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Wildfires Devastating California Wine Country; Weinstein Scandal; Palestinian Rivals Agree to Meet; Rising Rhetoric between U.S. and North Korea; At Least 23 Killed As Wildfires Spread In California; Trump Wants U.S. Nuke Arsenal In Tip-Top Shape; President Suggested NBC's License Be Revoked; FCC Chairman: Job Is Not To Be "Political Actor"; Death Toll Rises To 45 In Puerto Rico; New Questions Over Las Vegas Shooting Timeline; Las Vegas Shooting Victim Files Lawsuit; Eminem Lashes Out At Trump In Blistering Freestyle; Eminem's Scathing Anti-Trump Rap Surpasses 17M Views. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired October 12, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Wildfires whipping through California's wine country. The death toll rising as families frantically search for the hundreds reported missing.
VAUSE (voice-over): Sexual harassment and the sound of silence by some of Hollywood's most powerful and famous men have gotten away with it for so long.
SESAY (voice-over): President Trump taking his media name calling a step further. Now he's actually threatening action.
Welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE (voice-over): And I'm John Vause. This is the third hour of NEWSROOM L.A.
SESAY: The death toll is rising in one of the deadliest wildfire outbreaks in California's history. At least 23 people have now been killed, hundreds more are missing. The fires have destroyed tens of thousands of hectares and at least 3,500 homes and businesses.
VAUSE: Many homes in what were once lush, green neighborhoods have now been completely charred and reduced to ash, more than 20,000 people have been forced to flee. And for nearly 8,000 firefighters staring down these flames, the situation is growing worse as the winds are expected to pick up soon.
SESAY: The wildfires are also barreling through North California's wine country, destroying the livelihoods of so many people who depend on this industry.
VAUSE: Miguel Marquez visited one winery, now trying to pick up the pieces.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An enormous swath of Northern California threatened by fire. Smoke-filled valleys and charred remains of entire neighborhoods in an area known for its natural beauty, good food and wine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have been here 20 (ph) years so it's like mine, yes.
MARQUEZ: How tough is it to see this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to cry. I'm trying not to.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Pierre Birben (ph) has made wine in Napa Valley for 30 years. The last 20 at Signorello Winery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My desk was here. This is my file cabinet. The door was here. You can see the box still moving. But there's nothing left.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The winery, tasting room and public areas all gone. But the important stuff...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks fine.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The barrel room and vintages from this year and last, all spared. And the most important part: the vines, the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-eight-year-old vines here and as you can see, this is right on the edge and there's no damage, which is really nice to see. The building, I can replace. There's nobody hurt here, which, to me, is the most important thing.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The wine industry pours $57 billion a year into California's economy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I go back to France and my friend from school, they know about Napa Valley 30 years ago. They were kind of making fun about California wine and now they don't make fun anymore. Say, oh, Napa, yes.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Today, no one laughing. Fires still burning. The death toll rising in communities for miles around, bracing for the worst. As those who have been through it start planning for the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not just Napa. It's Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino. All of these areas, we're all in the same boat.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): With the fires burning from just north of San Francisco to nearly the Orion (ph) border, it's an enormous boat. Still on a collision course with fire.
And it's just these sorts of fires that officials are most concerned with, fires that have been burning up in the hills for days. The wind just changed directions and what they're afraid of now that they going to gusts up to about 45 miles per hour. If that happens, whole new communities could be wiped out -- Miguel Marquez, CNN, in Sonoma County, California.
SESAY: Well, California fire battalion chief Johnson Cox (ph) joins us now by phone.
Chief Cox, thank you for speaking to us.
Right now, as we have you on the line, where do things stand with the multiple fires burning in Northern California?
JOHNSON COX (PH), CALIFORNIA FIRE BATTALION CHIEF: Yes. We have over 22 fires burning roughly out Northern California that have scorched over 170,000 acres. We still have evacuations being -- coming online and occurring due to the conditions we're seeing and some wind gusts that are occurring.
The winds have been relatively calm over the last 24 hours and but again we are in the period right now where's anticipated north winds again and meaning we're under a red flag warning.
SESAY: All right.
How much of the fire is contained at the moment?
COX (PH): Yes, so, depending on the specific fire, we have containment anywhere from 0 percent to 30 percent on some of these fires. It really depends on the fire. Having so many in such a concentrated area, at the same time, it's fairly unprecedented but we have thousands of firefighters, over 8,000 firefighters from throughout the Western United States now on the fire line, including the Air National Guard, as well.
SESAY: Chief Cox, you mentioned the winds being relatively calm over the last 24 hours.
Have your men been able to take advantage of that to deal with hot spots and put out the embers?
Were you able to at least make some progress with the winds being a little bit calmer?
COX (PH): Yes. I've been out on the fire line most of the time and there's firefighters out there who have been out here since Sunday night, just working tirelessly to protect structures and work on containment lines. Every firefighter who's out on the line is very conscious of the
anticipated wind event that -- for the area. And they're not letting their guard down. And that's why additional reinforcements are in the area, a large contingent of aircraft and really just nonstop hard work around the clock at the moment.
SESAY: To that point, you mentioned 8,000 men being there on the ground, battling these blazes. This is hard work. It is dangerous work.
How are they doing with the stress and strain of it all?
COX (PH): Yes. You know, this is not an easy event for anybody. We have firefighters, first responders, who either lost their home or have family members who lost their home. So this is not an isolated incident. This is affecting people throughout the community.
