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Fed Expected to Order Biggest Interest Rate Hike in Nearly 30 Years; Accused Buffalo Shooter Facing Federal Hate Crime, Gun Charges; Russia Says It Destroyed Warehouse of NATO Supplied Weapons in Ukraine. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired June 15, 2022 - 10:30   ET




POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It is a big day for the Economy. In just a few hours, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates three quarters of a percentage point in an effort to curb inflation. If they do that, it would be the largest single rate hike since 1994.

Of course, yesterday, President Biden acknowledged the inflationary pressures on the economy at the American Workers AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia. Listen.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Under my plan for the economy, we made extraordinary progress and put America in a position to tackle a worldwide problem that's worse everywhere but here, inflation. It's sapping the strength of a lot of families. Jobs are back, but prices are still too high. COVID is down, but gas prices are up. Our work isn't done.


HARLOW: Let me bring in Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO, I should note, the first woman to lead the federation of 57 unions, representing over 12 million workers in this country and internationally, just reelected to another term. Thank you very much, President Shuler, for your time this morning.

LIZ SHULER, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO: Thank you, Poppy, for having us on the show.

HARLOW: We heard the president say yesterday the prices will come down, quote, come hell or high water. I'm really interested in what those members that you represent are saying about inflation. How much is it hurting them?

SHULER: Well, inflation is hurting our members, but it's hurting working people all across the economy. And it is absolutely on the minds of every person because their money isn't going as far as it used to. But we know the root causes of inflation are obviously the pandemic, the supply chain clogs that we've seen, but also corporations price gouging. And so all of those factors have converged and, unfortunately, people are suffering, you know, having to work more with less.

And I think the labor movement sees this. We're fighting to create policies that will help workers and we want to be the solution. The labor movement can use our collective bargaining to help offset inflation.

HARLOW: Let's talk about solutions. Is it your position, is it the AFL-CIO position that the Biden administration is doing everything it can right now to lower inflation? I'm not talking about the Fed. I'm talking about the limited tools the White House has.

SHULER: Yes, and you're right, the White House does have limited tools. But what I think is happening is President Biden and Vice President Harris are waking up every morning looking through the lens of working people.

They are actually talking about their policies from a working person's perspective issue. And so whether it's the infrastructure investments that we know are so sorely needed, that we were able to get past, but now are starting to materialize in communities, that's what we need to create a more robust supply chain, is invest in our infrastructure, and working every morning and waking up thinking about, you know, how these cost increases are affecting everyday working Americans.

HARLOW: And talking about them is important, right, for the American people to hear them say this matters, but action is what really matters in the end. And there are an increasing number of well- respected economists, as you know now, Liz, who are saying there is more the White House can do to bring down inflation. For example, it can lift many of those $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods that were instituted by the Trump administration. The president is expected to make a decision on that in a few weeks but they've been considering it now for more than a month.

So, my question to you is the position of the AFL-CIO has been previous been not for the administration to do that, that you support keeping those tariffs in place, given that we know getting rid of them would reduce inflation even marginally. Is that still your position?

SHULER: We think it's the wrong time to relax tariffs on China. We think it would have a marginal impact, if at best, on inflation. What really needs to happen is what the president talked about yesterday, is looking at ways to bring down costs for working families.


Think about prescription drug costs, for example, and how drug costs are skyrocketing, and we have not used the power of the federal government like we could to leverage buying power, thinking about the tax policy in this country and how corporations have continued to get out from underpaying their fair share of taxes. So, there are a number of solutions we can look to but -- HARLOW: I hear you. I hear you. However, you're not going to get new tax legislation passed right now. A lot of those things are pointing to are longer term things. The Peterson economist at the Peterson Foundation say if you cut most of these tariffs on Chinese goods, they're not living up to their end of the trade deal with China anyways, right, China isn't, then you would reduce inflation by 0.3 percent now, you'd cut it by a percent over the next year. And here's what Larry Summers just said about that. Let's play it.


DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Should those tariffs be lifted?

LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: Many of them should be. Many, many of them should be. We should focus on what's important, not raising input prices for American producers so they're less competitive, which is what much of those tariffs do.


HARLOW: Can you explain why keeping all those tariffs in place on Chinese goods right now is best for the 12 million-plus workers you represent, given, again, that China is not living up to its end of the bargain anyway?

SHULER: Well, the tariffs are actually one tool in a whole body of solutions that we should be looking to as a country to get tough on the cheating that China is doing in terms of producing goods with slave labor. And we have since then suffered as a country in terms of our domestic supply chain. Look at the pandemic, where we couldn't produce our own goods, masks, ventilators, because we had let our own supply chain go fallow.

So, I think this is about investments here, and we started with infrastructure to make sure that we're getting our roads and bridges and transportation systems where they need to be, so that we're eliminating those supply chain clogs, and then also investing in ourselves so that we can give our manufacturers a leg up.

