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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Ivana Trump, First Wife Of Former President Trump, Dies At 73; National Suicide Hotline Phone Number Changes To 988 Saturday; Secret Service Denies Deleting Texts, Blames Phone Reset. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 15, 2022 - 05:30   ET



SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The fact that it was being used for a concert tells you everything you need to know about the fact that this was not being used for any kind of active military operation.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, as we've seen so often in these strikes over the last several months -- schools, hospitals, a theater being used to shelter children, as we know.

Scott, appreciate it. Thank you.

Still to come here, the Hollywood actress now sharing her story about surviving a suicide attempt. And later, how borrowing for a new home could really cost you a lot more.



HILL: American basketball star Brittney Griner appearing just moments ago in a Moscow courtroom. The WNBA star pleaded guilty to drug charges last week. Russian authorities accuse her of smuggling a narcotic substance. The State Department maintains Griner is being wrongfully detained.

CNN's Nina dos Santos joining us now. So, Nina, what happened in court?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: Well, this is the fourth court appearance Erica for Brittney Griner and, as you could see there, it -- we haven't yet had a verdict here despite the fact that she has already pleaded guilty on the 7th of July to possessing this cannabis oil. But she did say at the time that she'd forgotten it was in her luggage. She packed for Moscow in a hurry and then remembered when she passed through security at Sheremetyevo Airport in early February and was then apprehended by Russian authorities with this cannabis oil in her luggage.

Now we heard, as part of her defense team putting forward written submissions today, that she was actually prescribed cannabis oil to deal with long-term pain problems thanks to sports injuries over the years, particularly in her lower back and also in her ankles.

Now, one of the idiosyncrasies of the Russian judicial system here Erica is that even though she's actually entered a plea the trial still continues. This is an opportunity for her defense team to put forward oral and written submissions. We've seen written submissions today. Yesterday we also saw an oral character reference from one of her Russian teammates as well.

Now, in a sign of how significant this is, obviously, U.S. diplomats, we understand, are attending these hearings in Moscow, keeping U.S. President Joe Biden apprised of what's going on.

The hearings, for the moment, have now been adjourned up until July 26. She could be facing 10 years behind bars -- Erica.

HILL: Nina dos Santos with the latest for us. Thank you.

The Italian government is on the verge of collapse. Prime Minister Mario Draghi announcing his resignation on Thursday after the largest party in the coalition government withdrew its support. Party leaders claim that Draghi's plan to tackle Italy's cost of living prices didn't go far enough. But get this -- Italy's president has rejected the prime minister's resignation and wants him to address Parliament as they review the political situation.

Ivana Trump, Donald Trump's ex-wife and the mother of his three oldest children, has died at her home in Manhattan. The Czech native was a professional skier who married Trump in 1977, becoming half of one of the 1980's most well-known power couples.

The former president posted this on Thursday, saying in part, "She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman who led a great and inspirational life."

Ivana Trump, partnered with Donald Trump on some of his biggest real estate deals. Their infamous 1992 divorce left here with $14 million.

Up next, the movie star now telling her story of surviving a suicide attempt in the hope of helping others. And anxiety at the beach as sharks lurk just offshore.




Clip from Warner Bros. "Crazy Rich Asians."


HILL: The star of "Crazy Rich Asians" is now opening up to fans about her suicide attempt. In a new memoir due to be published this fall, actress Constance Wu says she felt like she didn't deserve to live anymore after fierce backlash to some emotionally distraught tweets she had sent in 2019. Wu survived that suicide attempt but paused her career to focus on her mental health over the last few years. She is now back on social media and says she wants to share her story in the hopes that it might help others.

The nationwide hotline for mental health emergencies making it easier for people in crisis to seek help. It kicks off on Saturday. That phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will become 988.

Joining us now is Dr. Craig Bryan, director of the Suicide Prevention Program. Dr. Bryan, it's good to have you with us.

So this is important. This number is changing because the goal here is that it's easier, right? It's easier for people to seek help in the moment. What else will this change?


I think aside from improving the memorability of the crisis hotline number, I think it will actually expand access to urgent crisis services to many who otherwise would not know what the phone number is and who to call when they're experiencing acute crisis.

HILL: So some people may end up calling 911. And we know that -- look, we've done plenty of stories, right, about how police departments are overwhelmed. This may not be what they're trained for. A mental health professional should be answering some of those calls.

Will this alleviate some of that as well, and perhaps bring people to a source that's better prepared to help with what they need?

BRYAN: Yes, that's certainly one of the hoped-for outcomes because as you note, when someone is experiencing intense emotional distress, right now, oftentimes 911 emergency services are the first line to create an immediate response. And so, being able to redirect individuals in crisis to those who are trained to listen and to help calm the person down, and to connect them with supportive services, we think will be a significant improvement in being able to help people in need.

