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Two Thousand-Plus Killed in Powerful Morocco Earthquake; Trump, DeSantis Court Iowa Football Fans; 2024 Race; Hurricane Lee Is A Dangerous Category 3 Storm; Legal Battle Brewing In Colorado Over Trump's Ballot Access; More Sightings Of Escaped Killer In Pennsylvania. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired September 09, 2023 - 18:00   ET




I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. Good evening.

We begin this hour with our breaking news coverage out of Morocco, just moments ago, the official death toll has surged yet again, more than 2,000 people are now confirmed dead after a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck last night. More than 14,000 people -- or excuse me, 1,400 people are now in critical condition, but that number could go higher as well.

Here we see a rescue team pull a woman from the rubble and as searches continue, the death toll is expected to climb even higher. CNN's Sam Kiley joins us now from Marrakech.

Sam, we've been checking in over the last couple of hours with you. What are you looking at now?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, this is a home, a residential home here in the Medina, the ancient old city of Marrakech. And you could see how the vibrations this massive earthquake, 6.8 on the Richter scale, peeled away a side of this building.

We are in about a hundred yard, a hundred meter block from the previous couple of locations that we've had a look at with you here, Jim, and this is just yet another sign.

Also you can see the building materials here, they ironically may be more robust often than some modern materials. But that hasn't been the case out in the countryside, Jim, where villages have been reduced to the sort of rubble you can see on the screen now except that that is across an immense scale.

So whereas here in Marrakech, there are 13 dead now, 2,000 dead across the country. Most of those are in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The epicenter of this earthquake was about 45 miles from here where I am in Marrakech. The authorities, indeed the king has declared a three-day period of national mourning. He has mobilized all of the Emergency Services and the National Army,

Air Force, and Navy to try to get their helicopters out into those remote areas because it is in those areas where clearly the need is greatest -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And Sam, what about these aftershocks? Are you feeling those? What kind of potential harm might those aftershocks carry should they continue?

KILEY: Well, thank God, Jim, we are not feeling them here in Marrakech. There have been several elsewhere, more localized aftershocks that have been felt, four or five at least in the last 24 hours, and it is about 24 hours since that earthquake struck.

But if, for example, an aftershock were to hit, then in all probability, a good chunk of this building would fall down into this street. This is a very tightly packed area, the Medina, and that is a pattern that would be repeated in any of the buildings that have been damaged in this quake that are vulnerable to those aftershocks, those tremors that could even on a relatively light scale, even rain could start to bring a lot of these buildings crashing down.

But as a result of that, the authorities here have evacuated at least 30 percent we are told by some locals of tourists, possibly more. I have to say the Medina is almost a ghost town now, just a few curious onlookers and people keeping an eye on their homes. But most people in what would be at this time of night, absolutely teeming streets have completely disappeared.

They are all staying with relatives, out sleeping in parks, trying to stay away from buildings that might be vulnerable to exactly those aftershocks -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Sam Kiley, stay safe. Thanks so much for the reporting. We'll check back in with you. Really appreciate it.

Joining us now is Carmen Moreno. She is a humanitarian worker vacationing in Morocco.

Carmen, thank you very much for joining us. I guess first off, what did you go through when this earthquake struck?


So this is just crazy, because I just left the previous earthquake that just happened earlier this year in Syria. I was working for that and I was just taking a break, coming on vacation with my brother and friends, and all of a sudden we were arriving at the airport and we felt this.

And honestly at the beginning, I didn't think it was an earthquake. I thought maybe it's just a plane crashing or something, because we were at the parking lot of the airport, in an open space, thank God, that's why we were lucky and safe.


But then I heard this -- people screaming and the lights were all off inside the infrastructure of the airport, in the building. And then, very quickly, I saw again these images I experienced earlier this year, and I realized it was an earthquake. But honestly, I didn't think it was this hard, this high magnitude.

Because we were on an open space, we didn't have any building nearby and I thought, okay, it's an earthquake, but nothing compared to what I experienced last February.

And then we were just renting a car. We finished renting the car, we went on the street, I was driving even and I thought, okay, that was just the moment and nothing else.

