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False Missile Alert Terrifies People in Hawaii; African Countries Demand Apology for Shithole Remark; Trump's History of Racist Comments, Actions; Hollywood Pay Gap Scandal Roil Actor Mark Wahlberg; Flu Epidemic Sweeps Nation, 20 Children Dead. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 13, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:15] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for being with us.
Our breaking news, an entire state thrown into panic and chaos today because someone pushed the wrong button.
For 38 terrifying minutes, Hawaiian residents thought they were about to be hit with a ballistic missile because of an alerts that went out to phones and TVs. And this is what this missile alarm looked like on T.V. The most frightening words: this is not a drill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill.
If you are indoors, stay indoors.
If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows.
If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.
We will announce when the threat --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Students at the University of Hawaii, running in panic.
In Honolulu, people packed parking garages and basements, searching for cover for protection. Many of them called their loved ones and said their goodbyes. Terrified parents pulling up manhole covers and dropping their kids into the sewer pipes.
Everyone in Hawaii believed that ballistic missiles were heading their way. And why wouldn't they believe it? This alert came from the official State Emergency Center -- this is not a drill.
Nearly 40 minutes later, a sigh of relief. It was a false alarm. No missiles were coming. Hawaii's Governor is, by his own words, not a happy man today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DAVID IGE (D), HAWAII: What happened today is totally unacceptable. And many in our community was deeply affected by this, and I'm sorry. You know, I'm, too, very angry and disappointed that this happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: We'll be talking live with the Governor in just a moment, but, first, our global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, is joining us.
Elise, we now know that this false alarm was all because of one person who did one thing wrong.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. And the Governor and his top officials in the Emergency Management Agency, talking to reporters about this harrowing day for the people of Hawaii.
And, yes, the government of Hawaii, the Emergency Management Agency, was doing a kind of test of their emergency systems. And at a shift change, someone pushed the wrong button, and let everybody in Hawaii think that there was this incoming ballistic missile.
But that -- the Governor said that's not all that went wrong. Him and his top officials identified a few problems. In addition to the fact that the alert went out, it took the government 38 minutes to be able to issue a correction, letting everybody know that this was not -- this was a false alarm. There was no missile.
You know, the PACOM, the Pacific Command, who -- which the military division that is responsible for the Pacific, including Hawaii, had already let people know this was not a ballistic missile. It was a false alarm.
In addition to the fact that it took 38 minutes, not all the phones on this emergency broadcast system actually did get the text. So if this was a real emergency, because of cell phone carriers, not everybody would have gotten this message.
And then, finally, there were some sirens that -- after the alert went out, because of that alert, certain sirens went out. So double panic for the people of Hawaii. After getting those texts, sirens went off. And it turns out that this was a false alarm, Ana.
CABRERA: A lot of lessons coming out from this false alarm. Elise, stay with us.
Let's play that video again from the top of the show. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to go in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one is open.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one is a little bit bigger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Yes, people taking action here next to an open manhole. You see the text there: families are putting their kids into storm drains. A stark example of the terrifying emotions endured by the people of Hawaii today.
And also joining us now is David Sanger, the national security correspondent for "The New York Times," and Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama.
David, you wrote about the disconnect between state and federal responses today. How significant do you consider this lack of coordination?
[20:05:00] DAVID SANGER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Oh, it's pretty bad. I mean, as you've heard from Elise's report, this was an error completely within the warning system.
We have had times back in the Cold War when there were errors made in the warning systems that detected incoming Soviet missiles when there were no incoming Soviet missiles. And it was a similar kind of problem.
It was -- in 1979, there was a test tape put in a computer system at NORAD, the North American defense warning system, and it made it look as if there was an incoming Soviet missile strike. Fortunately, people figured it out right away and there was no public warning.
What's happened here, though, and I think it's more -- even more fascinating because the digital technology that allows you and the cellular technology that allows you to send these alerts out earlier, on the one hand, would give you more warning time than we would have had in a pre-cell phone age.
On the other hand, if someone has made a mistake, you're going to cause much more widespread panic. And that's what here. They just didn't have enough protections on this system.
