tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN August 31, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
>> strong protest if he came out against the dreamers on friday. >> i'm out of time. thank you all so very much. david, all of you, thanks. brianna keeler sitting in for jake tapper, the lead starts right now. waters recede, rescuers worry about what they will find. the lead starts right now. plucked to safety, dramatic and risky rescue missions picking up across the texas coast as one county near the texas/louisiana line warns people, get out or die. show of force. nuclear capable american jets drop bombs near the border as the u.s. answers the latest north korean missile tests. plus if they can get along, two governors, two parties, two potential 2020 candidates, they
are here to tell us their plan and to pull off the impossible. welcome to the lead, i'm brianna keeler in for jake tapper and we begin with breaking news in the national lead. the u.s. military on their way to get people out and get supplies in. the white house now saying 100,000 homes were affected by harvey. aerial rescues are going on right now across the texas gulf coast as crews hope to find people with no escape from the historic flood waters that harvey left behind. today new dangers are popping up as the clouds move away. and officials at a chemical plant are expecting more fires after two blasts overnight set off a fire that made more than a dozen sheriff's deputies sick, still the plan insists this is not a toxic fire. and in the town of beaumont, texas, 118,000 people have no drinking water. people lined up at stores, hours before they open this morning. after extreme flooding knocked
the city's water pumps out of service, the desperate situation forced a hospital in beaumont to move close to 200 parkts from beds to stretchers, to choppers, all the way to facilities a couple hours outside of the city. i want to start now with cnn's brian todd in houston. brian, you have been with first responders going door to door searching for anyone still stranded six days now after harvey first hit. are they finding anyone? >> reporter: breen that iannbri not finding people, but it does speak to the painstaking nature of trying to account for everyone. and again also speaks to the idea that possibly the injury toll and the death toll may rise in the days ahead. we're on an airboat in the lakeside forest area of west houston. we need an airboat just to get around here. but again, the door to door, you know, the nature of going door to door here is pretty harrowing for some residents because they -- they don't know whether they're going to find people. they're asking people about
their neighbors. and we just saw a high water vehicle go down there with some army personnel in it again they're checking to see if anyone is around in these neighborhoods. this is occurring near west houston, as you said days after the storm as areas in east texas are still dealing with horrible flooding and emergency rescue situations there. southeast texas flooding as seen from above by rescuers urgently trying to save people from the water. a victim on a rooftop catches the attention of a coast guard team and a diver goes down to help. soon, two flood victims are brought up in a basket. helicopter and boat rescues are ongoing throughout the day. taking advantage of clearing skies and racing to help flood victims. 10,000 have been rescued by federal rescuers alone. southeast texas is the latest area to get flooded by a storm that has dumped an estimated 27 trillion gallons on texas and louisiana. beaumont's hospital had to close
and evacuate patients, some by helicopter. >> icu patients, nicu patients and dialysis patients are going first. >> that's because the water supply serving over 100,000 residents is out. the pumps are flooded. officials say it could get worse before it gets better. >> we think it's going to crest saturday is what the national weather service was telling us. >> reporter: also still looming, more potential blasts at a flooded chemical plant. residents heard an explosion at the plant in crosby where authorities say tanks of organic peroxide that lost their cooling systems are rupturing. >> we can expect similar type of decomposition in those other trailers, and maybe even all nine of them before it's over with. >> reporter: anyone within a nile and a half had been ordered to evacuate, but 15 officers were treated and released for smoke exposure. >> the toxicity of the smoke will cause an irritation to your eyes, lungs, if you breathe it, just like any smoke. >> reporter: rescuers continued in west houston as well.
