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Bahama Ministry of Tourism Director Joy Jibrlu Discusses Hurricane Dorian Destruction, the Death Toll; House Panel to Take Formal Steps on Impeachment Probe Next Week; Democratic Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer Discusses the House Judiciary Vote to Open Impeachment Probe, the Presidential Race; GOP Challenger Joe Walsh Confirms George Conway Advising Him. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 7, 2019 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:17]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Thanks so much for joining me. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.

And Hurricane Dorian has forever destroyed the lives of so many people. In the Bahamas, 43 people are confirmed dead and the death toll is expected to go way up. And that's because people's bodies are still buried in their homes that, as you can see, just crumbled all around them, or they haven't been found yet in all this debris that is covering the islands.

The most heartbreaking thing we are hearing today from reporters who have been in many natural disasters is that covering every inch of these destroyed towns is the smell of death.

In the town of Marsh Harbour, officials have now set up a mobile temporary mortuary to receive and to process the bodies of victims when they are found. A CNN camera crew tells us they saw two bodies on a truck there.

(VIDEO)

CABRERA: The town of Marsh Harbour took a direct hit from the hurricane and today almost nobody there.

With nearly everything destroyed, people have evacuated or are in the process of getting out to other cities like Nassau or out of the country altogether.

CNN's Paula Newton is in Marsh Harbour right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another day here on Marsh Harbour. People have come with anything they can carry, quite frankly anything that have survived the storm and come here to the port in Marsh Harbour.

We have seen a ferry, others boat and helicopters. We have seen the Bahamian military here try and, obviously, keep some calm and really try to ensure people that they will get out in time.

We have heard from many saying they don't want to stay here anymore. They do not believe it is safe and that there's nothing for them in terms of food, water, medicine, and also just the basics in terms of infrastructure. They no longer want to be here.

(voice-over): The people of Marsh Harbour can barely believe they survived the epic devastation of Dorian. But they wonder, can they survive the aftermath.

The Nixon (ph) family said they barely made it through the storm and they put the children in coolers to get them out. And at the airport, they were separated. Those same children are now stuck on the island.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last night, they said they were in the airport and they didn't even eat.

NEWTON (on camera): Are they at the airport right now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They're in the front. But it's so chaotic. You know, if those little kids try to push through is a lot because, I mean.

NEWTON (voice-over): Their aunt, Elizabeth, made it to Nassau and tells us the conditions are horrific and families are having to make difficult choices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bodies are in the harbor. It seems like we're in a movie because you hear stories about a mother and her nephew, and she had to decide which one was going to live.

NEWTON: It is the death toll that rattles so many here. The government admits the official death toll doesn't begin to tally the grim reality of this disaster, especially in some of the poorer neighborhood.

And then there's the aid effort. It would be a challenge for any nation, but the damage inflicted here over several hundred miles of scattered islands and keys, will transform the Bahamas for months, possibly years. Villages and towns that may never be inhabited, again.

The basics are getting in, but the distribution has been spotty and, at times, chaotic.

There are significant search-and-rescue efforts on the go and aid prepositioned on land and offshore. But the mix of government and volunteer efforts has complicated delivery. It means aid isn't always getting to the most needy. The effort has even brought volunteer aid workers to their breaking point.

UNIDENTIFIED: Upset. They're in shelters and they're not being fed. And the children with no toys.

NEWTON: Bahamians also worry the millions being donated may not reach them in time to make a difference or reach them at all. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: And Paula Newton is live with us now.

Paula, it's so hard to fully comprehend the depth of destruction and despair and desperation among all of the people there. I'm just wondering, what is the very latest?

NEWTON: Well, the very latest is behind me. We're at the port in Marsh Harbour. Right behind, we have people wanted off this island, Ana, and it's going to struggle to get to this point. And, unfortunately, like so many stories we're used to, Ana, the last ones to leave. (INAUDIBLE)

Ferries are behind me and starting to get on those ferries. In fact, some areas in Marsh Harbour that are like a ghost town.

[15:05:11] I want to talk to you about the death toll, Ana. The government has given us an official total. I can tell you anecdotally that far more people have died than that.

