Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Campaign Braces for Reaction to Old Video; Southeast U.S. Braces as Matthew Comes Ashore. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired October 8, 2016 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. So grateful to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.


We are following two major stories this morning. First, Hurricane Matthew continues to rake the Southeast coast with 100-mile-per-hour winds.

PAUL: Four people have been killed in Florida now. And with more than a million others losing power, city streets are flooded with several feet of water. Now, Matthew has been passing over Georgia for the last few hours. Now the eyewall, the strongest part of this storm moving ashore in South Carolina.

We've got powerful waves coming over the battery in Charleston Harbor right now. We're going to continue watching this all morning.

BLACKWELL: Meantime, breaking news in the race for the White House.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize.


BLACKWELL: An unprecedented moment for Donald Trump after, of course, that bombshell video exposes what he said on a hot mike.

PAUL: That hot mike moment was back in 2005. The man now seeking to be the next Republican president using stunningly vulgar language to describe what amounts to some say uninhibited sexual assault. Saying that he can get away with anything because of his celebrity, because he's a star.

You're going to hear Trump's exact words in just a moment and that full apology that he gave overnight.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and in some respects rights now the GOP establishment is in disaster mode. Trump's own running mate bolting from reporters in a key swing state there. The most powerful Republican in Congress disinviting Trump to an event today. And now, just one day before the next debate, campaign insiders telling CNN, this could mark Trump's downfall. PAUL: Senior political reporter Manu Raju following this story from

St. Louis, the site of tomorrow's debate.

And Manu, in this overnight apology, Trump didn't seem to back down too much on what his motivation is going to be at this debate tomorrow.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right. You know, actually, we've seen Donald Trump throughout this campaign stumble through controversy after controversy, but come out somewhat unscathed, whether it was attacking a gold star family, whether it was criticism of POWs, whether it was his comments about a Mexican- American judge.

Afterwards, he seemed he managed to rebuild his campaign and now have a chance to win the presidency. But this controversy seems a lot different. And one reason why, Donald Trump felt the need to apologize.


RAJU (voice-over): Donald Trump apologizing overnight. Hoping to tamp down the controversy that's threatening to derail his campaign.

TRUMP: I've said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize.

RAJU: But also taking a swipe at Bill Clinton.

TRUMP: Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims.

RAJU: The Republican nominee caught making lewd comments on tape.

TRUMP: I did try and (expletive deleted). She was married.

RAJU: Trump bragging about being able to grope, kiss, and trying to have sex with women in a 2005 interview.

TRUMP: And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the (expletive deleted). You can do anything.

RAJU: Trump, caught in an off-camera conversation during a taping of "Access Hollywood," is heard talking about his pursuit of a married woman. The unaired footage was obtained by The Washington Post.

TRUMP: And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, i took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, I'll show you where they have some nice furniture. I moved on her like a (expletive deleted), but I couldn't get there. And she was married. And all of sudden I see her, she has now got the big phony (expletive deleted) and everything. She has totally changed her looks.

RAJU: Republicans across the board criticizing Trump's comments. House Speaker Paul Ryan revoking an invitation for Trump to appear at a event with him later today in Wisconsin, saying: "I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has a greater respect for women than this clip suggests."

And this from Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus: "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner ever."

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: I'm out. I can no longer endorse Donald Trump for president. I -- there's no possible way I'd vote for Hillary Clinton, but these are abhorrent.

RAJU: Hillary Clinton hitting trump on her Twitter account, saying: "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president."

And sparking a quick rebuke from Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's just -- I mean, it makes me sick to my stomach. I don't like to even say the words that he has used in the past when he calls women pigsties and slobs, I didn't like saying that on-stage the other night with my mom and my wife sitting in the front row. But this is behavior that's just outrageous.

RAJU: Even close advisers are admitting that this is devastating. One calling his remarks "flat out appalling," and telling CNN that they don't know if trump can recover. The tape, made while Billy Bush and Trump visited the set of a soap opera where they were treated by actress Arianne Zucker.

TRUMP: I've got to use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. I don't even wait.


