American stranded in St. Thomas shares his story
This is a rush transcript from "The Story," September 11, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum. "The Story" starts tonight with the storm that has been and continues to be huge and so unpredictable for Florida. It has basically dealt a bitter blow to the Florida Keys on the left side of your screen; down in the southwest tip of the state, right? And then tonight, you've got water rushing into the upper part of the storm in the uppermost northeast corner of the state up in Jacksonville.
So tonight, more than six and a half million residents are in the dark, that's about 65 percent of all homes and businesses in Florida. We've got over 100,000 people in the states, more than 500 shelters, $49 billion in damage -- a lot lower than they thought but that's a lot of money. And state and government officials are warning that while Irma may be gone, there is still a huge threat to the state of Florida. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: The biggest threat for this week as Irma leaves Florida will be river flooding, and most of it is going to be in the northern part of the state.
TOM BOSSERT, HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT: The perspective, Hurricane Irma, as you now know it's a tropical depression; that does not mean that it's not a dangerous storm. As you'll see from our reporting Jacksonville is suffering what has been called early -- some of the worst flooding seen in a hundred years.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MACCALLUM: We've got reporters spread out all across Florida's hardest hit areas. And we begin with Fox News' Peter Doocy, who made his way to Jacksonville, Florida, early this morning and he's watching the water flow in there tonight. Hi, Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL REPORTER: Hi, Martha. About five hours ago, the water was much higher; it is starting to recede here at the Jacksonville Landing, which is a cool place to hang out -- there are a lot of restaurants and a lot of bars. The problem is, today, even though the water is going down, there is really no way to get here unless you have a high-water vehicle or a boat. You can see that the water is now shallow enough to walk through; it wasn't this way earlier. But as we come across the street, you can see on these steps how high the water was just a few hours ago. There are three sets of stairs here, and you can see that the entire first set would've been completely submerged because they are still drying out just a few hours ago.
Now, things were so dire here in Jacksonville that even as Irma was on its way out and it wasn't really raining, officials were begging people who lived along the St. John's River -- which is right over here -- to evacuate. Especially, if they lived in these two zones. And they've said if you are not able to evacuate, once the water starts rising, don't go out, go up. Go to the second floor, go to the roof, and leave a white sheet on the doors, so that a helicopter or a rescue boat and knows exactly where to find you and knows that you need help.
We understand that so far at least 100 people have required help. The mayor here said that even though Irma came as a category two wind-wise, it was a category three storm surge, and he said that the water is not going to recede for about a week in some places. So, even though, again, conditions have improved here at this very popular spot in Jacksonville over the last few hours, it's going to be several more days until things get back to normal, and driving around the last few hours, I can tell you that almost nothing is open.
Nobody is really driving around. The only people that you ever see are police blocking roads or people out trying to take a picture with their cell phone before they head right on back in. So, the St. John's River caused a lot of big problems here in Jacksonville, it was mostly a water event, not a wind event, and they've got a long way until things are back to normal here.
MACCALLUM: Yes. The direction of the river and the push of the water, there were whitecaps where Peter is standing right now this morning, so thank goodness. But as we all know once the water comes in and it goes out, a lot of that damage is done. So, they'll be cleaning up for a while. Peter, thank you very much.
So, here now with more tonight: Republican Congressman, Mario Diaz-Balart, represents the constituents of the Miami area, and around Naples, and Marco Island; and Ben McMillan is a Storm Chaser and Weather Correspondent for Weather Nation T.V. Welcome, to both of you. Let me start with Ben McMillan. Ben, we talked to you before this whole thing got underway and it was dire, you know. And I guess a lot of people feel like it wasn't as bad as it could've been, which is very good news for a lot of people. We all saw what happened in Harvey, and there's a lot, really, still, to tell about this story, I think, in the keys, which remains to be seen. But what's your take on the whole thing, Ben?
BEN MCMILLAN, STORM CHASER AND WEATHER CORRESPONDENT FOR WEATHER NATION T.V.: Yes, Martha, you're exactly right. Staggering damage in the Florida Keys, Miami is underwater, Jacksonville is underwater, but it could've been much, much worse. This storm set historic records being at 185-mile-per- hour winds, which is well above that category five rains for 37 hours, which is a tremendous amount of energy. And we're very fortunate that the storm was able to weaken a little bit because even though we've seen a lot of dire impacts, we're very fortunate those winds weren't up in that extreme range -- above 150 miles an hour.
