tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN September 26, 2022 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
>> kristin, if this works, what are the chances we're actually going the need to use this in a real world scenario? >> well, as of now, there are no known asteroids within this century that are headed for earth that could be one of those potential extinction level events. but it has happened where an asteroid has come at the last minute. they found out about it at the last minute. that's what they're worried about, alex. >> i know i'm going to be singing the "armageddon" sound track for the rest of the evening. thank you very much. very exciting. "erin burnett outfront" is up next. "up front" next putin faces fury from his own people. a russian opening fire on a commander. another throwing molotov cocktails in a recruiting station. lines to leave russia growing even longer tonight. plus, exclusive. one of the americans just freed after being held by
russian-backed forces in ukraine. in his first television interview, along with his fiancee right here on "outfront." and a nasa spacecraft crashing into an asteroid. you are going to see it here live. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. up in flames. ukraine taking out crucial russian artillery as it pushes russian forces further back into retreat. this is video from ukraine's military. the air assault taking out russian vehicles including a tank. we're getting graphic video of ukraine's counter-offensive. we're told that this video we're showing you now is from eastern ukraine. you can see the road here absolutely littered with burnt out tanks and bodies of what appear to be russian soldiers. ukraine's punishing pushback costing putin at home, possibly threatening the one thing he cares about most, his power. the outrage over his decision to summon at least, at least 300,000 more troops to fight is now turning to violence inside
russia. let me show you this video. this is from the volgograd region, showing a man backing his car up against the front doors of a mobilization center. then he gets out and you see what appears to be molotov cocktails at the building, burning it down. in siberia, a russian man opening fire at a recruiting station, injuring a commander. these are clear indications that some russians in russia are turning on putin. they don't want to fight this war. over the past several days we have seen more and more videos of protests turning violent across russia. and on the russian borders, an unprecedented sight. mass exodus. the lines of traffic are so long, this is satellite image you're looking at right now. satellite image. look at this line of traffic snaking across your screen. russians are lined up in this image for nearly ten miles, ten miles, waiting to enter georgia. and once they actually get to the border, look what happens. look at that. a sea of young men. men, almost all of them.
every single one, lined up, waiting to escape putin's russia. according to the state department, they say it's a sign putin's in trouble. >> these actions from president putin signal very clearly that he knows he is losing. he is on his back heels. and he is making every attempt to intimidate those who would stand up to him. >> he is saying on his back heels regarding putin. but that of course could also make the russian president incredibly dangerous. the secretary of state antony blinken says there may be no one in russia right now who is willing to stand up to putin and say no, tell him not 20 use nuclear weapons. and ukraine's president says that putin may be closer than ever to ordering a nuclear strike. >> maybe yesterday it was bluff. now it could be a reality. i don't think he is bluffing. >> ben wedeman begins our coverage tonight out front in kharkiv, ukraine. ben, putin's war taking a dramatic turn at home.
those images are unbelievable, the people rushing to escape violence at home. he is fighting to control more ukrainian territory where you are through sham referendums i understand will be finished, as much as one can use that word, quote, unquote, in mere hours. >> they'll be finished tomorrow. there will be in-person voting. but the outcome is a forgone conclusion. this is a sham referendum, and the result will be a sham as well. but it will result in the russians declaring that this territory is officially part of the motherland, part of russia. but what we're seeing is that the ukrainians are continuing to gain more territory. for instance, in the donetsk region, where the russian-controlled parts of donetsk are conducting this referendum, ukrainians are taking more ground. and here in the kharkiv region, today we were in a town that was just taken on saturday evening.
there is still many russian soldiers dead in the street in that town. lots of armor as well. and while we were there, we were there for about an hour and a half. all we heard was outgoing fire from ukrainian artillery. the commanders there told us that the russians they had captured were completely demoralized. they complained of poor equipment, poor food, poor command and control, poor logistics, and the russians have already been pushed back from that town about 15 kilometers, ten miles or so. so the ukrainians continued to gain a more ground, despite these sham referenda that are going on in other parts of the country. erin? >> thank you very much, ben. pretty incredible to see to go to a town, a place like that, to see all the weapons left behind. and as ben reports, still dead russians in the streets.
