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Raging Fires Chase at Least Half A Million Oregonians from Homes; Trump Announces Bahrain & Israel to Normalize Relations; NFL Fans Boo Show of Unity at Chiefs-Texans Game. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired September 11, 2020 - 13:30   ET



CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Up to this point, firefighter had been trying to save people and property as much as possible. And it's just now beginning to try to get ahold of these flames and to try to work on containment.

So it is incredible to think about the fact that the last couple of days they have not been able to do that.

The forecast is changing a little bit on the positive side. The wind in particular is -- we are told is in a good place or good news moving forward. We're also being told that showers are possible on Monday.

So in terms of weather it is good news. But it doesn't mean it goes away any time soon. We're likely going to see the efforts going into the next couple of days and maybe weeks.

So when you think about that, you think about the firefighters who are working 24/7. And you think about the people who are evacuating who don't know how long it's going to be before they come back home.

Some of them telling me, I don't have a place to go and I don't want to go to a shelter because you are in danger of being exposed to COVID. So it's a difficult balance, a difficult situation for so many people here.

And moving forward, it doesn't look like there's going to be an end in any time soon -- Brianna?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: And you're looking for good news all the way to Monday with possible showers. That's still quite a ways away.

Camila Bernal, thank you so much for that.

We're hearing breaking news coming from the White House. The president has just wrapped up in the Oval Office. We'll bring it to you after a quick break. We'll be right back.


KEILAR: All right. We have breaking news. President Trump announcing that Bahrain and Israel will normalize relations.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Both leaders expressed condolences, as well, to the American people on this very, very tragic, horrible event that took place on September 11th. They very much meant it. I want to thank them for that.

There's no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than the agreement that we're about to tell you. You will hear something today that's I think very, very important for not only the Middle East but for the world.

In the spirit of peace and cooperation, both leaders also agree that Bahrain will fully normalize its diplomatic relations with Israel.

They will exchange embassies and ambassadors, begin direct flights between their countries, and launch cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors including health, business, technology, education, security and agriculture.


This is a truly historic day.

There had been two peace agreements with Israel in the last 72 years. This is now the second peace agreement that we have announced in the last month. And I am very hopeful that there will be more to follow.

I can tell you there's tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of other countries to also join. And we think, ultimately, you'll have most countries join.

And you will have the Palestinians in a very good position. They want to come in. They will want to come in because all of their friends are in. You have tremendous enthusiasm for coming into the deal.

I want to thank the group of very talented people behind me. And you will hear from them in a second.

But it's just a very historic day, an important day. And so interesting that it's on 9/11. It's such a great time. We didn't know this was going to happen in terms of the timing but it did happen. And we're very honored by it.

When I took office, the Middle East was in a state of absolute chaos. I've have restored trust with our regional partners. And together we have eliminated the ISIS caliphate 100 percent. Isolated the radicals who pervert Islam and sow instability.

Today, nations across the region and throughout the world are joining together, united in the determination to build a better future, free from the evils which perpetuate terror. I think you see that. I think you see that happening very, very strongly.

I also spoke with King Salman, of Saudi Arabia. And we talked about this. And he is a great gentleman. And what they have done in terms of fighting terror is a much different ball game than it was before we attained this office.

The fact is that Saudi Arabia was doing things that they're not doing anymore. And so are other countries and neighbors. They're doing things that they just would never have done.

Their levels and all the of things, all of the many, many elements of fighting and hate, they seem to be evaporating. And we'll find out very soon. But they seem to be evaporating.

But things are happening in the Middle East that nobody thought was even possible to think about. And that's what is going on right now.

Bahrain has agreed to join Israel and the United Arab Emirates for -- and by the way, I thank Mohammed, who is a great leader, a truly great leader -- at the White House on Tuesday. So they'll be here on Tuesday for the signing of the Abraham Accords.

The significance of the signing will be elevated from an already historic breakthrough to one representing a previously unthinkable regional transformation. And that's exactly what it is. It is unthinkable that this could happen and so fast.

And as you know, when we did the original signing with -- which will actually take place in terms of official on Tuesday, United Arab Emirates, people thought that was amazing.

And now they're hearing this. And they're also hearing from other countries because they understand that other countries want to very much come in.

On this occasion, I want to thank the leaders of Israel and Bahrain for their vision and courage to forge this historic agreement.

Their leadership is proving that the future can be filled with hope and does not need to be predetermined by conflicts of the past.

You know all about the conflicts of the past. They're very legendary. There was a lot of problems going on. But we have been able to work things out to a level nobody thought possible. This is really something, very special, very, very special.

As more countries normalize relations with Israel, which will happen quite quickly we believe, the region will become more and more stable, secure and prosperous.

In the meantime, we're pulling most of our soldiers out. So we're doing it the opposite way. They were doing it with nothing but fighting and blood all over the place. The sand was loaded up with blood. And now you will see that a lot of that sand is loaded up with peace.

The United States will continue to stand with the people of the region and work with them and build a brighter and much more hopeful future. So we're very proud of this.

And as time goes by, I think you will see more and more why, and realize how important it is.