We have gone to temporary morgues they have set up and the K-9 unit is doing searches. Incredibly difficult. They want to wait and do it properly and make sure they recover all the bodies and do what they can to recover --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Paula, I'm going to have to interrupt you because it is so hard to hear you because of the noise of the wind and the helicopters and what's happening where you are. But clearly, there's so much work that needs to be done in order to get to the people that need the help.

Thank you for your incredible reporting.

And I want to bring in an official now to try to get more answers for those who are watching us right now. This is Joy Jibrilu. She is the director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

Joy, I'm sorry to meet under these circumstances.

CNN has learned that temporary morgues have now been set up in Marsh Harbour, one of the hardest hit areas, to handle the number of bodies that have been discovered so far and more to be expected. What can you tell us?

JOY JIBRILU, DIRECTOR GENERAL, BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM: Good afternoon, Ana. Thank you very much, again, for just putting the spotlight on this story.

You know, I am in Nassau, the capital. Nassau is being set up to deal with all the evacuees and ensure that aid is being distributed to the people remaining on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

We're hearing the stories as you tell them and Bahamian officials give them and Bahamian reporters tell them.

Figures are unknown. The government is preparing us by telling us to be prepared for the worst. So, to hear the stories from your reporters, it's absolutely harrowing as a Bahamian and as human being to hear that level of death.

CABRERA: No doubt about it. But we don't even know what the level is. You said, officials are saying prepare for the worst. What are you hearing? What does the worst look like? What is the latest information you can give us as far as casualties? Is it the hundreds or the thousands? What is it?

JIBRILU: That number, you know, government is being so very careful in sharing that number, and so, the official number that we currently have as you indicated is 43. But we have been advised that that number will rise. Not expected to, but will rise, and obviously, from people on the ground and what they're reporting.

So, when you say prepare for the worst, all the stories I have and all of us have, even the officials, it's anecdotal. If we share that, you know, it's really hearsay. And I think that is what government is cautioning about because there have been instances of families presumed lost and the worst was presumed and they were found days later.

So, this is a mammoth task that everyone is working to rescue people still, as well, obviously, as dealing with the death toll.

CABRERA: How long do you think it will take to figure it out?

JIBRILU: I think this is so ongoing. I mean, we could not do any of this without the support of the international community. So, the United States coming in with Coast Guard and even more professionals who have dealt with disaster, the U.S. Navy. And you see them literally cutting through rubble and clearing on roadways to get through and access communities.

We see messages on social media and saying in this community that no one has reached to yet and there are people still there. So, it's days in the making. I mean, it's not soon enough. So, if I say a day or week, I have a feeling it's just going to be an ongoing thing. And as the government says, not one stone left unturned until we recover everybody.

CABRERA: It's already been a week for some of these people. And as we look at aerial footage, as we look at some of the video we have on the ground, we don't see a lot of officials there swarming islands, pulling rubble off the debris piles.

What do you tell residents who feel like the government isn't responding fast enough?

JIBRILU: That has been a challenge. And it is a challenge of living on a (INAUDIBLE). The multiplicity of islands and having two large islands, Grand Bahama and Abaco, simultaneously devastated on this scale. So, a small population trying to divide resources between both and ensure that relief gets to both.

Relief is coming. It's not just the government that's working. The private sector, the acts of heroism, the humanitarianism. People are doing it. They're just getting out and doing whatever they can and, again, around the world.

[15:10:15]

We also look at our tourism partners. The cruise lines, who have sent cruise ships in and are taking people out. I mean, so everyone is coming. You have celebrity chefs feeding people. So, this is the process.

And I agree, you know, from the outside, it looks as if it is exceedingly slow. And unless you are in it and dealing with what is really a most trying, difficult, painful situation, it's really difficult to comment.

CABRERA: I can totally understand we don't fully grasp it sitting here and looking at those pictures.

Joy Jibrilu, the director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, thank you. We are sending our thoughts, our prayers and, you know, the very best to all of you there in the Bahamas.

JIBRILU: And thank you to the whole CNN family for doing everything that you have done to ensure that we get the help that is so desperately needed.