But there's a big sense of mission here and purpose for the firefighters and getting out there and doing strong work to protect a lot of important cities, counties and areas that people are familiar with and very proud of.
SESAY: Yes, well, Chief Cox, I can't tell you enough that all the people we have spoken to who have been affected by the fires are praising your men no end. Saying they have been amazing. We wish you the very best as you continue the battle the blazes. Good luck and we'll check in on you.
VAUSE: Well, a growing number of women are accusing movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Actress Cara Delavine (ph) is one of the latest who says she was one of Weinstein's victims. She appears in the new film "Tulip Fever," which was produced by Weinstein.
SESAY: She said Weinstein made unwanted sexual advances toward her early in her career but she never spoke out because she felt guilty. At least 2 dozen women are accusing Weinstein of misconduct, ranging from sexual harassment to rape.
Journalist Ronan Farrow wrote about the allegations in "The New Yorker."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONAN FARROW, "THE NEW YORKER": There were 16 former and current executives and assistants that spoke to me for the story, who corroborated the allegations and said they had either personally witnessed things that they were troubled by or participated in what they described as a pattern of meetings, that were just sort of thin cover for predatory advances on young women.
This was very enmeshed in company business and, again and again, they said everybody knew.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joining us now is psychologist and author, Bethany Marshall, and former district attorney, Ambrosio Rodriguez.
Thank you for being with us.
VAUSE: OK. There was this relative silence that we had. But now many in Hollywood as well as many on the political side, the Democrat side, they're coming forward, condemning Weinstein. Hillary Clinton actually talked Fareed Zakaria. This is some of what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I certainly didn't and I don't know who did but I can only speak for myself and, I think, speak for many others who knew him, primarily through politics.
But the courage of these women coming forward now is really important because it can't just end with one person's disgraceful behavior and the consequences that he is now facing. This has to be a wake-up call and shine a bright spotlight on anything like this behavior anywhere at any time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And I think we just clipped the top of that question from Fareed, when he said everyone knew but no one knew and her answer was, well, I certainly didn't know what was happening. Meryl Streep adamant that she had no idea; Judi Dench, who famously has a tattoo of Harvey Weinstein on her buttocks, completely unaware and said -- this list goes on and on.
This seems to be the biggest open secret in Hollywood that no one knew about.
I mean, is that possible?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I kind of knew about it. I'm in clinical practice in Beverly Hills. My colleagues knew about it. It's not a surprising story. I think the reason Hillary Clinton is so shocked is that this is not just -- if the allegations are true, it's not just sexual acting out; this is sociopathic predatory behavior with young women.
It's a very specific type of offending pattern. If Harvey were a patient in my practice, he's not, but if someone came into my practice with this kind of a story of forced oral sex, forced vaginal sex, a grooming pattern that was extensive, asking women for massages, targeting younger women, I would guess that I would begin to think about my patient as what we would call a power rapist.
A power rapist is somebody who's very narcissistic, sociopathic, who relates to women on the basis of power rather than affection, enjoys belittling the victims and enjoys the power differential, actually gains satisfaction from it.
VAUSE: So the claims are horrendous and no one knew about it I think is essentially the point here, right?
SESAY: Bethany, to pick up on what you're saying there, what is also interesting as we read the accounts from all these women, it's the sense and they all -- most of them are expressing the feeling of guilt. This feeling of guilt that they went up to his hotel room, this guilt that they didn't scratch at him or kick at him.
How common is that, that sense of responsibility, that women who go through this come out the other side with?
MARSHALL: Well, sexual abuse victims always feel guilty, whether it's a child, whether it's a member of the LGBT community, whether it's a woman. Everybody feels guilty because they go into this situation wanting something.
A child might want love, an actress may want a role. So they want something and they consent to something other than what they think they're consenting to, so it makes them feel guilty. Then they feel shame to tell other people and they repress the entire incident.
VAUSE: Keep that in mind. This is how a victim, Laura Cervantes (ph), described what actually happened to her at the hands of Weinstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA CERVANTES (PH), WEINSTEIN VICTIM: I say the word "trapped." People ask me, couldn't you have kicked and screamed?
Yes, I think if my life was threatened I could have gotten away from him. But I'm 5'1". He's 6'2". He's much, much larger than me. He was blocking the only exit out. And at that time I was 28 years old. I'd never been in a situation like this before. I didn't know how it ended. I didn't know what to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So (INAUDIBLE), when we're listening to the accounts we are hearing from a lot of women now, what are the chance that there could be formal charges brought against Weinstein and not against him but about the company, as well, especially if they were aware of all the payments going to the women, essentially to keep them quiet?
AMBROSIO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. I was shocked about what happened in New York. Right. I mean, that's a big issue because in New York they had more than enough evidence to charge him.
And now the question is, why aren't they charging him now?
Statutes of limitations do not apply and now they have two alleged victims. Ms. Vance, I believe is her name, the one who was a student at Middlebury and the model that was at the hotel, that they had the -- basically a confession on tape. And I also expect that there's going to be a full investigation by the
Los Angeles district attorney's office and LAPD as to what happened in Los Angeles because now that this has come out and it's become such a huge story, I think no one in law enforcement and in politics likes to see rich and powerful people get away with it and they do all too often.
So now the investigation is really going to take -- going to take a full head of steam and go through what it can. All these women are coming forward.
VAUSE: All the headwinds become tailwinds.
RODRIGUEZ: Right. And I think the investigation is going to go, there's going to be a lot of witnesses because there been a lot of talk about those that helped him. Right?
