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Michelle Singletary is Interviewed about the Economy; Two Dead in Alabama Church Shooting; Senate Gun Talks in Trouble; Victoria and TJ Britton are Interviewed about the Loss of their Home. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 17, 2022 - 06:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Everything they've counted on, upset. But most of it's the consequence of what's happened, what happened as a consequence of the Covid crisis.

He does dismiss claims that Covid relief, the spending by his administration, is to blame for inflation hitting a 40-year high.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, also in this interview, the president addressed the growing fears of a recession. He said, quote, it's not inevitable because the U.S. is in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation.

Joining us now, Michelle Singletary. She has a "Washington Post" personal fiance column titled "The Color of Money." And she is the author of "What To Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide."

First, I just want to get your take on what the president said in that interview. He says a recession is not inevitable because of the strong fundamentals in the economy.

What do you think about that assessment?

MICHELLE SINGLETARY, AUTHOR, "WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR MONEY WHEN CRISIS HITS: A SURVIVAL GUIDE": I think he's absolutely right. Right now we have two parts of America, the part that is actually still doing very well. They did great in the stock market during the pandemic. And, yes, it costs more for them to put gas in their car, but they can still go out and eat. They're going to still take a vacation. They're OK. It's more psychological because there's a drum beat of all this bad news.

And then there's the part of America that is still suffering. And those stimulus payments helped keep them in their homes. It helped keep food on their tables. They are the ones who are having some issues right now. But for the - for a lot of Americans, it's more psychological than actually suffering.

KEILAR: Yes, I also think the psychological part of it is they're being told, hang in there for a while because this is going to continue, so buckle down, right, which is where you come in. It's part of the reason why we wanted you to talk to us this morning because you have this great article out about seven ways to prepare for a recession. Can you talk to us about some of the key things that people should be doing? I do think that when you take action, you start to feel a little more prepared and a little better. So, let's hop on those.

SINGLETARY: You are so absolutely right.

So, these seven tips are basically to say, I'm not going to tell people not to panic, because you need to feel what you feel. But don't act on that fear. Be realistic. Be -- you know, put everything in perspective. For example, we're - you know, we hear all this stuff about the bear market. So, yes, you know, my portfolio's down, like everybody else's. But, if you hang tight, you continue to put money in the market, this, too, shall pass. This is going to be over. And on the other side of it, historically, you will be better off in your stock portfolio. This is an opportunity to get more stocks in your portfolio at a lower price.

And the other thing is, don't try to time the market. Some people tell me, well, I'm going to get out. I can't take it anymore. But if you did that during the great recession, you lost on the recovery big time.

And then, you know what, if you've got credit card debt, get rid of it. The Feds are increasing the interest rates. Credit card debt is the most expensive debt that you can have. So you can do that. That's an action that you can take if you are afraid of recession. Get that debt off your book so that if you lose your job, you have more money in savings to help weather that storm.

And then, you know what, just be a super saver. You know, the hardest time I have for people to save is when times are OK. They have a steady paycheck. It's easy to save when you don't have - you know, not to spend when you don't have any money.

And then right now, if you have the time, why don't you go ahead and get that side job. There are employers looking for workers. So, you can work after hours, on the weekend and then save that money so that if we do have a recession, you've got a stockpile, a savings.

So these are all things that you can do. Keep bonds in your portfolio. You know, they haven't been doing great but they are a balance to stocks.

And can I also just remind people, only about 58 percent of the American public actually have money in the stock market. So all of this, like, ahhh, really is only impacting, you know, half of the American public. The rest of us are just, you know, trying to buy food, they're trying to, you know, put gas in their cars. They are the ones who are -- should be more scared. But the rest of you, you really do have to chill out. And I know a lot of people don't want to hear that because they're putting gas in their car and they're saying there thinking, this is outrageous. But, you know what, you still go out and eat. You're still going to take that vacation. You can still send your kids to school.

I need you to calm down and continue to put money in your 401(k). And if you can, help other folks. If you've got extra, give money to food banks.


SINGLETARY: You know people in your lives who are struggling and they can't pay their rent, help them. That's how you can take that panic and do something else with it.

KEILAR: I love it.

BERMAN: I feel like this is like a tough love session right here.

KEILAR: I needed it. Chill out.

BERMAN: I needed to be yelled at like that.

KEILAR: Save your money. Pay off your credit cards.

BERMAN: And not -- don't delete the portfolio app, which was the only way I knew how to deal with that, off of my phone.

KEILAR: Thank you.

BERMAN: These are much more constructive pieces of advice. Thank you.


KEILAR: Michelle, wonderful. Thank you for joining us this morning.


SINGLETARY: Thank you. I appreciate that.

KEILAR: So, ahead, we're going to speak with a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Heather Boushey. What the Biden administration is doing to address high gas prices and this rising inflation.

