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CNN This Morning

Key Inflation Report Released; Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) is Interviewed about Abortion; Idaho Suspect in Court. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 12, 2023 - 08:30   ET



PAMELA BARDHI, FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE OF ANA WALSHE: So my understanding of it - now, the thing is, when Ana - she has been a power woman and just a businesswoman as long as I've known her, right? Super mom and all the things. She never talked about anything personal. She never talked about pain. She never really talked about her husband much, right? It was all about her kids and business and elevation and how she could help other people.

To me, she's very similar to me as a person that, you know, we're just always elevating, always grounding, and always positive. So, I never saw any - personally never saw any indication of any issues at home, but maybe there was some type of avoidance there. You never know.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Pamela, I want to thank you. I know that you're concerned about her three children.


LEMON: So, we wish only good thoughts and only good things here. So, thank you so much, OK? We really appreciate it.

BARDHI: Thank you so much for having me, Don. We appreciate it.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: It's got to be tough for her to come on and talk about that.

LEMON: Yes, I don't - you know, I don't know what to say with this one. I have so many thoughts, but probably not appropriate for right now.

COLLINS: Yes. Yes. And we'll continue to cover it closely, and those updates.

Also this morning, any moment now the Labor Department is going to be releasing a key inflation report. Everyone is watching this and the weekly jobless claims. We're going to bring you those numbers ahead. So, stay tuned.



LEMON: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN THIS MORNING.

The agenda for the new Republican House majority coming into focus. We're going to talk to Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley about what to expect in the next two years.

The man suspected in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students is set to appear in court today. We're live in Moscow, Idaho.

A system failure at the FAA causing more than 10,000 flight delays and over 1,300 cancellations. We'll look at how disruptive yesterday's nationwide ground stoppage was straight ahead.

COLLINS: And just in to CNN, the Labor Department has released a key inflation report and the new jobless claims numbers. We're going to discuss this with who better, CNN's chief business correspondent and anchor of "EARLY START," Christine Roman.

I want to just say, before you tell us what these are, these are really important because it's before February 1st and that next decision from the Fed.


COLLINS: What are they?

ROMANS: It shows that in December inflation was easing. Those rapid price spikes that we've been concerned about are slowing here. Overall, year over year, price inflation, consumer prices, this is what you pay at the grocery store, up 6.5 percent. Still very far from the Fed's target of more like 2 percent. But this is six months in a row of slowing. The trend is your friend. And the trend here is showing peaking in inflation.

And from month to month, a decline in prices. That's a really important number there. I always like to show this chart because it can show you more than just one month. You can see that six-month turn here where prices, consumer prices, still too high, but they are starting to slow.

Let's dig inside these numbers because depending on what you're spending your money on, you're still noticing it. Gas prices a big part of this. Gas prices fell year over year. Gas prices fell month to month. So that heat in the energy market has cooled and that's a really big part of this story.

But food, still a problem here. Food prices year over year up 10 percent. Month to month also rising. And shelter also still running a little bit hot here.

And this is why this is still a concern, inflation is, because you can't, you know, switch month to month where you're living, right? And you can switch cuts of meat. You can do things as a consumer to change your behavior a little bit on those food prices. But shelter is sort of sticky inflation here.

We also saw jobless claims, guys, still very low, 205,000, down 1,000. What is that number? It's the first-time applications for unemployment benefits. Again, that trend, that shows me, despite the headlines you hear in financial services, from Goldman Sachs, from Amazon, some places in tech where you're seeing big layoffs, overall layoffs remain very low in this economy.

LEMON: You say the price of foods - food -- I hear from everybody.


LEMON: And people I didn't expect to hear from about eggs. Why are eggs so expensive?


ROMANS: Eggs are up double digits.


ROMANS: And that is so interesting as well.

But the overall inflation story, improving a little bit. What's still - again, a long, long way to go here.

LEMON: But in the right direction.

ROMANS: In the right direction.

COLLINS: And we'll see what the Federal Reserve - how they see this.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

COLLINS: Thanks, Christine Romans.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

COLLINS: No one better.

ROMANS: Thank you.

