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North Korea New Sanctions Are A "Heinous Provocation"; Macron Surveys Devastation In French Caribbean; FEMA: 90 Percent Of Florida Keys Homes Destroyed Or Damage; Trump To Visit Hurricane Stricken Area Of Florida; White House Prosecution Should Be Considered; Bannon Worst Mistake In Modern Political History; Sanders: Clinton Book Is Sad Way To Continue Attack; Clinton's "What Happened" Released Tuesday; Cruz Twitter Account "Liked" Pornographic Video; Ten Years Later: iPhone X Arrives; Irma Leaves Trail Of Devastation In Us And Caribbean; Residents Begin Returning To Battered Florida Keys; Millions Still Without Power In Florida; Caribbean In Urgent Need Of Aid After Hurricane; Europe Mobilizing Aid For Caribbean Storm Victims. Aired 2- 3a ET
Aired September 13, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: And at this hour, counting the cost of Irma, the hurricane leaves almost every home either damaged or destroyed in the Florida Keys.
SESAY: Devastation across the Caribbean, food and water running low with armed gangs looting shops and homes and big questions unanswered. How can some of these islands ever rebuild?
VAUSE: And the White House again goes after James Comey's credibility, suggesting the Justice Department to consider prosecuting the former FBI director.
SESAY: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I am Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is NEWSROOM LA.
SESAY: Well, what was Hurricane Irma is now bringing showers to parts of the US south, but the recording breaking storm has left behind a trail of destruction, which could mean years of rebuilding in Caribbean and Florida.
VAUSE: Irma killed at least 38 people in the Caribbean, at least 17 in the mainland United States.
SESAY: But some in the Florida Keys are returning home to widespread destruction. Emergency officials say 90 percent of the homes on the island chain were destroyed or damaged and millions of people across the state are without power.
VAUSE: Meantime, Caribbean islands are still trying to assess the catastrophic damage caused by Irma. There are widespread power outages in a lot of neighborhoods. And, in some places, there are reports of looting by armed gangs.
More than three days after Irma hit Florida, many are just now returning to their homes in the Keys.
SESAY: Well, the area took major hit when the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. CNN's Kyung Lah followed one couple as they returned home.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Waiting throughout the night, a line of cars stretching and growing as dawn breaks.
HEIDI NEUZIL, KEY LARGO RESIDENT: I want to go home. I want to see my home. I want to see that we have a home.
LAH: Heidi and Allan Neuzil, out of their Key Largo house since Irma hit. Fear and anxiety growing by the minute as they wait.
ALLAN NEUZIL, KEY LARGO RESIDENT: My house where I pay taxes and I'm not allowed to get in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spent five days (INAUDIBLE). LAH: Before tempers flare even more, at 7 a.m., the first road block
comes down. The evacuated returning home for the first time since the hurricane. Cars moving down across US 1, the only highway in or out of the Florida Keys.
(on-camera): If you had to describe in a few words how you feel about all of this, what would it be?
NEUZIL: Frustrated, angry. The whole situation, just watching the news and not knowing what's going on with your house and everything, your life.
LAH (voice-over): You can see damage throughout Key Largo, Plantation and Islamorada. But they're considered lucky compared to the Lower Keys.
In Islamorada, Marilyn Ramos and her family are trying to look beyond their destroyed business.
MARILYN RAMOS, HABANOS OCEANFRONT RESIDENT: Things aren't looking great right now, but we're just trying to clean up and do the best that we can.
LAH (on-camera): While the residents of some Keys got their answer today, others did not. This is the new road block. Another obstacle they'll have to wait for to get past.
(voice-over): Beyond the roadblock, the door-by-door search and rescue continues.
(on-camera): The people who stayed behind, how desperate are they? MANNY LEON, MONROE COUNTY FIRE RESCUE: Like everyone else, wanting food and water and wondering when the electricity is going to come back. And it's going to be a while.
LAH (voice-over): Back in Key Largo, Allan and Heidi Neuzil get their first look at their home.
NEUZIL: Oh my god, the roof.
LAH: Irma toppled five tall trees, crashing them on their boat and their house. A mess of debris. But damage limited to one corner of the roof and their boat. Inside, it's dry.
(on-camera): Seeing the house, are you OK?
NEUZIL: Now? Right now, I'm OK. Right now, my family's OK. I am OK.
LAH (voice-over): Kyung Lah, CNN, Islamorada, Florida.
SESAY: Well, let's go now Alvaro Perpuly. He is on the phone and joins us from Homestead, Florida. He rode out the storm with his family in South Carolina and returned home for the first time Tuesday.
