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Herschel Walker Strongly Denies Report He Paid for Abortion; U.K. Warns Fed Rate Hikes Could Trip Global Economy into Recession; Report Finds Systemic Abuse, Misconduct in U.S. Women's Pro Soccer. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired October 04, 2022 - 09:30   ET



ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Additionally, there will be more than $6 million of grants issued from the Department of Health and Human Services that would protect access to reproductive healthcare.

This all comes as the administration, over the course of the summer, had ruled out a limited set of executive actions. But they want to show that they are trying to do all they can to protect abortion rights in this country. And it comes at a time where Democrats in the White House are really hoping the issue of abortion will resonate with voters heading into the midterm elections.

President Biden in recent weeks has really leaned into criticizing some of the Republican proposals that have emerged since, including that ban by Senator Lindsey Graham that would ban abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy. The president has said that that signals some of the extreme positions that Republicans are taking.

And he's also said that Democrats need to be elected in order to codify Roe v. Wade into law. That is ultimately the way that abortion rights will be protected in this country, according to the White House.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Arlette Saenz live from the White House, thank you for that reporting.

Well, the issue of abortion has taken center stage now in the Georgia Senate race. Republican candidate Herschel Walker this morning denying a report that more than a decade ago he urged a woman to have an abortion and then reimbursed her for that procedure. The "Daily Beast" reports the woman says she became pregnant while she dated Walker in 2009. The publication says the woman supports her claim with a receipt, a bank deposit and a get well card apparently signed by Walker. Walker calls it all a lie and a political attack.


HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I have no idea but it is a flat-out lie. And now you know how important this seat is. The seat is very important, and they'll do anything to win the seat and lie because they want to make it about everything else except what the true problems that we have in this country is. And I can tell you right now, I never asked anyone to get an abortion, I never paid for an abortion, and it's a lie.


HARLOW: Well, Walker has been running for Senate on an anti-abortion platform. Here's what he said on May 18th.


WALKER: I believe in life. You never know what a child is going to become. And I've seen some people that if they've had some tough times, I always said, no matter what, tough times make tough people.


WALKER: No exceptions.


HARLOW: Walker has, we should note, also shown support for a nationwide ban on abortion several times on the campaign trail.

Christian Walker, one of Herschel Walker's children, also a conservative star in his own right, took to Twitter to criticize his father, writing in part, quote, "How dare you lie and act as though you're some moral Christian upright man. CNN has reached out to Walker's campaign for additional comment on the matter. We have not yet heard on that. Of course we'll let you know if we get any more information.

Let's talk big picture here. Joining me now is CNN chief political correspondent Dana Dash.

Dana, good morning. So let's start here with why this matters so much in these final five weeks for Walker's campaign.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, several reasons. Number one, maybe this is obvious but I think it's important to state, which is, if Herschel Walker were a candidate who was for abortion rights and if the public found out that he or at least it was alleged that he and his girlfriend or somebody he was with, and got pregnant decided mutually to have an abortion which is what this allegation is, it would kind of be a nonissue.

It is the hypocrisy that is alleged here because of exactly what you just played. Not only is Herschel Walker publicly in terms of policy against abortion rights he is against abortion for any reason. Even rape, incest and the life of the mother. So that's number one. Number two, this is part of a pattern. This might be the biggest allegation that is part of a pattern. But the pattern I'm talking about are some pretty tough things when it comes to his personal life.

Allegedly having -- just finding out through the course of the past several years that he has other children that he didn't know about. Again, this is -- when you talk to people who are sort of in charge of getting Republicans elected as I have this morning, on the one hand they say, this is not a great story. They understand this is a tough story is the word that one source I talked to said. On the other hand, because he's not exactly had the easiest campaign when it comes to his personal life, the hope politically among Republican is that this kind of thing is baked in already in what is actually a pretty competitive race.

