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CNN This Morning

Australia, U.K., and U.S. Seal Nuclear Submarine Deal; Former Alabama Senator Doug Jones (D) On Biden Team's Scramble To Contain Financial And Political Contagion; Millions Of Young Adults Are Moving Back Home After Graduation. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 14, 2023 - 07:30   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: In what is a clear challenge to China, President Biden -- there you can see him yesterday -- announcing a major new plan to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines in what is probably his administration's most aggressive move yet to China -- to counter China's growing influence in the region.

There is President Biden joining his British and Australian counterparts at a naval base in California, announcing plans for Australia to get its own nuclear-powered submarines early next decade.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we stand at the inflection point in history where the hard work of announcing deterrents and promoting stability is going to affect the prospect of peace for decades to come, the United States can ask for no better partners in the Indo-Pacific where so much of our shared future will be written.


COLLINS: This morning, China says the deal goes down what they call, quote, "a dangerous road" and will only stimulate an arms race, according to the Chinese.

CNN's Natasha Bertrand joins us now. Obviously, that's a very strong response from China. We're not surprised because this is such a big move from President Biden.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: That's right, Kaitlan. And look, China is not mincing words this morning. They are saying that they believe this is going to stimulate an arms race and that this represents a new, quote, "cold war mentality" by the U.S., U.K., and Australia."

But look, U.S. officials did expect this because this is a deal between the U.S., U.K., and Australia known as AUKUS that is essentially aimed at countering Chinese naval dominance in the Indo- Pacific. It will see the U.S. provide Australia with three nuclear- powered submarines by the year 2033 and also use British and American technology to create their own submarines by the 2040s.

So China clearly not happy about this because it also is aimed at deterring a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Now, U.S. officials -- of course, they expected this reaction from China. There have been a number of irritants recently in the U.S.- China relationship from that spy balloon that was shot down over the U.S., of course, to warnings by the United States that China is potentially thinking about arming Russia for its war in Ukraine.

Also, the U.S. and China have not spoken in many months. The lines of communication, particularly between the military leadership between the two countries, has essentially been silent. And so, the U.S. has been trying to reopen those lines of communication despite, of course, these efforts to counter that naval dominance of China in the Indo- Pacific.

And what we're hearing is that the White House remains pretty optimistic that communication will be reopened now that China's National Congress has essentially closed, giving Xi Jinping, the president of China, more room to speak to the United States. And they're hoping that President Biden and Xi will have a conversation sometime in the near future, Kaitlan.


COLLINS: Yes, we'll see what that looks likes. And, of course, coming as China has brokered that deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia. There's so much to talk about.

Natasha Bertrand, thank you.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This morning dozens of Ukrainian troops are wrapping up their training in Spain on the Leopard 2 tanks Western allies agreed to send to help Ukraine in its fight. This is part of a coordinated effort with Spain, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and the Netherlands to supply Kyiv with around 80 Leopard 2 vehicles.

Our next guest is a U.S. Army veteran who has been fighting alongside Ukrainians since the beginning and sharing his experience with us from the ground. We're happy to join Miro Popovich -- or have him join us here. He is back in the U.S. for the first time since the start of the war. Miro, thank you.


LEMON: We appreciate you joining us.

POPOVICH: Thank you.

LEMON: Good morning to you.

So we're happy to see that you're safe. You're heading back to Ukraine tomorrow.

POPOVICH: Yes. LEMON: Your assessment of where you think this war is one year out and -- I mean, you've been, you know, fighting --


LEMON: -- for a year.

POPOVICH: Well, you know, since day one, I think the whole world was giving us, what two-three days?


POPOVICH: And here we are one year later and we are fighting back. And our armed forces have liberated much of the territory. I know it's still a long way to go but we are on the right track, of course, obviously, with the support from Europe and the United States, and the whole world that cherishes the freedom and the human rights. With all that help we are on the right track to end this war as soon as possible.

COLLINS: You have said you're surprised that it's still going on even this long. You know, we hit the one-year mark. We talked about what that meant.

What is it like being on the ground there? You've given -- you're the one who has been there. You're going back, as Don said. What is it like there?

POPOVICH: Well, you know what? I can say it's horrible and it will be the right statement. But we as humans -- we get used to anything and probably one year later I get used to seeing horrible and tremendous things or being under fire. You get used to this but it's not normal, obviously.

