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Soon, Biden to Meet With Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on Hurricane Ian Destruction; Trump Urges Supreme Court to Intervene in Mar-a-Lago Case; Police Release New Video Showing Person of Interest in Six Killings. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired October 05, 2022 - 10:00   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And moments from now, President Biden is set to depart the White House. He is going to Florida where he will tour hurricane-ravaged parts of the state along with his wife. And they will meet -- he will meet can Governor Ron DeSantis. Biden will also, of course, visit people impacted most by this hurricane, business owners and first responders.

Also, we learned this morning that the White House is extending Florida's disaster declaration by 30 more days. And as residents return to Sanibel Island for the first time since Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida, Sanibel's city manager, Dana Souza, has this warning ahead of the visit.


DANA SOUZA, SANIBEL CITY MANAGER: It's going to hit home. It's going to be emotional when they see their properties up close and the amount of damage that the storm inflicted upon them.


HARLOW: Of course, we know more than 100 deaths from Hurricane Ian. Officials say more than 2,300 people have been rescued so far.

Let's begin this hour with CNN Correspondent Carlos Suarez in Matlacha, Florida. Carlos, I was trying to figure out where you were there. And just for people to be clear, that's an access point to Pine Island, right? And residents and business owners are now getting to go back and to see firsthand the damage.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is exactly right, Poppy. There are two things happening right now across Southwest Florida. The first are the folks that live out on Sanibel Island. This morning, for the very first time, the folks that lived there are getting their first opportunity to go back home since that storm hit.

Emergency official out here though, they are being very strict with just how folks can get back out on to that island. You have got to do it by private boat. You have to have a special pass. And residents are being told you can only take one guest. They're going to allow these folks to be there for a few hours, and then they have got to come back. State officials, they are still in the process of trying to expedite the reconstruction of that Sanibel causeway that was wiped out by Hurricane Ian.

Now, here in Matlacha, residents for the last several days have been taking to boats to get out on to Pine Island. That is a barrier island just to the west of here. The last several days, folks have just been showing up here to Matlacha because that's the cutoff point, and boat captains are pointing at folks and saying, look, if you need a ride, just get on board, tell us where you live, we'll take you over there. You can get a look at things, you can grab some items and you can come back.

The National Guard along with a number of volunteer organizations have also been airlifting bottled water, food and other supplies to this part of the county because it is quite big. We're talking about a barrier island that is pretty large in size. And so part of the problem is not only just getting there but then trying to get around that island, which is why the Guard has brought in some buggies and some other modes of transportation so that folks can try to get back to their homes. But, again this morning, the two things that are taking place are happening in Sanibel and Matlacha and involve residents getting back home for the first time. Poppy?

HARLOW: And seeing it with their own eyes, it's going to be incredibly painful for them to see all the destruction.

Carlos Suarez reporting from Matlacha, Florida, thanks very much.

At any moment, the president will depart the White House. He is headed to Florida, where he will tour storm damage, he will meet with residents and business owners impacted by the hurricane.

Our White House Correspondent Arlette Saenz is following all of it outside the White House. Arlette, good morning to you. This as the president just extended Florida's disaster declaration for 30 days, can you walk us through what that means for folks in Florida impacted and also what we will see the president do today?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, that extension of the disaster declaration in Florida allows for more federal resources to go to the state in the wake of Hurricane Ian. He's extended that for an additional 30 days, making federal assistance and funding available for debris removal and other emergency protective measures for a total of 60 days, as the recovery is expected to take quite some time in the state of Florida.

Now, this is going to be the second time the president is seeing firsthand the impacts of recent hurricanes, traveling to Puerto Rico on Monday, and now today, he and the first lady will be traveling down to Fort Myers, Florida. You can actually hear Marine One landing just now as he's expected to leave the White House in the next few minutes.

Now, the president and first lady, once they land in Fort Myers, will get a tour of some of the storm-ravaged areas as they fly via helicopter to an area called Fisherman's Wharf, that was impacted. There, the president will be receiving a recovery and rescue briefing from local officials. And that is where it is expected that President Biden will be briefed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on the recovery efforts post-Hurricane Ian. Of course, the two men have many political differences, but the White House has insisted they will put politics aside in this moment.

