tv Cuomo Primetime CNN October 10, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
lot. 6:25 eastern, facebook/anderson cooper. chris cuomo primetime starts now. chris? >> all right, anderson, thank you for keeping us up to date. i am chris cuomo. welcome to primetime. hurricane michael, the strongest storm to ever slam into the florida panhandle at nearly a cat 5, now making its way further i understand inland in georgia and beyond. tonight it's a category 1. winds up to 90 miles an hour, that is so well in the range of doing tons of damage. i hope some of you are coming from the part of the country that weathered hurricane michael already. if you are, you are among lucky. close to half a million now are without power. flooding catastrophic. there's been only a limited window for rescue. the night is still very young for those in the path of this monster. the rampage started near mexico beach, florida, this afternoon. homes ripped into shreds. roads raging rivers now.
trees tossed like twigs, too often into homes and businesses, multiplying the mayhem. the challenge for us, to capture what the storm has left behind, the need that exists, and where it is headed next. and we have the best information available. we have reporters all over the place. people willing to put themselves into the worst of it. and we have weather legend sam champion, the one and only back with us to walk us through the toll and what's still to come. it is all hands on deck. let's get after it. all right. here's what we know right now. hurricane michael barrelling through georgia. this storm is moving fast. it's so different than what we experienced with florence. what's the plus/minus on that? the plus side is you're not getting hit and soaked as long. the downside is there is intensity to this as it moves and more areas are getting hit. we have scott mclane there in albany, georgia. scott, situation?
>> hey, chris, look, we've seen over the last couple of hours the conditions really pick up here. the wind has been really driving. the rain has been coming down as well. we seem to be in a bit of a lull right now. that is good news because first responders here have said that they will not respond to calls if the sustained winds be it 35 miles per hour or above. if it is lower than that, then they'll be responding to calls. we're in touch with the county right now. we think the yuzuru are now responding at this point. that is obviously good news for people who need help. but, look, there are a lot of people in this area that might have been caught off guard by this, maybe didn't go to the shelters. there are five of them in this area. only a couple hundred people are in them, though. authorities here, i spoke to the fire chief earlier, had been saying, look, the time is now to get off the streets. hunker down in your homes and try to stay in a safe structure. but there are widespread power outages that are adding to the problems here. in fact, the power just went off at the hotel where we are broadcasting from about 20
minutes or so ago. so you can't see anything beyond the one camera light that we have that's running off battery power right now. so, not a lot of people are going anywhere. everything is closed and here's one more indication for you, chris. there is a waffle house on the other side of the parking lot. obviously you can't see it now. it closed at 6:00 tonight. they say they won't open till tomorrow morning. >> you have to batten down the hatches. how far is the eye from you? scott -- all right, i lost it. totally normal, been dealing with it all day. just because the picture looks good doesn't mean he can hear things. let me show you this real quick. we're talking to scott, he's here in albany, georgia. i don't know how to say it right for the people down there. here's the eye. this eye is moving so fast in this direction that it's going to increase just how many people are expose today this. you want to contrast this with what we saw with florence. florence was all up in this area. do you remember this up in the
carolinas and down to about here? it never really made it south. it sat here. it sat in this area for the better part of a day. now, what does that mean? that's a soak situation. however, the danger of the soak is replaced here by surge. there is so much storm surge in places that are very low lying. all of this stuff here along the panhandle and into alabama, this is so shallow. there is a continental shelf here and it makes the water more shallow as you get closer to shore, but it exaggerated fashion because of the continental shelf. that allows the waves to increase in amplitude. plus the king tides, the high tides of this time of the year. that's why we're seeing so much surge. miguel marques is in south port, florida, just north of panama city, right around here where the storm has just moved through. and behind it now, devastation. just look what he's standing in. miguel. >> reporter: this is a major road here, chris. i'll show you these cars going through here. this is 77 where it meets 77-a. we're trying to get to mexico beach, but it is blocked by just about everything that mother
nature can throw at you. trees snapped and crossing the road just about everywhere. electrical lines down everywhere as well. very hard to get through those, and lots and lots of water. i mean, cars at this hour -- it was pretty easy to cross this much earlier today. now it's much more treacherous because it's hard to see as you're coming down the road, it's hard to even tell this is water if there is nobody else on it. but this is a major intersection. there's no lights. it is completely desolate, and nothing is open. most of the cars we see coming down the road here are emergency vehicles. this is a piece of scrap metal or -- it is scrap metal now, but it's a piece of metal from a gas station. this was a gas station sign. this is a sort of pile that came through here. everything is just done. cars going in the road here. >> right.