CABRERA: Meantime, speaking of those cell phones, Juliette, if this were a real deal attack, every single person in Hawaii would need to know. That did not happen here. Not every cell phone carrier got this alert. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IGE: That is one of the questions that we are asking, why is it that some of the people didn't get the alert message on their phones? We want to understand which carriers delivered the message and whether all of their subscribers received the message, same thing. So we want to be clear about who received the message and who didn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Juliette, how does Hawaii rectify this communication breakdown?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, there are certainly three parts today. One is obviously the mistake, which is, you know -- or the alert which was a mistake. The second piece is the delay, which is, in my mind, unforgivable. And then the third is where we are, which is sort of how do you build confidence back in a system that clearly was in error?
So if there's any silver lining out of this, and I'm -- you know, it's just -- you know, you have to learn something from this -- is you have to have sort of fail-safe systems in place quickly that makes sure someone can't do this with a single press of the button.
You want redundancies in the system as well as a way to alert quickly if it is a mistake, but also learn, as the governor and emergency manager were saying, what went wrong, which was some carriers did not receive it. Because it may not be a missile attack next time, it may be something much more common of a threat for states like Hawaii like a tsunami.
So that's where they're going to look at all three pieces at this stage to sort of move forward for the state and, of course, then the local emergency management teams.
CABRERA: Elise, what possibly could world leaders have learned today about how the U.S. responds to potential missiles threats?
JORDAN: Well, I think there are a lot of raw nerves in Washington because, you know, you had all of the FBI, DHS, FEMA, all watching this very closely. And, unfortunately, it sends a message to adversaries, for instance, that Hawaii was -- you know, did not have a quick response in terms of being able to walk it back.
So I think that there is concern that the U.S. was not, you know, necessarily all on the same page, that there was a disconnect between federal and local and state officials. I think, you know, if they got any message today, it was one of confusion.
CABRERA: And yet I know, Juliette, when we spoke last, you said there were also some positive takeaways from today?
KAYYEM: So, yes. I mean, look, we have to learn from these things. That's the best we can say from such a tremendous error that so terrified people in Hawaii, sympathetic to that, obviously. But also if we need to move forward in this age of which there are considerable risks, what can we learn from it? So one interesting aspect of this is, in that gap of time between when
the state made the mistake and Hawaii's emergency managers retracted the message, NORAD, Pacific Command, other military entities, actually stepped in and made it clear to the senators, the Congress -- and they actually had their own statements -- saying this is a mistake.
So one thing to learn from this is how do we ensure that the military actually has the information to be able to step in and either correct the mistake or, God forbid, you know, sort of complement whatever message is coming out.
So I do think that there are some interesting aspects to what happened in which the military really did step up, and I know people want to turn this into politics. And I won't do so.
I actually think there's much to commend of what the military did in this regard, and it almost has nothing to do with D.C., actually everything to do with the state and local entities. The military really did help out today.
[20:10:05] CABRERA: David, clearly, Hawaii is gearing up for the possibility of a real attack. What more can you tell us about those preparations?
SANGER: Well, you know, there are some interesting lessons in the timing here. After this happened, I went back to some of the missile experts who we trust the most on the question of, what if this had been real?
What if the North Koreans really had launched a missile, maybe a test without, you know, a warhead but in Hawaii's direction? How much time would you have?
And the answer is that the flight time would be between about 32, maybe on the outside, 37 minutes. And that's pretty interesting because it would tell you -- you'd probably burn away five minutes of that just figuring out where the missile was going.
And then whatever time it took for the messages to pass down to the state system and get the message out over the cell phone alerts and the other alerts, that would leave you with under half an hour.
It took Hawaii more time, 38 minutes -- as Juliette said, that's really the unforgivable element here -- to go correct this. That's less -- that's more time than it would have taken for a missile to actually make it from Pyongyang to Hawaii.
CABRERA: That's scary to think about.
David Sanger, Elise Labott, and Juliette Kayyem. Thank you very much, all, for being with us.
We're staying on top of this breaking news. Panic after Hawaii gets a fake alert about an inbound missile, and it doesn't get corrected for 38 minutes.
