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Midterm Impact of Overturning Roe; Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) is Interviewed about January 6th Committee; Bodies Surfacing in Lake Mead. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 10, 2022 - 08:30   ET



DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: For people because people they're in touch with were taking in this information and getting confused about what the law actually does.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, not just getting the truth, but getting results, Daniel Dale.

So, look, if Roe is struck down by the Supreme Court, abortion law would be set by each state. What do we know about Tennessee's possible post Roe future?

DALE: If Roe is invalidated, Tennessee is planning to ban almost all abortions. It is one of more than a dozen states that has a so-called trigger law in place, a law that snaps into effect if Roe is overturned. And this trigger law says that 30 days after Roe goes down, abortion is banned. There is an exception for the life of the mother, but no exception for rape or for incest.

BERMAN: And that happens 30 days after Roe is struck down.

Daniel Dale, as I said, not just the truth, but results, thanks so much for that.

DALE: Thanks, John.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's bring in CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

First I want to ask you about something that Senator Ted Cruz said, which is that there are some in the Republican Party who are nervous about the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): I can tell you Democrats in Washington are holding on to that as their Hail Mary chance to save the midterms. They believe that people will be horrified and that will help them win. And I've got to tell you, more than a few Republican senators are nervous that's the case.

KEILAR: We knew this, but it's so interesting to hear him say it.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. And, you know, he also said in that same podcast, I think you're going to have a positive effect of people in the pro-life community who have been fighting for this for 50 years. He might be right about that, but if history is any guide for us here on the way politics and political movements and fervor works, it's not on the side of the victor. And, in this case, politically speaking, the conservative movement has been working on this for 50 years, since Roe first was -- happened in the early '70s.

Now the question really is about how much of a galvanizer this is on the other side of the aisle, for those who have taken for granted that this would just be the law of the land forever. Again, history tells us that that is where the energy is more likely to be. Not on the side of those who -- whose energy for 50 years paid off.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And this is certainly something that a lot of conservatives have wanted to see for so long. It's been like one of their defining principles. But maybe it animates the base, but not necessarily the swing voters who are hesitant about something like this, going -- had this ruling happening, this coming down, what it means for the future of that. And so I think that's where the concern from some of these Republican senators comes from.

BASH: Yes. And one thing I think is important as -- because we are getting into the nitty-gritty of the midterms, there is such a difference between the House and the Senate and the dynamics that could play out with this and other issues. There's so few swing districts left in the House because of redistricting and lots of other reasons that the pool of politicians for whom this could make a make or break difference is pretty small.

On the Senate side, though, you have large states where you have lots of suburban pockets. You have lots of pockets where people who are energized could make a difference.

KEILAR: When we covered Congress together, there were so many Democrats who were, you any, pro-life.

BASH: Yes. Yes.

KEILAR: So, I want to talk about today, because here in a couple of -- a few hours we're going to see President Biden giving a speech address inflation. There are so many Americans who are sour on the economy. What do we expect he's going to say?

COLLINS: The thing is, it's the fact that he's giving this speech, that he feels the need to come out, to address this, to talk about what his game plan is. When you hear White House officials say, you know, there are limits to what he can do to try to blunt this, but they say that they know that he has to be out there talking about it because they believe they want to show he is addressing it because for all the talk about what's going to happen with the Supreme Court ruling, one thing that we do know is right now the number one concern that voters have is inflation and the economy and they don't think it's going well.

And so you'll see President Biden come out and talk about what he's done so far, what he plans to do. But, look at the reports this morning about gas prices reaching a new high, going up 17 cents just in the last week alone, I believe, in the last several days. And that's a major concern for them because, yes, President Biden released oil from the Strategic Reserves last month, prices dipped a little bit, but as we said at the time, and as what analysts were telling us, experts on this matter, it's only going to be temporary and they're going to go back up.

And right now we're seeing that. We are hearing concerns they're going to go up even further this summer. And so it's not an issue that's going away for them and they know that it is number one for them.

