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Cracks Continue To Grow In President Trump's GOP Support; Trump Claims Mulvaney "Clarified" Quid Pro Quo Admission; Former Governor John Kasich Says He Supports Impeachment; U.K. Parliament Holds Historic Debate On Leaving The E.U.; McConnell Slams Trump For Syria Troop Withdraw; Trump Touts Ceasefire With Turkey As "Tremendous Success"; Clinton Suggests Russians "Grooming" Tulsi Gabbard; Strong Winds, Heavy Rain Batter Florida; Combating The Anti-Vaccine Epidemic That's Putting Lives At Risk; Meghan Markle: Not Many People Have Asked If I'm OK. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 19, 2019 - 07:00   ET




[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giuliani wanted to get Shokin a visa. The State Department rejected that request and Giuliani went around the State Department and urged the White House to grant him the visa.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a terrible witch hunt. This is so bad for our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're asking me if I was sitting in the House of Representatives today and you would ask me how do I feel, do I think impeachment should move forward? My vote would be yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton and Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaiian Congresswoman who is running for president got into an unexpected and aggressive back-and-forth on Friday with the former Democratic nominee accusing Gabbard of being groomed by the Russians to be a third-party candidate.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch sites and bots and others ways of supporting her so far.

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI): Finally, she has come out from behind the curtain and made very clear that this is about a race between Hillary Clinton and myself.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A new day, a new hour. Good to be with you this morning. I'm Victor Blackwell.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: We start this hour with what appears to be some cracks in the support for President Trump, at least for Republicans. Former Ohio Governor, John Kasich, now says the president should be impeached. That's after we heard the White House Chief of Staff, the Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, his comments about a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

WALKER: Now, this comes after Republican Representative Francis Rooney told CNN that he would not rule out voting to impeach the president. The New York Times also reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now believes an impeachment trial is "inevitable."

BLACKWELL: Also, exclusive reporting from CNN this morning. Sources tell us that the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, asked the State Department and then the White House to grant a visa to a former Ukrainian official who promised dirt on Democrats. Kristen Holmes is at the White House. Kristen, good morning to you. Does the president feel like -- I mean, is he feeling this loss of support? Any indication from the president or the White House of that?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Victor. Well, that's a good question. He'd be hard-pressed not to notice it. And I want to kind of break this down because this is not all about impeachment. There's a lot of stuff going on here, so be patient with me, but we are starting to see a few cracks in the support for the president for the first time.

We know that the Republican base has really rallied around Trump. And I want to be clear, he still has a staunch Republican base, but, again, some cracks there in the system. This is really over three separate issues. One is Doral. That announcement this week that the G7 2020 was going to be held at his resort in Doral, Florida.

This raised a lot of antennas -- even those Republicans who wouldn't come out and condemn it were saying it's just bad optics. That they need to be transparent. Is he making any money? Will he let foreign leaders stay for free? This is a clear indication that he could profit from this. What are they going to do to be transparent and it's been very hard for Democrats to defend that.

The other issue here is that the withdrawal of troops from Syria. This has been going on. We have seen Lindsey Graham, Senator, who has been one of President Trump's biggest supporters really turn on him at the beginning of the week here, saying that what he did was wrong, saying that he's causing massive bloodshed.

I heard from Senator Kennedy who told me a friends don't let friends get massacred, and of course, we saw Mitch McConnell penning an op-ed on how it was a bad idea to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. And I will note though about that op-ed, President Trump's name was never mentioned one time, so even though he was clearly condemning that action, he did not specifically call out the president.

But the last thing here is about impeachment, it is about Ukraine, and it is about Giuliani. We saw so many people testifying on Capitol Hill, and it's becoming harder and harder for these lawmakers to defend Giuliani at all. In fact, one senator told me that he should come with a warning label. A lot of people saying that he was raising red flags, a lot of concern around his involvement in the Ukraine.

