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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 9/20/22

Guests: Joyce Vance, Susan Glasser, Peter Baker


Lawyers representing Donald Trump on Tuesday faced fierce challenges by a federal judge appointed as a special master in a case focused on classified documents found at the former U.S. president`s home. Judge Raymond Dearie said after the former president`s lawyer declined to divulge information about what was declassified. New York attorney general Letitia James has said her office is set to make a "major announcement" within hours. A New York City meteorologist is speaking out, and taking legal action, after he was fired from his job for appearing on an adult webcam website.



AMANDA GORMAN, AMERICAN POET: So that the world might be great.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The Poet Laureate of the United States Amanda Gorman gets tonight`s "LAST WORD". THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.


STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight, a warning to Trump`s legal team. You can`t have your cake and eat it too. The warning came from the judge chosen by Team Trump. And we are getting a look at the former president in a way we have never seen. The book makes the frightening connection between Trump and his view of power.

Then, how safe are your most personal secrets on your phone and the internet and TV weatherman loses his job when very private photos are delivered to his boss and his mother. He`s here to tell us how it happened.

Plus, the devastation in Puerto Rico. The island is asking for help as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Tuesday night.

Good evening. Once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. Donald Trump seems to be getting a lesson and be careful what you wish for. Today his lawyers squared off with the Justice Department attorneys in a Brooklyn courtroom during their first meeting with a special master Judge Raymond Dearie, but Trump`s lawyers soon discovered the judge was ready to challenge them.

Dearie was one of the former guy`s choices to review the documents that were seized at Mar-a-Lago last month, including several papers that were marked as classified. Trump has publicly claimed he already declassified some of the seized material, saying the DOJ has no case against him, and the documents belong to him. But that argument has never been made by Trump`s lawyers.

And today, a skeptical sounding Judge Dearie pushed Team Trump to describe exactly which documents Trump allegedly declassified, however, they declined to do so. That`s when dairy told them quote, you can have your cake and eat it too.

In other words, you cannot argue Trump had the authority to declassify items without saying what he actually did. Former Mueller investigation team member and MSNBC contributor Andrew Weissmann was in the courtroom earlier today. And he says Judge Dearie was in no mood to give Trump`s lawyers the benefit of the doubt.


ANDREW WEISSMANN, FMR. SENIOR PROSECUTOR ON MUELLER INVESTIGATION: If you don`t present any evidence to me, Trump, then I am left with the records that I have. I have evidence that these documents are classified. If you decide for whatever reason, you do not want to present me any evidence, that`s fine, you don`t have to. But he then went ahead and said, then this case becomes very easy. And I think that just means he`s signaling, I will then have a record in front of me where there is no dispute that these are classified, and he`s certainly not going to turn classified documents over.


RUHLE: The special master also suggested his review might only take four weeks, that is a lot sooner than the November 30 deadline. Trump`s lawyers were also busy today responding to the DOJ`s appeal to the 11th Circuit Court over access to the seized documents.

They`re calling for judges to reject the DOJ`s appeal, arguing that the Justice Department has yet to prove that some of the records seized are in fact classified. How`s your Donald Trump himself? He was on far right TV earlier today insisting that the search never should have taken place, and that he has done absolutely nothing wrong.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They had no right to do what they did. And we were talking and negotiating. And frankly, I saw it getting along.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We keep hearing about video recordings at Mar-a-Lago that would have captured the raid. Have you had conversations about releasing that footage?

TRUMP: Yes, we have and they would rather have me not do it because of the safety of the FBI agents. We were very precise. And you know, it`s not a pretty picture, either. It looks like a military coup.


RUHLE: For facts sake, this was nothing like a military coup. Instead what this was a legally executed search carried out with a warrant that was signed by a federal judge. But what Trump didn`t do on TV was give any explanation about why he had the documents in the first place.

With that let`s get smarter with the help of a superstar leadoff panel tonight, Peter Baker, Chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, Susan Glasser, staff writer for The New Yorker, together, they wrote "The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017 to 2021." We`ll get into that book later in the hour. But we`re going to get to this news first and welcome also former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, who spent 25 years as a federal prosecutor and she is also a law professor. are at the University of Alabama.


