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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Latest on Path of Hurricane Maria; Mexico Quake Death Toll Rises to 273; Catastrophic "Harvey-Like" Flooding in Puerto Rico. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 21, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:02] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
There's breaking news tonight, along with the kind of news that takes time to emerge after any natural disaster.
Tonight, two days later, we are finally beginning to see what millions of Mexicans already know and know up close, the enormous scope of the earthquake destruction there.
And in Puerto Rico rain and flooding following Hurricane Maria is taking on, as one of our forecasters put it, Hurricane Harvey proportions. And that's on top of the wind damage. The entire island, all of it without power.
We're going to cover both the quake and the storm extensively tonight starting with Maria and whether it will hit the U.S. mainland.
Allison Chinchar starts us off with a new forecast from Maria?
What do we know, Allison?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, we just got the brand-new update in at the top of the hour, Anderson, and it has actually increased a little bit in wind strength. Winds right now, 125-mile- per-hour. Keep in mind, that is only five-mile-per-hour off from a category 4 storm. They're gusting upwards of 150 miles per hour.
Now, the track over the next couple of days will continue to take it out over the open Atlantic, towards the United States. The ultimate question is, how close does it actually get?
At this point in time, here, we're going to take it out to Thursday. This is one week from today. You can see at this point, a direct U.S. landfall does not necessarily look very likely.
But with that said, there are still expected to be impacts from this particular storm because, look, all of the models, they do get close enough, and that's the key right there. Basically from an area from North Carolina all the way up towards Maine, we could being looking at impact, coastal flooding, beach erosion, as well as gusty winds, Anderson.
COOPER: And the immediate areas of concern are where?
CHINCHAR: Right. So, the immediate areas, it's going to be places like still Puerto Rico. We still have some of the outer bands that are impacting areas of Puerto Rico, albeit the heaviest bands of rain are currently over the Dominican Republic.
The problem for Puerto Rico is, look at the amount of rain they've already had. These are comparable to what we saw in Texas from Hurricane Harvey and Garcia picking up almost 38 inches of rain. Lomas picking up nearly two feet. And in some of these areas, they picked this up in less than 36 hours. So, it's no surprise all of Puerto Rico is currently under a flood warning or a flash flood warning.
But again, we also have to push it forward, because as we mentioned, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos, Anderson, are going to be in the threat for that heavy rain in the next 24 hours.
COOPER: That's incredible that all of Puerto Rico is either in -- under threat for a flood or a flash flood warning. I mean, that's just remarkable. On top of that, they're all without power.
CHINCHAR: Yes. It is a rarity to have an entire island or even an entire state for that matter to be under something like that. But I think it just goes to show the perspective of just how much rain fell in such a short amount of time.
COOPER: Yes, and it's still coming down. Allison Chinchar, appreciate that. Thanks.
More on Maria in a few minutes. Now, we want to go to Mexico, though. The hard reality is also becoming clearer there.
The death toll now approaching 300 as crews pull more bodies from the quake rubble, and survivors as well. Rescues happening around the clock. In addition, some welcome news in that collapsed school where so many children lost their lives. Turns out no little girl was trapped. Authorities late today said that all children, whether they survived or not, have now been accounted for.
Our Ed Lavandera has been reporting on rescue reports. He joins us now from Mexico City.
Do we know why there was confusion around whether or not there were survivors trapped? Was it just the disorganization of the effort?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to say, Anderson. That seems to be kind of what the leading cause is. You've got to remember a lot of these collapsed buildings are spread out in pockets throughout this massive city and each one of these locations, there are different groups of people, the volunteers, Mexican army, Mexican navy, also rescue teams that are deploying themselves into these situations.
So, perhaps all of that lends into the chaos. Today, we were up close into one of these rescue efforts in one of the more popular neighborhoods here in the heart of Mexico City.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The search for survivors is not over. Brigades of civilian volunteers swarm this Mexico City neighborhood more than two days after the earthquake.
(on camera): This was a seven-story building that collapsed and right now, they believe that there is a man trapped inside of a car right underneath that heavy machinery over there.
(voice-over): Military officials believe there were 12 people inside this building when it crumbled to the ground.
Mexican Army General Federico Solorzano is overseeing rescue operations at this scene. He says seven out of the 12 people have been pulled out of the rubble, but only two have survived. And right now, it's an urgent search for a man named Roberto.
They dropped the microphone into the space and they're using an amplifier to hear his voice, he tells us. We think he's there.
And after a moment of silence, the workers erupt in a loud cheer.
(on camera): The reason you heard the workers here is because they had made contact.
[20:05:02] They heard the voice of the man believed to be trapped inside the car. So, they were celebrating that one brief moment in hopes that they will be able to pull him out alive.
