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Panel: Pressure Campaign on Pence Led to Capitol Riot; Eastman Behind Plan to Stop Election Certification; Global Markets Tumble Following U.S. Fed Interest Rate Hike; European Commission to Issue Opinion on Ukraine's EU Candidacy; NATO Aiding Ukraine, Bolstering Defenses Along Eastern Flank; Family Friend: Third U.S. Military Volunteer Missing in Ukraine; Millions Under Heat Alerts, Hot Temperatures Move Eastward. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 17, 2022 - 04:00   ET



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DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: To learn more about their journey with the dogs, go to and while there, you can nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero.

Thanks for watching everyone. Our coverage continues.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person would choose the American president. An then unbroken historical practice for 230 years that the vice president did not have such power.


CROWD: Bring him out!

GREG JACOB, PENCE'S ATTORNEY: The vice president said this may be the most important thing I ever say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The statement --

JACOB: The statement, yes, he really wanted to make sure that it was just so.


FOSTER: As President Trump was, quote, pouring gasoline on the fire during the insurrection, we're now hearing how close the danger Vice President Pence was on January the 6th.

Plus, we now have the first photo of two missing U.S. nationals feared captured by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. There's a third American Marine veteran reported missing. We're live in Kyiv with the latest.

And more than 65 million Americans are under heat alert, with temperatures getting into the triple digits, Fahrenheit. We're live at CNN Weather Center on how much longer this could last.

ANNOUNCER: Live from London this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster.

FOSTER: Thursday's hearing Into the January 6 Capitol riot revealed more chilling details about what's actually happened that day. And stuck in the middle was Vice President Mike Pence. Testimony showed, he came perilously close to being discovered and possibly killed, as rioters rampaged near the Capitol. Committee members also zeroed in on the role of Trump lawyer, John Eastman, who hatched the illegal scheme to thwart the 2020 election results. Days later, he sought a presidential pardon for his role. CNN's Manu Raju has our report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America!

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pressure campaign was relentless. Donald Trump for months tried to get Mike Pence to do something no vice president has ever done -- reject the will of the electorates and the install him as president for a second term. Right up to this heated phone call, on the morning of January 6th, just before Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress, to certify Joe Biden's victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He called him a wimp.

IVANKA TRUMP, FORMER ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: It was a different tone that I had heard him take with the vice president before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember what she said her father called him?


RAJU (voice-over): Trump even revising his January 6th speech in a rally of his supporters to take aim at the vice president.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country.

RAJU (voice-over): The rioters echoing the president's remarks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm telling you, if Pence caved, we're going to drag the mother (BEEP) through the streets. RAJU (voice-over): Even after rioters breached the Capitol that afternoon, Trump still attacked Pence on Twitter, just as the mob was 40 feet away from the vice president.

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): The vice president's life was in danger.

RAJU (voice-over): Trump had been told repeatedly that Pence had no authority to take such an unconstitutional action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it your impression that the vice president had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the president? Not just to the world through a dear colleague letter, but directly to President Trump?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he had been consistent inconvenience position to the president?

SHORT: Very consistent.

RAJU (voice-over): The committee focusing today on the role of Trump attorney John Eastman, who pushed the theory that the vice president could overturn Joe Biden's victory.

JOHN EASTMAN, ATTORNEY: All we are demanding of Vice President Pence is this afternoon at 1:00, he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it.

RAJU (voice-over): Privately, White House officials were alarmed and pushed back on Eastman.

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Yes, they thought he was crazy. I said, are you out of your f'ing mind? You're going to cause riots in the streets.

RAJU (voice-over): Even Fox News personality, Sean Hannity, sending these text messages to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, saying on January 5th, I'm very worried about the next 48 hours.

But as he was peddling the theory, Eastman knew it was bogus, writing in October 2020 that nowhere does it suggest that the president of the Senate gets to make that determination on his own.

Pence's former counsel recalling tense deliberations in the White House, including this demand from Eastman on January 5th.


