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CNN This Morning

John Sandweg is Interviewed about the Border Crisis; Sharon Carpenter is Interviewed about the Coronation; LeBron's Son Commits to USC. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 08, 2023 - 06:30   ET



PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: One final - there's a nugget in your guy's piece where "Axios" has learned that Tucker and Elon Musk have talked about working together. That, I think, raised a lot of eyebrows. What do you know about the dynamics of that?

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, Tucker is pretty big on Twitter. You know, almost seven million followers. Although, I would be remiss not to note, Fox is like three times as big as Tucker. So, they still have a huge following too. But Tucker has been pushing -- I'm sorry, Elon Musk has been pushing to get the Twitter audience and to get the Twitter platform more inclusive to his point of all different types of viewpoints, including conservative viewpoints. And so it wouldn't shock me if the two of them were talking.

One thing to note, though, you'll notice Donald Trump still has not returned to Twitter. And I don't know the reason exactly for that, other than that, of course, he still has Truth Social. But you can imagine that maybe Tucker's not the only person who's trying to think about what their Twitter strategy is, and talking to Elon Musk makes sense.

MATTINGLY: All right, Sara Fischer, this is going to be a lot to watch playing out for sure. Thanks so much.


FISCHER: Thank you.

HARLOW: New rules expected from the Biden administration this morning that would force airlines to pay passengers for what are deemed controllable flight cancellations or significant delays. So that, obviously, wouldn't include weather. This comes after the travel meltdown in December that impacted tens of thousands of flights. The White House is proposing airlines would be required to cover meals, hotel expenses, ground transportation, rebooking. President Biden will announce the new plan a little bit later this morning.

MATTINGLY: I feel like that's got a lot of support.



HARLOW: I just think there's going to be a big debate over what is controllable.

MATTINGLY: What's controllable. Yes, that seems like a pretty wide open (INAUDIBLE).

HARLOW: We - we should have an airline executive on this week to talk about it.

MATTINGLY: By the way, can I apologize to the amazing set team -


MATTINGLY: For wandering aimlessly over here in the last block? I know that that --

HARLOW: No, we keep them on their toes on Monday morning.

MATTINGLY: I'm used to just going to the North Lawn. Like, there's only one place to go. You put stage directions in. I'm an Ohio State guy. It takes a little bit.

HARLOW: Get ready. We even have like a whole thing over there.

MATTINGLY: It's wild. It's a little overwhelming.

All right, back to the news.

Title 42, the pandemic era border policy, is set to expect in just a few days. Now the Biden administration says it's ready for an influx of migrants, but leaders on the ground say they're not. What lawmakers are working on.




MAYORKAS: Not this band-aid solution.




HARLOW: This morning, investigators are looking for a possible motive to why a 33-year-old gunman opened fire at a Texas outlet mall, killing eight and wounding at least seven other people. A senior law enforcement source familiar with that investigation tells CNN that they're considering whether the gunman may have been driven by right- wing extremism. This as the state grapples with yet another mass shooting. Take a look at the cover of "The Dallas Morning News" this morning. The headline reads, eight lives interrupted, futures unshattered, untold more traumatized.

Again and again and again in this country.

MATTINGLY: And front pages like that, headlines like that, editorials like that, parents, teachers, citizens, it's so normal now, and that's so horrific.

HARLOW: We're going to be talking later to a hero who was one of the first responders to come in and try to save people, whose son worked at one of the stores at that mall. And he talked about how he had to prepare and teach his son before going to work, oh, just in case there's a mass shooting, here's what you do.

MATTINGLY: Yes, and there was -

HARLOW: That is not a normal conversation to have to have with your child.

MATTINGLY: I was - I was reading some of these quotes last night and he was like, well, it was -- the good part was, at least his employer had done some active shooter training as well.


MATTINGLY: Yes, I guess that's good, but how awful is that?

HARLOW: That that's -

MATTINGLY: Your employer has to do -

HARLOW: That's right.

MATTINGLY: That's just - I don't know.

HARLOW: That's reality.

MATTINGLY: We have a lot more on all of this and this terrible, terrible reality.

