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Biden Speaks in Philadelphia Today as Inflation Soars, Economy Struggles; January 6 Committee Postpones Third Public Hearing to Thursday; Dow Makes Modest Gains After Plunging Nearly 900 Points. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired June 14, 2022 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Alex Marquardt in for Jim Sciutto today.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow. Alex, we're so glad to have you.
We have a lot happening this morning. President Biden just arrived in Philadelphia where, next hour, he will address the economy as he speaks at a convention of the country's largest labor union in Philadelphia. The president's visit comes as his administration is facing mounting pressure following this, you know, 41-year inflation high that we're seeing and a huge surge in gas prices.
The nation's national average for gas, $5.02 a gallon now, all of this as a key inflation measure slowed slightly last month.
MARQUARDT: Also this morning, the White House is now confirming that the president will be traveling to the Middle East, specifically to Israel and Saudi Arabia, in July. We're also learning that his visit will include a meeting with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Now, you'll remember that President Biden had previously called the kingdom a pariah for its role in the killing of Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That was before he became president. We'll have much more on that in a moment.
Plus, the January 6th committee is postponing now a hearing that was scheduled for tomorrow. A member of the committee is saying that this was due to technical issues. We'll be live on Capitol Hill with much more on the hearings. That's just ahead.
HARLOW: Let's begin, though, this hour with CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood, traveling with the president in Philadelphia. John, always great to have you.
So, President Biden will talk about the economy next hour. He's been doing that a lot more increasingly. And I just wonder if the message this morning will be different. JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think it will be slightly different. We'll hear, as usual, the president say that doing something about inflation is the top economic priority, that's, to a small extent, for his administration, to a greater extent, for the Federal Reserve.
But I think he's also going to use this appearance before a friendly audience, labor audience, to talk about the positive parts of his economic record. That is, job creation, which has been very robust, unemployment is very low, while also drawing a very sharp contrast with Republicans, trying to say, whatever you think about the state of the economy now, Republicans would go in a direction you wouldn't like on entitlement programs, like Medicare and social security, put those at risk or raise taxes on people middle and lower incomes.
He's going to try to draw that contrast with Republicans and increasingly in this midterm election year, that's going to be how he handles adverse economic sentiment right now, which is very profound because of that inflation, those gas prices that you mentioned, Poppy.
MARQUARDT: And, John, on this meeting, this meeting that the president is expected to have with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia next month, we did heard from the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby. And he confirmed that that meeting is going to happen. He talked about President Biden meeting with King Salman's leadership team. So, it seems they're trying to play down the prospect of the meeting with MBS.
HARWOOD: There's no question they're trying to play it down. Look, as president, you've got to confront some difficult choices, and this is one of those difficult choices. The president is concerned about inflation, concerned about gas prices. He wants Saudi Arabia to ramp up production to try to ease the supply crunch on oil to some degree. And so the White House is talking about this as principally a trip to Israel and then talking about regional security issues that he'll discuss with the Saudi leadership.
The Saudi government has been much more affirmative about the president meeting with MBS, but the president, because he has to eat some of those words, the condemnation of the Saudi crown prince earlier, they're trying to tamp this down. And they did include language in the White House statement saying they're going to talk about global energy security, which is code for trying to do something about gas prices.
MARQUARDT: Yes. The White House very much trying to make this look like a more regional summit but, of course, all eyes will be on that meeting between the Saudis and President Biden, whatever format it takes.
John Harwood traveling with the president, thanks very much.
Now, the January 6th committee is laying out how members of former President Trump's own team repeatedly told him that he lost the 2020 election, but Trump kept spreading false election fraud claims anyway. [10:05:06]
HARLOW: Our Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju is on Capitol Hill. Manu, we just learned the hearing is not happening tomorrow. That's a big thing to postpone. Technical reasons? Like what?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, look, they had -- this has been a very well choreographed hearing. They've been discussing this and planning this for months. But here at the last minute here of sorts, they decided to delay tomorrow's hearing.
