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Biden Surveys Ian's Destruction As Death Toll Climbs; CNN Gains Rare Access Inside Newly Liberated Ukrainian Territory; GOP Attempts To Contain Herschel Walker Abortion Scandal; Court Filing Reveals Details About Items FBI Seized At Mar-A-LagoAired 6-7p ET

Aired October 05, 2022 - 18:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Also tonight, an exclusive report from Ukraine, CNN granted rare access inside newly liberated territory while Russian forces flee, a stunning Ukrainian counteroffensive.

And we'll have more on the political bombshell rocking Republican plans to retake the Senate. Herschel Walker is issuing a new denial over reports he paid for a woman's abortion. Can his campaign contain the fallout?

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Pamela Brown, and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

This hour, we're following the urgent rescue and recovery effort exactly one week after Hurricane Ian made landfall. Our Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins is traveling with President Biden, who surveyed the damage in Florida today. We're going to have more on that in just a moment.

But, first, let's go to CNN's Randi Kaye in Naples. She took an hour- long boat ride to get a closer look at the devastation on Sanibel Island as residents returned home for the first time.

Randi, it was an emotional moment for so many people.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Pamela. We took this boat ride with a couple of women who bought their home on Sanibel Island two years ago. It was their dream home. And they had to hire a driver, a captain, because it's the only way to get to the island now, because that causeway was destroyed by Hurricane Ian.

So, it was about an hour-long boat ride and then about a mile walk from the beach to their home. And what we saw along the way was just horrible and so sad. There were cars that were turn around over. There were buildings collapsed, resorts that were just destroyed. And then as we approached their home, they could see that the screen around their pool had caved in. Then, it took them about an hour to get inside because the hurricane shutters were down and they're powered by electricity, which there is none, so they had to do it manually.

Once inside, the upstairs level was dry. They thought they were in the clear, but then they went downstairs, Pamela, and there was mud and muck and mold all over the place. The stench was horrific. We went into the garage. They had a mini cooper that they left behind when they evacuated that was full of water and mud, and you can see the water line in the downstairs that was up to six feet on the walls. So, that's how they knew how high that water had come. And then in their lower apartment, the refrigerator had been pulled out of the wall and was sitting on top of the countertops, and the kitchen island was turned on its side, including the granite countertop on its side.

So, we spoke to this couple about how they felt about returning to Sanibel to see their home for the first time, and this is what they said.


VICKI PASKALY, SANIBEL RESIDENT: This was our dream home. This was our last home. This is where we were going to spend our quiet, simple life together. This was the last house. And, you know, we keep looking for the quiet, simple life. And although Sanibel provided it to us for two years, it was wonderful.

KAYE: Until Ian took it away.

PASKALY: Until Ian took it away.


KAYE: And the question, of course, now, Pamela, is what do they do now? How do they rebuild? They can live upstairs. It's unlivable right now, but, eventually, they could, but the bottom of their home is just destroyed, and they don't have any flood insurance that covers the bottom -- the lower level of their home. That's how it works on Sanibel Island. So, all of that mud and muck and all the damage down there, that is on them. They will have to clean that up on their own and figure out how to pay for it, Pamela.

BROWN: Yes. it's so much to deal with. And then try to figure out, do we want to stay here? What if this happens again? Randi Kaye, thank you for that report.

And now to our chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Kaitlan, the president toured some of the horrific damage from Hurricane Ian today. What was his message to people still recovering from the storm?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Really, it was a message of commitment, and the president saying that the federal government is going to be here as long as it takes, because this is going to be quite a long recovery.

And those were statements that President Biden made after he got a firsthand look at this. He took this aerial tour with first lady Jill Biden to really see the extent of the damage that obviously Randi saw there on the ground today, taking a boat over there to actually see it up close. President Biden saw it from the sky and got a good look, he said, at just how extensive the damage is, which he says he believes this is going to be a years-long effort for Florida to rebuild in this area that was hardest hit. And they believe it's going to take tens of billions of dollars.

