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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
At Least 8 Dead After Florida Nursing Home Loses Power; Millions Still Without Power in Florida; Food, Water, Electricity Scare in Caribbean. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 13, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:09] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
Tonight, Hillary Clinton joins me for an in-depth face-to-face interview, a revealing look at why she believes she lost the election, what she was really thinking sitting at the inauguration watching President Trump being sworn in, and what her life has been like during the eight months since.
We talk a lot about tonight, about James Comey, about President Trump, and about the Russia investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I just want to be clear: you're convinced there was collusion?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, let me say if -- I'm convinced there was communication. I'm convinced there were meetings and phone calls. I'm convinced that there were financial entanglements. Let's wait to see what it's called. I'm convinced that there was something going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We talked for about 40 minutes. My full interview with Hillary Clinton is coming up.
But first, the day's news. We begin in Florida in a tragedy that has increased the death toll from Hurricane Irma and its aftermath.
At least eight residents of a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, are dead, and at least a dozen others are in critical condition. The causes of death still under investigation, but the nursing home confirms there was a power failure. No air conditioning for elderly residents in 90 degree and above temperatures. A hospital was just 50 feet away.
Now, tonight, there is heartbreak and outrage and questions.
Elizabeth Cohen joins me now.
How did this happen?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, as you said, there are so many questions here tonight in Hollywood, Florida, one of the biggest is how was this allowed to go on for so long?
COHEN (voice-over): The call for help came in at 3:00 Wednesday morning. An elderly resident at this Hollywood, Florida nursing home having a heart attack.
RAELIN STOREY, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA: As we arrived on the scene with our fire rescue crews, we saw that there were a number of people in respiratory distress and other distress.
COHEN: Three people were found dead in the nursing home. Five more people died after they were evacuated to a nearby hospital. The cause of death is still under investigation.
The nursing home says its air conditioning system lost power after Hurricane Irma struck on Sunday. Portable AC units were being used, but the facility was excessively hot according to city officials.
STOREY: Once we determined that we had multiple deaths at the facilities and the facilities are extremely hot, we made the decision to evacuate all of the patients.
COHEN: Fire and rescue teams mobilizing nine rescue units. This blue tent directed to triage evacuating residents, 158 patients, some critically in need of care. They were transported to local hospitals.
DR. RANDY KATZ, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, EMERGENCY SERVICES, MEMORIAL REGIONAL HOSPITAL: Most of the patients have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues.
COHEN: Police so far declining to say just how hot it was inside the nursing home. In a statement, the rehabilitation center at Hollywood Hills said: Facility administration is cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were affected.
Elected officials now asking questions.
SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: People are just absolutely shocked that someone in a staff would not know enough that a frail elderly person is dying of heat exhaustion and would at least know to dial 911. This is what is inexcusable.
COHEN: The building now sealed off as police conduct a criminal investigation inside.
CHIEF THOMAS SANCHEZ, HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA POLICE: As a precautionary measure, we've assigned police officers to go check all the other 42 assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout the city to make sure that they're in sufficient care of the elderly.
COHEN: Approximately 150 nursing homes in Florida still don't have power fully restored. Virtually all of them relying on generators to meet the needs of residents under their care. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: And, Elizabeth, I understand, you're getting new information as to exactly when this nursing home lost air conditioning.
COHEN: That's right. The state of Florida just put out an announcement, Anderson, that on September 10th, the AC went out. There were portable coolers, portable fans, but no ACs in September 10th. Also, another piece of information, there's now a moratorium on accepting new patients. This facility can no longer take in any new patients -- Anderson.
COOPER: Has this facility had issues in the past? Do we know?
COHEN: You know, we looked at state and federal information reports and indeed we did find quite a list of problems. For example, from the past couple of years, they found that a temporary generator hadn't been replaced and there was no plans to get a permanent one. They also found that the alarm on the generator wasn't being properly maintained, so it could alarm that the generator wasn't working and staff wouldn't know.
Also, that they didn't maintain fire walls, that emergency exits were blocked. Also problems with proper sanitation. And one inspection found that for the small number of patients they looked at, a medication error rate of 25.9 percent.
[20:05:00] Now, Anderson, of course, all those problems weren't associated with what happened at this facility, but it does tell you something about their history.
COOPER: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks --
COHEN: And all those problems were -- all those problems were corrected.
COOPER: All right. Thanks for that, Elizabeth. Appreciate it.
Joining me now from Fort Lauderdale are Jeffrey and Stacy Nova. Jeffrey's mother Gail died at that nursing home.
Jeff, I'm so sorry for your loss. When and how did you find out that she had passed away?
JEFFREY NOVA, MOTHER DIED AT HOLLYWOOD NURSING HOME: This morning, I received a phone call, believe it or not, from a "Sun Sentinel" reporter that had asked me to give a biography of my mother and not knowing what had transpired, I just kept asking her, what are you calling regarding? She said, well, your mother has passed away.
