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Florence Turns Deadly as it Stalls over the Carolinas; Lumberton Still Recovering from Hurricane Matthew & Hit by Florence; As Trump's Poll Numbers Fall, Key to Midterm Victory Could be Suburban Women; Suspected Shark Attack off Cape Cod Worries Expert. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired September 15, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Take a look at this. It's not coming anytime soon. The storm system is moving almost nowhere. It is stalled. It is spinning and it is dumping record amounts of rainfall in parts of North Carolina, making the rescue and recovery work very difficult and cleanup nearly impossible.
CNN teams are now in place where the water is rising, and where people are being told to take these flood warnings seriously. CNN's Martin Savidge joins us from Wilmington, North Carolina. Martin, we're being told some of the rivers in that state are rising even faster than emergency officials had expected.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and no surprise there, Ana, given -- standing out in that weather for the past 48 hours, how torrential the rains have been. And they have moved inland, and that's part of the problem here.
I should also point out, there are other dangers, too. We've just been placed under a tornado watch. Tornadoes are often something that can spin out of a weather system like Florence. So, that is just one more thing that the many people of North and South Carolina have to contend with and worry about as they go into the evening hours.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is about 55 miles north of where I am here in Wilmington. He's in Jacksonville, North Carolina. And, Ed, you're in a neighborhood that has been flooding since this morning. I saw you earlier and the water has been coming up fast.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. You know, here, this is a neighborhood just along Highway 258, north of Jacksonville. And it's a neighborhood where you look out here into the distance, where people are really just holding on and bracing for the worst. And that is all they can do, at this point.
Many homes here -- just to kind of give you a lay of the land. If you look back there in the distance, that tree line, there is a river that runs its -- that cuts its way through here. And all of this water that is flooding into this neighborhood is coming out of that Neuse River.
So, here, residents have said that, if you look back there in the distance, the water started creeping up there at those first row of homes nearest to the river, about 7:00 a.m. And they've already made their way in about 10, 12, 15 houses into this neighborhood.
We spoke with one family earlier who was loading up belongings into their car to race up to higher ground here in the neighborhood. They tell us that this is a neighborhood they never expected to flood. It has withstood any kind of flooding and torrential downpours in previous tropical storm systems and hurricanes that have blown through this part of North Carolina. So, they never anticipated that something like this was going to happen. So, there is a sense of disbelief of just how much rain is falling here, Marty. And they're, kind of, coming to terms with that, hoping that the skies will relent a little bit and that rain will stop falling to give this water a chance to recede and be able to spare as many homes as possible.
But as you look out here, there are already a number of homes, dozens of them, in this particular neighborhood, that have already taken on, perhaps, several feet of water -- Marty.
SAVIDGE: You know, it's interesting, Ed, I look at the house behind you there. And one of the things you notice is that it's all boarded up. Clearly, that person who owns the house thought that it was the hurricane winds that was the threat. But you looked at it now, it's the water. And the water, very likely, is going to get into that home and do substantial damage, unless that water begins to recede.
Ed Lavandera, thank you very much.
We also want to look at where Florence has already been. And on top of the rising rivers and the rain that keeps on falling, there have been the problems that have existed in some of the coastal areas.
CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. We were out there earlier in the week. He's been out in the high winds, the heavy rain, and the violent surf that has been slamming that area for two days. And people go there because of the beautiful beaches. And now, all of that has changed. What are the conditions there like for you now, Miguel?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, these are about as lovely conditions that we have seen in the last 48 hours or so. But it looks like another band of rain is just coming in.
You mentioned the economic impact. People do come here for the beaches. We're standing on a boardwalk that was built a couple of years ago here in Carolina Beach. The beach is now up on the boardwalk. There's about a foot and a half of sand or so. The dunes are just inundated with sand as well.
And, perhaps, the saddest part of all this, and what's going to be very difficult for them to recover from, is two days ago, sand came up to here. Now, there is no sand at all. It's all the way up and down the beach. You can look down this way and see all the debris on the beach and see just how much erosion there has been. The seas are a little colder right now. The wind is coming down here, thankfully. The rain still comes in pretty big bands.
But, for the most part, it seems done. But boy, there's going to be a long cleanup ahead. The trees down throughout the entire area here. Power lines are down everywhere.
