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Tropical Strom Florence causing Catastrophic Flooding. 950,000 customers without power across the Carolinas; Manafort pleads guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of witness tampering; As part of plea deal, Paul Manafort will cooperate with the Special Counsel's Russia probe; Woman accuses Kavanaugh of assault in letter to Senator; Trump questions Puerto Rico Death Toll; Protestors rally and demand justice for Botham Jean; 6500 soldiers and airmen on duty to help with Florence recovery. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired September 15, 2018 - 08:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, HOST, CNN's NEW DAY: We look at what is left there after 24 hours of pounding from Florence here and we're getting word too from the Mayor of New Bern that there are 4200 flooded homes in that community alone. I'm Christi Paul with Victor Blackwell in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where they're really feeling the effects this morning. Good morning Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good morning to you, Christi. Good morning to you at home. Yes, so we're for more than 24 hours now beyond the landfall, as you heard there from the open from John Berman there at Wrightsville Beach.

But still this storm is a mess, it is making people miserable here. The wind as you can see is picking up and the rain is all coming now to South Carolina.

Of course, the big headlines were made in North Carolina where more than 780,0000 of the nearly 950,000 customers without power, those people are in North Carolina, about 165,000 here in South Carolina.

Also five people lost their lives in North Carolina attributed to this storm. A mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell onto their house; that was in Wilmington North Carolina. Also, a man who went out to check on his hunting dogs, a 77 year old in Kinston North Carolina, he died; his family says the wind blew him over.

A woman in Hampstead suffered a cardiac arrest. And when officials tried to get to her, they say that there were trees in the road, and by the time they reached her, she was deceased. And then in Lenoir County, a man who tried to connect some power cords was electrocuted, because he was doing that out in the rain.

These are all incidents that happened after the height of the storm, all reiterating just how dangerous the post height (ph) of the storm can be for so many people. I want to go now to our colleague, Derek Van Dam who's in a community that has entirely lost power and he filed this report just a little while ago.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're in Carolina Beach on the coastline of North Carolina. The official curfew has ended at 6:00 a.m. this morning, but conditions are still extremely dangerous on some of the open roads here.

It's still a ghost town in Carolina Beach. People are hunkering down, the residents that decided to stick around. The threats going forward here still the tropical storm force winds lasting well through the afternoon and into this evening.

Feeder bands starting to set up right over the coastline here, and that means that the potential for torrential catastrophic flash flooding continues, flash flood warnings for this particular area including New Hanover County.

We have not had electricity for roughly 18 hours, no communications, authorities are asking people who did ride out the storm to only reach out to them in dire emergencies. We also have the potential for tornadoes today as well.

So several threats ongoing across the region, so storm that we're going to monitor very closely. This is Derek van Dam at Carolina Beach, back to you.

BLACKWELL: We've got on the phone with us Mayor Dana Outlaw of New Bern, North Carolina where those 4200 homes are flooded. Mayor Outlaw, thanks for being with us, I know you're busy so we won't take up much of your time, but give us an idea of what you're seeing across your community and what you're hearing from your constituents there.

DANA OUTLAW, MAYOR, NEW BERN, SOUTH CAROLINA: We have 4200 damaged homes. They're not - they're not all flooded, but I do want to - there's a very good point to bring out though is, if anybody's home flooded, please turn your main breaker off and wait until a professional electrician or somebody can assess your home to make sure that any outlets, if they were water damaged, you could have a future fire.

So I can't stress that enough. So what we're doing right now, we're getting geared up for the post hurricane clean-up and starting to get you know, all the things we'll need to do to get our town back the way people know of.

BLACKWELL: We know that there were hundreds of rescues there. Are there still people waiting to be rescued from their homes?

OUTLAW: Well, what we're starting to get now is some welfare calls, folks that want to check on loved ones that maybe were in marginal areas of our city that were low lying, that weren't actually emergency situations.

So we're starting to get some of those. We have about a hundred callers where. If you have a loved one or whatever, call 911 and we'll go check.

So right now we've rescued over 400 people. We still have about 100 that want to be rescued and we are - we have about 1200 people in the shelters in Craven County and so we still have about 7000 people in New Bern without power. We have 22,000 customers.

So we're working really hard, we have 28 mutual - companies from all throughout electric cities (ph) that are in loop right now starting to restore power.