I said, how did you get my name and number and I'm not quite clear on how this happened, because we were without any communication in our home because of the hurricane, so there was no way to hear this information as it was being broadcast? And she said the woman at the nursing home had given my name and number to her and she gave me the woman's name and said that's how she knew and she wanted an interview with me at that time around 10:30 this morning.
COOPER: I can't -- I mean, I'm just stunned hearing this. No one -- you're saying that no one from the nursing home actually called you ask or anyone in your family to notify you that there was a problem there.
J. NOVA: No, they hadn't spoke to me. I did receive a call at 3:30 in the afternoon from a woman telling me that they evacuated the facility and my mother had passed away. She was a casualty to the events in the morning, but she was vague and unclear, and it was really just an upsetting phone call. Not one that was encouraging to hear about anything.
COOPER: Of course.
J. NOVA: The hospital, though, and the people I spoke with there, they were incredibly supportive and they were very genuine in offering their counsel.
COOPER: Stacy, I mean, I'm sorry to dwell on this, but I just find it stunning that someone in this nursing home that works there would give you and Jeff's name and number to a reporter, but not have the decency to actually contact you.
STACY NOVA, MOTHER-IN-LAW DIED AT HOLLYWOOD NURSING HOME: No, they didn't contact him until later in the day. In fact, Hollywood police contacted us before that, and we had to go down to the hospital to be notified in person even before the nursing home contacted us.
COOPER: Stacy, had your family had any issues previously with this nursing home or with the staff?
S. NOVA: I'll let Jeff answer that.
S. NOVA: Sorry.
J. NOVA: You know, my mom's been there for a good number of years, eight years, and with that, I have gone through the trials of staff changing and communication issues. They are difficult to get on the phone at some times. They recognize that there's always been an issue in the nighttime staff with the phone being answered and communication in that respect.
So, I did find it that terribly odd that when Sunday came and I couldn't get someone to answer the phone that there was a problem. And I tried over those couple of days, but it just didn't dawn on me that there was a significant issue. And without communication, I really was out of the loop.
But as far as past problems, it was just communication issues. The staff has never been in any way disrespectful to me or my mom, but it was always a challenge to get them to give me any input when there were things that came up with her care over the period of years that she's been there. I've always found that to be a challenge of pulling teeth to get them to communicate.
COOPER: Jeff, if you would, just tell us a little bit what your mom. What kind of a woman was she in what kind of a mom was she?
J. NOVA: She's just another person you would see walking down the street. She's an American that loved where she lived. She enjoyed her family. She had a medical event that unfortunately left her where she needed care in a nursing home.
So, it's surreal that I'm sitting here where I was one watching these commentaries over the years and now, it's my mom that is an unfortunate casualty to the lack of care that I think occurred for the fact that there was a hospital only feet from her door. And there was help literally feet away. It's just an astonishing chain of events that is hard to come to terms with so early.
COOPER: Yes --
J. NOVA: My mom was a really good person.
COOPER: I would imagine that having known there was a hospital 50 feet away was probably a source of comfort for you over the years to know that the hospital was so close-by.
J. NOVA: Yes. That was one of the reasons why she remained there is that if she needed care, if there was a need for further care, it was literally feet away. And they've used is it before. She had been there and she had friends in the area that were constantly coming to see her even after these number of years and it fit the things that she needed, which was the engagement with friends and having medical help if need. So, we just kind of used that as the background to why we kept her there.
COOPER: Jeff and Stacy, I really -- I sort of don't know what to say other than I'm so sorry for your loss and for all the families who are suffering tonight.
[20:10:02] And, obviously, we'll continue to look for answers on how this could have happened, because it seems like they were without the main air conditioning for days, since Saturday according to reporting. So, we'll keep in touch with you, Jeff and Stacy -- since Sunday, I should say. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
J. NOVA: Thank you.
S. NOVA: Thank you.
COOPER: With millions still without power throughout Florida, millions of people without power tonight and it is hot there, other parts of the Southeast, the tragedy of that nursing home, it underscores that the task of getting the power back on, it can be a matter of life and death. And the clock is ticking.
Ed Lavandera has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JESSICA GONZALEZ, LABELLE, FLORIDA RESIDENT: So, last night, we slept in my husband's truck.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jessica Gonzalez celebrated her 20th birthday by waking up in her car with her husband and 2-year-old daughter parked outside her home in LaBelle, Florida. For now, this is the most comfortable place to sleep because it's just too hot in their house that's still without power.
(on camera): Did you think that after the hurricane came --
GONZALEZ: It would be this bad? No. No.
LAVANDERA: Like sleeping in the car?
GONZALEZ: No, I didn't think that -- I honestly didn't think it would be that bad. I mean, you hear a lot of it's a category 5, category 3, you know, but you really don't think it's going to hit at your house.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Meals are also cooked outside.
(on camera): This is the kitchen now?
GONZALEZ: Yes. I mean, this is just leftovers that nobody ate.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): And she's not sure when the lights and air conditioning will turn on again.