And, as you know, there's one road in, one road out of this area. Until these winds come down a little more, until they get those streets cleaned up, until they get those power lines back up and in working order, it's going to be hard to get people back in here, get them into their homes and get life back to normal here in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, all these different areas along the coast here. It's just going to be a long, hard slog.
The storm, Marty, may have been the easiest part of all this. Back to you.
SAVIDGE: Hey, Miguel, real quick. There was a real concern that the sand on the beach would get washed into the main roadway there and actually serve as a kind of road black. Did that happen?
MARQUEZ: It did not. They did not have the sort of flooding and that sort of activity as they -- as they -- as they were worried about. The main lake in town, which they had drained before all of this, so it could absorb all the water, that is now overflowing and cutting off about a foot of water on the other side of the island.
But that is kind of the worst of it when it comes to flooding. But it's just all of it, just the entirety of it. It's just to take a long, long time to get this place back up in working order -- Marty.
SAVIDGE: Yes. Yes, it's a slice of paradise. Those who live there, that's what they'll tell you.
Miguel Marquez, thank you very much.
We now have a brand-new advisory on Florence from the National Hurricane Center. And CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the Weather Center. And what are we learning? We know that this storm is going to go beyond the Carolina. It's actually headed elsewhere and there are other people that ought to be aware.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we've got to pick up that forward speed to really get this moving out of these same areas. And, at this point, it's just not looking like it's going to do that any time soon. Forward movement is still only two miles per hour to the west. So, this system is just basically crawling.
Keep in mind, the average human being can walk at about three to four miles per hour. So, you could, essentially, walk faster than this storm is moving.
Sustained winds have not changed. That is still 45 miles per hour, gusting up to 60 miles per hour. So, likely power outages, trees coming down. That's still going to continue because you need to bring those winds back down.
The main concern going forward, though, is just going to be the flooding. Not just the short-term from the moisture that is falling but also the long-term flooding potential. When we look at how many rivers and creeks and streams are flooding now, we have six in major flood stage right now, five in moderate flood stage.
Now, let's fast forward a couple of days. Once all of that water in people's homes and on roadways finally makes it back into those rivers, creeks and streams, you're going to see those numbers jump. We will eventually be looking at about 20 rivers in major flood stage, and nearly 30 of them in moderate flood stage.
And notice how it spreads out, too. The concern is no longer just right along the coastal regions of North Carolina, but now pushing inland and also adding states, like Virginia and even South Carolina, to that list as well of where we are going to see that rain.
We do still have some very heavy rain bands across portions of north -- just north of Wilmington and just to the south of Wilmington. Those rainfall rates are about two to three inches an hour. You have to remember, you have to add that on top of what has already fallen. And we've had some very impressive amounts. Elizabethtown 20 inches. Emerald Isle and Morehead City both nearly two feet of rain. And Swansboro has picked up over 30 1/2 inches.
The key factor with a lot of these cities here is that it's still raining. It is not out of the question for a lot of these locations to pick up an additional six, if not even eight or 10 inches of rain on top of what they've already had. The biggest difference you're going to notice is that that rain is pushing further inland. So, cities like Charlotte and Raleigh are going to start to see some of those heavier bands move in.
And even when you start going into the higher elevations, too, places like Asheville, Hickory, those kind of places further up in elevation. And the main concern there, Martin, is that not only do you have the threat for flooding, but that elevation will play a role in the potential for landslides as well.
SAVIDGE: Yes, Allison, that's what the governor of North Carolina was talking about. They fear that those landslides could begin as early as tonight.
Allison Chinchar, thank you very much. Amazing to believe that that storm is actually slower than a person could walk. The Hurricane danger has passed. But, you know, what's coming afterward may destroy and actually may impact, potentially, far more lives.
CNN's Nick Watt is on the sands in North Carolina or North Myrtle Beach, I should say, in South Carolina. And you were talking last night, Nick, that there were some returning and relieved by what they found.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And, actually, since we last spoke, Martin, the wind has really has picked up. The rain has gotten a lot heavier. And I've spoken to somebody else who has also returned. He lives just on the next block beyond where we are. And he said, listen, this place will flood at the drop of a hat. And the problem here, it's actually from both sides. [17:10:00]
Now, we could get the storm surge and the surf from this way. And we also -- there is the intracoastal waterway which runs a couple of blocks back there in town. And, of course, if that inland fresh-water flooding, if some of that water makes its way down here, these people could get hit from both sides.
