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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Bahamas Badly Battered by Hurricane Dorian; Democrats Reportedly Close to Vote for Impeachment Inquiry; National Security Advisor Says Previously-Detained Iranian Tanker Nearing Syria; US Open Preview. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 7, 2019 - 06:00   ET

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


[06:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my 35 years in Abico, Bahamas, it's the first time I ever see something like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We lost a lot of lives. Some bodies are still recovering bodies right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Close us down. My dog dead. Some clothes I lost. Mostly everything I lost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The government got to send big ships and get the people out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An impeachment inquiry into the Trump Administration is about to ramp up in a major way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House Judiciary Committee is going to expect to take on Wednesday its first formal step to essentially make it clear the procedures for moving forward with an impeachment probe. They're drafting a resolution detailing exactly how that investigation will look like.

(END VIDEO)

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Well, good morning to you, and thank you so much for spending your Saturday morning with us. I'm Christi Paul with...

ALEX MARQUARDT: And I'm Alex Marquardt in for Victor Blackwell. What a treat.

PAUL: We're glad to have you here.

MARQUARDT: Thanks so much for having me.

PAUL: We're glad to have you here. Thank you.

MARQUARDT: A lot of fun.

PAUL: Oh, and boy what a story. MARQUARDT: Lots of big stories.

PAUL: Stories. Yes, we have this morning.

MARQUARDT: It's a big Saturday morning. Lots going on.

PAUL: First of all, it's just total devastation in the Bahamas. We have the brand-new video that we have most recently gotten in, coming in for you. Survivors say it was like an atomic bomb went off. Hundreds if not thousands of people are still missing. And moments ago, the United Nations said there are more than 70,000 people who are homeless now. We're live throughout the day from the worst hit areas in the Bahamas. In fact, Victor Blackwell is there; he's going to be joining us in just a bit.

MARQUARDT: Seventy thousand. Incredible.

Plus, we're keeping an eye on possible impeachment action in Washington, D.C. We're learning about a major vote that's coming up next week which could pave the way to impeaching President Trump.

PAUL: And conflict of interest? There's a new investigation into whether military spending has been directly benefiting President Trump's golf resort in Scotland.

We do want to start with you today with House democrats escalating its impeachment investigation.

That's right. Sources are telling CNN that the House Judiciary Committee will vote next week on a resolution bringing democrats closer to impeaching the president. CNN's Joe Johns is at the White House this morning. This resolution ultimately, Joe, gives House democrats more power to conduct these investigations.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Alex and also it's going to sort of lay out the ground rules. This is a very important step reported by my colleague up on Capitol Hill, Manu Raju. Essentially the House Judiciary Committee deciding that they will work toward on Wednesday voting on a resolution that sort of lays on out the procedures for their impeachment inquiry. This would include how to handle witnesses, how to handle hearings, how to handle secret grand jury information.

All of this is important for a number of reasons. First because there is precedent and there's history including, of course, the impeachment work on Richard Nixon back in the 1970s. They're expected to use the guidelines that were laid out there, at least in part. So why does all of this matter? It's because the president's lawyers here, the White House counsel and others, have argued including the president, that this is simply a witch hunt, that there's no legislative purpose for what the House Judiciary Committee has been doing.

What this vote will do if it occurs as expected sometime on Wednesday or thereafter, it will essentially say that the House Judiciary Committee is now operating under the rules laid out directly in the United States Constitution using the power provided to the House Judiciary Committee and the Congress to investigate questions of impeachment involving the president of the United States and that they're serious about it. So an important step if it happens next week, sand we'll see what happens. Back to you.

PAUL: Joe Johns, we appreciate it so much. Good to see you this morning. Thank you, sir.

We want to get some analysis now with Errol Lewis, host of the podcast, "You Decide" and a CNN political commentator as well. Errol, good morning to you.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning Christi.

MARQUARDT: Hey Errol.

