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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is Interviewed about Abortion; U.S. Inflation Slowed Last Month; Paris Hilton is Interviewed about Child Abuse Laws; Brady's Deal with Fox. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 11, 2022 - 08:30   ET



SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Votes under the Senate rules to enact a law. I don't believe we will have 60 today. But every member of the Senate will go on record, do you want to overturn Roe v. Wade? That's what this is all about. If you want to vote that way, be my guest. But put us in a situation where we're taking away a basic freedom that has been guaranteed by the Constitution and the court for 50 years is significant, historic, and senators should be on the record.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You say it's a long shot. Isn't that an exaggeration? I mean doesn't it really have a zero percent chance of passing today?

DURBIN: Optimism is part of my makeup. I don't know that I could handle this job if I were not an optimistic person. But I know the reality.

BERMAN: So, putting people on the record, what does that get you?

DURBIN: Perhaps attention of the electorate. They have the final word in this basic decision as to whether Roe v. Wade will be overturned. If it is, be prepared. We already have signals from legislatures across the United States of the extreme positions they're going to take. In fact, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said it is possible that we will just outright ban any abortion procedures across America.

BERMAN: You say it's in the public's hands. It really isn't. It's in the Supreme Court's hands. And, obviously, we saw that draft opinion from Samuel Alito.

A little bit more information from "Politico" today. This is from "Politico," an article. Justice Samuel Alito's sweeping a blunt draft majority opinion from February overturning Roe v. Wade remains the court's only circulated draft in the pending Mississippi abortion case, "Politico" has learned, and none of the conservative justices who initially sided with Alito have to date switched their votes. That is according to "Politico" this morning. Surprised?

DURBIN: Well, I don't know how much we can value their information when you get down to the basics of five individual justices and how they plan on voting on this historic removal of the right or freedom that's been guaranteed for 50 years. Some people say that it was leaked by the Alito court to hanging on to the five who may have been wavering. Others view it as possibly from a source on the other side of the equation.

But the bottom line is the decision will be made individually. I might add quickly that at least two of the justices counted in the five supporting Alito really testified before our Senate Judiciary Committee and made it clear that they thought that the decision Roe v. Wade was a super precedent and would not be overturned.

BERMAN: I asked you about what it would do, what this show vote does today, whether it changes anything. And obviously the answer is immediately no. There are Democrats who want to see more, who want to see the Senate do more, perhaps throw open the filibuster, get rid of the filibuster, so you can take the vote in the Senate to codify the right to choice.

What do you say to them who say you have to do more than just a show vote?

DURBIN: I think after this vote you'll see that the -- any assault on the rules at this point or any change of the rules at this point is a long shot as well. We have to accept the reality. The reality is that the Constitution gives the American people the last word in this important debate. And that last word will be exercised this November, assuming the Alito opinion goes forward, the voters will decide who will be on the -- in the Senate and voting on this issue in the days to come.

BERMAN: Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, is concerned that if you were to get rid of the filibuster now, if you ended up in the minority after November, it may actually put certain rights or things in jeopardy, including -- you were talking about Mitch McConnell trying to nationalize perhaps, you said, you know, a ban on abortion, maybe it would give McConnell a path to do that.

DURBIN: It certainly -- when you take a look at it, you have to understand that every two years the tables can turn. And if they turn, you know, what will be the ultimate result. I've been here long enough to have seen them turn a few times. But I know this, the Republicans in the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, have been bound and determined for at least four straight years to load up the Supreme Court and federal courts across America to achieve this result. Not only to overturn Roe v. Wade, but to win in their culture wars, which is a war as well on contraception, on gay marriage, on some basic rights that Americans just assume were part of our future. They want to change that. That's what this election is all about.

BERMAN: So, there have been protests outside the home of some Supreme Court justices. Broadly speaking, how do you feel about that?

DURBIN: I think it's reprehensible. Stay away from the homes and families of elected officials and members of the court. You can express yourself, exercise your First Amendment rights. But to go after them in their homes, to do anything of a threatening nature and certainly anything violent is absolutely reprehensible. BERMAN: Your friend Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, says he's got

protesters outside his house, you know, four days a week. He sort of dismissed the notion that it's in and of itself a threat.


