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CNN NEWSROOM

Couple Accused of Murder Overpowers Guards; 200 Plus Shoe Retailers Warn Trump That New Tariffs Are Job Killers; From Disney to Daytona, Dorian Becomes a Big Threat to Florida; Interview with Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), Florida's Preparedness for Hurricane Dorian; Trump Considers Blocking $250 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine; Kamala Harris Inspires Diverse Families on Campaign Trail; Couple Slugs It Out with Bear that Invaded Home. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 29, 2019 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BLIGH, VICTIM'S BROTHER: -- happened the way it did, it was just stupid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well the Pima County Sheriff's office in Arizona, they have a contract with a Topeka, Kansas based firm to perform these kinds of extraditions. But at this point that firm not talking. Of course, Ana, there will be a lot of questions about how this all occurred. But right now the focus is on finding these fugitives and the U.S. Marshal's Office is offering a $20,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to their arrest. Ana, back to you.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: What story. Dan Simon, thank you.

New today, the U.S. economy cooling off even faster than initially reported. Suggesting President Trump's trade war with China is weighing more heavily on the American business sector. The Commerce Department today revised downward the second quarter U.S. domestic gross domestic product or GDP to a 2 percent annualized growth rate. The first estimate in July was 2.1 percent.

Now that comes as the latest Quinnipiac Poll shows that for the first time since Trump was elected more American voters say the economy is getting worse, 37 percent say the economy is getting better that's at 31 percent. And that's a significant slide over voter confidence. Down 14 percent since June when that poll showed 23 percent of voters believe the nation's economy was getting worse and 39 percent said it was improving.

Then there's this. President Trump getting a major warning on his trade war from hundreds of American retailers including Nike, Puma and Adidas. All urging Trump to cancel his new tariffs on China set to begin Sunday. More than 200 U.S. footwear companies signing a letter to Trump saying his new 15 percent tariffs on shoes are, quote, job killers and his trade war is unnecessary. I want to bring in Matt Priest, CEO of Footwear Distributors and

Retailers of America, a trade organization advocating for the U.S. footwear industry. Matt, you, I know, helped send this letter. Have you heard anything back from the White House or the Trump administration in response?

MATT PRIEST, CEO, FOOTWEAR DISTRIBUTORS AND RETAILERS OF AMERICA: Hey, Ana. Thanks for having me on. We've not heard anything back from the administration and we are fastly approaching a midnight on Sunday morning when these new tariffs will go into effect. And your viewers should know that we've been paying tariffs on footwear for 90 years. And so we know all too well what added costs will do for our consumers and that's why we're so concerned about what's going to take place this weekend.

CABRERA: So, no response so far. You sent a previous letter in May. If Trump doesn't respond what's your plan? Will you demand a meeting with him? What's the next move?

PRIEST: You know, the next move is, continue to educate the American public. As you showed there, American sentiment on the economy is starting to go south a little bit. And I can assure you that as prices go up at the retail level, as consumers start buying more products that now have these additional tariffs on them, they will have higher costs and they will start to show their concern by staying home and purchasing less product. And doing less to get the American economy going on the consumer side and I think that's the best way we can handle it.

For now the uncertainty is really driving us crazy. We need many months to plan and lots of months to go in and try to ensure that we have all the footwear that our consumers need here in the U.S. and these tariffs are not doing anything to help with that certainty.

CABRERA: Let's talk more specifics, you say Trump's new tariffs will cost American consumers an additional $4 billion a year for shoes. This is according to the letter. Explain how the costs add up to billions.

PRIEST: Yes, absolutely. So we bring in 2.5 billion pairs of shoes every year and we bring in a number, 1.5 billion of those come from China. And so, as we bring those in and you add duties at the cost at the border, most of our duty rates right now are 11 percent or 12 percent on average. And average consumer duty goods are only 1 percent or 2 percent. And so when you add those costs up and you add an additional 15 percent on top of that, that gets multiplied out our supply chain.

So an importer, distributor passes it on to the retailer that passes it on to the consumer. And so it's easy to see how these things compound over time and that just drives up more cost for the consumer. We know all too well because we pay $3 billion in duties every year anyway on all footwear that those prices as the prices go up based on duties, prices for consumers go up. And so we're the poster child of an industry that's impacted negatively by duties.

CABRERA: You talk about jobs also being impacted if Trump goes through with these new tariffs Sunday. Are we talking layoffs?

