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FEMA: All Municipalities On Island Now Receiving Aid; Families Come Together To Help Loved Ones Survive; FEMA: Food, Water Has Been Delivered To All Municipalities; White House Contradicts Trump: Still Committed To Diplomatic Talks; Warmbier's Parents Say Son Was Tortured In North Korea; NFL Players Protest Again, Despite Trump Tweets; Mulvaney Joins Trump In Criticizing San Juan's Mayor; O.J. Simpson: Released After Serving Nine Years In Prison. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 1, 2017 - 17:00   ET


[17:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN Newsroom. Thank you for joining me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Right now, millions of Americans still living without electricity on the island of Puerto Rico.


CABRERA: Now 11 days since the destruction of hurricane Maria. Restoring power is not the island's only priority. Nearly 9,000 people are spending the night in emergency shelters. Cell phone service is still down for the most part.

Although, some land lines have been restored. And federal officials say food and water has been delivered to all 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico.

But residents in the farthest most remote parts of the island may not have received anything yet and the lack of communication that I just mentioned is not helping the distribution work.

Now I want to go straight to San Juan, CNN's Anderson Cooper is there. And, Anderson, you have been all over the island these past few days. What is it like outside the bigger cities compared to San Juan?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We were in Aguadilla in the west yesterday, a town of Adjuntas in the mountains towards the south today. And the story is very much as you say, I mean still of no electricity in many places. It's a story of long, long gas lines.

Today along highways on the way to Adjuntas, actually you could see cars pulled alongside the road. First I thought maybe it was a gas line. But it was actually sort of an area where people cell phones were actually working.

So people would actually get in their cars, drive to this part of the highway and sit on the side of the highway so they could finally have communication with people elsewhere on the island but also with people in the United States and beyond.

You know, it's a story in many of these towns and basically every town that I've been in, we've seen community members, people on the street cleaning up, you know, hacking down trees that are blocking roads, doing whatever they can with whatever they have.

But there is still a lot of need obviously and a lot of people waiting for that electrical grid to get restored and they know it's been -- may be several months in some places and as you talked about -- you know, FEMA says that the food and water has been delivered to all 78 municipalities.

You know, getting it distributed is from within those municipalities is a different matter. I've talked to a number of mayors who have -- mayor in Aguadilla yesterday who is complaining that he just has not gotten enough from FEMA in terms of food and in terms of water.

They've also gotten donations from outside, from other places in the United States, but he is really desperate and eager to try to get more supplies from people. We saw folks from the New York City fire department.

They were out there working with the Red Cross. That fire department has a thing called DARDA, disaster assistance recovery team that's not a search -- that's not FEMA. It's a separate thing that works with the Red Cross.

They had a kind of requisitioned, a truckload of MREs, they were handing them out as fast as they could. But a lot of the first responders that I've talked to are, you know, at the lowest level, not the leadership level.

You know, will tell me privately they are frustrated by the lack of organization that they've seen. And they said, you know, in some cases they've been sitting around for days waiting for a mission and are eager to get out there and deliver aid, and to do whatever they can.

CABRERA: Interesting that that's -- that's still a problem. Now, I know you spoke with the mayor of San Juan yesterday who has become a central character in the bigger story here. You talked to her specifically about the criticism of her leadership. How is she reacting to the president's tweets and attacks?

COOPER: You know, in terms of the president's actual tweets from Saturday morning about her and tweets that have continued, she just clearly doesn't want to get into a tit-for-tat with the president. I mean she says it's a distraction. She doesn't want to be distracted that it's -- you know, that politics.

You know, she clearly feels that there's not an advantage in perhaps getting in a one on one. If do you actually look back at what she has said, she hasn't been all that directly critical of President Trump.

She has been certainly insistent on the needs of the people not only in San Juan but also of Puerto Rico, and obviously her voice has been heard, but perhaps the president has perceived as that criticism.

