tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN September 10, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PDT
all moved on as a society, but it's also worth noting that the president one of the few times he's apologized to the american public came after that tape. >> of course he regretted the apology after that. >> and questioned the validity. >> thank you very much. it is election day in north carolina, a day with national implications. "new day" continues right now. >> north carolina's do-over election that could test the strength of trump's presidency is now underway. >> i think dan has a very good chance of winning the election. >> i certainly will go to washington and work very aggressively to help president trump. >> if republicans lose this district, it's going to be a very bad omen for 2020. >> u.s. successfully extracted one of its highest level covert sources inside the russian government. >> there's a lot of daylight between the intelligence community and the president. >> when the president handles the intelligence as his own personal coinage. >> you are going to get allies of ours to pop up on twitter. >> this is "new day" with allison camera da and john
berman. >> welcome to our viewers around the state. allison is on assignment. bianna golodryga joins me. >> polls are open in north carolina on an election that will tell us an awful lot about the state of the trump presidency. no, the president's name isn't on the ballot, but it might as well be. the outcome of today's race between republican dan bishop and democrat dan mccready is being seen as something of a bellwether. the polls show the race in a dead heat down there, but this is a race that donald trump won easily in 2016 by 12 points, and the fact that it's even close is sending something of a chilling message to republicans. this comes as a new national poll finds the president's approval rating has dropped to 38%, down six points in this poll since july. >> that is a significant drop for the president. we also have new information this morning about the informant
who was extracted from russia in 2017 in a secret mission first reported by cnn. we can now report that the spy had direct access to vladimir putin and could even provide images of government documents on the russian leader's desk. the decision to remove the informant was driven in part by concerns that president trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence that could expose the informant and risk his life. and this morning, the kremlin is responding for the first time. >> jim sciutto broke this story. it was a cnn exclusive, and he will join us again shortly with brand new reporting on this subject. we're going to gbegin with this special election in north carolina. joining me now is cnn political director david chalian. just to show how important this race is, david, both the president and the vice president have campaigned in this district in the last 24 hours, so what does that tell you? >> yeah, that doesn't happen by accident, john. one of the most valuable resources would be the president's time and the vice
president's time for a republican candidate anywhere in this country and sending them both in. to me it just shows that the trump administration, the republican apparatus in terms of the party is all in on this race, a race that we have no business talking about whatsoever. as you mentioned, donald trump won this district in 2016 by 12 points, john. this should not be a competitive race and what we are looking to see this evening as the returns come in is where is the political narrative in the country right now? is this a continuation of what we saw in 2018, or is there a new sort of political temperature in the country as we turn the corner to 2020? i think that is what we're going to be able to assess tonight from this race. >> ron brownstein suggests that north carolina nine, this district is in the outer bands of the type of congressional district that republicans should be vulnerable in. they've held this seat since the
1960s. so if they are in trouble here, david, what does that say nationally? >> yeah, and we saw in 2018 when democrats won 40 seats, we saw some of those outer band seats come into play in a way that republicans were hoping they wouldn't, but to your point, if indeed the democrats somehow win this race that they have no business in, i think it is a warning sign of a couple of things. one, this whole notion of what is happening in the suburbs across america, we saw it in the 2018 midterms. if this race goes to the democrats and we see that backlash against president trump in the suburbs and among independent voters, john, that is going to be a very troubling sign for the trump re-election effort next year. >> i will say on the other side, i think we saw something last night with the president on the stump about the message that he will send in 2020, and we've also heard it from the republican dan bishop in that race trying to tie the democrat not just to nancy pelosi but also to the squad, broadly
