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Wild Smoke Engulfs East Coast, Pushes South; Joran van der Sloot En Route To U.S. From Peru; Surgeon General Warns Of Impact Of Excessive Social Media Use On Kids. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired June 08, 2023 - 11:30   ET




TIM PARLATORE, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: Classification marking on it, doesn't make it automatically some type of contraband. It has to be National Defense Information, one. Two, under the Presidential Records Act, we're talking about original documents. Not a single one of those marked documents or originals. They're all copies, every single one of them.


SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: They're all copies every single one. Does that even hold any water here? Is that a defense?

KATIE CHERKASKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that there's a need to really look closely at what defenses Donald Trump is going to raise in regards to the status of these documents. Because it's one thing to bring an indictment, but it's another to be able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

SIDNER: Right.

CHERKASKY: And we're talking about a former president. And that cannot go overlooked either because the president when in office, has carte blanche authority over National Defense Information, classified information. The Supreme Court has never specifically weighed in on any procedures that need to be undertaken to change the status of those documents.

This president can use that information at will essentially. So, I think that there is a significant question, legally speaking, about exactly how far that authority goes for any sitting president whatsoever. And I do think it is a very viable defense here, certainly.

SIDNER: You do? You think that just making copies of them even though they could have been used --

CHERKASKY: Potentially --

SIDNER: -- variously. CHERKASKY: Potentially, yes because of his very specific status as the president, and the question - the open legal question as to how far that authority goes. So, I think that the prosecution really needs to consider that because that's going to be a huge hang-up here, even if they do indict. Because an indictment doesn't mean you're going to be able to get past the burden of proof, certainly.

SIDNER: That makes -- make me sense. Michael, do these types of documents -- do the type of documents that were found in Mar-a-Lago matter? Some of them were top secret, some of them were secret, how did that play a role?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, ROBERT MUELLER'S FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT AT DOJ: Well, in the Espionage Act that which we talked about a moment ago, Sara, it doesn't even require there'll be any classified markings. It just is National Defense Information, something which implicates the national defense. And it seems to me that if you've got documents which are top secret, and compartmentalized that per se, implicates the national defense, so I think his authority to declassify is irrelevant to the espionage charge.

As to this question of whether or not the document has to be original. I think he's got original cover sheets with original markings on them. I don't think that's a viable defense.

SIDNER: All right. Thank you. Some of the dissension between our attorneys. And this is part of the thing is when you go forward and something this big with a former president, you are going to have these battles and they are going to be huge. Thank you to both of you. Let us go ahead and toss it back to John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So, it just won't go away. 75 million Americans across the Midwest, Northeast, the Southeast, under air quality alerts, the smoke just everywhere, as President Biden says all available federal firefighting assets to help.

And the main suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway will soon be in the United States. What awaits Joran van der Sloot when he arrives?



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: For tens of millions of people today, it's another day of danger outside as smoke is moving into the United States from Canada's wildfires. We're showing you a live picture of Philadelphia right now, as you can see over there, where the air quality has been declared very unhealthy. And it's not just an East Coast problem. We're going to show you also look at Cincinnati where the air quality there has been declared unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Now, forecasts do suggest that this polluted air could be lingering for days. It's impacting a lot of things including flights nationwide. We're going to show you a video from yesterday. It's -- this is what it looked like for passengers as they were flying in and landing at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Both LaGuardia and Philadelphia international airports had been dealing with ground stops and delays in operations this morning.

CNN's Athena Jones is in New York outside in it for us once again. Athena, are you seeing improvement? What is it like out there throughout this morning?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. Well, I am seeing improvement. If you look behind me over to Brooklyn, you can begin to see some of the details of the buildings. We could not see that a couple of hours ago. It was all covered in a haze.

But I will say that while the air quality index is much improved compared to yesterday afternoon, it's just around the same point as it was this time yesterday morning, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Now, it's been difficult to kind of forecast what's going to happen with the smoke and the wind, and the weather. But officials have warned that conditions could still worsen again later today. And that is why there is still an air quality health advisory in effect until midnight.

Mayor Eric Adams did talk about what we expect over the coming days. It sounded like good news. Take a listen.


ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: As of right now, the smoke models are not indicating another large plumb over the city. So, there's a chance for significant improvement by tomorrow morning and throughout the day tomorrow.


