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North Carolina Statehouse Overrides Governor's Veto on Abortion Bill; President Biden Cutting Short Foreign Trip to Deal with Raising U.S. Debt Ceiling; Attorney Leaves Former President Trump's Legal Team Handling Classified Documents Case; Daniel Cameron Wins Kentucky Republican Gubernatorial Primary. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 08:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having passed by the requisite three-fifths vote, the House has overridden the governor's veto and the bill becomes law notwithstanding the governor's objections. So be notified.



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We're watching statehouses recently.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the power that they have, even in states like that, North Carolina, everyone, with Democratic governors, the power to override. They have a supermajority.

COLLINS: The supermajority is the story.

HARLOW: It's the story. Good morning, everyone. We're glad you're with us. What you were just hearing there, those were people yelling "Shame" as Republicans in North Carolina voted to override the governor's veto and approve an abortion ban. Just over the state line, Democrats are fighting a bill in South Carolina.

COLLINS: Also, President Biden now cutting a major foreign trip short. He's set to depart today, but time is running out to reach a deal on the debt limit and prevent the economy from economic catastrophe.

HARLOW: Congress exploring the dangers of artificial intelligence. One another using A.I. to clone his voice and speak words he did not write.

This hour of CNN THIS MORNING starts now.

Developing overnight, as we were just talking about, this battle over abortion rights in states across America, the focus today is the Carolinas. Republicans in North Carolina overriding the governor's veto and forcing through an abortion ban.


CROWD: Shame! Shame! Shame!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sergeant at arms will clear those who can't follow the rules.

CROWD: Shame! Shame! Shame!


HARLOW: Protesters shouting at lawmakers, some of them had to be removed, after this vote came down under the ban that is now law in North Carolina. Most abortions will be illegal after 12 weeks of pregnancy there. The state has been a refuge for women seeking abortions in the south.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, next door in South Carolina, Democrats are trying to stop a bill that would ban most abortions at around six weeks when early cardiac activity is detected. That's before most women even know that they are pregnant. Democrats have proposed more than 1,000 amendments to drag out the process as long as possible going late into the night.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me every minute we are in here fighting this is a minute women can get health care across the state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But this is an issue, while it may be futile, is worth fighting for. We know, and that's why we are not letting it go to a ballot, that most people in this state and in the United States want abortion access.


COLLINS: Lawmakers were forced to debate to almost 2:00 a.m. this morning. They are set to return in just a few hours from now. Big question on how long this will drag on.

Dianne Gallagher is live outside the state capital in neighboring Raleigh, North Carolina. Dianne, obviously, we are still monitoring what's happening in South Carolina. But to see this happen in North Carolina, it was expected, but it is so important to remind viewers that this was because a Democrat who had voted for abortion access previously then switched and gave Republicans that supermajority that allowed them to override that veto.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kaitlan. And that Democrat, that former Democrat, now a Republican, did vote for that veto override last night. She also voted for the bill just about two weeks ago. Democrats have talked about just how quickly this unfolded in North Carolina, 15 days ago is when bill first dropped in the middle of the night. It has now been vetoed and overridden, and there is not much else that they can do at this point, Democrats, in terms of this. After that veto override vote happened it now is law in North Carolina.

But Democrats say that they are going to take this on the campaign trail, that they feel that there is enough in that law that perhaps people do not know about, that they can make sure North Carolinians learn about some of the extra regulations, reporting requirements, licensing requirements that may put some of the clinics in jeopardy in the state as well as several in-person appointments that somebody tried to obtain a medication abortion will have to go through because of this law.


Now, it goes into effect July 1st. But again, Democrats say that they feel that this is going to be a 2024 energizing message for them. Republicans call this a compromise within their own caucus, of course. Democrats were not involved in this. But Democrats told me last night, they said, look, when Democrats are talking about abortion, it is a winning subject. When Republicans are talking about it, it is a losing one.

HARLOW: Every vote counts, clearly. Dianne, thank you very much.

