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Seismic Activity Detected In North Korea; Iran Test-Fires New Ballistic Missile; Mexico Crews Search For Survivors As Death Toll Nears 300; U.S. Island Of St. Croix Devastated By Powerful Storm; Trump: Kaepernick, Anthem Protesters Should Be "Fired"; Trump Dismisses "Russia Hoax" As FB Turns Over Campaign Ads; Facebook Turns Over Russia-Linked Ads To Congress. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired September 23, 2017 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Seismic activity being detected in North Korea, near the area of the country's nuclear site, and the USGS is reporting this morning a magnitude 3.5 earthquake. And China's earthquake administration says it is a suspected explosion.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: This is all to caution, this report though because an official at South Korea's meteorological agency tells CNN that "it would absolutely a natural earthquake, not a manmade one. But could've been a collapse of the test site itself." CNN Senior International Correspondent, Ben Wedeman, joining us live from Tokyo. Ben, is it normal at this early stage of the game to see discrepancies in reporting about the source of this kind of seismic activity?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, of course. Certainly, we're seeing a range of, for instance, magnitudes of this earthquake, 3.4 according to the Chinese, 3.5 according to the United States Geological Survey. And of course, we essential problem is that there's no one on the ground in North Korea who can report this reliably.

What's interesting is that one official involved in nuclear matters is saying that it happened about 31 miles away from the normal site where these tests have taken place. Of course, the last was on the third of September, and that was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that, of course, subsequently, the North Korea authorities announced was the detonation of a hydrogen bomb. So, this is a much smaller earthquake. But at this point, we frankly do not know.

Now, according to the USGS, it happened at a depth of five kilometers or about 3.1 miles. That, certainly in the past, there has been an explosion at similar depths. But as I said, it's not at the usual site and it's a much smaller magnitude.

So, indeed, it could be something else, but at this point, people are scrambling to find out exactly what it was and we haven't heard anything from the KCNA, the Korean Central News Agency, the official news agency of North Korea. And normally, shortly after these explosions, we do hear these bombastic announcements on Korean -- North Korean television announcing a test, a successful. So, I think we have to wait to hear what the North Korean authorities have to say. Christi?

BLACKWELL: All right. I'll pick it up here. And let me -- before we let you go, Ben, turn to Iran. And Iran, test firing an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile as well. This, of course, comes after the president saying that he's made a decision about the Iran nuclear deal. Any indication that this is a direct response to the president's criticism of that deal and his indication that, potentially, things could change?

WEDEMAN: There's no clear indication at this point that this test was tied to President Trump's comments. Now, this was a rocket called the Haram Char. It has a range of 1250 miles and it's capable of launching multiple warheads. However, the Iranians have in the past tested missiles that have a greater range. But certainly this -- the timing does make one wonder whether the Iranian's concerned about President's Trump talk about scrapping the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council in Germany whether this is their way of saying, but we're going to go ahead with things.

And it's important to keep in mind that that nuclear agreement does not touch on the question of Iran's missile program. The U.N. Security Council after the implementation of the nuclear deal did pass a resolution calling upon the Iran not to test any nuclear-capable missiles for a period of eight years. And the Iranians consistently say that their missile program is strictly defensive.

PAUL: All right. Ben Wedeman, so appreciate your perspective there. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's go over now to CNN Meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, in the CNN Weather Center. Allison, show us where this happened and what we're learning from the USGS.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. So, the USGS just put their report out again. This is the area, the northeastern section of North Korea, magnitude 3.5, depth of five kilometers or 3.1 miles. Here's the direct statement from the U.S. Geological Survey on the quake: "We cannot conclusive confirm at this time the nature of the event." Basically, meaning, they don't know at this point whether this was natural or if this was a manmade quake causing the tremor.

The waveforms for this event are different than previous events at this site. They are trying to make that distinction, which may be why they can't conclusively decide what the trigger first, say, was for this particular quake. It also goes on to say, the depth of this earthquake is poorly constrained and has been held to five kilometers by a seismologist.

[07:05:17] So, there's a lot up in the air with this, guys, and I think that maybe why you're getting some confusion from different agencies here. But again, at this point in time, the U.S. Geological Survey has gone with 3.5, with the depth of 5.0. But just as Ben was pointing out, this is much lower than a lot of the previous ones, not just the one we got at the beginning of the month, which is the 6.3. But even as you start going back years, in 2013, it was a 5.1, 2009 a 4.7, 2006 a 4.3. So, again, this would definitely be, if it turns out to be manmade, this would certainly be one of the lower ends of the scale that we've seen in the last couple of years.

