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Remembering The Queen; Police Balance Ceremony And Security As Crowds Mourn Queen; CA Governor Calls FL Governor's Actions With Migrants "Monstrous, Disgraceful"; U.N. To Send Team To Mass Burial Site In Izium; FedEx Warns Of "Worldwide Recession" As Package Volume Falls; Justice Department Wants Parts Of Order Relating To Special Master Review To Be Put On Hold. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 17, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin this hour as world leaders arrive in London to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II. Just moments ago, President Joe Biden and the first lady departing Joint Base Andrews on their way to attend the Queen's funeral.
Earlier today Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife paid their respects to the Queen as she lies in state at Westminster Hall.
Tens of thousands of mourners are still lining up for miles to say their final good-byes. The wait right now up to 13 hours. King Charles III and Prince William greeting some who have gathered there to grieve, to mourn, shaking hands with well-wishers and speaking with them briefly as well. Prince William and the Queen's other seven grandchildren will all stand vigil by her coffin in just a couple of hours from now.
CNN's Arlette Saenz and Anna Stewart pick up our coverage.
So Arlette, to you first. Give us an idea of what the president's schedule is.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Fred, President Biden and first lady Jill Biden are currently en route to the United Kingdom to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II and also offer their condolences to the royal family.
Now, the Bidens departed Joint Base Andrews just a short while ago. They didn't answer reporters' question as they left. And they will be landing in the U.K. around 10:00 p.m. Local time later this evening.
And tomorrow the couple is expected to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Hall before signing a condolence book for the Queen. They will also be attending a reception hosted by King Charles III. Now, President Biden did speak on the phone with King Charles on
Wednesday to express his condolences. But this would be an opportunity for him to speak with him in person and possibly other members of the royal family as well.
And on Monday President Biden and the first lady will be among the up to 2,000 people who are attending the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey. There has not been an official guest list that has been released just yet. But President Biden will be one of many world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and also the president of South Korea, who will be on hand for that state funeral.
Now, also initially 10 Downing Street has said that the new British Prime Minister would be meeting with President Biden on Sunday, but they have now announced both 10 Downing Street and the White House, that that meeting, that bilateral meeting, will actually be held here in the United States on Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
But simply put, this visit by President Biden and first lady will be an opportunity to offer their condolences and pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth from the American people.
WHITFIELD: All right. Arlette, thanks so much.
Anna Stewart, so people -- where you are in London, people have been waiting for hours to see the coffin of the Queen, to pay homage to her. So give us an idea how people are able to do that. How do they maintain this kind of stamina, staying in line for seven hours, sometimes 14 hours.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Hey, sometimes 24 hours. Yesterday morning that was the minimum time it was taking people to get through the queue. So queuing not just through the day but through the night and, of course, temperatures are very much dropping in London now to head towards autumn. So not easy. Comfy footwear is key, I am told.
Now, today there have been lots of nice surprises, particularly on from King Charles and the Prince of Wales who visited the crowd, took everyone by surprise including us, by (INAUDIBLE) Bridge (ph) so that's actually a few miles that way nearer Westminster Hall.
We are near the beginning of the queue. So people have been in line for about four hours at this stage. We may as well try and speak to some of them now. Trying to get some of them -- how long have you guys been queueing for at this stage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watching the queue. Do you now have people coming to watch the queue because the queue itself has become something of a spectacle, which is quite entertaining.
I think some people may have joined the queue though. Are you guys still in queue? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Yes.
STEWART: How long has it taken you so far?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three and a half hours.
STEWART: How long do you think it will take going onwards?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as it needs to take. 12 hours more, I think.
STEWART: Another 12 hours. Are you ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm ready. Yes. I'm ready to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have got snacks. We've got all sorts of -- we've got biscuits. We've got tea. We are feeling very British.
STEWART: Biscuits and tea and a big, long queue. That's about as British as you get.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.
STEWART: And just tell me why you are doing this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just absolutely love the Queen. To pay our respects and she deserves it. She deserves this line.
STEWART: And it's a moment in history as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely. Very inspirational. She is just a fantastic lady. And it's great that we can be here and pay our respects to her today.
STEWART: Well, thank you very much. I won't hold you up. Enjoy the next 12 plus hours.
