tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC September 20, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT
pivotal vote in what she's consi the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. tonight donald trump threat tones destroy north korea, the american president declares america first at the united nations and claims that parts the world are going to hell. also on the russian front manafort responds to the wiretap reports an what's going to happen when trump's long-time private lawyer has to appear publicly before the senate intel committee. and a new forecast for hurricane maria which just tonight made the list of the top 10 most intense atlantic hurricanes of all time, thus a state of emergency in puerto rico as the 11th hour gets under way. and good evening once again
from our ns headquarters here in new york. day 243 of the trump administration will be remembered for donald trump's appearance on the world stage. in part because he declared his america first policy in front of the united nations. he went on to declare terrorists losers, he called kim jong-un rocket man again, and he threatened to destroy north korea if the u.s. was forced to defend itself. >> the united states has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. the iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the united states has ever entered into. frankly, that deal is an
embarrassment to the united states and i don't think you've heard the last of it, believe me. major portions of the world are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell. the united states and our allies are working together throughout the middle east to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. >> our white house correspondent hallie jackson reported tonight that there was an audible reaction to trump's threat to destroy north korea. he called out several other nations. he saved his toughest language for north korea and iran. >> then the depraved regime in north korea, banned of criminals, hostile behavior. the iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy.
when economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, blood shed, and chaos. a murderous regime. it is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction. >> in keeping with u.n. tradition among nations that are enemies, north korea's delegation walked out of hall before trump started speaking leaving empty chairs and a low-level official behind. iran's foreign minister called the speech ignorant hate speech. israel's prime minister netanyahu said had he never heard a bolder or more courageous speech. and the the foreign minister of sweden called it a bombastic nationalist speech. president also mentioned the sacrifices american has faid made for the united nations charter and he said this about world war ii.
>> it is an eternal credit to the american character that even after we and our allies emerged victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion. >> a lot to talk about tonight. let's turn 0 our leadoff panel jeremy bash is with us, former chief of staff at the pentagon and cia. also former council to house intel. onita comar is here with us in new york. white house correspondent from newspaper. and eli stokeles is with us, wall street reporter for the journal and msnbc analyst. eli, you go first. what was that we witnessed today? >> it was a lot of bomb bost sosht ever presenting a foreign poly. there was such a kwooid wide gulf between the rhetoric and
reality here. there were a couple examples. he said we have to call out the enablers, the people who are enable these rogue regimes. the only time he mentioned russia, the only time he mentioned china, it was to thank them for supporting sanctions resolutions at the u.n. he said nothing about their role supporting aassad. the tell was when he said it's one of the worse deals you've heard. believe me. believe me means this is bluster. what has the donald trump u trump administration done on the iran deal? they've certified that iran season complying with it every single month. doesn't seem like they're going to tear the thing up. you talk about self-interest of these sovereign nations as some empoe activity for for some colob bore operation. people that are abiding by this theory, nation states doing what's in their own best interests, those are all the countries he did call out by name, maduro, venezuela, assad, kim jong-un.
there's a lot of incoherence in the speech and just so much noise and loudness that it was really stunning. maybe not stunning for people who heard this president over the course of the campaign and who have listened to him over the course of his presidency, but in that setting, for that audience, this was something that i don't know that we've ever really seen before. >> i want to quote anita and how she summed it up in her lead for the newspapers. president trump delivered the message of the voters who elected him. in other words, in front of that iconic emerald stone which he has criticized as cheap and offered to redo, standing there before 139-member nations, you saw him talking to his base. >> i sure did. i mean, if you followed him on the campaign, you heard exactly what he said then. he talked about the populous nationalists message, we're in it for ourselves. america first. he used that almost one time.
