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25 Dead. More than 100 Missing as Wildfires Burn Out of Control Across California; Emmanuel Macron Rebukes Trump Over Nationalism; Rick Scott Accuses Bill Nelson of Fraud; Michelle Obama Talks About Her Children, Marriage in New Book; Grandmother Donates Her Kidney to Others to Help Granddaughter; Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 11, 2018 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:47] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Our breaking news this Sunday evening, the urgent out of control wildfire emergency in several parts of California. And earlier today the death toll jumped again when fire officials found the bodies of two more people in the fire-ravaged Los Angeles suburb of Malibu.

Cliffside homes there and in Ventura County they're burned to the ground or are seriously damaged. Hundreds of thousands of people in L.A. County, the Ventura County have evacuated, and it's not just there that it's unsafe. The most destructive of the wildfires is actually in northern California where about 6500 family homes have burned down in at least one town north of Sacramento was completely destroyed.

A mom and her daughter escaped the flames. Look at all of the destruction that left -- was left behind. Here's how they got out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never been so scared in my life.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK, Mama. It's OK. Please, please drive. Just please drive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am. I'm trying. Oh, please, god, please. Please let us get out safe.


CABRERA: There's something else. Officials fear the death toll may still go up. More than 100 people who live in the fire zones are not accounted for, and their families don't know at this hour if those people are safe.

A few minutes ago the governor of California spoke to reporters, and he took issue with this tweet from President Trump blaming the fires on California saying, quote, "Forest management is so poor." Here's Governor Jerry Brown's response.


GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: Managing all the forests in every way we can does not stop climate change, and those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing and will continue to witness in the coming years so the chickens are coming home to roost. This is real here. And it's not a question of pointing this way or that way. But pulling together in these tragic circumstances and thinking wisely and collaboratively and that's the spirit in which I'm approaching all that we need to do.


CABRERA: CNN's Nick Valencia is in that utterly devastated town of Paradise, California.

Nick, what is left standing there?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, it's very sad to say but really almost nothing. Most of Paradise looks like what the scene you see behind me.

Here we are three days since that fire started. The smoke has started to settle in. There's parts of it that are smoldering, and other parts the fire is spreading, and what residents tell me what they went through here on Thursday morning sounds nothing short of a nightmare.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that the "Welcome to Paradise" sign? It is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's our Paradise sign.

VALENCIA (voice-over): By the time most people in Paradise realized how quickly the fire was spreading, they were already in trouble. This man couldn't believe his eyes.


MAYOR JODY JONES, PARADISE, CALIFORNIA: This is nothing like what we've had before. But here, you're looking at 90 percent of the homes are gone in every single neighborhood.

VALENCIA: Jody Jones is the Paradise mayor. She says the speed and ferocity of the fire only gave the town five minutes to evacuate. The mass exodus caused gridlock on the main road out of town. There was such panic some drivers abandoned their cars as they tried to flee on foot.

JONES: We did have an evacuation plan in place. We did implement it. It worked the way it was supposed to work. We just never anticipated having to evacuate all zones all at the same time.

VALENCIA: An automatic emergency alert was sent out to landlines and cell phones of registered residents. (On camera): But not everyone got a notification. Cole Wyatt and his

family, they live here. And Cole tells me he was asleep at the time when the fire started. Had it not been for a phone call from his brother, he says he might not have gotten out before it was too late.

COLE WYATT, RESIDENT, PARADISE, CALIFORNIA: He didn't even think it was bad enough to call. But something in his gut said I need to -- you know, make sure my family knows. And thank God he did.

[20:05:03] VALENCIA (voice-over): Cole wasn't registered to receive the alerts.

WYATT: I just immediately started thinking about my daughter.

VALENCIA: In the chaos, Cole says, it took them two hours to find out his 8-year-old daughter had already been picked up from school by a family member. When they finally did evacuate, stuck in the gridlock, he ran out of gas. A stranger stopped and gave him enough to get out of town.

(On camera): I mean, has it hit-- has it hit you yet?

