Return to Transcripts main page


Obama Says Ending DACA Wrong, Self-Defeating, Cruel; Irma Strengthen, on Collision Course with Florida; North Korea Says Weapons Tests are Gift Packages for U.S. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired September 5, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] ERENDIRA RENDON, DREAMER BROUGHT TO U.S. AT FOUR: -- and rip it out from underneath us. So, that is actually what's happening, even if he has promised not to take it away.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Do you still have hope? I mean, did you hear, you had this Republican and Democratic Senators, both Durbin and Graham standing there on capitol hill saying, you know, we don't want you, Erendira, to fall victim to a broken system. They want to help you.

RENDON: Absolutely. And I think that is our call to action. All 800,000 of us, plus our friends and family, to make sure that we're hitting the streets, to make sure that we're demanding legislation, that we're demanding something as broad as possible, that we get the Dream act, that we have legalization for as many individuals as possible. And I think it's up to Congress to do that, but it is also up to us to start hitting the streets and start demanding that this is, you know, that this is what we need and that it is not acceptable to torture and to take, you know, our rights away from 800,000 people.

BALDWIN: What if part of this deal to get -- as a Republican sweetener, to say yes to people, you know, good young people like you, is if you agree to build the wall. If you agree to build the wall, then we'll say OK to these 800,000 Dreamers What do you say to that?

RENDON: So, I think us, as advocates, you know, our bottom line is that what we're fighting for is legalization for as many people as possible. I think it's, you know, it's -- we're not working in times where we think that there isn't going to be anything negative attached to it. We'll never advocate for something negative being attached to it, and you know, we're going to stay firm in what we believe, which is legalization, and hopefully we won't get to that bridge, but unfortunately, it's not really up to me or to a lot of us, really, as to what the Democrats and the Republicans are willing to negotiate.

BALDWIN: Erendira Rendon, nice to meet you today.

Coming up, though, the other big story we're following today, hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane, winds 185 miles an hour. The latest update on Irma's track and what parts of Florida are doing to prepare.

Also, a lot of red today on Wall Street. The Dow currently down about 220 points, 30 more minutes of the trading day, partially due to escalating tensions with North Korea.

We are also learning about the possible movement of another intercontinental ballistic missile. A live report coming up.


BALDWIN: Back on the breaking news in the weather world, Hurricane Irma continuing to churn in the Atlantic, threatening to strike not only the Caribbean but potentially parts of the U.S. as well. Hurricane Irma now the strongest storm to hit the Atlantic in a decade, with winds at 185 miles an hour. In fact, the governor of Florida already declaring a state of emergency for all 67 counties. People there already stocking up on supplies, as you can tell by empty store shelves, a lot of Florida also seeing long lines for gasoline and a mandatory evacuation of the Florida Keys begins tomorrow. Tom Sater has been all over this storm in the weather center for us. And so, this thing is huge.

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is. Remember what Rockport looked like when Harvey was a category 4 at landfall. That was 130 miles per hour, Brooke. We're at 185. This thing continues to strengthen, it seems like, every couple hours. I've never seen anything like it except for one storm that devastated the Philippines several years ago. But this eye is well defined. It just looks like a buzz saw. As it makes its way to the northern islands, it's going to knock off communications and power and water sources, could devastate Antigua, Barbuda and Puerto Rico is under a state of emergency of this model actually carries it up here.

That's Jose named today. Could follow suit. Let's hope it becomes a fish storm. National Hurricane Center track continues to keep it as a catastrophic hurricane. That's a category 4 or 5. These storms, Brooke, can only sustain their strength for so long. It's like taking a top and spinning a top on a table. That's centrifugal force and movement starts to wobble. It's going to have to go through a reorganization process but it's going to regain strength. This water here north of Cuba into Florida is warmer than where it is now. That's jet fuel.

Sometime Saturday it takes a turn to the north, a right-hand turn, but until that turn happens, we just won't know exactly what's going to happen or where landfall will be. European model in blue, U.S. model, the GFS in red, they are in great agreement and carry the system up, one on the east coast, one on the west coast. This is September 11th and we're looking at what could be like Matthew last year, sliding along the coast and barreling into the Carolinas.