PAUL: All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much for the explaining there.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's stay with North Korea. President Trump says that it will handle, but will the solution to this standoff be diplomatic or potentially military?

PAUL: Bruce Bechtol joining us now, he's Political Science Professor at Angelo State University and also the Author of "North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un-era." First of all, Bruce, we've heard a lot of harsh words between the president and Kim Jong-un, what do you make of this escalation in some of the verbiage that we've heard? Because a lot of people are saying this is something that we have not seen before between these two leaders.

BRUCE BECHTOL, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT ANGELO STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, good morning, it's great to be here with you. And I think, probably, the most important step that we could take against the North Koreans to actually squeeze them and put pressure on the regime occurred on Thursday. So, you're going to see a lot more rhetoric because of that, because what the president did with executive order on Thursday, as he took the steps for the State Department, the Treasury Department, and other agencies within the United States government to actually squeeze those banks, front companies, and individuals outside of North Korea who have been enabling that twisted spider web or their financial network that supports their nuclear weapons program, their missile programs, and their proliferation to people like Iran.

So, I think, today, as we're talking about this, I'm telling you that I think that was probably the most important step it's been taking. So, despite the rhetoric, President Trump actually has taken a step that will bring us closer to putting real pressure on the North Koreans. I think the coming weeks will be very interesting.

BLACKWELL: Professor, I want to stay with the breaking news and this seismic activity in North Korea. This Chinese said that it's potentially an explosion, the South Koreans say that this is natural and not manmade, the U.S. says, right now, does not know. But after the exchange this week, and potentially with the Ri Yong-ho, the Foreign Minister for North Korea, speaking this morning at the United Nations. Does this fit the typical modus operandi for North Korea, that this would be the time to potentially test a nuclear test there?

BECHTOL: That's a great question. It does fit the type of modus operandi that the North Koreans would use because of they always, as you know, try and send a strong message to have strong propaganda. If they did something like this, it would also be unprecedented. As you know, last year was the first time they even tested two nuclear weapons in one year. So, this would a test of two nuclear weapons within a few weeks. And that would be, definitely, a big deal.

Something that your reporter out there did not bring up, while he ran through the story very well, it's quite impressive. He did not talk about the possibility that this could be an accident. That's another thing that this could be. I hope that's not the case because that would probably mean there was a great deal of human life lost, but that's another possibility.

So, you know, they tested it, one wonders why tested it at almost half of the magnitude of the last test, one would think they'd try and make it bigger. So, as you said quite well on your show earlier if you've managed to go, we just don't know yet. There's still a lot of questions about the test that just occurred.

BLACKWELL: And the accident, that possibility is an important one. You know, we talked a lot about the potential foreign accident and what that could mean as it relates it the missile launches, especially going over the northern parts of Japan. But we also need to remember that there's the potential here that this was an accident there.

Again, the USGS at this point doesn't know if it was manmade or natural. The South Koreans say it was absolutely not manmade. And the Chinese suspected it was an explosion. Professor Bruce Bechtol at Angelo State University, thanks so much for being with us this morning. We'll lean on your expertise as this continues.

BECHTOL: Thank you, sir.

BLACKWELL: All right.

[07:10:04] PAUL: President Trump is lashing out at Arizona Senator John McCain this morning. He's saying he's letting his state down by saying no to the latest Republican health bill, that's not all the president is saying either.

BLACKWELL: Also, Facebook, now telling all the information about the social just might have influenced the elections. The tech giant is handing over political ads linked to Russia to Congressional investigators, and the president has something to say about that as you'd imagine; we'll tell you what.


BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump is awake, and on Twitter -- how many tweets have we counted the last five minutes?

PAUL: Five, I think.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, we've above five tweets in the last 25 minutes. So, he's got a lot to say. He's talking about health care, starting with John McCain after the Senator dealt his party another setback on this new Graham-Cassidy Bill.

