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President Trump About To Leave Harvey's Disaster Zone In Southeast Texas Bound For Nearby Louisiana; DOJ Saying It Has No Evidence Of Wiretapping At Trump Tower; President Trump Plans To Reveal His Big Decision On Young Working Immigrants Known As Dreamers; Salt Lake City's Police Department Apologizing To Local Nurse After She Was Arrested While Following Hospital Rules; President On The Ground in Louisiana. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired September 2, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] JOSHUA EVOLA, VOLUNTEER RESCUER: He wasn't asking for food. He was wanting folks to stop so he could feed them. There were people on the side of the road with clothes saying free clothes. So this is what we need right now. Everybody to pitch in. And it's the little things that count. And now is not the time to go, yes, it's all covered.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Such an important message.
Joshua and Jonathan Evola, thank you so much for your heroism and for giving all of yourselves to help save lives. We really appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our pleasure. Thank you to everybody. Thank you.
CNN NEWSROOM continues right now.
You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you so much for being with us this weekend.
Right now, President Trump and air force one are just about to leave Harvey's disaster zone in southeast Texas bound for nearby Louisiana. In Houston, the President met with the evacuees doling out hugs and kisses to children while reassuring adult that the federal government will stand by them in a recovery that could take years.
These are still live pictures of the President continues to meet with first responders and the members of the military who responded in this effort. This afternoon's effort was meant to blunt criticism that followed the first Texas trip four days ago. Critics even some within his own party said he failed to show enough empathy and compassion and that was on full display today as you can see. He seems to have embraced the role as the nation's comforter in chief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Really I think people appreciate what's been done. It's been done very efficiently. Very well. And that's what we're - we are very happy with the way that everything has gone. A lot of love.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the family tell you (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: They were just happy. There is a lot of happiness. It's been very nice. It's been a wonderful thing. As tough as this was, it's been a wonderful thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Across Houston and much of southeast Texas, streets are now overflowing with soggy and stinky trash. Ruined items pulled from their flooded homes. Just last hour, the White House announced it will increase its funding of debris removal and other protective measures. This news comes as the death toll also rises to at least 50 now.
In Beaumont that's northeast of Houston near the Louisiana border the situation is grim. It is getting even worse there. The city of 118,000 or so is now in its third day without running water. And thousands there still don't have power. Workers are hoping to restore the water today, but that's only if the river levels drop enough and at last check that wasn't happening.
Our crews are following the President and the first lady's visit to the region.
CNN's Athena Jones is traveling with the President. She is in Houston. And our Ryan Nobles is in lake Charles, Louisiana.
Ryan, I will start with you because that's where he is now headed. What will the President do as far as we know after his plane touches down in that state?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the role of the President here in lake Charles, Louisiana, is to thank the contribution that the folks of Louisiana have given to help aid the recovery process in Texas. Now, originally the President promised a visit here to Louisiana before that second wave of hurricane Harvey blew through. And there was a good chance that some towns like lake Charles, Louisiana were going to be pretty hard hit. It didn't turn out that way.
The bulk of the destruction happened over the border, but Louisiana still played a very important role. The governor John Bel Edwards promised the governor of Texas that they would get all of the support from Louisiana that they could handle. And the Louisiana National Guard which is right here behind me, and this is where the President is going to visit has played a key role in going into Texas, helping people get out of their homes and get to safety. And the city of Lake Charles itself has been a place where many of these evacuees have ended up. More than 3,000 evacuees have been sheltered in different areas here in Lake Charles.
But let me show you the scene right now, Ana. And this is what we are seeing where the President visits the hard hit areas. And this is a pretty significant group of Trump supporters that have showed up just outside this armory, perhaps to catch a glimpse of the President. They have no guarantees that they will see him. This is a pretty tightly controlled event where he is going to go in and spend a little bit of time with the National Guard troops, look at some of their equipment and then talk to them about their assistance and aid in their recovery. But there is no doubt about it, Ana, this is Trump country. We have seen plenty of make America great hats and we have seen Trump flags. This is an area that has supported him in a big way. So it is not a surprise at all to see his supporters come out here with just a hope of catching him as he comes here to greet those National Guards troops -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Ryan Nobles, stand by.