The president will also be meeting with small business owners and others impacted by the storm, as he wants to make clear that the federal government will be there to help Florida throughout their recovery process.


HARLOW: Arlette Saenz, we'll see the president there very soon. Thank you very much.

And right now, more than 300,000 Floridians are still without power after Hurricane Ian. There is some hopeful news. One of the state's largest power companies, that is Florida Power and Light, says it does expect complete restoration of power for 95 percent of its customers by Friday. That's not all customers. There are other big power generators there, but Florida Power and Light is a big one, so that's good news.

Joining me now to talk about all this is Mike McNees. He is the city manager for Marco Island. Mike, thanks for being here.

I want to prefix (ph) this by telling you folks you throughout have said that you guys have been relatively lucky compared -- relatively speaking, compared to a lot of folks. But on Sunday, you said you still had of half your residents without power. What is the situation for them now?

MICHAEL MCNEES, CITY MANAGER, MARCO ISLAND, FLORIDA: Yes, thank you, Poppy. That world relatively is really the operative one. We're, as of this morning, have less than 2,500 of our people without power. That's out of a total number of connections of 19,000. So, we have come a lot way. Our local provider, Lee County Electric Coop, has done a fantastic job of pushing that rock and getting people on. So, we're very close to having 100 percent with power.

HARLOW: Can you just talk about the human toll, the human impact, the emotional ups and downs, people trying to survive the storm, and then they see images of their property or their business, and then they actually come and they look at it in person. I mean, a week out now, it's got to be just incredibly taxing on them.

MCNEES: Well, there's the stress of the event itself for those that were here, which certainly wasn't a lot of time to be on the island during the event. It's, I think, a lot of mixed emotions here. I hear my colleague, Dana Souza, up the coast just a minute ago in your program, and it just breaks your heart. And so, at the same time, we feel so fortunate to have not experienced what they did but we still do have people who have lost of most of what they had. And on the bottom end of the spectrum, we're trying to help them.

And this community really has turned its attentions to helping each other. Our churches are helping. Our ad hoc volunteer organizations are springing up. And so we're getting resources to people who need them in a really good way here. So, overall, I think people are rallying to keep things moving, get us back to normal.

HARLOW: We learned in the wake of this hurricane that only 18 percent of Floridians have flood insurance. And, you know, part of that, a big reason why, is it's so expensive. It costs three times more on average, private flood insurance. And then if you get it through the National Flood Insurance Program, there's a cap of $250,000, and the average home costs more than that across the state. Do you think that people should rebuild as it was before or is it too much of a risk?

MCNEES: Well, I think those numbers are very different probably for us on a place like Marco Island. And I think that's certainly a really, really important public policy question that's way beyond my state of analysis as of today. But I have no doubt that conversation is going to be a very lively one as we moved forward.

HARLOW: And what would you like to hear from the president today? He will land in Florida in just a few hours.

MCNEES: I have no complaint whatsoever on up the chain through the state, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They're very supportive of us. I fully expect to hear President Biden say things along that nature. And we appreciate that he's willing to come to Florida. HARLOW: Yes, no question. Well, Mike McNees, thank you. Good luck to

everyone. It's such a beautiful part of this country, that is for sure. We wish you all the best of luck in rebuilding.

MCNEES: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Thanks so much.

Still to come, former President Trump is asking the Supreme Court to step in, this is in the dispute over classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. The deadline now for the Justice Department to respond.

Plus this.


CHIEF STANLEY MCFADDEN, STOCKTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: I know if you go by definition, you know, absolutely, we have a series of several murders occurring in the city.


HARLOW: Police in Stockton, California, releasing a new video of a person of interest they believe could be connected to six recent homicides, as the search for a killer or killers continues.

And later, history is about to be made at the Kennedy Space Center.


NASA's Nicole Mann will become the first Native American woman to go into orbit in just a few hours. More on that mission, ahead.


HARLOW: Former President Trump's legal team has filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court, urging the justices to intervene in this dispute over those documents, the classified ones, seized from Mar-a-Lago over the summer. Trump wants the court to ensure those documents marked as classified are part of the review by the special master. The DOJ is arguing otherwise.

