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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Evidence Against Trump Mounts During Emotional 4th Hearing; Miami Plane Fire Triggered By Landing Gear Collapse, 3 Injured; IRS Expects To Finish Processing 2021 Tax Returns Backlog This Week. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 22, 2022 - 05:30   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: We've got some word about last year's tax returns.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: First, passengers run for their lives from this plane on fire.



REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I would urge all of those watching today to focus on the evidence the committee will present. Don't be distracted by politics. This is serious. We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.



JARRETT: A compelling day of testimony on Capitol Hill as the January 6 Committee directly linked former President Trump to pressure campaigns, fake electors, and threats lobbied at state officials all in the interest of overturning the 2020 election.

Now, as more evidence comes to light, one of the big questions right now is what if anything will the Justice Department do with all of this evidence?

Here to help me break it all down is CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers. Jennifer, good morning. Of all the testimony that we have heard so far, what do you think has been the most impactful?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR (via Webex by Cisco): Well, certainly, I think testimony before yesterday's testimony -- I think that some of the earlier hearings had more impact in terms of potential criminality that DOJ is listening to.

But yesterday had some good nuggets, too. I think it's a little different because DOJ is already investigating the fraudulent slates of electors. But we got some good tidbits about comments by Rudy Giuliani, for example, that I think DOJ may already know but certainly, they'll be paying attention to if not.

JARRETT: So, part of what the committee did yesterday was to try to tie the former president directly to this plot to put forward the fake slates of electors. And we heard from Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the RNC, who confirmed this. Take a listen to this and then I want your thoughts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the president say when he called you?

RONNA ROMNEY MCDANIEL, CHAIRWOMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Essentially, he turned the call over to Mr. Eastman who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing changed the result of any of the states. I think more, just helping them reach out -- some of them. But the -- my understanding is the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them in that -- in that role.


JARRETT: So Trump calls her. He passes the phone to Eastman, the architect of this whole scheme. Put your prosecutor hat on. What does DOJ do with that?

RODGERS: Well, it's interesting because this is the first time that we've known publicly that the former president was personally involved in this fraudulent slate of electors scheme. Previously, it had seemed to be more in Rudy Giuliani's camp, and John Eastman, and some of the others.

The problem is from the clip that we've heard we don't really know how much he knew about the plan. I mean, McDaniel calls it contingent slates of electors in case the results are changed through the legal challenges. So, we'd really want to know more, and I'm sure DOJ is digging into that. But because it's the first link of Trump with this particular part of this multipronged plot, I think it's important for that reason and I'm sure they're looking hard at it.

JARRETT: Yes, I'm sure they are as well.

Jennifer Rodgers, thank you, as always, for getting up with us -- appreciate it.

RODGERS: Thanks.

ROMANS: All right. Frightening moments for passengers on this Red Air flight after the landing gear collapsed as the plane touched down -- this is Miami International Airport Tuesday -- sparking a fire.


ERIKA BENITEZ, SPOKESPERSON, MIAMI-DADE FIRE AND RESCUE: When our fire crews arrived they saw the wing of the aircraft was on fire. They quickly began working on putting out the fire utilizing specialized foam trucks.


ROMANS: One hundred twenty-six people aboard that plane from the Dominican Republic. Three were injured.

JARRETT: Just ahead, the Ivy League school that is ditching student loans.

ROMANS: And the secret message, maybe, about your job in Beyonce's new single.







BEYONCE: Singing "Break My Soul."


ROMANS: All right, that's Beyonce's just-released single "Break My Soul," and it didn't take long for fans to dub it the unofficial anthem for the Great Resignation. So many of you quitting your jobs, getting new jobs, putting yourself first for the first time in a long time.

Let's bring in CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas. Chloe, Americans quitting their jobs in record numbers. We've seen all these people that were like you know what, forget it -- four million or more every month. Pandemic burnout a big factor, but apparently you don't have to tell Beyonce that.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Beyonce's like put in your 2-weeks' notice now and live your life to the fullest. She's always ahead of the curve.

I think that we need to start the morning with some more of that song.


MELAS: Let's listen to a little bit more.


BEYONCE: Singing "Break My Soul."

And I just quit my job I'm gonna find new drive Damn they work me so damn hard Work by nine Then off past five And they work my nerves


ROMANS: Oh my gosh, every hiring manager across the country is like no. There's a war for challenge. I need these workers.

MELAS: So, I mean, look, there is irony here, OK, because Beyonce herself -- she's obviously working herself and putting out music. She's worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But this is a sign of the times, right, where people are finally living their lives to the fullest. They were inspired by the pandemic, essentially sort of losing two years of our lives. And people saying I don't want to do a job that I'm not completely in love with. I want to live my true self and maybe go explore that side hustle.

And so, the memes have abounded in the wake of this song coming out.