BASH: They are hearing, I'm sure, what we are both hearing, no question, from, again, those Democrats who are on the ballot, in November, begging the president to get more involved on the issue of the economy, begging him to get out -- more out front on it.

You know, there are those who say, well, I can just run separately, triangulate, or however you want to call it.


But for the most part, those who are running campaigns say that the Democrats' fortunes are tied to the president and the president right now is tied to the economy.

KEILAR: Do you think right now if we can switch topics and talk about Vladimir Putin and how the White House, how the president has seen Putin after that speech that he gave yesterday on a key day, on victory day, what are they thinking now after Putin really didn't say what they thought he might. He didn't declare victory. He didn't, you know, do some sort of victory lap or anything. What are they thinking he's going to do now?

COLLINS: Yes. And there was a bit of a divided view in the White House of what yesterday's speech from him was going to look like. Some said maybe he will try to declare victory or announce he's mobilizing more forces. Others were a little skeptical given he doesn't have a lot of progress to tout at this speech. And, obviously, he did not make any new announcements there.

They watched it very closely. Officials told me they found it subdued, pretty muted. He didn't say anything new. They didn't really feel the need to respond in any great way to talk about what he said because what's the point of escalating it any further.

One big question that I think was revealed by President Biden last night, that he said at a closed door fundraiser is, Putin is a very calculating person, but right now they are having trouble figuring out where he is going next and what is a -- what is a possible exit for him here. What is an endgame where he can say, I have this tangible achievement, this is where I'm going to hang my hat on and attempt to declare victory in Ukraine? Because, of course, things have changed so much from he wants to take the capital. That didn't happen. Now he's moved to focus on eastern and southern Ukraine. The progress there for the Russians has been incremental at best when you talk to Pentagon officials.

So now what the president is talking about, what he's saying is, I don't know how he gets out of this war is, they don't know what it is that Putin feels like he can touch on that he can then exit this war and still feel that his reputation is intact.

And you heard the CIA director over the weekend say this, he thinks that right now Putin's mindset is he cannot afford to lose this war.

BASH: Which is what he didn't expect. And it seems as though the answer is that it's possible that despite the fact that people have been looking at Putin as this chess player, as somebody who's playing the long game, who has a plan out for the future, that because his strategy in Ukraine didn't go the way he intended, he might not know the answer. So, everybody in the U.S. government trying to get inside his head, his head might not have the answer of where he wants to go right now.

COLLINS: And I think one concern, we've tried to talk about this in such a measured way because it is important that you do -- when you talk about this threat of him using a tactical nuclear weapon, the thing that I think stands out the most for me is, when you listen to the CIA director, and he talks about this, and he says the chance isn't zero. We're not saying it's going to happen. They don't have intelligence that he's moving or posturing himself to make any kind of strike like that. But the fact that they're saying it's not a zero chance and that he is conducting this nuclear saber rattling, his aides are, it does raise a concern for people like the CIA director. And I think that is such an interesting aspect of this, as I think their concern is he gets kind of to the end of his rope and that's a last resort measure that he (INAUDIBLE).

KEILAR: Yes, it may be a sign of his desperation, but it doesn't mean that he's not necessarily going to do it, that there isn't a small chance.

BASH: Yes.

KEILAR: Dana and Kaitlan, thank you so much to both of you. I appreciate it.

BASH: Thank you.

KEILAR: Watch Dana and Kaitlan tonight for their awesome primary coverage. I'll be tuning in, probably in my pajamas. Thank you, guys, so much.

Just in, Ukraine says 100 civilians are still trapped in that Mariupol compound as the Russians continue their assault.

BERMAN: And we're learning new details about the deaths of American tourists in the Bahamas.



BERMAN: This morning, all eyes on the January 6th committee as they prepare for next month's high profile hearings. The big question now, which witnesses will they invite? Could that include Trump family members or even Republican members of Congress?

