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Inflation Grew At Slower Rate In July Than Forecast; Today: Trump To Be Deposed By New York Attorney General; CNN: Authorities Believed Documents At Mar-A-Lago Had National Security Implications; GOP Demands DOJ Reveal Reasons Behind Mar-A-Lago Search; Biden To Sign Bill Helping Veterans Exposed To Burn Pits Toxins. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired August 10, 2022 - 09:00   ET




POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning, everyone. Top of the hour. I'm Poppy Harlow.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Poppy. I'm Alex Marquardt in today for Jim Sciuto. We are following several major stories this morning. And we are beginning with breaking news.

Just moments ago, a positive sign for the U.S. economy. Inflation finally starting to cool off and it was flat for the month of July. Consumer prices increasing by 8.5 percent year over a year. That's slightly lower than the 9.1 percent increase back in June. And we'll be talking about what that means in just a moment.

HARLOW: Yes, it's really good news for every consumer out there. Plus, former President Trump said to be deposed today by the New York Attorney General's Office. This is in connection to a civil investigation into the Trump organization's finances. We have details on that.

We are also learning this morning much more about that FBI search of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. The Justice Department was concerned that Trump had not returned sensitive documents, which could have national security implications. We have new details this morning about how Trump may frame his defense in all of it.

But let's get straight to the good news. Relatively speaking on the economy this morning, Wall Street poised for a positive opening just a few moments after the latest report on the economy showed inflation rose at a slower than expected pace last month.

MARQUARDT: And our Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans is with us now. Christine, is this a sign that inflation is slowing down?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is a sign that inflation may have peaked here. And when you look at a trend, when you look at the chart, you can see 8.5 percent this month compared with 9.1 percent last month. That starts to make that that line there look like it is rounding out. Now you need a couple more months like this, right? You want to have the trend really to establish here but you had declining energy prices, declining airfares, you had some peaking in some other categories that really helped this number.

I would say, look, these are still historically very close to 40-year highs. So this is Red Hat inflationm, but the boil is off. And we need to see a few more months like this. Sticker shock still a problem, though, for people. You look year over year, gasoline prices are still up 44 percent year over year, even after that big decline in the month of July.

Food prices still up almost 11 percent and shelter up almost 6 percent. This has been a difficult category for people to contend with. It's not like switching cuts of meat on the inflation front for shelter. It's very difficult to change that part of your budget. So that's something to bear in mind as we go forward as well here.

The core numbers increasing more slowly than we've seen in past months. That's another very good sign here. But again, we want to see a few months of this in a row. It shows the Feds work, might be doing some good here trying to cool off this this Red Hat inflation, but we know the Fed is likely to continue to raise interest rates into the fall you guys.

HARLOW: Let us hope this is the beginning of a trend and that we have peak. Christine Romans, thank you so much.

ROMAS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: Former President Trump is sitting this morning for a deposition with the New York Attorney General's office. Our Kara Scannell has the new. She's following all of it. Kara, good to have you. Do we know the scope of this deposition? And, obviously, the former president has the Fifth Amendment right as every American does to not answer any of the questions. So he's been critical of those who have not answered in the past. What do we know he's going to do?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, the big question is, will he answer questions, or will he assert his Fifth Amendment right against doing so? And sources tell me that he's been advised by some of his lawyers on both of those strategies. Some say since he has already testified about his financial statements in previous civil litigation, they say that those answers he gave them were sufficient and he could, you know, answer the same way and they don't have any problem with it.

Other advisers say that he should assert the Fifth Amendment right, because not only is this a civil investigation, which could potentially result in a lawsuit and then a possible fine. He's also under criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's office. And that investigation is focused on the same thing as Leticia James, the New York Attorney General's investigation and that is whether the Trump Organization misled any lenders, insurers or others and for the benefit of taxes by switching the valuations and possibly inflating some of them on some of the properties that he owns. [09:05:11]

That is the heart of this investigation. That will be what the scope of these questions will focus on today. And now, we just learned from our photo journalists on the scene that Trump has arrived at the New York Attorney General's office and this deposition will get underway. You know, big question, though, still remains, will he answer the questions or won't he?

And it's not just the issue of the legal risks that he faces here. Some advisers say that he's also weighing whether this will have any kind of political implications, because if he is going to run for -- in 2024, for the presidency, you know, will that play badly with his base? If he doesn't answer questions he did in 2016, while on the campaign trail, then say essentially that he thought that only guilty plea will asserted the Fifth Amendment. So a lot at stake here, not just legally but also politically.

MARQUARDT: Now, we should note that his son, Eric Trump, when he was deposed, he took the fifth numerous times a major, major legal week, the former president. Kara Scannell in New York, we know you'll be sitting on top of all of this. Thank you very, very much.

