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Clinton Reflects on "What Happened" in 2016 Election; Trump Heads to Florida. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 14, 2017 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It gives you a feeling for the force of the storm. We managed to get our drone out and start to have a look around and get a better sense of the damage which is, of course, huge, massive. This is going to take a major reconstruction effort.

But the real concern right now is for aid, is for water, is for food and primarily sanitation. People are concerned here that because there is no running water, because they haven't been able to set up or hand out sort of makeshift, disposable chemicals toilets of some sort, and I don't know if you can see that drone footage, Chris, but the streets are literally strewn with thousands of bags of garbage.

As we were walking around, the stench is overpowering. And there's a real fear that we could be looking at a typhoid outbreak, at a cholera outbreak. Time is of the essence here, always after a natural disaster, you want to try to get in, mitigate the sanitation system as soon as possible.

So far, all these Caribbean islands really, really struggling to do that -- Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Clarissa, I mean, you point out it's just the beginning, you know? The scene we see behind you of devastation, that is just phase one of all of this. And now, we have the days ahead to see what happens next.

We'll be back with you, Clarissa. Thank you very much for the reporting.

So, life after Irma is compounded by Florida's heat and humidity today. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the latest forecast for us.

What are you seeing, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Heat index over 100 all over of south Florida and southwest Florida as well.

Good morning, Alisyn.

Temperatures are already in the 70s and 80s, and the heat index will be much higher than that. The relative humidity right now in South Florida is 85 percent. There's your heat index later today, 101, not better down in the Keys. Not even with a breeze. It will feel like 102. Across north Florida, it's still hot again, but not as much cleanup

there other than the Jacksonville area. Your heat index will be around 97. That's not pleasant trying to clean up with no power and very little wind, very little breeze to help you out there. It's going to be really muggy and very distasteful across all of Florida.

We'll call it warm, but that's the idea for the rest of the week. Now, at or above normal temperatures in Miami, going to be at 90 or above.

We also have one more issue, the Santa Fe River. The Santa Fe River, this goes under I-75, or at least it's supposed to, because later today, I believe Santa Fe River will go over I-75. That will cause significant detour delays for the millions trying to get down I-75. Best bet is to take 10 and back down 95.

Otherwise, just keep on Bing or keep on Google Maps, because they will update automatically with the DOT -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: That is a complicating factor. All right, Chad. Thanks for keeping an eye on all of that for us.

Back to politics, Hillary Clinton becoming an open book on why she thinks she lost the election. Who does she blame for what happened? Her interview with Anderson Cooper, next.


[06:37:22] CAMEROTA: Hillary Clinton reflecting on what happened during her stunning 2016 election loss. Clinton tells Anderson Cooper that fired FBI Director James Comey, quote, forever changed history, end quote, and it's time to abolish the Electoral College.

Watch this.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I wanted to just take you back to inauguration day. You're standing inside the capitol waiting to go out on the platform with former President Clinton. What was going through your mind?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it was such a surreal moment, because usually, a candidate who doesn't win the election without some other position wouldn't go.

COOPER: Right.

CLINTON: But as a former first lady, you know, my husband and I go to inaugurations. It's part of the way we demonstrate continuity of government. And I really debated whether I could do it or not and --

COOPER: You actually called up --

CLINTON: Our offices.

COOPER: Jimmy Carter, former President Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush.

CLINTON: Right. Our offices were in communication with both the Carters and both Bushes and the elder Bushes couldn't come because of ill health. But, you know, both George and Laura, and Jimmy and Rosalynn were going to go, and Bill and I just said, you know, we got to do this. So, we were going. But I can't tell you I was looking forward to it.

And I write in the book about how really strange it was to sit there and listen to the kind of speech that was so divisive, the rhetoric was hot, I call it a cry from the white nationalist gut. Instead of taking the moment in saying, you know what, I want to reach out and be the president for everybody.

You know, he didn't win the popular vote, he squeaked through in the Electoral College, he had a chance to really begin to fill the role and that didn't happen that day.

COOPER: You also write in the book that George W. Bush reportedly said after -- after the inauguration, that was some weird shit.

CLINTON: Yes, and I said I couldn't have agreed more.

COOPER: You agree with that sentiment?

CLINTON: I do. It was so strange. I mean --

COOPER: Will you reveal your sourcing on that? Is she sitting across from me right now?


CLINTON: Well, no, I phrased it very delicately.

COOPER: I know that.

CLINTON: You know, it was -- I went to the lunch afterwards. I mean, I did everything that you're supposed to do.

COOPER: I wanted to talk to you by Jim Comey.


COOPER: When Comey said that he was reopening the investigation, you believe that is the day that effectively your campaign was over, that you lost.

CLINTON: Well, I believe based on a lot of evidence and a lot of assessments by other good analysts -- Nate Silver being one -- that yes, that was the determinative day because it stopped my momentum.

[06:40:01] I don't blame voters for what the heck was going on.

COOPER: You said about Jim Comey that he shivved you.

CLINTON: Yes. COOPER: Which is a very -- I mean, that's a strong word.

CLINTON: It is a strong word.

