Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Lakers Push Warriors to Brink; Civilians Evacuated from Zaporizhzhia; Girl Scout Troop Serving NYC Shelter System; Steven Neuhaus is Interviewed about Immigration. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 09, 2023 - 06:30   ET




PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: The Lakers pushing the Warriors to the brink of elimination. A big win in game four thanks to an unlikely hero.

Andy Scholes joins us with more.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, good morning, guys.

You know, there's so much star power in this series. You've got LeBron. You've got Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson. But Lakers fans, they're going to forever remember last night as the Lonnie Walker game. So, Walker wasn't even in the Lakers' rotation to end the season. Barely played against the Grizzlies in the first round but came through big time in game four. The twenty-four-year-old scoring all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. Made six shots, which was as many as the entire Warrior's team in the quarter.

Now, Steph Curry had a 31-point triple/double, had multiple chances in the closing seconds to give the Warriors the lead, but Anthony Davis was playing incredible defense. Steph missed both those chances. Lakers hold on to win that one, 104-101 to take a 3-1 series lead. Teams that go up 3-1 in the best of seven series in the NBA, they win more than 95 percent of the time. So, that's bad news for the Warriors and the Knicks. Jimmy Butler had 27 as the Heat beat New York 109-101 last night to go up 3-1 in that series.

All right, elsewhere, dozens of student athletes at Iowa and Iowa State are under investigation for breaking NCAA rules by gambling on sports events. The University of Iowa released a statement saying it is fully cooperating with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission investigation. The director of the commission told the Action Network that there's no evidence of match fixing or suspicious wagering activity.

Now, CNN has reached out to Iowa State and the NCAA for comment but has not yet heard back.

Now, this comes less than a week after Alabama fired its baseball coach, Brad Bohannon, following a report of suspicious bets made at an Ohio casino involving his team. You know, guys, there's half a million student athletes in the NCAA, and it's against the rules for them to gamble on sports. So, you got to think this is certainly not just going to be isolated to Iowa and Iowa State. You know, this is probably going on in a lot of places. And people probably sweating all over the country if they've been placing bets on pro sports, say that.

MATTINGLY: Andy, can I just say, the Lonnie Walker post-game interview where he's like, I'm no -- I don't want to be narcissistic, but I love myself. I'm proud of myself. Like, I actually dug that. Like, that was cool. Like, not being in the rotation, having confidence here, that was cool to watch last night.


MATTINGLY: It was super cool.

HARLOW: Don't we teach our kids to be proud of themselves?

MATTINGLY: Yes. Should. Have that confidence.

SCHOLES: Especially if you've been working so hard like that (ph) to get back in that rotation.




MATTINGLY: I'm all for it. Andy Scholes, thank you, my friend.

SCHOLES: All right.

HARLOW: A manhunt is underway this morning for two inmates who escaped in Philadelphia. One of them considered extremely dangerous. We'll have the latest on that investigation ahead.

Plus this.


MATTINGLY: CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is on the front lines of the war in Ukraine. A Russian missile striking just 700 yards away. We'll go there live.



MATTINGLY: This morning, Russian installed (ph) officials say around 3,000 civilians have been evacuated from front line towns near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as fighting intensifies before a looming Ukrainian counteroffensive.

HARLOW: And a Ukrainian official says the mass exodus has led to gas stations running dry, empty ATMs, internet problems, soaring food and medicine prices.

Our Nick Paton Walsh reports from Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Occupied Ukraine is aflame and evacuating its civilians. Russia's wholesale departure can't come soon enough for front line town Norahiv (ph), ravaged by Moscow, where four missiles hit on Thursday alone. Rescuers left guessing what the constant bangs mean and have done.

WALSH (on camera): We see people just down the road here carrying on life as per normal despite dust in the sky around us.

WALSH (speaking in foreign language): Is that Ukraine?

DMYTRO HAIDAR, FIREFIGHTER (through translator): No, that might not be.

WALSH (on camera): That may not be, in fact. Outgoing? Ukrainians?

HAIDAR (through translator): Thirteen thousand meters away is the last Ukrainian position.

WALSH: He's saying it doesn't, in particular, time of day when these sort of things start. Could be anytime at all, frankly.

WALSH (voice over): As dusk falls, the sky is lit in a duel (ph). All they can do here to stay alive is read the horizon. Some of it perhaps further south into occupied areas than a week earlier. But so much of it also very close.


Dawn is often jarring. We hear a jet overhead. The slowly building, grating sound of damage moving towards you. A missile, a half million dollars KH-31, Ukrainian officials later say, lands just 700 yard away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be careful of double taps.


I was on the floor, buddy.

WALSH: Another blast follows. Either jet entrails or anti-aircraft fire settle to shape a z in the air, the symbol of Russia's invasion. It is soon gone. The damage it leaves, though, isn't. This is where it hit, or missed.

WALSH (on camera): Down here you can get a feeling of just how massively brutal Russian fire power can be. And also how indiscriminate. I can still smell the explosive down here and you're kind of left wondering where the obvious military target is.

