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INSIDE POLITICS

Trump Meets With Malaysian P.M. At White House; FEMA: About 25 Percent Of Homes In Keys Destroyed; Do Dems Want Hillary Clinton To Go Away? Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired September 12, 2017 - 12:30   ET

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


[12:30:00] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He decided to go hard after this. He has made constant -- there are several examples of he has not gone to the wall like he said he would in terms of shutting the government down. He decided not to do that. So he stopped well short.

JOHN KING, INSIDE POLITICS HOST: I will take you to the White House. The President of the United States, you see the Secretary of the State and the Vice President meeting with the Malaysian Prime Minister. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- great to have the Prime Minister of Malaysia and his very distinguished delegation with us today. We are talking about trade. Very large trade deals. We are working on one deal between $10 and $20 billion worth of Boeing jets are going to be purchased. General electric engines will be purchased and many other things.

Also, Malaysia is a massive investor in the United States in the form of stocks and bonds and the stock exchange. And they have to be happy because we're hitting new highs on almost a weekly basis. So we're very proud of our stock market, what's happened since I became president. So, I congratulate you on those investments.

But I just want to say it's an honor to have you here. It's an honor to have your delegation with us. I believe you'll be at the United Nations next week. And a lot of folks are going to be at the United Nations next week. It should be an exciting week. And we look very much forward to that. But I want to thank you very much for all of the investments you've made in the United States.

Also, the Prime Minister has a major role in not allowing ISIS or, as you say, Daesh and others to exist. And it's been very, very strong on terrorism in Malaysia and a great supporter from that standpoint. So that's a very important thing to the United States. Does not do business with North Korea any longer, and we find that to be very important.

We had a vote yesterday on sanctions. We think it's just another very small step. Not a big deal. Rex and I were just discussing not big, I don't know, but has any impact. But certainly it was nice to get a 15 to nothing vote. But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.

So thank you everyone for being here, we appreciate it. Mr. Prime Minister, it's a great honor to have you in the United States and in the White House. And thank you, everyone for being here. Thank you very much. Thank you. Would you like to say something?

PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIA: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your invitation for me and members of my delegation to meet with you at the White House. I want to say that we come here with a strong value proposition to put on the table. Number one, we want to help you in terms of strengthening the U.S. economy. I come with three specific proposals. Number one, we intend to increase the number of Boeing planes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You're watching here the Prime Minister of Malaysia talking to President Trump. This is the Cabinet meeting at the White House. The meeting underway the Prime Minister in Washington today. He'll be in New York with the United Nations General Assembly next week.

The conversation we are told by the White House press pool and shouted questions at the President after this presentation. But he would not answer questions about his fired Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in the interview he gave at 60 minutes over the weekend. And we'll keep an eye on that for developments. Let's take a quick break though.

Up next, as bad as Irma was, millions in its path (ph) grateful. The record-breaking storm was not as devastating as many have predicted.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:37:50] KING: I'll go back to some residents of the Florida Keys finally headed back to their homes. But what they're met with when they arrive would be heartbreaking. Look at these pictures of homes and businesses like these in Key Largo, completely obliterated.

Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms to ever form in the Atlantic. And while it battered much of Florida, some parts of the state like Miami and Tampa manage to avoid a complete calamity. CNN's Chad Myers is with us now from the Weather Center to explain to us. Chad, how some cities did clearly escape the worst?

CHAD MYERS, CNN WEATHER METEOROLOGIST: It was like Irma had eyes trying to miss the biggest cities, truly, John. An amazing storm. Irma will certainly be a retired name along with Harvey. If you have this many fatalities and as much damage, there will never be another Hurricane Irma. But, oh, it could have been so much worse.

And I'm not taking anything away from the people that got hurt, killed, or lost everything. Don't get me wrong. This is not something about, oh here, it could have been this, it could have been that. But here's the story.

The storm bounced off Cuba in the overnight hours before it turned into the Florida straight. When it did that, it lost a lot of power. Let me show you the power that this storm had in the British Virgin Islands. I stayed here for my 40th birthday. This is the Bitter End Yacht Club. With your little condo duplex, you get to use a boat any time you want. And it was an amazing 40th birthday.

