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Mcconnell Out Of Hospital, In Rehab Facility After Fall; Trump Ramps Up Attacks On Desantis In Iowa; Desantis Sides With Trump, Says Ukraine Not Key U.S. Interests; Louisville Police Department Agrees To Improve Transparency After DOJ Report; Facebook Parent Meta To Lay Off Another 10,000 Employees. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired March 14, 2023 - 15:30   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is now out of the hospital and recovering at an in-patient rehab facility.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The 81-year-old Republican leader suffered a concussion and rib fracture after falling at a D.C. hotel last week. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now. So, Jacqueline, you know, how unusual is it to have to go to a rehab facility after a fall-like this, and what does it tell us about McConnell's recovery?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, it does tell us, John, that he's not back at 100 percent quite yet because he still has to complete this physical therapy at the rehab facility, but this is common.

What we're hearing from his team in a statement his communications director says, quote, at the advice of his physician the next step will be a period of physical therapy at an in-patient rehabilitation facility before he returns home. Over the course of treatment this weekend the leader's medical team discovered he also suffered a minor rib fracture on Wednesday for which he's also being treat.

So that's the latest we heard. And in this update we also heard that his concussion recovery is proceeding well. But to hear these kind of injuries following a fall at his age is not uncommon. This just tells us he has a little more work to do before he's back at 100 percent.

GOLODRYGA: 81 years old, and of course we wish him a continued speedy recovery. Jacqueline Howard, thank you.

BERMAN: So, the Republican caucuses in Iowa may still be more than ten months away, but the battle has begun.

GOLODRYGA: And while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has yet to announce that he's running for president, that's not stopping Donald Trump from sharpening his attacks against him.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ron DeSantis -- did anybody ever hear of DeSantis --DeSanctimonious? He was very, very bad on ethanol and he fought it all the way. He fought against Social Security, he wanted to decimate it and voted against it three times.

Voted against Social Security. That's a bad one. But you have to remember Ron was a disciple of Paul Ryan who is a RINO loser. And to be honest with you Ron remind me a lot of Mitt Romney.



GOLODRYGA: Margaret Talev, a CNN political analyst and senior contributor to Axios. Hey, Margaret, good to see you. So, interesting because the attacks against Paul Ryan elicited boos but it was sort of a mixed response from the crowd there when the former president went after Governor DeSantis. What does that tell you about their standing in terms of vying for the top spot in the party -- noting that DeSantis has yet to decide and announce what he's doing.

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, Bianna, I mean, look, what it tells me is that there is tremendous at least curiosity about Governor DeSantis in early Republican states around the country including in Iowa.

And look, it's no surprise Donald Trump feels threatened bide Ron DeSantis. He's going after him. Donald Trump is mad at Mike Pence. Pence says history it going to hold Trump accountable. Trump says histories going to hold Mike Pence accountable for January 6.

Donald Trump uses the tried-and-true tactics, wants to knock down all of his rivals or would be rivals. I think my question today about Governor DeSantis is whether his fairly controversial position, posture on the relevance of the war in Ukraine to U.S. policy, whether that's going to be impacted by what's happened with the drones over the Black Sea with the U.S. drones.

BERMAN: All right, that's interesting to tie these two things together. Let's talk more about this statement Ron DeSantis made then -- because you brought it up, Margaret. And this is to Fox, to Tucker Carlson, so consider the audience there. Ron DeSantis called the invasion, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the illegal unprovoked invasion a territorial dispute, basically saying the U.S. shouldn't be too involved there. What are the politics of that, Margaret?

TALEV: I mean, look, so far Donald Trump has been the core of the -- sort of anti- -- not going to say anti-Ukraine but anti-U.S. involvement, limiting U.S. involvement. Some people have said that this puts DeSantis in Trump's camp. I think it puts DeSantis further to the right of Donald Trump. And that Donald Trump has said that Ukraine is not of vital national interest to the U.S., and it's more of vital interest to Europe and that the U.S. shouldn't be as involved.