in some neighborhoods, firefighters are already going door to door checking if people are okay. tony said the water in his house was several feet high, he has already started ripping out the walls. how do you feel? do you want to stay here? >> no, not now. >> reporter: authorities believe the flood waters passed their high point, today new evacuation orders to stop residents from checking on their homes. >> the basic message is if you can't drive to your home, don't go. >> reporter: that's because a lot of homes in this area are still flooded and even if you think your home is not flooded, there are still dangers, loose wires around, other dangers, hazards in the house that officials are warning about. despite the temptation to try to get to your homes, many people, brianna, still returning to neighborhoods like this. >> brian todd, thank you. in houston. and right now vice president pence is in texas. you're actually looking at some live pictures here in victoria, texas, which is where the vice president is there with the
charity group called convoy of hope helping to distribute food and supplies. this situation is dire for much of southeast texas. there are many homes that are still underwater and finding food and water to drink is easier said than done. i want to go now to cnn's ryan nobles in orange, texas, ryan, you are in a neighborhood where crews are finding people still trapped. >> reporter: yeah, that's right, brianna. so this neighborhood behind me started flooding around 1:00 yesterday morning. the waters kept going throughout the day. that forced many of these people out of their homes. and what we've seen over the course of today is a trickling of residents both coming in and out of this neighborhood. some coming back to get their belongings, checking to see how much damage there is, but there are still many people who rode out the storm, who are staying in their homes, hoping that this will pass, that the waters will recede and they'll be okay. the problem for them, brianna is we don't know what the future holds here in orange, texas. there are two rivers which are
near orange, texas, which officials here are still concerned could swell and flood and bring more flooding to this area. as a result, parts of orange county, texas, are under a mandatory evacuation. officials here do not want to take any risks. there has been a significant presence of the cajun navy, that volunteer group of folks who come out with their boats and rescue people. we've been listening to their communications channels and their concerned that the situation in this region is too dangerous and they've actually pulled out apart of orange, texas, to go to safer ground. so right now, the situation for many of the folks here in this part of texas is uncertain, brianna, they are not convinced yet that the worst is behind them. >> all right, ryan nobles in orange, texas. and since harvey hit texas, gas prices have spiked. the national average is up nearly 10 cents. it's even higher in the southeast. and now there are concerns about gas shortages. cnn's allison costic is in dallas, what's happening where you are?
>> reporter: brianna, we are at a gas station in dallas. and i want to show you the line that has formed over the past few hours. it is dozens of cars deep. you see this happening all over the city. we've been to several gas stations that are just out of gas completely. i talked to one owner who said he's seen in two hours 1,000 cars come through his gas station. usually in two hours he would see 100 cars. look up here, the gas stations up here, but the hope is at this point is that when these cars get to the pump, that this gas station won't run out of gas. all of this happening at news broke that the colonial pipeline which is a main pipeline that brings gasoline and other products from houston to the east had to be shut down because the company doesn't feel like it's safe enough to get their people to refineries and to where they can be to bring that product to the pipelines. so that pipeline is shut down at least for today. and at this point, gas stations don't know when their next delivery is going to be, and that's why you're seeing one gas
station owner says is panic from people. keep in mind though, brianna, this isn't a raw supply issue, there's plenty of supply, it's more of a logistics issue. brianna. >> all right, what a line there though that you just showed us. allison costic in dallas, thank you. the president says sending federal aid to the gulf coast is a top priority. how the white house says they'll help harvey victims, next. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through? maybe it's time for otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,... ...with reduced redness,... ...thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has... ...no requirement for routine lab monitoring.
