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Hurricane Nate Makes Second Landfall on Gulf Coast; Shooter's Note Found in His Hotel Room; Trump Tweets Cryptic Comments on North Korea; Neo-Nazi Protesters March in Charlottesville Again; Aired 11- 12a ET
Aired October 7, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: -- hurricane making landfall in the U.S., this is the longest drought in history and we're making up for lost time.
But, Brooke, believe it or not, Nate is the ninth consecutive named storm to make it to hurricane strength. You've got to be kidding me.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Crazy.
SATER: Yes. And that has only happened once before in 1893 but they didn't even have satellites back then so how did they know they were all hurricanes? Definitely since the satellite era, this is a record. But if we have hurricane force winds in Mississippi and Alabama, it's only the second time in history that all of the Gulf Coastal states this year have had hurricane force winds.
We've already had some hurricane gusts there, of course, in parts of Louisiana, Plaquemines Parish, Venice is the name of the town there, and now we're definitely going to have some hurricane winds as we have landfall in about an hour, maybe an hour and a half.
Doesn't look impressive. Right? The system has been moving so fast, hurricanes do not like to move this fast because they cannot generate any intensity. They like to move slow over the warm water. So that actually has been a good thing. And notice how we're losing the colors here, dry air has been trying to infiltrate the system and it's been doing that almost all day long, but there are still some color on this infrared satellite imagery which tells us hey, it still has a little bit of strength.
But here's why New Orleans was saved, these are the computer models, we talk about the U.S. model, the GFS in red. The European model in blue which have been handling these hurricanes beautifully, but again both of them, the last couple of days were right over New Orleans, the center of the storm moved off to the east sparing them.
Now the only threat that they have is really a north wind on Lake Pontchartrain. But the system picks up in speed and that's good and bad because we're going to find several states dealing with some pretty strong winds and that's going to mean more than significant flight delays in the days ahead.
Notice the tornado watch. We have seen several warnings, the sirens have been going off. We've had waterspouts making its way on shore. But again we're looking at a possibility of a landfall in about an hour, hour and a half right around Biloxi. In fact, most likely that will be the case. It's been hard to find an eye on satellite imagery, radar has even been tough. But the last couple of hours you kind of get a good indication of what we're looking at here.
So again our landfall not too far in the distant future and then with that tornado warnings. You start to see them here in purple. So just to the west of Pensacola, into Mobile Bay, most likely the sirens are going off. But this is the area of surge. All of the wind threat really is from the core east ward and that's where we're going to have the surge.
These are high tide times and they are not going to go well with this timing here because notice in Biloxi 12:22 a.m., that's not going to be good news when landfall moves in because it's going to be significantly higher. Mobile, almost 1:00 in the morning. Pensacola 12:19. So it'd be nicer if the storm would move in first and then you have high tide but things don't always work out.
The good news is we have lost some of the watches in the western part of Louisiana, the warning in red and a tropical storm watch has been canceled in downtown Atlanta. When Irma moved through, over a million and a half people lost power in the state of Georgia alone.
There still will be some power outages. Here's an area of what we're watching. The brighter colors here the better chance of getting some tropical storm force winds and it extends upward north of Birmingham.
By this time tomorrow, Brooke, Nate is going to be in Kentucky so it's really picking up in speed. So as we look at the track, this is what something everyone should know here. You take the speed of the core of the winds, all right, sustained winds, and then you couple that with its forward movement. So there could still be some snapped branches, some downed power lines, debris flowing around in all the neighborhoods along this track and to the east.
And then by the time this moves up into the northeast we're going to have significant flight delays I think that are going to be hanging around parts of all day Monday and maybe into Monday night. So the good news is it's not a category two, it's breaking down, the core energy is the problem, it's a small area concern but really it's going to be about the storm surge threat and we'll dig into that deeper I think in the next 30 minutes, Brooke.
BALDWIN: All right. So it's the next hour, hour and a half.
BALDWIN: And we're talking landfall in those various locations and the storm surge that you will hone in on in just a little bit.
Tom, thank you so much for now. I'm going to come back to you.
But let's go to Biloxi now to Martin Savidge. He is in Biloxi, Mississippi, near where that second landfall that Tom was just talking about, you know, will be happening very, very soon.
