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Hurricane Nate Coverage; Tension Between President Trump and Rex Tillerson?. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 7, 2017 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[22:00:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin, thanks for being with me tonight. You're watching CNN special coverage of the hurricane season; it seems to have no end here. With the wounds of Harvey, Irma and Maria still fresh, millions of Americans are bracing for the impact of yet another powerful storm.

Hurricane Nate is hitting the Gulf Coast at this very moment, with strong winds and heavy rain. First landfall came at the mouth of the Mississippi river; that was about two hours ago. A second landfall along the Mississippi coast is expected soon. Warnings and watches for storms, tornadoes, and surges are in effect from New Orleans east to the Florida Panhandle, and we have reporters on the ground in position ready to roll tonight.

So let's find out exactly where Nate is right now, where it's going, how strong it is. Tom Sater, I'm starting with you, CNN Meteorologist there in the severe weather center, what's the very latest.

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Brooke, it looks like this is just 45 minutes - excuse me, 45 miles from Biloxi. It's been moving at an incredible pace, 20 miles per hour to the North. Earlier today, it was moving at 25, 26 miles per hour. These hurricanes do not like to move that fast, because it keeps them from rapidly developing. So we did not get to Category 2 status, thank goodness.

For the most part there, we are still looking at the worst elements in the hours ahead. It's been very difficult to find a center to the storm. There's been no apparent eye on the satellite imagery. It's been even tough with the radar, but I'll show you that in a moment. Hurricane hunters have been flying into this system all day long. Each time fly through the center, they drop a little drop sound that gives us some of the winds, the pressure readings. And you can see how they start to continue to move toward the coast.

Now, on radar, it's a little bit easier to kind of see the eye. But first, I'll come back to this image where we have a tornado watch. Everything from that center core eastward is an issue. But first, let me show you the radar and let you have an idea of where our first landfall was. Very hard to see where the center of Nate is right now, coming up from the south, just barely clipping Plaquemines Parish, so that was landfall number one.

Landfall number two is mentioned only 45 miles away from Biloxi. Interesting to note, this is New Orleans right here, and here's Lake Pontchartrain. Winds are going to start coming in from the North now, and that's going to create a three to six foot storm surge in the Southern area of that Lake Pontchartrain. This is a live picture of Bourbon Street, but the winds really just barely blowing, just a little bit of a damp road. So they're missing out, which is some very good news.

But going back to our radar, an isolated tornado threat that we've had - we've had several warnings, sirens have been going off in the area. But now we are going to start to find the surge could be - create a problem here. 3.5 foot storm surge already being reported in Bay Saint Louis and in Pascagoula. That's a good 3.5 above normal.

We've got high tide coming in too. So, here is Biloxi. Anywhere east of that is where we are going to see a stronger surge. High tides, here is the problem too, because if we had landfall around the midnight hour, you've got Mobile at a high tide at almost one in the morning, Biloxi is at 12:22, and then even in Pensacola at 12:19. So, these areas is the worst time to have high tide. It's just going to create more of a mess when they get that (ph) to surge into the coastline.

It'll push everything further in the inlets into the canals. The wave heights are going to start to break down once the system makes landfall. But we are even getting close to 18 and 20 foot wave heights with this. Watches have started to deteriorate. Actually, they've taken them away from parts of Louisiana, which is very good news. They've taken some of the watches away, the tropical storm watch for Metro Atlanta.

Although power outages I think are still going to be an issue, the biggest threat really seems to be that storm surge. So coming up in the next 30 minutes or so, with you Brooke, we'll break down again the threat from the storm surge community by community. Because right now, we're looking at Biloxi to have possibly a 11 to 12 foot surge, and that'll be right around landfall around the midnight hour.

BALDWIN: All right, to the witching hour and the midnight hour, we are on live for the next couple of hours. Like we said, we have reporters on the ground, so we'll keep our eye on that and talk to you many more times. Tom Sater, thank you.

Speaking of Biloxi, that's where we have Martin Savidge in crew. He is there live in Mississippi near where that second landfall should be happening. Martin, I see you're wet, I see some of the rain falling, how bad is it where you are?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN REPORTER: It's not so bad right now, Brooke, but the winds are clearly picking up. And they anticipate that the worst is going to be here anywhere from about now until maybe 4 o' clock in the morning.

