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Man Shot And Killed Outside An ICE Detention Facility In Washington State; Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D), Presidential Candidate, Discusses Immigration, Detention Centers, Decriminalizing Border Crossings; Trump Confirms ICE Raids Set To Begin Tomorrow; Trump Defends Nancy Pelosi: "She's Not A Racist"; Tropical Storm Barry Dumps Dangerous Amounts Of Rainfall On Louisiana. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired July 13, 2019 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:31] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for being here. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
We are staying on top of the breaking news, the first hurricane to hit the United States this year. The storm called Barry is now lashing Louisiana and other states along the gulf coast.
CABRERA: Listen to that wind. No longer a category one hurricane, Barry weakened. The winds came down just a little bit so it's now a tropical storm which happens often after landfall. But from the New Orleans area all of the way north through the entire state of Louisiana, people are bracing for rivers to rise, levies to spillover and communities to be physically cutoff until the water reseed.
The city of New Orleans, some early predictions, put it right in the crosshairs of the storm, but it was spared a direct hit. People living outside the city though are seeing water now covering their roads, their bridges being closed for safety and they are expecting to have more floodwaters coming and potentially staying high for several days.
Here's one cautious bit of optimism from emergency officials, though. So far even though some levees have been overtopped not a single one in Louisiana has been breached or broken. Remember, breached levees caused the historic and tragic flooding in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
Let's get out to Morgan City, Louisiana, that is in Bayou Country west of New Orleans. CNN's Natasha Chen has been weathering the storm for us.
Natasha, you say power is now completely out in that town?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The mayor just told me within the past hour that Morgan City is 100 percent without power right now. The good news is that there has not been any need for rescues. There have been no reported injuries in town which is really good. We did just see about five or six utility trucks crawling interstate 90 across the bridge to the wests are to Warwick. We know there are different cities helping each other out all day throughout this weather event.
Of course, the water you are looking at right here, this river was already flooded before the storm came. You can see sort of the -- barely see now the top of a crash can where people typically have been able to walk out to. So this river was already flooded. Now add Barry to that and we have serious potential flooding issues.
It was also very dangerous earlier today when the wind picked up for. Here's video of a roof coming off of a mobile home.
CHEN: And I understand that the people were not at home when this happened, luckily. And they were able to go inside later once the roof was completely off the house to see the damage inside. It's absolutely incredible that no one was hurt in this case.
And so it's not surprising to us at all that that location is actually not too far from where we are standing and we have been feeling those heavy winds for the last several hours, Ana. So we are definitely hoping for everyone's sake that it dies down a little bit soon, but so far it's still pummeling that rain at us.
CABRERA: Yes. We can hear the wind there on your microphone.
Natasha, I just wanted to check in, too, as far as rescues or injuries or anything of that nature. What are you hearing?
CHEN: Yes, luckily the Morgan City mayor says that for this town there have been no reported injuries. No rescues that have needed to happen. However, they did assist a nearby town earlier today when a family called in for help when a live wire fell on their home. So again, a lot of partnerships going on between the different cities here.
Also the St. Mary parish public information officer told us that there were a couple of calls that came in, one of them medical in nature and they get concerned about calls like that because it's getting really hard to get to those people with emergency needs given that a lot of the roads are blocked with downed trees and power line, Ana.
CABRERA: OK. Natasha Chen, stay safe, my friend. Thank you for that reporting.
Again, we can't stress enough, the concern right now is rain and how much of it Barry will dump as it moves north. It is an unknown that has Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on edge. The city is still recovering from epic flooding three years ago that killed a dozen people and did billions in damage.
CNN's Randi Kaye is on the banks of the Mississippi river in Baton Rouge.
Rani, what's happening there right now?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, since we last spoke the skies have actually gotten a little bit lighter and the rain seems to have dissipated, but the wind is certainly kicking up. I was speaking with and texting with my contact at the National Guard and he said, all right, don't get overly confident because the storm is still strong and it's on its way and brace yourself for a lot of heavy rain coming your way. But I can show you what's going on right here right now.
As you said we are on the banks of the Mississippi. We are at the Belle Casino which is pretty quiet out there today. You can see out there, you know, the water is kicking around a bit. The trees are dipping into the water, at least the edges of them and it's certainly coming up here and lapping on the lower step here so we are going to stay on the one that we are on.
