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New Report, Images Raise Questions About Police Response in Texas School Shooting; Panel: Trump Pressured Officials to Overturn Election; Israeli Prime Minister Bennett ad Foreign Minister Lapid Agree to Dissolve Parliament; Flights Returning to Normal After Difficult Weekend; Thousands of Rail Worker in Britain on Strike Today; Summer Heat Raises Concerns About U.S. Power Grid; Millions Impacted by Monsoon Floods in Bangladesh and India. Aired 4-4:30a ET
Aired June 21, 2022 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and right around the world. I'm Isa Soares in London. And just ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wait 77 minutes outside. Who does that? Because I guarantee you if it was their children, they would have ran in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of focus of the investigation into the police response has been on what happened inside the school and why it took so long for those officers to go into the room and actually confront and kill the gunman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just don't understand why that didn't happen. Why they didn't breach the room. Those answers need to be had.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll show during a hearing what the president's role was in trying to get states to name alternate slates of electors.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we'll hear about his pressure on the states to replace the electors chosen by the voters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Isa Soares.
SOARES: Welcome to the show everyone. It is Tuesday, June 21, and we begin with unsettling new details about the police response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas nearly one month after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers. The "Texas Tribune" released reviewed documents and footage being used by investigators, describes ongoing confusion at the scene. And details of equipment that officers had access to including four ballistic shields with the first arriving nearly an hour before officers stormed the classrooms. It's unclear at what point during the standoff this image was taken. As you can see there.
But the new images and information will only intensify really questions of the why police did not engage the gunman sooner. This image obtained by the Austin American Statesman shows at least three officers --you can see there -- in the hallway of Robb Elementary School on May 24th. One officer with what appears to be a tactical shield and two officers with rifles. 90 minutes after the gunman entered the school.
And now we're learning from a law enforcement source that 11 officers were inside the school within three minutes of the gunman entering. And that includes the Uvalde School District Police Chief. It took more than an hour, an hour, for law enforcement to shoot and kill the gunman after he entered. One Texas state Senator says there needs to be more answers.
ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D) TEXAS STATE SENATE: There was actually, three ballistic shields in the hallway at the 12:03 mark. So, this is about 11 minutes prior to that. So, we see that there's officers with adequate munitions, adequate equipment to be able to breach that room, which is what McCraw had told me. I just don't understand why that didn't happen, why they didn't bleach the breach the room. I mean -- and those answers need to be had. And they shouldn't be dribbling through the media in this way.
We should have law enforcement agencies tell us exactly what went wrong. And the fact that we're not getting that information is just a travesty in and of itself. I keep getting the same narrative that they were reading off of each other and they were frozen in time. All of that, that failed leadership, wherever it came from, whichever agency should have been in charge, was a clear failure of protocol.
All of those officers are trained in an active shooter situation. And from the very beginning, even the ones that didn't have the ballistic shields, they should have just gone in. That's what their protocol suggests and to yield to this notion of there was an incident commander or maybe there was, maybe there wasn't, it is just not good enough. For 48 minutes and beyond, children were left in a room scared to death, calling 911, and yet no one went in. What happened here was the worst tragedy in recent law enforcement history in this state. And this governor has failed in his leadership. He's failed in his leadership to demand answers.
SOARES: Well, there's also growing frustration and anger directed at this man, School District Police Chief Police Peter Arredondo.
Family members of the victims along with residents are now calling for him to be fired. And in the hours ahead, we are expecting more testimony related to this school shooting. Texas Department of Public Safety Colonel Steven McCraw is set to appear at a hearing in the State Senate.
And we are just hours away also from the fourth public hearing from the committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot. This time President Trump's efforts to overturn the election are really front and center.
