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Airlines Cancel Thousands of Flights over Holiday Weekend Due to Weather and Staffing Shortages; House January 6th Committee Continues Hearings into Insurrection; House January 6th Committee Member Adam Schiff Says Committee May Seek to Interview Former Vice President Mike Pence; US Fears Russia Using New Efforts to Exploit Divisions in the Midterms; Interview with Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 20, 2022 - 08:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Warner Brothers teamed up with Airbnb to offer three one-night stays in the mystery machine. The offer listed at just $20 a night and sold out within minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a flying saucer from outer space!


BERMAN: An expensive trip back to the past. A sealed near mint condition 1986 VHS tape of "Back to the Future" sold at auction for $75,000. That's the highest price ever paid at auction for a videotape. The VHS copy was owned by actor Tom Wilson, who, of course, played Biff Tannen in the film.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Buzz, that was utterly terrifying, and I regret having joined you.


BERMAN: Pixar's "Lightyear" earned $51 million in its opening weekend, far below expectations. "Jurassic World Dominion" held onto the number one stop for the second weekend in a row, grossing from the $58 million.

NEW DAY continues right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman. On this NEW DAY, chaos in the sky as airlines cancel thousands of flights over the weekend. Is this the new normal?

Plus, a member of the January 6th committee says subpoenaing former Vice President Mike Pence is a possibility.

BERMAN: House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn joins us. What he says about President Biden's run for reelection. And new reporting this morning on how Russia could take advantage of U.S. division during the midterms.

KEILAR: Morning viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Monday, June 20th. I'm Brianna Keilar in Washington with John Berman in New York.

And it's shaping up to be another harrowing day at U.S. airports. According to FlightAware, more than 900 flights were canceled Sunday across the country. Since Thursday, there have been more than 4,000 flight cancellations and another 1,600 flights already canceled today.

BERMAN: The airlines are blaming weather problems and ongoing staffing shortages, in particular, shortage of pilots. So with the busy summer travel season upon us, will this become a new normal for air travelers?

KEILAR: Our CNN aviation correspondent Pete Muntean is live for us at Reagan National Airport. Pete, it just seems like there is no wiggle room. When there is any hiccup, all of the dominos fall.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's so true, Brianna. There's no elasticity in the airline system in the network anymore. So many people still trying to get home even today after this long weekend. These new numbers of cancellations are huge, but the cause of this really is not. We've been reporting over and over again that airlines got a lot smaller over the pandemic. There are these massive flight crew shortages, and the deck of cards really comes tumbling down when there is bad summer weather like we saw on Thursday and Friday.

Look at the cancellation numbers according to FlightAware, more than 1,700 flights cancelled on Thursday, more than 1,400 cancelled on Friday. Airlines really tried to play catch-up over the weekend, but unsuccessfully. Saturday, 800 cancellations, more than 900 on Sunday. Some of the biggest hubs were impacted, like Charlotte and New York LaGuardia. I want you to listen now to one passenger we talked to at LaGuardia. She had her flight cancelled on Saturday and then her flight canceled again on Sunday. Listen to what she said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We left North Carolina on Sunday, came to New York. We're supposed to go back to North Carolina yesterday, and got delayed. And we got on the plane, went out on the tarmac, sat on the plane for four hours, four hours before they took us back to the terminal. Anyway, they told us to go to Gate 11. Gate 11 was 400 people trying to rebook a flight.


MUNTEAN: This has been a huge weekend for air travel, maybe one of the biggest we have seen since the start of the pandemic. Not only is the long Juneteenth weekend, but also Father's Day weekend. The TSA screened 2.38 million people at airports across the country just yesterday. We just got that new number only moments ago, 2.44 million people screened at airports across the country on Friday. That's the highest number we have seen since Thanksgiving, 2021. This is all coming with a stern warning from Transportation Secretary

Pete Buttigieg. He met with airlines last week and told them to get their schedule act together, especially with July 4th on the horizon. That's when so many people will be traveling again. Interesting tidbit here, John and Brianna, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview, he just had his flight cancelled from New York to Washington. Had to drive, instead, like so many people during this major cancellation period we're seeing right now.


KEILAR: Yes, that's the reality for a lot of people. Pete Muntean, thank you so much for that.

BERMAN: Pete Buttigieg enjoying the New Jersey turnpike, no doubt.

