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Trump: U.S. "Locked and Loaded" Pending Verification of Saudi Attacks; Growing Number of 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Call for Kavanaugh's Impeachment; Iran and Iraq Deny as Pompeo Blames Iran, Houthi Rebels Claim Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 15, 2019 - 19:00   ET

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


[19:00:16]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Top of the hour, you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And we begin tonight with new tensions in the Middle East and new fallout from that attack on Saudi Arabia's largest oil facility.

Here is a brand-new statement from the President writing on Twitter -- Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification but are waiting to hear from the kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed.

He went on to say there is plenty of oil amid concerns this attack could affect markets tomorrow. A senior administration official also telling CNN earlier, these strikes likely originated in Iran or Iraq as we get brand-new images showing the purported damage that has affected five percent of the noble oil supply.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live at the White House for us. And, Jeremy, tonight, we're seeing the President really trying to calm nerves.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. And this is the most serious statement that we've seen from the President so far on these attacks on Saudi oil facilities that took place yesterday. The President here suggesting that the United States is locked and loaded, which suggests some sort of potential military response once the United States has identified with certainty who was responsible for this attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Now, the President is not, in this tweet, naming a specific culprit as he calls it in this tweet, but what we do know is that U.S. officials other than the President have already begun to do so. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, just yesterday, directly blamed Iran for this attack on Saudi oil facilities.

And today, I spoke with a senior administration official who said that this attack likely originated in Iran or Iraq. And, of course, the notion being that even if Iran -- Iranian forces did not directly undertake this attack, that it would have been take -- undertaken by Iranian proxies in the region, militant groups that often have a very close command and control relationship with Iran and particularly its Revolutionary Guard Corps.

So there are still questions about who exactly is responsible and whether the U.S. is going to make that determination. The President here indicating that he is waiting on Saudi officials who've been a lot more cautious, I think it's important to note, in terms of laying blame for this attack.

He is waiting for Saudi officials to say who they believe is responsible. But nonetheless, the President is suggesting here that the U.S. is locked and loaded once it determines who, indeed, did undergo -- undertake this attack -- Ana.

CABRERA: And, Jeremy, what you can tell us about these new satellite images? Do they offer any clues as to what happened and who's to blame?

DIAMOND: Well, we do have new satellite images, commercial satellite images, that were provided to us by a U.S. official. And it does show some of these 19 targets that were struck by this attack.

Now, we do know that the Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility, saying that they used 10 drones to attack these facilities. But U.S. officials are casting doubt on that, saying that because most of these facilities were struck at the northwest point of these various facilities, that it's unlikely that it emerged from Yemen, which is in the south of Saudi Arabia. Instead, a senior administration official pointing to Iraq or Iran.

Now, we have spoken with some of our CNN military analysts who have looked at these images, and they do say that, yes, it is more likely than not that it emerged -- that these attacks came from the north, meaning Iran or Iraq. But they are saying as well that it is not definitive proof. These satellite images are certainly not definitive in terms of laying the blame at Iran's feet or where the country of origin was for these attacks.

CABRERA: Jeremy Diamond, at the White House, thank you for that update.

Joining us now is CNN military analyst and retired Rear Admiral John Kirby. Admiral, based on those new satellite images, are there any conclusions you can draw similar to what we are hearing from the administration?

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, what I am struck by those images -- and you can see it there right on the screen -- is the precision. It's almost pinprick precision, particularly when you look at those holes in those tanks. Obviously using some sort of munition with low explosive payload, obviously, because these tanks are still there, you just got these holes in there.

So what that tells me is very precise munitions, also really good intelligence and targeting. It's not the kind of thing that we've seen from the Houthis in the past. Nothing to say that they couldn't have developed capability, but they've been assisted by Iran since the very beginning. So it would lead one to believe that, certainly, they -- if it was them, they had a lot of help and most likely from a nation-state. And certainly, I would be looking at Iran as well.

As for point of origin, there is nothing in these images that convinces me that we know for sure that these munitions, whether they're cruise missiles or drones, you know, missiles from drones, came from Iran or Iraq.

[19:05:04]

I mean, just because the damage is on the northwest side of these tanks and of those structures doesn't mean that that's where -- that that designates point of origin because cruise missiles can maneuver, and so can drones. And so, you can't really, definitively, say that they came from Iraq or Iran just by looking at these pictures.

I think if the -- if the White House wants to be more convincing, they're going to have to release imagery that gives us a better sense of point of origin than these.

