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Gun Deal talks Hit Snag; Historic Interest Rate Hike; Trump Weighing 2024 Announcement; Austin Speaks on Military Aid to Ukraine; Ukraine's Defense Minister on Support; Buffalo Shooting. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 16, 2022 - 06:30   ET



LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Final agreement by this afternoon or early evening because lawmakers are leaving town for the weekend.

So, right now, there are two main issues that they are stuck on. One of them is how to define the kind of relationships to close the so- called boyfriend loophole. Essentially what this would mean is that right now there is a loophole in the law where if you aren't living with, married to or have a child with a partner but you're convicted of a domestic violence crime, you can still own and buy guns. They want to change that but defining who would fall under the new category is part of the sticking point Republicans and Democrats are negotiating.

There is also a disagreement over red flag laws and the incentives that the federal government would give. Republicans want to include criminal reduction behavior programs as part of what would qualify as getting money under this federal statute. Democrats are arguing this should go to red flag laws that states actually pass. So, that is another sticking point that exists.

Right now, it's unclear whether they're going to be able to find a middle ground. They are meeting again today at 1:30 in the afternoon. But, again, they are coming up against that weekend deadline. Will they be able to find legislative text agreement by the weekend? That's another question entirely, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, writing the legislation itself, the language itself matters so much here.

Lauren Fox, thank you very much.

So, this morning, if you're thinking about taking out a loan, swiping a credit card or buying a new car, prepare to pay more in interest. The Federal Reserve just announced it will raise interest rates by three quarters of a percent, taking its most aggressive action in nearly 30 years.


JEROME POWELL, CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: Clearly today's 75 basis point increase is an unusually large one, and I do not expect moves of this size to be common.


BERMAN: Joining us now is Peter Coy, "New York Times" opinion economics columnist and Sultan Meghji, he's a professor and scholar at Duke University's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He's also the former chief innovation officer at the FDIC.

Professor, I just want to start with you here.

We haven't seen an interest hike this big in nearly 30 years. You don't do this unless you're very concerned about something. What is that something?

SULTAN MEGHJI, FORMER CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER, FDIC: It's inflation. Day one we've got to get inflation under control and then day two we have to try to manage this seemingly inevitable recession that's really emerged over the last few weeks.

You know, they were trying to do this soft landing and spend, you know, 18 to 24 months trying to soften it out, but the fact is, is the numbers just aren't taking us in the right direction. And so they rushed into this 75 basis point hike. They're probably going to do it again next time. And then we've got to figure out how to deal with some of the structural weaknesses, which is, you know, what we were talking about right before we started.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: So that's a lot of trouble that we are in. Exactly how much trouble are we in, do you think?

PETER COY, ECONOMICS COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" OPINION: Well, if you look at the median forecasts from Wall Street, they do not see a recession coming, but they rarely do see a recession coming. Recessions are naturally hard to predict. The economy is not linear. It will - it will topple rather swiftly once things starting to go bad. And when you raise interest rates, you're putting pressure on the system while you're addressing inflation, which is your goal. You're also running the risk that something's going to break. And what that break would mean would be rising unemployment rates, putting people out of work and hurting them in a different way. So, inflation hurts you one way. Losing a job hurts you a different way.

BERMAN: Yes, Professor, I was struck by the way you phrased your answer, the inevitable recession.


BERMAN: It's coming. What do you see that makes you think this is inevitable?

MEGHJI: Well, you look at everything from fuel prices to grocery to baby formula, all of these things are still going. The GDP numbers are very soft. I think we're seeing a bunch of kind of intermittent, jagged activity there. And then now we're starting to see this happen in other countries. You know, the Swiss Central Bank just raised their rates. I think a lot of us are looking to the Bank of Japan. So, it's not just the United States. And we're seeing these kind of ripple effects start to reach out across that.

In the midst of rates going up, inflation not necessarily slowing down. I think the numbers from this week showed that. And now, you know, consumer spending starting to drop off. We're in a position where we've got a couple of different waves of activity, not all of which are aimed in a good direction.

KEILAR: We're not hearing that from the Biden administration, right? They 're not saying that. So explain that. Is that because they don't want to put out bad news? Should they be preparing people for what could be inevitable for this possibility?

COY: You never want to talk yourself into a recession. You never want to like be the bearer of bad news that actually can make people pessimistic and go into recession. So, you tend to see administrations, Republican, Democrats alike, speaking positively about the economy. They want to keep people enthusiastic.

At the same time, they want to send a very clear message, we are concerned. We're concerned right now about inflation.


We care about you as people. We want to relieve that pressure.

So, the tendency is to say, we'll do what we have to do to conquer inflation and realizing running the risk that it will go accidentally too far.

