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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
North Korea Launches Missile Over Japan; Trump Still Thinks "Both Sides" At Fault in Charlottesville White Supremacist Violence; NY Times: Trump Called Sessions An Idiot. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 14, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:02] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
We begin tonight with breaking news: Another missile launch by North Korea. The U.S. military says it was an intermediate range ballistic missile that landed in the Pacific Ocean. Japan's public broadcast showed a government warning saying the missile had passed over northern Japan. The White House says President Trump has been briefed on the situation.
Our Ivan Watson joins us now from Seoul, South Korea.
So, what is the latest on this launch? What do we know about it?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The South Korean military announced that this had been launched around 7:00 a.m. local time here, that it was fired east over the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Nobody hurt, no damage reported. And this is essentially the second time in less than two weeks, three weeks, rather, that it appears that North Korea has fired a missile over Japanese territory.
This also comes less than two weeks after North Korea conducted a nuclear test, what is believed to be its sixth nuclear test and just days after new United Nations sanctions were imposed on North Korea in response to carrying out these tests and continuing to develop its ballistic missile technology.
The South Koreans have responded in a way that we haven't seen thus far. They announced that they fired their own intercontinental ballistic missile they claim nearly simultaneously in response to the North Korean missile launch. And this is not the first time that the South Koreans have conducted live fire missile and military tests just this week in response to the escalating tension. They also fired an air to surface missile, tested that this week. A missile that can be fired from a jet deep into North Korean territory across the demilitarized zone.
So, ongoing ratcheting up of tensions here, Anderson. And just hours ago, the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, he spoke to our own Paula Hancocks and he said that despite this ongoing tension and the most recent nuclear test, he does not believe that South Korea should accept any arsenal or develop nuclear weapons here. He says that this would probably lead to a nuclear arms race, and this would not be good for the peninsula.
You have the bizarre situation where North Korea continues to threaten not only the U.S. and Japan and South Korea --
WALSH: -- threatening to drown all of these U.S. allies in a sea of nuclear fire, but you also have the South Korean president continuing to talk about hopes for peace with South Korea's neighbor to the North -- Anderson.
COOPER: We're expecting remarks from President Trump on this anytime. We'll obviously bring you those.
Ivan, thanks very much. We'll continue checking with you throughout the evening.
Meantime, President Trump surprised reporters today when he once again expressed his belief that there is some moral equivalence between neo- Nazis and white supremacists and those who showed up in Charlottesville to protest against them last month. On Air Force One today, the president was asked about his meeting yesterday with Republican Senator Tim Scott in the wake of the president's comments last month.
You may remember Scott, who's African-American, had said that the president compromised his moral authority. Well, today, the president said he and Scott had a great meeting, but then he returned to the controversial comments he made in the days after Charlottesville, saying that there were bad people on both sides of the violence. He made no mention of neo-Nazis or Klansmen today. Instead, he focused on radical left wing counterprotesters who call themselves Antifa.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what's going on there, you know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that's what I said. Now, because of what's happened since then with Antifa, you look at, you know, really what's happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying, in fact, a lot of people have actually written, gee, Trump might have a point. I say you've got some very bad people on the other side also, which is true.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, let's just unpack the president's comments for a moment because once again he appears to be drawing some sort of equivalence between racists who came to Charlottesville, armed and ready for action, and members of Antifa. Now, certainly people in Antifa have embraced violence. That's not defensible.
But the only reason there were counterprotesters in Charlottesville that day is because of all the Nazis and white supremacists who descended on the city. What's interesting about the president's remarks today is that was actually rewriting perhaps the most incendiary thing that he said in the wake of Charlottesville. Not just that there was violence on many sides, not just that there were bad people on both sides, but previously, the president actually said that there were fine people, very fine people on both sides. And he particularly referenced a rally that took place on Friday night in Charlottesville, the night before all the violence.
We're going to play what the president said last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEMONSTRATORS: Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us.
Blood and soil!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So that's the rally Friday night, the day before the violence. And the president was talking about that march by hundreds of neo-Nazis and white supremacists with torches chanting Jews will not replace us and blood and soil, which is an actual Nazi slogan.
[20:05:04] Vice News cameras captured those images. This is what the president said about that rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. You had some very bad people in that group, butt you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.
You had people in that group -- excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
There were people in that rally and I looked the night before, if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones.
The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest because, you know -- I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit.
So, I only tell you this, there are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, that's what he had said last month. We spoke to the reporter who was at that torch lit rally. I asked her if there were good people there and she said, quote, no, that everyone who was there knew what they were doing.