And these houses right on the beach, a lot of them are built up on stilts so that the surge can go underneath. But turther back there, there are a lot of homes, a lot of condos that are right on the ground that are just ripe for flooding.
I mean, listen, we've been predicted another 10 inches of rain here for this weekend. Those predictions may be right. But, hopefully, hopefully, we will not see the storm surge. We have another high tide in the middle of the night tonight. And if that coincides, again, with these very strong onshore winds, with he may see some inundation.
But I think, in terms of dodging the bullet, we have dodged that situation where, you know, a high tide comes in and the onshore wind is so strong that the water can't retreat. So, every new tide just piles on top of it. So far, we have avoided that. That was the big fear for this little town which is really -- I'm going to say really badly protected from this ocean. There's not much you can really do about it. There's a tiny little dune. It will take another couple of feet up from the last high tide and water will be in this town.
But so far so good. Just some trees down. Some power lines down. You know, the other thing that's helped is they've actually sunk a lot of the electricity lines. Just last year, they put them under the ground, so power has been out to about half of this town on and off. But it could have been a lot worse. The whole place could have lost a lot more power. Those lines being put under the ground apparently has helped.
So, here, the North Myrtle Beach people are still very much hoping, praying and I think maybe seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and thinking that the worst has passed. But that's a dangerous position to be in. We could still see a surge tonight -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Yes, we'll keep an eye on it; thanks to you, Nick Watt, very much, we appreciate it there in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
And we should point out, there is a real problem with electricity throughout much of North Carolina, including -- it doesn't have to be the beachfront communities. Wilmington is not directly on the water, and yet, in many parts of this city, they are without electricity, including where we are right here. And so, this is a problem that is many fold, Ana. And there are a lot of people who are still trying to cope with what either they're facing or what they've been through.
CABRERA: Martin, we will come back to you. Of course, the Carolinas continuing to be pounded by rain. Our Ryan Todd has been riding along with Marines who've been out rescuing people. Our special coverage of Tropical Storm Florence continues right after this. [17:12:40]
CABRERA: Welcome back to our continuing coverage now of Tropical Storm Florence. Let's talk about the rescues that are underway. We know thousands of people from the U.S. Coast Guard alone are assisting with some of the rescues in the Carolinas. And we're learning the agency has already helped with at least 50 air rescues in North Carolina.
Joining us now, the Coast Guard Atlantic area commander, Vice Admiral Scott Bushman. Thank you, Admiral, for being with us. What can you tell us about the rescue efforts underway right now?
VICE ADMIRAL SCOTT BUSCHMAN, ATLANTIC AREA COMMANDER, U.S. COAST GUARD: Well, I can tell you that the United States Coast Guard is one part of a very broad federal response effort in supporting the state of North Carolina. It's supporting the state of South Carolina. It's part of this response to this very devastating storm. And we've been very busy today here in North Carolina rescuing folks.
CABRERA: Do you expect the number of rescues to ramp up or slow down tonight? What is the prospect going into tomorrow?
BUSCHMAN: I have to remind folks that while weather is slightly improved in some areas, this is still a very dangerous storm. There is several days of very, very significant rainfall, additional flooding to happen. Today, we've participated in more than 50 rescues; 21 where (ph) we've hoisted people to safety. And in other ones, we've used our helicopters to (INAUDIBLE) our folks in to rescue folks that are really in distress.
CABRERA: The people you're responding to, how are you prioritizing?
BUSCHMAN: Well, we are working with the entire federal government as well as the state of North Carolina. And those calls go to the state of North Carolina Emergency Operations Center and they're doing a fancy job -- fantastic job of prioritizing all the rescues so the people in the most distress can get response in as quickly as possible.
CABRERA: And what is it that triggers you, as opposed to somebody else coming to the rescue? Via a boat, for example. You know, why would you bring in a helicopter instead? Are there ways that you are determining what to respond with specifically?
BUSCHMAN: There's one of two different ways. We get a request from the state of North Carolina Emergency Operations Center, and we have the right capability to help someone. And when you're flying a helicopter, you obviously have a huge vantage point. So, as you're flying around, you might see something that everyone -- someone else might not see that's really in distress, and you're in a position to rescue them.
CABRERA: I know one of the concerns for Coast Guard efforts have been the strong winds. Have the winds died down enough for the Coast Guard to be able to use all its resources, if needed?
