tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 29, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
he said they need to denounce it. >> jason carroll, thank you so much for that report. can you follow me on twitter or tweet the show "the lead." our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now, breaking news. strengthening storm. hurricane dorian is heading toward florida, where it's expected to slam into the force as a powerful category 4, putting millions of people at risk, as georgia now joins its neighbor declaring an emergency. the latest forecast is just in. change of tone. after attacking puerto rico as dorian approached, the president is now openly concerned about the threat to florida and says he's skipping a trip to poland so that all federal resources are focusing in on the storm. abandoning an ally, president trump is considering a plan to block a quarter billion in military aid to ukraine, a
move that would further ingratiate him with russia's president putin. kim jong-un changes north korea's constitution so he's now the official head of state. after naming himself supreme commander and respected comrade, is he just collecting more titles, or looking to legitimize himself to negotiate with the united states. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news, the new forecast is just in, and dorian is expect to do slam into florida as a major hurricane on labor day, bringing life-threatening storm surges along the coast. asp lashing the virgin islands, leading puerto rico laterally unscathed, dorian is now a category 1, expecting to intensify as it moves north in
the warm atlantic waters. it could make landfall on labor day anywhere from the florida keys to southeast georgia. florida's governor has declared an emergency for the entire state, and there's already been a big run on water, food, gas and building supplies. a dozen georgia counties have just been placed under a state of emergency after treating puerto rico with contempt when it was in the path of the storm, president trump has now turned very, very serious now that florida and georgia are likely targets. he just canceled a trip to poland, saying he wants to focus in on the hurricane. i'll speak with congressman don bier and our correspondents and analystless have full coverage. florida's governor has declared an emergency in all of the state's counties, and preparations are under way. what's the latest there?
>> reporter: wolf, authorities are already warning residents here to get prepared. tomorrow they are bringing in two truckloads of sand so residents can make sandbags. when i have asked people what is your greatest concern, every single person has said a direct hit. >> we'll get it for you. >> reporter: tonight hurricane dorian is barreling toward florida, expected to be a category 4 storm, it's already causing hurricane-force issues for the sunshine state. >> it's a monday, but we had to make some sudden changes. >> why? >> because of the hurricane. >> reporter: as floridians prepare to hunker down or get out, the coming storm is forcing others to stay away from the labor day weekend, usually a season money maker for hotels and cruiseships. >> how much will you lose here? >> in excess of $120,000.
>> reporter: debra green says she's had a steady stream of cancellations on what was to be a sold-out holiday weekend, but tonight florida officials say better safe than sorry. >> the time to act is now. if you haven't acted, act to make preparations. do not wait until it's too late. >> reporter: dorn are dorian has pummeled the british and u.s. virgin islands and lashed puerto rico with rain, but since it's moved out into open waters it's picking up steams, and could not pack winds as high as 115 miles an hour by the time it sounds -- prompting floridians to take action. >> just getting ready for the hurricane. >> just getting prepared for the storm comes. just want to protect what's coming potentially. >> reporter: tonight the rush to fill up the gas pump is under way. >> the praying has already begun.
>> and in daytona beach they're already filling up with sand. lining up at hardware stores so they can board up at home. >> what you don't want is to have a situation where you can't keep your family and friends safe because you didn't take time to prepared. >> reporter: floridians are warned to have seven days of food, water and medicine. >> i have a 1-year-old at home, it's not the first hurricane i've been through. >> reporter: meantime, even nasa says it's not taking any chances either, moving the mobile launch platform back inside. >> obviously because it's so tall, it would be affected by the wind. >> reporter: a feat that will take at least eight hours uses a 6 million pound vehicle to slowly pull the platform 3 1/2 miles to safety. wolf, you are looking live right now in miami, where gas lines are forming -- have been forming
for quite some time as people trying to get fuel for their cars as well as generators should dorian cause power outages. back here live inport canav in canaveral, this is the puts jest for crew ships, they expect a few tomorrow, but after that we could see a impact in the itineraries. >> thank you leyla. i want to turn to alison chinchar. i understand a new forecast has been released. >> yes, and probably the biggest change we're noticing a delay in the landfall timelining. most of the bank statistics have remained relatively the same. moving to the northwest at 13 miles per hour. it's trying to form an eye, but
what's interesting is the southern portion of the storm has started to enhance. puerto rico is probably get more rain now that is when the any of the storm was on this particular area. very heavy rain bands pushing in to not only puerto rico, but across portions of the u.s. virgin islands as well, but we talked to the changes on the track. here is the current position. it's expected to intend fit, just about the next 24 hours, due in part because the water is incredibly warm. another part, there's not in its way to weaken it, but we expect it to still get up to a category 4, but the landfall time is later, maybe monday morning into early monday afternoon. it gives people more time to prepare, but you don't want people to become complacent. >> any better sense, yet, alison
