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Powerful Hurricane Michael Headed For Southern U.S.; Nikki Haley Resigns As U.S. Ambassador To U.N.; Turkey Says It Will Search Saudi Consulate; Washington Post: 15 Men From Saudi Arabia Were Waiting For Jamal Khashoggi At The Consulate; Wife Of Missing Interpol Chief Speaks To CNN; Powerful Hurricane Michael Headed for Southern U.S.; New Video Shows Moment Indonesian Tsunami Struck; Kavanaugh's First Day on the Job; Interview with Hillary Clinton; Swift-Feud Gets Political. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 10, 2018 - 1:00   ET

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


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Calling it quits but why now? The high-profile U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations suddenly announces her resignation taking many at the White House by surprise everybody. Hello everybody, I'm John Vause in Atlanta.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm George Howell in Destin, Florida where we wait -- waiting for this category three hurricane that has the potential surely to get to a category four in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Michael is moving this way right now just over 300 kilometers from Panama City, Florida. That's where the eye of the storm is tracking right now. Panama City, right in the bullseye.

Everything to the west of it certainly in the storm zone into the east of it on that northeastern quadrant of this storm, that's typically where you find the rougher side, the dirty side as they call it of the storm where tornadic activity is possible. The stronger bands and the storm just continuing to bring in more water and just dumping it. That part of this state is really bracing for a really long, long several hours.

This storm right now moving a faster than we've seen with other storms, more of a classic hurricane right now moving about a 19 kilometers per hour. It will move and quickly hit hard and then move right out to the Atlantic. To talk more about the storm's track and what's expected let's bring in our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, in the CNN International Weather Center. And Pedram, tell us -- first of all I was talking about that the eastern part, just east of Panama City. What are the expectations for storm surge, for the winds that are coming in?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, George. You know, the eastern side as you said certainly going to be the rougher side of the storm system. And when you take a look at how this is going to play out here over the next couple of days, of course, we're watching this as a strengthened rather quickly over the past couple of hours and will continue to strengthen as it moves over towards the north and east here. And already see some of those outer bands, George. So we already seeing some of those thunderstorms begin to push it at

least towards areas not far from Apalachicola. You'll begin to feel that as you approach Destin here, as the storm approaches Destin over the next couple of hours. And that's where we see some of the strongest really gust begin to move in as early as 2:00 to 3:00 a.m. and then of course really pick up an intensity into the afternoon hours.

And the latest guidance actually has strengthened this form up now to a Category Four potentially as it approaches land sometime between noon to around say 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon local time. So this would be the first Category Four to impact this region of the Florida Panhandle since 1950, since records began. So certainly worth noting here a significant historic storm as it approaches land. And then at that point they'll kind of really skirt off to the north and east and rather quickly move offshore very much a different story when we saw with Florence which was a slow-moving system but hung out for several days and kind of sat there producing tremendous rainfall.

The storm system will do that but we'll do it much quicker duration here and of course, hurricane warnings have already been prompted across this region. As you take a look, the storm surge threat becomes the primary concern and they look at a coastal area like as is across this region of the Panhandle kind of a concave coastal region where the water essentially gets the funnel in here. We have a considerable threat here for storm surge as much as two and a half to almost four meters high in the area that it makes landfall not far east there of Panama City.

Also with the amount of wind in the forecast here as a Category Four approaches land, we know the widespread concern here for places such as Tallahassee well-known for about 50 percent of the tree canopy there covering the city, well known for all of these trees that often do come down with powerful winds, with tropical systems and none have been as strong as this one going back to 1950.

So the concern here is significant power outages, east of Panama City working their way into portions of Georgia and of course on it to the Carolinas where the storm system ends up sometime on Thursday. And that's the last thing we want to see, George, where water levels have finally been dropping and then they can go right back up again the next couple of days.

HOWELL: All right. All of that very important, Pedram, thank you so much. Pedram really explaining the metrics around this particular storm. Let's talk now about the people, who this will impact, how many people, and really what it means here to the southeastern part of the United States. So we understand right now some 28 million people in this part of the U.S. under some form of a watch or warning. And again, this part of the country really hasn't seen many of these major storms. Pedram pointed this out, 1950. Since 1954 major storms have come through. So really they've dodged a lot of bullets. This one seems to be moving in and again targeting Panama City at this point.

Let's talk more about this now with Jeff Petrowski. Jeff is a storm chaser just in Panama -- rather in Mexico Beach that is just north of Panama City. And Jeff, tell us your expectations about what's coming in.

[01:05:02] JEFF PIOTROWSKI, STORM CHASER: (INAUDIBLE)

HOWELL: I think we're having some trouble there with Jeff's audio. Jeff, I don't know if you can hear me but we'll keep in touch with you. Again, Jeff Piotrowski, a storm chaser. He is in Mexico Beach, just north of Mexico Beach which is east near Panama City -- Panama City that we continue to follow that part of the state.

