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Puerto Rico taking Hurricane Irma evacuees; US Virgin Islanders plead for help after Irma; Rebuilding the Caribbean Islands; Eight elderly residents die in stifling hot nursing home; US delivers aid to St. Thomas and St. John; British Virgin Island Tortola devastated by storm; Thousands in need of aid in Antigua and Barbuda; Hurricane Irma devastated the island of Barbuda. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 14, 2017 - 02:00   ET


ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Isha Sesay live in Los Angeles. We'd like to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michael Holmes in San Juan in Puerto Rico where we are continuing to cover the fallout from Hurricane Irma.

And San Juan is an important place because it is a staging area in many areas. A lot of aid going out to these devastated islands comes from here.

And a lot of the evacuees are arriving here. In fact, later today, 2,000 evacuees from various places, most of them coming from the St. Thomas, they're going to be arriving here and going to the convention center.

They're coming actually on a cruise ship which was in the region when Hurricane Irma came through. They picked up 2,000. They're going to be here tomorrow. They're going to be processed through the convention center and then move on, hopefully, to hotels or other destinations. And then, on Saturday, another 2,000 will be coming in as well via the same cruise ship.

Now, those who remain in the Virgin Islands are pleading for help. The storm hit three of the largest islands in the group - St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas - especially hard. Four people, in fact, were killed. Widespread damage as we've seen from the videos.

CNN's Sara Sidner now with the latest.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On St. John, the smallest of the three major islands and arguably most ruggedly beautiful, Hurricane Irma swept away life as we knew it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing left.

SIDNER: Nearly 30 square miles of island wiped out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in our sheltered hurricane anchorage called Hurricane Hole. There was about, I would guess, about 200 boats out there in all.

SIDER (on-camera): Wait, you were on a boat?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was on my boat, yes.

SIDNER: How did you survive in a boat of all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was lucky. A lot of the boats sunk.

SIDNER (voice-over): It took life here as well. The struggle for survival crushing, the suffering endless. Most of the inhabitants on this island lost what little they had. Most have no means to rebuild without a herculean relief effort. So, nothing has been left untouched here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just about everything been touched.

SIDNER: Help is on the way, but it has taken far too long, nearly a week, for it to arrive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A week ago today, it was all going down, man.

SIDNER: But relief is only trickling in here instead of flooding in. The reason for that is two-fold. Communications is nearly impossible here and security is precarious. Crime has shot up, residents say.

A dangerous desperation has emerged as human beings try to get their needs met by any means necessary.

A few miles away, on another island, more tragedy.

MICHELLE COX, ST. THOMAS RESIDENT: It's hard to get food, water, gas. It took us three hours just to get ice. And the mosquitoes and I'm worried about diseases. I don't know what to do.

SIDNER: In St. Thomas, the stunning landscape that attracts tourists from around the world is decimated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been hungry. I'd have some water for you.

SIDNER: The sheer force of sustained winds at tornadic speeds turned this island inside out in spots.

(on-camera): There is a telltale sign that the eyewall of a Category 4 or 5 had hit and it's this.

(voice-over): There are no leaves on the trees. With wind speeds up to 185 miles an hour, the hurricane has striped every branch on this island bare.

From St. John to St. Thomas, there is no end to the destruction. Right now, in much of the Caribbean, life is anything but paradise.

Sara Sidner, CNN, St. John, US Virgin Islands.


HOLMES: All right. Adam Marlatt is a man who was involved in that rebuilding. He is the founder of the Global Disaster Immediate Response Team. Adam Marlatt, thanks for being with us. First of all, tell us what your team has been doing today, for example?

ADAM MARLATT, FOUNDER, GLOBAL DISASTER IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TEAM: Yes, Michael. So, currently, we have three ongoing operations. So, the biggest thing that we're doing now is there's still ongoing rescue (ph). So, we've been doing a house-to-house search with the rescue teams here as well as Virginia Task Force 1.

The secondary mission that we have is beginning the resupply for the island of critical items, specifically fuel, water, and food.

The military has been incredibly helpful in that regard. And we're starting to get aircraft in now that we weren't getting in days ago.

