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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  September 15, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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rescues continue across this state. well, this afternoon we start with three major stories. converging all at once. first, there is paul manafort was the chief at the trump campaign and has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel speculation about what he knows and how much he is willing to say. at the same time for hours on end tropical storm florence is dumping rain all over the carolina coast. six people have died. nearly a million people are without electricity and rescues have continued all day as hundreds have been carried to safety. in south carolina alone, there are not enough cops for all the people who have fled rainfall there and in north carolina, the president has declared a natural disaster declaration. as the rain continues to fall, the president set the record straight over the death toll in puerto rico after hurricane maria. calling into question the met d methodolometho methodology how it was reached. 50 times last arioriginal numbe no way.
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let's bring in jeff bennett who is standing live outside the white house. jeff, tell us what the president has been up to in the midst of this hurricane and word of this deal from manafort. >> good to see you. first a bit of news, the white house tells us the president has declared a federal emergency for north carolina and just in the last 20 minute or so fema now says that federal officials are considering a disaster declaration for south carolina, toor. n the president has been getting regular updates on the response effort, but he's been out of sight for three days now with no public appearances scheduled. on twitter, as you mentioned, the president has been focused on last year's hurricane maria and his complaints about criticism of his federal response. he is disputing, denying the official death toll. here's what he tweeted. over many months, it went to 64 people and then like magic, 3,000 people killed. they hired george washington university research to tell them how many people had died in puerto rico, how would they not
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know this? this method was never done with previous hurricane because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed. 50 times last original number, no way. now, the president said he didn't believe this study to determine that hurricane maria led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 puerto ricans last year. now, the study took into account casualties related to injuries and lack of access to vital resources like clean water. here's the thing, frances, the puerto rican government accepted the study and the white house accepted the study when it was first issued. president trump refused to accept that his administration's response in puerto rico was anything less than an unsung success, as he put it in the white house not too long ago. so, officials now tell us that the president plans to visit areas damaged by florence, the current storm, this coming week when he can make a trip without diverting attention from rescue and recovery operations. so far today president trump has not acknowledged the loss of
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life that just happened because of the current storm florence. >> waiting to see that response on twitter and waiting to see the response, especially, when he makes that visit. jeff bennett at the white house. thank you, jeff. >> sure. i want to move now to the turn in a legal debacle of president trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort. he has done what he repeatedly sco would not do. the former campaign chair pleaded to two charges filed in washington, d.c., and admitted his guilt to ten charges charge. >> tough day for manafort but he accepted responsibility and he wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life. and accept responsibility. and this is for conduct that dates back many years and everybody should remember that.
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>> the white house in a statement says this had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious presidential campaign. it is totally unrelated. we want to bring in federal prosecutor glenn cursener and staff writer for "atlantic" and natasha and editor and columnist for "real clear politics" amy stoddard. to all of you, welcome. natasha, starting with you, of course, we have the president, we know, has not responded at all. we know how quickly he responded with michael cohen. but the white house and rudy giuliani saying this has nothing to do with the president or his campaign. >> it is completely inaccurate because paul manafort was running the campaign for 4 1/2, 5 months and a lot of the things that he was charged with actually ran into the time that he was running the campaign. so, there is an overlap there. regardle regardless, that does not speak to what he could talk to the
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special counsel about what he knew about the russian interference and whether or not the campaign coordinated with moscow to win the election. many russia-related events that paul manafort was there for. the change in platform at the rnc and coordinating with george and if anyone on the campaign would have known about russia's coordination, alleged coordination with the campaign would have been paul manafort because he was on the campaign with the highest, most in-depth russian relationships of anyone else. >> i want to dig more into the timeline, you have manafort's attorney who hinted at the charges and he was with trump in march and august of 2016. why was that noteworthy then