MACCALLUM: So, how did you fare? Because you were saying that, you know, even as a storm chaser, you were kind of nervous going into this thing and I understand you had some problems with gas, too.
MCMILLAN: Yes, there are gas shortages across the state. Governor Rick Scott, try and do rush some of those tankers in last minute to help combat that gas shortage. But still, millions of people without gas, there is vehicle stranded across the interstates, across Florida still, waiting for those tankers to respond, and we were fortunate enough to just make it here into the Tampa area. But it's going to take a few weeks for everybody to get back to normal here, and that infrastructure to get rebuilt.
MACCALLUM: You know -- I mean, obviously, we're still waiting to see the extent of it in the keys and we saw aerial shots, but what's your take on what the damage is going to be like there?
MCMILLAN: Well, again, we're very fortunate the storm made landfall on Marco Island at 115 miles per hour, which is only a category three, and we've talked about that extreme category five that we were expecting. So, still a very strong storm, it's going to be a lot of recovery process for neighborhoods in Naples and Marco Island, where they saw some of the strongest winds. And it's going to take some time for those folks, so let's keep them in our thoughts and hope that they can do that quickly and safely.
MACCALLUM: You know, when you look at this thing and, you know, it sorts of spun across the entire state as we're saying, and pushing water up in Jacksonville, it had so much magnitude. How would you characterize, you know, the sort of how -- what changed it? You know, what sort of helped it? Was it going over all of those islands that kind of chopped it up a little bit and helped it to kind of slow down and really -- the islands are the story we're going to talk about in a moment as well, they just were absolutely devastated.
MCMILLAN: Well, Martha, let's think about a hurricane as a giant machine. And when they have fuel, they get stronger and stronger and stronger and maintain themselves. And when they're over the ocean, they do that but this storm hit Cuba. For the United States' state, we're very fortunate that it made contact with those landmasses down there, which weakened slightly before it hit the keys and eventually southwest Florida.
MACCALLUM: All right. Ben, we're glad that you're doing OK. A lot of work ahead to be sure. Ben McMillan, thank you for being with us once again tonight. I want to bring in Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, whose district goes towards Naples and Marco Island areas that were very hard hit. What can you tell us? Thank you for being here. What's your assessment of how things are in your district right now?
REP. MARIO DIAZ-BALART, R-FLA. (through telephone): Thank you, Martha. Well, some part -- some parts were hit very, very hard. For example, Everglades City, (INAUDIBLE), they were the hardest hit in the districts that I represent. Those are areas that are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination -- they're just low to middle-income rural parts of my district and they were significant. And obviously, the gas was still an issue, but power, you just reported about that.
Many, many Floridians are out of power, and fortunately, water is available. One of the cities that I represent had an issue with that for a while, they did an incredible job of fixing their sewer system to make sure that people could have water to drink and to bathe with because that would've made it even worse. But no, it's -- it was a bad storm, even though the eastern part of the district that I represent could've been worse, the western part, well, it's really bad.
MACCALLUM: Yes. We're looking at images right now of Marco Island, and really, it always takes until a day after to start to get some of these pictures, and the sun comes out, and you start to see the ripped off roofs. In terms of insurance and coverage and what people need in terms of supplies, tell me about your outlook for that. Did we lose, guys? Yes, he's gone. All right. Well, that it tells us something about, you know, the connections and the systems. And I mean look at this, this is Naples, Florida. There's a home -- you know, roofs completely ripped off. You can see that the insulation is all that's left on the top of that roof. It really is stunning.
And you know, just having been in Houston last week, you know, you don't -- when you get up there on the ground, one block was fine, and you turn the corner, and it is underwater, and you see all these mobile homes which have just been devastated. And watching this morning, the coverage in the keys, and we're going to take you there in a moment. But you know, all of these houseboats and boats where people just hunkered down, we really still don't know the total story there in terms of possible fatalities in the keys. So, you know, we've got to keep those people in our thoughts and prayers tonight as we continue to watch what unfolds there in the Florida Keys.
So, coming up next, our Irma coverage continues; we're going to take you there to the battered Florida Keys -- here's a picture of Key West. All of these beautiful skinny islands along that 120-mile stretch where it only bridge to bridge -- gets you from one place to another. When will they be able to return home? A live report on the horrific damage and the very long road to recovery in that part of our country.