BLACKWELL: Now we know that, as the sun has now come up this morning, there may be some people who want to go out and walk around and see what has been damaged in their communities. What's your message to those people who may want to come out and start walking around New Bern to the places that they can access?

OUTLAW: Please do not. We could have downed power lines that could be energized, live and folks could be in harm's way. So give our staff, our police, fire and our public works an opportunity to get your city back safe. Please help us with this and stay home and we do have a 9 o'clock to 7 o'clock curfew.

If you do need to get out, we understand people are hungry and want to get out and maybe get their car gassed up, so those things you can do, just be very careful.

BLACKWELL: Do you have or are you being assisted with the resources to help the people who are still waiting to be rescued, who still need some help with the damage there?

OUTLAW: We have crews from New England, all the way to Texas, that are assisting the Fire Department here in New Bern, and so it's a very joint effort here to go out. These are water rescues, they're much more dangerous than a vehicle rescue, again, where the biggest concern is downed power lines.

So this is a dangerous time for citizens of New Bern and please cooperate and help us. If you're having a problem, call 911, let us get it booked, and get looked at as expeditiously as we can.

BLACKWELL: All right. Mayor Dana Outlaw there of New Bern, North Carolina, one of the areas hardest hit. 4200 homes damaged as he said, not all of them flooded but still we saw, there are lots of people who are waiting to be rescued from their homes. He said some rescued still, some people still waiting for rescues. Mayor, thanks so much for being with us.

Let's come back to South Carolina. Now, my colleague Nick Valencia, has moved inwards. As we continue to feel this rain coming down, we know there are hours if not days more of rain to fall on South Carolina but already some serious flooding in this part of the state.

Nick, what do you see?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, we're looking at what is potentially going to be the future for Horry County and much of South Carolina, with this rain just hovering over us, that storm continuing to pour down rain. We're out front of a residence here in Conway, South Carolina about 20 miles from where you are. And as we've been driving around all morning, this is probably the worst that we've seen. I'm standing in what is it probably about a foot of water in a floodplain here in Conway. I mentioned earlier this morning, if you've been watching us, that Conway is prone to flooding. Local officials here are very, very concerned about the next three to five days, just as that storm continues to just drop down rain.

The wind, you can't really feel that here, but if you pan off to the side as I'm walking off this residence, Rafael Rodriguez our photographer can show that that road, it wasn't like that when we first got here and this rain just in the last 30 minutes has continued to steadily pour down causing this roadway which has been closed, I should say, by the local emergency managers here.

Has been closed to through traffic, but these homes here are in a place that is getting a lot of flooding right now.

I just talked to a local newspaper reporter who came through to check out this very area. He says the last time this area was under - really under significant water was back in 1999. But remember, this is a place that's gone through Hurricane Matthew, it also saw some flooding during that time.

We are continuing to just drive around this area we haven't seen much significant damage beyond this. Some minor debris in the road, some police cars kind of just driving around the area after that curfew got lifted to make sure everyone is OK. But really right now, this is the worst of it. And as I mentioned, this could be the future for the rest of the county as that storm just hovers over us, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes, for the rest of the weekend and going into next week, that's the fear from South Carolina. Governor Henry McMaster, he said that this could be even for inland communities the greatest threat, the flooding from the waters coming from North Carolina and of course the rain continuing here.

Nick Valencia there, about 20 miles across 501, into Conway, South Carolina, thank you.

We have on the phone with us now Retired General Russel Honore. You remember that name, leading the recovery and rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and we've checked with him and all of the major storms since.

General, good to have you on the phone. And as we look now to - I mean, this storm is not over and it will be going on for several days. How do you assess the preparation for this storm and what you're seeing from the Governors of North and South Carolina?

RUSSEL HONORE, RETIRED LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. ARMY: Governors, they've been synchronizing, they've been talking to the people. The challenge now is, the people that are in the most danger are those that don't have power and that's always a challenge on how we get to communicate with them and the situation has changed.

The first planning had to do with what happened at landfall. Now, we've got a continuing rain event that's going to push water from the high ground back out to the coast. I think their challenge now is to figure out where it's going to flood tomorrow, Victor.