CABRERA: We know the need is great. Again, thank you for joining us.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Again, the depth of this disaster is still uncertain. For information on how you can help the victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and here in the U.S., just head to CNN.com/impact.

Meantime, a major step forward in what Democrats are calling the ongoing impeachment investigation into President Trump. The vote you need to watch next week.

Plus, my next guest has spent millions of dollars flooding the air waves with ads calling for Trump to be removed from office. Presidential candidate. Tom Steyer joins us live.

And celebrities go to bat for Felicity Huffman in the college admission scandal. Will their letters to the judge save her from jailtime?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:15:32]

CABRERA: To impeach or not to impeach. Four days from now, the House Judiciary is expected to open an official impeachment probe. The number of Democrats calling for an impeachment investigation into President Trump has been steadily climbing. At least 134 Democratic Congress members, plus Justin Amash, have publicly said they support this move.

The vote on Wednesday, led by the committee chairman, Democrat Jerry Nadler, will lay out the ground rules for conducting future hearings. They hope by explicitly defining their inquiry, they would have a stronger argument to compel witness testimony.

And while the precise language is being hammered out, it is expected to follow the precedent that was set back in 1974 during then- President Richard Nixon's impeachment proceedings.

Joining us now, 2020 presidential candidate and the founder of Need to Impeach initiative, Tom Steyer.

Mr. Steyer, thank you for joining us.

You have spent millions of dollars on ads calling for the president's impeachment. What is your reaction to this news?

TOM STEYER, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, of course, I'm happy that the House Judiciary Committee is taking up an impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.

I started Need to Impeach almost two years ago because I felt it was absolutely important to hold the most corrupt president in American history to account. That no one is above the law.

So I'm very happy at the idea that we'll have televised, public hearings for the American people to see how corrupt this president is and how corrupt his administration is.

CABRERA: This week, the A.P. quoted Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar as saying, "I've been traveling all of August. This is not an issue people bring up. I think a lot of people would rather just vote him out."

Vote the president out. You're out there on the campaign trail, are people talking about this?

STEYER: I think what's necessary to have the impeachment inquiry work is these publicized, televised hearings so the American people can see what this president's done and what he stands for.

Because all of our research shows that, when they see it, they say three things. Whether they're for Mr. Trump or against Mr. Trump, they all say, I didn't know that, he's a liar and a cheat, and if I did that, I'd be in jail.

So, what I really believe in, Ana, is the judgment and will of the American people. That's what I've been fighting for, for two years, to let the American people into this issue and let them see the truth.

CABRERA: Yet, the latest polls show the majority of Americans don't think impeachment is the answer. In fact, a majority of Americans say conducting informal impeachment proceedings is a bad idea. What if the president ends up benefitting politically from all of

this?

STEYER: Well, look, all of our research shows that, in fact, what he's done is commit crimes while in office, to break his oath of office, and to put himself ahead of the American people by obstructing justice and taking payments.

So, in fact, the only way for Americans to understand what he's done is to have those televised hearings. We only had two so far. One with Michael Cohen, his so-called fixer, and the other with Robert Mueller, who did the investigation.

We need the American people to be brought into this. We need to keep and hold this president into account. No one is above the law, Ana. We need to make that clear right now with this corrupt president.

CABRERA: You spent a lot of money trying to get your message out. According to "New York Times," you spent more ads in six weeks than any other candidate has spent all year. They estimate $12 million between ads for TV, Google, YouTube, et cetera.

So far, I know you have been targeting President Trump. Are we going to see you use some of that big money on ads to attack your Democratic rivals?

STEYER: I apologize, Ana, would you repeat that? I missed the last part of that question.

CABRERA: I wonder if you'll end up not just targeting President Trump with your ads and all this money you're pouring into your presidential run, and instead now start targeting your Democratic rivals.

STEYER: The plan of our campaign and what I've been doing for the last seven weeks since I declared, Ana, is to put forward a positive vision for America. To talk about what we need to do to break the corporate stranglehold on our government.

I believe that we have a broken government in Washington, D.C. That there has been a hostile corporate takeover. And that what we need to do is to restore our democracy and restore government for the people.