[15:35:00] PRIEST: Yes, I think what you will find and what our conversations have borne out with our members on an hourly basis during this time is that as you have these additional costs in the billions that are added on top to your overall costs as an organization, as a company, your less likely to invest in personnel, in systems and innovations and product and because you just don't know, one, what the uncertainty will do and, two, how do you add on top of something billions of dollars in added costs and have that not impact where you invest your resources into personnel and to innovation and into other capital investments.

And so we're starting to see that slow down and now we'll have an overall impact on the economy. And Ana, I can tell you this is just footwear. This is going to impact every type of consumer good that Americans purchase. And it's going to drive up costs for consumers across the board as we head into the holiday season.

CABRERA: Matt Priest, I appreciate it. Thank you for being here.

PRIEST: My pleasure.

CABRERA: It's been quite the week. President praises Vladimir Putin overseas, fights to get him back into G-7 and now is considering another move that will make the former KGB agent and now leader of Russia very happy.

Plus, more on our breaking news, Florida in the bull's eye for what's expected to be a category 4 hurricane. So what does it mean for Disney, the theme park's cruise ships? That's next.

[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: More now on our breaking news. Hurricane Dorian poised to make U.S. landfall as a category 4 storm. With Florida now in its direct path. I want to turn to Democratic Congressman Darren Soto whose 9th Congressional District is in Central Florida. Congressman, I know your district is more inland but could still feel the affects of the rain and wind. What's the number one thing you want residents to do now?

REP. DARREN SOTO (D-FL): To be prepared and take it seriously. Get a couple of days' worth of food and water. And flashlights, as well as charge up your chargers and make sure your gas tank is filled. You know the very basics like having safety kits. We're doing our part with FEMA to prepare for what could be a category 4 to hit the coast along central Florida. So everybody just needs to take it seriously and we'll wait and see.

CABRERA: This is a big holiday weekend. I would imagine amusement parks and beaches are pretty popular, the final weekend before the end of summer. Do you worry about Florida taking a big economic hit as summer ends?

SOTO: Well, certainly it's not going to be a joyous Labor Day weekend for central Florida. I was just at Universal today and I know them and Disney will experience some cancelations, but local residents, many times often will take up hotel rooms there, being that they generally don't lose power. And so some of our central Florida residents choose to wait out the hurricane in style at the theme parks. So they generally get more local business during this time period.

CABRERA: You're the first person from Florida of Puerto Rican descent to serve in Congress according to your website. Here's what Trump is saying about this potential threat to your state. I quote, Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night. Be prepared. And please follow federal and state instructions. It will be A very big hurricane perhaps one of the biggest.

Congressman, that's very straightforward but in stark contrast to how the President treated the threat to Puerto Rico calling the Mayor of San Juan incompetent, calling Puerto Rico one of the most corrupt places on earth saying he's the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico. All as the hurricane, big storm was encroaching and coming closer. Congressman, what do you make of the difference of tone?

SOTO: Well, it's more of a personal vendetta against Puerto Rico ever since President Trump oversaw the worst disaster response in modern history, largest death toll, over 3,000 people, longest black out. And he has a sore spot for it because he knows it was a failure that cost lives. So now he's bitter about it and continues to attack leaders down there, whether it was the former governor, whether it is the current mayor or others. And really that's not what we expect out of a President but this divider in chief it's just more of the same.

In Florida we had a better response with Hurricane Maria. And I expect we're going to have a good response here with Hurricane Dorian. I had several briefings with FEMA. We have supplies waiting in the wings. We have folks who are embedded from FEMA throughout the state. We have the state of emergency called including two of the three counties I represent, Orange and Osceola County. So we're getting ready and prepared and I know for central Floridians this is not our first drill. So I'm very hopeful that despite the heavy storm coming in that we're going to be ready.

CABRERA: I want to pivot to our reporting that President Trump is considering taking away military aid to Ukraine which includes weapons, training, equipment, intel support. There was $250 million allocated to fund that, Congressman. This is another action that will certainly make Putin happy, no?

SOTO: Sure. It's a gift to his best buddy, and one of the biggest threats to our democracy, Russia and Vladimir Putin. But it doesn't help with our allies in Europe. Certainly, Ukraine which used to be a puppet state of the Soviet Union, that has even had assassination attempts against its president for their independence from Russia who continues to try to influence their society there.

[15:45:00] And it's not an American interest. We want to promote democracies, not dictatorships like what Russia seems to be with Vladimir Putin never having elections. We don't have a free press over there. So we need to make sure that Ukraine doesn't become another one of them and part of that is that military might, making sure that Russia knows they shouldn't be messing with Ukraine and that $250 million is more of this nativism withdrawing from the national stage that we've seen whether it's in central America, whether it's in Europe or other areas like Africa that President Trump just is defying what Congress has allocated and he's withdrawing from global leadership for our country.

