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NEW DAY

Riding out the Storm in the Bahamas; Johnson Faces Brexit Battle; Hong Kong Withdraws Extradition Bill; 100th Season of the NFL; Internet Runs with Sharpie-Gate. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 6, 2019 - 06:30   ET

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


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[06:32:03]

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Our next guest was visiting her family on Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island, as Hurricane Dorian approached. She chose not to leave them behind, but rather to stay and ride it out with them. Crystal deGregory joins us now to discuss what happened when the hurricane hit.

Crystal, we're so happy to see you and that things have worked out actually in the best case scenario for you at the moment.

But just explain, you -- you're from Nashville, Tennessee. You were in the Bahamas for your godson's christening. And you knew that Hurricane Dorian was approaching and so why did you decide to stay?

CRYSTAL DEGREGORY, ROD OUT HURRICANE DORIAN ON GRAND BAHAMA: Yes, I'm a resident of the Bahamas. (INAUDIBLE). I'm residing currently in Nashville, as I have for most of the last two decades, which meant that I missed all of the hurricanes that have ravaged this region in the last 20 years. I happened to be here on vacation as the hurricane approached and decided to stay because there are so many people who, in fact, could not. I had left my mother alone many, many occasions to ride out the storm with other family and friends. And this time was my opportunity to do so, and so I did.

CAMEROTA: And so tell us what happened. What did it look like? What did it sound like as the hurricane hit?

DEGREGORY: Yes, I mean, you know, our house was substantially damaged in Hurricane Matthew. And so we had the good fortune of new and really dependable construction to ride out this storm. But, again, very harrowing tale of winds and rain beating upon the external structures.

The sound as though a jet were landing in your living room. And you can't see outside because your windows are boarded up in order to keep you safe. And so you're blind, literally. And all of this primarily is happening at night, or at least the worst of it was.

CAMEROTA: And that makes it doubly, I guess, haunting and harrowing, as you say, the idea that it's just black and it's nighttime. And, I mean, was the feeling that nobody would be able to save you if things turned?

DEGREGORY: Yes. And that, indeed, was true in the -- in the instance of many people. The thing that really saved those that could be saved, and many of whom were saved primarily due to the courageousness of the men and women of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defense Forces, but also due to the savvy and the courage of millennials who took to social media, who called out of the country back into the country on the ally (ph) system, which was the only system largely working at that time to say people need help.

I guess the only good fortune that most people had was that the storm surge came during daylight. If it had come at night, all would have been lost.

[06:35:02]

CAMEROTA: And I know that part of the terror that you experienced was that some of your relatives were not with you. And some of your relatives were in harm's way. So tell us about those phone calls that you would get.

DEGREGORY: Yes, it's terrible, because you can't do anything. And, you know, what you can do is really limited to depending on the generosity of friends and family out of the country to call back into the country and to those on social media who, again, are the -- are the real unsung heroes of this whole affair. But you get the call, the water's rising, I'm now on the kitchen counter. What do I do next? I'm going to go into the attic. And you're saying to them, remember to take the hammer. If the worst happens, you've got to put a hole in the roof and you've got to get on top of there.

You know, in the instance of my sister, with several family members huddled in the home, as well as neighbors who had come to seek shelter there, there are 15 of them. I mean, really, where are they going to go? And at a certain point, you know, what do you do? Because I'm thinking, I'm going to jump in my car and drive over there and, you know, common sense says, it'll be jeopardizing (ph) my (ph) life for me to get in my car and get over there trying to save you and die and then you all live. And that wouldn't make for good story telling.

CAMEROTA: Indeed. And so are all of your relatives OK this morning?

DEGREGORY: They're alive. I don't know how well they are. One of the photos that I submitted was of the home of my cousin, who actually happened to be away dropping her daughter away to college in Canada. And there is nothing there. I mean the television and a chair of some other person's home is in her ceiling. And had she rode out the storm, which is, in fact, what she had intended to do, she probably wouldn't be alive this day -- you know, at this moment. There were neighbors who passed and they stared and we said, hi, and they said, did they make it out? And we said, you know, they weren't here fortunately. And we asked them, you know, how were they doing. They said about the same, but we're grateful for life. We said did you get out in time or were you rescued, and with tears in their eyes they said that they went into the attic. Five of them and two dogs. And took turns, the three adults, hitting a hole into a new roof, which is really, really difficult, with one hammer. And that they sat on that roof from Sunday to Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the hurricane.

