tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN September 22, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
good morning. it's the top of the hour. 9:00 eastern. i appem poppy harlow. >> i am john berman. all that is at stake, the lives of tens of millions of people. >> a short time ago the president of the united states wrote this, kim jong-un of north korea who is obviously a mad man that doesn't mind starving or killing his people will be tested like never before. this hours after kim jong-un called the president mentally
deranged and threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the pacific ocean. a threat of something that has not happened, a test that has not happened since 1980. >> that's right. good morning to both of you. the pentagon not commenting on this publicly, but when north korea makes a threat like this they have to plan as if it might be true, as if north korea might decide to carry out such a test. the north koreans now threatening a hydrogen bomb test on or over the pacific ocean. this would be the first atmospheric in the atmosphere test of a hydrogen test of a nuclear bomb in decades. the toll on the environment and humanity would change everything. the calculations of how the trump administration might be forced to respond, how could the north koreans get a hydrogen device out into the pacific and
how would the u.s. take it out and would there be preemptive action? all of these questions at the moment completely unanswered because nobody knows what the north koreans might do. the president calling kim jong-un a madman. and kim jong-un, i want everybody to just have a look at what he had to say about president trump. the head of the regime, kim jong-un, saying, he, trump, is unfit to hold the perogativ of a supreme country, and i will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the u.s. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the dprk. he will face results beyond his expectation. i will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged the
u.s. dotard with fire. could he put some sort of hydrogen bomb on a cargo ship and missile and detonate it on or over the pacific ocean, john and poppy. >> another issue the u.s. has to deal with with another regime. iran revealed a long-range missi missile this morning. missiles are not part of the nuclear deal, per se. >> of course these missiles are essentially the delivery vehicle, just like in north korea, for a bomb or a nuclear device, a nuclear warhead on the front end of these ballistic missiles. that's what the threat is to
europe and to the united states. it's concerning. this comes at the most difficult time, if you are trying to get north korea to the negotiating table over its missile and nuclear warhead program, how do you do that when you have an administration that is signaling, we don't know, that it might pull out of a deal with another country, with iran. >> all connected. barbara starr, thank you so much. want to bring in cnn global affairs analysts, david rowe. a hydrogen bomb test in or on the pacific. how provocative would that be and would that demand a response beyond diplomacy? >> i think it would be extremely provocative. it could demand a response beyond diplomacy, because we are testing the trump doctrine here. he said barack obama was too
weak and so trump has been very tough, sabre rattling and name calling and kim jong-un is calling names back and it's escalating. i don't think the trump approach is working and it's an extraordinary dangerous situation. >> what is interesting, though, the president, choosing yesterday to say at one of the photo ops at the u.n. general assembly whether a dialogue was still possible with north korea, his response, "why not," and he also tweeted talking is not the answer. is there a shift in his thinking here? >> it's hard to know from such a brief answer. the problem may be is there a shift in kim jong-un's thinking. keu kim is all about keeping in power and keeping his tpapfamil
power, and what he is focusing on is donald trump threatening the destruction of his country, and he has been brainwashing his people for years now that the u.s. is coming to invade them or to destroy them, and donald trump perhaps playing into that rhetoric by calling for the destruction of north korea. so now the question is how could kim get to the negotiating table? one of the key things intelligence officials tell us, with all of this escalating rhetoric, what worries them, they just don't know what would be the actual trigger in some of this rhetoric that might set kim off on a military path. >> and you know, richard haass said war of words from kim jong-un limits trump's own ability to deal with the national security threat. he's suggesting the rhetoric,
name calling back and forth boxes the president in. how do you see it? >> it does box him in. just like barack obama and the famous red line in security, if you don't carry out the threat, it takes away from your credibility. kim jong-un has to stand up to trump because he needs to maintain his own hold on power, and cnn just had a correspondent in north korea, my new yorker colleague was also there recently, and the north koreans live in a alternate reality, and they were asking questions about how does the american government work? it's misunderstandings and this approach that can lead to conflict. i am very concerned about all of the rhetoric. >> barbara, public opinion changed, though. the willingness to accept military action ifness. 58% of the americans favor a
military action in north korea if economic and diplomatic sanctions don't work, and that's up significantly from 2012. this gives the president morley w more leeway, does it not? >> i will start with secretary of defense, james mattis. he has warned conflict with north korea could be and would be, in fact, disastrous, the global impact would be the likes of what the world has not seen since world war ii, and the north koreans could counter attack against south korea. one of the things the u.s. military planners have been trying to look at in recent weeks, and we reported it here at cnn, is there any way to avoid that counter attack? can you get to north koreans' weapons programs and take them out if you have to, can you get to them faster than north korea
can launch a counter attack against the south and potentially kill tens of thousands in seoul. right now no easy solution to that. secretary mattis leading the push to have the white house continue to focus on diplomacy. >> right, although, you know, nikki haley said i am happy to kick it over to mattis and the pentagon if need be. thank you, as always, at the pentagon. david rowe, we appreciate it. hurricane maria sending nine to 12 feet of sea islands that barely rise above sea level. and marie's eye passes to the east away from the caribbean. the extent of the misery only gets clearer by the hour. hundreds have been rescued from the mudslides.
