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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Tennessee's GOP-Led House Expels Two Democrats Over Gun Reform Protest; Paris Demonstrators Set Fires, Clash With Police, Storm Offices; Report: Cash App Creator Begged For Help After Stabbing Attack. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 07, 2023 - 05:30   ET



STEPHEN GRIFFIN, PROFESSOR, TULANE LAW SCHOOL (via Webex by Cisco): He has no issues before the court. The thing is -- the difference that may make the difference between the Fortis case back then people are worried about Fortis' benefactor was seeking a presidential pardon. He had been convicted of crimes.

Here, the issue is ideological influence, which hasn't -- we haven't sorted through as a country whether we care about that.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Well, Stephen Griffin, thank you for your insight. It's going to be interesting to see where this goes.

GRIFFIN: Thank you.

JIMENEZ: Coming up next on EARLY START --


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, "CNN THIS MORNING": Has this banking crisis -- even though you think it's almost over, which I'm really glad to hear -- though, increased chances of a recession here?



JIMENEZ: JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon speaking to CNN about the future of the U.S. economy and in the wake of the banking sector meltdown. Why he sees storm clouds ahead, though.

See you in a few.




JUSTIN JONES, DEMOCRAT EXPELLED FROM THE TENNESSEE HOUSE: The world is watching Tennessee because what is happening here today is a farce of democracy. What is happening here today is a situation in which the jury has already publicly announced the verdict.


JIMENEZ: That was now former Tennessee state lawmaker Justin Jones just before the GOP-controlled State House voted to expel him and another Black House member, Justin Pearson. They are being punished for staging a gun violence protest last week on the House floor just days after the elementary school shooting in Nashville. A vote to expel a white lawmaker -- a woman in her 60s who was also involved in the protest -- did not pass.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst Jackie Kucinich, Washington Bureau chief of The Boston Globe. Great to see you.

So let's just start here. How does --


JIMENEZ: -- this incident at the state level speak to larger national partisan debates around gun violence, abortion, and obviously, there is so much more wrapped up here?

KUCINICH: Right. This really signaled an escalation in the partisan rancor that we've seen both at the State House level, but also it just at the speed at which this happened really does -- is indicative of the place that we are in terms of partisan-flexing muscles at the -- at the -- at the State House level.

JIMENEZ: Yes, and, you know, the politics at the State House level there, we see conflicts between states and cities, and here we are seeing --


JIMENEZ: -- conflicts between parties.

I want to take a listen to what Justin Pearson, who is one of the expelled lawmakers, said following his expulsion.


JUSTIN PEARSON, DEMOCRAT EXPELLED FROM THE TENNESSEE HOUSE: It is not coincidence that the two youngest Black lawmakers in the state of Tennessee and one of two women are on trial today. That is not accidental. This is what happens when you lose democracy. This is what we are fighting against and must stand up against as legislators, and as people, and as citizens across this country because it's starting in Tennessee but it won't end here.


JIMENEZ: And he's one of two young Black lawmakers who were removed, while 60-year-old Gloria Johnson kept her job.

KUCINICH: Yes. JIMENEZ: I mean, it's almost impossible not to see the optics here.

What do you think the implications are here about race and age?

KUCINICH: I mean, Johnson, herself, said it. But what these Republican lawmakers in Tennessee successfully did is elevate these three lawmakers and give them -- I mean, by trying to silence them everyone's watching now.

And they're going to come with -- you know, I'm sure that these three lawmakers now have a national presence. They will likely have a national fundraising network and they could end up right there back in -- right there back in the state legislature because they could be reappointed by their county boards and they could also be reelected to those seats.

JIMENEZ: Yes, and that's an interesting point there. Oftentimes we see in politics you need sometimes a spark for your name to resonate with the message and the people, and I think --


JIMENEZ: -- it's no doubt that's happening here.

Now, I want to shift gears a little bit. There's new CNN polling that only a third of Americans think Joe Biden deserves reelection, and he's had a 42 percent job approval. How worrying is this for Democrats? Is it typical of what we would see in someone who wants to run for reelection? And all of this, of course, in the context when GOP candidates are making headlines every day, though maybe not for the right reasons.