The third mission that we're doing now is trying to get shelter out. So, as we're talking right now, we're getting torrential rain here in St. John. And, currently, none of these items have been distributed. So, the US military, the marines, and the navy were able to send in helicopters, but those items haven't been distributed.

[02:05:06] So, the people that are experiencing rain right now have not yet had the ability to tarp up their houses to protect them from the elements.

HOLMES: Yes. Which is just the last thing they needed, a moment like this. You do a lot of this sort of work. When you look at what's around you there and the scale of this disaster, what sort of time frame do you think we're talking about to get back to some sort of semblance of normality?

MARLATT: Well, when you look at the damage that was done here to St. John, the best way I could describe it would be similar to Tacloban, Philippines.

But you have the logistic challenges of the island being much smaller. There is no way to bring things in via bridges or other things. It requires strategic airlift and ships to come in.

So, I think that there's going to be a significant rebuilding process that will probably take at least several years for them to get back to some semblance of normalcy.

HOLMES: Several years. That's extraordinary, isn't it? What's your sense of the mood on the island given all that has happened?

MARLATT: Well, one good thing is the community here has been incredibly resilient. There were some immediate logistics challenges because of Jose potentially looping background and hitting here, which delayed some of the initial aid coming from FEMA and the military for safety issues, which forced the community and a lot of the local businesses to come together, siphon fuel out of empty vehicles, bring food from abandoned restaurants and provide initial aid for the first three days until others could come on and begin distributing the standard MREs and other items.

So, the community here is really strong. I'm confident that they'll be able to bounce back, but right now they are still nervous because there are still people that are missing.

HOLMES: Adam, I've got to ask you too. It's almost a clean slate in some ways. Going forward, what sort of things, what sort of lessons can be learned to rebuild in a different way perhaps, if you've seen anything that would make you say, well, we could do this, we could build that differently, we could have shelters, we need a better communications infrastructure? What sort of things can be done to make the next hurricane less of an impact?

MARLATT: Certainly. There are a few things that already are being looked at, primarily through FEMA and also by TEMA, which is the lead here - that's the Virgin Island Territory Emergency Management Agency.

So, some of the things that they've already identified that's in the future, trying to see if they can put power lines and key infrastructure communication underground to avoid the catastrophic loss that we've had here because virtually all power lines will have to be destroyed and replaced because they're currently not usable.

The other thing that they've identified is having some sort of satellite backhaul system. For the first three days that we were here, our NGO was the only way to communicate via the satellite terminal that we had, which made it very difficult for them to get out details of what was happening on the ground.

HOLMES: You're doing great work, Adam. Difficult situation for you and, of course, for people on St. John and indeed on the islands throughout this region. Appreciate it. Thanks so much, Adam Marlatt, there.

Isha, let's send it back to you for the moment.

SESAY: Michael, many thanks for that. Well, more than 3 million customers across Florida are still without power and probably will be for the immediate future, but it is really hot in Florida even in September.

Without electricity, there is no air conditioning and that has now become a deadly problem. Eight residents at a nursing home near Miami died in the stifling heat.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has more details.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A criminal investigation is now underway into the deaths of elderly residents at this Hollywood, Florida nursing home. They died after the facility faced power failures in the wake of Hurricane Irma. JOSH LEVY, MAYOR OF HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA: They did have apparently a generator, but whatever was running by that generator - apparently, the main air conditioning units for this facility that would take care of also the second floor apparently were out of commission.

MARQUEZ (on-camera): So, the electricity was on and the air conditioner was on when you left last night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, not the current -

MARQUEZ: But from the generator.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): The surviving residents of the rehabilitation center at Hollywood Hills have been evacuated to Memorial Regional Hospital, which is adjacent to the nursing home.

Tonight, about a dozen of them are in critical condition. Dr Randy Katz is head of the emergency care unit at Memorial. He says at least 50 of his employees ran to the nursing home after being called for help.

DR RANDY KATZ, HEAD OF EMERGENCY CARE UNIT, MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: The scene was chaotic when I arrived. We had at least 115 patients that we were trying to evacuate and bring them to safety.