JONES: So, we could see things improving tomorrow. For the meantime, though, officials at the city and state levels are telling folks to stay inside and to mask up a high-quality mask if you do go outdoors. That is why New York State is now handing out some one million masks that they have on hand.

But one more note of caution is that this is the beginning of the fire season essentially in Canada. And one of our meteorologists has said that this is something that we may see happen periodically for the remainder of this summer. But at least right now, it looks like things are on their way towards improving here in New York, Kate.

BOLDUAN: That's very good news. Welcome to so many. Athena, thank you so much. It's leaving -- you had it out in New York though heading towards Philadelphia and heading over to Ohio and see what the pattern heads now.

BERMAN: It's really disruptive.


BERMAN: I mean, it's really disruptive. You can't go outside during the summer. It gets in your eyes. Had a huge headache --


BERMAN: -- last time from this.

BOLDUAN: I heard multiple people say they were getting headaches from this. Yes.

BERMAN: Everyone in my house. No question about it. Washington DC now feeling the impact of this as well. Winds are forecast to push south today, meaning it could get worse there as it comes from here to there. One hopeful sign, though, this -- it does say that smoke from the fires in Quebec has been considerably reduced this morning.


President Biden has directed all available federal firefighting assets to be deployed to help Canada fight the wildfires burning there. Let's go to the DC area right now. CNN's Brian Todd is in Arlington, Virginia, where I can see the haze behind you, Brian.

That's right, John. As Athena said, conditions, where she is in New York, are improving, but conditions here are getting worse. First, a quick update.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The DC area has just been labeled a code purple for air quality. That means it's very unhealthy for the entire public, not just people with respiratory issues or heart ailments. It's now a code purple here in the DC area.

Also, according to the air quality index, it's just reached the highest level of poor air quality. That is a six out of six. So, as conditions improved in New York where Athena is, they have worsened here in the Washington DC area.

I'm going to show you what that looks like. I'm going to step out of the shot while our photojournalist Steve Williams pans in here. He's going to zoom in here.

We're at the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia also called the Iwo Jima Memorial. On a normal day, on a straight line, you can see past the Iwo Jima memorial to some of Washington's most famous monuments. You can see right past it in a straight line to the Lincoln Memorial and then to the Washington Monument.

But look at the view right now. Look at that haze over the Potomac River and then beyond. You can see the Lincoln Memorial kind of in shadow there. But then look at the Washington Monument behind it. You can barely make it out.

And again, even on a rainy day, you can see these things very clearly. But look at this. And even the Marine Corps Memorial, which is about 80 yards away from me, and yes, pathetically I did pace it off, you can -- it's still -- the Haze is kind of affecting your view of it that close. So that's kind of what we're looking at here. We did talk to two people earlier, one commuter and one lady from out of town who were trying to navigate their way through this. Here's what they had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like, I can like feel it in my lungs, and when I'm like walking around like I can -- like it's pretty intense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, today it was really bad going into the Metro. Every time the doors would open, we'd smell the smoke. So, getting off the metro, it was -- I felt like I couldn't really breathe -- catch my breath as I usually wouldn't be able to.


TODD: So, really tough to navigate all this. Basically, the advice today is from local officials in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, do not go outside unless you have to. If you have to, don't stay out long. John.

BERMAN: Brian, I got to say. To be able to not see the Washington Monument behind you from right there where you're standing, I've been there so many times, that's really incredible.

TODD: Yes.

BERMAN: It's a really vivid display of how this is having an impact. Thanks so much for that terrific report. Sara?

TODD: Right.

SIDNER: The man long suspected in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway has started his journey from a prison in Peru to here in the U.S. The latest on what awaits Joran van der Sloot. And a quick programming North -- note for you. Kaitlin Collins sits down for an exclusive interview with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. That is tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.



BERMAN: This morning, Joran van der Sloot heading to the United States after departing from Peru earlier this morning. He, of course, is the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. And it is suggested he -- already is accused I should say, of extorting money from her mother in 2010. Peru handed van der Sloot over to the FBI agreeing to a temporary transfer.

CNN's Jean Casarez is live at the airport in Birmingham, Alabama where van der Sloot will land. Bring us up to speed.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we can confirm Joran van der Sloot is in the custody of the United States law enforcement. This is the first time that van der Sloot has ever been in the custody of U.S. officials, notably the FBI. And we're here in Birmingham. We're at the airport.

