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At This Hour
Dems Accuse Republicans Of Targeting Women In Color In Omar Ouster; Air Raid Sirens Sound In Kyiv As EU Leaders Attend Summit; Jury In Murdaugh Trial Returns To Courtroom. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired February 03, 2023 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER, (D-NJ) Omar and I have had pointed exchanges and I've spoken out strongly when I've disagreed with what she said or the position she's taken. But I don't think it's the appropriate action to throw somebody off their committee for that. And that said, yesterday, Congresswoman Omar sponsored a resolution standing strongly by Israel as a key ally of the United States of America -- as a Democratic ally, recognizing its legitimacy, even if she has different opinions on policies of Israel. Recognized the importance of that relationship. And I thought that was also an important step. So, this is all an evolution.
But the bottom line is this. I -- you know, I just really didn't think it's the -- you know, we're going to have differing views and members going to have different views. And as what's just said, throwing somebody off their committee because of that is not the appropriate step and not in our democracy, and certainly does not speak to what I think Congress should be about, which is obviously having civil debates about differing views, and then working together, in the end, to try to move the country forward.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. I want to ask you about one of the debates that is going to be taking place in earnest, which is about the debt ceiling. I mean, I speak to almost every lawmaker recently that who comes on the show about the coming debt crisis that the nation is facing. And you, I will say, you're in a unique position on this here because you're the co-chair of the problem solvers caucus, you're committed to finding compromise. And this is a situation where both sides say they are not going to compromise. Some arguments are more intellectually honest than others. But regardless, I want to play Kevin McCarthy, what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, (R-CA): I'm very clear, we will not pass a clean debt ceiling here without some form of spending reform. So, they'll never be a clean one. I don't know how they want to say it, that's fine. But at the end of the day, we're going to get spending reforms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: How is this going to get worked out? I mean, is the president going to have to give a little? GOTTHEIMER: I think the way these things always get worked out, in the end, is that we actually have to talk -- first, talk to one another and not be afraid to actually have constructive discussions, which is what the problem solver caucus is doing right now. We have a task force for meeting Democrats and Republicans. And you know, we agree on some things and don't agree on everything but frankly, there are -- in this whole discussion, there are things that are going to be reasonable and things that are on the table that are unreasonable. But it starts with having discussions.
What's not reasonable is defaulting on our debt, putting the full faith and credit of the United States at risk, putting people's savings at risk, and causing inflation because of, you know, cavalier decisions that we should not pay our bills. That's -- that can't be on the table. And I think there's a recognition. I know, when we sit down with Democrats or Republicans and the problem solvers, that that's off the table. Now, we just have to figure out you knows --
BOLDUAN: Do you think it also means that Biden is going to have to give when you've got a Republican majority, who says they want spending cuts tied to raising the debt ceiling?
GOTTHEIMER: You have -- you heard -- and the president said yesterday when it comes to actually having discussions about our long-term fiscal health, and decisions we have to make that we should be having those discussions. And I agree. You cannot talk about these things. And we have to figure out what that may -- what that might look like, what's reasonable.
And -- you know, but that's going to take time and working together. That's exactly what is happening in our group. And I think you saw it yesterday in that meeting. I'm hopeful that will happen as well and -- among the leadership. And frankly --
BOLDUAN: I always appreciate your optimism. I don't know if so many people share it but someone's got to be optimistic. So, I'm going to let --
GOTTHEIMER: Here. Look at --
BOLDUAN: I'm going to let you be --
GOTTHEIMER: You know what --
BOLDUAN: I'm kidding. I'm playing with you. I really am.
GOTTHEIMER: I know. But you know, you can -- I base it on. Look at the last Congress with the four-seat Democrat majority, and how much we got done for the country from infrastructure, supporting veterans, to standing up to China and (INAUDIBLE). You know, there's so much we did, common sense, gun legislation by who would have thought that could happen in a bipartisan way. So, I don't know. I'm optimistic because if you actually talk to one another, don't just scream and yell, it's amazing what you can get done.
BOLDUAN: It's shocking and amazing. It shouldn't be surprising, but it is. Congressman, thanks for coming on.
GOTTHEIMER: Thanks for having me. Take care.
BOLDUAN: Two -- this is a fun transition. Two rare monkeys -- after speaking on something much more serious, but this is becoming quite serious. Two rare monkeys stolen from the Dallas Zoo. They have been found. The suspect is now under arrest. Details next.
BOLDUAN: To the war in Ukraine. Air raid sirens going off in Kyiv multiple times today as President Zelenskyy welcomes European Union leaders for a summit. Now, the president of the European Commission is reiterating in these meetings, the EU's support for Ukraine and is announcing a new package of sanctions against Russia, commending Ukraine for taking the necessary steps for EU membership. Zelenskyy is also in all of this once again, urging the West to supply more weapons -- long-range weapons to help his forces push Russia out of the Donbass region.