RAJU: Now the fallout of this is really only just beginning. We saw Republican after Republican criticize Donald Trump. We've also seen something different, a number of Republicans saying he should actually step down from this presidential contest, including Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee last night making that comment.

Now this comes, obviously, at a very difficult time, a month before the elections. Republicans, particularly down-ticket Republicans were hoping their nominee were past this controversy, that they could run on the same ticket and not be worried about things that he would say.

But Republicans in very difficult races are running away from him. There's word that possibly Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire may be considering rescinding her endorsement.. Other Republican senators also criticizing Donald Trump in very difficult races like Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, and Richard Burr from North Carolina, and Joe Heck running for that Nevada Senate seat. So this is becoming a very difficult situation. We'll see whether or

not at this debate site whether or not members of the audience here in this town hall-type forum will ask questions about Donald Trump, these comments on Friday.

Because clearly, he's only beginning to go respond to questions about it and he has yet to answer questions about it. We'll see how he deals with it here on Sunday night.

PAUL: Well, Manu, that's also going to be really interesting. This is a different kind of debate tomorrow night, because as you said, people will be able to ask questions as Anderson Cooper moderates here.

So it is going to be a very different atmosphere. But is there any indication anywhere at this early stage of the game that he can genuinely fix this?

RAJU: It's hard. It's so early to know that. I mean, this is the first step. The first step was apologizing. But how does he deal with it when he's actually asked questions about it? Does he double down? Does he distance himself further? As we know that Donald trump, sometimes he'll say one thing and then another day he'll say something else.

And we'll see how he responds when he's pushed on it. So that is the big question going forward and whether or not more Republicans will call on him to step down. But if he were to step down right now, that would probably create an even bigger mess a month out from elections, and as early voting has already started.

PAUL: Yes, that's a very good to make there. Manu Raju, appreciate the report this morning. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, questions are now swirling about who leaked this footage, and how long has this source been holding on to it? Well, The Washington Post reporter who broke the story last night spoke with CNN about just that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, David, I know you're not going to disclose your source on this, but whoever gave this to you or alerted you to it obviously knew they had something big on their hands. Can you give us any more details on this?

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: I really can't. I can't say much of anything about how we got a hold of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when you heard it for the first time, what was your thought?

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, just that it was shocking. I mean, this is a voice of Donald Trump that you've heard now for a couple of years solid, a voice you've gotten used to hearing in a political context. And here he was discussing this stuff in a pretty lewd and pretty outrageous manner. I was really surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He calls this "locker room banter." But the thing is, you know, he's 56 years old and it's not just crass language. It's predatory. He says, you know, when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. You can grab them by the -- and then he goes on.

FAHRENTHOLD: It's not just, hey, look at that woman, isn't she hot? It sort of goes beyond that to talk about sort of his -- what he does. I mean, he's describing not what he'd like to do, but what he has done, apparently, to women in describing sort of how because he's a star, he can kiss them if he wants to and he can grope.

That's what makes this more interesting and more shocking. It's not just that he's not saying, like, look at that woman, she's a 10. He's saying, like, this is what I have done to women in the past and will do again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you can judge the magnitude on this by the fact that the Trump campaign responded very quickly with the statement that included the word "apologize." So let's break this down into two parts, right?

Because he's apologizing if anyone was offended, which at The Washington Post, you know that's a non-apology apology.

FAHRENTHOLD: Yes, that's right. He apologized to people who were offended, which obviously leaves room for the idea that many people will listen to this and see this and not be offended by it.

But it is sort of half step or a full step back from just apologizing for having done something you wish you hadn't done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. Apologizing if people are offended is different than saying, I'm sorry I ever said it, I shouldn't have said it at all. Now that said, he uses the word apology which I'm not sure he has used at all this campaign season. So that's a big deal in and of itself from the Trump campaign.

FAHRENTHOLD: It is unusual, but you're right, though, that he's apologizing sort of in the way that I'm apologizing if you take offense. Not, I've looked at myself, I've taken account of my own moral conduct, and decided that it was wrong of me to have done this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then in that statement which they call an apology, others will quibble with that, he, of course, takes on Bill Clinton. He said Bill Clinton has said worse things to me on the golf course.

