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CNN This Morning

Nine People Injured In Shooting At Michigan Splash Pad; Israel Begins "Tactical Pause" To Allow Aid Into Southern Gaza; Israeli Military: Two Reservist Soldiers Killed In Northern Gaza; Biden Warns Of 2nd Trump Term, Criticizes Supreme Court At Fundraiser; Flood Threat Along Gulf Coast, Heat Dome Spreads To Central U.S.; U.S. Prepares for Dangerous Heat; Court Dismisses Tulsa Massacre Lawsuit; Gas Prices Drop Across U.S. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired June 16, 2024 - 07:00   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Hello, hello. Welcome to CNN This Morning. It's Sunday, June 16th. I'm Victor Blackwell.

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Amara Walker. Thank you so much for being with us. We are following several breaking stories for you this morning. Police say the man who shot and injured nine people at a splash pad in Michigan is dead. We have new details about how this happened and why police believe the shooter may have been planning a second attack.

BLACKWELL: The Israeli military has announced what it's calling a tactical pause in southern Gaza for humanitarian reasons. What that means for Israel's ongoing war with Hamas and refugees in desperate need of supplies.

WALKER: President Biden criticized the Supreme Court at a fundraiser last night following a string of high profile decisions. What he's saying about the justices and the possibility of more vacancies on the court.

BLACKWELL: If you're packing up the car and hitting the road this summer, there's some good news for you. The reasons you're paying less for fuel and how long that'll last.

WALKER: We begin this morning in Michigan where nine people are recovering after a shooting at a splash pad. This happened in Rochester Hills, which is a suburb of Detroit.

BLACKWELL: According to police, there are at least two of the victims are children. One of the victims is an eight-year-old boy who sustained a gunshot wound to the head and is in critical condition. The suspect, a 42-year-old man whose name has not yet been released, was found at a nearby home, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The mayor of Rochester Hills called the shooting heartbreaking and a tragedy in his community.


MAYOR BRYAN BARNETT, ROCHESTER HILLS, MICHIGAN: It's a mental reset. It's a reminder that we live in a fragile place with fragile people. And it's also a reminder to be grateful for professionals. There were 100 firefighters and sheriff's deputies out there today.


WALKER: All right. CNN's Rafael Romo is joining us now with more. So walk us through how all of this unfolded.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we had heard, Victor and Amara, earlier that the suspect of the shooting was located at a house about half a mile away from the scene. Overnight, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said it appears the suspect, a 42-year-old man, died in what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound by handgun.

The first call about the shooting came in at 5:11 p.m. local time. It was very pleasant afternoon at the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, Michigan, a city of 75,000 located less than 30 miles north of Detroit. According to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, a 42-year-old man who drove himself to the park suddenly got out of his car, walked up to the splash pad and opened fire.

Bouchard said the suspect fired 28 times, reloading several times before leaving the scene. He would later say that thanks to evidence found at the scene, the suspect was contained in a home located about a half a mile away from the park that was immediately surrounded by sheriff's deputies.


KIRK CHIDESTER, ROCHESTER HILLS RESIDENT: The individual pulled up, exited a vehicle, approached the splash pad, opened fire, reloaded, opened fire, reloaded, left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. That does --

CHIDESTER: So appears very random at this point, appears random, no connectivity to the victims.


ROMO: The nine people between the ages of four and 70 age were shot by the suspect. Among those lines, there were two children including an eight-year-old boy in critical condition after being shot in the head and a four-year-old boy who was shot in the thigh and is now in stable condition.

Now, Rochester Hills resident was reflecting about the fact that this happened the night before Father's Day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your neighborhood. And you think about Oxford and all the tragedy that happened up here. Now this is our tragedy here in Rochester Hills.


ROMO: And we have also heard from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a post published on X only hours after the shooting. The governor said, quote, "I am heartbroken to learn about the shooting in Rochester Hills. We are monitoring the situation as updates continue to come in and are in touch with local officials."

Authorities continue to investigation into the shooting. And so far they haven't said anything about a motive. The gun violence archive reports there have now been 223 mass shootings so far this year in the U.S. when four or more people were shot in a single incident.

Victor, Amara?


BLACKWELL: All right. Rafael, thank you.

WALKER: Thank you.

