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Subpoena Issued for Hunter Biden Associates' Bank Records; New England Bracing for Nor'Easter; Flood Threats in California; Picking a Winning March Madness Bracket. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 13, 2023 - 06:30   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Over the weekend, former Vice President Mike Pence delivered his strongest rebuke yet of his former boss, President Donald Trump, and his role on January 6th and the attack on the Capitol. These were during remarks at Saturday's Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington. It's typically where political figures make fun of each other, people from both sides of the political aisle, in these light-hearted remarks.

But Pence grew serious at the end of his speech. He said, quote, President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And this was the line that really stood out to everyone in the room. I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.

Pence was also sharply critical of Republicans and the conservative media who have tried to minimize what happened on that day in recent weeks. He said, tourists don't injure 140 police officers by sightseeing. Tourists don't break down doors to get to the speaker of the House or voice threats against public officials. Make no mistake about it, what happened that days with a disgrace and it mocks decency to portray it in any other way.


I asked Mike Pence's former colleague, Trump's former chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, if he agreed with the former vice president, that Trump should be held accountable for that day. This is what he said.


GARY COHN, FORMER TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISER: Look, that was a shocking day in the history of this country. We continue to be reminded about January 6th. And I think we will all live with it and all live with the memories of what happened on January 6th. I agree with him.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Notable to hear from Gary Cohn.

What was it like being at the dinner to hear that in real time?

COLLINS: Well, it's interesting because typically its jokes. It's, you know, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy spoke. Secretary of State Blinken. But Pence went first. And you're normally just laughing the whole time, making jokes. A lot of jokes about classified documents, George Santos, what not. But Pence got very serious at the end.

And the other thing that really stood out is, he was -- he praised the press a lot for coverage of January 6th and how it kept people at the Capitol that day, kept the focus on there. And, obviously, to hear that coming from someone who worked for Trump is really notable.

But the Trump being held accountable thing was -- it was kind of a moment where everyone was like --

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. But yet people started paying attention. They're like, wait a minute, this isn't funny. And as it went on longer, I'm told, and you were there, people started really to pay attention because they're like, wait a minute, this isn't the usual thing.

But I think it's important, Kaitlan, to point out. I mean he's saying all of these things. And then, as you said, praising the media, which is shocking, right? He fought the special council, right? He is - he won't testify. He has really sort of blocked everything to do with January 6th, at least his involvement in testifying.

COLLINS: Well, he wrote about it in his book. And that is actually a part of this is that they are fighting it. They're saying he shouldn't have to go testify about certain conversations because he was acting as president of the Senate that day and they're protected. But also he did not go testify to the January 6th committee. They argued it was political. But that is some of the criticism he's faced over those comments.

LEMON: All right, well, we'll continue to follow that.

Also, new CNN reporting to tell you about. CNN is learning that the House Oversight Committee chairman is ramping up a probe on Hunter Biden by quietly issuing a sweeping subpoena for bank records spanning 14 years for three of his business associates.

CNN's Sara Murray joins us live from Washington with more.

Good morning to you, Sara Murray.

So, what do we know about the subpoena?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, James Comer has been really loud about this Biden investigation, right, but he has been pretty quiet about this subpoena. We actually learned about it from a letter that Democrats in the House Oversight Committee released last night, sending it to James Comer, pointing out their concerns about this subpoena, which went to Bank of America. It covers 14 years, as you said, and three of Hunter Biden's former business associates. Democrats have slammed this subpoena as overly broad, saying it

doesn't just cover, you know, payments related to this potential business deal they were involved in with Hunter Biden, but everything from the Americans payments he was paying to -- for parking tickets, to what he was paying for his kids' dance lessons. They're also taking aim at Comer, essentially saying, we normally get a courtesy 48 hours heads up, but we just got this subpoena dropped on us, Don.

LEMON: Well, this all stems from a letter sent by the ranking Democrat, Jamie Raskin, who basically writes that Comber is a hypocrite. What are Democrats taking issue with here?

MURRAY: Yes, that's right. I mean, remember, when Democrats controlled the House, they were investigating former President Donald Trump for payments foreign governments were making to his hotels to try to curry influence with the Trump administration. And as part of this, the House Oversight Committee reached a deal with Trump's team for Mazars' -- Trump's accounting firm -- to hand over documents related to this last year.

Well, Democrats said they learned that this year an attorney for Donald Trump reached out to Mazars and essentially said that the House of Representatives, now that it's run by Republicans, is no longer interested in receiving these documents. So, essentially, you can stop turning them over.