I'm joined now by Democratic congressman and committee member Pete Aguilar.

Congressman, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Before I get to the actual public hearings in June, I do want to ask you, what's the current status of speaking to former Vice President Mike Pence?

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Well, I can't get into specific discussions that we're having with individuals, but I can tell you, nearly a thousand interviews and depositions that the January 6th committee has conducted. We continue to receive ample evidence and material that is helpful to our investigation. We understand the interest in talking to the vice president, and we haven't made decisions at this point. But I can tell you that we continue to receive ample evidence that will help us in this discussion.

BERMAN: I mean, obviously, he's not just any witness. And I'm not asking you about thousands, I'm asking you about just this one. And I do wonder, how could you have a complete investigation without hearing from someone so central to that day?

AGUILAR: Well, we have heard from many witnesses who have information about discussions that were taking place around the vice president. And so we continue to gather that evidence and the text messages that have been publicly reported, and we're making significant progress. Each and every step of the way, we look forward to sharing that progress with the American public in these eight public hearings that we plan to have in June.

BERMAN: As you said, you mentioned the text messages. CNN has obtained and released so many of these text messages that were sent to Mark Meadows, over hours, including from Trump's family members, from members of Congress, from politicians, from elsewhere, pleading with Meadows to get the president, former president, to step in, to say something, anything, to stop the insurrection as it was happening. And yet nothing happened for three hours.

So, when you read over those text messages, what was your reaction?

AGUILAR: Disappointed, but not surprised. You know, committee members had access to those text messages months ago and I think it lays the story of January 6th, that this was a concerted effort, this wasn't just something spontaneous that occurred on January 6th.

[08:45:09] There was a buildup that was a plan. There were multiple people in Mark Meadows ear telling him about these crazy conspiracy theories, whether they originated with these individuals and some members of Congress, or whether they were cut and pasted and sent to Mark Meadows. He received many of these and responded that they were working actively on those in November and in December.

BERMAN: That three hours of inaction from the former president, does that, to you, constitute a dereliction of duty?

AGUILAR: Yes. I think that the president had every opportunity to walk into the press room, to tweet, to talk to the American public, and to tell these insurrectionists to go home, to tell them that we're going to have a peaceful transition of power. That's a hallmark of democracy. And each and every step of the way he chose not to do that.

BERMAN: Have formal invitations gone out to witnesses for the public hearings?

AGUILAR: No. But we continue to have discussions about each hearing, a topic. It will be focused. It will be clear to the American public, the story that we want to tell. We have, like I said, had nearly a thousand depositions and interviews, and we will make decisions as to which witnesses and which evidence and material will help us convey that in the best format to the American public. This is about sharing that story, telling that story, and making sure that the public understands it.

BERMAN: I do understand that each member will sort of get a day that he or she can focus on. Have you decided what your day of focus will be?

AGUILAR: I look forward to participating in the hearing as a -- as a member and I look forward to getting ready with the entire team. It's a great group of members. And we have been looking forward to sharing this story and sharing the evidence that we've received.

BERMAN: Congressman Pete Aguilar, as always, I do appreciate you being with us and sharing what you can with us and the American people.

Thank you.

AGUILAR: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, grim discoveries at the nation's largest reservoir. CNN there live.



KEILAR: Another grim discovery at Lake Mead. More human remains have been found as the water level continues to shrink. And now the two bodies discovered in one week have law enforcement re-evaluating whether this manmade reservoir just a short distance from Las Vegas has a sordid past connected to the mafia. CNN's Nick Watt is joining us.

Nick, what are their theories here?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, one case is being treated as a homicide investigation.

Now, Brianna, you mentioned the size of this lake. This is the water supply for tens of millions of people here in the southwest. This lake is 65 miles long when it's full. But, boy, is it far from full.

In fact, since this lake was first filled in the 1930s, the water level has never been lower. All of this should be covered in water. But it's not.


WATT (voice over): Lake Mead is shrinking, an omen of an uncertain future as climate change fights and as that water level lowers, grisly discoveries from a dark past.