No, I barely remember it 14 years ago, but this is what the place looks like now. There is not a roof. There is not a siding. There's no windows. There's nothing left of this resort. And this isn't that far from where sir Richard Branson, probably less than 5 miles from where sir Richard Branson rode the storm out. Complete devastation here.

Now, we don't see this type of complete devastation in Naples. We don't see it in place even as far south as Marco Island. Is there damage? Yes, but it's not destroyed. The storm lost power here. That's one thing that helped us a lot. Didn't help Cuba.

And then it turned -- and it missed Key West, so to speak. It moved east of Key West where a lot of money is. There's a lot more money in Key West than the rest in Cudjoe Key and Big Pine Key. But nothing taking away from Big Pine Key. They were really slammed.

[12:40:06] And then it moved here and missed Miami completely. Miami is over here. Now, there was onshore flow and we saw our John Berman just get battered for hours and hours and hours. But not like if it was a Category 5 here, like they saw in the British Virgin Islands. So again, kind of a sparing.

Then next it went between Tampa and Orlando. It gave Orlando the bad side of the storm, but by then it was only a Cat 2 going down to about a Cat 1. So if this thing could have really got in between any one of the population centers right through here, and missed Key West and missed Miami, kind of up here through here Cape Coral and then to Tampa and then on up (ph).

Any other track, ominously, almost any other track especially as a Cat 5 through the eastern cities here on the right side terrible. Just offshore here even worse for Cape Coral, worst for Naples, worst for Tampa for sure and maybe even a surge for Tampa. So, did we miss it? No, it was a $50 billion storm. Don't get me wrong. But it could have been a $200 billion storm.

And John here, I want to show you this graph just for second because today, yesterday and the day before are the top of hurricane season. So it's all down hill from here. This is the peak. In fact, September 10 technically the peak, we were close enough.

So, yes, we will have half as many before the peak and half as many after. Let's hope we've already had our share in this season and just fizzles out.

KING: I think anybody watching and anybody who can't watch because they don't have power would share that sentiment. But Chad, let me just ask you though as we were watching Irma. There were two others out there floating around, Jose and Katia. Are they at risk at all?

MYERS: Katia moved straight into Mexico and did do some flooding, but died. Now, Jose has a chance of doing a loop in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and trying to turn back towards the Carolinas. That's nine days away. I will tell you this, we didn't even get this right, you know, 72 hours out. Three days, four days away. There was back and forth 10 or 15 20 miles. Every time the model ran, it was back forth a little bit.

But -- so to say where we can think that it's go in nine days, absolutely no chance in all. It's a guess -- it's nothing more than a guess. No accuracy in a nine-day forecast.

KING: All right. We'll keep in touch that in the days ahead and see what just happens with that. Appreciate it very much, Chard Myers.

Right now, the coast guard is busy inspecting the port that happen to determine how bigger hit it took depending on what they find. Sorry, we're not ready for that one.

We will take a quick break. Up next, we'll keeping check on Irma. Also Hillary Clinton for kicks off today. She's in New York City, signing copies of her memoir from 2016 campaign. A lot of Democrats wish she would just go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[12:46:57] JANE PAULEY, ANCHOR, CBS SUNDAY MORNING: Is your political career over?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. As an active politician, it's over.

PAULEY: You will never be a candidate?

CLINTON: No. I am done with being a candidate, but I am not done with politics because I literally believe that our country's future is at stake.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Hillary Clinton on CBS there. That was stop one on the interview circuit as she promotes her new book called, "What Happened" that's officially out today. She tells the story of the 2016 election through her eyes, accepting some blame for her defeat and also throwing a lot of shade on others, including Bernie Sanders and Vladimir Putin.

You will be seeing a lot more for her media appearances plan this week including CNN Anderson Cooper as well as the view and Stephen Colbert. Even a lot of Clinton loyalist wish she would go quietly and not stir up these old files. Too bad was her response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Well, they don't have to buy my book, and they turn off the radio when they hear me talking. I'm no going anywhere. I have the experience, I have the insight, I have the scars that I think, you know, give me not only the right, but the responsibility to speak out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It's an interesting debate when you talk especially with the Democrats, including a lot of people really close to Hillary Clinton for years. Maybe it's their own therapy but there's a lot of them that said, no, stop, please.

ZELENY: No doubt. And, you know, I think she is right. Of course she can speak her mind. The leaders in the party leaders always speak.