WALSH (voice over): At the end of this road is Polahi (ph), one of the towns Russia has said it is evacuating. We are just one mile from Russian frontline positions here, a world torn apart as Moscow tries to hold Ukraine back.

WALSH (on camera): Well, no more than ten miles in that direction are the first towns that Russian occupying forces say they're going to be evacuating because of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. But look here, the last town really held by Ukraine, absolutely battered. And so few people left here, there's little need to evacuate.

WALSH (voice over): Where there were once 3,000, there are 200 people trying to stay says Raysa.

RAYSA, MALA TOKMACHKA RESIDENT (through translator): We can't leave. We don't have a way out. We survive just on aid they bring to us.

WALSH: Caught in these wide open spaces where a distant bang can suddenly alter life in an instant.


WALSH: Now, Russians so close there, their firepower almost unstoppable. But as Ukraine's counteroffensive seems to be getting underway, they are lashing out across Ukraine night after night with Russian drones and missiles. A different story, though, with improved air defenses. We've seen again and again interceptions of these drones and missiles. No different last night where Kyiv reported 15 missiles launched at it, and they say none of them got through, no casualties reported. So, Russia's rough here, constantly being unleashed, but not as effective perhaps as months ago before Ukraine's air defenses were improved.

Poppy. Phil.

MATTINGLY: Nick Paton Walsh for us in Zaporizhzhia. Thanks so much.

HARLOW: What a report.

MATTINGLY: Seriously.

HARLOW: Troubling new details about the Texas mall shooter whose online posts reveal an obsession with Nazis and guns and mass shootings. We're going to be joined next by a sheriff who is addressing hate speech head on after a rise in extremism in his own community.



MATTINGLY: Girl Scout cookies, I love all the ones you're looking at right there, have long captured America's appetite and America's heart. This is the final week of sales for many troops, including a very special one you're about to meet. Troop 6000 is unlike many others and it's making a real impact on the New York City shelter system.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich has their remarkable story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cookies for sale. Cookies for sale.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For over 100 years, Girl Scouts across the country have sold their famous cookies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two boxes of the Trefoils, Two boxes of the Tagalongs.

YURKEVICH: But in New York City, a troop unlike many others, is holding its annual cookie sale. Troop 6000, for girls experiencing homelessness or living in shelters.


GILLESY, GIRL SCOUT: I was like, can I have some more because those are - those are my favorite.

YURKEVICH (on camera): That is my favorite.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Nine-year-old Jalesse (ph) was an early member of Troop 6000, formed six years ago. Her mom, the program's director, is the reason it exists.

GISELLE BURGESS, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, TROOP 6000: Back in 2017, my kids and I had lost our home. We ended up in the New York City shelter system. I was already an employee at Girl Scouts of Greater New York. How do I tell them that I - I want to start a troop here and why. I walked in and he was like, absolutely, let's do it.

YURKEVICH: The first troop started with just seven girls at Giselle Burgess' shelter. Now it's more than 2,500 women and girls across more than 20 shelters. It also inspired similar troops country wide.

YURKEVICH (on camera): What do you think it was about Girl Scouts being there that attracted the girls to the program so quickly?

BURGESS: It's such a discouraging and scary time already. It was exciting to see girls as they were walking by participating and laughing in one room and they're like, I want to hang out with them every week.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Giselle and her children are now out of the shelter, but are still a part of the Troop 6000. For families still in shelters, the program is free, which includes trips, camps, and weekly activities. The cookie sale helps cover the costs.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Is there anything special in order to be a part of Troop 6000?

GILLESY: Oh, yes. Make sure you want to make new friends. And if you're shy, you should join, because if you're shy, that's how they help you because they make you not shy. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get cookies. We sell more (ph).

YURKEVICH: What do you want to be when you grow up?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to be like a therapist for like younger kids.

GILLESY: I like what she said. I would like to be a therapist.

YURKEVICH: Is that something that you feel like you learned here and you want to give back to other kids?



MERIDITH MASKARA, CEO, GIRL SCOUTS OF GREATER NEW YORK: This population of young women has seen incredibly traumatic events. So, by them seeing us care for them so much, and of course, they're learning that, I can give that back.

YURKEVICH (voice over): And they're giving it back in real time. In January, Troop 6000 expanded to shelters with immigrants and asylum seekers.

MASKARA: Girl Scouts doesn't care about her status. She's in New York City. She needs to be taken care of.



YURKEVICH: Eleven-year-old Laura from Colombia and her 16-year-old friend Julisa (ph) from Nicaragua arrived in the U.S. about six months ago. Now New Yorkers, Yankee hats and all, they are new members of the Troop 6000.

I've only seen this in the movies. It's always been a dream of mine to do this, she says.

And for many of the mothers of the girls in Troop 6000, the program is as much for them as it is for their children.


YURKEVICH (on camera): Why is it so important for you and your daughters?

It gives us opportunities that we don't have in our own country. It gives us the opportunity to be ourselves, she says.

YURKEVICH: Did you ever think that one conversation many years ago would lead to this?