PAUL: So, the latest Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare has now one "no" vote try failure, after, of course, Senator McCain gave it a thumb's down. And just moments ago, here is part of what the president was tweeting: "John McCain never had any intention of voting for this bill, which his governor loves. He campaigns on repeal and replaces. Let Arizona down. [07:15:18] BLACKWELL: He went on to say, "Large Block Grants to states is a good thing to do. Better control and management. Great for Arizona. McCain let his best friend L.G. (Lindsey Graham) down." Well, of course, this comes after the president called Senator McCain's decision terrible at that rally last night in Alabama. He also insulted North Korea Leader, Kim Jong-un, again calling him little rocket man. Meanwhile, the North Korea foreign minister, there's a chance he'll speak today at the United Nations, and, of course, that comes just days after threatening to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean. And as the world tries to figure out what causes that unusual seismic activity measure in North Korea, just a short time ago.

PAUL: And Iran -- new this morning -- test-fires a new long-range ballistic missile itself. This, despite or maybe in defiance to President Trump latest criticism of the Iran nuclear deal. Our CNN's Boris Sanchez joins me now from Washington. The president -- well, he went right in on Kim Jong-un, resurrecting the little rocket man. Does this help or hurt? What are you hearing from experts while watching this exchange between the president and Kim?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, it depends on who you ask. Some people see the president's aggressiveness on this issue as of welcome change from previous administrations, others believed he is playing with fire. As you said, he repeated that moniker that he has for Kim Jong-un calling him little rocket man, the crowd absolutely loved it. They cheer him on as he went into that nickname. An important to point out, the president reiterated the idea that he does not believe a diplomatic agreement is possible with North Korea. Though, he did tell the crowd that they should feel safe, that his administration was doing everything that they can to protect them. Though, he did go on to say that this is a problem, North Korea, that should've been handled decades ago. Listen to more of what President Trump said last night in Alabama.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: By the way, rocket man should've been handled a long time ago.



TRUMP: He should've been handled a long time ago by Clinton. I won't mention the Republican side but by Obama. Why did this -- you know, this is different, this is a different time. And, of course, as you mentioned, Victor, we're getting reports of unusual seismic activity in North Korea today. This, as a North Korean minister, is potentially going to speak at the United Nations.

Christi also pointed out the news out Iran just days after saying that the Iranian nuclear deal is an embarrassment to the United States at the United Nations and saying that he has come to a decision on, eventually, undoing that deal but not reveal it. We get news from Iranian press saying that they've successfully tested Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that have a capacity to carry multiple warheads. As you said, the president is tweeting this morning, though he's only referred to health care so far, we'll keep an eye out and see if he tweets about these other countries. Now, thumbing their nose, apparently, at the United States, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes. But a short time ago when the president in Arizona said that it appears that North Korea's starting to respect the U.S. Well, this exchange might challenge that. Boris Sanchez in Washington, thank you.

PAUL: Let's get back to what we're hearing from the president this morning when it comes to Twitter, it's he's really unleashing on Senator John McCain again after the senator likely stopped efforts to repeal Obamacare. But Senator McCain, want to get his side hear in, and he said in a statement: "he cannot, in good conscience, vote for the proposed Graham-Cassidy Bill that would repeal Obamacare without knowing its impact." And the thing is McCain's "no" vote likely means Republicans will not be able to repeal the health care law with a simple majority by the September 30th deadline here. Salena Zito, CNN Contributor and Washington Examiner Reporter; and Josh Rogin, CNN Political Analyst and Washington Post Columnist, both with me now. Thank you, both for being here. We appreciate it.


PAUL: Good morning, to you. I want to get back to this, what we're hearing from the President today, that President Trump is saying -- pointing out at Alaska, his head, 200 percent-plus increase in premiums under Obamacare, that Arizona had a 116 percent increase in Obamacare premiums. And then, he goes on to say, "I know Rand Paul, and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the party." Celina, what is the likelihood, Rand Paul is going to help push this thing through?

[07:20:05] SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR AND REPORTER FOR THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: It's high -- I mean, I think in this political climate, sort of, anything is possible. Maybe the president is hinting, you know, negotiations between him in his self and his administration show, you know, I guess we're just sort of albeit in the seen moment. And I have seen all the president's tweets, but one of the things that he, you know, he has a tendency sometimes for hyperbole but in this instant, he is correct. Senator John McCain did, if you -- I mean, all you need to do go on YouTube. He campaigned terribly on repeal and replace. And as the president pointed out -- and also as the president pointed that the Arizona governor is supportive of this, he, sort of, thinks that McCain said that would go into his decision. So, you know, I think he's trying to, sort of, nip at him for the things that he could've possibly have that can't go over the finish line on the bill.

