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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

What Does Jeffrey Clark Subpoena Mean For 1/6 Investigation?; Parents Say Walgreens Gave Kids COVID Vaccine, Not Flu Shot; Russia Denies Using Energy Supply As Leverage Over Europe. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 14, 2021 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The justices have not cut each other off.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Even a Supreme Court justice isn't safe.

ROMANS: I'm just going to leave it there.

JARRETT: Just leave it there.

EARLY START continues right now. And good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour -- time for our top stories to keep an eye on today.

The House committee investigating the Capitol riot serving a subpoena on one former top Justice Department official who pushed then- President Trump's election fraud lie. And, interviewing another DOJ leader who pushed back against it. More on all this in just a moment.

JARRETT: An FDA panel of vaccine advisers is set to tackle the next round of questions concerning coronavirus booster shots today. They're going to focus first on the Moderna vaccine, which several studies have shown provider stronger protection.

ROMANS: The TSA calls it a huge problem. Record numbers of airline passengers trying to bring guns through checkpoints, most of them loaded. So far, screeners have caught nearly 4,700 firearms this year. Forty-four hundred were caught in all of 2019.


A massive expansion of wind farms along nearly the entire U.S. coastline. The Biden administration now plans to lease federal waters to wind power developers by 2025. This is the first long-term federal strategy to produce electricity using offshore turbines.

ROMANS: There were nearly 97,000 drug overdose deaths between March 2020 and 2021, the first year of the pandemic. According to health data, that's a 30 percent increase from the previous 12 months and the largest single-year jump ever. JARRETT: Four American gymnasts are asking Congress to dissolve the

board of directors for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee over its handling of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols claim the committee learned of Nassar's abuse back in 2015 but did nothing about it.

ROMANS: The FDA urging the makers of processed, packaged, and prepared foods to cut down on salt. The agency says more than 70 percent of salt intake comes from sodium that is added during the manufacturing process. High salt consumption can lead to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

JARRETT: The Rolling Stones will no longer perform one of their biggest hits, "Brown Sugar." Stones front man Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards say the song depicts the horrors of slavery. The band has not played it on its current "No Filter Tour."

All right. One pushed the big lie; one stood in the way; both now of interest to the January 6 Committee. House investigators have subpoenaed former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark. Remember him? He's the guy who was so desperate to get in Trump's good graces that he drafted a letter that no one with any sense would have signed, claiming that the Justice Department found voter fraud in Georgia even though it had not.

One of those who stood up to Clark and the former president, former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen. CNN has learned that the committee interviewed him for eight hours Wednesday.

ROMANS: And today, time is up for two Trump allies central to this investigation. Depositions for Kash Patel and Steve Bannon are on the schedule for today. Bannon has already said he is a no-show, risking criminal contempt.

It's time for three questions in three minutes. Let's bring in CNN political analyst Margaret Talev, managing editor at Axios. And Margaret, the subpoena for Jeffrey Clark, who pushed the nonexistent election fraud to President Trump -- what does it say about where this investigation is going?


And it certainly says that the committee is trying to piece together a timeline of precisely how these efforts to try to create the notion of fraud or create that sort of doubt -- how they came together.

There's a couple of interesting things to remember about Jeffrey Clark. One is that he's a lawyer, right? And so, he has -- he has -- he has met the bar, right, in various states and jurisdictions. So, he can't really play this the same way that Steve Bannon would because he wants to be able to continue working as a lawyer. He'll have to cooperate to some extent but how fulsome that cooperation will be, I think we don't know yet.

Another thing I'd keep an eye on is the fact that you'll remember there was talk -- there was consideration about Trump's interest in installing Clark, himself, to replace Jeffrey Rosen --


TALEV: -- as the acting AG in those waning days.

There's another figure being called back by the committee. It's Kash Patel. We've mentioned his name before. Remember, he was an intelligence official.