So, Democrats are saying, you guys are hypocrites. You only want to investigate Joe Biden, his family. You're not interested in investigating form President Donald Trump. Comer is saying, I didn't meddle in this Mazars issue. This is just about Democrats wanting to get in front of my investigation.

LEMON: Sara Murray, early for us in Washington this morning. Thank you, Sara.

MURRAY: Thanks.

LEMON: More than 40 million people across the south are under freeze alerts as a powerful storm -- winter storm barrels towards the northeast. We're going to have the latest forecast for you, live.

HARLOW: Meanwhile, northern California bracing for another round of heavy rain and flooding after a levee break forced evacuations and hundreds of water rescues. We'll take you live on the ground there.



LEMON: Heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions expected in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions today. And more than 40 million people across the south under freeze alerts this morning. New England also bracing for a nor'easter expected tonight.

Let's get to Meteorologist Chad Myers in the Weather Center.

Chad, you're kind of busy.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, a lot going on. And California too.


MYERS: Talk about that here at the end.

Temperatures are going to go down. People that did plant their tomatoes here across the south, you're either going to have to try to cover them up or do something because it is going to get well below freezing in many spots, freeze warnings in effect all across from Nashville to Birmingham and to Atlanta. It's part of the cold air that's going to eventually wraparound this low right here, just off the East Coast, and make that nor'easter. Could be two to three feet of snow into interior New England, parts of upstate New York as well.

Along I-95 and especially east, New York, Boston, you're going to be rain-snow mix. Even New York you're going to be -- even if it's snowing it will be 35 degrees. But not in the interior. That's where the snow will be. A couple of feet of snow likely. That's why there are winter storm warnings in effect. I know it doesn't feel like winter now that we've changed our clock.

And, hey, Don, the clock in my car is now accurate for the first time in six months.

Wind across parts of the east. Winds 40 to 60 miles per hour. And there is the new storm for California.

LEMON: I got - I was a little nervous this morning because on the coffee maker at home, it still - it said 4:00.


And I was like, wait a minute, I'm - I'm really, really early this morning. But, actually, I was kind of late. There you go.

MYERS: Have a good day, buddy.

LEMON: Kaitlan's laughing at me over here.

COLLINS: What's the phrase, a broken clock is right twice a year, I guess.

LEMON: Yes. That would be me.

COLLINS: I don't know how to change the timer on my clock either. I'm just like, whatever. I'll figure it out.

LEMON: Yes. Thank goodness for cell phones now. It does it automatically.

Poppy's like, you guys are crazy. We've got other stuff to get to.

HARLOW: You heard it from Chad, California bracing for yet another round of storms what - with about 17 million people under flood watches this morning there and in Nevada. Officials warning that Monterey Peninsula and the rest of the county may be entirely cut off.

Let's go to our colleague Mike Valerio. He's live in California for us.

Seems never ending. How are people coping?

MIKE VALERIO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're trying to do the best they can, Poppy. Good morning to you.

And we have good news to report at this hour. You know, all weekend, Poppy, we had our waders on and walking up and down the street. The water here in this central neighborhood was coming up above our knees. Now you're able to drive to the end of the street safely.

But, Poppy, more rain is on the way.


VALERIO (voice over): Warnings of intense, sustained flooding in the days ahead after California's latest atmospheric river compromised part of the critical levee, sending this rushing river into homes, farms, and trapping families in the small community of Pajaro.

HANNAH NORTHROP, RESIDENT, MONTEREY COUNTY: We really didn't expect it to happen, but here we are now.

JOSE PEREZ, RESIDENT, PAJARO, CALIFORNIA: They started evacuating I think at 12:00 in the morning or 1:00 in the morning. And they just started - the National Guards are just taking people out as they go.

VALERIO: Officials say an 11th atmospheric river system, forecast from Monday, could send more water rushing through the still breeched levy.

CAPT. CURTIS RHODES, PIO, CAL FIRE: There could be more water in our backdrop, but there will also be more water throughout the county.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, coming down. There you go. Just keep this line.

VALERIO: The raging floodwaters leading to a dramatic aerial rescue, captured above the Salinas River. California Highway Patrol saving a man stranded on an island after floodwaters swept him and his car into the river. The man, brought to dry land unharmed.

SHERIFF TINA NIETO, MONTEREY COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: Folks, we are not done yet. We are dealing with rain and wind events that I can only describe as a super soaker saturation event.

VALERIO: But an undeniable sense of flood fatigue creeping in, even as officials issued new evacuation orders for more communities near the Salinas River.

And back in hard Pajaro, community supervisor Luis Alejo told us there's a sense of vulnerability, both about the future of Pajaro and its mostly migrant families.

