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At This Hour

Defense Atty. Presents Case For Brittney Griner In Russia; Chief Justice Roberts Privately Lobbied To Save Abortion Rights; Pope Apologizes For Indigenous Abuse In Canada's Catholic Schools. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired July 26, 2022 - 11:30   ET



CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Containment number. The lower temperatures and the higher humidity, that is also helping but there is still a lot of work to be done. Thankfully, yes, there are a lot of resources here but unfortunately, there are a lot of families that will come back to their homes and this is what they're going to look like. It's interesting to see the fire behavior.

I want to see if I can show you one of the trucks here because half of it was burned. The other half was not. So it's just interesting to see how this fire moves throughout the area but the reality is that it is so dry and that is why, Bianna, it is spreading so quickly.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, no rhyme or reason. And look, this isn't an anomaly. We're covering the story every year, these wildfires out in that part of the country. Camila Bernal, thank you so much. Stay safe.

Well, today, the White House is launching a new website aimed at helping Americans cool down. A scorching heat suffocates much of the country. The conditions intensifying on the west coast this week, with forecasters predicting potentially deadly record-breaking heat today from Northern California to the Pacific Northwest. Joining me now is the governor of Washington State Jay Inslee. Governor, thank you so much for joining us today. How are you?

GOV. JAY INSLEE, (D-WA): Hey, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: How are you preparing your residents there for this heat wave?

INSLEE: Oh, two ways. One, we're doing the obvious things, we've opened up quite a few cooling centers, and we've adopted new rules that protect workers who have to work outside in these hot temperatures. We're doing things to help people get more air conditioners and heat pumps that can be used as air conditioners. We're getting people information about how to stay cool. But those are the -- those are the sort of, you know, first aid.

But look we need -- we need intensive care for our communities. We need to defeat carbon pollution that is causing this horrendous. This is the second summer in a row we baked. Summer before that we were choking on forest fire smoke, our kids literally couldn't go outside or some are now dying there because the water is too hot for them literally to live in.

We've got to cut to the heart of this problem and attack at it -- at its source, which is carbon pollution. And I'm glad we got 23 states doing that. We know we've been hampered by the Senate, but we are acting in our states. This is our destiny, it's in our hands.


INSLEE: We need to take action and we are.

GOLODRYGA: Hampered by the Senate and hampered by the Supreme Court as well. Give us some examples of what you yourself are doing as governor in Washington State.

INSLEE: Well, we're doing a lot in Washington State. We have a bill that will give us clean electricity in decades to come, 100 percent clean non-polluting electricity. We have the best capital investment bill which caps the amount of pollution and generates funds to help people get access to clean energy and heat pumps and the like.

We have a low carbon fuel standard, which will give consumers cleaner fuels and help the transition to electric cars. We soon will have a requirement that we go to zero polluting cars in the out years as soon as the president will act to allow the states to move forward. And we're building communities that are both resilient and low carbon by adopting transportation measures that have low carbon emitting sources of public transit, more access to electric cars.

So these sweet of these policies put us well on the way to cutting our pollution in half by 2030. But we're not alone. Well, as I said, we started the U.S. climate Alliance. We now have 23 states, all of whom are moving forward to meet our Paris commitments to reduce pollution. But we've all got to accelerate our game.


INSLEE: Look, this is just a foretaste. You were just covering these horrendous fires in California, unbelievable rainstorms that shut down Yellowstone National Park, and record rains in St. Louis the other day. This is just the cutting edge of what's heading our way in this avalanche. Literally avalanches of Mount Rainier --


INSLEE: And what is happening to it.

GOLODRYGA: And yet, Governor, we see this with our very own eyes, we're living it, millions of Americans are suffering, many are dying from these record-breaking temperatures or the fires, what have you. And yet, as you mentioned, the president's hands really are tied federally in terms of what he can do, Build Back Better doesn't appear to have a path forward in addressing climate change.

A new poll shows that 59 percent of Americans though, say the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of global climate change, you, yourself. And your 2020 presidential bid ran specifically on this issue, as we know it didn't get you very far in that race. Why -- how do you explain that disconnect with what's happening on the ground with how Americans feel and yet no significant results in terms of what can be done to prevent this and stop it?

INSLEE: Well, again, we have significant results in our state. So states are now in the engines of fighting climate change and we're acting our states.


I urge everyone to get out there and vote, vote for state officials and federal that can cause action. Look, the federal government is a system that's broken between the filibuster and gerrymandering and the Republican Party, all of whom have refused to act on climate change. But here's some good news. The president does have tools at his disposal. He has ungratified that he acted to develop offshore wind. He now has at least five buckets. He can act by executive action.

