Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Spanish Soccer President Resigns Over Unwanted Kiss On World Cup Winner; New Sighting Of Escaped Convicted Murderer; Death Toll Rising After Powerful Quake Hits Morocco; Ashton Kutcher And Mila Kunis Apologize Over Support For Danny Masterson; Trump Stays On Campaign Trail Despite Court Woes; Interview With Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) About Ukraine, Biden's Asia Trip And House Budget. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired September 10, 2023 - 18:00   ET



PAULA REID, CNN HOST: I'm Paula Reid in Washington and Jim Acosta has the day off. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And we begin with breaking news in the world of sports. Spanish Soccer Federation president Luis Rubiales is resigning. It follows weeks of fierce criticism for the unwanted kiss he gave to a star player during the Women's World Cup celebration.

On Friday, the Spanish national prosecutor filed a complaint against Rubiales paving the way for the country's national court to launch a formal investigation and begin gathering evidence which could lead to possible charges.

We've got team coverage, "CNN WORLD SPORT's" anchor with Don Riddell and CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan are with us.

Don, I want to start with you. What else do we know?

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: You know, it's been three weeks now since the Spanish football team won the Women's World Cup in Australia but the story ever since then has been absolutely dominated by the male president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales. And as you say he is now finally resigning.

Ever since he was roundly criticized for planting an unsolicited kiss on the lips of a player Jenni Hermoso, Rubiales has defiantly remained in his position but he has now evidently changed his tune. Rubiales revealed his intentions during an interview with Piers Morgan.


PIERS MORGAN, TV HOST: You're going to resign?

LUIS RUBIALES, RESIGNING AS PRESIDENT OF SPANISH SOCCER: I'm going to. Yes, because I cannot continue my work.

MORGAN: What was the final moment for you? Was it talking to your family, your dad perhaps? RUBIALES: Yes. My father, my daughter, I spoke with them. It's not --

they know it's not a question about me and some friends very close to me. And they say to me, Luis, now you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life because if not probably, you are going to damage people you love.


RIDDELL: His departure is hugely significant. His behavior up until now, his lack of contrition and his refusal to take any responsibility for it has been hugely damaging for the reputation of Spanish football on the world stage. And this scandal exploded at the time when Spain is bidding to co-host the Men's World Cup tournament in 2030.

In the wake of the kiss, Spain's players refuse to play again for the national team until Rubiales quit or was fired. Since then the head coach, Jorge Vilda, has been sacked, and now Rubiales has finally stepped down.

Will this all be enough to get the players back? We will soon find out.

REID: And, Christine, it took a little while for this to happen. What is your reaction to this news?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: Paula, we've done something (INAUDIBLE) of course over the last three weeks, and that's kind of amazing, isn't it? 21 days from that unwanted kiss, also known as sexual assault, to finally the decision that probably should have happened within a few days. And even if Rubiales had understood the magnitude of the situation at that moment, he could have saved himself and the team and the entire federation, the Spanish federation so much angst, and you know, would have put this burden behind them at least from the standpoint of he would have been gone.

No, he did not because he was living frankly, Paula, in a different world. He was living in a world where men could get away with this kind of stuff. Who knows if you feel comfortable doing that in front of the cameras, what on earth has been going on behind the cameras? We know the Spanish players last year, a year ago, were rebelling against their coach who is now gone, as Don said, as well.

But there's been trouble in the Spanish Federation for a long time. And finally the comeuppance has occurred. I think this is a wonderful day, frankly, for women around the world, not just in sports, but throughout culture. And women are being listened to and the world is reacting. And if FIFA and the misogynistic, sexist world of soccer is reacting this way, even though it's only three weeks, that's also pretty quick in some ways. It's certainly much better than it would have been 10 or 15 years ago, probably even five years ago, Paula, and I think that's one of the big takeaways.

REID: Christine, are you surprised at all that this story didn't simply fade away and instead there was this pressure and really global attention, and it was sustained? Does that surprise you?


BRENNAN: It did. Yes, Paula, it did surprise me a little again because of the nature of football. The dominance of men. All the countries that couldn't care less about their women's teams. They don't pay them, they don't respect them, they didn't even field teams for decades. And so yes, certainly as I said, maybe even just five years ago, this would just have gone, oh, well, whatever. But no. This blew up and became a worldwide story, obviously as it should have.