You disagree with that?

DURBIN: I think when it comes to the home of an elected official, that's over the line. It's happened to me. I think it's happened to most of us in elected position. If we want to bring women and men into this position, and accept the responsibility and sometimes the controversy, we have to have reasonable lines drawn to respect their families.

BERMAN: Senator Dick Durbin. Mr. Chairman, a big day ahead for you. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

DURBIN: Good to be with you, John.

BERMAN: All right, a key consumer report just released. Has inflation reached its peak?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And, Paris Hilton is back on The Hill. What she is asking the White House and Congress to do. She's going to join us live.


BERMAN: Moments ago, brand-new numbers on inflation.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans has the breakdown.

Have we peaked?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Still high, but signs of cooling here on inflation, John. Incredibly important numbers here.

When you look over the past 12 months, you've got the inflation rate, the annual inflation rate up 8.3 percent.


Remember, last month it was 8.5 percent. So, a bit of a cooling there.

Month over month, from March to April, up 0.3 percent. So, again, that was a cooling. Last month that was more than 1.2 percent. That was a really troubling number last month. So, you're seeing some moderation in these numbers. When you look at a line chart of how this looks, you can see it has been really troubling and red hot for some time. But now the first signs of cooling since about August, right, since last August, the first time you've seen that overall number slip back a little bit.

Here is where the pain is really felt, though. Again, I want to -- I want to really reiterate, these are persistent and high numbers. We're looking within these numbers for any signs of peaking. You see year over year gas prices up almost 44 percent. Use car prices -- anyone who is trying to buy a car will tell you that this is a really tough time and it costs a lot of money to try to get a new or a used car.

Food prices and shelter, these are things that really, really hurt, especially the low end of the income spectrum, right? These are things you cannot do without. The shelter part of the inflation story, I think, is going to be a big one going -- going forward in the months ahead here. So, bottom line, still persistent, still high, but showing signs of cooling here for the first time in a long time, John.

BERMAN: The cooling, particularly in energy, right, which is a little bit paradoxal (ph) given that we've hit record high gas prices.

ROMANS: Yes. And those record high gas prices overnight, $4.40 a gallon, about a buck and a half higher than that on the West Coast, those are not captured here in these numbers yet. So, that's something to think about looking forward.

We also have another fly in the ointment here, John, and that are -- that is new Covid lockdowns in China, this zero Covid strategy in China. A lot of folks are telling me they're worried about what that's going to mean for the supply chain for months ahead, meaning you still have the supply chain problem feeding into inflation going into the summer.

BERMAN: Look, if you were holding your breath for a peak, maybe we have seen it.

Christine Romans, thank you very much.


KEILAR: All right, I want to bring in John Harwood now.

This is going to be -- granted this is something that easing slowly, but good news for the White House.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's good news that we're at a peak. It's not as low as they wanted.


HARWOOD: We were hoping for -- the administration was hoping for, the country, the economy was hoping for a lower number. But the idea that even if it takes a while for it to start declining, that a peak has taken place, that is positive. And I think, generally speaking, economists expect inflation to be declining over the course of the next several months. The question is, how far does it fall? Does it get down to 3 percent, which would be a positive sign for the economy, or does it go slower than that? That's what we don't know yet.

KEILAR: I think psychologically it's important to see that light at the end of the tunnel. How far off is it, though, we will see.

John Harwood, thank you so much.

And we do have much more on this ahead.

Next, we're going to be joined by Paris Hilton as she continues her push for stronger child abuse laws.

BERMAN: So, why Tom Brady is about to make more money on television than he made his entire football career.



KEILAR: Paris Hilton is back in the nation's capital continuing her fight against child abuse. She spent the day at the White House where she urged lawmakers to pass the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act. This comes two years after Hilton shared her personal story of abuse.


PARIS HILTON: The last school that I went to was Provo Canyon School. And that was the worst of the worst.

There's no getting out of there.