We're back in a moment.
[20:15:48] CABRERA: A group that represents every country in Africa is demanding an apology from President Trump after he slurred some immigrants during a bipartisan meeting on immigration, saying they come from s-hole countries.
Now, at the same meeting, the President also asked why the U.S. needed more immigrants from Haiti.
The President denies saying these remarks specifically, but two other senators who were in that room -- one Democrat and one Republican -- confirmed he said these. And the four other senators who were there? They aren't denying it.
Let's discuss the fallout. Former spokesman for Governor Mitt Romney, Ryan Williams; CNN political commentator, Van Jones; and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan, are joining us now.
So, Ryan Williams, does the President need to apologize?
RYAN WILLIAMS, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY FOR GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: I think he should. The remarks were unfortunate. They were not productive. They did -- they damaged our standing, I think, across the world.
I don't think he can deny this. There were other people present in the room when he said it, so denying it is not a good strategy.
But I'm sure with this President, as we've seen before, there will be some other controversy in a few days or in a few hours, maybe, that will just supersede this, and we'll move on. That's kind of what we've seen from this administration from the beginning.
But it was a bad remark, and I would hope the President would retract it and move back from it.
CABRERA: April, just yesterday, the President signed a proclamation ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day ironically. You tried to ask him a question, and I want to play that now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Mr. President, will you give an apology for the statement yesterday?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, did you refer to African nations -- did you use the word shithole to refer to African nations, sir?
RYAN: Mr. President, are you a racist?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, are you going to add to your comment, sir?
RYAN: Mr. President, will you respond to these serious questions about your statement, sir?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Are you a racist? Why do you think it's important, April, to get an answer to that question?
RYAN: Ana, you know, there has been such a lead up into what happened yesterday, the questions that I asked, you know, about an apology, possibly for a statement. Then, are you a racist? And then, will you answer these questions again? And then I went back to, are you a racist? He never answered.
This President has been saying things that has caused many people in America to raise their eyebrows. And not just in America, globally.
RYAN: We've heard Pocahontas. We've heard, you know, this travel ban against Muslim nations. Now, this.
We've heard issues of HIV in the Haitian population, in the Haitian country. We've heard Nigerians living in huts. There are so many other things.
I mean, you know, and it also goes back to the housing issue that he had when he was working in his father's firm, the Trump Corporation. You know, this federal lawsuit or with this federal issue where there was supposedly alleged housing discrimination. The Central Park Five.
There is just a litany. I mean, it just keeps building and building.
And I posed the question to the NAACP about the definition of racist. And, you know, so many people kept saying that word, and I said, what is the definition? They said when prejudice -- racial prejudice and power meet.
And if you really look at that equation, and they are now calling this president racist. So the question is, you know, Mr. President, do you believe you're a racist? And he did not answer. His silence was deafening.
CABRERA: Hey, well, his silence spoke volumes is the other way to put it. And you mentioned the global reaction.
CABRERA: The bottom line here is people around the world have been offended by these comments. Look at some of the response from El Salvador, for example.
El Salvador demands, within the framework of the principles that govern relations between the states, respect for the dignity of its noble and courageous people. I mean, this is about dignity. It's about people's value.
And Haiti also responding with this, saying they're deeply shocked and strongly condemn these abhorrent and obnoxious remarks. They've proven to be entirely unacceptable because they reflect a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community.
[20:19:59] Van Jones, "The New York Times" came out with a really stark editorial today in which they say, quote, where to begin? How about with a simple observation: the President of the United States is a racist.
In another, the United States has a long and ugly history of excluding immigrants based on race or national origin. Mr. Trump seemed determined to undo efforts taken by presidents of both parties in recent decades to overcome that history.
We know Senator Lindsey Graham apparently voiced concern in this meeting, but not publicly. Speaker Paul Ryan has called the comments simply unhelpful. Senator Mitch McConnell has been silent.
Van, why don't you think we're hearing more Republicans forcefully denounce this?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think there's a cancer on the soul of the Republican Party. And like with any serious disease, the longer you ignore it, the worse it gets.
