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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Evacuation Ordered Is Hurricane Swirl Toward Gulf Coast; Police Dig For Clues As Motive Remains A Mystery; Tillerson "Moron" Episode Exposing John Kelly Struggles; Mississippi, Alabama, Brace For Landfall, storm surge. New Orleans Under State of Emergency; Tensions Rise Between Trump And Tillerson; VP Pence To Attend "Unity Prayer Walk" Honoring Victims; "Numbers" Found On Note Left Behind By Vegas Shooter; Authorities Still Searching For Motive In Massacre; Police Dig For Clues As Motive Remains A Mystery; Hurricane Expected To Make Landfall By Sunday. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired October 7, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will I ever be able to work again? How will I take care of my children?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's strange to learn how to walk; it's a new world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Part of my job is to remind people that we are so much more than just a body part. We can either lay down and let our circumstance overtake us or we can stand up and take charge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: See Mona and a team of amputees take charge and do just that. Take on the world. Go to CNNheroes.com.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Get out now." That's the message right now for hurricane warnings posted along the gulf coast. Nate, gaining strength and threatening New Orleans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five days after Sunday's horrific shooting in Las Vegas, a focus on the explosive material found in the gunman's car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The methodology, the planning, the things that he did, the military style, tactics, and methodologies that he employed, they're becoming more clear, and yet the motive seems to be sinking further and further in the distance.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The calm before the storm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it was totally irresponsible for him to do this and completely uncalled for.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He certainly doesn't want to lay out his game plan for our enemies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it's responsible. I don't think presidents ought to do it.
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ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning to you this Saturday. Top of the hour, and this morning, Hurricane Nate is picking up energy in the Gulf. This storm, already deadly, set to make landfall in a few hours, potentially overnight. And gulf coast residents are bracing for another round of wind, rain, flooding as well.
PAUL: The thing is, this is the third hurricane to hit the U. S. in six weeks' time. And this morning, there are already hurricane warnings in effect for parts of New Orleans, in Mississippi, in Alabama.
BLACKWELL: And Nate devastated parts of Central America; at least 24 people killed there, hundreds needing rescue from floods and mudslides, many more without power, without clean running water. We're tracking the latest forecast there.
PAUL: And also this morning, police in Las Vegas seem so far to be coming up empty in their search for a motive, specifically behind the concert massacre where 58 people died. But as investigators comb through hours of security footage, they are certain that the killer did act alone. We'll talk more about what's being discovered this morning.
BLACKWELL: Pluss, could Secretary Rex Tillerson be next to leave the Trump administration? New details this morning on this growing feud between Secretary Tillerson and President Trump, after Tillerson reportedly called the president a moron and why the latest drama is wearing on Chief of Staff John Kelly?
PAUL: First though, as I could, we're watching Hurricane Nate. Our team of correspondents is standing by there in New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, both under hurricane warnings this morning.
BLACKWELL: Let's get straight to CNN Meteorologist, Chad Myers, first, for the latest on the forecast. First questions, where and when?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Tonight, Plaquemines Parish; overnight, Biloxi and (INAUDIBLE). Because, you know, we talk about Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana; not much land there, there's just a lot of water, still in there, a lot of swamps there. That's not going to slow the storm down. Here's what you missed overnight: the storm is already 80 miles per hour, and is forecast to be a 90-mile-per-hour storm as it makes landfall. Now, you just showed the picture of the hurricane warnings and where it goes. And it's important to realize that, that entire area will be affected by something. Hurricane hunters in the storm right now finding 986-pressure; I just
looked, 984. That just means that the storm is going down. That means the storm is trying to get stronger as forecast. Anywhere in the blue and certainly in the red, you will have something going on. Winds will blow down power lines, you may get storm surge all the way up even to Montgomery, Alabama may see power outages, Atlanta, too with trees down limbs down because of the storm.
Let's focus on the storm itself, and where it's going. Where is it going to hit? Right there along the mouth of the Mississippi River is where the landfall of the eye will likely take place. But then, it's going to kind of get back into water slightly East of New Orleans, and then make landfall again in Mississippi or Alabama -- somewhere around Biloxi, base St. Louis, maybe gulf port, that's the idea. Five to nine-foot storm surge. Now, that's not Katrina. Katrina was 20 feet. But this is still very, very significant. A nine-foot surge and a 10- foot whale on top is a big deal for anyone.