HARLOW: Yes, it is. When you look at the most recent polling numbers. That's interesting. So, let's step back, because you did this great piece at the end of your Sunday show this weekend on Elaine Luria, and this is what you do.


You travel to a number of states, you talk to candidates in the field, where they're from about the stakes. A lot of candidates on both sides of the aisle, ahead of the midterms are making abortion a key issue. And I wonder how significant your reporting tells you that is for the voters right now, Democrats and Republicans?

BASH: It's such a good question. Most recently this past weekend, I did a story on the Virginia second congressional district which is incredibly tight. It's maybe the swingingest of swing districts in the country. In that race, the Democratic incumbent Elaine Luria is certainly making it a big issue because she's hoping that that is a driver for Democratic voters, for independent voters who wouldn't be a single issue voter before but might be because of the Dobbs decision, because Roe versus Wade was overturned, send them to the polls.

But it's kind of a classic race in that the Republican, her opponent, her challenger Jen Kiggans is talking about the economy, is talking about issues that have to do with people's pocketbooks. My anecdotal experience and it's really anecdotal, Poppy, there, is that voters I found who were kind of in the swing areas, when I just asked open ended questions, were much more focused on economic issues rather than abortion.

In other places, in Ohio and Michigan where I traveled, it was different. It was different in that people even Republican voters I talked to brought up abortion unsolicited as a reason why they are taking a second look at the Republican candidates because they're worried that those Republicans are too extreme on abortion. So it depends on where you go but it is obviously, forgive me, a lifeline for some Democrats in tough areas that they didn't expect before Roe was overturned.

HARLOW: Fascinating. Five weeks to go. Dana, thank you very much.

BASH: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: Well, a new survey shows an overwhelming number of CEOs of big American companies think this country is headed for a recession the next year. We'll talk about that. We'll talk about inflation. The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco bank is with me next.



HARLOW: As the Federal Reserve and other central banks work to try to tame inflation, the United Nations this morning with a stark warning continuing to hike interest rates and we could see a global recession.

This as a new survey shows a huge amount of U.S. CEOs, 91 percent, think this country is headed for a recession in the next 12 months with just a third saying that that recession will be mild and short. As a result, half of those CEOs are planning to cut jobs.

Let's talk about inflation, recession, the risks ahead, and really the human toll. That's the reason I'm so glad to be joined by Mary Daly, president and CEO of the San Francisco Federal Reserve.

Good morning.


HARLOW: Thank you very much for being with me. So let's start with the U.N. The U.N. not only is saying look, if you guys the Fed and other central banks keep raising rates to deal with inflation, you're going to spark a global recession. They also say, quote, "The current course of action is hurting the most vulnerable especially in developing countries."

Do you share their concern?

DALY: So the first thing that I think we need to recognize is that people already are suffering. They're suffering from the toll, the indignity of high inflation. They earn their living, they go to the store, and they can't afford the things they could afford last month. So that's a suffering that's already present. And what the Federal Reserve has said, and we are committed to this, we are committed to getting inflation down and reducing the pain that so many families are already experiencing.

Now, we do that by raising interest rates of course, and those interest rate increases slow the economy. And they do have spillover effects on currencies in other countries but central banks, no matter where you are, are meant to create policy for the nation that they serve. And then we have to be aware of how this affects the global economy because that's part of the puzzle.

HARLOW: I want to frame our inflation discussion with a bit about you that our viewers probably don't know. So you grew up in Ballwin, Missouri, in the '70s so in the midst of the great inflation. You saw the pain. You felt the pain.

DALY: I did.

HARLOW: Your family felt the pain. Your father lost his job. You know, we had two really bad recessions out of that. So the question now is, what do you do to make sure that we don't fall into a very painful recession with a lot of job loss? The New York Federal Reserve president, your counterpart, John Williams, said yesterday the underlying price pressures are so intense that the Fed will likely need to continue a period of interest rate hikes.

How do you know this isn't going to be like the '70s again?

