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Aired September 23, 2017 - 15:00   ET



Mexico rocked by yet another large earthquake. What this means for the urgent race to find survivors.

Plus 'Dam Breach,' "Imminent." Puerto Rico facing a new emergency as residents below this dam are told to, "Get out now."

And "Stinging Setback." President Trump response to news, his plans to repeal and replace Obamacare are put on hold, again.

You're in CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with us this WEEKEND. I'm Anna Cabrera in New York.





CABRERA: We begin with the war of words on two fronts, President Trump taking on NFL protesters and the NBA champions, then now some superstars in those leagues are firing back.

At the same time just blocks from where I am here in New York, North Korea's Foreign Minister moments ago said President Trump's insults make a rocket attack on the U.S. mainland more inevitable; that's just one development on the escalating on the escalating crisis with Kim Jong Un's regime.

Earlier today U.S. Air Force bombers and fighter jets flew over international waters off the North Korean coast and what the Pentagon are calling 'a clear message.' To underscore the seriousness of this action, this is the furthest north of the demilitarized zone any U.S. military plane has flown in the 21st century and it comes on the same day the North Korean Foreign Minister address the U.N. General Assembly.

And amid the exchange of insults between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, we have team coverage, CNN International Correspondent Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, South Korea; CNN Senior United Nations Correspondent Richard Roth joins us from the U.N. General Assembly; and CNN Global Affairs Correspondent Elise Labott is here in New York with me.

I want to start with you Paula in Seoul, Paula. Fill us in on the latest you're learning there?

Paula Hancocks, CNN International Correspondent: Well Anna this really was quite a remarkable speech that we heard from Ri Yong Ho the Foreign Minister of North Korea. He started straightaway as a - as a response to what we heard from the U.S. president, Donald Trump on Tuesday at the General Assembly and it was pretty forceful what we heard.

Some insults hurled at the U.S. president from that podium, really something we're - we're not use to seeing but we heard some very strong words from Ri Yong Ho as well saying, 'that the only reason that North Korea is carrying on with their nuclear and missile it is because it is self-defense,' a line that we have heard many times saying that, 'they have to do this because they believe that the U.S. is trying to attack them.'

Now one thing that was interesting that we did hear which is slightly different to the usual rhetoric, the usual insults that are being hurled around, the explanation as to why exactly North Korea is doing this, saying 'that they want to establish a balance of power with the United States,' Ri Yong Ho saying effectively, "He doesn't care. His country doesn't care if they are recognized as a nuclear state," which is what many experts believe that they wanted.

But he said, "That's not important. What is important is the balance of power with the United States," saying that obviously, from their point of view they believe they need it for self-defense.


CABRERA: OK, so Richard, tell us more about what you're hearing there at the U.N. now?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Well you couldn't help notice that while President Trump was tweeting that players in the National Football League who don't stand for the national anthem should be fired.

At the same time, the Foreign Minister of North Korea was issuing this very sharp, blunt, angry, diatribe against him.

Right from the start North Korea's Foreign Minister said in effect, let me just say right off the top here a response to President Trump's words that were pretty harsh themselves on Tuesday. Here's a portion of Foreign Minister - remarks.


RI YONG HO, FOREIGN MINISTER OF NORTH KOREA (through translator): Before going into the main points in my debate, I feel forced to make comments on the speech uttered four days ago by someone called, "The U.S. president," that rendered this sacred U.N. arena, tainted. Since Trump uttered such reckless and violent words, provoking the supreme dignity of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at this very platform, I think it is fair enough for me to make a response in the corresponding tone.

During his eight months in power he has turned the White House into 'a noisy marketing place full of crackling sounds of abacus beads' and now he has tried to turn the U.N. arena into 'a gangster's nest where money is respected and bloodshed is the order of the day.'


ROTH: The Foreign Minister saying Trump's speeches and words, 'violent, reckless' and to echo what Paula was saying there, there's no give on sanctions. In fact, the North Korean was boasting 'that don't count on any new action or past actions, these eight rounds of sanctions by the Security Council to make a difference in who North Korea is proceeding with its nuclear program,' which he said, "Is to counterbalance any threat of United States attack or aggression."

CABRERA: Right, so Elise, first are a war of words and now this show force...


CABRERA: ... really setting the bar again higher for what the U.S. has done in the past. What does it all mean?

LABOTT: Well I think you know, the Pentagon's spokesman Dana White was saying, "Look, this is a show of resolve to North Korea to let them know, the U.S. does have military options," and if you're thinking about you know,, as the North Korean Foreign Minister had said the other day, 'launching a - and hydrogen bomb over the Pacific,' which we don't even know if the - if North Korea's capable of doing by the way but any of these things, any of these attacks that they are threatening directly at the United States, that the U.S. response will be swift and it will be overwhelming.

