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Criminal Referrals for Trump Expected from January 6 Committee; Trump Allies Concerned over Direction of 2024 Campaign; Ukraine Reels from Latest Russian Missile Onslaught; "Remain in Mexico" U.S. Title 42 Set to Expire; Wall Street Tumbles amid Recession Fears. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired December 17, 2022 - 04:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome to all of you watching here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber.

Ahead, the January 6th committee is likely to refer at least three criminal charges against Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. The details are just ahead.

Plus --


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): -- a state of emergency in Peru as protests continue to rock the country, leaving hundreds of tourists stranded. We'll tell you about efforts to get them out.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): And all eyes are on Mbappe as he plans to meet Messi at the World Cup final. We'll preview the game ahead this weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: And we start with what would be an unprecedented condemnation of a former U.S. president. The House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol is expected to vote Monday that Donald Trump should face criminal charges for his role in the riot.

Insurrection, obstruction and conspiracy to defraud the government all could be among the recommendations.

A spokesperson for Trump issued a statement, criticizing the panel writing, quote, "The January 6th unselect committee held by show trials by never Trump partisans, who are a stain on this country's history."

Sara Murray has more on the expected criminal referrals.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn't happen.

SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The January 6th committee considering asking the Justice Department to pursue at least two criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.

TRUMP: We fight. We fight like hell.

MURRAY: A source telling CNN, those charges include obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the federal government and there could be more. Members huddling behind closed doors to put the finishing touches on the final report they plan to unveil next week.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): I've spent countless hours along with the other committee members going through the report and the appendices, looking at the footnotes, editing.

MURRAY: Chairman Bennie Thompson saying the committee will lay out its top line findings in Monday's public meeting, but plans share an executive summary of the panels growing investigation and perhaps even the bulk of the report, if it is finished in time.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): We have made decisions that criminal referrals will happen.

MURRAY: The committee also planning to reveal who they think should be held accountable with referrals for possible state bar discipline, referrals for campaign finance violation, referrals to the House Ethics Committee and referrals to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution.

THOMPSON: We have left no doubt, none, that Donald Trump led an effort to upend American democracy that directly resulted in the violence of January 6th.

MURRAY: Lawmakers especially focused in their hearings and public appearances on Trump's potential culpability.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think he's guilty of a crime. He knew what he did. We've made that clear. He knew what was happening prior to January 6th.

MURRAY: While the referrals will lay a marker for posterity --

KINZINGER: Where I think this work is going to actually echo the loudest through is not even necessarily tomorrow, not even the if the Justice Department dies, it's going to echo through the history books.

MURRAY: Trump is already facing scrutiny from the Justice Department in its probe into the attack on the U.S. Capitol and in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Some of his top allies in the scheme, Lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and former DOJ Official Jeffrey Clark all face investigations from state bars.

Clark's home also searched, as he faces DOJ scrutiny as well. An unsealed court filing this week revealing federal investigators have accessed emails between Clark and Representative Scott Perry, who refused to talk to the January 6th committee.

MURRAY: When it comes to the committee, in addition to referring to DOJ that they've pursued charges of obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the federal government, we're learning they're expecting to refer to DOJ a charge of insurrection.

These are all mostly symbolic. The Justice Department does not take its cues from Congress, of course.

But lawmakers on this committee have felt like it's important for the historical record and to sum up their work, they say they have found evidence of criminal activity and feel like it's important to put that forward to the Department of Justice -- Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.




BRUNHUBER: Political analyst Michael Genovese is the author of "The Modern Presidency: Six Debates That Define the Institution."

Thank you so much for being here.

Start off, how significant would it be for a former president to be referred to the Justice Department for criminal charges?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: It would be odd historically and, in and of itself, it might not be of great consequence. But in conjunction with all the other investigations and other possibilities of criminal charges that might be incurred, this is -- it adds to the weight of the drip, drip, drip that we see against Donald Trump.