So, perhaps it's a sign of progress that the president is no longer saying that there were fine people among those Nazis and Klansmen, or perhaps he's just trying to rewrite his own remarks, reinvent his reaction.
Senator Scott had this to say about the president's comments today on Air Force One. Quote: That's who he is. It's who he has been, and I didn't go in there to change who he was. I wanted to inform and educate a different perspective. I think we accomplished that and to assume that immediately thereafter he's going to have an epiphany is just unrealistic.
That's who he is. It's who he has been. It's who he was on the day Heather Heyer was killed and he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: But we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: On many sides. That's who he is. It's who he has been. It's who he was two days later when he finally denounced neo-Nazis and white supremacists and the KKK by name, and the tweet was the day after that when he talked about the very fine people, somewhere amongst all those racists carrying torches chanting Jews will not replace us. It's who he is. It's who he has been.
Joining us now is Gloria Borger, Van Jones and Reverend Darrell Scott.
Van, why bring this up? I mean, you know, the question to the president was about this meeting with Senator Tim Scott. The president seemed to immediately very quickly after saying he had a great meeting and praising Scott go to kind of a revisionist take on his comments.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It doesn't make a lot of sense. I know Senator Scott very well. He actually went there with an agenda about jobs. He went there with an agenda about putting people to work. The Trump base needs jobs and frankly the Democratic base needs jobs. He went there on a peace-building mission.
And for some reason, the president then just goes right back to talking about this horrible moment. He doesn't say anything about the young woman who was murdered. There was only one side that was using ISIS terror tactics, mowing people down, murdering people in broad daylight. It's only one side embracing Nazism and he, for some reason, doesn't want to talk about that. He wants to talk about the counterprotesters and I just felt so bad for Senator Scott, because I know his heart. He was doing something good and it turned into another circus.
COOPER: Gloria, I mean, the president's comment that a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, gee, Trump might have a point. It's certainly familiar refrain the people are saying phraseology.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. It's just that this president cannot admit that what he said was wrong, that he made a mistake. He can't get out of his own way on this and on lots of other things, Anderson.
And so, in answer to a question about Senator Scott, he felt the need to go back over his language and his statements because he had to prove to people that in fact he wasn't wrong in the first place. And, you know, when Senator Scott came out of his meeting with the president, he made it very clear.
[20:10:02] He said he, meaning the president, certainly tried to explain what he was trying to convey. And that is what he did again today, because he can't just come out and say I misspoke. I was wrong. I didn't get the whole picture. You know, there is no comparison between white supremacists and anybody else.
So, I just think it's who he is as you were saying.
COOPER: Reverend Scott, as a supporter of the president, do you think he's right to continue to insist that both sides are to be blamed for the violence in Charlottesville?
REV. DARRELL SCOTT, FOUNDRE & SENIOR PASTOR, NEW SPIRIT REVIVAL CENTER: For the violence, yes, he is right. If you went to Charlottesville with the intent of espousing white supremacy, you're dead wrong, a 100 percent wrong.
But if you went with the intent to violently oppose this march, you're wrong as well. Now, there are two wrongs. One might be a worse wrong, but if you told yourself, I'm going to promote white supremacy, you're wrong. If you told yourself, I'm going to bust crackers in the head, you're wrong as well.
And so, what he was saying --
SCOTT: But the wrong was in respect to violence. The wrong was not in respect to the purpose of -- there was not two wrongs in respect to the purpose of the assembly. But in respect to violence, there were two wrongs. Those -- there was violence on both sides.
JONES: Well, you know, I've gotten a chance to talk to some of the people who were there, including people who are quite well-known people, and they said that had it not been for some of the anti- fascist counterprotesters, more people might have been killed.
In other words, I think that Antifa has a very bad PR problem now. I don't know. They should have just called them anti-fascist, because everybody in the world is anti-fascists. They call themselves Antifa, nobody knows what that means and then they went there to try to protect people from violence. Some of them may have gotten out of hand, but I don't think that we've given enough credit to the people who actually came away saying that they would have -- that more lives would have been lost had there not been a protected shield from those counterprotesters.
SCOTT: With all due respect, Van --
JONES: I think it's important.
COOPER: Reverend Scott, let me ask you, when the president said that there were very fine people at that neo-Nazi rally on Friday night when hundreds of young men were marching with torches, chanting blood and soil, which is an actual Nazi slogan from the 1930s, the president says there were fine people there, just peaceful, do you buy that?