And I want to talk about that because what we're really talking is about pimping. That's what they were doing. His associates, assistants, whatever, producers that were involved in this are looking at criminal liability.
It really depends, though, on the -- how aggressive and how bold the prosecution is going to be, because don't forget, rape is not just rape in terms of force or violence. Rape can also be done through duress. And if the women had sexual contact or intercourse or whatever with Harvey Weinstein because of duress, that's also rape in California and if these producers knew about it, assistants, whatever, they're also part of the conspiracy.
SESAY: And Bethany, to pick up on that and to make a distinction between those who helped set up meetings, who helped procure, if you will, and those who just knew about it, right, who were just in Merrimack's (ph) or The Weinstein Company and they knew, they'd heard the rumors, how does a culture take hold, where people are hearing this stuff, it's being reported, it's been swept under the rug and people, even people who are in positions of power that don't have that much to lose, still stay quiet?
MARSHALL: I think it happens in two ways. One is something that I call institutional sociopathy. It's when one person with a corruption of conscience hires another person with a corruption of conscience and then that person hires a friend with a corruption of conscience and it is like the cancer grows.
We saw this with Michael Jackson. That's an old story but he had security guards, all kinds of people on Neverland ranch and they all saw him with children and nobody really called the police. So that's one thing, institutional sociopathy.
I think the other that piggy-backs on something that I heard in my practice all day today, I'm not -- patients of mine came in, saying, well, I'm not surprised. This happens in Hollywood. He's a powerful figure.
SESAY: Normalizing it. MARSHALL: Really minimizing it and normalizing it. Men who are sexual predators already minimize and normalize their behavior. When everybody else starts doing it, too, it becomes so toxic.
VAUSE: We were talking about Cyrus Vance, who is the New York D.A., who is under fire now for not following up on the prosecution. I want to play what he said about why he did not follow up on the case in New York with the actress or the model, Ambra Gutierrez. This is what Cyrus Vance had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYRUS VANCE, MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: If we had a case that we felt we could prosecute and my experts felt we could prosecute against Harvey Weinstein, we would have.
We take on many, many, many difficult sex crime prosecutions. With individuals, irrespective of their background or their money. So that's not an issue for us. We really are based on the facts, not what people think about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: How much of a problem is it that Cyrus Vance took tens of thousands of dollars of political donations from Weinstein's lawyers?
RODRIGUEZ: It's a huge problem. I don't believe him. If it was some bodega owner in Brooklyn or in Lower East Side, he would have been prosecuted with that tape. This is because Harvey Weinstein and the -- Cyrus Vance made a decision as to whether or not he wanted to take on Harvey Weinstein. He decided he didn't want to.
And this had nothing to do with whether or not there was enough evidence. I've prosecuted these cases. I've filed these cases. There's more than enough evidence to go. You have a confession on that tape.
SESAY: Yes, that's a wiretap case.
We're out of time. I want to thank you for being with us. But I just want to put up the list here of the number of big names that have been taken down this year because of sexual harassment.
Apart from Harvey Weinstein, there's the former chairman of FOX News, Roger Ailes; FOX News anchor Bill O'Reilly: FOX News anchor Eric Bolling; former New York congressman Anthony Weiner; comedian Bill Cosby. And that' just a few of the big names in the last 12 months and clearly there is change that thebe big names are actually being exposed and being brought to some kind of justice.
Thank you guys for being with us.
SESAY: We appreciate it. Thank you. A short break now. When we come back, reports of a deal between two Palestinian factions could bring peace to the streets of Gaza. We'll take you live to Jerusalem.
VAUSE: Also when it comes to North Korea, whose opinion really matters to President Trump?
We'll give you one guess.
VAUSE: Rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, have reached a reconciliation deal, they've been holding talks in Cairo mediated by the Egyptian government.
SESAY: Egypt has tried several times to help reconcile both parties to form a power-sharing government in Gaza and the West Bank.
VAUSE: CNN's Oren Liebermann live in Jerusalem this hour with more.
Gosh, it's been 10 years since that bitter split, Oren. Now this announcement of a deal did not come with a lot of detail.
So what's the expectation?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It didn't and those details are absolutely crucial in how this moves together and how this moves forward. Crucially, Hamas is being far more optimistic with their statements prior to the press conference, where we'll learn more about this agreement.
They're in fact saying, yes, we have agreements, the talks have concluded. Fatah meanwhile, and we've spoken with a few different leaders here, are being much more cautious about their optimism, saying only talks have concluded. There's been a positive atmosphere over the last few days. They won't say definitively say a deal has been definitively reached.
And that's an important distinction here, especially as we don't have any details.
Why are the details here so important?
That because the details is where all these reconciliation efforts have fallen apart in the past.
What details specifically?
Well, Hamas' military wing.
Will it be disarmed and will they give up what they see as their armed resistance against Israel? That's crucial and that's been a requirement essentially of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority until now.
What did we learn about that in the press conference?
That's in the details as well as the control of Gaza's borders, also a crucial issue that Fatah and Hamas have never seen eye to eye on.
John, how do you know Fatah is still being cautious about this entire process?
Well, because they haven't removed their punitive measures against Gaza yet during these reconciliation efforts and that includes they haven't yet restored power to Gaza and they haven't yet restored the salaries they've cut as a way of putting pressure on Hamas.
We see that as Fatah being skeptical still and being very cautious about the progress of these reconciliation efforts.