You're sitting on a chair, staring at a wall, all day long, getting yelled at or hit.

I felt like a lot of the people who worked there got off on torturing children and seeing them naked.


KEILAR: Following Paris Hilton's accusations, Provo Canyon School released a statement saying, Provo Canyon School was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We, therefore, cannot comment on the operations or student experience prior to that time.

With us now is media personality and businesswoman Paris Hilton to talk about this issue.

Paris, we should mention, there were so many other allegations made about that school under its prior ownership as well. And I'm just hoping you can tell us about this bill that you're working on. What do you want people to know about it?

PARIS HILTON, URGING LAWMAKERS TO PASS THE STOP Institutional CHILD ABUSE ACT: I want people to know that there is severe abuse happening at these schools. There's 150,000 youth that are sent to these places, and they're being physically, verbally, emotionally and sexually abused and there needs to be a stop to this. So I'm here for the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act and just to educate lawmakers and senators on this very serious human rights issue.

KEILAR: Because when those kids are in a facility like this, what kind of avenues do they have if they have a complaint about how they're being treated?

HILTON: There's no possible way. They have -- they're cut off from the outside world. They're not allowed to tell anyone. If they try to even say it with their families on the phone -- it happened to myself as well -- they will immediately hang up the phone, you'll be punished and you'll have your phone privileges taken away. So they do scare tactics.

KEILAR: And you saw physical abuse and you experienced that, is that right?

HILTON: Yes, on a daily basis.

KEILAR: So you've been advocating for this courageously, sharing this experience, this awful experience that you had in the hope that other people won't have to go through this. You -- you've spoken in this documentary about how you were woken up in the middle of the night when you were 16, two transporters taking you to this residential treatment center that your parents wanted you to go to. You spoke of being in solitary confinement. How did that experience impact your life and also your parents' lives considering what they expected was going to happen there?

HILTON: My parents had no idea. They thought that they were sending me to a normal boarding school. But these places have such deceptive marketing and the people who work at these places lie to the families.


And what I experienced at these places, I will never forget, and it has affected me and will affect me for the rest of my life. And that's why I'm fighting for change so no child ever has to suffer in the name of treatment.

KEILAR: You know, Paris, I was reading about your story, and you have come forward and I imagine it's difficult to tell. But it's amazing that you're telling it.

Your story actually made me think about Britney Spears. Obviously very different circumstances, but I was thinking back to the '90s and the 2000s, and how as a society we just consumed your stories, right. And so many people made so much money off you guys. And then you both suffered and you're now telling the world about this abuse that you say that you've endured. This sort of imprisonment that you weren't able to get out of.

Do you see any similarities?

HILTON: Definitely. You know, I went through that as a teenager, and then she's had to experience it as an adult. And we both are so strong with what we've went through. And I'm so proud of both of us for using our voices to stick up for others who don't have a voice. And I'm so proud to be here in Washington, D.C. We have hundreds of survivors that have flown out and I'm just -- we really just need people to understand what's happening in these places.

KEILAR: Well, you're really elevating this issue and we're going to keep following this bill.

Paris, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

HILTON: Thank you so much too.

KEILAR: Tom Brady may soon be hanging up his jersey and picking up the mic. Bob Costas joining us on Brady's multimillion dollar retirement plan.


BERMAN: Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, heading to Fox Sports once his playing career ends. "The New York Post" reports the deal will pay him $375 million over ten years to work in the booth and be an ambassador for network.

Joining me now to discuss this, CNN contributor Bob Costas.

Bob, $375 million. That's good work if you can get it.


BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (via telephone): Yes, it absolutely is. The thing you have to keep in mind, John, is that in a fractionalized television and media world, the one thing that cuts through is NFL football. Seventy-five of the top 100 rated programs last year, in all of television, were NFL games. So, it's only within football where this is possible.

If you had a hockey, a baseball, a basketball announcer who was comparably as highly regarded as Al Michael, or Joe Buck, who jumped from Fox to ESPN, or Jim Nance or whatever, there's no way that they could command the same amount of money because, a, those sports don't generate the same type of audience, and, b, you don't have five different platforms creating this musical chairs things, five different platforms spending more than a billion dollars a year.

