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DeSantis Opted Not To Tour Storm Damage With Biden; Adderall Shortage Fuels Concern Nationwide; BTK Killer's Daughter Offering "Volunteer Assistance To Police." Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 04, 2023 - 07:30   ET



ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER ASSISTANT, U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Is there going to be a mass demonstration? Is there going to be violence? And thankfully, there was not. There was -- there was loud protest, which you can and should do under our First Amendment -- nothing more than that. And it seemed like each successive indictment we saw less and less of a physical presence.

Now look, you never know what any lone wolf is going to do. That to me is the biggest fear.

But I think it's been reassuring and a reassurance about the sort of solidity of our process that we've been able to do this, so far, completely peacefully.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Shelby, can I ask you just -- we'll move on to other topics, but on the big Vivek himself, he has a way that we've seen to be very effective in the past, particularly with certain parts of the Republican primary electorate, alluding to things and not officially attributing them to himself.

And I think you were making this point in terms of the national (INAUDIBLE) where he has one step removal to say well, that's wasn't exactly what I was saying. I was just citing people that were saying these things. And yet, they are extraordinarily inflammatory. Sometimes they are outright bordering on racist misogynist. You named the word never explicitly saying them himself.

Does he know what he's doing here? Is this part of the plan -- part of kind of his strategy?

SHELBY TALCOTT, POLITICS REPORTER, SEMAFOR: Well, Vivek is very smart. I think so --

MATTINGLY: That's my point, right? Like, he never -- he's not --

TALCOTT: Yeah. I mean, I can't inside of his head but he's smart.

MATTINGLY: But that's where you're supposed to --

TALCOTT: He knows what he -- MATTINGLY: Come on -- you're on the ground.

TALCOTT: Well, he knows --

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR: He knows that Ron DeSantis would be the Trump mini-me.

TALCOTT: Yes, and --

CORNISH: But in a way, we're actually seeing another one.

TALCOTT: Yeah. And so, I -- what's really interesting about Vivek's comments this weekend and in general, really, is he is openly running as kind of a MAGA 2.0. He has said that he will take what Trump did and go further with it. The -- I think the problem with it that I'm finding on the ground is voters like that.

But at the same time, it's the ultimate conundrum that the entire Republican field is having, which is you can't run as an anti-Trump Republican because voters don't like that. But you also can't really run as a -- too much of a pro-Trump Republican because then why wouldn't voters just vote for the real thing?


TALCOTT: So it's this interesting thing and Vivek is probably the furthest one who is -- who is doing the latter.

CORNISH: Although there's an opening --


CORNISH: -- you would think for vice president, which is what I --


CORNISH: -- sort of assume whenever he opens his mouth. Is that incorrect?

COLEMAN HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, "CONVERSATIONS WITH COLEMAN" PODCAST, CONTRIBUTOR, THE FREE PRESS: No, that's right. I think that's right. But, I mean, to your point, he is very smart. He knows what he's doing when he's talking. He's very strategic.


HUGHES: And I do think he thinks like a chess player. He thinks several moves ahead. I mean, we saw this with his 9/11 comments, right? He wasn't explicitly saying I think 9/11 was an inside job --


HUGHES: -- but he was saying it without saying it.

MATTINGLY: Right. And then gave himself some room to, like, come back around. HUGHES: Exactly.

MATTINGLY: And the fascinating part -- and this is slightly tied to this. I know we have other topics I want to get to but I think he gets lit up on foreign policy. Every one of his primary opponents has attacked him on foreign policy, right?

HUGHES: Um-hum.

MATTINGLY: And I read and listen to what he says and think I've talked to Republican voters, particularly in some of these primary states -- early primary states, and, like, this is totally in line with where they are.

TALCOTT: Yeah. Voters -- Republican voters -- it's really interesting because he actually probably has the point of view in terms of foreign policy that at least half of the Republican base has.


TALCOTT: Like, it's not a crazy -- these foreign policy plans that he has sound -- may sound super crazy but a lot of Republican voters like them. And so he is appealing to a lot of the base by doing that.