SCOTT: No, Anderson, don't try to take me back to Charlottesville. We're talking about what he said about being bad people --
COOPER: I'm not trying to take you back anywhere --
SCOTT: -- readdress that --
COOPER: Actually no, sir, what you're doing is you're not actually listening to my question. My question is, today, the president didn't mention that previously he had said that there were fine people --
SCOTT: No, he didn't mention it. He mentioned the fact that --
COOPER: Right, he's pretending he never said that today.
SCOTT: I can't say he's pretending he never said that simply because he did not bring it up.
COOPER: He didn't acknowledge it. Do you believe that there were very fine people there?
SCOTT: But he shouldn't have had --
COOPER: You don't want to answer that question. Do you believe there were very fine people amongst these neo-Nazis chanting Jews will not replace us?
SCOTT: No, I don't.
COOPER: Gloria --
SCOTT: What I'm also is I also believe that there were bad people on both sides.
COOPER: I hear you on that one.
SCOTT: And I believe Antifa has a lot of bad people, that Antifa needs to be named the black shirts or black masks or something because you're trying to act like Antifa was a bunch of peace loves who were simply there to start violence. No, Antifa was the architect of violence and Antifa even goes so far as they're trying to suppress free speech of this country by anyone that's right leaning.
BORGER: But, you know --
SCOTT: And you know this and you're trying to act like - -
BORGER: Nobody wants to condone the violence of Antifa. So let's just set that aside.
SCOTT: No, I'm not setting it aside.
BORGER: I think -- well, but the question that we have here --
SCOTT: If we set that aside, we have to set President Trump's comments aside.
COOPER: Let her finish her thought because nobody can hear anybody when --
BORGER: You know, the question is whether there's some kind of equivalency between the KKK, white supremacists and all the rest who for decades and decades and decades have been torturing people, have, you know, been killing people, the Nazis, for example, and Antifa. Setting aside Antifa -- OK. We don't condone the violence. It's this kind of false equivalency that is creating such a stir.
SCOTT: I don't think there's a false equivalency.
BORGER: If the president could just come out and say I didn't mean to say that these were somehow equal doses of evil, that would go a long way.
SCOTT: But as far as the violence is concerned, there are equal doses. And the reason you can't equate Antifa -- or you can equate Antifa, you said you can't equate them simply because the Ku Klux Klan has a history, is because Antifa is a new group. They're a new group.
JONES: No --
SCOTT: But violence is violence. You can't say well, the violence from the KKK is worse simply because they're white supremacists.
[20:15:00] BORGER: How about the Nazis?
SCOTT: Whatever, same difference. You can't say that a bullet from a Nazi does more damage than a bullet from Antifa. You can't say that.
JONES: Reverend, I think that what you're saying -- it's almost like you're taking on a straw person argument.
SCOTT: No, I'm not.
JONES: A straw man argument, because here is the deal. There wasn't -- you said, though, somebody went there to bust a crackers head. I didn't see anybody saying that kind of a thing. I think they said they didn't want Nazis there with guns and with torches attacking people. I don't think anybody --
SCOTT: You know, some --
JONES: Well, maybe you saw it different. But --
SCOTT: No, Van. I saw -- some people from Antifa did show up armed. They had weapons with them. You don't go with weapons with a peaceful intent.
JONES: Well, hold on a second. Reverend, I think it's a very important point because I think people are getting kind of confused and you may have a better insight than I do.
But here is what I saw. You had people who were Nazis who were armed who were going with torches into a city. I think if Nazis marched into your neighborhood, marched on your house and you came out with a sidearm and said, hey, get away from here, you're a Nazi, you've got women's, you've got torches, back up, I don't think anybody would call you violent, sir. I think people would say, you are correct to try to protect yourself from Nazis.
That people don't have a right to defend themselves against Nazis? I don't understand what you're saying.
SCOTT: If I heard that the Nazis were marching across town and I armed myself and went across town to prevent their march, then I have evil intent.
If they're walking across my grass is one thing. How is it self- defense if I come to you and you don't come to me?
BORGER: If Nazis, we have seen this --
SCOTT: How many gunshots went off at that meeting? How many people got shot by a white supremacist?
JONES: A woman was murdered. Hold on a second.
SCOTT: How many people were shot by a white supremacist? How many guns went off? How much gunfire did we hear?
(CROSSTALK) SCOTT: One person was run over by a car. You're absolutely right. And that was horrible. That was horrible.
JONES: But, Reverend --
SCOTT: If that's the case, then anybody that drove up there went with a weapon, then.
BORGER: Reverend --
SCOTT: By your thoughts.
BORGER: If a Nazi is coming to my house to kill me as occurred as we all know.
SCOTT: This hypothetical is --
BORGER: And we all know there is a right to self-defense. And I mean, I'm sure you agree with that.
