Return to Transcripts main page
Tropical Storm Barry Is Dumping Bucket After Bucket Of Rain All Across The Deep South; I.C.E. Will Begin Raids This Sunday Targeting Some 2,000 People Who Already Have Court Orders To Be Removed; Epstein's Attorneys Propose A $77 Million Bail Package. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired July 11, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me. People are kayaking in the streets of New Orleans right now as Tropical Storm Barry is dumping bucket after bucket of rain all across the deep south.
And if you look really closely here, there is a guy actually look at this swimming down Canal Street. More on why that is a really bad idea in just a second. But for right now, four million people are under flash flood watches across the southeast. And the greatest concern is in Louisiana, where the governor there has declared a state of emergency and mandatory evacuations have been ordered into Louisiana parishes with more orders likely forthcoming.
Tropical Storm Barry is expected to become Category 1 Hurricane Barry by late Friday or early Saturday. And of course, anyone who remembers the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina knows that rising water in New Orleans can be deadly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D-LA): Right now we believe that any overtopping of the levees would be relatively short duration of about 12 hours, but that is still a very, very significant hazard. And so we're asking everyone to take this very seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in that CNN Severe Weather Center for us. You just got a fresh update on this storm, what are you seeing?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so the good news is no major changes with the update that just came out at two o'clock. We're still sitting at winds at about 40 miles per hour gusting up to 50.
And again, focus on the slow forward movement. It's only moving west at five miles per hour. And here's the thing, that forward speed really isn't expected to pick up all that much before landfall. And that's why we anticipate a lot of rain to fall because the longer period of time the storm has to ride over these places, the more rain it can dump during that timeframe.
We do expect the storm to intensify over the next 48 hours right before it makes landfall. So there is still the potential. It could perhaps get into a low-end Category 1 storm right before landfall. Yes, that means the winds could increase up to around 75 miles per hour. But the main concern here with this particular storm is really going to be the rain.
Here's a look at the forecast further, you can see some of those outer bands will continue to start to spin later on this evening. And especially into Friday, when we start to see that storm approach. That's when you're going to start to notice some of those heavier bands, not only begin to move into Louisiana, but other Gulf Coast states, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, even Texas as well.
Rain again, I cannot emphasize this enough, it's going to be the main concern. When you look at how much rain is expected to fall over the next several days, you're talking widespread amounts of around five to eight inches of rain, but it's not out of the question, especially along the coastal regions to pick up perhaps a as over a foot of rain. Here's the reason why this is important.
The Mississippi River is already at very high levels. In some cases, you still have numerous gauges that are in the moderate flood stage. Right here. This is the Mississippi River at New Orleans, it is expected to get up to 19 feet. That's where it is expect to crest on Saturday.
Keep in mind the record is only 21 feet. So you're talking within two feet of the record because of all this additional rainfall. In fact, Jeffrey, one of the National Weather Service meteorologists that's down in that area said quote, "This is the first time we've had a tropical system with water levels on the river this high." That's why this is unfortunately going to be such a big problem, Brooke, because the river is already high, and now you're adding even more water on top of it.
BALDWIN: Yes, we're going to keep talking about that. And we'll stay in close contact with you. Allison, thank you. More on the danger posed by those floodwaters that Allison was just describing, you know, of course beyond the potential drowning risks, these waters can be actually toxic. And that is just for starters.
DJ Sprenger, is with Team Rubicon, a disaster relief team that pairs military veterans with first responders to help in natural disasters. We love Team Rubicon. So DJ, it's nice to have you on. Thank you so much.
DJ SPRENGER, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT TEAM RUBICON : Thanks for having me, Brooke.
BALDWIN: So, we got this -- we have this video up or we had it up a second ago of the guy swimming on Canal Street, which just even imagine, you know, all of the water that it would take you see sort of where the traffic light is. I mean, this is the situation in New Orleans right now. How dangerous is that, DJ? SPRENGER: Yes, so residents really should be avoiding the flood water
if at all possible. Flood water can be toxic and contaminated with human or livestock waste. If a residential area like this one floods, the water can potentially contain household chemicals, cleaning agents, or other industrial chemicals that can be dangerous to humans.
Additionally, in a hurricane or tropical storm situation with high winds. There could also be power lines down in the water, which can charge the water and lead to electrocution if you step in. So it's pretty dangerous stuff.
BALDWIN: In some cases, people feel that they cannot avoid it. If they're in the water they get out of the water, and you described how toxic it can be. How do you -- what do you advise them to do?
