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Gas Price Average Hits $4.92; Mexican President Snubs Summit; Supreme Court Abortion Battle; Watson Named in Lawsuit. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 07, 2022 - 06:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: With us now, Christine Romans, anchor of "EARLY START," and CNN chief business correspondent, to break down some of these numbers for us.

What are you seeing?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's unrelenting. I mean you feel like you have to fill it up every time you go to the gas station, right, because it's going to be more expensive the next day. That has been the trend, a record run for gas prices.

AAA reports the national average jumped to $4.92 a gallon overnight, that's up 30 cents from just last week.

People are flying and driving more than they have in the past two years. Oil supply just can't keep up with that booming demand. And the world's big energy producers have been slow - slow to try to ramp up production after Covid.

Crude oil, the biggest contributor to gas prices. U.S. crude at a three-month high, even after the biggest oil producing nations, OPEC Plus, promised to pump a little bit more. And, of course, the major oil producer, Russia, launched a destabilizing war. Already running hot gas prices have added $1.38, Brianna, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

So, in the U.S., California has the most expensive gas, a whopping $6.37. It's been above $6 a gallon there for more than a week. California is always more expensive because of higher state taxes and emission regulations that require a more expensive blend of gas in California.

When it comes to the cheapest gas, Georgia is the least expensive today at $4.33. States in the Midwest and near the Gulf Coast typically have the cheapest gas. They are closest to America's oil refineries, Brianna.

KEILAR: And this list of states that have $5 gas, it seems to just be growing by the day.

ROMANS: I know. It's almost just unbelievable. You're seeing these numbers, you know, at the marquee at the gas station for the first time ever. Where is gas above $5 a gallon? These 13 states and the District of Columbia.

And if you're wondering which state had the highest price hike over the past year, Brianna, California wins again. Prices were $4.22 last year. That's $2.15 a gallon cheaper than today. That means if you have an SUV with an 18-gallon tank, it's costing you about $40 more to fill up than last time -- than this time last year.

These countries all have higher gas prices than the U.S. As painful as it is to go to the gas station, Americans fare better than much of the rest of the world. Consumers are taxed less for gas in the U.S. And the U.S. energy industry, by the way, is heavily subsidized with tax breaks, about $20 billion per year. The highest gas prices in the world, Hong Kong, it's $11.21 a gallon to fill up there. Hong Kong has very high national gas tax. Cheaper to drive in the U.S. than Canada, where the average price last week was $6.49 on average.

The White House, of course, has tried to emphasize that disparity, that Americans are faring better. But, you guys, inflation overall taking a deep toll. Inflation and gas prices have Americans deeply pessimistic about the economy, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, I don't know if that works psychologically, just knowing that someone else has it worse. I guess it works a little bit, but I don't think --

ROMANS: I know. I've heard -- they're trying to just make that case, that it is a global inflation problem, a global problem that is driving up gas prices. But if you are going there every week or every ten days filling up your gas tank, it is just -- it's, frankly, demoralizing. And the path of least resistance for gas prices, at least right now, is still higher.

KEILAR: So high.

Christine, thank you so much for going through that for us.

High drama for a high stakes summit. Why the Mexican president is boycotting President Biden's summit this week.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: An attack on a base in Syria left four Americans injured. Now the U.S. military is investigating whether this attack was carried out by one of its own.

And, Phil Mickelson joining the new breakaway golf tour after making disparaging comments about the Saudi backers of the event. His apology, ahead.



BERMAN: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he will not attend the upcoming summit of the Americas in Los Angeles later this week. His decision is a direct result of President Biden's move to exclude the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua for what the White House said is the following reason.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: At the end of the day, to your question, we just don't believe dictators should be invited. And that's -- and so we don't regret that and we will stand -- the president will stand by his principle.


BERMAN: Joining me now is Caitlin Dickerson. She's a staff writer at "The Atlantic," where she covers immigration.

And the statement from the Mexican president was, there can't be a Summit of the Americas if all the countries of the continent don't participate. That would be to continue with the old interventionist policy of lack of respect for nations and their people.

The upshot of this is, is tension that the White House, I'm sure, doesn't want.

CAITLIN DICKERSON, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": It's definitely tension that the White House doesn't want. I think the Biden administration made a calculation here, right, and it has to do with the domestic politics too. We're heading into the midterms. Democrats and the White House are concerned about alienating any Hispanic or Latino voters, especially in Florida. And so I think that's part of the calculation here, the idea that if we don't invite leaders of Nicaragua, Venezuela and cube, that people who have left those countries, fled those regimes, are going to feel supported.

At the same time, we've alienated a really key ally in Mexico, and in EMLO, and his statement's right, basically say, who do you think you are, the United States? You know, the U.S. can't just engage with Latin America when it wants to and with whom it wants to. It needs to be more inclusive and sort of not this bullying or this sort of, you know, we're in charge and we can decide who's welcome and who isn't kind of a stance.

