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AT THIS HOUR
Pelosi Holds News Conference After Speaking With Trump; Killer Irma Pounds Caribbean, Plows Toward Florida; Irma May Force One Of Largest U.S. Evacuations Ever; Sandbag Locations Open In Orlando Ahead Of Irma; Deadly Irma Lashes Out At Haiti, Dominican Republic; Hurricane Watch Issued For South Florida Keys. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired September 7, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: -- here the currency of the realm is the votes. Now the votes no discussion yet. We don't have the votes. Three months. So, that's how we got to that. We made it very clear in the course of the conversation that we would, the priority was to pass the Dream Act that we wanted to do and obviously, it has to be bipartisan.
The president said he supports that, he would sign it, but, we have to get it passed. That's a high priority. That's why when we left the meeting, we said in the meeting the leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey and extension of the debt limit and a continuing resolution to December 15th.
I think they may have changed it back to the 8th and asked if that was OK. Altogether, both sides have every intention of affording default in December and look forward to working together on many issues before us.
We have the Omnibus bill, all the appropriations bills, we have state children's health insurance program, community health centers, we have extenders for Medicare. We have many items on the agenda.
But, for us, as Democratic leaders made it clear, in the strongest possible way, we believe the dream act must come to the floor and act as soon as possible. We will not rest until that is done. That's how that went. Any questions? Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get the impression, during this discussion at the White House, that the president to be seemed more inclined to negotiate with you and Leader Schumer than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell?
PELOSI: No. I think the president, when we went into the meeting, there were two of us and five of them, the president, the vice president, and three, the Republican leader, the speaker, the majority leader and secretary of treasury in terms of those conversations.
So, no, I think they all came in, the vice president said, you know, you put out your number before we had this meeting. We put up our number after you put out your number because they put out the number earlier.
Now I think, frankly, as I said and maybe make it clear, when it was clear that we couldn't go for a longer CR from their standpoint because the DOD needs the resources in a fair way.
A CR, they don't like the CR. They would rather you pass the bills now and hopefully will do it soon, but we have issues. We want parody. If you lift the caps on DOD, we are going to lift on discretionary domestic investments as well.
So, there was -- it was kind of, became persuasive when Mitch, the majority leader in the Senate said, I'm going to put the CR. That was really just what actually strengthened our hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you surprised the president came around so quickly?
PELOSI: No, it wasn't quick. We went in there, put it on table, boom, out the door. It wasn't like that at all. It was a very long, intense conversation. Now, I'm an appropriator so I have had a little bit of an advantage in my view on -- left to our own devices, the pro- appropriators, Democrats and Republicans can work together to have a compromise and look, we should do.
It's when it comes on high that there's a problem or legislating on the appropriations bill. We had those kind of, shall we say, clarifications. It was a long meeting. I was very proud of the Senate minority or Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer (inaudible) ==
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president --
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You are listening to the Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, speaking about the deal that was struck between the president and Democratic leaders yesterday in the White House, in the oval office.
Republican leaders said to be blindsided, shocked, maybe not so happy about the outcome. Nancy Pelosi seems none too pleased, seems actually quite pleased about the outcome that came from that meeting yesterday. We are going to have more reaction from the Republican side that will be coming up.
[11:05:02] But we are following this, very seriously, big, huge, nuclear, something out of this world. That is how folks are describing Hurricane Irma today. One of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded.
It tore across the Caribbean and is now continuing its deadly assault toward Florida. Millions of Americans are in the path and they will take no comfort in the first images that are emerging from what Irma has left behind.
This is the Caribbean island. Barbuda, virtually wiped off the map by the storm. Winds topping out at 185 miles per hour. Something out of a horror movie, one person there described it. Like a desert island, said another. Here is the prime minister. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GASTON BROWNE, ANTIGUA AND BABUDA PRIME MINISTER (via telephone): It was heart wrenching, absolutely devastating. I have never seen any such destruction on a (inaudible) basis --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Government officials saying more than 90 percent of structures on the island are damaged or destroyed. And, as this -- this is what a Category 5 storm looks like. It is scary. All of its awful mite as it tore into the British Virgin Islands, and now it's headed to the U.S. mainland.
Mandatory evacuations are under way in South Florida. More to begin just minutes from now. At least 10 people are dead in the Caribbean and Florida officials are warning that underestimating this historic storm could be a deadly mistake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PHILIP LEVINE (D), MIAMI BEACH: This is a serious, serious storm. I called it a nuclear hurricane. I can't stress it enough. Get off Miami Beach, whether you are a visitor or whether you are a resident. Find shelter, we have shelters. This is a serious situation. We should not play around in this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: The mayor of Miami Beach there. We have breaking news on the storm right now, a fresh update coming in from the National Hurricane Center on Irma's track. Let's go straight over to CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers, for much more on that. Chad, what is the latest? Where is she headed?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hurricane watch now for South Florida, just issued at the 11:00 advisory from Jupiter to the bottom, to the keys and back up the other side, Cape Coral. You get the idea, the whole southern quarter of Florida now under a hurricane watch will eventually get upgraded to hurricane warning as the storm gets closer.