Also, in wake of President Trumps surprising deal with Democrats, many are asking what's going on with the Republican Party? We're going to talk to Newt Gingrich about that when he joins us coming up. And moments ago, the tribute in light is about to light up in lower Manhattan, and we will take you there. The 16th anniversary of September 11th. Ahead, we discuss how it marked the beginning of a war that is still raging in this world against radical Islamic Extremism. At ground zero on a beautiful night, September 11th, we will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Today, as we stand on this hallowed ground, we are reminded of the timeless truth that when America is united, no force on Earth can break us apart. No force.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOSSERT: I would expect that the keys are not fit for re-entry for regular citizenry for weeks.
SCOTT: It's going to be a long road; there's a lot of damage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, you hear there from White House Advisor Tom Bossert and Florida Governor Rick Scott, describing the damage in the Florida Keys. And right now, the island chain is completely shut down as emergency crews make the agonizing trip to the islands -- it is just incredible. Rescuers are going door to door now from what we understand, and of course, they fear the worst in some of these cases, because there were a lot of people who hunkered down and stayed. They estimate that 25 percent of Key West residents were there throughout this, despite those evacuation orders. So, now they have to go door to door and try to find them. Fox News' Adam Housley has been there since before the storm hit in the hard-hit key of Key Largo. Adam, good evening. How is it looking there?
ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martha, look to my right, we were just talking about when we were coming in from commercial, about this beautiful sunset through the palm trees, and right below is complete devastation. I mean, you know, four days ago, you would be sitting here, and you want a glass of white wine or, you know, whatever you happen to partake in a nice sunset here in the keys or, you know, a frozen drink of some sort or whatever, and you'd be looking out at this beautiful view of the sunset through the palm trees, and the left, you've got the Bello Bay right here on ocean side.
And you know, look at what difference a storm can make. I mean, these homes are all destroyed and these were homes where people lived on in some cases and they rid it out, give or take them out. Sailboats flipped over, mass busted, a couple of the homes aren't even here anymore -- we don't know where they went. They're in the water, someplace but one, literally, disintegrated. In fact, the kid I met he's about 22 or 23-years-old, had been given one of the small houseboats, and he was fixing it up, spent about a couple of grand on he said, and all that he could find was a rail. I mean, so, it's under there somewhere. So, that's the destruction you're finding.
What's interesting as you drive on the keys, Martha, and you head down -- we get down about a mile marker 50 or so earlier today, and I will show you something in a second. They've got a little further than that. It's that when you go down there, on the right side, is bayside. And you see a lot of trees damaged, some significant damage and some awnings ripped off. But the left side, you also will see the same kind of damage. But when you go to the coast, you might see a marina or a house that are in great condition like nothing touched it, and then you see this. And the problem is there's no power, very little water, and hardly any cell service down here.
Obviously, all the stores and gas stations are closed. It is beyond camping at this point, unless you have your own propane tank. To my left here, though, this is the mobile command vehicle. I want to show you this. The U.S. customs of border protection folks. We're headed down to Marathon Key, which is one of the concerns, and Cudjoe Key, and Summerland Key, which is down towards Key West. And they just came back, and they were stopping by and actually gave us a bag of ice because we're out of ice and we're really low on water but we're OK. But they were nice to do that. And they've kind of gave us also an update of what they saw.
That's the unit -- those type of units now that we're starting to see here. That's what's getting communications out. When I went over a moment a little while ago to grab something from where we're staying, I saw the first caravan come in. Trucks actually from California, SEMIs coming in with supplies headed south: generators, also those lights, those portable light that extend up to about maybe a couple of stories being driven in. So, you're starting to see the relief efforts come, but you're not seeing the locals come, and lets you stay here. Nothing a lot on the island yet, and the reason why is they've got to clear at all.
I mean, even the main -- the main highway going south still have a lot of debris. The feeder streets, still have a lot of trees down and a lot of lines down. But I'll tell you what's interesting is you see a lot of resilience here; that's we do every time when seeing these disasters in the U.S. We met people with their backhoes just going through and taking stuff out and start to clear things up. So, Martha, it's a clean-up process. We are hoping that the door to door search, though, results in no casualties. At this point, we haven't heard any major injuries or casualties, and we're hoping that the stays, Martha.