Alvaro, thank you so much for joining us. Tell us about that moment when you pulled up and saw your house for the first time. What state is it in?
ALVARO PERPULY, HOME AND BUSINESS DAMAGED BY HURRICANE IRMA: Well, it's a very shocking moment to see a house that you live in and grew up in that you love so dearly be in such terrible condition.
So, we got there and you can't even enter the house because - the car can't even enter the house because there's a tree blocking the roadway. And then, once you walk around that, there's a tree blocking that knocked over the fence (INAUDIBLE) fence. And there is also another tree that fell on top of the roof and did some considerable damage to the roof.
[02:05:09] SESAY: So, damage sounds pretty extensive. And I know that you have a farming business also, growing fruit. I know that was hit pretty bad. Give us a sense of the damage there.
PERPULY: Well, we grow different tropical fruits such as star fruit, mango, avocados in Valence (ph), Florida, the agriculture area here in South Florida.
And the hurricane came and a lot of the trees just - they fell and the crops were lost. And if the tree didn't fall, then the crops all fell to the floor. All the crops are just gone and they cannot be used and it's very saddening to see that as it's about $0.5 million loss with the crops. So, it is a pretty devastating blow to the business.
SESAY: Talk to me about how you are doing in terms of processing all of this. Has it sunk in, how quickly everything changed?
PERPULY: I'm still processing. I'm still thinking about maybe what I am going to do tomorrow, what I am going to do the next day about how I can move forward with this. We definitely want to clean up everything and make sure that everything is cleared out.
And then, regarding the business, we're just going to have to start from square one possibly and try to get things going again.
SESAY: I can't even imagine. As you say, the devastation is on the personal front. It's also happened to your business on the commercial front. There's so much literal damage and the dollar price tag that goes with it. Where do you even begin? You say you want to clean up, but what's the first step that you take?
PERPULY: There really is no specific first step. There is not simple A, B, and C plan on how to deal with it. We just are going to start cleaning up and start from square one. Unfortunately, there is no government program right now that helps farmers with disasters like this and hurricanes. So, it's going to be difficult.
SESAY: Well, Alvaro Perpuly, our heart goes out to you and your family. You are going through an incredible amount of suffering as are thousands and thousands of people. We wish you the very, very best and we will stay in touch to see how you're getting on. We wish you the very best of luck. Thank you.
VAUSE: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now. And, Pedram, millions of people in Florida without electricity right now in sweltering heat.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We're seeing excessive heat even at this hour too, John. You look outside, you look at these observations. Into the middle 80s at this hour, 2 in the morning local time. And we know the factors that dictate how your body responds to heat are air temperature, humidity and physical activity.
Two of the three, very high. We know, of course, a lot of people getting back, trying to get to their properties, maybe move things around. And if you put that together, it is a recipe here for disaster.
Now, break this down and you notice Key West areas that have been directly impacted, the weather observations literally knocked out across areas such as Key West.
Work your way into the Caribbean, look at this, observations out of parts of, say, the British Virgin Islands, across Saint Kitts, and that is also not reporting because of just the severity of the storm going through those regions.
But look at these afternoon temperatures pushing up into the middle and upper 90s. Now, think about the power outages. Four-point-three million customers without power across Florida. Three to four people per customer is essentially what you're looking at. So, we're talking, say, 10 million to maybe 16 million people still without power. And it looks as such. You think about the State of Florida. We know over 3 million people over age 65, one in 20 are estimated to be over age 80 years old.
And your body responds to heat sweating. If humidities are extreme, as they are right now, sweating doesn't happen very efficiently. And we often say, it is the kids, it is the elderly that you have to be very careful with.
And one of the things I fear here is you look at a multi-day events, some of these nursing homes, say, John and Isha, have gone some three days without electricity. The cumulative effect of heat on the body, especially at certain age groups, is what's most dangerous when it comes to these sort of weather patterns. So, we're going to watch it.
VAUSE: And it's going to be a while too before the electricity is full restored. Pedram, thank you.
SESAY: Thank you.
VAUSE: The level of destruction and despair in the Caribbean is unprecedented. Residents on some of the hardest-hit islands are struggling to cope with Irma's aftermath.
SESAY: Many lost everything when the hurricane hit and now they've been left stranded, running low on food, water and other supplies. Clarissa Ward has more on the devastation from Guadalupe.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The island of Saint Maarten, last week, one of the jewels of the Caribbean, now a paradise lost.
Not a day went by, she says, without us thinking that we were very lucky to live on this idyllic island. Today, it is just complete chaos.