but that's what people wanted to hear. >> i have to say over the last few months that people have gotten a little disillusioned, some of his supporters. mostly they like him and still support him. but there have been a couple things, afghanistan, different things that he's done where -- >> healthcare failing to replace. >> right. they thought is this really the guy? i talked to people that said oh, yeah there are was trump, this was the guy. they were worried and they heard him today and they thought was exactly who they elected. >> jeremy, look at that time from the other way. if you were in your old jobs at either pentagon or cia, how would you have received this speech? >> well, brian, i think i would have first tried to reassure my best allies in the world, those in nato, those are our treaty partners in asia and reassure them that despite the rhetoric of america first, america was at not abdicating our global leadership position. that's a difficult position that that many in our government feel because he is espousing this
neo-nazi mentality. in a world which 97% of the population of the world lives outside our borders, we have to trade with them and work with them, we have to work in conjunction with them to solve the most critical problems of the world and they is at the united nations saying we're going to go it alobe. it's not a recipe for solving any of the problems that the united nations can solve. >> eli this picks up on your point. it was plan free and it was solution free, and kind of the an tija sis of a martial plan. >> was directed at the base, but this is the united nations this is not a campaign rally. there's all this talk about trump reassuring his base. it says a lot that he's trying tro assure his base eight months into his presidency and that he's doing it at the u.n. but that's where he is politically. but it doesn't really matter in
this context what the domestic situation is. he's there to articulate a foreign policy vision. and the fact that he's just sort of preach together choir with a base basically means there isn't much of a foreign policy vision, there isn't a lot that this president believes. and i think i've talked about this is a prepared speech that was in the prompt -- there's a lot of trump's voice and stephen miller's vis in this speech. >> rocketman as you pointed out was red from the teleprompter. >> that was not an ad lib. >> his eyes did not move off the teleprompter. but it's stunning to watch this and to see a president who is delivering this message and sort of talking out of both siefds his mouth again in this setting. and really talking to the base when, you know, it doesn't matter what his voters want when it comes to how are you going to deal with north korea and syria, with iran and other problems around the world? how are you going to deal with that? it doesn't matter what the
domestic politics. it's supposed to be pragmatism, it's supposed to be dictated by the military and your national security team about ha is the right thing to do. >> back to the use of this word sovereign and sovereignty. did you hear a buzz word or dog whistle in his repeated use of that word? >> we knew he was going to talk a little bit about that because they had given us a preview, no words or anything. so we were sort of expecting this theme, but it was just way more -- it was just over the top. you know, it caused me to go back through and count how many times he used that word sovereign or sorn vernty 21 times. it was definitely the word. >> what does that mean? >> everyone took rocket man but i took sovereignty. >> it means what he was talking about in the begin, we're going to america first and go it alone and every other nation should be independent and free and we
should all gather together to fight what he called the wicked few, i think he called it, the wicked ones. so, you know, that really undermines to me the u.n., which is where he was today, nato, eu, places like that, international bodies he was really saying don't matter as much anymore. >> jeremy bash, other president presidents of the modern era would consider something to crowd the banter, maybe a lit high-and-tight, conspicuously absent today. >> i think you're right, brian, he has never really criticized russia. he has never really criticized putin. it's really the question that has hung over this presidency is why won't he? what is going on in the background that prevents him from doing so? what causes him to bring lavrov and kisslyiac into the oval office and bring them into his confidence? what's going on here? it's entirely unclear.
