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Jury Foreperson in Georgia Trump Election Probe Speaks Out; Outgoing Starbucks CEO Talks Nationwide Unionization Campaign. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired February 22, 2023 - 06:30   ET


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: COLLINS: The leaders of NATO's eastern flank, they are known as the Bucharest Nine, it's -- in order to show support for their security, those are the countries that have been concerned that Putin could take military action against them next, if he's successful in Ukraine and has been a high concern for many of them here. They're going to be looking to Biden, Poppy and Don, for that level of support for that affirmation that you heard him repeat so strongly in the place where he gave a speech just a year ago here in Poland.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kaitlan, thank you very much.

We're now hearing from the person responsible for speaking on behalf of the Atlanta based grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. The jury forewomen confirming that multiple incidents have been recommended saying it's not a shortlist Grand Jury met for about seven months in her testimony from 75 witnesses including some of Trump's closest advisors, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is now reviewing the recommendations and weighing charging decisions. Emily Kohrs says she wants to see some level of accountability.


EMILY KOHRS, FOREPERSON, GA SPECIAL GRAND JURY IN TRUMP PROBE: I will be sad if nothing happens. Like that's -- that's about my only request there is -- is for something to happen. I don't necessarily know what it is. I'm not the legal expert. I'm not the judge. I'm not the lawyers. But I will be frustrated if nothing happens.


LEMON: So CNN's Paula Reid joins me now from Washington. Paula, good morning to you. It's interesting that she is speaking out kind of hedging. Well, I can say this, but I can't say that. But I want to say something. What are you learning?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Don, this is very unusual. There's a media forewoman giving effectively a media tour this jury forewomen. And while she cannot disclose specifically what they recommended, she can reveal some details from inside the jury room with some color and just trying to tease out exactly what she expects will happen. And of course, the biggest question she is getting is whether they recommended charging former President Trump. Let's take a listen to what she said.


KOHRS: We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump, and we definitely just discussed him a lot in the room. And I will say that when this list comes out, you wouldn't -- there no major plot twist waiting for you.


REID: Now, former President Trump has insisted that the district attorney here is conducting a, "witch hunt." But here she insists that she believes the district attorney was proceeding in a nonpartisan way and was really trying to be fair. But look, I would expect that defense attorneys would have a field day with an interview like this.

LEMON: So Paula, who else did the jury hear from and what did she say about them?

REID: Yeah, Don, it was interesting to hear her observations from inside the jury room because they heard from so many people that were very familiar with like Senator Lindsey Graham. I mean, he fought all the way to the Supreme Court to try to get out of testifying here. But she describes him as, "being polite and even joking with jurors." She described that Rudy Giuliani as being funny and thoughtful when he's invoking privilege.

Now, that she has every right to do this, to discuss these things, but it's unclear what impact this will have on the case. This grand jury could not indict. So that decision now is up to the district attorney Fani Willis. She says her decision on whether to proceed is imminent.

LEMON: All right, thank you, Paula Reid, I appreciate that. I said we want to hear from her. It's frustrating, but then she says it but then kind of almost goes there.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I was really surprised to see this interview and her coming out. But Paula makes a good point that in Georgia grand juries can't indict.

LEMON: Right.

HARLOW: So they recommend and now Fani Willis has a huge decision ahead of her.

LEMON: And we'll be watching to see what happens. Meantime, Republican lawmakers are bitterly divided over the U.S. aid being sent to Ukraine. The new CNN reporting straight ahead. Plus, this.


HOWARD SCHULTZ, STARBUCKS INTERIM CEO: It's my belief that the efforts of unionization in America are in many ways, a manifestation of a much bigger problem.


HARLOW: That is Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, joining us to talk about the unionization movement at the coffee giant. You'll see it next.



HARLOW: Don, are you going to drink your coffee? If you are waking up before you go, go there is a chance that you've had a cup of coffee in your hand right now. And with $32 billion in revenue last year, there's also a good chance that coffees from Starbucks, the company operates more than 9000 stores across America. But over the past year, the calm at the coffee shop at some locations has been pierced by this.


HARLOW: Baristas on the picket line unionization at nearly 300 Starbucks locations and this is where it all started at a shop in Buffalo, New York that unionized in December 2021. That is five months before Howard Schultz returned to his role as CEO of Starbucks. He tells me he didn't come back to the job because of the wave of union efforts. But it is now a critical issue on his plate as he prepares to step down this spring.


HARLOW: You've run Starbucks three times?


HARLOW: You've left Starbucks three times?


HARLOW: Is this the final time full stop?


HARLOW: You're ready to let go?

SCHULTZ: I'm ready to let go. I'm ready for the next chapter in my life. I don't know what that's going to be.


SCHULTZ: But I'm not coming back to Starbucks.

HARLOW (voice-over): A defining moment for the man and a defining moment for the company he built.

SCHULTZ: When I think back 1987, we had, you know, basically 11 stores 100 people working for the company in a dream. HARLOW (voice-over): Starbucks green and white siren would come to stand for one of the most progressive companies in the world.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?