Meantime, we are continuing to see live images as the President continues meeting with the folks on the ground in Houston. This is right before he is scheduled to depart from Ellington Field there in Houston. We are told he is shaking hands with members of the coast guard specifically. We heard him ask many questions about how many individuals each of these people helped save. We heard one guy tell the President six people. Another person say about a dozen.
The President continuing to say lots of thank yous and taking pictures with these people.
A lot of smiles today. And we heard from some of the residence in their interactions with the President express great appreciation for the President being there saying that means a lot, the President is a little over an hour and half now behind the schedule they gave us. So he is taking his time. At one point he made an unscheduled kind of stop meeting a few more people than initially was on the schedule. He really does seem to be enjoying -- let's listen.
[16:05:31] TRUMP: But I have to say even you guys, you have to admit, I hear the coast guard saved 11,000 -- think of it. Almost 11,000 people by going into winds that the media would not go into. They will not go into those winds. Unless it's a really good story in which case they will. OK? But I want to congratulate everybody. I want to congratulate the coast guard for what you have done. Incredible. Incredible. And I gave the commencement speech this year at the coast guard academy. And they are going to come out and compete with you guys now pretty soon. You know that, right? But they have a lot to compete with.
So I want to congratulate you guys, the army guys. This has been -- I mean, it's brutal what's been up there. But you have done so much for the services and the whole world is watching. The whole world is watching.
So I want to thank - and I thank you -- look at all -- thank you, fellows. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. You have done so much for the prestige of the services. And the coast guard and what you have done. Again, thank you very much. Thank you very much.
Going to Louisiana now, sir. They are in pretty good shape too. They're in good shape. Just with the governor and this is going very well. You have done something really special. Thank you. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, it's an honor. Thank you.
TRUMP: You know it gets better and better every month. We're getting into the new stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
CABRERA: OK. The President gearing up now to board air force one to head to Louisiana after spending several hours now on the ground in Houston meeting with many of the people affected by hurricane and tropical storm Harvey as well as those who have responded, the heroes and the volunteers who continue to do such hard work there.
He was just talking with the coast guard and announcing that they saved 11,000 people. That was just the coast guard. Other officials telling us the number of rescues were somewhere in the neighborhood of 72,000, again in the past week. People working hour after hour and many a sleepless night. The President expressing his gratitude today in person on the ground.
We will continue to monitor these pictures. Let me bring in Athena Jones. She has been with the President following his movement throughout the day.
And Athena, it seems like people are happy he is there.
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. I would say so. I remember just those first pictures we saw announced several hours ago of the President arriving at the NRG stadium which is sheltering nearly 2,000 people. He came as a surprise, the fact that he was coming was a surprise to the folks there. He was greeting the children. They were hugging him. He was picking them up. He posed for selfies with children and adults alike. Sat down and spoke with him.
He and Melania Trump then put some on gloves and started to hand out food. Then they made a stop another a church that was a distribution center and he gave encouraging remarks and helped load supplies on some trucks. We saw him stop in a hard hit neighborhood in Pear Land, south of Houston, where this is a neighborhood where you are seeing people already beginning to tear out from the drywall from their flooded homes. Put mattresses on the side of the road. And now we are seeing him give his thanks to the volunteers.
And you know, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the President would have a chance to meet and speak extensively with the quite a few storm victims and with volunteers. And that is exactly what we are seeing today. And let's play a little bit of the message he had at NRG stadium earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A lot of water, but it's moving out. But I think most importantly the governor, the relationship with the governor, and the mayor and everybody it's been fantastic and with the federal government. It's been really great. And we are signing a lot of documents now to get money into your state. $7.9 billion. We signed it and it's going through hopefully a quick process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So there you heard the President talking about this big first installment of aid. Nearly $8 billion that he hopes to see Congress approve very quickly. We expect to see at least a vote in at least one of the chambers of Congress by the end of this coming week. We heard him talk about that aid. Interestingly, we did not hear him mention the $1 million in personal funds he has pledged to aid victims of hurricane Harvey.