(voice-over): These rescue efforts are supported by a largely improvised system created by thousands of volunteers. This supply station was opened in the middle of a rotunda, and there's a feverish frenzy in the air.
A private bus company loads dozens of volunteers to take them away.
(on camera): People have shown up here in this square in the heart of Mexico City. This bus is going to the state of Morelos, which needs a lot help. All of these people have volunteered to jump on these buses to go help and they have no idea when they're coming back to Mexico City.
(voice-over): And when the bus pulls away headed on its mission, the crowd cheers.
Across Mexico, the urgency to move mounds of rubble is relentless. They feel that each piece they move by hand brings them one inch closer to saving a life.
COOPER: And as you said, Ed, I mean, so much of this is spread out. Do we know how rescue efforts are going in other parts of the city? LAVANDERA: Well, the Mexican president said that they believe there
are about ten locations left where they believe (AUDIO GAP) last we heard there has been no ability to get to that person as of yet. So, still unclear how that situation was going to turn out.
But, you know, these rescue operations and these volunteer efforts just absolutely mesmerizing all over the city. As you see, all of these people turn out to these sites, many of them wearing hard hats. And, Anderson, oftentimes, it feels like in this situation, this chaotic moment, that anyone with a hard hat feels like they're the boss of a particular space here in the city.
So that kind of adds to the chaos of what we're seeing around the city and around the country.
COOPER: And, Ed, just in terms of, you know, the kind of expertise that they -- you're seeing a dog there that's being used, could be a dog looking for live people, could also be a cadaver dog. They're both specialized working dogs.
Do they have enough specialized people? I know rescue crews have come from probably all over the world at this point.
LAVANDERA: (AUDIO GAP) the team from California that the U.S. embassy told us was arriving here today and in that particular location that we were at, we saw a combination of Mexican army, Mexican navy, federal police, as well as Mexico city police working inside in that more immediate area of where that rescue operation was taking place.
So, yes, but it's hard to kind of sense that there's some sort of like central, organized committee that is organizing and dispatching all of these rescue teams. It seems like in each one of these locations, the efforts are kind of improvised. Some officially, some unofficially.
COOPER: Yes. Ed Lavandera, appreciate you being there. Thank you.
More perspective now on what goes into all the things you've been seeing.
Joining us now is Sonja Heritage, head trainer at the Search Dog Foundation.
Sonja, thanks so much for being with us.
The dogs that we see, as I said, I mean, some -- and correct me if I'm wrong here -- some are specifically for finding people who are alive and some for finding people who are deceased. Is that correct?
SONJA HERITAGE, HEAD TRAINER, SEARCH DOG FOUNDATION: That's true. But I'm not sure which dogs are out there working right now and whether the big question to ask is, have these dogs been certified, these dog teams, both the handler and the dog to a national standard or are they just deploying? And so, I'm not sure who is working the site that you're looking at right now.
COOPER: Also, the difficulty -- I mean, I know with bomb sniffing dogs, the difficulty is overusing them, that they get tired out in terms of their sense of smell. They can only be used for short periods of time of time and they need rest. Is that the same with these kind of search dogs?
HERITAGE: I wouldn't say short periods of time. I mean, it certainly depends on how warm it is outside, how humid it is, things like that.
But in the environment that in Mexico City right now, I would think that they could do some good work, certainly an hour if not more. These dogs are so highly driven and they're conditioned to believe that the person in that are you able that's trapped has their toy. And these dogs are over-the-top toy-driven. So that is what motivates them.
And frankly, the good search dogs, we have to hold them back. I mean, that's all they want to do is go run up on the rubble and find that inaccessible live human scent and they're trained specifically to ignore deceased victims and just to focus on live, and to just do a sustained bark alert where that odor is coming out of the rubble.
COOPER: This is a dumb question. But what does a live person -- what is the smell that they are particularly looking for with a living person? Is it sweat or --
[20:10:00] HERITAGE: I would say breath. It's breath. So, it's the respirations and that is the distinguishing odor. But, you know, in addition to that, there's biological changes that happen immediately once a person is deceased.
HERITAGE: And so, that's not what they're looking for.
COOPER: But it's the actual smell of breath it's not the sound of somebody's breathing or somebody's voice.
HERITAGE: That's correct.
COOPER: It's actually the smell of the breath.
HERITAGE: That's correct. And it's actually a whole scent plume is coming off of that person that is alive, as well as dead.
COOPER: Even if they're buried very beneath the rubble.
HERITAGE: Yes. Now, it comes more complex how that plume comes out and how many twists and turns. It's going to follow the concrete and it's going to come up through a breach in that concrete and keep track and until it goes up in the daytime. If it's hot outside and the sun is out, heat rises and at night, as we get further into the evening, it starts to fall.