LEMON: House Republicans spotlighting the issue of abortion as they begin to roll out their legislative agenda in the new Congress. We're going to speak to Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley about what we can expect over the next two years, next.



COLLINS: Welcome back.

House Republicans now using their newfound power to underscore their opposition to abortion rights, pushing through legislation that could subject doctors who perform the procedure to potential criminal penalties. We should be clear, this is an effort to appeal to their base. It has no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate or getting President Biden's signature. But it's important on the messaging front. This is only the second bill they introduced since they took the majority. This one would require infants who were born alive after an attempted abortion to get the same protection under the law as any newborn. It also threatens medical providers up to five years in prison for failing to resuscitate babies who are born alive during those abortions, attempted abortions.

Republicans also passed a separate measure condemning recent attacks on anti-abortion facilities, groups and churches, as they called on the Biden administration to deploy law enforcement to protect those organizations. Both resolutions have drawn ire from Democrats who say they believe that it is attempting to cause backlash for those.


REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): Our colleagues across the aisle continue to say the quiet part out loud in their selective contempt for political violence. This resolution seeks to deny necessary medical care from those who seek it.


COLLINS: Joining us now is the lawmaker you see there, Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

Thank you soi much for being here.

And I want to talk about that yesterday because that was an important moment.

But, first, I want to talk to you about what we learned overnight about the second batch of classified documents that have been found. Are you concerned about the way that President Biden has handled classified documents?

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): Well, I'm learning about this in real time, just like you are, so I don't have any unique insights. But what I would say is that the president has been moving with cooperation, moving proactively, moving with integrity, which is more than I can say for the twice impeached former occupant, Donald Trump.

COLLINS: Are you concerned, though, about how long it took to find out about this? Because they found these documents back in November, about a week before the midterm elections. We just now found out that they found them in recent days.

PRESSLEY: Again, the president is moving with -- he's being cooperative. He's moving proactively. He's moving with integrity. And, you know, again, there's no - no equivalency here. This is nothing like how the former occupant, Donald Trump, the twice impeached former president moved.


COLLINS: OK, but you're saying, Congresswoman, you don't have any concerns about how President Biden has handled classified information? PRESSLEY: I'm learning about this in real time, just like you are, so I don't have any unique insights. I hope the matter is resolved swiftly and expediently. And, again, the president has been moving with integrity and being cooperative.

COLLINS: Do you think a special counsel would help everyone see that this is being handled appropriately, that decisions are being made by unbiased parties here?

PRESSLEY: Well, you've have to ask the DOJ that.

COLLINS: We have asked them, I should note. We're waiting to hear more on that of what the decision is there.


COLLINS: Because that is one that's facing the attorney general.

Congresswoman, thank you for answering those questions.

On abortion and these bills that were passed by the new Republican-led majority yesterday, you were quite outspoken. We should be clear, it's a messaging bill. It's not actually going to get passed. But why was it important for you to speak out about what exactly this message was that Republicans were trying to send?

PRESSLEY: Well, let's be clear, their bill was not about political violence. It was about denying medical care. And moreover it seeks to obstruct the will of the majority of Americans who have time and time and again affirmed that abortion care is health care. And that was true for ballots throughout the country.

And so I needed to go on the record to make plain that they were seeking to legitimize crisis pregnancy centers which are shams which seek to coerce, misinform and dissuade individuals that are seeking abortion care. It's to dissuade them from seeking an abortion.

COLLINS: One of your colleagues, who's on the other side of the aisle, Republican Nancy Mace, was also critical of those bills. She said she believed Republicans were basically going down the wrong track on abortion when it came to that. She did still vote for them, I should note,. But she has said that she thinks it's more effective to pass bills when it comes to processing rape kits, expanding access to birth control.

Do you think you could work with Congresswoman Nancy Mace on measures like that?

PRESSLEY: Listen, the goal for me is always that of impact and of justice. And I'm willing to sit at the table and work with anyone who's committed to that and who wants to govern with compassion for the Americans people, being responsive to their problems and not govern with contempt.