But we did see a lot of encouragement. We have heard words like consoler in chief, comforter in chief. Well, I think cheerleader in chief and encourager in chief. He has had a very optimistic tone. At one point even saying well, yes, it could take several years to recover but because you're Texas, we think maybe you can do it in six months. That may be kind of raising the bar that state officials don't want to see, but the idea here is that the President is focused on the positive.
And we are seeing for the first time in a way that we didn't get to see on Tuesday because the President was meeting with officials and not storm victims, we are seeing a personal touch. Sort of the hands on touch that you are used to seeing from a President in a tragedy like this. And Ana, he seems to be very embracing it. And from the reporting have seen from that close pool of reporters who are traveling closely with him, those who flew in with him on air force one, he is being well received even in instances that are off camera - Ana.
[16:10:55] CABRERA: All right, Athena Jones, reporting and Ryan Nobles from Louisiana, our thanks to both of you.
I want to get some reaction now to the President's second trip to the storm ravaged area.
With me here in New York, CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer. He is a historian and professor at Princeton University. And with us from Washington, editor in-chief doe "the Hill" Bob Cusack.
So Bob, I will start with you. President Trump, he was criticized for his visit on Tuesday when he talked about crowd size that came to see him. He didn't meet with any of the storm victims at the time. And we saw vice President Mike Pence visit a few days later. He met with the victims. He helped clean up debris. Today, the President seems very hands on. Is he doing what he needs to do to quiet those critics?
BOB CUSACK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: Today, without a doubt, Ana, this is a very good day for the President. He had a very, very difficult August. But he is starting off September very well. It's all these situations these natural disasters, terrorist attacks, I mean, they are all about visuals. You think of Bush after 9/11 with the bullhorn and that was very good. But then Bush with the flyover for Katrina. That was not good. And these photos and these visuals are very good for the President. He is being very Presidential and I'm sure is going to be attracting a lot of praise for what he has done today.
CABRERA: Julian, the governor of Texas has praised the Texas and his vow and pledge to help the people there. Again, we have seen these images today of him sitting down talking to children, giving them hugs, giving them kisses. Reassuring adults that the federal government was going to be there with them until the very end. Do you think history might be too soon to tell but will he be remembered kindly and in a positive light for what we have seen so far?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's too soon to tell. I think today is obviously much more successful than the first visit. And in terms of his attitude and demeanor, this is more what people were expecting from the President of the United States. But the real question is what you are seeing. Will the federal government be there and we have a big budgetary issue to deal with. This is going to be an expensive fix in the next few month, in the next few years to really provide the relief necessary. And we don't know yet. Is the President and the Republican Congress committed to the money that will be necessary? That's how we will remember what he does.
CABRERA: Bob, let's talk a little bit about the money because the senior White House official tells us they expect the Senate to attach the storm funding bill to the debt ceiling conversation. What do you think the outcome of that could be?
CUSACK: I think that's going to be very difficult. I think a more likely scenario is that they are going to attach this funding to a government funding measure and do the debt ceiling separately. A lot remains to be scene on this. You know, I thought before this storm hit the chances of a government shutdown were over 50 percent but the White House has indicated that since the storm hit, now we will deal with the wall funding later. Maybe in December. So I don't think there will be a government shutdown. But conservatives do not want this funding attached to raising the debt ceiling. They don't mind if it's attached to the government funding bill. Two separate issues. So that remains to be seen.
Without a doubt, there are fiscal fights ahead and these -- this money is just the first of many installments. It took Katrina -- it took years after they had to -- Congress had to appropriate money for rebuilding.
CABRERA: Again, the President and first lady, we are continuing to watch. This is a live image as they wave good-bye to the people of Houston. The President with a fist bump pointing to those heroes on the ground who he was just meeting with as they are preparing to load up and then head to Louisiana where they will do much of the same as far as the schedule that we have been presented. We saw him also traveling with some of his aides including his chief of staff, John Kelly, who is alongside him on the ground there.
Julian, as far as the funding conversation why not make this a clean funding bill do you think?
ZELIZER: Well, I think he is trying to deal with the fact there was a budget mess already looming for September and October with deep divisions over the wall, with deep divisions over spending on other issues. So I think part of this is political gamesmanship. It's a strategic choice to try to solve two problems at once. I'm not sure it is going to work. I mean, the freedom caucus and the House of Representatives is not going to be happy with a lot of this. And come December which is not that far off we are still going to have to deal with the budgetary issues.
