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U.S. Promises More Aid for Stricken Puerto Rico; Equifax CEO Steps Aside Amid Hack Scandal; Macron Calls for Closer German Ties; Uber to Pull Out of Montreal;

Aired September 26, 2017 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: We're up, we're down. We're up, we're down. It's been that kind of a day. We like to call it even, but no. The

Dow's losing streak continues on Wall Street. It's Tuesday, September 26th.

Tonight, no escape. Desperate Puerto Ricans face a humanitarian crisis. Will be live in San Juan.

Equifax's CEO steps down. Lawmakers say, look, this is still not enough. I'll speak to us Pennsylvania's Attorney General. And let's get together.

France's president wants a new relationship with Germany.

I'm Paula Newton and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

OK. Listen, it's a word that demands not just attention, but action. Help. And right now, Puerto Rico is in desperate, desperate need of that

help. 3 million Americans struggling to find power, clean water or even a way to get out. Now, President Trump promises all available resources will

be used to save lives. Now, this is a situation that Americans, we have to remind you, have found themselves in before. Whether it's a place hit by a

natural disaster, like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, for a place hit by an economic crisis like a right during its bankruptcy.

For Puerto Rico, it's both. This was the message written on top of one house. Images like these have led President Trump to finally make more

assistance available. And for those stuck on the ground that help cannot come soon enough.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My mother lost everything. I had bought a plane ticket before the hurricane, and I'm here since Friday.

And I haven't been able to leave. Sleeping on the floor without air conditioning, it's horrible. And I have to sleep here again. It's very

frustrating. You want to leave to go help your family, and we are still here. My family does not know I'm still here, and I can't help them.


NEWTON: I've been hearing so many stories like that. Now, Donald Trump says because it's an island, getting Puerto Rico to help it needs is tough.

He's planning to visit himself next Tuesday. It's been a week since Maria ripped through Puerto Rico. Without power, now in energy crisis, of

course, is taking hold. This is what the island look like before, this is what it looks like now. So far, two people have died in San Juan hospitals

simply because it ran out of diesel fuel and couldn't operate its generators.

Puerto Rico may not have American statehood, but it's not insignificant. I mean, think about these stats. Its population is larger than Miami,

Houston and New Orleans combined. The people who live there, we'll remind you, are American citizens. President Trump says his administration though

is doing a great job.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did a great job in Texas, a great job in Florida, a great job in Louisiana. We hit little pieces of

Georgia and Alabama. And frankly, we're doing -- and is the most difficult job, because it's on the island. It's on an island in the middle of the

ocean. It's out in the ocean. You can't just drive your trucks there from other states. And the governor said we are doing a great job. In fact, he

thank me specifically for FEMA and all of the first responders in Puerto Rico.


NEWTON: Now the mayor of the Puerto Rican capital says you can actually feel the life draining away. She told our Leyla Santiago the conditions in

some hospitals are just too much to bear.


CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR OF SAN JUAN: In some hospitals people have died. Because the intensive care units in one hospital that I know of just -- it

just -- everything came crumbling. Not in a physical sense, but in an energy sense. We need to have energy through a generator or through the

electricity. So, when I say there's a humanitarian crisis -- and I'm sorry. I know that leaders are supposed to cry and stuff. Perhaps is a

sign of weakness. Well, you know, the weak out there are waiting for us.

An earlier last week, I said, my biggest fear is that we won't get to everybody on time. And we're not getting to everybody in time. People,

especially the elderly are being locked up in buildings.

[16:05:00] The administrators left them there locked up. So, were going in, one by one were unlocking them. And we find them literally gasping for

air. Because their tanks, oxygen tanks have run out. We find them dehydrated. Yesterday we had to move 11 from one building. Dehydrated

because they had no food or water. They haven't had dialysis in seven days. So, you know, when we said -- when I said a humanitarian crisis, is

not a phrase. You can touch, you can feel that the life just coming out of people.


NEWTON: Oh, such an emotional interview. So difficult to hear her talk about those elderly people who had been locked up and that they have to go

in and rescue. So many challenges in Puerto Rico right now. And were going to go to our Rafael Romo, who's been on the ground there since the

storm hit. Rafael, please tell us -- I mean, you just heard the mayor. She is beyond herself. Because she doesn't have what it takes right now.

The resources that she needs to help. Are things changing on the ground where you are?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, not necessarily. And you know what, Paula, she's not exaggerating. That's the reality here on the ground in

Puerto Rico. In addition to the medical crisis that Leyla was talking about, I also had an opportunity to talk to the director of a local

Children's Hospital who was telling me that he has 12 children on ventilators. And because with the power problem, those children are at

risk. For the last 48 hours, they have been running power on generators. But the diesel is running low. He told me on Monday for about eight hours

they had run on batteries. Those ventilators had to run on batteries. And the only have enough diesel until tomorrow. And he has no assurances that

they'll get the fuel tomorrow.