[02:10:07] MARQUEZ: This woman's mother is a patient in the nursing home.

(on-camera): Were you in there this week?


MARQUEZ: You were here yesterday?


MARQUEZ: What was the temperature?


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Millions of Floridians are still without power. And with temperatures in the 90s, the health risks significance.

Across Florida, more than 30,000 federal employees are on the ground working with state and local officials.

And while most of the state is dealing with downed trees and damaged buildings, in the Keys, the situation is more grave. Just in the last 24 hours, the Coast Guard has made more than a hundred rescues.

CAPT. JEFFREY JANSZEN, US COAST GUARD: It's a dire situation, but the good news is the resources are coming. We're getting food, we're getting water, we're reconstituting the port of Key West, but it's going to take a little time. MARQUEZ: Eight people are dead. Another 12 in critical condition. The death toll could rise. The state has shut down the rehabilitation center here and that criminal investigation is continuing.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Hollywood, Florida.


SESAY: Well, with a criminal investigation into those deaths now underway, the facility in question and its owners could face serious legal jeopardy.

Joining us with her expertise is senior legal analyst Areva Martin. Areva, always good to have you with us.

So, let's break this down. So, sweltering heat, frail and elderly patients, and then we hear death apparently due to that heat. So, deaths which could have been avoided. And begs the question, does this meet the legal definition of negligence?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think what's so disturbing about this story is that this nursing home has a history, a history of violations under Florida law, for not having employees that which is required to care for this very vulnerable population.

And now, we're learning that, on Sunday, apparently, their air conditioning unit went out and we don't know what happened between Sunday and Wednesday.


MARTIN: What we do know is that those individuals were not removed from that facility, were not taken to that hospital which was like so close. Just not less than a mile away from that rehabilitation center. And why wasn't that done?


MARTIN: Why weren't there precautions in place? We should expect the nursing home to say that this was an act of God, that this was a natural disaster that they had no control over the loss of power, but I'm not sure that argument is going to resonate.

SESAY: All right. To that part, let's read some of the statement put out by the center, the rehabilitation center at Hollywood Hill. Let's put it up on our screens for our viewers to follow along.

"While our center did not lose power during the storm, it did lose one transformer that powers the air conditioning unit. The center immediately contacted Florida Power & Light and continued to follow up with them for status updates on when repairs would be made.

Outreach was all also made to local emergency officials and first responders. In compliance with state regulations, the center did have a generator on standby in the event it would be needed to power life safety systems. The center also had seven days of food, water, ice and other supplies, including gas for the generator."

But let us be clear, state and federal regulations require nursing home residents to be evacuated if it gets too hot inside. Let's put up actually what the regulations look like, so people can see clearly what it says there in Florida.

"Nursing homes are required to keep temperatures between 71 and 81 degrees." This is according to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. That rule, Areva, applies to nursing homes certified for the first time after October 1990. But facilities certified even before that time still must maintain safe and comfortable temperature levels.

So, when you see the statement and we know the guidance, it sounds like they're trying to shift -

MARTIN: Finger-pointing.


MARTIN: They're saying we made a call to the Department of Water and Power. We made repeated calls. Those calls went unanswered.

But, again, that begs the question. You're in the business of caring for vulnerable populations. What backup systems do you have in place?

And even though this is a natural disaster, we had government officials coming out days in advance after Hurricane Harvey, talking about Irma and talking about the damage it was going to do in Florida and warning people, residents throughout Florida to evacuate, to take precautionary measures.

And we don't have any evidence that this rehabilitation center heeded those warnings and put those measures.

SESAY: Well, the statement does mention Florida Power & Light. I must ask you. Just so you can clear for us, do they have any liability here, bearing in mind the nursing home says they reached out to them multiple times?

MARTIN: We're going to see if this - we should expect to have wrongful death lawsuits filed, civil lawsuits filed, concurrent with this criminal investigation that's happening, and those facts will come out.

[02:15:05] Were those calls actually placed? What happened at the utilities company with respect to any of those calls? But I don't think they can shift the blame to the utilities company and say we made a phone call and nothing was done.

