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Weekly Jobless Claims Drop; Rep. Zoe Lofgren is Interviewed about January 6th Committee; Macron And Wife to Arrive for State Visit. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 01, 2022 - 08:30   ET




BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that, of course, is the iconic voice of Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie and her song "Don't Stop" from the groundbreaking album "Rumors." McVie died Wednesday after a short illness. Fleetwood Mac paid tribute in a statement saying, she was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life. Christine McVie was 79 years old.

You can't help but sway. Just -

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: I know. That is true.

GINGRAS: I heard you singing in the break, Don.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: She was amazing. She was amazing. And, like, can we back to the cliff jumper thing. I mean if it had not been for the rock that grabbed the - I mean -



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: How did he get down, do we know?

LEMON: Yes, do we know?

GINGRAS: Airlifted, in the hospital, critical condition. So, let's hope that he has a OK (ph) recovery.

HARLOW: Amazing. Amazing.

LEMON: If it had not caught on that thing - on the rock.



HARLOW: Yes. Should buy a lottery ticket today.


HARLOW: Lucky. Lucky.

LEMON: Thank you, Brynn.

HARLOW: Thank goodness.

OK, so on the economy, we're waiting for a key inflation report. That's going to come any moment. We'll bring it to you straight ahead.

COLLINS: Also, as the January 6th committee is staring down that fast- approaching deadline to finish its final report, sources tell CNN they're planning to discuss those potential criminal referrals at a meeting tomorrow. We'll talk to Congressman Zoe Lofgren, who sits on that committee.



HARLOW: Just a few moments ago, the Labor Department released new jobless claims numbers, a key inflation report. Let's talk about all of this with CNN chief business correspondent, anchor of "EARLY START," Christine Romans, and CNN business correspondent Rahel Solomon.

Where do you want to start?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So, let's start with these PCE price index. It sounds like alphabet soup, right, but this is what the Fed watches. This is the Fed's favorite inflation gauge.

So, year over year, this inflation gauge up 6 percent. That sounds like it's hot, right? But it's cooling from 6.2 percent in September, 6.2 percent in August, 6.4 percent in July. So, going in the right direction. Sort of showing those signs of peeking. And overall, month to month, up 0.3 percent, which is also an improvement of the prior couple of months.

The Fed likes to look at what's called the core deflator. So, digging in and taking out some of the more volatile sectors. And that cooled a little bit too, 5 percent there and 0.2 percent overall.

So, look, we still have inflation in the economy. We still have a lot of inflation in the economy. But it's not inflation that's raging higher and higher and higher everything month, showing those signs of peaking, which is what a lot of people have been looking forward to seeing.

COLLINS: And the White House said yesterday, after they saw that GDP for the third quarter, that they believed inflation's moderating, those signs. What is it - what did they take away from those? RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, I think this is yet another inflation report that shows that inflation is moderating, right? We got it the last time we got the CPI report, the Consumer Price Index report. This inflation report saying the same.

One thing, not to be, you know, negative Nancy here, but one thing that we haven't seen yet in any of these inflation reports is really declining inflation, right? We're seeing a slowing of growth, a moderation, as Christine pointed out, but we're still waiting for declines. And I think that will be a good turning point.

LEMON: But it's still a cooling, as we said. And, listen, you know the conversation again that we have been having about measuring the economy and the right metrics, what have you.


LEMON: It is in the right direction.

ROMANS: It is. And there is so much conflicting information. I was just telling Rahel outside in the break, flip a coin. We're either headed to a recession or the economy is just fine. Every day there's a different piece of data that gives you different part of this story. The Fed would like to see some cooling here.

The Fed has been raising interest rates aggressively to get inflation under control. But we heard from the Fed chief yesterday, the job market is still very strong, 1.7 workers for every available job. But the Fed chief specifically mentioned that number, saying, you know, you - this is a labor mark that's doing very well, except you kind of don't want it to be doing so well when you're trying to get inflation under control.

LEMON: Christine, we've been working together, and you've been here longer, for 16 years we've been covering this.


LEMON: We did the recession in the 2000s, right, remember and -

ROMANS: Yes. Oh, let's not talk about it.

LEMON: And - so - but is there anything in this -- this is your expertise -- that tells you where we are right now?

ROMANS: I can tell you - I'm so glad you put that framing in - we are in such better shape today than we were in 2007, 2008, 2009. I mean, a completely different world. Balance sheets are fine.