Senate can't stop him, not -- I don't even think the Supreme Court to have acted on regulation to reduce carbon pollution, act to stop digging the hole deeper by stopping offshore drilling, acting to allow us to help people get access to electric cars in the years to come, acting to help finance getting access to heat pumps that can both heat and cool your home, and moving forward with more efficiency standards. He has lots of tools in his toolbox. We're counting on him to use those in the upcoming weeks and months because we have to use every single tool at our disposal.


INSLEE: This destiny is in our hands. And I know people feel despair about this. But the antidote to despair is action. And I hope everybody will take some action in the upcoming weeks and months starting by voting in November. Look we got to -- we're here to exercise our franchise here to vote to fight climate change. I hope everybody will this November and we know who that is. And it's not the Republican Party.

GOLODRYGA: Governor Jay Inslee, we are thinking of your residents there, another scorcher of a day, and the difference is 100 degrees in the Northwest means so many people don't have air conditions.


GOLODRYGA: Unlike what they have in the south and even here in the Northeast. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

INSLEE: You got it. Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And a quick programming note, don't miss a new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA." Kamau Bell looks at how years of drought and extreme heat waves are leading to terrible wildfires. That's Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on CNN. And coming up. New details about the private efforts of Chief Justice John Roberts to save Abortion Rights, what was going on behind the scenes? Up next.



GOLODRYGA: WNBA star Brittney Griner, back in a Russian court this morning, her defense arguing that she used the cannabis oil found in her luggage at the airport for medical purposes. Griner has been held in Russia since February. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison. Griner is expected to return to court and testify at a hearing tomorrow, of course, we'll bring you any developments in that case.

And back here in the U.S. New CNN reporting takes us behind the scenes in the Supreme Court battle over Roe v. Wade. Multiple sources say Chief Justice John Roberts fought to preserve the constitutional right to abortion, but clearly had failed to convince any of his fellow conservative justices. So what happened? CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic is live with her new reporting. This is fascinating, Joan, tell us what you learned.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure, Bianna. And your question was exactly right. What happened? And what I wanted to know is what was the Chief doing during this time and how were his colleagues reacting to him? When the justices first took a vote on this case in December, it was essentially 5, 1, 3. 5 Justices on the far right to reverse Roe, one justice in the middle, the chief, to uphold a ban from Mississippi on abortions after 15 weeks, and then the three liberals who didn't want any disruption with abortion rights, and why just strike down the Mississippi law.

The chief worked for weeks and weeks, months to try to pick off one of those five justices on the far-right to stop the overturning of Roe. The justices beyond hadn't even taken the case originally to decide the momentous question of the future of Roe. They had taken it only to decide the Mississippi part. And the chief thought that what the Conservatives were doing to his right was a violation of you know judicial restraint and precedent dating back nearly a half-century. And he was starting to make a little bit of progress, I believe. But the leak in -- on May 2 really changed things.

Conservatives on his right were already anxious to what the chief was doing. And then once it was revealed publicly that Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, two of his targets for any change had already voted that way, those votes became essentially locked in and harder for the chief to maneuver. But I do have to say that after the public leak of the draft of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe came out, Chief Justice John Roberts continued. He continued to try to convince one of his colleagues to just hold off on the reversal of Roe at this point but just could not do it.

And as I say, I think the public document made it a bit harder because the chief likes to work in secret, make secret concessions, draw out secret concessions, and with everyone knowing what was happening, a very difficult task became even harder. In the end, it's possible that justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were never going to change their votes because of -- because of where they really were on this issue from the start, Bianna.


GOLODRYGA: But it is interesting with this added context is to further understanding Chief Justice's anger, right, as to the outing and the leak of that document and of that decision. It currently is under investigation as we speak. Joan Biskupic, thank you so much for that. Really fascinating.

BISKUPIC: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And coming up. The Pope saying I humbly beg forgiveness for indigenous abuse in Canada's Catholic schools. But is the apology enough? I'll speak with the leader of the Metis indigenous community. That's ahead.


POPE FRANCIS: Speaking in a foreign language.




GOLODRYGA: Tens of thousands of people gathering right now to hear from Pope Francis. His open-air mass is set to begin just moments from now in Edmonton, Canada. The Pope's trip is centered around apologizing for the Catholic Church's role in the abuse of Canadian indigenous children in residential schools. CNN's Paula Newton is in Edmonton, Canada, and joins us with the latest. Paula, tell us the situation on the ground there. What is his -- what is the reaction?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Well, the Popemobile has just come by us here in the stadium. This is more of a day of healing in stark contrast, and as of yesterday, which was a day of apology. Right now, a lot of enthusiasm for this open-air mass, tens of thousands in the stadium right now. The Popemobile has made its pass through the stadium. Several babies pass up to the Pope to be blessed and kiss and a lot of enthusiasm. I think this is coming again the day after, of course, that the Pope, literally on a beg for forgiveness. Take a listen.