It's 175 miles per hour. Last update was 180. You can tell the difference, that's great. It's still a very deadly hurricane Category 5. We are way above that, 20-mile-an-hour above that. Also, including Lake Okeechobee, too.
The wind will be strong there in the coming days as we roll this up into Florida and possibly into the Carolinas. There was a slight wobble to the right in the past hour or so. We'll see if that goes back to the left or not or if that is a meaningful trend.
We hope so, not for the Bahamas but hope it gets through and misses everything. That is not the forecast right now. Category 5 running between Cuba and Grand Bahama Island and then right into South Florida. This honestly couldn't be a worse place for it to hit Florida. It will pick a huge storm surge to Biscayne Bay to Florida and up to Jupiter inland with huge surges. Slightly offshore and slamming into the U.S. north of Jacksonville. That's the middle of the cone.
The western part, almost out of Tampa, certainly still in the Atlantic Ocean. The cone getting smaller because the storm is getting closer. That's how it works out here. There is the cone. Here are the models we have been talking about.
The United Kingdom model to the west. The U.K. model, compared to the Euro model, it looks like the United States, the National Hurricane Center believing the Euro slightly more than the American models which are out here in the Atlantic Ocean.
There are other things they are looking at too. They divide the models and come up with the storm. Here is what the European model looks like. North of Key Largo through ocean reef up to Homestead, cutler and as far north as you can imagine, tearing things up at 150 miles per hour.
Now, the American model, much better. I know it's only 40 miles, but if you push it offshore, you don't get 150 on shore, you get 130. What is the difference? There is. There is a difference in damage at 150 and damage at 130. There is going to be damage whether it's left, right, middle of center.
Eventually, up to the Carolinas and expecting landfall there as possibly a major hurricane. Not over, someone is going to get hit. There's going to be damage. You have to keep watching it and make the right decisions.
BOLDUAN: Chad, at this point, with what you are looking at in this new track, is there any chance the storm could veer off and back to the Atlantic, sparing direct hit on Florida?
[11:10:07] MYERS: Sparing a direct hit at Florida, yes. Sparing a direct hit at the U.S., no. Because when it gets farther to the north, I'll try to give around here one more time. When the storm finally, if it does miss Florida, if it misses South Florida, the models are absolutely all of them will turn it back to the left.
So, you are going to get it here if you don't get it here. So, depends on are you living here or here? It makes a huge difference. A catastrophic loss. Tens of billions of dollars loss, maybe more if it hits South Florida with a vengeance that it could.
If you run over Miami with such elevation, like 10 or 12 feet, with a 20-foot storm surge, you knock everything down within two miles of the coast. That's just a tremendous amount of damage.
Now if you miss the coast, you are 160 miles per hour because you are in the water. You are not other land. You are not decaying the storm. It comes up here. There's not a model that doesn't turn it left. We know it's going to eventually go left. It could stay along the coast the entire way like Matthew and turn left eventually around Savannah, but it wouldn't be as strong because it would be interacting with the land longer. It's the water, it stays stronger longer == Kate.
BOLDUAN: Still no good and still coming our way. That's the basic news right now. Chad, great to see you. Still a Category 5. That's coming in.
With Florida's densely populated coastal areas in the crosshairs, emergency workers bracing for what could be one of the largest massive evacuations in U.S. history. It's truly amazing. More than 4 million people live in just two counties that are being evacuated, Miami-Dade, Broward.
But gridlock is not the only concern. Monroe County, home of the Florida Keys, the mandatory evacuation order is running into another problem, a fuel shortage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF RICK RAMSEY, MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA: We are experiencing difficulty with fuel. A lot of gas stations are shut down. Sent employees home. Have no fuel. So, we are worried about what is going to happen. I have been in contact with the governor's office to get fuel down here to make sure the evacuation is smooth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Rosa Flores is live in Miami Beach watching all of this. Rosa, you have some people with you there on the beach. The shortage is a huge concern, the fuel shortage right now. What's being done about it?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, there is a huge concern from what we heard from the governor, they are lifting all sorts of weight limits and that sort of thing to make sure that the flow of fuel into the state is slow, but steady.
Now I'm here on the beach with Ashley and her daughter, Angie. I know she's not the only one on the beach. You can see a few more people behind us. You know, a lot of people not from Florida, they look at people on the beach at this hour and think, what are people thinking. Explain it to us, Ashley.
