tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC September 15, 2018 5:00am-6:00am PDT
coverage of hurricane florence. i'm in myrtle beach, south carolina l carolina. >> i'm live in new york. paul manafort agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors and hurricane florence which continues to pound south carolina. >> i want to say when people tell me they love us together, the one thing i tell us is you are protective. i know this is going to make you uncomfortable. the storm is now a tropical storm. it's moving at about five miles an hour. that's a problem. that's slower than i can walk. the winds are 50 miles an hour. they're sustained winds and most people dent experience sustained winds. with all that rain dumping on
the hour, trees fall over, power lines fall over. we have close to one million people who don't have power. this storm is finally moving inland. it's west of here moving west northwest. that means there are dangers inland and for places like raleigh and charlotte. this storm came on shore yesterday morning just east of wilmington, north carolina. i want to go to wilmington right now. >> as you know they were preparing for a serious rain event. what they got instead were hurricane forced winds. we know downed trees litter this entire city. we were with the mayor and there were so many downed trees it was difficult for first responders to get around.
the power is out to this entire city. 775,000 people across the region without power. that number could grow in the coming days. it's going to be difficult for power crews because there's so many downed trees. getting the lights back on is going to take several days if not week. the trees have sliced through many homes. that's another issue. it's not just the rain, but the wind and aftermath. >> we've got five deaths attributable to the storm including in wilmington, north carolina where a tree came down on a home and killed a mother and infant. i want to go to matt bradley. he's headed to columbia, south carolina which seems to be a big
reach from here. it's hours inland from here. rivers are flooding. lakes are flooding and it is slow moving and it's going to be dumping a lot of rain. the folks in columbia are preparing for flooding. >> that's right. we're following the eye of what was the hurricane. it's now a tropical storm. it's really kind of anti climatic for a lot of folks here. it was a couple days ago that the forecasters were says hurricane florence was going to make a sharp turn south. that's why everybody here was preparing for the absolute worst. now it seems like everything has been more or less okay. what we're seeing this morning -- we've been driving miles west out of myrtle beach towards columbia, the capitol of the state. we've seen localized flooding. some parking lots and fields. we have seen a lot of downed branches, not really a lot of
drowned trees. nothing like what we were seeing in wilmington. this has become more of a rain event rather than a wind event. that's a problem for central north carolina for -- central south carolina and other destinations where there has been flooding. in 2015 15 people were killed in flooding that over flooded dams in that area. some of the sadams remain unrepaired. a lot of people counting their blessings. >> it's a different problem. flooding is serious as we saw in houston with harvey. it's a slightly different problem than a tree coming down on your house. i want to go to charlotte, north carolina which is still not in the clear. charlotte is a major population center.
the mayor is with me. mayor, what's situation in charlotte? >> we're expecting approximately 12 inches of rain over the next three days. that will break our record from a prior hurricane in 2008. we've got over 5,000 houses without power and we identified 2,400 houses in high risk for flooding. we're working to try to keep the storm drain age system working and people get to the shelters we opened. >> mayor, you talked with the president yesterday? >> i spoke with the president last night. >> what did he tell you? >> he asked an assessment of where we were with the storm. of course we talked about the number of people that would be coming from the coast into charlotte for shelter. he said that the federal government would be there to assist us in all of our efforts. we realize this is an important
time for any mayor to have the right infrastructure. our storm drainage systems, our tree canopy, all those things to make our city safer during the storm. >> mayor, you mentioned there are a lot of people coming into charlotte. with the flooding and rain you're expecting, is it still a safe place to be? you're not asking for anyone to leave? >> we're not asking for an evacuation. we're asking for our low lying plains, if people feel they're in danger of flooding, come to our shelter. >> mayor, you are -- of the cities in the path of this tropical storm, yours is the major transportation hub particularly for american airlines. what's situation at the airport? >> our airport is open. we've had about 100 canceled
flights with american. southwest discontinued flights out of our airport. our airport is open and operating. we haven't had to shelter people at the airport. they're able at tto get on thei flight. >> mayor, thank you. continue to stay safe. there are flight cancellations out of charlotte, but it's still operating. that is a major hub for american airlines. michelle grossman is standing by with a weather update. >> we see the radar lit up with color. the slow moving storm will continue to move very slowly. down to two miles an hour. all this rain continuing to move on shore. where you see the darker colors that's indicating the heaviest rain. i stopped the clock because i
wanted to show you something else. we'll continue to deal with heavy rain for 24 hours before it starts to weaken sunday. this pink line is a tornado watch box. we have lots of thunderstorms to the south and either. we have the potential for more tornados today. they would be short lived. let's look at the latest on florence. this came in at 8:00. 50 mile an hour winds. still a tropical storm. the wind speed is usually 29 to 73. a massive storm on both sides. look at the cloud shield even up to pennsylvania. the winds moving up to 2 miles an hour and about 30 miles west of myrtle beach. as we go through the track again, we're going to see it move very, very slowly. even by saturday at 2:00 p.m. not very far. it moves up towards ashville.