But I will tell you just looking around there's been a lot of people who have been out for walks. They have been -- one guy was out for a run. I mean, this is all in a hurricane and in a tropical storm. So they are getting a little bit confident.
But there are also people who are very concerned about what happened. As you mentioned in 2016, some of them are still living in FEMA trailers for years now so they are very anxious about what is going to happen.
I spoke to a woman who was actually rescued in 2016 on a mattress floating across the parking. So she is certainly worried about getting damage in her home. And another woman told me she had five feet of water in her home in 2016. So they are very concerned about water here.
It simply has nowhere to go, Ana. The water levels and the river are already high. The gulf is pushing water up this way and it's very, very difficult for that water to go anywhere. The National Guard is here with high-water vehicles which is great news. They can get into these homes, get close to rescuing people as the water is coming up here. They can get into the homes and get to those people who maybe can't get out or need help.
We are also were told that they have been checking the drainage systems in the city here as now it is beginning to rain here once again. We have been seeing this kind on and off. The drainage systems are key here, obviously, to save the city so they have had the public works folks checking the drainage systems.
And I should mention, too, that there are two shelters here in the city of Baton Rouge that are open. And they are also welcome -- you can bring your family pet. So that's good. You don't have to stay home but they are asking people definitely to try and stay off the road. I am told that there are nearly 80,000 people here in Baton Rouge without power already. And they are bracing for more bad weather and more flooding, Ana.
[16:07:14] CABRERA: Sounds like they are prepared. Keeping our fingers crossed.
Thank you, Randi Kaye.
And more than 100,000 people across the state are without power. Louisiana's governor warning this is just the beginning of storm- related problems in his state. I want to show you again this video.
CABRERA: Powerful winds ripping off the home of a roof in Morgan City, Louisiana, about 85 miles west of New Orleans where Natasha was reporting from. Parts of that home in tatters now. Piles of debris everywhere.
CNN Meteorologist, Chad Myers is tracking Barry's every move for us.
Chad, first the wind now comes the rain and you are saying it may not let up for days?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No, really. Honestly, 7:00 a.m. Monday morning this thing isn't even in little rock yet. So by tomorrow morning it isn't into Shreveport yet. And it is coming onshore as we speak at about six to seven miles per hour. Heavy rainfall is now getting to the state of Louisiana. It's been in Mississippi, Alabama, most of the morning.
Most of this storm was south of the center. Now this storm, the center of it is into the Bayou, is into like the an Appalachia trail. We are going to see areas from lake Charles to (INAUDIBLE) in the six to ten inch rain by morning and still raining. So this is the issue here that we are going to see surge, too, across parts of the southern part of the storm.
Now I just saw from almost south of Morgan City by about ten miles and we had about a seven-foot surge. Two hours ago it was only about three foot. So water is still coming onshore and up the Bayous and up some of these rivers. So we will watch the heavy rainfall here.
It is certainly not over. This is the European model. There is more rain than there was on the last night's run. There's still that 20- inch white bull's-eye right there in the middle west of Baton Rouge to the east of Lafayette and that's where the heaviest rainfall will be.
That's where most of the flooding will be, as well. Not so much for Louisiana, east of there like New Orleans you may get five or six inches of rainfall now. The numbers have come down for you a little bit. But all of the way up to Mississippi, that's where the rivers are still going to be high.
This is the Comate River (ph). This is one not that far from Baton Rouge and it goes up rapidly. It goes up very, very quickly. But look at this. In just in about 36 hours it goes from where we are now up 34 feet. Thirty-four feet in 36 hours, that river is going to rise a foot per hour overnight. So you are going have to really be careful along these rivers, along the ditches, the swamps here. We are going raise this water level significantly tonight. If you feel like your house may not be properly ready for this, you
need to seek shelter at this point in time. The winds aren't that bat here in Baton Rouge, but there's not much time left. It is time to go if you are going to see rivers go up like this, 34 feet in 36 hours. That's a flash flood.
[16:10:05] CABRERA: So when do you think that will happen exactly?
MYERS: It already started.
CABRERA: When is the worst going to be here?
MYERS: As soon as that rain gets right over Baton Rouge and we will have our Randi Kaye there all night long so we will see it when it happens. When you get these bands of very heavy rainfall starting in an hour or two and you get two inches per hour for four or five hours, that is all going to run off and into these rivers.
CABRERA: OK. Chad Myers thank you for staying on top of it for us.