And you already heard Tom was talking about the storm surge; that's their biggest concern here in this particular area.

BALDWIN: Yes.

[22:05:00]

SAVIDGE: Biloxi is definitely bracing for that. I don't think you can see it behind us, but you've got the lighthouse, you've got a pier. In between, you've got the Highway 90. Highway 90 is that coastal road that everyone drives. It runs right along the waterfront here. There is a very strong concern that that's going to go underwater tonight. That's going to be problematic, mainly for the first responders.

There is already a curfew that's in effect here, runs until 9 o' clock in the morning. In fact, most of the Mississippi coast has a curfew. So, it's not those that are going to be out traveling, it's those who need to respond to any kind of an emergency, and that's what they are worried about. We should bear in mind (ph) at least a dozen hotels and casinos in the Biloxi area had to shut down. There is a mandatory evacuation order for the beach, no wonder, and anything south of the seawall.

The concern was that those mega hotels and of course the casinos lure a lot of people in right now, with this storm, they just want to be on the safe side and not have this area filled with all sorts of vacationers and tourists, so they took that safety precaution. But, right now, weather conditions, rain, we've got winds - dusty winds at times, but it's that storm surge, that's what everybody is going to be keeping their eye on, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Taking it on the safe side. We'll call, we'll check back in with you, Martin thank you, live in Biloxi. With me now on the phone is Biloxi's mayor, Andrew "FoFo" Gilich. So, Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for hopping on the phone with me. And you know, understanding from Martin and also Tom, it's the surge that you are - I would imagine is your bigger concern where you are.

ANDREW "FOFO" GILICH, BILOXI MAYOR: Yes, that is. You know, the winds come in bands. The water is rising a little bit and I think we have a high tide around midnight or 1 o' clock. So the surge, we're anticipating 8 to 11 feet, which is significant, and that's still our big concern. But I think everyone has taken this seriously, and they have battened down the hatches and waiting for the storm, so we are hoping for the best.

BALDWIN: We are all hoping for the best. I think we've just seen a nasty hurricane season, and so the notion of just being cautious and being prepared is the best way to go. What - in terms of first responders and folks like that, are they ready to roll?

GILICH: Yes, they are. As a matter of fact, I was out on the highway right alongside the beach and the waterfront just a little while ago, right before the curfew went out. But, yes, everyone's paid attention and real hopeful that we'll have just minimal impact, you know, as far as harm to people and property. So we're all saying prayers to help that happen.

BALDWIN: Yes, yes, curfew until 9:00 a.m. there in Biloxi. You know, I think the winds, 85 miles or so per hour, the fact that it does seem to be maybe moving a little bit faster I imagine, you know, that means it won't hover too long hopefully where you are, which has to be a positive for you sir.

GILICH: That is. Yes, I think it's sort of a record as far as the eyes moving in that speed. You know, I think that has helped the - I guess the intensity and it seems to me it dropped a little bit, but still 80 plus miles an hour and significant water with it. So we're very hopeful.

BALDWIN: Last quick question, and then I'll let you go, what do you want people in Biloxi to know?

GILICH: Just that we're all in this together. And that after the storm, we'll you know do everything we can both from the federal, the state and of course your local level. We've been in constant contact with all the mayors across the coastline. And I think we have, with Katrina back there 12 years ago, I think we've all paid attention. We are actually making sort of a test run of all the building codes and improvements we've had to minimize damage and those things. So this is coming to a little benchmark, and we're hopeful that lessons will take and you know, lessons learned, and the result will be great for us during this storm.

[22:10:00]

BALDWIN: Yes, sir. Mayor Gilich, we're thinking about you all. Here's hoping it is just a lot of rain. But we'll be keeping a close eye on that, and that storm surge for the next couple of hours.

GILICH: Well, thank you, thank you for thinking about us.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much.

GILICH: OK, thank you.

BALDWIN: You got it, appreciate you. Thank you. Let's head east now to Alabama. Already almost 7,000 people in that state without power. Ed Lavandera is there in Mobile. Ed, how's it looking where you are?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is some of the strongest of wind we've seen throughout the evening and the rain kind of steadily falling down. But, this is a far cry from anything that we saw in Hurricane Irma and Harvey and those storms. But nonetheless, emergency officials, especially given the fact that this storm is making landfall in the darkness, obviously that kind of adds another layer of concern for emergency management officials, especially since everywhere we've been along the Gulf Coast throughout the day is, we've seen a very relaxed attitude about what kind of damage and what kind of fear people have of this storm.

