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Trump Expected To End Program Protecting "Dreamers"; Business Leaders Call On Trump To Protect DACA; Markets Set To Open Lower Over North Korea Fears. Hurricane Irma Intensifies; North Korea Missile Test; South Korea Conducts Military Exercises; Sessions Announcement on DACA. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired September 5, 2017 - 09:00   ET

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


[09:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: This is the strongest Atlantic hurricane in a decade. It's packing winds of up to 175 miles an hour as we speak. And while it is still too early to tell how it will impact, both Florida and Puerto Rico have declared state of emergencies. Still, we don't know how it will impact the United States. The National Hurricane Center says it is extremely dangerous and preparations should be rushed.

Let's go straight to our meteorologist Chad Myers. H's tracking the very latest.

Wow, I mean this has accelerated so quickly in magnitude and intensity just this morning.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The hurricane hunter aircraft flew through it, Poppy, about an hour and a half ago and found a wind gust at 7,000 feet of 192 miles per hour. That's what got everything rolling from the category four to the category five. I believe we're probably fluctuating somewhere between 160 and 175. One hundred and fifty-seven gets you to category five. So, let's not split hairs here.

This storm is going to significantly impact the islands, Anguilla, the BBI (ph), maybe U.S. Virgin Islands. If the eye itself goes right over the island, it will be a devastating impact.

Now, you get away 20 miles from the eye wall and your winds are down to about 100 miles per hour. And most places can take that. You can't take 175.

So here are the hurricane warnings right now for Anguilla and Barbuda. This is the area that's going to get a direct impact.

Now, you go out five days, and we all know that nothing's perfect five days out. Certainly not something you left on the counter. So the forecast is not going to be perfect five days out.

The center of the cone is Florida Keys. The left side is almost Grand Cayman. The right side is somewhere near Boca. So we're still going to get this turn of the storm when it gets down here close to Florida.

Now, here's the deal. We'll draw on this map. This is the models -- some different models thinking some different things. If the storm goes over the DR and over Cuba like this, it is not going to be 140 or 150 miles per hour storm when it gets into the Florida Straits. It's just going to get torn up by Cuba.

If the storm goes over the Turks and Caicos and the southern Bahamas, there's not much land mass there. And there will be islands in the Turks and Caicos that get completely over washed with water. The sand, the homes, gone. And that's possible with 160 or 170 miles per hour storm.

Then you take the storm and you turn it to the right and head up the central part of Florida. This is the real rub here. This is the American model taking the storm very close to Miami-Dade, turning it to the right, probably somewhere around Key Largo. A significantly scary scenario here.

Now, here's the European model. Much more scary for Cuba, but much less impact on the U.S. because the storm goes directly over the mountains of Cuba and that will tear this storm up likely to category two.

Now we're not talking category one or just the TS. It will still be a very strong storm. But for now the hurricane forecast from the hurricane center says 150, very close to, I would say, Ila Marada (ph), then turning right. That's the middle. Notice the right and the left. All that still possible.

HARLOW: Wow. All right, a dangerous storm indeed.

MYERS: You bet.

HARLOW: We'll keep an eye it. Chad Myers, thank you, as always, for the reporting and breaking it down.

So two days after testing what it claims was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit on an intercontinental missile, ominous signs this morning that North Korea may be planning another long range missile test. A South Korean lawmaker tells CNN their intelligence has detected movement of a projectile that could be an ICBM, like the two that were launch in July, capable, in theory, of reaching the U.S. mainland.

A North Korean diplomat today called the bombed and missile test, quote, gift packages addressed to none other than the U.S. He was ironically speaking at a U.N. conference on disarmament.

Now, the South Korean navy carried out live fire war games again today, warning, and I quote, if North Korea provokes, we will destroy and bury them at sea.

And while the U.S. and western allies push for more sanctions, Vladimir Putin is pushing back this morning. The Russian president says North Koreans, quote, will eat grass before they give up what they consider security.

We are live this morning with CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul, South Korea. Our Will Ripley is in Tokyo. We begin with Will Ripley in Tokyo.

