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Category 2 Hurricane Dorian Strengthens Possibly To Category 4 Before Landfall; No Single Gay Gene Confirmed In New Study; President Trump's Personal Assistant Abruptly Exits White House; Presidential Race For 2020; Joe Biden Faces Questions From Future Voters. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired August 29, 2019 - 23:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. We're going to answer four big questions in the hour ahead. And we begin with the breaking news, with Hurricane Dorian now forecast to grow into a powerful Category 4 storm, when and where will it strike?

Most likely along Florida's Atlantic coast. We'll have the brand-new forecast from the National Weather Center in just -- the Hurricane Center in just a moment.

Also, a major new study of same-sex behavior concludes there is no single gay gene. But what does it tell us about the role of genetics as well as environment in determining a person's sexual orientation?

And President Trump, claiming today that America's farmers are on his side. But is he tone deaf to farmers who are angry about how the trade war with China is hurting them?

Plus, how Joe Biden answered a boy's challenging question at a campaign event in South Carolina.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As president, how will you fix the damage Donald Trump has caused?


LEMON: Biden's answer coming up. And I'm going to speak to that future voter, only 10 years old by the way. We're going to get to all of that this hour, but let's begin with the brand-new forecast for Hurricane Dorian. Our meteorologist Derek Van Dam is at the CNN Weather Center for us. Derek, hello to you. You've got the brand-new forecast. Walk us through it. How bad does it look?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, this information just coming to us about 60 seconds ago. Don, we have seen a significant increase in the strength of Hurricane Dorian, which is now a Category 2.

It looks more and more likely that this will be the third consecutive year of a major land fall in hurricane in the state of Florida, the fourth consecutive year where a hurricane has touched the shores of the state as well.

So, you can imagine what kind of economic impacts that has. A 105 mile per hour sustained winds. That is quite the jump. The pressure has fallen and we have seen an organization within the past 12 hours specifically that indicates that this storm will continue to intensify as it moves in a general northwesterly direction.

And this is interesting to note as well. We have seen a marked uptick in the strength of the winds as we head into Sunday as well as Monday. And then all of our computer models, the best knowledge we have available to us, all of them indicating that some sort of slowing effect will take place with this system, bringing it basically to a halt.

So, we're going to maximize at least the potential exists here, to maximize the threats for the east coast of Florida with strong winds for several hours at a time and heavy rainfall for at least a day.

LEMON: It's interesting. Again, if you're just tuning in, our meteorologist Derek Van Dam is reporting now that Hurricane Dorian has strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane, winds increasing above to 105 miles per hour. That is the latest update that came in just moments ago.

So, listen, if it turns into a Category 4, Derek, when it makes landfall, that would be the strongest hurricane to strike Florida's east coast since Andrew in 1992. That was catastrophic. Could Dorian cause similar damage?

VAN DAM: Well, I think it's important that we look at the similarities between these storms. They were both compact systems. They both had a very strong inner core right near the center of circulation where the strongest winds are.

And it's really interesting and important to note to our viewers, Don, that 88 percent of fatalities from tropical systems come from flood or water-related, not necessarily wind.

So, yes, a wind is a major threat with a tropical system of this nature, but it is the long duration rain event that we harp on so frequently, especially with a forecast that shows almost a near parallel run along the east coast of the state of Florida.

That is going to prolong and maximize the threats here for this area. By the way, tropical storm-force winds arrival, Sunday night into Monday morning.

LEMON: Derek, thank you very much. Derek, we'll be checking in with you. Joining me now from Port Canaveral is CNN's Leyla Santiago.

Leyla, hello again to you. You know, you just heard the new forecast from Derek. The storm is a Category 2 now.


LEMON: What does that mean for Port Canaveral? SANTIAGO: You know, as I talked to people today, they were just saying

we're going to wait and see where this goes. Well, here's a sign that this storm is strengthening as it heads toward Florida.