And then, you have the other side of this, which was Mick Mulvaney, the Acting Chief of Staff, getting up in front of cameras, in front of reporters saying on the record that in fact, they did want Ukraine to get information on Democrats and that was a factor in holding back millions of dollars in aid from that country. This raised, again, a lot of antennae.

This goes against everything the White House has been saying, everything President Trump has been saying and what reporters said to Mulvaney, you know, you're describing a quid pro quo here. He said, well, get over it. We do it all the time in foreign policy. So, you're hearing Republicans push back on that as well. But this is a big week coming up. We have more testimony to come, and it just looks like it might get worse and worse for President Trump, particularly, again, when it comes to these cracks in the base.

[07:05:07] WALKER: And just quickly, you know, what has the White House said about Mick Mulvaney and President Trump's support for him after the stunning admission and then a quick denial and also you have Mick Mulvaney who is away at Camp David meeting with GOP leaders? What was the point of that?

HOLMES: Well, I think we can be sure that that will come up, his comments. Again, two reporters on camera talking about that quid pro quo. I do want to be clear, he did send a statement shortly after that saying there was absolutely no quid pro quo, trying to kind of have a cleanup on aisle five moment there. But those statements were said to a camera.

And we are hearing that President Trump was not happy with his performance and he was certainly not happy with the reviews, with the coverage that it was getting on the news. We know of course he's constantly watching to see that kind of coverage, but there is a little bit of a crack there. Yesterday the campaign put out a shirt that said: "Get Over It," selling for $30.00 -- which, of course, again, is what Mick Mulvaney said. I'm not sure there if that means that he's better -- on better terms now.

WALKER: Kristen Holmes, thank you very much.

All right. Let's get back now to the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. And CNN has learned that he appears to be even more involved in trying to dig up dirt on Democrats than previously thought.

BLACKWELL: A career diplomat testifying this week that Giuliani asked the White House to interview after a Ukrainian official was denied a U.S. visa. And here's CNN Manu Raju with details for us.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, new details about how Rudy Giuliani used his influence to try to get dirt on Joe Biden, then later tried to push the federal government to reverse a decision that it had made. Now, according to testimony that George Kent, a career diplomat, gave to congressional investigators earlier in the week, we are told from four sources familiar with that testimony that Kent had actually objected to Giuliani's effort to try to get a visa for Viktor Shokin, who's a former Ukrainian prosecutor who Biden tried to get removed from that post.

Giuliani wanted to get Shokin a visa. The State Department rejected that request and Giuliani went around the State Department and urged the White House to grant him the visa. Now, the visa was never granted. Then Giuliani carried out some secret interviews with Shokin via Skype, and those interviews form the basis of a number of records that had dirt on not just the Bidens, but also Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. A lot of these allegations unsubstantiated, but nevertheless, Giuliani took the records to the State Department, asked the State Department to investigate.

Later, those were turned over to the inspector general of the State Department, which would turn it over to Capitol Hill to further investigate this matter. Now, Shokin has accused Marie Yovanovitch for being too close to Joe Biden, which is one of the reasons why that he was seeking her removed from the post. President Trump removed her from that post as well after Rudy Giuliani had targeted her, and that caused much controversy in the previous weeks and months in causing the resignation of at least one high-level adviser who was concerned that she was being unfairly targeted for political reasons.

But all of this, Giuliani's efforts, formed the basis of what the whistle-blower complaint, that the president used his office to try to benefit himself politically and tried to urge a foreign government, investigate and dig up dirt on a political rival. And, of course, that forms the basis of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry, and it's just another detail that shows the depth of Giuliani's efforts to draw U.S. Policy toward Ukraine. Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


WALKER: All right. Manu, thank you.

John Kasich is joining the few Republicans like GOP Representative Francis Rooney and Senator Mitt Romney who are criticizing President Trump when it comes to the impeachment inquiry. The former Ohio Governor says, he supports impeachment.


JOHN KASICH, FORMER OHIO GOVERNOR: But if you're asking me if I was sitting in the House of Representatives today and you were to ask me how do I feel, do I think impeachment should move forward and should go for a full examination and a trial of the United States Senate? My answer would be yes.