Let me say that one more time. The challenge now is to figure out where it's going to flood tomorrow and go get those people evacuated before the water get into their home. Because all the predictions show some communities could go four, five, six, seven feet of water in those communities that are - that hardly have any water on the street right now, because of the water that's going to come out of the mountains and start working its way back toward the ocean along those tributaries.

BLACKWELL: So if these communities, you say, are now trying to figure out what's going to flood tomorrow, how does that reconcile that with what officials are asking people to do and not to do. If people believe that their community is next, that may prompt them to want to pack up and leave now when there are still dangers out around. I mean what would your advice be for those people?

HONORE: They've got to listen to their local officials and the local officials got to clear the routes. The challenge you got is trying to lead the grid up and evacuate people. Because when a sub part of a grid goes down and the rest of the grid's up, the people on higher ground that people want to lead the grid up. But if you got to strictly do evacuations and search-and-rescue, it's hard to do a search-and-rescue with a hot grid. So that's the thing, that's why they get elected and that's why they make the big bucks.

They need to stop making those decisions because with the hot - the wires going through there, it's a very dangerous work to try to do search and rescue, as well as with the ongoing wind and rain.

So the idea is what can - what might flood this afternoon, so we can go get the people now. Because it's best to get them now than have to do swift water rescue to get them out or use Coast Guard and army helicopters to go get them.

BLACKWELL: All right. General Russel Honore on the phone with us, looking ahead to the next chapters of this ongoing story. General, thank you so much for your insight.

And as he said, because the wind and the rain have not moved out, I mean this is moving in at just a few miles per hour, it is spinning here, staying much longer than is welcome, that it's hard to get right to the next chapters of search-and-rescue.

But of course, we'll be here for that as well. We'll take a quick break, we'll check in with our meteorologist Chad Meyers to see what is next for tropical storm Florence and for the people suffering through it. Stay with us.


PAUL: Well, tropical storm Florence is still just tearing through the Carolinas and we're going to have more on this storm for you in just a few minutes. But there's this other big story that we're following today that what seems to be a huge win for the Russia Special Counsel this morning. Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of witness tampering. Now, as part of his plea deal, he will cooperate with the Special Counsel's Russia probe.

President Trump told The Wall Street Journal, he got, "hit with an artificial witch-hunt that should never have happened."

Lynn Schmidt Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for The Chicago Sun-Times with us now.

Lynn, this seems to have no boundaries here. I mean, the cooperation agreement that Manafort signed says he will testify fully, completely, truthfully before any and all Grand Juries, before any and other trials or cases or court cases. I mean it seems like there are no boundaries on him at all.

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREUA CHIEF, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, that's how it goes with the Special Counsel, who when he got his charge in the beginning of this, had no boundaries really on where he could follow the river, wherever it flowed.

The plea agreement also says that Manafort will sit in interviews with investigators without benefit of counsel, which means they could just ask and he has to answer without any lawyer intervening to say we can't answer this or don't answer that or stay silent. That's why this is important.

Even though the crimes that Manafort has pled guilty to have nothing directly to do with the Trump campaign and Russia, which is the core mission of the Mueller probe, he still now has to talk about the things he saw and learned while he was chairing the Trump campaign.

PAUL: What do you think is expected from Manafort? What will he get in return for this?

SWEET: Well, what he gets is potentially a lesser sentence. What he loses perhaps is the dangle of a pardon that Trump put out before there, and we know about this of course, because Trump teased this out in tweets.

The other thing that he gets and this could be - he also pled guilty to only two counts, there were more counts on the table if he had gone to trial. And the other big thing is right now, until he was convicted, a few weeks ago in the Eastern District of Virginia, he had no criminal record which means in sentencing, you get a break.

Now, there is a potential and they talked about this in the plea agreement that he - if you're sentenced then as a criminal, which he is a convicted felon because of the jury verdict, then you get a tougher sentence. But the prosecutors know this is a different situation because you had sequential trials, basically stemming from the same probe. So if he gets a break in sentencing, that helps him too.

PAUL: All righty. Lynn, I have to ask you about this other story we're following today, this decades-old assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It's threatening to impact his confirmation vote; we know that much.

There's a woman who sent a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, accusing Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were in high school. This was in the early 1980s, Feinstein has referred that letter to the FBI.

Judge Kavanaugh has denied the allegation. I'll read his statement for you, he says, "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time." But the allegation comes obviously at a critical juncture here of his confirmation battle.