Joyce, you know, I`m going to you first I want to share how politico describes what went down today. Were they right tension between Dearie and Trump`s legal team was an ominous sign for the former president, reminding our audience Trump picked theory, given that on day one, how bad was it for him?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, it was bad for Trump, Stephanie. But it was nothing that anyone who had read the law and looked at the facts in this situation wouldn`t have anticipated. And I think what`s so shocking about this is that we`ve almost lost our expectation that the former president will be treated like any other litigant in a courtroom. That`s exactly what Judge Dearie did today.

The talk about you know, you can`t have your cake and eat it, too, was a function of what the burden of proof is in a civil lawsuit that the former president filed. He actually has to put evidence in front of the court that suggests that he`s entitled to relief. One way he could do that would be by claiming he had declassified the documents, so he had a right to have them returned.

And Judge Dearie`s frustration is that if there is no evidence in the record, then his path is very clear. He simply rules in front of the government. That`s the outcome that Trump`s setup, and that`s likely what he is coming to grips with this evening.

RUHLE: Then beyond putting roadblocks and delays in place, Joyce, Trump`s legal team appear to have any real strategy?

VANCE: They are hamstrung by their client. And you can read so much of Trump`s voice in these pleadings, this insistence on arguments that don`t make sense and don`t conform to legal requirements. That`s pretty much his hallmark of creating this alternative reality, where the fact where the facts are what he says the facts are.

So, excuse me, so it will be a problem for his lawyers going forward. They`ll be forced to make actual legal arguments. And this is something that you can`t do if you believe your client isn`t telling the truth. So if for instance, and there`s some suggestion of it, because in the pleadings up until now, the lawyers have stopped short of saying that the former president declassified documents, they haven`t said that under oath. They`ve said that he has the right to do it, but that`s where they`ve stopped.

That`s a problem for them because they have a duty of candor to the court. They can`t make representations that they know are untrue. And ultimately, that may be where the rubber meets the road here.

RUHLE: Susan, it`s not even what Trump did. It`s what Trump has said, that now appears to have his lawyers in a tough spot with the Special Master. Is this deja vu all over again? Isn`t this what happened with White House lawyers, even White House Cabinet remembers for four years in the Trump White House? He would say something, and they`d be scrambling to try to clean it up.

SUSAN GLASSER, THE NEW YORKER STAFF WRITER: Yes, no, absolutely. Donald Trump is a master at sort of throwing stuff out there and letting other people kind of construct an ex post facto argument around it. He even did that with a nuclear deal with North Korea. He declared that he had reached a fantastic nuclear deal and basically left his aides to try to figure one out, which of course didn`t happen.

You know, I think this point that Joyce made is absolutely right. You know, Donald Trump is dictating, essentially non legal arguments. You can hear the former president voice almost saying he has the absolute power to do this and that thing, that`s the tail, right. Donald Trump has declared absolute power, an absolute right to do any number of things that he does not, in fact, have the absolute power to do.

But I do think that often he benefits because the legal timetable and the legal constraints are not the game that Donald Trump is often playing. He`s playing for time here, as you pointed out, he`s playing for political advantage. And, you know, the rest isn`t maths for the succeeding waves of lawyers that he hires to deal with.

RUHLE: All right, well, then let`s talk about time, Peter, six weeks, it has been six weeks. And still Donald Trump has not offered a single word explaining why he took the documents in the first place. At some point, is he going to have to answer this question? He is going on TV.

PETER BAKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it`s a great question, Steph. I think you`re exactly right to put your finger on that. Because this issue of whether things are declassified or not declassified in some ways is a red herring. What would he do the documents in the first place, whether they were declassified or not, he wasn`t entitled to them. They are owned by the American people. They are owned by the public, the government. He a president is not entitled simply walk out of the White House with whatever documents he wants. That`s not the way the law works.

You have as a former president have the right to access those documents. You have to go through a process. You want to write a memoir. President Obama did that. President Bush did that. That`s the way it works. You don`t get to walk out and say, Hey, these are mine. They don`t belong to him, and he hasn`t offered explanation for what he needed them for the for was place, what was the purpose of having them was it in order to have bragging rights for people the letters that Kim Jong-un and that kind of thing. We don`t know.


