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CNN This Morning

Trump Comments on Abortion Ban; Trump Denies Speaking with McCarthy about Biden Impeachment; House Reaches Short-Term Funding Bill; Segun Oduolowu is Interviewed about Jann Wenner's Controversial Comments; Deadly Flooding in Libya; Cowboys Dominating NFL Start. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 18, 2023 - 06:30   ET



ANDREW DESIDERIO, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, "PUNCHBOWL NEWS": Appointments of those three Supreme Court justices. He kind of paved the way for the overturning of Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs decision.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And he said as much. Remember that "60 Minutes" interview with Leslie Stahl, I will appoint pro-life justices.

DESIDERIO: Exactly. And I think, to Kasie's point, this is an acknowledgment from former President Trump that this is a tough issue for Republicans in a general election. You've seen, even in conservative states, like Kansas and Ohio, for example, abortion rights have won out. And I think the former president -

HARLOW: By the people on ballots.

DESIDERIO: I think the former president is acknowledging that reality and trying to sort of pivot to general election mode in that sense.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, his political antenna is accurate, at least based on the statewide races we've seen.

Andrew, the idea that he hasn't spoken to Kevin McCarthy or rank and file House Republicans about impeachment, that is not my understanding of the truth based on people I've talked to who have had direct conversations with him.


MATTINGLY: Why do you think he says that?

DESIDERIO: I think he's trying to provide some distance between the issue to make it seem like it's not political retribution against President Biden. Obviously, that's a big priority of his and many of his allies.

MATTINGLY: Has he seen his own social media account, though?

DESIDERIO: Right. Exactly. I think that's an important point here. But also when you look to House Republicans in general, you have all of these, I believe it's 17 Republicans who come from districts that President Biden won in 2020. They don't want to touch this issue. They much less don't want to vote for an impeachment inquiry on the House floor. It kind of reminds me of the 2018 cycle and when Democrats were trying to move to impeach then President Trump, how many Democrats from Trump won districts were very afraid to embrace impeachment at first. Now they might come around to it, but right now, politically, it's very, you know, it's cagey for those Republicans.

HARLOW: This deal, from some Republicans, Kasie, just explain to people what -- what's in it, the continuing resolution, and what comes along with it, and if it is dead on arrival.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Sure, Poppy. Yes, I mean this deal between - it's a group of main street Republicans, right, talking to a group of conservative hard liners and they're essentially kind of trading back and forth in terms of spending levels, what they would like to see in a short extension here, it would be a 31-day short extension. But the reality is, it's almost not even worth talking about the details because it's so unlikely that this actually gets us anywhere because they reality is right now even - even if they can get it through the House, it's going nowhere in the Senate for a variety of reasons, not least because they don't intend to attach Ukraine aid to this bill, and that's something Senate Republicans really want to see.

So, in theory, I guess, it's something to talk about. But nobody that I've spoken to over the course of the last 12 hours really thinks that this is going to solve the problem.

MATTINGLY: Other than that, though, everything is going great.

HARLOW: On a Monday morning.

HUNT: Swimmingly.

MATTINGLY: And this is why Andrew's rushing to get back to Capitol Hill tonight for Senate votes because the excitement just never stops.

Kasie --

DESIDERIO: Never ends.

MATTINGLY: Kasie, Andrew, thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

HUNT: Thank you.

HARLOW: So ahead for us this morning, an urgent search underway right now for whoever shot and killed a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy as he was wearing his uniform and inside his marked patrol car. The latest on that.

MATTINGLY: And what we're learning this morning about the allegations of sexual assault and abuse against actor Russell Brand.

Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


HARLOW: The co-founder of "Rolling Stone" magazine has been removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's foundations board after comments he made in a "New York Times" interview. That interview was published Friday. In the interview, Jann Wenner spoke about his upcoming book called "The Masters," which features interview that he conducted with iconic artists like John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, many others. This is while he was at the helm of "Rolling Stone." In the interview he spoke about his decision not to include interviews with women or with black artists.

Listen to this.


JANN WENNER: Insofar as the women, I mean, they were just - none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level.

NYT REPORTER: Oh, stop it. You can't say that. You're - you're telling me Joni Mitchell is not articulate enough?

WENNER: It's not that they're inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis. Please, be my guest.

Just for public relations sake, maybe I should have gone and found one black and one woman artist to include here that didn't measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism. Which, I mean, I get it.


MATTINGLY: In a lengthy statement, Wenner apologized for his remarks and said he would accept the consequences.

Joining us now, host of "Boston Globe Today," Segun Oduolowu.

Look, it's - I'm not really sure where to start. We, obviously, have the statement from Jann Wenner, this apology. What's your take on that statement and I think the repercussions of what's happened since?

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, HOST, "BOSTON GLOBE TODAY": Well, I think the apology is as disingenuous as the book he wrote.

Thank you for having me.