DeSantis has taken this further calling it a territorial dispute. There is -- Ukraine is a major wedge issue inside the Republican Party. There is a isolationist and nationalist wing, and just a wing that has fatigue from two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan that's saying the U.S. should focus on its problems back home.

That is not a unanimous view inside the Republican Party by any means especially when it comes to Russia and what -- and the tests that Russia is making out of Ukraine right now.

And you can see that Marco Rubio now criticizing DeSantis and they share a state. You know, Marco Rubio is a Republican Senator from Florida, but saying, no, this is not a territorial dispute. Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, much more in a we should do more not less position when it comes to Ukraine.

So, we're seeing those battle line. But if you add Trump and DeSantis together in terms of early support you're looking at a majority of Republican early 2024 support and it goes to one of these two candidates and they are both now firmly in the get the U.S. out of Ukraine's war camp and that is very noteworthy.

Yes, that says something. That is noteworthy. And you look at new CNN polling that suggests exactly what you just laid out there, that the majority of Republican voters for now at least when presented with nine potential candidates, Donald Trump is number one at 40 percent, and Ron DeSantis is there at 36 percent.

This isn't just an inside party issue now in terms of where Ukraine stands. This is something that the White House I would imagine is watching closely as well because when you've got a divided Congress, you've got a president who's going to have to go back and ask for more funding to support this war throughout the year.

TALEV: Yes, and it's part of why -- you recall before Kevin McCarthy's 13 votes and became speaker, why there was such an end of the year push in 2022 to get as much Ukraine funding locked down as possible. Because there was acute awareness it was going to be very hard to get any additional funding in this fiscal year.

The challenge is that the war is clearly going to go beyond this fiscal year, and what happens then? At this moment even the presidential elections are always about the U.S. economy. Look, if things continue escalating, if there are conflicts or problems with the de-escalation agreements between the U.S. and Russia in areas like international waters around the Black Sea, like that is a real problem. And it threatens to pull the U.S. further in.


But if Russia is doing the testing -- is testing the boundaries, is using this as testing the U.S. resilience and willingness, then this domestic desire to pull back is really going to run up against what is the U.S.'s role in the world and is the U.S. going to, you know, cede moral authority to Russia. It's shaping up to be a major issue in the campaign, I think.

BERMAN: Margaret Talev, great to see you today. Thanks so much.

So, there are new efforts to increase police transparency in Louisville, Kentucky, after a scathing report by the Justice Department revealed abuses within the city's police department three years after Breonna Taylor's death.



BERMAN: Today the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, announced an agreement between the police and the inspector general to increase transparency with the public. This follows a scathing report by the Justice Department that found the city's police department routinely discriminated and abused their power.

GOLODRYGA: The DOJ launched that investigation after the botched no knock raid that killed Breonna Taylor three years ago. CNN's Brynn Gingras is following this for us. So, Brynn, what more do we know about this?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so not just that DOJ investigation, Office of Inspector General was also formed after that happened with Breonna Taylor. And so, after that was formed and people could come forward to some civilian review board and made complaints against the Louisville Police Department. They were having trouble -- according to this inspector general -- with getting information from the police department to conduct these investigations against these complaints of officers.

So, this takes out a way. There's now going to be more transparency for the public in Louisville. There's a new mayor, a new interim police chief, so lots of changes there.

Two headlines to really point out here. One of them is that this is now going to allow the inspector general's office to require officers to be present for when they actually interview witnesses, and they're going, of course, have due process for those officers as well. So they're going to be a part of this process as they conduct these investigations by the inspector general's office.

And the second is a big one, and this is body cameras. Of course we know how much body camera footage is so important to come to light. That wasn't exactly happening in Louisville as we have seen not just there but of course in other instances across the country.

So now this is going to allow the inspector general's office access to that body camera footage as well as administrative documents to conduct that investigation and have no lag. Because that's also a big thing, right? They want that video to be -- you know, handed over right away so there is no questions of any manipulation of video by the police department.

