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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  September 11, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, irma turns its fury on georgia and the rest of the southeast, after leaving much of florida under water and without power. then, across the caribbean, scenes of devastation and the struggles to bring aid to the region's islands. >> we went through our rubble and found like a thing of peanut butter and some crackers and biscuits and stuff, but we-- it's not going to keep us much longer. >> woodruff: plus, i sit down with new jersey governor chris christie to talk fighting the opioid epidemic as a national crisis, and vital lessons from rebuilding after another hurricane, sandy. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the storm that was once hurricane "irma" is churning into the deep south tonight, after moving up the entire peninsula of florida. it lost more of its punch today, but not before it left at least 34 dead across the caribbean and five more in florida and georgia, more than 7 million power customers in the dark, across florida, and a growing tally of damage, including in some cities like jacksonville
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where flood waters have been surging. p.j. tobia begins our coverage of what's happening statewide. >> reporter: the sun rose on vast stretches of coastal florida, waterlogged and still without power, after the howling winds and lashing rain of hurricane irma ravaged the state yesterday. irma's power weakened to a tropical storm earlier today as it churned across the florida panhandle. it's on track to sweep through georgia before veering west toward alabama. those states were scrambling to prepare. the national guard was on the scene in this orlando community where homes were inundated with murky floodwaters. other residents waded through knee-deep water to see the damage for themselves. like many areas of florida, this pine hills neighborhood regularly experiences flooding. but despite days of planning and pumping thousands of gallons from nearby lake, county officials say they've never seen water levels this high. rescues were also underway in jacksonville as the storm battered that area today.
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>> we have search and rescue teams ready to deploy. something that represents a white flag that can be viewed from the street if you are in this very isolated and very specific flood threat, which is along the river. >> reporter: governor rick scott deployed state resources to help. >> in jacksonville and northeast florida, storm surge is three to five feet on top of more than a foot of rainfall, which is causing record and historical flooding along the st. johns river. jose is also pushing water into northern part of our state >> reporter: one major issue throughout the state: no power for millions of homes and businesses. hundreds of trucks from power companies around the country arrived in florida today to aid the effort to restore electricity, but authorities warned that it could take weeks. in some places, the damage was far worse.
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in naples, some roads were made impassable by the floodwaters, others by downed trees. whole neighborhoods in fort myers were inundated. some people there sought shelter in a hockey arena, only to see the water come seeping in. >> irma went over. oh, good, we survived. and then all of a sudden, i guess some of the panels came off the roof and we started getting water pouring down in different places. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of floridians are still in shelters as they wait for the all-clear to return home. one woman's family rode out the storm in their pasco county home. she vowed it would be the last time. >> i would not stay for another one. the intensity, not knowing what could happen, flying debris, a tree. i would not stay. thankfully we're ok, but in the future, no. >> reporter: people in the tampa and st. petersburg area had been bracing for their first major hurricane in one hundred years. but irma's wind speeds had dropped by the time it struck there overnight.
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irma first made landfall in the florida keys as a roaring category four hurricane. after the storm rolled past, the keys lay eerily still: trailers and boats overturned, roadways washed away, and few signs of life as communications with the mainland remained authorities began door-to-door searches today for anyone stranded on the keys. the state's eastern coastline was also blasted by the storm. through streets in miami's of water rushed through miami's downtown boulevards yesterday, it was hard to tell where the city ended and the bay began. but today, the floodwaters had mostly receded. entry to miami beach was still cut off as officials began to clear debris and assess the damage there. >> the biggest thing that we want our residents to understand is that it is still dangerous to be out in the street. and for us to clean streets and do so in a safe way, it is best to not have people driving around, so if you really don't >> reporter: in coastal brevard county, an entire chunk of roadway caved in. south florida's airports remain closed, and thousands of flights were cancelled today. there were also disruptions at
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the world's biggest airport, atlanta's hartsfield-jackson, as the storm heads in its direction. georgia governor nathan deal said the forecast looked better for the state's coastal areas, but issued a warning. >> we urge you to not get on the roads until you have been given clearance so that we do not have the kind of confusion that could result from a mass exodus. >> reporter: meanwhile, cuba is reeling after irma plowed over its coastline on friday as a category five hurricane. >> ( translated ): we never thought the floodwaters could rise to such a height. the water in our house was as high as to here at the beginning, and then it almost rose to the height of my neck. >> reporter: power is still out in most of cuba's capital, havana. here in orlando and across central fra, curfews are being lifted in different counties as the state begins the long and difficult slog of rebuilding
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from hurricane irma. judy? >> woodruff: you have been talking to people who live in the community. what are they telling you? >> reporter: folks, if they've had damage done to their properties, they're just thankful they're alive and families are safe. when those things are destroyed, it is, after all, they say, just stuff. i was covering hurricane harvey in houston last week and it's a similar sentiment. today we were in a neighborhood and saw people rescued by high-water vehicles because their houses were flooded out and their houses were going to be total losses. as they got down from the vehicles, they would say, those are just things, thank god i'm okay, the people i care about are okay and pretty soon we're going to get through the process of rebuilding and we're looking forward to that future. >> woodruff: it is remarkable the character that comes out at a time like this. you're telling us there are people who have come from orlando -- come to orlando from other places such as the florida
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keys which have truly been dealt a huge amount of damage. what are they concerned about? >> reporter: i got here thursday, and since that dime i have been talking to a lot of folks from the keys who came up. they call themselves hard conks. it's a different kind of lifestyle there. many never evacuated for a storm before but they knew hurricane irma was going to be different. at first, many were just happy to be out of the storm's path and were hoping it would pass quickly. now the pictures and images are starting to come out of their hometowns in places like key largo and the total devastation that's happened to their homes and neighborhoods. a lot of worry written on their face about fear about what they'll find when they get home and they're really trying to get home soon. >> woodruff: and i guess the forecast is it's going to take some time to take care of the damage to make it a place where you can travel much less inhabitable. so p.j., are people there looking for government help, local help?