PAUL: What do you make of the timing of this coming out now, Lynn?

SWEET: Well, clearly it is tied to the confirmation battle and Senator Feinstein's decision to surface this, it had been bubbling around for a short time beforehand, I think what's an issue now is whether or not this woman comes forward.

I don't know - the denial that Judge Kavanaugh put out, it's kind of broad. It didn't say - it didn't show that he knew who this person might have been about. He didn't say, I don't even know - I never was at a party with a woman in a room.

He could have been a little more specific, I suppose to - but that would have recognized that maybe something happened. I think we're also in the context of the Me Too movement in America now where Senate jurists can't just shrug this off either on the other hand and this was a concern of Senator Feinstein and this has been reported.

She was concerned that this allegation stems back to the judge's high school days.

PAUL: All righty, Lynn Sweet, thank you so much for walking us through it. Always good to have you here.

SWEET: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely. So, listen, people have been rescued from the rising waters, that is the good news, many people have. But these crews, they are braving floods and rain and wind, and they sometimes get trapped themselves by flooding.

Military volunteers are preparing to help with rescue and recovery efforts as well. We're going to show you some of the latest pictures that we're getting in, what we know now. Stay close.


PAUL: There are more than 900,000 people waking up this morning in the Carolinas who do not have power. And it looks like, Victor Blackwell, who there is in Myrtle Beach maybe getting pelted with some rain now as well, as Florence has just kind of parked herself over the Carolinas still. I'm Christi Paul. Of course, Victor Blackwell there in Myrtle Beach.

Victor, what are you experiencing now?

BLACKWELL: Well, the rain and the wind are still coming here, but we've learned from our meteorologist Chad Myers, who will check in with us in just a moment, that the worst of the wind for at least Myrtle Beach is still to come and more rain is coming in the next few hours. His forecast in just minutes.

But we just got this in from my team in Washington, President Trump has now approved a declaration, an emergency declaration for eight counties in North Carolina.

Now that will free up some money for temporary housing for people who have lost their houses or their homes have been damaged, also assistance for repairs and for small businesses there as well who've been impacted by Florence.

So that's good news for them. We'll see if that's extended to other counties and to any places here in South Carolina that may see what those counties that got the worst of it over the last 24 hours have seen.

I've got on the phone with us now Mayor Brenda Bethune, Mayor of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Madam Mayor, good to speak with you this morning. And first, your assessment of how your city has fared in the storm thus far? What are you seeing and how do you feel about it?

BRENDA BETHUNE, MAYOR, MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA: Good morning. At first glance, it looks like Myrtle Beach fared very well thus far. We are doing damage assessment starting this morning; we have crews on the road right now.

But very little damage from what we can tell. The thing that we're most concerned about is of course the flooding that has been talked about, that will probably happen within the next three to five days, when the rivers crest and that's what we're just trying to plan for.

BLACKWELL: So Nick Valencia has crossed 501 into Conway and has seen some flooding. Have you seen any or heard of any reports of flooding yet in Myrtle Beach?

BETHUNE: No, not as of yet. And just our concern with the flooding is the fact that, with the five major rivers that are surrounding us in the interior areas, that could actually hinder getting into or out of Myrtle Beach, because all of our roads that come into us are near those rivers and bridges.

So it really could make getting in and out of Myrtle Beach difficult, especially for those who have evacuated for businesses and hurt business as well.

BLACKWELL: OK. You talked about the difficulty of getting into and out of Myrtle Beach for those who have evacuated. I remember your number of about 60% heeding the call to leave ahead of the storm.

Is it safe for them to come back yet, or would you tell them to wait a little longer?

BETHUNE: It is not safe to come back yet because the Governor has not lifted the evacuation order. All of the major roads and bridges do have to go through damage assessment before they can allow people back in on them, so that will be step one.

Step two will be when we allow critical support groups to come back in, such as health care providers, public works crews. And then, phase three will be that the Governor will lift the evac order and people can come back home.

BLACKWELL: Final question to you, there was a curfew on Thursday night and Friday night into Saturday morning. Do you expect there will be a curfew again tonight?