Plus, an election worker in the U.S. state of Georgia is expected to testify about the death threats she and her mother received after Trump accused them of election fraud. CNN's Jessica Schneider has the story for you.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The January 6th committee getting ready to shift its focus to Trump's role in a scheme to submit fake electors all in a bid to overturn the 2020 election. They'll call three Republicans on Tuesday, all expected to testify about how Trump pressured them to overturn Trump's loss at the polls in their states. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger will talk about this phone call with the former president just days before January 6th.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes which is one more than we have.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Raffensperger's Chief Operation Officer Gabe Sterling will also appear. And from Arizona the Republican Speaker of the state's house will testify as well. Rusty Bower said Trump asked him directly to replace the electors in the state with a rogue slate.
RUSTY BOWERS, ARIZONA STATE HOUSE SPEAKER: I talked to him a couple times. And they were -- they had asked me to take some steps that I just wouldn't do and I told them I voted for him, I campaigned for him, but I told him I wasn't going to do anything illegal.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Bowers also received emails from Ginni Thomas urging him to set aside Biden's election win by replacing the Democratic electors with a Republican slate. The committee has asked Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to testify. Ginni Thomas issued a short response to a conservative publication saying, I can't wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them.
Thomas was the only justice to vote against releasing White House records to the committee in January. Now Schiff says Thomas should recuse himself from any future cases involving the committee.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Justice Thomas to avoid even the appearance of impropriety should have nothing to do with any cases relating to January 6, particularly regarding our investigation.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): A new poll out from ABC News after three hearings shows nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe former President Trump should be prosecuted. It's a case the committee is making.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): The president is guilty of knowing what he did, seditious conspiracy. What we're presenting before the American people certainly would rise to a level of criminal involvement by a president.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): But so far DOJ refusing to comment though prosecutors recently complained that the committee's refusal to hand over all of its records complicates their job. Committee member Zoe Lofgren says the dispute could be resolved as early as July once the hearings conclude. And meanwhile, Schiff is leaving the door open to subpoena Vice President Mike Pence.
SCHIFF: There are still key people we have not interviewed that we would like to. We're not taking anything off the table in terms of witnesses who have not yet testified.
SCHNEIDER: Also scheduled to testify on Tuesday, Shay Moss. She's a former election worker who Trump accused of carrying out a fake ballot scheme in Fulton County, Georgia. Committee aides say that she will speak about the threats she received as a result of Trump's false claims.
Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.
SOARES: And you can see the entire hearing plus in-depth analysis of course right here on CNN starting at 1:00 p.m. in Washington, that's 6:00 p.m. if you are watching in London. And 1:00 a.m. if you are in Hong Kong.
After weeks of political turmoil in Israel, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his key coalition ally, foreign minister Yair Lapid, said they will be moving to dissolve Parliament. Now a bill to do so is expected to be submitted next week. If it passes Israel will be headed for its fifth election in under four years. The move Bennett says comes after attempts to stabilize the coalition failed. Journalist Elliot Gotkine joins us now from Jerusalem with more. And Elliott, I mean I think it's fair to say the coalition has been kind of teetering for weeks now with some even surprise it lasted this long. Just explain first though, Elliott, to our viewers, why it collapsed.
ELLIOT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Isa, you're absolutely right. I suppose some people will be asking how it lasted this long and why it didn't collapse earlier. Rather than why, it collapsed now. But I suppose there are a few reasons. When they got together about a year ago, the main glue that held this disparate coalition, eight parties from left to right, including for the first time ever an Arab-Israeli party.
That glued -- stuck them together was their desire, A, to unseat former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, B, to end this seemingly endless cycle of inconclusive elections. We had three without a government being able to be formed. So, this was the fourth, they managed to form a government and to begin with a managed to set aside their ideological differences. Yair Lapid was the second biggest party leader in the Knesset, yet he stepped aside to allow Naftali Bennett to be prime minister in order to ensure that Bennett's party would come on board as well.
And for a while it worked. They passed the first state budget in four years. They deepened ties with signatories to the Abraham Accords in the air world and they reopened the Israeli economy after the COVID pandemic. But ultimately these ideological differences have proved too strong for them to overcome.
