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Twenty-plus Million under Red Flag Fire Alert; Freed Taliban Hostage Says Captors "Authorized" Infant Killing; President Trump Decertifies Iran Deal, Kicks it over to Congress; President Trump Unravels Obama's Legacy; Trump Ends Health Subsidies For Lower-Income Americans; Puerto Ricans Drinking Water From Hazardous-Waste Site; Police Change Timeline Of Mass Shooting Again. Aired 11a-12n ET
Aired October 14, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:55] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. It's 11:00 on the East Coast.
Welcome. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin with wildfires still raging in California this morning. Take a look at this shocking rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here. Come on. Screw your shoe. Come on. She's disabled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, all right. Let me get her feet. Let me get her feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her husband's right behind you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff wants (INAUDIBLE) we'll do a carry out. Ready.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on, hold on, hold up. There's a house on fire. Let's go. You got to get her up. You got to get her up.
Ok, hold on. There we go. Ok. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Watch your leg. Watch your leg.
Sir -- we've got to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Wow, see the urgency in rescuing a disabled person while the threat of fire looms there. Right now more than 20 million people are under a dangerous red flag fire warning. This comes as more than 20 active wildfires are scorching the state. So far 36 people are dead and more than 200 others remain unaccounted for. This stunning dash-cam footage capturing the dire situation right there in Sonoma County -- deputies driving through walls of flames as trees are engulfed in fire there.
CNN national correspondent Ryan Young is in Santa Rosa. So, Ryan -- what are you seeing there right now?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the situation really has changed. We've been up since about 1:00 a.m.
And as we were driving into several different locations we started noticing a fire in the distance and we've actually had to move in the last 20 minutes or so because we wanted to show you what everyone's dealing with here. And this kind of shows you just how much smoke when you're talking about those red flag conditions.
Before this was a small fire on the side of the mountain. In fact, we couldn't even see it with our camera. And over the last few hours it's just grown larger and larger and larger. And you can see the smoke plume that is now heading back towards all the places where people live here.
And we talked about this today. The conditions were going to be challenging for firefighters because of the fact that the winds are going to be 20 to 40 miles per hour. It was going to be the day that weather was going to provide a challenge to firefighters.
In fact 8,000 firefighters are fighting this -- all the fires because of course, you talked about there are more than 17 fires out there. And when you put the fact the firefighters have been trying to do their best with this, but then you see this sort of grow right before our eyes and the fact we've been told more evacuations are going on as we speak.
They're trying to get residents out of the way of fires burning just like this one. And we're in a neighborhood right now where the entire neighborhood is gone. And this is the third or fourth neighborhood that we've been in that's just like this one. So it shows you the challenge the firefighters have to deal with.
Add in the fact that 36 people have already died and this is the deadliest fire in California's history. You see the challenges that everyone's facing.
In fact, cops have been around us all morning long because they're making sure they secure these areas, not letting residents back in. Of course, so many people want to see their homes, but at the same time they are trying to make sure the situation is safe.
And when you look back this direction and just see the challenges they are facing, there's nothing they can do with that. And in fact, we've seen helicopters fly in and try to drop water on it.
But this has been the challenge all week long when you watch that video of those police officers trying to go in and save someone. We've talked to people who said when they realize that a fire was coming toward their home they had less than five minutes to get out.
One lady told us last night she was terrified. Her husband ran for the car. They were barely able to get their dog out. We hear stories like that over and over again from people who are still terrified by the idea that not only has their home burned down, but the fires continue and they are not sure if they'll have to move again.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. So Ryan -- you talk about some people who want to go back, you know, to areas where the fire's already swept through. But then you talk about evacuations, you look at that amazing imagery of rescuers trying to get a disabled person out and at the same time you see other video of them driving through walls of fire.
[11:05:01] In those areas that still need to be evacuated, how in the world are people able to get through if you see firefighters going through walls of fire in their vehicles?
YOUNG: Well, this is the one thing that we've noticed over and over. We had that outbreak on Sunday where the fire was moving with those heavy winds 60 to 70 miles per hour. Luckily, we haven't had that again.
But what you do have is -- and I'm going to have everyone kind of turn this direction -- that's a house right here. Right in front of us, that's where a house was on that hill. That house is gone and that repeats itself, I think, 55 times just in the little stretch that we are in around us.
