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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Cheney: January 6 Committee May Make Multiple Criminal Referrals, Including Trump; In China, Brutal Assault Reopens Debate On Gender-Based Violence; Thousands in Sydney, Australia Evacuated After Days Of Relentless Rainfall. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 04, 2022 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. January 6 committee vice chair Liz Cheney says their investigation could produce multiple criminal referrals to the Justice Department, including one for former President Trump.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: So, the committee will or will not make a criminal referral?

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We'll make a decision as a committee about it.

KARL: It's possible there will be a criminal referral --


KARL: -- which would be, effectively, the committee saying that he should be prosecuted --

CHENEY: I mean --

KARL: -- and this is the evidence that we have uncovered?

CHENEY: The Justice Department doesn't have to wait for the committee to make a criminal referral. And there could be more than one criminal referral.


ROMANS: All right, let's bring in April Ryan, CNN political analyst, and a White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for TheGrio. So nice to see you here this morning. Happy Fourth.


ROMANS: All right, April.

Listen to what Adam Kinzinger told our Dana Bash on Sunday.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR: Congressman, since Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony have new witnesses come forward to want to speak up?

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Yes. Again, I don't want to get into who or any of those details but -- and it's not even just Cassidy. And by the way, she's been inspiring for a lot of people. It's -- this happens every day. Every day we get new people that come forward and say hey, I didn't think maybe this piece of a story that I knew was important but now that you guys are -- like, I do see this plays in here.


ROMANS: Do you think we're going to hear some new voices here as the days go forward?

RYAN: You know, I'm here in New Orleans just finishing up the Essence Festival and many of the administration officials, including people from Capitol Hill and some people who are very close to the January select committee hearings, were here. And according to sources, we're hearing that there could be new hearings July 12 and 14. That's what we're hearing.

And not only that, this committee has been very stealth and very strategic in their move in bringing the American public to watch all the specifics that they are getting -- the testimony. They are bringing everyone along. So if there are there referrals that are high-level, the American public has buy-in. They've seen --

ROMANS: Right.

RYAN: -- this unfold, so it won't be as shocking.

So this continues to unfold and we're going to wait and see what happens on July 12 and 14.

ROMANS: Interesting. They --

RYAN: The next step.


We have this new CNN reporting, April, that shows Donald Trump is weighing his options on when -- the timing of announcing a 2024 run. Do you think he's trying to announce before a potential criminal referral?

RYAN: All of this is colliding and we don't know, at this point, if there will be a criminal referral on Donald John Trump, the former President of the United States, but it doesn't look so good for him. But in the meantime, we have to remember this. Even if he were to announce, this president has been named mightily by various persons who took an oath to tell the truth about what they know about January 6.

This diminishes his standing for those who are independent -- those who are critical thinkers. But you also will have that diehard base that still wants him to run. Those who supported January 6. Those who support everything he does and not necessarily looking at governance. The fact that he has broken the rule of law, the fact that he's been impeached twice -- there is a segment of society that still believes in him. But there are other people who are saying something is wrong.

And we have to remember former President Trump's poll numbers have dropped to about 50%. I mean, he was as high as the upper 80s and 90s at one point and now he's at 50%. His star has tarnished a bit. His, I guess, efforts in being presidential has tarnished.


RYAN: We'll just have to see how this plays out.

ROMANS: You know, Liz Cheney -- you're talking about the Republican Party. You know, Liz Cheney not ruling out a 2024 run. And she says she hasn't made her decision yet, April, but she says the party -- the Republican Party will not survive with Trump as the nominee. She's trying to appeal to the sanctity of the GOP, not that -- not that wing of the party you were talking about that is still diehard loyal to Trump.

RYAN: You have to remember she's her dad's party -- Dick Cheney's party. You know, old diehard Republicans who believe in Reagan Republicanism, who believe in something totally different than this shock and awe that Donald Trump just in his being would give.


She has now endeared many Independents and many Democrats. So we'll see if she does decide to throw her hat in the ring, which will be a very tough decision for her especially as the party has turned against her. But she does have the support of her father who in some circles is still --


RYAN: -- very fond of that party. So we'll just have -- we have to see on all sides -- Donald Trump, Liz Cheney. I mean, you cannot make this up, can you?

ROMANS: It is fascinating.

You know, it's the Fourth of July --

RYAN: It is.

ROMANS: -- holiday and this is a day, April, that's supposed to be focused on patriotism, right? And I'm struck by this Gallup poll that shows only 38% of Americans are extremely proud of their country.

