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20 Killed In Limo Crash In Upstate New York; Trump Uses Kavanaugh Momentum To Rally Voters For Midterms; Pompeo Hails Step Forward On Second North Korea Summit; Potential Hurricane Moving Toward US; Parts Unknown Airs Sunday. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 7, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:01:08] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday, I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Breaking News at any moment now, we expect to get a live update from authorities in Upstate, New York about a limousine crashed that killed 20 people. We are also getting our first look at the limo as you see right there, off the road there, in the trees and in presumably a ditch. Investigators say it crashed in front of a store, a popular with tourists in Schoharie, New York, which is about an hour outside of Albany.
Witnesses say they heard screaming in the parking lot and a loud bang. Investigators say the limo collided with another vehicle yesterday afternoon. The NTSB is now investigating.
CNN Correspondent Cristina Alesci is joining us right now with more. What can you tell us?
CRISTINA ALESCI: Fredricka, we are still reporting out the details and don't have the answer to how this happened. But here's what we know so far, about 24 hours ago, a limo crashed with another vehicle and 20 people are dead. Reports indicate that 18 of those people may have been inside the limo and others may have been bystanders. That's according to the local paper at the Times Union. Here's one witness describing the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIDEEN FINEGAN, WITNESS: I've heard this loud bang. I came out. I saw a lot of people up here at the Apple Barrel out in the parking lot. And then I heard screaming. I walked up and I could see this large van, very unusual looking vehicle for out here in Schoharie in the bushes and really wrecked, hit a tree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALESCI: The crash occurred right outside the local business called the Apple Barrel County store, that's according to New York State Police. On its Facebook page, the store said, it's collecting donations for the local volunteer emergency services. It also issued this statement, "Our hearts and prayers go out to victim's families, our customers who tried to assist and our staff who tried to comfort. We are a small community and you all will forever be a part of our family."
Now, we're still reporting out again what caused the crash and the names of the victims. Authorities are not going to release those until they notify next of kin. But we should have more details very soon when authorities hold that press conference this hour and my colleague Polo is on the way to Schoharie right now and will be reporting on the ground there.
WHITFIELD: OK. And, in fact, Christine, the press is right under way. Let's listen.
CHRISTOPHER FIORE, NEW YORK STATE POLICE: On October 6, 2018, at approximately 1:55 p.m., Schoharie County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police Patrols responded to a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of State Route 30 and State Route 30-A in the town of Schoharie.
The investigation at the scene revealed that a 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling southwest on State Route 30 and failed to stop at the intersection with State Route 30-A. The limousine traveled across the intersection into a parking lot and struck a 2015 Toyota Highlander that was unoccupied and parked. Two pedestrians standing nearby were also struck and killed.
In total, 20 victims were killed, all were adults. Eighteen of the victims were in the limousine, including the driver, and the two pedestrians that were struck.
At this time, the identities of the victims are not being released pending the autopsy results and notification of the family members.
The state police have setup a dedicated phone line to assist the family members of the victims in the crash.
[15:05:02] We encourage them to call 1-877-672-4911 and speak with a member of the State Police. I repeat that number, that's 1-877-672- 4911.
In addition to Troop G uniform and BCI members, the Troop G Collision Reconstruction Unit and Forensic Investigation Unit responded the scene along with Schoharie County Sheriff's Department members and of Emergency and Medical Services, and numerous volunteer agencies. I would like to thank our fellow first responders for their assistance during this investigation.
The National Transportation Safety Board was also notified and has launched a team to investigate the crash. The scene has been cleared at this time and the victims have been transported to Albany Medical Center where autopsies are now being conducted.
The state police investigation continuing with interviews, evidence processing and collision reconstruction. Governor Cuomo has directed all State agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in the investigation and determination of what led to this tragedy.
We will answer questions that we can in the moment but first, I would like to invite NTSB Chairman Sumwalt to say a few words.
ROBERT SUMWALT, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD: Thank you very much, First Deputy Superintendent Fiore. I'm Robert Sumwalt and I'm the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
NTSB Go Team arrived this morning to begin our investigation of this crash in Schoharie, New York. Before I go any further, I certainly like to express our condolences to all of those who have been affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.