[16:15:05] CABRERA: All right. Gentlemen, thank you so much. You will be both back in a moment.
Coming up, the justice department weighing in on President Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him during his campaign. The details next.
[16:19:54] CABRERA: We are following breaking news out of Washington. The justice department revealing it has found no evidence, zero evidence that Donald Trump tower was ever wiretapped as the President has alleged the series of tweets.
In an official filing just today, the DOJ writes, both FBI and NSD confirmed that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets. Now among the President's tweets were these accusations. He writes, terrible, just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in the Trump tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism. He went on to say, how low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad or sick guy.
Let's bring in CNN political analyst and political historian Julian Zelizer and editor in-chief of "the Hill" Bob Cusack. Both back with us now.
First, I will go to you, Bob. First, your reaction to the DOJ saying it has no evidence of wiretapping at Trump tower despite the claims that the President made in the tweets.
[16:20:54] CUSACK: Yes, those claims really up ended Washington and shocked a lot of people. And the White House has never fully described what the situation was and there's been no firm data showing that the President was wiretapped. So it's just another head scratcher tweet that we have seen from the President.
CABRERA: The President has already had strong words of disapproval with attorney general Jeff Sessions we know. I'm wondering how this might impact their relationship. This again coming directly from the department of justice directly contradicting the President.
ZELIZER: It will anger the President. The President doesn't like when anything comes from within the executive branch that contradicts what he says. And this is a direct refutation of one of the accusations that he makes. And we know that President Trump already has tension with attorney general Sessions. And this will, you know, play against some of the calm feelings that he is trying to exhibit now when he is visiting Texas. CABRERA: Tapping into your historian expertise, can you think of a
time in past administrations when again the justice department comes out in such a stark terms really contrasting what the President has said On the Record and doubled, tripled, quadrupled down on.
ZELIZER: There was often tension. Under Richard Nixon, the attorney general refused to carry out the Saturday night massacre, which is the firing of the prosecutor looking into Richard Nixon, Archibald Cox. And it takes several people until someone did it. So given that justice is about the law, and the President's interests often are about politics, they often can end up clashing.
CABRERA: I don't think there have been a lot of questions, Bob, about what the truth was on this issue. But again the President never let up. He never reversed course. Do you think this puts that issue to bed once and for all?
CUSACK: I think to some degree, yes. Unless -- maybe the next time that Trump is interviewed and asked about this it's highly unusual going back to Sessions. Can you imagine that Barack Obama and Eric Holder would be publicly at odds with one another and stories written about them? I have never seen a situation where you have the attorney general and the President such at odds.
CABRERA: Let me ask you about the reports that the U.S. officials are right now inside the Russian annex in D.C. conducting a search. Russians have left the annex on a level of seriousness, Bob, where would you place this?
CUSACK: Well, I think it's pretty serious. I mean, we have seen some deterioration with various countries' relationship with the United States including with Russia. And obviously, the Russia investigations are ongoing. But the tension between the two countries is certainly not dissipating. Sometimes Trump has held back in criticizing Russia. But the people around the President, cabinet members, Nikki Haley, they have gone after Russia.
CABRERA: Julian, when we were talking to Jill Dougherty who is for a long time covered Russia and knows a lot about that, the details of the relationship between the U.S. and Russia, she says that this is a level far worse than the relationship we saw even during the Obama administration. Do you agree?
ZELIZER: Sure. It's deteriorating fast. Ironically even though President Trump was much more sympathetic toward a better relationship with Russia it's had the opposite effect. So with the legislation imposing very stringent sanctions and curtailing what the President could do about it, these incidents that we are watching this weekend and the general tenor of everything that's unfolded after the intervention in the election relations have clearly soured. They were already bad under President Obama. But they have clearly deteriorated especially in the wake of the scandal that is shaping U.S. politics on this issue.
CABRERA: I mean, is this back and forth more symbolic? Because of course this is a move that comes after Russia said you have to get some of your people out. We are kicking them out because you had you had spent -- sent our 35 people away. Closed the compounds back in December. Is this just symbolic or is it more?
