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Trump Criticizes NFL; GOP Revise Health Care Bill; New Travel Restrictions Unveiled; North Carolina Storm Warnings; Mexico Earthquake Death Toll Climbs; Daddy Yankee on Recovery Efforts. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 25, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] PERRY BACON, SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER, "FIVETHIRTYEIGHT": Police shootings and police brutality. If you looked yesterday, a lot of the athletes who were kneeling are black. Seventy percent of people in the NFL are black. It's just hard to say.

I think what Donald Trump is saying is because he didn't say, I'm not bringing black athletes to the White House, therefore it's not about race. But the people he's in contest with, Kaepernick, Stephen Curry, are black people in majority black sports. So of course it's about race.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Look, and even if he says, and you can debate it because it is debatable whether or not his comments are about race, he cannot say the issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. The kneeling issue began -- Colin Kaepernick did it out of a racial protest.

BACON: It's entirely about race.

BERMAN: I mean it's just factually true. This is about race from the beginning. Maybe, you know, he doesn't think so, but that's what it is, David.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean there's no question about it. And at the same time, look, President Obama was drawn into this debate as well and made the point that it was going to be a divisive issue. You know, Colin Kaepernick and other players cannot take this step and cannot take a stand and expect that everybody is going to embrace them. Their First Amendment right should be appreciated and respected, but not everybody's going to applaud because there are going to be people who see it as very painful if they have loved ones who have died for the flag, for what the anthem stands for.

So that's going to be part of it. And, again, a political leader, our president, has an obligation in these moments to try to bring some people together over this instead of to keep dividing people and to be a lightning rod that keeps dividing people.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Perry, it's interesting. In 2013, then Donald Trump, not yet president, sent out a tweet saying that President Obama shouldn't be weighing in on the debate over the Redskins name. You know, basically he was saying presidents -- focus on -- oh, here is what he said. Our country has far bigger problems. Focus on them not nonsense.

Well, fast-forward four years, and, of course, he's weighing in on this culture war, but it does seem -- it seems impossible, frankly, now that any president wouldn't have to weigh in on things like this. I mean these are such a part of the national conversation, it seems almost naive to suggest that the president could just sort of float above it.

BACON: I think that's right, that the president has to get involved in a lot of issues that maybe are not political and it's hard to sort of stick to politics or stick to sports or what have you. I would argue that I don't think this weekend if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders was president would it happen this way exactly like this. Maybe the question is not, should you weigh in, but is there a way you can weigh in that is unifying and that is not divisive or one that doesn't increase division. I mean it's hard to imagine George Bush or Barack Obama disinviting someone from the White House, particularly someone like Stephen curry or Steve Kerr, pretty unifying people who work -- or work with the Golden State Warriors. Those are not very -- those are not particularly controversial figures. So the idea that Donald Trump's reaction is first to disinvite him from the White House, something I don't think you would have seen with another person in the Oval Office.

BERMAN: So, David Gregory, this is all happening in spite of or maybe because of this health care battle that continues to be waged in Washington right now, that doesn't look promising, at least right now, for the Republicans, one vote away from the latest version of the repeal measure being killed. What changes over the next three days, do you think?

GREGORY: Well, I mean, incidents like this just, I think, deprive the president of yet more political capital because this is where he's putting his energy. But I think he's, in many way, a bystander in this political fight over health care, as he's been throughout.

There are Republicans who are trying to make this work. It appears to be hanging on by a thread. And even if it were to prevail, it would not get over that bar of -- of being a unified bipartisan piece of legislation, just as the Democrats had moved on it in a way that there were no Republican votes.

So I think, you know, this is a difficult time and I think a lot of American would like to see the president focused on diffusing a situation -- you know, a crisis with North Korea rather than wading this far into sports.

CAMEROTA: David, Perry, thank you very much. Great to talk to both of you.

So, the Trump administration unveiling new restrictions for travelers in eight countries. North Korea and Venezuela now among the new additions to the list which stands to replace President Trump's controversial executive order. CNN's Jessica Schneider is live in Washington with all the details for us.

