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Kavanaugh's Accuser to Testify on Thursday; President Trump Threaten New Tariffs on Japan; Gunmen Killed 29 in Iran's Parade; Former Brexit Secretary Faces Theresa May; Growing Trade War between U.S. and China; Record Flood set in South Carolina after Hurricane Florence; Tiger Woods Roaring Back. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 24, 2018 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Later this week, we hear from the woman who accuses a Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault. The new developments surrounding Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The U.S. and China exchanged new trade war blows as massive tariffs take effect. How they could impact your wallet.

And he pulled it off after five years, Tiger Woods makes a stunning comeback.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States, and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. This is CNN Newsroom.

Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is now denying a new allegation of sexual misconduct and the White House is standing by him calling the allegation part of a smear campaign.

Now this comes as Kavanaugh's original accuser is set to tell her story before the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday.

Christine Blasey Ford alleges Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth during a house party when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh denied that ever happened.

More now from CNN's Jessica Schneider.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The date is set for Christine Blasey Ford's testimony. It will be on Thursday at 10 a.m. and it will be an open hearing. Now Blasey Ford will testify first in front of the committee after which Judge Brett Kavanaugh will testify.

Blasey Ford will also have security since she's been receiving death threats since her identity became public. And there is still uncertainty as to who will be doing the questioning.

It is possible that Republicans could bring in an outside attorney who is a female but Blasey Ford's attorney say they want the senators doing the questioning since they've been dismissive of her allegations.

Now meanwhile, Chairman Chuck Grassley issued a statement Sunday saying that the committee itself had been investigating and of the four other people Blasey Ford says were at the party, including Judge Kavanaugh, according to the committee all have denied any knowledge or recollection of Blasey Ford's recollection of events.

And of course Judge Kavanaugh had also issued several forceful denials. And meanwhile the White House and Judge Kavanaugh are now also denying another allegation against Kavanaugh of inappropriate behavior this time from a woman who said she attended Yale with the Supreme Court nominee.

The New York reported on Sunday that 53-year-old Debra Ramirez remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party during the 1983-1984 school year.

However, two other people Ramirez says were present at the party issued a statement to, to the New Yorker saying they never heard of such an incident. And CNN has not corroborated her story.

Kavanaugh has released a statement saying this. "This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth and defending my good name and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building against these last-minute allegations."

White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec saying, "This 35-year-old uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man. This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say. The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh."

Ramirez was initially hesitant to speak publicly because she said her memory contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time. After she reassessed her memory over the course of about six days with her attorney, she did go on record with the New Yorker.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: So let's discuss the Kavanaugh confirmation battle with Natasha Lindstaedt, a professor of government at the University of Essex in England. Thanks so much for being with us.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thank you.

CHURCH: I want to start with this new allegation of sexual misconduct being leveled at Brett Kavanaugh. It appeared in the New Yorker magazine but her story has not been corroborated. So we want to be very cautious as we cover this of course.

It comes as the Senate judiciary committee prepares to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford regarding her sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. Could this potentially be a game changer and force the committee to have an investigation into these allegations?

LINDSTAEDT: Right. So whether this is a game changer or not, we don't really know yet because a lot of the details as you said have not been corroborated. So it is still very early news about this.

[03:05:04] But what it does indicate for Kavanaugh is that there's a possibility that there is a pattern of bad behavior, a pattern of sexual misconduct.

And what it -- what the Senate should do, Senate judiciary should do is they should delay this as Senator Diane Feinstein have asked, because they need to have an investigation, not just for this most recent allegation but for the -- for Professor Ford's accusations as well.

But as you see the Republicans are in quite a hurry to confirm Kavanaugh before they have a proper background investigation.

CHURCH: Right. And Brett Kavanaugh denies this ever happen of course. He says this is all a smear campaign against him. He says he looks forward to testifying Thursday and defending his good name. Wouldn't an investigation help clear his name, why wouldn't he be calling for that?