ZELIZER: It's a smaller part of a bigger story. I think the bigger book ends of this were the 2016 election and fears about the 20018 and 2020 election with possible cyber intervention once again. And I think that's really the big story. And these incidents today are more -- not symbolic but they are back and forth in the bigger threat to the electoral system of the United States.
[16:25:20] CABRERA: Julian and Bob, thank you both.
Coming up, we will soon know President Trump's plans for dreamers, the children of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. When we return, we will talk with Republican congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado about that and his hopes to have dreamers protected.
We will be right back. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:30:06] CABRERA: We are days away from a major Presidential decision. On Tuesday, President Trump plans to reveal his big decision on young working immigrants known as Dreamers. And the DACA program that temporarily protects them from deportation. Some members of the President's own party like house speaker Paul Ryan are publicly urging the President not to end DACA. Let Congress tweak the program. And a GOP lawmaker from the state that voted for democrat Hillary Clinton has a plan to protect those dreamers.
Joining us now, Colorado congressman Mike Coffman.
Thanks so much, congressman, for spending time with us. You are I know prepping a long shot maneuver to force a vote on a bill that protects these dreamers or those recipients of the DACA program. What exactly is your plan?
REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: Well, it's called discharge petition, and it is -- it's to force a vote in the House for a bill that I introduced in January, a bipartisan bill, introduced in the house and the Senate called the bridge act that essentially is -- it puts stock in law to take care of the constitutional problems and then extends it for the three year period to give time for Congress to find a permanent solution for these young people.
CABRERA: Are you getting any firm support from your fellow house Republicans?
COFFMAN: Well, I think there is going to be a lot of pressure. I don't think it's such a long shot. I think this is a unique situation. I think the President is going to suspend this program. And in doing so, then you're going to have these young people whose -- their permits are coming up for re-authorization. It's required every two years. They are going to be soon subject to deportation. So I think it's going to put pressure on the Congress to act. And what I hope the President says is that he wants a bill -- he wants Congress to pass legislation to put this into law that he can sign. So I think that's my hope.
CABRERA: So why do you think he is going to end the program? He has said he wants to treat immigrants -- these undocumented immigrants specifically the dreamers with heart. He said as late as yesterday or as recent as yesterday that we love the dreamers.
COFFMAN: I think he is in a very difficult position because of the attorney general from Texas and the other nine attorney generals who signed on to the letter to Jeff Sessions, the attorney general for the United States, that essentially said, look, if you don't suspend this program by September 5th, I'm going to file in federal court and challenge the constitutionality of the program. He did it with another executive order, DAPA, that was for the parents of these dreamers and was successful in court. And he is going - he has threatened to put forward the same argument against DACA.
So unless the President suspends the program, so it's very hard. There are constitutional problems with the program. That's why we have to pass something like the bridge act to put into law. What the court effectively said was that the executive branch, the President of the United States cannot make immigration law alone without the Congress. And so, we have to take this program and put it into law.
CABRERA: I hear you say that there is bipartisan support but remember the President ran on a very hard immigration stance and he was elected. What makes you think you can get people who may be vulnerable in red states, your fellow Republicans, on board with what some -- those opponents of DACA have said is a form of amnesty.
COFFMAN: Well, I think if the Democrats hold firm there are enough Republicans to bring us past that 218 threshold. And when we talk about amnesty we have to remember that these are individuals who are brought here as children through no fault of their own and by their relatives or their parents. And so, I think we have to remember that they didn't knowingly violate U.S. immigration law. And I think they need to be treated differently.
CABRERA: How quickly do you think we could see a vote on your legislation if the process that you are pursuing works?
COFFMAN: Well, I think if we don't get into the politics -- you know, there aren't political games played I think the Democrats are going to hold firm and sign it. Louis Gutierrez is the House sponsor for this bill in the Senate. It was introduced in January as well by Durbin, Senator Durbin and Senator Graham. So bipartisan -- the Senate bipartisan and the House. It's only a place holder, not a permanent solution. We have to find a permanent solution. But I think that rather -- again, I think there's going to be -- if the Democrats stand firm for these DACA young people and there's enough Republicans to get to -- to get passed the threshold to -- you know, to pass this legislation in both the house and the Senate.