There is also a situation where you see many people who suffered injuries from the hurricane and some of them are being treated, but not all of them.

I had a conversation with an 86-year-old woman whose kitchen exploded because a gas line broke during the hurricane and caused the explosion in

the house. She suffered severe burns to her feet.

There was also another young man whose arm was almost broken because the hurricane blew open the front door of his house. And so, you start to see

a lot of injuries like that. Lacerations, broken arms, broken ankles, stuff like that and were only looking at the surface right now. What

happens in the center of the island? Some of those remote areas. What happens on the west side of the island? Nobody really knows at this point,

how and again like you said, two people, according to the mayor died because they had no power where they were being treated.

NEWTON: Rafael Romo there is San Juan. As you can imagine, we are all having communication issues. I do want to point out that FEMA -- Justin

response to what we've been saying about the medical situation -- FEMA now saying that the U.S. ship Comfort is now on the way. Finally, a week after

to try and help with those medical needs in Puerto Rico. It is a desperate situation.

Also, desperate, passengers hoping to escape the devastation have packed the main terminal in San Juan's airport. You can imagine. They want to

get out. Just look at this. It has no air conditioning and is running on emergency backup power. And because radar and other vital equipment was

damaged in the storm, only 10 commercial flights a day are traveling to the U.S. mainland. Agustin Arellano is the president of Aerostar Airport

Holdings. He manages that airport in San Juan. He's on the line with me now. Please tell me and I know it's been an incredible few days for you.

What are the challenges now? Because many people had expected the airport would be able to operate by now.

AGUSTIN ARELLANO, PRESIDENT, AEROSTAR AIRPORT HOLDINGS (via phone): Well, you know, we are pretty much facing a very difficult task. Because we have

no energy, no communications, no diesel and we are running every day almost -- 21 emergencies we have around the airport. So far, we have been dealing

also with the problems from FAA regarding the loss three of the four radars that provide traffic control services. And some of the radiofrequency

stations to provide also operations for the airplanes.

Regardless of that, less than 24 hours after the hurricane, we opened the airport for military operations. And the following day we were carrying 10

commercial flights. The only way to maintain control and of course safety around the airport operations in an environment that is not really at all

positive with all of this damage caused by the hurricane.

[16:10:00] Anyway, so we are taking out 2,000 people every day. Tomorrow I'm pretty happy to announce that we just doubled the number of flights

out. We have 18 out. And there will probably be 21. Because we are expecting for the first time three international flights coming into San

Juan as relief flights. Taking out passengers to Columbia, to Panama and to Mexico.

NEWTON: Listen, that's great news. I'm glad to hear that more flights will be getting in and out. And yet it has been a week -- I think a lot of

people even want to return to the United States are waiting right now to get out. What more help do you need? I'm sure that you're doing your

best. But what could the American government do to help you right now? We have heard problems with everything from fuel to screening.

ARELLANO: Well, I think that, you know, request number one would be return to normal power. I've been told and assured that we are going to be having

power tomorrow. And we expected that because we have some of the hospitals already with power back into the grid. But if we do have power, then we

increase dramatically the number of flights in and out of San Juan.

NEWTON: And that would be a great help to people. You know, I know it was an incredibly difficult storm to deal with. But in terms of what you see

on the ground in terms of damage, how long is it going to take to get back to normal operations for you?

ARELLANO: Well, right now, looking for normal operation again, I would say it would take months of hard work. But so far, we've been doing this

despite the conditions. Wherever we can all of the areas that we still can still manage to provide good services. So far, commodities are out of

here. Like air conditioning, food and beverage and other concessions. We are providing water, boxed lunches and some other, you know, help to the

passengers to all the terminals. But regardless to say that because of the humidity and the hot weather that we have around, it's been very difficult

time, you know, to operate 12 hours from six in the morning to six in the afternoon. We are keeping at least 300 or 400 people overnight of those

passengers that could not get into a plane going back to their destinations. And those passengers are well accommodated. Provided with

water and food. And at least make, you know, less comfortable. I would say especially the week accommodations for them in order to avoid having

more problems than the ones that we already have.

NEWTON: Yes. A lot to think about there. You have a lot on your hands. Thanks so much for keeping us up-to-date on that. And we wish you all the

luck to get that airport opened. It will be quite a lifeline in the weeks and months to come. Again, thank you.

Now, you had heard from her earlier that emotional interview we had from the Mayor of San Juan talking about the fact that she had people that were

dying in hospitals. Now, she is saying that people's lives must though, be prioritized over Puerto Rico $74 billion of debt. Yes, his declared

bankruptcy already. Now, in a series of tweets Monday night, Donald Trump insisted the debt, sadly, must be paid back to Wall Street. Now, it's

something he never referenced in any previous hurricane relief efforts. Carmen Yulin Cruz, who you just saw earlier today on "NEW DAY" at CNN

responding directly to the president's tweets.


CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR OF SAN JUAN: -- regarding President Trump, and with all due respect, these are two different topics. One topic is the

massive debt, which we know we have and it's been dealt with. But you don't put debt above people. You put people above debt.

So, what we are asking for and what I'm asking for, and this is only my comment, nobody else's comment, is let's deal with the two issues in a

separate way.


NEWTON: And joining me now is Cate Long. She is with Puerto Rico Clearinghouse. You have been instrumental in trying to give bondholders

information about what's going on with what has become the largest U.S. government bankruptcy in history. Right?


NEWTON: And now we've had to hurricanes. How do you believe it will impact the debt and the financial future of Puerto Rico in terms of what's

going on? Beyond the obvious, especially when you have the President of the United States drawing attention to the fact that Puerto Rico is


LONG: Right, so, last year Congress passed a law called PROMESA, which impose an oversight board on Puerto Rico that President Obama appointed

seven members to, and created a debt restructuring process. There were two elements to that debt restructuring process. The first was consensual

negotiations, where everyone would sit around the table. Argue over what was able to be repaid.

NEWTON: Keep on arguing.

[16:15:00] LONG: Right, keep arguing. Essentially though, the oversight board just skipped over that part of the process and went straight to court

litigation. We now have dozens of court cases regarding the debt that are being litigated in federal court. I think President Trump signaled last

night his tweets that they're going to go back to the consensual side of this and trying get everybody to the table and come to some kind of

agreement on the debt.

NEWTON: That means, to use a term, everybody's going to have to take a haircut.

LONG: Yes.

NEWTON: Do you think that there is going to be more goodwill around that table when we see the severe humanitarian crisis going on in Puerto Rico.

LONG: Yes, I do. Actually, there's 18 classes of debt in the Puerto Rico debt stack, which is very, very complex. And everyone has understood for

several years that there will be haircuts. Will there be more haircuts now than everyone was kind of predicting? Maybe. It's hard to say. But

everyone understands that there will be losses on this debt. Question is, can we do it quickly and several months or are we going to litigate it for

years and keep Puerto Rican government tied up in the courts.

NEWTON: And that's the key thing. If this doesn't get tied up, how much will it hamper Puerto Rico's efforts to really emerge from this after more

than a decade of recessions?

LONG: Puerto Rico cannot go forward with all this litigation pain over it regarding the debt. Really, the debt needs to be, you know -- honestly,

President Trump needs to make a deal here. He can do it. You know what, this may be a God sent really. And if he's interested, I'm sure he is, he

himself has discharged a lot of his own debt in bankruptcy. So, he understands what the process is. And you know, personally I just think my

own view is that it would be very beneficial for the island. And the bondholders just need to take the losses and move on.

NEWTON: They were the ones who took on the risk. They knew they were taking on risk. How much will the President have to arm him? He's very

familiar with this group of people in terms of what they want.

LONG: Yes. So, let me just point out, this is municipal bonds. Most municipal bonds are held by retail investors. And 75 percent of --

basically, around 75 percent of the bondholders are retailer, mom and pops here. And then you have 25 percent held by the hedge fund. So, it's not

as though these are just vultures circling around the island. This is just kind of everybody's investment that they've had over a long period of time.

And I think basically, everyone is willing to put something on the table. Especially if we can do it in a consensual way. And everybody understands

that, you know, there's losses here and they just have to be absorbed.

NEWTON: And to be clear, this is an crass. If we don't talk about the debt then we can't talk about rebuilding.

LONG: Right, exactly. Especially when it comes to the power company. Because the bonds of the power company are an impediment to developing any

kind of future for that country.

NEWTON: You can see. This is a hard time they're having on the island now without power. Cate, thanks so much. Will continue to follow this issue,

appreciate it.

LONG: Thank you.

NEWTON: The devastating cyber-attack on Equifax has claimed the CEOs job. The state Attorney General leading investigations into the company says,

the saga though, is far from over.


[16:20:14] NEWTON: The top Democrat on the U.S. Senate intelligence committee poses what he calls a million-dollar question -- I bet other

people would put another price tag on this -- regarding the Russian company that bought political adverts on Facebook during the U.S. presidential

election. How was Russia able to do it? And how did it know who to target? Our Manu Raju spoke to the ranking member of the Senate

intelligence committee, Mark Warner. Manu is now in Washington for us. It's such a fascinating story. It always has been. Here's the deal

though. When you look at these adverts, the people you're talking to in Washington right now, they're getting some insight into exactly what the

Russians did to try and manipulate the election.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. There actually going to get to see some of these ads that Russia placed on

Facebook. Ads that were designed to really sow some political tension and to both suppress the vote and drive up the vote. Things that also promoted

groups like the group of Black Lives Matter. Stress though some antipathy towards this group, in the key point of the elections.