I wonder what your feelings are about, kind of, the mood of Americans on Independence Day. I mean, we're in a really remarkable place here right now.

RYAN: We're in a remarkable place but not for good reasons. And as you know, you watch money. You watch the economics of it all -- inflation. You know, people can't go to the grocery store and feel good about buying bacon --


RYAN: -- buying meat, buying bread. Finding formula for babies.

And also, we're hearing that women and feminine products are now up in the air again. And then we --

ROMANS: It's one thing after the other. It's one thing after the other here, right?

RYAN: It is a domino effect.

And people are concerned, particularly in this moment. You've got airlines canceling flights. You've got people trying to figure out can I get to work? Gas prices are high. Housing costs are high. Lumber is high.

Everything is high and people are looking for a break. And when the pocketbook is hit, as you know, politics is personal. And if people feel that they don't have enough to go around --


RYAN: -- the mood, the attitude, the approval ratings will not be high at all.

And we are in a moment -- and it's not just about the Russian war. That is a large part of it -- Russia's war on Ukraine. But it's also COVID and the ripple effect that COVID has played on the economy, on the workforce, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

ROMANS: It's exhausting. I feel like just Americans -- two years after all -- you know, COVID -- and still with COVID and the economy, right? I mean, people are just exhausted.

All right, April Ryan.

RYAN: Yes.

ROMANS: Thank you for getting up so early for us this morning. I really appreciate it. I owe you one.

RYAN: In New Orleans. In New Orleans.

ROMANS: So you stayed up. Maybe you stayed up. Maybe you're up late; not up early. RYAN: Yes, something like that.

ROMANS: You can neither confirm nor deny if you are getting up early or you're staying up late. Thanks so much.

RYAN: See you soon.

ROMANS: Bye, April. Thank you.

All right. Up next, how China is responding to a series of violent attacks against women. And the search for survivors after this icy avalanche in the Italian Alps.



ROMAN: All right, the spotlight on systemic gender-based violence in China after a vicious assault on four women at a restaurant was caught on camera last month. The beating after a man made an unwanted advance toward a woman and was refused.

China, long known for cracking down on feminist activists, is now censoring outrage over gender-based violence there.

Let's bring in CNN's Selena Wang live in Beijing. Good morning, Selena.


And the reaction from so many women in China after watching that horrifying attack was that could have been me. But the authorities -- they are censoring outrage over sexual harassment, over violence against women, instead treating that attack as a problem of organized crime. Activists say that the government is ignoring the root of the problem, which is endemic sexism in China and a legal system that fails women.


WANG (voice-over): This brutal attack on women at a restaurant in Northern China last month triggered nationwide rage and despair. And this is how the government is reacting to the incident in Tangshan city, amassing an army of police to crack down on crime. Sending brigades of armed police to patrol the streets at night, going into bars, restaurants, and outdoor feed markets. Interrupting groups eating outside with loudspeakers. Telling me no fighting, no beating, especially of women.

SWAT teams hovering over women without male companions. Women on Chinese social media mocked the excessive show of force. One wrote, "This is just for show. It doesn't solve any real problems." Another said, "We don't need men's protection. What we need is a safer and fairer society." The graphic surveillance video from last month shows a man making an unwanted advance towards a woman. After she pushes him away the assault escalates into shocking brutality with multiple men kicking and beating the women with bottles and chairs.

This is believed to be an image of one of the two women who was hospitalized after the attack. Authorities claim the two women are still in the hospital recovering from, quote, "minor injuries" -- denying rumors that some of the women died.

Police arrested all nine people involved in the attack. Several of them had criminal histories. Victims of criminal activity in Tangshan seized the moment to flood the local police station.

This man says he's 86 years old and has been waiting in line for hours. And this man says it's been seven years since he reported his case but still no progress. They hope the national attention will pressure police to solve their long-ignored cases.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WANG (voice-over): Online, people rush to do the same, holding up their I.D. cards to prove the authenticity of their claims and call out their perpetrators' names.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WANG (voice-over): This man says "Friends on the internet, please uphold justice for me."

Another woman shared footage of her boyfriend violently attacking her when she was seven months pregnant, pinning her down in an attempt, she says, to kill her baby.

Another says gang members broke into his bakery a year ago. He shows surveillance footage of them destroying his shop. He says the criminals have been harassing him and his family ever since.

