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Blinken Condemns North Korea's Missile Launch Over Japan; Poll: 90 Percent Of Adults Say Mental Health A Crisis In U.S.; Alec Baldwin Reaches Settlements Over Deadly Shooting On "Rust" Set. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired October 05, 2022 - 14:30   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Live pictures here. President Biden receiving a briefing on the situation in Florida after Hurricane Ian.

You see there the Florida governor and first lady, Ron and Casey DeSantis. Also there Deanne Criswell, head of FEMA. The first lady there as well. We've also seen Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio.

We are expecting, in just a few minutes, that the president will speak with small business owners and the people who live there who have been impacted by Ian, and then some remarks that we will bring you live.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is condemning North Korea's recent missile launch over Japan. He says it endangers Japanese citizens.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: The ballistic missile launch, which happened without warning on Tuesday, is believed to have landed in the Pacific Ocean.

In response, the U.S. and South Korea performed a live fire exercise off the coast of South Korea.

CNN's Alex Marquardt joins us from the Pentagon.

Alex, tell us more about this joint response.


This is a significant escalation or provocation by North Korea earlier this week. And the U.S. and its allies, Japan and South Korea, responding with shows of unity and of fire power.

U.S. jets in the skies with Japanese fighter jets on the ground. You have the South Koreans and Americans launching long-range precision rockets, essentially as a show of what they could and would do if North Korea were to strike with the kinds of rockets that it launched on Tuesday.

Now, as you mentioned, this has received widespread condemnation, the launch by North Korea. The U.S. called for an emergency Security Council meeting at the United Nations. That's due to take place later today.

As you noted, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, he made some remarks. He condemned this. He called it "reckless and dangerous."

Take a listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: We believe that North Korea would be much better served by not only refraining from these actions but actually engaging in dialogue.

I think what we're seeing is, if they continue down this road, it will only increase the condemnation, increase the isolation, increase the steps that are taken in response to their actions.


MARQUARDT: This was the 23rd missile launch from North Korea this year. We have seen a growing number.

According to experts and analysts, there's no sense that those tests are going to end any time soon. There's no sense that North Korea is going to denuclearize any time soon.

In fact, one expert I was speaking with earlier today said we could expect to see a nuclear test in the very near future -- Victor and Alisyn?

BLACKWELL: Alex Marquardt, for us from the Pentagon, thank you.

Joining us now is "Newsweek" columnist and author of "Nuclear Showdown, North Korea Takes on the World," Gordon Chang.

Gordon, good to have you back.

This expectation that what follows this ballistic missile test is a nuclear test, do you agree with that? and how would it change the equation? It's been five years since the last one.

GORDON CHANG, COLUMNIST, "NEWSWEEK" & AUTHOR: There certainly will be a nuke test. A number of people are saying it will be after China holds its 20th National Congress, which convenes on the 16th of this month. Some people are saying maybe November.

It very well might not be this year, Victor, but it will occur because the North Koreans need to do two things. First of all, they need to validate their designs, make sure their designs work.

But also, they want to show the world that they can do this. They can very well be saying to the Iranians, look, we've got a weapon, it works, we'll set it to you.

So they need to show it to their customers or, I should say, potential customers.

CAMEROTA: Gordon, the U.S. is inviting North Korea to engage in dialogue, basically giving them a seat at the table with, I think, no preconditions.

Let me play for you how John Kirby described this.


JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: We've made it clear to Kim Jong-Un we're willing to sit down with no preconditions. We want to see the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.


He hasn't seen an inclination to move in that direction. Quite frankly, he's moving in the opposite direction by continuing to conduct these missile tests, which are violations of the Security Council resolutions.


CAMEROTA: Gordon, haven't they wanted legitimacy and haven't they wanted a seat at the table? Why not now?

CHANG: They want a seat at the table but only if the United States agrees beforehand to relaxed sanctions.

This really was the sticking point with President Trump's meeting in Hanoi with Kim Jong-Un. President Trump would not relent on that.

So the North Koreans, yes in general want to talk. They don't see much incentive to do so.

They don't see the Biden administration imposing costs on either North Korea or, more importantly, on North Korea's sponsors, China and Russia, which have been violating North Korean sanctions and laundering North Korean money.

BLACKWELL: Before the most recent missile test, the nuclear conversation we had been having was about Russia and Putin's potential use of these tactical nuclear weapons over Ukraine as some bravado, some show of force.

Does one conversation influence the other?

