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Former campaign adviser Carter Page is backing away from his earlier denials; Republican plan announced this week includes the collapsing of tax brackets and wide ranging tax cuts; President Trump's twitter account went off line this week; Uncovered financial agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC long before the nomination; Much of Puerto Rico is still without power today six weeks after hurricane Maria decimated the island; Saudi Arabia has intercepted a ballistic missile near the capital of Riyadh; Harvey Weinstein could be put in jail; Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 4, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: He is en route to Japan, the first of five countries that he will visit across Asia. Much of the region on edge as anxiety grows over a nuclear armed North Korea and it (INAUDIBLE) exchanges with President Trump.
Also threatening to overshadow the trip, the Russian investigation back home. And new development, former campaign adviser Carter Page is backing away from his earlier denials and confirms a meeting last summer with Russia's deputy prime minister.
Even more significant, Page says a few people on the campaign knew about his Moscow meeting. And afterward he even sent an email about it to a campaign aide.
We have a lot to uncover now. CNN's Ryan Nobles joins us now from Honolulu - Ryan.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, hello from Honolulu.
The President, as you mentioned, just left here about 30 minutes ago en route to Tokyo, the first of the five different Asian countries the President will visit over a 12-day visit to the Asia Pacific region.
Before we talk about what the President hopes to accomplish to be that trip, let's show you a little bit of video from an unplanned stop that the President made about a half an hour ago. This was as he was motorcading to the Hickam air force base to board Air Force One. He stopped at the Trump international hotel at the Waikiki beach.
Now, this is not a Trump-owned property. This is a franchise that bares the Trump name. It is owned by different company. But the President did not stay there last night but took time to stop and visit some of the workers at that place. It was only about a ten- minute stop.
But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this about the stop. She said quote "the President stopped by Trump hotel on his way to the airport. It has been a tremendously successful project. And he wanted to say hello and thank you to the employees for the hard work."
Now this could lead to some criticism of the President that he was finding an opportunity with cameras watching to once again show off one of his property in his capacity as President of the United States. He spends a lot of time at his properties when he is not at the White House. His golf course in West Virginia. His property in Bedminster, New Jersey. So he did find this opportunity here despite the fact that he has a very important trip ahead of him.
And that trip begins in earnest when he hits the ground in Tokyo. He will spend most of the day on Sunday meeting with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe. They are going to play golf together. They are going to have conversations about the U.S. relationship with Japan.
And then the President is going to travel go South Korea. He will be in China. He will also go to Vietnam and he will finish in the Philippines meeting with the leaders of those countries specifically talking about the threat of North Korea in the Kim Jong-Un regime. Seeing if there can be some sort of cooperative agreement by these leaders who all have different influences in terms of that relationship to try and quell the tensions in that part of the world. Perhaps the most important conversation being with the President of China Xi Jinping.
So this is a very busy 12 days for the President, Fred. The longest of his presidency. It's also the longest trip to the Asia Pacific region by any President since the George H. W. Bush administration -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Nobles in Honolulu, thanks so much.
Let me bring in CNN's Kara Scannell.
Kara, what is Carter Page saying about his interactions with Jeff Sessions in particular? Because we know the President will be peppered with questions as it relates to that investigation even while he is abroad.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: That's right. This week, Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign sat with lawmakers for six hours and gave private testimony. The transcript of that testimony will be made public early next week.
But what we have learned so far is that Carter Page has told lawmakers that he told Jeff Sessions, who was then an adviser to the campaign in June 2016 that he had a planned trip to Russia. Carter Page visited with CNN on Friday and here is what he told us about that trip with Jeff -- his conversation with Jeff Sessions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Who else in the Trump campaign knew about this trip to Russia other than Jeff Sessions?
CATER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: You know, I -- that mentioned, which was the big head line yesterday, was a brief comment as we were walking towards the elevator after having a dinner together. And so it was such a nothing event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCANNELL: Carter Page has down played the impact of that conversation with Jeff Sessions. But it is very likely to raise more scrutiny on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are already concerned about what Jeff Sessions has told them about his contact with Russia. And Russians during the campaign.
WHITFIELD: All right. Kara Scannell, thank you so much in Washington.
All right. I want to bring back my political panel now. Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and historian at Princeton University - excuse me. And Aaron David Miller is a CNN global affairs analyst and former Presidential advisor.
All right. Good to see you both.