WYATT: No, no. I'm still in shock. I'm still waiting to wake up from this terrible dream. My daughter, she said, I know we hated our home and we wanted to move out but it was our home and I'm sad that it's gone.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Outside of Paradise, we meet James and Ruby Harris. Their car still covered in ash from the fire. They show us where it was damaged when an RV crashed into them during the evacuation, trying to move it out of the way. The scene they describe is absolute mayhem.

RUBY HARRIS, RESIDENT, PARADISE, CALIFORNIA: And my husband had to get our son out of the car and into the wheelchair. And, you know, buckle him in and -- you know, keep my other two autistic sons from taking off.

VALENCIA (on camera): And this is while flames are surrounding you.

HARRIS: Exactly. And everybody's running past us.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Though they were both able to get out, both the Harris's and Wyatts have nothing left to return to.

WYATT: Our whole town was wiped off the face of the Earth in a matter of eight hours.

VALENCIA: The most destructive fire in California history has changed their town forever.


VALENCIA: It is so bad here the mayor tells me it will likely be weeks before residents are allowed to come back in and those who come back, Ana, it's very likely that they will have nothing left to come back home to.

CABRERA: Such a shame. Thank you, Nick Valencia. for sharing their stories with us.

And moments ago President Trump, the first lady returned to the U.S. from Paris, France. Here they are coming off Air Force One. They were there to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and what should have been a cordial meeting with allies turned contentious.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when President Trump declared he was a nationalist? Well, it seems his host, French President Emmanuel Macron heard about that and had a very public message for Trump. Listen.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying our interests first, who cares about the others? We erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great, and what is essential, its moral values.


CABRERA: With us now CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser to four U.S. presidents, David Gergen, and CNN chief media correspondent, and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" here on CNN, Brian Stelter.

David, how do you think President Trump took Macron's not-so-subtle message?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Not well at all. And he didn't take the message from Macron a few days ago that Europe maybe needs to build his own army to protect itself from Russia, from China, and indeed perhaps from the United States.

The president tweeted after that, it was insulting, what Macron had said. And we've now reached a stage where the honeymoon between Macron and Trump has clearly become very divisive. It's falling apart. And that has some danger for the United States and for Europe because Macron is first and foremost someone who believes that France and Europe will best be saved and preserved for future generations if it's -- within a collaborative framework of nations pulling together.

That's the lesson in the First World War and the Second World War, but on this centenary of the end of the First World War, when 15 million people, soldiers and civilians, died through excessive nationalism, that's a deeply felt spirit in France and throughout much of Europe. And one of the reasons why Europe is -- and increasingly is going its own way versus the United States.

CABRERA: And yet, David, Macron makes those comments which really do have a direct and sort of a counter to what the president has been saying, and the president did not strike back. GERGEN: He did not. I'm not quite sure why. We'll have to see what

he tweets here in the next day or two, to fully -- to conclude that he's not going to answer but I don't believe for a second that this president wasn't angry. You know, you could see -- the look on his face, there were no warm embraces here and they were almost sort of like forced smiles, and Macron clearly believes that what Donald Trump represents has become a serious danger to Europe, and Donald Trump in turn believes that Macron and others don't understand the modern world, that you have to put your nation's interests first in a competitive world that we find ourselves in. And that's the best way to work for your people. That's what Donald Trump firmly believed.

[20:10:03] For Europeans, nationalism has a terrible odor going all the way back to the First and Second World Wars. George Orwell famously wrote an essay in 1945 comparing nationalism to patriotism and saying nationalism is about putting interests first, about being aggressive, about, you know, the hell with everybody else and it led directly to the First and Second World Wars and nationalism in Trump's mind is -- you know, and Orwell concluded that what was preferable and what Macron was talking to Fareed Zakaria about earlier today was the importance of patriotism.

That is love of country but love of country of its values.


GERGEN: And seeing it within a collaborative international framework.

CABRERA: Brian, the president has so proudly called himself a nationalist.


CABRERA: So when he hears Macron taking swipes at him and his rhetoric, are you surprise he hasn't even tweeted about that?

STELTER: I think he's saving it for when it gets home. You know, the president was on this trip over the weekend but he was caught up in scandal and problems on the home front, the scandal involving his newly appointed acting attorney general and all the concerns about Whitaker. And also I think for the president the reality of the House taking -- being taken by the Democrats, the reality of the Democrats taking control of the House that's starting to sink in.

