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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Mayorkas: Biden Administration's Anti-Human Smuggling Operation "Unprecedented"; U.S. Defense Secretary Austin And Chinese Counterpart Meet In Singapore; House Committee Lays Out Case Against Trump In Prime-Time Hearing. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 10, 2022 - 05:30   ET




LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: First on CNN, the Biden administration is launching an unprecedented operation to disrupt human smuggling. In an exclusive interview, Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas says the multimillion-dollar operation involves deploying hundreds of personnel throughout Latin America. This, as a caravan of up to 5,000 migrants head towards the U.S.-Mexico border.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is live in Los Angeles with more. Priscilla, you got the scoop. You got to talk to him. What did he say?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: The Homeland Security secretary made it quite clear this is an unprecedented operation to crack down on those human smuggling networks. Recall, migrants often rely on smugglers to take the dangerous journey north to the U.S.-Mexico border. And the administration has repeatedly warned against that and they are now shoring up more federal resources to crack down on those networks.

And this is an operation that is led by the Department of Homeland Security and that has already yielded some results. Some figures for you. There was 20,000 disruption actions already. That means arrests and prosecutions, seizure of property, as well as criminal investigations. Thirteen hundred personnel that have been sent throughout the Latin America region as well as, in the last two months, nearly 2,000 smugglers arrested.

Now, all of this builds on initiatives the administration has already taken but the Homeland Secretary Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas stressing how unprecedented this operation is. Take a listen.


ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: We have brought an all of government effort to attack the smuggling organizations. It's not just Homeland Security investigations. It's not just U.S. Customs and Border Protection. But we're working very carefully with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a number of agencies within the Department of Justice, and, of course, our partners in Mexico. [05:35:10]

So I think it's scale and scopes, it's tactics and strategy. It's really unprecedented.


ALVAREZ: And Laura, today at the Summit of the Americas, we're learn -- know more about the initiatives the administration is taking to stem the flow of migration to the U.S. southern border -- Laura.

JARRETT: Priscilla, thanks for being there for us.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Happening now, U.S. Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin meeting for the first time with his Chinese counterpart at a defense conference in Singapore. The meeting comes as the Biden administration grows more concerned about increasingly aggressive actions by China in the region.

CNN's Oren Liebermann traveling with Sec. Austin and joins us this morning live. What do we know about their meeting, Oren?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Christine, we just got the word a few moments ago that the meeting has officially started between Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart, Minister Wei Fenghe. It's significant because it is the first time these two have met and they've only spoken once before on the phone in late April for 45 minutes. This meeting scheduled not even will last that long -- only 30 minutes.

Senior defense officials have made it clear what they want to do is try to at least make progress towards guardrails in the U.S.-China relationship to make sure that the competition between the world's two preeminent powers doesn't lead into competition or conflict because of either a miscalculation or an escalation. The real question -- is it possible to make progress on that front, or does this just become the U.S. and China talking past each other?

The U.S. has made it clear that it views some of China's recent actions as extraordinarily unsafe and even dangerous. Take, for example, two interceptions by Chinese fighter aircraft of U.S. allies -- an Australian surveillance aircraft in the region as well as a Canadian surveillance aircraft in the region. The U.S. has said these were unsafe, even dangerous. China, meanwhile, says it was conducted in a safe and professional way.

And that's part of the issue here. When there is very little common ground it becomes difficult to make progress, but that is the goal of some of these meetings.

Of course, hanging over all of this, as it has for the course of the past three months, is Ukraine. And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to speak here tomorrow afternoon. So we'll hear what he has to say as well, and whether it's the U.S.-China dynamic that dominates these headlines or whether it is, once again, Ukraine -- Christine. ROMANS: All right, Oren Liebermann, glad you're there. Thank you so much.

JARRETT: All right, now back to our top story. The January 6 Committee presenting its opening statements last night against former President Donald Trump, offering little new evidence but clearly trying to convince the American public that Trump's actions directly inspired the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol since 1814.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief of The Daily Beast, Jackie Kucinich. Jackie, so great to have you.