And so, Martin, let's just begin with conditions where you are right now. How's it looking?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke. Well, the city just tweeted out that they anticipate the worst conditions are going to start up right about now. So just as Tom has said, they are seeing the natives knocking on the door here.
Their real concern, they don't think the winds are going to get above hurricane strength. They're not sure. Certainly some of the gusts might, but for the most part they think they're going to be OK when it comes to wind. They're really worried about the water because the water begins just where those lights end. Highway 90 is right in between them. They do believe that with that high tide coming and with the storm surge here which they're thinking seven to 11 feet, it likely will cover that roadway.
There is a curfew that's in effect primarily because of that reason, runs from 7:00 p.m. all the way until 9:00 in the morning.
[23:05:04] And for the most part it looks like people are adhering to it. About the only traffic you see out here are the emergency first responders, police still checking on the roadways here to make sure they're clear. Fire trucks have gone by, even some ambulances but it appears that they're on patrol, no one's out on any sort of emergency run.
They did put in a mandatory evacuation for Harrison County Beach and anything south of the sea wall that pretty much just affects the direct waterfront but that 12 casinos and hotels here in Biloxi also had to pretty much close down because they didn't want crowds of people gambling and having a good time when you've got Nate coming ashore. So it was out of a still real strong -- real strong sense of concern, Brooke.
SAVIDGE: But right now they're feeling like they're doing OK.
BALDWIN: Good, good, good. Yes. Out of abundance of caution as we have seen these last couple of hurricanes.
Martin, thank you so much. And as you mentioned that curfew in place there for Biloxi until 9:00 a.m. We'll check back with you.
Meantime, in Alabama, nearly 7,000 people are already without power at this moment.
Ed Lavandera is in Mobile for me. I hear and see that rain coming down. Is it getting worse for where you are at?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is by far, Brooke, the strongest rain band we've seen throughout the night here in the city of Mobile. We're just on the northern edge of the bay. And as you see behind me, everything going on your screen from right to left is south to north, and we have seen the bay water here really getting pushed up where that kind of speaks to that storm surge concern.
And as the high tide approaches here about 1:00 in the morning Central Time, that storm surge obviously is of great concern. And you can definitely see even though this is a small and not terribly powerful storm by hurricane standards, but it is bringing a great deal of pressure, that water pressure moving, getting pushed north. So we'll continue to monitor that. That's why those concerns and those warnings have gone out, especially to those low-lying areas.
People who live near creeks, tributaries, bayous, that that could be a concern. But, you know, the winds haven't been terribly strong throughout the night either, but this is definitely one of the strongest rain bands that we've seen and it's been going on for probably the last 10 minutes or so. Sometimes they'll die off and then pick back up again. But this is really the most we've seen.
You know, if this is the way it remains for the next couple of hours, that in many ways will be really good news for this part of Alabama, there's been a great deal -- I don't know whether to characterize it as complacency or just a very relaxed attitude about the storm. But you know, we haven't seen many people throughout the day that were flocking to board up their homes or businesses and windows and that sort of thing.
Many people expecting that kind of doing the bare minimum would be able to -- would be enough to withstand the worst of the storm, and perhaps, you know, they're going to be right at the end of the day. But the real concern is as this storm makes landfall here through the overnight hours is really that urge to tell people to stay inside, back down, really no reason to be out and about on the streets.
And those severe storm warnings, tornado warning that have popped up throughout the night here in southern Alabama is also a concern not just on the coastal areas close to where we are, but also further inland as the storm moves inland. And of course all of this taking place in the middle of the night, that adds an extra layer of concern as, you know, the visibility is obviously dark and incredibly hard to make out exactly if a tornado were to dip down out of the sky, very hard to see.
That adds another layer of concern and makes those situations, you know, much more dangerous and concerning. Especially for first responders here. So you can see how just here in the last 10 seconds or so how the rain has come down a little bit. But we expect these bands to intensify here over the next couple of hours -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Ed Lavandera, you have really been in it. Of course this hurricane season, go get dry. We'll talk to you in just a little bit there in Mobile. Thank you very much.
Let's bounce back to Biloxi. I've got Mike Theiss back with us. He's a storm chaser.