And so now the Biden administration is facing this real embarrassment in his decision not to attend.

BERMAN: Is it your reporting that the U.S., that the White House thought the Mexican president, they'd be able to convince him to come?


DICKERSON: I think it -- what the statements that came out of the White House prior to this announcement, this ultimate decision not to attend suggests, is that the White House thought that EMLO would decide, the head of Mexico, would decide to attend because you saw statement, you know, like, the president - President Biden very personally wants Mexico in attendance at this conference. I mean almost kind of begging for him to be there.

And you can imagine why. I mean we're at this moment where Russia, Vladimir Putin, is more of a kind of global threat than we've been talking about in the last many decades. And so it's a moment where solidarity is really key and also, of course, solidarity with Mexico is really key because of our migration issues in the United States.

You know, President - excuse me, President Biden came into office promising to invest in Central America, to try to mitigate migration to the United States, and very little progress has been made. I mean there's some efforts on job creation in Central America, for example, but it's not reflected in migration numbers because most of those funds have had to go, instead, to fighting Covid-19. And so there hasn't been a whole lot of progress that's going to make Americans feel better about our relationships with Latin America, nor is it going to make leaders in Latin America feel better about their bond with the United States.

BERMAN: One of the most important agenda items on this Summit of the Americas and how will they be affected by the absence of Mexico, or the Mexican president?

DICKERSON: Well, that's a problem, right, is that in a summit like this, trade deals are usually what governments in Latin America are going to want to talk about to help bolster their economy. But there's very little appetite, you know, as we just heard, for anything like that because the United States economy is in such a precarious place, inflation is what it is, and trade deals are just very controversial with voters. And so Biden is showing up to this summit without a whole lot of deliverables, as they're called, to be able to put on offer. And so it ends up being kind of a conversation that doesn't have a whole lot of very concrete, you know, updates or very concrete things to celebrate or agree upon, you know, and then this glaring absence is kind of the elephant in the room when it comes to Mexico's president, as well as these three other countries whose presidents weren't invited.

BERMAN: Caitlin Dickerson, great to have you. Thank you so much. Difficult times.

DICKERSON: Yes. Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, the extinction of so-called moderate Republicans from the Supreme Court. What that means from Roe versus Wade.

KEILAR: And, just in, big news involving figure skating. The International Skating Union will raise the minimum age to compete after the doping scandal involving Russian skater Kamila Valieva.



BERMAN: All right, we are waiting for the imminent Supreme Court decision on the future of Roe versus Wade. The way that the Supreme Court approaches abortion has really changed over the decades in line with the change of the makeup of the court.

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins me now to explain. And, Jeffrey, you've got a new piece up on, which kind of

explores this. But talk about how this has changed over the years.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, the -- one of the big stories of American politics over the past decades has been the disappearance of moderate Republicans. And that's really reflected at the Supreme Court, especially on the issue of abortion.

So, let's look at the votes in the big abortion cases over the past several decades.

Roe v. Wade, which is, of course, the case that established the right to a woman -- a woman's right to choose abortion in all 50 states, look at the vote. It was a 7-2 opinion. Not a particularly close case. And look at who voted for abortion rights. You had seven justices, but five of them Warren Burger, William Brennan, Potter Stewart, Lewis Powell and Harry Blackmun, who wrote the opinion, all a mix - all Republican appointees, all in favor of abortion rights. The only dissenters were Byron White, appointed by President Kennedy, and William Rehnquist, who is appointed by Richard Nixon.

The next big abortion case is Planned Parenthood against Casey from 1992. And look at that, it's even more dramatic. You have five justices in the majority, all five justices were appointed by Republicans. Think about that. Think how different that is from our politics today. All five justices for abortion rights, Harry Blackmun, again, who wrote Roe versus Wade, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Souter made up the majority. And, again, there was only one Democratic appointee on the Supreme Court in 1992, and he voted against abortion rights.

BERMAN: Well, you're talking about the disappearance of moderate Republicans, but you also have centrist Democrats like Byron White who also don't seem to be on the bench (ph).

TOOBIN: You know, the -- abortion did not used to be the polarizing, political issue that it was. You know, when John Paul Stevens was nominated to the court in 1975, two years after Roe v. Wade, in his confirmation hearings he wasn't asked a single question about abortion. It just wasn't the big issue that it is today.

OK, now we go to the draft opinion. Obviously, we don't know for sure that this is the final opinion in the case that may very well wind up overturning Roe v. Wade. And look at the vote. It's a completely partisan issue. The only three supporters of abortion rights, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan. And against abortion rights you have the solid conservative majority, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neal Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett.


Chief Justice Roberts apparently is trying to take some sort of lesser position, supporting the Mississippi law, but not supporting overturning Roe v. Wade. But it's a completely partisan situation.