So here's the thing. many people have been told to evacuate. The question is have they. Some people have decided to ride this out. And here's the thing, this is a Category Three storm. It has the potential to get up to a Category Four. Right now, again, some 300 kilometers offshore from where we are. And as we understand the Gulf water is very warm. So as the storm continues to track in and as our meteorologists just pointed out, the storm has the ability within full to get up to a Category Four storm.

We also saw the last storm Florence that came through the East Coast, people had a lot of time to prepare for that. That storm track toward the East Coast over several days. People made the precautions of decisions to either leave or stay. This one happened much quicker John and now we understand you know, people -- many people who've decided to stay here. They're just going to have to brace and get through it.

VAUSE: I guess the question there, George, is you look around at your location there, you know, people have had you know, a fairly limited chance to prepare for the -- you know, for Michael as it arrives. What exactly have they been doing you know, in the last 24 hours?

HOWELL: Right. You see the typical things, John. People boarding up, people deciding do you stay or you go. People also deciding you know, what can be done to protect their property. That -- those are really the big decisions that are made during a time like this. But again, it comes down to that critical decision, did you stay or did you go. And for people who left, they will be wondering if is their property safe, what's left over. For people who are here, they're going to have to wait and see how powerful the storm is.

VAUSE: It just raises the question what can you prepare for when you have a Category Four hurricane potentially bearing down which could bring 13-foot storm surges with it. You know, what exactly can you do to make your property and your life safe under those circumstances? It's a big question.

HOWELL: John, you know, the simple answer to that not much, but you know people are certainly doing what they can because this storm seems to be one that will be historic for this part of the country.

VAUSE: George, thank you. Please stay with us. We know we had some communications problem. And so they begin as the weather gets worse. There'll be a lot more of that to come. We'll be back with you in a moment. Thank you, George. Well, for almost two years, Nikki Haley has been a high flyer within the Trump administration winning praise for her role as Ambassador to the U.N. surviving public disagreements with the president, the likes of which could have sucked the careers of others in his cabinet which is why so many were taken by surprise on Tuesday when Haley announced her resignation.

The President though was (INAUDIBLE) saying she's done a fantastic job. It would always be welcome back to his administration whenever she wanted. With Haley and Trump insisted this moment was long expected still questions are being asked about the timing. The leading candidate to replace Haley is Goldman Sachs Executive Dina Powell who served for a short time as Deputy National Security Adviser to President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Dina is certainly a person I would consider and she is under consideration. We have actually many names. And you know, Nikki has been great. Nikki is going to be working along with us and helping us with the choice plus he's going to help us with 2020. And Nikki is a great friend of mine. We've become real friends over the last year. She's done a fantastic job and so she'll be involved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Joining me now David Rohde, a CNN Global Affairs Analyst and Executive Editor, New Yorker Web site. David, thank you for taking the time. You know, despite what the President has been saying, we know, who does not want the job and that would be White House Adviser and Trump favorite for pretty much everything Ivanka. The first daughter tweeted out a fairly emphatic statement saying that she's just is not interested in being Haley's replacement.

And so with that in mind a few hours ago it came an opinion piece put out by the Editorial Board of the New York Times, it was full of praise for Nikki Haley and they write it one day she may eventually find herself having to defend facilitating some of President Trump's worst policies and instincts but she will also be able to point to a more constructive role she played. Indeed a replacement in her mold may be the best to hope for from Mr. Trump. So is there another Nikki Haley out there and is this role within an administration really that important? So it only goes to the early comers or those who are on their way out, the elder statesman if you like.

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think the role can be important and I think Nikki Haley showed that she disagrees with the President on a variety of fronts. She actually you know, opposed Trump when he was running for president. Is there another figure who will speak that openly, it's you know it's not clear. Dina Powell who works in the National Security Council, her name has come up. I don't know if she has the sort of political sway and a Republican Party that Nikki Haley had.

And the reality is you know, this President totally dominates this Republican Party. His sort of favorite now in terms of foreign policy is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo so the short answer is I don't think there is another person who can sort of question Trump and challenge him the way Nikki Haley did. [01:10:32] VAUSE: Yes. There are also a lot of questions out there about the timing of this announcement. Why now? Notably Haley, you know, floated the old cliche need to spend more time with family excuses. This what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: There's no personal reasons. I think that it's just very important for government officials to understand when it's time to step aside. And I have given everything I've got these last eight years and I do think that sometimes it's good to rotate in other people who can put that same energy and power into it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, that need to take a break, this sort of crop rotation system for senior government officials, it's often what a president will say when he's firing someone is it?

