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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Seismic Activity Detected In North Korea; Trump Slams McCain As Health Care Plan Falters; Trump: Kaepernick, Anthem Protesters Should Be "Fired"; GOP Health Care Plan: One "No" Vote From Failing. Aired 8- 9a ET
Aired September 23, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could mean that there's an onset of urinary tract infection if you see those patterns increase during the course of the night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And this robot can deliver medications right to you. There will always be a need for care facilities, but what we will hopefully see that is older adults will live the majority of their lives in the setting of their choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And the breaking news we're starting with this morning, seismic activity being detected in North Korea near the area of the country's nuclear site.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Two South Korean officials say so far, their analysis shows it was a natural earthquake, however, one official says there is a, quote, "slim possibility" that it caused by the was the collapse of the nuclear test site.
Joining us now CNN senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, who is live from Tokyo. Ben, what are you hearing from there?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, we've got multiple sources all of them saying different things. Initially, it was the Chinese Seismological Organization that said it was a 3.5-magnitude earthquake in Northeastern North Korea, and they said it was a possible explosion.
However, we're hearing now from officials at the Korean Meteorological Agency that they believe it was neither a collapse of the test site, nor an explosion, a nuclear test, that it was probably a natural earthquake.
Now, the United States Geological Survey has said that it happened at a depth of about three miles, but they've said that the Air Force organization that can actually test for the presence of nuclear particles in the atmosphere. And that might provide us with a more definitive idea of what has happened, but at this point it seems most of the officials in the area are tending to the belief that perhaps this was a natural earthquake. One official saying it happened about 30 miles from the site of previous tests -- Christi.
PAUL: All right, Ben Wedeman, thank you so much, sir. Appreciate it this morning.
BLACKWELL: Let's go now to CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar in the CNN Weather Center. We've heard from the Chinese, South Korean delegation there, seismological organization. What does the USGS say?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I think the one distinction that one really takes away from this is their comments that they made regarding the earthquakes saying, the wave forms for this event are different than previous events at the site.
When they are talking about waves, when we measure earthquakes, we look for different wavelengths, P-waves as is surface waves, things like that, that can really ultimately tell us that this was a natural earthquake as opposed to manmade.
What they are trying to say is this particular earthquake, the one that was at 3.5 with a depth of 5 kilometers, was different than a lot of the wavelengths that we were seeing in the previous ones.
Take for example the one earlier this month that was a 6.3 that North Korea had told was a manmade. What they are saying is they are noticing that are some discrepancies in the wave forms, but they also make the statement we cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature of the event.
So, while they have some speculation about some of the wave forms, they are not quite there yet to actually announce and confirm, rather, what they think this was. However, this is much weaker than many of the recent ones we've seen.
Not just the one earlier this month, Victor and Christi, but even when you start going back years, 5.1 in 2013, 4.7 in 2009, 4.3 in 2006. For a lot of the previous ones out of North Korea, this is much smaller than a lot of the other ones we've seen over the past couple of years.
BLACKWELL: All right. Allison Chinchar, continue to watch it for us. Thank you very much.
PAUL: Over the last 24 hours, President Trump has had an awful lot to say about Senator John McCain.
BLACKWELL: Yes, the Arizona senator is a no on the Republican's latest health care plan. That puts this plan just one no vote away from failure. The president called McCain's decision terrible at a rally last night in Alabama, and this morning the president is now going after John McCain again on Twitter and others. Let's say that, as well. CNN's Boris Sanchez joins us now from Washington. Boris, what are you seeing? What's the president saying this morning?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. President Trump calling John McCain's decision to not support the Graham/Cassidy bill terrible, tweeting several times about health care this morning.
Going right after the senator from Arizona, the president writing, quote, "John McCain never had any intention of voting for this bill, which his governor loves. He campaigned on repeal and replace. Let Arizona down."
He then went further writing, quote, "large block grants to states is a good thing to do. Better control and management. Great for Arizona. McCain let his best friend L.G. down." L.G., of course, a reference to Lindsey Graham, one of the sponsors of the bill.
The president, however, as he said last night at his rally in Alabama, is not giving up hope on a repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Listen.