Trump had a plan as well in which they would have installed Kash Patel as the deputy director at the CIA. And this was so controversial internally that, as we've reported, when Gina Haspel found out about this, there was deep concern that she would resign and they pulled the plug on that idea.

JARRETT: I think the big question for the House is just how much do they want to drag this out if these guys actually defy the subpoenas. It's unclear whether Clark will come. We know Bannon isn't coming. They want to hold him in criminal contempt. But how long do they want to drag this out?


Margaret, I want to pivot here to the governor's race in Virginia, which is really heating up and perhaps something of a bellwether for the country. Both sides pulling out their heavy hitters -- President Obama and others, of course, for Terry McAuliffe. While President Trump, the same guy who just told people not to vote, is calling into rallies to praise Glenn Youngkin -- clearly, whether that's supportive of Glenn Youngkin or not.

How do Democrats frame their message in a way that is actually responsive to the threats of 2022 and going forward if you will, if we actually think about democracy in peril? How do Democrats convince voters this is a real issue?

TALEV: Well, I think what -- in Virginia, what Terry McAuliffe hoped to do was make this a race about Donald Trump. They may actually welcome the suggestion that Trump is pulling the strings. Glenn Youngkin is very --


TALEV: -- careful to try to distance himself from Trump just enough that he can capture that suburban, kind of centrist swing vote.

You'll remember Biden won by a really big margin in Virginia in 2020 and it was partly because he wasn't president yet, but largely because he wasn't Donald Trump.

So, Youngkin's successes have come from saying hey, I'm not a puppet for Donald Trump. If Donald Trump reinserts himself back in this race in the waning days and tells Republicans not to turn out to vote, that's probably not what Glenn Youngkin wants, but Terry McAuliffe would probably be happy to get his messaging back on track. And then you'll see Barack Obama, of course, come in and try to turn out younger voters, voters of color, suburban voters with whom he's still very popular.

But it's a matter for Democrats of turnout and of saying let's focus on government solutions. And for Youngkin, it's a matter of trying to keep the focus on dissatisfaction with Biden and dissatisfaction with school instruction right now, not Donald Trump.

ROMANS: I think the school -- I think the Democrats underestimated the school issue and how that was such a real -- a real tinderbox for so many people in Virginia and elsewhere.

Margaret, the president, though, is in a bind here right now. COVID wrecked the global supply chain. Inflation's running at a 13-year high and it's not coming back -- maybe next year. But for now, it's going to stay like this. Gas prices have doubled.

It's not Biden's fault but Americans want relief and they expect him to do something about it. Does he risk being blamed here for a lot of things that are, frankly, out of his control?

TALEV: Of course. He's the President of the United States. It's like the buck stops here, right?

So, that's why you're seeing Biden hold these kind of summits or convening discussions on supply chains and pushing really hard for the ports to reopen 24/7 to allow the flow of goods. What he can do is limited but it's -- he can still do things and he needs to be able to show voters that he's trying.

But all these -- you know, like you think about the economy is a driving force in elections, always. All of this is about the pandemic economy and the hangover from the pandemic.

Plus, guess what, the pandemic's still around. A lot of people voted for Joe Biden because he said I'm going to be able to exercise common sense and talk about science and the pandemic. And there is such a large resistance by just enough people that it's made it very hard to stop it as long as the pandemic lasts, a lot of these other lingering issues are going to last and -- unless he can turn it around.

The only reason Virginia might not be a bellwether, maybe, is if a year from now the country is in a really different situation in terms of --


TALEV: -- infection rates, hospitalizations, and the economy.

But it is a warning. Biden will get a sense of how people's frustrations about the economy and how it impacts the pandemic, how it impacts schools, health, being able to get stuff from stores that you want. We'll see the beginnings of that play out in this Virginia race and it'll be a warning for him for next year.

JARRETT: Yes. It will be telling either way.

Margaret, thank you so much for getting up with us. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Margaret.

TALEV: Thanks, guys -- you, too.