I think the danger here is, you have to very erratic, unpredictable, leaders and they're getting in each other's heads right.

You know, Kim Jong Un came out with a statement the other day directing at President Trump, the first statement under this North Korean's name and - that I can remember, I don't - I think it's unprecedented, and I don't think anybody knows what is going to bring Kim Jong Un to the brink where he does do something that will then cause some escalation.

I don't worry necessarily about the United States. President Trump has military leaders that will not you know, urge and certainly prevent him from doing anything you know, kind of rash but I - North Korean leader has absolute power and what he will do and what the cycle of retaliation will cause then, I think this war of words escalating is very dangerous.

CABRERA: So meantime, the diplomatic side of things, we have seen more sanctions and Paula there, we know also in - as these war of words, the rhetoric ramps up, as the show force ramps up we're seeing additional fallouts physically in North Korea.

There was at least one earthquake, possibly two in North Korea today, an area of a known nuclear site. What can you tell us about that?

HANCOCKS: Yes Anna, this was really quite remarkable. There was a - the report that came out, that there had been seismic activity obviously nerves around the world and especially in the region were afraid thinking that maybe another nuclear test.

We've now heard from Korean officials, the Meteorological Administration, they believe it was natural, other officials around the world believe it was natural but the - what they think it might have been, is some kind of geological shift because of that September 3rd nuclear test so it could have been a direct response to that.

We are hearing that could well have been two of these - of these seismic events, both quite small in magnitude but they were just about three and a half miles away from where that nuclear test Number 6 happens.

So, this is why many officials are believing that there could've been some kind of geological stress from that nuclear test. It's in the same area that Punggye-ri area where all six nuclear tests have taken place so this is a concern at this point.

So, nobody is saying that they believe it was man-made. They say they believe it was natural so that means it wasn't another nuclear test but could have been a direct impact, a direct result from the previous nuclear test.


CABRERA: Let's listen to what the president, President Trump said about North Korea at his rally in Alabama last night.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: They should have been handled eight years ago, and four years ago, and honestly -- and 15 years ago, and 20 years ago, and 25 years ago.

This shouldn't be handled now but 'I'm going to handle it' because we have to handle it.


AUDIENCE: (Go handle it).

TRUMP: "Little Rocket Man," we're - we're going to do it because we really have no choice.


CABRERA: Elise, how confident can we be, (he has it, handled)? LABOTT: I'm confident that U.S. military advisers, that his national security staff will provide him with the guidance that he needs.

I think some of the rhetoric that he's using against Kim Jong Un, the "Rocket Man," that is really dangerous. I don't know if he's you know, realizes the kind of 'playing with fire' that he you know, everyone kind of steps online when President Trump uses "Crooked Hillary" or "Little Marco," I mean these are you know, little name- calling that really has no effect Anna.

But when you're calling these types of names, when you're taunting and unpredictable, erratic leader that has absolute power as Kim Jong Un, I think it's very dangerous.

I'm not sure that President Trump really understands the consequences of his words, the seriousness of his words but I think that he has a very good National Security team. H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary Mattis, General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary Tillerson, all who are working on you know, military options and diplomatic options.

This - Secretary of State Tillerson said the other day this pressure campaign of sanctions on North Korea, they may starting to be - feel a little bit of a pinch, there are fuel shortages starting.

If they can get China onboard, Secretary Tillerson is expected to travel to Asia in the near future to work on this.

So, I think that - I'm confident about the National Security...


LABOTT: ... team. I think President Trump really needs to kind of tone down the rhetoric...



CABRERA: ... I'm glad...


CABRERA: ... you mentioned China because we also saw them come out today and saying they are cutting off the petroleum...

LABOTT: That's very...

CABRERA: ... the refined petroleum...

LABOTT: ... that's very...

CABRERA: ... exports to...

LABOTT: ... significant.

CABRERA: North Korea so there is some action happening on that front as well.

Paula Hancocks, Richard Roth, Elise Labott, our thanks to all of you.

Still ahead this hour, the president versus the players, the war of words between Trump and members of two sports leagues heating up and there are some brand-new tweets from the president again moments ago.

We will tell you who President Trump says should be fired.

Your live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: (This) is the unexpected remarks pitting the president against the most powerful sports league in the country.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag to say, "Get that son of a bitch off the field, right now."



TRUMP: ... he's fired.


