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911 Call Released in Kavanaugh Murder Plot; Medvedev Comments on Ukraine; Reena Ninan is Interviewed about Russia; Kate Briquelet is Interviewed about Her Interview with a White Nationalist's Mother; Biden Warns Oil Companies; Biden Slams Oil's High Profits. Aired 6:30- 7a ET
Aired June 15, 2022 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
911: You said red, like the color?
CALLER: The Supreme Court justice.
911: Again, you're still sitting at the curve?
CALLER: I'm - I'm standing now, but I - I can sit. What - whatever - I - I - I want to be fully compliant. So, whatever they want me to do, I'll do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Roske has been in jail since his arrest and is due in court next week.
CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment. Still waiting for comment on that.
But, Brianna, broadly, this is the kind of thing federal officials are really rattled by. They have been warning for months that we are in this very tense threat environment right now. It was just, you know, really about eight days ago that the Department of Homeland Security release a new terrorism bulletin reminding Americans that the terrorism threat comes from within the homeland here and they are very concerned about people using high profile events to justify acts of violence.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Really incredible that his sister seems to be the one who walked him down from that.
KEILAR: Whitney Wild, thank you so much.
Ahead, we're going to speak with Montgomery County Police Department Chief Marcus Jones on where the investigation stands right now.
Two years, what one Putin ally just said about the future of Ukraine.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The mother of one of the 31 members of a white nationalist group arrested in Idaho is speaking out. The ultimatum she gave to her son.
Also -- so as Netflix looks for a new hit, it's launching a reality show of "Squid Game," the fictional show where contestants are killed if they lose. What could possibly go wrong?
KEILAR: No thanks.
BERMAN: This morning, chilling words from former Russian president and long-time Putin ally, Dmitry Medvedev, who said this earlier today. He said, who said that in two years Ukraine will even exist on the world map?
This comes as officials tell CNN that the next few days could be a turning point in the war.
CNN's Katie Bo Lillis joins me now with that reporting.
Katie, people are looking at what's going on right now, very concerned with which way it might be headed.
KATIE BO LILLIS, CNN REPORTER: Yes, John, U.S. and western military and intelligence officials see an increasingly dire situation for Ukraine in the east in the Donbas where intense fighting is concentrated. Western officials broadly see Russia as having a military advantage here in part -- large part due to just shear mass. They've been pummeling Ukraine with artillery barrages. And Ukraine, at this point, is losing something on the order of 100 to 200 fighters a day according to their president. They are begging the west for more heavy weaponry to be able to stand up to this Russian assault.
So, U.S. officials, right now, see two potential pathways that this could go in the east. They see this as a potentially pivotal point in this portion of the conflict. Under one scenario, Ukraine may be able to hold off the Russian advance, may be able to freeze the front lines where they are, entering into a potentially protracted stalemate that could go on for years as opposed to what we've seen up until now, which has been kind of incremental gains by Russia, trading back and forth of sort of small pieces of territory.
The second potential scenario that U.S. and western officials see, John, is that Russia could continue to make incremental gains. The concern being, of course, that if Russia is able to consolidate its gains in the east, it might be able to use that as a springboard to penetrate further into Ukraine at some point in the future. So, particularly critical today will be a meeting, a working group, of around 50 nations, a meeting led by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Brussels today looking at the issue of arming Ukraine, and out of which we anticipate more announcements of aid packages, of military aid packages to Ukraine according to a senior U.S. defense official. Whether or not those packages make it to Ukraine and make it to the front lines in time, whether or not they're enough, those are the big questions, John.
BERMAN: Yes, a crucial time on the ground in eastern Ukraine and a crucial meeting - crucial meetings now taking place, the kind -- between all kinds of western leaders.
Katie Bo Lillis, thank you so much for that reporting.
LILLIS: Thank you.
KEILAR: All right, let's bring in journalist and the founder of Good Trouble Productions, Reena Ninan, to talk about this.
I mean Medvedev saying, who says Ukraine's even going to exist in a couple years here. What does that tell you about Russia's strategy as alarm bells are kind of going off there in eastern Ukraine right now?
REENA NINAN, FOUNDER, GOOD TROUBLE PRODUCTIONS: Brianna, you only have to look at the history in the past of how they've taken territory, held it and come back a few years later, taken territory, held, and come back a few years later.
What's so startling to me right now is you heard Katie in that report say losing 100 to 200 soldiers. Who's coming back in to replace those guys? These aren't battle hardened folks that really understand what's going on necessarily.
But the bigger thing that I'm looking at this morning and seeing is, there's a new poll out in Europe that shows - it surveyed ten different countries in Europe and it shows that people are really losing interest. While they overwhelmingly support Ukraine, the high prices of gas, of food, feeling the inflation impacts is having a real effect on people's opinion of this war.
So, while people who watch this and say, you hear Medvedev say this, he -- they really believe this because they've consistently done this. And if Donbas is won, they will control one-fourth of the country at this point.