POPE FRANCIS: Speaking in a foreign language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness of telling you once more that I'm deeply sorry. Sorry for the ways in which regrettably, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the indigenous peoples. I'm sorry. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: You know, I know what this is about is about literally the torturous treatment that about 150,000 indigenous peoples received in Canada for more than a century. They were torn away from their families, as young as four, put into residential schools, the majority of rich -- which were run by the Catholic Church. This apology for this treatment has been decades in the making. And given the post trail health, everyone appreciates that he is here. But as I said, it is a long time in coming.

I have to say the Pope looks quite good and in fact, rejuvenated after a bit of jetlag from just being in the Popemobile and being able to see the crowds with such enthusiasm. And, of course, also touching, bless those babies. The mass will be getting underway here within just a few moments. And we will continue to bring you more here from Edmonton, Canada, as I said, as they await what is now really a program of healing through this country.

GOLODRYGA: I have to say it is quite an amazing image to see the Pope there sharing a stage with the indigenous chiefs. Paula Newton, thank you.

Well, joining me now is Cassidy Caron, president of the Metis National Council. Thank you so much for joining us, Cassidy. So it really is not an over characterization to say you played a large part in making this trip by the Pope possible, and his apology as well. How are you feeling today?

CASSIDY CARON, PRESIDENT, METIS NATIONAL COUNCIL: Well, thank you for that introduction. And, you know, I can't say that I played a really large part in making this happen today. I really just helped facilitate the survivors who shared their stories with Pope Francis over at the Vatican earlier this spring to prepare him for his trip over here. Today, I feel good. I think the words that Pope Francis shared yesterday at the opening event at Maskwaci, you know, it set the stage for the week to come where Pope Francis -- he's really learned.

He's really listened about the stories from our survivors about what happened on these lands. And the way that he wants to continue to move forward. I think he really truly expressed that in his apology yesterday. There's certainly a lot more work that has to be done, a lot more commitments that we're looking for from the Catholic Church, but it was another step forward on our pathway to reconciliation. And I'm looking forward to hearing what Pope Francis will say at the stadium event today, as well as the community event that I will be attending this afternoon.

GOLODRYGA: You mentioned your visit to the Vatican earlier this year. Can you give us a sense from your interactions with how much the Pope actually was aware of these abuses prior to your visit?

CARON: So I think he had definitely done some research, or his staff, people had done some research for him. But it's the stories that come directly from residential school survivors that impact anyone. If the Pope himself, it impacted him, it compelled him to make the apology while we were over there on April 1 at the Vatican. It's those stories that come directly from the people who have that lived experience. That's the work that needs to be done to compel people to want to continue having conversations about what happened and want to continue to move forward in a better way.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, we see images there from just moments ago of the Pope blessing babies that are brought over to him. The Pope said this is just the first step in his apology tour. What do those next steps need to look like for the community?


CARON: So there's quite a bit. And from the Metis National Council perspective, even just the Pope saying that this is the first step indicates to us that he was listening. Because when we went over to Rome, when we were preparing with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, we expressed to them that an apology is simply the first step in providing that acknowledgment that the Catholic Church has a role to play in reconciliation. Because they played a role in the damage and the destruction of our families, our communities, and our nation, they have a role to play in moving forward.

And so, yes, we -- you know, when we were in Rome, we delivered Pope Francis with a book, and in that book contains many stories for Metis residential school survivors, and it also carved out a pathway for the Pope himself, the Vatican, the Cardinals, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, it carved out that path for action. And we compiled actions under truth, healing, reconciliation, and justice.

And so, you know, an apology was the first step. Pope Francis yesterday announced that there would be a serious investigation. We don't yet know what that serious investigation would entail. However, there's a lot that needs to be investigated. The individuals who perpetuated crimes against children and those who are still living, they need to be extradited to Canada to be tried for their crimes. That's a part of justice that has to happen.

We have a lot of investigating on the grounds that residential schools we're on to find all of our children who were buried in these unmarked graves. There's a lot of these investigation pieces that need to continue to move forward. And so we're looking forward to finding out more about that.

GOLODRYGA: Well, and the important and historic first step from the Pope and hopefully a big step forward to closure for the community. Cassidy Caron, thank you so much. And thank you so much for watching. "INSIDE POLITICS" is up next after this quick break.