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CNN This Morning

Classified Docs from Biden's Time as VP Found in Private Office; Giuliani Subpoenaed in Special Counsel Probe of Coup Attempt; Investigators Searching Through Trash for Missing Mom; Roads Flooded, Rivers Swell, Trees Toppled as Powerful Storm Batters California; Biden Prepares New Measures to Curb Border Crossings; Disney's Iger Tells Employees to Return to Office 4 Days a Week; Study: Reduce Risk of Early Death by 20% by Eating Healthier. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired January 10, 2023 - 06:00   ET


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Huge setback here. Now, can they recover? Can they get back on it? We'll just have to see as we move forward. But not the finish they were hoping for.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Tom Foreman, thank you for that.

This important reminder about a recall. Fisher-Price is re-announcing a recall of one of its baby sleepers after more infant deaths were reported. The company initially recalled Rock 'n Play in 2019 after 30 infant deaths were linked to the product. Now the Consumer Products Safety Commission says about 70 more deaths have been reported since, eight of them apparently after the recall began.

Scientists say the weakened ozone layer, vital is protecting life here on Earth, is back on track to recover completely within decades. According to a U.N.-backed report, international cooperation has helped stem the damage from ozone-harming chemicals. It says the use of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, has decreased 99 percent since 1989.

All right. Thanks for joining me. I'm Christine Romans. CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any comment on the documents, sir?


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And there you see the president of the United States, Joe Biden, not commenting after classified documents from his time as VP were discovered in a private office.

Good morning, everyone. There you see us in this sort of pandemic era boxes, because we're in separate studios. We're having a little technical difficulties with our main studio this morning. So we'll be back in just a moment, but it's good to see both of you. How are you? Did you all make it? We were all just rushed up the elevator. POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Don documented it. So check your Instagram

later, folks. It's pretty funny. Great technical team who got us on the air. That's for sure.

LEMON: All right. So let's get to the show. We've got a lot to cover.

The Justice Department now in possession of those materials that I just spoke about. What we're learning about how they came to light and the key differences with the Mar-a-Lago case.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Also this morning, Rudy Giuliani has been subpoenaed amid the special counsel's investigation into Trump's fund- raising after those efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Also this.




COLLINS: A relentless and powerful storm slamming into California and leading to dramatic rescues. The threat is not over. See and hear what millions are up against.

LEMON: We'll get to all those stories and much, much more, but first, we're going to start with President Biden's lawyers finding a small number of classified documents during his time as vice president in his former private office. That happened last fall. In November they found it, as a matter of fact.

The documents were discovered in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. And Biden appears to be cooperating with the National Archives who referred the matter to the Justice Department for further investigation.

Now, Republicans have seized on the revelations, but to be clear, there are distinctions between what we know about this and Donald Trump's hoarding of secret records at Mar-a-Lago.

Here's what the president told CBS "60 Minutes" back in September when asked about that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you saw the photograph of the top-secret documents laid out on the floor at Mar-a-Lago, what did you think to yourself? Looking at that image.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How that could possibly happen. How anyone could be that irresponsible.


LEMON: So to start us off, we want to bring in now CNN's senior legal affairs correspondent, Paula Reid.

Paula, good morning. An unusual turn. How did this happen?


Well, these materials were discovered by a lawyer for President Biden on November 2. We've learned that they were in the process of closing out a Washington, D.C., based office that Biden used when he worked as an honorary professor from about 2017 to 2019.

Now they say they uncovered fewer than a dozen classified documents at the office, but it's unclear what they pertain to or why they were in this office.

Now when these materials were discovered, the White House counsel's office notified the National Archives. They took possession of the materials, we're told, the following morning.

But Attorney General Merrick Garland, he has assigned the U.S. attorney in Chicago to review this matter and conduct a damage assessment. Now Don, it's interesting that he is one of only two current Trump holdover U.S. attorneys still serving. The other is the Delaware U.S. attorney who is leading an investigation into the president's son, Hunter Biden.

Now in a statement, Biden's attorney says they are cooperating with the Archives and the Department of justice. But there's still a lot more we still need to know about how these materials ended up there, how certain they are that these are the only ones, and of course, how secure were these documents while they were in this office.


LEMON: OK. So Paula, speaking of differences, can you lay out the differences between this and the Mar-a-Lago document issue?