Now, investigators on Capitol Hill are really still trying to learn a lot more about these ads that the Russians paid for and exactly who if anyone,

in the United States was involved with this effort domestically. Now, I had a chance to talk to Mark Warner, one of the top members investigating

this issue. And he said that still a major question, exactly how they came up with their strategy.


SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: It's way too early to tell. But this is been a question I've been asking for 10 months. I raised this issue back

last winter. At that point, Facebook was dismissive that there was anything there. We now have seen there was a lot there, both in terms of

paid advertising, fake accounts, pushing people towards rallies. Trying to sow division and chaos. And that's why I'm anxious to review the materials

they're sending into the committee. But I'm also very anxious to get them into a public hearing where all the senators can ask these kinds of



RAJU: Now, there are roughly 3,000 ads or so that are starting to be turned over to Capitol Hill. Other members, a keynote member of the

committee, Richard Burrows, the Republican chairman of that committee, has not gotten a chance to look through that yet. But he has slightly a

different take then Mark Warner. He says that we really don't see any evidence yet of collusion between the Trump officials and the Russians over

these Facebook ads. But he acknowledged there still a lot to look into going forward. And also, other social media platforms as well, including

Twitter, expected to come and talk to Senate committee staff. And representatives of Twitter, to talk to them about if there is a similar

effort on their platform. Unclear yet, because Twitter has not yet turned over information to Capitol Hill -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, and remembering, Manu, that this investigation started with Facebook's not really understanding what they had, what evidence they had.

And now turning it over. Having said that, we were talking about those public hearings. Do they feel that Facebook is holding out on them here?

If they're not getting all the information that they need from Facebook?

RAJU: Well, but a couple weeks ago, I would have said absolutely yes. But now they're starting to get more cooperation. One great reason why was

that Bob Mueller, the special counsel here, investigating collusion and any activity by the Trump campaign. Issued a search warrant and got a bunch of

information. Including some of these ads that were in question. That prompted a lot of pressure from Capitol Hill, where lawmakers also wanted

to see these ads.

They were threatening subpoenas. Threatening these public hearing. That's one reason why Facebook has turned over these documents. But still they do

want to have a public session as soon as next month with Facebook and others to understand more fully exactly what happened with these ad

campaign. Who was involved? Which Russians were involved? And with anybody here in the U.S.? Anybody tied to the Trump campaign, whether they

were involved as well -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, and people will be fascinated to see exactly how they were targeted. Even swing states in this situation to try and move that needle

on the election. Manu, thanks. Manu continues to be on top of this on Capitol Hill. Appreciate it.

Now, saying sorry wasn't enough to protect the Equifax CEOs job. Richard Smith is out. Some people said, about time. Following the massive data

breach that exposed the information of 143 million customers. Now, yes, he has retired, effective immediately. The plans to stay on as an unpaid

adviser during the CEO transition. Equifax says he won't get a bonus this year. Decisions about other money and benefits have been put off until the

board finishes what they're calling their independent review.

Now, the departure is as much about the breach as it is about the companies botched response. Smith will face questions about that before congress

next week. Now, the company is also facing investigations from federal regulators in individual states, 47 of them.

[16:25:03] Josh Shapiro is leading those probes. He's the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. He calls the breach an outrageous display of corporate

malfeasance. I asked him if it's now enough that the CEO stepped down.


JOSH SHAPIRO, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA: Not even close. The fact that the CEO has resigned or retired, whatever they're calling it, change

nothing about our investigation. Our investigation has 47 state attorneys general involved. I'm proud that Pennsylvania is the lead state among

them. And we are full steam ahead. Here's the thing. We're going to get to the bottom of what occurred with this breach. We will hold Equifax

accountable. We will make sure that people's data is protected going forward. And hopefully change corporate behavior, so that folks don't have

to worry about a breach of this magnitude again in the future.

NEWTON: And yet folks are worried right now. And what people are asking is, where was the accountability? And I think many people are thinking how

did this happen? Are there not laws in place to make sure that they have to tell people exactly when that breach occurred and that their personal

information is at risk?

SHAPIRO: It's a great question. And we do actually have number of state laws. 47 state laws when it comes to reporting breaches. They're all sort

of different. This is one of those areas and I'm a big states rights guy. But this is one of those are where having a federal standard, where there

is immediate disclosure of a breach is really critical. And, look, we haven't gotten straight answers from Equifax yet about when that breach

occurred. Now, in the media, I guess they've said it was about a six-week delay. We the heard reports that it might have been even longer than six

weeks that they delayed in reporting to the public.

So, we hit Equifax with yet another subpoena just last week, trying to get at the exact date that this breach occurred, when they knew about it, and

find out why there was such a delay. It's important to know when that breach occurred, because it triggers various state laws, and triggers

varies aspects of our investigation that are going forward to protect the people of Pennsylvania and the United States.