TRUMP: "He's fired."


CABRERA: And its athletes are blasting the president Trump for saying, "Players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired." And that, "Fans should walk out in protest of those players."

Here's just some of the reaction now from NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. "Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of these players and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our players and clubs represent in our communities."

And then there is this from Buffalo Bills star LeSean McCoy, "It's really sad man, our president is a 'expletive.'

From Max Garcia of the Broncos, "What an emphatic response. Where was this passion in response to Charlottesville?"

Now athletes from other sports are also weighing in including Chris Paul, the President of the NBA Players Union said this, "I doubt he's man enough to call any of those players 'a son of a 'bleep' to their face.'"

In the last hour, the president doubled down on Twitter. He says, "If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL or other leagues he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our 'Great American' flag or country and should stand for the national anthem, if not 'Your Fired.' Find something else to do."

Joining me now to discuss, CNN Political Commentator and former chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, Ed Martin; A. Scott Bolden, the former chairman of the Washington D.C. Democratic Party and current Chairman of the National Bar Association Political Action Committee; former ESPN Senior Editor Keith Reed and CNN Senior Media Correspondent; and Host of RELIABLE SOURCES Brian Stelter.

So, Ed I want to start with you. Where did...


CABRERA: ... these comments even come from given the president was there, he was campaigning for Luther Strange, we had North Korea, we have healthcare, why is he picking this fight?

MARTIN: Well I think there's two answers Anna. The first one is I - and I really am I'm - I'm thrilled and I'm grateful again to the president for saying what most Americans feel.

I mean you know, it's really an insult to Americans if guys are kneeling during - it's about the flag. There may be people that they object to that they should protest, maybe they are unhappy about work conditions or something but we the people, people that die for the country and defend the country, we respect the flag so I - the president's channeling and a lot of what we feel.

But the second thing it is politics. In Alabama you think "Bear" Bryant or Nick Saban would ever let their players kneel during the national anthem or disrespect the flag?


So, you know, he's trying to win a race for Luther Strange and I think he did a great job. The countries talking about respecting the flag instead of employees of a team or a business disrespecting the nation. I think that's pretty neat. I think it's exciting.

CABRERA: But why wasn't the president as direct when he was talking about the white supremacists in Charlottesville?

MARTIN: Well I think he's been direct over and over. Since then - I mean I'll - I'll do it for him. "We denounce white supremacists. We denounce Nazis."

Like Nancy Pelosi, "I denounce Antifa and their violence," that violence is unacceptable.

And that's great. Let's do it. Over and over again but here's the thing, if you want to kneel down - if you want to make a million a year to play cornerback or wherever John Mershon and (that star), the guy at Buffalo, plays, he can make his millions doing something else. He can go...

CABRERA: Well...

MARTIN: ... pick up a, you know, pick up something...


MARTIN: ... else.




BOLDEN: ... wait a minute Anna.

CABRERA: ... (INAUDIBLE), he called the people who were there at that neo-Nazi rally, "Fine People." There is a big...

MARTIN: (No Anna).

CABRERA: ... difference there Ed.

BOLDEN: There is a big... difference. Hey Anna...

MARTIN: (Wrong).

BOLDEN: Yes Anna, can I jump in here?

CABRERA: Go ahead Scott?

BOLDEN: It's - it's amazing to me that the GOP and folks like my colleague here believe there's some connection to how much money these players make because they are talented and somehow that sort of relationship between them, their political...


BOLDEN: ... opinions, their First Amendment right and their ability and their right to protest the way they want to protest.

They may be...


BOLDEN: ... kneeling, you think it's disrespecting the flag. I see it's exercising their First Amendment right. I may not...


BOLDEN: do it but they could do something else to protest.

Until America takes care of communities of color of which many of these players come through then you have no right or audacity to tell them how they're going to protest.

Those same people that fought for...


BOLDEN: ... this country, these same...


BOLDEN: ... people who fought for this country fought for them to have the right to exercise their First Amendment and it's shameful...


BOLDEN: ... that you would argue...


BOLDEN: ... they most go work somewhere else.

MARTIN: (Anna, can I say)...

BOLDEN: That's nonsense.

MARTIN: It's - Anna it's - he's not - Anna, he's not been factually correct. He's deceiving people.

Here's the...

BOLDEN: No. I'm not.

MARTIN: ... facts.

BOLDEN: No. You're deceiving...

MARTIN: But...

BOLDEN: ... people because...


BOLDEN: ... You don't want to...


BOLDEN: ... recognize...


BOLDEN: ... the First Amendment rights...