Aaron, you first. As President Trump, you know, spends the next two weeks abroad he may, you know, want to cloud of the investigation to dissipate but how might it color the thinking or even the demeanor of these Asian leaders who will be meeting with him?
[14:05:09] AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, this is a killer trip. It is the trip from hell, 12 days, requires an enormous amount of focus and discipline. And it is one thing to be preoccupied with domestic political issue at home. It is another to be react on the road. It really is not a good time for the President to go.
I don't think, for example, Prime Minister Abe or Xi of China, or the South Koreans are going to pay much attention to the domestic political implication implications. I think the primary problem is going to be the President, his frustrations, his preoccupation with what's happening in Washington.
WHITFIELD: Keeping his cool.
MILLER: Not only distracting, but yes, it can lead to outbursts from a very frustrated preoccupied and at times very angry President. So on a long trip like this, there are any number of possibilities for fumbles, bumbles and stumbles.
WHITFIELD: All right.
And you know, and Julian, you know, this President wants to probably, you know, maintain discussions about where he is and what is going on there. But he is inevitably going to be peppered with a lot of questions as it relates to Russia. Sometimes it's not always what you say but how you say it and even body language that will be very closely examined, right? JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think that's correct. Demeanor is
everything. And it is true, this is a long grueling trip. And dealing with some pretty tough issues such as what to do about North Korea, how to handle trade packs, and he is someone who has trouble controlling himself. And the Russia investigations and the story about Russia will go on and that he will be enticed to say something. And this could certainly influence what happens over there.
They are also looking -- every leader looks at what the domestic standing is of a President. And right now, I'm sure these poll numbers are catching their attention. And they wonder how effective will he be in carrying through any deal that he negotiates in Asia when he gets back to Capitol Hill.
WHITFIELD: So Aaron, how does that potentially impact the respect that any number of these leaders may have for the President when they look at those things as barometers about his leadership?
MILLER: I mean, Julian's right. Obviously, the domestic standing reputation of the President is critically important. How the United States projects its interests abroad.
I think on this trip, though, where the President is going to be mercifully perhaps spared from coming to grips or terms or achieving agreements that have to be implemented. Part of the problem on this trip is that there are very few deliverables.
From the President's point of view, I think there are three key issues, from his point of view. North Korea, North Korea, and North Korea. And I think if he gets into the trade issue, either with the Chinese or Japanese, I think he is going to find very rough sailing.
Prime Minister Abe is obviously not happy with the fact that we -- administration pulled out of the TPP. The Japanese hoped to cement that agreement perhaps next month with the 11 remaining countries. So I think part of the problem form the President when he returns is rationalizing and justifying that this trip has actually been a success.
One final point. What Kim will do, Kim Jong-un, will do during the course of the next 12 days will be interesting. I mean, what a perfect opportunity to make the point, either through a test or some other action, that in fact the North Koreans no matter what these other powers say, the North Koreans will act the way they want. And that could provoke and create the need for a response.
So the (INAUDIBLE) of language on this one, I think people are going to watch carefully. It's really important that the President, I think, wants to be tough on North Korea, fine. But he also needs to convey to Abe and Xi that he has a strategy. That not only includes tougher rhetoric locked and loaded fire and fury, but something that will advance the challenge with how to do with North Koreans.
WHITFIELD: So Julian, North Korea, you know, trade, those are top priorities. But the President will not be able to avoid the ongoing questions about, you know, Russia. And even before leaving, the United States, he is now insisting he can't recall particularly a campaign meeting during the election when foreign policy adviser George Padoupolos (ph) floated the idea of setting up a visit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. And he is already professed he has, you know, great memory.
Here is a refresher of the President yesterday and even before that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't remember much about that meeting. It was a very unimportant meeting. Took place a long time. Don't remember much about it.
I'm a very intelligent person. One of the great memories of all time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So Julian, how might even the special counsel, Bob Mueller be, you know, taking note of all that and how might all of that be folded into his ongoing investigation?
[14:10:09] ZELIZER: Well, at this point, the credibility of the President and much of the administration is not very strong outside of the base. And so whenever there are statements about meetings being unimportant or meetings not happening, we are now at a point in November where much of the country and probably many of the counsel working in Mueller's office are not going to belief that.
And layered on top of that is this paper trail or whatever we call it in the modern age, of his statements, of his tweets that contradicted defense that they are trying to make. So I think, you know, he himself, the President of the United States is giving Mueller more than enough to continue with the investigation. And to raise these kinds of questions without just accepting the explanations of a Carter Page or of the President himself.