Look, consumers say they feel real crappy about the economy. They think the economy is real lousy. They are spending to go to Disney. They're spending to get on airplanes. They are waiting to spend on new cars because they don't have the cars that they want yet because of the chip shortage.

So, on the one hand, you have this anxiety about what's going to happen in the economy. And, on the other hand, 2.9 percent economic growth from the third quarter.


ROMANS: Before the pandemic, that would be see as just fine, maybe even great. So, the economy is maybe stronger than all of us worrywarts think it is.

SOLOMON: And you know what's interesting. Yesterday when we got the GDP report, the revision, it was revised up, in part because of consumer spending.


SOLOMON: So, to Christine's point, I mean we feel -

HARLOW: The all-powerful consumer.

SOLOMON: The all-powerful American consumer, yes, we love to spend, and we continue to spend.

HARLOW: Never count out a day at the shopping mall.

ROMANS: This is true.

HARLOW: Thank you very much.

LEMON: Thank you.

ROMANS: Retail therapy, right?

HARLOW: I guess.

COLLINS: Thank you both.

All right, the clock is ticking today for the January 6th committee. It is just weeks left before Congress' winter recess. The members say they don't expect to conduct any more interviews before delivering their final report in a few weeks. And this comes after sitting down with more than a thousand witnesses, including some of Trump's closest allies and family, members of Pence's inner circle, Secret Service agents. We can see them pictured here. Also other government officials. The committee wrapped up all of its interviews yesterday. A final interview with the Wisconsin speaker, Republican Robin Vos, about the pressure he faced from Trump to overturn Wisconsin's election results just as recently as this summer.


ROBIN VOS (R), WISCONSIN STATE ASSEMBLY: That's, you know, it's one of those that - that -- it's very consistent. He makes his case, which I respect. He would like us to do something different in Wisconsin. I explained that it's not allowed under the constitution. He has a different opinion. Then he put the tweet out. So, that's it.


COLLINS: So, joining us now to discuss all of this is Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. She's a member, obviously, of the January 6th committee.

Congresswoman, thank you for joining us. And I want to start with that last interview that you had yesterday, what we were told is the final interview.


So, tell us if it's not. But what did Robin Vos tell the committee?

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, as you know, our rules don't allow us to discuss what witnesses say. But I can confirm that, you know, I believe this is the last witness. We have interviewed over 1,000 people. It's been very thorough. Some witnesses were more enlightening than others. But it's very clear that the former president engaged in a pressure campaign, some public, some private, to get people to overturn the results of the election. And it really is kind of a coup attempt. And that a very serious matter. And we uncovered element of that. Some of it was overt. Some of it was hidden. And now we're in - trying to finish up writing our report. It's December 1st. We have a month at the most to go, and we expect to be done well before the end of this month.

COLLINS: And when should the American public expect to see that report, Congresswoman?

LOFGREN: Well, when we're done. Well, you know, we've got to send it over to the government printing office and they'll produce the written report. We'll have a digital version as well. And we're actually compiling an interactive version. You can't do interactive on print. So, it's a lot of work involved and the members of the committee are actively involved in editing and making sure that what we release is actually tethered to the facts we found, not going off on tangents or just opinions that we can't tie into the facts.

COLLINS: Well, just to follow up on that, do you -- should people expect that closer to Christmas or do you think it will potentially be after the holidays?

LOFGREN: I don't know because we have to get it over the to the printers, and then the printers will, you know follow their own path.


LOFGREN: So, I can't speak for them. But we'll get it done this month for sure.

COLLINS: OK. We'll be watching closely, of course.

Tomorrow I know there is the meeting about the criminal referrals. That has been something that people have been watching closely. How many criminal referrals do you expect to make and will Trump be one of those?

LOFGREN: Well, I can't tell you that yet. We haven't had our meeting. Honestly, we meet multiple times a week, sometimes virtually, and we've gone through -- again, we want anything we send over to DOJ as a recommendation needs to be tethered to the facts that we found. And if we don't make a recommendation, and this is not relative to Mr. Trump or any other person, it doesn't mean necessarily that we don't think they're - that they shouldn't investigate. But we want to make sure that we are on - on firm ground if we make any recommendations over to DOJ.

COLLINS: Is it fair to say you are considering criminal referrals, though, for those Republican lawmakers who defied subpoenas from your committee?