Again, they have the ultimate responsibility to care for this vulnerable population. What systems did they have in place, particularly given their history? That's going to be a big question and a big issue in lawsuits that will be filed by the family members of these deceased elderly people. SESAY: It seems as if Wednesday was spent more - a considerable amount of time on Wednesday was spent shifting the blame. So, we talked about the center and what they are saying. They're now pushing it to Florida Power & Light.

And Florida Power & Light, well, now, they're shifting it to the state. This is what they are saying. According to "The New York Times," Rob Gould, who is a spokesman for the power company, said at a news conference on Wednesday that when the company met in March with Broward County officials to discuss hurricane preparations, the officials had not flagged the nursing home as a top care critical infrastructure that would need power first.

So, they're basically saying, well, when they were doing the preparations, they never said this was a critical utility. So, it's not our fault we didn't respond immediately.

MARTIN: And sadly, in cases like this, you see this happen. You see all of the entities that potentially have liability pointing the finger at each other.

And again, when civil lawsuits are file, when the discovery process begins, we will get more of the facts. And, ultimately, if these cases go to trial, a trier of fact jurors will have to decide who is ultimately responsible.

But I can't help, but get back to that nursing facility because, again, if you take your loved one to a nursing facility, your understanding, your belief, your reasonable expectation is that they will take all the necessary precautions to prevent your loved ones from being subjected to these (INAUDIBLE) temperatures.

And we know that when city officials went into that nursing home and found those dead bodies, they said it was incredibly hot in that facility. If someone is going to have to answer for that, why was it hot, why weren't their more precautions taken, why weren't their cooling units in place and why weren't these elderly people protected? That's going to be a big head question. So, sad.

SESAY: Areva, we appreciate it. Thank you. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families affected in this situation.

Very sad. Next on CNN NEWSROOM, we check in on Antigua and Barbuda where thousands of people are still desperately in need of aid following Hurricane Irma.


[02:21:13] HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. The Caribbean continues to reel in the wake of Hurricane Irma and the US and Europe are stepping up assistance.

US emergency officials say that they're sending hundreds of thousands of meals and liters of water to the St. Thomas and St. John.

The French president Emmanuel Macron is putting 2,000 security personnel on St. Martin streets to prevent looting. And he's assuring residents that power will be restored in the coming weeks.

And the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson toured the devastated island of Tortola. He is promising to help that island recover.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: This is the most extraordinary scene of desolation and devastation that I think many people have witnessed in their lives. Clearly, I've never seen - it's like, in many ways, a nuclear landscape.

But what's extraordinary is the way that people are coming through. The British nationals, we are here for the long-term. We're going to get this place back on its feet.


HOLMES: And thousands of people are also in need in the island of Antigua and Barbuda. Now, this, of course - these islands were in the line of Hurricane Irma when it was still a Category 5, slamming into that area.

Michael Joseph is the President of Antigua and Barbuda's Red Cross, joins me now on the line. I can't imagine your workload at the moment. What have been your priorities?


MICHAEL JOSEPH, PRESIDENT OF THE ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RED CROSS: Well, we've been trying to make sure we get everything right from day one.

So, right now, our primary response has been to support the evacuation of Barbudans into Antigua, as well as to work with the National Office of Disaster Service to register everyone, identify their needs and respond to the immediate and medium-term needs.

So, tomorrow, we're starting with full registration and then starting the distribution as early as Saturday.

HOLMES: The Red Cross, of course, prepares for a disaster as a matter of course. Could you be prepared for something of this magnitude?

JOSEPH: I don't think those small Caribbean islands could ever prepare for anything such like this. In another 15, 20 years, we still would have suffered similar fate just by nature of how all countries were designed, develop and nature of this size.

HOLMES: So, what changes do you think need to be made as rebuilding goes on? What could have helped in this situation?

JOSEPH: Honestly, we're dealing with hurricanes that are stronger than we've ever, ever experienced. Before we were preparing for Category 5 hurricanes. Now, we are seeing winds that are exceeding the current scale measurements.

We now have to relook at our building structures and building cores and that building to withstand potential Category 6 and 7, of course, because of the strength of them. So, this is just what we have to be deal with.

