Return to Transcripts main page


Blizzard of 2016 Hits East Coast; NYC Prepares for Snowstorm; Trump Campaign Response to "National Review". Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired January 22, 2016 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of people are stuck. A lot of people are out of their cars, so be very, very careful. It's so dangerous when you get out of your vehicle. Please, wait for help.

Thank you so much for watching me today. I'm Carol Costello.

AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.

We are looking at breaking news. The blizzard of 2016 is upon us and shaping up to be every bit the monster storm forecasters have predicted. You can see it here. You're looking at live pictures in Nashville.


BOLDUAN: Pushing somebody out already there in Roanoke. It is definitely snowing in Roanoke, Virginia. The storm system is already slamming parts of the south with snow, sleet, freezing rain from Arkansas and Tennessee to the Carolinas.

BERMAN: States of emergency in effect all across the eastern section of the country. 85 million people in the path of this storm. Washington, D.C., right in the bull's-eye. Residents there, oh, my gosh, they've been getting prepared.

BOLDUAN: Don't go to that store!

BERMAN: Look at those shelves. Look at those shelves. Hopefully, people got their shopping done because the mayor just announced she wants everyone off the streets by 3:00 p.m.

We are covering this storm all over the place. Our Meteorologist Chad Myers tracking the system. CNN's Chris Frates on the streets in Washington, D.C. CNN aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh, joins us from Reagan National Airport.

Let's start with Chad.

Let's talk about the forecast and what's going on now -- Chad CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Brand-new models printed out about 30

minutes ago and I'll take you to the new thought process. It hasn't changed very much. D.C., Baltimore, you're still in the 20 to 30, but I'm going to move up Philadelphia probably closer to 14 to 20 now. And keep New York City somewhere still in that 8 to 10 category as we had it this morning. It is still snowing in parts of North Carolina, icing into Charlotte. It's the ice that's the problem. It's harder to drive on than snow. But blizzard warnings, blizzard warnings for 30 million Americans. That's about 20 million pets. Make sure you take care of the pets in this storm. They will need your help. They can't do it by themselves. 29 million people officially in this warning. That means heavy snow, wind speeds of 50 miles per hour, gusting, drifting. As soon as you get the driveway scraped, it's going to be plowed right back in, snowed right back in again. That's the issue we'll have for the next few days. Tomorrow is the big day, but it's already moved into D.C. Now. It's already moved into Richmond. It snows a lot in Richmond. Could be 20 inches there. Same story, D.C. Up to Baltimore, Philadelphia, up to New York City. I don't think Boston you get into it. Maybe 2 inches at the outset.

Something else I'm worried about is an ocean-effect snow. I know we talk about lake-effect snow.

BOLDUAN: Lake-effect snow.

MYERS: But the ocean's a big place and it's pretty warm. If the air wraps around this storm system and gets to the ocean and starts to blow that snow back toward the U.S., back toward New York, back toward maybe even into Portland, Maine, we will begin to see areas that are going to get snow that didn't think they were going to get so much. With ocean-effect snow, you could get 3 inches of snow an hour for three hours. All of a sudden what you thought was going to be 6 is now 15. That's what we're hoping doesn't happen, but it certainly could with a storm like this.

There's the bull's-eye west of D.C., moving up to Philadelphia. Ice as well from Raleigh to Charlotte to Greensburg. It's a mess out there.

BERMAN: You're talking feet of snow in many major American cities.

Chad Myers, thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: I have not heard of ocean-effect snow.

MYERS: Hope we don't hear about it tomorrow either. That's a bad thing. BOLDUAN: Exactly right.

Thanks, Chad.

BERMAN: Let's go to Washington, D.C., Chris Frates is there.

Chris, the mayor of that city essentially said the storm is coming earlier than thought, and every bit as bad as they feared. CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right, John.

We've been here since the crack of dawn. This is a salt dome in northeast D.C. Truck after truck, plow after plow, coming and getting filled with the salt behind me so they are prepared. And the mayor just recently -- a few moments ago, actually, had a press conference. Her and her team are warning people to stay off the streets as they take this storm very, very seriously.


