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Crews Struggle To Reach Hurricane-Ravaged Bahamas As Official Says To Prepare For "Unimaginable" Death Toll; CNN Tours Bahamian Town Devastated By Dorian, Smell Of Death Pervades Areas Where Homes Have Been Leveled; Bahamas Official: Search And Rescue In "Full Throttle" As U.S. Coast Guard Says It's Being Forced To Choose Who To Rescue; Outrage Grows As Trump Diverts Military Funds For Border Wall. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 6, 2019 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Erin Burnett "Outfront" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news, death and suffering in the Bahamas. Survivors telling us there are bodies everywhere after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the island. The Country's Minister of Tourism joins us. Plus, the bipartisan outrage growing over President Trump's decision to use military funds for the border wall. How is the White House responding? And Democrats now looking into the President's push to host that G7 summit at his own resort. And Mike Pence's stay at a Trump hotel in Ireland. Did Trump break the law? Let's go out front.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, a humanitarian crisis tonight. The hurricane-ravaged Bahamas bracing itself tonight for what officials warn will be a horrific road ahead. Now, the death toll right now officially stands at 30. But the final toll could be staggering as rescuers are slowly make their way to some of the hardest-hit areas.

Areas that currently are a tangled mess of debris, broken trees down to power lines. Tonight, CNN's Gary Tuchman says there is a prominent smell of death, which he said got stronger the closer he got to leveled homes. And the survivors are in 90-degree temperatures, they have no food, no water, no fuel, no medicine.

It is a desperate situation which has some taking matters into their own hands with reports of people arming themselves, looting homes and businesses. And for those waiting, I'll show you the line at the airport in Marsh Harbour. This is in the Abacos where hundreds of people are just waiting with what little they have to just try to get away.

CNN was able to venture into one of the hardest-hit areas in Marsh Harbour where cars are covered in debris, boats tossed like toys, homes are destroyed. And to show you another angle to sort of take a step above, this on the left is a satellite image of Marsh Harbour before the storm on the right is what it looks like now.

The storm surge was more than 23 feet. Winds were 185 miles an hour and that area is gone. Green Turtle Cay, just east of Marsh Harbour, winds and storm surge there also leveling almost everything. Paula Newton is out front live in Nassau.

I want to begin with you, Paula. What are people telling you there?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT & ANCHOR: They are telling us that they can't believe when they look at those pictures that they even survived the storm. But now they are very concerned as well about surviving the aftermath and we have so many stories, dozen stories that we heard about family separated as they try and get off these islands and get to shelter.

And I want to talk to you about that death toll. The government still says they have no update. It stands at 30. They are warning everyone, of course, it will rise. But the anecdotal evidence that we have from survivors, it says they're actually rattled, they're terrified about how high that death toll could go.

I want you to listen to Elizabeth Nixon right now. She survived the storm, Erin, by putting members of her family, the little kids in coolers only to arrive at the airport in Marsh Harbour and then have her family separated. Through all of this, she's waiting for her family to get back here in safe ground in Nassau and here's what she told me about the death toll.


Elizabeth Nixon, Hurricane Dorian Survivor: Bodies are in the harbor. Bodies are in the harbor. It seems like we're in a movie because you hear stories where a mother and her nephew. She had to decide which one was going to live.


NEWTON: These are the stories that people are sharing as they're trying to figure out where their next bottle of water is going to come from or the food is going to come from. Elizabeth told me that those relatives that she has at the airport she believes have not have food now for 24 hours, she awaits an update. Erin, we hope the news has been different in the last few hours.

The government saying here that in fact they are doing all they can from the staging area and that the aid will arrive if it hasn't already, very quickly, at least that's what they're promising.

BURNETT: All right. Paula, thank you very much. I want to go to Victor Blackwell now. He is also in the Bahamas. And Victor I know you made it to one of the hardest-hit areas today. What did you see?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The scale, Erin, is unimaginable. I mean to fly over it and then land several times as we did. Your screen, television or cell phone does not do this justice. I didn't see a single structure without damage. Let me tell you about these two communities, the Mudd and Pigeon Pea.