And, you know, Mike, we're still about an hour ahead of time for those storm surges. I can see them over your shoulder, though, is it picking up where you are? MIKE THEISS, STORM CHASER: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. If you saw that last
wave that just came in, the surge is starting to come up pretty fast here in Biloxi. This parking lot is fully engulfed now and you see the next wave that comes in, it's a little higher than the waves before. So it's starting to make its presence felt for sure. I don't know how much higher it's going to get, maybe a couple feet here, but it's definitely coming up right now in Biloxi.
BALDWIN: How intense is the wind?
THEISS: I'd say it's maybe across the storm force right now. I don't think this is the strongest of it yet. Maybe 50 miles per hour gusts, but I think the big story here is going to be the storm surge for sure.
BALDWIN: How high are you guessing?
THEISS: Maybe six to seven feet here in Biloxi area, maybe a little bit lower.
BALDWIN: Let me ask you --
THEISS: It's hard to say. Yes.
BALDWIN: No, it's hard to say for sure that's what we were just looking at some of the models earlier, they were saying that if not a little bit higher.
[23:10:06] Do you -- this your job, right? You chase storms. I was talking to our meteorologist Tom Sater about what happened this year, I mean, between Harvey and Irma, Maria, now, you know, Nate to a lesser extent. What's going on?
THEISS: That's the same question I have. This has been a crazy year, it kind of reminds me of 2004 and 2005 where once the hurricanes got going they just didn't stop, they kept coming one after the other. So the ingredients are definitely in place for hurricanes this season and we were there to cover all of them to share with everybody. Unfortunately it was a sad story in the islands and the Florida Keys and those areas, but we will bounce back and get over it. I've got some rain on my lens. There we go.
THEISS: Yes, it's up to my ankles now and I'm going to go ahead and retreat back in the parking garage where it's a little safer.
BALDWIN: OK. Please do. Mike, we'll check in. Thank you so much in Biloxi.
We've got you covered tonight with special Hurricane Nate coverage but we're also covering some other stories including out in Las Vegas, cryptic numbers deciphered. Investigators figured out what a notepad, some numbers etched on it. It was left inside that Las Vegas shooter hotel room.
What it actually means? Can it help determine the motive in this mass murder?
You're watching CNN.
[23:15:28] BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Police investigating the Las Vegas massacre have finally deciphered this note left behind by the killer. The note was found in the shooter's hotel room. And it's tough to see. It's actually right there on the table under what we think is some tape and next to perhaps some sort of pen. The only thing written on it was numbers. And we now know what those numbers signify.
Stephanie Elam is live for us in Las Vegas with that tonight. What are the numbers?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the numbers, we are now learning, Brooke, they believe are calculations. They believe what the shooter was doing was actually calculating the trajectory and distance from shooting from his 32nd floor window over to the concert venue. This is something that was first reported by CBS that we are learning.
The other thing that we've learned, too, is that he had -- they located 50 pounds of Tannerite inside of his car as well as 1600 rounds of ammunition. They do not know, investigators do not know why he had that. We do know that Tannerite when fired upon does explode so there are some concerns that perhaps he was hoping for another mass casualty event. That there are also signs that they believed he planned on surviving the attack that he was planning from the 32nd floor and he planned on making it out of there. But still unclear as to why he would have had all of that in his car -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: So we have the piece on the note now and also we've learned this security guard stopped the attack not realizing it at the time, but stopped the attack when he went up to the floor, that 32nd floor where the gunman was, and you now know why that guard was on the 32nd floor and this was a total coincidence.
ELAM: And like imagine what would have happened if this coincidence didn't happen, Brooke. That's the thing that is just so much more terrifying. But the reason why this security guard was up there on the 32nd floor is because they had gotten an alarm about an open door, not in the shooter's suite, but several doors down. And so this security guard from Mandalay Bay, his name is Jesus Campos, he was going up to investigate that probably knock on the door, tell the person, hey, your door is open, and that would be it.
However, what happened is remember the shooter had cameras outside in the hall. What investigators believe happened is that he saw Campos coming up the hall, thought it was because of him and then began firing through the door. When that happened, he shot Campos in the leg, but Campos was able to radio down to Mandalay Bay security to let them know where he was, what he heard, and because of that first responders, police officers were able to get up and pinpoint where the shooter was within Mandalay Bay.