LOFGREN: Well, we're trying to consider what to do with the members who defied the subpoena. There are separation of powers issues that we're considering. That's very important to the members of the committee. The Constitution is important to the members of the committee. So, we'll come to a resolution on that as well.

COLLINS: And yesterday you saw Kevin McCarthy said that he wants the committee to preserve its findings, even what doesn't make it into your final report that you noted has to be printed. Are you concerned that when Republicans take over the House, they will try to undermine the work that the January 6th committee has done?

LOFGREN: Well, they've been pretty clear that they'd like to undermine the work that we've done. But we're going to prevent that. We're going to release all the information we've collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun. And that --

COLLINS: OK, so everything's going to be released?

LOFGREN: That's correct.

COLLINS: OK. That's - that's very good to know because one thing we heard from yesterday was the attorney general, Merrick Garland, also talking about what he would like to see from the committee. This is what he told our colleague Evan Perez.


MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We would like to have all the transcripts and all the other evidence collected by the community so that - by the committee so that we can use it in the ordinary course of our investigations.


COLLINS: Congresswoman, when does the committee plan to turn over those transcripts and that evidence, all of it, to the Justice Department?

LOFGREN: All of our evidence will be released this month. And, you know, the attorney general has his job and the Congress has its job. We're not an arm of the Department of Justice and they're not an arm of the Congress. We'd like to have all of their witness transcripts and interviews as well, but quite properly they have declined to do that. So, they're going to have everything. And they will have everything this month. COLLINS: OK. So they'll get the transcripts and the evidence when the

public gets the transcripts and the evidence, is that right?

LOFGREN: Well, and it - and it will be -- that's correct, it will be very soon.

COLLINS: OK. And one less question about, you know, why that hasn't been turned over already because we had heard from some frustrated Justice Department officials who kind of wanted more of that information as you've been working.


What's the reason for waiting to turn that over?

LOFGREN: Well, we -- you know, we had a series of interviews that we wanted to pursue without having leaks and dribbling out of information. We've now completed all of our interviews. We're working -- honestly we're going to scrub personal information. For example, if a witness gave their cell phone or their personal email, we're deleting that. It's unfair to, you know, have people harassed by the public.

But, with the exception of that sort of information, we're going to release this all. And certainly DOJ, we would give them the deleted phone numbers if they want. But the public will get, you know, all of this with those personal information protected.

COLLINS: All right, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, thanks for making some news there and giving us an update on the committee.

LOFGREN: You bet.

LEMON: I want to take you now to some live pictures there you see of the White House because any minute now the French president, Emmanuel Macron, will arrive at the White House for the state first state visit of the Biden presidency.



LEMON: This is the pageantry of America, right, right here. The White House looks beautiful, all adorned in Christmas.

COLLINS: A state visit is so fun when you're a White House reporter to cover this.

LEMON: Is it amazing?

COLLINS: Just to see everything that comes together.

LEMON: Yes. So, they -- they're festive at the White House, right? Any money now, we should tell you why we're looking at this, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and his wife, Brigitte, arriving at the White House. Biden and Macron are expected to hold bilateral talks on Ukraine, Iran, and China ahead of a joint news conference later today.

Kate Bennett, right in the middle of it now, standing by live at the White House.

Hello to you.

The Bidens are really going all out here for this first state dinner, aren't they?

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They really are. As you can see, this is really the pinnacle of diplomacy. It's the red carpet times a million for the United States and France today. There will be a 21-gun salute here even later this morning.

But I will say the dinner tonight is really going to be big. About 400 guests. You can't see, but just off the South Lawn here, a little further down, there's a large -- the White House is calling it a pavilion, but it's a tent that's been erected where the guests will come tonight and have dinner. This spectacular multicourse dinner that's going to feature some butter poached lobster from Maine, and some beef main course and an orange chiffon cake. You know, the trick of these state dinners is always to combine the two countries --

LEMON: You're making us hungry.

BENNETT: You've got to combine the two countries in a way that feels seamless. So like there are going to be French-made champagne flutes but filled with American sparkling wine. There will be a cheese course, but it will be American cheeses. So, it's sort of that blend of getting the two countries together in this menu.

The colors are going to be red, white and blue. I saw a glimpse of the tables yesterday. It's - you know, it's -- the Statue of Liberty is one of the hallmarks of the program tonight. There are beautiful silver candelabras that sort of mimic the idea of the Statue of Liberty, of course, a gift to the United States from France.