VAUSE: Oh, the day is still young, Oren. OK. The hope here is that the Palestinian Authority will eventually take over Gaza as part of its unity deal. That will encourage Egypt and Israel to ease up on the border restrictions, which have been punishing for the 2 million people in Gaza for so many years.
Israel has been very specific about what it sees as acceptable and what is not acceptable in any kind of deal between Fatah and Hamas.
LIEBERMANN: You're absolutely right. Israel and the big one here has been the Hamas military win. Does Hamas give up its weaponry? Does it hand over essentially full security and military control over to the Palestinian Authority?
That's been Israel's key interest. And its biggest point in all of this. That's why that detail and where the agreement comes to on that will be a critical point for Israel. But Israel and Netanyahu specifically, the prime minister, finds himself in a very delicate position.
Well, first, his right wing government opposes any sort of reconciliation effort between Fatah and Hamas. And yet, on the other side, the Americans and the Egyptians, both of whom have very good relations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are backing these reconciliation efforts.
So Netanyahu finds himself in a delicate position; he has been very cautious himself here. He was dismissive of earlier reconciliation efforts. He's not been dismissive of these. It seems that he realizes these are far more serious. He hasn't put out too many statements, waiting to see how this all shakes out.
That's what everybody's waiting to see at this point.
VAUSE: We're about three hours and 37 minutes away from the news conference in Cairo. All shall be revealed, Oren. Thank you so much.
SESAY: More on North Korea. The foreign minister said U.S. president Trump has, quote, "lit the wick of war." It's just the latest in weeks of escalating rhetoric between the two countries. North Korea also called President Trump's speech last month at the U.N. the tipping point. That's when Mr. Trump threatened Pyongyang with total destruction if the U.S. had to defend itself.
VAUSE: The White House on Wednesday, President Trump said he listens to all kinds of advice when it comes to how to deal with North Korea. But, at the end of the day, one person's opinion matters the most.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think I have a little bit different attitude on North Korea than other people might have and I listen to everybody but ultimately my attitude is the one that matters, isn't it?
That's the way it works. That's the way the system is. I think I might have a somewhat different attitude and different way than other people. I think perhaps I feel stronger and tougher on that subject than other people. But I listen to everybody. And ultimately I will do what's right for the United States and really what's right for the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Live now to CNN's Ben Wedeman in Seoul, South Korea.
So, Ben, is this all just part of the regular back-and-forth that we've been seeing over the last couple of months?
Or have we reached a point where this is a lot more significant and this -- these threats coming from the North Korean foreign minister should be taken a lot more seriously?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the rhetoric really started to heat up back in August, when President Trump made his "fire and fury" threat against North Korea. And it's only gotten worse.
I think what is confusing most people in the region is that, for decades, yes, the world became accustomed to bellicose, fire-breathing rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang. But oftentimes it was met with somewhat more measured talk from Washington and its allies. That's changed.
Now it's really coming from both directions. And I'm afraid this may be the way it's going to be for the foreseeable future when it comes to this conflict -- John.
VAUSE: And also, Ben, the way it seems it's going to be the way, too, on the military side. Just a day or so ago, U.S. bombers flew over the peninsula with the South Korean air force. These exercises seems to be beyond routine. WEDEMAN: Yes. The end of last month, also similarly, two B-1 bombers flew further north at the 38th parallel, which divides the south and the north, than they had since the beginning of this century. This is obviously part of a ratcheting up of such displays of force by the United States, as tensions rise.
It's important to keep in mind that every year for decades now, twice a year, there have been large military exercises involving South Korean and American military forces. But what we're seeing is, in addition, for instance, these B-1 bomber flights, for instance, over this last weekend, there was a U.S. nuclear powered submarine, the Tucson, visited South Korea.
This coming weekend, we expect another one, the Michigan, another nuclear powered submarine with guided missiles to come. Also the Nimitz class U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier has departed San Diego and is headed toward the Pacific. So we do see an almost constant presence of some serious American firepower in the region as this crisis continues.
VAUSE: The constant rotation of strategic assets as they call them, I think that was from the South Koreans, they wanted a bigger presence of the U.S. military in the region, certainly as this crisis with the North Koreans continues. Ben, good to see you there in Seoul. Thank you.
WEDEMAN: My pleasure.
SESAY: Now U.N. officials say they're seeing a sharp increase in Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar. They estimate 11,000 men, women and children crossed into Bangladesh in a single day this week.
VAUSE: Interviews with dozens of refugees tell of indiscriminate killings, rapes and torture, their homes and crops set up in flames as they flee. U.N. officials say it's highly likely that the Myanmar military has placed land mines along the border to prevent the refugees fro returning home.
Time for a quick break. "STATE OF AMERICA" with Kate Bolduan is coming up next for our viewers in Asia. For everyone else, going beyond insults and now making threats, Donald Trump lashing out at the media. But this time it's different.
[02:30:15] JOHN VAUSE, CNN HOST: Welcome back, everybody, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM Live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
ISHA SESAY, CNN HOST: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour, crews battling at least 22 wildfires in California, all facing dry and windy conditions which could spread the flames even further. At least 23 people have died so far, hundreds more are missing. About 3500 homes and businesses have been destroyed since Sunday.
VAUSE: The U.S. President has denied a report he wants to dramatically increase the country's nuclear arsenal. But he wants it to be, in his words, tip-top shape. And when it comes to North Korea, he says, he is listening to many different opinions but only one opinion really matters, he says, and that's his.