Power line, trees down, roads and bridges closed, tropical storm Barry is dropping huge amounts of rain and it is just getting started in Louisiana. We are starting to see some flooding in multiple places. We will continue to update you on this breaking news story live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:14:23] CABRERA: In New Orleans, no wind, no rain so far, at least.
Ryan Young is there for us.
Ryan, even though I know it is pretty calm where you are right now, are residences and tourists getting lull into a false sense of security as far as the weather service is concerned?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that may be the case right now. Look. We have been out here all day long waiting for the heavy rain to start. It just hasn't happened so far.
And you have so many tourists here in the city who want to experience New Orleans. And that even if from our position here you can see people just sort of walking down the street. They are just meandering around looking for places to eat, to go to any sort of restaurant.
On the other side, though, you have the mighty Mississippi that, of course, is a lot higher than normal. So they do believe that if there was any kind of heavy rain that we could see flooding.
Now let's not forget about Wednesday when we had the deluge of rain that came through that area and had cars flooded in the streets. So everyone was preparing for something like that. That hasn't happened. And even the mayor was concerned it. In fact. listen to her words from earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL, NEW ORLEANS: I want to just thank the citizens of New Orleans. You heed the call and you stayed off of our streets after 8:00 p.m. last night. We will remain consistent with that message again this evening asking you to stay off the streets, being prepared to shelter in place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Ana, look, I understand the stress that some people are facing. Look, there are people who work in hotels and restaurants who haven't been able to work in the last few days and they are not working these shifts impacts their wallet. I heard a guy telling yesterday, he was at the store and he was like, look, I need this money right now especially with all the major conventions that were here at this town.
We also have the dealt who were here, about 16,000 of them. They were told to leave the city. So a lot of them did try to leave. They actually donated some of the food that they had amassed to collect to give out to some of the homeless in the city. So that is something at turn out to as a good sign here.
But still, a lot of people are talking about the idea, where is the rain? Where is the wind? Every time someone walks by as they want to know where is the hurricane and obviously, it's turned into a tropical storm. So a lot of questions about what could happen next. But so far, we are not seeing the heavy effects from either the wind or the rain.
[16:16:35] CABRERA: Yes. We hope it stays that way. But yes, we know it could still be coming and people do need to prepare for that. Ryan, I know on Thursday when an official there from New Orleans asked about whether they were prepared and he said 118 of their 120 pumps all working but that they were overwhelmed on Wednesday when they got nine inches of rain and then some places we know they can expect up to 20 inches of rain in this tropical storm. So we know it can happen. And people, put safety first, please.
And I know there is an area in (INAUDIBLE), Ryan, already under mandatory evacuation. Are people there concerned at all about water overtopping the levees where you are because that's what's happening already in Terrapin parish (ph) and in places near Plaquemine parish.
YOUNG: Well, so far all the indications are here. Everything is running smoothly. Not only from the fact that the levee system can hold this, but those pumps. That everyone knows all about at this point.
The 118 pumps that are supposed to be working. They even went around to clean the drainage ditches to make sure the water flowed well. But again, we haven't had the heavy series of rain to even test things. We went to the lower ninth ward. People were looking at us saying why are you here? You don't have to worry about us. We will move if we need to. So you have the sole thought process that the tropical storm wasn't something that was going to be enough to make the move. CABRERA: OK, Ryan Young, we know you will watch it for us. Thank
Another breaking story this hour, a man shot and killed outside an ICE detention facility in Washington state. What police say he was doing before he was killed before we return.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:21:50] CABRERA: Breaking news out of Washington state. Early this morning a man who police say was armed and was seen throwing incendiary devices was fatally shot outside a migrant detention center in Tacoma, Washington.
CNN Correspondent, Polo Sandoval has been following this for us.
Polo, walk through what all unfolded.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, we should make it very clear so far that police have not established a motive. That is still a part of the ongoing investigation here. But police there in Tacoma, Washington, were called out earlier this morning to reports of a man that was basically throwing incendiary devices around the area there just outside of a detention facility, an ICE detention facility.
Eventually, police forced to opened fire, shooting and killing the man. We are told four of the officers responded were forced to shoot the man who later died there at the scene. We also know that investigators are now basically trying to establish a motive here, exactly what led to this incident for taking place here.
The only thing that this incident has in common with this expected series of raids that are to be carried out tomorrow is purely the timing here, Ana. There's no indication that this was specifically linked to this controversial move from President Trump to essentially -- potentially deport up to 2,000 people. Those deportations that we could see starting as early as tomorrow.