But if you actually look at the things she said, she hadn't been directly critical. Obviously, a FEMA administrator has been critical now of her saying, look, she should be attending these joint field operation meetings.

I've talked to the mayor about that last night. She has two FEMA representatives in her office and didn't address -- directly address whether or not she is going to these meetings and whether or not she should, if she's not.

CABRERA: All right, Anderson Cooper, we will come back and check in with you later. Thank you very much, and while Puerto Rico remains in desperate need of food, water and other basic necessities, families are coming together to help their loved ones who are still struggling to get by.

And CNN's Polo Sandoval is joining us now for more on that story. Polo, you and your producer had a chance to meet with emergency responders yesterday, you were there as we discussed on our show at that gathering of people who were bringing all these goods to donate.


CABRERA: I know you have one story in particular that stood out to you.

[17:05:00] SANDOVAL: Absolutely. And I think what we've seen in the last several hours especially at that event in the Bronx where there were just so many people coming together, there is clearly this desire to help people, about 1500 to 1600 miles away.

We saw that in a family that lives in the New Jersey area, a family with loved ones in Puerto Rico and some of my producing colleagues were able to share with us, this is a family that is taking matters into their own hands taking help to their loved ones.



SANDOVAL: Jainie Barbosa's household routine includes household chores and taking her son, Christopher (ph) to school.

BARBOSA: You're going to take him to school?

SANDOVAL: On this day though, this New Jersey woman and her family are embarking on their own humanitarian mission, getting help to loved ones in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

BARBOSA: Today, what going to do, I'm going to drop him off and then I'm gonna try to go to Walgreens to buy a few things for my mom. That is my mom.

SANDOVAL: Mom is over 1600 miles away, stranded in San Juan since hurricane Maria battered the island, Barbosa had to rely on word from relatives to confirm her 76-year-old mother was OK. BARBOSA: The first week was horrible for me because I didn't know

anything about none of my family members until my best friend called me finally and she went, no, Christopher -- she went to the house and saw her, that she was OK.

SANDOVAL: Barbosa's husband doesn't have that peace of mind. He still doesn't know the fate of some of his family in the city of Cayey.

FERNANDO FEBUS, JAINIE BARBOSA'S HUSBAND: I heard from one my daughter -- one of my daughter that lives there, and -- but I don't know anything about my sister or other relatives. So it's been hard.

BARBOSA: So I have to carry those on.

SANDOVAL: Tired of waiting, the couple is heading to Puerto Rico and they're not packing light, lanterns, medicines for mom, provisions that are badly needed are all packed in this pile of boxes. The next morning...

BARBOSA: Do you think that one is going to be enough?

SANDOVAL: The family's stock of supplies are successfully checked in at JFK, bringing them one step closer to takeoff. Four hours later, Barbosa, her family and the supplies land safely in San Juan.


SANDOVAL: First a reunion with her mother.

BARBOSA: Kamusta (ph)?

SANDOVAL: Then it was off to search for her husband's sister, Vivian (ph). It's been over two weeks since they heard from her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Foreign Language)

SANDOVAL: At her home, a much anticipated reunion.

FEBUS: (Speaking Foreign Language)

SANDOVAL: Moments like these provide relief, the weeks of uncertainty as over 90 percent of the island is still without power, telecommunications are largely off line and over half of the country's grocery stores remain closed.

This family representing the reality for millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico, some are reunited. All are on the long road to recovery.

BARBOSA: I'm trying to, not to cry, but it's hard. It's hard. It's very hard. You have to be here to believe it, and see it with your own eyes.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANDOVAL: Of course it does change things, too, although when these individuals are able to make that journey, land in Puerto Rico, see the home that they grew up in and what's left of it, as for Jainie, that young woman you just heard from a while ago she's still in Puerto Rico right now.

She says she expects to fly back come Thursday with her husband, with her little boy, who you saw in that video, and she has hope that her mom will also want to come back to New Jersey with her, while her native Puerto Rico continues to recover.