>> there are thousands of people who stayed in this area. they couldn't get out for many reasons, and it is getting cool here tonight as well. cold, wet in the panhandle of florida. it is going to be a very long recovery, chris. >> i'll tell you what, they'll take those mild cold winds on the backside of the storm for a while. you remember what the alternative is. it's going to get hot and muggy there. there's no a.c., it could be days and weeks in these more remote areas as we fan out and get away from the coast. take care of yourself and your team. let me know if i need to come back to you onner. -- sooner. my vet an anchor sam champion joins us from miami. brother, always good r good to have you. this is one of those ones we were hoping we would be wrong about it, but it proved to hit every bit as strong and then some. what have we dealt with so far? let's start there. >> all right. what's shocking about this storm, chris, is really its strength. the rapid intensification immediately started. remember, we're talking about two days before it makes
landfall and 80, 90 mile per hour barely category 1 storm, chris. then this thing just moving through the gulf, cruising through the gulf, rapidly intensifies to almost the highest level storm. we got a 155 mile per hour wind at landfall. when that center moved across that mexico beach area, 155 miles per hour. that's 156 above 156 is a cat 5. so we almost made the whole ramp just in that travel of the gulf in just less than two days. so, i mean, that's incredible. the other thing, chris, that the center of this storm held on to cat-4, cat 3 strength, all the way through the panhandle of florida, as it got into georgia, finally diminished. that center of circulation to a cat 2, now a cat 1. the strength of this storm is overwhelming and the damage is just going to be when we get some daylight into these areas, it's going to be horrifying. the other thing i want to tell people in georgia tonight, chris, while we're talking about them, is the fact they've not seen anything like this. only once did a cat 3 system make connection with georgia.
this as a cat 3 entering georgia will be a cat 1 as it moves through south georgia. that means they're in for 30, 40, 50 up to 90 mile per hour wind gusts. those 30 to 40 mile per hour winds will be steady. there will be thunderstorms, there will be tornadoes in this all night long. it is going to be a challenging night for people in south georgia. then we begin the process tomorrow in south carolina as you correctly mentioned, chris. south carolina and north carolina still dealing with the flooding and the aftermath of flooding from florence, still could get more than 6 inches of rain in some of those areas, and that doesn't help anybody. >> no. that water as you were explaining as we were dealing with florence, so much saturation there already. i have a map up of the track of the storm. sam is saying, look, we know what happened here in these areas along the coast, especially with the continental shelf and the rapid buildup of strength. all of these areas, we don't really know yet how people were affected there. they're rural. they're remote. we're told a lot of people didn't evacuate. that's the primary concern for sam and all the experts. now you have this track. it's coming sblo -- into place that's already got hit.
wilmington is in such rough shape. it is in rough shape. the kids just got back to school. now they have saturation where the ground can't absorb any water. like sam was saying, and all these storm winds. look what we're watching. hurricane here, right? tropical storm all here. they're not ready for it. they can't handle it given what they've already dealt with. sam, thank you for the perspective. do me a favor, stick around so we can forecast what's to come and what we need to watch out for. thank you, brother. it's great to have you. need you tonight. right now, i can't ask sam about what's already happened and the devastation. you see we have people on the ground. but here's the problem. it's too soon to tell. it's dark everywhere. again, these areas are remote once you get outside these major population centers, and we keep being told a lot of people didn't leave. why? i'm not wagging a finger. it was category 1 here. so then it starts to get close. all of a it sped up in time with their windows shut and they couldn't leave. what happens to those left behind? we have much more on the path and the wrath of hurricane michael.