Even "The New York Times" was generous in their praise of the original deal. And they never thought -- I think nobody thought this would happen so quickly after the first.


But they'll be signing here on Tuesday. They'll be signing. Benjamin Netanyahu will be here. The prime minister will be here, Israel. And we look forward to that.

Just on this deal, because of the importance of the deal, we'll take some questions.

But first, I'd like to ask Jared to say a few words and Mike Pence to say a few words and some of the folks.

David, I want you to say something about it.

Because it's so historic and the people worked so hard and so long on it.

This is really the culmination of a long period of time. Let's put it that way. I don't want to say how long but it's a long period of time. It is a great thing.

Jared, please.


First, I want to thank you for your leadership on this issue.

Your first foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia where you outlined a vision for the region. And all of the promises you made on that trip and all of the things you foreshadowed have occurred. It has been a strategy you stuck with.

And I want to thank you for giving me the trust and confidence that you've given me in order to work on this file over the last years. And I think the results that we have achieved has been beyond anyone's expectations. And I believe that there's even more to come.

I just returned from the region last week. I was in the Middle East where I took the first commercial flight that's ever flown from Israel to the United Arab Emirates.

That flight flew over Saudi Arabian air space. It was the first time in 72 years that Saudi Arabia has now waived their air space to allow commercial flights to fly from Israel back and forth. Bahrain then did the same thing.

The United Arab Emirates waived a 48-year boycott on Israel, which was an incredible development. And there are now delegations moving throughout the Middle East figuring out how to bring the people closer together. What President Trump has done here is unthinkable. He's brought people

in the Middle East together.

There's been these barriers that have existed, that have led to so much instability, so much war, so much loss, so much hopelessness. And we are seeing so much hopefulness coming.

And I will say something I never thought would be the case, which is that on this last --

KEILAR: All right. This announcement from the president about the normalization of relations between Israel and the kingdom of Bahrain.

I want to bring in our Oren Liebermann, in Jerusalem, and Jeremy Diamond is with us covering the White House.

First to you, Jeremy.

Tell us about this deal. Obviously, this comes on the heels of the UAE/Israel deal. Just break it down for us about what this means.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The kingdom of Bahrain will become the fourth Arab country ever to fully normalize relations with the state of Israel.

And it follows this agreement, a very similar agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, also brokered by the United States to normalize the relations.

And what is significant about this is Bahrain is such a close ally of Saudi Arabia. The Bahraini monarchy is reliant on the Saudi monarchy. We saw that when they faced protests in their country and unrest and Saudi Arabia rushed in to help them tamp that down.

And so, it is clear that this agreement likely could not have happened without at least the tacet agreement of Saudi Arabia, which, of course, has yet to take this step and normalize relations with Israel.

Nonetheless, Bahrain, just like the UAE, is not a country ever officially at war with Israel or that engaged in conflict. It is not a direct neighbor of Israel.

But certainly this speaks to a kind of broader regional alignment that we are seeing as the threat of Iran has really brought Israel and many of these Sunni Arab countries in the region much closer together.

Of course, much of the cooperation has been happening behind the scenes for years now. But now we are beginning to see it come out in public.

And obviously, beyond the diplomatic implications, there are political implications, Brianna. And that is that we are eight weeks from a presidential election. President Trump, no doubt, is looking for wins, looking for things to tout as he tries to win another four more years.

And next week, he will have this very presidential visual that not many presidents get, which will be this signing of a peace agreement between Israel.

And not only the United Arab Emirates but also now the kingdom of Bahrain, which the president said would also send a representative to this signing in the Oval Office, which is expected to take place next Tuesday.

KEILAR: Oren, how's this received there in Israel?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately put out a statement, despite the fact that it's the sabbath, welcoming this agreement, pointing out that it's been 26 years since the second agreement with an Arab country, which would be Jordan, and the third, which is the UAE just last month.

That was only 29 days between the third and the fourth, between the UAE and Bahrain.

From a certain perspective, this is in fact surprising. And Jeremy alluded to some of it.

First, Bahrain is a majority Shia country in terms of population. This could not sit well with them. But it's a Sunni kingdom. And that puts it much closer to the Sunni gulf states and to Saudi Arabia.


That's the other somewhat surprising aspect of this. It was expected here that Bahrain would only move after the Saudis moved. Bahrain now moving on its own.

But Jeremy is right, this almost certainly had tacet Saudi consent.

From another perspective, this isn't all that surprising. Had you asked two months ago which Arab countries is most likely to normalize relations with Israel, Bahrain would have probably been at the top of most lists.

And you saw it even in the last couple of years, when it was Bahrain that hosted the unveiling of the Trump administration's economic part of their peace plan.

Bahrain is close to the White House. And behind the scenes, Bahrain was always close to Israel. So in that sense, it's not that surprising perhaps that Bahrain has now joined the list, including the UAE, of countries that have normalized relations with Israel.

You heard President Trump talk about it right there. Where does it leave the Palestinians? They're welcome to join in, as long as they do so under the Trump administration's vision for peace.

Or it seems the Trump administration is more than happy to sideline them and move forward with their relations in the region.

