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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Trump Tweet: Congress Has Six Months To Legalize DACA: If They Can't, I Will Revisit Issue; North Korea Threatens To Blow Up U.S. Mainland; Clinton: Sanders Paved Way For Trump's Attacks; Puerto Rico Braces For Hurricane Irma; Hurricane Irma Now Category 5 With 185 MPH. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 5, 2017 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Now some took to the streets today along with supporters in cities across the country. Their reaction fair to say has been mixed at best with big name CEOs and a number of GOP lawmakers and state governor is critical and cautious support from House Speaker Paul Ryan and enthusiastic support from some of the red state attorneys general who were pushing for this. Now it is up to Congress.

The President is offering no suggested legislation that he might sign. However, he did offer this new tweet tonight. Just moments ago he tweeted, "Congress now has six months to legalize DACA, something the Obama administration wasn't able to do. If they can't, I will revisit this issue."

We'll talk about all of it with the panel members who join me here, but for the -- first, for the latest, let's go to CNN Sara Murray on the North Lawn of the White House. So the tweet from the President just moments ago, is there any clarity from the White House and what he means by revisiting the issue, because it does seem kind of at odds with what he said earlier.

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well it is at odds, obviously, with the attorney general coming out today and saying they are resending that program. So far, no clarity from the White House on what the President may have been talking about.

And frankly, Anderson, that's probably cold comfort to the nearly 800,000 people who could be impacted by this policy change holding out the possibility that maybe the President could make some change later down the line. That maybe Congress will step up and get its act together and pass an immigration bill.

Look, there's a lot of skepticism about that here in Washington and across the United States for good reason. And there is still a very real chance that people will have this status that it will lapse and that they will get deported even as the White House insists these people are not high priority for deportation.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, there was a background document that, I understand, CNN learned about through multiple sources that the White House said to Capitol Hill essentially talking points for allies and it describes a future, I understand, that doesn't have as much heart as what the administration is saying in public.

MURRAY: That's right. Even as the President is insisting he would treat Dreamers with heart, even if the White House insist that, if you -- were last Dreamer you wouldn't be high priority for deportation. The talking points sound a little different. Let me read you one of them.

It said, "The Department of Homeland Security urges DACA recipients to use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States, including proactively seeking travel documentation or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible."

So, Anderson, basically encouraging them to make other plans, make other arrangement, prepare to leave the country, a country that some of these people is the only country they know. They don't know their home country or maybe they don't even speak the language there.

COOPER: Sara Murray, thanks. As we promise, former President Obama weighed in on this putting out a lengthy statement on his Facebook page. He writes, "It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not do what it did today."

He went on to say, "And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it's up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future."

Joining me tonight, Molly Ball, Matt Lewis, Ed Martin, Maria Cardona, and Paul Begala. If your fate was in the hands of Congress, would you have much confidence tonight?

MOLLY BALL, POLITICAL WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I don't think anyone whose fate is in the hands of Congress should ever have any confidence to speak. This was the track record that we've seen from Congress, particularly on immigration in the last decade. I mean, this is the sense in which the President really is not wrong.

Immigration policy has been a hot rock that Congress has continually tried not to handle for so long. They have tried to -- presidents, Republican, and Democrat, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have tried to get Congress to come together on this issue. And it's an issue around which there is substantial bipartisan consensus and yet they haven't been able to get it done because it's complicated and because neither side wants to give the other a win.

If it were the case that Donald Trump were clearly calling on Congress to do something, there is the opportunity for a real sort of Nixon to China moment. However, instead, he has really muddled the message. Nobody really knows what he wants Congress to do. Nobody really knows what he wants to be the outcome here.

He seems to not want to be blamed on the one hand for anything -- bad happening to anyone. But on the other hand, he doesn't want to anger what he perceived at his base and he doesn't want to be accused of being soft on immigration.

COOPER: And that, I mean, he did run on being this deal maker who got people together in a room and work things out. There is no evidence of that here, though.

MATT LEWIS, SENIOR COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: He's handed Republicans a huge, huge problem as the way he's done here. Because, look, there's a real possibility that if -- we're going to get to the end of 2017 and Republicans have the Senate and the House and his governor shifts and the presidency and there are only significant accomplishment will be raising the debt ceiling and giving illegal immigrants legal status, you know, in America.

[21:05:04] I mean, so from a base standpoint, President Trump may be kicks it over to the House. Republicans are really in a no win situation.

COOPER: It does sound like the President, though, with this new tweet is sort of hearing the criticism and now trying to sort of say, "Oh, well, if Congress doesn't do something, I'm going to revisit this," although, who knows what that mean.

LEWIS: The problem is, if it's a stand alone bill which -- there's a chance that Republicans might try to tie in some -- bring in some enforcement mechanisms and pair them with this. But if it's a stand alone bill, Republicans, if they try to pass this and fail, then they look like they can't get anything done. And then you're going to see this horrible negative publicity. Every time a Dreamer is deported, Republicans will be blamed because they didn't get it done.

