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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Nine Mass Shootings Occurring in the U.S. this Weekend; BlackRock CEO Fink Warns Inflation Likely to Persist for Years; Putin Warns U.S. not to Supply Ukraine with Long-Range Missiles. Aired 5- 5:30a ET

Aired June 06, 2022 - 05:00   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Good morning, everyone, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world, it is Monday, June 6, it is Monday.


JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans, we've got the first June weekend in the books --

JARRETT: It was pretty nice --

ROMANS: Beautiful weather here, so here we go. We begin with a new week and with a heartbreaking number of mass shootings across the U.S. in a single weekend. Since Friday by CNN's count, nine mass shootings from Philadelphia to Phoenix, some 246 mass shootings now in the U.S. this year according to the gun violence archive.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Sunday morning, two people were shot and killed and at least 14 others wounded near a downtown night club.


MAYOR TIM KELLY, CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE: I'm tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and bodies as if there are families whose lives have been shattered forever because once again, we had people deciding to resolve their issues with firearms.


ROMANS: Another shooting overnight at a bar, this one in Mesa, Arizona. That left two people dead and two more injured.

JARRETT: Saturday night, at least, three people were killed and 11 others injured in a shooting in Philadelphia. Police say several gun men fired into a crowd there.


devastated, devastated by this incident. And we mourn the lives lost and the dozens and dozens of lives affected by this tragedy.


JARRETT: That's not all. A drive-by shooting at a graduation party in South Carolina left one woman dead and eight people injured, including a child. Police say they've recovered about 60 shell casings from the scene so far, and the death toll continues to grow. One person killed and eight wounded at a strip mall shooting early Saturday morning in Phoenix.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A group of people that just started running like every different direction, and I myself was like hiding behind cars because the shots kept getting closer and closer.


JARRETT: Police say the victim in the Phoenix shooting was a 14-year- old girl.

ROMANS: All right, on Capitol Hill, a bipartisan deal on gun reform is beginning to look possible, both sides expressing cautious optimism as talks progress.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I've never been part of negotiations as serious as these. There are more Republicans at the table talking about changing our gun laws and investing in mental health than at any time since Sandy Hook. Now, I've also been part of many failed negotiations in the past, so I am so reminded about our chances.

SEN. PATRICK TOOMEY (R-PA): I think there is a place to land that's consistent with the Second Amendment as I've been advocating for expanding background checks. By the way, I think encouraging states to have some kind of red flag laws could make sense as long as there is adequate due process. I think there are school safety provisions, there are mental health issues that we could address.


ROMANS: Senator Murphy says laws enacted in Florida after the mass shooting at Parkland high might be the right template for a Senate agreement. It also includes mental health investment and money for school safety.

JARRETT: Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is in Uvalde, Texas, today. Mayorkas has praised border patrol's response to that shooting at Robb Elementary School that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers. An agent with border patrol's tactical team is believed to have been the one that actually shot and killed that gunman. Meantime, two services will be held today for the victims there, a

funeral this morning for 9-year-old Eliahna Amyah Garcia and a visitation for 10-year-old Xavier Lopez this afternoon.

ROMANS: Right, a new inflation alarm from Wall Street, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink telling "Bloomberg News" he expects prices to keep rising for several years mainly because of kinks in the global supply chain.


LARRY FINK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, BLACKROCK: Now, there's greater recognition that inflation is not transitory. It is probably with us for a number of years. And it's the type of inflation that I don't believe the Federal Reserve has the policy or the tools to do much with it right now, and I'm personally not blaming the Federal Reserve for where they -- for where we are right now. But I believe most of the problems we're living with today are more policy-generated and supply-generated.


ROMANS: Fink says demand, right, has shot back up to where it was before the pandemic, creating shocks to the supply chain. That means supply can't meet demand and prices go up. And the Fed is the official inflation fighter.

JARRETT: Right --

ROMANS: And he's right about that, but he says the Fed doesn't have all the tools to fix, for example, a global supply chain that has just been wrecked by COVID lockdowns and huge demand requests.


So it's -- he's the second or third CEO I've heard, a big investment person I've heard saying, you know, this is going to be something we're going to have to deal with. We heard Jamie Dimon last week talking about a hurricane on the horizon. So, just another warning there from a big Wall Street --

JARRETT: But to say for years is sort of --

ROMANS: Yes --

JARRETT: An ominous --

ROMANS: All clear --

JARRETT: Reality.