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

CLINTON: He's never been clear about his motivation. And what bothered me the word after 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, well, 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 there is a legitimate investigation going on about Trump and Russia before they vote?

But, you know, what's important to me going forward is, as I say, I think it's important to focus on what happened because lessons can be learned. But the more important lessons that will affect our democracy going forward are not about him and his investigation. He I think forever changed history. But that's in the past.

What's important is the fact that the Russians are still going at us. If I had been elected president under the same circumstances so that, you know, I lost the popular vote, I squeaked through the Electoral College and evidence came up that the Russians for whatever reason were trying to help me, I would have said in the first day in office, we're going to launch the most thorough investigation, no nation, particularly an adversary nation can mess with our democracy.

COOPER: In the book, you make no attempt to hide your displeasure about the Electoral College. You say on page 386, you say the Godforsaken Electoral College.


COOPER: You mentioned winning the popular vote obviously multiple times in the book. Do you think the Electoral College should be abolished?

CLINTON: I said that in 2000 after what happened to the 2000 election with Al Gore. I was elected to the Senate that same year. And if you look at our recent history, we've had several candidates, nominees who have won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College. What does that say?

So, I think it needs to be eliminated. I'd like to see us move beyond it. Yes.

COOPER: The -- you also mentioned in the book that after you realized you had lost, you thought about all "the lock her" chant.

CLINTON: Yes, right.

COOPER: And that Donald Trump has said, actually, it was at the second debate, Donald Trump said he -- if he was president, you would be in jail. Is that something you seriously worried about?

CLINTON: Well, I knew I had no reason to worry about it. But I --

COOPER: But worried that he might make that effort?

CLINTON: You can't predict what he might do. That's one of the lessons I think we've seen so far in this presidency. But, you know, like so much else, I just kind of moved beyond that. I got interested in cleaning my closets and, you know, taking long walks in the woods, things that helped me recover from that loss.


CAMEROTA: OK. There's a lot of grist there. So, let's discuss with CNN political analyst David Gregory.

Good morning, David.


CAMEROTA: What are your thoughts as you listen to Secretary Clinton give that postgame wrap-up?

GREGORY: Well, I think there's a lot. I mean, I think she's quite conversational, especially in her interview with Anderson. It's very interesting.

I think she's reflective. She takes on responsibility. She is still defensive about certain things.

And I think there is a mix of blaming certain factors that were real, that had a real impact on the race like James Comey, his decision to insert himself inappropriately into the race the way he did around that investigation, with I think some reluctance to really embrace the fact that she didn't completely read the electorate correctly. That she was not a change agent at a time when there was a real desire for change. And that she fell into certain traps, even with some of her own reactions, like on the emails, destroying all of those e-mails. That was a decision that was a lot of critics would call Clintonian, that kind of bunker mentality that raises suspicion.

CAMEROTA: But doesn't she make a compelling case that if you had to choose a deciding factor it was James Comey? I mean, she cites there Nate Silver in terms of the numbers, the staff, the poll numbers that she says took a, you know, decided dip after James Comey came out and publicly announced that he was reopening, or whatever the word was, the investigation into her e-mails on Anthony Weiner's laptop before he knew if there were any relevant e-mails on Anthony Weiner's laptop.

GREGORY: Right. Look, I think the sin of this was Comey as FBI director inserting himself into an investigation when protocol is that if you don't charge, you don't talk.

[06:45:02] I think there was a failure of leadership by the Attorney General Loretta Lynch as well. But there is no question that was a huge momentum shift and that he had already waded into this, Comey did, thinking he could control it by wanting to explain what his thinking was and saying he would have never charged her, he should not have said that either. He should have just investigated and not talk about it.

And I think that what Hillary Clinton says is a fair point. You've got this other investigation going on into Russia and he didn't want to prejudice the outcome by reviewing some of those details. There was so much innuendo about the Clinton e-mail server question.

And because he felt so much heat, Comey did, internally, OK? Internally, people who were so angry about Hillary Clinton, his own agents, he felt he had to do that publicly. And I think there was no question that had an impact at the end of the race.

CAMEROTA: Right. I mean, it's so interesting because obviously, these are unique circumstances. So I hear her when she says it's time to learn from this and see what lessons we can apply moving forward. But this will never happen again. I mean, these were all such moments in time, unique moments in time.

But, anyway, it's interesting to hear her on the book tour and talk about her assessment of how it all went down.

GREGORY: Right. But it's also institutional questions, right? I mean, how as a president do you handle the fact that you have Russian interference? This is a question bigger than just what happened here.

CAMEROTA: Yes. All right, David, thanks. We'll be back with you momentarily for other analysis.

Let's get over to Chris in Florida now.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: There's also political consideration. How much attention does the president of the United States give his former opponent? Well, the answer is the president is probably watching this show this morning and already tweeting about Hillary Clinton.

But where he needs to have his head is here in Florida. He's coming here today to do the right thing and visit areas hard hit by Hurricane Irma. We have an update on the efforts to restore power, get this place back up and on its feet. Where are we, next.