You can see through the president's tweet, he's been in a foul mood. And he was showing up late to events there in France. He was not appearing to be desiring to be there. I do think he will end up responding, but at a time of his own choosing, and frankly he'll do it when he can't be counterpunched, right? He'll do it when he's back in the U.S. That's harder for others to respond to him.

CABRERA: He was MIA at an important ceremony yesterday. We have a couple of pictures from it. These are from another ceremony. This was at the American Military Cemetery. French President Emmanuel Macron was there. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was there. It's President Putin we see there. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, all there, but noticeably absent was President Trump. The reason we're told was that weather limited Marine One and the travel option there.

But, David, is that just bad optics or is it more than that?

GERGEN: Well, symbolically it's very important. It is fair -- in fairness to the president, the leader of Britain was not there either. She had her own commemoration ceremonies -- Theresa May. But I think the optics of not going and then arriving late for various things especially today at the Arc de Triomphe, you know, he came in late. And, you know, he's just sort of dismissive of European respect and concern.

I think that is what hurts him, hurts his reputation. There may have been a reason why the Secret Service truly did not want him to go especially in a helicopter on a rainy day. I've been in those helicopters and you don't feel like you're in full control.

CABRERA: Brian, while overseas California is burning up. President Trump is tweeting about that a few times, first blaming state officials, talking about a lack of forest management of mismanagement. And today in his latest tweet after earlier saying he was going to withhold federal money, he says, "With proper forest management we can stop devastation constantly going on in California. Get smart."

Why do you think this is his focus?

STELTER: He's always making an excuse, and as our colleague Tom Sater said this has nothing to do with forest management. These areas that have burned. Not related to forest management. By the way, most of the forests in California are under federal management anyway. They're owned by the federal government so it's the president's problem anyway, but he's always trying to make excuses. And this is one of those excuses that's really embarrassing.

Someone -- you know, it's one of these days where someone needs to take the Twitter account away from the president because on a day when it's one of the deadliest fires or a weekend when the deadliest fires in California history, I don't care how blue that state is. They deserve a president. They deserve a president, not a tweeter-in- chief. They deserve someone who cares about the deaths and the danger there, the ongoing danger there, but he's not showing that on Twitter.

So, look, the California governor's office says the tweets are inane and uninformed. The firefighters out there criticizing the president. There's lots of criticism but it never seems to get through to him and maybe that's the problem.

CABRERA: Brian, David, stay with me, guys.


CABRERA: Got to squeeze in a quick break. There's a lot more to talk about, an apology from "Saturday Night Live," and payback for Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw after the show's controversial joke last weekend. How the former Navy SEAL responded with his own set of jokes. And a lesson for all of us on this Veterans Day weekend. Next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[20:18:34] CABRERA: Florida, the center of an election controversy yet again. A statewide recount again under way there right now. Every single vote being counted, scanned one by one. Back through the machines right now, and as all this plays out, several Republicans, including Florida's Governor Rick Scott who is also a Senate candidate there, are making unfounded allegations of fraud.


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Senator Nelson is clearly trying to -- trying to commit fraud to try to win this election. That's all this is.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Wait a second. I want to pick up on that. You're accusing Bill Nelson of trying to commit fraud?

SCOTT: His lawyer said that a non-citizen should vote. That's one. Number two, he's gone to trial and said that fraudulent ballots should be counted. Ballots have already been thrown out because they were not done properly. He said those should be counted.

WALLACE: And you think that is -- the senator himself is committing fraud?

SCOTT: Well, it's his team.


CABRERA: David and Brian are back with me. Also joining us CNN political analyst and political editor for the "New York Times" Patrick Healy.

So, David, is this strategy, alleging criminal activity in an election, just typical politics now, and what do you see as the consequences of going this route?

GERGEN: Well, I'm -- you know, it hasn't been part of our politics, it has not been standard fare for our politics even in Florida or even in Georgia.