GREG JACOB, FORMER COUNSEL TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: What most surprised me about that meeting was that when Mr. Eastman came in, he said, I'm here to request that you reject the electors. He came in and expressly requested that.

RAJU (voice-over): And as Trump and Pence were privately sparring about the vice president's role, the White House issued a statement saying he and the vice president were in total agreement, that Pence had the power to act.

JACOB: We were shocked and disappointed because who ever had written and put that statement out, it was categorically untrue.

RAJU (voice-over): The message came from Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He dictated -- he dictated most of it.

RAJU: As for Eastman, he had this request for Trump, he sent through Rudy Giuliani.

AGUILAR: Dr. Eastman's email stated, quote, I've decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.

RAJU: Now Eastman refused to cooperate with January 6th investigators, even taking the Fifth Amendment, but there's still some interest in his interactions. Namely between him and Ginni Thomas, the wife for the Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. She is a conservative activist. She had pushed to overturn the election. She had interacted with Eastman via email. Thompson telling me earlier in the day on Thursday that the committee has sent a letter to Thomas asking her to testify before the committee. She herself had told a conservative news outlet earlier in the day that she is willing to clear up any misconceptions that the committee may have about her interactions. So, that something perhaps could happen in the days ahead.

Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


FOSTER: Donald Trump was, quote, pouring gasoline on the fire, as the riot unfolded. That's how Trump's former White House deputy press secretary described Trump's actions, putting Pence's life in danger. The committee showed these never before seen photos of the vice president in a secure location after rioters breached the Capitol. Here, Pence was looking at the video Trump tweeting asking rioters to leave the Capitol, but not until hours after the violence began. Initial time earlier Trump had stoked the violence with a tweet saying, Pence, quote, didn't have the courage to do what's should have been done. It was that tweet that seemed to embolden rioters and send them into a frenzy. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He deserves to burn with the rest of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all escalated after Pence -- what happened to Pence. Pence didn't do what we wanted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pence voted against Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And that's when all this started.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yup, that's when we marched on the Capitol. We have been shot at with rubber bullets, tear gassed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just heard that Mike Pence is not going to eject any fraudulent electoral votes!

CROWD: Boo, Boo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. You've heard it here first. Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America! Mike Pence has betrayed this president, and he has betrayed the people of the United States and we will never, ever forget!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's simple. Pence betrayed us, which apparently everybody knew he was going to and the president mentioned it, like five times when he talked. You can go back and watch the presidents video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our Capitol, let's be respectful to it. There's 4 million people coming in. So, there's a lot of control. We love you guys, we love the cops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time, a matter of time. Justice is coming.


FOSTER: Now earlier, CNN spoke with senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, he said, the fact that both Trump and Eastman knew the illegality of their actions, yet proceeded anyway, could prove extremely important to the U.S. Justice Department.


RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The lawyer for the vice president testified at a meeting in the White House, John Eastman admitted that his scheme was illegal, that it violated the Electoral Count Act. That it would probably lose at the Supreme Court and I know. And yet Donald Trump continue to pressure the vice president to pursue that scheme. And so, this goes -- this reinforces the evidence from the first two hearings of Bill Barr and others, telling him that he lost the election and proceeding down this path anyway.

Both of them I think are critical from a criminal and legal point of view for the former president. Establishing his state of mind, that he knew what he was doing was not only wrong, but illegal and he continue to do it anyway. Seems like a very important threshold, in terms of the Justice Department consideration on whether to charge him with the various crimes that are out there.



FOSTER: The partner of a slain Capitol Police officer is raising questions about the department and its chief, Tom Manger. Police said, it did not find anything suspicious about this tour of the Capitol, given by Republican Congressman Barry Loudermilk, on February -- or rather, January the 5th, the day before the deadly riot. Surveillance footage shows a man taking extensive pictures of tunnels and hallways inside the Capitol.

In a different video released by the committee this week shows him screaming threats at Democratic leaders outside of the Capitol the next day. The Congressman said the police investigation closes the issue. But Sandra Garza, the partner of Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who died after January the 6th, slammed the Capitol Police chief.