You write a book on the masters of rock and roll and you don't have black contributors, then it's not really a book of masters of rock and roll since the art form was created by black musicians. So, if you're going to tell me that these same song writers who created this incredible music aren't articulate enough to have passages in your book, I find everything, from the premise of you writing the book, to what you called it, to not only be offensive but to really just show the true colors of the man. And in that interview where they said, you know, Joni Mitchell. So

let's - let's just separate some of the women that he said were inarticulate because Dolly Parton is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Janet Jackson, who's black and a woman, is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Annie Lennox, from the Eurythmics, is in the Hall of Fame. Jay-z is in the Hall of Fame. LL Cool J is in the Hall of Fame. Quincy Jones is in the Hall of Fame. You're telling me that all of these prolific song writers, all of these masters of words and thoughts aren't articulate enough to be in your book? As far as I'm concerned, "Rolling Stone" and him and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I mean it's a joke, right? Right now his comments, it's - it's beneath us talking about it because the man has showed his true colors with his bigotry, his bias, and, honestly, his buffoonery.

HARLOW: So then let's talk about something else that is happening. Right now this exclusive reporting from the "U.K. Times" about accusations of rape, sexual assault and abuse against actor Russell Brand.


The BBC and also Channel 4 in the U.K. say they're investigating these assault allegation. Obviously, the authorities as well. The allegations are between 2006 and 2013 while he worked for the networks.

Here is what he said about this.



RUSSELL BRAND, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: But amidst this litany of astonishing, rather barrack (ph) attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute. These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies. And as I've written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about that then. Almost too transparent. And I'm being transparent about it now.


HARLOW: Segun, that's his response. These are incredibly serious allegations.

ODUOLOWU: They are, Poppy, and I want to take a different tact, right? Every time a man like myself will come on air, will say that this is horrible because I have a mother, and I have a sister, and I am the father of a daughter. But these are horrible. Like, I hate it when men say that, right, as if the act itself isn't horrible that we know women is that we should feel more disgust by it.

Here is someone who is an alleged - or admitted, sorry, admitted substance abuser. So, during that time he's admitted to being not only sex -- a sex addict, but also addicted to substances. And I would just question his own recollection of this.

One of the women who's alleged in - who's alleged to have been sexually assaulted by him was in her teens. And her family alleges to grooming. If any of this has a - has credibility, then Russell Brand should not be - should not be so cavalier with the way he's speaking. Because, yes, I do have a mom, and I do have a sister, and I am the father of a daughter. Putting all of that aside, this behavior is abhorrent, right, and Russell - Russell Brand has a history of abhorrent behavior. I don't think he did himself any favors.

With all of that being said, right, with all of the disgust we feel, due diligence. Let's get to the bottom of this because there are victims involved and there are - there is Russell Brand. And if he did not do this, let the - let the courts, let the due diligence prove it out. But if he did, the way he has gone about this, just it offends. It's just offensive. Because sexual assault is the most egregious form of cowardice. It is to use your position, especially a man inflicting it upon a woman. It's not only cowardice, but it's chaos because you're robbing this person of their sense of self. And if one of them was a teenager, as is alleged, I - like I said, it's just the way Russell Brand is coming off, is, for me, unforgivable.

HARLOW: Segun Oduolowu, thank you very much for weighing in on both of these critically important stories. We'll keep following them.

ODUOLOWU: Thank you, Poppy.


MATTINGLY: Well, new this morning, Los Angeles County is offering $250,000 as a reward for information leading to a suspect after a sheriff's deputy was shot and killed while on duty and sitting inside his patrol car on Saturday. Officials say they believe Ryan Clinkunbroomer was, quote, potentially targeted and ambushed. A law enforcement officer also says this surveillance video, obtained by CNN, shows the suspect's vehicle slowly pull alongside the deputy's vehicle, then speed away. It happened in Palmdale, about 60 miles north of L.A. And the sheriff's department released a bulletin last night with clear photos of the same vehicle, a dark gray Toyota Corolla, that was captured on the surveillance camera. Police are asking the public to come forward if they have any additional video or information.

HARLOW: Well, this morning, police say five teenagers are on the run after escaping from a juvenile detention center. This happened in Pennsylvania last night. Nine teens escaped all together. Four so far have been taken into custody. A riot broke out just before the escape. Police say the teens worked together to overpower two employees and take their keys. Then they got out by going under a fence. Law enforcement have now regained control of that facility, but authorities say the teens may be wearing white or gray t-shirts. Anyone who encounters them should contact 911 immediately. Officers have now established a perimeter around the facility, which is just 15 miles west, we should note, of where the murderer Danelo Cavalcante escaped and then was captured two weeks later. MATTINGLY: And the U.S. military says it is searching for a missing

fighter jet in South Carolina after the pilot ejected over North Charleston during what they're calling a training mishap. Officials say he -- the pilot parachuted to safety on Sunday and was taken to a local hospital. He's in stable condition. Response team are now working to find the F-35B Lightning II fighter plane, according to Joint Base Charleston. They're asking for the public's help in finding that aircraft.


They say its last known position was near Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, northwest of the city of Charleston. It's not clear yet what caused the pilot to eject.

Well, our crews are live on the ground in Libya as officials search for the remains of people who were washed away in last week's floods.