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all right. michael is the tale of a fast storm, all right. take a look at the board here. you'll see that it made landfall as a category 4, almost a category 5, but it was that acceleration from monday to tuesday afternoon into the night. by this morning, this rapid progression of the storm wound up making for a smaller window for people to make the choices about whether or not to leave. and the problem now is the worst is far from over. this hurricane is still packing fierce winds. it's still a hurricane on land. now moving northeast, impacting obviously florida and the panhandle, alabama, georgia,
tens of millions of people in several states still in the hurricane's path. the toll already great. and we don't even know the half of it because it's dark and a lot of these areas are remote and there are no coms, no communications. let's get the latest from meteorologist tom saider. we have sam champion. we couldn't have asked for better help. tom, i know i have the first part right because people were caught with how quickly the storm moved. what does the acceleration mean in terms of its impact on landfall and what we've seen since? >> we have to back up a little bit. on the air sunday, it was scheduled to make landfall as a category 2. >> right. >> then the following day, last night at 5:00 p.m., it became a category 3 at landfall, with the potential, we were mentioning the time and space, a 4. what we found out last night, the computer models were hinting that extreme acceleration and hitting the peak before landfall, the last thing we want to have the apex.
the water temperatures were four to 6 degrees warmer than they should be this time of year. the fuel was rapidly developing. there was a cold front in the west providing tornadoes from texas up to iowa. so that front is now stretched from wisconsin to louisiana. it's just off the west. that is pushing the system quicker. winds at 85, just dropped another 5 miles per hour in the last update. gusted around 100, chris. it says 1515 here. it's updated every six hours. you and sam wrapped it up nicely. even though the infrared imagery is breaking down, there is rainfall in the northern half of the storm. even though we may see gusts at 1100, they're not going to have them like at tyndall air force base. wind gauge broke at 130. it could be higher. there were isolated tornadoes. we had one in downtown atlanta, southwest of macon, seven homes destroyed.
>> let's bring in sam and let's discuss one of the coefficients of this acceleration, which is the acceleration is like a catapult. it's like a sling shot. now this thing hits land and it's got more juice, sam. and it's going to have more of a stretch than was initially anticipated. >> yeah, this thing is going to run and it's going to run at least this strength of tropical storm strength. the forecast is to maintain some kind of rotation, maybe even tropical storm strength by the time it exits near norfolk, near that north carolina border. and if you follow the line, they actually have it intensifying a little bit once it moves out into the atlantic. chris, what i want to tell you when we look at a hurricane develop, for each storm we have a p.i., potential intensity. and we look at the storm and say, what could slow it down? what could speed it up? and when we looked at the beginning of this storm, we just didn't think it had enough time to really make the ramp as it moved into the gulf.
so the potential intensity, one of the things, it didn't have sheer, it had w5r78 water, an open field, nothing was going to disturb it. but we didn't think it it had time. all of a sudden we saw the eye tightening, strength nings. something is going on. this thing is going to have plenty of time. this could easily be a 4 and maybe even get close to a 5. it's that rapid intensity. he just pointed out something incredibly important here to note to everybody who talks about warm water temperatures and the strength of storms. we are 4 to 6 degrees warmer in the gulf right now than we usually are this time of year. the wake up thing that wasn't factored in to how quickly it would strengthen was the water temperature. it fuelled this thing. it ran the whole ramp. >> we'll deal with the urge sizz
surge i -- urgency. right now in the immediate crisis. no small irony the u.n. global climate change report comes out talking about these conditions, how 100 year storms are every year storms. we're dealing with this. tom, pick up on sam's point and one of the things we're watching. on my screen what we're watching in different areas, we see obviously what is the hurricane threat in this area. but tropical storm which everybody always mitigates its intensity, it's not that bad. it's horrible, especially in the areas that are already saturated. what is the additional risk there, tom? >> in 2003 hurricane isabel moved into the outer banks and went into the washington, d.c. area. it wasn't that strong a storm but it dropped over 10,000 trees. this is pine country, heavy, tall trees, weak shallow root systems. they go down very easily across the entire southeast. so tropical storm force winds easily in this area. we lost the storm. even though it lost its center, you have to take the circulation that will continue. couple that with its forward progress.