ROMANS: For decades, we had negligible inflation. Now we're going to have to deal with an environment of rising prices, that's what he's saying.

JARRETT: Well, meantime, two of President Biden's cabinet heads are publicly defending their boss on this subject, rejecting the idea that the American rescue plan contributed to inflation. CNN's Jasmine Wright is live in Washington D.C. this morning. Jasmine, what exactly are Pete Buttigieg and Gina Raimondo saying?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, there are mounting of fierce defense not only for President Biden, but for that $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed back in March 2021, that was meant to help suffering Americans and suffering small businesses after that year-long lockdown pandemic, all of that kind of stuff messed up the businesses.

So that was what it was meant to do. But it comes really as this administration is preparing to try to stave off any losses that are predicted that they could expect to have in the midterms, really trying to really bring up the president's poll numbers, but that's going to be difficult in light of these high prices.

We just know recently, had an "ABC" poll where it showed that 71 percent of Americans disapprove of inflation and gas prices, and the way that the president is handling it. So that is a really tough poll for this administration, and as it comes to really trying to navigate the high prices, and that comes with navigating not only policy, but also navigating messaging which is where you see that defense come in from Biden officials yesterday. Take a listen.


GINA RAIMONDO, SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, UNITED STATES: I shudder to think, Jake, what we'd be living through right now if we didn't have the American rescue plan. Remember, that was the money for vaccinations which actually allowed us to get everybody back to work. That was the money for emergency rental relief.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION, UNITED STATES: And the fact that unemployment is as low as it is right now would not have happened, I believe, if it were not for the actions that the president took, and the actions that Congress did move through and pass, like the rescue plan, and what we're increasingly going to see the benefits of, this infrastructure law.


WRIGHT: So the Commerce Secretary also in that interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, had said that the administration was looking at different things including possibly removing some tariffs that former President Trump put in place to punish China, really trying to get some of that logjam breaking down in the supply chain, as well as we know that the Federal Reserve is considering a couple different options here.

But the White House continues to say that this issue is top of mind for them as Americans pay more at the pump, at the grocery store, and you can continue to name more places where those prices remain very high. Laura?

JARRETT: All right, Jasmine, thank you.

ROMANS: And we just have a brand-new update from the gas pump. Prices there hitting another record this morning. AAA says today's national average for a gallon of regular, $4.87, look at that, that's up 25 cents from a week ago. California as usual has the highest price at $6.34 a gallon, blame the start of the Summer travel season, which is raising demand, while supplies are tight, of course, on top of volatile crude oil prices.

And of course, the Russian invasion, prices up some 30 percent since the Russian invasion into Ukraine. And so that is adding just a real significant press point here on gas prices and in the markets --

JARRETT: Which it doesn't seem to be ending any time soon --

ROMANS: No, again, we go back to this is --


ROMANS: Something that could be longer term.

JARRETT: Just ahead for you, why British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be forced to quit in a matter of hours.

ROMANS: Plus, why police say the gunman who killed a retired judge didn't plan to stop there.

JARRETT: And the small change in the new "Top Gun" movie that could be a big deal in China.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are not my friend.




JARRETT: Now, to the war in Ukraine. Multiple explosions in Kyiv from a missile attack on some type of rail infrastructure. A CNN journalist captured this video, a thick column of smoke rising after the first Russian strikes on the Ukrainian capital in weeks now. CNN's Ben Wedeman is on the ground for us in Ukraine. Ben, good morning. What are you learning about these latest strikes?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we understand it was a railway carriage repair plant that was hit early Sunday morning. Now, the Russians claim that they hit military equipment and, in fact, Ukrainian officials concede that two targets were hit, one civilian, one military.

Now, journalists were taken to that railway carriage repair plant. They saw no evidence of military equipment there, but British officials are saying that essentially the Russians at this point are doing their best, and this may be part of that effort to disrupt the supply of western weapons to Ukraine. And in fact, President Vladimir Putin of Russia has said that Russia

will expand its list of targets, hitting things it hasn't hit before, if the West carries out with its pledge to provide advance long-range missiles and artillery to the Ukrainian military.

And of course, we know that, for instance, in addition to the United States pledging to supply such weapons, today, the United Kingdom has come out and said that they will supply Ukraine with weapons, long- range artillery systems. This is to counter the numerical superiority enjoyed by Russian forces, especially in this part of the country.