You are in Tokyo, but you have spent so much time in Pyongyang, in North Korea. This is yet another escalation. I think the significant part this morning certainly is what South Korea says it is seeing, right, this movement of potentially an ICBM.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, and not necessarily surprising, Poppy, if you look at the messaging from North Korea. They tested a nuclear warhead. They released images of their leader standing in front of a warhead that they said could be loaded on to a ballistic missile. They claimed it was a hydrogen bomb. And so if they do proceed with a launch in the coming days, as they're expected to do, this would be North Korea saying, we have the warhead, we tested the warhead, we have the missile to deliver it.

And, depending on the trajectory, where they actually launch it, if they launch it in a southern direction, potentially towards the U.S. territory of Guam, it would be a very defiant, highly provocative launch. Even more provocative than their launch last week where they sent an intermediate range missile over northern Japan, frightening a lot of people here.

[09:05:15] And then there's that new tweet just minutes ago from President Trump, which is sparking fears once again of a regional arms race in this part of the world. The tweet reads, I am allowing Japan and South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States.

This really breaks decades of precedent here. But it's not something that Japan and South Korea are unwilling to do. In fact, they've been calling for the possibility of obtaining stranger weapons to counter the North Korean threat. Japan is a passivist (ph) country. It has been ever since the end of World War II.

But for the first time in many decades, they are talking about obtaining the type of military hardware that they could use to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea, to attack the missile silos in North Korea before those missiles are in the air threatening Japan, because North Korea launches a lot of its missiles towards Japan. This could be long range -- long range cruise missiles, air to ground missiles, refueling planes to extend the range of Japanese fighter jets. Already Japan has purchased F-35 fighters and they're also upgrading their land missile defense systems, the pack three, which is here in Tokyo, to try to protect Japan from North Korean missiles. But an imperfect system to say the least.

In South Korea, there are discussions right now about the U.S. bringing back tactical nuclear weapons to the southern end of the peninsula. That would be the first time since 1991, 26 years. Those are still discussions, but there's an increasing number of people calling for that in South Korea.

Also, apparently in that phone call between President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jai-in, they agreed on Monday in principle to a deal that scraps the limits on the size of South Korea's warheads, which means they can build bigger, more powerful warheads, more powerful missiles to use potentially against North Korea.

HARLOW: The two men, it sounds like, getting more and more on the same page as the threat from the North intensifies.

Will Ripley for us. Thank you for the reporting.

South Korea also vowing to, in their words, destroy and bury the North if they are provoked. The South Korean navy backing up those words with some more action, holding a second day of those live fire drill at sea.

Let's go to Paula Hancocks. She is in Seoul.

So, Paula, Will just talked about this phone call that we were anticipating 24 hours ago during this show as we spoke to you between President Moon and President Trump. What else can you tell us about how much the two leaders are on the same page at this point?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, I certainly think there's some relief here in South Korea that that phone call even happened given that the Japanese leader had two phone call the within 24 hours. There were questions even on the streets of Seoul, why is the U.S. president not involving the South Korean president.

Now, we do know that they both agreed that they would maximize the pressure on North Korea using all tools at their disposal, talking about strengthening joint military capability. So specifics were thin.

What we do know though is that the U.S. has now lifted restrictions on the pay load limits of the missiles that South Korea has. That was a deal done back in the 70s when South Korea was asking for technology from the U.S. That was a restriction put on that has been lifted.

And so certainly it is the case here in South Korea that they want to show that they're on the same page as the United States. And so certainly it is -- it is the case that they will give a harsher and a stronger message. The live fire drills, for example. Just this morning, they were massive drills, intensive live fire according to the navy. The statement they gave was very interesting, saying, wherever it is, on or under water, if North Korea provokes, we will immediately destroy them and bury them at sea. A phrase that North Korea could have been proud of.

Poppy.

HARLOW: Indeed. Paula Hancocks in Seoul, thank you very much.

This morning, back here in the United States, the lives of almost 800,000 undocumented immigrants living in this country could be changed with just a few words. We are waiting to hear from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He is set to speak this morning to reporters about DACA. That's the program that protects these young, undocumented immigrants brought to this country by their parents from deportation.

Now, moments ago, President Trump confirmed speculation that he will end the program but give Congress six months to fix it. A six month delay. Here's what the president wrote. Congress, get ready to do your job. DACA.

Joe Johns is at the White House.