So many people are relaxed, kind of taking all of this in stride throughout the day. Obviously, that makes emergency management officials a little bit more nervous. People start feeling a little bit more confident, perhaps taking chances, they can't take chances they normally wouldn't normally take, but obviously urging people to stay indoors, no reason to be out on the roads, as the front of this storm starts making its way north here through Mississippi and into Alabama as well. As you mentioned, nearly 7,000 people already without power. We'll keep a close tab on that and see how that part of the story here develops. But, you know, right now so far this storm is just kind of coming through, so real strong rain shower and steady rain that has fallen here for the course of the last few hours. And many people kind of - this is kind of in line with what people were expecting. We'll see how these conditions develop here in the hours ahead.

But there have been a number of warnings, severe storm warnings, tornado warnings, tornado watches that have popped up. Not just along the coastal areas here, Brooke, we're on the northern edge of Mobile Bay, but there have also been some of those warnings that have popped up further inland. So that is obviously something else that people should take close account of and pay very close attention to, tornados popping up and obviously these kinds of storms popping up in the middle of the night could be a very treacherous situation, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Yes, you know the deal, having covered so many of these horrible storms, both the storms, the hurricanes and all these tornado warnings, the pop up throughout. Ed Lavandera, we'll stay in close contact with you in the next couple of hours. Thank you sir very much.

We'll come back to our hurricane coverage momentarily, but a handwritten note left in the Las Vegas shooter's hotel room with some bizarre numbers on it. Now, investigators know the significance of those numbers. We'll bring that for you next. You are watching CNN special live coverage on a Saturday night. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:15:00]

BROOKE BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin. We have new information tonight about a single note left in the Las Vegas shooter's hotel room and we'll show it to you right here. Actually I know it's tough to see, it's under what appears to be a roll of tape next to a pen. Police have said the only thing written on this piece of paper was numbers, and investigators now think they know what those numbers mean.

So, let's go to Stephanie Elam, she's live for us in Las Vegas and covering every twist and turn of this investigation. And so, what do the numbers mean, Stephanie?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, this is the newest development that we have on this, and that investigators believe that the numbers were actually calculations. This news first being reported by CBS. What they believe is this was calculations related to the distance and trajectory from his 32nd floor window to the concert venue. That's what they believe now was on that note.

Of course, this does not help - doesn't make it any clearer what his motive was, why this 64 year old man would do this, still unclear about that, why he would do this, and that is very frustrating for investigators at this point. Usually, within a couple of days, they're able to pinpoint why someone would do something so heinous. They still do not have a clear motive here.

Also something else worth noting, Brooke, is the man who really helped bring this man down, and that is the security guard who came up to the 32nd floor from Mandalay Bay, his name is Jesus Campos. He came up because there was an alarm for an open door on the 32nd floor and a room several doors down from the shooter's suite. When he came up on to the floor, they believe that the shooter saw through his cameras that were rigged outside in the hall that this man was coming, shot through the door, wounding Campos in the leg.

But if it hadn't been for him showing up, they believe it's just a coincidence that he showed up, it took away the shooter's attention from shooting in the venue. They say he never did shoot back outside again, and because of that, Campos was able to alert security and then helped first responders, police, to get up there to the floor much more quickly than they could have otherwise. And Brooke, without that, just think about how many more people may have died in this incident, had that not happened.

BALDWIN: That's what we're all thinking when we hear that detail, this random alarm coincidently going off a couple of doors down. So, we have those pieces of information. It's been nearly a week now, Stephanie. I mean, police have gone through his home, they've gone through his phone, they've gone through his computers, everyone is asking the question why. It won't explain any of it, but do they have any lead to any sort of motivation here?

ELAM: No, and they are even talking about chasing down some thousand leads and not being able to figure it out. You know, the other detail that we learned too is the fact that his car had 50 pounds of Tannerite it, which is an explosive. It also had some 1,600 rounds of ammunition in it as well. They don't know why he was doing that. They also say that they have reason to believe he was trying - he had planned to leave his suite after this massacre that he was planning. But they didn't give detail as to why they thought that.

