Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Russia Accuses U.S. of Drone Attack on Kremlin; Pacwest Considering 'All Options' as Shares Plunge; Atlanta Shooting Suspect Captured; Special Counsel Probing Trump Org's Handling of Mar-a-Lago Footage; White House Warns Protracted Debt Default Could Wipe Out 8 Million Jobs; Kindergartner Dies, Detroit School Closes Amid Spike in Flu-Like Cases. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired May 04, 2023 - 06:00   ET



DEPUTY DANIEL "RED" JONES, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA: A beautiful sound. That's a beautiful sound, mama. Look, it's your baby! Look at your pretty little girl.



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. Just another day at the office, right? The county sheriff says he's extremely proud of Master Deputy Daniel "Red" Jones. Congratulations to all of them.

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

POPPY HARLOW: Good morning, everyone. We are so glad you're with us. We have a lot of news to get to this morning, for sure. So let's start with "Five Things to Know" for this Thursday, May the 4th, 2023.

This breaking news just in. Russia now baselessly accusing America of being behind the drone attack on the Kremlin. Ukraine denies any involvement in that. We've called the White House and the Pentagon. We're waiting for their reaction.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Also, another regional bank might be in trouble this morning as shares of Pacwest are plunging more than 50 percent after a report suggested the bank could be seeking a sale.

Also, police in Atlanta have now arrested overnight the gunman accused of shooting five people, five women inside a medical center. One of them was killed. The suspect was caught after an hours-long manhunt.

HARLOW: Also, Special Counsel Jack Smith is looking into how the Trump Organization handled surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago. Sources tell CNN this had led to a new round of subpoenas to top Trump employees.

And May the 4th be with you. "Star Wars'" Princess Leia, the late Carrie Fisher will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.

"Star Wars" fan?


HARLOW: Let me just say, I can say that I have not seen "Star Wars." Can you believe it?

COLLINS: I don't want to admit.

HARLOW: OK. I'm admitting it for both of us. So -- but I've always loved her. And I'm glad to see her honored in this way.


HARLOW: But let's get to the breaking news. Because this just coming in. Russia is now accusing the United States of being behind that drone attack we told you about yesterday on the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin's spokesman just made that accusation without any evidence, by the way, to back it up. This was during a phone call that he had with journalists. He claims the U.S., quote, "dictates such decisions to Kyiv."

The Ukrainians have flat-out denied any involvement in that drone attack. But overnight, we saw Russia unleash a wave of its own droves on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. They had handwritten messages on them that read "for the Kremlin" and "for Moscow."

So let's go to our senior international security correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh. He's on the ground, live in Dnipro, Ukraine.

Nick, the concern yesterday right after this news from Russia blaming Ukraine for these drones -- now they're blaming America -- was is this a pretext for Russia to take further action?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And so far overnight, we have not seen marked escalation.

It's been bad, night by night, for the past four to five days across Ukraine from missile and drone attacks. And they seem to be the same level. We saw a lot of drones taken out of the sky by air defense systems.

But let's just go back to these extraordinary comments from the Kremlin. No end, it seems, the kind of escalation we're seeing from Moscow.

Yesterday, saying Ukraine tried to assassinate their president in the seat of government.

Now today, again without evidence, saying Washington essentially told them to do it. Let me give you the quote from Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, on a call with reporters: "Such attempts to disown this in Kyiv and Washington are, of course, absolutely ridiculous. We are well aware that decisions on such actions and such terrorist attacks are not made in Kyiv but in Washington. And Kyiv is already executing what it is told to do."

Part, I think, generally speaking, of a narrative from Russia, as the war for them here in Ukraine gets worse and worse, of trying to persuade to the Russian population that, essentially, they're fighting the rest of the world. They're fighting NATO. They're fighting all of the NATO alliance, backed by the enormity of the U.S. military. This, perhaps, plays into this, too.

But my gosh, how we enter very high escalatory stakes here. Not only have they said that the country they're at war with has tried to kill their president. At the same time they're saying Washington told them to do it.