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are they saying we can do this on our own? >> it's a little bit of both. in talking with county and city officials in different places we have been, we've criss-crossed this part of central florida from the atlantic to the gulf coast talking to mayors and other officials. they say it's going to be a combination in places like tampa when i was there on saturday, the mayor said they have a rainy day fund for such just an event. so they will be looking to the federal government but also the state government for help in that regard. for people in orlando and this neighborhood, you know, they're without power right now, and it's really in the hands of the city to turn the lights back on. the city's told them it may be weeks before the lights come back on. >> woodruff: and that will be a test for all of them. well, we're wishing them the very best. p.j., thank you for your hard work today and in the last days there in florida, thank you. >> reporter: thanks so much,
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judy. >> woodruff: the eye of irma passed right over naples, florida. it knocked out power and water and downed phone lines. bill barnett is mayor of naples. we spoke on the phone a short time ago. mayor bill barnett of naples, thanks for talking with us. you've said naples was spared, that the 15-foot storm surge did not materialize. but we've seen pictures of pretty significant damage. >> yeah, judy, we have really taken a hit, and, you know, i have said that we didn't get that storm surge that was predicted by pretty much everyone, and that's a blessing, but driving around the neighborhoods in naples and seeing stop signs uprooted, we had just put new road signs, street signs in, and to see them uprooted, coconut palms that are stately just lying across roads.
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you just kind of shake your head when you drive by a street, and the people are -- you know, our citizens are out there trying to move palm fronds and the city staff are certainly out there with all the emergency crews, utilities and streets and storm water and everything you can imagine. >> woodruff: i think i read you had winds up to 130 miles an hour. that's pretty hard to prepare for. what is the main thing that you need as a community right now? >> that the one -- that's a one-word answer, power. the last count i heard was 6 million floridians without power from one end of the state to the other. but i will tell you, it's a harsh realization, whether you're a mayor or whomever or
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whatever your responsibility, is to go for a day or two or three without the necessities that we're all so used to. i mean, just plan ago meal -- just planning a meal, no grocery stores are open. we did get a 7-11 that opened up, and it's very tough to deal with, especially with this heat. >> woodruff: i was curious to know, any lessons learned? do you feel you did all you could ahead of time to get ready? >> we did. we really pre-prepared well, not only from the beginning where the first hint this storm might get to florida and then, as it was tracking toward florida, our people early evacuated which was great. i think harvey was a real wakeup call. as you said, when this thing came roaring through here and we had gusts of 143 miles an hour
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yesterday, it was very -- it was scary. and today is just, you know, kind of an emotional day. i go out there and i see everybody pitching in and working. we've got a small crew even at city hall which is open. so lessons learned. every hurricane, you're going to learn something. >> woodruff: mayor bill barnett, i know the country is watching and wishing you and everyone in the naples community and the entire state of florida the best. >> thank you, take care. bye-bye. >> woodruff: moving up florida's gulf coast, the tampa/st. petersburg area feared a massive storm surge from irma. thankfully, it was spared the worst, but there are challenges, especially, as we've heard, when it comes to power and planning for future hurricanes. i also spoke by phone late today with tampa's mayor bob buckhorn. mayor bob buckhorn, thank you for talking with us. so how much of this storm did tampa get? >> not nearly as much as we thought we were going to get, judy.