HARLOW: Also soon five Americans are expected to be freed from Iran. We will have the latest from the airport where that plane could soon take off. Our breaking news coverage continues.



ILHAM AL-THIBYANI, SURVIVOR OF FLOODING IN DERNA, LIBYA (through translator): Feelings? I don't know what I am feeling. I cannot express it. I saw death with my own eyes. I saw my family about to die in front of my eyes. I wanted to hold on to anything. But I could only say, dear God, save my children and my husband. I saw people dying in front of me. I saw death. A moment that cannot be described, as much as I try.



MATTINGLY: Those horrific words from one survivor as thousands try to pick up the pieces of their lives after those deadly floods in Libya last week. Now, this morning, rescue crews are working to recover bodies after catastrophic damage in the port city of Derna. The difficult terrain continuing to make the process extremely difficult.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As a Libyan, when I pull out bodies, I swear I cry. I can't handle it.


MATTINGLY: Now, the U.N. has revised its previous death of more than 11,000 to nearly 4,000, but there are still thousands of people missing.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us live from Derna. You've been following this story for the last several days every

single day. What's the latest on the ground right now?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Phil, I mean, this is a traumatized city, as you can imagine. More than a week since this catastrophe struck. There is just so much shock and heart ache in the city.

You've got grown men and women who walk past us while they're sobbing. You look at people and they just have this blank, shell-shocked look on their faces, staring into the distance. I mean, people here -- I mean I was speaking to a woman, a volunteer, who's been dealing with preparing the bodies of dead women for burial, and she survived this. And she's not had time to process what she's been through. And she was asking us if we think she will ever see her city rise up again. And she could barely finish this question before bursting into tears.

And you just see this everywhere. You've got survivors who have not had the time to think about what happened to them, what they're going to do next. All they're focused on right now is trying to find their loved ones. But the gut-wrenching reality is really starting to sink in that there's really not much hope left to find them alive. So now they're trying to recover their dead bodies. And that also, Phil, may prove to be impossible.

You do have search and recovery, search and rescue teams that have been working across the city in the devastated areas, in areas where you have entire neighbors that have been wiped, digging through the muddied rubble. You've got local teams. You've got some international teams. But what officials are telling us is they don't believe they're going to find many bodies here. They believe the majority of the bodies are in the Mediterranean. You have thousands of people, they believe, that have been swept away with their homes and inside their cars into the sea.

And there you have this ongoing effort by different international teams, Libyan teams that have been using choppers, divers, boats, out at sea, trying to recover bodies. But one of those international teams we've been speaking to say it has become really, really difficult for them to recover bodies because a lot of these remains have ended up in hard-to-reach areas, in coves and on rocks, and they just don't have the ability to deal with that, especially when you take into consideration the health hazards.

One of those teams telling us they saw 300 bodies spotted just a few days ago, and now they say they've just disintegrated into remains that they just can't recover. And you can imagine how devastating this is for the many families that are still trying to get the bodies of their loved ones and to give them a proper burial.

These rescue teams out at sea telling us they have dealt with a lot of - a lot in the past. They have done migrant boats capsizing, accidents at sea, but never have they dealt with anything on this scale before. Hundreds, thousands of bodies, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Yes, it's unimaginable devastation. Jomana, you've been doing great work. Please continue to keep us

posted on this as it continues to play out.

Thanks so much.

HARLOW: We do have more on our breaking news this morning. Five Americans expected to be freed from Iran. They will head back to the United States. We are live on the runway in Qatar.



HARLOW: Back to our breaking news this morning. Iran is set to release five Americans who were held in prison in Iran. Right now a jet is on standby to bring them from Teheran to Qatar. We'll bring you the breaking news as that happens from the airport in just a few moments.

MATTINGLY: But first, as we continue to watch that story, it has been 27 years since the Cowboys won a Super Bowl. The season is only two weeks old, but Cowboys fans are acting like they're about to win it again because it's a year that ends in 12 months. The Cowboys are - sorry, I'm a 49ers fan. The Cowboys are 2-0, beating the two New York City teams by a combined 60 points. That's cold-blooded.

Coy Wire joining us now.

Coy, what is the key to America's team and their 2-0 start?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Phil, offense wins games, defenses wins -

MATTINGLY: Championships.

WIRE: There you go. That's my man. Listen, after one of the biggest season opening shutout road wins in NFL history last week against the Giants, those Cowboys were facing the Jets. And former number two overall pick Zach Wilson, he's in for the injured Aaron Rodgers, remember, and he's going to be having nightmares about Micah Parsons. He went full on Freddy Krueger on Wilson for the first of his two sacks and the team high seven pressures.

But watch this next play, Phil and Poppy. Parsons, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's finest, tackling Dalvin Cook, ripping the ball away. He gets the forced fumble and recovery on the same play. Dan Quinn's defense would then intercept Wilson on the Jets' final three possessions. A 30-10 win. The Cowboys have dominated for a combined score of 70-10 in their first two games.


And Coach Brian Daboll's Giants, they looked like they were cruising for another bruising, down to the Cardinals, 20-0 at half time, meaning they'd been outscored.