So, to spend this kind of money, as big as it seems, would almost be considering the networks' investments in the NFL, as if you bought a $5,000 suit, but then wouldn't pop for the tie or the belt or the shoes. It's relatively a small amount of money to bring someone like Brady, who cuts through all of it, a mega celebrity, people that don't know a screen pass from a field goal, know who Tom Brady is. And the key point, which you mentioned, is that in addition to being involved in the game broadcast, he's going to be a corporate ambassador for Fox. He's going to show up with sponsors. He's going to show up with corporate types. He's one of those people that moves the needle in that respect.

Now, how good he'll be as an analyst is a different question. People like to watch him. They like to hear what he has to say. He's, obviously, an expert and has all kinds of credibility. But many of the best athletes ever across the board in sports have not turned out to be terrific broadcasters. So we have to wait and see about that. BERMAN: Yes, I was going to ask you that, I mean Howard Cosell

famously wrote a book, I think the title was, "I Never Played the Game," right?


BERMAN: I mean, obviously, Tom Brady is very good at playing football. But what does it take to be good in the booth?

COSTAS: Well, it's a knack. One thing he has going for him, though, is that even more so than others, we're told, he loves to study film. He loves to immerse himself in the minutia of football. So if he just carries that over and he's willing to work even half as hard at being a great broadcaster, as he has as being a great player, then he's got a shot at it. I think most people don't realize how much (INAUDIBLE) Cris Collinsworth of NBC works and studies, not just during the season but 365 to stay on top of these things. And we'll see how much Brady wants to devote himself to that once he's done playing.

But for the most at least, it's not even certain that he's done after one more year. He'll be 45 this season, but he's defied all the previous expectations. So who knows how long he'll continue to play. Might be more than just this coming season.

BERMAN: Yes, I was joking this contract doesn't actually kick in until 2035.

COSTAS: Right.

BERMAN: At the rate -- at the rate -- at the rate that Tom Brady is going right now.

You know, in a booth you don't even get to see your face. I mean they're not going to get to see Tom Brady's face. Or do you think they'll change maybe the way they cover the games?

COSTAS: Well, I think they'll be more in game booth shots than usual. You want to play on Brady's celebrity and glamour. They'll probably involve him in the pregame and halftime programming more. If it turns out that he's not as good as they hope he will be in the booth, they can always move him to pregame programming where you're on camera all the time.

BERMAN: Bob, you know, and, you -- I love listening to you call baseball games more than anything else. Do you have a sense that actually the people in the booth drives ratings? Can it?

COSTAS: The research always showed that with the exception of John Madden, maybe back in the day when Monday night football was a phenomenon, Howard Cosell, whether they loved him or hated him, certainly drove ratings. People wanted to see him and see what he might have to say.

I think that with the -- with rare exception when the networks pay this kind of money -- and, again, it's unique to football when we talk about this kind of mega money, they do for prestige. They do it to have the best possible broadcast, to have people talking about the broadcast. There's no way to evaluate or objectively quantify what the buzz is around a broadcast. And maybe, certainly Fox is hoping this, maybe Brady is in the combination of credibility, but also glamour and across the board name recognition that he has.

BERMAN: We've got about 20 seconds left. There's been so much movement the last, you know, few months in terms of calling games. Why?

COSTAS: Because of the five platforms spending billions upon billions of dollars in rights fees and production fees, and because of the fact that the NFL is the number one property, not just in sports, but in all of entertainment.

An interesting side bar here is that Greg Olson is going to be the number one analyst, former (INAUDIBLE) tight end. He will be calling games and Bucs games are on Fox by and large, including the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl this year if the Bucs get that far.


So Greg Olson is calling games while keeping the seat warm for the guy who's going to be replacing him. Interesting dynamic.

BERMAN: Intrigue.

Bob Costas, always a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you so much.

COSTAS: Thank you, John.

KEILAR: And CNN's coverage continues right now.