SANDRA GARZA, PARTNER OF FALLEN CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: I have to say, I'm very unhappy and disappointed with the Capitol police leadership. He's a law enforcement officer first, if he wants to play politics, then he needs to run for office. He's a law enforcement officer first.


FOSTER: Two more hearings are scheduled for next week on Tuesday and on Thursday. Both start at 1 p.m. Washington time. That's six in the evening here in London.

All eyes are on the global markets as well after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its largest interest rate hike in decades in an attempt to tame soaring inflation.

Do not let those smiles and cheers fool you though. Thursday was a rough day for stocks around the globe, especially in the U.S. The Dow dropped more than 740 points, falling below the 30,000 benchmark, its lowest level in a year.

Meanwhile, other central banks are following the Feds lead and making moves to combat rising prices. The Bank of England raised its interest by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent. And that's the fifth hike since December. The Swiss National Bank also raised rates for the first time in 15 years surprising many economists. And the Hong Kong Monetary Authority increased its policy rate by 75 basis points on Thursday.

Well today is a new day, and let's see how trading is faring. Right now, here's how Asian markets finished. The close, you can see Hong Kong shares of more than 1 percent, Shanghai, up nearly 1 percent but the Nikkei in Japan though down 1.77 percent.

Let's have a look at Europe. There's the Dax, it's up 0.69 percent, and also the Paris CAC and the FTSE 100 also up between 0.5 and 1 percent. So, more positive today -- day today, but I think all the analysts are saying don't expect prices to keep rising.

American consumers are acutely feeling the rising cost of inflation. Now central banks worldwide are taking action to curve the soaring prices. But will it help? Here's what CNN's economics and political commentator Catherine Rampell told us told us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's hard to say at this point. Part of the reason why inflation has gone up so much in recent months, particularly in Europe, has to do with the war in Ukraine and the related disruption to energy markets. That has taken a lot of supply offline, particularly of Russian energy that European countries depend on. That's driven up energy prices, as a result and increased the overall cost of living in these countries.

By raising interest rates, that will bring tamp down demand somewhat. Meaning it's more expensive to borrow, it's more expensive to spend money, effectively. That the cost of borrowing is higher. And that should, presumably, bring down demand a little bit, including possibly for energy. But so long as we continue to have these major disruption in commodities markets -- energy and food, particularly -- we may continue to see elevated prices going forward.


FOSTER: Economics and political commentator Catherine Rampell there.

Now, a retired American Marine may have gone missing in Ukraine. We'll tell you what's known about his disappearance and what he was doing there.

Plus, the U.S. is gearing up for another week of record breaking hot weather. Details from the CNN Weather Center just ahead.



FOSTER: U.S. officials say they are aware of reports of a third American military volunteer who may have gone missing in Ukraine. A family friend says he's a retired U.S. Marine. He's not been heard from since late April. That's when his unit came under fire near Kherson.

Meanwhile, this image appeared on social media on Thursday, showing the two other Americans in the back of a Russian military truck. The families were concerned they were captured last week. The State Department can't confirm that. CNN cannot independently verify when this image was taken.

As the war rages, there's a growing push to make Ukraine a candidate for the European Union. The European Commission is expected to publish its opinion in less than two hours. Let's be clear, this is a recommendation on candidacy, a long way to go. It would likely take years for Ukraine to become an actual member. But during a visit to Kyiv, the leaders of Italy, Germany, France and Romania said that they fully support fast-tracking Ukraine's candidacy. The German Chancellor saying Ukraine belongs to the European family.

Meanwhile, NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels are pushing ahead with plans to bolster defenses to eastern Europe and send Ukraine more weapons. The head of NATO says the alliance is supporting an independent state and is not seeking a confrontation. Let's bring in CNN's Salma Abdelaziz who is live for us in the

Ukrainian capital. Thanks, Salma. What do we know about this third American? Very little information coming through the State Department.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. So, this third American, Grady Kurpasi, according to his family, he went missing in like April.