If Republicans do pass a stand alone bill, they will betray their base who elected them. Never mind the immigration. They elected them to do things like repeal Obamacare, do tax reform, and as I said, it's possible the only thing they might do this year is DACA.

ED MARTIN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, Anderson, from people like me that were supporting Donald Trump as I candidate, today is one of the days where he ran on something, he did something, he picked the people, you know, General Sessions, to do what he said we would do.

And then he did it, I think, in a way that the tweet should have been I want to let the American people know, if you don't believe in me, I'm not a dictator. I'm sending Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 over to Congress to do what it says. You guys are in charge of immigration.

Since 2001, Molly, there's been a bill in the Congress to do the so- called immigration reform. And when Obama had the House and Senate, total control, he didn't do it. When Bush had the House and Senate he didn't do it --

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Why?

MARTIN: Because the American people don't want it.

BEGALA: No, because the Republicans killed it. The American people do want it.

MARTIN: Obama had control. Paul, Obama had control.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: -- Republican filibuster --

MARTIN: Obamacare passed and the (INAUDIBLE) is passed, right? Didn't it? Just answer the question, Paul.

BEGALA: Two different mechanisms.

MARTIN: No, no.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Republicans filibustered -- they have filibustered President Bush's attempt at immigration reform first, and then they filibustered President Obama.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: And in 2010 they filibustered --

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: -- and in 2013 John Boehner refused to bring comprehensive immigration reform to the floor. He knew he could have passed it with the majority of Democratic support. He refused to do it. So it is in the lapse of Republicans, the fact that we do not have comprehensive immigration --

MARTIN: That's what the President said. That's what the President said. So they're going to --

COOPER: So Paul, to -- I mean, to Ed's point, he ran on this. He said he --

BEGALA: He ran on. He was all over the map. He said, "I love the Dreamers, nothing bad will happen to them." So he's been incoherent. And just tonight, just what, just seven minutes ago, he added to that incoherent by saying, "I will revisit this."

The White House today said that President Obama's DACA order was unconstitutional. That's hotly disputed. You could find with (INAUDIBLE) both sides. But the President believes according to his own statement that it's unconstitutional. So why is he going to revisit something that he thinks is unconstitutional? He's going to go and recreate and act that he apparently believes it's unconstitutional. He's completely at sea here. I do want to bring -- a human pretzel, it's a pretzel.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Alonzo Guillen, Anderson, he just got back from Houston. I have a lot of family there, a lot of friend. Alonzo Guillen is Dreamer. He was. A 25-year-old man. He saw the storm in Houston. He was in luck in a hundred miles away. He was safe. He got in his car and drove 100 miles to rescue strangers who he didn't know and he lost his life. He died in that storm as a hero. And yet had he lived, he could be subject to deportation.

MARTIN: And Paul --

BEGALA: That is an abomination.

MARTN: Jamiel Shaw was an African-American in L.A. killed by an illegal immigrant who murdered him. So there's lots of hard cases --

CARDONA: Oh, come on.

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: One has nothing to do with the other.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: -- should we deport port white guys?

MARTIN: Don't you think we should have a policy debate in the Congress --

LEWIS: We have the rule of law. And look, I personally support the Dreamer bill. I got Republican should have done that to begin with. But people who came here illegally, whether it's sort of fault of their own or not, if they came here illegally they do not have a right to stay.

Now, I think we should be compassionate and I think America might be stronger with them here. But they don't have a right to stay. And we do have to honor the rule of law and I think that, includes the Congress -- the Congress passing this --

BEGALA: -- President Trump make an argument for the rule of law when he just pardoned Joe --

LEWIS: Donald Trump is completely --

BEGALA: -- Joe Arpaio who is found guilty of violating the rule of law in a federal court.

LEWIS: Look, I'm not going to argue that Donald Trump is consistent.

MARTIN: But I argue, I guess, that we should --

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: Look, I think we should support the Dreamers, but they have no expectation that we -- they do not have the right to stay here. We can decide to let me stay here. And I think we probably should. But they -- they are acting --

CARDONA: Yes we should, absolutely.

LEWIS: But they don't have a right to speak.

CARDONA: Nobody is saying they have the right to stay here.

(CROSSTALK)

[21:09:58] CARDONA: What we are saying is that these are kids that are here through no fault of their own, they did not decide to come here and break the law. Their parents did that. Yet, they are here. They grew up in this country, most of them it's the only country that they know. They know no other country. Many of them know no other language. Know no other culture. They are people who have lost their lives helping others. They are summa cum laude. They are people who served in our military. They have bled. They have died. And this is how we repay them? I'm sorry, this is some of the best that we have to offer and other than a piece of paper we are as American as everybody on this panel.

MARTIN: Anderson, listen, honestly, Trump ran on something called America first. This is about American workers first, and that has to matter --

COOPER: But wait a minute, Donald Trump when he was not a candidate before, one of the guy who called into Fox News, he said this actually did not have any impact on American jobs.

