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CNN This Morning

2024 Race Polls; Mohamed El-Erian is Interviewed about the Debt Limit Standoff; Celtics Force Game Six; Antibiotics Using AI. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 26, 2023 - 06:30   ET



ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That he, you know, it might not be enough, but that he was able to do bipartisan gun reform, that he was able to do an infrastructure bill, that people haven't even really seen the benefits of yet. And I think there is opportunity.

I have said all along, I he don't think -- re-elections are super hard. And we are coming off a really challenging time in our country. I think the Biden campaign can do it but they need to make sure that they run a very different campaign than 2020. We're going to have to get on the door. Remember, we were all locked in our house in -- during Covid. And so we're going to have to really get out there, talk to voters, explain to them why we need another four years to get -- keep the country on track.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I - I just can't get over this number. Can we pull it back up. Sixty-six percent of voters in this poll say Biden's 2024 win, if he wins, what will that mean for the country? Sixty-six percent say it will be a disaster or a setback. They're not hot on Trump either, you know, rite large, but how do you counter those numbers?

CHAPIN FAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It's going to be very difficult for him. And I think the problem is, you know, his weaknesses are, look around us, right? New York City is under such strain right now. We're putting migrants in schools with children. There's open boarders.

HARLOW: They're also sent to New York City by Republican governors.

FAY: Well, they have to be somewhere. They can't all stay down at the border.

HARLOW: I'm just saying - saying. That's a point - point of fact here this morning.

FAY: Right. The's a fair point. That's a fair point. But either way it's a huge problem. And, President Biden, the buck stops there, right? So, he's getting tarred with all of the things that are going wrong right now, which are a lot. I think that's what's driving these numbers.

And you pointed out his real problem is with independents who lean Democrat and young people. If he's already lost those voters, it's going to be very difficult for him to put together a winning coalition.

And we still -- it's a lifetime away, right, the 2024 election day. A lot of money to be spent on both sides. So, I think we'll be having a very different conversation a year from now. But both leaning contenders do have some work to do in putting together a wining coalition.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: There is a lot of time that will pass. But to your point about whether the - and I'm paraphrasing, obviously, but what stood out to me is when you were saying, you know, the campaign is going to have to do something a little bit different. That's more than just knocking on doors now that we can all be out and about mask free.

It comes down to, as you pointed out, messaging. Do you think this message is getting through to the folks who are going to be overseeing and running this campaign? Are they prepared?

ALLISON: I think so. The campaign manager is not only a close friend but we worked for years together. Very smart. Very astute. Very strategic and really understanding what average Americans lead (ph). The deputy campaign manager, I - they understand the crisis that we are in.

The other thing, though, is, also how people receive their information.

Look, we, just this week, had a campaign announcement on Twitter, although kind of botched, but it still was going to a social media platform to give people information. So, thinking outside the box, how are young people receiving their information? Maybe they're not watching us right now on CNN. They should. But if they're not, they're going to have to talk to them on TikTok. We're going to have to talk to them on different social media platforms. Some that might not even be created yet.

I will say, though, a lot can change in this time period. And I really do think young people showed up in historical numbers, not just in 2020, but in 2022. And when they see some of the Supreme Court decisions that are about to come down and really, you know, Joe Biden always says, don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative. When they see some of the policies that Republicans are pushing, I think voters will say, I do not want to go down a path where we have candidates saying they will pardon people who attacked the Capitol on January 6th.

HARLOW: So, let's -- let's get to that, OK. I want to play you, guys, it's first Trump answering that question in the CNN town hall about -- actually a different interview of Trump about pardoning January 6th rioters, but also DeSantis.

Here they are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question to you is, will you pardon the January 6th rioters who are convicted of federal offenses?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I am inclined to pardon many of them. I can't say for every single one because a couple of them probably they got out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the January 6th defendants deserve to have their cases examined by a Republican president? And if Trump, let's say, gets charged with federal offenses and you are the president of the United States, would you look at potentially pardoning Trump himself based on the evidence that might emerge of those charges?

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): The DOJ and FBI have been weaponized. And so what I'm going to do is, I'm going to do on day one, I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases who people are victims of weaponization or political targeting and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons.


HARLOW: Chapin, you bring up the issue of Ford pardoning Nixon. And you pointed that as a way to heal the country. Isn't that different than pardoning January 6th rioters, some who inflicted violence that day?


FAY: Sure.

HARLOW: Isn't that quite different?

FAY: It - it is - it is different. It's a little closer to - to when we were taking - when they were talking about pardoning Trump.

But, listen, anyone who commits a federal crime gets the opportunity - or can try for the opportunity to have a presidential pardon review. I think some of the people on January 6th, and without minimizing, you know, the horrible events that occurred, I think some people probably got swept up in a mob, some people were just following people around and they wound up doing things that they shouldn't have done. So, maybe they can serve a jail term and, you know, serve their debt to society. Others who committed violence or injured people, of course, a different story. So, I think both --

HARLOW: What do you mean a different story? They shouldn't be a focus of pardon by the president?