so it heads toward augusta by 2:00 in the morning, almost as the crow flies. columbia, south carolina, about 8:00, 9:00 in the morning, fayetteville and raleigh. that line and a little bit eastward could lose trees. to anyone who has been leary of a tree near their home on this line for years, stay at the other end of the home to be safe because if we lost 10,000 with isabel which was much weaker, this system will continue with the forward progress and damage. >> sam, i want your take on -- you know the area so well. you've been there for so many storms. my concern is we don't know about all of these areas back behind the main population centered along the panhandle yet. those rural remote areas where people were told to get out. the coms aren't good. it takes time to get there. we don't know about the impact on all those communities. you could have tens of thousands of people affected. what's your perspective on that
>> in >> no, chris, you're right, it's a really important point tonight to make. right after the storm cleared enough for people to get in, we got to dark. so it's impossible to get into some of these areas. the video that you saw, the numbers and measurements you saw from appalachia, cola forest, you get into the big bend, we had a storm surge as intense as where it made landfall actually. we don't know anything about that area. we really don't have journalists in there. we don't have people reporting. we don't have people sending video out. it has are take some time so get in and see. some of these zones are not big cities. some of them are small towns. some of them are people -- places where people live and they're not likely to leave because they've been through storms before and they just haven't been through anything like this. so you're dead on with this. we're likely to find some things happening when we get daylight into that area that we don't know about now. >> god for bid. that's the concern.
i'm hearing from my fema guys that are down on the ground, he this say, we keep seeing people in places. that the' what they're worried about we see some. that means there are more there. sam, tom, thank you for helping us understand what is happening and what is yet to come. so, here's what we know. michael came fast and furious leaving little time for those in its path to seek safer ground. that's just the reality. that creates so much pressure on the first responders and on local leaders. how did they meet an unanticipated need? tonight we have florida's senior senator bill nelson with us next. he'll bring us up to date. chloe. ♪ she's so cute. ♪ the most loved iphone meets the most loved in wireless. right now, save $300 on iphone xs at t-mobile. rewards me basically aeverywhere.om
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all right. we have some of the latest images for you from what hurricane michael is just doing everywhere that it goes. take a look at this. decimated roofs, floating houses, sinking even storm chasers. this is all about the storm. there's just more of it than was expected because there's more intensity. this storm just sped up when normally we're expecting them to slow down. why? turns out there was an x-factor
that we hadn't built in. the water is warming at this time of year than was expected. why? lots of reasons. all of them point to climate change. so the florida panhandle has never seen anything like what they're dealing with right now. i want you to take a look at this moment when storm chaser brett adair, you've seen him on this show, other cnn shows. his own truck was hit by the storm surge. >> we're in trouble. we're in bad trouble. >> i get that. i mean, right here we can -- the side of this house. you can't drive and the tires get stuck. >> get up into the house? >> we might can. >> we need to look now. >> [ bleep ] all of this, that's what i say. it's not, not an option now. >> look at the size of the stuff floating by them as they were live streaming there. don't let their draul confuse you. these guys are calm in the moment. this is a scary situation. thank god brett is okay.
but there are a lot of people who got stuck in situations like this. you know what? category 1, maybe category 2. i can deal. then all of a sudden michael becomes a 4 and stays sustained at that on the upper reaches. stays a hurricane well inland. we didn't expect that. let's get now to the challenges. we have democratic senator from florida, bill nelson. senator, can you hear me? >> i can hear you, chris. >> so we understand why we're dealing with certain things. please tell us what you know about the reality on the ground. what are you hearing? >> our reality is that when daylight come where the rescue teams have not been able to get into, to the east of the eye wall is where your real damage is going to be because of the wall of water whipped along with the winds. and your former report was right on.