ROHDE: Yes, I don't -- I don't think she's forced out but I think there's something happening here. Officials in the White House were surprised by this announcement. They didn't expect it would come. It distracted from the president you know, swearing in Brett Kavanaugh as the new Supreme Court justice last night, and so that I think there's a lot of speculation about why she's done this.

You know, Nikki Haley has spoken out about women who are saying they're victims of sexual assault being listened to. She has disagree with the president so I think there's more to this and that will come out in the days ahead. I don't think you know, this is a sudden announcement that surprised people across the White House, that's no accident. There's something more to this story.

VAUSE: I'm just wondering. Could it simply be that she's now planning on cashing in on her government experience? She wants this high paying job in the private sector because the home state newspaper The Post and Courier has reported this. The federal ethics reports show Haley a debt from $525,000 to about $1.1 million in 2017. The last year available for this numbers, $25,000 to $65,000 on two credit cards, listed a mortgage on the line of credit for 250,000 to 500,000. This report goes on to detail finds with troubles for her parents. They sold a strip mall to Haley's husband for $5.00 (INAUDIBLE) $1 million. The parent's home is actually going through foreclosure as well.

Could she be heading for the exit essentially before she becomes damaged goods by associating with Trump administration for too long? You know, and the first thing comes to mind with all this is Sean Spicer, the former White House Press Secretary.

ROHDE: I think that you know, she could have headed for the exits after the Midterm elections. You know, even if the Democrats there well in the election said that won't be a surprise. So I don't -- and you know, there are these financial difficulties you mentioned, again, I would have expected her to get through November. We're weeks away from this vote. There will be a lot of turnover I think in the administration after the midterms no matter what.

So again, there's some other reason she's leaving. It's not clear yet but I think it will emerge. And one thing just you know, it's a -- it's a symbol. She's one of the few female members of the cabinet that really is a sort of powerful figure and so her departure you know, it creates even more of a cabinet of older white men. And you know, you talked about a replacement, you know, that'll be a big question will he try to find another woman and he does lack women in his cabinet.

VAUSE: Yes, there's not a lot diversity within the administration right now. And we saw sure should not that Haley's resignation was not the only surprising statement that she made, on Tuesday there was also this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HALEY: Jared is such a heavy genius that no one understands. I mean to redo the NAFTA deal the way he did, what I've done working with him on the Middle East peace plan, it is so unbelievably well done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: She went on to say how Jared Kushner has been hiding this this genius that he has. But you know, to be fair, there's also gushing praise for so many others within Donald Trump's administration. Is it that kind of a glimpse of how you know, Nikki Haley has handled Donald Trump?

ROHDE: I think so but look, I want to be respectful to Donald Trump. Again, these statements and her sort of you know, praise for Donald Trump and his son-in-law you know show the total power of Donald Trump over this Republican Party. She is a politician Nikki Haley. She will be running for office in the future. Donald Trump can turn on any candidate in any race in this country, in a Republican candidate and back their opponent and that Republican politicians career is over.

So I think she was exaggerating about Kushner. She was praising the president. That is a way to handle Donald Trump. But the point here is you know Nikki Haley is savvy and this is absolutely 100 percent Donald Trump's Republican Party. He controls it and Nikki Haley showed that today.

[01:15:09] VAUSE: Yes. Absolutely. He owns them 100 percent. David, thank you so much. Good to see you.

ROHDE: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, there is significant new reporting about the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist. Coming up, what U.S. intelligence may have known by our communication intercepts about plans being made by the Saudis.

Also to come, first, her husband went missing. Now, she fears for her own safety. CNN's exclusive interview with the wife of the former Interpol chief who is now detained in China.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Well, a new details about the disappearance of a high-profile journalist. Jamal Khashoggi missing now for more than a week after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Washington Post reports a squad of Saudi men waited for him to enter the consulate last Tuesday.

And so, tells The Post, U.S. intelligence intercepted Saudi discussions of plans to capture Khashoggi. His colleagues at the Washington Post are growing increasingly concerned. His editor says she is stunned by the latest revelations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN ATTIAH, GLOBAL OPINION EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: People who -- whom are familiar with like, the regime. You know, they say, you know, you can't put it past them to have done this. At the same time, you know, obviously, this calls into question just what type of U.S. ally would possibly do such a thing. You know, the reports are true to send the hit squad to kill someone who's trying to get married.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Jomana Karadsheh, live outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. So, Jomana, if CNN is actually still working to confirm the reporting by the post. But if it is confirmed, if it is true, it would seem to back up what Turkish officials have been saying for quite some time that Khashoggi was actually killed, at least, abducted while he was inside that consulate in Istanbul.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, John, for the past week or so, there have been so many reports there is been so many leaks, comments by Turkish officials. There have been so many theories as what may have happened to Jamal Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi consulate.

But what is missing so far is evidence. At least, publicly we have not seen anything to back any of these claims and allegations and reports that have been coming out as what may have happened. To what we do know is that the Turkish authorities have been working really hard.

