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IRS Whistleblower Removed From Hunter Biden Investigation; Former Google CEO Warns Of Dangers Of Fake AI Account; Martha Stewart Is The Oldest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model. Aired 11:30a- 12p ET

Aired May 16, 2023 - 11:30   ET



SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Removed from the investigation. CNN's Sara Murray is joining us with a developing story. I'm curious who exactly removed him from this investigation?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look. This is an unnamed whistleblower who is writing to Congress through his attorneys. And he says he and his whole investigative team were removed from this investigation and that it was done at the request of the Justice Department. So, in the letter to Congress, here is what the whistleblower's attorneys write. They say this move is clearly retaliatory, and may also constitute obstruction of a congressional inquiry.

Of course, we know there has been this long-running criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, most of that investigative work has largely concluded but the case awaits a charging decision. And my colleague, Evan Perez, has been hearing for months that there were some agents who were concerned that they were being left out of discussions amid allegations of leaks. So as this came to Congress today, we heard from Republicans and Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee who say they want to hear more context from the IRS commissioner about what exactly is going on here.

And, Sara, I think you can look at these two ways. I mean, there was one argument to make that you know, this is retaliation against a whistleblower who wants to share information with Congress. There's another argument to make that you have someone who clearly wants to speak out publicly about an ongoing criminal investigation, you know, when there have been alleged leaks in some of these right-wing media outlets, and you can't compromise the underlying federal criminal investigation. So, we're going to continue to see this saga play out and we're still waiting to see when this whistleblower is actually going to show up on Capitol Hill, Sara.

SIDNER: This is all very interesting. Sara Murray, thank you so much for that reporting. Appreciate it.

MURRAY: Thanks.

SIDNER: Kate. KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now, migrant encounters at the southern border, they are down and appear to be holding far below the feared surge that was expected after Title 42 lifted, leading to one question of many this morning, which is will it last? Just across the border from Brownsville, Texas, we're going to show you this is the scene across the border in Mexico. A growing number of people camping out in Mexico just steps away from crossing in.

But let's go now to El Paso, Texas. Another border city that we've been talking so much about and where there's been so much focus. The mayor of El Paso joining us right now, Oscar Leeser.

Mayor, thanks so much for your time. The Homeland Security secretary said since Title 42 is lifted, that it's too early to say if the surge of migrants at the border has peaked. Do you think it has?

OSCAR LEESER, MAYOR OF EL PASO, TEXAS: No, I don't think it has. I think that we did -- we did have a huge surge on Monday and then it kind of slowed down as Title 42 expired. But you know, we had three pallets on the streets on Monday that we were able to help through CBP and the federal government register and follow the laws of the United States and immigration laws.

But then, on Thursday, we had 1800 that came in right before Title 42 ended. So you know, we're continuing to prepare for the unexpected -- the unknown. And that's one of the things that's really important because we don't know what's going to be coming in. But I can tell you that El Paso is prepared to treat people with respect and dignity and make sure that we continue to protect not only our asylum seekers but the people of our community.

BOLDUAN: And that's something that El Paso has become very familiar with as the ongoing crisis and broken immigration system at the border continues and what you have to face. When do you think you will feel comfortable that this -- I guess I'll call it this particular moment of the ongoing migrant crisis has passed. What will you need to see?

LEESER: Well, we need to continue to be prepared and we need to continue to work with our sister city of Juarez. We did speak with them yesterday and they feel that maximum out there and Juarez today is about a thousand. So, we'll continue to work with them.

We'll continue to make sure that we're prepared. We do have shelters open and we are prepared to open additional shelters if necessary. But at this point -- you know today, we had 450 crossings. Yesterday, we had 381. And on Saturday, we had 405.

So, the numbers have gone down but we still need to make sure that we stay prepared and be ready to -- because we are a border city.


LEESER: And we understand that we have that responsibility to our community. But we know they're not coming to El Paso. We know they're coming to the United States. BOLDUAN: That's exactly right. And to that point, the mayors have four other U.S. cities, not border cities, have sent a letter -- just sent a letter to the president of the United States asking for a meeting. And in part in their letter, they asked this.

They say we cannot continue to incur costs for the unprecedented and unbudgeted emergency needs of newly arrived asylum seekers as it threatens the financial stability of our cities. And when I was reading through this letter, I was wondering as the -- as the leader of a border city, what do you say to these other mayors many miles from the border about what they are now asking for?


LEESER: You know we'll continue to work with mayors from other cities. We had Mayor from New York, Mayor Adams, come to El Paso. And we were very thankful -- he wanted to see I was working, and he wanted to talk to some of the asylum seekers.

And one of the questions he asked him, he says, how many of you want to go to work? Every one of them raised their hand. How many of you want to go to New York? They wanted to go to New York.

So, you know -- and he asked him why. And they answered to him. Because we've seen New York on TV and we want to take our families where we can make it a better life and a better way for families to live.

So, it's important. But to your question is that we will never send anyone that doesn't want to go anywhere. You know, once they get their A-number which is processed through the immigration system, they're free to go.