You say if this was a--


JARRETT: Good morning. You say if this was a preview of what to -- of what's to come we are in for a series of important hearings. But this wasn't supposed to be a dress rehearsal, right? This was supposed to be --


JARRETT: -- the event. They had a television producer. They had said it was going to blow the roof off the house. If they only have shot with some people did they make their case?

KUCINICH: I think it depends on the person because there were some really compelling revelations last night. Things like having the president's advisers say right there on camera that they knew that there was no election fraud. That everybody knew in the president's inner circle that there was no election fraud and the fact that they went -- they went through with it anyway.

The fact that former President Trump said that protesters are in the -- excuse me, the rioters had a point when they were chanting "Hang Mike Pence."

There were just -- it was really revelation after revelation last night. You know, you had evidence that the head of the Proud Boys and the head of the Oath Keepers, these two extremist groups, were meeting in a parking garage ahead of the Capitol riots, and it was overheard that the Capitol was discussed.

So, really, it seems like it was a lot of coming attractions for sure --


KUCINICH: -- but there also was some real concrete things there.

Again, Liz Cheney saying that several sitting members of Congress were asking for pardons after January 6. Now, there weren't -- I mean, they didn't -- she didn't get into detail there but I think there is -- I mean, yes, the coming attractions though -- it seemed like they are going to eventually eclipse this.

ROMANS: So the former attorney general Bill Barr told the committee the Justice Department found no fraud sufficient to overturn the election, right?


ROMANS: Listen to Ivanka Trump's reaction to that statement.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did that affect your perspective about the election when Attorney General Barr made that statement?

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he said -- was saying.



ROMANS: Effective?

KUCINICH: Considering the place that Ivanka Trump not only had within the administration but within Trump's inner circle, it really -- it is effective and just shows the -- just how deep the deception went going into January 6 and the lie that was sown that really got -- I mean, that we saw.

A lot of those people -- we saw them on camera -- the Proud Boys saying yes, I was invited here. Several of the rioters saying we're here because President Trump told us to be here. So, just the part of not only what happened on January 6 is part of the committee's purview. We saw that they were really getting into what led up to that day.

JARRETT: Jackie, throughout the whole thing I was sort of wondering who is the intended audience for this, right? Cheney if offering --


JARRETT: -- a stark message to her fellow GOP members -- one that she has tried to make before in vain, frankly, saying there is going to come a day when Donald Trump is gone but your dishonor will remain. OK, they haven't seemed to take that to heart so far.

KUCINICH: And they haven't really had any repercussions for it politically, frankly. So it is unclear whether this is going to change any minds but it is important to have this on the historical record, frankly, that this happened and how to -- because this isn't over.

And I think that also was very much part of what the committee was saying -- that democracy still is very much in peril and it's important to understand what happened before and after that day in order to prevent something like this from happening again in the future.

JARRETT: Yes. That seems to be one of the essential links that they're going to have to make --


JARRETT: -- pretty soon -- pretty quickly. They're going to need to make the link that this is not just in the past. That this is not just the big lie of 2020. But there's an ongoing --


JARRETT: -- threat to democracy, including in midterms --


JARRETT: -- right now. The rules of the game have changed and everyone needs to wake up.

ROMANS: And the peaceful transfer of power --


ROMANS: -- is the key to our fragile democracy, you know?


ROMANS: I think they're trying to make that point.

KUCINICH: Exactly. This isn't just about blaming former President Trump.


KUCINICH: This is about -- it's bigger than that.


ROMANS: All right, nice to see you, Jackie Kucinich.

JARRETT: Thank you, Jackie.

ROMANS: Thank you for getting up early for us --

KUCINICH: Thanks, guys.

ROMANS: -- or staying up all night. Whatever you did, thank you.

KUCINICH: Thanks, guys.

JARRETT: All right.

Just ahead for you, gas prices inching ever so close to that dreaded $5 a gallon mark.