NEWTON: And I guess to make a fine point of it, because many people are suspicious and nothing has been proven yet. That perhaps executives even

profited from selling the stock before anyone knew of the breach. Again, I feel as if the account -- where is the accountability going to go here?

They may or may not be in front of Congress next week, Equifax, to testify about this. But I guess people are wondering, it was handled to poorly

from a customer perspective, even after this happened.

SHAPIRO: Here's the thing. We will get to the bottom of is. And there will be accountability. Thanks to this multi-stat, investigation by the

attorneys general. There is also a parallel investigation going on by our federal partners about the stock sales and other things. That's a very,

very critical investigation, as well. So, we will get to the bottom of this. People have a right to be angry. They have a right to be concerned.

Because Equifax's behavior after the breach has been atrocious. They tried to get Pennsylvanians and Americans to give up their legal rights when they

were going on to learn more about their credit.

They're actually trying to profit off of his corporate malfeasance by, you know, getting people to sign up for various products. We have gone after

Equifax to get them to stop it, cut that behavior out. They have. And then as part of this investigation, part of the result of this

investigation, we're going to make sure they pay up to protect consumers here in Pennsylvania and across the United States.

NEWTON: Listen, it's going to be music to the ears of many if you're saying pay up. Again, though, the skepticism becomes some consumers look

and say, look, should anyone go to jail for this? How are we going to know and, again, characterize for us the kind of breach that this was? It was


SHAPIRO: This was a massive breach. We have never seen a data breach this big in the history of this country. It affected 143 million Americans.

I'm here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 5.4 million Pennsylvanians were impacted by this. This was massive. And there are clearly major questions

that our investigation will answer. And I'm going to reserve judgment as to whether someone should go to jail or what the sanctions should be until

I get all of the evidence, until I've examined it. And we will follow the facts wherever it leads.

Look, you know, we will apply the law without fear and without favor, and no one is above the law. I think what really angers so many

Pennsylvanians, so many Americans, is that, you kw, Equifax's only job is to protect your information. That's at the core of what they're supposed

to do. And not only did they fail to do it, their behavior since that failure has been absolutely outrageous. And we're going to hold them



NEWTON: And we will continue to follow up on that story. Now, after 24 tweets about the NFL, President Trump speaks out about the controversy.

No, it's not over, folks. His latest remarks delivered from the Rose Garden, of the White House.


[16:32:20] NEWTON: Hello, I'm Paula Newton. Coming up in the next half- hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Uber is stuck in reverse and now it is pulling out of another major market.

And two good neighbors, Emmanuel Macron tells Germany he wants a new economic partnership.

First, though, these are the top news headlines that we are following on CNN this hour.

The mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico is calling price gouging at the airport immoral. Carmen Yulin Cruz since tickets that were $300 last week on our

$1500 after hurricane Maria, plus, the airport is still crippled with very few flights and no air conditioning.

The president of the Kurdish regional government, Masoud Barzani is declaring victory for Iraqi Kurds following their independence referendum,

preliminary results indicate a majority of Kurds voted yes. Barzani told the Kurdish people a new phase is ahead, he said he wants dialogue with

Baghdad. Official results still have not been released/

Women in Saudi Arabia will for the first time ever. The Saudi king has issued a royal decree allowing them to get a driver's license, it is

expected to go into effect by next June. In the past women have been fined or even imprisoned if caught behind the wheel.

The CEO of Equifax is now out of the job after the company's embarrassing data breach, the credit reporting bureau announced that Richard Smith has

retired after more than a decade on the job. Three weeks ago, that the company revealed the personal information of 143 million Americans have

been compromised in a major hack.

U.S. President Donald Trump is telling Catalonians it would be foolish to leave Spain. Mr. Trump made the comments during with visiting Spanish

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy despite a constitutional court ban the Catalonia government plans to hold an independence referendum this Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has rejected accusations that he was preoccupied with the National Football League while the U.S. territory of

Puerto Rico is suffering a humanitarian disaster. Speaking at a press conference alongside Spain's Prime Minister, Mr. Trump stepped up criticism

of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, saying he was ashamed of the protests.


[16:35:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I wasn't preoccupied with the NFL, I was ashamed of what was taking place. Because

to me that was a very important moment. I don't think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem. To me the NFL situation is a

very important situation. I have heard that before about was I preoccupied, not at all, not at all. I have plenty of time on my hands.

All I do is work. And to be honest with you that is an important function working, it's called respect for our country.