LINDSTAEDT: That's one of the things that one would think he would do in order to kind of clear his name as you said and to say that, you know, he have nothing to hide and that, you know, an FBI investigation would prove that but he hasn't publicly called for this. And the Republicans haven't called for this. They seem to be more in a hurry to get this hearing done very quickly and to hopefully confirm him.

If you recall in 1991 when Anita Hill's accusations came out against Clarence Thomas there was an investigation. It didn't take that many days but they did decide to go through with an -- with the FBI investigating them.

CHURCH: Yes. I mean, this is the thing. We're hearing that it could take three days. It is just astounding that they wouldn't opt for that because it wouldn't take very long.

We've also learned that the mock questioning with Kavanaugh in preparation for his own testimony Thursday was not going particularly well because he was refusing to answer some of the questions that he actually found too personal. So how problematic could that prove to be for him if he refused to answer some of those questions publicly on Thursday?

LINDSTAEDT: Even at the other hearings beforehand, Kavanaugh had difficulty answering some of the tougher questions from Democrats. There were some questions that he sort of fumbled on and didn't do a particularly good job at answering those questions.

Now how this is going to play out with the senators, that the very conservative senators that are just very much in favor of getting him confirmed, it probably won't affect that very much. But it could have an impact on how he answer these questions on some of those senators that aren't so sure that may not want to confirm him and it may decide that, you know, this isn't really the best candidate to confirm at this moment.

CHURCH: Right, and of course at this point we still don't know if the 11 Republican male members of the committee will question Blasey Ford directly on Thursday or if outside council will be brought in to do that instead.

But what we do know is that Blasey Ford's request to include the sworn testimony of Mark Judge, the other person she alleges was in the room at the time of the allege assault that's being denied.

Wouldn't that be the only way to get to the truth of the matter, to talk to the one other allege witness who was there in the same room for the sake of both Kavanaugh and for Blasey Ford?

LINDSTAEDT: Right. The logical thing to do would be of course to question the one other person that actually was supposedly in the room at the time where this event took place.

But it would also be logical to question the former FBI agent who administered Blasey Ford's polygraph test. It would also make logical sense to question experts on trauma. But the Republicans are really in a hurry to get Kavanaugh confirmed. And they were worried that by bringing in these other witnesses that that's going to make that much more difficult.

CHURCH: Yes. We will continue to watch this. Of course Thursday is going to be an incredible day as we hear the testimony from both Blasey Ford and then from Brett Kavanaugh after that.

Natasha Linstaedt, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

LINDSTAEDT: Thank you.

CHURCH: And as Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process comes to a delicate moment, Republican allies are urging President Trump to wait until the process is over before possibly firing the man overseeing the investigation into Russian election meddling.

CNN's Boris Sanchez has more on that.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sources inside the White House tell CNN that close aides have asked President Trump to wait until the confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is over before he decides whether or not to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

This is after reporting emerged over the weekend that Rosenstein allegedly had conversations about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from his post and had suggested that he potentially wear a wire to record his conversations with the president. [03:10:00] According to sources inside the White House, at one point

the president actually asked if this was a plot or a ploy to try to get him to fire the deputy attorney general, which we should point out he has been unhappy with for some time.

Sources have indicated President Trump is not thrilled about the way that Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia investigation. He believes that Rod Rosenstein has given Robert Mueller free reign to investigate certain things that the president did not want him looking into.

If you recall at one point President Trump said that his finances were a red line that Robert Mueller should nor cross, though we know that the special counsel has been looking in to President Trump's finances as part of the broader Russia probe.

I do want you to listen to something President Trump said at a rally in Springfield, Missouri Friday night after these reports about Rod Rosenstein came out. He doesn't specifically mention the deputy attorney general but if you listen closely it sounds like he's sending a message suddenly. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have great people in the Department of Justice. We have great people -- these are people, I really believe, you take a poll, I have to be at 95 percent.

But you have some real bad ones. You see what's happened at the FBI. They're all gone. They're all gone. But there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Sources also tell CNN that President Trump actually work shopped that stench line with some aides before delivering it to his supporters on Friday night.

