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Irma to Spread Rain Across Midwest & Northeast; White House Says Justice Department Should Look at Charging Comey; CNN Helps Hurricane Irma Victims Connect with Family. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 13, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:33:49] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back.

We have some other headlines to tell you about, like this one. The U.S. Supreme Court siding with the Trump administration and putting a hold on president's travel ban. The one paragraph statement grants the president's wish for a stay, blocking about 24,000 refugees from entering the United States despite having sponsors already here. The court is expected to begin a formal review of that ban next month.

Well, President Trump is a grandfather again. The president welcoming his ninth grandchild on Tuesday. Mr. Trump's son Eric and wife Lara announced the birth of their first child, Eric Luke Trump. The president extending his congratulations on Twitter. Luke has many cousins. Donald Trump Jr. has five children, and daughter Ivanka has three. Look at this beautiful picture.

Well, A-listers joining forces to raise more than $14 million for Hurricane Harvey and Irma left. The hand in hand telethon aired last night on about 15 networks and online. Music legend Stevie Wonder kicked off the telethon singing "Lean On Me." He pleaded for people to come together and to accept climate change was real.

Superstar Beyonce echoed that sentiment in a pretaped message.


[06:35:04] BEYONCE, SINGER: The effects of climate change are playing out around the world every day. We have to be prepared for what comes next.


CAMEROTA: Icons like Oprah and Cher appeared, while some other big names like Robert de Niro, Barbra Streisand and Nicki Minaj took phone calls.

Well, remnants of Irma are still being felt in some places.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar has the latest.

Allison, what are you seeing today? ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. So, let's get

straight to the forecast which is brought to by Xyzal, the allergy medicine for continuous 24-hour allergy relief.

Cities like Nashville are dealing with some of those rain showers at the moment, but it's going to be pushing into other cities, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and into Louisville as we go through the remainder of the day.

The good news is, we're not expecting too many areas of potential downpours. For the most part, this rain is expected to be light. But even still, it's going to create much of a washout conditions for several cities, especially in Ohio. Down in Florida, where they are dealing with the recovery effort, the conditions are not going to be very nice.

Sure, most spots it's expect said to be sunny, but it's going to be very hot and very muggy. This is not good news. The majority of the population is the elderly community. A lot of them ended up staying. We have to contend with already hot temperatures.

Right now, the current temperature in Miami is 81 degrees. It is 82 in Marathon, Florida. Now you have to factor in the humidity as well. So, when we're talking afternoon temperatures of what they feel like, it is going to feel like 97 later today, thanks to the heat index in Miami.

Marathon feeling like 98. West Palm Beach going to feel like 96 degrees. So, it's hot and it's humid. Even further north, Daytona Beach, about 89 in St. Petersburg is going to end up feeling like 90 degrees, and you have to remember, a lot of these folks still don't have air-conditioning.

Now, we are still keeping track of Hurricane Jose, right now barely a hurricane at 75 miles per hour. It's just kind of spinning in circles basically over the open Atlantic. And that's sort of it's expected to do that at least until we get towards Friday. Then it will start to shift, Alisyn, towards the U.S. but then thankfully make a sharp right-hand turn off to the north and veer away from the U.S. at least for now.

But we will keep a close on it in case anything changes.

CAMEROTA: OK. Good. Let's hope that it continues on that track that you have just spelled out. Allison, thank you very much.

So, up next, what the White House says the Justice Department should do about fired Director James Comey. That's next.


[06:40:40] CAMEROTA: The White House press secretary suggesting that the Justice Department should look at persecuting fired FBI Director James Comey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: He said the actions of James Comey could have been illegal. You the other day referred to potential false testimony. The DOJ is not commenting. I will put to you. Would the president encourage the DOJ to prosecute Comey?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That's not the president's role. That's the job of the Department of Justice and something they should certainly look at.

REPORTER: Is that something he'd like to see?

SANDERS: I'm not sure about that, specifically, but I think if there's ever a moment where we feel someone's broken the law, particularly if they're the head of the FBI, I think that's something that certainly should be looked at.


CAMEROTA: All right. Joining me now is CNN politics editor at large Chris Cillizza.

Chris, great to see you.


CAMEROTA: So, is all of this James Comey talk really just a response to Steve Bannon on "60 Minutes" who said it was like a colossal mistake of Donald Trump to have fired James Comey? So, now, it seems as though the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders keeps having to just to make the case for why James Comey had to go?

CILLIZA: Yes. I mean, look, some of these she's responding to questions about Steve Bannon because Steve Bannon made a lot of news in that interview. But remember, this is an extended campaign I think by Sarah Huckabee Sanders as well the Trump administration more broadly to disqualify, discredit both James Comey and the special counsel investigation being led by Bob Mueller. It's trying to muddy the waters.