We also have a lot on Title 42, a Trump-era Covid policy, and it's set to expire on Thursday. The policy allows the U.S. to quickly expel migrants without an asylum hearing. Now, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says the U.S. is prepared for Title 42 to end, but some local border leaders say they're not. An official at the nonprofit in El Paso says his group expects an influx of people at the border.


JOHN MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OPPORTUNITY CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS: But, in all honesty, I don't believe that matter -- no matter how hard -- much we are prepared, I don't think we're going to be prepared enough. My biggest concern right now is shelter capacity.


MATTINGLY: That's a concerned shared by a lot. Now, he says, the situation there is not manageable.

Let's bring in John Sandweg. He was the acting director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, as well as the acting general counsel at the Homeland Security Department under President' Obama.

John, thanks so much for being here.


MATTINGLY: I think one of the - this most interesting elements in talking to administration officials working on this at this point in time is, they acknowledge there's going to be a surge, but even they aren't totally sure what to expect. What do you foresee happening when Title 42 expires on Thursday?

SANDWEG: Well, I certainly think we can expect a dramatic increase in the overall flow compared to historical averages. But in many ways I think the surge has already begun. Remember, the Biden administration's approach here is kind of a carrot and stick approach. They've created these alternative pathways to allow migrants who want to present asylum claims to make them outside of the border. So that's the CBP One app that allows people to schedule appointments, you know, with their mobile phone, or these migrant processing centers in Latin America.

At the same time, though, they're modifying the asylum rules with a new rule that will go into infect on Thursday, the same day that Title 42 ends. That new rule has created some fear in these migrant communities that they will no longer be eligible for asylum because they have not made a claim for asylum in Mexico, the country they transited through. And I think that's driven a little bit of a spike in migration. And we've seen it over the last week, week and half, where you've seen an uptick already at the border.

HARLOW: I think what's also been interesting, you dealt with this during the Obama administration, and he faced, look, some criticism from liberals as well, some, you know, titling him deporter in chief.


Senator Menendez, Democratic Senator Menendez, who has put forward a very comprehensive proposal to the administration, about a month ago we had him on the program talking about, says he's been largely - quote, largely ignored by the Biden administration on this. He said sending troops to the border is to score, quote, political points.

You've got independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema saying, I'm not hearing what I need to hear in my state, and neither is the governor. Here's what she said yesterday.


SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (I-AZ): While it's wonderful that the administration is announcing things like a 1,500 troop deployment and these new processing centers, which will not be operational by next Friday, those are good things. Those are aspirational. That's not the same as operational. Rent the buses. Hire the drivers. Build the soft- sided facilities so that we can process individuals. We need more holding capacity. I mean let's be realistic here. And that's what's not -- we're not prepared for that.


HARLOW: I wonder what you make of those critics.

SANDWEG: Well, listen, the border is always a political football. And during the Obama administration, we were hit on both sides consistently. And, unfortunately, I mean in some ways, if you're doing your job well, you're going to get criticism from both sides.

But, look, I think a lot of the frustration, a lot of the current problem, you have to understand, the border is dynamic and it's changed a lot over the years and very quickly. But the threat we face at the border for decades was individuals sneaking into the United States, you know, crossing the border with coyotes leading them in the middle of the night, Border Patrol needing technology, more manpower, physical infrastructure, walls to try to prevent those incursions. It's shifted beginning really in the late 2014 to '15 where everyone presented themselves, surrendered and made an asylum claim. And we had budgeted and resourced the asylum system to handle a very small number of claims, yet here we are basically six, seven years into this and we have not adequately resourced the asylum system so that we can process these claims quickly, remove those people, send them home when they present false claims.

As a result of that, we keep creating more demand, right? And this has - there's no end in sight. So while the near term issue is, how are we going to process the tens of thousands we expect when Title 42 ends, I mean, I think Congress also needs to ask itself questions about, why have we not resourced the current threat, which is to the asylum system, and why are we so overwhelmed because we don't have enough asylum officers and immigration judges to process it?

Look, Congress -- when you're running for Congress and, you know, when you're running for re-election and - you know, for -- like Senator Sinema, it's easy to talk about, you know, detention facilities. You want to talk about those enforcement things. But the reality is, the shortcomings of late has been to the asylum officers and the immigration judges who process these claims. And unless and until we fund that, this isn't going to stop.