There is the eye making landfall tonight, 11:00 tonight; very close to the Grand Isle, maybe Pilot Town. Then, it moves to the east, slight to the east of Slidell and then right along the gulf coast possibly as far as east as Dauphin Island. Earlier today, we talked about the eye. Was there going to be an eye? Here is the latest hurricane hunter aircraft. I know it's a little bit difficult to see, so I will draw it on here for you. There is not a west side of the eye right now -- and that is good news.
Because as long as there's not a complete circular eye breathing in and out as hurricanes really do, the storm will not rapidly intensify. But it still will be intensifying today because the storm is warm enough, over that very warm water where we are right now, and that is going to make it at least a 90-mile-per-hour storm. It needs to get to 96 to be a Category 2. But look at the power outages expected even with a Category 1.
[07:05:33] BLACKWELL: Let's hope it doesn't get to 96. Chad Myers for us, thanks so much.
MYERS: You're welcome.
PAUL: Now, Alabama's coast is preparing for all this. CNN's Ryan Young is in Mobile, where residents -- you know, they're taking things pretty seriously, which good news, Ryan, but what are you finding there?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, absolutely. You know, when you have all these hurricanes hitting the U.S., you have people having that conversation, especially when you live in the coastal cities. It's no different here when you talk about that five to nine-foot storm surge. People are definitely looking at this and taking in and just watching it in terms of the precautions. They want to make sure they are ready.
So, we've talked about with the mayor and how they have all the storm drains; it cleared those. They've made sure that heavy equipment has been positioned in certain areas. No shelters have been open just yet. The port behind us though, it's going to close this morning. There's actually a kind of, cruise line known as The Fantasy. It was supposed to come to port today.
That's not going to be coming -- allowed to be coming to port today because they want to make sure they shut this down ahead of the storm. We also know the airport will close around 4:00, so you're already having some impact when it comes to people. As we drove through downtown, we did see some of the low-lying areas. There, they had sandbags out front; they wanted to make sure they were prepared. But this city doesn't have the history of flooding.
So, you know, those people are still having the conversation about that storm surge. They're also worried about the heavy wind, the tornado possibilities, and that's something in terms of the conversation. When you get ready for a storm, you know, especially when you see it sitting out, maybe gaining strength, that's something they worry about in the next few hours. So far, so good, but obviously they're getting prepared for this one.
PAUL: All right. Well, that is good. Ryan Young, we appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. New Orleans, also under a state of emergency where a hurricane warning is now in effect -- and that's where we find CNN's Kaylee Hartung watching the situation there. We understand that there are some evacuation orders, tell us about those.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, by noon today the mayor of New Orleans is saying the areas that lie between Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico, those areas have to be evacuated: that's Lake Catherine, the Venetian Isles, and Irish Bayou. Those places are outside the levee protection system. They expect a storm surge there that could be six to nine feet. If at any time flooding could be an issue in the city of New Orleans, it's quick to grab headlines. The mayor has made an effort to ensure people recognize the damage that the wind could do in this scenario. He feels confident in the preparedness of his city as you'll hear from him here.
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MITCH LANDRIEU, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: We have sufficient pumps power and manpower to handle this threat if the rain totals remain as forecast and the intensity is directed, this is not that event at this time. This is going to be a major wind event which could provide electrical outages, this is why you have to have enough supplies to withstand that and NTG will deal with that later. And this is a potential wind surge event.
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HARTUNG: What was important for him to say at the top of that sound, pumps, power, and manpower. A big concern in the city of New Orleans after a summer in which to flash floods really surprised folks around here and shook their confidence in the drainage system that the mayor admits is as old as Calvin Coolidge. He says, that system now, at 92 percent capacity, and folks have been working 24/7 to repair it. Victor, it's something that's really on people's minds here. But the mayor says you can't see a whole bunch of rain in a short amount of time and not expect the city of New Orleans to get wet.
BLACKWELL: All right. Kaylee Hartung, let's hope they're prepared. Thanks so much.
PAUL: And an arsenal of ammunition, 50 pounds of explosives, a mysterious note; police are trying to piece together what they found to determine what led a killer to open fire on that country music concert in Las Vegas.
[07:09:17] BLACKWELL: And more tension between the president and secretary of state; how this could affect the president's Chief of Staff, John Kelly?