BERMAN: They are making gains, Russia is, in the east. And as that's happening, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, is saying publicly, we will have to negotiate. And the question is, negotiate what at this point, for what? If Russia is there, does that mean negotiate the grounds in which they stay in the places where they've already moved their military?
NINAN: It absolutely means that. I mean I think Russians believe they have to hold on for any sort of talks to even happen.
We're keeping what we're holding right now. There's no question about that. And I think people who watch this region say, this isn't just a one off. This happens. And this belief that Medvedev is saying is what they believe will be that Ukraine will ultimately become Russia's. And they move in and they take the territory. And for people who watch the region they're saying, not sending a message and following this through would be disastrous when it comes to democracy and the future of this area.
KEILAR: Let's talk about Iran. These satellite images that show Iran may be preparing for a rocket launch. Tell us a little bit about that and how close we may be to an Iran that is armed with a nuclear weapon.
NINAN: You know, it's interesting, they've tried many launches, satellite launches, and five have failed. And many have wondered, is there some sort of foreign influence that has led to those failures? There's no evidence of that.
A couple days ago somebody who's in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, that overseas their space program, was taken out. That person was sort of number two for the intercontinental ballistic missiles program. And somebody who's been in that division a long time.
So, the big concern is, could this satellite launch potentially lead to something for intercontinental ballistic missiles that allow them the capabilities for that. Iranians deny that and say that's not where we're headed, but I don't think very many people believe that.
BERMAN: And, of course, this is at the same time where the negotiations - the nuclear negotiations not going well, not looking at this point that they will produce anything.
NINAN: Not well.
BERMAN: Reena Ninan, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
NINAN: See you guys. Yes.
KEILAR: He showed up to a pride event ready to cause a riot. Now the mother of one of the 31 members of a white nationalist group arrested in Idaho is speaking out.
BERMAN: Dozens of people evacuated as unprecedented rainfall in Yellowstone causes catastrophic damage. We have a live report coming up.
BERMAN: We have new details this morning about members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front who were arrested near a pride parade in Idaho. Officials say they appear to have been well prepared with detailed plans and protective gear to, quote, antagonize and cause disorder. Now a mother of one of the group's members is speaking out, telling "The Daily Beast," quote, I told him, well, then you can't live here. You can choose between Patriot Front and your family. And he's like, well, I can't quit Patriot Front. I'm like, well, then you've just chosen. So pack your stuff and get out of my house.
Joining us now is Kate Briquelet, senior reporter at "The Daily Beast." She is one of the authors, the co-authors of this story.
Thanks so much for being with us.
Your story focuses on this month, Karen Amsden. Just tell us about her and what she saw in her son.
KATE BRIQUELET, SENIOR REPORTER, "THE DAILY BEAST": Sure. Well, Karen is a social worker in Utah, and she's been grappling with this for a while. She knew that her son joined the group sometime in 2018. She's tried in vain to get through to him, to get him to quit the group. She believes that he's misguided and bought into all of their rhetoric. You know, he was seeing -- from a very young age he had been seeking a connection, he had been seeking brotherhood, and I guess he found this in a hate group.
But, you know, Karen was sort of at her wit's end when she spoke to us. This has been a long time coming and she hopes that his recent arrest is a wake-up call.
KEILAR: She talks to you -- she talks in this about how one of the first tipoffs was that he started denying the Holocaust, and that was a huge just eye opener for her.
BRIQUELET: Yes. That was sort of the beginning of it. And it led into him hosting anti-Semitic things online, homophobic things online. And, like I said, she just hasn't been able to get through to him and she hopes that by speaking out she can prevent somebody else -- someone else's family member from joining this group.
BERMAN: Do you have a sense if she's afraid of him?
BRIQUELET: She didn't indicate that she's afraid of him. She did express concern that by speaking out she would be, you know, the target of hate herself or, you know, someone might come after her. But she didn't say that she was fearful of her own child. She just -- her heart was breaking because he just seemed unable to disconnect from this extremism.
KEILAR: It was interesting, Kate, because she talks about how, when she started to realize that her son was part of this group, she didn't really know what to do. She thought about going to the authorities, and then she didn't do that initially.
Can you tell us about that?
BRIQUELET: Sure. She did not know what to do. She started to research other people who had left hate groups, like trying to find pointers, things that she could confront her son about. She read the Patriot Front's manifesto. She confronted him about things like how they would not want people to use drugs or alcohol. She suggested that, you know, some of these things really were in conflict with his own life.
She did not ultimately contact police because a crime hadn't been committed. She does believe that people should have the right to express, you know, express themselves and free speech, but she draws the line at hate speech. And I think it was a very gray area for her with her son. He hadn't done anything illegal necessarily to her knowledge. Every time that he did travel with Patriot Front, she didn't know about it until afterward.
So, she really didn't know what to do. And she ultimately, like I said, did not contact police. But, at this point, she said that she's willing to speak to anyone and everyone who will listen, including the FBI. Her son told her, you know, don't speak to the media, don't speak to the FBI, and she said, Jared, I'll speak to anyone who will listen and maybe this can help somebody down the line.