But there are homes that made it. You can see where the wind pushed the fire from treetops over a street on to the next house. And then the idea is people did evacuate.
So when you add all that together, people are worried. They are not even sure if their home burned down or survived. You can understand why they are upset and wanting to know more information but right now they just can't.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Young -- we'll check back with you. Thank you so much.
So again, 36 people thus far dead and more than 200 others still unaccounted for.
Deputy Fire Chief Scott McClain joining me right now on the phone. So, Chief -- what are you up against to try to further contain these fires?
SCOTT MCCLAIN, DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF (via telephone): Let's discuss what happened earlier this morning. We're talking about the Nun fire, the fire increased to the north/northwest, just north of Highway 12. I don't have (INAUDIBLE) on that right now. But unfortunately, due to the wind conditions and the type of fire and the fuels, those winds are causing that fire to be very erratic, going in several different directions. The winds constantly change direction in that area. Just giving you an insight on that and that area has been evacuated this morning early.
And now the lower part of the Nuns fire on the southwest side towards the community of Sonoma, that fire has come out and burned roughly 300 acres. But at this point in time the winds are pushing this fire on the outskirts of Sonoma, so it's not heading into town.
There has been some damage on the perimeter, but right now it's moving in a south/southeasterly direction. A lot of resources, as we are always able to do, very flexible, a lot of resources left.
As soon as these start to develop, I have watched strike team after strike team after strike team go by on Highway 12. The whole base camp pretty much emptied out with all the equipment and resources here.
8:00 this morning, which is now, we have air attack up on these fires getting high on them. Still behind me I can see the smoke developing from the Nun fire on the perimeters. We'll have aircraft up already. We've got all these ground resources in there fighting the fire right now.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. Chief -- that's extraordinary. Unbelievable conditions, and you talk about, you know, the wind conditions and the constant change and how flexible your teams have to be.
WHITFIELD: The strike teams that you're using over and over again, you know, in waves. You mentioned the air assets. Particularly when you have the density of, you know, of smog and smoke in the air, you've got these wind conditions. How are you using the air assets?
MCCLAIN: The air assets are available. We have on all the fires in California right now, just to give you a picture, over 70 helicopters are available.
On the fire I mentioned, there's roughly upwards almost to 20 helicopters that are going to be used on the Nun fire to the north we call pocket fire, which is very aggressive, definitely not as big. However, we can't take the chance that it could break out, as well. So we have over 12 helicopters on that.
Air tankers, give you something for perspective -- 747, two DC- 10s, and I believe between nine and 13 large air tankers lying out in McClellan Air Base in Sacramento to these fires. They've pumped record amounts of retardant so far yesterday, well, well over 330,000 gallons.
That's just one air attack base. That's not to mention any of the others in the state that we're using.
WHITFIELD: You all are doing extraordinary work. And quickly, Deputy Chief -- before I let you go, we saw some images of controlled burns. Explain briefly to those unparticular with how you're able to use those control burns to your advantage. MCLAIN: Control burns we're discussing back fires. They are not --
anyway, we'll leave that, but backfires are where we use fire to fight fire. We take that fuel out ahead of where that fire is heading to.
So it's a common tool, but it's a thought-out process. We make sure it's going to work. We have to make sure what kind of weather we're dealing with. We need to know what the weather is in the future. So there's a lot of variables and we need to make sure before we put the fire on the ground.
WHITFIELD: All right. Amazing work you all are doing. Deputy Chief Scott McLain -- we're wishing you the best, of course. Thank you so much.
[11:09:51] All right. Still ahead -- after five years in captivity, a couple walks free and now they are speaking out about what happened while under hostage by the Taliban. That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA BOYLE, HOSTAGE: The stupidity and evil of the Haqqani networks kidnapping up a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Canadian Joshua Boyle there upon his release after being held captive in Afghanistan and now this disturbing claim by him and the family after being held by the Taliban for five years.
Joshua Boyle, along with his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their three children, all of whom were born while in captivity, arrived safely in Canada last night. Boyle told reporters in Toronto that his kidnappers authorized the killing of one of his children and raped his wife.