This is where a lot of the Haitian immigrants lived. They were makeshift homes. The storm has turned those into just lumber. They're near the port, so those containers the storm threw those into the Mudd and Pigeon Pea. It looks like a scramble of matchsticks and Legos in the middle of the marsh. Then, we went to the marina.


The boats are still there, but they're not in the water. Watch this.


BLACKWELL: This is Marsh Harbour. This is the most populated settlement on Abaco. I'm at the marina or what's left of it. Look, so this is here where the marina is where there were boats but the strength of the storm carried several of those really large boats here on land now.

You see the St. James II here and several other boats on land here as well. There are a couple of houses here, each with the roofs torn off. We can see sunlight coming through one of those rooms with the door or window that used to be there. It's really hard to tell.

Lumber parts of the marina shoved up to the fence line here and these cars, there's no telling where these cars were before the storm but they're now scrambled over here. If you take a look in the distance, I don't know if my photographer, Amanda (ph) can get it, those houses over on the edge of the shoreline there are just piled on to each other. Those houses have been destroyed.

We've seen as we flew in that there are shingles ripped from roofs, wooden boards you can see straight into what used to be habitable bedrooms and living rooms. The rebuilding effort here will take years. The question is how many of the people who have left for some safety and comfort on another island will be coming back to rebuild on Abaco.


BURNETT: I mean it's incredible the scale of what you saw, Victor. I know you also spoke to a young boy at the airport. He had an incredible story to tell you.

BLACKWELL: Yes. He was one of about 50 people at the Marsh Harbour airport. There were more than 150 at another airport, but his name is Belson Renee (ph). He's 14 years old. He was tired, hot, it feels like 98 degrees there on the tarmac, but also really worried. Here's why.


BELSON RENEE, HURRICANE DORIAN SURVIVOR: My nephew (ph) mom died with her baby because she was trying to go back in the house to get the back for the baby. But then when the water hit her, she's just gone with the baby. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, people have been sitting on those tarmacs for hours in the heat. We learned today from the U.S. Air Force General Terrence O'Shaughnessy that the Air Force will be working to help refurbish those airports that have been damaged across this country and support air traffic control to speed up the evacuation process.

We just learned from the Coast Guard that they evacuated an additional 34 people today for a total since the storm of 239 from Abaco to Nassau, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Victor. And I want to go out front now to right now to Joy Jibrilu. She's the Director General of the Tourism Ministry in the Bahamas. And I appreciate your time, Joy, and I'm so sorry that you are talking to us under these circumstances.

Look, right now the government is reporting 30 are dead. I don't know if you heard, I was just talking about one of our reporters who just got to Marsh Harbour and he is reporting in his words a prominent smell of death which he unfortunately recognizes after years of covering horrific natural disasters. He says the closer he goes to the homes, the stronger that that smell is. It's horrible to hear this, how high will this death toll go?

JOY JIBRILU, DIRECTOR GENERAL, THE BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM: Good evening, Erin. And again thank you for having me and allowing the Bahamas an opportunity to talk about what is taking place. The reports that we just heard they're harrowing and deeply, deeply distressing. And it speaks to the distress and what people are experiencing on Abaco and Grand Bahama.

As it relates to the death toll, the Prime Minister has cautioned and understanding what's taking place. We understand why. Until we can get confirmation of the death toll that we are cautious in what we say, so we've all heard the stories.


JIBRILU: Yes, we expect the death toll to rise. But I think it's out of respect for family members and for verification and you hope that that process will be sooner rather than later to assist people. And it is a question that's being posed more and more, and so we want to be responsible and want to give real answers as quickly as possible, but it's still totally unknown.

BURNETT: And what do you need to know this? I mean, to the point that you make of the families and loved ones who want to know and people want to have the respect and honor that they want to give their loved ones who did perish, I mean, our reporter who was talking about smell said, "Look, to be able to even see what's happening in these houses, you would need heavy machinery."