Since the weekend, they announced that they launched a criminal investigation. They are looking at everything, John. They're saying they're looking at security footage from this entire area. They're looking at entries and exits into the airport, and who may have been at the consulate at the time.

We know that they're really focusing on a group of 15 Saudis that something that was mentioned by President Erdogan. And other officials here, they're saying that this group of 15 arrived in the country on Tuesday. The day that Jamal Khashoggi disappeared. That they were in the consulate when he was there. And then, they left the country. Now, we also know that they are looking at the movement of private executive jets that brought them into Istanbul. Now, CNN is been able to confirm that these executive jets owned by a company that provides work. That -- you know, provides -- that is contracted by the Saudi government frequently may have been involved in the movement of those 15.

And that one of those jets was here for 24 hours and it was followed by the second one. So, this is something they're looking very closely at. There have been also reports coming out that on that same day, John, that Turkey -- that the Saudi officials of the consulate gave Turkish staff the day off, and also the Guardian Newspaper reporting that the camera footages -- security camera footage in the consulate was taken out of the country by those 15.

So, a lot of questions right now. No answers and no evidence at this point in time.

[01:21:40] VAUSE: And so, with that in mind, Khashoggi's fiancee has written an op-ed in the Washington Post. She's pleading for help for the president to try and shed some light on exactly what happened.

Here's part of what she wrote. "Although this incident could potentially purely a political crisis between the two nations, let us not lose sight of the human aspect of what happened. Jamal is a valuable person, an exemplary thinker, and a courageous man who has been fighting for his principles. I don't know how I can keep living if he is abducted or killed in Turkey."

And again, is this, this evidence continues to build up against the Saudis and their possible involvement. It seems hard to see a way that this does not end in some kind of political crisis between the Saudis and the Turks.

KARADSHEH: Now look, I mean, from day one, John, this looked like it was heading towards the serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries that have not had a really good relationship. They've had a rocky relationship for some time, they've had their disagreements. These are two major powers in this region that have not seen eye-to- eye on several issues.

And you know, when you look at what's been going on here, it feels like Turkey has not wanted to push the button to move this to the next level of a full-blown diplomatic crisis just yet. You know, this has been slow moving. President Erdogan has had these very measured statements that we've heard from him. And it feels like everyone here is also waiting for the United States to weigh in.

You know, I've heard this from some of Jamal's Khashoggi's colleagues. From as there from his fiancee in the op-ed. They are really looking to President Trump. They are looking to the U.S. administration to put its weight behind Turkey in this to try and use its really close relationship with the Saudi leadership with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to try and push for answers.

The feeling is no one has a relationship that the United States happened that they have a big role to play. And you know, you mentioned the fiancee there. John, I met her 24 hours after the disappearance of Khashoggi right here outside the consulate.

She was still waiting for him so emotional. She was in tears saying that she only blames herself for the situation. She's feeling guilty because that's the only reason he went into that consulate to obtain the paperwork that would allow them to get married.

You know, we talk about a political crisis in this situation but this is such a personal story also for his friends, his fiancee and others who are involved, John.

VAUSE: He just wanted to get married. Oh, boy. Jomana, thank you.

Well, the wife of the former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has told CNN she fears for her life now that her husband has been detained in China. Before heading Interpol, Meng was a senior official within China's Public Security Bureau when has been accused by Beijing of accepting bribes and other unspecified crimes. By Grace Meng's spoke exclusively to CNN's Melissa Bell.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRACE MENG, WIFE OF MENG HONGWEI: No T.V. for them, from the day he lost. No T.V. So, maybe because they are already 7 years old, maybe they can feel something happened. But they think money is crying. I told them mommy have a cold. I don't want to break their hearts.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Grace shows us a picture her children have drawn for their father. She says, she is speaking out and thus taking on the Chinese state single-handedly for them.

[01:25:07] MENG: As I do these things for my children, for all over the world, for all of the China's children, for all of the China's wife, for all of the China's daddy, mommy. Also, I know some daddy, mommy can't find their son. I have this responsibility to help other people. I must be -- change the order in China.

They always like things made some under table or in the darkroom to makes the deal. My husband and I, we are bright, we are open, we are sunshine. Because I trust ourselves. We are clean.

BELL: The last, Grace heard from her husband, Meng Hongwei was last month. When he sent this text with a knife emoji. She waited for his call, but none came. Then, she says she received a threatening call from a stranger. That's when she went to the French police.

MENG: We never ever broken the law. I trust me, I trusted my husband. So, we have everything in my home, I can open to all of the worlds.

BELL: Are you scared as well?

MENG: Of course. So, I need help. I need security.

BELL: But despite being under the protection of French police 24 hours a day, she is still scared. Three times during our interview, Grace's phone rang. She says it's the Chinese consulate.