This is supposed to be the party of Lincoln. It has become the party of Steve Bannon. Even though he is out of favor right now, Bannonism is not.
And I remember the moral courage that Paul Ryan had during the campaign when, frankly, Trump said something less offensive than this. And he said -- this is Paul Ryan -- this is a textbook example of racism and he called a press conference and he showed moral leadership.
The base of the Republican Party, unfortunately, a big part of it now, is willing -- they've adapted to the absurdity that any comment from this President, no matter how racially inflammatory, is, quote/unquote, not racist. And I think that a deal has been cut.
Here is the deal. For the Paul Ryan wing of this party, they have traded in the dignity of this country for their tax cuts. As long as they get their tax cuts, then it's perfectly fine for them for the Commander-in-Chief, who -- you know, when it was Barack Obama, they said he wasn't presidential because he wore a tan suit.
Now, remember that! Don't forget that. Barack Obama wore a tan suit and Fox News spent three days talking about him not being presidential.
That same section now of our country is willing to accept anything from this president as long as they get their tax cuts. That is the deal that they have made, and that's where we are.
CABRERA: Meantime, we have hundreds of thousands of lives hanging in the balance as far as what is the future for these Dreamers, Ryan. And take a look at what the President tweeted earlier today about
immigration: I don't believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA. They are all talk and no action. This is the time but, day by day, they are blowing the one great opportunity they have. Too bad!
The President, we know, had a bipartisan deal presented to him on Thursday, and he rejected it. If there's no deal, Ryan, how is that the Democrats' fault?
WILLIAMS: I assume he's putting out these tweets as part of a negotiating tactic to get something done. Hopefully, we will get something done on DACA.
It's something that pretty much everybody agrees on, even the President in theory, so I hope this is just kind of him trying to get a better deal. But it's something that he has --
JONES: But, Ana --
WILLIAMS: -- that the Congress has to work on and present him with something to sign. And I hope -- hopefully, he'll move forward with that.
JONES: That's not true. Ana, he is a person who ended DACA. If he wants DACA, he can just reinstate it. This whole thing is just Kabuki theater at the circus.
He created the crisis so that he can get his wall, which he now admits he doesn't even need his wall. And now he's mad that the Democrats aren't doing what he -- listen, there is no DACA crisis. Donald Trump could reinstate DACA tomorrow, and we could move on.
So, again, there's such a danger that we actually just adapt to absurdity. This is a complete farce from the beginning to end. And in the middle of it, he managed to sit -- to step on a rake and show us his heart. But there is no DACA crisis except what he created.
CABRERA: OK, guys, I got to get to Hawaii real fast, but stay with me. I want to come back to our conversation. Kabuki theater, by the way, I'll have to look that one up. Thank you.
Our breaking news now. The people of Hawaii still reeling today from the frightening false alarm. The state mistakenly issuing an emergency missile alert telling everyone that a missile was inbound and could hit any minute. It turns out this was an error, a huge mistake.
And joining us live right now from Honolulu, Hawaii is the governor, David Ige.
Thank you, Governor, for spending time with us. I know it's been a rough day so far.
You're the leader of a state with more than a million people. You hear a missile is headed toward Hawaii. What is the first thought that went through your head this morning?
IGE: Certainly, it was to get to the Emergency Response Center. That's our standard protocol, is to get to the area that we collect all of the leaders to respond to an emergency.
CABRERA: How long did it take before you personally knew there wasn't a missile coming?
[20:25:04] IGE: Certainly, I had made several phone calls after getting the initial alert to find out what was actually happening. It took me a couple of minutes, maybe five minutes or so, before I had determined that it was a false alarm.
CABRERA: Meantime, everybody else was waiting for 38 minutes before that correction was issued.
I know in your previous press question-and-answer sessions, you've talked about what you have learned being that somebody pushed the wrong button and that's what triggered this calamity. What more have you learned about what went wrong?
IGE: Certainly, yes. Well, Ana, I just wanted to let you know that we did, after around 13 -- at about 8:13, we did discover that it was a false alarm, and we had initiated communications out to inform the people that it was a false alarm.