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on these pictures of devastation. welcome back now. we are going to start getting an idea here. part of it you can see there in the live pictures of what is just widespread devastation from hurricane harvey. >> take a listen to that. >> as franklin graham just said, it's a long way to go. it's not months, but it's years. the challenges will be great. but we know that the generosity and the prayers and the faith of
the today, tomorrow, until this city and this state and this region rebuild. but when it comes to the exact aid, one of the big questions is how much aid will be needed. the assessments are still being done on a conference call with house gop members last night. there was talk of an immediate package as well as a longer term bill. and that's what we heard from white house homeland security advisor tom bossert. the white house will be putting together what he called a responsible emergency aid funding package. with the information they have right now when it comes to what's going to be needed. and that later on, they will ask for an additional supplemental funding to help these victims when more is known about the total cost of the recovery and rebuilding efforts. we heard bossert say an estimated 100,000 homes are affected.
we just learned from sarah sanders a short while ago that president trump has pledged $1 million as she put it of his personal money to go to victims in texas and louisiana. so we don't know when that's going to be donated, but that is what the president is promising. as for that aid package, sanders would not put a timeline on when that will first go to congress, it's a priority. >> so much to work out on that. athena jones at the white house, thank you. why is agreeing to help disaster victims such a hard sell in congress? we're going to talk to a texas republican congressman will herd about it next. discover card.
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you are looking at live pictures coming to us from a u.s. coast guard helicopter which is not far from beaumont, texas. cnn's kaylee haretong is there on that chopper. set the scene for us it seems that this may be a rescue just began or is under way? >> reporter: just began. we've been in the air for more than an hour on board this h 60 helicopter. we've seen home after home with water up to the rooftop and the area of beaumont. the rescue swimmers are now on the ground meeting up with a couple of people on the ground. there was a call that came in for two elderly people in the area. right now, i can't see much more than you could see out the door of this chopper.
but this is the first time while we've been on board to go down. on these rescue missions, they're trying so hard to ensure they're getting to the people who are in the most dire need to help people in uncomfortable situations. but these rescuers are in life threatening conditions. speaking with one of the rescue swimmers who's now on the ground assessing this situation, said he rescued four people yesterday, and then he pulled out pictures on his phone of those people surviving this storm on this helicopter with him. but to see that sort of human emotion out of him, taking photos with those people, moments after he changed what
you can only imagine was the worst day of those people's life into a wonderful moment. >> can you, so -- >> reporter: big part of the story, brianna. >> this crew, i imagine, kaylee, correct me if i've wrong, has been doing this for days. and if you can also -- if you can have your cameraman point back out the window so we can just get a look there so we can get a look at what's going on outside as this, right now, cialy, you've described this coast guard swim team that just had gone down had deployed from the chopper. how did they get -- were you already in the air when they got this call about two elderly who needed assistance? >> reporter: we were. we were in the area for about an hour, maybe a little more, surveying the area. there were reports coming into the command center that a dam had broken in this area and that waters were rising. we spent most of our time north of beaumont -- there is so much
air traffic in the air. at one point, we saw -- i saw five other choppers outside of our window. you would hear often overcom company traffic, company traffic, that means there's traffic from their company, other military aircraft in the area. but we were the closest when this call came in and we headed straight towards it. it's hard for me to identical specifically on a map. what are the challenges that these helicopter rescue missions face is that sometimes their given addresses, sometimes longitude from the area. i'm listening on mycomes, the rescue swimmers right now describing what they see. they have knocked on the door of a home, haven't found anybody inside. but they're experiencing the difficulty i was just telling you about in which they're given an address and from the air of course it's so hard to identify specifically which home that may be. i heard one of the guys typing in an address on google maps