He's had a series of bad news over the last few months. And all the news has been bad. Donald Trump will use this, I think, to continue his martyrdom and use of grievances. But it certainly can't help him and it's historically unusual to go this far against a president or former president.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, I mean, you mentioned that it might not amount to much concretely because, if the committee were to refer the criminal charges to the DOJ, I mean, it has no legal weight.

But could it further complicate the DOJ's case? Because you have a Democrat-led political entity doing this, essentially politicizing a legal case.

GENOVESE: That's right. And the Justice Department wants all of the tapes and all interviews and everything that the January 6th committee has. That would be very helpful to DOJ.

But the real problem for the Department of Justice is, especially on the insurrection charge, that's going to be -- I think you have enough evidence to pursue that.

But do you have enough evidence to convince a jury?

And if you think you don't have enough evidence, face it; if you have 12 Americans on a jury, what happens if one or two are Trump Republicans or MAGA Republicans?

They might not worry about the evidence. They might just vote against conviction. So the Justice Department's big concern on the big issue, which is insurrection is, can I get a jury, regardless of the evidence, to vote guilty on such a controversial charge?

BRUNHUBER: Yes. We're still a long way away from. That but even if -- let's take away the conviction portion out of it.

Just the fact that if he were to be charged, how far do you think that might go toward preventing the next insurrection?

GENOVESE: Well, you know, sunlight is the greatest of disinfectants. So the more you shine the light on what's happened and the more you demonize people who did this -- and many have already been charged, found guilty in court, going to spend time in prison -- that's a real powerful dissuader.

And you know, if you want to stop the next insurrection, you have to get to the roots of the current one. I think that's what we're doing. It's going very slowly. And that's why a lot of people are frustrated. But better to do it right and do it slowly than do it in a slipshod fashion.

BRUNHUBER: You refer to Donald Trump using this as further proof that he's a martyr and so on.

I mean, how do you think it will impact his presidential campaign?

GENOVESE: I think his political future is very much in doubt today, much more so than it was four months ago. That's because the noose seems to be closing on Donald Trump.

You've got the Georgia inquest into whether or not he tried to illegally influence the Georgia election. You've got this special counsel, who's really moved very quickly, surprisingly.

You've got the Department of Justice, which has moved slowly and cautiously and deliberately. Then the January 6th committee, it's almost like they're piling on. Donald Trump, who has the identity of being a martyr and being picked on and it's me against the world, he likes that.

He loves to collect grievances; he loves to talk about how the bad guys are out there and they're going to get him and they're trying to get him and they're trying to get you. So he uses it to his own advantage. I'm not sure that he's going to be able to run with that very much more, especially as the noose tightens around his neck.

BRUNHUBER: That's just sort of the legal troubles you're speaking of there. We've seen that he's had waning political popularity in his campaign. The reaction has been pretty brutal to that supposed big announcement the other day, which was the sale of these digital trading cards with somewhat farcical pictures of him as a race car driver, astronaut and so on.

So even many of his supporters are wondering, what the heck is going on here?

Why would he do there just as he's launching his presidential campaign?

Do you think the scales are finally falling from people's eyes?

GENOVESE: Well, the grift goes on and on. He's using the White House and now the post-White House years to monetize his future. He's done that from day one of his presidency. He's done that all of his career. So it's not out of character.


GENOVESE: But I think what we're seeing is that a lot of Republicans are starting to say, you know, 2024, we really want to get the Democrats out of the White House.

Could Donald Trump do it?

He has so much baggage. Maybe, maybe we ought to think of the next step. Maybe there's another MAGA candidate out there. Maybe there's another candidate who will run with our issues but not run with the baggage that Donald Trump has.

I think you've seen in the last couple of months the Republicans are coming to more and more of a recognition that that might have to be what they do. They might have to put him in the rearview mirror.

BRUNHUBER: All right. Always appreciate the analysis, Michael Genovese, thank you so much for coming on.

GENOVESE: Thank you, Kim.



BRUNHUBER: Ukraine is working to get back on its feet again after a ninth wave of Russian strikes on it its energy system.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Russian missiles struck cities across Ukraine on Friday, including the capital, Kyiv. A short time ago, its mayor said the water supply and subway are restored. Power is back on for two-thirds of the city, while half of its residents have heat again.