SPRENGER: Yes, so if you absolutely have to get in the water, just take every possible steps you can to mitigate the risks. Wear tall rubber boots, waders, goggles, gloves. Try and cover every piece of skin possible. If you have an open wound, make sure that it's covered.
[14:10:08] SPRENGER: And then try to just avoid any kind of submersion in the water because you can get pretty nasty infections. Be aware of your surroundings. Check for down power lines or other obstacles that may be in the water before you step into it.
And residents, really listen to local authorities, if they issue warnings or evacuation orders. They don't take these situations lightly. And they only issue these if they think that a significant threat exists to the community.
BALDWIN: And, you know, the conversation around floodwaters and levees and the city of New Orleans is obviously taken incredibly seriously. Just given what we saw many years ago with Katrina. I don't know how familiar you are with the city. Do you know how much they've been improved or what the limits are?
SPRENGER: I don't, that's not something I'm privy on.
BALDWIN: No worries. What's your last bit of advice for people in the area?
SPRENGER: Just continue to keep an eye on the storm. Continue to listen to local authorities as they issue warnings for evacuation orders. If your power goes out, try and have a backup. Whether a radio where you can listen to the weather service.
SPRENGER: And then just take every precaution possible if you have to go into the water.
BALDWIN: DJ Sprenger with Team Rubicon, thank you very much. I want to switch gears and talk immigration -- the immigration crackdown that many fear will break up hundreds of families across the country. I.C.E. will begin raids this Sunday targeting some 2,000 people who
already have court orders to be removed. These are the same raids that were planned for late last month, but then the President put them on hold.
Trump said that he delayed them at the request of Democrats to give the two parties a little bit of time to solve the loopholes in the asylum process. But today's Speaker Nancy Pelosi credited Hispanic faith leaders for stopping the first planned crackdown, and she's hoping they will step in again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Basically they were very concerned that this goes too far. Because these raids were not what they signed up for with President Trump. And I think their calls to the President made a difference.
Basically, what they said to me is on Sunday, this is Hispanic evangelicals. On Sunday, west of the Mississippi, our people are in church. And as they prepare to go to church, they feel very threatened and scared by these raids. So hopefully, the President will think again about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: However, one of the President's top immigration officials said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN CUCCINELI, ACTING DIRECTOR, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES: They are absolutely going to happen. There's approximately a million people in this country with removal orders. And of course, that isn't what I.C.E. will go after in this but that's the pool of people who've been all the way through the due process chain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Many undocumented families are not taking any chances, learning from the raids last year. One mother has been seeking refuge inside a church. A location I.C.E. has a policy of not entering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDITH ESPINAL, HAS SPENT 2 YEARS HIDING FROM I.C.E. INSIDE A CHURCH: I want to keep fighting -- fighting more because this administration try to attack people like me, people like me -- to fighting for our case, to fighting for -- stay with our families.
Caitlin Dickerson is a National Immigration reporter for "The New York Times." And James Hayes is a retired Special Agent in charge at I.C.E. and Homeland Security Investigations. He was also a border patrol agent. So thank you both so much for being with me. And Caitlin, let me just pivot to you first, because you and your colleagues broke the story for "The Times" on Sunday. And it's my understanding from reading your report, that agents may arrest more than just people with these removal orders. So talk to me about that, and what this will even look like?
CAITLIN DICKERSON, NATIONAL IMMIGRATION REPORTER FOR "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Sure so with any operation that I.C.E. conducts, they go out with a particular target in mind. But what we're seeing more and more -- but which has always been the case is that collateral, what they call collateral arrests occur.
So that's a case where for example, they go to someone's house, they're allowed inside, they arrest that person, but they find other undocumented people, friends or family members, all of those people are going to have their statuses checked and they very well may be arrested. Likely, will be arrested if they're discovered to be undocumented, regardless of whether they were on that agents list of targets ahead of time.
As far as what it might look like. This means picking up parents and children. And so we wrote that lots of agents have expressed concern about that.
BALDWIN: Apprehensive, was the word you used, right?
DICKERSON: Exactly. Because picture it, it's agents who are picking up babies, who are picking up young children, and loading them into squad cars. And as agents have found in the past these types of operations can be very contentious. They can escalate very quickly and be dangerous.
And so, agents worry about their own liability. It's a very stressful sort of thing to try to approach but it's important for the President to show a force that he wants to demonstrate.
BALDWIN: I want to come back to the show of force, but Jim, you're the perfect person to ask.