WHITFIELD: So Aaron, if you don't have credibility as the President of the United States in the U.S., how do you have it in the world stage?
MILLER: No, it is a fascinating question. Nixon, during the hydro Watergate ended up negotiating three disengagement agreements in the wake of the 1973 war projecting the image of weaken president. That actually could in fact project American credibility on the world stage. Now Nixon had one thing that Donald Trump does not. He had Henry Kissinger. And we don't have one of those right now. So, I think that's going to be hard.
One additional point, you know. There are reports that the President may meet with Putin at the apex summit in Vietnam. I would think that an effort to escape Russia, the last thing this President and his team would do would be to have a meeting with Putin. Now, it will be on foreign policy issues, but it will raise the entire question. President's naturally strange relationship with Vladimir Putin. Why does he accord him such a respected and almost sacred political space? So I would think they would want to steer clear of that one. We will see.
WHITFIELD: And that's interesting because that's the antitheism with some diplomats say whenever an opportunity arises for, you know, country leaders, even of it is Putin, even if it is Trump, that they have to seize on that opportunity. But you think that photo-op could be potentially detrimental even.
MILLER: That would be a reminder. If there were an issue the two could close on, Ukraine sanction Syria, but there's not. So what kind of value or mileage they get out of this meeting is unclear to me.
WHITFIELD: All right. All fascinating. Thanks so much, gentlemen. Julian Zelizer, Aaron David Miller, always good to see you.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coming up next, Republicans rolling out the new tax plan and insists that it will help the middle class. But, will the past? And what could it mean for the GOP agenda?
[14:17:04] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
It's the biggest tax reform undertaken in more than 30 years. The Republican plan announced this week includes the collapsing of tax brackets and wide ranging tax cuts. President Trump is calling on Congress to pass a mas of bill before Christmas but with some in his own party already questioning the plan it could face a few challenges.
CNN's Boris Sanchez is in Washington.
So Boris, Trump called this bill a Christmas present for Americans. And House Speaker Paul Ryan is backing its passage for the holidays. But can they make it through in that time frame?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may take a bit of luck. Keep in mind this bill will likely go through changes before even house Republicans can vote on it. We may see some adjustments to deductions that are being either limited or eliminated altogether in this bill.
Beyond that, this is really a phase where lobbying shaped legislation. Because s you know, Fred, there are winners and losers when it comes to the tax code. And for special interest groups that find themselves in that losing column, they are going to try to exert influence over law make h hers to lessen the blow on their industries.
Case in point, this bill would limit how many people can get a deduction for mortgage interest. That affects the real estate agency. And so, already you have realtors better buying ads to raise this concern. Beyond you have lawmakers that are making demands including the President.
He has told Republican lawmakers that he wants this bill to repeal the individual mandate in Obamacare. That is something that several Republicans have now said that they are concerned about. Make no mistake, this is a huge deal for Republicans. They stand to
lose a lot here. And so already, you are seeing some key administration figures out on the campaign trail, so to speak, for this bill, including the secretary of the treasury joining Ivanka Trump in California this weekend touting this tax reform bill as well as vice President Mike Pence who was in Florida yesterday, and in Pennsylvania today, going to bat for this.
If Republicans get this passed, it will be a major win, as the President told some House Republicans on a conference call about two weeks ago. This would be historic. If they don't it could potentially be catastrophic when it comes to the midterm elections next year. Don't forget Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina just a few days ago saying that if Republicans don't get this pass, they stand to lose the House in 2018, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Boris Sanchez, thanks so much n D.C.
All right. Shock waves still being felt after President Trump's twitter account went off line this week. It was briefly taken down by one twitter employee on their last day at work. Trump responded, tweeting, "my twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out and having an impact." end quote.
Joining me now, CNN's senior technology correspondent Laurie Segall.
So Laurie, this is a much bigger issue about the power that these companies have, and that individuals may have in tampering with the Potus handle?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I think this is kind of a very important moment in time where a lot of people are wondering about the decisions made behind closed doors at tech companies like twitter. You had tech execs on Capitol Hill trying to answer questions about the weaponization of their platform recently. And on this very same week someone was able to take down the President of the United States twitter account. So that doesn't goes well for them.