[11:15:00] CNN international correspondent Paula Newton joins me now with more on this. So Paula -- you spoke with Boyle's father, as well. What did he say?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he alluded to a little bit of this. And what he really knew from speaking to his son on the phone was that he was incredibly angry and wanted to get the true story out.
What does that mean? That even on proof of life videos, Fred, Caitlan Coleman, his American wife, had alluded to the fact that she had been, in her words, defiled in front of her children.
He wanted to make clear that his wife was severely abused by his captors and also alluded to what they were describing as a forced abortion. You know, Fred, we don't have any more details than that. And, you know, Joshua Boyle's family has only spoken to him a couple of times on the phone and now he's been on the ground for less than about 12 hours.
They are sleeping right now at their family home, at the Boyle's home, trying to get some much-needed rest. But Fred-- there are still a lot of questions here about what went on during those five years. And this is a family still trying to cope with so much.
And I want to point out, Fred that the family of Caitlan Coleman hasn't said much. Caitlan Coleman herself has not said a lot. She's not spoken to many people and not said much at all in the phone calls and she did not appear at the airport.
But Caitlan Coleman's family, her father, spoke to ABC News and really voiced what a lot of people had on their minds. Why did you take a pregnant woman into that area in the first place? He described it as unconscionable.
And the point here, Fred -- is that they will face a lot of questions now that they have returned from security services -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: So it all began. For those who are just getting wind of this, Joshua Boyle and Caitlan while she was pregnant going hiking in a province outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. And then from there they become hostage over a five-year period.
It is a very complicated story, and many have many questions about exactly what transpired, how they were captured, and what led to the eventual release.
All right. Paula -- as you learn more, thank you so much for bringing it to us. Paula Newton in Ottawa.
All right, Congress will now have to take up the task of what to do with the Iran nuclear agreement. President Trump declined to recertify the deal Friday, saying Iran is no longer in compliance with the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration. Trump said he may go even further by at least a step if necessary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President -- you had said you were going to rip the Iran deal up. You call it the worst ever?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I may do that. I may do that. The deal is terrible. So what we've done is through the certification process, we'll have Congress take a look at it. And I may very well do that, but I like a two-step process much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Iran responded by saying any action against the deal is, quote, "a strategic mistake and would draw a strong and unified reciprocal reaction". I want to bring in military and diplomatic analyst John Kirby, he's also the former State Department spokesperson; and CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott.
All right. Good to see both of you.
So John -- you first. You know, Trump says it's terrible when describing the existing Iran deal, and that Iran has multiple violations, but from what perspective is that true?
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, actually, from no perspective is that true. I mean, actually, Iran is complying with the deal as the International Atomic Energy Association has now certified since it went into effect. They do this every quarter.
They are in compliance with the deal. And it's important for people to understand that the deal was about their nuclear program. Not all the other destabilizing activities that we know they continue to conduct. There are sanctions in place -- multilateral sanctions, as well as U.S. sanctions and other things that we can do to deal with that destabilizing activity, their support for terrorism, for instance.
But the deal as it was designed is working. They have destroyed more than 13,000 centrifuges. They've dismantled their heavy water reactor. 97 percent of their enriched uranium is now gone. What was two to three-month breakout time before the deal is now more than a year and will be so for ten years coming.
So there's nothing factual when the President says they are not in compliance with the deal.
WHITFIELD: So, Elise -- you know, other countries in this deal are imploring the U.S. not to propose any changes, because in so doing would mean effectively that the U.S. has breached the deal.
So how might this impact how potentially, say, North Korea interprets the U.S. influence or even isolation globally?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really interesting that all of the countries that were parties to the deal have come out and said we're not open for renegotiation.
And now countries like France, Britain, Germany are lobbying congress not to re-impose sanctions. They've already kind of bypassed the administration and now know that this sits with Congress because they want to keep the Europeans onboard. They want to go after that other destabilizing behavior, but nobody wants to reopen the agreement.
[00:20:02] And the message that people are saying, not only U.S. officials, but also allies and, you know, members of congress are saying the message it sends to North Korea is why would North Korea get into an agreement with the United States if the U.S. isn't going to stand by its agreements.
And that also kind of leaves the door open. You're not going to sign an agreement with the U.S., whether it's North Korea, whether it's NAFTA, whether it's the Paris climate change agreement, if the U.S. isn't a reliable ally. And that kind of leaves a vacuum for other countries to fill and the fear is those will be countries like Russia and China.