So, those dogs will be working a lot from the bottom because the scent is going to start dropping and pooling in low areas.
COOPER: You know I went out with an L.A. search and rescue team in Port-a-Prince in the wake of the earthquake there, and it was just stunning how -- first of all, how many hours they're working on the site and the one I was on, they were trying to find a little girl whose mother said she was still alive underneath the rubble.
They worked for hours and hours. They had a dog. They had listening devices and still it was very hard for them to tell, they think they heard a girl's voice and then toward the end after many, many hours, they didn't get any more sign and the dog wasn't signaling anymore.
Are you surprised by the sort of fog of war aspect to this that we're seeing in Mexico City? You know, there was the report that there were children still trapped alive underneath that school and then that just seemed to today, we learned that's actually not the case, that everybody has been accounted for?
HERITAGE: I'm not surprised. It happens every time. You've got well-intentioned people that have been working around the clock.
They're fatigued. They're hopeful. And, you know, they hear things, and it's just -- it's just what happens, you know?
But that's why, you know, you can spend a lot of time in an area that there's no hope right there right now. And the dogs -- I mean, the dogs don't have that. You know, they are conditioned that this is the scent and the odor that gets me what I want and there is no false influence there. Certainly, you have variances and abilities and training and exposure, but it's not a false read.
And they're the only ones that -- that's the only tool that we have out there that can find somebody that is unresponsive.
COOPER: Right. It's incredible.
HERITAGE: You know, they can't always answer back. They can't always tap when you ask them to. And, you know, we know at this hour and as many days as we're in that, you know, they're thirsty, their mouth is full of powder and concrete and dust and dirt and hollering out is the last thing they can do.
HERITAGE: So, that --
COOPER: I had no idea it was breath that they were responding to.
Sonja, I appreciate your expertise on this. It's really fascinating, and let's hope there are more people that these dogs can find.
Sonja Heritage, thank you so much.
Up next, we've got some of the first video of the destruction from Hurricane Maria on the island of Dominica. That's when more than a dozen people have died.
Our team arrived there today. We're going to check in with them. The devastation as you can see dramatic. Also tonight, special counsel Robert Mueller asking the White House
for key documents in the Russian investigation. I'll talk it over with the former chief of the CIA and NSA, General Michael Hayden.
[20:17:25] COOPER: Back to our breaking news of Hurricane Maria.
The storm is intensifying, taking aim at new targets. Right now, Turks and Caicos. That is after pounding Puerto Rico and dumping more than three feet of rain on some areas.
This drone video gives you a look at what the U.S. territory is facing tonight. Epic flooding, millions on the island are in the dark.
Nick Paton Walsh joins us in Puerto Rico. He joins me from San Juan.
Nick, what's the latest there?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this is the first night we've had since really taking in the damage that was first visible at dawn this morning, a day without power, the first potentially as long as four to six months without electricity here. And, of course, that has radically changed how people view the months ahead here, how they go to work, where they go to school, what kind of health care is available to them. Simply, the amount of knowledge that they have here in terms of their cell phones not working.
People come up to us asking, when is the airport going to open? Well, they hope that may be tomorrow and also how fast were the winds that ripped through here at San Juan. That was 155-mile-per-hour.
But here is some of the images we saw yesterday and today about the level of destruction.
WALSH (voice-over): Thirty hours on and this is what Maria's embrace of Puerto Rico has left. This was not a world built on water, but it's become that -- waves in the roads. Wet feet and slow moving the new normal.
The drive from where we saw Maria make landfall in the east to the capital San Juan, along Highway 3, is a testament to how vicious and thorough the nature was in setting life back here. Paradise lost for years, likely.
Hold close what you still have. An eternity of downed power cables, explaining why it may take six months to restore power. They took hope too. Even the fins torn clean off these wind turbines. Communities shredded entirely.
And as we approach San Juan, the roads turn into rivers, forcing many to turn back. (on camera): People are trying to get back to normal here, but really
everything has changed. No electricity for months ahead means changes in jobs, schooling, health care, a whole new way of life potentially this island has to get used to.
(voice-over): Even the bright paints of La Perla cannot hide the misery Maria brought. Its name means "the pearl" where a "Despacito" music video was shot bringing recent fame.
[20:20:01] But now everything but concrete is damaged in this resilient fishing village. Roberto hopes the Trump promise of aid will bring his old world back.
It's incredible, he says, by the cliff. But I believe in God. We can do anything with the help of God.
COOPER: Nick, in terms of air travel, you said the airport may open tomorrow?