SESAY: Well, Donald Trump said in part of Wednesday, attacking one of his favorite targets, the news media.
VAUSE: This time, though, the U.S. President's anger was focused primarily on NBC News sort of reporting where he had said that tenfold increase in America's nuclear arsenal. They could be blasted that report as being untrue but Mr. Trump was not finished. Late on Wednesday, he tweeted this threat. "Network news has become so partisan, distorted, and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!"
SESAY: Michael Hiltzik is the long-time columnist for The Los Angeles Times. He joins us now from Seal Beach, California. Michael, good to see you, thanks for being with us. So, you've heard --
MICHAEL HILTZIK, COLUMNIST, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Isha, it's good to be on with you.
SESAY: You've heard the President's words throughout Wednesday. Give me your sense, is this talk of revoking or challenging NBC's license more President Trump's characteristic bluster or is this something more serious?
HILTZIK: Well, I think it's more serious in terms of his bluster. I think what we're witnessing is essentially an emotional meltdown of some sort that's fueled by almost total ignorance of the way news organizations, broadcasters, cable operators, are licensed and regulated in this country.
The prospect that -- well, first of all, NBC as a network isn't licensed by the federal government or by anybody. It's the owner of something in the neighborhood of 28 individual stations around the country. But challenging those licenses is an enormous job. Almost never, ever successful, and not likely to be successful if the basis of the challenge is the nature of their news coverage.
SESAY: Well, Michael, as you well know, another President of the past, Richard Nixon, went down this road and basically told his adviser to make it difficult to -- for The Washington Post to renew its FCC license for Florida T.V. station that it owned. And we know that a businessman were tied to Nixon, went ahead and filed the paperwork. We also know that the Justice Department under Nixon also filed anti-trust charges against three major T.V. networks. So, let me ask you this, is President Trump, in much away like Nixon, really just trying to push against democratic accountability.
HILTZIK: It's hard to say, he may actually think that he's got some grounds to challenge and then revoke licenses of NBC or NBC affiliates. If he looks at history, he will discover that Richard Nixon was utterly unsuccessful at doing it. Although he did create a nuisance for The Washington Post company, it was an expensive nuisance. I think the Washington Post company spent something in the neighborhood of a million dollars In legal fees to secure those licenses.
I think Trump is essentially mouthing off. I think he doesn't understand the way licensing works. He certainly doesn't understand that licensing procedure happen once every eight years. And I think, the NBC affiliates that are owned and operated stations, they're not coming up for at least a few more years.
So, I -- you know, I think essentially, he's blustering, he's boasting, he's threatening. And I think it's disturbing that we have a President who is challenging businesses based on their upholding the first amendment. But in terms of whether he'll be successful, it's extremely dubious.
SESAY: Well, Michael we are almost out of time. So, just quickly, we know that Senator Ed Markey, the Democrat from Massachusetts, has written to the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. And he's basically said that, you know, he needs to come out. And basically, say he stands for the first amendment and that basically he won't, you know, he won't follow the President's lead in all of this. How important is it for the FCC Chairman to come out, speak publicly and loudly about, you know, whether he stands for the first amendment?
[02:34:56] HILTZIK: Well, I think it would certainly help. I think what (INAUDIBLE) certainly should say and what he should tell his boss, Donald Trump, is that he doesn't have the authority to do what Donald Trump is asking him to do. And I -- and I think he should go further and say, not only does he not have the authority that he wouldn't have the inclination to do so, even if he could. It would be unconstitutional for the Federal Communications Commission to try to lift a news organization's license because of what it's reported about President Trump.
SESAY: Well, Michael Hiltzik, we appreciate your time this evening and for your insight. Thank you so much.
Well, the death toll has risen to 45 in Puerto Rico and more than 110 others are still unaccounted for. Almost all of the island remains without power.
VAUSE: Three weeks since Hurricane Maria, and for most, no letup in this misery. Leyla Santiago reports now from San Juan.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, as we went around the island just in the last two days, got outside of where we are right now. In San Juan, what we realize is FEMA aid is moving. But at the end of the day, those most vulnerable are not getting the aid and the help that they need. Let me give you one example. As we went out to Anasco, it is on the western part of the Island. We went into a very remote area where they had actually cleared off the debris on a road there. But the concern is that, when it rains, it's back to the way it was before. Washed out roads, floods, and mud that make it really hard to get to the people who are so isolate right now.
I met one woman, her name is Lusalenia Rivera. And when we went to her home, she was by herself, she had no power, she had asthma, she has arthritis, and she cannot get out of the community where she is right now. She tells me help is minimal, the only person who has come by was someone from the mayor's office. I want you to listen to my exchange with her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTIAGO: And she says she needs power, she needs light. She needs her daily medicines. These are basic things. These are basic things. Three weeks after Maria, she can get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: It's just hard to fathom three weeks later that --
VAUSE: This never seems to end.
SESAY: Yes, Leyla Santiago there with that report. Still to come this hour, new questions about what happened before and after the Las Vegas Shooting. Why police say the timeline just keeps on changing.
SESAY: And it's been nearly two weeks since the Las Vegas massacre and investigators still don't know why the gunman started shooting or why he stopped.
[02:40:02] VAUSE: New details have emerged about the timeline of the shooting raising questions about the first crucial moment. And if more could have been done. Brian Todd explains.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New questions are being raised about the investigation into the worst mass shooting in modern American history because the basic timeline of what has happened has changed once and could well change again. More than a week after the shooting, police laid out a new timeline, saying Mandalay Bay Hotel security guard, Jesus Campos was shot six minutes before the gunman opened fire on concert goers. Not during the rampage as they previously said.