He is of course a former member of the Marine Corps, served there for 20 years, retired, came to as a private citizen to Ukraine in early March. He joined the Foreign Legion, that is of course the group that is assigned in Ukrainian military for foreign fighters. He was fighting in the south of the country and Kherson, again, in late April. And sometime during course of military operations he went missing in action.

Now the U.S. State Department says it's aware of these reports but has little information beyond that. The concern is, of course, that he might have been killed in action, his body not found or that potentially he may have been captured and is a prisoner of war. We're waiting to find out more details.

And this comes after a previous case was also reported of two other Americans, Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh. Their families also say that they went missing about a week ago in June 9th. They were fighting, again, under Ukrainian military command. Volunteers of course, former members of the U.S. military coming here as private citizens. They were fighting in the north of the country about a week ago, and again, they went missing on June 9th. You did bring up that photograph there, Max, that was circulating on social media, Telegram channel yesterday.

Now we can't verify that image but of course, that raises the concern that they have been captured by Russian forces, that they are prisoners of war. And the fear here is, Max, is that if they've been and if they are POWs, they should be treated under the Geneva Conventions. But human rights groups say, that at times that is not what happens when Russian forces capture these foreign fighters.

We have that very reason case of those two British fighters that were also captured by Russian forces. They were sentenced to death in a Russian-backed court. They're still fighting that verdict, still appealing that verdict but it paints that very worrying picture of just how dangerous it is for foreigners to come and fight in Ukraine. Of course, the State Department taking this opportunity to remind Americans that they're highly discouraged from coming here in Ukraine and fighting on the frontlines -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Salma in Kyiv, thank you.

The U.N. says it has verified the deaths of more than 1,300 civilians in the ravaged city of Mariupol. The High Commissioner for Human Rights stress the true death toll is likely much higher. She says, as many as 90 percent of Mariupol's residential buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Meaning it's likely the deadliest place in Ukraine since the invasion.

Russia's bombarded the coastal city with airstrikes as well as tank and artillery shelling. It's unclear how many additional deaths were caused by a lack of food, water and medicine, due to the Russian blockade.

We're learning more details about Russia's original plan for a quick victory in the war. In an exclusive interview, Ukraine's defense minister tells CNN Russia originally expected Kyiv to be taken in 12 hours and Ukraine's leadership to flee the city in three days. That information, in documents found on a dead Russian officer. The minister says the West started sending heavy weapons only after Ukraine defended Kyiv. But now, he expects that help to continue.


OLEKSIY REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: Our partners will never stop. I was told that. I spoke with my friend, Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense of the United States, Secretary of Defense of the U.K., Ben Wallace and our other colleagues. They told me, Oleksiy, don't worry. We will not stop.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you really believe that that is a genuine commitment by the United States to continue to militarily back Ukraine into the future, no matter what?

REZNIKOV: I heard yesterday and I felt that is absolutely honestly.


FOSTER: President Vladimir Putin expected to give a speech in the coming hours, addressing Russia's annual economic forum. The event, which gathers business leaders from several countries, has lower attendance this year as Westerners stay away. It comes as Russia faces crippling sanctions for launching its war in Ukraine.

Now Dutch authorities say they foiled an attempt by a Russian spy to gain access to the International Criminal Court, by pretending to be an intern. They say, a suspected operative of Russia's military intelligence service posed as a 33-year-old man from Brazil, and successfully applied from the job with the ICC in The Hague. But when he arrived in the Netherlands, he was deemed a potentially very high threat, and he was refused entry. The ICC is currently investigating allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. So, access to the court would have been highly valuable to Moscow.

The number of people forced to leave their homes and become refugees worldwide is now at a record high. A new report from the UNHCR says that more than 100 million people are being forced to flee war, violence, persecution and human rights abuses. Ukraine alone, more than 7 million people have been internally displaced and more than 6 million more refugees have fled the country because of Putin's war. The U.N. High Commission for Refugee's says the current food crisis intensified by the war in Ukraine will make matters worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [04:25:02]

FILIPPO GRANDI, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEE'S: Unfortunately, I cannot imagine how, if you have a food crisis, on top of everything that I have described, war, human rights, climate, you name it. On top of that, you have a food crisis. It will just accelerate the trends that are described in this report.