So, these are two big headlines. And as you guys mention this directly addresses sort of the DOJ conversation that points out what they pointed out last week about what reforms needed today be made. But I want you to hear from the police chief her response to these new reforms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHIEF JACQUELYN GWINN-VILLAROEL, LOUISVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: I fully know from where I stand today that my officers are wanting to do what is best for the department and for the community. So I'm going to put myself out here and say I've got faith in them as I stand today that they will do what is in the best interest in order to move these processes along. This is a new day.


GINGRAS: And a new day it is, what she says for that community. Of course there needs to be so much change in that community, so much trust that needs to be built between the community and the police department. The mayor hopes this the next step. He says more changes to come, of course there are more than 30 commendations made by the DOJ last week and he says they'll continuing to be address those.

BERMAN: Yes, they've got a lot of work to do there.


BERMAN: Brynn Gingras great to see you, thanks so much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, Facebook's parent company Meta says it is laying off another 10,000 employees since scrapping thousands of open positions. Stay with us for more on this.



GOLODRYGA: Earlier today, Facebook's parent company Meta announced that it will lay off another 10,000 employees. Founder Mark Zuckerberg said details about the restructuring will be announced in April and May.

BERMAN: So, these are just the latest layoffs to hit Meta. In November, the tech giant cut 13 percent of its workforce. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is with us now. So, what is going on there? Did Mark Zuckerberg explain why the company is shrinking so much?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: He did, he's called his part of efficiency and part of that is these layoffs. And as you mentioned, this is the second round. There were layoffs in November, about 11,000. This round of layoffs is about 10,000, an additional 13 percent of the company.

But what he sent to employees this morning is a lengthy memo, but in part it said quote: We should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years. Higher interest rates lead to the economy running leaner. And increased regulation leads to slower growth.

And, yes, he is correct about that. But we also have to rewind and point out that tech companies aggressively hired over the pandemic because we were living so much of our lives online. With the undoing of all of these pandemic rules and regulations, we started to live offline again. And with Meta in particular, a lot of advertisers are pulling back on their spending. Meta, Facebook, Instagram, all owned by Meta, makes money on advertising.

And so, for Meta, they have to make the very critical, but for people getting laid off, tough decisions. And in terms of this year alone, 2023, we've seen 128,000 layoffs across tech companies including Lyft, Microsoft, Google. Compare that to last year when there were 161,000 layoffs. It is creeping up there very quickly. There's been a lot of robust layoffs this year.

But it's important to point out to folks that we saw a very robust jobs report -- 311,000 jobs added. So, there are other industries that are hiring. It's just the tech industry is experiencing a pullback right now.

But the tech industry only represents about 2 percent to 3 percent of the overall labor market. So, we don't want too much weight into this, but of course, we're talking about people's jobs. 10,000 jobs is the second greatest layoff that Meta has had to do.


And it's coming very quickly after the first round of layoffs in November.

GOLODRYGA: It's important though you've that put it in that perspective because these are big names.


BERMAN: We talk about them a lot. But in terms of the overall economy, they make up a small fraction of the labor force. And as you know, there had been an abundance, perhaps an overabundance of hiring during the pandemic. So, this may be just leveling out.

YURKEVICH: It's a course correction. It's a course correction, when people see the big names, they think, am I next in my industry, in my job. Tech sector is a special case, but of course, important because these are jobs.

BERMAN: It does make you wonder why they didn't do this batch with the first batch.


BERMAN: What happened in this short interregnum that caused Facebook to realize, oh, we have to cut more right now? I imagine we could learn more about that in the comes days.

YURKEVICH: It's going to happen over the next year or so. So, a longer time to do these layoffs. They're kind of getting ahead of it. But, yes, certainly they could have done this all at once, but I think they're hedging a little on what's to come, guys.

GOLODRYGA: And notable, they're citing interest rates as well. Vanessa, thank you. YURKEVICH: Thank you, guys.

BERMAN: All right. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right after a quick break.