So I think for people here, this may be the next step in realizing that they really need to make some decisions pretty quickly. Today, we did see people picking up water. Stores were definitely limiting how much water anybody could buy at one time, but we saw people doing that.

We saw waste management going around and residents were told to go ahead and start picking up any tree branches or debris that could become dangerous if winds pick up.

[23:05:03] And we are expecting tomorrow in Coco Beach for two truck loads of sand to come in so that folks can make their own bags and protect their property that way.

But given what you just heard from Derek, I suspect tomorrow there are going to be some pretty long lines like we saw today in some areas.

LEMON: Listen, this is a holiday weekend as you know, and what are you hearing about the hit to tourism, Leyla, because the storm is striking on one of the biggest weekends of the year?

SANTIAGO: Right. It's a long weekend and tourism is something that this area really depends on. The thing that sticks in my mind is that hotel manager that I talked to today who said this is horrible. I'm going to already plan on missing out on $120,000 worth of business because that's how much I was depending on this. And that was earlier today before we even got this update.

So, we're going to have to expect some sort of an impact in terms of tourism and business, how bad the damage will be when it comes to impact should we continue to see what we're seeing in terms of a strengthening storm that could hit this area that is still very much remembering what Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Irma did here.

We'll have to wait and see, but I suspect tomorrow you're going to see a lot of people waking up to this update and reacting.

LEMON: Leyla Santiago in Port Canaveral. Leyla, thank you very much. Joining me now is storm chaser, Aaron Jayjack.

Aaron, so good to have you on. Thank you so much.

Listen, as a storm chaser, Dorian has got to be a challenge for you. It's getting stronger. All of Florida is in the cone here. It's unpredictable. It's the biggest challenge, right. What is the biggest challenge right now?

AARON JAYJACK, MYRADAR STORM CHASER: Well, like you said, Don, I think the biggest challenge right now and everybody is having problems with this, really honing in on what exact location it's going to make landfall. It's looking like it's going to be somewhere in Florida, but that

doesn't mean the Carolinas and Georgia and maybe even all the way down to the Keys isn't out of that, you know.

It could potentially be hit up in there in those areas. So, those areas aren't out of the cone and potentially of danger as well. But right now the National Hurricane Center, they do have that cone of the most predictable area of where that hurricane is going to go coming right into central Florida.

That's where I'm currently located right now, in Orlando. I've been here since last night, in here getting supplies and being prepared for a potentially major hurricane coming to shore in the next few days.

LEMON: So Aaron, let me ask you this. Let's talk about the storm surge. You're familiar with that. What kind of damage can that do and how do you prepare for that? You just simply get out of the way?

JAYJACK: Well, I mean, that is number one if you're in a storm surge location, you need to heed those evacuation notices and get out of there. I know some people do have the houses that can withstand the winds of the hurricane and they're also up on stilts and they can survive some surge.

You know, sometimes those surges can be big on a large hurricane and maybe even, you know, some of those houses aren't quite high enough. So the best advice is to get out of there. But then once you do go inland, the threat isn't over as well as you guys were talking about.

You know, this hurricane could potentially slow down over Florida and then you have inland flooding to worry about from all the rain and as that surge comes ashore, you know, that water has nowhere to drain that's raining down. And if that thing stalls out over Florida, it could be a really bad flooding situation here.

LEMON: Major population centers are under threat. Does that make it more difficult to prepare for?

JAYJACK: It absolutely does especially here in Orlando. You know, I thought I was getting here in plenty of time to build -- have plenty -- get my supplies that I need to be able to intercept the hurricane and make sure that I could survive multiple weeks.

And already they're running out of gas cans at the Home Depot, Lowe's, and whatnot, so I had to go find the auto parts store to actually get gas cans as one of my provisions that I usually take into these hurricanes. So, yes, I mean, it's already starting to -- you can see the energy starting to build about this hurricane approaching.

