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Starbucks Closing Stores Because of Crime; First Lady on Biden's Hindered Progress; Cruz Comments on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling; Jeffrey Robinson is Interviewed about the Secret Service; Cameron Smith Wins British Open. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 18, 2022 - 06:30   ET



RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: We might see some more oil supply. The president sort of illuding to we might hear something in the next few weeks. So, August 3rd is going to become a lot more important as well as we potentially get some more oil supply on the market.

But, yes, I mean, economic - you don't - the reason isn't the greatest in terms of economic slowdown and the impacts to demand, but that's what keeps - that's what's keeping prices lower.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I mean, we're fresh off this trip from Saudi Arabia. We just got back yesterday with the White House. And, honestly, they are watching that date very closely.

But, in some other business news, Starbucks is closing a lot of its locations, over a dozen I believe, because of crime. What's going on?

SOLOMON: Right. So, Starbucks says they're going to close 16 locations. To put that in perspective, they have about 9,000 stores. So these locations are going to be in places like Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and also Portland, Oregon. They say they're closing them because of personal safety issues, that in stores where they cannot ensure a safe employee experience, they're going to be shutting them down by the end of July.

We should say, Starbucks and their employees are sort of having many conversations these days. Workers across Starbucks locations are also working to unionize. So, the CEO saying that, look, they know that they have to radically improve employee experiences. And employees unclear if this will be enough, but clearly employees at Starbucks want more. Starbucks trying to do what it can, apparently, to meet them halfway. Unclear if that will be enough for employees.

BERMAN: All right, Rahel Solomon, great to see you this morning. Thank you very much.

First Lady Jill Biden, what she says dashed the president's hopes and plans.

And a woman awakes from a two-year coma and identifies her attacker. COLLINS: Bad news for her brother.

But - plus, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have finally tied the knot 17 years later.



BERMAN: This morning, First Lady Jill Biden sounding off about her frustration with the stalled progress of President Biden's agenda. Speaking at a private DNC fundraiser, the first lady said the president had so many hopes, but has been consistently stuck addressing problems of the moment.

CNN's Kate Bennett with us now.

Another way of saying that is, he's president, and this is - and this is what happens when you're president.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. I mean, and she's also sort of saying the quiet part out loud. I mean this is a mood of trust frustration that the administration, the White House hasn't wanted to reveal or talk about or sort of tamp down, but the first lady just kind of goes there.

Let's take a look at what she actually said of the president. She said, he had so many hopes and plans for things he wanted to do, but every time he turned around he had to address the problems of the moment. Again, as you said, this is what the job is.

And, also, she's at a fundraiser and she sort of sounds wistful and regretful and this is supposed to sort of ramp up for potentially another term. She cited things like gun violence and she said they didn't see the war in Ukraine coming. She said in another quote that she had things -- he has things just thrown his way.

She also talked about Roe v. Wade being one of those things they didn't anticipate, the overturning of Roe v. Wade. And she talked about that in a very personal way. Again, you can sense the anger in her voice thinking about how more needs to be done besides just protesting.

This is what she said about how people should handle the overturning of that decision if they want to fight. She said, so many young girls, my own grandchildren included, went up to the Supreme Court and marched. I say, OK, good for you, but what are you going to do next? What's your plan?

Again, that's also interesting because the president just last week said, keep protesting. Protesting is critical. But here's the first lady saying, you know, protesting, what else? And the White House has been very clear, and so has the president, the path forward about what they can do about this Roe v. Wade, overturning the decision is undetermined. The path forward isn't clear. So, certainly, there is a very vocal, frustrated mood going on. And

oftentimes first ladies are a really good window into what presidents are thinking and what's really happening and the mood there in the White House. So, this was certainly interesting.

COLLINS: It's also interesting because the president himself has been criticized by activists of not doing enough on abortion. And she's basically saying that just talking about it forcefully is not doing enough.

BENNETT: Exactly.

BERMAN: No, they're searching for answers and also maybe searching for the right questions and messages to be asking themselves.

Kate Bennett, thank you very much.

BENNETT: Thank you.

COLLINS: Very candid remarks.

Well, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade, there are still major questions about whether the court is going to try to use the framework for that decision to repeal rights beyond abortion, like maybe same-sex marriage.