And he hasn`t bothered to offer an explanation at some point you have to imagine, Joyce would know better than this, because she`s a lawyer and I`m not, you have to imagine at some point, he would have to offer some sort of a justification for why he took them in the first place.

RUHLE: One would think but he still hasn`t told us why we haven`t seen his taxes. So this is his jam. Joyce, I want to talk about a different thread because today, Judge Dearie, the special master asked one of the government`s lawyers about how they`re going to the 11th Circuit to regain access to the documents. When he asked the DOJ lawyer sort of implied that that case could go to the Supreme Court. If that`s the case, how long can this thing take?

VANCE: There`s considerable delay that`s involved in these sorts of appeals. You know, the 11th Circuit`s so far has shown a willingness to expedite this case. They entered an order Saturday night requiring the former president to respond today by noon, which he did, that makes it look like they may be on an expedited track to a decision.

But either party or perhaps even both, if they`re disappointed with parts of the 11th Circuit`s order could then take an appeal to the 11th Circuit or rather to the Supreme Court, which might also consider the appeal on an expedited basis and rule on its shadow docket if it were inclined to enter the fray in this case, we could be looking at months more likely than weeks of delay if that appeal pattern is followed.

RUHLE: Susan, all of this document, tug of war is dragging us down the calendar towards the midterms to voters care about this or are they impacting Trump endorse candidates?

GLASSER: Well, you know, that`s going to be a question that we don`t know the answer to yet. You know, it does appear that for now, it`s one of those classic process fights. Donald Trump has run this playbook before. Right. He immediately declares each new investigation to be a witch hunt, the greatest witch hunt of all time. It`s a terrible, you know, situation, the FBI are jackbooted thugs. You know, they are what was the clip that we just played here? Right. You know, it`s a coup against him.

Now, how you can have a coup against a former president who himself contemplated imposing martial law when he didn`t win an election. You know, obviously, you can`t have a coup against a former president, folks. Right.

So Donald Trump is, I think, an expert at playing this hand. And so far, you know, to the frustration of many people, there`s a feeling that he`s managed to use the tools of the law, and to extend things out and to avoid accountability. As you said, we`re still waiting for those taxes to become public.

RUHLE: It was no coup. His answer was cuckoo. Peter, you expertly laid out all the current investigations involving Trump, I guarantee every person who`s covering politics now has this hanging in their office because it`s confusing. There are six separate investigations. Given all of that, how all-consuming is this in Trump World? Six separate ones?

BAKER: Well, yes, of course. Yes, exactly. And then there`s some other civil issues that we didn`t really cover in that article as well. I mean, people were making claims about his liability in various instances, but you`re right, six rather, rather extraordinary situations among them. For instance, let`s just give an example.

Next month, I believe it`s next month that they Trump Organization itself goes on trial for, you know, basically cheating on taxes that that Allen Weisselberg, the Chief Financial Officer for Trump for many, many years, his right hand man when it came to finance already pleaded guilty of that, and may not be charging Trump directly but that Trump Organization, that`s him. That`s President Trump in a family run organization. That was all President Trump. That`s just one example.

The documents the January 6, Congress, the you know, so many things we`re going to hear perhaps from Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General about her investigation is some of the business practices will we`re looking forward to hearing that. He has so many issues on the plate right now that he has a battery of lawyers ever changing, of course, cast of characters because some of them, you know, leave out of their own exposure or haven`t been paid or what have you. And it is all consuming. It is a war that he is waging right now.

RUHLE: It`s like Peter is reading my mind, Joyce. New York Attorney General Tish James, she is holding tomorrow morning what is being described as a major news conference. Last week, the New York Times reported that James could potentially sue Trump. Obviously we don`t know what is coming tomorrow, but given what Peter just laid out, given what I shared. How worried should trump be tonight about Tish James tomorrow?

VANCE: Well, James rebuffed a settlement offer from the Trump folks that would have resolved this case that didn`t happen.