Well, like Rafael was saying, we don't know a lot about the suspect, but the mayor did mention what he called a mental break. Last hour, I spoke to CNN Senior National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem, about what that could mean.


JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Mental break becomes shorthand for a lot of things. Obviously, someone who's willing to do this is not grounded in reality. And so the question is, well, what do we mean by that mental break, right? And so, what I can tell just from the situation so far is, it's clearly premeditated.

And at least in some instance, he chooses a place with children. He knows that it's a Saturday night, the night before Father's Day. It is a summer night. It's a warm summer night. He has the weaponry to wreak a lot of havoc, if not death, although we don't know the specifics of that yet. And he's picking a place with children. That is, you know, that is like -- this is like a school shooting.

I mean, everyone knows that a water park on a late Saturday afternoon is going to have a majority of people under 18. And then he returns back home, which looks like he has an exit plan and then maybe planning another attack. So, the break isn't like he woke up one day and decided to do this.

WALKER: Right.

KAYYEM: There is at least some premeditated planning and we -- and then the question is how premeditated in particular the access to the weapon if it is an AR type weapon. You know, he had to purchase it. Know that he was purchasing it and know that he was going to use it for a mass casualty event.


BLACKWELL: All right, let's go to Texas now. Authorities are looking for the shooter responsible for a deadly incident at an Austin suburb. Round Rock, Texas police say that two people were killed, four others injured during a June 10th concert. Two of the victims there were children.

This started when two groups started fighting each other in the vendor area. One person pulled out a gun. Now Round Rock police are not sure if there were multiple people shooting during this incident.

The Israeli military announced a tactical pause, as they're calling it, along one route in southern Gaza. This is to allow for more humanitarian aid trucks to enter Gaza.

WALKER: The pause began Saturday with aid trucks entering through the Kerem Shalom crossing, one of the two open entry ports -- points for aid coming into southern Gaza. Israel says more than 1,000 aid trucks are on the Gazan side of the crossing waiting to be collected and distributed.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman is live in Beirut. Ben, tell us more about this tactical pause.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this pause was announced this morning and went into effect at 8:00, runs until 7:00 p.m. And according to the statement from the Israeli military, this pause is indefinite. However, it is very limited in its area. It's basically the Kerem Shalom, or Kerem Abu Salem, crossing from Israel into Gaza, linking it with the Salah al-Din Highway, which is the main north south artery.

Now, the purpose is to allow more aid into Gaza, certainly because much of the aid that was coming, in fact, all of the aid that was coming from Egypt through the Rafah crossing, that crossing has been closed since last month when Israel began its offensive there. And certainly, it comes at a time when the humanitarian situation in Gaza is increasingly dire.

Last week, we were reporting on a U.N. report warning that by July, by next month that more than 1 million people would be in danger of starvation or death. So this is an initiative that apparently coordinated with the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations to get that aid flowing much better.

It's important to note, however, this does not mean the end to hostilities in that part of Gaza. The Israeli military says those -- that offensive will continue unaffected by this so-called tactical pause in a very small area.

WALKER: All right, Ben Wedeman, thank you very much.

Also, two Israeli reservist soldiers were killed Saturday in northern Gaza. Israeli media reported the two were killed during an incident involving an explosive device on a tank. The IDF has not said who they believe is responsible for the attack.

BLACKWELL: The Israeli military also says that eight of their soldiers were killed in southern Gaza yesterday in one of the deadliest incidents involving its troops since October 7th. CNN's Paula Hancocks is live in Tel Aviv. Tell us what you've learned about these incidents.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor and Amara, it has been a particularly deadly weekend from the Israeli military point of view.


Now, that incident that happened on Saturday where eight Israeli soldiers were killed, we have had a briefing from the Israeli military and they say that it happened about 5:15 in the morning. It was in the Talal-Sultan neighborhood of Western Rafah where there has been intense fighting over recent days. They say there was one armored vehicle in a convoy that was hit by an explosion.

Now, they say it was either due to an explosive device that was planted in that area, or an anti-tank missile strike. They are still investigating. But the IDF also says that explosive devices that were on board that particular vehicle also detonated, which should not have happened. So they are investigating what exactly happened there.

Now we have -- the IDF has not ascertained blame to this at this point, or who was responsible. Hamas though has claimed responsibility saying that they targeted a military bulldozer in the area. And when that was on fire, they also targeted an armored personnel carrier that was coming to rescue those on board with a missile strike.

