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Musk Revives Twitter Bid; Putin Annexes Ukraine Regions; OPEC Expected To Cut Oil Production; Baldwin Reaches Settlement; New Poll On Mental Health. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired October 05, 2022 - 09:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Well, just a reminder, these are hard choices that American families, average folks, have to make every day or else they have serious consequences.


HARLOW: Those are also hard choices lawmakers could make.

Romans, just remind people who owns most of the outstanding debt.

ROMANS: You know, we own most of the outstanding debt. The United States citizens. People who buy their treasuries. But also for foreign owners of debt, there are other countries, China, Japan and others that own big, big chunks of U.S. debt, which means that we are indebted sometimes to countries that are not -- we don't see eye-to- eye with in certain cases. So, it is a reminder that we have already spent all that money. We owe someone and we have to pay interest on that money, and interest rates are rising.

HARLOW: Christine Romans, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: Well, how about this for a major reversal? Yesterday Tesla's CEO Elon Musk revived his proposal to buy Twitter and for the same price he initially agreed to, which he recently called too high. Both sides were heading to court, like literally -- very soon, October 17th was the beginning of the trial, over the billionaire's attempt to end the purchase.

Now, a Twitter spokesperson tells CNN it will close the deal provided the lawsuit is dropped.

Our Donie O'Sullivan is following all of this.

You know who I just keep thinking made a lot of money out of all of this, Done, the lawyer. The lawyer.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, of course. Yes, they're the true winners here. Look, this is really like watching a bad celebrity romance. It's on.

It's off. Will they? Won't they? I think we have a timeline of just the roller coaster that this year has been from Musk saying he wanted to buy the company, then he was going to be on the board. Then he didn't want to be on the board. Then he didn't want to buy the company. And now again he wants to buy the company.

Where it all stands right now. That letter went to Twitter from Musk's team on Monday. It became public yesterday. Twitter has publicly said that they want this deal to go ahead. This, all, of course, Poppy, coming two weeks before Musk and Twitter were due to go to court, to trial, and trial of the decade, a corporate trial of the decade, in Delaware. That could all now be off if this deal goes ahead.

And I just want to show you a tweet from - from one Twitter employee yesterday that I think really sums up the attitude and the exhaustion really of many Twitter staff that said, living the plot of succession is f-ing exhausting.

HARLOW: Yes, I think that -- I think that really says it all.

Done, before you go, free speech issues here. Real question about, just take for example the former president, former President Trump, who's been banned from Twitter by Twitter. But if Twitter has a different owner, then what?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, so Trump was permanently banned, at least we thought it was permanent, in January 2021 after the attack on the Capitol. Musk has said he would let Trump back on the platform. Have a listen to what he said just a little earlier this year.


ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA: I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I that that was - that was a mistake. I would reverse the permanent ban.


O'SULLIVAN: So, this, of course, could, obviously, have massive political implications. It could be pain in the head for some Republicans on Capitol Hill.

But this, of course, goes beyond Trump. We have seen accounts, many particularly right-wing accounts in the U.S. that have been shut down over the years. Musk has signaled that he would bring those people back.

Now Trump, we should mention, has said that he would not come back to Twitter, that he would stay using his own social media platform. But I think a lot of people -- I think it would be very difficult for Trump to turn down that he almost had - he almost had 19 million followers on Twitter when he left.

HARLOW: That's right.

O'SULLIVAN: Nowhere near those numbers on his platform right now.

HARLOW: Just a few more than you, Donie. That's it, just a few more.

Thank you.

O'SULLIVAN: And you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes, right.

O'SULLIVAN: Have a good one.

HARLOW: Thanks so much.

Russian President Vladimir Putin assigning new laws claiming to annex four Ukrainian regions in what has been internationally condemned as a sham referendum. This as Russia forces - Russian forces, rather, appear to be retreating from parts of Ukraine. We'll take you live to the region next.



HARLOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin is now racing to sign new laws aiming to annex four Ukrainian regions. This is after what the U.S. and the west calls several sham referendums there. It's also happening as Ukrainians retake more territory in those very regions. Our Frederik Pleitgen joins us live in Kyiv.

I mean that is - that is remarkable. As Putin tries to do this by paper and sham referendum, Ukraine continues to fight and is advancing in those regions in the east.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and you know what else is remarkable, Poppy, is that the Ukrainians are not only advancing in one of the areas in those regions along that very front line but in several of those areas.

I know a couple of months ago we were speaking about a possible small Ukrainian counter offensive and now they're really on the move in several areas. That is obviously a big problem for the Russians. And you're absolutely right, Vladimir Putin today formally moving to, as he put it, annex those areas. They already have people who they put in charge of those areas, at least from the Russian side.

But the big problem that the Russians have is they don't control most of the areas that they claim are now part of the Russian Federation.