And she`s reported to be investigating this is a civil matter, not a criminal matter, but a case that could have far reaching implications for the Trump Organization if she indicted it. I suppose the furthest out she could go would be to use New York`s corporate death penalty provision. It`s called that because companies that engage in bad practices, corrupt practices, other sorts of practices that the law forbids in New York can in essence be shut down. And James has already done this to Trump`s charitable entity, which no longer functions, it ceased to exist as a result of that.

She has suggested she would not go that far in this sort of a case, but she could still see considerable sanctions against the former president`s company. And of course, when you get sued in a case like that it has the impact of restricting your cash flow, making it more difficult to find working capital. So lots of potential implications. If that`s what tomorrow is about, of course, she could be announcing any range of lawsuits tomorrow morning.

RUHLE: Peter, it`s not just reporters who have your article hung up with the six clear investigations. Republicans do too, and not just those in Trump world. The likes of Mitch McConnell, as he`s watching this, who has never been a Donald Trump ally, who`s watching the rally Donald Trump had with JD Vance this weekend in Ohio, that was maybe two thirds full. What are other Republicans powerful ones like McConnell doing and thinking behind the scenes as they`re watching these six separate investigations play out?

BAKER: Well, this is exactly the opposite of what Mitch McConnell wants right now. What he wants is for Donald Trump to be off the stage so they can focus their strategy on Joe Biden. They can hit the president on his weaknesses, they can talk about inflation, they can talk about immigration, they can talk about crime, they can talk about all the different things that they think, make him vulnerable and therefore make the Democrats vulnerable to lose control of the Senate and the House in the fall by history standards. Republicans ought to be able to win this midterm election, they traditionally do the out of Power Party does.

But to have Donald Trump out there, again, plays into President Biden`s hands because it makes that choice this fall, once again, potentially a revival of the 2020 election of choice between Biden Democrats and Trump Republicans. That`s what the Democrats want. They want you to say, Look, you may not be happy with what we`re doing on all occasions. We have a lot of things we can brag about. But what you really don`t want is to return Trump and his acolytes to power. Trump is playing into that by being so out front, in fact, and creating this, this choice to dimension instead of a referendum on Joe Biden.

RUHLE: Of course, Mitch McConnell might not like the position he`s in but he put himself there. He did not vote to impeach Donald Trump. Joyce Vance, thank you. Susan and Peter, I`m not letting you go. When we come back, we`re going to dig into their new, get ready, 650-page book, The Divider. The book has some of the most frightening stories about what actually happened inside the Trump White House yet.

And later, you`re going to meet Eric Adame. Someone sent photos he thought were private to his boss and to his mother. What happened? He lost his TV job, and now he`s having to fight to find out who did this to him. Why would happen to him is a warning to all of us. What is privacy? What are you doing on social media and when your private life quickly becomes your public life. THE 11TH HOUR just getting underway on a Tuesday night.




TRUMP: With that being said, my generals and my military, they have decision making ability.

I`ll leave that decision to myself and my generals and my admirals. OK. Not to you.

I was upset with my generals because they weren`t getting it finished.


RUHLE: The former guys calling us military leaders, my generals, that did reveal a lot about his approach to power and the presidency. Turns out we didn`t know the half of it. One retired general quoted in the new book, The Trump Divider, says Trump just thought generals were all about power and the wielding of power and destruction. Well, as promised Peter Baker and Susan Glasser are still with us. The full title of their new book, "The Divider, Trump in the White House, 2017 to 2021." And tonight, it is number one on Amazon`s Best Seller list.

Susan, you both covered Trump for four years, the world watched every twist and turn out of that White House by the end. Nothing could surprise us. But you dug deep. What surprised you in writing this book?

GLASSER: Well, you know, I have to say that, you know, we felt it was important for the historical record at this moment of incredible threat to American democracy, right. Donald Trump has done something that no president did beforehand. We`ll see if anyone does subsequently refusing to accept the lawful results of an American election. We`ve never had anything like that.

We decided to go back to report more after Trump left office to try to find out, you know, what else do we need to know about this? And I think the big takeaway you talked about my generals in the lead in, we were surprised at the extent and persistence of essentially the undermining of the U.S. national security from the very beginning of the Trump presidency.