[19:10:04] And there's no way you can even get heavy machinery into these

locations to lift the houses and find these people and return any bodies to their families. What do you need the most right now to understand what really happened?

JIBRILU: This is why we are so thankful and appreciative for all the support that has been given to the Bahamas. The U.S. Coast Guard and I think special - you would know better than me, the persons from the United States who come in with the dogs who are trained in these circumstances. They're coming in with equipment.

We're dealing with two islands, two very large islands in our archipelago in physical size. And so it's a process of them getting through finding what they need to find if it is bodies that they're finding and dealing with them as humanely and with humanity and dignity that is required.

So the government has sent people to Abaco and Grand Bahama professional, I hate to use this word, but morticians and people who can assist in this. So I'm sure within a matter of days, we will be getting a much clearer picture of the toll, not only in terms of the death toll, but obviously to property and people who have lost their homes. We're still trying to rescue those who are unwell, get them out, get them to safety or to places where they can be fed, where they can even have rest and most of them would probably want to balk as well.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Joy. I appreciate your time and our thoughts are with all of you ...

JIBRILU: Yes. Thanks.

BURNETT: ... as you try to understand the scale of this horror. Thank you. And next, the Coast Guard admitting it's being forced to pick and choose who it's even able to rescue in the Bahamas. And we're going to take you inside that desperate operation in a moment.

Plus, the 2020 candidates tonight are ripping into President Trump over his plan to pay for his wall.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is going to take resources from our military families and their children's schools to build his vanity project.


BURNETT: And the new jobs report, it fell short of expectations but there was a huge bright spot. Is it enough to help Trump?



BURNETT: Breaking news, the Bahamas Minister of National Security is saying rescues across the island are now in "full throttle" as the U.S. Coast Guard admits it is being forced to pick and choose who it is able to rescue.


CHAD WATSON, PETTY OFFICER, U.S. COAST GUARD: We also saw a lot of traumatic injuries to the head by flying debris. People were crushed by cars, by buildings, multiple fractures to the legs, any limbs anything. It was bad.

Lots of people were waving at us, but unfortunately the priority was to go in and get the critical out that we knew were there.


BURNETT: Out front now, one man whose story is heroic. Brent Lowe is now in Nassau after being evacuated from the Abacos. And I appreciate your time, Brent, so much tonight. I mean your story is incredible. You carried your son, 24 years old to safety as the floodwaters were rising. The roof had blown off of your home.

I know your son has cerebral palsy. He wasn't able to walk. You had to carry him and you yourself, Brent, can't see. You're blind. I mean tell me what happened.

BRENT LOWE, SURVIVED DORIAN IN THE ABACOS, BAHAMAS: Well, I had to do it. My sister-in-law was there. Her name is Deborah Stuart (ph). And it was her that said that water was coming into the house that we have to go.

And at that time, it was rainy and raining hard. So I picked him up and threw him on my shoulder and when I stepped off my porch, my front porch, the water was chin high, up to my chin and I was with her and some of her family because their roof blew off and they came over to my house.

And then my roof blew off so we all had to walk out into that water, into the wind to the neighbor's house. So that's basically what happened.

BURNETT: I mean how far away was that?

LOWE: But it was ...

BURNETT: How far away was that?

LOWE: It was at least five-minute walk.

BURNETT: But it felt like much more.

LOWE: And especially in the water, it felt longer than that. Yes. Yes, especially with the deep water, it felt a lot longer than that.

BURNETT: I mean I'm just having people try to understand, I mean the bravery of what you did when you grab your son and you step off that porch and the water is up to your neck and you cannot see, you must have been so frightened.

LOWE: Yes, I was terrified, especially I didn't realize the water was that deep. I was thinking maybe knee deep. It wasn't until I step off and I realized, "Oh, I wonder if it's going to get any deeper, because that means I'm going to have to swim with him." Do you know what I mean? But thankfully it really didn't get over my head.