Still unclear why anyone would do this, unclear why this man had done this, and why there's no footprint. But they believe that it must be very hard for someone to plan out something so intricate and not have had any help anywhere along the way. So they're asking people to really - if they remember anything, anything that may seem odd, to speak up and say something and let the authorities decide whether or not it's nothing or not.

BALDWIN: Stephanie, thank you so much. Stephanie Elam in Las Vegas. I want to hone in a little bit more on this note left in this hotel room and the calculations. So, with me now on the phone, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Art Roderick. He is the former Assistant Director of US Marshals Office. So, Art, with the calculations here scribbled on this note, the distance and trajectory from that 32nd floor, does that sound to you like someone who truly knew what he was doing here?

[22:20:00]

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Not exactly, Brooke. Look, I went through training as a counter sniper for the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group. And that was old school style of how to get downwind, elevation, trajectory of your bullets so that you could keep on target, and that's what he did.

You kept a notebook off to the side, you laid down in a prone position, you looked at windage, elevation, you looked at the distance to your target, you write it all down to figure out what the trajectory of your rounds are going to be. That's not unusual, that makes sense to me. And considering that he sat back away from the window and found a position that they could not see the flash out of the rifle barrel to me means he knew what he was doing.

I keep going back to the fact that I would love to see what his library had and also what he was looking up for sniper classes, for sniper books. Because this is classic - this is what you do when you're a trained sniper.

BALDWIN: That's what I was sitting there wondering, though, as you read about this note. You could only learn so much from a YouTube video.

RODERICK: Right.

BALDWIN: I mean, how do you train to learn these sorts of things, the physics, as you pointed out, the weather, how would he have learned this?

RODERICK: Well, he's not making a 1,000 yard shot. He's making a 400 to 500 yard shot. And you know, I hate to sound cold and calculated, but the reality of it is that's not a difficult shot to make with the two weapons that he had there, the.223 AR15 and the.308 caliber sniper rifle that he had rigged for that particular situation, and that's not a difficult shot.

But you would take down - because he was such a - because he was elevated at such a high position, he took those calculations down, and I hate to say it, but I would do the same thing in that particular situation. I would have worked out those calculations and figured out how to keep as many bullets on target as I could.

BALDWIN: Here's my other question. I hear you saying it wasn't a tough shot, but I'm also left wondering how physically demanding it was for him to do this. You know, firing at that rate of speed for as long as he was from above, imagine you get caught, a smoke detector went off, I mean this was a 60-something year old man who doesn't totally look like a Navy SEAL.

RODERICK: Right. And I'm sure he had major adrenaline pumping through his system. I mean, he kept on target for ten minutes and then completely shifted his focus. Thank goodness for the security guard Campos that came up and changed--

BALDWIN: Because the alarm was going off.

RODERICK: -- the level of focus. Yes, and the alarm was going off. So, there was a lot of things going on at that particular time, and the adrenaline pumping through his system must have been unbelievable. But I just can't imagine what was going through his head at that point in time when he was looking at that crowd of people and just firing those rounds nonstop.

And we heard the rat-a-tat-tat of the way those bullets come out of that machine gun from that bump stock. But it is - you know, I can't even imagine what was going through his mind. I don't think anybody that has a sane mind understands what was going through this madman's mind at that time.

[22:25:00]

BALDWIN: Yes, special place in hell, Art Roderick.

RODERICK: Yes, exactly.

BALDWIN: Thank you, thank you so much.

RODERICK: Thanks Brooke.

BALDWIN: Back here on our storm coverage tonight, powerful winds, heavy rain, even tornado watches across three states. We are tracking the very latest with Hurricane Nate. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: It is our breaking news this Saturday night, a Category 1 hurricane making landfall in the American Gulf Coast. The storm called Nate rushed up into Louisiana from the Gulf of Mexico, triggering evacuation warnings from New Orleans, all the way to the Florida Panhandle.

Right now, the storm is packing sustained winds of about 85 miles per hour. Rosa Flores is live for us tonight in New Orleans. So, Rosa, officials there understandably take hurricane threats very, very seriously. But is it looking like hopefully New Orleans avoided the worst of it?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it really is looking like that, Brooke, and I know you love this city, I love this city, and it really looks and sounds like New Orleans has dodged the bullet here. You can see around me, there's very, very light rain. We had a few bands earlier, but nothing major.