there are so many rural places in there that people will have hunkered down and it's just going to be a question of the potential loss of life and property when the search teams get in there in the morning. >> you know, we had heard a report about one person having the misfortune of having a tree come through their house and took their life. i haven't been touching any reports about casualties because i know it's early. and i'm hoping when we do wind up reporting them that it's not what the worse could expect here. if you don't know who is in the areas, i keep hearing from first responders everywhere they are staging, they see people trying to get out of, you know, the storm, trying to get out of it once it's past. it's not a good indication, senator. >> that is true -- it's a sparsely populated area as you
go east from panama city. you've got mexico beach, which got it straight from the gulf. there is not a barrier island. then the little town of port saint joe. it is protected by a peninsula called cape sandblast. and then you go east to appalachia cola. there were reporters in appalachia cola. we haven't had anybody tell us what happened in mexico beach. the road is going to be completely impassable. they're going to have to get chain saws out to get through. it's going to be a task. and, chris, your report about the gulf being 4 degrees warmer, when are we going to wake up and realize that the earth is heating up and 90% of that extra heat is absorbed by the oceans? it's no question about it. the science is strong on it
people don't want to hear it but it doesn't make it any less real. let me ask you something, this is a vicious political time. you're near the end of the political cycle. campaigning would stop. people would put leadership before partisan ship. are people working together, are you getting the right minds and the right collaboration? >> well, i was there before the storm. i'll be there tomorrow and then i can answer your question. i suspended my ads up in the entire panhandle. we'll see. andrew gillum who is the democratic nominee for mayor, he is the mayor of tallahassee. he's going to have a clean-up. there are so many live oak trees. it's a canopy city. there are be a lot of trees down
with electrical lines. that's going to be a job. here he is in the last 3 1/2 weeks of the campaign. >> right. well, look, you know, he's campaigning for a job. he might as well show people he can do it. senator bill nelson thank you very much for joining me. if you get more information and you want to pass it along and you start finding out what's need and had what's right, what's wrong, please see us as a resource. i'll be there for you. >> thanks, chris. >> god bless, be safe. all right. so, michael slammed into the panhandle, and it wasn't a 2. as expected. it was closer to a 4 and a 5. we'll take you to the areas that felt the brunt of the impact so you get a taste of what way too many have been exposed to next. don't forget that the past can speak to the future. ♪ ♪ i'm going to be your substitute teacher. don't assume the substitute teacher has nothing to offer... same goes for a neighborhood.
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the gulf coast and it's moving into areas that are already saturated with water, areas that were already hit by florence. so the danger is far from over. we have flash flood warnings. active in many different areas. rescue crews trying to get out. they have to wait for a window. then they have to try to navigate their way through crushed homes and collapsed buildings. brian todd is in panama city beach, florida, that place is going to really look so different from what people remember it as when the sun comes up. what's it been like for you, brian? >> reporter: it's been devastating, chris. of all the dangerous periods associated with the storm, people sometimes take this period, when the brunt of the storm is passed, they take it a little less seriously. you cannot take it less seriously because of what we're looking at here. right now it's pitch black around here. we've seen reporters talking about this in the towns they are. no less serious here. it's pitch black. the only light hire is from our camera crews. this is what makes it so dangerous. when you're trying to move
around, you're in your neighborhood, check out the house, take pictures, you're going to come across something like this, this downed power line, you won't be able to see normally because you're not going to have lights like we have. you're going to walk right into it and drive right into it and that is extremely dangerous. look at this house hire got completely sheared off on the right-hand side. the wall got ripped apart. all the debris got pushed against that sliding glass door. we smelled gas here a short time ago. that's a hidden danger. again, why officials are warning people not to go out right now. this house was the scene of some very dramatic video earlier today. we're on surf drive here in panama city beach. this video showed basically this house getting ripped apart. as you were watching it, you saw the roof getting torn off. you saw part of the side of the house getting torn off. right now i'm standing right at the aftermath.