And John Batiste, I know you guys talked about this earlier this week, will be the entertainment tonight.



BENNETT: He will be performing inside that pavilion, that tent. There will be dancing I hear. So, it should be a very fun evening.

You know, this is the first state dinner for the Bidens. That's why there are a lot of guests. They've been waiting quite some time to put this dinner on. So it's certainly going to be a pretty spectacular evening for sure.

LEMON: Kate, thank you. We'll take a doggy bag. Overnight it.

BENNETT: I'll try to save you some.

HARLOW: Chiffon -- orange chiffon cake. Yum.

LEMON: And champagne.

Thank you. Enjoy. Appreciate it.

BENNETT: I'll save it for you. Sure.

HARLOW: Thank you.

Also we want to show you this. At first - a first, rather, I should say -

LEMON: A first, yes.

HARLOW: At the World Cup. Look at that. What do you see on your screen there? The first - for the first time a woman will be the lead referee for a men's World Cup soccer game. Stephanie Frappart will lead an all-female referee trio officiating Coast Rica versus Germany in their Group E match later today.

LEMON: So, are we going to the big state visit or are we ad libing here? They're talking - oh, are we talking about our coverage? Is that what we're - no, I just want to know, are we?

HARLOW: Poppy's face.

LEMON: OK, so we're talking about the - we're talking about sports and women in sports because we had this very animated conversation earlier. Part of it was in jest in the -- a lot of people, I assume, were offended by some of the things that I said, but, you know, I'm not sexist, by the way. We were having a --

HARLOW: He - he's not, by the way.

LEMON: Yes, we were having a conversation that was -

HARLOW: And for someone who's been your friend for a decade -

LEMON: Yes. Look, I grew up in a family of all women. You know, not that this is an excuse, all women. And so I am used to having conversations with women who are strong and who stand up to me. And that's, I think, you two women are strong and you stand up to me and I appreciate that. But --

COLLINS: I also think it's just a good conversation to have -


COLLINS: Because there are people out there who share what you were saying earlier and view it that way. And I think that's why it's important to talk about it because it's - it's the question of why is it this way when we talk about what women are paid and what that looks like.

I mean we saw this play out in the international stage when it came to women's soccer and as they were pushing back. But it's -- it happened in tennis. You know, remember, in the 1980s, and they fought over the fact that they were paid so much - they were paid hundreds of dollars for winning the U.S. Open. Men were paid thousands of dollars. And it's an interesting conversation to have about why there is the pay disparity.

HARLOW: So, I want you to make the point that you were trying to make earlier.

COLLINS: I was just saying that it's institutionalized in a sense of that there have been so many more decades of marketing and promotional aspects when it comes to men's sports. It's not just about the pay, it's where they play, it's the kind of coaches they have, it's the kind of treatment they get.

LEMON: I agree with you on that. We were talking about pay. I completely agree with you on that and I agree like the women's facilities, if you look at what happens at the Olympics and -- those are different. But pay is a whole different story. That's not -- we weren't talking about these issues, we were talking - this is -- that you have up there. That is - that is problematic. But, but go ahead, Poppy, and say what you said and then I'll --

HARLOW: Just building on Kaitlan's point that I think is really good and it's so well put.


This year marks 50 years since Title 9. But Title 9 doesn't exist beyond college. So, here's the problem when you get to professional sports and you get to like soccer is - we're seeing this at the World Cup, but you get to the WNBA. And I sat down last year with Cathy Engelbert, the commissioner of the WNBA, to talk about why the heck those folks are paid so much less. By the way, do you know why Brittney Griner went to Russia?

LEMON: Because she had to supplement her pay because she doesn't get paid as much.

HARLOW: That's right. That's exactly right.


HARLOW: And let me just finish what Cathy Engelbert said to me is, she goes to big media execs at big companies and big, you know, tech companies who pay for advertising and who decide to put women's sports on their screens, on their channels, and ask them why there is not more equality. And she says -- she tells them to put their money where their mouth is all the time when they talk about equality. And I asked her, do you believe that WNBA players are missing out on more equal pay because they're not getting the media coverage they deserve, the eyeballs they deserve for people to see what great players they are. And she said, there's no question about it.

So, I think you have to put it there for people to -- more people to see.

LEMON: Look, I understand. And that's the reality for her and for you.

Here's - here's - here's my -

HARLOW: It's - it's not just for us, it's the reality.

