Return to Transcripts main page
Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin
Politico Publishes Supreme Court Draft Opinion That Would Overturn Roe V. Wade; Officials: Putin Could Formally Declare War As Soon As May 9. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired May 03, 2022 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, our breaking news this morning. The Supreme Court appears poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the country.
In California, leaders have already announced a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would protect the right to abortion in that state. Governor Gavin Newsom reacting on Twitter, saying, "Our daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers will not be silenced. The world is about to hear their fury. California will not sit back. We are going to fight like hell."
Then there's this from South Dakota Republican governor Kristi Noem. "If this report is true and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will immediately call for a special session to save lives and guarantee that every unborn child has a right to life in South Dakota."
Let's bring in Amber Phillips, political reporter for The Washington Post. Just a bombshell this morning. So, what is this -- play this out for me. What is this going to look like? Abortion rights essentially will depend on what state you live in?
AMBER PHILLIPS, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST (via Skype): That's exactly right, Christine.
If this report is true and if the Supreme Court does, sometime likely in June -- maybe early July at the latest -- strike down Roe V. Wade, it would be the most extreme decision that they could make on the -- on this case that they looked at in December -- a 15-week Mississippi ban. But it's looking like that's perhaps more possible than not.
So if they go ahead and do that, what you're going to have is a patchwork of abortion laws left up to the states, and that's because there is no federal law saying when someone can or when they can't get an abortion.
So, it's been entirely up to the states and the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade protection put in place in the 1970s has been the only thing federally keeping abortion laws intact. And specifically, protection for someone to have an abortion up until about 24 weeks of pregnancy. When you look at what the states are going to do Christine, what you
see is that they're sharply divided and they definitely lean right. About half of states in America have some kind of law, whether it's a trigger law or something like in South Dakota that Gov. Kristi Noem is promising to do, that would almost immediately ban almost all abortions. So in half of America, pretty shortly this summer, it's very possible that almost all abortions could be banned.
About 16 states on the left and the District of Columbia have protections in place for abortions. So it's just going to depend where you live and if you live somewhere in the south or the Midwest, specifically if you're close enough to a blue state border, to make it to a clinic.
ROMANS: Yes. We know that opinion polls earlier this year showed that a majority of Americans don't think you should be overturning Roe v. Wade. But what you see in this -- in this draft opinion, Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the nation's history and traditions. I mean, the verbiage here from Justice Alito is just -- is very strong.
There were immediate calls from Senate Dems to eliminate the filibuster, Amber, and pass legislation protecting abortion rights after this leak. Is there any chance that happens?
PHILLIPS: Never say never in politics, Christine. But I have hard time seeing that happen because the same senator that we have been talking about since Biden became president, right -- specifically, Joe Manchin -- Democrats have fallen short in the past to try to eliminate the filibuster for voting rights.
They've fallen short on even having the votes to try to protect abortion. House Democrats tried to pass a law protecting abortion. That made it up to the Senate and Senate Democrats fell short on votes. And Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia is a big reason why. He does not support codifying into law abortion rights.
There are a couple of Republican senators, like Susan Collins of Maine or even Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who might, but I have a hard time seeing them crossing party lines for something as big as this.
Now, the reverse I could see as even more possible. Let's say in November, Democrats -- excuse me, Democrats lose control of the Senate. Republicans gain control of the Senate and the House. The House quickly passes a nationwide anti-abortion ban. The Senate -- it would be blocked by a Democratic filibuster. But it just takes one party to want one issue badly enough to end the filibuster --
PHILLIPS: -- for that.
And I -- and I could see Republicans being this close to this holy grail of conservatism wanting to do that. And then we would have our first federal law that would be to ban abortion in most cases.
ROMANS: I wonder how this scrambles the calculus for the November midterms overall here. This clearly will energize some Democrats, right? And this -- but it could really energize Republicans, too -- who, like you say, are very, very close to this holy grail.
Amber Phillips, so nice to see you -- Washington Post political reporter. Come back soon, OK?
PHILLIPS: Thank you, Christine.
All right. No doubt, President Biden will be asked about the Supreme Court abortion bombshell when he travels to Alabama today -- deep-red Alabama.
CNN's Jasmine Wright live in Washington. Jasmine, the president is touring a factory that makes Javelin missiles to send to Ukraine. That was the optics on the books here for the White House. But the Supreme Court ruling really could end up being the big story for the president to react to today.
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN REPORTER: Yes. I think "big story" could even be an understatement here. We know that this trip to Alabama was planned quite a few days before this stunning leak that Politico is now reporting, but that does not change the optics at all because this is going to be something that President Biden is going to be asked about repeatedly today.
And, of course, we know this is going to be his first trip since he's taken office to Alabama -- a deep-red state that overwhelmingly, in 2022 -- 2020, voted for former President Trump over President Biden. And, of course, we cannot really minimize former President Trump's influence in all of this. Of course, he got two conservative justices on the court during his tenure after declaring that he would overturn the constitutional right for women to access abortion.