CHANG: Absolutely. If Putin were to use a tactical nuke, it would remove the taboo. And we could see, for instance, the North Koreans try to do something.

And certainly, we'd have to also think about China and Taiwan. Since July of last year, China has been making threats to use its nuclear weapons against Japan, Australia and, indeed, the rest of the world.

So really one use would make other uses much more easy for aggressors. CAMEROTA: Gordon, what can the U.S. do as North Korea makes these


CHANG: The United States could go after the Chinese banks, for instance, because they've been laundering money. We can disconnect them from the global financial system.

This is something President Trump did with the Bank of Dandong (ph) in June of 2017. But Trump didn't go after the larger Chinese banks.

So I think Beijing thinks it can get away with continuing to support North Korea.

If we were to do something like go after a large Chinese bank for money laundering, I think Beijing would think twice about supporting the North Koreans because that would be a major event for the Chinese financial system.

We're not willing to do that. So basically China, Russia, are supporting the North Korean economy. And that means Kim Jong-Un sees very little incentive to talk to the Biden administration, except on the terms that Pyongyang demands.

CAMEROTA: Gordon Chang, always helpful to talk to you, Thank you.

BLACKWELL: A new poll reveals that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the nation is facing a mental health crisis. We'll talk potential solutions with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.



CAMEROTA: We have live pictures to show you of President Biden and the first lady meeting with local business owners.

This is we believe on Fisherman's Wharf in Ft. Myers, Florida. He's at the Dixie Fish Company. That's a local restaurant that obviously has sustained some damage. He's looking around.

There are members of the National Guard we see walking around. We also saw him with Governor DeSantis and the first lady there.

Basically, they're assessing the damage. And they're trying to figure out where Lee County is in terms of recovery. It's going to be a long haul as we know.

And we expect President Biden to be getting briefed on just all it will entail. And then, at some point, they'll make their ways to a microphone and brief all of us on what they have seen.

The president will speak in a few minutes. We'll bring you those live.

BLACKWELL: Some stunning new findings about mental health in the United States. CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that 90 percent of adults believe the U.S. is experiencing a mental health crisis.

CAMEROTA: Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now.

Sanjay, are you surprised at the 90 percent number?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: In some ways, I think it would be closer to 100 percent.

I haven't met anybody who doesn't recognize that there's some significant amount of mental health concerns in the country. And several of those concerns are rising to the level of crisis.

This was an interesting poll. They basically polled people, 2,000 people over the summer and asked them about six specific issues, trying to determine which of these fell into crisis level for these participants in the poll.

You see the list. It's significant. Opioid epidemic was high on the list. The overall health of kids and teens. But also the severe mental health of adults, at crisis levels, again, according to this poll.

Anxiety or depression in adults. Stress or anxiety from politics, a big bucket. But close to three-quarters of people put that and finances on the top of the list, loneliness.

When you start to think about all those things, it's clear we've been dealing with these things for some time, but the last two and a half years have really amplified it.

I thought what was really interesting is we recognized this more and more, but the idea of what to do about it or if people can get access to health.

The second part is challenging for people. About 60 percent of people who identify as having poor mental health still have a hard time getting access to the care, for all sorts of reasons, the cost, the stigma around this, the insurance.

We talk about parity, putting physical health and mental health on par with each other. Yet, as you can see from the list there, it's still not. It's still much more difficult to get the care people need.


Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call. It's something we've talked about for some time. We're obviously at a crisis mode in so many specific areas.

BLACKWELL: Sanjay Gupta walking us through the latest numbers of the mental health crisis people are facing, 90 percent.

Sanjay, thank you.

GUPTA: OK, thank you.

CAMEROTA: So Alec Baldwin and the husband of the cinematographer who was killed on the set of "Rust" have reached a settlement. We have details on the unusual arrangement next.


CAMEROTA: Alec Baldwin reaching a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by the family of "Rust" cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.

BLACKWELL: Hutchins was accidentally killed last year when a gun with live rounds instead of blanks went off on the set.


CNN entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas, and CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, Areva Martin, joins us now.

Chloe, first, let's talk about what's inside the settlement?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Right. This was many months in the making clearly because Matthew Hutchins filed this wrongful death lawsuit naming Alec Baldwin as one of the individuals several months ago.

So they all released statements, including Alec Baldwin, including Matthew Hutchins, saying they are happy to get to this place because this money is going to go to help Halyna, to help her son, to help Halyna's family.