HOLMES: And, Michael, just one more thing. I was going to ask you, the people, how dire is the situation for a lot of the people you're dealing with? There are lot of people that were still trying to get off islands that are basically being described as uninhabitable.

JOSEPH: Well, I paid a visit to Barbuda today. As you know, we had to evacuate the entire island because they were (INAUDIBLE) which could mean that we have greater fatality. And during my visit today, I must say that Barbuda is in no better state than before.

As a matter of fact, the stench of rotten carcasses from animals and contaminated groundwater and also grown-up mosquitoes have created a huge health concern.

[02:25:14] At the same time, we have internally displaced groups, the Barbudans, that are now taking shelter in Antigua in temporary shelters and are looking forward to moving back home as soon as possible.

So, it's a very ticklish and funny situation to deal with because we have a group that wants to go home, but a home that's not ready to accept them, but within shelter and their needs vary as the days goes by. So, we're just working as much as possible, to respond as quickly as possible and as accurately as possible.

HOLMES: Michael Joseph, President of Antigua and Barbuda's Red Cross, on the line. Thank you so much. A massive job ahead. Doing terrific work there.

SESAY: Some really important insight there. Thanks, Michael. Time for a quick break now. And "State of America" with Kate Bolduan is coming up next for our viewers in Asia.

For everyone else, it has been nearly a week since Hurricane Irma slammed the island of St. John and unfortunately conditions are still desperate for residents there. A live report coming up.



SESAY: Welcome back everyone the British island of Tortola look a direct hit from hurricane Irma and the cleaning up process has already begun but it is going to be a very, very long process. CNN's in on Tortola and shows us how people there despite the challenges, are not going up.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On Tortola's east den was not hiding from hurricane Irma's wrath.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The roof - gone, gone. SANDOVAL: The eye of the deadly storm swept across the largest of the British Virgin Islands just over a week ago. Wicked winds consumed this once smudged country side. Robinson Guzman describes it; it's as if a bomb went off in the middle of this Caribbean paradise.

ROBINSON GUZMAN, TORTOLA RESIDENT: If I look around, it's a different island. It's like fire (INAUDIBLE) with the island, we lose the island. That's real terrible.

POLO SANDOVAL: This is the reality for the island of Tortola and it's residents. Irma destroyed infrastructure, critical supplies like food, water and fuel are limited.

GUZMAN: When there's international help because the island destroyed completely.

SANDOVAL: The damage only seems to worsen as we drive down the winding hillside roads into the island's capitol. Crippled communications are sending residents to phone and internet businesses, their only hope of connecting with the outside world; picking up a wifi signal. Here, we found one of Guzman's neighbors facing a challenge of here own.

STEVENS: Need prayers, pray for us, pray for us.

POLO SANDOVAL: Shemekah Stevens waited hours with her son for medicine at a local hospital.

STEVENS: I don't know, I can't talk anymore because it's so (INAUDIBLE). I've never seem my country like this.

POLO SANDOVAL: Back in Steven's east side community, neighbors seem to be coming together.

ROBINSON GUZMAN: We got to stay here to help the Island stand up. We got to reveal it and make it again.

POLO SANDOVAL: Underneath the rubble, there are signs of resilience and rebuilding. Thought these islanders have a long way to go, they're already on the path toward restoring their paradise. Polo Sandoval; CNN on the British Virgin Island of Tortola.

SESAY: And it is just 2:32 AM on the U.S. east coast as we continue our coverage with Isa Soares who has been out and helping with the aid or watching the aid being delivered --

SOARES: Both --

SESAY: -- to one place - yes - I hope you helped.

SOARES: I did.

SESAY: SO tell us what you did today and who was doing it.

SOARES: So we went to the island of St. John, it's one of the smallest islands but one of the hardest hit islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands. And we left from here from Puerto Rico and we basically got on a boat - a private enterprise boat from a gentleman who spends 20,000 of his own money hiring these boats and filling them up by locals who are offering anything they can.

Anything from clothes to water to food and we travel about two hours by boat and we do this twice a day to the island St. John. And the minute you see the island, for those of you who have traveled to the island to been there, had pina colotas , who swam in those beautiful white beaches.

