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Legal Fights Over Abortion Bans, Other Laws Underway In 17 States; Interview With Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) About Saudi Arabia; What Are The Odds Of Winning Mega Millions $1.1 Billion Jackpot. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 29, 2022 - 10:30   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Just five weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, new research shows that at least 43 abortion clinics have now shut their doors. This comes as legal fights are under way over abortion bans and other laws restricting abortion in 17 different states. That number could grow. On Tuesday Kansas will become the first state to vote on abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Kansas has become critical for abortion access for neighboring states, but that may soon end if an amendment is passed to alter that state's constitution.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: And in Wyoming, a judge temporarily blocked a state abortion ban on Wednesday. The day it was set to go into effect. Now challengers say the ban violates Wyoming's constitution. And in Indiana, the push to tighten abortion ban bill fails in the state's Senate. On Thursday, Indiana's Republican- dominated Senate rejected a push by conservative lawmakers to strip exceptions for rape and incest victims.

The rejected proposal came in the wake of a political firestorm over a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio to end her pregnancy.

CNN's Alexandra Field is following that story.

Alex, what more can you tell us about what's going on here?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Bianna and Jim, what we've been tracking all week in Indiana is this deep divide essentially among Republican state senators. Those who want to see an abortion ban passed and those who want to see the strictest possible abortion ban passed. When legislators reconvened for a special session to pass the abortion ban, they were looking at a bill that would have had exemptions for cases of rape, incest, and times when the life of the mother was in danger.

What we've seen is that they've added restrictions over the course of the week. For example, limiting the time period that a woman or, frankly, a child would have to report a rape in order to qualify for an abortion under the exemption, and then we saw another push to tighten up the law even more. Tighten up the bill even more. And that came from conservative Republican lawmakers, conservative Republican lawmakers, who wanted to see any exemption for rape or incest stripped out. After hours of debate among Republican state senators, that measure failed.


The Senate will now have to vote on the bill in order to advance it to the House. That would happen in a vote tomorrow. The House would take up the bill next week. Now Democrats who have been watching this happen all week in a state where there is a supermajority in both chambers of the general assembly are very much preparing for some kind of abortion ban to pass. But they say whatever comes out of these special session will likely just be a starting point. They're fully prepared for legislators to return to the regular session and look to continue adding restrictions.

All of this is, of course, happening in a state that has seen an influx of women coming for abortion care ever since the Supreme Court struck down Roe versus Wade. Among those patients who have traveled for care, we all know a 10-year-old girl who made headlines, a rape victim who traveled from Ohio to Indianapolis for an abortion. The doctor who provided that care has been at the center of an investigation by the state's attorney general.

An attorney for that doctor now saying they're getting more information on what this supposed investigation is all about. They say it's based on six complaints from people who have never had any interaction with the doctor. We followed up with the attorney general's office to learn more about those complaints. No comments on that at this point. But the attorney general's office did tell us earlier this week they're fully pursuing an investigation on all fronts against that doctor.

GOLODRYGA: Interesting details there that you've just given us. And of course, Alex, we will be watching that vote Tuesday in Kansas closely. Thank you so much.

Well, the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tournament starts today at former President Trump's New Jersey golf club. Why 9/11 survivors and families are calling it a betrayal.



GOLODRYGA: Well, right now 9/11 survivors and family members of those who died in the attacks are protesting outside former President Trump's Bedminster Club in New Jersey, voicing strong opposition to the Saudi-backed LIV golf league event being hosted there right now. The families say the tournament being played about 50 miles away from Ground Zero is, quote, offensive, disrespectful, and hurtful. Former President Trump is defending the tour saying that it has been great for the image of Saudi Arabia.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately, and they should have. But I can tell you that there are a lot of really great people that are out here today, and we're going to have a lot of fun. And we're going to celebrate. And money is going to charity.

The PGA was not loved by a lot of the players, as you know, for a long time. Now they have an alternative, and nobody would have ever known there was going to be a gold rush like this.


GOLODRYGA: Joining me now is Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon.

Senator, great to see you. Let me get you to respond to the former president's comments saying that we need to get to the bottom of 9/11. He was a president at one time, there was a 9/11 Commission, 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi. I mean, the list goes on and on. But just your thoughts on what you just heard.

REP. RON WYDEN (D-OR): Well, I'm pretty stunned that the president seems to be completely unaware of the 9/11 Commission Report. This was an exhaustive analysis, independent. People always ask it's not a picture book, it's an independent report. And that's a fact.

GOLODRYGA: Well, Portland was the second stop for the LIV tour, the eight events for this year. You released a declassified intelligence bulletin in 2020 showing that the Saudi government almost certainly helped its U.S.-based citizens whenever they're involved in any sort of legal issues to help evade justice. Tell us about the case of 15- year-old Fallon Smart who died in a hit-and-run car crash.

WYDEN: It is so tragic. And Oregonians are still infuriated about it. Oregon law enforcement believes that the Saudi national who killed Fallon Smart was on his way to trial and in effect the Saudi government swooped in, and there was a black car that arrived, and somebody got him to the airport and cut his ankle bracelet, and justice hasn't been done.

And the fact of the matter is, again, the Trump administration could have helped. They could have helped because there are a whole lot, you know, of families where kids were harmed by Saudi nationals. The fact is also that the Trump administration stonewalled our law that you just mentioned, requiring that the American government disclose the information it has about the crown prince's involvement in the horrendous murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

And the only way we got it out is the Biden administration acceded to my request that it get out, and now the public understands.