I guess it's not surprising he goes after Bill Clinton on this because that's what he tends to do whenever the subject of women comes up. But, again, he's not running against Bill Clinton, is he?

FAHRENTHOLD: He's not. And he also -- Bill Clinton wasn't on the bus. It would be one thing if Bill Clinton had been on the bus with them that day feeding him lines, and egging him on, but this was Donald Trump and Billy Bush. Donald Trump leading this conversation.

So whatever he may have heard from Bill Clinton, unless he's claiming that he didn't know these words until Bill Clinton taught, I think it's a little bit irrelevant to what Trump himself said that day and said on this video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, there's not a Clinton on the bus, there was a Bush on the bus, Billy Bush who is part of the Bush who now works for NBC News, by the way, who is heard saying some stuff on that video, also. We're going to get a response from him, I'm sure, at some point.

What kind of legs do you think this has going forward? It's Friday night before the second debate. What questions remain unanswered here?

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, I do think this will continue to be something people talk about. I mean, the difference here is that this is audio and video. You're hearing Trump in his own words saying these things. It's different than people sort of saying secondhand that they heard this from Trump years ago.

You know, I've been wrong about everything I've predicted about this election. So it may have no impact at all. But I think it may come up in the debate, maybe something that Trump is asked about later on, maybe something that Mike Pence, who is such a strong, committed Christian, will be asked about in the next few days, Trump's Christian evangelical supporters will be asked about.

It's the kind of thing that goes to Trump's moral character and I think that's something that could last at least into the next week, maybe longer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senate candidates on the trail, people who appear with Trump, people who have endorsed Trump, people like Paul Ryan, they certainly could and will be asked about this going forward.

David Fahrenthold, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.



PAUL: And still to come, Manu touched on it, but GOP backers say this time Donald Trump has just gone too far. We're going to break down the handful of Republicans early in this controversy that are calling for Donald Trump to drop out of the race this morning, and how plausible is that?

BLACKWELL: Plus, those bands of Hurricane Matthew have been slapping along the East Coast for hours now. More than a day. Now, the most powerful part of the storm is coming ashore in the Carolinas.


BLACKWELL: Donald Trump facing strong and growing condemnation this morning after this tape leaked.


TRUMP: I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the (expletive deleted). You can do anything.


PAUL: Donald Trump about six-plus hours after that tape was revealed on television posted a video apology on Facebook.


TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am.


BLACKWELL: The damage is already being felt, as you know. GOP backers are slamming Mr. Trump's vulgarity. Some now calling for him to drop out of the race. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, Virginia Representative Barbara Comstock and Representative Mike Kaufman of Colorado all calling for him to step aside.

Although these weren't Trump supporters to begin with, they're now saying that he should leave the ticket.

PAUL: Going a step further. As for House Speaker Paul Ryan, you might be wondering, he's not going that far to, let's say, un-endorse Mr. Trump. He is disinviting him, however, to a Republican unity event that's happening today. Ryan is saying he was, quote, "sickened" by the tape.

BLACKWELL: Well, some are going that far to rescind those endorsements. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz pulling his support.

CNN's Don Lemon spoke with Chaffetz on the phone last night. This interview did happen before Mr. Trump released that video apology on Facebook, though. Here it is.


CHAFFETZ: I'm out. I can no longer endorse Donald Trump for president. I -- there's no possible way I vote for Hillary Clinton, but these are abhorrent. They are wrong. To use a baseball metaphor, I have got to call balls and strikes the way I see them. And, you know, my wife, Julie and I, we've got a 15-year-old daughter.

Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorse Donald Trump for president when he acts like this? And his apology? There was no apology.

That was an apology for getting caught. To say that Bill Clinton did it and did it worse, I mean, that should have been his first clue that it was the wrong behavior. So I'm not going to put my good name and reputation and my family behind Donald Trump for president when he acts like this. I just can't do it.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Is there anything, Congressman, that he can say in this videotaped statement that is coming out at any moment, that can change things for you or that can redeem him among the voters?