CABRERA: I'm sure it's a mix of emotions, those tears of joy and seeing your family members OK but then also tears of pain in seeing the destruction and what a lot of people are living through right now. Thank you, Polo, for that story.

Great to see the whole process from start to finish and them helping in any way they can. I want to bring in now Puerto Rico's Congressional delegate Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon who is joining us on the phone.

I -- I want to start with just getting your take on how things are going right now in Puerto Rico. And I know you have visited the island yourself and have been in contact with the residents there.

JENNIFFER GONZALEZ COLON, 20TH RESIDENT COMMISSIONER, PUERTO RICO (via phone): Yes and thank you for the opportunity. I was there during the hurricane, and I just came back Monday, and then went back on Friday.

It's a little bit of -- there's a little bit of improvement but still we still need a lot of employees, we still need a lot of supplies to arrive.

And to manage the issue about logistics, what you see -- what you saw a few minutes ago with those people reunited with their families is what's going on in the island. People are desperate because they don't have water, they don't have food.

[17:10:00] They don't have access to reach their own family in other towns because more than 80 percent of the island is without communications but of course, I mean we are receiving more of federal aid.

We are receiving a lot of people coming from different federal agencies. The president assigned more than 36 agencies to the island to oversee this situation, and I hope with the current days and with leading effort of the government -- Governor Rosello and the general -- more helicopters.

Because as you know, there are so many towns that haven't received yet enough supplies for their communities. That's the main problem we got, the logistics to get the supplies and commodities of water, food that are essential to those, to everybody there.

CABRERA: We talked to a number of people with experience, and responding to natural disasters, who worry this administration was a little slow to respond with adequate help. I'm curious, when was the first time the president contacted you regarding this crisis in Puerto Rico?

COLON: The federal agencies have contacted me since the first day actually, more than 4,000 federal employees were there on the island before hurricane Irma, and I went even to their offices and we got a lot of meetings, a lot of communication.

I think Brock Long was there during Irma. So I can say that the federal agencies were in the island before, during and after Irma and Maria. I mean the problem -- the real problem here is that we never expected to be hit by another hurricane and this time a category 5, in less than ten days.

So when you look what happened, I mean, we were hit by Irma in 80 miles per hour, and then eight, ten days later with Maria with a catastrophic winds that has actually decimated the whole island. So I will tell you this.

I mean we still need a lot of supplies and get better logistics to have the whole job done, but I can tell you, I mean the president's cabinet -- I mean HHS, the corps of engineers and all the federal agencies are with boots on the ground doing the job.

And I want to thank the people who are coming from California, Mississippi, West Virginia, Florida, they are sending their teams to recover the power grid of the island.

You can see the Air Force, I mean the navy, Coast Guard doing their job, so this is the time to unite all the United States in one effort.

CABRERA: And that effort is saving lives because as we speak, there are missions of recovery undergoing, of rescue, more than 800 people were rescued by the different agencies but we still need a lot of help and I hope the president visit next week is going -- is going to bring that at a new level.


COLON: Because this is the first time we will see the visit of a president after a hurricane hit the island.

CABRERA: And it has been 11 days. The president has not gone yet, as you mentioned. He plans to go on Tuesday. He's been talking about that, in his Twitter feed this weekend.

In the meantime he has also blamed Puerto Rico's financial situation and the ailing infrastructure there for the extent of desperation there. He blamed the mayor of San Juan, he has said the people of Puerto Rico want everything done for them. Do you have any problems with the tone this president has taken?

COLON: Maybe, you know what? This is not the time for politics to have in people, different bodies saying and blaming one or another. I can tell you the president has called me twice actually asking me directly how he can help, what can be improved, how many -- how many more people, resources we need.

He just approved $40 million for highways -- to repair highways and rebuild highways on the island. He just sent a lot of new beds for the hospitals, working with the generators. I mean, nothing is perfect, because we have been hit by a catastrophic hurricane.