But it is -- I'll tell you this. I want to -- it is amazing to see how united Ukrainians are and the whole world around us. And to see from any -- I've been to Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Kyiv -- all these cities -- and everywhere you see people united. It's amazing -- yes.

LEMON: Why did you come back?

POPOVICH: To the United States?


POPOVICH: I have to file my taxes. I'm a United States -- I'm a -- I'm a United States citizen.


POPOVICH: I haven't filed my taxes in '21 and I have to file for '22. And my driver's license was expiring, my U.S. passport was expiring because it's been a long time. So I had to come here and do those little things.

And the other thing is Andriy Khlyvnyuk from BoomBox -- you know, the Pink Floyd guy --


POPOVICH: Yes, the guy who sang with Pink Floyd -- we are on the same team. So he came here with a tour with his band BoomBox to raise money for Ukraine humanitarian and military aid, so I'm here sort of helping him out as well.

COLLINS: One big thing we've been talking about this morning is also the politics here at home and support for Ukraine.


COLLINS: Because we've heard Biden and the admin talk about supporting Ukraine as long as it takes. But Ron DeSantis is someone who is expected to enter the Republican race. He is polling the closest to Trump of anyone else. And he said that last night he doesn't think the U.S. should be involved in what he called a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia.

Are you worried about the future of politics here and how that affects support for Ukraine?

POPOVICH: What's this guy's name?

COLLINS: Ron DeSantis. He's the governor of Florida?

POPOVICH: Ron DeSantis --

LEMON: The governor of Florida.

POPOVICH: -- of Florida. Yes, yes, I've heard his name -- yes.

Well, I want to let him know that this is not a territorial dispute. Russia is -- has invaded Ukraine to destroy, demolish, rape, kill, and it's not a territorial dispute. So hopefully, this guy doesn't win.

But -- what was the question again?

COLLINS: Well, just the concern about --

LEMON: Support.

COLLINS: -- what the support could look like and the U.S. commitment and --

POPOVICH: Oh, yes.

COLLINS: -- broader commitment to Ukraine.

POPOVICH: Of course. You know, the United States supports Ukraine very much and I am concerned if the support will stop it will be harder for us because we already paid the highest price -- the ultimate price.

I mean, tens of thousands of people died, and I've seen cities demolished. For example -- for instance, the city of Makiivka, where 10,000 people lived there, is demolished 100 percent. There is no more -- there's no more -- the city doesn't exist anymore.


So this is not a territorial dispute; this is life or death. So as someone said, if Russia stops shooting there will be no war. If Ukraine stops shooting there will be no Ukraine. So that's exactly what's happening.

COLLINS: Before you go, can we -- can you tell us about your shirt --

POPOVICH: Oh, the shirt.

COLLINS: -- because I noticed it in the commercial break.

POPOVICH: Yes. This is the same javelin shirt -- perhaps the same javelin. I think it's St. Mary that's holding a javelin and they call it, say, the protector of Ukraine.

COLLINS: Which obviously have been critical for Ukraine.


LEMON: Miro, be safe, OK?

POPOVICH: Thank you.

LEMON: We thank you for joining us.


POPOVICH: Thank you very much.

COLLINS: Thank you for coming before you go back.

LEMON: We appreciate it.

COLLINS: OK. Also this morning, what we are tracking -- Poppy, go ahead.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: In 2018, by bipartisan vote, lawmakers eased regulations for some banks. Now lawmakers are trying to make sense of Silicon Valley Bank's collapse. Would stricter regulations have prevented that?

We're going to be joined by Alabama Sen. Doug Jones about his vote five years ago on that. What he thinks now. That's next on CNN THIS MORNING.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": This is the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history since the collapse of Washington Mutual in 2008. It's 2008 all over again, baby. Banks are collapsing, flip phones are back, and Hillary Clinton's got the nomination locked up.


LEMON: Well, President Biden is trying to reassure people that their money is safe following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. While steps are being taken to help depositors many are looking ahead fearing other smaller banks could soon face the same fate. Let's hope not.

So joining us now, Doug Jones, a former U.S. senator from Alabama -- the great state of Alabama -- and counsel at ArentFox Schiff, which represents banks and savings and loan institutions among other types of clients, so perfectly perched to answer questions regarding this and other issues. Thank you. Good morning to you.


LEMON: First up, I have to ask you. In 2008, you were one of 17 -- 2018, excuse me. He just said 2008. I've got 2008 on my brain. In 2018, you were one of 17 Democrats to vote with Republicans to ease regulations on smaller banks.