[02:10:07] Six days after Irma pummeled Saint Maarten, officials say more than 90 percent of the buildings on the island are damaged or destroyed. Food and water are still scarce. Power remains out for most. Thousands of tourists were stranded for days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was horrifying. Absolutely horrifying. Never been that scared in my life.
WARD: The desperation has led to looting and violence, with reports, not yet confirmed by CNN, of armed men roaming the streets.
Dr. Lachlan and Kaiann Macleay were vacationing at this resort on Saint Maarten when Irma struck. Macleay spent several days caring for the injured, but also found himself forced to stand guard against looters, sharing this text with a colleague back home.
"Military is trying to control chaos, but nothing is safe after dark. Lots of looting. I was on patrol last night with machete until sun came up."
And the story is much the same all across the hard-hit Caribbean. On the British Virgin Islands, one resident told CNN that the situation is only getting worse.
KENNEDY BANDA, HOME DESTROYED BY HURRICANE IRMA: The supermarkets here, they've doubled the prices. The gas stations, they've doubled the prices. So, we'll run out cash. It's just scary. And I was at a gas station trying to buy gas from a guy on a motor bike, a looter came up and pulled out a gun.
WARD: Help has been slow to arrive to many of the islands where people are struggling to get by day to day. And long-term, officials say, full recovery may be years away.
Clarissa Ward, CNN, Guadalupe.
SESAY: Let's bring in Julien Alleyne now. He rode out the storm in Saint Thomas. Julien, thank you so much for being with us. Your experience with Irma sounds like a nightmare. Tell us about what you and your family went through when the storm hit?
JULIEN ALLEYNE, SURVIVED HURRICANE IRMA'S DEVASTATION: Honestly, it was really, really devastating and saddening. I literally just said to my family five minutes ago that I felt like I was in a bad dream and now I'm in the neighboring island of Saint Croix, so I kind of escaped what was going on in Saint Thomas, but it's just really saddening to see just the devastation because a lot of roofs are off.
There's people just trying to survive with what's there and what they have on the island because we're still secluded and we're still in the middle of nowhere. So, it's just hard to just kind of get everything that we can just because everyone is just trying to survive.
But for me, just the experience, the start of the storm started around like 12, 1 o'clock in the afternoon of Wednesday and just - in the beginning of the storm was strong winds, like the shutters and the windows of the porch that - my mom's house where she was living. It flew away completely right away. So, me and her had to go into the bathroom, in the bathtub for 18 hours just waiting out the storm until the morning, which was around like 4 or 5 when the winds finally stopped.
So, I think when I finally got out of the bathroom and I looked out in the porch and I saw everything around me, I just started crying because I didn't realize how bad this was. And I was just thinking in my head, everyone else that went through this - I at least had a roof over my head, but I knew some people didn't at all, which I saw finally two days later when I drove around the island.
A lot of places were gone, like completely collapsed homes. And everywhere, it's just completely brown. So, that I think is the worst thing too. Everything is brown. It's not green anymore. SESAY: Yes. That's the brown - it's the (INAUDIBLE) death. Everything is kind of just covered up in its own way. Go ahead, Julien.
ALLEYNE: You were about to mention the Coast Guard actually. And where my mom lives there were trees and power lines that were down. So, the Coast Guard actually came and cut down the trees that was blocking our driveway.
So, we finally got out on Friday and Saturday to finally, like, see what was going on around Saint Thomas, but they came in and Red Cross was around the area as well.
So, there are people coming in and helping and trying to help everyone get by. But it's just - the power, I don't think will be back on for a very, very long time because there's power lines down everywhere.
SESAY: How is your mum doing?
ALLEYNE: She is all right. She's in survival mode now. So, I think it's just finally - we're on Saint Croix now, which didn't get hit as bad as Saint Thomas, so it looks completely green over here, which I think, to me, was the drastic change, like seeing just brown completely everywhere and devastation, and now coming to Saint Croix, which is a bit - it didn't get hit. It looked like nothing happened here.
So, I think now we're just trying to like regroup and trying to get our minds off of just seeing devastation everywhere.
SESAY: The devastation. Your mother's house, you mentioned the porch just blowing off. What is the extent of the damage to your mother's house and what are the prospects for rebuilding and going back?
[02:15:12] ALLEYNE: Well, she has to get new doors for her porch doors. And the concrete around the porch, it blew away, so it's rebuilding that and putting up the sliding doors and getting a new bed and getting a new furniture because all the furniture inside at the home, since the windows were exposed, it got a foot of water let in. So, everything was completely wet inside.