Now, we know there has been significant fighting in this particular area over recent days. We've heard from one of the the Gaza civil defense officials saying that they have had many calls asking for injured and bodies to be retrieved from that area, but they have found it very difficult to access it.

There was a family of five that was killed, they say. They were only able to retrieve two bodies as they themselves came under fire. Victor, Amara?

BLACKWELL: Paula Hancocks in Tel Aviv. Thank you.

Still to come, President Biden criticized the Supreme Court during the star-studded fundraiser in Los Angeles. We'll have details of what he said.

WALKER: Also, scorching temperatures are expected to roast parts of the central and southern U.S. This week, we will have your forecast.

BLACKWELL: And survivors of one of the biggest race massacres in U.S. history have lost their historic legal bid for reparations over the attack. We'll have details of what is next in the legal fight, potentially, ahead.


WALKER: It was a busy day on the campaign trail. President Joe Biden set another fundraising record as Donald Trump tries to hone in on a refined campaign strategy. Now, Trump made a fresh appeal to black voters as he hosted a community roundtable in Detroit at a predominantly black church. He also spoke at turning point action convention and wrapped up the night by announcing a new black Americans for Trump coalition.

BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, President Biden wooed celebrities at a more exclusive event in Los Angeles, attended by Former President Barack Obama and celebrities George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Kimmel. It raked in $28 million. But there are other headlines out of this other than the money.

He harshly criticized the Supreme Court. He said, the justices are just out of kilter. He warned also what may happen with a second Trump presidency.

CNN's Camila DeChalus joins us now from Washington. Tell us more about what the president said.

CAMILA DECHALUS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden reminded attendees at this event exactly what's at stake if Trump is reelected. And he focused, as you mentioned, Victor, on the Supreme Court. Now, during his remarks, he talked about how if Trump is reelected, that could lead to more conservative judges being appointed to the bench and also could lead to more rulings being reconsidered, especially those involving contraception.

And, you know, what's really interesting to note is even during these remarks, someone who really drove this point home other than Biden was Former President Barack Obama. In his conversation with Jimmy Kimmel, he really stressed that it's not only important to look at what Trump has done in the past when he was elected as president the first time, and the policies he enacted, and he reminded attendees there about his criminal record, but he also just drove home the point of what Trump has done while he's been in office.

And he said this at the event. He said, "There are certain standards and values we should stand for. Joe Biden has stood for those values and continues to and the other guy doesn't. And that in and of itself is not something that we can ignore or pretend is a difference that doesn't exist."

Now, during Obama's remarks, he also talked about how attendees and urged supporters of Biden to remind their friends and families of what Biden has done while he's been in office. And he also called on young people to re-engage in the political process and not become cynical because so much is at stake in this upcoming election cycle.

BLACKWELL: Camila DeChalus, thank you.

At this event, the Turning Point Action event, Trump also pushed his economic plan. WALKER: Yes. CNN's Eva McKend explains he's taking a different approach from his 2020 campaign.

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Amara, the former president, telling this enthusiastic crowd that he believes he can win Michigan in November as he did in 2016. If elected, he pledged to address inflation, stand up to China and other nations, and also pledged to advance MAGAnomics, is what he's calling it. That, of course, is a direct blow to Bidenomics.

And most consequentially, he is telling Michigan voters that they should have a plan to vote in November, whether that's early or by mail, that this election they should come armed with a plan. That is a departure from 2020 when he was casting doubt on early and mail-in voting, an indication that he is not trying to leave any votes on the table this time around.


Trump also spending his time in Michigan in Detroit at a traditionally black church trying to engage voters there. That's the latest from Detroit. Victor, Amara, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Eva McKend, thank you.

President Biden and Donald Trump, former president, will go head to head in their first presidential debate of the election season right here on CNN.

And we're getting a better idea of what to expect on June 27th here in Atlanta. The 90-minute debate hosted by CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. We'll have two commercial breaks. Campaign staff is not allowed to interact with their candidates during those breaks.

WALKER: Now, both Trump and Biden will appear at a uniform podium. Their positions will be determined by a coin flip. And throughout the debate, mics will be muted until it is their turn to talk. No props or pre-written notes are allowed.