CHAFFETZ: I don't know. I don't know. But I worry that, you know, it would be naive to think if there's this and that sort of approach, you really think this is the only thing that's out there like this?

I've got to tell you, I played college football as a placekicker, I've been in a lot of locker rooms. This is not just locker room talk, OK? This was offensive and it was absolutely totally wrong. And I'm not going to endorse him.

Again, I'm not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. There's no way I'm going to do that. But I can't tell the good people of Utah that I endorse a person who acts like this. And we all do silly, stupid stuff and try to make -- you know, probably make jokes that are inappropriate, but this goes beyond that and it's -- and we -- I think we should all stand up and say we're not going to tolerate this.

Why should we have a race to the bottom? Why can't we stand tall for high moral values? Because that's who we are as the Republican Party. And I can't endorse this person for president.


PAUL: A lot of people who want to weigh in on this latest controversy. We're going to have that all morning for you. But right now also, watching what's happening in South Carolina and the Georgia coast, the strongest part of Hurricane Matthew is starting to come ashore this hour. Derek Van Dam is in the CNN Severe Weather Center -- Derek.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Dangerous storm surge, flash flooding, and hurricane force winds all coming ashore. I'll have the latest details coming up after a short break. Don't on go anywhere.


BLACKWELL: A deadly hurricane is sweeping the Southeast coast, unleashing 100-mile-per-hour winds.

PAUL: And four people have died in Florida. Power knocked out to more than a million others as city streets are flooded with several feet of water. Look what's happening there. This is from Daytona Beach, Florida. But Matthew now coming ashore at Hilton Head, South Carolina, and threatening to spawn tornados along the coast there.

Joining us now from the CNN Weather Center, CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

Derek, we keep talking about the wind and the rain. It's the storm surge, though, that is most threatening at this point. Am I hearing up to nine feet in some places possibly?

VAN DAM: Yes, that's correct. Look at the radar behind me, Christi, and you'll be able to see exactly why as that northern periphery of the eyewall of dangerous Hurricane Matthew continues to move ashore, right around the Hilton Head region.

You can just imagine the water piling up on that northern side of the storm when we get that counterclockwise rotation. Some of the strongest winds now being felt across that Tybee (ph) Island region, just east of Savannah.

Here's the latest from the National Hurricane Center, still a strong Category 2 with 105-mile-per-hour winds, that's the latest 5 a.m. update. And look at the copious amounts of rainfall blanketing southeast Georgia, South Carolina, and parts of North Carolina.

Our radar really just lighting up like a Christmas tree. That's why the National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings from Savannah, Charleston, and inland. Look at the flash flood watches extending across North Carolina, as well.

There is just copious amounts of moisture associated with this. We talk about the threat of storm surge, we continue to pile that up. This is the third-highest storm surge on record in the Charleston Harbor area. That will be a threat going forward along with flash flooding -- Christi.

PAUL: Derek Van Dam, we appreciate the update. Thank you.

Well, Donald Trump apologizes overnight for this new scandal that is rocking his campaign. A lot of Republicans are having a hard time grappling with this. We have the latest on the fallout.


PAUL: Welcome back. We are so grateful to see you. Half past the hour right now. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, good to be with you. We are following two major stories that are unfolding right now. Hurricane Matthew first.

Churning up the Southeast coast, pushing heavy rains and dangerous storm surges into Georgia, South Carolina, as well. And this is coming after at least four lives were claimed in Florida and causing, as you see here, this is Jacksonville beach, widespread flooding. Also in St. Augustine. We'll have more on that in just a few minutes. PAUL: Our other breaking news, as well, Donald Trump facing a major

embarrassment here. A fresh challenge to his presidential campaign. Unaired footage from 2005 that captures him making lewd and sexually aggressive comments about groping women. The back story here and the blowback from it so severe that Trump issued this apology.


TRUMP: I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize.


PAUL: Now, look, we're going to play for you Trump's apology in its entirety coming up here.

