Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Amtrak Cancels All Long Distance Trains Ahead of Possible Rail Strike; Ukrainian Official: Town Near Kherson City Cleared of Russian Forces; Thousands of Mourners Wait to View Queen Elizabeth Lying in State; Inflation Report: Wholesale Prices Fell in August; January 6 Committee: Goal for Next Hearing is September 28; Pillow Salesman and Trump Ally Lindell: FBI Took My Phone at Hardee's; House Oversight Committee Asks Archives if Trump Still Has Government Records; Possible Link Between Multivitamin Use and Cognition in Older Adults; Defense Suddenly Rest in Nikolas Cruz Penalty Trial. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 14, 2022 - 15:00   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: It's the top of the hour on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Victor Blackwell.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: And I'm Alisyn Camerota.

BLACKWELL: Just in, Amtrak has cancelled all of its long distance routes ahead of Friday's potential rail strike. Union and railroad officials are still meeting right now with labor secretary Marty Walsh. Now, if a contract deal is not reached in these high stake talks before midnight, Friday, 60,000 workers could walk off the job.

CAMEROTA: A strike would be catastrophic to the already fragile supply chain and disrupt an estimated 30 percent of all U.S. freight shipments. CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Adrienne Broaddus join us now with the latest. So Adrienne, tell us more about the Amtrak cancellations?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Alisyn, for those of you wondering, Amtrak workers are not involved, but many of the Amtrak rails are owned by those freight railroad companies. Now, this news was just announced moments ago in a statement, Amtrak said starting Thursday it will cancel all long distance trains. And as you mentioned, that is to avoid possible passenger disruptions while in route.

Obviously, both sides are still negotiating and trying to meet or reach an agreement before Friday. But it's not only the Amtrak lines that will be impacted. For example, here in Chicago already, at least nine of the 11 metro lines have been suspended due to this possible strike.

And one travel expert who we heard from says this will be more, if that strike happens, than a travel nightmare. Listen in. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCHWIETERMAN, TRANSPORTATION PROFESSOR AT DEPAUL: It really is going to bottle up the freight system. We have supply chain problems already, the ports are clogged, you throw in a rail strike and 10s of thousands of containers can't get to where they want to go and that affect stores and our everyday lives.


BROADDUS: If this happens, Alisyn and Victor, it will touch all of us. You see the tracks behind us, these are not just Amtrak rails, we're talking about freight rails too. All types of trains run through here, Victor and Alisyn?

BLACKWELL: All right. Adrienne set the table for us there.

Let's go to the White House now. Kaitlan, what do you know about these talks that we understand are still happening and include Secretary Walsh?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And they've been going on for some time now. Now, this isn't the first time that these sites have tried to discuss this, try to head off this disagreement and come to an actual agreement. This is something that's been going on for weeks now. But it's actually in-person happening here today at the Labor Department where the Labor Secretary, Marty Walsh, is meeting with both railroad carriers and union representatives.

And we saw those representatives walk into the Labor Department just after 9am this morning. And I was told about 15 minutes ago that that meeting is still going on. Really speaking to the level of obviously the complications here, the discussions here, they did say that they are still involved in these good faith negotiations and they are all staying at the table today, obviously, trying to come to an agreement. But the big question is whether or not they actually will.

It's not just Secretary Walsh who's been involved in this, the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has as well in addition to the Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack. President Biden himself has even personally gotten involved in this, making calls to these railroad carriers, to these unions trying to come to an agreement.

And I think the concern is what Adrienne just laid out there that if this does happen, if there is this strike and there is no agreement by this deadline of Friday that it can be potentially incredibly disruptive in the sense of they are trying to come up with contingency plans for things that are typically delivered by freight, chlorine to wastewater treatments, coal plants.

