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Wall Street Braces for Another Drop; Russia Unveils New Branding for Old McDonald's Restaurants; Protests Build at the Supreme Court; January 6th Hearings Focus on Trump's Fraud Lie. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired June 13, 2022 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Ann, the question here, as we look at inflation -- we just talked to those lovely gas station owners in Arizona who are trying to help -- but the question is, is it going to get even worse? Has it peaked?
ANN BERRY, FOUNDER, THREADNEEDLE VENTURES AND FINANCIAL ANALYST: I think people thought it had peaked. John, now consensus seems to be peak may not come until the end of the summer. So, it looks as though we've still got a couple of months to go, particularly because supply chains remain disrupted and food coming out of Asia, those pressures haven't fully lifted yet.
BERMAN: What are the implications if we're not at the peak yet?
BERRY: Well, it means that real wages, real incomes are continuing to go down. And it's the asymmetry. It's communities, such as the one that we just heard about, really feeling the pain. Consumer balance sheets will be fairly strong, but we're going to see continued erosions in standard of living for huge sways of the population.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I mean the Fed's got to do some really hard work here and it's got to get it exactly right. And we're - the Fed's going to meet this week. There are a lot of people now saying the Fed might have to raise interest rates even more. Maybe three quarters of a percentage point at one of these next couple of meeting to try to get inflation under control.
And it's something the former Fed chief, Ben Bernanke, said he thinks that the Fed and company might be able to get it right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN BERNANKE, FORMER CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: I think a recession is possible. Economists are very bad at predicting recessions. But I think the Fed has a decent chance, a reasonable chance of achieving a -- what Jay Powell calls a softish landing, either no recession or a very mild recession to bring inflation down.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Or a technical recession, as people have been talking about. But maybe, you know, maybe they - they can -- they can avoid that.
But what we do know, he's right, that the forecasters have gotten it really wrong. It's not transitory inflation. It is persistent inflation at this point. So, a lot of the forecasters are really concerned because they - there's so many different threads here woven together that any one of them could change and all the forecasts are wrong again.
BERMAN: What if the Fed doesn't get it right? How hard will it be for them to get it right and what's the difference between getting it right or wrong?
BERRY: Well, I think if they don't get it right in the near term, they're going to get it right in a much harder fashion down the road. And so, you know, we're all looking out on Wednesday to hear just how aggressive Jay Powell's language now is about being tough on inflation because then there may need to be a hard landing to get inflation down to a reasonable level.
BERMAN: Can we talk about consumer demand? What consumers are doing, though. Start with gas prices. I mean have we seen evidence that the higher prices are stopping people from driving?
BERRY: We haven't yet. Where we've seen it a little bit is in other forms of fuel. Take, for example, airline travel. Demand's still up there dramatically on things like the leisure side. It's not there yet on the business side. So I think we're seeing pockets of demand that are still strong. I think it's too early to tell. People have still got a lot of savings sitting there, John, from the stimulus that we've seen over the last year, but they're beginning to erode. It's not gone yet, but it's dwindling.
ROMANS: But you think about the consumer, especially if you talk about the leisure travel, for example. For two years people didn't go anywhere.
ROMANS: They're going to go no matter what that plane ticket costs. They didn't buy plane tickets for two years. So, on that part of the question there of the labor problem, the supply problems. Is it difficult to fly to a small city because, frankly, they don't have enough pilots for some of these routes? I mean those are the inconveniences that people will be starting to experience, I think.
BERMAN: But is that the issue here, looking for when people stop spending or businesses stop hiring?
BERRY: I think it is right. I think businesses are already slowing down hiring. We've seen huge layoffs in certain areas of the economy. Tech, for example, has been hiring freezes. And we're seeing the reduction in demand for labor there. I think we'll start to see it, unfortunately, bleed through the rest of the economy as we get through 2022.
BERMAN: OK. In the meantime, it's going to be a tough day, it looks like, if you've got money in (INAUDIBLE).
BERRY: It's going to be a rough one.
ROMANS: Don't forget to rebalance your portfolio, boys and girls. Just always rebalance. Don't just sit there on the same kinds of stocks that got you there for the past ten years. It's not going to be that way.
BERMAN: It's good advice. Would have been a good -- a few months ago at this point.