WALKER: All right. Joining me now is CNN Political Commentator Errol Louis with more. Errol, I mean, how concerned do you think Trump should be right now as we're seeing a few more Republicans becoming more receptive to the Democrats' impeachment inquiry? ERROR LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he should be concerned

not necessarily about Governor Kasich. I remember being at the convention, in fact, in 2016 in the governor's home state in his -- essentially, his hometown and he actually boycotted him. He did not show up at the convention in Ohio.

So, Trump has nothing to fear from John Kasich. I think he said in that same interview, he doesn't intend to jump into the race at this late day. Where the president and the White House have to be a little more concerned, however, are what the senators might be doing -- the Republican senators.

They've got, you know, a couple of dozen who are up, many of which are in contested seats. If the polls continue as they're going, if it becomes completely untenable for them to stand with him around this, he could have a real problem if impeachment makes its way to the Senate.

WALKER: How much support does President Trump have with this hasty pullout in Syria, especially as you have top Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham coming out and slamming the president for this move. Mitch McConnell in an op-ed in the Washington Post calls the pullout of U.S. troops a grave strategic mistake.

[07:10:49] LOUIS: Listen, it shows something that I think a lot of people have missed politically, which is that the popular view that Republicans are so cowed and intimidated by the president that they'll never raise their voices against him is simply wrong. The reality is they like a lot of what he's done with the tax cuts, and with deregulation, and with the conservative judges that he's appointed. But when it comes to an issue like this one, on foreign policy, they find their voices.

And what that suggest to me is that they agreed with him all along and they had no particular reason to criticize him. But when necessary, they can and will find their voices. And I think this is one sign of the disenchantment that many of them have with him around foreign policy. Yes, we want the conservative judges, we want the deregulation, we want the tax cuts; we do not want the kind of chaos that we're seeing break out in the Middle East.

WALKER: A lot of pressure on the U.S. president to say the least. Errol Louis, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Some breaking news we are following this morning. A historic debate is happening right now. The House of Commons is holding their first Saturday parliamentary session in 37 years. This is London obviously -- to vote on the prime minister's new Brexit deal. The deadline for a vote is October 31st.

WALKER: For all practical purposes the U.K. has been in a holding pattern for more than three years on this. And this could be the moment when that finally changes, but it's uncertain whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson has the 320 votes needed to win. BLACKWELL: The prime minister's call for unity was met with

resistance from members of parliament on the floor just a few moments ago. Watch this.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And now is the time for this great House of Commons to come together and bring the country together today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This deal is not good for jobs, damaging for our industry, and a threat to our environment and our natural world. It's not a good deal for our country and future generations will feel the impact. It should be voted down today.


BLACKWELL: Of course, we'll continue to follow the developments throughout the morning and bring you the latest as we get it in.

WALKER: All right. Still to come, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slams a president's decision as we were saying to withdraw troops from Northern Syria. Why some are saying it's a blow to America's credibility, next.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is responding to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after she suggested that the Russians are grooming her to run as a third-party candidate. We've got all the details for you next.

WALKER: Also, a rare look at the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle's personal life as wife and being a new mom in the spotlight.


MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: It's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.



[07:16:47] WALKER: Some sharp criticism coming from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the situation at the Turkey/Syria border. After speaking with Vice President Mike Pence McConnell called the administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria a grave strategic mistake.

BLACKWELL: In this Washington Post op-ed, McConnell wrote, "As neo- isolationism rears its head on both the left and right, we can expect to hear more talk of endless wars but rhetoric cannot change the fact that wars do not just end. Wars are won or lost." He went on to say the decision will leave the American people less safe, embolden its enemies, and weaken important alliances.

WALKER: Meanwhile President Trump touted the cease-fire agreement as a tremendous success. This week, he said both the Turkish and Kurdish forces were happy with the arrangement. My next guest says President Trump's betrayal of the Kurds is a blow to America's credibility. Here with me is Columnist for the Washington Post and CNN Political Analyst, Josh Rogin. Always good to see you, Josh. Thanks for joining me.


