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Declassified FBI 9/11 Document Shows Link between Hijackers and Saudi Nationals; North Korea Claims Long-Range Missile Launch; Tropical Storm Nicholas Threatens Texas, Louisiana; Rapper versus MMA Fighter on VMAs Red Carpet; Doctor: Scolding the Unvaccinated Isn't Working; Justice Breyer Decries Adding Seats to Supreme Court. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired September 13, 2021 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The Saudi government has denied any government involvement in the attacks.
The FBI released the 16-page document on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks just hours after Biden attended memorial services in New York City, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These memorials are really important but they're also incredibly difficult for the people who were affected.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): On September 3rd, the president signed an executive order, directing the Justice Department and other federal agencies to release declassified documents over the next six months.
This move fulfilling one of Biden's campaign promises. And it comes after pressure and scrutiny from some families of 9/11 victims, some even telling the president he would not be welcome at any memorial events unless the documents were declassified.
Before the release, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he was pleased with Biden's decision to order the declassification review but he's doubtful it will provide the closure that many families are looking for.
LEON PANETTA, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think that the families of the victims are entitled to know the whole truth of what was involved and who was involved when it came to 9/11. I suspect that they're not going to get the kind of satisfactory answers about the role of Saudi Arabia with regards to this attack.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now Susan Glasser, staff writer for "The New Yorker" and CNN global affairs analyst.
Susan, what's your big takeaway from this document release? SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think it provides continued suspicion around the question of what kind of assistance, in particular, two of the 19 hijackers may have had when they came to the United States.
It begins to fill in the picture but here we are 20 years later and it's just not definitive. So I think that's the most important thing. This is the first document. There will be further ones to be released. So there may be additional new information.
But I was struck by the fact that the FBI was skeptical of some of the information that that they had but they couldn't put it together in any kind of definitive way.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: It's a change from the 9/11 Commission and what the 9/11 Commission found, right?
Some is based on interviews that were done really just a few years ago, 2015. And it does sort of move the needle closer to what some of these families have suspected.
GLASSER: Well, I was struck by that, that they definitely -- there was a live investigation until recently, essentially, again, it revolves around two of the 19 hijackers and a series of coincidences in terms of Saudi nationals they met with in the United States, who offered them assistance, that the FBI said it was hard to reconcile with just being pure coincidence.
Do you meet someone in a 7-Eleven?
I think that was one of the examples. Then they're providing you help and assistance. So again, it's nothing definitive. But it's important to have, I think, a level of transparency, as Secretary Panetta was pointing out.
And that, if nothing else, it offers a sense that this is the information that the government has, even if it doesn't provide this "aha" moment of clarity for the family.
BERMAN: The fact of the release, in and of itself, is something the families welcome. and we should know we'll speak to some of them later on.
Susan, overnight, something else really significant happened, which is North Korea announced it has successfully fired what it is calling long-range cruise missiles. Now all of those words matter here in the lexicon of what North Korea says it does and doesn't do and its development of its weapons system here.
How significant is this?
And how do you imagine the Biden administration will respond?
GLASSER: Well, of course this is significant. Why?
First of all, it's the first time, I believe, in six months that they have done something like this after a sort of pause at the beginning of the Biden administration. Biden and his team obviously have a lot of foreign policy crises going on. I don't think they wanted to reelevate North Korea without a dramatic new approach to what to do about it, unlike Donald Trump.
I think they don't want to embark on a series of high-stakes negotiations without a clear path forward. What we heard from the Biden team so far was an early emphasis on restoring the alliances that were really tested by the Trump approach of unilateral "me, me, me" diplomacy.
And so you've seen (INAUDIBLE) in dealing with the Japanese and those in the region. But I think we're coming to the point, where the Biden team is going to have to sort of say what they really are going to do this time.
BERMAN: Susan Glasser, great to see you this morning. Thank you so much.
GLASSER: Thank you.
BERMAN: If you want to stick around, we have got more big news coming up. An announcement from Britney Spears, just days after her father filed a petition to end her conservatorship.
KEILAR: I'm blinded, blinded by that rock.