FOSTER: Well, the report primarily focused on 2021, said that more than 2/3 of the world's refugees came from just five countries. They are Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan South Sudan and Myanmar.

New satellite images reveal the extent of devastating flooding surrounding the great U.S. national park Yellowstone. Look at these before and after photos. This is the Gardiner River, just above Gardiner Canyon in the U.S. state of Montana. The flooding was so intense it altered the course of the river and carved a deep cut into the earth. The floods also took out part of Highway 89, which crosses the river's banks.

Now, the park's northern region for the brunt of that damage. It'll likely remain closed to through end of the tourist season. Other less impacted areas could reopen next week though.

Millions in the U.S. currently under heat alerts, heading into this weekend. More than a dozen cities set records for daily high temperatures on Thursday. In Ohio, tens of thousands have been without power for several days. In Kansas, at least 2,000 cattle died due to the heat and humidity. Officials say a Death Valley National Park tourist was found dead after his car ran out of gas. And Wisconsin officials are investigating a lease two heat related deaths.

CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us now. It's a frightening situation when people need to be aware of those temperatures.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is. It isn't just deadly or a threat to humans but also for pets and for livestock, wildlife also in danger here. And this has covered such a broad area of the United States. And we're at the beginning of summer and typically, we see more and more of these heat waves that occur earlier, they last longer. And this is spread all across the United States. The big impact coming up four 32 million people across the deep south, in the Carolinas and the central Mississippi Valley and the central states.

But it's not finished then. We're going to see some thunderstorms erupting across the deep South but 32 million people Friday, with this heat dome, begins to move towards the West again. So, all the way from the Central Plains, into the Southwestern United States, it is just suffering from a drought condition that have prevailed for much of the year. Now they're looking at once again another round of triple digits.

Here are the heat advisories out and he alerts, all the way from Charleston to Atlanta, to New Orleans, and then towards Cape Girardeau and then into the Central Plains. Make sure you find some shade and get some comfort with some areas that may have some air conditioning.

Just to show you how bad is going to be, it looks like over the weekend, the temperatures moderate in Chicago, but we're back up again close to that 100-degree mark going into the beginning of the work week. So, these big swings taking place and even overnight, low temperatures are not cooling off very much.

For Atlanta, we keep the temperatures in the 90s, but by Wednesday and Thursday of next week, back up again to those triple digits. So, still suffering heat across the southeast and not just that, we'll see some threats for some thunderstorms in some major metropolitan areas with high population values, all the way from Atlanta, to Charleston, to Raleigh and then toward Richmond, Virginia. It comes on Friday -- a lot of people trying to get out of town and you'll have to deal and dodge some of those thunderstorms all the way from the Carolinas to the Ohio River Valley, Tennessee Valley region and then some of that.

We're starting to pick up some moisture across the southwest. They need it but does it look like it's going to abate the heat very much over the next several days. Max, back to you.

FOSTER: OK, Karen, thank you.

Parts of western Europe are also coping with a dangerous heat wave. A level three heat health warning was issued here in the U.K. for the coming days. Temperatures are expected to reach at least 93 degrees Fahrenheit, 34 degrees Celsius today. Officials say a town in southern France reported a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit, on Thursday. And the forecast indicated that Paris could see the hottest June day yet this weekend. Spain also experiencing hotter than normal temperatures. It's the most extreme heat wave the country has seen in more than four decades.

Now for four years Mike Pence was the epitome of a loyal and dedicated vice president. But that change dramatically on January the 6th as Trump himself turned on Pence whilst Trump supporters ordered Pence to be hanged. Details coming up.

Plus, another deadly shooting in the United States. This time at a church in Alabama. Details on that another after the break.