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Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) is Interviewed about January 6th; Dasha Navalnaya is Interviewed about Her Father; Artemis Final Prelaunch Test. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired June 20, 2022 - 09:30   ET



EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Coming to me, then the -- it's been a conversation among national security and Homeland Security officials. And they are tracking it. They don't know whether it's going to happen.

But one of the things that I put my hands on doing this reporting is an intelligent assessment from the Homeland Security Department saying top threats for the nation in 2022, Russia going into elections and sort of payback now, in addition to all the other things, for the sanctions on Ukraine.


DOVERE: That is listed in there in this document that was produced by the Homeland Security Department.

SCIUTTO: All right, tied back to Ukraine as well.

Isaac Dovere, thanks so much.

DOVERE: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Well, we don't have to tell you, but stark divisions here in this country. Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Republican, sits on the House's January 6th Select Committee, tweeted an image of a letter sent to his family. The writer threatens to execute Kinzinger, his wife and their five-month-old child. The congressman warns that he sees more violence in the future as the committee continues their work to uncover 2020 election interference and lies. U.S. Capitol Police declined to comment to CNN saying it does not publicly announce investigations or potential protective measures for members.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Tomorrow, the January 6th committee will zero in on former President Trump's efforts to pressure officials in key battleground states to move to advance his election lies.

Joining me now to discuss is Congressman Dan Kildee, a Democrat of Michigan.

Congressman Kildee, thank you for your time this morning. And let's begin there. Given that and given the -- what Congressman

Adam Schiff, who sits on the committee, said yesterday on CNN would show a direct tie between the president and this effort in these states. Let's talk about the state of Michigan, your state, where one of -- it's one of seven states from which Trump allies submitted fake Electoral College certificates to the National Archives after the election. Looking big picture from your state, to Arizona, to Georgia and beyond, why do you think the focus of this hearing tomorrow is so critical for people to understand these efforts at the state level?

REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Well, I think because there are two important facts that this testimony that we've heard has revealed, and that we'll hear more about in the coming days. One is that it's quite clear that people around the president and the president himself knew that there was no validity to these bogus claims of election fraud even close to anything that would change the outcome of the election. They knew and still pursued every possible tactic they could. The seating (ph) - the submission seating (ph) potentially of electors who were just hand-picked by the Trump team to deliver electoral votes for Donald Trump that he did not earn. I mean this is even more plain and more obvious the -- essentially conspiracy that was underway to try to undo the will of the American people to a level that is even beyond what I think many of us thought.


KILDEE: I mean I knew this was awful.

HARLOW: Right.

KILDEE: But the extent to it is clear that the people around the president told him repeatedly that he lost the election, and he said, not good enough, we're going to - we're going to take this thing as far as we can go and do everything we can to stay in power. Incredible. Honestly.

HARLOW: One of --

KILDEE: Beyond what --

HARLOW: One of -- my apologies, Congressman.

One of the points that you make that I think is critical is you said on the one-year mark, one year after the insurrection, things are worse now than they were a year ago. And I think that's - that is striking to say. And you talk about America basically watching two movies, which I think is a really appropriate way to analogize this.

I mean look at what happened in Texas over the weekend. The Republican Party in Texas, their official platform claims that President Biden was not legitimately elected. What do you do at this point to bridge that divide? If these hearings aren't doing it, look at the ABC polling on Republicans and Democrats and how they feel about the president should be charged or not. I mean you talk about we need to take long view of history here and that's the only way to make the case. KILDEE: Yes, in the moment, I'm not sure there's much we can do to

change the minds of people who have decided that what Donald Trump says is true. And I'm not talking about those folks who are sitting out there believing QAnon conspiracy theories, although that's pretty dangerous. I'm talking about Kevin McCarthy. I'm talking about the Republican leadership. You know, for the moment -- the reason I say things are worse is that for a moment, and only a moment, I felt, many of us did on January 6th, that the fever would have broken. That when those Republicans that night, leaders in the Republican Party said, like Lindsey Graham said, I'm out, or Kevin McCarthy said he was at fault, McConnell the same, we thought that would sort of, you know, break the fever.


It didn't. They decided that in their narrow interest, in order for them to hold on to power, they'd do the same thing Donald Trump has done, embrace a lie and try to persuade enough people that it's true. That's where I think we're worse off than we were.