COLLINS: Also, this morning, President Biden is heading to Japan to meet with G7 leaders, but the trip won't be as long as initially planned. He is cutting it short. He had plans to become the first sitting U.S. president to actually go to Papua New Guinea as well to a have a quad summit with other world leaders in Australia. He is now canceling those stops, though, because time is running short in Washington to address the debt ceiling or risk a catastrophic default. Meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and top lawmakers yesterday, President Biden started out the tense negotiations with a joke.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Get a good picture of all us. We are having a wonderful time. Everything is going well.



COLLINS: We spoke with the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean- Pierre last hour. She said an agreement can and must be reached in time.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have said this over and over again. The president has said this. We are not a deadbeat nation. We pay our debts. This is something that Congress should do. They have done this 78 times since 1960. So as it relates to the debt limit, that is something we can do. This is something that needs to get done as it relates to the debt limit as soon as possible. We have to get this done.

As you know, Kaitlan, as well, if we do not deal with debt limit in the way that Congress has dealt with it 78 times since 1960, it could trigger a recession, we could lose millions of jobs.


COLLINS: But here is what is important to remember. While they are sounding hopeful, they are still very far apart when it comes to the policy aspect of this. Karine said that the president will continue talks while he is in Japan. He is going to be meeting with those same congressional leaders once he returns from his trip.

HARLOW: Republican Congressman Ken Buck was asked yesterday about a possible U.S. default if Congress fails to reach a debt ceiling agreement. Listen to his answer.


REP. KEN BUCK, (R-CO): I don't know what a default looks like because we have never been there before. Is it something that happens slowly over time and within day two or three America, we pass a debt ceiling? But I don't think that it is the end of the world to default. That doesn't mean I am encouraging a default in any way, shape, or form.


HARLOW: Here with us, CNN chief business correspondent and anchor of EARLY START Christine Romans. Maybe not the end of the world, but the end of our position in the world, at least for a while.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Look, that is a contrarian position that terrifies people on Wall Street and business leaders and small business people and the Fed chief and the Treasury Secretary and anybody who is really concerned about how the global economy works and how the U.S. economy works.

Would it be the end of the world for Congressman Bucks constituents if senior citizens, for example, had to wait three weeks to get their check because we went two or three days over the line? A quarter of senior citizens on Social Security, it is all their income. That means they can't go give an IOU to the grocery store and they can't give an IOU for their rent. The ripple effects down the economy in just that one which would be very, very difficult.

Also, we did get right up to the line, the situation he described in 2011, and the stock market tanked 17 percent and it added more than $1 billion on the cost of financing our debt because interest rate spikes. So we have seen real world impacts and it is dangerous.

This also is a situation where we have so many banks that have been a little bit nervous lately. This is not the time to be putting more nervousness in the banking system. And you've got Goldman Sachs estimates a 10th of the American economy simply stops, stops the moment you go over that line. There aren't enough dollars to pay the bills and that is something that is incredibly, incredibly dangerous. So for a few congressmen who say let's toy with this, that could be more important for spending in the future, everybody who actually makes money and hires people does not think that's a good idea, guys.

HARLOW: Yes, because it's not a good idea. Christine Romans, thanks very much.

COLLINS: Wouldn't be the end of the world, would be the end of the world for some people, though.

HARLOW: For like everyone who relies on all that aid.

New reporting this morning, Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation into classified documents at former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, CNN has learned that a key attorney is leaving Trump's legal team. Kaitlan, this is your reporting first on CNN. What can you tell us? Who is it?

COLLINS: Yes, Paula Reid and are told Tim Parlatore who has been an attorney at the center of the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation is leaving Trump's legal team. It had been rumored for a few weeks now. It became official yesterday. We are told -- he gave us a statement saying it wasn't -- that it was a personal decision he's making, that it wasn't an indication of where he thinks this investigation is going.


Of course, we don't ultimately know what Jack Smith, the special counsel who is investigating this, is going to decide. I think it's easy for people to say there are a lot of Trump attorneys. Which one is this. This is Parlatore. He was the one who helped organize those additional searches that they did for more documents at other Trump properties where they went and looked for them. He testified before the grand jury that's investigating the documents back in December. He was there for several hours. One key thing he said in March when it was reported he had gone, he said they kept trying to ask about conversations he had with Trump.