speaking to suggest that these candidates are way too left for most of the electorate. so what will we learn about that message tonight, david? >> yeah, i think president trump called it the america hating left. it just shows you where the strategy is for president trump. we saw him early in the summer lean in to the attacks against the squad, talk about socialism as the democratic party continues to battle out its own ideological differences in the presidential race. donald trump is trying to make use of that. he wants to paint it as a party so far outside the mainstream that he doesn't believe the independent voters, that his party did in 2018 and that his team is concerned about in 2020. john, i will just note, though, that line of attack is not new for donald trump. this has been tried before, and it didn't work. the immigration line of attack, the socialism line of attack was not enough to prevent the
democrats from winning the house majority. that's what i mean, we'll see if there's a shift in the reception to that messaging this time around. >> last question, "the washington post," abc news put out their presidential approval rating this morning, part of their new poll, and if we have that, i'd love to throw it up on the screen because he's at 38% now, down from 44% in july. this mirrors what we've seen in other polling. the president's approval rating is at the lower end of that band that he's been in in this presidency. >> you and i talk all the time about what a narrow band that is he operates in. no doubt this is the lower end and we have seen it all summer long. this confirms what we've seen in our own polling and other polls throughout the summer. the president is on a decarolindecline. we don't know if this is his rock bottom or not. yes, this is a low point for him, and yes, he is in a really precarious position. two things president trump has, he's got more than a year before
re-election, and he's got a lot of money while the democrats are going to fight amongst themselves for a while. so he has time and he has money, two very precious resources in american politics. >> they're two of the main things you want to have in politics, and he's got them both. this could be an interesting night for him. david chalian, thanks so much for being with us. >> also interesting and should be a concern for the president is that six in ten americans believe we may see a recession next year. that is something this president would clearly like to avoid happening. >> i think it's directly tied to the low approval rating. >> also new this morning, the kremlin is responding to a big exclusive interview from cnn's jim sciutto. he broke the story yesterday about a secret u.s. mission in 2017 to extract a top informant from russia. that spy cnn has learned had access to vladimir putin, and could even photograph russian government documents on the russian leader's desk. jim sciutto joins us with the latest. we know that the kremlin is now
responding to this breaking news as well. >> that's right. the russian president spokesman this morning calling discussions about a high level source pulp fiction in his words. there has been some speculation in the russian media about a particular person they've been speculating about. we're not going anywhere close to identifying a person or name or a location where they live and saying that that person did serve in the presidential administration but did not have access to the russian president. the kremlin in a position where they have to respond because the story says the u.s. have a high level informant in the russian government, which identify been told by multiple trump administration officials. as you mentioned, we can report new details about just how high level this person was. it's my understanding that this person had been a cia informant for more than a decade, had access to the russian president including the ability to photograph presidential documents. >> which is incredible, by the way. >> yes, it's almost stolen out of a john lacaray novel here.
what's key about that is this person because of that access was able to give u.s. intelligence an understanding of the russian president's thinking, plans, direction, and that was a key factor in the intelligence community's assessment about russian interference in the 2016 election, specifically that putin directed that interference and why did he do so? not just to upset things here in the u.s. but to advantage donald trump over hillary clinton, which was a key part of that assessment you'll remember. >> and spies and informants are compromised all the time in this industry. why was the administration and why was the government particularly concerned about any relationship his extraction may have had to donald trump himself? >> here's the thing, my understanding and i spoke to multiple officials, including trump administration officials about this. these concerns about the safety of this source and the exposure of this source developed over many months. they started actually in the obama administration before trump took office. they were concerned about the length of time, the length of service, a natural concern.