PAUL: And when it comes to John McCain, at the end of the day, he said he wants input from all committee members. He wants it sent to the floor for debate. Josh, hasn't that happened?

ROGIN: John McCain is simply at a point in his career -- I mean, his life, frankly, where he can't be bribed and he can't be bullied, OK. And he's standing up not only for what he thinks is right, but for the independence and power of his institution, the U.S. Congress, and the existential fight as he sees it the executive branch. Now, you know, that is something that John McCain is not going to change his mind on and it's something that the president just shows no interest in engaging him on. So, that being the case, there is no overlap here.

And you know, for President Trump, he's supposed to be such a great negotiator and such a great dealmaker, he's left to simply whine about John McCain's opposition to his plan to have move this bill through the Congress without any regular word or without any significant debate, without any CBO score, without any understanding of the impacts it can have on millions of people or the cost that it can have to the American taxpayer. And that's a stalemate, and that's a stalemate that's not going to get resolved until or unless the president, along with the Senate leadership takes a radically different approach.

PAUL: Last night, President Trump said in Alabama about this. He said, "I think we still have a chance. We're going to do it, eventually." Meaning, they are going to get this repeal and replace passed in some way shape or form. How patient, though, Salena, is his base going to be with this?

ZITO: On this issue, they're probably going to be pretty patient. And here's why: up until the president and the Republican, the House, have said it started to tackle health care after the president was inaugurated, Obamacare was incredibly unpopular, it only became to rise in popularity when people faced change -- it's just human nature. You've become accustomed to the devil that you know as opposed to the devil that you don't know. But also, has made this kind of interesting to the Republicans and for voters if people will consider health care, which is all of us, is that the Democrats in a very, or I should say, very senators in a very sort of bad timing moment honor rolled his single payer program.

That's how Democrats have signed on to. So, you're not paying attention to this a lot, in an obsessive -- as obsessively as we do, voters may think, well, are my choices the Republicans, replace and replace? Or is my choice single-payer? And as opposed to sort of the difference between Obamacare and the new Republican bill. So, I think that his base is not going to lose -- I think the one thing that his base would lead him on is that he became part of the swamp, and it's really an important new law and you don't see any of that happening at this moment.

PAUL: All right. I want to move on to what's happening this morning as well North Korea as we're getting reports that there some sort of seismic event in North Korea. A very different report: China's saying that it was due to an explosion of some sort; South Korea's saying though, we believe this to be a natural earthquake. There are a lot of questions about what exactly it was. We know that it is between 3.4 magnitudes and 3.0 magnitude based on the some of the different agencies, and on what's they've been measured. But let's listen here after all of the wicked back and forth between Kim Jong-un and President Trump this week. Listen to what the president had to say just a few weeks ago about how he was starting to respect Kim Jong-un.


TRUMP: Kim Jong-un, I respect the fact that I believe he's starting to respect us. I respect that fact very much. And maybe, probably not, but maybe something positive could come about.


[01:25:17] PAUL: Since he said that, Josh, it seems that it has been downhill from that point on. What does the U.S. do with this?

ROGIN: That's exactly right. I mean, you know, it's what's -- whether or not there was a nuclear test today or now, what we know is the situation is profoundly dangerous in getting increasingly risky day by day, if not hour by hour. And the president's approach, which is to sort of increase the rhetoric and threaten and cajole and ridicule Kim Jong-un, there's no way that that can help reduce tensions. Now, the administration has detailed plan of increasing pressure, working with allies, working China to seek what ultimately has to be a diplomatic solution because the only other alternative diplomacy is war. But the president's bumbling on this -- and bumbling is the right word for it.

It's just complicating everything. It's feeding North Korea's propaganda. It's destroying alliance, cohesion, and unity. It's sending mixed signals to enemies and allies alike. And it's taken this extremely dangerous situation and making it even more dangerous. And that's not only unpredictable but irresponsible, and in my view, you know, this is at the point now where everybody needs to take a step back and focus on the two things that we're supposed to be doing -- which is pressuring North Korea and then seeking a diplomatic engagement, and that's really the only way at this point to avoid a, say, path towards war.