One important clarification, the reason that Sarah Sanders is saying that the Justice Department should look into prosecuting Comey is the leaking of classified information that she says Comey acknowledged. Now, Comey did not acknowledge that. He said he put together a number of memos, some of which contained classified information. The one that he had authorized leaking through his friend did not contain classified information. He said that under oath.

So, they're conflating these two things here.

CAMEROTA: But she's also saying -- hold on a second. She's also saying that he misrepresented himself or gave false statements in testimony to Congress.

CILLIZZA: She is. But she's not illustrating what those are. Now, that doesn't mean they don't exist. But, you know, when you say the former FBI director perjured himself, it is helpful usually to provide evidence of that charge because it's a pretty serious one.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Let's talk about what's happening this morning at the White House, some very interesting.


CAMEROTA: There's going to be an interesting meeting and that's between Senator Tim Scott who is the only black Republican senator and the president. And Senator Scott has talked about how disappointed he was after Charlottesville.

So, let me just play something that Senator Scott has said about what happened after Charlottesville.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: As we look to the future, it's going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, moral authority remains compromised. We need our president to sit down with folks who have a personal experience, a deep connection to the horror and the pain of this country's provocative racial history. Without that personal connection to the painful past, it would be hard to regain the moral authority from my perspective.


CAMEROTA: So, we can assume, Chris, that he's going to bring that message directly, face to face, to the president and how we think this is going to go?

CILLIZZA: Well, I assume, Alisyn, that Senator Scott will do exactly as you say, and I think that this is Donald Trump's way of at least starting to try to make good on what was a colossal mistake in the way that he handled Charlottesville. Now, he's never going to apologize. They're going to say he handled it perfectly.

But the truth of the matter is, it's very hard outside of Steve Bannon to find someone who thinks that Donald Trump did the right thing there from a political perspective, but more importantly, from a moral perspective. I think this an attempt to start down that path.

But again, you know, one meeting, while it's a step, will not erase the way in which Donald Trump handled it both in the moment and then his refusal to sort of back down or correct his course as it related to Charlottesville.

CAMEROTA: Right. However, moving forward, I think that this could actually plant some really important seeds. I mean, if Senator Scott's mission is to have the president -- is to help the president sort of build bridges --

[06:45:03] CILLIZZA: That's right.

CAMEROTA: -- as you know, as I know, from having been with the president many times, he is often impressed by whoever he has just met with. CILLIZZA: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And the story that they tell and the personal story they impressed upon him. And so, we could see this move the needle.

CILLIZZA: And, look, the truth of the matter is, Donald Trump has lived frankly, whether you like him or you hate him, a pretty insulated life. He grew up the wealthy son of a -- the son of a wealthy developer. He became an extremely wealthy developer. He keeps a very small circle of people around him. And that's one of the things that I think he loved running for president was that he got exposed to other walks of life.

This is someone who basically spent his entire life in New York City. That is not representative of sort of the broader experience of the country. If, this is always the big if with him, Alisyn, I feel anytime we talk, if Donald Trump listens, if he is willing to take in what Senator Scott can tell about his own life experiences, then, yes, this could be a positive step.

The big -- it's always an if, though. If he listens, if someone doesn't come in after Senator Scott says something different, and Donald Trump then listens to that. You know, I don't know how that's going to go.

CAMEROTA: Sure. I don't know if you heard, but Hillary Clinton has a book out.

CILLIZZA: Oh, interesting. I wasn't prepped for that by the producers.

CAMEROTA: Well, luckily, I have a sound bite to play for you because the White House is reacting to Hillary Clinton's book, and Hillary Clinton is obviously giving her talk during everything that happened during the 2016 election.

So, listen to Sarah Sanders on this.


SANDERS: Whether or not he's going to read Hillary Clinton's book, I'm not sure. But I would think that he's pretty well-versed on what happened. I think it is pretty clear to all of America. I think it's sad that after Hillary Clinton ran one of the most negative campaigns in history and lost, and the last chapter of her public life is going to be now defined by propping up book sales with false and reckless attacks.


CAMEROTA: Your thoughts on this?

CILLIZZA: Well, OK, two things. One, he probably won't read it, but my guess is someone will give him an executive summary of it. Second, it's very interesting. She obviously -- Sarah Sanders obviously had a prepared statement. You saw her look down several times during that. She had a prepared statement ready to go on the Clinton book, knowing she'd get those questions. So, that was not an off the cuff response. That was a planned response.

They didn't like each other during the campaign. They don't like each other now. I don't know that we should be terribly surprised. I think Hillary Clinton has every right to recount literally what she believed happened.