So it's not just about this deal, which everybody is concerned about, but the wider kind of U.S. reputation around the world that the U.S. could find itself isolated.
WHITFIELD: And in step with that, the "Washington Post" reported just yesterday that Senator Bob Corker commented that Trump's, you know, biggest challenge may be that he, quote, "has castrated his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson".
So, John -- you were at the State Department. Is that the view inside Washington? And is that a serious concern?
Kirby: I think it is a view by many inside Washington, not just Bob Corker. And I think it is a valid concern.
Now look, the White House will tell you, particularly with this North Korea business and, you know, his tweet about, hey, Rex, don't worry about negotiation, we're going to take care of it.
Some folks in the White House and the State Department will tell you that that was malice of forethought, that the President actually believed that by saying something like that he was helping pressurize the atmosphere for Tillerson to get the Chinese, to get the North Koreans to some sort of negotiation table.
I think that's a dubious claim. I mean if -- they may believe that, but I don't think that it's going to work that way. Bullies and threats -- bullying and threats don't work in that part of the world certainly, and they're not going to work with the Chinese.
I also don't think that Secretary Tillerson has, quite frankly, done himself a lot of favors here in the way he's been managing the State Department and not really leading assertively.
WHITFIELD: What do you mean?
KIRBY: Well, not really leading assertively. He still has many positions at the State Department that are unfilled. He has presided over resource cuts at the State Department. He's not exactly been a strong advocate for assertive foreign diplomacy, foreign policy.
WHITFIELD: Is it the case thought that those vacancies, not being able to fill these positions is really at the direction of the President. I mean that, you know, the secretary's, you know, hands are tied as it pertains to trying to hire people?
KIRBY: I know that -- I know there's been some tension over that, but again, you don't see him really making the case for his department as much as he should. So I don't think he's done himself any great favors as Secretary of State. That said, I do agree that the President's tweets and some of the comments that he's made, even if he thinks he's doing one thing, are actually having an opposite effect.
They are not helping Secretary Tillerson's credibility on the world stage. They're not making it easier for other people in other parts of the world to take us seriously, to take him seriously, as our chief diplomat.
LABOTT: Well, I agree. I mean look, you can't undermine your Secretary of State. And that's what I think bob corker was saying. Now look, part of this is President Trump. And he had this, you know, kind of tensions with Secretary Tillerson after the whole NBC story that he called the President a moron and such.
But this is not the first time that he's undermined his Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is out in the Gulf trying to arrange some kind of diplomacy with Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. and he'll, you know, tweet one thing that's completely opposite of what his Secretary of State is doing.
And I mean I think that he might think there's kind of a good cop, bad cop thing going on, but typically these policy positions are, you know, very carefully calibrated between the President and his national security team, and everybody needs to be on the same page.
I think you -- everybody would like to say they are on the same page -- but you have varying policy views between the administration, and that's fine. That's, you know, good for a robust policy debate before the policy is made. But once a policy is made, everybody needs to get onboard, and that includes the President if he's going to sign off on a policy.
WHITFIELD: Another example of that most recently undermining while in Beijing, Rex Tillerson seeing, and the world seeing the tweet from the President saying don't waste your time, you know, on all that talk.
KIRBY: That's right.
WHITFIELD: All right. Elise Labott, John Kirby -- thanks so much. See you again.
KIRBY: Thanks a lot.
WHITFIELD: All right. On the same day the President decertified or at least wouldn't recertify the Iran deal. He took another major issue into his own hands -- health care. Details on the executive order, the impact on Americans, and why Republicans aren't convinced -- are not convinced -- that it was the right move.
Stay with us.
[11:24:36] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
The President just arriving at the Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, Virginia. He spent the last few days taking aim at two parts of his predecessor's legacy. The President now says Iran is no longer in compliance with the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration. The fate of that agreement is now unclear and so is the future of Obamacare.
Trump dealt a potentially major blow to the Affordable Care Act after he signed an executive order taking away subsidies that help lower- income Americans afford health care.
CNN's Boris Sanchez joining us now, live at the White House. So Boris -- the President is also tweeting today about health care and what else is he up to?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there -- Fred.