[15:20:16]

That is what I have been talking about and that is what I will be talking about, and about the fact that I can take Mr. Trump on, on the economy, and take him down. Expose him for the fraud and failure that he is and talk about the need to declare an emergency day one on climate.

Those are going to be my themes. That is what I have been talking about and that is what I will keep talking about.

CABRERA: You have yet to be on the debate stage, in part, because you jumped in late. You were close to making the debate stage. You needed one more poll to do this debate next week. But what happens if you don't make the October debate?

STEYER: Well, Ana, I have been spending my time in the four early primary states. Right now, you're taking a picture of me and I'm in New Hampshire.

In those four early primary states, according to polls, recent polls that the DNC doesn't recognize, our campaign is either in fourth or fifth place. So, if they run polls in the early primary states, which are the basis for getting into the debates, then I'll be in the debates. They haven't run one for five weeks. The polls I qualified in were just after I announced.

So, I'll keep doing the same thing I have been doing, which is going directly to the people. Talking about what I think is important. Talk about why I think I'm the person who can go toe to toe with Mr. Trump and take him down and expose him. And nothing will change. It's working now and it will keep working.

CABRERA: But what if you don't make the October debates? I mean, it's hard to break through on a national level. I hear you're targeting your audiences depending on where the earlier primary contests are.

But if you don't make the October debate stage, should we expect that you keep plowing forward in your presidential race or might you decide to change strategies and put that money to work in a different way that perhaps would benefit the party at large?

STEYER: Ana, as you know, I started one of the largest grassroots organizations in the United States, Next Gen America. I guarantee that all of the work that it has been doing, it will keep doing.

Next Gen America will keep going door to door with our partners in organized labor. Keep working on 420 college campuses. The grassroots organizations that I started will keep going.

But I will keep going because I am actually getting great traction on the ground. And those numbers in the early primary states, where I am after seven weeks, are better than I ever would have expected.

CABRERA: Presidential candidate, Tom Steyer, great to have you with us. I look forward to having you back for more of your vision on the future. Thank you.

STEYER: Ana, thank you so much for having me.

CABRERA: Thank you. Good luck on the campaign trail.

Coming up, game of cones. New details about how the president is actually fundraising off the map snafu that sparked a million memes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:27:02] CABRERA: Talk about a House divided. CNN has just learned that the husband of White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, George Conway, will advise Republican presidential candidate, Joe Walsh, in his race to replace President Trump.

George Conway, of course, has long been a prominent critic of the president, even as his wife works for the president and continues to defend him.

Here's what Walsh told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield about having Conway onboard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE WALSH, (R), FORMER CONGRESSMAN & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm honored to have his advice. I speak with him often. He's a wonderful adviser. As far as any formal role with our campaign, I would only be so lucky to have someone like George Conway involved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Let's bring in our CNN political commentators, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, and senior columnist at the "Daily Beast," Matt Lewis.

Joe, I'll start with you here with me.

Can you have two strategists in one home?

JOE TRIPPI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Evidently, yes. We've seen it before, Mary Matlin with George Bush, and James Carville with Clinton. We've seen this happen before. But not quite, not quite with this much difference between them.

CABRERA: Are you surprised to hear George Conway actually backing one of the challengers to this president?

TRIPPI: Actually, no. Look, he's been pretty boisterous against Trump for a long time now. And I think you're starting to see some even bigger defections within the Republican ranks. I mean, Walsh deciding to run against the president and several others that look like they're getting in.

Whenever you see this kind of, even a small faction start to break off and challenge the president in a primary or try to get a primary, it never turned out very well for the incumbent.

CABRERA: Will it matter, given that we learned the Republican officials in multiple states are on the verge of canceling their 2020 presidential primary elections? The Republican election that is in show of support for Trump. In fact, South Carolina officially did that today, even though you have candidates like Joe Walsh and Bill Weld who say they are running.

Is this essentially your party saying we're not even going to have this debate? MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it's the party.

It's proof that the Republican Party is Donald Trump's party. If that wasn't already clear. And that, no, thank you, Reagan conservatives. No, thank you, Never Trumpers. We don't want you to be a voice to do this.