One of the big concerns of course is still potential storm surge around Lake Pontchartrain, but that's pretty much it. The hurricane warning was downgraded to a tropical storm warning. The curfew that was issued by the Mayor was lifted just a few hours after it was listed, and so that's the good news, Brooke.

The good news is that people are back here on the streets of New Orleans, people are back celebrating, we've seen multiple weddings. I think it's safe to say that for now New Orleans have dodged the bullet, and I'm really happy to report that.

BALDWIN: I saw your second line, wedding video right in front of the Cafe du Monde, I love it, I love it. Rosa Flores, thank you. Let's go to Tom Sater now in the CNN Weather Center. So, Tom, you know hopefully New Orleans is all right. You were talking earlier, and I think it's really important to emphasize this whole storm surge issue, talking to the Mayor of Biloxi, you know that was his big concern, is it more wind, is it more rain that's the issue?

SATER: Well, that's a great question, because this is not a Maria, it's not an Irma, it's not a Katrina, but the area of concern is a small core near the center, which will be from Biloxi and then eastward. But again, you know, the last couple of days, broke the path, or the track was right over New Orleans, and then we had a little bit of an eastern jog. So, it really did save New Orleans.

We saw that earlier in the day, didn't wanted to say anything just yet because all of the wind has been from the core eastward. They were barely getting gale winds on the western side of that. So, good news there.

Well, look at the winds, 85 miles per hour; you take those winds sustained in the storm and then you couple that with its movement at 20 miles per hour. So your wind damage, actually you're looking at maybe over 100 miles per hour, 105 miles per hour winds. So there will be some power outages. But really, it is going to be about the threat of tornados now, that the system is getting closer, it's going to be about the storm surge. And I think that's the greatest threat right now.

So as we look again, we're only about 40 miles from Biloxi and the coastline. Let's break it down and look at Google Earth of the concerns of what we're going to have as far as the system approaches with the storm surge.

In New Orleans, as mentioned, you're pretty much safe. My concern is Lake Pontchartrain because the winds are going to be coming in from the north and that's going to shove the water into the northern part of New Orleans three feet to six feet, so that could be a problem, maybe a minor problem. It's not going to be a Katrina, and the levees are going to hold.

[22:30:00]

Notice Bay St. Louis because all the winds are going to be pushing that water into the bay, Pass Christian, Gulfport, everyone here is going to see a see a pretty good storm surge. As we continue then to the east, Pascagoula already seeing a 3.5-foot surge, and if you go over into around Mobile Bay, they're going to find the water pushed up into that area.

So let's break it down as far as what the height will be in different locations. When you see yellow on this map, that is three to six feet. When you see orange, that is six to nine feet. And anything red is over nine feet.

This is, of course, what we are looking at here is where we had our first landfall at 6:55, Plaquemines Parish came right over. This was red earlier for the north wind but, because the system is backing off in that area, we're only looking at maybe a six to nine foot.

But then you get into Bay St. Louis and the northern coastline, notice the red, that's over nine feet. So the wall of water will be pushing that area and along the entire coastline. Sliding to the east, here is Biloxi and it's not just the first little inlets, it's all the canals well inland that water is going to get shoved for several hours up into that area, Pascagoula, well north of that area, and one more stop we'll take a look at here is Mobile Bay.

Again in Mobile, but northward blue, one to three feet and yellow, three to six feet. So there's still going to be some concern here, but it is not a broad storm, and that is great news and it will not make it to Category 2 status.

BALDWIN: OK. Good, that is a good thing. Tom Sater, thank you. Speaking of Biloxi, I've got storm chaser Mike Theiss with us. He's in Biloxi right this very moment. So, Mike Theiss, you know, talk to me about storm surge and just what you're seeing out there right now.

MIKE THEISS, STORM CHASER: Sure. Like you said, it looks like we did dodge a huge bullet with this storm not strengthening to a 2 or higher. But if you look behind me, you could see the storm surge coming in right now live in my view. This is coming up into the parking lot at the casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. And it has only begun. This came up this high in the last 15 to 20 minutes, where it is hard to come in over the road here.

BALDWIN: So, what are you looking to do as a storm chaser, Mike? What are you hoping to see?

THEISS: Well, I've just come here to document these. I feel it's important for history to document wind speed, pressure, and video and visuals to pass of to future generations. Like I said, I think we dodged the bullet with this one because it easily could have been strengthening and right before landfall started coming unraveled a little bit.