BLACKWELL: Now first, the reason he's scrambling to contain the potential damage to his campaign, we're going to play for you that sexually explicit conversation aboard a bus with TV host Billy Bush of "Access Hollywood" at that time. But we have to warn you, especially because of the hour, that the language is vulgar.


TRUMP: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down in Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed, I'll admit it.


TRUMP: I did try and (expletive deleted) her. She was married.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's huge news.

TRUMP: No, no. Nancy -- no, this was (INAUDIBLE). And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, I'll show you where they have some nice furniture. I moved on her like a (expletive deleted). But I couldn't get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her. She has now got the big phony (expletive deleted) and everything. She has totally changed her look.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheesh, your girl's hot (expletive deleted) in the purple. Whoa.

TRUMP: Whoa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the Donald is good. Whoa, my man!

Wait, wait, you've got to look...


TRUMP: Look at you. You are a (expletive deleted). Maybe it's a different one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It better not be the publicist. No, it's her. It's her. >> TRUMP: Yes, that's her, with the gold. I've got to use some Tic Tacs

just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the (expletive deleted). You can do anything.


BLACKWELL: All right. So you heard Donald Trump there reference a Nancy at the beginning of that recording. Well, "Access Hollywood" confirms that the Nancy that trump is talking about is Nancy O'Dell, former host of "Access Hollywood." Billy Bush's co-host in 2005. She now is one of the co-hosts of "Entertainment Tonight."

Now CNN has reached out to Nancy O'Dell for a statement, but we have not yet gotten a response.

Trump is also facing the backlash for the apology that he issued several hours later. First, there was a three sentence statement that included the word "apologize," and then a 90-second recording.

PAUL: Video. And he's backing away from his lewd comments in this apology and going on the attack against the Clintons. Essentially, it seems, trying to redirect to tomorrow's debate, all of this in 90 seconds and here it is for you in full.


TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them.

Anyone who knows me, knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize.

I've traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I've spent time with grieving mothers who have lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future.

I have gotten to know the great people of our country. And I've been humbled by the faith they've placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down.

Let's be honest, we're living in the real world, this is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We're losing our jobs. We're less safe than we were eight years ago. And Washington is totally broken.

Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I've said some foolish things, but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims.

We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.


PAUL: And you can assume from that video that he is planning to bring up what he was talking about, Bill Clinton's scandals of the past, at the debate tomorrow night. We have many conversations coming up this morning about this very thing.

But Trump is also facing fallout from his own surrogates here. Even they aren't quite sure, it seems, where the campaign is going to go from this point. I want to listen to some comments here from two CNN political commentators who also happen to be Trump supporters.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It was hard to hear those words today. It's inexcusable. I think the statement was not enough. I think Donald Trump needs to humble himself and come out to the American people and say, I'm not the person I was 11 years ago. I'm a different person.. I'm not that person.

And I think that he needs to apologize to the American people because, if we know anything about the American people, they are a forgiving people. They forgave Bill Clinton for his transgressions in the Oval Office. And I do think they forgive when you humble yourself.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Am I supposed to sit here ask judge his words? I judge his actions. I'm not electing Donald Trump...


LEMON: Yes, you're supposed to judge his words and his actions on the bus. Those were actions and words. He is saying...

NELL HUGHES: Well, he didn't grope the woman. He did not say -- he did not walk up and do those things to her. He did not do that. It was the words, the locker room talk that unfortunately exists in many male groups today.


NELL HUGHES: So here's the thing about what we heard about tonight, he did apologize.


PAUL: OK. And I just want to point out that all of those conversations we just aired here were happening before Donald Trump's video apology, that 90-second apology came out. But he's also facing defections from big name Republicans.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman encouraging him to drop out of the race. The current Utah governor, Gary Herbert, has withdrawn his support and so as Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, as you heard from him just a few moments ago.

So we'll continue to follow this. But we have got to get back to the other breaking story we're following. The hurricane that drenched Florida. Four people left dead in Florida. Hundreds left dead in Haiti. Now we're getting a live shot here from Charleston, South Carolina, as the eyewall slams into that state. We'll go there for a live report.