Again?

MENG: Yes, again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

MENG: Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, this is the deputy consulate general.

MENG: Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.

BELL: Three times Grace hung up. The only person she wants to hear from is her husband.

Was he worried before he was taken?

MENG: Sometime, he sees his colleague or some people is (INAUDIBLE) were lost to disappear. Somebody disappear. Why? We don't know, but they disappear.

BELL: Your husband has been taken by Chinese authorities for political reasons.

MENG: I think, I only can think this reason. Otherwise, I can't find the any other explained.

BELL: Do you think you will see your husband again?

MENG: I don't know. But I miss him very much. That's why I always wake up at night.

BELL: Melissa Bell, CNN, Lyon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: We are live to Florida's Gulf Coast when we come back. And there, they are bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Michael.

Also ahead, new video capturing the terrifying moment's tsunami struck Indonesia. Stay with us, you're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:15] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause with an update of our top news this hour.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley stepping down at the end of the year. The resignation has taken some administration officials by surprise but President Trump says Haley told him six months ago she would leave by the end of the year even though sources told CNN she notified the President just last week. Donald Trump plans to name a successor in two to three weeks.

The "Washington Post" reports the squad of 15 Saudi men waited for Jamal Khashoggi as he entered the consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday. This surveillance video is the last time he was seen. A source says U.S. intelligence intercepted discussions between Saudi officials about plans to capture Khashoggi.

The wife of Interpol's former chief says she now fears for her life. In an exclusive interview with Grace Meng says she received a threatening phone call after her husband was detained in China. Beijing has accused Meng Hongwei of corruption as well as accepting bribes.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm George Howell, live in Destin, Florida where we wait -- we wait for Hurricane Michael, currently a Category 3 storm slowly moving -- slowly moving for a hurricane but really moving at a relatively fast pace -- 19 kilometers per hour toward where we are now; the eye of the storm tracking toward Panama City, Florida.

Here are the metrics as we understand it at this point. The sustained winds of this storm right around 195 kilometers per hour. The wind gusts can get up to 240 kilometers per hour. So it is a very strong storm. Once it crosses 210 kilometers per hour, that's when it is in Category 4 territory.

I have to tell you, right now we're starting to feel a little bit of rainfall. That is an indication of this storm that is moving forward. The wind gusts pick up from time to time, nothing very strong at this point.

But again we know what is on its way. And storm surge also a very important factor here. Storm surge anywhere from three to four meters especially east of Panama City.

One of those cities that is east of Panama City is Apalachicola. And just a short time ago I spoke with the mayor of that city about his plans. And look, here's a person who says I'm leading by example. I'm leaving. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAYOR VAN W. JOHNSON, APALACHICOLA, FLORIDA: I followed the advice that I was giving to all (INAUDIBLE) and that was to evacuate. This is a storm that has a significant life-threatening impact. And the word that we were putting out on the street is to evacuate. So I wanted to lead by example. So I'm here with my family hopefully in a safe situation

HOWELL: Let's talk about what Apalachicola has seen before. I mean strong storms that have come through here really the last since 2005 -- the intensity, the possibility of damage with a storm like this.

JOHNSON: They are predicting this to be the worst storm that we've seen perhaps in two decades. I remember 1985 with Kate and Elena. I rode that one out. And that was a Category 3. And I said that wouldn't happen again.

HOWELL: Right. You know, some people, they may look back at storms like Florence -- still a very, very strong storm, great deal of flooding but as it came inland, dropped down to Category 1. Some people say maybe I can ride this out. Maybe it will weaken. But it's in the Gulf of Mexico, the water is warm. This storm has the potential to get up to Category 4 -- that's 210 kilometers per hour.

JOHNSON: And I think there's complacency because we've had those near misses of people not taking it serious. But I'm telling you, all the predictions and projections of this storm indicate that we need to take it as serious as possible. And those people that decided to stay I wish them well. And those people that decided to leave they did the right thing.

HOWELL: One other question to you, sir -- for people who did take that advice, people like yourself who left. After a storm passes through people wonder well when can I go home? But many times it takes officials time, right, to move power lines, to clear those trees because it's still a very dangerous situation.

How long would you say for people to wait to hear from officials about coming home?

JOHNSON: It's probably going to be early Friday. In fact we're going to declare a curfew as soon as the storm passed because we don't want the people that stayed to start wandering out into the way of the people that's actually out that are trying to work and clear the storm, the debris.

HOWELL: Van Johnson -- we appreciate your time, the mayor of Apalachicola, Florida. And again, we'll keep in touch with you as that city, you know, braces for what is a very strong storm.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:34:54] HOWELL: And again just a short time ago, I spoke with some of the experts in our weather center. And look, this is described as the classic type hurricane, you know. Compared to Florence which was a big soaker, moved slowly and dumped a lot of water-- water, rain, flooding -- that's what that was known for.

