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Right-Wing TV Outlets Lose in Court; Uvalde Victims' Families Seek Answers; Boris Johnson's Fate. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 22, 2022 - 08:30   ET



BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: To reject another lawsuit by Dominion.

So, basically, you've got two voting technology companies suing these three right-wing networks and the networks keep losing. The voting companies keep winning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: How much concern is there within these networks about how big this could get?

STELTER: Well, this is still in the preliminary stages, right? These lawsuits typically will take years unless there is a settlement. And the fact that these networks keep losing their motions to dismiss do increase the likelihood of a settlement if Smartmatic and Dominion want to settle, and that's a very open question.

Just last week in Otero County, New Mexico, where there were Republican commissioners suggesting they were not going to - they were not going to approve the election results and claim they were valid, Dominion was called out there too. There were lots of lies about Dominion just last week in that argument, in that standoff in New Mexico, and Dominion pointed to that and said, look, it's still happening. The lies about our company are still hurting our company more than a year and a half later.

So, Dominion and Smartmatic may have very strong cases here. And what we've seen from the right-wing networks is a pullback on actually naming those companies. Of course the general conspiracy theory stuff is still going on, but I think Fox is more careful not to mention the companies.

BERMAN: It is interesting how conservative media has come up in the January 6th hearings.


BERMAN: There was this interesting moment where in the committee hearing they played sound from a Trump rally where the Trump campaign played a clip of conservative media.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hidden cases of possible ballots are rolled out from under a table. Four people under a cloud of suspicion.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: So, if you just take the crime of what those Democrat workers were doing -- and by the way, there was no water main break. You know, they said there - there was no water main break. That's ten times more than I need to win this state.


BERMAN: You can see the circle there.

STELTER: Or the snake eating its tail. And, you know, at the time, during that disputed period, you know, after the election when there was so much chaos, right wing media loved the story of the suitcases. Absolutely loved it. It ran with it, as you see there.

Right now they hate the hearings story. They absolutely hate the hearings story and will do anything not to talk about it.

OAN, for example, goes and interviews lawyers of accused rioters who were in jail instead of talking about the hearing. Tucker Carlson obsesses over Stephen Colbert's crew being detained at the Capitol, claim that's an insurrection, in order to mock the real insurrection.

I can't express enough how right-wing media is burying what is going on at these hearings, pretending it's not happening. And that affects politicians as well. You have senators, lawmakers on the Republican side saying they're not watching and they're proud to say they're not watching because their viewers aren't either.

If you looked at the ratings for Fox News on the three days that they did show the hearings, dropped like a rock. The audience literally just cratered during the hearing and then came right back afterwards. That's the reality of the Republican Party bubble thanks to the GOP media.

BERMAN: Brian Stelter, nice to see you this morning. Thank you.

STELTER: Thanks. You too.

BERMAN: A Trump-backed candidate wins in Alabama, but two of them lose in Georgia. What's the takeaway from these primary runoffs?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, fresh outrage in Uvalde, Texas, as damning new evidence of the delayed police response comes to light. We are joined next by the family of a 10-year-old girl who died inside her classroom.



KEILAR: Outrage erupted last night at the Uvalde, Texas, city council meeting where members of the public pleaded for the chief of school police, Pete Arredondo, who also serves on the city council, to resign from his seat. One of the speakers included the grandmother of 10- year-old Amerie Jo Garza, one of the 19 students and two teachers who were murdered inside Robb elementary school.


BERLINDA IRENE ARREOLA, GRANDMOTHER OF UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING VICTIM AMERIE JO GARZA: He failed us. Do not make the same mistake he made and fail us too. Go forward and make it right. Make it right for everybody in here. We deserve better. Our children deserve better! And those teachers deserve better! And all these kids and all the families here deserve better! Please, please, we're begging, get this man out of our lives!


KEILAR: Joining us now are family members of Amerie Jo Garza, her father, Angel Garza, and her grandmother, Berlinda Irene Arreola, who you just saw making that passionate speech at the city council meeting.

I want to start just by talking about where you guys are right now. We're about a month out. You have been mourning Amerie. Can you tell us, starting with you, Berlinda, how you're doing and what is on your mind?