And if this Politico document -- and remember, CNN has not yet authenticated it but if it turns out to be true that is exactly what's happening right now. And so, this is going to be a lot for the president to contend with today on a trip that was -- trip that was meant to be about his response to the war in Ukraine.
And now, President Biden has his own history with abortion rights, right? We know that it was in 2019 that he announced that he did no longer support the Hyde Amendment -- that rule that would provide federal funding for most abortions. It allowed Democrats in the past who supported it, including President Biden in 2019. He said he no longer did.
And just recently, for the second time, he was praised by abortion advocates for not including Hyde Amendment language in his latest budget proposal in March 2023.
So, of course, folks are going to be looking for President Biden to really chart out his path for what he wants to see in case this leak from Politico turns out to be true. But also from the vice president who returns to the White House today after that COVID diagnosis last week. Folks are going to be looking for her, really, to be a party leader on this subject, and she has an event today, Christine.
ROMANS: Yes, just -- I've just got to reiterate what a bombshell it is. This just doesn't happen that you get a draft opinion like this leaked. I mean, it just shows -- it's just amazing -- stunning.
ROMANS: All right, Jasmine. So nice to see you this morning. Thank you.
All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Tuesday morning. Looking at markets around the world, Asian shares have closed and they've closed narrowly mixed, though Shanghai had a pop there. Europe has opened mixed as well. And on Wall Street, stock index futures leaning down.
Look, yesterday, stock rose. It was a wild day of trading. The Dow ended up -- look at that -- 3% there --0.3% rather after falling 525 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 finished up 0.6.
This is -- this is the year. It's been a tough year for investors. The S&P 500 having its worst start to the year since 1939, down 13% in the first quarter. The Dow down 9%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq down 21% from January to April.
What you're looking at right now are the tech stocks that have been taking the hardest hit. Netflix down a stunning 68% -- wow -- making it the worst performer on the S&P 500 so far this year.
Amazon -- its workers at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York voted against a bid to unionize. Sixty-two percent of the employees rejected that attempt -- a major setback for the ALU, a new labor union comprised of current and former Amazon workers. Last month, employees at another Staten Island Amazon facility voted in favor of unionizing -- a first for Amazon in the U.S.
All right, 41 minutes past the hour. On the date we thought Vladimir Putin might declare victory he could, instead, declare war. We'll explain next.
ROMANS: U.S. and Western officials say Vladimir Putin may move to formally declare war on Ukraine as soon as May 9.
CNN's Natasha Bertrand joins us live from Washington. Natasha, the Russian president is already at war, in fact, if not in name. What could he gain from this official declaration on this important symbolic day for Russian citizens?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. Christine. So May 9 is a very important day for Russia. It is known as Victory Day. It commemorates the day that the Russian forces defeated the Nazis.
And U.S. officials -- U.S. and Western officials have long believed that May 9 could be a day when the Russian president either announces some kind of major victory in Ukraine or a significant escalation. And they are honing in on one scenario, which is that he formally declares war on that day, which would then allow him to mobilize his reserve forces.
The Russian forces in eastern Ukraine have been suffering a massive manpower shortage, so this would allow the president to essentially conscript more forces into the fight and mobilize the general population there in Russia.
This is also, of course, a major day of propaganda, so they could also galvanize public opinion for the war by actually formally declaring that they are launching a war against the Nazis in Ukraine. Of course, this is a lie that we have heard Russia say repeatedly -- that they are fighting a special military operation against Nazism in Ukraine.
So, this could be a moment when Vladimir Putin kind of seizes on this and takes this opportunity to declare a formal war on Ukraine and kind of mobilize the reserve forces there that he needs in order to successfully fight this war in eastern Ukraine.
Now, there are a number of other scenarios, including that he could annex certain territories in eastern Ukraine, including the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. But so far, what U.S. and Western officials are really watching for here is that formal declaration of war, which could be very significant, Christine.
ROMANS: All right, Natasha. Thank you so much for setting that up for us.
Let's bring in Vivian Salama, a national security reporter for The Wall Street Journal. So nice to see you this morning.
You know, this is -- obviously, this is a war. It's been a war since the moment Russia invaded. But what would it mean for Ukraine if Putin formally declares war?
VIVIAN SALAMA, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (via Skype): For Ukrainians, it's not going to make that huge of a difference because of the fact that in their opinion not only have they been at war for the last almost three months, they've been at war for the last eight years with Russia. And so, they would tell you that it does not necessarily make that big of a difference as far as operations go.
But as far as their campaign -- their ongoing campaign to rally countries around the world to continue pouring aid into the country, to continue to convince those countries that this is a sustained threat and it's going to be a protracted war, and Vladimir Putin is not backing down anytime soon -- obviously, that goes to really support that argument that they've been making all along.
And so, obviously, President Putin pretty relentless in his campaign. He's been honing in on certain areas in Eastern Europe. And the Ukrainians say that his war has only just begun and so whatever rhetoric President Putin is going to be using on May 9, it really does not change the dynamics of this war for them.