So the next public hearing for the January 6th committee set for tomorrow. Until now, a central theme has been the pressure campaign on former Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally overturn the election. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Adam Schiff, who is a key member of the January 6th Committee, said they are still talking to Pence -- or they still say the idea of talking to Pence is on the table.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA) JANUARY 6TH SELECT COMMITTEE: We're not taking anything off the table in terms of witnesses who have not yet testified. We would still, I think, like to have several high-profile people come before our committee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, Mike Pence is a possibility still?

SCHIFF: You know, certainly a possibility. We're not excluding anyone or anything at this point.


BERMAN: CNN's Sara Murray live in Washington with what we can expect this week from the hearings. Sara?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tuesday's hearing is really going to focus on the efforts Trump made with his allies to try to pressure these state officials to go along with his plan to up-end the election results. So we're going to hear from Georgia secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, we're going to hear from the chief operating officer in that office Gabe Sterling, and also Rusty Bowers, who is the Arizona State House Speaker. These are all Republicans. They are all officials who resisted Donald Trump's efforts to try to get them to overturn the election results in states that Trump lost in 2020.

We are also expecting fake elector scheme to be a focus of these hearings. And what's really interest is another thing that Adam Schiff told Dana Bash in that interview about tying this directly to Trump. Take a listen.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA) JANUARY 6TH SELECT COMMITTEE: We will show evidence of the president's involvement in this scheme. We'll also, again, show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme. And we'll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn't go along with this plan to either call legislators back into session.


MURRAY: Now, look, we know Trump's involvement in things like the phone call with Brad Raffensperger. It will be interesting to see what evidence the committee can provide about Donald Trump's direct efforts in this scheme to put forth these fake electors. And remember, John, these are congressional hearings, but the fake electors plot is the subject of not one but two criminal investigations, one federal criminal investigation but also the investigation that's going on in Fulton County, Georgia. The D.A. there has made clear she is looking at the fake elector scheme as well.

BERMAN: It will be interesting to see what concrete information the committee provides tomorrow. Sara Murray, thank you so much.

KEILAR: Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, who was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the attack on the U.S. Capitol, told our CNN anchor Dana Bash that he believes the January 6th hearings are having an impact on voters. Let's listen.


REP. FRED UPTON, (R-MI): I think the overriding issue certainly is the economy and gas prices, but I think there's been real interest in what's going on. You've got, obviously, your different factions that are not going to turn it on in Washington. They made their decision some time ago. But I think that it's had an impact on voters across the country, and we'll see how this thing plays out.


KEILAR: And joining us now to discuss is CNN chief political correspondent and co-anchor of STATE OF THE UNION Dana Bash. Is he right, or is this wishful thinking, or maybe both?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Just look at the numbers from the first hearing, 20 -- almost 20 million Americans watched. That's a pretty big figure in today's fractured media environment. That means that there certainly was enough interest for people to at least tune in.

And the answer to that question depends on whether somebody is genuinely fair-minded. It's really hard to watch not Democrats, not Trump opponents, but Trump loyalists in testimony after testimony after testimony saying, I told him, he was informed that he lost the election, that these claims he was making were completely bogus, and he didn't listen. One of the things -- we're just past the 50-year anniversary of the

Watergate break-in. And while we were both too young to watch those hearings, even I was, we do know there's a big difference. People were working from the same set of facts, from a shared set of facts. People were watching with the same -- through the same lens.

Today that's not true. And there are a lot of places that are either -- where people, Trump supporters, frankly, where they get their information, where they're not even getting these hearings. And so that is the big difference and that is the big potential blocker to a change in heart, or to a unified response to these hearings.


BASH: You were talking to Adam Schiff, a member of the committee. And it's really interesting because there's been this tension between the Department of Justice and the panel, and the January 6th committee. The DOJ wants these transcripts from the panel, which has interviewed so many people. I think about 1,000 different interviews that they've done. And there's been this discussion, they said they were going to cooperate with that after some tension. But then here's what Adam Schiff told you, Dana.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA) JANUARY 6TH SELECT COMMITTEE: I don't think Congress has ever done that, and I've been participating now in several investigations where there have been parallel investigations done by the Justice Department. Congress never says, hey, Justice Department, other branch of government, just come and go through our files.


KEILAR: He goes on to mention that the DOJ has subpoena powers. Also that they'll work with them, but he's not going to get into private conversations. What's going on here?