[16:35:01] CABRERA: All right. Congressman Mike Coffman, thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us. We hope to talk to you again down the road on this.
COFFMAN: Thank you for having me.
CABRERA: Well, it's been one week since the monster storm known as Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast and now many who were flatted are going home seeing what's left.
After break, Nick Valencia travels with one Houston man as he goes home to the absolute mess.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:39:39] CABRERA: As the floodwaters recede in Houston many residents are turning to their home returning. But a week after Harvey hits many houses are under water. And for families that are desperate, they are trying to retrieve any sense of home that they can.
And Nick Valencia tagged along to one man who returned to his still flooded home hoping to find his young son's favorite toy.
[16:40:04] NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If there's anything good that's come from the hurricane it's this. Ryan Short has never met the man he is sitting next to but they are already working together.
RYAN SHOT, HOUSTON RESIDENT: I just got to get one bike for my son, man.
VALENCIA: Like so many, Short's 2-year-old son Jacob is having a hard time being displaced.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a left. Right here.
VALENCIA: So he is doing what any dad would do for his son. He's going back into the devastation to look for his son's favorite toy. Along with his friend Lee Dufrene, new friend came all the way from Austin, Texas, to help. Why? Because he knows what it's like to go through this.
LEE DUFRENE, AUSTIN RESIDENT: I was in the flood of Onion Creek, in Austin in 2013. And I wanted to come help.
VALENCIA: Most of Short's belongings have been ruined by water. But Ryan is a man on a mission.
SHORT: I didn't get all the toys but he'll like his bike mostly. Oh, hey, look, there's the bike floating.
VALENCIA: Wading through the pieces of the life he has made he finds what he's looking for.
SHORT: I'll take this out here.
VALENCIA: A few minutes later we are back on the boat and on our way out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awesome. For his little boy.
VALENCIA: The family who lost almost everything except for each other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my home now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is your home now?
VALENCIA: And now, his 2-year-old son's prized possession.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for coming guys.
VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, Houston, Texas.
The amount of disaster aid and recovery efforts needed in Texas as you can imagine is massive. Officials are pushing for quick financial assistance from the federal government to help pay for things such as temporary housing and debris removal. Flooded roads must be cleared, of course, before trucks filled with disaster aid can even try to reach the hardest hit areas.
Joining us now to discuss the long road for recovery for the people of Texas is the director of the center for disaster preparedness at Columbia University, Dr. Irwin Redlener. He is also a pediatrician and public health expert.
Doctor, you took part, I know, in the response to hurricane Katrina. You were getting ready to respond to this disaster. Based on what we are seeing so far out there, how do you think things are going?
DR. IRWIN REDLENER, DIRECTOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, I think this is going to be a very long haul. I think the initial rescue efforts have been pretty good and a lot of coordination among the federal, state and local officials. That's all fine. And a tremendous response from the volunteers are helping out, of course. That's just the beginning of phase one.
CABRERA: Like the tip of the iceberg.
REDLENER: And a tremendously difficult recovery process. People will be faced with their whole set of health and public health challenges as well as the physical reconstruction of their homes. But most importantly for children and families, it will be the recovery of some kind of new normalcy. Because it's a really difficult time for kids in particular who suddenly don't have schools. Their communities are gone. Their friends and social networks have been -- many of them have been really disrupted. So we are going to need to work on the getting stability for the families and especially for the kids.
And second of all, looking at the myriad of health problems from the contamination in the water to getting all the infrastructure back up. But I think we are going to looking at least a decade, maybe 15 years of recovery. Some of these communities have been really wiped out, Ana. And I think this is going to be a long haul requiring everybody chipping in especially the agencies that need to do this work.
CABRERA: It's tough to see those pictures and it would be so overwhelming. I cannot be -- I cannot even imagine what it's like to be in the shoes of those people who are out of their homes especially those parents who have lost so much, who are disrupted, who may not have a house to go home to. The kids are out of school.
I mean, you talk about years of recovery to put their lives back together. Where do people begin? What is your advice as far as taking this one step at a time?