The NTSB is an independent federal agency were charge by Congress to investigate transportation accidents, determine the probable cause and issue safety recommendation to prevent the reoccurrence of those crashes. The investigator in-charge leading the investigation will be Mr. Pete Kotowski. Pete has over three decades of investigative experience. Mr. Kotowski is leading a multidisciplinary team with experts in a number of areas, including highway crash reconstruction, survival factors, vehicle factors, including the mechanical condition of the limo, any roadway factors and the emergency response.
Also accompanying the Go Team are members from the NTSB's Office of Transportation Disaster Assistance. They will be helping to coordinate the response for the families of those involved in this tragedy. The NTSB is also working with the New York State Police as they conduct their investigation. We are conducting our separate investigation but we will be working together.
Throughout the next few days, the NTSB investigators will work on scene to thoroughly document the scene, and to gather what we call the perishable evidence, the information that goes away with the passage of time. Expect are investigators will be here in about five days since we are at the very beginning of the investigation. We really don't have any information to report on the actual investigation itself but we will be keeping you informed through regular updates, either media briefings or through our media sources like Twitter.
It's important to point out that our mission is to point out not only what happened, but why it happened so that we can keep things like this from happening in the future. We will not be determining the cause of the crash while we are on scene. That will come at a later date nor we will we be speculating on any cause of the crash.
I certainly want to thank the first responders. I know it has been a very, very trying 25 hours for all involved. And again, our thoughts and prayers go out to those. I will turn it back over to the First Deputy Superintendent.
[15:10:01] FIORE: Thank you. OK. At this time I will open it to any questions. But please keep in mind, it's very early in the investigation, we have not made notifications to the family members, so we're going to be very limited on what we can disclose.
(OFF-MIC) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you say in what regions anyone's from, on this would probably from. And also you mentioned that the limousine went through the stop sign, you say. How do you know that? Was there a witness?
FIORE: Well, I'm not going to discuss at this time the -- where the limousine came from and where it was heading. As I said, we have not notified all the family members yet. So, I'm not going to comment on that at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a general reasons at this time (inaudible)?
FIORE: You know, it's early on in the investigation. I really can't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also, you pointed about that the limousine going through. How do you know that? Do you have a witness or somebody?
FIORE: There were witnesses at the scene, but just from the, you know, the evidence discovered at the crash. It was apparent that this was the direction of travel and what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the limousine coming from and where was it going?
FIORE: Yes. I can't comment on that right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did everyone inside the limousine die including the driver?
FIORE: Everyone inside the limousine was killed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was the limousine overcapacity or do you know or was a bit for the number of people that were actually in it?
FIORE: I can't discuss that at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) what killed them was one force trauma?
FIORE: I'm not going to get into that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was anybody involved in the accident that survived (INAUDIBLE)?
FIORE: When you say involved in the accident, what do you mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By that whether in the other bystanders what were (INAUDIBLE) or involving --
FIORE: I can't comment on that. I'm not sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But do you know the psychology on the driver?
FIORE: We'll do a thorough investigation including an autopsy of all the victims and the driver.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know if they were (INAUDIBLE) --
FIORE: I don't know that at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) working on the limo?
FIORE: Again, that's part of the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are the laws pertaining to limo drivers? Do they have to have any kind of special licensing or do passengers have o wear seatbelts inside the limo, what are the laws pertaining to that?
FIORE: The front seats passenger and the driver would be required to wear a seatbelt. The passengers in the back would not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how that when it comes to the limo drivers generally, do they have to have any sort of special training or licensing?
FIORE: There are specific designations, but that's also part of the investigation as to what was required for this particular vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First deputy, there were two bystanders is that correct (inaudible)?
FIORE: There were two pedestrians that were struck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were they walking along the area or were they going --
FIORE: That's still under investigation. They were not in the limousine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there any information about the record of the driver?
FIORE: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there any information about the record, driving record of the driver?
FIORE: Again, that's part of the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you identify the company that was offered?
FIORE: Not at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First deputy, let's be clear, those two pedestrians were along the 20 people who had killed, correct?
FIORE: Correct. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any to worry about? I'm sorry. (INAUDIBLE) with seatbelts, were -- was everybody -- do you know if everybody in the limo was wearing a seatbelt.
FIORE: We don't know at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any idea if, you know, anybody else had a seatbelt on.
FIORE: That is unknown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the type of vehicle was it?