To Trump's mindset, he is an attorney. I think he said that at the time he did not speak to them about that. One thing I will note, though, is this comes as he defended the way that Trump had handled the documents, made this comment.


TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: In a case where they have to prove willful retention of documents, what the facts actually show is a persistent pattern of willful return of marked documents whenever they were found. And so I went through all that with the jury.


COLLINS: So that was his grand jury testify.

The other thing that I think is important here, there is always in fighting in almost every legal team Trump has had I think dating back to when he entered the White House, as long as we have been covering his legal teams there has been that. And this legal team not just on documents, but there's so many different attorneys.

Joe Tacopina is the one that you've seen representing Trump in the E. Jean Carroll case in New York where he was found civilly liable for sexual abuse. I had Tim Parlatore on, I was interviewing him a few weeks ago, maybe two months ago or so, and we asked whether or not he thought Tacopina was the right person to take that E. Jean Carroll case to trial. He had a really telling answer. This is what he said.


TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: As to who is going to try the case, I know that Joe has certain potential conflict issues given his prior contacts with Stormy Daniels. So who is the right attorney to take it to trial is something that the client will have to decide.



COLLINS: That didn't go over well.

HARLOW: Of course, it didn't.

COLLINS: I think the other thing to consider is that Trump has been very unhappy with all the investigations into him privately, especially the documents investigation, because he has paid a lot of attorneys a lot of money, and he's been asking people privately why is this still going on? Why hasn't it gone away yet? Obviously, it's a very complicated case. We don't know where it will end up. But it is notable that Tim Parlatore is leaving his legal team.

HARLOW: He was on that case and testified before the grand jury.

Let's talk about this news that Kaitlan broke with our political director David Chalian, also the host of the CNN Political Briefing podcast. What's your take, David?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: First of all, it's always an awkward thing when you are the legal representation and also a witness in the case that has to testify. That creates problems from the get go there.

But as Kaitlan noted, infighting in Trump's legal circles is nothing new here. So whenever we see a Trump legal team formed, we can pretty much assume that's not going to be the team in place when the case comes to resolution here. This classified documents case, especially the potential for an obstruction of justice charge here, is one of the most serious investigations that the former president is facing. So it's not a great day when you have to shake up your legal team for the client, if indeed it is as serious a case as we believe this could be.

COLLINS: Yes, we will see what happens there.

Also, David, I know you were watching the races that were happening last night. We saw Daniel Cameron, who is the attorney general in Kentucky, win the Republican nomination. He'll be going up against the Democratic Governor Andy Beshear in that state. This is going to be one of the most closely, if not the most closely watched gubernatorial races this year. What did you make of that? CHALIAN: Yes, first, the first takeaway is the resounding victory

that Attorney General Cameron had. He is a rising star in the Republican Party. You remember Donald Trump featured him prominently at his 2020 Republican National Convention that year. What I think is so interesting, of course, is that he bridges a divide that we constantly talk about inside the Republican Party, the McConnell world and Trump world. These two people do not get along. They don't speak.

And yet Cameron is a former McConnell aide, totally part of that McConnell, Kentucky establishment, but had Donald Trump's endorsement here and made sure to do some business for Donald Trump yesterday when he accepted his victory. He also needled Ron DeSantis by saying that Donald Trump's culture of winning is alive and well in Kentucky.

HARLOW: What else stood out to you about the races that we saw last night in Florida, Philadelphia?

Well, in the Philadelphia mayoral race it was interesting to see that progressives went so hard for their candidate and came up short. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, others went in, and you see Cherelle Parker got the Democratic nomination all but assured to become the mayor of Philadelphia when the general election takes place in November. And she was running as a moderate candidate, not terribly unlike we saw with Eric Adams in New York in terms of when it comes to policing and crime issue.