Our Katelyn Polantz joins me now. We don't even know if the Supreme Court is going to take this up, but explain the sort of rather narrow legal question at stake here.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Right. Well, Poppy, this is just about 100 documents that were marked as classified that were in those thousands of documents taken out of Mar-a-Lago in boxes by the FBI in August.

So, Donald Trump's team basically wants to turn back to the time when Judge Aileen Cannon in the Southern District of Florida had appointed a special master to look at everything that was seized out of Mar-a- Lago. Right now, those 100 documents with the classified markings on them, they're in the hands of the Justice Department. The special master isn't going to be able to review them. Donald Trump's team isn't going to be able to fight over them or potentially try to keep them out of evidence.

The Justice Department right now is looking at them in their criminal investigation and the intelligence community is reviewing whether there was any harm done to the United States if there was some sort of national security breach by these classified documents being held outside at Mar-a-Lago after the Trump presidency. So, that's what this is about.

Donald Trump here in his argument is essentially saying that he wants transparency. Potentially, his team may want to be able to look at these. They want to keep the door open on the possibility of whether or not they can argue these are even clarified. The Justice Department, on their end, has made very clear they want to treat these things as extremely sensitive, potentially classified. At the end of the day, they are national security records. And so we know that the Justice Department is going to come back in a week, respond to this petition from Trump's team. And so we'll have to wait and see what they argue there.

HARLOW: We'll see what they say, deadline next Tuesday for them.

Katelyn, thanks very much for the reporting.

Joining me now, Joan Biskupic, CNN Senior Supreme Court Analyst and CNN Legal Analyst Steve Vladeck. Good to have you both here.

Steve, let me just start with you, because you had a lengthy but very informative tweet thread on this last night that really helped people who aren't that familiar with pendent jurisdiction who understand the crux of this. So, what is the crux of this in terms of how it would affect or not affect, whichever way this goes, if the court takes it up, what the DOJ can do with these documents?

STEVE VLADECK, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Poppy. I think the most important point is that the best possible thing President Trump hope for here is a very, very narrow win along the lines of what Katelyn described, where even if he convinces the Supreme Court to grant his application, to grant this emergency relief, something that I think, by the way, is very doubtful, all we're talking about is these 100 or so classified documents go back into the pile before Judge Dearie. It doesn't stop DOJ from continuing to do whatever it's doing. It doesn't halt any ongoing investigation by any arm of the government. Indeed, Trump specifically says in his filing, we're not challenging that part of the court of appeals ruling that had blocked Judge Cannon's injunction.

So, Poppy, I think it's a long shot. I think it's also a really modest shot. And I think that's why this might be sort of lots of sound and theories signifying very, very little.

HARLOW: Okay. So, Joan, the court doesn't have to take it up. They can just sort of ignore it and issue one sentence and say, we're not going to consider this. But, initially, it is in the hands of Justice Clarence Thomas, because he's assigned the 11th Circuit.

Can you explain to people how the court will decide on this? And, frankly, from your deep knowledge of the court and this court, do you think they'll take it up, because on the one hand, they don't want to be viewed as getting in the weeds on this political stuff? On the other hand, this is sort of, as our colleague, Eli Honig, put it, why the Supreme Court exists, to look at sort of novel constitutional issues, separation of power issues.

JOAN BISKUPIC, SENIOR SUPREME COURT ANALYST: That's right, Poppy. But this one isn't the kind of issue that rises to the level of a big separation of powers issues, like, for example, the Nixon tapes case, or even Bill Clinton/Paula Jones issue that they resolved in the 90s. This is small potatoes and it might be the kind of potatoes they set aside and don't want to be part of.

Given that it's former President Donald Trump, there is -- it's hard to think that they will believe that some harm could befall the former president, which is a standard that they have to assess should they intervene in this emergency posture because some harm is imminent. I don't think so.

But let me just tell you how the process works since you asked about it. You're right that it went to Justice Thomas by virtue of the fact that he is overseeing the 11th Circuit that involves Florida. Typically, a justice will refer the matter to the full court but we don't know that until they put out the final order. And we've got a week to see what the Department of Justice says. Then the Trump team is likely to come back and file a final reply.