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noting that? >> it didn't make a lot of sense to me, frances. the charges did start many years ago in 2006, if we read the charging documents, we can see that the crimes to which mr. manafort pled guilty continued through 2017. obviously, beyond the time that he was campaign chairman for then candidate trump. so, it really doesn't make a lot of sense. so, we hear this sort of complaint almost from the white house and from mr. giuliani that, well, these charges, these cases have nothing to do with russian collusion. they might be right in part because what bob mueller is doing is he's bringing indictments in phases. and the first two phases of the indictments against paul manafort involved first the charges that he had to defend against and he lost in the eastern district of virginia and then it was the illegal lobbying and the witness tampering in the district of columbia courts. he has now taken responsibility for virtually every charge in
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both cases that bob mueller brought against him. so, mr. giuliani may be right. that these cases have nothing to do with russian collusion, but have to tell you, the man they just brought on board as an overarching, cooperating witness, paul manafort he has everything to do with russian collusion. >> vocal about this and call this a big win and he also commented on the situation whether the president will pardon manafort. here's more of what he had to say. >> i think he was perhaps hoping for a pardon and then the question comes up, did the president act too late if he was going to pardon, he would have been much better off pardoning early rather than waiting until, so i don't think we're going to see any kind of pardon at this point. i think we'll see corporation and remains to be seen whether the corporation will help the u.s. attorney in the second district. it would backfire at this point
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because, number one, if he's given a pardon, then he can't take the fifth amendment. he has to be called anyway. he would be called in front of a grand jury. the pardon is off the table. too little too late. >> so, do you agree with that that you won't see or be talking about pardon any more after this? >> i don't think it's likely and even the reports several weeks back that president trump discussed this with lawyers like rudy giuliani months back and dissuaded from doing so and lindsey graham who is a big trump supporter to come out and say it may look like witness tampering or some sort of obstruction of an investigation. so, because of the timing that he is describing, it doesn't seem likely. what is interesting about the messaging from rudy giuliani and others today is that he is trying to say and it's not true, but that doesn't seem to matter to him any more.
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that manafort is not cooperating on collusion. manafort's cooperation came late. the timing is a little strange. he could have gotten a much better deal a long time ago. his cooperation is full and open ended. anything the government wants to ask him about, money laundering and the trump organization 0 years ago and every russian connection to anyone who has been in trump tower, yet alone the campaign and possible collusion, all of that is on the table. so, the idea that the president's lawyers are trying to say, some part of it has been sectioned off and has been shut down is completely untrue. >> speaking of that, rudy giuliani issued the two statements on the manafort deal. he said it and then retracted it. paul manafort will tell the truth. let's put it out there and let me take it back. >> they're already trying to discredit him because i would note that the pardon would be pretty much useless at this point because paul manafort
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information to special counsel and the justice department said three times. they already have a lot of information and that, obviously, is what helped lead to this cooperation deal is that paul manafort proved he had information that was useful to the special counsel. whether that goes to the heart of the russian collusion investigation or whether it goes to other people being investigated perhaps for foreign agent violations, et cetera. that is a big question. the fact of the matter is that paul manafort has to operate in everything the special counsel wants him to. cooperate with other authorities that they deem relevant. that could, for example, put trump's children in jeopardy. for example, if jared kushner were to come under scrutiny, then there would be essentially a pardon proof way in terms of state crimes for paul manafort to testify against people. >> do you see that collecting the dots closer in proximity to a jared kushner or somebody in
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the trump family to roger stone? >> without a doubt. because now what does bob mueller have for the first time? an insider to the trump tower meter. paul manafort was there. he will get a word for word break down as best paul manafort can recall it. i don't think there is anybody who believes, for example, when don jr. floats information out there. well, i suspect that is not going to turn out to be accurate and what the special counsel now has is an insider to that meeting. i tell you, when you're dealing with conspiracies and tight knit groups whether family and associates having an insider and criminal conspiracy means everything to a prosecution and that is what the special counsel now has in paul manafort. >> we'll see what the trump team, his lawyers, their counsel and how they'll play it on their end. natasha, thank you so much. always great having you with me.
