Return to Transcripts main page
Malaysia School Fire Kills 25 People; Puerto Rico Taking in Hurricane Irma Evacuees; Eight Deaths at Nursing Home Amid Stifling Heat; Rebuilding the Caribbean Islands; Hillary Clinton's New Book and Election Loss; Paris to Host Olympics in 2024. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired September 14, 2017 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[00:00:11] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Isha Sesay and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.
We start with the breaking news this hour.
At least 25 people have been killed after a religious school caught fire in Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur. Most of the victims were students.
Journalist King Chai (ph) joins me on the line now from outside the school in Kuala Lumpur.
King -- thanks for being with us. Tell us what you know, first of all, about how this fire broke out and what took place at the school.
KING CHAI, JOURNALIST (via telephone): The authorities are still investigating the cause of fire. And we're still awaiting official confirmation. But what we do know is a call was received by the emergency services at 5:41 a.m. which then dispatched firefighters on scene within 10 minutes.
The fire was brought under control at a quarter past 6:00 and that school -- it is a boarding school in a town just outside of the Kuala Lumpur City center.
And from what we can understand, most of the students here are aged between 13 to 17 and the fire broke out at the sleeping quarters of the students.
SESAY: All right. So the fire broke out in the student quarters. We're saying -- at least we're hearing right now 23 children dead and 2 wardens, so it's 25 people in total.
The question, obviously, has to be why did so many people, why did anyone lose their lives? You say the emergency response was there within ten minutes.
CHAI: Yes. So, what has happened here is that the minister of local housing and government just gave a press conference. And in it he said that the school did not receive a certificate of fitness for the operation. They have just -- did an application for it. An approval has not been given.
SESAY: Ok. Which leads to the next question, what kind of regulation exists in Malaysia for religious schools?
CHAI: So here in Malaysia, not only do schools need to get permit to operate, they also need to certify that the buildings are safe. That's what the fire authorities here are responsible for.
They're saying that they have received an application but permission had not been granted. There's still a lot of information that's slowly coming out as the authorities are investigating it.
The minister also mentioned that there had been 29 such fires in the past were -- under similar circumstances where the buildings themselves were not fit to operate.
SESAY: And the school specifically where this fire took place, can you tell us a little bit more about it, the type of children who attended? What we generally know about the way it was run?
CHAI: So, Malaysia is multicultural and a diverse country where the majority of its population are Muslims. So this school here, this is a boarding school, a madrasa for Muslim children who come to pursue, you know, religious studies.
A lot of them come from middle class families who live in this neighborhood just outside of the city center and their course of studies usually take around five to seven years to complete.
SESAY: All right. A very, very sad situation. More details still to emerge as you make clear an investigation is under way. Journalist King Chai joining us there from Kuala Lumpur outside that school where that fire claimed the live of 25 people.
King Chai -- we appreciate it. Thank you.
And now to a massive recovery effort following a monster storm. People in the U.S. and Caribbean are struggling to get by in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The storm killed 77 people and caused incredible amounts of devastation.
Search and rescue teams are going door to door in the Florida Keys to find people who stayed to ride out the storm. Millions are still without power. President Donald Trump plans to visit the state on Thursday.
Now, this is the scene in Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands that took a direct hit from the storm. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson toured the area and described the situation there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: This is the most extraordinary scene of decimation and devastation that I think many people have witnessed in their lives. Certainly I have never seen -- it is like in many ways a nuclear landscape.
But what is extraordinary is the way that people are coming through, I mean the British nationals here, British nationals. We are here for the long term. We want to get this place back on its feet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: On St. Maarten -- more destruction. This is what's left of a hotel on the Dutch side of the island. People there say it's like the end of the world. There's no water, electricity and no way to communicate. On the French side of the island, people are also concerned about looting.
(inaudible) officials say they sent hundreds of thousands of meals and liters of water to St. Thomas and St. John. Still, many people in the U.S. Virgin Islands say they feel forgotten by the U.S. government.
[00:05:11] Well, let's go now to Puerto Rico. Lots of Hurricane Irma evacuees from the hard hit Virgin Islands have ended up there. CNN's Michael Holmes and Isa Soares join from the capital city, San Juan. Over to you guys.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Isha -- thanks very much.
And we're going to talk to Isa in a moment about what she saw today but you mentioned the evacuees. This is an important hub for aid going out and evacuees coming in.
Later today, there's going to be 2,000 evacuees that are coming in from St. Maarten. They're going to be brought in on a cruise ship, actually and they're going to be processed at the convention center and then move on to hotels or perhaps other destinations.
Saturday another 2,000 will be brought in by the same cruise ship, the Majesty of the Seas, it is called. And it is picking up these people and bringing them here, getting them off those devastated islands.