CABRERA: And the President says a lot in that most recent tweet we read at the top. He says they're waiting to hear from the Saudi kingdom now about who they believe is to blame. He's using words like locked and loaded, and they --

KIRBY: Yes.

CABRERA: What does that tell you? What could this mean?

KIRBY: Well, it certainly suggests, as Jeremy -- as Jeremy reported, that he's looking at military options. I mean, the locked and loaded is a very military term. And, you know, he's claiming, it sounds like, he knows, you know, who actually originated these attacks.

But it is interesting that the Saudis have been quiet. They haven't cast blame yet. I don't think that they think it's in their interest to necessarily start a war with Iran. Certainly, they will want to retaliate or respond in some way.

The question is, does it have to be a military response? And if it is a military response, how do you do it in a proportional manner so that it doesn't resolve -- or resolve itself into a larger conflict, that it doesn't cause, exacerbate the tensions any higher than they already are?

CABRERA: Why would Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, though, go there so quickly, blaming Tehran? I mean, his tweet yesterday was really quick and very direct.

KIRBY: Yes. Yes, I don't know the answer to that. I was stunned by how quickly he came out saying with certainty that he knew that Iran was behind these attacks. Again, these images, to me, do not convince me of that necessarily, and that was -- that was surprising.

I mean, he has been very hawkish on Iran just like John Bolton was. He sees Iran as sort of the epicenter of all the trouble in the Middle East, and he has been itching for a way to continue to maximize the pressure on Iran with respect to their nuclear capability. But I'm struggling to see how it's in anybody's interest, this early on, to be picking a fight over this until we know for sure.

And even when we do know for sure, Ana, I hope that the President is keeping his options open, all of them, that the -- that we aren't just looking at the military tool to use in response to this. That there's a whole range of options that they -- that they consider. There's no reason to let this escalate any higher than it already has.

CABRERA: In fact, Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor, did say this morning that they had not ruled out meetings with --

KIRBY: Yes.

CABRERA: -- the President Rouhani, the President of Iran, as well. OK. Admiral John Kirby, thank you for being there with us --

KIRBY: You bet.

CABRERA: -- and helping us walk through these latest developments.

Also tonight, Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. We'll have the details next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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[19:11:25]

CABRERA: Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh finds himself in the political crosshairs again. "The New York Times" published excepts today of a new book that offers a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh is making no official comment today as the story returns to the headlines, but plenty of other people are, including a growing number of 2020 Democratic candidates who are now calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment and removal from the bench.

The series of tweets started last fight with Julian Castro, followed by Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg. Bernie Sanders also says he supports a constitutional mechanism to hold Kavanaugh accountable. Meantime, the President himself has weighed in, tweeting that the Justice Department should come to Kavanaugh's rescue.

CNN's senior national correspondent Kyung Lah joins us with more now. Kyung, all these candidates came out in quick succession today. What more can you tell us?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The language was strong, you know, and it was quite direct. And it came generally in tweet form, Ana.

Let's start with Senator Elizabeth Warren. She tweeted out today writing that -- in the second half of this tweet, she writes, these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached. Warren had been the first 2020 hopeful who had called for President Trump to be impeached. So she was linking the two men there.

And then we heard from Senator Kamala Harris. She is well-known. She really burst onto the national stage when she -- when she started questioning Brett Kavanaugh. And she tweeted, he was put on the court through a sham process and his place on the court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.

You mentioned, Ana, Beto O'Rourke, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg. And I want to leave you with you this image that was just tweeted by Amy Klobuchar, reminding people on Twitter that this is as much about women's issues as it is about this particular case. This picture, saying never let us forget what courage looks like.

CABRERA: All right, Kyung Lah.

LAH: So she, Ana, we should point out, that -- is not calling for impeachment but certainly making her impressions known there.

CABRERA: Yes, for sure. Kyung Lah, thank you for that reporting.

Joining us now is CNN senior political analyst and adviser to four presidents, David Gergen.

David, you know, we've seen this growing number of Democratic candidates call for Kavanaugh now to be impeached, including two who questioned Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. Is it smart politically for Democrats to go there?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm surprised. The report, of course, and the book excerpts are very disturbing. There are -- there seem to be credible allegations in this, but, you know, we just litigated this a short time ago.

And I think a move to jump from a time when he was approved by the Senate all the way over to saying he now must be impeached is, I think, a real stretch for most Americans. I think they'll be surprised that the word impeachment is being used.