Why? Because this is where that plane is expected to land later on this afternoon. And this is the hometown of Natalee Holloway.

This is where U.S. prosecutors say that van der Sloot extorted thousands of dollars of Natalee Holloway's mother's money, saying that he would lead her to where the remains of Natalee Holloway were. He later said he lied, that they were not where he said they were at all.

Now, this morning began around 7:00 a.m. in Lima, Peru at a maximum security facility that Joran van der Sloot was being held at, and the International policing agency Interpol took custody of him at 7:00 a.m. Eastern time according to the Peruvian prison system. They said that they transported him to the Air Force Base in Lima, where U.S. FBI were waiting.

They transferred that custody to the FBI. We do know that prior to that, there were more medical tests this morning, there was a COVID test that was given and then about three hours ago is when they took care of U.S. FBI in that executive jet used to transport foreign people in custody bound for Birmingham, Alabama, John.

BERMAN: Jean, Joran van der Sloot is in U.S. custody in the air right now. A big step in a case you've been covering for so many years. Thank you for being there for us. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. Right now, the Senate is holding a hearing on the mental health crisis going on among Americans teens. The Surgeon General is there. And he just issued an official warning about social media and children.

Up next. Dr. Sanjay Gupta on how parents can better navigate all of this. We'll be right back.



SIDNER: Happening Now on Capitol Hill. A Senate committee is holding a hearing on what's been called a mental health crisis for young people in America. The CDC reports that suicide is the leading cause of death -- the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 14. And the group of Mental Health America says nearly 60 percent of youth with depression don't receive any mental health treatment.

Just recently, the surgeon general announced a public health advisory on the impacts of social media on the mental health of young people. He spoke about his concerns was seen as Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Sanjay's podcast "CHASING LIFE." Dr. Gupta thankfully joins us now.


SIDNER: Sanjay, you hear all of these numbers, and it really sounds dire. What can you tell us?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I think when people hear a warning coming from the surgeon general's office, they typically think, you know, it's going to be about smoking, it's going to be about opioids, things like that. I asked him. I said where -- does this rank at that level of concern, as what we're used to hearing from the surgeon general? And this is what he said.


DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Yes. I would say yes it is. And -- but it's more complicated because, with smoking and the which was an issue that our office, office of the surgeon general has been engaged on for decades, that was more clear cut in some ways. There were a lot of harms associated with smoking. It was hard to make the case that there were health benefits from smoking. Social media is more complicated.


GUPTA: And therein lies the problem I think, Sara, is that you know, we need social media, we use social media. A better analogy maybe it's like bad food. Food can provide calories, it can provide nourishment, but we can eat bad food, and we can eat too much of it. And I think that's what they're trying to address here. There's very little evidence of safety and increasing concerns about harm, Sara.

SIDNER: Yes. I know you talk with Dr. Murthy about how to deal with this because social media isn't going anywhere. Kids are going to be looking at it. So, how do you maximize the benefits of it and minimize the harms?


GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, it was really (INAUDIBLE). I got to tell you on the podcast, one of the things I did was I talked to a lot of teenagers, including my own three teenagers about this. And I think it's -- it can be pretty important to just have the conversations.

We didn't grow up with this, Sara. Even though I'm a lot older than you but you and I did not grow up with this. So, it's an -- it's a brave new world for all of us having the conversations, being real strict and dogmatic about tech-free zones around meals and things like that.

And also making sure that other parents in your community are on board because you don't want your kid coming back and saying, every other kid is doing this, which is what you often hear. I'll just tell you really quick, Sara, and this goes for adults as well. On average, we typically pick up our devices hundreds of times a day. Just hundreds of times a day constantly doing that. And when you do that, you should ask yourself three questions.

This comes from Catherine Price, a science journalist. Why am I doing this, why now, and what else could I be doing instead? Try that. And I think it might just dramatically limit your device time.

SIDNER: It's not just about kids. That helps us as well. Thank you so much, Dr. Gupta. BERMAN: Yes.

BOLDUAN: Great questions.

BERMAN: Guilty. Number -- hundreds, oh, I feel so guilty about that.

BOLDUAN: Hundreds is -- I know. And in front of your kids.


BOLDUAN: And you know, this shows what it shows. Thank you all so much for joining us today. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL. "INSIDE POLITICS is up next.