HARLOW: David Chalian, thank you, friend. We'll hear you --



HARLOW: See you, I hear you on the podcast.


HARLOW: Appreciate it. So, the A.I. now and the man behind the groundbreaking but controversial chatbot known as ChatGPT is urging lawmakers to regulate it -- to regulate A.I. What would that look like? And can they actually have the will to do it?


SAM ALTMAN, CEO OF OPENAI: I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong. And we want to be vocal about that, we want to work with the government to prevent that from happening.




CHATGPT A.I.: Too often, we've seen what happens when technology outpaces regulation. The unbridled exploitation of personal data, the proliferation of disinformation, and the deepening of societal inequalities. We have seen how algorithmic biases can perpetuate discrimination and prejudice, and how the lack of transparency can undermine public trust. This is not the future we want.


COLLINS: Notice he wasn't actually talking there. That's Senator Richard Blumenthal. He kicked off a Senate panel hearing yesterday on the oversight of artificial intelligence. But clearly not actually the senators speaking.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): That voice was not mine, the words were not mine. And the audio was an A.I. voice cloning software trained on my floor speeches. Remarks were written by ChatGPT. When it was asked, how I would open this hearing.



COLLINS: The Democratic senator is opening remarks delivered by an artificial intelligence generated recording of his voice, in an attempt to illustrate the potential risks of that technology. Three experts on the subject testified at the hearing, including Sam Altman. He is the CEO of OpenAI, that's the company that is behind the Artificial Intelligence Power Chatbot, ChatGPT. Blumenthal lawmakers that it is time he believes to regulate artificial intelligence.


ALTMAN: We're here because people love this technology. We think it can be a printing press moment. We think that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models. I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong. And we want to be vocal about that, we want to work with the government, to prevent that from happening.


COLLINS: Joining us now CNN Correspondent Donie O'Sullivan and CNN Media Analyst and Axios Media reporter Sarah Fischer. Donie, obviously, it was clear why he was testifying, but interesting to hear him say, I'm here because if this goes wrong, it could go really wrong.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and a bit of an understatement there. He was like, yes, I could go quite wrong. Look, I think he knows this technology almost better than anyone. OpenAI is really pioneering in this space. But even they -- even Sam Altman, even the CEO of Google recently said, you know, the systems, they are building these A.I. systems. They sometimes behave in such ways, they sometimes behave so accurately that they can figure stuff out, that the guys themselves who are making this don't necessarily know all the time how it works or how A.I. is figuring out certain things. So, even he himself would say, we don't necessarily have a total handle on this.

HARLOW: He said, that's why you can't test it in a lab, Sam Altman has said that. That's why you have to get into the world. Elon Musk calling it, you know, in that interview last night, the double-edged sword. I thought, so this exchange, obviously, invested interest in this for my children's future. But I thought this exchange with Senator Jon Ossoff and Altman was really telling when Ossoff essentially said, you know, or asked this would harm children, like social media has? Listened to this.


ALTMAN: We tried to design systems that do not maximize for engagement. In fact, we're so short on GPUs, the less people use our products, the better. But we're not an advertising-based model. We're not trying to get people to use it more and more. And I think that's a different shape and ad supported social media.


HARLOW: You're nodding. I mean, he makes a good point, you know.

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: A very good point and one thing to note here is that it took us 10 years to start thinking about regulating social media in a thoughtful way. Lawmakers were really slow to it, in part because they had so much to benefit from social media, running ad campaigns, et cetera. When it comes to A.I., we're jumping on this pretty quickly. I mean, we introduced this publicly just months ago. And already we had the CEO of one of the biggest firms testifying before Congress.

Think about that, Jeff Bezos didn't testify before Congress until decades into his career. So, we definitely are taking this more seriously, Poppy, but to the point about kids. What's interesting here is that this has mass adoption. This isn't something where the tech companies like the metaverse are trying to push it on us. Kids are using this in school, they're using it to write essays. It's so easy to figure out, of course, they're going to be early adopters.


