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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Trump Lawyers Waging Secret Court Fight To Block Jan. 6 Testimony; January 6 Committee To Hold Hearing Next Wednesday; Stocks Fall To Lowest Level Since Nov. 2020 Amid Recession Fears; Amid Wreckage Of Bombed Town, Ukrainians Forced Underground; New York City Open Emergency Centers For Asylum Seekers; Hurricane Fiona Roars By Bermuda, Takes Aim At Canada. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 23, 2022 - 16:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: I feel like these companies are going so far with like, you know, the Kit-Kat is in 80 different flavors now, I'm exaggerating.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: It's a lot better than the fish burger milkshake that we featured a few days ago.

BLACKWELL: I still think cherry rice milkshake is probably delicious.

CAMEROTA: No, Victor, it's not.

BLACKWELL: Oh, that I'm making. I'll bring it when I come back next.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Recession alarm bells are sounding off a lot louder these days.

THE LEAD starts right now.

The New York Stock Exchange closing this hour and dropping to levels not seen in months, as big Wall Street banks warn the worst may yet to come.

Plus, connecting the dots. After three Trump lawyers popped up at a federal courthouse unexpectedly, now, on a CNN exclusive, their secret steps to block certain witnesses from a criminal grand jury.

And Hurricane Fiona gains strength and takes aim at Canada, while another storm takes form and could be headed for the United States.


BROWN: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Pamela Brown, in for Jake Tapper on this Friday.

And we start today with our politics lead, and a secret court battle being waged by Donald Trump's lawyers. Sources are telling CNN that attorneys for the former president are fighting to keep witnesses from testifying before a federal grand jury about Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Now, the legal fight has been secret up to this point, but it spilled into public view yesterday when CNN crew spotted three lawyers for Donald Trump at the federal courthouse here in Washington, D.C.

And our intrepid reporters, CNN's Evan Perez and Katelyn Polantz, broke this exclusive reporting today.

All right. So let's get right to it, Katelyn. Tell us a little bit more about this legal fight. What exactly are Trump's lawyers arguing here?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, because it's secret right now, we don't know exactly what they're going to be arguing. But it is a fight that is before a judge in the federal courts in D.C. It is because there are grand jury proceedings where they are trying to get information close to Trump, things that happened in the White House, say on January 6 or before them, maybe things that attorneys are advising him more than he was saying to lawyers around him who were working with him and talking to him about his wish to overturn the election.

And, generally, when you are looking at something like this, what we know, what Ivan and I and Zack Cohen have been able to confirm here is that this is a fight over privileged. And when we say that, that means that Donald Trump could be arguing a lot of different things trying to protect the information around him. He could be arguing executive privilege. He could be arguing attorney client privilege.

And what that is, generally, is it is throwing up roadblocks for investigators so that they are going to have to go to court and get a court order if they want to have access to that information that is closest to Trump.

BROWN: Why is this secret, Evan?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, everything in the grand jury is secret until, you know, they decide whether to bring charges. But, you know, we, you know, our team has been following this very closely and we saw some of this activity pick up several weeks ago after some of the witnesses went in. We knew that some of them had cited the former president's claim of executive privilege, attorney- client privilege, to decline to answer certain questions.

And we've seen some of these prosecutors, Tom Windom, who is running this part of the investigation on the efforts to overturn the election. And we have also seen the Trump lawyers going in. And so that is why we have been trying to figure out exactly what this is and now we have.

BROWN: And now you have. So what's next is the big question, right?

PEREZ: Well, yeah. I mean, for the Justice Department, they want to get these guys to come in and answer questions. These are some of the closest aides to the former president, including former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Pat Philbin. That is a real goal, to try to get some of these guys to answer questions that they have declined to answer so far.

And if they can get through that, then they can learn a lot more about what the former president was doing, how he involved he wasn't some of these efforts to essentially discard the results of the election keep him in the White House. That's the goal here. And, look, there are some people who could be facing charges, not only the president, but some people who were involved in that effort.

BROWN: And we know some of the president's former staffers have already testified in front of the grand jury, Kaitlan, including the former White House counsel. If you would walk us through who we know has testified in front of that jury so far?

