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Thousands Of Mourners Wait To View Queen Lying In State; Amidst Mourning The Queen, Spotlight Shines On Royal Family's Finances; Election Deniers Win Key New Hampshire Primary Races; Sen. Graham's 15-Week Federal Abortion Ban Proposal Dividing GOP; New Study: Climate Change Causing Spike In U.S. Power Outages. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired September 14, 2022 - 14:30   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: London's transport commissioner says the planning around the queen's lying in state and funeral is more challenging than pulling off the 2012 London Olympics.

Thousands of people have lined the streets behind Buckingham Palace and Westminster Hall where some members of the royal family, you see here, walked behind the queen's coffin earlier today.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: At one point, the line of mourners was three miles long.

CNN chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, has been among the crowds on Westminster Bridge.

Clarissa, tell us what you're seeing there. What is the mood?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a pretty extraordinary scene, I'm not going to lie. There are thousands of people who have been waiting many hours, but they're upbeat, and the lines are moving.

It's incredible to see the organization that's gone into this. But it is like a well-oiled machine. They're lining up behind me. Then they're funneled down and they go down onto the riverbank. If we can pan over, you can see that riverbank.

And then they go all the way over to the next bridge across. They then cross that bridge and then swing around towards Westminster Hall where the queen's coffin is lying in state.

And we've seen people opening up a bottle of wine, having a glass of wine. They're making friends. They're talking to each other.

People all seem to be in agreement that, of course, this is sad and there's an element of it being a somber moment. But there's also a real feeling, Alisyn and Victor, of people celebrating this moment, celebrating the tradition, celebrating this extraordinary woman. And it's interesting, I've talked to a lot of people, who are like, I'm not necessarily that into the monarchy but you have to give respect where respect is due.

We were actually very fortunate earlier on. We were standing here on Westminster Bridge just before the procession began. And we bumped into the archbishop of Canterbury walking across this bridge to go greet the coffin and lead some prayers.

Take a listen to our conversation.



MOST REV. JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: It's a huge privilege. It's a great honor to do it. And it's also a very solemn moment, because I had the privilege of meeting the queen on have occasions.

And there's a deep sense of loss, but also of what a gift it is that I can actually play a part in sending her off.


WARD: The archbishop also talked about the fact that the queen really had an extraordinary sense of humor but also a remarkable gift for memory, for being able to recall people, places, where she had met them. And he said that he sees those same qualities in King Charles III.

Also, one funny detail that we heard, the archbishop of Canterbury actually ordered pizza for a lot of people. Many of them have been waiting for many hours in these lines. They have come from all over the country.

So it's that kind of an atmosphere that you're really seeing here. Very much a feeling of comradery, people coming together to honor the great Queen Elizabeth II.

BLACKWELL: Pizza goes well with any wine, apparently. They're opening bottles there.


BLACKWELL: The pizza from the archbishop of Canterbury.

Clarissa Ward, for us there, thank you very much.

Joining us is royal historian, Carolyn Harris. She is the author of "Raising Royalty 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting."

Good to have you.

I want to start here with something that Sally Bedell Smith said today that I thought was really poignant, that the queen is a unifying figure. She did that during her life.

And through her death, she's unifying not only the populace and her own family. They were together at Buckingham Palace as the hearse arrived last night. We saw them in the procession this morning.

Really, the commitment of the members of the family to the queen is stronger for some of them than their commitment to the duty of the royals that they were born into.

CAROLYN HARRIS, ROYAL HISTORIAN & AUTHOR: Yes. One thing that unifies the royal family, regardless of whether we're talking about senior working members of the royal family or those who have stepped back from royal duties, is respect, admiration and love for the queen.

Even as, for instance, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, had differences with Prince Charles, now King Charles III, and Prince William, now the Prince of Wales.

They emphasized their respect for the queen and they continued to remain in touch with the queen when they were in California.

So we see the royal family is coming together. We saw William and Harry and their spouses greeting the mourners outside Windsor Castle together.

So they shared respect and admiration for the queen as bringing people together.

CAMEROTA: So, Carolyn, amidst all the mourning and the remembrance for the queen, there's also now more of a scrutiny on royal family and a light being shown particularly on their finances, which are kept - are very secretive. But at a moment like this, somehow come to light.

We hear things, such as Prince Charles now inherits the equivalent of more than a billion dollars basically in terms of property and wealth. And yet, he doesn't pay any inheritance tax, unlike every British citizen would have to.

And so, you know, there's always a question when there's a big turnover like this, is it time to modernize? Is it time to change all of that?

What's the feeling about if that's fair for the royal family?

HARRIS: One of the challenges when we're talking about royal finances is that there's personal income. Balmoral Castle, for instance, and Sandringham Palace both belong to the royal family personally.