All of that is something that the White House is taking into consideration. So they're trying to develop contingency plans, if they don't come to an agreement. But it is notable Secretary Walsh and these representatives are still in the room trying to come to an agreement even as this meeting is stretching on now for several hours. CAMEROTA: And we should also just let our viewers know that the

Northeast Corridor, which so many of them rely on to commute in, those have not been affected by the cancellations. Adrienne Broaddus, Kaitlan Collins, thank you very much for the latest.

Okay. Now to Ukraine. Ukraine's president, Zelenskyy, seeing firsthand how the tide has turned on the battlefield. Today, Zelenskyy toured Izyum, which was not possible just a week ago when the district was under Russian occupation. Now, Izyum is back to Ukraine control and part of the 3,000 square miles that he says Ukrainian forces have taken back from Russia.

Also, this just in, a local official says Russian forces have also been run out of a town just north of Kherson. That's the first city that was occupied by the Russians.

BLACKWELL: But while he was in Izyum, Zelenskyy saw the destruction and the death that Russian troops left behind. He compared the scene to what he saw in Bucha.


Regional officials in the east say that Ukraine's counter offensive will slow a bit now that they've lost the element of surprise. But Russian shelling continues. It's taking its toll elsewhere. A local official reports that two people were killed six wounded in the southern port city of Mykolaiv. Let's go now to CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman in Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv.

So, yes, the Ukrainians are making progress, but the U.N. warns that the end of this war is far away. What are you learning?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, let's keep in mind, Victor and Alisyn, that the Russians still control large parts of the country. Now, this offensive in Kharkiv was a serious blow to the Russians, but there are no signs coming out of Moscow at this point that they're going to compromise in any way.

Now, today, Antonio Guterres, the U.N. Secretary General did have a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But afterwards, he said in his words, there is no ceasefire in sight. But one cannot deny that this is a massive victory in Kharkiv for the Ukrainians and it really underscores the shortcomings in the Russian war effort, poor morale, poor training, the troops are poorly supplied and poorly led and largely in disarray.

And what we're hearing from the Ukrainian military is that the Russians, for instance, are pulling out the S-300. That's a very sophisticated air defense system, from within Ukrainian territory inside - to inside Russia, because those systems are vulnerable, according to the Ukrainian military to these HIMARS, these High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems that have been supplied by the United States, Victor and Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: So Ben, it sounds like there's some infrastructure that is coming back, for instance, some main lines of electricity were restored in Kharkiv, what do you know?

WEDEMAN: Yes. They were damaged during this offensive by the Russians. And what we're really seeing is that the Russians on the battlefield are performing very badly, but what they are doing is striking civilian military. We understand that South of Kyiv, a few hundred kilometers, a reservoir was hit by Russian missiles causing some serious damage and this seems to be the pattern, hit civilian infrastructure because they can't make any progress on the battlefield.

Now, we did have one interesting development today. For the first time since April, a commercial airplane flew from Ukraine, out of the country. Now, this was a Wizz Air. That's a Hungarian low cost airline, flew an A320 plane from Lviv, which is near the Polish border to Poland. It's only 35 miles away, so no great risk.

But that really underscores how after more than six months, the Russians cannot control the airspace over Ukraine and, in fact, the Ukrainian military said that they flew 11 sorties against Russian targets today. So certainly, the landscape of this war seems to be changing dramatically at the moment, but no end in sight. Victor and Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Really interesting developments. Ben Wedeman, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk now to the experts, Jill Dougherty was CNN Moscow Bureau Chief and is now an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. And retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton is a CNN Military Analyst, welcome to you both.

Colonel, let me start with you. And I just want your reaction to what we just reported that local officials say that Russian forces have now been cleared from a town north Kherson, the first city occupied by the Russians. Also the military adviser to President Zelenskyy says that they're fighting in alignment to try to open up their way into the Luhansk region. If they can make some advances in those two areas, what that means for the Ukrainians?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it's a big deal for the Ukrainians, Victor. And I think the key thing here is to look at this whole operation in the northeast in Luhansk, the Donbas, in other words, and in the south as being a really coordinated effort on the part of the Ukrainians. Some of us thought that perhaps the southern operation because there was so much publicity around - the operation around Kherson that that might have been a faint instead of the actual operation.

