tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN September 30, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
all right do. coy wire. thanks so much. so much more. it all starts right now. hello again. thank you for being with me. we begin with a shocking straining of verbal attacks from president trump. written attacks going after puerto rican leaders. where more than 3 million americans are on the brink of a humanitarian crisis in a series of tweets from his private club saying this morning, quote, the mayor of san juan who was very complimentary was now told you must be nasty to trump. such poor leadership by the leader of san juan and others who are not able to get their workers to help. they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. ten thousand federal workers now on island doing a fantastic job.
right now in puerto rico, nearly 1.5 people still have no access to clean drinking water. some are being forced to fill up jugs and creeks and streams. others waiting in line just to get fuel. these are people, the most powerful man in the world is attacking. the president saying this is an example of the mayor being nasty to him. >> we are dying here. i cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out the logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles long. >> we have team coverage from puerto rico to the white house. the let's start with boris sanchez in san juan on the line
with us. tell us more about how the president's tweets are being received there. >>reporter: yeah. puerto ricans are not responding well to the tweets. in fact a few comments i can't repeat to you, not a very positive reception for what the president had to say about puerto ricans asking for more to be done for them, saying that the community needs to come together. many people i spoke to say the community is together, helping one another. in fact i spoke with one person who told me she is a trump supporter and became emotional because she was taken aback by the president's comments. listen. as a matter of fact i'm working as the center of -- we're dealing with the things coming in h to be given.
and they're working really hard there. and even 24 hours a day. so i don't know why he thinks we're not doing our job. but we have to have support from the united states. i mean our men go to war to help the united states. why can can't he help us in this kind of matter? >> reporter: yeah. just like her, we are hearing others who are telling us that the president's comments were hurtful. they say we are americans too. juz as american as people in florida and texas. why get the kind of response that the present out this morning when he didn't say anything like that about residents of florida or texas after storm the h it those areas. i should tell you, fred, one area of concern, the skies have gotten really dark around where we are. we're having connect 2iivity iss
in part because there is a storm headed here. we're expecting rain this weekend, several inches falling on an area that's already saturated with water. neighborhoods that are still flooded. so the problems here in puerto rico are many, and there may be even more on the way. >> thank you so much. spotty communication there, but we all under stand the conditions there. so communication is very difficult and volt tal. so the president tweeting the attacks from his private golf club in new jersey, where he is spending the weekend, his attacks via twitter. cnn's ryan nobles is live near the president's club. anything more from the president on what he was hoping the goal to be from these tweets just ahead of his visit to puerto rico? >> reporter: well, as always, the white house telling us the president's tweets speak for himself but they are putting out the schedule that the president
has in front of him this afternoon, where he is going to be on the phone with a number of people from the region hardest hit to get an update on the federal response and what more the u.s. government can do. the let's take a look at the president's busy 2:00 hour. at 2:00, he's expected to speak with the fema administrator. then at 2:15 a conversation with the governor of pouerto rico. cnn asked him this morning about the president's tweets regarding the work of the people in puerto rico so it will be interesting to see if that comes up in the conversation. then he'll talk with the resident commissioner of puerto rico. then at 2:35 a conversation with the former governor of puerto rico. then at 2:45, kenneth map. this comes ahead of his planned trip to puerto rico on tuesday. as we've already heard from br
ris, the reception he may expect to get when he arrives may not be the most warm given the fact he spent his morning directly criticizing the people on the ground doing their best to recover from this deadly and tragic hurricane. >> right. absent from that phone list is a direct qualification conversation with the mayor of san juan. thanks so much. let's discuss all of this now with my panel. time magazine contributor, cnn political an list brian carim. and brian stelter. and doug high. good to see all of you. doug, you first. what are other fellow republicans saying about the president's approach these tweets today, direct criticism
to puerto rican leaders? >> according to ronald reagan they're saying there he goes again. not in an awe, shucks manner. i can tell you the folks at the republican national committee now are not having a good day because the president's not helping his cause here. with the schedule in a ryan just laid out, those are all the good and procedure things this president or any president shouldn should be doing. it's the tweets that are going to rule the day and the people in puerto rico are hearing. i can tell you i was in london last month and met with officials that said very similar things when president trump was criticizing the mayor of london after the terror attack. whatever you think, these do not help solve the problem at hand. >> brian, how does this kind of lay the ground work for his trip in just a matter of days? i mean what's the tone going to be? >> you're looking at two issue,