BETHUNE: Yes, we will keep the curfews in place and we will reassess that on a daily basis. That is simply to protect the homes and the businesses that are not occupied right now. Unfortunately, during situations like this, there are some who would like to take advantage of it and we just want to protect our businesses and homes from any type of theft.

BLACKWELL: OK, Mayor of Myrtle Beach, Brenda Bethune, thanks so much for spending a couple of minutes with us, and good luck and stay safe.

BETHUNE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk now to meteorologist Chad Meyers. Chad, the wind has picked up here, but I remember it, Chad, at the top of the 5 o'clock hour, you said that there is more to come in the next few hours. What are we going to see here and who's getting the worst of it right now?

CHAD MEYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Still North Carolina, about 50 miles north of you is really still the bullseye for the rain, the bullseye for the wind, and still the beach erosion. There may be very little beach left, anywhere from Topsail, all the way back up here to Emerald Isle.

I mean there just may not be no sand there and there may be no homes left where there were homes, because the beach erosion has taken that beach so far to the back. Here's Myrtle, right through here, here's the center of the storm, right there.

Guess how fast the storm is moving? Two miles an hour. So what you see is what you get. We're not going to change this pattern much at all. The rain's going to be where it is, the storm is going to be where it is, and the erosion is going to be right where it is.

What we're changing is that there's more convection now near the center, near Myrtle, near North Myrtle and also near our Nick Valencia, right there in Conway. And so that's what we're going to watch for the rest of the day. Does the eye fill in, does the center fill in with more precip, or does all of it still remain out here?

It is raining, all the way from Hampton Road to Charleston with this storm. That's how big the arms are now. So we don't have the wind speed that we had a couple of days ago, but we have the rainfall.

Everywhere that you see white, that's 20 inches of rainfall since the storm started or more, and the purple is 10. The tremendous flooding is still to come because the storm is only half on land, half on water, so this big flare-up is here over the Gulf Stream. There's a lot of humidity, the water's warm and the storm isn't done, it's only half done because it's only half on land.

Now here's what has changed over the last forecast. For the most of the time, here is where the rainfall has been, this is 20-plus, no question. But now we're here at 12 plus, there's you in Myrtle, there's Conway, so now what the Mayor was talking about, she's expecting this foot of rain to run back into Myrtle. That's why they're not lifting any of those restrictions.

BLACKWELL: All right. Chad Meyers was good for us. Chad, we'll check back with you throughout the morning. Chad, thanks so much. And we just got in some - some breaking news that there have been two additional deaths attributed to Florence now, bringing the total number to seven.

We'll get more information from state officials about where those deaths occurred and under what circumstances. But now, seven people have died in this storm that is stretching across several days, we'll get you more on that breaking news in a moment.

I've got on the phone with us Dennis Clancy with Team Rubicon, the Head of Field Operations. Dennis, thank you so much for being with us. As we come out of that breaking news of the two additional deaths, we know that you were going to be doing some work to help people who are seeing some property damage and struggling with putting their lives back together, after the storm.

What are you able to do to help people who will need that help once this wind dies down and the rain passes?

DENNIS CLANCY, HEAD OF FIELD OPERATIONS, TEAM RUBICON: Yes, it's important to recognize, as slow as this storm is going right now, it's going to be a number of months after that we are putting a lot of effort into recovery. Rebuilding homes, demolishing homes, there are a number of things that continue to affect these communities for months afterwards.

And we'll be there initially, chainsaw operations, mucking gutting (ph) homes, helping perhaps to mitigate the mold in homes, it's a very long effort.

BLACKWELL: How does this compare to the typical response, because usually storms come through and you can as first responders do their job, start your work? This seems to feel like it's on the schedule of Harvey last year, where it just lingers day after day after day.

CLANCY: Yes, so we're well prepared for this, having gone through Harvey last year obviously. Team Rubicon has responded to 67 disasters already this year. We have 80,000 volunteers across the United States, and when we have a very prolonged response and recovery effort, we can rely on a pretty deep bench of volunteers that will raise their hand and come to the Carolinas.

BLACKWELL: OK. Dennis Clancy, thanks so much for being with us, we're coming up with the clock here. Thanks for spending a couple of minutes with us. To explain what Team Rubicon does, we'll continue our special live coverage of now tropical storm Florence in the breaking news, seven people have now lost their lives in this storm. We'll be right back.