Plus, a scuffle on the VMAs' red carpet between MMA fighter Conor McGregor and one of the biggest names in music.
Who would maybe get into an altercation with this guy?
KEILAR: This morning, hurricane watches are in effect for parts of Texas. Tropical Storm Nicholas is threatening the Gulf Coast with another round of heavy rains and potential flooding.
BERMAN: Developing overnight, Britney Spears announced she's getting engaged to long-time boyfriend, Sam Asghari, coming days after Spears' fight to end her court-ordered conservatorship that took an unexpected turn when her father filed a petition to end the arrangement. CNN's Chloe Melas joins us with the latest here.
That was some rock. CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John. Listen, there are wedding
bells in the future for Britney Spears but what makes this incredibly significant is that, at her testimony, at the Los Angeles Superior Court on June 23rd, Britney actually said, quote, "I was told that I could not get married or have a baby."
So now her long-time boyfriend, Sam Asghari, proposing to Britney after being together for five years. This is incredibly significant; especially, John, since she's been in this battle with her father, Jamie Spears, for the last year, in this conservatorship battle.
There's another hearing on September 29th. Her father, you know, filing a petition to terminate this conservatorship for the first time in 13 years. You know, we haven't heard him or anybody else weigh in on the nuptials that are pending.
But you know, Britney Spears, so many people just want her to be happy. And it's clear that she has control over her social media, posting pictures and videos and, you know, I think that this could be the beginning of an exciting, very wonderful, peaceful new chapter for Britney; at least that's what fans in the Free Britney movement are hoping for.
KEILAR: Yes. Look, congratulations to them. Right?
Was a beautiful little video they put up.
OK. I also want, while I have you here, Chloe, to ask you about a scuffle on the red carpet that happened last night at the WMAs between Conor McGregor, the MMA fighter, and musician Machine Gun Kelly. Tell us what happened here.
MELAS: So the MTV VMAs hadn't even started yet and there were a slew of celebrities walking the red carpet. Machine Gun Kelly and his girlfriend, Megan Fox, taking the carpet to pose for some photos.
Then you see Conor McGregor in his magenta suit, standing there. And there are words exchanged. And then you see the two stars lunge at each other and Conor McGregor had to be restrained.
Now Conor McGregor gave an interview to "Entertainment Tonight" moments after saying, "I don't know what happened. I don't fight rappers."
But there are reports circulating this morning that Conor McGregor supposedly asked to take a photo with Machine Gun Kelly on the red carpet. Now we know that these two actually -- I don't know if they're friends but we know that Machine Gun Kelly actually went to Conor McGregor's fight several months ago.
So you know, it looks like Conor McGregor doesn't want to talk about it anymore. We haven't heard anything from Machine Gun Kelly. We do know that Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox left the red carpet and said that they didn't want to take photos anymore unless Conor McGregor left. He did leave the red carpet. They came back and took pictures and then
the show went on, the MTV VMAs went on and everything seemed to just be OK. As for what exactly was said, we just don't know yet. But a lot of celebrities this morning, Brianna, are weighing in on social media. So...
KEILAR: We'll have to -- I was checking out mmafighting.com, as I do, morning to morning, right, naturally.
KEILAR: But I was just reminded that Conor McGregor has been in kind of a bad mood lately. He has had some losses here in recent months and he doesn't do well when he feels spurned. So I think we have more facts to get on this. But we'll see where it goes. Chloe, thank you so much.
MELAS: Thank you.
BERMAN: By the way, excellent reporting, Brianna, on your part as well.
KEILAR: Just relaying that mmafighting.com information.
Our next guest says that the strategy of scolding the vaccinated into getting a shot is not working. What he says could work instead.
BERMAN (voice-over): Plus, new this morning, justice Amy Coney Barrett responding to critics who say the Supreme Court has become too political.
KEILAR: As of this morning, more than a quarter of Americans who are eligible for the vaccine have not gotten a shot. When it comes to convincing the vaccine hesitant, our next guest argues that officials have been going about it the wrong way.