One of the Spanish politicians right off the bat said this is our Me Too moment. And Jenni Hermoso right away in the first interviews after it happened said I didn't like that. So women have found their voice. The world has listened. And if the world of football, of men's soccer, male-dominated soccer, Paula, can listen to women like this, I think the sky is the limit for sports that are not as misogynistic or sexist.

And so in many ways this is a moment of celebration even though of course the Spanish women didn't get a chance to celebrate because that was taken away from them by Rubiales. But what a cultural and historic moment this is that I think will be remembered for many, many years to come.

REID: Don Riddell and Christine Brennan, thank you so much.

Turning now to a manhunt for a killer. This hour there are major new developments in the search for the escaped prison inmate in Pennsylvania. Danelo Cavalcante has changed his appearance from the photos first distributed by police 11 days ago. This is doorbell video from last night showing Cavalcante is now clean shaven with a change of clothes aside from his prison pants. And this van that he stole last night has been found. It was abandoned in a field behind a barn.

In an afternoon news conference, Pennsylvania State Police confirmed that their officers are authorized to use deadly force if they encounter Cavalcante and he does not immediately surrender.


LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: He is somebody that comes from a background where he has endured some hardship and there's no doubt he is willing to endure some hardship now. His choice is to go to prison for the rest of his life. He chooses not to do that, unfortunately, that is not the -- what's going to prevail in the long run.


REID: CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now from Westchester, Pennsylvania.

Polo, what are you learning today?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Paula, the firehouse that you see behind me, that's turned into a temporary command center. And that's what we heard from Pennsylvania State Police earlier describe the latest developments as a, quote, "minor setback." But when you look at the investigation and where it's at, that could potentially be seen as an understatement considering what we've seen here, especially since Danelo Cavalcante is no longer technically contained to a certain area based on what we heard from investigators. And in a map you can kind of sort of retrace where this 34-year-old escaped killer has been the last day or so.

According to investigators, it was last night that he managed to slip out of that perimeter near Lockwood Gardens where we've been reporting from for the last several days along with my colleagues as well. And they believe that he quite literally just made it across the street onto a dairy farm where the keys to a van had been left in that vehicle. So it was as easy as jumping into that car and then driving about 22 miles north to the Phoenixville area. And that's where these new images are from, from the doorstep of a former co-worker of Cavalcante.

Authorities are sharing these pictures as you mentioned. He looks clean shaven and looks all in all in fairly good spirits for somebody who's been on the run for well over a week and a half. But at one point then, he resumes that drive and then makes it about 10 miles west to northern Chester County which is where he quite literally ran out of gas and had to ditch that vehicle.

I asked Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens earlier today during that briefing where they think he could have been heading to.


SANDOVAL: He seems to have gone west about 11 miles behind the wheels as you point out. He literally ran out of gas. So as you try to kind of make up for any ground lost, where do you think he's going if he was going west?

BIVENS: Well, again, I think he's looking for assistance and I think he had a reason to do that.

SANDOVAL: Where would be his next stop?

BIVENS: Well, I'm not going to go any further than that, but I think that's a strong motivator for someone if they're looking for assistance.


SANDOVAL: You hear there, authorities hesitant to really say where they think he might be. We do know that there is a temporary perimeter set up there in that particular township where he abandoned that van. However, they have no reason to believe that he could be inside of that perimeter but most importantly they also don't have anything to tell them that he might have even crossed state lines.

One important note, though, we did learn earlier today from authorities that Cavalcante's sister is currently in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, though authorities wouldn't expand on why.


Just a potential immigration-related charge there. But they are certainly hoping to cut off any potential support here, Paula, for this individual that continues on the run. One of the biggest concerns right now with every day, it makes them even more desperate, so they expect that he could potentially try to steal another vehicle. Of course, their concern there is that he could potentially carjack an individual as he continued to work to track him down and certainly, of course, criticism is mounting on his -- on his force of hundreds of men and women in law enforcement. Yet he was able to slip away.