I want to be the problems to be solved already but that's not true. I mean we're still working. There are 78 municipalities and we need to converge and coordinate this frustration, and converge it to coordination within the federal agencies.

And that's what the Governor Rosello is doing, that's what the rest of the mayors are doing. That's what I'm doing, because we need to get ahead of this situation, be stronger, and of course let the people have what they need, water and food.


COLON: So I mean, the mayor is saying what she said. I think we should get a hold of frustration and convert that to solve the situation, not to blame.

[17:15:00] I think we are very grateful for all the help we received from the federal government and we still need more, so this is not solved yet, and I hope in the next days we can -- we can continue to see the improvement of what has been done.

CABRERA: All right, thank you so much, Representative Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon for shedding some light on the situation for us. We really do appreciate it.

We wish the very best for the people in your island in Puerto Rico, those Americans who are having to bear through the devastation and the long road to recovery, but again, we hope it is as swift as can be. Thank you.

Still ahead here in the Newsroom the president tells his secretary of state through a tweet that he is wasting his time by looking for a diplomatic solution to the North Korea threat. What message does that send to the regime? That's ahead, right here in the CNN Newsroom.


CABRERA: In a stunning move, President Trump publicly subverting the message of his own secretary of state whose message was one of diplomacy.

[17:20:00] The president tweeting this, I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man. Save your energy, Rex. We will do what has to be done.

Now he went on to say, being nice to rocket man hasn't worked in 25 years. Why would it work now? Clinton failed. Bush failed. And Obama failed. I won't fail. Just one day ago during a trip in Beijing, Secretary Tillerson

revealed the U.S. has direct lines of communication with North Korea. He said, he is probing to find ways to resolve tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons.

Tillerson says his goal is to try to quote, calm things down. In another bizarre move, the White House contradicting the president's tweets a senior administration official tells CNN, we are still committed to the diplomatic approach on North Korea.

Let's bring in Ryan Browne, CNN's Pentagon reporter. Ryan, what is remarkable here is the president is publicly disagreeing with not only his secretary of state, but his secretary of defense, and other senior officials there in the White House.

RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: Well it was definitely a loud message and taking place while Secretary Tillerson was in China and of course, China being a key player in any U.S. attempt to get North Korea to curb its missile and nuclear activity.

But again, Secretary of Defense Mattis has pushed diplomacy as well, but at again, one thing to look at here is Trump was responding directly to this channel, this idea of a direct communication with Pyongyang, potential direct negotiations.

There are other diplomatic initiatives and I think that's what the administration is focused on like Secretary Mattis and Secretary Tillerson that's working to get China on board, working through the U.N. to do additional sanctions.

But could be a little bit of a good cop-bad cop scenario here where Trump is applying pressure via Twitter while the diplomacy efforts are done by Secretary Tillerson in Beijing.

CABRERA: But what kind of impact does this have on Tillerson's effectiveness as Secretary of State, his ability to try to negotiate?

BROWNE: Well I think it definitely, in terms of these channels with North Korea it's going to cause them to have questions as to exactly what they can expect the U.S. message to be potentially.

You know, they're seeing this very different one attempt to kind of temper things down a little bit, through Secretary Tillerson and another from President Trump really ruling out any direct negotiations it would appear with Pyongyang through his tweets.

So again, it will be interesting to see kind of way approach the U.S., actual U.S., you know, folks executing the foreign policy Tillerson, Mattis, et cetera, what approach they take moving forward.

CABRERA: Could the president's tweets risk taking that diplomatic option off the table?

BROWNE: Well I think it's -- it may risk the actually direct communications through these kind of back channels with Pyongyang but I don't think -- I think U.S. military officials, state department officials have long said that diplomatic efforts with China, with other countries in the region, South Korea, Japan, at the U.N. will continue.