I thank God for my sister-in-law too. Her name is Deborah Stuart (ph). She was a really big help to me. I can tell you that.

BURNETT: I know that your son is now in Nassau, but you haven't yet been reunited with him. Have you been able to speak with him, Brent? Is he OK?


No. No. No. No, in fact he is with her, my sister-in-law. He's with her. That's my ex-wife's sister. He's with her right now. But I really hope to get in contact with him, because I really missed him. I want to see him.

BURNETT: Well, you saved his life. I mean you were then taken to Nassau, Brent, because you need the dialysis treatments. I know that you need them three times a week and they said if you didn't get that, you wouldn't be able to live.

LOWE: Yes.

BURNETT: And I know the Coast Guard is now having to pick and choose who they can save because of the depth of the need. You must be so thankful right now that you are OK.

LOWE: Yes. Yes, I am. I am very much. Very thankful. Very thankful indeed.

BURNETT: So, Brent, what happens for you now? I mean your home is gone, your community is gone, what will you do?

LOWE: I don't know. I don't know and it looks like it's going to be a long time before we get to go back home. I'm 49 years old. My son is 24 years old. I've been disabled for 11 years and all of the time I've never asked anybody for anything. I just went about me and my family. I took care of my family, me and my kids with the help of my ex wife and we did it.

But right now, I need help. We need help. I don't know exactly what we're going to do. But we really, really need help.

BURNETT: And what do you feel you need most? I mean, I would imagine you need a place to go. You need a place to be.

LOWE: We need a place to go, yes. And him being in the situation he is, we had to have a caretaker, a live in caretaker. Because when I go out on dialysis, he needs somebody who's going to be there and take care of him. Do you know what I mean? I don't know exactly what we're going to do. We need help. BURNETT: Brent, thank you very, very much for taking time share your

story with us and our thoughts are with you and your son. Hoping that you are able to be with him very soon.

LOWE: All right. Thank you for having me.

BURNETT: And next, President Trump under pressure for using military money to pay for the wall. Will his supporters care though after this?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mexico is going to pay for the wall, believe me, 100%.


BURNETT: And the President's push to host the next G7 summit at his Florida resort now part of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry. Is it enough for Nancy Pelosi to act?



BURNETT: Tonight, growing outrage over President Trump's decision to divert $3.6 billion in military funds to build his border wall. Democrats weighing in on the campaign trail.


HARRIS: He's saying he is going to take resources from our military families and their children's schools to build his vanity project called a wall, which by the way, will never get built.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It think it is beyond the scope of his power, and it should be reversed.


BURNETT: Kaitlan Collins is out front. So Kaitlan, how is the White House reacting to this criticism, which by the way, we're showing 2020 candidates but there were many Republicans, Senate Republicans who also were very angry.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And that's who the White House is keeping an eye on. They haven't said anything publicly yet, but behind the scenes I am told the White House is paying close attention to the feedback they're getting not just from 2020 candidates but also from Republican lawmakers.

Now, the background on this just for those folks at home is that essentially the Pentagon is able to delay or suspend over a hundred of these military projects to get about $3.6 billion for the President's border wall. And the only reason that the Defense Secretary Mark Esper can legally ask for that it is because you'll remember the President declared that national emergency earlier this year along the southern border after he lost his fight with Congress to get funding for the wall.

Now, what makes this interesting about delaying or suspending these military projects, as you heard, Kamala Harris saying some of them have to do with schools that for military families and their children is a lot of them could affect some of those Republican Senators who are in danger of keeping those election, keeping those Senate seats to be red, including Arizona, North Carolina and Colorado.

Another state that's going to be affected by this is the Senate Majority Leader's, Mitch McConnell's, in Kentucky and he put out a statement today talking about that saying it's not what he wants to happen. But instead, Erin, he was blaming Democrats.