REID: Polo, the entire country is watching that search. Thank you so much.

And Hurricane Lee is expected to gain strength and create dangerous conditions on the East Coast. An update on the storm's path is ahead on the CNN NEWSROOM.

Plus, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis say they're sorry if they hurt anyone after writing letters of support for actor and convicted rapist Danny Masterson. You'll hear from them next.

And later what would happen if Donald Trump's Georgia case is moved to federal court? Find out what our panel of experts thinks.

You're in the CNN newsroom.



REID: Now to the deadly earthquake in Morocco. State television there reports the death toll is now more than 2100 people killed in Friday's catastrophe. That number is expected to rise as rescuers go through flattened buildings searching for survivors. The worst destruction is in the remote areas of the Atlas Mountains. Reaching those places is difficult, but critical as crews begin to open access to areas that had been blocked by rubble.

CNN's Sam Kylie is in the hard-hit region.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): People here in Asni, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, have thought that when this earthquake struck and it did this, they didn't so much feel the tremors as feel that they were being caught up in some kind of war. And that is exactly what it looks like. They didn't feel the ground shaking under them, they said, they felt and heard the sounds of explosions, explosions from within and without their own homes, and explosions up in the hills.

And 25 people were killed in the town of Moulay Ibrahim which is just about three kilometers, a mile and a half or so from here. This is normally a tourist paradise, not just for foreigners but for locals, too. Some of the victims still be left buried under the rubble because it's too dangerous to get them out are actually Moroccans who were up in these mountains enjoying the cooler temperatures in the summer.

Everybody we're talking to here, though, has got a complaint that the central government is really nowhere to be seen in their words. We have seen some evidence of their help with these yellow tents, offering temporary accommodation here. In Asni, that's accommodation for 1200 people who've lost their homes or whose homes are now uninhabitably dangerous. These areas have been struck in the last 24 hours by at least four aftershocks local people tell us.

And they're saying they're just not getting the help that they need. Inevitably there is always going to be a level of frustration from people hit with this cataclysmic event but there are dozens of these villages all over this region and for that reason it is the hardest hit region in all Morocco where the death toll continues to climb well over 2,000 now.

Sam Kiley, CNN, in Asni.


REID: And learn how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake at or text Morocco to 707070 to donate.

And now to a story everybody is talking about, actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are addressing the backlash they've gotten after writing character letters in support of Danny Masterson. He's their former sitcom co-star who was sentenced last week to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women back in 2003.

In the letters asking the judge for leniency, Kunis and Kutcher described Masterson as a friend and role model, but backlash erupted when their letters became public and the couple shared this video in response.


ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: We are aware of the pain that has been caused by the character letters that we wrote on behalf of Danny Masterson.

MILA KUNIS, ACTRESS: We support victims. We have done this historically through our work and will continue to do so in the future.

KUTCHER: A couple months ago, Danny's family reached out to us and they asked us to write character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years. So that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing.

KUNIS: The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury's ruling.

KUTCHER: They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in my way. We would never want to do that. And we're sorry if that has taken place.

KUNIS: Our heart goes out to every single person who has ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape.


REID: Joining me now, attorney and legal affairs commentator, Areva Martin, also with us CNN contributor and the host of "Entertainment Tonight" Nischelle Turner.

All right, ladies, everyone is talking about this case. It has everything, religion, sex, power.

Nischelle, I want to start with you. What did you make of that video?



REID: Yes.

TURNER: I thought that it was at best rehearsed, at worst I think it made their situation even worse than it already was. I mean, it was a tough thing to watch just on its surface of seeming like Ashton was trying to make it be conversational, Mila sounded like he was reading a script. It just didn't come off as authentic and I think that's what people today are reacting about, not just the fact that they wrote these letters, but then on top of it, this apology video just fell very flat.

REID: Areva, what's your reaction?

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY AND LEGAL AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Yes, I agree with Nischelle. It's kind of surprising to me that Ashton and Mila would even have the response that they had. They knew, I would imagine, that when they wrote those letters, it was a possibility that they would go public, and I would imagine that they knew that they would be in this situation, that there would be this kind of public outcry.