Because there are military options, the Pentagon's constantly working on those plans but they have publicly said that diplomacy, there will always be a diplomatic option. Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Ryan Browne for us at the Pentagon, thank you. Now, while diplomatic efforts to calm things down between the U.S. and North Korea go on, new information is turning up in the mysterious death of an American college student just days after his detention in North Korea ended. CNN's Brian Todd has the story.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the controversy over Otto Warmbier's death is intensifying. The North Koreans are pushing back hard right now to the Warmbier family's allegations that he was tortured while in their custody. And veteran coroners are complaining that we may never know for sure, because of a decision the Warmbier family made.


TODD: The mystery over what happened to Otto Warmbier while he was in North Korean custody is deepening. Kim Jong-un's regime now denies allegations that the 22-year-old college student was tortured during the 17 months they held him.

President Trump tweeted this week, Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea. Warmbier's parents told their story to CNN.

FRED WARMBIER, OTTO WARMBIER'S FATHER: Otto was systematically tortured and intentionally injured by Kim and his regime.

TODD: Warmbier's father says after his son was returned from North Korea in June in a vegetative state and before Otto died a few days later, he examined his son's bottom teeth and found what he says is evidence of torture.

WARMBIER: His teeth look like they had been rearranged with a pair of pliers.

TODD: But the Hamilton County Coroner in Ohio who did an external of Warmbier and brought in a forensic dentist contradicts the father's claim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no evidence of trauma to the lower teeth that we amendable. We were surprised, yes, at that statement.

TODD: The Coroner says their postmortem examination found no obvious signs of torture. But we may never know for sure. Warmbier's family declined a full autopsy and the Coroner went along with that request.

[17:25:00] Dr. Victor Weedn, a forensic pathologist who investigated hundreds of murders said that was a mistake.

DR. VICTOR WEEDN, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: This is a case that has tremendous potential international repercussions. This is a case where there's a possibility that it was a homicide.

In those cases there should be no questions. You should do an autopsy. It's possible that a torturer can be committed and you don't see signs on the outside of the body but might see signs internally.

TODD: Warmbier's doctors have said he lost much of his brain tissue due to oxygen deprivation to the brain. Veteran Coroners tell CNN that could have been caused by strangulation and also possibly by medication, a heart attack, a blood clot, or a botched suicide attempt.

Warmbier was sentenced to hard labor for allegedly stealing a political poster during a visit to Pyongyang. Some analysts believe it may not have been in the North Korean's interest to torture Warmbier severely because they frequently use American prisoners as bargaining chips.

BALBINA HWANG, VISITING PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: It's as with any kidnap victim, it does you no good to try to get a ransom if the goods frankly are not, you know, still breathing and healthy and safe.

TODD: But most everyone agrees whether the North Koreans tortured Otto Warmbier or not, his fate falls squarely on the shoulders of Kim Jong-un.

GREG SCARLATOIU, COMMITTEE, HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA: There is no doubt that this is the Kim regime's fault. If he hadn't been imprisoned by the North Koreans, Otto Warmbier would be with us today.


TODD: A key question now, what can the Trump administration do to punish North Korea for the death of Otto Warmbier? Human rights advocates say the administration could push more sanctions on the regime or place the regime back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. But right now the State Department is being non-committal about doing that. Ana.

CABRERA: Brian Todd, thank you for that. Now, a shocking and violent attack on a police officer and several others in Canada and it started in front of surveillance cameras.


CABRERA: This is Edmonton, Alberta, last night a white car with an ISIS flag in the window plows into a police officer, knocking him down and then the car's driver gets out, and starts stabbing the policeman on the ground.

The attacker got away on foot. Afterward police said the suspect led them on a chase in a U-Haul truck and then hit four pedestrians before crashing. We don't know just how bad they rescued were hurt. The suspect was arrested. Police are now calling this an act of terrorism.


CABRERA: To Spain now, more than 800 people are hurt after fighting with police in Spain.