POLANTZ: Right, there's quite a few people. So, Evan has mentioned Eric Herschmann who is one of these people. We don't think he has testified at this point. But he was subpoenaed. They want to ask him questions. That may be one of the things that this fight is over.

Then there's four others, very close to the heart of this. What happened inside the west wing, Pat Cipollone, Pat Philbin, both in the White House counsel's office, there is also the VP's office, top advisors Marc Short, Greg Jacob. They all went into the grand jury in recent weeks and certain questions could not answer because Donald Trump wanted to claim privileges over them.


On top of that, there's lots of things happening in this investigation where other people could be affected as witnesses by how this plays out, what the court ultimately decides here, especially lawyers who were working with Donald Trump. We know that there were at least two lawyers who work with Trump who had their phones seized, of course, Epshteyn and John Eastman.

And so, a lot of the ability of the Justice Department to get to information me hinge around this fight and where it goes.

BROWN: All right, and I know you will be covering this fight for sure. Thanks so much Evan, Katelyn. We appreciate it.

And joining me now to discuss is former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

Hi, Mick.

So you are a former lawyer. You also work in the Trump administration. You can provide unique insight here. Do you think Trump's attorneys have a case here?

MICK MULVANEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Hey, Pam. Thanks so much for having me.

Yeah, probably. It's very unclear. Keep in mind, there's a bunch of different privileges here. The attorney-client privilege is different from the executive privilege. In some ways, attorney-client privilege is actually harder to overcome. The executive privilege is very murky because it is not entirely clear to me, apparently to other lawyers as well, as to whose privilege it is to invoke.

For example, when I went to testify before the January 6 committee, the committee actually got a letter from the Biden administration waiving executive privilege for me, whether or not Trump even controls his own executive privilege is open for some discussion.

I think the previous interview you just did a really good job of explaining a lot of the variables, keeping in mind that there are different lawyers involved here. Pat Cipollone, Pat Philbin have testified to the grand jury. They were never Donald Trump's personal lawyers. They were his lawyers as his role as president. And that is a different type of privilege then the folks like say, I guess, Mr. Herschmann might have been Donald Trump's personal lawyer.

So it's a very, very confusing sort of morass of privileges. They are all very, very important. You can imagine the seriousness of getting into you once a client says to an attorney. You can imagine the seriousness of getting into advice that people gave the president inside the Oval Office. And these are very serious matters. It doesn't surprise me to see that being litigated to the nth degree.

BROWN: And you worked with Pat Cipollone and his deputy, Patrick Philbin, in the White House. You know how close they were to the president day in, day out. If DOJ prevails here, what do you think the importance of their testimony would be?

MULVANEY: I don't know what they're going to say because I wasn't there but I will tell you this, is that both Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Philbin, despite the fact that we may have had personal differences about policy when I was in there, I would defend their integrity 100 percent. These are very, very credible gentlemen. And if they are providing testimony that helps the president, that carries a great deal of weight. If they are providing testimony that hurts the president, that will provide a great deal of weight, as well.

You can say a lot about the president's personal lawyers. He has had a mishmash of really bizarre individuals representing him individually. But the lawyers he had, as president, and institution. You can add Emmet Flood to that list, Ty Cobb, really, really good lawyers, credible, and if they are presenting evidence one way or the other, people should listen.

BROWN: I think that is notable because I remember when I covered the White House, there were disagreements between you and Pat Cipollone, but you made clear that there are policy differences but you would -- you can attest to his credibility and integrity.

I want to talk about another one of the major Trump investigations, the special master reviewing the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, ordered Trump's lawyers to backup his claims that the FBI planted evidence at his Florida resort. So this seems to put them in a tough spot, right, either signed a sworn declaration that evidence was planted, or, not, basically admitting Trump lied.

Is that how you see it?

MULVANEY: Yes, what you're seeing here and it's very interesting to me as a lawyer, as a former Trump insider, some of the works in the West Wing, this is where we are starting to see the bright lines drawn between politics and public relations and the stuff that really, really matters. And that's the law and criminal charges.