PAUL: This has been a long time coming; they've been talking about this. What is -- what do you make of the fact that they seem to finally be here making some sort of decision, especially despite the fact that there hasn't been a lot of support from Speaker Pelosi.

LOUIS: That's right. Look, there's a subtle difference but it's a really important one in the stance that the investigation will now takes because once you decide or once you declare that this is about impeachment, that that could lie at the end of this road, it will help the House democrats in their endless court fights when the Congress is trying to compel the White House to respond to subpoenas, to answer requests for documents, to produce witnesses that they want to speak to.

[06:05:00]

The courts have been, you know, a little bit back and forth on that; sometimes yes, sometimes no. If Congress says this is about an impeachment inquiry, it's a way of dramatically, Christi, ratcheting up the seriousness of the inquiry, and they hope, in fact, to sort of get more documents, more witnesses, more subpoenas answered because they're saying there is very serious business. This is not just the regular political back and forth.

MARQUARDT: Errol, game this out for us, if you will. We are already looking ahead, of course, to 2020. One of the reasons that so many democrats have been reluctant to push for impeachment hearings is because they know it's futile, because they know it will not get through a republican-controlled Senate and there is this risk of firing up the base -- the president's base I should say. So put it into 2020 presidential terms for us.

LOUIS: Well and look, in presidential terms, the reality is that all of the leading democratic candidates for president have said that they want this to go forward. So at some point, the democrats in the House were going to have to answer this anyhow. I think though what we're going to see is that it will sort of help focus some of the factual basis that the presidential candidates are talking about.

You know, referring to the Mueller report at this point, people's eyes glaze over. It's not clear. It's not entirely certain what it is they mean when they say the Mueller report. This, on the other hand, is likely to produce new information. The presidential candidates will probably pick it up and run with it. The Trump Administration as -- candidate Trump tries to run for re-election, they're going to be furious and they're going to be fighting back. This is going to be front and center. It's going to be really, really important.

And by the way Alex, another part of calling this an impeachment inquiry means that what I'm looking for is that we'll expect the House to have rules that will include allowing nonmembers, meaning professional staff, to conduct a lot of the public inquiry. And that all by itself will really sort of focus the public's attention on what is being alleged with regard to hush money payments, other forms of corruption, and, of course, the Russian collusion that was part of the Mueller probe in the first place.

MARQUARDT: And of course democratic members are looking at their own bases, as well, who are a bit more reluctant than they are it seems to go ahead with this impeachment inquiry. Of course, Congress now coming back after six weeks of recess so all eyes on Capitol Hill; all eyes on Speaker Pelosi.

PAUL: No doubt.

MARQUARDT: Errol Louis, thanks so much for breaking it down for us.

LOUIS: Thank you.

PAUL: Thanks, Errol.

MARQUARDT: All right, on to our other major story of the morning. This morning the United Nations is saying that it believes that Hurricane Dorian left at least 70,000 people homeless on Abaco and Grand Bahama. Thousands more are missing, and many are feared dead.

PAUL: Yes, the official death toll, in fact, yes is 43.

MARQUARDT: Right.

PAUL: They expect that to surge significantly. This is a tragedy that's unfolding beyond words really as we listen to people who are there. Officials are bringing in more body bags. They say they're still trying to recover bodies from some of the hardest hit areas. In fact, Gary Tuchman who's there says -- and I hate to say this -- his best characterization he says when are you there you just smell death.