Hi, Jessica.


Well, this ban will be a permanent replacement to what we saw over the summer. it begins October 18th and that's when there will be new restrictions and in some cases an all-out ban on travelers from eight different countries. They're as follows -- Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

Now, there are some notable new nations on this list. In particular, North Korea, as well as Chad and Venezuela. They've been added. So the administration may use those additions to bolster its argument that this is not a Muslim ban, as the past two executive orders have been criticized as.

[08:35:06] Now, these new travel restrictions are taking effect after the Department of Homeland Security spent the summer reviewing the way countries around the world vet their travelers. And those that don't have sufficient screening are now on that list.

Well, President Trump weighing in, talking about this and tweeting overnight, in part saying, quote, we will not admit those into the country we cannot safely vet.

But, of course, civil rights groups are out there crying foul, saying that even this, this new ban, is just one part of the administration's, quote, ugly white supremacist agenda.

Now, the legality of this latest version of the travel ban, it could take center stage on October 10th. That's when the Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the temporary travel ban that took effect over the summer. So right now the DOJ is urging parties in the case to file additional briefs to address this latest travel ban.

But it is important to note that this ban does not take effect until mid-October. And the restrictions will vary country by country. And, John, people with valid visas or green cards from those eight countries, they will still be allowed in this country.


BERMAN: All right, Jessica Schneider for us in Washington. Jessica, thanks so much.

Hurricane Maria still churning in the Atlantic and coming uncomfortably close to North Carolina. Watches and warnings up now. We'll have the latest forecast, next.


[08:40:20] CAMEROTA: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

President Trump defending his criticism of the NFL in a string of tweets this morning. NFL players, coaches and team owners defying the president in a show of solidarity, kneeling, locking arms or staying in the locker room during the national anthem.

BERMAN: The White house revealing new travel restrictions for travelers from eight nations. North Korea, Chad and Venezuela now on the list. The rules vary by country and take effect October 18th.

CAMEROTA: Senate Republicans making revisions to their health care bill in hopes of winning over holdout senators. Republican leaders cannot afford to lose another vote.

BERMAN: And suspected gunman who killed one parishioner, injured seven others at a Nashville, Tennessee, church is due in court Wednesday. Churchgoers say Emanuel Samson used to attend the parish. No word yet on a motive.

CAMEROTA: Angela Merkel winning a fourth term as chancellor of Germany, but her advantage in parliament has been cut with the far right alternative for Germany's party winning a surge of support.

BERMAN: All right, for more on the "Five Things to Know," go to for the very latest.

CAMEROTA: OK, Hurricane Maria is still churning in the Atlantic and it is now threatening the North Carolina coastline. Let's check in with CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar for the latest forecast.

Where is it now and what's it doing?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. So the latest update that we just got in does show that the winds have decreased slightly, down to 75 miles per hour. This still means it is a category one hurricane. As it pushes off to the north, it's expected to continue to weaken.

But, because of how close it's expected to get to the East Coast, we have tropical storm watches and tropical storm warnings out for the east coast of North Carolina.

The track of this will take it due north, just where it gets right about the level of Hatteras, North Carolina, and then it's going to take a sharp turn to the right and move away from the U.S. coast.

However, just because this means we won't get a direct landfall, doesn't mean we won't have some impacts from this. We've got this high pressure system out to the east. Believe it or not, it's Hurricane Lee that's going to break this high down and allow Maria to push off towards the east as the jet begins to get close.

But, John, the thing I want people to understand is, dangerous rip currents are going to be stretching from North Carolina all the way to Massachusetts. And then more locally for North Carolina, you're going to have to deal with coastal flooding and tropical storm force winds.

BERMAN: So be very careful with that. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much. Federal officials say the search and rescue efforts will continue for

weeks in earthquake ravaged Mexico. It comes as the death toll climbs to 324 and hope fades for finding any more survivors.

CNN's Ivan Watson live in Mexico City with the latest.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, that's right, the search continues at this location. Before dawn, it was pouring rain. It stopped the hard work that the international team -- and dangerous work the international team of rescue workers have been doing here. There have also been aftershocks, strong earthquakes, throughout the weekend that forced them to suspend their work.