In a statement, MGM Resorts, the Mandalay Bay's owners, said, "We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline that has been communicated publicly. And we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate." Pressed by CNN later, MGM representatives said they were simply agreeing with the Sheriff that the timeline could change. A law enforcement source close to the investigation tells CNN, the police timeline is pretty accurate with all the facts known. Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes says, by now, there shouldn't be so much conjecture over the timeline.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: There shouldn't be these kind of discrepancies. And especially we're not relying on witness statements which vary a lot, you know, but we're relying on basically digital information. When was that alarm tripped on the 32nd floor that caused Campos to be dispatched to check the alarm? When did he arrive?
TODD: And now, an account from a second person in that hallway could help investigators. Stephen Shuck, a Mandalay Bay Hotel engineer told NBC News he was walking down the hallway toward gunman Stephen Paddock's room to check on an open fire exit door when shots rang out. Shuck says, Campos, the security guard, popped his head out of the hallway alcove and warned him to take cover, saving his life.
STEPHEN SCHUCK, ENGINEER, MANDALAY BAY: I called over the radio what was going on. And soon as the shooting stopped, we made our way down the hallway and took cover again. And then the shooting started again.
TODD: CNN has obtained audio of what an MGM official says is Shuck's radio call.
SCHUCK (through voice tape): Call the police, someone's firing a gun up here. Someone's firing a rifle on the 32nd floor down the hallway.
TODD: And MGM official tells CNN, they're trying to figure out who Shuck called. The exact time he called. And they're trying to ascertain how long it took Mandalay Bay staff to notify police after Shuck and Campos reported gunfire on the 32nd floor. Minutes later, Paddock unleashed his deadly fire on the crowd below. And now, the Sheriff leading the investigation tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he still has questions about whether Paddock truly acted alone.
JOSEPH LOMBARDO, SHERIFF, LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's very difficult for me to believe nobody else would be aware of the possibility of this or assisted in the development of this.
TODD: And now we're learning of at least one other Mandalay Bay employee who came in contact with Stephen Paddock. An MGM spokesperson says the shooter was accompanied by a bellman on two occasions in a service elevator. The spokesperson says, the bellman was helping Paddock with his luggage and says the use of service elevators by guest is not a special perk. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
VAUSE: Well, a California college student injured in the shooting has filed the first lawsuit. Paige Gasper was to claim MGM, the owners of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Also the concert promoter, Live Nation and bump stock manufacturers are all liable.
SESAY: And specifically accuses MGM of failing to respond in a timely manner. She says Live Nation failed to build and mark emergency exits and trained self-emergency. A name Slide Fire Solutions for making bump stocks that allowed the gunman to fire his rifles like automatic weapons.
VAUSE: Brian Claypool joins us now. He was at the concert when all of the shooting started. Also, a friend of the show (INAUDIBLE) an often guest here. Glad you're here, Brian. It's good --
BRIAN CLAYPOOL, ATTORNEY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE: Yes, thanks a lot. Still regrouping. I'm not feeling real social.
VAUSE: You know yourself.
CLAYPOOL: Important to be here though.
CLAYPOOL: You guys have been great, the show's been great. But this has had a dramatic effect on me. And imagine, I'm a survivor.
CLAYPOOL: But I wasn't -- you know, I wasn't somebody that was killed, so imagine the grief they're going through to those families.
VAUSE: And look, we want you to -- you know, obviously, you're someone who was there who went through all of this and also someone who is a lawyer. So, now we're going to talk about these lawsuits, OK? So, we just heard from a couple plaintiffs saying they're basically, you know, there is not a fall guy for this. That does -- I mean, is that the case? I mean, who gets blamed?
CLAYPOOL: Who said that?
VAUSE: Well, apparently the Sherriff.
CLAYPOOL: Yes. Well, I have been (INAUDIBLE) I'd like to have coffee with him. And I'll tell him there's clearly a fall guy in this. Because I stayed at the Mandalay Bay, I was there Saturday and Sunday. And I'd like to talk -- what -- ask yourself, why has Mandalay Bay not even given a statement?
I was there on Monday, the day after the shooting. I went back to get my belongings in my room. Do you realize that there was not a single sign anywhere? Hey, we're sorry about this shooting.
VAUSE: So, you say nobody from Mandalay Bay has contacted you?
[02:45:03] CLAYPOOL: Nobody at Mandalay Bay either left a note, contacted me, said, hey, we're really sorry about the shooting, number one. Number two, why wasn't that casino shut down? That's a crime scene. I walked in, I can't tell you how upset I was, John. When I walked back there after not sleeping for 48 hours to get my gear, and I see people playing the slot machines, that whole casino should have been shut down for days. And they should have canvassed every hallway, every room for prints, for surveillance video, and shut that place down. Are they more worried about making money the day after a shooting than taking care of people that were -- that were killed and injured? SESAY: You have a specific take on this in terms -- in something that
would feed into a lawsuit. You say that there were too many corners cut for the likes of Stephen Paddock, these high rollers, which create a gap that can be exploited by people who want to cause this kind of trouble.