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[08:05:11] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: John McCain was not on the list. So that was a totally unexpected thing. Terrible. Honestly, terrible. Repeal and replace, because John McCain, if you look at his campaign, his last campaign, was all about repeal and replace, repeal and replace. So, he decided to do something different, and that's fine. And I say we still have a chance -- we're going to do it eventually, we're going to do it eventually.
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BLACKWELL: Now, as you mentioned, Victor, a margin here for Republicans is razor thin, so this morning the president is also tweeting at other Republican senators, including Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who said that she's undecided on this bill.
Of course, in the previous version of repeal and replace she voted no. One vocal critic of the Graham/Cassidy bill has been Rand Paul. The president tweeting about him this morning, saying that he hopes that Rand Paul finds a way to vote yes for the Republican Party.
However, Rand Paul, as I mentioned before, has been vocally against this bill. We've heard from sources at the capitol that the president has called Rand Paul several times this week. Those sources tell us it is unlikely that he will flip his vote -- Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Early no on this Graham/Cassidy bill. Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.
PAUL: All righty, well, you know, the president's also lashing out at NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. President Trump called on the NFL to fire players like Colin Kaepernick and he used some choice words to describe them.
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PRESIDENT TRUMP: 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? Out, he's fired. He's fired!
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BLACKWELL: He also told fans to leave the stadium when those players refuse to stand for the anthem. CNN sports anchor, Coy Wire is, here now with more. The passion there the president had in responding to people who kneel during the national anthem.
He didn't have that same passion when he talked about white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and we're hearing that reaction from some current and former NFL players.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. You know, the passion and the profanity. It's kind of shocking to hear that, as a former player, I must say. He was pretty bold with that. As expected, we have heard from some former and current NFL players and we'll get to that in a moment.
But you have players like Colin Kaepernick, Michael Bennett, they've been outspoken and they said, look, we're not protesting our nation, our flag, our military. I spoke to Michael Bennett, he said that his own father served in the Navy.
They are simply exercising their right as an American to speak out, use that stage of the NFL to try to create positive change in regard to racial and social injustice, and police brutality, but a lot of people think that's anti-American, kneeling during the anthem.
President Trump playing to that narrative last night in Alabama. Here's some of the reaction around the league. Vikings player, Bishop Sankey said, "Shaking my head in awe because Kaepernick is exercising his right as an American citizen to protest."
Bronco's player, Max Garcia, said what an emphatic response." This is, Victor, to your point. He says, where was this passion in response to Charlottesville? Lions Eric Evron, says does anyone tell Trump to stick to politics like they tell us to stick to sports?
Well, executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith kind of echoed that sentiment. He tweeted just about an hour ago saying, we will never back down. We can no longer afford to stick to sports.
Some of your responses. We've asked you to tell us your thoughts and Ed says, "This president has only re-energized the movement to protest racial injustice through his tone deaf ignorance and lack of empathy."
Next tweet coming in from Truth Seeker, says, "Kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful to our military. If they want to protest, let them do it on their own time, #boycottnfl." Finally, "Absolutely appalling, says Billy. I serve and stand for the pledge and anyone who uses it to keep America great for anyone who has ever been. Go Kap." So you have the president urging fans at games if they see a player kneeling to leave the game and boycott.
He talked about the ratings being down and saying that that's the reason why they are down, that could be argued, but a lot of responses coming in from President Trump. We will hear more.
We know we had Steph Curry, MVP of the NBA speaking out yesterday, saying if they are invited to the White House, they are not going, to try to send a message to President Trump, so you're seeing this infusion, this intersection of sports and politics.
I think it's here to stay, guys. We're going to have these players, coaches, using their platforms to try to make a change and create positive change where they think they can.
[08:10:02] BLACKWELL: Yes, we certainly didn't hear the president criticize any of the sports stars who endorsed him in the campaign or the entertainers that he invited to the RNC. So, this is obviously selected in what the president wants to hear.
WIRE: And the NFL owners who have donated millions when he was running --
BLACKWELL: Through his inaugural as president.
BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you very much, Coy.
WIRE: You're welcome.
PAUL: Thank you.