MATTINGLY: Yeah. They may not be flushed out and make a total ton of sense from an actual policy implementation, like what he said he was going to do if he were in Mike Pence's position on January 6th. Literally not possible and based on nothing that is ever something anybody could do. And yet, it kind of connects to some degree.

CORNISH: You know, one --

MATTINGLY: I'll stop ranting.

CORNISH: No, no, no. It's OK.

I actually want to move to the touring of the hurricane damage with President Biden. Because in the past when there have been disasters, Ron DeSantis has been at least present when President Biden touches the ground. This time, nowhere to be seen.

Does that, like, make sense in this moment?

TALCOTT: Well, I think -- I think his team said that it was -- it would have caused too many issues on the ground. My question with that is well, Biden was already coming and I don't know how much more security you need. So if he was coming already, I don't know how much it would have impeded efforts on the ground to also show up.

And so -- and it's not like Ron DeSantis isn't also doing things on the ground, right? He's clearly on the ground elsewhere.

But I do think ultimately when you're running for president and you don't show up, and then you have someone like Rick Scott who does show up, it's going to -- people are going to make assumptions. And you have Rick Scott praising Biden's -- CORNISH: I was shocked to see that.

TALCOTT: Which is surprising.

CORNISH: I didn't understand the calculation of that.

MATTINGLY: I mean, the step back of these two individuals in the lead up to the midterms -- one viscerally loaths one another in public and attack one another constantly almost on a daily basis. And to watch the two of them compliment one another was -- I don't know.

CORNISH: Well, it's always been that it's a natural disaster. We come together.


CORNISH: Bipartisan, ta ta ta ta ta. But you're saying --


TALCOTT: I think it was also --

CORNISH: -- DeSantis has too much at stake?

TALCOTT: I think it was also a little bit of -- Rick Scott's comments were a little bit of a snub towards DeSantis indirectly.

MATTINGLY: Some there.

HONIG: Is this the new role now that Chris Christie was punished, essentially, for welcoming Barack Obama to my state, New Jersey, when it was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy? Is this the new thing now? You can't -- if you're a Republican or Democrat and there's an opposite part present, you can't even be seen with them at the scene of a natural disaster? I mean, I ask that rhetorically. But if that's the state of play, that's a sad state.

HUGHES: I think he's thinking ahead to the next debate --


HUGHES: -- and he's thinking what is Ramaswamy going to say if there's pictures of me looking buddy-buddy with Biden?


HUGHES: They're going to say this guy is not a serious -- he says -- he says never back down but look, he's cozying up to Biden.



MATTINGLY: Right. You can't not pay attention to it just because of that --


MATTINGLY: -- as sad as that may seem for a broader politic at this point.

All right. Coleman Hughes, Shelby Talcott, Elie Honig, thank you, guys. I apologize for getting a little one-tracked on that one.

HONIG: I know you want to avoid the 14th Amendment.


MATTINGLY: We'll get back to that eventually.

HONIG: Don't worry, it will come back.

MATTINGLY: There's a lot of big comments --

HONIG: It'll come back.

MATTINGLY: -- on it this weekend, for sure.

All right. While just as the school year begins, students and doctors around the country are voicing their concerns over the shortage of ADHD medication.

And thousands are still stranded at that Burning Man Festival. Deejay and music producer Diplo, along with Chris Rock, were able to make it out by walking more than six miles before hitching a ride. Diplo is going to join us live just ahead.



MATTINGLY: Well, just moments ago, President Biden departing from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware en route to Philadelphia this morning. He's planning to speak at a union rally before he marches in a Labor Day parade.

Now, it comes as a major union is threatening a major strike that could impact the whole country. The United Auto Workers union and Detroit's big three automakers -- they have less than two weeks to negotiate a new labor contract. The union's president says members are prepared to walk off the job if demands for improved wages and benefits are not met.

CORNISH: And as students across the nation are returning to class, a nationwide shortage of Adderall and other medications used to treat ADHD could be getting worse.

CNN's Meg Tirrell joins us now. And you actually spoke to a student who is dealing with their ADHD, and what are they thinking about this shortage?

MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We did. Her name is Clara Pitts. And CNN was actually with her in February when she got accepted to her dream college. And now she's packing up to go and she and her family are really worried about how they're going to navigate this shortage when she's there by herself. Take a look.