And then we start seeing people going crazy, ambulances and everyone on the street, and then I just realized I said, okay, this is more serious than I thought, because it's what do you do when an earthquake of this magnitude happen.

Everyone should go to the street, get out of their houses, and that's what we did as well, and we spent the night on the street without knowing what will happened, and with roamers around and everything.

ACOSTA: And Carmen, what are you seeing when you look around? Is it just devastation everywhere? What do you see when you walk around Marrakech after this earthquake?

MORENO: So we saw some damages here in the Medina, but we are staying outside. I think most damages are in the more humble neighborhoods, where the infrastructures are not prepared to this kind of catastrophe.

So here you can see some damages. Of course, they are severe and serious. I think the worst is outside this part. In the main square of -- it's called Jamal Jemaa el-Fnaa, there is a small mosque, it's very famous as well, it was very damaged and it is shocking, but honestly, after I saw in Syria, I didn't see the real serious damages there. I think they are in this other outskirts of the city.

But I can see people devastated and this is not about rubbles, because the physical rebels, they can be removed relatively quick or easy. But by my experience, I believe that the real long-term problems are the most difficult rubbles to remove are of the psychological ones and people are panicking and they are all terrified.

ACOSTA: I'm sure people are very afraid right now, especially after these aftershocks. And we were just showing some video a few moments ago of what it looked like when all of this hit. And in addition to that we have images of people, it looks like they're just living on the street now because they can't go back home. Maybe it's unsafe to go back to the neighborhood where they're from. Are you seeing that as well, where people are just on the streets? Or just that's all they can do now.

MORENO: Yes, of course, this is very usual and normal as well, and the worst is yet to come, I think because we don't know what can happen. Maybe there won't be any more tremors, but there is the risk of collapsing. We need engineers and specialists to check the building and to measure the impact, and I'm not sure they have the capacity, especially in this poor neighborhoods.

So it's really risky that they go back home and we can expect more casualties like this. So that's why people are staying on the streets because -- or either they cannot come back or they already lost everything. But even if their homes are still there and not demolished or not devastated by this, it is still risky to come back.

So it's an uncertainty that I think it is really terrifying, because it's something that we cannot control, right, so people are very confused. They don't know what to do and yes, it is really traumatic.


ACOSTA: It must be such a scary situation, and we heard from Sam Kiley that while there's a lot of devastation in Marrakech, it is very likely that there is even more devastation outside of Marrakech in the mountains and so on. Are you hearing anything from people as to how bad things might be when you get outside of Marrakech? When you move into more remote areas?

MORENO: Well, I don't know much honestly about this. But they told me that it's not very safe, maybe to take the roads through the Atlas Mountains. I think maybe we don't have all the information here because as you said, these places are really remote. So I think maybe they are more damage than we know or think.

In our case, we are trying to leave Marrakesh as soon as possible and move to a more safe area. But I think, yes, more news will come and we'll see.

ACOSTA: How about the airport?

MORENO: Hopefully, we will not --

ACOSTA: What are you hearing about the airport?

MORENO: The airport -- really, I didn't hear anything. So we just saw the light going off. The building was fine. We didn't see any crashes or anything. And in a matter of minutes, we were not inside. We just hear this -- all the people screaming and really terrified. And then we left as soon as possible. But I didn't hear any news about this or any cancelled flights.

So I think this kind of buildings are maybe more prepared for this kind of disaster than these houses made of clay or this precarious material that they use in these neighborhoods.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. All right, well, Carmen Marino, thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it. Please stay safe, and if you can't stay in touch with us. We really appreciate your help. Thank you so much. And you can learn how to help the victims of the Morocco earthquake at You can also text Morocco to 707070. If you'd like to donate, they're going to need all the help they can get and we'll be right back.



ACOSTA: In Iowa today, a big mix of sports and stumping. The football game between Iowa and Iowa State offering a big chance for the Trump and DeSantis campaigns.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some turnout. I guess, the youth likes Trump.