But we are told that behind the scenes the White House is going to get an earful on this. But what also makes this interesting is a lot of those Republican Senators who are in danger, some of them voted in favor of the President getting the money to build this wall and now we're seeing the measures he's having to take to get it.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. And I want to go now to former Republican Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum along with Maria Cardona, Democratic Strategist.

So Maria, Kaitlan is laying out a hundred projects and obviously a lot of projects are to lose funding, hundreds of big number. Some of them may be arguable about whether people think they're worth it or not. Here are some which are clearly problematic, at least nine crumbling schools and daycares on U.S. military bases, upgrades to West Point and repairing damage to U.S. military installations in Puerto Rico. Your reaction.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. That's absolutely right. Look, Erin, there are two reasons that the President is doing this. The first one is to feed his massive insecure ego and the second one is to prove to his base that he can still keep a promise, no matter how inane, ineffective, nonsensical and misguided it was from the moment it he uttered it in the first place.


This is his vanity project. The wall is not going to do anything to secure our border the way it needs to be secured.

But guess what? It was a rallying cry for him at his political rallies in 2016. He is now desperate for another rallying cry into 2020. The economy is not doing as well as he thought. He is acting more erratic. We have seen it this August.

And this is yet another action that is unconscionable that is going to hurt military families, not just the ones who have kids in the schools that you just mentioned.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: So -- CARDONA: But in fact, you know, the military when you go into the

military as a family, you want -- you worry about those who are being deployed and when the money is being taken out of the programs that keep your spouses safe, that is another layer of anxious -- of angst that this president is putting on our military families.

BURNETT: Senator, what do you make of in? Obviously, I should say, you know, there's been, you know, several Republicans senator stood up and are pushing -- fighting against in, right? Lee, Rubio, Romney among them. You know, Lee talked about a specific fronting in his state being cut.

But what do you --


BURNETT: But is this affordable -- schools, daycares, military facilities?

SANTORUM: Yes. Well, a couple of things. First off, obviously I'm a strong supporter of the military. I have a son in the military. And, you know, obviously, military construction projects are very important.

And it's -- you have senators who have projects cut in their state and, of course, they are coming out and complaining about the projects cut in their home state.

Let's -- I think it's actually rather rich for all these Democrats to be criticizing the president for cutting the defense budget by $3 billion when they wanted to cut the defense by far, far more than that, and including the military construction.

So, it -- it's sort of strikes hollow to me for Democrats who gutted the defense budget under the Obama administration and wanted to continue to reduce defense spending and plenty of the Democratic candidates going out and talked about they need to cut the defense budget.

Now, all of a sudden, they're crying wolf that the defense budget was cut. So, they just don't like to build the wall. Let's just be honest about it --

BURNETT: Are you crying wolf, Maria? I mean, does he have a point?

CARDONA: No, because here is the difference. When Democrats are looking at overall defense budget and planning for overall defense budget, there are ways and areas to cut it that are not going to hurt the military families, the children, the people who are now counting on the money they thought that was there to begin with. That's very different than now pulling the wall -- pulling the carpet from underneath the military families that were -- that were counting on the money.

You have dilapidated schools, you have schools that are being full of mold and children that being squeezed into one school that should be two. That's now not going to get built. These are our military families, the children of military families, these are people who the senator knows well put lives at risk every single day and the president who is the one who was boasting, well, you know the we love the military more than anybody is putting them at risk.


BURNETT: Senator, let me ask you about one other thing I want to get in here because this happened a little bit ago. I don't know if you know about it yet. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to Kansas State University today. It's his home state, friendly turf for him. With three questions that became clear though that there were a lot of critics there. Here is a quick clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is, do you support the suppression of scientific reports from within the U.S. Department of State?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a lone woman holding a sign expressing displeasure with her government and your security detail really what they did was harassed her. And I'm curious about your perspective on whether or not that was appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I might have the first controversial question but I guess not.




BURNETT: OK. So, look, he's --

SANTORUM: Big surprise that you go to a college campus and you get hostile questions.