GOLODRYGA: And yet as you know, President Biden did travel recently to Saudi Arabia, met with the crown prince, says that he brought up human rights and Jamal Khashoggi with him. Is that sort of case closed at this point? I mean, we focus on President Trump hosting this event, and yes, I guess the standards and the bar should be higher for a former president. That having been said, there would be no event to host if there weren't star, elite players who were switching over to join this event.


WYDEN: Well, first of all, the case is not closed at all. I've been speaking with President Biden's nominee to be ambassador of Saudi Arabia and insisting that steps be taken to secure justice for Fallon Smart and others. As far as golf is concerned, this is sports washing. In effect what the Saudis are trying to do is after these extraordinary human rights, you know, violations where they basically scoff at our laws, they try to get well by spreading around a tremendous amount of money. This is the case in Oregon. Fortunately our local mayors said they wanted no part of it, and they're trying to do it again in New Jersey.

GOLODRYGA: Let me move on to the surprise reconciliation bill that it seems to have been out of thin air, revived in just the last 48 hours. You sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Just really groundbreaking money put aside here. Obviously not the $2 trillion that the president had initially asked for, but $369 billion for climate and clean energy provisions. The deal aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

But it also has benefits for fossil fuel energy and the industry there including new drilling for gas and oil to help I guess get Senator Manchin on board. Does that work for you? Are you happy with this bill? Are you voting in favor of it? And do you think there are enough votes in general to get it over the finish line?

WYDEN: I will be supporting it. Let me just unpack it real briefly. The bulk of it involves clean energy tax credits. They were written by the Senate Finance Committee that I chair. It's going to reduce Americans' energy bills by $500 per year and reduce carbon emissions in the power sector by 70 percent over the next decade.

Now the way it works is we overhaul the federal tax code. So there's no more picking winners and losers, and you create a market-based, technology-neutral system where the more you reduce carbon emissions the bigger your tax savings. So my colleagues who care, for example, about carbon capture, they're going to have a chance to be part of this new market-oriented system, show that they can reduce carbon emissions, and will be science driven.

And that will help solar, wind, and geothermal, all of the renewables. But it's also going to give some of the nascent technologies like, say, hydrogen or advanced nuclear, the chance to compete, as well. It will be based on market principles.

GOLODRYGA: So you are a yes, quickly before we go. Is Senator Sinema a yes?

WYDEN: I'm not going to get into conversations with any colleague. But what I will tell you is that as we have developed, wrote it in the Senate Finance Committee, all my colleagues said that the old system of just picking winners and losers was a big mistake. We don't even know what the big opportunities are going to be 20 years from now to reduce carbon emissions. This system I believe is going to work for all 50 Senate Democrats and on the basic principles I've talked about with you.


WYDEN: Particularly saying that the more you reduce carbon emissions, the bigger your tax savings. I've heard no objections.

GOLODRYGA: Senator Ron Wyden, we'll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time. Have a good weekend.

WYDEN: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: All you need is $2 and a dream, as well as a lot and a lot of luck. Up next, we're going to break down the chances, and they're small, of winning $1.1 billion in tonight's Mega Millions drawing.



GOLODRYGA: Telling me there's a chance. Well, the odds of winning the $1.1 billion jackpot in tonight's Mega Millions drawing are one in 303 million to be exact, which are still better than if you didn't play at all. So there's that gem.

SCIUTTO: It's a great line. That's a great line. So you're telling me there's a chance. So our senior data reporter who looks at data and number and things, he says he does, OK. Tell us what are our chances of becoming billionaires tonight in the real world?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA CORRESPONDENT: Not particularly good. And I'll get even more specific than that one in 303 million. Let's break it down. Look, there's a one in 302.5 million chance per ticket. Now the bad news is, your chance of a shark killing you is actually better than that. It's at one in 4.3 million during your lifetime. But, Jim, but Jim, here's the good news. The good news is the chance of the Mets winning the World Series is one in 12 this year. So there's a really good chance the Mets will win the series versus winning the Mega Millions jackpot, not so good.

But here's the thing I'll point out. How can we increase our chance of winning? How can we do it? Playing numbers hire than 31. Why? Because anniversaries and birthdays, people play those a lot. And remember, no month has more than 31 days in it. So pick numbers larger than 31.

OK. But what will we do with the money? Here's the key question.


And I want only self-indulgent answers. Only self-indulgent answers. For me, if I win the jackpot, here's what I'm going to do. I am going to build a hibachi grill in my house, and that way I'm going to have my own little personal Benny Hana.

But, Bianna and Jim, I have to ask you, what would you do if you won the jackpot?

SCIUTTO: First of all, Harry, aim higher, please. Bianna, you go first.

GOLODRYGA: I don't even know. You stumped me. I don't -- Jim, you first. I got to think about it. It's way too much money.

SCIUTTO: I mean, I'd move to Italy.

ENTEN: Oh, that's nice.


ENTEN: Bianna, now you've had a few seconds. I'll need your answer.

GOLODRYGA: Fine. I'll go to neighboring Spain. How about that?

SCIUTTO: Fair enough.

GOLODRYGA: And, you know, still come visit you, Harry.

SCIUTTO: I'll have you over for dinner, Bianna, and maybe you, too, Harry Enten.

GOLODRYGA: With the hibachi dinner.


GOLODRYGA: Harry, you are anything but dumb and dumber, just have to say that.

ENTER: Thank you, very sweet.

SCIUTTO: Harry Enten, thanks for breaking our dreams.


SCIUTTO: Thanks so much. And thanks to all of you for joining us today. I'm Jim Sciutto.

GOLODRYGA: OK. And I'm Bianna Golodryga. "AT THIS HOUR" starts after a quick break. Have a good weekend.