They are ready. You'll see that people are quite happy. And it's definitely a good atmosphere here. I think people like to do this together and you can even see people wanting to watch the queue itself because that has somewhat become a spectacle.
But I think once you get to Westminster Hall there is more of a somber vibe. And you know, once you go into Westminster Hall, there is silence and that's where people say a prayer, pay their respects.
I have seen people actually very emotional once they leave that. But it's a journey. And I think this is a fantastic moment of history.
And look, Tower Bridge. What a way to see London. This walk takes you miles but it does go through some beautiful sights.
Back to you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: It certainly does. And, of course, the weather is cooperating, which, you know, sometimes a rarity there in London.
So, Anna, you actually, you know, held them up in their queue and they were jovial about it nonetheless. They lost their space perhaps by a few paces. But it looks like things are, you know, picking. I mean that line is moving rather quickly.
Can you hear me?
All right. Anna --
STEWART: I'm so sorry.
WHITFIELD: That's ok. It just looks like behind you the line -- the queue is moving rather quickly even though it might be an upwards of 12 hours and people seem to be taking it in stride, especially as we saw from the folks you just stopped.
STEWART: Many, many strides. It's moving quite fast right now.
It's interesting. Having walked, I would say, the entire stretch of the queue myself in not very good footwear, it is a long way. It stops and starts.
What's quite tricky for people is there is not much opportunity to sit down. So as it keeps moving, that means you are pretty much always on your feet.
Extraordinarily though, I have met people in their 70s who have done this. I've met people with kids. So really people are willing to do it despite all that.
WHITFIELD: Yes. All right. Anna Stewart, thanks so much for being a good sport about it all and, of course, the folks that were in queue who got out of queue and now are back in queue.
And Arlette Saenz, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
All right. So as tens of thousands wait to pay their respects, police are also working overtime to make sure everyone stays safe.
CNN's Bianca Nobilo has more.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These mourners among two million expected to gather in London ahead of the Queen's funeral. For the capital's authorities, balancing ceremony and safety is their toughest test yet.
Thousands of officers are being deployed each day. 1,000 personnel alone will guard the line to Westminster Hall where the Queen's coffin is lying in state.
Air traffic above London was suspended while the cortege made its journey there. 1,500 soldiers on hand to help with crowd control. With such large numbers comes high risk.
NICK ALDWORTH, FORMER U.K. COUNTER TERRORISM COORDINATOR: In the U.K. our national threat level is substantial. That means a terrorist attack is likely. We know that terrorists are attracted to crowds and we are about to generate one of the largest crowds that we could possibly ever generate in this country.
NOBILO: The pinnacle will, of course, be Monday's state funeral, which police say will be the largest in British history.
STUART CUNCY, DEWPUTY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: This is the single largest protection operation that the Met Police has ever undertaken. There is nothing that could probably possibly compare to not just what has gone on already to what will occur on Monday at the state funeral.
NOBILO: There is hundreds of dignitaries to consider, from the King of Spain to France's President Emmanuel Macron. They have been urged to limit the size of their entourages.
But Downing Street may make exceptions for certain guests. One of the most high-profile being President Biden.
ALDWORTH: There is no doubt about it that the Americans are very demanding customers in terms of security and we recognize where each other's boundaries are in terms of what could be (INAUDIBLE) and what can be delivered.
NOBILO: Planning for protests is also inevitable.
ALDWORTH: If they don't break the law, it's regrettable, but it needs to be allowed to take place. I've met the Queen on many different occasions in many different settings, and I, for one, am certain that she would be here today advocating for people's rights.
NOBILO: The crowds are still coming. But Britain has been preparing for this for many years to ensure her majesty's final send-off goes as smoothly as possible.
World leaders have already started to descend on the capital. The prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand are now here in London.
Monday will present an unusual opportunity for these leaders to put politics aside and focus on remembering the late monarch.
NOBILO: That's before the politics and diplomatic dialogue ramps up again in earnest next week at the U.N.G.A. in New York.
Bianca Nobilo, CNN -- London.
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining us to talk more about all of this, two very fascinating people who come together now on this one big convergence of an event. CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen and CNN contributor Sally Bedell Smith. She's also the author the book "Elizabeth the Queen".
Good to see both of you.