But storm surge is going to be an issue. I don't want to downplay this, because it still has that surge pushing out quite a bit. And as you could see behind me, the surge continues to rise.

BALDWIN: No, I think Tom made the point and we saw on the red on his map, storm surge, you know, nine feet and northwards. So, you know Biloxi, I'm sure you've chased storms down there before. Are people prepared?

THEISS: People are prepared, yes, for sure. I mean they went through Katrina, and they've gone through some really bad hurricanes here. They're definitely prepared for this and I think everyone may be breathing a sigh of relief.

BALDWIN: OK. Mike Theiss, thank you so much, in Biloxi. We'll take you back to this hurricane coverage, Hurricane Nate, in a moment, but let's talk Charlottesville. The last time these neo-Nazis were there in Virginia, riots broke out. Tonight, very briefly, they return.

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BALDWIN: Welcome back. You are watching CNN on this Saturday Night. I'm Brooke Baldwin. A group of white nationalists returned to Charlottesville, Virginia this evening, carrying tiki torches, marching to the Robert E. Lee statue.

[22:35:00]

Keep in mind, this weekend is a big deal in Charlottesville; it marks the University of Virginia's bicentennial, and of course, you remember, it was Charlottesville where these white nationalists rallied in droves last August. That rally turned deadly after a group of counter-protestors were run over by a car, and one young woman, Heather Heyer, was killed.

The Mayor of Charlottesville has responded to tonight's rally. He tweeted this a short while ago, I'll read it for you, "Another despicable visit by neo-Nazi cowards. You're not welcome here! Go home! Meantime we're looking at all our legal options. Stay tuned."

I have CNN's local commentator, Marc Lamont Hill, with me. He's a host with BET News. And so, just beginning with you - I've been reading about this, you know, 20 minutes, much smaller crowd. It seemed like not violent, but still they were back.

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN LOCAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, they were back. They are very committed to the idea of saying that this statue removal is a problem. But they also decry the loss of white rights. They said the Republican Party is not defending white rights, white interest. That this is a white nation; it needs to be protected.

I mean typical white nationalist rant you heard there. But the crowd was much smaller. The response was a little bit different. The mayor said all the right things. I mean this is different from a few weeks ago, but we don't want to also diminish how significant it is, particularly when they scream, "We'll be back."

That is a terror - I mean when you are talk about terrorism, this is domestic terrorism.

BALDWIN: Yes.

HILL: That's a kind of threat. When the clan says we are coming back, that has always been a threat historically. And this is no different.

BALDWIN: They have said that they would be back last time, when we covered in August. We remember the way President Trump responded and responded again, and then he was, you know, extraordinarily criticized. There was his whole on both sides comment. Do you hope that he weighs in? Do you hope his response is different this time?

HILL: Yes, I actually do hope that he responds and I hope he gives the ideal response. Right. The ideal response is, similar to the mayor, this was despicable, there's no place for this kind of ideology in our nation. Although it exists, we hate it. And that's all we have to say about it. We don't want to give this more oxygen than it needs.

That's what White House should say. What Trump will say, who knows.

BALDWIN: Right.

HILL: Right. He could say, I like white people. He really likes the tiki torches. I really like - you know, who knows what he'll say.

BALDWIN: Right.

HILL: But I'd like to see leadership here. I think one thing that the White House learned from the last time is that they couldn't ignore this. Many times Trump says things that people find offensive and he just brushes past it.

BALDWIN: But they couldn't the last time. I mean Heather Heyer was killed; all the violence--

HILL: Right.

BALDWIN: He had to say something.

HILL: He has.

BALDWIN: He said the wrong thing.

HILL: Right. Then he doubled down on the wrong thing. And then he tried to come back. And then he just, last night, Donald Trump, Jr. comes back and defends those comments again. So it's an interesting moment and time for this to happen. So, this time around, I think the White House will be much more measured, much more careful and hopefully give a better response.

BALDWIN: What's your - I mean it was a huge weekend in Charlottesville, the bicentennial, attending all UVA - tons and tons of people were in town. Obviously they were marching across, I think on grounds, around grounds, hoping to call attention to themselves.

HILL: Right.

[22:40:00]

BALDWIN: I hear in saying don't downplay it; it is horrendous that these people showed back up. But, do you see it as a positive that they kind of came through with their tiki torches and that was that?