where it might hit land? >> so more of the modelles are trying to trend south, especially the european model, but again that's just one model. it could all go back for the next model run. the key thing to know, it's got to go north after that, so really the entire state will have in impact from the storm, whether it's direct landfall or the aftereffects as it continues to move on. alison chinchar, thank you very much. after treating puerto rico with scorn when the storm was bearing down on that u.s. territory, president trump is taking a different tone as far as florida is concerned. florida now very much as you heard, in harm's way. let's go to our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. what is the president saying now, jim? >> reporter: he just announced a few moments ago that he won't be going to poland for a trip, so
he can stay in washington and keep tabs on hurricane dornian. mike pence will go in his place, and he insists the administration is ready for the storm, but no mistaking the difference in how the president is responding now and how he's been behaving in the last 48 hours when the same hurricane was targeting puerto rico. president trump is sounding all business about the storm preparation efforts, announcing in the rose garden he is postponing his trip to poland as hurricane dorian is expect to do crash into the state of florida over the labor day weekend. >> our highest priority is the safety and security of the people in the path of the hurricanes, and i will be rescheduling my trip to poland in the near future. >> reporter: the president is warnings floridians that dorian could be devastated, tweeting -- it will be a very big hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest. but contrast the president's no-nonsense warnings with his comments on puerto rico, when
the hurricane was on its way to the island. the president tweeted -- puerto rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. nair political system is broken and their politicians are either incompetent or corrupt and by the way, i'm the best thing that's ever happened to puerto rico. but critics say that's not true, pointed at the president's paper towel tossing performance. >> reporter: between 1 and 10, how would you rate the response? >> i would say a 10. >> reporter: he's making other waves, as is the es administration is pulling back on assist tons to ukraine. cutting that aid would be welcome by russia's president vladimir putin. >> i believe the united states has an ethical commitment to help the ukrainians defend themselves. it's hard not to juxtapose this with the push by president trump to bring russia back goo the g7.
>> reporter: he's -- >> china plays a vicious game. they targeted our farmers. that's how vicious they play the game. they know the farmers loves trump and trump loves the farmers. they're incredible. they don't want any subsidies. he 'also unhappy with fox news, with the exception of certainly personalities. >> i'm not happy with fox. people say fox is for me, fox, look, sean and laura and tucker has really been very good -- somewhat trick about, but that's okay, but he's been very good. you guys in the morning, ainsley and steve, you've become -- i
used to say you were a solid 6 or 7, but you're getting much better. >> reporter: the president said he's planning to draw down the number of troops? afghanistan. he's long advocated for a total withdrawal, but it appears advisers warn against that kind of move have won the day for now. as for the president's trip to poland, it's worth noting he was supposed to meet with the new president of ukraine while in warsaw. no word whether the vice president will have that meeting. that's a key meeting, as you know, as the administration is considering whether to hold up military aid for ukraine, something the pentagon doesn't want to see happen, but of course the final call belongs with the president. >> jim acosta at the white house for us. joining us is don bier, from virginia. thank you for coming in. did the president do the right thing by cancelling, or at least postponing his trip? >> yes, he did. i'm glad he's fogs can on the
hurricane, but you can't take away from the fact that he so blew it four years ago when the storms hit puerto rico, and hopefully he won't attack the leaders in the southern states like he did with puerto rico. when they needed him the most, he's been tearing him down. >> he was supposed to meet with the new president of ukraine, obviously that's not now going to happen. what do you think of these reports that he's thinking of eliminating $250 million in military aid to ukraine. >> i think there will be strong backlash. john bolton was just there yesterday meeting with the ukraine leaders e. pledging u.s. support for their independence, their sovereignty,ist hard not to see this in the g7 context. they have not paid a price for stealing crimea, and for kinning
to really try to disrupt democracies throughout western europe and the united states. >> there will be plenty of opposition if that decision goes forward. you heard a very different tone. you pointed it out yourself when the president is talking about puerto rico and the threat to puerto rico, as opposed to the threat to florida, and maybe georgia as well. why do you think that is? >> well, part of it is florida could be a swing state in 2020. part of it is florida is not an i'd full of people of color. we have seen him again and again pick on any where color is involved. but i don't really criticize his sticking up and trying to modify the impacts of the hurricane on florida. i just he was evenhanded when it comes to the virgin islands or puerto rico. >> but does he realize the 3 million people in puerto rico are u.s. citizens? >> i don't think he's ever really acknowledged that. at least he didn't talk about dropping a nuclear bomb in the