I still think there's a chance, though -- Joe was just talking about the danger of when a president, whether it's Reagan in '76 primary and Gerald Ford, Ted Kennedy going up against Jimmy Carter, or Pat Buchanan going up against George H.W. Bush, that a primary could be embarrassing and weaken the incumbent president.

[15:29:55] I don't know if Joe Walsh or Bill Weld can catch fire in New Hampshire, but if they did, the threat isn't that Donald Trump would lose the nomination. It's that he would be embarrassed and that he would be wounded and he would have to go to New Hampshire and campaign. And that could have an impact in the general election.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Guys, stay with me.

Because the Trump re-election team is now making light of and actually fundraising off of all those false claims the president made this week about the projected path of Hurricane Dorian.

In fact, now, for 15 bucks, you can buy a set of these black markers inscribed with the president's name. A nod, of course, to the doctored map he showed in the Oval Office, in which a marker was clearly used to extend the storm's cone to show it threatened Alabama. This is what has become Sharpie-gate.

The "Washington Post" and now the "New York Times" appears to have matched the reporting that it was the president himself who made this change.

Joe, you've worked on a number of campaigns. I just wonder your thoughts about how the Trump team is spinning this map snafu and fundraising off of it, trying to capitalize off of it.

JOE TRIPPI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They're trying to capitalize on it. We've seen that before, but nothing on this scale for something like this where the president --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: They're not embarrassed, clearly.

TRIPPI: They're not embarrassed. Well, in actually, trying to get over the embarrassment by not only doubling down, tripling down. But this is just a reminder to a lot of people out there, listen to your local weatherman and weather person report, not -- they have a better technology than a Sharpie.

But I think they are -- look, they're trying to get -- turn a lemon into lemonade, is what is going on here. It's an old trick in politics. I'm not sure it is going to work. CABRERA: It is another sign of the president trying to say, don't

believe what you see. Don't believe what he calls fake news. Don't believe the facts. Don't believe the truth.

Matt, even at FOX News now, there seems to be a divide over what happened with this altered map. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHEP SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Some things in Trumplandia are inexplicable. This week's edition, the president's ongoing claim that Alabama was at risk from Hurricane Dorian. It wasn't. Maybe he got some bad info from somebody. Maybe he made a mistake. Maybe he was confused. We don't know. But he was wrong.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST, HANNITY: Pretty much every newsroom in America screwed this up and lied to you by accusing the president of lying. What he said about the earlier models about Hurricane Dorian that it might hit Alabama is true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Well, we, you know, have never heard of a president behaving like this before Trump. The campaign is literally selling Sharpies.

Matt, they are playing it up. So, in the end, does it even hurt him?

LEWIS: I don't know whether to admire the moxie or be repulsed by the brazenness.

But, look, if a normal person made a mistake, made an error, and then had an attempt to cover it up that was exposed, you would be super embarrassed and all your friends would turn on you and you would be a joke. It doesn't happen with this president because, A he is shameless and, B, his friends like Sean Hannity rally around him and gaslight us and tell him that we are the ones that -- it's our lie.

This is weird. And I'll tell you, we need to put in perspective how weird it is. In politics, there are times that things that define people. Unfairly sometimes. So, Muskie may or may not have cried in New Hampshire, but that's what people remember. George H.W. Bush wasn't really confused by a scanner at a grocery store, but like that is in his obituary, I think.

This type of thing with the Sharpie could be a defining moment in a normal person's life. It would be an embarrassing asterisk for a president to do. I don't think we're going to remember this a week from now.

TRIPPI: But the other thing just horrendous here is that instead of urging people to contribute in some way to help the victims of the hurricane in Florida and up the coast and for the Bahamas, it's, don't give them your $10 or your $15, don't help them. Help me, buy the Sharpie. It's just an amazing -- from a president of the United States, it just can't get much lower.

CABRERA: Joe Trippi, Matt Lewis, thank you both for being here.

LEWIS: Thank you.

CABRERA: Ahead of another Democratic debate next week. Van Jones speaks to Senator Cory Booker tonight at 7:00 Eastern. And tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., Jake Tapper is joined on "STATE OF THE UNION" by Senator Amy Klobuchar and former HUD secretary, Julian Castro.