BLACKWELL: This morning, the vice president will visit Las Vegas to honor the victims of Sunday's massacre.
PAUL: Yes, his visit is coming as the motive behind that shooting is still unclear this hour. What led Stephen Paddock to kill 58 people and injured more than 500 more. Our Brian Todd is following some for the clues.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Stephen Paddock was raining gunfire down on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, his 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Torin, like this one, was parked nearby filled with explosives. A law enforcement source tells CNN's Kyung Lah and Scott Glover that the 64-year-old had filled his car with 50 pounds of Tannerite and then rigged it to explode if shot -- an explosion that could've been deadly as these tests of exploding target compounds show.
JOE LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, CLARK COUNTY: It's composed of two substances. We had two chemicals of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, and when combined, make the finished product of Tannerite. It's hard to tell you, I don't know what he was going to do with all of that Tannerite.
TODD: While it's not clear if Paddock rigged the car as a diversion or as a final trap for police. There is new information about a position with which he planned to kill. CNN has learned from a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation that Paddock tried to buy tracer ammunition at a Phoenix gun show in recent weeks. But the official says, for some reason, Paddock could not obtain those which light up in the dark. If he could've gotten tracer ammunition, what would've been a difference with this attack?
[07:15:17] LT. CHRIS PETKO, FORMER TEAM MEMBER, SWAT LAS VEGAS: The first thing tracer ammunition does for a shooter is it allows them to get onto target in low light conditions much more quickly than they might otherwise. So, in this particular case, you would've been able to see pretty much where the strike of his bullets was landing within the crowd.
TODD: Former Las Vegas SWAT Team Member, Chris Petko, who was also a marine machine gunner says the tracer bullets could have made the casualty count worse. A law enforcement official says, with the ammunition he did use, while shooting in darkness, Paddock probably was just spraying bullets and couldn't see the people he was hitting. Experts say, investigators may be focusing on Paddock's chilling attention to detail leading up to the massacre. Planning which seems to have gone beyond what police call meticulous. He brought 23 guns to his room in suitcases undetected, carefully assembled them, and stacked his clips of ammo neatly against the column.
PETKO: He had many layers of redundancy built up. And you can view simply the number of weapons that he had available to him, really, to underscore the intent that he had to inflict the maximum amount of damage.
TODD: Paddock took the time to barricade the stairwell door next to his room, painstakingly rigged cameras to a service cart near the entrance to his suite, and to a peephole in the door.
JOHN SHEEHAN, FORMER TEAM MEMBER, LAS VEGAS SWAT: He was planning a preparation because at some point he had to know that they were going to come for him and that way he'd be able to address that threat.
TODD: Officials tell CNN, there was a note in his hotel suite -- seen here in this photograph leaked to The Daily Mail. Not a suicide note, but a sheet which contained numbers now being analyzed. Authorities are looking into what might've changed last October when he began buying many weapons. But his motive remains unclear as does his mental state.
ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHAL SERVICE: I think the girlfriend is the key part here to provide information on what his mental state was. Hopefully, through the electronics and through the girlfriend, they're going to find out exactly what that is or what his motive was.
TODD: A key question remains: were there any accomplices in Las Vegas with Stephen Paddock? The undersheriff says they continue to investigate whether anyone might've known about this attack before it occurred that they're examining a voluminous amount of videotape, including some from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and that so far, they have not located anyone else who they believe might be a suspect. Brian Todd, CNN, Las Vegas.
BLACKWELL: All right. With us now, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent, James Gagliano. Good morning to you.
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST AND RETIRED FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So, James, let's start here. Investigators still do not know -- almost a week now since the massacre a motive. They don't have the answer to the "why." In your experience, does a killer plan an attack like this in such detail and tell no one?
GAGLIANO: Well, Victor, I think the tough thing here for us is that we look at these things from the normal person perspective. When we try to apply normal person standards to somebody who is clearly a sociopath or psychopath. Generally speaking, killers will leave a suicide note or there'll be some type of screed on social media, or there'll be some type of manifesto that's found in the house or on a laptop or a tablet or a phone. This case is baffling, utterly baffling. And I can only describe this subject as an enigma because it seems as every day as we learn more details, we know less. And what I mean by that is we're creating a lot of leads, and sometimes these things take time to flush out.