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this could have been a knock-out punch for us. instead, it was just a glancing blow. we've got a lot of winds and rain. there's a lot of debris on the ground, trees are falling down, but the surge did not occur for which we are eternally grateful. the crews are clearing the streets now. the lingering issue is the power that's out and might be out for a couple of days in some cases. >> woodruff: what are the main things you're dealing with? >> predominantly power. we have been at it since about 3:00 this morning when our police crews starred checking every street. we deployed about a thousand officers yesterday, and, so, we got a good analysis of what was wrong, where the standing water was, where the trees were down, where the power lines were down, and much to our surprise, it was not nearly as bad as we thought it was going to be. no surge to any extent. the flooding was almost minimal. so the only remaining issue is
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the power outages and, you know, that's going to be a big issue. there will be folks who will be inconvenienced for a couple of days which, as you know in tampa in the middle of september, is not a pleasant thing. >> woodruff: no, it's not. we know some analysis has been pointed out to us that's gone back several years, experts saying tampa is one of the most unprepared cities in the country to deal with a major hurricane in terms of the fact that you're at sea level, that you have so much water so close. do you think the city was as prepared as it could have been? >> i do. some of those things that were referenced in that story were not of our making. some of it is the fact we are a low-lying city right on the bay. our infrastructure is like any other in america, it's aging. it's 100-year-old pipes trying to deal with 2017 growth. i think in terms of our preparation and our ability to
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react to this storm, i think we're in great shape. even though we haven't been hit in 90 years, judy, we train for this all year long because we know at some point our number is up. i thought a day ago our number was up, so we were ready. we were deployed, had assets deployed, we had our people ready. our command posts had been up and running for three days. i think if it had been a cat 3, 4, 5, we would have reacted the same as we did. fortunately, it was not. but, you know, there are some things we can't fix here that mother nature has given us, but, you know, in terms of infrastructure and hardening of our infrastructure, those are things that this country needs to have a discussion about and, certainly, if the president is interested in helping america's mayors, an infrastructure bill would be needed and these storms are a great indication of why it's needed. >> woodruff: i know a lot of people are talking about that right now. quickly, finally, how long do
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you think it will take to clean tampa up, get it back in the shape it was in? >> i think we will have the place cleaned up over the next two days, and i think back to normal. i think schools are closed tomorrow, but city hall is open. i think the power will be an issue and that will be a function of how quickly all of those out of state linemen can get into the state to help their sister utility companies get this power hooked up again. >> woodruff: the mayor of tampa, florida, bob buckhorn. we thank you very much and we're so glad along with you it wasn't worse than it was. >> well, thank the countries for their prayers, judy. >> woodruff: meanwhile, across the caribbean, at least three dozen people are dead in irma's wake. officials are struggling to get aid to the region's islands, devastated by what was then a category 5 storm. in the british virgin islands, thousands have no electricity or shelter. that's where penny marshall of independent television news picks up our coverage.
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>> reporter: these paradise islands now look like an alien landscape. nature has been scorched, every tree on the island stripped of its leaves. and the infrastructure's been destroyed. every building on the island, blown apart. >> most every people have their part of their home destroyed. >> reporter: felicitor moses survived by hiding in a cupboard. his house did not. so what were you doing when you were in the cupboard? >> praying to almighty god for this one piece to stay around to shelter, to save us. >> reporter: but now all hope is with the british, whose help has just arrived. royal marines are spreading out across the islands to re- establish order. extra police have also been flown in from other parts of the caribbean. and if there was a delay getting help in here, there is now a clear urgency about trying to get it out to those who need it most. but those who can't wait are desperate to fly out to safety.
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families are sheltering at the airport, waiting for places on planes that so far haven't come. heather robinson and her baby son luke are waiting. they've lost everything. >> i mean, our house literally got sucked away from around us. >> reporter: you have nothing left? everything you own is gone? >> everything. >> reporter: this is all that's left of your home? their entire worldly possessions have been reduced to one black bin bag. they nearly died. luke survived strapped to his mother. you must be desperate to get ut? >> yeah, i mean, i'm really scared. like, we went through our rubble and found like a thing of peanut butter and some crackers and biscuits and stuff, but we-- it's not going to keep us much longer. >> reporter: this pregnant island restaurant owner is also desperate to get to the safety of britain. >> i'm not able to help right now so i may as well get out don't become a problem. like, if i go into early labor, then someone has to look after
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me and that's not fair. >> reporter: those who had little here now have nothing. and those with more are worried about how long the recovery is going to take and how much help they're going to get from the british. with most of the island's tourist marinas also obliterated, this place has lost its main source of income too. the pace of the aid operation is picking up. but the planes need to come back again and again if this british protectorate is to get the help it needs to recover. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the death toll from last week's powerful earthquake in mexico has risen to at least 96. authorities also say 2.5 million people are in need of food, water and electricity. the 8.1 magnitude quake struck friday near mexico's border with guatemala. it damaged at least 12,000 homes, and that number is
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expected to rise. today was the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and somber ceremonies honored the nearly 3,000 people who died that day. in new york, thousands gathered at ground zero, former site of the world trade center, for the annual reading of victims' names. in washington, president trump laid a wreath at the memorial to the pentagon victims and later, sounded a warning. >> the terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit. but america cannot be intimidated, and those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle. >> woodruff: meanwhile, vice president pence took part in an observance for victims of the passenger jet that crashed near shanksville, pennsylvania. he hailed the "courage and sacrifice" of those on flight 93 who fought the hijackers.