REDLENER: Well, first of all, the best advice for parents is to try to create a sense of normalcy for your children and stability. A lot of reassurances especially to young children and trying to get them into wherever they are into a space and a place where they can get the kids to school. Develop a normal routine. Keep reassuring your children that things are going to be OK.
Parents as the really great buffer for the trauma around children is really important. But we will need a lot of health and mental health access what's called psychological first aid. We are going to have to get a lot of that out there. And then long term assistance and support for people is going to be critical.
But children are in the crosshairs of this massive catastrophe as our seniors, people with disabilities and all that. A lot of work to do. I think we are up to it. And parents and agencies and the communities are going to have to work together and we will just get this done. But it's really harrowing actually for everybody involved here.
CABRERA: We know the President has requested nearly $8 billion in that initial emergency response funding. How far does that go?
REDLENER: That's the warm-up.
CABRERA: Yes. What would that be applied to right now, do you think?
REDLENER: Well, right now, I guess to immediate aid, to try to get temporary places for people to live. And by the way, people are removed now from the original communities, where is the family income going to come from? What about jobs, that kind of economic support and all those things. But this is the tip of the iceberg truly.
And I would be very surprised if the ultimate bill for recovery of this vast area of Texas will be anything less than $100 billion. So the $8 billion is a really good first step. But, you know, get ready for the really big money that will be required to repair, fix or rebuild neighborhoods.
By the way, the things that we don't even necessarily think about. People will be trying to for example fix their own homes. They will be on roofs. They will falling off. There is going to be injuries. There is going to be difficulty for people with chronic illnesses to get their medication. So we need a whole host of support for these unfortunate families who were in the bulls-eye of this terrible storm.
[16:45:50] CABRERA: Quickly, I want to make sure we talk a little bit about children's health fund because that's an organization you are involved with. And you are hoping to do your part in helping to aid those who are in the disaster zone. You are heading there just in the next couple of days.
REDLENER: Tomorrow morning. Right.
CABRERA: Talk about what you are planning to do.
REDLENER: So here is the deal. So we have been working for 30 years doing health care for very medically needy children. So Paul Simon, my wife Karen and I founded that this children's health fund three decades ago. And we are going to be establishing a program in the area that's been really walloped by this storm. So expect new mobile type of healthcare programs with a big focus on the mental health needs that are going to start right now. So more to come on that. But I'm anxious to get things going on in Texas and see what we can do.
CABRERA: Doctor, thank you for lending your expertise for all of us.
CABRERA: And what you are doing to help these families who are in such desperate need right now and beyond.
REDLENER: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: Good to have you on.
Up next, a disturbing story out of Utah. This involved the nurse who wound up handcuffed in the back of a cop car all for standing her ground because she couldn't draw blood from a patient.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:51:25] CABRERA: Salt Lake City's police department is now apologizing to a local nurse after she was arrested while following hospital rules. Video that has since gone viral shows the nurse refusing to comply with an officer's request to draw blood from an unconscious victim without legal consent. As you can see and hear in this body cam video, things got heated.
CNN's Dan Simon has more.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A disturbing video comes from the inside of an emergency room. And the woman screaming a burn unit nurse who is being arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please. You're hurting me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then walk.
SIMON: The incident captured by police in hospital cameras happened in July. But now the district attorney says he wants a criminal investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She doesn't -- she's --
SIMON: University of Utah nurse Alex Wubbels said she was doing her job, following hospital protocol by refusing to let police take a blood sample from the unconscious patient.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this patient under arrest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SIMON: Wubbels says detective Jeff Payne demanded a blood sample from a car crash victim who was in a coma and severely burn. His truck smashed by a car racing from police according to local media. Wubbels calmly explains the policy for obtaining blood.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are three things that allow us to do that or if you have an electronic warrant, patient consent or patient under arrest and neither of those things -- the patient can't consent.
SIMON: She even gets her supervisor on the phone who backs her up. The tension only escalates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's the one that has told me no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But sir, you are making a huge mistake right now. Like you are making a huge mistake because you are threatening a nurse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. No, we are done. We are done. You are under arrest. We are done.