But the president said that the government will be here to help the people of Florida as they are struggling with this loss, and, of course, that was a message that was delivered alongside someone you don't often see next to President Biden, the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. And while President Biden noted their political differences today, he said that wasn't what they talked about, and, really, that wasn't what mattered.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We have a long road ahead of us, rebuilding entire communities from the ground up. I want the people of Florida to know you have my commitment and America's commitment that we're not going to leave.


I think he done a good job. Look, I told him, I think before he called me when I (INAUDIBLE), we worked hand in glove. We have very different political philosophies, but we worked hand in glove and (INAUDIBLE) with dealing this crisis. We've been completely lockstep.


COLLINS: The president there praising DeSantis, saying that he believes he's done a remarkable job. DeSantis himself praised Biden's response and the federal government's response and how quickly they have been here, of course, coordinating.

That comes as they also announced that the federal government is going to extend that period of time that they pay for the debris clean-up, that they're the ones on the ground helping with that and also for those response efforts, because what President Biden said today is, you know, typically, they've got about 30 days of a period that they do that before they can make an assessment, but so many people still cannot reach their homes.

And so really being here on the ground, Pamela, you get a sense of the loss of what people have experienced here when it comes to not just their loved ones, as we have seen the death toll climb in the days, as you've gotten a clearer picture of what's happened, but also their livelihoods. I mean, you see behind me, there are boats that are not supposed to be here. They are supposed to be over across in the marina, but they came over in that surge as the water grew incredibly high. They've actually got a flag over here showing just how high the water got. And one of these boats behind me, the owner had just bought it a matter of days ago. It's a charter boat. It's a business that his son was running out of here.

And so you just get the sense of they're just figuring out how to get a crane over here to get this boat out of here, much less to what it's going to look like for business prospective, what that's going to look like going forward, as you really just see just how enormous the loss here is.

BROWN: And they are missing out on peak tourism season right around the corner as well, I mean, taking a huge economic hit.

COLLINS: Exactly.

BROWN: Kaitlan Collins, thanks for that.

And let's talk to the vice mayor of a place where residents returned to today to see up close the damage to their homes. Richard Johnson joins us now.

Richard, tell us what your residents are experiencing as they return to Sanibel Island viewing those homes for the first time since the storm. I imagine it was very emotional for them.

VICE MAYOR RICHARD JOHNSON, SANIBEL, FLORIDA: Absolutely. What we tried to prepare our folks, our residents, we have been open and transparent with them and giving them as much information that we possibly get, whether it be the USAR team, the evaluation of their individual homes. We've got well over 95 percent of those homes have been visited by the USAR team and mapped that out.

Helping them to understand, boots on the ground, our first responders, EMS, fire, police, Sanibel Police, city council, actually, had some time to get over there and check. We had -- I was on board with the structural safety inspection team and spent some time on the island yesterday.

You still can't provide adequate preparation for the emotional content of that. People have lost everything in some cases. It is varied degrees of damage, but every home on Sanibel has received some level of damage, everywhere from minor to total devastation.

BROWN: Yes. Randi Kaye just interviewed a couple whose home is severely damaged. They just moved there a couple years ago, hoping to ride out retirement there in paradise, now this. How long is it going to take for residents to rebuild, to restore this island to the paradise? And you have to ask, you know, are you concerned about rebuilding in case another hurricane sweeps through like this?

JOHNSON: Certainly, we absolutely are concerned about rebuilding. That is something that this could happen again, and it will happen again. Hopefully, it won't happen in our community. However, we will be prepared, we will rebuild, and we will rebuild stronger and better than we were before. We will be more better prepared for this.

It has been since 1926 since we had water on the island like this, storm surge on the island, and the level of devastation that the storm surge in the category 4 winds were just unbelievable.

BROWN: I was just talking to our reporter, Kaitlan Collins, about the fact that Florida is approaching its peak tourism season, what is typically, I should say, its peak tourism season. How detrimental will it be for your state to lose this tourist income, especially as it embarks on this very expensive recovery effort? JOHNSON: We are coming up on the beginning of our tourist season. We were all in preparation mode for an exciting, just coming off of several years of COVID. We were prepared. We were beginning to see our residents, our winter residents, come back. We were looking forward to welcoming guests from around the world to Sanibel Island.