MURIAL BOWSER, MAYOR OF WASHINGTON, D.C.: I want to be very clear with everybody. We see this as a major storm. It has live and death implications and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way. We need the city's full cooperation. And we need the media's help, too, to send a clear message that we want people to hunker down, shelter in place, and stay off the roads.


FRATES: So, there you have it. A very serious situation. Her emergency management director saying this storm will be deadly. Also the PepCo, utilities here, saying if 25,000 people don't have power by the end of this storm, that's going to be a victory. So, they're already managing expectations here in Washington. We have a state of emergency in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia. And that gives federal assistance if we need it, the National Guard if necessary.

The other thing, city government and the federal government close at 12:00. In fact, the White House canceling events. Canceling the press briefing because of the oncoming storms. Schools have been out all day. Kids getting a snow day, even though no snow has fallen out of the sky here. They're trying to get ahead of the storm, John and Kate, get prepared, get that snow on the ground so we don't have a repeat of Wednesday when an inch of snow caused traffic bedlam. They're trying to get ahead of this one, guys.

[11:05:51] @" It's been a parade of these front-end loaders and the trucks behind you all morning, Chris, putting that salt, getting it out, getting on the roads now early before it's too late.

Chris Frates for us. Thanks so much, Chris.

BOLDUAN: The mayor now saying life and death implications with this storm. This monster storm then means monster pain if you're flying. Airlines are already canceling several thousand flights because of the storm, effecting affecting nearly 50 airports across the country.

CNN's Rene Marsh at Reagan Airport.

Rene, you've heard from people trying to get in and out. What's going on?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: We're starting to feel a little lonely, because if you saw what our live shot looked like three hours ago, there were tons of people behind us. They were all lined up at the ticket counter, hoping to get a seat and essentially get on one of the last flights out before this storm approaches. But now, you know, you still see people who are still trying to get out on the last few flights here at Reagan National Airport. Clearly the crowds are reduced. We're seeing less aircraft on the tarmac as well because the situation is -- airlines don't want their planes stuck here so they're pulling their aircraft out of here, too. We're still seeing takeoffs. They're treating the runways here but things are clearly slowing down. They're slowing down operations as the cancellations continue to build up. We're going to see a situation where everything completely comes to a standstill as it relates to air travel. Philadelphia International Airport, they've already announced, no flights on Saturday. So, we expect the same sort of situation for Reagan National, Dulles.

We are in the crosshairs of this thing. Don't expect any activity. When will things get better? That's what everyone wants to know. I'm sorry, I cannot give you a time and date as to when things will get better.


I just can't do it. What I can't tell you is normally it takes about 48 to 72 hours before they start to get flights back out. But normally, I can't make any promises AT THIS HOUR.

BOLDUAN: One of the most refreshingly honest and candid takes on the situation. We just don't know, gosh, darn it.

Rene, thank you so much.

BERMAN: No one blames Rene, but the bottom line, you're probably not flying tomorrow.

BOLDUAN: You're probably not.

BERMAN: New York City Mayor de Blasio says everyone on high alert for the looming blizzard. How is the city preparing?

With us Frank McCarton, deputy commissioner of operations for the New York City Department of Emergency Management.

Thanks for being here.

Frank, what's the worst-case scenario for something like this?

FRANK MCCARTON, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF OPERATIONS, NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Blizzard-like conditions. I think we're setting up for that. We're under a blizzard warning, which puts us over that 50-plus mile winds, blowing snow and less than a quarter mile visibility. And that's going to come late tomorrow afternoon, 1:00, between 1:00 and 5:00 tomorrow. That's the most serious time. We're telling New Yorkers and people coming to New York, listen, let's not travel during those times tomorrow. If you can stay home tomorrow, stay home. It's a Saturday. That's really a good side of this for us as New Yorkers that live here. So we'll have less traffic on the road. Hopefully that will give us a better chance to clear the roads with the Department of sanitation. BOLDUAN: The good thing is, the upside, it is a weekend. If you look

at kind of where they've -- where things have -- how things have gone in the past. There have been sometimes overhyping and sometimes underplaying with bad results. Where are you most concerned right now?