BUSCHMAN: The winds have died down in some areas. I was out there flying today doing a damage assessment. There were certain areas we can get to, certain areas we can't get to. And certain areas, it is very treacherous out there. One of our helicopters out there flying today, some very experienced pilots flying in very severe weather, talked about rescuing folks in 40-miles-an-hour wind. Rain coming sideways, actually came into the helicopter and interrupted their thermo (ph) communications system.
CABRERA: Wow, it sounds challenging. If people chose to stay behind and now they need rescuing, what should they do?
BUSCHMAN: My advice to anyone still in the storm's path, and there are a lot of people in the storm's path, first off, listen to your emergency responders, your local emergency responders. They know what they're doing.
[17:20:06] The second thing is don't go outside until it's safe to do so. If you're in distress, call 911. If you need to get to higher ground -- higher ground, sometimes people, when they do that, will go in the attic. I advise people not to do that. If you need to get up that high, get out on the roof and have a way to signal a first responder.
CABRERA: Vice Admiral Scott Bushman, some good advice. Thank you for taking the time and thank you for all the efforts of you and your -- and the Coast Guard that's working on this storm and the rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, we're keeping an eye on other breaking news today. In Texas, a U.S. Texas border patrol agent is now under arrest. Officials say her is suspected of being a serial killer. And in Cape Cod, a man has now died in a suspected shark attack. Both these stories coming up next.
[17:25:13] Breaking news out of Texas, where a U.S. border patrol agent has been arrested for allegedly murdering four people and attempting to kidnap a fifth. The bodies were found in Webb County. And authorities say they have very strong evidence that Agent Juan David Ortiz is behind the killings. We are working to get a picture of him.
In the meantime, let's go to CNN's Boris Sanchez following this breaking news for us. Boris, officials say this border patrol agent is a serial killer.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. The district attorney in Webb County described him as someone who was hunting for his victims. Over the past two weeks in Webb County, four different bodies have been discovered, three women, one man. All of them, according to authorities, believed to be prostitutes.
When a fifth person was attempted to be abducted by this suspect, she fought him. Even at gunpoint, she was able to get away. She provided authorities with a description of the suspect, of his tattoos, of the vehicle that he was in.
And then, earlier today, officials arrested 35-year-old Juan David Ortiz. They spotted him at a gas station. He apparently ran into a nearby hotel. He was hiding in the bed of his pickup truck. It turns out, Ana, he is a 10-year veteran supervisor of the border patrol in Texas.
CNN has reached out to CVP (ph) for comment. They did not have one immediately available. Authorities tell us that, later today, they expect that Ortiz will be charged with four counts of murder, an additional count for that attempted kidnapping. They are confident in their evidence. They believe this is their man -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez, we know you will be on top of it, bringing us updates as we get them.
We're also following some more breaking news. This is off the coast of Cape Cod. A swimmer has died there in a suspected shark attack. The video you are seeing, by the way, was taken near the attack site just a short time ago. You can see, there at least two sharks swimming in the shallow water. So, keep that in mind, if you are near Cape Cod. Officials say beachgoers carried the man down the beach. They performed CPR but they were not able to save him. The victim's name hasn't yet been released. But we are told he is in his 20s.
Rescues underway as Tropical Storm Florence continues its slow churn across the Carolinas. And we have this just in to CNN, a photo of President Trump and vice president Pence receiving an emergency preparedness update call on the impact of Hurricane Florence in the treaty room. The president has already made a disaster declaration for eight North Carolina counties.
More live coverage right after a quick break.
[17:32:30] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn around. There you go. We want this side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burro racing is -- wow, a fantastic spectacle. He's going to wear me out for the race. Getting ready.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Colorado, a one-of-a-kind race has been climbing the Rocky Mountain trails for the past 70 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pack burro racing started in 1949 between Leadville (ph) and Fairplace (ph). They needed revenue because the mining was dying. The towns got together and they decided to have a burro race. GUPTA: This year, 89 teams started the race in Fairplace (ph), a
world record, according to the Western Pack Burro Association.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burro racing does require training because you have to have a relationship with your ass.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How to motivate an ass is unique.