first of all, does the federal government really understand what's going on on the ground in puerto rico? they've got no excuse if they don't. there was disconnect in the press room on thursday. i point-blank read a text from relief workers who had boolt the on the ground and said we were nearing an apocalyptic event within the next 48 to 72 hours and there were people dying. tomorr tom bo they haven't made the appropriate steps. fema is overworked and stretched and they have budget problems and have addressed some of those. the issue for the president and the one he's going to take forward is the appearance he's picking on victims. how do you play the back 9 in new jersey while there are people literally dying. by the way, they're americans literally dying. you didn't say this about texas or florida. le you're saying this about the
people of puerto rico. and it leads all kinds of credence that feel you're out of touch and have an issue with people of color. it's certainly not an issue he dealt with at all this morning. those tweets for many people were insulting. and there's just no way you can look at it any other way. when you are -- when the president of the united states is on a golf course and there are people, americans, literally trying to get food and water and a roof over their head, that's a problem. i urge the president, if he really is going to puerto rico on tuesday, stay a while. get your hands dirty. go into the back country, go into the rural areas and spend time and see how these people are really struggling to survive. but he'll j et in h, jet out and that will be it. i urge him to stay and look and see how people are truly suffering. >> and jay, even if these same
tweets came from the president, if he was in the white house, i mean aside from being on the golf course or being at his kbogolf resort, it is the choice of words, salt to the wounds, victim miedsi victimizing victims. t saying the mayor is showing poor leadership and the use of the word "they." that hit hard. people feel they are not being spoken to like they are american citizens. how does he recover from this, if that can be a goal on tuesday when he visits? >> absolutely. the use of the word they is so classic donald trump. they're not doing what any need to be doing. we're doing what we need to be doing. and it is always the way he handles things when he gets criticized and he feels under attack. he lashes out and blames other
people. this is a very par for the course for him. but at the same time, these are people who are american citizens, who are absolutely, as american as anybody living in washington, d.c. we have the same amount of voting rights. in fact neither puerto ricans or people in washington, d.c. have representation in congress. but, this whole sense of they, he always invoked -- we don't ask people in florida after irma or people in texas after hurricane harvey to pick up the ball and why aren't they doing more to help their communities recover. the in this sense he is saying they, the puerto ricans, bringing up their issue of debt, that as if to say this is somehow less american, less deserving. in any response to any storm. american the have always a said
we're here to help you recover. >> we heard that. from americans. we heard from gabriella gonzalez who was surprised to hear this. that she and others are working so hard at the command center trying to distribute, but many of them still feel like they're doing it on their own without the support system, and that the president would be critical of them is hurtful. >> well, if the president -- >> sorry. brian stelter. >> this nois something fareed zakaria said last night. we have to face the fact there are first class and second class citizens in the united states. puerto ricans feel they are second class. some of the president's words reinforced the idea they've being tweeted as such.
this falls in president trump's race problem, whether it's charlottesville or last weekend, black ooathletes in the nfl and nba. talking about us versus them. i would just point out, hurricane mayor made landfall ten days ago. two days after, the president was in alabama, trying to rally support for luther strange, unsuccessfully. talked about the nfl, lots of other topics. he then went back to his golf course in new jersey and did nothing about the relief effort. now, we're eight or ten days later and he's going on a tweet form abo storm about it. the when the history is written we'll look back at the first days. i will argue i didn't pay enough attention as a reporter. we were thankful cnn has crews there. there's a lot of reasons why, on
the initial days after this disaster, there wasn't more attention, more government action. by i think when we look back alt the president, and when he wasn't tweeting this time last week, that's going to end up being a stain on the kind of history of this disaster. there wasn't more presidential engagement right after of the storm hit. >> brian, the creator of broadway's hamilton, mostly of puerto rico descent. he tweeted you're going stwragt to held. donald trump no long lines for you. someone will say right this way, sir. they'll clear a path. do you see that the president's handling of this is more consequential than just about anything else preceding and perhaps even following from this point forward?