JARRETT: Of course.

MELAS: And this is --

JARRETT: I mean, anytime a Beyonce album drops it's an event, right? Like, and it's --

MELAS: It is. Well, because see, her new album -- her seventh studio album is due out July 29 --


MELAS: -- so this is the first song -- the first taste of new music. But, of course, it has deeper meaning, right? The Great Resignation --


MELAS: -- perhaps.

So let's go through some of these memes.

ROMANS: What are people saying?

MELAS: OK. So, one of them is saying "Beyonce's 'Break My Soul' identified as a source of the Great Resignation."


"Me sending my resignation e-mail because Beyonce told me to." OK?

So like you said, those hiring managers out there --

JARRETT: Blame it on the Beyonce excuse. MELAS: Right.

ROMANS: Hit send. Oh, that's an old computer.

MELAS: I love that. I know.

ROMANS: Look how old that computer is.

MELAS: I think we all had that computer.

So this one -- "Beyonce mentions quitting her job in her new song. Truly #JOLTS' time in the spotlight."

ROMANS: Oh my God, that's jobs over labor turnover survey.


ROMANS: I can't remember exactly what it means but it's a nerd and dirty reference.

MELAS: Look -- I mean, the thing is that Beyonce -- I feel like she's such a trendsetter and I feel like she's always really talking about things that have a deeper meaning. She doesn't just put out a song or a dance anthem, or a song for sort of like no purpose. So this does have a deeper meaning.

And like you guys were saying, the people who are leaving their jobs are in record numbers. And I think that she is just speaking to this moment in time where people really are starting to, like, live their lives in their true purpose.

And, you know, it'll be interesting to see what other songs are on the album. What other deeper meanings -- Easter eggs we're going to be finding on July 29.

And also, she says that this is act one, so we're going to be also getting perhaps a second album. So fans' minds are exploding. The album is called "Act 1 Renaissance." So perhaps we're going to get an Act 2.

But, no. Look, I --

ROMANS: Beyonce as -- Beyonce as --

JARRETT: We needed this. Deeper meanings aside --

MELAS: I will come back to you in a week and let you know if the numbers have spiked --


MELAS: -- and if more people --

ROMANS: Beyonce as a labor economist. I am all for that.

JARRETT: Chloe, thank you. ROMANS: And JOLTS is Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. I got it all messed up.

MELAS: Hashtag -- #JOLTS.

JARRETT: Thank you, Chloe.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Chloe.

JARRETT: Appreciate it.

All right, now to something very different. The White House unveiling a plan to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. A new FDA rule would establish a ceiling for nicotine levels in cigarettes and other tobacco products. The goal is to make it easier for smokers to quit and to help prevent young people from starting smoking in the first place.

Now, this isn't going to happen overnight. The new FDA standard isn't expected until May of 2023 and it could take years to enact after that.

All right -- also this. Bill Cosby has been found liable in a civil case for sexually assaulting a woman in 1975 when she was a teenager. A Los Angeles jury found in favor of Judy Huth, who had testified that Cosby invited her and a friend to the Playboy Mansion when she was just 16 years old and sexually assaulted her.

The comedian was ordered to pay $500,000 in damages. Cosby was not present for the trial or the verdict. His lawyers say they plan to appeal.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Wednesday morning.

A look at markets around the world, Asia is closed, and closed lower. Europe has opened down. And on Wall Street, stock index futures are leaning down here this morning as well.

Look, yesterday's stocks roared back from a bruising week. The Dow up 641 points. Investors heartened by a dip, I guess, in oil prices and other commodities, hoping -- investors are -- that the Federal Reserve's actions to rein in inflation won't cause a near-term recession. But as you can see day-by-day, they are reassessing that and it is rocky there.

The IRS is so backed up that a backlog of 2021 tax returns will finally be fully processed this week, but more than twice as many returns filed in 2022 still need to be dealt with. The IRS began the calendar year with about eight million unprocessed individual returns left over from 2021. To work through the pandemic backlog, IRS employees have logged 500,000 hours of overtime so far this year.

All right. Dartmouth College is eliminating student loans for undergraduates and replacing them with expanded scholarship grants. It's part of the "Call to Lead" campaign at the Ivy League school. Dartmouth's class of 2022 will be the first to enter the school benefiting from the program.

Dartmouth previously eliminated loan requirements for undergrads from families with an annual income of $125,000 or less. This will not be extended to families making more than $125,000. So, some relief if you can get in. You've got to get in first.

JARRETT: Very interesting.

All right, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has reported settled 20 sexual misconduct cases against him. Four others still remain.

Carolyn Manno is here with more in the Bleacher Report.

ROMANS: Good morning, Carolyn.

JARRETT: The claims here are really disturbing.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are. And back in March, he said his intention was not to settle. He's maintained his innocence throughout the duration of this.