LEMON: OK, but here's - here's -- listen to what I'm saying here. I think all of that is an issue. And it should be addressed. When I sit here, I'm not necessarily speaking for 100 percent of what I believe.


LEMON: I'm talking about also what people believe and here -- men in the studio. When I said the analogy in the sports bar, that is true. Men think that. And women. I've had -- my mother - and she's going to (INAUDIBLE) -- I would much prefer to watch a men's event than a woman's event, but I am a woman and I think women should be paid equally, OK. So I can understand. There's nuance in it. And by saying that, that doesn't make you sexist, it's a - it's a reality.

Hang on one second.

So, I'm just saying that if there is more interest in a men's sport, the business people, the people who make money off of sports, will put that on television because we live in a capitalist society. And if people are interested in that, then there would be more attention and more money would be paid. So, it's about the money.

COLLINS: But here's the thing -

HARLOW: Kaitlan, final word.

COLLINS: And this is the point that I have - that I was making, that goes to that, which is, why is that what people are watching? It's because it's what they're used to watching. Why is it? Because it's what they're used to watching? Because men were putting men's sports on TV way before women's sports.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

COLLINS: So, it's the systemic, institutionalized thing.


COLLINS: No, I'm not done yet.

LEMON: But it's perhaps that they are just more interested in it.

COLLINS: Don, I'm not done. But it's both - why are they more - but you are missing my point, why are they more interested, because men's sports has been around longer. People have been paying attention to it more.

There have been these amazing female sports stars that have only become household names in recent decades. That's the point. And I'm saying, if it - they both started at the exact same point and they both received the same amount of marketing and promotion and all that stuff, and then we got to where we are today, that would be a different point.

HARLOW: Guess what media -- big media giants, big advertisers, this is another opportunity to put the money where your mouth is.

LEMON: I respect your point. I respect your point. I don't - I don't believe that's accurate. I respect your point and I hear what you're saying. I don't believe that's accurate. We live in a capitalist society. And if people can make money off of whatever it is, they are going to exploit it. And there is a reason. And once part - I'm sure it's part of what you are saying and it's part of what you're saying, then these are conversations that we need to have. But I just think that we -


LEMON: I just think that we are lying to ourselves if we believe that someone cannot sit here and speak to truth to what we're talking about.

HARLOW: Can I read you - can I read you a headline?


HARLOW: This is a fact that my smart producer Annie gave me. Quote, from Forbes, the fastest growing audiences on TV are for women's sports.

LEMON: Growing.

COLLINS: But that's because -

HARLOW: That's where ad dollars go.

COLLINS: You're missing the point. They're coming - they're start -- coming at a later starting point than men's sports were. That's the whole point here.

HARLOW: You know what? Wait. No, I - this is why I love -

LEMON: It's - so I have a very good - I have a very good friend - I'm going to let you have the last word.

HARLOW: I'm giving Kaitlan the last word.

LEMON: I have a very good friend who just texted me who said, be careful, it is about the money. It's not about the money, but it is about the money. And I'm glad that you're saying that but be careful because people are going to think that you are sexist. And I'm not.

HARLOW: You're not.

LEMON: I'm just speaking to the reality of how people feel.

COLLINS: But we're just saying, let's look at the root of why people feel that way.

LEMON: That's your - OK.

COLLINS: This is why I'm the biggest sports fan ever.

HARLOW: I'm OK with waking up - that's why I'm OK with waking up at 2:30 in the morning. I'm not kidding. Because I get to be with you guys. It's important conversation. We're going to keep having it after 9:00 a.m.

LEMON: I think we should support conversation (ph). And I think that we should - we should invite - we should invite Megan on. We should invite -

HARLOW: Megan Rapinoe.

LEMON: Megan Rapinoe.

HARLOW: I said she should come on tomorrow.

LEMON: We should invite WNBA. We should talk about these things.

COLLINS: Who I think we know how she feels about this.

LEMON: Yes. Look, and I never said women should get paid less.

HARLOW: No, you didn't.

LEMON: I think women should get paid more. But, you know.

HARLOW: We do, too.

COLLINS: We think they should get paid equal.

LEMON: You guys, end it, last word.

HARLOW: Equal. Yes, more than they are. Equal to men.

Thanks for being with us. We'll be here tomorrow for you.

COLLINS: All right, you don't want to miss the big state visit, though.


COLLINS: That's coming up. That's going to be a really, really exciting thing to watch at the White House.