But candidates can have a pen, paper, and water. One major difference is that there will be no studio audience. In the last televised presidential debate, they took place without a studio audience between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in 1960.

All right, still to come, Louisiana and Texas are bracing for heavy rain and floods along the Gulf Coast this week. A look at the areas that could see nearly a foot of rain coming up.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: And coming up in sports, the Edmonton Oilers are back beating the Panthers last night, looking to pull off a nearly impossible comeback in the Stanley Cup final in the U.S. Open teeing off this morning. Why Bryson DeChambeau says it's his dad who's giving him an edge atop of the leader board heading into today's final round on Father's Day.


BLACKWELL: We are tracking heavy rain along the Gulf Coast. It's going to bring some significant flood threats today.

WALKER: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is here tracking it all for us. What do we need to know?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so if you remember like a month ago, we talked about all that flooding that happened around the Houston area. Well, they're still drying out and now we're going to be adding maybe potentially as much as a foot of rain --


CHINCHAR: -- back into those same areas. Now, some of that begins today. It's a brand new system that's going to be making its way into the Gulf Coast. Not the only area. We're also talking about flooding potential in the Midwest. Severe thunderstorms in the central U.S. So a lot going on here.

But the focus really is one of two different potential tropical systems. If we push this into play, you'll see that we've got the area specifically here. This one that's just to the east of Florida, that one has about a 30 percent chance of developing.

But here, down here, 60 percent chance of development for this one just down here. Now, that's going to potentially slide off to the north. And when it does, it will start to bring us some very heavy rain. And it's not just one particular day. You're looking at a multiday event. So it's starts to be today, right here, pretty much from Texas all the way into Western Florida.

Tomorrow, we start to see that shift a little bit farther to the West, New Orleans, Mobile, Houston Tuesday. This is when we get the moderate risk and it really starts to take shape across the Houston area and spread into portions of Texas.

Now, when we talk about how much rain, this is going to be pretty significant. Look at this widespread areas of red and that pink color indicating 7, 8, 10 inches, maybe even some spots that pick up more than a foot of rain total. So again, this is going to be a particularly big deal for this area.

It's also not the only thing that we're covering. We're still talking about heat. And for some of these areas, it's going to be record breaking heat. Look at all of these dots. Most of them centered over the Midwest and the Northeast. But even still, you have some across the South. You're talking over 170 locations potentially having record highs over the next several days.

And for a lot of these areas, it's well above average. Look at the Chicago, the normal high 81 going to be in the 90s. Atlanta also looking at about 10 degrees above average D.C., in New York. Every single day going forward, you're going to see those numbers ticking back up. Chicago, for example, we talked about it. Their average this time of year is only 81 degrees. They won't have a single one of the next seven days where it's even remotely close to that. The other thing to point out to, look at all the overnight lows, a lot of them just barely getting down below 80 degrees.

The Northeast also looking at some pretty impressive temperatures going up through the next several days. So, yes, definitely a good next couple of days for the pool and maybe some nice cold beverages as well.

BLACKWELL: Yes. All right.

WALKER: Some air conditioning.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

WALKER: Hopefully it works. Thank you, Allison.

Well, as Allison mentioned, we will see temperatures continue to rise as we have through the week, and that has cities across the country preparing.

Joining us now is Kevin Lanza, he's the assistant professor of Environmental Science at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health. Appreciate you joining us, Kevin. You say that this extreme heat is not the new normal because it's just going to continue to get even hotter.

KEVIN LANZA, ASSISTANT PROF. OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, UTHEALTH HOUSTON: That's exactly right. So, we're seeing temperatures that we've never seen before the last 10 years have been the hottest ever reported on earth. And that goes back to our historical climate record back in 1850.

And then last year, hottest ever on earth this past May was the warmest ever. And we've seen temperatures just much higher in certain places that aren't used to those temperatures in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and West Palm Beach. Averages were around 85 degrees in May. And that's about 6 degrees warmer than typical.

WALKER: So is that the trend then with global warming and climate change that our summers are just going to get hotter and hotter?

LANZA: That's exactly right. So we're not only having overall average temperatures increasing, but we're also having an increasing in these extreme heat events. So these two or more days of continuous of abnormally high temperatures called heat waves.

And so, this is a major public health issue.