You would recognize it, you'd know just how lush and wing that is. That has changed completely.

SESAY: It's gone.

SOARES: It is gone. You're eye can't quite get it right, it looks like it's burnt from a distance by close up you can see that it's just. The leaves - there're not leaves.

SESAY: Because the winds just stripped everything.

SOARES: Absolutely, absolutely. It looks completely naked and that's what grabs you first of all. And then once you're on the land, when you're on the ground, you see how difficult it is to get around. Yes, we've seen the U.S. coast guard the U.S. navy who've arrived in the last 24 hours. So they've started to move, clear the roads.

But there's no water, there's no electricity. There's one gas station and that gas station isn't operational, they've got one part that kind of broke so they're waiting for that part to (INAUDIBLE). And people are still living with bits of their houses intact, others have gone to shelters, some are in fear because of the looting that we've seen in the last 48 hours or so.


There is that whole infrastructure problem that we have seen throughout many of the islands. But also there is a sense of isolation from, from people. And so many people came up to me and thanked me, and thanked our crew for being there. We need to get the world out they have, forgotten about us. We are the forgotten islands.

HOLMES: And with out the private enterprise of those people taking those boats over with the goods they wouldn't be getting anything.

SOARES: No absolutely not. I mean they said to me the locals said to me that with out these private enterprises it would have taken days, they were the first hand almost to a post hurricane Irma. They were the first on the ground, and they said it would take way to long for all government officials to get there. And what one lady said to me, that really struck with me is that she said we've have always been a small island surrounded by rocks, surrounded by big oceans. And this just made it feel even worse, completely isolated.

HOLMES: Isa Soares thanks so much. Isa Soares who was out on one of those boats giving out, a private boats, we've heard this complaint a lot, Isha, about how slow the official response has been. Were seeing a lot of stuff going in now, but with out groups like the ones that Isa was with today a lot of those people wouldn't have gotten anything for days.

SEASAY: Yes, yes absolutely. And Michael and Isa thank you. And the question is will that help be consistent as they move forward it's not just about this moment it's a long road to full recovery. Michael, Isa, thank you. We will check back in with you.

Quick break here. Still to come, Hillary Clinton's health, what happened in the 2016 election, her thoughts on every thing from James Clooney's intervention to possible Russian interference.



SESAY: Hello everyone. Hillary Clinton is speaking out to our own Anderson Cooper after releasing her new, "What Happened". And then she ultimately blames herself for the 2016 presidential election loss. Here's one excerpt.

"I go back over my short comings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them. You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want - but I was the candidate."

Well during the interview with Anderson, she also spread around the blame two also different people including former FBI director James Comey.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You said about James Comey that he shived you which is a very - that's a strong word --


COOPER: And it also implies that this was personal or that he was trying to get you.

CLINTON: He's never been clear about his motivation and what bothered me the most as time went on after the election is - and we learned more about the open FBI investigation into the Trump Campaign and their connections with Russia.

That had been going on for quite some time, the American people didn't know about it. He was specifically asked why didn't you tell the American people about that investigation. And he said because it was too close to an election.

So ask yourself, a closed investigation that ended the prior July, an ongoing investigation into the Trump Campaign and Russia. One deserves to be blown out of all proportion, nothing to be found one more time and the American people don't have the information that a legitimate investigation going on about Trump and Russia before they vote.

But what's important to me going forward is, as I say - I think it's important to focus of what happened because lessons can be learned. But the more important lessons that will effect our democracy going forward and not about him and his investigation.

I think he - forever changed history but that's in the past. What's important is the fact that the Russians are still going at us. He himself admitted that before congress.


SESAY: Petter Matthews joins me now, he's a political analyst and a professor of political science at Cypress College. Petter, always good to have you with us.

PETER MATHEWS: Good to be here Isha.

SESAY: It does seem so - on this issue, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are on the same page when it comes to Comey that's he's been a bit of a pain for both of them.

MATHEWS: For both of then, isn't that remarkable right? And she's told all about it in her book. Brought up certain issues and ideas which I can apply with because I ran for congress back in 1998, win the primary, lost the general by a few percent on the vote.