He writes this, "Stories can be more powerful than data. To persuade people to get them to think, you must first get them to feel. Let's tone down the rhetoric and create opportunities, whose purpose isn't to convince people with contrary opinions that they're behaving irresponsibly but to invite them into our lives and appreciate why each of us might feel morally injured."
KEILAR: The author of that op-ed, Dr. Jay Baruch, is with us now, he is an emergency physician. He's a professor of emergency medicine as well at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Sir, thank you so much for being with us. You say, look, this
persuasion through all these facts and statistics, it really hasn't worked with the vaccine hesitant. And you also say that scolding isn't the way. So explain the way as you see it.
DR. JAY BARUCH, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN: Well, Brianna, thank you for having me. I'm very honored to be here.
You know, my experience is commonly shared by many of my colleagues on the front lines, which is, when we have people who are in the ER, who are very sick from COVID and they're often asking for vaccines when it's a little bit too late.
And what's really curious is that you take that particular instance and you say, you know, see, that's an argument why people should get vaccinated.
But another way of looking at that experience is saying, wow, these are people who actually will get vaccinated.
Like the question is, what is that if?
I would get vaccinated "if."
What is that if?
And I feel like right now the discourse is so laden with facts and data -- and justifiably so; we need facts and data. But unfortunately for many people, who aren't getting vaccinated, they're showing their own vaccine data that they believe in.
So how do we then connect with each other?
That's what's sort of propelled me to write this piece.
KEILAR: OK. So then take us into what that conversation would look like, if you are talking to someone who is vaccine hesitant and you're giving them just the facts. You're giving them the science.
And they come back with their own facts, which are not true. And there you are, back where you began. So you said you've got to get them to feel. You need to communicate moral injury to them.
So what would you say?
BARUCH: Well, part of the challenge, Brianna, I feel, is that we're giving them facts. We're focusing on what we need to say rather than perhaps focusing on what we need to hear.
And what I have discovered, at least in the conversations that I'm having with my patients, is that the things that concern them are often incredibly personal. And they have to do with distrust, they have to do with they don't believe the data, they're worried about their own understanding about vaccines.
They're destabilized by the entire experience of COVID-19. And so I think what we need to do is try to recognize those barriers to understanding rather than just hit them with data and actually try to understand what this experience means to their lives, because many people, what I have learned -- especially from readers who emailed me in response to my piece who are not vaccinated, they tell me very different stories.
And they're not one story. We can't lump all the unvaccinated or the vaccine hesitant into one category. That really diminishes their experience and how they're thinking through this problem.
KEILAR: OK, I will just say -- and you know that there are because I've heard from so many of them, vaccinated people out there, who are listening to our conversation and they're probably rolling their eyes because they're out of patience with people.
KEILAR: Who aren't getting vaccinated.
You know, what do you say to them, as it sounds like you're saying you need to kind of empathize is the first step with the unvaccinated?
BARUCH: Well, yes. I just want to make one thing clear. I think everyone should be vaccinated. We should get vaccinated.
However, my argument and what propelled me to write the piece is the fact that just screaming and yelling just get vaccinated is not, I think, the actual, proper way to get people to get vaccinated.
And we have to explore why people are not getting vaccinated because I think the problems that we're dealing with now, Brianna, not only have to deal with vaccinations, I think it has to deal with larger problems in the healthcare system, including lack of trust in the healthcare system, the fact that a lot of my patients don't have physicians, so they don't have anybody to trust that they can talk to about these things.
I think there's a multiple of problems and challenges that we have to face and I think the vaccination conflict/debate/crisis is really one final, final result of something that is much deeper.
KEILAR: Yes. No, I think you're definitely right about that. It's revealed a lot. Dr. Baruch, thank you.
BARUCH: Thank you so much for having me.
KEILAR (voice-over): Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer pouring cold water on progressives' idea of adding more justices to the highest court in the land.
BERMAN (voice-over): Plus, brand new details about how former first lady Melania Trump responded, as rioters broke through the barricades outside the Capitol on January 6th. I got to say, this is something.
BERMAN: Hurricane Ida may have forced the Saints out of New Orleans but they looked right at home in Jacksonville against the Packers.