The 38 minutes was really the lapsed time before we could get a message correcting the error out on the phone platform.
CABRERA: Can you explain that to us?
Because we were hearing from a lot of different people, a lot of lawmakers from your state like Tulsi Gabbard, to the people at Pacific Command, who were able to pretty quickly say, this is a false alarm, this is a false alarm. But the system that sent out that initial message that this was not a drill is what took so long to eventually correct itself.
Help us understand why that was a complicated process, to get the correction on that platform.
IGE: Well, certainly, we did not plan for and we did not have a process in place to announce that the alarm was false. We did initiate action, and they did inform the media through their normal channels. The slowest process to provide the information was to the cell phones.
CABRERA: What can you tell us about the individual that committed this error? Is this person new? Is there a training issue? Will the person be disciplined?
IGE: No. Well, this was part of a routine process that we've initiated since November. The -- at the shift change, occasionally, they will run through a drill and a checklist to make sure that the protocol for initiating an alert can be followed by the personnel taking the next shift. And in this instance, instead of clicking on the button on that said
"test," they, in error, clicked the button that said that it's a live launch and the formal alert was issued.
CABRERA: So I know there's a lot more --
IGE: And we are investigating and going through the procedures --
IGE: Yes. We are investigating and going through the procedures. I've directed the agency to suspend all of these tests until we can do a better review.
We've already taken action to institute a change in the process so that there will be two people involved so that a single individual will not be able to send an alert out. And we will be undertaking a more comprehensive review of the process and make the changes as necessary.
CABRERA: Are you worried at all, Governor, about just the reputation of this Emergency Management Agency taking a hit should there be a real drill and people taking it seriously?
IGE: We certainly, as an agency, are concerned. You know, many of the employees were disappointed in their performance during this time. We are committed to making the changes in the processes to assure that this never happens again.
CABRERA: Governor, thank you very much for your time. We really appreciate it.
We will continue to stay on top of this breaking news. Panic after Hawaii gets a fake alert about an inbound missile. Frightened people running for cover for 38 minutes until they realized it was all a horrible mistake.
We're back in a moment.
[20:29:36] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Welcome back. As President Trump faces global outrage for vulgar remarks about immigrants, this is hardly the first time he has said something outlandish, especially about people who, let's be frank, look and talk differently than him.
Just to remind you, here's a sampling of some of his other offensive comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say, you tell me. But plenty of people have written that.
A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate. A lot of people --
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: How can you say that if this --
TRUMP: Now, you won't report it, Wolf. His mother was not in the hospital. There were many other things that came out.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They all have AIDS, the President grumbled.
Forty thousand have come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump had added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never, quote, go back to their huts in Africa.
[20:35:00] CROWD: Jews will not replace us.
TRUMP: You look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either.
I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with White supremacy or White supremacists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart.
TRUMP: You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If we go back in history, this is the same man who was sued by the Department of Justice and used to put a little "C" on Black people's applications for colored.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: He insisted to CNN that the so-called Central Park Five, the young men wrongly convicted of raping and assaulting a jogger in Manhattan Central Park in 1989, were still indeed guilty.
TRUMP: I'm saying if they're found guilty, if the woman died -- which she hopefully will not be dying, but if the woman died, I think they should be executed.
When somebody disrespects our flag, I say, get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired.
TRUMP: He's fired!
Negotiating with Japan, negotiating with China, when these people walk in the room, they don't say, oh, hello, how's the weather? So beautiful outside. Isn't it lovely? They say, we want deal! We're building a wall. He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between
here and Mexico.
They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists -- and some, I assume, are good people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: My panel is back with me.
Van, given the history, why do you think this particular remark is generating such outrage throughout the world?
JONES: Well, you know, there is something called the straw that broke the camel's back as if, you know, just that one thing may or may not have brought this level of outrage. I think it probably would have, but this has been building for a very long time.
I do also think, you know, this is happening in a particular context where we're trying to figure out immigration policy for the country. And there is a debate to be had, an honest debate to be had, how much skills based, how much family.