Let's just look for an instance of the fact that he had scoped out a couple of other hotels -- one in Chicago, one in Boston, a couple of others in Las Vegas. Now that we know that he was setting up a plan to do this; find a place with an elevated position in an area with a populated area in front of him that he could reach with automatic weapon fire. Now, we've got to reach out in every state, every hotel that's in a similar situation and see if he had possibly checked in there. Was it a case of performing dry runs, or was it a case of somebody that maybe got cold feet and just happened upon the Vegas one as his last resort.
BLACKWELL: So, you talked about the -- some of the notes, potentially, that is left behind in other cases. The New York Times was the first to report that there were some numbers, and that's as much as they've said about from their sources that were scribbled down onto a notepad found inside the hotel suite and it's highlighted there on the screen. From what we know about this man and you call him an enigma, does this seem like the profile of the man who wants to lead investigators to a type of scavenger hunt to a why?
GAGLIANO: Surely, that's possible. I mean, in the history of serial killers in the world, we've often found that they like to play a game of cat and mouse. I can't say for sure what is on the note. All that we know that has been, been briefed by the sheriff was that there were series of numbers on it. I'm pretty confident that that note is in the hands of FBI cryptologists right now, and they're going to go through it. And if it's some type of omega code, they will figure it out and crack it.
[07:20:05] The other interesting point in that would -- to your point about, is he setting up things to be confusing, did he have other plans in place? The vehicle that was loaded with the 50 pounds of Tannerite that you reporter your viewers about earlier and all the thousands of rounds, was that supposed to be a distraction? The sheriff or the undersheriff was actually clear in saying it wasn't an IED. It wasn't actually set up to be an IED. But was he looking to use that as a distraction or to harm police officers that might be arriving after the fact, who knows? Again, an enigma is the best way to describe this. It seems every day, as we move on, and we're now into our sixth day. It just gets more confounding and more perplexing. BLACKWELL: Yes, the Clark County sheriff's there, I believe it was
the undersheriff there who said that the shooter had an escape plan. Does it seem plausible? He was on the 32nd floor. He trekked 23 guns and all the ammo we need up to the suite. How did he think or how could anyone credibly think they're going to get out of this hotel from the 32nd floor to a car, to another location?
GAGLIANO: The exit strategy there was not well thought out. And for a subject who had so much meticulous planning -- and actually, put this together, almost like a military operation with that type of precision and strategy and tactical execution. Again, it's confounding. Now, we don't know what the actual items that were discovered in the hotel room that has led law enforcement to believe that he had an exit strategy; it could've been something as benign as a disguise or hotel, you know, a hotel bellhop's uniform.
We've also -- we've also thought about the possibility of you can jump from 200 - 300 feet to do a base jump and possibly survive that. Was he planning on trying to parachute out? Did he think he was going to shoot his way out by going down the stairwell? If you're on the 32nd floor, and the authorities have you dialed in there, and you just call the mass carnage that he did, you're not getting out of that place. Either you're going to be under arrest or you're going to be neutralized on the way down. So, I don't know what he's plan possibly could've been.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and anyone who knows these Vegas hotels; it's not like you get to the base of -- the first floor of the elevator and your car is parked right there. You've got to walk to get there. We'll talk more next hour. James Gagliano, thanks so much.
GAGLIANO: Thank you, Victor.
PAUL: Well, Hurricane Nate is barreling toward the gulf coast, and Meteorologist, Chad Myers, is watching what it's doing in the coming hours. Chad.
MYERS: Less than 18 hours from landfall right now. Final time to make preps if you're in the hurricane warning zone. We'll have that for you coming right up.
[07:26:55] PAUL: We always appreciate your company. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, good morning to you. Another hurricane, now threatening the U.S. Gulf coast. And it's going to happen in just a few hours. Nate is now a Category 1 hurricane; expected to make landfall tonight.
PAUL: People in Mississippi, they are bracing already. They're stocking up on water, they've got their food, and the airport in Mobile, Alabama, already planning to close this afternoon.
BLACKWELL: Let's go to Louisiana where first responders and people who live there are preparing for flooding in New Orleans. Some areas of the city are under mandatory evacuation orders, and the mayor ordered a mandatory curfew starting at 6:00 p.m.