I should point out, again, we are very thin on evidence about this. We're told that Vladimir Putin is in the Kremlin working today, that he has remained calm since what Moscow called an attempt on his life.

And that the minimal damage that some suggested may have been done to the Kremlin by the explosion that was seen on a video, well, that's actually being fixed. It's two copper plates that are being redone.

So frankly, even if this was an assassination attempt, it didn't seem to bring an awful lot of explosives to even damage the roof that it landed on, one of the drones there.

The real emphasis on the Kremlin to come up with the evidence here to provide some kind of proof of what they're talking about.

HARLOW: Right.

WALSH: The drones. Exactly what was hit, where they thought it may have come from. And that's something they're saying they're going to leave for a later moment for now.


HARLOW: Look, we're going to have John Kirby from the White House on the program this morning. Obviously, questions for them. But there is no evidence provided here by Russia, this baseless claim.

Before you go, President Zelenskyy is at the Hague. He's going to visit the International Criminal Court. This is just a few months after they called for Putin's arrest. What is the impact of this meeting?

WALSH: Look, it's extraordinary to see Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and there's a wonderful quote where he says, basically, he'd like the other Vladimir to be there, not him.

He says, again, that he wants to see this war come to an end and see Vladimir Putin on trial. That, in fact, was part of his reaction to being accused of having tried to kill Putin or being part of -- the head of the government that tried to do that.

He just said he wanted to see Putin in the Hague.

And the symbolism of the tour that we've seen Zelenskyy do, yesterday going to Finland, the newest member of NATO, right along Russia's border.

And then today in the Hague, the place where so much of the Western alliance that's trying to assist Ukraine here wants to see Vladimir Putin face trial for the mass deportation of children. Startling symbolism there, particularly as we're expecting Ukraine's counteroffensive to more publicly, perhaps, is the best way to say it, get under way.

Back to you.

HARLOW: It certainly is, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you for that reporting from Dnipro, Ukraine.

As I mentioned in the 8 a.m. hour, we'll talk about all of this and this breaking news that we just reported with the White House's John Kirby. He'll be live here at the table.

COLLINS: Also this morning, there are new developments in the investigation into a string of stabbings in less than a week near the University of California - Davis.

You can see here just how close each of these three attacks were. They left two men dead and a woman seriously injured.

"The Sacramento Bee" is reporting that the police have been questioning a person of interest. Big questions still remain. The person was found about a block away from where that second stabbing happened that you saw there on the map, of that location.

The police spokesman says that the person voluntarily went to officers -- went with officers to the police headquarters. But they are cautioning this person has not been yet linked to any of the stabbings.

Police are also announcing that investigators have collected biological evidence from those three crime scenes. Right now, still, no suspects have been publicly identified.

HARLOW: Well, another regional bank is showing signs of trouble this morning.

Pacwest Bank, you probably know it. It's well known. It confirms a Bloomberg news report that it's weighing what they're calling strategic options, including a possible sale.

That's now raising a lot of questions about whether Pacwest will be the next bank to potentially go under, following the collapse of three other significant regional banks: Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and then First Republic on Monday morning.

This news sent Pacwest stock tumbling down more than 50 percent after- hour trading yesterday. Our chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, is here with more.

What's going on?

ROMANS: Well, so the bank actually yesterday released a statement saying, You know, look, we haven't seen a big outflow of deposits.

HARLOW: Right.

ROMANS: Things look just as good today as they did last week when they reported earnings.

This is a case, I think, of when you hear "strategic options," that's like an SOS in Wall Street lingo, right? And so looking to buy -- find a buyer. You know, just what is the situation with this bank?

They say they have, I think, 75 percent of the deposits are now insured. That's up a little bit from recently.

So there isn't anything materially new about this bank. But it is the nervousness on Wall Street means investors are selling it. So the stock is down 38 percent, 50 percent at one point this morning.

You can see that big dive there. That is right before SVB collapsed. So you can see regional banks and this bank has had a really hard time kind of finding its footing since that happened.

The bank has not experienced out of the ordinary deposits since the sale of first republic bank and other news. That's what the bank said the other night.