you figure over time someone might get exposed but the inclusion of intel from this source in the intelligence community's assessment in 2017, early 2017 about russian interference added to those concerns because, listen, if you're describing how putin is thinking about something, you might expect that russia starts to think, hey, wait a second how do they know this. they offered extraction to the source at the time, he refused. but in the early months of the trump administration those concerns grew because of i'm told the president's mishandling of classified information, and the decision to pull this asset out finally took place immediately after that famous may 2017 oval office meeting in which the president discussed improperly classified intelligence with russian officials. >> you've been pressing the administration for a long time on this story, jim, what is the current administration's response? >> so the administration is saying this from a cia spokesperson that cnn's
narrative that the central intelligence agency makes life or death decisions base ond anything other than octobbjecti analysis and -- that's not our story -- misguided speculation that the president's handling of our nation's most sensitive intelligence which he has access to each day drove an alleged ini infiltration operation is inaccurate. we asked secretary of state mike pompeo's office for comment, they declined. stephanie grisham said cnn's reporting is not only incorrect it has the potential to put lives in danger. one, we held back on a number of details about this person, which other outlets have reported to help prevent identification. this is key. cia, white house saying this had nothing to do with trump. i spoke to five officials who served in the trump administration, who served in intelligence agencies and served object hill handling classified intelligence, they tell me that the concerns in the intelligence community about trump's handling of intelligence are widespread. they were not confined to this period of time, and there were
other instances as well, one final one before i go i'll mention. two months after that oval office meeting in may 2017, the president famously met with vladimir putin, g20, hamburg, germany confiscates the interpret interpreter's notes after that private meeting. the intelligence community became concerned that the president again improperly discussed classified intelligence with russians. >> fascinating, jim, thank you. >> thank you. joining us now is democratic congressman jim hines. he is a member of the house intelligence committee. thank you so much for being with us. i know there are restrictions on what you can say, but broadly speaking, can you confirm the existence of this high level source and the story behind the extraction? >> john, of course i can't comment on the specifics of this case that cnn has broken. our sources and our methods are the most closely guarded secrets we have. i can offer a couple of points of perspective including starting with, again, the notion
that five government officials are actually talking to jim sciutto. and look, i respect the press a lot, but what the heck? i mean, i remember a moment in time when we were all atwitter because hillary clinton might have had classified e-mails on her laptop and here five government officials apparently are talking about something far -- one of the most guarded things, if it's true, that we have. the other point i would make, john, unable as i am to talk about the specifics of this case is a point of context, which is that this president has always been loose with the use of classified information. just i think two weeks ago he tweeted out a satellite photograph of the destroyed -- the destroyed iranian missile on its launch pad. if you looked at that picture, you saw that it had a classification marker that had been blacked out. the problem with that, and of course there's other examples,
there's the con fi skags of the notes. there's the discussion of the accident that occurred in russia. the reason that that's important, of course, is that when you put up a satellite photograph on twitter, people who are expert at these things in places like russia, and china and elsewhere can see our capabilities and they can counter those capabilities. so being loose with this kind of information, which this president regularly does, is actually a direct assault on our security. >> what concerns have you heard from within the intelligence community about the president's handling of classified information? >> well, john, just about every day i spend time with some member of the intelligence chunt, ochunthe community, one of the agencies. these are consummate professionals. they're very careful about staying out of politics. even when you ask them the question directly it's pretty hard to get an answer that would touch on the political, but i will tell you from conversations i have had in less formal
environments that tyes, there i worry. how could there not be? if you think about it two things, and let me put a little bit of a finer point on that. number one, we need to recruit sources. we need to go into very dangerous places and say hey, if you help us we will protect you. if you give us secrets, we will protect you. if we don't do that, if we can't keep those secrets it makes it very hard to recruit those sources that keep us safe. secondarily, this was from the first moment of president trump's presidency, when he went to the cia and went off about his crowd size in front of the wall in which the names of the cia officers who have lost their lives, we need to recruit good people into these agencies and to the cia, and nsa and fbi, and when the president is constantly attacking or weakening the work that they do, when he's devaluing the work that they do, it makes it very, very hard to look a young person in the eye and say hey, you ought to consider a career, not making a