GUPTA: All puns aside, this is a physically challenging 29-mile ultra-marathon through the Rockies, featuring elevations over 13,000 feet. But the course might be the easiest part of the competition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burro racing is brokering a deal between you and an animal that's known not so much for cooperation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could get the guy who won the Boston Marathon out here running with a donkey and he could get last place. It's about how well you cooperate as a team. Maybe even more so than how fast you and your donkey are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the negotiation you have to deal with this guy, the terrain, the trails are brutal. But they're so sure footed. These critters, they just have a good work ethic. These burros can run a four-minute-mile if you can hang on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is their race. I love to run their race with them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're humble beasts. They'll change your life if you own one.
GUPTA: This year's winner, Kirk Kercamp (ph), finished in just over six hours, but completing the race can present one last challenge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burros are color blind. There's a white line on the street, they don't know what that is yet. Your burro sees this finish line going from end to end, there's no way, and the donkey stops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you cross that finish line with the burro, I don't care if you're last ass, it's an accelerating to know you got your partner across the finish line or they got you across the finish line.
[17:34:36] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Martin Savidge, in Wilmington, North Carolina, for CNN's special coverage of Tropical Storm Florence.
Slow and deadly, Florence is living up to its forecast. It's bringing down at least two feet of rain so far and still more is on the way. At least eight people have been killed. And hundreds of others have needed to be rescued from much of the rising water.
Plus, we have more than 700,000 customers now without electricity in North and South Carolina.
And remember, Florence is moving at a speed that most of us could outwalk, just about two to three miles an hour. It is crawling toward eastern South Carolina as the floodwaters it has caused are rising faster than many forecasts predicted, forcing even more evacuation orders.
Listen to the mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina, this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCH COLVIN, FAYATTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, MAYOR: If you are in these areas, this is a serious life-threatening matter. If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, then you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin, because the loss of life is very, very possible. So please adhere to this. This is not a talking point. This is not a script. We are saying this because we're concerned with you. The worst is yet to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Let's check in now with CNN's Polo Sandoval in our roving vehicle. He's in Lumberton, North Carolina.
Polo, describe the conditions where you are.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Martin, if there's anybody who is familiar with the damaging potential of floodwaters after a hurricane, it's the people in the city of Lumberton, North Carolina. We are driving the streets of the city, giving you a view of what the situation is like. You can see some ponding on the streets. Two years ago I was here, covering catastrophic flooding after Hurricane Matthew. That is when there were many people who were displaced from their homes. The floodwaters after Hurricane Matthew basically ravaged the area here. You can see people are, again, out and about, driving right now.
It really did cripple the infrastructure here in Lumberton two years ago. And according to the forecast, we are expecting even more rain right now. The main threat is coming from the Lumber River that is expected to go about a foot higher than what people experienced here during Hurricane Matthew. This is already leading to some road closures. The interstate that runs through this city, a part of it is closed, I-95, a major thoroughfare, is closed. About 20 miles of interstate between U.S.-64 and portions of I-40. What officials are recommending right now to the general public is that they simply stay home. Even though the clouds of Florence may eventually dissipate, the very real threat of flooding still remains.
And finally, Martin, I can tell you that there's a concern now that there are some people who think that the worst is over. The mayor pro-tem of the city told me that what they had seen is that there were people who were leaving the shelter, thinking that the worst was over, and he is pleading that they simply stay at higher ground. Wait for the flooding threat to be over. That could take potentially days -- Martin? SAVIDGE: That's the problem, many people just don't want to be in a
shelter. And on top of that, they want to be home and see what's left. Yet, as you just said, the governor and officials are saying now is not the time to get out there. They need the roads open for emergency and first responders.
Polo Sandoval, thank you very much.
As Florence stalls over the Carolina, we're taking a look at the memorable sights and sounds of the storm so far.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The wind is whipping stronger than it has in the last 24 hours.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The eye did make landfall at Wrightsville Beach with a wind speed of 90 miles per hour.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This isn't just water that's coming this way. The ocean and the wind are forcing sand up into the air.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you look all the way down beyond those people, you may be able to make it out. That is the ocean. It's not supposed to be there right now.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Power is out all over the city. That tree over there to my left, your right, looks like it's about to be uprooted. We're getting strong gusts of wind.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're in river bend, experiencing an extraordinary amount of flooding there. A lot of people said they weren't expecting it to flood like this here.
SAVIDGE: Just some of the sights and sounds of what was Hurricane Florence.