then it makes the right-hand turn. we'll see the remnants affecting parts of the northeast and then of course the clean up in the southeast. rain fall totals, we were measuring rain in feet. we'll get higher than that today. it won't be unheard of for totals near 40 inches in some sports. moo moorehead city will continue to be pounded by rain. we're also looking at tropical storm winds. we have flash flood watches with all this rain and flash folood warnings. let's time it out. this morning lots of rain falling. it's moving so so so slow. that is the main story as we head throughout today. tomorrow a little weakening.
a lot of showers across the area on sunday. flooding near the coast, this is lunchtime. as we head across the board on sunday, we're still looking at rain. then we see a little improvement in terms of showers. by monday the rain will be switched off. >> michelle, thank you for that. by the way we're expecting high tide in probably three, three and a half hours. i want to go to tammy lightner. we have some power outages in myrtle beach. >> yes, while myrtle beach appears to have been spared,
north myrtle beach has flooding. there's about 160,000 people without power. the real problem will be in the coming days with these main rivers in the county pressing. the mayor tells us she's concerned, if that happens, it will cause catastrophic flooding and wash out the main road coming in and out of myrtle beach. it's a problem because all the stores were depleted of supplies an gasoline before the hurricane. they won't be able to get trucks in and out of myrtle beach. 60% of the county evacuated. this could go on for possibly 10 to 12 day that is access could be cut off. >> tammy, one of the things you were doing the other day was in
one of those stores you were talking about an owner of a pet store where he was talking about pets that could be in danger from his store. what happened to that? >> we have not be able to reach him yet. he lives in myrtle beach proper. we're hoping he's okay. we haven't heard reports of much damage there. i spoke with the police an hour ago. they said they have not had any magica major for calls of damage so that's good news. >> tammy, stay safe up there. now i want to go way up the coast to jacksonville, north carolina. joe fryer is standing by. what is the situation in jacksonville? >> despite the fact that the worst of the storm has passed by, the rain hasn't stopped. we've seen some of the heaviest
bands of rain this morning. it's been relentless since thursday afternoon. because of that, we're seeing flooding. i'm standing on cork street. cork street stops where i'm standing. if you look in my direction, you can see this neighbor is under water and has been since yesterday morning and afternoon. you can see that's a car that's largely submerged with the trunk open. we were here last night. that car was not there. it appears the flood waters carried that car into that location. just a few minutes ago basically right in front of where that car is, we saw six deer cross the road in those high flood waters. jacksonville is about a 20 mile drive to get to the ocean. it sits along a river. that's what the flooding is here. combine the surge with the high
tide and the rain they've been getting here, that's what's causing the flooding issues. they've seen river flooding here before. folks say we saw flooding years ago with other storms, but this appears to be the highest they've seen in this neighborhood in quite sometime. river flooding will be an issue throughout much of north and south carolina. rivers aren't going to be able to handle all the rain. in jacksonville, yesterday, early in the morning, about 60 people had to be evacuated from a hotel after the storm ripped the roof off that hotel. we spoke to one man that was in one of the rooms where that happened. he said the roof collapsed, but he and his wife were okay. they were moved to a shelter. he lives south of wilmington. he came into this area because he was hoping to escape the
hurricane, but the storm still found him. in addition to those 60 people, 30 people have been rescued from their home and in the county about 70 people on top of that. >> the area you're in by new river, these are places where waters rise regardless of the rain, but the rain is compounding that. we'll continue to cover where this hurricane is going up and down the coast and inland. for now i want to send it back to stephanie. >> thank you. ali, please be safe out there. we'll check back in with you. when we come back from the break, we'll talk about paul manafort agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel. what could that mean for president trump?