So, President Trump, as we mentioned, also talking about Senator John McCain after he will not vote, it's been announced, for the latest GOP effort to repeal Obamacare, so that leaves the question, is this bill dead before it even gets a vote? Our panel has something to say about that.
BLACKWELL: Plus, thousands of people in Puerto Rico under an emergency evacuation after a dam collapse. Just a warning here, but you see what's happening here. We got a live update from Puerto Rico.
BLACKWELL: All right, 14 minutes after the hour now. President Trump is going after Senator John McCain after the senator likely stopped efforts to repeal Obamacare this session. President Trump tweeted this morning, "John McCain never had any intention of voting for this bill, which his governor loves. He campaigned on repeal and replace. Let Arizona down."
[08:15:11] The president's comments, of course, come after Senator McCain said he could not in good conscience vote for the proposed Graham-Cassidy bill without knowing its impact, without knowing how much it would cost.
McCain's no vote likely means Republicans will not be able to repeal the health care law with a simple majority by the September 30th deadline.
Joining me now is CNN politics reporter, Lauren Fox, Danielle Lippman, "Politico" reporter, and Melissa Quinn, breaking news reporter with "The Washington Examiner." Good morning to all.
I want to get to the potential of this being over in just a moment, but first, Melissa, let me start with you, the president last night said that John McCain wasn't on his list of potential no votes. This morning he's saying that John McCain never intended to vote for this bill.
I wonder why there's any surprise when John McCain said this after his vote -- rather, ahead of his vote that thumbs down for the skinny repeal just a few weeks ago. Watch.
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SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them that it's better than nothing.
That it's better than nothing? Asking us to swallow our doubts and force it past a unified opposition. I don't think that's going to work in the end, and probably shouldn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And probably shouldn't. Same process, same concerns. Why was there any surprise that John McCain would not support this?
MELISSA QUINN, BREAKING NEWS REPORTER, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Well, you're absolutely right. I think when you look back at John McCain's comments just a few weeks ago when the Senate first debated their first go around at repealing and replacing Obamacare, he was very passionate about the fact that any health care proposal that the Senate was going to take up needed to go through regular order, and the Graham/Cassidy bill did not go through regular order.
In fact, I think a lot of people would agree that this plan really came out of left field, because Republicans and even President Trump had said that they were shifting their focus to tax reform, but there are two things about the Graham/Cassidy proposal that make it different from the health care bill that the Senate considered just a few weeks ago.
First, this is a bill that was sponsored and really spearheaded by Lindsey Graham, who is John McCain's best friend in the Senate, and secondly, the bill had the support of Arizona Governor Doug Doocy, which sort of would have provided Senator McCain a little bit more cover if he did want to come out and support the bill, which we know now he's not going to.
BLACKWELL: So, Daniel, let me come to you, I said at the top that this is likely the death knell for this bill, but you've got two noes, that leaves 50 potential yeses, although, we know that Senator Collins is likely leaning no, is this over? Is Graham/Cassidy/Johnson/Heller dead?
DANIEL LIPPMAN, "POLITICO" REPORTER: It looks that way because you know, the Maine senator said to her local paper she trashed the bill, and so they are waiting for John McCain to basically give them cover to oppose it. They wanted him to do the same thing he did a month or two ago in terms of, you know, dooming this repeal effort.
It's interesting to see how much effort the Senate Republicans have spent on this issue when they have nothing to show their voters. It seems like they are more likely to go into tax reform, where, you know, cutting taxes, that's their party, you know, that's one of their party messages. And so, if they can just go to that, then there's much more likely chance that they would pass something.
BLACKWELL: And, Lauren, the president said last night that it makes it more difficult, but he's going to keep trying. The president has signed on to every iteration of a repeal that came out of Congress.
First it was the American health care act. The president said, I'm in. Then it was just repeal with no replace. President says yes. Then the Senate said we have a plan, president says let's go for it, skinny repeal, I'm in.
The Graham/Cassidy bill, I like that, too. We heard from Congressman Dent, who's going to be leaving Congress soon, that the president needs to lead here not just accept and follow. Here's what he said.