As you know, the deputy attorney general one of a number of figures that the president has appointed, but whom he has ultimately become disenchanted with because of the way that the Department of Justice hasn't followed some of the president's orders so to speak to persecute his political enemies and to shield certain Republicans from investigations.

Boris Sanchez, CNN, outside Trump tower in New York City.

CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump turned to international issues Sunday meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Their dinner ahead of this week's U.N. general assembly comes days after Mr. Abe won a third term as premier.

Now he told Japanese television that they discussed to North Korea and had constructive talks on trade.

Mr. Trump has threatened a 25 percent tariff on Japanese vehicle imports as a way to reduce a trade deficit. The two men are set to meet again on Wednesday.

Now, ahead of that, President Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in later in Monday, as Nic Robertson reports, Mr. Trump will be pressing for more details about the commitments made during the recent Korean summit.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, President Moon Jae-in has effectively become the go between now between President Trump and Kim Jong-un in North Korea.

What President Trump is going to want to hear about, any additional details that President Moon can add to this commitment that North Korea appears to have made to continue denuclearization process at one of its sites and also to scrap and get rid of a missile test facility.

Now, this missile test facility, the North Koreans have said that they will allow international monitors from relevant countries. The details here that aren't clear, publicly at least, which of those countries. And when would this dismantling begin. Would this have an effect on other of the missile test facilities that North Korea has?

What President Moon is also likely to tell President Trump is that what Kim Jong-un wants is a declaration from the United States that the Korean War is over. Now is President Trump ready to give that? That's not clear. But this is going to be the crux of that meeting.

And another person, another leader that President Trump is going to be talking to and he'll have a summit with later in the week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He also is going to want to find out what President Trump has learned about Kim Jong-un's latest proposals.

Of course, the big issue everyone is going to be watching is what President Trump says about Iran. Of course, remembering last year he used very tough and strong language directed at North Korea calling Kim Jong-un rocket man.

This year President Trump is going to be trying to isolate Iran, pointing out its meddling in the region, its sponsoring of terrorism. These are going to be issues he's going to discuss.

And of course, that recent attack in Iran that Iran's leaders, President Rouhani, has blamed the United States and Saudi Arabia for saying they will essentially be revenge for that attack in Iran that killed more than two dozen Iranian soldiers and civilians in a military parade.

That kind of language is going to play into President Trump's hand that Iran is a maligned influence in the Middle East at the moment. This is how we can expect President Trump to sort of use this speech that he'll be giving at the UNGA.

Nic Robertson, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: And we will have much more on that attack coming up. Iran is blaming the U.S. and Saudis, but there are other suspects. A live report from the region when we come back. [03:15:07] Plus, British Prime Minister Theresa May could be at an

impasse when it comes to Brexit. But a rival plan to leave the E.U. has come to light. We are live in London with details about that. Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Iran is vowing deadly and unforgettable revenge after Saturday's terror attack at a military parade. State media report gunmen killed at least 29 people.

Iranian officials are blaming foreign powers like Saudi Arabia and the president, Hassan Rouhani says mercenaries backed by the U.S. are responsible. The U.S. has condemned the attack and denies it was involved.

For what this all mean, CNN's Ben Wedeman joins me now live from the Lebanese capital Beirut. Good to see you again, Ben. So as we just reported, Iran convinced the U.S. and Saudi Arabia behind this attack, but of course the U.S. denies any involvement. Who stands to gain from an attack like this and who are the possible suspects?

[03:20:06] BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Rosemary, certainly this sort of attack obviously does go some way to undermine or at least create the impression that the government in Iran is under pressure either from within or without.

Now, even though the United States denies being involved in this attack, certainly for the Iranians they look at, for instance, John Bolton, the national security advisor to President Trump who for decades was a passionate advocate for regime change in Iran.

They look at, for instance, Rudy Giuliani who over the weekend, of course, he's the personal attorney for President Trump. Over the weekend at a meeting of an Iranian opposition group in New York, he did advocate or, rather, say that the United States sympathizes with regime change.

So, from an Iranian perspective obviously ultimately whoever is behind those who undertook this attack, they believe the United States is somehow there. Now there are two sort of general areas of suspicion when it comes to this attack.