CABRERA: Well let Ed...

BOLDEN: ... of these players

CABRERA: ... (get in) his word and then Scott will come back. Go ahead Ed?

MARTIN: Well listen, if you worked on a construction site in New York City and you kneel down, say you want to protest against the flag or something, you'll be fired - you could be fired.

Whether you make a dollar an hour or $20 an hour or million dollars per games, the point is a private employer has the right to say how you can act.

That's what the president said.

And look, the people that kneel down against the flag, there's people that die for the flag and by the way...

BOLDEN: That they...

MARTIN: ... many (of them)...

BOLDEN: ... die for that right for them to kneel down.

MARTIN: ... (Not so).

BOLDEN: And as a private employer, the president has no business telling a private...

CABRERA: Go ahead...

BOLDEN: ... employer...

CABRERA: ... go ahead Scott.

BOLDEN: ... what to do...

CABRERA: ... Ed, hold your thoughts?

BOLDEN: ... or not to do.

You hear me?


BOLDEN: These are private employers. You or the president have no right to tell these individuals how to feel and how to protest and how to respond to their own personal conditions and beliefs. Because they are athletes they don't lose the right to have a...

MARTIN: (Yes).

BOLDEN: ... political position or to protest.


BOLDEN: It's their God-given right and you can't dictate...

MARTIN: (INAUDIBLE). BOLDEN: ... to them...


BOLDEN: Yes. You are. You want to...


BOLDEN: ... fire, the president wants to...


BOLDEN: ... fire, you can fire them for - to exercise their First Amendment right.

Now if they violate some part of their contract, sure.

But think about it, that's a constitutional right of theirs and for you to criticize them or the president to talk about their mothers of all people, my goodness gracious, it's shameful...


BOLDEN: ... it has no place in the - in the - in the dialogue on this and this shows how off-base the Republicans in this White House are.

Because when Tom Brady doesn't protest or protest, doesn't go to the White House, he doesn't get attacked but black people, black athletes get attacked by people like you and the president of these United States, when they have every right to be here.

He shows your...


BOLDEN: ... private privilege and your white supremacy when you - when...


BOLDEN: ... you attack them for those reasons.

CABRERA: Hey guys, I want to get others...


CABRERA: ... others into the conversation here so I'm going to turn to Keith and asking about the reaction we're seeing by the NFL, specifically by Goodell, by the Players Association. What do you make of that so far?

KEITH REED, FORMER ESPN SENIOR EDITOR AND CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think it's actually one of the most interesting things about this entire controversy that started last night with the - with the president's comments in Alabama. When you have reached the point where Roger Goodell and the NFL are taking the moral high ground against the president of the United States, we've really have reached a very, very interesting point in political discourse...


REED: I don't know if you've been paying attention in the last three or four years but I think is very difficult for anybody the argue - to argue that the National Football League has been in the moral vanguard about anything whether you go to domestic violence, whether you talk about CTE, whether you're in - or even wherever you talk about Colin Kaepernick or players right to protest.

I'm not sure there are very many people before this morning when Roger Goodell put out his statement really defending the players in the NFL, in his - in his league from the attack by the President of the United States, that many people would've looked - would've looked at Roger Goodell for leadership on an issue like this.

And I think that this shows you where we are in a public discourse.

I also want to go back to one more point if I can...


REED: ... this is not the first time in the history of the United States and its - and it's a little bit interesting to me that people are kind of acting like this is a new phenomenon where African- American athletes have been - have been at the forefront of speaking out in terms of social change.

This is not new. You can go all the...


REED: ... way back to John Carlos...

CABRERA: and Tommie Smith. You can go all the way back...


REED: ... to Mohammed Ali, you can - who started his career as a name - as a man by the name of Cassius Clay and who changed his name, converted - became a member of the Nation of Islam, lost his license box and spent many of his most productive...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... boxing years banned from the sport because the stance he took against the Vietnam War.

You can look at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who was another African-American athlete who became very, very, active and very outspoken in terms of civil rights issues and in terms of issues important to the African- American community...

CABRERA: Yes. REED: ... during his career.

And many of those athletes have been vilified throughout their careers, not necessarily by the president of the United States but certainly by some fans of their sports who wanted them to - as we hear again, 'stick to sports.'

And it's - it's something that we've heard over and over and over again in the last few weeks and months, starting with Colin Kaepernick, continuing last week with the president's comments about my - in the - in the White House comments about my friend and former colleague, Jemele Hill and now continuing on today, where we expect athletes to accept any treatment that might - any kind of treatment or any kind of degradation that might affect them and their communities but we want them to stick sports.

