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O.J. Simpson A Free Man After Nine Years; Crisis In Puerto Rico; Riot Police Deployed After Voting Begins In Catalonia; "Saturday Night Live" Slams President Trump Over Puerto Rico Response; Five Hurt In Edmonton Terror Attack Aired 6-7a

Aired October 1, 2017 - 06:00   ET




MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this morning, O.J. Simpson is a free man! He was released on parole from a Nevada prison overnight after serving nine years for armed robbery and kidnapping.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Take a look at this picture. One of the first pictures we are getting here as he is signing paper work to be released. It's kind of hard to recognize him there, isn't it? That was a few hours ago.

Here is the official video. They say he was upbeat as he walked out. We are learning more about why he was freed under cover in the dark while you were most likely sleeping and what is next for the former football legend?

SAVIDGE: We are also following the latest on the crisis in Puerto Rico this morning with President Trump set to visit the devastated island Tuesday. The mayor of San Juan he attacked repeatedly on Twitter is now speaking out to CNN. We'll have more on Puerto Rico in just a moment.

PAUL: But first, we do want to get back to our breaking news here, O.J. Simpson released from prison early this morning. The official with the Nevada Department of Corrections says they told Simpson don't come back and he told them, quote, "I don't intend to."

SAVIDGE: Simpson signed his paper work and he was picked up by a friend. Joining us now with more on the release and where he is headed next, CNN correspondent, Paul Vercammen -- Paul.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin and Christi, I'm here in Las Vegas and this is expected to be Simpson's short-term destination. You have heard him talk about going to Florida. The paper work has not been turned in yet. It was 12:08 Pacific Time that O.J. Simpson left the Lovelock Correctional Center where he had been serving for nine years.

According to prison officials, they processed all of the paper work that is needed for is initial parole and then he walked out rather unceremoniously they said without incident or without any problem. Prison officials saying that they had feared that perhaps there might be such great media interest that paparazzi might follow him and they wanted to do this in a very secret manner, and they said that happened in a very clean way.

They also said that when the prison official said to him, don't come back now, and he said, I don't intend to. That he was very light- hearted and extremely upbeat and in the run-up to his walking out of the gate at the Lovelock Correctional Center that basically there was some idle chitchat about travel and food and the like.

Also, we should note that Simpson's good friend, one of these people who is supposed to be driving him right now, were believed to be -- has said that when Simpson gets to Las Vegas, he will live in a gated community and that he will probably lay low for a couple of days but that he is not going to be a wreck loose and he is not going to hide.

That O.J. Simpson will eventually go out. So, we are now expecting that Simpson will take this long drive some 400 miles and six hours plus from the Lovelock Correctional Center in Northern Nevada down here to Las Vegas where he will live up on a hill in a way looking down at the blinking lights of Las Vegas at night and what he'll call home for at least the next few days and on -- Martin and Christi.

SAVIDGE: All right. Paul Vercammen, thanks very much. O.J. Simpson has avoided the media spotlight for now.

PAUL: For now. But let's talk to CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson really about what is next. Joey, we know that he is going to have to report to Southern Command Parole and Probation in Las Vegas. He is mandated to stay in Las Vegas for a certain -- or at least in Nevada for a certain period of time, is he not?


PAUL: Good morning.

JACKSON: He is, indeed. So, what happens is there is something called the interstate compact and we, of course, have heard O.J. speak to the issue of I want to go to Florida, I want to go to Florida. That is a process.

And of course, we have seen the attorney general weigh in this weekend, that is the state attorney general in Florida, saying you're not welcome here. But notwithstanding that, I think ultimately that is where he'll be.

However, for now he has restrictions, of course, imposed. He has to be in Nevada. If he wishes to travel at all, Christi, he needs permission to do that. He can drink alcohol but not in excess.

He has to stay away from known criminals and perhaps unknown because you want to avoid any type of police contact. As long as he follows the terms and conditions of his probation he should be fine.

