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Republicans Outraged Over FBI's Mar-a-Largo Search; Trump- backed Michels Gets Republican Nod for Wisconsin Governor; Online Shopping Prices Falling for First Time in Years; Suspect Arrested in Killings of Muslim Men in Albuquerque; One Dead After Explosions Near Russian Air Base in Crimea. Aired 4-4:30a ET
Aired August 10, 2022 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the U.S. and all around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody is above the law. But the law needs to be above politics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a show. This is like maybe impeachment number four here for Trump. That's all it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tip from the public led them to 51-year-old Muhammad Syed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew Albuquerque would step up and someone would find a identify that vehicle for us which is exactly what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I loved playing though. I can't do this forever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds as though the U.S. Open later this month will be her final tournament.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: live from London this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster.
FOSTER: It is Wednesday, August 10, 9:00 a.m. here in London, 4:00 a.m. in Washington. Where the Republican outrage machine is in high gear after the FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residents.
Trump allies in Congress are calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI director Christopher Wray to be removed from office. Republicans want answers over the first ever search of a former president's private home. Meanwhile a source tells CNN investigators carried out the search
because they suspected Trump and his team were withholding documents that have national security implications. They also believer the Trump team was not being completely truthful with investigators. Another source tells CNN the FBI subpoenaed and received surveillance video of Mar-a-Lago from the Trump organization. This is said to be related to the documents investigation but came before Monday's search. More now from CNN's Kaitlan Collins.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We are now learning more behind that extraordinary search conducted at former President Trump's primary residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Including that authorities believed that the former president had potentially not turned over all of the documents that he had taken with him when he left the White House. Of course, that is at the center of this investigation, something that we know authorities have been looking at for months now after the National Archives referred this case to the Justice Department. Given there had been concerns that he had taken classified information with him, potentially mishandled it of course by taking it out of the grasp of the federal government.
And so, we are now learning that after they had sent over some boxes back to the National Archives, there were concerns that authorities had that they had not sent over everything. And that also comes after CNN reported that there had been a meeting between investigators and Trump's attorneys at Mar-a-Lago in early June when they were actually shown a room where some of those documents were being held. So of course, now a big question is what exactly was still in those documents that investigators took with them after they went and searched the property on Monday.
For the president himself, the former president, he has been in Bedminster, New Jersey at his other club. He actually hosted Republicans on Tuesday. And sources said that he is feeling boosted by this and the support that he is getting from Republicans and the criticism that they have been putting out against the Justice Department for this search warrant. Certainly, an extraordinary one against the former president.
When it comes to the Biden White House, they are not really commenting. Instead saying that no one in the White House got a head's up that the search was going to happen. And found out about it like everyone else did.
Kaitlan Collins, CNN, Washington.
FOSTER: Some of Trump's allies are urging him to announce his 2024 run for the White House soon in an effort to put a stop to the Justice Department investigation. In the meantime, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is vowing to investigate Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department if Republicans regain control of the House. Others in the GOP say that they're outraged.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): We're 90 days before an election. The FBI sent agents to the home of a former president, the leading contender to be the nominee for 2024, and I want to know why. I say two things. Nobody is above the law, but the law needs to be above politics. So, if you are a Republican conservative and hear that the FBI is going after Trump again, it sounds alarm bells.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): We've got to take back the majority in the House and Senate so we can subpoena the records behind this and these other efforts.
So, we can bring in the director of the FBI, the Attorney General and force people to testify people under oath, about who told you what, who told you to do this, what was the justification behind this. This stuff needs to happen.
REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): This better not be some clerical or some minor issue that the FBI has gone in. And that's why we're asking as the intelligence committee, we're in charge of classified material, we're in charge of the national security issues and secrets of the United States. If they're going into this man's house claiming that it's national security that brought them in, then they deserve to tell us. They deserve oversight. They deserve to answer to the American public why a political rival of this president had FBI agents raid his home.
FOSTER: So why hasn't the Justice Department or the FBI said anything about their search? Legal experts say commenting publicly would be out of the ordinary and may not be helpful to either side.