The reason why they're saying officially is because they need some more time to put together the video presentations that we have seen, extensive testimony of depositions, witnesses' depositions that they've played throughout. They want to give more time for the staff to put together those presentations and the like and they want to space these out a bit more.
So, tomorrow was supposed to be about pressure the Justice Department faced from Donald Trump to overturn those election results. That will still happen but at a later date. Thursday's hearing will still occur. That will be about pressure that then-Vice President Mike Pence faced from Donald Trump and his associates to overturn the electoral results. So, we still expect to hear testimony there.
Now, this is all playing out as the committee is divided over a key issue, how far to go in suggesting that the Justice Department should actually pursue possible criminal charges against Donald Trump. That is an issue that the chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, told reporters was not going to be addressed by the committee at the end of the day.
But the pushback was swift, showing a sharp division within this committee. Liz Cheney tweeted almost immediately, saying no decision had been made. And Adam Schiff last night also indicated that is something the committee has not yet agreed on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We haven't had a discussion about that, so I don't know that the committee has reached a position on whether we make a referral, what the referrals might be. I thought we were deferring that decision until we concluded our investigation, at least that's my understanding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So, these are among the big questions the committee has to sort out. They're not going so far as to whether this would suggest that Donald Trump acted criminally and should be prosecuted. But when the report ultimately comes out after these hearings play out for the next few weeks here, they will draft that report, they will put together a report. But how far do they go in that report language is still a question the committee is deliberating. Guys?
HARLOW: Manu Raju, thank you so much for the significant update there on Capitol Hill.
Joining us now to discuss, CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and CNN Anchor Chris Wallace. It's great to have you here, both of you, gentlemen.
Chris, let me begin with you and play for our viewers a mash-up of sound from the hearing yesterday about how many people told the president none of what you're saying about election fraud is essentially based in fact. Here they were.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: The stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public was bullshit.
RICHARD DONOGHUE, FORMER ACTING DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Not true
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nuts.
BARR: Complete nonsense, completely bogus and silly.
DONOGHUE: Not supported by the evidence.
DONOGHUE: They don't pan out.
BARR: Crazy stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said to him, are you out of your f-ing mind? I said, I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on, orderly transition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I should note, Chris, it would have been very helpful to our democracy and to the American public to have heard this from people before they were being deposed. Let's set that aside for a moment and just ask if you think now it moves the needle for people who believe in these lies, to hear that now, or if it's just so baked in?
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: I think it's a huge question, Poppy, and I don't have an answer to it because, you know, this is people in the privacy of their home or reading it online or reading it in the paper. And, you know, that's one of the points, clearly, that the committee is trying to make, is that millions of Americans who very much believe in Donald Trump were duped, according to the committee, in all these stories that there was real fraud, that the election was stolen, the so-called big lie. And, clearly, one of the things the committee is trying to do is put the lie to the big lie.
Now, whether or not, you know, the MAGA crowd, the real, true blue Trump supporters have had their minds changed by that, that's something we're going to have to see over time. I don't know. I don't know that you can make a stronger case than the committee has made. But, remember, we live in a world, prior to the beginning of these hearings, in which 70 percent of Republicans told pollsters that they didn't think that Joe Biden was the legitimate president. So, if a year and a half after the election and after January 6th they still had doubts about the legitimacy of Biden, the legitimacy of the election, are they going to believe what they've heard from this very much Democratic majority committee? I don't know.
MARQUARDT: Jeffrey, to borrow a word from Chris, how is it possible, with all of these campaign finance laws that we have, that people were duped to the tune of $250 million, the amount of money that was raised largely through solicitations by email by the former president in the wake of the election?
And then $60,000 of which we learned, according to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, went to Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former president's future daughter-in-law. How does that happen? How does that work?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's no surprise that their people in the Trump orbit were doing grifting, because they've been doing grifting off the presidency for a very long time, whether it is Kushner getting billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia or getting lots of money at their hotel from people trying to ingratiate themselves from the Trump administration. So, the news of grifting is just continuing.