PAUL: All right. one of the big stories this morning, Hurricane Matthew. This is a Category 2 storm. It has weakened a bit, but forecasters say it's still very dangerous as it tracks up the Southeast coast. It has already drenched and flooded parts of Florida, blamed for four deaths there. But look at the people just on their porch.

BLACKWELL: Yes. I mean, that's the water running down the streets in St. Augustine. Now the storm is moving toward the Carolinas. And although we say it has weakened, this maximum sustained winds here are still 105 miles per hour.

Portions of I-95 in South Carolina are impassable in each direction. And this morning, more than 1 million people are without power across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

PAUL: We're covering this hurricane like only CNN can, have teams of reporters stationed all along the East Coast. CNN's Sara Ganim is live in Savannah, Georgia. First, though, we want to take you to CNN's Nick Valencia, he is in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nick, buddy, I'm sorry. How are you doing?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. We're doing -- well, we're not dry. We were doing a little better five minutes ago. The East Coast of the United States continues to get battered by Hurricane Matthew as it's working its way up. The last update we got at about 5:00 a.m. this morning is that the eye of the storm is 60 miles away from us moving at about 12 miles per hour.

And you can see just the wind picking up. It has been relentless. This is in the middle of downtown. It is not really flooding here. Our producer and I, Devin Sayers (ph), just took a little tour around the battery, which is towards the tip of that peninsula here in Charleston. We did see some localized flooding, some downed tree limbs.

You can see behind us just how fast the wind is moving and swaying those trees. But no reports just yet of significant damage or injuries. We want to get out of the way here. You can see an emergency vehicle driving through the streets here. As you mentioned, as Victor mentioned, parts of Interstate 95 are

impassable right now. There are some road closures near us. But the concern is the storm surge. This is an area that gets flooded on a normal storm -- during a normal storm. This Hurricane Matthew is anything but -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Listen, stay safe there, will you, Nick? You and the crew. Because you talk about these emergency vehicles. And that's why they were trying to get everybody out, because they said not only are you in danger, but then if you need help, our emergency crews are in danger as well.

So, Nick Valencia, thank you so much, you and the crew. Want to go now to Sara Ganim, who is in Savannah.

Sara, what are you experiencing this hour?

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor. We actually have taken a little bit of shelter on the side of our hotel building, the building where our hotel is because those winds, those incredibly strong gusts of winds are being felt here, coming from the east, coming from the ocean towards inland as Savannah continues to really get -- see the heights, the brunt of Hurricane Matthew.

We know that the eye wall of the storm is just east of here at this point. This is what officials were concerned about, why they asked people to evacuate. We took a little tour this morning of the historic district just to see what was going on right before the height of the storm. There was some incredible damage that we could already see. A lot of downed trees. Those old, bigger trees. There's so much foliage that we just saw all across the streets.

You know, Savannah is known for its squares and those squares have many trees. We also saw scaffolding that had flown across the city block. We saw transformers blowing as we were driving through. So we came back here to take shelter.

The lights have been flickering here. We know that we're not alone, obviously. There are 200,000 Georgians without power at this hour. As we watch on the radar as Hurricane Matthew moves up the east coast -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sara, go ahead and get some shelter. I see you having a hard time even standing in that wind. Yes, that seems to be getting worse. You and you crew hunker down there, take good care of yourself. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, so that same storm, Hurricane Matthew, that is now slamming the Carolinas, cut a destructive path across Haiti. The latest number from Reuters, nearly 900 dead after Matthew store tore across that island as a Category 4 storm.

And that number is expected to rise even more once crews are able to get to remote areas that are isolated by washed out bridges and poor infrastructure. The hurricane hit as Haiti was start to go recover from that devastating earthquake six years ago, which killed about 200,000 people.

PAUL: October 7th, 2016, yesterday, that could be a day that changes the way Trump will campaign from this point out. Fallout from that really shocking tape. It is just beginning as we were in the early stages of this. But while you were sleeping, he made an apology. We'll talk about that and where there bombshell tape came from.


BLACKWELL: All right. Donald Trump in damage control for this latest scandal. The newly released audio of his making lewd comments about women and saying that he could grope them because he is a star.