ROMANS: Major American airlines are taking different approaches to vaccinate their workforces. Delta's CEO, Ed Bastian, said they've got 90 percent of Delta employees now vaccinated, and that's without a mandate from the company.


ED BASTIAN, CEO, DELTA AIRLINES: We haven't done it with a mandate. We've done it working collaboratively with our people, trusting our people to make the right decisions for themselves -- respecting their decisions but at the same time, avoiding the divisiveness of what the mandate is posing to society.


ROMANS: Now, Bastian says he expects Delta's vaccination rate to rise to 95 percent by early November.

United Airlines took a different approach. You need the vaccine to keep your job at United.


SCOTT KIRBY, CEO, UNITED AIRLINES: You know, I wish we'd have gotten to 100 percent, but out of our 67,000 U.S. employees there are 232 who haven't been vaccinated, and they are going through the termination process now.


ROMANS: Earlier this week a federal judge in Texas temporarily put United's vaccine mandate on hold for employees seeking medical or religious exemptions. Roughly 2,000 of United's employees requested an exemption.

JARRETT: Now to a disastrous situation for parents in Indiana. Two parents say Walgreens mistakenly gave their young children COVID vaccines instead of a flu shot, and the side effects are serious.


Joshua and Alexandra Price took their 4- and 5-year-old kids with them to the pharmacy for their yearly flu shots, but they later learned from Walgreens that the entire family had been injected with adult doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine not even approved for kids as young as their kids.

For the parents, the extra dose was basically just a booster shot. But the family's attorney says the children have had to see a pediatric cardiologist for a rapid heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, and other things.

Walgreens has not commented on how this mix-up happened, but it is not good.

ROMANS: No. All right, 40 minutes past the hour.

Into the lion's den for Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He navigated an extended conversation with podcast host and avowed vaccine skeptic Joe Rogan. Rogan battled COVID and still refuses to be vaccinated.

The two talked for more than three hours and Rogan revealed at one point, he was prepared to get the shot but it got delayed. Then rare issues emerged with Johnson & Johnson and he changed his mind.

JARRETT: Sanjay also confronted him on the issue of COVID and kids, challenging him on some of the more common misconceptions out there right now.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The only way we can know long-term stuff is with the passage of time -- you know, for certain.

JOE ROGAN, HOST, JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE PODCAST: That's terrifying for parents.

GUPTA: Well, it is.

ROGAN: The idea that your son could get vaccinated and most likely he would have been fine if he got COVID, and that your son could catch myocarditis and have permanent heart problems.

GUPTA: Well, I don't know that we can say the person will be fine if they get COVID, Joe. I mean --

ROGAN: Like a young boy?

GUPTA: Well, if they --

ROGAN: But most young boys with no comorbidities.

GUPTA: When you say fine you mean what? That they're not going to die?

ROGAN: I mean, like, me -- I had COVID. I'm fine.

GUPTA: You look like -- you look like you're as strong as an ox. Yes, I give you that. But, you know, I -- you get teenagers who will have these long COVID naps. You get -- you get --

ROGAN: What does that mean?

GUPTA: They just -- they're tired all the time. They get these sort of long hauler-type symptoms --


GUPTA: -- less so in kids. But when you talk about 33 percent of people having persistent symptoms that last months, I just feel like we define -- like, I think we're allowed to have a nuanced conversation about this.


JARRETT: So, Sanjay and Joe Rogan may seem like an odd mix but Sanjay says he needed to go to a less comfortable place to share information with people who may not have already had it. A lot of patience there from Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

ROMANS: But he's right -- he's right because so many people -- I mean, honestly, we love all of you who are watching us right now, right? We know that you follow the news and you know basically --

JARRETT: To follow the science.

ROMANS: -- you follow the science. Going where people are maybe anti- science is the place to get --


ROMANS: -- the message corrected.

JARRETT: If it helps one person it's worth it.

We'll be right back.