CABRERA: This money, these funds are under review right now. If ultimately, it's rejected or withheld, what kind of response can we expect from Congress?

SOTO: There will be lawsuits. We'll also use the budget for leverage. We're facing similar situation with the foreign aid to central America. When that was cut, we saw this refugee crisis start at the border with areas like Honduras and Nicaragua and El Salvador gripped in bloody battles with cartels. We know that foreign aid helps stabilize these regions or provides buffers to regions like Europe with our investment in Ukraine.

And it also says to our allies that you can't trust the word of the United States because the President at any given time may undercut long standing agreements and relationships. And that makes the homeland less safe whether it's with the refugee crisis or whether it's emboldening Russia to mess with us and intrude in our elections or whether it's destabilizing our strongest allies in Europe.

CABRERA: Congressman Darren Soto, I know it was a challenge to getting to the studio today for our conversation. I'm so glad you made. Thank you for being here.

SOTO: Thanks for your accommodation, appreciate it, Ana.

CABRERA: Just ahead in the crowded field of Democrats every candidate is looking for a way to connect with voters and for Senator Kamala Harris it may come down to the kids at her rallies. CNN on the trail next.

[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: The 2020 Democratic field is the most diverse in U.S. history, as both a woman and person of color candidate Kamala Harris is getting plenty of attention from the next generation. CNN's Kyung Lah has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another rally in the race for 2020.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi, everyone.

LAH: Her sister is Ana Maddox.

ANA MADDOX, HARRIS SUPPORTER: I'm half Mexican and half Vietnamese.

LAH: And Leah Chow, this is a destination. Why did you drive two hours to be here?

MADDOX: Really, I wanted for her, you know, to see a woman, if anything, and especially a woman of color, run for President.

HARRIS: It's time to take action.

MADDOX: You know it took 24 years to get to this point for me. And she's only 9, so imagine when she's 24. She's not going to think this is abnormal.

LAH: From Davenport, Iowa, to Denver, Colorado there's a recurring theme among the parents who bring their children to see a bi-racial woman run for President.

Your daughter asked you to come?

SHELDON SHADRACH, HARRIS SUPPORTER: Yes, she's actually a big fan, big supporter. She's been following Kamala Harris.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it would be special to be the first female President.

LAH: Hillary Clinton helped pave the way. Elizabeth Warren shares that message.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for President, because that's what girls do.

LAH: But 11-year-old Skyler Toney sees her reflection in Harris.

SKYLER TONEY, HARRIS SUPPORTER: I think she's pretty brave to try and do that. She's not like holding back or anything.

HEIDI FOREMAN-TONEY, HARRIS SUPPORTER: The connection we feel, and when they look and see someone who looks like them, a lot of times that kind of let s them sort of visualize their future and see what's possible for them. As children, even.

LAH: It's something Harris knows, why she takes the time, especially with children of color.

LAH: Win or lose, what does that mean for you?

HARRIS: It means the world to me. I mean, when I see those little girls in particular, I mean I see myself. Right, and I see the children of my family, and I see the children of our country, and I see the promise of our country. My mother had many sayings, and one of them is you may be the first to do many things, maybe sure you're not the last. It is my true hope that my career and whatever I can do is -- empowers other people, of whatever age.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Authorities investigating a racist, anti- immigrant manifesto that they believe was posted by the shooter just before the massacre.

LAH: In these divided times when children have questions about the news. Some parents consider a political rally the antidote.

ERIC LITTLE, HARRIS SUPPORTER: With us being an interracial relationship, it's important that we give him a sense that it's OK to be who he is in this community.

[15:55:00] JESSICA LITTLE, HARRIS SUPPORTER: He's aware that his dad is black, his mom is white, but we push really hard to make sure that he knows that's not bad, that's beautiful, that's wonderful, that's what the United States is.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: That was Kyung Lah reporting. This just in, former Vice President Joe Biden now responding to a report that shows how he appears to conflate stories involving a war hero. Stand by.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: A Colorado couple went a couple rounds with a mama bear, and they have the survival scars to prove it. Jon Johnson says he and his girlfriend were watching TV when a brown bear and her two cubs broke through a screen door and moseyed on into the kitchen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE ANN FIELD, CONFRONTED BY BEARS: In front of me and I whacked that bear as hard as I could, both hands, you would have thought I was a Louisville slugger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: When asked what may have attracted the bear, Johnson said he made a shrimp burger and zucchini for dinner, maybe that's what attracted the bear.

[16:00:00]