It's not surprising if people say there was an outrage when he got confirmed. It was an -- the whole thing was when we weren't listened to. I think it's particularly disturbing that, in this particular case, the woman and others went to the FBI with the story, and the FBI did no follow up apparently. They never went and talked to any of the -- of the witnesses who had been at Yale.

And that, I think, is deeply disturbing, but to jump to impeachment, Ana, you know, that's a pretty big leap. I understand why you do it for political purposes, but I think a lot of the country says, come on, guys, you know, we've gone through this. We spent an endless amount of time. Do you really think we ought to move to impeachment at this point?

[19:15:04]

CABRERA: I also wonder if it could backfire on Democrats because I remember the Supreme Court --

GERGEN: Yes.

CABRERA: -- was a big motivator for Trump voters in 2016. I personally talked to some people who did not necessarily like Trump, some of his rhetoric, some of the allegations he was facing. And yet, they wanted to make sure that Republicans had a Supreme Court strength. Could this end up firing up, essentially, the Republican base?

GERGEN: It could. And like many issues we're going to see in the next few months, it could fire up both sides. I do think that it gives the Democrats an issue about not only how -- where the court is going, how it's been politicized and moved to the right under Trump, but some of the other issues that have arisen in the past, how they've, you know, blocked Obama's last appointee, what's going to happen if Ruth Bader Ginsberg steps down.

And Senator McConnell has made it clear they're going to plow ahead, even though, when Obama had a nominee, they stopped in their tracks and said we can't possibly put this person in until the elections are held. You know, it's two different standards.

So the Democrats have a lot for political purposes, but I'm not sure I'd lead with impeachment. I just think it's a -- the issue really is who is -- who and how court nominations be handled if it's a Trump versus a Democrat in the White House. I think that is a very, very big issue. It's a huge issue for women.

CABRERA: There are still 20 candidates in the Democratic race for 2020, only 10 on the debate stage this week. One of them just lost an endorsement today. Take a listen to Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez of Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. VICENTE GONZALEZ (D), TEXAS: If you're polling in the low single-digits and you're not raising any resources and you're fractioning your party and you're just getting your supporters to be upset at other candidates, it certainly can't be a good thing for a party.

This is nothing personal against him or any other candidate. I just think the clear front-runner and the person that's the most experienced and that can really get the job done in terms of beating Donald Trump is clearly Vice President Joe Biden.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: How big of a blow is that to Castro?

GERGEN: Oh, I don't know. I think -- I think it's unfair, frankly. Did Castro have a low blow against Joe Biden? I think, you know, arguably, he did. I thought so for everything I saw about it.

But Castro has waged, you know, an otherwise, as far as I can tell, unblemished campaign. I think he is a legitimate voice. He does have a strong record in Texas. He -- you know, in San Antonio. And he and Beto O'Rourke, together, could potentially turn Texas, you know, toward the purple side this next election.

So I thought -- I thought it was, again, an overstretch. I think we're in a weekend when, you know, tempers and opinions have hardened up a lot, haven't they?

CABRERA: No doubt about it. And you know there are still 10 other candidates, too, who were on that debate stage on Thursday night.

GERGEN: Yes.

CABRERA: Do you see a path for any of them to the nomination?

GERGEN: Oh, you mean the people who were left off? No, I don't --

CABRERA: Yes.

GERGEN: I do think that the -- yes, I do think that the second tier of the 10 candidates, the first 10 candidates, helped themselves. I thought they were, in fact, better in general than the first tier.

And I think that they have -- there are several, I think, now in the -- in the second tier, the bottom five or six of that top 10, whom I think are real possibilities for a shortlist for the vice presidential nomination. I don't think they'd come anywhere close yet to taking the nomination away from Joe Biden.

The other interesting story as we go, though, is the rise of Elizabeth Warren, at the same time chipping away at the Biden lead. You know, the Biden supporters now are starting to go after Elizabeth Warren, saying she can't win independent votes, and, you know, he does so well in the Black community, for example, as an addition.

So I think that part of this -- we have a three-person race with Bernie and with -- and with Elizabeth Warren and with Joe Biden. Increasingly, it's looking like a two-person, potentially a two-person race.

And she's run a good campaign. She has made some mistakes along the way, but she has generally run a very good campaign. She's got a good field organization. And I think she's the person to watch right now as -- and take, you know, how is she going to handle Joe Biden?