ROMANS: And you've probably seen this. Mortgage rates are rising. And guess what? Mortgage demand sinks to a two-decade low.



ROMANS: All right, just in to CNN, the price of a gallon of unleaded gas inching closer to $5. The national average now $4.99, up -- get this -- 62 cents in just a month, up almost $2 from last year.

Let's bring in Rana Foroohar, CNN global economic analyst and a columnist at the Financial Times, and author of the book "Don't Be Evil." Good morning, Rana.


ROMANS: You, too.

JARRETT: Hey, Rana, it's nice to have you.

So let's start with this unrelenting gas price rise. And just for context here for folks, think about it like this. For a typical sedan, it's going to cost you $25 more to fill up your tank than last year. You know, we talk about sort of these pennies and nickels rising each day --


JARRETT: -- but like if you think about it in terms of $25 that's a lot for people.

Should we be prepared for the prices to stay this high?

ROMANS: We lost her.

JARRETT: All right, we might have lost Rana. We'll try to get her back in a little bit.

ROMANS: That was a very grim look. I think the grim look on Rana's face --

JARRETT: Was the gas prices.

ROMANS: -- was that gas prices will remain stubbornly high. There she is. Can we expect it to stay like this?

FOROOHAR: Oh, my goodness. I'm so sorry. I don't know, maybe there's not enough gas to run the internet right now.

But I do think that prices are going to stay high, just to pick up where I left off. You know, sadly, there's just not a lot of refinery capacity right now. I mean, that gets into some of the supply chain issues that have been a problem, really for the last couple of years now. And you have a war in Europe that has cut a tremendous amount of the market. So, I think not only gas but probably food prices are going to stay high for several months if not a couple of years.

ROMANS: I'm worried about the food prices. You've heard me talk about this. I'm worried about food prices. I'm especially worried about the impact of inflation on the lowest-income Americans and also people around the world.

And the president's going to speak about inflation and those supply chain challenges today at the Port of L.A.

Now, Rana, the White House has tried to message this kind of three ways, right? Number one, that it's global problem. That everyone --


ROMANS: -- is suffering from high inflation, and that's true. And gas prices in the U.S. are lower than the rest of the industrialized world because we give so many tax breaks to big energy companies.

The other aspect that they've been trying to do is that it's greedy oil companies -- their stock buybacks. You look at their profits in the first part of this year -- whoa. I mean, he's been talking about greedy companies.

The other -- the third leg of this messaging is we've done more than any other administration and our hands are now tied. The polling shows people are consistently depressed about the economy. Can the White House break through on this?

FOROOHAR: You know, Christine, it is such a hard thing because -- you know, you and I talk about this a lot. The presidents -- not just Biden but all presidents -- they get credit for the economy --


FOROOHAR: -- but they get blamed. Sometimes they don't deserve either.

There's a lot of things happening right now, certainly globally, and they've been happening for a while. When COVID hit, the fact that countries went in and out of recovery at different periods -- it kind of threw the whole global economy off.

Again, conflict abroad. It's just going to keep prices high. There's not a lot President Biden can do about what Vladimir Putin is deciding to do or not.


He can and has used things like the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to unlock supply. Some progressives, like Ro Khanna in California, have actually called for stockpiling of things like food and fuel when they're cheap, and then for the White House to use that to smooth out cycles when prices are higher. There's a lot under debate right now. I mean, I think one thing we

could do is start to pass bills like the CHIPS Act. You know, things to just make us more competitive on the ground so that as conflicts play out, as we're in this era of volatility, we're building capacity.

ROMANS: Right.

FOROOHAR: We're enhancing our domestic supply and productivity.

I mean, frankly, I think thinking a little longer-term and not just thinking about the immediate would be a good thing.

JARRETT: You know, Rana, you've written so persuasively about the effects of globalization. And the pandemic has really kind of crystalized how we've been living sort of high on the hog in a way that sort of didn't reveal what the true underbelly of how this economy works, which has now really been exposed. And sort of the high cost of these far-flung and cheap supply chains have really come -- you know, the chickens have come home to roost on that.