middle of a hurricane as he's reported considering it. >> he's denied that, but axios is confirming that multiple times. the president says fema is prepared for this new hurricane, this category 4 potentially when it hits florida, maybe georgia, about you as you know, the trump administration is now diverting about 271 million from fema in order to beef up immigration protection, as the president would call it. what do you think about it? >> i think it's crazy. he has this obsession on a wall, now black wall, when we know that the things we need to be concerned about with the border, drugs, fentanyl are coming through the ports of entry. so it's a disaster. fema gets better and better, unfortunately with climate change we have become more practiced at dealing with this. >> but since congress appropriated those funds for fema, does the president have the authority to simply sign
some sort of document and move more than $270 million from fema to some other purposes? >> we don't think he does, but he's going to assert iepa authority, but it's different to make the case there's an emergency on the border. the emergency is taking care of the women and children that turned themselves in voluntary. will you challenge that decision? >> yes, with he absolutely will. we had this fight over the last couple weeks where he was going to divert some foreign aid, again the same idea, citing iepa and he relented, thank goodness because there was bipartisan push back. i think there will be again. thank you for coming in. emergency steven prepared
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breaking news with hurricane dorian, taking direct aim at florida, president trump just announced that he's cancelling a trip to poland this weekend so he can day and monitor the storm response. he sounded much more concerns about the hurricane's impact than he did when the same storm was heading toward puerto rico. we'll talk about the abrupt change in tone. by all accounts he did the right thing in deciding this was not a good weekend for him to be away as millions of people po pinchally in florida and georgia play be in danger. obviously the president can be president of the united states literally everywhere in the world, but typically when the u.s. is threatened, they stay
nearby. when the hurricane went to puerto rico, in fact, the president was at his golf course in new jersey. that was a point of concern, because he was trying to convene meetings from up there. it look like he wasn't entirely focused on that storm, but this is already a trip that's been cut short. he was going to go to copenhagen, so it was a lot easier to cancel the whole thing and send the vice president. today it's actually 14 years since hurricane katrina made landfall in louisiana. chairman got a lot of criticism at the time for not necessarily being on top of it. >> the defining photo or image of the bush presidency is him looking down at all of the flooding, flying over it. >> if you look at george w. bush's presidency, the war in iraq is not when the public
losing full confident, but hurricane katrina the challenging thing for president trump was 24 hours ago he was mocking puerto rico for corruption or the mayor of san juan. totally different tonally, it's hard not to notice why. you can feel that way, but when a major hurricane is seemingly bearing down on that -- not the best for the president. >> why do you think there's a different tone with the dangers facing puerto rico, 'opposed to the dangers facing florida? >> i think it's obvious. it periods to race and periods to politics. in instances of any hurricane or a national disaster you have to
be out there for the people and all the people. but when you you don't need to reterm the accounts of how he's referenced people, but on the issue of politics, how many electoral votes does puerto rico have? zero. how much participation do they have in the election or congress? zero. florida is always a state of contention, tied with new york, you've got to get it. you look at the past presidential election, president obama went for the first time in '089, 3%, trump wins florida, and he wins it against by just more than a little built. who are you going to pander to? the people you need to elect you. simple question, simple answer, that is race in politics. >> what do you think? >> i think joey is absolutely right. the president really does not view himself as being the president of people -- and also
want -- as if he wants to communicate that not only does he not feel like the president, she doesn't care about them or their suffering. he doesn't want to go out there and make a gratuitous or cruel statements. there is some degree of irony in this case, right? as he was saying just the other as if it was puerto rico's fault, mother nature shifting it into florida florida, and remark le a met kale important state. it speaks to the situation of puerto rico puerto ricoans, and why aren't democrats out there trying to registered the puerto ricoan displayed following hurricane maria and now there are eligible to vote in why aren't the democrats focused on registering
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hurricane that's threatening florida, but he was supposed to meet in warsaw, and he's not threatening to cut military aid to ukraine. what message will that send? >> this is yet another gift from trump to putin. certainly welcome news for the kremlin, currying favors with vladimir putin has been the bizarre hallmark throughout his presidency. this is a move that would draw bipartisan condemnation from congress. another example where he's out of step with not just democrats, but mention of his -- it simply doesn't share that view. and trying to ensure on the instrumental -- a coequal branch of government. the congress gets to appropriate funds. they have the power of the purse. they get to decide how money is spent. congress has set this $250 mill kwon for assistance to ukraine.