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welcome back. president trump an his legal team are trying to distance themselves from paul manafort one day after he agreed to cooperate with special counsel robert mueller. rudy giuliani went so far to say it's more proof there's no collusion. i want to turn to msnbc contributors. first we need to clarify what rudy giuliani said. he said that all this was before paul manafort served on
president trump's campaign. that's not true. it was during the campaign. he said the president was okay with it. in a way it's another indication there is no evidence of collusion. all of these charges pre-date the time paul spent with the president and there's nothing in what he pleaded about collusion. that's not true when it comes to the dates. but does he have a point? >> somewhat. two points, first of all, it doesn't say anything about the president's judge. this is the fourth person in the president's inner circle as well as george papadopoulos to admit to a felony in court. the president hired all these people. >> you can say the president has poor judgment and hired a pack of losers. it doesn't get you closer to
saying the president engaged in criminal activity. >> what paul manafort plead to in court doesn't get you closer to that. it's not what paul manafort said in court, but what he's been saying to bob mueller behind closed doors. he's been talking to prosecutors. you have to do that before you get to an agreement. the question is what has he been able to tell the special counsel about the president, about donald trump junior and any connection between the campaign an wikileaks. we don't know the answers to those questions. but all of those questions are ones that he's going to have to answer to behind closed doors and then he'll have to testify to a grand jury or a trial. >> while we can't go behind
closed doors, glenn, you can get us pretty close. we don't know what manafort has said. if you were the prosecutor, what kind of information would have to get to give a deal? >> i've been behind those closed doors in well over 100 meetings in interview rooms with defendants. alrea i'm quite sure this is how it played out for the mueller team. they would sit with manafort and say, listen, you need to tell us every crime you've committed. the last thing you want to do is bring a cooperator on board an then be surprised down the road he committed crimes he never told you about. it's difficult to rehabilitate credibility after he's caught like that.
first they would establish every crime he's committed and then they would ask about any crime he knows about, whether donald trump jr., jared kushner or others. then they begin corroborating everything he's said with external information. it's only after they're satisfied of all of that that they can offer him a cooperation agreement. listen, they already have him where they wanted him. he was convicted of eight felony charges in virginia. he was facing a recharge in virginia on the hung counts an he was facing another trial in the district of columbia which was a sure fire winner for mueller's team. once they're sitting in the room with paul manafort, in my opinion if manafort said, mr. mueller, i don't have any consequence to give you about the president or don jr., but i
would like a plea agreement, mueller would have walked out of that room. my belief is that mr. manafort had to deliver some block buster truthful information to get the deal he got. >> matt, robert mueller's job isn't to get anyone closer to impeachment. it's to follow the law. yesterday the president's former lawyer john dodd was saying paul manafort doesn't know anything. this is about criminal activity and you've got don jr. and jared an a host of other people. it's not bob mueller's job to get anyone closer to impeachment. he's looking for criminal activity. >> bob mueller's job is to find out the truth. it's not to get the president,
donald trump jr. or anybody. it's to find the truth. so what he's doing now is sitting down with paul manafort and exploring all these leads. then he'll be sitting down with paul manafort. this is the most important witness he's got to date inside the trump world. maybe it's leads he's not even aware of. you talk about john dodd. one of the thing that's been reported is john dodd last year in the fall mentioned the possibility to manafort's lawyers of a pardon. now is mueller going to explore the idea that the president's legal team inappropriately dangled pardons in a way that could produce obstruction of justice. this is key for mueller now inside the president's campaign and his legal team and how he's
tried to thwart the investigation. >> imagine the president's statements in the last six months to the media or via twitter that's given robert mueller this trail. matt just said paul manafort is the most important witness or cooperating witness of note thus far. do you agree with that? according to "vanity fair" people say that michael cohen has been talking to the mueller team. who's the bigger get, cohen or manafort? >> i think they're both big gets. manafort is huge on the campaign front and russian collusion front. michael cohen is important on the trump organization front and almost sadly on the trump family member front. he had such intimate dealings with trump's family members, don
jr., ivanka and others. to the extent they were involved in dirty business deals in new york or conduct in the campaign, that could at the end of the day prove more dramatically damaging to trump and the organize says a -- organization and the family. >> he was the trump family fixer. thank you so much. up next we'll take you back to ali for the latest on hurricane florence. flooding is soaking the carolinas. we just learned of two more deaths blamed on the storm. stay with us.