So what you have seen, the special master due this week is a couple of different things, which is luck, I've heard that you folks in the Trump team say that you have declassified those things. These documents, it is time to put up or shut up. And you actually have done that. And if so, I want -- I want court filings backing that up.

Similarly, he's gone to them as you mentioned and said, understand that you may be making claims that evidence was planted. It's time to put up or shut up on that front. Going on TV and, you know, on an interview on another network and saying something isn't the same as saying it to a court. So, you can sort of see the advantage of getting the special master getting involved in this case. Keeping in mind, the special master was agreed to by both Trump and the DOJ. It's sort of separating the noise and the PR and the bright, shiny objects from the stuff that really matters, because you can lie on TV but you can't lie in court.

BROWN: They were agreed to, both sides agreed, but it was Trump's team that actually suggested him in the first place.


So it is notable.

I want to ask you before we let you go about the January 6 Committee. It is returning for a hearing next week, and ahead of that you tweeted, quote, nothing screams greatest threat to our democracy in 150 years like taking six weeks off work vacation.

Now the committee says they have been interviewing more witnesses during this time. They've been getting information turnover from the Secret Service. Why do you think that's not a legitimate investigation?

MULVANEY: Well, I never thought it was legitimate in the sense that it's political. This is a political investigation.

The Department of Justice investigation is real. It's a criminal investigation done by professional investigators.

Do they have credibility challenges? Yes. Because of the way that they treated Trump back into 2016, yes. But they're still the Department of Justice and the FBI.

The January 6 is made up of a bunch of elected officials. They are not in the job of doing investigations. They're in the job of legislating and getting reelected, I guess. They all hate Donald Trump. They do, even though it's bipartisan,

there is no way you can make the case it's an unbiased group of people. Had they still brought forward interesting evidence? Yes, they have. Bill Barr's testimony I thought was some of the most compelling regarding the fact that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election. So it certainly had value.

But they've always struggled from a credibility standpoint because they all hate Donald Trump and it's designed, these hearings designed to make him look bad.

And you can't, I think -- I think it's just common sense, Pam, to sort of say, this has been the greatest threat ever to the history of our nation and we're going to go away for six weeks. I think it's incumbent upon them. You know as a reporter that if I said in the White House you could send me of Freedom of Information Act and ask where I've been for the last weeks, you can't do that with Congress because they're outside of FOIA. I do think it's incumbent upon them to tell us why they haven't had a hearing for six weeks -- actually, it's a weeks now, because if they want to be taken seriously, they have to deal with these credibility issues up front.

BROWN: All right. And we will be asking them and, of course, they would say as I noted earlier, that they've been putting together information talking to witnesses and trying to build a case for this next hearing. But I appreciate you offering your opinion on this. Mick Mulvaney, thanks for your time tonight.

MULVANEY: Thanks, Pamela.

BROWN: Up next, the economic warning signs flagged today. What they mean for your money and big name brands on your shopping list.

And, Jake Tapper in an exclusive U.S. interview with the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss. Her take on the global economy and what needs to happen immediately.

Plus, Hurricane Fiona on track for what forecasters say would be an extreme weather event along Canada's East Coast.



BROWN: Topping our money lead, a very rocky day on Wall Street as investors continue to wring their hands over the possibility of a recession. The Dow closed down, as you see, almost 500 points and stocks fell to their lowest level since November of 2020.

CNN's Matt Egan is at the New York Stock Exchange.

So, Matt, what is driving this fresh anxiety on Wall Street?

MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, it really is about fears about high inflation and what the Federal Reserve is going to have to do to get inflation back down. Now, this summer, there was hope that maybe inflation would calm down

enough to allow the Federal Reserve to stop slamming the brakes on the economy.

Of course, that proved to be wishful thinking. Inflation remains way too high and Fed Chair Jay Powell, he promised this week to do whatever it takes to get inflation under control. The concern is that the Fed is going to overdo it, and either accidentally push the economy into recession or do it on purpose because that's just what's necessary.

That's why we saw the Dow fall 486 points today, down almost 2 percent. It was almost worse today. At one point, the Dow is down 800 points and on the verge of closing in a bear market for the first time since March 2020.