CABRERA: This is in northeastern Spain near Barcelona, the region called Catalonia, and people are trying to vote in a referendum to make that part of Spain independent. That vote was not allowed to happen.

It is illegal according to the Spanish government. Police today forced their way into polling places. They grabbed boxes full of votes and got physical with voters who tried to stop them. Pro- independence people in that region compared this crackdown to the days of Spain's dictatorship.


CABRERA: Coming up, President Trump called on NFL players to stand for the National Anthem but many players continued their protest anyway. What fans have to say about all this, next.



CABRERA: Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton makes a touchdown in this afternoon's game and then he is saw, raised his fist in the sign of solidarity with those protesting racial inequality and injustice.


CABRERA: Today Newton became the first NFL quarterback to rush for 50 touchdowns and he led his team's upset over the New England Patriots and this all comes a week after a record 180 NFL players sat, kneeled or stayed in the locker room during the National Anthem.

And in some ways the protest does appear to be losing a little bit of steam. More players stood during the Anthem at the start of the early games today though just a short time ago, about half the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during the Anthem, league wide only 11 players sat or kneeled during the Anthem in the early games.

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch wore a t-shirt that read, everybody versus trump today. Lynch has taken part in the anthem protest this season and the president also tweeting this weekend on this issue saying, very important that NFL players stand tomorrow and always, for the playing of our National Anthem.

Respect our flag and our country! He tweeted last night. Our Kaylee Hartung joins us from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kaylee, what are NFL saying about these protest this week? KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, in talking to Atlanta

Falcons and Buffalo Bills fans today, it became increasingly clear to me that the message NFL players were initially trying to convey in taking a knee during the Anthem, one of racial injustice you spoke of.

That message has been lost between the president's tweets, the players' action and fans reaction this is entire conversation has been muddied.

I think when you listen to what these fans have to say you'll see the difference between the passions some feel versus the offense others take when they see a player take a knee during the Anthem.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My stance is that the flag is our freedom, and you know, I respect that. That's what I was brought to stand at attention and place my hand on my heart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What people have to realize and understand that it's not about -- it's not about the flag.

[17:35:00] It's about the inequality, the injustices, police brutality that's been going on for the longest against minorities. It's not about -- it's not about the flag.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's entitled to their own opinion but for me personally I think you stand. For them they don't see it that way and that's their choice.


HARTUNG: Six Bills players took a knee as the Anthem was played and Mercedes-Benz dome. And before the game, one Bills fan told me that her next door neighbor last week after he saw players of his team protest, he took his season tickets and he lit them on fire in his backyard.

There were reports that stadium worker in Buffalo walking out of the stadium last week as he saw players protest and quitting his job there.

But, Ana, Paul Ryan, House Speaker made the point on Face the Nation today that we've got to be having two separate and distinct conversations here because when you try to talk about these NFL protests and merge it with the Anthem and the flag, it's all lost.

CABRERA: All right, Kaylee Hartung, interesting to hear from those fans. Thank you. Just two days before President Trump is expected to visit storm ravaged Puerto Rico, a senior white house official is doubling down on the president's criticism of the mayor of San Juan. We will get reaction from a congressman next live in the CNN Newsroom.

Now Anthony Bourdain says Parts Unknown is more than a food show. And on the next episode, he dives deep into Singapore's political system, culture and of course the food. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN: It's a food show, right? Well, not really. It was a concept in a lot of ways. If you look at the mix of people at the cities and religions all living in relatively close quarters here it's a widely extraordinary success story.

A place where everything works this well and a system so seemingly different than we are taught to venerate, that's generally confusing.

One of the things that was always striking to me is how awesome the food is and how enthusiastic and knowledgeable people are about food here. If you're looking for pound for pound, most food, best food, most diverse selection of food, maybe anywhere on the planet, you are most definitely talking about Singapore.