FAY: No, I think violent criminals, you know, is a different - a different -- very different story than someone who has served a lot of time for a less violent crime or a non-violent crime. I think, you know - you know, we're -- we talk about criminal justice reform in this country and you can't have it both ways. You know, there are violent criminals being let lose in New York repeatedly on bail reform and you're talking about -- HARLOW: Some of those laws, by the way, have been walked back, you know, (INAUDIBLE).

FAY: Correct. Absolutely. Absolutely. But if we're talking about criminal justice reform, yes, they should be reviewed as appropriate. And if they are a non-violent offender that just happened to be there or, you know, get swept up in the heat of the moment and didn't commit a violent crime, I think they should absolutely be reviewed. I think they're both -

HARLOW: I think -

FAY: Thinking about it in the right way in a case by case basis, not just a blanket pardon for people.

HARLOW: Yes. I think it's a question of, you know, where the priorities lie for an administration in terms of looking at, there are a lot of people in prison for non-violent drug offenses as well.

FAY: Absolutely.

HARLOW: Come back, both, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

ALLISON: Thanks.

HARLOW: Negotiators inching, we hope, closer to a deal on the debt ceiling. Less than a week to go before a possible default. We'll discuss the impacts here and at home and globally, next.

HILL: Plus, new video this morning shows a plane's emergency exit door open.

HARLOW: Oh, my goodness.

HILL: That's not the breeze that you want on your flight. This is just before landing in South Korea. The jet at the time was some 700 feet in the air. A man who officials say was sitting in that emergency exit seat was arrested for allegedly opening the door. Several people were taken to the hospital for hyper ventilation.

HARLOW: Oh, my gosh. I didn't even know that could happen. I thought the pressure meant you can't open it.



HARLOW: So, that clock is scary. That shows five days, 17 hours, as time slips away for a deal to be made on the debt limit. There are now only six days until the Treasury estimates the country will run out of money without a deal. Sources tell CNN, the White House and Republicans are edging closer to an agreement, but there is a lot left to do here. And, remember, they still have to get through votes in both chambers, right? They've got to actually write the legislative text. All of that ahead. Then the votes have to be whipped. No small task considering the caucuses from progressives to the hard right Freedom Caucus in the House. And then after all that, both chambers have to finally vote on the final legislation. That's a lot to get done in less than six days and most experts agree a default wouldn't - actually all experts agree a default wouldn't just be a disaster for the U.S. economy, it could be catastrophic on a global scale.

Joining us now is economist Mohamed El-Erian. He's also the president of Queens College at Cambridge University.

Mohamed, good morning.


HARLOW: So, what does it actually mean for people if we default on whether it's June 1st or June 8th? Because it's striking to me to hear these skeptics, Republican skeptics, in Congress, and the front-runner in the Republican Party, Donald Trump, saying, ah, wouldn't be a huge deal.

EL-ERIAN: So, Poppy, my working assumption, and the working assumption of most economists and markets are that the U.S. will not default because the only people that benefit from a default are the adversaries of the United States. If this is wrong and the U.S. does default, it will tip us into recession, it will make people feel weak -- even more insecure. And not only is inflation eating away at their paycheck, but they're going to be worried about their future income and it would undermine our standing in the global economy.

So, it would be bad news all around if we do end up defaulting.

HARLOW: It's interesting you pointed out how it would benefit our adversaries. A warning again from the Joint Chiefs chairman, Mark Milley, just yesterday saying it would have a very significant, negative impact on the readiness and capabilities of the military.

In terms of what we just saw from Fitch ratings, this is one of the biggest ratings agencies in the country, they not only warned about the U.S. writ large, but they also yesterday came down and warned about the government-backed lenders Fannie and Freddie.

How significant is that? Does that indicate to you that Fitch may downgrade the U.S. credit rating, as S&P did in 2011?

EL-ERIAN: So the action they took increases the risk of a downgrade.

Having said that, it would not have a material effect. It would not have a material effect on markets. It would not have a material effect on contracts.

If the other two agencies were to follow Fitch, that's S&P and Moody's, then that would have an impact.

But, Poppy, as much as I think that all this is going to go away, there is longer term damage. And three in particular. One is we're diverting attention in Congress and the administration from things that we need done to promote sustainable growth and productivity. Two is, we are eroding trust even more domestically in the policy making process. And finally, we're signaling to the rest of the world that we can't get our account together. Neither of these three things, none of them, are good things.


HARLOW: I sat down a few days ago with the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, Neel Kashkari, and we talked about what the Fed's going to do in a few weeks in terms of rate hikes. I should note, people who follow you know how critical you've been of the Fed and how they've handled inflation for more than a year now. But I thought this was interesting because he talked about being open to a pause in rate hikes this meeting, but potentially raising them after it. When we saw stop and go in the '70s, it was a disaster for the economy. It prolonged the pain. But here's how he explains he thinks this time would be different. Let's listen.


NEEL KASHKARI, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF MINNEAPOLIS: What I don't want to do is announce that we're done raising rates, have inflation pick back up again and then we have to reverse ourselves and start raising again. I would rather signal, hey, even if we take June as a skip, we're going to get more information and we're leaving July alive and future meetings alive so we can get more information. It's precisely to avoid that back and forth that we experienced in the 1970s.