earlier as we tried to identify a house. one call earlier, there was 20 people on a rooftop. there were boats surrounding the house and those people being taken away. >> kaylee, you were there monitoring this potential rescue by the u.s. coast guard near beaumont, texas. we are going to monitor kaylee's feed there and we're going to check back in with her throughout the hour. these rescue efforts, you can see, they're still ongoing, tens of thousands of harvey survivors stuck in shelters and look at rebuilding from what may be the most expensive storm in history. i want to bring in will herd from texas. he spent today with the civil air patrol supporting fema and volunteering with the red cross and also the san antonio food bank. congressman, thank you so much for joining us as we think about your state here. >> i appreciate it. i appreciate you focussing on
this. and what you're watching just now with coast guard, they've done over 4,000 of those kinds of rescues over the last six days. that's pretty significant. there's been folks that have come from all over the country with boats and have just been going neighborhood to neighborhood to help people. and so it really is an example of people helping people in this really, in this time of need. >> san antonio avoided the brunt of this, but that meant that a lot of folks there are able to stage and help folks who are really in the damaged areas. what is the plan at this point in time, recovery in the ball park of $100 billion. >> yeah, i think the first step is to make sure that fema and all the various agencies, you know, you have 12,000 federal employees down here helping with harvey from, you know, a dozen
different agencies. and so, the goal is, make sure they have enough money to continue the immediate operations. the flood, the flood waters haven't rescinded yesterday in all of these locations. it's an active weather event. so we're not going to be able to assess the true damage probably until -- probably be able to begin until next week. so the first -- the first need is, make sure that fema and all the folks have the money they need to continue these operations. and that's what we'll be discussing next week when we're back in session to ensure that there is no stop in this activity. this is my first time being involved in one of these types of disasters on this side. and i will say the coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement -- local officials has been pretty fantastic, the private sector getting involved. you know, helping with generators, helping provide security of different locations. that level of coordination -- we've seen some significant
changes since the problems that were experienced at katrina. >> we had a report just a moment ago, congressman, from the white house and a reporter was telling us, there's the short term issue as you were describing then the longer term issue that you'll start to assess next week. we know that leadership, republican leadership is talking about wrapping all of this into a larger package that would also deal with raising the debt ceiling and also funding the government to avert a government shutdown. do you think republicans, do you think your fellow gop members would go along with that? >> i think it is. i think they will. and look, because of these expenditures right now towards the end of running out of money, this is, this is the worst time to have additional expenses. and so, these two issues are tied hand in hand. you also got to make sure that these agencies are able to cooperate. like i said, 12,000 federal employees that are down here helping with the coordination, and i think people recognize the impact.
there's been 32,000 people in shelters in about 280 different shelters across texas, and again, the flood hasn't receded, and so we still don't know the extent of the damage. so the first thing is make sure operations can continue. and i think it's hard to put a number to what this, you know, what the actual cost to rebuild is going to be, but the numbers going to be big. and we'll have to deal with that once we have an accurate number. when you look at how long it took to fully recover from katrina, it was almost three years. i think folks recognize it's goingen to larger. and one thing, brianna, for folks, a lot of folks that are going to the shelters understand they can go to disaster assistance.gov to possibly be able to get additional or federal support. people that were going to visit with friends or get away from the flood zones don't know that, but disasterassistance.gov if you're a business or individual impacted by this disaster. you should go and register on that website. >> all right. good point there, congressman
will herd, thank you so much for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. well congress has been struggling to pass anything, two governors from opposite sides of the aisle are saying, we'll show you how it's done. i'm going to talk with governors john kasich and john hickenlooper next. can make anyone slow downt and pull up a seat to the table. that's why she takes the time to season her turkey to perfection, and make stuffing from scratch. so that you can spend time on what really matters. marie callender's. it's time to savor.