Well, now one campaign source says this could be the death knell of Trump's presidential bid. And his running mate, Mike Pence, forced to duck reporters at a photo op appearance in a key battleground state, Ohio, there. And even more sobering, the top Republican in Congress says he is "sickened" by the comments.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had famously feuded with Trump, now disinviting him to what would be their first campaign appearance together. A lot to unpack here. Let's start doing that now with CNN politics reporter Eugene Scott.

Eugene, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So this is happening the day before the second debate. And we're seeing Trump telegraph a couple of punches just one day before he takes the stage with Hillary Clinton in this town hall style debate.

What are we learning about what could be next for him?

SCOTT: Well, we know that Trump warned that he could address issues related to the Clintons' marriage in the next debate. But I think this coming out last night makes it very clear that he has to do this more aggressively if he wants to take attention off of his past situation and encounters with women.

But the Clinton campaign made it very clear almost immediately after the first debate that they were prepared for this and that they've been practicing and rehearsing for this. So it will be interesting to see how both camps respond.

And more interesting, even, to see how voters respond.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and speaking about those voters, Donald Trump on many occasions has bragged, let's call it what it is, about his success and his popularity among the evangelical community during the Republican primary. One can only imagine that this jeopardizes that.

SCOTT: Yes. Well, in a Pew Research poll from this summer, it said that nearly 80 percent of white evangelical vote were backing Donald Trump. And we saw last night several different responses to this situation.

Ralph Reed, who is on his religious advisory board, and who is also a prominent Christian evangelical, downplayed it, saying that these issues are not of concern to most values voters. They're focused on issues related to abortion and same-sex marriage. And these recordings, he said, are "ancient."

BLACKWELL: Well, we'll see. His most high profile Christian supporter, the governor, Governor Mike Pence, who, according to the AP, was beside himself when he heard what was on those recordings.

SCOTT: I think people are certainly waiting for him to speak out. There are quite a few evangelical voters who have been slow to get on the Trump train but have gotten on primarily because they support Mike Pence. They view him as one of them much more so than they view Donald Trump.

And the expectation is that he is not going to downplay this. He will speak out on it. But he's still going to encourage people to believe that Donald Trump is the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Mike Pence, especially in that vice presidential debate last week, was -- or earlier this week, I should say, was a strong defender of Donald Trump. And we'll see if that continues now that this recording is out.

Eugene Scott there for us. Thanks so much.

SCOTT: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And, again, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton facing off tomorrow night in the second presidential debate. This is co- moderated by our own Anderson Cooper. Begins at 9 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: Well, the bombshell seemed to come out of nowhere. Late afternoon, yesterday, during a major hurricane. CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter explains how this 11-year-old tape went from a shelf to the center of the political universe.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey there. Of all the bad days the Trump campaign has recently had, this has to be the single worst day. It started for the campaign around 1:30 p.m. on Friday when The Washington Post called with a transcript of this video that we've now all seen from 2005.

Let me take you back a little earlier to how this really all started to happen. This video was taped in 2005, but it was never broadcast at the time. The video was essentially sitting on a shelf at NBC, the network that produces "Access Hollywood."

And on Monday, some of the producers at "Access Hollywood" starred to think about the tape, started to wonder if they could find it, and if they should broadcast it. What triggered all of this was actually an Associated Press story, the AP, one of the biggest news wires in the world, published a story early Monday morning with explosive allegations from about 20 former employees who worked on the show "The Apprentice."

Everyone knows "The Apprentice" as the reality show that helped Trump get to where he is today, helped establish him in the homes of Americans for many, many years. So these former employees alleged that Trump talked in demeaning, vulgar, sexually explicit ways about some of the staffers, about some of the contestants.

And importantly here, the employees were speaking on the record. But on Monday, when that story came out, the Trump campaign denied it, said it was an absolutely false story, said the allegations were false.

Now that got "Access Hollywood" thinking what about the tape we have? So they dusted it off, they put it into NBC's video servers, and they were preparing a story about it.