there's a rescue from the coast guard of the royal navy. a woman and her sons were rescued after their boat overturned. the children's father died on the boat. what are you seeing? >> reporter: we're still seeing the same debris, the same flooding that we have seen, this area where we are right now, we are in bay view. this is what we are seeing as we are out and about. it's not just the debris. as we were out yesterday we actually saw flooding that was waist deep. people trying to get out. that makes it very difficult for people trying to get in including rescue teams.
we were with the national guard and firefighters. very vulnerable part of the population. from flooded homes. at this point the governor is saying more than 13 people died as a result of hurricane maria. he admits this is preliminary. can't reach parts of the island by road or cell. here's something else he had to say. >> we're 24 hours just post hurricane warning and right now our efforts are to make sure we have everybody safe and we can rescue people, and our efforts have already produced almost 700 rescues. we have a lot of flooding. we have reports of, you know, just complete devastation of vulnerable housing. of course it's still raining over here, which is one of our main messages here, keep safe and still seek shelter because
mudslides and surges as well as flooding continues. >> reporter: john, poppy, the frustration continues here when it comes to communication. just this morning as we watch some of the neighbors in this area wake up, they were using flashlights yelling out to other neighbors to see if they had water. one woman sort of cheered when she said, yes, we do have water finally here, but there is no power. many are without water and many without the ability to communicate with others. rescue efforts continue today. fema, the state of new york bringing in lots of supplies today to the san juan airport. how that will get to different parts of the island that rescue teams can't reach right now is still a matter of very difficult logistics. >> in and around san juan where
she has been for days. we are joined by ceo of the puerto rico electric power authority. thank you for being with us. i hope you can be with us. we are hearing 100% of the island is without power right now. what is the extent of the damage? >> good morning, and thank you for the opportunity. damage is catastrophic. we have not been able to assess all of it, but we did get a helicopter up yesterday within a window of weather that permit us to go up. what we saw [ inaudible ] >> well -- >> transmission lines on the ground and conductors on the ground, and poles broken in half. very, very disconcerting. >> you spoke about the recovery,
the power recovery efforts after some of the other major hurricanes puerto rico has experienced, and taking upwards of six months, some of them. you do sound a bit hopeful from what i read in other things you said, the federal aid from fema coming could get power up sooner than six months, is that right? >> yeah, there has been a lot of interests from fema, and the american public power association and the private companies and as a matter of fact, governor cuomo is bringing engineers and experts to help us out. puerto rico prepared for the
[ inaudible ] -- i think this time the flow of help is going to be working very efficiently. that makes me hopeful that we could restore the system in a time that is that at least less than what we have in the past with storms not as big as this one or as strong. as soon as we finish the surveillance and the patrol of our infrastructure, we will have a better idea of what we need to accomplish and what time it's going to take. >> we certainly hope that is the case. ricardo ramos, thank you and i am glad help is coming with the governor of new york. let's get to the weather center. turks and caicos, and then where? >> atlantic ocean. we hope it will stay there. if it stays between bermuda and
the u.s. we're in good shape, and that's the middle of the cone. we can go left or right, but so far we are good here. some of these islands even being over washed by the surge. those aren't islands that are the most populated islands but some of the outer islands could be seeing that kind of conditions. there's a slight bend to the left. this has been with the forecast now for a few days. this slight bend to the left has something to do with interaction with jose up here, but it doesn't last very long. the interaction to the left here, especially the blue line, which is the european model does have a slight turn and then back to the right as soon as the west winds across parts of the northern hemisphere that are typically through here shove everything off to the east. that would be obviously the best news possible. look at some of the rainfall totals out of puerto rico have garcia. that's a yard, three feet of rain and that happened if 24
hours. flood warnings still going on and flash flood warnings for some of the rivers in puerto rico. the rain essentially died off. that's the good news. for the next couple of days this water will not be gone just yet. we talked to mr. ramos from the electric company, and their triage is let's get water and hospitals and places where people can actually survive before they get to residential. residential will be the last on the list. >> chad meyers watching the storm closely. thank you. another catastrophe we are watching closely, and rescue crews working around the clock digging through the rubble in mexico. and then the president says you will forever be known as the republican who saved obamacare. >> facebook says it will handover information, thousands
of ads bought by the russian troll farms to congress. this morning the president calls the whole thing a hoax. this as facebook promises major changes down the pipeline. this is not a cloud. this is a car protected from storms by an insurance company that knows the weather down to the square block. this is a diamond tracked on a blockchain - protected against fraud, theft and trafficking. this is a financial transaction secure from hacks and threats others can't see. this is a patient's medical history made secure -
