devastating rain. could you have had a big storm, a destructive storm, without global warming? absolutely. but what this study is saying is, as you noted, global warming may have made it worse. jake? >> that's interesting. could have made the charge -- the storms worse. super-charging them. is this trend in climate change, according to scientists, also potentially causing more tropical storms? >> that's a great question that they're trying to sort out there. they know that decade to decade, sometimes there are a lot of other natural events that make more storms or fewer storms. but a researcher at m.i.t. noticed that since the 1970s, the most destructive storms have been more powerful and whether it's causation, there is a correlation. that's the same period of time that they have been watching this increase in global sea surface temperatures. so all of that suggests, jake,
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that there are some similarities between florence and harvey that may prove that they are the super-charged storms that scientists have been warning about. jake? >> tom foreman, thank you so much. appreciate it. follow me on facebook and twitter at jake tapper. our coverage on cnn continues right now. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. super soaker. a new forecast is just in for hurricane florence, which will bring devastating winds and storm surges to the carolina coast, where it's expected to linger, dropping up to 40 inches of rain in parts of the southeast. power at risk. six nuclear plants are in the path of the hurricane, and with downed power lines and major flooding already a certainty, millions are expected to lose electricity, some for weeks. sanctioning interference. president trump signs an executive order to punish foreigners for

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