MARQUARDT: And people like Gary have seen so many of these situations, and we're hearing all of these superlatives not just to make this sound like such a sensational story but because it is a sensational story, and it's truly unique in its horrors. One of our correspondents, our anchors, who has witnessed these horrors in the last few hours and days is our Victor Blackwell. He is in Nassau and has been spending time in Marsh Harbor in Abaco. This is part of what he has been seeing.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST AND CORRESPONDENT: The strongest storm to ever hit the Bahamas, the strongest storm on the planet this year. This is what those superlatives look like up close. This business apparently in those 180 mile-per-hour winds just collapsed on to itself. You can see a counter here, but what this was really isn't decipherable by what's left here. Let me take you to this side because the only thing that's left here are stairs and the beginnings of a porch. I can't even tell what was here those winds were so strong. For nine hours, from one point where the eye of Dorian approached Abaco, came on land, to the time the other side of the eye exited, it was nine hours the winds were here, gusts up to 225 miles per hour. As far as you can see from Marsh Harbor, there is damage. This area is decimated and it will take a very long time to rebuild.

PAUL: That's part of what he saw. Victor is with us now from Nassau. Victor, I know that you have been through this before, through hurricanes, you've seen the aftermath. Help us understand how this might be different.

[06:10:00]

BLACKWELL: Christi and Alex, good morning to you. The scale here is unimaginable. I mean, when we flew over and landed several times on Abaco and there in Marsh Harbor, just -- it's not a very large island, but as it stretched on and on you saw just how much work ahead there is not only to rebuild but to find those potentially in what's left. What many people do not get an appreciation for on camera, a screen, a television screen, your cell phone you're watching the video, is the depth, the height of these piles of rubble. In there you've got just boards - just some lumber and building materials, but also containers from the port tossed in. So imagine the -- the care it will take to lift the huge containers but still respect that there might be some bodies there as well, and do that carefully.

Listen, let me tell you what's going to start after sunrise if today is like every other day this week, those rescue flights, choppers, the U.S. Coast Guard, planes that have been chartered, others, boats, as well, they will try to go back to Abaco, a 90-minute flight by chopper roundtrip, and bring people here. The headline of the local paper, of those people waiting, sums it up. "The Guardian," "we've had enough." Hundreds of people we saw were there crowded at the edges of tarmacs at Marsh Harbor Airport and Treasure Key Airport. We spoke with one boy who was there at Marsh Harbor, 14 years old. His name is Velsen Renee (ph). He was there with his family, had been there all day. The temperature in the high 80s, feels like 98 degrees and he tells us what he experienced sitting in with his family in a small room as the hurricane came ashore.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My nephew's mom died with a baby because she was trying to go back in the house to get the bottle for the baby but then when the water hit her, she just gone with the baby. The home like -- feel kind of -- I don't know, probably worried because -- I don't hear a lot from my family members.

BLACKWELL: Who haven't you heard from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of my cousins, from my sister. She's in the United States, but she's okay but my dad isn't here. He in - he's on vacation and he can't come back because the planes haven't been traveling a lot, so I haven't heard from cousins, aunts, a lot of people.

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: Listen, the Bahamian people are resilient, but there's an exhaustion here, and you could feel that in my conversation with Velsen (ph). And there are a lot of people waiting to hear from loved ones. They want some confirmation that they are safe, that they are in some place of comfort. When we landed at Marsh Harbor, there was a family of four, the Morrows (ph), they were trying to be evacuated but there was not enough room for all four on one chopper, so my crew and I, we invited 14-year-old Malik Morrow (ph) and 21-year-old Kenley Victor (ph). Today is actually his 22nd birthday, to board our chopper flight.

Now this had been the first time they had seen the scope, once we lifted off the ground. Remember, they have no access to television because the power is out. Cell phone service is bad. No internet available for most people. So as we took off, Kenley (ph) looked out the window and shook his head. As he saw just how much had been damaged and to the extent, he couldn't believe it and I wanted to ask him about what he experienced as the storm hit and he immediately said, "I don't want to talk about it," so I backed off, and we were silent.