So Peter, let's talk about this. This is an incredible event of celebration and one of safety. London's police say this is the largest security operation it has ever been a part of. So in your view, how have they handled it thus far?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, so far, there has been, you know, some arrested protesters. As the piece that led up to this indicated, of course, they have a right to protest.
There were a couple of police officers who were attacked in the sort of Westminster Abbey district. It was nothing to do with this event. But it shows that, you know, the kind of stakes are pretty high.
You know this -- you know, this is the largest security event I think in British history, much larger than the London Olympics back in 2012. The British, of course, have a lot of experience dealing with threats and they also, you know, London is the most surveyed city in the west.
There are more than 500,000 surveillance cameras. And, you know, thousands of police officers will deploy. We saw that 1,500 members of the military are also deploying.
This is an event also that has been planned for two decades on and off. So, you know, they are doing everything they can. But yes, they are concerned about potential terrorist threats, they're concerned about crowds surging and, you know, people getting injured. And they are concerned also about some people who are sort of obsessed by the royal family who might, you know, be sort of triggered by this event.
WHITFIELD: And Sally, you know, as solemn as these days have been for the U.K. and at the same time, you know, we are hearing a lot of people who are very jovial about this celebration of life of the Queen, this event really has been a plan that has been in the making for years.
I understand the Queen has had a direct impact and made direct input on how the events were going to take place. What are your views on how she was able to do that?
SALLY BEDELL SMITH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think she just had very, very firm ideas. She remembered the funeral of her father, King George VI, in 1952. Very different circumstances.
Her role was quite different because although he had been ill, it was unexpected. And actually her own death was sort of unexpected, although everybody knew she had been sick. But she was very much a detail person, and she had strong ideas about
ceremonial, about participation of the military, about the religious elements, which we're going to see in both services on Monday. Her imprint will be on everything.
And I think that the King has tweaked a few things. This morning's appearance by the King and the Prince of Wales was a surprise. And I think it was a signal that although the King and the Prince of Wales still believe in all the traditions of the monarchy and the reverence for it, they are also showing a more informal side.
I was watching the coverage while William was talking to people, and they both stayed -- I think the King was there for a about 20 minutes and William was there for about a half hour. And of course, the inevitable Paddington Bears showed up and they were just -- it was -- there was a sense of happiness and people were just thrilled to see the two of them. There was one woman who could be heard on the cellphone saying, I have to get off, I just met the Prince of Wales.
But, you know, they are showing a sort of, you know, a kindness, a thoughtfulness. The Earl and Countess of Wessex were out in front of Buckingham Palace a little while ago. And so these touches are definitely those of Charles and William, which the Queen would approve. She was always going out and greeting people.
BEDELL SMITH: I mean, she is remembered in recent years when she was quite elderly, after the Grenfell Tower fire, going there with William to console the people who had lost relatives and friends in the fire.
She did things like that for many years. So this was very much in the (AUDIO GAP) always thinking of her people.
WHITFIELD: Wow. So while you say the Queen, you know, approved and while the ceremonies that we have been seeing unfolding for over a week now have been largely traditional, there have been so many moments of spontaneity. Do you think this is a sign of more to come?
BEDELL SMITH: Yes, I do. And I also think that what -- and this, obviously, the King discussed with his mother, but I think his visits to, first of all, to Scotland, to Northern Ireland and yesterday to Wales, were very meticulously planned. They were sort of an affirmation of the strength of the United Kingdom. Something that the Queen very much believed in, that both the King and Prince William believe in.
And yesterday in particular was (INAUDIBLE), of course, the King had been the Prince of Wales, and unlike the previous Prince of Wales, who didn't do much for the people of Wales, this King did.
And people were talking about how he has a house there and he used to just show up and meet people and go to church on his own. And this is a side of King Charles III that people were not as much aware of. There is one small detail that I couldn't help noticing, which is for
many, many years he's -- the king has always been known to wear double breasted suits, which struck many people as a sign of being old- fashioned.
And I think on almost every day when he hasn't been in uniform or mourning dress, he has been wearing single-breasted suits, which is what his father always wore.
WHITFIELD: And I've never saw him smile so much.
BEDELL SMITH: And that's his idea -- that's his idea of dressing down.
WHITFIELD: Yes. Yes. He smiled a lot. I mean, you know, in just a real sign of being affable and approachable and that has been very pleasant throughout all of this.
BEDELL SMITH: He is.