KUCINICH: Right. So I doubt -- I think the White House would like to see their numbers higher there. But the thing about Joe Biden, no matter how unhappy Democrats might be -- if not Biden, who? That question is still -- there really isn't an answer. Because when you look at the poll when they asked for who else they would like to see run there really isn't a good -- there isn't a cohesive or a one candidate that anyone is coalescing about, even close to double digits.

So, I mean, it does show that there is a lot of unhappiness in the country with the direction that it's going in, or at least that poll does. But in order to -- if you're a Democrat that doesn't like Joe Biden you're going to have to -- someone else is going to have to be there in his place.

JIMENEZ: Yes. Well, the 2024 presidential election cycle -- the height of it will be here before we know it. I feel like the time speeds up --

KUCHINICH: Yes, indeed.

JIMENEZ: -- every time around.

Jackie Kucinich, thank you so much. KUCINICH: Thanks, Omar.

JIMENEZ: Now to a CNN exclusive interview with JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon. He's speaking out for the first time since the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank sent regional bank stocks plummeting. Dimon warns that the banking chaos, combined with other economic risks, are increasing the odds of a recession.

Here's some of what he told CNN's Poppy Harlow.


HARLOW: Has this banking crisis -- even though you think it's almost over, which I'm really glad to hear -- though, increased chances of a recession here?


DIMON: Yes, but I look at it like it's not definitive. It's just like another weight on the scale.


DIMON: And think of it as people have said it's like raising rates on 50 basis points or something like that. I -- we are seeing people reduce lending a little bit, cut back a little bit, pull back a little bit. It won't necessarily force a recession, but it is recessionary.

HARLOW: Storm clouds ahead? You say maybe some --


HARLOW: -- for the economy.

DIMON: Yes. I might mention the QT, higher inflation for longer --


DIMON: -- the war.


DIMON: Those are -- those are pretty strong things. And if you look at history since World War II, we've not kind of faced it like that. It's still early in that. That war going for longer. We don't really know the outcome in QT. I think we'll be writing about QE And QT for 50 years.

HARLOW: Quantitative tightening and quantitative easing.

DIMON: Quantitative tightening and quantitative easing, yes.



JIMENEZ: Dimon also says, however, that the U.S. economy is strong and he feels hopeful about the strength of human capital in the U.S.

Now, in Paris, an 11th day of violent clashes have erupted, especially on Thursday, between police and protesters against plans to raise the pension age to 64. Forcing their way -- demonstrators forcing their way into the building that houses BlackRock, the world's biggest money manager, holding red flares -- striking images there -- firing smoke bombs, and chanting anti-reform slogans. They also set fire across the city, including to a bistro frequented by French President Emmanuel Macron.

CNN's Saskya Vandoorne is live in Paris with more. So, Saskya -- I mean, the images, as I said, pretty striking. Are more protests expected?

SASKYA VANDOORNE, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Yes, Omar. Well, more protests are expected next Thursday.

And I just want to talk about yesterday's protests first. I mean, we did expect the numbers to dwindle but half a million people did show up nationwide, and that is significant because it shows that there's still momentum with the movement.

And so the protestors have said that they plan another protest next Thursday. That there will be another day of strikes. So we expect to see hospital workers, schoolteachers, downed tools. I also have some factories being blocked. And the objective is to try and get the government to listen to, of course, remove that reform.

Now, next Thursday will be the day before the Constitutional Council looks at the reform and will either greenlight it or say that some parts of it are unconstitutional or, indeed, the whole thing. Now we expect this to be a formality so we expect it to be greenlit. But if it isn't this would be a dramatic development, especially for Macron.

You know, Macron has been severely weakened by this pension reform. You will remember that most French people are against it. So his popularity ratings are very low. The last time they were this low was during the yellow vest protest. So Macron has a lot to do. He's in -- he's in China right now but this really is the biggest crisis facing his presidency and he has a lot to do to try and make the French feel listened to and to find some way to appease the masses -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: Yes, and we'll watch to see what happens.