I hasten to add that he doesn't need to stay away from the spotlight. He can be in the spotlight all he wants, but just be careful because if you commit any type of offense, of course, you're being supervised and watched and monitored and you could be subject to coming back. We heard him say I don't intend to be back. So, we'll see how he does with regard to --

PAUL: It was interesting it wasn't -- I'm not coming back here. There's no way I'm coming back. Well, I intend not to be back. I want to get to something else you were talking about regarding Florida. We know his friend says he wants to play golf and be with his friend and family and his friends and family are in Florida.

And Florida's A.G. Pam Bondy wrote a letter to the Florida Department of Corrections and in it she said this, "The specter of his residing in comfort in Florida should not be a opt to numerous law enforcement officials in Florida agree with this position. Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal." Is there anything the state could truly do to keep him out?

JACKSON: Very little that is. You know, you can't keep people out because you don't like them, because you think they will commit violations or you think they are too high profile or you believe that O.J. Simpson and they are really guilty of that double murder that they got away with, those are not the standards.

The standards are this is, as I read the law, and the rules, a mandatory transfer. What that means, Christi, in terms of transferring to one state to another as long as he has a planned for supervision and family support.

Of course, we understand that his two children live there and those children are welcoming to him and they are willing to provide support and he could provide support for himself, it's a mandatory transfer and the receiving state, Florida would have to accept him.

When that happens, though, is the issue. You have 120 days, four months, after you are released to have that paper work filed and so we will see. But beyond the objecting, free country, free democracy, beyond objecting, it seems there will be little they can do by way of preventing him from moving to Florida if he meets those criteria.

PAUL: So there something in this letter too that stood out to me particularly for the people of Florida. She said there is no justification under these circumstances for asking the taxpayers of Florida to foot the bill for hosting Mr. Simpson's parole, especially in light of the added dangers that his relocation would pose to our citizens. She goes back to the 1994 wrongful death conviction civilly of Nicole Brown Simpson and (inaudible) Goldman, et cetera, et cetera. Do taxpayers pay for parolees?

JACKSON: Well, sort of, they do. It's in regards to monitoring them, Christi. Of course, every state has a parole office and that parole office is responsible for the supervision and monitoring and to ensure that all parolees are in compliance with conditions.

To that extent she is right. The taxpayers foot that bill but not supporting a person but that is more a political consideration which she has a right to do and a right to write three or four letters and see the state legislator and speak to the governor, but it's about what the law says.

As long as he has the family support there, he has a plan for supervision, he could support himself and he, otherwise, poses no threat or danger, you know, it would be something that would have to be approved, notwithstanding her firm objection as the chief law enforcement officer of that particular state.

PAUL: Yes. Whether it does any good to keep him out of state is another thing but her objection is on the record. Joey Jackson, always good to see you. Thank you, sir.

JACKSON: A pleasure. The juice has been cut loose! Word of the morning!

PAUL: That is the way to start a Saturday -- or Sunday morning. Thank you, Joey, so much.

JACKSON: Be well, Christi. Thank you.

PAUL: You too. Be well as well.

By the way, we will talk to a long-time friend of O.J. Simpson, Dr. Henry Johnson will be here in a little bit and he visited Simpson while he was in jail so he will shed light possibly on what the plans are from this point on.

SAVIDGE: We will see.

All right. Now to the crisis in Puerto Rico. President Trump says the federal response is going great. Let's update you with the latest numbers on the ground and 11 days after the storm things are not great at all, 95 percent of the people don't have power.

Only 50 percent have access to clean water and communication remains a problem with only 11 percent of cell phone towers said to be operational.

Let's bring in CNN correspondent, Brynn Gingras, in Puerto Rico. And Brynn, good morning to you. What is the latest on the relief efforts today?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, we can tell you that government says there is more than 11,000 federal staffers here on the ground trying to bring all of those numbers up. I can tell you that the 100 percent are the efforts of search and rescue crews.

Now, these are the people that come in first after the storm and go in to trap buildings and assess medical needs of certain areas. We followed one of these teams on one of theirs last missions to an area an hour and a half outside of San Juan, really terribly hit area and we watched as they did their work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GINGRAS (voice-over): Myriam Cruz rode out Hurricane Maria from inside this bedroom. The storm's eye wall traveled through mountainous area, a city about 90 minutes from San Juan. The river that runs through this area rose more than 20 feet.