You can have a logical conversation. You can argue. You can disagree passionately, but you don't have to insult whole countries.
I mean, if you want only engineers, say we want only engineers. Whether they're from Nigeria or Norway or whatever, we just want engineers. You can have that conversation.
That's not what he is saying. He is saying the entire country is nothing but unwelcome and unwanted people. That is the definition of racism. I mean, that is -- you can't get around that.
I think when -- and so that, even if he had left the curse word out, the idea that he is saying entire countries are not welcome would have shocked people. You add in the vulgarity, and you get a big boom.
CABRERA: April, earlier in the week, you'll recall, everyone was talking about this Tuesday surprise when the President allowed cameras in for about 55 minutes for these negotiations on DACA.
CABRERA: And here is what he said about it later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Welcome back to the studio.
Yesterday, we had a bipartisan meeting with House members and senators on immigration reform. Something they've been talking about for many, many years, but we brought them together in this room.
And it was a tremendous meeting. Actually, it was reported as incredibly good. And my performance, you know, some of them called it a performance -- I consider it work -- but it got great reviews.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Great reviews, calling it welcome to the theater, talking about his performance. So he seems to treat this like a reality show, April. When you consider that, could there have been a grand plan behind him using a vulgar remark in a meeting full of lawmakers?
RYAN: There could have been, but I think the bigger piece of this was the fact that the theater was being played because of fire and fury -- the book, "Fire and Fury." They wanted a winning picture to show the President was not what Michael Wolff had been saying.
And the first day, it was great. Transparency. You know, the thing about the White House, people don't get to see inside the White House beyond the few moments when the press is allowed in.
We got a chance to see the back and forth with the President and congressional leaders about immigration. So the transparency, the veil was taken down. We could see inside. But the problem was the President was not able to sustain this winning picture.
You know, he may or may not have done this strategically, but nonetheless, he has done it. His base may be fine with this, but you have to remember, the base is not the vast majority of the nation who are disapproving of this. And there are communities that are disapproving of this.
And, Ana, one community, in particular -- I keep talking about this -- the HBCU community. And I have a letter right here, a statement from one of the HBCU presidents, Dr. David Wilson of Morgan State University.
[20:40:05] And in the last paragraph, he said, at Morgan, we relish the knowledge that students from around the world bring to our community, a number of whom hail from some of those same countries that were denigrated. They chose our university to pursue their dreams, and we welcome them.
Our campus embraces its diversity, and we will never be silent when the high worth of diversity is being challenged. Everyone has value regardless of where they come from, and it's high time that our elected officials understood this.
So this may play to his base, but there are other people out here who are very upset. I mean, you know, again, HBCUs. And other universities -- colleges and universities around this country take in a large portion of international students, African, Caribbean, and maybe even El Salvadoran.
So you have to be really careful because, now, this is going into the financial piece because if students from around the world do not feel comfortable coming here because the President is saying that, the institutions of higher education in this country lose out financially. So there is an impact.
I mean, we saw the impact of the President's comments on the NFL. The NFL took a financial hit.
Now, these educational institutions are trying to safeguard. There is collateral damage. And this is a -- he's talking about wanting to appeal to the base to raise the poll numbers, but the collateral damage is starting to happen.
CABRERA: Well, and the problem is, he can't raise the poll numbers because he's maxed out when it comes to just the base, if he's only going after the base.
And, Ryan, you know, April brought up the book, "Fire and Fury." Do you think what the President has done this week has proven "Fire and Fury" as inaccurate?
WILLIAMS: No, I think it's furthered the perception in the book. I mean, the meeting he did with the bipartisan leaders of Congress was -- meant to push back on the perception that he wasn't in charge was good. It was a good photo-op.
As April pointed out, it showed a side of the White House most don't see, but he didn't sustain it. And nothing really came out of that meeting, and his erratic behavior and the use of this word in this private meeting just furthered the perception that the book puts forward that he is out of control, he's not taking the job seriously, and that's troubling.
You know, this is the time when he needs to buckle down. He's about a year -- less than a year away from an election, an election that could potentially swing the Congress back to the Democrats.