PAUL: CNN Meteorologist, Chad Myers, live from the weather center right now. Where, when, and how warm are those waters in the gulf that might be fueling this thing?
MYERS: We're about 85 degrees right there. That is plenty of warm water. And it's called the loop current. I'll talk about that later in the day. But it's the very warmest water in the Gulf of Mexico where we are now. But you said, where? Where, is Cuba. When? Now. Havana seeing significant flooding, especially in Pinar del Rio back to the Isle of Youth -- and it's not even near the eye of the storm, but it's one of these outer bands. It's really what happened to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Even though, as long as a new tropical storm, they had so much flooding; almost two dozen people killed in that flooding because it's the water that kills with this storm.
Now, it's going to be a 90-mile-per-hour storm. It may be stronger but it isn't strengthening right now. And that's going to make landfall very close to either Plaquemines Parish, which is the extent way down here on the bottom of the Mississippi River. Missing New Orleans proper, but still, hey, New Orleans, you're going to get 75- mile-per-hour winds. So, that's not a miss. And it's not going to miss Panama City because you're going to get 60-mile-per-hour winds. So, it's that wide swath of what's going to happen with this. And the 90-mile-per-hour wind goes to a hundred-mile-per-hour in Biloxi or Gulf Port or base St. Louis. That is going to be the bull's eye, but you can't focus on the bull's eye.
This storm is going to be all the way from New Orleans with significantly heavy rain, possibly trying to flood the city with fresh water because the pumps are working, but you can't put tens of inches anywhere. Now, this is a quick moving storm. We don't anticipate that, but neither did Havana expect to see such a big storm this morning but it's there right now. So, there we go. Biloxi, Gulf Port, gulf shores -- look, at the wind speeds that we're going to see here. Grand Isle, somewhere around 68; that'll be 9:00 tonight. So, spreading all the way from Pensacola to Slidell. But Biloxi, at 113- mile-per-hour wind gusts expected with that one computer model. So, what does that do? That knocks down power lines.
This entire map from Lake Charles all the way into Florida, there will be some power damage, outages, trees down. So, at least a million people without power. The good news is you can drive to put the power lines back up -- unlike Puerto Rico where you can't drive there. Otherwise, five to nine-foot storm surge. And this is not 20 feet from Katrina, but this is a big enough surge with a wave of 10 feet on top to do a lot of damage to the areas there. Now, we're hit so hard with Ivan, Dauphin Island, and Biloxi, and Gulfport by St. Louis. You guys are really going to get the surge. And it's the water that kills you, so you have to get away from the water. If you're under this five, seven, nine feet, get away. Go up North of I-10, get out of there. Guys, back to you.
[07:30:14] BLACKWELL: And Chad, you make a good point. That path that we see on that earlier map was for the center of the storm, the worst of the storm but the impact will be broad. We'll talk about that all day. Chad, thanks so much.
MYERS: You're welcome.
PAUL: I want to go to CNN's Ryan Young, he's in Mobile, Alabama.
BLACKWELL: Ryan, how is Alabama preparing?
YOUNG: Christi and Victor, look, I'm glad we have Chad because look, a lot of times you have these conversations the day before storm and you're standing outside just like this, it's a beautiful day here. In fact, when you look behind me, you can see the ships that are being built here. We're at the port. And of course, the port is going to be closed in the next few hours. We're even told that the Carnival Cruise Line known as the Fantasy, won't be allowed in the port today. And ahead of the storm, they want to make sure that everything is safe on the way in.
The airport will also close around 4:00 today. And the mayor also talked about preparations throughout the city. They want to make sure that not only are the storm drains clean and clear to make sure the water can flow through here. But there are already pre-positioned equipment all throughout the city just in case anything happens. We're talking about a storm surge that could be possibly be five to nine feet so you understand. Especially you live in a coastal city, how that could have impact.
Now, when you're talking about the downtown areas, there are areas that flood every now and then. We saw some sandbags in those area. But a lot of people feel really comfortable with this because they say, look, we don't face the kind of flooding that others cities faced. The one thing that people are talking about, though, the high winds and the possibility of tornadoes. Talked to one woman who moved here from New Orleans after Katrina. She say, hey, baby, I don't want to deal with another storm. But she understands that if she's going to face it, she rather be here where she could feel like she can stay dry and inside.