This is a cherished destination for many have come here year after year after year.

Unfortunately, this tourist season will be nonexistent. We are not going to be prepared to accept our tourists at this time. As soon as we are ready to do so, we will welcome our residents back, get them in, help the businesses recover from this catastrophe and also provide an opportunity for guests to return when it is safe for them to do so.

BROWN: Sanibel Vice Mayor Richard Johnson, thank you and best of luck. I know you have been working around the clock there on the island. We appreciate your time.

JOHNSON: It's been a long seven days, and thank you very much for the opportunity to speak with you.

BROWN: Thank you.

And just ahead, we go inside newly liberated Ukrainian territory where retreating Russian soldiers have left the bodies of fallen comrades just lying there right in the streets. It's a CNN exclusive.


BROWN: Now, a CNN exclusive, International Security Editor Nick Paton Walsh gained rare access to newly liberated Ukrainian territory and what he found was very disturbing.


We do want to warn you that this report contains graphic images.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice over): We don't leave our own behind, a Russian war slogan you hear less these days, especially along the road south by the Dnipro River where the Russians seem to be collapsing since the weekend on yet a third front.

The pace of Ukraine's advance, you can feel on the roads here. And it's hour-by-hour that they move forward, this road lined with Russian bodies, abandoned Russian positions. It's clear people left here in a hurry.

In just the last three days, they've swept along the west bank of the river through Russian positions, the shallow, shabby foxholes of an army with almost nothing at hand. Even what little they had was abandoned, especially this tank, a model that first came into service 60 years ago when Vladimir Putin was nine.

Here, the village of Mykolaivka right on the river is getting cell phone service for the first time in six months and aid. Shells slammed into here 90 minutes ago from the Russians still across the water. It's the price of their freedom.

The Russians would check on us, she says, tried to make us vote in the referendum, but we didn't. Still, we survived. We old people always have food supplies.

Outside the village are more of the short-lived occupation, left in the tree line with a sleeping mat and shells.

In nearby Liubymivka, there was heavy fighting Saturday, and then Sunday, the Russians just vanished. Gratitude for aid and liberation going spare to almost anyone.

Smiles, and it is over, and shock at how fast. It was very scary. We were afraid, she says, hiding, they were bombing, robbing. We survived. They ran. The rain came, and they ran. Signs all around of how their unwanted guests just did not know what to do when they got here, or have food or beds. So, they filled that gap with cruelty.

Andre had a generator and would charge locals' phones, so the Russians decided he was a Ukrainian informer and beat him. They brought me from here and they put a hood on my head and taped it up, he says. Then we talked a few steps up and down. They beat him so badly, his arms turned blue from defending his head, still there months later.

Stalemate had torn these huge expanses up for months. Now it's broken, as has the fear of the Kremlin's army here, bereft, abandoned, filthy, and vanishing down the road.


WALSH (on camera): There's something startling about what's happening in the south, because after we saw the advance in the northeast around Kharkiv, that was, itself, an extraordinary loss of territory that Russia had fought so hard for. Then we saw just at the weekend how they were losing fast in the east, giving up the strategic town of Lyman. Now in the south, a much bigger, potentially more consequential and embarrassing loss for Russia, they are losing at the fastest pace, frankly, I've seen yet so far in six months of being here.

It is remarkable. It's unclear quite how sustainable Russia's presence on that side of the river actually is. And this isn't really because the Ukrainian military somehow become super human overnight. It seems to be because Russia's positions are poorly supplied, poorly managed and essentially slowing collapsing when they're very carefully and very persistently attacked by the Ukrainians. Pamela?

BROWN: Nick Paton Walsh, excellent reporting as always from Ukraine. Thanks so much.

And let's get more on all of this, Democratic Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. You just heard Nick's report there. Your reaction to that. Just how significant are these Ukrainian advances in the east and south, in your view?

REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Well, they're really significant. You know, put yourself in the shoes of the Russian soldiers who both committed these war crimes that were detailed so explicitly there who are implicated in war crimes throughout Ukraine. They're hungry. They don't -- they're using 30, 40-year-old military equipment. They're at severe risk of being killed. And even in the best case scenario, they will be tried for war crimes, one hopes, and that's true of junior officers.


And so, it's really important, I think, that they understand that they are at the tip of a crumbling spear in a terrible, terrible mistake. That obviously has implications for us. You know, how Putin responds is a frightening and complicated question. But the performance of the Ukrainians has been amazing, and it's really remarkable to see.

BROWN: That's always the fear. How is Putin going to respond as his desperation grows?

I want to ask you about this new reporting coming in. We're learning that the U.S. intelligence community believes elements of the Ukrainian government authorized that August car bombing of a Russian target outside of Moscow. Does that line up with your understanding, as a member of the Intelligence Committee?

HIMES: Yes, Pam, that is not something I can comment on publicly. It's obviously of some interest to the United States, because if those reports are true, and, again, I don't want to comment either way, you know, that raises the specter of arguably Ukraine losing very clear moral high ground. Ukraine, apart from the military momentum right now, has clear, clear moral high ground, and we want to make sure that that is retained and that this doesn't become a two-sided thing where Putin can arguably say, well, the other side is killing civilians too while he is butchering civilians. So, again, I sadly can't comment on the particulars of that. But, you know, we certainly hope that the Ukrainians using western NATO, U.S. aid are behaving in a way consistent with maintaining the moral high ground that they have.

BROWN: But have you been briefed on it? I mean, do you know -- do you have an understanding of what happened?

HIMES: Again, I can't comment on the particularity.

BROWN: I'm not asking -- I'm just saying, have you been briefed? Right, go ahead.

HIMES: That question is of real interest to the U.S. government, because we do have such a profound interest in making sure that the Ukrainians not only maintain the moral high ground but they don't do things -- because let's face it, they're being enormously aggressive. You see that on the battlefield in the report that you just saw from your correspondent, Nick. They're being enormously aggressive. There is a point where aggressiveness could actually begin to harm their cause.

So, again, I can't get into what I do or don't know from United States intelligence sources, but it's a real concern for the United States if the Ukrainians don't get too far out in front of what is acceptable practice.

BROWN: But our reporting is that there were elements of the Ukrainian government that did -- that were involved in this. Is it a mistake? Based on our reporting, you don't have to speak to what you were briefed on, is it a mistake, based on that?

HIMES: Well, again, I can't --

BROWN: I know, but based on our reporting.

HIMES: I'm not in a position to confirm.

BROWN: I'm not asking you to.

HIMES: Yes. I'm not in a position to comment on your reporting on something that is both strategically and, from a sources and methods thing standpoint, really pretty sensitive.

BROWN: All right, Congressman Jim Himes, thank you so much.

HIMES: Thank you.

BROWN: And just ahead, Georgia Republican Senate Candidate Herschel Walker is doubling down on his denial he paid for an abortion and response to explosive allegations from one of his sons.

Stay with us. You're in the CNN Situation Room.



BROWN: Tonight, Georgia Republican Senate Candidate Herschel Walker is slamming his Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, in a new ad, calling his campaign, quote, nasty. And this comes following the explosive allegations of the Daily Beast that the former football star paid for a former girlfriend's abortion in 2009.

CNN's Gabby Orr joins us live. What else is Walker saying in this new ad, Gabby?

GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Well, interestingly, what he is not saying is he's not weighing in about the story alleging that he paid for a former girlfriend's abortion in 2009. Instead, he released an ad earlier this afternoon, Pam, that goes after Raphael Warnock, the incumbent Democratic senator, claiming that he's been twisting anecdotes, pieces of Walker's history and making them look as though his past is more checkered than it actually is. He says that this is typically -- typical of what a politician should do, and I want us to take a listen to a part of that ad.


HERSCHEL WALKER (R) GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: As everyone knows, I had a real battle with mental health, even wrote a book about it. And by the grace of God, I've overcome it. Warnock is a preacher who doesn't tell the truth.


