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Rescuers Search for More Hurricane Survivors in Florida; Biden Pledges $60 Million to Puerto Rico After Hurricane; Trump Attorney Refused Instructions to Tell National Archives All Documents Had Been Returned; Prosecutor: Trial Begins for Five Defendants Accused in Capitol Riot; Liz Truss Government Promises New Plan After Tax Cut U- Turn; North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile Over Japan. Aired 4-4:30a ET
Aired October 04, 2022 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead --
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This came up hot on everyone and I don't think anybody was really prepared for anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart was just broken for them. How do you recoup?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We couldn't just cross our fingers and hope for the best. We are listening and have listened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a huge strategic defeat from Moscow. They are struggling now, this is not going well. He's facing an unprecedented amount of criticism from within.
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ANNOUNCER: Live from London this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster.
FOSTER: Hello, it is Tuesday October the fourth, 9 a.m. here in London, 4 a.m. in the U.S. on the U.S. East Coast.
It's been six days since hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida. And the number of killed has climbed past 100. Authorities are holding out hope that they'll find more survivors as they search the hardest hit areas. So far, the governor says they've made close to 2,000 rescues including this one, here.
This incredible video shows the U.S. Coast Guard saving a man and his neighbors from floodwaters on Sanibel Island. That's in heavily damaged Lee County were recovery efforts have been very difficult. That region accounts for about half of the state's 450,000 power outages. And in Fort Myers Beach, officials don't expect the power to be back
for another month. That's because the city's infrastructure has been largely wiped out.
Nearby authorities are flying into Sanibel and Pine Islands to restore power since the bridge there is still out. Those places have been so hard hit and hard to reach officials have been delivering food by helicopter. Officials say they don't have a time line for when residents can return to Fort Myers Beach. CNN's Leyla Santiago is there and she shows us the tough conditions the rescue workers are facing.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rescue and recovery operation after Hurricane Ian continuing on the small white sand island of Fort Myers Beach located in Lee County, an island that is now a pile of rubble with more than 100 deaths so far, 54 are reported in this county alone.
BRIAN SULLIVAN, FEMA URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE, VIRGINIA BEACH: We're looking for anybody that may have been left behind. The devastation is hard to put into words.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): We joined a FEMA rescue operation that includes search and rescue dogs. Not a single door being overlooked.
SULLIVAN: We send the dog in, the dog will sniff around. And if we don't readily see him, if we can't make contact, you know, we'll walk up and start hollering and see if we get a response from anybody. If we don't hear anything, we bring a second dog up.
SANTIAGO: As we walked around on Fort Myers Beach, there is just destruction everywhere. The water that came in here just decimated this area and a lot of people are asking us when will power come back? How long will it take to recover? And it will be different for some folks. Where I am standing right now, this used to be a home. Now stairs that lead to nowhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Army is saying they're going to take us over the bridge.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): These two women who rode out the storm here grateful for being transported off the island today.
CARMINE MARCENO, SHERIFF, LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA: Our EOC has made a decision with Fort Myers Beach to close the beach to residents.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Officials today deciding to close the island to search and rescue teams only so their operation can continue safely. Lee County officials have been criticized for issuing the first mandatory evacuation orders only a day before Ian's landfall despite emergency plans that called for it sooner.
MAYOR KEVIN ANDERSON, FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: I don't think it would have made a difference because we start pushing hurricane awareness in June until people learn to follow the advisory, to plan, not wait until it's too late, that's what will save lives.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): For Fort Myers resident Connie Miller, she said she realized she needed to get out when it was too late. Hotels were already booked and she feared getting stuck on the roads driving off the island.
CONNIE MILLER, FORT MYERS RESIDENT: God kept us together and gave us safety.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): And officials are standing by their decision.
MARCENO: I am confident in our county manager, our leaders, our governor, all of us in law enforcement that we got that message out at the right time.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): For many, coming back to a life here still very uncertain.
MILLER: I'm getting tired. So, it's time to go. Obviously, things weren't going to get better. Not for a long time.