It was kind of a let down and she ran for the presidency which is so much larger and people were expecting her to win, right? Most people and she was certainly in. she's going back and looking - rehash, you can see what mistakes she may have made along the way.

And then she's also trying to get a larger lesson for all of us about letting a possibly foreign government get involved in our democracy. She's trying to draw a larger lesson besides her own pain and suffering from losing.

SESAY: So, yeah - I think she made that clear that it's about what it means for democracy and the future course of this country. That's also what's being tackled in this book.

The White House press secretary has spent the last three days calling James Comey's credibility into question. And if only that's what Hilary Clinton is doing also. What were his motivations for the way he handled the e-mail server investigation.

My question to you is how closely will (INAUDIBLE) be following the special council investigation, how close will he be following the words of Hilary Clinton as she too brings up questions about Comey.

PETER MATHEWS: I think he'll be following Hilary closely because it's definitely tied into the whole picture isn't it? And I believe that he's looking for any kind of insight that he could get. Insight into the investigation of the Trump Campaign or other investigative cases that he's actually conducting. And he wants to see what this book is about, the truth actually opened things up from him possibly. He won't rely on it entirely but he's certainly paying attention to it I assure to some extent.

SESAY: Well Hillary does accept responsibility as we made clear in that excerpt but she does go on to share the blame with a lot of people.

PETTER MATTHEWS: Yes she does.

SESAY: And going to (INAUDIBLE) just said, Russia gets some of it, white women get some of it, white men get some of it, Bernie Sanders. There's a list here, I guess that's to be expected in this kind of situation, she doesn't feel she's the only one here that wasn't in the wrong.


But you're -- you're a student of political science. Do you feel the Democratic Party will take this narrative that she's putting out here and say -- oh, well it wasn't our fault that we lost the election -- and will actually absolve themselves of the work they need to do to capture large segments of the population?

MATHEWS: That's the danger, Isha. If they do that, they're going to fail again. They should really take responsibility for what happened with the election and their shortcomings, and her shortcomings. And then, go forward with a positive message about what the party stands for. You have to rebuild a message -- the ideological platform of the party.

And they're trying to decide now whether to go with the drought -- doubt -- the route that Bernie sanders projected or a more moderate route. Which, I think, Bernie was quite progressive but at the same time it's accepted by many American people. But they're trying to decide, which way should the party go? And they better get it together soon and come up specific, ideological ideas and issues that they stand for and come up with a positive agenda or they're going to lose if they start blaming and saying, well it wasn't our fault. --


MATHEWS: You know, next time, the Russians won't be around -- or maybe they'll(ph) be around. That's just diverting from what the American people really want and need, for their own benefit, to make the country better.

SESAY: I mean, this really is a watershed moment for the Democratic Party --

MATHEWS: It really is.

SESAY: -- Democratic Party, right?

MATHEWS: Yes, it is. It really does -- and many parties, once in a while they go through soul-searching. It doesn't happen very often and this is the time they have to do it. And I think with leaders such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others who are coming aboard now. And today, in fact, Bernie introduced his single-payer health care plan. Which was a remarkable first, wasn't it?

SESAY: Yes(ph).

MATHEWS: And he had 15 or 16 co-sponsors in the Senate -- of other Senators, which is very remarkable. It wouldn't have happened had not Bernie pushed that throughout the campaign and Hillary actually ended up adopting(ph) it. --


MATHEWS: So the party has to decide what it really believes in, what it can inspire American people with, and go back to what(ph) we can learn from President Roosevelt, how he had a vision for the party. And that's why he was so successful -- four times, and so was the party at that time.

SESAY: Yes, last question for you. There's been a lot of schmoozing at the White House --


SESAY: -- between the President and democratic leaders. --

MATHEWS: Quire remarkable.

SESAY: Quite remarkable. And now we're hearing that Wednesday night, another deal has been done -- at least we're hearing from Dems(ph), saying that there is a deal in place to get a new DREAMer -- bipartisan DREAM Act that would protect those young people who were brought to this country as -- illegally as young people, from being deported.