MCCARTON: I think the blowing snow and drifting and the blizzard-like conditions are a concern. We're also concerned about how this storm is going to wrap around the southern faces of the storm where we have Coney Island, southern Queens, Rockaway, where we might have moderate flooding.


BOLDUAN: Flooding and blizzard-like conditions sounds horrible.

MCCARTON: Yes, it is. It will be cold and miserable. When you have water coming up, we're not talking Sandy-like. We're talking about moderate coastal flooding we could have with this storm. We're concerned about that. We've notified all our residents on the coastline of that. Notify and one of the programs we use and people in New York City should go online and look on the website or call 311.

[11:10:12] BERMAN: You have this incredibly high-tech control center, this war room in Brooklyn where you get constant weather information, constant updates. I'm sure you've been checking in. Right now, what's your best guess for New York City, the metropolitan area?

MCCARTON: We have an imbedded national weather service representative in our EOC right now. He's giving us the updated forecast. At 11: 00 he gave us the last data they got of the runs. I don't have that in front of me. We're looking anywhere between 8 to 12 inches of snow with the heaviest snow in the middle of the day tomorrow with it starting a little after midnight. Emergency operation center here in New York City will be activated early this morning with all the city agencies and the state agencies in play in that center, so we're ready and prepared for the morning as we go throughout the day. That will be open as long as the storm is.

BOLDUAN: And the mayor said this morning they're ready, all the salt trucks, plows, everything you can have at the ready is at the ready.

Great to see you. Thanks for coming in.

MCCARTON: Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: Busy week ahead.

MCCARTON: Yes, I have a busy week.

BOLDUAN: We're ending the week. You're just starting the work.


MCCARTON: Thanks so much. BERMAN: Coming up for us, you have never seen anything like this. I

have never seen anything like this. One week before votes are casts, civil war, dueling groups of Republicans trying to take down the two front-runners. Next, Donald Trump's campaign manager responds live on this huge new effort to torpedo his boss.

BOLDUAN: Plus, Hillary Clinton sharpening her attacks against Bernie Sanders as Bernie Sanders takes the lead in Iowa. Sanders says Clinton is part of the Democratic establishment. Hillary Clinton says, not so fast. We'll discuss.


[11:16:] BERMAN: Unprecedented 24 hours in Republican politics. Just a little more than a week until the Iowa caucuses, and "The National Review," essentially the instruction manual for how to be a Republican for generations of Republicans, this magazine just unleashed on Donald Trump. 22 conservative writers publishing this blistering manifesto calling Trump everything from a charlatan to a menace to American conservativism.

BOLDUAN: And because of that, last night, the Republican National Committee disinvited the magazine from the debate hosted by CNN.

Meantime, other prominent Republicans are coming out against Ted Cruz.

So, when it comes to the two leading GOP candidates, the question in the Republican party right now doesn't seem to be who's better, it seems to be who's worse.

Let's bring in Dana Bash for the latest.

Dana, you've been following both of these campaigns. What is going on?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Let's be clear, from the perspective of the so-called establishment, whatever that means at this point, whether it is the elected Republican officials in Congress or it is the wide range of thinkers that wrote in that stunning "National Review" issue, they think the choice between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is the lesser of two evils. That is just what they think. There's no other way to put it.

However, the two of them are the front-runners. It is a two-man race at this point in the game. So, what I think most interesting development in the last few hours has been, is the way the two of them are going at it not just on the stump, but now for the first time in paid advertising.

I want to run a clip of both of their ads. We can talk about it on the other side.


SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want immigration reform to pass and that allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadows.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It would have allowed undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. permanently and obtain legal status, so how do you square that circle?

CRUZ: Actually, Brett, it wouldn't have.

ANNOUNCER: Eminent domain, fancy term for politicians seizing private property to enrich the fat cats who bank roll them, like Trump.


ANNOUNCER: It made him rich, like when Trump colluded with Atlantic City insiders to bulldoze the home of an elderly widow.