But you're not going to expect the Trump White House to say, to openly embrace her version of events. The truth of the matter is he won based on the Electoral College and she lost. And so, he will -- that she can -- there are a lot of ways she can explain. And I think, rightly, there are a lot of factors influence that. But at the end of the day, Donald Trump is in the White House, Hillary Clinton isn't, and that's a fact that is very difficult for lots and lots of people to swallow but is an in disputable fact at least for the next three plus years.

CAMEROTA: That one is a fact, yes. In a climate where sometimes we wrestle with fact checking, that one is a fact.

CILLIZZA: We've got that one.

CAMEROTA: Yes, Chris Cillizza, thank you very much.

CILLIZZA: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: And we should let our viewers know that tonight, Anderson Cooper will interview Hillary Clinton on her new book called "What Happened". That will be 8:00 p.m. on "AC360". Make sure to tune in for that.

OK. Meanwhile, hurricane victims have no power. They have no way of getting in touch with their families to tell them that they are alive and that they made it. Chris Cuomo is there. He is lending a helping hand. We'll show you his story, next.


[06:52:49] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Chris Cuomo, we are here in Big Pine Key. And you have never seen hurricane damage like this down here.

I know that I'm fuzzy, but you are lucky you're seeing us at all because there's no infrastructure. No communications ability down here in the Florida Keys at all. So, we are using much more primitive equipment than we ordinarily do. So, it's better than nothing.

And as fuzzy as we are, Dave, show them the magic of this place. Do you see the sky as the sun comes up? You know, you probably can't make it up, but you got the morning star up there, Venus shining down. Goddess of love. And, boy, do they need the love here.

But this is the magic. This is what brings people. The unfortunate thing is this is their reality that they're waking up to this morning. It is worse than anything that we had seen on the mainland of Florida.

Worse than Key West. It took so long to get here. The reality of the situation took time to bring to you. But now we can.

So, on top of the devastation, you have no ability to talk to anyone that you love. You are in sweltering heat and humidity. It is tough here.

And person after person would come running up to us. And before they asked for something cold to drink or something to eat, and they usually need both, they say, can you help me get to my loved ones? Can you let them know that we're OK?

Imagine not knowing days after something like this whether or not someone close to you had made it. Here are those calls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John, it's dad. OK. We had pretty good damage to our house and a lot of other things washed away here. Just want to let you know we're OK.

CUOMO: Have you ever seen anything like this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not even close.

CUOMO: You haven't been able to talk to anybody?


CUOMO: Since?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, before that. It's been a mess. It's been a mess.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Jess. I'm alive! There's no fatalities that I know of. It's just a mess, a total mess down here.

[06:55:00] OK, honey. I love you. All right, bye.

Thanks, guys.

CUOMO: No, no, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, that was -- whoo!

CUOMO: Look, not knowing is the hardest part for your loved ones who are trying to figure out where you guys are, you know?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm down here in Key West, talking on a cellphone of CNN people. I'm fine. Everyone is good. Please get in contact with mom and the rest of the cousins and friends. Thank you very much. I have to let this phone go. Thank you. Bye.

Thanks, guys. Got choked up there.

CUOMO: Did you get here?


CUOMO: Let's try all the numbers so we can spread the word.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are the kids? Are they all right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will never stay for another hurricane ever. Never again will I stay.

CUOMO: Listen. You made it through. You lost your home. That sucks any way you look at it. You have a way to make a living and you got the people that you love. You just got to start from there. Small solace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know when they're going to open their doors again. That's right. Love you, dad.


CAMEROTA: Oh, Chris, I mean, those phone calls are so emotional because you captured one of the most deep-seated needs in nature, you know? The need to know, especially about our loved ones and their survival. And so, thank goodness you have that equipment and you were able to connect those families there for each other.

CUOMO: No, you know, that young family really got to us. You know, thank God that guy is a construction worker. So, the money is going to be coming in. The need is going to be great here.

But I kept looking at the young boy. You know, you and I have young kids. And, you now, who knows what he is absorbing and what he isn't. Such a sweet and such a polite kid.

But what a tough life they're going to have here going forward. It will get better. It will get better. But I don't think people get what it is right now.

You know, this -- this is really serious desperation. It reminds me just like what we see when we are overseas during wartime. This is a wartime operation for the military, the first responders, everybody is handling it that way.

And the conditions are the same. The heat, the lack of utilities, lack of communications, it is really tough. I don't know if we have enough gas to get home at this point. So, we are the least of what's going on down here.

So, Alisyn, we will bring you more of this from down here. This is a story we need to tell. We are the top of the hour, we have new information for you. We have the head of FEMA who's going to be talking to us this morning about how bad it is. Let's get after it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)