And Alec Baldwin taking to Instagram to say that he is just trying to do what's in the best interests of the family.

But what's most interesting, you guys, is they are going to go back in January and finish the production of "Rust." They are going to go back and start filming again.

Alec Baldwin, including Joel Sousa, who was the director who was injured that day when the bullet went through Halyna, and into his chest nearly killing him. They're going to return.

We don't know if it's going to film in New Mexico. But Matthew Hutchins, he's going to be an executive producer on the film. That was a moment that I was not expecting today.


CAMEROTA: I think it's fair to say that's highly unusual. That's highly -- we've seen other actors killed, frankly, during the filming of something, but not their family step in to play a role. Am I right?

MELAS: Right. So Matthew Hutchins is saying he's doing this to honor his wife, to honor her legacy, that she cared about the film. She was a talented cinematographer. You've heard so many people say that. He wants to do this for that purpose.

But also they haven't said this, but you would assume as an E.P., you're getting paid, you're getting money, and that's more money in his pockets and more money for his son outside of this settlement. We don't know the amount, right? You can imagine it's in the millions

of dollars. But they are refusing to tell CNN what that amount is. So it's a private thing.

I think that many people were surprised by the news that they were going to go back and finish the movie.

BLACKWELL: Is this settlement any acknowledgment of culpability or a way to say that he is not culpable?

MELAS: I would say, based on what Alec Baldwin is saying on social media and based on my sit-down interview with him several weeks ago, I think that he sees this as a very -- like a watershed moment for him and the family of Halyna to come together in this sort of kumbaya moment here, incredibly tragic situation.

But the district attorney of New Mexico releasing a statement to CNN today saying that, you know, while the settlement is one thing, it has no impact on the criminal investigation. And that, quote, "No one is above the law."

So we are awaiting potential criminal charges in just the next couple of weeks. Alec Baldwin could face potential criminal charges. The armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, Dave Hauls, the assistant director. There's culpability all around here.

How did live bullets get onto the set in the first place? I have questions that haven't been answered.

When they go back to film, are they going to use CGI for these weapons? Are they going to use plastic guns and things like that? We're not sure just yet. Are they going to retape scenes, cut things out?

CAMEROTA: Areva, your thoughts on this arrangement?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, it is highly unusual, Alisyn, to see a settlement agreement in a wrongful death case. The settlement is typically money. That's what civil lawsuits -- that's how they are resolved. They're resolved with money, damages being paid.

But given the closeness that Alec Baldwin had with Halyna Hutchins and seemingly her family, I'm not surprised if they crafted something pretty creative in terms of settlement, which is to allow the husband to be the executive producer.

We can imagine he may share in some of the profits, assuming there are some, from the movie as a way to make him whole and to make his family whole for the loss of his wife.

BLACKWELL: Areva, we just got from the Santa Fe D.A., as you mentioned, that this will have no impact on the case.

As that case moves forward, what will you be looking for? What should we expect from the D.A. in Santa Fe? MARTIN: What we know so far, Victor, is the district attorney asked

for several hundred thousands of dollars from the state so that she could hire an outside special prosecutor.

She said it's going to be a very complex case. She alluded to the fact that up to four people may be charged, and that those charges will likely include homicide charges.

She asked for additional moneys also for an investigator. She said these were going to be complex and very costly cases to prosecute.

And she's made it very clear consistently that Alec Baldwin, despite his celebrity status, despite the settlement of the civil lawsuit, that he is not exempt from being potentially prosecuted.

And we know that negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter are potentially the charges that not only Alec Baldwin but others could face with respect to this case.

I want to look to see, what is the evidence, given that the medical examiner has ruled Halyna's death an accident?


And that the FBI has said the claim made by Alec Baldwin that he did not pull the trigger, they said that was impossible based on their investigation, and the trigger of the gun was actually pulled.

So what evidence is the district attorney going to put forward to support a claim potentially of negligence, gross negligence on the part of the individuals that will potentially be charged?

BLACKWELL: All right. Areva Martin, Chloe Melas, thank you both.

CAMEROTA: CNN is on Sanibel Island in Florida where people are being allowed to return for the very first time to see what's left of their homes.

CAMEROTA: All right, live pictures now. This is Governor DeSantis. He's speaking, giving an update on recovery efforts.

You see, obviously, President Biden there, as well. We will hear from the president after meeting with local officials, local people who own businesses there, as well, just a few minutes ago.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ian, live remarks in a moment.