BASH: So, from the perspective of Ted Cruz -- and that was obviously a Ted Cruz ad -- that is like New York values on steroids because for conservatives, eminent domain is a huge thing, especially those in rural areas. They just don't want the government or people working with the government to take their land. And end of story. So, accusing Donald Trump of doing that, you know, for a parking lot for his limousines, I mean, that is -- you know, they hope particularly in a place like New Hampshire, a real hard-hitting attack.

On the flipside, just watching Donald Trump go after Ted Cruz on the issue of immigration, trying to kind of outdo him. Saying that he's not harsh enough when it comes to illegal immigration is fascinating. I don't know if it's going to work or not, but I can't even believe it was just, I think, about three months ago I was talking to Ted Cruz, who had just invited Donald Trump to be his guest at a rally at the capitol. And the reason Ted Cruz told me he was glad Donald Trump was in the race is because of the issue of illegal immigration. He thought that would help Ted Cruz. What a difference a --


BERMAN: That's not what friends do.

BASH: What difference a few months make.

BOLDUAN: Not so much.

Dana, great to see you. Thank you so much.

BASH: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk much more about this issue. Joining us now from Des Moines, Iowa, Donald Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

Corey, good to see you. Thank you for being here.

Dana laid out what is going on right now between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Donald Trump's initial reaction last night to what the "National Review" has come out against him. He said this is publicity. He also tweeted that "The late William F. Buckley would be ashamed of what has happened to his prize, the dying 'National Review'." One of those coming out against Donald Trump right now is William F. Buckley's nephew. He's one of the folks whose name is on this issue. What do you make of that?

[11:20:25] COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR DONALD TRUMP: Here's what I make of it. I think this is a publicity stunt for the "National Review," far exceeded its hey day. They're going to get more publicity because the mainstream media will cover this than regular readership, which is way down. For them it's probably a win- win. But the bottom line is nobody cares. The average voter in Iowa and New Hampshire doesn't care because they're so tired of the insiders telling them what they should think or do. They want someone who will actually go and change the system, shock the system, to make a difference so we can get rid of the $19 trillion in debt and build the wall. The pundits writing that story have had years to get something accomplished and haven't had it done.

BERMAN: It's not just the magazine. It's a list of 22 people. It's pretty broad. Glenn Beck, no one says he's establishment. Brett Brazile (ph), he was with Pat Buchanan. He's not establishment. Writer Dana Loesh (ph), the Tea Party, an original person with the Tea Party. This is a pretty broad group of people saying Donald Trump is really the worst thing that can happen to the party.

LEWANDOWSKI: Glenn Beck and Ted Cruz joined together to provide toys for illegal immigrants in Texas. That's fine if that's where they want to be. I think the American people want is someone that's going to be tough for competitors, put America first, put our country first for a change, build a wall, make sure our debt is under control, do better trade deals. That's what this is about. Those conservatives bouncing around Washington, D.C., in the Beltway for 30 years, they talk a great gait game but they've got nothing done. Congress is broken. The political pundit class in Washington, D.C., continues to tell everybody who they should or shouldn't vote for and nothing changes. Let's really think about it. I think the American people are too smart to allow a failing publication to tell them who they should or shouldn't vote for in this upcoming election.

BOLDUAN: On that issue you say the political class has been working in Washington for decades and not having gotten anything done. You speak out a lot against the political establishment. But Donald Trump, he just said last night that there's a -- "There's a point at which let's get to be a little establishment. We've got to get things done. OK, believe me, don't worry, we're going to make such great deals."

Can you be anti-establishment and be part of the establishment? How do you get deals done if you're not working with the establishment?

LEWANDOWSKI: It's not a matter of working with the establishment. It's about doing what's right for the country. 34r Trump is someone for the last 40 years have made the best deals in the history of our country for his private business. He'll take the same mind set and do it on behalf of the American people. Putting two or four people in a room and making sure that everyone comes out with what want, but getting something done is what the amercing people done. What we see in Congress right now and in Washington in general is that it's a stalemate. Nobody gets anything done. Budget deals are terrible. They start negotiating 48 hours before we run out of money. It doesn't make any sense. Let's put people in the room, make sure we get the deal done and do if right for the American people.