And, Joe, as I look, it looks like you have some new reporting on just how instrumental Attorney General Sessions was in all of this. And it sounds like, from what we can tell, he's going to be the one making the announcement, not the president.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It does sound like Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be the person making that anointment. It's expected to come in a couple of hours here in Washington, D.C. And what we've been told is that the attorney general was instrumental in convincing the president that DACA, as it stands now, would not survive a legal challenge if such a legal challenge were brought by the ten attorneys general from red states who had threatened to do so as early as today if the president did not end the program. The administration making the case that the president's hand was being pushed because of the attorney generals.

[09:10:32] Also, we have to say, of course, the president did promise to end DACA while he was campaigning.

So there's a bit more reporting as well this morning in "The New York Times" about how all of this came to pass. The newspaper indicating that the president looked to his chief of staff, the former Homeland Security secretary, John Kelly, who, in turn, reached out to Republican members of Congress and came up with the solution of ending DACA. And we're told it's going to be a phase-out. Ending DACA, but at the same time giving a six-month pause before people started being deported in order for the Congress to come up with some type of a fix.

So we're waiting a couple hours. We're going to hear from the attorney general just how all of this works. We are not expecting to hear from the president specifically on DACA, though we will see him around 4:00 this afternoon with administration officials and members of Congress to talk about taxes.

Back to you.

HARLOW: Which is interesting because this is something he touted, a big promise he made on the campaign trail to reverse what he called unconstitutional action by his predecessor, President Obama. But today he's leaving the talking up to his attorney general, it seems like.

Joe Johns at the White House. Thank you very much.

So the president, as we said, this morning took to Twitter, seemed to confirm what we have been reporting, that he will scrap the dreamer program and push DACA to Congress. Next, a member of the president's diversity council, who called the president a liar if he ends DACA, Javier Palmerez (ph) will join us next.

And also the Russian investigation is heating up on The Hill. Our exclusive reporting. What is going on behind the scenes? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [09:16:25] HARLOW: My next guest is a supporter of DACA and says if President Trump gets rid of it, then he is a, quote, "liar." Javier Palomarez is the president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He's also a member of President Trump's Diversity Council. He joins me from Dallas.

Good morning to you. You certainly made headlines yesterday by saying look, if the president exits DACA, he is a liar. By all indications this morning including the president's own tweet just moments ago, he's going to do that. So, what does that mean for you?

JAVIER PALOMAREZ, PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNITED STATES HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Well, you know, I'm deeply disappointed if that is in fact the case. We're dealing with a president that gave his word that promised that he would take care of these 800,000 young people who are brought to this country, through no choice of their own.

In fact, on average, they were 6 years of age or younger when they got here. Today, every one of those individuals has undergone a rigorous background check, none of them have committed a crime of any sorts.

They are in order to be in the DACA program, they either have to be in school, or graduated from school. And in fact, 65,000 have been graduated from high school every year and 10,000 graduate from college every year.

These are exactly the kind of young people that we need in America, and we have a president that committed to taking care of them, and in fact said he would focus his energy on removing criminals.

By the way, I support him 100 percent on that, but for him now to say that in fact he's going to rescind DACA is frankly, it's a huge disappointment.

HARLOW: It's important for people to know you're speaking as someone who has been a supporter of this president and supports many of the immigration policies frankly that this president has promised.

But on this you could not be further away from the president. So, you sit on his Diversity Council. You serve him in that sense. Are you going to quit now that it's apparent that he's going to end this program?

PALOMAREZ: Well, you know, it isn't over until it's over. We have not heard the final word from this president. I'm going to work until the bloody end to make sure that we can get our case across to the president. I am going to work as hard as I possibly can to make sure that he understands that we ought to be protecting these young people. We look at this thing --

HARLOW: So, if he ends it, Javier, are you out?

PALOMAREZ: I am out if he ends it.

BERMAN: You're out. You're quitting? PALOMAREZ: Again, Poppy, what I'm focused on is making sure that we're doing everything we can right up until the end to make sure that we look at this thing from a wide array of issues and perspectives.

If you look at things from an economic perspective by way of example, none of these young people is eligible for welfare or government benefits of any sort. They all pay their way.

Today, they pay over $2 billion in local and state taxes. To deport them would cost the American taxpayer over $60 billion, and over a 10- year period of time, our economy would lose some $284 billion of economic output because we've exported these young people.