One, of course, is ISIS which did put out a claim of responsibility as well as a video of three of the attackers on their way allegedly to this attack itself. Now, three of the attackers were killed. One apparently is in custody in Iran.

Now, the other main suspect in the general sense are those groups in this province of Khuzesta which is along the Iraqi border, which has a significant Arabic speaking minority that traditionally has agitated for independence from Iran.

And what some of those groups did claim responsibility in the immediate aftermath of the attack and then backtracked on that claim of responsibility. But that's the two groups or rather groups that suspicion lies immediately when it comes to responsibility for this attack on Saturday. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Right. And as you mentioned one suspect in custody, presumably they will be able to question him and learn some more about this attack on who perhaps is behind it. So, talk to us about that and what sort of impact this might have in changes to security measures?

WEDEMAN: Well, we did see on Mizan, which is a news web site in Iran that the Iranian intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi is saying a large network of suspects had already -- has already been arrested in connection with the attacks. So we'll have to see what comes out of that.

But certainly in a broader sense, this does increase the feeling in Tehran that there is a situation developing where the country is increasingly under attack since the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and has re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.

There certainly is a paranoia, so to speak, perhaps well based in Iran that forces are gathering against it, even though we did see the U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo saying that perhaps President Trump is willing to meet with the supreme leader of Iran, ayatollah Khomeini, even though he has not left the country since the last millennium. So we'll see how that works out. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes. We'll keep a close eye on developments there. Ben Wedemen joining us with that live report from Beirut. Many thanks to you as always.

Well, the Brexit battle appears to be coming to a head. Happening soon, the former Brexit secretary is set to unveil a plan to rival Prime Minister Theresa May's Chequers deal. This as Mrs. May is set to chair a cabinet meeting where ministers are likely to demand a new strategy after the European Union rejected her deal last week.

Joining us now is Bianca Nobilo from Downing Street in London to shed some more light on this. Good to see you, Bianca. So how likely is this to play out and what more are you learning about this rival Brexit deal that is yet to be revealed?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: Good morning, Rosemary. I do apologize. They are doing some housekeeping behind me at Downing Street if there is any noise.

Well, today is a huge day for Theresa May in terms of Brexit. She does have this rival Brexit plan which is going to be released by the former Brexit secretary, and a leading figure in the pro-Brexit campaign here in the United Kingdom.

Now the key part of this rival plan are the fact that they are looking to secure something along the lines of the Canada deal, which Canada has with the E.U. which is essentially a comprehensive free trade agreement.

They say that the way to solve the issue of avoiding a hard border in Ireland which is a main sticking point in these negotiations is to strike a free trade agreement covering goods between the E.U. and the U.K. after Britain leaves the European Union.

[03:25:10] However, that doesn't take into account the services industry which is one of the key industries in the U.K. So we're waiting to hear that announcement and to hear a more full description of their ideas.

And just after that the prime minister will be meeting with her cabinet and facing a lot of pressure based on the disastrous informal summit in Salisbury last week, where the E.U. rejected key elements of her Chequers plan.

CHURCH: Yes. So, Bianca, where does this all leave Theresa May's leadership as she prepares to chair this imminent cabinet meeting?

NOBILO: She's been in a precarious position for so many months now, Rosemary. But she does manage to hang on. Now a lot of that is the fact that dealing with these negotiations is a poison challenge, it's a job that not anybody really wants. So that's been helping her stay in position.

However, at the end of the this week, she faces her party faithful, her party conference in Birmingham which is going to be a trying time for her definitely. And she's under pressure from all sides now.

Because not only has the E.U. rejected key elements of her Checquers plan, she is obviously facing pressure from Brexiters to take a harder line with the E.U. and having a less close relationship.

And the also the opposition party in the U.K., the Labour Party are giving noises of encouragement towards the second referendum on Brexit. So pressure on all sides on Theresa May today, Rosemary, and we have to see what happens at that cabinet meeting.

CHURCH: Yes, I know you'll be watching all the developments and reporting back to us. Bianca Nobilo, thank you so much, joining us there live from 10 Downing Street. I appreciate it.