SCOTT: These hypotheticals that you're saying are not -- that's not what happened. Nazis have been marching --
BORGER: Yes, but everybody has a historical reference here.
SCOTT: Nazis have been marching in America -- I mean, white supremacists have been marching in America, the Klan for over a hundred years. They marched all through the Obama administration.
The only thing that brought attention to it is because it happened on President Trump's watch.
COOPER: Van, I want to give you the thought and we got to go.
JONES: OK. Yes, Nazis have been watching and, frankly, you know, liberal groups like the ACLU have been protecting their right to march. What has changed is them showing up fully armed with torches and the level of threat that we were putting forth.
Listen, I'd love to have this conversation with you further. I think something has changed with regard to the white supremacist right that's very dangerous for everybody and we've got to have a better conversation about it. And I wish the president were leading. He can't do a good job. We got to do a better job.
COOPER: I appreciate everybody being with us. Thank you.
Coming up, new reporting tonight about how the president berated and humiliated Attorney General Sessions after a special counsel was appointed in the Russian investigation, calling him an idiot, telling him he should resign. I'll speak with Maggie Haberman from "The New York Times" about she has learned next, her reporting.
And later, the latest on Florida's long road to recovery after Hurricane Irma and what has happened with tropical storm Jose, which is expected to become a hurricane again and now could come closer to the United States. We're following that as well.
COOPER: The president has often publicly criticized his attorney general, Jeff Sessions. That we obviously know. New reporting tonight from "The New York Times" shows just how bad it got in private. The president blaming Sessions for the Russia investigation and telling him he should resign.
CNN reported back in June that Sessions said he'd be willing to resign after he recused himself from the Russian investigation, had a series of heated exchanges with the president but new details tonight from "The New York Times" paint a picture of just how heated those exchanges were. The president calling Sessions an idiot and saying picking him for attorney general was one of the worst decisions he had made. Now, this was after the president learned that a special counsel had been appointed.
"The New York Times'" Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman have the by line on this.
Maggie joins us now.
I mean, the -- this is quite -- I mean, it's kind of unbelievable reading this piece. We'll get to the humiliation part of this in a second, but you write that the president said the attorney general should resign which is basically the last option short of firing him.
What happened? And why did Sessions -- why is Sessions still the attorney general?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Sure. I mean, it's as you say, and it's an important point, it's the last option before firing him because as we know the president doesn't actually really like firing people.
What happened was this was a May meeting in the Oval Office. They were interviewing or discussing potential candidates to replace James Comey who the president had fired days earlier. While they were in the middle of this meeting, there was a phone call from the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein saying that he had named Robert Mueller as a special counsel.
The meeting in the Oval Office then resumed with this news and the president unloaded his anger and frustration at Jeff Sessions in full view of others, called him an idiot, said he was one of the worst mistakes he had made, said he should resign and I think we're giving you the cliff notes here.
Sessions was deeply upset, said that he would resign, left the Oval Office, was somehow intercepted. Mike Pence played some role in trying to defuse the situation.
But Sessions still wrote this letter of resignation that the president declined to accept but took a while giving back. The president was also told by several advisers: this is just going to be devastating for your presidency if you fire Jeff Sessions in the middle of this or let him leave this way.
But -- and so things calmed down and then they heated up again in the middle of July where the president again was training his sights on Jeff Sessions and sort of moved off of it. Things seem to have gotten better in recent weeks, but they're never going to be what they were.
To your question as to why Jeff Sessions stays, I mean, there's two reasons.
[20:25:00] One is that he gave up a safe Senate seat to serve in this administration. He was one of the earliest supporters of President Trump in the campaign and he has clear policy views, whether people agree with them or want. He does have a program that he wants to impact on legal and illegal immigration, and that's what he's been really focused on.
COOPER: And he's also making changes at the Department of Justice which hasn't gotten a lot of reporting and the president would say he's the worst selection that the president had made because he's actually one of the people who is actually executing the president's agenda pretty quickly within the Department of Justice.
HABERMAN: That's exactly right. And he certainly has -- they share certain platforms and have for many months.
I think an important word that I didn't mention before that the president used about Sessions in that tirade was he described him as disloyal. The president had said to us in a "Times" interview on July 19th to Michael Schmidt, my colleague Peter Baker and me in the Oval Office that Sessions recusal, he was upset about it and he made clear that he was upset about it. We had already all reported that, but he -- there he was saying it to us. And he then said it was, quote/unquote, very unfair to the president to do that.