ASHLEY HAHN, EVACUATING TODAY: It is chaotic with the lines and gasoline and waiting for water. You kind of need a break. Yes, we have in the back of our minds a huge storm is coming and we are prepared mentally and emotionally as best we can and with materials.
But the hustle and bustle on the streets waiting in line for water and gas, we needed a break. They gave us a day off work. She has no school so we are just taking in the sun the best we can and preparing for what happens afterwards.
FLORES: Now you said this is the last dip. You do plan to evacuate. What is your plan?
HAHN: We are definitely going to leave just, as I mentioned, on a regular day here, the rain can get pretty heavy. We have seen flooding and know how long water can stand. Just the inconvenience it becomes. So, prior storms, we are definitely going to leave.
We are probably going to head north, just to be safe. I mean, I went through Andrew as a child and my parents and I hear stories and I have seen videos of destruction and everything that it entails. I don't want her to be around for that.
FLORES: You mentioned you were 4 years old when you went through Andrew --
HAHN: Yes. I don't remember the preparation my parents went through, but I remember it being a loud storm. I remember some of the destruction. Cars were damaged. I mean, I know if it happens, it's coming, it's coming, it's going to happen. I try to be far away from that and deal with it afterward, the best we can.
FLORES: Ashley, thank you so much for sharing your story. Angie, you are going to have fun when you dip in the water now?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yes.
FLORES: You have fun, but stay safe. Thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
So, as you heard, Kate, some folks on the beach. You can see them on the beach behind me. We have talked to a lot of folks here. Some of them do plan to evacuate. As we are heard in prior storms, some plan to ride it out. I asked multiple people. They said, you know, some think it's stupidity, but they are planning to stay here and ride the storm at home.
BOLDUAN: Ashley has the right perspective right now. Get in a few more rays of sunshine, but heading out of town soon. Thanks, Rosa. Really appreciate it for bringing that to us. Really appreciate it.
[11:15:11] To Central Florida, CNN's Brynn Gingras is joining me from Orlando where sandbags are being handed out to residents that are prepping for Irma even there. Brynn, even in Orlando?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, even in Orlando, Kate. I mean, there's no evacuation orders in Orange County, but flooding is still a serious concern. That's why sandbagging operations are underway. This is actually the first full day of sandbagging operations.
They did a half day yesterday. You can see, it's a well-oiled machine here. We have a car that pulls up and an assembly line of county workers that toss them into the trunk of these cars. They are able to drive away. Ten sandbags per household unit. You have to show an id to get through the line.
Some are worried it's not enough sandbags for their homes. Certainly, this county is doing their best to have at least some sort of protection for any possible flooding from Irma. You have to see the line. This line, again, this is the first full day.
This operation here and a half dozen or so around the rest of the county. This has been a full line for the entire morning. They have given out over 21,000 sandbags just from 7:00 to 11:00 today. Yesterday, in total, they gave 28,000 sandbags.
If you can't judge by the line, you can judge by the numbers about the need that is here. I was talking to a number of people through the line. Their major concern is, of course, flooding. If you know this area, this is home to Disney, Orlando with a lot of swamps and reservoirs.
They are worried this is going to surpass levels and cause flooding inside homes. Talking to other people in this county, another issue is evacuation. All those people Rosa was talking about in Miami, if they want to evacuate, this county is prepared to take them in.
There's 100,000 hotel rooms in this county alone. They are certainly welcoming anyone who wants to come to this area and they are keeping an eye on the levels making sure there's enough as the warning continues.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Brynn, great to see you. Thank you so much. Watching the lines, even in Orlando.
All right. The damage Irma has already done, is doing and threatens to do in the Caribbean, catastrophic. Pictures say everything. The prime minister of Barbuda calls the island barely habitable.
In just moments ago, the island came under another watch for another hurricane, Hurricane Jose. The French government is calling the damage to the island of St. Martin a huge tragedy. Six of the 10 deaths reported so far in the Caribbean have been on St. Martin.
One woman there says it was a night of hell for her and her family when Irma came through. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STACY-ANN TAYLOR, ST. MARTIN RESIDENT: We survived. We survived the hurricane. It was hell last night. It was hell. I don't wish this for any of my enemies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: The hurricane is marching on as we speak. This is a look at the Dominican Republic a short time ago. CNN's Paula Newton is live in Haiti watching that side of things. What is the situation now, Paula?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the storm is certainly going to hit us in the next few hours. We have heard some ominous rumbles of thunder. Preparations are not what you have been listening to in Florida. They have had the time, but only got started in the last 24 hours.
Not really a sign that people are taking it as seriously as they should. This is one of the poorest countries in the world. Even if they wanted to prepare, not that many resources here.