And, you know, if he keeps doing this, he's going to make it more difficult for my party to win seats and hold the majorities in both houses come November of 2018. And if he gets a Democratic Congress next year, he's going to have a lot more problems than he's had to date.
CABRERA: I got to leave it there, everybody. Ryan Williams, April Ryan, Van Jones, thank you all for being with us tonight.
Coming up, all the money in the world, just not for women. A Hollywood movie comes under fire for a massive pay gap. Stay right there.
[20:47:04] CABRERA: From a sex abuse scandal to the gender pay gap controversy, the highly acclaimed film, "All the Money in the World," is getting a lot of attention for what happened behind the scenes.
Now, one of the stars, Mark Wahlberg, announced today he plans to donate all the money he made doing reshoots for the film to the Time's Up Defense. Wahlberg made $1.5 million for those reshoots while his co-star, Michelle Williams, made just $1,000.
CNN contributor and "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Nischelle Turner Turner is joining us now. So, Nischelle, please tell me this pay difference was just a big
NISCHELLE TURNER, CORRESPONDENT, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": Don't I wish I could, Ana, and then we could all just call it a night. But, no, it wasn't a big mistake.
And there are a couple of things at play here. When you put that graphic up on its face, I mean, it just looks terrible, of course. It looks horrible for Mark Wahlberg to be making $1.5 million for the reshoots and Michelle Williams to be making a paltry $1,000.
But in this situation, I think you know as well as I do, when you're under a personal services agreement and when you're supposed to negotiate a contract, it's really up to your representatives to get you the best deal that you can.
TURNER: So while Mark Wahlberg has been getting a lot of heat for this because of his salary compared to hers, it's not really his fault because his reps negotiated a great deal for him.
But because it looks so bad on its face and on the surface and it's a P.R. nightmare, what Mark Wahlberg has done is, he said, you know what, I need to clean this up the best way I know how. And today, he announced that he is donating that $1.5 million reshoot fee to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams' name.
His agency, William Morris Endeavors, is also donating another $500,000 to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, also in Michelle Williams' name, to try and rectify this situation because they have gotten a lot of blowback and bad publicity behind this.
CABRERA: And, hopefully, the publicity will prevent this sort of thing from happening again, but I also want to ask you about --
TURNER: Well --
CABRERA: Well, as you point out, it's all about the bottom line. We'll see what this -- where this leads.
But actor Liam Neeson is another person who is coming under firing for comments he made about the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal, calling the #MeToo movement in Hollywood a witch-hunt?
TURNER: Yes. It's interesting because there's a couple of schools of thought here as well. I mean, when you hear that, you just say, come on, Liam, come on, really? A witch-hunt with all of the stories about abuse and harassment that have been coming out?
But there have been some slight conversations going on, and I know that I've had a couple of them with people in Hollywood as well, saying, are we swinging the pendulum too far?
And have some of these cases of alleged sexual harassment or abuse thrown people under the bus for maybe something that wasn't exactly that and that may be small instances of inappropriate behavior as opposed to big issues like what's going on with Harvey Weinstein?
[20:50:00] CABRERA: Right.
TURNER: So I think that's where he is coming from. Now, listen, when you're at a tipping point with anything in a time and space, there are going to be some cases that, maybe, get lumped in with the bigger picture.
And I think that's what he's trying to say, but to try to weed out the minutia at this point, I think, is hard to do because what they are trying to do is just root it all out and have a zero-tolerance policy, which, of course, no one wants to have to deal with this anymore.
CABRERA: And it just seems, I guess, so ignorant to say that it's all a witch-hunt.
CABRERA: I mean, maybe he hasn't been a victim of the sexual harassment or sexual assault, but other people have, which we know exist. I mean --
TURNER: Well, it's tone deaf. It's just tone deaf.
TURNER: And it's what, you know, folks nowadays are calling mansplaining. Just stop. Just don't say anything.
CABRERA: Mansplaining. Meantime, the Screen Actors Guild is doing something unprecedented, in a good way, I suppose, in its upcoming award ceremony. All presenters will be women in support of the #MeToo movement.