Now, Isa -- you were out today looking at the aid delivery aspect. Tell us about your day.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was a struggle really to try to get to St. John. As you know, trying to get to a lot of these islands have been very, very difficult because so many of these islands are so decimated.
What we found -- we have gotten a boat with -- a civilian boat really that normally takes tourists island-hopping, snorkeling now really got the money through private citizens to actually send goods to St. John. So basically we got on the boat with them, packed with water, packed with nonperishable goods, packed with other necessities, toiletries, et cetera and two-hour boat journey to St. John and they do this trip twice a day roughly.
And it's all done by the kindness of their own heart, might I add, as well. And when we got there, we saw for the first time a real sense of what St. John looked like. And the first thing that caught my eye was just the brown vegetation.
It is well-known, if any of our viewers have ever been there, known very well for its lush, green fields, those beautiful sandy beaches. Now it's as if a bomb has just been dropped off the ground.
HOLMES: Because the wind just ripped all the leaves off.
SOARES: Completely. There's not a single leaf in those trees. It's as if it's been completely burned, arid basically.
And once you hit the roads, you see just how difficult the work to try and get this infrastructure up and running is. And there is that sense of frustration from locals because only in the last two days have you actually seen the Coast Guard and the Navy actually removing and actually moving trees so that people can actually pass.
HOLMES: So did you get a sense of, let's put it mildly, annoyance from the locals that it's the people here who have been delivering things to them and not anyone on any official level?
SOARES: Absolutely. They were so frank, many people pretty much spitting feathers at what they believe to be a lack of governmental response. They thought the people from Puerto Rico had a much quicker response to their needs than anyone else at governmental level because they said to me -- as one person said to -- they've been through it, they know what it is like.
And there is a real sense of community within these islands because they depend so much on each other. At the same time they're saying to me, we've always felt like we're a little rock surrounded by a big island. And this, Hurricane Irma, has just exacerbated that feeling of being isolated.
SOARES: And that sense of frustration is there but at the same time said it's nothing new. It doesn't surprise us but it's wonderful to see people actually do their part rather than depending on government.
HOLMES: That's the positive side of human nature if you like.
HOLMES: But when you look at the island itself and all of these islands, they're so dependent on tourism. They're so dependent on that lush beauty, their beautiful beaches.
SOARES: It's their bread and butter.
HOLMES: And when you look at that place today, what did you think going forward what it's going to take for that place to be generating money from tourism?
SOARES: I mean normally you think, you know -- one, two weeks ahead, two weeks ahead. But it's just impossible to think like that. There's no power line. We couldn't get a satellite or phone connection. There's one building where everyone hovers like little birds on a tree trying to get a phone connection.
And I asked one lady exactly that same question. How long do you think it's going to be viable for you to be working here again as a tour operator? She goes, well, I can tell you Thanksgiving is not going to happen. Perhaps in a year's time.
This is realistically -- she said, I don't think we're going to have the means, the money, the infrastructure, the power to actually build this to how it was before if not better.
HOLMES: Is there a confidence. I mean a lot of people say we have the confidence. We will rebuild. We have the spirit. But when you look at the level of desperation, were there a lot of people perhaps a little bit pessimistic about the future?
[00:09:59] SOARES: On the whole there is this island optimism that they really believe they can do it if they, you know, come together. They can get past this. But at the same time there is without a doubt a nervousness, an anxiety and that has been compelled by the looting that we have heard in the last 48 hours or so.
People are in a bit of a Catch-22. They want to be able to perhaps come to Puerto Rico to seek some shelter but at the same time they don't want to leave the only little thing they have which is their home, they've worked so hard for, in case it is looted.
So people are in that Catch-22 where they don't know what to do.
HOLMES: We are hearing about that violence, or that looting aspect on numerous islands as well.
HOLMES: Isa -- great work. They will be out there again tomorrow doing more runs like this?
SOARES: Every single day, twice a day -- it's just relentless.
HOLMES: Extraordinary. Thanks so much. Good to see you.
SOARES: Thank you.
HOLMES: Isa Soares, joining us here now with that.
Now, rebuilding -- let's just talk about this. Rebuilding these islands in the Caribbean could take years.
We've got a guest who's joining us, Adam Marlatt, founder of the Global Disaster Immediate Response Team helping the recovery effort on St. Johns. He's on the line with us now.
You were out and about today. Tell us what you and your group were doing.
Adam -- do we have you? All right. We're not hearing Adam. We're going to get him back. We haven't talked because their group has been doing amazing work getting building materials and other things -- starting that rebuilding process at the very ground-up level because it is going to take so long.
Isha -- we'll check in with Adam a little bit later. Back to you for the moment.
