Return to Transcripts main page

At This Hour

Trevor Reed's Family Speaks Out After Son's Release From Russia; Lake Mead Plummets To Unprecendent Low Level Amid Extreme Drought; "Nomad With Carlton McCoy" Premieres Sunday At 10 P.M. ET/PT. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired April 29, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Just this morning, we have an update from the family of Trevor Reed, his parents saying that President Biden may have saved their son's life. In their first interview since he's landed back in the United States, the Reed family says that while he has a long recovery ahead of him, Trevor's spirits are high.

He's currently undergoing testing and receiving medical care after spending some three years in a Russian prison and returned home in a surprise prisoner swap this week. Top of mind for Trevor now, according to his family, is the other Americans still being held by Russia. Listen.


PAULA REED, MOTHER OF TREVOR REED: Yesterday when we spoke with Trevor, that was the very first thing he said to us was, he said he didn't feel well. And we said, well, you mean like physically? He said, no mom, I feel terrible that Paul is still there, and I'm here. And he said when I get better I'm going to start advocating for them to bring Paul home right away. So that's how we feel. We're going to advocate for everyone to come home.


BOLDUAN: Along with Paul Whelan, a former Marine held since 2018, WNBA star Brittney Griner is also being held by Russia and held there since February. And nearly 60 Americans right now are believed to be wrongfully detained or held hostage by foreign governments around the world. That's according to the James Foley Legacy Foundation. They include Emad Shargi, an Iranian-American businessman who has been wrongfully detained, even kept in Iran's notorious Evin Prison for four years now.

Joining me right now for more is his wife, Bahareh Shargi, and his sister Neda Shargi. Thank you so much for being here. Neda, you and I have been in communication for quite some time. And I was wondering when you heard the news of Trevor Reed, what was your reaction?

NEDA SHARGI, SISTER OF AMERICAN BEING HELD IN IRAN: You know, I was overjoyed, and honestly, it took my breath away when I first read the news about him coming home. And then, you know, I let myself daydream a little bit. I was actually in the car and I just pulled over and I just tried to imagine if it was -- if I had heard that Emad was on his way home and what it would feel like and how I would call my parents. So it gave me so much hope to hear that he was home and joining his family and I just hope that President Biden will do everything he can to bring Emad home, so it's no longer a dream for us.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And Bahareh, last Saturday, marked for years to the day that he was first taken. I know you've been able to have short phone calls with him over time. What is the latest that you've heard from his -- from your husband? How was he doing?

BAHAREH SHARGI, WIFE OF AMERICAN BEING HELD IN IRAN: Thank you, Kate, again, for having us. But he's -- you know, it's hard to know how he's doing because he's the kind of person that always puts up a good face, even at the worst times and days like last week were very, very difficult. But days like yesterday, were very difficult that it was our youngest daughter's 24th birthday, and this is the fifth birthday of Hannah's that Emad has missed.

So, you know, how is he doing, he says he's fine. But how is he doing emotionally, morally, and you know, like, how -- it's hard to say. It's so hard for all of us here that we're together, but for him, it must be very, very difficult.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I can't even imagine asking the question, how are you doing over four years, asking that and he's still detained behind bars and what -- and what he's going through Neda, the Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, he tweeted about this horrible anniversary of him being detained. He wrote this on Saturday. For four years, the Shargi family has waited anxiously for the Iranian government to release Emad. Like too many other families, their loved one has been treated as a political pawn. We call on Iran to stop this inhumane practice and release Emad.

You know that must -- that must have been great to see. But what is the role of the administration? What are you hearing from them about -- actual conversations to get to some progress?

NEDA SHARGI: Well, that tweet meant the world to us, as did the tweets from many senators and representatives. You know, we had Senator Rubio and Senator Kaine, Coons, Risch, Representative McCaul, Representative Deutch, you know, it means a lot and it's a reminder to the administration that we're dealing with a human issue and not a political one.

And we have been working very closely with the State Department. They have been incredible in terms of the attention and care that they've given us, but really the majority that the purpose of their work is to bring Emad home and we are still waiting.


BOLDUAN: Bahareh, this involves some of the biggest things when you talk about your husband being detained by Iran. The United States and Iran decades of tensions, and negotiations over nuclear weapons, I mean very big things. But this is also about a family, about your family. What do you want people to know about what this is -- what this has been like? Who Emad is, and who he is to you?

BAHAREH SHARGI: Emad is a -- for me, first and foremost, actually a father because he is such a present father. He is my best friend. And yes, he is a brother and son to all parents that are having their eyes on the door waiting for him. What I want people to know is that what it feels like sometimes, Kate is that it feels like we are -- we are an ant, you know, and family and somebody's come with a big footstep and he's crushed our family. And it's something that I hope people realize and they're able to undo this and help us be together again.