And it wasn't just differences between parties in the coalition, it was differences within parties in particular Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's right wing Yamina party which has been seemingly fraying at the seams since the very beginning a year ago and in recent weeks that fraying has turned into a full-scale unwinding almost. And ultimately, they decided, look, at least if we dissolved this government now, we are doing so of our own accords, we are on the front foot and we will do so from the Prime Minister's residence rather than having events overtake them and being left with no choice to do so. So, I think that's why it happened right now -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, it does -- has many of us wondering whether it means that we might see the return of course of Benjamin Netanyahu. Elliott Gotkine in Jerusalem, thanks very much, Elliott. Appreciate it.
U.S. President Joe Biden says he hopes to make a decision on a nationwide gas tax holiday by the end of the week. A temporary pause in the federal gasoline tax would require Congress to act and the measure has received little traction among lawmakers so far. The president says that he is also considering whether to send Americans gas rebate cards. This as the White House looks for ways to ease of course the burden of high gas prices of Americans. President Biden says that major oil and gas CEOs will be meeting with his administration this week to discuss prices.
And rising gas prices will not stop Americans from hitting the road over the July 4th holiday weekend. The motor club AAA predicts a record 42 million Americans will be driving 50 miles or more despite record high gas prices. The current national average per gallon just a few pennies shy of $5 -- 4.98 as you can see there. Few Americans however will be flying.
Well, flights are returning to normal now after several days of widespread delays and cancellations. Tracking service FlightAware says that as of Monday night, more than 17,000 flights were delayed and hundreds canceled. Airlines and airports are really struggling with a shortage of staff forcing them to cut the number of flights they can schedule. CNN's Pete Muntean has more now on the issues facing U.S. travelers.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Many people still trying to get home after this huge weekend of flight cancellations. These numbers are really big but the cause of all of this is not new. Airlines got a lot smaller over the pandemic. There are massive flight crew shortages and the deck of cards really comes tumbling down when summer weather strikes. In fact, there were bad thunderstorms on the East Coast on Thursday and Friday, which left a ripple effect the next few days.
Look at the latest cancellation numbers from FlightAware. More than 1,700 flights canceled nationwide on Thursday, more than 1,400 on Friday. Airlines really tried to play catchup unsuccessfully on Saturday and Sunday. More than 800 flights canceled nationwide on Saturday, more than 900 on Sunday.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby just spoke to our Richard Quest about this. He insists that the airline was well positioned going into this huge resurgence of air travel demand but he pinned some of the blame on the federal government saying it needs to staff up when it comes to air traffic controllers to help alleviate some of these delays. This is been a huge weekend for air travel. Not only the long Juneteenth holiday but also Father's Day week end. Could be one of the busiest travel weekends since the start of the pandemic.
More than 2.38 million people screened at airports nationwide by TSA on Sunday, 2.44 million people at airports nationwide on Friday. We've not seen a number that big since Thanksgiving 2021. This is all coming with an urgent message for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, he is telling airlines that they need to get their act together with the July 4th travel period on the horizon.
Pete Muntean, CNN, Reagan National Airport.
SOARES: Well, as Pete mentioned, the CEO of United Airlines says there is much more the U.S. government could be doing to help alleviate the issues airlines are facing. Here is what he told CNN's Richard Quest.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Realistically there's not much that can be done to improve the situation between now and the summer. It's hold your nose and --
SCOTT KIRBY, CEO, UNITED AIRLINES: I disagree. Although it requires, you know -- truth is I think that it requires government help.
Because the biggest issue is there's more flights scheduled in Newark for example, than there is capacity at the airport. Even in a perfect blue sky day. And air traffic controllers are understaffed. And of that, there's just more flight than the airports can handle.
QUEST: What do you want from government?
KIRBY: Well, what we really want at Newark airport in particular, is to enforce the rules that limit the amount of flights to the number of operations that the airport directly handle. But the other thing we need -- and they're not the only ones, there's a lot for airlines to do -- but the other thing we need is to get the air traffic control towers back to full staffing.