Should Silicon Valley Banks have been under the same rules as the big banks? I mean -- banks. If those rules were not rolled back would that have protected SVB or Signature Bank from failing?

JONES: You know, Don, I think it remains to be seen right now. I mean, we're in this thing in the first three or four days here and I think the president said it best yesterday in that we've got to do a full accounting. I think the administration, Treasury, FDIC, the Fed, the OCC, and the banking committees in both the House and Senate need to really figure out what's going on about this.

I think the 2018 bill was a good bill. It eased some regulations but most of Dodd-Frank is still there. But like everything else, nothing is sacred in that bill and they need to look and see exactly what happened and try to react accordingly. And if there needs to be changes they need to make some changes.

LEMON: So you don't regret supporting the bill? You don't feel responsible for any of this?

JONES: No, I don't feel responsible for this. You know, Don, legislation is there for trying to deal with the circumstances that existed in the past and trying to do your best to look forward. There are thousands of banks in this country that I think are fine.

I don't think our banking system -- every economist that I've been seeing says our banking system is strong. There is liquidity in the market and in these banks. So I don't think that is a systemic problem across the board here.

But again, that legislation, like so many other pieces of legislation that gets passed in the moment, needs to be reviewed.


JONES: Circumstances have changed, including --

LEMON: -- let me ask you this.

JONES: -- how people can remove their money.

LEMON: OK. So then would you not support the bill now?

JONES: Again, Don, I don't know what the cause -- all the causes. We have seen this. I don't think you can simply throw the baby out with the bathwater right now and look at one piece of legislation five years ago that caused this.

Regulators are still out there. The bank has certain responsibilities. Let's get the cause of this and see and then we'll try --


JONES: -- to adjust accordingly.


JONES: And hopefully, Congress can get together.

LEMON: OK, I get what you're saying and I could press you more on this but I want to move on and I have other business that we need to tend to.

So the former vice president, Mike Pence, over the weekend had some really harsh words for his former boss, saying that history will hold Donald Trump accountable for his actions inciting the January 6 insurrection.

JONES: Right.

LEMON: Why would he criticize Trump like this now when he is fighting every investigation to talk about and to try to figure out to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6?

JONES: You know, Don, I think he's making a purely political calculation at this point -- purely political. You've not seen that kind of language coming out of the former vice president since this time. His life and his family's lives were on the line on January 6 and you did not see him kind of denounce the former president in such a very difficult, harsh way.

But I think it's a purely political calculation as people are gearing up toward the 2024 run and as people are seeing the vulnerabilities of Donald Trump as a candidate. They're just kind of jumping on this a little bit. And I think he is trying to define a lane for himself and quite

frankly, set a standard for other candidates. It's going to be interesting to see how Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley, and Chris Christie, and Glenn Youngkin, or whoever else is going to run in that primary react and if they're going to have the same kind of language because they're still going to be fighting for that MAGA vote.

LEMON: Yes, and some of whom have supported election deniers as well.


So I want to talk about now what the FBI --

JONES: Absolutely.

LEMON: -- is saying -- a big issue. So, the FBI -- according to the latest data, hate crimes increased in 2021 to unprecedented levels. There were more than 9,000 reported incidents, which is an 11.6 percent increase from 2020. That is not good for the country.

What do you make of those numbers?

JONES: Yes. You know, Don, I'm going to be very candid about this. I am not surprised. I see the rhetoric of so many politicians, particularly on the far right -- the hateful rhetoric that comes out. The kind of bullying rhetoric. And it gives rise to that.

You know, I grew up in an area - era of Jim Crow. We've had so much violence in the south in the past because of the rhetoric of governors and politicians across the area and there is a direct correlation. I've been saying that for many, many years. There is a direct correlation sometimes between the rhetoric of our public officials and the rise of hate crimes. They feel like they can get away with it. And we're seeing that across the country and it's frightening.

I think people need to dial this back and understand that their words have consequences. And they can still make their political points without having to do so in a way that is going to engender violence. And that happens.

I think people out there see and hear things differently and sometimes they hear a -- politicians give them a green light to do things that are absolutely violent and against the law, and we've seen that rising over the last four or five years, particularly with Donald Trump as President of the United States. That kind of rhetoric went to a crescendo level.