BURGESS: Never. Never. I just thought I was doing the right thing, you know. (END VIDEOTAPE)

YURKEVICH: And since Giselle Burgess helped start Troop 6000 six years ago, they have sold more than $1.6 million worth of Girl Scout cookies. And I watched these girls also learn to become little businesswomen. They were out there marketing. They were selling cookies. They were learning how to deal with money. And, of course, guys, had to bring a couple samples from my personal stash.

HARLOW: Thank you. Never too early.

YURKEVICH: And they're still available through the weekend online, Great Mother's Day gift but also goes to a really good cause.

MATTINGLY: Good story.

HARLOW: What a story. Thank you very much.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

HARLOW: Here in New York, Mayor Eric Adams says the city will send migrants to other neighboring communities. We're going to be joined by one Republican county official who just declared a state of emergency over those plans.



HARLOW: Well, border states are bracing for an influx of migrants in just two days. That's when Title 42 ends. But the impact goes beyond the southern border. Texas has been bussing migrants, about 60,000 of them, right here to New York City. And now New York City is looking to send them into the suburbs. Mayor Eric Adams has announced a new program to provide up to four months of temporary shelter for migrants in nearby communities outside of the city.

MATTINGLY: And that's outside of the city in places like Orange County, New York. Now the move has angered officials there who say they haven't been given clear information about how many migrants will arrive and that they are, quote, concerned about who these individuals are.

Joining us now to talk about this is the county executive of Orange County, New York, Steven Neuhaus. He is a Republican.

County Executive Neuhaus, thanks so much for joining me.

I want to start with the -- I've been reading through the texts of the emergency declaration. Just from the top line, you declared a state of emergency. Why did you think it was necessary given how fast this has been moving?

STEVEN NEUHAUS (R), ORANGE COUNTY EXECUTIVE: So, good morning. Our biggest concern is that originally last Friday I got a call from

the mayor that we were going to have 30 to 60 folks here for about a month. Now we've gotten multiple calls from local hotels and motels saying that they've been approached by New York City and the advertisement is for four months. We don't know who these folks are. My social services is already maxed out with the -- our homeless shelter is full. So, we're very concerned about who these individuals are, how long they're going to stay, and who's going to take care of them.

MATTINGLY: You know, one of the questions that I've had -- you talk about being maxed out. Is there an acceptable number in your eyes, in the community's eyes, of migrants that could be in the community? And I ask that because, you know, these are human beings. I don't think that they're there because they necessarily want to be there. How do you - how do you kind of black and white that in terms of who should actually be allowed in Orange County?

NEUHAUS: That's a great question. I'm a - I'm a first generation American. My parents are both off the boat, if you will, from Europe. And I definitely think the -- I feel bad for these folks. And I think that just an open dialogue. Say, hey, New York state, we have a problem. We need to help these folks. And here's the plan. Or, let's come up with a plan together. Not just, you know, the day before, hey, by the way, I booked a hotel room for 60 people. You'll figure out who they are when they get there. Trust me, they're good or bad or we'll figure out how to feed them afterwards. That's not a plan.

So, I definitely have compassion for these folks. We've had a few of them come through over the last six to eight months. Most of them are just looking for a better life, which the American dream is. But there's a better way of doing it. And it's not the way it's been rolled out.

MATTINGLY: You know, tied to that, do you feel like you were lied to by the mayor, by the mayor's office, in terms of what they presented to you up to this point?

NEUHAUS: I think that they kept a couple things - you know, I see the brochure that it says come for up to four months and they originally said, don't worry, they're only going to be there 30 days. So, somebody is not telling the truth there.

But I think he is overwhelmed. He - you know, I talked to him yesterday. He goes, look, I've got 60,000 asylum seekers. I don't know what to do with them. I need help. And I talked to the state last night and they're trying to figure out what to do as well.

MATTINGLY: One of the questions I did - and this might be a little bit technical, but your emergency action, does it -- are you convinced that it won't run afoul of kind of the state rules? I think Governor Hochul put in an amendment to - kind of how the state law works, that they can't do something like this as it relates to migrants. Do you feel like you're on solid, legal ground?

NEUHAUS: I think we are. But at the same time, what I'm hoping to do is just - just try to get a dialogue and get the city, the state, maybe the federal government -- my congressman, I spoke to him the other day, he's a Democrat, a friend of mine, he's frustrated with this. We've got to get everybody at the table to start talking, to come up with a real plan.

I'm a military officer from -- in my past and we really need to come up with a plan, working together to get this done right.

MATTINGLY: You know, you mentioned Congressman Patrick Ryan, a moderate Democrat in Congress, well liked in Congress as well. A different political party as you. When you talk to him, what's the solution? Your emergency order knocks Governor Abbott, the mayor, the federal government. It's clear that this is a broken system and a lot of major problems. Who is supposed to fix this?

NEUHAUS: I think you need to have everybody on board. So, I talked to the congressman, like you said, Saturday. And he's very frustrated with the system, too. And I think that it's so polarized right now in the country.


We have to get back to what we were, that shining city on a hill that welcomed people from all over the world. We've just got to do it the right way. Like, what's the future for these folks?