NEWTON: the president certainly isn't changing his opinion in all of this, CNN's Jeff Zeleny is at the White House. Jeff, you inadvertently got

yourself involved in all of this because he reported that the Chief of Staff General Kelly was not thrilled, while he might agree with the

president, he's not thrilled about the way it was conducted. Donald Trump took to Twitter saying that wasn't true, and yet how much unease do you

think there still lives with those around Trump? We know that Trump has spoken for himself. He is fine with his position on this, and he is not


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He is not, Paula, but the reality here is what is going on beyond the NFL messages and back and

forth from the president are significant things. We have seen the health care bill collapse today officially. We have seen this White House

escalate dramatically its attention to Puerto Rico. Throughout the day you can almost feel the attention here at the White House growing exponentially

about that.

The president had barely mentioned Puerto Rico for several days actually. Hardly mentioning it throughout the weekend. But in today's period of time

he announced this morning that he will go next week. He suddenly added a meeting to his schedule to do a drop by meeting here on Puerto Rico in the

situation room at the White House this afternoon. His FEMA advisor is out.

So, there is no question behind the scenes, the Chief of Staff and several other advisers thought that the NFL tweets were getting too much attention.

If the president says he was preoccupied or not, the reality is when he looked at number tweets, a number of attention devoted to a certain

subject, the NFL was certainly much more, but you can again, Paula, feel the attention increasing to Puerto Rico because they know that they have a

crisis on their hands. We are hearing today for the first time, comparisons to Katrina. That is something that President Trump has hoped

to avoid here.

Again, we will see how many more tweets are coming out about the NFL. But much more attention being focused on Puerto Rico now. I talked to the

director of FEMA this afternoon, he was doing a briefing here at the White House. And he said, look, Americans are not prepared for disasters as much

as they should be. He acknowledged the situation on the ground there. But again, this is something that is going to be a long time in the making. We

will see if the president keeps tweeting about the NFL.

NEWTON: Yes, and it has to be said he didn't mention Puerto Rico, and then I think a lot of people there were wondering, OK, well, what about us.

Jeff, thanks so much, stay on top of this at the White House.

In the meantime, President Trump as Jeff was just mentioning, in the Republicans are facing a new legislative failure. Senate Majority Leader

Mitch McConnell is telling Republicans there will not be a vote on the latest health care plan.

Sunlen Serfaty has been watching this all day long there in Washington, she joins us now. A lot of people predicted we would get here and what was the

last straw that he decided, look. this is never going to hit the floor.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Paula, really the writing that was on the wall for the last 24 hours, and in essence he just had to

make the call in the end that this bill was going nowhere, that would fail if he indeed did bring it the Senate floor to be voted on. So, what we saw

from Mitch McConnell was him talk to his caucus today, get a sense from his members how they were feeling. Do you want to go on the record with your

vote and likely see this fail, or would you rather not see it on the floor at all?

Of course, that is what he decided in the end, not wanting to suffer another embarrassment will bill not passing on healthcare as it was earlier

in the summer. So certainly, a lot of dramatic moments leading up to this but after all the air came out of the tires of this bill, it was very

apparent today. In certainly last night when we heard from Sen. Susan Collins that she could not support this bill. All that air just came

racing right out of the tires. Now we're moving on the taxable. Paula.

NEWTON: I want to ask you about that, one thing we have been hearing about here from the sidelines is the fact that some way, shape or form even tax

reform or something on a budget level would be again tied to healthcare. I mean why do you hearing? Are you saying that, look for 2017 it is done,

healthcare is done or are you still hearing rumblings by attaching it to something else?

SERFATY: For the short term, it is certainly is done, the foreseeable future but there are already as you pointed out are some rumblings here in

the halls of Congress that they are going to try again on this, try soon on this. And potentially this could be wrapped up and tied to their effort on

tax reform. So of course, that is going to raise a lot of eyebrows, does not have a lot of support yet. No word if this indeed is going to be the

case. The important thing very to remember is they might try to do this procedurally because they would only need to get that 51-vote threshold,

not the 60-vote threshold so they could do that without the Democrats. And in essence that is why Republicans would move forward to try to tie these

two big topics, healthcare and tax reform together. Of course, a lot of rumblings, a lot of words that this could potentially be something in the

mix, but a lot of concern already as well. These are two big messy, complicated subjects. Thought tying them together at this point especially

when they can't even pass healthcare alone, really boggles the mind of many people appear right now, Paula

[16:40:00] NEWTON: Sunlen, you tied it up so well, 50 between the 60 a huge difference, those 10 votes for whether messy legislation. Sunlen,

nice to see you, thanks for that update, appreciate it.

Now, a vision for Europe, post Brexit, French President Emmanuel Macron wants a new partnership with this bigger more powerful neighbor. We are

live in Paris and we will tell you what they think about next.


NEWTON: French President Emmanuel Macron has set out his new vision for a more integrated European Union. A bit bold. At the heart of it, stronger

and even closer partnership with Germany. Macron's goal is to completely integrate both countries' markets and business laws by 2024. He is already

seeing signs a new era in Franco German ties.