And about 15 to 20 seconds later he said, "Because when people ask me about it, I feel like it's a nightmare, and I can't wake up," and he also told us that he had not slept since he came out after the storm was over, but he did get some sleep on that flight. Both the Morrow (ph) family and Kenley Victor (ph), they're now here in Nassau with family. But that's the story of so many people. As you reported, the U.N. reporting that 70,000 people have lost their homes on Grand Bahama and on Abaco. The local paper reporting that the prime minister says there's no way that Nassau can absorb 70,000 people. The question is what happens next. How many people even after Abaco is rebuilt, after Grand Bahama is rebuilt, will go back. A long recovery for the Bahamas.

PAUL: My goodness, Victor. I cannot imagine what you're seeing. Boy, just these people, it's unfathomable really. Thank you so much, Victor Blackwell.

[06:15:00]

MARQUARDT: Thanks for bringing that home. You guys stay safe, Victor.

PAUL: I mean think about it. It's been a week -- a week since these people are dealing with this and then of course, now we've got North Carolina.

MARQUARDT: Well, and just that incredible shot of that young man in the helicopter, perched on the edge, in the opening there, just seemingly dazed and stunned as they flew over what was once his home. I can't imagine what he is trying to process there. PAUL: No, I agree.

MARQUARDT: All right, well the story of Hurricane Dorian continues back here in the United States. Several cities are cleaning up after the hurricane made landfall on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Five deaths are being blamed on that storm so far here in the U.S.

PAUL: You're looking here at an aerial view of North Carolina's Ocracoke Island; disastrous flooding there. That's what left behind by Hurricane Dorian. Residents say they had to wade in waist-deep water in their own homes; a lot of people had to be rescued from the upper floors or their attics. They had to be rescued by boat. Those floodwaters are slowly starting to recede this morning but there's a lot of work that has to be done there. We want to remind you, I know a lot of times we watch and think, I want to help but I have no idea what they need, what I could possibly do in the Bahamas or here in the U.S. We have -- we're try to make that possible for you. Go to our website, CNN.com/impact for ways that you can, indeed, offer some help.

MARQUARDT: Please head over there. We have lots of stories that we are following this morning. There are new developments on the Iranian oil tanker that was seized by Great Britain back in July. It was thought to be carrying oil to Syria, which is in violation of sanctions against Iran. Iran has denied it, and the ship was eventually released, but now the national security adviser, John Bolton, he's saying that there is evidence that Iran was lying. We will show you that evidence, the satellite images, when we come back.

PAUL: Also an incredible story of survival here.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just see this mountain lion jump on it and then it kind of pounces on to me. I pick up a stick trying to jab it in the eye. S

(END VIDEO)

PAUL: That 8-year-old boy is going to tell us more about how he was able to free himself from the jaws of a mountain lion.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:20:00]

MARQUARDT: There are new developments on the Iranian oil tanker which was seized by Great Britain back in July. It was thought to be carrying oil to Syria, in violation of sanctions against Iran. Iran denied it, and the ship was eventually released.

PAUL: Yes, just a few hours ago though U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted this satellite image. Take a look here. He says this is the same ship and he claims it places the tanker two nautical miles from a naval base in Syria. He goes on to say anyone who says the ship was not headed to Syria is in denial. CNN's Ben Wedeman is joining us from Beirut. What do you - what do you make of if Bolton's correct, if it is that close to a Syrian port, is there a violation there of sanctions?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not quite yet, but certainly all the indications point to somehow they're going to try to unload the 2.1 million barrels on this ship, the Adrian Darya, it was released from Gibraltar on the 15th of August on the condition or after written commitment was made by Iran that this oil would not be sent to Syria. But what we've seen is that this ship has been loitering around in the eastern Mediterranean now for about two weeks on the 2nd of September, five days ago, it turned off its tracker and now as National Security Adviser John Bolton is tweeting, it does appear to be right off the coast of Syria, the Port of Tartus, which is Syria's second largest port.