All 24 of these civil suits that are against him were filed by women that are accusing him of inappropriate behavior during massage sessions.

And the attorney representing all of the accusers, Tony Buzbee, isn't providing any details right now on the terms of all of these settlements. Buzbee says a lawsuit filed by Watson's first accuser, Ashley Solis, and the three other women will be tried in due course, who haven't settled so far.

CNN still waiting for comment from Watson's attorney on this. The NFL quarterback didn't play at all last year while the suits were pending. The Texans traded Watson to the Browns in March with Cleveland signing him to a fully guaranteed 5-year, $230 million contract after the first of two grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges.


Still under investigation by the NFL, by the way. So that means that the league could suspend him if it finds that he violated the league's personal conduct policy. In a statement, the NFL told CNN that this latest development with these settlements has no impact on the collective bargaining disciplinary process there. So they're still going through that process.

Meantime, Brooks Koepka is the latest big name reportedly set to leave the PGA Tour and join the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. An official announcement is expected in the next few days.

The 4-time Major winner and former world number one expected to compete alongside Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau -- excuse me, Bryson DeChambeau, Abraham Ancer in the first LIV Golf event in the United States starting a week from tomorrow in Portland, Oregon. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan met with players yesterday at the

Travelers Championship and reportedly unveiled some plans here to revamp the schedule and increase prize purses in response to what we're seeing with LIV. It's making a splash in pro golf, that's for sure.

Serena Williams back on the court yesterday playing her first competitive tennis match in nearly a year. The 40-year-old teaming up with world number three Ons Jabeur and serving up a win in a thrilling doubles match at a Wimbledon tune-up tournament.

So, Serena hadn't played since injuring her leg at Wimbledon last June. She admitted at one point that she did have doubts about whether she would ever play again. But right now, she says her body feels great. She has a wildcard for Wimbledon and that is set to begin on Monday.

Gronk is calling it a career again. After 11 years and four Super Bowl wins, Rob Gronkowski says he's retiring for good. It's the second time that he's hanging up the cleats -- the first time, back in 2018.

But his bud Tom Brady convinced him to come back a year later and join him in Tampa, and that certainly worked out. They won another Super Bowl together in 2020.

Gronk's agent told ESPN he wouldn't be surprised if Brady called Gronk up again at some point this year and tried to convince the comeback one more time. And then Brady responded by tweeting a picture of a guy holding his phone.

Lastly, for you, I want to preface this, guys, by saying that this is not a slow news day, OK, by any stretch. But have you seen this viral video? This is apparently called a pan-slapping contest. So this has been described by some as the reason why women do, in fact, live longer than men, OK?

This is an undated video at what seems to be a Renaissance fair. We don't know why. We don't know when. Two knights sitting on a plank with helmets and a skillet until one of them falls off.

So this has gotten more than two million views. I don't know the genesis of this.

JARRETT: Unless you're being punked.

MANNO: I don't know. If one guy says hey, I've got a great idea and then convinces the other guy to do it. There's a lot that we need to flush out with this story. We'll be working it all morning.

ROMANS: Hashtag something a woman would never do. Is that what we're saying?


ROMANS: Hashtag the reason why women are smarter than men. I don't know. We're all women here. JARRETT: The ear damage alone.

MANNO: Yes, it's disturbing. What can I say?

ROMANS: Oh my God.


All right, Carolyn Manno. Thank you so much for that. Nice to see you this morning.

JARRETT: Never boring.


JARRETT: All right. For more than 15 years, CNN Heroes has been honoring everyday people changing the world. This weekend, the focus will be on some not-so-everyday people making a real difference.

CNN's Don Lemon spoke with chef and global humanitarian Jose Andres, founder of the disaster relief nonprofit World Central Kitchen, and featured in a new film.


JOSE ANDRES, CHEF, HUMANITARIAN, FOUNDER OF WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: My challenge is how we can keep nimble as we grow but still keeping the spirit of being fast.

We've been, in the last few days alone, in Bangladesh. We've been in (INAUDIBLE). We've been, unfortunately, at the shootings in Buffalo and Texas.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, "DON LEMON TONIGHT" (voice-over): Andres' incredible drive and resilience is captured in a new documentary aptly called "We Feed People" directed by Ron Howard.

RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR, "WE FEED PEOPLE": And I was fascinated by how he instigated this amazing program and in a short period of time grew it into something so substantial and so meaningful.


JARRETT: You can learn more about Chef Andres' incredible relief efforts along with those of Sean Penn, Glenn Close, Mila Kunis, and others on the premiere of "CNN HEROES SALUTES". It all starts this Saturday at 10:00 eastern here --



ROMANS: So nice to see people using their talents and their platforms --

JARRETT: And their platform. ROMANS: -- to do better.


ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: Have a great day, everyone. I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.