SESAY: They say there's a deal on the table and it will involve some border security but not the wall. Sarah Sanders, the White House Secretary, is pushing back about this issue whether the wall's on the table on not. More importantly, if there is a deal, how is this going to go over on Capitol Hill with Republicans?

MATHEWS: Not very well because they've been -- to them, it's anathema(ph) that he's going to go ahead -- well, some Republicans are for giving the DREAMers(ph) a chance to stay in America and work as -- as Obama had let them do. Other Republicans are totally against it. And their base is against it, that's the problem. And Trump's own base was totally against the DREAMers(ph) staying here -- or anyone staying here illegally --

SESAY: And he campaigned on that --

MATHEWS: -- and to build a wall. And he campaigned on it. --

SESAY: -- that he said, on the first day, you know. -- MATHEWS: It was a major part of his platform, wasn't it? So it's going to cost him some support, either way. The question, which of the two is the largest support that will drop off? And unfortunately, we shouldn't even be talking about these things about tactics.

It's really the essence of the issue. Should these young people be allowed to stay here in a country -- the only one they've ever known before? And they're exemplary children -- young people, who are actually going to college -- many of them. They're achieving -- high achievers. And they deserve a chance to stay. So I think that that's why Trump saw there was a lot of pushback against to(ph) -- for(ph) him, looking like he was going to put them down and let them completely on their own. So it's sort of(ph) wait and see what happens now.

SESAY: Well we're curious to see what happens --

MATHEWS: Just the wait(ph).

SESAY: -- in the coming hours. Peter Mathews, always a pleasure. Thank you.

MATHEWS: My pleasure. Thank you so much.

SESAY: Thank you. Well a new sanction is aimed to put an economic chokehold on North Korea. We'll look how people there are reacting, next.


SESAY: North Korea is facing the harshest sanctions ever levied against the country. But you would never know it walking the streets of Shenyang. Our Will Ripley is the only western television journalist in North Korea and has this report.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT The streets, noticeably busier each time I come here, busier at least for now. The U.S. says the latest UN sanctions threatened to cut North Korea's oil supply by nearly a third which could spike prices for everything from taxies to energy, a ban on textile exports and the end on foreign labor contracts would slash the income of this cash starved, country.

But if you ask Kim Hye Song, she is not worried. Her refreshment stand has a steady flow of customers. She says live is improving despite round of round of increasingly heavy sanctions. We have no problems she says everything I'm selling is made local. We don't worry. We rely on ourselves. Kim Hye Song casually shrugs off threats from the United States. The U.S. President Donald Trump said that these sanctions are not a big deal and there's much worse to come. Did that worry you at all?


RIPLEY (translating): We don't care what the U.S. President says or what the outside world thinks about us she says. We don't worry because we believe in the leadership of Marshall Kim Jong-un. Keep in mind this is a very thin slice of life in this closed country.

RIPLEY: Reporters like us can only see what the government allows. But all over the North Korean capital we see plenty of new construction and increasingly modern skyline. A mandate from North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, determined to prove he can grow the economy and the nuclear program, all in the face of unprecedented sanctions of for his repeated of his violations of international law.

You see these posters all over Chen Yong (ph). And they pretty much sum up north Koreas official response to increase pressure from the U.S., more missiles. North Korean Propaganda is built around their nuclear program it symbolizes strength, independence. It's key to their national identity. Is there anything, anything at all that could get North Korea to walk away from the nuclear program?

We'll never give them, up says Fi Chung Son. If we did it would mean our destruction. Around town new posters show a pair of hands ripping up UN sanctions

resolutions. North Korea's defiant message they will never give up their nukes, even if it means life is about to get a lot harder. Will Ripley CNN, Sonbong (ph) ,North Korea.

SESAY: Well you can see (Will's) exclusive look inside North Korea this weekend. Want Secret State Friday at 7:00 PM here in Las Angeles, 10:00 PM in New York and catch the replay at 8:00 PM Saturday if you are in London, only here in CNN.


And you could be watching CNN Newsroom I'm - I should say in Las Angeles. More hurricane Irma coverage with Michael Holmes in Rosemary Church after this very short break, you're watching CNN


HOLMES: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world.