MACCALLUM: We hope so. I've heard that there are tensions because people are trying to get back in. In some cases, they have family members or friends who decided to stay, and they want to reconnect with them. And as you said, there's no service. So, that's going to be a panicky moment for those folks. And we hope that they can restore some of that so they get some peace of mind. Adam, great job today. Fascinating and awful, what you're looking at there. Thank you very much.
All right. So, as millions are stuck without power -- as you were just hearing from Adam in Florida -- the fear of looting grows. Police in Fort Lauderdale -- look at these pictures. I mean, you know, you talk about the goodness that comes out of people in the course of these events, and then there's this -- which is, you know, this idea that it's the time to just sort of break windows and steal stuff from hard working business owners who've spent their lives building their business. So, they arrested nine people after a local T.V. station caught them breaking into stores, so that's good.
And in Miami Dade County, police have made 28 arrests, so be mindful of that if you think this is a good idea; you are likely to get caught. Josh Levy, Hollywood, Florida Mayor, has just issued a 10:00 p.m. curfew for tonight, and he joins us now. Mayor, welcome. Good to have you here tonight. Tell us a little bit about the situation now that you've had today to kind of investigate.
JOSH LEVY, MAYOR OF HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA: So, the city of Hollywood is confronting the recovery and aftermath of the storm on multiple levels. One is, of course, the public safety, you alluded to the looting that took place in a neighboring city, Fort Lauderdale. The county sheriff there, very strict at making the point. Although Fort Lauderdale police did make the arrest, the county sheriff made the point that any looting would not be tolerated anywhere in the Broward County, and for persons electing to make a bad-like decision to think twice and to expect full prosecution should they be found to be looting.
MACCALLUM: In terms of power, in terms of damaging your area, you know, it's a beautiful waterfront place, you've got boardwalk there, you have, you know, all of these businesses that rely on tourist to come, what's your outlook?
LEVY: So, look, this has been devastating for the city of Hollywood. We have a large tourism based economy in Hollywood. We're a city of 150,000 people. We have 76,000 utility customers after the storm. 73,000 of those 76,000 utility customers, businesses, and individuals were out of power. Right now, as of 8:00 a.m. this morning, Florida Power Light has been able to restore power to 11,000 of those, leaving us with 61,000 power customers in the city of Hollywood without power. That means, of course, the businesses can't open and operate, that means that residents, you know, can't have electricity in their homes, but also that traffic signals and our roadways are really unsafe with no street lights and no traffic light signalization.
MACCALLUM: So, what are you telling people in terms of getting out and walking around, I know you have a curfew in place, right?
LEVY: Sure. So, regarding the curfew, it's mainly imposed for the safe operation of our roadways, to discourage motorist from traveling on the roads when there is absolutely no street lighting and no traffic signalization. We still have large trees and debris scattered throughout the streets of the city, and it's very hard to see that debris at night when there is no street lighting. So, it is really unsafe. We want people to be safe, stay home, and wait for clean-up crews to continue the recovery and debris clearance tomorrow.
MACCALLUM: Yes. A lot of patience required in all of these situations. Mayor, thank you very much. Good luck to you. We'll be thinking about you. So, with so much focus on Florida, many are forgetting the small islands in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands where there is just so much devastation. You've got homes, bars, hotels, all of that, obliterated as Hurricane Irma ripped through, and that's the livelihood of these communities. Look at this before and after. Green on the top in the U.S. Virgin Islands, OK. Look at the bottom picture, it's all brown. The green ripped off of these islands. Joining me now on the phone is Emmanuel Payson, he and his wife, and their 2-year-old son have been stranded in St. Thomas since Hurricane Irma hit nearly a week ago. Emmanuel, thank you for getting on the phone with us. Tell us what happened. Why did you not leave?
EMMANUEL PACIN, SURVIVOR (through telephone): Well, we arrived here on the 31st and we were expected to leave on the second. We got here on the second. The Spirit Airline, that we had a package deal and came here. Spirit they canceled the flight. We requested for an alternate flight, they said the storm was coming in, they've kind of shut down the hotel. and we were just forced to stay. They would board up, board up open and close the shutters and whatnot, and they said to stay inside and that we would be OK.