HILL: Yes, I mean, look, the worst-case scenario was much worse than this.

BALDWIN: Yes.

HILL: We could see violence. We don't want to see another death - I mean the tragic death of Heather Heyer is still lingering in our minds, as it should be. So I'm happy that they came, they marched, they left and no one said much about it. The fact that they didn't have a huge crowd is also significant. The fact that there wasn't a big uproar is significant. I'm happy about all that stuff.

At the same time, we have to remind ourselves that this is a sector of the American public. Many people didn't believe that this number of people would have come out. Certainly not the number of people that came out last time. So, it's important we cover it, it's important that we talk about it, and it's important that we know that this is an artifact of a much bigger cultural moment--

BALDWIN: Right.

HILL: -- in the United States. And so, I hope we keep talking about it, but also that we don't give it too much oxygen. I think we are doing a pretty good balance of it right now.

BALDWIN: Right.

HILL: Hopefully, the White House follows that lead.

BALDWIN: We'll see if they do. Stay tuned to the Twitter page of the President.

HILLL: Eyes glued.

BALDWIN: Mine as well. Hill, thank you so much.

HILLL: My pleasure.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

President Trump with a new cryptic message, this one on North Korea. What will work and what will we figure out soon; let's talk about that; coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

President Trump back in Washington this evening after a quick trip to Republican fundraiser in Greensboro, North Carolina. But before he left, the President went on a tweet storm, and shall we call it a talk storm about North Korea and ObamaCare, and his Chief of Staff, and his relationship with his Secretary of State. So, let's go to Greensboro and our White House Reporter, Kaitlan Collins who's there.

And Kaitlan, let's go back a week to when - earlier this week, the President was talking to reporters, referred to this calm before the storm but didn't offer any more details. So, he told a reporter in a follow-up, you'll find out. Have we found out yet?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: No, we haven't. The President was actually asked directly today on the South Lawn as he was departing for that fundraiser here in North Carolina, what he meant and what storm he was referring to. And his answer today just left reporters guessing with more. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

REPORTER: Could you clarify your calm before the storm comment? DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Nothing to clarify.

REPORTER: What is the one thing that will work regarding North Korea?

TRUMP: Well, you'll figure that out pretty soon.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

[22:50:00]

COLLINS: So that calm before the storm wasn't the only vague remark that the President has made this week. He was asked just there at the end about a North Korea remark that he made on Twitter today after he lamented that he said that 25 years of bad negotiations with North Korea and there was only one thing left to do. But, he didn't tell anyone what that one thing left to do is, and when he was asked on the South Lawn about it, he said that you'll figure it out pretty soon.

So this is a string of cryptic remarks that we've seen from the President this week and nothing clarified from the White House. I did ask the Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, about that remark about North Korea, asked what that one option left to do is. And she said that she had nothing to add to what the President said, but did maintain that all options are still on the table with North Korea, Brooke.

BALDWIN: OK, so the world scratching its head on both of those points. What about, you know, he was asked about his relationship with Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State. What did he say?

COLLINS: Yes, so things are at an all-time high this week - between these two men this week after it was reported that the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, referred to the President as a moron over the summer. But the President was asked about his relationship with him on the South Lawn, he said they have a good relationship but did admit that they have some disagreements and that he thinks Tillerson needs to be a little bit tougher in some areas.

We know what one of those disagreements is, and it's North Korea because after Tillerson told a group of reporters that he had a line of communication to North Korea, the President swiftly got on Twitter and said that he shouldn't waste his time trying to negotiate with them. But the President for right now is maintaining at least publicly that things are all good between him and the Secretary of State, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Kaitlan, all right, thank you. Brought up a couple of points, was discussed. I have Amie Parnes with me here on this Saturday Night. She is a senior political analyst, senior political correspondent at The Hill and she is coauthor of Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign. So, Amie Parnes, thanks for hanging out on the Saturday Night.

AMIE PARNES, THE HILL SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks.

BALDWIN: Let's just begin with initially what I was asking Kaitlin about the whole - the calm before the storm comments, you know, what does that mean. It almost sounds like a whole stay tuned to the next episode.

PARNES: Yes. I mean, it's very, ought to be apprehensive (ph), reality show host saying these things. And I think a lot of people in the room were like, is this bluster? No one knows if it's truth or bluster or if it's - if he's really saying something about Iran or North Korea.