>> the president of the united states has turned a disaster into a political football. these are people suffering. this isn't politics. and you need to get your head straight and get people involved in trying to solve the problem. yeah. he's combative and likes to go after people but there's a time and place for that. this isn't it. did we not get enough people there? maybe we couldn't. listen to the president's own words. puerto rico was totally destroyed. what part of totally destroyed you don't get. there's no roof, there's no clean water or food. what we heard two days ago was that stuff was getting there, but couldn't get distributed because the island was such a ca disaster area. the why aren't we putting more people on the ground? those are questions we're going to have to look at over the next few months and years. bottom line is i'm not going to stay the president should go to the net they are regions.
i would like him to show him and everybody else in the united states he really does care about us. if p he's not going to go down and have anything more than pose for the cameras, why go. >> hindsight always 2020 b/20. but or even nearby, why not air drop? i mean you do have -- we do have military ships in the region. means of helicopter drops. if some of these resource the can't make it by way of roads, that have been washed out, then why isn't this administration sounding more urgent in ways in which to get resources to people? isn't that a giant criticism that the president needs to address? >> i think it is. obviously it took a while for the jones act to be lifted to get foreign ships there. for the administration, this is
also an issue of competence. they handled the situation in florida very well. they handled the situation in texas very well. if any were able to essentially run the table and all three disaster responses well, it would say to even people who oppose the president that this is somebody who can get things done, whose's business oriented fashion can produce results. now that's an open question that all goes back to what has always been the central question, and that's his temperament. >> go ahead. >> his temperament gets in the way of the governing. that's the problem. >> taking it personally. i mean this is now personal between he and -- well, his personal attacks of the mayor. >> his -- he takes everything personally. so when the mayor is telling you that hey, we're dying here, look, we've known this. in the press we confronted the administration with this on thursday. if you heard, the acting head of homeland security saying this was a good news story, the
administration just woefully inaccurate in what's going on in puerto rico. they have no real clue. and there are people on the ground, and instead of listening to what the people are saying on the ground, they're accusing us of being fake news. they've gone after us. don't believe what your lying eyes tell you. the believe me. that's a problem. this is not politics. the you cannot treat it that way. then he continues to do so speaks to his temperament and lack of ability to garner support and get things done. >> that's the knee-jerk reaction. believe what i say, not what everybody else is showing and telling. >> i disagree a little bit. it is political. it's been politicized by his supporters in the right wing press that are actually blaming the media. it is political. unfortunately. >> it shouldn't be. >> it's going to divide people but it should not be. i think what we're all circling
around here is it's just not presidential behavior. the tweets are not. >> it's not human behavior. >> i would say -- >> i'm sorry. it's just not human behavior. these people are suffering. why don't we get together and help them? it's not right or left. it's people. american people. >> also something he has always done. last year when there was a storm, and president obama went out and reacted to that, donald trump tweeted that he was just trying to get attention and garner political attention. when super storm sandy hit he said it was the same thing, it was going to help obama's reelection. this is classic donald trump. he always treats these incidences as politics and not that is real and actually affects human beings. >> preaching to the choir. >> let's hear from gop leaders. whether they agree with the
president on this or not. i'm really curious to see if they get questioned about it latest tweet. >> that's a discussion being had earlier. where is everybody else? why are we not hearing? >> wait until monday and tuesday dana bash will be in the congressional hallways pinning every republican member on that. >> all right. thank you you all. up next, a direct line to kim jong-un for the first time ever, the trump administration admitting the u.s. is in h direct communication with the north korean government. we'll take you overseas for the latest. next. t-mobile's unlimited now includes netflix on us. that's right. netflix on us. get 4 unlimited lines for just $40 bucks each. taxes and fees included. and now netflix included.