And what are seeing today is professional athletes, not just black athletes but professional athletes all across the spectrum saying, "No. We're not bound to stick sports. If we are attacked, if you degrade us, if you talk of - take personal attacks, if you talk about her mothers, if we feel that the communities that we care very deeply about, contribute our energy and talents to entertain and our money to support are attacked, we have the right to say...


REED: ... something and it is not OK for the president or for any private employer to try to abridge the right of any professional athlete or any employee or any...

CABRERA: (Sure).

REED: ... or any independent contractor to be able to make whatever statement that they want to make.

You don't have the right...


REED: ... to do that...

CABRERA: I do...

REED: ... in this country.

CABRERA: ... I do want to talk about the bigger picture here because it's not just the NFL that we are talking about today but the president also picking a fight with Steph Curry and the Warriors, essentially turning them away from coming to visit the White House which is standard because Steph Curry said he might not want to go...


CABRERA: ... and because he didn't agree with some of what he has seen by this administration. STELTER: A number of the Warriors had been talking about skipping that normal visit to the White House. There were going to vote as a team but Steph Curry says his vote will be 'not to go to the White House.' This is part of a much broader topic. We are seeing many athletes just like many entertainers, many business leaders, trying to avoid the Trump White House, trying to avoid being associated with Donald Trump.

It is a remarkable moment in time that we're in here. They we are asking these questions and we are asking the questions, why is it that the president is perceived to be a racist by so many Americans?


STELTER: And if he is perceived that way which he is, then why does he lean into it by attacking African-American athletes like this, whether it's Steph Curry or Colin Kaepernick.

MARTIN: Listen, (let me ask you this)...

CABRERA: Hold on, just a second Ed. Go ahead and then I'm going to read a statement. I just got - that just came in from the Golden State Warriors but Ed I'll let you respond for a moment.

MARTIN: ... Yes. I'm just trying to be respectful because it's hard to interrupt and I wanted to hear but the law is very clear. When you and your private employer, in a - no one - the president - I'm allowed to say we think it would be better not to.

We can't fire them. We can make them stop. But that's not what the - the Constitution doesn't protect that speech but let's be clear, if I ask you guys, if I said to my panel...

BOLDEN: Yes. It does.

MARTIN: ... "Hey, I never met you, I would really like to buy you a cup of coffee," and then three guys or I don't know I can see the panel, they say, "You know, we like to think about it because we don't know if we like you."

And you know, what I would say?

"I'll just take back my invitation."

There's no reason the president of...


MARTIN: ... the United States should be (INAUDIBLE)...

STELTER: ... Ed, why did...

MARTIN: ... (to the nation)...

STELTER: ... the President take a baseball...


STELTER: ... bat and swing...


STELTER: ... it into this hornet's nest?


STELTER: Why is he talking about this at all?


STELTER: Why is he trying to divide the country...


STELTER: ... like this Ed?

Because ...

MARTIN: Come on (Brian).

STELTER: ... he's a divider. Because...


STELTER: ... he drives this narrative of race and racism in this...


STELTER: ... country but doesn't want to be held accountable for it. That's why.

REED: Anna, if I can just jump in here one more - one more time here. I think...


REED: ... I pointed this out on...


REED: ... your air a little bit earlier. One of the things...


REED: ... that's - that's happened here is that...

CABRERA: Ed, I'm sorry...

REED: ... the president...

CABRERA: Just a - just a second Ed, I'm so sorry. I know everybody wants to talk here. We don't want to cut anybody off but people are passionate. Keith, you first. Let me read a statement after that and then...

REED: (Thanks).

CABRERA: ... Ed I'll let you react.

REED: Sure, I think one of the things that's happened here is that the president has entered into a fray about sports that we rarely see other American presidents do.

And so, it's a little bit...


REED: ... I think and I don't want to attack another panelist personally but I do think it's a little bit disingenuous to say that - to compare the idea of the four of us getting together for coffee or drink to...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds great.

REED: ... American president breaking with tradition which is...


REED: ... to invite athletes to come to the White House after they've won a championship, and it is not new for professional athletes...


REED: ... some of them to say that they don't want to come on the basis of who is in the White House.


REED: The most...

CABRERA: Which we saw...

REED: ... famous athletes...

CABRERA: ... happened...

REED: ... in the NFL...

CABRERA: ... after the Super Bowl...

READ: Yes.

CABRERA: ... as well when the Patriots...

REED: Yes.

CABRERA: ... were invited. The Patriots, the big team that the president has long time supported...

REED: Yes.