DALY: Well, first of all, this isn't the '70s. The pain of inflation is there and that's the part that is familiar to me. But the other piece that's not there is inflation hasn't really gotten into the psychology of Americans. You see this in their long run expectations. They still have faith and confidence that the Federal Reserve has the tools and the resolve to bring prices -- to bring inflation down. Give them price stability. Make them not have to worry about it from day to day.

But this will require that we follow through on our commitments to bring inflation down which does mean further rate hikes and holding those restrictive policies in place until we are truly done with bringing inflation back to target.

HARLOW: OK. So what I hear you saying is get back to target inflation which is 2 percent.


At the same time, there's a recent paper out from economists at the IMF and Johns Hopkins that I know you've read that says reducing inflation is likely to require higher unemployment than the Fed anticipates. So higher unemployment that you guys think, and Jason Furman, who teaches economics at Harvard, worked in the Obama White House as chairman of the White House Counsel of Economic Advisers, he says to get to 2 percent inflation, we're going to have to see two years of 6.5 percent unemployment.

Do you think that's true?

DALY: That's not my model outlook. When I think of the average outlook I have, the outlook I have for the economy, here's what I see happening. We raise the interest rates, we see interest rates since the sectors starts to slow. We've already seen that in the housing market. But you start seeing that coming through with slower pace of hiring. Right now we're adding, without that Friday jobs report, 300,000 plus jobs per month above that.

We need 100,000 jobs per month to keep things where they are, to keep the unemployment rate constant. So there's a lot of room to slow the labor market before we get into this severe recessionary conditions that people are predicting. So I really see us being able to slow the economy, slow growth. Slow the labor market. Yes, there will be an increase in unemployment but I think the 4.5 percent is the right range.

HARLOW: 4.5 percent unemployment, not 6.5 percent for multiple years.

DALY: That's my Outlook.

HARLOW: OK. We all hope that that's --


HARLOW: That that's what happens. Elizabeth, Senator Elizabeth Warren for a long time now has been saying that the pain for many Americans from inflation is less than what would happen if you have a recession, especially a deep recession. I just want you to respond to what she said a few weeks ago. Here she was.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Do you know what's worse than high prices and a strong economy? It's high prices and millions of people out of work. I'm very worried that the Fed is going to tip this economy into recession.


HARLOW: You're the president of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Should she not be worried? Should people agree with her? Millions of Americans not be worried?

DALY: So I think it's really important that we think of -- there's criticism coming to the Fed from both sides. So on one side they're saying we're not raising quickly enough because inflation will seep into the psychology. On the other side, people are saying, well, maybe we're raising too fast, we don't want to throw millions of Americans out of work.

I want to say this to all your listeners. We have a dual mandate that Congress gave us. So full employment and price stability. We are clearly meeting our full employment goal. We have a historically low unemployment rate. Anyone who wants a job can get several of them but people only have 24 hours a day to work and seven days a week to do it in.

And what people are really struggling with is even with that work, even when it's so-called the great time for workers, they are losing value every time they go to the store. Their purchasing power is falling. Some little known statistic that I think is really worth bringing up, real wages, adjusted for inflation, average worker in America has lost 9 percent.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

DALY: Over the course of the last two years.

HARLOW: Yes, that's right.

DALY: That's not a good time to be a worker. Right now things are out of balance and we are committed to bringing them back in balance.

HARLOW: You gave what was a reassuring speech I thought last week in Boise, Idaho, explaining why you think this isn't the '70s. Why it's not going to happen and be as painful. What, though, is in your mind the biggest outline risk to the U.S. economy right now, it's going to hurt people at home, hurt families, that we're not talking enough about?

DALY: I think the real thing that's true right now is there's a lot of uncertainty. There is the war in Ukraine which continues to rage on and that -- and look at the energy supplies. Look at Europe, you know, if they have a hard winter, a cold winter, they're already constrained in energy. That would push up the global price of energy.