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: We want to maintain secrecy strategically so you can build your investigation so people don't get tipped off, so people don't destroy documents, et cetera. So that's reason number one. Reason number two is, you're trying to protect the rights of the individual who may be under suspicion. Whether that's Donald Trump or anybody else. Imagine if the Attorney General got behind the podium tomorrow and said OK everyone, OK Mitch McConnell, you want to know what our probable cause is, let me lay it out for you. We have this evidence, we have that evidence, and that leads us to believe Donald Trump committed the following federal crimes.
They do allege that, we haven't seen it, but we know for a fact they allege that in the affidavit. If Merrick Garland got behind the podium and said that, watch the outrage from Mitch McConnell and that applies by the way to any person who is a suspect. Democrat, Republican, famous person, not famous person. So those are vital interests that DOJ protects by its silence. (END VIDEOTAPE)
FOSTER: Getting a search warrant can be a difficult process especially when it's for the home of an ex-president. A former U.S. federal judge explains how it works.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GERTNER, FORMER U.S. FEDERAL JUDGE: The FBI visit to Mar-a-Lago in June -- this past June -- in which they saw where the documents are kept. And the question is did they see something at that time that made it clear that what was in there was more than just an occasional memento from Kim Jung-un, and something more substantial than that. So, the judge has to look at the evidence that's given to him to see if there was probable cause to believe that crime had been committed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Meanwhile the Justice Department is not commenting on a claim from Republican Congressman Scott Perry that FBI agents seized his cellphone. A source says it is in connection with an investigation of efforts by Trump allies to block certification of the 2020 election. Perry is closely linked to former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark who is under scrutiny for his schemes to overturn Joe Biden's victory.
And another legal blow for Donald Trump, a federal appeals court says a U.S. House Committee can obtain the former president's tax records from the IRS. This case is separate from the House Select Committee's investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Trump has fought for years against releasing his tax returns to any investigators. The court ruled the request for his records was within the scope of the House committee's inquiry. Trump can still appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A judge in Georgia has ordered Trump ally Rudy Giuliani to appear in person before a grand jury next week. It's part of an investigation into the former president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state. Giuliani's appearance was originally scheduled for Tuesday but his lawyers are seeking a delay saying that he shouldn't fly after a recent heart surgery. The judge pushed back saying Giuliani could travel by train or bus instead.
Another four U.S. states held primaries on Tuesday picking their candidate for the critical midterm elections. Progressive Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar barely survived a strong challenge from a moderate Democrat in her Minneapolis based district. He had criticized her call to defund the police.
In Vermont, Becca Balint won the Democratic nomination for the state's one House seat. If she triumphs in November, she'll be the first woman to represent Vermont in Congress.
In the key swing state of Wisconsin, Senator Ron Johnson -- an ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump -- easily secured the Republican nomination and the Wisconsin governor's race is also set with Trump's chosen candidate edging out the rival endorsed by the former U.S. Vice President. CNN's Kristen Holmes reports from outside Milwaukee in Waukesha.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Trump endorsed candidate Tim Michels will be the next Republican candidate for governor here in the state of Wisconsin taking on Democratic incumbent Governor Tony Evers in the fall.
Now Michels, who spent millions of dollars on his race, beat out the candidate not only endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence but also by the GOP establishment.
The former Lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch had served with Scott Walker for eight years and was considered an establishment favorite. At one point she was considered a shoo-in for this position but with Trump's endorsement and all of the extra money in the campaign, Michels was able to beat her out.
Now there was one other big race in Wisconsin that we were watching and that was the Democratic primary for Senate. Mandela Barnes, the current lieutenant governor, will take on the incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson in the fall and what's likely to be one of the most consequential races in the entire country. This comes at a time when Democrats and Republicans will be duking it out trying to get that majority.
Kristen Holmes, CNN, Waukesha, Wisconsin.
FOSTER: We're expecting a bit of good news for U.S. consumers. In the coming hours the government will release data on the inflation rate for July and that report is expected to show it eased slightly. Inflation reached a peak of 9.1 percent year over year in June, the biggest increase in more than 40 years. July's report is expected to show that the inflation remains uncomfortably high at 8.7 percent. Also uncomfortably high, the cost of gas. The average price in the U.S. is now $4.01 a gallon according to AAA. But on the bright side, the price has dropped more than 50 days in a row.