BERMAN: But it's --


LEWANDOWSKI: It's a terrible disaster.

BERMAN: Corey, you're sitting here attacking the establishment, attacking the "National Review," saying it's Washington, D.C., insiders and Donald Trump, your boss, saying, let's be a little establishment. Aren't those conflicting messages?

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, he's running against career politicians. They are all attack, no-action individuals. Ted Cruz is an elected individual who has had four years to do whatever he wants to do, to get this country back on track and hasn't been able to do it. What the American people and what this country needs is a CEO-type person who has the mind set to put our country first again. All these career politicians have had a chance and blame everybody else for not getting their work done. Let's start holding people accountable and put someone in the White House that can actually do something for our country for the betterment of it as opposed to just talking about getting things done and not actually doing it.

BOLDUAN: How do you cut deals if you're not working with the people you're trashing right now?

LEWANDOWSKI: You will work with them ultimately. But you need a strong leader. Barack Obama doesn't work with people. The problem with that is we're at a stalemate. These elected officials running for president right now, these individuals have had opportunity after opportunity to try to get legislation they haven't been successful at it.

BOLDUAN: So is Donald Trump a deal-maker --


LEWANDOWSKI: Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me. $150 billion we give Iran, plus we release their hostages and they give us nothing? This is shameful. Our country should be better than that. We need to be first. We need a great negotiator so that our country is first.

BERMAN: Is he just, do you agree with Donald Trump that you need to be a little bit establishment?

LEWANDOWSKI: He didn't say we need to be a little bit establishment.

BERMAN: He did.

LEWANDOWSKI: He said we need to put people in a room to get things done.

BOLDUAN: He said, let's get to be a little establishment.

LEWANDOWSKI: If you would like on me to answer the question, I'll be happy to.

BOLDUAN: Of course, Corey. Of course.

[11:25:09] LEWANDOWSKI: He said, you need to put people in the room so you can get a deal done. Life is about deals. Putting two people in a room or four people in a room and talking through it so it's best for the country. That's what our country needs. You need a strong leader to get those things done. We need to negotiate better. We need trade deals with our partner. We need a better deal when it comes to our economy and the budget. We're going to increase our debt by $2 trillion because they couldn't get deals done in time. It's shameful. What you need to do is have someone that can work with everybody. First, what you need is a strong leader who understands how to get the deal done. And Donald Trump is the only person who's going to go to Washington, D.C., and fundamentally change the system. That's what the American people want.

BOLDUAN: Corey, before you get to Washington, D.C., there's a big debate coming up on the 25th in Houston that after the "National Review" came out, they were disinvited for taking part in the debate by the RNC. Did you put any pressure on the RNC to drop them?

LEWANDOWSKI: CNN wasn't going to be the original host of that debate. It was originally going to be a different network. That NBC network was removed from that debate because of the way they treated the candidates during the CNBC debate. You stepped up and filled in that spot, which you're happy about because you'll get the highest ratings of any debate which is a 20 to 25 million viewership --


BOLDUAN: We love to host any debate we can get.

LEWANDOWSKI: Of course, you will.


BERMAN: After the "National Review" came out, did you put any pressure on the RNC to drop "the National Review"?

LEWANDOWSKI: We're just one participant in the debate. I'm glad the RNC reached out and said, if you can't treat people fairly, how can you be on the debate staining? You have a biased leadership, like the "Union Leader" in New Hampshire, attacking Donald Trump. And you can't have an unbiased entity on the stage endorsing other people and being unfair. I'm glad the RNC stepped in and did that.

BOLDUAN: Corey Lewandowski. Great to see you, Corey. A lot of work ahead of you in Des Moines. We'll see you there. Great to see you.

LEWANDOWSKI: Thank you. BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Now, coming up for us, the RNC disinviting the "National Review" after their takedown piece from taking part in a major debate ahead of Super Tuesday. RNC spokesperson, Sean Spicer, will be joining us to tell us why their party is in a current civil war.

BERMAN: Plus, new attacks from Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton as Bernie Sanders extends his lead in Iowa. Hear what the former president says about the Senator's slogans.