And then the justices would issue an order.

The most likely scenario is a one-sentence order that denies the request at this point and we all move on, but there could be one or two dissents there. We just don't know at this point. But this is a -- the way that the application from the Trump lawyers say, come up, is in a fashion where they don't hear oral arguments, they don't demand full briefing, which means that they could just summarily get rid of it. And I think that given what's going on with the Supreme Court these days, why not just get rid of it. There's nothing that demands their attention right now, Poppy.

HARLOW: That's a great point, the sort of the big-picture point.

Steve, so there are a number of things, four different sort of boxes that the Supreme Court would have to check here to grant a stay. One of them is proving irreparable harm if they do not, if that's (INAUDIBLE). But I thought it was interesting, you pointed out last night, that that sort of proof of irreparable harm or even irreparable harm argument is conspicuously absent, in your words, from his lawyers' application to the court.

VLADECK: Yes. And, you know, Poppy, Joan has this exactly right. this is not a typical appeal to the Supreme Court where the justices are being have to decide up or down on history or legal question because of the posture. Because former President Trump is asking the justices to set aside this lower court stay, he has to show not only that he's going to win on the merits of this very technical jurisdictional question about what the court of appeals is allowed to do, he has to show that what court appeals actually ruled is causing him ongoing harm that can't be remedied down the road.

And I think the million dollar question here, or maybe the $3 million questions here is what exactly is the harm from keeping these documents out of the special master's pile at least for the time being? How is that the kind of emergency that has justified extraordinary intervention from the Supreme Court in the past? Poppy, this would be a different case, Joan says. If this were like the Watergate tapes case or the Paula Jones suit against Bill Clinton, where you had a right separation of powers question that the justices felt compelled to answer, I really don't see how they're going to feel the same way about a hyper technical question as to whether DOJ appealed Judge Cannon's order, the entire order was part of the appeal or just the part about the injunction. Like that's all that really turns on. It's why I think Trump can't show irreparable harm. It's why Joan is right, that is why even this court, I think, is very unlikely to expend capital, at least at this point, in support of the former president.

HARLOW: I tend to find it's always good to agree with Joan Biskupic because she is usually always right.

Steve Vladeck, thank you. Joan, thanks very much.

BISKUPIC: Thank you. The mystery deepens in the search for a missing family of four. Investigators say they have a person of interest in custody this morning, but still no sign of this family. We will bring you that reporting, next.



HARLOW: Authorities in California are releasing new video of a person of interest in six homicides. They say the individual may have conducted reconnaissance in the daylight before attacking at night. No crimes were caught on camera. Stockton police are seeking the public's help. They have increased the reward to $125,000.

CNN Security Correspondent Josh Campbell has been following all of this and continues to report on it. Good morning, Josh.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning to you, Poppy. And the reason why we're not seeing a crime on video, according to police, is because they believe this suspect conducted reconnaissance in the daylight hours, looking for the location of possible security footage and then striking at night. He spoke yesterday with our colleague, Kasie Hunt, providing those new details.

Authorities say that they were also able to interview the one surviving victim. Of course, there were six deceased victims. One person was shot. She ended up surviving. What she told investigators she was in a tent when she heard rustling outside. She went outside the tent and was confronted by this man who opened fired. She lunged towards him. He eventually left. She survived. But that, a key piece of information because authorities have said they don't know if this is one person or multiple people. At least according to her account, there was at one man who confronted her on that night.

Now, we're also learning new details as well about what was actually taking place in the hours of the shooting. Authorities say that all of the shootings took place when things were very dark, again, late night, early morning hours, when suspects were alone. They were either walking, they were in their vehicles. In her case, she was inside of a tent.

Now, the police chief also releasing new video that we just showed you, this is surveillance video of a person of interest. Authorities say they don't consider this person a suspect but they're seeing him at multiple locations. The police chief speaking on CNN last night told us about why this video was so important.


MCFADDEN: Everything we know is this is a person period of interest, where we have seen this individual show up at more than one scene. We haven't seen this individual committing a criminal act but seem to be showing up in some of our recent homicides.

[10:30:04] So, it's a person that we definitely want identified.