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Florence's Track Shifts; Virginia Governor Talks Storm; Cardinals Travel to Rome; Wyoming Church Abuse Investigation. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 12, 2018 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:31:43] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: History will be made in a New Hampshire congressional race no matter who wins in November. Voters in the first congressional district will either elect the state's first openly gay congressman, Democrat Chris Pappas, or the first African- American Republican, Eddie Edwards. Pappas beat a crowded field to become the Democratic nominee, and Edwards won the Republican primary with a little help from Rudy Giuliani, who campaigned with him.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Russian President Vladimir Putin says he knows the real identities of two men accused by British officials of poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom. Putin says the two suspects are, quote, civilians and now military intelligence officers. British officials named the two suspects last week as members of the Russian military intelligence service.

CAMEROTA: Well, Australia's "Herald Sun" tabloid is now tripling down on its explanation for a controversial Serena Williams cartoon. In fat, the paper is reprinting the image and other caricatures by Mark Knight, the cartoonist, on its front page under the defiant headline, "welcome to the PC world." Now, the parent company, News Corp, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, defended the decision to publish Knight's original cartoon, which you're seeing on your screen, in the wake of Williams' controversial U.S. Open loss, despite worldwide condemnation of this image because worldwide people say this perpetuates sexist and racist imagery. The backlash did force Mark Knight, the cartoonist, to suspend his Twitter account.

BERMAN: Look, I mean, universally, historically, black people in this country, African-Americans, have been depicted in that caricaturish fashion. I just don't think there's any question that it is perceived like that by a huge number of people. I suppose there are ways to make fun of Serena Williams without doing it in a way that -- that is out and out racist.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that would take more skill and creativity. But he went for just the old -- the oldest trick in the book. The old stereotism (ph).

BERMAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And if you look at some of the old racist imagery from decades ago, it tracks directly with this.

BERMAN: Exactly. (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: He borrowed actual elements from that and put that into that cartoon.

BERMAN: And now they're saying they're just going to keep on doing it?

CAMEROTA: It seems like it.

BERMAN: All right, a big shift in the track of Hurricane Florence. Millions more now in harm's way again. This changed overnight. There was a fresh update a short time ago. Chad Myers has the latest forecast, next.

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[06:38:11] CAMEROTA: OK, we have a storm update for you. The latest forecast models show a shift in Hurricane Florence's track. And forecasters say the category four storm could stall off the coast of the Carolinas for up to 36 hours, which would create catastrophic flooding.

So let's bring in CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. He has the latest track and timing.

Where is it headed at this hour?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Still headed to North Carolina, but at the very last minute, before landfall, the models are now turning it to the left, closer to South Carolina, at least right there at the border. It's a 130-mile-per-hour storm. This is still a monster big storm out there making big waves and also a big surge.

So what hasn't changed? The first 48 hours. The same track we had yesterday, somewhere to about, I don't know, midnight tomorrow night. And then all of a sudden the storm track turns left. And even the Hurricane Center is saying in their discussion they may have to turn it farther left than what they're seeing and showing right now, and then it gets into parts of Georgia with very heavy rainfall there.

That's what the models were showing yesterday, and they're still showing that today. Coming in toward Wilmington, here we are, very good, very normal. Forty-eight hours of good wind pushing this along. But then, all of a sudden, the turn. Does it turn all the way down to Charleston, maybe just to Myrtle? No one knows. We'll have an update again for you as this goes on. A hurricane hunter aircraft is in the storm right now ready to give us an update as soon as it will send back that signal.

BERMAN: All right, we will wait for that update and we will wait to hear from you again.

Chad Myers for us. Thanks very much.

Joining us now is Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. Of course, Governor Northam, thanks so much for being with us.

Are you relieved this morning? I know you've been watching the forecast just like we have and it does appear that this storm has moved south.

GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: Well, good morning, and thank you for your coverage.

We're -- we're just recommended that our viewers, especially those in Virginia, remain vigilant. As you know, these storms have a mind of their own. We have some very low-lying areas in Virginia on our coast. They're venerable to flooding, a lot of rain, loss of electricity.

[06:40:14] So we have several zones, four zones in Virginia. We have ordered a mandatory evacuation for zone a. That's the lowest lying area. And we are asking those individuals to heed this warning, take this storm seriously and really pay attention to the coverage, because as you all have seen, it can change at any minute.

BERMAN: Are people, as far as you can tell, heeding those warnings?

NORTHAM: I believe they are. You know, people are able to go to our website, knowyourzoneva.org. They can also call 211. We've had a number of calls, a number of people going to the website. So, you know, we -- we live in an area, especially on the coast, that's very vulnerable to these storms, so people do take them seriously and they are heeding the warning.