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18 egyptian police officers were killed and seven wounded today when islamic state militants ambushed their convoy. it happened on the sinai peninsula, part of egypt that borders israel and gaza. the militants used roadside bombs to destroy four armored vehicles. then, gunmen opened fire with machine guns after commandeering a police pickup truck. the united nations is voting on new sanctions against north korea. it's a watered-down resolution that doesn't include u.s. demands to ban all oil imports to pyongyang, and freeze the the sanctions do ban imports of natural gas liquids, and they cap imports of crude. they also bar exports of all textiles. california is the latest state to sue the trump administration over its decision to end the daca program. the lawsuit filed today charges it's unconstitutional to rescind the presidential memorandum that
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shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation. california is home to one in every four daca participants. u.s. supreme court justice anthony kennedy has ordered the president's travel ban on refugees to stay in place, at least, temporarily. a lower court ruling could have allowed another 24,000 to enter the country, but the u.s. justice department appealed. the department did not appeal another part of the ruling. it exempts grandparents and other relatives from the ban on entries from six muslim countries. and, on wall street, stocks rallied after reports that hurricane "irma's" destruction in florida is not as bad as initially feared. the dow jones industrial average gained 259 points to close at 22,057. the nasdaq rose 72, and the s&p 500 added 26. still to come on the newshour: new jersey governor chris christie on the opioid epidemic and lessons learned from
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superstorm sandy. refugees on the greek island of lesbos in desperate need of mental health treatment. >> woodruff: it was five years ago this fall when hurricane sandy slammed into the northeastern united states, leaving a death toll in the u.s. alone of more than 150 people. by the end, 24 states were affected; damages totaled over $70 billion, and it all happened at the height of the 2012 presidential election. new jersey was the site of landfall for what became known as superstorm sandy and what developed into a defining moment for that state's governor, chris christie. today, governor christie is also leading the response to a different national emergency as head of the white house
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commission on combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis. and governor christie joins me now. governor, welcome to the "newshour". >> hi, judy. >> woodruff: thank you for being here. we know irma the storm is still wreaking havoc on the southeastern u.s., but based on what you've seen in your own experience, do you believe that government at all levels have done everything they could have to prepare for that storm? >> yeah, looks like governor scott worked well with the feral government and local authorities to get millions of people evacuated which is the first challenge for a governor, then to have the shelters ready to be able to house people as many as need that type of housing, and then the next challenges are going to come as the storm dissipates and they see what it's wrought and how to recover. >> woodruff: do you believe there is going to be aid for florida and other states that need it in a way that aid was not necessarily there sometimely
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sometime -- timely after sandy? >> i hope they've learned their lesson in congress. it appears they did by how quickly they voted for hurricane harvey aid for texas, even though those folks were not nearly as quick to get that aid to the northeast as a result of superstorm sandy. i hope they've learned the lesson and the mistake is never repeated because it set back recovery here much more than it had to and caused anxiety among people that is completely understand necessary. as a nation when we have a national emergency like this one, we need to stand together and help each other regardless of what region of the country we come from, what political party we're in or philosophy we follow. >> woodruff: we know federal dollars are scarce, governor. is there a formula for how much after a natural disaster like this is the federal government's responsibility, state's responsibility, private citizens responsibility?