These losses, of course, are wiping out college savings plans, 401ks, retirement nest eggs. This is definitely very painful. Now hopefully the gloom and doom on Wall Street is over, done. Maybe the Fed can pull this off and get inflation under control without causing a downturn.

Let me read you a great line from Bank of America on this. They wrote the Fed is hiking at the fastest pace in recent memory with maximum and certainty on the macro outlook. To us, this seems like it is driving at 75 miles per hour but not knowing which way the road will turn. An accident seems inevitable. Pamela, let's hope not.

BROWN: Yeah, not knowing which way the road will turn, you know? And as we know, uncertainty is what drives anxiety. And you are seeing that play out on Wall Street.

Let me ask about something. Gas prices are ticking up ever so slightly after 98 days of falling prices per gallon. So, what's going on? Help us understand this.

EGAN: Yeah, the national average is taking up just a little bit, $3.69 a gallon. But, you know, that is so well below the peak in June at $5.02 a gallon. And remember, gas moves with the lag to oil. Oil prices plunging 5 percent today.

The good news is that should drive down oil prices. The bad news is oil prices are down because of those same recession fears.

BROWN: All right. Matt Egan, thanks so much.

And the U.S. is not alone we should note when it comes to fears of a recession, or skyrocketing cost of living. The U.K.'s new government headed by Liz Truss has unveiled its plan to rescue its economy. The new budget will borrow money to cut personal income taxes and subsidize energy bills. But it also cancels plans to raise taxes on corporations, and it gets rid of a cap on bankers' bonuses. Plus, people on welfare benefits will be asked to step up their job searches or risk having their benefits reduced.

Opposition politicians are slamming this new proposal, calling it a plan to reward the wealthy.

CNN's Jake Tapper spoke exclusively with the new prime minister, Liz Truss, in her first interview with a foreign journalist since taking office.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Your government just unveiled a new tax proposal this week that would reverse plans to raise the corporate tax rate. You also proposed lifting the cap on bonuses for bank executives.


In the U.S., President Biden is taking a very different approach, and, obviously, he has a very different view on economic measures such as the one you are proposing. He tweeted this week, quote, I am sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked. We're building an economy from the bottom up and middle out.

And so, President Biden is in essence saying that he thinks your approach doesn't work. The opposition in parliament says you're recklessly running up the deficit and turning your back on so-called compassionate conservatism.

LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, I don't really accept the premise of the question at all. The UK has one of the lowest levels of debt in the G7. But we have one of the highest levels of taxes. Currently, we have a 70-year high in our tax rates.

What I'm determined to do as prime minister, and what the chancellors are determined to do, is make sure that we are incentivizing businesses to invest. And we're also helping ordinary people with their taxes. And that's why I don't feel it's right to have higher national insurance and higher corporation tax, because that will make it harder for us to attract the investments we need in the U.K. It'll be harder to generate those new jobs.

And, you know, I want the U.S. economy to be successful, as well. I want the European economy to be successful, as well. I want free -- freedom-loving democracies to succeed. And one of the things that we are doing here in the U.K. is moving forward on our infrastructure programs, road building, broadband, mobile telephones. And I know that is what the administration in the U.S. is doing, as well.

But, of course, we all need to decide what the tax rates are in our own country. But my view is, we absolutely need to be incentivizing growth at what is a very, very difficult time for the global economy. And we have also put in place a package of measures to support consumers with energy prices, to make sure that nobody is having to pay more than 2005 pounds on their bills, which is very important, as well.


BROWN: And you can see more of Jake's interview with Prime Minister Liz Truss, on CNN "STATE OF THE UNION". That's Sunday morning at 9:00 Eastern and again at noon Eastern, right here on CNN.

Well, up next, Putin's new power move. His latest attempt to steal parts of Ukraine without firing a single weapon.



BROWN: Our world lead starts in Ukraine where sham elections are underway, according to Kyiv and its Western allies. In a move that is illegal under international law, Putin's forces are coercing Ukrainians to vote and joining Russia in four territories were about 18 percent of Ukraine's land.