CABRERA: And I sat down with Anthony Bourdain. He called it food porn this episode. We'll play part of our conversation in the next hour. Meantime, this new episode of the new season of Parts Unknown happens tonight right here on CNN at 9:00 p.m. eastern.


CABRERA: A top white house official is backing President Trump's blistering criticism of San Juan's mayor. And as you know Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has been critical of the federal response to Puerto Rico.

Yesterday President Trump publicly tacked her on Twitter for that using her -- accusing her of having poor leadership abilities and now listen to what White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said here on CNN this morning.


MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: I think it's unfair to say that we haven't done everything we can because we have done everything that we can and will continue to do so.

It's unfortunate that the Puerto Rico mayor wants to -- excuse me the San Juan mayor wants to sort of go against the grain. We'd love to have her on the team as we all pull in the same direction. My understanding is that as of yesterday she had not even been to the FEMA operations center in her own city.


CABRERA: I want to talk more about the federal government response and the criticism concerning it. With me now is Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan. Congressman, thank you for coming in.

CONG. DAN KILDEE (D), MICHIGAN: Thank you. CABRERA: And talking about this with us. We just heard Mick Mulvaney there and he also went on to say that the federal government is doing everything it can really in responding to the crisis in Puerto Rico. Do you agree?

KILDEE: No, I think Mick has got it dead wrong. And I understand he has got to defend the president who seems to be more interested in his perception and is willing to attack a mayor, whose people are literally dying.

You know, Mick is going to defend Donald Trump. The president has got this wrong. He should be focused on getting more resources to the people of Puerto Rico. They were slow to respond.

There's no two ways about it. I've talked to my colleagues, Nydia Velasquez and Luis Gutierrez, both who have been there. They are practically in tears at the lack of urgency that this administration has shown.

CABRERA: If you were to even accept that as fact, let me put it to you this way or think of it this way. You of course are from Flint, Michigan or represent the district that campus in Flint, Michigan.

I know that has been a serious issue on your mind and in your heart, you always fighting for the people there, the federal government under President Obama has been criticized for responding to the need in that area -- that community and that part of our country. Do you think this is a situation in which just President Trump is to blame?

KILDEE: I think here is the difference. It took Congress 11 months to pass the relief package for the city of Flint. In this case Congress acted pretty quickly in the Puerto Rico case, but what we see is a president who is just not focused on the real problem.

He literally is picking a fight with NFL football players and the mayor of the city that is underwater and is devastated, while her people suffer, rather than focusing 100 percent of his attention you know mobilizing all the federal resources he can.

He's at his golf course, for goodness sake, when he should be at the White House directing every agency, every department of the federal government to do everything they can. He has simply not done that.

CABRERA: We have not heard the same message that we are hearing from the mayor of San Juan with other officials that we've been talking to and hearing from there in Puerto Rico.

In fact I just earlier this hour spoke with the representative from Puerto Rico, Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon, and she was very appreciative of all of the help that they have received from the federal government.

[17:45:00] And spoke very kindly of the efforts that have been made on behalf of the Puerto Rican people, and what she is seeing, witnessing happening there on the ground, so can you see why some, including the Trump administration, is saying that she is politicizing this? KILDEE: Look, she's the mayor of this city. She is with the people

who are suffering. She's living there in that place with them. I've talked to my colleagues who have been there.

I trust them, that they understand what's happening and I don't think anyone can say just looking at the images that these three plus million Americans have been receiving all the help that they should receive with the speed that they should be receiving it. That wasn't the military deployed right away for example.

(TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) ... he can't do, he shouldn't do is take a victory lap on the Puerto Rican relief effort while he should be focusing on just getting more resources to those people.

CABRERA: Speaking of resources we saw Congress take swift action in approving money for the disasters hurricane Harvey, hurricane Irma. What is the plan in Congress to approve more money or funding or whatever it is for the response to hurricane Maria?

KILDEE: Well, obviously the immediate relief that we have provided has given FEMA some initial resources but clearly we're going to have to go back and do a whole lot more. That community, that whole island, that 3.5 million...