BERMAN: Peter Coy, Sultan Meghji, thanks so much for being with us this morning. Nice to see you guys.

We should note that later in the broadcast we are going to speak to the former Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, about the Fed moves and also we're going to see some weekly jobless numbers release just a short time from now.

Donald Trump said to be weighing a decision on when -- when, not weather -- but when to announce a 2024 bid. And it might come sooner than you think. We have new CNN reporting ahead.

KEILAR: And the suspect in the Buffalo mass shooting due to appear in court this morning as police reveal a chilling motive for the supermarket massacre.



KEILAR: We do have some new CNN reporting.

Donald Trump weighing when, not if, when to announce a 2024 presidential run.

Joining us now on this, CNN reporter Gabby Orr.

Gabby, you spoke to more than ten Trump confidants. And this comes down to before or after the midterms, not whether or not to do this.

GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Brianna, the midterm elections are still five months away, but a Trump 2024 announcement could happen sooner than that. Several people close to Trump told me that he is eager to jump in soon. He sees this as a way of sending a clear message to other possible Republican 2024 hopefuls that he is all in and they should not challenge him. And he also wants to capitalize on a moment where voters might be more concerned about their pocketbooks than his personality.

Now, several allies and advisers are cautioning the former president not to rush into this. They say that it is too soon, and they almost universally agree that the infrastructure is just not there in terms of running a presidential campaign at the scale that he would need to. But they also say that in order to have an announcement that commands deference from Republican presidential hopefuls, of which there could be many in 2024 in that primary, this would need to go off without a hitch. He needs to have the infrastructure in place. He needs to have a fundraising operation that is capable of scaling up immediately. And so far, the planning for a third presidential campaign just hasn't been put into motion.

BERMAN: I mean who would this infrastructure be? Is there any word on who would actually be doing this campaign? The same cast of characters from last time?

ORR: It would be a mix of both former faces, familiar faces, but also new folks who have been welcomed into his orbit since he left the presidency. But that's a great question, John, because so many of the people I spoke with who are close to the president say that he has routinely isolated former advisers. He remains in tough relationships with folks like Kellyanne Conway and Mark Meadows. Jared and Ivanka, who played a very big role in his West Wing and in the administration, and also Jared, of course, helping to run his 2020 campaign, they are so far removed from his day to day political operation at this point that it would be tough to see them involved in a 2024 presidential campaign. So, there are a lot of questions about what this would look like and who would be in charge.

Trump has informally talked to different folks about running a 2024 campaign, but he has not offered the job, I'm told, to anybody. And, John and Brianna, he has not made any sort of decision about who ultimately would be involved in a 2024 campaign.

KEILAR: Yes, a lot of people who were involved in the last one, we've seen a lot of lately in these hearings, right, that we've seen on Capitol Hill?


KEILAR: Gabby, anyone specifically saying, hey, hold off on this?

ORR: Almost everybody in his orbit. This is a situation where you have the former president wanting to do something, wanting to announce before the November midterms and every single one of his allies, minus maybe one or two, say that's not a good idea. You should hold off until -- until we know what the outcome is in November because there could be momentum for a 2024 announcement coming out of the midterms if Republicans do take back both the House and the Senate.

KEILAR: All right. Gabby Orr, thank you so much for the great reporting.

ORR: Thank you.

KEILAR: Next, CNN just sat down with Ukraine's defense minister on the number of Ukrainian troops being killed each day. It is a very high number.

BERMAN: Plus, why Florida is the only state not to pre-order vaccines for children younger than five.

And then an announcement from Beyonce.



BERMAN: The Biden administration has announced it is providing another billion dollars of military aid to Ukraine. That is in addition to the billions the U.S. has already committed to help get critical weapons there in the month-long fight against Russia. Months' long fight, I should say.

This new aid package includes howitzers, ammunition, tactical vehicles, harpoon, coastal defense systems, as well as thousands of radios and night vision devices.

Overall, to this point, the U.S. has provided hundreds of howitzers and tactical vehicles, more than 250,000 rounds of ammunition, thousands of stinger anti-aircraft systems and javelins, hundreds of switch-blade drones and more.

Also included in the new $1 billion aid package is $225 million in humanitarian assistance, which the president said will go towards supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter and cash for families to purchase essential items.

KEILAR: Now, this morning, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is in Brussels, Belgium, meeting with NATO allies. Speaking at a news conference, he has explained what's in the new $1 billion arms package to Ukraine and how it will be crucial to help holding off Russia's assault.