BASH: It's very confusing and in some cases, it seems contradictory, because what do they want? At the end of the day, they want their investigation not just to change minds and hearts in the public. They want it to change things when it comes to the law and to produce criminal activity -- criminal prosecution.

And so, yes, I guess there is some precedent setting that he's talking about, but precedent kind of went out the window on January 6th, don't you think? So, it is a little bit confusing and unclear what kind of -- what their strategy is. I don't want to say what game they're playing. What strategy is regarding DOJ and whether or not they're just keeping their powder dry and waiting until the end of these hearings to see where things stand to determine what they turn over.

It's still -- I asked him whether or not there's any evidence at this point that DOJ has launched a criminal investigation into either the president or the people closest to him that had to do with this. And they still don't know the answer to that. KEILAR: They've done a lot of work on the committee.

BASH: They've done so much work, so much work. And yes, it certainly is independent of the Justice Department, and there are strong arguments for that. But they are not just intending to produce a report. They are intending to produce a result. You ask anybody on that committee, and they will tell you that, because what they argue is this just isn't about the past. This is about the present. This is about a former president who is making every indication that he wants to run again and could announce even in and around or before the midterms. So this is about the future.

And never mind the candidates on the ballot running for the House and even the Senate on the Republican side who are still spewing what they have laid out in their investigation are lies about the 2020 election.

KEILAR: Yes. Look, many members of this committee really trying to control the situation. And we've seen some of that playing out here. I want to ask you about Alyssa Farah, who was the communications director for former president Trump. And she is saying -- she was talking to you about Trump saying that he admitted he lost in private. Here's what she said.


ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He admitted, he blurted out watching Joe Biden on TV, can you believe I lost to this guy? And he actually admitted in a press conference when he was speaking about coronavirus in the press briefing room, he actually slipped and kind of admitted that Joe Biden won.

I think intent is going to be hard. I'm not of the mind that this is going to take down Donald Trump in a legal sort of way, but I do think it's going to inform the public about a man who lost and couldn't do what we've done for the entirety of our history, which is allow a peaceful transition of power and allow who the voters elected to step into office.


KEILAR: That was interesting. She is saying, make no mistake, despite what Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman were telling him, he knew.

BASH: And she used the word "intent." That's one of the questions that we've been asking over the past two weeks and will continue to do so from a legal point of view. Jeffrey Toobin and others say all the time, the question is whether or not, if the Justice Department takes this up, whether they can prove intent, that the former president knew, actually voiced the fact that he lost the election.

Well, there's Alyssa Farah, who was his communications director in the White House until she quit over this, saying, yes, he admitted this to me. There are other ways legally to prove some of the potential crimes that are being talked about that Donald Trump potentially committed. But intent would be one that would be right up there. It's also interesting that she argued -- she's obviously not a lawyer.

She's a political consultant, that it's not so much about the law. It's about where we started this conversation, Bri.


It's about where we started this conversation, Bri, it's about changing the hearts and minds of people out there about whether or not A., this was, you know, something that was so immoral and untoward and undemocratic in the past and B., whether or not that should prevent Donald Trump from being President again.

KEILAR Yes, really interesting interview where she is saying, yes, he admitted it, but also she thinks it's not going to matter.

BASH: Yes.

KEILAR: Just fascinating, Dana.

BASH: Thanks so much for having me on this morning.

KEILAR: Of course, anytime.

Concerns from national security officials this morning about Russia using new efforts to exploit divisions in the midterms.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn on intra- party concerns about President Biden's re-election chances.

And the lead Republican negotiator in the bipartisan gun safety talks booed at his state's convention.


KEILAR: There are growing concerns among national security officials that Russia can interfere with yet another major US election, this time taking advantage of the midterm elections in November. We have CNN's Isaac Dovere with reporting on this now.

Tell us about this. What specifically they are concerned Russia is trying to do?

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Well the concern is that they're looking to exploit the divisions that are clearly there especially among Republicans, supporters of former President Trump. You saw just over the weekend, the Texas Republican Convention voted to say that Joe Biden's election was illegitimate, obviously we're seeing this with January 6 in the Committee hearings.


DOVERE: So the idea would be to get caught hacking to go into local election systems, get caught, and then have the news of that spread through their disinformation networks that the Russians have really gotten more and more sophisticated over the last five or six years.

KEILAR: With the idea that then people would start believing what?