[20:20:03] In recent times things have been a little straighter. But I must say, this brings back a lot of memories of politics that's nasty, that's brutish, and unfortunately, it's not short. It goes on and on and on right now and I -- listen. I don't know the ins and outs of the particulars in Florida, but it's the least edifying and the most sort of off-putting behavior on the governor's part. I don't know why he would bring up these charges of fraud and present zero hard evidence that as far as I can tell really show that to be true.

CABRERA: Right. We all know the history to some degree. Patrick, you've obviously been covering politics a lot time in this

country. You know the history of Broward County, Palm Beach County, the controversy that has happened in those counties over multiple elections. Are there some legitimate concerns?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there are some legitimate concerns but Rick Scott isn't going there. He's going to the Trump playbook. I mean, this is a governor who was a fairly kind of individualistic somewhat, you know, could be somewhat of quirky, at least independent guy, but he's reading off of Republican talking points, and is already sounding like a kind of typical Washington senator when he's sort of saying, you know, Bill Nelson is cooking up fraud without providing any kind of evidence.

I mean, he's just going to that and making these broad sweeping claims that are aimed at the Trump base which, as we've seen, particularly in Florida, is growing more white, more rural and he's going after targets in Broward County, you know, and Palm Beach County, you know, without again presenting evidence but creating sort of this again the sense of sort of liberals and radicals stealing the election out from under you, and it -- and it frankly sort of masks, yes, some problems with how our voting system still works in close elections in this country.

We still have problems because there is a lack of uniformity, because counties are run oftentimes by partisans. These are problems, but instead you're hearing just these kind of really sort of what sound like very political partisan talking points, and again playing to it feels like a base of voters, like in the Panhandle of Florida, sort of saying, kind of demonizing the folks in Broward County.

CABRERA: I think it's important to point out, though, that Rick Scott has been the governor of Florida for the past eight years. Brenda Snipes who is the head of elections there in Broward County, for example, is somebody who's been serving in her seat for the past 15 years. I mean, he could have made some changes along the way as well as governor of that state, and he does have a secretary of state who is also a Republican who, again, has said there is no evidence of any criminal activity in this election.


STELTER: And that's what we need to keep repeating over and over again.

CABRERA: And that's -- yes.

STELTER: You know, these voter fraud claims almost never have merit. It almost never has merit and, you know, in Arizona, for example, the local officials and the senators, they have been really responsible about dispelling these lies about voter fraud.


HEALY: And both parties are working together. CABRERA: Let me turn to something else, guys. I want to pivot to

"SNL" and this segment that's getting a lot of attention. It's with Pete Davidson and Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw. Last week Davidson, you'll recall, made fun of Crenshaw's eye patch and here's what happened this week.


PETE DAVIDSON, COMEDIAN "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Look, I just wanted to say for people that don't know, the reason you're wearing an eye patch right now is that you lost your eye to an IED in Afghanistan during your third combat tour, and I'm sorry.

DAN CRENSHAW (R), TEXAS CONGRESSMAN-ELECT: Thank you, Pete. I appreciate you saying that.

DAVIDSON: So are we good?

CRENSHAW: We're good. Apology accepted.


CRENSHAW: It sounds like my phone is ringing.

DAVIDSON: You going to answer that?

CRENSHAW: I was just going to let it ring. That's rude to answer. Let's just let it go to voicemail.

DAVIDSON: No, it's cool. Arianna -- well, it's cool, man.

CRENSHAW: Do you know her?


CABRERA: Arianna Grande, being his ex-fiancee.


CABRERA: Brian, a bit of mea culpa there.

STELTER: Yes. And I thought this was so well handled by both sides. Pete Davidson screwed up last week but mocking this now congressman- elect. It was ugly and Davidson deserved the criticism he received for that segment, but to come back a week later and to have Crenshaw on with him and for both men to be able to talk about it together, we don't see this often enough.


STELTER: You know, it used to be that politicians make cameos all the time on these shows and we would see some, you know, kind of across- the-aisle behavior. But let's just be honest. "SNL" is a liberal show but Crenshaw as a GOP congressman-elect to go on there, to get the last laugh but to acknowledge what happened and to be able to joke around with Davidson, I think it was really nice to see. And we need more of that.

CABRERA: The whole segments was four minutes. So of course we couldn't play the whole thing.

