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IAEA saying Iran shutting off 27 surveillance cameras at their nuclear facility could end negotiations for nuclear deal; Capitol Police along with other law enforcement prepare of abortion rights riots at Supreme Court; Both U.S. Defense Secretary and China's defense minister have tough language about Taiwan after their meeting; AOC won't confirm endorsing Biden's re-election; Biden's approval ratings down among 30 and 40-years-old; NASA has a setback for new mission to study tropical storms; Amber Heard doesn't blame jury for outcome of her defamation trial. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 13, 2022 - 07:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Nuclear tensions this morning. The director general of the international nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, now says Iran has switched off 27 of its surveillance cameras used to monitor activity in the country's key nuclear facilities. A move that the IAEA chief warns could deal a fatal blow to negotiations that seek to revive the nuclear deal.

Joining me now, journalist and founder of Good Trouble Productions Reena Ninan.

And Reena, the question is does this put any hopes of a nuclear agreement past the point of no return.

REENA NINAN, JOURNALIST AND FOUNDER OF GOOD TROUBLE PRODUCTIONS: You know, how can you potentially reach a deal like that in this stage, taking those 27 cameras? The IAEA is even saying they believe within weeks they could have enough material to cross that threshold of no return at that point.

You've seen Israel who, you know, for decades now has been warning about this situation. There's been some covert action that they won't obviously confirm, taking out certain key figures that we've heard about and little rumblings. But even that isn't enough to completely stall the trajectory of this.

What I find interesting, John is if you look at the Iranian currency today, it's an all-time level. And the whole thought of when the Obama administration put this together was if you put enough economic incentives on Iran that this could be enough of movement to get them to come and engage in this. And it was Trump who pulled out of it.

President Biden continued to keep those sanctions in place as these talks are happening. But, it's the economy where they feel it the most. So, is there is something that could be offered to them that would help walk them off the ledge on this. But at the same time you've got Israel looking around saying this isn't -- BERMAN: Yes.

NINAN: -- sustainable.

BERMAN: Well, you're talking carrots.


BERMAN: You're talking about incentive to get them to want to do it as opposed to a sanction --


BERMAN: -- got get them to stop doing it. In terms of that, what more could the U.S. do to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?

NINAN: That's a great point, because there's dialogue right now, is it just too far gone that we can't even have -- there's no point in having these discussions. I -- you know -- I think many in the administration would say that, you know, there is potential, there might be some opportunity. But, that's the sticking point. What can -- how do you go past this impasse at this moment that might lead to some sort of progress? Because it's pretty significant were -- in removing those 27 cameras.

BERMAN: Since we're talking about an impasse, let's talk about China and Taiwan. Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Defense Secretary, for the first time met with his Chinese counterpart.


BERMAN: And what's interesting is both emerged from that meeting with pretty though language on Taiwan. To be sure, this is what Lloyd Austin said. Let's listen.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We'll also stand by our friends as they uphold their rights. And that's especially important as the PRC adopts a more coercive and aggressive approach to its territorial claims.


BERMAN: So, he's calling the Chinese coercive there. The Chinese Defense Minister, for his part, called the U.S. a bully and vowed to fight to the end to take over Taiwan. So that's the kind of language at play here.

NINAN: Exactly. They're not mincing their words about it. Everyone's watching this speech that China's defense minister made yesterday in Singapore what he said and he doubled down on it, if you're going to any way threaten Taiwan in the sense of independence support that we're going to come at you and we're going to double down on that. What's interesting was looking, U.S. Ambassador to China, Nick Burns,

he had said recently that this is the lowest point in relations between the U.S. and China. And this weekend and watching his social media feed, he was on a train to Wuhan, and he said it's the first strip he's taken in a couple months.

And President Xi is going around the backwaters saying, I'm going to help you guys make sure your rice bowls are planted firmly in your hands. It's the economy, again, just like Iran, almost 20 percent unemployment rate for some of the younger folks in China in these urban areas across China. There's a serious problem for them there.

BERMAN: Perilous times in diplomacy. Reena Ninan, thank you very much.

A key member of Congress ducks endorsing President Biden's re- election. Is support for 2024 run already wavering within his own party?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And we'll take you to the Supreme Court where law enforcement is

bracing for demonstrations ahead of the release of key decisions.




KEILAR: This morning abortion rights protestors are descending on the Supreme Court as the justices are preparing to hand down a ruling that could overturn Roe v. Wade. Capitol Police on alert after an internal memo warns of potential confrontations.

Let's go live now to CNN's Whitney Wild. She is live for us outside of the Supreme Court with more and very tall fencing behind you there, Whitney.

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Just one of the many advanced security postures that are being taken

out here today by Congressional Security Forces as well as the Supreme Court Police.