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the rest of you, i know you're sticking around and we'll come back to you throughout the hour. live to the carolinas as flood waters move inland and we're joined by nbc reporters who have been braving the weather and lieutenant governor give us an update on how it is all going. >> we're okay, thank god. but i can't swim. but i thank god for all the good samaritans that came out to help us. i'm ray and i quit smoking with chantix. in the movies, a lot of times,
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tropical storm florence pounding the carolinas with record-breaking rains. a new development at this hour. nine confirmed deaths including three just reported from north carolina. storm surge and flash flood warnings remain in effect and the number of power outages reached nearly 1 million at one point. the slow churn is making it dangerous and we're seeing images of deer right there running through the high flood waters and good samaritans rescuing locals who did not heed evacuation orders. >> i was worried. >> what was going through your mind? >> i am not going to make it out. i'm not going to make it out. so it's a blessing to have people that still care about you and i'm angry with myself that i put them in this situation, too.
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>> let's turn to mariana who is in oak island. there is a 24-hour curfew and we have been watching the waves take a beating on that pier. seems like that is still the case. >> frances, we're still feeling the effects of these outer bands because the effects of hurricane storm of this tropical storm still being felt on this island. i'm having a little trouble hearing you. please, excuse me for that. we wanted to come out here to the beach to show you just how these bands are affecting the size of the waves. you see how they're hitting that pier over there. some suffered damage from prior hurricanes and there was a fear that some of those structures might collapse. luckily, no severe damage on the island now. still, we have a band that has been sitting on top of us for the past four, five hours and very hit or miss in terms of the rain. four hours after high tide from
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when you look at the size of the waves and the fact that you still have the water and the sand coming into these homes that are here in the ocean and flooding the streets, that is what rescue workers and that is what authorities here on the island fear the most. it is that in that flooding and the fact, again, that these bands can just come out of no where and it's why they're urging residents here to stay hunkered down. frances? >> we've seen what it has done to that sign behind you. thank you. let's turn now to cal perry in wilmington, north carolina. part of town known as carolina place. you see debris everywhere. it seems like they have made some progress there clearing those branches and trees. cal? >> some of those 4,400 crews are just able to get into this area now. the house you see behind me was hit by that massive tree. it's crushed pretty much half of that house including the kitchen. walk with me this way we're going to go see the owner. we're not going to go in the house as they're cutting down
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the limbs for obvious safety reasons. the crews will tell you to give them the space to work. this is where the neighborhood has rallied together. melissa who owns the house. hey, how are you? i know how you are? >> i'm worn out and upset. >> tell us about the last 24 hours. >> well, comforting in that we had neighborhoods that took in my family, my two daughters and i. and my husband. and so we were safe because with the old house we knew something was probably going to happen. but just waiting to see what happens and then also feeling helpless that you can't do anything. with the gusts of rain that comes through with the different bands, you don't know when you can go back and do anything constructive. >> talk to me about the neighborhood. you moved here, you told me, because of these people around us. >> i moved all the way across the country. i'm from california and this neighborhood is very special because of diversity of, you know education, economics and all of that sort of stuff but everyone is family here. so, my family and this
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neighborhood has actually helped me when i didn't even ask them to board things up. a neighbor was on my roof boarding up a hole today. people went over and were chain sawing that tree that you can hear in the background. people come in and asking with everything and i'm not even asking. it's open and wonderful and it's, you know, it's worth moving across the country for. >> listen, thank you for talking to us. i know this is an incredibly stressful time. give your girls the best. this is the carolina, carolina place neighborhood in wilmington. so, send the crews. get the trees up, right? >> please help us as much as you can. i'm probably not the worst case. i have the neighborhood. >> one thing i want to point the word out, if you don't need to be on the roads, stay off the roads. let the crews come get the trees up and wires up and start to rebuild here. >> we'll hear those sounds of that chain saw in the days, weeks to come. thank you.