When it's a hurricane, it is all the fury that many people look at. But we're into another stage and that is the flooding. And that flooding is far more insidious and potentially far more dangerous.
Let's go back to Ana -- Ana?
[17:40:08] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Martin, we know you are enjoying this rare moment of dry, calm weather where you are. But that weather is not letting up just yet. We know the rain is still coming.
Thank you for your reporting.
Breaking news. Some dramatic new video from the scene of a deadly shark attack off the coast of Cape Cod today. I'll talk to an expert who is concerned about shark attacks coming to Massachusetts, next.
[17:44:57] CABRERA: President Trump's popularity is on the decline. It now stands at its lowest point in the last six months. Several polls, in fact, show the president's approval below 40 percent. That could spell trouble for Republicans in left-leaning parts of the country.
We went to Virginia's tenth congressional district, a swing district that went for Hillary Clinton, but also elected Republican Barbara Comstock for Congress. She's one seat Democrats are hoping to flip. And the key to victory could be winning over suburban women.
Here is part of my conversation with a group of moms fired up for the midterms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
How would you grade this current president?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would be an "F" for me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree, "F."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "F."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "A" minus because of his handwriting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Incomplete.
CABRERA: Incomplete. Why do you say incomplete?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the jury is out on Donald Trump. He's done a lot right, a lot wrong. There's a good chance he'll have a primary in two years. We don't know yet.
CABRERA: You haven't made up your mind about him at this point?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's done some things really well and some things horribly. I disagree with him on immigration. I disagree with him on tariffs. Those are huge issues.
CABRERA: What do you see as him doing really, really well?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe his president has delivered. His deliverables have been quite good. Tax reform, filling out the judiciary. Some of the albeit difficult relationships, international relationships he's reforged. He's delivered things that are good for our nation, to that extent he gets an "A" minus.
CABRERA: You disagree?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's divided our country further apart. Charlottesville was huge for me. To see the president of the United States get up and say that there's good people on both sides, really, really hurt. I don't want my kids looking up to that. I don't want my kids thinking that racism is acceptable. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My daughter was crying on the couch when she saw
my friend -- from Sterling, Virginia, have to jump out of the way of that car.
CABRERA: You knew somebody who was there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. No one in the Commonwealth of Virginia should ever have to fear for their lives when they are at a rally supporting diversity.
CABRERA: Do you believe that this president has done anything that is considered an impeachable offense? You're an attorney, what do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't practice that area of law.
I do believe and support Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference. And of course, if there's anything that is uncovered by Robert Mueller in his investigation, of course, we should pursue any everyone else that a -- any avenues that are out there if the president has colluded with Russia.
CABRERA: Do you think Democrats should be running on impeaching this president?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I -- I don't believe so.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at Bill Clinton. It was a huge distraction in the '90s. At the end of the day, nothing changed. They can impeach Donald Trump but nothing's going to change. We should focus on making the country a better place.
CABRERA: Do you support how the president has handled the Russia investigation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's lots of reservations with Donald Trump. No. Some things he said well, some things he said horribly. I wish he would just stop tweeting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have seen support of the special counsel investigation on the rise over the last few polls, even though the president has continued to go after Robert Mueller and his team and that investigation, calling it a witch hunt and a hoax.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There have been a number of indictments. There have been a number of convictions. And I think any suggestion that this is a witch hunt, that's obviously the president can speak his mind and he can tweet all day long if he would like, but the facts speak for themselves.
CABRERA: The president has called it an illegal investigation. Does anybody here believe it is an illegal investigation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't possibly answer that. I mean, that is ongoing, and they're finding the facts that need to be found out. Our neighbors and friends are fact-based folks.
CABRERA: Do you believe this president is telling you the truth?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't speak with him, so I can't answer that.
CABRERA: Do you trust the president?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I -- the office of the president is created, and it's a function of the politics of our nation. And America selected Donald J. Trump to be our president. He serves in that capacity. It will be a measure on his ballot about whether America agrees with him. For my part, I like the work that he's doing as president.
CABRERA: Do you trust the president in that he's being truthful with you, Jo?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. But did I trust Obama, did I just George Bush? No. They're politicians at the end of the day.
CABRERA: Are you willing to overlook the facts?
[17:49:59] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Facts are facts. One plus one is two. So there's nothing like alternative fact. An alternative is a lie. Our president lies regularly, every single day. He has lost the ability to communicate with allies because we are no longer trusted.