lot of money, taking on a lot of risk, serving your country it makes it hard to recruit those people. >> there's a story in the "new york times" that congress secretary wilbur ross threatened to fire any noaa officials who basically didn't back up the president's false version of events during hurricane dorian. what do you think the ramifications should be for wilbur ross? >> well, if this story is true, wilbur ross needs to resign. there's no gray area here. if he is threatening professionals, if they contradict the lie of the president of the united states, he needs to resign flat out. look, noaa is made up of scientists who deal in fact. the commerce department, by the way, is the department charged with keeping and maintaining and promulgating all of the economic data, job growth and all the stuff that businesses rely on. there is no room in any agency, but certainly not in that agency for falsehood. and you know, there's a
connection, john tor, to what w were just talking about, we are seeing everywhere at a dramatically accelerated pace, the president and the white house using people to advance the president's political goals. the department of justice going after the automakers who made a deal for better mileage with the state of california, the possible air force scandal in scotland where the air force may have been -- and now they are investigating themselves -- using a trump property. over and over and over again we see this president using the federal government as his personal play thing to advance his interests and to enrich himself and his businesses. if wilbur ross to answer your question threatened people for doing their job, he needs to resign and he needs to do it yesterday. >> we're just about out of time here, congressman. should all of this be part of the impeachment investigation which you now support? >> well, i think, you know, there's at least three grounds for impeachment, by the way, all of which have sort of moved to a volume in excess of the charges
against richard nixon back in the early '70s. one is obstruction of justice, one is a refusal to answer congressional subpoenas and the third is using the federal government as your personal play thing. whether that's the department of commerce or noaa or the air force or any other agency, i believe and know that to be an impeachable offense. >> congressman jim himes from connecticut. >> i need to hear the congressman say wilbur ross needs to resign. if we hear from more members of congress, particularly republicans, we'll see whether wilbur ross has a future in this government. >> the voice would have to come from the other side of the aisle. what's next for the trump family whenever they leave washington? will they leave washington? inside the sibling rivalry to inherit the family dynasty is up next. my skin... it was embarrassing.
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a new cover story in "the atlantic" gives a look at the fight amongst the trump children to succeed their father. the report reveals ivanka trump has always been the president's favorite child, but donald trump jr. has emerged as the family dynasty's heir. joining me now the author of the piece in the atlantic. great to have you here with us. it is a fantastic read. what you were able to do is weave together different narratives. we've heard about the family dynamics over the years of this one piece and give us a bigger picture of what's going on inside the family right now. they don't seem to be as cohesive as they would like to appear. >> the trumps do try to project
an image of unity, but what i found in reporting this piece is that behind the scenes there is a lot of sibling rivalry. it plays out on a much bigger stage with much higher stakes. >> and you write, while the president writes his chapter in history, the next generation waits in the wings, jockeying for position, feuding over status knowing only one of them can be the heir. so who stands to be that heir right now? >> ivanka was always the favorite. when they were in business, trump always saw ivanka as the person who would be the face of the trump organization, would be the face of the business. in november of 2016 the family business changed. it's now about politics, and as it turned out in politics, don jr. was the more natural successor. ivanka, you know, went into the white house and quickly found that she was somewhat out of her depth in policy making and the political process whereas don jr. kind of went out and built his own grass roots fan base. you see him out on the campaign trail now, the crowds love him.
he's like a mini trump out there beating the maga drum, and it looks now like he's going to be the one to inherit that mantle whether the president likes it or not. >> you talk about the fact that the president rates how they are performing, given how they perform in interviews on television. for the most part he's always thought ivanka trump had outperformed her brothers, in particular don jr. now things are changing a bit in the president's mind, why? >> ivanka's source of status in the family was largely pegged to her ability to be a good surrogate for her father. she generated a lot of positive coverage for trump and the trump organization. as her media coverage has curdled while she's been in the white house, trump has started to reassess things, and now even he can kind of see that don jr. is more talented on the campaign trail, has more of a natural connection to his base and kind of begrudgingly has started to come around to the idea that don jr. is closer to where the trump empire is now than ivanka.