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>> most of it is the federal government's responsibility. most with private insurance and other means will not necessarily be able to access government programs which are meant for those most truly in need. but infrastructure needs rebuilt and other things that regardless of your economic level you need to have for your state to be able to operate. i think this has always been predominantly a federal government responsibility. states will contribute, but a lot of states like florida and texas now, their economies will be damaged by this storm and their tax revenues will be lower at the local and state level. so all this moves us towards the need for a federal response, and there's no doubt that this is one of the things federal government is there for, to deal with the health, safety and well fair of the american people. so i don't think congress will hesitate to be able to put the funds in place that are necessary to rebuild what's been destroyed in houston and in florida. >> woodruff: i want to ask you about the other crisis you're very much involved in and that's
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the opioid crisis gripping the country, chairing the president's commission. you urged the president to declare national emergency back in the middle of summer. he eventually did that. took a while for it to happen, but he did. it's now been over a month. i think a number of people are starting to ask where are the results, what is going to happen as a result of declaring this emergency, where is the action? >> well, judy, i was just at the white house last week to discuss this with the president's senior staff. i know they are focused on putting a number of the recommendations that the commission has made in their interim report into place. i'm anxious to see that happen like everyone else because i think what we're going to hear pretty soon, judy, is in 2016 we had over 60,000 americans die of a drug overdose. this is much greater than the aids epidemic in terms of numbers. this is more than automobile accidents kill folks every year. this is an extraordinary crisis in our country's history, and
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i'm anxious to have the interim report recommendations implemented and i know the white house is working hard now to make sure it's done in a way that's most efficient and most effective. i know the president and i know his heart on this and i know he's ready to do what needs to be done to get this implemented the right way. >> woodruff: my question is what's the holdup? the reporting is there is disagreement inside the trump administration about how many funds to put into this. what's the holdup? >> there is always debate among the president's staff depending on their point of view and what areas they're responsible for. here's where there is no indecision -- the president of the united states said clearly we're going to spend substantial resources to deal with this problem. he said it to me personally, to other members of the commission and most importantly publicly to the american people in august. what they're doing is twofold. one is to make sure it's done efficiently and effectively so we see some lessening of the
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human loss as quickly as we possibly can. secondly, to be fair, judy, we've had two major national emergencies intervene since august with hurricane harvey and now hurricane irma. so, you know, the administration is focused on making sure that's dealt with, and they're also on a parallel track working on making sure that we efficiently and effectively implement the recommendations and the interim report of the commission. i'm absolutely committed to that. i'm committed to urging the president to move as quickly as possible and he's told me that's exactly what he's instructed his staff to do. >> woodruff: two other quick things i want to ask you about, governor. one is we know, as you mentioned at the white house last week you were there meeting with the president the day after he struck that deal with democratic congressional leaders chuck schumer and nancy pelosi. is it your sense the president
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is going to do more deals like that with democrats? >> it is my sense, judy, and what the president wants is to get things done for the american people. i don't think he, quite frankly, cares whether he gets those things done with republican members of congress, democratic members of congress or both, but what i believe he wants to happen, his accomplishments on major issues on behalf of the american people, and whether that's on infrastructure as we were discussing with him on thursday and the gateway tunnel project, whether that's on tax reform which we need to do to further grow this economy, or healthcare, the president will work hard with anyone of good will to get something done. he showed that with hurricane harvey by working with senator schumer and congresswoman pelosi and other republicans to get that done. listen, i've done donald trump for 15 years, i've known him to be a person who cares most about results and i think that's what the actions of last week showed the american people. my guess is they're encouraged
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by it. >> woodruff: so, governor, talking about the president, you know him well, you played a big role in his campaign. you were not asked to be part of the administration. i want to ask you about something steve bannon who is the president's former chief strategist said in an interview over the weekend with charlie rose. charlie asked him about the access hollywood tape involving its former anchor billy bush when the president made comments that were interpreted by many to be beyond inappropriate. you were critical of those, but here's what steve bannon had to say. here's a quick bit of that exchange. >> billy bush is a litmus test. when you side with him, you have to side with him. that's what billy bush weekend showed me. >> you took names on billy bush, didn't you. >> i got my black book and i've got 'em. christie because of billy bush weekend was not looked at for a cabinet position. >> he was there isn't on billy