Trump called the my generals, but he never understood the independence, the nonpartisanship that is embedded at the heart of our idea of the U.S. military. And there was enormous consequences, I think, in that struggle as it played out over four years.

When we found out, you know, the contents of the resignation letter that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley wrote and did not send to Donald Trump after that Lafayette Square photo op, it was just really it was a chilling moment to me as a journalist, to find out that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs believe the President of the United States was doing grave and irreparable harm. Those are Milley`s words, not mine, grave and irreparable harm to the country to our interests, and ruining the international order. I mean, really, it was just a like, wow, we`re really in big trouble moment for me.

RUHLE: Peter, same question to you. What surprised you the most?

BAKER: Yes, I think that`s right. I mean, one of things that was really interesting, again, we did as much as we could over four years to report, everything was going on in that White House. But what surprised us is how much we didn`t know at that time, and how much there was still to learn after he left office. We learn more about stories we thought we knew about and we learned about stories, we never knew a thing about writing small example, the Greenland thing.

Remember at one point, he said, I`m interested buying thought that was kind of like a one off thought bubble, right? It turns out that was like a months long, years long effort, in fact, prompted by one of his billionaire friends who started talking to him about this idea and had and he got the entire national security apparatus to start studying it. They even came up with a memo, Steph, you`ll find this interesting. They include various options like a leasing option. For instance, they were really taking this quite seriously, because he insisted on it. So we didn`t know that at the time. We learned things like that after the fact.

More serious efforts, of course, are things that the politicization of the Justice Department, the military, as Susan discussed, the effort to ban the institutions of American government to his political uses. That I think is the big takeaway from this. The January 6 was not a one off. It was the ultimate culmination of four years of war against American institutions and democratic norms.

RUHLE: Susan, people have said for a while, anecdotally, Trump has a cult like following. But now look, he seems to be publicly supporting conspiracy theorists, Cuba, non-believers, what is going on? It seems like there`s now almost a sharp and drastic turn just doing this all right out in the open?

GLASSER: Well, you know, it`s certainly it`s very blatant. The imagery from the other night was chilling, I think, to anyone who studies you know, radicalization in politics, right? That was a really frightening moment to me to look at those images. And yet, I would say this, it`s not really a surprise, you know, with Donald Trump, the past is almost always prologue.

This is a man who came into national politics by promoting a lie and a conspiracy theory, the Obama birther theory, right. And this was at the heart of who Donald Trump has always been, in fact, long before he entered politics. He had a penchant for spreading conspiracy theories, and lies, you know, for essentially embracing what the historian Richard Hofstadter called the paranoid style in American politics, where there`s always some hidden forces at work, talking about the deep state, things like that.

Again, I think that the through lines were so significant to Peter and I, as we tried to write a first crack and a full four-year history. And, you know, the embrace of conspiracy theories is something that`s been with Donald Trump, and therefore with all of us his entire time on the public stage.

RUHLE: Yes, but his sort of openness to QAnon until now, it was more wink, nod, nod, like you`re my boys on the side. But now that he seems to be more overt and embracing it, Peter, do you believe that`s because of Trump`s slipping poll numbers? Because there`s a whole lot of rich Republicans who were like, Oh, he`s tough, but he`s getting my vote, and they`ve left the ship.

BAKER: Yes, I mean, a lot of people would have thought that he would have lost more support for many reasons. For now, obviously, right, you would have thought January 6 would have been the end of that. But you`re right. I do think there`s a slow erosion that seems to be happening.

If you look at the most recent NBC poll, it shows it asked the question of Republicans, do you consider yourself more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party, and 33 percent of the most recent poll said they were more a supporter of Donald Trump. And that was the lowest number since NBC started asking that question back in 2019. It`s not a collapse. It`s not like he is still the most dominant figure in his party. He is.

But there is I think, a fatigue factor that seems to be at work here. We`ll see whether that has any impact on the 2022 midterm elections. But at some point, I think that there are Republicans were saying I may like Trump for a lot of reasons, I may approve of his policy that made him agree with him about 2020, but it`s time to move on because he`s not really representing the Republican Party writ large at this point if he`s engaging with these QAnon conspiracy theorists fringe elements.