CLAYPOOL: Yes. Well, look at the culture that we're finding out about how casinos like the Mandalay Bay treat these high rollers. I heard that he had signed in under a different name, possibly his girlfriend's name, was using her name to gamble. He was allowed to, allegedly, allowed to use a service freight elevator. How about that? I mean, did anybody who let him use a service elevator noticed he might have been carrying something odd in the service elevator? That should've never happened.
And I think one of the -- one of the biggest problems I see in terms of potential liability for the Mandalay Bay and MGM is this, if this timeline, the revised timeline is correct, where the security guy is up there at 9:59, and the shooting doesn't start until 10:08, I beg to differ with that guy. There's clearly a fall guy. Every second would have counted. The minute he calls down there, hey, I heard -- I heard there are shots fired. Why wasn't there somebody up there in a couple of minutes? That nine-minute window, Isha, was the difference between life and death for 59 people.
VAUSE: OK. (INAUDIBLE) lawsuit against MGM Resorts from this college student. It states that MGM Resorts should have known they're fairly to keep their promises (INAUDIBLE) would resort in catastrophic injury perpetrated by a gunman-toting guest with an extreme intension tot harm others. So, essentially, you're arguing -- well, they're arguing. But in the past, haven't these sort of lawsuits been thrown out of court when they're trying to take the blame away from the gunman and put it onto a third party? That's been the history here.
CLAYPOOL: Well, that has been the case. But I think this case is a little different because you have two components that are distinct in this case. One is, you have a guy that planned this for days. He didn't -- it'd be a different story if he showed up in the Mandalay Bay four hours before the shooting, and then he does the shooting, then there's a problem --
VAUSE: Reasonable expectation of --
CLAYPOOL: Exactly. Yes. It's reasonably foreseeable as somebody would do this. Now, John, you got to bear in mind that we live in a different world. A lot of violence. You're a -- Vegas is a hot spot for potential terrorism. You've got a venue. I looked out the room and I saw the venue from my room. So, I'm not saying that Mandalay Bay and MGM are supposed to predict there's a sniper that's going to be in a room. But when you got a three-day time period with this guy, you know, hauling up, you know, arsenal into his room and nobody is going into that room to check for three days, that's the point. You've got to be looking for red flags.
VAUSE: What's a reasonable expectation here and what you could expect around security and from an organization? SESAY: There's a legal suits aside. Brian, I know that you are very engaged which is a response to this and making sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again. You're working with other survivors, you saw California Senator Dianne Feinstein a couple of days ago. Talk to me about your steps going forward and this is responding to this and helping others.
CLAYPOOL: Thank you for asking, by the way. I received hundreds and hundreds of e-mails from people across the country and this world, who were telling me how sorry they felt for my grief when I was interviewed about the shooting. But more importantly, at the end of a lot of those e-mails, they said, well, you now have a mission. What's your mission? Are you going to do something about gun control? And I felt from a spiritual standpoint that God had anointed me to do something about this.
And we have an incredible Mayor in Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, he reached out to me after the shooting, and he asked how I was doing. I sent him a note back and I said, you know what, dude? I need to meet the woman who's offered this bump stock bill, Dianne Feinstein. And there's a -- with an event yesterday where she announced her re- election to the U.S. Senate, and I brought with me, real quick, I brought a note from my daughter. This was a birthday, now my birthday was the Tuesday after the shooting. My daughter wrote me a note, she didn't know about the shooting. I read this to Senator Feinstein. I looked her in the face and real quick if I may --
VAUSE: Real quick.
CLAYPOOL: Yes. My daughter writes me a note, daddy, you've been there my whole life. We had many great memories together such as going to the Mid-State Fair, seeing Broadway musicals in New York, seeing Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande. And she says, I love these times together and I can't wait to make more memories together throughout my entire life.
[02:50:03] I read this to Dianne Feinstein. I said, you know what, Senator Feinstein, I almost was not able to fulfill my daughter's birthday wish because of a lunatic shooter with an automatic weapon or using these bump stocks. I wanted her to see it in my face. She promised me that she would get this bump stock bill passed in Congress.
VAUSE: Brian, we are out of time. We're glad you're here. We wish you luck, we will stay in touch.
VAUSE: And we -- and maybe that bump stock thing could just be the start rather than the end.
CLAYPOOL: Yes, that's a starting point, I agree.
SESAY: Absolutely, Brian, take care of yourself. VAUSE: I'm glad you're -- I'm glad you're with us.
CLAYPOOL: Yes, thank you for having me.
VAUSE: We appreciate it. Thanks, man.
SESAY: Well, after the break, President Trump is in so many fights, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. But every now and then, he's starting a new one. More on his scathing anti-Trump rap, next.
SESAY: Well, rapper Eminem is getting both praise and backlash for a cutting freestyle blasting Donald Trump. In one line, he refers to the U.S. President as, "A kamikaze that will probably cause a nuclear holocaust."
VAUSE: He slams the President, accusing him of making the country's problems worse. Here's a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMINEM, RAPPER: It's like we take a step forwards, then backwards. But this is his form of distraction. Plus, he gets an enormous reaction when he attacks the NFL, so we focus on that, and instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada, all these horrible tragedies, and he's bored and would rather cause a Twitter storm with the Packers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, near the end, Eminem tells his fans to choose between him or the President.
VAUSE: A music writer Bob Lefsetz is with us now. Bob, it's been a while. So good to see you. Thank you for being with us.
SESAY: Yes. Welcome.
BOB LEFSETZ, MUSIC WRITER: Good to be here.