And I will tell you this. You know, I think there's calls for more transparency about some of these decisions. Well, little internal caller at twitter, there has been a debate about Donald Trump's twitter account. One employee told me they thought it should have been taken down after he tweeted about North Korea, and he said, you know, it incited violent. Another employee said no it's not going to be taken down. And now we see that another employee took it down. So these decisions really do have impact.
And Fred, I recently spoke to Matthew Prince. He is the CEO of Cloud Flair. And he talked to me about how he is grappling with his power in a lack of transparency. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEGALL: You did woke up in a bad mood and decided someone should be allowed on the internet. No one should have that power. What a strong statement.
MATTHEW PRINCE, CEO, CLOUDFLARE: We kicked them off at some level because they were jerks. And I think we have a right to pick and choose who we do business with, and not do business with jerks. But, I do think it's important for us to have a conversation about what the responsibilities of the plumbers are on the internet. And we could have done it differently. We could have just said they violated section 13G of our terms of service and --.
SEGALL: But that's kind of BS.
PRINCE: It is totally. It would be BS if we did it. And it's BS when any other technology company does it. And that's the point which is important. There are arbitrary decisions that get made on this. And there are editorial decisions that can made of this. We should own those editorial decisions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEGALL: I should mention, Prince is talking about a neo-Nazi site that he kicked off. And he said he got 3500 other request. So, you know, this rogue employee taking down Trump's twitter, it just calls into question's larger dialogue we are having it. And this overall question of do these companies have control over their own platforms and some of the employees that have access.
WHITFIELD: So how concerning is it that taking down is really a precursor potentially to someone actually hopping onto Trump's twitter account and, you know, saying whatever they want and really starting some potential problems out there?
SEGALL: I think that's certainly a security concern. I will say I talked to some folks within twitter and an employee who recently left twitter. And they said, you know, depending on how much access you have. If you're part of the trust and safety team you will have more access to user accounts and that would be able to suspend an account, take it down, but you wouldn't be able to tweet from that account. Another source said it's highly unlikely.
That being said, highly unlikely, you know, when I push twitter to say, well, can you give us a more definitive answer, I didn't get a more definitive answer. I think that goes into this question of transparency and these decisions. And I think we are going to see a lot more pressure on tech companies to answer these types of questions, now that we have seen the weaponization of the platform with Russia's influence. Now that we are seeing the ability for an employee to impact the President's twitter account. These are these larger questions we are now asking.
WHITFIELD: One has to wonder if they would have said highly unlikely before someone actually took it down. It happened.
All right. Laurie Segall, thanks so much.
SEGALL: Thank you. WHITFIELD: All right. Up next, as Democrat the anticipate victory in
two key gubernatorial races next week, there is news the party made an agreement with the Clinton campaign before Hillary Clinton was the nominee. Will (INAUDIBLE) Democrat? And what will it take to unify the party?
[14:28:32] WHITFIELD: On Tuesday, voters in New Jersey and Virginia will elect new governors. Right now two Democrats in those states are leading in the polls. But with this week's startling news from Donna Brazile, a former DNC chair and former CNN commentator, that she uncovered a financial agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC long before the nomination, it begs the question how the party will be able to unify and move forward.
Joining me now, CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and CNN commentator and Bernie Sanders supporter Bill Press. Good to see you both.
All right, Maria, you first. At a time when the Democrats could seize upon the GOP in fighting, how much of a potential setback is this now for Democrats? How damaging is this for the party going into particularly 2018 races?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well we certainly hope that it won't be. And if you have seen.
WHITFIELD: But it has to be a worry.
CARDONA: Sure, it's a worry. And if you have seen Elizabeth Warren and even Bernie Sanders' tweets, they said that they are not going to let - whatever is going on with the Democratic party, they are not going to let Trump and everything that he has done to make this country unsafe and middle class families and working class families at risk economically, they are not going to let him get away with it.
In terms of what's going on at the DNC, of course it's a worry. Because the only way we are going to be ultimately successful moving forward both in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday, which we are ahead but we are taking nothing for granted and we hope everybody gets out there and votes. And votes against a Trump agenda that is hurting this country in 2018 which right now the Democrats have a huge advantage in the generic ballot. And certainly in 2020 where we hope that a sane Democrat will take over the White House, which is what this country and this world needs right now.