And a lot of people are having those conversations, especially after all the storms that had hit United States this year. So, like I was told last night, she said, look, we're getting water, we're getting ready. And that's the thing that every wants -- everybody wants to hear, that's the key to be prepared before the storm hits.
BLACKWELL: Absolutely, be prepared. Ryan Young, thanks so much.
PAUL: So, clashes between the President and his Secretary of State have a lot of people asking how safe Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's job is right now. What the White House says about his possible departure.
BLACKWELL: Plus, Vice President Mike Pence gets an earful from people in Puerto Rico, devastated by Hurricane Maria. What he told them about the federal response. You'll hear it I a moment.
[07:37:06] BLACKWELL: Tense times between President Trump and Secretary Rex Tillerson after Tillerson reportedly called the President a moron. The feud could force the Secretary out of the administration which could then make it harder for Chief of Staff John Kelly to do his job.
With us now from the White House, CNN Correspondent Ryan Nobles. And we're hearing a lot about how these are really, really bad times for the Secretary and for the Chief of Staff?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. I mean, there seems to be tension up and down the White House and within this administration. And of course, that's going to blow back on John Kelly, the former military general who is brought in to these White House to bring in a sense of order, and he's been successful at that to a certain extent. But this flop with Rex Tillerson has really fold squarely on his shoulders.
He is a Tillerson ally, he is someone who supports the Secretary of State. And that left many wondering in the White House, how long John Kelly himself can stay in this position. Now, the White House is pushing back on our reporting, the reporting specifically that it was John Kelly who had to intervene between the President and Rex Tillerson. Actually had to talk the President down a little bit from his public attacks on Tillerson.
And yesterday in the White House Press Briefing, Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary told us that we shouldn't believe the reports in the media, we should only believe what's coming from the White House. Listen to what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Nothing has changed despite what you may read in the media or watch on T.V. I would certainly trust the President and my comments far above those of other reporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: But there is no doubt that things are rocky right now between Tillerson and the President. Particularly because Tillerson was quoted saying that the President was a moron. Even though both sides have said that didn't happen. Anytime someone publicly criticizes the President or those reports get out in the public generally, that's something the President doesn't take to kindly too. So, that relationship between Tillerson and the President, and then how would affect Chief of Staff John Kelly is something to keep an eye on here at the White House in the days to come -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: And General Kelly was brought over from Homeland Security to streamline things, to bring order to the administration. Ryan Nobles at the White House, thank you.
NOBLES: Thanks. PAUL: So, Eugene Scott, Political Reporter at the Washington Post and Kelly Jane Torrance, Deputy Editor at The Weekly Standard with us now. Thank you, both, for being with us and good morning to you.
KELLY JANE TORRANCE, THE WEEKLY STANDARD, MANAGING EDITOR: Good morning.
PAUL: You know, there are reports here that Secretary Tillerson and President Trump aren't particularly close. They obviously have different personalities as they've been characterized. But, the other question here is, do their goals even line up? I mean, that these go beyond the personality issues and what may have been said or not said behind closed doors and into policy discrepancies, Kelly Jane?
[07:39:54] TORRANCE: Yes, I think it is and it's actually very concerning. You know, you wonder can Rex Tillerson do his job effectively at all. And we're talking about North Korea has a nuclear weapon. Iran is trying to get one. And you have a guy that's spending his time doing damage control on his own boss. And worse, you wondered will his counterparts in other countries, do they trust him? Do they believe that he is -- got the President's authority to do what he needs to do, to do his job?
PAUL: So, Eugene, I want to put up a picture here. I think we've got a picture of many of the departures that have happened in the last nine months. As we -- as we know, we've got National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, of course, FBI Director James Comey, Sean Spicer, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, HHS Secretary Tom Price gone.
If Secretary Tillerson walks, what state of effectiveness will live in this administration? What does it mean for the day-to-day duties and efficacy of what this administration can get done?
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: I think it highlights just how difficult it is for this administration to carry out the foreign policy proposal that the President put out on the campaign trail. I think what people were relieved by, is that Tillerson brought a level of expertise and insight and knowledge to the administration that was lacking there. And so, what would have to happen is he would needs to be replaced by someone who seriously understands the issues at a depth that is absent without him but in a way that the President would support.
PAUL: So, externally, it may look like chaos, obviously. But, Kelly Jane, to President Trump's supporters, could this more so look like he is maintaining its maintenance of the swamp, say, he sees something that's not working so he going to get rid of it.