DOVERE: That it exploit where we are. There are enough people who are questioning the legitimacy of our elections. It's obviously not just a Republican issue, but when it comes to 2020, very much, now, a central part of how the Republican Party is thinking, and that this would feed more concerns, more doubts, undermine faith in our democracy even more, because that ultimately, we've seen is the Russian goal here, is to make us feel worse about our country, our democracy, how we are.

KEILAR: We should note in 2016, the Russians did not get into election systems. It wasn't for lack of trying.


KEILAR: Right? So what's happening right now with election security?

DOVERE: Well, so like, in 2016, there were some probing attempts and from what we understand, it was not that they actually got in, but it looks like they will be looking to get into like there, what we can forget about sometimes is that elections in America are administered on the local level.

There are about 8,000 different authorities around the country. All of them have to do their security, some with help from the Federal government, and some are doing on their own. I talked to one election official in Georgia, one of the most competitive counties in Georgia, and she said to me, look, I'm not a computer whiz. I'm doing the best I can. She said to me, I go to my IT guy. And I get help from the Secretary of State's office in Georgia.

But that's local county clerks and election supervisors who are going up against Russian intelligence here.

KEILAR: That's pretty alarming. So, what do they need to make sure that they do have all the resources they need?

DOVERE: Look, obviously, there's not a lot of time left between now and the November elections, any amount of funding that they could get would help, all the security measures that they are calling on for more and more help from the federal government. But when you talk to officials about this, they are really scared that there is not a way to plug all the holes, and so some of this comes down to talking more publicly in ways that they're trying to figure out about what this would look like.

But of course, that's difficult, too. It's not like President Biden could come out and say, hey, there's a threat to our elections from Russia, everybody should believe me and that would just go over calmly.

KEILAR: Well, certainly. But what do Americans need to know? Because if Russia's goal here is to mess with their perception and their belief and their faith in the elections, what do Americans need to know about what they should expect to see?

DOVERE: I think that's really the main thing to think about that the goal here for Russia is to turn Americans against themselves even more. It is to make us fight even more and make us have even less faith in where we are. That's the goal.

And anybody who is playing into that is doing things that are in accordance with Russia's goals. And so that's a tricky thing to do. Because, of course, we're in a time of the big political division in this country, but to Russia, that's just opportunity for them.

KEILAR: Isaac, great reporting, and thank you for sharing it with us.

DOVERE: Thank you.

KEILAR: The White House repeating one phrase to try and calm Americans on the economy.


JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I don't think a recession is at all inevitable.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, U.S. SECRETARY OF ENERGY: A recession is not inevitable. The President really wants to have a steady and stable recovery.

BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Not only is a recession, not inevitable, but I think that a lot of people are under estimating those strengths and the resilience of the American economy.


BERMAN: House Majority Whip James Clyburn joins us next on that.

Also, Juneteenth's journey to being nationally recognized.



BERMAN: The White House is waking up to this new headline from "The Wall Street Journal" this morning. "Democrats expect Joe Biden to run in 2024. They're less sure if he should."

The article includes concerns about the President's quote, "Advanced age and persistently low poll numbers from Democrats both in Washington and key primary states."

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman from South Carolina and House Majority Whip, James Clyburn. Always a pleasure to have you on.

You were quoted in this "Wall Street Journal" article. You say quote: "Right now, I'm for Biden and second I'm for Harris. That's one and two on the ticket. But that's one and two in my heart as well. So, I don't care who goes to New Hampshire or Iowa. I'm for Biden, then I'm for Harris, either together, or in that order."

Is that last section there either together or in that order? What do you mean? Is that a contingency plan?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, thank you very much for having me. Well, you know, it's no question in my mind that Joe Biden is doing exactly what needs to be done for this great country of ours. We all know that our democracy is teetering on edge. We need a Joe Biden to get us through this rough patch, and I think he's doing great with that.

We know that his full cast includes Vice President Harris, I support her, and I'm just saying that if he chooses not to run again, first on my list after him would be Kamala Harris.

BERMAN: Okay, thank you for clarifying that. What should determine in your mind whether he runs again?

CLYBURN: I think a lot depends upon what the issues are, after the midterm elections, what kind of impact his policies will have on the outcome of that election.

And I think that he will make a decision based upon that. I think that the Democratic voters will be doing that as well. And so, everybody knows that none of us are getting any younger and we all tend to adjust our activities based upon what time it is.