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want to bring in now shanna mendiola. where is it headed next? >> we'll continue to see this weekend but that doesn't mean the danger is out of the way. heavy bands associated with what is now tropical storm florence and maybe see it weaken to a depression later tonight. as it continues to push inland more heavy rain will hit the inland and charlotte heavy populated and some of the heavy rain push inland and sunday we'll continue to see it move towards the west, northwest. continue to dump that heavy rain as it moves very slowly. right now only seeing a 3-mile-per-hour movement and that is about as fast as i can walk. you can see how slow that is going to be. that rain is going to accumulate and then move its way up north and then people will get to see relief on monday and tuesday as we watch the storm move out. rain totals and already seeing record-breaking numbers in north carolina. already two feet of rain in some
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spots. that's north carolina. but i want to show you that we do expect an additional maybe 15 inches of rain in some spots and overall 30 to 40 inches within this storm. so, again, the run and the flooding the main story of what will happen next. not so much the storm surge and the wind and, again, not to be taken lightly. even though this storm is weakening, that is taken into account those winds. what is already saturated on the ground because you add the wind to that and you get the dangers with trees falling and power outages, as well. another update on this and keep you updated on what we will see coming up. >> meteorologist shanna, thank you. update from north carolina. on the phone lieutenant governor dan. within the last hour, governor, we have nine confirmed deaths and three of those. talk about the biggest danger right now for residents. >> well, i tell you a lot of dangers right now.
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we're down and took seven hours to get down here which is normally a two-hour trip. we are traveling around flooded roads and lots of rivers rising and trees down and power lines down. and multiple dangers. on the coast the wind is still blowing and it's going to be one of those that continues to be a news story every day. getting close to the middle of central north carolina, eastern north carolina and there's lots of flooding going on down here. lots of issues around and more tragic stories we're hearing. the big issue is letting this clear enough so that we can get supplies in and trucks can get into some of these roads and we can get supplies in places that need them. >> when it comes to supplies, also another concern is rescues. an aerial shot and many of these residences under water. are you still doing many rescues from rooftops from attics?
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what mostly, what kind of rescues mostly are being taken there? >> there's a multiple, right now emergency rescues. even people that are trapped in their homes or medical emergencies. we've had medical airlifts and dangerous in this kind of weather and flying to get people out of medical emergencies because the bridge is out there. we're receiving a lot of swift boat rescues and all the teams are deployed and more on their way and being deployed. so, yeah, a little bit of everything right now. the rivers are going to continue to rise and you're going to see more of that. >> what would you say to residents who are anxious in getting back to their properties to assess the damage to check on their pets. maybe they can't afford being away any longer. what would you say to them? >> well, just be as patient as you can. there are thousands of people working on the disaster right now who want to make sure that you stay safe. the islands are still closed to
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traffic. so, don't try to come out here. you won't make it out here for obvious reasons. like i said, power lines down all over the place. just too dangerous for people to be out and about. you need to let the first responders be able to get to where they're getting to and get the power crews deployed all over eastern north carolina right now. they're doing their just and just going to take a while. be patient. >> what is also helping is a disaster declaration that the president approved. he is expected to visit the area when, again, safety is not a concern. he's not going to impede the rescue efforts or the resources to get where they need to the most. what was it you are expecting from the president and what is it you hope to hear or see? >> he told me and he assured me that they were going to be doing everything in their power to make sure they're responding quickly. i think that's the issue. it always -- even when it's going to the people who defend impact and lost their homes or their businesses are shut down
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all these types of things. it seems like a lifetime for them. it can never be quick enough. the speed to recovery from fema and making sure people are getting in temporary housing and the small business administration are making sure businesses get up and running and getting through the additional disaster here takes time and people need to be patient with it even though that's a really difficult thing to do. >> lieutenant governor we heard from your residents earlier, that one woman who said she wouldn't have made it if it weren't for these people who just out of their hearts come out and help them. as we look now at the rescue efforts going on there. what is it athat you see in their spirit that will help the people out there and get your state through this? >> well, you know, we call it southern hospitality. but it's a good neighborly spirit and people love your neighbors and average, normal neighbors and they're in need and walk through water or get their boat out and go walk through water to rescue people