SESAY: All right. Michael -- thank you. Thanks for the great reporting.
All right. A quick break here.
And then eight residents of one Florida nursing home die in the oppressive heat after power failures caused by Hurricane Irma. Did the nursing home operators do enough to protect their patients?
SESAY: Welcome back, everyone.
The utter destruction across the Caribbean is just a fraction -- just a fraction of the total picture. Florida Governor Rick Scott spent much of Wednesday in the Florida Keys where Irma made its first U.S. landfall early Sunday. Many homes and businesses are complete losses, completely written off.
But cargo planes full of emergency supplies are getting into the airports and authorities report steady progress restoring water and power to the island chain. The one and only highway through the Keys had been s cleared of debris but many who evacuated are still being turned away from their homes while first responders continue door to door searches for victims.
U.S. President Donald Trump will travel to south Florida on Thursday. He's expected to tour areas on the Gulf Coast that took a direct hit from the storm.
More than three million customers across Florida are still without power and probably will be for the immediate future. But with temperatures now soaring, the loss of power and air conditioning is becoming a major health concern.
[00:15:08] Admissions at one nursing home near Miami was shut down Wednesday after eight residents -- eight died amid the stifling heat.
CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has our report.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: 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, PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, 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 -- 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 that the facilities are extremely hot, we made the decision to evacuate all of the patients.
COEHN: 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, MEMORIAL REGIONAL HOSPITAL: Most of the patients have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues.
COHEN: Police so far are 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.
SENATOR 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.
TOMAS SANCHEZ, POLICE CHIEF, HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA: It's a side event. 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.
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN -- Hollywood, Florida.
SESAY: With a criminal investigation into those deaths now under way, the facility in question and its owners could face serious legal jeopardy.
Joining us with her expertise is CNN legal analyst Areva Martin. Areva -- always good to have you with us.
So let's break this down -- sweltering heat, frail and elderly patients and then we hear death apparently due to that heat.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes.
SESAY: So death which could have been avoided and begs the question, is this -- does this meet the legal definition of negligence?
MARTIN: I think what's so disturbing about this story is that this nursing home has a history -- a history of violations under Florida law for not having in place that which is required to care this very vulnerable population.
And now we're learning that on Sunday apparently their air conditioning unit went out and we don't know what happened between Sunday and Wednesday.
MARTIN: What we do know is that those individuals were not removed from that facility, were not taken to that hospital which was like feet --
SESAY: So close -- yes.
MARTIN: -- you know, just feet or, you know, just not less than a mile away from that rehabilitation center. And why wasn't that done?
MARTIN: Why weren't there precautions in place? We should expect the nursing home to say that this was an act of God, that this was a natural disaster, that they had no control over the loss of power. But I'm not sure that argument is going to resonate.
SESAY: All right. To that part, let's read some of the statements put out by the center, the rehabilitation center at Hollywood Hills. Let's put it up on our screen for our viewers to follow along.
While that center did not lose power during the storm, it did lose one transformer that powers the air conditioning unit. The center immediately contacted Florida Power and Light and continued to follow up with them to status-update on when repairs would be made.
Outreach was also made to local emergency officially and first responders. In compliance with state regulation, the center did have a generator on stand by in the event it would be needed to power life safety systems.
The center also had seven days of food, water, ice and other supplies including gas for the generator but let us be clear. State and federal regulations require nursing home residents to be evacuated if it gets too hot inside.
[00:20:00] Let's put up actually what the regulations look like so people can see clearly what it says there in Florida. "Nursing homes are required to keep temperatures between 71 and 81 degrees." This is according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
That rule, Areva, applies to nursing homes certified for the first time after October 1990. But facilities it says right even before that time still must maintain safe and comfortable temperature levels.
So, I mean when you see the statement, we know the guidance, I mean, you think -- it sounds like they're trying to shift --
MARTIN: Finger pointing.
MARTIN: They're saying we made a call to the Department of Water and Power. We made repeated calls, those calls went unanswered.
But again, that begs the question -- you're in the business of caring for vulnerable populations what backup systems do you have in place? And even though this is a natural disaster, we had government officials coming out days in advance after Hurricane Harvey talking about Irma and talking about the damage it was going to do in Florida and warning people, residents throughout Florida to evacuate, to take precautionary measures. And we don't have any evidence to date that this rehabilitation center heeded those warnings and took those measures.
SESAY: Well, the statement does mention Florida Power and Light. I must ask you just so you can clear up for us. Do they have any liability here, bear in mind the nursing home says they reached out to them multiple times?
MARTIN: You know, we are going to see if this -- we should expect to have wrongful death lawsuits filed, civil lawsuits filed concurrent with this criminal investigation that's happening. And those facts will come out.