CAMEROTA: I mean, and, Crystal, as you point out, people are alive, but they're not OK. I mean, obviously the trauma of living through something so harrowing will last a long time.

Crystal deGregory, thanks you for sharing all of your photos there and sharing your own personal story. We're happy that everybody made it out alive.

DEGREGORY: Not everyone, but those that did, we're grateful to it.

CAMEROTA: Indeed. Thank you very much, Crystal.

DEGREGORY: Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I think we're hearing so many more stories over the next several days about people in the Bahamas who got out, are concerned about their loved ones, who are missing loved ones there.

CAMEROTA: There are still so many missing people.

BERMAN: So many.

All right, so you think the government and politics in the United States is messed up? The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, his brother just quit his government. Just left his party. What does that tell you about what's going on there? What's going to happen with this government? Will they get Brexit? We're going to speak to one man who might be able to give us an answer. That's next.

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[06:42:33]

BERMAN: So Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, said he would rather be dead in a ditch than ask the EU to delay Brexit beyond October 31st. But the prime minister declined to say if he would resign if postponement, which he has repeatedly ruled out, had to happen.

So, what's next? What's it in for the ditch?

Let's bring in Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group and author of "Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism."

And, Ian, you've been writing extensively -- and you just back, I think, from London and you've been looking at this intensively. What's Boris Johnson doing here? Is there an actual plan?

IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT OF EURASIA GROUP: Is there a method to his madness?

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BREMMER: I think Boris Johnson does know two things that are true. The first is, if you want any chance of getting a Brexit deal done, you must take the leverage as prime minister away from parliament. Something that Theresa May had never done. That is known by Boris. It is true.

The second thing he knows is that he needs to have the ideological flexibility to take even a fairly lousy deal and sell it as the best deal ever in that regard very similar to President Trump, right? That is also true.

But the environment he is presently in, so toxic, so divided, so many people that are willing to have him fail that it may not be enough. And he also lacks discipline. So he's losing a lot of support from within his own party, including, you know, his own brother, right? I mean it's a -- someone who's leaving to spend less time with the family. You don't see that happen very often, right?

So --

CAMEROTA: So, but what's going to happen? You're a future prognosticator. What is going to happen with Brexit?

BREMMER: I'm more of a right now prognosticator than -- in the sense that I try to look at the things that are politically feasible as opposed to having a crystal ball. I think that clearly an early election is the most likely thing to happen. The question is, does it happen on Boris' terms where it's after the deadline, October 31st, or does it happen before? And, you know, the -- the answer to that is, it's -- you know, there's so many people in the Labour Party and elsewhere that are really unwilling to give Boris the ability to have that snap election where he still has Brexit leverage, right, and where he can undermine the Brexit party and Nigel Farage. They want to ensure that there can be no hard -- no-deal Brexit. And they want to legislate that so that he's forced into a situation where he hasn't gotten what he's promised. And is he going to resign or not? The answer is, no, he wants to be in power. But it's going to be very tough for him.

[06:45:11]

I -- I mean I do suspect that you end up with no deal done and new elections. And, by the way, elections in this environment are anybody's guess because, I mean, not only has conservatives taken a hit, not only is it Jeremy Corbyn (ph) who may be the only thing worse for the United Kingdom, then a no deal crash out Brexit. But you also have the Brexit party that would have been able at that point to say, ah, Boris Johnson didn't get it done. We're the only true Brexiteers (ph), even though they're a one-issue party with nothing else going for them. So it would -- it would be fascinating, but is it going to really matter to people outside the U.K.? And I'm going to say, again, less than generally you think.

BERMAN: I do think there are more of these trade negotiations or giant negotiations going on in the world with no clear outcome right now than I've ever seen before. One place where the negotiations are going on or are underway, or at least an intractable standoff, is in Hong Kong. And you've been writing about this extensively. You think Xi Jinping, you think China has the upper hand now on what's going on in Hong Kong. Why?

BREMMER: They've always had the upper hand, but they have more of the upper hand right now because Carrie Lam, in charge of Hong Kong, but reporting functionally to Xi Jinping, has given a little, said that this extradition law, she's actually ripping it up, withdrawing it completely, which was an original demand of the demonstrators. But none of their other demands are going to come to fruition.

At the same time, the Hong Kong economy is taking an enormous beating. The tourism is gone. American corporates -- I was talking to one major CEO there that said his business is down more than 50 percent over the last month (ph).