As far as the Ukrainians are concerned, they are saying that these annexation moves by the Russians mean absolutely nothing. These are still Ukrainian territories. And it was quite interesting to hear Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, saying that he wants a tribunal for Russian leaders, for the Russian (INAUDIBLE) the first place. So the Ukrainians certainly right now very bold, very confident as well, Poppy.

HARLOW: It seems as Ukrainian forces keep making these advances, liberating more areas every day, I just wonder what you're seeing on the ground and hearing in terms of Russian signs of desperation. I mean they've already had to move to conscription. What more can you tell us?

PLEITGEN: Well, you know what else we're doing, Poppy, is, of course, we're seeing those moves by the Ukrainians, first of all, and especially in the south of the country. Last night the Ukrainian forces saying that they took large swaths of territory there near a place called Kherson (ph). They were moving in from the north of that district, moving towards the very important town to Kherson.

But the other thing that we're doing, which is always quite interesting to see,, is we're also looking at Russian state media as well. And that's where you can really sense the mood starting to shift. What we've seen there in the past most of the time is Russian state media, Kremlin controlled media, talking about how well things were going for the Russians, that they were winning on the battlefield.

And that certainly seems to be shifting. There's Russian reporters on the ground who are now talking about a regrouping of Russian forces. There are some who, quite frankly, are saying that it's not going well at all for the Russians and who also say that this mobilization that has been taking place on the part of the Russians won't take real effect on the battlefield any time soon. That it could be several weeks, possibly even longer than that.

So right now there's a real shift in the mood as far as Moscow is concerned. Whereas on the Ukrainian side, they obviously understand they really have a lot of momentum right now. And I think especially there in the south, around the Kherson area, they're saying that they are making extremely rapid advances as well. Of course they want that very important town of Kherson to be back within their control.

But also in the east of the country, you know, we were talking about the town of Lyman just a couple of days ago, the Ukrainians taking that also. A pretty important logistics hub. And the Ukrainians now say they've advanced well beyond there as well. So, the Ukrainians certainly believed the momentum is on their side. Well, the mood seems to be getting a lot more gloomy in Moscow.


HARLOW: Yes, for sure.

Fred Pleitgen reporting live from Kyiv. Thanks very much for all of that.

The European Union, this morning, is backing new sanctions against Russia. And this comes as the White House launches a last-ditch effort to convince OPEC not to cut oil production. This as we have just learned that OPEC is expected to cut oil by as much as two million barrels per day. Just as recently as this morning it was one million. Our Natasha Bertrand joins me now.

That is such a significant - I mean if they went to a two million barrel a day cut to prop up prices by OPEC and its allies, that would dramatically increase oil on the global market, dramatically increase, you know, gas prices here.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It would be a massive cut. And it is the White House's worst nightmare right now. And they have been waging this kind of large scale campaign to try to prevent this very thing from happening, trying to lobby the Saudis and other Gulf states to not cut this amount of oil because originally they believed that it was going to be maybe a one million barrel per day cut.

That was really, really high and something that the White House was really afraid of. Now we're hearing that this could actually be as much as two million barrels per day, potentially causing a massive price spike in oil. And, of course, that could cause gas prices to go up in the United States just about five weeks ahead of the midterms.

So, what we have been learning is that the administration really has been trying to lobby the OPEC Plus to try to prevent them from going through with this. But it seems now like that has been futile. And, of course, one of the main issues with this is that it could actually end up helping Russia.

If it drives prices up, that could be completely counterproductive to what the west has been trying to do in terms of trying to cut Russian energy revenues. And, of course, that's part of the reason we're seeing the European Union propose a price cap on Russian oil.

HARLOW: Right.

BERTRAND: Well, now, those prices could go up even further. The White House has been making calls all week trying to prevent this from happening. It looks like it is not going to be stopped. And, of course, it is a major rebuke by Saudi Arabia, of course, after the president visited in July trying to get them to increase oil production, Poppy.

HARLOW: I mean that -- I think that's such an important point and context here. Rights after President Biden made that trip to Saudi Arabia and was face to face with and, you know, fist bumped with Mohammed bin Salman, they just increased oil production by 100,000 barrels.

Very negligible. Now if you see a two million barrel cut, what even -- I mean can the White House do to try to convince them not to make this cut? What are the levers that the west even has in this?


BERTRAND: They don't believe they have that many levers and what they have been saying is that they might actually release additional barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve here in the United States. That could potentially offset any massive price spikes in oil and gas.

But, at the same time, they recognize here that they have very limited leverage when it comes to OPEC Plus. They have been telling the oil cartel that they are willing to buy back oil in order to rebuild the SPR, in order to incentivize them to increase production.

But OPEC here is saying, look, oil has really gone down to prices that we cannot abide and we want prices to go back up. So, that is what they're doing in their own self-interest, Poppy.

