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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 1, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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containment vehicle that should not have happened. and we don't know why. >> 17 people including 10 law enforcement officers were injured by the last. our coverage continues now with one mr. wolf blitzer live from surf side, florida. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're live in florida following breaking news. we're standing by for a news conference on the collapsed condo search and rescue effort, which the surf side mayor now says has just resumed after being halted over concern of further collapse. also, president biden meeting first responders and families of the victims.
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the president saying those families, quote, are going through hell, but realistic one week after the disaster. also breaking, the trump organization and his chief financial officer allen weisselberg charged with 15 felony counts stemming from what prosecutors are calling a long running tax fraud scheme. we will have much more on all of that coming up in a few moments. first let's get to the latest on the condo disaster right here in surf side. kaitlyn collins is joining me right now. you have been here all day. kaitlyn, the president of the united states took on the role today of comforter in chief. >> yeah. wolf, this is his first time coming face to face with these families since part of this condo building collapsed last week. he was in the room with them for nearly three hours. what he saw in there was agony. it was grief. he said a lot of them are hopeful but, wolf, also they're realistic. president biden taking on the role as consoler in chief tonight. >> they're going through hell,
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and those that have survived the collapse as well as those who are missing loved ones. >> for nearly three hours, the president met behind closed doors with the families of the victims and those still unaccounted for in the surf side building collapse. >> i thought it was important to speak to every single person who wanted to speak to me. >> people in the room telling cnn biden sited his own history with grief as he sought to comfort those grieving in florida. >> it is bad enough to lose someone, but the hard part, the really hard part, is to not know whether they're surviving or not, is to not have any idea. when the accident took my wife and my family, the hardest part was were my boys going to get out? and not knowing. >> biden's meeting happening hours after officials delivered grim news. search and rescue operations forced to pause over fears that the rest of the condo building could come down. >> they're all realists.
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they know that the chances are as each day goes by diminished slightly. but at a minimum, they want to recover the bodies. >> the president offering a word of praise for the first responders and search and rescue teams who have been working day and night as florida officials voiced concern about their mental health. >> you know, we talked about our military suffering from post-traumatic stress. to see what they're seeing, doing what they're doing, understanding how much trauma is involved, i just don't want them thinking that they should walk away. >> biden also surprising local officials telling them the federal government could likely cover the full cost of the rescue effort. >> i think i have the power. we'll know shortly. to be able to pick up 100% of the cost for the county and the state over the next 30 days. >> republican governor and trump ally ron desantis was with biden
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for most of the day as the two put politics aside and focussed on the devastation. >> you recognized the severity of this tragedy from day one and you have been very supportive. >> and, wolf, after the president finished meeting with those families, he and the first lady stopped by a makeshift memorial that has been formed for those still unaccounted for. you saw the first lady put a large bouquet of flowers. he said a lot of them asked heart wrenching questions like what do we do if we don't find my loved ones body? unimaginable questions these families are waiting to find out the answers to. of course we should know that president biden did say he plans to stay in touch with the families he met today. >> so, so heart-breaking. kaitlyn, thank you very, very much. once again, we're standing by for a news conference and an update on the search and rescue effort that according to the mayor here in surf side has started back up after being halted for so much of the day.