SANTIAGO: And an update on Connie who you just heard from, she has now left Fort Myers Beach, now heading to Pennsylvania so she was able to get out. But you know, she echoed the same sentiment that we heard from others saying that there just didn't feel like enough time to get out when hurricane Ian actually was close and making landfall, something that we heard over and over in this area today.
Leyla Santiago, CNN, Fort Myers Beach.
FOSTER: Some residents of Lee County, Florida, say officials took too long to order evacuations. But state officials are adamant they did the best they could with the information they had available. Here's Florida's governor responding to that criticism.
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RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Stop. Stop, OK. It's been -- this has been dealt with. The Lee County has explained what they did. They went through that. We have so many people that are here working hard trying to pull themselves up, so many people we need to be helping. We should be focusing on what we can do to do good. We should be focusing on lifting people up and stop incessantly talking and trying to cast aspersions on people that were doing the best job they could with imperfect information.
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FOSTER: One bright note in all of the chaos from hurricane Ian is the story of a Florida man who was able to save his mother from rising floodwaters. Naples resident Johnny Lauder swam nearly a kilometer or half a mile through the flood waters to rescue his wheelchair bound mother trapped in her home. He documented his trip along the way.
JOHNNY LAUDER, NAPLES FLORIDA RESIDENT: We're looking at four feet of water and I've been swimming forever. Oh my God! We're arriving to grandma's or I'm arriving to grandma's. I wonder what time it is -- 3:41, good.
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FOSTER: And this is how Lauder found his mother with water up to her neck and shaking from the cold. He was able to get her out of the water until help could be found.
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LAUDER: LAUDER: Status update for the family. It's now 6:30. It's the aftermath of Ian, I'm with my mom. We got her up on the table. Wrapped up so she doesn't go into hypothermia. She only has one leg, so it's going to be very difficult trying to get out of here. She basically lost everything. I live closer to the water. So, I know everything's gone as well.
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FOSTER: Hours later the two made it out of the house. Here's what Lauder told CNN about the experience.
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LAUDER: It was a sigh of relief.
As I was approaching the house, I couldn't get through the front door. The water was up to the windows and I heard her screaming, inside. And she was actually on the phone with my youngest son, who was giving status updates to her.
And it was a scare and a sigh of relief at the same time. A scare thinking, she might be hurt, but a sigh of relief knowing that there was still air in her lungs. And when I got to the back window and I got it open, I snapped a picture so the family would know she's fine. And I've never seen her happier to see me in my life.
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FOSTER: Lauder says his mother is in hospital being treated for bacterial infection, otherwise she's fine.
Now the last remnants of hurricane Ian are still causing trouble in states along the U.S. East Coast. Major tidal flooding is expected in Virginia. Enough to close some of the state's beaches over the weekend, though some are set to resume normal operations later today. Parts of New Jersey are still waiting for floodwaters to recede. The city is under numerous alerts ranging from coastal flood warnings to high surf advisories. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is here with the very latest forecast for you. Hi, Pedram. PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Max, great seeing you. Yes, this disturbance here just off the coast of the Northeastern United States. This is not Ian. This is just remnants of moisture that was associated with Ian that has kind of been trained into this feature. And with it the counterclockwise flow, the northeasterly winds kind of producing the high surf that we've seen right along the immediate coastline.
So yes, beach erosion is taking place. These coastal communities certainly have seen plenty of rainfall in recent days as Ian kind of rained itself out across this landscape. But now another round of rain possible across this region and even some concerns here for coastal inundation. Maybe get some of the water levels up to 1, 2 feet above the normal values right along the coast there into the afternoon. So, some beach erosion is going to be possible, some coastal flooding is going to be possible as a result.
And other areas a little farther towards the south, 2 to 4 foot inundation possible as well. But notice the estimated rainfall totals here going back to the last Fridays from portions of the Carolinas all the way into the northeast. Pretty incredible rainfall, as much as 4 to 6 inches widespread.
A few pockets of high rainfall have been observed. And then the last 48 hours quite a bit of rainfall centered in across the northeast.