we talked to a gentleman and his wife who came here. they are not the owners, but the wife's mother owns this place. luckily no one was in here at the time. the mother lives in missouri. this is a vacation home they come and use. the mother saw it and they were devastated. here's what they told us about the house. that was the kitchen and living room up there. now look at it. you have the wall torn off, the roof completely torn off. it was thrown down the street about 75 yards. luckily no one was here at the time, but i was able to speak to a beach patrol official who said they pulled three or four people out of homes in this neighborhood, chris, not because they were trapped, but because of situations like this. they needed shelter. they're trying to get those people to shelters right now. >> a lot of people stayed behind. the need is going to be great. even though we're just thinking about the end of summer, the holidays will be here before you know it. for so many families it's going to be a trial like one they've never had before. brian, thank you. be safe.
i'll check back with you soon. hurricane michael. the trail of damage is amazing. look at tallahassee. you're going to have a unique challenge because of the foliage, the population centers, the need. cnn's nick valencia is there. what are you seeing? you got one of the main examples right behind you. >> reporter: yeah, this is some of the worst of it, chris. you hit the nail on the head. picturesque beauty in tallahassee, canopy of trees. that's exactly what the governor was worried about. i spent time with him in the emergency operation center. he's worried about scenes like this. the tree clearly blocked the road, smashed in the back of this car. narrowly missed a house but took a power line with it. dozens of home in this area, we are without power. saw neighbors come out to check on one another. this is a 40 pound tree limb.
imagine that as a projectile. the city was going out to assess the damage in the area that inspired us to check out the same. the same roads are by and large clear. there's a lot of spanish moss, some trees down, lent bite poles. obstructing travel. the main roads are clear. it's in the neighborhoods where you're having major problems. you've heard some neighbors here down there yelling that they want their power restored. evidently this is one of the communities here that gets their power restored last and is something that they are always affected by here especially with these you wind gusts which have been a major issue all day long. >> it it was a major issue in 2016. now the scale, the scope, the depth, the number of people who made the wrong choice based on what they thought was going to happen versus the reality, that may exacerbate all the usual tensions. nick, take care. i'll talk to you soon. all right. now, there's another big story that demands our attention. washington post contributor is missing and feared dead.
heeds been a sharp critic of the saudi regime. the question is was he murdered and did the kingdom itself order the hit? now, the larger question here in the united states is, is the white house doing everything it could about his disappearance? there are lots of exists to this unsolved mystery. we have a friend of the missing journalist who is an expert in the area politically as well. we'll give you the skinny on this next. this time, it's his turn. you have 4.3 minutes to yourself. this calls for a taste of cheesecake. philadelphia cheesecake cups. rich, creamy cheesecake with real strawberries. find them with the refrigerated desserts. with tripadvisor, finding your perfect hotel at the lowest price... is as easy as dates, deals, done! simply enter your destination and dates... and see all the hotels for your stay! tripadvisor searches over 200 booking sites...
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missing man pleading for any answers about what happened. now, who are we talking about? the man's name is jamal khashoggi. he is a saudi journalist. he's also a vocal critic of the saudi royal family, especially crown prince muhammad bin salman, all right. you're going to start hearing that name more and more especially in connection with trump. he has spent the last two years dramatically seizing power, even arresting members of his own family. so, just over a week ago, khashoggi walked into the saudi consulate in turkey. he went in to get papers for his upcoming wedding. his fiance was waiting outside in the car. we have a direct witness at the scene. she says he never came out. now what happens? the washington post says that u.s. intelligence picked up conversations between senior saudi officials saying that they were aware of a plan to abduct him. now, we don't know if he was ever told about those conversations. we just don't know. it's one of the question marks here.