i want to bring in a russian investigative journalist who specializes in russia's intelligence services and retired air force colonel cedric leighton. thanks to both of you. you hear about that. it is very sobering. we cannot lose the feeling here for the value of human life. soldiers still dead in the streets as the ukrainians are advancing. you heard ben talk about the demoralization that the russian troops are report, and those are the troops on the front lines. we saw the images of protests and active violence in response to putin's mobilization order at home. but when i say at home, and i'll show you on the map, these are happening far away from major cities like moscow and st. petersburg. they're happening in much more provincial capitals. andre, does that mean anything? does that mean putin is safe from unrest or a coup because we're not seeing this in moscow? >> it is a big problem for putin because these regions stand to be especially in the beginning of the war quite enthusiastic
about the war. dagestan is a very hard place to live, and well, the military was one of the jobs lots of male -- of men in this region were willing to take. and at the beginning of the war, they were happy to go to the war. but now they understood that it's not just some sort of adventure. and look at this women, they are so angry because finally they realized that the relatives, sons, fathers could be killed. and that is why it's so dangerous, because dagestan has been known for years, if not decades, as a very troubled place in russia. well see lots of terrorist attacks there, lots of things. >> absolutely. colonel, when you see the images that ben had in that town of the russian military equipment, this has happened throughout the war. but it seems now and obviously i'm going this off of pictures
and reports. but it seems there has been an increase in the russian military equipment that has been destroyed or that the ukrainians have successfully taken from the battlefield. today a russian tank unit was wiped out in eastern ukraine. these are the images i'm showing right now. and then we're also hearing about these reports of poor antiquated rusty equipment being given to russian soldiers, both on the front and the mobilized troops. we can't confirm this video from a ukrainian official independently. but look at this rusty kalishnakov that they is what is being handed out now to these russian conscripts in this mobilization. colonel, what do you think is the true state of russia's military equipment? >> it's pretty clear, erin, the russian military equipment they're giving to front line soldiers is completely inadequate for the job. and just from a pure logistical standpoint, this is one of the worst equipped armies that i've ever laid eyes on. it is something that is really incredible to behold when you see a whole battalion going through this, a whole platoon at the lowest tactical level really
not making it because the equipment they were given is completely useless. and the ukrainians are basically making mince meat out of them because not only do they have bad morale, but they can't fight back. >> so andrei, you're talking about how you think what we're seeing in the provinces, it could be a great threat. i know you believe the next two weeks in this war are crucial. edward snowden, everyone knows his name, the one who gained notoriety for leaking information about american surveillance programs, today, we find out today, after years of living there, he has now formally granted russian citizenship. it took him two years to get it. it happened today in the midst of all of this. why do you think that happened now, and what happens in these next two weeks? >> it looks like the kremlin is getting very desperate. there is a narrative here that they want to change it. they want to promote this image that russia is still a country where you want to live and even go to live. and of course it doesn't work.
we already have lots of my competitors talking about and joking about snowden, who should be drafted into the russian army and sent to the battlefield. so it backfired immediately. >> and in these next two week, is this -- how crucial is this for putin and his grasp on power? >> the problem is that lots of people in russia now expect that tomorrow they might some decision of closing the borders after the referendas. and that might provoke big unrest. imagine all these men standing in these lines and waiting to cross the border. and if somebody would tell them that now there is no way into georgia or kazakhstan, what could happen. so lots of people are just uncertain about their future. but in two weeks, it will be quite clear which side is winning, because, of course, this mobilization is also a great intimidation tool.