Think about how massive that building is behind me right there. It would have taken probably longer for that to happen and imagine just how many more people may have lost their lives or have been injured than already were hurt and already did lose their lives if it hadn't been for the fact that Campos had gone up on that 32nd floor -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Thank goodness, thank goodness, thank goodness for some random alarm going off.
Last quick question. Are they anywhere closer to answering the question why?
ELAM: No. And that is what's frustrating investigators completely. They believe that normally within a couple of days when something like this happens they're able to go through someone's social media profile, they're able to look through their computers and figure out what this was all about. And they still do not have a motive. They still do not know why they would have -- the shooter had all this Tannerite in their car -- in his car and that is what's frustrating them.
They're asking people to speak up. If you have any sort of interaction with this man to come forward and talk to authorities about it. Even if you think it's no big deal, they want your help because they want to decide as they're putting together the timeline of this man's life whether or not it's something that could help them figure out what could have caused him to be -- to do something just so horrific.
BALDWIN: Stephanie Elam, thank you.
Let me bring in someone now who knows exactly how these investigations work. Tom Fuentes is a senior law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the FBI.
So, Tom Fuentes, first things first, on this note in the room with the calculations of the distance and the trajectory from the 32nd floor from the shooter, what does that tell you? Does it tell you he had -- he knew what he was doing?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Hi, Brooke. Well, it tells you that he was calculating what he thought would make him a more effective shooter during the time of the attack. It just speaks to how meticulous he was and how he was trying to think of every possibility in terms of his attack being successful.
[23:20:07] BALDWIN: What about the detail, though, that there was this random alarm that was going off a couple of doors down and he hid those cameras in the hallways and that it was with this alarm going off that was what was ultimately stopped him from who knows what his full plan was?
FUENTES: Well, that's true. We don't know and, you know, obviously he could have kept shooting a lot longer, you know, if guards weren't coming down the hallway and the police later showing up. So we don't know how long he would have continued that rampage before he took his own life.
BALDWIN: Back to the note. You know, how do you learn -- I mean you think of -- he wasn't this but, you know, you think of a professionally trained sniper and the hours spent learning trajectory and wind. How would he have even learned any of this online? Someone physically teaching him?
FUENTES: Brooke, there are so many books out there of how to be a good sniper. There are so many videos how do it. There's so much information on the Internet how to do it. You could go to the range and speak to people that are trained shooters, trained snipers at the range, make friends with them and get advice from them of where to look for, you know, the type of facts, the type of information you would for in order to calculate all that.
So, you know, he's -- he's not stupid. He's an intelligent person. Demented and depraved as he may have been, but he was not dumb. And he would have been able to learn this or be taught it I think without a whole lot of problem.
BALDWIN: Tom, let's put motive aside for a second. What is your biggest question here?
FUENTES: My question would be, you know, someone else must know him or he must have had some other contact. I think that that was the one thing that I was hoping would come from the interviews with his girlfriend. I didn't expect her to be a participant and coconspirator and be charged or go down the road with this and she did return to the U.S. voluntarily. But I thought that maybe she could say he often talked to a certain person or they would meet for coffee, you know, a certain one or two times a week, or just someone that we have not heard of.
And I think at this point the likelihood that somebody's going to come in on their own to say that they knew him or met him or talked to him, I think those chances are slim to none because who's going to want to come in and have their name forever associated with him?
BALDWIN: No one.
FUENTES: On the Internet. So they're going to have to be told about somebody and go out and get them and look for them and try to contact them because I don't see anybody wanting their name associated with this guy ever.
BALDWIN: One more for you, and that is, you know, they have gone through -- you know, these investigators have gone through thousands of leads and still they have nothing. You heard Stephanie saying nothing on motive. I mean, they've gone to his house, his electronic devices, they've scoured that hotel room. How do they figure this out?
FUENTES: Well, they may not. I mean, we have to accept the fact that, you know, from the beginning I thought when he was determined not to have a digital footprint, social media footprint, I thought if the guy's a loner in real life, he's not on the Internet, he's not communicating with a lot of people, he's more or less estranged from other family members, we may not ever know what's inside -- what was inside his head when he decided to do this.
Obviously he decided a long time ago, it took a long time to acquire all of the weaponry and bullets and decide where he was going to do the shooting from and all of that. We just may never know. And we need to accept the fact that that may be the truth, but down the line we won't know.