PAUL: All right. Salena Zito and John Rogin, thank you both so much.

ROGIN: Thank you.

ZITO: Thanks.

PAUL: And I want to give you a programming note here: Monday night, here on CNN, an important conversation about your health care. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy debating their health care bill live against Senators Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar; Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, moderate the fight over Obamacare. That is 9:00 Eastern, only here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: All right. Now, we want to take you to Mexico. This is what's happening this morning. Rescuers, digging through the cement and the concrete there, the metal, to try to find anyone who survived days after the earthquake just rocked those buildings down to the surface. We'll go live to one of the rescue sites next.

[07:27:39] PAUL: Also, CNN is one of the first news outlets to make it to St. Croix after Hurricane Maria just pummeled the U.S. territory there. One man tells us they're appalled to just siding to survive right now.


[07:32:08] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: We always appreciate spending some time with you in the morning. Good morning, I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: I'm Victor Blackwell, good morning to you. The breaking news this morning, seismic activity detected in North Korea. Right now it's not clear if that is an explosion or if it's man made but it is near the country's nuclear site.

PAUL: And it happens into a few hours ago as a couple different agencies trying to determine the source of this whether it was an accident, whether it was man-made, whether it was an explosion from some sort of test from North Korea. But it's certainly raising fears of a new nuclear test after President Trump and the North Korean leader had traded insults and threats this past week. And we also need to tell you this morning that Iran test fires a new long-range ballistic missile just hours after showing it off in a military parade. The launch comes despite or perhaps, in defiance the President Trump's latest criticism of the Iran nuclear deal.

Now, this morning as well, there are some frantic searches underway for any survivors after a devastating earthquake in Mexico. The death toll now approaching 300. You're looking at some live pictures here and there are families, who can you imagine are just sitting nearby, holding out hope that the people they love that are still unaccounted for could be pulled out of that rubble. CNN's Rosa Flores is live near one of the collapsed buildings.

PAUL: I know that rescue workers are still hoping to find survivors as well. What are you hearing from them today?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, it's been 90 hours of agony for these family members who are hoping and praying that their loved ones are still alive under the rubble. Take a look behind me, this is one of the buildings that we've been monitoring here in Mexico City. There's been a lot of activity here this morning and one of the big pieces of news here is that they're using giant equipment to move bigger pieces of debris off of this mountain of rubble.

Now, you can see a lot of rescue workers right now, they've been working on -- what it looks like attaching that debris to a giant crane to lift it up and move it out. Now, from what family members here tell us, they say that they were informed by rescue workers that this will allow them to move quickly further down into this building. It's unclear exactly how quickly they're going to be able to move. But I can tell you that, that from talking to somebody's family members and rescue workers yesterday, they believe that if -- that the people who are possibly trapped here are in the back of the building. That the emergency exit was in the back of the building and that's where they hope that some of these people are alive and well.

But, Christi and Victor, as you know, I mean, it's been 90 hours now for the people who are trapped inside. Family members have a tent city of sorts out here, they've been here waiting, hoping for news, and a lot of them say that they're not going to leave. Because they want to make sure that the rescue workers here, that the government of Mexico know that the people who are trapped inside are loved and that they want them rescued alive. That they don't want them to bring in giant pieces of machinery that could potentially collapse this building further. They only want these giant pieces of equipment to remove the giant pieces of debris that are on top so they can hopefully get to the people down below.

[07:35:40] PAUL: You know, we have -- we have seen those stories where people have been trapped for days and they are able to be pulled out alive. I think most of us get it, we watch this and we think, you know, if that was somebody we loved, I wouldn't move either. Rosa Flores, thank you so very much.

BLACKWELL: We know the names and there are a lot of people who will never forget those names. Irma and Maria, the two powerful hurricanes that ruined much of the U.S. Island of St. Croix and others. But now on that island, the people who live there say that everyone there is just trying to survive.

PAUL: And the thing that makes it so tough is there's still no power there. There's a lot of times no way to communicate. Well, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh he's one of the first Journalist to reach the island since Hurricane Irma hit, take a look.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Irma wells of daydreams and Caribbean sand, St. Croix suffering silent so far. The U.S. aid efforts is only just reaching now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To all, remain on this frequency.