But, yes, we are worried about this, because it certainly does have the perception that the DNC put their thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton. But if you look at the facts, the facts remain that the kind of deal that Donna Brazile described is the same kind of deal that was offered to the Bernie camp along with the same kind of control that he would have been given had he raised the kind of funds that Hillary raised for the DNC. And that during the primary process, there was no messing with the process. And in fact the caucuses which are run by the party are ones that overwhelmingly went for Bernie Sanders. So at the end of the day, you know, these are the facts we need to
understand the perception is bad and there are going to be reforms put in place so it doesn't happen again.
[14:31:08] WHITFIELD: So Bill, is that how it will be interpreted within the Democratic Party? That, you know, Bernie Sanders, well, he didn't really, you know, get the love. Meaning, he wasn't really anointed. He really was offered the same kind of thing. Or is it your feeling that, you know, he deserved better from the DNC going into the primaries. And there are people who won't forget that?
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First, let me start on a note of agreement. I love CNN, but every minute we spend debating what happened in 2016 is a waste of time. For all Democrats, we all ought to be focused on 2018.
CARDONA: I couldn't agree more.
PRESS: And 2020.
PRESS: Having said that.
WHITFIELD: But so much has now been unveiled from this book. It has to be sending shock waves or (INAUDIBLE) with the DNC.
PRESS: I will speak to that. No, listen. I was here on CNN. I was a Bernie guy on CNN. I can tell you I wasn't the only one how many times I said during the primary that the White House and the DNC were rigged into support Hillary Clinton, and not to give a fair shake to Bernie Sanders. And everybody ridiculed me and laughed. And not just me, but others. And now we know from Donna -- first we learned from the Russian emails. Remember? When they were hacked in the DNC. That they were thumb on the scale, as Maria said, for Bernie. And now we hear that from Donna Brazile. So I find it a small comfort but little comfort that now the whole world knows that we were right. But I think the big thing is, as Bernie Sanders only lose with one that both led the way. Forget 2016. It happened.
WHITFIELD: So make it less reflection. Do you believe it's going to have an impact now on Democrats as they poise themselves for positions leading into 2018?
PRESS: I would hope not. I would hope they would keep the focus, again, on 2020. It is got to be or 2018 and 2020. And look. I also think -- I want to volunteer this. I think it's time that Hillary and some of the other people around here stop blaming Bernie for her loss, you know. She lost. She can blame nobody but herself. Now move together and get the White House back. Get the House back and the Senate back.
WHITFIELD: All right. Quickly, Maria, moving forward?
CARDONA: I agree with that. But I also want to make clear that it is important that the perception of the DNC is one of total neutrality. And that is an important thing in order to move forward with unity, which is why the DNC has now instituted the unity commission, which is why the chairman (INAUDIBLE) has instituted reform so that these kinds of agreements are completely transparent above where everybody knows about them. That is an important thing to make sure we have the trust of every Democrat, every progressive, every independent out there that understands how dangerous this President is, and that that is the focus that we need to make sure that we get.
PRESS: Let's see how the DNC does on the unity commission's recommendations. That's very, very important in terms of super delegates and those close primaries and all those other issues. The DNC has a big chance here to put things right at their next meeting.
PRESS: And they would better do so.
WHITFIELD: We will see. Bill Press and Maria Cardona, good to see you guys. Thank you.
CARDONA: Thanks so much, Fred.
PRESS: Thanks, Fredricka. See you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead. Much of Puerto Rico still without power six weeks after hurricane Maria. We will have a live report next.
But first, here's this week's turning points with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) up grew up in the Brooklyn projects.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some nights I have to eat a syrup sandwich and get hunger with (INAUDIBLE) different ways like going into the store just to steal a cake or something to put into my stomach.
GUPTA: But petty theft turned into armed robbery and then selling drugs. He was first arrested at 16 and joined a gang in jail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No father fig tour, no meaning. Nothing to live for.
GUPTA: He was in and out of prison and spent almost a decade behind bars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wasn't at the point of turnaround.
[14:35:02] GUPTA: Until he saw a heartbreaking family reunion. A fellow inmate grieving his newly convicted son in prison.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I looked at his father and his tears coming down his eyes.
GUPTA: With twin boys at home, (INAUDIBLE) didn't want his sons to grow up like him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to create what has not been there for
GUPTA: He was released in 2008. Four years later, he started a nonprofit to help at-risk youth stay in school, get mental health counseling and find jobs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many of our communities have been ravaged with that gangster mentality. My goal is to stop the violence in our community. It's about giving them an opportunity, a way out. I like to look at prison as a business because I once was a consumer. So now I'm trying to take away the business.