(on camera): What was your thought looking out the window and seeing this river go up?

MYRIAM ROSARIO CRUZ, STRANDED UTUADO RESIDENT: I thought it was going to come up here but it didn't.

GINGRAS (voice-over): But the flooding caused landslides and knocked out this bridge, the only way for Cruz's community to get out.

CRUZ: We were afraid we would be left alone.

GINGRAS: But they weren't.

(on camera): Right now, we are crossing a river with a pulley system constructed by a task force that is under the direction of FEMA and really across the river about 40 families who have not seen relief up until today, up until this whole system was constructed.

[06:10:11] (voice-over): This group of specialized officers, firemen, and EMS come from New York and Indiana and Ohio. In the past week, their teams across Puerto Rico have saved more than 800 people. This task force took us to Cruz's neighborhood.

LT. MIKE MCGUINNESS, TASK FORCE 1: We received information from the local emergency management officials in these particular areas we haven't been able to get there yet. We have no communication with them. Can you help us and that is what we are here to do.

GINGRAS: Now residents are rationing this new shipment of supplies and they are grateful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I saw them come the first time, I saw heaven.

CRUZ: So, finally we knew that they knew about our situation.

GINGRAS: But with a broken bridge, food and supplies will be needed again and communications are still out. This man can't get in touch with his daughter, bringing him to tears.

(on camera): What do you want to say to your daughter in Texas? You're surviving?

(voice-over): Even without the help, we found this community doing all they can to stay alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see that line? That is how we got the water on this side.

GINGRAS: You did that yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. The people here. Not me but the men. You know? The men.

GINGRAS: So, if you didn't have that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have no water.

GINGRAS (voice-over): That despite President Trump's recent criticism of Puerto Rico's leaders and local response.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course, we get frustrated because we have done what we can.

GINGRAS: As for the task force, this assignment is over and they are on to the next mission, continuing to help the people of Puerto Rico.



GINGRAS: So that is the situation for many people still here on the island. They are on an island on an island. Now the humanitarian effort still needs to continue. Back to you.

SAVIDGE: Really good reporting. Thank you, Brynn. Reminding the audience we are 11 days after this hurricane.

Still ahead, no time for small politics, that's what the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico says after President Trump attacked her on Twitter and she didn't stop there.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The president also said in a tweet earlier this morning you had been nice to him early on, but that Democrats told you, you have to be nasty toward him.

MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ: You know, I don't know. Maybe he is used to women who have to be told what to do.




SAVIDGE: This morning, we are getting new reaction from the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The president accused her of poor leadership, you'll remember, in the wake of two devastating hurricanes. That is after she made several emotional pleas for help saying people were dying in her city and that federal relief was bogged down in red tape.

Here is some of our Anderson Sooper speaking with the mayor.


COOPER: You woke up this morning to a tweet from the president of the United States. What did you make of what he said? YULIN CRUZ: I smiled. I smiled. I really have no time for small politics or for comments that really don't add to the situation here.

COOPER: He said that he talked about you, your leadership and he said they -- I don't know if he meant they, the leaders, or they, the people of Puerto Rico, want everything done for them.

YULIN CRUZ: I believe -- you know, it was kind of funny because I got them real late because we don't have internet. It's spotty, at best. But he did say that we wanted things to be done. You know, the truth is staring us in the face.

Just today, I was telling you we had to evacuate yet another hospital because the generator caught on fire. So, this is in another hospital that we won't be able to work or another week. We transported 14 patients to one of our facilities.

The damp in the eastern part of the island is two towns, for the first time that I know of in my lifetime on Puerto Rico, two towns are being completely evacuated. People are still coming and saying the mayor of San Lorenzo, the mayor of (inaudible), are saying where is the help? We need it. Please help us.

COOPER: Do you feel that your speaking out has been effective?

YULIN CRUZ: I don't know. But if it has, you know, good.