But now it looks as if it's not just a faint, it's actually a real bona fide operation that is going forward. It's just going a lot slower than what is going on in the Northeast. And that is because the Russians moved a lot of their forces down to the south and they also have obviously a lot of logistical problems maintaining the forces that they have left up in the Northeast.

[15:10:03] So we're seeing the move quite a bit of equipment out there as you

reported. There are also some other things that are going on which are going to create some real difficulties for the Russians going forward.

BLACKWELL: Jill, the effort to so-called liberate Luhansk and Donetsk, the Donbas region, was the excuse given by the Kremlin for this invasion back in February if the Ukrainians can go in and make some military advances there, what's the political potency domestically for Putin?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR & FORMER MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: It's very interesting to watch how the Russians are explaining or let's say, spinning this, because it does look very bad for President Putin and his forces not to be able to pull back and not to be able to really stand up to the offensive by the Ukrainians.

So as I have been watching their reporting on this, essentially, what they're saying is, this is not just Ukraine, this is NATO, the United States, Europe, all of these countries aligned against us. And so it's - that's, I think, an excuse for why they're not doing that well. And then also, there's a very interesting and, I think, something to be noted and watch, which is okay, what do you do about this.

And there is great pressure among the people who are, I'd say, on kind of the far right of the equation in Russia, who are much more militant, who are saying we ought to have martial law, the President of Chechnya is saying we ought to have martial law. We ought to take it to the enemy and really not stop. There's a lot of this bellicose rhetoric at the same time that the word that is all over the internet in Russia is panic, don't panic.

So I think there is a lot of concern, maybe not panic, but something close to that of wondering what - how can this happen and then what do you do about it?

BLACKWELL: Yes. Colonel, what's the value of Presidents Zelenskyy showing up in Izyum? What's the message to Ukrainians and also the Russians?

LEIGHTON: Oh, it's a big message from a publicity standpoint and a morale standpoint, Victor. The fact that President Zelenskyy was in Izyum or is in Izyum, that makes for - it's - like a thousand words, this is something that is really important because it shows the Ukrainians are confident that they can keep Izyum and the other territories that they've reoccupied.

So with that in mind, they are trying to capitalize on the momentum that they've had in the last few weeks and that is going to, I think, carry them forward, at least into the next month or so.

BLACKWELL: Jill, let me turn to something different here. The former Ambassador and Gov. Bill Richardson was in Moscow for talks. Now, neither his organization nor the White House are commenting on what were the focus of those talks. But we know that Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner are being held, Ambassador Richardson was helpful in freeing Trevor Reed. What potentially - let me just change the question here, what's the

value or the utility of a Richardson for the Russians versus what they could get from a diplomat from the State Department?

DOUGHERTY: I think he it is precisely because he is not a diplomat from the State Department, because what the Russians are saying is we want to use the usual channels. We want to do it quietly. And remember, you and I and other anchors had a great discussion on this about a month ago when it was all very public, how will President Biden get Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan out. Then, it was very clear that that public diplomacy really wasn't working. The Russians were furious about it and so it kind of went behind the scenes, which doesn't mean that it's not very important what's happening.

In fact, I think that visit by Mr. Richardson, former ambassador, is very important that this conversation continue, but probably that it not be public at this very, very delicate time.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the U.S. put that prisoner swap on the table and that unfortunately, has not made much progress. Jill Dougherty, Col. Cedric Leighton, thank you both.

CAMEROTA: So on the heels of yesterday's huge sell off on Wall Street, new Economic data out today shows signs of improvement on inflation.

BLACKWELL: And mourners are lined up for miles in London to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II. We're live from Westminster next.