LEMON: You say you've seen the stress levels of people start to rise as Dorian gets closer. How important is that for people just to remain calm?

JAYJACK: Well, I mean that's, you know, my -- even for me as a storm chaser, right now is the moment where I kind of calm myself down because it can be a stressful situation. And, you know, when you start worrying and panicking and -- that's when heart (ph) problems occur, you know.

People don't think straight, and so there is two most important things I think people should be doing right now is just, you know, paying attention to what the National Hurricane Center is saying and starting to prepare because, you know, these things can -- even though it's going to slow down, it can creep up on you fast and you need to just make sure you get out of here and not waste any time.

LEMON: Yes, listen, easy for me to sit here in the studio and say that. And you -- I don't know if you have family members there, but when your family, your livelihood, your home, all of that in the path of a hurricane, it's easy for us to say be calm, but, you know, I would imagine most people are frightened and, you know, bordering on panic.


LEMON: Listen, where are you going to go? Are you going to watch the forecast and then decide where you're going to go?

[23:10:01] What are you going to do when this thing starts to bear down?

JAYJACK: So ye, so right now it's pretty much a waiting game for me. I'm watching the forecast. I live in Denver right now so I wanted to make sure I got to the east coast so I could make sure I got ahead of time with any kind of evacuations potentially slowing me down in getting here. I didn't want that to inhibit my ability to get here.

But, you know, as that forecast approaches, we start getting within a day or two of the hurricane approaching. That's when I'll start narrowing down my location.

And my whole goal is to get, you know, into that worst location of the hurricane, the eye and the eye wall, like to document that, to capture, to show people -- show the world, you know, here's what these massive storms are starting to do to us. One, you know, after year after year we're getting hit by these massive hurricanes.

And hopefully it informs people and, you know, I wanted to mention too like, you know, what people can do to stay calm. I said to stay informed and they should make sure they, you know, they pay attention too.

Like -- there are weather apps out there and like the MyRadar weather app that they can get and they could download and pay attention to the forecast and help stay away. That information is what's important to make sure you stay calm in my opinion, so.

LEMON: Aaron Jayjack, storm chaser, good advice. You be safe as well. Thank you, sir. We'll check back in with you.

JAYJACK: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We've got a lot more to come on Hurricane Dorian. We're going to talk to the mayor of a community that could be hit pretty hard. That's next.


LEMON: As Hurricane Dorian barrels towards Florida, communities there, they're up and down the east coast there making preparations to withstand what is expected to be a Category 4 storm.

So, joining me now on the phone, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry. Mayor, we know it's a busy time for you. You're preparing for this. Thank you so much for joining us. You know, we just heard the latest forecast just moments ago. It's getting worse. Nobody is exactly sure where this thing is going to hit.

You posted a time-lapse video on Facebook of residents filling up sandbags. What else are folks in your community doing to prepare here?

DERRICK HENRY, MAYOR OF DAYTONA BEACH (via telephone): The natural things that you do when you're facing this sort of potential disaster. You're just hunkering down, preparing, you know, making sure that we get the necessities that will sustain us through this time.

LEMON: Mayor, I also saw that you had crews out and about today draining retention ponds, removing debris from storm drains. Are you confident that the city is prepared if Daytona Beach goes, you know, does get slammed here?

HENRY: Well, I am confident, but of course that's cautiously confident. We want to make certain that our residents continue to put safety first. We know that as a city, we've done all that we could do prior to, to be prepared.

As you said, draining of retention ponds just making sure your gutters and things of that nature are cleared out. That way you're able to move the water as best you can as a municipality to do your part.

LEMON: And what about assistance from, you know, both federal and state, from both levels, federal and state levels? Are you getting everything you need?

HENRY: Well, as of right now, you know, we in Florida have a long history of, I think, doing a great job as a state responding to these type of crises. And the state has done all that it should, you know, declaring an emergency ahead of time, and we've done that here locally as well. So, our expectation is that that assistance will continue to be coming in its proper form.