This woman, a bar singer, says in May, gang members beat her and her colleagues and locked them in a cage for 16 hours.

Police say they are investigating all three of those cases.

State media says gangsters and drunken men are to blame for the restaurant attack, while reports linking the case to sexism or systemic violence against women have been swiftly censored.

LIANG XIAOWEN, CHINESE FEMINIST ACTIVIST: By framing this incident as a single incident that's merely violence, the government avoided the problems within their system. This is the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other incidents that are happening every day. Chinese women are actually demanding a systemic change.

WANG (voice-over): In recent years, authorities have tried to stamp out feminist voices, seeing them as threats to social stability. As police parade across the country to show they are taking crime seriously, the government squashes outrage over sexual harassment and gender-based violence.


WANG: And Christine, authorities are refusing to share any more information about the condition of the women. In fact, the government is blatantly using COVID controls to obstruct journalists from covering this story even though Tangshan city, where this attack happened, has not reported any COVID cases in weeks. Even state media journalists are being harassed after traveling there, Christine.

ROMANS: Really interesting. Thank you so much for bringing us that story. Selena Wang, thank you.

In Australia, thousands more people in Sydney now under new evacuation orders after relentless rainfall and devastating flooding in multiple neighborhoods. The region was hit with about a month's worth of rain this weekend and forecasters say it's not over yet.

CNN's Michael Holmes has the story for us.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A life- threatening emergency. That's how one official in New South Wales describes the rising floodwaters in parts of Australia's biggest city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are now facing dangers on multiple fronts -- flash flooding, river rain flooding, and coastal erosion.

HOLMES (voice-over): Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate parts of Sydney where heavy rain is already hitting with more expected to come in the next few days.

Authorities say the situation is rapidly evolving and urged people to stay off the roads. The state emergency service says it has responded to more than 3,000 emergency requests already and dozens of rescue squads have been dispatched.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The level of the dams -- there's no room for the water to remain in the dams. They are starting to spill. The rivers are flowing very fast and very dangerous.

HOLMES (voice-over): New South Wales gearing up for the deteriorating conditions. The state asking the federal government to send helicopters and troops to help with rescue efforts and sandbagging.

Weather experts warn landslides could happen. The landscape already vulnerable because of previous floods in the region. In some areas, emergency crews are even faring livestock to drier grounds. The bigger animals, like this ponies, an additional challenge for rescue workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It feels really good to be able to retrieve a rescue and bring everyone back to land safely. HOLMES (voice-over): With some parts of Sydney experiencing downpours of more than 200 millimeters and with some places up to 350 millimeters, missions like this for animals and humans alike could become more critical in the hours ahead.

Michael Holmes, CNN.


ROMANS: All right, Michael. Thank you so much for that.

Rescue efforts underway in Northern Italy after an avalanche of ice in the Alps. Authorities say at least six people were killed when a large chunk of an alpine glacier broke loose Sunday sending ice, snow, and rocks slamming into mountain hikers. The collapse comes during a record heat wave in parts of Western Europe, including Italy, over the past month.

And this -- a deadly air show accident in Battle Creek, Michigan.


Plane crashing at Michigan air show.


ROMANS: A custom semi-truck with jet engines that can travel up to 350 miles per hour was racing against two planes. It spun out of control on Saturday and it went up in flames, sending thick, black smoke into the air. The driver was killed. He has been identified as 40-year-old Chris Darnell.


All right. Venus Williams kicked out of the mixed doubles in a thrilling final set tiebreaker. And a very close call for a Formula One driver after a terrifying crash in the British Grand Prix.


ROMANS: All right. A Formula One driver survives this terrifying crash thanks to safety innovations in his car.

Carolyn Manno is here this morning with the Bleacher Report. Good morning. Nice to see you.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, nice to see you, too. Good morning. Happy holidays to you.

You know, they are constantly innovating --


MANNO: -- when it comes to safety and we saw that really pay off over the course of the weekend because the British Grand Prix got off to a very scary start yesterday. This, one of the worst F1 crashes that we've seen in recent years.


So this is just after the start of the race when the car of rookie Zhou Guanya made contact with another driver. You can see his car flip upside down here and slide all the way across the gravel upside down, eventually flipping over that large tire barrier and slamming into the catch fence in front of the grandstand. That was a very scary part of that as well -- that he was so close to the fans.

The Alfa Romero driver stretchered off and taken away in an ambulance. But incredibly, he came out of that wreck unharmed.