And then the sovereign has funds through the duchy of Lancaster and the heir to the throne from the duchy of Cornwall. And this is personal income.

And before he was king, Charles put much of this towards his charities, think of the duchy original cookies that were for sale from the duchy of Cornwall. This is personal income. Then there's state income. At the Accession Council, King Charles III

discussed about the crowned lands that have been turned over to the treasury that dates from the reign of King George III.

And income from the crown lands goes towards the sovereign grant that pays for the official expenses of the royal family, the public duties.

And Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Holyrood House, they all belong to the state.

So in order to decipher royal finances, the first thing to do is break down the personal income versus the state income. And that would be quite a complicated process when it comes to discussing inheritance taxes.


BLACKWELL: And it was the billion dollars that Prince William got from the duchy of Cornwall, right?

CAMEROTA: I don't know, actually. I thought that is was -- so there's a billion dollars because of the duchy, as she was talking about. That's just that. That's just the property of all of that estate basically. But Prince William, I guess, takes over the estate.

BLACKWELL: The billion dollars.


But basically, my point is it stays in the royal family and it isn't to the benefit, other than tourism, to the people of Britain. And they don't pay taxes on it.

I mean, Carolyn, back to my point, is that a source of tension in Britain because of this?

HARRIS: It's certainly been a source of tension in the past. In the 1990s, when there were many difficulties within the royal family, the breakdown of three of the four marriages of the queen's children, and, for instance, the fire at Windsor Castle, there was the question who would pay for the restoration of Windsor Castle.

It was paid for by tourist dollars, opening up Buckingham Palace to the public. And the queen voluntarily began paying income tax.

There's been scrutiny of the duchy of Cornwall about whether it should be seen as a charity, because much of its income went towards funding the prince's charities, or whether it should be seen as a corporation, because of all these various products that are being sold, where some of the income does go to charity.

But of course, it was supporting King Charles III before he became king and now it's providing an income for the Prince of Wales in his capacity as Duke of Cornwall.

So certainly, we're going to see more scrutiny of royal financing going forward.

CAMEROTA: OK, thank you for explaining all of that.

Carolyn Harris, we appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Senator Lindsey Graham proposes a nationwide 15-week abortion ban if the GOP takes control of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already pushing back. The impact this could have an Republicans in the midterms, next.


BLACKWELL: Today, a clean sweep for MAGA-style Republicans in New Hampshire. All three of the state's Trump aligned congressional hopefuls won their primary contests.

CAMEROTA: In the GOP Senate race, retired Army general and 2020 election denier, Don Bolduc, narrowly defeated establishment candidate, Chuck Morris. Bolduc will go on to face Democratic incumbent, Maggie Hassan, in a race that could help decide which party controls the Senate.


Joining us now is CNN political analyst, Kirsten Powers and former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent.

Great to see both of you.

Congressman, what does it say that election deniers, once again, conspiracy theorists beat the mainstream candidates backed by mitch McConnell and the Republican Governor Sununu? How is this happening?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, regrettably, this is where the party is going. It's part of a trend. We've seen, Alisyn, the Trump candidates have been winning, the MAGA candidates have been winning.

And in New Hampshire, in this case, there could be a real consequence. The other candidate, Morris, was considered to be much more electable than Bolduc but the voters made a choice. They got Bolduc. And if I'm Senator Hassan, I'm probably pretty relieved by that.

Having said that, Bolduc could still win. He could still win. It's not impossible but he makes it much harder.

And in many cases around the country, we've seen where Republicans nominated candidates who are seen, perceived as too extreme in swing states and in marginal districts around the country. And that will make their path to gaining majorities in the Senate and the House much more challenging.

BLACKWELL: In some of these aces, Kirsten, do you believe, since history suggests that the party out of power will likely take control and maybe they have some advantages there in the states because of the demographics, some deniers will get into office and lead the legislative agendas of Congress?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, I don't think that's as great a risk than if the more moderate candidates had one. I think if those candidates had one, then, yes, what you just said would be the case, I think they would be more likely to end up in office.

I think that these are candidates that very much resonate with the base of the Republican Party but they don't resonate with the broader electorate. They don't resonate with Independents, for example.

So I think that they're going to be much easier for Democrats to beat, even allowing for the fact that Democrats are the president and the party in power tends to do worse, you know, than the party out of power in the first midterm elections.

But I think that the Republicans are giving Democrats a hope of beating that trend by nominating people who are so widely out of the mainstream.

CAMEROTA: Kirsten, I want to stick with you.

What is Senator Lindsey Graham doing? Why is he proposing --


POWERS: I don't know.

CAMEROTA: Honestly, I don't understand this. Why is he proposing a federal anti-abortion law that would ban all abortion across the country at 15 weeks?