What we see in this second week of the 118th Congress, under a Republican majority, is more of the same. They are disconnected and removed from the everyday hardships and challenges of the American people. They seek to obstruct the will -- to overturn the will of the majority of American people. If they really want to work with Democrats in supporting children, then we welcome their partnership on making the child tax credit permanent, on advancing paid leave, on advancing universal child care, on doing the work of maternal justice.

COLLINS: One area where we have seen some bipartisanship this week is on the new committee that has been found focused on China and the United States' competition with China. You actually voted against that committee, even though a lot of Democrats voted for it. Can you explain why you voted no?

PRESSLEY: I voted no because, again, it's another sham effort here. It's really clear that this is just a committee that would further embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate and put lives at risk. We have enough infrastructure and governance to tackle those issues that we don't need this select committee. And that is why I voted no because I am afraid that it will embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate.

COLLINS: So, do you think the 146 Democrats who voted yes on it are wrong in their votes?

PRESSLEY: We just see it differently.

COLLINS: All right, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, thank you so much for your time this morning on all of these very important subjects. And good luck in your next two years. I'm sure we'll have you back many times.

PRESSLEY: OK. Thank you.

COLLINS: Thank you.

LEMON: So, the suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho killings is about to appear in court again just as classes resume from winter break. We're live in Moscow, Idaho, next.



LEMON: So, this morning, the suspect in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students is due back in court. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and has yet to enter a plea.

CNN's Josh Campbell live for us in Moscow, Idaho, with more on this.

Good morning to you.

What's expected to happen today, Josh?


The suspect will be in the courthouse behind me in a couple hours' time. This is what's called a status hearing. Now, we'll have to wait and see if we learn anything new of substance, but this hearing is an important precursor to what's called the preliminary hearing where prosecutors may lay out additional evidence, additional witness statements.

Now, of course, an attorney for Bryan Kohberger has said that his client expects to be exonerated, but authorities have unsealed already a trove of potentially damning evidence, as we've been reporting on, which includes the suspect's DNA allegedly being tied to the crime scene, as well as police tracking his cell phone and his vehicle, which put him in that neighborhood at least 12 times before these killing, Don.

LEMON: So, Josh, you have been hearing from parents and students. What is the mood there?

CAMPBELL: You know, there's mixed emotion to be sure. We've been talking to students who tell us that their sense of community, their sense of security here has been shattered. This incident has caused many of them to change their behavior when they're out in public. Many going out in public in groups and being more aware of their surroundings.

But, Don, in talking to students, to parents, to faculty here, one thing is clear, although they continue to grieve the loss of these four college students, there is a palpable sense of relief that the person police believe was responsible has now been taken into custody.

Finally it's worth pointing out that we talked to an official here at the university who said that although an arrest has been made, authorities will be maintaining a heightened sense of security on campus for the foreseeable future. Of course, their primary focus now is on the physical and mental safety of these kids, Don.

LEMON: All right, thank you very much for that, Josh Campbell.


COLLINS: All right, one good story for you this morning as students at an elementary school in Minnesota are on a mission to help their friends who are in wheelchairs feel included. We have the details, next.


COLLINS: Today's "Morning Moment." There are eight students at Minnesota's Glenn Elementary School who use wheelchairs. Their friends, who don't, did everything they could recently to find accessible equipment for their playground and to find the money to pay for it. Soon after, the principal turned the cafeteria into a disco party to announce an anonymous donor gave the school $200,000.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt emotionally melted. I don't have any words for what I was feeling at that very moment. When I heard those words, I -- I'm going to let you in on a little secret here, I almost started crying.


COLLINS: The kids of Glenn Elementary made those eight children feel loved, making sure they could also play on the playground with them and have those moments.


I love that term, emotionally melted.

LEMON: Emotionally - yes, right?

COLLINS: I'm using that from now on.

LEMON: And I love the disco party right there.

COLLINS: I know, to announce it.

Thanks to that donor who donated all that money so they could have that.

LEMON: You know, and I think it's a perfect way to end the show.


LEMON: We've had, especially considering the meltdown that happened yesterday with the airlines.


LEMON: And then with George Santos and the documents and on and on and on. It's a good way to end the show.


LEMON: So, think about that as you go about your day.

COLLINS: All right, we'll see you tomorrow.

CNN "NEWSROOM" starts right now.