WHITFIELD: So Peter, you know, back to security, we talk about some 2,000 people, you know, heads of state that will be at this state funeral. The president -- President Biden is already traveling, embarking on his travel to London.
There have already been some world leaders who have been there. We saw Canada's Justin Trudeau there earlier today. But help us understand the kinds of challenges in place to prepare for all of these heads of state in one place.
BERGEN: Well, you know, we have a similar challenge at the U.N. General Assembly, which is also happening next week, the kind of main part of the assembly. But you know, Manhattan is laid out in a way that it's a kind of a grid formation.
The area around Westminster abbey, 10 Downing Street, you know, this is kind of a rather more maze-like environment. Of course, it's a heavily policed environment, which helps the security issues there. But you know, many of these heads of state are going to be bussed to Westminster Abbey not allowed to go in sort of multiple convoys of cars because the police think it is easier to secure relatively small number of buses.
Of the course, President Biden, who we are seeing now, you know, will not -- will be having presumably be going in the so-called "Beast", which is the U.S. presidential limousine, which, you know, provides him extra protection.
But I think it's a completely reasonable ask since, of course, we have had, unfortunately, presidents assassinated and the risk to the president is, you know, not unreasonable concern.
Other heads of state are just going to have to get on the bus. And you know, they may not be completely happy about it but that's the way it's going to be.
WHITFIELD: Something tells me that's going to be a real fun, you know, exercise for many of them. It departs from, you know, the traditional separations that they usually are accustomed to. So I don't know. There is probably going to be a lot of, you know, barrier-breaking moments on that bus.
All right. Peter Bergen, Sally Bedell Smith, thank you so much.
And of course don't forget to join CNN as a country and the world remember Queen Elizabeth II. "THE STATE FUNERAL OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II" live right here on Monday starting at 5:00 a.m.
All right. Still ahead, as the national immigration battle intensifies, migrants are caught right in the middle. Florida's governor sending migrants without warning to Martha's Vineyard, and is promising that this is, quote, just the beginning.
Plus, President Biden's first in-person meeting with the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. What the president is saying about bringing them home, straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: The political battle over immigration is heating up with migrants caught in the middle. California Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on the Department of Justice to launch an investigation after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis flew about 50 migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard this week.
Newsom says some of the migrants allege they were misled with about work opportunities. The scheme he says is possibly criminal.
The migrants are now receiving shelter and humanitarian support and at a military base in Cape Cod.
CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is following this for us from Miami and CNN's Athena Jones joining us live from New York.
So Priscilla, you first. Florida Governor DeSantis is doubling down right on using taxpayer funds for migrants' flights. What is he saying?
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: Yes. And DeSantis is also saying that he will, quote, "use every penny of the $12 million" that the state budgeted for relocation of migrants and suggested that there are likely more flights to come.
ALVAREZ: Now, this is an action that received fierce backlash this week from Democrats who called it a political stunt and also from the White House who condemned DeSantis' action. This is a governor who has been a fierce critic of the Biden administration's immigration policies.
But he also now joins Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in moving migrants out of state. Now to break down some numbers for you. The Texas Governor Greg Abbott began sending buses earlier this year to Washington, D.C. and then later extended that to New York City and Chicago. So, so far, he has sent over 8,000 migrants to D.C., 2,500 migrants to New York, and over 600 migrants to Chicago.
Arizona is doing the same, but only to Washington, D.C. And so far that state has sent over 1,800 migrants to Washington, D.C.
Now, we should note some migrants, some of whom I talked to, have said they knew where they were going when they got on the bus, it's voluntary that they get on there. Some didn't quite understand and were confused when they arrived to some of these cities.
As you note, there are calls here for an investigation and a source familiar with discussion tells me that the lawyers at the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are considering litigation options for the movement of migrants out of state by Republican governors. Now, it remains to be seen where those conversations will land, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Priscilla -- thanks so much.
Athena, to you now. What's the latest that you are hearing about people who were sent to Martha's Vineyard?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Fred. These 50 migrants who arrived in Martha's Vineyard from Texas on Wednesday have now been transferred voluntarily to Joint Base Cape Cod. They were provided buses and then ferried to this joint base which has been used as an emergency shelter in the past.