COOPER: The president also said in a tweet early this morning that you had been nice to him early on, but that Democrats told you have to be nasty toward him.

YULIN CRUZ: You know, I don't know. Maybe he is used to women who have to be told what to do. But, you know, that is not who we are here in San Juan but really --

COOPER: Have Democrats said anything to you?


COOPER: About how you should treat --

YULIN CRUZ: Not at all. Actually, I am not a Democrat. I share values with the Democratic Party in the United States, but I do not participate in the Democratic Party so it's interesting. Senator Marco Rubio sent representatives to here. So, he's not a Democrat. I just think he is looking for an excuse for things that are not going well.

COOPER: Brock Long, the FEMA administrator, has said today about you that there is a joint command and that is essential. There is a unified command and that there is a joined field command office and that you should go by there to kind of get clued into what is really going on.

YULIN CRUZ: Well, yesterday, after my press conference, all of a sudden, things started coming in from FEMA and when they get me my phone, I can show you the text. I got a text saying that more supplies were coming and all I want is more supplies, you know?

[06:20:10] COOPER: So, you feel speaking out has actually pushed FEMA to bring more --

YULIN CRUZ: A lot of people, a lot of mayors are scared of speaking out because they think if they speak out, whatever help they haven't been getting will not get to them.


PAUL: CNN political commentator and political anchor at Spectrum News, Errol Louis with us now as well as historian and Princeton University professor, Julian Zelizer. Thank you both, Gentlemen, for being with us.

Listen, we've heard from her. We've heard from the president yesterday and we are also hearing from an awful lot of people about the back and forth between them. We have Nevada Senator Katherine Cortez Masto, who tweeted, "Donald Trump attacks on Carmen Yulin Cruz are atrocious. Mayor Cruz is defining what true leadership looks like. She's owed aid and an apology.

We have Senator Ed Markey in Massachusetts saying, "The first thing Trump should do on Tuesday when he visits Puerto Rico for the first time since Hurricane Maria devastated the island is apologize.

He described it as disgraceful and shameful the back and forth yesterday. How plausible is it, Julian, that President Trump will apologize? Because that is going to be a moment when he meets with Cruz that a lot of people are going to be watching very closely.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's not likely. This is not an apologizing president and we haven't seen many moments where he takes back what he says. I think this was yet another divisive weekend.

We are here in this humanitarian crisis. He has decided to go after a mayor and make accusations about her partisanship and why things are going and even worse to use words that are seen by many characterizing Puerto Ricans in a particular way.

He should walk it back, but I don't think he will. This is just not what we have seen so there is no reason to think that we will see it again. But certainly, the comments were damaging.

PAUL: So, Errol, we know what we learned yesterday that Melania will be -- the first lady will be accompanying him on this trip as well. What do the two of them have to do, do you think, to make things right there?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the question assumes that they want to make things right, so I'm not sure that that is true. The president really went out of his way. He could have said nothing or posted pictures showing his team at work. He could have left the whole thing alone. But he chose to sort of pick this fight with the mayor of San Juan. He chose to make these disparaging remarks, even when they are at a moment of extreme danger there with a dam risk of failure and hospitals closed and so forth.

I'm not sure if he wants to, but assuming he wanted to, one thing I would do and I've written this on is that every single day he should be saying publicly that residents of Puerto Rico are American citizens.

There was a recent poll showing that most Americans don't believe that and to the extent people don't know it, they are wondering what the point of all of this activity is in the first place. So, I think he should go out of his way to do that.

Then beyond that, look, there are some logistical bottlenecks there and all of the reporting needs to suggest on top of everything else, the lack of communication is making so much more intense and makes it harder to figure out when where the aid should go and when it should happen. If they can get some kind of communication system up, generators and cell towers, the president can make that happen, that would be a great thing.

PAUL: They could make it more fluid and much smoother in terms of the way they are trying to recover there. Listen. Lieutenant General Jeffrey Buchanan talked with CBS after he took his first tour via helicopter of the damage on that island. Listen to what he said.