HILL: It feels like at this moment in the country we are dealing with this heightened sense of anxiety across the board. People feeling it for a number of reasons, whether it's inflation, whether it's concerns about where the country is headed, whether it's the fighting that we see coming out of Washington.

What I found that's interesting is it's so important, as you and others point out, that you don't need to wait until you're at a crisis moment. If you are even feeling anxiety now, this could be the right time to talk to somebody.

[05:45:02] BRYAN: Yes, that's absolutely right. And so, when we think of the suicide crisis hotline, I do think immediately what comes to mind is when a person is in that urgent, potentially life-threatening situation, to reach out now to call the 988 number to get assistance.

But what we really want people to do is to take action much sooner. We know that in some cases there's a buildup to that potentially life- threatening crisis and the earlier that a person reaches out for assistance and help the more rapidly --

HILL: Yes.

BRYAN: -- we can get them connected with services and the sooner we're able to do things that could potentially change the course of what's happening to them in life.

HILL: Can you call this number for someone you're concerned about as well -- not just for yourself?

BRYAN: Yes, absolutely. And that's something that we do as practicing clinicians that are working with family members, according individuals with mental health diagnoses or suicidal individuals, is to let them know about the crisis hotline as well. And let them know that it's not just for that person who is seeking out mental health services, but it can also be for family members, friends, peers, loved ones -- anyone who's needing support and is not sure where to go or what to do. This 988 number is an easy-to-remember resource for everyone.

HILL: And really quickly, Dr. Bryan, when you say it puts you in touch with services, is it somebody locally in your area who is going to be answering? Who's on the other end of that line?

BRYAN: Yes -- so it usually will be someone local. So, the National Suicide Lifeline -- what I think a lot of people don't realize, it's actually a network of crisis call centers all around the United States. And so, when you call this centralized number it will actually redirect your call towards one of those more local crisis centers.

And if your crisis center in your city or your area is full and they immediately answer the phone, then they reconnect you or redirect you to sort of the next closest, and it becomes sort of expanding concentric circles to try to get you someone as close to your geographic region as possible --

HILL: Right.

BRYAN: -- because they're going to be much more familiar with local resources.

HILL: Dr. Craig Bryan, director of the Suicide Prevention Program, appreciate you joining us this morning. Thank you.

BRYAN: Thank you.

HILL: And while that number is changing tomorrow, to reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline today, that number is still 800- 273-8255. Again, it's 988 beginning tomorrow.

President Biden set to speak just moments from now in the West Bank. Live coverage just ahead.

And a thousand bags but no passengers. One airline getting creative in the face of this massive luggage backlog.



HILL: Beachgoers in Long Island, New York being warned to watch out for sharks. Two people were bitten in separate incidents on Wednesday. That brings the total number of shark encounters this summer to six. The reports are making swimmers understandably uneasy.

Local officials say that with cleaner water -- which, by the way, that water looks amazing -- the sharks are coming closer to shore.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm careful. I'm not going all the way in there.

STEVE BELLONE, (D) SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE: We have to be reacting to what appears to be a new reality.


HILL: While the incidents are alarming, experts do say your chances of actually encountering a shark still extremely small.

I'm just going to keep that guy on the screen.

Record-breaking heat causing flash drought conditions, which stretch from parts of the south now into the northeast. Experts saying the extreme heat and, of course, coupled with minimal rain can quickly cause extensive damage to agriculture, economies, and ecosystems.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar joining us now with more. Allison, good morning.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And good morning. Yes, the one thing a lot of these areas desperately need is rain. But if you take a look, the areas that are going to be getting the rain in the short term aren't the same ones that need it the most.

We have this system making its way through the Midwest today bringing showers and thunderstorms. Also, some summertime pop-up showers and thunderstorms across the southeast. But when you compare that to the drought monitor map -- again, notice the areas that we really need it the most are in the southern tier of the U.S. and especially, out in the west.

Now, another thing -- it's the heat. Yes, we get it, it's summer. It's supposed to be hot. But for a lot of these areas you're talking 10, even 15 degrees above where they normally would be this time of year.

Take Dallas, for example. The next four days in a row, you're talking about temperatures in the triple digits. Normally, this time of year, they would only be in the mid-90s. So even for these areas, it's well above average.

San Antonio also looking at a lot of triple-digit temperatures. Same thing with Oklahoma City and even El Paso.

We do have heat advisories in effect across several states for today, not just because of the temperatures itself but also the humidity that gets factored in as well, making that heat index feel like it's well into the triple digits.

HILL: Oh, that is rough.

Allison, appreciate it. Thank you.

CHINCHAR: Thanks, Erica.