Yes, as you said, the President just arriving a short while ago at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. He's accompanied by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
[00:30:02] It's actually the second time in less than a week that the two of them have spent at a Trump golf property. Likely one of the parts of the conversation they're going to be having today has to do with health care as you said earlier today, the president tweeted about his executive order that he signed on Thursday.
He writes, quote, "Very proud of my executive order, which will allow greatly expanded access and far lower costs for health care. Millions of people benefit." That executive order aimed at allowing association health plans to take hold. People banding together, small businesses banning together to get more affordable plans.
It also allows for greater flexibility when it comes to short-term health insurance plans, but simultaneously the president is also cutting subsidies to lower income Americans who rely on those subsidies to pay for health insurance.
So that puts a lot of pressure on the health insurance markets, because with fewer customers, insurance companies are likely to raise rates, even to leave certain markets altogether.
Several organizations, some 20 health care organizations, have come out expressing criticism about the executive order, including the American Cancer Society, the National Governors Association has also spoken out against the cuts to subsidies.
As well as some Democrats, including Democratic leadership in Congress, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi putting out a statement calling the executive order spiteful and cruel. Keep in mind, Fred, he is going to need their help to bring about any profound change to the Affordable Care Act, after Republicans twice failed in the Senate to get even a simple majority.
So, the president is not only putting pressure on health insurance markets, but also on Congress to get something done at a time when Congress already has its hands full. Remember, lawmakers have only about 60 days to determine what they will do with sanctions related to Iran and the Iran nuclear deal as they are also trying to get things like tax reform done, so an even busier agenda ahead for Congress -- Fred.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Boris, we'll check back with you, thank you so much. Let's talk more about all of this now, the president's executive order attempting to dismantle Obamacare and more.
Joining me right to discuss is Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst and historian and professor at Princeton University. Also with me, David Swerdlick, who is a CNN political commentator and assistant editor for "The Washington Post." Good to see you both.
All right. So, Julian, you first, Republicans couldn't pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare many times over, but the president is using this executive power to tear it down, as he says, step by step.
So, the more one thinks about it, is it really the objective of the president to eventually work with those on Capitol Hill to craft something, or is it this is a precursor to potentially more executive orders to potentially chip away at the ACA?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It might be his ambition to eventually work with Congress, but this isn't going to help. He's, obviously, burning bridges with the Democratic Party by taking steps like this, and he's causing so much chaos for the Republican Party that their heads are spinning and it's hard for them to really imagine getting back on track with an agenda. So other than repeal, there's not going to be a replace, and I think that's the big danger of the steps that he's taking.
WHITFIELD: So, David, you know, Trump says millions will be helped. So, what is this based on, if some premiums under ACA with the removal of these subsidies will go from, what, $255 a year for some cases and without the subsidies now potentially going up to premiums of $3,600 a year.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, Fred, so, I mean, he tweeted this morning that premiums would be going down and coverage would be expanded, or something to that effect, but if that could be done with a stroke of a pen, someone would have already done that. Congress would have already taken that approach. It's not that simple.
WHITFIELD: He says via tweet this morning, millions will be helped. But when you look at those numbers, I mean, how is it? It seems as though people will, over time, not be able to afford those premiums. So, those millions of people will benefit according to his tweet, what is that based on?
SWERDLICK: Yes, so I think what the president wants to put out there and what Republicans to an extent want to put out there is this idea that with the new rule making he's done with this executive order, that independent contractors or small business people will be able to buy these association health plan, type plans across state lines, plans that might be cheaper for them, that might allow them to sort of pool together to get into cheaper programs.
The problem is, most experts will say, many cases they fear these plans will be plans that are cheaper because they don't cover as much and they will also drive healthier people to the cheap plans and sicker people into the Obamacare plans, which will have a negative effect on these Obamacare plans and ultimately destabilize the health care market overall.
[11:35:12] Again, I think it's a situation where if it was as simple as the president was trying to portray it, that this would have already been done legislatively, as Julian said a moment ago, I do think that the president likes the idea of being able to get things done with executive orders.
But the more he does it, the harder it will be to get things done with Congress down the road, including tax reform, which you can't do by executive order. The president can't say taxes are coming down by signing a document. You've got to have legislation.