FIORE: It was a 2001 Ford Excursion limousine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Licensing inside New York?
FIORE: Yes. It did. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you give a word about the magnitude of this crash. I mean, 20 people killed here, from your experience just a word about magnitude of this?
FIORE: I'd rather not comment on that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you recall that earlier incidents in those area for New York State?
FIORE: Again, I'd -- I'm -- I wouldn't comment on that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the third incident that we know in the last five years that it has involved a limousine. Can you talk about maybe what you would like to see done in the future to keep people safe inside a limousine?
FIORE: Chairman Sumwalt?
SUMWALT: Well, thank you. The NTSB is very concerned about safety on our roadways and we are here. The fact that the NTSB is here indicates that we're very concerned about this.
You asked about the magnitude of these 20 fatalities, it's just horrific. I've been on the board for 12 years and this is one of the biggest losses of lives -- loss of lives that we've seen in a long, long time. (Inaudible) at Buffalo killed 40 people or 50 people, but that -- this is the most deadly transportation accident in this country since February of 2009.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Fiore, do you've been estimate (INAUDIBLE) driving? Do you believe that it was in compliance with the regulations in the area?
FIORE: We do not have an estimate at this time. That's part of the investigation. [15:15:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there an indication of whether or not (inaudible) anything like that?
FIORE: Again, that will all be part of the collision reconstruction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did anyone found (INAUDIBLE). Did anyone get taken by medevac?
FIORE: I believe there was one victim that was transported to Albany Med with a medevac
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). That intersection, have you found through your records that there's been a lot of accidents there, an unusual number of accidents?
FIORE: I can't speak to that either. It's, you know, it's a T- intersection with a 50-mile-hour speed. I can't speak for that at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I'll just ask (inaudible) one more question. What are you guys looking at that you might think that needs to be changed around that area to prevent other accidents like this happening. That people in the area said that this is quite common.
SUMWALT: So the question is what specifically would the NTSB be looking at to help prevent accidents so crashes like this in the future. We, at this point in time, we look at everything. We look at the vehicle factors. We look at the roadway. We look at survival factors. We look at the condition of the drivers, the licensing of the drivers. We look at the operator itself, the company.
We look at everything. We pull -- we cast a very broad net to see what's out there. And then in our analysis phase is where we start windowing it down. But we do typically, we do conduct very thorough investigations and we come out with recommendations designed to prevent these things in the future. That's why --
SUMWALT: -- we are here.
SUMWALT: That's the last question. She called the last question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you all the time.
SUMWALT: That's -- I have questions for (inaudible).
WHITFIELD: All right. You're listening to an update there coming from authorities, local authorities and national authorities as well, about this tragic accident happening late yesterday. A limousine carrying 18 people, according to police there, going through an intersection on where state routes 30 and 30-A come together, crashing into a parked vehicle that was at a country store there. There were two pedestrians near the parked vehicle in all.
Now, 20 people were killed. Still unclear exactly what precipitated this collision. And very few details coming from authorities there in terms of the destination of that limousine and even the identity of the 18 people all killed pending next of kin nonfiction. All right.
Joining me right now, Peter Goelz, a Former Managing Director with the NTSB. So, given what you heard there, so many unanswered questions. But you did hear the chairman of the NTSB there saying really it's one of the deadliest accidents that he can recall since 2009. What strikes you about the details that we were able to get there?
PETER GOELZ, FORMER MANAGING DIRECTOR, NTSB: Well, I think it's clear that this horrific accident is going to get the attention of the NTSB. You know, in 2015, Senator Schumer from New York State asked the NTSB specifically to start monitoring and looking in-depth at these kinds of limousine accidents. And there's really going to be three or four areas that they're going to zero in on, Fred.
The first is, of course, the driver. You know, was he speeding, was he appropriately licensed? Did he know the route? Was there any impairment either from drugs, alcohol or fatigue? But they're also going to look carefully at the vehicle. You know, this -- whether there were after market changes made to the vehicle which affected the -- its structural safety aspects. You know, this --
WHITFIELD: Meaning extensions sometimes these vehicles can be, you know, modified after --
WHITFIELD: -- what the manufacturers that kind of thing.