A few minutes ago, Germany's Siemens and Allstom of France confirming that indeed they will merge their railway divisions. Not everyone is happy

about it though as you can imagine. Some French politicians upset signing over the famous TGV trains to German control. We want to bring in our Jim

Bittermann who is live from Paris. Jim, we are not making too fine a point of it, but it is a bit of an earthquake for corporate France, isn't?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well it is, it definitely will be. And I think one of the things combining those two

companies will do, it symbolizes very well what Macron was talking about today. It just so happens that it arrived on the same day as he made this

major two-hour speech at the Sorbonne University. More on that in a minute.

But in any case, it does symbolize something to French industry, and while there were number of caveats in it that gave some to the French, basically,

it's Siemens deal. They said it was a merger of equals but they going to have 50 percent of the stock plus one share. And while the corporate

headquarters will be here in France, there is going to be the business headquarters in Germany. It's really maybe equals but there is one company

that is going to be a little bit more equal than others.

Now, symbolizing the renewed interest in Germany, Macron said in a very specific way today, he laid out a lot of specifics about where he thinks

Europe should go, in particularly, the relationship with Germany. He said he would like Germany in the form of Chancellor Merkel, if she retains her

title, to come to France on 22 January, next year, to re-sign on the 55th anniversary of the German Franco alliance. Re-sign that pact at the

Elysees palace. It symbolizes something that he had in mind.

[16:45:00] And here is the way he verbalized in his speech.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE, (through translator): I am proposing to Germany a new partnership. We will not agree on everything, not

immediately. But we will discuss everything. To those who say that the task is impossible, my answer is that you have gotten used to resignation,

not I.


BITTERMANN: He is a very optimistic character. So optimistic, he proposed all sorts of changes in the European model. Basically, restructuring most

everything we know about in Europe now. Centered around three principles of sovereignty of democracy and unity. An especially sovereignty, he wants

to see Europe take over sovereignty from the various nations, sovereignty over things like economic policy, and immigration, and police forces, an

education even, and common agricultural policies. So, it is going to be a real jolt to I think to a lot of countries around Europe.

NEWTON: it's interesting that he thinks he has the political capital to do this. If we just go with the rail deal itself, his finance minister Bruno

Lemaire is saying, look, we, France will protect jobs, don't you worry.

And yet to come forward with this Franco German prototype for everything, I mean what is at work here? We know he is already down in the polls, does

he just believe it is time to take a stand for Europe? Even with everything going on in Germany?

BITTERMANN: Just in the last couple of days he has come up a little bit in the polls. He has come up about five points in the polls. But, yes, I

think he is trying to attack what he believes the direction, put France on the direction it should be in the first few months of his presidency. He

took office in May, this is only a few months on and he wants to get at the hard issues first. And that is what he is doing.

Now, as he does this who knows whether people will go along with him. He said some things today for instance the farmers may very well like, but

they very well may not like it. They have been using a kind of pesticide here that he would like to see banned. In the case of the union workers on

that Allstom deal, some of you Allstom unions have already been expressing their fears about this deal and what is going to mean for jobs.

There is going to be a lot of pushback down the road, but he was talking to a young audience, he had young ideas, he was very optimistic and I think

that is what got him elected in the first place.

NEWTON: It is going to be fascinating to watch, he went through with that even after he saw the trouble Angela Merkel is having in Germany, and he

wants to really lead this European experiment. Jim Bittermann there as always, thank you from Paris.

Now Bombardier's CS-100 series plane has run 110 seats, bigger than average windows and overhead bins. And Boeing says absurdly low price. That is

the problem. Boeing says it's too low. It is thanks, they say to support from the Canadian government.

Now, Boeing has called for tariffs on the airplane. The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to make a ruling quite shortly in this

dispute. We expected any day now.

John Ostrower is CNN Money's aviation editor, he is following developments from Seattle. We are not exactly sure when to expect a ruling. I can tell

you would being with Theresa May and Justin Trudeau in Ottawa last week, that they pretty much know that this is a preliminary ruling, but is not

going to go Bombardier's way. What does this mean in the aviation industry if it continues and Boeing is not allowed to sell at that price in the U.S.


JOHN OSTROWER, CNN MONEY AVIATION EDITOR: The implications are huge and really, we are probably no more than an hour or two away from that ruling,

from the ITC in the Commerce Department. So, what does that mean if Bombardier can't sell at the price they want to in the U.S.?

Well, the U.S. market is essential for any aircraft maker, whether it be Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier or anyone else. Getting a core of U.S. airlines

behind your airplane really is a huge step for validating that airplane. If all of a sudden, a roughly $30 million, discount roughly, for an

airplane becomes significantly more expensive.

Boeing wants 160 percent tariff on this airplane being imported. That effectively destroys any possibility of its economic efficiency for the

world's airlines. Or for US airlines rather and Delta. In this particular case, that reg does in fact represent an existential threat to Bombardiers.