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that your first responders can't even get to. it's pretty unbelievable to see. i think as you see the worst in nature, oftentimes you see the best in human nature. that's what we're already seeing here. we'll continue to see that and all these volunteer groups come in from all over the country to help out in north carolina and we're very thankful for the ones that are here and the ones on their way. going to be a long, long, long process. >> we appreciate your time given that this is a very crucial time for you and your state. lieu enitant governor dan forest, we thank you. >> thank you for having me on. still to come, our coverage of tropical storm florence as catastrophic rain and flooding pound the carolinas. we'll take you back live to some of the hardest hit areas. back to politics and overshadowing the confirmation of bre of kavanaugh. when we were dating, we used to get excited about things
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republicans are pushing ahead for a confirmation vote on brett kavanaugh's to vote and how top senators have handled it. "new york times" is reporting a letter shared among senators and federal investigators that
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accuses kavanaugh and a male friend of forcing themselves on a girl while they were at a house party in high school. "the times" sites three people familiar with the letter that says the letter happened after the two teens trapped the girl in a bedroom. for his part, kavanaugh is denying these algashz legationsi categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. katie glik, also glenn and a.b. are back with me. katie, starting with you. right after we saw these allegations come out from 65 women who came out. they say they attended high school with kavanaugh and defending him in a letter to senate judiciary chair chuck grassley and senator feinstein. this was immediate response. how were they able to line this up and get it out so quickly? >> woman involved in signing the letter said it was organic, in fact. this was not something that they
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had, but that as the allegations came forward, there was quick activity generated by a number of judge kavanaugh's clerks and a whole bunch of them on board. >> is that indication that you would say that they knew this was coming, that there was preparation here to get it buttoned down so quickly? >> a number of them pushed back on that and suggested they were totally blindsided on this and we heard that from some senators, as well. i was talking with a top republican who was involved in confirmation proceedings and they are saying that when it comes to these allegations which are anonymous and there is a face and a name put to it, it's hard to see how it moves the dial with a lot of senate republicans. >> and when it comes to the democrats, we see this call, a lot pushing for the fbi to get involved here as far as the investigation. so, glenn, it's not opening a criminal investigation when it comes to this and comes to these allegations, explain how that is coming into this situation?
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>> sure frances. the fbi typically only has jurisdiction to investigate federal crimes. and if there was an exclusively local crime, a sexual assault, some 30 years ago between two juveniles, it probably, the fbi wouldn't have jurisdiction. now, they might have some investigative jurisdiction to look into it as part of the background investigation given that judge kavanaugh has been nominated to the supreme court. but it doesn't surprise me at all they they wouldn't open an investigation. i look at it through the glasses, if you have a young woman sexually assaulted even if it was 30 or 35 years ago, delayed reporting is usual when it comes to sexual assault. that is no reason to disbelieve a victim because victims often feel ashamed and they feel responsible and none of that can be further from the truth. delayed reporting as a career prosecutor is entirely usual and
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we need to believe victims whenever they come forward. the complication is when the victim wants to remain anonymous and all these years later there is this inability for judge kavanaugh or for the senators overhe overseeing the confirmation hearings to judge that the credibility and the accuracy of it. and all of this is left unresolved and there is sort of this cloud over everybody involved. so, i think first and foremost it is unfortunate for the victim and unfortunate for everybody involved in the process. >> closely watching this senator susan collins and murkowski of the swing votes there and closely watching as they will take it all in. and when it comes to these revelations? >> well, susan collins and lisa murkowski has concern from the constituents on policy and substantive matters that have nothing to do with this. i think this is what the democrats are doing is wrong. there is no allegation of a
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crime. there is no investigation of a crime. if there was and this was something that was being probed or as glenn pointed out, purported victim wanted to come out like anita hill and present in public to this alleged perpetrator what her complaints are and what her allegations are. this is a single and unique process being out for supreme court justice position. and the idea that anyone would be able to survive a process like this with conduct like this by the democrats, i think, is just impossible. they knew about it reportedly for months. they waited unit ilttil the las minute and this is something that is not being investigated and no matter what you think of his background or policy positions or anything else, i think it will boom rang. >> let's zero in on the timing. you have the "new yorker" reporting the sources and