GOELZ: That's right. I mean, a Ford Excursion unless it's been extended greatly doesn't seat 18. And they'll also zero in on that question of seatbelts. The question is, should people sitting in the back of the limousine be required not only to wear, first of all, should they be required to have seatbelts and whether they should be required to wear them.
I mean. that there was no one wearing seatbelts, which I think is going to end up being the case, is really going to change the law, I think on this. This is, you know, there is -- this is just a horrendous event and there are things that can be done that can mitigate.
WHITFIELD: And, of course, we're looking at the videotape and images that have been supplied here. We see the vehicle, what he was describing as the 2001 Ford Excursion limo. And like you said, unclear whether it was, you know, extended post-manufactured, but you see it in a ditch in the woods. [15:20:03] But I guess from this picture you don't really see too much on skid marks. What are some of the questions you have about, you know, upon impact, not just what preceded the impact, but what happened after the impact that this is a vehicle that, you know, flipped over several times. And we were talking about the deaths of 18 people in that vehicle.
GOELZ: Right. You're going to look at a couple of things. One is you're going to look at the interior design of the vehicle. You know, was it crash-friendly, you know, or were there modifications done to the inside that really caused injury to the -- to people who might not have been wearing seatbelts.
They're going to look and see if whether any of the passengers were expelled from the vehicle. I mean, this is -- this accident is going to change the limousine industry and going to change it significantly. That because it is, you know, not only because of the magnitude, but because its not -- these accidents have happened in the past.
WHITFIELD: Horrible situation. Our thoughts of course go out to all the family members of those 20 killed. Peter Goelz, thanks so much.
GOELZ: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Still ahead, Brett Kavanaugh is now a US Supreme Court Justice. But can Capitol Hill recover after a combative confirmation process?
[15:25:47] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. It's the final push to the midterms. President Trump is back in Washington today, riding a high after his victory lap in Kansas, to tell his remarkable week.
With just 30 days until the November elections, we now officially have a complete US Supreme Court. Justice Brett Kavanaugh will sit on the bench starting Tuesday after being sworn in last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I'm happy that those who tried to destroy his life fell short. I'm glad those who tried to overturn the rule of law and replace it with mob rule lost. I've never have been more pissed in my life. I voted for Sotomayor and Kagan. I would never done this to them. This was character assassination, this was wanting power too much.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: The mob descended on Capitol Hill and tried to intimidate our members into opposing this good man's nomination. We stood up to the mob. We established the presumption of innocence is still important. I'm proud of my colleagues. This is an important day for the United States Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: With control of congress on the line, the President's base is hoping to ride this wave of victory all the way to the polls. But fired up Democrats are vowing revenge in November.
CNN's White House Reporter, Sarah Westwood is joining us now. So, President Trump is getting ready for a rather busy week. What's on tap?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Fred. And there are no signs that President Trump will be leading up on this celebration of his administration's string of recent wins, most importantly among them, the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by Senate Republicans, cementing a conservative majority on the court for years to come.
Trump spent that rally, in Kansas on Saturday night touting not just the confirmation of Kavanaugh but also some other big wins from just the past week including the negotiation of new trade terms with Canada and Mexico.
On the release on Friday of an unemployment rate that had hit a 49- year low. And Trump previewed what could become a central theme of his political messaging heading into the midterms. And that's using Kavanaugh's bitter confirmation battle as a warning to Republican votes, but what they could expect if Democrats retake Congress and attempting to fire up otherwise complacent GOP voters using Kavanaugh's narrow margin of victory because keep in mind Democrats have long enjoyed an advantage in pulling this year of voters overall enthusiasm.
The top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway echoed Trump's attacks on Democrats this morning for the way they handled sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. Take a listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: They wanted America to look up and see Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, and a lot of women including me in America looked up and saw a man who was a political, political character assassination. And also we looked up and saw in him possibly our husbands, our sons, our cousins, our coworkers, our brothers. And this was unfair.
Had they shown Brett Kavanaugh the grace and dignity that his 10-year- old daughter showed Dr. Ford that we all showed her in her testimony in the FBI supplement investigation --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
CONWAY: -- and I think there should be some soul searching, but it's not the Supreme Court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now, Trump will have it several chances to try to keep his basis excitement level high as some strategists are worried. But that energy could dissipate between now and when voters head to the polls in several weeks. On Monday, Trump will hold an official event in Orlando and later he'll head to campaign rallies in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, and Kentucky on Saturday. So, Fred, we're likely to hear a lot more of this celebratory rhetoric from Trump this week.