Our campaign finance laws are incredibly lax. Under the First Amendment, you can solicit money in a very general way and use that money almost without limitation, and that's what happened in the aftermath of the presidential race, that the Trump orbit, the president and people associated with him, realized that the controversy over the election result was a tremendous fundraising opportunity. They pushed out hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of emails asking for money. They got all this money.
But our system allows that. And I don't think even the payment to Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, for giving the speech at The Ellipse is illegal. It may be distasteful. It may be creepy. It may be grifting, but our laws are very lax. And I don't think it is illegal.
HARLOW: Chris, yesterday, former Attorney General Bill Barr, when they played the part of his deposition, he talked about the president being, at times, detached from reality or unhinged to reality. And the reason I bring that up is because I think it's an outstanding question of whether that was indeed the fact that the president actually believes the lies, or if he knew that they were lies but perpetuated them. How significant do you think that is for the committee to parse out?
WALLACE: Well, it is significant. I'm not sure it's possible, Poppy. It was interesting. I was waiting to see -- you know, we heard from all of these insiders, Bill Stepien, the campaign manager, Bill Barr, a variety of other people, and they kept having clips of them in exchanges in the oval office with the president saying, that's just not true. That's bull. That's B.S. Barr said he told the president directly. There was never a moment any of them said that the president took that in and agreed and said, I know it's B.S., but I want to keep pushing this. So, this does, I suppose, get to the question of criminal intent.
But there was -- and even when Barr talked about the detached from reality, he made it conditional. He said, if he believed this, if he really believed what he was saying, he was detached from reality, there's a conditional there. So, there is no smoking gun where Trump is quoted by anybody as saying, I know this is nonsense. He just is basically saying, okay, you tell me the Philadelphia ballots, that's wrong. How about this? And he just kept on trying to get to yes from somebody. Whether or not that was self-delusion or not, I'm not sure we'll ever know.
TOOBIN: Chris is exactly right, that it is enormously significant as a legal matter, whether the president, former president, was, in good faith, believing the B.S. or lying about it to try to stay in office. That issue is not fully resolved yet. I think there is more fact- finding needs to be done. I expect that the Justice Department someday will launch an investigation of this or continue an investigation.
But the issue of Trump's intent, the issue of what he knew and believed as he pressed forward with the big lie is enormously important, as we think about a possible criminal investigation down the road.
MARQUARDT: Well, much more to come from the January 6th committee, but not tomorrow, as we've just learned, that the hearings are being postponed. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us this morning, Jeffrey Toobin, Chris Wallace.
WALLACE: You bet.
MARQUARDT: All right. Well, up next, we will be going live to the New York Stock Exchange, where markets are struggling to recover from Monday's massive sell-off.
What's that going to mean as we enter a bear market?
HARLOW: And parents out there, listen to this. Big question now, how soon could COVID vaccinations be available to children as young as six months old? We're going to have the latest on today's meeting of FDA vaccine advisers. That's ahead this hour.
And after spending nearly three years in prison in Russia, Trevor Reed is demanding accountability and compensation. Coming up, the steps he is taking to try to make Putin pay.
MARQUARDT: Right now, the Dow is up slightly after plunging nearly 900 points on Monday. Investors are on edge as a key inflation measure showed a slight drop this morning. And economists are predicting that the Fed will announce another major interest rate hike, and that would come tomorrow.
HARLOW: Our Clare Sebastian joins us from London. Let's begin, though, with our Alison Kosik on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
I mean, what a sell-off yesterday, and just continuing belief that the Fed is going to really hike rates this week, and then what does that mean for the chances of a recession?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All good questions, Poppy. Good morning to you. You know, many asking could this be a turnaround Tuesday. Well, traders I've talked with say they don't bank on it despite the green arrows that you see.