It also means good news for online shoppers with prices finally starting to cool off after nearly two years of increases. Retailers are expected to slash the cost of big ticket items since shoppers are keeping their wallets tighter than ever. CNN's Matt Egan is in New York with the very latest.
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Hey, Max, we are getting some encouraging news finally on the inflation front. Online prices actually fell 1 percent year over year in July according to Adobe. Now normally this wouldn't really be news at all because for the longest time the online shopping world was the land of falling prices. It's so easy to comparison shop online. I don't know if I wanted to buy a new bike for my son, I could easily go check the websites of all the retailers and make sure I'm getting the best deal. And that price transparency is why prices always used to fall in the e-commerce world.
But all that changed when COVID hit. June 2020, online prices started to rise beginning an unprecedented streak of 25 consecutive months of rising prices. That streak has finally ended now. And if you dig into some of the categories, we've seen sharp declines, more than 9 percent year over year decline for electronics, toy prices down more than 8 percent. And even apparel dipping 1 percent right ahead of back to school season here in the United States.
As far as why some of this is happening, some of this is for good reasons, right. Supply has started to improve, so much so that some retailers like Target and Walmart have a glut of inventory and they've been forced to cut prices.
Some of this though is for some concerning reasons, right. Demand has taken a hit because of high inflation. Consumers are sort of tapped out in some cases. Consumer confidence has taken a hit. But there are some outliers here because while electronic prices are down, online prices for both groceries and pet supplies have heated up in July surging by the most in recent history according to Adobe.
Still big picture it is encouraging to see prices cooling off in the ecommerce world and it is when you combine that with the fact that gasoline prices are down, down more than 50 straight days in the United States, that is leading some hope that maybe, just maybe, inflation is starting to peak. Let's hope so -- Max.
FOSTER: Thank you to Matt.
Now restaurants are picking up on customer habits as well given inflated prices as well. Dine Brands, the company which owns Applebee's and IHOP restaurant chains say they have noticed increased sales amongst what they consider wealthy households earning over $75,000 a year. But the flip side is that sales are dropping amongst households making less than $50,000. Brands CEO says instead of focusing on the price of items, the company instead focuses on the value of items to customers.
The cost of mailing a letter or sending a package in the U.S. just keeps going up. Now the U.S. Postal Service is looking to raise prices yet again this January just five months after its most recent rate hike. The postmaster general blames inflation saying costs will exceed the agency's 2022 budget plan by well over a billion dollars. Now the Postal Service says it's lost more than $90 billion since 2007 as the volume of mail has declined in recent years.
Now NATO is on the cusp of a major expansion and the U.S. president is all for it. Why he wants two countries that have traditionally tried to stay neutral on board.
Plus, police in New Mexico have a suspect in custody in the killings of four Muslim man. Hear what his daughter and the authorities are saying about the arrest.
FOSTER: Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico say they've arrested the primary suspect in the killing of four Muslim man. 51-year-old Muhammad Syed faces two homicide charges and more could follow. He denies any involvement in the killings. Police say there's evidence that Syed knew his victims and that the conflict may have led to the shootings but the motive is still unclear. CNN's Ed Lavandera has more from Albuquerque.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Investigators here in Albuquerque, New Mexico say a tip from the public led them to 51-year-old Muhammad Syed. He is now accused of at least two of the four murders of Muslim men here in the area in the last two months. Investigators say they have shell casing evidence that links Muhammad Syed and one of the weapons that he owns to several of these murders. They say they will continue working to find and dig up evidence that links Syed to the other two murders as well.
All of this transpiring very quickly after authorities had released pictures of a gray Volkswagen Jetta that they believe Syed was driving at various of the murder scenes possibly. He was discovered driving towards Texas. Investigators say he was arrested in the city of Santa Rosa. And this happened just as investigators began searching, executing a search warrant, at their home.