HARLOW: Final question, I'd be remiss not to ask you about this specifically also because you're the first woman to lead this organization, and that is the reality is women are still down 700,000 jobs from pre-pandemic levels. We lost more jobs during the pandemic. We know where a majority of the child care responsibilities fell, and women are still behind.

And I wonder if you have a message to the Biden administration, to corporations, to anyone in terms of what you think can be done to elevate those that are still struggling, I mean, for example, on the child care front. What are your thoughts given those numbers are still lagging?

SHULER: Absolutely, women suffered the most during the pandemic. They were frontline essential workers, women and particularly women of color who made sacrifices to keep our economy moving and to keep all of us safe and taken care of. But we do need the investments in child care and paid sick days, and we saw that with the Biden administration's Build Back Better legislation, that has been stuck in the Senate, as we know.

But the labor movement sees working people rising up all over the country saying, we made sacrifice and now we're fed up because we're being treated as expendable, as corporations are making billions of dollars. We want to see working people continue to come together and unions can be a path to leverage that collective voice and power.

And the labor movement is the largest movement of working women in the country. We represent 6.5 million women. So, this time in our movement is an incredible moment to galvanize the strength of working people and in particular working women.

HARLOW: President Schuler, thank you for your time this morning.

SHULER: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: You got it. Alex?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Well, the attorney general, Merrick Garland, is in Buffalo, New York. You can see him arriving there. That's where, of course, ten people were killed in a racist mass shooting at a grocery store. The new federal charges that are expected there this morning, we'll have that next.



HARLOW: This just in. The Department of Justice has filed multiple federal hate crime charges against the alleged mass shooter in Buffalo, New York, accused of killing ten people in that racially- motivated attack at a supermarket last month.

MARQUARDT: Let's get straight to CNN's Brynn Gingras who is outside of that supermarket in Buffalo, where Garland is expected to visit soon. Brynn, what more are you learning?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, guys. So, we are learning that this has just been filed on the western district of New York. 26 federal charges of hate crime related charges, firearm related charges, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, the person accused going into that Tops Supermarket a month ago from yesterday and firing multiple people killing ten inside.

Now, there is just a well of evidence that the DOJ has laid out inside this criminal complaint that was filed talking about this killer's intentions and the fact that he was targeting this community specifically for the black population, predominantly black community.


There're some details that we actually, I don't believe, knew before this criminal complaint was filed. The fact that fired 60 shots inside that grocery store, the fact that he actually visited the grocery store 2.5 hours before he actually carried out that attack, trying to get a survey, according to this complaint, of how many black people were inside, the ages of them, the location of the security guard, if you remember, who was killed in that incident.

In addition to that, we've also learned from this complaint that the FBI found in a raid of this suspect's home a note apologizing to his family members for carrying out this attack, and in that note said that he had to commit the attack, quote, because he cares for the future of the white race.

So, again, this is just a wealth of evidence that has been displayed in this criminal complaint that has been filed. This is now in addition to the state charges that were filed and, of course, it raises the ante on these federal charges carry a death penalty against this 18-year-old. Guys?

HARLOW: A lot of new significant information in there. Brynn Gingras in buffalo for us, thanks very much.

Russia's war on Ukraine reaching a pivotal moment, Ukrainian officials say they are outgunned ten-one and allies promising to send more firepower. Will it be enough?



HARLOW: Welcome back. This morning, Russia's military is claiming it destroyed a warehouse of NATO supplied weapons in Western Ukraine. This comes as the head of NATO is promising that allies will continue to supply Ukraine with these advanced weapons.

MARQUARDT: CNN's Selma Abdelaziz joins us live from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, and CNN's Katie Bo Lillis is here on set with me in Washington.

Selma, to you first. What more do we know about that claim by Russia that it did hit this warehouse that had NATO supplied weapons in it?

SELMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Alex, this is a strike that happened Tuesday. Russian officials are claiming that they used long-range high-precision missiles to strike at this warehouse in the Lviv region, so that's all the way in the west of the country. They're claiming they were able to destroy NATO provided weaponry, including U.S.-made howitzers. Those have been extremely important on the frontlines, of course, because they provide long-range artillery.

Now, Ukraine, for its part, says it was able to shoot down some of these Russian missiles using their own air defense systems but President Zelenskyy did concede that some of the strikes did indeed happen and that there was destruction and victims.

Now, he did not go into any detail as to what that damage exactly is and what weaponry could have been lost, but there's a few things to extrapolate from this here. First of all, this is a continuation of a threat that Russia has been making for months now. They consider any shipment of any western weapons inside Ukraine to be legitimate targets. And they have struck at these weapons shipments more than once.

And it's, of course, very telling when it comes at a time when we're expecting this announcement today from Brussels of potentially more military aid to Ukraine. So, it makes it clear that Russia is going to continue to try to target those weapons, even when allies are promising that help and it's willing to do that anywhere in the country.

Again, this is Lviv, in the west of the country, essentially, the opposite of where the frontlines are, and still, Russian missiles striking at this all-important weaponry.

