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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

National Archives: We Still Don't Have All Trump White House Records; Democrats Lag Among Black Voters, Could Cost Them In November; NFL To Change Concussion Protocols After Tagovailoa Injury. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 03, 2022 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you this morning.

All right, the National Archives still missing some presidential records from the Trump White House. What the agency says it plans to do about it, next.

Plus, a new term for the Supreme Court starts today with a new member and some monumental cases. What's on the court's agenda ahead.

And Democrats are losing support among Black voters. What it could mean in next month's midterms.


ROMANS: All right. The National Archives has told Congress it still does not have all presidential records from the Trump White House. Some staffers reportedly used non-official email accounts for work and are required to have forwarded those messages into their official email accounts. But the nation's recordkeeping agency says a number of records remain outstanding.


Let's bring in Palm Beach County, Florida state attorney Dave Aronberg. So nice to see you this morning.

Context here -- the archive had been negotiating with Trump's team for a year. There was a subpoena for documents in June, a search warrant in August, and there still are outstanding documents? That's what the archives are saying? What are the legal ramifications here?


This could provide further evidence that the former president violated certain criminal statutes, including the Espionage Act 18 USC 793E, which says you can't have unlawful possession and retention of sensitive government documents. And then there's the big whammy -- the obstruction statute -- and that's punishable by up to 20 years in prison. And to this day, Trump really hasn't provided a legal defense for why

he has these documents. I mean, I think he may be setting up for a defense that he's going to blame his lawyers for everything. Remember Christina Bobb, one of his lawyers, did that declaration to the Fed, saying that Trump had returned all of those documents. Well, that puts her in a lot of legal jeopardy.

But the longer that Trump continues to possess these documents, the harder it's going to be for him to throw his lawyers under the bus and evade criminal charges.

ROMANS: Let's talk about Ginni Thomas. She is married to the Supreme Court justice. And the president, this weekend, defended her -- called her a great woman.

We know that she has had some involvement with the January 6 committee here. She could be a major player, right, in this investigation? Is there anything -- any indication the DOJ may be looking into her further?

ARONBERG: Well, I just want to correct one thing. Ginni Thomas is not a great woman, so I'm going to disagree with the former president on that. She's a true believer who lives in crazy town. And as a result, I don't think she'll be a very helpful witness to the January 6 committee because she believes in Trump's lies.

And so -- and by the way, for those who think it's perjury that she lied before the January 6 committee, the feds are not going to prosecute her for that because she has an earnest belief in her opinion, no matter how bonkers they are.

Now, if she can be shown to be involved with John Eastman in his attempted coup, the more evidence that appears that she was trying to get the states to block the certification of votes -- well, then she could be charged down the road with obstruction of an official proceeding or conspiracy to defraud the United States. But there's no indication the Department of Justice is investigating her for that.

To me, though, Christine, the bigger question is whether the Supreme Court is going to finally adopt a code of conduct to prevent a conflict like we see now where Justice Thomas sits on cases that involve his own wife and her participation in the attempted insurrection.

ROMANS: It's certainly a unique situation.

All right, Dave Aronberg, so nice to see you. Thank you so much for joining us this Monday morning.

ARONBERG: Thanks for having me.

ROMANS: All right, a new poll shows Democrats might not be able to count on nearly as much support from Black voters as they have in previous elections. With 74 percent of Black voters identifying as Democrats in pre-election polling, that's 11 points down from the 2018 midterms and a 10-point drop from the 2020 presidential election. Let's bring in CNN political analyst April Ryan. So nice to see you this morning, April. Thanks for getting up bright and early for us.

What's happening in these poll numbers? What has changed?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (via Webex by Cisco): Well, you know, one thing you have to remember is that times have changed. We're out of COVID. People are more hypersensitive.

And then when it comes to the Black community, the Black community remembers the campaign promises from many Democrats. And Democrats, particularly these White House Democrats, are keenly aware that Black voters are very concerned with some of the promises that have been kept and those that have not been.

And the White House, in particular, Christine, has been working feverishly, especially since last summer, to change their messaging for this moment leading into the midterms. They want to make the message more personal so people can feel like they matter. And that's what politics is -- it's personal. And the question is have they made a difference in these poll numbers showing? Maybe not as much as they would have hoped for.