CABRERA: I know your husband is in the service, Lana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
CABRERA: Does that influence your perspective about this administration?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
CABRERA: In what way?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you know, I fear he might make a grave mistake. Tweeting back and forth with Korea is unacceptable. There are people that are putting their lives on the line.
I feel Mr. Woodward's book is coming out and emphasizing the fact that he's unfit to be president and Congress needs to act on it.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CABRERA: All of those women are from Virginia's tenth congressional district. Incumbent GOP Congresswoman Barbara Comstock is polling 10 points behind her opponent, state Senator Jennifer Wexton. If Wexton wins, she will be the first Democratic representative in that district in nearly 40 years.
Back to our breaking news now. Off the coast of Cape Cod this afternoon, a swimmer has died there in a suspected shark attack and new video just into CNN showing beach goers carrying that man down the beach. We are told people performed CPR but unable to save him.
We also have this video of two sharks swimming near the attack site just a short time ago. So keep that in mind if you are near Cape Cod today.
In the meantime, let's talk with George Burgess. He is the director for the Florida Program for Shark Research.
George, thanks for joining us.
Are you surprised by this attack?
GEORGE BURGESS, DIRECTOR, FLORIDA PROGRAM FOR SHARK RESEARCH (via telephone): Actually, I'm not, unfortunately. For some time now, we've known that the white shark populations are increasing along the United States east coast as a result of conservation measures and, more importantly, the things they like to eat the most, seals, their populations have also been increasing since the administration of the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act. So more white sharks in the water and of course, now more humans in the water, and so as we return to a natural situation closer to what we had in the 1800s, there's going to be more interactions.
CABRERA: We've been showing the video that was taken near that attack site today where we see at least a couple of sharks swimming around. I don't know if you've seen that video. You did mention white sharks but can you tell what types of sharks these are in the video or what do you know about what sharks are in that area?
BURGESS: Well, the video is showing white sharks.
BURGESS: And that is the largest of the predatory sharks in the U.S. waters and the one we're most likely to see along the coastline in Massachusetts this time of year. While we haven't got the actual evidence from the attack yet, the odds are probably 99 percent that's a white shark.
CABRERA: When you say white shark, is that great white shark, or is it different?
BURGESS: Yes, they're one in the same.
BURGESS: We call them white shark. The media add the great for a little oomph.
CABRERA: I have a six-year-old son and we read a lot about sharks. I think about it the great white sharks, that's what I know as a mom.
Why would they attack --
BURGESS: It's a name based on their size, that's for sure
CABRERA: They look really big from the video, no doubt.
What would cause a shark to attack a swimmer?
BURGESS: You know, this particular shark is looking for large prey items and, unfortunately, humans fall into the correct size category, although humans, of course, are not a normal part of the food chain. They're not normal parts of the diet of white sharks or any other sharks. But in the case of Massachusetts and the white sharks, and the fact that there are seals nearby, we and the seals are about the same size. They're looking for a general size class and, unfortunately, a splashing human probably approximates that of a swimming seal.
CABRERA: We just have a short time left for this interview, but we are told that shark attacks are up in this area. They've actually added warning signs along the beach there, which we showed in this video. What precautions should people take to avoid being attacked?
[17:54:47] BURGESS: Of course, that's very appropriate and not just after the fact. Those beaches in Massachusetts are now areas that are hosting sharks as well as seals and humans, and from now on, anybody who enters the water needs to be fully aware that there's an outside chance that they're going to encounter a shark.
Well, the main thing is to try to stay out of areas of white shark abundance. Folks should be checking in with the scientists in the Massachusetts area as to where areas of white shark abundance are found. And obviously, from a no brainer sort of standpoint, avoid areas near seal colonies, where seals come out of the water and onto the land for part of their daily activities. And one wants to avoid those areas because white sharks are patrolling right off of the colonies.
CABRERA: Good information.
George Burgess, thank you very much for joining us.
BURGESS: Glad to be with you, Ana.
CABRERA: I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Thank you for being with me.
My colleague, S.E. Cupp, continues our live coverage with "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" right after a quick break. Don't go anywhere.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:00:09] S.E. CUPP, CNN HOST: Welcome to UNFILTERED. Here's tonight's headline: Tweet Storm. The president of the United States --