CAMEROTA: Let's take a live look here at London where thousands of mourners are waiting for hours to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth as she lives in state at Westminster Hall. This morning, King Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry were reunited as they walked behind the Queen's casket.

BLACKWELL: London's transport commissioner says that the planning around today's events and Monday's funeral has been more challenging than the 2012 London Olympics. CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance is there with the mourners, who have just left Westminster Hall. Doors opened about three hours ago, what are you seeing?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're seeing a constant procession of people from all over the country, all over the world, in fact.


Spending hours upon hours standing in that line of people, that huge queue waiting to go through into Westminster Hall where they can file past, in silence, the casket of Queen Elizabeth II. It's a way a lot of people are paying respect. There's only one way out, by the way, once you've gone through that process, and it's this exit system here that's been put in place.

All these people here, have already just, within the last few minutes, filed past the coffin to pay their respects. Let's see if we can speak to some of them.

Excuse me, would you be able to tell us - have you just ...


CHANCE: Oh, no? Would you - that's okay. Would you - have you just seen ...


CHANCE: ... the casket? What was that like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was absolutely wonderful.

CHANCE: Was it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it was worth every minute of the (inaudible), absolutely.

CHANCE: How many hours did you (inaudible) ...




CHANCE: Six hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six hours. We get there half of two.

CHANCE: Wow. Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it's just sort of ...

CHANCE: Well, what was the atmosphere like inside? Describe it for us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could hear a pin drop. It's so quiet and still, not a sound in there, absolutely wonderful.

CHANCE: And you're constantly moving through?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it was absolutely wonderful. Something that I would never have done in my life if it wasn't for my friend, so we've done it together, absolutely wonderful.

CHANCE: Why was it - why was it so important for you to pay respect in this one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that she's been such a wonderful queen for everybody and I just wanted to pay my respect and say thank you for what she's done ...

CHANCE: Is that how you ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... for this country.

CHANCE: Is that how you feel as well?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. (Inaudible) wonderfully.

CHANCE: Where did you come from today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just Croydon Way (ph).

CHANCE: Oh, just that (inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes, I'm not sure.

CHANCE: (Inaudible) this people all over the world here (inaudible) all over the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we felt we would have to queue for hours and hours, so the six hour we felt was pretty good.

CHANCE: It's still quite a long time, but ...


CHANCE: Well done for speaking out.




CHANCE: All right. Well, thank you for speaking to us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who are you with, by the way?

CHANCE: We're with CNN.


CHANCE: All right. Thank you.

So there you have it, Victor and Alisyn. You're getting the same story from everybody you speak to here. And you can see there's a constant stream of people coming out now. People are going to be lining up all throughout the night, all throughout the next several days, until, of course, the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth on Monday morning when this process will come to an end and dozens of world leaders will be coming to United Kingdom, coming to London, to attend that state funeral which will mark the end of the commemorations of Queen Elizabeth II. Back to you.

CAMEROTA: It's nice to hear that those six hours in line were well worth it and she wouldn't have missed it that it was really important for her to do that with her friend.


CAMEROTA: Matthew Chance, thank you very much for that.

Okay. Now back here, a key inflation report out today showed wholesale price increases are beginning to ease. The Producer Price Index rose 8.7 percent in August compared to last year, but that was slightly beating economists' expectations and prices fell by 0.1 percent from July.

BLACKWELL: US stocks are down right now, about 140 points, in addition to yesterday's steep sell off driven by concerns of another steep rate hike. CNN's Business Correspondent Rahel Solomon joins us now, so tell us what these mean.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Okay. So it was a slight decline, right, one-tenth of a percent, but here's what is noteworthy: This month marks the second consecutive month where we have seen a decline and producer inflation. I want to show you monthly what PPI has done, which Alisyn, as you pointed out is factory level, a producer inflation.