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you get my bomb-diggity discounts automatically. ♪ no duh, right? [ chuckles ] sir, you forgot -- keep it. you're gonna need it when i make it precipitate. what, what? what? we're back with the politics lead. obamacare will still be alive in washington next week. so far republicans in the senate have been unable to come up with a repeal and replace bill with enough votes to pass. and on wednesday the senate health committee will begin hearings on stabilizing the insurance markets. today the republican governor of ohio john kasich and colorado's democratic governor john hickenlooper unveiled their bipartisan plan to fix the american health care system and they are both joining me now. governors, thank you so much for being with us here on the lead. we do appreciate it. and we have a lot to cover certainly when it comes to your
health care proposal. real quick, i want to ask you though as you're looking at what's going on with harvey in in texas and louisiana, what do you think, governor kasich, about this state and the federal response? >> so far, everything i understand, it's been enormous. what's been the best thing is people from all walks of life, all walks of life have made enormous contributions. i mean, it's all the way from sports stars like jj watt to social media stars, including the kardashians, and then lots of money from across the country, from to the salvation army to the red cross, here in ohio, we've sent some first responders, some firefighters. we stand ready to send whatever we can. i'm sure john has done the same. my family's made a donation, and look, it's just an unbelievable, devastating situation. and more you watch it, the more you can put yourself, you really
can't, but you think about how difficult it must be for those people down there, but god bless them and america hasn't been this united in a long time as it relates to this. >> no, we are all certainly thinking about them. governor hickenlooper, as you are seeing what's happening, are you feeling confident in the response? >> yeah, i think the response has been comprehensive and intense and we've got some planes and helicopters down there. we have a number of our national guard down there. obviously we're raising money just like every part of the country is because we are all one and out in colorado is a big state for outdoor recreation, and i've been amazed at how many duck hunters and anglers, fishermen are out there using their boats to rescue people. probably more rescues by these private individuals and are obviously heroic first responders. >> it's phenomenal. i want to talk about health care. because you unveiled your plan to stabilize the individual markets. so governor hickenlooper, can
you just explain to folks at home how you can keep the cost of medical coverage, things like procedures and prescription drugs down while making sure that the care is good. >> well that's the basic goal. and i think it's -- funny way, hurricane harvey, i mean, everyone down there doing what they can, it's bipartisan. it's transpartisan, and that's really what governor kasich and i have been working on when jaurn and i first started talking about this. so, things like making sure that we have the cost, making sure that we control the cost reduction opportunities to make sure that we increase the size of the pool in many cases we have a concentration of the high cost individuals who have chronic conditions, and everyone else was not getting insurance. part what have we're proposing is to make sure that we have some form of reshurns that the federal government will support and allow it to be dictated by
the local states, giving them the sufficient flexibility that we can by having a larger pool really control costs. and i want to say also that transparency kind of is woven in this, more devices and more ways that people can really see what procedures, what medical, you know, influences, what they are going to cost, not influences, but medical procedures or any kind of a surgery or anything, know ahead of time what it's going to cost. >> because it does vary as you start comparing things. governor kasich, there's also this idea that you would have cost-sharing subsidies, something that governor hickenlooper mentioned there that you would promote enrollment and you have a stability fund, you would stabilize risk pools, a lot of these are fixes that insurers and governors have been calling for for some time. that would include the individual mandate which is a crux of obamacare. so how do you sell this to
republicans who say look, these are just fixes and it keeps obamacare in place? >> right. well you have to think about this in three ways. and we have had six other governors sign up, including the head of the national governor's association, brian sandoval who happens to be a republican. look, there's three ways, first of all, you have to stabilize the markets because things are in a frenzy and the markets could melt down which means that millions of americans would lose health insurance. so think of it this way, we have the car is in the ditch and we need to get it out of the ditch and stabilize the situation which is exactly what we do here. but secondly, we then give states the ability to bring any type of innovation they want as long as they're not dropping coverage for people and as long as the coverage is going to be reasonable where people are going to have comprehensive coverage. let me give you an example what have i mean. you're 25 years old, we're going to give you catastrophic coverage, we're going to give you health savings account, and we're also going to make sure