LT. GENERAL JEFFREY BUCHANAN, COMMANDER, UNITED STATES ARMY NORTH (FIFTH ARMY): Sometimes we don't know what is going to happen until the storm actually hits and this is the worst I've ever seen. I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a member of the Blue Party or the Green Party. I'm a soldier.

And I'm here to help people. The people here need help and we are going to give them all of the them they can get. The people of Puerto Rico are going to be very resilient and we need them to be resilient so that they can help rebuild this commonwealth and make it what it really should be. But there is going to be some parts where we are going to have to start from scratch.


PAUL: Julian, do you think the president going there on Tuesday and seeing things firsthand and possibly talking to the people there will change his mind based on what we saw from him yesterday in his tweets about the severity of what is going other and what they are trying to do?

ZELIZER: Well, it might. Sometimes presidents actually seeing the effects of a crisis firsthand can have an impact on how they see this.

[06:25:05] And it is relevant with President Trump, who is literally a visual president, whether he has seen something on tv or in person, it often can at least move him in terms of providing relief.

Again, I think I agree with Errol. I think the comments were a political choice. I don't think he is going to take that back, nor does he regret them, but beneficial aspect of the trip would be he doubles down his effort to get relief there, to get power up, to have supplies coming in at a much more rapid pace.

So, we hope that is the effect. On the other hand, that short attention span, he can move on to another issue very quickly after. This is going to be months of relief. Not simply days.

PAUL: All right. Errol Louis and Julian Zelizer, we always appreciate you sharing your input with us. Thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

LOUIS: Thank you.

PAUL: The question is, did the president's tweets attack the San Juan mayor, did they go too far? There is a former adviser to his campaign and a Democratic strategist who are joining us next to talk about the president's response and this upcoming trip to the island.

SAVIDGE: Plus the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" taking on the president's response to the devastation in Puerto Rico and the San Juan mayor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hear you loud and clear. We will get more help to you and get you immediately, probably by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, that is not good enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you should have paid your bills. FEMA takes a few days, unless you join FEMA prime!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you talking about?




CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you on a Sunday at 6:30. It is early. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.

Our breaking news this morning. O.J. Simpson is a free man. He was released from a Nevada prison early in the morning after serving nine years for armed robbery.

The Department of Corrections official says Simpson -- quote -- "Seemed happy to get on with his life."

PAUL: And of course our other major headline, the mayor of San Juan responding to President Trump's Twitter tirade. He accused the mayor of course of poor leadership that was hurting the island's recovery efforts.

Now the mayor tells CNN's Anderson Cooper she is focused on saving lives, that she doesn't have time to focus on his attacks. President Trump is going to be there in Puerto Rico on Tuesday for his first visit there since the hurricane.

SAVIDGE: Joining us now CNN political commentators Maria Cardona and Jack Kingston. Maria is a Democratic strategist who grew up in Puerto Rico and Jack was an adviser to the Trump campaign.

Jack, let me start with you. The San Juan mayor, we know about all of this, has responded to President Trump last night saying that she doesn't have time for small politics.

It's understandable. She is focused on the relief efforts. She is focused on the job.

You were representing the Georgia Coast in Congress during four hurricanes. Would you want federal officials criticizing your relief efforts if they hadn't even yet visited?

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think in terms of working together, just part of the responsibility of being an elected official is to be a little calmer, be a little more reserved in your comments.

Maria and I do agree that the tweeting back and forth and the snippiness has not been productive. I think, for example, the mayor should go to the field command office and talk to the FEMA people. Apparently she has not had time to do that but she has had time to engage in this political back and forth.

But I can say this you need to talk to the people on the ground. You need to see it.

I'm glad the president is going there. He has not gone there earlier because they are doing search and rescue. They have had to do 2,600 searches of buildings that they have recued --

SAVIDGE: Jack, I got that but I was asking about your experience because you have been in this kind of leadership role in a time of crises here in Georgia.

So would you want the White House criticizing you and telling you you're a bad leader at the time you're literally trying to save people's lives?