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brian todd is working that part of the story for us. so, brian, if, in fact, that search and rescue operation has already resumed, it would be very, very welcome news for everyone here. >> it certainly would, wolf. and it does appear that rescuers are back on the job at this hour. that according to the surf side mayor. they are back at the job trying to make up for lost time after serious concerns earlier today over the possibility that some of the remaining structure could collapse on them. rescue work can resume, authorities have decided, after it was suspended for most of the day today. alarms went off early this morning, warning of three areas of movement that authorities say could cause additional collapse. >> 6 to 12 inches of movement in a large column hanging from the structure, slight movement in the concrete floor slabs, moving in the debris pile. >> rescuers also revealing a
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haunting account of what they heard in their first hours on site. >> we did hear audible sounds. we heard a female voice for several hours. eventually, we didn't hear her voice anymore. >> this video shows water pouring into the garage. still experts say it is unclear whether the water is related to the cause of the collapse. this as we learn most of the condo board quit in 2019, a year after a structural engineer recommended extensive repairs amid disagreements on repair plans according to "the washington post." and in a new harrowing account, a survivor who was in the part of the building that fell says she woke up and heard a crack. >> i saw a crack starting in the ceiling coming down, coming down fast. and that black line opened it and opened it and opened it. >> she said she only survived because she accidentally ran to the far stairwell which didn't
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collapse on the way down the stairs. >> i feel a terrible sound, terrible sound. and i knew that the building collapsed. >> the deputy commander of the israeli national rescue team is acting as a kind of detective, gathering information for clues on where they could be found. he shows relatives a map of the building. >> they mark on this site the exact place of the bedrooms, and they dig exactly when we understand that their bedrooms are and they search for the drop only on these places. >> he questions relatives about unique characteristics of their loved ones. >> such as the tattoo or a unique jewelry or a color of the hair or a color of the clothes that their family members were
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dressing. >> and we have this just in. we have now the possibility that the remaining structure that's there, that south complex of the complex, the south tower, could be demolished. that's according to a structural engineer with fema. according to the miami news times, the structural engineer was at a meeting with family members. one of the family members said just tear that building down. he said it is a highly likely possibility. he said the reason that it hasn't been possibly pursued farther at this point is we didn't want to cause damage or destruction to the individuals trapped in the lower portion. but that individual from fema telling family members tonight, wolf, that there is a very highly likely possibility that the remaining structure is going to have to be demolished. >> yeah. this is really an awful situation. this seems to be getting worse by the day, day,. thank you very much. the mayor of miami-dade county
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is joining us right now. mayor, thank you so much for joining us. i want to talk about the president's important visit here with the first lady today. but let me get the latest information from you on whether or not this search and rescue operation has, in fact, resumed because it's been put on hold for almost the entire day. >> so, yes, we did start back up, fortunately, after the structure was determined to be safe. and, so, it has resumed as of 5:00. >> has it resumed fully or just partially? >> well, it has resumed in the areas that are safe, which has always been the case. so we'll get more of a report for you at 6:30. >> when this briefing is coming up in a little while. >> correct, yes. >> the remaining part of the complex, the tower that still stands, how secure is that? because there is a great deal of concern that it's eventually going to have to be torn down because it is very unstable the structure. >> again, we'll give you an
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update at 6:30, but clearly we think it's safe for the rescue operation to take place in the areas where we have our team. >> is it still a search and rescue operation? >> yes. >> as opposed to a recovery? >> yes. >> in other words, it's been a week now. is there still hope that there may be survivors there. >> we are still conducting our search and rescue. we are still exploring crevasses. we're still looking for voids. and we continue to seek bodies that are alive. >> how much of a risk is there to these first responders, these search and rescue men and women? it's a dangerous job they have, even if this tower was shaking a little bit. >> well, i can only tell you that the president said to them, you must be crazy because it is an extremely dangerous job. and certainly they're trained for it. they're highly specialized. and we do not allow them to take undue risks. but the conditions are very difficult, and they are proceeding into conditions
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clearly where there is a severe risk of danger to themselves. >> tell us about the visit that you had. >> yes. >> the president spent more than three hours with family members. >> yes. >> trying to comfort together with the first lady, dr. jill biden. take us inside and give us a flavor of what was going on. >> really this was extraordinary. i have never experienced this sort of engagement by a public official with people who are directly affected. and it was an open ballroom tables groupings and after making introductory remarks about his own personal experience with death and grief, which were very, very moving, he moved on to speak individually, table by table until everyone had had a chance and was satisfied that they had truly connected with the president and the first lady. >> so, in other words, he and the first lady actually spoke with every family member who was
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there who was gathered. they could say a few words about their moms or their dads, their sons or daughters. >> he immediately asked. he wanted to understand his circumstances. he shared his own stories of how he had coped with loss and grief. i found it very comforting, and i know they did as well. >> and you had never experienced obviously anything like this before. >> no, sir. >> president coming to miami-dade and all of a sudden you have to deal with a crisis like this. so what is your assessment looking forward? he says that these family members in his words, they are realistic about what's going on with their loved ones. do you get the same impression? >> we worked very hard to make sure these family members had everything they needed to prepare for the future. that includes preparing for potential loss. look, they have all experienced loss already just from the horrendous circumstance. but we have worked with them, including allowing them to visit the site, as you know, and with
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grief counselors, with rabbis, with pastors. and really they bonded as a group. they have supported each other. family members are coming in from across the world to be together. and i think that they are really going through this very difficult process supporting each other. >> a fema engineer has now said publically once the search and rescue operation is completed, the recovery is completed, that remaining tower that still stands for practical purposes, safety purposes is going to have to be demolished. is that the information you are getting from your experts as well? >> we're going to talk about that at 6:30. and i think we'll all come to understand what is necessary to do at this site. >> and who are you going to be joined by at this news conference? >> yes. we will have some of the structural engineers. >> they will talk about the resumption of the search and rescue operations, how it's
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unfolding and what needs to be done. >> yes. >> mayor, i know you have a ton going on. thank you for joining us. we really appreciate it. thank you very, very much. and just ahead, once again we're standing by for the news conference the mayor just discussed here in surf side, florida as rescue operations have now resumed. very significant. they have resumed at the collapsed condo site right behind me. more breaking news. prosecutors reveal an extensive list of charges against the trump organization and its chief financial officer. we have details and analysis right after the break.