This one moves in quick, hits hard, moves right on out to the Atlantic. And really people had a very short amount of time to see this storm develop, grow and it's on its way. It'll be here tomorrow. Certainly midday John -- is when we will feel the full intensity from Destin through Panama City and east across the Florida Panhandle. People who left -- good decision; people who are still here will get through it -- John.

VAUSE: Yes, these hurricanes they all have their own sort of characteristics but they're all dangerous and potentially destructive as well. George -- thank you.

Well, there are terrifying new images which have emerged of the moment a tsunami struck the Indonesian city of Palu. The death toll now stands at more than 2,000 but thousands remain unaccounted for.

Details from CNN's Michael Holmes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The terrifying moments before a wave of disaster struck -- panicked residents running for higher ground as a tsunami approached in Indonesia's coastal city of Palu shortly after a powerful earthquake.

Screams and almost nowhere to hide, and then a crashing wave. Lives swept away by the rushing water; what was once a community of hundreds of thousands gone in mere moments.

This newly-released video recorded from a balcony by a man named Sigit Limba (ph). He was on his way to a beach festival when the earthquake hit. Limba didn't make it to the festival. Those who did were some of the first swept away by the waves.

The search for bodies continues in the mangled remains of homes, roads, cars -- just about anything -- more than a week after the dual disasters. And now the authorities say it will come to an end this Thursday.

One official says some 5,000 people are still missing. And experts fear the death toll may rise considerably.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of dead bodies in this place. It's so hard to evacuate them.

HOLMES: The pain and stress of the tragedy just too much to bear for some. This woman fainting while watching bodies being dug out of the ruins. Communities like this one in Palu were nearly wiped off the map, 300 bodies have been found here and nearly 1,000 people are still missing among them the wife and daughter of this college professor.

ARGUS, PALU RESIDENT (through translator): I haven't found my wife and daughter. I've been waiting here. They ran out during the earthquake and are still missing now. They should be in the alley in front of the house.

HOLMES: Just one of the hundreds of thousands of others who are holding out hope that their loved ones will be found dead or alive as time ticks away closer to Thursday when the search and rescue mission ends.

Michael Holmes, CNN -- Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, still to come here, the first day on the job can be difficult and stressful but especially more so if you're the latest justice to take a place on the U.S. Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh goes to work after a national controversy and debate over his confirmation.

[01:37:33] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Well, just a day after a major television swearing-in ceremony, the newest justice on the U.S. Supreme Court has taken his place on the bench next to his eight colleagues.

Jessica Schneider reports on day one for Brett Kavanaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wasting no time. The junior- most justice asked several question on about seven different occasions during his first day on the bench. Chief Justice John Roberts started the sessions saying it was a great pleasure to welcome Kavanaugh to the court and wished him "a long and happy career in our calling".

JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Brett M. Kavanaugh, do solemnly swear --

SCHNEIDER: Justice Kavanaugh was ceremonially sworn in Monday night by the man whose seat he's taking over -- Anthony Kennedy. Justice Kennedy was notably the Court's swing vote.

But Justice Kavanaugh could sit much farther to the right, both literally and figuratively. He is expected to vote consistently with the conservative bloc on key issues like immigration, abortion, gun rights and health care. While also sitting in the most far right hair on the bench right next to him liberal Justice Elena Kagan who hired him at Harvard Law School years ago.

The atmosphere was cordial inside --

CROWD: Stay out, stay clear. Kavanaugh's not welcome here.

SCHNEIDER: -- while outside a handful of protesters persisted, expressing their outrage that Kavanaugh had ascended to the nation's highest court after allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Kavanaugh tried to turn the page on the sharp partisan fight during his swearing-in.

KAVANAUGH: The senate confirmation process was contentious and emotional. That process is over. Every American can be assured that I'll be an independent and impartial justice devoted to equal justice under law.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): Justice Kavanaugh also had his own a cheering section of sorts inside the courtroom. Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy sat in the front row right alongside Justice Kavanaugh's wife and two young daughters.

Jessica Schneider, CNN -- Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: And in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke about the Brett Kavanaugh controversy. Also she talked about next month's midterm elections and the possibility President Trump might be impeached.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Is he President going to get impeached? If the Democrats win, will they impeach him? The Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told me last month that that was not her goal to go for impeachment. What do you think?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, what I think is there are many ways for a Congress to hold a president accountable. Some of them frankly should have been exercised by the Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate.

The investigation into Russia's interference in our election, the Senate Intelligence Committee has tried to work in a bipartisan way. The House Intelligence Committee has been turned into a circus.

So a really focused deliberative effort to not only look at what the administration has done -- and that's in every area whether it's in how they're regulating or deregulating the economy or the tax cuts, ballooning of the deficit and the debt, what they're doing to the environment, education -- there is so much to be concerned about.