for the president to refuse to spend it is undermining an importance function, this also comes as rudy giuliani continues to mouth this bizarre and frankly disgraceful -- ukraine has failed to play ball. so as we see trump's reluctance in this area, to do something that's common sense, it comes as the backtroop of his supporters pressuring ukraine to do what amounts to corrupt political favoritism. >> >>e says the ukraine has damages information about joe biden and his family. that's not emerged, at least not yet. he was threatening to cut about various. of aid, but had to relent in the face of pressure from republicans as well. >> in this, the president is basically daring congress to
push back, and in some cases, particularly when it comes to certain types of foreign affairs issues, republicans in congress are willing to use whatever power, influence they have over president trump to sway him. they typically do it privately, through back channels, through the vice president, for example, through mike pompeo, the secretary of state. so they try to do it quietly without making it seem like they're reprimanding president, but make no mistake, there are some things that republicans think is even a bridge too far for the president. >> the president did a rather lengthy interview, about 22 minutes or so. you listened to it, i listened to it, on fox news radio. he spoke about some of the criticism that he's leveled. he was asked about some of the criticism he's leveled lately against fox news. listen to this. >> i'm not happy with fox. i think -- people think fox is
for me. fox is good. look, sean, and laura, and tucker has been very good tucker's a little trucky, but that's okay. but he's been very good. and, you know -- i used to say you were a solid 6, maybe a 7, but you're getting much better. >> what did you think? >> i mean, so he clearly is a believer in state-one television and views fox at that, that they are supposed to be effectively propaganda for donald trump. when he says you were good, remember he doesn't gauge news on factual, interesting context, et cetera. he gauges it solely, is this good for me? or is this booed for me? i don't mean the presidency, but donald trump personally. the first name stuff, you know,
sean and laura, they're great, you know, it affirms everything we know. he watches a ton of cable television. virtually all the time, the lens through which he sees the worlds. he has expectations of fox that's wholly unreasonable for someone who understands how a free press works. >> i watch a lot of cable television. we all watch a lot. >> we would never bad mouth cable television. >> go ahead, joey. >> where do you find the time? you're the leader of the free world, dealing with domestic policies, all types of issues, hurricanes coming our way, economy, we're talking about recession, don't want to mention that "r" word yet you're naming my first name the morning show, the night show, a rating, a solid 6, 7, but you're getting better. i if independence it amazing his fascinates, but it leads to policies, which leads to tweets, which leads to the government going in a direction based on
what you learned on cable news. >> joey, it's called executive time. that's what it's culled. >> but the president is doing something that makes even fox uncomfortable. they like to make a distinction between what goes on during the day and at night, the entertainment time. the president sees that and why can't all of fox be like the people i like. these are fox news hosts he talks to on the home that are in some ways informal advisers, and he's pushing the network to do more. i don't think he's worried about the threat of abandoning fox, but he certain -- >> just one point to the executive time, joey, you know how many public events he had today? one, this afternoon, about space com. it was about ten minutes long. there's a lot of time in that to watch a lot of cable tv, which judging from his twitter feet, he does. guys, stick around. there's more news we're
following, including the justice department's inspector general leveling new criticism at james comey, this time over how he handled his meetings with president trump. stand by. we have details. we also will get reaction. later what's behind the north korea pla north korea parliament's move? let's do it. ♪ come on. this summer, add a new member to the family. hurry in and lease the glc 300 suv for just $419 a month with credit toward your first month's payment at the mercedes-benz summer event. going on now.