She has been quite, I think, clever in not getting herself too hooked into the -- to the progressive position of saying Medicare for All, the Bernie plan. She has been -- you know, she's been very hesitant about embracing Medicare for everyone and possibly keeping the door open to, I assume, a public option.

CABRERA: Well, I mean, I think she was pretty -- she was pretty direct that she is with Bernie on Medicare for all but -- GERGEN: Yes.

CABRERA: -- she was a little bit evasive in answering direct questions about whether, you know, taxes were going to go up, for example.

GERGEN: Yes, right.

CABRERA: Which did seem to deliver an opening that --

GERGEN: Right.

CABRERA: -- to, you know, go a different direction down the road.

GERGEN: Right.

CABRERA: She doesn't have her own health care plan out there.

GERGEN: Exactly.

[19:19:58]

CABRERA: I do want to talk to you about foreign policy because of this big story, the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities.

GERGEN: Sure.

CABRERA: How do you think this week's shake-up on Trump's national security team impacts how the White House is now approaching where things go from here?

GERGEN: Well, that's a good question. I do think that this has come at a time -- a challenge for American foreign policy has come at a time when the President has run the thinnest ranks he's had as president.

You know, he has an Acting National Security Adviser, he has an Acting Secretary of Defense. Pompeo has more -- got more than his hands full over at the State Department. This is not an easy one to figure out. It's very complicated.

The initial concern, of course, is whether oil prices are going to be -- going to spike up. I thought the President was smart today to open up the possibility of -- and going into the strategic reserves. But the big issue is the use -- who is going to use what force where, and is the United States going to get dragged into this? I tell you, right now, the public is not ready to send American forces into another conflict.

CABRERA: David Gergen, always a pleasure, thanks for being here.

GERGEN: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:25:04]

CABRERA: President Trump says the administration is locked and loaded after an attack targeting Saudi Arabia's oil facilities disrupted five percent of the world's oil supply. The President says he is now just waiting on verification on who was responsible.

So now, the blame game. Houthi rebels in Yemen say it came from them. Saudi Arabia says the attack came from either Iraq or Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran is behind it. According to a senior administration official, preliminary indications suggest it originated in Iraq or Iran not Yemen. Both Iraq and Iran deny involvement in the attacks.

So what exactly is going on? CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd is here now with your "Weekend Presidential Brief," a segment we bring you every weekend with the most pressing national security issues the President will face tomorrow.

Sam, good to have you with us. Help us make sense of it.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, part of the problem is that we're witnessing the attribution process work in reverse. We had a series -- we had two tweets yesterday by Secretary of State Pompeo in which he very clearly attributed blame for these attacks to Iran.

Fast forward to the President's tweets today -- it's hard to keep up, he may have tweeted again since we've been on air -- in which he really throws cold water on the credibility of Secretary of State Pompeo's tweet. He's now saying they are waiting for verification from Saudi Arabia before really assigning blame and moving forward with options.

It is likely that Iran was behind these attacks. If, however, this attack originated within Iran, it would mark a direct escalation. Iran has traditionally relied on proxies to launch attacks against Saudi Arabia and against American interests.

So we have to what it to see what more declassified intelligence looks like and what our intelligence partners have to stay -- have to say. To date, they have not bolstered our claim that Iran is behind these attacks. We could see those come in the coming days.

CABRERA: So how can the U.S. continue to hold Iran accountable without going back and forth with them?

VINOGRAD: Well, it depends whether we're looking at the national security team or the President's Twitter feed. Because the national security team has taken a set of defensive and deterrent steps.

They've launched cyber-attacks against Iranian targets after Iran attacked tankers in the -- in the Strait of Hormuz this summer. We moved more military assets to the region to try to defend ourselves and to deter future attacks. Those clearly are not wholly successful based upon the fact that Iran is continuing its malign activity. The question now is whether the President's words, for example, on

Twitter a moment ago, are going to be matched with action. Saying, for example, that he wants to coordinate with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not necessarily a bad thing. We should coordinate with our partners. But that should not be happening over Twitter. That should be happening behind closed doors so that we get a plan before saying more publicly.

CABRERA: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu usually is right in alignment with the Trump administration when it comes to Iran. Of course, there is this re-election. He is up for re-election this week. How will the Israeli election outcome impact U.S. national security?

VINOGRAD: Well, this election is really a re-do. There was an election five months ago, and Netanyahu was unable to form a governing coalition. The Israeli system is very different than ours. Voters vote for parliamentary -- parties in parliament, rather than elect a Prime Minister directly.