MARTIN: Well, I didn't vote for him when he was a business man.

COOPER: Wait. But --

MARTIN: I voted for his policy as president.

COOPER: Right, but how could you argue --

CARDONA: That's a good stance.

COOPER: Two years ago that this has no impact on American jobs and how suddenly claim this has --

MARTIN: I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing --

COOPER: The president has. No, but Donald Trump is --

MARTIN: I'm talking about this policy today --

COOPER: Right.

MARTIN: -- what he said was, not only as extra constitutional poll, I don't know why your experts would say it's OK --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Why do you believe him now and you don't believe him, I mean, two years ago?

MARTIN: I don't have to believe what he said two years ago. I have to believe the policy that Jeff Sessions stood and said today what we are going to do. In six months, no tomorrow, in six months -- and by the way, Obama when he passed the first DACA he didn't say stay forever. He said two years. Why wasn't it heartless that he picked two years? The reason why is because we have a rule of law and we have American jobs --

COOPER: All right --

LEWIS: Why does is it have to be stand alone? Maybe we should support the Dreamers and maybe we should do something --

BEGALA: Why on earth doesn't our president tell us what he wants?

LEWIS: He should.

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: That is absolutely what he did. And it was cowardly.

MARTIN: Let Congress --

COOPER: OK, we got to take a quick break. A sharp reaction just now from Former President Bill Clinton, also the Former Mayor of Los Angeles joins debate. He's taking something affecting a lot of Californians. And big tech companies in the Golden State as well.

And new storm data as it comes in on Hurricane Irma. Take a look at this. The eye wall of the storm it is just massive. Perfectly formed and it comes closer to U.S.

territory, the details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:15:45] COOPER: Reaction tonight to President Trump's elimination of President Obama's DACA. Former President Clinton saying, "Today's decision by the White House to terminate DACA -- and that is effectually what it attempts to do -- will crush their dreams and weaken the American Dream for the rest of us." He went on to say, "It's wrong because it's bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It's wrong because it's irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all," the statement reads, "it's wrong because it's cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know."

Sharp reaction too across the country, including in Los Angeles, downtown Los Angeles. Today, California's attorney general promised legal action to California challenge the President's decision. Joining us now is Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Mr. Mayor you say protecting the 800,000 young people who could be in jeopardy of deportation is a test of the nation's true values. How do you propose protecting those Dreamers?

ANTONION VILLARAIGROSA, FORMER LOS ANGELES MAYOR: Well, I think the attorney general is correct and the governor supports him. That we should take a page out of Texas book and use the tenth amendment and test this new effort on the part of the Trump administration to end the DACA program. I think we need to stand up for the proposition that if you want to -- you need a court order, a specific court order for an individual if you want to go into a courthouse or a hospital, or a school, or other places, that we've seen increasingly I.C.E. agents enter, sweeping in a way that most of us find objectionable and unacceptable. And it's an inflection point for us for who we are as a nation. Are we what mother liberty has -- held our self out to be a place we bring your tired, your poor, your huddled masses or we just going to send, you know, 800,000 to a million kids because not everybody applied for DACA, back to countries they've never been to. They don't know except as children.

COOPER: What do you say to those, I mean, who agree with President Trump and the attorney general that today's actions restores responsibility and rule of law to immigration, that we're a nation of laws and there have to be laws on this and that President Obama overstepped?

VILLARAIGROSA: Anderson, great question. Look, we are a nation of laws and we have to fix this broken immigration system. People across the board believe it's broken. And the Congress should fix it and there are Congress members in California that have not supported of either fixing the broken immigration system, addressing the DACA kids, you know, doing anything with respect to giving people a path way to citizenship, and fixing this broken problem.

So look, the law is not exactly clear on the issue. I heard people earlier today saying that the President Obama didn't have the authority to do it, some courts have said he did. It's not a certain issue. But we don know the Congress does have the ability to make that decision to change the law, to make sure to protect these DACA kids. And I hope they do that. I think we -- those of us who believe in this country who believe that we shouldn't have a Muslim ban or believe the transgender patriots ought to be able to serve in the military, who believe that these DACA kids who are graduating from high school and college contributing to the economy ought to be able to participate in this great nation. That's who we are. That's who we've always held ourselves out to be.

COOPER: When you hear the President say that he has love for the Dreamers and that something has to be done in Congress to address the situation, I mean, do you believe Congress can actually get legislation pass because the track record, obviously, on this is not good.

VILLARAIGROSA: Well, it's clear by his actions that he doesn't have love for the Dreamers. And it's also clear that over the decade as some of your earlier participants stated, neither party has real addressed this issue in the way that we need to. I think we need to stop screaming at one another, work together across partisan lines and, you know, figure this out to fix it.