This business of loyal took it a tick further. And I think that while the president has actually said a lot of this publicly in terms of what his thinking was and, you know, why he was upset and where he was under various aspects of this probe, the question of loyalty I think is going to be something that you will see investigators hone in on in the coming weeks.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, that theme of loyalty, I mean, I can't think how many times that we've heard it, whether it's, you know, demanding loyalty from Jim Comey.
COOPER: You also had reporting not long ago about the president yelling at his chief of staff, retired General John Kelly who told people that he had never been spoken to like that in 35 years of service to this country.
HABERMAN: I think the president and you and I have covered him for a while has a very flash temper, and he has always been said, you know, by people who work for him to be this sort of split screen built into one person of somebody who can be charming and funny and engaging, and at times warm to people, and who can also be jarring and demeaning and cutting. And people who are the closest to him and who work for him the longest in subordinate positions can end up feeling the brunt of that the most.
COOPER: And just back to the encounter with the president and the attorney general, it happened in May, and under the cloud of the Russia investigation. Then fast-forward to September, the attorney general last week was tasked with announcing the end of DACA and now in the past 24 hours, the president seems to have undermined that, tough stance on immigration which you report is a major reason that Sessions stayed on the job.
HABERMAN: Certainly one of them.
There are many other issues related to immigration that Jeff Sessions has been focusing on, but that was a key one that he had worked on for months. He told people he was very frustrated. Our colleague Glenn Thrush also contributed to the story on this. He was very frustrated by the tweets from the president last week that one of which was done at the behest of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, which was, you know, toxic to Sessions.
Look, we're not really clear where this is going on DACA. The program is ending as it is now. It is really important for people not to confuse the president's tweets with what has actually happened with this policy and how hard it would be through some executive action to restore is given that the Department of Justice has said it's unconstitutional.
But what they are working on in terms of this DREAMers act deal, or DREAM Act deal is not what Jeff Sessions signed up for, and I think that's going to play out interestingly.
COOPER: Yes. We're going to cover that next. Maggie, thanks very much. Great reporting.
HABERMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: You heard Maggie talk about the attorney general's decision to stick around based at least in part on the immigration reform.
After today, some might be saying it's hard to figure out exactly what this president wants to accomplish with immigration. A lot of people scratching their heads in Washington tonight. That story and my conversation with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, next.
[20:31:09] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: For the second time in the last week, President Trump apparently has broken with members of his own party to try to make a deal -- or try to make a deal with Democrats, this time on DACA. Maggie talked about this a moment ago, following the development of the last 24 hours. It is been confusing with contradictory statements from the President himself. Jeff Zeleny joins me now from the White House to try to break it all down.
All right, so the President met with Democratic leaders and now the DREAMers may get to stay, how did we get from point A to B? JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, what we are seeing in real time is a shift in strategy, not only on how the White House is trying to do business by working with Democrats but also in immigration strategy.
If there is one piece of consistency from President Trump, candidate Trump, it was on immigration building the wall. Well, he said specifically today that he prefers to help the DREAMers before the wall in that order. So that sparked outrage from Republicans, from conservatives. So he was in Florida today, looking at Hurricane distraction, he sought to explain it like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not looking at citizenship. We're not looking an amnesty. We're looking at allowing people to stay here. We're working with everybody, Republican, we're working with Democrat. I just spoke with Paul Ryan. He's on board. Everybody's on board.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Well, he said everybody is on board. But that was not quite true. Speaker Paul Ryan in fact, just about an hour after the President made those comments he said, look, this is not agreement, this is just the beginning of a discussion here.
So, Anderson, what we are seeing is another example of the President trying to avoid the divisions inside this Republican Party by getting Democrats to push Republicans along with him.
Now, there is a lot of support for the DREAMer legislation to hold on to the 800,000 young undocumented immigrants here, but President though still is facing considerable blow back from his base.
COOPER: So interesting though, I mean, he said -- I guess -- I can't remember, week or two weeks ago basically that, you know, Congress has six months to come up with something and or he'll revisit it. That seems to be undercut by then him going ahead and meeting and sort of hammering out something with Nancy Pelosi and Senator Schumer.
ZELENY: It's actually part of that deal though, I think, Anderson, because he believes and the White House believes and the new Chief of Staff John Kelly believed that left to its own devices Republicans in Congress may do nothing on this because the divisions are so raw on the Republican side of this immigration debate. So they know they have to get Democrats in line with them. But the President explained in ways we have not yet heard when his flying back in Air Force One. His new governing strategy and now he is dealing with Republicans. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REGAN: We have to get things passed, and if we can't get things passed, then we have to go a different route. But we have to get things passed. If the Republicans don't stick together, then I'm going to have to do more and more -- and by the way the Republican Party agrees with me. The people out there definitely agree with me. If they're unable to stick together, then I'm going to have to get a little help from the Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So we're in new terrain, trying to get some help from the Democrats. But reality here, Anderson, is yes, they support the DREAMers, there still one issue, the massive border security that he talked about. The Democrats will not include a wall in that. But what does that contain? That's the debate coming up in the coming weeks in Washington.