Now, some Ukrainians tell CNN armed Russian soldiers are going house to house with ballot boxes. Well, back in Russia, women make up a majority of Russians protesting Putin's new draft, desperate to spare their husbands, sons, and brothers from Putin's bloody trenches.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh talked to Ukrainians force underground while Russia tries to steal that land it's destroyed.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): As Russia forces a fake choice and a sham vote on occupied Ukrainians, elsewhere, Igor (ph) and Xena (ph) make the daily deadly choice of their own. They must brave the shelling to go and get food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): We have no relatives, nowhere to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (translated): It's worse and worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): That's it, we're going home.

WALSH: They've heard of Russia's staged referendums here in Bakhmut, but Moscow makes itself felt here with artillery rather than imposing a ballot, likely having entered the city's east.

Streets, in a strange quiet as I've been the eye of a storm when nobody is in control. They will have to fight their way in.

A sign of how things are changing fast here, Ukrainian forces have blown the bridge in the middle of the city in the last day or so. Russian forces are getting close.

The people left ask us not to film the outside of shelters as the Russians will target them, and they have already gone underground as much as they can.

He is saying some of these things are taken from buildings that have been bombed and brought here. A lot of people on the back of their head filmed, possibly because they are concerned that in the days ahead, they may be under Russian control.

He tells me perhaps 20,000 people are still hiding out here, but there is no real way to know.

The choice Russia imposes on Ukrainians here is spending nights underground, and scurrying between shelter.

Days of hot words from Putin haven't cooled Ukraine's advance. The threat of nuclear annihilation carries slightly less horror here, on the road to liberate Izyum, where it looks like the apocalypse has already come, far from radiation.

Ten days ago, Russia was kicked out of here after heavy fighting, even the Russian Orthodox Church has collapsed. The devastation seems to almost spur them on.

Announcements in Moscow about partial mobilization haven't really changed the dynamic here, of an army that feels it's moving forward.


They've heard about Russia's mobilization, and nuclear bombast here, too.

They have a role, he says. But you need to train and supply people so it won't make much difference as we destroyed most of their armor.

There is nothing worse than nuclear war, another says. But you must understand. These decisions aren't taken by one person. And we see in Russia, not everyone supports his moves.

This liberated road is where Donetsk region begins. Ukraine, already taking back that places Putin made central to his goals, where fake ballot boxes and absurd claims of official Russians sovereignty cannot change who owns and who scarred the land.


WALSH (on camera): Now, the farcical nature of these for so-called referenda today, exposed by scenes people have talked about involving soldiers walking around with ballot boxes door to door, asking people for their votes. And, one polling station worker, one of my colleagues spoke to said it had 10 people who turned up in an unoccupied area where they were working.

So, low numbers, no real legitimacy here at all. Nobody expected that, and likely the middle of next week, we'll see Russia come forward and claim that there has been some sort of resounding mandate for these areas becoming part of their territory. That may enable them to perhaps change their strategy on the battlefield perhaps.

I should point out one startling image that has struck a chord with many Ukrainians watching Russian brutality unfold here. And that is the before and after picture of a man called Mikalo Dianov (ph) known as a pianist, a defender of the steel plant in Mariupol.

You can see him there, injured during that events of that. And then, after months in captivity, tortured, it seems heavily, suffering from malnutrition. A remarkable change in an individual there, but now he is back with his family, in Ukraine.

Back to you.

BROWN: It is so hard to see that picture. Nick Paton Walsh in Ukraine, thank you. I'm glad that he's back with his family.

And back here in the United States, a return more than 100 days in the making. This is the first photo of two American veterans returning to U.S. soil after being held as prisoners in Russia. Volunteer fighters, Alex Drueke, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh were captured during a battle in northeastern Ukraine. Even after being detained, both men told their families they have no regrets about going over to fight with the Ukrainians.

And, up next, risking their lives in boats made of old surf boards. What is driving these migrants to risk their lives to make it to U.S. shores?



BROWN: In our national lead, New York Mayor Eric Adams says the city is opening emergency shelters amid the massive influx of immigrants seeking asylum there, as the city tries to cope with the 300 to 400 refugees and migrants arriving every day.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is in New York.