BERMAN: And she said, when she first saw the news coming from Idaho, she just knew. She knew that her son was there.
Kate Briquelet, thank you so much for sharing your reporting with us this morning.
Extreme weather sweeping the nation. Fires, floods, rain, sweltering heat. We're seeing this just about everywhere.
KEILAR: Plus, just in, President Biden, this morning, sending a letter to oil companies demanding answers when it comes to the lack of gasoline. We'll have details ahead.
BERMAN: This morning, Netflix says it is turning its smash hit "Squid Game" into a reality show competition series.
(VIDEO CLIP OF "SQUID GAME: THE CHALLENGE")
BERMAN: Netflix released a promo announcing casting for "Squid Game: The Challenge." The new show is set to offer the largest cash prize in reality TV history, a whopping $4.56 million. "Squid Game" is, of course, a South Korean series on Netflix. The reality show is looking for English language speakers from any part of the world. Netflix has not announced how they plan to adapt the game where contestants compete in a series of school yard games. In the series, look, here's the deal, this is what I'm trying to say, on the Netflix series that you've all seen, people die. People die.
KEILAR: To lose is to die.
BERMAN: When you lose, you die.
KEILAR: You're gone.
BERMAN: That's the issue here.
Now, the question is, in the reality show series, how will they be punished if they lose? I don't think they're going to die.
KEILAR: I sure hope not.
BERMAN: No. But it is interesting.
KEILAR: How would they be punished, do you think?
BERMAN: I don't know, maybe a slap on the wrist or maybe -
KEILAR: You slime them.
BERMAN: Maybe like a paint ball or slime.
KEILAR: I don't even think - I don't think you can even do that. I think you'd have to like slime them or -
BERMAN: All right, we have some important news just in on the economy.
The White House has just released a letter -- and I'm just looking at it right now for the first time -- this is from President Biden written to oil executives at Shell saying that the government is going to use any and all measures to get these oil companies to refine more oil, to increase the supply of gas here.
Christine Romans joins us now for more on this.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So, this is the president reaching out directly to the oil industry saying that these huge profit margins are just unacceptable at a time of war, the president says. He said, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly on to American families, not acceptable. He said, there's no question Putin is principally responsible for the intense financial pain that the American families are feeling. But amid this war that has raised these prices so much, historically high refinery profit margins are worsening the pain.
This is something we've heard the White House try to do in terms of the messaging of high gas prices is try to point out that you've got what progressives call greedflation (ph), where you've got, in the midst of inflation that's hurting consumers so much, companies making record profits. And that's just fundamentally not fair.
What companies will tell you is that this is sort of the roughage of capitalism, isn't it, when you have prices that fall dramatically, they lose money. And you had prices that are rising dramatically and there are big profits for them.
So, this is the president trying to tap into that and warn these companies, maybe ahead of other things that could happen in Washington, like maybe windfall taxes or other ways to try to get companies to give up some of those profits. BERMAN: He is trying to get them to increase refining capacity.
ROMANS: That's right.
BERMAN: To get more gasoline out there.
One of the issues, Christine, is that the refining capacity has decreased because of the pandemic and also because these big oil companies look to the future and they say, hey, look, there's not going to be the demand five, ten years from now because of all of the electric cars and whatnot.
ROMANS: And there hasn't been political will in -- not in my backyard. A lot of places don't want new refineries built in their towns, too, as well, right? So we've had refinery capacity has been going down because of the pandemic, because of this long-term shift that energy executives see toward a more balanced fuel source and also because there hasn't been a real incentive or investment in new refining capacity, of course, until now.
The one thing is that the administration has to have it both ways, right? It has to be pushing for supply right now, but at the same time transitioning to the future when you're not reliant on these kinds of supplies so dramatically.
So, it's walking and chewing gum at the same time, at least for right now. What the White House is trying to do, I think, is message to these companies, look, it just looks so bad, these profit margins, at a time when Americans, their purchasing power is decreasing so dramatically.
KEILAR: He's talking about appropriate federal government tools and emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity.
Let's go to the White House, where Arlette Saenz is, to tell us a little bit more about what the president is trying to do here.
And what all is on the table, Arlette?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, President Biden has really, in recent weeks, been ramping up the pressure on oil companies, and that is exactly what he is trying to do with this letter, urging them to not only boost supply, but also warning them that their high profits, at a time when so many Americans are suffering with these high gas prices, is simply unacceptable. In that letter, the president saying that he is willing to use additional emergency authorities to try to boost capacity from these refineries. And you also hear him say that he's directed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to hold this emergency meeting, and he wants these oil companies to offer some explanations for the capacity of their refining.
But, really, this comes as the administration continues to try to show that they are keeping inflation as their top economic priority. And those high gas prices is really what is driving inflation up at this moment. [07:00:03]
Last week, you know, the president was out in Los Angeles speaking at the Port of Los Angeles.