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
[14:40:04] WHITFIELD: All right. Much of Puerto Rico is still without power today six weeks after hurricane Maria decimated the island. Electricity has been restored by 40 percent. But how much of that is actually reaching people in need is unknown. And the mayor of San Juan says because of the power outage, ten times more people may have died than the official number of 54.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: What we do know for sure is that people are been cataloged is gone out of natural deaths when they were for example hooked to a respirator there was no power. The small generator they can have -- gives up and then of course they die of natural causes but they are related to lack of electricity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Leyla Santiago joins us now live from Puerto Rico.
So Leyla, the secretary for public safety say the mayor's remarks are quote "irresponsible." What are you seeing in terms of conditions and people and the suffering?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. The government of Puerto Rico is fighting back on the mayor's statement there, saying that they don't have any evidence that the death toll is any higher than what they have at this point of the 55 certified deaths.
But I will tell you what I'm seeing is the complete frustration, frustration on the ground, not just with people who are frustrated by the lack of power, but also people who are frustrated by what seems to be frustrations with the government because of misleading and confusing numbers that are being reported.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): What I can't see across the street, people. Life. Without power. This is the only light that he has. And you can see that its a little
light from like a Christmas tree, it looks like. And it's powered from a car battery, which I know it's difficult to see so I'll actually light it with my cell phone.
Six weeks after hurricane Maria, (INAUDIBLE) now sleeps next to the open window in his home to get through those long hot nights with no power. He is one of many. Satellite images show the island before Maria, after and now. Not much has changed, and Puerto Rico's power authority claims there's no way of knowing how many people like Rivera are in the dark.
So we called each municipality, that's 78 of them. We couldn't reach most. Communication still not reliable. But of those reached, the overwhelming majority say most people do not have power. Nearly a third say the entire town is in the dark. And yet the power authority and the governor's office insist they are on track.
When it comes to power restoration, they say they're at 37 percent on the island. But that's the percentage of power generation. How much power is being produced, not how much is actually making it to homes and businesses. A big difference when you ask one of the unions at Puerto Rico's power authority.
EVANS CASTRO, PRESIDENT, UEPI UNION: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: He said he can technically have no one with power but still have 100 percent generation. That's why he thinks the numbers are questionable.
We noticed government officials changed how they report the numbers on power, initially using the percentage of clients with power, something they denied until we reminded them of this tweet by the governor's mansion, retweeted by the power authority listing clients with service two weeks after Maria. The governor's office said it was a mistake. The tweet was deleted shortly after CNN asked about it.
When we first approached the governor's office and (INAUDIBLE), we were told by both that they have always reported generation, not clients.
FERNANDO PADILLA, DIRECTOR, PROJECT MANAGEMENT OFFICE, PREPA: I'm not sure on the facts. But (INAUDIBLE) what I can state is when we started restoring critical loads, it's more you can identify better who are the clients. That's as much -- as I can say. It was during a very limited period of time.
SANTIAGO: Since the power authority says those numbers are no longer available, we asked their workers. Their estimate, about five percent of customers may have service, not nearly as high as the percentage of generation. And Rivera worries a bad situation may be getting worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: He believes that because the contract was canceled this is only going to take longer. Puerto Rico has now announced it plans to cancel a controversial
contract with a company hired to help bring back the island's power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO: He has no idea it would last this long.
As he sees it, politics may now be another reason he and countless Puerto Ricans may not be getting power any time soon.
[14:45:06] SANTIAGO: And, when you think about nearly six weeks without power, really, the daily impact on lives here, you know, we were just driving down the interstate and we saw people actually selling wooden wash boards. Wooden wash boards so that people can just wash their clothes because they haven't been able to do that with no power here -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Wow. That was a powerful view into what is it like for people there.
Leyla Santiago, thanks so much for bringing that to us out of San Juan.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
WHITFIELD: And this breaking news out of Saudi Arabia where CNN is learning that the military there has intercepted a ballistic missile near the capital of Riyadh. And moments ago, Yemen who the controlled defense ministry took responsibility for launching the missile.
Joining me right now on the phone is CNN's senior producer Tim Lister.
Tim, what more can you tell us?