So, I think we should get a new furniture, getting a new wall built because the interior walls where completely gone because the wind blew them away.
So, the only standing structures were the bathroom and the kitchen which is what -
SESAY: That's all?
ALLEYNE: Yes. The wall came out and everything just wet in the inside.
SESAY: So, talk to me about your sense of the federal and local authorities' response to this. How satisfied are you with what you've seen, what you've heard in terms of how quickly they came to your aid and just getting necessary supplies into people?
ALLEYNE: Well, I've only be listening to the local news and I've not heard too great things about people trying to get food and supplies. Me and my mom were lucky to have friends and family nearby that had plenty of food and water and supplies, so we can rely on them.
But I'm thinking about the people who don't, can't rely on the people around them. So, I think getting supplies, it's kind of - it's hard. There is lines everywhere - gas stations, grocery stores and there's a lot of federal agents in different places protecting those businesses, so people aren't looting.
I guess the communication with locals and all these different people coming in, I guess they aren't - not to say they're not helping, but they're not communicating in a way that's respectful to the locals. It's a bit forceful, which I've heard on the radio. And I've kind of seen firsthand with federal agents everywhere.
SESAY: Before I let you go, you did just mention looting, so I have to pick up on that. How widespread is it? What are you hearing about this issue with crime there on Saint Thomas because I know that some local authorities are pushing back against that? But those reports are out there.
ALLEYNE: Yes. It's definitely happening. It's definitely - a lot of business sites will have broken windows. They were completely gone in sites. So, the looting is definitely happening. I think police is just - there's a curfew. So, they have a restriction on when people can be out on the road.
So, I think that's kind of protecting businesses in a way. So, you have people out on the road between 12 and 6. But still between the other times, there is people out just trying to see what they can find, I guess, in different businesses. So, I think that's why there's such a prominent of federal agents in different businesses.
So, if people are out looting at night, they're protecting gas stations from having gas, food supply warehouses, so they can sustain themselves with the food that they when people aren't looting.
SESAY: Yes. It is a desperate situation. Tensions are running high. Julien, we are pleased that you are safe with your mother on Saint Croix and just want to thank you for taking time out to speak to us. We wish you the very, very best.
ALLEYNE: Thank you so much. I just want to bring awareness to my islands because we're really in a desperate situation here. And we are part of the US, so I hope people can really pay attention to what's going on here.
SESAY: Yes. Well, we'll check in with you and continue to follow up on your progress. So, hope to speak to you soon. Thank you, Julien.
ALLEYNE: All right. Thank you so much. Have a good night.
VAUSE: Wow! OK. We will take a short break. When we come back, after days of criticism of too little too slow, European leaders are promising to rebuild their Caribbean territories after Irma's devastation.
[02:22:35] SESAY: Hello, everyone. European leaders are ramping up recovery efforts after coming under fire for reacting too slowly to the pleas from the Caribbean territories.
VAUSE: French President Emmanuel Macron was in Saint Maarten on Tuesday, surveying the devastation firsthand. With 95 percent of the island destroyed, Mr. Macron outlined the priorities for recovery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: Situation is really critical now. (INAUDIBLE) is under control. What I want to do is to have a very fast recovery. So, we are trying to fix the situation regarding health, education, access to water, energy and telecom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Meantime, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited British military base in Barbados Tuesday where he defended his government's response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, UK FOREIGN SECRETARY: We have every sympathy for the suffering of the people who have been hit by this extraordinary hurricane, the biggest in 150 years.
But I think most fair-minded people, looking at the deployments that the UK has made - this is the biggest military deployment, Sam, that we've seen since Libya. We've now got 1,000 troops in the area. I think more than 50 police officers, more police officers coming in tonight. Huge quantity of supplies coming in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Live now to CNN's Nina dos Santos in London where it is 7:23 on a Wednesday morning. OK, we heard from Boris Johnson there saying there's about 1,000 UK soldiers in the region, 50 policemen, but specifically what else is the government doing because that doesn't sound like a very big mobilization at this point?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, remember that the UK doesn't have permanent military and naval bases on these islands because of the way how they're governed. They're British Overseas Territories.
Unlike French, the situation that Emmanuel Macron of France is dealing with, where, obviously, a number of these French Caribbean islands are actually part of French territory. So, they have permanent military facilities that they can automatically store things at and deploy things from quickly. So, the UK is in a slightly different predicament. And over the last few days, repeatedly, we've heard that defense coming from the Foreign Office and indeed Number 10 Downing Street, John.