Were those calls actually placed? What happened at the utilities company with respect to any of those calls? But I don't think they can shift the blame to the utilities companies, saying we made a phone call and nothing was done. Again, they have the ultimate responsibility to care for this vulnerable population.
What systems did they have in place particularly given their history? That's going to be a big question and a big issue in lawsuits that will be filed by the family members of these deceased elderly people.
SESAY: You know, it seems as if Wednesday was spent more, you know -- a considerable amount of time on Wednesday was spent in shifting the blame.
SESAY: We talked about the center and what they're saying. You know, they're now pushing it to Florida Power and Light. And Florida Power and Light, well now they're shifting it to the state. MARTIN: Yes.
SESAY: This is what they're saying. According to the "New York Times", Rob Gould is the spokesman for the power company said at a news conference on Wednesday that when the company met in March with Broward County officials to discuss hurricane preparations the officials had not flagged the nursing home as a top tier critical infrastructure that would need power first.
So they're basically saying well, when they were doing the preparations, they never said this was a critical facility. So it's not our fault we didn't respond immediately.
MARTIN: And sadly in cases like this you see this happen. You see all of the entities that potentially have liabilities pointing the finger at each other. And again, with civil lawsuits are filed when the discovery process begins, we'll get more of the facts and ultimately these cases go to trial. A trial of facts -- jurors will have to decide who is ultimately responsible?
But I can't help but get back to the nursing facility because again, if you take your loved one to a nursing facility, your understand, your belief, your reasonable expectation is that they will take all the necessary precautions to prevent your loved one from being subjected to these ungodly imprimaturs.
And we know that when city officials went into that nursing home and found those dead bodies they said it was incredibly hot --
MARTIN: -- in that. And some of them have to answer for that. Why was it hot? Why weren't there more precautions taken. Why weren't there cooling units in place and why weren't these elderly people protected. That's going to be the ultimate question.
SESAY: Staying with the center, this is the last question before I have to let you go. As you made the point, right at the beginning of this conversation, this was a facility that had fallen foul of rules and regulations multiple times in the past.
SESAY: In fact, let me just share with our viewers, it had a much below average rating by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration which actually evaluates these long-term facilities in the state for the U.S. government.
Its overall rating which includes staffing, fire safety and health inspections was below average. So, why was it allowed to keep operating? What does it take to get one of these places shut down? MARTIN: And that's going to be one of the question also, I think
answered both by the criminal and the civil investigation into this matter. Why was this facility even operating? Why were they allowed to operate? We now know they have been prevented from taking in any new patients so no new patients will be subjected to this operation.
But, you know, the question is always in these cases, who's responsible? And again, you have to go back to that rehabilitation center because ultimately they bear responsibility.
[00:25:03] The state is the oversight agency that should be ensuring that any violations are immediately addressed and that centers that aren't meeting the standards of the state aren't allowed to operate.
And I think the word to, you know, families in Florida, families anywhere that are looking at nursing homes, check the records.
SESAY: Oh yes.
MARTIN: Check the record, know what the, you know, the record of a facility is. Know if they've been in compliance or not because that should, you know, determine whether you want to choose that facility for your loved one or not because in a crisis like this, you want to make sure that facility is on top of its game.
MARTIN: You don't want to have your loved one in a facility that has not been in compliance and doesn't take the necessary steps to protect your loved one.
SESAY: Areva -- we appreciate it. Thank you.
MARTIN: Thanks -- Isha.
SESAY: Obviously our hearts and prayers go out to the families affected in this situation. We must take a quick break here but we'll be back with much more news much more in the aftermath and recovery from Hurricane Irma and all the day's top stories right after this.
HOLMES: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the program. I'm Michael Holmes in San Juan, Puerto Rico where they are still counting the cost of Hurricane Irma.
The rebuilding of the Caribbean Islands that have been decimated by those hurricane force winds could take, in the eyes of many yes, years to rebuild.
All right. Adam Marlatt is a man who is involved in that rebuilding. He is the founder of the Global Disaster Immediate Response Team. Adam Marlatt -- thanks for being with us.
First of all, tell us what your team has been doing today, for example ADAM MARLATT, FOUNDER, GLOBAL DISASTER IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TEAM: Yes,
Michael. So currently we have three ongoing operations. So the biggest thing that we are doing now is there's still ongoing life (inaudible). So we've been doing a house-to-house search with the rescue teams here as well as Virginia Task Force One.
The secondary mission that we have is beginning the resupply for the island of critical items, specifically fuel, water and food. The military has been incredibly helpful in that regard and we're starting to get aircraft in now that we weren't getting in days ago.