REID: It's a great question, Don.

So based on what Biden's team is saying, they are setting up some key differences from the Trump case. The first one is just the volume of materials that we're talking about. At this point, the Biden matter, we're dealing with less than a dozen documents, versus the hundreds in the Trump case.

Another big difference is cooperation. Biden's lawyers say they immediately cooperated. They turned over the documents they discovered, and that they continue to cooperate with the Justice Department.

When it comes to Trump, there was months of back and forth, where he refused and ignored the government requests, and really only handed over many of the documents when subpoenas were obtained.

The other big difference at this point is obstruction. Biden is not under investigation for potential obstruction. Trump is, as well as being under investigation for potential violations of the Espionage Act.

So at this point, Mar-a-Lago appears to be a much more complex investigation, a more complex set of legal issues.

But Don, the Biden matter, it's only come to light in the past 24 hours, and we'll continue to report it out.

LEMON: Former President Trump is also under investigation for possibly mishandling that classified information. This is going to be politicized. I imagine it has already been politicized by those on the right and the former president. How is he reacting?

REID: Well, the former president, he posted on his Truth Social platform asking, quote, "When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House? These documents were definitely not declassified."

Now, that term "raid," that is a term that his legal team has been chastised by a federal judge for using, because he is referring to a duly-executed search warrant that was carried out over the summer after information was obtained that documents were being moved.

But interestingly, I spoke with a member of his legal team last night, and they think the Biden case actually helps their defense. They say, Look, this just illustrates the problem with overclassification in government. That they're also watching these two cases very closely. They're looking for any differences in the handling of the two probes as they argue the Justice Department has made the Mar-a-Lago matter more contentious than necessary. But we'll see.

Again, we've been covering Mar-a-Lago for a lot longer, and Don, if it's one thing I've learned over the past seven years of covering various very high-profile officials who may or may not have mishandled classified information, these things are never simple.

LEMON: Yes. We have to see how this investigation plays out. But it's certainly an unforced error by President Biden. Thank you very much, Paula. We appreciate that -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes. Now to that investigation into former President Trump and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Not the documents investigation.

CNN is now learning that his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has been subpoenaed in a grand jury investigation of Trump's fundraising right after he lost to Joe Biden in November of 2020.

The special counsel has asked Giuliani to turn over records about the payments that he received around that time as he was filing several lawsuits on Trump's behalf.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz joining us with her exclusive reporting on this. Katelyn, what are we learning. You know, now that Giuliani has been subpoenaed, what does it mean about where this investigation is going? KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well,

Kaitlan, what this shows is this is part of this notable investigative move of them looking at the criminal conspiracy. The special counsel's office now wanting to make sure that they're digging into top people. Giuliani was a really central player in a lot of avenues that we know the January 6 investigation is looking at.

And one of the things that came out in reporting this, is our understanding now is the prosecutors are prioritizing trying to get records from Giuliani related to payments he would have received after the election as he was pushing these false election claims and as he was trying to work on Donald Trump's behalf as a lawyer, taking these claims into court, even going to state legislatures.

And one of the other things we learned is that there were other witnesses since Giuliani received the subpoena more than a month ago that have already been asked about payments, disbursements from the Save America PAC, which Donald Trump had set up after the election to raise money and to distribute it.

And so what this shows is it's pretty serious financial investigation that is happening under the special counsel's office right now around January 6.

COLLINS: And one aspect of this, Trump famously does not pay his attorneys. It's been something that has been a factor of the many investigations that he's faced and impeachment hearings. Did Giuliani get paid throughout all of this?

POLANTZ: Well, Kaitlan, I know you're reporting at the time was that Trump was hemming and hawing quite a lot about how he didn't want to pay Rudy Giuliani for any of the legal work he was doing after the election.

Giuliani actually asked the campaign to be paid $20,000 a day to do this work. They said no. That has come out in the House Select Committee investigation.


But the FEC records that we have found show he made about $140,000 into two different companies for travel reimbursements, both of those coming from the Trump campaign and a related super PAC -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: All right. Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much.

HARLOW: This morning an update on what could have possibly happened to a missing Massachusetts mother. Her name is Ana Walshe. And prosecutors are revealing new clues, including a bloody knife that they found in the basement of the home that she shares with her husband and their three young children.