COLLINS: But the question, I think, and it's easy to be in Washington and be cynical about whether or not lawmakers will know how to deal with this. The fact that they are taking it more seriously. Donie, what does it say to you about -- and we keep hearing from Sam Altman, but what does it say to you, about how the lawmakers are treating these questions that they were asking yesterday?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, I mean, to Sara's point, I just realized yesterday, I was looking at Mark Zuckerberg didn't show up, to Congress until 2018, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. At that point, Facebook had --

COLLINS: He'd never been -- Congress testified before 2018?

O'SULLIVAN: -- he'd never, never testified, yes, before. So, at that point, Facebook was 14 years old, which is quite remarkable. When you think about how much Facebook changed the world into 2010, right?


O'SULLIVAN: And -- but look, I think the hearing yesterday was important, but I mean, it barely scratched the surface, it was very much introductory. I mean, this is going to touch our lives in so many ways, whether it's from jobs and industry, to the recording industry, to education, to everything else. So, I mean, they're going to have to start having hearings on individual aspects of this. Yes, Poppy?

HARLOW: I just -- my question, it's like they have the power. The CEOs have the power. We talked about my interview with the Google CEO in 2019.


HARLOW: When he said, if A.I. and paraphrasing gets too far ahead of us, we will have to, you know, pause it, stop it. And I said, really? Even though it would be so profitable, and he essentially said, we have a moral responsibility to do so. Isn't this now actually testing that for all these companies? What will they do?

O'SULLIVAN: Sure, and look, I mean, so, back to your point about being cynical. They have had multiple congresses had many hearings on social media over the years, the past six years, and they've really not done anything about it. So, what are they're not really going to be able to get their hands around this issue's remains to be seen.


FISCHER: But there's one difference, which was the tone of this hearing yesterday was actually professional. Typically, when we had big tech execs hauled into Congress, they're just leveraging this for sound bites to be able to go after China or to be able to crack down hard on big tech, that's not what you saw yesterday. Yesterday, there seemed to be bipartisan agreement that we actually have to take this seriously. And while I am skeptical that Congress will move, I'm a little bit more hopeful that they'll take this issue more seriously than they did social media.

HARLOW: That such a good point. Right? Good for Sam to go and civil exchanges in lawmaker.

FISCHER: Like civil exchanges is progress now.



HARLOW: This is where we are.

O'SULLIVAN: -- should met ChatGBT wrote that point for Sara.

HARLOW: Yes, thank you, Donie.

(CROSSTALK) HARLOW: We'll see, they could solve that one. Thank you, Sara.

COLLINS: All right, we have new audio that we just got into CNN, it is from the L.A. Times. It's an exchange between a few reporters and Senator Dianne Feinstein. The Democratic senator recently returned to Capitol Hill after an extended absence that drew a lot of scrutiny and criticism even from some of her colleagues that she was recovering from shingles. Given the key role she plays on the Senate Judiciary Committee and confirming judges. A reporter asked the 89-year-old lawmaker how she's been received by her colleagues since she got back to Washington. This is what she said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you heard?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): What have I heard about what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About your return. How have they felt about you?

FEINSTEIN: No, I haven't been gone.


FEINSTEIN: You should -- I haven't been gone. I've been working.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've been working from home is what you're saying?

FEINSTEIN: No, I've been here. I've been voting. Please, either know or don't know.


COLLINS: In our last hour we spoke with the L.A. Times reporter that Senator Feinstein was speaking with there. He said that she was back for a week at that point. So, that may have been what she was referring to. Of course, it raises a lot of questions given she was gone for two and a half months. CNN has reached out to Feinstein's office for a comment on their version of what happened in this exchange. No word back yet.

HARLOW: The San Antonio Spurs winning the NBA draft lottery and rights to draft 7'4", Victor Wembanyama, who many believe is the best prospects since LeBron James.

COLLINS: He's pretty short huh? And a growing number of Americans say they have changed their religious beliefs or traditions, a big shift from even just last year. Harry Enten, our in-house religious expert.


COLLINS: Is here this morning's number.

HARLOW: Name that song, Harry.