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committee members aren't understanding why senator feinstein resisted answering questions about the allegations and following that report released this statement in part, the woman in question made clear she did not want this information to be public. critical matters of misconduct and protect the identity and the senator did so in this case. was there a delay here that was just too long? >> well, we are seeing some pushback on this from the left and the right folks. both sides saying this is such a significant issue that there should be more time to litigate it. more time to delve into it. you know, certainly, going back to what this does in terms of the votes here, we talked about lisa murkowski, susan collins. those absolutely are the two senators to watch. they have been pretty quiet since these allegations have come forward. a limited time frame here if
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they do decide to take a more local position. senator collins had what i was told an hour-long in-depth conversation with the judge yesterday. >> anything significant coming out of that that you know of? >> interesting to see what was addressed. we haven't yet heard the sort of full details of that call. but, certainly, all eyes on them as we do see republicans on the committee hoping to push forward short of public skepticism from either of those two senators. >> all three of you, thank you so much. of course, in a moment we'll check in on the damage in south carolina, plus, so many people across the country vacation in myrtle beach. the popular beach destination is in danger of being cut off for days because of flood waters. you're watching msnbc live. (music throughout)
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welcome back to msnbc live as we take a live look at this neighborhood in jacksonville, north carolina. you can see there the water rising, even almost reaching those mail boxes there as residents there continue to deal with a rain that is stalled in florence that stalled over their area. it was a category 4 hurricane, but now florence is a slow moving tropical storm, but even though wind speeds have dropped, florence has left a trail of destruction along the carolina coast in its wake. nine deaths are being blamed on the storm which includes a mother and her 8-month-old
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child. there are about 900,000 power outages and the majority of them in north carolina and the red cross says more than 5,000 people are in shelters. this while heavy rains continue to drench the region and being deployed to areas in need as far as the aid. president trump issued a disaster declaration that will make federal aid available. let's go now to south carolina where the governor just lifted evacuation orders for some of the coastal counties there. state government offices are expected to be open for business on monday but henry mcmaster says big challenges lie ahead. >> since we've been watching for this storm and hurricane, it has been most unpredictable. what has been predictable instead is our concern about the heavy rain and the flooding and that is on course for what we have been anticipating all along. we had help from nine different states, as well as president
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trump's involvement of his administration. >> evacuate orders remain in effect in some counties where downed trees and flooded areas there present a clear and present danger. nbc tammy has this report. hey, frances. i'm in conway which is 20 miles inland. we have been getting pelted with rain here all day. not a good thing considering there is already quite a bit of flooding. if you look at this house under water. we have a car there that is under water and if you spin down this way, this is a road. i don't know if you can see down there, but the road is completely under water and turn under to a river there. this road is closed. now, the good news is they actually do have power in this one area. but depending on which block you drive to, some blocks have power, some blocks don't. there are about 130 homes without power in south carolina.
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still under mandatory evacuation. they're urging the people that did not evacuate that are still in this area. don't go outside if you don't need to. a lot of trees down. still a very dangerous situation. frances, back to you. >> all right, tammy leitner, thank you. myrtle beach and the city's mayor said it is likely her city will be cut off because of it. she joins me now on the phone. mayor, i appreciate your time. of course, we have a concern there. the main road in and out of town and the three main rivers surrounding it. so, how long before the town is completely shut off and cut off? >> hi, frances. thank you. we are actually looking at a timeline now of somewhere between monday and wednesday as best we can tell for the rivers to crest. so, that is what we are trying to prepare for. governor mcmaster had a press conference just a bit ago, which
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you just released some of that and in it he is taking special precautions to allow two of the roads that come into myrtle beach to have some flood protection around them. so, we will not be completely cut off, no matter what happens because he is really taking the proactive step to ensure that we can get people in and out of myrtle beach. as well as goods and services. >> and talk a little bit about those resources there for the people, especially if they choose to say, when we see it time and time again. when the flood waters rise people who have been there who are long-time myrtle beach residents and the tourists say, yes, we can ride this out. that may not be the case. what are you telling them as far as reassurances where those resources? >> those who evacuated who live in myrtle beach, it will be safe for them to come home. we did not suffer any damages here. everything was really just very minimal.