But in the eyes of Wall Street traders, I guess it doesn't matter. They've been selling this stock here.

We know the FDIC has stepped in before. They're looking for a buyer here. The company says that it is looking at strategic options. So we'll see if pieces of this bank could be sold.

One thing that's interesting to me is this is the interest rate story, right? As interest rates have risen, the value of its investments has gone down. And if you mark those to market, you know, it shows some weakness on the books.

COLLINS: And they're rising again.

ROMANS: That's right.

COLLINS: We heard that from Jay Powell yesterday. But it might be the last time for now, right?

ROMANS: The Pause Patrol, right? Yes.

COLLINS: That's clever. All the parents watching know exactly what you're talking about.

ROMANS: I know. Sing the song?

COLLINS: Yes, go for it.

ROMANS: You know, a little bit of Paw Patrol, though. Just kidding.

But a little bit of --

COLLINS: Pause Patrol.

ROMANS: Yes. They raised 25 basis points, the tenth time in a row. But signaling, I think, that they're going to wait to see what happens next here.

It is really remarkable to raise interest rates again on a week when you still have bank stress and you had a bank failure last week, you know, in First Republic. Or Monday morning with First Republic.

So it is a very interesting moment here, I think, after a year of interest rate hikes. Borrowing costs going up for all Americans. You know, your credit card debt is very dangerous still, folks. It is going to get even more expensive.

And that's all in the engineering to try to slow down the U.S. economy and prevent inflation from taking hold.


And these bank failures just -- has been remarkable.


ROMANS: The interest rate increases have revealed that weakness in the banking system.

HARLOW: Because they test, they stress-test these banks for the opposite scenario.

ROMANS: Right.

HARLOW: But not this scenario. Yet, here's where we find ourselves.

ROMANS: I know. I know.

HARLOW: Yes. Christine Romans, thank you very much.

COLLINS: Also this morning, there is newly-released dispatch audio from the moments after a deadly shooting that we were tracking all day yesterday in Atlanta Medical Center. It shows how the suspected gunman's mother actually helped in the search for her son.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're now advising an active shooter. Person shot.

They're advising female shot. She's seriously bleeding. Shot in the side and the back.

Black male about 6 feet tall wearing a black hoodie. He's on the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of the ages between 20 and 25. Named Deion Patterson.

Caller is still on the phone with 9-1-1, advising it's going to be her son.


COLLINS: Police captured 24-year-old Deion Patterson after nearly eight hours of a chaotic manhunt. The attack left one woman dead, four others injured, still in the hospital.

CNN's Nick Valencia is live in Atlanta outside where that shooting took place.

Nick, of course, this was a dramatic scene as everyone is watching this play out. The city of Atlanta was kind of in a standstill and this panic as they were looking for this suspect.

What's the latest on this investigation?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kaitlan, it was an absolutely terrifying day here in Atlanta. It all unfolded at this medical facility here, Northside Medical in midtown Atlanta during a very busy lunch-time rush.

And according to police, 24-year-old Deion Patterson showed up at this facility to get some sort of evaluation after being unhappy with the treatment he was receiving at the V.A.

And at some point during this appointment, he became agitated and opened fire, according to police, killing a 38-year-old woman and injuring four others. All of the victims are women. Three of them are in critical condition, one of them in stable condition.

And according to police, Patterson then took off running and stole an unattended vehicle at a nearby gas station just a couple blocks away from here.

Technology played a huge role in his capture. According to police, they say within 20 minutes of him stealing that car, the vehicle tag was spotted and they'd alerted authorities that he was in the suburbs just ten miles Northwest of where the shooting all took place.

Ultimately, an undercover police officer found Patterson hiding in a pool area inside an apartment complex in the suburbs there, ending what was a very terrifying and emotional day for the city of Atlanta and beyond.

And just very quickly here, Kaitlan, we know that he is expected to make his first court appearance at 11 a.m. He has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault, as well as one count of murder.