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bush weekend so he doesn't get a cabinet position. >> i told him the plane leaves at 11:00 in the morning, if you're on the plane, you're on the team. didn't make the plane. >> woodruff: was it your unwillingness to stand up for the president after the access hollywood tape, do you think that's what shut you out of the trump administration? >> a few things. first, that conversation mr. bannon references in his interview never happened. never had any conversations with him. i didn't need to convey those kind of feelings to staffers. i was speaking to the principal, to the man who's now president of the united states. secondly, i was there the whole billy bush weekend. i was there during debate prep, leading debate prep for the second debate both friday and saturday and, by the way, if i was off the team, then why did i need debate prep for the third debate is this i was coffered cabinet positions by this president. it's been widely reported and true i was offered cabinet positions that i turned down. so i suspect this little black book mr. bannon talked about,
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the only one who read it was mr. bannon himself. i know no one else cared about it and now that he's been fired no one is going to care about anything else steve bannon has to say. >> woodruff: do you stand by your views of the president's comments in that access hollywood tape? >> sure. most importantly and the reason we have been friends 15 years and we both value each other's friendship is we speak the truth to each other. on that weekend i spoke the truth directly to the president of the united states and i didn't need to go on the air or do it publicly or to self-aggrandize myself now as, you know, mr. bannon is doing by giving a 60 minutes interview. this i suspect is his last 15 minutes of fame. that's fine. hope he enjoys it. my intent is as it's always been, not as somebody who was just donald trump's friend for a year as mr. bannon was, but for somebody like me who's been a friend for 15 years, i want him to be a successful president
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first and foremost for this country, secondly because i like him personally and third i believe the current will benefit ultimately if republican policies on tax reform and infrastructure are put into place to make this country bigger, better and stronger. and, you know, so, listen, you know me, judy. i have very broad shoulders and i've had much tougher characters than steve bannon lie about me in the past. i just keep soldiering on and moving forward, and i'll always be here for the president to tell him the truth, which is exactly what i've always done and why we're still friends and why i was at the white house thursday while steve bannon was off doing an interview with "60 minutes." >> woodruff: chris christie, governor to have the state of new jersey. thank you very much. >> judy, thanks for the time. always a pleasure. >> woodruff: time now for a
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closer look at the white house handling of hurricane irma, president trump's fraught relationship with his own party, and more. it's politics monday with tamara keith of npr and stu rothenberg, senior editor of "inside elections." welcome to both of you, but let's first ask about what governor christie had to say. tam keith, he was pretty emphatic, but that's not what happened, whatever it was steve bannon said. >> that was a barn burner at the end of the interview. that was incredible. chris christie does not hold back. the interesting thing to me is as critical he was of steve bannon, he was praising the president, even used the "i have broad shoulders" which is a phrase much used in the trump administration. >> woodruff: he said i'm a soldier for donald trump. >> take that, steve bannon. two things, one, still a trump loyalist that absolutely came through loud and clear, and bad blood between governor christie and steve bannon. it was so obvious the personal
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animus. >> woodruff: does that say something about trump world or is this just a sideshow? what do we think? >> trump world has many orbiting planets. it's a complicated place. steve bannon portrayed himself as the flame keeper as what is trump. he is there to defend trump, said he was going to be his wing man on the outside. chris christie also sees himself as the president's wing man, too, and i think there are a lot of people who see themselves in that role. >> woodruff: steve bannon ended up going into the administration and not chris christie. he's heading up the opioid commission but doesn't have a job. >> which makes you think something happened to deny chris christie a post in the trump administration or at least one he likes. he said he was offered some. so it may be bannon and bannon's folks won that battle but as we
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now see both are outside the administration. >> woodruff: what we're focused on now understandably, tam, is these tocial storms, harvey, right away comes irma wreaking destruction across the caribbean. we're seeing it in the state of florida, moving across the southeast. how is the president handling all this? >> the president has kept a relatively low profile. he has not been tweeting himself though his account tweeted videos of him and he made remarks here and there. tom bossert, his homeland security advisor, he put tom out there, also his fema director. one thing president trump tid is when he formed his team, he brought in people who have experience in dealing with natural disasters, which is a mistake that the bush administration made. >> woodruff: stu, we know from a lot of experience that presidents can get into trouble when there is a natural disaster. it seems to me president trump is trying very hard not to do that.
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>> i think so far, so good. he hasn't been demeaning mitch mcconnell and paul ryan. he hasn't been attacking people. he's been able to adopt a role that is more presidential. now, people may argue whether he looks more presidential, that's a different question, but at least he's able to talk about national unity and responding to the crisis and laying wreaths at the 9/11 anniversary. so this is better for him, probably better for the country. personally, i don't expect it to last. i think when we get back to politics as usual, we'll see behavior as usual. >> woodruff: there are sticky questions coming up, tam. i asked governor christie about the money the federal government will have to spend on places like florida, on top of texas. is the administration praipped to deal with a that -- prepared to deal with that? >> there certainly is a large congressional delegation from florida. they had to postpone votes in the house today because there are so many members of the house that come from florida.