WHITFIELD: All right. Sarah Westwood at the White House thanks so much.
Let's talk now about all this. Joining me right now, CNN Political Commentator and GOP Consultant, John Thomas, CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist Dave Jacobson and CNN Political Analyst and Washington Post Congressional Reporter, Karoun Demirjian. Good to see you all.
All right. So Dave, you first, you know, this is a major victory for the President. In under two years, he has now successfully appointed two US Supreme Court justices and years from now when we look back at all of this, will these major accomplishments outshine, you know, kind of a day to day, you know, chaos that also upstages nearly everything?
[15:30:00] DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Fred, I think the data suggests otherwise. You know, RealClearPolitics still has a 6.6 percentage advantage for Democrats in terms of control of the House of Representatives, 538 gives Democrats and 8 point advantage. And so increasingly you're seeing Democrats continue to have the momentum in the House races.
Also in the Senate, some of these races are now becoming jump off. Kyrsten Sinema is up three points in Arizona. That's a key state, obviously Jeff Flake is the incumbent who's not running again. And then Jackie Rosen, of course, he's running in Nevada against the incumbent Dean Heller is up 2.3 percent as well.
And so, I think right now Democrats clearly have the momentum. And I think part of that, Fred, is because women voters are turned off by Donald Trump.
We saw Axios put up a poll on Friday, the only 30 percent of women approved of Kavanaugh's nomination. So I think that's telling what we're going to see just a couple of weeks away with the election.
WHITFIELD: And, John, there's a real concerned that those allegations will be the cloud over Kavanaugh's, you know, had nearly forever. Is it your view that there might be an occasion or two which he's going to recuse himself from certain cases that come too close to any sexual assault or harassment-related issues?
JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I don't think you're going to see him recuse himself. But to the point about the midterms, I mean, I think the -- we're doing a polling project with NBC and I heard media here in California. We just got out of the field this weekend. We saw that Republicans now have surpassed Democrats in the enthusiasm chart by one point.
Now both bases are charged up, but up to this point until a couple of weeks ago, there was over a 10-point gap in spread that Republicans didn't believe that there was anything at stake. And since this confirmation battle, here's a thing, a lot of people say, shoot, it's not good for the Republicans that he did get confirmed because why do you vote? Leave it up to the Democrats because now they are running the #CancelKavanaugh, #ImpeachKavanaugh and it's showing Republicans there's a reason to show up in November.
And here's the other key component here, as early voting is going on now, OK. So the intensity that we all agree is high on the Republican side, people are casting their ballots. And, Dave, I think you even would agree that the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings can solidify the Republican chances of holding the Senate.
I don't know about the House but some of these key Senate race, is like Claire McCaskill, and Heidi Heitkamp, they're over.
WHITFIELD: OK. So, Karoun, you know, President Trump warned the Washington Post that, you know, Republican Senator Murkowski, the only GOP female who opposed Kavanaugh. He said she will never recover. Is it OK she will never recover or did she just solidify her independent thinking?
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, if there's any Republican in the Senate GOP that really doesn't owe the top ranks of Republican Party anything, it's probably Senator Murkowski. Back several years ago, she lost her primary battle and the party was not behind her and she ran, basically write in campaign to get people to reelect her to the Senate and it worked.
So the threats from the Trump of, you know, that suggest maybe they'll some sort of party mobilization behind an opponent or there will be, you know, the President's personal endorsement behind it appointment that would primary her, yet to the different environment maybe she has to be worried about that. But she has faced this sort of thing before. And so she may not be -- not scare easy.
I mean, that said, it seems that on both sides of the aisle, this is a very, very, very passionate issue. It can inflame a lot of passions. You were seeing people say, I'm going to run against people that voted both for Kavanaugh and against Kavanaugh or -- and so that's going to be something that will sort itself out in the next several years.
I think Lisa Murkowski is not actually up until 2022, so there's time for many other things to happen in between now and then. And Collins is in 2020 and you've seen Democrat say they want to replace her with somebody. So this is looking down the pike for what are going to be more and more very interesting election cycle.