COOPER: And Jeff, I don't that anybody should be too surprised by this. I mean, during the campaign, then as a candidate, Donald Trump keep saying about getting people together in room, working with Democrats, working with Republicans. So -- I mean, certainly she's not all that ideological or certainly not to the extent that he is not willing to in this case, you know, --
ZELENY: Well, he's been a Democrat. He's been an independent. Now, he's a Republican. So you sort of have all the things there. But on immigration, I think that's the biggest surprise that he's willing to make a deal here.
COOPER: Yes. Jeff Zeleny, thanks very much.
I want to get reaction, joining me tonight, Univision Anchor, Jorge Ramos. Jorge, the fact that President Trump seems to be moving closer to a deal with Democrats on DACA, I'm wondering what your reaction when you first heard this was?
[20:35:06] JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: My first reaction is that DREAMers are incredible. These are incredible kids. And look, what they've done for years they convinced President Barack Obama with the beginning said that he was not an emperor or a king. They convinced him that he had the authority to give them DACA, that's what they did. They changed the president's mind. And now, it seems that they're in exactly the same thing with Donald Trump. I find it incredible.
When we're talking about DREAMers, we're talking not about gang members from MS-13 or criminals, we're talking about doctors and attorneys and professors, people who are incredibly smart. So I want to work with them. I mean, the DREAMers are my heroes, this is really incredible. They changed President Obama's mind and now it seems that they're changing President Trump's mind.
COOPER: You know, it's interesting, he tweeted out this morning. "Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really! And then he tweeted again, "They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own -- brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security." I mean, that's sounds like, Democrats saying that.
RAMOS: Like -- it sounds like a DREAMer, right? I mean, I -- that's a tweet that could have been written by any DREAMer. And that is exactly the argument what they've been saying. On average, the DREAMers are about -- they came to this country when are about six years old. And I know that many people are calling that an amnesty. I don't think it's an amnesty but it's forgiveness. That's what we do.
COOPER: Obviously, the President is far from actually having a deal. This has to come from Congress and there's a lot of skepticism. Congressman Steve King tweeted, "Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.
Do you think if the President moves forward on this he can continued to have it support the unwavering support of the base what he's had until now?
RAMOS: Well, except for this, Anderson, Donald Trump has been the most anti-immigrant President in decades. So, he might lose part of his base but when he criticized Mexican immigrants for being criminals and rapists and when he wants to ban Muslims from entering the country and then changes his mind. I mean, time after time very he's been really anti-immigrant. This is the only news that I've been hearing from Donald Trump in months, which seems to be a little sympathetic to immigrants in this country. So he might lose a little bit of his base but at end I think this is a right move and the right thing to do.
COOPER: About the wall, where do you think the President is on this? Because the President said this morning that we're doing "new renovation of old and existing fences and walls," which is obviously not building a new wall, what he ran on, and was a bedrock of his campaign.
He has talked about the wall will happen but not right now, down the road. And then we'll figure out funding for it later on. I mean, if he does not follow through, obviously you think the idea of a wall is ludicrous, if he does not follow through though, I mean, wasn't that a central tenet of his campaign?
RAMOS: It was and it's quite a different speech right now that we're hearing. I think President Trump understands very clearly because the Mexican government has been very clear and not publicly but in private that Mexican won't pay for that. And then if he wants to spent -- I think he gets it, if he wants to spend $50 billion or $20 billion on something, don't use it in something useless as a wall. I mean, it really doesn't help at all. Nobody wants illegal immigration, I agree. I think, we can never share a legal immigration accord or agreement but it doesn't make any sense to spend that much money on the wall.
COOPER: I mean, it certainly seems like -- and I think that's one of the things that so many Republicans have said about that whatever, you know, decision is made on DACA, on the so called DREAMers that wall would be a part of that -- part of the negotiation. It seems like the President has agreed to taking that and pushing it just down the road which I think is why so many Republicans are so kind of stunned.
RAMOS: Exactly, because I don't think -- one of the conditions that the DREAMers have been expressing constantly is that they don't want permanent protection in exchange for the wall. The wall really doesn't help. There's really no invasion of Mexicans coming in the United States right now. The undocumented population has remained stable at about 11 million, that hasn't changed in a decade.