We come to find out that our windows blew out, our (INAUDIBLE) my wife and our 2-year-old child to another case-built. We kind of felt 150 miles an hour wind, very, very, very unpleasant, scary for the children, and challenging. But nevertheless, we come to find out (INAUDIBLE) risk where we were supposed to stay, and the Marriott wasn't even evacuated and docked they yacht and they took them off of the island where the -- yes. It's pretty tough, very --
MACCALLUM: Wow. Unbelievable. So, you were told and not to leave, everything is going to be fine, this is a building that can withstand this, and your windows blew out while you're in that room?
PACIN: Yes, ma'am. That's exactly right. The sliding glass doors, they started to pull on the inside while having shattered on the outside. And then the glass, it didn't shatter, but it flew off of the frame. The frame broke around the tempered. The glass did not break, and it's the glass just came out of the frame. And we ran, imagine 150-whatever mile an hour winds coming into
MACCALLUM: Yes. It's category five when it was in that area, I believe.
PACIN: Correct. Yes.
MACCALLUM: What have you been told, Emmanuel, about what comes next? When can you get out of there? I'm sure you are so anxious to just get home.
PACIN: Well, we have limited service. You know everything is on -- nobody really knows, the management here, God bless them, but they're -- apparently, they're not in good communication. They wait for instruction, it's not good communication. Apparently, FEMA came out yesterday, there have been advising that there is going to be a cruise ship that's been coordinated by FEMA to come and take us out. Some people are going to Puerto Rico, and some are going to the port of Miami. I don't know this. I could be a 100 percent fact, but that's the average true.
MACCALLUM: Yes. When you see that cruise ship pulling into port, I imagine that you are going to be very happy, right? And there's going to be a lot of people that are going to want to get on that. So, thank you, Emmanuel. We'll be thinking about you and your family. We wish you well. I hope that the end is near. Thank you very much.
PAYSON: Much appreciated. And for those who are out there and much more way worse condition on the island. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So true. So true. We'll be watching all of that island situation. I mean, those poor people are going to have a long, long haul after Emmanuel and his family hopefully get home, they're going to have a lot to face. So, earlier this evening, the United Nations voted to sanction North Korea with a unanimous vote, so how concerned should we be after the rogue nation vowed that if that happened, there would be severe retribution? Plus, after President Trump closes a deal with Democrats, some are asking whether it's cause for concern in terms of the leadership of the GOP, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joins me on that's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Are you concerned, you know, when you hear that he is talking to Senator Schumer about doing away with the debt ceiling vote, that he is sort of looking for a new coalition?
MACCALLUM: We will continue to monitor the rescue operations as it unfolds across Florida tonight, but there's some other news that we want to get to tonight as well, including this: new questions about the President Trump's relationship with his own party. After siding with Democrats last week over a short-term increase of the debt ceiling -- a plan deemed ridiculous and disgraceful by Republican Paul Ryan. Later that day, I asked Speaker Ryan if the president's move signaled some kind of shift for the GOP.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Are you concerned, you know, when you hear that he is talking to Senator Schumer about doing away with the debt ceiling vote. That he is sort of looking for a new coalition?
REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS.: Not really because I think you expect the president to talk to the other party. I mean, isn't it natural that a president should be speaking with members of leadership of the other party? So that's something to be totally expected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: And with reports circulating that conservatives are plotting against Ryan's leadership role. Former speaker, Newt Gingrich, came to his defense, tweeting this. Paul Ryan is speaker of the house and will remain speaker of the house. He is intellectually brilliant, hardworking, and solidly GOP. Joining me now, Newt Gingrich, host of the new online court series, Defending America, and a Fox News contributor. Newt, good to see you tonight. What do you make about this argument after the president's move last week that he is, you know, not necessarily enamored of his Republican leadership and, you know, may be moving in a different direction?
NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, I think the biggest question was whether or not when he met with the Republican leadership the day before, he should have walks them through what he was going to do. But with Trump, sometimes he moves so rapidly, that nobody has advance warning, not his chief of staff, I mean, literally no one. So I don't have any idea when he made this decision in his own mind. I do have a pretty good sense of why he made it. He had just been to Houston twice, he saw how big the devastation was, he knew that Irma was coming to Florida, and he really didn't want the country to watch Washington get bogged down again in partisan infighting. And so, I think, he just said to himself, if I can get everything cleaned up for 90 days, if I can get the money for Houston right now, and if I can show the ability to get something actually done in Washington, all of that will help the country and will move us in the right direction given the scale. Remember, you have the second and third largest states in the country, each with a crisis based on hurricanes.