>> we all think bank to ivanka trump's appearance in osaka japan for the g20 summit where the french released a video where it appeared she was standing among other leaders and heads of state and trying to get in on the conversation, a bit of an embarrassment for ivanka trump and for the president. he also felt that that was a sleight against ivanka and may question whether she has the gravitas in leadership. >> donald trump will sometimes watch cable news from the white house and offer a running commentary to whoever's around on how his children are performing in the news cycle that day. and you know, as you know in osaka after that summit, there was a round of international media coverage that was really embarrassing for ivanka, and for trump when that kind of thing happens, it really does tarnish the way he thinks about his children. >> so is there an internal battle that the president is facing when it comes to who he personally favors and who he
personally saw succeeding him as opposed to who he sees really getting more accustomed and familiar with his base and becoming more and more popular, and that's between don jr. obviously and ivanka. i ask that because you say if there's any doubt about which child trump favors, his twitter feed told the story. in the first two years of his presidency, he tweeted about ivanka 16 times while don received just four mentions. all of them about the trump tower scandal. >> right. >> what are you trying to convey there? >> right, well, president trump has done his best, frankly, to boost ivanka. he's floated her name for various high profile important jobs, head of the world bank, u.n. ambassador, and tweets about her all the time in often kind of doting, fawning way. but as i said, don jr. is the one who kind of went out and boot strapped it and ended up building his own base, and unlike in business when a patriarch can kind of install their chosen heir as ceo of the
company after they step down, in politics the patriarch doesn't have as much authority over who succeeds him. a lot of that is left up to the voters and the electorate, and in trump's base, don jr. is seen as kind of a folk hero where ivanka is seen as more distant and maybe a little elitist. >> in your opinion and in your research, obviously what the president has been able to capture is something we haven't seen in decades, if not ever in this country, can that be replicated, and if it can, which of the children is best suited to do that? >> that's the key question. i think if it can be replicated, don jr. is going to be the one who can do it. one thing i will say is this republican party is very different than it was a few years ago. i quote a lot of high profile republicans who say that don jr. has a bright future in gop politics. >> he's very popular with the president on the campaign trail, that is for sure. ma cay, thank you so much. great to see you. wonderful read. up ahead, the supreme
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washington, and gorsuch really opened up to you about what he sees his role in on the court? >> he's heading into this new term, president trump's first nominee on the bench, and he sat down to discuss this book, and john, the timing is interesting here because of course the court is about to start this blockbuster term. they're going to hear immigration cases, second amendment, lgbt rights, maybe even health care and abortion, and i asked him, i said look, many people are thrilled that you're on the bench, but there are a lot of people who are concerned. they're seeing now a solid five-member conservative majority, and they're worried about the direction of the court. and john, he chafed a little bit about my characterization. take a listen. >> i think all a judge can do is fulfill his or her oath as best they can, putting all the other stuff aside, right?
politics, your personal points of view. you leave that over there. when you put on the robe, you put that stuff aside and you open your mind, and you listen, and that's all a judge can ever promise. can't promise outcomes. can only promise their best efforts in the process. >> so do the people who say this court is going to move? they're going to overturn precedent, and now there are five solid members, we could see a hard right turn? >> i just don't view judges that way. i reject that idea of how judges operate. as we talked about earlier about half -- 40% of our cases are decided unanimously. we talked about the five-four cases. they make up a quarter of our docket, maybe a third. those numbers have been consistent since the second world war. the only thing that's new is that nothing is new. >> some people do think things have changed. when you say nothing has changed, now there are solid five conservative members on the court, something has changed?