(on camera): Do you think you can handle a couple more weeks of this?
GONZALEZ: I mean, it's not like we have that much of a choice. I guess, I mean, we kind of have to.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Hurricane Irma delivered the worst power outage in Florida's history. Nighttime satellite images show how the lights dimmed before and then after the storm churned its way up the state.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that at its peak, 15 million people in Florida were left in the dark. Some 20,000 power crew workers have been deployed across the state to turn the grid back on. Convoys of trucks crews the roads and crews cut through downed trees to restore the electrical power neighborhood by neighborhood.
Bob Hahn and Tom Cirou are neighbors. They're trying to rig an electrical line from this RV into their homes to power up a refrigerator and some water pumps.
(on camera): You guys are getting creative here.
TOM CIROU, LABELLE, FLORIDA RESIDENT: Well, you know, you do what you can do when you have to do it, you know. That's all I can tell you.
LAVANDERA: So, water got inside the house?
(voice-over): With no power and the house caving in, Bob and Tara Hahn have moved their whole family, ten children into their oldest daughter's two-bedroom house, 17 people under one roof.
(on camera): And this could be reality for how long?
TARA HAHN, LABELLE, FLORIDA RESIDENT: I don't know. They're saying that we aren't going to have power for weeks.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): During the storm, a giant tree crashed into their home and the driving rain poured inside. There's no power and no answers as to when they'll be back.
(on camera): It's distressful.
LAVANDERA: It takes a toll, I imagine.
HAHN: Very much so. Yes. But you know what? God is faithful. He's brought us this far. He'll get us through.
COOPER: And Ed joins now.
How many people are still without electricity across the state and how long are they telling people it's going to take to be restored? I was in a neighborhood last night and they were saying September 22nd for that area.
LAVANDERA: Yes, that September 22nd date is floating around. That is the estimate of one company, Florida Power and Light. But as of now, the state says that there are still more than 3.2 million customers. That's more than 30 percent of the state.
And, Anderson, as you well know and you saw, when the power is out, it essentially paralyses neighborhoods and communities. Schools can't open, businesses can't reopen. It is, you know, total paralysis until all of that power is turned back on -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Ed Lavandera, great reporting. Thank you.
Randi Kaye has been out with the FEMA search and rescue team looking for survivors in the Keys. Here's what she has seen today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're making entry. Can you hear us? Fire and rescue, can anybody hear us?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Task Force 2, a search and rescue team from Miami, on the hunt for anyone still trapped after Hurricane Irma. The concern at this house in Ramrod Key, a car out front. So, perhaps someone is stuck inside.
Here, the team has to force their way inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire and rescue! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire and rescue!
KAYE: The roof is gone but so is the family. The rescue team hopes they made it out alive.
Down the road, more houses to search and hopefully clear.
(on camera): Here this house, the team had to cut through all of this brush in the front yard here just to get inside. Once they got in the front door they found an elderly woman who had ridden out the storm here. She was trapped inside, very low on supplies. They gave her water and then they marked the mailbox here, 1L, one living.
[20:15:05] (voice-over): At one point, we all come across a horrible smell, a smell anyone's whose covered a deadly hurricane knows all too well.
TIMOTHY GLEASON, MIAMI FIRE-RESCUE DEPARTMENT: Hit me right away, the smell it's strong and that's kind of indicative of a body.
KAYE (on camera): Having covered Katrina, I remember this smell. It's a very distinct smell of death. And you smell it.
GLEASON: That smell never leaves you.
KAYE (voice-over): He decides to call in the cadaver dogs. This dog is called on to search and smell the area around a handful of homes. If he smelled human remains or even remains of a dog or cat or somebody's pet, he would signal but he never does.
Still the area isn't given an all clear. The source of this smell still a mystery. The team is especially concerned about this house.
GLEASON: Something like this is shuttered up. It's in relatively good condition. Somebody could have rode the storm in there. And we're gong to try our best to hail and scream out, see if they hear us. If they don't hear us, we'll make the decision whether or not to force the entry and go in.
KAYE: Before going in inside they test the air with carbon monoxide meter and also a tool to detect electricity. And this large search camera that can get into cracks and crevices like an attic space if need to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go in and force entry to the opening to significant in the structure. We're going to make sure it's clear. Once we get in there, we're going to minimize damage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire and rescue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire and rescue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody in here.
KAYE: In the end, they don't find anyone inside. Yet, the disturbing smell in this neighborhood continues. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Randi joins us now.
How many people have the search teams you were with found?
KAYE: When we were with that team today, they said they had rescued several people. A lot of them still wanted to stay in their home, even though they were so allow on supplies, Anderson. So, you can just imagine if this Task Force 2 from Miami, Florida, hadn't been found them, what could have happened to them.
And it's incredible to watch them work. They're so methodical. They work this grid of the neighborhood between mile marker 20 and mile marker 30, right where Irma blew through. That's the area they know was hardest hit that they have to look at.