The Me Too Movement has made it clear that women for the first time in decades are being heard around issues of sexual assault and rape, and any individuals that do anything that support the perpetrators of these horrific crimes is likely to face some kind of backlash. So I'm a little surprised that they put out this apology video in a way that is so inauthentic, and that they are shocked that the response is what it has been to their letters.

REID: So I mentioned the public outcry online, we can see it anywhere. Any social media platform you're on, everybody is talking about this. But "Huffington Post" reporter Yashar Ali talked to one of the victims, Jane Doe number one, she posted her response to the couple's video on X, aka Twitter, and it reads, "This video was incredibly insulting and hurtful. My hope is they learn radical accountability and the importance of self-education to learn when to keep their privilege in check, especially Ashton who claims to work with victims of sex crimes and as to Mila, I can only think of 'Time's up.'"

The couple mentioned in their video being supportive of abuse victims. Areva, clearly, Masterson's own victim here doesn't buy that.

MARTIN: No, and I'm not surprised. And again, I'm really more surprised at how tone deaf Ashton and Mila are with respect to this issue. These women have been through a very traumatic experience, not just the rape itself, but having to go through not one but two trials and also be involved in a civil lawsuit. And as you said, Paula, in the setup of this story, this isn't just about Danny Masterson. This is also a case involving the Scientology Church because there are allegations that the church made it very difficult for these women to come forward and to tell their truths, and that when they did come forward, that they had been harassed and intimidated.

So this is such a big story. And again, I'm just surprised that Ashton and Mila saw the need to insert themselves in it and then try to back away from what they did with this really poorly produced video.

REID: Yes, the Scientology part of this is really key because there are rules within that church against reporting people to the criminal justice system which made it even more difficult over the past 20 years for these victims.

Nischelle, I want to give you the last word here. What do you think was going to happen here going forward?

TURNER: I don't think that it's going to go away for them. I think, like I said, I think they just prolonged this even more with this apology video that they did. I think that we as the media are going to want to ask them questions about, number one, why they wrote the letters, number two, why did they put this so-called apology video out, and number three, what do they actually feel? I mean, it was -- it was, as Areva said, I think disappointing for people who look at them as people who do good work and who try to, you know, be progressive in the community, to be, as Areva mentioned, so tone deaf in this situation.

So I don't think that Ashton and Mila will get out of this situation by putting that video out and that's it. I think they still have questions to answer.

REID: Yes. It's such an incredibly important story. It reminds people just what victims of sexual assault face when they try to go through the process to get justice.

Areva Martin and Nischelle Turner, thank you so much for joining us.

TURNER: Thank you.

MARTIN: Thanks, Paula.

REID: And what impact would a televised trial of former President Trump have on the presidential race? What our experts think next on the CNN NEWSROOM.


[18:29:18] REID: It has been another consequential week for former President Donald Trump as he tries to balance multiple legal dramas with the demanding pace of a presidential campaign.

Lots to talk about with my panel, including CNN legal analyst and former U.S. attorney Michael Moore, CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp, and former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart.

Hi, Michael, I want to start with you. We know Trump's lawyers have signaled that they want to try to move this state case in Georgia to federal court, but late Friday his former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows lost his bid to make a similar move. So do you think Trump will still try to move to federal court? And if so, will he be successful?


MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, I'm glad to be with all of you this afternoon. I do think it's likely that he will try to move the case to federal court. I don't know that the loss for Meadows was completely unexpected. I think there were probably a 50/50 chance in which way it might go with Judge Jones. But he's made his decision. What's interesting is that immediately, the Meadows team appealed, and I think that's really what we're seeing is this is an effort by Trump likely to delay, to continue to delay this case.

You saw during the hearing in the Superior Court last week, the trial judge was interested in what an appeal of the issue would do and how much delay that would cause in the state case. Even if the state case were to remain in Fulton Superior Court. He talked about it being a months and months delay because of the appeal to the 11th Circuit and likely then to the Supreme Court. So I think he will move.