>> i should point out that this idea of nationalism is a russian ideology. it's what putin has espoused. and russia believes when they can work bilaterally with other nations they can take advantage of them. it's only when they work multilaterally that's when we have an upper hand over russia. so this whole concept of nationalism is exactly putin's playbook. >> jeremy, do you see something being chipped away? you've worked for this government at times of great duress for our country. you've worked during war time at two critical cabinet level departments. do you see permanent damage being done? >> well, look. our alliance network around the world is one of the great american assets that we have. it's part of the crown jewels. it's what makes us strong. so whenever we undermine our own strength it is de gil bill tating to our own national security, it's concerning, and
coming from an american president at a time when there is great peril around the world, i believe it's a dangerous moment for america to be espousing these views. >> great thanks to our leadoff panel tonight, jeremy bash in washington, and we were happy to have here with us in new york aneelta kumar and eli stokeles. >> coming up after our first break, the russia investigation. paul manafort responds after yesterday's reporting that the feds have been keeping tabs on him. plus the senate intel committee scraps their planned session with trump's lawyer. up next, what the president's words today mean for the nuclear standoff with north korea. a lot to get to on a tuesday night. we'll do it when "the 11th hour" continues. ♪
no nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. the united states has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. >> president trump not far from here at the u.n. general assembly today vowed to, as you heard, totally destroy north korea if it threatened the united states or allies. and, again, referred to kim jong-un as rocket man. this evening secretary off uniting the international community in its voice to kim jong-un that we do not believe
that this is certainly not in the global interest, but it's really not in his interest either longer term. the path he's on is just to a path of further isolationism. >> let's talk about all this and do that we are happy to have with us tonight one of america's fore mast career diplomats, former director of national intelligence to president bush 43. he also served as u.s. ambassador, are you ready, to mexico, iraq, honduras, the philippines and key to our conversation, the united nations. also with us tonight our friend u.s. army retired colonel jack jacobs. gentlemen, welcome to you both. ambassador, i'll begin with you. a lot of people couldn't get past america first, but you told me in the break you found some nuances in today's speech. we are anxious to hear your view. >> well, first of all, i think it was important that he went.
i think he focused on reform last night at that meeting he had with 120 delegations. i don't think he trashed the united nations, he talked about it as a hopeful institution. when he talked today about america first, he said just as other representatives of other countries put their country first, and i would remind you there was applause after he said that. because i think everybody understood what he -- what he meant. so, you know, i'm not sure it was quite as nationalistic and aloof as some people would have. and i do think he tipped his hat to this international organization today here in new york. >> do you believe it was normal for donald trump? do you believe it was normal in terms of what we may have heard from other presidents in the modern era? >> well, i think he's on a learning curve. he's the least experienced president in recent memory. he's been in office less than a year.
but i think he's learning. initially he was repute eighting our alliance, casting doubt upon them. he doesn't do that anymore. he cast doubt, as we said, on the united nations. he's not doing that at the moment. he talked about some of the serious threats of our time, including north korea, which indeed it is. and so all until all i thought he did a fairly good review of the critical issues that face both our country and the international community at this time. >> colonel jacobs, when you heard that phrase total destruction of north korea, does that give you a little hitch in your giddy up? have you seen a target list or military plan? and i guess my subset question would be how do you walk that back? >> i don't think he wants to walk it back. we may not want to walk it back in any case. we have the capability using conventional weapons to destroy
north korea's conventional capability. and i think that was the message. >> the problem is minutes after they destroy seoul, south korea is the argument. >> there's a price to everything. there are lots of artillery tubes, a lot of them in concrete, lots of rockets and there's no doubt about the fact that any kind of exchange is going to result in the deaths of a lot of civilians and a lot of americans too who are there. but i don't think that the united states -- i don't think that the president wants to walk back the notion that we -- if attacked or if our allies are attacked, we're going to destroy north korea. there's one thing that's really important to discern here, however. in the past he has always said that if we are threatened we will attack. >> yeah. >> and this, he didn't say that this time. >> ambassador, we've been told for decades that the name of the game is to embarrass and