WALKER: I mean, yes, not only has Trump betrayed the Kurds and obviously damaged America's credibility around the world, he's also forced the hands of the Kurds to align themselves with the Assad regime. Just curious to know what you think about, you know, what's to come because there is a huge mess right now in Syria, and a lot of people are fearing what's next.

ROGIN: Well, that's right. You know, we talk a lot about what's going on with the Kurds. And sure, America betrayed the Kurds and that's terrible, but there's another bigger problem even that Mitch McConnell is putting his finger on here and that's the fact that Trump has made an additional decision to withdraw all 1000 U.S. troops from Northern Syria even not at the border or the rest of Northern Syria. And that means that the Kurds had to turn to the Assad regime. The Assad regime will take over this huge area and that spells disaster for the millions of non-Kurdish Sunni or people who live there but also, will definitely lead to their resurgence of ISIS.

And when you see a guy like Mitch McConnell who's very careful about criticizing the president, come out so strongly in this Washington Post op-ed, that's a signal not just that he think the decision is bad but that he thinks this is going to be so bad that he wants to put the Republican Party on the right side of it and he wants to make sure that they put a marker in the ground to say that they knew that this was going to be a terrible decision. And that's not just a blow for American credibility or for the Kurds; it's a problem for the whole region that we haven't even really begun to even wrap our minds around.

WALKER: Yes, absolutely. And also, a huge blow for the civilians and what they're dealing with and will be dealing with.

ROGIN: That's right.

WALKER: I want to talk more about that, but I also want to first get you to fact-check the president. He tweeted this: "Think of how many lives we saved in Syria and Turkey by getting a cease-fire yesterday. Thousands and thousands and maybe more." Is there truth to that, and tell me more about, you know, what this withdrawal means for civilians who've been dealing with war for how many years in Syria? They've been dealing with the humanitarian crisis and now, you have Iran and Russia, rushing in to fill this void that's been left by the United States -- not to mention Assad's regime.

ROGIN: Right, I'm going to go with false on the president's tweets there. I mean, let's remember that we had a relative peace in the northeast border region of Syria until Erdogan moved in after President Trump essentially gave him the green light. Hundreds of people have died since then. And sure, more people could have died, but the fact is that our government's incompetence in the mishandling of this situation has caused real suffering on the ground.

And also, the cease-fire, while it, you know, may bring a level of stability for the next five days does nothing to solve the underlying problems here. As we just went over, there's a lot of suffering yet to come. And you know, when President Trump got up at his rally the other night and said, well, these are like two kids fighting a lot, sometimes you got to let them fight and then pull them apart, that's like a horrendously callous and misleading reading of what's going on here, which is that lot of innocent people displaced, hundreds of thousands of displaced people are suffering because of our mishandling of this very, very important --

[07:21:14] WALKER: It's definitely not that simple, right? Just quickly before we go, let's talk a little bit about ISIS because Arwa Damon last hour was mentioning in her report that a fear of the ISIS resurgence because it was the SDF-run prisons that were holding ISIS prisoners. And now, with this Turkish offensive, hundreds of the prisoners have escaped because the Kurds have been forced to abandon their posts. I mean, this is a win for ISIS.

ROGIN: A huge win for ISIS and it's just beginning because, you know, one of the main things that President Trump gets wrong about Syria, and he gets a lot of stuff wrong, is this idea that we can leave the fight against ISIS to the Assad regime, and Iran, and Russia -- and that they hate ISIS as much as we do, which is actually not true.

And the bottom line is what we've seen over the last nine year is that the Assad regime actually worked with ISIS and also helped ISIS in order to create a situation in Syria the world thinks that we only have a choice between a dictator and a terrorist, and we ignore the idea of actually having international leadership to protect the millions of civilians there.