One other important question to ask here. Even though the outwardly agreement is very similar to UAE agreement in terms of the formalization with Israel, what's is it that's behind this? We know that answer for the UAE. The UAE expected a halt Israel's

annexation of the West Bank. And they got that, a suspension, according to a foreign ministry official, not just an assurance from the U.S. but from Israel that annexation is halted.

And we know they expected it to be easier for the UAE to purchase F- 35s, the U.S.-made fighter jet.

What is it that Bahrain expects to get out of this, either from the White House or Israel? That question is remains open at this moment.

KEILAR: All right. We'll be following that.

Oren, thank you.

Jeremy, thank you. Thank you to you as well.

The NFL made its return last night and a moment of unity on the field ended in boos from fans at the Chiefs-Texans game.



KEILAR: The start of the NFL season finally kicked off last night amid a pandemic and amid a racial reckoning exploding across the country and within professional sports.

But fans at the home opener of Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, showed, by booing -- showed out by booing the league's moment of silence that was meant to convey unity.


ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please join us in a moment of silence, dedicated to the ongoing fight for equality in our country.



KEILAR: Now, during the national anthem, which also included the singing of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the negro national anthem, the Chiefs were on the field but the Texans were not.

Star players from both sides reacting to what happened.


J.J. WATT, HOUSTON TEXANS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: The booing was unfortunate during that moment. I don't truly understand that. There was no flag involved, nothing besides two teams coming together to show unity.

PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK: We want to show we're unified as a league. And we not going to let playing football distract us from what we're doing and making change in this world.


KEILAR: Ephraim Salaam is a retired NFL player who played for the Houston Texans.

Ephraim, thank you so much for joining us to talk about what was really an incredible moment to watch.

How do you feel about what happened? And what message do you think this sends?

EPHRAIM SALAAM, RETIRED NFL PLAYER: Number one, I was pleased to see the teams come together and show a sense of solidarity. Since Colin Kaepernick started this 4.5 years ago, there's been dissension and divisiveness not just in locker rooms but in the league in general and the current climate we're in right now in this country.

These players are coming together, not only putting their resources, their voices, their images on the line for racial equality, but the actions, and the league is trying to help facilitate this to make this a better country.

The thing I don't understand is how can you boo racial equality. I don't understand where the disconnect is in this country in terms of unity and peace.

And it just shows you just how divided the country is when it comes to just basic human decency, in terms of equality. Why would that -- why was that a boo-able moment?

And trying to get into the psyche of someone who would feel the need to boo that, is almost maddening. Because I just don't understand it.

There was -- there were no politics involved. This was a statement of solidarity in terms of brotherhood. Look, we must come together as a country.

Wrong is wrong, whether you're Democratic, Republican, Independent. It's not a partisan issue. Racism is wrong. Right? Am I wrong on that?

KEILAR: No, you are correct on that and, Ephraim, I hear you.

And I wonder, there was so much controversy -- back to Colin Kaepernick on --about, do you kneel during the national anthem. And what we saw was a moment that took the national anthem out of the equation, right?


So, this is isolating, in a way, the peaceful protest, which we've even heard the president say he supports peaceful protests. Debatable at times, of course. But they're isolating --


KEILAR: Yes. I know, I hear you on that.

But they're isolating it to moment showing the struggle for racial equality and it still gets booed. It is puzzling. And it clearly has been politicized.

And I wonder how you think the country moves on from that?

SALAAM: Well, number one, we need better leadership from the top down. I'm not going to mince words here. And we don't need leadership that perpetuates violence and injustice.

And you know, the segment before this, they're bringing stability to the Middle East and all of that. But what about to this country?

There's things in this country our leadership needs to really focus on. Because at a time during the pandemic, at a time during such countrywide, global unrest, in terms of race relations, I think we need to pay attention on moving forward and healing as country.

And the only way to do that is if we have leadership on the same page of the majority of the country.

For fans to boo racial equality and -- hey, to me I just -- they're making a political thing, right? I want the same rights as my neighbor, as my friend, as anyone in this country. As Americans, it couldn't be more American than that.

And I think people are taking the symbol of the flag with their own notion of what America is and using that to attack people who are fighting for equality and racial justice. And I think that's the -- that is not the purpose of the American flag.

And I think once we start looking at it in those terms, you can't be anti-freedom and anti-race in any of that and consider yourself American because that's not what America is or it's not what America should be.

KEILAR: It's not what the flag stands for. Right? It's not what the military swears --

SALAAM: At all.

KEILAR: -- an oath to defend, as they get brought into this debate over the part with the flag and the national anthem.

Ephraim, we always appreciate your voice. And I want to thank you for coming on today. Ephraim Salaam, thank you so much.

SALAAM: Of course.

KEILAR: The chief of Operation Warp Speed giving a new timeline on when to expect a vaccine.

Plus, why Dr. Fauci says he disagrees with the president that the U.S. is turning the corner on the virus.


KEILAR: Today, the nation's leading infectious disease expert is disagreeing with the president, saying the nation is not turning the corner in dealing with this pandemic.


Dr. Anthony Fauci expressing frustration as the nation continues to see an average of about 35,000 new cases a day. That's certainly progress from the summer peak of 70,000.