TORRANCE: You know, it's possible, Christi. It's not a bad theory. The problem is, you know, people might see President Trump publicly haranguing and, you know, disagreeing with his Secretary of State. And think, OK, the President is going to correct you, just correct -- going up to correcting what he's doing, but do they realize that playing out in -- playing out in public like this may imperil both men's abilities to get their jobs done and get them done effectively. And deal with the real crises we have going on around the world right now. And, you know, Secretary -- or General Kelly, you know, he was brought in to help control this chaos but has he done any work in?
For example, getting them two men to communicate. You have to wonder when you see these tweets, the President, Tillerson, are they -- are these two men communicating? And I think, that's one thing that perhaps General Kelly should work a little harder on, is making sure they are communicating, they're on the same page. And they're going ahead with the unified foreign policy, not just for this administration but for America as a country. You know, it is really important.
PAUL: But Eugene, when it comes to Chief of Staff John Kelly, we've heard these rumblings that maybe he could be exiting, would that be of his own accord?
SCOTT: Well, he certainly -- it's one of the people who is on Tillerson's team. We know that Tillerson is there very often as a loner with not a lot of people there who can back up what he is suggesting in terms of this administration's foreign policy agenda. And so, if he exits, that could also mean that Kelly might be there by himself.
And if he cannot get someone else inside the White House who can back him up and support him when he's getting significant pushback from those who have a different worldview than him, he may not want to stay there longer. I think it's really important to realize that neither of these men needs to be there. They, like many other people in these White House, or they're primarily from a place of national service and duty to the country, not duty to Trump.
PAUL: OK, let's listen here to John Kirby as he was -- he was talking about what could happen with this whole thing.
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REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: To be fair, I mean, Secretary Tillerson has brought a little bit of that on himself. His leadership at Foggy Bottom hasn't been exemplary, hasn't been very assertive there. But I think, you know, based on what he's been through just in trying to manage this Commander-in- Chief, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't blame him a bit if he put in his resignation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Kelly Jane, do you agree with that characterization of Tillerson's job thus far?
TORRANCE: Yes, a little bit. A yes to no. I mean, you might argue that he brought it upon himself and you also might argue that anybody who entered this administration knew what they were dealing with. It was very clear that Trump was not going to be a typical President. And he was the kind of guy who, you know, was a straight talker, as a nice way to put it. And you know, he is publicly, you know, dissed people before. So, they kind of knew what he was getting himself into. But at the same time, you know, if he's just -- we don't know how much
they're communicating and if, you know -- we understand they have some policy differences. But the question is, you know, if Tillerson had the authority and the OK to start, for example, trying to talk with North Korea directly. If so, then, it's not his fault that he went ahead and did that and then later the President decided he did not like it. I mean, that's the question here, there's a lot of questions because we don't know exactly what's been going on between the two men and who is setting policy and how it is being, you know, given to the rest of the people and the administration to work on.
[07:45:11] PAUL: So, Eugene, looking ahead, if something does happen and Tillerson walks out the exit door, who could fill that position that could possibly bring some sort of remedy?
SCOTT: Well, certainly hopefully -- certainly hopefully someone who has more experience and diplomatic matters and foreign policy. I think the President may have made a bit of a mistake in assuming that he could bring someone over with a business background like himself to handle such a government-centric role. I think his idea was that he would -- Tillerson would understand what Trump wants to happen in the White House based on shared professional background, that wasn't -- that hasn't seemed to be the case.
PAUL: All right, Kelly Jane Torrance and Eugene Scott, always appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
TORRANCE: Thank you and good morning.
PAUL: You too.
BLACKWELL: Let's turn to the Caribbean where the recovery mission is very slow, but continuing there in Puerto Rico. And Vice President was there and he's explaining how FEMA is now finally getting much- needed aid to the island, the most remote areas, you will hear from the Vice President and the anger from the people also see the mission.
PAUL: With the recent hurricanes have really highlighted the need to be expeditious when it comes to medical first responders.
BLACKWELL: Researchers have come up with a drone that can deliver critical care in minutes. Jaqueline Howard has more in this "TECH-ING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH".
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN FEATURE WRITER: Southern Mississippi, 2013. A tornado injured 82 people across several counties and raised questions about emergency response.