WALKER: And you say, you know, that the heat -- the health threat from heat is not really universally recognized. Why is that? And you know what -- what's being done to change that perception? LANZA: That's exactly right. Heat is, for all intents and purposes, kind of underappreciated as a health threat. And I could point to kind of three main reasons. One would be it's -- you don't see -- it's invisible. You don't see it. It doesn't have the same physical destruction as you would see with other weather-related hazards like hurricanes and tornadoes.

Second, everyone's experienced high temperatures at some point or another and most -- more often than not, they're coming out OK from it, right?


LANZA: But we can't rely on our past experiences because each heat event is different in terms of multiple factors. How long are you exposed? What are you doing in those high temperatures? Do you have any existing medical conditions that put you at greater risk for heat?

And then, lastly, we understand there's a wide consensus that heat related deaths are grossly under reported. That's because we typically use medical examiners who are looking at death certificates for either heat being the main cause of death or an underlying cause of death, yet there's no standardization across our over 300 counties in the U.S. And so, folks aren't able to understand just the gravity of the situation.

WALKER: OK. Well, I hear you on that. I mean, you were also quoted Kevin in "USA Today" saying that it's "not only our sunbelt cities that are in traditionally warm climates, this extreme heat is also in these cities and places when you think cold." So, where exactly is a sunbelt and what's happening north of this line?

LANZA: Sunbelts just a term for kind of the southern U.S., more or less. And these are folks who have been used to that warm climate, but what we're seeing is that, just with temperatures increasing everywhere, there are folks in cooler climates historically that are just seeing these abnormally high temperatures and folks there have potentially lower resources on the individual level, but also on a systems level in terms of what's in their region. A lot of people may not have air conditioning because they've never needed it before.


LANZA: And so, when you see these extreme heat events in places like the Northeast, that's where you might have a serious health issue there.

WALKER: And before we go, just quickly, some tips on -- in how we can stay heat ready.

LANZA: Yes, there's some classic ones make, minimize your time in the outdoor temperatures, but I think the ones I want to focus on are finding AC. We know that's the primary way to cool oneself off and keep one safe. And also, making a plan and thinking about also if there's no electrical power during extreme heat wave. So, if you have this extreme heat plus this high temp -- plus no power, that could be a serious situation. So, thinking about how you can find these places to be safe.

WALKER: Good tips. Kevin Lanza, thank you for your time.

BLACKWELL: A historic quest for justice by survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre is likely over. Oklahoma's top court dismissed the lawsuit seeking reparations. We'll talk about what's next.



BLACKWELL: Days away from the Juneteenth holiday. It's a day that's been celebrated by black Americans for decades, long before it was named a national holiday. It commemorates June 19, 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were the last to be informed more than two years late that they were free.

Since then, a lot of black people across generations have pursued justice reparations. But just last week, the survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre found out that their lawsuit demanding compensation from the city has been dismissed.

On May 31, 1921, white mob overran the thriving black-owned Greenwood neighborhood in 16 hours. Thousands of people were arrested. Others were beaten. Some killed. At least 35 blocks burned out, 1,200 homes gone. Viola Ford Fletcher, her brother, Hughes Van Ellis, and Lessie Benningfield Randle were children when their families ran from that violence. They filed a lawsuit in 2021 asking for compensation under the city's public nuisance statute.

But the court denied their appeal to determine why the case had merit. And this is from the court, the law does not permit us to extend the scope of our public nuisance doctrine beyond what the legislature has authorized to afford plaintiffs the justice they are seeking. Attorneys say that they'll file a petition for a rehearing and they've called on the Department of Justice to open an investigation.

One of the plaintiffs, Hughes Van Ellis, died last year at the age of 102. Viola Ford Fletcher is 110. Lessie Benningfield Randle, 109. Now, the last living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921, not many years left.

Joining us now, Eric Miller, professor of law at Loyola, Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is one of the attorneys representing the survivors. Good morning to you. Let's start with their reaction. After this was dismissed, what were the reactions from Mrs. Fletcher and Mrs. Randle?

ERIC MILLER, LAW PROFESSOR, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL AND TULSA RACE MASSACRE SURVIVORS LEGAL TEAM: They were incredibly disappointed, but they are willing to keep fighting right to the end, including, as you mentioned, asking that the federal government engage in a criminal investigation as well as a civil investigation into the continuing impact of the Tulsa Race Massacre on the residents of Greenwood, the community, the black community in Tulsa, as well as North Tulsa.