KINGSTON: I certainly would not, Martin. And I think that, you know, part of my role as the congressman was to talk to the mayors, talk to the FEMA people, talk to the folks on the ground and just keep my own thoughts to myself but -- to keep moving on. I visited lots of evacuation centers during Hurricane Floyd, for example, and we were lucky we missed it, but we had a huge evacuation. And then the few weeks ago, we evacuated for Irma and I talked to some of the mayors, even though I'm no longer in office.

SAVIDGE: But if you felt you weren't getting enough help it would be your responsibility to speak out on behalf of your people and that's what the mayor did.

KINGSTON: Well, it would but I would also go to the field office before I did it and I would make sure that I've touch base with everybody that I need to before I get on television and engage in that.

You know, when you have the congresswoman from Puerto Rico and the governor both praising the president as recently as yesterday, by the way, in a White House phone call, along with the governor of the Virgin Islands saying good things about the relief effort, yet, you know, whatever you feel about the president or whoever the elected official is you got to remember there's 11,800 people on the ground who are not elected official and just like the governor -- the general said I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat. I'm here to find the solution.

SAVIDGE: He also said it was the worst he had ever seen.


SAVIDGE: Maria, let me bring you in because of course you have a very personal connection to all of this.


SAVIDGE: I don't think there is a back and forth going on here. I think that the president --


SAVIDGE: -- made comments that were very critical of a mayor that is literally trying to save her people and her community.

CARDONA: That is exactly right, Martin. And the president's comments are nothing less than shameful and disgraceful and it underscores just how unfit he is to be president of the United States.


And the fact that his comments lack humanity, empathy, civility and sensitivity, though, that is par for the course for this president who believes in disparaging leaders, his massive, but fragile, ego is somehow insulted, which clearly it was. I guess he is not used to strong Latino women speaking out for the people that she is representing, and, you know, clearly this talking point of the mayor should go to the central office has become a Republican talking point because they know that the criticism is real. You know, she has been in touch daily with FEMA representatives. Perhaps she didn't have time to go to the central command office because she was waist deep in black flood water, actually trying to save the people of San Juan and the 3.5 million American citizens who are gasping for their life --


CARDONA: -- who need results and who --

SAVIDGE: Maria, before we run out of time --

CARDONA: -- and she is speaking out and actually since she has spoken out, there has been some more movement.

SAVIDGE: Let me -- let me just -- let me just ask you this.

The president is going there Tuesday, widely known. What will be the reaction? And what should he say and do when he is there?

CARDONA: He should actually try to act presidential for once in the nine months of his failure as a president of the United States. He should try to put his massive ego aside. He should try to look at the situation at hand and realize that people's lives are at stake.

He should listen to the people on the ground who are living this day in and day out. And I understand the governor and the resident commissioner. Of course, they are going to praise him.

They don't want to bite the hand that is supposed to feed them, but they also have said that things have not happened fast enough, that relief is not getting to the places where it's going. Again, the president just, I don't know why he focused on picking on the mayor of San Juan because maybe she is speaking out a little bit more forcefully, because she got pissed off when the acting head of Homeland Security talked about what a good news story Puerto Rico was when people were dying.

SAVIDGE: It was a poor choice of words.

CARDONA: So, again, Trump -- exactly -- so Trump administration needs to be a little bit more sensitive.

SAVIDGE: Jack, let me just -- let me just get a very quick response from you because you're a person who advises the campaign. What would you suggest the president do and say when he goes?

KINGSTON: Well, I'm glad he is going and I think what they want to do is as many things has worked well in Florida and in Texas and Louisiana. They need to replicate that in Puerto Rico. They need -- they have reopened --

SAVIDGE: What does the president do specifically when he goes Tuesday?

KINGSTON: I think sitting down with the elected officials, including the mayor, certainly the governor, certainly the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico. Listening to people and then talking to some of the refugees who have had to go to the evacuation center, I think is very, very important that he does that.

He has done a great job in Florida and in Texas and I think he just needs to continue that. There are 11,800 federal employees down there, 36 different agencies.

SAVIDGE: We know the numbers. We got them.