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it ultimately led to obtaining trump's tax records in a supreme court battle. investigators have been focussing on perks awarded to employees like free apartments, cars and even school tuition. benefits that would amount to tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and were allegedly not properly reported for tax purposes. >> when you get the same salary for 21 years and the same bonus and then the raise is paid in an apartment, in a car, in a tuition. that's the issue. >> allen, how are you feeling? >> the trump organization fired back today, claiming prosecutors
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are using weisselberg, quote, as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president. saying in a statement the district attorney is bringing up criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the irs nor any other district attorney would think of bringing. this is not justice. this is politics. lawyers for the trump organization spoke after court. >> if the name of the company was something else, i don't think these charges would have been brought. >> no indication the former president or any member of his family will be charged any time soon. prosecutors would likely need a cooperating witness like weisselberg or significant evidence before they could successfully go after the former president. wolf? >> paulie, i want you to stay with us. i also want to bring in our chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin and andrew mccabe. he's the author of the book "the
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threat: the fbi protects america in the age of trump." how serious are these felony counts laid out in this indictment today? >> what's clear is that allen weisselberg himself is in a world of trouble. it will be very hard to defend how the trump organization paid his grandchildren's tuition at a private school and somehow he didn't pay taxes on it. maybe he could argue the company car was actually a company benefit. maybe he could say the apartment was a corporate benefit. but the idea of a company paying for your grandchildren's education, it seems to me pretty close to an open and shut case. as for the trump organization and the former president himself, they're suggestive -- the charges of suggestive of illegal conduct, but it is a lot less clear, and it's not identified in the indictment who unindicted cocon spore tor is. it could be donald trump.
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it is also not clear who authorized these payments, which designed to be to avoid taxes. >> the lawyers representing the trump organization say this is all politically driven. the former president calling it a witch hunt. what do you make of those responses? >> well, i think it is to be expected, right, from the defense attorneys. their job is to put a narrative out there that puts their client in the best light possible. but along the lines of what jeff just walked us through, the details in this incitement are really serious and detail an intricate and broad scheme to defraud multiple tax authorities over many, many years. they include things like the trump corporation maintained an internal spreadsheet to keep track of the money that they were essentially paying weisselberg off the books so it could be subtracted from his
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total compensation at the end of the year. so there is really interesting pieces of evidence in here. it shows a high degree of thought and planning. so it will be very hard to explain all that, the potential criminal activity off as simply politics. >> you know, jeffrey, the indictment, which is, what, 20, 25 pages or so points to others, others who were involved. not charged but others who were involved. is it possible one of those people, one of those others, is the former president? >> it is entirely possible. and late in the indictment, there are references to other people signing the checks. and we know that donald trump, who kept a tight reign on the finances of his own company with his big sharpie pen liked to sign most of the checks. now, obviously when you are the ceo of a company you might not know exactly what every payment is for. but it could present uncomfortable questions or worse for the former president if his
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signatures are on these checks to the private school. i mean, why in the world would a building company on fifth avenue be paying a private school on the upper west side of manhattan? it just sort of defies belief that you could think that was a proper payment. but the question of, you know, who was involved in this scheme and who authorized it and who paid for it and who knew what was going on, that's obviously central to the story here. and i think in fairness, we need to say at this point we don't know that part of the story. >> as you know, andrew, the trump organization cfo allen weisselberg appeared in court today in handcuffs. could that stark reality make him rethink his decision not to cooperate? and is it normal in a case like this for a 74-year-old to be brought into the courtroom in handcuffs? >> well, it is normal, wolf.