And our job here is to help them go to the destination of their choice, but not to send them where -- and use them as pawns as they have been. We would never do that. We want to make sure we treat people the way we want to be treated. And that's what we've been doing here in the city of El Paso.

BOLDUAN: You've said recently -- I've been wanting to ask you about this. You said recently that you don't see a light at the end of the tunnel if there isn't real immigration reform, which needs to come from Congress. But if recent history shows anything that is very tough or if I'm being you know, blunt, unlikely to happen anytime soon, and even less likely to happen in a presidential election year. So, if -- what -- you're looking at now is the status quo, is the reality -- what does that mean for the reality that your community is going to be facing from here on out?

LEESER: Well, it's really important. And I -- what you said is so important right now because we don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. We don't see an end game. And that's something that needs to happen.

Congress and the Senate need to learn to disagree -- learn to agree or disagree, but the compromise and come up with a long-term solution because border cities like El Paso and you know, all the way up the southern border, and even the cities like New York, Denver, LA that you were talking about, in Houston, we can't continue at this pace. And we do have to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And we have to see some of the compromises so that they can make to make sure that we have immigration reform.

It's been decades. You can blame that on the current administration, even the prior administration. It's been decades since we've had any immigration reform, and it's really the time to make sure that we do that for the good of our country and also for our asylum seekers.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Mayor of El Paso, Texas, Oscar Leeser. Thank you so much, Mayor. John?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The nation is dealing with a dire shortage of healthcare workers Now, historically, black medical schools are calling on Congress for more funding to help.



BERMAN: New this morning. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt says there needs to be stricter rules for artificial intelligence technology. He talked to CNN about the dangers of fake AI content.


ERIC SCHMIDT, FORMER GOOGLE CEO: The whole system has to get ready for an onslaught of immoral, illegal, or manipulative images. Social media companies need to police this. And if not, the government will have to regulate this.


BERMAN: So, right now, the CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman, and other tech leaders are testifying to Congress. Sam Altman, I should have said or I meant to say, they're the creator of ChatGPT, which everyone knows about, right?


BERMAN: OK. Donie O'Sullivan is here with me. I -- you know, I vary the lead here. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is here with me.

You know, Sam Altman and others are testifying before Congress right now. And I get the sense that Congress basically is asking, you know, what have you wrought?


BERMAN: And what don't we need to do about it?

O'SULLIVAN: And there's so much here, right? I mean, look. From everything from misinformation to the music industry, to fill them to jobs, of course, and they're talking about all of that right now. Altman is -- you know he is -- he's kind of in line with Eric Schmidt in saying they want regulation.

Of course, many companies say that. But you know, there does seem to be a genuine conversation happening now, where they're saying we have to do something about this technology. We don't even know how powerful this technology is.

Speaking of which, Senator Blumenthal, the chair of the committee, opened today's meeting, I think maybe what a first in the U.S. Congress. He seated some of his opening statement time to an AI version of himself. Take a look.


SEN. DICK BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): And now for some introductory remarks. Too often, we have seen what happens when technology outpaces regulation. The unbridled exploitation of personal data, the proliferation of disinformation, and the deepening of societal inequalities.

If you were listening from home, you might have thought that voice was mine and the words from me, but in fact, that voice was not mine. The words were not mine.


O'SULLIVAN: And so, there, you had an AI-generated voice of Senator Blumenthal. It was used creating software that listens to his voice making speeches on the floor, and it sounded pretty convinced there. Also, the actual words that he said, the speech that the AI voice I read was not written by his staff. It was instead written by ChatGPT. So, I -- that kind of sounded like Blumenthal, right?

BERMAN: No, it's exactly like.


BERMAN: And look, that was a good demonstration. And I think all the senators want to know if there needs to be regulation and what to regulate. They don't know what's in.

BERMAN: None of us now know what's going on here.


BERMAN: Donie O'Sullivan, thank you very much.

O'SULLIVAN: Thanks, John.



SIDNER: All right. Thank you, guys. Concern is growing now about the nation's ongoing shortage of healthcare workers. The leaders of historically black medical schools say the issue is even more acute for black and brown communities. CNN's Jacqueline Howard is joining us now. Jacqueline, you recently sat down with Senator Bernie Sanders after he met with historically black medical schools. What does Sanders have to say about that meeting?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN REPORTER: Sara, it was an interesting meeting. And Sanders said that he's concerned about the shortage of healthcare workers in this country. He's worried about what it means for our nation's capability to fight pandemics in the future. And he said that this issue predominantly impacts black and brown communities. Have a listen.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): We don't have enough doctors. We don't have enough nurses. We don't have enough psychologists or counselors for addiction. We don't have enough pharmacists. And that problem is bad as it is, in general, is more acute in minority communities.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWARD: And what he means by more acute, Sara, he did say when you look at the numbers, we know that 13 percent of the U.S. population is black, but only 5.7 percent of U.S. doctors are blank. So, the diversity seen in the workforce does not reflect the diversity of patients served.