BOLDUAN: I can't imagine -- I can't -- I cannot imagine the helpless feeling of being the ant under that footstep on this global scale. Bahareh, thank you so much for coming on. Neda, thank you for your strength. Thank you so much.

NEDA SHARGI: Thank you for having us.

BAHAREH SHARGI: Thank you. Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Coming up for us. The water levels at Lake Mead are plummeting to unprecedented low levels. Now historic water restrictions are also going into effect. What it means for millions of residents. That's next.



BOLDUAN: Now, the latest on the pandemic. 38 states are reporting increases in COVID cases in the last week. The Washington Post reports that Gallaudet University in DC is moving its classes and exams online for the remainder of this semester because of a spike in cases on campus.

And we've also learned that President Biden will be taking extra precautions to attend the White House Correspondents Association Dinner this weekend. The president will still be speaking at the dinner but he will not be attending the dinner portion of the 2000- person gala. And Dr. Fauci has announced that he will not be attending because of concerns over COVID.

Also, new this morning, the leader of the British Virgin Islands is in U.S. custody after being arrested on drug and money laundering charges in Miami. Here's what we know. BVI Premier, Andrew Fahie, was arrested by DEA agents posing as members of a Mexican drug cartel. A criminal affidavit says the premier agreed to allow drugs to move through the British Virgin Islands ports for $700,000. Along with the premier, a senior port official and his son were also arrested. The three have been charged with conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Now, here's a picture that you just have to see to believe. We will show this to you. That is Lake Mead, a reservoir which supplies water for millions of people now shrinking to levels not seen in 50 years. You can actually see one of its original water intake valves exposed for the very first time as a climate field megadrought is gripping the western portion of the United States.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has been tracking this for quite some time now. She joins us once again. Stephanie, this is crippling. I mean, I remember you standing over Lake Mead as you were reporting on this earlier. This crippling drought is now leading to some very new and real restrictions.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and you know what I keep thinking about, Kate, is April showers bring May flowers, not so much out here in the West since we barely got the rain. And then when you see something like this, an actual picture that you can look at to see just how low Lake Mead has gotten, think about it. 40 million people get the water from the Colorado River Basin in seven states. It also feeds down into Mexico, and some of the Native American tribes as well rely on this for water. So this is a big deal that you can see this.

Now, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, they are saying that they're seven agencies that pull water from Lake. They had to figure out a new way. So in 2015, they started building this new valve that will go lower, and we can actually show you what that looks like, and pull out of the water because they knew that this was going to happen.

So, you see that bottom tier there that is the new one that started operation this week because that other valve that you saw there, it started to show at beginning of April here. That is the problem. So for the 2.2 million people who rely on this way to get the water in Southern Nevada, this is actually very important for them.

But the issue here is that we are just not seeing the snow during the rainy months, during the wet months, and we are not getting it, the snowpack in California, I traveled up there earlier in the month and I can tell you, it is not there. And so for people here in California, they're asking them to cut their water usage by 35 percent, most of that Kate, most of what people use goes to outdoor watering. Cut it out. Save the water. It's dire now.

BOLDUAN: I mean it is getting to that point for sure. It's good to see you, Stephanie. Thank you.

ELAM: You too.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. A trip to Paris that goes way beyond the Eiffel Tower and Bistro is on the left bank. Up next, we're going to spotlight and showcase a new CNN series that takes you off the beaten path to the food, wine, and people defining France today.



BOLDUAN: In the all-new CNN Original Series, Nomad, with Carlton McCoy, Carlton takes us all on a global exploration of food, music, art, culture, all to discover the universal threads that connect us all. McCoy is a classically trained chef, master sommelier, expert traveler, I'm sure many other things, and I'm sure he'll list out for us. He has found himself at home everywhere from his grandmother's kitchen to the top restaurants in the world. Here's a preview of the first episode, Carlton's trip to Paris.



CARLTON MCCOY, HOST, "NOMAD WITH CARLTON MCCOY" (voiceover): This isn't like a tour or anything like that. I'm here to meet with someone super special, Chef Francis Oge. He's a Chef De Partie here at the Palace kitchen.

FRANCIS OGE, CHEF: The house doesn't work like a regular restaurant or regular hotel. This is the first house of friends and we are like a display for the world.

MCCOY: Chef Oge is a first-generation immigrant. He grew up in the suburbs, but he now cooks for the president and his wife.

First of all, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'll be very honest with you. I was sort of, like, fanboying out on your Instagram. I also love like, very ornate, classical French cuisine. It's like, about as classic as you can get like food that people don't really know how to cook anymore.

Today, he's preparing an old-school, a French dish that we both love.

OGE: Speaking a foreign language.

MCCOY: It means that like a thousand leaves. Yes.

OGE: Yes, exactly.


