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At This Hour

Biden Administration Criticizes OPEC Decision To Cut Oil Production; Iran's Supreme Leader Blames West For Protests; Poll: 90 Percent Of Americans Believe U.S. Experiencing Mental Health Crisis. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired October 05, 2022 - 11:30   ET




STEWART RHODES, LEADER OF THE OATH KEEPERS: For them to pop you with a conspiracy charge and do what they did to those guys from Michigan because they got them hot on the collar, probably a few beers down talking smack. So be disciplined.


WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: The defense is trying to recast these words, Erica, as proof that in fact, what they were trying to do was develop a plan, but that was within the confines of the law. And they said that that's not illegal even though they acknowledge that the comments might be bombastic. However, the Department of Justice is presenting this evidence because they think it shows this planning that went on from November through January 6, evidence of an increasingly desperate plot that culminated with the riot on January 6, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Much more to come in the many weeks ahead. That's for sure. Whitney, appreciate it.

Joining me now CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan. Paul, let's start with that audio. So one of the things that I think stood out for a lot of people yesterday when it comes to that audio is the defense really pushing back here saying, hey, this was recorded in November of 2020. This was not about January 6. So as you look at that, why do you think the prosecution would use that knowing that that would likely be the pushback from the defense?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, we've got a six-week trial ahead of us and they've got a pile of evidence that they've developed over the months and maybe even years in putting this case together. So obviously, they thought that this was an important piece of evidence. And there are things in the tape that really stick out.

Rhodes is saying, for instance, that if he had a lead pipe with an American flag on it that would be a good kind of weapon to carry, all right? People are going to think it's a flagpole. They're not going to know you're carrying a lead weapon. I mean, that's a pretty clear indication of what was intended, weapons to hurt people, wherever they were.

But on the other hand, the defense says, hey, this is well before January 6. This is in fact before that, a couple of famous rallies that occurred in Texas on 11/14. And they're going to make an argument to the jury. They're not proving anything about January 6. So, prosecutors better have stronger evidence than this or they're not going to win the case.

HILL: The last time a charge of seditious conspiracy was brought was actually dismissed by a judge. This was in 2012, I believe. So, in terms of that, they need to have more, you said. What specifically do they need to prove related to that rare charge?

CALLAN: It's a very difficult charge to prove and that's why you don't see it very, very often. You have to prove that there was an intent to obstruct or overthrow the government of the United States through the use of violence, and that's why we're hearing this about weapons that could be used for violence.

Now, of course, prosecutors are going to say we're not offering that to prove that this is what was actually there on January 6. We're offering this to show that they had the capacity to obtain weapons. They used weapons and other situations. And it's not a stretch to think that they would have used weapons on January 6. But they need a more -- much more direct connection to January 6 to be able to prove intent in this case.

HILL: Take a look at this latest filing from former President Trump's legal team asking for the Supreme Court to step in. What is your gut? How do you think this plays out?

CALLAN: Well, there are two interesting factors. One is that the circuit judge for the Supreme Court who monitors emergency applications for the 11th district, which is Florida, is Clarence Thomas. Now in a prior case where there was a motion by Trump to try to block congressional access to these records, the only Supreme Court Justice who ruled in favor of him was Clarence Thomas.

So, it wouldn't surprise me if Clarence Thomas maybe decides to recommend that the whole full court hear the case, but the other justices have to make a decision on that. And I think they're going to reject it because they can't -- there's no proof here that Trump's going to suffer from irreparable harm if this -- he doesn't get to look at these classified documents.

HILL: And given that everything is continuing right now -- everything else has been settled I should say is been continuing, the investigation is continuing. If there was a ruling in Trump's favor by the time we got there, what would that change at this point?

CALLAN: I don't think it changes anything. I mean, the only theory that I have is that Trump feels that if the Special Master is allowed to look at the classified documents, he'll share the information with Trump's lawyers, and maybe give them a better indication as to what arguments that they can muster in the end when this case proceeds. Maybe Trump doesn't even know for sure what was in those boxes. Remember, he was a sloppy record keeper. He may have said just to throw that in the box, throw that in the box, and he's not even 100 sure what he saved and he'd like to know that of course before his case proceed.

HILL: Right. It is interesting. I remember going through those records of what we had when they were released a couple of different times they got the documents and it felt like someone would like this, it took the whole desk and shove it in a box so it'll be interesting to see.

CALLAN: Exactly.


HILL: Nice to see you, my friend, thanks, Paul.