Ukraine says nine power plants were also hit on Friday, which took more than a half of its generating capacity offline. In Kryvyi Rih, a heartbreaking end in the search for an infant, who was buried in a building hit by a missile.

Officials now say they have recovered the body of an 18-month-old boy. His parents and two other people were killed when a missile hit their apartment Friday; 13 others were injured.

President Zelenskyy says Ukrainians will prevail, despite the hardship. Here he is.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Whatever the rocket worshipers from Moscow are counting for, it still won't change the balance of power in this war.

They still have enough missiles for several such massive strikes. We will have enough determination and self-belief to return what is ours after these strikes.


BRUNHUBER: Ukraine also says Friday's strikes involved something never seen during this war: Russia using its strategic bombers to launch some of the missiles. When they started falling on Kyiv, some residents went underground to find safety. Will Ripley reports.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Without warning, a mass Russian missile attack targeting cities across Ukraine on Friday.

The military says around 40 does missiles aimed at the capital of Kyiv, forcing thousands underground, subway stations becoming a temporary bomb shelters, train service suspended for hours, scores of students like Katya had to miss school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was sent here about three hours. I want to go home.

RIPLEY: Ukraine says air defense shut down most of the missiles but not all. Several deafening explosion shook the country, districts killing at least three in central Ukraine, terrifying people near the points of impact.

Thermal and hydroelectric power plants and substations taking direct hits, triggering an energy emergency with widespread Blackouts. Ukraine's president says all their targets today are civilian, energy and heat supply facilities. As a result of the war, the meaning of the word terror for most people will be associated with the crazy actions of Russia.

Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, also plunged into darkness, no light, no heat, no water, even no way to cook. Many forced to brave freezing temperatures just to light up for a warm meal.

"People need to be fed," she says, cooking on a wood stove.

Ukraine's military monitored Russian jets about Belarus during the strikes. Moscow and Minsk staging joint military drills in recent days. Kyiv is warning of a possible attack from the north.

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko announces that his friend and ally, Russian president Vladimir Putin will be there on Monday, two strong men strengthening their alliance.

"We will never be enemies of Russia, never looked disapprovingly at Russia," he says. "If it was otherwise, it would be like Ukraine."

RIPLEY: Obedience in brothers, resistance in Ukraine. This democracy under siege, defying danger with a smile -- Will Ripley, CNN, Odessa, Ukraine.



BRUNHUBER: For more analysis, we're joined by international security expert Maria Avdeeva. She's a research director at the European Expert Association in Ukraine and she is in Kyiv.

Thank you so much for being here with us. I want to ask you about the situation in the capital where you are. It was poignant to hear from that student there in the package, who was sheltering in the subway, who said she just wanted to go home.

How are folks coping with the impact of all these strikes?


MARIA AVDEEVA, EUROPEAN EXPERT ASSOCIATION: I have been yesterday to Kyiv subway. And I saw people sheltering there for more than four hours because the air raid started after 8:00 in the morning.

And people were very resistant and calm. But of course, it's difficult for them, especially those with children, to spend so much time in the shelters. And we must understand that, during the air raid, the schools are not working and the children from the schools and from the kindergartens are going to the shelters as well.

The hospitals, children's hospitals, and this -- all this Russian, continuous missile strikes are targeting purely civilian infrastructure and trying to harm as much civilians as possible. BRUNHUBER: In terms of traveling around, I understand the metro is

back now.

But how hard was it for folks to get around with the subway not working and no traffic lights in much of the city?

AVDEEVA: Yes. It's still difficult in Kyiv. The metro is now running but Kharkiv metro is off. And in such big cities as Kharkiv, Odessa, Kyiv, the traffic is very important. And in the dark hours, it's very difficult to get around in Odessa still.

The electricity situation is very difficult and the public transportation is not working. So people are trying to somehow get out of the situation, be flexible, be adaptive. And in these times, Ukrainians show the remarkable resistance to this because everyone that I've been speaking, told me they are not afraid.