WHITFIELD: Right, and, David, if the plan is ACA is worsened as a result of all of these changes, executive order et cetera, who gets the blame on this? The president seems to believe it's the Democrats and the Obama administration, but would that really be the case?
SWERDLICK: Well, as long as Obamacare is not fully repealed, I think the president will try to put the message out there, as he has already that any problems that people see with rising premiums or less access to care is a result of Obamacare.
The problem is that when the Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress, a fix in their view is within their power completely. They don't actually need Democrats, and so it's a little hollow to say this is a problem of President Obama or Democrats, because they don't control anything at this point.
WHITFIELD: Quickly, Julian, is the president eventually hoping to forge a relationship with members of Congress? We see he's going golfing today with Senator Lindsey Graham. Might he be able to count on them for his tax reform plans?
ZELIZER: No. I really don't think he's forging a relationship with members of Congress. The record is now too clear. He's broken relations with both Republicans and Democrats. He might reach out to individual members, but Congress doesn't work through individual members. It's a collective body.
You need a majority in the House and you need a sizable number in the Senate. He discovered with the repeal and replace legislation that if you don't have that kind of relationship, legislation failed. So, he's setting himself up for failure on the legislative front and I think he's going to bet everything he has on presidential power.
WHITFIELD: All right, Julian Zelizer, David Swerdlick, thanks so much.
OK, so it's been three weeks now. Three weeks since Puerto Rico was slammed by Hurricane Maria, and still 85 percent of the island's residents, at least, are living without power. We'll take you there live next.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. We're looking now at live images of the raging wildfires in California, and right now we understand that several thousand people are now being evacuated in Santa Rosa, California. That's according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
And then roughly about an hour away, about 30 miles or so away, you're looking at live images right now in Sonoma County, where firefighters there are also coming up with their strategy on how to best contain the blaze there.
They've got, of course, you know, groups on the ground who are trying to battle the blaze by the use of controlled fires in some cases, and they are also thinking about aerial assault. So, all of that taking place as the fires continue to rage there in California.
Meantime, problems continue to deepen in Puerto Rico. Water is a basic necessity of life, but in Puerto Rico clean water is a rare commodity. CNN has learned that drinking water is being dumped from a hazardous waste site on some locations there, and then add to that a recovery process that is progressing, but not nearly fast enough.
Leyla Santiago has the latest on the crisis from Puerto Rico.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New numbers today indicate still 85 percent of the island without power and still a third without clean water to drink, and this comes as CNN learns that water authorities, at least in one part of the island, in the interior of the island, are pumping water out of a federally designated hazardous waste site.
Drinking water coming from a hazardous waste site. Puerto Ricans are still oftentimes pulling water from mountainsides just to be able to take a bath, to cook with some sort of water, because water is still a big problem here. Now, this comes as President Trump calls recovery efforts here that of a great job.
Again, still a third of the island without water, and that is why speaker of the House Paul Ryan yesterday used some strong words saying that this is a humanitarian disaster. He said Puerto Rico is in crisis mode, and that the aid package that was passed just days ago was not expected to be the last one.
More delegations are expected to visit Puerto Rico next week, including the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson. The government officials here in Puerto Rico say it is very important for the lawmakers over there, the leaders, the officials, to continue seeing the devastation on this island firsthand. Leyla Santiago, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
WHITFIELD: The Las Vegas sheriff holds an emotional news conference defending his department's investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, all while the timeline of events changes.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Nearly two weeks after the most lethal shooting massacre in modern American history, authorities in Las Vegas are still trying to answer basic questions about when the killings started and why and how it stopped. Our Brian Todd has been following the story.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In an emotional and at times combative news conference, the Las Vegas sheriff once again revised his story on how the Las Vegas massacre went down. Defending his previous timeline as the result of a complex investigation and not incompetence.
SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: The word incompetence has been brought forward, and I am absolutely offended with that characterization. This is a very dynamic event, very big event. Thousands of people involved. Humans involved in documentation.
TODD: Police now say they believe hotel security guard, Jesus Campos, happened upon Stephen Paddock around the same time paddock began shooting on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1st, not six minutes before it began, as the sheriff had said on Monday.
[11:50:00] LOMBARDO: Mr. Campos received his wounds in close proximity to 22:05.