BALDWIN: I know that's just tough to accept. Not that the explanation will make anyone feel better but it's just -- it's just unfathomable.
Tom Fuentes, thank you for your insight there.
FUENTES: You're welcome.
BALDWIN: We are in -- thank you.
We are in tonight for special coverage of this hurricane, Hurricane Nate, now moving up through the Gulf Coast packing powerful winds, heavy rains, even tornado watches across three states. We are tracking it for you.
You're watching CNN.
[23:28:46] BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN special live coverage here on this Saturday night. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
We're here to talk about Hurricane Nate now miles away from making its second landfall in the United States. Let's go straight to Tom Sater now in the CNN Weather Center where, as you have been hammering home, as we're waiting for this landfall, the storm surge concern number one.
SATER: Yes, I think so without a doubt. It's not so much the winds, although it's moving to 20 miles per hour and sustained winds are at 85, you couple them together and there will be some power outages. But here's the radar image. And this really sets the stage here for what's going to happen now. You can now see the eye, all right. This is a larger eye, it's about 35 miles in diameter. It's those tighter eyes that make stronger storms. But all of the precipitation is in the north and the eastern quadrant here, there's almost nothing underneath.
Now at 6:55 it made its first landfall, extreme section of Plaquemines Paris. So that was landfall number one and we're only 20 miles away from a second landfall. So, again, if it moves at 20 miles per hour and it's 20 miles away we're talking about an hour.
This is Lake Pontchartrain and the winds are coming in from the north now. We're getting a three-foot storm surge in New Orleans. So that's something to keep in mind. We're going to talk about the storm surge but first, if you look at the area of New Orleans, this is a live picture of Bourbon Street on Saturday night. Nothing.
[23:30:03] The only hurricane they're experiencing is the one they ordered at the bar. Again that's good news. But if we go on and talk about the problem with our surge, you've got to look at the circulation and these bands that are moving in now. And therefore the threat for tornadoes, obviously, is with us. But the winds in New Orleans, anything west of that core is barely a gail force. So it's all from the center to the east and it extends all the way in the panhandle of Florida.
So as we talk about the surge and we're going to be talking about the possibility in Biloxi of 11 to 12 feet, that is significant. So let's talk about the surge and really what this could look like because we've talked about this ad nauseam in the past storms. All the way to the Alabama border when you start to get these bands moving in, the surge of moisture, again, the storm surge is the height of water above dry ground.
We're already getting some reports even towards Pascagoula of 3 1/2, there's even been some four-foot surges. So this is significant. If we break it down further and show you the extent and really in detail of where the problems are going to be. First Plaquemines Parish, the northern coast already we're getting reports of a four-foot storm surge. Let's slide then to the north and to the east a little by the.
Here is Bay St. Louis. Anything that is orange is six to nine feet. Anything in red is greater than nine. So the winds, of course, if the core is over here and you're getting winds coming up from the south, it's just shoving that water into the Bay St. Louis area. You can't -- hard to see it I think on your screen at home, but all this is red, Pass Christian to Gulfport, we slide a little bit more to the east.
There's some of these barrier islands obviously are trying to help the coastline but you get into around Biloxi it's not just of the immediate shoreline area. This gets shoved up for some time. Now the good news is, this is a fast-moving storm so the surge will be quick to flood and then once the system moves out it will slowly drain.
But Pascagula, well inland and that's one to even six feet. You slide a little bit more toward the east and you're in Mobile Bay and even though the downtown area will have one to three, there will be some areas that have six. So again, that is a concern. I think that's the greatest element, as you rightly point out, Brooke, besides the storm surge.
Sure there will be some power outages because it's a fast-moving storm, it's not dropping much in the way of rainfall which is some very good news. But there'll be some problems by this time tomorrow. It's going to be in Kentucky condition and we'll have some flight issues, delays, maybe cancellations, as we head in the beginning of the workweek.
BALDWIN: OK, Tom. We'll be back with you momentarily.
Speaking of Louisiana, though, on the phone with me now from New Orleans, lieutenant governor of Louisiana, Billy Nungesser. He is definitely no stranger to storm prep and response. During his term as president of Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish, his community experienced five hurricanes including Katrina.