SIMON: Salt Lake City's police chief apologized and said what happened was unacceptable.
CHIEF MIKE BROWN, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE: I was alarmed by what I saw in the video. I wanted to be very clear. We take this very seriously.
SIMON: For now Wubbels isn't filing a lawsuit.
ALEX WUBBELS, NURSE: I feel strongly in giving people the benefit of the doubt and I truly believe honest in his apology and sincere and his willingness to try and make change and make things better.
SIMON: Police released Wubbels without charges that day after she sat at the police car for 20 minutes. Detective Payne said in a written report that his watch commander advised him to arrest the nurse for interfering with a police investigation. Payne and another officer now on administrative leave as internal investigators look into the startling incident.
CABRERA: Dan Simon joins us live now from Salt Lake City.
So Dan, what more do you know about the officer and why he felt the need to arrest this nurse.
SIMON: Well, Ana, first of all, it should come as no surprise that the officer's actions have been widely condemned here in Salt Lake City and of course on social media. The comments have been rather harsh. I can tell you that the officer is a trained (INAUDIBLE) and that is why he was there that night. And in a document he says it was his watch commander who says that the nurse should be arrested because they both felt that she was interfering with a police investigation.
Now, it is important to point out that the person they were trying to obtain blood from was a victim. He was not a suspect. Apparently, they wanted to get that blood to exonerate him in the future should any issues arise. But legal experts say even in a situation like this, you need to have a warrant or you need to have patient consent. Neither of which applied in this case. We tried to reach out to the police officer and his legal representative but so far we haven't heard back -- Ana.
[16:55:11] CABRERA: Wild video. What a story.
Dan Simon reporting there in Salt Lake, thank you.
And there or the right-hand of your screen, we are looking at live images now in Louisiana where air force one just touched down. The President getting ready to meet with folks there who are affected by again hurricane Harvey that eventually moved its way back and hit -- made a second landfall in Louisiana near lake Charles. And there are a number of people -- hundreds who had to evacuate who are affected by the storm that hit that state. The President is expected to meet with residents, with the National Guard, with the Cajun Navy which is, of course, a group of volunteers who have also been very responsive in rescuing those who are trapped in floodwaters. We will continue to monitor this visit by the President and the first lady.
Again, now, on the ground in Louisiana. Now reality is setting in for hurricane Harvey victims. Ahead in our next hour as residents start to return home, many wonder just how they should begin to rebuild their lives amidst the mud and the muck.
The next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM continues right after this.
[16:57:43] CABRERA: We are back with breaking news. The President now on the ground in Louisiana meeting with the residents there, those affected by the storm as hurricane Harvey made a second landfall as a tropical storm over this area again inundating this state, this part of the state near Lake Charles, Louisiana with an enormous amount of water causing extensive flooding in that state as well. The President just arriving there after initially meeting with people in Houston for several hours this afternoon. His visit just getting under way.
Let's listen in and see if we can hear some of the discussion right now.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CABRERA: Again the President meeting right now with Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy. Some of the Louisiana delegation.
I want to head out to Ryan Nobles. He is on the ground in Louisiana, ready for the President's visit there to talk more about what we can expect.
Ryan, take it away.
NOBLES: Yes, that's right, Ana. This is the President essentially making good on a promise when he made his first trip to the region after the first round of hurricane Harvey blew through. He promised the governor of Louisiana that he would come back after the hurricane had completed its course to check on the situation in Louisiana. And of course at that time there was a real threat that that second round of hurricane Harvey was going to do serious damage to Louisiana. But fortunately, for this region, it stayed predominantly to the west. And there's really not a significant portion of Louisiana that was impacted heavily by the storm.
Regardless though, the Louisiana has played a very important role in the hurricane Harvey recovery because so many of Louisiana's resources had been used to aid the folks in Texas. And I spent the entire week in the eastern portion of Texas. And we have seen countless folks from Louisiana cross over the border to aid their fellow citizens on the other side of the border. And this was something that John Bel Edwards the governor of Louisiana told Greg Abbott the governor of Texas, that Louisiana was going to do all it could to help the people of Houston and east Texas just like the people of Texas helped the people of Louisiana after hurricane Katrina. So what President --