he also said the u.s. has direct channels to pyongyang. tillerson, who is now heading back home made the remarks following a meeting with china's president. let's go live to cnn's matt rivers in beijing. matt? >> reporter: the secretary of state was only in beijing for about 12 hours but he did manage to make some pretty big news at a briefing with reporters that we attended right before he left back to the united states. he was in that briefing he said for the first time publicly that the trump administration when it comes to this missile testing program does have direct lines of communication with pyongyang. let me read you the quote we pulled from the audio reporting. the secretary said in part, quote, we are probing so stay tuned when asked about the north korean's willingness to have talks. he said we asked, would you like to talk?
we have lines of communications to pyongyang, we are not in a dark situation. we can talk to them. we do talk to them directly through our own channels. that is significant. this is the first time that we've heard the u.s. admit that they're having the potential for a diplomatic solution. le they're talking on a diplomatic level between both sides about this escalating tension in this part of the world. frankly, for those of us in this part of the world, the people who live here, it's been a lot about waiting for the other shoe to drop. what is president trump going to say? what is kim jong-un going to say? how is the situation going to get worse. this is pretty significant that for the first time in a long time we're actually dialing things down and saying maybe we should look at a diplomatic solution. we're not anywhere near a lasting diplomatic solution that will come from this. the secretary of state said this is very much in the beginning stages but it is a welcome
change, i think from the fiery rhetoric we've gotten used to hearing on both sides. >> all right thank you so much from beijing. just one week ago when president trump issued an attack on some nfl players, using this offensive language. >> i get that son of a bitch off the field right now. out. he's fired. >> well today in the very state where he made those comments a big college football game will get under way. how will the naaca respond? that is next. ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ well i'm gone
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according to a new poll americans are sharply divided over taking a knee in the nfl. last week the president used language we warn you is offensive. >> wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners when somebody disrespects our flag to get that son of a bitch off the field right now. out. it's fired. he's fired! >> today college football players are taking the field, and the very state where president trump made those comments. cnn's kail lee hartung is live for us where a big game kicks off later on. what are people saying? ? it's auburn and mississippi state take the field, they won't be on the field for the national anthem as is the case for
college teams across the country. in talking with coaches from both of these staffs, they tell me it really hasn't been a topic they've had to discuss with their players. if anyone has an opinion, they're welcome to share it of course, but it hasn't been a topic that has dominated the conversation among college football teams as it has in the nfl. that of court doesn't mean that the fans aren't talking about it. while many people here today have told me they're just here to watch a football game and look forward to moving on from this topic, when you're in a conservative strong hold like alabama, it's easy to find a lot of people who agree with prem . the present comments. many will say they disagree with the way he spoke about it. i just spoke with a family tailgating among the masses, an auburn conservative family who said this topic came up at their dinner table last night, parents are an auburn student, and she
describes the kfrgts with her parent they said at the end her parents agreed to disagree but it was a very thoughtful conversation, one in which she recognized she and her parents were coming at this from different perspectives. she see the is in one which the nfl players are trying to use the platform they have to make a point. her parent the stood there very firmly saying they see such an act of kneeling did your the anthem, regardless of what you're trying to protest as unpay tru unpay tree ot ic. some things are bigger than football. they belief that in the state of alabama and he said patriotism is bigger than football. >> thank you so much. we'll be right back.
it's on all your email. yes. they should know this? yeah. the guy was my brother-in-law. that's ridiculous. well, i happen to know some people. do they listen? what? they're amazing listeners. nice. guidance from professionals who take their time to get to know you. i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay. then it hit me... managing was all i was doing.
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unfolding in puerto rico and residents in desperate need of necessities, help in all over the u.s. is pouring in. we are live out of the bronx, nok. what kinds are things are people delivering? what are the sentiments? >> reporter: just about anything you can think of. we have seen boxes of diapers, women's, men's clothing, children's clothing, water, food supplies. we have seen just a tremendous outpouring of support here in the streets of of the bronx. just about anything you can think of. it it's piled up high. this is what people have even walked it here and driven it here. people with carts and supplies for the people of puerto rico. also for people of mexico too, the victims of the earthquake. you can see the supplies continue to go on. and just behind this giant pile
of clothing there's going to be heading to puerto rico soon, you see a massive crowd gathering, the sound of sal sa serving as a sound track for this effort here. many of them are directly tied to what's happening in puerto rico. it is the bronx. they are cultural, family ties to that island, about 1600 miles away, and as you've about to hear from some residents here they are certainly hoping some of these supplies will end up in puerto rico as many have family there. and when it comes to the politics behind it, including president trump's tweets from this morning, in which he's c e criticizing the mayor of san juan, we have heard disappointment here from some of the residents. take a listen. >> puerto rico is part of united states. we're all americans. we should all be doing everything we can. le anything possible to help puerto rico. trump can say whatever he wants. but it's not getting done.