Also important to point out that Seattle, Washington, is not on the list of those nine cities that are expected to see some of this ICE- led operations tomorrow. Police officers did tell me that there was actually a peaceful -- a peaceful rally, a peaceful demonstration that took place just a few hours before this actually took place.
There was also another pro-immigrant demonstration that was scheduled to take place here that obviously has relocated. But again, very clear and we should be very clear here. Police have not established an actual motive, only saying that this individual was unfortunately, and very sadly disturbed.
CABRERA: Yes, and now dead.
Thank you, Polo Sandoval for that report and maybe we can get more information from the governor of Washington and presidential candidate, Jay Inslee who is with us now.
Governor, thanks for being here. Is there anything more you can tell us about this attack?
GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: No, I really can't. There is no new information I would share with you. Obviously, all of this I feel terribly about any violence. I think the thing that we have to realize right now is we don't know the motivation of this incident. And I know I'm going to keep an open mind about this as the investigation proceeds. And I hope that calm can be the order of the day.
CABRERA: Let me ask a quick follow. Do you know whether the suspect was trying to attack the migrants inside the facility or the facility officials?
INSLEE: I do not. It seems to me the information we have that is unknown at this moment. I do not have additional intelligence or investigatory reports. And that's why at the moment I think the right approach is for us to let the investigation unfold. I know there will be a thorough investigation and we will move forward.
We know at this moment there is tremendous anxiety in our community. We know there is tremendous anger about the inhumanity going on at the border. I know seeing children in cages as we have seen is extremely heartrending to all of us. I know that at the moment we have to hope that we can remain calm and look for this investigation of this to take place, and then act as a country try to unify this country. That's what I hope we can do.
[16:25:19] CABRERA: Let's talk more about what we can take place inside some of these migrant detention facilities. Vice president Mike Pence toured a couple of border facilities yesterday. One held families and children, the vice president said the people there were receiving excellent care. But here's what the vice president saw at a facility housing men.
Reporters that were there say the stench in this facility holding the adult men was overpowering. Agents, in fact, were wearing masks. Men were very crowded behind cage fences yelling that they hadn't been allowed to shower for days or even weeks. There was no water inside the fence. Have you toured the detention facility in your state? Do you know what the conditions there are like?
INSLEE: I have in in and outside the facility. I do have a fairly good idea because we have sent investigators into the site. By the way, we are suing the state of Washington and suing the operator of this site for violations of rules regarding employment at the site.
Look, the vice president is so wrong here. The other day he said he was going to show us conditions that we can be proud of. America is not proud about putting children in cages. America is not proud about stuffing people in like sardine cans and not giving them soap.
These are inhumane conditions and we should not be proud of a president who has intentionally, intentionally tried to terrorize these families with these inhumane conditions of separating children from their families.
And the thing that is so disturbing, look, we know there are difficult situations for our government employees to face on the border. But this is his decision intentionally trying to create anxiety and fear in these families. That is just wrong.
And frankly, it's contravening what we are as Americans. We can do better than this. We knows there are multiple ways to do that including using historical ways we deal with this which is to release people on their own recognizance. We have had 99 percent success rate when we have done that. This is inhumane and it must stop.
CABRERA: You are right. There was a program under the Obama administration in which they did have 99 percent success rate. We know for families taking asylum who are released and asked to come back in court. In 2017 there was 89 percent, people who came back according to the DOJ, 91 percent in 2016, 93 percent in 2015, 94 percent in 2014. So there is a track record in which people who say they want to go through the asylum process actually do comply.
I'm wondering, though, as a president, if it were president Inslee, if voters choose to send you to the White House next November and this crisis is still ongoing, day one, what would you do with the migrants already in U.S. custody? The overcrowding that we are seeing?
INSLEE: We will act as Americans which is to not allow these inhumane conditions to exist. We will stop the separation of children from their parents. We will exercise lawful means to do that some of which would use the system that has resulted in 99 percent return rate or thereabouts and stop the 100 percent cruelty.
But more than that, I would achieve a comprehensive immigration reform. These are not the only people under anxiety today. We have people living in our neighborhoods that are coworkers who have kids in schools today that are living under this threat of deportation.
We have 11 million people that need a path to citizenship who have been good folks, who have not committed crimes and we need our dreamers to not to have to worry about being deported.