PAUL: I want to show you some new images we're getting in now from New Bern, North Carolina. There's a tree that's fallen on top of a house there, crashed through the roof.

Look at this. This is an upstairs bedroom. Henry Mathias of New Bern tells CNN, "my dad went to sleep in his own bed upstairs in the second floor of the house. After an hour, about an hour after he fell asleep, a piece off dry wall came in from the ceiling, woke him along with the rest of us with a loud bang.

After taking a look we realized rain water was coming in. Tree branches were coming through the attic. If the tree had fallen about three to four more feet, it would have crushed my dad to death."

That man is a not injured, we understand, and we are so grateful to be able to tell you that.

I'm glad that the family is OK, despite what you're looking at there and what they have to deal with here. Now Florence of course is pounding the Carolinas, moving at a measly two miles per hour right now, just updated by Chad Meyers.

President Trump meanwhile is continuing to question the official death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. He tweeted last night that it went up, "like magic." The number was formally raised from 64 to nearly 3000 late last month following a study by researchers at George Washington University.

Jack Kingston, CNN's Political Commentator and former Senior Advisor to President Trump - to the Trump campaign actually, with us now. Jeff, good morning to you.


PAUL: So why do you think the President is - we're dealing with Florence, there's so much to deal with and there are things that still need to be taken care of in Puerto Rico. Why do you think the President is so focused in on the number?

KINGSTON: Well, I think a lot of it is just the politics of the season right now and the fact that there have been a lot of criticism on the Puerto Rico recovery. But I want to say this, as someone who does business with a major conservation group in Puerto Rico.

And I stay very close to the delegate from there, Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon. The reports that I get and also talk to the head of permiso (ph) down there and then there was that editorial from the Lieutenant Governor, Rivera Marin in Orlando paper the other day.

Their view of the recovery efforts is totally different than that of the San Juan Mayor and Kamala Harris and some of the traditional critics of the President. I think some of this really is politics. But I also want to say, as somebody who's familiar with disasters and hurricanes, there is a subjectivity that was happening in terms of the causes of death.

For example, the medical examiner had 911 bodies and he deemed those as dying from natural causes, and that led to some of the confusion is the subjectivity. The number 64, which is what the Governor used in as late as December, actually more recently than that, but they were going by CDC protocol.

And so, in the Georgetown study, which was a study, instead off a headcount, what they were saying is their numbers of death that would have occurred, had the hurricane not happened, verses since it did happen.

PAUL: Well, Julia Kline (ph) was on with us last hour and she was saying, "Look, that had to happen because there was so much chaos in Puerto Rico at the time. They're doing the best they can with the numbers, but it was the hurricane itself that kept them from being more specific. But this 64 number, there's no way it's only 64 people that died because of that hurricane.

There are still people there who don't have water, who don't have electricity. Why is the focus on a number when clearly there needs to be a focus on what still needs be done in Puerto Rico?

KINGSTON: I think some of this is kind of become unfortunately, again, 60 days from the midterm, some of it is just really politics. But in terms of--

PAUL: But there are people certainly Jack, right? There are people certainly who care about those people in Puerto Rico, who have family there. This isn't just about numbers and politics obviously to them. There's a sensitivity issue that seems to be missing. Do you get that?

KINGSTON: And I understand that and I want to say that, I think that the numbers to the degree that's possible, we do need an accurate count because there is subjectivity, but there's also as you pointed out, a breakdown in communication because of the infrastructure.

There was a mayor in one town who when he saw the headcount of being 16 dead, he said I saw more than that personally. So yes, I mean, this is a horrible tragedy, but I do want to emphasize that the President has led the largest - one of the largest recovery efforts in the history of the country.

And again from my background with hurricanes, you can always find a disgruntled elected official. And yet at the same time again, the Lieutenant Governor says, "Look, right now Puerto Rico is stronger than ever, unemployment is down, businesses are back up," and that's not to say that there wasn't a horrible tragedy.

PAUL: Right.

KINGSTON: The President has identified something like $44 billion in additional aid that's going to be heading that way.

PAUL: And with the storms that we're seeing coming in, I know that there's concern about what Puerto Rico can handle if something else happens. Jack Kingston, I'm so sorry that we've run out of time. Thank you.

KINGSTON: Well, thank you Christi.