BURNETT: I will say we did look Kansas University ranks in the top 20 of most conservative.

SANTORUM: Yes, but --

BURNETT: Surprise, surprise professor supports science.

SANTORUM: Well, surprise, surprise, that Mike Pompeo supports the administration and their position on a lot of these issues. And -- and Mike by the way supported those before he was a member of the administration.

BURNETT: Can I just ask you the question I wanted to get at though, Senator?


BURNETT: Is actually whether you think there is any significance in a chilly reception in his home state or whether you do brush it off that it was at Kansas State?

SANTORUM: No, I think -- you know, I know that Mike's actively considering whether -- I shouldn't actively, I know --


SANTORUM: There is a lot of people wanting him to run for the United States Senate.


SANTORUM: And whether there was a barometer for that I don't think anybody going to Kansas State or any public institution of higher learning is putting their barometer based on the reaction they get from college professors at that university.



CARDONA: Yes, I -- I agree with the senator on this. I do think that this was certainly a trial balloon, if you will, to put out there, you know, how he would handle public questioning. I think he probably did -- does understand that there are a lot of people who are against what in administration is doing, frankly the majority of Americans.

You know, good for him for doing that. Maybe this will help him decide whether to run or not.

BURNETT: Well, you got to give the guy credit for taking the questions.


BURNETT: And having humor as he does.

So, thanks very much to both of you.

And next, two new investigations into President Trump. Did he break the law? And will in move the ball on impeachment?

Plus new numbers today, backing what President Trump has been touting.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Numbers just came out, African-American unemployment lowest in history.


BURNETT: Will those numbers guarantee Trump a second term in the White House?


BURNETT: New tonight, the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees are demanding details on President Trump's call to host next year's G7 summit of world leaders at his Doral Resort in Florida. You remember this.


TRUMP: Doral happens to be within Miami. The airport is right next door. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants. We have many hundreds of acres so that in terms of parking, in terms of all of the things that you need, the ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida.


Each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow.


BURNETT: They are also looking at Vice President Mike Pence's stay this week at a Trump resort in Ireland. In case you forgot the details on that, the resort was 181 miles away from Pence's official business. He had to have a hour drive and 40 minute flight on taxpayer dime to commute between the two.

This is the newest part of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, and OUTFRONT now is Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean. She is on the House Judiciary Committee.

And I appreciate your time, Congresswoman. Good to have you back again.

So, what crime do you think the president may have committed here?

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Well, we know that the Constitution provides both in Article 1 and Article 2 that no president can take payments, emoluments as the word is used in Constitution. Payments either from foreign states or heads of government, but also domestically.

But we have seen that this president since day one never severed ties with the Trump organization, his business. And he himself surrounded by folks has more than 360 times stayed at his own properties. We know that a Trump hotel, foreign heads of state have thrown parties, lavish parties.

These are violations of constitutional provisions that were wisely put in there by the framers because they warned of a president who might use the office to get rich frankly.

BURNETT: And I know.

DEAN: To pocket money.

BURNETT: I know, you know, we have done some documentary work on the Trump international hotel in Washington with, you know, you point out whether some of these moneys from foreign governments or foreign lobbying firms possibly violate the emoluments clause. Obviously, now, you're talking about the G7, the foreign government paying to Doral and the Trump Organization.

But he does plug his resorts at nearly every opportunity, right? I mean, it's almost like he doesn't care who it would be.

DEAN: It's stunning.

BURNETT: I mean, here are just a few examples.


TRUMP: We're having a meeting, big meeting at Mar-a-Lago, call it the Southern White House.

I have Turnberry in Scotland, which is a magical place.

We had recently the U.S. Women's Open at my course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings we call them bungalows, each holding from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with magnificent views.


BURNETT: I guess what I'm getting at is he does it all the time. It almost seems like the motive is he likes to talk about those things. I mean, does that make it harder for you to say that he is doing something against the law.