you get primary care. that's comprehensive. okay, that is the definition of comprehensive. and so what we're going to do with this is we're then going to let the states be able to innovate dramatically within certain guidelines, but they'll have much power. and then thirdly is what john was just talking about, the ability to begin to pay now for performance. not for quantity, but quality medicine. so initially, stabilize the insurance markets so it doesn't collapse. secondly, let the states have the ability to innovate dramatically and to be able to make sure that we can -- we can make sure people have coverage that they don't lose what they need, and then finally, change the whole way in which we think about health care. this should have -- this should satisfy about everybody because look, if you're a democrat and you want to double down on obamacare. you can. and if you're a republican and you want to design your own plan within certain guidelines because we don't want people dropping folks from coverage, you can do it. and i'm excited about the possibility of having the
responsibility to design a plan that fits us, just like all the other 49 states can do. so i think this goes right down the middle. and i want to tell you, john hickenlooper, he's terrific, his staff has been terrific. our staff has worked well together. and we think we have a document that is absolutely a framework for how to get through this mess and move on. >> when i hear everyone will be happy with health care, i am a little skeptical, i will tell you that from the past, but governor hickenlooper, you're aware that the harris, democratic senator, is now going to co-sponsors bernie sanders medicare for all when it's introduced in september. what is your case to make to democrats to say don't go that direction, go this direction that i am putting forth with governor kasich? >> well, the single payer, especially at this moment in history, it's hard to see it getting traction in congress. and what we're proposing here is
admittedly incremental, it's not going to transform the entire health care system in one swoop, but it is going to allow us to stabilize the private markets. allow us to begin the innovation that john kasich is talking about of really stepping forward and allowing states that ability to innovate. that's how -- i mean, we're going to have substantial changes and really strengthen the entire system. >> i do have to ask you since i have you both here because you were both shooting down speculation that you can be running together in 2020, we whipped up a little something, just a little -- >> for what? running for what? >> not dogcatcher. okay. >> what is it we're running for? >> you know, the big white house. so we whipped up a little something. it's just a little poster just to give you a taste what have it would look like. so, i don't know, isn't that a little enticing, governor kasich? >> there's a lot of stars around that. listen, i hope my wife doesn't have the show on tonight. i want to eat dinner at home. i want to be able to get in my
home. and if you guys are cooking something up, i've got to make sure that i can sneak in and tell her i wasn't a part of this. >> that's not a no. >> look, hickenlooper looks so good on that. it's really enticing. he should seriously think about it. >> and you know there's options here. there's options here. look, we can also switch it up, you can see that -- governor hickenlooper, i mean, what do you think about this? could this be a possibility for you? >> now we're talking, now we're talking. no, i don't think it's going to happen. and i admire and i really enjoy working with governor kasich. he's been a great partner. and i think we are going to find things question work on together -- >> but what would make it happen? what would make it happen? with so much convention being thrown out the window when it comes to politics, what might make you consider something like that? >> brianna, here's the situation, what is so astounding to me is that john, successful, mall businessman, terrific guy, and i am working together and
people like can't believe it. they can't believe that a republican and democrat can get together. this is the way it used to be. and let me suggest one other thing, we're not doing this because we want to run for something. we're doing it because we think we can help people. and as i said just in an interview not long ago, why is it any time anybody does anything good, there's suspicion as to why they're doing it? now what we're seeing are people doing wonderful things in texas not because they want anything. it brings out the best in us. life is short, and you know, what i think john and i answered to was the lord's call that we can give eastbound a chance and lift everyone. that's what we are all about. plain and simple. >> we appreciate both of you being with us. and seeing is believing. the two of you here working on something together, reaching across the aisle. governor kasich, governor hickenlooper, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> you're welcome, thank you. we're going to take a short break and we'll be right back with our top story, the recovery from harvey in just a moment. yoy
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welcome back. turning to our world lead, american fighter jets sending a warning to north korea, the u.s. and it's allies staged a fiery show of force just hours after kim jong-un renewed his missile threat against the u.s. territory of guam. flying some of it's most advanced state of the art stealth fighters and bombers over the korean peninsula in a bombing drill. a live fire drill there. cnn's will riply is joining me now from pyongyang, north korea, he's the only western journalist inside north korea right now. what is north korea's response to this bombing drill?
