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Trump To Skip 2nd GOP Debate To Court Michigan Voters; Target To Close Multiple Stores Amid Rise In Thefts; House Republicans Claim Wire Transfers From China To Hunter Biden Listed President's Address As Beneficiary; Survey: Only 1 In 4 U.S. Adults Want Updated COVID Vaccine. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired September 27, 2023 - 13:30   ET



ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This could be critical. But here's the way you go after working-class voters is, you speak to them. You don't use them as a prop.

That's what Donald Trump is doing when he's going to Michigan to talk to these UAW workers. He's using them as a prop to distract from the fact he is not going up on the debate stage.

And we're seeing Joe Biden saying I'm the pro-union president and he goes out there yesterday and speaks to them.

Donald Trump, and what we're hearing, is he's going to use this opportunity more to go after Biden for his electric vehicle policies.

And look, the reality is Donald Trump is a free-market candidate. He is for the free markets and for businesses.

So for him to go there and say, I am, all of a sudden, pro-union, it's not going to really sit well. But he can use this as one opportunity to say I'm for the working person. It doesn't really gel with his policies of the past.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Doug, do you think Trump moves the needle with union voters?

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he can a little bit. Some of these are people who voted for him in 2016, these are people he also lost in 2020.

I go back to what he said when he was running against Hillary. He said, "Hillary Clinton has a slogan, 'I'm with her. I'm with you." That can be a powerful message. It certainly was in 2016.

Given the weakness that Biden has with some of his core voters on this, union voters, it's an opportunity for Trump. Does he do it in a ham-handed fashion and go over the top? That's what we'll have to see.

SANCHEZ: Doug Heye, Alice Stewart, we'll be watching closely and, hopefully, you will, too, to the postgame featuring Anderson Cooper and Dana Bash right here on CNN. Thank you both so much.

HEYE: Thank you.

STEWART: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: So Target says it's going to close stores in major cities across several states out of safety concerns. After a quick break, we're going to explain why.

And the Republican-led House Oversight Committee says it has bank records and wire transfers from Hunter Biden. Ahead, what it shows and what it could mean for their impeachment inquiry.



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: A scene of chaos in downtown Philadelphia as retailers are hit with a rave of break-ins. Video posted in social media showing rowdy crowds barging into stores, stealing merchandise and leaving widespread damage.

Here you can see looters even pouring drinks onto stolen Apple products.

Police say multiple stores were hit and more than a dozen people were arrested.

And all of this is coming as a wave of retailers say they're struggling to contain store crimes that have hurt their bottom line.

Target, the latest to announce the closing of multiple stores in major cities across four states.

Let's talk about this with CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, John Miller.

Let's talk first about these store closures. Nine Target stores. What are these stores dealing with? We're talking about cities like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle. There's one in east Harlem as well.

What are they dealing with when it comes to theft and organized crime?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT & INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, they're dealing with organized retail theft, which is groups of people that actually make their living this way.

And we're seeing this new trend, which you kind of described a little bit, where a group of 30 or 60 people will come in a caravan of cars, do a smash-and-grab or just a grab and go, as they like to call it.

And that intimidates employees. It intimidates shoppers.

If you look at the surveys that the National Retail Federation did this year, 81 percent of store employees believe that organized retail theft has become more violent than it was in the year before.

And 54 percent of them believe that criminal justice reforms, which make these crimes misdemeanors, where you're not held on bail or you're not going to pay bail, where you're essentially going to get a ticket and be let go, where you're not going to face jail time, has encouraged the increase.

KEILAR: That's really interesting.

Let's talk about what happened in Philadelphia last night. Initially, what we saw was a peaceful protest to deal with charges that had been dismissed against a police officer. And looting began shortly after the protests ended.

Police say what they're investigating here is a possibility of a caravan of vehicles that was going from location to location.

How does that work? How are they coordinating? And what does that tell you about what kind of operation this was?

MILLER: Well, what it tells me is -- we had a very similar operation in New York when we had two nights of looting around the George Floyd demonstrations.

What you have is, you have people who are not part of the protests. They're not part of the marches. It's not like they broke away from the marches and went to loot stores in a spontaneous way.

These are actions that are planned out by groups. It's all done on social media in advance.

They target stores. They line up the cars, they switch license plates to be undetectable. They post lookouts on scooters, and they will move in rapidly and try to break into the stores and take everything they can run away with and move out rapidly.

In this case, they made a number of arrests. And they're working with the video, license plate readers and everything else in Philadelphia to see if they can make more.

KEILAR: Yes, it's -- we're seeing this. And it's also -- it's hard to get to the bottom of it with data.

But the retail employee number you mentioned is certainly very important where they're perceiving this to be more violent.

John Miller, thank you so much. We do appreciate it.

And ahead, a wedding became a graveyard. That is how officials in Iraq describe a deadly fire at a hall that claimed the lives of at least 100 people. Ahead, we're going to tell you what caused this.