Now we are getting new details about the FBI search of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home down in Palm Beach. CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez has been following all of these. Evan, it's been just over 36 hours since the news broke about this FBI search, what more are we learning?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alex, we know that there have been months of discussion that went on between the Justice Department, between the FBI and the Trump team over the scope of these documents that the National Archives has long said were in the possession of the President, the former president, despite the fact that, you know, the law says he was supposed to turn it over at the end of his presidency.

The decision to go in and retrieve that material is simply because the prosecutors had determined that there were documents that Trump had not turned over, that were supposed to have been turned over. And after these months and months of discussions, obviously, there was no progress. There was also this belief that they were not necessarily being told the truth about exactly how these documents ended up where they did in a fairly unsecure location at Mar-a-Lago.

And so, obviously, the fact that he's had national security documents classified information, that's the reason why you need the FBI, they needed the FBI to go and retrieve documents that other people didn't have the clearance to be around. And so that's why you saw those extraordinary search that happened at the former president's residence.

HARLOW: Evan, I wonder if you've learned anything about how Trump and his legal team may frame his defense here?

PEREZ: Yes, look, I think it is fascinating to see the Trump world of his allies go on television and start outlining what we believe he is going to claim. One of the things, obviously, he's a former president, so he has the power to declassify materials, to declassify things that he believes should be declassified. The question is, did he do that before he went to Mar-a-Lago. As former president, he no longer has that power.

Listen to Kash Patel, who is a close ally of the former president, talk about this -- what I think is the emerging legal defense we're going to see.


KASH PATEL, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO ACTING DEFENSE SECRETARY: President Trump on multiple occasions at the White House declassified whole sets of documents, including I remind you and your audience that around October of 2020, he issued a statement from the White House declassifying every document related to not just the Russia gate scandal, but also the Hillary Clinton email scandal. So when the President says that that's it, he's a unilateral Chief, Commander in Chief --


PATEL: -- and the sole authority and classification.


PEREZ: And look, I mean, this is going to have to be tested legally. The Justice Department and, obviously, the National Archives believes that these documents are still classified. They believe that, you know, there's just the President saying it doesn't necessarily make it so. And we'll see whether the Justice Department can really make this stand up because at some point, they're going to have to explain what they did at Mar-a-Lago this week.

HARLOW: Yes, they will. We'll see when they do that. Evan Perez, thanks very much.

Joining us now on all these headlines, CNN Political Commentator, S.E. Cupp, and Michael Moore, former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. It's great to have you there's so much to pour through here. But Michael, just legally on what we -- what really has become the rallying cry among Republicans, which is, we want to see more, we want to know why what was in that affidavit to get the search warrant.

You got top Republicans calling on DOJ to do something they don't do normally, which is give that information publicly before any charges are brought and they may never be brought, by the way. Listen to this from Asa Hutchinson and Mike Turner.



GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): It's critically important that the Attorney General of the United States that presumably signed off on this search warrant, that he addressed the American people, that he provides some information, that he does not leave the vacuum that is there that allows this kind of hysterical rhetoric to consume our nation.

REP. MIKE TURNER (R), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: They need to answer these questions. There better be something of important national security for them to have breached the confidence of the American public that they would go into the home of a past president, possible political candidate against this current president.


HARLOW: Do I understand correctly, DOJ could and a judge could unseal all of this, DOJ could put it out there today? It's just typically not how it ever, ever works, and it wouldn't be unsealed, Right, Michael, unless charges were brought?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Right. Well, good morning. I'm happy to be with all of you. That's correct. This is really just a DOJ policy that they do not comment on ongoing investigation. But there is a caveat to that. And that is when there's a matter of some significant public importance where some comment needs to be made to, you know, ease the tensions, to give public assurances and confidence that there can be comments made such as opening an investigation.

You will always do that, most of the time that's done in secret. But sometimes there needs to be some comment about it. I mean, think about, you know, sort of the Mueller investigation, how much we heard about the start of that and who was appointed and some things like that. They're not going to get into the details of the affidavit for the search warrant at this time. I'm certain they'll have to answer that in court, in front of a judge.

And I hope for the sake of all of us that there's more than just going down looking for some missing documents here. I think if that's the case, they've essentially given Trump the megaphone for the next couple of years as this thing drags on. So they did have to get a search warrant, they had to give an affidavit of probable cause to a judge to say we think that this might be there.

It sounds to me like at that war, it was narrowed over these documents, that somebody told where the documents may be. But at the same time, it seems a mighty big gun to bring out at this point to go into the search.

There's -- I did check a little bit about this because Mar-a-Lago is the Vatican City or something that they couldn't go in there. I mean, that's just sort of nonsense at this point. They can go in as a residence in the United States with a search warrant, but they're going to have to answer it and tell us a little bit about it (INAUDIBLE).