because i have family in puerto rico, and they have no water. they have no lights. no lelectricity, nothing. >> they are in a devastating situation. they need food. people who are hungry, babies crying that don't have the basic necessities for comfort. what's important to know and keep in mind is that they are still severely hurting. there are literally no trees with leaves on them to even cover them from the sun. it is desperate and imperative they receive what they need. >>reporter: a desperate need, as that resident just put it. the all of those supplies are going into some of the tractor trailers you may be able to see off in the distance. i'm told buy organizers they've already filled up about five of these and expect to fill up another one. where is all this going? it's all going fob staged in new jersey before it gets shipped to puerto rico. come tomorrow, possibly even on monday. there is real concern about the
loved ones that they have in desperate need on the island of puerto rico, and much of these supplies, if not everything, will be heading there in the next few days. >> pal low sandoval, thanks so much. we'll have much more right after this. hey! you know, progressive is america's number-one motorcycle insurer. yeah, she does purr! best bike i ever owned! no, you're never alone, because our claims reps are available 24/7. we even cover accessories and custom parts. we diget an early start! took the kids to soccer practice. you want me to jump that cactus? all right. aah! that lady's awesome. i don't see a possum! people would ask me that we traveled,ntries what is your nationality and i would always answer hispanic. so when i got my ancestry dna results it was a shocker. i'm from all nations. it puts a hunger in your heart to want to know more.
v criticized. she's saying quoting here they want everything to be done for them. joining me now the cnn add ma administra administrator. how have the president's tweets either helped or hurt the response? >> i got to be honest with you. we've been laser focused making sure we have all the commodities we can push forward. as well as helping to stabilize the situation in puerto rico and the virgin islands. >> but the tweets that were sent by the president said there is such poor leadership ability by the mayor of san juan and others in puerto rico. the you've seen the mayor make her personal pleas on our need about what is needed. we've seen pictures of her assisting people first hand. the president said they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.
surely you have heard from people in puerto rico who you have had direct lines of communication with, and what are they feeling when they hear the president's sentiments like this. >> first of all, so we have great communication with the governor and i know the president has spoken with him, the vice president was with us as well. not only the governor but the governor from the virgin islands. the bottom hine is we have great communication. the governors are part of our effort. the problem we have the mayor unfortunately is unity of command is what is needed ultimately to be successful in this response. the bottom line is we've had a 0 joint field office established for numerous days in san wan and what we need is for the mayor to make her way to the joint field office and get plugged into what's going on and be successful. i think that's the bottom line on that tweet. for me, i have to make sure that i am lizer focused on
coordinating the federal efforts of the government down through that field office making sure we're meeting the needs that unified command not only fema but dod and the governor sending forward to help the people of port re puerto rico. my focus is helping them. not only on top of that. this is complex. it's we have disasters in 20 different states we're working. don't forget about harvey and irma and all the work that's been done. we stril a tremendous amount of staff working very complex issues around the clock. so, get rid of the noise and start focusing on the progress that has been made. >> so you along with the president will be heading to puerto rico this coming week. you' you've already visited there. what were your observations when you were there and what did you assess, what are the needs you want to address acfter having seen it first hand? >> i've been down twice.