ACOSTA: Well, President Donald Trump was basking in his Iowa lead today, rubbing elbows with college students in Ames. Meanwhile, his closest competitor, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida had this to say.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'm actually starting to hear a lot of people saying because you're showing up, I am supporting you, because that's the way you've got to do it.

Iowans don't want the campaign to be about the past, or to be about the candidate's issues. They want it to be about their future and the future of this country and that is what I represent.


ACOSTA: Joining us now from the campaign trail in Iowa is one of the Republican candidates vying to become the GOP nominee for president, former Texas Congressman, Will Hurd.

Congressman, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it. I guess first of all, how do you catch up to Trump and DeSantis at this point? What's your game plan?

WILL HURD (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the game plan is spend some time in the important states, continue to raise money to get resources.

Here is one of the things that we're learning when people hear the message and I'm talking about how we have to be prepared for new Cold War with China, how we have to be ready for an economy that deals with new technologies like AI, how do we make sure we have world-class education for our kids, regardless of where they live or what they age, they appreciate that. But I've got to increase my megaphone to be able to get that message

out. We have several weeks before early voting starts and people recognize and are looking for something different.

ACOSTA: Let me get your reaction to some comments that Trump made last night during his speech in South Dakota. I want to ask you if any of this sounds familiar, in terms of what he said last night, and what he has said previously. Let's play that.


TRUMP: You have to get out and you have to fight like hell, because these are dirty players and what we have to do is we have to take back our country, we have to scrape that whole situation out.

We fight. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.


ACOSTA: Congressman, you're on a live feed with us, and maybe you couldn't see a monitor to see that last clip. The first clip was last night in South Dakota. The second clip was from January 6. Trump is still using some of the same language he was using on January 6, telling people to fight like hell and so on. Does that disturb you?

HURD: Of course, and the bottom line is, is Donald Trump is a proven loser. He hasn't won an election since 2016. It's that kind of rhetoric that people don't want to see anymore.

Our neighbors are not our enemies. Our neighbors, our fellow Americans that we happen to disagree with, at times, and people want to see that kind of rhetoric.

Now, yes, Donald Trump is leading in the polls, but polls are a snapshot in time and people want to see someone who is talking about the future, who is talking about how are we going to solve these complex challenges, how are we going to actually secure our border and deal with things like fentanyl.


Last year, 109,000 people died from drug overdoses. There is more the federal government should be doing to be protecting us. These are the issues that people want to hear about, and when they start paying a little bit more attention to the elections coming up, and that's what they're going to want to see, not the same hateful rhetoric that we've seen coming out of this president for years now.

ACOSTA: Are you getting any sense from talking to people in Iowa, that they're sick of that kind of stuff? Because it sounds like they're eating it up. And, you know, you might say, folks are tired of hearing this, and they want to hear a positive message and hear different stuff. But Trump has this commanding lead in Iowa and in almost every other state, he has the same kind of lead, it sounds like this is what they want to hear. HURD: Well, while he's talking about how we have to fight like hell,

because he's worried about someone catching up to him in some of these early states. I mean, he is worried about the impact that his baggage and these legal cases are going to potentially have on.

He is worried that some of his co-conspirators and people that are named in these cases are going to turn on him and we're going to see new evidence come out, and here is what happens. When I'm out here on the stump, after people hear me, folks that are wearing Trump hats and Trump's shirts with his mugshot on the shirt come up and say, hey, we really appreciate the things that you're talking about. We haven't heard that. This is a great idea. These are the kinds of things that need to happen.

And so for someone like me, I just need to be able to continue to magnify that message. And so if your viewers want to help, go on tonight and donate at least $1.00 to make sure that we get this message out and start building and have someone who is not afraid to call Donald Trump what he is, but also is articulating a vision for the future.

ACOSTA: And Congressman, you recently warned your Republican rivals that "kissing Trump's butt" won't help them beat him for the nomination, but we've seen candidates like Vivek Ramaswamy go from being long shot to now pulling fourth or even third after molding himself in the image of the former president. Do you want to reconsider what you think might be the best approach here?

HURD: Absolutely not. What we need is more people that are sick and tired of this kind of thing to actually get ready to vote in primaries. Only 23 percent of Americans vote in primaries, about 67 percent vote in general elections, so that's 40-plus in the middle that haven't done it.