GINGRICH: So he was trying to get momentum and movement.
MACCALLUM: Understood. But I think the assessment -- what you said in the beginning is very important. If that was all that it was about, he would probably have said, look, you guys, when we go in there, I'm going to do a deal here. And, you know, we're on the same team, right? They're all on the Republican team. I want to play something that Kellyanne Conway said that I found also very interesting. And get your response to this because it's along the same lines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This is a person who believes in negotiating. He believes in getting a good deal for the American people. He's not the head of the Republican Party, he's not making a deal with the Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: She said he's not the head of the Republican Party. Doesn't any president usually consider himself to be the standard bearer, the leader of his own party?
GINGRICH: Well, maybe. Although, I think Eisenhower probably saw himself more as an American figure, and I think Trump sees himself as an American figure.
MACCALLUM: Yeah, maybe right.
GINGRICH: Trump is a Republican, but he doesn't get up in the morning and say my number one job is to build the Republican Party. I think he sincerely is wrestling with how do you make America great again. I think he was very frustrated coming out of the summer with the inability to get things done on a partisan basis. And I think there's a little bit of floundering here that I think maybe create even healthy. We are in a different world. None of us fully know how the next six months are going to work out. I think for the Republicans, there's one absolute total imperative, and that is to pass a tax cut by thanksgiving. And I think Trump has every reason to be worried that they won't be able to do it.
GINGRICH: So I think that he approaches this with real trepidation.
MACCALLUM: You stuck up for Paul Ryan in that tweet, clearly. There's some speculation that Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon are sort of plotting for new leadership, and that maybe the president wants to see that too. There were reports out of that meeting that it wasn't actually Paul Ryan he was that upset with, but Mitch McConnell is somebody who has really cost him a lot of consternation, and he's not that happy with him. Do you think that's true?
GINGRICH: Well, it's probably true. Part of that is because, I think, it's very, very difficult for the president to understand the center. Mitch McConnell has the hardest job in Washington right now. He has a very narrow majority. Remember, he got 49 out of 52 to vote with him, the Democrats were 48 to 0 against him. It always amazes me -- that's a 16 to 1 ratio. But 16 Democrats voted no for every Republican who voted no, but everybody focuses on the three not the 48. So, I think McConnell has got a very, very hard job. And I think it's easy to say, oh, let's do it differently.
This is the constitution of the United States, this is how the system works, and the president is going to have to find a way to get things through the senate. Now, the problem is that is there aren't many things he can agree with Schumer on that actually have substance. Schumer represents a very liberal party. Schumer would write for a tax increase, not a tax cut. Schumer would like to have more power in Washington. And if you look at what the Trump team is doing in terms of cutting red tape and cutting regulations, that's not Schumer.
GINGRICH: . that's Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell's world.
MACCALLUM: Interesting. Newt Gingrich, always good to talk to you. Thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: All right. So still ahead, it was 16 years ago that our nation forever changed. Today, we take pause, we remember, we honor those who were lost on September 11th. Here's a look at the night sky over New York City. Plus, North Korea issues new threats against the United States, and the U.N. Security Council votes to impose new sanctions. Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, joins me with his thoughts on that. And they're going to stir it up after this.
MACCALLUM: Breaking tonight, brand-new threats from North Korea, as they warned the U.S. of the, quote, greatest pain and suffering if any new sanctions were passed, and that they were just passed about an hour ago. The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted to approve increasing pressure on the rogue nation in ways that they have been quite clear they do not want. Here's U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATION: Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. And today, the Security Council is saying that if the North Korea regime does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Here now former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, who is also a Fox News contributor. Good to see you, ambassador.
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Glad to be with you.
MACCALLUM: First of all, what do you think about that news?
BOLTON: Well, I think Nikki Haley statement is exactly correct, we should never accept a North Korea with nuclear weapons.
MACCALLUM: Don't they already have them?
BOLTON: That's part of the problem. And we are on the way in our national policy to doing just that. The consensus is forming. The establishment foreign policy says we're just going to have to learn to live with them. I reject that. I mean, listen to the way North Korea talks, they don't have the capability to hit us yet, but when they do maybe they will act that way. So I think we're in a very perilous point.