BLACKWELL: So, you say that before we get to the federal element here, there's going to be a filing of a petition for rehearing to ask the justices to reconsider. Is that routine? I mean, I -- you're not expecting any different outcome with no more information, are you?

MILLER: Well, it's somewhat routine. We are finding the petition to -- for a rehearing in part to highlight the ways in which the Supreme Court of Oklahoma misrepresented some of the facts that we alleged in the -- in our petition and has obscured the ways in which the continuing impact of the Tulsa Race Massacre, which had acknowledged on the citizens of Greenwood still has consequences, economic, and social consequences. And we want to show that we actually made that case and that they've misrepresented some of the arguments that we made and that they ignored other arguments that we made.

BLACKWELL: What was misrepresented? I mean, you're going to the same people with the same information. What -- and we don't have a whole lot of time. But if you could tell me what was misrepresented.

MILLER: So, the court, without even asking us questions, said that we are alleging race-based remedy that extends across the whole of Greenwood. And we actually never argued that. We argued that we fit within a standard property-based claims that they've heard for hundreds of -- for over a hundred years, and it's only when black people in Oklahoma start making those property claims that suddenly the court runs scared, says, oh, this is a racial issue. And that it must be dealt with by the legislature.

And that has a devastating impact, potentially, on civil rights litigation throughout the State of Oklahoma because if every civil rights case has to go to the legislature, then black people in Oklahoma are in a great deal of trouble.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about your appeal to the Department of Justice. I understand that one avenue is under the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007. Attorney General Merrick Garland is aware of the Tulsa Race Massacre. He was in Tulsa and discussed it. We know that a pending state litigation has not prevented him or his department from opening investigations in other cases.

So, what is your expectation that now he would be any more willing to pursue this than he has been since he took the job in 2021?

MILLER: Well, as you mentioned, you know, we're down to our last two living survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre. I've represented survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre for over 20 years. I've personally met well over 60 survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre. And we've been in negotiations with the Department of Justice to open an investigation for over a year now.

And, you know, with the possibility of a changing administration, time is running short. We think that there's plenty of evidence that the City of Tulsa was engaged in the race massacre. We think it's time that we find out who were the citizens that they deputized. We need a federal investigation to do that. And so, we're going to keep pushing the federal government to open that investigation.

BLACKWELL: All right. Eric Miller, thank you so much for being with me this morning.

And be sure to tune in next week for the CNN special event, "Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom and Legacy." It's Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Also streams on Max.

WALKER: All right. Some good news on gas prices this summer. We will have details on what to expect at the pump as Americans gear up for drive out vacations this season.



BLACKWELL: Gas prices dropping across the country. Some good news for people hoping to hit the road this summer travel season.

WALKER: As CNN's Matt Egan explains, in a polarizing election year, the price of the pump can have far reaching implications.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Victor and Amara, it was exactly two years ago Friday that U.S. gas prices hit an all-time high, above $5 a gallon. That was a nightmare. It was so painful for budgets, it spooked investors, and helped catapult the inflation rate to 9 percent for the first time in 40 years. Very few Americans had ever seen $5 gas before, except maybe in California.

Now, thankfully, we are miles away from that right now. The national average as of Friday was $3.46 a gallon. Now, that's not cheap. Of course, it was cheaper during COVID when demand was extremely low because people weren't driving. But right now, gas prices are down by more than a $1.50 from the peak two years ago. Not only that, gas prices are about 13 cents cheaper than they were at this point last year.


And drivers in some states are seeing even bigger year over year drops, including in Utah, Washington State, and some battleground states as well, like Arizona, Wisconsin, and Nevada. Now, this is a big deal because gas prices play such a key role, psychologically, in shaping how we feel about the economy. Gas prices are just so visible. We see them everywhere when we drive, we feel it when we fill up our tanks, it's just very hard to avoid.

So, the fact that gas prices are falling is very significant economically. Falling gas prices are actually one of the reasons why the Labor Department reported that the overall consumer inflation rate was unchanged on a monthly basis in May. We haven't seen that in nearly two years. And this is keeping alive hopes for at least one interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve by the end of the year.