HARLOW: And I should note, those numbers you just cited are from the Cato Institute, which is far from a left leaning institute. It's a libertarian. Let me ask you. There's a conference call with the White House you told me about to begin.

[09:20:10] A conference call you're meant to be on. You're going to join that call as soon as this interview is over. Who is on that call from the White House, if you know, and does that indicate to you that the decision has not been made yet?

PALOMAREZ: You know, I can't divulge who's on the call. I am thankful that they continue to reach out to me and my association to hear our perspective. I give them credit for working as hard as they can to find the best solution so that this nation can move forward.

They have been working through the weekend. I know that for a fact. There are good-hearted people within that administration that are trying to do the right thing, not only by the DACA DREAMers, but by the entirely of the American population.

All of America wants to see these young people protected. They want to see them staying here in America. And I want to commend some of the leaders in the Republican Party, like Paul Ryan, like Orin Hatch, like John McCain.

Like so many others, Core Belo, by way of example, who are trying hard to bring their peers and colleagues from the Republican Party to this battle to make sure that we're doing right by the American people and these young people in the DACA program.

HARLOW: But Javier, not all of Americans want this. You know the immigration platform that the president ran on and yes, he said he will deal with DREAMers, with heart. I love DREAMers, he said at one point. But he also said this, in Arizona, last August. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We will immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to a proximately 5 million illegal immigrants.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: Now you say he's a liar if he ends DACA, but if anything, he sends completely mixed messages did he not during the campaign on this?

PALOMAREZ: Well, you know, that's part of the problem is this continuous messaging that goes one way on one issue and another way the following day. By the way, I'm not entirely sure what amnity is. I think he meant amnesty.

What I'm hopeful and what I'm working towards is making sure that this president under stands that for the betterment of the American people, it is best to leave these young people exactly where they are.

This is the only country they know. They've been here the majority of their lives. They are getting their educations. They are working. They are paying taxes. They mean to help the American people. They are part of the fabric of this country.

And we should do the right thing, as I said yesterday, we are a country of broad shoulders and big hearts. We need to be Americans at a time like this. These are the defining moments, and these are the times when we need to come together, Republican, Democrat, all Americans, to do the right thing by these innocent young people who are in this country right now.

HARLOW: Javier, I'm going to let you go and get on that conference call with the White House. If it you would want to come back and join us after that call, you know the control room number. Just give us a call.

But again, a headline from you. You confirming that if they end DACA, you will quit the president's Diversity Council. Thank you very much for joining us, Javier Palomarez. We appreciate it.

PALOMAREZ: Thanks.

HARLOW: Some of the biggest names in business are also, like you just heard Javier calling on the president to protect DACA, to extend it, not end it. CNN business correspondent, Alison Kosik is here before the bell.

Look, a lot of these business leaders do not like to get into social issues. They know they risk alienating some of their clients and their employees but they are on this one.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They are clearly speaking out, hundreds. This letter came out last week. Over 300 of these well-known businesses. You can probably recognize them.

CEOs from AT&T, Amazon, Best Buy and Wells Fargo so as I said, there were over 300 last week. Now, over 400 that are adding their names to this list. One of the original backers of the letters, CEO Tim Cook, he's of course with Apple.

He tweeted this, saying, "250 of my Apple coworkers are DREAMers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values."

Now the Center for American Progress says that these DREAMers, if DACA does not continue, we can start seeing them lose their jobs. Thousands of people are likely to lose their jobs which means employers will have big holes to fill. That's a wind up impacting the economy as a whole.

HARLOW: The supporters of ending DACA say those will go to Americans. There's a lot of argument over whether that's the case -- the markets, how are they looking this morning?

[09:25:07] KOSIK: A little jittery this morning. Seeing the Dow in the red a little bit. Looks like the market is a little jittery about what happens in North Korea. This is the first opportunity the market has to react to this nuclear test that happened over the weekend. The markets were closed yesterday so we are seeing a little red on the screen.

HARLOW: All right. Opening bell in 5 minutes. Thank you so much. We appreciate it. Talk about a diplomatic spin. A North Korean envoy calls these bomb and missile tests gift packages for the United States and more maybe on the way. The latest on that straight ahead and the latest response from the White House as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: All right. Reports this morning from South Korea that the North maybe planning to follow up its groundbreaking apparent hydrogen bomb test with yet another long-range missile test.