BERMAN: They're not going -- I mean this -- people aren't going there.

BREMMER: Absolutely. And so the demonstrations are getting smaller, right? And the support for the demonstrators is not what it was. And in mainland China, there's antipathy to what's happening in Hong Kong. It reminds me of the yellow vests, (INAUDIBLE) in France. Not because we love (INAUDIBLE), the need for more anarchists and violence and the rest, it was rather that Macron waited them out and ultimately. even though it was still a story, every weekend, you know, people go to school, people go back to work, people get tired and the public is exhausted from this thing.

And we -- we go talk about how we normalize Trump's tweets because it's three years in. This happens will all sorts of things around the world. That's kind of where we are right now in Hong Kong.

CAMEROTA: OK, Ian Bremmer, thank you very much for the analysis on all the craziness that's happening.

BREMMER: Good morning. I'm so glad that you're dry now.

BERMAN: Thank you. I appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Isn't that a relief?

BERMAN: I am too.

BREMMER: Right.

BERMAN: Alisyn's been dyeing to touch my hair all morning, but I haven't let her.

BREMMER: His hair has held up, hasn't it?

CAMEROTA: I know. It really has. That's called hurricane hair.

BERMAN: All right, the NFL -- we can talk more about my hair, or we can talk about the NFL, which kicked off its 100th season last night. But someone forgot to tell the actual teams that showed up there was a real game last night. The "Bleacher Report" is next.

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[06:52:04]

BERMAN: All right, the NFL is back, sort of. The Bears and the Packers kicked off the league's 100th season at Soldier Field last night.

Andy Scholes is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report."

And, Andy, this game was not really good in any way.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Not a good game. You have to feel bad for Bears fans. All the stuff they went through last year. At least they made their one field goal in this game. Unfortunately, that was their only points in this game. And, you know, whenever there are more punts than points, never good for any fan.

Seventeen punts in this game, just 13 points between the Packers and the Bears. You know, it was this old school defensive battle that would have made Vince Lombardi proud or just really bad offense? The Packers negative 12 yards after the first quarter, negative 12, but Aaron Rodgers able to right the ship eventually. He would fight Jimmy Graham for an eight yard score in the second quarter. That, right there, your only touchdown of the game. Packers would win 10-3. Chicago Head Coach Matt Nagy said after the game scoring just three points was ridiculous and fans should be upset.

All right, Serena Williams, meanwhile, back in the finals at the U.S. Open. She had to battle early against Elina Svitolina to win the first two games of the match, but then she just got rolling. Serena would go on to win 6-3, 6-1. Serena now one win away from her 24th Grand Slam title, which would tie Margaret Court (ph) for the most of all time.

Now, she's going to be taking on 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu from Canada in the final tomorrow. Now, these two met a month ago at the finals at the Canadian Open, where Serena had to retire with a back injury. That was when Andreescu went over to Serena to console her. It was a very touching moment. It went viral. Now, these two, an 18-year age gap between them. It's the largest at any grand slam final in the Open era, which dates back to 1968.

And, guys, to really hammer home that age gap, Serena won her first U.S. Open before Andreescu was even born.

BERMAN: Oh, really?

CAMEROTA: Wow.

BERMAN: That's amazing.

SCHOLES: How about that?

CAMEROTA: Yes. Serena is always good for drama and entertainment, regardless of the outcome on the court.

SCHOLES: Yes. We'll see if she can finally get that 24th.

CAMEROTA: OK. Andy, thank you very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: All right, so we have a CNN exclusive coming up. Our reporter went to one of the hardest hit areas in the Bahamas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Words can't describe it. I don't wish it on nobody. Nobody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: All right, what that woman lived through coming up on NEW DAY.

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[06:58:22]

CAMEROTA: The commander in chief trying to become the nation's chief meteorologist, using nothing but a Sharpie and, well, the Internet took notice.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, HOST, "THE VIEW": This one right here.

TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": 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, as President Trump had suggested. But the National Weather Service said, Alabama will not see any impacts.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Literally pathetic.

DAN RATHER, FORMER CBS ANCHOR: But when he does something, frankly, this dumb.

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

MOOS (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 inaugural crowd got bumped 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 --

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Sharpie-gate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sharpie-gate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sharpie-gate.

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

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

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": 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.

[07:00:01]

Trump releases photos showing how windmills cause cancer.

SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": After this I have to wonder if his high school report card was legit.