The third mission that we're doing now is trying to get shelter out. So as we're talking right now we are getting torrential rain here in St. John and currently none of these items have been distributed so the U.S. military, the Marines and the Navy were able to send in helicopters but those items haven't been distributed.
So the people that are people experiencing rain right now have not yet had the ability to tarp up their houses to protect them from the elements.
HOLMES: Yes -- which is just a last thing they need at a moment like this. You know, you do a lot of this sort of work. When you look at what's around you there and the scale of this disaster, what sort of time frame do you think we are talking about to get back to some sort of semblance of normality?
[00:29:55] MARLATT: Well, when you look at the damage that was done here to St. John, the best way to describe it would be similar to Tacloban, Philippines. But you have the logistic challenges of the island being much smaller. There's no way to bring things in via bridges or other things that require strategic airlift and, you know, ships to come in.
So I think that there's going to be a significant rebuilding process that will probably take at least several years for them to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
HOLMES: Several years, that's extraordinary, isn't it? What's your sense of the mood on the island given all that has happened?
MARLATT: One good thing is the community here has been incredibly resilient. There were some immediate logistic challenges because of Jose potentially looping back around and hitting here which delayed some of the initial aid coming from FEMA and the military for safety issues.
Which forced the community and a lot of the local business to come together siphon fuel out of empty vehicles, bring food from abandoned restaurants and provide initial aid for the first three days until others could come on and begin distributing the standard MREs and other items.
So the community here is really strong. I'm confident that they'll be able to bounce back but right now, they're still nervous be0cause there's still people that are missing. HOLMES: You know, Adam, I've got to -- I've got to ask you too, you know, when -- it's almost a clean slate in some ways, going forward what sort of things, what important sort of lessons can be learned to rebuild in a different way perhaps?
I mean, have you seen anything that would make you say, "Well, we could do this, we could build that differently, we could have shelters, we need a better communications infrastructure. What sort of things can be done to make the next hurricane less of an impact?
MARLATT: Certainly, there are a few things that are already being looked at primarily through FEMA and also VITEMA which is the lead here. That's the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency.
So some of the things that they've already identified is in the future trying to see if they can put power lines and key infrastructure communication underground to avoid the catastrophic (INAUDIBLE) because virtually all power lines would have to be (INAUDIBLE) replaced because they're currently not usable
The other thing that they've identified is having some sort of satellite back haul system. For the first three days that we were here, our NGO was the only way to communicate via the satellite terminal that we had which made it very difficult for them to get out details of what was happening on the ground.
HOLMES: Doing great work, Adam. Difficult situation for you and of course, the people I want to say daunting indeed on the islands throughout this region. Appreciate it. Thanks so much Adam Marlatt. Isha, let's send it back to you for the moment.
SESAY: Michael, thank you, my friend. So much work to be done. Thank you. We'll check back in with you later. Quick break here. Still to come. Hillary Clinton speaks with CNN about what happened in the 2016 election.
Her thoughts on everything from James Comey's intervention to possible Russian interference. Stay with us.
SESAY: Welcome back, everyone. Hillary Clinton is speaking out to our own Anderson Cooper after releasing her book What Happened. In it, she ultimately blamed herself for the 2016 presidential election loss.
Here's one excerpt, "I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them. You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want. But I was the candidate."
Well, during her interview with Anderson, she also spread around the blame to lots of different people, including former FBI Director James Comey.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You said about Jim Comey that he shivved you.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
COOPER: Which is a very -- I mean, let's say strong word.
CLINTON: It is a strong word.
Cooper: And it also implies that this was a personal or that he was trying to get you.
CLINTON: He's never been clear about his motivation and what bothered me the most as time went on after the election is -- and we learned more 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. He was specifically asked, "Why didn't you tell the American people about that investigation?" And he said, "Well, because it was too close to an election."
So ask yourself, a closed investigation that ended the prior July, an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia, one deserves to be blown out of all proportion, nothing to be found one more time.
And the American people don't have the information that there's a legitimate investigation going on about Trump and Russia before they vote.
But, you know, what's important to me going forward is as I say, I think it's important to focus on what happened because lessons can be learned.
But the more important lessons that will affect our democracy going forward or not about him and his investigation. He, I think, forever changed history but that's in the past.
What's important is the fact that the Russians are still going at us. He himself admitted that before congress --
SESAY: Peter Matthews joins me now. He's a political analyst and a professor of political science in Cypress College. Peter, always good to have you with us.
PETER MATTHEWS, POLITICAL ANALYST AND PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, CYPRESS COLLEGE: Good to be here, Isha.
SESAY: In God's name is this, at least on this issue, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are on the same page when it comes to Comey that he's been a bit of a pain for both of them. MATTHEWS: For both of them. Isn't that remarkable, right? And she's told all about it in her book. Very interesting. Brought up certain issues and ideas which I (INAUDIBLE) because I ran for congress back in 1998.