MATTINGLY: John, in the 30 seconds we have left, look, I think everybody can agree -- the only thing everybody agrees on is the system is broken. However, the administration has had more than a year. They've known this is coming, right? They've been preparing for this. The Homeland Security secretary they've been preparing for this for a year plus, more than a year. Have they done enough? Do they have other tools they could have utilized in this moment?

SANDWEG: I think we'll find out in a few days, right? I mean, look, the administration, in the very short term, needs to avoid those scenes we saw in the past of Haitian migrants camped out in El Paso under bridges, right, of shelters being overrun, of children in detention, of overcrowded detention facilities, right? I think that's the near term goal.

Look, the administration, to their credit, as taken some innovative approaches, right? They've created these programs whereby people can apply abroad. They've - they're changing the asylum rule, this carrot and stick approach. We'll see how effective it is.

But at the end of the day it's about resources on the ground and whether they can avoid those scenes we've seen in the past. And, unfortunately, with - there's no way to know until they say they're ready. We'll find out in a few days.

HARLOW: Yes. That's really interesting answer.

Director Sandweg, thank you so much. You've certainly had your experience with this before. We appreciate your time.

SANDWEG: My pleasure.

MATTINGLY: A lot to watch this week.

Now the Wagner mercenary group may be backtracking on a threat to withdraw from a key Ukrainian city. The advances it says it's making this morning.

HARLOW: We're also live in London this morning. What the royals are doing today after the coronation of King Charles.



HARLOW: Well, this morning, the newly crowned King Charles III is inviting millions in the United Kingdom to support causes right at home in their local communities. The initiative is called The Big Help Out. It's part of the coronation festivities. Prince Harry attended Saturday's coronation, walking the procession alone. He also left alone and afterward he did not appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with the rest of the royals to wave to the masses. But his older brother, Prince William, the heir to the throne, played a big role. He swore allegiance to his father before kissing him on the cheek. And a big concert celebrating it all last night. William had a special message about his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth.


PRINCE WILLIAM, PRINCE OF WALES: As my grandmother said when she was crowned, coronations are a declaration of our hopes for the future. And I know she's up there fondly keeping an eye on us and she'd be a very proud mother.


HARLOW: Joining us now is royal expert and host of "BBC America," Sharon Carpenter.

Sharon, look, people have a lot of different opinions, whether they like it, whether they don't, whether they think it is dated, et cetera. But it is still quite a thing to see. And I think it was notable when William talked about how proud he was of his father.

SHARON CARPENTER, HOST, "BBC AMERICA": Absolutely. I mean it is quite the sight to see. No one does pageantry quite like the Brits from the actual coronation service that took place on Saturday with the processions before and after and that iconic balcony moment, and then yesterday's concert. Last night's concert was absolutely epic. You had Lionel Richie there. Katy Perry looking stunning in gold. Take That was back together again, a British boy band from the '90s.

And diversity was really the name of the game.


That was something very important to King Charles to get across to the people, that the monarchy is a reflection of modern-day Britain. And I think he succeeded when you looked at the congregation at the coronation service, you looked at the concert last night and you saw that range of performers from all walks of life. I think he nailed it.

MATTINGLY: Can I ask - look, as the American who probably pays attention to all the wrong things in moments like this, there was some speculation as to whether Harry would be included in the balcony shot. He didn't ultimately make the cut. What happened there? What does that mean, if anything at all?

CARPENTER: Yes, he didn't make the cut. And we were all holding out hope that we would see this family moment, they'd put their differences to the side and all be up there on the balcony.


CARPENTER: It did not happen. So, it was reserved for senior working members of the royal family and nobody else. Harry was not invited onto the balcony. I don't see it as a snub. It seems to be in line with Harry's decision that he wanted to be in and out in 24 hours. So, immediately following the service, he jumped into a car, headed over to Heathrow Airport, took that 11-hour flight back to California and probably made it home just in time to kiss Archie good night on his birthday. It was his fourth birthday.

HARLOW: That's right.

CARPENTER: But I also wonder if the royals strategically wanted to keep the brothers apart because they are still estranged. They have no communication whatsoever at the coronation service. So, I guess to reunite on the balcony could be pretty awkward in front of millions of people.