BERMAN: I'd get the two of them together. I think they could figure it out.

KEILAR: I know. They're going to solve all the world's problems.

So, two people killed in a shooting at a church near Birmingham, Alabama. There is a suspect in custody. We're going to go live to the scene.

And is a bipartisan gun deal in jeopardy? A top Republican negotiator says he's frustrated with the lack of progress.

Plus --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that will do it. It's over. The Golden State Warriors return to a familiar place. They're on top of the NBA world. Their fourth title in eight years.


BERMAN: So, the Golden State Warriors are the champions. They are the best team in the world.

But -

KEILAR: Does that hurt to say?

BERMAN: They have 10 fewer NBA titles than the Boston Celtics. Fact.

KEILAR: Today is what matters.

BERMAN: Stay with us.



BERMAN: This morning, two people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a church near Birmingham, Alabama. Officials say the suspect is now in custody.

CNN's Nadia Romero is live in Vestavia Hills, Alabama.

Nadia, what's the latest? What are you learning?


We know that the place of worship behind me, this church, is now a crime scene. The local police chief telling us that there was a church meeting that happened last evening, and a man came inside, a gunman, and he killed two people, sending a third person to the hospital where that person remains this morning.

We also heard from former U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who says he lives not far from here. We can see that this is a nice tree-lined neighborhood just outside of Birmingham, Alabama. The former senator says that this is not far from where he lives, where his children went to school, where his wife goes to the grocery store.

And we're seeing that impact of this church shooting already, hearing from the governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey. She said today, I am glad to hear the shooter is in custody. This should never happen in a church, in a store, in the city or anywhere. We continue to closely monitor the situation.

And we do have a press conference coming up in just a few hours with the local police chief where we hope to learn more about the suspect, about his potential motive, and about the victims, the people who lost their lives and the one person who's still in the hospital this morning. But this is a reminder of the church shooting that happened in Orange

County, California, just last month when a gunman walked inside of a church there, killed one person, injuring five others. And, John, it -- years ago in 2015 in Emmanuel Church AME in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people were killed by a gunman in that church after spending time with the members of that church congregation, still deciding to open fire and killing nine people seven years ago today.


BERMAN: Nadia Romero, thank you for being there for us. Keep us posted.

KEILAR: Some pretty troubling signs in these talks to hammer out a bipartisan bill to address gun violence. Senate Democrats and Republicans who are negotiating these details have been unable to resolve two key sticking points.

CNN's Lauren Fox is live for us on Capitol Hill.

Lauren, tell us where things stand, and could this endanger this effort?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the bottom line right now, Brianna, is there are serious doubts whether or not this bill is going to be ready to come to the floor next week. That had been the self-imposed deadline that Republicans and Democrats in this small negotiating group had set for themselves. But after hours of discussions yesterday, they still were unable to resolve those two key issues over the language involving closing the so-called boyfriend loophole, as well as how to give money and allocate money to states that passed so-called red flag laws. Republicans want more parity for states that don't have those kinds of laws but have what they say are other crisis intervention programs.

I called to Senator Cornyn multiple times yesterday as he was going in and out of these meetings. And finally, when he left, and he was really warning that this was the moment to either fish or cut bait. It was now or never, he told us at one point. Because he argued that lawmakers talking in circles about the same issues they've had for several days now just isn't getting them any closer to a deal.

Meanwhile, Senator Chris Murthy, the leading Democratic negotiator, put out a statement late last night saying that he still thinks a deal is possible.

But, at the end of the day, Brianna, if you don't have legislative text, which is always a heavy lift, it's going to be very hard to get senators read in and ready to vote by next week. And, after that, they have another two-week recess, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, look, an agreement in theory is not an agreement in practice. So, this is a key moment for this we know you're following, Lauren. Thank you for that.

Next, we're going to speak with the couple whose home, this home, washed away into the Yellowstone River.

BERMAN: Plus, a new photo appears to show two Americans in Ukraine captured by Russian forces. Officials now say they are not the only ones missing. We have details ahead.



KEILAR: Now, after historic flooding, parts of Yellowstone National Park may be closed for the rest of the summer season, which is a very big deal. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area, and that includes our next guests whose house was swept away in the river.

Joining us now to tell their harrowing story are Victoria Britton and TJ Britton.

We're so happy to see you. We're so glad you're safe. We're so sorry for what you've been through here.

Can you just tell us and tell our viewers a little bit about how you're holding up at this point in time?

VICTORIA BRITTON, HOME SWEPT AWAY BY YELLOWSTONE RIVER: Well, we're doing OK. We're hanging in there. I don't think it's really even hit us yet. But one moment, one second at a time really.

TJ BRITTON, HOME SWEPT AWAY BY YELLOWSTONE RIVER: There has been a lot of help from a lot of really good people.

BERMAN: Oh, and no doubt you've needed that help. Again, as we see the picture of that house where you lived just floating down the river.