ROMANS: I feel like over the weekend, April, we saw some leadership -- real traditional leadership in action in the face of a national disaster.

I want you to listen to this sound for a moment.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: When people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they've lost everything, if you can't put politics aside for that then you're just not going to be able to.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In times like these, Americans come together. They put aside politics. They put aside division and we come together to help each other.


ROMANS: So that's the current president and the governor of Florida acting like leaders are supposed to -- elected leaders are supposed to.


And then split-screen, you have the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, with this message on his social media platform where he's threatening the Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, saying he has a death wish for supporting Democrat-sponsored bills. And making this racist garbage in the end. McConnell hasn't responded to these comments.

What do you make of these attacks just weeks away from the midterm? RYAN: Not only on McConnell but McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, his former Transportation secretary.

You know, former President Donald Trump makes no bones about who he likes and who he doesn't like. He is very upset with Republicans, in his mind, I guess, kowtowing to Democrats and working together on the Hill. He does not want unity. He wants disunity from what this social message -- social media message says.

At the end of the day, Democrats and Republicans understood that there was hurt in this nation. We're still teetering after COVID. Well, not after COVID. President Biden says the pandemic is over but COVID is still a problem.

You know, inflation and the supply chain is still an issue. And yet, the former president wanted the Republicans to hold out on the issue of fixing the budget and having funding to support the government.

And at the end of the day, Donald Trump was the president who had the longest government shutdown than any other president over that wall.

So, at the end of the day, you know where Donald Trump stands and who he stands with. He is not looking for unity no matter what.

ROMANS: Meantime, there was this cool picture that came out of the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon -- Friday night, of the four women Supreme Court justices. It's kind of a moment in history. The Supreme Court begins a new term with its newest court justice Ketanji Brown- Jackson and a hefty docket, which will grapple with race, elections, LGBTQ rights. That's all later in the term.

What do you think is the most important thing to watch here, and what kind of an influence do you think Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will have here?

RYAN: Well, you have to remember this is still a 6-3 court leaning to conservatives more so. But in her dissents, that's where she makes a difference, or in her opinions, that's where she makes a difference for the future of the court. It's not necessarily going to move the needle at this moment -- again, a 6-3 court -- but for the future of the court, her decisions will be setting precedent or it could make and mold and shape new laws or keep old laws in place, or what have you.

Her position, her presence is significant. But her decisions, her dissents will be more notable than that.

ROMANS: April Ryan, bright and early for us this morning to start a new week -- first week in October. Nice to see you. Thanks, April.

RYAN: You, too, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, another health scare in the NFL. J.J. Watt reveals he had a heart procedure, yet he was still cleared to play. And a key week ahead for the economy after a rough month on Wall Street.



ROMANS: Hello, Monday. Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

Looking at markets around the world, Asian shares have closed for the day mixed. Europe has opened lower here. The big story there is the U.K. reversing part of its plan on taxes to cut the top tax rate for high earners in that country after intense pushback from global markets and politicians.

On Wall Street, stock index futures, right now, searching for some kind of stability here. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the month and the quarter with another bad session Friday, down nearly 500 points Friday. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both down more than 1 1/2 percent. The drop for the S&P marks the index's 50th decline of one percent or more this year.

The national average for gas holding steady at $3.80 a gallon, but watch this space. Oil prices climbing sharply overnight, more than four percent. OPEC producers are considering output cuts.

All right, a new month, a new quarter begin today as investors remain laser-focused on a busy economic calendar. It's been a rough quarter for stocks. The Dow, down 6.7 percent, saw a third-straight losing quarter for the first time since 2015. The S&P tumbled 5.3 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropping 4.1 percent.

We're not looking for clues whether the Fed's crusade to control inflation is starting to work. There will be critical data this week on construction, car sales, factory orders, housing, and consumer credit, capped off Friday with that jobs report.

The Fed's rate hikes have jacked up mortgage rates and begun to cool a red-hot housing market. It's 6.7 percent now for the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage, the highest since the housing market crashed 15 years ago.

So let's do the brutal math for you. For homebuyers, the typical size mortgage taken out last year would cost a little of $1,700 in principal, plus interest. That would be a year ago. That same mortgage today at 6.7 percent is $2,600 a month.