very clear message being sent by the u.s. and it's allies? >> reporter: essentially north korea shrugged it off, brianna, they put a statement in the late evening hours here relatively quickly after that flyover by the united states. they called it a rash act because they say the united states is upset about their intermediate range missile launch which is true. the united states certainly not happy that they launched their missile over northern japan, but the north korean statement didn't promise further reaction as a result of the bombing flyover. they're used to seeing this kind of thing from the united states. it wasn't a strong worded reaction from north korea. we'll have to see if there's any physical action to come. it hasn't happened yet. >> tell us if you can explain a square for us what the japanese prime minister is saying. he's saying that president trump and he are in total agreement when it comes to their responses to north korea, but trump has talked about fire and fury. he said they're locked and loaded.
he just tweeted recently that talking really isn't going to be the solution here. what does that mean? can you explain that to us? that they're on the same page it seems that they are anything but. >> reporter: we know that the prime minister shinzo abe publicly is always going to say that he's in lock step with the united states and president trump. i mean, the u.s./japan alliance is the most important relationship for japan. that's why you saw prime minister abe race to the united states shortly after the election. obviously the two leaders have differences in style, but their end game, their end goal is the same which is they want to diplomatically and economically isolate north korea. even though president trump says that talking isn't the answer, he's not saying that a military option is the answer. nobody thinks that a military option is a good idea on the peninsula because of the catastrophic consequences. but what the united states would like to see and in fact japan and the uk came up with a deal is they're going to try speed up the pace of implementing the seventh round of u.n. sanctions. they're going to continue to try
to pressure china to do more to sanction this country. they basically want the regime cut off completely, financially, so that in the united states view, they will be desperate. and come to the bargaining table willing to talk about their weapons program. but of course the north koreans would point out, they lived through famine in the late 1u9 90s, hundreds of thousands died through starvation. they're much more self-sufficient now than they were back then. and even during the difficult times, the regime stayed in power and kept launching missiles. >> will ripley, thank you so much from north korea. breaking news in our politics lead. the wall street journal is reporting that lawyers from president trump met several times with robert mueller and they have submitted memos arguing that the president did not obstruct jus disby firing former fbi chief james comey. so to my panel here, kirsten powers, mary katherine hamm, what does that mean when you have the white house dismissing this investigation, but privately, mary katherine, it
seems like it's a very different story. how concerned are they? >> i think they're probably concerned. some concerned more than trump seems publicly. this is a die cot mouse white house, there are many messages at one time. i think they should be concerns and making that argument because that's the arguments that lawyers should make in defense of the president. but trump will continue to be trump in public. >> what do you think? >> i want to hear their argument. >> of course. >> right. i mean seriously, because it seems to me to be sort of a pretty obvious case of obstruction of justice. some sort of interest in the legal, you know -- we've kind of heard the political argument i think, but what's the really deep legal defense of this since there really was no other reason to fire him but to obstruct his investigation. >> meaning if it's not the public or the initial public argument -- >> are they making a different argument? >> because he had messed up with the hillary clinton e-mail investigation, you said he did it with russia in mind. >> the president himself said in an interview that it was because of russia. they had their sort of initial
response, but then he later said, you know, no it was because of the russia investigation. so it just seems like an open and shut case. i'm wondering if they're making a different case. >> today very important news that the u.s. is retaliating against russia. closing the russian consulate in san francisco as well as two other offices. this coming in response to the fact that russia is mandating staff cuts at the u.s. mission in russia. where do you see this going? >> well, it's good that there was a response and the state department says this was supposed to be something that was proportionate, not something meant to escalate, of course russia's responding sort of overly dramatically and suggesting this is an escalation, but in fact it really does seem like a proportionate response and a fairly mild response frankly considering that all that russia has done in the past year.