There are seven people in the congress as I said who have not supported it in the past. Two of them have indicated they will, every single member of Congress representing the state of California which overwhelmingly supports the Dreamers. [21:20:05] As you know, 25 -- more than 25 percent of the Dreamers are living in California. L.A. is the epicenter, yet with the six largest economy in the world. L.A. is the 17th largest economy in the world if you look at the metropolitan economy. And many of the people here are undocumented. They're working in ag., in construction, in the service and hospitality industries. And we ought to acknowledge that and bring them in.

COOPER: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, I appreciate it. Thanks very much.

VILLARAIGOSA: It's always good to be on your show, Anderson.

COOPER: Back now with the panel. Paul, what do you say to those who say look, this is bad for jobs, for American citizens even though unemployment is obviously extremely low right now.

BEGALA: That's what I would say. The President has been bragging that unemployment is at a 16 year low. So it's kind of hard to make that case and to make that argument. But I would also say that these young people, as Maria points out, they're just as American residence. They don't have papers. They were brought here through no fault of their own and they have played by the rules to be eligible to be a Dreamer. You have to have no criminal record, whatsoever. You've got a completely clean record.

So -- and they are going into jobs. They are going into college. They're going into the military. This is something I think that we ought to encourage. It doesn't come at the loss of someone else.

COOPER: They're paying taxes.

BEGALA: They're paying taxes. They're -- I'm not --

CARDONA: And they're not getting any benefits.

BEGALA: -- every waits (ph) of the paper. And I think Matt earlier make a good point, there's no right, there's no entitlement. But there's responsibility, I think, from rest of us, from America, to take these young people who are contributing so much and want to contribute so much in honor of their status.

COOPER: Ed, I mean just from a human standpoint, are you sympathetic at all to their situation?

MARTIN: There's -- certainly, there's always a moral. I mean, many of us belong to churches and moral component to caring about people, but there's also a component to care -- comparing about American citizens. I mean, Paul, you're not telling the truth. You look at the camera and you don't tell the truth. They broke the law. They are law breakers.

BEGALA: No, they did not.

MARTIN: They are. Their status is law breakers

CARDONA: They did not.

MARTIN: Listen, there's plenty --

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: No, what is that act?

MARTIN: Paul, listen --

BEGALA: What is that act discussing over that (ph) paper?

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Let me just explain to you.

BEGALA: I'm asking you a question.

MARTIN: I'm not -- I know, but it's not your show.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: It's not criminal offense.

MARTIN: And, listen, in this country there are people --

BEGAL: It's not even a crime.

MARTIN: -- that get in line legally to be immigrants. And then there are people that are citizens. We vote in the election. You lost. Your team lost. Hold on. Hold

on, your team lost.

BEGALA: My team won by 3 million votes.

MARTIN: And then from the team that won is the team that said, let's put Americans first, we the people. If the Congress wants, then I'll change the law. By the way, I'm for changing birth right citizenship. There's no other country in the world that says come to our country, have a baby, that baby is a citizen.

CARDONA: Wow.

MARTIN: We have to change that. Well, that's my argument policy until the --

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: Wow.

MARTIN: But you know what, American --

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: You know what, the American people want, Paul, is they want less of the people like you who put Americans last.

BEGALA: Really, really? Thank you for that.

MARTIN: And they want people that want to put America first.

CARDONA: Thanks God for your law, I would not be an American citizen today.

MARTIN: That's not --

CARDONA: Thank you.

MARTIN: That's not they're saying thing. It's just a preference in policy.

CARDONA: Thank you very much. It's ridiculous. This is a country -- yes, we are a country of laws.

MARTIN: Right.

CARDONA: Two things.

COOPER: Let her respond.

CARDONA: Two things. Guess what, the rule of law is made to serve society. It's not the other way around. So when societies evolved and situations are such that the law is no longer are serving that society, they changed them, that's why we have law makers. Our immigrant --

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: Hang on. Hang on. I'm not finish.

MARTIN: It's the world.

CARDONA: I am not finish. That's why we have lawmakers and that is why, right now today our immigration laws do not serve us well, which is why we have been trying to change it. Yes it's difficult, but this is the reality.

Secondly, the reality on jobs and the economy, these Dreamers contribute almost half a trillion dollars a decade to our economy.

MARTIN: They take out too.

CARDONA: The jobs --

MARTIN: Of course, they take out.

CARDONA: No, they don't. The jobs that they take are as people who wash dishes, they baby sit, they work at snow cone stands. They are minimum wage jobs and they want to go to school to be able to continue to contribute to this great society. This is a society that was based on immigrant labor, on immigrant commitment to work ethic and that is something that Trump and obviously the people who support him want to change. COOPER: Molly, it's interesting that, you know, on the one hand, the President is talking about being compassion and stuff. On the other hand, the White House is sending out talking points to Capitol Hill saying that these folks need to prepare for departure from the United States.