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volunteers joining rescue crews in mexico city and working against the clock as they enter their fourth day. >> mexico's president said there could be people trying to stay alive under the rubble. the mexican navy involved in the recovery efforts apologized for yesterday's reports of a young 12-year-old girl trapped under the rubble of the school. our correspondent is live in mexico city for us. obviously there's confusion and chaos in trying to rescue. we understand. ten more people may be alive in
some of the buildings. >> reporter: the building we see behind me, we learned in the past 20 minutes from rescuers that it could collapse. here's the reason why. they explain that because of the rain that happened overnight it added more weight on a very fragile building that had collapsed, of course. right now we are seeing rescue workers for the first time this morning because they have to evacuate their search efforts because it was extremely dangerous for them to be working inside this building. what rescuers explained to us, they have created what they call almost, like, cylinder holes through the building so they can get down and secure the building beginning from the first floor. they believe they shored up the first floor, but, again, the
rain that pummeled over mexico city overnight changed things for the rescue workers here. they tell us they believe people are alive in the back of the building, because when the building collapsed they believe there were capsules that were created and crevices that allowed people to stay there safely. how do they know that? from what rescuers are telling family members, they sent in heat sensors and they came back positive. they believe people are still alive in the building. more than 60 hours after the deadly earthquake, and right now a delicate balance. they told us rescue workers were going to have to take a look at the stability of the building, john and poppy, before they can allow the rest of the rescue workers to go in because of
their own safety. they said right now the priority, of course, are the lives of the people trapped and the lives of the rescue workers risking their lives to save others, and of course, there's the families living the agony and weight. a lot of them here behind us, waiting, hoping, praying that their loved ones will emerge from the rubble alive and safe. >> history has shown people can survive in these buildings for days and days and that's a reason to hold on for hope. and it's just days before the senate wants to vote. still no public announcements of oppositions from key senators. this as the president issues a tp new warning for anybody that opposed this bill.
quiet is good as gop leaders try to wrangle votes for the latest and last ditch effort to repeal obamacare. they do not hear opposing votes. >> the president says think of your political future. >> this is a big problem you are all facing, congressman, so thank you for being with us. the kaiser family foundation estimates that new york state would lose 35% of its federal health care funding if graham/cassidy passes. how do you justify those cuts to your constituents? >> i am concerned about those numbers, and those types of cuts
are significant. that's why the concern about politics should be set aside. we have to look at what this policy does for people back home, and that's what i am trying to focus on. i am of the personal opinion they will not get something out of the senate. >> could you ever support a bill that results in 35% cut of federal funds to new yorkers? >> we have to get our medicaid spending under control. we in new york, our working folks can't keep up with the tax bill and that spending has to get under control. maybe we could look at this at how can we deliver more medicaid dollars in a more efficient dollar. >> sounds like a maybe. >> still, 35% is a lot.
alaska, one of the things that might be happening and we are not sure, there may be dispensation to give to alaska to win the vote of her, and would you be okay of granting alaska special favors to get their vote and not new yorkers? >> i don't know what is being discussed and what negotiate kwraeu kwraes and what is going on. there are real people behind the new york state policy that expanded medicaid to where it's at. i am hoping if they do something there will be a transition period, something that relieves the burden on the new york state residents. >> here's what the president says about you, if you don't support it, rand paul or whoever
votes against the bill will be known as the republican that saved obamacare. you called this bill too partisan. what do you think of the president's assessment? >> that's where i think i am blessed to have the freedom, where i am not concerned about my political future but i am concerned about maybe pha -- making an informed decision that will help those people at home. what i am trying to associate myself is with people that want to get it done and govern. there's a group of good faith legislators that are about taking care of the american people first. >> you did criticize graham/cassidy. you said i believe it will fail given it's partisan approach. what do you mean? >> i think the better solution
for health care in america is to reach across the aisle and have a conversation about health care cost. what we are doing now is a partis partisan path being driven by politics. we need to get to the health care cost because that brings people together. when we have town halls, they are saying get the cost down through health care. i am asking those questions. i agree with them. if you focus on the root cause of the problem and get it going in the right direction which is down, then you bring people together and we can solve this problem for the people. our problem solvers caucus proposal, we narrowed down the issue, and that's the collapse of the market places. going further we need to get to the health care question. laying the foundation for a solution like that will get a
bigger win for the american people by taking on the issue of health care costs. >> just a yes or no answer if you can. you will not commit to voting for or against graham/cassidy right now? >> i need to read the bill. you have to look at the text. i try to be a responsible governing legislative member, and this bill is going to change and what we have to look at it in its final text and read the bill and listen to the people back home and then make an informed decision. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. this morning we have a new look at the damage, the devastation to the island of dominica. we will walk you through it next.