And Boeing wants to say it is an isolated transaction, an isolated complaint, but certainly Justin Trudeau and others are reacting very,

strongly to the threat to Bombardier.

NEWTON: Yes, absolutely, and we have to mention in Northern Ireland, their hopes are also pinned on that C series jet, which is why Theresa May that

she has interjected out twice, with Donald Trump at a high level. John, we will continue to follow this issue. And of course, followed a ruling that

we may expect in the next few hours. Appreciate it.

[16:50:00] Now, anywhere any time, that is the slogan of Uber, and it's the slogan that might need a little tinkering for those that live in London or



NEWTON: Uber is poised to pullout from yet another one of its major markets. This time in Canada. The ride hailing app says it will be forced

to exit the province of Quebec next month. Regulators there have introduced tougher regulations requiring drivers to undergo 35 hours of

training. Uber says that is simply not feasible.

Meantime, legal action continues in London, Uber this challenging a landmark ruling that orders the company to give its drivers basic employee

rights. The tribunal hearing on Wednesday comes as the company tries overturn its operating ban in the capital.

Pete Pachal is tech editor for the website Mashable, he joins me now. Pete, look the problems for Uber are piling up. How serious is this

especially when factored already into their business model is a heck of a lot of revenue growth. I don't know how that is going to happen when the

pulling out of these markets.

PETE PACHAL, TECH EDITOR, MASHABLE: Absolutely. So, the Quebec thing I see as very run-of-the-mill Uber. This is a region that is renowned for

regulation and Quebec is known in Canada, they regulate the size of lettering on their signs. And they are also very wary of foreign intruders

into their economy. That is normal Uber business. It is disruptive. The local people, particularly, taxi unions and coalitions are not thrilled it.

That would've happened regardless of other problems.

But what is happening in London, it is kind of an entirely different thing. Whereas London is pointing out some of Uber's overall practices like the

gray ball program, with use software to avoid regulators. It's background checks, the way it behaves when there is a criminal charge.

NEWTON: Disrupting their whole business model.

PACHAL: It is like what happened in London any city could pretty much pick those exact same issues, and say, you know what we don't like the way you

do business. And we are going to throw you out of here. So that is kind of what is happening there. Will that start a snowball I think is what the

fear is of this? That remains to be seen.

I will say the new CEO has taken on a drastically different tone with his apology that happened in the last day. I think even though he did not

state specifically what he was apologizing for, he was very careful not to do that. It is a drastic change in tone from the practices of Travis


NEWTON: And yet is tone going to do it, what is at stake here? The new CEO has a lot of problems on his hands, but when you look at that revenue

model, can they really keep up with the projections, if they are having these kinds of troubles in markets as large as London?

PACHAL: I think is going to come down -- the answer to that question I think lies into some of the more fundamental questions about Uber that have

yet to be resolved on some days. One of them, are there drivers' employees? That is a huge one. Uber, they like all drivers do not want to

be employees, they like the fact that they are part of the gig economy whatever it is. A lot of them are part-time.

[16:55:00] Which is kind of a new thing in a lot of these markets. And arguably should be encouraged. But if those decisions of these large

fundamental issues about Uber start to go the other way in these large metropolitan areas, the lookout, in all those projections could be out the


NEWTON: And when you look at those projections you also have to talk about the competition that is in the market as well. And people are looking at

Uber and saying, yes, ripe to get into the market now. It's showing some weakness, we can get into our individual local markets and do something


PACHAL: Yes, well especially since a lot of these complaints like the gray ball, likely background checks, and the medical records and whatnot, there

is a long list. They are very specific to Uber. If for example, Lyft, I don't think they operate in London, but they do operate in a lot of markets

that Uber does, were to sort of jump on this. There are a lot of local ride sharing companies that have virtually the exact same model. They

could easily sort of jump in and get sort of what Uber is leaving behind.

Again, it also still does come down to some of those fundamental questions. Are these services going to be deemed legit in areas that are perhaps have

a larger stake in regulation than a lot of markets in the United States.

NEWTON: Even people who might have individual problems with Uber, whether they do appreciate the fact that it is a disrupter, and it has disrupted

the model, and it has been very convenient. What is going to be at stake for the people who use the service at this point in time? If you do see

Uber weakened around the world. One of its big taglines is the fact you can use it anywhere.

PACHAL: Yes, and it is extremely convenient, and it has been clearly a force in modernizing a lot of these places, a lot of local taxi services

and car services did not have apps, until Uber came into the market and showed the way to do it. A lot of those are getting on board, that could

be very much slowed should Uber and similar apps be outlawed in certain places, or at least made much more difficult. So, from a consumer

convenience standpoint, it could be a real issue and there could be trouble.

NEWTON: We have to leave it there Pete, so much to talk about though, that is quest means business. I am Paula Newton in New York, thanks for

watching, Richard is right back here tomorrow, apparently, he is going to return to his bell as well. See you later.