LEMON: Yes. The reason I asked you that is because you prosecuted a case more than 20 years ago, which was for the bombing at a Black church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four little girls in 1963. So you know --

JONES: Right.

LEMON: -- a lot about hate crimes.

Doug Jones, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

JONES: OK, Don. Thank you.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, the northeast is bracing for heavy snow and dangerous winds. We're going to take you live to Massachusetts as officials are responding to the first nor'easter of the season.

HARLOW: And they graduated college. They have careers. They make their own money. But they are moving back in with their parents. We'll talk about this growing trend ahead.


GRACE LEMIRE, LIVES WITH PARENTS: Have you seen the rent prices out there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's something that I used to be almost like embarrassed or ashamed of, but not anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Living by yourself is almost impossible.




HARLOW: They left for college, then they came right back home. There is a growing number of young folks who have moved back in with their parents after graduation even though they've started their careers, they're making their own money.

Our Gabe Cohen reports.


G. LEMIRE: Yes, it feels like home.

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Grace Lemire shows us her Massachusetts home.

G. LEMIRE: So this is my childhood bedroom.

COHEN (voice-over): Well, her parent's home.

G. LEMIRE: This is my mom's office.

COHEN (voice-over): The 24-year-old moved back after college and hasn't left even though she's now making close to six figures running her own content marketing business.

G. LEMIRE: And it's been huge. I am able to completely save an emergency fund. I have been able to put a lot of money onto my student loans. I have a bigger downpayment for a future home. Those are things that are important to me and make living at home make more sense for me. COHEN (voice-over): She posts about it on TikTok --

G. LEMIRE: Have you seen the rent prices out there?

COHEN (voice-over): -- and she's not alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Living by yourself is almost impossible.

COHEN (voice-over): Millions of young adults moved home during the pandemic and many haven't left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's something that I used to be almost like embarrassed or ashamed of, but not anymore.

COHEN (voice-over): As of last summer 50 percent of adults 18 to 29 years old were living with their parents, according to Pew, down just slightly from 52 percent at the peak of the pandemic -- the most since the Great Depression.

G. LEMIRE: I would say most of my friends are actually living at home with their parents.

COHEN (voice-over): Housing costs are a key reason. The average rent nationwide, nearly $2,000, is 26 percent higher than at the start of COVID and only rising amid this high inflation.

CHRISTINE BRUNIK, LIVES WITH PARENTS: I can't be financially stable if I want to go out and live on my own.

COHEN (voice-over): Twenty-three-year-old Christine Brunik has lived with her parents in a Minnesota suburb since finishing college. Renting her own place, she says, could cost half her marketing salary.

BRUNIK: I feel kind of like in a stagnant position.

COHEN (on camera): What's your plan as of now?

BRUNIK: I am hoping to move out in August but again, that depends if I find roommates.

COHEN (voice-over): Then there's student loan debt.

JON WILLIAMS, LIVES WITH PARENTS: The goal is to just clear that out as quickly as I can.

COHEN (voice-over): Twenty-six-year-old Jon Williams, a pharmacist in Michigan, moved into his parent's basement after finishing grad school with $180,000 of student debt, he says.

WILLIAMS: It has been a very minimalist lifestyle. I've saved over 80 percent of my net income.

COHEN (on camera): When do you think you'll be able to clear your student debt?

WILLIAMS: Probably late fall. I'm about three-quarters of the way through it right now.

COHEN (on camera): Are you getting antsy?

WILLIAMS: I am getting slightly antsy. I do feel like 2023 will probably be a good year for me to move out.

COHEN (voice-over): Many Americans don't like this trend. Thirty-six percent say that more young adults living with parents is bad for society, while 16 percent say it's good, according to Pew research.

G. LEMIRE: I have been called a fraud and a freeloader.

COHEN (voice-over): Grace's mom had a different take.

NANCY LEMIRE, GRACE'S MOTHER: If she's in a better position, then that gives us peace of mind. And when we get older if we need help she'll be in a better position to help us, right?


GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And if you go on social media on TikTok you'll also find plenty of young people posting about how they can't or they won't live with their parents for any number of reasons.

But Poppy, there is also a new study that was published in England that found mental health actually improved for young adults when they moved home as they were escaping poor --


COHEN: -- living conditions, which as we're seeing in many cases, caused by inflation, housing costs -- all of these really, really big costs right now.

HARLOW: Yes, isolation, loneliness.