diminish the north korean leaders, certainly diminish them, not make them heroes. it's been trump's habit to use nicknames to diminish people, little marco, crooked hillary. but some have argued that calling names may not translate well, that it may actually have the opposite -- >> i think that could be right. but i think that's a matter of style. i don't think we're going to change mr. trump in that regard. the really important thing -- >> he's playing house money here. >> but the really important question for the house is to get mr. kim jong-un to back off of his nuclear program. and i do think one of the things the president is saying is we cannot live with a nuclearized north korea and that we've got find a way to oblige them to back off what they have done so far. that's going to have to be done
through some kind of combination of pressure and then hopefully negotiations as well. >> that's a great question right there. do we have a red line or is there a plan to just live with the nuclearized north korea as we lived with a nuclearized pakistan and russia and so on and so on? >> it's a very undev sireable outcome since the korean war isn't formally over. they have a professed desire to reunify the peninsula under their own government. i think it would be a very unsatisfactory situation and very disstabilize together peninsula and the region as a whole. >> i don't think there's any way we can avoid it. we've kicked the can down the road for so many -- for decades it's now difficult, if not impossible to avoid. >> one last word for you, jack. it seems to some people like he was complaining, the president was, about the iran deal like it could have been better targeted
at carey and obama and not the audience watching the speech. >> yeah, i think that's right. i think there's not much you can do about the iran deal either especially in view of the fact that we have certified that they're doing what they're supposed to do. you could argue that we could have cut a better deal and i think that's that was his brarmt and that's his argument now but that train has left the station. >> and ambassador, do you fear for your life's work, meaning the vacancies at the state department, the fact that this has not been venner rated, this being this fear of foreign affairs and the bailiwick of the state department. >> it's been too slow and i wish secretary tillerson instead of focusing on his reform plans had sought to fill those jobs sooner. i think that would have helped us reassure the world of our continued interest. it was i think inexcusable to leave region secretary positions
open for this long during the tenure of an administration because foreign countries that's the first thing they look at is who's the regional secretary for our area? oh, you mean it hasn't been filled. so i think that causes concern. but they are filling them, slowly, and there have been more announcements in recent weeks and i suspect in four to six months these jobs will all have been appointed and confirmed by the senate. >> ambassador to india to name one in the meantime. what a great pleasure to have both of you gentlemen here with us tonight. ambassador, colonel, thank you both. coming up after our next break, team manafort responding to these latest reports on the russia investigation by condemning the leaks. very latest on that when we continue.
welcome back to ourp broadcast. a spokesman for former trump campaign chairman paul manafort has pushed back against reports by cnn and cbs not confirmed by nbc news we should note that fbi conducted electronic surveillance on manafort. jason maloney who testified before a grand jury last week, you may recall, told nbc news, quote, if true, it is a felony to reveal the existence of a fiez owarrant regardless of the fact that no charges ever emerge. the u.s. department of justice's inspector general should
immediately exam the moat valtions lind these previous administration he's effort surveil a political opponent. man for the requests that the department releases any actions against him so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the doj, there is nothing there. tonight "the wall street journal" reports that special counsel robert mueller's team has interviewed deputy attorney rod rosenstein about the circumstances surrounding president trump's firing of james comey. they write, the interview which occurred in june or july presents the unusual situation of investigators questioning the person directly over seeing their probe. with us tonight to talk about all of this, former u.s. attorney joyce vance who spent 25 years as a former prosecutor. and kimberly atkins, who also happens to be an attorney, the
recovering kind, that is. kim, what do you make of the manafort statement blaming the leakers? sounds reminiscent of the boss. >> sounds familiar, to try leakers and talk about the obama administration surveillance of an opponent sounds like something straight out of the president's playbook. sort of brushing this aside, but i mean, it's quite a development if true. you know, it's tough to get a fies so he warrant to surveil someone and the fact that be it's been going on for a long period of time on paul manafort definitely is a major development in the ongoing muller investigation. and it shows if nothing else that bob mueller and his investigators may have something to use perhaps as leverage to try to flip paul manafort as this investigation gets closer to reaching a conclusion and the
possibility of charges being brought. >> i have so many questions for both of you. joyce, question one "a" four as you pors parse this statement, anything jump out at you? >> it's a typical strategy. we have a saying this birmingham if defendants don't have a case to try they try the police or in this case the prosecutors, right. so this is what would you expect to see, this attempt to push back when the prosecution is getting or the investigation is getting a little bit too close to their client. this is really a lot of smoke, not much fire, nothing here that would terminate an indictment against mr. manafort if one were brought. >> joyce, does this look to you anything but an attempt to flip a big witness? >> it is clear that we are seeing mueller's team get closer to making manafort an offer that it will be very difficult for him to refuse.