What's really important here and what we heard Priscilla highlight is that these state officials in Massachusetts just like here in New York, Chicago, elsewhere where these red state governors have been sending migrants, they haven't been talked to about it. They haven't been coordinated with.
And so now these migrants have now been transferred to this emergency shelter. It was used as a shelter for Hurricane Katrina, those who had been affected by Hurricane Katrina. And these are going to have wraparound services (ph). They're going to have access to of course, food, shelter, medical care, legal services as well.
And the governor of Massachusetts activated up to 125 National Guard members to help with all of this. And so they are now getting what they need.
But you know, these are migrants who some are saying some of the lawyers speaking to them are saying, they were misled. I mean it's unclear -- yes, some of them knew where they were going. Others thought they were being sent to Boston and were surprised to end up there on Martha's Vineyard.
And again the real issue here is the lack of coordination and the sheer numbers. Certainly here in New York we have seen nearly 12,000 new arrivals, asylum seekers in the last several months. These three red state governors -- Doug Ducey in Arizona, Greg Abbott
in Texas and Ron DeSantis, they are playing -- they really are shaping and changing the national conversation at least over the last few days, what they are doing they know gets a lot of attention. And it also has quite a bit of support in the Republican base.
If you look at polling, Republicans see immigration whether it's illegal or just immigration in general as a much bigger issue. They rank it number two just behind inflation according to a recent poll by Quinnipiac.
Whereas, Americans in general see immigration as maybe the fifth most important issue. So they know what they are doing in playing to the base and they are getting the attention that they are seeking and really scrambling the leaders in these other states, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Athena Jones, Priscilla Alvarez -- thanks to both of you, ladies. Appreciate it.
All right. Coming up, startling new details about the mass burial site discovered in Ukraine. Officials there saying some of the bodies show signs of torture.
WHITFIELD: All right. We have new details on some of the gruesome mass burial sites found in the recently liberated Ukrainian city of Izium. CNN has learned that a team from the U.N.'s human rights monitoring agency will be going there as soon as possible, potentially followed by the war crimes investigation team. Ukraine says more than 400 unmarked graves were found at the site.
President Zelenskyy says that includes bodies of children and some bodies of signs of torture. Zelenskyy is welcoming global pressure to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Meantime, the White House says it will pull out all the stops to bring two Americans detained in Russia home. Paul Whelan's sister Elizabeth said this morning she has complete faith the Biden administration is trying to free her brother, and Brittney Griner's wife Cherelle feels she has confidence in what President Joe Biden is doing right now to help secure the basketball star's release.
Here now is CNN's Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden's first ever face-to- face meetings with the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan since they were detained in Russia. A move White House officials say was intended to let the families know Griner and Whelan remain, quote, "front of mind" with the president.
White House officials are frustrated that an offer the Biden administration had made to the Russians for the releases of Griner and Whelan didn't, according to the White House, bring a serious response back from the Kremlin.
KARINE JEAN PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Russia should take this offer. It is a substantial offer.
TODD: Sources have told CNN the White House has offered convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the releases of Griner and Whelan. But one administration official tells CNN the U.S. has gotten a repeated demand back from the Putin regime for something the U.S. is incapable of delivering on.
EVELYN FARKAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MCCAIN INSTITUTE: The Russians are masters at, you know, asking us to do things that we cannot do. It may indeed be something where they think the U.S. controls something that they don't control.
TODD: Meanwhile, CNN has learned independent negotiator Bill Richardson was in Moscow this week, meeting with Russian leadership. Administration officials expressing open frustration that Richardson has apparently been working outside official channels.
JOHN KIRBY, COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Our message is that private Citizens should not be in Moscow at all right now and that private citizens cannot negotiate on behalf of the United States government.
TODD: Griner, detained by the Russians in February for carrying cannabis oil in her luggage, pleaded guilty to drug charges but said she accidentally packed the drugs. Whelan has been held for more than three years on espionage charges that he's denied.
Could the Ukraine war factor into their fates?
FARKAS: The Russians are back on their heels. They are looking very weak because of their war effort. They are looking weak internationally. Putin is looking weak domestically. He may have an additional incentive for making a deal right now.
TODD: Analyst Evelyn Farkas says she is certain there is more going on behind the scenes in the Griner and Whelan negotiations than anyone in the administration is letting on. And that it's possible that Bill Richardson may not be working quite as independently as it seems. Richardson and his team have not commented at all on his trip to Russia.
Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, a weakening economy and slowing demand is fueling fears of a global recession and it's sending stocks tumbling. We'll discuss next.
WHITFIELD: All right. The head of FedEx is warning that a global recession could be on the way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJ SUBRAMANIAM, CEO, FEDEX: Well, I'm not an economist but --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are more than an economist. Come on, they just push papers, you actually look at things.
SUBRAMANIAM: Well, I think so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think we are going into a recession?
SUBRAMANIAM: I think so. But you know, again these numbers don't portend very well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So this grim forecast comes as demand for packages worldwide is falling. The weakening global economy means the company will miss its revenue target by half a billion dollars.
That message created a lot of anxiety on wall street as FedEx stock tumbled more than 20 percent.
Mark Zandi is the chief economist for Moody's Analytics. Mark, so good to see you. So do you believe a demand for packages signals that we are headed for a global recession?
MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Well, parts of the global economy certainly are in recession or headed in that direction. I mean the European economy, obviously, struggling mightily with the higher energy prices and the conflict with Russia.
And the Chinese economy is also struggling with COVID and the no-COVID policies, the shutdowns and it's a host of other more structural problems. Our economy here in the U.S., you know, obviously, the risk of recession is high when we have such high inflation and the Federal Reserve is working to slow growth by raising interest rates, risks are high.
But I think we have a fighting chance, Fredricka to get through this without going into recession. But I will say under almost any scenario the next 12, 18 months are going to be a struggle.
WHITFIELD: So still in the case of FedEx, I mean, can it also be the case that FedEx is facing more competition with, say, like Amazon, companies like it, handling their own shipping and handling and delivery and perhaps they are not leaning on FedEx as much anymore and that could be taking a stab into its revenue?
ZANDI: Yes, you know, you have to be careful not to read too much into FedEx's numbers as a bellwether for what this means for the entire economy. I mean it's a big company. And you know, obviously, it's a signal.
But as you point out, they have fierce competition. And I think more importantly, what American consumers are spending their money on is shifting, right. I mean back in the teeth of the pandemic we were sheltering in place and we were buying stuff, things that FedEx ships so FedEx was booming.
Now we're out traveling, going to ball games, going to restaurants, we are not buying as much stuff, and that would show up with weaker FedEx sales.
So, yes, you're right. I mean, it's a signal, but you know, you can't read too much into that signal.
WHITFIELD: Ok. If there is a global economic downturn, you know, does it mean that the U.S. will be, you know, for sure hit with a recession, or is the U.S. in a different situation, different than the other parts of the world?
ZANDI: Well, we are in a different situation. I mean it's not great, obviously, if the European economy is struggling in recession or China and the rest of Asia is struggling because they are not buying as much of the things that we produce.
But you know, the engine that drives our economic train is the U.S. consumer. That is key. And by the way, the American consumer is driving the train for everybody else because we are buying a lot of -- everything we produce here and a lot of stuff that is produced overseas. So we're the key to all this.
The American consumer, you know, I'm going to hesitate to paint with a broad brush because there is a lot of differences across income groups, lower income groups clearly are more under pressure.
But generally, the American consumers are in a pretty good spot, you know, lots of jobs, low unemployment and a lot of cash sitting in people's deposit accounts built up during the pandemic in part because they were sheltering in place and not able to spend.
Of course, there was a lot of government support that was provided, too. So I think the American consumer can hang tough here. And if they do, the U.S. economy can navigate, you know, through all this despite what's going on overseas.
WHITFIELD: The Federal Reserve, it has been raising interest rates to reduce inflation. Do you believe that strategy is working?
ZANDI: Yes. I think it is. You know, inflation is, obviously, painfully high, but it's moving in the right direction and top line inflation is down from the peak back in June/July. I think it will continue to move lower.
[11:44:54] ZANDI: And I think the Federal Reserve does need to raise interest rates to slow the growth rate in the job market. The job market is rip roaring. I mean, lots of jobs. Close to record number of unfilled positions. Layoffs are about as low as they ever get. People are quitting their jobs at a very high rate.
That is leaning to wage pressures and adding to the inflation -- underlying inflationary pressures and the Fed is trying to just cool that off. And I think the policies that they're putting in place right now are appropriate to that end.