My sources at NBC said a script was written and everything, but it wasn't going be broadcast at least until next week. Perhaps for that reason, there was a leak. A leak from inside NBC to The Washington Post." And that's why the reporter was calling at 1:30 this afternoon on Friday afternoon with this tape.

At 4 p.m. the story came out, Trump was quoted half apologizing, saying that he was sorry if anyone was offended. But that was clearly not enough. Throughout Friday evening this story spiraled, getting worse and worse for the Trump campaign, and there was a scramble inside Trump Tower to get the candidate on camera with a much more robust apology.

So that's what we've seen here in the last couple of hours. A more serious apology from Trump, a long video shared online and shared on television. The question becomes whether it is enough. This will clearly be an important topic at the debate less than two days from now.

Back to you.


PAUL: All right. Brian Stelter, we appreciate it so much. Also want to talk about this Hurricane Matthew. There's a battled-hardened aircraft carrier that is getting let's say one more test. Look at these pictures, live pictures here of the USS Yorktown stationed there in Charleston Harbor. We're talking to one of the crew members on board this very ship that you're looking at.


PAUL: If anything was ever built to withstand a hurricane, it's an aircraft carrier, right? Well, now the USS Yorktown, a World War II- era ship more than 70 years old is being tested again. It's now a floating museum anchored, it's anchored in the Charleston Harbor. Look at the live pictures coming in to us right now. We know that a dozen staffers are staying on board this ship through

the storm. And Christopher Hauff is the spokesman for the museum. He's on the phone with us.

Christopher, so do I understand you are there right now?

CHRISTOPHER HAUFF, SPOKESMAN, USS YORKTOWN MUSEUM: Good morning, yes, I'm actually standing on the hangar deck of the USS Yorktown, which is just below the flight deck. It's a big open area where they used to work on the planes in storm if they were in a big storm like this.

And I'm looking out the big bay doors here of the hangar deck on Charleston Harbor. And when you think about a rough sea, you think of white caps and rough waves like that. But what I'm seeing is big swells, almost like hills when you look out at the harbor.

We've really, for the last -- we've been here since about 10:00 yesterday morning. We've really seen this storm come in. And first it was light rain and then a little bit of wind. And over the past few hours, that wind has turned into -- really, it's coming from all directions. East, west, you go out there and you get hit from a little bit everywhere.

PAUL: Do you feel it differently on a ship than you would, say, do you believe, if you were in a building somewhere on land?

HAUFF: Actually, we're pretty blessed to be on the ship here. The ship is so large in Charleston Harbor, that you can't really feel the effects of the storm, other than what you see on the flight deck with the aircraft that we have.

And we actually have three ships here. So we're on the aircraft carrier which is pretty cemented in Charleston Harbor. But our destroyer ship, it's moving quite a bit. And our submarine, you can feel it going up and down with the swells here, too.

But it's weird feeling to be able to look out at the storm but actually not really feel it too much on the water itself.

PAUL: Boy, that has got to be an experience. We're looking at some of this video coming in to us and also on and off with live pictures, as well, of one of the planes there. Is there concern about damage to any of this equipment?

HAUFF: So since we got the call, the state of South Carolina did a really good job this year with this storm in giving us enough warning time. The last few days, we've had crew on here and each one of them -- we have 28 planes and helicopters here on our museum.

And each one of those had to be tied down not with one or two chains, but with five or six different chains. And they're tied so tightly that they're not going to move. Well, we hope that they don't move in the storm, and we expect them not to.

But you also have to think we have three different ships. So we had to add extra mooring lines to the submarine and the destroyer. We had to unhook the plumbing. Unhook the electrical.

And there's really just -- it's a big task and a lot of hands on deck. And the 12 operational guides that we have here, we're all taking shifts. And each of those guys has to be away from their families. So we really appreciate what they're doing. We're all taking turns walking around the ship making sure that the planes are where they need to be, the ships are where they need to be, and keep everybody safe.

PAUL: Well, Christopher, we thank you for service and all of those folks there. You all do take good care of each other and stay safe.

HAUFF: Thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you.