Now, we haven't reached anywhere near the front line at this point, but what we've seen in recent weeks is the Russians are using their advantage in the number of artillery pieces just to pound cities like Severodonetsk into dust to try to actually gain more ground.

JARRETT: All right, Ben, thank you for staying on top of that one for us, appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening to strike new targets if United States supplies long-range missiles to Ukraine. Putin says arming the Ukrainians with new weapons will only drag out the conflict. Clare Sebastian has the latest from London. He's trying to draw these red lines about where he's going to go, and a reminder, he started this by invading his neighbor in the first place. Now, he wants to put limits on how the western allies can help Ukraine.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christine, I think that is worth reminding. And actually, you know, we don't know what President Putin means by new targets when he threatens. He's made threats that sound quite similar to this throughout this conflict. I mean, the context being that Russia is struggling to both make and hold onto gains despite the numerical superiority as Ben noted, given its artillery power in the east of Ukraine.

So this threat was notable. He sort of in one breath dismissed it, saying, all those fuss around weapons, and in the same breath said, you know, we would retaliate if this happens. Perhaps also, he's being purposefully unpredictable, you know, trying to stoke fear by making a threat that the West struggles to interpret. We know that in the West, there is a school of thought that perhaps Russia should be in some way appeased.

And French President Emmanuel Macron had said that, you know, you shouldn't humiliate Russia as we try to sort of -- CNN did this conflict, there should be an exit ramp for Russia. So, and that says perhaps in Russia's interest to make this kind of threat and sort of use it as a deterrent in the West against sort of provoking them further.

ROMANS: You know, classic, I know you are -- what am I? Putin is also blaming the West for a growing energy and food supply crisis that is a direct result of an invasion into America's bread basket. What's he saying?

SEBASTIAN: Yes, so this was in an interview, Christine, that aired on Russian state TV, the comments were actually made on Friday, but aired on Sunday. He said this before that Russia likes to take the accusations that are leveled against them and sort of turn them back on the accusers. He's blamed Ukraine for the food crisis and the energy crisis in the world. He blames the West for it, but he went further this time.

He actually said that the U.S. has helped, you know, fuel inflation by its post-pandemic economic policy, injecting too much stimulus, too much money into the economy which has pushed up food prices. He also accused the West of short-sightedness in the energy markets, not agreeing to long-term natural gas contracts, you know, cutting off gas contracts now, not investing enough in energy.

Not to mention, of course, the fact that Russia has actually already cut off the gas to at least six European countries, not mentioning of course, the Russian blockade of the Black Sea that continues to thwart grain exports. Not mentioning the fact that Russia continues to hit grain storage facilities in Ukraine.

ROMANS: And by many accounts also stealing grain that's headed to market. All right, nice to see you, Clare Sebastian, thank you so much, keep us posted.

JARRETT: A combined show of force by the U.S. and South Korea, two countries launching eight ballistic missiles into the sea after North Korea did the same on Sunday. CNN's Ivan Watson is monitoring the latest developments from Hong Kong on this. Ivan, is this situation escalating? Is it different in some way?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's evolving. I mean, there are no direct negotiations. There's no dialogue that we know of between the Biden administration and the North Korean regime, nor between Pyongyang and the newly elected South Korean government. And in the absence of that kind of communication, we're seeing both sides find a new language to send signals, and that seems to be through the launch of missiles.

So you had what the U.S. and South Korea announced this morning before dawn, was the firing of a salvo of eight missiles that landed in the sea east of the Korean peninsula. They even put out video of these launches. And these took place less than 24 hours after North Korea fired their own salvo of eight short-range ballistic missiles from four different locations in North Korea. The South Koreans saying, look, we can respond quickly if need be.

We're also hearing that the U.S. was conducting a joint activity with another east Asian military partner, that's Japan, that hours after North Korea's launch on Sunday, they conducted what they're describing as a bilateral ballistic missile defense exercise. So we're seeing probably a slightly more muscular, robust military response coming from the Biden administration and its east Asian allies than we've seen probably in previous years.


The uptick of North Korean missile launches, this is the 17th launch this year. It is picking up this year, but take a long view over the last ten years, and you'll see that North Korea's launching activities, missile launch activities kind of ebb and flow year after year. In fact, the biggest peak was in 2019. That's when then President Donald Trump was meeting face-to-face with the North Korean dictator.

All of these missile launches, I might add, are banned according to United Nations Security Council resolutions.

JARRETT: All right --

WATSON: Back to you.