The last time we saw consecutive declines of PPI of producer inflation was early in the pandemic, February, March and April. So that is noteworthy. What we are seeing here is what we also saw in the CPI report, energy really sort of behind what we're seeing. So for us consumers, that means lower prices at the pump, right? The national average right now 370, much lower than it was a month ago, but still higher than it was a year ago.

So what we're seeing in this report for producers of goods and services is those energy prices are funneling into things like diesel prices, we saw declines there and we saw declines in home heating. Well, we also saw declines in furniture, which is interesting, because yesterday in the CPI report the consumer report, we saw furniture prices still increasing and lumber continues to fall.

I do, however, want to put this in perspective, because this is not something that we're going to be going out in the street and celebrating, because inflation is still historically high and if you take a look over the last five years or so, you can see that it is still very high, very elevated. But it is an encouraging sign.

And here's why this matters, right? What do producer inflation figures mean to people at home? Well, it's considered a leading indicator. What we see in the PPI report, the producer inflation report, tends to signal what we could see a few months down the line in the CPI report. So it is an encouraging sign that we could see some relief a few months down the road. Fingers crossed.

BLACKWELL: All right. Fingers crossed. Rahel Solomon, thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Rahel.

All right. Trump ally and pillow salesman, Michael Lindell, says he has been served a subpoena by the FBI for the contents of his phone. What secrets does his phone hold? Details next.



BLACKWELL: An update now on the January 6 Committee investigation, Chairman Bennie Thompson tells CNN that the panel has gotten significant information in the last week regarding the deletion of Secret Service text messages around the Capitol attack.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: The Department of Homeland Security inspector general has claimed that those Secret Service messages were erased as part of a device replacement program. Joining us is CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider. So, Jessica, what significant information did they get this week?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're still looking through all those documents. So, we did get confirmation, Alisyn and Victor, from the Secret Service that they have resumed this handing over of documents to the committee. That actually restarted about two weeks ago. And they've already handed over, they say, thousands more documents.

And you know, this is all part of the committee probing why texts from that crucial period around January 6th seem to be missing, what texts might have existed in the first place. The Secret Service of course saying that they weren't retained during that routine phone replacement.

In other news though with the committee, members are now saying that they're looking at resuming public hearings the final week of September. One of the members, Congressman Jamie Raskin really said they want to complete the story of what they've already told in numerous hearings and focus on what they perceive as ongoing threats to democracy.

You know, plus, guys, the committee here saying that they're still weighing whether they'll actually make a criminal referral to the Justice Department. Though really at this point DOJ has numerous, ongoing criminal probes in all areas sort of circling around the former president and his allies -- Victor and Alisyn.

BLACKWELL: So, a Trump ally and My Pillows CEO Mike Lindell says that the Department of Justice has subpoenaed his phone. What do you know about that? SCHNEIDER: Yes, so we've learned now this is all actually part of an

investigation into an election security breach that allegedly happened in Colorado during the 2020 election. So, Mike Lindell, he's been talking a lot about this. He even shared companies of the subpoena he received from the FBI. And he told our team that what agents asked him, they approached him with questions about Tina Peter. She's actually the Mesa County, Colorado clerk. She's facing state charges for a scheme where she allegedly allowed an unauthorized person to access voting machines. She has pleaded not guilty. And Lindell talked about this whole encounter. He said it happened yesterday afternoon when he was in Minnesota at a drive-through at the fast food spot Hardee's. Here he is.


MIKE LINDELL, CEO, MY PILLOW: Cars pulled up to the front of us, to the side of us and behind us. And I said, those are either bad guys or the FBI. Well, it turns out they were the FBI.


SCHNEIDER: And Lindell said he actually thought initially that the agents were approaching him related to the January 6th investigation. But of course, Victor and Alisyn, we know that it's in relation to this ongoing Colorado probe into this possible election security issue with voting machines being breached in Mesa County -- Guys.

BLACKWELL: Jessica Schneider, thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, let's talk more about these investigations. David Aronberg is the state attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida. Dave great to have you here in studio. Is Mike Lindell in trouble?