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powerful storm. we'll have much more just ahead. also tonight, the justice department's inspector general has release add report on former fbi director james comey and how he handled memos with his meetings with president trump. sara murray has been going through the documents, lengthy documents. what did you discover? >> the inspector general took a pretty dim view of how comey handled these memos. they said he violated fbi rules, and he set a dangerous press accident for current and former members of the fbi in handling this sensitive information, though they did concede that numb of the information he ultimately shared with a colleague to the "new york times" was not classified information. he was explaining why he wanted to get these memos out here. >> i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. i didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but i asked
him too, i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. so i asked a close friend of mine to do it. >> the report says comey had chevrolet other lawful options to him which hi told us was hi goal. what was not permitted was the disclosures of sensitive investigative information obtained in order to achieve a personally desirable outkim. >> after rue vice the matter, the department declined prosecution, but then went on to say, as described in this report, we conclude that comey's retention handling and dissemination of certain memos violated policies, and his fbi employment agreement. so there's a lot of material. >> there is, and this is one of those things, and i think you have seen this today, that you take away what you want to take away. if you're a republican, an ally of the president, who believes the fbi ways biased and acting inappropriately those are the
takeaways you're getting. james comey violated the riles, acted in his own interest, wanted the mem oweses out to hurt trump. >> others would say he was a patriot, and was concerned, and comey for his own part took to twitter and pointed to the line saying no classified information was shared with journalists to say, look, i'm not a leaker, i'm not a liar. >> the president obviously with a different interpretation. perhaps never in the history of our country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated. he should be ashamed of himself. >> all of this is before we get the inspector general report on the origins of the russia investigation, so more to come. >> thank you very much. stay with us, we'll have much more on the breaking news, nearly updated forecast for hurricane dorian. and what's the real message behind the north korean parliament's decision to change
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because, frankly, the clock is ticking fast. this is seen as a move kim wanted to take for internal consumption in north korea, to remind his people that the kim dynasty is unshake abable. >> translator: his thirst for absolute power has never been in question. he has solidified the strong man's rule just in case anyone might be questioning it. the supreme people's assembly has formally made him the, quote, supreme leader of the party, state, and armed forces of the dprk. >> internally the country's hitting a little bumpy air. economy's not doing too well. he doesn't have anything to show for his diplomacy with washington. it is to reaffirm that he is in control if anybody has any doubts. >> a statement is that the parliament's move establishes the, quote, monolithic guidance of the supreme leader.
it's not clear if he gets a formal new title but he has given himself enough to tumble off the side of any business card. among his designations is dear respected party, chairman of the state affairs and chairman of the korean people's army, titles of a man who was anointed as a third generation dictator when he was a child. >> at his eighth birthday party he was presented with this little general's uniform, an olive green uniform with epilets and brass buttons. real generals came to his birthday party and saluted him, bowed to him. >> reporter: analysts say his newly bolstered authority follows the structure of his grandfather, the founder of north korea, who many believe kim jong-un tries to emulate. opinions vary as to whether kim is now more powerful than his grandfather was or not, but experts believe this latest move
could boost the 35-year-old in his dealings with president trump. >> this could be seen internally as reaffirming his primacy and dominance and giving him kind of extra status for any negotiations with the united states. >> reporter: trump and kim have met three times. the first in singapore ended with promises but no actions. at the second the failed summit in hanoi trump walked out. this summer they had a handshake and brief chat at the dmz where they promised to keep talking. experts say kim like trump is under serious pressure it strike a nuclear deal. >> tremendous pressure. in han knooi, kim jong-un went very angry. he changed his team. it was an abject failure for kim jong-un. by the way, north korean leaders don't do failures. >> reporter: could this latest adjustment to kim jong-un's authority be designed to head off any threat from inside north
korea? analysts say it's not likely he's facing any internal threats at the moment but they say that could change if the north korean economy spirals further or if kim leads north korea into some military conflict which might lead his generals to turn against him. >> on the security front, kim might have an advantage now because south korea and japan, they are squabbling. >> that's right, wolf. south korea did pull out of its intelligence sharing agreement with japan. u.s. officials are very upset about that. they're saying south korea's move is increasing the risk to u.s. forces. >> brian todd reporting. thank you. coming up, the breaking news. state of emergencies in florida, parts of georgia as hurricane dorian is expected to make landfall as a very powerful storm. an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances.
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people in florida and georgia, they are bracing for a potential labor day disaster. favoring florida. the president now says he's so concerned about the threat to florida that he's canceling a trip overseas. is it a nod to the sunshine state's clout in the 2020 election. blocking aid. mr. trump is seriously considering denying u.s. military assistance to ukraine, a move that would make vladimir putin happy. even some republicans are warning him not to cozy up to the kremlin again. and college murder plot? a north carolina college student is in custody after reportedly planning to have a mass shooting on campus. he already had a stash of powerful weapons and was studying how to kill. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and a