there have been reports that he has not been cooperative, that in fact he's been the opposite of being easy for them to approach and work with. and so it's appropriate for them to now take a tough position with him. it looks like he really is going to be in the hot seat with the charges that they're compiling against him. >> and, joyce, just question onec, tell our audience when your life becomes when someone as powerful as mueller is trying to flip you starting with the fact that your friends no longer want to take your calls, no longer want to see, you that the name of the game is to make you a human island and isolate you, correct? >> you know, i think that's absolutely correct. and manafort is not an innocent victim in this process. he's not someone who's found himself through no fault of his own. he is in the hot seat because mueller and his investigators apparently going back ten or so years are able to identify criminal misconduct whether it's
tax or financial fraud, assuming the reporting that we're seeing is accurate. there are significant cases of criminal conduct by manafort and he will now be held accountablend it will not be enjoyable in any way for him. >> now, kim, tell us audience what happened with mr. cohen. long time trump attorney gave that quote to van flitty fair that he would take a bullet for donald trump. he was supposed to appear today. what happened and what's going to happen to him? >> well, you know, after senate intelligence committee members talked to jared kushner, if you remember that, and jared kushner issued this public statement to the press, those on the senate panel weren't too happy about that and they directed cohen not to speak to the press about what his testimony would be today. he chose do that anyway and so they promptly canceled this interview and said that they want to bring him publicly to
testify before the committee in an open hearing. the possibility of a subpoena was floating out there and so he agreed that he would testify in an open hearing. so now we will have a really high-profile open hearing now. i'm sure that's not what the white house wanted with this key witness. so it's a show by members of the senate committee that they're not -- they're not to be played with if they tell you to be quiet, they expect you to or there will be consequences. >> and, joyce, the score here is is two lawyers to nothing, but i'm an armchair one, at least i play one on tv. we've heard something about privilege. isn't it going to be difficult to ask donald trump's long-time lawyer to cross that privilege line in an open hearing? >> so not necessarily the case. there's a crime fraud exception to the attorney/client privilege and that means that the lawyer will have to testify if conversation that's asked about
would involve direction to him or his participation in committing or covering up a crime. even beyond that, although the privilege the cover his communications with his client, it wouldn't cover for instance action that's took independently or conversations he might have had with others. it's a very specific and limited privilege designed to ensure that clients and attorneys can have a free exchange, but it's not designed to screen criminal conduct from discovery. >> terrific conversation with two terrific guests tonight, joyce vance, kimberly at tins kins, thank you so both so much for coming on and helping us out. coming up, all eyes on a handful of gop senators. will they be yes votes or no votes when the next version of healthcare comes up for consideration days from now apparently. more when "the 11th hour" continues.