So, a pesky storm system that is kind of taking what's left of Ian, the moisture associated with it and parked offshore to produce rounds of heavy rainfall. And notice Atlantic City picked up about an inch and a half of rainfall. Besting the previous record that's been standing since 2009 for the bay there about an inch .17.
But notice again the system will begin to finally fizzle out, weaken, move off towards the East. And by this afternoon going to see gradually some conditions improve across this region. But still could see some pockets of heavy rainfall going into the afternoon and evening hours and notice some these gusty winds. This is the problem, right. You see the winds get up to maybe 30, even close to 40 plus miles an hour at least for a period of a few hours later on this afternoon and this evening. Could lead to additional flooding in the immediate coastal communities.
Now around the Southwest, wet weather has also been the big story and it's been beneficial rain for a lot of people around the Southwest. Parts of Arizona were sitting at 95 plus percent of drought just a couple of months ago. We've cut that almost down in half here across the monsoon season. Even areas of New Mexico, recovered the extensive wildfire situation across the region. Drought situation gradually improving their down to about 76 percent of coverage. So, Max, at least for some the rainfall is beneficial.
FOSTER: Pedram, thank you very much, indeed.
Now the U.S. president is pledging $60 million to help Puerto Rico beef up its defenses against dangerous storms after it was ravaged by hurricane Fiona last month. Joe Biden visited the island on Monday to survey the damage and meet with victims. He acknowledged the government has failed them during other emergencies including in response to hurricane Maria in 2017. He says his administration will do better.
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JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: After Maria Congress approved billions of dollars for Puerto Rico, much of it not having gotten here initially. We're going to make sure you get every single dollar promised. And I'm determined to help Puerto Rico build faster than in the past and stronger and better prepared for the future.
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FOSTER: Mr. Biden will also survey the storm damage in Florida on Wednesday. But it's unclear if he'll lead with the state's governor. And if you'd like to help those impacted by hurricane Ian do go to CNN.com/impact for more information.
Now newly released records from the U.S. National Archives show the agency alerted lawyers for Donald Trump in May of last year they were missing two dozen boxes of records. Amongst them letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The Archives say the documents were not turned over as promised by the White House counsel pat Cipollone. We are also learning the former president instructed at least one of the attorneys to tell the Archives all records were returned. According to multiple sources Alex Cannon refused the order. Then Trump told him not to involve himself any further.
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ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This is a raving red flag. Any time Donald Trump says something publicly or wants to argue something in court and the lawyers say, no can do. The reason is, yes, as we discussed, lawyers have very broad latitude in the kind of things they're allowed to argue. You have a duty as a lawyer to argue vigorously for your client. However, you cannot lie to a court under court ethics rule and you sure as heck cannot lie to investigators whether they're from the Archives or the FBI because that is a federal crime.
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FOSTER: A new book out today provides insight into what Donald Trump was doing during the January 6th U.S. Capitol riot. "Confidence Man" is written by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. She sat down with the former president in September last year and here's part of their conversation.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, AUTHOR, "CONFIDENCE MAN" AND NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER: But what were you doing when -- how did you find out that there were people storming the Capitol? DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had heard that
afterwards. And actually, on the late side. I was having meetings. I was also with Mark Meadows and others. I was not watching television. I didn't have the television on.
HABERMAN: You weren't? OK.
TRUMP: I didn't usually have that, the television on. I'd have it on if there was something -- I then later turned it on and I saw what was happening.
FOSTER: Well, a number of witnesses have told the House committee investigating January 6th that Trump was watching the riot unfold on the television.
Meanwhile, a historic trial is underway in Washington over the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Federal prosecutors made their opening statements on Monday against five defendants they say concocted a plan for armed rebellion. The alleged members of the far right group the Oath Keepers have pleaded not guilty to the charges of seditious conspiracy amongst other charges. CNN's Sara Sidner has more from day one of the trial.
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Jurors deciding the fate of the five defendants facing seditious conspiracy charges for their role in the January 6 Capitol attack heard from Federal Prosecutor Jeff Nessler first.
In his opening statement, he said the defendants concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy.
He then played videos like this one, showing members of the far-right militia-style group, the Oath Keepers, storming the Capitol. They used their military experience plotting to oppose by force the government of the United States, the prosecutor said. It is the most serious charge anyone has faced from that day and very rare.