So, Polo, how many of these centers is the city opening?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At least two, so far, Pamela. Now, the plan is to open one at first in the Bronx that would specifically be for adult asylum speakers. And then the plan would be to open the second one ultimately to be able to serve families, entire families of asylum seekers.

But really, this is extremely telling that the city is very quickly having to reassess and readapt in its response to getting anywhere to 300 to 400 asylum seekers a day that are arriving in New York City right now. And that is a combination of those who come here on their own, as well as those who are still taking up offers from Republican governors for a free ride north.

But anyway you, look at it, each one is certainly testing the city's ability to respond, and that is where these shelters that were announced will kick into according to the city. These are tent-like site structures. In fact, the city released a few images with a preview of what they will look like, and they are expected to basically receive these migrants, hopefully by passing the Port Authority bus terminal here in midtown Manhattan, and then quickly offering things like food, clothing, and even temporary housing.

But emphasis on temporary because the plan would be to very quickly move them out to a more permanent housing situation, including New York city shelter systems. But that, Pamela, is the beginning of the next challenge here as they try to fit these people into a system that is already practically full to the brim out of the roughly 13,000 asylum seekers that have turned to this New York City for some shelter assistance, 10,000 still remain.

But as you can imagine, Pamela, this is still coming from criticism as advocates are calling on them to sort of reassess, especially for the families that may end up in more congregate settings -- Pamela.

BROWN: All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you. And it's just not just the nations land border those overwhelmed. Officials in Miami and Puerto Rico say the number of migrants arriving by boat has surged, far outpacing previous years.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez embedded with border positions on the water to witness the growing trend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a look at that one boat that's washed up ashore.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grim reality out at sea, migrants relying on makeshift sailboats to get to the United States. Nowadays, it's a regular sighting for coast guard.

LT. RICARDO RODRIGUEZ, U.S. COAST GUARD: It is not uncommon to see at least 2 to 3 different ventures in the span of five hours.

ALVAREZ: U.S. Coast Guard crews have interdicted more than 6,000 Cubans since last October, making at the highest number of Cuban migrant interceptions since the 1990s and thousands of migrants have also made it to sure. So far, this fiscal year, border authorities have encountered nearly 3,600 migrants in the Miami sector. That's up from just over 1,000 last year.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT WALKER SLOSAR, U.S. BORDER PATROL MIAMI SECTOR: Seeing the uptick for us is really concerning in the fact that we are seeing more individuals on not so see where the vessel is putting a significant amount of those individuals at very dangerous risk for a loss of life.


ALVAREZ: Vessels include surf boards tied together, and votes with limited provisions and no navigation system, for what is a days-long journey.

For years, Cubans have been fleeing the island. But recent unrest, persecution, and shortages of basic goods that have pushed more to leave.

Immigration attorney David Claros, who's based in Miami, is hiring additional staff to meet that demand of Cubans arriving to Florida.

DAVID CLAROS, DIRECTOR, IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES SOUTHEAST AT CHURCH WORLD SERVICE: For the most part, individuals have come to us with the stories of persecution from the local government for their inability to participate in certain events, for just not agreeing with a local and communist policy of the island.

ALVAREZ: Patrols here are complicated by the varying terrain, requiring coordination among agencies on land, air, and sea, where CBP air and marine operations also patrols for incoming vessels. And it's not just Cubans they are looking for. Officials are also grappling with an increasing number of Haitian migrants.

More than 100 people traveled on this vessel from Haiti, a journey that can take about a week. If you look, you can see the clothes, and the snacks left behind, and what is a makeshift sailboat.

Chief patrol agent in the Miami sector, Walter Slosar, acknowledged the demand on resources to address the new trend.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT WALKER SLOSAR, U.S. BORDER PATROL, MIAMI SECTOR: We are all working finite resources. As we encounter these individuals, you don't know who's on that boat. It takes our agents time to bring them into our custody, make sure that they are healthy, and that they are clean, and they're fed, and they're safe, and then identify exactly who they are.