LUIS ALEJO, CHAIR, MONTEREY COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: This community is resilient. It's strong. When these waters recede, Pajaro is going to rise. This is such a great hardship on this community, but we know that we will get through this.


VALERIO: So the animating energy for today will be crews from the state of California, contractors, trying to put as many boulders, riffraff, into that levee breach to try to shore it up. Think of it as a rock band-aid doing as much work as they can before the 11th atmospheric river system of this season impacts California.

And you know, Poppy, when you were asking a couple seconds ago how people are coping, this community is filled with migrants here living their American dream. So they are depending on the speed of these contractors to try to fix this levee as much as possible because they have everything here to lose, Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes. I'm so glad you pointed that out.

Mike Valerio, thank you for the reporting there.

COLLINS: All right, I cannot believe I'm saying this, but Alabama is a number one seed in the tournament! Get your brackets ready. March Madness is about to get underway. We're going to break down the best strategy to make your picks. Some people at the table need help with that.

We'll be right back.



COLLINS: All right, you saw it right there in the top left-hand corner, Alabama, in the bracket.

It's bracket Monday. It's a really good day for Alabama fans. They had a lot of fans, but the March Madness field is now set. It is time to start filling out your brackets, if you haven't done so yet. I have not yet, but I will soon.

Andy Scholes is joining us now with some tips on how to win your bracket competition.

Obviously, put Alabama as winning it all, Andy, I think, is tip number one, right?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, Kaitlan, I think a lot of people would differ with you on that one, including myself, because I went to the University of Houston, by the way. But, you know, there's lots of different strategies, but it's always, you know, a great time, you know, competing with your friends and co-workers in your bracket pool or competitions. And, you know, it's always a lot of fun, you know, picking an upset in the first or second round or finding the Cinderella and then bragging that you were able to get a couple wins out of them.

But, you know, if you really want to win your bracket pool or competition, it's all about the end. It's all about, you know, the final game right here. And it's about picking a champion, right? More often than not the person who wins your pool or competition, they will have picked the champion.

And there's a stat that can actually help you when it comes to picking who's going to win the NCAA tournament. It's called Kenpom. Kenpom measures a team's offensive and defensive efficiency. And since 2002, every single NCAA champion has been in the top 40 in offense and top 22 in defense. And you see these seven teams over here, right here, they're already there. These are seven solid picks to win your bracket this year. You've got four teams over here. They could get there. You know, by the end of the tournament, those four teams could win the tournament according to Kenpom.

Now, two teams you didn't see on there were Gonzaga and Arizona. According to Kenpom, they are not going to meet those thresholds because of defensive efficiency. And also, look at this map, since 1997, every single NCAA champion has come from east of this side of this line right here through the middle. Gonzaga, UCLA, I don't know, they're over there. Texas is also on the wrong side of that map.

So, who should you pick if you want to win your bracket? Well, look at, the one seed has won 26 times. So, if you want the highest probability of wining your bracket, you should probably go with a one seed to win it when it's all said and done.


Who are the one seeds. You've got Alabama, Kansas, Houston and Purdue this year. Look at this, though, since 1974, these are the only two teams that have repeated as champions, the Kansas Jayhawks won last year. It's very hard to repeat. So keep that in mind.

So, I'm sure, Kaitlan, you're like, I like where you're going with this. Maybe I should pick Alabama. Where is the final four this year? It's in Houston. Houston are also the favorites. But since 1988, that was the last time, guys, that we saw a champion win the title close to home. So, is it going to happen for Houston this year? I like to think so. I think it's going to be a fairytale ending for my Houston Cougars. That's who I'm going with.

COLLINS: All right.

SCHOLES: I know you differ from that, Kaitlan.

LEMON: I have not seen Andy Scholes this excited this early in the morning in a long time.

COLLINS: We're pumped right now.

SCHOLES: Got till Thursday to fill out those brackets. So, you've got time to do your research as well.

COLLINS: Love it. Thank you, Andy.

LEMON: What did you say about my brackets, Kaitlan? I said I usually get help. And you said you're going to call the security and exchange --

COLLINS: Yes, SEC on Don for - he said he wanted help with his bracket. I said, no, you have to do it yourself.

HARLOW: Speaking of regulators, we are continuing to track the fallout over the sudden collapse of two U.S. banks. Businesses, this morning, scrambling to get cash to pay their employees. That's next.

LEMON: Poppy's going to head to a local toy store that she's going to be asking - a toy store that was asking for public help to stay afloat. You're going to be -- you want to see that. She's going to be live at a toy store right near where we work to discuss all of that.

COLLINS: Yes, real life impact.

LEMON: We'll be right back.