LEMON: And what about shelters? What kind?

HENRY: Well, we've got shelters. Our shelters are primarily hosted by our school system, and they are prepared to begin opening tomorrow -- I mean on Saturday, excuse me. And so we have a good history of responding well.

Lists are out -- various types of shelters for folks with disabilities as well as folks with pets. So we feel confident that the shelters will be able to withstand, you know, the demand. LEMON: Listen, as you're speaking there, we're looking at this video,

these images from NASA that they took earlier today. My goodness, this thing is -- from NOAA as well -- excuse me -- from NOAA. It is enormous. Any final messages tonight to the residents of Daytona?

HENRY: Hunker down. Be prepared. Be calm. Do all that you can do to make sure that you're prepared for this storm, and let's all hope and pray for the best.

LEMON: Mayor Derrick Henry, Daytona, we hope and pray for the best for you as well. Thank you so much.

HENRY: OK. Thank you, sir.

LEMON: A new study says there isn't a single gay gene that determines a person's sexuality. We're going to tell you what they found, though, next.


LEMON: A new study shows that there are many genes that influence sexual behavior. Published today in the Journal of Science, many say it puts to rest the concept of a single gay gene.

So, here to tell us more about it, about the study is Zeke Stokes. He's the chief programs officer at GLAAD, and Dr. Eric Vilain, the director of The Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children's National Health System.

This is fascinating. I'm so happy to have both of you on. Zeke, I'm going to start with you because you have been examining this study for several months now. So walk us through what it has found.

ZEKE STOKES, CHIEF PROGRAMS OFFICER, GLAAD: Well, it has found that there is not a single genetic trait, a single gene, a so-called gay gene that determines whether or not a person is gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but rather a really complex mix of genetic traits that make the difference when it comes to being LGBTQ.

And so, it's important scientifically, of course, because it does sort of put to rest this idea of a single gay gene. But for a lot of people, it really just reconfirms what we already know. And that is that being gay is not a choice.

That is -- that sexual orientation, gender identity, they're very complex parts of the human experience and it's a very common part of the human experience throughout history, throughout the generations, no matter where you live in the world, you'll find gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.

So this really does reconfirm that fact and paints a picture of a very complex genetic makeup that points to sexual orientation.

LEMON: The study's leader said that the research reinforces the understanding that same-sex sexual behavior is simply a natural part of our diversity as a species. [23:24:57] Let me bring in Dr. Eric Vilain here. Doctor, can you break

this down for me? Does this mean that someone can take a blood test that will tell exactly what their sexuality is? From the simplest level, explain this to us.

ERIC VILAIN, CHIEF OF GENETIC MEDICINE RESEARCH, CHILDREN'S NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM: No. Actually it says pretty much the opposite, that you cannot predict someone's sexual orientation. It's the largest genetic study of sexual orientation ever.

Almost have a million people out of which about 25,000 people had at least one same-sex sexual experience. And what it paints is a nuanced, complex picture. It tells us that there are some genetic factors, but they're not very strong in their influence of sexual orientation, but they're there.

And it leaves some room also for non-genetic factor, possibly environmental factors, which is interesting as well. So, as it was just said, it is complicated and it certainly tells us that it is the end, in a sense of this simplistic view that there would be just one gene, one gay gene that would determine our sexuality and sexual preference.

LEMON: So, Zeke, listen, some researchers are worried these results may be misinterpreted. What are they worried about?

STOKES: You know, Don, I think anytime there is science around this or lots of other topics, there are people who have bad intentions, who want to misuse it for political purposes, for purposes other than that which it was intended.

This was a really, really credible study with an incredible group of researchers behind it at the Broad Institute, and it really stands on its own merit.

But there will be people who want to use it to fight their fight against LGBTQ equality and acceptance. And the sad part of that is that it comes at a time when we're fighting that fight on so many fronts. We've got the most anti-LGBTQ administration in the history of this -- or at least in our lifetimes, in the White House today.