So, Lieutenant Governor, thank you so much for hopping on the phone with me. I mean, I can still see you all through of course our Katrina coverage. And so let me just first begin with Lake Pontchartrain. And what are your concerns there?
LT. GOV. BILLY NUNGESSER (R), LOUISIANA: Well, think we dodged a bullet. I think the worst of it is through. We're still seeing some winds in the outlying areas flooding and water coming over the sea wall in Lake Pontchartrain, but I think we got the dry side of the storm.
I was down in south Plaquemines Parish earlier where the storm tipped the edge of Plaquemines Parish, and all the levies held up. We saw no flooding or levy overtopping. So I really believed we dodged a bullet on this one and hopefully by morning time this thing will be ashore and we'll have dodged a bullet.
BALDWIN: My fingers are crossed with you, Mr. Lieutenant-governor, on that one for sure. What's your message to people on this part of Louisiana, though? Because I think it's still important to emphasize for folks, you know, it's not over and to heed caution.
NUNGESSER: Absolutely. You know, the mayor lifted the curfew in the French quarter. People are going back in the streets of New Orleans, but all the curfews from the outlying areas, we don't want people going back tonight. There are some flooded areas in those coastal areas. So as the sun comes up tomorrow hopefully things will be back to normal and people can go back home. But we still got a few things to be concerned about tonight as the storm goes ashore.
BALDWIN: Let me go back to the point you made earlier about, you know, the southern part of Plaquemines Parish and how it was clipped by the storm earlier. Well, what did you see?
NUNGESSER: Well, we saw some of the boat harbors had water in them. What we were concerned about is there's over a billion dollars in levies being built in Plaquemines. Federal levies being built by the government under construction. Many of those levies do not have grass on them. So any kind of storm surge up against that raw dirt could wash away those levies.
This storm moving quickly, we didn't see that happen. And all those levies have made it through the storm without major damage. And that's a big win for the people of Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana.
BALDWIN: Last quick one, and I was talking to the mayor of Biloxi earlier and he was saying to me how grateful he was, you know, in terms of lessons learned and improvements in the infrastructure since Hurricane Katrina.
[23:35:08] This is sort of this, you know, test for you all and how it appears so far so good.
NUNGESSER: Absolutely. And I tell you, even with these last storms working closely with the officials in Texas and Florida, all the coastal states work so well together lending assets to each other. Unfortunately we're getting better at this after every storm.
BALDWIN: Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, it is nice to hear your voice once again. Thank you so much for calling into CNN.
NUNGESSER: Thank you. Bye-bye.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Now to the president of the United States following a tweet storm today with a talk storm, so to speak. Did he finally offer clarity on some of the comments he made on North Korea? Let's talk about that next.
BALDWIN: Welcome back. President Trump is back in Washington -- Washington tonight after a quick trip to a Republican fundraiser in Greensboro, North Carolina, earlier today.
[23:40:06] But before he left the nation's capital, the president followed a cryptic tweet about North Korea with cryptic talk. He also answered questions about his relationship with his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.
Here is CNN's Kaitlan Collins.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, the president continues to fuel a series of questions and raise a lot of eyebrows after he's made a string of cryptic remarks lately. After he lamented on Twitter that he thought negotiations with North Korea had failed for the last 25 years, he said that he believed there's only one option left there.
The catch, he didn't tell us what that one option is. The president was asked about this on the South Lawn of the White House as he departed for a fundraiser in North Carolina. But his answer just left reporters guessing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Clarify your "calm before the storm" comment?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nothing -- nothing to clarify.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How about on North Korea? What's the one thing that'll work with North Korea?
TRUMP: Well, you'll figure that out pretty soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: When reached for comment, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not add to the president's remark but did maintain that for right now all options remain on the table regarding North Korea.
Now the president was also asked about another ominous remark he made at the White House this week as he met with senior military leaders which he said could be the "calm before the storm." The president did not clarify which storm he was talking about and when he was asked to do so at the White House, he said he had nothing to clarify.
He did comment on the relationship between him and the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after tensions were at an all-time high between the two men this week after it was reported that Tillerson had referred to the president as a moron over the summer.
The president told reporters he has a good relationship with the secretary of state but acknowledge that they disagree on a few things and that he wishes he would be tougher in some areas.