In my state I was one of the governors to help make sure that our dreamers whoa re now in college can continue their college education and have a way to pay for that instead of being forced to be deported by Donald Trump.
CABRERA: I talked to a lot of those Dreamers --.
CABRERA: -- those dreamers, they want to provide and contribute a lot to this country and the majority of Americans agree with you that they deserve a way to stay in this country and be protected. People will disagree on what kind of status they deserve.
[16:30:00] But when you talk about comprehensive immigration reform, there are a lot of different things that can be done with that and yet we know Congress has been trying to tackle this for years, decades in some cases and multiple administrations. It's not easy, as you know, it's easier said than done. So let's just tick through, one thing, at least that some of your colleagues or candidates on the campaign trail are talking about decriminalizing border crossings.
That's one thing they think that can make a difference so you don't have the overwhelming number of people waiting to go through the process.
Would you do that? Would you decriminalize border crossings?
INSLEE: I don't think we should be prosecuting mothers who have a 4- year-old wadding across a Rio Grande. It's a waste of our criminal process.
We should use the civil process where deportation is the legal and correct and right thing to do. We should use the civil system, which we've used for decades in the United States, rather than this kind of reign of terror of Donald Trump.
But I do believe --
CABRERA: It sounds like you're saying, yes, you would decriminalize border crossings.
INSLEE: For a single mother, yes. For those people just taking care of their kids, you bet.
I do believe we have a shot at comprehensive immigration reform if we have a president who will leave the country to get rid of a filibuster.
The filibuster is an anti-democratic tool that has prevented the ability to develop a bipartisan immigration reform we need. We might be able to get a bipartisan solution, but not when we give Mitch McConnell the tool to prevent that from happening.
I believe that's a path forward for America that we can achieve.
CABRERA: Governor Jay Inslee, thank you very much for being here.
INSLEE: Thank you. You bet.
CABRERA: Louisiana's lieutenant governor issuing a dire warning to residents south of New Orleans, telling them they have just hours to get to safety from flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Barry. We are staying on top of that breaking news live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.
[16:35:20] CABRERA: Welcome back.
A senior administration official telling CNN President Trump may have jeopardized the ICE raids set for tomorrow by publicly confirming they are happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nothing to be secret about. If the word gets out, it gets out because hundreds of people know about it. It's a major operation. So if the word gets out, it gets out. It starts on Sunday, and they're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: This operation targeting nine major American cities is increasing fear among thousands of undocumented immigrants.
Joining us now, Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters, and Doug Heye, CNN political commentator and former RNC communications director.
Doug, the president's warning left members of his own administration scratching their head, we are told. They're worried it can backfire. Is this about immigration enforcement or is it just to fire up his base?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Everything that we've seen about immigration in the past year, past year and a half has been all about politics. You can say that's true about the president and the White House, the administration. Certainly true of congressional Democrats as well.
Look, Ana, we have a crisis at the border. And we know that and everyone acknowledges that. And for a year and a half, Donald Trump has said there's a crisis at the border and it's time to stop the posturing and come up with solutions.
Unfortunately, having worked on immigration on the Hill quite a bit over the years, and as Jeff has covered quite a bit, it doesn't seem likely that there's any real chance of anyone working together.
And part of why I think that's unfortunate is because Donald Trump is the one person that can go to the Republican base and say, I can work with Democrats and solve this problem and get some leeway to do it in a way that a President Rubio or President Jeb Bush or Scott Walker wouldn't have been allowed to do.
CABRERA: Although when the president has said that, Jeff, he's quickly changed his mind, no?
JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS: Yes. I mean, was there a point early on in President Trump's administration where he indicated he was ready to make a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on DREAMers and then pulled back from that pretty quickly after the outcry among people within his party.
So, yes, I think Doug makes a good point. I think if President Trump wanted to have a bipartisan agreement that he is in a unique position to -- to try to do that, but that really hasn't been the policy that he has followed.
He has used a lot of fear and he has focused on building a wall, doing these raids and other things that are popular with his base and are also promises that he made as a candidate in 2016. And all of those things matter to him, of course, now going into 2020.
CABRERA: There's been a bit of infighting within the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill. And a new twist we are seeing in the spat between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and freshman Congressman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez. Essentially Ocasio-Cortez accused Pelosi of singling out women of color in the caucus. And now President Trump has decided to weigh in on this. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Cortez should treat Nancy Pelosi with respect. She should not be doing what she's doing.