CALLAN: Good to see you, Erica.

HILL: Coming up here, police in California pursue a new lead in the case of a family of four that may have been kidnapped. We have the latest details for you ahead in a live report.



HILL: Developing right now, the Biden administration criticizing OPEC's decision to cut oil production by two million barrels a day this despite pressure from the U.S. to actually pump more. CNN's Arlette Saenz is live at the White House with these new developments. This is exactly what the White House did not want to see.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. And the White House is out there very quickly criticizing and slamming this decision from OPEC Plus with some top officials here at the White House, calling it a short-sighted decision. Now I asked President Biden about these anticipated cuts before he left for Florida earlier today and he told me he was concerned and that he found them to be unnecessary.

But National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and the director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese released a statement further elaborating on the president's frustrations in which they say "the president is disappointed by the short-sighted decision by OPEC Plus to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

They say, at a time when maintaining a global supply of energy is of power -- paramount importance, this decision will have the most negative impact on lower and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices." Now the Biden administration had really launched this full-court press from top economic, and national security officials, to really try to dissuade Middle Eastern allies from making such a significant cut.

Their concern going forward is what this could mean for gas prices around the world and here at home, especially as you have those midterm elections coming up. The president in his statement said that he has directed the Secretary of Energy to look at options for possibly boosting domestic production of oil going forward. But this is something the White House is very critical of as OPEC makes this announcement today.

HILL: Yes, and raising questions too about that visit to Saudi Arabia over the summer. Arlette, appreciate the new reporting. Thank you.

We are also keeping a close watch on Iran. The supreme leader there breaking his silence on the protests gripping his country, now blaming the West for igniting the defiance in the streets in solidarity with Iranian women. These protests have now been going on for weeks. And of course, they follow the death of a 22-year-old woman who was detained by the country's so-called morality police for how she was dressed. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is live in Istanbul with more for us this morning. Jomana.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, no surprise they're hearing the supreme leader describing this as a foreign conspiracy. This is exactly the sort of rhetoric we have been hearing for nearly three weeks now from the Iranian regime, basically describing the protesters out on the streets in their thousands as rioters, mercenaries with foreign agendas, and just dismissing all that's been going on in the country as a foreign plot to try and destabilize the Islamic Republic.

Now, there was a lot of speculation that we haven't heard from the supreme leader for the past couple of weeks, some wondering if there's any sort of disagreements within the clerical establishment on how to deal with these protests. But he came out and he spoke and he -- and he said that this unrest as he described it was designed by the United States in Israel to weaken Iran.

In a very disturbing line in his speech to these police cadet saw, Erica, he said that some of these young people who are taking to the streets he said they're influenced by programs they see on the internet, and they, with the right punishment, he says they will realize they are wrong.

So a lot of concern that this all might be an indication of an even stronger, harsher crackdown coming but I can tell you that hasn't stopped these protesters with some of the country's youngest fearless school girls now joining the protests against this regime and demanding regime change, Erica.

HILL: And you will continue to keep us updated chilling -- perhaps not surprising, but chilling to hear those words about the right punishment. Jomana, appreciate it. Thank you.

South Korea's military is apologizing this morning after a missile they fired malfunctioned and crashed, as you can imagine that alarmed a number of residents along the country's eastern coast. The missile landed outside of the military base. The warhead did not detonate. No casualties had been reported. The U.S. and South Korea are conducting precision bombing exercises after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday. In California, the desperate search for a missing family continues. Police say a 45 -- sorry, a 48-year-old man is in custody as a person of interest in their investigation into the possible kidnapping of this family of four, a kidnapping that may have happened at gunpoint. CNN's Natasha Chen is live for us from Los Angeles with more. So what are some of these newer developments we're learning?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erica, we just learned some of these disturbing details within the past hour. I spoke to the Public Information Officer with the Merced County Sheriff's Office who told me that that surveillance video does exist of the kidnap happening on Monday at a business in the Merced area.


That kidnapping occurring on camera apparently, where she says the suspect can be seen, actually with a gun and with restraints putting these people in a truck, two by two, first the two men, and then a woman, and the eight-month-old baby. Right now, we are also learning from the sheriff's office that the 48-year-old person in custody, they arrested that person because of help from that person's family.

That family called law enforcement saying that he had admitted to somehow being involved with the kidnapping. Now prior to law enforcement involvement, he had tried to take his own life and so he is -- he had received medical treatment and as of last night was in critical condition, but they did not have an update on his status this morning.