ROMANS: A Texas state website featuring resources for LGBTQ youth was taken down after Gov. Greg Abbott's Republican primary challenger gave him a hard time about it back in August, saying that this website with important resources was promoting transgender sexual policies to our Texas youth. These are not Republican Party values.

Former State Sen. Don Huffines also pushed Abbott to ban all employers in the state from requiring COVID vaccines -- something else Abbott gave into this week.

Meantime, a spokesperson for the Department of Family and Protective Services told CNN the site for teens was taken down for content review several weeks ago. Emails between staff show that behind the scenes there was a scramble in response to Huffines' criticism.

JARRETT: Jumping overseas now. Household gas prices are surging across Europe, but Russia, one of Europe's biggest natural gas suppliers, is denying it's using energy as a political weapon to gain leverage.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live for us in London. Matthew, good morning. Why are Europeans pointing the finger at Russia on this? MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, the reason they're doing that, Laura, is because Russia is the biggest single supplier of natural gas -- household gas -- to most European countries and most European households.

And that natural gas price has spiked upwards of 250 percent in the last several months. It's obviously having a massive impact on consumers -- to home heating costs. It's having an impact on industry as well because factories that produce steel or anything like that -- they use energy. They use electricity, which is generated by gas- powered stations, for the most part, across Europe.

And so, seeing an enormous amount or a spike in costs and derailing, to a certain extent, the post-COVID recovery.

In terms of Russia's responsibility -- well, the finger of blame has been pointed by critics at Moscow for some time, saying it is using energy as a weapon to increase pressure on the Europeans and to make it more dependent on Russian energy.

It's all linked with the production -- with the implementation and the building of a new, very controversial Russian pipeline called Nord Stream 2, which has already been built between Russia and Germany, bypassing some transit countries that would have benefited from that kind of pipeline in the past, like Ukraine.

Critics say that will increase the energy dependence of Europe on Russia. The Russians say that's nonsense -- it's just a business deal. But they've also said that if that pipeline is approved by European officials, when the spigots are turned on then the European gas prices will essentially be alleviated.

And so, they're saying they're not using this energy as a threat. But they're also reminding Europeans just how much power the Kremlin has when it comes to supplying European nations with their natural gas -- Laura.

JARRETT: Matthew Chance, thank you so much for breaking that all down for us.

ROMANS: All right, it's just that time to look at markets around the world this Thursday morning. Markets in Hong Kong closed for a holiday. European shares opened higher. On Wall Street, stock index futures at this hour are moving higher as well.

Stocks closed mixed after a key inflation report showed prices for consumers are still rising. The Dow fell slightly. The S&P and the Nasdaq closed higher.

We also saw minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting that show it will likely start cutting back on bond purchases later this year.

More earnings rolling in this morning. Bank of America, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley will all report results.

Foreclosures are resuming across the country. Lenders started the foreclosure process on more than 25,000 properties last quarter. That's up 67 percent from a year ago.

Relief programs allowed borrowers who were having trouble making their payments to delay them for up to 18 months. Those programs are now ending.

One executive at RealtyTrac said foreclosures are still far below normal, but hundreds of thousands of borrowers are scheduled to exit their forbearance programs in the next two months. That could lead to a higher number of people defaulting on their loans.


JARRETT: A newlywed couple has a real beef with Southwest Airlines. When Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights last weekend, the bride's family, including her mother and father, missed her wedding in Nevada. Instead, Kimberly Romano's parents had to watch their youngest daughter get married via Facetime.

The new bride and groom, Kimberly Hlavati, will be guests on "NEW DAY" in the 8:00 hour.

All right, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving defiantly refusing to get vaccinated for weeks now and he's breaking his silence.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. All right, Andy, what's he saying?


So, you know, there's not a mandate for NBA players to be vaccinated. Ninety-six percent of them are but you don't have to in order to play. That is unless you're on the Nets, Knicks, or Warriors where local regulations mandate vaccinations to play at home.