So, the bottom line here and I think Mitch McConnell covered this well in his op-ed is that, you know, the international fight against terrorism requires American involved to succeed; it requires American leadership to succeed. There's no other country that's going to be able to build these kinds of coalitions to deal with these borderless problems. And you know, we may be tired of fighting the terrorists, but they're not tired of fighting us. And if we leave this to Russia, and Iran, and Assad, they're going to screw it up and we're going to have to come back and this time, without the Kurdish partners that we just abandoned.

WALKED: We'll have to leave it on that point, Josh Rogin, thank you very much.

ROGIN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Russians are grooming Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She says they hope to get here to run as a third-party candidate in 2020. We'll hear Gabbard's response, next.


[07:26:47] BLACKWELL: We have new details this morning about the State Department's investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails. This has been on for several years while the investigation has found if there was no deliberate mishandling of classified information.

WALKER: Now, the State Department released that report yesterday and it is another instance of federal investigators clearing Clinton and her associates of deliberately mishandling classified information. And it wraps up one of the controversies that loomed over the 2016 presidential campaign and election.

Meanwhile the former secretary of state claims the Russians are grooming Tulsi Gabbard for a third-party run. Clinton says, the Russians want the Democrat to run as a third-party candidate in order to push their agenda.


CLINTON: I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary -- and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She's a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.


BLACKWELL: So, Gabbard responded in some really strongly worded tweets, but a portion of it here, she calls Clinton, and this is the quote: "The queen of war mongers and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party." Well, CNN Political Commentator Van Jones talk about Clinton's comments too. He criticized her for spreading disinformation.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If you're concerned about disinformation; if you're concerned that what the Russians do, is that they spread disinformation that gets us divided against each other, that is what just happened. Just throw out some disinformation, smear somebody. She's a former nominee of our party and she just came out against a sitting U.S. congresswoman, a decorated war veteran, and someone who's running for the nomination of our party with just a complete smear and no facts.


BLACKWELL: CNN Political Commentator Errol Louis is back with us. Errol this narrative, general narrative about Congresswoman Gabbard is not new, right? She hit back against her critics at the debate this week of those who said that she's used Russian talking points, criticized her for meeting with Assad a couple of years ago. But the question I have is why? Why would Secretary Clinton go as far as she did to suggest that the Russians are grooming her? That suggests some interactivity here. LOUIS: Well, look. First of all, she might be right about that.

Let's not forget that. Tulsi Gabbard has attracted a very strange following. She was endorsed earlier this year by David Duke, former Head of the Ku Klux Klan. She's been a favorite of far-right groups and holocaust deniers and a real Menagerie of odd far right supporters, and much of their support for her has been amplified. You know, there have been nights after certain debates where her name was the most searched term on Google. There's been some odd digital activity. Hillary Clinton didn't just make this up. And I hate to disagree with my friend Van Jones, but the reality is there's been some real out there that there's something peculiar going on with that campaign.


Now, Tulsi Gabbard, you know, by responding as you quoted with -- you know, sort of talking points against Hillary Clinton. That's one way to respond. A better way to respond would be to a fully and finally denounce and reject all of this odds support she's getting from the far-right, explained further and perhaps even renounce her dealings with Assad, who was probably -- or I should say, arguably a war criminal, and try and get back on track.

But, you know, until she does that, I think Hillary Clinton has some real expertise when it comes to Russian interference and elections. And I wouldn't just reject out of hand her analysis of what's going on right now.

BLACKWELL: The specific word of grooming though suggests that there is some cooperation that there is some interactivity here when you consider grooming of person.


LOUIS: Well, but, Victor, if they said --

BLACKWELL: Go ahead.

LOUIS: If they said that the Russians were grooming you or I, the first thing we would say is that's not true. And I -- and I want nothing to do with it. And I reject it and I don't want to be manipulated by the Russians. And if they are helping me or if they think they're helping me, I want that all to go away. I even heard any of that from Representative Gabbard and I'm not sure we're ever going to.