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and it is certainly the exact sort of thing that could, could, we don't know if it will, but could cause someone like weisselberg to rethink whether he wants to cooperate with the government. i will tell you from my 20 plus experience with the fbi, i arrested many people and went through this process. many of them for the first time in their lives. and it is a very, very tough day to go through. this is an incredibly hard day on mr. weisselberg and his family. i have seen a lot of people start that day convinced that they will not cooperate with the government and then in the days and weeks that follows, they have had a chance to really think about what's set in on them and they change their minds. will that happen here? we don't know yet at this point, but it's certainly possible. >> so, jeffrey, what's next? what's next in all of this? >> well, there will certainly be a lot of legal motions, a lot of legal proceedings in the -- in this case. a judge will be assigned.
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both the defense will be able to make motions. and white collar cases, especially in the new york state system take a long time to work their way through the system, especially when there is a corporate defendant because corporate defendants are rarely charged. the criminal law doesn't work that well with corporations. there is no one you can put in jail. and the cases tend to be resolved with fines and guilty pleas. you know, whether the trump organization would ever plead guilty seems like an unlikely scenario given what we know. but this is going to be a process of months, not weeks until it's resolved. >> and we will of course all of us will watch it very, very closely, guys. thank you very much. there is more breaking news we're following right now as we standby for a news conference and more information on the search and rescue operation that is now back up and running once again after being put on pause
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for a limited time, you can save more on flights, hotels and rental cars during priceline's freedom sale. and when you get a big deal... feel like a big deal. with the freedom sale at priceline, every trip is a big deal. . breaking news this hourment we're standing by for a news conference on the resumption of the search and rescue at the collapsed condo where 145 people are still missing tonight. president biden met with some, some of their relatives earlier today. >> they had basic heart wrenching questions. will i be able to recover the
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body of my son or daughter, my husband, my cousin, my mom and dad? how can i have closure without being able to bury them? if i don't get the body, what do i do? jill and i wanted them to know that we're with them and the country is with them. our message today is that we're here for you as one nation, as one nation. >> joining us now, kevin and josh spegle. they met with the president earlier today. kevin, what did it mean to you to hear that message from the president of the united states? >> wolf, thank you so much for having josh and myself on. it meant a lot. it really did, to have jill and president biden meet with us, sit down, talk to us, and he was actually really sincere.
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and it was the same time where things did slow down with the operation, so we were able to talk to him about really putting more federal resources into this rescue effort. josh? >> yeah. i think that president biden really spent a lot of time with all of the families. and it also gave us an opportunity to talk to some of the other families as well. i think we also need to thank dearly senator marco rubio, governor desantis and debbie wasserman schultz as well. they have been fighting extremely, extremely hard for us and for the rest of the families, and they were there as well and giving everyone a lot of support and since i think they have put in an extreme, extreme amount of effort as well as all of the first responders on the ground.
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>> you have the entire israeli team -- >> were you able -- go ahead, kevin. >> okay. just the whole israeli team and their technology that they met with us, designing out the apartment and doing their forensic analysis is really important. and we conveyed both to the president about how important that effort is and for him to support that as well. >> kevin, were you able to tell the president and the first lady about your loving wife, judy? i know you have been married now for almost 40 years. >> thank you so much for having that question. absolutely. judy is an amazing person. she, as you know, philanthropic heart, a big heart and all of her efforts. the president and both jill were extremely compassionate about all of her efforts.
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and also, you know, our goal in this effort is really to put resources in to the rescue effort, and that's the most important thing that we conveyed to him. >> josh, i know you're a trauma surgeon. we've had a chance to get to know each other a little bit in the past few days. i just spoke to the mayor of miami-dade, and she said the search and rescue operation has started up again after being halted for so much of today, halted overnight and almost all of today. what kind of hope does that give you? >> there is always hope. i mean, with trauma, we talk about the golden hour and all these things. and right now it's already past a week, which is in some ways disheartening, but we're not giving up hope. when we heard this morning that the building shifted and they
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were not able to work all day long, we were very, very concerned. and now that we're hearing that they're able to restart again is very helpful. but there is some -- going to be something that needs to happen to the existing standing building. whether that's to take it down and kind of push it into the street where there is empty space and away from the pile because what we do not want to happen is for it to collapse on to the pile and then we just restart from scratch. that would be the worst. >> all right, josh and kevin. our hearts go out to you. we're praying and hoping for the best. thank you once again for joining us on this important day. the president of the united states and the first lady here. coming up, we're minutes away from a news conference here in surf side.