DAVID ARONBERG, STATE ATTORNEY FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA: A lot of trouble. I mean, this further shows the danger of eating fast food. But you know, to get a search warrant for someone's phone, you've got to have probable cause that a crime occurred and that evidence of that crime would be found on his phone. So, yes, he's in a lot of trouble.

CAMEROTA: And so, they must think that he's connected to this Mesa County election breach of voting machines.

ARONBERG: Oh, he is. I mean, he knows all the players involved. He kept one of the players in one of his safe houses for a while. It's so bizarre. You know, one of the main perpetrators here, allegedly, is this surfer turned QAnon conspiracy theorist who lied and pretended he was a tech guy and stole the voting machine. And so, he is going to be charged. And I think Mike Lindell eventually will be charged.

CAMEROTA: OK, so about all of those classified and top secret documents that the FBI had to go and retrieve from Mar-a-Lago, the Department of Justice says that the delay, as you know, the judge has sort of frozen this while they worry about a special master or try to agree on a special master. The Department of Justice says that they are doing irreparable damage, basically, by delaying this basically to national security. Because who knows what top secrets have been spilled or been breached somehow. What the judge said was, well, go right ahead with your national security investigation, just stop the criminal probe. And the Department of Justice is saying we can't, they're inextricably linked. Why? Why can't you separate it out?

ARONBERG: You can't because the CIA is not a domestic law enforcement agency. And so, when you do this review of the damage caused by keeping these documents at Mar-a-Lago and Palm Beach, you can't do it without the FBI's help. The FBI has been involved up to this point. And so, to say that the FBI cannot be involved any longer means that they can't do the review, it means the human sources are put at risk. We're talking about lives at stake.


CAMEROTA: By the way, we still don't know if all the classified documents are back in safe keeping, if the top secret documents are back. Because, as you'll remember, there were dozens of empty folders that said classified documents. Where are the contents of those? And also, who knows what Donald Trump did with boxes of classified documents that were so sloppily mishandled.

So, the House oversight committee has great concerns about this. They've sent a letter about all of this, and they say -- let me read you a portion of this -- this was the letter to the national archives.

The committee is concerned that, given this pattern of conduct Mr. Trump may continue to retain presidential records at non-secure locations. The National Archive's staff recently informed the Committee that the agency is not certain whether all presidential records are in its custody.

Now what?

ARONBERG: Well, I think that means they may go ahead and start searching other Trump properties like Bedminster. Why stop at Mar-a- Lago? If you believe that he still has some of these very important documents. I mean, you're talking about human resources -- human individuals, spies, who could be put at risk. And the way that they know and believe that he has those documents, they've got someone on the inside, whether a secret service agent or other people really close to Donald Trump. And let me tell you, that must drive him crazy. Because Trump demands complete loyalty even if the loyalty is a one- way street.

CAMEROTA: So, in other words, you think there could be another search we could see at Bedminster or something like that, like the kind we saw at Mar-a-Lago?

ARONBERG: Yes, and the only reason we know about the search about Mar- a-Lago is because Trump disclosed it. The DOJ is really good at keeping secrets. Trump is not. So, this could be very far along. They could be in the process of trying to plan a search of other properties as we speak. One thing we know about Merrick Garland, he is good at keeping a secret.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Carolyn Malone who sent that letter to the National Archives is looking for a personal certification from Donald Trump that he surrendered all the classified documents and all the thousands of pages that don't belong to him. I mean, given his less- than-stellar track record of telling the truth, why would she want a personal certification from him?

ARONBERG: She wants him on the hook, because if he lies then it's an obstruction charge Section 1519 against him. Right now, he can throw his lawyers under the bus, Christina Bobb who signed that certification saying we gave everything back. It's a bad idea when you signed a letter written by a different lawyer who refuses to put his name on the letter. So now she's in the DOJ's crosshairs. So, the Congressman wants Donald Trump's name to be on the line.