And his mother, we heard that audio played -- his mother is cooperating with police, as is the Coast Guard. Patterson is a former Coast Guardsman who served from 2018 to 2023, when he was discharged from active duty. They are also closely cooperating with police -- Kaitlan. COLLINS: Yes. It's remarkable to see how -- how parents are being brought into something like this, especially after we saw what happened in Louisville, Kentucky, where that was the mom also called 911. Now this situation.

Nick Valencia, I know that court appearance is going to happen today. Keep us updated. Thank you.

HARLOW: First on CNN, the special counsel investigating classified documents at Mar-a-Lago is now looking into possible mishandling of surveillance video.

COLLINS: Also, a Detroit school has closed down after a spike in flu- like cases and the death of a kindergartener.



COLLINS: Something to keep an eye on today: a long-time Trump Organization executive and his son are both expected to testify in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, with sources telling CNN prosecutors are planning to ask them about the handling of surveillance footage, as well as conversations that happened between employees after they were subpoenaed for that footage last summer.

CNN was first to report that the footage has been of a particular interest to the special counsel, Jack Smith, and that has prompted a new round of grand jury subpoenas.

Let's bring in CNN senior legal affairs correspondent, Paula Reid, who got this exclusive reporting, along with CNN's Katelyn Polantz.

Paula, why is this footage of such interest to Jack Smith at this point in his investigation?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: So Kaitlan, this footage is essential to understanding what happened to those classified documents once they went down to Florida. Remember, they're not only investigating possible mishandling of classified materials, but Jack Smith and his investigators are also looking at any efforts to obstruct this investigation.

So, we've learned that his investigators have been asking about this surveillance footage after they received a subpoena for it. What happened to this footage? Was there any effort to potentially tamper with it?

Now we know that prosecutors have asked lower-level Trump Organization employees about any conversations in the organization about this footage after they received that subpoena. And we're expecting to see additional witnesses today.

COLLINS: And so this is Matt Calamari, Matt Calamari Jr. They're both expected to testify. Have they testified before? Have we been aware of that? Because I haven't heard that they have before, but have the testified before?

And what's the significance that people are still being brought into testify even as of May 4th?

REID: Well, let's start with Matthew Calamari Sr. And this is really significant, because as you know, this is one of Trump's most trusted, long-time advisors.

Matthew Calamari Sr., he is the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization. He's also an executive vice president. And during his decades with the organization, he has primarily been responsible for overseeing security.

Now his son is also working at the organization, and he is now officially the director of security. So the fact that these two are going before the grand jury, the fact that the special counsel have gotten this far into Trump's inner circle to ask about this surveillance footage is definitely significant.

And we know they are expected to be asked about the footage. And again, any conversations that occurred among Trump Organization employees or other Trump aides after they received that subpoena.

So, these are two extremely significant developments in the ongoing special counsel investigation.

And a reminder, to your point, that witnesses keep coming before the grand jury. So this is far from over.

HARLOW: You've been up here in New York covering the trial, the defamation trial, based on an alleged rape of E. Jean Carroll by the former president.

What's really interesting is this new development that you have that the former president's team is not going to put on a defense?

REID: Yes. They were expected to possibly call one expert witness. This was going to be remote testimony. But they announced yesterday that they're not going to do that, citing logistical concerns, as in health concerns, for this particular witness.


But look, that's a deliberate choice not to put on a defense in a case like this. It either means that they believe enough jurors see the case their way, or they believe they've lost and there's really no point in putting on a defense.

E. Jean Carroll is still expected to put on a few witnesses today. There is no court on Friday. And we've learned that the jury will likely begin deliberating this case on Tuesday.

HARLOW: OK. Paula, thanks for all that reporting.

We're getting a pretty dire warning from the White House this morning. Why they say millions of Americans could lose their jobs. COLLINS: Also, a mysterious illness has forced a school in Detroit to

close its doors after a kindergartener died. What health officials are saying this morning and what parents need to know.


HARLOW: Look at that number. Eight million. That is a dire warning from the White House eight million Americans could lose their jobs if the government fails to raise the debt ceiling and goes into an extended default, a default lasting at least a full quarter. That is according to analysis from the White House Counsel of Economic Advisers.