WALSH: That is the hope. Obviously, there appears to have been some damage there. This is a constantly fluid situation. But it's vital to get that air strip running. It's not simply because o the surprise. It needs to get broaden here, an island, and the assistance people need to have. But also that has also been quite heavily hit and will need assistance.
So a lot of people hoping for aid to start coming in here, but you've got to bear in mind, Anderson, this is the first day people have had to take stock of how awful Maria has been to this island and how their daily lives will change quite substantially in the months if not years ahead -- Anderson.
COOPER: That's extraordinary. The extensiveness of the damage.
Nick Paton Walsh, thank you.
Just after the storm hit, the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, saw the damage in her city and was understandably emotional.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: I'm 54 years old. I have never seen devastation like this one. The human spirit is going to have to rise up real high, and I'm sure we have the strength to do it, but we have to find it within ourselves.
So, people are going to have to push on. They're going to have to change their frame of mind. The Puerto Rico and the San Juan that we knew yesterday is no longer there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: No long there. Just before air time, I spoke with Mayor Cruz. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Mayor Cruz, you said earlier that Puerto Rico and San Juan, the Puerto Rico and San Juan you knew yesterday is no longer there. That's an incredible statement. You really feel that the city you know, the city you love is no longer there?
CRUZ: Not only do I feel it, but since last night at 6:00 when about 200 crew members of the municipal employees went into the streets and as we're doing today, we are seeing a totally different San Juan.
The resilience of the people is the same. A lot of people saying we're going to make it. We're going to push on, but the landscape is just disastrous. It is a devastation like I never seen before, which has brought out the solidarity spirit that we have forgotten.
I was telling somebody today that if we're going to rebuild and reconstruct, which we have to do, we ought to do it with the appropriate priorities. And we ought to use this opportunity to change the conversations that we're having and the way that we deal and handle one another.
But, Mr. Cooper, what I'm more worried about is that the manpower and the woman power should -- is not enough.
COOPER: You need that help. You need that federal help. You need as much help from the outside as possible.
CRUZ: We need the help from the outside world. I am very grateful that the first help has come from New York and from Houston, particularly to the city of San Juan. We had 1,264 refugees. We -- by tonight, we only have 425.
But we're having, Mr. Cooper, what I call the urban refugees. People that are at home are elderly. They don't have their insulin. They have lost their heart medication. They've lost their blood pressure medication. And if we don't get to them in time, it is those that I cannot get to that really worry me the most.
COOPER: Yes, because it's not just people obviously who are in hospitals, who are -- you know, some hospitals right now have back up generators, though obviously that's not an ideal situation. It's people, as you say, who need just regular dialysis, who are able to live at home but need dialysis. They need regular access to prescription drugs. It's often those people who are hit the hardest at a time like this when there's no power at home and it's difficult to get outside, to get the medication they need.
CRUZ: Exactly. Special needs patients, small children, newborn, HIV patients, like you mentioned people with dialysis and those that live in the most disadvantaged areas. We have a place called El Cano Martin Pena, 26,000 people live there. Most of them, their connections are not connected to a sanitary pipes.
So, when things like this happen, the sanitary conditions are terrible. And they happen with a normal rain. Just imagine 25 inches of rain falling upon that.
Last night, I was there. I was able to survey seven of those streets, and I personally counted 53 homes with no roofs.
[20:25:01] That's in just seven streets in the city of San Juan which has a population of 350,000 people. So any outside help that we can get is, you know, music to our ears. It's a breath of fresh air. But it also lets us know that we're not alone.
And what I've seen is that resilience that people have. Maria hit us very hard, but she is nothing compared to the force that we're going to unleash to reconstruct and rebuild this beautiful Caribbean island.
COOPER: Mayor Cruz, I appreciate your strength tonight and I wish you the best in the months ahead.
Thank you very much.
CRUZ: Thank you very much, Mr. Cooper.
COOPER: Well, we've been learning about huge devastation on the island of Dominica as well. We're now seeing it firsthand. CNN is the only U.S. news organization to get there and see the damage.
CNN's Michael Holmes is in the capital tonight and joins us now.
Michael, what's it like?
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I tell you, Anderson, we flew over this island yesterday and we could see from the air, every inch of this island was touched by Hurricane Maria. Today, we managed to get on the ground.
I can tell you that power is out right across the island. We're actually in the prime minister's office broadcasting to you now because they have a generator and they kindly allowed us to work out of here.
When we came in, we had about two or three hours of daylight left. I can tell you, I've been to a lot of disasters. I've covered a lot of war zones. It is really bad here.
There's not a building, it seems, in this country that has not been touched. Every tree has either been knocked to the ground or had the foliage stripped off it. Three of the four bridges that come into the capital here from the airport are unusable because of debris and damage.