We have China that's still struggling through lockdowns because they haven't beaten back COVID fully. So these things are all risks to the global economy. Plus central banks across the world are tightening simultaneously to bring back down inflation. So I think the real risk that all of us are grappling with is how do we work in this global situation, why we need to work on to getting domestic down? And the commitment that we have is to do our very best.

We have a narrow path for a softer landing but the path is not closed and we're committed to trying our best to achieve it.

HARLOW: Narrow path but not a closed path.

DALY: Not a closed path.

HARLOW: A soft landing. And we all hope that you're successful in that, everyone does. Thank you very much.

DALY: Thank you very much.

HARLOW: And good luck.

DALY: Always a pleasure.

HARLOW: It's nice to see you in person after --

DALY: Nice to see you in person.

HARLOW: Almost three years remotely, Mary Daly.

DALY: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: Thanks very much.

Still ahead, an investigation finds rampant abuses and sexual misconduct in the U.S. women's professional soccer. And the scathing report includes a warning for girls in youth leagues. Sally Yates led the investigation. We have the details ahead.



HARLOW: Welcome back. A damning new report is casting a shadow to say the least over U.S. Women's Professional Soccer. An independent investigation found systemic abuse and sexual misconduct in the league. The report also warned the abuse is so deeply rooted, girls in youth soccer face it as well.

Our Lucy Kafanov reports.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A shocking new report alleges systemic abuse within the U.S. Women's Professional Soccer League. It found that sexual misconduct, emotional abuse, verbal abuse are widespread throughout the sport, with verbal abuse and blurred boundaries seen even in youth soccer.

SALLY YATES, FORMER ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AND LEADER OF INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION: We were troubled by a lot of conduct that we saw here, which is why we thought that it was important to lay it all out in terms of -- based on the evidence that we were able to find, who knew what when, and what they did about it, and what they didn't do about it.


KAFANOV: Former acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates led the independent investigation, which interviewed more than 200 people and found the National Women's Soccer League under the U.S. Soccer Federation failed to provide a safe environment for players.

The report stating abusive coaches moved from team to team, and those in a position to correct the record stayed silent. The report focused on three now former head coaches, but it acknowledged numerous other problems across the league.

And this isn't the first time one of them, Paul Riley, has faced allegations. Last year, he was fired from the North Carolina Courage after a report by "The Athletic" detailed allegations of sexual coercion and misconduct against him.

SINEAD FARRELLY, FORMER PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: Soccer for me was my safe space and my world, and something that I had such an innocent pure love for since I was a little girl, and that was taken from me.

KAFANOV: Those allegations of abuse echoed by former Portland Thorn midfielder Mana Shim. She spoke to ESPN's "E:60" in a clip broadcast on ABC News, alleging, as she did in the report, that Riley, her former coach, invited her to his hotel room.

MANA SHIM, FORMER PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: I was terrified, and I knew, I knew at that point that I had to find a way out and I was not willing to compromise myself for my career, or for this person.

KAFANOV: Alex Morgan, one of Team USA's stars, whose allegations were detailed in the report, also opened up to ESPN's "E:60."

ALEX MORGAN, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: I just knew that he needed to be held accountable one day, and that it would happen one day, but it took years for that to happen.

CINDY PARLOW CONE, U.S. SOCCER PRESIDENT: This is very emotional for me, and honestly I'm having trouble absorbing everything in the report. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KAFANOV: Now the National Women's Soccer League said it would review the report's findings. It also said, quote, "We recognize the anxiety and mental strain that these pending investigations have caused and the trauma that many including players and staff are having to relive.

But of course the bigger question, Poppy, is what steps the league and the federation will take to prevent this type of trauma from occurring in the first place, as this report alleges systemic abuse across the sport -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Lucy Kafanov, thank you very much for your reporting on that.

And coming up for us here, the search and rescue mission in Florida slowly turning to a search and recovery effort as the death toll from Hurricane Ian rises. Our live team coverage on the ground there next.