BERLINDA IRENE ARREOLA, GRANDMOTHER OF UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING VICTIM AMERIE JO GARZA: Well, it's getting harder and harder every day. As far as missing her, the hurt that we feel, but also with the anger that's unfolding before our eyes. The -- everything that's coming out, everything that we're finding out, it's just getting harder and harder by the day. And we have to speak for all these children, all these families. We have to - we have to make things right. And we need to get down to the bottom of everything that has happened and find out the truth.

KEILAR: Angel, what's on your mind?

ANGEL GARZA, FATHER OF UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING VICTIM AMERIE JO GARZA: Amerie. It's so hard to focus on any of this. It's just so hard to do anything because we just miss her so much. It's -- we want to, you know, advocate. We want to get her story out there. It's just - it's so hard to talk about her and - and we just --

KEILAR: She's a beautiful little girl.

GARZA: Thank you.

KEILAR: And we've heard you speak so much about her.

I didn't mean to interrupt you there, Angel. You were saying, we just --


GARZA: No, you're fine. You're fine. We - we just want them -- we want this -- we want -- we want nobody to

feel this again. There's nothing in the world that is going to satisfy our, you know, needs, our wants. We want Amerie back. But if there's something that we can get out of this, it's - it's trying to make sure that no parent ever feels this. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

KEILAR: We've learned so many upsetting things here in the recent days and the director of DPS, Colonel Steve McCraw, putting some of that into context at the hearing yesterday when he said this. I want to listen to what he said.


STEVE MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Three minutes after the subject entered the west building, there was sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject. The only thing stopping the hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.


KEILAR: Berlinda, what was it like knowing that, learning that?

ARREOLA: It was such a disappointment. It was, again, reliving that nightmare all over again and making it twice as worse because they had time. They had time to save so many people. So many children, teachers. If they hadn't been shot, they wouldn't have been shot. If they were shot, they could -- they could - there was chance - they had maybe a chance to live. But because they made a simple mistake, it turned out to be 19 children and 22 - and I include Mr. Garcia (ph) in this - the three -- I'm sorry, the three adult - the three teachers - the two teachers and the husband, because he too is included in this nightmare. And they -- it could have been prevented by one little check. Why didn't they check the door? Why? I just don't understand it and I don't get it. That should have been the first thing anybody did. Three minutes turned into 77 crucial minutes.

KEILAR: And, Angel, we have all of these questions. None of which can bring Amerie back. But we've been hearing from families, including yours, about, as you're trying here just to get through the day, there are some things making life more difficult. And one of those things is Chief Arredondo still being on the city council. Berlinda, we heard you say that.

Angel, you know, he has to show up now to city council meetings or he has to step down or be pushed out. What if he does show up to sit in city council meetings? What would that be like for you and your family?

GARZA: I don't even know. I -- you know, there is other officers that were in there. I just don't get how you can hear these kids, you know, crying and asking for help, but you're scared to enter because your commander doesn't want you to go in. And somebody said -- somebody said at the school board meeting the

other day that the kids were probably lying there, just thinking where their parents were, and we were right outside. I was trying to get in. I was put into handcuffs. I was, like -- but the ones who told me to trust them didn't save my daughter, or any of the other kids.

KEILAR: Angel, you said that Amerie has just been on your mind.


And, obviously, it's hard to think of anything else, which I don't think is surprising for anyone to hear.

How has - how has she been in your thoughts? What are you thinking about? What do you miss?

GARZA: I just miss having a normal life. I miss waking up, dropping her off at school, going to work, picking her up, taking her to baseball practice.

KEILAR: Berlinda.

ARREOLA: I miss her sassiness. I miss the -- I miss her calling everybody, hey, queen! That's what she said all the time. Or, hey, material girl! Those were her words. And she -- the first time she called me that, I walked in the door and she said that to me, she's like, hey, material girl. And I'm like, excuse me, you know, because I'm supposed to be grandma, not material girl. But, of course we laughed it off. She's like, I call everybody that.

She was always full of life. And seeing her made everybody smile. If you would have got to meet her, you would have just fell in love with her too. The whole world did.

GARZA: I just miss my family.