It's not clear exactly what's going to happen, but certainly it would seem that the intention is to offload that oil, perhaps at sea as opposed to in the Port of Tartus but certainly that's the indications that we're getting. Now this whole -- the story of this ship is rather interesting. In recent weeks, Brian Hook, the U.S. representative, special representative for Iran, actually sent an e-mail to the Indian captain of this ship offering several million dollars in reward if he would take it to a port where the United States could seize it but at this point as it is just off the coast of Syria, it's not clear if that's ever going to happen.

PAUL: All right, Ben Wedeman, appreciate you so much. Thank you, sir.

MARQUARDT: Thank you, Ben.

All right. Still to come, the devastation in Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas is unimaginable and we're going to show you what rescue teams are encountering there while they're looking for survivors. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:25:00]

MARQUARDT: Back to the Bahamas where rescue crews are desperately searching for survivors from Hurricane Dorian. The death toll as it stands right now is 43, but that is expected to rise.

PAUL: Yes, significantly and the people who did survive the storm, they're trying to leave the area. Take a look at these latest pictures we have. There's no running water there. There's no electricity. Food is running out, and they need to get someplace where they feel safe.

MARQUARDT: It is a very dire situation. Relief agencies are there on the ground trying to help as best they can and Bahamas Air is offering free relief flights from those hard-hit areas out to the capital, Nassau.

PAUL: So our colleague, Victor Blackwell, is in Nassau, Bahamas, right now and I would assume that Nassau is doing some scrambling right now as they try to determine what to do with an influx of these people from the other islands.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the prime minister said late last evening that there is no way that Nassau can absorb the 70,000 people according to the United Nations who are homeless on Grand Bahamas and on Abaco, that according to the local paper here, "The Guardian." Some of those people will go to the United States. We know that there is a cruise ship that is taking about 1,500 people from the Bahamas to Florida, maybe they will stay with family there. Still, there has been an influx of people coming here, making the best of what has happened.

They've just lost everything, not just their homes, but connections to people. They're still waiting for phone calls, confirmation that loved ones survived the storm. We did speak with several people who survived. Eddie Joseph (ph) who rode out the storm in his bathroom with his family and when he opened the door, there was just nothing left, only the bathroom of his apartment survived. We spoke with the Morrow (ph) family. They were four of 15 held together in a single room; they rode out the storm together. Also Germaine Smith (ph), she was alone in her apartment when the winds strengthened and things started to fall apart. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

GERMAINE SMITH, BAHAMAS RESIDENT: Next thing I look, I see the roof just flying off and came toward my way. I was inside my bedroom, and I ducked. I duck and I move, a big tree came out of the window I just moved from and just missed it, just like, that the rain started pounding, my roof started lifting. I run inside the bathroom for cover in the tub, they say it's always a safe haven. That's what saved me. I was praying to God to save my life because I was scared. Literally didn't think I was going to make it. You know, I just holding on to that, but I was scared.

(END VIDEO)

BLACKWELL: And she stayed in the bathtub, she tells us, for eight hours and she's still sleeping every night in that bathtub in what's left of her home because she's not leaving Abaco.

[06:30:00]

You saw there she had on a black t-shirt and hat. Those were branded with the logo of "World City Kitchen" the Jose Andreas outfit that is here feeding as many people as possible. She's staying there to help those who have stayed. Now there are plenty of people trying to get off the island, to get off Abaco, to get away from Grand Bahama. They're leaving on U.S. Coast Guard flights, some on private flights, as well. You talked about Bahamas Air but our Gary Tuchman went there by boat as the U.S. Coast Guard tried to save as many people as possible. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're in a section of Marsh Harbor called Mud and Peas. It's described as a largely Haitian community. I've been covering hurricanes for about 37 years now. I've never seen decimation like this that we're seeing here in the Abacos in this town of Marsh Harbor and Mud and Peas.

Right now we're accompanying the U.S. Coast Guard as they're looking for the possibility of any survivors. You see them over here searching through the rubble. This gives you an idea of why it's impossible now to have a firm death toll. For example, you could see this home right here. It's clear no one has gone inside this home. These Coast Guardsmen are about to go inside this home and other homes to see if there's anyone inside. A short time ago -- we'll give you a look at what they're doing right now is they're trying to plot out the next couple of hours, which direction to head.