nobody is safe. at the same time, lots of people are really, really angry. >> all right. well, thank you very much, andrei. i appreciate it. colonel, please stay with me, because my next story here is something i know you know a lot about. we are monitoring a live situation right now. it's actually a major collision in space. so let me tell you about it. this is a live image on your screen. nasa is about to intentionally crash a spacecraft into an asteroid. they're going to do it on live television. we're literally in the last minute. the asteroid named dimorphos. call it dart. die dimorphos poses no threat to earth, but they're seeing if they can push it off course. it is the first time nasa is attempting a test like this. let's go straight to kristin fisher at johns hopkins applied physics lab. she is in maryland. colonel leighton is here.
kristin, we've got this live image on the screen. you're there in the control room. this is a first, an unprecedented event. tell us what we're looking at. >> erin, we are now exactly 2:58 to impact. and what you're seeing right now on your screen is all live images from a camera that is mounted on the dart spacecraft. and for a mission this complicated and consequential, what's about to happen is actually quite simple. nasa is going to take this multimillion-dollar spacecraft and just slam it into an asteroid. not the asteroid, the biggest one right in front of you on your screen that big asteroid at the center of your screen just to the left, that is didymos that is what the dart spacecraft has been targeting for the better part of ten months while it's been in space. its target is that smaller asteroid, dimorphos. and so this spacecraft is traveling at a speed of 4 miles per second, not per hour, four
miles per second. that's about 14,000 miles per hour. and erin, it is going to in two minutes slam into that smaller asteroid on the right, dimorphos. you're going toe watch as it fills your screen. and then when it hit, it's just going to go black. complete loss of signal. one of the only times that you're going see a nasa mission control room hopefully cheer at the destruction of a spacecraft and the loss of signal, erin. >> right. to have something go to black, the last thing you would want on any ordinary mission. but this is no ordinary mission, colonel. >> right. >> kristin explaining. we're looking at the smaller dot that is dimorphos. dimorphos is the one it's going to slam into. it's about the size i understand of egypt's great pyramid. the spacecraft is equivalent to the size of a refrigerator. and you're in the vast vacuum of space here. how amazing is it that nasa could pull this off? >> this is incredibly amazing. this is really the first time,
erin, that we are using things that we've talked about in science fiction, you know, things that we see in movies, and in tv series that is really designed to protect the environment and the planet itself. you know, you go back to the time of the dinosaurs, and you -- the theory is that dinosaurs were made extinct because of an asteroid or a series of asteroids hitting the earth. there was a case in russia in the early late 19th century, early 20th century where we actually had an asteroid hit siberia that resulted in a lot of destruction of territory there. luckily not very populated territory, but still, the danger is definitely there. and it's something that even though the probability is low, it's one of those low probability-high impact things that could happen. so with this experiment, we're looking at nasa potentially being able to protect our planet
from asteroids of the future. >> and we're watching here as the spacecraft d.a.r.t. approaches dimorphos. you can see it getting closer and closer. we're here in the final few seconds. 14,000 miles an hour is what you're watching. the camera that we're watching is traveling 14,000 miles an hour on d.a.r.t., the spacecraft, the refrigerator-sized spacecraft that's going slam into dimorphos here. we're literally a few seconds away. so i understand, kristin, as it gets closer, we're going see it get closer and closer. i hear a lot of talking behind you. we're going to see an explosion and go to black? >> amazing, guys! >> that's right, erin. it's going to happen any second now and we're going to see big cheers go up in the mission control which is right here. you just got some other folks here cheering. but this is it, the moment, d.a.r.t. hit ing the day more foes asteroid. right now, wow, look at the detail that you can see. >> it is amazing. it looks like a -- >> those are rocks on the surface of dimorphos of some