CABRERA: ... because of his relationships...

REED: (Most of them...

CABRERA: ... of course...

REED: ... going, yes).

CABRERA: ... with the owner, with the coach as well with their quarterback.

But here's a statement from the Golden State Warriors guys.

They just responded to the president, especially just inviting them from the White House. They were anticipating they would be invited at least and this is what they write.

"While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity, we have this morning to collaboratively discuss the potential visit to the White House. We accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. We believe that there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them.

We are disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have an open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise.

In lieu of the visit to the White House, we have decided that we will constructively use our trip to the nation's capital in February to celebrate "Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion; values that we embrace as an organization,"

And before I...


CABRERA: ... have you react to this Ed, let's put of the tweet from the president and show what we are now responding to with this statement from the Golden State Warriors.

This is the tweet the president sent out this morning.

He writes, "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating therefore invitation is withdrawn."

Ed, can you really argue with that statement from the Golden State Warriors?

MARTIN: Look, no. Yes, yes, they're - they're right to say what they want to say but let's be clear about what we're covering here.

We're covering the fact that the Golden State Warriors were invited. They publicly said they were going to think about it and talk about it. Steph Curry started to say he wouldn't go ---

MARTIN: ... They're making it into a mockery of what happens.

If you don't want to go, don't go. That's what other teams have done. Players haven't gone and you know, Americans are really tired of the games being played by spoiled, rich...

MARTIN: ... athletes.

STELTER: (Don't do that) American thing Ed. Don't - don't speak

MARTIN: I think...

STELTER: ... for all Americans. Don't say...


STELTER: ... all Americans...

MARTIN: ... athletes...

STELTER: ... are tired of this. You cannot speak...


STELTER: ... for (INAUDIBLE) in this country. This country...


STELTER: ... is so divided Ed and that's what Steph Curry was trying to talk about.

MARTIN: ... He wasn't trying to talk about that. Listen...

STELTER: (You can speak)...

MARTIN: ... Anna...

STELTER: ... (for all the 'Americans.') You don't speak for all of America.

This country is bitterly divided and most of this country (INAUDIBLE)...

MARTIN: No. Most of this...

STELTER: ... has no idea what the president's talking about when he - when he says, that there - (there should be more violent...

CABRERA: I think here's...

STELTER: ... NFL games).

CABRERA: ... here's what Steph Curry said....

MARTIN: The question... CABRERA: ... I don't hear...

MARTIN: ... is the minority in this situation.

CABRERA: The Steph Curry statement that he made, elicited this response from...


CABRERA: ... the president, didn't poke anything at the president. He didn't - he didn't even name the president in it he wrote - he said, "By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is...


CABRERA: ... accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.

It's not just the act of not going, there are things you have to do on the backend to actually push that message into motion.

He - he's talking about injustice, he's talking about equality...


CABRERA: ... (INAUDIBLE) (do you think this is something the president should celebrate as well)?

BOLDEN: Who could disagree with justice and equality?

Who could disagree...

MARTIN: I'm happy (this)...

BOLDEN: ... with that?

MARTIN: ... Listen, I - no, everyone is for justice and equality. What we're saying is people can - have opinions, they can speak them, there is that protection.

What the president is saying, grandstanding instead of accepting the invitation, he's saying I don't want - I don't want to see Americans, you guys can jump on me, I'm not saying all Americans but there was an election, the election was played by rules, the rules yielded a winner.

There's lots of people in America. You guys pick the number, they are looking up and saying, "I'm watching these guys on this panel talk about protecting athletes, and they're stomping on the flag," figuratively...


MARTIN: ... and I'm looking up saying you know, what guys, 'I would prefer somebody protest the Goodell's policy on concussions, protest who makes the money off of T-shirts but you know, what leave the flag alone.'

And we're grateful.


MARTIN: We have a president...

CABRERA: All right.


CABRERA: We've got to leave it there guys.


CABRERA: We are out of time.

BOLDEN: ( All of that is your rights).

CABRERA: I'm getting the wrap.

BOLDEN: (INAUDIBLE), irrelevance.

CABRERA: Scott, thank you for that.

BOLDEN: Thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you Keith, thank you Ed, and Brian are - I appreciate the passionate discussion.

Coming up a 6.1 earthquake brought Mexico today, this is the third quake if you can believe it, to hit this nation in just over two weeks.

We will take you there and live next.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM, stay with us.



ANNOUNCER: The fight over (Obamacare, Monday night) at 9:00, only on CNN.