Let's take a very short break here. Still to come, the U.S./China trade war continues to escalate and that's making it more expensive for tech lovers in the U.S. The story is up next.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you on the main stories we are following this hour.

Iran is vowing deadly and unforgettable revenge after a terror attack at a military parade on Saturday. Authorities say gunmen killed at least 29 people in the country's southwest. They have blamed multiple factions including the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, denies that U.S. played a role.

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe met with U.S. President Trump on Sunday ahead of the U.N. General Assembly in remarks on Japanese television, Mr. Abe said. The two men discussed North Korea and had constructive talks on trade. Mr. Trump has threatened a 25 percent tariff on Japanese vehicles to reduce a trade deficit.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the White House are denying a new allegation made by a second woman who accuses Kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual behavior. This comes after his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, said she is committed to testify publicly in a Senate hearing on Thursday. Kavanaugh denies the allegations. He will be given time to defend himself after Ford testifies.

The trade war between the United States and China is rapidly intensifying. Just hours ago, the U.S. imposed a 10 percent tax on an addition $200 billion in Chinese goods. That could increase to a rate of 25 percent by the end of the year. President Trump has also threatened tariffs on other $267 billion in Chinese goods. The Chinese are retaliating with a five to 10 percent tariff on $60 billion in U.S. goods that they import.

Let's turn to our Steven Jiang. He joins us live from Beijing. Steven, it is hard to stay on top of all of the tit for tat tariffs that are occurring right now. What impact though are these tariffs will have to consumers in China? Are people feeling any of the effects right now? Is it too premature?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Overall, Rosemarie, it usually takes some time for these tariffs to be reflected in consumer prices that people pay, but we are starting to see the effect.

For example, if you go order a sandwich or burger with American beef or pork, then yeah, you will probably have to pay higher prices. This is the kind of effect that we start to see on the ground that may affect people's opinions and their sentiment.

On the other side of the equation, U.S.-imposed tariffs are starting to affect Chinese exporters, for example. These are manufacturers who send their products to the U.S. and that could affect American consumers as they go shopping.

For example, they may notice shampoo, dog food, electronic appliances, their prices go up in their favorites stores because the latest round of U.S.-imposed tariffs now target consumer goods compared to the previous rounds which mostly targeted industrial goods.

So, this is really, as you say, tit for tat and with no end in sight. And as these consumer prices may experience price increases, that could affect public sentiment.

That's something actually that Chinese government is watching very closely in terms of American consumer reactions which, as you know, may affect their decisions in the upcoming midterm elections. That could be a referendum on Mr. Trump, including his China trade policy. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. Is there any possibility that in China, some of the goods, some of the American goods, the people just stop purchasing them because they will be too expensive?

JIANG: That's certainly a possibility. But at this stage, you know, it is interesting to note that the Chinese government finds it increasingly difficult to match the U.S. tariffs dollar for dollar, that's because the U.S. imports a lot more from China than the other way around. That was one of Mr. Trump's original complaints on this trading balance.

But the Chinese government, according to many economists, still have some tricks in their sleeve including charging higher tariffs on American products, imposing some sort of import quota, restricting their citizens traveling to the U.S. for study and tourism, or providing tax relief for Chinese companies affected by this trade war. So, a lot of uncertainty. But one thing is for sure, neither side is backing down at this juncture. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Certainly not. It will be interesting to see where this all goes. Steven Jiang bringing us that live report from Beijing, many thanks to you. One of the big American sectors worried about the tariffs on Chinese goods is tech.

[03:35:03] Some American companies have negotiated deals to work around the tariffs for now. But that doesn't mean it is going to be smooth sailing for all of your favorite gadget makers. CNN's Samuel Burke explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Tim Cook's touch. The Apple CEO's lobbying of the Trump administration saved the iPhone from the latest round of Trump tariffs. Also spared, wearables and other smart devices brought to the U.S. from China.

WILBUR ROSS, U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: Well, we are trying to do things that would be the least interest of -- on the consumer.