More than 125 attacks against our community. So these are really important conversations to have, but we need to understand the backdrop by which we're having them.

LEMON: Eric, listen, another example that genes don't predict someone's sexuality, a straight person could have the same genes as a gay person, but they're still straight, like in identical twins.

VILAIN: That's very true. So twin studies are also complicated, you know. There is more likelihood for the twin brother of a twin who is gay, for example, to be gay than if they're identical than if their fraternal. So, that suggests that there is some genetic influence, yet it's not 100 percent as you said. So, it leaves a lot of space for complexity and some environmental factors and just life.

LEMON: Listen, Zeke, did you want to respond to that?

STOKES: Yes, I think it's also important to point out that this study is about behavior and not specifically about orientation and we have to believe that environmental factors do play a role when it comes to behavior.

People are more apt to be out, more apt to be open and living their authentic lives in communities, in countries and places where they are accepted as LGBTQ. So we have to -- that plays into this a little bit as well.

LEMON: Well, it's fascinating when you read the entire study and, you know, to just -- because everyone from the beginning of time has tried to figure out what causes someone to be gay, what causes someone to be straight. And I think this sort of just advances our knowledge and what we know about it. It's a fascinating study. I appreciate both of you joining us here on CNN to discuss.

STOKES: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you doctor. Thank you, Zeke.

STOKES: Thank you.

LEMON: President Trump's personal assistant suddenly resigning today, and you've got to hear the reason why. That's next.


LEMON: President Trump's personal assistant, who has been with him since day one of his administration, has abruptly left the White House, a source is telling CNN. Madeleine Westerhout, whose office was right in front of the Oval Office, is leaving after sharing personal information about the Trump family and Oval Office operations. The story was first reported by "The New York Times."

Joining me now to discuss are Angela Rye, Alice Stewart, and David Swerdlick. Good evening to both of you. Look at my dream team there. Hello, hello, hello.


LEMON: Hi. David, I'm going to start with you. Westerhout shared these details during a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near the president's Bedminster, New Jersey property. At least that's what the "Times" is reporting.


LEMON: It was an off-the-record dinner. Is it unusual for the president's personal assistant to be involved in that?

SWERDLICK: So I have not interacted directly with this personal assistant. I would say yes, Don. Some White House staffers or some staffers of any elected official are there to talk policy, to talk politics, sometimes with reporters, sometimes in off-the-record settings.

A personal assistant or a staff secretary, a scheduler, a body man is there as almost an extension of the principal, in this case, the president of the United States or his immediate family members. So it would be unusual.

[23:34:56] And if "The New York Times" reporting is accurate, you can imagine why if something like this got back to -- there may be more to the story clearly -- but if something like this got back to the president and he didn't think it was appropriate, you can imagine a sequence of events where -- her name is Westerhout -- you know, was asked that the better thing to do would be for her to move on, but we don't know a lot of details.

LEMON: Alice, to you now. A former White House official said that Westerhout was like a daughter to President Trump and he was very close to her, but said discussing personal information about his family was a red line. We know how much this president values loyalty. Had she been -- I don't know. Had she been that loyal to this point? What do you know about her?

STEWART: She certainly had been loyal to that point, or she wouldn't be in this position. She's been very close certainly with the president and the first family.

But I can tell you this, Don. In all of my years in communications at the presidential campaign level or even in administrations, never, ever have I allowed a personal assistant or a body person or someone of that level to sit down and have an off-the-record dinner with the media. It's just really not supposed to happen.

And here we have a situation where she broke the rule number one of any person in that type of situation is never assume that off-the- record is really off-the-record. And even if so, you don't put dirty laundry out there in front of journalists.

And it is unfortunate. She has been a loyal soldier. But if she, in fact, did do this, which it appears she did, there's just zero level of tolerance for such a violation of trust. And so the president and the administration really had no choice here.