TERRILL (voice-over): Packing up to start college -- a time of nerves and anticipation.

PITTS: I think I'm just most excited to get out into the world and see what I can do.

TERRILL (voice-over): For Clara Pitts, headed off to her dream school, Brigham Young University, there's an added level of anxiety --

PITTS: Welcome to ADHD packing for college.

TIRRELL (voice-over): -- because the medicine she takes for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is part of a nationwide shortage.

PITTS: It's just really scary not knowing if I'll have consistency in my medication.

TIRRELL (voice-over): It started last fall when one drugmaker had a manufacturing delay, but it hasn't let up. Clara has had to switch from Adderall to another medication called Vyvanse. But some dosages of that drug have been hard to come by as well.

All of this has made the back-to-school season even more stressful for students like Clara and their families.

DR. WARREN NG, CHILD, ADOLESCENT, AND ADULT PSYCHIATRIST: These young people often have difficulty paying attention and sitting still.

TIRRELL (voice-over): Columbia University's Dr. Warren Ng says treatment can have dramatic results.

NG: But it can really change a young person's life overnight, so they suddenly are able to do the work that they want to do but are having difficulty focusing their attention.

TIRRELL (voice-over): But relief from the shortage may not be coming soon. Prescription rates for the medicines are at record highs, up more than 45 percent in the U.S. over the last decade. A CDC study this year found an especially large jump in prescriptions for adults in the first year of the pandemic.

Also complicating the picture, drugs like Adderall are stimulants -- control substances the government says have a high potential for abuse. So the Drug Enforcement Administration sets limits on how much can be produced.

But in a joint letter with the FDA last month, the DEA said manufacturers aren't producing as much as they're allowed to. Last year, they said there were about one billion more doses that they could have produced but did not, and said data for 2023, so far, show a similar trend.

For some, the shortage could mean dashed dreams.

NG: A lot of young people that I've seen have just given up. That they've either just felt that it's too difficult. Maybe I shouldn't go to college or maybe I shouldn't have this job.

TIRRELL (voice-over): Despite those worries, Clara is looking forward to school, planning on majoring in electrical engineering. But she worries not just for herself but also others starting school with ADHD, then struggling to find their medicines.

PITTS: This is the first time that me and other people with ADHD are starting a new school year without our medication, in some cases. And I think time is going to tell whether or not we sink or swim as a collective ADHD community.



TIRRELL: Now, we reached out to all 11 makers of Adderall and its generics listed on the FDA's drug shortages website. Only two of those companies got back to us -- the biggest ones, Teva and Sandoz. And they told us they're making as much as the DEA allows them to.

And so there's just a lot of questions about what is going on here. Why is the industry not making enough? And this unprecedented demand we're seeing leading to the shortage, perhaps lasting even through the end of the year for some companies.

MATTINGLY: Yeah. The persistence of the shortage I think is what's most surprising. That it's just continued throughout the course of now it seems like a year and potentially longer.


MATTINGLY: Meg Tirrell, great reporting. Thanks so much.

TIRRELL: Thanks.

CORNISH: Now, this morning, the former lead singer of the popular rock band Smash Mouth is receiving hospice care at his home. Steve Harwell co-founded the band in 1994. The group rose to international fame with hits such as "All Star," "Walkin' on the Sun," and a cover of The Monkey's "I'm a Believer" that was featured in the film "Shrek."

Harwell retired in 2021. The band's manager says Harwell's fiance is by his side. He also wrote, quote, "although Steve is here with us still, sadly, it will only be for a short time."

MATTINGLY: Well, chilling new developments surrounding the BTK serial killer. CNN obtaining disturbing sketches drawn by the killer of women tied up inside barns. And now, his own daughter is helping with the investigation and she'll join us live. That's next.


[07:50:36] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULA ZHAN, HOST, TRUE CRIME NETWORK'S "ON THE CASE WITH PAULA ZAHN": Dennis Rader, a 59-year-old municipal worker, church leader, family man arrested over the weekend, suspected in 10 murders in Wichita, Kansas in an area over the last 30 years.