Senator Ted Cruz believes that the Supreme Court was, quote, clearly wrong when it legalized same-sex marriage in the landmark ruling in 2015.


SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX): Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation's history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states.

In Obergefell, the court said, no, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage. I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching.


COLLINS: Joining us now is CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover and CNN's senior political analyst John Avalon.

I know both of you have a lot of thoughts on this.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I love waking up to the latest inanity from Ted Cruz. I mean if - if the uninitiated are watching and think, oh, yes, that's really interesting, a senator from Texas, who actually has a law degree, is saying this. Maybe we should look at this.

[06:40:00] Let's just be reminded that Ted Cruz is pandering, not just to the base of the Republican Party, but to the worst kind of bigotry in the Republican Party. And what we know is the Texas GOP has just passed this plank (ph) saying that being gay is abnormal. And so if you're part of the Republican Party in Texas, you subscribe to this notion that being gay is abnormal now. You know that Clarence Thomas has said in the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe in Dobbs, that we should reexamine previous precedents. Of course, Clarence Thomas didn't suggest we should reexamine Loving v. Virginia, which the Obergefell decision is based on, which argues that marriage is a fundamental right. Of course, the Loving v. Virginia decision is about interracial marriage, of which Clarence Thomas benefits from that law and that reading of the Constitution.

So, all of this is circular inanity and pandering to the bigots.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: But it's not inanity to the extent that Cruz is dignifying politically what Clarence Thomas wrote, that the other justices tried to say, oh, we're not talking about that, because there is an intellectual flow-through line. And you heard him say right there, well, you know, historically, as a matter of tradition, marriage was left up to the states. I mean he just invalidated, by that logic, Loving v. Virginia, which everyone will say, no, no, no, no, we're not talking about that.

BERMAN: Yes, Alito specifically said in his ruling -


BERMAN: This doesn't raise any questions beyond abortion. But Clarence Thomas specifically said it does. And Ted Cruz is now saying, yes.

AVLON: Yes, I mean -

HOOVER: And - and what this is about, right, is, on the political side you always want to start gathering momentum politically so that the court -- because the court has traditionally been afraid of being ahead of where the public is on - public opinion on any political issue. Seventy percent of the country is in favor of same-sex marriage now.


HOOVER: Fifty-five percent of Republicans as of 2021 were in favor of same-sex marriage. The country has gotten more in favor of same-sex marriage not less. But the country is also more in favor of certain restrictions and protections of abortion, and the court reversed that.

AVLON: Right. And --

HOOVER: So the thing that concerns me -- I'm sorry, I just have to do this.

AVLON: No, no, it's fine, get out of my head. You're good. It's (INAUDIBLE). HOOVER: The thing that concerns the Republican here is, you know, you

can't be naive about when they're threatening fundamental rights anymore if you thought that nothing would have ever happen to Roe.

AVLON: It's the anti-majoritarian impulse you're seeing. Right now conservatives are saying, look, we've got the court. It doesn't matter what public opinion is. Now, if there's a disconnect between rulings and the vast majority of public opinion, which I'd say 71 percent support for marriage equality, a sea change over the last 20 years is one, that is a political problem for Republicans. It's also a legitimacy of the court problems. And Ted Cruz, of course, is just throwing fuel on that fire.

COLLINS: But, so how do conservative voters view this? Do they agree with the - a Ted Cruz or are they more on the side, well, this is a decision, we've lived with this, and this is how it should be.

AVLON: I'm -- I mean they just threw out Roe after 50 years. What would they be attached (ph) to Obergefell after a decade? I think what Ted Cruz is doing is trying to strengthen his right flank for some future fantasy presidential campaign.

COLLINS: Fantasy?


HOOVER: And conserve - it's not that -- you're right, it's not that fantastic. Ted Cruz is definitely going to run for president in two years.

AVLON: Oh, Ted Cruz is running for president. I'm just saying, Ted Cruz has a fundamental likability problem and that, you know, is -- usually matters in these things.

HOOVER: But your question was about conservative voters.

COLLINS: Yes, what do they think of this?

HOOVER: And I think conservative voters are, frankly, they're different all over the country, but in Texas in particular, at least those self-identified Republicans who turn out for the convention in Texas, they probably like it.