ROMANS: Would have - John Berman's would have, could have, should have financial planning.
BERMAN: I know.
Christine Romans, Ann Berry, thank you very much.
We're keeping an eye on two live pictures this morning.
First, outside the Supreme Court. You can see protesters beginning to gather in advance of some key decisions.
And then, not far away, just across the street, that is the U.S. Capitol where the January 6th committee will soon begin a new round of live testimony.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And CNN live at Russia's relaunch of McDonald's after the fast food chain cut ties with Russia.
KEILAR: Three months after McDonald's suspended operations in Russia, the golden arches have disappeared, and the restaurant has been relaunched under new branding and new ownership.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Moscow.
So, what is it like, this new place?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Brianna.
Well, first of all, I think it's quite interesting. We got here, and this is day two, and we can still see there's a massive queue of people who are lining up to get in here. Just to give you an idea, it's actually raining pretty heavily, there's thunderstorms forecast, and yet people are still lining up to get into this restaurant. And it's interesting because when you go inside this restaurant, it
looks and feels a lot like McDonald's, but you do certainly notice it really isn't McDonald's.
Here's what we found.
PLEITGEN: So Russia now has its own version of McDonald's. It comes under a different name here. It's called Vkusno & Tochka, which essentially means tasty and that's it.
Also has a different label or different logo. You can see it right there. It's supposed to symbolize, the company says, fries and a hamburger.
Other than that, a lot of things are actually very similar to McDonald's, however there is no Big Mac or there also is no Happy Meal either. As you can see, this place is pretty much jam-packed. There's really a lot of people who came here.
We spoke to some of the customers, including some actually wearing the symbols of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, which, of course, the Russians call a special military operation.
SERGEY VLASOV, CUSTOMER: Food and politics have nothing in common. Like, come on, man, keep things separate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, it's important for me to have that McDonald's feel.
ARTEM KIRIENKO, CUSTOMER: I think it's not a good idea because McDonald's, it's a - it's a history. It's a brand.
It's great idea. It's not classical McDonald's.
PLEITGEN: As you can see, the Russian version of McDonald's looks a lot like McDonald's. You have the double cheeseburger here, fries. And this is a nine-piece, not McNuggets, it's nuggets, and some sort of soft drink. We'll see how it tastes.
So the packages is also very, very similar to McDonald's. You can see the cup here. Everything except the branding. Same goes for the fries. And if you look carefully, you can see the sauces even seem to have the McDonald's logo blacked out. You can see what looks -- McNuggets look like nuggets. Tastes pretty much exactly the same as McDonald's.
PLEITGEN (voice over): This is a very historic place also. This is where, in 1990, back then, during the Soviet Union, the first McDonald's restaurant was opened. Now, that, of course, led to a huge success story of McDonald's here in Russia. The Russian company that's now bought these franchises from McDonald's say they hope they'll be able to replicate that success.
PLEITGEN: So, Brianna, that is the food side of things. But, of course, also a little bit of the history side of things. But there is, of course, also a very serious connotation to all of this as well. When Russia started its war in Ukraine, the Biden administration and its allies said it would hit Russia with crippling sanctions. What we can see on the ground here is that, yes, the Russian economy is severely suffering. A lot of people have lost their jobs and some sectors are having some trouble surviving because they can't get western parts or western technology for their products.
However, it certainly does not look to us as though the economy of this country has been crippled. It seems to be a lot more resilient than many people would have thought. In fact, Vladimir Putin has said the Russians could probably go through his for a very long time. Even inflation seems to be under control here.
So, the Biden administration said it wants the Russians to change course with massive economic pressure. It certainly looks like the economic pressure, at least in its current form, is not going to achieve that, Brianna.
KEILAR: Yes, look at all those people behind you coming out to spend their money on the not McDonald's, which I will say that logo may be a fry and a hamburger, but it kind of looks like an "m," don't you think, Fred?
All right, Fred Pleitgen, live for us in Moscow, thank you.
BERMAN: Want to go live right to the Supreme Court now where protests are starting to pick up ahead of big decisions expected in the coming weeks on abortion and guns.
You can see CNN's Whitney wild is there live this morning.
Whitney, what are you seeing?