CORNISH: So that was when the world learned the identity of the BTK killer almost two decades ago. But now, police think he may have killed more than the 10 people he pled guilty to murdering. Dennis Rader gave himself the BTK nickname, short for "Bind, Torture, and Kill."

Police arrested Rader in 2005. He's currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences.

He is the prime suspect now in a 1976 cold case in Oklahoma and several other unsolved crimes across three states. And officials in Oklahoma are asking the public for help by releasing never-before-seen sketches by the killer. The digital images obtained exclusively by CNN are disturbing. Now, we're going to show them because investigators believe they hold important clues about potential crimes, and they are asking for the public's help.

They show three bound women in what investigators say appear to be barns. Just recently, law enforcement intercepted communications from Rader in prison revealing there may still be some hidden items in old barns. That's according to the sheriff.

We'll be joined by the daughter of the BTK killer right after this.



CORNISH: The BTK killer now the prime suspect in several unsolved crimes across three states.

Joining us now, again, is Kerri Rawson, the daughter of the BTK killer. She's been offering volunteer assistance to local investigators.

Kerri, can you start by talking about what kind of assistance you're offering? How do you believe you can help this investigation?

KERRI RAWSON, DAUGHTER OF "BTK" SERIAL KILLER DENNIS RADER (via Webex by Cisco): I was -- I contacted McDonald County, Missouri in June after I learned of the unsolved murder case of Shawna Garber in Missouri. I offered my help after looking at some photos of her remains and the bondage upon her body. I was quickly contacted and connected to Osage County, Oklahoma and they flew me in. Since then, I've been working hand-in-hand with law enforcement in Osage County specifically on these cases.

I am a key to these cases. I know my dad very well. I'm an expert on him. We're matching my memories, say, to his evidence --


RAWSON: -- possible crime scenes.

So I think I'm --

CORNISH: Why do you think that your --

RAWSON: -- a key component to all this.

CORNISH: You said that you're a key component so help us understand why you think he might have drawn these sketches. Do you actually think there are some clues here? Was it a desire to be cryptic?

RAWSON: We're very concerned that the sketches were actually drawn in real life -- the first person. We believe he has several more missing and murdered. There are at least nine cases that have been reopened across three states. We're looking at several more. I'm not at liberty to discuss complete numbers right now. I don't think anybody has a concept really of full numbers.

There's 200 of these drawings and we're trying to sort out are these actual crimes. Are they actual missing victims?

In one case, we have an identification now on the -- on the young woman in the green shirt. I'm not at liberty to discuss who she is. That case is open and active. We're asking the public to help us figure out where she possibly was taken and we're trying to find her body.

CORNISH: You frequently speak publicly about your father. Why? What motivates you?

RAWSON: What motivates me is victim services -- victim advocacy for children like me who have serial killers. At this point now, it's victim advocacy for these unsolved murders and missing women. Even if they're not my father's they still need answers. There's cold cases here that have been going for 50 years. Somebody needs to speak up for them and put some spotlight on it. That will be me. I will be working on these the next 50 years if I need to.

CORNISH: Is that because -- are you trying to reckon, kind of, your growing up with him versus what he was doing in this other life?

RAWSON: Some of it is definitely a reckoning and coming to terms. It's been a couple of decades of coming to terms. Honestly, it's just the right and proper thing to do. There's hundreds of thousands of missing and murdered that are

unsolved in this country. We need to put a lot of spotlight on it. We need to build cold case units. We need to build federal funding if we can't get it at the state.

Right now, I'm speaking up because I've got law enforcement partners and then I have other agencies that are not doing their due diligence -- that missed things 20 years ago. I have regional and federal law enforcement that needs to step up. There's things that need tested. There's cases that need taken over possibly by the feds.

So I'm using my platform and my voice to try to get a spotlight on these very important cases.

CORNISH: You visited your father in prison. He's around 78 and, I understand, in bad health. What does he say to you when you confront him about these crimes?

RAWSON: Um, when I've asked him, he's run me down a lot of rabbit holes. He's done a lot of speculating speak -- a lot of profiling. He comes up with theories. And I'll say something about one location and he'll mention another one, or I'll mention fishing with me by there and then he'll jump to something else.

I've asked him to draw maps of locations. We have many places to check and we've got them marked down on.