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so there will certainly be pressure to have additional funding. actually, the money that was put in place for hurricane harvey is not going to be enough. so this will be something that will come up. many must pass legislative vehicles coming up in the next few months. >months. >> woodruff: a lot of issues. stu, i'm asking because we know fema, the federal emergency management agency, is almost out of money even before they hit. >> i think there will be money for the natural disasters but i think the further we go from the incidents, the further the calendar passes on, i think there will be more calls for fiscal responsibility. but for right now i think the photographs, the pictures, the videotapes are pretty compelling to get even members of congress to spend money. >> woodruff: we will see. another thing, tam, i asked governor christie about is the president's deal, the deal that he cut with democrats last week, and, you know, he and other
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democrats -- republicans and democrats met with the president the day after that pelosi-schumer agreement to talk about this new jersey-new york tunnel project. but what are you hearing? are you hearing concern among republicans? what are people saying you're talking to about this? >> this is a president who came back from visiting the damage from hurricane harvey, talking to people who were affected, and what i'm hearing, he just wanted to get something done. he wanted something to show for it. he wanted to help those people whose kids he hugged and who he took pictures with. so he did a deal. also this president knows that among a lot of people, a lot of people who voted for him, he's a whole heck of a lot more popular than the leaders of the republican party in congress. i mean, mitch mcconnell and paul ryan are rapidly becoming the enemies of republicans, of rank and file republicans. >> so in the short term, i think
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that's a plus for the president, but long term it's a little different. >> i don't see how the president benefits by belittling and criticizing the republican leadership on the hill. i don't see how he benefits by making it seem as though they're inept, incompetent and can't pass anything and only he can make a deal. i don't see how that helps. if republicans lose in the midterm, the president loses. >> woodruff: do we have reason to believe this is something -- i was trying to tease out what governor christie thinks and he said, he'll continue to cut these, but is this the thinking, tam, is this something he'll continue to do if he sees this is in his interest. >> i think there's a math analogy one point doesn't make a line. it's hard to form a trend. >> woodruff: i'm not going to wade into that one, but to extend that out, you now have republicans who will looking at
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whether they are going to stay in congress or not, stu. there are a couple of moderates. this is another case of the one and one make three. you've got a couple of republicans who are now saying they're not going to run for reelection. >> you have four recent republicans, one in florida, one in washington state and most recently, charlie, in pennsylvania and michigan who announce they're not running for reelection, two in clinton districts, two in trump districts. senator bob corker from tennessee talking about. this i actually talked to senator corker last week about this and he told me the same thing but also told me he's not sure whether it would be good to lose his voice in the senate. so i'm not sure he's actively thinking about whether to run or not run, i think he's just delaying a general decision, but there is no doubt, there is nervousness among house republicans and much more talk about additional retirements from house republicans,
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particularly moderates who are just uncomfortable with the direction of the administration. >> woodruff: looks like the landscape has been shaken up once again. >> yes, and basically every two years there are a lot of retirements. you would expect retirements. the thing is this gives democrats some hope that, you know, when they're incumbents, they're harder to beat. when there is no incumbent, it's more of an open race. >> woodruff: it's early, but it's not. >> remember the alabama republicans runoff middle of september, the establishment versus the outside. keep your eye on that. >> woodruff: i've got it on my watch. stu rothenberg, tamera keith. "politics monday." >> woodruff: years into the refugee crisis in the middle east and europe, human rights activists have accused the european union of turning a
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blind eye to greece's treatment of refugees and migrants now stuck on the island of lesbos. many of the refugees there suffer from serious mental health problems. the charity doctors without borders is raising alarms that health services for the vulnerable are now being cut. from lesbos, special correspondent malcolm brabant reports. >> reporter: mohammed karimi from afghanistan uses this makeshift gym to eliminate the frustrations of being stuck in a refugee camp on lesbos for the past seventeen months. >> ( translated ): exercise is better for all people. for everything it supports a good mind. when i come to training, i feel so relaxed and my mind is relaxed. if i miss training for one day i never feel good. >> reporter: the gym was installed in a day centre run by a swiss charity called one happy family in the hope that exercise might make a small dent in the growing mental health crisis in lesbos. >> we are sitting on a bit of a time bomb. the future for these people is
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dark. i mean, there's not much hope. >> reporter: greg kavarnos is a psychologist at this clinic in lesbos run by doctors without borders. their recent study showed that 80% of migrants they examined had severe mental health problems. >> most of the problems we're seeing are as a consequence of their experiences. and their experiences being left untreated from their home country and untreated here because currently people are trapped on the island. the longer you leave it untreated the more likely it is to develop into something more permanent. >> reporter: the psychologists' concerns center on moria. it was set up as a transit shelter two years ago. but since the migrant trail north was closed down in the balkans, it has effectively become a permanent internment camp that is despised by its occupants. this video shows police trying to prevent a migrant from hanging himself on the fence. volunteers on the island say the
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man succeeded in committing suicide some time after this attempt. outside the wire, we met a nigerian man called frank who says that life in moria has a serious effect on the mind. >> during those nightmares i don't sleep. i was being transformed to another place. sometimes i see myself in the river. i see myself in a big ocean. some kind of things come into my mind. i see some dead people in the river, which is not normal because of the prison. he fled nigeria after participating in violent protests. h conditions inside moria, where he too, tried to commit suicide. >> i was like let me hang myself and forget about life instead of killing somebody here out of frustration. >> reporter: but you didn't do it. reporter: but did you try? >> yes, i tried. i got the rope. i went to the bush. at this stage i have a thought come inside me. are you stupid?