If you're sick and tired of your options, if you do not want to rematch from hell in 2024 between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, now is the chance to change that tide. Those are the folks that need to get activated, and that candidates need to be talking to, because if you're trying to be a lounge act version of Donald Trump, it is not going to win.

Oh, and by the way, if the GOP wants to win and beat Joe Biden in November, then we have to put somebody up here who can actually win and get Independents and Democrats to vote for somebody other than Joe Biden.

ACOSTA: And how long are you committed to staying in this race? If you don't make future debates, might that be something that's going to make you consider or reconsider what your options are? What's your thinking on that?

HURD: Yes, well, my focus is obviously the next debate and hitting those requirements. I've hit the polling requirements in New Hampshire. I'm going to cross that threshold for the donors soon. We're working on hitting the same polling requirements here in Iowa. I think Chris Sununu, governor of New Hampshire said a few months back

that by winter, if there's no pathway to success, people need to start focusing on how do we coalesce behind someone in order to beat Donald Trump? I think that logic makes sense.

ACOSTA: And I know one of the things that you're trying to bring to the voters is a focus on your foreign policy national security credentials. Let's talk about what's happening.

Just this past week, reports indicating that Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un ramping up their relationship with the North Korean leader possibly making a trip to Russia soon to discuss supplying Moscow with weapons for its war in Ukraine. And yet Donald Trump, when he's out there on the campaign trail, he was just doing this at his speech last night in South Dakota, talking about how he has told Kim Jong-un, oh, you could have condos in North Korea, you know, on the coastline because it's such a majestic coastline. He seems to have this love affair with the North Korean dictator.

It sounds like you're taking a very different approach when it comes to what Kim Jong-un is up to and potentially this relationship with Vladimir Putin.

[18:25:04 ]

HURD: Look, Donald Trump's perspective on Russia and North Korea is dangerous. Many of the other candidates that are running in this Republican primary's perspective on this is also dangerous.

The fact that Kim Jong-un or the fact that Vladimir Putin needs weapons from Kim Jong-un is a sign that things in Ukraine aren't going as well as they are, and what we should be doing is doubling down on the support that we've already given to the Ukrainians and make sure the things that we promised get delivered.

I'm pretty sure that's one of the messages we're going to hear from President Zelenskyy when he sits down with Fareed tomorrow in that interview that you all are promoting, because the issue is not the size of the support, it is the speed in which we get there. And we also need a --

ACOSTA: But the Trump base does not want that. But just Congressman, just to jump in there, just real quick, the Trump base doesn't seem to want that. Vivek Ramaswamy has said that Russia can keep the parts of Ukraine that are already occupied. It sounds as though you may be making an appeal to a big chunk of the Republican Party that does not want to take your point of view on this. Is that fair to say?

HURD: Well, then --

ACOSTA: You've had some convincing to do.

HURD: Look, so there are people that are going to be aligned with Trump, and you're not going to break them free. There is no question about that. We can debate what the actual size of that is based on local polling

or voter ID. There is no question about that, but there is still a sizable chunk of Americans who when they asked a question about Ukraine, that's usually the first question I get or what I hear on the trip.

But when you explain that the United States of America built an international order that benefits us, and if we don't defend that international order, it hurts us. People are like, oh, we haven't heard that. We don't understand that and why that matters. When you explain how that relates to the nuclear war room with the Chinese government, people accept that.

And so it requires those of us that understand these issues and have had spent time and know these enemies up close and personal to make that case, we can't just throw our hands up and say it's okay. We need to be able to defend this, because it helps America.

And so that's why I talk about these things, and that's where the majority of the country is and when you explain it, you know the question is, can we scale in time in order to make these explanations, because guess what, this is about making sure for the next 247 years, we continue this quality of life that has been the envy of the world and if we continue to make these mistakes on the international stage, it's going to hurt us and it's going to hurt our ability to provide that quality of life that most Americans expect.

ACOSTA: All right, former Congressman Will Hurd. Thanks very much for your time. We appreciate it.

HURD: Always a pleasure.