VAUSE: This is (INAUDIBLE) OK. The storm has -- it's pretty much overshadowed all anti-Trump songs that have been out up until this point. More than 15 million views on YouTube, making headlines, there's a lot of praise from liberals, they've embraced it. OK. So, how do you explain all of this? What's so special about this rap version that it's got so much attention.
LEFSETZ: No one of this caliber has stood up to Trump. There are a lot of people -- don't forget the barrier to entry in media today is nonexistent. Everyone go on YouTube, everyone can get a song on Spotify, so many people with no traction are trying to get attention. And we don't care about them. (INAUDIBLE) Wilco wrote a song, had no traction. Eminem is at the pinnacle of stardom. No one else -- Taylor Swift hasn't weighed in, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, none of these people have weighed in.
In addition, hip-hop runs the world. If you go on Spotify, the Spotify top 50 is all hip-hop. So you have someone with superstardom in the genre that counts speaking truth forcefully. That's why it resonates.
SESAY: Well, Spencer Kornhaber who is a writer for The Atlantic. He's taken issue of your praise for Eminem. He wrote a piece for The Atlantic and he caught one that aligns from your e-mail, from your article that you sent out after the freestyle was aired. This is what he said, it's on the screen. And this is your line that he's taking issue with. You say, "This is everything today's musicians are against. They don't want to alienate a single potential audience member. The only person with a voice as big as Trump is a rapper. And tonight, the king of rappers called him out."
Spencer says, your statement is out of touch. And he took it a step further saying Eminem is no more -- is saying no more than other rappers have already said, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, what do you say to that?
LEFSETZ: I'm laughing because it's completely untrue. Point me to the Kendrick Lamar song where he specifically said that it's all about this. Jay Z has taken some --
SESAY: He does. He have that line when he calls from Trump and then he says the day after he woke up.
LEFSETZ: Yes. But everybody, you know, we had Agent Orange that the rapper said on the Grammy's last year. That is different, in an awards show, the BET Awards show where the whole (INAUDIBLE) is about Trump, and it's not metaphors, it's very specific. So, what you have (INAUDIBLE) I hate to bring this people, too. But don't make this too personal, we have hip-hop insider saying how dare you be an expert on my field. There's another guy, Young Thug, who did a song like this. I'm hearing from all -- Killer Mike from Run The Jewels, he did something, but they are not of the caliber of Eminem.
[02:55:16] SESAY: He doesn't reach out to the point which I just want to get your views on. He says that, you know, the thrust of Eminem's freestyle is very much at those -- a double standard in this country where black people are treated differently and their grievances aren't acknowledged. He makes the -- he says the line, you go and you fight abroad and then you come back, this is Eminem, and then they say, go back to Africa. Spencer makes the point, and I want to hear your thoughts that by raising Eminem above all the other rappers and hip- hop stars, aren't you doing the same thing, elevating a white person?
LEFSETZ: I'm laughing because this person is all about cherry-picking history. What did Kanye say? Bush hates black people. And we all know that. We can see that everywhere, and Kanye is certainly African-American and proud of his heritage. No one in the rap community says that Eminem is white. He has never been denigrated on that clause. The fact that he stood up -- if Jay Z had done the same thing, it would have been just as powerful. But he has not chosen to do. This is -- this is typical of the left. Someone stands up and you're not politically correct enough. So, I kind of was writing about Harvey Weinstein. And what they said was you have to immediately say how abominable he is. You can't investigate what's going on. So, in this case, when a rapper stands up on an award show and excoriate Trump and say, you didn't do it right.
VAUSE: Very quickly. We're almost out of time. We noticed that this rap song is being embraced by the left. But here's one of Eminem's previous raps about Baywatch star Pamela Anderson. Here's a short clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMINEM: Got ticked off and ripped Pamela Lee's lips off, kissed them and said, "I ain't know silicone was supposed to be this soft.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. That's the clean version of the lyrics which (INAUDIBLE) with the (INAUDIBLE) lips, the R rated version says something else. Can the left now embrace this guy rapping about stuffing dead hookers into the trunks of cars, and still lecture the President of the United States about his locker room jokes?
LEFSETZ: He exists in his own atmosphere. That's what's so great about this. You watch television, you watch CNN, you watch MSNBC, they've been beating this guy up for nine months and nothing has changed. Every week, there's a different thing. Now, you have someone with beholding to nothing who speaks, and he has more impact on voters than the news. That's what's so interesting because people who are Trump fans are hip-hop fans.
VAUSE: But the hypocrisy here, this guy talks about stuffing hookers into cars and ripping Pamela Anderson -- all those threat. Can they embrace this guy also at the same time, clutching nipples and talking the President about grabbing women and the locker room talk?
LEFSETZ: If we -- if we look at it, he is bigger. If we go back to the 70s, go back to the 60s, and I've been a student of history, Jimmy Carter was elected by The Allman Brothers. Eminem is out in front of all the pundits. OK? If we look at Hillary Clinton, she lost because she was part of the system and triangulated. Bernie Sanders, if he started a year before, would have won, speaking the truth. We have Eminem speaking the truth. One -- this is what the right loves. The right loves you to come into their vortex and speak to their issues. It's not about the foibles of the individuals, it's about the message.
SESAY: Bob, yes, no answer. Are you surprised that the President hasn't responded to Eminem?
LEFSETZ: I'm stunned and I love it. He's afraid.
VAUSE: OK. Thanks, Bob.
SESAY: All right. We appreciate it.
Well, you've been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay. The news continues with Rosemary Church after this very short break. You're watching CNN.