It's important to point out that U.S. Coast Guard's men and women, their job is to protect the United States, to go drug interdictions, but it's also to help other people. We've spent the day on a carrier with 25 Coast Guard men and women and also two members of fire rescue from the Miami Fire Department who are here as paramedics looking for people who still may need help. You can see as the camera goes around in a circle just the widespread decimation here in this section of Marsh Harbor. People are shell shocked; they don't know what to do. We saw more than 200 people lined up at port hoping to get on a ship to get out of here. Every one of them have lost their homes and we're not just talking about damage, we're talking about utter devastation. We can't see anything in eyesight here that is standing without damage and most of it is completely gone as far as we can see. So there's a lot to do in determining how many people died, how many people were hurt, and what the survivors here are going to do with their lives.

BLACKWELL: Gary Tuchman there for us on Marsh Harbor. Gary, thank you for that. I want to bring in Jenelle Eli with International Red Cross based here in the Bahamas. Jenelle, thank you for spending some time with us. This estimate from the United Nations that 70,000 people, Grand Bahama and Abaco are now homeless, many of them counted in the estimate from the World Food Program of 60,000 who will need food support. What is the Red Cross offing for those who -- who need help?

JENELLE ELI, INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS: So right now the Red Cross is working around the clock to get aid to people in need. We have a planeload of supplies; 38 tons of relief supplies landed recently in Nassau. That's things like emergency shelter kits so people can start repair their homes or at least have something over their head even if it's a tarp. It's things like hygiene items. We know that during big disasters like this access to clean water is very difficult and can really cause secondary humanitarian needs so hygiene items and clean water are real priorities right now.

At the Red Cross, we're also working on something else Victor, that you mentioned earlier which is helping to reconnect families. People I spoke to have been devastated not just by the physical impacts of Hurricane Dorian, but by not knowing whether their loved ones are alive. I spoke to so many people who are concerned of whether their parents made it through the storm or they didn't know whether their sister made it. That's really top of mind for a lot of people right now and in the days and weeks to come, the Red Cross really hopes to start reconnecting family members.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely. I mean, there are lots of groups here doing good work from the search and rescue we saw from Team Rubicon to the assistance from Samaritan's Purse. We can't name all of the groups here but there are lots of people helping. I wonder, though, aside from the tangible support as people will need, we know that in the U.S. that there's often some medical assistance as well, physical and psychological even if basic. Is the Red Cross offering that type of support? You talked about the anxiety and the worrying you're seeing from people who are rescued from these islands.

ELI: So at the Red Cross, one of our big goals is offer that emotional support and really just being there for people. So right now, people are coming to the Red Cross and asking for us to connect them to services in the community. People have so much uncertainty. They just don't even know what their next step is and so at the Bahamas Red Cross, they're here offering hugs but also offering really tangible help about how to connect to services.

[06:35:00]

I think people don't really think about the emotional toll and all the uncertainty that lays ahead. We're not finished with hurricane season so people are still worried about what weather might come in the next coming months. Right now a lot of people just don't know where they're going to sleep tomorrow, or some have been sleeping on the street now for four, five days without access to food and clean water. There are a lot of need.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

ELI: But humanitarian agencies are all working together to really provide that aid.

BLACKWELL: Jenelle Eli with the International Red Cross. I apologize for jumping in there. As you'd imagine, we're having some technical difficulties going through a signal in the U.S. to the satellite signal and we're in the same city. I thank you for speaking with us for a few minutes this morning to understand how the Red Cross is supporting the tens of thousands of people in the Bahamas who need that support. Christi and Alex, I'll send it back to you. The sun is coming up. We're a few minutes from sunrise and those flights expected to start, you'll hear the propellers in the background as the efforts to evacuate those who want to leave Grand Bahama, who want to leave Abaco specifically from this heliport, this airport, those will get underway soon.