turkish authorities privately say they believe khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. they are looking into 15 people who flew in from saudi arabia just before all this went down. they are believed to not be site seers, but operatives of the ruling family. khashoggi's fiance took her appeal directly to trump, to donald and melania actually. that's proving to be tricky because of trump's relationship with the saudi ruling family. well, what do we know about that? well -- >> so, we really have a great friendship and the relationship now is probably as good as it's really ever been. and i think it will probably only get better. >> is that just about politics? no. trump has financial reasons for being a big fan of the saudis. back in 1995, he sold new york's plaza hotel to a group that included a saudi prince. that deal helped keep trump from
defaulting on his loans, that and money he had from his father. he even bragged about that relationship at one of his rallies. listen to this. >> saudi arabia and i get along great with all of them. they buy apartments from me, they spend 40 million, 50 million. am i supposed to dislike them? i like them very much. >> yeah, but you have to dislike them when they do something wrong, right? now there's another level. a key player between the relationship and the saudis, not just trump, his son-in-law jared kushner. the prince and kushner are both in their 30s. kushner is the white house is trying to get answers from the saudis on what happened to khashoggi. that may be complicated due to kushner's reported friendship with the prince. do they have business entanglements as well? they're apparently so close that they met privately just before the prince started purging his political opponents. for that trump was pretty much silent if you'll remember. and by the way, you probably won't remember and that's the point he didn't say anything about t. this time political
pressure did prompt him to say at least this. >> we are very disappointed to see what's going on. we don't like it, we don't like it at all. and we're going to get to the bottom of it. >> but remember, his own intelligence people already found what could take us near to the bottom of it. there was a plot involved from some of his friends who are involved in the saudi side. the question now is what is he going to do about it. the search for him isn't for information. it's for what actions to take. and all of this is a far cry from what some of trump's strongest supporters are now saying. >> never been more disturbed than right now. if it did happen, there would be hell to pay. >> what does that mean, hell to pay? what does that mean? all right. so, in the meantime, let's get the latest with cnn global affairs analyst aaron david miller. not only is aaron an expert in this part of the world in the politics and the potential entanglements, he knows jamal khashoggi.
and for that i am sorry for being with you a.d.m. in this situation. i'm sorry for your friend. i hope what we fear is not true. >> chris, on behalf of certainly my prayers go out to the family and to his fiance. you know, i didn't know jamal as well as some of my colleagues, but he was the kind of guy that was very easy to like. irreverent, funny, and frankly like you, he put a premium on clarity and honesty. and i'm very concerned and worried as everyone is that that might have gotten him killed. one additional point. he really wasn't a dissident. jamal khashoggi was actually part of the saudi establishment. he managed -- managing editors of a couple saudi newspapers. he was an advisor to prince, saudi ambassador to the united states. he loved his country and he was a saudi patriot and a nationalist and his criticism, if you read it in his washington post columns, frankly, was directed, some of it at m. b.s., muhammad bin salman. but it was the love of a saudi
nationalist and a patriot. he wanted mbs's reforms to work. but he was profoundly i think concerned about the unilateral and nature of the recklessness and repressiveness of the crown prince. >> if the reporting is roigt. whatever he said, whatever he did made them angry enough to send a team over. that had a specific mission. and we we'll spare the details until we get to it, but there are two considerations here. what is the united states supposed to do ordinarily? we'll get to trump factor second, but what are you supposed to do in this situation? saudi says they didn't do anything, turkey says they definitely did. your own intel people tell you they're up to something. what do you do? >> we have information from the saudis. never have i seen an administration more determined
it seems to me to placate. we have tremendous leverage. the president himself reportedly several weeks ago told the king of saudi arabia, if it wasn't for the u.s. military you wouldn't be around in two weeks. so the reality is the phone call that probably should have happened from pompeo to mohamed ben solaman to the king, we need accountability now. to show his disappearance or worse. and what's at stake here is nothing less than the future of the u.s.-saudi relationship. we have the leverage on paper to have that kind of conversation. and i would argue eventually we're going to have it. congress as you know, chris, tonight ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee sent a let door the president invoking the global magnitsky act, which forces the
president in 120 days to investigate and then to impose sanctions if it's determined that in this case the saudis, the saudi senior leadership had any role in jamal's disappearance or worse. so that forces the administration's hand, frankly. and i'd like to give them as an american, the benefit of the doubt on this one. but i don't think if their hand wasn't forced by congress you would have seen much in the way of pressure. >> well, we've certainly seen president trump move faster even with allies here. and it does raise the specter of whether or not his own personal relationships are influencing his presidential prerogatives, but we'll have to see. we'll have to see what the next steps that are taken. aaron david miller, i'm going to come back to this. and i hope what we're hearing about your friend is not true, but we have to prepare for the worse and report it that way.