[13:44:27] SANCHEZ: House Republicans investigating Hunter Biden say they now have some of his bank records and they claim they've discovered wire transfers from China that list President Biden's Wilmington home as the beneficiary address.

CNN political correspondent, Sara Murray, joins us now with the details.

Sara, a source telling CNN this is the first time the panel has subpoenaed bank records for Hunter Biden. What else are they claiming that they found?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. House Oversight Republicans say that they were able to find two of these transfers from a Chinese national to Hunter Biden in 2019.


And House Oversight Chairman James Comer is stressing that this is the first time the panel has been able to find examples of transfers that are going directly to Hunter Biden instead of through various LLCs.

And also pointing out that the address on these transfers is Joe Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Again, this is all coming as House Republicans are launching this impeachment inquiry and they're trying to make the argument that essentially there was no daylight between what Hunter Biden was doing and his business dealings and what Joe Biden, now the president of the United States, was involved in.

But, of course, they fall short of meeting that mark in terms of actual proof. You know, in this instance, they're not putting forward any evidence that Joe Biden received any of this money, knew of this money.

They're putting forth this example of the address where Hunter Biden was living at the time.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Sara, what are Hunter's attorneys now saying?

MURRAY: Well, as you can imagine, Boris, they're not impressed by the work of Republicans in Congress on this issue.

Abby Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, said this was a documented loan -- talking about the payments -- not a distribution or payout that was wired from a private individual to his new bank account.

Which listed the address on his driver's license, his parents' address, because it was his only permanent address at the time.

Lowell goes on to slam Republicans, saying, "We expect more occasions where Republican chairs twist the truth to mislead people to promote their fantasy political agenda."

That's the stock that Hunter's legal team is putting into these revelations from House Republicans -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Sara Murray, thanks so much for the details.


KEILAR: Now to some of the other headlines that we're watching this hour.

At least 100 people died and another 150 were hurt after a fire broke out at a packed Christian wedding in northeastern Iraq. Much of the venue now completely reduced to ashes.

The father of the groom saying both the bride and groom survived and they're being treated at a nearby husband. Iraqi officials say they have arrested nine people in relation to the fire but they have not said what may have caused it.

A Texas homecoming queen was told she's not welcome back for the tradition of crowning her successor at this year's homecoming.

Brazosport High School says, "Kaleigh Craddock isn't being invited because of her insubordination," that she broke the dress code when she wore a colorful sash celebrating her Mexican heritage five months ago at graduation.

Craddock says she was told it was OK to wear it. The League of United Latin-American Citizens says the snub is pure nonsense and a flagrant act of discrimination.

And in Hollywood, the writers' strike is finally over. Writers can finally go back to work today after nearly five months off the job in a strike that might have delayed the next season of your favorite show. The union fought for higher pay and better compensation from streaming services.

And ahead, boosted out. A new survey shows only 25 percent of American adults definitely want the latest Covid-19 vaccine. We'll have more on that.



SANCHEZ: Despite a spike in the new cases of Covid-19 infections in the United States, a new survey shows many Americans aren't interested in getting the latest coronavirus vaccine.

The booster wards off the current variant circulating across the country that has caused multiple deaths and hospitalizations.

CNN health reporter, Jacqueline Howard, is here to walk us through the numbers.

So, Jacqueline, this poll says that about a third of American adults are saying no thanks. Do we know why?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: That's right, Boris. The numbers are interesting. It does not break down exactly why.

But I will tell you what it found. We do know that across adults, this was the survey of more than 1,000 across the United States. About one in four, 23 percent, said they definitely plan to get the updated Covid-19 vaccine.

Another 23 percent said they probably plan to do so. But that means that more than half said they either probably or definitely won't make plans to get the updated vaccine.

I will say, with older adults, 65 and older, a larger share of them said they do definitely plan to get vaccinated. That number, 34 percent of them, said they definitely do have plans to get the updated vaccine.

And we know, with children, we tend to see a smaller share among parents in this survey. More than half said they don't plan to get their child vaccinated.

So these numbers are interesting to watch as we see the rollout of updated vaccine continue -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: So, Jacqueline, how concerned are health officials about low turnout?

HOWARD: Yes, they're watching these number closely because of the low turnout when it comes to getting updated vaccines.

The reason why, this is a vaccine recommended for everyone 6 months or older. It is updated to target the currently circulating Omicron subvariants. These the variants dominant right now in the United States.

And we also know that most people haven't gotten their last Covid-19 vaccine in a year or longer. So we do know that getting this updated vaccine will help kind of get that rebuild of immunity as well.

So that's why there are health officials watching the uptake numbers closely.

The rollout just started. It will be interesting to see what the numbers turn out to be as we get closer into fall and the winter season -- Boris?


SANCHEZ: Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much for those details.

Still to come on CNN NEWS CENTRAL, released by North Korea. A U.S. Army soldier is back in American hands after two months in the hermit kingdom's custody. We have new information about Private Travis King and why he was turned over.


KEILAR: No debate but a primetime appeal to Michigan voters. And a brutal ruling from a New York judge.