There is a big concern here that these protestors could clash with police. There's also, of course, the concern that counter-protestors and the protestors set to descend on areas around the Supreme Court will clash as well. And so, to prevent that, to try to keep as much peace as possible,

Capitol Police are leaning on their law enforcement partners.

Let me show you who came down 95 -- Highway 95 down from Baltimore, Baltimore Police joining the ranks here at the Supreme Court. It's important to note, Brianna, that following January 6, coordination leaning on law enforcement partners has become a big part of the plan here, because Capitol Police knows they need as many people as possible to fend off against potential threats that arise from protests.

So, in addition to Baltimore Police, we've also seen that there are dozens of Metropolitan Police officers around the side streets of the Supreme Court. Right now you're seeing Capitol Police officers along this bike rack here and then, again, this very tall fencing.

The big concern here, Brianna, is that domestic violent extremists will infiltrate these protest groups. So, we've been talking to Capitol Police for many weeks about what they're planning to do. They're having daily coordination calls, leaning on their law enforcement partners, hardening security here, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right, Whitney Wild there at the Supreme Court, again, on this day as we look to see if there are any developments. Thank you so much, Whitney.

BERMAN: In the latest CNN Poll of Polls, President Biden's approval rating hovering around 39 percent.

Listen what Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Dana Bash when asked if she would endorse President Biden in 2024.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: If the president has a vision, and that's something certainly we're

all willing to entertain and examine when the -- when the time comes.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: That's not a yes.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yes, you know, I think we should --


OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yes, you know, I think we should endorse when we get to it. But, I believe that the president has been doing a very good job so far. And, you know, should he run again I think that I -- you know -- I think it's -- we'll take a look at it.


BERMAN: Here now, former Democratic Presidential Candidate, former DNC Chair Governor Howard Dean. Governor thanks so much for being with us. That's not a yes.


BERMAN: And that's not a trick question. What do you make of that?

DEAN: I make absolutely nothing of it, where we haven't even had the midterms yet. Look, contrary to what one of the big papers wrote the other day, which was just totally not true, I support Biden.

Not because I think he's a fantastic president, but I think he's doing a very good job in a very, very difficult time. And the thing I fear most is if he doesn't run there's going to be a blood bath in the Democratic Party. We don't need that right now.

The far-right is in the ascendancy, authoritarianism is right around the corner and there are many people who are practicing it in Congress. The place is full of deny -- election deniers. We need to continue what we're doing. And we're doing the right thing. And I think Biden's done very well on a lot of really difficult issues, particularly Ukraine and the handling of the virus.

BERMAN: That's what you want, though. The question is, are there rumblings, particularly among, perhaps, younger Democrats to the contrary? And again, I understand that the election is still a year or two away, however, generally speaking, it's an easy question for a Democratic member of Congress. Will you support the president when he or she runs for re-election? People just tend to say yes.

DEAN: I might have given the same answer. If you want to be truthful, everybody says yes, because Washington is basically middle school on steroids and they're all playing that little game they play there.

I think AOC was telling the truth and it didn't bother me. When the time comes people are going to get behind Joe Biden if he runs again and I think he will. And I think that makes sense.

Look, I voted for Buttigieg in the primaries and I want desperately want somebody who's in their 40 to be the next president of the United States. But, I think Joe Biden needs to stay here until this party gets straightened out, until this country gets straightened out. The threats are too great. And if he should choose not to run or not be able to run, our party will have a very contentious nominating year and I don't want that.

BERMAN: Now, you say you want someone in their 40s to be president. If the rate shapes up like it might, you've going to be off by a

factor of two, potentially. If it shapes up to be a Biden-Trump race, those guys are hovering around 80. They're your seniors. You're a young man compared to the people --

DEAN: What really --

BERMAN: -- who might be running.

DEAN: What really matters is if you're incompetent. And Joe Biden replaced a president who was probably the most incompetent president that we've had going back till the years before the Depression.

So, I -- you know -- you play with what you've got. We've got Joe. He was elected by Democratic and Republican voters because they were sick of the chaos and the corruption in the Trump administration. I think he's a good bet.

BERMAN: What if the opponent is not Donald Trump? What if the Republican nominee is one of these younger possibilities is Biden still the best choice in your mind?

DEAN: I -- look, the problem -- here's the problem, to change our choice, to change our leadership is a major disruption. And do you want to risk that major disruption? Look, I want to change. I really do. I think the 30 and the 40-year-olds are right. And you're right about his numbers being bad in the -- among 30 and 40-year-olds.

I don't mind all the crap in the press, because they always engage in packed journalism and some scandal of the week and next week it will be something else. But the -- but the -- but the numbers for under 40 or under 30 are bad for us. And we need to make them better.

But, the risk of a primary fight against the sitting president is too great. And I think Joe Biden will beat Donald Trump again if he's the runner. If he's not, then we'll have to see what happens.