And so in -- I think the long view of history may be the only judge for them. The question for us is that, can these revelations that come from the committee's work and the rest of our work, can we persuade enough people who maybe had some doubts but now see these facts so that the adults in the room take control of the U.S. government and we continue to do the work we have to do and not hand the keys to somebody like Kevin McCarthy, who so cynically is willing to wrap his arms around Donald Trump and pretend what he knows is false is true. That's really simple. And that's what's dangerous.

HARLOW: Congressman, before you go, I'd like to turn the focus briefly to the economy because you tweeted on Friday that your top priority, you wrote, in Congress right now is the economy and is fighting inflation, and really putting a spotlight on that. The messaging from the WHITE HOUSE over the weekend on the Sunday shows was, look, recession is not inevitable. It could happen. We know this inflation is painful. We're doing everything we can. I just wonder, since this is your top priority, if you agree with some of your fellow Democrats in Congress, like Congressman Ro Khanna, who have said there's actually more that the White House can do and that they should do, like, right now. Now, one of the focuses that's getting a lot of attention is cutting most of those Trump era China tariffs. Something Yellen even said -- Treasury Secretary Yellen said yesterday is raising the cost for consumers. Should the White House do that now, stop dragging its feet on making a decision? And is there more the White House can do on this?

KILDEE: Well, I do think there's more that can be done. And when it comes to the tariffs, I would agree they should all be assessed and we ought to make changes where we can that does not, in the long term, undermine the American economy.

For example, I don't want us to cut the penalties that China has to pay for the use of slave labor that undermines our own manufacturers. We don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish. But I think where we can provide relief, we ought to provide relief to the American consumer. You know, cutting the gas tax, using a higher blend of ethanol. My legislation to reduce the price of something as simple as insulin. Every chance we have to cut costs for Americans, we ought to seize upon that knowing that they're feeling the pain, so long as what we're not doing is, in the long term, undermining our ability to have an economy that really works for everyone. So, I would agree with some of the --

HARLOW: Just one follow up on the gas tax, though. You're not the only Democrat to say that. Are you OK with cutting the gas tax even though Secretary Granholm said yesterday on this program that that would mean cutting into the funding that is at the root of the already funded infrastructure bill? I mean she said that's really a big hang-up if you're going to cut the gas tax.

KILDEE: I think we have to balance these priorities. And right now the pain that Americans are feeling is coming at the pump. And if we can cut the gas tax at the federal level, temporarily pair that with states who are willing to cut their own taxes, use the higher blend of ethanol which can cut maybe 40 cents at the pump, realizing that the real problem here is that the five largest oil companies in the first quarter of this year raked in $35 billion of profits. A 300 percent increase.

So, while we're doing those things, I also want to see us move forward on holding these firms accountable, using the legislation that we've enacted in the House to task the Federal Trade Commission to go after price gouging.

You know, we have to be honest with what's going on here. These companies are taking advantage of this moment. We're not saying it's all at their doorstep, but there's no excuse for Americans to pay $5 and $6 at the pump and oil companies to have a 300 percent increase in their profits at the same time. That's just wrong.

HARLOW: Congressman Dan Kildee, we're out of time. I had a big debate with Congressman Ro Khanna Friday about that and those oil companies. There's a lot to say there. We'll have you back on next time to debate that. We appreciate your time this morning. Thanks a lot.

And we'll be right back.



SCIUTTO: Russian opposition leader, former presidential candidate, Alexei Navalny has been moved now to a maximum security prison 150 miles east of Moscow. He's serving a lengthy prison sentence on what many believe are really made-up fraud charges. You'll remember he returned to Russia after coming close to death, a poisoning with a nerve agent. For a documentary he traced his assassins, his Russian assassins. The Kremlin still denies any responsibility.

Joining me now is Navalny's daughter, Dasha Navalnaya.

Dasha, it's good to have you on this morning. DASHA NAVALNAYA, ALEXEI NAVALNY'S DAUGHTER: Good morning, Jim. Thank you very much for joining me.

SCIUTTO: Listen, I know this has been so tough for you, your brother, your mother. I can only imagine. You do now know where he is. And I wonder what you have heard of him since locating him in this prison, including through his lawyers, who have contact with him.

NAVALNAYA: Yes. My father has been moved to a new, more remote, high- security prison.


No one notified the attorneys or the family about his transfer. And it, of course, is very concerning because he is one-on-one with the people - with the same people in the same government that tried to kill him in 2020.

SCIUTTO: We've watched him in his previous time in prison as he became ill and thin. The treatment just horrendous there. What do we know of the conditions in this new prison?