This is a nationwide catastrophe. Dominica was the first place that was hit. They were expecting maybe a cat 2, cat 3. They got a cat 5. Nobody is ready for that.
They had tried to preposition, get people ready for this, but this is a mountainous country. There's a lot of individual villages and towns dotted around. And they have absolutely been decimated.
And we've been through a number of places through Irma and through Maria covering all of this. This is the worst by far I've ever seen. There is great need here.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, Michael, these pictures are just extraordinary. Block after block of destruction.
What about supplies, aid to people? I mean, are there flights coming in with that? Is there -- we haven't seen many people on the ground even in these images. Are people able to get food, water, the basics?
HOLMES: Yes. USAID is on the ground. UKAID is on the ground. We've seen them.
But in terms of aid actually arriving being, I've got to say they were expecting to get aid starting to come in from Saint Lucia today. It is a trickle, if anything. They are in desperate need of everything from food and water. There's no running water here.
The prime minister was traveling around the country. He said the first thing everybody asked him, can we get some fresh water, something to drink?
The aid need is incredible here. And they're going to need to start choppering things in, bringing it in by boat because they have very -- and one other thing that was interesting and it sort of speaks to the character of the people here, when Irma went through, they had three big containers here in Dominica that was full of supplies, food aid, medical aid and the like. They shipped those containers off to other places, Saint Maarten, Tortola who were in need. They also shipped over their power lines men, their electrical engineers to help get power up on those islands.
So then they get hit here. They have nothing as back up. So, they don't even have the aid they had in storage here because they gave it to other places more in need, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, I understand you spoke with the prime minister today. What did he say?
HOLMES: You know, he's shell-shocked. I mean, he's a very stoic man and a very strong man. But he is shell-shocked by the breadth of what has happened to his country and his people. Have a listen to part of the interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROOSEVELT SKERRIT, DOMINICA PRIME MINISTER: Every single village, every single community, every single street has been impacted by this storm. There's no community in Dominica that is spared by this monster hurricane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And what he's saying there, Anderson, is true from what we've seen.
And the fly over was striking yesterday. Being on the ground makes it that much more real and that much more impactful to us, but what we saw from the air in flying around the entire island, village after village, town after town, mudslides we saw.
The other thing about this place, it was a place of utter beauty. They had rain forests. They were starting an eco tour I am.
You can't see them anymore, Anderson. They're gone. Every tree is knocked down or stripped of foliage.
The economy here is ago culture-based. They have cane sugar. They had banana plantation, citrus -- gone. Everything gone.
Now, that speaks to an economic impact that's going to last for years. The Prime Minister actually heading to U.N., G.A. tomorrow and he is going to be making a plenty of cry for international assistance for this country. Not only they have immediate needs but their entire industry of agriculture, the tourism industry that they were trying to build up around those rank bars (ph) is gone, Anderson. Gone for years.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Are there people still living in shelters or people -- I mean, there are so many of the so much damage, it looks like I mean, a lot of places people aren't going to be able to live in their homes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. They're not. And, you know, there's lot of homes just being ripped apart. We saw homes today when we are coming in that would just, well, splinters. I mean pieces of wood on the side of the hillsides. People are sheltering with relatives, with families, and government buildings where they can but there's not a lot of places they can go because pretty much everything around here has been damaged.
And so that's -- yes that in the open, we saw people bathing in muddy rivers today. They were -- there was a leaky pipe and people were gathered under that trying to get water. It's an urgent situation here. I mean, we brought in some stuff and were giving away just to try to lend a hand.
If it goes on like this for a number of days without a perishable aid coming in, there's going to be a real problem here in Dominica. Anderson.
COOPER: Mike, I'm glad you're there. We'll continue to bring reports from there.
When we come back, breaking news on the Russia probe, what Facebook is handing over to congressional investigators and why, next.
COOPER: Well, there's breaking news in the Russia investigation tonight. Facebook says in matter of days it will now give congressional investigators 3,000 political ads linked to Russian accounts that were designed to influence the 2016 election. The company has already turned over those documents to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
In a Facebook live broadcast today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced a much bigger effort to deal with election interference. CNN Dylan Byers joins me with that.
[20:35:01] So is it clear what prompted Facebook to now provide this ads to Congress?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA & POLITICS: Well, I think looking at change in tone going back to two weeks ago, when they refused to give this ads to Congress versus now, you're certainly seeing a reactions and some of the public pressure, certainly the congressional scrutiny, Anderson. At the same time I also think that Facebook realized these are extraordinary circumstances.
Congress is trying to figure out not only the full scope of Russian meddling in the election. They are also trying to figure out how to prevent this from happening in 2018, in 2020, in future elections.