BURKE: The latest round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods is hitting other parts of Silicon Valley hard.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It is time to take a stand on China. We have no choice. You know it has been a long time. They've been hurting us.

JOSH KALLMER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, ITI (ph): There are certain kinds of machines that you and I never come into contact with but that underpin a lot of the high-tech products that people buy.

BURKE: They're the key components that make computers, household appliances, and home security systems hum. Even your favorite Netflix series could be hit. The streaming company's videos are played from Amazon's Cloud servers. That equipment comes from China.

Apple may not be in the clear for long. The president has said he is ready to tax almost all Chinese imports, calling out Apple directly in a tweet and claiming there is an easy solution. "Make your products in the United States instead of China, start building new plants now. Exciting!"

The administration says the tariffs are meant to pressure China to fall in line. Experts say a levy on the iPhone would be counterproductive. Even though the device is assembled in China, it is designed and manufactured in the U.S.

KALLMER: Ninety percent of that tariff falls on value created by Americans. There's no other way to say that literally the United States is taxing itself.

BURKE: And Apple may have the most to lose if China retaliates with tariffs of its own. Twenty-one percent of the company sales are in China, leaving a clear target on America's most valuable company.

Samuel Burke, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. Still to come, flood waters are trapping people in their homes more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall. We will take you on a aerial tour of one of the worst hit areas in South Carolina. We'll be back with that.

[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Many residents in North and South Carolina are trapped, stranded without necessities as flood waters from Hurricane Florence's aftermath remain dangerously high. Conway, South Carolina has seen record setting flooding since the storm. Nick Valencia went on an aerial tour of that area.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, a small community here in South Carolina is still dealing with major flooding. We are high above the skies of Conway, South Carolina. We wanted to give you a bird's eye perspective of what residents are still dealing with here. You just take a look for yourself.

This subdivision here is near the river. But now, most of it is underwater. Earlier, we were in this community and saw residents as they were desperately trying to sandbag their homes, residents that didn't think that they were going to get any water. Now, that water is starting to creep into their homes, and it's high.

We are told by the local emergency management that the river, the Waccamaw River, which is causing this overflow was rising at about three inches per hour. By the end of the day, it had gone up at least two feet. Here we are. We are told now that the river has stabilized sort of just a bit and it has gone up just about a foot.

They are still not expecting this river to crest until sometime early Tuesday. National Guard is on hand as well as local resources to try to assist the residents who were still desperately clinging to hope that they will not lose their homes.

The good news in all of this, no injuries so far have been reported. But this has become a really very, very much so miserable situation for the residents that are still dealing with this nine days after Hurricane Florence made landfall. The next community (INAUDIBLE) is expected to be Georgetown which is about 40 miles away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Nick Valencia with that report. While people in the Carolinas try to recover from Hurricane Florence, another tropical system is brewing for the Caribbean. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis is watching all of that. She joins us now. What are you seeing, Karen?

KAREN MAGINNIS, METEOROLOGIST: Rosemary, it hasn't made its way to the Caribbean just yet, but it is on its way, and as it moves closer towards the Caribbean, it is going to gain some strength. It was a tropical storm intensity. Now, it is just essentially a tropical depression, barely supporting 35 miles an hour winds associated with it.

But take a look at what the National Hurricane Center is suggesting. It goes into the next 12, 24 hours, it starts picking up some intensity. The water is warmer here. There's nothing obstructing it. There's no sheer. So, it is a favorable environment. It moves into the Caribbeans as we go towards Friday.

This is many days away. And we're looking at the potential here. It is pretty low latitude that perhaps it will start to weaken again. Computer models, the spaghetti models that we always tell you about and look at, most of them are in fairly good agreement that it pushes across a Windward and Leeward islands and into the Caribbean.

What it does from there is probably too far out, computer graphics wise, to predict what we anticipate then. Then there's a big flood threat all the way from Ohio River Valley to Tennessee River Valley right along the quasi stationary frontal system.