ACOSTA: All right, coming up next, an update on the latest hurricane threatening the Caribbean and the Atlantic. That's coming up next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: And we're keeping a close eye on this powerful Hurricane Lee churning in the Atlantic right now.

CNN Meteorologist, Jennifer Gray, joins us with the latest.

Jennifer, what's the latest?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Jim, this storm is maintaining its major hurricane strength with 115 mile-per-hour winds, gusts of 140, moving to the west northwest at 10. So it is going to travel north of the Caribbean islands. It is going to create some swells, some high seas, and maybe some breezy conditions. But this could be a Category 4 storm by the time we get into Monday.

Now, the million-dollar question is when is this storm going to take that hard turn to the north? So we know that it's going to do it. It's been very well advertised. All of the forecast models show the turn. But depending on when that happens will make a little bit of difference and when we're talking about impacts to the U.S. East Coast, if any.

I do want to point out that as of right now, none of the models are taking it into the East Coast of the U.S. All of them are skirting to the east. It will be interesting to see if a couple of these models start to pick up on some of the - a solution where it could impact Maine. But it's still way too early to tell.

Of course, when this turn happens by the middle part of next week, then we'll have a better idea of if we're going to see significant rip currents, high seas across the U.S. East Coast. And then if it does impact, say, these northernmost areas, it would be the very end of next week into the weekend, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Jennifer Gray, thanks for staying on top of it. We appreciate it. This comes as scientists now say this past summer that we all experienced was the hottest ever recorded worldwide. Let's discuss with CNN Chief Climate Correspondent, Bill Weir.

Bill, great to see you as always. We were just talking to Jennifer Gray a few moments ago about Hurricane Lee. It is a huge, very powerful hurricane churning in the Atlantic right now. As Jennifer was saying, it may not hit the U.S. mainland, but this is coming on the heels of Hurricane Idalia, which was a very powerful hurricane.

The U.S. got a little lucky on that one and that it went through kind of a more remote part of Florida. But it just seems like the elements are really primed for this hurricane season to see more of these powerful storms.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Warm water is hurricane fuel, it's food. We saw it with Idalia as it got much stronger overnight before making landfall, thankfully, in a place with more mangroves than people. But now looking at Lee jumping up, flirting with Hurricane five level winds there as it passes over the Atlantic, hoping it stays off course. We need a break from this.

But the record set this week, Copernicus, the European Science Space Agency, their NOAA basically saying, August, we knew was going to be hot. It is off the charts. You put the three months together, the hottest summer, hottest three months ever recorded in human history. And it's not just a new record, it shattered the old record.


So scientists have been predicting this ...


WEIR: ... century plus of fossil fuel burning, it's just going to keep getting hotter. But to see it sort of plateau up in these leaps is startling to everybody. ACOSTA: Well, and this is a - I knew you were coming on, this is a

question that's been on my mind. Let me just - this is how the U.N. Secretary General responded to this latest data. He says, "Scientists have long warned that our fossil fuel addiction will unleash. Our climate is imploding faster than we can cope with extreme weather events hitting every corner of the planet," adding the climate breakdown has begun.

And that gets me to this question, Bill, and that is - and you and I have talked about this several times. The scientists are saying we're reaching a tipping point. We're reaching a tipping point. I'm just - my question is, as somebody who's not as big of an expert on this as you are and nowhere near an expert, have we already reached the tipping point? Have we gone past the tip tipping point?

It sounds like what the U.N. Secretary General was saying is that this breakdown is happening, and now we're just going to have to deal with it. We're in the middle of it.

WEIR: Oh, sure. We're absolutely past the point of no return on certain changes. You can see it happening in Miami. They're raising the streets. They're building seawalls. Adaptation is happening. People are moving out of the heat.

Phoenix is at 50 plus days over 110 degrees. Construction begins at four in the morning. You're going to have to adapt. Maybe it's overnight construction in Arizona in our new world and it's only going to get hotter the more fossil fuel goes in the air. That's just the - it's the simplest sort of problem to explain, but the most difficult to solve.

ACOSTA: And we're not going to be able to, in many cases, afford homeowners insurance anymore. I mean, that's another issue. People in parts of the world who think ...