JARRETT: Ivan, great reporting, thank you so much.

ROMANS: All right, to the U.K. now where this morning, Boris Johnson's hold on power may be in jeopardy. Britain's prime minister faces a vote of confidence this afternoon after more than 15 percent of Conservative Party lawmakers said they want one. CNN's Nada Bashir joins us live from 10 Downing Street there. Nada, how did we get here? What happens if Johnson's party votes no confidence?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, Christine, it's only just gone 10:00 a.m. here in London, and it's already been an extremely busy morning for the government and, of course, for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and that vote of confidence in his leadership has now been triggered. It would take 54 letters from MPs, we do understand now that, that threshold has been reached, and there will be a vote later this evening in London for a vote of confidence in the prime minister.

That vote set to take place between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. here In London, that's at 3:00 p.m. Eastern in the States. And clearly, there is a growing concern over the prime minister's position at this stage. There has been growing rebellion over the last few weeks, of course, around the party-gate scandal, a significant discontent not only within members of the public, but significantly within his own conservative MPs.

We saw the metropolitan police investigation where he was issued one fine, we then saw the parliamentary, the cabinet office inquiry. That Sue Gray report which came out just a little over a week ago, really detailing the extent of these parties and social gatherings which took place not only at Downing Street, but at other government buildings.

We saw several photos of the prime minister himself taking part in those parties in those gatherings during a time when the country was either under lockdown or under strict COVID-19 regulations. Many families separated, of course, many lost loved ones. So there has been growing discontent around the prime minister and his leadership. We saw him booed by spectators at the jubilee over the weekend.

So there is concern, but we have to wait and see tonight, this evening what happens with this vote of confidence. We do expect an announcement shortly afterwards. The details of that are still to be confirmed by the 1922 Committee. Christine?

ROMANS: All right, we know you'll be following it very closely for us. Thank you, Nada. All right, later today, it will cost you less, Laura Jarrett, to own a piece of Amazon should you want to. But that doesn't mean it will be cheaper. We're going to explain.

JARRETT: But first, the man police say gunned down a retired judge, we have more on his disturbing hit-list next.



ROMANS: All right. New details this morning on the gunman who police say killed a retired Wisconsin judge. We're learning the suspect has an extensive criminal history and had a hit-list of high-profile targets. We get more from CNN's Nadia Romero in Wisconsin.


JOSH KAUL, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL: This incident appears to be a targeted act.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some political leaders across the country targets on a hit-list. And a former Wisconsin County Circuit court judge dead. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers reacting to the death of John Roemer.

GOV. TONY EVERS (D-WI): Somebody that applauded his life or a good share of his life being a jurist in the state in rural Wisconsin, and that's hard work. To be -- to be targeted like that, it makes me frankly sick to my stomach.

ROMERO: Authorities say they were called to Roemer's home early Friday morning.

KAUL: The Juneau County Sheriff's office received a call notifying law enforcement of an armed person and two shots fired in a township of New Lisbon.

ROMERO: After failed negotiations with the suspect in this house, about 80 miles northwest of Madison, the Juneau County special tactics and response team entered the home to find former Judge John Roemer dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would estimate between Juneau County Sheriff's Office and local agencies and state patrol, we probably had approximately 30 officers out there.

ROMERO: The suspect, 56-year-old Douglas Uhde in critical condition after self-inflicted wound in the basement. According to authorities, Judge Roemer wasn't the suspect's only target.

KAUL: The individual who is the suspect appears to have had other targets as well that appears to be related to the judicial system. ROMERO: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Senate Majority leader Mitch

McConnell and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer among those targeted, sources tell CNN.

KAUL: We've been in contact with the individuals who were identified as potentially being targets.

ROMERO: Governor Whitmer's office releasing this statement reading in part, "Governor Whitmer has demonstrated repeatedly that she is tough and she will not be bullied or intimidated from doing her job." Authorities say the targeting was based on some sort of court cases, but law enforcement remain tight-lipped on many details regarding the suspect's motive and possible connection to the judge and others targeted.

KAUL: This is an ongoing investigation, so we can't go into it further at this point.

ROMERO: Nadia Romero, CNN, New Lisbon, Wisconsin.


JARRETT: Nadia, thank you for that. Disturbing new evidence is expected to be revealed by the January 6 Committee as the panel kicks off its first set of public hearings this Thursday.


REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): I mean, the American people are going to learn facts about the planning and execution of this that will be very disturbing.