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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Biden's Delicate Balance Between Oil And Climate; DeSantis Refuses To Preorder COVID Vaccines For Children Under 5; Warriors Cement Dynasty With 4th NBA Title In 8 Seasons. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 17, 2022 - 05:30   ET




SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): And anti-aircraft tanks to bolster Kyiv's fight for the east.

OLAF SCHOLZ, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): We also support Ukraine by supplying weapons and we will continue to do so for as long as Ukraine needs our support. We are currently training the Ukrainian military in state-of-the-art weapons.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): All voice support for Ukraine's bid to join the European Union.

MARIO DRAGHI, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The Ukrainian people defend every day the values of democracy and freedom that are the basis of the European project -- of our project. We cannot delay this process.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): A historic visit meant to mend fences in the face of growing Russian aggression.


ABDELAZIZ: Now, that support for the bid for the European Union -- that's largely symbolic Christine because it takes years if not decades for a country to ascend to the EU.

More military aid -- of course, that was welcomed by President Zelenskyy. But the other issue there is about that stranglehold -- the sanctions on Moscow. President Zelenskyy is going to continue to push these European leaders. He's going to hold their feet to the fire. He's going to want to tighten that noose on President Putin.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Salma. Thank you so much for that. Great reporting.

Just ahead, COVID vaccines for kids under 5. The state of Florida taking a unique stand.

And, can President Biden save the environment and save Americans money at the gas pump at the same time? The White House responds, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


ROMANS: So, inflation is forcing President Biden into a unique balancing act here. He's inviting oil executives to meet with his energy secretary next week to talk about high gas prices. And just a few hours from now, the president hosts a global forum on energy and climate.

CNN's Jasmine Wright joins us. Jasmine, you've got high gas prices forcing the president to do something he always said he wouldn't, like visit Saudi Arabia next month. Where does that leave his promise to wean America off of fossil fuels?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN REPORTER: Well, Christine, the White House says that they haven't backed off their pledge. That they're still working to end the reliance on fossil fuels, really aiming to hit President Biden's pledge to reduce emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030.

But the reality also is that gas is $5 a gallon, really presenting a massive political liability for the president in an area where they really can't do that much. So you've seen them trying to act -- really trying to pressure oil companies to reduce their profit margins and pump more oil, as well as releasing more oil barrels from that strategic reserve.

Now, the White House says that those two efforts, both pressuring companies to produce more gas and reducing fossil fuels, is not in conflict with each other. Take a listen.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You can do both at the same time. What we're trying to deal for -- what we're trying to deal with right now is how do we lower costs for American families. And one of the things that we are seeing currently, right now, with oil refineries is they are using this moment that there is a war in Ukraine to actually make a profit when there are steps that they can take so that we can actually lower gases -- lower gas prices for families.


WRIGHT: So, there we heard from the White House press secretary. It's clear about two things here, Christine. First, that in addition to Ukraine and, of course, Republicans, oil companies have now been added to the White House's list of who Americans should ban for these high prices.

And if you take a look at this graphic on your screen you can tell by these major oil companies they have all made increasing profits of this year. So, it's certainly -- there you go. You have Shell, Chevron, BP, Exxon. So it's certainly something that is in the White House's purview right now. And the Energy Department, as you said earlier -- they invited these companies, according to a source, to come and talk about these high gas prices -- really, after Biden sent them a letter slamming their high profits at a moment where so many Americans are struggling -- Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, and globally, we're not pumping enough oil to meet the big demand -- that post-COVID demand -- and that is a fundamental supply-demand shift. You can talk about sustainability when supplies are plentiful. When supplies aren't plentiful, all of a sudden sustainability gets the second -- the second -- the backseat while you try to find supplies. Such an interesting balance.

Thank you so much, Jasmine.

OK. So, the national psyche battered by COVID, by gun violence, political division, these gas and grocery bills. And now, the Fed's medicine for those high prices, higher interest rates, raising concerns the economy could tip into recession.

President Biden, in a new interview with the Associated Press, acknowledged that people are, quote, "really, really down." But the president stressed a recession is not inevitable and the U.S. is in "a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation."

Here is the president yesterday.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I've said many times tackling inflation is my number one priority.


ROMANS: All right, let's bring in Jackie Kucinich, CNN political analyst, and Washington bureau chief of The Daily Beast.

So, Jackie, politics is a 'what have you done for me lately' business, right, and all these polls show --


ROMANS: -- people feel like this White House hasn't done enough for them lately. It shows deep distress among the American psyche.

How do they hone this message? You heard -- you know, you just heard Jasmine talk about blaming the oil companies. There's the Putin's price hike. There's also -- it wasn't long ago they were saying we've done everything we can. We've released all this oil, and this is a global market. It's out of our control.