MACCALLUM: So you make points on a diplomatic side and on the military side. Let's start with the diplomatic side in terms of what you would do in approaching China.
BOLTON: Well, I think the only way to get to China is to argue on their national interest, as it is as ours to reunite the peninsula. You know, there's a lot of talk about imposing sanctions on China, I don't think it's going to work. I don't have any objection to it in principle, don't get me wrong. But let's say we wanted to put financial pressure on China, to impose pain on China, we have to be willing to bear pain too. It's a big economy over there, and we've got to put the pressure on in a big way. You can believe that the American financial institutions in New York will not accept that.
BOLTON: So, you could talk about pain, I'd rather talk about China's national interest. I think that's the only diplomatic play left.
MACCALLUM: All right. And what about the military option?
BOLTON: Look, here's the question for people in the United States, are you willing to live with a nuclear capable North Korea that can hit any target it wants in the United States, and use that capability to blackmail us to force our troops out of Korea, to force our troops out of Japan, to force our troops out of Guam? If you don't want to live under that threat, then I think you've got to consider the military option.
MACCALLUM: And you say there's -- as quickly if you can, sort of a low end and a high end, what do you mean by that?
BOLTON: Well, I think you can hope to take out North Korea nuclear weapons capability alone, and if they don't respond, but you have to worry about retaliation against South Korea, that means a larger military action. But let's recall, the president's first responsibility is to protect Americans, and I think the question we have to face is, how many dead Americans are you willing to risk?
MACCALLUM: Strong words. Ambassador John Bolton, good to see you as always. Thank you very much.
BOLTON: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: So tonight, the most important reason to remember 9/11 is not what ended on that day, but what started here and around the world. Just ask the people of Barcelona, of Manchester, of Paris, and other places to be sure. There on the right-hand side of your screen are the beams of light as many families who had adult children who were killed in the twin towers say they're afraid now that they may never live to see the trial of the masterminds. Will they ever go on court? We'll explain what's going on next.
MACCALLUM: So today, we do what we do every September 11th because we made a promise back then that we would never, ever forget. And if we don't talk about 9/11, then our children may think it's over or that it's something of the past, but, of course, it's not. A short time ago, the beautiful tribute in light on the right-hand side of your screen, it's kind of faint, but you can see it, return to our night sky, it reminds us of the towers, of course, and it sends a bright light into the heavens. Earlier today, the bells rang to remind us of the moments when the building were each hits and then when each fell. And family members choked up as they read the names of those lost, now 16 years ago. It was President Trump's first 9/11 as commander-in-chief, he was at the Pentagon. The vice president was in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where brave Americans helped drive that plane into the ground to spare the lives of others.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: America does not bend. We do not waiver. And we will never, ever yield. So here at this memorial, with hearts both sad and determined, we honor every hero who keeps us safe and free, and we pledge to work together, to fight together, and to overcome together every enemy and obstacle that's ever in our path.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Maniacs disguised in false religious garb thoughts by hurting us they could scare us that day. But we Americans are not made of cotton candy. We are not seaweed drifting in the current. We are not intimidated by our enemies. And Mr. President, your military does not scare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Sixteen years later, the fight that began that day continues, and we see it on a crowded street in Barcelona, where shoppers were mowed down. In Manchester, where teens and their parents at a concert lost their lives. Nice, where a truck driver killed 86 people on Bastille Day. And in Brussels, of course, at the airport. Also at our embassy's outpost in Benghazi where four Americans were killed on 9/11, 2012. All evidence that 9/11 was just the beginning of our long war against Islamic extremist, who are bent on killing and on changing our way of life.
So here with more, former congressman Jason Chaffetz, Fox News contributor, and Raheem Kassam, Brietbart London editor-in-chief, and author of No Go Zones. Gentlemen, welcome. And it's so important to go beyond, you know, just the remembrances, and to realize what started that day, and the work that is still yet to be finished. Raheem, let me start with you. The language that we just heard from President Trump and from General Mattis is very different than the language that we heard in many ways over the past eight years, is it not?
RAHEEM KASSAM, BREITBART LONDON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: It's incredible how they can say dressed in false religious garb today, went throughout the campaign they're banging the drum about radical Islamic terrorists, time and time again. But it's got left out of the Afghanistan speech a couple of few weeks ago, and it was left out today. And you introduce your segment talking about radical Islamic extremist. We have to get real about this issue, about what's going on in Barcelona, about what's going on in Nice, about what's going on in London, these are not people who are changing the religion, instead, we have to be real that they are fundamentalist, literally interpreting the Quran, and acknowledge the fact that the people who stand up against them from within the Muslim communities are actually attacked by a liberal leftist.
