Return to Transcripts main page

At This Hour

Freezing Rain Wreaks Havoc Across Southern States; WSJ: French Forces Seize Iranian-Supplied Weapons Bound For Yemen; Omaha Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man In Target Store. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired February 01, 2023 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Today is going to be another mess for millions of people. Freezing rain and sleet making even for more for -- even more dangerous roads and road conditions across southern portions of the United States. A state trooper in Oklahoma caught this scary moment on camera, a semi losing control on the icy roads. You can see it there. In Texas, more than 200,000 people are without power right now. And the storm system is, of course, racking up some major flight cancellations and delays.

Ed Lavandera is at Dallas Fort Worth airport for us at this hour. Ed, it was rough going yesterday. How's it there today?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Nationwide, some 2000 flights canceled yesterday, hundreds of flights here in the Dallas Fort Worth area canceled as well. And we're seeing the same thing again today and expecting that situation to worsen. The flights that are getting out are coming down here to the south end of the runway at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and getting de-iced before they take off.

And we have seen throughout the morning hours a number of flights taking off. They spent a great deal of time here. As you see their three teams of -- spraying this particular American airplane -- American Airlines flight. And hopefully, these fine people are going off to somewhere warmer. But that is what's going on here at the airport where cancellations are expected to worsen.

And right now, the Dallas Fort Worth area has been kind of in this pocket of dryness as much of the state has been hit hard by sleet and freezing rain from far West Texas all the way to East Texas as well. So, that continues. But the conditions are supposed to deteriorate here later today. It's essentially a third round of this wintry mix expected to hit the Dallas Fort Worth area later today, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Buckle up, everybody. Thanks so much, Ed. Be careful out there.

And there's also this big news right now in the sports world. Tom Brady announcing this morning, he's retiring from the NFL again. This is the second time he's done this. But this time, "it's for good." Let's get over to Andy Scholes. He's tracking this for us.


BOLDUAN: Andy, big news. And what a difference a year makes, apparently.

SCHOLES: Yes. Well, Kate, I mean, actually, you're kind of in the same exact spot we were last year on February 1 because that was the day Tom Brady retired the first time around, but he did come back to give us one more year.


In the end, 23 years in the NFL. And Tom Brady, you know, he started out as a huge underdog. He was a sixth-round pick, 199th overall to the Patriots, way back in 2000, turned into the greatest champion we've ever seen, winning seven Super Bowls. And I mean, he really did have three different Hall of Fame careers that we got to witness before our eyes. He won three Super Bowls in his 20s, two more in his 30s, and then two more in his 40s. An incredible career that will likely never ever be duplicated. And here's what Tom Brady had to say this morning about hanging up the cleats.


TOM BRADY, 7-TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPION: Thank you, guys, so much to every single one of you for supporting me. My family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors, I could go on forever. There's too many. Thank you, guys, for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn't change a thing.


SCHOLES: Yes. And, Kate, you can just see there how emotional Brady got there delivering that message. You know, when he retired last year, he did it with an essay thanking everyone. We didn't get to see any emotion from him. We actually didn't see him at all, but until he unretired. So, a lot of people asking the question, is this really it for Tom Brady?

If you watch him deliver that message there, you got to think it certainly is. He's 45 years old now. And it's just been a pleasure watching him for the past 23 years, Kate. And you got to think about this 23 years, Tom Brady went to 10 Super Bowls. That means he was in the Super Bowl 43 percent of the time during his long career, which is just an incredible thing to think about.

BOLDUAN: So, Andy --

SCHOLES: People are even lucky to get the one.

BOLDUAN: Well, obviously. So, let's mark the calendar though because I was just looking it up. It was 40 days later after his first announcement when he came back and said actually, guys, I can't give it up. I can't hang up these cleats. So, I guess we have to at least make it to the 40-day mark before maybe everyone believes it.

I mean, what do you -- I mean, after 23 seasons, it's hard to say what do you remember most about Tom Brady's career. What do you think his mark is on the game?