ARREOLA: That's the main thing that we all miss, is our family back, having that.

GARZA: I miss my son - I miss my son being the way he was. I miss their mother being the way she was.

KEILAR: Angel and Berlinda, I thank you for speaking with us from your heart and for sharing Amerie's memory with us. Thank you for being with us this morning.

GARZA: Thank you.

ARREOLA: Thank you for having us.

KEILAR: We're back in a moment.



BERMAN: This morning, embattled U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in political jeopardy, even if he is not on the ballot.

CNN's Bianca Nobilo joins us now from Surrey.

I think some frayed fingernail in Tory world, Bianca.


This is the first test of the prime minister's public popularity or political toxicity since that confidence vote that showed he only narrowly had the support of his own MPs. But this time these two bi- elections that are happening tomorrow are about the voters that really matter, the British public. So, I went to one of these towns to gauge how much danger Boris Johnson might be in.


NOBILO (voice over): A world away from Westminster, Boris Johnson's political future hangs in the balance, determined by two small elections triggered by sex scandals. But the real issue may be whether his election winning personality is now a liability.

The first, in Wakefield, a cathedral city in northern England, was called to replace a member of parliament from Johnson's conservative party who was convicted for sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

The second, Tiverton and Honiton, will see voters heading to polls in the bucolic farmlands of southwest England. There's a history of battles here. This time it's political.

NOBILO (on camera): The bi-election is happening here, because local conservative MP Neil Parish was caught watching pornography in parliament, not once but twice. But he said he was looking for tractors.

If Boris Johnson loses one or both of these elections, it will show that he's no longer in the driving seat. His position as prime minister even less tenable and his own MPs will be looking for ways to hasten his political demise.

NOBILO (voice over): And now the prime minister's unpopularity is their problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This MP of ours going in that way, and the one in Wakefield going the same way over a sort of sleezy match (ph) was -- you kind of get the feeling that it's drip, drip from the top. I mean he's shallow. He's self-serving. He's a serial liar. Masses of his own MPs are disgusted with him.

CHESSIE FLACK, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT ACTIVIST: Boris Johnson needs to look at the party that he is leading. And that is coming from the top. If he's - if it's OK for him to lie, then it's all right for that to filter down to his MPs as well.

NOBILO: But the damage these voters say goes deeper.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump was shameful for America.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Boris is shameful for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I couldn't agree more. I've always been very proud of being British, and I'm starting to feel less proud of actually the country I come from.

NOBILO: Johnson, once a glittering election winner, Brexit deliverer, star of the show, now airbrushed out of his own party's political campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think - I think the prime minister is a complete liability for the conservative party. He just can't get it right. And, unfortunately, he just can't see it.

RICHARD FOORD, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE: There's a really good understanding here among the - sort of astute voters in our community that we can send a message on behalf of all those people who don't have the opportunity to vote on Thursday.

NOBILO: That message could be that Boris Johnson's once winning political formula has become toxic.


NOBILO: With potential political successes now agitating behind the scenes, these elections really count because they will tell Johnson's party whether or not he has any ounce of that political magic left. If he could still be a winner, or if he's more likely to drag all of them down with him.


BERMAN: Yes, two small races that could tell a very big story.

Bianca Nobilo, thank you so much.

So, cigarettes could soon be less addictive. And new proposal by the Biden administration targeting nicotine levels.

KEILAR: Plus, a terrifying scene on a tarmac in Miami as passengers -- as a passenger plane catches fire.



KEILAR: Time now for "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

This morning, President Biden calling for a suspension on the federal gas tax until the end of September, though acknowledging it will not fix the problem.

BERMAN: The Biden administration also moving to restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes and other tobacco products. A move public health experts say could be transformative.


KEILAR: And, overnight, a powerful 5.9 earthquake hit eastern Afghanistan killing at least 1,000 people. It is the deadliest quake to hit the country in decades.

BERMAN: Close call for passengers on a Red Air flight touching down in Miami. The landing gear collapsed on the plane, sparking a fire.

KEILAR: And a Trump-backed candidate defeats a former Trump pick in a Senate primary runoff in Alabama.

BERMAN: Those are the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day." Don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast. Go to

CNN's coverage continues right now.