I don't think that he understands how pregnancy works? You don't often get testing, important testing until 20 weeks. What is this that he's doing?

POWERS: Yes, well, I don't think he really cares to understand it. And he -- you know, he's clearly established himself as somebody who is pretty extreme on this issue.

I mean, he had a previous bill that was at 20 weeks so this one is worse than that one. But the 20-week span also is pretty bad.

I don't know what he's doing because he's -- you usually look at these things and think well, they're doing it because it's helpful politically and perhaps helpful to him in some way but not helpful to the Republican Party.

And that's been pretty clear in the way Mitch McConnell's responded to it, which is to say, you know, that the Republican position is that they believe this should be handled by the states.

Which is actually something Lindsey Graham said not that long ago, and now has turned around and tried to introduce this very radical legislation that will definitely alienate voters.

BLACKWELL: Yes. You pointed out this is, again, something that Lindsey Graham himself said. This was six weeks ago.

Let's play what Lindsey Graham said about what the state should determine and what he's saying about this new bill.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I've been consistent. I think states should decide the issue of marriage and states should decide the issue of abortion.

I have respect for South Carolina. South Carolina voters here I trust to define marriage and to deal with the issue of abortion.

I think we should have a law at the federal level that would say, after 15 weeks, no abortion on demand except in cases of rape, incest to save the life of the mother.

If we take back the House and the Senate, I can assure you we'll have a vote on our bill.


BLACKWELL: Lindsey Graham reversing himself on a position is not new. But why this bill, this way, right now, Congressman?

DENT: Well, look, there's a certain incoherence to this. The Republican position for years had been let this be handled by the states, as Lindsey Graham said previously.

And now they want a 15-week ban that could suggest maybe Republicans at the federal level would support abortion up to 15 weeks.


The point is he's introducing this legislation because states, post- Roe, are passing laws that ban abortion completely with few or no exceptions. And that is politically just outrageous.

And so he thinks, I believe, that by introducing this bill, Republicans can land at a better place. I would argue this is better than what the states are doing but it's still incoherent.

As the last pro-choice Republican member of the U.S. House, I can tell you many Republicans are discovering that pre -- that, pre-Dobbs, they would pass and enact these bills knowing they would never become law because of Roe.

But now that the backstop has been pulled, the goalie has been pulled, so to speak, there are real consequences. They're no longer shooting blanks. They're shooting live rounds on abortion. This is one more case.

I think this is a bit incoherent. Why do you want a federal law when you've been saying for years you want the states to handle it. Hard to have it both ways.

I think this muddles the issue further and may not present any real political advantage to Republicans on this issue.


POWERS: It also -- I would also say it's terrible political calculus. Even in conservative states, you've seen people saying that they don't like these bans, right?

What Lindsey Graham is saying is we're not just going to do it in conservative states, but for the entire country. So what do you think -- what would happen in the states, the non-red states?

These just aren't very popular. The leaders of the Republican Party are wildly -- are not connected with, what, even their own voters, many of whom even identify as pro-life, want.

BLACKWELL: Kirsten Powers, Congressman Dent, we've got to wrap it there. I appreciate you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, both.

Major power outages are becoming more common in the U.S. A new study suggests extreme weather is to blame for them. We have the details next.


CAMEROTA: Major power outages have skyrocketed in the U.S. over the past decade. A new study says extreme weather is to blame.

BLACKWELL: Joining us now is CNN national correspondent, Rene Marsh.

Rene, what are researchers saying?

RENE MARSH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're pointing to this summer of extreme weather and how, with it, we've seen this dramatic increase of power outages.

We're talking about weather-related power outages that have spiked nearly 80 percent from 2011 to 2021 compared to the previous decade.

If you take a look at this map we have of the United States, a large swath of the United States has seen these outages. The orange hue indicates all the states that have seen these weather-related power outages.


And Texas saw the most, followed by Michigan and California. And the vast majority of these outages were caused by these weather-related events.

I want to show you this graph. When you break out the power outages, the major ones we've seen, just this last year, the bottom line is non-weather-related. The top line are all of the weather-related power outages. The bottom line is a warming planet means hurricanes, wildfires,

flooding as well as heat waves. They're going to grow in frequency and intensity. And it's all taxing the very vulnerable power grid because of this increased power demand.

Experts say this essentially just highlights the need for more energy sources, specifically renewable energy. Also something called micro grids, which are small, renewable-powered networks that act as a backup if that primary electric grid fails.

Back to you -- guys?

CAMEROTA: OK, thank you for explaining the connection between all of this, Rene Marsh.

BLACKWELL: All right, we're just getting this in. Amtrak is canceling all of its long-distance routes as a nationwide rail strike looms. We'll have details ahead.