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i'm in new york and i'll take you to my partner ali in myrtle beach. >> the winds have died down. it's now a tropical storm. we talked to joe fryer in jacksonville, south carolina and they're still getting hit with these winds. t the winds will topple trees and there will be flooding. we are a few hours away from high tide. look at the surf behind me. this is picking up and the tide will come in probably another 50 feet. there's a little surge that's going to come and that's where the power outages will come from. i want to go up the beach 40
miles northeast back to oak island. maria is there and what's situation there? it still sounds windy. >> it's windy. it's very rainy. the winds about 40 miles an hour. we wanted to come to the beach showing you how this tropical storm is lashing here at the largest beach in north carolina. look at the dunes here. the water went over them and reached the houses, ocean front homes. you can see the residents tried to make sure their houses were protected from the storm. fortunately it didn't cause as much damage as people were expecting. this is not over though. we're still getting 40 mile per hour winds from the south.
we're four hours away from high tide and all the water and sand could flood the roads. i want our cameraman to walk out here. these are roads adjacent to the beach. they are completely flooded. it's not very deep, but they are expecting two to four feet of storm surge in the next couple hours. this, ali, as residents are being told to hunker down and not go out, but we have seen people out and about. the storm has passed us, but you don't want to be walking around and driving around water like this. ali. >> you can't tell when you're driving will the road below you has collapsed. you can't tell whether there's going to be a tornado. there are tornado watches in event and flash flooding. flash flooding is flooding that is not gradual. we have to think about that. we have news now of two more confirmed deaths as a result of
this storm. in carter county, north carolina, i want to go to wilmington where craig is covering things. craig, this thing has been deadly. >> it has. the death toll is up to seven. that's a number that officials in wilmington expect to rise more. three of those deaths, there was a father, his wife and their 8 month old, a tree fell on the house. the mother and 8 month old died. the father was taken to the hospital. he's expected to survive. hurricane florence now tropical storm florence has been deadly. some of these trees that are
down 100-year-old oak trees. the trees come down and they bring the power lines with them. that is going to be the case for days that they'll be without power. power outages, fallen trees, blocked roads, the trail of destruction this storm left has been wide. the rain has continued for the past 30 hours. the winds have died down. >> we've got about 100,000 without power in south carolina. we're still getting this storm. south carolina, some of these
towns are lower. you're in a coastal town. you're at slightly higher elevation. that kind of damage hits a place like wilmington that isn't going to flood like other places. you know in this part of the country there are rivers that flood in normal rain stormins. that's what we're looking for. >> sure. >> these are people bracing for catastrophic flooding. >> i talked to my folks the last hour, they live in columbia. it's raining lightly. there have been folks in the northeast part of columbia who already lost power. as you said, ali, a nasty thunderstorm in south carolina can create flooding in low lying areas. another problem is beach erosion. the beaches there, as well, the winds -- you know.