BLACKWELL: So, let me tell you what we have heard from Representative Gabbard. I read some of her tweets, but she seems to think that this is helping her. Let's put up her web site here. She's got a red banner across the top of a web site that says, breaking: Hillary Clinton goes after Tulsi.

And, you know, the Quinnipiac poll this week has with hash marks nationally. She qualified for the CNN debate on Tuesday with other polls though. Does this fight help her? LOUIS: It helps her accomplish some goal. I'm not sure what that goal is, honestly. I mean, you know, look, as you say, she's pulling down in the one-percent range. Realistically, I don't see any scenario where she makes it into the final, say, top four, going into Iowa. But she has every right to run and she's welcome to do that.

What her actual goal is? It's simply unclear. I mean, I -- there, you know, yes, to get a little bit of attention when you're polling down in the one-percent range and nobody knows what you stand for or what you're doing, yes. Technically, I guess that's -- it's helpful to have Hillary Clinton attack you.

On the other hand, if you actually are proven at some point to have been manipulated, or again, to have this strange cast. I mean, Richard Spencer, the far-right activist -- fascist, frankly, has said that he could see himself voting for her. Is that the kind of support Tulsi Gabbard wants? Is that the kind of attention she wants? She seems to be getting it.

BLACKWELL: Errol Louis, thanks so much.

LOUIS: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: OK. So, Hillary Clinton, also mentioned Jill Stein, calling her a Russian asset. She'll be on "SMERCONISH" in just a couple of hours to talk about all of this. "SMERCONISH" starts at 9:00 a.m. Eastern on CNN.

WALKER: Right now, the tornado threat is growing as Tropical Storm Nestor bears down on Florida. Allison Chinchar is at the CNN Weather Center.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right. Tornado watch until noon Eastern Time for much of Central and North Florida. We'll detail the growing threat there and talk about some potential damage in some of the counties in this area, coming up.



BLACKWELL: A tropical storm is soaking parts of Florida this morning. But dangerous tornadoes we're told are not far behind.

WALKER: At last check, Tropical Storm Nestor had winds of about 50 miles per hour as it approaches Florida's Gulf Coast. Some areas could see up to six inches of rain but with dangerous storm surges.

Let's bring in our CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Allison, what can people expect on the Gulf Coast today?

CHINCHAR: Right. So, heavy rain and again the threat for tornadoes. Those are really going to be the two big ones, at least, in the short term for the next 24 hours. Here's a look, winds sustained at 50 miles per hour forward movement northeast at about 17 miles per hour. That's just slightly above faster than average for a lot of these storms.

But look at all of this incredibly heavy rain. We're talking places like Orlando, Tampa, Fort Pierce, Fort Myers, you're talking torrential downpours at times which is going to make visibility very hard to drive through.

We also, as we mentioned, have the threat for tornadoes. This is a tornado watch in effect until noon today. That threat may end up growing. Meaning, that watch band of expanding to other areas because as the storm moves off to the north and east, it takes that potential for damaging winds and tornadoes with it.

So, now, you're starting to see other places like Savannah, Hilton Head, Charleston, even up around Wilmington, North Carolina eventually having those same threats just a little bit later on into the day.

The track itself because this is a rather fast-moving storm, this already is expected to be out to sea by the second half of the day Sunday. So, very fast. Normally this would be good, it doesn't allow the storm a lot of time to dump a lot of rain. The thing is it has a ton of moisture with it. So, it still has that potential for some localized flooding with this storm.

Here's a look as it expands. Notice even places far away from the coast like Charlotte, Greenville-Spartanburg, Atlanta, still likely to end up getting some very heavy bands of rain. Even as far north as Washington, D.C. looking at the potential for some heavy rain out of this.

Widespread amounts about two to four inches but there will be some spots, Victor and Amara that could get five, six, if not even as much as eight inches of rain before the system finally exits the area.

BLACKWELL: Wow. Allison Chinchar, thanks for watching it for us.