CABRERA: We are following more breaking news. Out of Mexico, southern Mexico felt the effects of a 6.1 magnitude earthquake this morning less than a week after a more powerful earthquake that struck Mexico City.

And today's quake was centered in Oaxaca State, that's about 275 miles southeast of Mexico City and that place is the epicenter of this latest shaking, roughly between that 7.1 magnitude quake that struck on Tuesday and the 8.1 magnitude quake that struck on September 8th off the southern Pacific coast.

Let's turn to Ivan Watson, he is joining us from Mexico City where the death toll has sadly climbed again; we are now at 305 people dead.

Ivan, warning sirens I understand went off where you are. Did today's earthquake cause any more destruction or results in new casualties that you've learned about?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So far, the authorities have not informed us of any additional casualties as a result of this and the earthquake this morning Anna, some people here in Mexico City felt it, others didn't feel anything at all.

But certainly, at this location, where as you can see the recovery efforts are still very much underway at a building that collapsed and there are dozens of people feared to be trapped inside.

It did result in responses, people scurried for cover.

We're just going to take a moment to listen to the scene this morning when that 6.1 earthquake hit this area.





WATSON: Now Anna, I wasn't here at the moment. Our team was here and they say that everybody almost instinctively when they heard the sirens they moved into open areas away from buildings that have - some of them have been weakened and have cracks from the earthquake last Tuesday, almost and instinctual move to get away from - the future additional potential collapses that could come in.

Now in addition to this there is still work going on at the site and at others around Mexico City and unfortunately several hours ago part of our team witnessed the recovery of the bodies of two victims from laboratory that collapsed just a few blocks from where I am.

The death toll has mounted to at least 305 victims from Tuesday - Tuesdays earthquake.

And just yesterday I was at a little village called Atzala where there was an absolutely heartbreaking story Anna of a baptism that was underway on Tuesday in a church that was nearly three centuries old and it brought down the roof of that church on top of the baptismal party and the very next day the village had to hold a funeral for the 3-month-old baby girl whose life was being celebrated along with her family members and other family members, a total of at least 12 people killed there; one tragic story in...


WATSON: ... this natural disaster here.


CABRERA: So sad.

Ivan Watson, thank you for that update.

And coming up authorities say a breach is 'imminent' in Puerto Rico, facing a new emergency there as residents below this dam are told to "Get out now."

We will go there live, next.


CABRERA: Now let's head to Puerto Rico, already devastated by Hurricane Maria and people living near the Guajataca River are fleeing because of serious concerns about an 'imminent' dam break.

The dam and river are located in the northwest portion of the U.S. island territory and CNN's Nick Valencia is joining us from San Juan, Puerto Rico with the very latest.

And Nick we know that area has already been slammed hard. Where are they going to put the 70,000 people who are trying to escape that area near the dam?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's just unbelievable, as if this island has not been through enough already, now these two townships of an estimated 70,000 people Anna, have to worry about a dam failing.

I just came from a pass - a press conference with the governor of Puerto Rico who says that this dam, Guajataca dam has been compromised and could fail at any moment. For those who cannot evacuate themselves, they are been bussed out by local officials, being taken to shelters in and around the area.

Speaking of which we just came from one of those shelters. It's probably one of the better shelters on the island, being held at the Convention Center here not too far from us and even still it's a desperate situation there.

There's about 600 beds, nearly all of them are filled and you have to remember this island took on evacuate is from St. Croix from hurricane Irma.

Now this island is dealing with its own situation, very desperate and dire situation indeed for the residents here.


CABRERA: So how is the cleanup and recovery now progressing after Maria? Because we know that the rain in some areas has still been falling. VALENCIA: Well look here, behind me it's sunny-out but let's not that fool anybody here, this is still a difficult situation, it's a complicated one.

Communications are still an issue here. We understand that the local officials are taking generators to the over 1,500 cell towers that are here to try to get them back up so people can get in touch with their family members.

There is a desperate search from people on the mainland, United States, to try to get in touch with their love ones here and the local government is very well aware of that.

In fact, I spoke earlier, one-on-one with the governor, he said it was just yesterday that he was able to get in touch with his own parents so even communications here on the island between people here who stayed and rode out the storm is tough not least those that are trying to get in touch from the United States.


CABRERA: All right, Nick Valencia in Puerto Rico for us, thank you.

Up next a fight breaking out between the top man in politics and several top athletes in this country.

Why Steph Curry and Lebron James are going on offense against the president?

Brand-new response from the Golden State Warriors, here in the CNN NEWSROOM when we come back.



ANNOUNCER: Monday night, the final battle to repeal Obamacare is set.