RUHLE: Or maybe they`re not the fringe, maybe they are the base of the party. Peter Baker, Susan Glasser, thank you so much for joining us again, their new book, The Divider, check it out. 650 pages, a scary story.

When we come back, sex, privacy and the Internet. Images that were supposed to be private shared on a website filled with people`s private pictures, the TV weather forecaster who lost his job and is now trying to find out who did it when THE 11TH HOUR continues.



RUHLE: The internet is making it more difficult to hear people`s professional presence completely separate from their very personal activities. You might think what you`re doing is private, but you might be wrong. New York City meteorologist Erick Adame was fired from his job after photos were leaked of him from an adult webcam site. He says he thought what he was doing was private.

Now he says an anonymous person sent the photos to his mother and to his managers at work.

Today, I had a chance to speak with Eric, who until recently worked for a local news station here in New York one.


RUHLE: You are sharing this deeply personal crisis that you`re in. And it is getting a huge amount of attention because it touches on privacy, how we share ourselves personally, socially, right? On the internet, which is largely unregulated. Well, content is getting more racier and more explicit. And we`re all figuring out how do we reconcile that with expectations in the workplace, in our schools with our families. And that sort of brings us to this conversation.

So I want to start really with what happened to you, your employer, just like NBC has a morality clause, do you accept that you were terminated from your public facing job, because nude images of you were shared.

ERICK ADAME, EMMY NOMINATED METEOROLOGIST FIRED FROM NY1: So I apologize in my statement, because I did feel that, you know, when looking back at how this played out that I, you know, some people probably felt offended, they`ve been hurt. Maybe even being a coworker of mine embarrassed that.

But I don`t think that what I did was wrong. I think in my statement I also said that I unequivocally do not apologize for being sex positive. And for being myself, being an openly gay man. And as you`re saying that the lines sometimes get blurred, you know, corporate America expects us to be under their control 24/7, 7 days a week, and we have our personal lives too.

And what I did was something that really I intended to be private. I never spoke about it at work, obviously. And, and now it`s not. And that was actually beyond my control, which is the other part of this is someone took that and then sent it to my employer, which inevitably now makes it not private.

RUHHLE: Do you feel like you`re a victim of revenge pornography?

ADAME: You know, looking at, you know, and I`ve had an attorney look at this as well. So I`m not a law expert to look at this particular case. I do feel like I`m a victim. Whether or not that`s going to be classified as revenge porn or not. Someone intentionally trying to hurt me and make me lose my career that is, obviously a point where I`m a victim. Someone did this to me.

And it`s come out to that my mother was sent these images as well. So I`m not sure what the person`s point was in doing this. But as you can imagine, how horrible of an experience that would be bringing your personal life and then sending it to your family.

RUHLE: You know, you said perhaps maybe this offended a co-worker, when you think back, right, as lewd or inappropriate as someone could think this is, 50 years ago, someone would lose their job if they were spotted at a gay bar.


RUHLE: Do we need to reevaluate what we think, what we say is acceptable when we look at these morality clauses?

ADAME: Absolutely. I mean, there`s, I think there`s a generational gap here, in what`s happening. I think that there`s a whole slew of people that are in this business, and in many other businesses, that this is an alien concept to them, that people are doing sexual things on the internet. And a lot of people are doing this all the time.

In fact, during the pandemic, the New York City Health Department encouraged people to have virtual sex in order to be safe.


ADAME: From COVID. And then now that could be used against you what you did in those sessions. It`s because there`s a lot of ability, it`s very easy to take a screenshot or record what`s happening. We`re all very vulnerable and susceptible. This could happen to anyone. And that`s essentially what happened to me, but there is definitely a generational gap between how it used to be and how it is now and I think that there needs to be some change in how we look at this.


So whether or not, it`s even considered immoral in the first place.

RUHLE: Did you think what you were doing was private because millions of people are on dating apps, social media sites, things more sexually explicit. Did you know what you were doing could make its way into the public.