WALKER: Concerning new statistics from the CDC. More and more children are getting exemptions from required vaccines. Coming up, we're going to speak to an expert about what's at stake for public health.

BLACKWELL: In this week's episode of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING". Lisa explores the inner workings of Mississippi's fastest-growing gang, the Simon City Royals. She also finds how some members are now walking away from this so-called brotherhood.


LISA LING, CNN HOST: And I guess there some Christian principles that the Royals promote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think a lot of our literature comes out of the Bible.

[07:40:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. I mean -- I mean, what they like to twist it to make it sound good, but it really ain't sounding good. It really looks stupid to be honest with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you got a lot of them -- guys in there that they don't know God, and they don't want to know God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) across his balls now. I don't want to be a part of that. I don't want you to disrespect that cross like that. Not with no organization hired me, I can't be part of that.

I'm ashamed to be a part of that. Now that I'm 45 years old, you know, what I did that for 20 years of I was screaming Royal, and now that I look back on my life out of all the things that I've done like, man, if I'd have found Jesus back 20 years ago, man, my life would be perfect right now.


BLACKWELL: Watch "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" tomorrow night at 10:00 Eastern on CNN.



WALKER: The Centers for Disease Control reports that vaccine exemption rates among kindergarteners is climbing. The CDC's report shows the exemption rate is up for the second year in a row. For the 2018-2019 school year, 2.5 percent of kindergartners had an exemption for one or more required vaccines. It was a 2.1 percent for the previous school year.

Now, the vast majority of the exemptions were not medically necessary and it put children at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases.

Joining me now to discuss is Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an epidemiologist, public health expert, and former health commissioner for Detroit. He also hosts the podcast, America Dissected. Dr. El-Sayed, thank you so much for joining us here.

What really stuck out to me in this report is that the vast majority of these exemptions were not even medically necessary. So, under what grounds are parents getting these exemptions and why they've been granted?

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, HOST, AMERICA DISSECTED, PODCAST: Unfortunately, what we've seen is that our politics have started to accommodate this misinformed fear that we're seeing move through the Internet because of unfortunately fabricated studies about the link between vaccines and things like autism.

And unfortunately, as we've seen that take hold, we're seeing more and more parents make that choice. I think the responsibility that we have is to think about just like we think about the virus is spreading. We have to think about the way that misinformation spreads just like a virus.

WALKER: Yes, true.

EL-SAYED: And we've got to do something about it. And unfortunately, that's what we're seeing and it has real harm for folks who can't get vaccinated. Kids with immune disorders for example, or babies whose immune systems aren't just there yet.

WALKER: Yes, let's talk more about the consequences of this anti- vaccine sentiment and people actually acting on it. I mean we're in the -- in the middle of a historic measles outbreak, right? I mean, what kind of outbreaks are we seeing and especially those diseases that we thought we eradicated in the past, I mean, there are cases where they're coming back.

EL-SAYED: Yes, we've seen pockets of outbreak in major metro areas, whether it's New York or Seattle, for example, and it's putting people in harm's way. One of the frustrations as a millennial parent myself, I've got a near 2-year-old and I'm 34. One of the challenges is that we've had this sort of generational amnesia that we get at an episode that we did on the podcast on this very issue.

A generational amnesia by which we forgot with things like measles and whooping-cough and polio looked like. So, I actually interviewed my grandparents who lived through that time and asked them what it was like to see their friends and kids they went to school with come down with polio and the consequences that those had for the rest of their lives?

And we seem to have forgotten that because thankfully, vaccines have been extremely effective. And because they've been so effective, they've all but eradicated some of these diseases. But we're starting to think -- see things like measles come back, whooping cough come back, and it's hurting kids.

And what's unfortunate is people think that, that choosing not to vaccinate is like -- you know, choosing not to wear a seat belt, right? I think it might be dangerous, so I'm just not going to do it.

But actually, it's probably a little bit more like drunk driving, right? When you do it, you put yourself in harm's away. But what's even worse is that you make that roadway a more harmful place for everybody else.

WALKER: I like that analogy, yes.