BERMAN: Well, the question is, does Ted Cruz speak for anyone but Ted Cruz in this argument?

AVLON: Sure. Sure.

HOOVER: He speaks for the right extreme of the base of the Republican Party. Those self-identified Republicans that are turning out in primaries, that are trying to throw out every Republican who voted to impeach Trump. There's three left, by the way. In two weeks you've got primaries for Republicans. They're trying to take out the last three Republican who voted to impeach Trump. I mean the self-identified base of the Republican Party can - self-identified conservatives, they're going along with this. AVLON: And, look, I - you know, just - just to remind -- I know - I

know the name Cheney isn't popular in Republican circles anymore, but if you're - if you're a right wing activist who says I believe in freedom, as Dick Cheney once said about marriage, freedom means freedom for everybody.


BERMAN: John, Margaret -

COLLINS: Margaret and John.

BERMAN: Or John and Margaret, whatever. Thank you.

COLLINS: Great to have you.

AVLON: Good to see you guys.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, the Secret Service is facing new scrutiny this morning, and why the January 6th committee is raising the alarm about a potential cover up inside the agency.

BERMAN: A new report says former President Trump entertained a conservative lawyer's suggestion that he effectively declare martial law. Maggie Haberman with this ahead.



BERMAN: January 6th committee members expect the panel to receive Secret Service texts from January 5th and January 6th of 2021 by tomorrow. The missing messages in question disappeared shortly after they were requested by oversight officials investigating the agency's response to the Capitol attack.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), January 6th SELECT COMMITTEE: They claim it was this technological change. We moved everything. We lost these texts. And then they also put out a statement, though, that said, we've only lost some of the texts and everything relevant to this investigation has been turned over. So those are very conflicting statements. So, we decided, as a committee, let's request these by Tuesday and we can make a decision.

I will say this, in the very least it is quite crazy that the Secret Service would actually end up deleting anything related to one of the more infamous days in American history, particularly when it comes to the role of the Secret Service.


BERMAN: Kinzinger added he anticipates the Secret Service will comply with the panel's subpoena.

With me now is Jeffrey Robinson, the co-author of "Standing Next to History: An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service."

Thank you so much for joining us.

Congressman Kinzinger says it's quite --

JEFFREY ROBINSON, CO-AUTHOR, "STANDING NEXT TO HISTORY: AN AGENT'S LIFE INSIDE THE SECRET SERVICE": Listen, I'm glad -- I'm very glad to do it. Can I just - can I just ask one fast question before we start?


ROBINSON: If I may. J.Lo and Ben Affleck, is there any truth to the rumor that for their ceremony they hired an A-Rod impersonator?

BERMAN: Let's get to the Secret Service, if you will, in our limited time. The - the --

ROBINSON: I write you an original joke at 6:00 in the morning. You don't -- OK.


BERMAN: How -- Adam Kinzinger says it's quite crazy that anything would be deleted. How crazy do you think?

ROBINSON: No, it's criminal. It's criminal. First of all - first of all, you have to understand something, and you've been - you've been in the business long enough to know that when you do any sort of investigative journalism there are two pillars. First is, there is no such thing as a coincidence. And the second thing is, everybody lies. That explains the Secret Service response.

Also, emails and texts do not get erased. You may take them off of your phone, you may take them off of some server, but they exist somewhere out in cyberspace. So, if the Secret Service cannot find them, cannot turn them over, or more relevantly is not willing to turn them over, the NSA can get them and the committee should turn immediately to the NSA to have everything.

But there's something else at work here. These are texts and emails. You've followed the president. You know that when the Secret Service goes out with the - with the principal, the president, there may be 150, 200 agents at every stop along the way in advance of where he's going, where he's been, whatever. They're all on the earpiece in their ear and the microphone on their sleeve. That's radio traffic that's going around all the agents in real time. That's all recorded. Why would anybody send a text or an email unless they didn't want to be on radio traffic? That's very suspicious.

BERMAN: So the texts that exist, if they exist, you think might be even more interesting.

ROBINSON: They exist. Well, they exist and somebody's trying to hide them. Yes, they're going to be fascinating.