ORR: You know, he says Warnock doesn't tell the truth. One thing that Warnock hasn't weighed in on himself are these explosive allegations that Walker paid for an abortion. He hasn't used it in any of his advertisement, his fundraising, his campaign has been radio silent on this, obviously, because there have also been allegations against Warnock about his treatment of his former wife. And so this is sort of a thorny issue for both campaigns, but Warnock not going there so far, and, really, none of these Democratic outside groups supporting his campaign have gone there either.

BROWN: Yes, they pretty much remain silent.

So, Herschel Walker appeared on Fox News earlier today. He denied the allegations, the claims in the Daily Beast report, and he also responded to the -- his son, the viral video of his son calling him a liar. Tell us more about that.

ORR: Yes, that video went viral, and it was just part of a number of social media postings that his son, Christian, has made, claiming that his father has been lying about his campaign. This is something that Republicans on the ground in Georgia have said is actually maybe more explosive and damaging to Herschel Walker as a candidate than the Daily Beast story.

Let's take a listen to what Christian said and then how Herschel responded on Fox News this morning.



CHRISTIAN WALKER, HERSCHEL WALKER'S SON: Lie after lie after lie, the abortion part drops yesterday. It's literally his handwriting in the card. They say they have receipts, whatever. He gets on Twitter, he lies about it. Okay, I'm done, done. Everything has been a lie.

Don't lie on my mom. Don't lie on me. Don't lie on the lives you've destroyed and act like you're some moral family man. You all should care about that, conservatives.

H. WALKER: I love my son unconditionally and I -- that's the way I've always been. I always love him unconditionally.

But his father's always there for him, I always will be for any of my kids, and I love him.


ORR: The Fox News appearance this morning was the second time that Herschel Walker has denied these allegations against him. He said that he does not even know who the woman is that is making the claims in the Daily Beast story, and he also said that he did not recognize his signature on the get well card that was allegedly sent to this woman after she claims she had an abortion that he paid for, saying that -- he typically signs his entire signature. The card only contained the letter H.

BROWN: It's interesting with his son, though. His son identifies as a conservative and had come out in support of him in the campaign trail before this. That is a big reason too while this video is getting so much pickup from him.

All right, clearly, they're in damage control mode over there in the Herschel Walker campaign as we get closer to the midterms. Gabby Orr, thank you.

I want to bring in CNN Political Commentator Van Jones along with former Ohio Governor and CNN Senior Commentator John Kasich.

John, first to you, this new ad from Walker, it does not address this controversy, specifically. Instead, it attacks his opponent. What do you make of that?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: Well, they're trying to figure out how they can respond. I think the thing that is the -- the posting that's been put up by his son is, I think, pretty devastating. That's the thing that they should be very concerned about. I think he tried to answer it.

But, look, the situation is, in Georgia, in regard to this race, there are a lot of people that will vote for people that they find distasteful just to try to reverse the policies of inflation or the stock market going down, but you get to the point where things can get so bad that people say, I may care about these other issues but I just can't vote for this guy. And that's the problem that Herschel Walker is developing now. As to how it's going to turn out, we're going to have to wait and see.

BROWN: Yes. I was going to -- I want to get to you in just a second, Van, but, so far, some key Republicans are coming out standing behind him. Do you really think it's going to cost Herschel Walker votes? I know you said we have to wait and see, but what do you think right now?

KASICH: Oh, I think right now, it's very, very close. And if I were to bet, I wouldn't bet he'd win. But you know, they may end up in a runoff, and that will be really interesting because the runoff would occur after we find out who's got control of the Senate.

And, look, this is what happens when you have a candidate who's never really been examined. He won because one, one, he's a football star, and, two, because of Donald Trump. And I've been saying for a couple months that a lot of these candidates that Trump has endorsed, they may have won primaries but they're going to have a very hard time winning the general. And it's not just in Georgia. It's a number of other states.

So, the Senate may be lost to Republicans, not determined yet, but maybe, but the House will go Republican.