Some areas especially across central and northern sections of Kentucky, they may see the most as far as precipitation goes. Generally speaking in this area, right around Lexington and into Louisville, but not exclusive there, three to five inches or maybe 50 to perhaps 125 millimeters of rainfall.

Some scattered showers and storms across this region eventually making its way into New York City and Boston but then temperatures start to go up there. So haven't arrived with autumn just yet here. Back to you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much, Karen. I appreciate it. Golf legend Tiger Woods has done it again after five years without a PGA tour win. Tiger Woods is back on top again. He talks to CNN about his Sunday victory and his comeback.

[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MAGINNIS: I'm CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis. This is your Weather Watch. Some areas across North America trying to transition to more autumn-type weather pattern with some cooler temperatures. That's further to the north. Even some of the higher elevations in the northern rocky expecting some snow fall.

But a languishing weather system, quasi-stationary weather system across the deep south will be the trigger mechanism for some rainfall. Could be heavy at times. Already about eight million people under flash flood watches across the Tennessee and Ohio river valleys extending all the way from Columbus and into Louisville, Kentucky towards Nashville.

Even towards Atlanta, some of the rainfall at times could be heavy as well. That's riding all along that quasi-stationary frontal system. There you could see some of the forecast rainfall totals over the next 48 hours could be between 100 and 150 millimeters on ground that is already pretty saturated.

And Denver 26, Winnipeg at nine degrees, Vancouver sunshine 16, Atlanta some thunderstorm in 28, Miami will soar to 32. Now the warm temperatures across the southeast, that remains in place. And look at those temperatures across the northern tier, they are going to be markedly cooler in the forecast.

CHURCH: It has been years in the making, but Tiger is finally roaring back. All-time golfing great Tiger Woods has won a PGA tour event for the first time in more than five years. He got the big win Sunday at the tour championship right here in Atlanta. He finished 11 under par for the weekend for his 80th PGA win. The victory comes after years of injuries and personal setbacks for Woods. He spoke to CNN's Patrick Snell about what it took to win.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORT ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I'm with the victorious Tiger Woods for the first time since 2013. You have overcome so much, Tiger. You're a 14-time major winner. You've won all over the world, yet you battled career threatening injuries as well. What does it mean to have overcome so much, all you've been through, and win again?

TIGER WOODS, WINNER OF 2018 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP: It's been unbelievable to get to this level again. I didn't know if that would ever happen again and lo and behold here we are. I worked through the -- an unknown, and that was the hardest part. It was an unknown. I didn't know what I'd be able to do this again, at what level to, to what degree. And here we are with 80 wins. It's a pretty cool number.

SNELL: There are many who will describe this as the greatest sporting comeback of all time. You yourself earlier this year at Augusta, you described yourself as a walking miracle. What do you call yourself now?

WOODS: Oh, wow.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODS: I'm just blessed. I'm lucky.

[03:50:00] I am lucky because it worked out for me. You know, my back was in a pretty bad spot there and to be able to have a back that is not like what it used to be, but still be able to somehow figure this out, to figure out a golf swing and a game built on a fixed point in my back, it's been interesting.

It hasn't been easy, but I've been very lucky to have had a great team around me and they've worked so hard to give me a chance. And also the support I've had from them means all the world to me.

SNELL: The range of emotions you went through on that last hole, talk us through that. And I want to say that you appeared to be fighting back tears at one point. What was that whole experience like?

WOODS: I was because the tournament was over -- Once I -- you know, I parred 17 and I hit the shot on 18, the tournament wasn't over yet. So, I tried to hit the ball short right. Anything right of that flag is good. And once I put the ball in the bunker, I had an easy bunker shot.

From there it was, you know, you could still lose the golf tournament. Out of bounds is over the back of the green. I went a little chunky, hit a little fat and rolled up there. I gave Joey a little high five. The tournament was over.

That's when I started realizing, this is my 80th win, and that was pretty special. Just to be able to say that, that number. You know, all I've gone through to get to this point is pretty special.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Joining me now to talk about Tiger Woods' big win is Christine Brennan. Christine is a CNN commentator and "USA Today" columnist. Good to have you with us.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN COMMENTATOR, COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Rosemary, great to be with you. Such a fascinating story and fascinating sports day.