opinions about the quality of this bill. at the end of the day, this is the only process left available to stop a march towards socialism. my friends on the other side are never going to agree to a bipartisan proposal that does anything other than prop up obamacare. i've talked to the president five times in the last two days. he is focused like a laser. >> lindsey graham there hoping efforts from the white house will help usher through the republicans brand-new attempt at healthcare reform. he and senator bill cassidy authored this new legislation but the graham/cassidy version of obamacare repeal may still lack the votes to pass. republicans can only afford to lose three yes votes, as you may know, they have still got a long list of uncommitted. also today, ten u.s. governors, five dems, five "r"s signed a letter urging leaders not to move forward with this. with us to talk about all of it,
white house reporter for usa today, change in title please know the, and white house correspondent for bloomberg. shan nan, tell our audience where did this come from out of nowhere and high this time? we've got 11 days to decide one sixth of the u.s. economy? >> well, while everybody was on vacation in august and we thought that this was dead, there was a group of senators and the vice president actively working behind the scenes to try and revive some form of obamacare repeal and replace. and they're trying to get this done by the end of september because that's basically the deadline where insurance plans have to set their plans for next year and pretty soon people will be able to start enrolling soon. so everybody left for august recess thinking healthcare was dead and that people would grow further apart during the recess when they went back to their districts. but it seems like they have grown a bit closer together. and i was talking to some analysts today who feel like
this is the closest we've been so far to getting something passed. that doesn't say much because there's still a lot of hurdles, but this is the closest we've seen so far. >> so there are some smart people who believe this may actually happen? >> yes. democrats and republicans. and people on wall street, i covered healthcare for a long time so i've been talking to healthcare investors, wall street's getting there's a chance something would colorado happen, they give it a 60% chance. that's not great odds, but the deal's never done until it's done. and like we saw with the house, we all thought that was dead and all of a sudden in the course of 48 hours they worked out a deal, they turned some screws and it sailed right through -- it didn't sale right through the house but it got through the house and here we are. >> okay, heidi, had this is where you come in. if mcconnell called a midnight vote tonight right now, would they have the votes? >> i think not. and that's why many senators went home. what was critical, but i think missed tonight, brian, is the fact that lisa murkowski, the
alaska senator was given a very strong signal from her governor who was one of the signees on that letter urging the senate to scrap this, to go back to the negotiating table and try to fix obamacare, try and do something participate bipartisan. why is that significant? because as you said at the top of the show, they can only afford to lose a handful of senators. they've already lost two in senators collins and paul. senator mccain is likely to go the way of senator her cause i can. what that governor knows is that alaska benefits allot from obamacare in terms of per capita and as that senator said in his letter, there was nothing in this basically guaranteeing me that i'm going to be able to do more with essentially less money. and that's what this comes down to is that they're trying to sell this as a bill that's going to improve healthcare, but tend
of the day it -- many the senate are just kind of looking at this as a numbers bill, as a spending cut bill that is just going to take money out of medicaid, take money out of funding those subsidies that go to the states. and even though many of these governors are republicans, at the end of the day they're the ones who are left holding the bag. i think that was a significant development that the alaska governor came out against this. >> and heidi, we haven't even mentioned susan collins of maine yet. >> well, susan collins and rand paul are the two senators who are already we're getting going to be against that. so they've already lost two people there. that's why senator murk cause i can is so critical. she told her staff against the obamacare repeal this was one of the most meaningful votes that she took, history making votes. >> i just can't see her coming down off of that for something that, you know, we don't have a
cbo score on, let alone a hearing that many senators haven't even had a chance to view. and that basically, you know, another thing that shannon didn't mention in addition to the deadline at the end of this month for the insurance surers is this is all being done as well to try to ram it through on this procedural vehicle of reconciliation without democrats. so on a partisan line. >> and the customers have a funny way of making their voices heard across this country. >> yes. and i think those are all great points, heidi made and she has a fantastic sense of the hill and how things operate. i would point out just two things, though. i agree that murkowski and collins are probably hout out. i think mccain is going to be an interesting one to watch because he has this relationship with lindsey graham, the cosponsor of this bill. so i could see maybe some deals being worked out or some screws being turned to get him on board. and rand paul, i could also see
a deal being worked out with rand paul, maybe for something else to get rand paul over. so i think susan collins and murkowski are solid nos but i would still keep an eye on rand paul and mccain. it ain't over till it's over. >> we have a drama. it happens to involve one sixth of the nation's economy. our great thanks to heidi and shannon. thank you both for coming on. something tells me we're going to be talking about this every night for the near future. coming up we are watching an explosive more rodding hurricane and fearing it has puerto rico in its sites.