SCHOLES: I -- for me, Kate, it's all the amazing Super Bowl moments, that Super Bowl comebacks he delivered for us. I mean, I was at the Super Bowl when he was down 28-3 to the Falcons. And you know, you could just feel it as the Patriots started scoring, there's like, oh my gosh, he's going to do it. He's going to bring him back. You know, watching him win Super Bowls in his 40s was just amazing.

I always liked and appreciated watching Tom Brady, especially, Kate, because he was one of the few great athletes that were still older than me. He was one of the guys I can still report. I've been cheering for him since I was a kid. And he's still doing it now, you know, kind of made me feel even younger. But certainly, going to miss him.

BOLDUAN: Yes. If you had the kind of diet and spent what he did on his health, you too -- you too could continue playing in the Super Bowl. (INAUDIBLE)

SCHOLES: I might need to go to TV 12. I might -- you know.

BOLDUAN: No, thanks. Maybe. I don't know. We'll talk about it afterwards. It's good to see you, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

BOLDUAN: Thanks for -- thanks for bringing that to us. Thanks for a little bit of a smile today. I appreciate it, man.

All right, let's turn to this, other big headlines that we've been watching -- you and are watching today, reports of thousands of guns, half a million rounds of ammunition, and almost two dozen anti-tank missiles. That is what French Special Forces have reportedly seized a boatload of Iranian weapons bound for Yemen. Details in a live report next.



BOLDUAN: Wall Street Journal is reporting now that elite French special forces have seized a boatload of Iranian weapons and ammunition on its way to Yemen. The journal is saying that the operation was coordinated with the U.S. military. Alex Marquardt is joining us now with some more detail on this. Alex, what can you tell us?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Kate. Well, we are working on getting more details from the U.S. military but the U.S. Naval Fifth Fleet, which works in the region did confirm to our colleague, Haley Britzky, that they were involved in this operation with what they call a partner force. They say in the statement to CNN that they were involved by sharing information and helping coordinate the overall effort. We also ultimately took custody of the confiscated weapons through a ship-to-ship transfer with partner forces.

Now, the Wall Street Journal, as you noted, is reporting that those partners were the French, so this was an elite French team that boarded this suspected smuggling ship from a French warship. It is -- it is believed that these Iranian-made weapons were destined for Yemen. Of course, for years, Kate, the Iranians have been supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen. They control much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

There is an arms embargo against sending weapons to the Houthis. There has been a fragile ceasefire in Yemen for the past nine months. But this would be an indication that Iran does continue to support these Houthi rebels, which have used some of these weapons to fire against neighboring Saudi Arabia.

We also heard some details from a U.S. official about what was seized, Kate. It was more than 3000 assault rifles, more than half a million rounds of ammunition, and some 23 anti-tank guided missiles. So, that's quite a haul. Again, the U.S. took custody of those weapons that they -- working alongside that partner force the French. We have reached out to the French government and to the French Embassy here in Washington, we're waiting more details from them as well, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Alex, thanks for that.

Also, new for us this morning. Ukrainian authorities are conducting what's being described as anti-corruption searches and crackdowns across the country, even including a search linked to the tragic helicopter crash that killed the country's interior minister last month. Let's get over to Sam Kiley. He's live in Ukraine with some more detail on this. Sam, what does it mean when they say that they're rooting out, in the way it's described as the internal enemy?


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, as you recall, the Ukrainians prior to this war were famous less for their resilience and more for the corruption of their political system. Now, that corruption, it would seem has not gone away, but under President Zelenskyy in the last month or so, there have been very aggressive crackdowns indeed, particularly in the latest case against the oil industry, both the import and the refining industry. That is a -- more than a billion dollars worth of alleged corrupt deals with -- these two major companies were actually nationalized as part of the war effort late last year. Now, the -- some of the leadership in that organization is under suspicion or indeed, has been detained or arrest warrant has been issued for them.

On top of that, a $1.2 billion equivalent tax scam allegedly involving very senior leadership indeed, in Kyiv. With a raid on one leader's house, they're revealing a large amount of U.S. dollars in cash, luxury vehicles, expensive watches, stuff that an ordinary tax official even at the top of his game would not be able to afford. And on top, of that the arrest of a defense official over the purchase of defective bulletproof vests. And that is going to be extremely difficult for him come a prosecution, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Sam, thanks for bringing us that. This is clearly not the end of the reporting on this one. I appreciate it.