>> i just -- again, to my mind, it hasn't. the wonder of the rule of law in this country is its consistency over time, and as troublesome as sometimes our times may seem and as difficult as they may appear to us, this country has been through a lot of challenges and always risen resiliently to them, whether it's the civil rights movement, surviving through our civil war, or today's challenges, whatever they may be, i've got great confidence in america, and i say to those who don't, look elsewhere. where else would you rather be? >> you see he's a solid conservative. he allowed the travel ban to go into effect. he would have allowed a citizenship question on the census. some ways he's carrying on the torch of justice antonin scalia. he looks to the original meaning of the constitution. he doesn't believe that judges should invent new rights and of course that's where he comes
under criticism because many people, his critics say that that's an outdated way to look at the constitution. a lot has changed since 1787. there was slavery there. women didn't have the right to vote, and they say that look, his view rights certain individuals out of the constitution. he comes back strong, and he says he rejects that. he says if you want to change the constitution, then you've got to amend it. it was a really interesting honest philosophy on the eve of this huge turn that's coming up. >> it's so interesting to hear ever from a supreme court justice, what a revealing interview. up next, the last frontier on the front lines of the climate crisis. see how a brutally hot summer is transforming alaska and what that could mean for the rest of the planet.
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alaska has endured a blazing hot and dry somersetiummer sett record after record. there is alarming evidence the climate crisis is happening much faster than predicted. >> cnn chief climate bill we're. >> the arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, so it seems like the extreme changes are twice as dramatic. the permafrost ain't so perma anymore. some of those changes are obvious, some are harder to see, and all of them are a warning for everybody. >> take a trip across alaska this summer from the iceless north to the smoky south, and you'll see that when it comes to alarming changes, the last frontier feels like the first in line. >> this is insane. >> reporter: fire season used to end on august 1st, like rainy clock work, but it is so hot and
dry, the swan lake fire has been burning for three months, and the most populous part of the state is swallowing more smoke than ever before. >> if you look at the actual observations, we've had more than twice as many smoky hours in 2019 than any other season, in fact, almost as many as all other years combined. >> reporter: when anchorage is hotter than key west on the 4th of july, it can turn the steady drip of a glacier into something much more dramatic. that was an event last month at the spencer glacier, just one of dozens of melting red flags. >> this whole lake was -- there was no lake in the early 1950s. >> really? >> right. >> so the ice went all the way down -- >> to the end of the lake. >> to the end of the lake down there? >> right. >> reporter: a recent study finds that since the '60s melting alaskan glaciers have contributed more to sea level
rise than greenland, antarctica or any other part of the world. since every one of these molecules goes into the ocean, goes everywhere, this is not just a changing alaskan landscape story, this is a miami story. is this a charleston and san francisco bay story. >> you know, once this water melts off and goes into the ocean, you know, as long as we have all this carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it's not coming back here. >> reporter: health scientists like mica hahn are worried about changes harder to see, like new kinds of ticks bringing new kinds of disease north, and when dr. jeffrey domain studied insect bite trends since the '90s he found in the arctic circle, stings from yellow jacket wasps jumped 600% in five years. >> the queens are under snow pack, so more queens, the more colonie colonies, the more colonies, the more yellow jackets. >> reporter: and then there are the fish, so vital to this economy.