BALDWIN: It was significant because he was flanked by military brass, so one would--

PARNES: Right.

BALDWIN: -- assume that it's military related, so it's like eeny, meeny, is it Iran, is it North Korea, which is a huge deal.

PARNES: Either way, it's a national security risk. A lot of people that I've spoken to recently say, you can't telegraph what the United States is about to do; that's bad for everyone involved. It's bad for our armed forces, it's bad for...

BALDWIN: Even he (ph) said you shouldn't telegraph.

PARNES: Right.

BALDWIN: (INAUDIBLE) for so long.

PARNES: Yes, and here we are. And yes, so I think it's not playing very well, I think, you know, outside the White House.

BALDWIN: Finally under the guessing game, these are some of the tweets I wanted to ask you about presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years. This is the President; agreements made and massive amounts of money paid; hasn't worked; agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work. Again today, he was asked, sir, what's the one thing? He's not saying.

PARNES: Right.

BALDWIN: If he's saying that, you know, what Secretary of State Tillerson has done and the talking isn't working, then is that off the table and are we talking a military option? Is there another option? You can't read the President's mind.

PARNES: Right.

BALDWIN: But I mean we're all left wondering.

PARNES: Yes, and there's clearly a disagreement because I think people like Rex Tillerson want to continue to discuss. There are other people I think inside the White House who want to keep all options on the table and kind of are pushing back lately at his notion that, you know, no, there is only one option. I think they - that a lot of people want to continue discussions and they kind of want to go in that direction. And you're seeing the disagreements kind of playout; this huge disagreement among - with Tillerson and even with McMaster in Iran.

BALDWIN: Yes.

PARNES: I mean there's a lot of disagreement going on inside the White House over foreign policy right now - disagreement with the President.

BALDWIN: Right. Since we mentioned Tillerson and Kaitlin, there were the reports that he called the President a moron at the Pentagon over the summer and you know, much ado this week about their relationship and he's, you know, full-throated (ph) endorsements from the President on his relationship with Secretary Tillerson. Secretary Tillerson is someone widely, widely respected. Do you think - just given the track record of others, do you think he's safe?

PARNES: If I were to guess, I don't think he is. I think this week, he was kind of backed into a corner, he was playing to an audience of one, which is why - he is a guy who doesn't talk to the press and here he was giving a press conference.

BALDWIN: Forced to go out and praise the President.

PARNES: Right. And then moments later, you had Donald Trump - President Trump go out there and tweet about it. So he clearly was watching, wanted his secretary of State to do just as much. He was waiting for that and now you have him sort of saying the relationship is good. It's not that good. It has never been that great.

He has always felt like he was in the shadows of Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon at the time. You know, Donald Trump, President Trump is sending Jared Kushner out to the Middle East instead of Rex Tillerson. There's always been that kind of tension there from the beginning.

BALDWIN: OK. Amie Parnes, thank you so much.

PARNES: Thank you.

[22:55:00]

BALDWIN: Thank you. Hurricane Nate weakening slightly and soon it will make a second landfall along the Gulf Coast. We are live the next couple of hours here on CNN tracking the storm. I'm Brooke Baldwin, back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Good evening, I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me on this special Saturday Night. You're watching CNN special coverage of the third hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland all of six weeks.

Fast-moving Hurricane Nate hitting the Gulf Coast with strong winds and heavy rainfall. A first landfall came through at the mouth of the Mississippi river about three hours ago now. But we are watching here for a second landfall near Biloxi. That's expected very, very soon. And let me tell you tonight that there are warnings and watches for storms, tornadoes and surges all the way from Louisiana eastward toward Florida Panhandle. And the storm has already started knocking out power in Alabama. Folks along the Gulf Coast bracing for a long, nervous night.

And we have reporters ready go at all these different locations here. Tom Sater is ready to go as well tracking Nate for us. So, Tom, let me just begin with you. I mean, my goodness, you had Harvey and then Irma.

SATER: Yes.

BALDWIN: And now we're talking Nate. What is going on this year?

SATER: Yes, we went 12 years without a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S., the longest drought in history and we're make up for lost time. But, Brooke, believe it or not, Nate is the ninth consecutive named storm to make it to hurricane strength. You've got to be kidding me.

BALDWIN: Crazy.

SATER: Yes. And that has only happened once before, in 1890