More Mexicans are living in the United States than come into this country. So there is no invasion. And if you want a wall, why do you need a wall? Now, politically understanding it's complicated for President Trump but I think by supporting the DREAMers, he is doing the right thing. He is supporting the most vulnerable. And if he wants to show his big heart, this is the moment to do it absolutely.
COOPER: Jorge Ramos, thanks very much.
[20:40:00] RAMOS: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next, a search warrant issued multiple investigations launched in a nursing home where eight residents died in the aftermath of hurricane Irma. We'll get you an update. And guess what, tropical storm Jose has changed course again. It is apparently regaining strength and could hit the United States after all. We have the latest forecast coming up.
COOPER: Welcome back. Across Florida with temperatures continuing to hover around 90 degrees, crews are racing to restore power after hurricane Irma, and we've been getting some new data about those who are still in the dark tonight without air conditioning. Tonight it was just less than 2.1 million are without power, down from 2.5 million. And the test getting the power back on can certainly be a matter of life or death. There are multiple investigations, into the death of at least eight nursing home residents in Hollywood, Florida.
We may remember from yesterday, the nursing home confirmed there was a power failure. But there are many but there are many questions tonight among, why did no one raise the alarm until it was too late? There was a hospital just 50 feet away. How could this happen with that hospital so close.
Miguel Marquez joins us from outside the nursing home with the latest. So what are the new developments about what was reported and when at this nursing home? I mean, it's -- do we have a timeline of when the power went out and when it was reported?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, different entities are saying different things. I can tell you just now in the last 10 minutes or so a crime scene investigation van just pulled up to building and a couple of cruisers and police are entering the building.
[20:45:03] We a warrant to search the premises had been issued but it hadn't been served yet. So it may be served now. The facility is saying that they were in contact with Florida power and light to try to get the broken transformer back up and running so that their air conditioner could get to work. Why one would call the electric company if you have 911 issue is giant question still hanging out there. The agency, the state agency that manages and works with these, sort of facilities says that they had multiple opportunities before the storm, during the storm and after the storm to raise their hand and say they had an issue and that nothing was ever said to them about the power being out and certainly not that the air conditioners were a problem.
They did report that the power was out to an extent but then it had not affected air conditioners until after the evacuations had begun. Hollywood police now are now investigating, serving search warrants and talking to member of the staff here, trying to get to bottom of it, all that while people had their loved ones in this facility are starting to speak out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VENDETTA CRAIG, MOTHER EVACUATED FROM NURSING HOME: We throw our elderly away, they're a cash crop. It's not necessary. That's my mother, somebody's mother, somebody's sister, somebody's father. It's not -- they're not dollar signs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANRIQUEZ: Now the state of Florida has also had several other homes that have been evacuated because they also had no electricity. So far no death there but eight deaths here are being investigated as part of this incident, another 39 individuals have been hospitalized and thus that death toll could go up. Anderson.
COOPER: You know, Miguel, I just mentioned there's new information of how many customers were still without power now nearly 2.2 million, I'm wondering what's the latest on when that's going to be restored?
MANRIQUEZ: Well, it seems to be moving in the right direction. Certainly, FPL saying -- or Florida Power and Light saying that they have restored service, all 263 of their substations, coming there backbone basically of their system here. Two days ago, there was 6.6 million without electricity, now 2.2 million. They're saying east coast for the most part will have electricity by Sunday, West Coast of Florida by next Friday. Anderson.
COOPER: All right, good news. Miguel Marquez, thanks very much.
Out in the Atlanta, there still tropical storm, Jose, it's expected to strengthen become a hurricane again. The problem is it is shifted west toward the United States so, the question is, are we in its path? Let's check with Tom Sater at the Weather Center for the latest forecast.
So what are the models showing at this point?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, we thought it would be well into the open waters of the Atlantic by now. For those who don't remember, Anderson, Jose was quickly on the heels of Irma. And after Irma slammed into the island or the Lesser Antilles, 24 hours later, Jose was a category four. So they had warning.
It didn't make a direct hit but the last couple of days, it's just been spinning but it has steering current. Take a look at this spaghetti plots. You know, the models we know also well now, bringing it up off the coast of the Carolinas, could have some dangerous rip currents this weekend but then some of the models bring it and inched it very close to the northeast.
We do believe it will pull away. Some of the models don't off that far so I have to break it down. The European model in blue, right here and now in red come the U.S. model, the GFS, they're in agreement. It's a hurricane. It makes its way up dangerously close. The U.S. model, a little closer to the coast, and then they pull away.