WALSH: That is FEMA flying over St. Croix today. Making their assessment and we have just flown in from the East where damage looks less heavy, but out West, which appears to have borne the brunt of Hurricane Maria.

From beach resort to ghost town in a matter of hours. A curfew entering the streets the exact time this world changed caught by the clock's broken hands. But at noon, they and their anger, a nature and the government they think is underplaying their suffering emerges.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be like everything is okay, everything is not okay over here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: it ain't no aid, it ain't nothing going on right able now. Everybody just trying to survive.

WALSH: With just two days ago, this was paradise but now everyone here is just trying to take stock of exactly what this new world means for their daily lives. When will power come back? When can they re- open their business and when will they realize, again, that hunger worry about, what they have to eat. Already the search for food.

JAMIE PERRY HUDSON, ST. CROIX RESIDENT: I think the worsted was when the rain started coming in and the winds were still howling and just noises outside and not knowing.

WALSH: We've been curfewed in. Jamie and Brandon went to the nearby Island of St. Thomas to help after Hurricane Irma, yet had their house torn apart by Maria. They drive us around their devastated world.

HUDSON: They told everybody to let their horses go before the storms.

WALSH: This is not a world prepared for disaster. The lost took apart, is lost for now. No electricity means no ice, means no business. And (INAUDIBLE) in the refrigerator.

APRIL PELLOSI, ST. CROIX BUSINESS OWNER: The first day after the hurricane dodging telephone poles and trees trying to get here and took the generator what we could and they wouldn't let us come out here yesterday. So, we were just hoping that there wasn't any looters. We survived in, we're trying to make the best of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, tell me your song.

PELLOSI: What is it? I'm still standing --

ROBBIE JONES: standing, yeah, yeah, yeah.

WALSH: Life was easy about vacations here that's gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We went to Plaza Extra, the big grocery store on the West End. And the line is all the way out to the road and letting people in one at a time. It's going to look like this for months and months with no power, how are we even going to be able to get tourists down here? So we can make a buck, so we can buy food, buy gas. I mean, what the hell are we going to do.

WALSH: The west, took the full force of Maria, being remotes has been their livelihood for tourism but is now their curse. We fly over huge lines for emergency food but when we land later, it is all gone. 500 fed, but many still searching. Are you hungry?


WALSH: You are.


WALSH: Getting supplies --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a soldier like you.

WALSH: Later, we see two huge C-17 cargo planes land at the airport where the U.S. Marines are moving in, as yet limited access to the West. Help is coming but the future remains bleak and the past are much more comfortable place. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, St. Croix, the United States.


BLACKWELL: Months and months of work ahead. I thanks to Nick Paton Walsh.

Our President Trump waded into another battle last night. Going after NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. Sports anchor Coy Wire is here with that, next.



[07:44:40] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners? When somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired!

PAUL: All right, The President there calling on the NFL to fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

BLACKWELL: Yes, President Trump took time during a rally which actually to support an Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange, to go after Colin Kaepernick.


[07:45:08] PAUL: CNN's sports anchor, Coy Wire, with us now. So, of course, we have to ask what the NFL is saying after this last night.

COY WIRE, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we hear some players and the NFL Players Association and Executive Director has recently tweeted and we'll get to that. But players like Colin Kaepernick and Super Bowl champion Michael Bennett have said that they are not protesting our flag, or our country, or our military when they kneel during the anthem. They're using the right that they have been given as American for free speech to protest racial and social injustice. They're using their platforms a lot of folks though see that as anti-American. President Trump was playing to that narrative at his rally last night in Alabama.

Let's get to some of these player's reactions for you this morning. Vikings, Bishop Sankey, he said, shaking my head in awe, because Kaepernick is exercising his right as an American citizen to protest. Broncos Max Garcia, said, what an emphatic response. Where was this passion in response to Charlottesville? Lions, Eric Ebron's, says, does anyone tell Trump to stick to politics like they tell us to stick to sports. And here's that tweet just moments ago from Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, he tweeted this morning, we will never back down. We can no longer afford to stick to sports. So, President Trump urging the NFL to fire players who are using their platform to try to create positive change in their communities. Many have asked, should athletes just stick to sports and we have asked you to join in the conversation.