WEIR: Exactly.

ACOSTA: ... well, I don't live near the coast, I don't live in a hot place, I don't live where they have to deal with this stuff.

Well, we're all part of these big insurance pools. We're all either going to collectively pay a lot more and not be - it's going to be tougher to get.

WEIR: Exactly. Just came out this week that five major insurance companies are going to stop covering the most common disasters in places like Florida and California. So they'll cover your house for burglary, but not against wildfire. If you live in the forest, the sierras or on the coast against hurricane wind and hail damage.

So the economic storms, people will feel it in their wallets long before sea level rise or anything like that. And one of the things I should mention this week, ExxonMobil put out their global outlook looking ahead to 2050.

ACOSTA: Yeah. WEIR: And if you look at their emissions page, this is on their

website, you got this nice picture of a family taking a hike in the woods. A lovely picture of a young man there as they sort of put their science forward as to where we're heading on emissions. And then you go down on this report, and they're projecting that by 2050 we will blow past not only 1.5 degrees, but three degrees warm because humanity will still be burning 25 million gigatons a year.

So look at that, this is Exxon here. On the left is the amount of fossil fuels CO2 burned in 2021 about over 30 million tons. They project that we're going to plateau at about 34 then come down to 25.

ACOSTA: But Bill --

WEIR: On the right is what all the scientists of the world say, we cannot burn (inaudible) two degrees there, so ...


WEIR: So this could be a self fulfilling prophecy from these big oil majors who said they were going to be part of the solution a few years ago. But now are admitting humanity just will never get off of their product.

ACOSTA: Well, and that - we've run out of time, but this is the thing that it kind of - it's got to tick off a lot of people out there. Okay, now ExxonMobil is going to tell us this stuff. Weren't they the ones that were denying this stuff for years?

WEIR: It's all (inaudible) at this part, Jim, it's all a matter of political will.


WEIR: All the new energy coming online over 80 percent of it is renewable in 2023, batteries and solar will beat fossil fuels, eventually. The question is how hard the fight is from the oil majors going into that new future.


WEIR: And what it will cost the rest of life on Earth.

WEIR: All right. Bill Weir, great stuff as always. Thank you.

A lot to contemplate this evening, we appreciate it.

Will Donald Trump be on every state ballot in 2024? It depends on who gets to make the decision. The battle over ballot access next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: A lawsuit attempting to block Donald Trump from the states of Colorado's ballot is getting pushback from the Trump legal team. They're asking a judge to move the case to federal court. It's the first high profile legal case, arguing the 14th Amendment disqualifies the former president from seeking office. The post Civil War provision says anyone who takes part in an insurrection or gives aid to insurrectionists is banned from the privilege of running for president.

Trump blasted the group behind the lawsuit on Truth Social calling them "slime balls."

Joining me now to discuss this is the executive director of that group, CREW. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Noah Bookbinder.

Noah, I don't want you to respond to ad hominem attacks from the former president, but it sounds as though this movement that's afoot on the 14th Amendment has gotten under his skin officially.

NOAH BOOKBINDER, EXEC. DIRECTOR, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY & ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: Well, I guess what I would say is that the Constitution is not optional. It is the law of the land. And we have believed for a long time that this is good law, that this applies in this case, we were able last year to successfully represent residents disqualifying an official who participated in the January 6th insurrection. He was a New Mexico official.

So this is something that is a serious case and we're ready to go and make that case with evidence and witnesses and it should be taken seriously.

ACOSTA: And might this be tried in other states? Last weekend, we were talking with the Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson. She said she and her team are looking into this issue in Michigan.


Might the president - former president and his legal team fight them - find themselves in a position where they're kind of playing whack-a- mole responding to these fourth of - 14th Amendment challenges in a variety of states?

BOOKBINDER: Absolutely. Even though this is under the U. S. Constitution, states have individual laws as to how people can and whether people can challenge candidates who are not qualified. So Colorado has a specific law that allows voters to go to court and say this person is not qualified to be on the ballot and to request that the secretary of state remove them.