ADAME: I also mentioned in my statement, because and I thought long and hard about this, that there was a lapse of judgment. Being a television person, television personality, as you know, the rules can be different. We sort of live in a fishbowl where everyone looks at our actions, and will judge them honestly, quite differently than they judge others. In a way, we`re not like the rest of humankind, you know, the people just treat us differently.

So I think that I knew that in the back of my mind and wanted to be like a regular person. And so yes, I wanted to be private. But I also knew that potentially this could not be private. And kind of looked at that as a risk, that probably would never happen to me. And it did.

RUHLE: But when you think back, you`re a grown man, what if you were a child a teenager? Do we need more regulations or protections, because technology has moved really quickly.


RUHLE: And regulation hasn`t. And think about the position you found yourself in the temptations the room you`re in? What if you`re 15 or 16, and you lose your chance to go to college? I think just like this.

ADAME: I think that there`s a lot of risks there for our younger generations, because it is so easy to grab a cell phone, it`s so easy to get on any computer and do what I did at a younger age. And I mean, there`s two things here, they`re at risk to predators that are out there. And they`re at risk of exploiting themselves, and not knowing the consequences of that later in life. Because this stuff stays out there forever.

RUHLE: Do we know what privacy is? In that, I`m guessing you would not have done this in the middle of Times Square?

ADAME: Right.

RUHLE: But when you`re just holding a phone? Do you think that you`re in a private space, when in fact, you`re not protected at all? You`re in the square times 10.

ADAME: Yes, I think that when you`re at home as I was in the privacy of my home, that you think you`re private. And then when you`re interacting with someone on the internet, you think it`s just you and that person. What happened to me on this particular thing that I was using this adult website, it was captured without my permission, and then shared without my permission, so that took away my privacy. And that`s been the hardest part of that about all of this is the violation of my privacy.

RUHLE: OK, so your privacy was violated. You thought you were in a safe place, but you weren`t.

ADAME: right.

RUHLE: On the other side of the coin, do you think that person who snapped that picture of you? Who then shared it? Are they being protected in the same way that Twitter trolls who come after us on any given day, say the most horrible things, but if they saw you in real life, they wouldn`t say a word? The person who`s attacked you their anonymity is protected.

ADAME: Right.

RUHLE: Yours is all out there.

ADAME: Yes, I mean, there`s absolutely. And I`ve seen this already on the internet, that people are protecting the person who did this thing. Well, if he was dumb enough to think that he was private, he deserves to be called out. We have definitely developed this culture where sometimes we protect the person who calls people out. This is not about that. This is not calling someone out on bad behavior. I didn`t commit a crime here. I didn`t do anything that is illegal in any way. What happened here is the other way around, someone is doing something to me, as I said.

RUHLE: And you want a court to force the website that you are on to publicly identify who that person is.

ADAME: Right?

RUHLE: What do you want out of that?

ADAME: I want to find out who it is. There`s a good chance that this person doesn`t -- I`ve been asked if I`m going to sue this person. If I do sue, if there is a lawsuit brought against them. It`s not necessarily the take everything that they`re worth. That`s not the point here. The point is because I want to keep living my life. I loved doing what I did.

RUHLE: Why do you think you can`t get another job? Right. So I get why you broke the morality clause. You`re fired from New York 1, but you`re really experienced meteorologist. Why do you think someone else will hire you?

ADAME: I think, I think initially I thought there was a risk that employers maybe didn`t want to take. If you hired me tomorrow is someone going to send these images to you, how`s that going to make people feel? And so I want to find out who this person is, so that I can stop that from happening.


But what I`ve learned in the last 24 hours is that people are on my side the overwhelming support is more than I could have ever imagined. Cynthia Nixon even tweeted today, telling me that she supports me and she doesn`t understand why I was terminated in the first place when I`m a victim, and that I should be reinstated. And that is ultimately -- that would be a dream come true if I could be reinstated, and that we could all learn from this. I think it`d be a win-win situation for everyone.

RUHLE: Well, you are forcing us to have a much needed conversation. I am sorry for what you`re going through. But I thank you for sharing this time with me.