And, of course, they're very concerned about the homes that have a car in the driveway, maybe or the shutters closed or they're not boarded up because they think people might have ridden out the storm there. This house behind me, let me just step out of the frame here, you can see this is not the kind of house that they would have searched because here on the water, it's completely blown out, the walls are gone, it's dark in the background but there's no wall, that's the open sea behind this house. There's absolutely nothing left. The floor has dropped through and has gone out to sea. The only thing left inside that house, Anderson, is a crock pot on the shelf, which is incredible, and then the satellite TV dish is still attached to the chimney and that is it, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Randi, thanks very much.
Up next, the struggle for survival in the Caribbean paradise left in ruins after Irma. Supplies are coming in, the problem they need more help. We're going to take you to the U.S. Virgin Islands for an update on the crisis.
Also tonight, Hillary Clinton on what happened in the 2016 election. Her thoughts on her loss, James Comey's intervention and Russian interference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Do you think this is bigger than Watergate?
CLINTON: I think it's probably bigger than Watergate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:22:09] COOPER: Across the Caribbean tonight, it is still a dire situation after Irma, once lush islands are now being compared to a nuclear landscape by some people, and to make it even worse, in some areas, there's a sense of abandonment along with looting.
Brynn Gingras has the latest.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across the Caribbean, what used to be paradise now being described as hell. One week later after Irma came ashore as a category 5, there's a fight for survival.
You listen to the radio, you call. But nobody comes, says this Danish resident of St. Maarten.
Communications are nearly wiped out on many islands. There's little food, and clean water is scarce.
Irma hammered Barbuda and Anguilla.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tat sound, it was just all encompassing, and it really became at one point a question of whether we would live to see through it.
GINGRAS: Now, both islands look uninhabitable. The French and Dutch island of St. Maarten took a direct hit from Irma. Downed power lines snake through tons of rubble which used to be homes and resorts. Thousands of U.S. residents have been shuttled out on military cargo planes.
French President Emmanuel Macron continues to visit the country's territories.
PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, FRANCE (through translator): It's important that as many people as possible, everyone who can and who wants to stays on the island of St. Maarten.
GINGRAS: For them, rescuers brought supplies and much needed water, but there's only so much to go around. Looters took to the streets, some reportedly armed with machetes. They demanded anything.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, this before and after picture of St. John is striking. The once lush paradise now deserted. The vegetation all dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the roof. The roof is about to come. Yes. There it is.
GINGRAS: Terrified residents watched as roofs ripped off home after home in nearby St. Thomas. FEMA says shelters are greatly needed and supplies are rushed to the area.
The U.S. Navy helped injured residents evacuate. Residents who stayed behind are still in disbelief.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never done this. No power, no water, no facilities. No, you know, food and things. I've never experienced anything like this. Never hoped I would.
GINGRAS: Brynn Gingras, CNN.
COOPER: Some incredible images.
To get a closer look at the damage in U.S. Virgin Islands today, CNN's Sara Sidner rode on a private boat taking supplies to St. John. Relief as we said is trickling in. The needs are great.
Sara is now back on St. Croix where she joins us.
It's been nearly a week since Irma hit in the Virgin Islands. I'm wondering, I mean, is there a reason why it's taken so long to get help there?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Anderson, I'm having a little bit of trouble with communications, but I do hear you.
I think when we got to St. John, I think what struck most of us as we were riding there is that here in St. Croix, which is about 35 miles from St. John, it's lush. It's still very green. It's barely touched by winds.
And then you get to St. John and every single leaf has been stripped from that island. There is nothing green. It looks so desolate and people are living now under tarps. They were asking, when is FEMA going to come with more tarps? We need more tarps.
And also, we saw so many power lines down and so much destruction that there is a thought that it may take up to six months before anything gets anywhere near back to normal.
COOPER: What struck you most when you got to the island?
SIDNER: You know what I think when you walk in as the boat drops you off on the dock, people there hugged us. They were so happy to see somebody, and they wanted everyone to understand what has happened to St. John.
I think the general thought, though, is that St. John will never be the same, that some people will not be able to rebuild. Some people had their entire life sort of savings into those homes that they built there. There were also a lot of donkeys. It's known for its donkeys. There were a lot of donkeys sort of walking around. And people are saying, hey, the donkeys also need food.
But it is definitely a community that comes together, but it definitely, Anderson, it definitely needs help and more help. It was hard to watch because there wasn't a huge relief effort yet. Even six days in, there still wasn't a massive relief effort and they need that. What they're getting is a trickle instead of a flood.
COOPER: Yes, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sara Sidner, thanks very much.
More on the Irma aftermath next. Also coming up tonight, the White House doubling down on its criticism
of former FBI Director James Comey. What Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said today, next.
And later, my one-on-one in-depth interview with Hillary Clinton. She often points out that even though she lost the Electoral College, she did win the popular vote. I'll ask her whether she thinks the Electoral College should be done away with once and for all.