So let's look at the National Hurricane Center's forecast and it keeps it as a category one. It was hurricane this morning. Lost a little strength, tropical storm, think would be a category one by tomorrow afternoon and keeps its strength all the way northward. So I think the biggest issue right now, these are wave heights, will probably have some large swells, maybe even some beaches closed come this weekend. But as it gets closer to the northeast, we could have coastal erosion, St. Delmarva (ph), Jersey coast maybe some flooding, pushing this northeast wind into the sound so that water make it all the way toward New York. I really think we're going to have a problem though with some air travel. That's for sure. More of a nuisance.
COOPER: I understand there are couples of other tropical systems forming further out that may need to be watched in coming days?
SATER: Yes, absolutely. We got a couple of tropical waves. They are going to develop. You can see where Jose is. National Hurricane Center gives a good 70 percent chance to develop. Next names will be Lee and Maria. Lee's track that becomes Lee is dangerous for the next five days, takes toward the islands once again.
The good news, Anderson, we have passed the peak of hurricane season. The bad news, we have just passed the peak of hurricane season.
COOPER: Not over yet. Tom, I appreciate it. Thank you, very much.
When we come back, you may remember the firestorm or criticism when the Treasury Secretary's wife, Louise Linton went on an Instagram tirade after bragging about wealthy clothes in front of a private government plane that's when they were photographed.
[20:49:50] Now the newlyweds are at the center of another controversy, focusing in part on their European honeymoon. What part of the trip the Secretary reportedly asked the government to pay for? Next.
COOPER: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his new wife, Louise Linton are back at the center of criticism tonight once again over their apparent interest in using government resources. Mnuchin reportedly asked if they could take a government plane to their European honeymoon this summer. It's a move that raises questions about ethics and common sense. CNN's Tom Foreman has the latest.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The headlines have been brutal, all of them asking essentially the same thing. Why would a man Fortune says is worth hundreds of millions try and tap taxpayers for private travel? Oregon Senator Ron Wyden calling it, "Obviously wrong."
SENATOR RON WIDEN (D), OREGON: These kinds of ethical issues just keep coming up.
FOREMAN: Mnuchin is pushing back, insisting the plane request was all about keeping secure communication with the White House and was withdrawn once an alternative plan was settled.
STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: I'm very sensitive to the use of government funds. I've never asked the government to pay for my personal travel.
FOREMAN: Even the President was speaking up aboard Air Force One.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have confidence in Mnuchin?
TRUMP: Total k confidence. I've known him for a long time. He's a very honorable man.
FOREMAN: But there is more turbulence.
MNUCHIN: I will be only the third Secretary of the Treasury that's ever actually gone inside Fort Knox.
FOREMAN: The Treasury's Inspector General is now scrutinizing the Secretary's recent trip to Kentucky, which conspicuously coincided with a perfect spot for eclipse viewing. His new wife, Louise Linton, who wore a diamond tiara at their wedding, tagged along, and then tagged herself coming home in expensive designer clothes.
When a taxpayer posted the, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway," the Scottish actress let fly with a blistering attack. "You're adorably out of touch. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It's fab!"
[20:55:07] JENNIFER MILLER, TWEETING TAXPAYER: It was deplorable, what she wrote in the first place, and then her response was even worse.
FOREMAN: Linton apologized. Mnuchin reimbursed the government for her travel. But for ethics watchdogs, the dan damage was done.
WALTER SHAUB, FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT ETHICS: What that shows us is that there's no sensibility that he's a public servant and that he works for us and that he's going to conserve our money.
MNUCHIN: We bought the worst mortgage portfolio in the history of time.
FOREMAN: The former Goldman Sachs executive and hedge fund manager has long faced critics who said he made a fortune during the recession overseeing home foreclosures. His defense has worked well enough to leave him sitting pretty at the top of the Treasury Department.
FOREMAN: There is no sign his job is in jeopardy, but Mnuchin had already irritated some congressional Republicans with what they call his clumsy handling of the debt ceiling debate. And now as he tries to lead the President's tax reform effort, this missteps or distractions or whatever you want to call them promise a bumpy right. Anderson?
COOPER: Well, Tom thanks very much.
Up next, an update on our breaking news, North Korea fires another ballistic missile. We'll tell you where it went and the reaction in a moment.
COOPER: The breaking news tonight, another missile launch by North Korea. The U.S. military says it was an intermediate range ballistic missile that landed in the Pacific Ocean. White House official says the President has been briefed. Our Senior International Correspondent, Ivan Watson, is in Seoul, South Korea, with the latest on what we know at this point. So what have we learned, Ivan?