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REPRESENTATIVE CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: The president can blame whoever he wants for this. When we didn't pass the House health bill, you know, he told me before he was going to blame me, destroy the Republican Party, all that. But at the end of the day, to be fair, you know, the president really never laid out his principles or his plan on health care.
And I've always felt if you're going to change the whole health care system in this country, it demands strong executive leadership, presenting a plan, principles, and going out and selling it. I didn't see that happen here.
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BLACKWELL: To what degree is that frustration or concern shared on Capitol Hill?
LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I think it's a double-edged sword. A lot of members of Congress say that they wanted to craft their own health care bill. They did not want this just coming from the administration, they wanted to work through this. [08:20:05] Now on the other end of that, it's very clear that President Trump is not a policy wonk. He is not someone who has poured over exactly what he wants the American health care system to look like. He wants Republicans to get it done.
And I think there is some frustration on Capitol Hill that the president hasn't been out there doing rallies, something that he loves to do, something that he could do to energize the base around this.
Instead, a lot of members go home and they hear from liberal activists who are at town halls telling them that they don't want them to support this bill. I think there is a little bit of frustration there that the president has not been taking the lead on this.
BLACKWELL: So, Melissa, what's next? Will we see as the president calls them Chuck and Nancy back to dinner, trying to work out a deal with Democrats. The president, of course, appreciated the praise that he got after coming up with the deal relating to the debt ceiling and Harvey aid. Not so much the pushback from conservatives on the DACA deal, but is that potentially in the cards?
QUINN: Yes. I think we'll have to see. In terms of health care, Republicans are pressing up very quickly against a September 30th deadline and Senator Cassidy has said he wants to continue and push forward and ideally pass a bill overhauling the health care system.
But like you mention, Republicans have a very packed agenda in the next few weeks. We have a March 5th deadline in terms of when DACA will be rescinded. We have a budget deal expiring at the beginning of December.
We have heard a lot of rumblings for months now about an infrastructure plan, tax reform, so whether or not Republicans decide to put health care aside in the next few weeks and shift to these other items on their very lengthy agenda is ultimately up to Senate Republican leaders.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Chuck and Nancy, of course, being the Democratic minority leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the Senate and the House respectively.
Daniel, finally to you, this event was about a lot of things last night, but it was supposed to be a full-throated endorsement of Senator Luther Strange and his run-off on Tuesday, and I have to say, this was probably the most unorthodoxed endorsement we've heard of a candidate.
I want you to listen to what the president said about his support for Luther Strange.
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PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have to be loyal in life, you know, there's something called loyalty with these folks and I might have made a mistake, and I'll be honest. I might have made a mistake because, you know, here's a story. If Luther doesn't win, they are not going to say we picked up 25 points in a very short period of time. They are going to say, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, was unable to pull his candidate across the line. It is a terrible, terrible moment for Trump. This is total embarrassment.
I mean, these are bad people. And by the way, both good men, both good men, and you know what, and I told Luther, I have to say this, if his opponent wins, I'm going to be here campaigning like hell for him. But, I have to say this, and you understand this, just look at the polls, Luther will definitely win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I mean, you put a cherry on top at the end. What's under that cherry is the question. Maybe I made a mistake, I'm dragging him across the finish line, and, hey, if my guy doesn't win, I'll be here for the other guy.
The interesting part here is, all of it's true. And if Luther Strange loses on Tuesday, we will say the president was unable to drag his candidate across the finish line, just as the president said.
LIPPMAN: I've been watching politician endorsement rallies for several years, and for them I've never seen a single one say I might have made a mistake by coming down here and rallying for this guy.
And so, you know, Trump returned to his comfortable, you know, room where he likes to bash the media. That's his -- he loves that line and so -- but it doesn't seem like he was doing Luther Strange any favors last night.
And it seems like more people were there to see Trump than Strange. So, there is much more grassroots energy for Roy Moore. So, he may very well win on Tuesday.
BLACKWELL: I'd love to know how many of those people in that venue last night actually are going to vote for Roy Moore but just came to see President Trump. Daniel Lippman, Melissa Quinn, Lauren Fox, thank you all. All right -- Christi.