BROWN: Van, I know you have a thing or two to say about all this. What is your reaction to this latest ad from Herschel Walker and why aren't we hearing more from Democrats as all of this unfolds?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen, when your opponent is beating himself, you don't usually throw a rope over there. I mean, I think what Republicans need to deal with, these are not attacks on this man coming from the Democratic Party. They're not coming from Warnock. They're not coming from the Democratic Party. They're coming from inside his own family. It's coming from, you know -- Christian is a very conservative voice. This is not like one of those families, you know, Ronald Reagan had a son that was a liberal. No. Probably Christian may be to the right of Herschel on any issue. He is saying that this is -- this man is unfit because he is a dishonest human being. The ad didn't come from the Democratic Party, it came from a news outlet.

And so I think what you're seeing here is a Republican Party has to look in the mirror. If you just said, on the facts, without knowing anything else, to a conservative in Georgia, you say, listen, you got a preacher and a philanderer running against each other, who are you for? You would say, we're for the preacher. No. You're actually going to vote against a preacher for a philanderer whose own son says that he has been a disaster.

So, I think that he could survive it. Herschel Walker is a big star. It's certainly tragic to watch this stuff play out. But at some point, the level of hypocrisy, whether it's Donald Trump or Herschel Walker, or whoever it is, you have a Republican Party that says it has a certain set of values but will flush them down the toilet in the name of political power. At some point, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Is this about principles or is this about power? And I think over and over again, you're seeing the Republican Party say, we just want power.


We don't care about these principles in real life. We just want power. I think it's disgusting.

BROWN: Governor Kasich, how do you react to what he just called your party?

KASICH: I think -- look, I think the situation in America is both parties want power for the sake of having power. I don't think the Republicans have a monopoly on it. But, look, I mean, if the guy is -- the people of Georgia are going to decide this. And if they think this guy is unethical, then I think even though they don't like a lot of the policies of the current administration, they probably won't support him. It's not really that complicated. My concern was that he was never tested, didn't really know who he was, and, one, yes, as Van says, great football star, and secondly, an endorsement from Trump. It's time for the party to wake up, frankly. It's what has to happen. We don't know. Still too close to call. We're going to have to wait. There are going to be a lot of things that are going to happen in the next 30 days.

BROWN: All right. That is true. There could be some more October surprises, as it typically happens right before an election. John Kasich, Van Jones, thank you.

And just ahead, another loss for former President Trump in the Mar-a- Lago-seized document case, a federal appeals court says it will fast- track its ruling on the legality of the special master appointed to review those documents. So, what happens now? That's next.



BROWN: Breaking news tonight, South Korea's military says that North Korea has fired two, not one, but two ballistic missiles. This is the latest in a series of military provocations that has the U.S. warning Kim Jong-un of an escalating response.

Let's bring in CNN Senior National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt with the latest. What are you finding out, Alex?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, we have just gotten confirmation that, as you mentioned, it is not one but two new missiles, ballistic missiles, that North Korea has launched today. This, of course, comes in the wake of Tuesday's launch of a ballistic missile, a long-range ballistic missile that flew over the Sea of Japan, flying over Japan for the first time in five years, causing real fear in Japan.

Thursday, tonight's missile launches, which is Thursday morning in Asia, was confirmed by the Japanese government. The South Koreans are saying that their military has strengthened their surveillance and vigilance, and they are maintaining a full readiness posture while closely cooperating with the United States. This comes as the United States is carrying out exercises with Japan and South Korea in response to this flurry of missile launches from North Korea. Take a look.


MARQUARDT (voice over): The U.S. and allies responding to North Korea's Tuesday missile test with shows of unity and firepower. Joint aerial and ground exercises with Japan, fighter jets in the sky, with South Korea launching long-range precision rockets designed to remind Kim Jong-un what he could be facing.

JOHN KIRBY, COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, NATIONAL SECURITY COORDINATOR: To make sure that we have the military capabilities at the ready to respond to provocations by the north, if it comes to that. Now, it shouldn't come to that. We have made it clear to Kim Jong-un we're willing to sit down with no preconditions.