CAMEROTA: David Aronberg, thank you for explaining all of this. Great to see you.

ARONBERG: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: A new study suggests taking a multivitamin could help older people stay sharp, have higher brain function, why researchers were shocked by the results next.



BLACKWELL: A new study says older adults who take a daily multivitamin may benefit from improved cognition.

CAMEROTA: Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women's Hospital add that the benefit appears to be greater for those with a history of cardiovascular disease. CNN medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula has more on the study. So, Tara, researchers say they were shocked by these findings. What was so shocking?

DR. TERRA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is an interesting study. They took about 2,000 older Americans, over 65, and wanted to see if giving them either a cocoa supplement -- cocoa extract -- or a multivitamin might help protect their cognitive function. And they had anticipated they might see benefit in the cocoa group because it has a compound in it called flavonoids which we know tends to be associated basal dilatation or dilatation of the blood vessels and possibly better cardiovascular health.

But in fact, they got no significant benefit in that group. And instead, they did see a potential benefit in the group that got the multivitamin, about a 60 percent decrease in cognitive aging or 1.8 years. And as you mentioned, this was enhanced in those with underlying cardiovascular disease it seems. The effect was more profound.

BLACKWELL: Actor Ryan Reynolds recently let cameras in for his colonoscopy, inside the medical suite, inside the room. Let's take a look. To clarify that. Sorry, Ryan. Let's take a look.


RYAN REYNOLDS, ACTOR: I'm going to eat a graham cracker.

JONATHAN LAPOOK, CBS CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You did such a good prep that I was able to find an extremely subtle polyp that was on the right side of your colon. This was potentially lifesaving for you. I'm not being overly dramatic. I mean, this is exactly why you do this. OK. You had no symptoms.


LAPOOK: All right, man.


LAPOOK: I'm thrilled for you.

REYNOLDS: Thank you so much for this, seriously. Thank you for pushing me to do this.


BLACKWELL: And literally had a conversation about when to start colonoscopies this morning. So, when should people start to get colonoscopies.

NARULA: Yes, well, I had mine and I'm really happy that Jon LaPook, who I worked with at CBS for many years, did this piece with Ryan Reynolds so we can decrease sigma and raise awareness. So, it's important that if you're between 45 and 76 you began to get your colonoscopy screenings. Between 75 or 76 and 86, as a time when you're going to you make an individualized decision with your doctor. I mean over 86 it's no longer recommended for screening.

CAMEROTA: Yes, and I think Ryan Reynolds is 45. But it's a great message again because he's an actor. He so popular and to see him just sort woozy and eating his graham cracker there. But you know, they found something.

NARULA: Exactly, and that's what screening is all about. It's finding things early. And particularly with colon cancer we know that it usually takes years for these polyps to turn into cancerous legions.


So, if you find it early and treat it, you're really potentially saving someone's life as he mentioned in that piece.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Narula thanks so much for being here. Great to see you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

The defense team just rested in the death penalty trial For Parkland School shooter Nicholas Cruz, more on that. Why the judge called Cruz's attorney unprofessional, next.


BLACKWELL: Attorneys for the confessed killer in the Parkland School shooting rested their case unexpectedly early today. Now this is the sentencing phase of the death penalty trial for Nikolas Cruz. He pleaded guilty to killing 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It was Valentine's Day 2018.


Now the announcement surprised the judge and the prosecution. They expected at least 40 more witnesses to be called. The judge, Elizabeth Scherer, she scolded the defense for wasting the court's time.


JUDGE ELIZABETH SCHERER, BROWARD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: There is the most uncalled for, unprofessional way to try the case. You -- you all knew about this, even if you didn't make your decision until this morning, to have 22 people plus all of the staff and every attorney march into court, be waiting as if it's some kind of game, now at the center the state's not ready, they're not going to have another witness ready. We have another day wasted. I just -- honestly, I have never experienced a level of unprofessionalism in my career.