They are not terrified, they are becoming more angry and ready to stand by and resist, no matter what other steps Russia takes.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, I mean, we hear that word time and time again: resilient. We saw pictures of people dancing together in the subway there, in a show of defiance. Still, despite all this, the psychological effects of this day after day after day, it must be taking a toll.

AVDEEVA: This is what Russia is trying to do, to provoke social unrest so that people will go out and protest. And this is what the information campaign is aiming at. They praise the new strikes on critical infrastructure in Ukraine, showing everywhere on Russian social media and state channels how difficult it is for Ukrainians to continue.

So resist in it and keeping going on. But the mood is very high. The morale is high for Ukrainians because Ukrainians know now quite well that Ukrainian army is one of the best. It's capable to liberate more and more territories.

The success on the battlefield was amazing. And this gives people the strength and belief to go through this winter. Everyone understands that it will be difficult. But people are ready to continue going on and nothing will stop them.

BRUNHUBER: With these latest bombardments, we see yet again Kyiv is firmly back in Moscow's crosshairs.

I mean, do you think Russian troops will actually try to retake the city?

AVDEEVA: That's what the Ukrainian military are telling us. We know that President Putin is with Lukashenko on the 19th, will try probably to push him again to join Russian forces on the ground offensive.

But we know very well what -- how it ended up for Russia back in February, when Putin was saying he will be able to get the capital of Ukraine in several days. This time the situation will be the same. What Russia will -- they might try this, of course. But Ukrainian

troops are now more ready for this offensive. Ukraine now has more weapons, especially taking into account the latest supplies and from the U.S. as well.

So people believe here that this -- if even Russia tries it, it won't be successful. But of course, we must be prepared and Ukrainians are prepared.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. You mentioned the supplies from the U.S., these latest attacks on Kyiv, you've said that they highlight the need for Patriot missiles.

What difference would they make?

AVDEEVA: Of course, because the air defense is now crucial for Ukraine. And the people here are really looking forward to this Patriot systems because they will --


AVDEEVA: And more of them because they will allow to defend Ukrainian cities. Ukrainians are very good on the battlefields, as we see. But to protect the sky, Ukraine needs more and more air defense because the territory is so big.

And what we have is insufficient. For example, Kyiv, on Kyiv only yesterday, 40 missiles were launched; 37 of them were intercepted but still other three hit their targets. And if there would be more air defense system, probably this wouldn't happen.

And this is what Ukraine asks for because we have other big cities which are under constant Russian attacks, like cities as Kharkiv, as (INAUDIBLE), as Dnipro, which also need to be defended.

BRUNHUBER: All right. We'll have to leave it there. But thank you so much for speaking to us, Maria Avdeeva. Appreciate it.

AVDEEVA: Thank you.


BRUNHUBER: Peru's congress rejects one of the key demands of protesters. The latest on the political unrest gripping the country.

And a storm system that battered the South over the past week is still generating misery but this time in the northern U.S. The forecast is next. Stay with us.




(MUSIC PLAYING) BRUNHUBER: A deadly storm system that spawned dozens of tornadoes in

the South is now unleashing its fury on the northern U.S. The storm is causing widespread power outages to the region.

The vast majority in Vermont and Maine, where more than 30,000 homes and businesses are without power in each state, according to In northeastern Pennsylvania and up through New England, they're seeing widespread snowfall, more than a foot in some places.


BRUNHUBER: The U.S. is getting hit with multiple respiratory viruses this winter and health experts are encouraging Americans to make sure they're up to date on all their flu shots and COVID boosters.

For instance, the flu hit early and hard. As of December 10th, the CDC estimates there have been at least 15 million illnesses, 150,000 hospitalizations and 9,300 deaths from flu this season.

Now as for COVID, according to survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, new studies are emphasizing the effectiveness of the newer bivalent COVID boosters compared to no vaccine at all. The updated vaccine is 56 percent effective against emergency room or urgent care visits.

But only about four in 10 U.S. adults say they've gotten the updated booster or plan to do so as soon as possible. Health officials are warning this is particularly dangerous for those with weakened immune systems.