BERMAN: If you just look at the colors here, can I just walk back again, you know, you have blue on one side, red on the other now, but, you know, it's more mixed up again -- or it's actually totally reversed and then more mixed up as time goes on. You can really see a change over the years.

TOOBIN: That's -- and, you know, it's true in Congress as well. I mean there used to be a lot of moderate Republicans, especially in the Senate, some in the House as well. Almost entirely gone there. So, you know, the Supreme Court, though it doesn't hold -- there are no elections to be on the Supreme Court. Ultimately it does reflect what our politics are today.

BERMAN: Jeffrey Toobin, great to have you. Thank you very much.

TOOBIN: All right, Berman.

BERMAN: So, an NFL team guaranteed him a quarter billion dollars, but quarterback Deshaun Watson facing a new lawsuit.

KEILAR: And a chilling new account of the Uvalde school massacre from a teacher inside a classroom where 11 of his students were killed.


ARNULFO REYES, ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER: I said, I don't know what's going on, but let's go ahead and get under the table. Get under the table and act like you're asleep.



KEILAR: A new sexual assault case has been filed against Cleveland Browns' quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Coy Wire here with our "Bleacher Report."

What does that make it here?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is -- Brianna, good morning -- the second lawsuit filed against Watson in a week and the 24th overall. Many of the allegations stemming from massage sessions. The latest suit coming yesterday from a former Houston therapist who said she suffered so much depression and anxiety after the encounter that she had to quit the profession.

Watson's lawyer saying he never heard her name until yesterday and that Watson continues to deny all allegations against him.

The former Texas quarterback missed all of last year, but signed a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract with the Browns this offseason. Watson remains under investigation by the NFL, which met with him three times last month. The league could suspend Watson if they find that he violated the league's personal conduct policy.

Figure's skating's governing body announced it will gradually raise the minimum age for competitions from 15 to 17. The move designed to prevent a repeat of the type of controversy that marred this year's Beijing Winter Olympics when officials were unable to take action against 15-year-old Russian Kamila Valieva who had failed a drug test before the games because she was too young to take formal responsible. Valieva tested positive for a banned heart medication which can help endurance.

The first ever Saudi backed LIV Golf tour teeing off Thursday just outside of London, and Phil Mickelson has committed to play. This will be the first time we've seen Mickelson since January. He lost several sponsors, took some time away from golf after making disparaging comments about Saudi Arabia's human rights record and the new golf tour it's backing. Mickelson saying in a statement, quote, I want to again apologize to the many people I offended and hurt with my comments a few months ago. I am thrilled to begin with LIV Golf and I appreciate everyone involved. I also intend to play the majors, unquote.

Now, last week the PGA Tour threatened disciplinary action for golfers who participate in the new breakaway league. Still, Mickelson joins fellow major champions like Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, who have also committed to play. LIV Tour's CEO Greg Norman told "The Washington Post" that Tiger Woods was offered hundreds of millions of dollars to join the tour but he declined to play. The finale of this tour, Brianna, will be played in October. It's at Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida.

KEILAR: This is throwing the golf world into tumult. What do you think the PGA Tour is going to do here?

WIRE: Well, you know, as I mentioned earlier, they have threatened disciplinary action. We've already seen Kevin Na tell the PGA Tour that he's quitting the tour and going full-in on this. There's lots of dollars involved. We know that Dustin Johnson, there are reports, just moments ago, that he potentially too is telling the PGA Tour he will leave. That's a big name and a big threat to the PGA Tour as we know it.

KEILAR: I'll tell you, it's one thing to hear Phil Mickelson say a few months ago that the Saudis are murderers, and now he's saying I'm going to play for them. It really is -- it really is an eye-popping development.

Coy, thank you so much for the "Bleacher Report." We appreciate it.

WIRE: You got it.

KEILAR: And NEW DAY continues right now.

I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman on this NEW DAY.

A teacher who survived the Uvalde school shooting speaks out for the first time describing what happened inside the classroom when the shooter opened fire on him.

And five members of the Proud Boys, including the group's top leader, now charged with seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Capitol attack. What the evidence shows.

BERMAN: It is primary day in seven states, including the nation's most populace, California. The key races to watch as voters head to the polls.

And, he begged for help. Officers stood there and watched him drown. What new body cam video shows and what police are heard saying.

KEILAR: Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Tuesday, June 7th.

Negotiators on Capitol Hill met late into the night, and it seems there are areas of possible agreement on gun control. So, here is what is on the table. Incentivizing states to pass red flag laws, and a waiting period, a potential waiting period for 18 to 21-year-olds to buy semiautomatic weapons, weapons like the AR-15, as well as school safety measures and investments in mental health.


Remember, the killers in Buffalo and Uvalde were 18. They used semiautomatic AR-15-style weapons.