ITALO SUBBARAO, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, WILLIAM CAREY UNIVERSITY: We realized there are a lot of obstacles to being able to get into the field and to be able to get to people's homes. So, we sat back and we asked, could we not combine advanced medical technology with highly advanced drone technology.
HOWARD: They introduced a medical drone to deliver critical first aid and a real-time connection to a doctor using Google Glass.
SUBBARAO: So, the physician can actually see what you're seeing. We could drop a kit down and we could provide guidance, support in that moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remove the clotting bandage from the package.
HOWARD: The kit also has a tablet loaded with how-to videos on providing care. Though the drone can't replace emergency services, it can be a bridge for first responders.
DENNIS LOTT, DIRECTOR, HINDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS: We're going out here flying these aircraft that have every image of the exact position to within a meter or down to centimeter level. We know where that victim is and we send the rescue drone to that location.
SUBBARAO: This can give a bystander the opportunity to save somebody's life.
ANNOUNCER: "TECH-ING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH", brought to you by America's Biopharmaceutical Companies. Go boldly.
[07:52:10] BLACKWELL: Eight minutes until the top of the hour and Vice President Mike Pence is promising people in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that federal government is in it for -- in it for the long haul, he says, when it comes to storm recovery efforts. He toured the devastation from Hurricane Maria on both territories yesterday.
PAUL: In the meantime, CNN's Leyla Santiago embedded on a Blackhawk mission with FEMA -- is witnessing how they're getting aid to remote areas.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These winds are nothing compared to Maria's wrath for the people of Lares. This time, there were signs that help has arrived. Half an hour earlier, customs and border protection agents deployed from San Juan, 2-1/2 weeks after the storm, to deliver FEMA's aid to hurricane survivors in need.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The power is good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got all the powers.
SANTIAGO: Why is that (INAUDIBLE) to go by air versus by land, would that play (INAUDIBLE)
RICH ROUVIERE, SUPERVISOR, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: It's pretty far out about, it's a pretty good community and there's also a hospital there.
SANTIAGO: This team has been flying over hurricane devastation for weeks.
ROUVIERE: We did Harvey and Irma, and I think the thing that striking is how much on a larger scale this is, compared to those they seem to be a little more isolated and this seems like the entire island was really devastated.
SANTIAGO: Wheels touched down, engines do not stop. Unloading begins 10 minutes on the ground. As soon as we arrived, police officers arrived, firefighters arrived, people from the municipalities, social services. They tell me that some of this will be delivered straight to the municipality people in areas that haven't been able to get out. And some of it will be delivered to the hospital.
This river flooded a hospital the day after Maria struck.
ADRIAN GONZALES, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, GENERAL HOSPITAL OF CASTANER: So, we've been a couple weeks without power.
SANTIAGO: Dr. Adrian Gonzalez says, half of the supplies coming in are from FEMA. Do you feel that the federal government is doing enough to help you?
GONZALES: I do, I do, yes.
SANTIAGO: In this remote mountainside community rooted in Puerto Rican pride, the recovery mission has only just begun. The winds of hope have arrived in Lares. FEMA is bringing help, now with a sense of urgency. Leyla Santiago, CNN, Lares, Puerto Rico.
PAUL: And, of course, part of the big news today is Hurricane Nate.
[07:54:57] BLACKWELL: Yes, going from the recovery from Maria, now to the preparation for Nate, going towards the Gulf Coast. Take a look at the radar. This is where the storm is expected to go and we have reporters live in Alabama and Louisiana, where the Mayor of New Orleans has already issued an evacuation order. There will be a curfew tonight, we've got live reports ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing you see when arriving at the Japanese island of Naoshima is a giant red pumpkin, perched on a pear. Most sculpture seemed to pop out of the landscape everywhere you go, where there are some blending better than others.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There's so much art on this island, visitors will catch what I call the art bug so that even very ordinary things start looking like art in your eyes. That's how I explain it to my friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the east side of the island, abandoned houses have been turned into works of art. A few decades ago, Naoshima was in decline, so were its main industries of metalworking and fishing. But this aging remote community got a new lease on life, largely thanks to (INAUDIBLE) holdings. That's a Japanese education and publishing powerhouse. They develop hotels and galleries. Transforming Naoshima and its neighbors into treasure islands of contemporary art.
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