Of course, we all wish for the $2 gas or even $1 gas of years ago. But that's not really a fair comparison because inflation has changed how much everything costs and consumers make more money than five, 10, 15 years ago. What's interesting is that when you adjust for inflation, today's gas prices, they look surprisingly reasonable.

On an inflation adjusted basis, prices are just 12 cents higher than this point in 2019 before COVID. And today's gas prices are actually lower on an inflation adjusted basis than they were in June of 2018. Of course, everyone wants to know where gas prices are going next. And that's hard to say. But the experts I'm in touch with are cautiously optimistic because the U.S. is producing record amounts of oil. The wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, they haven't caused the massive supply disruptions that people had feared.

Gas Buddy's Patrick De Haan, he told me that as long as hurricanes don't cause major problems in the coming months, gas prices should stay pretty calm. But with a very active storm system predicted, we're going to have to keep our fingers crossed. Victor and Amara.

BLACKWELL: All right. Matt, thank you. Sometimes a video just speaks for itself. This is one of those times. Coming up, Coy Wire explains what is going on.

WALKER: And be sure to tune in for a new episode of the CNN original series, "Secrets and Spies: A Nuclear Game." Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I should be a courageous man. I said, you want me to die? All right. I will die for you. I will die for Britain. I will die for a free and democratic Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Passengers to Moscow, this is the final call for (INAUDIBLE) Soviet airlines. Passengers only on this flight should go immediately through the departure doors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I went. We were officers. We pledged our allegiance to motherland. So, what do you do to officers who betray their own motherland? What do you do to them? You execute them.


BLACKWELL: New episode of "Secrets and Spies: A Nuclear Game" airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.



BLACKWELL: All right. A lot like the NBA final, Stanley Cup, it's not over yet.

WALKER: And just like the Mavericks on Friday, last night, the Oilers also won in a blowout. Coy Wire is here with us. OK. So, yesterday Andy told us that the Mavs didn't have a chance.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Right. Because they're down 0-3 and now they have a chance. And the Oilers, they're trying to make a comeback like those baggy pants that are coming back and bucket hats. Don't try that Victor.

The only one team in NHL history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup final, 82 years ago Toronto did it. Now, the Oilers fans, they're hoping their team could be next. These are some loyal fans. Look at how hype they are with their team down 0-3. Edmonton had only scored four goals this entire series against Florida, but they go off scoring eight of them last night, including their two-time MVP, Connor McDavid, who finally scored for the first time this series.

Seven different Oilers scoring. McDavid had three assists. This one to Dylan Holloway, who puts it in the top shelf where you keep that 45- year-old Canadian whiskey. McDavid now has 32 assists this postseason. He surpassed Wayne Gretzky for most in a single postseason. Edmonton wins 8-1. Series goes back to South Florida now for game five on Tuesday.

Now, Italy fans begging Albania fans yesterday, don't snap the spaghetti. Come on, man. Having some fun ahead of their match. In the European Championship in Germany yesterday. Unfortunately, that didn't translate to the field. Albania lost to 2-1. Fun video.

All right. Round three at the U.S. Open yesterday. And Bryson DeChambeau had to work out some kinks. So, he goes and lays down in the woods on the 11th. Oh, it gets a stiff back stretched out. BDC or BRB. Just what the doctor ordered. He birdies and then puts up one of the best rounds of the day. The 2020 champ is seven under. Three strokes clear of the field heading into today's final round. He lost his dad about 18 months ago and he said he's going to be thinking of his dad every hole today, hoping to win his second major on Father's Day.


BRYSON DECHAMBEAU, 2020 U.S. OPEN CHAMPION: I still feel like I'm that same kid that came out here right out of the start, but I feel like my -- as a person, I'm just different to interact with. And my dad passing gave me a great perspective on life. Just everything in general has changed. You say -- they say every five years somebody's life changes and it couldn't be more true.



WIRE: Yes. It will be an awesome final round today and an awesome Father's Day, hopefully, for all of you. Happy Father's Day to all dad out there. Love you, Daddy.

WALKER: Father's Day to you, Coy.

WIRE: Appreciate you.

WALKER: I hope they spoil you.

WIRE: All right. Yes. Sunday, fun day.

WALKER: Good to see you, Coy. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. We'll see you back here next weekend.

BLACKWELL: "Inside Politics Sunday with Manu Raju" starts right now.