Won the primary, lost the general by a few percent of the vote. It's quite a letdown and she run for the presidency which is just so much larger. And she -- people were expecting her to win, right? Most people and she was certainly.
And she's going back and looking at rehash and seeing what mistakes she may have made along the way. And then she's also trying to give a larger lesson for all of us about letting a foreign or possibly a foreign government get involved in our democracy. And she's trying to draw a larger lesson besides her own pain and suffering from losing. I think --
SESAY: So, yes, and I -- and I think I should make that clear that, you know, it's about what it means for democracy and the future course for this country. That's also what's being tackled in this book.
You know, the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has spent the last three days calling James Comey's credibility into question and in some ways, that's what Hillary Clinton is doing also.
What were his motivations for the way he handled the e-mail server investigation. My question to you is, how closely will Mueller be following, the special counsel investigator, how closely will he be following the words of Hillary Clinton as she too brings up these questions about Comey?
MATTHEWS: I think he'll be following it closely because it's definitely tied into the whole, isn't it? And I believe that he's looking for any kind of insight that he could get, insights in his investigation of the Trump campaign or other investigations that he's -- that he's actually conducting.
And he wants to see what this book is about that could actually open things up for him possibly. You won't rely on it entirely but he's certainly paying attention to it, I'm sure to some extent.
SESAY: Yes. Well, you know, Hillary Clinton does accept responsibility as we made clear and we read that excerpt but she does go on to, you know, share the blame with a lot of people.
MATTHEWS: Yes, she does.
SESAY: Including James Comey as we just said, Russia gets some of it, white women get some of it, white men get some of it, Bernie Sanders --
MATTHEWS: Bernie Sanders also get that.
SESAY: -- I mean, there's a list here. I mean -- I mean, I guess that's to be expected that in this kind of situation, you know, she doesn't feel that she's the only one here that was in the wrong. But you're a student of political science.
Do you feel the Democratic Party will take this narrative that she's putting out here and say, "Oh, well, it wasn't our fault that we lost the election." And -- well, actually absolve themselves of the work they --
SESAY: -- need to do to capture large segments on the population?
MATTHEWS: That's the danger I show. If they do that, they're going to fail again. They should really take responsibility for what happened with the election and they're shortcomings and her shortcomings and then go forward with a positive message about what the party stands for.
It's rebuild a message and the ideological platform of the party and they're trying to decide now whether to go with the route that Bernie Sanders projected or a more moderate route which I think Bernie's is quite progressive. At the same time, it's accepted by the American people. But they're (INAUDIBLE) which way should the party go?
And they better get it together soon and come up with specific ideological ideas and issues that they stand for and come up with a positive agenda where they're going to lose and they start blaming and saying, "Well, it wasn't our fault."
You know, next time the Russians won't be around or maybe they'll be around. That's just diverting from what the American people really want and need for their own benefit to make the country better.
SESAY: I mean, this really is watershed moment for the Democratic part --
MATTHEWS: It really is.
SESAY: -- Democratic Party, right?
MATTHEWS: Yes, it is. It really does and many parties -- once in a while, they go through soul searching. It doesn't happen very often and this is the time they have to do it.
And I think with leaders such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others who are coming aboard now. And today, in fact, Bernie introduced his single parent health care plan which was a remarkable first, wasn't it?
And he had 15 or 16 co-sponsors in the senate of other senators which is really remarkable. What had happened had not Bernie pushed that throughout the campaign and Hillary actually end up adopting it.
So the party has to decide what it really believes in, what it can inspire the American people with and go back and learn from President Roosevelt how he had a vision for the party and that's why he was so successful. Four times as so was the party at that time.
SESAY: Yes. Last question for you. There's been a lot of schmoozing at the White House between the president and Democratic leaders.
MATTHEWS: Quite remarkable.
SESAY: Quite remarkable and now we're hearing that Wednesday night, another deal has been done, at least we're hearing from them saying that there was a deal in place to get a new Dreamer bipartisan dream act that would protect those young people who were brought to this country as illegally as young people from being deported.
They say there's a deal on the table and it would involve some border security but not the wall. Sarah Sanders, the White House secretary is pushing back about this issue whether the wall is on the table or not.
More importantly, if there is a deal, how is this going to go over on Capitol Hill with Republicans?
MATTHEWS: Not very well because they've been -- to them it's anathema that he's going to go ahead -- well, some Republicans are for giving the Dreamers a chance to stay in America and work as Obama had let them do.
Other Republicans are totally against it and their base is against it, that's the problem. Trump's own base was totally against the Dreamers staying or anyone staying here illegally and to build a wall, he --
SESAY: And he campaigned on that, that he said on the first day, you know.