So the first order of business for a Democratic House and Senate should be to get back to regular order and try to impose discipline and accountability on this administration.

The question about impeachment, you know, that will be left to others to decide. I want to stop the degrading of the rule of law, the delegitimizing of elections. One of their priorities should be, let's protect our elections. Let's make sure that we have electoral security. Let's end the suppression of voters. So there's a big agenda if the Democrats take over.

AMANPOUR: What do you think the Kavanaugh hearings -- what kind of impact will they have on the midterms. Because at first the Democrats were quite happy that it might galvanize. Now the Republicans are happy that it will galvanize their base.

What do you think is going to happen?

CLINTON: I think that both sides will be galvanized. It is just a question of who actually take those feelings and shows up to vote. And it always comes down to that. We have more voters who favor Democratic candidates.

[01:44:58] One of the tragedies of what's happened in our electoral system is the Republicans have systematically suppressed voters probably as many, Christiane, as 12 million voters were purged by Republican governments in states between 2012 and 2016. We have all kinds of questions about the security of our voting machines.

So we know that Democrats have to turn out in even bigger numbers in a lot of congressional districts and states to be successful because they're being, you know, pushed back by a headwind that is trying to prevent them or discourage them from voting.

But if Democrats -- and I not only include Democrats, I include Republicans who are worried about the direction of this administration, Independents who want to see more accountability. If they show up we should win.

AMANPOUR: Last night President Trump had a sort of ceremony for now- Justice Kavanaugh at the White House. And he apologized on behalf of the American people for the immense amount of pain and harm that he said that the Judge had been put through by -- by this system.

What do you make of that? And what message -- including the President's mocking of Christine Blasey Ford for her allegations -- what message does that send to women? And remember women went for President Trump in 2016.

CLINTON: White women.

AMANPOUR: White women.

CLINTON: White women -- all women went for me. And look, white women have been voting against Democratic presidential candidates for decades now. The white vote has only been won twice in the last 60 years -- my husband being one of the two, Lyndon Johnson being the other. So it is not a surprise. It is a disappointment, but it is not a surprise.

What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court. And that troubles me greatly. It saddens me because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government.

So I don't know how people are going to react to it. I think given our divides it will pretty much fall predictably between those who are for and those who are against.

But the President has been true to form. He has insulted, attacked and demeaned women throughout the campaign really for many years leading up to the campaign and he's continued to do that inside the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Hillary Clinton there, speaking exclusively to Christiane Amanpour.

We'll take a short break.

When we come back here on CNN NEWSROOM, the Taylor Swift and Kanye West feud gets political. It's even reached the White House. And we'll explain in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: The singers (ph) are at it again -- Taylor Swift and Kanye West -- their long feud between these two, they're now on apparently opposite sides of the political divide. Taylor Swift broke her political silence by endorsing Democratic candidates in America's midterm elections while West prepared to visit his friend, Donald Trump at the White House.

CNN's Tom Foreman has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Firing a pop culture rocket into the political world, Taylor Swift is telling her 112 million Instagram followers she will not vote for the Republican Senate candidate in her home state because of Marsha Blackburn's stance on legislation involving domestic violence protection, gay rights and more.

"Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. These are not my Tennessee values." After the post and Swift's pledge to back a pair of Democrats one activist group said there was a huge surge in voter registration. It's not clear which party is benefiting but at the White House President Trump --

[01:50:01] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25 percent less now -- ok.

(MUSIC)

FOREMAN: And Trump is getting a pop star push of his own. Kanye West slapped on a "Make America Great Again" hat and launched into a post- show rant at "Saturday Night Live".

KANYE WEST, MUSICIAN: So many times I talk to like, a white person about this and they say "How could you like Trump. He's racist?"

Well, if was concerned about racism I would have moved out of America a long time ago.

FOREMAN: Trump was delighted.

TRUMP: And you saw that the other night with Kanye West. How good was Kanye West.

FOREMAN: West has attracted headlines before by supporting Trump. His wife Kim Kardashian has also met the President asking for and getting clemency for a 63-year-old woman serving life on a non-violent drug conviction.

And this week at the White House, West will join the President for lunch and a chat about the criminal justice system.

TRUMP: He's been a terrific guy, you know. He loves what we're doing for African-American jobs, for so many different things.

FOREMAN: Coincidence or a counter punch aimed at Swift. Who knows? (MUSIC)

FOREMAN: Bad blood has raged between the two entertainers ever since West jumped on stage during the 2009 VMA Awards to suggest Swift didn't really deserve the one she was receiving.

WEST: I'm really happy for you. I'm going to let you finish. But Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.

FOREMAN: And both artists have traded jabs in their songs ever since.