Some states have those kinds of procedures. Other states have different kinds of procedures. Some - it's not clear that they have them at all. So I'm absolutely expecting to see this in other states. It's not necessarily going to be the same path in every state.

But we also think that, particularly as court make judgments and we think and hope determined that Donald Trump is disqualified for having participated in insurrection, secretaries of state may well be willing and able to make those judgments themselves on remove people from the ballot as well.

ACOSTA: And Noah, last week we spoke with conservative writer David Fram (ph). He warned of the unintended consequences of utilizing the 14th Amendment that it could be weaponized by the far right and so on and that it's sort of opening up Pandora's box. What do you think of that concern?

BOOKBINDER: Sure. I mean, there are a lot of provisions in the Constitution and in the law that could be misused, could be applied much too broadly. We've been careful here to stick to really a narrow definition of what an insurrection is, what engaging in insurrection means that we think comports with what the framers of the 14th Amendment meant when they put this into place after the Civil War.

We think it clearly applies to Donald Trump. It doesn't apply in a whole lot of other circumstances. We have courts to make those kind of judgments and we think that that system will work, but that you have to be willing to use it in a case like this, where you had a president seeking to keep himself in power despite losing an election and doing so by inciting a violent mob. If it's not this case, then it's hard to imagine what case it could be.

ACOSTA: All right. Noah Bookbinder, thanks as always very much. We'll have you back to discuss this as all of this develops in the weeks to come. I think there are a lot more developments to come in the months ahead. Thanks so much for your time, we appreciate it.

BOOKBINDER: Thank you.

ACOSTA: And we should note there are new sightings of a convicted killer on the run. He escaped from prison in Pennsylvania. He crab- walked a wall to get out, the details on the manhunt for his return to justice, that's next.



ACOSTA: The manhunt for Pennsylvania's escaped killer is now in its 10th day. There are now nearly 400 officers searching for Danelo Cavalcante who fled the Chester County Prison last week by crab- walking between two walls, scaling a fence and traversing across razor wire.

Former FBI profiler, Mary Ellen O'Toole, joins us now.

Mary Ellen, great to see you, as always. Thanks so much. Why can't they catch this guy?

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, I think he's actually very good at what he's doing. But you compound that with the area. I mean, that's a really challenging area to have to search. And they're being very careful so that they don't have to go back and research areas that they've already done, so it really is a challenge.

And I think right now what they're doing is they're trying to cut him off. So they're probably installing new cameras and they're also going into buildings using the technology that he has no access to, to make sure that they cut off any sheds or homes where he could go and get supplies.

ACOSTA: And we've seen the video of him sort of spider manning his way out of out of prison. What does that tell you about who we're dealing with?

O'TOOLE: That's - that certainly suggests to me based on how he got out of prison, but also based on his prior history and his crimes, that he is a risk taker. That means he's willing to take a lot of risk. He's comfortable with it. It also suggests to me that he's a very impulsive guy.

And those two things are going to get him caught eventually, because that's part of his personality and he takes that out into the area now where he's roaming around trying to evade law enforcement. But sooner or later, he's going to wear out of food and warmth and clothing and so on.

And eventually, even though he's very determined to get out of there, his body is going to break down. So - because you have two things, you have your mental ability to do this and then you have your physical ability to do this. And once the physical ability breaks down, it doesn't really matter how determined you are because your body just can't keep doing it.

ACOSTA: Yeah. And it's been 10 days now. I mean, just very quickly, just finally, could he be out of the area? Could he be gone?

O'TOOLE: I think it's certain he could be, but I think it's far more likely that he's in that area and they know it and they're going to exploit his limitations right now, which is not having access to what he needs to go any further.


ACOSTA: All right. Mary Ellen O'Toole, we hope they catch him and soon. Thank you very much for your time as always. We appreciate it. Great to talk to you.

Breaking news, there is a desperate search for survivors happening right now in Morocco even as the death toll passes 2,000. The death toll in just the last couple of hours, in case you're just tuning in - into CNN, it's now been determined 2,000 people have been killed in that powerful Morocco earthquake. We'll have a live update from the scene that's coming up next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.