CARLTON LARSON, PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, U.C. DAVIS SCHOOL OF LAW: It is unprecedented in the sense that we've never had a violent disruption of the transfer of power to one president to another. That makes this absolutely a unique event in American history.
SIDNER (voice-over): Prosecutors using just some of the hundreds of hours of videos, including this, showing the Oath Keepers wearing combat gear, moving in a military stack formation and breaching the Capitol. 40- year-old Jessica Watkins of Ohio is an Army veteran, 47- year-old Army Veteran Kenneth Harrelson of Florida, 53-year-old Florida man Kelly Meggs all went inside. Two of the charged did not.
THOMAS COLDWELL, NAVY VETERAN, ASSOCIATE OF OATH KEEPERS: Every single (BLEEP) in there is a traitor, every single one.
SIDNER (voice-over): That's Navy Veteran Thomas Caldwell, an associate of the Oath Keepers, outside the Capitol talking about members of Congress. And the founder of the Oath Keepers, Army Veteran Stewart Rhodes of Texas pictures outside, prosecutors say, was the general of the entire operation.
But the defense attorney for Rhodes said in his opening statement that the government's story of the Oath Keepers' role on January 6th is completely wrong and they will prove it. He said our clients had no part in the bulk of that violence and they were a peace keeping force awaiting President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act.
An attorney for Jessica Watkins said his transgender client has had trouble fitting in and called her a protest junkie who wanted to go wherever to help people. She couldn't have been there to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's electoral win because he said she believed the certification was done by the time she got there.
Caldwell's attorney went after the government for misstatements, for first saying Caldwell was the mastermind, but later saying Rhodes was. This is the biggest bait and switch in the history of the American justice system, what they're doing here, he said.
SIDNER: You have to remember in this case there are five defendants. That means there are five attorneys who all can speak for their client at a different time. It's going to be a long trial. But after the defense tried to tear apart the government's case, we heard from the government's first witness. The first witness is an FBI agent who said that day he was later called in to help secure the Senators. And he said as he went into the Capitol it looked like a bomb went off in there because of the destruction. And he said he witnessed at some point members of Congress, including Senators, crying.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Washington.
FOSTER: Still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, protests and a plunging pound forced U-turn from Prime Minister Liz Truss and her plan to save the British economy. We are live in Birmingham.
Plus, this -- North Korea launches a ballistic missile over the skies of Japan for the first time in five years. Forcing the government to warn citizens to seek cover. We'll have details from Seoul and Tokyo.
Also, this. Anger spills over in Iran as thousands of students lash out at the government and demand regime change. Reaction coming from Iran's Supreme Leader and the U.S.
FOSTER: The opening bell of the New York stock Exchange is about five hours away. And here's how the U.S. futures are shaping up. Pretty positive. Stocks started October with a huge rally to launch the fourth quarter despite growing fears of inflation and recession.
The European markets, they are looking also extremely positive. You see the Paris shares brent shares up nearly 3 percent. Energy regulators here in the U.K. are warning of a particularly challenging difficult winter ahead though. It's all playing Ofgem says the war in Ukraine and disruptions in gas supply to Europe could mean shortages in the U.K. as well. A spokesperson says domestic gas production is good and supplies from Norway are reliable. The people should be prepared for all scenarios.
This as the British government is promising details soon on the new fiscal plan after Monday's embarrassing U-turn during the Conservative Party's annual conference in Birmingham. Prime Minister Liz Truss and her finance minister are abandoning their proposal to cut taxes on Britain's wealthiest while much of the country is struggling with the cost of living crisis. Let's go straight to CNN's Bianca Nobilo standing by at the Tory party conference and Birmingham. That wasn't the only U-turn yesterday -- Bianca.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, there was the big U-turn which has captured the imagination of a lot of people here and the media, which was of course, the reversal of cutting the top rate of tax. But also, we've had a U-turn because the chancellor has said he's going to publish the forecast earlier than was initially expected. Because one of the main issues that people had was the lack of transparency from the government about what the office of the budget responsibility was going to say about their economic plan. So, he's brought those dates forward. And that was another concession to the party.