PAUL: We have to tell you about the thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico, who are being forced to evacuate because of what you're seeing on your screen there, fears that this dam could collapse. We have a live update for you from Puerto Rico next.
BLACKWELL: And right now, rescuers are still hoping to find anyone under this pile of cement and glass and steel. This is Mexico City days after the earthquake toppled buildings there. We're going to go live to one of the rescue sites.
PAUL: We are glad to know you're out there. Thanks for being with us today. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.
PAUL: So, let me tell you about the USGS that says a magnitude 3.5 earthquake has been detected in North Korea. This happened near the country's nuclear site, as well.
BLACKWELL: Two South Korean officials say that so far their analysis shows it was a natural earthquake, not manmade. One official says there is, though, a slim possibility that it was caused by the collapse of the nuclear test site.
Meanwhile, North Korean state media is lashing out at President Trump, the speech specifically at the U.N. this week calling it an open declaration of war. Here's what they said.
We will throw the irrational war fanatics of trump's gang in the fire of justice." this morning thousands of people changing gears here, we have to go to Puerto Rico, to talk about the people under this emergency order to evacuate after officials there warm of an imminent dam break.
PAUL: This is according to the governor. A dam located in the northwest part of the island, you see that on the map there, has suffered structural damage. Here are the pictures coming into us this morning. This, of course, happened after hurricane Maria hit, and the island, tops it off with the fact they still don't have power. Many parts are already heavily flooded. Military officials don't know how long it's going to take the communications and power to be restored.
BLACKWELL: Joining us from Puerto Rico, Nick Paton Walsh. Nick, first let's start with the dam and what we know about that and then broadly the devastation across the island.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You mentioned lack of power. That's complicating the evacuation efforts. Obviously, 70,000 people were last night potentially affected last night if the dam breaks. It still held. Roads flooded cables in the way.
Overnight some good news, flood warning for all of Puerto Rico lifted, but still in place the 8,000 most directly affected by the dam. The broader question, of course, is for the outlying areas that had little assistance so far, how they begin to cope. Croix, a U.S territory, to see the devastation and the sense of despair they feel to some degree left to fend for themselves.
WALSH: A remote world of daydreams and Caribbean sand. St. Croix suffering silently so far. The U.S aid effort is only just reaching now.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Remain on this frequency. WALSH: That is FEMA flying over St. Croix today. Making their
assessment. We've just flown in from the east, where damage looks less heavy, but now west, which appears to have born the brunt of hurricane maria. From beach resort to ghost town in a matter of hours. A curfew emptying the streets.
The exact time this world changed caught by the clocks broken hands. But at noon, they and their anger, at nature and a government they think is underplaying their suffering emerges.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTCIPANT: Feel like everything is okay. Everything is not okay over here.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: it ain't any aid. Isn't nothing going on right about now. Everybody just trying to survive.
WALSH: Just two days ago this was paradise, but now everyone here is just trying to take stock of exactly what this new world means for their daily lives. When will the power come back? When can they reopen their business? And when will they realize, again, they haven't got to worry about what they have to eat? Already the search for food.
JAMIE PERRY HUDSON, LOCAL RESIDENT: I think the worst was when the rain started coming in and the winds were still howling and the noises outside and not knowing.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTCIPANT: Curfewed in.
WALSH: Jamie and Brandon went to the nearby island of St. Thomas to help after hurricane Irma, yet had their house torn apart by Maria. They drive us around their devastated world.
HUDSON: They told everybody to let their horses go before the storm.
WALSH: This is not a world prepared for disaster. A lost dog is lost for now. No electricity means any ice, means any business, and there are bees in the refrigerator.
APRIL PELLOSI, LOCAL BAR OWNER: The first day after the hurricane, dodging telephone poles and trees trying to get here, took the generator and what we could. They wouldn't let us come out here yesterday, so we were just hoping there weren't any looters.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: We survived. We're trying to make the best of it.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTCIPANT: Tell them.
ROBBIE JONES, LOCAL RESIDENT: What is it? I'm still standing yeah yeah, yeah.
WALSH: Life was easy, about vacations here. That's gone.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: We went to the big grocery store on the west end, and the line was all the way out to the road. They are letting people in one at a time.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: It's going to look like this for months and months with no power. How are we even going to be able to get tourists down here so we can make a buck, so we can buy food, buy gas? I mean, what the hell are we going to do?