And that's not all. Sources tell CNN investigators are going through her husband's Internet history. And when they did that, they found a search for, quote, "how to dispose of a 115-pound woman's body."

Her husband is charged with misleading investigators as police officers dig through trash and look for Ana Walshe's possible remains.

Our Jason Carroll reports from outside of the family's home.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brian Walshe smiled for a brief moment as he was being transported to a Massachusetts courthouse on Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian, what do you want the public to know about this case?

CARROLL (voice-over): Forty-seven-year-old arrested over the weekend, charged with misleading police in connection with his wife's disappearance. He pleaded not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You understand that charge, Mr. Walshe?


CARROLL (voice-over): His plea comes as more details in the case took a disturbing turn.

Law enforcement sources tell CNN investigators now suspect the 39- year-old mother of three may have been killed, after finding Brian Walshe's Internet searches, including the phrase "how to dispose of a 115-pound woman's body" and "how to dismember a body," according to two law-enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

Prosecutors describe what they say police found after searching the Walshes' home.

LYNN BELAND, ASSISTANT D.A. IN NORFOLK, MASSACHUSETTS: Blood was found in the basement area, as well as a knife which also contained some blood.

CARROLL (voice-over): Walshe's husband told police he last saw her on New Year's Day, but she wasn't reported missing until the 4th, when her workplace said she didn't show up.

BELAND: During the time frame when he didn't report his wife, he gave various statements that allowed him time to either clean up evidence.

CARROLL (voice-over): Prosecutors also say Walshe was not forthcoming about his whereabouts following his wife's disappearance. This after investigators discovered purchases Walshe made at Home Depot on January 2.

BELAND: He's on surveillance at that time, purchasing about $450 worth of cleaning supplies. That would include mops, bucket, tops (ph), TYVEK, drop cloths, as well as various kinds of tape.

CARROLL (voice-over): Walshe's attorney says her client has been cooperating with investigators.

TRACY MINER, BRIAN WALSHE'S ATTORNEY: Mr. Walshe has given several interviews. We have consented to searches at his home. We have consented to searches at his property.

CARROLL (voice-over): Walshe was already under house arrest after he pleaded guilty to a federal crime last year: selling fake Andy Warhol art.


HARLOW: Jason Carroll, thank you for that reporting -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Let's talk about what's happening in California. Flooding, mudslides, debris flows, a dangerous storm battering California, again, forcing thousands of people to evacuate and putting 34 million people -- a tenth of the U.S. population -- under a flood watch today.

And the threat is not over. The storm is moving South from Central California toward Los Angeles and Ventra counties. At least 14 people have died in the storm over the past few weeks, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.

And we know that one driver died on a flooded roadway in St. Luis Obispo. And a 5-year-old boy is missing after being swept away in the floodwaters. Rescuers searched for the child for hours, but even the search had to be suspended because the weather became just too severe for them to continue.

Crews answered hundreds of calls, including this one in L.A. County. Look at how high that fast-moving water is on that SUV right there. Look at that. Firefighters pulling a 70-year-old man out of the window to safety.

And this is in Monterey County. Look at that. The man being pulled up to that helicopter says that he and his wife were just about to evacuate, but before they could get out, their home became an island.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were looking out the window, and we saw the bridge go. And when that bridge went, there's no way out.


LEMON: And in Montecito, someone you may recognize, Ellen DeGeneres becoming an impromptu weather reporter.


ELLEN DEGENERES, TALK SHOW HOST: We are having unprecedented rain. This creek next to our house never flows, ever. Probably about 9 feet up. It's going to go another two feet up. We've had people evacuated. We need to be nicer to Mother Nature.


LEMON: Wow. Looks a little bit dangerous there, Ellen. Careful. Look at that. It is a reminder of what can happen when the ground is just this saturated. That big tree just came crashing down. Look at that right there.


All right. Let's go to Fresno now. Boulders the size of cars came crashing down in a rock slide, shutting down this highway. We have a reporter on the ground in California. That is coming up in our next hour.