We've seen one of those disagreements play out in the public eye lately after Tillerson told reporters that he had an open line of communication to North Korea. The president swiftly got on Twitter and said that Tillerson should stop wasting his time trying to negotiate with them.
But for right now, at least publicly, the president is maintaining that things between him and the secretary of state are all good. Back to you.
BALDWIN: Kaitlan, thank you in Greensboro.
With me now CNN global affairs analyst David Rohde. He is also online news director for "The New Yorker."
So, David Rohde, nice to see you, sir. You know, to the point about the president's cryptic tweets and especially where he's talking about, you know, negotiations haven't worked for years and years, his last line sorry but only one thing will work and we don't know what the one thing is, but it's so nebulous. What's that signal to North Korea?
DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think he's trying to take, you know, a tough guy approach. You know, we're going to use military force against you. And, you know, you better --
BALDWIN: That's the inference?
ROHDE: Yes. I don't think it's going to work. I mean, he's been saying this over and over for months. This is the most outspoken he's been. It hasn't slowed down the North Korean tests at all. And the danger is if he doesn't follow up these threats with military force, it means nothing. It's like Barack Obama's famous red line in Syria. BALDWIN: So a couple of weeks ago when he put some other tweet out
there, you know, Pyongyang took that as a declaration of war. How is, if you're saying we're inferring that it's threatening military, whether it's empty or not we don't know, how is Kim Jong-un receiving this?
ROHDE: So he has his own domestic politics. All politics is local. He's authoritarian leader. He has to stand up to Trump. He can't show weakness, he loses control among his own generals. So that's what's dangerous about this kind of rhetoric because they just have to keep, you know, one upping each another on what they say. And I just don't know where the president is going with this.
I just want to say, more broadly, it's very unusual to have a president doing this. It was also this offhand comment where he complained about not getting military options fast enough from the American military. I mean, this is --
ROHDE: Well, he's -- A, he criticized Obama for telegraphing stuff. He's criticizing his military for somehow not being aggressive enough. He said Tillerson isn't tough enough, he's wasting his time with negotiations. It's very unusual to have the president himself doing this much saber rattling. It can be a Defense secretary, you can have a good cop-bad cop thing going.
I just -- I don't think it's going to work because there isn't a sort of quick military option in North Korea. It's tens of thousands of South Korean lives, people have talked about it for weeks.
BALDWIN: So what's this about?
ROHDE: I think it's -- maybe it's a genuine belief by the president and some people on his team that the United States needed to be tougher. That if it talks tougher our adversaries will back down and that Barack Obama wasn't tough enough. I don't think that's going to work. It's a very, very dangerous game to play.
BALDWIN: Also just his relationship with Secretary of State and Kaitlan alluded to, you know, this back and forth for months and the reports that Tillerson called him a moron over the summer at the Pentagon and then we saw Tillerson this past week, you know, sort of backed into a corner, heaping praise on the president, the president essentially saying, hey, it's all good, our relationship. Do you think it is?
[23:45:06] ROHDE: I think it's better now. I think that Tillerson's statement, that unusual public statement was a way to sort of win over Trump's loyalty. But again he's undermining his lieutenants. There was the attacks on Jeff Sessions earlier. You know, he's saying this about Tillerson. And it creates confusion, I think, internationally. And it's part of this problem of, you know, he's such an unpredictable president, he seems to -- you know, on the Iran deal he wants to decertify the Iran deal. That's against the advice of his secretary of state and secretary of defense. BALDWIN: Yes.
ROHDE: Are we going to confront Iran also? And just lastly politically he ran as a non-interventionist. He said he wasn't going to get us dragged into all these international conflicts.
ROHDE: We decertify the Iran deal, we've got, you know, a nuclear crisis with Iran, and North Korea at the same time, you know, I just -- again, I'm -- maybe he's right. Maybe North Korea will back down. Maybe Iran will back down, but this is very high stakes, it's very dangerous.
BALDWIN: David Rohde, thank you very much.
ROHDE: Thank you.
BALDWIN: It happened again. White nationalists gathering in Charlottesville for a brief moment tonight.