DEAN: I hope not. I hope we don't normalize that shameful behavior of a president plugging dozens of times his properties. And you know that both Doral and Doonbeg, the one in Ireland, he's plugging them because they're not profitable. He is trying to boost them up by bringing up the G7 or encouraging very strongly his vice president to travel there at the inconvenience of taxpayer dollars.

It is shameful behavior. I believe it's unconstitutional. So, that's very -- that's why I'm glad the Judiciary Committee will be looking at violations of the emolument clause, as will the Oversight Committee. We must do that job. That's an important reason we don't want to do that.

We want to make sure we have a president working for the good of the American people and not himself. And we want to make that sure foreign governments are not ingratiating themselves to this president.

BURNETT: Which is important. I mean, your chairman, Jerry Nadler, told me recently that what you're doing now as part of the inquiries is formal impeachment proceedings. He was clear that he believes that's what it is.

The House speaker, though, Nancy Pelosi, publicly is not there yet. She is not there yet.

Does what you are doing now -- these new inquiries you think could move the needle for her? Or is she hoping this will go away? DEAN: Not only for the speaker and our whole leadership team but

certainly for this Congress and most importantly for the most important judge of all, the American people. I have to tell you as I've been home in district these last few weeks, I had multiple town halls, and the emoluments clause may be the thing that's most persuasive. The corruption of in administration in plain view seeking money for their own pockets their own personal gain is very offensive to my constituents.

That may be the thing that is proof enough to the American people that this corruption has to end. And that impeachment is appropriate.

BURNETT: Congresswoman Dean, thanks very much for your time.

DEAN: Thank you for having me.

BURNETT: And next, 2020 contender Pete Buttigieg talks about the strategy to win a crucial voting bloc. But will it work?

And tonight, we reportedly know the man who was behind the marker.



BURNETT: Tonight, a miss on jobs. The new government jobs report shows hiring slowed in August and it was short of expectations but the unemployment rate did hold steady on 3.7 percent.

And there was a record low on something President Trump has repeatedly touted, which is black unemployment. It was a 5.5 percent, that is a new record low. And he's had a lot of records on this front.

OUTFRONT now, Van Jones, host of "VAN JONES SHOW", former special adviser to President Obama.

So, Van, how big of a deal is this? Does this move the needle? It's not the one time we get the record low. It's been again and again and again.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Listen, I don't think you are having a whole bunch of African-Americans reward Donald Trump for this at the ballot. I just think that if you look at the numbers, very, very strong opposition in the black community to Donald Trump.

But this is significant. And I think what it could mean is that people who might have urgently gone to vote against Donald Trump and brought their cousin and grandma might just not feel the economic pressure to do so, and Trump, all he has to do is to just shave --

BURNETT: Turnout, depress turn out.

JONES: Listen, all he has to do is shave it. In other words, you go from 88 percent African-Americans voting against you, African-American men voting against you, to, say, 85, you probably are unstoppable in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. [19:50:05]

So, he just has to push it down a little bit. Are these numbers enough to help him push black performance down a little bit? They may well be. They may well be.

BURNETT: They may well be.

All right. So, that's crucial. Because also, you know -- it's something he talked a lot.


BURNETT: He wants to make sure everyone knows about it. You know, here's just a few of the recent times.


TRUMP: Numbers just came out, African-American employment lowest in history.

Really amazing, because African-American unemployment just came out very recently. The lowest in history, the best, best numbers in history.

Unemployment, the best numbers we've ever had. By the way, African- American unemployment, the lowest in history.


BURNETT: And I play that to make, I think, to bolster the point you're making because his approval rating among black voters is abysmal, right, 7 percent. But when asked about his handling of the economy among black voters, 16 percent. That is dramatically different.

They -- I mean, the more he says it, people do hear it. They feel it.

JONES: Listen, I think -- I have always said give them credit where they earn it. Give them the negative when they earn it.

On this, he hasn't done anything in particular to help African Americans. He doesn't have a particular program in place. (INAUDIBLE) his own staff hasn't really taken off.