[14:10:05] BALDWIN: I mean, put yourself in the shoes of these agents, right, who are who are going to these various homes and if they come upon babies or small children and to Caitlin's point, they are apprehensive. What would you do? What should they do?
JAMES HAYES, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE AT I.C.E. AND HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS: Well, I've been in those operations. I've led those operations, those types of investigations, they are generally very well planned out. There's a plan of what to do. When a family unit is encountered, where they will go. There are counselors available generally.
What makes this, quite frankly, a more dangerous situation is the continued, repeated fact that this information is getting out to the public. In advance of it, the administration has talked, rightly so about the danger it poses to those I.C.E. personnel involved in those operations.
But quite frankly, it poses a danger to everybody involved the target howdy operation, in terms of letting people know that there's going to be an operation conducted beginning on this day. This was the major issue, I think, with the first announcement of this operation.
And so, you have people who may be there sympathizes with people who are targets, but quite frankly, they could be presenting a more dangerous situation to both targets as well as members of those communities.
Do you think Caitlyn, that this will deter families at the border if they hear about these immigration raids in U.S. cities?
DICKERSON: That's always the question with a new deterrent strategy that's introduced, and it's always so difficult to anticipate. I think the reality is that the calculation that families make in Central America, when they're deciding whether to come to the United States is complicated, and there are a lot of factors involved. So it really depends how dangerous or how unsafe, how unhealthy the circumstances that they're trying to flee are and how that weighs up against the possibility of being arrested.
BALDWIN: How they weigh those -- what they're fleeing and what they're going to. Jim, immigration advocates have been preparing for some time to your point against raids like these, right?
So one group is telling immigrants not to open the door if there is just a deportation warrant, not to say anything and to record what's happening if they're not in a federal facility. What are the rules for agents regarding execution of these deportation orders?
HAYES: Well, agents in most of these cases have administrative warrants. And that's not going to permit them to force an entry into a home. But similarly, people can hide in their house or in a church forever. And the problem here is: One, the lack of focus and resources that are dedicated to the border. And two, you've had a focus by the immigration courts over the last 10 months on family units.
They have opened 60,000 cases -- 10,000 cases have been closed in the last 10 months. Of those 10,000 cases, 87 percent have been dispositioned within absentia orders of deportation.
These people aren't showing up for court. They've really left the government absolutely no choice but to conduct these types of operations. To enforce the sovereignty of the United States.
BALDWIN: James Hayes and Caitlin Dickerson, thank you both very much for your expertise and knowledge on the issue. We will follow it.
Meantime, breaking news in the Jeffrey Epstein case. His attorneys have proposed a plan to get him out of jail a deal worth -- wait for it $77 million. We will talk about the details behind that absolutely stunning number.
And, Joe Biden lays out his approach to foreign policy today, blasting President Trump in the process. How he plans to deal with dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. And a murder mystery on the Greek island of Crete, the body of an
American scientist found in a Nazi bunker used during World War II. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We will be right back.
14:18:39 BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin, a stunning proposal today coming from the attorneys of wealthy financier, Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of operating a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls in New York.
Epstein's attorneys have proposed a $77 million bail package that would include in home detention at his Upper East Side townhome which is one of the largest in the entire city of Manhattan. But prosecutors have said that they want Epstein to remain in jail pending trial.
CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz is back with us today and joining us Jennifer Taub law professor at Vermont law school. And so Shimon, $77 million.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE: Stunning.
BALDWIN: Holy moly.
PROKUPECZ: I mean, basically, he's giving up everything he has to try and get out of jail. And it's more than $77 million. When you look at everything.
BALDWIN: What else?
PROKUPECZ: $77 million is just the home, right? So then we're talking about electronic monitoring. They're saying, look, we'll put security guards in his home. We will do whatever you need us to do. We will get telephone. He'll call the court every time something's going on. He's offering his jet. It's probably worth, you know, at least $10 or $20 million.
His brother -- his brother is offering his home in Palm Beach as collateral as well. They're also offering money. If the court says -- if the judge says, "Look, I want you to put up another $20 million." They're willing to do that they say.
So, this is really a stunning package. I mean, you don't see this every day. Obviously, we're dealing with a very different kind of defendant, someone who's extremely wealthy, has a lot of property.
[14:20:06] PROKUPECZ: And they're saying, "Hey, we want him out and we'll do whatever we need to do to secure that he comes back to court," you know, when he has to come back.
BALDWIN: What does it say to you, as the legal mind that his lawyers are trying this hard and offering up this much to make sure he doesn't stay in jail.