LEMON: Well, a person who is always trustworthy is Angela Rye. So, Angela, let's turn now to the president. A day after claiming that Fox wasn't working for us -- that's his quote, Fox isn't working for us -- the president went on Fox News radio this morning, claiming farmers are doing just fine in spite of the trade war that he started. Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): The farmers have been targeted. That's how vicious they play the game. They actually target because they know that the farmers like Trump and Trump loves the farmers, actually. I love what they do. They're incredible people.


LEMON: So, Angela, listen. Trump's trade war with China means that American farmers can no longer export to the world's most populous country. Why would farmers still like Trump when they're being hurt by his policies?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because Donald Trump is delusional to the tune of more than 12,000 lies or misstatements, and this is just another one. Let's make this 12,001. I think at this point what we have to realize is that the only love Donald Trump has for anyone is himself.

And so what farmers are probably going to do, even when you look at the number of Iowa counties that he won, farmers are going to put their money first, not Donald Trump's money first. And what they're probably going to require of him is to put his money where his mouth is and ensure that he now not only ends the trade war, but there's also a thing called ethanol that they have to produce.

And now he's carved out all of these -- made all these carve-outs for small refineries, and now ethanol is getting hit really hard. So that's going to cost farmers jobs, and it's already hitting them in the pockets to the tune of millions.

And Donald Trump is going to have to account for that. He's going on Twitter, saying that he's going to do great things for them and he's coming to save them. But it's something that he started. This is carve-outs that his administration started through the EPA.

LEMON: Alice, even if the reality is this trade war is hurting farmers in a very real way -- OK, that's the reality -- does he still have their support?

STEWART: Many that I speak with say that they do. Look, you're not going to get across the board. Everyone hook line and sinker is going to be in support of him. But the ones that I talked with do support him for a couple of reasons.

A lot of them are several generations of farmers, and they're able to withstand this. And, Don, several I spoke with today, just by nature, farmers are short-term pessimists, long-term optimists. Otherwise, they wouldn't be in the farming industry because it is so volatile.

But the subsidies are getting -- is helping. They certainly would much rather be selling their products to a customer like China than taking a subsidy. That is helping. Unfortunately for some, it's a Band-Aid on a broken arm, but is helping them get through the hump.

I expect if we can get through this trade war with China and if we can get things back on track, the farmers will be fully in support of this president. But right now, some are certainly having some heartburn over the current trade war.


SWERDLICK: Don, can I just point one quick thing out? LEMON: Yeah.

SWERDLICK: I agree with everything that Alice said and Angela. But I would just note there's another way to look at this, which is that the president did well in rural and exurban areas. Obviously not every farmer voted for President Trump, but it's fair to say that a lot of farmers did, even as the president campaigned in 2016 on doing exactly what he's doing now, a trade war with tariffs.

So in a sense, some of these farmers feeling this pain voted for what is happening now. It's unfortunate. Hopefully, as Alice said, we'll get out of this trade war.

[23:40:02] But this was something that was promised by President Trump.

LEMON: I want to talk about Vice President Joe Biden now, telling a riveting story about giving a medal to a soldier in Afghanistan rappelling down a ravine while taking enemy fire to retrieve the body of a fallen comrade. Listen to this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This guy climbed down a ravine, carried this guy up on his back under fire. And the general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him. I got up there. I said, "God's truth, my word as a Biden." He stood at attention. I went to pin him, he said, "Sir I don't want a damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir. Please, sir, do not do that. He died. He died."


LEMON: Angela, The Washington Post detailed a number of times that Biden has told versions of this story. Many of the details are way off. How much of a liability is this for him? Is it a liability, do you think?

RYE: I think it's a challenge because folks naturally are tieing this to Biden's age. We know that he is three years older than Donald Trump, so for whatever reason, that means he's centuries older. They're definitely tying it to his ability to remember or recollect facts.