[15:34:45] We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Right now, a massive humanitarian effort is under way to help some 70,000 people left homeless now in the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

Entire neighborhoods are flattened, shredded, demolished. Volunteers with search dogs are scouring the streets looking for hundreds of people still missing. The death toll, which stands at 43 officially right now is expected to rise as crews dig through all of that rubble.

A cruise ship has now arrived in Palm Beach, Florida, from the Bahamas with more than 1,400 evacuations on board. And according to Customs and Border Patrol, all the evacuees are properly documented to enter the U.S.

Let's get right out to CNN's Rosa Flores, in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Rosa, I know you spoke to people who were on the other end and waiting for that ship to arrive. What are you hearing?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Ana, most of the people that we talked to did not want to share their stories, but we could see the pain and the trauma in their blood shot eyes. We saw a lot of tears. We saw people that were taken out in stretchers and also in wheelchairs. There was just a lot of pain.

[15:40:06]

This ship left at about midnight from Freeport. It transported an individual that was airlifted because someone needed medical attention. Airlifted to Miami and then the ship continued here to Palm Beach.

Now, a lot of the people that we talked to today embraced their family. They embraced friends who came here to the port to welcome them.

And then there were also family members who are still waiting to hear about their loved ones. They haven't heard from them.

That is the case of Cindy Role. She's looking for her sister. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAISY ROLE, UNABLE TO REACH SISTER IN Bahamas: I have been calling the phone, but I'm not getting any answer. I am really worried about her. And I need to get her either over here or either on the island of Bimini.

Right now, I'm worried because I desperately need to hear if she is OK. And I need to get her over there because she had a stroke two years ago and she cannot do anything for herself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FLORES: Now, Cindy Role is working to get us a picture of her sister, Ana. We're hoping to get that soon and hopefully we can share it with our audience.

As you look around me, you will see people still waiting, so still some passengers being processed and it's pretty long journey. But all the people I talked to say they feel like they're the lucky ones because they have made it to dry ground -- Ana?

CABRERA: Wow. I feel for those families.

Rosa Flores, thank you for your reporting.

New developments in the college admission scandal this afternoon. Federal prosecutors seek a one-month sentence for Felicity Huffman, but could letters from her celebrity pals save her from that fate?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:45:51]

CABRERA: Welcome back.

Actress Felicity Huffman is asking the judge to spare her prison time for her involvement in the college admissions scandal. Federal prosecutors are urging a sentence of at least a month behind bars followed by supervised release. Huffman is asking for a year of probably and community service and a $25,000. She admitted to paying $15,000 to have her daughter's SAT exam answers corrected to boost her score.

Polo Sandoval is here.

Polo, Huffman's husband, William H. Macy, and her friends, rallying to her cause. Eva Longoria is one of the, writing a letter to the judge. How are they defending her?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are sharing the Felicity Huffman that they knew to grow and love with the judge hoping for some leniency. As you said, federal prosecutors are hoping or at least asking that the judge send her to federal prison for a month for about a year probation and a $20,000 fine.

According to prosecutors, they say that their decision to cheat was both, quote, "deliberate and knowing." But she is pleading with the judge for more lenient sentence here. No prison at all. Instead, just a year probation, 250 community service hours and then a fine.

The court filing -- attorneys there for her writing that she's not only remorseful, but also deeply ashamed about what she did.

The filing that was submitted yesterday also included support letters, including from her husband, William H. Macy.

I want to read a portion of this letter, Ana. Again, this is coming from Huffman's own husband where he is sharing the experience that it's been the last several months. He writes, "Felicity has borne the brunt of this. The paparazzi was camped outside of her home for the first month or so and still have a knack for finding her. Felicity rarely leaves the house." "If I may, I would like to tell you one more thing. Every good thing in my life is because of Felicity Huffman."

Again, this is from her husband.

And then you have, also, as you mentioned, here a little while ago, Eva Longoria stepping up to defend her friend. Her former co-star from "Desperate Housewives."

Longoria writing, "I worked with Felicity for nearly a decade of my life on a television show, seeing her every day of every week for nearly 15 hours a day. When I began the TV show, I was very new to the business and industry as a whole, and Felicity was the first one to take me under her wing from the first table read of the script she notice me sitting alone, scared and unsure of where to go and what to do. Her gentle character and kind heart immediately opened up to me."