PROTESTERS: Full stopping.

HARLOW: That legacy is now being tested and what Howard Schultz describes as a battle for hearts and minds. As he looks to step down as CEO this spring.

SCHULTZ: I came back this past year because the company really did lose its way. And it lost its way culturally. I'd be the first to say the union showed up because Starbucks was not leading in a way that was consistent with its history, in terms of being a values-based company. And I came back to basically restore those values.

HARLOW: After nearly running for president following his departure from Starbucks in 2017.

SCHULTZ: We need to restore dignity to the White House.

HARLOW: Schultz returned last year confronting a growing unionization movement.

(On camera): You've said that unions are contrary to Starbucks vision?


HARLOW: And that's your vision?

SCHULTZ: Well, it's not only my vision, I think the -- the 51-year history of Starbucks is a vision, a collective group of people that believe --

HARLOW: Right.

SCHULTZ: -- in doing everything to create value for our people, so that we can create value for our shareholders. And we've done that.

HARLOW: Why do you think unions are contrary to the vision of Starbucks?

SCHULTZ: Yeah. Let's first examine that unions in America, for the most part, have existed and have succeeded in the past, because of companies that did nefarious things on the backs of their people that they put their people last instead of first.

Now, let's look at Starbucks. Starbucks employs 450,000 people around the world, 250,000 people in the U.S. in our stores, we provide unprecedented benefits, not because a union told us to, but because the conscience of the company, and my own life story is based on trying to build a company that my father, a blue-collar worker, was not given -- not afforded those rights. Canarsie is one of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

HARLOW (voice-over): As a child growing up in public housing.

HARLOW: You see that 7th floor?

HARLOW: Schultz watched his father lose his job and benefits.

SCHULTZ: I think there was always a constant pressure for money. There was always bill collectors calling. There was arguing and dysfunction in my house. People who are living here --

HARLOW: He cites that experience as the foundation of why Starbucks offers health insurance equity through stock options, and free college tuition.

SCHULTZ: We're not a perfect company.

HARLOW: Right.

SCHULTZ: But I'm saying this because we didn't have a union, or an outside party tell us what to do. We did this because we want to be in service or people. Now, if a de minimis group of people, which now is about 300 stores file for a petition to be unionized, they have a right to do so. But we as a company have a right also to say we have a different vision that is better, more dynamic, and we have a history to prove it.

HARLOW: That vision is now being challenged with an alternate one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We find ourselves at the forefront of a new labor movement.

HARLOW: Starbucks workers united says it wants power sharing and accountability.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The company is refusing to bargain with us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't get it, down this down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're understaffed, we're underpaid. They're -- you know, playing these games, the corporate is setting this, you know, the tone of, you know, what to expect for the labor movement in the future.

HARLOW: So the National Labor Relations Board as you know has said that you guys aren't playing fair. You're not coming to the table.


HARLOW: You're not bargaining with them. Senator Bernie Sanders, in a letter to you really recently accused you of a legal union busting campaign.

SCHULTZ: What's the facts? The facts are we want to enter into collective bargaining. But we want to do it in person, in person, not on Zoom. We don't know who's on a zoom call. We don't know how many people are on a zoom call. We don't know what's being taped. We want to do it in-person. Up until now there has been a refusal to bargain in-person.

HARLOW (voice-over): The Union calls that hypocritical and a clear union busting strategy, pointing to Starbucks owned zoom meetings.

(On camera): Do you believe that there is room for a part of the Starbucks workforce to be unionized?

SCHULTZ: I think that'll have to happen in collective bargaining.

HARLOW: Because previously, you've said no, this is not in your vision. And the unions have said that is evidence that you are not, you know, going to bargain with them.

SCHULTZ: Could you ever see doing that embracing the union as part of it? No. I can tell you unequivocally, we are willing to sit down and bargain in-person. If Senator Sanders has a problem with bargaining in-person, I'd like to understand why?


HARLOW: Senator Sanders has since invited Schultz to testify to Congress next month, alleging a lack of compliance with federal labor laws. Schultz declined that invitation noting his pending departure from the company. But Starbucks has offered to send another executive in his place, saying, "We look forward to a productive discussion with the committee."

SCHULTZ: In 10 months, I've done everything I possibly could to address the problems that I heard from our people. We've added $40 billion of market value in the 10 months that I've been back in a time when the economic environment for most public stocks are down.

HARLOW: Can you help the average person at home watching this? Maybe wondering --


HARLOW: -- why can't you run a successful Starbucks with unions, are so profitable? Why doesn't that work in your mind?

SCHULTZ: Well, first of all, I've asked -- I've asked a few people who have signed a union card to petition. Can you tell me what you want?


SCHULTZ: You have a very high wage, we just gave you digital tipping, which increases your average wage by more than $2 an hour --

HARLOW: You know, the Union say you only did that because they propose the idea?