Also soon, the Federal Reserve is expected to announce another interest rate hike. This time, most economists are expecting the Fed to raise rates by a quarter of a point. This would be the Fed's eighth and smallest increase if that's what happened since it began aggressively hiking rates last March. Matt Egan is outside the Federal Reserve and joins us now as we await the announcement. Matt, talk us through what this expected hike could mean.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Kate, the Feds warned, inflation isn't over but the strategy is shifting. So, for much of last year, the Fed was spiking interest rates at almost an unprecedented pace trying desperately to get inflation under control. But then in December, they dialed it back a notch. Instead of 75 basis points, they raised interest rates by 50 basis points. And today, they're supposed to -- they're expected to dial it back even further, going down to 25 basis points.

Now, this would be an acknowledgment that the Fed's tough medicine appears to be working. Inflation is still hot, but it is cooling off. Things are getting better. So, what does all this mean for everyday people? Well, borrowing costs, they're still going higher, right? Mortgage rates, credit cards, car loans, but they may not be going dramatically higher.

And the Fed -- the Fed is still trying to slow this economy down. But they've gone from slamming the brakes on the economy to just tapping the brakes. And that is an important shift. Because all along, Kate, the fear has been that the Fed would go too far and end up slowing this economy right into a recession. If they're able to slow the pace of rate hikes and maybe even pause altogether, that will raise hopes that they can achieve a soft landing.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Matt. Thank you.

So, a quick response from police in Nebraska helping to prevent a mass shooting at a Target store. What happened and how he was stopped? That's next.



BOLDUAN: So, police in Omaha, Nebraska have thwarted a mass shooting. Police say a man armed with an AR-15 style rifle and more than a dozen loaded rifle magazines open fire inside a Target store there. Police arrived, ordering him to drop the rifle, they say he did not, and then they fatally shot the gunman. Their quick response preventing yet another tragedy.


LT. NEIL BONACCI, OMAHA POLICE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER: We've learned a lot from other jurisdictions, other areas, other cities that have unfortunately experienced this. We enter right away. We're trained to do so. Whether it's one officer or 10 we go inside and we neutralize the threat.

LAUREN MURPHY, TARGET EMPLOYEE: They responded very quickly and they did a great job. But I was scared that this is how I might die at work. It was just terrifying, to be honest.


BOLDUAN: So terrifying. That poor thing. Thankfully, no one in the store was hurt. The store remains closed today as officials continue their investigation.

Police in Oregon, they say the man who's accused of kidnapping and torturing a woman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a standoff with police. Let's get to Lucy Kafanov for an update on this one. It's good to see you, Lucy. What happened here?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kate. I mean, the threat is over but so many unanswered questions of including why this manhunt, this standoff, and that bizarrely exactly where it began at the home of this female victim, that 36-year-old Benjamin Foster, kidnapped, bound, and tortured last week before going on the run. Now, we know that authorities last week tracked him down to a property 20 miles north of Grants Pass Oregon. There was a SWAT raid. He got away. They did arrest a 68-year-old woman who was helping him hide out.

Yesterday, police posted a photograph of Foster from earlier in the day where you can see him walking a small white dog in town, that prompted law enforcement to swarm the area. He apparently barricaded himself in this victim's house, actually underneath it, in a crawl space of sorts.


Law enforcement moved in. They were able to capture him after a standoff. Take a listen to the Grants Pass police chief, Warren Hensman.


WARREN HENSMAN, CHIEF, GRANTS PASS, OREGON POLICE: Benjamin Foster, the man we've been looking for the last several days is in custody and he's no longer a threat to the community. He was -- he was barricaded really deep into a space underneath the house.


KAFANOV: Again, we understand that Foster later died of a self- inflicted gunshot wound at a hospital hours after being taken into custody. And we are, Kate, expecting police to speak at a press conference in the next few hours. Kate.

BOLDUAN: It's really amazing how this is -- and sad how this has all unfolded and what that woman still is now needing to recover from. Thank you so much, Lucy. Thank you for the report.

And thank you all so much for joining us at this hour. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after this quick break.