ROMANS: Yes, Putin's words. It wasn't long ago that Putin was saying that oh, no -- we're just having exercises along the border. That the West was crazy for thinking there would be an invasion. And here we are, right?
Let's talk about that big steel plant in Mariupol. It's been under constant bombardment. Despite the partial evacuation of civilians, the State Department says it's racing to get more people out.
Listen to what spokesman Ned Price had to say about the conditions there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We want to make sure that the limited humanitarian access we've seen in recent hours is not fleeting. Doing so would demonstrate that there may be a genuine humanitarian intent behind this evacuation and not just another craven attempt on the part of the Kremlin to change the narrative to achieve a P.R. victory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: What do you expect to hear in terms of a partial ceasefire in the region in order to get more people out? I know some of the Russian officials have complained they think they're mercenaries or something hiding amongst civilians, and they've been loathed to allow people to get out. What's happening?
SALAMA: You know, and Ned Price was actually just answering my question there yesterday in the briefing. And I asked him really -- and I've been pushing U.S. officials to tell us -- is this a real attempt by the Russians to show that civilians are not going to be casualties of this war. Of course, we know that they have been extremely -- that they are -- they've been targeted all over the country and so, that is not the case.
But specifically with regard to the steel plant, whether or not they are going to attempt to save whatever civilians are trapped inside, U.S. officials are very skeptical, obviously. And we saw about 100 who were freed -- allowed to escape in the -- in the past few days. But unfortunately, it's been tough going.
And, of course, access and a number of other logistical challenges are playing a part, too. The Russians seem to say that they are committed to trying to get civilians out and that they claim they are not targeting civilians. Of course, we've seen the exact opposite around the country.
But they -- the U.N. and other NGOs who have been working to try to pull off this very challenging evacuation are facing a slew of challenges because of the logistics -- because of the fact that the Russians have not been amenable to allowing them through.
All the while, U.S. officials are talking about operations that are ongoing in Eastern Europe, saying that Russia could annex parts of Eastern Europe by mid-May as part of the operation that Natasha was just talking about. And they're very concerned that this will come with a host of challenges -- everything from kidnapping local officials and forced disappearances, to forcing local populations to use the ruble instead of the Ukrainian --
SALAMA: -- currency, and the sham referendum.
And so, so many challenges right now, all around that eastern part of Ukraine in this third month of the war.
ROMANS: Yes, replacing mayors and school teachers, and teaching in Russia, and using rubles.
Thank you so much, Vivian Salama, of The Wall Street Journal. We'll talk again soon. Thank you.
All right, the most consequential abortion opinion in decades leaked from the Supreme Court. Full coverage just ahead.
ROMANS: All right.
The Suns opened their second-round playoff series by dominating the Mavericks in game one. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hi, Andy.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Christine.
So, Chris Paul had this Suns offensive just playing so well. They've shot 50% or better in all seven playoff games. It's the second-longest streak in NBA history.
And Phoenix just pouncing on Dallas from the start in this game. Devin Booker moving much better in his second game back from that hamstring injury. He scored 23. Luka Doncic had 45 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists for the Mavs but it just wasn't enough. This game was never really close.
The Suns win 121-114. Phoenix has not beaten Dallas 10 straight times.
The 76ers, meanwhile, playing without star center Joel Embiid who is out indefinitely with an orbital fracture and concussion. Tyler Herro on fire off the bench for Miami. He had 25 points. Bam Adebayo was dominating inside without Embiid around. He scored 24.
Miami wins game one easily, 106-92. Philadelphia is going to play game two tomorrow night, again without Embiid.
The NBA Playoffs continue tonight. The Celtics look to even their series with the Bucks, while the Warriors are going to seek a commanding 2-0 lead over the Grizzlies. It all gets started at 7:00 eastern on TNT.
The U.S. Olympic Committee says it's lending its support to try to get WNBA star Brittney Griner released from a Russian prison. In an interview with USA Today, writer and CNN contributor Christine Brennan -- CEO Sarah Hirshland says her organization has been working with the State Department and USA Basketball, the WNBA, and NBA to try to bring Griner home.
Griner is scheduled to have a hearing in Russian court May 19.
All right, and the NHL Playoffs are underway and it was a rough night for the 2-time defending Stanley Cup champions. The Lightning getting blown out by the Maple Leafs 5-0.
Auston Matthews, who scored 60 goals in the regular season, stayed red-hot, scoring twice and adding an assist.
It's the worst loss the defending champion has had to begin their title defense and frustrations were boiling over late in the game with several fights breaking out all over the ice. Four players were sent off with game misconduct.
Game two is tomorrow night. The Maple Leafs trying to win their first series since 2004.
And Christine, a team from Canada hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1993.
ROMANS: Wow, I didn't know that.
SCHOLES: We'll see if this is finally the year.
ROMANS: Finally the year. All right, Andy. Nice to see you. Thank you, sir.
SCHOLES: All right.
ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.