FOROOHAR: Well, it's funny that you say chickens because that is -- that is one of the products that we've seen the high cost of.


FOROOHAR: Something like big food, for example. When the pandemic hit you started to see gosh, we have these really complex and, in some cases, monopolized supply chains in areas like food. We're toting cheap goods from -- all the way from the South China Sea. That takes a lot of carbon emissions.


FOROOHAR: Do we know what kind of labor standards there are?

I think we are really beginning to see. It's almost like a scrim has been pulled up --


FOROOHAR: -- on the economy, and what are the real costs of the things that we're eating and buying, and putting into our car?


JARRETT: Well, once you get used to those goods coming so quickly via your --

ROMANS: I know.

JARRETT: -- just arriving at your doorstep.

ROMANS: The high cost -

JARRETT: It's hard. ROMANS: The high cost of cheap globalization revealed by a pandemic. I don't know -- I don't know if we can -- just talking about investing in domestic production and making sure that we have the national security of some of these supply chains, too.

JARRETT: Yes, good point.

ROMANS: A lot to talk about and think long-term about -- you're right.

Rana Foroohar, thank you so much.

JARRETT: Thanks.

ROMANS: Nice to see you this morning. Have a great weekend.

FOROOHAR: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Friday morning. Looking at markets around the world, Asian shares closed mixed here. Europe has opened lower here and that's taken the mood, quite frankly, from yesterday's performance in the U.S. stock index futures right now, though, pointing to indecision this morning.

It was a bad day on Wall Street, right, ahead of today's big inflation report. The Dow tumbled nearly 2%. The S&P down 2.4%. And look at tech stocks, the biggest losers there, driving the Nasdaq down 2.8%.

May's consumer price report less than three hours away. It's a measure of how you're paying more for just about everything. The annual increase is expected to remain at 8.3%. The Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising interest rates to try to cool it. We'll see if there are any signs of peaking in this report. That's what we're going to be looking at every little random number in there.

JARRETT: You're going to nerd out this morning --

ROMANS: I will be --

JARRETT: -- so hard.

ROMANS: Join me in three hours and we'll nerd out together.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: All right. The PGA Tour is now suspending 17 of its players for participating in a Saudi-backed golf league. Coy Wire has it all covered in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Coy.


Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and five other Major champions teed up yesterday morning in LIV Golf's first-ever event outside of London. And as soon as they did, the PGA Tour released their statement and suspended the 17 PGA Tour players indefinitely.

Commissioner Jay Monahan saying that "These players made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. But they can't demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities, and platforms as you. That expectation disrespects you, our fans, and our partners."

LIV Golf called the move vindictive, saying it would deepen the divide the Tour and its members.

Mickelson, Johnson, and others are still eligible to play in the U.S. Open next week though because golf's four Majors are organized independently of the PGA Tour.

Finally, Oklahoma softball finishing one of the greatest seasons in sports history beating rival Texas 10-5 in the Women's College World Series to claim their second-straight national title.

What a moment for Jocelyn Alo, atop the all-time home runs list with 122, getting a standing ovation and hugs from her teammates as she left the field in tears one last time.


JOCELYN ALO, OKLAHOMA DESIGNATED PLAYER: I don't think anything will ever compare to that. I love this game and I'm (crying) -- sorry -- I'm sad to be walking away from it. But I'm happy that I ended on top and I'm just so blessed for this journey that God has blessed me with.


WIRE: Jocelyn Alo, Oklahoma. Congrats on going 59-3 this season and earning back-to-back titles.

ROMANS: Tears of success and joy.

JARRETT: Thanks, Coy.

ROMANS: All right, nice to see you.

WIRE: You got it.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Friday, June 10. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.

And this morning it seems clear what the January 6 Committee is trying to do -- to make the case that Donald Trump was responsible for the attack on the U.S. Capitol, that he was the central player in trying to overturn the election, and that they have the evidence to prove it. Over the next few weeks, we will see how they meet the high bar they have set for themselves.