this is something else that concerned officials there for sometime. >> you can't see it now, but about a half mile from me up the beach is an earth mover. they're actually moving along the beach and moving sand around to try and prevent what's going to happen in about two hours. as i've been on tv, this surf is getting rougher and rougher. it coming higher and higher. we're about three hours from high tide. in north carolina you have barrier islands, but here in south carolina you don't have that. this stuff is going to come on shore. i'm going to show you in front of me. this is on the beach in myrtle beach. there are signs that say don't go further than that because this is where they protect the water from coming on board. they try to prevent the beach
erosion. it's a serious concern. thanks craig. he's in wilmington north carolina which is inland from where hurricane florence came ashore about 7:15 yesterday mourn -- morning. >> rebecca, you have hundreds of thousands of people who sought shelter in red cross shelters. >> in south carolina we have 5500 people who sought shelter. here in south carolina it's raining a lot. there's a lot of storms and winds going on. the storm is slowly approaching. we're encouraging people to stay in doors and stay away from windows because this storm is coming. >> rebecca, we keep asking and we're hearing about people --
people are tweeting me about the indy intelligent, what about the homeless or people who don't have money to even drive or fill their tank. some of these cities set up mu n municipal shelters. what are you at in terms of capacity? >> we have room for people. we encourage people to fine out where the red cross shelters are located. we have 200 shelters stationed across the state. we encourage people to take this storm seriously. the landfall and the wind may take effect and the flooding. with those waters it can be very dangerous. >> what kind of timeline are you prepared for? obviously you've got to stock
the shelters with the supplies and water. how long can you run them for? >> we can run them as long as we need. the red cross deployed 2,000 disaster workers that have resources across the country to make sure we can help and support these residents as the storm is coming and in the aftermath. >> rebecca, thanks very much for what you're doing and all the volunteers an staff at the red cross. >> thank you. >> i'm asking my video grapher to see if he can get this shot. these are the earth movers moving very aggressively on myrtle beach before high tide comes in. the water will be there. see what they're doing. they're pushing sand up toward the dunes. the dunes are largely planted. they're the type of brush that
will try and stop the water. they're moving sand up toward the dunes to prevent the water from coming up. most of the buildings on the beach in myrtle beach are raised above ground level. you have to have a seven, eight, nine foot surge. the bad news is the surge we do get is going to be in combination with high tide. if you add the tide and the surge, you could see more flooding. that can lead to power outages. there are a lot of power outages across north carolina. the last official numbers are 100,000. that's going to get more serious. the storm is heading inland taking down power lines and more
tr trees. the winds aren't particularly heavy here. our concern is the rain and continued flooding. i'm in myrtle beach here. am i sending it back to stephanie in the studio? i'm sending back to michelle grossman in the weather center. what's the update? >> you could pick up another four to five inches of rain in myrtle beach. here is what it looks like on radar. you can see the heavy rain train moving so slowly. we're seeing those darker colors, the reds and yellows and even purposes indicating heavy rains. we saw rains starting to fall on thursday around lunchtime. it poured yesterday. it's pouring today. it will be a little better tomorrow. myrtle beach in and out of heavy rain bands. i wanted to stop this for you. i want to show you this watch
box in pink. we have the potential to see tornados today. we have a tornado watch for 20 counties until 7:00 tonight. the storm could be downgraded as we get through the day. the next advisory comes out at 11:00. let's track it for you. by sunday only near ashville. then it takes a right-hand turn. >> all right. we're going to track it together, michelle. thank you for helping us through this for the last few days. this is not over. here are the earth movers. they're going right by me trying to create barriers. these guys are working in tough circumstances. there's no other people on this
beach. there is beach patrol making sure there's no other people on the beach. they're trying to get this as prepared as they can for high tide. let's go back to stephanie. >> there's earth movers, beach patrol and ali. be safe. coming up next the immediate impact of hurricane florence. the devastation will not end when the storm leaves town. the potential long term impact of the hurricane next. (music throughout) -of course, daniel.