BALL: Well -- and when you talk about what Trump promised during the campaign too, this is a classic example of the sort of split personality of Trump and his administration and his campaign. During the campaign when he was reading off the teleprompter, he did say this is an illegal amnesty that President Obama did.

He also -- at the same time as a candidate said in interviews, "I feel for the Dreamers. I have heart for the Dreamers. I'm not going to hurt the Dreamers." And it's continued that way. You know, if it was so clear to the President that this was an unconstitutional action, he could have sat down there on day one and gotten rid of it.

Instead, his administration issued 200,000 new permits for DACA. And so this is always something that he has wanted to have it both ways on. And, you know, the idea that this is -- this was a clear-cut promise that his base voted for when they elected him, I don't think it was very clear.

[21:25:06] It was a case instead of people hearing what they wanted to hear when he spoke. Even with the Trump base, this is not a popular thing to do. Even the majority of voters who elected Trump do not want to send the Dreamers home. And so it's the politics to disagree are tricky. It's very different from the wall, which was a very clear signature campaign promise.

COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, trading threats with North Korea, the latest on the escalating tensions, including details on their latest missile test and more on hurricane Irma heading this way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOOPER: Our other big news in the international front, North Korea state media says this weekend's nuclear test reflects the will of North Korea to "blow up the U.S. mainland." South Korean intelligence also reportedly spotted North Koreans moving an intercontinental ballistic missile, all this while U.S. officials had repeatedly, this weekend, that they have military options ready if it came to that.

Earlier, I asked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper whether the U.S. should engage in direct talks with North Korea, which is something U.S. has resisted so far. Here's his answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GEN. JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: What their most concerned with is face and leverage and recognition of their status as a nuclear power. They want to be seen as part of the club. And, you know, I think we kind of have to accept that, maybe a longer term goal would be denuclearization. But as a going in proposition, then somewhat based on my own experienced, I think that's a nonstarter. They are not at this point going to just willingly give up their nuclear weapons as the price for negotiation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Back now with the panel. Joining the conversation is Gordon Chang, author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World," but also a columnist for the Daily Beast.

[21:30:07] Gordon, do you agree with Director Clapper there that it's kind of nonstarter to insist on a denuclear North Korea at this point?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: NORTH KOREA TAKES ON THE WORLD": Well, if we put incentives on the North Koreans that they haven't seen before then maybe they'll change their mind. You know, everyone says that Chinese will never really pressure the North Koreans. And the North Koreans will never really give up their nukes. Well, that's true. But unless the United States uses its overwhelming leverage, we can change that.

So for instance, we can actually undermine the Chinese economy by going against their banks, which have been money laundering for the North Koreans. That puts enormous pressure on Beijing. Beijing has overwhelming leverage over the North Koreans. So you can see that if we start a chain of events, it could actually effect not only China's decisions, but also North Korea in part (ph).

COOPER: You're talking about threatening to destroy the Chinese economy?

CHANG: Well, not to destroy the Chinese economy, but to enforce U.S. law. So for instance, Bank of China, big four bank has been named in the U.N. 2016 report for money laundering. That's a violation of U.S. law. So what we could do is declare it to be a primary money laundering concern. That would mean it could no longer have access to dollars, that would rock the Chinese financial system, that could cripple the Chinese economy, change the Chinese political system. The Chinese know this.

Now, of course, we don't want to do that, but we do want to protect the American people and we do want to use elements of national power that we have. And I think that all you have to or what Trump would have to do would really be the state of the Chinese, he was willing to do these things. And I think that we would we see Beijing much more cooperative at the U.N. and elsewhere.

COOPER: Paul, I mean, this is obviously an issue which is, you know, devil (ph) a lot of administration does it (INAUDIBLE).

BEGALA: I've once said that you have two options with North Korea, war or China. And I think that President is sort of rattling the savers in a way that I find a little disconcerting. But he has Gordon talked a lot about China a little extreme. He even said --

CHANG: Right. BEGALA: -- maybe we should cut off all trade with anybody who does business with China -- with North Korea, which would be China, where their biggest customer. They are the third biggest customer. The whole global economy, basically, would be damaged if the U.S. and China just stopped trading entirely.

But have you talked to those folks? Have you told them what we could do through the financial system, maybe that's a little more --

CHANG: Yes.

BEGALA: -- targeted.

CHANG: And Trump is not going to terminate all of our business dealings and trade with China. But what -- it looks like there would be no Trump merchandise coming in, in addition to other things. But what he could do for instance and Secretary Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, said that he was actually going to draft a sanctions package. And I think probably what they'll do is give the President authority too, for instance, restrict trade for countries that endanger U.S. National Security. That's an enormously powerful club that we could use.

These are types of things we haven't done. If we want a solution to this problem, we'll probably going to have to consider things that we would not have been part of the national conversation a couple of months ago. Because if we continue to do the things that we have done in the past, we're not going to get effective results.

COOPER: But to you, bottom line, it's unacceptable to have a nuclear in North Korea.