kind. big cheers going up here inside the johns hopkins applied physics laboratory. erin you think about how much time and energy the people in this room have -- how much time and effort they've put into this being a success. and there, i think you can see the crowd cheering down in mission control. probably the only time that you're going to cheer for a loss of a spacecraft, erin. >> and we have impact! >> in the name of planetary defense. >> in the name of planetary defense. pretty amazing to see it. this sounds like the -- obviously celebration in that room. talk about threading a needle, kristin. you're talking about they just sent from earth an object the size of a refrigerator into an object the size of the great pyramid in the middle of space at 14,000 miles an hour. and they hit it. >> it's unbelievable. so now, erin, the next big
challenge, nasa has completed its first big objective. they've proven that they can do this. they've proven that they can take this spacecraft and slam it into an asteroid. now the big question is were they able to successfully move this asteroid off its current orbit? they're not trying to move it by a lot. this asteroid is not going to blow into a million pieces like you saw in "armageddon." all they're trying to do is move it slightly off its orbit so if this were to happen in the future where there were an asteroid that was potentially going to wipe out all of life as we know it on planet earth, could they do this far enough in advance and knock this killer asteroid off orbit and save the planet. that's truly the technology that they are testing here. so it's going to take a few weeks before we know if they've successfully completed that objective. they do it by using ground-based telescopes that can actually see the orbit of that asteroid, see if they were able to push it off
course. but tonight, i mean, you see these celebrations going on in mission control. just a big moment for this team proving that nasa's first planetary defense test mission is at least 50% of big success here. >> and certainly, to be cheer here, if you had an asteroid about five times bigger than this one, it could destroy civilization as we know it, right? what's at stake here is incredibly serious, if this works, right, in terms of preserving civilization. >> absolutely, erin. the key thing here to remember is that these types of asteroids can come in various sizes. they can pose very types of threats to the planet. and by doing this test, what nasa has been able to do is they've been able to show, as we've seen just tonight, they've been able to show that they can actually do something that potentially can alter the track, as kristin was mentioning, the orbit of these asteroids. and if they can do that, if they
get the angles right, if they get everything in to make it work, that could potentially safe life as we know it. >> good for them to have a victory after all these delays that have been happening on artemis. thank you both very much. i appreciate it. and next, cnn obtaining video of roger stone calling for violence on the day before voters went to the polls in 2020. the day before, calling for violence. plus, an "outfront" exclusive. after being held for more than 100 days by russian-backed forces, andy thai nguyen is back. how does it feel to be reunited? they're my guests.s. and one man on t the insidef governor ron desantis's operation to fly other migrants to martha's vineyard. he is going to tell you exactly what he was told by whom, and why. , opera isn't so bad. do you like it? start your plan today with a northwestern mutual financial advisor and spend your life living. ♪ i have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
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tonight, cnn obtaining video clips of trump ally roger stone that had been handed over to the january 6th committee. and what they show here is stone talking about claiming victory and getting, quote, right to the violence. that's a quote. and that was just days before the 2020 election. >> excellent. [ bleep ], [ bleep ] the violence, the voting. let's get right to the violence. >> let's get right to it. >> shoot to kill. see an antifa, shoot to kill. done with this bull shit.