hurricane maria still gaining strength after hitting puerto rico. families have been unable to locate loved ones, including sotomayor. >> she told guests last night she had not heard from family members living on the island. federal officials this morning saying more than 95% of puerto rico's cell sites are out of service. the island of dominica beginning to survey the damage after the hurricane struck. >> cnn's michael holmes reports from dominica. >> reporter: from the air you can see every inch of the island of dominica has been brutalized from hurricane maria. on the ground, so much worse.
this was a car dealership. this, a bridge. these were peoples' homes. >> this is an area, it's a middle class suburb. it has been just -- every house has been hit. there's a little cafe here. it was popular. just gone. i don't know if you can see back there, there was a little community up there. those houses are just pieces of wood now. in the capital, just about every building damage. this just scratches the surface. the prime minister of this tiny country is just coming to grips with the enormity of what has happened here. >> you know, there's a lot of human suffering, and people not knowing what tomorrow will bring. and as the days go by, it has been heart wrenching.
very heart wrenching. >> reporter: what worries officials here is what they have not seen, hillside villages hard to reach or communicate with. the fate of those living there unknown, even to family members just on the other side of the island. aid was expected to start flowing in here thursday. precious little arrived. they need water, food, medical supplies and shelter. pretty much everything. >> one of the ironies, they had aid, food, medical supplies and containers full they prepositioned in case of disaster, and after irma came through, they shipped that out to st. martin, and other islands, so they have nothing now. with so many other islands hit by irma and maria, they hope their needs are not forgotten.
facebook says it will share information about ads it sold to russian trolls during the 2016 election, and president trump, though, already blasting away. that's next. what can you do? guard your card? guard your card? just like your credit card. nobody gets my number, unless i know they should have it. to protect your identity, new medicare cards without social security numbers will be mailed next year. visit medicare.gov/fraud stay sharp people! this is not a cloud.
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he wrote the russia hoax continues now on facebook. let's talk more about this with our cnn media in politics. walk us through what the legislation is calling on facebook to do going forward? >> effectively what the legislation wants to do and this is legislation being introduced by two democratic senators, it wants to impose the same rules on facebook, google, twitter, other major social media platforms or digital platforms where people can buy advertising, the same rules that are already imposed on television and radio ads. ultimately it's regulation that many of the companies were expecting to happen at some point. in retrospect the way the russian-linked accounts were able to meddle in the 2016 election, it seems ludicrous we
wouldn't have disclaimers in place already. they are feeling the fcc and fec has not taken the appropriate steps to impose the regulations on the ads and now it's time for congress to step up and do their part. >> and facebook is handing over all kinds of things, first a search warrant was issued and now handing it over to congress. what pressure is facebook under? >> that's a great question and it gets into the internal thinking at facebook and how they view it. they are content to work with the special counsel on this, and they believe the special counsel has a clear focused mission, in terms of the russian meddling in the election. two weeks ago they were looking at congress and they thought, okay, here's a body doing a lot
of political posturing and they are over their head when it comes to understanding the data, and we are not ready to share all the information with congress. there's been so much public pressure why scrutiny. facebook, you know, for ten years was effectively free from, you know, battles of washington and now finds itself in the heart of the battles and decided we need to be on right side of history and we need to be seen as working with congress, not standing in congress' way. >> thank you so much. it's a fascinating report. people can read it on cnn money. joining us now to discuss political analyst david gergen. david to you, the president in the tweet, we just read, calling it a hoax this is just the latest, can you hear me? all right. until david can hear us, you caitlin, what's in it for the president to say this is a hoax, et cetera, when robert mueller
doesn't think it's a hoax, the bipartisan congressional groups don't think it's a hoax, facebook doesn't think it's a hoax, they're making changes turning over all of this. when the president's poll numbers are going up, doing a little better, why go back to this is this. >> we know this has been an immense force of frustration for the president the russia investigation. he has seen it as having gotten in the way of what he sees as his agenda. if you look at the health care debate putting this in the context of what's going on in congress republicans have a few more days left to pass a health care bill to replace obamacare. so i think you see this, of course, hillary clinton back in the spotlight, with her book, talking about the election he has thought the investigation is going to the heart of the legitimacy of the election, republicans have been trying to make the case all along that this is a national security issue and that you can debate that separately from the election results. so i think that's always been the divide here. and this is another reason why the president is frustrated.