Last time around, Netanyahu's party was charged with forming a coalition and they failed. So right now, what we're waiting to see is which party gets more seats, Netanyahu's party, Likud, or Benny Gantz's party, Blue and White.

After that happens, the President of Israel -- the Prime Minister of Israel will have to make a series of policy decisions, including what to do on key issues like the West Bank. Netanyahu has said he wants to annex parts of the West Bank. Benny Gantz has taken a slightly softer approach.

The big issue, Ana, for Benjamin Netanyahu, though, is personal. He is facing indictment on at least three criminal charges. And if he loses this election, I think he is quite worried about his personal freedom in addition to, perhaps, Israel's security future.

CABRERA: OK, Sam Vinograd --

VINOGRAD: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: -- thank you very much for being here.

It's considered America's Amazon. President Trump wants to open for business the largest national forest in the U.S. How chopping away at this national wonder could affect all of us.

[19:29:17]

[19:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:33:20] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: It is known as America's amazon and President Trump and Republican lawmakers want to tear down part of it. The Tongass forest is the nation's largest forest and covers most of southeast Alaska, some 17 million acres. And as Bill Weir reports, some of the people that could profit FROM

Tongass' resources oppose President Trump on this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the hottest Alaskan summer on record, amid countless signs of a climate in crisis, a camera phone captured a Republican fundraiser on Kenai peninsula, not far from the Swann lake fire now burning for over three months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President of the United States cares about Alaska.

WEIR: Donald Trump on speaker, that is Alaska speaker Dan Sullivan holding the phone swatting at hornets. Mississippi senator Roger Wicker nods and smiles as the President promises to help them drill for oil in the artic national wild life refuge up north and build a road through protected habitat in the south.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: King cove road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: King cove road, yes sir.

WEIR: And then governor Mike Dunleavy enters the picture. He has been bonding with Trump during air force one refueling stops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is doing everything he can to work with us on our mining concerns, timber concerns --.

WEIR: Often bringing a wish list of rules and regulations he wants overturned in the interest of creating in you industry.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He is a great guy. He's doing something with your logging and all of your other things. And we are working on them together. And that's pulling along now.

WEIR: When the President mentions logging, they knew exactly what he meant. Republicans want to put new roads into the old growth of the Tongass national forest, the crown jewel of the national forest system.

[19:35:03] GORDON CHEW, BUILDERS/LUMBERJACK: You know we are very much against that. And I would say first that there is nobody in this town that a mile of road here or there would benefit more than me.

WEIR: Gordon Chew runs a father/son timber operation. So you built this yourself, the whole house?

CHEW: Yes.

WEIR: And while he believes old (INAUDIBLE) can be carefully harvested one tree at a time, he is terrified of a move back to the clear cutting back to the days of old when ancient ecosystems return into paper.

CHEW: They are not going to be grinding up trees for paper anymore. That's -- not on my watch. When you build a road, you don't know what's going to come down the road and the reason that you would build a million dollar a mile road is to extract resources big time.

WEIR: Former mayor Art Bloom tells me the roadless rule is result decade that protects a place that association up more car done dioxide than any place in many.

ART BLOOM, FORMER TENAKEE SPRINGS, ALASKA MAYOR: You can never have this again once you cut it. It's going to come back as a stand that need to be managed.

CHEW: It's a plantation not a forest.

BLOOM: Then it's a plantation. And that won't support the wild life that this supports.

WEIR: This just into CNN, bears do poop in the woods. And the bears in these woods poop salmon, the most incredible fertilizer, the kind that grows cathedrals like this. And these days also fuels a multi- billion dollar fishing and tourism industry. So in Alaska, if are you going to talk about cutting down 500-year-old trees, even if you are the President, you are going to make some fishermen really angry. What is your reaction?

TUCK HARRY, FISHING CAPTAIN: It's one of shock and dismay I guess. You know, after all the work that we put in to keep this area road less and keep this as pristine as we possibly can.

WEIR: And would you characterize yourself as a tree hugging liberal?

HARRY: No, not a tree hugging liberal at all. And the governor and the President, you know, this is what I'm saying, do not -- do not do this to us. We need to keep this place intact as much as we can.

WEIR: Oh, and captain Tuck wants me to remind you, these are your trees America. And any new roads would be built with your tax dollars.