Saskya Vandoorne, thank you so much.

Coming up, new details about Cash App creator Bob Lee's final moments. The latest on the murder investigation. And a new study says the rate of people nearly dying while giving birth varies depending on where you live. What expectant mothers need to know.



JIMENEZ: A new report reveals details about the moments after the fatal stabbing attack on Cash App creator Bob Lee. Officials say surveillance video apparently shows Lee walking around begging for help after the attack.

CNN's Veronica Miracle has more.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Days after the stabbing death of tech executive Bob Lee --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just incredibly tragic.

MIRACLE (voice-over): -- friends and family of the 43-year-old creator of Cash App have few answers -- just grief and memories.

PHIL BARKETT, BOB LEE'S FRIEND: His dedication to his kids was first and foremost. Bob was father of the year.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Now, new details are emerging of Lee's final moments from surveillance video and records reviewed by the San Francisco Standard. They indicate Lee had stab wounds to the chest and used his cell phone to make a 911 call, screaming, "Help! Someone stabbed me."

JONAH OWEN LAMB, REPORTER, SAN FRANCISO STANDARD: He seems to lift his shirt up as he approaches a car that is stopped on the corner with its flashers on. The car then drives away.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Reporter Jonah Lamb says Lee then fell down but managed to get back up and cross the street.

LAMB: He walked back on main the way he came but on the other side of the street and falls down.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Though a motive remains unclear, the stabbing has unleased a flurry of anger from the tech community, including Elon Musk who claimed on Twitter "Violent crime in San Francisco is horrific."

Police data shows San Francisco's murder rate is far lower than some other large cities but overall, violent crime is rising, up seven percent last year and another six percent so far this year. Property crime in San Francisco is sky-high. Twenty-twenty FBI data reports more than 4,000 cases per 100,000 residents -- nearly three times higher than New York City.

Safety fears have, in part, led to recalls of the former district attorney and political change at San Francisco's City Hall.

JOEL ENGARDIO, SAN FRANCISCO SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 4, DEFEATED INCUMBENT IN 2022: Residents are feeling like the city is not working for them and they just want clean streets, safe streets, and good schools.

BOB LEE, FOUNDER, CASH APP, FATALLY STABBED IN SAN FRANCISCO: Hi, West. My best friend just dialed in. MIRACLE (voice-over): For friends of Bob Lee it's not politics but

Lee's personality and legacy weighing heavy on their hearts.

BARKETT: He was charismatic. He was brilliant. He was a thinker. He was a doer.


JIMENEZ: Veronica Miracle, thank you for that report.


Becoming a mother can be even riskier for some women in the U.S., according to a new study. The potential for death or severe complications during pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum can vary drastically depending on where she lives or what her racial background is.

CNN's Jacqueline Howard takes a closer look.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER (on camera): Omar, the rates of patients nearly dying due to pregnancy or childbirth complications are dramatically different state by state. That's what this new study reveals, looking specifically at Medicaid patients.

And what the researchers did -- they analyzed data on patients with Medicaid insurance from 2016 through 2018. They found that the overall rate of severe complications in pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum ranges from about 80 cases for every 10,000 deliveries in Utah to a rate of more than 200 cases per 10,000 deliveries in Washington, D.C. So, D.C.'s rate was just over 2 1/2 times Utah's.

And in general, Omar, the states with the highest rates of severe complications among Medicaid patients were California, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York, plus the District of Columbia. The five states with the lowest rates were Utah, Maryland, Rhode Island, Nebraska, and New Hampshire.

And in states where race and ethnicity data were available, the study found that non-Hispanic Black patients were about 62 percent more likely than non-Hispanic white patients to experience pregnancy and childbirth complications like eclampsia or heart failure.

And so the takeaway here -- the hope is that this new data can help guide state policy discussions around maternal health across the country, Omar.


JIMENEZ: Jacqueline Howard, thank you so much.