And that speaks to a concern that I'm hearing from Conservative MPs here at party conference. Which is now that the Prime Minister's already very low political capital has been further diminished by this embarrassing U-turn, poor performances in media interviews in the U.K. There are MPs breaking with party discipline asking for their own policy ideas and not being afraid to push back against the government which is leading to a very rebellious party. One which is quite unruly and difficult for the Prime Minister to manage. So, there is concern even if she manages to stay in post for the next year or until the next election, that she'll pretty much be functioning as a lame duck Prime Minister who's subject to the whims of her party.
Which is a very difficult position to lead from -- Max.
FOSTER: OK, Bianca in Birmingham. Thank you very much, we'll here more from you throughout the day.
Now for the first time in five years, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile directly over Japan. An escalation that's been quickly condemned by both Tokyo and Washington. South Korean officials believe the missile was launched shortly before 7:30 local time Tuesday morning traveling over Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. Residents on the island were warned to take cover and train services were suspended before the missile crashed into the Pacific Ocean. CNN's Paula Hancocks is following developments from Seoul. We have
Blake Essig as well standing by for us in Tokyo. First of all, to you, Blake, because this was a frightening moment. This hasn't happened in so many years.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Max, I've got to tell you, it's an uneasy feeling to wake up and learn that a North Korean missile is headed in your direction. As a result of this morning's launch, an intermediate range ballistic missile, the Japanese government issued a rare J-alert which is only issued in times of national emergency like earthquakes, terrorist attacks in certain missile launches.
And this morning that J-alert was issued to areas believed to be at risk, specifically Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido while sirens could also be heard here in Tokyo. Take a listen.
Now despite the warning and those sirens, life continued as normal across Japan with many people apparently ignoring the warnings. Some wrote on social media that despite the air raid warning and initial concern that a missile was heading their way, nothing could be done so most people just continued to go to work and went about their life as normal. While people here in Japan are seemingly used to North Korea's routine missile tests at this point, this morning's launch really does amplify an already tense security environment surrounding Japan.
And at a press conference a short time after the missile was fired, Japan's Prime Minister and chief cabinet secretary called North Korea's recent missile test outrageous and a threat to the public.
Now this isn't the first time North Korea has launched a missile that flew over Japan. Experts believe that the missile test today was a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile which is the same type of missile that flew over Japan in 2017. Making this the third time that that missile has traveled over Japan and the eighth time that it's been tested -- Max.
FOSTER: OK, thanks Blake. Paula, what reaction than from South Korea and the U.S.?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, it's been very strong. It's a condemnation from both sides. The JCS, the Joint Chiefs of Staff here saying it's a serious provocation. It threatens peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
And the White House statement that we saw really picks up on something that is of great concern to the region. The fact that this was a launch which had no warning and went across Japan and into the waters off their east coast there. And of course, there were flights, there were ships in that area as well.
The White House saying that it shows blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and also international safety norms.
So there has been more concern about this particular launch. There's been a flurry of activity from Pyongyang in recent days. In fact, this is the fifth missile launch in just ten days, but this is the most significant one. It is an escalation. The fact it's an intermediate range ballistic missile and it flew -- according to Japan's chief cabinet secretary -- for some 20 minutes before falling into the water.
Now one other point I want to make as well, Max, is the fact that there's also an inter-Korean hotline between North and South Korea. This is a phone call that's made in the morning and in the evening and according to the unification ministry, the phone call that happened this morning was not picked up by North Korea. So, they're not sticking to the norms in the agreements between the two Koreas. There's also a military hotline that was answered by North Korea, that one to make sure there's no miscalculation between the two Koreas. But certainly, there is great concern that this escalation is happening at this point. We've seen 23 missile launches this year alone, that's ballistic missiles and cruise missiles and that's a record for North Korea.
FOSTER: OK, Paula and Blake, thank you both very much indeed.
Still to come, Ukrainian forces are making gains on the battlefield as Russia's Parliament moves forward on annexing four Ukrainian regions. The latest on all the developments ahead.