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we're standing by for an update on search and rescue operations, which just have resumed. also ahead, there are other major developments unfolding in washington right now. republican congresswoman liz cheney is breaking with her party, accepting speaker pelosi's invitation to join the special committee investigating the capitol riot. age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein. - [narrator] at southern new hampshire university, we're committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable, that's why we're keeping our tuition the same through the year 2021. - i knew snhu was the place for me
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only a moment or so away from an update from officials on the resumption of search and rescue efforts at the side of the condo collapse. we'll have that live in a few moments. standby for that.
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in the meantime, we're following historic developments unfolding in washington where republican congresswoman liz cheney just accepted an invitation from nancy pelosi to serve on the select committee investigating the january 6th insurrection. ryan nobles is tracking this story for us. update our viewers while we wait for the news conference. >> yeah. that's right, wolf. pretty significant development today. the big take-away is that nancy pelosi is not going to wait for republicans to cooperate with her efforts to investigate and get to the bottom of what happened on january 6th in the capitol insurrection. less than 24 hours after the house passed a resolution creating that select house committee to look into january 6th, pelosi announced the eight people that she has picked to serve on that committee. as you mentioned, included in that group is the republican congresswoman from wyoming, liz cheney. a critic of the former president donald trump and the role that he played leading up to january 6th. chaney was also someone that was a major backer of the plan for
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an independent bipartisan commission that was ultimately stalled in the republican -- by republicans in the u.s. senate. so the big question now is just how cooperative will republicans end up being? the house minority leader kevin mccarthy does have the opportunity to appoint up to five members that will need the approval of the house speaker. at this point he has not said whether or not he plans to do so. so we have to see how bipartisan this committee ends up being. she says she's move forward no matter what. >> ryan, standby. our special correspondent is always with us. i may have to interrupt you. but how significant is it that congresswoman chaney's decision actually standby. the mayor is speaking at the press conference. we'll get back to you. >> i want to thank our congresswoman, debby wasser man schultz for joining us here today.
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i'm very glad that i can share with you that starting around 4:45 today we resumed -- i'm glad i can share with you that starting at 4:45 today we resumed our search and rescue efforts. i have to tell you that our firefighters looked really, really excited to get back out there. this was following the recommendations of our structural engineers. they had taken the time to study the conditions to make sure things were safe. our fire rescue team has been working around the clock, as you know, since this fateful building fall and we needed our engineers on site to evaluate the safety of the standing structure. i am grateful to their hard work that got us back to work on the search and rescue as soon as possible. and we are continuing, of course, to assure that we do everything to protect our first responders.
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we will continue to search feverishly as we have done all along in the parts of the collapse that we currently have access to. given our ongoing safety concerns about the integrity of the building, we're continuing to restrict access to the collapsed zone. we'll get some more information about that from our chief fire officer shortly. we're continuing to use the technology, the cameras, the drones and more to search in the area of concern and our team of engineers is doing ongoing testing and evaluation as we work to expand the search area as quickly as possible as it becomes safe to do so. and we're proceeding with planning for the likely demolition of the building while the search and rescue continues as our top priority. this is a decision that we need to make extremely carefully and
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methodically as we consider all the possibly impacts to the pile of debris and to our search and rescue operation, as well as considerations of how to best manage the demolition in order to safe guard the integrity of the existing debris field. the numbers remain the same. 18 confirmed deaths, but now we have identified and notified next of kin for 17 of those victims. please join me in praying for their families and their loved ones and those who are still waiting and waiting for news. we're also continuing to closely monitor the progress of our tropical storm elsa. the national weather service will be here tomorrow on site to brief our team. no impacts to south florida are expected until late sunday when there is a risk of heavy rain fall and strong winds.
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but we continue to monitor the storm's progress. now is the time for our community to make sure you have a plan in place and you take key precautions at home in the eventuality of a major storm. our office of emergency management, charles seril and florida department of emergency management director kevin guthrie will provide more details on the storm preparation, and we encourage you to download our app readymdc app. you can get it all the details from there is checklists and other important information for you as you prepare for a storm. i have been in touch with the chairman, who is with us here today, and we're working closely with the south florida water management district on methods to draw water down in preparation for the possible storm because of all the water that we have had here lately.