of the storm said, quote, this is about as bad as you can get. we have two reports on this storm night. one from san juan and one from the studyio. gabe i see it's hitting you with rain and wind bands. >> reporter: yeah. seems just a few days ago i was talking to you about hurricane irmaa, now hurricane maria bearing down on port roek oe. as you mentioned massive category 5 storm, sustained winds of 175 miles per hour. already the wind has picked up here in san juan. we're getting some of the outer rain bands. this is expected to get worse throughout tomorrow morning we're expecting the height of it tomorrow. it can be a catastrophic storm. the mayor in san juan told us
she did not want the u.s. mainland to forget about puerto rico. irma just grazed the island, 60,000 people are still without power. the power grid they fear could fail. there could be a massive collapse of communications, of cell phone towers are down, authorities are urging people, they urged them throughout the past few days if they lived in wooden structures or flood prone areas they urged them to evacuate. 500 shelters are set up. we expect the worst of it in the next several hours. >> we hope you guys are in a safe structure as landfall is measured in hours away. bill was my on air partner for the andfall of irma. i've been watching you all day
today talk about the category 5. >> we have hurricane fatigue and we don't want to hear about another monster one. there's no reason this one won't produce as much or more damage than harvey and irma. here's the storm well defined wi not really weakening much. we're hoping a little bit before a landfall but that would be lucky, still 175 miles per hour winds, just to the south of st. croix. the wind gusts, it's only 40 where gabe is, they're expecting the wind gusts 140 to 160 miles per hour tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon, what you just saw, add 100 miles per hour. we had gusts at st. croix and saint thomas. here's a look at the current radar. here's st. croix. they are so close to the 175
miles per hour winds. here's the southern type of the island. this inner eye wall is only about 14 miles away. that's how close it was to -- this is as close as they're going to get to that eye. so i don't think they're going to go through the inner eye wall. there's two eye walls, we call it concentric. this one may try to weaken and dissipate by the time it gets to puerto rico, this one would take over, sometimes that can weaken the storm. don't expect it to weaken more. still probably a category 5. may go from 175 to 165. this path right here is pretty much worst case scenario, there are about 2 million people who live where my hand is, northern and north eastern quadrant, that's the dirty side of the storm. with the storm surge, the rain nmt mountains that could be up to 2 feet and the catastrophic wind damage, that's the huge
issue is going to be the wind damage, structural damage, people getting fresh water and food is going to be a issue and the infrastructure problems in the mountains with flash flooding, trying to get them food and water. this is going to be a humanitarian disaster. dominican can just be grazed, bah ham aus safe, georgia safe. we haven't ruled out anything for the carolinas. i expect by this time tomorrow night we're going to be in a full all out disaster in puerto rico. >> puts a lump in your throat especially after what everybody's been through. for those on special media, he's a terrific and informative follow on twitter. we'll take another break. when we come back the other natural disaster we are covering today, the shocking images
last thing before we go here tonight the pictures out of mexico today, most of them from social media show a almost unbelievable scene. buildings were dancing and bowing and swaying prior to and in many cases coming down to the ground. in one scene, passenger boats right here get tossed on a waterway as these spontaneous waves rise up. look at the earth and the trees in the background. it's all rolling and undulating because the earth, of course, is moving beneath them just like the surface of the water. it was a 7.1 quake centered
about 100 miles outside of mexico city and it was sustained. people said they thought it wasn't going to stop. tense of millions were in the shake zone. over two dozen buildings in the capitol city came down as thousands of office workers streamed into the streets. all traffic stopped. what's eerily dangerous is the number of structures weakened. a good many people are sleeping outdoors. the aftershocks will go on for days, the known death toll is 149 but estimates will put that much higher soon. rescuers could be heard shouting the name of those known or spuked to be buried in the structures. gas leaks and downed wires often in combination is a huge threat. courage is not in short supply as first responders have gone to work on the piles in complete disregard for their own safety and with a singular focus on
saving lives. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you so much for being here with us and good night from nbs news headquarters in new york. ♪ new overnight, the death toll from a massive earthquake in mexico continues to climb. more than 200 people have died after the 7.1 magnitude quake caused buildings and homes to collapse. plus, residents of puerto rico being warned to evacuate or die as hurricane maria comes through. and president trump calling out to others threatening to totally destroy the rogue nation. good morning, everyone. it's wednesday, september 20th. i'm ayman mohyeldin alongside