[23:50:36] BALDWIN: A group of white nationalists returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, tonight carrying Tiki torches, marching to that Robert E. Lee statue. Of course who could forget just a couple of months ago this was where those white nationals rallied in August, and that rally turned deadly after a group of counter-protesters were ran over by a car. And that one young woman, Heather Heyer, was killed.
The mayor of Charlottesville has responded to the rally tonight. Let me read his tweet for you. He says, "Another despicable visit by neo- Nazi cowards. You're not welcome here. Go home. Meantime we're looking at all our legal options, stay tuned."
The video we showed you a second ago of the rally was taken by Matt Talhelm. He's an anchor for our affiliate there in Charlottesville, WVIR-TV.
So, Matt, thank you for jumping on the phone with me tonight. And let's just start just the beginning here. Who are these people and how long were they chanting with their torches?
MATT TALHELM, REPORTER, WVIR-TV: Yes, good evening, Brooke. This is a very small group compared to the other three of these torch-lit rallies that we've seen here over the past few months. This group was led once again by Richard Spencer, who of course is the self- proclaimed alt-right founder and leader. There were about three dozen of these alt-right supporters, white nationalists, all dressed in their same uniform, they wear the same thing every time. These white polo shirts and khaki pants.
We started hearing words around 7:30, 7:45 this evening. They were marching through one of the neighborhoods. Not too far from Emancipation Park where that Lee statue is, the statue of Confederate general, Robert E. Lee. They were only there for about 15 minutes. They did their typical chanting, the "you will not replace us." It's the same thing we've heard at all these other rallies that they've had.
They left very quickly. They ran out of the park. And their final words, "We will be back." So expect to see them back here again. Richard Spencer, a University of Virginia alum, says he likes to come back during big events. This is the university's bicentennial weekend, so tens of thousands of people here in town all because of this event, and they see this, this is what he wants them to see.
BALDWIN: Hey, Matt, let me ask you. We showed you the mayor's tweet a moment ago. At the very end of it he talked about legal options. Do you have any idea what it means by that?
TALHELM: You know, the city council here in Charlottesville, ever since they started this process of voting to remove the Confederate statue in the park there and changing the names of the park, they've been dealing with legal wranglings nonstop. So we don't know specifically what kind of legal action they could take in this kind of case.
However, the University of Virginia after that torch-lit rally back on August 11th, where hundreds of these white nationalists and neo-Nazis marched through the university campus here, the university just last month decided to approve a ban on open flames on the campus here, trying to prevent exactly like what happened here in downtown Charlottesville.
Now there may be differences in the public space, though. This is right in the middle of a downtown. It's a public park. There is a curfew there at 11:00 at night. But legally there's some question of what could you legally ban in a city public park?
BALDWIN: Mm-hmm. You mentioned this a second ago when you were talking about the smaller group there, that at the very end they were chanting something to the effect of "we will be back."
Have you had a chance, Matt, to talk to just anyone in the Charlottesville community and get their response to that threat?
TALHELM: You know it's something that I think the city and people that live here have come to expect. Honestly it's deja-vu again for everyone to deal with this rally.
BALDWIN: That is that. with this rally.
TALHELM: And it is very unfortunate. And very sad. We talked to one of the small group of counter-protesters that came out there tonight. You know, there were maybe I'd say 10 or so of these counter- protesters that they heard what was happening, they saw it on social media, or they saw it happening right down from all these restaurants and bars and the lively part of the city, a great part, that is. These parts about a block away from all of that.
They came up there, one woman dropped to her knees and started praying. Some others started engaging with Richard Spencer and some of the leaders of this group. It didn't turn violent. It was very peaceful in that case. Just a dialogue back and forth. But one of the people that we talked to said, you know, this is something that we kind of have to come to expect, and they don't want Heather Heyer's death and they don't want what happened here in to go in vain.
[23:55:03] They want to come back and stand up to these people that are coming here from out of town, the demonstrations and causing the problems.
BALDWIN: Yes. I just keep thinking of Heather Heyer's mother who we heard from, you know, back in August. Your heart just goes out especially knowing that these people are back.
Matt Talhelm, thank you for now, out of Charlottesville, our TV affiliate, WVIR. Appreciate you, reporting on that. Awful.
TALHELM: Thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Coming up we will have more from Alabama and Mississippi as Hurricane Nate prepares to make landfall number two within the next hour. Stay here.