More interesting to me is how much it's easy for her to talk about Donald Trump. What is she going to say about the Democratic Party? Democratic Party is going through, you know, a lot of changes of its own. Is she going to weigh in and pick sides in Medicare for all, for example? Is she going to endorse someone? Are people going to seek her endorsement for 2020?

So I think she'd becomes, by saying, she's not going to a run. Thankfully, you know, not to dangling it out there, I think she becomes a very fascinating figure but is she going to guide the direction of her own party and not talk about the people on the outside?

CARL HULSE, CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You think that was definitive?

ZELENY: I think it was. I think it's enough for me.

HULSE: You know, it's a lot of Democrats are rolling their eyes obviously around town. But I think one thing they're happy about is that it's also happening now. That this book isn't coming out may be next year. Would it be part of the bigger political debate? So it's been (INAUDIBLE).

But I also think I haven't read the book, but the excerpts I read, and it seemed to me like, you know, there was a great overconfidence in that campaign which she admits there, you know, she never prepared for the loss and all. And we've all covered a lot of campaigns and overconfidence is a cardinal sin in political campaigns, so. I mean, I think there's a reckoning there spill for her.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes.

RACHAEL BADE, REPORTER, POLITICO: From the Hill, it seems like, you know, she might be the only Democrat who is decided in Washington about this book right now. And, yes, the timing might be better now than next year, but Democrats right now need to unite. They need to -- if they're going to be successful next year, they need to, you know, put up a fight against Trump. And right now a lot of people are really annoyed on Capitol Hill that she's not just burning, you know, Putin and Sanders, she's also saying Obama should have come out and warned the nation that, you know, Russia was interfering with the democracy saying maybe she would have elected there. [12:50:08] So, the insight in putting the Democrat is not helpful and with lawmakers specially, you know, for instance Ron Wyden, one of my colleagues went up to and asked if he was excited and his response was, you know, let me just say I would rather move forward instead of looking backwards.

HENDERSON: Yes, but they've, you know -- I mean, whether or not she was going to write this book or not, I mean, there was going to be some looking back, there was going to be some reckoning with what happened in 2016 and reckoning with what the Democratic Party is going forward. Is it the party of Bernie Sanders? Is it a more Liberal Party or is it a more Centrist Party. So, you know -- I mean, I think, you know, if the Democrats in Washington sort of can't stand four or five weeks of Hillary Clinton and then their party is going to suffer greatly for it, then they don't have much of a party, I mean, if this is going to, you know, sort of damage their prospects --

KING: Well, I think back to Jeff's point, a lot of -- you know, will she take sides? You're having all these potential 2020 candidates now signing up with Bernie Sanders with single payer health care. That's a big issue. She's going to be traveling the places. Let's see if she can ask about the stops in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Does she goes up in those 15 city torn (ph).

If she does so, interesting numbers in the NBC Wall Street Journal poll, how do you view Hillary Clinton? Very or somewhat positive 30 percent, neutral 17 percent, very or somewhat negative, 53 percent. That's tough. She comes out with the campaign. Well that's the lowest ratings to go way, way back in time to get with that lawsuit (ph). It's tough. So part is this was little redemption.

HULSE: But she does have a following. There is a committed --

KING: Right.

HULSE: -- Hillary Clinton ore of Democratic voters and I think Jeff is right. That she could have some influence in these races going forward. Her voice is going to be important. I mean, there's a lot of people who still think that she was robbed of the presidency.

(OFF-MIC)

KING: Up next, everybody sit tight. Some breaking baby news right here on INSIDE POLITICS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:55:58] KING: A little you might even say tiny bit of breaking news from the President of the United States. He's a grandfather again. His son Eric and wife Lara announcing on Twitter the birth, look at that, Eric Luke Trump. The baby was born at 8:50 this morning. A first child for Eric and Lara. A ninth grandchild for the President. Congratulations and best wishes to all involved. Adorable little baby there.

Thanks for joining us in INSIDE POLITICS. My favorite CNN grandfather, Wolf Blitzer, up after a quick break. See you tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Washington, 6:00 p.m. in London, 8:00 p.m. in Jerusalem, wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.

We start with very desperate times in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The storm has moved off but the trail of record will last much longer.