Meanwhile, relatives waiting for at least 40 missing people in this collapsed six-story building in an agonizing vigil camping out day and night here. On Sunday, an adult woman -- the body of an adult woman was recovered from a collapsed school where at least 19 children were killed, and seven other adults were killed. The death toll growing over the course of the weekend.

The dome of an old church collapsed. Our Lady of Angels Church here in Mexico City.

As far as the recovery efforts, well, the government says it's trying to reopen schools now. It says 103 schools have been inspected and deemed safe for kids to go back to school. But there's still more than 9,000 still closed. It shows you what a hard road this city has ahead of it for overcoming this natural disaster.


CAMEROTA: OK, Ivan, thank you very much for the update from Mexico.

Meanwhile, Latin music superstars are raising money to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. Among them, singer, rapper, Daddy Yankee. He is here. We will speak with him live about all of the relief efforts in Puerto Rico.


[08:48:32] BERMAN: More misery for Puerto Rico. The entire island still without power. The governor is warning that a large dam is beginning to fail, forcing thousands to evacuate.

CNN's Leyla Santiago live in San Juan with the very latest.

The governor thinks it's a matter of time. That's what he told me earlier, Leyla.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. They are saying that they are closely monitoring that today. And I've got to tell you, John, we actually were able to get over that area yesterday to kind of see what kind of water levels we're talking about. And when we landed, our helicopter, in that area, in a community that has seen no one since Hurricane Maria passed through Puerto Rico, the people there were telling me that if that dam breaks, that could be worse than the hurricane itself.

When we landed, one woman just embraced me, not even knowing who I was, because she said I was the first person to come into that area and they have no power. They have no communication. They aren't able to reach. Now, they did tell me they do have water and for now they have food as well. But they hadn't even evacuated from the area where the government says more than 70,000 people need to evacuate.

As we went to some other areas that are pretty remote as well, areas where I actually had to climb to get to homes where we were told there were people, it was the same thing over and over. No, we haven't seen any hurricane aid come in. We haven't seen any government officials here.

[08:50:00] And so I asked the governor about that this morning. He tells me, he said, look, these are hard areas to get into, which is why we, and I say "we," us as CNN, decided to go in. And so he's saying those are the challenges of the day. That dam on the northwestern part of the island and figuring out how to get to these remote areas where the neighbors themselves are finding ways to clear out roads that are flooded that have debris so that help can get there.

But right now, within the last 24 hours, that's the big takeaway is that the aid has arrived. FEMA has brought in supplies, but it's not necessarily getting to those areas that are remote that right now have no power, no communication, no way of knowing what's going on. In some cases, beyond their very own home.

CAMEROTA: Leyla, it's just all so heartbreaking. Thank you very much for the update from there.

So, of course we all know the record-breaking song of the summer, "Despacito, by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee and it was filmed in San Juan's La Perla neighborhood. Well, that location has now been destroyed by Hurricane Maria. This is what it looks like today.

Daddy Yankee is trying to help his native country, Puerto Rico, by raising hundreds of thousands for dollars for the recovery and Daddy Yankee joins us now here.

Great to have you here in studio.


CAMEROTA: I mean, listen, everybody knows "Despacito" is the smash hit of the summer. And when you look at that video, this is -- you're in it. You filmed it there in the La Perla neighborhood. Maybe we can show it to everybody again.

What is it -- what is it like for you when you see what it looks like? This is it today.


CAMEROTA: Versus that day that you filmed it.

DADDY YANKEE: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and I still live in Puerto Rico. So I know the struggle that we're going through right now.

CAMEROTA: How dire is the situation? When you talk to your friends and relatives at home, what do they tell you is happening there?

DADDY YANKEE: It's devastation. We've never seen something like this before. There's no power. No communications. The hospitals are running out of fuel. The passions -- I just talked to the first lady, and, (speaking in foreign language), she told me that the insulin -- they're running out of insulin.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

DADDY YANKEE: So we're facing a major catastrophic scene.