COOPER: When Hurricane Irma jogged back toward the east late on Sunday night, it largely spared cities like Tampa but caused a lot of flooding in cities like Jacksonville that weren't expecting it. These are images taken over Black Creek just south of Jacksonville.
That's where Gary Tuchman went to see what happened for himself.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here in northern Florida, many families still need a canoe to get to their front doors. Sharmaine and Todd Moltenhower (ph) are going back to their home in tiny Green Cove Springs, Florida, for the first time since Hurricane Irma's flood waters arrive. They have no idea what to expect once they open the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you got this locked, honey?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't lock it.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is just taken this couple a matter of seconds to learn their home has suffered catastrophic damage.
S. MOLDENHAUER: Wow.
TUCHMAN: It's a nightmare. It's chaotic scene, smoke detectors peeping loudly and incessantly. Sharmane and Todd left belonging destroyed.
At its highest points neighbors snapped this picture of the flood waters reaching about six feet. The waters have recede from that high point but continued to flow in the house.
S. MOLDENHAUER: This is not good. Oh my God.
TUCHMAN: Todd is in the international guard. He was deployed to help hurricane victims as his house was getting flooded. He rushed home to be with his wife, who had evacuated to a neighbor's house.
T. MOLDENHAUER: Oh my god this mess.
(OFF-MIC) S. MOLDENHAUER: Oh my God.
TUCHMAN: Amid the wreckage the Moldenhauer (ph) look for items that are sentimental to them.
TUCHMAN: But they still can't believe what force of all the water did in their home.
S. MOLDENHAUER: Oh, the refrigerator fell down. Did you see that honey?
T. MOLDENHAUER: It's OK.
TUCHMAN: Like so many people in the path of hurricane Irma, Sharmane and Todd Moldenhauer lives have taken a dramatic de jour (ph).
TUCHMAN (on camera): I'm so sorry for this, you're going through. (INAUDIBLE) still newly weds. Can you get a lot in your place now?
S. MOLDENHAUER: Yes.
T. MOLDENHAUER: Yes. It will work out.
TUCHMAN: When it come down to (INAUDIBLE)?
T. MOLDENHAUER: Yes, that's the most important thing.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Their plan is to rebuild and come back to this home. But first they have to get over the shock.
S. MOLDENHAUER: Pictures of his dad who just recently passed. And then, we have our photos from our wedding, graduation and happy times. No it's OK.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: One family's heart ache. And Gary joins us now. I mean, it's just so sad to see and there are problem a number of families, many families like that all over Florida coming back to see the remnants of their lives. Are there still people who are unable to get back to their homes in Northern Florida?
TUCHMAN: Yes, Anderson, some people still can't return to their home safely. The best should be changing soon because although there's a lot of water it is receding very quickly.
We've come to the street and different part of the Clay County to show you this because this was some of the worst flooding in Northern Florida. The water levels were 25 feet. Yes, 25 feet above the ground level. And we know that not only from the people who live here but also you can still see the water lines on some of the trees and all the telephone poles.
But right now, it's receding quickly. The belief is, is that with the next day or so you won't see much water here at all. When we came here, three hours, the water was up to my waist, a little above my waist and now it's below knees. We can tell you, the county officials here, Anderson, say that about 1,000 homes have either been destroyed or damaged. Anderson.
COOPER: Gary, thank so much. Again, it's the shock for people who didn't expect to happen in that part of the state.
President Trump expected to visit Florida tomorrow to tour some of the areas affected by Irma.
But back in Washington today his administration is escalating its criticism a former FBI Director James Comey during the White House briefing today Press Secretary Sarah Sanders accused Comey of violating multiple federal law when he leaked memos, he wrote, while in office.
Sanders said, it would be up to the Department of Justice to look into whether should be prosecuted.
Jeff Zeleny joins us now from the White House. What exactly is Sarah Sanders accusing Comey of doing?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, she bluntly accused the former FBI Director of breaking the law by specifically using government equipment. The FBI computers to write those memos, we talked about so often earlier. And it is something that she talked about with such a detail, it was clear she was sending a message from the President. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yes, the memos that Comey leaked were created on an FBI computer while he was the director. He claims they were private property, but they clearly followed the protocol of an official FBI document. Leaking FBI memos on a sensitive case, regardless of classification, violates federal laws including the Privacy Act, Standard FBI Employment Agreement, and nondisclosure agreement all personnel must sign. I think that's pretty clean and clear that that would be a violation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:35:11] ZELENY: Now, the FBI director at the time, James Comey said that he did not violate any law, he was simply writing memos. But Anderson, you could tell as Sarah Sanders was reading this. She was not speaking off extemporaneously there. She was reading from a document in front of her.
Anderson, this is all part of the White House effort to undermine, undercut this entire Russian investigation. This is the third day in a row she is raised such serious questions about the former FBI director of course, who was fired in May by this President.
COOPER: And Democratic leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, they're at the White House tonight to meet with President Trump. I think they're having dinner, what are they discussing do we know?