And I'll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do. She is not a racist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Jeff, are you surprised he's defending Pelosi?
MASON: Oh, I'm never surprised about anything or I try not to be, but I think it's a great question. It's interesting.
It gives a little bit of insight into President Donald Trump's relationship with Speaker Pelosi. I think that they have had for a good chunk of their relationship, a pretty respectful one. And that's been challenged for sure and he hasn't always come out defending her. And it does show that deep down President Trump respects Nancy Pelosi and may have been a little bit irritated to see this particular attack coming from her left flank.
CABRERA: But the president is not defending another speaker of the House, a former speaker from his own party, Paul Ryan.
In a new book, the former speaker is quoted as saying about his time working with Trump, "I told myself I've got to have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right because, I'm telling you, he didn't know anything about government. I wanted to scold him all of the time. Those of us around him really helped him to stop him from making bad decisions all the time."
Doug, now we know what was going on behind the scenes because Paul Ryan wasn't speaking out against Trump and saying this out loud, but was that an effective strategy?
HEYE: Paul Ryan had a unique role in this. And sometimes I was frustrated and sometimes I was extremely sympathetic. And he had to make sure that the House of Representatives was to stick together as a working, functioning body of government. You could argue he wasn't always doing that. But that was his job. [16:40:11] But, ultimately, what we see from his comments and Trump's
reaction to it, it's something I would counsel every Republican member that I see hustling to pick up points with Donald Trump, he doesn't give points. He only takes them one at a time. And Republicans should be mindful of that. This time, it's Paul Ryan, and he's out of the scene right now.
But if you're a Republican Senator or a Republican House member, you know that Donald Trump can and has sets his eyes on your colleges. Like the first day of college, look to your left and look to your right and the next one could be you.
CABRERA: Here's how President Trump hit back Friday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Paul Ryan was not a talent. He wasn't a leader.
Paul Ryan was a lame duck for a long time as speaker. He was unable to raise money. He lost control of the House. The only success Paul Ryan had was the time that he was with me.
Paul Ryan let us down. Paul Ryan was a terrible speaker. Frankly, he was a baby. He didn't know what the hell he was doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Jeff, what do you make of the president's criticism of Ryan? Is it fair?
MASON: Number one, President Trump doesn't like to be criticized himself, so if somebody turns on him, and be it someone like Paul Ryan with whom he had a working relationship, he had to have one, or be it someone on the other side of the political spectrum, when he gets attacked, he attacks back. That's a classic response right there.
And one quibble I would point out in terms of fact checking, when he said that Paul Ryan wasn't able to raise money, that's not true. Paul Ryan was a major fundraiser for the Republican Party during his time as speaker.
But the president doesn't like to see this reflection coming out later that's critical of him. And I don't think -- Doug might have more insight on this than I -- but I don't think people are that surprised to hear some of what the former speaker is saying about their relationship. But it's not words that President Trump wants to see in print or hear and that's why he reacted the way that he did.
CABRERA: I have to leave it there, guys. Good to see you both. Jeff Mason, Doug Heye, thank you.
HEYE: Thank you.
CABRERA: More on the breaking story, Tropical Storm Barry. The U.S. Coast Guard now saying it's concerned about the amount of water that could fall. And already 100,000 people are without power in Louisiana. We'll go live to the storm zone, next.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:46:28] CABRERA: The powerful storm Barry, right now, slamming parts of the Louisiana coast and dumping dangerous amounts of rainfall on the area, rain that is still falling and is expected to get worse.
The mayor of Morgan City, Louisiana, tells CNN every resident of his town is without power right now. We are seeing downed trees and littering the roadways and water creeping into Morgan City, 75 miles west of New Orleans.
I want to bring in extreme meteorologist, Reed Timmer, in St. Mary's Parish, near Midway, Louisiana.
Reed, how much storm surge, first of all, are you seeing there?
REED TIMMER, EXTREME METEOROLOGIST, ACCUWEATHER: Right here on the other side of the levy, it is not quite as bad. You can see the water is coming up and over the top of that levy right now. And that's deep. And that's the storm surge on the Gulf of Mexico side and protecting the town of Midway all of the way up. And this is along Highway 317 here.
And this area is under a mandatory evacuated area. And we've seen locals with the vehicles piled high with personal items and to get about five miles to the bridge where it will be safe.