while bristol bay saw another epic salmon run, more and more streams are just too hot for the fish to spawn. >> the temperatures we saw this summer were what we expected for 2069. >> really? >> we're 50 years ahead of where we thought we would be for stream temperatures. >> oh, my gosh. >> so that's very alarming. >> reporter: meanwhile, out at sea, this research team from noaa is spending the summer measuring all kinds of arctic change, including those at the bottom of the food chain. >> we are looking at harmful algae blooms, so they're taking samples for toxins in the waters for harmful algas. >> warmer they're coming up farther north. >> and sooner maybe, yeah. that's a big concern for the communities. that's food safety. >> reporter: this state is such a gorgeous reminder of how earth's goldilocks climate held so many forms of life together in harmony, but in a too hot future with more fire than ice, what comes next is anyone's guess. >> what an amazing view, bill,
and as you said this isn't just an alaska story. it's a florida story. it's a charleston story. you've been to alaska quite a bt over the last few years, and i remember last time you were there the people in that state have a different relationship with their environment. >> they do. >> and politically it's a fairly conservative libertarian state, has this summer changed anything? >> that's a great question. it's a petrol state, you know? all the million residents of alaska get a check thanks to that pipeline. oil prices went down, so the budgets are starving, and they're bankrupt, and so it's this weird tension where the fishermen can see it. they can see the changes and worry about the changes, but at the same time the libertarian ideal is there. they voted down a ballot initiative last year that would have protected salmon streams and made it harder for mines and logging companies, but now the governor, mike dun levy, every time air force one lands there to refuel, he and the president get together and talking about opening alaska for business, big controversial mine projects, roads. today i'm working on the next
part of this, which is the last great old growth rain forest left in the world is in alaska, and they want to start clear cutting that again much to the dismay of even conservative supporters. so who knows where the politics goes from here. >> it is mind boggling, though, when you hear 4th of july in anchorage, alaska, is higher than in key west. >> that one stat is why i went there. i had to talk to people and see how they're dealing with it. and people say this is not why we moved here. it feels weird. it's too nice. >> so important for you to be on this story. >> thank you. >> great to see you. we're getting an urgent warning about vaping, the new message from doctors about the potentially life-threatening risk from e-cigarettes. >> teacher: let's turn in your science papers. >> tech vo: this teacher always puts her students first. >> student: i did mine on volcanoes. >> teacher: you did?! oh, i can't wait to read it. >> tech vo: so when she had auto glass damage... she chose safelite. with safelite, she could see exactly when we'd be there. >> teacher: you must be pascal.
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an important new development. the american medical association is now urging the public to avoid using e-cigarettes. this after five deaths and hundreds of cases of lung illnesses. a group of doctors is also calling on the fda to speed up the regulation of e-cigarettes and ban flavors and marketing that targets young people. on monday, the fda warned juul about illegally marketing it as a safer alternative to cigarettes. the company has been ordered to respond by next month. >> we'll be watching this. this is a very important story. another important medical story. medical death is a reality for many americans. two out of three bankruptcies in the u.s. are tied to medical
illnesses according to a study published earlier this year. sometimes hospitals go after patients who don't pay by hounding them with collections calls. we went to a new mexico facility and visited with a hospital that's going even further. >> reporter: bianna, these patients say it was the last thing they expected to be sued by the hospital that cared for them. but then, it got worse. carlsbad, new mexico, where the picos river winds its way through the desert and the valley. stunning and remote. some restaurants and shops and one hospital. carlsbad medical center. >> when you have an emergency in carlsbad, new mexico, heart attack, a broken bone. is there any choice about where you go? >> no. uh-uh. >> how many hospitals in town? >> one. >> reporter: patients here at its mercy forced to pay whatever it charges. patients like donna hernandez
who manages a local hotel here. last year, when she had the flu and went to the emergency room, she received a bill for $6,000. >> and it was $6,000, 2 1/2 hours in that hospital. >> what did you think when you got a $6,000 bill for two hours of care? >> i was shocked. >> reporter: and when patients like donna can't pay, the hospital will sometimes sue them to collect the money. a cnn investigation of court records shows in the past ten years, carlsbad medical center has sued more than 3,000 people to collect debts. everyone here, donna, victoria pena, misty price and her husband a.j. price, have all been sued by the hospital. sometimes as part of the lawsuit, carlsbad medical center takes money right out of their paychecks. it happened to victoria, a teacher's aide. >> like why would the hospital do that? you know, you're not just hurting me or making me pay.