They're also warning that kind of default could cut the stock market in half.

This analysis comes just days after the treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, sent this letter to lawmakers, predicting that U.S. could run out of money to pay its bills as soon as June 1.

Arlette Saenz is at the White House with more.

Arlette, good morning to you. When I saw this cross yesterday, I was stunned. Because I think that this is the way that, you know, everyday Americans can actually digest what a lack of government action on this would mean for them.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. And what the White House is trying to do here is lay out the stakes of the impact of potential default would have on the American economy as that potential date for default is less than a month away.

Now the president's top economic advisors last night outlined various scenarios about a default. And including one that just relates to brinksmanship, saying that if the Congress just waited until the final minutes to raise the debt ceiling, that would even have serious consequences for the American economy, with 200,000 jobs potentially on the chopping block.

That larger warning is related to kind of a three-month protracted default, if they were not able to come to an agreement. That's where that 8 million jobs lost figure comes into play.

Now this all follows Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen earlier in the week, warning that Congress needs to raise the debt limit, potentially as soon as before June 1. She said that waiting until the last minute to reach any type off agreement could have serious consequences for the American economy.

But really, what the White House is trying to do here, they hope these kinds of warnings will help move the needle in the discussions over the debt limit.

The president expected to meet here at the White House on Tuesday with House Speaker McCarthy and other congressional leaders.

But for the time being, the camps remain in their two sides, with the White House saying they are not moving off of that insistence of pushing for a clean debt limit hike, while Republicans still are holding firm that they want to see those spending cuts.

So all eyes on that Tuesday meeting, as the White House is issuing these dire consequences of how the American economy could be impacted, potentially catastrophically, if they do default on their debt.

HARLOW: Yes. And potential real impact, even if we get close to the brink without a default. Arlette, thanks for your reporting from the White House.

COLLINS: Also, we're tracking this story out of Detroit this morning, where a school is closed after reports of a spike in illnesses among young students. A kindergartner actually died last week. The cause of death there, we should note, has not yet been determined.

But Detroit health officials say that the school will will remain closed until next Monday for a deep cleaning.

Joining us now, CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, we're still waiting to learn the cause of death here. We should be very, you know, upfront about the caution in that sense. But there's a big question on just how unusual it is for a child who's so young to die after these flu-like symptoms were exhibited.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kaitlan, so flu- like symptoms can mean many, many different things. If we say let's talk about flu. Children do die of the flu. Last flu season, about 150 children died of the flu, many of them as young as this child. So, yes, children can die that young from flu or from flu-like symptoms.

Two big questions I think is the child who died, did they have any underlying -- what exactly did they die of, to your point, and did they have any underlying illnesses? And the other children, how sick did they get -- Kaitlan.

HARLOW: What about other schools nearby, preventative action, since they don't totally know the source of this?

COLLINS: You know, I think that it's really hard to know what to do if you have children in other schools. I mean, I think what you really can do is look at what they're warning parents about.

So parents at this school, they're saying look out for the symptoms. So headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. So if children at that school should be looking out for those symptoms, then really, children everywhere should. I mean, those are symptoms that parents should be on the look-out anyway and should be talking to their doctor if their child gets really sick.

COLLINS: And so the school is doing this deep cleaning. My mom teaches at a school. The question, I think, that parents will have is a deep cleaning, is disinfecting actually going to be helpful with the big picture here? What is that actually, you know -- what is the real -- what are other steps that they could take in this situation to ease the concerns parents understandably have?

COHEN: So, deep cleaning and disinfection really can help quite a bit. I mean you get in there with soap and water, with the disinfectant. It's better if you know exactly what's causing these illnesses and you can select the best disinfectant.

But two things. One, when children come back to school, if they're still sick, that disinfection kind of goes away. I mean, they then touch those surfaces again.

Another thing is the surfaces may not, probably are not the biggest issue, as we learned with COVID. It spread person to person way more effectively than it spread through surfaces. So, certainly, if I worked at that school or if I had a child at that school, I'd be much more concerned about person-to-person than I would about surfaces, although of course, both are concerns.