If this levee does breach, there will likely be substantial high waters along Highway 317 in St. Mary's Parish. And again, this is not an official levy breach. And right now, that flow is going up and over the top of that levy. But as the storm surge continues to build on the other side of that, and as the tide increases, that's going to increase the chance for potentially life-threatening flooding in St. Mary's Parish. And that's why these mandatory evacuations are in place along Highway 317.
CABRERA: We understand that there are at least in four parishes now mandatory evacuations. And we know there are a number of levies that are overtopping but not breached at this point. Just how concerned are you about the levy surrounding New Orleans in particular right now.
TIMMER: I'm not as concerned of downtown New Orleans, but the areas southeast of there, Plaquemines Parish and St. Mary's, to the southeast of New Orleans, where all of the water in the Mississippi River is flowing downstream. And that is being prevented from being deposited into the Gulf of Mexico.
The easterly winds are piling up the water. And that includes the river here, also, that goes through Morgan City. And that one is also forecasted to crest early Sunday at nine feet. And there's flooding around that river, as well. And Baton Rouge is forecasted to crest at four to six feet. Substantial flooding is expected there as well. And the scary thing is that the rain is just getting started here across southern Louisiana.
We do expect that the core of this tropical storm will come ashore on the south side and all of that convection that's been sitting out of the Gulf of Mexico for days will be coming over Louisiana and will be dropping prolific amounts of rain. And that will be making worse the flooding situation from the storm surge and the river flooding that is just hammering this area in southern Louisiana.
CABRERA: We can hear the wind blowing across your microphone. Power is out on 100,000 residents in Louisiana. How does that complicate things given how hot is there?
TIMMER: Power outages are commonplace. And Morgan City, every resident is without power. We just came from there and we were driving around and there were trees falling and a very dangerous situation. There's powerlines down. but those trees continue to fall down as the root systems are getting weaker and weaker.
As people are going outside to survey some of the damage on their property, trees are falling. And so the danger from the wind certainly continues. It's not just a life-threatening situation in terms of flooding.
[16:50:11] CABRERA: OK, Reed Timmer, thank you so much for information and that update. Please stay safe. We'll check back with you.
It was an emotional home coming for the Los Angeles Angels last night. The team returning to the field for the first time since the death of teammate, Tyler Skaggs. How they honored him, next.
Your live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: The Los Angeles Angels and their fans knew last night's game would be emotional. But no one even that close to Hollywood could have written a script like this one.
In a show of unity, 12 days after the death of teammate, Tyler Skaggs, the entire team wore his number 45 jersey in their first home game since his passing.
His mother, Debbie, took her son's place on the mound and threw a perfect strike for the ceremonial first pitch.
And Angels slugger, Mike Trout, belted a 454-foot home run in the first inning. And meanwhile, two members of the Angels pitching staff completed the perfect script by combining for a no-hitter and a 13-0 win over the Mariners.
And all of this happening the night before Tyler Skaggs would have celebrated his 28th birthday. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, reportedly promised a dying
9/11 hero he would host a vote on the 9/11 first responders bill. That 9/11 hero, Luis Alvarez, a former NYPD bomb squad detective, has died of cancer linked to the time he spent with other first responders in the rubble of Ground Zero. He recently testified in Congress alongside Jon Stewart.
[16:55:06] Now McConnell has a chance to carry out his promise. The Never Forgets the Heroes legislation cleared the House yesterday. It now heads to the Senate where timing on that vote is still unclear.
Jon Stewart celebrated this first hurdle of a hard-fought victory for permanent funding with first responder, John Feal, and other supporters. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN FEAL, 9/11 FIRST REAPONDER: Not many people around this country can say they went to Washington, D.C., and made the process work. We made, we forced, we shamed the process to work.
So Lu Alvarez's passing is not -- is not in vain. I'm not crying. And -- and I know Lu's smiling right now.
And when Lu gave me his shield to give to Mitch McConnell and I shook Mitch McConnell's hand -- and I'm going to keep Mitch McConnell's word that he said he was going to get this done before the summer recess. I can tell you now that when we leave here today and we get off air that we're going to make sure that Mitch McConnell sticks to his word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: We are going to continue to report on this. This bill would permanently extend funding to compensate first responders, their families and others who were sickened at Ground Zero.
We're staying on top of our breaking news. Barry now downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. Some parts of Louisiana are under mandatory evacuation orders. Thousands are without power. And the threat of flooding is getting more dire. CNN is covering all angles of Barry.
Stay with us. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.