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're seeing a little bit of a bigger group here now outside of the Supreme Court. A couple of dozen protesters here. This is the group that we had mentioned was - that the Capitol Police had been internally warning about because there's just a concern that some of these groups might engage in acts of civil disturbance and that could mean potential confrontations with police.
But look how many police are here now. They have a very forward- leaning posture. And what that means is that they're putting out as many cops as they think is necessary to try to control this crowd because, look, we've got two opposing groups here, and that's the concern. The concern is that clashes could bubble up between opposing groups. We've seen that before in other protests. It is a major concern for police out here today. So they have -- like I said, there are - there's about a dozen Capitol
Police officers out here, but it doesn't end here. There are dozens of Metropolitan Police Department officers out here, as well as getting assistance from the Baltimore Police Department. Again, more police rolling down here because what we know after January 6th is that chaos can erupt really quickly, so you have to have a really good operational plan. And that's what Capitol Police is doing today.
They've hardened security at the Supreme Court. They've hardened security at the Capitol. They're leaning on their law enforcement partners, and that includes bringing down the Baltimore Police Department and other police from a neighboring jurisdiction, Alexandria. It's about two towns outside of D.C. So, a swarm of police here to try to keep this as peaceful as possible and make sure there are no violent confrontations here today, John.
BERMAN: All right, peaceful so far from what we can tell. Keep us posted.
Whitney Wild, thank you very much.
All right, the January 6th committee just moments away from gaveling in. The surprise testimony from Donald Trump's former campaign manager.
KEILAR: And disturbing video of a violent attack toward a group of women in China sparking public outrage this morning.
BERMAN: Live pictures of the U.S. Capitol where shortly the January 6th committee will gavel in for live testimony. And first out of the gate this morning, something of a surprise witness. Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager, Bill Stepien.
Joining me now, CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman, senior political correspondent at "The New York Times."
Bill Stepien. Wasn't expecting to see that name on the witness list for today. Place him for me in the Trump orbit between the election and January 6th.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's pretty stunning, John.
Bill Stepien took over as campaign manager in July of 2020. He was in charge of the campaign on election night as Donald Trump was being urged by Rudy Giuliani, go say you won. Other advisers were saying, absolutely do not do that. Trump wanted to do it. To be clear, Trump has agency here. It's not like he needed Rudy Giuliani to tell him to do this.
But Stepien was present as Trump was being told what the data showed, whether there was really a chance that he could overturn the election, whether there was a chance he could thwart Biden's win. And so Stepien is really key to talking about what Trump was informed
of over and over again about the fact that he had lost.
BERMAN: He may have stuff to say about Trump. We don't know.
HABERMAN: That's right.
BERMAN: But you think he may have some opinions on Rudy Giuliani?
HABERMAN: I'm confident he has opinions on Rudy Giuliani, as almost everybody who worked on that campaign did. I think it would -- he's appearing under subpoena. I think that's important to note. So it's not as if he is showing up as a willing witness against Donald Trump. My guess is he is going to try to not say to much about Donald Trump.
I do expect he will talk about how Giuliani was a pretty, in their minds, bad actor, saying things to Trump that just certainly weren't true and offering up all kinds of claims about fraud that he did not back up.
BERMAN: Prior to his joining Trump world, Bill Stepien was a fairly traditional, political operative, though, looking at the data after Election Day, like many traditional political operatives would.
The question, did you think Trump had lost could come up. And the answer, I imagine, would be pretty simple.
HABERMAN: There's no question that this is going to be uncomfortable for any -- testifying in this - in this setting for any former Trump aide or, you know, I think that Stepien still has ties to that world, is going to be uncomfortable, there's no question, because he is going to get asked questions. I think that Cheney, in particular, is going to want to drill down on, what did you think, what did you tell him? I think there is just no way that this ends, you know, comfortably.
I think that the question -- number one, it's fascinating no matter what because we never hear from Bill Stepien.
HABERMAN: We rarely hear from figures like this in Trump world outside of news accounts. And just hearing in someone's own words what was taking place around then is going to be really interesting.
BERMAN: And, look, just from a cosmetic perspective here, you get the sense the committee -- it would be a risk to put him down, to sit him down for live testimony if you didn't have a sense of what he was going to say.
HABERMAN: I think that's right.