The question will be whether or not the court finds that Trump fits the statute for removal. He will not have some of the same obstacles that Meadows had. The president and vice president are not governed by the Hatch Act, for instance. In other words he is expected to do campaign things even in the White House. But whether or not he is able to articulate a claim, I think they will use the decision that the court wrote in the Meadows case and the Trump team will analyze that and then pick the strongest parts, pick the things that seem to get the judge's interest, expand on those and really hit on those in their motion and then file the motion, of course, and argue it to move.

Judge Jones in the federal court did say, look, this is not applying to everybody. I'm just ruling on Meadows. Everybody else will get the same opportunity to be heard. So I think they'll take advantage of that.

REID: S.E., given all of Trump's legal troubles, right, he has more legal cases pending than any presidential candidate in history, but most of his GOP competitors, they still treat him with kid gloves. Will that ever change?

S. E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen, Chris Christie has been swinging at Trump and that should be said, and we'll see if that has a long term effect. He's playing a long game. You know, Chris Christie will talk about, you know, if I keep doing this, I will change voters' minds as it gets closer and closer and Trump's legal troubles loom larger and larger. But you're right, for the rest of them, they've really remained hands off.

And you've got two parallel campaigns happening. You've got people running for president to court voters who are moderates, independents, maybe disaffected Republicans, maybe some Democrats who are not pleased with Joe Biden, and then parallel to that, you've got people trying to convert the cult of Trump. And those two things cannot intersect. They cannot be aligned, right, because to get the moderates, the independents, the disaffected, you can't kiss up to Trump and that's the only thing you need to do to win the cult of Trump and those voters.

So it's an odd calculation to try and win the cult of Trump when Trump is also already in the race and those are probably a lock for him. So I would abandon that and run for everyone else which means swinging at Trump.

REID: Joe, if Trump goes to trial in Georgia, it is expected to be televised. So if that happens before the presidential campaign, do you think it makes a difference at all that people can watch the process? Do you think it would change the hearts and minds of any voters?

JOE LOCKHART, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I mean, it's obviously going to have an impact. At the beginning, Paula, you said he's balancing his legal as political campaigns. They're all one and the same now for Trump. The legal actions taken against him, he's using in his campaigns as evidence of that the system is rigged and it goes right to the heart of the message that he's been delivering to his base for five years.

For Trump, I mean, it's still more than anything, he's a guy who loves ratings. He was trained on "The Apprentice." He will love this and he will use these cases as a way to campaign. Democrats will watch because they hate him. MAGA folks will watch because they love him. What really matters is the people in the middle that will decide the election, whether they think that somehow the system is working against him or they're turned off like they were in 2020 and move back towards supporting President Biden.


REID: Michael, we learned this week that the Georgia special grand jury recommended charges against 39 people. 19 only, 19 were charged or indicted, and the district attorney there, she decided against charges for people like Senator Lindsey Graham, former senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

Do you think that that is going to be an issue at trial? Is this something that they could bring up in court and what about the court of public opinion? Because we know as, you know, he was just saying, the former president is trying to argue that this is political. But here she opted not to move forward with charges. So how do you think these recommendations related to the current and former senators will impact this case?

MOORE: Well, I think Joe is exactly right. I think this is as much a part of the campaign as any criminal process in Trump's mind. And so this is just one more piece that he will use to argue that he's somehow being oppressed by the prosecutors and moving forward. He can simply look and see, I believe, he will say, that they did not charge Kelly Loeffler, they did not charge David Perdue, they did not charge Lindsey Graham, they did not charge all these other people, but yet they're coming after me even though -- and we saw this on the report, that the vote was not unanimous.

There was a holdout that was not in favor of indicting the former president. I think you're going to hear more about that. The report itself is really skeletal. There's no evidence of deliberations. There's not much to be said about what -- there's no transcript. Nothing to be said about what's happened in front of the special purpose grand jury. It simply has about nine pages listing out who voted for what and the numbers of the votes and which defendants they thought are potential defendants should be named.

The rest of the report is simply a recitation of Georgia law. So I think he'll use it. Now whether or not he uses it at trial, I don't know. But I think this -- you're seeing all of this, everything that's happening is playing right now into his hand as it relates to delay and that argument that, look, I've got all these people, all these prosecutors all coming after me and all they want to do is get their trial scheduled before the election. They've had 2 1/2 years and here they go. And that may be playing into some of his campaign stuffing that we're seeing going on.