But they are still doing what they can to try and make sure that people get access to as much clean drinking water as they can. That's, obviously, an immediate priority as well as food, shelter, and security because, across a number of these - particularly, the British Virgin Islands territories that bore the brunt of this storm, John, the issue of looting and security is also right up in the forefront of people's minds. Remember that a number of the homes here in these islands are uninhabitable as well.
[02:25:09] So, let me run you through some of the details. Forty tons of food aid is being made available by the UK for the moment. Shelter kits are being provided, particularly to islands like Anguilla where apparently 90 percent of the housing stock is said to be dangerous, so uninhabitable after Hurricane Irma.
The Virgin Gorda is going to be getting food supplies and Tortola will get help for security to prevent looting.
And then, further down the line, HMS Ocean, a big ship is setting sail from Gibraltar and that'll have 50,000 hygiene kits, 10,000 buckets for collecting water, and also 50,000 purification tablets for water, but it will take ten days to get all the way over there to the other side of the world, John.
VAUSE: OK. Yes, it's a long way. OK, Nina, thank you. Nina dos Santos there live for us in London. Thanks, Nina.
SESAY: Well, it's time for a quick break. "State of America" with Kate Bolduan is coming up next for our viewers in Asia.
Plus, the tiny islands of the Caribbean were no match for the monster storm. Now, residents are slowly trying to deal with the aftermath of Irma, but officials warn it could take years to recover.
[02:30:12] JOHN VAUSE, CNN HOST: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles where it's just on 11:30 here on a Tuesday night, I'm John Vause.
ISHA SESAY, CNN HOST: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour: North Korea is condemning the new U.N. sanctions against the country as a heinous provocation. They're meant to put a chokehold on North Korea's economy, cutting its oil imports by nearly a third and banning its textile export altogether.
VAUSE: French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild French territories devastated by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean. He arrived Tuesday to oversee relief efforts after Irma struck the Caribbean as a Category 5 Hurricane last week, killing at least 38 people. SESAY: It's estimated 90 percent of the homes in the Florida Keys were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma, some residents have begun returning to the Island chain. Millions across Florida still do not have power, the death toll in the state now stands at 12.
VAUSE: Satellite images from NASA have a unique view of the destruction Irma left across the Caribbean.
VAUSE: On top, you can see how the U.S. and British Virgin Islands looked last week before Irma and then how they looked now, that's the one the bottom, most of the vegetation has been uprooted.
SESAY: We'll take a look at this with us. This is a side-by-side comparison of the Virgin -- the Island Virgin corner. Irma essentially changed its color. And this, this is Barbuda and Antigua, almost all buildings in Barbuda were destroyed or severely damaged.
VAUSE: Well, Adam Marlatt, who's Founder of Global Disaster Immediate Response Team, he joins us now from St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Adam, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. And clearly, there are still the immediate need for food, water, and shelter. But many are asking beyond that, how can these islands rebuild? Just from a practical point of view, the first step will be removing the rubble and debris. But how can they do that on these small islands, where does it go?
ADAM MARLATT, FOUNDER, GLOBAL DISASTER IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TEAM (through phone): Exactly, John. So, there's a significant challenge that we have right now from Debris Management. But even there's ongoing like safety issues that we're handling, the biggest challenge is not just debris but also getting people off the island because there's just no sustainable option for them. But when they do try to move this debris, they're going to have to find somewhere to put it first. There's no open space on the island and the damage here is catastrophic.
VAUSE: Yes, when the earthquake happened in Haiti, the President said it takes a thousand trucks, a thousand days to move that debris. This looks like a very similar situation. So, and let's assume if they even manage to get to the point of getting everybody off the island, they clear the rubble and then they look at rebuilding, they need building material, construction workers, and like everything that comes into these islands, the cost are many times higher than on the mainland, and this economy simply won't be in a position to afford that.
MARLATT: Exactly. I mean, obviously, there is an ongoing situation with the Virgin Islands and their fiscal budget. So, hopefully, the Federal Government will be able to come in with the disaster declaration and be able to support, not only just the individual home owners here, but also the core infrastructure because virtually, 100 percent of power is damaged or destroyed. Here, every single power line is -- that goes over roads are down, telephone poles are completely snapped and the water system here is compromised.
VAUSE: I mean, is there a time estimate on how long it could actually take before there's anything that looks like normalcy?
MARLATT: They haven't even begun to initiate planning on that just because right now they're still trying to chainsaw through, cut down power lines, and get into some of this remote area of St. John. We've been here with St. John rescue who requested us to come in and we've been doing ongoing searches in the last four days. Virginia Task Force One arrived today this evening to begin searching in support of that. So that way, they can do a house-to-house sweep and actually identify if anybody is still stuck inside.