And one last thing on that point, you know, for Facebook, it's global company, it's not just an American. And at the end of the day, they have to think very carefully about what it means to hand over data about private users to a government. They have to think about the services slippery slope aspect of this, and whether or not other governments might come to Facebook and say, OK, well, if you can hand that over to U.S. government, maybe you can hand this over to us in a different country. But no question here, Anderson, that the immense, I think, public scrutiny and congressional pressure played a role here.
COOPER: Have they said -- Facebook, have they said that they regret the way the platform was drawn into all this or they're saying look, anyone can buy an ad, you know, don't blame us?
BYERS: I think if you read between the lines of what CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today, what you can hear is him saying, we regret the fact that bad actors were able to use this platform in that way and that we understand that we need to take steps to tweak the platform, to come up with new guidelines for how that platform works. I don't think he's fundamentally saying, we regret creating a platform where people can buy their own advertising.
In fact, Zuckerberg made a point of saying that the platform should be a place for free expression where anyone can come and not only say what they want but advertise the way they want to.
Again, though, you look at this public scrutiny, you look at the new demands being put on Facebook to be more than just sort of agnostic platform but actually a public utility that has a certain sort of moral compass, obviously they're taking that into consideration and they are going to tweak that platform as Zuckerberg said today.
COOPER: More on this to come. Dylan Byers. Dylan, thanks very much. Joining me now is CNN National Security Analyst, Michael Hayden. General Hayden, obviously is the former director of CIA and NSA.
General Hayden, how significant is it in terms of intelligence for Congress and the Special Counsel to have access to these Facebook ads? I mean, what kind of answers could they actually provide?
GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN (RETIRED), CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think it's actually very important, Anderson, and the report we just heard I think is spot on.
Look, we're looking at collusion, and, you know, is there any guilt on the American side of this Russian interference. And we'll let that investigation go wherever it goes. But most importantly, Anderson, we've got to understand what happened here. And what you just heard in that report suggests the level of sophistication that the Russian federation used to influence, perhaps even affect, American election outcomes. So the more we learn about this, the better. So I think this is a very positive step.
COOPER: There was --- you know, the reporting that Special Counsel has asked White House to provide documents for 13 different categories, at least some of which involve the President's own actions, the firings of James Comey, Michael Flynn, the Oval Office meetings with Russian officials and comments he made during that, what does that tell you about where the investigation is now is heading?
HAYDEN: Yes. So I kind of try to reserve judgment on this Anderson. Can you imagine -- I don't think we have to imagine, we can see that this entire process as necessary as it is, and it's entirely necessary, is debilitating on the administration's ability to govern.
HAYDEN: It just gets in the way. So Director Mueller has got to do two things. Number one, he is going to get to the truth as quickly as possible. But Anderson, the second requirement, as least as important, is when he finally reports out, everyone has to agree that the investigation has been exhaustive. That he's turned over every possible stone. Because if he doesn't do that, we don't put this behind us one way or another, and that really hurts American governance.
COOPER: I'm wondering how significant do you think it is that federal authorities were able to get two FISA warrants to wire tap Paul Manafort and that some of the intelligence for our concerns, nothing conclusive, the concerns that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign?
HAYDEN: So, you've got that one independent report separate from the report of the electronic surveillance that he had talked about inviting a Russian oligarch in for some inside baseball on the campaign.
COOPER: By Deripaska. HAYDEN: So I put that over here. Yes, so I put that off to one side, Anderson. You know, I'm not in government, I don't know the fine print and they wouldn't tell me the fine print. But I think we need to be careful very precise with our language.
[20:40:00] There are two kinds of warrants that we use to conduct surveillance on an American person, on an American citizen. One is FISA, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In there, you got to prove to a judge that the target beyond reasonable doubt is the agent with foreign power.
The other kind of warrant, though, deals with criminal activity, potential criminal activity. And I suspect that what we're talking about here is law enforcement warrant against Mr. Manafort for tax questions, financial crimes potentially, perhaps not registering as foreign agent rather than this larger more important question for me, the whole question of collusion with the Russian government.
COOPER: So the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Charles Grassley tonight is asking the FBI if it warned the Trump campaign about hiring Manafort. Is that something the FBI would have been expected to do if there was an active investigation going on or they, you know, any concerns about Manafort?
HAYDEN: Anderson, the way I read the public record, you have the warrant for surveillance for a certain period of time but it was then dropped --
HAYDEN: -- for lack of evidence and there's a period in there, in which I don't know where the case is but certainly the warrant had expired. And so I think you'd have to actually think twice. Do you have sufficient grounds to go to a candidate and accuse someone of something you are certainly not prepared to prove?