COLLINS: Now to a first on CNN, to new reporting as the Biden administration is set to roll out new measures in a desperate bid to curb the surging migrant crossings at the Southern border. They include a virtual one-stop shop for migrants to help find information about legal pathways to come to the United States; and a new resource center in Southern Mexico, where migrants can get information about how to apply for that.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is live in Mexico City, where President Biden is set to hold this big summit today, of course, with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

Priscilla, what are we expecting in these changes, and how realistic is it that it will actually help change what is happening on the Southern border?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, White House officials have reiterated time and again that they think countries across the the Western Hemisphere should share the responsibility of managing migration, and that is the message that they're going to send today at the summit.

And they're going to do that through a couple of programs. So as you mentioned, there's a virtual portal that they plan to set up, where migrants can apply for legal pathways, not only to the United States but also to Canada and Mexico.

Then, two, they're going to set up a center in the Southern part of Mexico, in Tapachula (ph). That is a transit location for a lot of migrants, where they can also get information on how to apply to come to the U.S. or to Canada.

Now, these are options that migrants may have, but it's up to them whether they use them. And frankly, they're often urgently fleeing deteriorating conditions in their home countries. So it is going to be incumbent on these programs to meet those needs in the immediate term.

Now, a senior administration official does tell me it is an experiment, and they are up against smugglers, who feed misinformation to migrants. But the hope is that, by providing these two measures, that they can make it easy and accessible to migrants to apply for legal pathways -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: All this. There's also what's happening in Brazil. I know we saw the White House responding yesterday. President Biden actually spoke to the Brazilian president on the phone.

It was the former president of Brazil, still in the Florida hospital. How did that call go, and what did the White House make a point of saying as they read out that call to reporters?

ALVAREZ: Biden expressed his unwavering support for the president of Brazil. And he also invited him to the White House, an invitation that President Lula did accept.

This is something that has also been hovering over this summit. The three leaders came out with a statement yesterday. And Biden, as you mentioned, did talk to Lula. He said that he provided that unwavering support. He condemned the violence and attacks in Brazil.

Expect this to be another issue that comes up today when the three leaders meet -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes. And I made a point of saying President Lula won that election. Priscilla Alvarez, thank you for the great reporting.

HARLOW: Some good news to share with you this morning. He is back in Buffalo getting stronger, making really amazing progress.

A week ago, Damar Hamlin's fate was very uncertain. He went into cardiac arrest on the field during Monday Night Football, but now he has been released from the hospital in Cincinnati to continue his recovery in Buffalo. Doctors say his progress is beating their expectations.


DR. TIMOTHY PITTS, SURGEON WHO TREATED HAMLIN AT UC HEALTH: Continuing to regain strength. He's certainly on what we consider a very normal to even accelerated trajectory from the life-threatening event that he has -- that he underwent. But is making great progress.

He watched the game on yesterday. When the opening kickoff was run back, he jumped up and down, got out of his chair, set I think every alarm off in the ICU in the process. But he was fine. It was just appropriate reaction to a very exciting play.


HARLOW: Jumping up and down. Can you believe it.?

Doctors say it is still too early to say what caused his cardiac arrest last week. More tests are needed for that.

COLLINS: Also, this morning, I don't know. There was maybe a football game last night? I didn't watch anything. But Georgia fans are celebrating, because they have just won their second straight national championship.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The play action. Bennett looks down the middle. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)'s wide open, touchdown Dogs.


COLLINS: Unfortunately for TCU fans, it wasn't even really a game. The Bulldogs crushed TCU, 65-7.

Georgia's quarterback, Stetson Bennett, accounted for six touchdowns: four passing, two rushing.

It is the first time a team has won back-to-back national titles since the Crimson Tide did it in 2011 and 2012. But what a game, Poppy, that was.

HARLOW: Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. There's always next year.

COLLINS: Yes. No, we'll see. We'll see. Next year, hopefully we'll be there. It was funny, you know, watching a year ago we were actually at the game. I took my dad.

HARLOW: Oh, yes?

COLLINS: We were in Minneapolis. And now, of course, this year we were watching it from home. And --

HARLOW: You can't win all of them.


HARLOW: You guys win a lot of them. But you can't win all of them.


COLLINS: We'd like to win most of them, though.

HARLOW: Yes, this morning we'd just like to get back to our studio, so we can sit side by side. So we're working on that.

But next, recently-returned Disney CEO Bob Iger with a message for employees that you've got to go back to work, like the office.

And many of us live to eat. A new study shows you how to eat to live longer. Details next.


LEMON: Disney CEO Bob Iger telling employees they must work from the office four days per week, starting in March. The pandemic pandemic hybrid schedule is about to be a thing of the past.

CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now with the details on that.

Good morning to you.


LEMON: So back to the office. Back to the office. This was in an internal memo?

ROMANS: Yes, this was. And by March 1. And let me read to you what Bob Iger, who is the new and the old CEO of Disney, had to say. He's back after retirement to try to turn this company around.

He says this: "As you've heard me say many times, creativity is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do at Disney. And in a creative businesslike ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe and create with peers that comes from being physically together."

So he wants people in the office four days a week, starting March 1.


You've heard other companies move in this direction. Paycom wants their employees in the office full-time. Vanguard saying that the hybrid schedule of three days a week, but not everybody was doing that. They want people in three days a week.

I will say, this Disney mandate of four days a week is a little more than a lot of companies, big companies have settled on. Two days or three days a week. And I think it shows you what the conversation between bosses, the tension between bosses and workers will be in 2023 as they try to get to a more normal schedule of in-person work.

That's the Disney chart. You can see the company's stock is down about 40 percent. So Bob Iger coming back, trying to turn this thing around.

But here is the tension, Don, the push/pull. You have CEOs like Bob Iger, David Solomon at Goldman Sachs and others who want to get back to more pre-pandemic kind of work balance.

But you have a lot of people who say their commute is not efficient; in-office work is not productive for them. Their life works better with three days in the office and two days at home. So we'll see how the -- who has the leverage in 2023, Don.

LEMON: See, it's interesting, because I tend to agree with him, but a whole lot of people don't agree, and they say three days is enough for them.


LEMON: I like being in the office. So thank you, Christine. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

COLLINS: And now we're also back in the studio. And if you were about to eat breakfast this morning, you should listen to this, because what you choose to eat might help you live longer.

There's a new study that was just released, and it details what kind of eating patterns can keep you healthy and decrease your risk for serious diseases.

Our CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Tara Narula, is here to share the results of the study.

So I'm assuming it's not Don and I's favorite food, which is fast food: Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell.


LEMON: Hash browns.

HARLOW: Hash browns.

LEMON: Jinx!

HARLOW: It's been way too long since we've had McDonald's delivered to the set.

COLLINS: Yes. So what is it that actually does help you live longer?

NARULA: Yes. So this is really an interesting study. It was one of the largest and longest studies to look at basically what types of dietary patterns might be associated with a decreased risk of dying.

And so we keep emphasizing this, but what you put in your mouth actually matters.

So they looked at around 75,000 women, 44,000 men. They followed them for about 36 years. They gave them a food questionnaire --


NARULA: -- every couple years. And they found that those who had the highest adherence to four different healthy dietary eating patterns could have up to a 20 percent lower risk of dying.

They also found a lower risk of dying for cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and respiratory disease. So again, really just more and more information -- we talk about this a lot -- about the power of nutrition.

HARLOW: Do you have the yeses and the nos? Like, should we definitely not --

NARULA: Right. So in general -- and this is what's interesting -- one of the great things about the study is that it highlights the fact that there's flexibility. There's not a one-size-fits-all approach.

And really, what you want to find is something that's going to be sustainable for you forever. And this looked at four different dietary healthy eating patterns, but they all really have similar things involved.

So fruit; vegetables; legumes; whole grains; less, you know, saturated fat, processed food --


NARULA: -- added sugar. So very similar in their patterns. More plant- based, so less meat, less red meat.

But in general, again, I think we just need to emphasize that it's never too late to start. So I see a lot of patients who are older: How am I going to change how I eat? You can do it at any point in your life. It's about conscious decision making when you sit down to make those choices.

It's never too early to start. I have young children. We talk about what a healthy plate looks like, how to read nutrition labels.

But -- and also, just to emphasize that we really need more nutrition training. Medical school, in schools, nutrition needs to be a part of our practice. It's so, so important.

COLLINS: Yes. It's great information, also, as everyone is doing their New Year's resolutions.

NARULA: Correct.

COLLINS: Doctor, thank you so much for sharing that with us.

HARLOW: Thank you.

LEMON: Well, listen. Big news straight ahead if you're worried about paying off those student loans.

COLLINS: Also, there's some really significant news coming out of Russia's war in Ukraine involving Moscow's struggles on the battlefield. We have details for you. That's next.