But those numbers are real numbers and I think what's interesting is, I don't know if he isn't actually trying to reassure some of his white supporters that they are supporting a movement that is not racist by pointing this out.

BURNETT: Well, that's right.

JONES: See what I mean?

BURNETT: Well, that's rather be very clever, yes. JONES: Exactly, right. So, in other words, part of this may be just sort of win over a few African-Americans to suppress some of the discontent but he also I think may be trying to reassure his supporters who are constantly hearing I'm a racist, well, look what I'm doing for black folks.

BURNETT: So, when you look at the Democratic primary contenders, right, they are actively containing for the black vote. You have Joe Biden's team saying, well, if we win in South Carolina, you know, with the black vote, but lose the first two states, who cares?

You got Pete Buttigieg coming out. He's talked about this being an issue for him. Here he is today on Charlamagne's show.


PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You will find voters in South Bend who support me, who oppose me, who support me on housing but don't think I got it right on policing or vice versa, because a lot of people different people with different opinions. I think it's my job to communicate all of that.

But if I want to earn and deserve to earn black support, then I got to talk about what we got right in South Bend, what we got wrong and what we learned from it.


BURNETT: Biden, Buttigieg, all of them, Cory Booker --

JONES: Sure.

BURNETT: -- trying to breakthrough with the community, as well and you spoke with him.

JONES: Yes, I just spoke with him. He will be a part of the "VAN JONES SHOW" on Saturday, 7:00 p.m. tomorrow. Great interview. He was funny. He was relaxed, but we talked about this question. How do you breakthrough with black voters?

He pointed out and said, you know, Obama was trailing on the black vote at this point in his journey 20 points or something like that to Hillary Clinton, so he has an answer for the question, but it's actually a fascinating interview. We talked about Rosario Dawson, his girlfriend.

BURNETT: Well, there you go.


BURNETT: You know how to promo it.

All right. Van, thank you very much. And Van's interview with Cory Booker, Rosario, and all tomorrow at 7:00 Eastern.

And OUTFRONT next, Trump won't stop insisting his sharpie-doctored map is accurate and the Internet is responding.



BURNETT: Tonight, the mystery such that it was behind sharpiegate is revealed. "The Washington Post" reports that yes, indeed, President Trump was the one who used the sharpie on a now famous storm map because we weren't sure, and he's inspiring many others to pick up their sharpies, too.

Here is Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You don't have to be too sharp to notice the sharpie alteration in the president's map.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This one right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he thought we wouldn't notice.

MOOS: Oh, we noticed when the added bubble made it look like Alabama was in danger from Dorian.

BUTTIGIEG: Literally pathetic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But when he does something, frankly, this dumb.

MOOS (on camera): Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, uncap your sharpies.

(voice-over): White House releases new photo of Trump's completed border wall. And this modified picture proves that Trump never met Jeffrey Epstein. The size of the president's crowd got bumped up over and over.

The size of President Trump's hands also got a makeover. Trump Tower now towers over every other building in Manhattan. And with the stroke of a sharpie, the president's approval numbers are skyrocketing and all because of --




MOOS: There were so many sharpiegate jokes that two late-night comics told the same one saying President Trump wanted to give the hurricane a bigger bosom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone is like, sir, this hurricane is category five. He's like, ah, actually, no, it's a ten.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before I did that, it was a category five. Now, she's a category ten.

MOOS: And Twitter kept churning out more in a rush.

Trump releases photos showing how windmills cause cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After this, I have to wonder if this high school report card was legit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just because you sleep with somebody named Stormy does not make you a weather man.

MOOS: The weather map expanded to show Greenland now a part of the USA, and when the president plays golf, he can't miss.

(on camera): Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, please cap your sharpies, we can't take any more.

(voice-over): No more proof of bone spurs, no more proof that Melania is happy, and definitely no more proof the president has six pack abs.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now have fake weather, too.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: And thanks so much for all of you for watching.

"AC360" starts now.