KINGSTON: It's just incredible the size of this disaster and the response is going to take months. One of the statements that the White House made yesterday, we were there before the storm, we are there now, we're going to stay there until the job is finished.

We are not satisfied we want to get it done. And that was an official White House statement yesterday.

SAVIDGE: That's the very least they would expect to hear.


SAVIDGE: I am out of time for the moment. Thank you both. Maria Cardona and Jack Kingston --

CARDONA: Thanks, Martin.

KINGSTON: Thank you, Martin.

SAVIDGE: I know we're going to come back and talk more so we'll be back in just a bit.

CARDONA: Thanks you.

SAVIDGE: Thank you.

PAUL: Well, Spanish national riot police in the Catalonia region have been blocking residents from voting. This is a controversial independence referendum that's supposed to be going on here.

Classes broke out, look at this, in one of the northern cities earlier. Police were physically preventing voters as you see from entering at least one polling station.

Spain's highest court says the vote is illegal and unconstitutional and the government vowed to shut it down. But police then broke windows and padlocks.

Look at this. They were trying to get into that building. Spain's interior minister tweeted that national police have seized ballot boxes from some polling stations.

In the run-up to the vote national authorities confiscated voting and campaign materials and sent additional national police to the region. The Catalonia president cast his vote, condemned the -- quote -- "indiscriminate aggression against voters," and praised those patiently lining up despite the Spanish government's intervention.

SAVIDGE: Well, "Saturday Night Live" is back. And it's back with another season. And they wasted no time going after President Trump -- again.

We will have all of the best highlights after this.


MELISSA VILLASENOR AS CARMEN YULIN CRUZ: I'm begging you. Puerto Rico needs your help.

ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: I hear you loud and clear and you call the best person for the job. Trust me. I know things are as the locals say, despacito.





SAVIDGE: "Saturday Night Live" is back for another season and back on President Trump's heels again.

PAUL: The sketch series returned without Baldwin's impersonation. There he is -- President Trump of criticizing San Juan's mayor and other Puerto Rican officials' response to Hurricane Maria. Take a look.


BALDWIN: We're going to get you more help to you. We'll get to you immediately probably by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

VILLASENOR: Mr. President, that's not good enough.

BALDWIN: Well, you should have paid your bills. FEMA takes a few days, unless you join FEMA prime.

VILLASENOR: What are you talking about?


SAVIDGE: CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter joins us with more.

Yes. Another season' clearly going to be a tough one for the White House.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: SNL hasn't been on for months. There is a lot of course so much that has happened since the show was on last May.


But I think it was notable they turned around such a quick sketch about the mayor of San Juan versus President Trump. You know, this just happened in the last 24, 36 hours. And SNL want to be right on the top of the news.

The show also weighed in on Tom Price's resignation as HHS secretary. So before we get to more Alec Baldwin playing Trump, here is how "Weekend Update" handled that.


COLIN JOST, COMEDIAN: Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price was forced to resign yesterday after he was caught using almost a million dollars in taxpayer money to fly on private jets.

Yes, that's cool you resigned and all. But how about pay us back the money?

You can't walk into a store --


JOST: -- you can't walk into a store and do a million dollars worth of damage and then be like, OK, I get it. I'll leave.

No, man, pay us. Besides, you can make that million back when you publish your memoir, "Oh, the places you go in a government-funded private jet."



STELTER: No shortage of material for the "Weekend Update," guys. But I mentioned Baldwin playing Trump. You know, Alec Baldwin has really come into his own as this Trump impersonator and so he is back of course on the season premiere of SNL.

And among other moments and in this kind of cold open, they talked about the other changes in the White House over the summer, all of the Friday firings. Here is that clip.


VILLASENOR: Yes. Mr. President, I'm so glad to have on the phone.

BALDWIN: I like you, Sarah. You're a straight shooter that's why you outlasted Sean Spicer, Scaramucci, Bannon, Priebus, Gorka, Flynn, Yates and Tom Price.


AIDY BRYANT AS SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Thank you, sir. I think it's because folks listen to me because I'm no-nonsense, but I'm all nonsense. (LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Well, you handled that NFL thing just great.