>> shoot to kill, f the voting. evan perez is "outfront." he said it. there is no ambiguity there. this footage is expected to be part of the january 6th committee hearing on wednesday. what more can you tell me? >> well, erin, as you said, this is a hearing that is expected to focus on the extremists that played a role in the violence on january 6th. and as you can tell, even days before the election, roger stone was already sort of laying the groundwork for this idea that donald trump won the election, even without seeing the results. take a listen. >> let's just hope we're celebrating. i suspect it will be or you suspect it will still be up in the air. when that happens, the key thing will be to claim victory. possession is 9/10 of the law. no, we won, you're wrong. [ bleep ] you. >> erin we did get a statement
from roger stone.all of it here. it says "i challenge the accuracy and the authenticity of these videos and believe that they've been manipulated and selectively edited. i also point out that the filmmakers do not have the legal right to use them. how ironic that kim kardashian and i are both subjected to computer manipulated videos on the same day. the excerpts you provided below prove nothing. certainly they do not prove that i had anything to do with the events of january 6th. that being said, it clearly shows that i advocated for lawful, congressional, and judicial options. i'm not sure what roger stone is talking about with the kim kardashian -- i actually googled this and i couldn't find anything, erin. we suspect his association with the proud boys and these other groups is going to be a major focus of the hearing that's coming up. >> all right. evan perez, thank you very much. so john dean with me now,
and stephanie grisham is back, former trump white house press secretary. so glad to have both of you with me on this. john, let me start with you because you're with me. unclear what that statement is roger stone put out. >> he is often unclear. >> he did say f the voting, let's get right to the violence. whatever else he may not have said around it, he said those things. >> yes. >> what's your reaction to this? >> well, his response is terribly weak. it's somebody manipulated the video and the sound. he has clearly been caught in some context. we don't have the full story. we may never get the full story from roger. >> fair. and that's probably true. stephanie, i want to play another clip from the week after january 6th. this is where stone criticizes the white house counsel's office. he says the white house counsel told trump that trump could not preemptively pardon stone for his role in any efforts to overturn the election. let me play that part.
>> has it been pitched to the president? >> yes, it has. i believe the president's for it. the obstacles are these lily-livered weak-kneed bureaucrats in the white house counsel's office. and now they must be crushed because they've told the president something that's not true. >> i mean, stephanie, lily-livered, they have to be crushed, let's get right to the violence, f the voting. is this just a guy who wants everybody to think he is really cool and this crowd he is rolling with, or is this something bigger? you have a better sense of the man than many. >> well, i actually didn't know roger stone that well. and usually on your show i say this didn't surprise me. that actually surprised me to hear him say f the voting and where's the violence, or let's get to the violence. you know, i think the thing that got me first of all in the first video was him saying possession is 9/10 of the law. we'll just say we won. that is how our white house
worked. you just said it. whether it was about covid or the border wall and how much was built, you just said it. it didn't matter if it was true, you just said it over and over and over again until your supporters believed it. now that last part, that sounded to me like donald trump. he would get so angry at our white house counsel if -- giving him sound, solid advice. he would call them weak and pathetic and constantly say why don't i have strong lawyers? that sounds like donald trump. >> that is bolstering the reality of what roger stone said. john, this comes on the say that the former white house chief of staff, mark meadows, his name comes up again. he is central to this. we haven't heard a lot from him lately. we don't know if he is cooperating or not. his importance, we already knew it was there, is getting bigger and bigger. we have text message news at cnn that shows that meadows was briefed by a man named phil waldron. waldron was important.
he was an operative trying the gain access to voting machines in battleground states. waldron texted meadows after an arizona judge dismissed a lawsuit so they lost in court. he said we'll focus on georgia that was our lead domino we were counting on to start the cascade. meadows replies pathetic. perhaps in that exchange, you now see direct communication between the chief of staff and this man. how much trouble do you think meadows is in? >> well, fannie willis in george may be very interested. maybe the feds be be interested. i think they're generally interested in mark meadows. something happened. he was held in contempt by the january 6th committee. he has never been prosecuted for that. there is a reason for that. not only does he have a good lawyer, he has a lot of information. >> so you think cooperation? >> it's early in the story, yes. >> and that's significant, stephanie. you know meadows well from your time in the white house. how much do you think see cooperating with investigators? do you think that's right? >> i do.
i would agree with john on that. i would say, number one, mark meadows is always going to look out for number one. so i think he is probably cooperating. he has just disappeared. but i actually want to take a step back and say i hope he is cooperating. and look, there is no love lost between mark meadows and i. probably we will never, ever get along. but there is never bad time to do the right thing. and so i hope he is taking -- this is for the country. it's not about saving your own behind. it's not being loyal to donald trump anymore. i hope that if he is watching this, i can say to you, mark, this is about the country, and just doing the right thing. we all got sucked into it. and you could really play a vital role in showing the country who that man was and what really, really happened on that day. >> stephanie, thank you very much. john dean, so nice to see you in person. thank you. all right. thanks both. and next, an "outfront" exclusive. i'm going to speak totoanan.