SOARES: Well, those major travel challenges aren't limited to the skies. Right now, thousands of rail workers in Britain are on strike over pay as well as job cuts in the country's largest rail strike in decades. And the walkout is already causing a severe disruption across the region. CNN's Scott McLean is inside London Bridge Station right now. And what, it's 9 o'clock or so -- 9:15 this morning here in London, Scott. Give us a sense of what you are seeing.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, I mean, you know this well, this is one of the busiest stations in the entire U.K. and there's hardly anyone here. And as you said, this should be rush hour. So, these are the stairs and the escalators up to two of the platforms. And you can see it says, please check time table for services which means there is no train leaving from this platform anytime soon and actually most of the platforms are not being used right now. There's maybe 10 percent, 20 percent of the usual trains coming and going this morning compared to what there normally is. Usually, this place is hustle and bustle. Today it looks a lot like the height of the pandemic with hardly anyone here.
Now we've spoken to a lot of people here about this rail strike affecting commuters in England, Wales and Scotland as well. And a lot of people left very early knowing that there would be disruptions today because a fraction of the trains are actually running. They managed to get here to London Bridge, but this strike is also impacting the London Underground. Remember, this is a city where most people don't own a car, and so this is a really vital link. And so, a lot of people, these are roofers, contractors, teachers, people who need to be at a specific place at a specific time. Some of them told us that there's simply no realistic way for them to actually get where they've trying to go. And so, they're simply having to turn back. A lot of people have sympathy for the union and what they are trying to get out of their bosses, but they also say some of them that if they don't go to work, they don't get paid. And so there may be limitations to the public sympathy here.
The union is looking for -- after two years of wage freezes -- wages to keep up with inflation. The difficulty and we're going to find this in countries around the Western world is that inflation right now is 7 percent and forecast to get even worse. And ridership has not returned to anywhere even close to pre-COVID levels. And so, the government says that changes need to be made. They also say that, look, the government bailed out rail workers during the pandemic to make sure that no one was laid off, and so it is a tad bit rich they say that they are now asking for this big raise.
But as you said, the cost of living crisis in this country is a real one, it is a serious one, it's affecting a lot of people. And so, as I said, a lot of people here have a lot of sympathy for the rail workers who are striking but they are obviously well aware that it is having a huge impact on people trying to get where they need to go across this country. There are strikes happening today, Thursday and Saturday as well. And the union says that this could go on for months unless some kind of a deal is reached -- Isa. SOARES: Yes, I mean sympathy on day one, of course. Let's see whether
that support and that sympathy diminishes as the week goes on. Scott McLean inside London Bridge Station. Thanks very much, Scott.
And still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, the war in Ukraine is already making it harder for millions around the world to put food on the table and yet a solution to the crisis appears further away than ever.
As the summer temperatures rides, U.S. power company are worried about the potential strain on the power grid. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri will tell us what you can expect.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Isa, big time heat in store across a large area of North America, hard to believe summer officially starts in less than 60 minutes, but these temperatures historic yet again. We'll touch on this coming up in a few minutes.
SOARES: Power companies in the southeastern U.S. are bracing for a strain on the power grid because of an ongoing heatwave set to last into summer. A spokesperson for the Tennessee Valley Authority compares it to the Super Bowl saying that it's something that they prepare for all year. For more, I'm joined by CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Good morning to you, Pedram. How long are we expecting the temperatures to last for?
JAVAHERI: At least the next four or five days. This heat wave here going to get underway in the next 24 or so hours for portions of the south that have kind of seen a break. And by break we're talking about the lower 90s versus the triple digit categories that we were seeing a couple days ago.
But heat beginning to build. Of course, summer officially gets under way in about 60 minutes time. And just in time here, we do widespread have alerts across portions of the Midwestern United States and you'll notice, record temperatures possibly as many as 100 records, a few scattered about the northern states, but the vast majority as you noted, Isa, across the southern states here where temps are going to push up close to record values in a few spots.