MATTHEWS: It was the major part of the platform, wasn't it? So it's going to cost him some support either way. The question, which of the two is the larger support that will drop off.
And unfortunately, we shouldn't even be talking about these things tactics. It's where the essence of the issue. Should these young people be allowed to stay here in the country the only one they've ever known before?
And they're exemplary children, young people who are actually going to college, many of them, that are achieving -- high achievers and they deserve a chance to stay.
So I think that, that's why Trump saw there was a lot of pushback against him for looking (INAUDIBLE) and put them down and let them completely on their own. So (INAUDIBLE) where you can see what happens now.
SESAY: (INAUDIBLE) see what happens in the coming hours. Peter Matthews, always a pleasure. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: My pleasure. Thank you so much.
SESAY: Thank you. All right. And thank you for watching CNN Newsroom Live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT" and I'll be back with another news from all around the world. You're watching CNN.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there. Thanks for joining us today. I want to get started with Wednesday night action from European Champions League, and when it comes to playing at Wembley Stadium, Tottenham fans must have felt they were jinxed.
The famous arena is their temporary home right now while a new White Hart Lane is constructed. But over the years, it's felt like anything but home for Spurs, just one win down and 11 matches spanning almost a decade. Now (INAUDIBLE) Borussia Dortmund, the latest team to trying and take full advantage, but after Son Heung-min put Spurs ahead, it was a hurricane show despite Dortmund leveling.
It would the English striker who took over, Kane had scored twice last week against Everton to push himself to the 100 goal barrier for Spurs and he was clearly hungry for more. And (INAUDIBLE) another complete with grace, 3-1 Spurs, it would end. The wimbling woes are over for now. It seems Sevilla traveling to Anfield on Wednesday to face the team they beat in the 2016 Europa League final, Liverpool.
Now for the rights and instant chance to try and banish some memories about five (INAUDIBLE) at the hands of Man City last week and in the Premiere League. The big question now in everyone's lips, would manager Jurgen Klopp finally give his best player a place in the starting lineup? The answer, no. Philippe Coutinho once was doing vast, I remember, for this season, left on bench, he did come on the second half.
To pull him behind, it would be Mohamed Salah's deflected shot that gives Liverpool the advantage, but the (INAUDIBLE) that missed the penalty, couldn't hold onto the lead, certainly the young player, this is a young Argentine Joaquin Correa keeping his nerve in style. The 23-year-old makes it 2-2 there, it would end at Anfield.
That may still very earlier on in the news, Spanish La Liga season, but it still doesn't feel right, does it, when you see Real Madrid in 7th place in the current standing? Just take a look at this, it's been a less than impressive start for Los Blancos, shall we say, but on Wednesday, well, a chance. They had. A bit of a distraction for (INAUDIBLE) what they do best, mainly, winning the championship.
Real Madrid are looking to triumph in this tournament for third strike season and they get the campaign underway in the group stages against Apoel Nicosia of Cyprus, three goals, three points. No surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo was among of the scores, two for him on the night. The Portuguese with 107 goals in this tournament, Sergio Ramos with the other.
Elsewhere in the tournament, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City with an easy victory in Holland, Feyenoord, 4-0, the final score. John stones with two goals in the match. The soul city's Brazilian goalkeeper, Ederson returning to action despite needing eight stiches to his face during last weekend's Premiere League game with Liverpool.
As the scan results elsewhere, impressive result for RB Leipzig that they earned their 1-1 draw. Why is that significant? Because it's their first ever Champions League game and they did it at home to Monaco, the sweet (INAUDIBLE) first goal in tournament history.
Confirmation then, well, the cities in Paris and Los Angeles have been awarded the 2024 and '28 Summer Olympic respectively. The announcement made in the Peru, the capital city of Lima on Wednesday for L.A. will be the third chance to host following 1932 and 1984.
Both candidates have been lucky to stage the 24 Olympiad, but the Southern Californian city agreeing to wait an extra four years after the International Olympic Committee offered guarantees on funding. So Paris gets to go first, 100 years since the last time. With more from the French capital, here's CNN's Melissa Bell.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: It was a decision that came as no surprise. The confirmation today in Lima, confirmation that was so expected that it was made with people putting their hands up rather than threw it in a secret ballot. This has been a deal weeks in the making.
The idea that Paris should get the Olympic games in 2024 and the only other city that has been left in the bidding should get them in 2028. That city of course is Los Angeles. This is a process in which the French president has invested himself massively, making personally the trip to Los Angeles just a few weeks ago to appear before the International Olympic Committee and to plead Paris himself.