But, David, this controversy did hit a lot of nerve.


CABRERA: And it seemed to unite people from both sides of the aisle.

[20:25:05] Can this set a new tone perhaps going forward after the midterms?

GERGEN: Well, I hope so because I thought it was a most inspiring -- one of the most inspirational moments of this Veterans Day weekend, and frankly since the midterms occurred and what was really, really good about it was I think Pete handled this extraordinarily well. Never told us that his own father died at 9/11 as a firefighter, that added this extra dimension, emotionality into it.

But Crenshaw, my goodness, you know, he's -- he's a recent graduate here at the Kennedy School where I'm privileged to teach. And he's a fine young man, well respected as a conservative, a hard line conservative, but I thought his closing statement last night when he called for us to pull together and, of course, we ought to let bygones be bygones on these jokes and these insults, but that he wanted to work across the aisle. He did say at the end, you know, he hoped that we would no longer say thank you for your service but say never forget, and those to some ears that sounds like a terrific, you know, sentiment.

If you're Jewish, it has a very different meaning, and it has to do with the holocaust, and I -- I do think that it's probably a good thing to use some other phrase to pull people together in the future, but I thought Crenshaw, what he did overall, was splendid.

CABRERA: Patrick Healy, I owe you a question next time, I'm out of time in this block. Thank you so much, Brian Stelter, Patrick and David Gergen for being with me. Appreciate it, guys.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has a new book coming out this week and she is not holding back about her relationship with President Obama, and why she is so angry with President Trump.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[20:31:17] CABRERA: Michelle Obama has always guarded her private life, but now she's opening up. In her new book "Becoming" she's talking about her pregnancies, her marriage and also the disdain she feels for President Trump.

The new book comes out on Tuesday and CNN's White House reporter Kate Bennett has a preview.


KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In her new book "Becoming" out next week, former First Lady Michelle Obama lays bare some of her most personal previously held secrets.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY: It is candid. It's honest. It is totally and utterly me.

BENNETT: Her eight years as first lady, Obama seemed unfailingly accessible.

From her appearances on talk shows --

OBAMA: Turn up for what?

BENNETT: -- to her use of social media. And the casual openness with which she hosted White House events, but she was also fiercely private, revealing little about her daughters and certain parts of her relationship with Barack Obama.

In this new book Michelle is telling all, from her struggles to get pregnant, a miscarriage and ultimately turning to IVF.

OBAMA: It felt like I failed because I didn't know how common miscarriages were, because we don't talk about them. We sit in our own pain thinking that somehow we're broken.

BENNETT: To her marriage which she says is, quote, "phenomenal" but has required bouts of counseling.

OBAMA: We work on our marriage and we get help with our marriage when we need it. Marriage counseling for us was one of those ways where he learned how to talk out our differences.

BENNETT: And while gracious with the Trumps on inauguration morning, Michelle Obama is now done with niceties, revealing her husband's successor has made her, quote, "body buzzed with fury." In excerpts published by "The Washington Post" Obama says she will never forgive Trump for questioning whether her husband, the nation's first black president, was born in America.

TRUMP: I want him to show his birth certificate. There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like.

BENNETT: "Its underlining bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed but it was also dangerous," she writes. "What if that person went looking for our girls? Donald Trump with his loud and reckless innuendoes was putting my family's safety at risk."

The president responding from the South Lawn.

TRUMP: Look, she got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always insist that you come up with controversial. Well, I'll give you a little controversy back. I'll never forgive him for what he did to our United States military, by not funding it properly.

OBAMA: When they go low, we go high.

BENNETT: The former first lady has pushed back on Trump before, but with her time in the White House behind her it's clear Obama is now not holding back.

Even though she's no longer first lady, Hollywood still likes Michelle Obama. Sara Jessica Parker, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, just some of the names joining the former first lady on her book tour which coincides with the release of "Becoming."

Kate Bennett, CNN, Washington.


CABRERA: Imagine surviving not one but two mass shootings. A young man who escaped with his life in the Las Vegas shooting last year found himself in the survivors of last Wednesday's shooting in California. You'll hear from him coming up.