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the trees and things such as that. but if you go inland from west where conway is located, a lot of people live there who work in myrtle beach. and that is what we are so concerned about because they just really started healing from the last floods after matthew. and now they're coming back to their homes and facing this, again. and it is such a sad situation for them. >> and hopefully the situation will be much better there for you in myrtle beach. myrtle beach mayor brenda bethune, thank you for your time. >> thank you. still to come, new reporting by the investigation and the chief of fema's travel habts and how the white house was planning to deal with it. new reports he was pressured to resi resign. ♪
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we protected your money then and we're dedicated to helping protect it today. like alerting you to certain card activity we find suspicious. if it's not your purchase, we'll help you resolve it. it's a new day at wells fargo. but it's a lot like our first day. why is brock long not briefing us? he didn't brief us yesterday. isn't briefing us this morning. and is he going to rye main in the job given the swirling controversy surrounding him? >> as to the first question, why is our administrator brock long not briefing, we have multiple press engagements as you can understand. so it is a team effort.
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so there are many multiple media events as you well know that many of our on teammates cover. so second question, our administrator is our administrator. he has given our team very clear guidance that the focus is florence. >> the head of fema, brock long, was noticeably absence from the storm briefings. and there is a report that the white house considered replacing long as florence gathered steam. people have shared new details with the "wall street journal" about an internal investigation that included surveillance of long's lengthy travel to his home state of north carolina. investigators reportedly even tailed him. i want to welcome back my panel. news wrote of thbroke of the in general report and this is the first we're hearing about the white house considering replacing him. how bad are the optics for the administration as now fema is working to just hustle and
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respond to florence and help out there? >> well, this is a pattern with the trump administration as you know. many people in the trump cabinet have and at various top agencies within the executive branch have had questionable ethical misdeeds surface in the press. the list is longer than ten. that is all you need to know. but the glad they let these things, a, occur, b, fester. so that it could be reported in the "wall street journal" right in the middle of this devastating storm when all of the focus is on the response of the federal government and now this comes out and he is hiding from the briefing. it is just everything that you would work to prevent. the trump administration seems to be at peace with these kinds of lapses, ethical lapses festering across the executive branch. we've seen it for more than a year and a half. and they waited until the last
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possible minute. and many people actually don't get fired. so it will be interesting to see how they handle this, but i won't be surprised if they continue to dodge questions and he keeps his job. >> you will see 12 minutes ago looking at all of our phones as we follow the president's tweets where he tweeted actually about this in response to a fema statement. here is a tweet. he says thank you brock, it is my honor. quoting the statement from fema, we fema have never had the support that we have had from this president. so katie, we were just talking about this. >> and there is no better vote of confidence at least for this particular moment for the administrator to have that come out from the president. but certainly news of this internal investigation, news of the challenges for fema could not come at a worse time. of course they are very much in the national spotlight right now as hurricane florence bears down on the administrator's home base of north carolina. >> and long as addressed the
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investigation earlier this week saying that the inspector general was investigating the use of federal resources when it comes to that, how do you expect even more for the administration to respond knowing that it is so crucial especially when he heads down to carolina? >> right. it is not clear that the investigation high school found that he has done something that merits losing his job. and i'm not saying that. but the idea that these things have been known for a while, have been investigated without conclusion so that in the middle of a hurricane season with a hurricane that is worse than we've seen in many decades, that the administration would have to deal with this problem. on top of the fact that they are already answering questions about the response to hurricane maria and the president's denial about the numbers of casualties coming out of that storm. directly or indirectly related to the federal response. is everything that you would want to work to avoid. now, again, maybe replacing him
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is too disruptive in the middle of a storm. and that actually makes sense. but again, it seems that the kind of thing that could be a voided in a very disorganized and chaotic and often corrupt administration. >> and also we know this with kirstjen nielsen knowing that she was pressuring him to resign. we'll see what comes out of it. as always, thanks to both of you. there is much more ahead. we'll go live to the rising waters across the carolinas with nbc's team of reporters. and as the president distances himself from his one time campaign chairman paul manafort, the rest of the world wonders how much does he know and how much will he say. back after this. friends, colleagues,
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good to be with you. i'm frances rivera. we begin with paul manafort striking a deal. the man once in charge of the presidential campaign is now cooperating. he pleaded guilty to two charges filed in washington, d.c. and admitted to ten counts from his earlier trial in virginia. he will remain in prison until sentencing. this agreement comes just days before a second trial was to get under way. press secretary sarah sanders issued a statement saying this had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign. it is totally unrelated. the president's lawyer rudy giuliani issued a

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