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tonight, back home after being held captive by russian-backed forces for more than 100 days. 40-year-old alex drueke and andy tai ngoc huynh are back in their home state of alabama, freed after a prisoner swap with ukraine days ago. you can see them going to the airport after being released, finally for the first time seeing those that they loved after 100 days. i'm sure there were times that they didn't know if they ever would, reuniting. they have been undergoing medical checks, reuniting with friends and family. they were captured back in june. at the time they were fighting with ukrainian forces north of kharkiv. this is a story, as you know, that we have been following closely on this show. "outfront" now in an exclusive
interview, their first joint interview since andy came home, andy tai ngoc huynh and his fiancee joy black. i'm so happy to see you, andy. we've seen your fiancee so many times alone in the screen. and it is wonderful to see you. she made sure that the world knew about you and that the world did everything they could to help you, that the u.s. government knew. you're here, alive, at home. how does it feel to be back home with joy? >> honestly, it's still surreal. it's going to take time to adjust. but overall i'm very happy to be with joy. i missed her every day when i was in captivity. more or less from the very beginning. >> i know you say you missed her every day. she certainly missed you. joy, i just want to play the moment we see andy arriving back in alabama safely. i know when you saw him for the first time in new york. and i'm sure you're waiting and
waiting and wait fog there moment. when the moment happened, it totally took you by surprise. tell me how it went down. >> i was actually with alex's -- at the time. and we were checking in to the place. we didn't know they were there yet. and they surprised us and gave me a hug and i just started crying. i didn't know he was there. it was a big surprise, but a happy surprise. >> what was that like for you, andy, when you came up behind her. you know she is waiting for you, but she didn't know you were there at that moment? >> it was like alex and i just hide around the corner, and eventually when we saw them and i finally embraced her. i felt happy again. >> you felt happy again. andy, i know you still need to debrief u.s. officials fully on your captivity. you went through more than 100 days in incredible trauma.
i know there is really not much you can say about it right now in the midst of all that. is there anything you do want to share about what happened? >> at this time i don't know what i can or can't say without being -- >> no, i understand. and joy, it's got to be so hard not talking to andy for more than 100 days. what is it like now as you try to -- you try to talk again, and you're sort of reengaging, someone you missed every day, and yet obviously this unbelievable thing happened? >> it's -- it's kind of slow, but i'm glad he's still him and we didn't lose him there. he is still andy. and even though it's still kind of hard, we're still sorting through things and still readjusting. >> yeah, no, and it's -- don't
even want to use the word normal because nothing you went through was normal. but of course it's going to take time. andy, did you have any idea that joy was on national television pleading for your release? of everything that she was doing to try to make sure everyone knew about you and how she was trying to bring you home? >> to an extent i didn't know. alex was a representative for the americans that were there, and he -- when we were able to meet up again, what was happening, news front, joy and telling us. we knew a small information. that's about it. >> and joy, you said that andy had a wish that you found out after, when you found he was coming home, a wish for big spaghetti dinner with meat sauce
and a long list of fast food. did you get to have that spaghetti dinner? >> yes. we ended up having it last night, yes. mcdonald's, the airport was there. so we had mcdonald's. >> that's all right. i think the most important thing was just being able to spend time together. thank you both so much. i look forward to talking to you again. we're just really, so as i say, joy, to you, so joyful that you have had this wonderful reunion. thank you, both. all right. and next, for the first time, we hear from a might grant who was on the inside of the operation to fly migrants to martha's vineyard. how he becamame a key player i ron desantis' plplay. plus, hurricanane ian. forecasters are calling it the storm of a lifetime. winds now close to 100 miles an hour. the latest on the track as it churns towards florida. at citi, it kes a financial commitment to companies who empower peopleo lift themselves up.