CABRERA: Do you anticipate a bill of some sort coming before Congress this week?

KILDEE: I don't know if it will come this week. You know, the Republican leadership has been very cautious about sharing, you know, their plans. There's no question, though, that we're going to have to do a lot more.

CABRERA: I wish we had time to talk about taxes as well today. That conversation will have to happen another day and so I hope to have you back. Thank you so much for coming on and chatting with us.

KILDEE: Thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you. Coming up, after nine years behind bars, O.J. Simpson is now a free man. We will tell you what's next for the former football legend, live in the CNN Newsroom.


CABRERA: Former NFL star O.J. Simpson is once again a freeman since then was release to a little fanfare from a Nevada prison shortly after mid night local time.


CABRERA: Here you see Simpson signing his release paperwork wearing a denim outfit and baseball cap. He served a nine-year sentence for a Las Vegas kidnapping and armed robbery.

Of course he's best known for the controversial 1995 acquittal in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.


CABRERA: Jean Casarez is joining us now from Las Vegas. So Jean, what is next for O.J. Simpson?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think the big question, Ana, is where is O.J. Simpson going to have a permanent residence? Now we know at this point, he's in the state of Nevada.

We believe he is in the Las Vegas area. But at the parole hearing, he and his attorney made a very big point to say that the intent was to return to Florida, that that was where he wanted to live, that is where he wanted to make his home.

But the fact is he has to file paperwork and it was said at the time that the paperwork would be sent to Florida. It hasn't been. We were able to confirm with the state of Florida even today that O.J. Simpson has never sent paperwork saying he wants to reside in Florida.

But it was late Friday night the Attorney General Pam Bondi actually sent a letter to her department of corrections requesting that they not allow him into the state of Florida. She doesn't want him there because she sites a lot of reasons.

His criminal issues, his civil issues within the country and within the state of Florida, and says that the taxpayers of her state should not have to pay the price for his parole supervision, and also issues of safety.

Now O.J. Simpson's attorney says that Pam Bondi, as the attorney general of Florida should have no say in it, that she doesn't have a say in it but we know from the public information officer from Nevada parole and probation, that going to another state which is part of the interstate compact between all the states, that it's a privilege, not a right.

And the state of Florida if they would receive that paperwork has a 45-day investigation where they can allow him to enter the state or deny entering.

It's really based on the plan he has for parole super vision and the support he has like family support in the state and we know his two children live in the state of Florida. So, Ana, at this point, the question is, where is he going to end up?

CABRERA: We will see, time will tell. Jean Casarez, thank you. Now, over the coming days, impact your world as highlighting people shaking up misconceptions and today a charity that is changing perception about refugees who settle in the United States.


JENNIFER GREEN, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, REFUGEE FAMILY LITERACY: These women share a common experience of being displaced from their home countries with young children. Refugee Family Literacy Program is a two generation program providing education for refugee mothers and their young children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could get hurt surprising someone like that.

GREEN: Children come to our school and participate in an early childhood development program so that when they start school some day, they will hit the ground running. Mothers are upstairs learning English. Our students are from about 20 different countries.

HIA MAY, PROGRAM PARTICIPANT: I'm from Burma. Before 2007, Burma, it's the government, not good. It's not safe.

GREEN: They didn't want to leave their home country. They left because they did not have any choice, that common experience transcend language. These women are able to support each other.

[17:55:00] I think a misconception is that most refugees were uneducated and in feverish. Many refugees have strong education, strong skill sets and so much to offer us. If we think of them as uneducated just because they don't know English, really, it's our loss.



CABRERA: You're live in the CNN Newsroom. Great to have you with us on this Sunday, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. President Trump in a series of tweets has just belittled any diplomat effort aim that he's in touch with nuclear armed North Korea while publicly undercutting his own secretary of state.

Trump writing I told Rex Tillerson that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man. Save your energy, Rex.