And when you look at federal data just in general, we do know that in areas where there's a shortage of health care workers, we need more than 17,000 primary care practitioners, more than 12,000 dental health workers, more than 8000 mental health practitioners. So those numbers give a snapshot of where we are in this country when it comes to this ongoing shortage of health care professionals, Sara.

SIDNER: Those are incredibly large numbers and is a very big concern. Thank you so much, Jacqueline Howard, for that story. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Martha Stewart has been so many things. Businesswoman, author, first female self-made billionaire in the United States, former federal inmate, former model, and now current cover model once again. Her history-making cover on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. That's coming up.



BOLDUAN: OK. Some amazing video out of Jacksonville, Florida that John Berman actually thought was fake.

BERMAN: I did.

BOLDUAN: This is a little league game where Dust Devil as you can see just swallows up these poor kids, this baseball catcher. An umpire rushes into action and carries the kiddo away and out of the Dust Devil and just safety. Here is what I have gathered in my deep research. Dust Devils typically happen under clear skies and form at the point between different surfaces such as asphalt and dirt. Wind speeds inside a storm such as this can reach up to 60 miles per hour regardless, that is crazy. If that was my child, I would be losing it.

BERMAN: He looks sitting on a home plate too.

BOLDUAN: So calm.

BERMAN: But he's so cute.

BOLDUAN: It's a sign from God. I don't know what though.

SIDNER: All right. Landing a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover is already a major feat. Doing so at the age of 81 is historic. Lifestyle tycoon, chef, TV personality, and a woman who went to federal prison and survived all that, Martha Stewart is now the oldest model to ever grace the front pages of the magazine's iconic swimsuit issue. You were looking at some of the behind-the-scenes footage of her shoot in the D.R., the Dominican Republic.

CNN's Senior Entertainment reporter Lisa France. Lisa Resperes France just in case anybody needs to know. He's joining us now. Give us a sense of how this ever came to be. She's the first octogenarian on the cover.

LISA FRANCE, CNN SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Absolutely. You know, we're used to seeing her serve up delicious dishes. This time, the delicious dish was hers. And -- yes. She talks a little bit -- I mean she was given body, you all. Let's admit it. She looks amazing. And she talked a little bit about what motivated her to pose for this cover. I think we have some of that.


MARTHA STEWART, ENTREPRENEUR: Usually, I'm motivated by pay. But I -- this time, I was motivated by showing people that a woman my age can still look good and feel good.



SIDNER: She's just nice.

FRANCE: Absolutely.

SIDNER: She's honest of nothing but honest. Wow.

FRANCE: Absolutely, honest. Instead of the chatter, it was all about making women feel empowered. And you know, I think it's interesting because so many of us worry about aging. But to Martha Stewart, she said that aging is boring.

It's boring to her. It's just a number. She that -- you know, she's not really concerned about she said for me it's a testament to good living. And I think that all of us should, you know think about just living better and living healthier.

She does Pilates. She's eating well with her organic food, and we see it right there because she looks incredible.

SIDNER: I wish that aging was just a number but my knees say otherwise, actually.


BOLDUAN: And my lower back and everything about John.

BERMAN: I made coffee. You're complaining backstage the entire show.

BOLDUAN: May also give a quick shout out at least you could weigh in on this as well. I know the make -- I have worked with. I've been lucky enough to work with a makeup artist that works with Martha who's there on that shoot and she deserves a healthy shout out there because that is some amazing makeup even on a beautiful face.

SIDNER: Canvas.

FRANCE: John, thank you.

BERMAN: You're welcome.

FRANCE: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Lisa, please weigh in on that as well.

FRANCE: Yes, she's looking flawless. We love it. We love to see it. You know she's not the only one either. There are -- there are others too.

Padma Lakshmi looked incredible. She represented for the 50-something. So, everybody really did their thing for Sports Illustrated this time around.

BOLDUAN: That's awesome.


SIDNER: Oh, Lisa, we've -- oh, we're just pulling up some of the behind-the-scenes workout video and now we're starting to see the pictures of Padma Lakshmi. And she's smoking.


SIDNER: She's fire. They both are.

FRANCE: Oh, my god. They both are. I mean don't -- you want to hate Padma? She's so gorgeous. You know, we'd love her on Top Chef. But look at that body at 50-something years old. It's ridiculous. I didn't look like that at 25, so --

SIDNER: Right?

FRANCE: -- you know God loves them. Love them. Love both of them.

BOLDUAN: God loves her and my (INAUDIBLE). I mean this is what I needed today. It was just like I want to hate her but I just can't.

FRANCE: You can't -- you can't do it.

SIDNER: Lisa has never been a part of the hater nation. I can tell you that right now. Never.

BOLDUAN: John, thoughts?

BERMAN: I used -- I split for Martha Stewart. I generally only post in swimsuits for a month, so that's where I draw the line. But more power to you.



BOLDUAN: What kind of bathing suit do you prefer, John Berman?

BERMAN: Depends on the money.

SIDNER: We've got to go. We have clearly lost the plot. Thank you all for joining us. Thank you Lisa Respers France.

BOLDUAN: Sorry, everybody. Thanks, Lisa. Run quickly.