BRYANT: Oh, well, I'm a little embarrassed that I said it's a black and white issue. I should have said it's a black versus white issue.

BALDWIN: Disgraceful, you know? I actually love football. I could have played.

People say I remind them of an NFL player because I'm combative, I like to win and I might have a degenerative brain disease.


STELTER: There's Baldwin's impersonation.

And by the way Aidy Bryant is playing Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We're going to see a lot more of her obviously in this season. Sean Spicy Spicer played by Melissa McCarthy has sort of been retired and now Aidy Bryant come in as the press secretary character.

There was a moment toward the end of the sketch where the Trump character says I'm bending time, causing so much chaos. Things you thought happened months ago, actually happened weeks ago. Kind of playing up the idea of news overload in the Trump administration.

I suppose it makes the SNL writers' jobs difficult but also really, really interesting, right?

SAVIDGE: Yes. Absolutely. And like you, I was struck by how quickly they turned it although in some cases --


SAVIDGE: -- it kind of writes itself.

STELTER: They do. They used some of Trump's own words and then they exaggerated just a little bit.


PAUL: All right. Hey, Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

SAVIDGE: Good to see you.

PAUL: He'll be back with you later today and we will be back after a quick break. Stay close.



PAUL: The coverage of the recent storms, we have heard some inspiring stories about just everyday people pitching in to help.

SAVIDGE: This week's CNN hero found a pretty unique way to do just that.


STAN HAYS, CNN HERO: After a disaster, there's two basic needs that a person has. The first one is shelter. And the other one is nourishment.

And so barbecue, besides being a nourishing meal, is comfort food. Being able to give somebody a hot barbecue meal in one of their worst times, we not only are giving something nutritious, but we are giving them maybe a little bit of normalcy for just a short period of time.


PAUL: They need that so much. Stan and his team responded to Hurricane Harvey and Irma. They are soon hoping to send meals to Puerto Rico.

Thank you, Stan, for all you're doing. And to see Operation Barbecue Relief in action. Go to

We were just talking about SNL being back. President Trump is again the star of the show in a very different way obviously.

SAVIDGE: So we want to show you more of SNL mocking Trump's attacks on the mayor of San Juan.


BALDWIN: Yes, mayor, you wanted to talk to me?

VILLASENOR: Yes. Mr. President, I'm so glad to have you on the phone.

I'm begging you Puerto Rico needs your help.

BALDWIN: I hear you loud and clear and you called the best person for the job. Trust me I know things are as the locals say, despacito.

We're going to get you more help to you. We'll get to you immediately probably by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

VILLASENOR: Mr. President, that's not good enough.

BALDWIN: Well, you should have paid your bills. FEMA takes a few days, unless you join FEMA prime.

VILLASENOR: What are you talking about?

BALDWIN: Madam, I don't know if you know this but you're in an island in the water. The ocean water, big ocean with fishies and bubbles and turtle that bite.

We want to help you but we have to take care of America first.

VILLASENOR: Wait you do know that we're a U.S. territory, don't you?

BALDWIN: I mean I do, but not many people know that, no.

VILLASENOR: Sir, we just need help. Please.

BALDWIN: That woman was so nasty.


SAVIDGE: Once again showing just how quickly the writers of SNL can capitalize on the headlines in the news.

PAUL: Yes. Whatever is going on. My goodness.

All right. Well, coming up we have some breaking news. As you were probably still hitting the hay, in bed, O.J. Simpson was released from jail.

That is him right there. Do you recognize him? We are talking to his personal friend and a physician about what is next now that he is a free man.


He says he wants to go back to Florida, but Florida says we don't want him here.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

SAVIDGE: Breaking news this morning out of Edmonton, Canada.

The police were calling two incidents that injured five people acts of terrorism.

PAUL: Edmonton's police chief says an officer was directing traffic. He was hit by a car travelling at a high speed and a driver then got out of the car they were driving and stabbed the officer multiple times before running away.


Later there was a separate incident. Police pulled over a driver of a U-Haul with a similar name to that of the suspect in the first incident.