CNN's Oren Liebermann has more.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Oren Liebermann in Brussels, where Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin gave some details about a $1 billion weapons package the U.S. will be sending to Ukraine. That includes 18 howitzers on top of those that have already been sent in and more than 36,000 rounds of ammunition. That's been one of the key weapon systems the U.S. has sent in.

In addition, the U.S. will also send more ammunition for the HIMARS system. That's a multiple launch rocket system that's one of the more advanced and powerful weapons the U.S. has sent in.


The training on that for the first tranche of Ukrainian soldiers has just wrapped up. The top U.S. general said that should enter the fight in the coming weeks.


BERMAN: This morning, we have an exclusive interview with the Ukrainian minister of defense. He discusses how much the U.S. and other western military officials have pledged in terms of support and for how long.

CNN's Matthew Chance live in Brussels where we just saw Oren at this meeting of defense ministers.

Matthew, this sounds like a fascinating discussion.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is fascinating. And that list that you read out, John, a few moments ago, about the kind of weapons that the U.S. is supplying Ukraine, I mean it's endless isn't it? I mean - and it's expensive. And it's totaled on just this latest occasion a billion dollars mainly in military aid.

But, you know, the Ukrainian defense minister, I sat down with him earlier, and he told me that he's been told by his counterparts in the United States and other alliance members, countries as well, that that kind of military commitment, financial commitment and political support will continue into the future no matter what.

Take a listen.


OLEKSII REZNIKOV, UKRAINE'S DEFENSE MINISTER: (INAUDIBLE) yesterday that our partners will never stop. I was told that. I spoke with my friend Austin -- Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense of United States, secretary of defense of U.K., Ben Wallace and our other colleagues, they told me, Oleksii, don't worry, we will not stop. We will continue help to your country, to your people, to your president.

CHANCE: I mean, realistically, how sustainable is a commitment, and a commitment with no end to Ukraine's security for a country like the United States, for instance, that's just got itself out of an unending war in Afghanistan? Do you really believe that that is a genuine commitment by the United States to continue to militarily back Ukraine into the future no matter what?

REZNIKOV: I heard yesterday and I felt that it's absolutely honestly that I saw the eyes of Lloyd Austin, for example, or General Mark Milley, or Ben Wallace, or our partners from the Baltic countries, from the Poland, and I saw their real understanding that they will never stop. They will -- with us.


CHANCE: Well, John, the defense minister also told me that he was absolutely clear about what those weapons would be used for. He said they would allow Ukraine to take back territory that is currently occupied by Russia. That's fair enough. But he also included Crimea in that. And, of course, Crimea was annexed by Russia back in 2014 and any military move into that peninsula is likely to be seen by Moscow as a major red line, John.

BERMAN: All right, Matthew Chance, very interesting discussion. Thank you so much for that.

The gunman accused of killing ten people in Buffalo set to appear in court this morning. What a chilling note reveals about why he says he did it, next.

KEILAR: Plus, just hours from now, the House January 6th committee will hold another public hearing where a conservative jurist will testify that former President Trump's plan was to cling to power. We have a preview ahead.



KEILAR: This morning, the 18-year-old white supremacist accused of fatally shooting ten people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket is set to appear in court. He's now facing federal hate crime charges as prosecutors reveal a note that he left saying he committed the attack for the future of the white race.

CNN's Brynn Gingras live for us in Buffalo, New York, with more.

What a disturbing revelation.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Brianna, there are such horrific details in the court paperwork that was filed in the western district of New York yesterday regarding this racist attack, including the fact that authorities say they found in the search of this 18- year-old alleged shooter's home a laptop that said he had been planning this attack for years, but actually got more serious about it earlier this year. Also that he was doing recognizance of the grocery store multiple times, even up until about two and a half hours before the attack, pointing out the map of the store, trying to figure out who was inside, how many of those people were black, how -- the ages of them, the location of the security guard at the time, which, if you remember, he was one of the ten victims killed in this attack. So, such horrific, horrific details laid out as evidence in this court paperwork.

Now, 26 federal charges are now against this 18-year-old shooter, that he is already facing state charges. But the difference here is that he could now face the death penalty. And the attorney general, Merrick Garland, he was here yesterday, and he was asked, will that be pursued? Take a listen.


MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is a death penalty eligible crime. The Justice Department has a series of procedures it follows. First, of course, there has to be an indictment. After the indictment, then the regulatory procedures will be followed, and the families and the survivors will be consulted.


GINGRAS: And the attorney general said he actually came here to Buffalo yesterday to tell the families and the survivors that -- about those new charges that are filed. The 18-year-old is going to be in court just later this morning to officially learn about those new charges.


KEILAR: All right, Brynn Gingras, live for us in Buffalo, thank you.


And NEW DAY continues right now.