CHANG: I think so for a couple of reasons. And this is where I certainly disagree with Clapper. And the reason is that the North Koreans want more than just deterrence. If they only want deterrence this would be easy. We could just let them go.

But they do two things. First of all, they sell the stuff to Iran and they also -- North Koreans have links to terrorist groups. So if we are happy with Hezbollah having the bomb, that's one thing, but if we're not, then we got to do something about this.

Around phase (ph) North Korea, somewhere between $2 and $3 billion a year for their various who wants a cooperation missiles and nukes. But the more important thing is that you got an unstable situation on the Korean Peninsula, one rich, one poor. And the people on the poor Korea are going to put up with that, but only if the Kim regime actually goes out and accomplishes its core objective, which is to take over South Korea.

COOPER: I mean Clapper's point was that if North Korea didn't feel as much under threat from South Korea, if they felt more kind of accepted, that sort of long-term that their willingness may be to denuclearize might actually increase. And perhaps even less -- be less involved in international terror or what have been (ph). CHANG: Yes, perhaps. But we got to member that the North Korea nuclear program goes back to at least the middle of the 1960s. This is has nothing to do with the U.S. This is really the world's most militaristic regime, one in the world's most distractive weapons. We know they have a history of using violence to upset status quo that they find to be unacceptable. We had known the things that they have done. But if they also have the world's, you know, thermo nuclear weapons --

COPER: Do you think that's a rational actor --

CHANG: Yes.

COOPER: -- as not a total rogue statement, actually, I mean, making decisions base on, you know, obviously Kim Jong-un and staying in power, but rational decisions.

CHANG: Absolutely rational. I mean, they just have a different set of incentives that we do. You know, they look at the world differently. And so when you put all that together, I think that Kim Jong-un is acting very well. As a matter of fact, over the course of decades, they usually get the better of us in this these confrontations.

[21:35:04] So, you know, like, we're the world's most powerful nation and they still beat us up. That's probably a result of their being rational.

COOPER: We got to take a quick break. We'll have more when we come back. We will talk more politics, including what Hillary Clinton is now saying about Bernie Sanders. Did Bernie Sanders pave the way for the crooked Hillary attacks by Donald Trump? That's alleged in Hillary Clinton's new book. We'll have details on that. Also the very latest on hurricane Irma, Category 5 heading this way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Almost a year after the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton is taking on her former rival, Bernie Sanders, in her new book. It's called "What Happened." In leaked excerpt, which is to come out next week -- the book comes out next week, Clinton writes, "He had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character. Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist. His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign."

She also writes about Sanders, "He isn't a Democrat, that's not a smear, that's what he says. He didn't get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party."

Back now with the panel. Paul what do you make of this that she is essentially pointing the finger at Bernie Sanders for, sort of paving the way for the Crooked Hillary idea. BEGALA: In that respect. Look, it is a multi-hundred page book, let see the rest. So they did already leak one excerpt where she says, "Completely, this on me." This loss is her responsibility and it gets really important for her supporters.

[21:40:10] And this -- the old rap (ph) on Hillary was too careful, too calculating. She doesn't show --- OK, now the new rap is going to be -- oh, she's too blunt. Oh, she's attacking Bernie. Bernie attacks her. There's no doubt. But then, again, he was her opponent. It was his job to attack her. So I actually thought it was a very clean primary all in all. I didn't like some of the things Bernie said, because what, I love Hillary.

COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, Maria, do you think his attacks caused lasting damage?

CARDONA: I think that she certainly has a point and that the things that he said were lasting because, you know, it is a true what she says he is not a Democrat. But he did bring a lot of people into the fray, into the process and -- which is good. But he also, I think, gave a lot people the ability to not have to vote for a Democrat, to not support her.

And when you have the general election opponent, which was at this point, Trump or that, you know, we knew at this point that he was going to be the nominee. He was quoting Bernie. He was quoting Bernie using his words against Hillary. So he absolutely has a point and that he did cause lasting damage.

LEWIS: That she got a general election opponent who was somewhat stylistically like Bernie Sanders. I mean, in the sense that he's a populous nationalist. If she had been running against Marco Rubio, then it might have been different.

MARTIN: She would have won.

LEWIS: She might have. She could have basically gotten Bernie behind her and it would have been a typical -- they want to take away use social security and, you know. But instead, she got this guy who could hit her from the populous left in a sense.

CARDONA: Yes. And by the way, her point about the Bernie Bros is absolutely true. I can show you a slew of insults that I got from them. And so, I think, in that way, her point about lasting damage to the party and that there were people who didn't vote for Trump but didn't vote for her, I think could be put on Bernie's lap.

MARTIN: But doesn't this preview that the upcoming 2020 election, I mean, it's going Cuomo versus Warren or somebody. I mean, there's going to be the same fight that is brewing. And as long as Hillary is out there drawing this contrast that it's going to say to the Democrat Party who are you? You know, who are we? And that is not my --

CARDONA: It's very early. Very early.