MARQUARDT: The Tuesday launch prompting the U.S. to call for an emergency Security Council meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday.

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: We can and must return to a time when we spoke with a unified voice against the DPRK's malign behavior.

MARQUARDT: U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken today calling North Korea's actions dangerous and reckless.

ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: If they continue down this road, it will only increase the condemnation, increase the isolation, increase the steps that are taken in response to their actions.

MARQUARDT: North Korea has carried out a flurry of missile tests this year. The launch on Tuesday, flying almost 3,000 miles or 4,600 kilometers, right over Japan for the first time in five years, a major provocation and escalation.

JEFFREY LEWIS, DIRECTOR, MIDDLEBURY INSTITUTE EAST ASIA NONPROLIFERATION PROGRAM: They don't care if people are angry about it. They know what they want to do, and I think they're pretty dead- set on doing it.

MARQUARDT: Kim's meetings with former President Donald Trump proving little help in slowing North Korea's missile and nuclear development.

LEWIS: He believes that these are the things that safeguard his regime, and so I think that he is both talking that talk but he's walking that walk, going on about his business of building up his nuclear arsenal.


MARQUARDT (on camera): And, Pamela, there is no indication that North Korea intends to denuclearize. In fact, experts believe that a new nuclear test from North Korea could come any day. Pamela?

BROWN: CNN's Alex Marquardt, thank you so much. We'll continue to cover this breaking news.

Just ahead for you tonight, a federal appeals court now says it will expedite a case over the legality of the Mar-a-Lago special master. What does it mean for former President Trump's defense?



BROWN: Just in to CNN, a new court filing is revealing details about some of the items the FBI seized from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Joining us now is CNN political correspondent Sara Murray, along where former U.S. attorney and CNN senior legal analyst, Preet Bharara. Sara, first to you. What are you learning is in these documents?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, we're getting a few more details about the documents that were seized during that search in Mar-a-Lago, and look, these are details, Pam, that we are not supposed to be getting.

This is coming from a court filing that appeared to be inadvertently posted on the public docket. "Bloomberg News" found it, and it gives more details on what was seized in Mar-a-Lago, and it includes things like clemency requests, healthcare documents, IRS forms, paperwork that appeared to relate to the 2020 election, you know, paperwork that had to do with communications between a Republican lawyer and the White House about a lawsuit in Georgia.

It also looks like this list notes that there were some items relating to the former president's business. So a settlement between the PGA and Trump Golf. The former president's resignation from the Screen Actors Guild. And this is a list that came from the privilege review team, so we know that is the part of the Justice Department that was sort of weeding through these documents that were seized from Mar-a- Lago to weed out anything that could be potentially privileged.

And again, Pam, this is really interesting because we're not supposed to be seeing this. This is something that was inadvertently public for just a few minutes.

BROWN: Yeah, it is so interesting.


This usually does not happen.

Preet, among these documents, clemency requests as Sara just said. You have paperwork about the 2020 election. What stands out to you from these new details?

PREET BHARARA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Yeah, I mean, I'd like to know what all the documents were. I mean, one of the things that the Department of Justice is fighting about in these various appeals and litigations that are going on is the ability to look at the non- classified documents and some of these other documents for the purpose of showing that non-classified documents that were personal to the president, the former president of the United States, were co-mingled with classified documents for the purpose of being able to show that the mishandling of the sensitive and classified document what's at the hands of Donald Trump.

So, what'd be interesting for me to know is the things directly related to Donald Trump, the kinds of things he would have handled and cared about, the kinds of things he would have asked to be taken from the White House and put into file and folders at Mar-a-Lago, know what those are and what they were co-mingled with. Because that, at the end of the day, is what this whole thing is about. That Donald Trump had intentionality when it comes to mishandling sensitive documents. And the presence of these other personal documents with documents that should've been kept classified. And with the archives, that tells you something.

BROWN: Yeah. All right. I want to twitch gears to something else here, Sara. Turning to the trial, the far right Oath Keepers, we now have this audio that was played in court of making plans to fight for Trump.

Tell us more about it. What does this recording reveal?