SCHULTZ: That is unequivocally not true. HARLOW: I remember reading in one of your memoirs, I knew in my heart that if I was ever in a position where I could make a difference, I wouldn't leave people behind. What do you say to those people who look at you and say, we feel left behind? Why can't you support us in this union push?

SCHULTZ: OK. It's my belief that the efforts of unionization in America are, in many ways, a manifestation of a much bigger problem. I've talked to thousands of our Starbucks partners in these co- creation sessions. And I was shocked, stunned to hear the loneliness, the anxiety, the fracturing of trust, in government fracturing, trust in companies, fracturing of trust and family, the lack of hope in terms of opportunity. The primary reason that I was interested in trying to run for president was the very essence of helping people try based on the life that I've led, and where I grew up, to create an opportunity to get out of the malaise that they're in.

HARLOW: But I think those -- some of those people are the ones that are pushing for unionization now and look into you as the head of the company to come to the table with them, right?

SCHULTZ: Yeah. And when I -- when I asked them, what is it that you want that you don't have?


HARLOW: Is it more benefits? It's generally not wage or benefits, most of the time they say something to me like, we want a seat at the table. So what does that mean?

HARLOW: You're about to leave this company?


HARLOW: Do you worry as you leave the role of CEO that perhaps Starbucks won't be remembered as the progressive company that you have built because of this battle?

SCHULTZ: No. The history of Starbucks has been, we have been a compassionate company. The Union issue is one of many issues that Starbucks faces.

HARLOW: Do you see the union push as an existential threat to the Starbucks that you built?

SCHULTZ: No, it is not an existential.


SCHULTZ: No, not at all. I recognize the right that Starbucks partners have -- have the right if they want to try and unionize their store or their district, whatever. But we have a right as a company to create the vision for the company, which the large vast majority of Starbucks partners embraces.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: Hmm, they're really in -- at the forefront of what's going to happen with unions. It's happening to many countries, not just in the country, but all over the world.

HARLOW: It's a great point. I mean, Starbucks has become the poster child, right, for this new wave of unionization across the country, whether it's Amazon or Apple. And I'm fascinated to see what happens because as you saw in the piece, Starbucks has been sort of this leading progressive company, but still there is a big union push. So what comes of this, like writ large is going to be fascinating and important to watch for those workers?

LEMON: When you told him that you didn't like hot coffee.

HARLOW: Oh my God. So coming up with the 8 a.m. hour, you will see what Don's talking about. We traveled to Italy with Howard Schultz to show you his last big bet, as the CEO of Starbucks. And I told him there I don't like hot coffee and he couldn't believe it after all these years covering him in the company. I don't like it. I like -- I like iced coffee but I don't drink coffee. So we'll get into that. But actually, you'll see the surprising ingredient he wants you to try and your next cup of coffee. Do you know what it is?

LEMON: Yeah, I do know what it is because I tried it. Well, first it was butter which I did to some of the bullet and now it is oil olive.

HARLOW: Olive oil.

LEMON: Olive oil.

HARLOW: OK, we'll see what Don things.

LEMON: Stop eating, Poppy, seeds.



LEMON: Stop eating poppy seeds.

HARLOW: That's poppy seeds.

LEMON: That warning from the Pentagon to active service members why new research shows it could be risky for our troops.

I was just reading the teleprompter.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, this you're not going to believe, I found out when I was testing positive for opium, poppy seeds.



LEMON: Well, this morning the Pentagon warning service members to choose their breakfast carefully because poppy seeds and the bagels and muffins they're typically found on could cause them to fail drug testing. That is according to an official memo, which talks about higher coding contamination that previously that then previously known. Now, the memo did not say how long they could avoid the seeds but explained that the policy could be revised more infirm as more information becomes available.

HARLOW: Right, did I never know about this, but learning something new every day.


LEMON: Yeah, it's been an old thing with poppy seeds which just mess up drug, has people --

HARLOW: I had no idea.

LEMON: -- or whatever. Yeah.

HARLOW: All right also this morning, a newlywed couple in North Carolina thanking firefighters for rescuing them. After looking at them -- oh they look gorgeous but they got trapped in that hotel elevator on the day of their wedding. The Jha family says they were heading upstairs with a few guests after their -- to their wedding party after party when suddenly their special day took a drastic turn.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got up maybe five feet and then both doors kind of stuck. Then the doors started to open. So I could see like the concrete wall right in front of me and I could see the concrete wall behind me, I was like, that's not normal.


HARLOW: That's not good. Crews had to hoist people through the top of the elevator so they could safely exit through the fourth floor. The couple took this photo two and a half hours later when everyone was out safe and sound. Unfortunately, they never made it to the after party. Happy wedding to them though. Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Also here in Warsaw, we are tracking President Biden as he is on his final day. You can hear the sirens behind me. That is President Biden's on the move expressing unwavering support while here for Ukraine as the one-year anniversary of Russia's war is approaching. We'll tell you what to expect on the final day ahead.