What is the message here? KUCINICH: Blaming corporations, blaming shipping companies. I mean, really, just trying to shift away from their -- from any sort of culpability that they have. And it's true -- this is a frustrating problem for the White House because there's only so much they can do about inflation. But a lot of their critics do blame some of the stimulus money that was pumped into the economy and whether it overheated it.

There are also -- and also they really have kind of under -- downplayed inflation. They were doing that as of last year. But I was talking to Democrats midway through last year who are up for reelection -- the more moderate members -- who were raising -- who were really raising concerns about inflation very early on in the administration and they were being told not to worry.

So, there also is a failure to kind of prepare the public for what's next here, which is why what he said about recession --


KUCINICH: -- in that Associated Press interview was so interesting.

ROMANS: Yes. I mean, he runs the risk of doing that again -- of saying a recession is not inevitable.


ROMANS: He is right, though. A recession is not inevitable. No one knows what's --

KUCINICH: Of course not -- yes.

ROMANS: -- going to happen six days, six weeks, or six months ahead here. And we won't know if there was a recession Jackie until it already happened.


ROMANS: A recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth and we don't -- we don't know that until --


ROMANS: -- it's already done.

So, what's the risk here? The same risk of calling a recession not inevitable is the same thing as saying that inflation was transitory.

KUCINICH: Well, right. And you had -- you had his own treasury secretary tell Wolf Blitzer that she underestimated how -- that's not a direct quote -- but how bad inflation was going to be. And there have been things outside of their control. For example, Russia attacking Ukraine.

But to your point, downplaying a potential recession -- the failure, potentially, to level with the American people, which is one of the reasons that's part of Joe Biden's very fiber of his being, right, is that he's just going to give it to you straight. Well, is that what's happening here?

I think there is -- there is -- there is real questions and you're hearing it throughout the administration that just keep your confidence up. Recession isn't inevitable, he has said. But there's also no preparations for what if it is in the future.

ROMANS: Are there -- I mean, this interview that he did with the Associated Press -- I mean, to make the point that there is an Abraham Lincoln painting there, there is FDR. These are other presidents who've come to -- come into power with a really terrible hand of cards to play.

Is -- are there lessons there --


ROMANS: -- for this president? Maybe an FDR-style fireside chat. Maybe, you know -- I mean, he's saying here people are really, really down and acknowledging that the American -- the national psyche is bruised here.

KUCINICH: Yes. The national psyche, sure, but they're also not really confident in his ability to handle inflation. In his ability to handle the economy.

He gave a speech last week in which he kept on -- he repeatedly referenced the hand he was played, which is totally true. It would -- there would -- things were not good when Biden came into office, economically. However, I think one of the reasons Biden was elected was to bring people together, and it's not necessarily all his fault that hasn't happened. But to return to normalcy, and that hasn't happened.

And Democrats are in charge of Washington and that is -- that's why there is --


KUCINICH: -- going to be a problem for them going into these midterms.

ROMANS: There sure is.

All right, Jackie Kucinich, CNN political analyst. Thank you. Nice to see you this morning. Have a great weekend.

KUCINICH: Nice to see you. Thank you -- you, too.

ROMANS: All right. Still ahead, Elon Musk's ambitious new goal for Twitter. But first, Florida's Ron DeSantis tells why his state stands alone when it comes to COVID shots for kids under 5.



ROMANS: All right, 49 states have now preordered COVID vaccines for children under 5. Governor Ron DeSantis is defending his decision to make Florida the only state not to. DeSantis claims the risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to vaccinating young children even though studies show he's wrong.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): There's a surplus of this. Doctors can get it. Hospitals can get it. But there's not going to be any state programs that are going to be trying to get COVID jabs to infants, and toddlers, and newborns. That's not something that we think is appropriate, and so that's not where we're going to be utilizing our resources in that regard.


ROMANS: So, Steve Contorno live for us in St. Petersburg, Florida for us this morning. Good morning, Steve.

What else is the governor saying about these vaccines?

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Christine, the governor is saying that not only is he not going to order any of these vaccines for Florida, but he is not going to help the Biden administration distribute them here.

You know, the administration has been trying to get states to sign up for 10 million vaccines that it had made available to preorder -- you know, just to get ahead of this highly anticipated decision by the CDC to give these vaccines the green light. But in Florida, it was the only state out of all 50 to say we don't want any of them.

And DeSantis said this all goes back to the state's decision to actually recommend against this vaccine for children of any age. And he said that the Department of Health believes that the risks of this outweigh the benefits. Speaking about this yesterday, he provided a little bit more details of his decision here.


DESANTIS: The state of Florida has had the recommendation from 5 and up for a while. We are the first state to do that. And now, from the 6 month to 5, the state's recommendation holds. It's a recommendation against doing it.

That's different than saying you can't. You are free to choose. That's not an issue.


CONTORNO: Now, DeSantis is saying that parents in Florida who want to get their kids vaccinated will still be able to if they go through their doctor or a hospital. But the White House is suggesting that there could be more problems for parents in Florida getting this vaccine.