Once again today speaking this time from Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin in the French Caribbean, two islands that have been devastated by hurricane Irma. He welcomed the decision saying, once again, that he believed that France was the right country to represent the values of the Olympics, values of multiculturalism, multilateralism, solidarity.
Once again in making his pitch in welcoming this decision very political indeed. The big question is whether Paris, unlike so many other cities that have gone before it will manage actually to make a profit from these games or rather not to finish to far under.
Emmanuel Macron said today that he believed that everything would be done so that the 2024 games in Paris would be magnificent. Melissa Bell, CNN Paris.
SNELL: Thanks, Melissa. So, we'll hear on CNN WORLD SPORT. We do love a good winning streak, don't we?
SNELL: And in Major League Baseball game, the game is seeking a place in history could anyone cool off Cleveland. Find out next. Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SNELL: Welcome back. Thanks for watching CNN WORLD SPORT. Checking in now on Formula One where Mercedes have announced that -- well, they're calling it basically a no-brainer of a deal on Wednesday by signing up Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas by another season alongside Lewis Hamilton. The 28-year-old has won two races so far of this season.
He's also third behind Hamilton and Germany's four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in the current driver standings. Now, there's something you don't hear every day to China we go where a high-profile football manager accusing one of his club's biggest rivals have actually staging a series of car accidents ahead of a vital Asian Champions League quarter final time.
The former Chelsean Tottenham head coach, Andre Villas-Boas, now the man in charge of the Super League Shanghai SIPG. And after throwing penalty shootout when after a (INAUDIBLE) draw with Guangzhou Evergrande who had come back from four nail down in the first seg. The Portuguese certainly did not hold back the advice (INAUDIBLE) acting on behalf of his team's opponents were responsible for not one but three accidents intended to hold up a Shanghai team bus en route to the stadium.
We'll keep monitoring the fallout from this one and now (INAUDIBLE) appropriate. All right. Here in the U.S., the Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team continuing their quest to make history by setting the longest winning streak in the American League history.
And a game that took place that was midafternoon and in the middle of a school day and a workday as well, their mascot Slider wanting to be sure of fan, had the perfect excuse, look at this, to head to the ballpark, tweeting this form feed, present to your boss or to your teacher then you should just run away, get tickets and possibly be a part of history.
The Indians have trailed for only four innings through in this win streak and that (INAUDIBLE) look to grow up, so the Tigers took an early lead, but Jay Bruce hitting a three-run home just clear in the wall there in the first inning, get the Indians the lead, the would not relinquish. Not even the sprinklers that are coming on the middle of the game could cool the Indians off.
Twenty-one wins on the bounce, parking the 2002 Oakland Athletics for the new American League record, 5-3 over the Tigers. The Indians can now set the Major League record on Thursday and Wednesday's hero Bruce who joined the team in the trade last month saying, "Team Chemistry is playing a big role in all this."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY BRUCE, OUTFIELDER, CLEVELAND INDIANS: On the field obviously speaks for itself, but, you know, in the clubhouse, man, guys like each other, you know, and I think that goes a long way. You know, you can -- people, you know, argue about whether chemistry matters or not, but I think it's a real thing and I think it matters and, you know, it's been great to see and a lot of fun to be around. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: Serena Williams became a mother almost two weeks ago now. On a Wednesday, the tennis superstar gave the world an up-close and personal look at her new baby daughter. Taken at social media, the 35-year-old American introducing her baby who weigh in at six pounds, 14 ounces with the words, "Meet Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr."
But also providing a link to a two-minute video on YouTube of her pregnancy during which Serena who's engaged to Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian in reference what she called a lot of complications. Serena who even played during this year's Australian Open while pregnant has already said, she'll be returning to competitive tennis in the New Year.
Fittingly of course, the video ends with the baby, starts including gland slam titles, one output print. The eyes on the F1 World are on Singapore this coming weekend. Lewis Hamilton looking to make back to back victories following his recent win at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
Well, on the women's golf circuit, the focus shifting to the sports fifth major of the year, that's the Evian Championships in France. Thanks so much for joining us today. I want to leave you there with our latest Rolex Minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Singapore Grand Prix, the 14th round of the Formula One season and the only night race on the calendar takes place this Sunday, September the 17th. After a victory at Monza, momentum and the championship lead now lies with Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes aims for a third win here.
Plus on his high downforce street circuit, Ferrari are expected to have the edge and Sebastian Vettel will be aiming for a fifth under the floodlights. The Evian Championship, will Lydia Ko, the fifth and final LPGA major of the season evokes inspiring memories.
LYDIA KO, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: Winning my first major and that being the Evian Championship in 2015 was fairly the biggest highlight of my golfing career. Remembering back the week, I know it was pretty official.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her quest for a second Evian title begins Thursday, September the 14th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.