MARQUARDT: And, Katie Bo, NATO weaponry is the topic of the day. There's obviously a huge gap between what Ukraine wants and what NATO has been offering. We have this NATO meeting today. What more can we expect from them?

KATIE BO LILLIS, CNN REPORTER: We do know from a senior U.S. defense official that more announcements of critically needed military aid for Ukraine are expected in the next days coming out of these meetings, but, Alex, we don't have a lot of details yet. We do know what the Ukrainians have been asking for, which is more heavy artillery to help combat this Russian assault in the east.

This is coming, Alex, at what U.S. and western defense and intelligence officials are saying is an increasingly dire-looking moment for the Ukrainians in the east. The west broadly believes that Russia has a military advantage in the east in large part because of sheer mass. They've been able to amass a significant artillery fire that they've been able to just pummel the Ukrainian positions with.

So, the Ukrainians have really been begging the west for additional heavy artillery to be able to push back against this. And in the meantime, of course, they're losing something on the order of 100 to 200 fighters a day, according to their president. So, really, for western officials, this is a potentially pivotal moment for the sort of long-term disposition of this conflict, and the big question is, what weapons do they get and when.

MARQUARDT: It is really a critical moment. Katie Bo Lillis and Selma Abdelaziz, thank you so much.

HARLOW: All right. We do have a significant decision out of the Supreme Court. The court has just issued an opinion in the case regarding a significant Trump-era immigration rule.

Jessica Schneider is outside of the court. Where did they fall?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, poppy, six opinions today. This is the final opinion, and the Supreme Court dismissing an effort from Arizona and some other Republican-led states to challenge or to step in to defend, I should say, a Trump-era rule regarding the public charge. This was a Trump-era rule that was put into effect that prohibited certain non-citizens who received public benefits, like Medicaid. It prohibited them from either entering the country or renewing their immigration status.


So, when the Biden administration took over, they actually rescinded this rule. It had been previously halted by a court. The Biden administration came in and said this rule is no longer, but several Republican states wanted to challenge that. They wanted to step up to try to defend this, saying that the Biden administration hadn't properly rescinded it, that it should still be in effect. But, today, the Supreme Court saying that these Republican states, they cannot step in, they dismissed their efforts to revive this challenge.

This was a per curiam decision. That means it was an unsigned order of the court. There was really no explanation here except for one line. But this is a defeat for those Republican-led states that wanted to step in to try to revive that Trump-era rule. These were states that were along the border that arguably would be more affected by this immigration policy.

But, again, this policy had not been in effect for almost two years now. The Biden administration rolled it back, but now the Supreme Court is saying that Republican-led states cannot step in to try to get this rule back into effect. Poppy?

HARLOW: Yes. It's a really interesting and important decision.

Jess, stay with us. Let me also and bring in our Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

So, it seems like, Jeffrey, they made a decision here on standing, where's the harm, these states can't come in here, but the Biden administration did do this in an odd way, right? They didn't get notice and comment from the public, for example. They accepted one court ruling in Illinois, dismissed the rest, but they prevail.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, basically what the court is saying is, look, we have enough problems, enough issues to discuss with regulations that are actually in existence. We are not going to go back and decide whether the Trump administration was right or wrong on a regulation that has been rescinded.

Now, as you point out, there was some controversy about how the Biden administration rescinded the regulation, but that was really not something the court wanted to get into. The Biden administration's position stands in this case but I wouldn't draw any large conclusions about this. This is the court saying, look, this is history. We're dealing with the present.

HARLOW: Okay. So, fair point. I wonder if you think this then indicates anything about where the court might go on the other big question of Trump's immigration policy still before the court in the Biden versus Texas, return to Mexico case, or would you not take this to indicate anything about where the court will go there, because then that, again, is a Trump regulation that the Biden administration essentially changed when they came into power?

TOOBIN: I would say it's a small signal suggesting that they might duck that issue. The procedural setting of that case is somewhat different. It's also a more consequential issue relating to immigration, generally. So, I don't think it's a big clue about how the court will turn out in that case. But we'll know soon because we're getting to the end of June and they're now finally running out of cases.

HARLOW: Very quickly, Jeffrey, before you go. The question was, if the court here ruled in favor of these Republican states, right, to try to reinstate what the Trump administration had done here, it would be easier for the Trump administration, if he runs again, if he is reelected again, to get this policy back on the books. Does this dismissal change that, make it harder for the next administration?

TOOBIN: Not really. I think the message generally of this opinion is, look, we have one president at a time. We're going to deal with what the presidents do at that time in terms of regulation. We're not going to look back. So, I think if President Trump is elected again, he's going to have a clean slate, just as President Biden did, which is what the court allowed today.

HARLOW: Okay. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you very much. Jessica Schneider, great reporting, as always, outside of the court.

We're waiting for other big decision soon. Alex, it's great to have you today. We'll see you tomorrow.

MARQUARDT: Great to be with you.

At This Hour with Erica Hill starts just in a moment.