And one thing that I was really struck by, John, with last week's hearings was how, I don't want to say scripted, because I think that a lot of it was not, but it was certainly very choreographed. They clearly knew the story they wanted to tell. They had a lot of information that they were unspooling. And they teased a lot of information for the coming hearings.
I don't - I agree with you, I don't think they'd called Stepien if they think there's a wild card in what he's going to say. There are other witnesses where that might be the case. I don't think that's the case.
BERMAN: One thing we should note is that Bill Stepien is doing work for the candidate running against Liz Cheney in Wyoming.
HABERMAN: Yes. Yes. The primary, yes.
BERMAN: In the primary.
HABERMAN: Which sets up a - which sets up an adversarial dynamic right away in which Trump's advisors and allies have pointed to, as, in their mind, problematic.
BERMAN: What's his relationship with Trump world at this point? Is that something that's known?
HABERMAN: I believe that he's still doing some form of work with them, either formally or informally. As you know with Trump world, very few people are ever permanently out, but I don't think he's doing some kind of day-to-day. Almost no one is, frankly.
BERMAN: And just in general, Maggie, you know, you've been reporting on this all along. Stepien was there in the days after Election Day when the Trump campaign was assessing what avenues to take.
HABERMAN: That's right.
BERMAN: Now, just like any campaign does, they prepare for possible legal challenges there. But it was campaign insiders also looking at the data as it was coming in. And we heard from some of them already in the first day of testimony that they saw it and they had accepted, more or less, that there were no valid claims of fraud.
HABERMAN: To that end, Stepien was part of a very key meeting. There were a bunch of people who were in these meetings early on. And to be clear, Giuliani was involved almost immediately. And these meetings, at the end of that week, when Election Day took place, Giuliani, Kushner, Stepien, I believe Justin Clark, you know, a bunch of different aides were in these meetings. The paid staff was sent to go brief Trump on November 7th, which happened to be the same day that the networks called the race for Biden, to go brief him on his chances. And Stepien was part of this meeting where Trump was told, you have a 5 percent to 10 percent chance of success here. That's not a high bar. And Trump just wouldn't hear it.
BERMAN: Maggie Haberman, it will be very interesting to see just a short time from now. I know you'll be watching, along with the rest of us.
BERMAN: Thanks so much for coming in.
CNN's special live coverage of the January 6th hearing gets underway at the top of the hour.
New this morning, Amber Heard speaking out for the first time since the jury sided with Johnny Depp in the defamation trial against her.
KEILAR: And a member of the January 6th committee telling us moments ago they have the receipts when it comes to Republican lawmakers asking Donald Trump for a presidential pardon, as the second hearing begins a short time from now.
KEILAR: Time now for "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
A modest but significant deal on Capitol Hill after a group of senators announced a bipartisan agreement on gun safety. The next step will be agreeing to legislative texts.
BERMAN: Abortion rights protesters at the Supreme Court this morning as the justices prepare to hand down a ruling that could overturn Roe versus Wade. Capitol Police are on alert as Homeland Security has warned of potential violence.
KEILAR: Actress Amber Heard blaming the roll social media played in her recent high-profile defamation trial, saying it was, quote, unfair. In her first interview, Heard says she doesn't blame the jury for siding with Johnny Depp.
BERMAN: Surveillance video shows a violent attack against a group of women has triggered nationwide outrage in China. The graphic video shows several women in a restaurant being punched and kicked. A woman was then dragged outside where the beating continued. Four women were injured, two seriously. Nine suspects have been arrested.
KEILAR: In southern California, mandatory evacuations underway for several years near Angeles National Forest after the Sheep Fire burned almost 800 acres in just 24 hours and is only 5 percent contained.
BERMAN: And those are the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day." More on these stories all day on CNN and cnn.com. And don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcasts every morning. Go to cnn.com/5things. You can also find it wherever you get your podcast.
So, a short time from now, on Capitol Hill, the January 6th committee convenes again for testimony. And, you know, we don't see a lot of surprises sometimes in Washington.
I think there was surprise that the key witness today, Bill Stepien, Donald Trump's campaign manager in 2020. We will hear from him first.
KEILAR: Yes, he is appearing on subpoena. He's there -- he's subpoenaed. So this should be interesting to see what his performance is like.
BERMAN: CNN's special coverage continues right now.