[06:50:59] CUOMO: President Trump is heading here to Florida. In just a few hours, he's going to tour the damage left by Hurricane Irma. Where is he going? He's going to Fort Myers and he's coming where we are here in Naples and supposedly, he'll be meeting with victims and talking with local officials about their needs.

CNN's Alex Marquardt is live in Fort Myers. That's going to be the president's first stop and he'll be meeting with first responders, the angels on earth that are making such a huge difference in this situation -- Alex.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Chris. This is the president's third visit to an area devastated by a hurricane in just three weeks after these back-to-back historic hurricanes. The president will be touching down in Air Force One right here at Fort Myers Airport with First Lady Melania Trump in exactly four hours' time. He will be greeted off the plane by the Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen.

Now, the first stop is a briefing on the relief efforts here at the airport. They will then get in Marine One and fly short distance south to where you are, in Naples. Of course, one of the hardest hit areas in the wake of hurricane Irma.

The White House has gone to great lengths to show that the president has been monitoring the situation, posting photos of him getting briefings in the Oval Office with maps and other briefing materials. This comes, of course, after the heavy criticism of the president following his first trip to Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. He was accused of not visiting with any of the victims or seeing any of the devastated areas.

Now, Florida is very much getting back on its feet. As you know, the Florida Keys have absolutely been ravaged. There is floodwater all across the state. The big problem is getting the power back up and running.

The power companies have made significant progress getting that power back up. But there are 3 million without power. That translates to many more millions of people, because that number includes homes and businesses.

The heat here is oppressive. We spent the last few days in Sarasota, Florida. I just got a text message from one of the residents telling me that it is sweltering and they are suffering.

All told, the president is due to spend around three hours here on the ground in Florida. But the White House is making clear in the coming days and weeks, rather, he will be visiting Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, also severely impacted by Hurricane Irma -- Chris.

CUOMO: There are plenty of places to go that had been utterly devastated by this. This is the start of the need.

Alex, thank you very much.

So, when President Trump meets with local officials, what are they going to bring to him? What are they going to be asking for from the federal government?

Joining us now is a man at the center of the action in Fort Myers, the mayor, Randall Henderson.

Mr. Mayor, we know you're very busy. Thank you for joining us on NEW DAY.

MAYOR RANDALL HENDERSON, JR., FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: Good morning, Chris. It's nice to be here.

CUOMO: So, the president is coming there. That's good news for you because, obviously, you want attention on your city. What is the president going to see there? What do you want him to know?

HENDERSON: Chris, it's always good when the president of the United States comes to our city. What we are laser focused on in this effort of recovery is making sure that we minimize human suffering. Alex mentioned about the sweltering heat. We are focused on provisions, water, food, comfort, things that help our citizens get restored, give them hope, give them faith that they're going to be back to normal as soon as possible. We are focused very much on meeting our citizens.

Yesterday, I was out deployed, around our city and the hardest hit areas, feeding our citizens with the Salvation Army and others helping to bring food and supplies.

CUOMO: Time limitations on how fast you can get things done, additional resources that would make this faster. What are your answers to those?

HENDERSON: Excuse me, Chris. The jet taking off there. Can you hear me?

We are focused used on getting provisions in -- I will say one of the outstanding things that's going on right now is supplies are arriving here from the private sector, from faith-based organizations.

[06:55:13] We are deploying them as quick as possible. Later today, my dad's own church will be loading up his vehicle so we can go down to the hardest hit areas and offload supplies. This is down on the ground, hand-to-hand work that we're doing here.

CUOMO: Do you need volunteers? Should people come to Fort Myers to help if they are capable of helping? And they are in Fort Myers, where should they go to help?

HENDERSON: If they want -- if they want to come, they should contact my office. We'll help get them farmed out to people who can receive them. We are working on that as we speak.

There is a tractor trailer load, for example, coming in from Illinois this afternoon loaded with supplies, trying to get them farmed out to agencies. They can help deploy that.

So, yes, traveling is going to be an issue. We have about 30 percent to 40 percent of our city up on the power grid. We are looking for fuels and things that will be used for generators so that we can keep our citizens comfortable.

So, it is going to be challenging. We encourage the help, but just understand, there is nothing convenient about this. CUOMO: Right. We will be covering the president's visit, shedding

light on the situation there, and please let us know what information we can get out to help you in your recovery efforts. Be well.

HENDERSON: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right.

Alisyn, we're showing people the need because it's up to everybody watching to decide what action they take to help. But make no mistake, volunteers, contributions, everything that's possible is required right now.

CAMEROTA: And people can go to to find out how they can better help.

Chris, we'll be back with you momentarily.

There's a lot of political news happening this morning. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are touting a deal they made last night they say with the president to protect DREAMers. But the president said there is no deal.

So, what's going on here? That's next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be tough and a long road for many.

CAMEROTA: Millions in Florida still without power. Caribbean in desperate need of aid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An investigation is under way into deaths at a nursing facility in Hollywood, Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just an astonishing chain of events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These facilities should be regulated. It hasn't happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all know our agenda can't just be against Donald Trump.

CAMEROTA: Democratic leaders and President Trump potentially reaching a deal on DREAMers that does not include funding a border wall.