CAMEROTA: CNN's Carlos Suarez joins us live from Broward County now. Carlos, that -- that was quite a tongue lashing from the judge.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Alisyn and Victor. The judge has had issues with both sides throughout this case. Just a few weeks ago she accused both sides of treating her courtroom like a, quote, classroom. This morning she was upset that the decision had been made to cut -- that the defense, rather, had made the decision to cut their case pretty short. This morning's heated exchange did play out before the jury was brought in. The defense was expected to call two witnesses today, and they gave no indication that they were going to cut their case short. Everyone was expecting several more weeks of testimony from dozens of more witnesses including Nikolas Cruz's own brother Zachary. Now when the defense attorney tried to explain her decision, well, the judge, she cut her off.


MELISA MCNEILL, PUBLIC DEFENDER: Judge, you're insulting me on the record in front of my client and I believe I should be able to --

SCHERER: OK, you can make that later. You can make your workability. But you've been insulting me the entire trial. So blatantly, taking your headphones off, arguing with me, storming out, coming late intentionally if you don't like my rulings. So quite frankly, this has been long overdue.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SUAREZ: All right, so Nikolas Cruz was asked if he was comfortable with the decision that his attorneys had made, and he told the judge that he was. The state is expected to begin their rebuttal at the end of the month, and then the jury could get the case as early as the first week of -- rather the second week of October, come the 10th, in Florida, a decision on death does have to be unanimous. And one final note, Alisyn and Victor, none of the family members commented about what happened as they left the courtroom this morning.

BLACKWELL: All right, Carlos Suarez for us there. Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: OK, so right now the White House is trying to broker a deal between railroad and union workers in order to avert a rail strike that could affect all of us. We have the latest on negotiations straight ahead.



CAMEROTA: OK, guys, with the death of the Queen, King Charles has been now thrust into the limelight. He's having to take on all sorts of new responsibilities. And apparently learn new inventions like pens. Late Night host Jimmy Fallon had some fun at the expense of King Charles III and his pen issues.


JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT HOST: By the way, this is real. This is a clip from today.

KING CHARLES III, GREAT BRITAIN: I just have to put ... is it September the 12th?


KING CHARLES: Oh, god, I put the wrong date down. 13th.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You signed the 12th earlier.

KING CHARLES: Where did I put the 12th? Oh god, I hate this pen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh look, it's going everywhere, hand on.

KING CHARLES: I can't bear this blood thing! What they do, every stinking time.


CAMEROTA: People scurrying up to give him a new pen to wipe off the ink.

BLACKWELL: You know what I was focused on in that clip. What was on Jimmy Fallon's face? Is this beard new? Maybe I haven't been staying up late enough. The pen. The pen, yeah.

CAMEROTA: I agree that was also shocking the Jimmy Fallon facial hair. But the life of a pampered royal. I mean, there are bigger problems in the world than a leak pen. But King Charles doesn't know that. He's not aware of those.

BLACKWELL: He'll get used to the pen eventually.

All right, so Disney released the first trail for its upcoming live action film "The Little Mermaid" which stars Halle Bailey as Ariel.

CAMEROTA: Parents are sharing videos of their daughters' heartwarming reactions when they see the black Disney princess.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CHILD: That is Ariel? Brown ariel is cute.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

BLACKWELL: That's amazing. I mean, to see the little girl say, "brown Ariel, brown Ariel is cute."


And for these girls to see themselves -- little black girls didn't have a Disney princess before Tiana and "Princess and the Frog." And "Snow White" came out in the '30s, right. And now to see Halle Bailey do this, it is remarkable. I think we can't overestimate how much it means to girls that age to see themselves in that role.

CAMEROTA: It's so touching. And there was that one little girl who almost couldn't believe it. She went ah, ah, and looked back. That was beautiful. It hits theaters next May.

"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts now.