Just on the American model, these are the ensemble models that give us that one but you can see there is some deviation. It would be great to have something come out and move away from the Outer Banks and the U.S. coastline into the open waters.

[15:40:00] But that window is shutting extremely fast. In fact, I think we're going to lose it. It's possible it could go into the Gulf of Mexico, but it all depends on the steering currents and so we're watching the environment when it comes this weekend into Monday. Here's the timeline of unfortunate devastation, because it just -- it's not just the eye. This is a massive storm that's going to carry some tropical storm and hurricane-force winds across the Bahama Islands and Cuba. But the one thing that really bothers me, the water is much warmer as you get closer to Florida.


SATER: It's going to be a massive undertaking to evacuate everyone that's going to be need to be evacuated over the weekend.

BALDWIN: After Harvey, now you have all these nervous Floridians and put down the Carolinas. Tom Sater, keep watching closely for us and you can track Irma. Just go to for that. Undertaking to evacuate everyone that's going to be needed to be evacuated over the weekend. Thank you so much, Tom.

Meantime, let's talk about North Korea. A newly, actively detected -- new activity detected out of North Korea involving the possible movement of another intercontinental ballistic missile.

Plus, this new threat from the leader, Kim Jong-un. You're watching CNN.


BALDWIN: New and ominous signs that North Korea may be about to fire another long-range missile. Just two days after testing what it claims was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile, a South Korean lawmaker telling CNN their intelligence has detected movement of a projectile that could be an ICBM. A missile that in theory could reach the mainland U.S. A North Korean diplomat today called the bomb and missile test, quote, gift packages addressed to none other than the U.S. he was speaking at a U.N. conference on disarmament. With me now Michael Elleman, a senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Michael, good to see you, sir.


BALDWIN: So, you know, there's a lot of talk ahead of this September 9th foundation day when typically, they do launch missiles, I mean, do you anticipate this happening again?

ELLEMAN: Well, there's certainly a need for the North Koreans to further test the ICBM so I would be surprised if they choose September 9th as the day to launch something. Again, over Japan and deep into the Pacific Ocean.

BALDWIN: What about South Korea building up their own arsenal, wants the return of U.S. nukes to the Korean peninsula, what are the risks of that?

ELLEMAN: Well, I think South Korea is right to want to enhance its military capabilities, to help deter any North Korean aggression. The return of tactical nuclear weapons to the peninsula, I think, is one that's not necessary. The United States has a range of nuclear capabilities. They don't need to be housed and potentially launched from Korean territory. We have naval ships in the area. We have intercontinental missiles to achieve those objectives. Introducing them to the peninsula will make it that much harder, I think, to convince North Korea that at least a freeze in their nuclear program is warranted or, you know, in a more optimistic tone, looking to denuclearize the peninsula completely.

BALDWIN: We've talked so many -- about so many ways, squeezing North Korea and one notion would be oil, right? Japan has suggested cutting off oil to North Korea. China has slowed the flow of oil over the border but hasn't cut it off completely. My question to you, just on China specifically, what would the motivation for China to ever sign on to something that was ultimately lead to potentially a unified Korea.

ELLEMAN: Well, if you look, China's number one concern or their main interest in North Korea is to maintain stability in a viable North Korea because they don't want South Korea on its border. You know, their secondary aim is to prevent war and third, nuclear weapons on the peninsula. So, if you look at it in that context, I'm not sure that China can be convinced to kind of relinquish its primary concerns, you know, in favor of the -- those of the international community. So, I'm skeptical of any reports that China is going to really crack down.

BALDWIN: Yes. So many people are and have good reason to be. Michael Elleman, thank you so much.

I want to take us back to our breaking news this afternoon. We have now heard from the former president, Barack Obama, reacting, you know, page after page of words here to President Trump's announcement to phase out DACA, slamming the move today, in his own words, calling it cruel, and self-defeating. We'll talk to Jake Tapper about this coming up next.