People like me who grew up in a Muslim background. I'm called an Islamophobe. People like Maajid Nawaz is maligned by the Southern Poverty Law Center. People like Raheel Raza, Dr. Sudi Jaza. All of these people who are trying, trying to get people to realize they don't have to literally interpret the Quran and chop people's hands off, and their feet off, as it says in the Quran, are being pushed aside as voices. And I would like to see this president, I would like to see your president, as much as I would like to see my prime minister and all world leaders be able to admit what's really going on here. This isn't false religious garb, this is real religious garb.
MACCALLUM: Fascinating. Jason Chaffetz, what do you think?
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: We're in the real war. And thank goodness and thank God we've got men and women who will strap it on every day and take the fight to the enemy. I mean, it's a pointed moment to reflect on those that gave their lives and all those lives that were affected, but we've got a lot of men and women who step it up day in and day out, whether it's intelligence, or just good old-fashioned maintenance, or special operators who are taking that fight, and it's a global fight, and we have to keep fighting because we have to win. We have no choice.
MACCALLUM: I want to know what you think, Jason, about what Raheem just said. He's concerned that the president -- when as a candidate talked about radical Islamic extremists and talked about the fact that, you know, President Obama did not like to use that term, felt it was a mistake. And Raheem, tell me if I'm wrong here, but you're concerned that you feel the language is changing in the way that the president is discussing this now, is that a concern for you, Jason?
CHAFFETZ: I hope not. I haven't seen it through his actions. His actions speak out louder than words. You could see the intelligence gathering and the fight we took on ISIS. You could see how he's taken the fight to the enemy across the world. He's empowered the CIA. He's empowered those that will fight to protect us around the globe, and you can feel it, it's tangible. Just talk to the men and women who are actually doing the fight, they feel like they finally got somebody who's got their backs.
MACCALLUM: Yeah. I mean, I think all of that's true. All that is true, Raheem?
KASSAM: It's not good enough. You know, you had an administration over the last eight years before this president came in to power, who ignored threats here in the United States. It's all well and good to spend blood and treasure abroad to chase terrorist down and, absolutely, it was the right thing to do. But the fact of the matter is you have this radical element in your society at the moment, in your communities. And when Barack Obama, as a former DHS whistle-blower Phil Haney told us, when Barack Obama ordered the groups like Tablini Jammaz, were not to be looked at here in the United States. I want to know, and the people out there I know want to know, that this president will be willing to reopen those investigations, willing to designate the Muslim brotherhood and its operations in the United States, a terrorist organization. This is not about some far-flung-away land and securing their freedoms and securing their democracies, it's about securing this nation.
MACCALLUM: Final thoughts, Jason Chaffetz.
CHAFFETZ: Look, I've got great confidence in President Trump. Look at how far he's taken us. I mean, we're fighting against Barack Obama who wanted to close Guantanamo Bay. He wanted to do a lot of things. We have seen nothing but the empowerment of ICE. That's exactly -- it's not just about protecting our southern border, but against all those threats.
MACCALLUM: We've got to leave it there. Gentlemen, thank you very much, good to see both. Quote of the night when we come back.
MACCALLUM: So tonight, we're getting a better look at the destruction that Irma lay down in Florida. But it's important to not lose sight of what happened here. The U.S. territories, three main islands, and the Virgin Islands. Look at this. Retired NBA star Tim Duncan, a Saint Croix native, wants to help. He's already donated $250,000 and pledged to match donations up to the first million. Duncan writes about the relief that came after Hurricane Hugo when he was a kid, and hopes that people will do the same now. He writes about the guy that got him through. Chef Boyardee was my guy, he says.
This week I've been thinking a lot about those cans because they were a godsend. They were like magic to me. Someone had sent them, and I was so happy and grateful, not because I loved them, I probably haven't had Chef Boyardee since he said, but because that food was a necessity. It got us through. Duncan has raised more than a million dollars so far, they're going to need that and a whole lot more. And we wish them well, and help.
We'll see you back here tomorrow night at seven for more of "The Story." Tucker Carlson is up next.
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