CHURCH: It is, isn't it? Tiger Woods' first PGA title in five years. How big a comeback is this for him given his past public scandal and of course his knee and back problems?

BRENNAN: Absolutely. Four surgeries on his back, four surgeries on his knee. He has his back fused together, part of his spine and one of the more recent surgeries. He couldn't walk. He wondered if -- to get around he had to crawl for a while. He wondered if he'd ever -- not only not play golf again, Rosemary, but also just be able to walk normally.

That was last year, just a year ago. And, of course, the DUI picture, I think many people remember that, Tiger sinking to perhaps his lowest low with the DUI, the dashboard camera which was Memorial Day weekend of 2017. So late May of 2017 just, what, 16 months ago.

And to think of where he was then and people were just talking about could he get his life back together. And here he is winning the tour championship after having a terrific summer where he contended in the British open and then he contended in the PGA championship and was a real factor in both of those.

Maybe could have won either one. Didn't win, but he then wins the tour championship and he does it in such a resounding fashion with all the galleries around him, the pictures, the visuals, amazing. Just a stunning turn of events for Tiger as he's only a few months away from his 43rd birthday.

CHURCH: Right. It has been a long journey for him, hasn't it? Does it matter that this wasn't a major?

BRENNAN: I think it does personally. He's won 14 major tournaments, but it has been since the U.S. Open in June of 2008. So now more than 10 years since he's won a major title. And to me, the comeback will really be complete when and if he does that.

His next chance, Rosemary, to do that will be next April. So it's several months away. That would be the masters in April of 2019. The U.S. Open, the British open, and then the PGA championship.

But the reality is here that he has -- he's done an amazing thing, not to by any means diminish what he did. But I think one of those majors, especially the masters is always his best shot. When he leaves Augusta and hasn't won the masters, he's always gone through what would be his best shot to win a major at the masters at Augusta, Georgia.

So I think -- I cannot even imagine the interest level, the excitement and the odds of Tiger -- for Tiger going into the masters next April. I think it's going to be huge. But I do think to cement that legacy and to say this is the greatest comeback we've ever seen in sports history or whatever which I don't even know if we want to go there, but I think it got to be a major for Tiger to do that.

CHURCH: Right. Yes, it might be a little premature for that. So, I mean, looking at what has happened, has Tiger Woods earned his right for a new start after all the fallout from his public and personal scandals and of course all his surgeries?

BRENNAN: You know, it's a great question.

[03:54:59] The one that most people remember was the run-in with the fire hydrant and the subsequent dismantling of his personal life and his family life with all the stories of affairs and other things, then a divorce with his wife, the mother of his two children.

That was actually all the way back in 2009, November of 2009. So that's been a long time. And I think you can actually think both things. I think you can still probably remember that or remember the DUI and the fact that he was parked in the middle of -- partially on the road, partially on the shoulder just a year and a few months ago.

And the concern there, of course, about how he was living his life and the problems and the issues that he had. I think you can still have those feelings and be concerned about them, but also just recognize Tiger as the great golfer that he is. One of a kind, not only once in a generation, maybe once in a lifetime. And for new generations of golfers who only heard their parents tell them about Tiger, to be able to watch this and see what he did at the tour championship in Atlanta and then also the promise and the possibility not only the Ryder Cup coming up just this week in France, but then moving forward into next year, I think you can have those -- you can be excited for Tiger, but you can also remember some of the issues in his life.

But I also think he's come a long way to move on from those issues and to remind people why everyone cheered for him originally which was, of course, all about the golf.

CHURCH: Yeah. The crowds were showing there are still a lot of people cheering him on. We shall see what Tiger Woods achieves at the masters. That is his next challenge. Thank you so much, Christine Brennan, for joining us. We appreciate it.

BRENNAN: My pleasure, Rosemary. Thank you.

CHURCH: And thank you for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. "Early Start" is next for our viewers here in the United States. For everyone else, stay tuned for more news with Max Foster in London. Have yourselves a great day.

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