[20:39:06] CABRERA: These days the idea of being caught in a mass shooting is sadly no longer something we all think can never happen to us, but imagine living through not one but two mass shootings.

In just over a year, that is the nightmare at least one survivor of last year's shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas found himself in this week when a gunman opened fire at a country bar in Southern California.

We talked to a 22-year-old man who made it out alive again and I asked him what it was like.


DYLAN MCNEY, SURVIVED MASS SHOOTING AT BORDERLINE CONCERT, LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: I wish there was an easy answer, I wish I could tell you what it's like to go through one, but to only go through two as well. It's not something that you can comprehend, and it's definitely something that you can't grasp ahold of, especially when you lose people and people that you love are affected by this as well at a place that you go to to be safe at and a place that we went to three days after Vegas to cope with everything.

[20:40:10] And the severity of everything that happened is rough, but I know being strong for the people that we lost is what's needed and being there for people that need help is what I'm able to do.

CABRERA: Can you walk me through what you experienced on Wednesday night.

MCNEY: Yes. So basically it was just like any other Wednesday. I was picking up three of my friends, and we got there a little bit later. We got there around 10:30 and like anything we usually do we go around the bar, go get a drink and say I had to all of our friends. We joke around and see how everybody is doing, make sure everybody is good and just enjoy a good time, and -- and it wasn't until I left the bar and went towards the back corner to go say hi to some more friends that I heard the first few initial shots.

And it wasn't until after the third that I was able to recognize that was gunfire. People started screaming, running and -- and just in terror, so working there as past security I knew that where my location was, that there was an exit door, so what I decided to do was go open that exit door and tell people that you need to exit out of here, stay down low.

Don't stampede over each other, just try and make it out, go somewhere safe. Once I saw that the scene was started to get clear and I had an idea of where the shooter was located, I -- I made it outside myself and from where people were in the parking lot. I moved them from where they were to further back in the parking lot getting behind engines, blocks some car, telling people to stay down, grabbing people that seemed to be injured.

CABRERA: The state of mind that you had to be able to help direct people and how to respond, and I'm just curious if your experience or unfortunate experience having survived the Las Vegas shooting, if that helped, like instincts kick in immediately and know how to respond?

MCNEY: I think it definitely helped.


MCNEY: It -- I pretty much would say I reacted the same way, just putting people before myself, but I was raised in a family of men and women that are very strong and taught me to put others before myself so I think that's where those initial thoughts came, just making sure that people are safe and getting them out, make sure that we're all good.

CABRERA: A country music concert, college night at a bar, will you feel safe attending events like this in the future?

MCNEY: I will always have faith because I have God on my side and I have family and friends on my side. I will not lose faith to know that there is still good out in this world because there definitely still is no matter what the harm is out there in this world, but I know from going through these two things we can't go through this alone. We have to be there to help people going through this, so the best thing that we can do is know that we have to live every day to the best of our abilities knowing that we have another day to wake up and see the sun shining, and I think that's the best thing that we can do to move forward is be there and just realize that we are not granted every day, and we should take that into consideration.


CABRERA: Wise words. Dylan McNey.

A grandmother was able to give her granddaughter a life-saving gift, thanks to a new program that allows donors to give gift certificates for kidneys. That story is just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:48:33] CABRERA: Did you know there are nearly 100,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant? They can wait anywhere from five to 10 years on average for an organ, but an innovative new program allows donors to give loved ones a gift certificate for a kidney so they can bypass that wait.

Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains.


MEGHANN ADAMS, DELLY'S MOTHER: I didn't even get to hold her the first day when she was born. She was, you know, ushered off into the NICU immediately. And that was really hard for me.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Meghann Adams' daughter Delly has multi-cystic kidney disease. It had already robbed her of the function of one of her kidneys while she was still in the womb. The hope was the other kidney would be enough. But --

ADAMS: The doctor came up and said your 6-day-old daughter is in kidney failure.

GUPTA: Slowly Delly began to improve. Yet the concern was always lingering.

ADAMS: Her remaining kidney was not growing, hardly at all within a year.

GUPTA (on camera): Is there any way the doctors can predict when she may need a kidney transplant? Do they know?