BERMAN: Now, down in North Carolina, in some of these beach communities, we have heard of dozens, if not hundreds of people who believe, for whatever reason, that they can ride this out. What's your message to the people who do that in Virginia, who decide they know better than government and meteorological authorities?

NORTHAM: I would -- I would just ask people to listen to those that have experienced these storms. I grew up on Virginia's eastern shore. I've watched several of them. They are nothing to play with. They are very dangerous storms. Again, it's really -- and especially in coastal Virginia, it's not the wind so much that we worry about, it's the flooding that causes loss of life. So I would just encourage everybody to take this very seriously.

BERMAN: Storm surge is something that you cannot run from when it's there. It's not something you can flee from when it's just minutes away. It is big, it is powerful and it's deadly. More people die from that than anything else in a hurricane.

And in this storm model, there could be 10, 15, 20 feet of storm surge in some places. Now, right now, it's not forecast to hit the Virginia area because the storm forecast has shifting south. But if it were to move back north again, what would the threat of storm surge be?

NORTHAM: Absolutely. And your point is well taken.

And what happens when we have these storm surges, if there are individuals in these areas, we just can't get to them. And they -- they need to realize that. So that's why we really ask people to take this seriously, to heed our warning. If they're in zone a, which is in the coastal region of Virginia, we have ordered a mandatory evacuation. We're asking people to go inland and to higher ground where they'll be safe.

At the end of the day, that's what we're trying to do in Virginia, and I'm sure they are in North Carolina and South Carolina. We just want everybody to be safe. We have a lot of resources out there. Let's take advantage of those resources and make sure everybody is safe.

BERMAN: How have you been doing this personally? Have you been -- I know I checked the forecasts at 8:00, at 11:00, at 2:00, at 5:00, every three hours when the National Hurricane Center comes out with new information I'm checking. And, again, I do imagine that the last few forecasts you've seen -- and just for your own state, things look a little better.

NORTHAM: They do. But, again, these storms have a mind of their own. We have a number of experts. Our Department of Emergency Management. We have the National Guard on standby. So have a lot of resources, a loft expert of experts. And, you know, we're doing the best work that we can. And I am so proud of the people here in Virginia. And I know that the folks in North Carolina and South Carolina are just as diligent. And we're doing everything that we can to keep folks safe.

BERMAN: And I'm sure if you manage to dodge the worst of it, your people will be helping those states to the south.

NORTHAM: We will.

BERMAN: The message you're sending, governor, (INAUDIBLE) them, I hope people are listening, which is right now we've been reporting all morning the forecast has shifted south. It doesn't mean you're out of the woods yet. People in Virginia still need to be vigilant.

Governor Northam, thanks so much.

NORTHAM: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, John, another story that we've been following. Pope Francis will meet with leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church amid the growing priest abuse scandal. And one of the top U.S. cardinals indicates he may be on the way out. We have all the details for you, next.

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[06:48:02] CAMEROTA: Pope Francis will meet with U.S. bishops tomorrow in Rome to discuss the growing priest abuse scandal that is plaguing the Catholic Church. And the embattled leader of the archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, reveals his own plans to travel to the Vatican to discuss his possible resignation.

CNN's Delia Gallagher is live in Rome with more. A lot of developments, Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Alisyn.

First of all, we have the meeting tomorrow, a much anticipated meeting. It has been sometime in the making, at least according to Cardinal DiNardo, who originally in late August said he was going to seek an audience with Pope Francis. At the meeting will be Cardinal DiNardo, who is the president of the U.S. Bishops Conference, as well as the vice president, which is Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles and Cardinal O'Malley of Boston.

Now, Cardinal DiNardo says he wants to present a plan to the pope, which includes an investigation about who knew what when about former Cardinal McCarrick and a question to the pope about how to streamline the question of bishop's accountability to reporting that to the Vatican.

Likely, Alisyn, the best takeaway from this meeting, and we'll see how it goes, is that they get some kind of apostolic visitation where the Vatican says, we're going to send investigators to the U.S. and help to do this investigation as to who knew what when. The obvious problem with that is that implicated in all of this about who knew what when is also the Vatican. So we will have to see what the developments are from tomorrow's meeting. A very important one, as I say, with the U.S. Bishops Council.

On the heels of that, we also have the news of Cardinal Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., who now says that he's coming back to the Vatican. He was here last Thursday to meet with the pope, but this time to talk about resignation. Here's an excerpt from the letter that he released to his priest last night. He said at issue is how to begin effectively to bring a new level of healing to survivors who have personally suffered so much and to the faithful entrusted to our care who have also been wounded by the shame of these terrible actions and have questions about their bishop's ability to provide the necessary leadership.

[06:50:17] Obviously Cardinal Wuerl, in just a week's space of time, has decided perhaps he is not the one to provide that leadership. There's no date yet set, Alisyn and John, for that meeting.