you're hurting my husband and my kids. and our livelihood. >> so how many of you have had your wages garnished or are about to your wages garnished? everybody. so they go right into your paycheck and take out the -- >> they contact your employer. they go straight to your hr department. >> you can't do anything about it. >> misty was a single mom when she was sued raising three kids. she saves stacks of bills and legal papers. >> i had my car repossessed. almost lost my house. i didn't know how i was going to support my kids. it makes you not want to get medical care because they have to come after you. and i have insurance. i've had insurance the entire time. >> you were working at the time. >> three jobs. >> reporter: karlsbad medical center says it sues as a last resort. in a statement, the hospital's ceo told us we sue less than 1% of the patients who receive care
at our hospital. before initiating a collections suit against anyone, we make multiple attempts, usually trying to contact our patients 10 to 12 times to offer manageable payment plans and additional discounts off of already discounted charges. in many cases, patients do not respond to our calls or letters. most other hospitals in the area make a different choice. artesia general and lincoln county medical center over the past ten years, none of them have sued patients for debt collection. it's not known how many hospitals in the u.s. garnish patients wages like carlsbad medical center does. a study in one state, virginia, found that in 2017, 36% of hospitals garnished wages. dr. marty mccarry, a physician at johns hop cakins university, one of the study's authors. tell me about carlsbad, new mexico. >> a wonderful small town of about 28,000. classic americana town. >> reporter: in his new book "the price we pay" he has a whole chapter on carlsbad medical center. >> we met misty price.
she's been sued and had her wages garnished. her husband was sued. her sister was sued. her sister's husband was sued. her best friend and best friend's husband was sued. >> that's a disgrace. how does one local community hospital create all this terror and financial hardship to so many people? we talked to a lot of people whose lives have really been ruined financially. >> some may say, look, they incurred the bills. they need to pay their bills. >> doctors and hospitals should be paid firmly. i believe that. but often time these patients are being shaken down with the most aggressive and predatory practices we've ever seen in the history of medicine. >> reporter: carlsbad medical center's ceo told us absolutely no patient pays the full price of our services. we provide charity care for anyone who qualifies, for those who struggle to pay their hospital bills, we offer additional discounts and reasonable extremely low payment plans. donna, who is uninsured, eventually got one of those discounts. her bill was cut in half to a
little over $3,000. still steep, she says, for a simple visit for the flu. >> it makes me mad. it angers me that you'd take advantage of people in a situation where they need medical care. >> do you feel like carlsbad medical center is taking advantage of the fact they're the only game in town? >> big time. >> oh, definitely. they are going to get every case, every injury, every accident is going to come right here. and i think they prey on that. >> reporter: after being contacted by cnn, the hospital told us it has a new policy. they'll stop suing patients whose income is below a certain level. for example, if a patient is single, the hospital won't sue if they earn less than about $19,000. but for many other patients, the lawsuits will continue. leaving them here at the eddie county courthouse. this hospital has a big law firm working for it. do you have lawyers working for you? >> no. >> could you afford to hire lawyers to work for you? >> no. >> without legal help, patients
often lose these lawsuits from carlsbad medical center. putting them in good company with so many others living in this valley. donna says she expects to find out very soon whether her wages will also be garnished. >> thank you. so important to remember that paying down medical debt is a huge problem and burden. those with and without insurance. thanks to our international viewers for watching. for you, cnn newsroom with max foster is next. and for our u.s. viewers, a special election that could reveal clues about 2020. "new day" starts right now. the do-over election in north carolina's 9th district offering a glimpse into the future. >> we've got a chance to change this country, and that's why we're here today. >> the polling indicates a very tight race. >> it's possible democrats will turn out in force. trump is hugely worried. the u.s. successfully extracted one of its highest level covert sources inside the russian government.
>> we know that trump has made a habit of giving classified information when he shouldn't. >> it's going to become even harder to collect human intelligence in russia. it takes years to recruit and develop a source like this. this is "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. >> welcome to your "new day," tuesday, september 10th. 8:00 in the east. biana golodryga here for hour three. >> now i can say two hours down. election day. the polls are open. voters heading to the polls in north carolina for a special election that could tell us a let about the trump presidency. this is a do-over of a house election from 2018. the results of which were thrown out because of evidence of election fraud by the republican candidate's campaign. now donald trump won this longtime republican district by double digits in 2016. the fact that it's even close spells huge problems for republicans. and right now the polls do show