The police in Texas, they have arrested and charged a man in connection with the theft of two monkeys from the Dallas Zoo. Ed Lavandera has more on this for us. He's joining us now. Ed, what are you learning about this?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. Well, as this city has been gripped in this ice -- winter ice freeze, the investigation into what's been happening at the Dallas Zoo continue and unfolding, and coming to a culmination yesterday afternoon as Dallas police say they took into custody a man that they had been looking to talk to. A man by the name of Davion Irvin, who's 24 years old. He has been charged with six counts of animal cruelty in connection with the abduction of two tamarin monkeys that were taken from the zoo on Monday afternoon. And officials say that those monkeys were found alive in an abandoned home south of the Dallas Zoo area.
The suspect, Dallas police say, was actually seen at the Dallas aquarium which was not too far from here, and looking at other animal exhibits there and then later taken into custody and questioned and then was later charged. And this is really all part of a mystery that has been unfolding here at the Dallas Zoo for almost three weeks. Remember three weeks ago, there was a leopard that was -- escaped from an intentionally cut hole in the -- in the enclosure where that leopard was living and then they had several other incidents. So, all of this seeming to an arrest made in this case -- in this mystery of what's been happening at the Dallas Zoo.
BOLDUAN: Yes. All right, Ed, thank you.
Now do this. The new CNN film, American Pain, takes you inside the opioid crisis, the rise and fall of twin brothers who ran one of the largest, deadliest opioid pill empires in the country. Now, this crisis also includes a new even deadlier threat, one we've been covering very closely on the show, synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Watch.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I was looking at pictures, you're looking at own family. How disturbing.
DEENA LOUDON, MATTHEW'S MOTHER: He was such a happy baby. Oh my, God. He was so happy all the time.
GUPTA: Is it hard to talk about?
LOUDON: No, I love talking about him. I talk about him to anybody that'll listen. I love seeing him on the hockey rink. And I think that was really, really his happy place, you know, where he could just sort of be free.
His friends packed up immediately from schools wherever they were and came over. And the family started showing up and I was just in shock. You know, we tried. We were doing CPR and not a chance. He was long gone.
I don't say he overdosed. I say he died from fentanyl poisoning. Truthfully, like, at the end of the day to me he was murdered because he asked for one thing, they gave him something different and it took his life.
GUPTA (voiceover): On a single sad night, November 2. Deena's son, Matthew Loudon, became one of the nearly 92,000 fatal overdoses in 2020 alone, much of it driven by fentanyl.
(on camera) The problem is there are so many of these drugs that are now on the street that the DEA had to set up a secret forensics lab just to try and keep up. We're making our way there now.
(voiceover) Scott Oulton is Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA's Office of Forensic Sciences.
(on camera) You're getting more pills, and more of those pills are coming back positive for fentanyl?
SCOTT OULTON, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, DEA, OFFICE OF FORENSIC SCIENCES: Almost -- yes, almost everyone comes back positive.
GUPTA (voiceover): In 2019, the DEA seized roughly 2.2 million pills, in 20202, 50.6 million pills. At the beginning of the opioid epidemic, many of the pills were authentic. The majority of the pills being seized today at the borders, on the streets, even in schools --
OULTON: Over 99 percent of what we seized are fake. They contain fentanyl.
GUPTA (on camera): 99 percent. That's just -- that's mind-numbing.
(voiceover) And look closely at how sophisticated the counterfeiters have become.
OULTON: And just for example, these are some of the ones that we will seize. They have the same M and have worn the 30 on the other side.
GUPTA (on camera): If you look at what is real here, and the rainbow fentanyl, they're not even really trying anymore to disguise this. This is clearly fake. But also, if you look at these 800 grams of fentanyl, it turns into 400 to 500,000 potentially lethal pills. Think about that. One bag, that's your 400 to 500,000 lethal doses.
(voiceover) It's the message the DEA wants out there. One pill can kill. The days of experimentation are over. And so, this sophisticated lab has to keep up, trying to analyze these pills down to their molecular structure using the equivalent of an MRI machine.
OULTON: We have seen hundreds and hundreds of unique combinations, so we'll see one with contains fentanyl, one with fentanyl and xylazine, one with fentanyl caffeine, one with fentanyl and acetaminophen, and you don't know what you're getting.
GUPTA (on camera): How hard is it to keep up with how much counterfeit stuff there is out there?
OULTON: The market is constantly changing. So, we are trying to do everything we can on the science base to keep up to that. One pill can kill. Don't take the chance. It's not worth your life.
GUPTA (voiceover): It's a message Deena wishes Matthew could have heard. So, instead, she has made it her mission to be his voice.
LOUDON: As soon as you can start having these conversations with your children at an age where they can really comprehend it, I think it just needs to be talked about. It's Russian roulette. You never know what you're going to get.
GUPTA (voiceover): Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.
BOLDUAN: Sanjay, thank you so much for that.
And you can watch the new CNN film, American Pain, from your Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern. We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: The jury in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial has just returned to the courtroom with a fingerprint examiner on the stand right now. The judge is also weighing whether Murdaugh's alleged financial crimes can be revealed to the jury -- can be entered into evidence. He has not ruled on that quite yet.