And Christine, you know so many parents have been waiting for so long to get this vaccine --


CONTORNO: -- and if Florida has more trouble than other states that could be a problem.

ROMANS: That's so interesting.

All right, thank you, Steve. Nice to see you this morning.

All right. Right now, a live look in Atlanta. Big news coming to a soccer stadium near you, next.



ROMANS: Elon Musk holding his first town hall with Twitter employees since agreeing to acquire the company for $44 billion. The big question, layoffs, which Musk didn't rule out.

He says, quote, "Right now, Twitter's costs exceed the revenue, so that's not a great situation to be in. But anyone who's obviously like a significant contributor should have nothing to worry about." OK.

Musk said he wants to grow Twitter's daily active users to at least a billion people.

All right, to sports now. The Golden State Warriors cement their dynasty status after winning their fourth NBA title in eight seasons. I was asleep but Coy Wire saw this whole thing and has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Almost though -- they almost made it the whole way, Christine.

ROMANS: It was late.

WIRE: Good to see you.

A return to glory for the Warriors, right, Christine -- completing an incredible 2-year turnaround after finishing with the NBA's worst record in 2020. Now, they're the first time to win four championships in an 8-year span since Michael Jordan and the Bulls won six of them in an 8-year span back in the '90s.

Boston's Marcus Smart said before this game that they needed to impose their will on the Warriors. And they jumped out to an early lead. Jayson Tatum's son Deuce approving of pop's tre in the first putting the Celtics up 12-2. But Steph Curry and co had the fire and desire to retire those C's.

Golden State ripping off 21 unanswered points starting at the end of the first -- the longest such finals run in the last 50 years.

Warriors fans were hungry for another title and they were served up a big helping of Curry GOAT. The greatest shooter of all time dropping a game-high 34 points, earning the first finals MVP of his career.

The Warriors win 103-90. One of the greatest teams ever assembled. A ninth title for Steve Kerr as a coach and player, and a fourth for the Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green trio. They put the Celtics to sleep.


STEPH CURRY, 2022 NBA FINALS MVP: We built this for 10-11 years and that means a whole lot when you get to the stage because you know how to win. And everybody who has been a part of this knows what that's about. So, this is -- this one here's different. This one here's different for sure.

KLAY THOMPSON, 4-TIME NBA CHAMPION: I knew it was a possibility. To see it in real time, holy cannoli. This is crazy.

DRAYMOND GREEN, 4-TIME NBA CHAMPION: We did what we do. Welcome back to the Warriors' invitational, baby. It's what we do.


WIRE: And the bottles were popping in the Warriors' locker room afterward. And the celebration just getting started, Christine. The champs are going to host a parade down Market Street in downtown San Francisco Monday morning.

Now, there is one man in Boston waking up thrilled this morning. Adam Hadwin, top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Open after shooting a 4- under par in the opening round. And get this -- he wasn't even supposed to be playing. An alternate called up after Paul Casey.

The 34-year-old from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan is relishing the moment. Here he is.


ADAM HADWIN, U.S. OPEN FIRST ROUND LEADER: A 66 at a U.S. Open to take the first round lead is incredible. It's amazing. It's something I'll -- you know, nobody can ever take away from me at this point. But I've got bigger things in my mind that -- you know, there's a lot of golf left. I mean, I've been around the block a few times and I've missed cuts from this position before.

So that's why I say -- it's like I said, I've done a really good job of just one shot at a time. I've been playing some really good golf and I just need to kind of match those two and see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WIRE: Hadwin is looking at a logjam behind him. Four-time Major champ Rory McIlroy among 12 players within two shots of him entering today's second round.

Meanwhile, not-so-happy 52nd birthday for Phil Mickelson. Amid the LIV Golf controversy turned PGA Tour ban, Lefty shooting eight over par in his first sanctioned event since January, including poor putting from 10 feet out on the sixth. Phil tied for 144th place behind 11 of the 13 amateurs in the field.

And the biggest soccer tournament in history has a future home -- 16 of them to be exact. FIFA announcing the host cities for the 2026 World Cup. Eleven in the U.S., three in Mexico, two in Canada.

Fans in Kansas City pumped to see their hometown getting picked as one of the few. And check out this guy in Philly. All he can do is point and stare -- classic.

Forty-eight teams will be in the field four years from now. That's up from the 32 competing in Qatar later this year.

Christine, the 2022 World Cup starts November 21. The U.S. will be kicking off that day against Wales.

ROMANS: All right, Coy Wire. Thank you so much. Nice to see you. Have a terrific weekend --

WIRE: Happy Friday.

ROMANS: -- with your family. All right. And happy Father's Day weekend, Coy, great dad that you are.

All right, joining us -- thanks for joining us so much. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Friday, June 17. I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman.

And there are new questions this morning about Donald Trump's legal exposure in the January 6.