TODD: The sheriff's revised timeline once again suggests Campos; encounter with the shooter may have led police to Paddock much sooner. That's because Campos have tried to enter the 32nd floor from the stairwell next to the shooter's room, police now say, only to find it had been barricaded.
SGT. JOSHUA BITSKO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: He screwed shot the door with a piece of metal and some screws in the stairwell going out to the hallway right by his door.
OFFICER DAVE NEWTON, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: He knew we would be coming out that door to gain entry to his door so he tried barricade it as best as he could.
TODD: Police say Campos was forced to take another route to the 32nd floor, and that once in the hallway, the shooter opened fire.
Also new information from the sheriff on Paddock's tactics. He now says at one point, the killer turned his guns away from concert goers, when he saw police arriving.
LOMBARDO: It is readily apparent to me that he adjusted his fire and directed it toward the police vehicles.
TODD: With tears welling in his eyes.
LOMBARDO: Excuse me for my emotion.
TODD: Sheriff Joe Lombardo said his officers had rushed to the scene and were trying to save lives. He visited some of those officers this week.
LOMBARDO: Brady received four separate gunshot wounds. The reason I bring this one up. He asked me if I could go back to work today.
TODD: But the biggest mystery surrounding the worst mass shooting in modern American history continues to swirl.
ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE: To me, the biggest mystery is the motive, it's just very odd that we don't know why. When we look at not just mass shootings, but anything, we generally know what the motive is fairly quickly. And the mystery to me is that here we are almost two weeks out, and we have no idea why this guy did this. I think he didn't want us to know the motive. Otherwise, we would have found it out by now.
TODD (on camera): And investigators are still doggedly trying to piece that together. The sheriff saying they're trying to establish a time line of Stephen Paddock's life and everyone he was ever associated with. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
WHITFIELD: All right. So, a significant change in the Las Vegas shooting time line. The country sheriff now saying there was no six- minute gap between the first shots fired and a hotel security guard and the concert massacre.
So, let's discuss all this with CNN law enforcement contributor and retired supervisory special agent for the FBI, Steve Moore. Good to see you.
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you.
WHITFIELD: All right. So, Steve, you know, it's been 13 days since the shooting and we're getting a new version of the time line, how unusual or alarming is it to you that officials would have to change the time lines or sequence of events?
MOORE: Well, Fredricka, it's really not that unusual, believe it or not, to be revising things as you go along. There's three types of evidence you get especially in these types of cases.
Number one is someone's recollection, you get that immediately, usually when the sounds of gunfire are still going on. The next thing you get is a written record because that's on paper and they can hand it to you. The last thing you're going to get is the electronic record, which is usually the authoritative record, and the one that's going to conflict with the other two because memory is not as good as writing it down, and writing it down is not as good as an electronic record.
WHITFIELD: You heard in the piece there, perhaps most important to some is the motive, still unclear the motive behind this shooter. In your view, does coming up with an accurate time line help eventually reveal a potential motive?
MOORE: Well, it does in the way that -- for instance, when he encountered the security guard, that triggered his firing, then he stopped and he stopped when the police came. I believe he had two phases of his attack.
The first one was to kill as many people as he could right at the beginning, but the second phase was, he was going to engage the police and he set up a trap, a shooting zone. I think if they hadn't blown the door off the way they did, I think he would have executed on that plan.
WHITFIELD: So, then back to that timeline, you know, the sheriff revealing that this timeline change, you know, comes after MGM, which owns the hotel and concert venue, released a statement saying that there were only about 40 seconds between the shots fired at the security guard and concert goers.
Here's the MGM statement on the time line saying, "We are now confident that the time stated in this report is not accurate. We know shots were being fired at the festival at the same time or within 40 seconds after the time Jesus Campos first reported that shots were fired over the radio.
So, it seems MGM was right how much do police authorities and say the owner of a venue that has its own cameras and method of investigation. How often does that come together to come up with something more concrete?
MOORE: It's almost always. Fredricka, when there's a mass attack, you're going to end up going back to camera footage, audiotapes and things like that, who has those, those belong to the MGM. MGM is going to have the information before Sheriff Lombardo does. And I sympathize with his frustration and emotion, I understand it.
WHITFIELD: All right. Steve Moore, thank you so much.
MOORE: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. We have so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone and thank you so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We are continuing to follow breaking news out of California. Right now, several thousand people are being evacuated --