He announced that he was all clear on social media, getting to the fans right away, tweeting, "Halo save me today." And the halo is that titanium bar that's right above the cockpit of the vehicle, which protects a racer's head in a crash. In this case, for quite a while when he was sliding across the track upside down.

In baseball now, the Astros swept the Angels in a 3-game set making a bit of history along the way. Houston pitchers striking out 20 yesterday, tying the record for the most in the 9-inning game in MLB history. That's only happened eight times in the history of the game.

Starter Framber Valdez did most of the heavy lifting. He struck out a career-high 13 over six innings.

Despite the stellar defensive performance, the game was tied at two in the bottom of the ninth inning. Rookie Jeremy Pena coming up very big, hitting a monster 2-run shot with two outs for the walk-up win. Actually, his second of the game.

The Astros win 4-2 there.

And at the All England Club, Venus Williams and Jamie Murray are out of the mixed doubles tournament after losing a thriller at Wimbledon. The pair failed to convert on five match points in a marathon third- set tiebreak against Britain's Alicia Barnett and Jonny O'Mara.

Forty-two-year-old Venus wasn't really expected to play at Wimbledon originally. She accepted a wild card request right before the tournament began. She said she was really inspired by her sister Serena Williams coming back -- fighting back through injury.

This is the first time that Venus has played competitive tennis in 10 months. But we know she loves to be out there. She loves doubles. So, good to see her back.

And Tiger Woods arriving in style to play at a charity pro-am in Ireland. The 15-time Major winner touching down in a private helicopter ahead of today's event. Now, this ride comes courtesy of Irish businessman J.P. McManus for whom the event is named. So, of course, J.P. McManus invites you to the event and if you're Tiger Woods you go to the event in J.P. McManus' helicopter.

Now, Tiger hasn't played competitively since withdrawing from the PGA Championship after the third round back in May. He's still planning to play in the British Open at St. Andrews in Scotland a week from Thursday.

And he'll tee off with three amateurs a little after 9:00 eastern this morning. I always love a charity pro-am, Christine, when you've got all these amateurs. You show up. Could you even hit it off the tee if Tiger Woods --

ROMANS: I know, right?

MANNO: -- into your foursome? I feel like it would be so exciting.

And lots of celebrities there as well. And a lot of the top-ranked players in the world there as well --

ROMANS: Awesome.

MANNO: -- so it should be a good time.

ROMANS: All right, it should be.

All right, let's talk about the movie theater, shall we? "Minions: The Rise of Gru," a holiday smash with kids making a $108.5 million debut at the box office.


Clip from "Minions: The Rise of Gru."


ROMANS: That's Steve Carell reprising his role as supervillain Gru. The film now on track to become one of the biggest openings ever for a July Fourth weekend, a record previously held by "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" back in 2011.

So, do you have plans to see "Minions?" What do you -- have you been to the movie theater yet since --

MANNO: I haven't been to the movie theater. But, you know, I was thinking about this yesterday because I saw Tom Cruise at the British Grand Prix.


MANNO: He was taking it in. He's such a big sports fan. And I thought I want to go back to the movies.


MANNO: I really do.

ROMANS: And that movie, "Maverick," is really kind of -- goes back to old school blockbuster. And at the beginning of that movie there's a straight-to-camera Tom Cruise thanking the audience for coming back to theaters -- MANNO: Is that right?

ROMANS: -- for like a step back to normalcy pinnacle.

MANNO: Yes. It does feel like New York City is coming back a little bit. And I feel like the movie theater, as simple as it sounds, is a big part of that.

ROMANS: People are gathering today, too, for holidays.


ROMANS: So it's slowing -- one little step at a time.

Nice to see you.

MANNO: I'll take it. You, too, Christine.

ROMANS: Carolyn Manno.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Brianna Keilar with Boris Sanchez this morning. It's so great to have you here.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Great to be with you, Brianna. Happy Fourth.

SANCHEZ: Happy Fourth to you. John Berman is off today on this new day. And after two -- a 2-year hiatus in many parts of the country, the fireworks and the festivities are back in full swing.

In the meantime, the price tags on food, gas, and yes, even fireworks keep climbing as the White House struggles to rein in inflation.

This morning, we have also newly-released disturbing body camera footage after an unarmed Black man suffers at least 60 gunshot wounds following a police chase.

SANCHEZ: Plus, a threat of multiple criminal referrals against former President Trump and his allies from Republican Liz Cheney. The January 6 committee promising even more revelations coming soon.