>> is it mild? is it proportional, what do you think? >> it did seem to -- it seemed to make a point about being proportional. it seems to me like it's sort of counterpunching in a trumpian style in foreign policy or in diplomatic relations. also i wonder what the san francisco consulate for russia, a very nice, large piece of property. >> that is a good point. which i'm sure costs a pretty penny. >> not that trump cares about this kind of thing. >> sure not. senior administration sources saying that look, there's no russian embassy staff being expelled, right? they can be reassigned. they're just moving them from this consulate in san francisco and from annexing in washington and new york. so does that make it mild? in that regard? >> well, it could be more smoke than fire, i think certainly. >> that it's just a message. >> it felt mild to mep like i said, they seem to be making a point that they didn't want to
do something that was going to escalate problems with russia. >> where does that head if it does turn into an escalation? >> yeah. but then we sort of go back to the fact, i just don't feel like there's been enough done to respond to all that russia has done. so in that context, this just feels a little bit like they can say they did something. >> it's looking now like the investigation into potential, well we know some campaign contacts with be it russian individuals or officials that it's expanding. because now off source telling cnn that the new york attorney general, eric sneiderman is looking at notes, he's comparing notes with the special council when it comes to paul manafort, the former head, one of the former heads of donald trump's campaign. this would move things to a state level. in a way. and is that -- is that an active effort to try to stop donald trump's pardon power from reaching paul manafort? >> i mean there are two things there. there is the element where his powers are blunted on a state level when it comes to state charges, but the other part of
this i think that's interesting for the political playout is that sneiderman is recognized a as part of the democratic machine in new york. he's a new york guy with whom trump has had a new york feud and we're going to hear tons about it if he's involved. and i do think with trump's voters, it gives him a political weapon to say look at this guy. >> it does. >> it really does. yeah. i think the only explanation is what you said see that they are hoping to get around so that -- because the sphere of course that people don't cooperate because they think that trump is going to pardon them though. i think that's a risky game to play frankly. i think that they would only do it if they had a good reason because of that fact that sneiderman is so political. and look, they're all -- attorney generals in new york are all elected and they're part of a party, but he is really particularly very portfolio and has this already problem with donald trump. he's the one that went after trump university.
they're in bed with somebody that's a democrat. of course he would. if the situation were reversed, you would see the same thing. i want to talk daca. the protection for dreamers. young people who came to the u.s. illegally, but as young people. they came certainly with their parents and they've had some protections under the obama administration to protect them from deportation. so right now, we know that the homeland security department is there at the white house. they're meeting on the future of daca. protecting 800,000 undocumented immigrants. what happens to the dreamers if the president decides i'm getting rid of this policy? >> well, i mean, there's a lot of details about how their work permits would end at some point. someone was trying to make this look like it was over when in fact it was not. >> broken another network then
at the white house briefing, the spokeswoman and the homeland security advisor were definite that this was still under consideration. >> as they're considering this, it's interesting that this white house is often all over the place and whenever it was, april or june, the immigration memo actually preserved obama's memo. i think this is a real weakness of the phone and pen president, presidency. he's like you've put these pokes in a bad position where they have applied, and you don't know who will become president next. and that's where why congress should pass something. >> is that people came forward. they sort of came out, you know, expecting that they were going to be safe, and now if they withdraw this, they're targets. they have targets on their backs basically. >> and their information is obviously known. it is filed with the government as well. >> yeah. and so the reason they came forward was because they thought they'd be safe. >> kirsten powers, mary katherine hamm. thank you so much to both of
you. follow the lead on facebook and twitter. that is if for the lead. i'm turning you over to jim sciutto filling in for wolf blitzer in the situation room. happening now. breaking news. rescues and evacuations urgent rescues are still taking place in harvey's wake. rescuers pulling people in the water and from rooftops. in beaumont, texas, a hospital air lifted it's patients to safety from the elderly to newborns. and concerns are growing that thousands could still be missing in the disaster zone. risk of explosion after barrels of chemicals exploded a flooded chemical plant shooting flames and black smoke into the sky, authorities evacuate the surrounding area amid fears of more danger. door to door. rescue workers going