PAUL: Thank you for being with us, we appreciate it.

KINGSTON: God bless all in the state of North Carolina.

PAUL: Absolutely, absolutely, as we watch them because we have learned of course that the death toll has risen. Jack, thank you so much. Death toll has risen there in North Carolina - in the Carolinas itself to seven people now dead.

Jack Kingston, always appreciate having you on. Thank you.

We also want to tell you this morning about some demonstrations that went on in the streets of Dallas overnight. They were protesting the police shooting of a black man in his own home; he died. And the folks who were very peacefully protesting yesterday, have a lot to say about this and what they want to happen now. Stay close.


PAUL: There was noise in downtown Dallas last night as demonstrators were rallying to protest the police shooting death of Botham Jean. The group was demanding that the officer involved to be fired and charged with murder, not just manslaughter.

Botham Jean was shot and killed inside his own apartment last week by an officer who claims that she mistakenly entered his apartment believing it to be her own. Well, CNN's gained an exclusive look inside Botham Jean's apartment and CNN Correspondent Ryan Young has the details for us here.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unit 1478 was Botham Jean's apartment. It's where the 26-year-old's young life was cut short when he was shot by a police officer in his living room. A small memorial of flowers and a photo with his mother adorn his front door.

ALLISON JEAN, MOTHER OF BOTHAM JEAN: At 26 years old, he had done so much.

YOUNG: With permission from the family, we're getting a look inside Botham's apartment. It's a typical single man's apartment except for the bullet hole in the wall indicated by an evidence marking more than six feet high. There's also a pool of blood on the floor which we will not show you.

There's laundry towel (ph) in couch and Botham's half eaten bowl of cereal still had milk in it. He may have been reading one of the many books littering the apartment, before he was shot and killed by Officer Amber Guyger.

This is a video, a witness says, of Amber Guyger pacing around upset moments after the shooting. Officer Guyger tells investigators she shot Jean after mistaking his apartment for her own. Guyger tells investigators that after work, she parked her car on the wrong floor, walked to the wrong apartment and that John's door was slightly open.

In her statement to police, Guyger says she gave verbal commands before firing two shots. Lee Merritt says witnesses tell a different story.

LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY, JEAN FAMILY: --and they both heard a knock or a pounding on the door followed by a female's voice saying, "Open up, let me in." She said the voice didn't sound like an officer command, but sounded like somebody who wanted to be let into the apartment. She says that was shortly followed by the sound of gun shots and the sound of a man's voice saying what she believes to be, "Oh my God, why did you do that?"

YOUNG: The Jean family's attorney and the family are now upset by the leak of a search warrant that indicates officers went inside Jean's apartment looking for drugs. Officers say they did find and removed several items, including a small amount of marijuana.

The warrant does not indicate who the items belong to. It's unknown if the search warrant was executed at the officer's apartment.

MERRITT: 26 years on this earth, he lived his life virtually without blemish, and it took being murdered by a Dallas police officer for Botham Jean to suddenly become a criminal. There is a clear intent here to smear the name of Botham Jean.

YOUNG: During a moving funeral service, we learned much more about Jean and his accomplishments. Family and friends talked openly about his love for people, for singing and the fact that he was a high achieving employee on a partnership track at the accounting firm, PWC.

TIM RYAN, SENIOR PARTNER AND CHAIRMAN, PWC: PWC is hurting, not just in Dallas but all across our country.

ALEXIS STOSSEL, FRIED OF BOTHAM JEAN: He was so joyful and we know how much he loved to sing. He was the biggest extroverted accountant you'd ever find.

YOUNG: Amber Guyger is on administrative leave during the investigation and the DA's office will take the case before a Grand Jury to determine the next course of action. CNN has reached out to the Officer Guyger's attorney and they have not returned our calls. The heartbroken mother wants answers.

JEAN: So I'm calling on the Dallas officials, please come clean, give me justice for my son, because he does not deserve what he got.

YOUNG: Ryan Young, CNN, Dallas.


PAUL: We're going to stay on that story. Of course also watching Florence moving at two miles per hour and now getting word from the U.S. Northern Command that more than 6,500 soldiers and airman are on duty to help with the recovery. Of course they can't start recovery yet. We have to get through the next several days. Smerconish is up after a quick break. We'll see you again in an hour.