REID: Well, unclear if he'll be charged in Georgia and unclear if that will happen before the election.

Michael Moore, S.E. Cupp and Joe Lockhart, thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.

REID: And the top U.S. general says Ukraine's offensive is running out of time. We'll explain why. And we'll talk live with Congressman Jim Hines of the House Intelligence Committee. That's next on the CNN NEWSROOM.



REID: A top U.S. general is warning time is running out for Ukraine's counteroffensive. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley says that while Kyiv has made steady progress against Russian troops, cold weather could make it harder for Ukrainian forces to maneuver.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: There's still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days' worth of fighting weather yet. So the Ukrainians aren't done. This battle is not done. And they haven't achieved -- they haven't finished the fighting part of what they're trying to accomplish. So we'll see. It's too early to say how this is going to end.


REID: Joining us now to discuss is Democratic Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut. He's the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee and he also serves on the Congressional Ukraine Caucus.

Congressman, thank you for being with us today.

REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Thanks for having me, Paula.

REID: The general says it's too early to say whether the counteroffensive has failed, but clearly time isn't on the Ukrainian side here. So what does U.S. support for the war mean at this time?

HIMES: Yes, Paula, it's a little hard to listen to that. You know, the Ukrainians are engaged in truly an existential, an overused word, but an existential fight for their country. And it's our fight too, right? It's a fight against a brutal dictator by a fledgling democracy. And to say that just because the fighting season may slow down their advance, that that somehow is equivalent to their failing when they have done nothing but win unexpectedly now for -- you know, coming on two years, is a little rich.

Yes, the fighting will be different when the ground is frozen, but you know, frozen ground also makes it easier for vehicles to get around under some circumstances. So my point is here, that this is not something that's going to be over quickly. And if, you know, people are expecting a Hollywood ending here, that at the end of two hours, the Ukrainians are going to merge victorious, this is the real world.

They have brutal, brutal fighting to do against an entrenched enemy and they're going to continue to win so long as we in the West continue to support them in their fight, which is why at the end of the day, I'm pretty animated against people who were saying that this is somehow verging on failure.

REID: I want to turn now to Asia. President Biden is visiting Vietnam today and he said his trip isn't about containing China. He argues America's goal is about, quote, "getting the relationship right with Beijing." However, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is slamming the administration's stance. Take a listen to what she told my colleague Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" today.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: China has been practically preparing for war with us for years. Yes, I view China as an enemy. How much more has to happen for Biden to realize you don't send Cabinet members over to China to appease them? You start getting serious with China and say, we're not going to put up with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) REID: Is Haley right? Is China an enemy of the United States?

HIMES: Well, look, you know, Nikki Haley is running for president. She is doing exactly what you would expect her to try to do which is to appeal to the Republican base. There was a point in time when Nikki Haley had a responsible government position, that time is not now.

If you want to call them an enemy, OK, they have certainly, you know, been extremely aggressive in the South China Sea, it's stolen our I.P., we don't like what they do in terms of political repression or the way treat their ethnic minorities, but, guess what, there's also some $700 billion in cross-border trade with China. They own about a trillion dollars of our sovereign debt. Everything that you and I wearing right now, much of the equipment that we're using, the furniture in the rooms that we're sitting in was made in China.


And so, you know, if you -- again, I understand using the word enemy in the context of a Republican presidential primary. The fact is what is called for here is statesmanship. And that is to say that we're very clear with the Chinese about what we're not going to tolerate and hopefully the West isn't going to tolerate aggressive behavior in the South China Sea, turning fire hoses on Philippine naval vessels, that kind of thing, even as we do exactly what Joe Biden has been doing these last couple of days, which is making it clear that we also have common interests that we cannot forget.

REID: Back on U.S. soil. As you know, of course, the House is back in session this week and there is this epic fight over spending among Republicans. There's just three weeks left to craft a deal that will avert a shutdown at the end of this month. What is the likelihood of this actually happening?

HIMES: Well, I'll know an awful lot more on Tuesday when I get down there. It's been five weeks or so since we've been in session.