The good news is the U.N. and other NGOs are at the ready to go back to what happened at Hurricane Matthew last year. You had hundreds of people who were killed and hundreds of thousands of people who needed shelter and food immediately after the hurricane.
The good news is, we won't be taking a direct impact. The bad news is, if it sideswipes us here in Haiti, this is a huge problem. Even that kind of storm, being sideswiped causes catastrophic damage here in the northern coast of Haiti -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: All right. Paula, next few hours, you are in the middle of it. Thank you so much, Paula. Please be safe. We'll get back to you.
Essentially, right now, an exodus under way for parts of Florida. Mass evacuations and more about to begin, about to set in in other parts of the state. Traffic is backed up. Fuel shortages piling up as we've discussed. The mayor of Hollywood Florida, another city under serious threat from Irma, he is going to join us live, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: We desperately need gasoline. That's what I fired off an e-mail last night to the head of FEMA to see if they can get gasoline into the state because people, they are running out in their cars. They can't get it at the gas station.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Florida Senator Bill Nelson on CNN this morning as Hurricane Irma evacuations are triggering some widespread gas shortages in the state. Some people running out of gas as they are waiting in line to fill up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just ran out of gas. I just want to get gas please. I can't go anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's move. Go ahead. Push, man. Push.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: He's trying to help out a motorist in Miami stuck in line and out of gas. Evacuation orders are in effect in several areas of South Florida. Look at the traffic building up. That includes, in terms of evacuations, 20,000 people in the eastern part of Hollywood, Florida. The city's mayor, Josh Levy, is joining me right now by phone. Mr. Mayor, can you hear me?
MAYOR JOSH LEVY, HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA (via telephone): Yes, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for joining me, I really appreciate it. How are things going right now in terms of preparation there?
LEVY: Really well, as well as it can be. Of course, residents are heeding the warning that has been going out over the past few days about needing to prepare early for the storm. Houses are beginning to be boarded up.
[11:25:11] People have been filling up their fuel tanks with motor vehicles and stocking up on essentials like water, battery, et cetera, needed to sustain a three to five-day period for their household could be without power.
BOLDUAN: So the mandatory evacuations are going to be setting into the next hour. What is your message to residents right now?
LEVY: To all residents living east of Federal Highway and evacuation zones "A" and "B" are requested and are subject to mandatory evacuations beginning at noon today and I think they are all aware of this now through the county's notifications as well in cities.
They need to understand the severity of the storm, how dangerous it is and even though it might be inconvenient to leave their own home for a 48-hour period, it's a lot safer. You can replace the house, but you cannot replace your life.
BOLDUAN: That's definitely the message we were hearing from the governor of the state right now. Mayor, you grew up in Hollywood. A lot of folks are making comparisons to Hurricane Andrew that devastated South Florida and what they could be seeing this time around. What does that mean to you?
LEVY: It's scary. Look, if this storm comes in with a direct hit, whichever locality suffers a direct hit, we'll see buildings brought down to rubble. That's a scary thought considering there's people who might be taking shelter in those buildings.
BOLDUAN: The governor said that his biggest concern, as we were hearing and also the senator, Bill Nelson's concern too was gas shortages right now. What is your biggest concern right now?
LEVY: Look, right now, the biggest concern is that people pay attention to the evacuation order, they make sure they have a plan for their storm readiness. We are looking at a Saturday night, Sunday event. There is ample time for people to make their plans.
I hope that they don't decide that they want to leave town too late in approach of the storm so that they don't find themselves without a destination or hotel room, even in the northern parts of the state. We have 1.9 million people in the county here, 150,000 in the city of Hollywood. There are not enough shelters to take in more than, I think 35,000 people. So, advice is to, if you are in an evacuation zone, go find family and friends outside evacuation zones, find shelter there through friends and family. If not, shelters and other destinations are always an opportunity.
BOLDUAN: At some point, first responders are not going to be able to come out to help you in the middle of this massive storm. Mayor, really appreciate your time. Good luck to you and everyone in your community. We'll be watching and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers, really appreciate it.
LEVY: Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Evacuations -- mandatory evacuations in part of his city, in that county. They will be setting in at the top of the hour. We are going to have much more on Hurricane Irma throughout the top of the show, of course, including taking a look at how this hurricane compares to that devastating hurricane I was mentioning. Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida 25 years ago.
But next up, on Capitol Hill, the top Republicans, Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Mitch McConnell, blindsided after President Trump strikes a deal with Democrats right in front of them as they are sitting in the oval office.
Speaker Ryan is set to speak with two reporters in just moments. How does he feel today? What does this now mean for negotiating with their Republican president going forward? We'll soon find out and bring it to you live.