As you mentioned, yesterday's brutal session, it pushed the broader market index, the S&P 500 is into a bear market. That means it was a 20 percent drop from its high in January. As far as investors see it, that is sending a loud and clear message to the Federal Reserve, which begins its two-day meeting today, that it is time to get tough on inflation.
Many economists believe the Fed will announce tomorrow that it will get more aggressive with its interest rate hikes. That's after we learned that inflation isn't peaking and is, instead, accelerating.
The concern, as you mentioned, Poppy, is that will the Fed get it right? There is no guarantee that interest rates will solve the inflation problem. But increasing rates at a faster pace is expected to slow demand, in part, because higher rates mean it is going to be more expensive for not just consumers but for businesses to borrow, so everybody is going to spend less.
And though that is what the Fed wants, it comes with the worry, could that cause a recession in the U.S. economy? But that's what you're seeing investors prepare for, just in case. It's why we've seen so many of these volatile sell-offs. It is kind of a re-pricing of stocks to re adjust and reflect this new landscape, not just the fewer gains in the stock market but slower economic growth, higher interest rates and high inflation. Poppy and Alex?
MARQUARDT: Clare, what are you seeing from your vantage point in London?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Alex. This is a sort of a similar story in many ways to what you're seeing in the U.S. We have got the likes of the Bank of England meeting coming this week, the Bank of Japan as well.
The Bank of England in quite a similar situation. They are looking generational highs in inflation over here, how do they adjust monetary policy when that inflation is driven not by an excess of demand but by the supply shocks, by the war in Ukraine driving up energy and food prices. How do they then tackle that in a way that doesn't tip the economy into a recession?
Over in Asia, we had also a mixed picture there for stocks. Japan was lower because that is really the outlier globally. The Bank of Japan also meeting this week. But they are actually trying to keep inflation. That country hasn't seen inflation -- in fact, they've seen deflation now for a number of decades. They now have inflation at around 2 percent. They want to keep that. But, of course, being the outlier in terms of monetary policy, globally, has meant that their currency has fallen to around a 20-year low against the U.S. dollar.
So, the inflation, globally, is the big conundrum. I think there's a lot of wait and see in the markets this week. They're struggling for direction as we wait for those central bank meetings.
HARLOW: Clare, thank you so much for the reporting from London. Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange, we appreciate it. Alex?
MARQUARDT: The mRNA vaccines that were developed during the pandemic, of course, have saved so many lives, but could they also change how we treat cancer? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta has that story, next.
MARQUARDT: We have come to know about mRNA vaccines because of the incredible vaccines that were developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. But for decades, scientists have been trying to harness this very same technology but to treat cancer.
HARLOW: Yes. This is quite an amazing development. Now, a clinical trial is giving pancreatic cancer patients a real sense of hope.
Our Sanjay Gupta reports.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In December 2020, mRNA vaccines started changing the course of the pandemic. At the same time, that same technology was possibly changing Barbara Brigham's life in an entirely different way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, I just want you to know that you have pancreatic cancer.
MARQUARDT: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of the disease. And that motivates this Dr. Vinod Balachandran at Memorial Sloan Kettering to find a cure for it.
DR. VINOD BALACHANDRAN, ONCOLOGIST, MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING: We really need new treatments for patients. Stay tuned.
Right now, the immunotherapies that are used to treat cancer patients, they only work in about 20 percent of patients. So, about 80 percent of the time, the current immunotherapies are not very effective. GUPTA: So, Dr. Balachandran teamed up with BioNTech. You may remember them as a developer of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Their goal, to begin trialing mRNA as a pancreatic cancer treatment.
BARBARA BRIGHAM, PANCREATIC CANCER PATIENT: I was willing to try whatever would prevent me from having a shorter life than I really wanted to have.
GUPTA: Cancer has challenged scientists for years, in part because the cells continuously mutate, making them harder for the immune system to detect.