ZELENY: Anderson, it's so interesting, this is the second week in row. The President has extended a hand to Democrats. And at this hour, the two top democratic leaders of the House and Senate are still here, having their private dinner in the residence of White House. You can see up behind me there, at issue is a DRAEMers and DACA and immigration. The President hopes to strike a deal with them.
Some skepticism here about what actually can be work out in this divided town, but it's a change of strategy from this President.
COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, I appreciate you being there thank you.
COOPER: James Comey also, of course, came up today in my interview with Hillary Clinton. What she thinks about his decision to announce the e-mail investigation being reopened right before the election.
Plus, what it was like for her to go to the inauguration of President Trump and much more interview ahead.
COOPER: Well, it's been nearly a year since Hillary Clinton lost the e election. Her defeat and President Trump victory shook the political foundations of this country. Her loss was against all odds. And in the months since a lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what happened.
Hillary Clinton hasn't spoken publicly much since that stunning loss. But now she's written a book called, appropriate enough "What happened." She is speaking out and speaking in a less guarded way I think you'll see and she's use to doing in public.
I sat down with her today from the interview that lasted nearly 40 minutes. Before we begin I just want to give you a sense of what she's been up to since she's lost.
COOPER (voice-over): Hillary Clinton had spent most of her adult life in the public eye.
HILARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.
COOPER: Her unexpected defeat left her schedule suddenly a lot emptier. Just days after the election she was spotted hiking in the woods of Chappaqua with her husband and their dogs, this mother and her baby daughter took a selfie.
Fans and supporters posted various siting from Clinton around the northeast, at book store and the local grocery store, even having breakfast alone in a restaurant in Upstate, New York.
[20:40:00] In December, Clinton was back in Washington attending Senator Harry Reid's portrait unveiling. Her first public remarks since her defeat a month before.
CLINTON: After a few weeks of taking selfies in the woods, I thought td be a good idea to come out.
COOPER: She stayed silent at her next public appearance which was by her own account, painful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love Hilary.
COOPER: After that both Clintons seemed to take time to enjoy themselves. They were spotted at Broadway shows on a number of occasions.
CLINTON: There is no place I'd rather be than here with you other than the White House.
COOPER: And slowly Hillary Clinton began to speak out in public again. In May CNN's Christiane Amanpour as Clinton why she lost.
CLINTON: I take absolute personal responsible, I was the candidate.
COOPER: Hillary Clinton has had ten months now to deflect on her defeat and her next steps.
CLINTON: Things didn't exactly go the way I planned. But you know what, I'm doing OK. Long walks in the woods. Organizing my closets, right. I won't lie. Chardonnay helped a little too.
COOPER (on camera): This book is airing out a lot of things, but you come across as less guarded, is that hard for you? Does it feel good to do it?
CLINTON: It really does, Anderson. I write in the book about how for so much of my time in public life I felt like I was on this high wire with no net. I was trying to balance so many different competing concerns. And I wanted to write a book that would be as candid, take people behind the scenes as I possibly could, share some of what went on, on the road the kinds of activities that you do when you're running for president especially as a woman.
But also to tackle the hard questions, like what happened in the campaign, what were the mistakes I made which I talk about, and what else happened. And particularly with an eye to understanding what we need to know so it doesn't happen again.
COOPER: One of thing you write about is the inauguration.
COOPER: I wanted to just take you back to inauguration day. You're standing inside the Capital waiting to go out on the platform with former President Clinton. What was beginning through your mind?
CLINTON: Well, it was such a surreal moment because usually a candidate who doesn't win the election without some other position wouldn't go. But as a former First Lady, you know, my husband and I go to inaugurations. It's part of the way we demonstrate continuity of government. And I really debated whether I could do it or not and --
COOPER: You actually called up --
CLINTON: Our offices --
COOPER: Jimmy Carter, former President Carter and George W. Bush.
CLINTON: Right. Our offices were in communication with both the Carters and both Bushes and the other Bush couldn't come because of ill health. But you know, both George and Laura, and Jimmy and Rosalynn we're going to go. And Bill and I just said, you know, we got to do this. So we were going, but I can't tell you I was looking forward to it. And as we were standing inside the door of the capital before you descend the steps to go out to the platform, I was just thinking of what it was like when Bill won and what it was like when I was there in 2001.
I was a newly elected senator, but Vice President Gore had lost and coming back when President Obama was inaugurated. There were so many memories running through my mind and I did not know what to expect.
And I write in the book about how really strange it was to sit there and to listen to the kind of speech that was so divisive, the rhetoric was hot. I call it a cry from the white nationalist gut. Instead of taking the moment to saying, you know what, I want to reach out and be the president for everybody. He didn't win the popular vote, he quick through in the Electoral College, he had a chance to really begin to fill the role and that didn't happen that day.
COOPER: He talked about American carnage?
CLINTON: Yes. He did. Yes.