(on camera): Both Swift and West have such high profiles it is difficult to ignore anything they say. While their political pronouncements may have no real impact with millions and millions of followers they could.

Tom Foreman, CNN -- Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Joining me now from Los Angeles for a discussion on all this -- Lorraine Ali, (INAUDIBLE) entertainment and culture for the "L.A. Times". Lorraine -- thank you for being with us.

LORRAINE ALI, L.A. TIMES: Thank you.

VAUSE: This is a president, who -- you know, has an obvious shortage of celebrity supporters Scott Baio notwithstanding but, you know, he could only do so much. It does seem though there is a genuine admiration between these two men. They seem to have a lot in common.

ALI: It's interesting, yes. I mean I think, you know, they do have a lot in common. They have the reality show piece because Kanye is married to Kim Kardashian and obviously she's a reality show celebrity.

You know, Trump of course with -- you know, his own background as a celebrity TV king. And I think they also share the joy of talking very highly about themselves. And they also like a lot of controversy. And they like to have that swirling around them and get lots of attention. They do have those things in common.

VAUSE: Absolutely. And also, you know, we should note, you know, Donald Trump he loves a good celebrity feud. You know, he starts so many of them himself. In so many ways this one between Kanye West and Taylor Swift it was just almost too good for him to resist not getting involved. But what does he actually get out of this politically?

ALI: You know, I'm not sure what Trump gets out of this politically. I mean I think he would like -- Trump would like to think that perhaps he's, you know, pulling in black Americans with Kanye, maybe appealing to that sort of demographic that he has alienated essentially with a lot of the things he said and his policies.

But I think what's really happened here is Kanye has in fact alienated many of his fans. And with each album and practically in the last two years he said quite a few things that have alienated his base.

So if Trump felt that he was getting an in into African-Americans, into that demographic I'm not quite sure it's going to work out that way.

For Taylor Swift on the other hand, she's never been very political. And this, you know, is kind of her first time stepping out and taking a political stance. And it seems as though maybe she's alienated some of her fan base but it seems like she really pumped up people to actually register to vote.

I mean numbers went up on vote.org which she had suggested her fans go do. I don't know. This might work in a way where Taylor comes out on top this time rather than, you know, Kanye bullying her off the mic.

VAUSE: I think she kind of like came out (INAUDIBLE) I mean if you look at sort of come out in the wash. And you can't imagine a lot of these people at the Trump rally being Kanye West fans but who knows.

You know, back in 2009, President Obama called Kanye West a jackass in (INAUDIBLE) Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. And before that after Hurricane Katrina, Kanye West accused George W. Bush of not caring about black people. And Bush wrote after that in his memoirs that it was, in his words, a disgusting moment.

[01:55:04] You know, the last two White Houses have been clearly anti- Kanye. This just seems to be another example now, you know, with the doors being open to Kanye West, of how the norms and the traditions of Washington are being upended by the 45th President.

ALI: That's exactly it. I think in the strange universe that is the Trump presidency all of a sudden Kanye is a welcome guest in the White House and he's actually going to meet the President and talk to him this week about, you know, whatever it is they're going to talk about.

It doesn't really matter at this point. I think it is the spectacle of it. But you're right. I mean --

VAUSE: There is so much spectacle here when you look at sort of the reality TV show nature of all of this.

ALI: Yes. I think that's really it. It is that whole spectacle, its' the reality TV thing. And this is the bond these two men have, you know. And Kim Kardashian has also visited the White House and Trump has, you know, invited her in and it has been a big deal and a big media circus. And I think this is the same thing.

VAUSE: Just very quick --

ALI: Yes.

VAUSE: -- sorry just very quickly when Kim Kardashian was there she talked about prison reform and a 63-year-old grandmother I think who was pardoned or released from prison by President Trump. Apparently they're talking prison reform again. I mean is there any indication that Kanye will get anything out of this apart from, you know, maybe more make America great again hats?

ALI: You know, I don't know if Kanye's going with a specific -- you know, Kim's request was pretty specific. Kanye as it's been reported is something much more wide ranging. It is, you know, about prison reform on -- on a much larger scale rather than one person. So I don't know. I mean maybe he has some aim going in.

But Kanye hasn't had a lot of targeted direction lately. So I can't imagine he's got some very organized, you know, goal when he goes in there.

VAUSE: Not very impassioned to discuss or (INAUDIBLE) issues to discuss I guess apart from maybe himself.

Lorraine -- thank you. Appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.

ALI: Thank you.

VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

A lot more news after a very short break. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:59:48] HOWELL: I'm George Howell, live in Destin, Florida where out there in the dark Hurricane Michael -- it has grown to a Category 4 storm this hour, just in the last hour promising to pack a punch along the Florida Coast.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause at CNN headquarters. And the most prominent woman in Donald Trump's cabinet is leaving. We'll have the political impact of Nikki Haley's surprise resignation.