ALVAREZ: Administration officials can see the jump in Cuban migration, not only at sea, but at the U.S. Mexico border poses a challenge. This week, the administration said the U.S. embassy in Havana is preparing to resume full immigrant visa processing for the first time since 2017. But out at sea, crews prepare for the worst.

What goes through your mind when you do see them?

RODRIGUEZ: It can be traumatizing and sometimes very sad depending on the scenario that you find these people in.


ALVAREZ (voice-over): Now, CBP has deployed additional agents to Miami sector, and, Pam, the biggest concern now is hurricane season and the danger that poses to migrants.

BROWN: Yeah, understandably. What an eye-opening report.

Priscilla, thanks for that reporting.

Just new into CNN, the biggest names in politics, sports, entertainment, and more -- I'll talk to CNN's Chris Wallace. Movie mogul Tyler Perry is sharing why he kept his Madea series going for so long. Listen.


TYLER PERRY, FILMMAKER & ACTOR: I have always been extremely uncomfortable in that suit and playing the character, but the audience loves it so much.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: And, here what else Perry and others are telling Chris Wallace, up next.



BROWN: In our pop lead, the question everyone is asking, "WHO IS TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?" In a new CNN series, Chris speaks with some of the biggest names in politics, business, and entertainment.

This time, it's retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer who reveals what he really thinks of the court's decision to overturn a landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case.


CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST, WHO IS TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?: You had a bad final year, some of the most important cases on the court, abortion, guns, the power of the EPA to regulate the climate, you were on the losing side. Was that frustrating for you to lose important case after important case?


WALLACE: How frustrating?

BREYER: Very frustrating.

WALLACE: When the court undoes a right that people have lived with for half a century, that doesn't very much shake the authority of the court?

BREYER: Did I like this Dobbs decision? Of course, I didn't. Of course, I didn't. Was I happy about it? Not really.

Did I do everything I could to persuade people? Of course, of course. But there we are, and now, we go on. And we try to work together -- I mean, it's a little corn (ph) what I think it, but I do think it.


BROWN: That interview and three others are all available right now, as we speak, on HBO Max.

So let's bring in the man himself, CNN's Chris Wallace.

Chris, congratulations.

WALLACE: Thank you.

BROWN: Let's talk about this. It's really, actually, remarkable from my point of view, as someone who covered the Supreme Court for many years, to see just how forthright Justice Breyer was about that Dobbs decision. Did that surprise you?

WALLACE: Yes, Supreme Court justices, even retired Supreme Court justices don't talk this way.

And on a number of issues, I thought that Breyer, he is retired. It was remarkably forthright. I mean, his real distress about the Dobbs decision is frustrating. You know, he was on the court for 28 years, and he contrasted the previous 27, to this last, the 28th, the final year, in which he said, you know, that he lost a number of cases. And he really didn't lack it, and he really tried.

And I think he thinks the court has begun to go in different direction, from where it had been over the previous, almost, three decades.

BROWN: Yeah, you can tell just watching that, too, like when you brought up Dobbs, it's so against him. You know, you can still tell it gets to him.

So, you interviewed Justice Breyer, and then you interviewed actor Tyler Perry, best known for his popular Madea character.


He revealed something very surprising to you. Let's watch.


PERRY: I've always been extremely uncomfortably in that suit, playing the character. But the audience loved it so much. I was going to do it for one little scene onstage, and the lead character didn't show up. So the character got bigger and bigger every night. That's where it all started.

I'm not denying that it's great and funny, I enjoyed it. I have to disassociate, that's actually me.

WALLACE: For somebody who's a little embarrassed from character like Madea, you've been playing her for 15, how many years?

PERRY: Yeah, 2009, I think.


PERRY: But here's the thing. The audience wouldn't let her go. Like, even the last time I said I'm not doing it anymore. And then, the world goes upside down. We have the new president, and the new president, just -- what I just want to make people laugh. So I said, what do I have? Pull her out, put the movie on Netflix, it's number one everywhere.

WALLACE: Yeah, right.

PERRY: I'm like, OK, yeah, yeah. But the minute people stop coming to see her, that old brood is dead. She's dead, baby. She's dead, for sure.