Look, here's what I would point out, you know this. The Senate has actually been passing appropriations bills almost exclusively in a bipartisan way. So here you have one chamber that is making progress. You have a Democratic president and, yes, there are 10, 20 Republicans who want to outlaw abortion in this country as a, you know, ransom for actually letting a budget go forward, who want to, you know, do all sorts of ideological things.

They are very isolated, right? Yes, they control the House by a very narrow margin and yes, the speaker of the House has to listen pretty hard to any four Republicans, including people like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene because without them he no longer has a majority. But the reality is, we know how this ends. A budget does get passed. I do imagine that the, you know, social media performers on the Republican side are going to demand their pound of flesh. But I do think given the way the poker table is laid out here, we do eventually get a budget passed.

REID: Congressman Himes, thank you for joining us. HIMES: Thank you.

REID: Hurricane Lee is threatening to create dangerous conditions on the U.S. East Coast. And it's expected to get stronger in the coming days. The latest on the storm's path next from the CNN NEWSROOM.



REID: We turn now to Hurricane Lee, gaining strength in the Atlantic. The powerful storm returning to a category 3 hurricane just a short time ago. Now set to impact the East Coast with rough surf and dangerous rip currents.

CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray joins us now with the very latest.

Jennifer, how's it looking out there?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Paula. You're right. It has slowly started to regain strength. You can see that eye starting to pop out once again in the last few frames that really indicate that we are seeing some strengthening and some organization here with Lee. Winds of 120 miles per hour. It's moving to the west-northwest at eight miles per hour. So this is going to continue to slow down a little bit.

By the middle part of the week, we'll finally get a better idea of where this is going to go because it's expected to take that turn to the north. This could top out as a category four storm later tonight or early tomorrow morning. So we do expect further strengthening from the storm. But the million-dollar question with this storm is when exactly will that turn to the north take place? Models are slowly starting to come together and agree a little bit more on when that's going to happen.

But then you can see how spread out they are up here. So a little bit of uncertainty there. But the sooner this turn take place, that will mean the less impacts we'll see to the U.S. East Coast, if any. So it's still too early to tell what kind of impacts we'll have along the East Coast, if any. The best thing to do is just be prepared. Stay tuned. By the middle part of the week, we should have a much better idea of what we're looking at here.

Still a couple of possibilities of where the storm could go. We're looking at potentially passing a little closer to the East Coast or a little bit farther to the east. It all depends on what we call this trough right here, this ridge that's building, and if it breaks down a little bit more that it possibly could allow it to go a little bit farther to the west. But of course we're going to keep a close eye on this. We'll have much more to come in the days ahead -- Paula.

REID: We'll be watching. Jennifer Gray, thank you.

And tonight on CNN, follow 9/11 activists Jon Stewart and John Feal, as they fight to make sure thousands of terminally ill first responders get the health care they deserve.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pundits at the time, the medical experts had told us that possibly we might find cancers 10 to 20 years down the road. And we started finding them almost immediately, within two years, which is unprecedented.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, one toxin over time will give you cancer. But 2500 different chemicals mixed together, we were lab rats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think about a halogen light bulb, right, with a trace of mercury in it. OK. You break a light bulb you're not worried that you're going to get mercury poisoning. You break two million light bulbs, OK, it's a lot of mercury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've heard some stories of folks that were identified by carrying other person's DNA or traces of other person's body fluids. This is something we've never seen before and hopefully we never will again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did we know we were going to get sick? We joked about it. The fire burned for three months. We were putting fires out for three months.


REID: Don't miss "NO RESPONDERS LEFT BEHIND," tonight at 9:00 on CNN.

And police say an escaped killer is taking new steps to blend in.


The latest on the manhunt in Pennsylvania next. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.


REID: I'm Paula Reid in Washington. Jim Acosta has the day off. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And a manhunt expands as a convicted killer remains on the loose. This hour, there are major new developments in the search for the escaped prison inmate in Pennsylvania. Danelo Cavalcante has changed his appearance from the photos first distributed by police 11 days ago. This is doorbell video from last night. It shows he is now clean shaven with a change of clothes aside from his prison pants.