COOPER: Right, that's a good point. General Michael Hayden, I appreciate it. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.
Coming up next, the latest GOP Obamacare replacement bill and what it says for the tens of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions. Supporters including the President say, oh, they are covered. Preexisting conditions are covered. A lot of experts saying, not so fast that's not really the truth. We're keeping them honest, next.
COOPER: Well, think about this the next time you pass an emergency exit. What if the door was bolted shut? Would the mere fact that it says emergency exit on it do much for you in a fire? That is what tonight keeping them honest report is about.
Senate Republicans lead by Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy are trying again to pass an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. And the report tonight is not strictly speaking about the merit or the shortcoming of their bill or of Obamacare. It's about the millions of people who might be affected by what's in the bill being told one thing when the truth at best is not so simple.
[20:45:03] According to Kaiser Family Foundation, one in four non- elderly adults in this country has a preexisting medical condition. The Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies provide coverage for them at no extra charge.
President Trump has repeatedly promised that in order to pass, must with him any Obamacare replacement would have cover preexisting conditions. Last night he tweeted, "I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of preexisting conditions. It does! A great Bill. Repeal & Replace."
Well, keeping them honest, that's true, but only in name. The legislation still requires coverage however it allows states to decide whether insurance companies can charge higher premium for it. The bill does requires states to see how their changes would still "maintain access to adequate and affordable health insurance," it doesn't define what it is.
Now, again, you can agree or disagree with the merits of that. However, it is a far cry from federally guaranteed coverage at no extra charge period. In any case, it was actually in the bill isn't perhaps the top consideration for one key Republican senator.
Here is what Iowa Chuck Grassley told The Des Moines Register. He said, "You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn't be considered. But Republicans campaign on this so often that you have a responsibility carry out what you said in the campaign. That's pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill."
To other perspectives now, we're joined by former Trump Campaign Strategist David Urban and former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
David, is the health care to millions of people more about politics than policy? Because that's certainly, it seems like one of the things Senator Grassley seems to be implying.
DAVID URBAN, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Well, Anderson, as you can imagine, it's always about policy as well as politics. Here is the debate you have here. You have to think about this. Do you believe that federal government, a unified central government is better at handling issues from states as diverse as Maine to California or do you think there should be 50 state laboratories, experimenting, trying to figure out what fits best for their citizens?
Under the Obamacare plan, which is currently in place, four states get 40 percent of Obamacare dollars. Four states suck up 40 percent of the money and the rest of the 50 states are left to divide that small amount. Under this new plan, states get block grants equally.
My state of Pennsylvania for example gets only half -- twice as many citizens as Massachusetts but gets about 60 percent less dollars. So as you're talking about guaranteed care for everybody, preexisting conditions, which is incredibly serious subject that the President I know has weighed in firstly on it. And this bill does say, it shall provide coverage, it must provide coverage for those who have preexisting condition.
COOPER: Right but --
URBAN: And block grants the money to the states to do what they want. They can spend money on mental health, on opioid addiction, as their state sees fit.
COOPER: So let me ask, Christine, here does this cover preexisting conditions as --
CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER NYC CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: No. And first of all, shall and must are completely different things in legislature. So it can't be both, one. Two, this legislation gives very clear waiver ability to states to not only waive the requirement for preexisting conditions but also waive the requirement for full and essential health benefits, which is a fairly broad definition.
And, you know, now the new argument from the Republicans against Obamacare is apparently this issue of which states got most. But let's focus on other numbers, 32 million Americans we believe will lose health care in nine years because of this bill, and 15 million Americans in a year. That's basically two New York Cities.
URBAN: And Christine -- where do you get those numbers, Christine?
QUINN: Well, you can't get them from the Congressional Budget Office because your legislation hasn't been out there long enough. The studies out there, come from AARP and people like the RAND Corporation, not particularly political who --
URBAN: But your number specifically?
QUINN: -- the RAND Corporation has done a study that indicates this bill and what the President and the Republican senators want to do will facilitate more veterans for being unemployed. So what's happened here is in zeal to keep a campaign commitment but then to break others, like the preexisting commitment, a bill has been written that there isn't full knowledge of, we have data from outside experts, no time for Congressional Budget scoring, and Americans quite frankly are at best having facts misrepresented it to them and really lied to them about what this will cover.
COOPER: David, what about the preexisting conditions, do you not believe that some people will have the right to be covered for preexisting conditions but it may -- the cause of it maybe prohibitive for them?
URBAN: Anderson, I can't, you know -- I can't speculate on that. I would just be guessing. I'm not going to guess.