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tonight, we're hearing for the first time from someone inside the effort to fly two planes full of migrants to martha's vineyard. a migrant speaking exclusively on camera to cnn says he feels betrayed after he himself was lured to help recruit other migrants. maria santana with this exclusive report. >> reporter: for the first time to cnn, someone on the inside of
the operation recruiting migrants ought of san antonio, texas, is telling his story on camera. the man we spoke to, himself a recently arrived migrant, describing details of working with a woman who many have said identified herself only as perla. he said he was living on the streets of san antonio for 28 days before perla offered him clothes, food, and money to help her secure migrants for the flight to martha's vineyard. he showed us her business card, text messages, and let us listen to audio messages from perla, revealing she was still in contact with him as recently as last week. for his safety, we are protecting his identity. who approach you'd? >> translator: a woman. she said her name was perla. i didn't know if that was her real name. i didn't ask either. my only intention was to help the people so they could get some stability. she took them to a hotel. at the hotel, i realized that they were being treated well. there were three meals and benefit, things such as laundry, clothes, things they didn't have the expectation of getting. >> what did she say you had to do?
>> recruit people, help them. she said she would hire me and give me some of her cards. i distributed the coast guards based on the information which we would send them to a sanctuary place. in addition to, that until the flight would leave, we would take them to a hotel where as i explained you to, they were provided services. >> what did she say to you to tell these migrants when you approached them? did she give you any instructions about how to talk to them, to try to get them to get on these flights? >> she had told me that the people who were going to massachusetts before i sent them, she had told me that they were going receive them, they were going to live, they were going to stay, they were going the help them with the language and those who had children, they were going to study. >> these migrants, many of them say they were offered $10 mcdonald's gift cards, and then they were asked to sign a consent form to get on these flights. >> translator: they gave them to me so that i could give them to them when people wanted to be on the flight. everything was always voluntary. no one was ever forced to do
anything. when these people always said yes, i made sure they gave me their papers, the migrations papers. >> two planes headed to florida and ultimately to martha's vineyard. once they arrived, he received a concerned phone message from one of the migrants. >> we're at the utopia, man, and there is nothing. and we're waiting to see if we can find a bed, because i'm going have no place to sleep there's nothing here. we're adrift here. these people didn't even know we would arrive. with that, i'm telling you everything so that you can see, bro. it's not me, it's the reality. >> reporter: he says he messaged perla that the migrants were nervous because nobody was there to meet them, and they were sleeping on the side of the road. he showed us what he says perla texted back. tell them to call the numbers we gave them, the church. the state has to take care of them. later that night, he says she left him an audio message saying "i know they were scared at first, but now they are in a much better place, and they're going to be taken care of there like you have no idea. i know they arrived in another city, but it is within
massachusetts. believe me, they are going to have a much better life than here or anywhere else." he says he believed everything that perla promised him. over the last few days, he says she has been warning him not to talk to reporters, saying if a reporter texted him, don't say anything. he didn't know the governor was responsible for the planes to martha's vineyard until he saw the news, and perla never informed him who she was working for. >> i was always aware it was benefactor who was paying for things. i never, ever knew it was a governor or politician. so my only will has always been to help people. >> in the end, i asked him if he felt betrayed by all of this? >> yes, of course. look, look at all this where i am. first so that everyone knows that i have nothing to do with the deception. second, that always, as i said from the beginning, my only principle has been to help people i really see as needy. . >> it's amazing just to hear it
in his voice. would you have that voice mail you're referring to. this is no utopia. but the choice of the word, it's almost as if that's how it had been promised. >> right, right. >> what else do we know about this woman? she becomes more and more important who calls herself perla? >> that's really a lot of what's publicly known about her. that this woman named perla was very much at the center of all of this. and she was the one approaching people. and she was the one recruiting people. a lot of what we know about her comes from the migrants themselves. they describe her. they say what she told them, what she promised them. but no one has been able to publicly identify her. and a lot of these migrants don't even know her last name. they got on a plane with this business card, first name, no company, no other information except the phone number. and she was able to convince them to do this. now what -- >> they trusted her. >> and they trusted her. we hear a lot on both sides is she was either this good samaritan who really cared about people on the streets and wanted
to get them to a better place, or she was a mastermind taking advantage of people, and probably maybe working in connection with some political operative, maybe desantis. but we still have a lot to learn about this mystery woman. >> certainly a lot to learn, although interesting as in that one text she said the state will take care of you. that would lead you to think political. thank you so much for joining us, marie yachlt next, hurricane ian a category two. it's going to, they say, get stronger. the winds are going to pick up as it is moving through this very hot water.. going to be a catastrophic storm. officials telling people in florida to leave now. we have the latest on the track next and the massive pricetag to relieve student debt. an to finally connect with our family's heritage. grandma! start your plan today with a northwestern mutual financial advisor and spend your life living.