MARQUARDT: All right, Victor. Thanks so much. We're so lucky to have you there. We will be checking back over the course of the morning. Thanks.

Democratic Lobbist Jim Demers was the first one in New Hampshire to endorse Barack Obama for president. Nearly all of the candidates are in that state today making their case to the voters. So we're going to take a look at what makes New Hampshire such an important battleground state. That's up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:40:00]

PAUL: You know just hours from now nearly all the 2020 democratic candidates are going to take the stage in Manchester, New Hampshire. They each get seven to ten minutes to make their pitch to voters there at the New Hampshire democratic state convention. This is crucial for candidates so they can stand out from the crowd. Particularly true for progressive Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are trying to distinguish themselves from other. Jim Demers, co-chairman of Barak Obama's 2008 New Hampshire campaign is with us now. We also want to note that he endorses Senator Cory Booker in the 2020 race.

So Mr. Demers, thank you so much for being with us; I appreciate it. When it comes to New Hampshire, I want to point out that you say, quote, "It will be a real challenge moving forward for the one who doesn't win or finishes behind the other. It will have a damaging effect." Help us understand the significance of this moment for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire.

JIM DEMERS, LOBBYIST: Well, historically our next-door neighbor candidate wins the New Hampshire primary and if history bears out what we've seen, we have in 2020 two neighbors running, Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders from Vermont. And so you know, the battle for New Hampshire is really the battle for their own back yard and so one candidate, assuming it's a neighbor who wins, that candidate is going to have a lot of momentum coming out of New Hampshire. The other candidate is going to I think struggle because there is an expectation that they have to win the state in order to have the momentum to move into the southern states, South Carolina, afterwards.

PAUL: OK, I want to talk about Cory Booker. He's earned 27 new endorsements which makes him the leader in New Hampshire with 80 key backers, as I understand it. It includes two state senators, 11 state representatives, the Mayor of Concord, dozens of democratic activists. What is it about Senator Booker, Mr. Demmer, that's attracting this kind of support right now and how will New Hampshire, if at all, modify, change perhaps the trajectory of what he does?

DEMERS: Yes, so I think Cory Booker is an extremely likeable person. What people see him, they really warm up to him but he has a very unique message, and I think a unique career that a lot of people relate to. That is he has a message of unifying America; unity is the basic theme. And I think there's an awful lot of people who believe that this country is divided beyond anything we've ever seen before and that the next President of the United States has a mammoth task of bringing us back together.

We actually see President Trump whose approach is a divide and conquer approach. I think most Americans feel like that's not the kind of government they want. So Cory Booker has really talked about bringing people together, unifying this country based upon the goals and aspirations that we all share and I think that has resonated with people as they look at these candidates. They don't just judge them here in New Hampshire on where they stand on the issues, but they judge them on their personal message. They judge them on likability. I've often said this is the biggest job interview in the country because people in New Hampshire take it so seriously. They come out. They confront and talk to these candidates face to face and it's one of the few places where that kind of campaigning and politics can take place.

PAUL: All right, Jim Demers, thank you for taking the time to be with us this morning. We appreciate it.

DEMERS: Good to be with you.

PAUL: Thank you. And listen, we're going to be joined by two democrats in the race for the White House. A little bit later this afternoon, Colorado Senator Michael Bennett and businessman Andrew Yang speaking with us from the New Hampshire state convention just ahead, later on this morning on "New Day."

MARQUARDT: And will we be seeing history today at the U.S. Open? Andy Scholes is in New York for all of that action.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alex, Serena Williams once again in position to win a record 24th Grand Slam title. Coming up, we'll hear from Serena says it's like to play on that court in a final at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:45:00]

MARQUARDT: Serena Williams is looking to make history today at the U.S. Open.