>> look, this is no small subject. at least the special counsel robert mueller search warrants are not issued sort of casually, david gergen, and the president is calling this a hoax. it's interesting to me given the scope of what will be investigated here, how did facebook or the person who placed the ads get the date to know where to place the ground. a lot of fer tile ground here. >> you're right. the issue for mueller, was there a targeting of these ads to places where it would make a difference in the election and if it was russian backed advertising how did they know how to target, where did they get that information, from trump associates like paul manafort or others, and it's especially sort of a darkening cloud because we just had the story that manafort was calling the russians and inviting them, in effect, to come and get briefings. that seemed like a gold-plated invitation. why don't you come work with us and by the way, pay me along the
way. >> let's talk about the health care debate. big health care debate on this network on monday night. graham/cassidy. the sponsors, the authors of the new republican legislation, also bernie sanders, big proponent of single payer with his plan and amy clo shar, who interestingly, hasn't signed on to it. could this be really good for republicans, meaning it's not pitting graham/cassidy against obamacare. it's pitting graham/cassidy against medicaid for all, single payer, et cetera? a politico reporter who tweeted its took 30 seconds for a text republicans frame it as a single payer versus their alternative in prime time. >> that's what mitch mcconnell has been saying during the first failure of the senate bill took to the floor and kind of said the alternative would be a democrats running the show here. there is frustration among democrats about bernie sanders and democrats focusing on 2020 when they have the 2018 elections more immediately here.
and the idea that from an activist perspective that obamacare fight is not over yet, that they're still facing that deadline. so it certainly can provide an opening. i think the republicans are facing a huge challenge here, though, on selling the merits of this bill yet again. they don't have a cbo score yet. there are multiple governors in states like alaska and elsewhere, republican governors, not ready to support this bill, some coming out against it. so it's going to be hard for them to sell it and i think democrats can make the point here of, you know, their alternatives keeping some of obamacare in place. protecting obamacare. >> david gergen, president trump heads down to alabama tonight to campaign in a republican senate primary, campaigning against roy moore. last time they debated and tried to outdo each other with how much they love president trump. what's at stake for the president in this election? >> well, he's thrown himself into it in an interesting way,
that is, he is supporting a candidate who is more of the establishment candidate, the mitch mcconnell candidate if you would, who has been running behind this more controversial insurgent conservative in moore, in roy moore. the president put himself on the line taking a risk, but by the way, the polls are closing and it's strange how apparently had a better debate night than moore last night. it's possible he could pull it off which would be seen as a political victory of importance for the president. i do want to go back to this health care thing. if the democrats make this a debate between single payer and the republican graham/cassidy bill, they will very likely lose that debate. they must make -- it's a strategic mistake to allow that to happen. must make it a debate between obamacare, the current existing system which many americans want to keep that, versus this radical change coming from
republicans. they can win that debate. they would probably lose the single payer debate and the country would be transformed. but it's a republican bill. >> which is why there is concern about democrats about having bernie sanders being the face monday night. interesting to see. david gergen and caitlin, thanks to you very much. new insults this morning between president trump and kim jong-un. we are top of new developments. stay with us. pole, and i had to make a claim and all that? is that whole thing still draggin' on? no, i took some pics with the app and filed a claim, but, you know how they send you money to cover repairs and - -they took forever to pay you, right? no, i got paid right away, but, at the very end of it all, my agent- -wouldn't even call you back, right? no, she called to see if i was happy, but, if i wasn't happy with my claim experience, for any reason... ...they'd give me my money back, no questions asked. can you believe that? no. the claim satisfaction guarantee, only from allstate. switching to allstate is worth it. outer layer of your enamel tooth surface. white, the thing that's really important to dentists is to make sure that that enamel stays strong
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mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. all right. good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm poply harlow. insults and threats flying back and forth between the u.s. leader and north korean dictator. president trump throwing the latest punch, wrote kim jong-un of north korea who is obviously a mad man who doesn't mind