The Nets said Tuesday Kyrie Irving was not going to be a part-time member of the team, so he's out until he gets vaccinated or regulations change. And last night, Kyrie went on Instagram to explain his decision.


KYRIE IRVING, GUARD, BROOKLYN NETS: In order to be in New York City, in order to be on the team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated and that was my choice. And I would ask you all just to respect that choice.

This is not a political thing here, and it's not about the NBA, and it's not about any organization. It's about my life and what I'm choosing to do.

Don't believe that I'm retiring. Don't believe that I'm going to give up this game for a vaccine mandate or staying unvaccinated. Don't believe any of the (bleep), man.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHOLES: Even without Kyrie, the Nets will still be betting favorites to win the NBA title. They open their season on the road against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

All right. The Raiders, meanwhile, returning to practice for the first time since the resignation of former coach Jon Gruden after the release of old emails that contained racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language.

Quarterback Derek Carr saying he loves Gruden but not his actions.


DEREK CARR, QUARTERBACK, LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: I love the man, right, and I hate -- you hate -- you hate the sin. Like for me, you hate -- for anybody. No one's perfect.

If we just started opening up everybody's private emails and texts, people would start sweating a little bit. You see what I'm saying? Hopefully, not too many. But maybe that's what they should for all coaches and GMs and owners from now on is open up -- you've got to open up everything and see what happens.


SCHOLES: Now, Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib, who earlier this year came out as the first actively gay NFL player, took a personal day away from the team.

The Raiders play in Denver on Sunday.

All right, game two of the WNBA Finals with an overtime thriller. Phoenix's Diana Taurasi taking the game over in OT. Here, the three with a minute-24 to give the Mercury the lead. Taurasi outscoring the Sky by herself in that extra period. She finished with 20 points as Phoenix evens the series at a game apiece, winning game two 91-86. Game three is tomorrow night.

All right, the NHL making its debut on our sister channel TNT last night. Charles Barkley joining the crew, and they brought out some goalie gear for him to get in the net and try to stop some shots from the great one, Wayne Gretzky.


WAYNE GRETZKY, CANADIAN HOCKEY PLAYER: Here we go. Shot one. Top cheese. I don't know why I retired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch your ear, Charles. Watch your ear, buddy.

GRETZKY: Shot two. One for one, OK?


GRETZKY: Get him some pads. Slow down. Yes, there we go.


BARKLEY: That's not in. That's not in. That's not in.


SCHOLES: Yes. So, Chuck able to stop one of those shots, guys. I was kind of concerned for him though because he didn't have a lot of gear on. He was going to take one of the pucks off the shin.

JARRETT: Christina's over here hating on Chuck, talking about it looking like a kid's net.

ROMANS: It looks like the net in my backyard. Doesn't it have to be a little bit bigger than that?

SCHOLES: He's a basketball player, not a hockey --

JARRETT: He took off his coat. It looked like he wanted to get serious about it, but oh well.

ROMANS: All right.

JARRETT: Andy, thank you.

ROMANS: Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right, guys.

ROMANS: All right.

Police bodycam video showing the bravery of two officers in Garland, Texas.


POLICE OFFICER: Come on. Come on, man. Come on.



The officers rescuing an unconscious driver after a fiery crash before the car became fully engulfed. Both the driver and a passenger ejected in the crash were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Amazing.

JARRETT: I hope they're OK.

ROMANS: Good for them.

JARRETT: All right, two Trump aides on the verge of defying subpoenas to testify about January sixth. Now, another backer of the big lie is on the committee's agenda.

Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" is next.



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman on this new day.

A pivotal day in the investigation of the Capitol insurrection. All eyes on Capitol Hill. Will Trump allies show up to testify?

Plus, the former president telling Republicans don't vote in 2022 or 2024. Hear why.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A crucial day in the fate of COVID boosters as the FDA gets ready to make a big decision.

And on the day the Biden White House releases its report on whether the Supreme Court should be expanded, Justice Stephen Breyer sits down with CNN. A big ask he has for the American people.