HILL: Tiger Woods struggling to make the cut at this year's final golf Major. Carolyn Manno joining us now with more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Good morning.


Well, he's been through so much physically and we know how difficult this course is but we saw some really low scores posted on Thursday. So he had a really tough day. St. Andrews certainly a place that Tiger is familiar with having won two of his three Open championships there. But safe to say Thursday was just a day to forget.

His second round got underway about an hour ago. He's trying to claw his way back to hopefully make the cut.

His first round got off to a bad start on the very first hole. He just didn't look comfortable right from the beginning of the day, dumping his second shot into the burn there. He'd go on to make double bogey on that hole.


And things just didn't get much better from there. By the end of the 6-hour round, he'd finish at six over par, 78, ending the day in 146th place out of the 156 golfers who are there. It is the second-worst round of his career at St. Andrews. And afterwards, he admitted that sometimes that's just the way it goes.


TIGER WOODS, 15-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION: It feels like I didn't really hit it that bad. Yes, I did have bad speed on the greens -- yes. But I didn't really feel like I hit it that bad, but I ended up in bad spots or just had some weird things happen, and just the way it goes. Links is like that and this golf course is like that. And as I said, I had my chances to turn it around and get it rolling the right way and I didn't do it.


MANNO: Meanwhile, six LIV golfers finished at least three under par yesterday, including Ian Poulter who had this amazing 160-foot putt for eagle on the ninth.

You could really barely see him on the left side of your screen when this thing got started. This is about as long of a putt as most players will ever have in their entire careers. It just kept going and eventually dropped in there. An incredible eagle for him. He can't even believe it.

You know, he was booed on the first tee, Erica, presumably because of his association with the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour. But he got the last laugh, at least on that hole.

And everybody is chasing the Major's unlikely leader Cameron Young this morning. The 25-year-old American who is playing in his first Open Championship, shooting a bogey-free round of 64, which put him at eight under par.

Afterwards, a reporter asked Cameron, who grew up as a student in the New York City school system, about his journey from, quote, "the means streets of New York all the way to leading the Open." Here was his response to that.


CAMERON YOUNG, SHOT 8-UNDER PAR 64 IN OPENING ROUND: Yes, I think the streets of New York is probably a stretch. Fordham Prep is on Fordham University campus. It's beautiful. And I lived at Sleepy Hollow Country Club where my dad is the head pro. I lived on the lower course out there. So, yes, I took the train to school but I also took the train back home to go practice.


MANNO: So a train ride -- not exactly a Bronx tale, Erica, but --

HILL: A little time on Metro north --


HILL: -- for those who are familiar --

MANNO: Just a little --

HILL: -- as he made his way back and forth to Westchester.

MANNO: Exactly. Just a quick ride on Metro north. But I love that. I love the question. The headline not quite there but he could be making headlines all weekend if he continues to play like that.

HILL: Yes. Everybody's going to be watching him.


HILL: He tees off a little later this morning, right?

MANNO: A little bit -- a little bit later on.

HILL: Nice to see you -- appreciate it. Thank you.

Well, we are still waiting, of course, to hear from President Biden, set to speak on the heels of his meeting there in the West Bank. Stay with us. We'll continue to monitor that.

Thanks to all of you for joining us this morning on "EARLY START." I'm Erica Hill. "NEW DAY" picks up right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Friday, July 15, and I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman this morning.

And we begin with pushback from the Secret Service. It is denying doing any malicious after a government watchdog report claimed the agency erased text messages from January 5th and 6th after investigators had requested them.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The Secret Service claims any lost data was due to a planned tech migration, and that the texts investigators wanted were not among those that disappeared.

Members of the January 6 committee expressed their concern over the allegations.


REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): This is obviously very concerning. It's critical that we have all of the government records, including these types of records that document the events of that day.

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): I think the committee has proven time and time again that we're going to follow the facts and we're going to make sure that if it's relevant to the investigation of January 5th and 6th we're going to ask these questions. And so, I think that people should expect us to do just that.


BERMAN: All right, joining us now is CNN's Katelyn Polantz live in Washington. And Katelyn, to be clear, these were texts and data that were requested by the Homeland Security inspector general well before there was even a January 6 committee.


So this story, John and Brianna, is all unfolding because of a notification that Capitol Hill is now getting from this watchdog agency that examines the Secret Service.

So, CNN reporters learned that the Department of Homeland Security inspector general was trying to get access to text messages from around January 5th and 6th, 2021 from Secret Service phones, but those text messages were erased after that request came in. DHS said that erasing happened in a device replacement program. The Secret Service adding there was nothing malicious about this.

But this is arising among two areas of tension. Clearly, the DHS inspector general in this letter we've seen expresses some frustration in how difficult it has been to get records from the Secret Service, especially around that time, January 6th.