BERMAN: Is there a Democratic bench? Do you see a --

DENA: Hell yes, there's a Democratic bench. Look at -- look at just -- just looking at the people who ran the last time, there are a number of younger people that would be very good, Klobuchar, Booker.

I don't want to go through the whole list. And those -- and, you know one of the people I've tried to recruit for a long time is Chris Murphy. I think he's got the whole package. He's got foreign affairs, he's got fundamental decency and he's smart as hell.

I mean, there's a lot of really great people on the bench. The question is, when do you make the substitution. I don't think you make it in the middle of a war, and that's what we're in right now.

BERMAN: When do you think President Biden needs to make a declarative statement one way or the other? I guess he says he's planning on running right now.

DEAN: Sure.

BERMAN: So, when do you think it needs to be 100 percent certain?

DEAN: Maybe a year from now. Maybe 18 months or something like that, 16 months, I don't know.

BERMAN: Eighteen months would be a long time. I mean, that might preclude the possibility of someone else getting a campaign up to speed.

DEAN: I don't think -- Washington is full of ambitious people. I don't think anybody's been precluded ever from getting a campaign up to speed.

BERMAN: But, what about the Republican side, again, I mentioned what would happen if Trump is not the nominee? The possibly --

DEAN: Right.

BERMAN: -- Ron DeSantis or someone else? If it is a younger Republican do they have more people you think that could step in with a national following? DEAN: Sure they do, as long as their constituency continues to hate

gay people, hate people of color and hate women, of course, there's a constituency for that. And that's what they'll be running on.

BERMAN: Governor Howard Dean, as I said, you could be part of the younger generation who gets in the race. I appreciate --

DEAN: Oh no (inaudible).

BERMAN: I appreciate your time. Thank you for joining us.

DEAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, this just in. Amber Heard speaks out for the first time since the jury sided with Johnny Depp in the defamation trial against her.

KEILAR: And what NASA says went wrong in its latest mission to study severe weather.



KEILAR: NASA's mission aimed at studying the formation and development of tropical cyclones experiencing a setback. CNN's Kristin Fisher is joining us now. Kristin, what happened here?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well you know, Brianna, it's important to fully understand what this mission is, right? It's called Tropics. And what it is designed to do is help improve

our understanding and our observations of tropical cyclones. And so, of course, this is really important heading into hurricane season, heading into those summer months.

And ultimately what we're talking about here is a constellation or a fleet, a very small inexpensive satellites and what this constellation can do is pass over a tropical cyclone much more frequently the current technology. So, we're talking that these fleets of satellites could pass over a tropical cyclone and collect, new, potentially life- saving data once over 50 minutes or so. So, that's why this is so important.

The problem is you have to actually get it up into the right orbit first and that's where the problems really started over the weekend. You can see right there, NASA contracted with a company called Astra.

It lifted off from the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral in Florida. Everything looked great, but the problem started much higher up into orbit when the two stages of the rocket separated. And so, that's where we got our first real statement from NASA.

They put out a statement that says, quote, "After a nominal first stage flight, the upper stage of the rocket shut down early and failed to deliver the TROPICS CubeSats into orbit."

So what we're talking about here, again, when they say CubeSats, those are very small satellites. I mean, Brianna, we're talking about the size of a shoebox or even a loaf of bread. That's how NASA describes it. And the reason that's so important is because it means they're relatively cheap.

So, NASA describes this is as a really high-risk, low-cost mission. And just because that particular launch didn't work they still have four more satellites that they can try to get up into orbit. And they believe that they'll be able to do it. So, fingers crossed that those next satellites will get their intended orbit. Brianna?

KEILAR: All right, fingers crossed that it goes the distance. Kristin Fisher, thank you so much.

FISHER: You bet.

KEILAR: A group of white nationalists arrested ahead of reported plans to riot at a Pride parade. The mayor of the city where they were discovered joining New Day next.

BERMAN: And a gas station, intentionally losing money to bring some relief to its customers.



BERMAN: All right, this just in. Amber Heard speaking out in her first interview since her blockbuster defamation trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp. What she just said about social media's role in the case and her thoughts on whether she blames the jury.


AMBER HEARD, ACTRESS: I don't care what one thinks about me or what judgments you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home and my marriage behind closed doors. I don't presume the average person should know those things. And so, I don't take it personally.

But, even somebody who is sure I am deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I'm lying, you still couldn't look me in the eye and tell me that you think on social media there's been a fair representation. You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair. But --

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC ANCHOR: So you don't blame the jury?

HEARD: I don't blame them. It wasn't -- I don't blame them. I actually understand, he's a beloved character and people feel they know him. He's a fantastic actor.

GUTHRIE: Their job is to not be dazzled by that. Their job is to look at the facts and the evidence. And they did not believe your testimony or your evidence.

HEARD: I -- again, how could they after listening to three and a half weeks of testimony about how I was a --