Randi Kaye is live outside the courthouse in South Carolina for us. Randi, what's the latest?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, the prosecutors want to include these alleged financial crimes because they say they want to help the jury connect the dots. They want to show that Alex Murdaugh's back was up against the wall around the time that his family was killed, that loans were coming due, that time was running out, and these alleged financial schemes were about to be exposed. So, we've already heard from the CFO of his former law firm who testified for the court, not in the presence of the jury that she had confronted him about these missing funds up to about $800,000 in missing funds.
So, there's that on the table, as well as this upcoming hearing related to the boat case that his son Paul had been involved in. And at that hearing, he was going to have to share his financials -- open his books, if you will. So, Creighton Waters, the lead prosecutor is making the case to include these alleged financial schemes. And here's what he said in court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CREIGHTON WATERS, LEAD PROSECUTOR: There's a cemetery, Your Honor, between what happens on the side of the road and what happens on June 7 because when the hounds are at the door when Hannibal is at the gates for Alex Murdaugh, violence happens. And the same thing happened on the side of the road that happened on June 7. And for this jury to understand the real picture of this man --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: And this side-of-the-road event that he's talking about is this alleged suicide-for-hire scheme that Alex Murdaugh had arranged to be shot so he could leave his insurance money to his only surviving son, Buster. Kate.
BOLDUAN: Randi, thank you. I really appreciate it.
Here with me now is criminal trial attorney Sara Azari. She's the host of a new crime show Death By Fame on Investigation Discovery. Sara, thanks for coming back in.
SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL TRIAL ATTORNEY: Of course, good to be here.
BOLDUAN: First, they're beginning with this fingerprint expert on the stand now. Financial crimes, I want to talk about that in just a second. But another thing I was curious I wanted to get your take on is I want to start with these deleted phone calls that we heard about yesterday, dozens of calls missing from Murdaugh's phone. What do you think -- what do you think that means? What is the impact of this in court?
AZARI: I honestly, Kate, don't know where they're going with this because it is inconsistent with the prosecution's theory that he was setting up an alibi by repeatedly calling his wife's phone. So, basically, they're saying he's holding his -- Maggie's phone in one hand, holding his phone on the other, dialing the phone five times to make it look like he was really trying to find her. And -- well, if that's the case, wouldn't you want to keep those call logs to show that you're making those attempts as opposed to deleting it? So, not every deletion is obstruction, not every deletion is bad, I'm not sure where they're going with this and I think the defense is going to challenge it.
BOLDUAN: So, the judge is also still weighing, has not made a ruling on the crucial question of whether he's going to allow the evidence about Alex Murdaugh's previous or some of it ongoing, still alleged financial crimes. Do you think this judge should allow this into evidence from what you've seen?
AZARI: None of it, Kate. But would any judge allow some of it? Yes. The question is what. The fear I have in this case, and the problem I see is that it's such a ludicrous and weak motive, you know, the theory of the prosecution, that in order to show that the debt and the -- and the theft was so tremendous that he blew up his -- forget about his wife, his son's brains, they also need to bring in tremendous evidence. So, if this judge just chips away and picks a couple of these incidents to come in, it's really not going to do much for their already weak motive. And I'm fearful that this judge is going to just open the floodgate to most if not all of this to come and even though it's highly irrelevant and highly prejudicial.
BOLDUAN: You had said, I think -- I think we discussed this yesterday. You were surprised that this hasn't been dealt with already, why do you think it hasn't been ruled on by the judge?
AZARI: I think sometimes -- well, as the judge had some personal issues just before the trial and I think he was just possibly a time issue. But also, sometimes judges want to see how the trial goes, where it's headed, and what the purpose of this is in Randi's reporting, no, they're not doing this to connect the dots for the jury or help the jury to connect the dots. They're doing this because they have weak evidence of murder. They're trying to make a case of a fraudster to turn them into a murderer. I mean, that's really what it is. It's clear.
BOLDUAN: So, there's one -- there's something -- and I don't know if this has an impact, but you're dealing with -- when you're dealing with a jury, right? You're dealing with human beings, right? So, of course, the jury was kept out of the courtroom for most of the day yesterday. They're just being brought in as basically as we speak. The judge had told them to not even arrive today until 11:30. Just that have an impact on a jury you're moving along with trial then you're kind of told everything kind of stopped and they're gone and they don't -- they don't really even know why and then they're brought back in?
AZARI: Well, I think they wonder why but I think also it kind of pisses them off, you know. This is their time, right? Let that -- let streamline this trial, let it move quickly, let it move swiftly. And so, by doing this and putting off these rulings, you know as the court -- as the trial unfolds, I think it's also a lot of waste of time for the jurors as well.
[11:55:15] BOLDUAN: Interesting. It's great to see you again, Sara.
AZARI: Great to see you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
All right, so we're going to take you to -- show you some live pictures right now. The Pentagon is about to hold a briefing on our top story today, the Chinese spy balloon which led the Secretary of State to postpone a planned trip to Beijing. We're going to bring it to you live on "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" after this.