HARLOW: It's a cartel, and they have a lot of power, and they're showing it, flexing it right now.

Natasha, thank you very much.

Still ahead, a new poll with very disturbing numbers. Nearly all Americans agree this nation is facing a mental health crisis. There are also a lot of barriers to treatments. So, we'll talk about solutions ahead.



HARLOW: All right, this news just into CNN.

Alec Baldwin has just reached a settlement with the family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer killed on the set of "Rust" last year.

Our Chloe Melas has been following this story very, very closely.

What can you tell us, Chloe?


Well, Matthew Hutchins, the widower of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer was killed on the set of "Rust" last year, filed a wrongful death suit claiming that there were a lot of corners that were cut on the set and that this left his wife vulnerable and ultimately resulted in her death when Alec Baldwin was holding that prop gun when a live bullet went off killing her and then also injuring director Joel Sousa.

So, this morning, just moments ago, we got word that a settlement has been reached. An undisclosed amount of money. And now, in a shocking turn of events. Matthew Hutchins will be an executive producer, Poppy, on "Rust." Yes, you heard that right. They are going to go back. They're going to finish the movie that they started.

And he will get a portion of the film's profits. It's unclear whether or not they will go back to the same set in New Mexico, who exactly will be back. We know that Alec Baldwin will be back. And, again, we're still waiting to see about the district attorney's office in New Mexico. Will there be charge for anybody here, for the armorer, for Dave Halls, the assistant director, for Alec Baldwin, potentially? And, remember, I sat down with Alec Baldwin just a few weeks ago and

he said that he had heard from a private investigator that he hired that he will not be charged in the death of Halyna Hutchins.

But this undisclosed amount, this settlement, is a huge watershed moment. It's been almost a year this month that Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of "Rust." And, again, a lot of questions, and, will they be using guns at all, CGI, plastic guns? And will they be cutting out certain scenes from the film, like the church scene?


MELAS: So many questions. But, again, a big breakthrough in this wrongful settlement that's now been dismissed.

HARLOW: That's for sure. Chloe Melas, thank you very much.

MELAS: Thank you.

HARLOW: Ahead, a new poll conducted by CNN, in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, found an overwhelming majority, 90 percent of Americans think the United States is in the middle of a mental health crisis. Major sources of stress for at least a third of adults include money, finances, current events, personal relationships and work.

CNN medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula joins me now to talk about this.

I'm so glad that you guys did this polling and this study with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

What issues did participants particularly point to? Because those things I just listed are often stressors, but this has been exacerbated.

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, Poppy. I mean this is really a sad picture, actually a very depressing picture, of where we are currently in America.

So, this survey was really a snapshot. It was a survey of about 2,000 Americans over the summer. And they identified not problems but what they felt were crises. And of those, over two-thirds noted the opioid epidemic, about 55 percent cited mental health of kids and teens, also severe mental illness in adults. About 45 percent, not surprisingly, anxiety or depression. But here's one that I found interesting, 39 percent, stress or anxiety from politics, and 25 percent, loneliness.

And just in general, about 20 percent cited that they had felt depressed or lonely in the past year. About one in three cited anxiety. And about 20 percent noticed they -- noted they actually could not go to work or engage in their activities because of a mental health conditions in the prior year.

HARLOW: Wow. I just keep thinking about social media as well because a lot of times our faces are here, right, instead of with - instead of with people.

What about barriers to care and how to address that?

NARULA: Well, that's really the most important question. I mean we talk about this so often. And the question is, how do we fix this? And so there were certain barriers identified. Not surprisingly, 80 percent pointed to cost. We talk about how therapy sometimes costs hundreds of dollars.

Many Americans can't afford that, as well as prescription med. Around 70 percent cited insurance issues. Their providers not taking insurance or insurance not covering mental health in the way that it covers physical health. About 62 percent, that's such a high number, still are citing stigma.

And then about 55 percent, just a lack of providers. Very often I hear from my own patients that they are waiting months just to get an appointment.

So, I think there's - there's a lot there. You know, some of the individuals they surveyed also said they just couldn't take time off from work or they were too busy. So, clearly, we have to - to push people to prioritize this.

And then one other statistic I found notable was, 35 percent said that they did not feel comfortable talking to their own family member or friends about their mental health because they felt they would be judged.


There wouldn't be compass.


NARULA: And so, you know, that's something we all need to take responsibility for is making individuals feel safer to open up.

HARLOW: That's right, giving them that space and an environment to do it.

Dr. Tara Narula, thank you very much.

In just a few moment, President Biden and the first lady will travel to Florida to get a firsthand look of the devastation left by Hurricane Ian. The president is set to speak with business owners and homeowners whose property has been wiped out. We will take you to the hardest hit parts of the state, next.


HARLOW: It is the top of the hours, 10:00 a.m. Eastern. I'm Poppy Harlow. Glad you're with us.