the hurricane is the big story, but we have to talk about that. if this man is dead, the state actor, directed by that state, do we really do nothing? as michael was just rampaging all over the panhandle, where was the president in that time of crisis? stomping at a rally in pennsylvania. what is wrong with that, and how it may actually lead him to what is the right thing to do, is the closing argument next. i'm captain obvious and hotels.com
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...well almost anything. leave no room behind with xfi pods. simple. easy. awesome. click or visit a retail store today. i wish we were wrong, but we weren't this time. hurricane michael was feared to be a horror, and it is. people were told to leave, and not enough did. according to the red cross, hundreds of thousands stayed behind in the florida panhandle. many are in remote areas that are going to be hard to contact and harder still to reach. then you have places like mexico beach in the panhandle, which is now unrecognizable and uninhabitable. god bless all those who stayed and those first responders, the angels among us who may now have to take tremendous risks to save them. this is one of those moments
that exposes us versus them for the farce that it is. not here. not in america. here we are all in it together, and we see that truth in times like this. and we need to remember that because recently it seems we keep repeating a mistake. we assume that stories are over when they're not. hurricane florence, thousands are still crippled by that storm. the kids on the border. that's still a crisis. there are still far too many waiting for their parents. thousands more stuck in a system that increasingly doesn't seem to care. puerto rico, too many roofs there are still tarps. everything is fragile. the place reeks of being neglected. now we have michael, a new wave of need added to the swollen ranks of the storm stricken in the south. it is not over just because the sun shines the next time you're watching tv. that often marks just the beginning. so here's the good news. no one brings their best to the
worst life has to offer the way we do. we see that thousands are already there. first responders from all over. volunteers leaving their own to take care of the unknown. now the key variable, trump. tonight he's at a rally in pennsylvania. it is a legitimate question. is that the best use of his time in this crisis? i would submit trump has answered that question in the negative about another president, and here's the proof. a tweet from 2012, hitting then president obama for campaigning during superstorm sandy. you see that. yesterday obama was with jay-z and springsteen. hurricane sandy victims still decimated by sandy. wrong. but not wrong for him? we'll see how the administration reacts, and hopefully the president rallies around the people in need, many of whom are in states he won, as he did for the faithful at his rally tonight. it only costs you a nickel to know what matters most in a situation like this. on a nickel, it says e pluribus unum.
out of many, one. that is who we are, and that is who our challenge to be right now. our hurricane coverage continues. we've got don lemon and "cnn tonight." don, we thought it was going to be bad, and it is. >> and that should be our focus. we should focus on how we see it when we cover these stories, the humanity and people. they don't care what gender you are, what ethnicity you are, how old you are. if they can help you, they help you in these situations, and we shouldn't be focused on the president. we know that this is a man of hypocrisy. we know what he said about the former president, but he doesn't seem to hold those same values when it comes to himself. i think we should keep the focus on that and try to put it on the people down south who need our help. >> but remember a lot of that help is going to come top-down. they're going to have need. we're going to have to call on people to remember their brothers and sisters. there but for the grace, you would be in their place. people in wilmington, north carolina, kids just got back to school. they have so much. this storm is going to come