However, earlier today, we did find one person that was still inside of their home, an elderly that was unable to get out and was scheduled to have heart surgery tomorrow. The U.S. military was able to get them a UH-60 Black Hawk and they flew them directly off the island.
VAUSE: Yes, I do understand that right now, that is the immediate priority of clearly getting people off the island and getting the aid in and trying to restore any kind basic services. But, what we're looking at here is some staggering numbers of the damaged St. Martin (INAUDIBLE) $300 million to the Island of Barbuda which has a population -- sorry, $300 million for Barbuda, more than a $1 billion for St. Martin. For the people who still there, does this weigh on them at this point? Are they looking to the future and wondering if they do have a future, or is it -- is it just simply a day-to-day proposition right now for them?
[02:35:02] MARLATT: Well, even the rescuers that have been -- the volunteer rescue crew from St. John has been working out with us. A lot of them have even been trying to go through self-evaluation of whether or not it's time to relocate and a lot of them are thinking about depopulating the island themselves as far as the damage is simply too catastrophic, there's no way for them to recover.
VAUSE: So, there's a possibility that these islands, some of them at least, may just have to be abandoned?
MARLATT: Yes, I think certain parts from here, as far as the economic status of some of their residents, I think it would be a significant challenge for them to rebuild some of these areas.
VAUSE: Wow. These are -- there are very difficult times for so many people. Adam, thank you for being with us and thank you for what you're doing, not to mention you're a former U.S. Army soldier and you're bringing your skills which are much needed right now to this disaster. So, Adam, thanks for taking the time.
MARLATT: Yes. Thank you very much, John.
SESAY: One kind of devastated -- devastation to people's lives that have been upended. If you want to learn how to help Hurricane Irma victims, log on to cnn.com/impact. You can donate to one of the charities we've vetted or volunteer your time. Well, that time will go a long way for those who do give it up. A quick break here.
VAUSE: Yes, absolutely. Sorry. Go. Time for a break. SESAY: Time for a break. The Trump administration takes another look at the former FBI Director and says the Justice Department should do the same.
VAUSE: Also, Hillary Clinton has a new book, what the White House has to say about that in just a minute.
[02:40:35] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Now, 11:40 here in Los Angeles. U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to view the storm damage in Florida on Thursday. Sources say he'll travel to the Gulf Coast near where Hurricane Irma made landfall over the weekend.
SESAY: Meantime, the White House says the Justice Department should consider prosecuting the former FBI Director. President Secretary Sarah Sanders defended the President's decision to fire James Comey and explained why Comey should face charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Comey by his own self-admission, leaked privileged government information. Weeks before President Trump fired him, his actions were improper and likely could have been illegal.
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Would the President encourage the DOJ to persecute Comey?
SANDERS: That's not the President's role. That's the job of the Department of Justice, and something they should certainly look at.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that something you'd like to see?
SANDERS: I'm not sure about that, specifically, but I think if there's ever a moment where we feel someone has broken the law, particularly if they're the head of the FBI, I think that's something that certainly should be looked at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joining us out here in Los Angeles, Democratic Strategist Matthew Littman and CNN Political Commentator and Trump supporter, John Phillips. This is the second day in a row the White House has gone after Comey, questioning his credibility and his character. So, Matt, connect the dots here. What does this say to you about the investigation by the special counsel Robert Mueller, in particular in his focus on the obstruction of justice part of it?
MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, they're going after Comey because (INAUDIBLE) is a credible figure, right? If they weren't afraid of Comey, they wouldn't keep talking about him. As for Mueller, it seems like he's going after obstruction of justice, this is the number one thing here, also, Trump's finances.
But they've given him a real lane with the obstruction of justice because of what happened in the June and that flight that they were on where Eric -- where Donald Trump, Jr. came out with a false statement about that meeting with the Russians where he said it was about adoption and it wasn't about adoption.
And apparently, Donald Trump helped him with that statement. So, the question is, what was that meeting really about, and was Donald Trump trying to cover up what that meeting was about? And I think that's where Mueller really has a lane now, plus Trump's finances.
But always keep in mind there's a reason why Donald Trump doesn't release his tax returns. And I think Mueller has a lot to look at in terms of the finances, I think there's a lot there. So, not only are they going to try to destroy Comey's credibility, they've always tried to discredit -- to attack Mueller.