WALSH: The west took the full force of Maria. Being resorts had been their livelihood for tourism, but now is their curse. We fly over huge lines for emergency food, but when we land later, it is all gone. 500 fed, but many still searching. You hungry? UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: No.
WALSH: You're all right?
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Yeah, man. I'm a soldier like you.
WALSH: Later we see two huge c-17 cargo planes land at the airport, where the U.S marines are moving in as yet limited access to the west. Help is coming, but the future remains bleak, and the past a much more comfortable place.
This is a months-long challenge about lives that need to be rebuilt, economies in the balance, and behind me you can hear the noise of construction, people are trying to get things together, both focused for the federal government and its support has to be there long after the TV cameras move away. Back to you.
BLACKWELL: All right, Nick Paton Walsh for us in Puerto Rico. Thank you so much.
PAUL: And we have to go from there to Mexico here, because there are frantic searches going on right now, live pictures for you, as they look for survivors after that horrid earthquake. The death toll is approach, because there are frantic searches going on right now, live pictures for you, as they look for survivors after that horrid earthquake.
The death toll is approaching 300 now this morning, and families are there in tents holding out hope that the people they love, that the people they can't find, are going to be pulled out of the rubble. Rosa Flores is live there near one of the collapsed buildings. Rosa, what are you hearing this morning?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, some very intense moments. I want you to look behind me, because this is the first big piece of debris that is being lifted this morning here at this site in Mexico City. Families here, as you mentioned, have been here for days hoping and praying that their loved ones will be pulled from this rubble safe and alive, and for the first time this morning rescue workers here are using a crane to remove some of the big debris.
Now, a lot of the worry here was that rescue workers were going to be using big pieces of debris -- excuse me, big pieces of machinery to remove debris, and as some of the family members wait and look, and as you mention, they are camped out here hoping that they are going to be seeing signs of life soon. So, Christi, we're going to stay here and continue to monitor these developments as these pieces of debris are being removed and hopefully we'll be seeing signs of life.
PAUL: We hope so. Holding out hope for all of them there, too. Thank you so much, Rosa.
BLACKWELL: President Trump is going after Arizona senator john McCain this morning, saying he is letting his state down by saying no to the latest republican repeal plan. That's not all the president is saying.
PAUL: Next week senate republicans are going to try to pass a repeal of the affordable care act, but that has become an awful lot harder now that senator John McCain's announced he's a firm no, which leaves zero room to lose more votes.
John with us now, as well as Steven Moore, gentlemen, thank you both so much for being here. I want to start with what we're hearing from the president this morning, primarily on twitter, as he tweeted just in the last hour, couple hours or so here. He said, "John McCain never had any intention of voting for this bill, which his governor loves.
He campaigned on repeal and replace. Let Arizona down. Large block grants to states are a good thing to do. Better control and management. Great for Arizona. McCain let his best friend L.G., Lindsey graham, down." let me ask you, Steven Moore, what do you make of what he's talking about here, not just about john McCain and the support he does or doesn't have, but specifically about block grants? There are questions about their effectiveness.
STEPHEN MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Couple things. First, Christi, I want to assure your viewers this is not over. I think that there's still a good chance that rand Paul can be turned around. I worked with rand Paul on the presidential campaign. He is fervently in favor of getting rid of Obama care. His feeling is maybe this doesn't go far enough.
PAUL: But Steven, he just tweeted yesterday I will not vote for Obama care light.
MOORE: I know, I know.
PAUL: And let me get to that since you mentioned it, real quickly, the president tweeted today, "I know rand Paul and I think he might find a way to get there for the good of the party." what happened between yesterday's tweet from rand Paul and this morning's tweet from president trump that changed?
MOORE: The fact is, I think rand Paul is holding out. He's using his leverage to get the best deal that he can, but I think at the end of the day if it comes down to 49, you know, 49 yes votes and 50 no votes, I don't think he's going to be the 50th vote to take this down. This is the last chance to reappear Obama care. On john McCain, it is a little bit mystifying.