MARQUARDT: And S.E., we learned about this search from President Trump himself and he does appear to be seizing on this for political reasons. And we're hearing some of his allies encouraging him to move up any announcement about a 2024 run, including his longtime confidant Michael Caputo who spoke to CNN and who said that he was probably going to end up raising three times the money that he was going to and in the immediate future. So what are you expecting from the former president and possibly future candidate Trump?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there's no doubt President Trump is loving this. He's loving the attention. He's loving the fundraising opportunity. And for him and his crowd, this vindicates, right, all of his deep state conspiracy theories that, frankly, he probably invented for moments like this so that he could tell his supporters, see, I told you not to believe these guys. Even though Trump is facing legal hurdles this week in like three or four different states.

So, listen, he might like it politically. But legally, this is an awful week for someone thinking about running for president. And I think a lot of Republicans know that. I think that's why you're seeing some Republicans kind of hedge a little bit about how far they're willing to go in support of Trump.

Some are still pressuring him not to announce a run before the midterms. They don't want the oxygen sucked up. They don't want the money funneled to Trump and away from Senate and congressional candidates. So I don't know. This is pretty bad, even as Trump is relishing all the attention he's getting from it.

HARLOW: I just want to play for people quickly to sitting U.S. senators from the state of Florida, Marco Rubio, and Rick Scott, their reaction to this.


SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): This should scare the eleven daylights out of American citizens. The way our federal government has gone, it's like what we thought about the Gestapo, people like that. They just go after people.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): I actually don't think they went in looking for documents. I think that was probably their excuse. I think they went in there looking to see whatever they could find.


HARLOW: Michael Moore, I should note that Marco Rubio sits on the Senate Intel Committee and we know from Evan's reporting that one of the reasons they went in for these documents is because of national security concerns, OK? That's the context around which -- and he's just made that comment.


How dangerous is that rhetoric from sitting U.S. senators? And wouldn't the level of security concern have to be extraordinarily high for DOJ to go in the way it did?

MOORE: Yes, you would think this would have to be suddenly significant for them to do it, especially at this time. But I mean, look, these two guys have lost their credibility after the impeachment trial on January 6. You know, they ran down the Capitol Hall like a bunch of scary rats, and then turned on the Capitol police officers and refused to convict the president of impeachment and made these crazy statements. So, I don't put anything into their credibility of the things that they say publicly.

The reality is this, though, the fear is that it does charge the base, that it does put -- continue this conspiracy theory stuff, that it does put out their distrust of law enforcement in the criminal process. And that, as we think about all the investigations going on in all over the country, they're trying to put a doubt in everything, no matter -- even if those investigations have been canceled or sacrosanct at this point. So, it's dangerous from that sense and it erode public confidence in the justice system.

MARQUARDT: And we know that online chatter is spiking, it is a real concern that this could --

MOORE: Sure.

MARQUARDT: -- turn into something more significant. S.E. Cupp, Michael Moore, we have to leave it there. Thank you both very much for your time this morning.

HARLOW: Thanks, guys.

MOORE: Good to be with you.

HARLOW: Still ahead, a Trump-backed to election denier is now the Republican nominee for governor in Wisconsin. We'll take a look at the primary results from overnight. Also, police arrest the prime suspect in the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. What we've learned about a possible motive.

MARQUARDT: And also ahead, we'll be taking you live to the White House where President Joe Biden is about to sign burn pits legislation that is going to be protecting millions of veterans. I'll be speaking with the wife of a retired Army Captain who's dealing with a lung disease after being exposed to toxins during his time in the service. We'll be right back.


CAP. LE ROY TORRES, ARMY VETERAN: I remember 2014, my sergeant major, his last words to me was serve. Don't give up in this fight. You're going to be your voice when we're no longer here. Finally, the promise that I made to those that I served with and to some before me that I kept my promise.



[09:21:34] MARQUARDT: Next hour, President Joe Biden is going to be signing legislation that has been years in the making for so many veterans and their families. This legislation is called the PACT Act and -- the PACT Act. And it's going to be expanding healthcare resources and benefits for some 3.5 million service members who were exposed to toxic burn pits during their years of service.

Now those pits were used to burn things like tires and batteries, explosives, and so much more. And many of the troops who were manning those burn pits developed respiratory illnesses and rare kinds of cancer. And then their coverage was often denied.

My next guest is Rosie Lopez Torres and she knows the struggle firsthand. Now her husband where you can see right there is retired Army Captain Le Roy Torres and he has a lung disease and toxic brain injury from his time in the military. Now together, they founded an organization called Burn Pits 360 to push for this legislation that is being signed today.

And you may have seen this really emotional photo. She shared this moment with activist and comedian Jon Stewart, when they learned that the bill had finally passed. He, of course, has been an outspoken voice in raising awareness about this issue.