once after irma and i can't remember what day it is. i guess its was monday when we went back down after maria. the bottom line is the whole purpose is to make sure that i can look the governor in his eyes and make sure we are a unified command, which we are. we set the way forward in unified command. i'll be headed back down most likely monday, possibly tomorrow but most likely monday or tuesday. this was a complex event and i don't think people fully understand how difficult it is because of the geography getting to an island and having to n understand we were bringing up the power grid and it's all knocked out again. when we were finishing up the response of irma and being threatened with maria we had to pull people off the island. we never want our staff taking away vital shelter staff from
the citizens of puerto rico. when you pull everything out, maria comes in and damages all the ports, it makes it tremendously difficult to get everything back in. we did have food on the island. we did maintain a major president in dod on the island and staff that are sitting there to make sure they're ready to go. >> what have you learned in the past few days. you talk about unified command. if there are already resources on that island, having been there now twice, and you're about to go again, what have you learned in terms of how to distribute because we've talked to a number about of people, meaning our reporters and crews have talked to a number of people, been able to get to certain locations that have been difficult and people still say that they need a lot of those supplies that you say are on the island to get to them. how are you getting -- what are you learning in terms of how you transport those things? >> so the first thing is that once we have to establish
pathways. so it was obvious we had to get the support bases in which we're calling airports for instance, had to get the waterway ports open. we utilized what we maintained on the island first, tried to distribute those out. before any of that can happen you have to be able to clear debris off the roads -- >> but how -- >> hang on. well, my mission -- hang on. >> my mission is way more difficult than trying to get to one area. my issue is to get to 78 communities and rural areas of the entire island. we set up a baseline capability where we have 11 regional distribution hubs. great communication with the mayors who are marshalling their own people coming in to grab the k commodities. as we were able to get aircraft
support to be able to drop stuff in. we're also doubling up. so not only search and rescue groups covering the entire island, also taking water and food. same with the disaster support staff. already successfully registered the people living in puerto rico. as they go people into the system so we can give them final assistance they're also taking water and meals. it's dang near impossible to get to every single household. >> it is complicated but how are you measuring or gaining progress? when there are still a number of people, you know, and i'm sure many people in puerto rico are not complaining that every person needs are not being met at the same time, but there are a volume of people in so many communities who are not seeing anything. who are being resourceful within their own kmup communities. how do you reach them and what's the time line in which to do so? >> every day, more and more
routine is being restored. for example, some of the statistics we were briefed out on by unified command in h mrk puerto rico is a third of the capability coming back. 11 major highways, 765 gas stations being able to secured get fuel to them. the other thing is with the routine is that our business coc and private sector partners are reporting that 49% of the grocery store and retail centers are beginning to come back on line. obviously, these direct statistics, are going to change, hour by hour, and day by day, but i do think that you have to start see some fundamental changes in the routine. obviously some of the hardest hit areas, rural areas that are hardest to get to, as we were saying, before the storm hit, power's going to be off for multiple, multiple months. entire grid was wiped out. sewage systems, water systems. roadway systems. everything was wiped out.
the local government had a sim minute nished capacity because many of the citizens living in puerto rico were victims. same with the state. >> will you be setting up more distribution centers? >> yes. and the goal is that it's not just the -- we're actively working on that now. "fox news" was showing three container ships coming into port earlier this morning. le more and more supplies are coming in and the bottom line is that the distribution is going to continue. but as we're doing that, the more important thing is to get the emergency power grid, the emergency power restored. power grid restored so that the private sector can come back up. disaster response, a successful one, is 0 dependent on the entire community. it can't just be dependent on the federal government. >> but it all has to be -- while you're working on the power grid, people are thirsty, they need water. people have an expectation that
simultaneous many of these needs will be met while the power grid is being restored. >> right. we're doing everything we can. i go to bed every night knowing i have done the best i can to martial all these federal resources and the federal government has been putting everything down, trying to get everything in, texas, florida, georgia, all the other states that have been impacted in the last 35 days, we're doing everything we can and moving stuff in as the situation allows. the today, our response is hampered by bad weather. the you're going have flash flooding. it's going to occur in portions of puerto rico. the bottom line is nobody inside the federal emergency management agency wants everybody to go without food and water. we bust our rear ends. these guys are incredibly dedicated. at the end of the day we can't do it all by ourselves. the governor is stepping up. he's trying to muster his people back in place and eventually
we're able to queue more organizations in. the in some cases you have the citizens coming back home and help. be able to be resource fut as well. >> safe travels. thanks so much for your time. appreciate it. thank so much for being with moo this saturday. we'll have much more straight ahead in the news room. ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ well i'm gone