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given the saturation, we need to be sure we will be able to drain any water from the storm and we have been doing this over the last several days. i'm very grateful to president joe biden and first lady dr. jill biden for visiting us today. we provided him with an operational briefing on our search and rescue efforts, our comprehensive family assistance center, which is up and running, our support effort and much, much more. and he spent over three hours visiting with the families, and he also spent time with our first responders. he listened deeply to everyone. it was truly emotional for all of the families as well as for me and my team. the families spoke very candidly with him about their struggles and their grief, and he shared his own experience of great tragedy and grief, which was a great as i said -- excuse me, as he said in his remarks fol throwing
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visit, we are truly one nation, united by the enormity of this tragedy. we are truly united by this tragedy. so i want to thank him and all of our state and federal partners. it has been a great blessing. it has been a great honor to have their support and all the teams on the ground for the remarkable work that they're doing each and every day without fail. their endless dedication. [ speaking foreign language ] >> all right. we're going to get back to the news conference momentarily. but important information, the mayor confirming that the search and rescue operation has resumed in areas where it's safe to do so. that doesn't mean it's resumed all over the place. it's still a very, very dangerous search and rescue operation. the florida state fire marshal is with us.
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jimmy, thank you very much for joining us. >> yes, sir. >> so this operation is continuing right now. i know you've been briefed fully on it. how significant is this operation? has it resumed as fully as it was before the pause? >> what we have done, there was about a 45-foot buffer up against the structure that is still standing. it's been expanded. the fear we're bringing in heavier equipment, that heavier equipment creates potential complications to the weight that is keeping the structure in place. so out of an abundance of caution, we have expanded that buffer to make sure the firefighters and first responders have a little more comfort being a little further away from what we call widow makers or other debris that could cause harm. >> that is remaining tower from the kocondominium complex, willt have to be demolished? >> it will. the timing is still yet to be determined. but in order to complete what it takes in order to finish the
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mission, the building will have to go. it's too much of a risk. >> some suggested it will be demolished towards collins avenue instead of the rubble behind right now to allow the search and rescue operation, god willing, there may be a survivor out there, or at least find some bodies, in order not to make it further more difficult. what is the theory on where all that rubble from where it should go. >> sure. so you would take the existing scene. it would be covered with tarps as best you could, and then drop it as in place as possible, which is amazing what they can do with these controlled charges. but yeah, it would err on the side of collins avenue. >> when do you think that will have to be done in order to protect the hundreds of men and women who are part of the search and rescue teams? >> so when you look at the challenges that we have seen, you've got advent of storms
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taking place, and also the urgency of time that is working against us, you know what? it might be sooner than we are anticipating. but, you know, engineers have been working around the clock, even though there was a stoppage, nobody stops working, because we had to put together a plan to continue the mission. soz the search and rescue mission is continuing. you mentioned the weather that the mayor, she said tropical storm elsa could impact this area as early as sunday. that's the last thing anyone needs. a tropical storm with heavy wind and rain heading towards this area. >> the men and women are basically working on top of a lightning rod on top of that. strong winds also complicate things. those strong winds make debris off the building potentially falling down. again, those are things we can avoid with the safety precautions. if the building is leveled, it
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makes the work effort that much easier to accomplish. >> you think by sunday, that tower might be level? >> i don't know if it will be quick, but all those complications of whatever it will need to take to do it, the calculations are under discretion. >> i know you and the mayor and other authorities have been fully briefing the families before you come out and brief us. how is that going? >> so just a little bit ago, i was about to have a visit with other television station, and the local priest embedded with miami-dade, brought the family, they lost their son andreas -- >> he's the student from vanderbilt university, 21 years old. >> right. i got chills. it was such an amazing, healing moment for me, because of -- they were grateful to be able to have closure. and i got to introduce them to some of the task force members and first responders. a little uncomfortable at first,
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but it was so healing for everybody. and it's not that easy for everybody. i was just grateful to be able to help them find closure. >> it's so heartbreaking. a 21-year-old student at vanderbilt. yesterday you announced a 4-year-old and 10-year-old among the people confirmed dead. 145 people still unaccounted for. >> when we met with joe biden today, i had one question, and i just wanted to make sure the ptsd, this sun like anything that's ever been experienced in florida. just that the benefits they will need, the treatment, the help that they get it. because it's abnormal to tell a parent that their 4-year-old or their 10-year-old has died. >> it's heartbreaking when you think about it. good luck to you and all the men and women who are part of your team. we are so grateful to you. >> and to you. >> thank you very much. we're continuing to monitor the news conference. we'll get back to it. much more of our special conference from here in surfside florida when we come back.
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it's a scramble. just crack an egg. >> >> i'm wolf blitzer in surfside, florida. thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. news. the trump organization charged with a 15-year tax scheme. trump's top money man at the company slapped with 15 felony charges. is this just the beginning? breaking news, the rescue efforts at the site of the condo collapse have just resumed as joe biden consoles families. still waiting for word. as bill cosby


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