ADAME: Thank you for having me.

RUHLE: Coming up, an update from Puerto Rico where most people are still without power tonight, after Hurricane Fiona devastated the island when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is simply devastating. We`ve been in the thick of it for the last few hours. We`re expecting the winds to pick up even more over the next few hours. Now just to tell you where we are, we are safe. We actually had to move from a floor that we were on higher up into this area where we are at the courtyard surrounded by concrete walls. So right now we`re not getting hit with the worst of the winds.

But if you look further down in that direction, you can see these palm trees swaying quite a bit. Throughout the morning we have seen utter devastation here in San Juan. We have seen parts of roofs being blown off, debris on the street, rising water, and there`s really no telling right now the extent of this damage.


RUHLE: It has been five years since Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, killing nearly 3,000 people and destroying critical infrastructure. Residents there were still recovering from Maria when Hurricane Fiona made landfall this past Sunday. The storm has wiped out power brought devastating floods and killed multiple people. NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez has more.


GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Tonight, Hurricane Fiona is lashing Turks and Caicos after intensifying to a category three storm leaving a trail of destruction across the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Cars flipped downstream roads washed away. It`s now the first major Atlantic hurricane of the season.

This morning in the southern coastal town of Salinas, I met this family returning to their flooded home for the first time. 80 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power. 55 percent is without water and nearly 100 emergency shelters are open across the island. Around the Caribbean at least four deaths are being blamed on the storm or its aftermath.

Puerto Rico`s governor is asking the Biden administration for expedited federal health.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Today, the line for fuel in Puerto Rico grew longer and longer, especially in the southern parts of the island. They need it not just for their cars, but for their portable generators. Some of these drivers told us they waited here for more than two hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I`m going to do if I don`t get this.

GUTIERREZ (voiceover): On this day, marking exactly five years since Hurricane Maria tore through the island. We toured the latest devastation from Fiona by air.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): The water here just kept rising, choking off these communities for the better part of two days.

GUTIERREZ (voiceover): Thankfully, today with the sun out for the first time, more of the floodwaters are now receding, but they devastated countless lives across Puerto Rico.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): This storm was different than Maria. Many parts of Puerto Rico had seen harsher winds before, but not this much rain.

GUTIERREZ (voiceover): Carlos Benitez raced relief supplies to hard hit areas after Maria Fiona`s aftermath now hitting hard,

CARLOS BENITEZ, RESCUER: Devastating, you know, that PTSD just come back right away when you as soon as I flew the helicopter in the morning on Monday. It just -- my heart breaks again. You know, it`s like coming back on a movie and seeing Maria or the destruction or the floating, or the people waving on the top of the roof. Requesting for help is heartbreaking.


RUHLE: Just like Maria, and the infrastructure has still not been completely repaired five years later. Our thanks to Gabe Gutierrez for that report on the ground. And after battering Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic, hurricane Fiona is still picking up speed as it turns toward Bermuda. We will keep an eye on that storm and keep you updated.

When we come back, how to plan your vote with less than 50 days to the midterms to go when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: In our democracy, your vote is one of your most powerful tools for driving change. So given that today is National Voter Registration Day, please make sure that you each are registered to vote is a website, because there is an important election happening in 49 days. Your vote is your voice and we need your voice.


RUHLE: The last thing before we go tonight National Voter Registration Day, we are just under 50 days away from an extremely important midterm election. As we`ve been reporting, there has been a major uptick in women across this country registering to vote after the Dobbs decision. Issues like abortion rights, the economy, health care, gun safety and immigration are all on the line. It is vital that we all make our voices heard this November, no matter who we`re voting for. Luckily, NBC News has got you covered with a plan to vote. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The general election is right around the corner.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have voting questions, we have voting answers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll find voter registration deadlines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Early voting dates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vote by mail information and so much more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because some of the rules have changed since 2020.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now`s the time to start planning for your November vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the state of the United States?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is up to you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plan your plan.



RUHLE: That`s

And on that vote note, I wish you all a very good night. From all of our colleagues across the networks is NBC News, thanks for staying up late with us. I will see you at the end of tomorrow.