Just a short drive from sin city out here in the wilderness, this past Saturday, May 7th, human skeletal remains spotted at a popular recreation spot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You second guess bringing your kids out here anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I want to leave.

WATT: Less than a week earlier, Sunday, May 1st, another human body in a rusty barrel in the mud.

LT. RAY SPENCER, HOMICIDE UNIT, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: That is definitely and clearly a homicide investigation.

WATT: Because in that decomposing body, they found a gunshot wound.

SPENCER: We believe the incident occurred in the late 1970s to early '80s and we're basing that upon footwear and clothing that the victim was found wearing. And we know that that footwear and clothing was sold at Kmart in the late to mid -- or mid to late 1970s.

WATT: Back in those days, Las Vegas was a gangsters paradise that inspired a cinematic staple. Remember "Casino"?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meeting in the middle of the desert always made me nervous. It's a scary place.

WATT: Dead bodies in trunks, shallow graves, cement boots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're assuming mafia, we're assuming everything because it's Vegas.

WATT: These two retired Vegas cops, now podcast hosts, are offering $5,000 to any diver who finds another body. DAVID KOHLMEIER, PODCASTER, "THE PROBLEM SOLVER": I feel, you know, it

would just be interesting to kind of close out some cases or identify some people that are missing persons.

WATT (on camera): So, the body in the barrel that was found was found right here. When it was dumped decades ago, we've have been under a lot of water. This would have been somewhere near the middle of Lake Mead. So, a safe, submerged secret.

Not anymore. This is now the shoreline.

WATT (voice over): And so detectives from Vegas are now faced with a decades old murder, a vast crime scene and, right now, very little to go on beyond those '70s shoes.

SPENCER: In any homicide investigation, the first part of the investigation is obviously we have to identify the victim. And that's what we're trying to do at this point.


WATT: So, two bodies found here in just a little over a week. The one found this past weekend, Lieutenant Spencer says right now they do not suspect foul play. There are accidents out here on the lake. And Lieutenant Spencer expects that more bodies will be found. As I mentioned, the water already at historic lows, and it could go even lower because there is no end in sight to the megadrought that is driving the dramatic dip in the water level.



KEILAR: Yes, one of the most dangerous national parks, actually.

Nick Watt, thank you so much for that, live for us from Lake Mead.

Is the queen's health worse than publicly known? Why she is skipping an event for the first time in nearly 60 years.

BERMAN: And this iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe breaking the bank and records at auction.


BERMAN: Time now for "5 Things To Know for Your New Day."

President Biden set to deliver a speech on inflation as gas prices hit a new record this morning.

KEILAR: A sheriff in Alabama tells NEW DAY, the former officer who died during a police chase after an 11-day manhunt was the mastermind in the escape of an inmate.

BERMAN: Autopsies being conducted on the three Americans who mysteriously died while on vacation at a Sandals resort in the Bahamas.

KEILAR: The queen missing the opening of parliament for the first time in six decades due to health issues. Prince Charles stepped in to deliver her speech.

BERMAN: Marilyn Monroe still breaking hearts to the tune of $195 million. That's how much the 1964 Andy Warhol portrait of the movie star sold for last night at Christie's. It is a new record for any auctioned American art work.

KEILAR: Those are "5 Things To Know for Your New Day." More on these stories all day on CNN and And don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every morning. CNN --

BERMAN: $195 million.


$195 million.

KEILAR: That is a -- I mean, that's a lot.

BERMAN: You could buy 195 $1 million pieces of art there. I mean --

KEILAR: Do you think it's worth that?

BERMAN: I'm not going to answer that question. I do love Andy Warhol. I --

KEILAR: I do too.

BERMAN: I like looking at it, which I can do for free.

KEILAR: I'm not surprised it sold for that, right?

BERMAN: Right.

KEILAR: It's beautiful.

All right, CNN's coverage continues right now.