I think our reality is very simple and that is Joe Biden, if for whatever reason he does not become the democratic nominee and if he were not to beat Donald Trump, he definitely has a career on Broadway. Joe Biden has always brought the drama. He can always tell a good story.

I just talked about Donald Trump's 12,001 lies. Has nothing compared to that. I think that we all know as we saw in the 2016 election, Donald Trump has one set of standards and everybody else has a completely different rule book to live by. So, we'll see what happens.

LEMON: David, Biden -- I want to get this in. I want to make sure I get it in. Let's play this.


BIDEN (voice-over): I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we've lost. And so -- that I don't know what the problem is. I mean, what is it that I said wrong?

LEMON: Alice, I want you to stand by. I just want to get a response from David. While the mistake may not have been intentional, he still got a lot wrong. Does that matter?

SWERDLICK: Yeah, it does matter, Don. Again, great reporting by my Washington Post colleagues. He has a series of incidents and episodes now where he's either made gaffes or misstatements, inadvertently or otherwise. In addition to that, you know, he's looking to be the president and debate the president next year. He has to have a better command of the specifics.

LEMON: Alice, what did you want to say? Quickly, please.

STEWART: Just politically speaking, whether this was intentional or not, it's certainly not a factual statement. And that really takes off a key point of contrast with the president.

As Angela said, this president is factually challenged and if a democratic candidate is going to put the finger at him for doing so, they can't be doing the same thing. So that takes that topic off the table if he continues to do such. He needs to button it up a little bit.

LEMON: Thank you all. As I said, my dream team. It is good to have all of you on. See you soon.

SWERDLICK: Thanks, Don.

RYE: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Joe Biden is facing questions from future voters today.


MARCUS LAFRANCA, 10-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO SPOKE TO JOE BIDEN: As president, how will you fix the damage Donald Trump has caused?



LEMON: You're going to hear the answer when I talk to the 10-year- old, that 10-year-old and his little brother. That's next.


LEMON: You know what they say. Out of the mouths of babes. Well, this moment, it's from Joe Biden's South Carolina town hall today. It is going viral. Take a look.


LAFRANCA: As president, how will you fix the damage Donald Trump has caused?


BIDEN: By making you vice president.




LEMON: Well, those young brothers are here, 10-year-old Marcus and nine-year-old Joshua LaFranca, along with their grandmother, Lisa LaFranca. You guys are a sight for sore eyes. You look amazing. This is great news, happy news, and we're happy to report it. So welcome.

Marcus, I'm going to start with you.


LEMON: That was quite a big moment. Did you expect such a loud reaction from the crowd?



LEMON: So, did it make you nervous or did it make you happy? What did you do?

LAFRANCA: It made me honestly nervous, like, I was going to say, never mind, I didn't have a question.


LEMON: What did you think when the former vice president -- what did you think of his answer?

LAFRANCA: Oh, I honestly thought it was pretty good and satisfying for my question.

LEMON: So you want to be vice president?


LEMON: Well, he said he would make you the vice president, so I don't know. Vice President LaFranca, that sounds pretty good to me. Joshua?


LEMON: You probably would be the co-vice president. I understand that you and Marcus worked on these questions together. How did you come up with the question?

J. LAFRANCA: By thinking of the damage Donald Trump has done on this world like -- Marcus?

M. LAFRANCA: First of all, he's ruining -- he doesn't care about the environment. He's friends with enemy countries like Korea and Russia. He's giving them private information that we're supposed to keep for ourselves.

[23:50:01] Kim Jong-un is just building nukes under his nose and either he can't see it or he doesn't care.

LEMON: Wow! What are you going to say, Joshua?

J. LAFRANCA: I was going to say that he's a liar. He doesn't really believe in climate change. And I just think we should ride bikes instead of cars.


LEMON: Grandma, you did not like him saying that word, did you?