CAMEROTA: It is just as desperate as you could ever imagine. I mean the good news is, is that we spoke to the governor this morning on our program who said that now relief flights are landing --


CAMEROTA: With food and water, slowly. But, I mean, I know that your effort in getting more in there. Just last night there was a big fundraiser for the Red Cross and I know that you contributed money. What are you trying to do?

DADDY YANKEE: I'm just trying to (INAUDIBLE) as I can. I just donated $100,000 for the Red Cross. And also I just matched $100,000 for Feed America, because Feed America has a strong structure in Puerto Rico. And I match another $100,000 for them. And just like -- we're being very aggressive. J. Lo just donated $1 million. I have $1 million as well to donate to my -- to Puerto Rico, for different scenarios to rebuild the island, because I know that it's going to be a long way.

CAMEROTA: If we could just play the video of "Despacito" again. Just tell us what that day was like and what -- what it has meant to you that this has taken off so much. That that -- that this video and this song is such a smash hit worldwide?

DADDY YANKEE: The song did a lot to Puerto Rico. The tourism went -- you know, went up because of the video and the song. And right now looking at the video, and I know that -- that the Paredon (ph) I knew yesterday is no longer there. So, it's touchy. I mean we're really struggling right now.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And I know that your fans are bringing food and supplies so that you can try to distribute it to Puerto Rico because everybody's heart is so broken.

We have some new drone video that I want to show you because maybe you can just walk us through what we're seeing here. This is -- the drones have been sent up. I mean, look, these are neighborhoods. And then look at -- they're swamped. I don't know if you can tell -- this is San Juan. I don't know if you know --

DADDY YANKEE: Oh, my God. This is -- I was born and raised in San Juan. So we never seen something like this before. I mean, it's -- it's catastrophic. It's total devastation what we're seeing right now.

And I talk to my mother, my wife are and my daughters, and they told me they're fine but they never seen something like this.

CAMEROTA: So they're there? Your wife --

DADDY YANKEE: My wife, my family, my friends.

CAMEROTA: Your entire family. Your kids.

DADDY YANKEE: I live in Puerto Rico. So I've got to come back this week.

CAMEROTA: And so what are they -- how are they -- I mean if this is San Juan, where they live, how are they coping with all of this?

DADDY YANKEE: Honestly, I don't know. I don't know because there's no communication. There's no power. I don't know. It's overwhelming. I'm stressed out right now because I got my neighbors. I got my family there. And we're suffering. And we need help. We need the federal government to be more active in this.

CAMEROTA: Yes. How hard has it been to get ahold of your family? What's that -- what have the communications been like?

DADDY YANKEE: I just -- text messaging and just a couple of minutes. That's -- that I even talk to them just like that.

[08:55:01] CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, look, we have people on our staff who are having this same experience and it's so unsettling when you can't get ahold of your, you know, friends and loved ones.

So what is your plan? I know that you're raising money. How are you going to get back to the Puerto Rico that you knew?

DADDY YANKEE: Oh, we got to understand one thing. Puerto Rico, before Hurricane Maria hit, Puerto Rico, we had 46 percent of poverty.

CAMEROTA: Yes, you were already -- there was already a huge economic crisis in Puerto Rico.

DADDY YANKEE: We're under a crisis. So the question is, how are we going to rebuild an island (INAUDIBLE)? It's impossible. We need help. We need America's help. A lot of people don't know that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. It's good to educate everybody who's seeing me right now. We've got soldiers that fight for this beautiful country that have lost their loved ones and their families in this catastrophic situation.

CAMEROTA: Yes, this has been a real awakening in terms of awareness about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans and just America pulling together.

Well, Daddy Yankee, thanks so much for being here.

DADDY YANKEE: Thank you. Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: We wish you the best of luck. Obviously, we'll be following what happens in your home country, your homeland.

DADDY YANKEE: Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow is going to pick up after this very quick break. See you tomorrow.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Top of the hour. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

[08:59:59] Day four of President Trump's campaign against NFL players who kneel for the national anthem.