About 51 past the hour.

A lot going on in the sports world. Tiger Woods struggling in his opening round at the Masters.

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. Good to see you, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good to see you, Omar. Good morning to you.

And we're not sure how many more times we're going to get to see Tiger competing at the Masters so we should really soak it in while we can. And Tiger's going to have to have a good day today if he hopes to make it to the weekend.

It was Tiger's putter that was letting him down early in round one. He missed three short par putts on the front nine. Tiger, battling with a noticeable limp, ended the day with five bogies and two birdies and is tied for 54th at two-over.

Now, Tiger has not missed the cut at the Masters since turning pro in 1997 and he hopes to keep that streak going.


TIGER WOODS, TIED 54TH AFTER FIRST ROUND AT THE MASTERS: Hopefully tomorrow I'll be a little bit better, a little bit sharper, and kind of inch my way through it. I mean, this is going to be an interesting finish to the tournament with the weather coming in. If I can just kind of hang in there and maybe kind of inch my way back, hopefully, it will be positive towards the end.


SCHOLES: Yes. Jon Rahm, meanwhile, looked like he was also going to have a rough day. He four-putted the opening hole for double bogie but then had one of the best rounds in Masters history. Rahm with seven birdies and an eagle the rest of the way. His 65 is the best Masters score ever for someone who started with a double bogey. He leads at 7- under with Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland.

Now, Koepka, a four-time major winner, leading the way for the 17 LIV golfers in the field. He's looking for his first major since the 2019 PGA Championship.

Hovland, meanwhile, looking for his first major ever. The 25-year-old one of the brightest young stars on the PGA Tour and, well, had the shirt to match it yesterday.


VIKTOR HOVLAND, FIRST ROUND CO-LEADER AT THE MASTERS: I had nothing to do with it. I just wear what they tell me to wear. No, I mean, it's definitely a little bit out there but I think I'd rather take these than the -- than the pink pants I had last year -- so we're making progress.


SCHOLES: That is a nice shirt.

Now, the weather is not looking great. A good chance for thunderstorms this afternoon there in Augusta. They've already moved up tee times 30 minutes. And Saturday, it could be a complete washout. So we could actually get our first Monday Masters since 1983.

All right, elsewhere in the NBA, Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns just keep on rolling. K.D. hitting six threes last night. Chris Paul made a career-high seven. The Suns beat the shorthanded Nuggets 119- 115.

Phoenix now a perfect 8-0 with Durant in the lineup. They have locked up the four-seed in the Western Conference.

History on the ice in the Pacific Northwest last night. In just their second season as the NHL's 32nd team, the Seattle Kraken are heading to the playoffs for the first time. The Kraken beating the Coyotes 4-2 last night to clinch that playoff berth. The puck drops on the NHL postseason in 10 days.

All right, and finally, an awesome moment last night at the Diamondbacks game. Phoenix police officer Tyler Moldovan standing up from his wheelchair and throwing out the first pitch. His wife Chelsea there helping him out and what a strike he threw.


In 2021, just days before Christmas when he was just 22 in his first year on the force, Tyler was shot eight times, including in the head, while responding to a call. He spent an entire month on life support and six months in the hospital before he was finally released last June.

And, Omar, just incredible to see him get up and throw that pitch --

JIMENEZ: You know, it's --

SCHOLES: -- last night at the game. It's just inspiring.

JIMENEZ: It's one of those moments where -- you know, in sports you love those types of moments where all of a sudden there's this crossover where you're just inspired, you know? You almost can't believe. Like, how could this person do this? But seeing it in that moment -- and he threw a pretty awesome strike.

SCHOLES: Right. Yes, I mean, he was -- he was given little chance to live and here he is on the mound throwing a strike. Just incredible.

JIMENEZ: Andy Scholes, great to see you.

SCHOLES: All right.

JIMENEZ: For everyone watching, that is it for me this week -- and don't be sad. Let's be glad it happened. Thanks for joining us. I'm Omar Jimenez. "CNN THIS MORNING" starts after the break.