orders tonight. we're out front from the cnn weather center. what the you are seeing right now here? that picture, that satellite picture is just unbelievable. >> yeah. really s when you think about it, tampa, 1921, the last direct hit. however this will be the first major hurricane to come this close and pass this close to tampa since 1950. a lot of people have never been through. this it's about 110, 120 miles from western cuba waiting for the eye to form. the warmest waters are under this area. it underwent rapid intense fiction. if you look at the watches and warnings in place, it looks chaotic. in pink are watches. we upgraded this from a watch to the warning including the tampa area. that means 24, 36 hours, we'll have hurricane conditions. the two main models, the american and european models have been fluctuating. in fact, yesterday, americans now today sliding to theast.
european, slidinbit of a wiggle room. it goes from a category 4 to a 1. pay no attention to the 4. much that is going to care i didn't think surge equivalent to a category 4 right into the tampa bay area and all the tributaries. >> that's amazing. what you're saying is real i didn't think numbers that we're used to referencing 1, 2, 3, 4shgs are not what is relevant. you're looking at something catastrophic regard snls. >> yeah. absolutely. and the big problem here is i mean when you look at a category one that, is talking about winds. we're still going to have a 300 mile swath of tropical storm force winds. the worngs up and down the coast as we're going see it spin counterclockwise. american in red and european in blue. you can't get a better agreement. look how it blows up. the problem here is it's going to slow down, erin, we thought maybe five miles per hour. now it's maybe two or three.
that means 36 to 48 hours just off in the worst possible position to throw that surge hour after hour into the bay and every inlet. and impedes the water from it receding. it acts as a dam. as the waters continue to build up which we're looking at 5 to 10, you know, 10, 15 inches of rain on top of that. so we're hoping if we can get that to jog just 30 miles off to the west, we'll have a big relief. i mean, huge relief. >> but it is interesting. just to emphasize what the exclamation is, 5 miles an hour is slow. 2 to 3 is really slow but twice as long. and just to give everyone a sense of the diffeferences can make such a massive differerenc. thanks so much, , tom. next for the first time we're learning the estimatated pricetag of biden's plan to cancel student debt. and it's about double what the white house told us. this is art inspired by real stories of bipolar depression. i just couldn't find mway out of it. the lows of bipolar depression
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finally, the massive pricetag for biden's student debt relief package, $400 billion. that is the new estimate. that did an analysis. they estimated it would cost $24 billion a year. to cancel up to $20,000 of student debt for certain borrowers. thank you so much for joining us. ""ac 360"" starts now. >> just leave now. a warning from the mayor of tampa, florida, as hurricane ian grows stronger and moves closer to bringing the head of the national hurricane center calls a near worst case scenario for that city. john berman here in for