DR. CHRISTINE HAHN, IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH: If you have heart disease, asthma, diabetes, obesity or a weakened immune system from cancer, you are at higher risk of severe disease from flu or COVID.


BRUNHUBER: Another respiratory disease is also getting attention from health experts. The Centers for Disease Control is investigating a rise in strep A infections in the U.S., especially among children. Health officials say it's too soon to say whether the numbers are rising beyond what they normally see or if it's just a return to pre- pandemic levels.

Strep isn't fatal for most people and can be treated with antibiotics.

An important immigration policy in the U.S. is expected to change next week. And that's worrying officials in American cities along the border with Mexico. Ahead, why the situation may get worse right before Christmas. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching here in the United States, Canada and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

A U.S. appeals court has rejected the last-minute appeal to keep the Title 42 Trump-era border policy in place, also called the "Remain in Mexico" measure, which forced many undocumented immigrants and those seeking asylum to remain in Mexico or go to their home nations instead of being allowed to cross the southern U.S. border.

The Biden administration is expected to stop enforcing the measure this Wednesday.

And in El Paso, Texas, officials are trying to find resources for the hundreds of migrants who are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border every day. Here's Ed Lavandera with the challenges they're facing.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 39 degrees and getting colder. This is Roberto Cordoba's first night sleeping on the El Paso streets. He says he's never experienced anything close to homelessness. He left Cuba last month and is hoping to get to Miami soon.

LAVANDERA: He says this is the first time in his life he's ever had to spend the night on the street and he feels completely lost.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): A thin pair of New York giants socks and unlaced shoes won't be enough to get through the frigid night.

LAVANDERA: Everything that he's wearing now, the jackets in the heavy clothing donated people who have dropped it off here. Roberto hopes there's something else to keep him warm. In the back of Sandragrace Martinez's car for days, she's handed out donated goods.

SANDRAGRACE MARTINEZ, VOLUNTEER: Their survival mode, it's fight or flight for them.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The long lines of migrants from what is Mexico waiting to get escorted into El Paso by border patrol agents has significantly dwindled, a sign that perhaps this latest migration surge has slowed down for now. But that could change next week with the Title 42 Public Health rule set to expire.

That order allows for the swift expulsion of migrants at the border as more migrants arrive in El Paso officials plan to bring in more buses to move migrants to their destinations in the U.S. faster, hoping to prevent a backlog of people on the streets.

MARIO D'AGOSTINO, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER, EL PASO: And so, with that, that might bring in transportation in forms of buses to get them to that transportation hub, whether it's Dallas or Denver or Phoenix or whatever that next large airport or bus terminal is, it's to move them on to those locations.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): El Paso Emergency Management outreach teams are helping migrants find shelter space at night. But Albert Robles and his wife have been sleeping on the street buried under blankets since Monday night.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Their bus ticket to Connecticut isn't good until this weekend.

LAVANDERA: He said the first night that he was sleeping on the street, it was drizzly and cold, it was almost like a fatal feeling. But he thought, you know, he's been dreaming of this moment for so long. But there was no way he was going to turn back.

City and county public officials have been meeting with the federal government including Customs and Border Protection officials. They're all in the process of planning and preparing for what's to come next week if and when Title 42 is lifted on Wednesday -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, El Paso, Texas.


BRUNHUBER: Lawmakers in Peru have rejected a key demand of protesters by voting against a constitutional reform to move up elections.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): At least 20 people have died in the unrest gripping the nation since the ouster of former president Pedro Castillo. In addition to early elections, protesters also want Castillo to be freed from detention and for his successor to step down.


BRUNHUBER: He was arrested and impeached last week after attempting to dissolve congress. He's been ordered to be held on charges of conspiracy and rebellion.

Peru's government says it's planning to evacuate the hundreds of tourists stranded by the unrest gripping the nation. Many of them are Americans. And the U.S. says it's in touch with citizens trapped there. CNN's Rafael Romo spoke with some tourists whose dream vacations turned into a nightmare.