But across Chicago, yes, they'll get up to 100 degrees here over the next few hours and dramatically cool off going into say Wednesday and Thursday. But you notice even then, temps still will be about 10 degrees above average for this time of year.
Now, the widespread reach of this is what is most impressive to me because only one pocket of the U.S., the Northwest interior, is really the lone spot here with cooler than average temperatures. Even across portions of Central California, Northern California, big time heat in place. Sacramento, about 15 degrees above average climbing up to 104. In San Francisco offshore winds will send them up to about 90 degrees this afternoon as well. And some element of good news here, Isa. We are getting some monsoonal
moisture across portions of New Mexico, the areas that have been hard hit by the fires. Of course, too much rainfall could lead to runoff in these burn scars. But notice much cooler weather across that region as well as of the rainfall. So at least some piece of good news across that area.
SOARES: We like good news. Thank you very much, Pedram, appreciate it.
Now days of heavy rain, have triggered flooding in parts of southern China. Officials say almost half a million people have been impacted in Guangdong Province. Rivers are overflowing and homes -- as you can see there -- are submerged. Local forecasters expect more rain over the coming days.
And in India and Bangladesh, millions have been affected by the monsoon weather. Officials say flooding has killed at least 84 people and some 300,000 others are said to be taking shelter in Bangladesh alone. The Bangladesh Air Force had to drop supplies by helicopter for people stranded in one of the worst affected parts of the country. For the latest on the flooding, CNN's Vedika Sud is in New Delhi. And Vedika, talk to us about the worst hit areas and what the government response critically has been here.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: So, Isa, as of now millions have been displaced and stranded by devastation in the northeastern parts of Bangladesh as well as the northeastern starts of India.
I want to start with Bangladesh. Now the biggest challenge out there is drinking water drinking water, Isa. We've got visuals that show a young boy wading through floodwater. He's barely able to keep his head above that water. He is God this metal jar in his hand in search of drinking water as are many others. A lot of women riding in boats in search of drinking water. Now this is the Sylhet area in Bangladesh and this has been severely impacted. There's been large-scale problems in terms of flooding. Homes have been submerged.
And that's where the Bangladesh Air Force is trying to send as many food supplies or drinking water and medical supplies as possible. There are visuals of them air dropping food packages, water packages to the people stranded and marooned and cut off in the area.
Now I also want to talk about a Assam here. Because Assam is a northeastern state of India, it sees flooding every year, Isa. It's just getting worse year by year. Out here you can see people being rescued by rescue team officials be it infants, children or the elderly, they're being taken to safer ground. But again, tens of thousands remain stranded. They are waiting for evacuation from low lying areas.
The biggest warning that environmentalists have been talking about around this occurrence that has been taking place, especially this year, is climate change. And here's what a leading environmental in India, Sunita Narain has to say about the direct connection between climate change and the extreme weather events taking place in the region.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNITA NARAIN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CENTRE FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT: So, it is very clear that with climate change, this region is going to see extreme rainfall. And already in Bangladesh and the northeast we're seeing that impact that the region has gone from water scarcity to flood in one boat. And that is the impact of climate change. This devastating flood is clearly linked to the changes that we are seeing in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUD: More and more embankments in Assam are being breached. We know that your tributaries have been overrun as well. Tonight, it was just one main river, the Brahmaputra that was overflowing. These are indications and it's time that governments both in India and Bangladesh look at short term as well as long term solutions -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, and more forecasts, more rain forecast for the coming days. Very troubling indeed. Vedika Sud for us in New Delhi. Thanks very much, Vedika.
And still ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM, Ukraine's president is accusing Russia of holding African-American nations hostage and putting millions of people at risk of famine. We'll have the details after the break.
Plus, what Donald Trump gives us, Donald Trump taketh away. How the former president's endorsement will affect the Alabama Republican Senate primary. We'll explain next.