MURRAY: That's right. I mean, this was important evidence for the prosecution. It was their first major piece of evidence that they are putting forward to show that this far-right group actually had a plan ahead of time to try to block the peaceful transfer of power. Take a listen to some of that audio.


KELLY MEGGS, OATH KEEPERS MEMBER: Pepper spray is legal. Tasers are legal, and stun guns are legal. And it doesn't hurt to have a lead pipe with a flag on it.

STEWART RHODES, OATH KEEPERS LEADER: For example, when I was walking through the streets of Portland, I was quote/unquote, unarmed, but I had my helmet in my hand. Guess what that was for? That was to whack someone across the face.


MURRAY: So pretty stunning recording of the kind of weaponry they thought they could get away with bringing into D.C. We should also of course note that all five defendants in this trial have pleaded not guilty, Pam.

BROWN: Preet, what's your reaction? How does this audio fit into the government's argument?

BHARARA: Look, it's all part and parcel of the pattern they're trying to show that they had the intent to violate various laws including a serious law seditious conspiracy. And when it comes to this case is, among other things, an attempt or intent to prevent or distract from or interfere with the execution of any law.

And I think the more evidence you have of the means by which they were intending to do that and conversations you have about violence and about the use of ammunition and about the expectation that Donald Trump was going to invoke the Insurrection Act, which he never did, tells you more and more about whether or not they violated that statute and I think they had a pretty good case here.

BROWN: All right. Preet Bharara, Sara Murray, thank you both.

And coming up, more than 100 people dead and tens of billions of dollars in damage. We'll look at the horrible impact of Hurricane Ian on Florida.

We'll be right back.



BROWN: Initial estimates of the damage caused by hurricane Ian are as high as $55 billion in Florida alone.

CNN's Boris Sanchez looks at the devastating economic impact which could take years to recover.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It used to be a real nice place to watch sunsets.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the used-to-bes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just can't believe it.

SANCHEZ: That are left in heaps of debris all along the southwest Florida coast. Also lost, a lot of businesses and a lot of jobs.

This is the Parrot Key Caribbean Grill at Salty Sam's Marina before Hurricane Ian. This is the restaurant and marina now.

DARRELL HANSON, OWNER, SALTY SAM'S MARINA: In the parking lot, we must've had about 12 feet of water. So everything on first floor was totally destroyed. So, all our gift stores and restaurants and everything, they've lost all their inventory. It's hundreds of thousands of dollars that each business lost.

SANCHEZ: Darrel Hanson has owned Salty Sam's for more than 20 years, a labor of love, and now a labor of restoration.

HANSON: So, we're down here 12 hours or better a day trying to piece it back together.

SANCHEZ: The work though is not lonely.

HANSON: The employees have all come together. Excuse me -- they're all out there working their butt off. I got waitresses that are shoveling mud, you know, service techs that are shoveling mud and we're cleaning up garbage and moving pieces of aluminum and wood, moving everything we can to try to get back to business.

People are just working their butts off. I can't say enough about my employees.

SANCHEZ: Employees like Ty Landers.

TY LANDERS, SALTY SAM'S EMPLOYEE: Most of us lost our homes, and this is our home away from home. So, we're clinging onto what we have.

HANSON: Everybody's got a story. We don't expect them to come in. But sometimes they still come in. And I think sometimes just to get away from it and have hugs.

SANCHEZ: Another painful aspect of the recovery in southwest Florida is the uncertainty. A lot of business owners still don't know if they will be able to reopen or restart operations. And for many employees like roughly 200 here at Parrot Key, a lot of them lost everything, and many don't know when they're going to get their next paycheck.

HANSON: My employees want to open up a grill outside and start selling food so they can get back to doing what they do.

SANCHEZ: But here for Darrel and his team, as well as for thousands across the storm-battered region, it's going to be a long time before things return to normal.

Boris Sanchez, CNN, Fort Myers Beach, Florida.


BROWN: Our thanks to Boris for that report.

I'm Pamela Brown in THE SITUATION ROOM.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now. Have a great evening.