HARLOW: Is that a sure thing that you can avoid what happened in the '70s?

EL-ERIAN: No. Unfortunately, the Fed is digging itself deeper and deeper.

Look, I tweeted just earlier today, the Fed officials are all over the place now. You have those who believe in a skip, what you just heard, which is pause in June and then hike again. There are those who believe in a pause, which means you stop and you signal that the next one, when it comes, will be down. And there are those who want just a hike.

So, we're seeing even Fed officials are all over the place. Then we're seeing the Fed chair disagree with Fed stuff about the possibility of a recession. Then we see the marketplace disregard what the Fed is telling us for the rest of the year. So, what we are, Poppy, is in deep in the world of second best. The Fed missed the window to ring down inflation in an orderly fashion, and now, unfortunately, the probability of even more policy mistakes is too high for comfort.

HARLOW: Too high for comfort. Mohamed El-Erian, thank you very much. And I hope that prediction that we will not default is absolutely correct. Have a good weekend.

EL-ERIAN: Thank you. HARLOW: Thanks.


HILL: The Boston Celtics coming back from a three-game deficit to force a game six in the Eastern Conference finals. We've got the highlights for you, next.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boston has won their second straight. And now this will be the talk of the sports world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my goodness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has never happened, as we've mentioned multiple times. A team coming back, down 3-0, in an NBA playoff series.



HILL: I mean, not a bad night. The Boston Celtics managing to stay alive in the Eastern Conference finals. Of course, this sends the series now back to Miami for a game six.

Andy Scholes is with us now.

So, had never been done before. I was reading too that Coach Mazzulla said before game five, this is win or die. Yes, kind of a big deal.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It certainly is, guys. And as we just heard Kevin Harlan (ph) say, you know, NBA teams that are down 3-0 in the best of seven series, they've never won. They're 0-150. Only three teams have ever forced a game seven. Only 15 teams even have ever forced a game six. But the Celtics are now one of those teams. They just came out on a mission from the start in game five with that home Boston crowd behind them. The Celtics starting on a 23-7 run. They lead by 15 after the first quarter. And just never looked back. Four Celtics starters scoring at least 20 points.

The Heat, meanwhile, they had no one score 20. Boston wins 110-97 to force game six.


JAYLEN BROWN, BOSTON CELTICS GUARD: When adversity hits, you get to see like what a team is really made of. And, I mean, it couldn't get no worse than being down 3-0. But we didn't - we didn't look around. We didn't go in separate directions. We stayed together.

JIMMY BUTLER, MIAMI HEAT FORWARD: We just got to come out and play harder from jump. So, like I always say, you know, it's going to be all smiles. We're going to keep it very, very, very consistent. Knowing that we are going to win the next game.


SCHOLES: Yes, game six tomorrow night in Miami on TNT.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars also able to keep their season alive and avoid getting swept by Vegas.

And check out the incredible hand-eye coordination by Jason Robertson, batting the puck out of midair twice and into the net for the first of his two goals on the night. And the hero was Joe Pavelski, becoming the oldest player to score an overtime winner in a play-off elimination game at 38 years, 318 days old. Stars win 3-2. They're trying to become the first team ever to come back from a 3-0 hole in the conference finals. Game five of that series in Vegas tomorrow.

But, guys, back to the NBA. You know, the Heat are still up 3-2, but all of the pressure is now on them. If they don't win the game in Miami, game six in Miami tomorrow night, game seven in Boston, you can you go ahead and -

HILL: Back to Boston.

SCHOLES: That's going to be a guaranteed Celtics win.

HILL: Whoo. Whoo, to be those fans.

HARLOW: You could hear Jimmy Butler like manifesting it. He's like we will win.

HILL: We'll be watching.

SCHOLES: Yes. He's confident.

HILL: We will see.


HILL: Andy, appreciate it. Thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

HARLOW: Also this for you this morning, a new antibiotic discovered with artificial intelligence and it may be able to defeat a very dangerous super bug. What researchers are saying this morning.



HILL: Researchers using artificial intelligence say they found an antibiotic that works against a drug resistant bacteria found in hospitals. In fact, the compound was so precise it could target the problem pathogen and leave beneficial bacteria in its place. Let's bring in now CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

This sounds like a positive use of AI for once. A non-scary one.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is, Poppy. That is a great way to put it. This is so exciting. Developing new antibiotics has bene so difficult, especially against this bacteria. It's called the Acinetobacter baumannii. It is smart. It is super smart. It got straight A pluses in school, I am sure, because it has learned to outwit all -- nearly all of the antibiotics that we throw at it. Sometimes all the antibiotics that we throw at it.

So, the traditional way of trying to come up with new antibiotics is you test. Let's try this. Let's try that. Let's try this. And so you get in the lab and you try all these things. Maybe in a good system you can do -- test a million different properties to see if they'll work.


With AI, what you do is that the computer learns, it learns what's working.