What was it like for you to see that happen, T.J.?

T. BRITTON: Something I never in a million years thought was even possible. And it's still unbelievable. And I just -- I spent 16 years of my life there in that place. I don't know. And it's like Vicky (ph) said, it's still -- we're in shock. And, frankly, we've been trying to numb ourselves to the whole thing.


The reality is going to hit here pretty soon. Every time we go to look for something, it's not there, and we remember, oh, yes, that was in the garage. That was in the closet.

KEILAR: Vicky, well us what happened. I know that Sunday the river was high. And overnight - I think you're used to - you're used to getting some water, obviously, coming through the river, but you were seeing more trees than usual coming down through the river and you were hearing like a bang, bang, bang sound. Tell us what that was overnight.

V. BRITTON: Yes, so, at first I thought that it might have been just the trees coming down the river, you know, banging into each other. But it was shaking the whole house, which was very strange. And all the neighbors felt it. And then, in the morning, when we realized what was really going on, it was actually the embankment crumbling. And that's why the house was rumbling and shaking.

BERMAN: TJ, I understand there were tourists who actually showed up and watched this. Tell us what happened.

T. BRITTON: The tourists gathered all day. That was the worst part. You know, I mean, a fire or something quick. This was a long, drawn out, something would fall in. My canoe, my boat fell in. The -- part of the garage was hanging out.

V. BRITTON: The deck fell off.

T. BRITTON: The concrete pad in front of the house. It was gone. And then the garage fell off. The decks fell off. And the house, eventually. I -- it was probably eight, nine hours later by the time the house finally slid in the river.

And, ironically, Vicky and I sat there all day. We had both walked away. And I was visiting -- a friend asked me to come down. He wanted to give us a few things, you know, in case we needed them. And she called me and said, when she walked away, you know, she was less than a block from where we were sitting letting our dogs out of our motor home and said she heard a big noise and turned around and the house was gone.

And I told her, I'll be right there. I was about five miles away. And the highway follows the river. My friend was driving. And we got to the highway and there was 50 people at a guardrail down there. And he pulled over. And right around the corner of the river came my house. That was the weirdest thing I ever saw in my life.

V. BRITTON: There was a lot. There was -- there was a lot of tourists. You know, since they closed the park, there were people that had nothing to do. A lot of spectators.

T. BRITTON: They were stranded too.

V. BRITTON: Yes, which, you know, it was -- for them, you know, to hear that people were applauding and cheering when our house was floating down the river was very upsetting. We heard a few people, you know, have some just uncompassionate, unsympathetic things to say as we're sitting there, you know, just waiting for our whole entire life to fall in the river. So that was frustrating. But, for the most part, everybody was very supportive.

T. BRITTON: That group of people that was making the day tougher was the minority for sure. The majority of people -- and it restored my faith in humanity, they were super kind. And strangers that I'll never see again just offering to get us dinner or take (INAUDIBLE). I got more hugs that day from guys and -- that I'll never see again and that they just wanted to give you a hug because they could see how it was affecting us.

KEILAR: TJ, we are so glad that you got a taste of humanity after certainly that tough time. You guys have been through so much. We're so sorry, as we're watching what is happening in Yellowstone, and particularly what has happened to you.

Thank you so much, TJ and Vicky, for being with us and sharing your story.

BERMAN: New evidence revealed in the January 6th hearings. And informants said the Proud Boys would have killed Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi had they found them. What we're learning.

KEILAR: So sorry, Berman, but my team won. The Warriors are NBA champs. More on the big celebration in the "Bleacher Report," next.



BERMAN: The Golden State Warriors, they were the better team. I know. They just won their fourth title in the last eight seasons, defeating the Boston Celtics in Boston, no less.

Coy Wire has this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Not a good morning, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, not for you, brother. That was funny, Brianna.

It's time for a return to glory for the Warriors, though, right, completing this incredible two-year turnaround after finishing with the NBA's worst record in 2020. Now, they're the first team to win four championships in an eight-year span since Michael Jordan and the Bulls won six back in the 90s.

Boston's Marcus Smart said before this game that they needed to impose their will on the Warriors. And they did jump out to an early lead. Jayson Tatum's son Deuce approving of pop's three pointer in the first that put the Celtics up 12-2. But then Steph Curry and co had the fire and desire to retire the seize (ph). They go on a monster run. Golden State ripping off 21 unanswered points starting at the end of the first. The longest such finals run in the last 50 years.

Warriors' fans were hungry for another title and they were served a big old helping of Curry GOAT. The greatest shooter of all-time dropping a game high 34 points and he's earning the first finals MVP of his career. Warriors win 103-90. One of the greatest teams ever assembled. A ninth title for Steve Kerr as coach and player and fourth for the Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green trio.


John, you must still be proud, though. What a turnaround. From 11th in the Eastern Conference midway through the season.