Also key, just how resilient is the American jobs market. The Fed's tough medicine has yet to reverse the historically strong job market. Layoffs have been low and there are more job openings than there are job seekers.

The calendar may provide some relief for investors after several months of these stock declines, by the way. Since 1932, major market bottoms have occurred in October more than any other month, and September was a real stinker.

All right, supermodel Bella Hadid getting dressed on the runway. See the results as she walked in a spray-painted dress, next. [05:54:15]

ROMANS: All right, welcome back.

Changes are coming to the NFL's concussion protocols after two frightening injuries to the Miami Dolphins' star quarterback.

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.


So, concussions were certainly in the forefront in week four after what happened to Tua Tagovailoa. The Players Association firing the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant that was involved in clearing Tua to return to that Bills game.

The NFL and NFLPA also putting out a joint statement over the weekend saying that they will be making it a rule that if any player shows gross motor instability and stumbles, like Tua did, it's not going to be a judgment call anymore. That player will be removed from the game.

Now, we saw two more quarterbacks leave games yesterday with head injuries. Giants backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor taking a huge blow to the head. He left the game with the Bears with a concussion.


The Patriots, meanwhile, losing backup Brian Hoyer as well. He took a big hit on this sack. His head hit the turf. He did not return to this game after that as the Patriots went on to lose in overtime to the Packers 27-24.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, meanwhile, returning to Tampa for the first time since losing Super Bowl LV to Tom Brady and the Bucs. And Mahomes, a man on a mission. He threw for three touchdowns, including this amazing scramble, and flipped to Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the touchdown.

The Chiefs dominated this one, leading the game start to finish. They beat the Bucs 41-31.

And finally, 3-time defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt played for the Cardinals yesterday after revealing he had a procedure for a heart issue just days earlier. Before the game, Watt tweeting that his heart went into an irregular rhythm on Wednesday and doctors had to shock it back on Thursday.

Fighting back tears, Watt opening up to reporters about his difficult week.


J.J. WATT, ARIZONA CARDINALS DEFENSIVE END: Mostly, I've been looking at ultrasounds of our baby boy and we're all extremely happy. And Thursday we were looking at an ultrasound of my heart. It was -- it was very tough. It's been -- it's been a week -- it's been a week. But I'm happy to be here and happy to --


WATT: Yes -- yes, I did. I mean, it's been tough, you know? It was just weird -- just weird. I have a baby on the way.


SCHOLES: Yes, Christine, you could just see what kind of week this has been for J.J. Watt. He said he's never been that scared or that nervous going into a procedure, and he's been through a lot of surgeries over his career. So, man, good to see him doing well and I'm glad that he was able to --


SCHOLES: -- feel well enough to go out there and play, you know?

ROMANS: Well, and congratulations on the new baby. But it's a reminder having a baby and being a parent -- it's like you are walking -- it is humbling, right? You're walking out there with everything on your sleeve because a baby really is the most important thing.

SCHOLES: Yes, it certainly is. And, you know, that's something I -- you know, I follow J.J. Watt on social media. I've always been a fan. And it's something he's been excited about, so --


SCHOLES: -- here's hoping the rest of the season goes well for him.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

All right. OK, thanks, Andy. Nice to see you.

All right, to the box office now where the horror film "Smile" made a big impression on moviegoers.


Clip from Paramount's "Smile."


ROMANS: All right, that was terrifying. The film becoming the first since August to rake in more than $20 million in its opening weekend. The movie centers around a therapist who catches a fatal curse from one of her patients.

Plus --


Clip from Universal Picture's "Bros."

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: The romantic comedy "Bros," on the other hand, had a far quieter opening. The Billy Eichner film brought in just $4.8 million for fourth place and underperformed box office expectations. It's the first gay romantic comedy distributed by a major movie studio.

Supermodel Bella Hadid wearing a one-of-a-kind dress at Paris week -- Paris fashion week, literally. That's right, they're painting it on. She stood on stage in the Coperni show for about nine minutes as three men with pink canisters sprayed a hardening fabric onto her bare body. The results, a white off-shoulder, mid-length slip dress. Once they built the dress for her, she fiercely strutted the runway and posed for cameras showing off her new custom-made outfit -- cool.

All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" picks it up right now.