COOPER: But when you're saying the steps, you write in the book that you were wishing you were anywhere else but there.
CLINTON: Anywhere else, Baa Lee (ph) maybe. You know, anywhere else.
COOPER: Do you regret not going to Baa Lee (ph) instead?
CLINTON: No. Look, afflicted with the responsibility. I did the right thing. I knew I had to go but I have to quickly add that the next day was great. You know, the women March filled with enthusiasm and nearly 5 million people, biggest ever in history really lifted my spirits.
COOPER: You also write in the book that George W. Bush reportedly said after the inauguration, that was some weird shit.
CLINTON: Yes, and I said I couldn't have agree more.
COOPER: You agree with that sentiment? CLINTON: I do. It was so strange. I mean.
COOPER: We reveal your sourcing on that, is she sitting across from me right now?
CLINTON: Well no, I phrased it very delicately.
[20:45:02] COOPER: I know that.
CLINTON: You know, it was -- I went to the lunch afterwards. I mean, I did everything that you're supposed to do. I went to the lunch.
COOPER: You also said you spent a lot of time on the platform avoiding eye contact with people who had been cruel to you, said terrible thing?
CLINTON: Yes. I mean, I was obviously aware that there were a lot of people there who had said terrible things about me. You know, I could hear some lock-her-up chants in the distance and then on the way out. I run into one of the people in the Congress who have been pursuing me. I didn't recognize him to be honest.
COOPER: You're talking about Jason Chaffetz?
CLINTON: I know, I thought it was Reince Priebus and --
COOPER: You thought Jason Chaffetz was Reince Priebus?
CLINTON: Yes. I was leaving the platform, and, you know, this gentleman stuck out his hand and, you know, I greeted him and I thought it was Reince Priebus and --
COOPER: He tweeted out a phone in fact and he said -- I want to share it right here. He tweeted out a picture, so please she is not the president.
CLINTON: Yes, and I said, I would have like to have said, yes. And I thought you're Reince Priebus but anyway it --
COOPER: You call him one of the --
CLINTON: I did call him one of the --
COOPER: Are you a huge music fan?
CLINTON: I am a huge music fan. Who is it that a -- ever seen that I heard the music.
COOPER: Does this happen to you a lot, I mean, people coming up to you who have said terrible thing about you, not to your face and then being very friendly to your face. I mean, after the lunch and a congressman came to you.
CLINTON: That's right.
COOPER: Who had called you, I think the anti-Christ. CLINTON: He did call me the anti-Christ and came up to introduce his wife to me. I'd never met him before. She's now our anterior secretary as I write in the book and he couldn't have been nicer in coming up to say, hello, wanting to great me. And I said well, you know, Congressman I'm not the anti-Christ.
And he immediately back peddled and oh my goodness and his wife could not have been nicer. But I make the point that when you are subjected to the kind of abuse that we see much too much in our politics right now both in person and online. And people feel very free, anonymously to say terrible thing or from a long distance where they don't have to look you in the eye. They don't have to relate to you or try to figure out, you know, where you stand on something, why you believe what you believe. And it's a real loss. It's a loss. I mean, as hyper partisanship and this negativity that I think has been really inflamed by the internet. I've given a lot of thought to it over the last month.
COOPER: You also have a lot of people since then, since inauguration day in the last eight months coming up to you, women coming up to you with their daughters and saying my daughter didn't go out to vote, and sort of wanting absolution from.
CLINTON: Right. That's happened to me, what's more common are people bursting at a tears, wailing up, I had a lot of that in my book signing yesterday here.
COOPER: Do you give the absolution to those who didn't vote, to women who didn't vote?
CLINTON: No I don't. Look, I -- when it first started happening, it was so soon after the election and the election was so bizarre and close. It was hard for me to, you know comfort somebody who was coming to me and saying, oh I wish I'd done more. Or I'm sorry I didn't vote because I think this was one of the most consequential elections that we had faced in a long time. So no absolution but of course I, you know, just hope people will take what happened this time seriously and being ready and willing to vote the next time.
COOPER: It seems like you've been doing a lot of yoga?
CLINTON: Yes, an alternate nostrils breathing.
COOPER: Well, I wanted to ask you.
CLINTON: Have you tried that?
COOPER: --page 27 in your book, you talk about alternate nostrils breathing.
COOPER: What is that and dare you give me a demonstration.
CLINTON: Well, I would highly recommend it.
CLINTON: I mean, you shut your eyes, I don't want to shut my eyes on, you know, on national television but, you know, you do hold and breathe through one, and hold it and then you exhale to the other and you keep going. I can only say based on my personal experience that if your sitting crossed legged on the yoga mat and you're doing it and you're really trying to inhale, and hold it and have a longer exhale it is very relaxing. So I don't know if you can do in the middle in the middle of hurricane coverage but maybe some other moments you can try it. I found it quite helpful.
COOPER: I wanted to talk to you about Jim Comey.