BALL: There is [INAUDIBLE] split in the Democratic Party, but that's not what this is about. This is about the individual flaws of Hillary Clinton as a candidate. And I think she's absolutely right that this caused lasting damage to her. But what Bernie Sanders and his campaign did was they saw her vulnerabilities and they took advantage of them. That's just what you do in politics. Those vulnerabilities were part of who she was and how people perceived her.

And so what you do as a candidate is you see the negatives that people perceive in your opponent and you hammer on them. And the idea that that somehow isn't fair, I mean, I would love to hear what the Barack Obama 2008 campaign would have to say about it, somehow not being fair or beat up on somebody in a primary.

BEGALA: Molly, she didn't use that word. I agree with everything you said except that last sentence.

CARDONA: Yes, right.

BEGALA: Politics ain't bean bag. And they didn't even run any negative ads against her, so this is a completely clean primary if you ask me. And so, I have no problem with Bernie.

BALL: But the thing that I have been hearing from the Clinton people that I think is still a little bit of a blind spot is this idea that someone else made people not like Hillary Clinton. People didn't like Hillary Clinton. It was a pre-existing condition for her. And for whatever reason it was, that is something that her opponents took advantage of. But it's not something that they --

BEGALA: This is unfair. She simply said the fact.

BALL: Right.

BEGALA: Well, he's attack caused lasting damage, it is true. By the way, did you see what Mr. Trump's opponent said about him? Rick Perry called him a cancer on conservatism. You know, what's (ph) Rick Perry doing for a living now?

LEWIS: But we're talking about Hillary. We're talking about Hillary.

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: If we take this excerpt and granted it is an excerpt and it's probably going to be, you know, a big book and all of that. But if you take this excerpt, this is kind of part and parcel of the problem with Hillary. It looks like somebody who doesn't --

CARDONA: What?

LEWIS: -- who isn't willing to accept that they are responsible for this.

CARDONA: It's nice. She has to do what she did.

LEWIS: Everybody said, I know it's my fault. But, let me tall you, if it wasn't for Bernie Sanders --

CARDONA: She should know --

BEGALA: It would be a short book.

CARDONA: But she completely has the -- she doesn't -- she didn't only just do it in the book, she has said it, you know, ever since the lost happened. But I do think that there is a very legitimate frustration and you see it in this excerpt and you probably see it more in the book. And that she couldn't go all out on Bernie Sanders the way that he went all out on her, right?

COOPER: Did he go all out on her? Because, I mean, I remember in one of the debates I moderated --

CARDONA: Except for the e-mails, right.

COOPER: -- saying, I don't care about your damn e-mail.

CARDONA: Right, right.

LEWIS: There is another extra report when she says, "Basically, President Obama wouldn't let me."

CARDONA: Right, exactly.

LEWIS: That's, again, passing the buck. It's not exactly --

CARDONA: No. It's one of the issues that she talks about.

CHANG: But there are millions of people who have voted for Hillary

CARDONA: She accepted responsibility.

CHANG: I mean, excuse me, millions of people voted for Sanders. They called themselves Democrat. She just said, "You're not Democrats." I mean --

CARDON: He's -- no. He said -- she is saying that about him. He says that about himself. He's not a Democrat today.

COOPER: To be continued when the book comes out. Up next, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Florida brace were potentially one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit them. We're going to hear from the governor of Puerto Rico about how they are getting ready ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:48:56] COOPER: Well, the latest on hurricane Irma now. It is one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic. It is on collusion course of the Caribbean right now. It could hit Florida after that. Already, President Trump has declared state of emergency for Puerto Rico, the U.S Virgin Islands, and Florida.

Our Tom Sater is live in the weather center. He's been tracking this very carefully. Any updates now in the forecast?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We've got about another hour, Anderson, until we got the next advisory from the National Hurricane Center. We -- I can't update you with some new hurricane warnings or on that fact. But right now, the reason we're dealing with a storm of this size and magnitude is the environment is just pristine for this.

We don't have dry air trying to infiltrate the system. We don't have any winds, the law (ph) is trying to sheer it. In the last month and two months, we had a lot of Saharan dust from Africa that kept the systems from developing. But right now, this eye is about 23 miles in diameter. It's going to swallow some of these northern islands and the Leeward Islands, such as Barbuda. I think it's going to move right over Anguilla as well.

So the thousands and thousands that live here, they can't really just evacuate. They've got to hunker down into some security structure and kind of hold out. British U.S., Virgin Islands are under a warning, as well as Puerto Rico with the state of emergency.

[21:50:03] I think the system will stay North of Puerto Rico, Anderson, but this is new. We've got a hurricane warning now for the Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic because as the system turns counterclockwise, it's going to throw those feeder bands, it's going to throw in the storm surge and, of course, the destructive winds.