And in the next hour, we will get to some of those responses, have been some very good responses on both sides here. Was President Trump right in calling out NFL players, was he wrong? But we have to remember, where do you draw the line then? Because J. J. Watt, just raised nearly $40million to help hurricane relief efforts. You have players standing up for the fight against cancer. So, that's the dilemma. Where do you say, it is okay for athletes to get involved in politics, and those sorts of things standing up for the causes they believe in.


PAUL: Alright. Coy wire, thank you so much.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: Good to see you.

BLACKWELL: I still to come, Facebook gets political by agreeing to hand over the political ads linked to Russia to Congress. The move prompting backlash from the President, we'll talk about that.


[07:51:40] BLACKWELL: All right, nine minutes until the top of the hour now. And President Trump is again calling the Russian election interference a hoax. This time after Facebook turns over thousands of Russia-linked campaign ads to Congress. Well, now the company CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, says he wants to create a new standard for transparency. CNN's Laurie Segall, tells us what that's all about.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: More than 3,000 ads sold to a Russian troll farm aimed at targeting U.S. citizens to influence the election, and an admission from Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FACEBOOK: Our teams have found and shut down thousands of fake accounts that could be attempting to influence elections in many other countries.

SEGALL: But as Facebook turns over the ads purchase by Russia to Congress, there's a new sense of urgency here in Silicon Valley. Make changes or face regulation, and the pressure is mounting.

ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY, GOOGLE: I don't want the government making decisions about speech because a core Democratic Institutions are so unreliable. At the same time, these platforms play such a powerful role in making those decisions that we want them to be somehow accountable --

SEGALL: As Zuckerberg promised to add more transparency to political ads on Facebook, he said the company will double the number of people working on election integrity but is it too little, too late?

MCLAUGHLIN: We can't just simply write math that we can believe neutrally chooses the best content. We're making choices that are incredibly consequential for what speech gets aired and seen by ordinary people, ordinary Americans.

SEGALL: While Major Tech CEO's are beginning to grapple with the unseen consequences of their increasingly powerful platforms. There are some calls for tech companies to be regulated as utilities, many in Silicon Valley disagreed. I recently spoke to Twitter and Medium founder, Ev Williams about it.

A Congressman suggested that there should be an act passing legislation to put this closure requirement on social media advertising, similar to the ones that we see on TV commercials.


SEGALL: What impact would that have?

WILLIAMS: I don't think people would pay attention to it.

SEGALL: Really.


SEGALL: When it comes to regulation, Williams isn't opposed. He's just doubtful of the process producing good results.

WILLIAMS: I'd prefer no regulation to bad regulation. There's no obvious thing that you would say to Facebook, or Google, or Twitter, like, go fix this now. And then like, oh, we're not doing that because we don't have to. They are all trying to make the best systems they can.

SEGALL: Questions about content are complicated.

WILLIAMS: The difference between -- a difference of opinion or political belief and a difference in like, long facts is really hard to pass out. I don't think (INAUDIBLE) figured out how to sass out automatically --

SEGALL: The same gray area applies to Facebook. While the company says they'll disclose political ads, who's to the side what constitutes a political ad on a flat form. And what divides propaganda and an idea?

WILLIAMS: And that's when some people are calling for donates to be editorial guidelines and you get into an area where most tech companies be like that's not something that really fits in our model or that we would even be good at --



[07:59:04] PAUL: As to think about this in a Harvard study says the number of people over 75 living alone will almost to double by 2035.

BLACKWELL: Taking care of your health, Jacqueline Howard, tells us more.


JAQUELINE HOWARD, CNN FEATURE WRITER: To Automation can do more than just ease daily living.

BRIAN JONES, SENIOR RESEARCH ENGINEER, INTERACTIVE MEDIA TECHNOLOGY CENTER: Sensors that can detect multiple information such as light, humidity, temperature. There some of technologies that we're working with are actually quite useful in terms of understanding behaviors, whether that's avoiding falls, avoiding disease or managing disease better.

HOWARD: For example, these gate sensors along this hallway assess fall risk by measuring walking speed and stride. A motion sensor can detect when your stove has been left on unattended, and send an alert right to your smartwatch. Near field imaging in this floor can assess movement or lack thereof. The data collected could signal underlying medical issues.

JONES: It could mean that there's an onset of urinary tract infection if you see those patterns increase during the course of the night.

HOWARD: And this robot can deliver medications right to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will always be a need for --