COOPER: But I mean, you know the bill -- you supposedly know the bill, so under the bill, that would be possible, yes. [20:50:03] URBAN: Listen, it's possible, you're exactly correct. And it's also not possible. But what is happening in states is -- under the Obamacare insurers are leaving the state. They cannot continue to provide insurance.
COOPER: But that's a separate issue about whether or not --
COOPER: Well, go ahead, Christine.
QUINN: Sir, just a few seconds ago, you said that the legislation says that it must cover --
URBAN: They shall that's correct.
QUINN: Well, you sir, said shall, and then you said must. So you need to clarify which it is.
URBAN: OK, it says shall --
QUINN: So let's -- you said, both but for the record that it says shall is not a legislative requirement. I was the speaker of a city council. Shall is like, do your best, we hope you can, keep your fingers crossed. So right there, instead of must, we're making it -- you're making it clear and I appreciate it. Honest statement to Americans that this bill does not lock solid, require pre-existing conditions, beyond that.
COOPER: David, I want to get your final word.
URBAN: Christine, listen. I will say this, it is proof the Obamacare is failing. Senator Sanders is out last week --
QUINN: We're not talking about that, sir. We're talking about this --
COOPER: Let David finish. We got to go --
URBAN: Senator Sanders is out with a single pair plan. It's ripe evidence that Obamacare is failing, 16 democratic co-sponsors, the same day Graham-Cassidy is introduced. Sixteen Democrats stood at a capital and said, we acknowledge Obamacare is not great. We're going to go to single pair, should have kept the eye on the ball on Obamacare. If they really believed -- if believe -- Christine, if they believe it was a great plan, they can shored it up.
QUINN: If you don't think Obamacare is great, that's one thing. And if Senator Sanders thinks there's something better, but this bill is going to hurt Americans.
URBAN: Well, we can have a debate, Christine.
COOPER: All right, we got to leave it there. QUINN: And it's going to throw sick people out of coverage that is life saving. This bill quite frankly is a disgrace to veterans and sick people.
COOPER: OK, I'm sorry, we're out of time.
URBAN: OK, there's going to be a vote on the floor, Christine.
QUINN: And you're going to lose.
COOPER: David Urban, Christine Quinn, we'll have you back. Thank you.
Speaking of Senator Sanders, we -- be sure to tune in right here Monday night. CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash host the special debate the Fight Over Obamacare. Senator Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar square off against Senators Graham and Cassidy, sponsors of the new GOP bill that's right here Monday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Now seen as the health care debate can get, it is nothing compared to a Kim Jong-un just said about the President. Some of the language sent to the staff here running to Webster's for help, details on what he said.
[20:55:10] COOPER: More breaking news tonight, the fight between North Korea and the United States has turning more and more into a personal sparing match. Tonight, Kim Jong-un fired off a volley, increasingly personal attacks on President Trump after his speech at the U.N. for North Korea's total destruction.
Kim said President Trump is "mentally deranged." He also called him a "dotard," which Webster's define as a person who is in a state of senile decay marked by declined of mental poise and alertness. Kim said that he would make him pay dearly.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now with the latest. So what else did Kim Jong-un have to say?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, certainly, some strong words there. And it was in reaction to the speech from earlier this week. It's a bit of delayed reaction there but specific words against the President. But he also went on to say this. Let's take a look at this. He said, the President has denied the existence and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world. So that is something of course that hits at the heart of Kim Jong-un.
We know that he wants to be seen as a player on the world stage, or of course, not invited to the U.N. General Assembly this week. His delegation walked out before that speech happened. But they clearly are taking issue with this. But Anderson, interestingly, you know, they statements are never released on camera, of course, just words from him. The words are a bit empty, but certainly very interesting, fiery language.
These additional sanctions against North Korea, when the President announced them today, he did it with the South Korean President and the Japanese Prime Minister at his side, significant to them altogether.
ZELENY: It really was. This is the first time that we've seen the President with people from the region there, announcing something together. This was something that the White House was planning all week. They had this up there sleeve. They've been working on these sanctions for quite a while. And it was designed as part of a strategy here.
The fiery speech earlier in the week, and then the sanctions, it was very significant to have the President of -- and the Prime Minister from the Peninsula there in New York City. Of course, the Chinese President not here for the U.N. meeting, but also weighed in. And that was perhaps, the most significant thing of all. Having the, you know, sort of a three-pronged approach here.
Now, the question is, what effect will it have? We've seen so many sanctions before. The Trump administration really does believe this will be a different moment here, because these sanctions really are stringent, we'll see.
COOPER: Jeff Zeleny. I appreciate it, thanks.
Up next, the epic destruction in Puerto Rico homes left in ruins, the whole island without power, possibly for months and now catastrophic flooding, adding to the misery in some places. The latest from San Juan, when we come back.