NAVALNAYA: The conditions in the prison are bad and far from what you think of typical prisons with, you know, libraries and sports equipment. This is one of the most dangerous and famous high-security prisons in Russia known for torturing and murdering the inmates. They fenced off a separate barrack in the area to really create a prison within the prison so that he can't speak publicly and isolate him from any information. They don't let him go anywhere. People are not allowed to communicate with him. And this kind of isolation is really purely psychological torture for anyone.

SCIUTTO: It certainly seems intentional.

Your father just lost an appeal. He says he could face up to 15 years in prison on these new charges. I wonder, do you believe as you watch these trials, that they're really just for show and that he'll be in prison as long as Putin wants him in prison?

NAVALNAYA: Yes, absolutely. Putin doesn't want him out. Putin doesn't want him speaking. Putin doesn't want everyone knowing that his government is corrupt. And, you know, the most important thing that we -- we like to communicate is that no one should associate Putin with Russia because Putin -- he doesn't represent Russia and Russia is not Putin.

SCIUTTO: Yes, I've met many Russians like yourself and your mother who represent something very different from what we think of how Putin runs his country.

On your YouTube channel, you speak with young Russians about the situation in your country. I mean Putin's been in power longer than you've been alive. I mean it's amazing to think about this. Do you have hope that messages like yours and your father's gets through to Russian people, to the Russian people in numbers, given how much disinformation there is there? NAVALNAYA: Yes, I do believe so. And it's been working. My father has

a very successful YouTube channel, had, where he's been opening eyes of Russian people to the actual corruption that's been happening in the government. And it's important to keep Alexei Navalny in the news and supporting the anti-corruption foundation. They have made lists of, you know, Russian officials and oligarchs and propagandists who have openly supported Putin, and his regime, and have taken bribes from the government and need to be sanctioned by the western countries immediately.

Let me ask you this, I've been amazed meeting you and your mother. And I'm sure people watching right now see someone as young as you showing such strength in the midst of what is a true trial for your family, a physical, a psychological trial for your family. I wonder how you, how your mother and how your father, together, and your brother, maintain hope and strength in the midst of this?

NAVALNAYA: Well, it, of course, is difficult, but what helps us is knowing that we're doing this for a good cause. We want Russia to become a (INAUDIBLE) country with an actual democratized regime (ph) with fair elections and freedom of speech. And, you know, this is -- it's our country. I love Moscow. I keep talking to my friends about how Moscow is the greatest city in the world. And I really just want, you know, this good thing to happen to our government and its citizens. And, yes, I just -- I hope - I -- we stay optimistic and we just have to believe that you're -- what you're fighting for is worth fighting for.

SCIUTTO: Well, we do hope your father gets his freedom.

Meanwhile, Dasha Navalnaya, to you and your family, we do wish you the best.

NAVALNAYA: Thank you so much for having me.

SCIUTTO: Thanks.

HARLOW: That's just amazing to hear from her. Jim, thank you for that very much.

Today, NASA moves one step closer to another moon landing. Coming up, what astronauts will learn from today's final test before lift-off.



HARLOW: Well, this morning, a critical test as NASA prepares to send another mission to the moon.

Our Rachel Crane is following every step of this journey.

So, what are they doing now, and what's this goal? Why send more people to the moon?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the moon is a perfect proving grounds to get to Mars and beyond. So, that's why we're returning to the moon here. You know, we haven't been there since the '70s.

But today is wet dress. Now, what wet dress is, is when they go through all of the steps right before launch.


CRANE: And this is the fourth time that NASA has tried to do it with their SLS rocket.


CRANE: So, fingers crossed fourth time is the charm here.


This is a program that has, you know, years delayed and lots of cost overruns. There's been several problems leading up to today. So, you know, this is a really critical moment for NASA that this proceeds forward because they're hoping to have their first test launch of SLS later this summer and they cannot proceed forward until this wet dress rehearsal goes off smoothly.

And then, of course, after that first uncrewed test launch this summer, that's when we get to the crewed launches. And NASA is hoping to put the first person of color and the first woman on the moon in 2026. So, a lot of excitement here. A lot of eyeballs on this test because, as I pointed out, it's been three times where it's failed, Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes. Well, sometimes fourth time can be the charm.


HARLOW: We're hoping that is with this one.

CRANE: Fingers crossed.

HARLOW: Rachel, thank you very much for that updates.

We'll be right back.