BALDWIN: Just a short time from now, President Trump will meet with key members of Congress. They're planning to negotiate this plan to rewrite the tax code, but that is just one agenda item in what will be a very, very busy month ahead. Congress is still facing a vote to pass billions of dollars in emergency funding for Harvey victims, a deadline to reauthorize the flood insurance program, a deadline to raise the debt ceiling, plus the pressure of a looming government shutdown, a very, very busy month ahead.

And, of course, oh, Yes, the ability to pass Obamacare repeal, which is 51 votes, goes away at the end of the month as well. Another pressing issue on the agenda, what to do about DACA. The Trump administration announcing today it's scrapping the program that protects young, undocumented youth. The president says he's giving Congress six months to find a fix. Jake Tapper is with me, the anchor of "The Lead" and "State of the Union." Can we talk about that President Obama statement?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Very strong. A very emotional argument. It wasn't really one based on the legal arguments, more focused on --

BALDWIN: Making it personal.

TAPPER: -- the politics and the personal of it. Let me just read one little excerpt. Quote, let's be clear. The action taken today isn't required legally. It's a political decision and a moral question. Whatever concerns and complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn't threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own.

BALDWIN: The policies that President Trump has clearly made it his mission to roll back, that this is the one that he chooses to speak about. Why is that?

TAPPER: Well, it's obviously the one that he did on his own. This was an executive action not taken with Congress, so it doesn't really surprise me. And it's one that I think he felt like he needed to do for this group of young people, again, brought to this country when they were kids. I think the average age, according to one survey, when DACA recipients were brought to the U.S., they were six and a half. So, as the president has pointed out, a lot of them don't even know another language or another country.

BALDWIN: So, we just rattled off a piece of the laundry list of items on the agenda for this Congress, starting now that they're back to work today. With everything going on, with the president antagonizing, insulting Republicans pre-recess, how is this all supposed to work?

TAPPER: With DACA or with everything?

BALDWIN: All of the above.

TAPPER: Well, I mean, if you talk to congressional leaders, Republican congressional leaders, they wish that president Trump would work more closely with them and not be attacking them all the time. They're going to need Republicans to hang together on some of these tough votes such as raising the debt ceiling, tax reform if they actually get that through the house to get to the Senate. They're going to need a lot of help from the White House. DACA is just another whole other thing that the president just threw in their laps. The president is not wrong, by the way, when he notes that setting immigration law is actually supposed to be --

BALDWIN: Congress' job.

TAPPER: -- what Congress does, and Congress has not been able to competently do that for decades. I remember immigration reform failing under George W. Bush and then under Barack Obama, et cetera. So, he's not wrong about that, but the idea that Congress is going to be able to get its act together in six months and do something about these Dreamers, that seems rather questionable.

BALDWIN: Lastly, we noted off the top that the president is sitting around with these top members of Congress now to talk tax reform, potentially, one of whom being the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, whom he personally insulted a couple weeks ago and they haven't spoken since. What do you think sitting in that room is like today?

TAPPER: Look, as you know, the president can be very charming in person, especially when he wants to turn it on. And I suspect that that is what's going on. The heated conversation he had with McConnell was a phone call, and it was mainly, as you know, as Manu Raju has reported, about Russia.

[15:55:00] He thinks Mitch McConnell was doing enough to protect him on the Russia investigation in the Senate intelligence committee. So, I imagine that it is going fairly well as with everything Trump related, who knows.

BALDWIN: I have just a smidge more time tell me what's coming up on your show.

TAPPER: We have DACA. We are going to have the attorney general of Texas who was one of those who was threatening to sue because he wanted DACA shut down. We will have a response from him. We'll also talk to a DACA recipient. And we will obviously talk about North Korea. We'll have James Clapper on and then we are going to a look at the Menendez trial, very powerful New Jersey Democrat goes on trial for corruption tomorrow, we'll take a look at that.

BALDWIN: Jake Tapper, we will see you in mere minutes, thank you so much for spending the time and thank you for being with me.

Still ahead here on CNN. The other big issue Irma. People in Florida being told to prepare now for this Category 5 hurricane that is bearing down right now in the Caribbean, but ultimately potentially in Florida and up into the Carolinas. We will have the forecast for who could be hit the hardest coming up here on CNN.