MICHAEL REINER, AMERICAN TOURIST: We were out a few times when some of the initial protests were beginning.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): It was the trip he had been looking forward to. Michael Reiner, an American tourist, who lives in Washington, D.C., says he was very excited about traveling to Peru with another seven Americans, friends from college and others.

REINER: We arrived in Lima last Thursday night. We left Friday morning from Lima to Cusco. From there, we spent three days in (INAUDIBLE), which is part of the sacred valley between Machu Picchu and Cusco.

ROMO (voice-over): But the fun trip to an exotic location came to a screeching halt Monday when they realized all of a sudden the whole country was in turmoil and their safety was no longer guaranteed.

REINER: To be a tourist in a country where there's political unrest taking place before our eyes is a whole new way of experiencing a country.

ROMO (voice-over): Deadly protests around Peru have rocked the South American country for more than a week after the former president Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve congress.

Lawmakers responded by impeaching him and the attorney general put him in jail, accusing him of conspiracy and rebellion, which prompted thousands of his supporters to violently take to the streets.

Eight provinces throughout the country are now under curfew. But Lima, the capital, is not included so far. In addition to regular Peruvians, the chaos is impacting hundreds if not thousands of international tourists, who are stranded in Peru right now.

People like Jon Royer, an American from Baltimore, who's traveling with his girlfriend and currently stuck in Cusco.


JON ROYER, AMERICAN TOURIST: My girlfriend was in the restaurant and then, all of a sudden, we heard a whistle blowing and all of the shops started slamming their doors and everybody ran off the street, you know, into the shops.


ROMO (voice-over): Every year, thousands of foreign tourists are drawn to world-famous sites like the Machu Picchu Inca Citadel. The problem now is that many of them are trapped in different cities because some airports are closed and they can't take flights to make a connection in Lima to leave the country.

REINER: There's something bigger happening here than just our travel experience. And having been to many parts of South America, I know that the priority should be with supporting the Peruvian people.

ROMO (voice-over): President Dina Boluarte declared a state of emergency Wednesday, hoping that some of the measures like banning large gatherings and suspending some personal freedoms would bring an end to the chaos -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


BRUNHUBER: Every soccer fan dreams of attending at least one World Cup match.

But how about attending every single game of the month-long tournament?

We'll have details on the fan that's about to reach that goal. Stay with us.










BRUNHUBER: Wall Street closes out the week in the red.

What's got the markets so concerned?

We'll explain that just ahead. Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Well, it was a bad week for Wall Street amid growing recession fears. Stocks tumbled yet again Friday with the Dow ending down nearly 300 points. Matt Egan with more on what's behind the market selloff.


MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Recession fears are back on Wall Street in a big way. U.S. markets finished lower on Friday, ending an ugly week for stocks.


EGAN: This selloff really got started almost exactly at 2:00 pm Eastern time on Wednesday. That's when the Federal Reserve announced its interest rate decision. The Fed's statement and projections raised fears of more Fed rate hikes ahead.

And remember, the more the Fed does, the greater they risk that they do too much and that they cause a recession. Jerome Powell's press conference only reinforced these concerns further.

But this is not just about the Fed. Thursday's weaker than expected reports on retail sales and manufacturing suggested that real cracks are forming in this economy. So if you add a tough-sounding Fed to weakening economic numbers, you get rising recession fears.

I would note, though, that Powell and the Fed, they're probably just fine with this selloff. Their inflation-fighting campaign requires tighter financial conditions. They don't want the markets to boom. And they know, the more hawkish they sound, the less work they have to do.

In some ways the market is in a lose-lose situation now because good economic news is being treated as bad news by investors because it means a tougher Fed. And bad economic news is bad for investors -- and everyone -- because it raises the risk of recession.

Still, some investors I talked to argue that this selloff is getting out of hand. Veteran market strategist Art Hogan told me it's, quote, "too soon" to sound recession alarm bells and this drop is likely overdone. What's clear is the market is pricing in the greater risk of a recession. What's less clear is if the market is right -- back to you.


BRUNHUBER: All right. That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. I'll be back in a moment with more news. Please do stay with us.