Supporters Graham and Cassidy face opposition, Sanders and Klobuchar in a live CNN DEBATE, moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

The fight over Obamacare, Monday night at 9:00, only on CNN.




ANNOUNCER: Season 10 of Anthony Bourdain PARTS UNKNOWN starts Sunday, October 1st at 9:00 on CNN.


CABRERA: Melania Trump is facing a major test this weekend as she makes her first solo trip abroad as first lady, Mrs. Trump arriving in Canada just a short time ago where she met with Prince Harry.

Now it's the first time those two have met. The first lady is there to lead the U.S. delegation to the Prince's Invictus Games for wounded warriors.

CNN White House reporter, Kate Bennett is traveling with the first lady, is joining us live on the phone in Toronto. Kate, tell us about - tell us what you've been seeing there today?

KATE BENNETT, CNN REPORTER: Well it's been a big day for the first lady. This is her first solo international trip up here to Canada.

She spent about 20 minutes talking to Prince Harry. They exchanged some pleasantries and some history about the Invictus Games.

But she did invite the Prince to come visit Washington next time he's in town so they seem to have a nice chat.

But later today she'll go on and do some remarks, interviews with the U.S. team at the Invictus Games and then later this evening she will also meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau here in Canada.

CABRERA: So there's some new polling out on how Americans view Melania Trump as first lady.

How does she compare to her husband?

BENNETT: You know, her husband - the president introduced her the other night at a private event at the White House by calling her the star of the Trump family and her poll numbers seem to indicate that.

CNN just did a poll that had her favorability or approval rating at 44 percent which is high and on the rise.

Certainly, more people are becoming more familiar with the first lady now that she's moved to Washington, now that her son is in school and she's doing more events.

Yesterday we saw her in the White House kitchen garden which is where we very often saw Michelle Obama so she's definitely doing more and this first trip is also an indication that she's stepping out and the more she does it seems the poll numbers reflect that the American public appreciates her and her acceptance.

CABRERA: All right, Kate Bennett, thanks for that check in with us. We know you'll be continuing to cover the first lady's first trip abroad by herself and we hope you'll keep us posted.

And now I want you to meet Aaron Valencia.

Childhood for many can be hard and if your homeless and foster care, living in poverty it can be even more challenging. This week's CNN HERO knows this struggle. He ended up hooked on drugs, and in and out of jail and when he finally emerged from that cycle, he found a passion for car restoration that now has kids like him finding their way to him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AARON VALENCIA, CNN HERO AND FOUNDER OF LOST ANGELS CHILDREN'S PROJECT: Kids were kind of gravitating towards the shop to see what was going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (What's up bro', how are you?)

VALENCIA: So it was like they come here and they can actually learn a trade, learn a lesson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Slowing down.)

VALENCIA: The wiring, the fuel system, carburetor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No crazy cut lines in it, nothing, it looks great.

VALENCIA: And the whole time they are working, we're dropping little bits of knowledge on how to make the right decisions in life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not looking for perfection. We're just looking for better than yesterday.


CABRERA: Amen to that.

Go to to see more.

Stay with us.



ANNOUNCER: CNN HEROES, everyday people changing the world is brought to by Subaru.

"Love is what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."




ANNOUNCER: Monday night, the final battle to repeal Obamacare is set.

Supporters Graham and Cassidy face opposition, Sanders and Klobuchar in a live CNN DEBATE, moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

The fight over Obamacare, Monday night at 9:00, only on CNN.




ANNOUNCER: Monday night, the final battle to repeal Obamacare is set.

Supporters Graham and Cassidy face opposition, Sanders and Klobuchar in a live CNN DEBATE, moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

The fight over Obamacare, Monday night at 9:00, only on CNN.



CABRERA: The hour, you are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for being here. I'm Anna Cabrera in New York.

We begin with President Trump's escalating brawl with some of the top names in the sport world.

The president calling out the NFL and football players who kneel during the national anthem.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag to say, "Get that son BLEEP off the field, right now."



TRUMP: ... he's fired.


TRUMP: "He's fired."


CABRERA: Then the president turned his ire to the professional basketball's reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors.

Trump dis-invited Steph Curry, their star from the traditional White House visit for NBA champs only after Curry had turned down the invitation, the President tweeted this, "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for our championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating therefore invitation is withdrawn."

Now the Golden State Warriors responding within the last hour and I quote, "We accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. In lieu of a visit to the White House we have decided that we will constructively use our trip to the nation's capital in February to celebrate, 'Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion,'"

Let's get right out to White House Correspondent, Athena Jones.