By the way, if you're just joining Anderson on the show, this is Jose, most likely will become a hurricane in the next the 24 hours or so. It will not follow Irma and head to the north, thank goodness, a fish storm. But the models, this is unbelievable, the National Hurricane Center keeps it. It is a catastrophic hurricane. It's Category 5 or 5.

Right now, Irma is much stronger than Harvey when it made landfall in devastating Rockport in Texas. Now, there are some differences. With Harvey, we didn't have a steering current. So let's look at the steering current right now.

You're going to see high pressure kind of keep this, Anderson, to the south. This little trough in the Eastern U.S., I wish it was hanging around because that's our one hope to get this off the eastern seaboard. We're going to miss out on that. But here comes another. This will save landfall from Texas and Louisiana but move it up, of course, into Florida. What coast? We're not sure just yet.

COOPER: I mean, how difficult is the storm like this to predict where the models obviously, you know, are constantly changing where it could end up?

SATER: I think the biggest part of that question, Anderson, is everybody wants to know what's going to happen in their backyard several days from now.

COOPER: Right.

SATER: Any time you're forecasting this far out, there's going to be some variation, even if you're trying to forecast like sky cover or rain for your neighborhood. Again, this is not until Saturday afternoon when we watch it maybe interacting with Cuba and so then we have to watch it where it turns. And the timing is everything, sooner better than later because there is a smaller window that I think that maybe slide off pass to Carolinas, but that window is really shutting quickly.

So, again, as the models go out further in time, there is some variation. But, again, as we get closer to this, those models in more agreement will tighten that window down for us and we'll have a better idea. But I can't let -- just make sure everybody understands.

This doesn't mean a landfall in Miami right now, but we're going to have to watch this day in and day out. So, it is a game with the models but they've been in great agreement, Anderson, with the environment. So we got to lean into that.

COOPER: Tom, I appreciate that.

Joining me now is Ricardo Rosello, the Governor of Puerto Rico. Governor, thank you so much for being with us. There is a state of emergency. Obviously, I know the National Guard has been activated. Do you feel like Puerto Rico is ready?

GOV. RICARDO ROSELLO, (D), PUERTO RICO: Well, you know, Anderson, in this type of event, Category 5, 185-mile-an-hour sustained winds, you know, it's hard to be ready, but we certainly are prepared. We've been working in this new administration to make sure that we have all the protocols ready.

We enacted the first protocols starting a week before Irma hits landfall. So, we are confident that we've done everything on our part now. Our main focus these last 24 hours have been making sure that people are safe, that they're in their homes or in shelters. It shouldn't their infrastructure be weak.

COOPER: What is the shelter situation in Puerto Rico?

ROSELLO: Right. We've identified 460 shelters. We've worked with the municipalities to make sure that citizens are aware. This afternoon we started a deployment strategy, emergency deployment strategy, particularly for those areas that could feel severe flooding and could be hampered due to a weak infrastructure.

So we started moving people. But, again, our main focus is for people to be safe, so whether they're at their homes or at the shelters, we are hoping for the storm to maybe skid off northeast of Puerto Rico. But we're also preparing for the eventuality where a Category 5 hurricane, the likes of which have never been seen in Puerto Rico, would actually do landfall.

COOPER: Yes. I mean I'm wondering just in terms of storms Puerto Rico has been hit by in the past, how does this potentially compare?

ROSELLO: Right. Well, if it sustains its current path, it's still going to be a very devastating storm. You know, they are projecting right now that it will pass 30 miles north off the Northeast of Puerto Rico. Still, we're talking about a hurricane that's about 120 miles of wind span. So it would still sustain, particularly in the northern part, hurricane wind levels of a Category 1 or 2.

But, Anderson, should the model shift slightly lower as it has done so in the past hour, then this could mean that the full Category 5 effects of this storm would hit the island. Those, of course, would be devastating. Our focus is having people safe.

COOPER: Yes. Well, Governor, I wish you and all the people in Puerto Rico the best. Thank you very much. We'll continue to check in with you in the days ahead.

[21:55:04] Let's go back to Tom Sater. Tom, just in terms of where Puerto Rico is, the Governor is right. I mean, at this point it could be just north of the island?

SATER: I think we're watching, really, a Wednesday event for the northern part of the island. This is where we're going to have significant storm surge for Puerto Rico. And now, remember, we only have is a little bit of time.

I think the eye, Anderson, is going to move over to the island of Barbuda probably around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. So it's not that far away and then when it moves to Anguilla that would probably be mid-morning tomorrow. So tomorrow afternoon would be Puerto Rico.

And, again, already and I remember those warnings are in effect for parts of Dominican Republic. My concern is with strong as it is now, the waters are even warmer when you get closer to Cuba and the U.S. So that's just fuel for the system to continue to be a monster strength. Again, major Category 4, maybe 5.

COOPER: All right. Tom Sater, appreciate it. We'll be right back

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[22:00:06] COOPER: That's it for us. Thanks for watching. Time to hand things over Don Lemon. "CNN Tonight" starts now.