CABRERA: How is that being received?
TURNER: Well, you know what, very well in Hollywood. I mean, this is definitely going to be a really interesting SAG Awards. Something we've never seen before.
They're having a host for the very first time, Kristen Bell, who is so funny, so glib. And she is -- I think she's perfect for a first-time host and perfect for the landscape of what's going on right now in Hollywood.
And, yes, every single presenter on the awards show will be a woman. They've lined up the cream of the crop in Hollywood. Everyone will be coming out once again in solidarity and full force. Again, on the red carpet, you're going to hearing a lot of talk about
the #MeToo movement, about what we can do to help out with gender inequality and wage gap in Hollywood. I'm sure you're going to be hearing the talk about Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams and what that -- what happened with them over the weekend.
I know one of the things, Ana, that I've been hearing lately a lot of women talking about, that they need to hear more from the men in Hollywood and also need more transparency.
We saw it with Bradley Cooper not too long ago when he said, you know what, I'm going to start telling the women on my movies what my salary is, and then maybe we can start to close this pay gap.
So I know I've heard from a lot of women lately that we need men to be transparent. So that's one of the steps we can take to try and close these wage gaps and try to, you know, start to heal the ills that have been going on for so long.
CABRERA: Nischelle Turner, always good to see you.
TURNER: You, too, my friend.
CABRERA: Thank you so much for spending time with us.
CABRERA: Have a great weekend.
Coming up, new details coming in about how President Trump was told about a fake missile alert that sent panic throughout Hawaii. Frightened people running for cover, parents hiding their children in manholes. Another update after the break.
[20:57:07] CABRERA: A flu epidemic is sweeping the nation right now, overwhelming emergency rooms and leaving 20 children dead. The Centers for Disease Control report influenza activity is widespread and intense in every state in the continental U.S.
CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has more.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The latest flu numbers are in from the Centers for Disease Control, and the news is that flu is widespread in practically every corner of the country. And the strain, H3N2, the predominant strain that's out there, it's particularly severe.
People are getting especially sick, particularly older people. Now, unfortunately, that doesn't mean that younger people are spared. About 20 children have died of the flu so far this year.
Now, the season started particularly early, and it's peaking, hopefully, right now. That's what the experts think which, hopefully, means that certain areas of the country will be seeing relief soon. Now, for those of you who got the flu shot, the CDC says that was the
right thing to do, but the shot was only 30 percent effective. But still, the CDC says, 30 percent is better than nothing.
Back to you.
CABRERA: Thanks, Elizabeth.
Now, just to recap our breaking news. An absolutely terrifying 38 minutes today for everybody in Hawaii. Talking about everybody, residents and tourists.
Thirty-eight minutes, that's how long people there believed a ballistic missile was in the air headed for Hawaii. A statewide urgent alert went out, telling people to take shelter, that it was not a drill, and that impact could be minutes away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My friend just woke me up. He said, hey, let's go. There's a bomb coming to Hawaii.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We put the baby in the bathroom, didn't know what else to do. And in a stroller, in case we had to run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It said seek shelter, and we were, you know, 20 minutes off the beach. And so we didn't really know what to do except paddle in and do as best we could.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Some parents put their children into storm drains, hoping they would be safer there. Other people tried to find any place remotely safe from the missile or missiles that the State Emergency told them were coming.
Thankfully, nothing happened. It was a false alarm. The Governor says one person, a staffer at the Emergency Management Center, simply pushed the wrong button and sent a statewide missile alert by mistake.
President Trump, in Florida this weekend, fully briefed on the incident in Hawaii. CNN is told he spoke with the U.S. national security advisor and his White House chief of staff.
The people of Hawaii are breathing a huge sigh of relief now. It's in the afternoon. Hawaii's Governor was telling us just a few minutes ago that measures are being put into place immediately to make sure this mistake never happens again.
That's going to do it for us. Thank you so much for being with me here on CNN in the newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera.
Up next, as the President questions why the U.S. should accept more immigrants from African, we want you to see just how beautiful that continent can be, beginning with "PARTS UNKNOWN: SOUTH AFRICAN."
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