WHITFIELD: Yes. Also very passionate has been Senator Mazie Hirono. Dave, listen to what she had to say earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Should Brett Kavanaugh be impeached if Democrats take control?
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: I'm much more focused on the here and now, which is that we have an election coming up. And I said to the women who are justifiably angry, but determined, and I said they should be just focused like a laser beam on the elections, because they have connected the dots.
They know that the senators who are making these confirmation decisions are the people who were elected by their voters. And so, as voters, they have a role to play.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, Dave, will this be another year of the woman similar to after the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill testimonies?
JACOBSON: I think that's right, Fred. I think ultimately women really hold the keys to this election, right? We know those suburban highly educated women voters a part of it, you know some of them obviously helped to pushed Donald Trump into the White House obviously. He was able to couple together in a vote and some of those historically blue states Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, among others. And so, you know, the key question here is, is that women vote going to propel Democrats to take both the House?
[15:35:11] And, John, I think that the Senate still potentially up for grabs because of its key western states. Sure you've got Heidi Heitkamp and you got Claire McCaskill who got top races but you've also got Peter Wirth with striking distance of Ted Cruz in Texas --
THOMAS: Exactly, yeah.
JACOBSON: -- only by six points. That's basically within the margin of error.
So look, I think right now, it's not of the realm of possibility, both Houses, both chambers are competitive. I think Democrats have a greater advantage in terms of flipping the house but the Senate is not out of the realm of possibility.
WHITFIELD: All right. There may be surprises for everyone. All right, Dave Jacobson, Karoun Demirjian, John Thomas, good to see you all. Thank you so much.
THOMAS: Thanks, Fred.
JACOBSON: Great, thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. It was all smiles as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with North Korea's Kim Jung-on. Is a second summit with President Trump now in the cards? With the facts next.
[15:40:28] WHITFIELD: The White House is expressing hope for a second summit with North Korea "as soon as possible". President Trump tweeted these pictures of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fresh off his visit with leader Kim Jong-un. They met for more than three hours in what is Pompeo's fourth trip to Pyongyang. The trip was aimed at breaking a gridlock in nuclear talks. Here's how Pompeo described the progress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We had a good, productive conversation. As President Trump said, there are many steps along the way and we took one of them today. It was another step forward. So, and this is I think a good outcome for all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, joining me right now is CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd. So what's your response to the photo and to Pompeo's version of the meeting?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Fred, I'm really worried. I had hoped to see another American gangster visit to Pyongyang. Remember the last time that Pompeo went, the North Koreans criticized him and said he made gangster-like demands. Because, in fact, from what we know, he said that the United States wouldn't give the North Koreans anything until they denuclearized.
So that fact that everybody smiling this time makes me really nervous. It makes me think that Pompeo went into this meeting and agree to give concessions to North Korea, despite the fact that they haven't done anything to deserve them.
WHITFIELD: What instead do you think should be coming from another meeting like this?
VINOGRAD: Well we would hope that North Korea would take steps to actually denuclearize. Instead, what they've done is continue to throw red herrings our way.
For example, in the State Department read out today, it said that North Korea has agreed to let inspectors into a test site that it's already dismantled. That is not a denuclearization step. We don't have to reinvent the playbook here.
We have international agencies that lay out what denuclearization looks like. For example, it looks like letting inspectors in to conduct an inventory of nuclear armaments and nuclear capabilities. So the North Koreans are throwing smoke players up and saying, oh, we're making concessions when, in fact, they really have very little to do with denuclearization.
WHITFIELD: It is just keeping lines of communication open, setting the stage for that second potential summit with the President of the United States where possibly that's when something more concrete happens?
VINOGRAD: I think the North Koreans have every intention of dragging this out for as long as possible because every second counts, but for the wrong reasons. Remember, they have not frozen their nuclear production and stockpile and other weapons of mass destruction. So the longer they can attenuate this process, the more meetings they can schedule, cancel, reschedule, the more working level visit, the more time they have to increase their capabilities and to grow stronger while they're being normalized on the world stage.
WHITFIELD: So you just expressed you're worried now. How much more worried are you going to be as this continues to, you know, carry on for yet perhaps more weeks or even months?
VINOGRAD: I get worried everyday that goes by that North Korea has not agreed to freeze its program, to dismantle its facilities and to let inspectors in because, again, they are increasing the capabilities.