BERMAN: Let me ask you this, Tony Ornato, who was in the Secret Service, then given a political position inside the White House, now back in the Secret Service. How unusual is that? What questions and potential problems does that raise?

ROBINSON: Well, first of all -- first of all, he should be fired, immediately summarily fired. When I wrote the book with my college friend Joe Petro, who was on Reagan's detail after the assassination attempt, the Secret Service went through a great deal of gut-wrenching to try and come up with what should be the gold standard. And part of the gold standard, which the Reagan's PPD, Presidential Protective Division, obtained was the fact that it's not a personal relationship. It's an intimate relationship, but it's not a personal relationship. You are there by the order of Congress, not the president, but by order of Congress to protect the president, vice president and anyone they choose to name. The relationship is not a personal relationship. Ornato deserves to be fired because he violated that. It's very important that there be some distance between the protectee and the protectors.

Now, there's something else at work here. Trump - Biden -- start with Biden. Biden has had Secret Service protection forever. Ronald Reagan, when he was governor, had protection. He was used to it. They understood this. Trump had a bodyguard, which is very different from the Secret Service. He had a guy named Keith Schiller, who was a New York police detective, and Schiller was a neat guy. I had some dealings with Trump 12 years ago. I wrote his novel. I ghost wrote his novel, which ended up published in my name and not his.

But, in any case, I got to know Schiller. Schiller was a bodyguard. He was there to make sure that if something happened, if anybody approached Trump, he could defend Trump. And that's what a bodyguard does is defensive action.

The Secret Service takes offensive action. They make sure that the principal is never in a position where somebody can cause a problem. They do everything they can to clear the space so that the space -- the space that is around the president means that he is perfectly safe from anything coming from the outside.

BERMAN: Jeffrey Robinson, appreciate your insight and whit this morning. Thank you very much. Be well.

ROBINSON: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, Texas lawmakers releasing a damning report on the police response to the school shooting in Uvalde. What it reveals about a series of failures by law enforcement.

COLLINS: Plus, monkeypox cases are spreading across the nation, and why a former FDA commissioner now says it might be too late to contain the virus. Where have we heard that before?



COLLINS: Australia's Cameron Smith rallied on the back nine to win his first career major at the British Open.

CNN's Carolyn Manno has this morning's "Bleacher Report."

And, Carolyn, I will not make my first question about his hair.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: OK, we're going to get to that, of course, his mullet.

BERMAN: It's beyond question.

MANNO: The mullet. You know, you can't question the mullet when you do something like this. The mullet stays. The mullet stays. The mullet stays. Especially when you shoot a final round for the ages at the home of golf, like he did. I mean this was just incredible.

He started yesterday four strokes off the lead. He caught fire on the back nine. Twenty-eight years old. His putting was unreal. A run of five straight birdies. So, he beats a fan favorite Rory McIlroy, takes down the American, Cameron Young. I mean his eight under 64, the lowest final round by an open champion at St. Andrews.

And afterwards the Australian revealed to reporters how he planned to celebrate with the sport's most famous trophy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sit outside, you know, a few beers tonight, and fill the cup. Have you estimated how many beers it's going to take in there to drink it all?

CAMERON SMITH, 2022 BRITISH OPEN CHAMPION: I'm going to guess two.


SMITH: Two cans of beer I'm going to guess.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many more will you have after that?

SMITH: I'll probably have about 20 claret (ph) jugs.


MANNO: So, 40 beers out of the jug. But, you know what, he deserves it. Only Lord Stanley knows how many beers his cup has held.

But when you're veteran defenseman Jack Johnson, guys, as you're inching closer to your 40s, you're on the back nine of your NHL career, this is the move. It's ice cream in the cup with the kids. I just felt like this was so cute to bring to you guys this morning. And, I mean, he's been around. He's seen it all in the NHL. He's played over 1,000 regular season career games. And so to win the cup and then take it for ice cream, this is what I would do. I don't know how you guys would celebrate, but I would - I would just keep it very low key, put some dairy in the cup.

[07:00:02] I'm not - you know, I wouldn't (INAUDIBLE). I wouldn't go crazy like everybody else. I don't know about you guys.

COLLINS: What would you put?

BERMAN: Crazy. I mean - I mean I don't think there's a question. I think you absolutely go.