PAUL: Andy Scholes, live from New York this morning with more. Good morning Andy.

MARQUARDT: Hey there Andy.

SCHOLES: Yes, good morning guys. Yes, Serena, she's looked as determined as ever at this U.S. Open. She looking for Grand Slam title number 24 which would tie her with Margaret Court for the most all time. Now this is Serena's fourth chance at that allusive 24th title. She lost three finals in a row including last year's controversial match against Naomi Osaka at Flushing Meadows. Now this will be Serena's 10th U.S. Opens final but she says, well she still gets a little nervous before the match.

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SERENA WILLIAMS, U.S. OPEN PARTICIPANT: There's so many different emotions in the finals and it just brings out - there's so many highs and lows and nerves and expectations. You know, it's a lot. I would definitely say we playing if I hadn't already passed it. I've had so many chances to pass it and just have a lot more but it's cool because I'm playing in an era with so many - five eras with so many amazing players.

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SCHOLES: Yes, speaking of eras, there's an 18-year age gap between her and her opponent, Bianca Andreescu. That's the most ever for a Grand Slam final in the open era. And get this, Serean actually won a U.S. Open before Andreescu was even born.

Now in the mean time, Rafael Nadal defeating 23-year-old Italian Mateo Beritini last night. The first set was just awesome with Nadal coming back to win it in a tie break. Nadal will now look to win Grand Slam number 19 for his career when he takes on Russian Daniil Medvedev in tomorrow's final. Nineteen would put him just one behind Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles all time on the men's side.

Guys, Nadal was asked what his secret is to all his winning. He said, well, he's having a passion and love for what he's doing.

PAUL: All right. Andy, thank you so much.

MARQUARDT: Andy, some great tennis coming up this weekend.

PAUL: No doubt.

MARQUARDT: All right, well coming up we have an incredible story of survival. An eight-year-old, we will tell you how he fought off a mountain lion with just a stick.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I went through the trees, it was laying on top of him with his head in its mouth.

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PAUL: So even though Hurricane Dorian has passed, there's still a very serious lingering threat here. We're talking about water-borne illnesses. I mean we've talked a lot this summer about these flesh- eating bacteria and cholera and hepatitis and it's frightening and then you think about this hurricane coming into North -- the Carolinas and maybe mixing up some of that water.

MARQUARDT: Right.

PAUL: Jacqueline Howard, writer for "CNN Health and Wellness" is with us now. How - first of all what are the real risks of that?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, WRITER FOR "CNN HEALTH AND WELLNESS" There are risks and that's because after a hurricane, like you said, we do see a lot of flooding and that flood water can carry with it all types of bacteria, pathogens and water-borne diseases and some examples of that, as you mentioned, do include flesh-eating disease. The clinical term for that is Necrotizing fasciitis. It happens when bacteria enters the skin through an open cut or open wound and leads to a severe infection that can even break down tissue under the skin. And the reason why we see this happening in some cases, we saw it after Hurricane Harvey for instance in the Houston area is because while you're cleaning up after a Hurricane you might scratch yourself and then that can leave an open wound or open cut and if you come in contact with flood water, boom, you're at risk of an infection. It's rare but it happens.

MARQUARDT: But so many of these people don't have the resources - they're not equipped to deal with these types of things so what are some of the basic things that they can do to make sure that they don't get this?

HOWARD: Exactly. Basic things - keeping any open wounds covered and clean. Disinfect everything that you can and just be mindful of these risks and that's most important.

PAUL: All right, Jacqueline thank you so much...

MARQUARDT: Thank you.

PAUL: ...for the information there.s

HOWARD: Thank you.

PAUL: Next hour starts in a moment. Stay close.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my 35 years in Abico, Bahamas, it's the first time I ever see something like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We lost a lot of lives. Some bodies are still recovering bodies right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Close us down. My dog dead. Some clothes I lost. Mostly everything I lost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The government got to send big ships and get the people out.

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