And the problem is, Fred, if there is a second summit and I do have to point out President Trump canceled his appearance at other summits in Asia this fall with their allies but is now reportedly going to meet with Kim Jong-un, an Asian enemy instead. That's really worrisome.
But if President Trump meets with Kim Jong-un and give something away like, for example, announcing an end to the Korean war, that's just going to reward more misbehavior from Kim Jong-un without, again, getting any meaningful progress on denuclearization.
WHITFIELD: Samantha Vinograd, we'll leave it there for now. Thanks so much.
WHITFIELD: All right, a storm is churning in the Caribbean and guess what, it looks like it may strengthen into a hurricane later on this week as it moves toward the US mainland. We're tracking this newly formed tropical storm.
[15:49:11] WHITFIELD: We're keeping our eyes on a new tropical storm forming in the Caribbean. Tropical Storm Michael is expected to be a hurricane by the time it makes land fall along the Gulf Coast this week.
CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater joining me right now. So, Tom, how's it looking?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: This one came out of almost nowhere, Fredericka. I mean, it looks like most of the rainfall is off the Yucatan Peninsula. Heavy rain expected for western Cuba. Now, again, this has just been named a tropical storm earlier today but it will get into warmer waters and so maybe in the next 24 hours we could have a hurricane, but it looks like it will be Wednesday morning at land fall.
We've got hurricane hunter in here, maximum gust right now around 61 miles per hour. And we all like to look at the spaghetti plots anywhere from Pensacola destined over toward Apalachicola. Notice the curvature of these models taking it where we do not want it to go, into the Carolinas. They've had their fair share problems.
[15:50:04] The US model in red, Fredricka, is a little bit faster than the European model. We want to see a faster moving storm to keep our rain totals low. But, again, this will be adjusted over the next couple of days.
When you look at some of the computer models, and where it may make landfall, again, this should slide quickly across the panhandle, but I still wouldn't be -- doubt seeing maybe eight inches of rain in some areas. The problem could be the Carolinas.
Let's look at the timing first. This is about 8:00 a.m. And if you notice that each time segment here it increases in strength. 50 miles per hour, Tuesday in the morning, we're at 70, then 80. So late Wednesday morning, let's say right now, you know, 10:00, 11:00, we could have a category 1 landfall.
Again, near that Pensacola area to Apalachicola. But I'm concerned about the heavier rainfall. We may see in the Carolinas. This easily drops maybe 5, 6, isolated 7 inch totals. The last thing we want to see there. So we wanted to speed up. We will be monitoring the next couple of days.
WHITFIELD: All right, Tom Sater, thank you so much for that.
And we'll be right back.
[15:55:35] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. His travels opened the eyes, minds and hearts of millions to new places, new food and, of course, new people. Well, tonight we continue our last ride around the world with Anthony Bourdain and the final episodes of "Parts Unknown."
In this week's episode, Bourdain travels to Indonesia, a diverse country comprised of thousands of islands where food is a great unifier. A quick note, this episode was filmed in the spring of 2018, five months before a powerful earthquake and tsunami devastated portions of the country on September 28th.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've been before, right?
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, "PARTS UNKNOWN" HOST: I have been here, I think 11 years ago. It was a very different looking place, even then, 11 years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eleven years is too long.
BOURDAIN: Yes. How did you get into the yoga business? Did you anticipate it would become so big or did it start small?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not really, honestly. It was when the Eat, Pray and Love was hitting the island.
BOURDAIN: So tell me how many customers you deal with a day?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three hundred to 400 people.
BOURDAIN: That's a big increase.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is really huge. You see the traffic, how crazy it is.
BOURDAIN: It is crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dealing with the traffic.
BOURDAIN: I mean, it's worse than Manhattan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
Right now we have two big problems right now. First is waste. Second is traffic. Is the tourism bad? Yes, it had this bad side. Is the tourism good? Yes, of course, right?
What is Bali? What is Balinese people? What is Balinese country? What part of this could be supported by the people who come to Bali? What kind of people do we want to come to Bali?
WHITFIELD: All right, Bourdain in Indonesia. For ways that you can help earthquake and tsunami victims in Indonesia, go to cnn.com/impact. And be sure to tune in to an all new episode of the final season of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" airing tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.