BOLDUAN: Joining me now is one and only Carlton McCoy, the host of Nomad. It's nice to have you here.

MCCOY: It's great to be here.

BOLDUAN: How did this show in series come about?

MCCOY: You know, initially we really wanted to focus on wine because that was my career at the time of, obviously finish up before. And as you mentioned other talents like a professional basket weaver in my free time and now it's a --

BOLDUAN: At the second I thought you said, basketball player. I'm like, OK, here we go.

MCCOY: You can feast, looks like a --

BOLDUAN: I was going to say. That's where I was going. MCCOY: Yes, professional benchwarmer. No, I -- and when we started to meet with the team and we started to talk about what we wanted to do, we realized that there was a much larger story and more doors that I could enter culturally, than just one, really sort of developed into Nomad as a concept.

BOLDUAN: That's really great.


BOLDUAN: So, you're master somm, and when I heard that you were coming on the show, I reached out to someone who I've learned as a mutual friend of ours.

MCCOY: Oh, wow.

BOLDUAN: Bobby Stuckey is a fellow master sommelier.

MCCOY: Oh, Stuckey.

BOLDUAN: Of Frasca Food and Wine. And I asked him if we -- if he could ask you something, what you're asking and he did -- he basically plan the second. He sent me a list of questions. First and foremost, Bobby wants to know, how is your sneaker game going right now?

MCCOY: The Stuck master. I have -- this is silly to admit but I have a walk-in closet of sneakers in my house. And as my girlfriend and I are looking for a new home right now, it's like a thing, it's like, is there room for a sneaker closet, which she thinks is absurd. It's a cultural thing. It's growing. It's growing every day.

BOLDUAN: I'm very -- but Bobby actually had also very --


BOLDUAN: Pro big good questions and he had a great one, which I had never even thought of. From one somm to another, what guests surprised you the most in a positive way when you did their wine service? And Bobby says for him, he said, I still remember the day I served Stephen Hawking a bottle of 1991 Cote Rotie. What would it be for you?

MCCOY: Yes. I mean, that's not even fair. I mean, he -- you know, I had this whole shtick I was going to do here, and Stuck bombers just totally just throwing this off.

BOLDUAN: No, this is -- I totally decided to just completely up and to the segment.

MCCOY: We know, I'm not a -- I don't get starstruck but there are certain people that I really admire. And to me, that gets me much more, more starstruck. Before he was a friend, Maverick Carter came in for dinner and I'd always admired him for coming from a neighborhood like Akron and becoming who he is now.

And him sitting down and me realizing that he was actually very well versed in Burgundy, specifically at the time he was really into, and I would just like -- I mean, I was like, man, this is like, if there's another reason like, love this guy. And now I've been able to travel the world with him. But for me, it was like, what he represents I admired and I just didn't expect for some reason. I knew he would like expensive wine, but he knew what he was talking about.

BOLDUAN: That's good.


BOLDUAN: The unexpected, that is always so memorable, right?


BOLDUAN: OK. So that actually is it perfect segue of your show because you find the unexpected in the places that you go. And you travel all over the place, so many different places, is there a common thread that you find through all of the different cultures, countries, places that you're going to?

MCCOY: You know, it's sort of a general tone is, you know, when you go to a place and you show genuine interest, and what is unique about what they do, people are so excited to show you their cultures. I mean, you have to understand this like as much as we are proud of what happens in our worlds like they are, as well. And sometimes these places have thousands of years of history that sort of curated and crafted the world that exists where they are there. So if you go in you know curious, open-minded --

BOLDUAN: Open-minded.

MCCOY: In -- but live in that space on their terms. I think often we go in with no we like to you know, reside in a space this way. You really have to be open to just sort of going on for the ride. You can't really control it. And you know, the times I've traveled around the world and ended up in someone's home at their dinner table when I didn't know them. You know, it's -- you have to go in and you have to fall in love with their world the way is with you know, how they live in it every day.

BOLDUAN: And how they see and see it all for their eyes.


BOLDUAN: Yes, be open to just being along for the ride. Welcome to AT THIS HOUR. That is also how it has to be when you join the show.

MCCOY: Let's hear about sneakers, and --


BOLDUAN: Yes, there was sneakers and we're going to get there at some point.


BOLDUAN: It's good to meet you. Thank you. MCCOY: Thanks to you as well.

BOLDUAN: Congratulations on the show. (INAUDIBLE)

MCCOY: I can't believe Bobby did this.

BOLDUAN: He did. We can talk about it in the break. All right, be sure to watch the CNN Original Series, Nomad with Carlton McCoy, premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, only on CNN. That is it for us at this hour. I'm Kate Bolduan, along with Carlton McCoy, from the both of us. "INSIDE POLITICS" starts after this quick break.