COOPER: When Comey said that he was reopening the investigation, you believe that is the day that effectively your campaign was over, that you lost.
CLINTON: Well, I believe based on a lot of evidence and a lot of assessments by other good analysts Nate Silver being one that -- yes that was the determinative day because it stopped my momentum.
I don't blame voters for wondering what the heck was going on. You have the FBI director saying what he said. And it was a terrible time to try to rake through the last days of a campaign when you had this hanging over my head and it wasn't really lifted until the Sunday before the election and you have people early voting believing that, oh, my gosh, there really is something here. I knew there wasn't, and I knew that it was hard to understand why he didn't just call me and others up and say hey, can we look at this.
[20:50:14] COOPER: You feel you had been making progress winning back white women voters?
CLINTON: I believe -- well, I'll give you one quick example that I write about. Not my polling but other polling. I was leading about -- by 26 points in the Philadelphia suburbs. That could not have happened if I hadn't had a lot of women and a lot of Republican women, independent women saying that they were going to vote for me telling pollsters that.
I won those suburbs by 13 points, that's a huge loss. And I needed to win by probably about 18 to counterbalance what happened in the rest of the state, which is something that we all knew going in. But, you know, I talk about this in the book because I do want to answer questions that people might have. But what I think is important is to really take a candid, hard look about what the factors were.
I hope nobody ever faces what I faced with respect to that, but whoever runs again probably starting in 2018 will face Russian interference, may face coordination between opposition campaigns and Russians, will face voter expression, will face endemic sexism and misogyny. And part of why I wrote this book was not only to come to griefs with what I think happened but to send up some, you know, alarm signals so others can say wait a minute, these factors could effect anybody, and eventually Republicans could be affected.
COOPER: Some of your critics when they hear you talk about misogyny, they say -- they roll their eyes and say, look, that's an excuse that in this day in age we have an African-American president.
CLINTON: But there's a big different between what motivates voters on race and what doesn't motivate votes on gender.
Most people in my position who have run for office particularly at the state level, for senator, governor and certainly my experiences running for president, you don't like to raise this because you don't want people to think, hey, you know, you're making excuses, but I decided to raise it. I write a whole chapter about it because I think if we don't confront it, especially given the words and actions of our current President it could be a big backlash that will undermine a lot of young women and their own futures. And now we know it's not just in politics, it's in Silicon Valley. It's in businesses of all kinds.
COOPER: Yes, talked about Sheryl Sandberg and --
COOPER: You believe that there's a double standard that women who -- when you were Secretary of State and you were seen as working for somebody else's interests, the United States' interest, you were very popular. Polls showed you were --
CLINTON: Sixty nine percent at the end of my tenure.
COOPER: But that when you were seen as working for yourself as a candidate, there's a different viewpoint.
CLINTON: And Anderson, it's not just what I believe. As you mentioned Sheryl Sandberg who just delved into all the research that we possibly have about these issues, when a man is professional successful, he's seen as more likable. As a woman becomes more professionally successful, she's seen as less likable. As you point out when a woman advocates for someone else in my position as Secretary of State for my country, for the president I was serving, people can really like you, like the job you're doing, I'm the exact same person. And all of a sudden I step into the arena. It's true even with something as mundane as if a woman goes to her employer and advocates a raise for someone else, she's seen as a great team player, leadership, and all the rest. If she goes and advocates for herself, it counts against her, whereas if a man goes and advocate for himself, hey, you know, the guys got guts, he is willing to step up and asks for what he wants.
COOPER: You heard Hilary Clinton talked about FBI Director James Comey she announces that she (INAUDIBLE) obviously homely knife, usually made in prison.
When we come back more of the interview, does Clinton believe what Comey was personal? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:54:11] CLINTON: He's never been clear about his motivation and what bothered me the most as the time went on after the election is -- and we learned about the open FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and their connections with Russia, that had been going on for quite some time. The American people didn't know about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, more of my interview Hillary Clinton. Before the break you heard her say that the day the FBI Director James Comey announced that he was revisiting the e-mail investigation is the day to her campaign's momentum stopped. She firmly believes that.
In a moment I ask her whether she thinks Comey was out to get her personally.
But first, let's get you caught up on the timeline of Clinton Comey in those e-mail.
CLINTON: As I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts, one for personal, one for work-related e-mails. That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility.
COOPER: No matter what Hillary Clinton said or how many different ways she tried to move on, her e-mail issue just wouldn't go away.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.
COOPER: During the primaries the FBI confirmed they were investigating Clinton for using a private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State. The investigation was invoked repeatedly by Donald Trump on the campaign trail and his base loved it.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: What the prosecutors should be looking at are Hillary Clinton's 33,000 deleted e-mails.
COOPER: In July, weeks before Clinton was formally nominated, FBI'S James Comey announced she would not recommend charges against Clinton.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: We cannot fine the case that would support brining criminal charges on these facts.
COOPER: But he also made sure to condemn her choice to use a personal server.
COMEY: Although we did not fine clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.