HARLOW: Given that the - give that the optics certainly put it out of touch with a lot of justice normal folks, right, in terms of all of the sort of pomp and circumstance and gold and jewels. Today is part of it and today's about helping. People don't have work. A lot of people don't have work today and they're supposed to go volunteer, The Big Help Out, right?

CARPENTER: Exactly. So, it's a big volunteering initiative. And apparently hundreds of thousands of people are going to be volunteering today. There are 30,000, I think, organizations, 1,500 charities involved in this. And it's really to get people to get out in their communities and give back. Since Covid, volunteering efforts have declined and this could help give it a boost.

But the Prince and Princess of Wales are going to be partaking in this themselves. They're going to be helping at a scout hut in Slow (ph) in the U.K. to really help sort of juz (ph) up the house and make it look better and varnish the doors and sand them down and that kind of stuff. They're going to be rolling up their sleeves.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, they're going to be at a puppy class for a guide dog center. And some of the other royals are going to be out and about as well. The king and queen aren't going to be making public appearances today. They're probably a little tired from all that dancing to Lionel Richie at the concert last night.

MATTINGLY: Sharon Carpenter, your enthusiasm for this is what's actually drawn me in over the course of the last week.

HARLOW: We needed it. We needed it. Thank you.

MATTINGLY: So, I appreciate you, your coverage and coming on this morning. Thanks so much.

CARPENTER: Thank you.

HARLOW: We are getting new polling this morning on President Biden's job approval rating and a potential rematch with former President Trump. We'll take you into those numbers ahead.

MATTINGLY: And what proud dad LeBron James is saying after his son commits to play college basketball and what it means for a potential LeBron verse Bronny or maybe LeBron and Bronny matchup in the NBA n the future.

HARLOW: Could that happen?

MATTINGLY: That's what he wants.




LEBRON JAMES, NBA ALL STAR: Oh, it's just a proud moment to see my son go to college. And he's the first one to go to college. And today was a proud day. I couldn't lose today. No matter - no matter the outcome of this game, I couldn't lose today personally. So - but I'll take this - this cherry on top of this w. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: That was LeBron James sharing that proud dad moment. His older son, Bronny, becoming the first person in his family to attend college when he goes to USC. Bronny announced Saturday that he will attend the University of Southern California and play for the Trojans basketball team.

Joining us now is Coy Wire.

Coy, you can hear the pride in LeBron's voice. You can also hear the sadness in mine that he chose SC over Ohio State, which is all very personal. It also feels personal that you're always the one who's on when something bad happens to Ohio State and we're talking.



WIRE: For those of you --

HARLOW: I just get -- Alabama just gets replaced with Ohio State here.

MATTINGLY: Oh, God willing.

WIRE: With the Buckeyes. Yes. Yes, who are we, Poppy? We're always talking about everyone else's school. But if you didn't know, Phil Mattingly was a baller, a baseball player for the Ohio State Buckeyes. And LeBron --

HARLOW: Were you really?

MATTINGLY: Yes. Oh, yes.

HARLOW: How did I not know this?

WIRE: Google it.

MATTINGLY: Google it.

WIRE: LeBron is an Ohio State Buckeye's super fan, right?


WIRE: So essentially, Phil, they had 18 years to land Bronny as a recruit.


WIRE: But he will, instead, be attending USC for the Trojans. He's already a star too. A top 50 player coming out of high school this year. Seven million Instagram followers alone according to R3 (ph) Sports. He's already the largest NIL valuation, that's name, image and likeness value of any college athlete. Nearly $6 million. Already has deals with Nike, Beats by Dre. Well, here's the thing, there has never been a father-son duo to play

in the NBA at the same time. Now, Bronny is one step closer to the league. Technically he just has to play at USC for a year before being draft eligible. LeBron said in the past he'd do whatever it takes to play with his son. He was asked about that after L.A.'s game three win.

Listen to this.


LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD: I'm still serious about it. Obviously, though - you know, I've got to continue to keep my body and my mind fresh while my son is going to take his journey. And whatever his journey, however his journey lays out, he's going to do what's best for him. Because that's my aspiration and my goal, doesn't mean it's his.


So - you know, and I'm absolutely OK with that.