In a surreal seeing just hours before police made this announcement, we were inside Muhammad Syed's home speaking with their family. His daughter tells us that about an hour before police arrived, he said that he was going to drive to Texas, that he had plans of moving his family there. They told us that despite all of this and what police are saying, they do not believe that their father is responsible for these murders. But despite that, investigators here insist that Muhammad Syed is the prime suspect and that they can link him to right now at least two of these four murders. Back to you.
FOSTER: Finland and Sweden are a step closer for joining NATO. The U.S. president signed off on their application on Tuesday. The traditionally neutral countries applied to become members of the military alliance after Russia invaded Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we will never fail on our pledge to defend every, every, every inch of NATO. That's why together with our allies, we're taking steps to reinforce NATO's eastern flank and strengthen our deterrence against any threats of aggression toward the alliance. Our alliance is closer than ever. It is more united than ever. And when Finland and Sweden bring the number of allies to 32, we'll be stronger than ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Countries applying to join the alliance must get unanimous approval from existing members. So far 23 members of NATO have given Sweden and Finland the green light, seven others including Turkey have yet to ratify the Nordic country's bids.
The European Union's ban on Russian coal imports is now taking effect. The ban is part of an EU sanctions package approved in April to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. And it marks the first time Europe has gone after Russia's vast energy sector. More than half of the EU solid fuel imports mostly coal are from Russia which has also been the EU's main supplier of crude oil and natural gas. The European Commission estimates the coal ban will affect nearly $9 billion worth of Russian exports per year.
On the ground signs the war could be escalating after a series of explosions rocked a Russian air base in western Crimea. Local officials say at least one person was killed and more than a dozen others wounded. Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 helping spark a conflict for years until Russia launched its full-scale envision in February.
In his nightly address Ukraine's president vowed to retake Crimea but stopped short of addressing the explosion. We're also learning about a deadly attack in central Ukraine overnight. For more, let's go to David McKenzie live in Kyiv -- David.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the key thing to talk about here is those explosions in Crimea. Russian occupied Crimea, Max. And it rattled windows at least a kilometer nearly a mile away from that scene showing the devastating impact of several explosions sending Russian tourists who were on the beach there in Crimea scattering. Cars evacuating the area as you say, scores injured, at least one killed. And the big question now is was this a Ukrainian strike of some kind.
The Russians are blaming officially a munitions explosion at that airfield -- that military airfield which is a key part of this war strategy of the Russians in that occupied region. But you have to wonder because this would be an extremely significant strike because the Ukrainians both in terms of distance and in terms of psychology indicating potentially that that part of Crimea at least isn't safe, which is what Russian nationals would have thought.
As you say, the Ukrainians aren't commenting on this directly, they say that they have no information about it. But it was telling that President Zelenskyy got in his daily address -- hinted and said directly that Crimea is the ultimate aim of this conflict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This Russian war against Ukraine and against all of free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea. Its liberation. Today it is impossible to say when this will happen.
But we are constantly adding the necessary components to the formula for the liberation of Crimea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Crimea was taken by the Russians in 2014, annexed then and it was in the view of many Ukrainians of course the original sin of this series of conflicts that has become this wider war with Russia invading earlier this year. The big question is, if it was Ukraine, how did they actually do it? Do they have the long range capability either through missiles that they have managed to alter, to strike surface to surface, or some kind of weapons system that has been given by the West but not yet announced? That is the question everyone's asking today. But a very much psychological blow because the assumption is that this is a strike but at this stage, Max, we have no definitive proof of that -- Max.
FOSTER: OK, David McKenzie in Kyiv, thank you.
Still to come, Trump supporters speak out after the FBI search of Mar- a-Lago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why you all of a sudden raid a home and make sure that nobody is there to protect it. That sounds like a unofficial -- an illegal raid to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, they had a search warrant from probably the highest levels of the Justice Department's.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But they wanted made sure no one was here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Ahead we'll hear more from those gathered outside the Palm Beach resort and a show of support for the former president.
Plus, one of the biggest tennis stars in the world is set to retire later this hour. Why Serena Williams says it's time to step aside.
FOSTER: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up-to-date with our top stories this hour.
A new U.S. inflation report will be released in the coming hours. Economists expect it'll show inflation slightly eased in July ... [04:30:00]