SESAY: And John Phillips, to you, on this issue of attacking of Comey's credibility, doesn't it put this White House on shaky ground? The White House that has credibility issues of its own?
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, I think we've known for a while now that this White House doesn't like the cut of his jib. And this is just the latest --
SESAY: The experience, too early in the evening.
PHILLIPS: This is just the latest battle that they've had with Jim Comey, and I think it's says more about the 60 minutes interview that happened over the weekend with Steve Bannon than anything else. Steve Bannon said among other things that it was a big mistake to fire Jim Comey. That, from reports was Jared's advice to the President. And so, I think this is a proxy battle between Jared and Steven Bannon that's now playing out in Sarah Huckabee Sanders' press conferences and they're standing by Jared.
VAUSE: OK. You mentioned Steven Bannon, let's hear exactly what Steven Bannon said during that CBS 60 minutes interview about this decision by the President to fire Comey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone said to me that you described the firing of James Comey. You're a student of history, as the biggest mistake in political history.
STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: That would be probably -- that probably would be too bombastic even for me but maybe modern political history. I don't think there's any doubt that if James Comey had not been fired, we would not have a special counsel, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Mat, this according to Bannon, worse than the decision to invade Iraq, worse than Watergate, worse than Iran contract, worse than choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate. Does this suggest to you that maybe Bannon knows that there's something here bad to come? LITTMAN: Well, let me defend Bannon here by saying that I've said the same thing on this show. As Bannon said, I hate to think that he was quoting me, I have to change my mind about it. But this was absolutely just in terms of -- just in terms of the pure politics of it, this was an incredible, incredible mistake. Self-made mistake by Trump, this wasn't the Iraq War, this wasn't a war. This was a stupid mistake that Trump made with Jared Kushner's advice. He relies on Jared Kushner, Trump, not because Jared Kushner is some kind of genius but because Jared Kushner is his son-in-law and loyal to Donald Trump. That's why he's put him in charge of all this stuff.
So, I think that Bannon knows, yes, this mistake, which led to the special prosecutor, now could lead to Trump's undoing and a lot of that is because of obstruction of justice and the finances.
SESAY: But speaking of undoing, Hillary Clinton has published her new book, "What Happened," taking a look at all that went down in the election. The White House has a very concise opinion of the book. Take a listen to Sarah Sanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:45:09] SANDERS: Whether or not he's going to read Hillary Clinton's book, I am not sure, but I would think that he's pretty well versed on "What Happened". And I think it's clear to all of America. I think it's sad that after Hillary Clinton ran one of the most negative campaigns in history and lost, and the last chapter of her public life is going to be now defined by propping up book sales with false and reckless attacks. And I think that's a sad way for her to continue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Sad. Matt, you started reading it.
LITTMAN: I have. I'm as far long as page 20 but so far, so good, but so far so good. It's actually better than I thought it would be for 20 pages. But let's just remind everybody that Hillary did win by 3 million votes. I just want to -- you know that Hillary won by 3 million votes?
PHILIPS: I get the papers.
LITTMAN: And you know, I think -- look, in terms of her writing this book, better now than next year, when we get closer to the midterm elections. I really -- think we -- a lot of Democrats want to put the Hillary thing behind us and start getting on to 2018.
SESAY: But to pick up -- just to pick up on what Sarah Sanders said, about the last chapter of political life being this book, which again, resurrects and cost slings arrows. Is this the right move?
LITTMAN: If I were Hillary, I wouldn't have put this book out now but I think it is -- it is an interesting book. She ran an interesting, losing campaign. I mean, she did lose to not the brightest guy in the world and I can understand why she feels this way and wants to get it out there. However, really, better now than in next year or a couple years later, we need the rest of the Democratic Party to have some room here. The people that I --
VAUSE: John, is Hillary Clinton the gift to Republicans that just keeps giving?
PHILLIPS: This is the fruit of the month club. Up until the point which Hillary Clinton published this book, I thought that Glenn Beck was the angriest woman in America. And thank god, it's now, Hillary Clinton. Look at the people that she's blaming for her loss. She's blaming Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, James Comey, Joe Biden, an entire race of people. (INAUDIBLE) white people for her loss.
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) raise sexes of it.
LITTMAN: I'm reading "shattered," which is a much more accurate version.
PHILLIPS: I think she does put a lot of blame on herself in the book.
VAUSE: I never thought we would say this.
SESAY: But say it. Say it.
VAUSE: But Texas Senator Ted Cruz likes porn or somebody who uses his Twitter account liked a porn video. And this is what the Senator said when he was asked about it on Monday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: you don't want to clarify for us?