JENNIFER TAUB, LAW PROFESSOR AT VERMONT LAW SCHOOL: They really have to, because this is a very high hurdle for them to overcome. The way the bail law works in federal cases, is that someone in this case, who's been charged with sex trafficking of children, doesn't get the same treatment as other types of offenders.
His lawyers have to overcome the presumption that there are absolutely no conditions to let him out before trial, that would make him not a danger to the community or not a flight risk.
BALDWIN: But isn't he -- I mean, look at how he was arrested, like, how was he not a flight risk still?
TAUB: Yes, I mean, I think he appears to be both a flight risk and a danger to the community for these reasons. He has these planes, he has apparently unlimited sources of cash, they've offered to ground the planes. But what happens if he just walks out of his apartment gets -- you know, in a car and takes -- once he's out of the jurisdiction, there's not much --
BALDWIN: Doesn't he own an Island in Caribbean, and like hop on somebody else's plane.
PROKUPECZ: Those are great questions and that's something that a judge is going to ask, because they are saying -- they are anticipating these questions. And that's why they're saying, we're going to hire security guards,
we're paying for security guards to stay in his home with him and watch him and make sure he doesn't leave.
We're paying for electronic monitors. We're going to pay for phone service. We're going to do everything we can to make sure -- it's all going to be -- in the end, it's going to be a hard argument for them.
TAUB: And this judge in particular, as Adam Klasfeld of Court House News pointed out, has previously faced a similarly wealthy defendant accused of money laundering, who wanted to have private security guards, and he was very vocal about how it makes it look, how there are two systems of justice, one for the wealthy, and one for ordinary people who cannot possibly hire security guards.
BALDWIN: Did he grant bail? No, okay.
TAUB: But he flipped and ended up getting a lighter sentence.
BALDWIN: Okay. Before I let you go, I would need to ask about the President today, because he's expected to announce this Executive Order on executive action to add that citizenship question to the census, despite last month's Supreme Court ruling. If he signs it, where does this go?
TAUB: If he signs that, I believe it will be back in court again, and it will be challenged. But so much depends upon the reason he gives. But fundamentally, I think one of the strongest challenges is that the enumeration, the census is the province of Congress. And as the court said in its recent decision, it was okay for the
Department of Commerce to work on this question, right, because they had delegated authority from Congress. I'm suspicious that the court will not stand for the President using an executive order for something like this.
But then separately, we have the reasoning and that will also likely be challenged for the same reasons the Commerce Secretary was for being pro-textual and pro-discrimination.
BALDWIN: Okay. We'll watch for that coming from the President, a little later. Guys, thank you very much.
TAUB: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Just in, we are getting word that turbulence has injured 35 people on an Air Canada flight. We are now hearing from passengers. We'll standby for details there. And would you believe, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and President Trump are on the same side of at least one issue -- the job performance of Fed Chairman Jay Powell. Wait until you hear the latest praise from Team Trump.
[14:28:01] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN, the most trusted name in news.
BALDWIN: President Trump's top Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow today, heaping praise on New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez during a Fox News interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: I want to note, in the hearings last -- yesterday with Fed Chairman Jay Powell. It was Ms. AOC who asked him about the Phillips Curve. Why is rising growth and employment and low unemployment bad? Why does that cause inflation and higher interest rates?
And Jay Powell says, well, you're right that thing hasn't worked in decades. Now, I have got to give her high marks for that. Nobody in life is all good or all bad and I have got to give the hats off Ms. AOC kind of nailed that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Kudlow added that he hopes to sit down with AOC and quote, "talk about supply side economics very soon." CNN business and politics correspondent Christina Alesci is with me now. And, did you ever think in a million years, you would have seen that?
CHRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Economic geeks everywhere were kind of turning their heads this morning because this is highly unusual. And I can't imagine that a AOC is thrilled about this because she certainly doesn't want to seem aligned with Trump's economic policies. I mean, the two sides couldn't be further apart. She's in favor of
spending more to help the poor, government spending wise. She's in favor of raising the minimum wage. She's supporting the green new deal which the administration is called economically disastrous.
So here's what's going on. And I'm not going to nerd out too much on this one, but essentially, what is going on is that they -- both of them are trying to debunk this long held economic theory in order to justify greater deficits and greater government spending.
The difference between the two is Kudlow wants to spend on tax cuts, arguably that the left is saying benefit the rich and AOC wants to spend it on government programs but they -- the reasons are different, but debunking this one economic theory would help them justify --