LISA LAFRANCA, GRANDMOTHER OF BOYS WHO SPOKE TO JOE BIDEN: Well, he can be a little nicer. I mean, I understand what he's saying definitely because, you know, all the hate and the racism and the -- it's just -- what he incites is horrible. And they see that because they've heard it on TV, which I don't like them to hear, but they have to know what's going on. This is the future.

LEMON: Yeah.

L. LAFRANCA: You know? And they know right from wrong.

LEMON: You got to be proud of them. Beyond proud. I mean, whose idea was it to bring them to this event?

L. LAFRANCA: I asked them. Well, they knew I was coming. They asked to go. They came with me in 2016 when I went to vote. And they've been pretty active. I mean, they hear me talking about it or watching the news. They'll come by and they'll say something about Trump.

Just certain things. They know right from wrong, right? And they know. What do we say about judging people?

M. LAFRANCA: You can't judge a person by who they love or -- or -- well, you can't judge a person --

L. LAFRANCA: For what they look like.

M. LAFRANCA: Or what they look like. You judge them for their actions and what they've done.

LEMON: Lisa, you say Marcus and Joshua are a package deal. Do you plan on having them meet more presidential candidates?

L. LAFRANCA: Absolutely. I want them to be active. We were talking about the Parkland kids and how they are the voices of that generation, that age group. And they've done so many great things. I'm so proud of those kids.

And these kids -- these kids are the voices of their age group, you know? I asked them today, "Do you guys in class talk about politics? Does anybody have anything to say?" And they said, "A few kids." And I asked them, "Well, how many of them -- what are their views?" And what did you tell me? What did you tell me, Josh?

J. LAFRANCA: That mostly every kid in my class doesn't want Trump in the office. Sometimes they say they don't want him in the office.

LEMON: Listen, Lisa, you're raising some really great kids. Thank you so much. You guys, keep doing what you're doing, and we think you're fantastic.



L. LAFRANCA: Thank you. Bye.

LEMON: They are so cute! We are following Hurricane Dorian on track to strike Florida as a major Category 4 hurricane over the Labor Day weekend. Our meteorologist Derek Van Dam is in CNN Weather Center for us. Derek, where is the storm now and what should we expect over the next few hours?

VAN DAM: Yeah, it's just north of the Dominican Republic right now, and we should expect this storm to continue to strengthen. Don, it has already overcome so many obstacles to get where it is now and it only continues to get stronger.

The dry air that was present around the storm over the past few days which tells meteorologists that it should inhibit development, well, it counteracted that and actually formed into a formidable Category 2 Atlantic hurricane.

That is where we stand right now, 105-mile-per-hour sustained winds. All the best available knowledge, all the computer models that we looked at showed this general west to northwesterly trend in the forecast, but there are still so many variables at play here, Don.

LEMON: Derek, Georgia is also under a state of emergency. What is the likelihood this storm could make a drastic swing north?

VAN DAM: I think all cards are on the table here, Don. Look at day four and day five. You can see just how large this cone of uncertainty actually is. Where does the storm system go from here? It is going to slow down significantly.

Does it ride parallel with the coastline like Hurricane Matthew? Does it move across Central Florida into Southern Georgia or does it move across Southern Florida and re-intensify across the Gulf of Mexico? Really, all options are possible. This is why we need to continue to stay abreast of the changes with the National Hurricane Center and all of the forecasts here from the CNN Weather Center going forward.

LEMON: All right. Derek Van Dam, that storm is increasing. The latest forecasts we got at the top of the hour. Derek told you that it's now increasing to a Category 2. It's doing exactly what Derek told us last night. It's over open water. It's going to strengthen, possibly slow down and get stronger.

So Derek will be there in the CNN Weather Center and we'll be following it for you. We've got our producers, correspondents, and crews on the ground preparing to bring you the very latest and best coverage on Hurricane Dorian as it gets closer to the east coast of Florida.

[23:55:03] Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.