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We put out a statement earlier today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You put a statement out or you talk to reporters?
CRUZ: We put out a statement. Our team can get it to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: That was awkward. So, the statement came out. Ultimately it was a staffing issue. It was a mistake.
SESAY: A mistake. They're looking into it.
PHILLIPS: You know, I talk to a very high placed Republican source in Washington today. And he said that Senator Cruz actually wanted to respond to the story last night but was sound asleep. And I don't know why but John, maybe you can explain it to me.
LITTMAN: This is probably the most human thing that Ted Cruz has ever done. I'd like to see what he doesn't like. I'd like to see the thumbs down of the porn -- of porns that he has on his twitter account.
VAUSE: We saw some of the parts of the video which is on PornHub, was the first clip which was taken in the fastest time to reach 1 million views after Ted Cruz's staff in advertently liked it. How about that?
SESAY: It's good --
LITTMAN: I didn't know they had porn on Twitter. I thought it was all sports and news. I really didn't even know that there are porn on Twitter so thanks to CNN for that.
VAUSE: What a good place to end. What an education. Matt and John, thank you.
SESAY: Thank you. Thank you, boys. Thank you.
All right, well, our own Anderson Cooper will be talking with Hillary Clinton about her new Memoir, What Happened, Wednesday night, 8:00 p.m. in New York. That's 8:00 Thursday morning if you're in Hong Kong.
Well, next on CNN NEWSROOM, to celebrate the iPhone's tenth anniversary, Apple unveiled a special model. Why it comes with such a hefty price tag.
VAUSE: Because stupid people will pay for it.
[02:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, ten years after Steve Jobs --
VAUSE: Ten years.
SESAY: You are old.
VAUSE: Yes, yes, miss my Blackberry.
SESAY: Ten years since he has used the first iPhone, Apple has unveiled the next generation of its flagship device.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE JOBS, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, APPLE INC.: The first iPhone revolutionize the decade of technology and changed the world in the process. Now, ten years later, it is only fitting that we are here in this place, on this day, to reveal a product that will set the path for technology for the next decade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Angels wept and birds flew south. The luxurious iPhone X comes with everything you had never actually need. And for that, be ready to sell out some serious cash. (INAUDIBLE) with serious cash is Samuel Burke.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECHNOLOGY & BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there John and Isha! There's no denying that $1,000 price tag is very expensive. But the truth of the matter is, a lot of people were already paying nearly that much, for some of the larger versions of the older iPhones, the ones that had 250 gigs. And a lot of the competitors to Apple like Samsung already have $1,000 phones on the market. Now, the big difference to me between the iPhone X that has the $1,000 price tag and the iPhone 8 is the iPhone X has near infinity screen that basically goes from one side to the other and it's the first thing that I notice. So when I got my hands on it, and it will be the first thing that you notice if one of your friend has it and you don't. That exactly what Apple wants. Also, the iPhone X has facial recognition.
That means you don't have to use your thumbprint to get in your phone anymore, which means the iPhone X doesn't need that home button anymore. I found myself trying to push it to get to the home screen because I'm used to doing that and it's just not there anymore. So, you will have to relearn how to use your iPhone. Now, the iPhone 8 cost about $700 and $800. So they're less expensive and it all have wireless chargings. So again, we're being very lazy, it feels like. We don't even want to plug our phones in anymore to charge them. All three of the phones, the iPhone X to the iPhone 8 have a wireless dock. So you can just set it down at office or at home on top of that dock and you can charge it.
Now, this is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone. When the iPhone first came out on the market, it cost $600. But they decided that people weren't buying it at that price point, they had to knock it down to $200. And when that iPhone came out ten years ago, there was nothing like it on the market. Here we are at a $1,000 iPhone, and the truth is, Apple was playing catch-up here. All of these features that I'm talking about are already available on competitors' phones like Samsung. But Apple has learned under Tim Cook that they don't have to be the innovator that Steve Jobs was, they just have to do it best and people will buy those products. And boy, they are squeezing every last penny out of us, John and Isha.
[02:56:04] SESAY: Out of you guys. Not out of me.
VAUSE: They're out because people will buy it, people love it and --
SESAY: Yes, people love it. You know, people love their gadgets.
VAUSE: -- as a status symbol. Good for it.
SESAY: Yes, enjoy it. And I hope you've enjoyed watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
VAUSE: As much as we enjoyed being here. I'm John Vause the news continues with Rosemary Church.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) OK, Rosemary Church is up, after a short break.
SESAY: You're watching CNN.