BROWN: No, the old brood ain't going to die. People are going to keep coming.

WALLACE: Well, you know, I have to tell -- I was really uncomfortable with it, because I thought that Madea would react to him saying that the old brood is dead.

This was a big surprise for me this interview, because I was going to play clips of Madea. He's done a dozen of this movie. They really made Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry. And he wouldn't watch the clip, he was so uncomfortable with those clips, and I think, while on the one hand, what they did for him and very much appreciate how much the audience loved her, he is going on.

He's got a new movie on Netflix that drop today, called a "Jazzman's Blues", no Madea in it. It got a very good review today in "The New York Times". And I think he's grown fast her.

But let me tell you, Madea is not going anywhere.

BROWN: The audience loves Madea, way too much. What you just said sums up his many talent. It's really remarkable. We're going to learn about it in your show.

And we want to know, who else is going to be here and who's talking?

WALLACE: Well, this week, every week, we're going to have three interviews that will drop on HBO Max on Friday, so you can watch them all about half hour each today, the third interview with Shania Twain, the country music superstar. We talk about her ups and downs, tremendous success in the music business, lost her voice from Lyme disease, and in the middle of, that her husband leaves her. As I said to her, your life would make a pretty good country music song.

But next week, we've got Alex Rodriguez, and the week after that, Mark Cuban, Henry Winkler. We've done James Patterson, the bestselling writer in America.

I mean, the joy of being able to do politics, business, sports, entertainment, culture, this is my dream job.

BROWN: Understandably. I got to say, I'm a little envious, Chris. But -- all right, something to work up to one day.

Thanks so much. Can't wait to see the premier of "WHO IS TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE", Sunday night at 7:00 Eastern here on CNN. That's right after I will wrap up with "CNN NEWSROOM" on Sunday.

And you can see Chris's first three episodes, with Justice Breyer, Tyler Perry and Shania Twain, as we mentioned, I want to say it again right now on HBO Max.

And up next, Canada and the crosshairs of a hurricane this weekend, and a new system taking aim at the U.S.


[16:57:57] BROWN: Canadians are bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Fiona, which has strengthened once again to a category four storm. And you can see its affect on the waves, as it passed Bermuda today. In these images, it could be the strongest storm ever to hit Canada.

Meanwhile, Florida is already bracing for a potential hurricane. Jennifer Gray is in the CNN Weather Center.

So, first, what do we know about Hurricane Fiona's potential impact on the Canadian coast?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, Pamela, Canadians are going to start feeling Fiona as we speak, pretty much, and conditions will begin to deteriorate between now and midnight. And then, really getting back by the time we get into the morning hours. But you can see, some of the out bands are already starting to reach Nova Scotia, winds are one of 25 miles per hour, gust of 1:55.

This is moving incredibly fast, at about 40 miles per hour, already seeing rain all across Nova Scotia, especially on the central and eastern half. But this is going to slow down dramatically, once it makes landfall. So, it's really just going to batter the region, and then, we're also going to see significant wave heights, 68 feet of storm surge plus 25 to 40 foot waves, just off the coast of Nova Scotia, with the potential for 6 to 10 inches of rain -- Pamela.

BROWN: And everyone is watching this tropical depression headed toward the gulf coast, as well. What is the worst-case scenario there?

GRAY: Well, this is forecasted to become a major storm impacting Florida right now, still a tropical depression, moving about 15 miles per hour. We've got very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.

And so, this is going to be a ripe environment for the storm to just thrive, and intensify, very quickly, we already have a hurricane watch for the Cayman islands, a tropical storm watch for Jamaica. This could be a category one storm, as it crosses over Cuba, strengthening quickly into the Gulf of Mexico.

This could have winds and 115 miles per hour, when it makes landfall in Florida, in the middle part of next week. We're going to be watching it closely in the next couple of days.

BROWN: Yeah, and there's a lot to watch in the weather front.

Jennifer Gray, thank you so much.

You can follow me on Twitter @PamelaBrownCNN or you can tweet the show, and if you ever miss an episode of the show, you can listen to THE LEAD wherever you get your podcasts.

Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".