TIM LISTEN, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER (on the phone): Well, Fred, what happened a little after night fall in Riyadh, there were reports of a massive detonation over the city. That was the sound of patriot missiles taking out a medium range ballistic missile that had been filed from Yemen from Houti controlled territory in Yemen.
And the interesting thing is here that the city have been involved in in two, two and a half year war with the Saudis and they are definitely ratcheting up the targeting of Saudi populations as they tried this in May with another ballistic missile, it fell short. The targeting this time, it has been much more accurate. Had it not been for the patriot missile that the ballistic missile could have land the in and around one of the busiest airports in the Middle East, Fred.
[14:46:50] WHITFIELD: And Tim, does this rattle the region, if not the city?
LISTER: It most certainly rattle the region. It is major escalation in what has been a long running war between the Saudis and the Houtis in Yemen. The Houtis occupy a good chunk of northern Yemen. But that has been trying to dislodge them with a massive military campaign supported by the United Arabs Emirate for the last two years now. That war is very much bogged down.
The added complication here is that they are supported by Iran. And the Saudis would say that a lot of their best military capabilities are funded by and surprised by and supported by the Iranian revolutionary guard core.
In addition to that, in Bahrain, next door to Saudi Arabia, the Bahrainis are also accusing Iran are stepping up sabotage in their kingdom. So you are seeing a much greater degree of reason or tension. A lot of it according to (INAUDIBLE), being fed by Iran.
Remember another thing of course the Iranian revolutionary guard core which designated by President Trump as a terrorist organization, and also very involved in Iran with absolutely central to the retaking of Kirkuk from the Kurds. So across the nation you are seeing a very much increase at the oval of confrontation across the region between (INAUDIBLE) and their supporters and Iran on the other hand.
WHITFIELD: All right. Tim Lister, thanks so much from London. Appreciate it. Keep us posted.
All right. Still ahead, another actress coming forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape. How her case could lead to an arrest. Next.
[14:53:02] WHITFIELD: Another actress is coming forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape. And these allegations could lead to an arrest.
CNN's Brynn Gingras has the latest.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, there are open investigations against Harvey Weinstein in New York, L.A. and London, but now the NYPD says it has a case that could actually put the movie mogul behind bars.
GINGRAS (voice-over): A New York police department source says this is the strongest chance of bringing criminal charges against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
ROBERT BOYCE, CHIEF DETECTIVE, NYPD: We have an actual case here.
GINGRAS: 33-year-old actress Paz De La Heurta best known for her role in Boardwalk Empire says Weinstein raped her on two separate occasions in late 2010. Detective say she is credible because --.
BOYCE: The ability to articulate each and every movement of the crime, where she was, where they met, where this happened and what he did. GINGRAS: De La Heurta tells CNN she first met Weinstein when she was
14, acting inside her house rules on movie he produced. So 12 years later when Weinstein offered to give her a ride home from a club, she says she didn't feel uncomfortable until they were in her New York City apartment. She told CNN her story on the phone.
PAZ DE LA HUERTA, ACTRESS: He pulled my slip dress up and he unzipped his pants, and he yes. He raped me.
GINGRAS: De La Huerta says it happened again nearly two months later.
DE LA HUERTA: The first time I was in just complete shock. And it just happened so quickly. The second time, it was terrified of him. In a million ways I knew how to say no, said no.
GINGRAS: Weinstein's representative did not responds to CNN's request for comment regarding De La Huerta's allegations. But through a spokeswoman, he has repeatedly denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.
More than 60 have accused the movie mogul of sexual harassment or assault. An NYPD source said the department's hot line has fielded dozens of calls about Weinstein. But De La Huerta's case stands out because it fits within the statute of limitations.
[14:55:07] BOYCE: This person was still in New York and it was recent. We would go right away and make the arrest. The no doubt. But we are talking about a 7-year-old case and we have to move forward gathering evidence.
GINGRAS: De La Heurta says she has been working with police and the Manhattan district attorney's office on gathering evidence including account from her friend and therapist who she confided in after the alleged attacks. The DA's office would only say a senior sex crimes prosecutor is assigned to this investigation.
DE LA HUERTA: I would like to see him go to jail. I think he is a rapist. He's gotten away with it for too many years. It would nice to imagine justice exists.
GINGRAS: Earlier this week, I reported the source said they have one other open case against Weinstein here in New York - Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Brynn Gingras, thank you so much.
And thanks so much for joining me in this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. So much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM after this.