Bill Weir, Tenakee Springs, Alaska.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: A 22-year-old mystery finally solved. How this image from Google earth helped close out a cold case.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:41:31] CABRERA: For 22 years a Florida family had no clue what had happened to 40-year-old William Molt. But this two-decade old mystery has now been solved, thanks to technology. It turns out William Molt and his car have been in a pond since 1997. His skeletal remains were found inside.

And Barry Fay joins us now. Barry was the one who called police about this car in the pond behind your house, Barry, walk us through what happened leading up to that.

BARRY FAY, DISCOVERED SUBMERGED VEHICLE: Hi, Ana. Thank you very much.

So I was driving home from lunch with my family in Broward County when I got a text message from my next door neighbor. Being that I was driving, I couldn't answer the text messages. So I told her when I fought home I would take a look at them. I called her because she doesn't normally text me, so I asked her what it was about and she said just tell me if you think the pictures look like a car. So I said, OK. I got home. I looked at the pictures and I texted her back. I said, yes, it's definitely a car, why, where is that? She said that's behind your house.

CABRERA: You are like, what?

FAY: I says to her -- yes, exactly. I have been in my back yard a million times, I never seen a car back there. So I went back there again and I looked and I could not see anything. So a buddy of mine who lives down the street from me has a drone with a camera in it and I called him up and he came over and we flew the drone over the area of the Google earth photo. And sure enough, the picture that came back from the drone was of what looked like a car.

CABRERA: Yes.

FAY: At which point I got on the phone and I called the Palm Beach County sheriffs office and they sent the deputy over. I told him basically the story I just told you. They came out with a diver down. They sent the diver down. The diver confirmed that there was a car in the lake. They sent the tow truck. They hooked cable up to the rear axel of the car and they pulled it out on to my back lawn.

CABRERA: Wow. That is wild. To think it had been there now 22 years. Do you know how it got there? Did they tell you what they think happened in.

FAY: So at this point they do not know how the car got there. What I can tell you is that my development was built in 1998. The car went into the water November 7th, 1997. So the canals were obviously dug and the roads were in place but there were no houses built yet. You know it's anybody's guess as to how it got there.

CABRERA: Yes, does it make you feel strange that you lived in that house now not knowing what was there just beneath the water surface?

FAY: It's absolutely strange. And you know, I'm new to Palm Beach. I moved into the house about 14 months ago and as of, you know, right now, the water is actually quite high in the lake. But even when it's been at its lowest, I've never noticed anything in the canal there. You couldn't see it from the bank. My guess is it can only be seen from directly overhead.

CABRERA: Yes so what do you think now about Google earth becoming a possible tool to solve mysteries? [19:45:05] FAY: I think it's incredible. Technology is incredible.

And I think as of this story, my guess is people are going to be searching Google earth in their neighborhoods all over their country.

CABRERA: I guess so, too.

Barry Fay, it's a wild story. It's like out of the movies. I'm really glad you could share it with us. Thank you very much.

FAY: Thank you, Ana. It's a pleasure.

CABRERA: Have a great weekend.

A Florida man sentenced ten days if jail filming a viral video of a shark being dragged to it's death behind a boat. And we do want to warn this video is disturbing.

30-year-old Robert Bannock (ph) was one of three men arrested after this incident back in July of 2017. The video featuring the sound of them laughing as that shark is dragged by its tail at high speed. The case sparking incredible outrage from animal rights groups all the way up to Rick Scott, Florida's governor at the time.

We are just hours away now from what could be the first major auto strike in more than a decade. Why one of the biggest unions says General Motors is not meeting their demands.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:49:56] CABRERA: In just a few hours now, auto workers in the U.S. could go on strike for the first time in more than a decade. The United Auto Workers Union says its members working at General Motors will walk off the job at midnight if the company does not meet union demands.

The union contract actually expired at one minute past midnight today, but the 46,000 GM workers are still on the job. Union officials met this morning in Detroit, but indicate the two sides are still very far apart in negotiations. And President Trump is showing no patience for this standoff.

He tweeted this earlier. Here we go again with general motors and the united auto workers. Get together and make a deal!

CNN's Scott McLean joins us now with more details.

Scott, how close or how far apart are they? And what's keeping a deal from happening?