Now on Tuesday, investigators did see that an ATM card belonging to one of the kidnap victims was used in Atwater, California about 15, 20 minutes away from Merced. It's not clear at this time whether that person they have in custody is the person who used that card and it's also not yet confirmed whether he is the same person seen in those surveillance images from Monday.

But we are going to hear from the sheriff in a few hours at a press conference where we're told they may release more images from that surveillance video from the business where the family first disappeared. We might even see images of that suspect truck, Erica.

HILL: Yes, it'd be interesting to see those. Natasha, appreciate the new reporting. Thank you.

CHEN: Thanks.

HILL: Just ahead here, one thing the vast majority of Americans can agree on. This nation is facing a mental health crisis but there are barriers to treatment. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me with the new poll findings next.



HILL: As the U.S. grapples with economic uncertainty and the lasting impacts of the COVID pandemic, an overwhelming number of Americans, 90 percent, say they believe the country is experiencing a mental health crisis. Those findings come from a new poll by CNN in the Kaiser Family Foundation. CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joining me now. So, Sanjay, I have to say, I read through this this morning and that initial number was both astounding and at the same time, not at all surprising to me.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I felt the same way. 90 percent, in some ways, you might think, you know, I'm surprised it's not 100 percent, you know, considering all that we've been going through. When they did this survey, they asked people to sort of rate some of the biggest things that were driving their mental health concerns. And overall, there was a sampling of things sort of came out. One of the things that really was at the top of the list was the opioid epidemic, Erica, you know. And you know, we've seen the numbers on this. They've reached record levels in terms of drug overdose deaths in 2021.

But you know all these other issues, the mental health issues in kids and teens, severe mental illness in adults, loneliness, lots of stress and anxiety from politics. Again, none of this sort of surprises anybody. But I think one of the other concerns, when you look at this polling is, now that you've identified this, what do -- what do you do about it? And it's hard for people to access care for lots of different reasons.

In part, it could be because people simply can't get the time off of work to do it. It could be the cost of care, you know, there's not necessarily parity, meaning, mental health issues and physical health issues being on par in terms of how they're cared for, still a stigma, all those things that we've been talking about for some time but as you point out, Erica amplified really over the last couple of years now.

HILL: Yes, and perhaps even more justification in many ways for alternate methods of getting that care whether it'd be Telehealth, texting services, all of those so important.


HILL: Sanjay, I do also want to get before we -- before we let you go. We know there's been a lag in people getting their boosters, especially this most recent one. But there's some new analysis that shows just what a difference those shots can make. Can you walk us through that?

GUPTA: Yes. I think two important things. First of all, about a third of the country eligible for boosters has received boosters of any kind. So, you know, there's a significant lag as you point out. Second thing is we're going into a cooler and drier season and we know viruses will tend to spread more in those settings either because we're more indoors or the virus likes that kind of weather. But here's what they found. This was done by the Commonwealth found -- fund at Yale University. Right now again, about 33 percent of the country boosted. If nothing more happens, we could reach a peak of a thousand deaths a day, Erica, hard to even say that. HILL: Yes.

GUPTA: If we get closer to 52 percent of the country boosted, which is around where flu vaccination levels are typically, potentially saved 75,000 lives by the end of March and 80 percent boosted, close to 90,000 lives by the end of March. I mean, you know, I know, for a lot of people, they've stopped thinking about COVID but those numbers I think are really important. They're not exact, but they -- I think they do tell a very important story.

HILL: Yes, absolutely. And one that's important to keep -- to keep talking about, right?


HILL: Especially as we enter into flu season too, you can even get both shots at once.

GUPTA: That's right.

HILL: That's what I did. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, always good to see you, my friend, thank you.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

HILL: We're just moments away from a SpaceX launch in Florida. We have live coverage of this. You just see some of the pictures there live from Kennedy Space Center. Stay with us. CNN's live coverage will continue on "INSIDE POLITICS" after this quick break.



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Hello everybody, I'm John King in Washington. You're looking right there live pictures of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In just seconds, just seconds from now, that rocket will blast off heading for the International Space Station. This is a historic flight with two big firsts. As we listened to NASA there, I want to bring CNN's Martin Savidge into our coverage. And, Martin, as we watch we're seconds away from this takeoff, two important first, one of them, a cosmonaut onboard, an American spacecraft for the first time in 20 years.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Right. Yes, this is Anna Kikina and she is the first cosmonaut as you point out to fly on an American spacecraft in 20 years.