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expert and we have a cnbc contributor. there are gas pipelines and nuclear power plants in the range of the storm. how have them been impacted? >> there are eight or nine nuclear power plants in the path of the storm. that could make a dangerous situation. the government has rules in place that mandates the shut down of the nuclear plants. that's what happened. a number of these plants have shut down as a safety precaution. >> as long as they're shut down, we're good to go? >> from a safety perspective, it's all right. the plants will take sometime, maybe a few weeks to turn on. that's when you go to other fuel sources like coal and natural gas to generate power. >> nobody likes to vote for infrastructure improvements. it's not sexy or cool.
it costs a lot of money. any time we have a storm like it, it tests infrastructure. we saw now they're going to rebuild them to be stronger and better. it rarely happens. >> it happens when they're washed out and destroyed. you're right, it doesn't often happen. >> even if they get rebuilt they don't get rebuilt to be better. >> that's true. we've had a long history in this country of failing to pass infrastructure legislation. the trump administration said it was going to be a priority. it never happened. they didn't put forward any kind of plan to do the kind of things that need done. >> the long term impact is that you get a little more streconom activity than you would have otherwise. you have spending that otherwise wouldn't have taken place.
then you have rebuilding. people have to rebuild the bridges an their houses. from an economic standpoint it adds to economic growth over the long term. >> even though when you think about this there's a lot of agriculture here. there's a lot of tourism here. both of those are going to get hit. >> those are going to get hit. but i've seen a lot of analysis of hurricane impacts and what they do to the economy and while there is the potential for dislocated agriculture and crops being destroyed, all of the preparation and then the rebuilding after tend to either negate the impact or, in fact, add to economic growth. >> wow. something i didn't know. walk us through could any of this be, i don't know, even a building code issue? take us back a year ago when we were looking at irma and maria and looking at places like houston and many were saying, why do they have all these buildings in such low flood planes and people pointed to not strong enough building codes. could we have that situation again? >> houston was unique because
houston doesn't have any zoning laws in place. as a result, you had all kinds of buildings all over the place. i don't know what the cases for south carolina or north carolina, but of course it's not as densely populated as a major metropolitan area. but there are a number of buildings in low-lying areas that are at risk with all of this flooding. >> did houston change zoning laws afterwards? >> they did pass legislation i believe in the following months. >> there you go. up next, the eyes on the country are focused on the carolinas and hurricane florence, but the president, at least his twitter account is focused on another storm.
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time last year. i want to go to nbc's jeff bennet at the white house. my mind is blown over this one. the president doubling down on the comments he made about hurricane maria, now attacking the research behind the number. what is he saying at this point? people i've spoken to inside the white house want to change the subject, bury their heads and look the other way. >> you're right about that, stef. good morning. despite having spread wide backlash from democrats and republicans over the president's earlier claim that he didn't believe 3,000 people died related to the hurricanes in puerto rico last year and that the whole thing was a ploy by democrats to make him look bad, the president is leaning in. in a km of tweets, the president said when trump visited the island territory last october, officials told him in a briefing 16 people the died from maria. this is long after the hurricane took place. then, like magic, 3,000 people
died, 50 times the original number. no way. the study commissioned by george washington university revised the official death toll taking into account injuries, taking into account people who died from not having access to clean, running water, not having access to vital resources like running power. the president, at the time the white house at the time when that study was issued accepted the study. but president trump himself refuses to accept it. he refuses to accept his administration's response to puerto rico was anything other than an unsung success. now the president is really trying to discredit the casualty count from puerto rico as now hurricane florence is now a fresh test for the administration's ability to respond to yet another natural disaster, stephanie. >> and i just don't understand why he's picking this fight.
there is nothing partisan about lives lost. jeff, thank you so much. we're going to leave it there. when we come back, much more on the devastating impact of hurricane florence and the catastrophic flooding when we come back. you are watching msnbc. nex. my congestion's gone. i can breathe again! ahhhh! i can breathe again! ughh! vicks sinex. breathe on. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase sensimist relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist. carla is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an
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- she outsmarts me every single time. - checkmate! you wanna play again? - anncr: prevagen. healthier brain. better life. i'm alli velshi where we ar covering tropical storm florence and another major development. stef. >> you might be on the beach, but it is not a beach day. i am stephanie rule live in new york city with a lot going on this morning. we're going to be speak background the plea of paul manafort and a huge anniversary, the collapse of lehman brothers which started