BERMAN: All right, Delia Gallagher in Rome for us. We're watching that very closely, particularly the Cardinal Wuerl meeting.

In the meantime, police in Wyoming have reopened an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against former Cheyanne Bishop Joseph Hart. Now, Hart denies any wrongdoing, but the current bishop claims there is substantial new evidence that implicates him.

Rosa Flores is live in Wyoming with more.

Rosa.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, good morning.

You know, criminal justice in these cases is very rare because it requires a church that's proactive, willing to report predators within the church, and also a statute of limitations that is friendly to survivors. Well, here in the wild west of Wyoming, you find both.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FLORES (voice over): Beneath its rustic serenity, a dark reckoning lurks for Cheyenne's Catholic faithful.

"JIMMY", BISHOP HART ACCUSER: Wyoming is a perfect place to keep that stuff hidden.

FLORES: Joseph Hart, bishop emeritus of Cheyenne and a revered pillar of the community for more than 40 years, is now under criminal investigation for sexually abusing children when he was a bishop, the highest ranking Catholic in Wyoming.

JIMMY: It's possible to be a pillar of the community and also a predator.

FLORES: One of Hart's accusers, who we will call "Jimmy," was 14 years old and vividly remembers Hart's breath reeking of cigarettes and alcohol as he says the bishop forced him between his knees. On the walls hung pictures of his alleged attacker, smiling aside two different popes.

JIMMY: I remember standing on the altar as an altar boy with the bishop saying a mass. I look up and think, hey, you know, Jesus, this doesn't seem how it should be, this guy here.

FLORES: Bishop Hart retired in 2001 and still lives a well-to-do life in Cheyenne, maintains his innocence. If he is charged criminally, it will be the first time in U.S. history that a bishop is prosecuted for abusing children.

But it wasn't Jimmy or anyone in law enforcement who all these years later undertook this agonizing look into the church's past. It was the man who today holds the bishop's staff, Steven Biegler, who made unearthing the Hart file his first order of business when he arrived in Cheyenne last year.

STEVEN BIEGLER, REIGNITED INVESTIGATION INTO BISHOP HART: I went to Bishop Hart and I sat down with him in person and I said, listen, this is where we're at.

FLORES (on camera): And what did he say?

BIEGLER: You know, he didn't say much. He was disturbed, obviously.

FLORES (voice over): It took months of meetings and interviews with accusers, investigators and (INAUDIBLE) boards and even going to Rome to seek the Vatican's blessing to go after one of its own.

FLORES (on camera): Why do you feel like you needed to be proactive?

BIEGLER: For the diocese as a whole, it needed to be resolved. FLORES (voice over): While some welcomed Biegler's investigation,

others believed the scales of justice should weigh more favorably toward a now 87-year-old man who they say contributed greatly to their community.

BIEGLER: So it was very, very hard for friends of Bishop Hart to see this being done. There was some really strong anger, in fact.

FLORES: Through his attorney, Hart accuses Biegler of, quote, seeking to inflame public opinion against him.

FLORES (on camera): Regardless of where the faithful stand in this community divided, Wyoming, with the wild west legacy and spirt to match, offers a new frontier of justice. Unlike other states, there is no statute of limitations here for prosecuting crimes.

KEVIN MALATESTA, CHEYENNE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Something that took place in the '70s, the '80s, the '90s, whenever it may have been, is something that we can still take action on today.

FLORES: Do you hope that your brother bishops will follow in your footsteps?

BIEGLER: It's obvious that some bishops did not do what needed to be done, especially in regard to other bishops. I am confident that bishops will get this right, but I do think we need to address that abuse of power and the environment that enabled it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FLORES: Now, according to police, the investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed. And they are asking victims and witnesses to come forward by September 21st.

And, Alisyn, from talking to police, they say that tips continue to come in.

CAMEROTA: Rosa, it is fascinating that there's no statute of limitations there. Obviously that changes the entire investigation.

Thank you very much for your reporting.

[06:54:57] So we are tracking Hurricane Florence as it heads towards the East Coast. Its track has made a sharp turn and the National Hurricane Center has new warnings. So everything you need to know at the top of the hour.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a massive, powerful, destructive, devastating beast and it is headed right at us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florence is the strongest storm to target the Carolinas in decades. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't bet on your life on riding out a monster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very likely that the North Carolina Outer Banks here will never look the same.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Puerto Rican people have suffered greatly. He shouldn't be bragging about the response to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The responders got there as quickly as they could.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God only knows what he would think a failure would be.

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ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

We do begin with breaking news for you because the latest storm forecast models reveal a shift in Hurricane Florence's track. The category four storm, at the moment, it is packing 130-mile-per-hour winds and that's prompting hurricane warnings for parts of North and South Carolina.

[07:00:08] Forecasters now believe Florence could stall off the Carolina coast for up to 36 hours