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do you want to kill yourself? are you crazy? what is wrong with you? will you go back? >> reporter: the psychologists say the nature of the journey to europe often exacerbates the migrants' mental health problems. fridoon joinda is from afghanistan. he was attacked by robbers in a forest. >> the guy he put a gun against my head. in five seconds i saw all of my life. my past, my future, my family, my friends. >> reporter: fridoon's therapy is making videos and blogging. he comes from an entertainment family in afghanistan, that had to flee the country after they mocked the government on television. >> i'm trying my best. all the time i'm listening to videos, positive videos, how to, even like, during the night before i go to bed, i watch the videos about how to treat myself like a doctor, because we don't have any access to psychologists. i have to be my own psychologist. i try to find videos about how can i sleep? how can i remove the stress from my body?
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>> reporter: the one happy family day center is meant to be an oasis of tranquility for the occupants of the moria camp. but staff acknowledge that they can only provide the psychological equivalent of a band aid for people at the end of their tether. >> i feel very frustrated and upset in my work that i'm referring all these patients and can't help them whatsoever. >> people are saying i don't want to live. i don't want to be here. i don't know what the best option is. is it to be in syria with isis? is it to be in afghanistan with the taliban, or is to sit in greece, and waste my life and i might be sent back anyway? like, the stress is enormous. >> reporter: and, according to psychologist greg kavarnos, that stress is compounded by the realities of life in moria. >> if you ever visit one of these camps, it's quite clear that even if you didn't have a psychological problem, you're going to develop one, if you're in this camp for any period of time. the facilities, the set up, the
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way that people are treated in the camp, the hopelessness, the >> reporter: for example, as this phone video shows, more than two years into the refugee crisis, moria still suffers from water shortages that make good hygiene impossible. >> reporter: the european union has literally been throwing money at greece. the latest hand out was in july when brussels promised to contribute $250 million. the migration commissioner dimitris avramopoulos said europe needed solidarity and had been standing by greece from day one . he also said in total more than $1.5 billion had been put at greece's disposal so it could deal with the migration crisis. we repeatedly asked to interview greece's migration minister yannis mouzalas, but he declined to talk to us.
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outside moria, algerian asylum seeker akram ashouli was in no doubt who to blame for conditions in the camp >> ( translated ): the government for greece is bad. they treat us like animals. >> reporter: last year the e.u. promised turkey $3 billion if it could help stem the migration flow. and this is what that policy looks like from the perspective of a migrants rubber dingy. a woman screams you're going to kill us as the turkish coastguard cutter comes close to ramming the small vessel. >> i think this is a collective disgrace of the european union since the whole union wants to make itself less attractive for people to come. so if greece is attractive then it means that the union is more attractive. >> reporter: dimitris christopoulos is president of the international federation for human rights. >> it's not only that the european union is turning a blind eye to what is happening
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to greece, we are talking about an implicit, absolute complicity between the european union, the european commission and the greek authorities in order to leave the situation as it is to function as a deterrent so that people will not continue their journey. >> reporter: despite the exit from lesbos being blocked, afghan asylum seeker fridoon joinda is confident he'll eventually be able to leave. >> i just have to be patient. and also i'm trying my best. and i'm just inviting all people, all humans to please just think, sometimes, just think, why you are allowed to fly, why i shouldn't? >> reporter: across the mediterranean, there's growing evidence that europe is wresting back control of its borders but its border force frontex is still rescuing people. although there appears no way out of greece, they keep coming, increasing the pressures on their fellow migrants and those trying to help them. they may have a vision of lesbos as a spring board to freedom. but come the dawn, the reality of their plight will soon become apparent.
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>> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, many in the path of hurricane irma faced impossible choices. we revisit a trailer park in orlando, where many residents could not or chose not to leave, to see how they weathered the storm. find that and much more on our web site, and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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[ bells play tune e ] [ theme music plays ] -♪ i think i'm home ♪ i think i'm home ♪ how nice to look at you again ♪ ♪ along the road ♪ along the road ♪ anytime you want me ♪ you can find me living right between your eyes, yeah ♪ ♪ oh, i think i'm home ♪ oh, i think i'm home -today on "cook's country," ashley makes bridget texas thick-cut smoked pork chops, adam reviews the best dry measuring cups with julia,