Again, these are two different perspectives from two people she knows very well. A judge will have to decide how long she will be sentenced. That decision happens on Friday.

CABRERA: We'll be watching.

Polo Sandoval, thank you.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: More than a million kids sleep on the streets or couch surf every night here in the U.S. Many are navigating a dangerous world on their own after making the tough decision to leave unstable homes. That's where this week's "CNN Hero" steps in to give them a safe place to go, as well as a chance at a brighter future. Meet Vicki Sokolik.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICKI SOKOLIK, CNN HERO: There's a lot of shame that goes with being a homeless, unaccompanied youth. They hide what is actually going on with them. They become this very invisible population.

Most people don't even know these kids exist.

(SINGING) SOKOLIK: The transformation of these kids is monumental. They come in so broken. And I'm just one person telling them I'm going to help them. They become softer. It's just great that they can be happy and they're able to be kids, again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: To learn more about this story, just head to CNNheroes.com.

[15:49:40]

Coming up, an earthling invasion at Area 51? How a Facebook event that started as a joke now has Nevada bracing for mayhem.

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CABRERA: It all started as a joke, a Facebook post calling on people to storm Area 51 in search of aliens. But after a huge response online, authorities are now wondering how many people will actually show up in the Nevada desert later this month?

CNN's Nick Watt has the out-of-this-world report.

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NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Storm Area 51," read Matty Roberts' Facebook post. "They can't stop all of us."

MATTY ROBERTS, ORIGINATOR OF STORM AREA 51: It was completely intended to be a joke. I didn't expect it to go anywhere.

WATT (on camera): But it has.

ROBERTS: It has. It's gone everywhere.

WATT (voice-over): Two million people now claim they're coming here September 20th.

One recent online survey found 54 percent of Americans believe the government knows more than they're telling us.

ROBERTS: It's very apparent by my post. Everyone thinks there's something in there.

WATT" Issue number one. Nearest civilization is Rachel, Nevada, population, 52. A little more than the Little Alien Restaurant, seating for 40, 10 bedrooms.

(on camera): Parts of you must be thinking, OK, this will be great for business.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.

WATT: And part is --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terrified. WATT (voice-over): She's scrambling to arrange enough food security

and free water in the desert heat.

Issue number two, an Air Force spokesperson tells CNN, "Any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous."

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you don't want your parents to have to bury you. Ew, I shouldn't have said that.

WATT (on camera): That is a gate into Area 51. Plenty of warning signs, plenty of cameras that are following every single move we make. And we were here less than five minutes and a white pickup truck did just appear as if out of nowhere.

As close as I ever need to get to Area 51, I think.

WATT (voice-over): Roberts says the FBI has already come a calling.

ROBERTS: They knocked on the door, man. They just kind of sat down and chatted with me a little bit to see what kind of guy I was. Making sure I'm not building pipe bombs or something.

WATT: They're not trying to turn this more into a music festival.

ROBERTS: I'm trying to advocate against the storming as much as I can. I just want a gathering of all these weirdos in the desert.

WATT: The CIA tested the U-2 spy plane here in the 1950s. And many believers believe they also keep captured alien life forms and reverse-engineered downed alien craft, starting with the Roswell wreckage of the '40s.

Conspiracy theories fueled by this base worker interviewed back in '89.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The power source is an anti-matter reactor.

WATT: And suspicious sightings ever since.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see a lot of things in the sky that you can't really identify.

WATT: The Air Force claims these 60 secretive square miles are used for earthling aircraft testing and that's it.

This esteemed astronomer agrees.

UNIDENTIFIED ASTRONOMER: Clearly, there are aliens out there. And I think that's a pretty strong argument. But we don't have the proof of that. And I don't think it's stocked up in southern Nevada. Honestly, I don't. WATTS: Roberts' best estimate, 20,000 people will actually show up

here. Some, hoping to find out if there's really anything in there. All dreaming there really is something out there.

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CABRERA: As you ponder that, a quick break. We'll be right back.

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