Rosie now joins me from the North Lawn of the White House. She will be attending that ceremony later today. Rosie, thank you so much for joining us this morning. I know how busy a day it is. It must be an extremely emotional day. You spent more than a decade walking down the halls of Congress trying to get meetings, having doors slammed in your face. And then you had to take your protest to the steps of the U.S. Capitol really pleading with lawmakers to get this done. So how does it feel today, knowing that you're about to see the President sign this legislation?

ROSIE LOPEZ TORRES, CO-FOUNDER, BURN PITS 360: It's surreal. It's a very emotional day for myself and my family. And you're right, we have a lot of doors shut in our face. But we unified, we mobilized and organized for the past 13 years. And we're just so blessed to finally see this delay and deny tactic end today.

MARQUARDT: We noted that more than 3.5 million veterans will be impacted. How much do you think this bill will improve their lives?

TORRES: I mean, drastically, right? This issue impacts them financially, mentally, physically, emotionally. You know, we've had a lot of people take their lives because of this war that followed them home. And my husband attempted to take his life a few years ago, when he lost his joband almost lost our home. It's just become such a tragic issue, this injustice.

So to know that 3.5 million people, you know, that's -- just to know that they'll be helped and they won't have to be begging for help, it just really gives my heart a lot of peace because that I believe that'll decrease the number of suicides that we're seeing in the veteran community. MARQUARDT: Of course, this legislation is a major victory. Now it needs to be implemented and so much of this is going to be coming down to the V.A. which, of course, is where so many veterans get their health care. So what are your concerns there in terms of the next step when actually go to try to get help?

TORRES: Yes. So, you know, we're going to be on top of the implementation, the oversight and the education that needs to be carried out and executed by the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense.


I expect full cooperation from both agencies. And we will make sure that we won't have to do another firewatch, right, that they'll actually do the right thing. And I'm grateful for Secretary McDonough because he's already put a website out, a platform where veterans can go and access information on how to navigate their benefits in health care.

MARQUARDT: Yes, acting on this quickly. I want to show our viewers a really touching photo of you. It's not just you, but you're hugging Brielle Robinson, she's the daughter of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, who died from lung cancer and the law is actually named after him. Can you tell us about this moment? She was on Capitol Hill with you to push lawmakers on this legislation.

TORRES: She's a little hero. She's my hero. Brielle is resilient and she's strong and she's just amazing. And we're so grateful to have met him, you know, remotely. We met him when he was undergoing his chemo treatment, and stayed with the family, stayed in touch with the family throughout the whole journey. And to have had Brielle in her father's honor, walk the hills of Congress and drop off PACT Act messages in Crayola Crayons and writing, you know, by her own little colors that she had with her was just inspiring and amazing.

MARQUARDT: I do want to ask you about the man who we just saw in so many of those photos, Jon Stewart. He really drew so much attention to this. And I understand that you initially met him because he was fighting for -- he was advocating for 9/11 survivors and you really thought that those two causes could come together and fight together. So how important was he in getting this legislation across the finish line?

TORRES: Right. Look, John Feal and Jon Stewart are our heroes, right? They -- as quickly as they responded to 9/11 is the same thing they did for our nation's heroes. They're our nation's defenders. They were, you know, instrumental in the success of this. Had we not had John Feal and Jon Stewart on board, we wouldn't be here today. I 100 percent believe that.

And, you know, they've been with us through the whole journey. And we're just grateful for them because they helped us help 3.5 million of America's veterans. So we want the Medal of Freedom for both of them. MARQUARDT: Rosie Torres, this is a big day. It's an important day. I know it's going to be an emotional day. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate you joining us.

TORRES: Thank you so much.

MARQUARDT: And we just want to remind everyone that veterans can apply for their benefits by visiting

HARLOW: She is -- Alex, she is a force. I think I would want Rosie in my corner on any fight and I'm sure she will be successful in arguing for them to get the Medal of Freedom. What a remarkable woman.

MARQUARDT: Just talking to her, you can see why that this legislation finally got done. She --


MARQUARDT: -- she clearly is a real force. So it was a real privilege to talk to her.

HARLOW: We are going to see the signing live everyone here in less than an hour. It'll be a very meaningful day for so many veterans and their families, of course.

Well still ahead, in Albuquerque, a major development overnight. Police detained a man they say is connected to at least two of the four ambush style killings set off -- that set off intense fear within the Muslim community there. What the suspect's daughter told CNN about her father, we'll have that next.

MARQUARDT: And plus, we are opening moments away from the opening bell. You can see their stock futures are pointing a little bit higher as this morning's new inflation data is signaling a slowdown in rising consumer prices. Now, the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in order to cool inflation. So these numbers are good news on that front.

Stocks did close down for a third straight day on Tuesday as investors waited for those numbers to come in. We'll be right back.