Now it's going to be tricky to get this exactly right. And that's why recession risks are as high as they are. But you know, with some graceful policy making by the Fed, again I think we can navigate through without a recession.
WHITFIELD: All right. I like the optimist in you. Mark Zandi, good to see you. Thanks so much.
ZANDI: Take care now. Bye-bye.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, former President Donald Trump's team assure the National Archives that there were only, quote, "newspaper clippings" inside the boxes at Mar-a-Lago despite the hundreds of classified documents the FBI ultimately found.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back.
A source now tells CNN that a former Trump official assured the National Archives last fall that the boxes at Mar-a-Lago contained only newspaper clippings. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly told White House Counsel there were only 12 boxes of records at Trump's Florida home.
A Meadows' spokesperson says he never personally inspected the boxes but told lawyers they were just filled with newspaper clippings and assured them that no documents had been destroyed.
Ultimately, more than 40 boxes were found at Mar-a-Lago, some containing documents with classified markings and presidential records.
The U.S. Justice Department is now asking that parts of an order relating to those documents seized from Mar-a-Lago be put on hold. The request filed last night asked the 11th circuit court of appeals to exclude classified documents from a special master's assessment and to allow its criminal investigation to proceed.
CNN's Jessica Schneider has details.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JESSICA SCHNEDIER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The Justice Department filing their appeal with the 11th circuit, but in doing it they're actually asking for just limited relief (ph). They're telling the court they want really just two things that Judge Aileen Cannon refused to give them when she ruled on Thursday night.
First, they want to be allowed to continue their criminal investigation into classified documents unimpeded. That means they want to resume using those 100 classified documents that Judge Cannon has said they can no longer use, whether it's in grand jury or its witnesses. So they want to finally be able to use that. They're asking the 11th circuit for that.
Plus, DOJ is saying that they shouldn't have to turn over that classified material to Trump's legal team or even the special master who's been appointed for this review. They're saying that the lower court judge was just wrong to order the disclosure of some of this highly sensitive material in the midst of this ongoing investigation.
And on a broader scale in this filing, DOJ is really saying that courts shouldn't be stepping in on this issue because all of the documents at issue here they say belong to the government.
They write this, saying, "Allowing the government to use and review the records bearing classification markings for criminal investigative purposes would not cause any cognizable injury to plaintiff -- that being Donald Trump. Plaintiff has no property or other legal interest in those records. Plaintiff has identified no cognizable harm for merely allowing criminal investigators to continue to review and use the same subset of the seized records."
They continue to say that is why courts have exercised great caution before interfering through civil actions with criminal investigations or cases. So, the DOJ in that last sentence in particular really criticizing the lower court judge for even stepping in here.
Now, we'll see how quickly the 11th circuit acts. It will likely be a panel of three judges, notably 6 of the 11 judges on the 11th circuit are Trump appointees. And then the master -- special master review of documents, that is just beginning. In fact, Judge Raymond Dearie, who's been named the special master, has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. to go over how scheduling will work since, of course, the clock is already ticking there. The judge has said yes to review 11,000 of those documents by November 30th.
Jessica Schneider, CNN -- Washington.
WHITFIELD: All right. and here's a reminder. A new "CNN SPECIAL REPORT", jake tapper goes one-on-one with key witnesses from the January 6th Committee's investigation, "AMERICAN COUP", begins tomorrow at 9:00 p.m.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: When the president finally relented and released a video telling the rioters to go home, it was 4:17 p.m. -- three hours and seven minutes since the riot began.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seeing him on camera start the video by talking about a stolen election, I just immediately knew that he wasn't going to meet the moment and say what was needed in that time.
TRUMP: So go home. We love you. You're very special.
TAPPER: Yet again, many rioters took the president's words as instructions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here, delivering the president's message. Donald Trump has asked everybody to go home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Working in communications for him, I knew that I would be tasked with defending that. And we had just witnessed all this violence at the Capitol and these folks attacking police officers, chanting horrible things, and I knew that I couldn't defend that because it was indefensible. I resigned that evening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Don't miss it tomorrow.
Meantime, live pictures right now -- live pictures of the thousands of people waiting in line to pay their respects to the Queen. Some have waited as long as 24 hours.
Heads of state are also making their way to London for the funeral set for Monday. We'll go there live straight ahead.