[19:50:42] SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana, at this point, barring some miracle, it is almost certain that GM workers will walk off the job at midnight tonight. As you mentioned, talks went late into last night, even late into this morning. But there were no real substantial discussions today. GM says its people are standing by, ready to sit down and try to

hammer out a deal, but the union says it won't get back to the negotiating table until tomorrow morning, after its workers have already been offered the job.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. The first is that GM is feeling some pressure over declining sales and a changing business that requires them to invest more money into electric vehicles and driver's license car technology. The other thing is that the united auto workers is dealing with its own scandal, a big one, involving accusations that union officials misappropriated money or even took bribes.

Last month the IRS and the FBI raided the home of UAW President Gary Jones. Jones has not stepped down. In fact, he was quoted 19 last union press release. I asked the union spokesperson today whether he has considered resigning. He declined to comment on that.

Now, how would these issues affect negotiations or how are they affecting them? We don't know, because neither side has been very specific about what the sticking points are. The union will only say that they are concerned about fair wages, better health care, job security and profit sharing, while GM has said it's already offered more money in each year of the contract, an $8,000 signing bonus and the same health care plan that members already have.

Another big issue is that GM is planning on closing four facilities next year, including two assembly plants. GM says many of those workers have been offered relocation packages to move their jobs. And a close that has direct knowledge of the GM offer says that the company is also offering to restart production at two of those facilities, one in Michigan, one in Ohio. One would make batteries for electric vehicles, the other would make electric trucks.

Again, Ana, whether any of this could prime the pump for a deal, we don't know at this point.

CABRERA: So if these autoworkers walk off the job at midnight, how long could this strike last?

MCLEAN: It's anyone's guess, but a little bit of historical contrast here. The last time the gm workers walked off, they were off the job for just three days. Both sides really do have an interest to get this over with quickly. GM obviously can't make money unless they are making cars. And from the union workers' standpoint, while they are going to be stretched pretty thin financially. Their strike pay gives them only about $250 per week, Ana.

CABRERA: OK. Scott McLean, thank you.

"SNL" facing controversy over racist comments made by a new cast member. What 2020 candidate Andrew Yang has to say about it, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:56:55] CABRERA: 2020 candidate Andrew Yang is making headlines in connection with a controversy surrounding "Saturday Night Live's" new cast member. On the same day the show made history by hiring its first cast member of east Asian dissent, Bowen Yang, "SNL" came under fire for another new cast member, Shane Gillis. The problem, the comedian's past racist comments specifically about Asian-Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHANE GILLIS, COMEDIAN: Chinatown's (bleep) nuts. It's crazy Dude. It's full (bleep) China.

MATT MCSUSKER, COMEDIAN: I wonder how that started. They just built one (bleep) building and everybody's like, no one said anything.

GILLIS: Let's go live there, huh?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: And that was Gillis there in the black shirt. Andrew Yang himself an Asian-American says he doesn't think Gillis should be fired from the show, but he did slam the comic for taking what he called cheap shots.

Speaking earlier with CNN's Jake Tapper, Yang talked about this being a teachable moment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, STATE OF THE UNION: You tweeted yesterday about what it feels like to be called these horrific racial slurs. But you also said that you forgive the comedian and you hope others can as well. As one of the most prominent Asian-American political figures, did you feel any special responsibility to try to reflect what others in the Asian-American community are feeling or were you just speaking for yourself?

ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, there have been a number of reactions to my call for forgiving Shane Gillis. And I have experienced a lot of anti-Asian racism throughout my upbringing and it hurts, you know. It's something that's very real. And I do think anti-Asian racial epithets are not taken as seriously as slurs against other groups. But at the same time, bigger picture, I believe that our country has become excessively punitive and vindictive about remarks that people find offensive or racist and that we need to try to move beyond that, if we can, particularly in a case where the person, you know is, in this case, to me, like a comedian, whose words should be taken in a slightly different light.

TAPPER: I have heard from Asian-Americans. I'm sure you have, too, who say that some of your joking references to being Asian-American on stage about how you know math, about how you know a lot of doctors, feed into stereotypes and they resent that, as well, while, obviously, it's not the same level as what that comedian is accused of doing, what are your feelings on that? YANG: The Asian American community is very diverse. And certainly, I

would never claim that my individual experience would speak to the depth and breadth of our community. At the same time, I think Americans are very smart. And that they can actually see right through that kind of myth. And if anything, by poking fun at it, I'm making Americans reflect a little bit more on them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: The 45th season of "Saturday Night Live" so far with Shane Gillis is set to air on September 28th.

It's now 8:00 eastern, 5:00 in the evening out west. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.