EL-SAYED: And there are people in our society -- yes, who just can't get vaccinated, we have a responsibility to the collective to make sure that we reduce the amount of disease and the amount of susceptibility in our society.

WALKER: You know, just talk to me about the history of this anti- vaccination sentiment growing in this country. I mean, it's been growing for decades, I mean, whatever happened to just trusting science. I mean, is it -- you know, the advent of social media and how misinformation can be spread so quickly.

Celebrity speaking out about it, and people just trusting whatever these celebrities are saying is that the distrust of Big Pharma and doctors, in general, what's behind all this?

EL-SAYED: So, a couple of things. Number one, in 1998, there was this discredited doctor named Andrew Wakefield who published a fabricated study. It's been have been fabricated, linking vaccines in autism. And that started the first sort of wave of this anti-vaxxer -- vaccine hesitancy spread.

But what's happened over time is that people will just share stories about things that seem to be happening at the same time and assuming that there's some causal relationship between them. And then, you create this environment.

But the other part of that, and I have to be honest as a physician and somebody who's been a health commissioner is that the people who speak for science and medicine oftentimes folks who work in these institutions aren't very good at telling the other side of the story.

We just sit there and push back with evidence and the unfortunate thing is, is that data doesn't speak nearly as compellingly as a story about a real person. But the other part of that is, unfortunately, we've also seen the pharmaceutical industry completely fail its responsibility to engage when it comes to other pharmaceuticals which has really cast a lot of doubt on this industry. And that doubt sort of flowed into pushing some of this vaccine hesitancy in an anti- vaxxer epidemic that I'd rather call it.


WALKER: Yes, sure thing. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, really fascinating conversation. Thank you for joining us.

EL-SAYED: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: There's a brand new interview that you may want to see. Duchess Meghan, holds back tears as she talks about the difficulties of motherhood. We'll have that for you. But first, and it started to feel a little more like fall. There are some surprising benefits to exercising in cold weather.

Now, in today's "STAYING WELL", we will show you how a chilly workout can boost energy and help you burn more calories.


JOHNNY ADAMIC, CO-OWNER, BRRRN: When you walk into burn and 50 degrees, it feels great. It doesn't feel cold but you're not sweating within the first minute because the room is hot.

ZACK RETTOUN, CLIENT, BRRRN: In a normal workout situation, I get a little too hot, a little too uncomfortable, and working out in this cooler temperature allows me to push myself longer and harder.

DR. MATTHEW SCHMITT, PULMONARY MEDICINE, PIEDMONT HEALTHCARE: Studies have shown that people in cold workouts, they're actually auto turboing their brown fat -- the brown adipose tissue. It has a very high thermoregulatory function in the human body. It maintains our temperature by burning a lot of fatty acids -- the stuff we want to get rid of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 30 seconds left more.

SCHMITT: Cooler temperatures encourage movement. You're exercising at your hardest output, you're definitely sweating but it's an earned sweat.

When it comes to working out in the cold exercise classes, it triggers what people underlying cardiac or pulmonary conditions could be cold weather. And that's why it's important to check with your medical professional before you just jump into an extreme workout.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are almost there. Get ready to --




BLACKWELL: Duchess Meghan, says that being a new mom under public scrutiny that just is not easy. Now, she gave a rare look into a personal life. This is for documentary, Harry and Meghan, an African Journey. It comes out in the U.K. tomorrow.

Now, with tears in her eyes, she answered the simple question, how are you doing?


MARKLE: So, thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I'm OK. But it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.

TOM BRADY, PRESENTER, NEWS AT TEN: And the answer is, would it be fair to say not really OK, as in it's really been a struggle?



WALKER: Following the release of that interview, the #WeLoveYouMeghan, started trending on Twitter to fight media scrutiny. Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, recently filed a lawsuit against the British newspaper Mail on Sunday, after it released an edited version of a private letter Meghan had sent to her father.

BLACKWELL: Stay with us. NEW DAY continues after a break.