ADAMS: They don't know. And that's what's so frustrating. This is probably going to be something we're going to have to -- a bridge we're going to cross at some point.

GUPTA (voice-over): Today Delly is 2 1/2 years old. If she ever needs a transplant the odds are against her. Of the nearly 100,000 people waiting for a kidney last year only roughly 20 percent received an organ. Not content to wait, they have decided to do something you've probably never heard of.

[20:50:05] Delly's grandmother, Jamie McNeil, is donating her kidney now to a total stranger so that Delly can have one in the future.

ADAMS: It's essentially a gift certificate for an organ.


GUPTA: In this case that gift will come from Jamie as part of the National Kidney Registry's voucher program.

(On camera): You called it being chronologically incompatible.


GUPTA: But the point is that -- the point that Delly needs a kidney, you may no longer be able to donate.

MCNEIL: Right. By the time she needs one, she may never need one.

GUPTA (voice-over): But if she does, Delly will have her voucher, which could shave years off her wait time in the future. But of course that means risks for Jamie now.

(On camera): Nerve damage, long-term pain, damage to other organs, bleeding, infections, all the risks that you've heard countless times.

MCNEIL: You know, I'm a nurse so I know what all those things are. And -- but it just because it's -- I'm so driven again to do it that I just know it's the right thing to do. So my soul is at peace with whatever might happen.

GUPTA (voice-over): On the day of her operation, Jamie has no hesitation.

MCNEIL: I'm so excited. I can't -- I can't tell you how much love I have in me right now. I said that the day that I donate will be one of the most significant days of my life. And when I'm on my death bed, the thing I'm going to say that I'm the proudest of will probably be that day.


GUPTA: Ana, it's good news is that Jamie and her granddaughter Delly doing really well. Jamie doing really well after that operation. And you can tell how excited she was about this voucher program. The reason being that -- you know, there's some 95,000 people who are waiting for a kidney transplant. Many will wait five to 10 years to get that transplant.

If you can find someone who is a match and is willing to donate now, you can bypass that system, but in this particular case, Jamie, the grandmother was a match. It just wasn't the right time for Delly to receive a kidney. And that's why this voucher program was so special and worked perfectly for them -- Ana.

CABRERA: Beautiful story, Sanjay. Thank you for that.

We'll be right back.


[20:56:27] CABRERA: We have an update on the president's trip to France which he just returned from today, tonight. And I want to correct something we said earlier. The president did not attend an event at an American military cemetery yesterday. And we showed you a picture earlier this hour that turns out was not from yesterday. It was from today. And it showed other world leaders with the president in the picture. And we've now learned that the event the president was always

scheduled to attend yesterday was separate from the events other leaders attended yesterday.

Tonight, though, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is defending the president's decision to miss his event yesterday, saying, it would have created a real traffic jam and of course they couldn't have taken Marine One because of the weather.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the places that Keith Herring (PH) and I would love to come here. (INAUDIBLE) would join us and we would have good news. It was consistently the -- you know, it's great when you can go to some place that have the same exact food. Come on, it's still exactly the same.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, "PARTS UNKNOWN": Come on, this is great, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still exactly the same.

BOURDAIN: That's encouraging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which is great. It's great. I mean, you know, even though there's a hotel three doors away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And high rises going up, you can still have a decent meal.

BOURDAIN: You brought hip-hop culture to a very finite number of people initially on the Lower East Side. Totally changed the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Teenagers at that time were doing something interesting so I wanted to find some people that would listen to these ideas, and that's what led me to the Lower East Side, and --


CABRERA: It's the final episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN." Anthony Bourdain, he takes us on a personal journey, it airs in moments right here on CNN.

And I want to end our show with a personal thank you to everyone involved in our armed services. And that includes those who are currently serving, those who have served and those who have paid the ultimate price. Those two words "thank you" seem so inadequate when I consider everything each of you have sacrificed for a nation of strangers, a nation that should spend more than one day a year recognizing you.

I'm free because of you. I get to go home to my husband and children tonight because of you. I am on air reporting right now because of you. And for all of that and more, I, my team and all of us here at CNN are eternally grateful. Thank you. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for joining us. The final

episode of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN" airs next."