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New Day

FBI Was Granted a Warrant to Search President Trump's Mar-a- Lago Residence; Two years' Worth of Alex Jones' Texts Turned Over to January 6 Committee; Alex Jones's Attorney Mistakenly Sent the Text Records to the Plaintiffs' Attorney; Four Muslim Men in Albuquerque Killed Ambush-Style; Rescues Underway to Save 10 Coal Miners Trapped in a Flooded Mine in Mexico; Haiti Gangs Trying to Overtake Capital, Haitians Attempt to Flee on Unsafe Boats. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 09, 2022 - 07:30   ET



JOHN AVLON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But it sounded like Trump could claim not to know that presidential records need to be archived, not only because at least two chiefs of staff reportedly told Trump he was required to protect documents, but because Trump seemed to know a lot about that law when he railed against Hillary Clinton's missing e- mails.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People who have nothing to hide don't bleach. Nobody's ever heard of it. Don't bleach their e-mails, so to destroy evidence to keep it from being publicly archived as required under federal law.


AVLON: But hypocrisy and irony are not the main events here, right? The real question is on what grounds the FBI was granted a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago and whether potential violations of Presidential Records Act by the ex-president are really the focus. There's also the deeper principle at work here. Even beyond equal justice under law, it's the defense of our democracy that comes from preserving history and not destroying it.

Primary records are the lifeblood of history books, like the one David McCullough wrote. Histories help us appreciate our responsibilities as citizens of a Democratic republic. And the challenges we face are bracing and we cannot wisely try to avoid them. As McCullough reminded us, we have to know who we were if we're to know who we are and where we're headed. This is essential.

We have to value what our forbearers, and not just in the 19 -- 18th century, but our own parents and grandparents did for us. But, we're not going to take it very seriously and it can slip away. If you don't care about it you're going to lose it. And that's your Reality Check.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: John Avlon, thank you very much for that. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: A first on CNN. Two years' worth of text

messages sent and received by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have been turned over to the January 6 committee. These texts were sent by mistake from Jones' lawyer to the attorney of two Sandy Hook parents. They had sued Jones. They won or rewarded nearly $50 million.

CNN Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy is joining us now. it looked like this would happen. And this, indeed, has happened.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes. And the bad news really just keeps coming for Alex Jones here. These are the, as you said, the same text messages that came to light in that shocking moment last week during the Sandy Hook trial when the attorney for the plaintiffs revealed to Alex Jones, who was on the stand and had no idea about this, that he had obtained about two years worth of text message records because Alex Jones' own attorney had inadvertently messed up and sent over those records.

And at the time, the attorney for the Sandy Hook parents said that the January 6 committee was interested in obtaining these records. And now we're learning that they have ended up on Capitol Hill. The attorney turned them over yesterday.

And so, it's really a shocking series of events, Brianna. Alex Jones, I'm sure, never anticipated his records, phone records, ending up in court, nevertheless, ending up on Capitol Hill.

KEILAR: What's their interest with his text messages?

DARCY: Yes, they're very interested in Alex Jones because he was a central player on January 6. He was at the Capitol. He was seen riling up protesters. So, they're very interested in what he was doing and who he was talking with. Unfortunately, we don't believe these text messages actually include things sent on January 6 or in the immediate lead-up to January 6.

I think the most recent messages, is our understanding, is that it was from mid-2020. That said, it's going to help the January 6 committee, for sure, paint a web of context. Who was Alex Jones talking to? I'm told that these messages indicated he was talking to people in Trump's orbit. Who are those people? You know, it will definitely shed light on his activities.

BERMAN: Two years worth? Who's sweating this morning, Oliver?

DARCY: Yes, I think probably a few people are sweating. You know, Alex Jones, like I said, was apparently in contact with members of Trump's orbit. And I'm sure he was in contact with a lot of other people, you know, right-wing media stars, and they probably were telling him things they don't want to come to light or just being even in contact with Alex Jones, you know.

He's not necessarily someone that mainstream Republicans or right-wing media figures probably want to be associated with. So, I'm sure they're all worrying that these messages that they exchanged with him could eventually be leaked or come to light during these hearings.

KEILAR: Oliver Darcy, thank you so much.

DARCY: Thank you.

KEILAR: So next we're going to speak to a member of Albuquerque's Muslim community as a string of deadly ambush-style shootings has put that community on edge.

BERMAN: CNN crosses with the gang territory in Haiti as police struggle to keep control of the capital there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (foreign language): As soon as we get to that point anything that moves, light it up. OK, move, move, move. Move.




KEILAR: The Muslim community in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on edge after the killing of four Muslim men, 27-year-old Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 62-year-old Mohammad Ahmadi, 25-year-old Naeem Hussain and 41-year-old Aftab Hussein were all shot ambush style.

The last three killings happening within two weeks of each other. Police are looking here into potential links. There is no suspect announced as of yet, but officials are seeking this vehicle of interest that may be tied to the killings.

Joining me now is a concerned member of the Muslim community in Albuquerque, Samia Assed. Samia, thank you so much for being with us. I'm so sorry for what your community has lots and what you're going through here. I know you knew Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, who was killed on August 1, and Naeem Hussain, who was killed just on Friday, actually sat with you and your family at Muhammad's funeral.

Tell us how you are coping with this.

SAMIA ASSED, MEMBER OF ALBUQUERQUE MUSLIM COMMUNITY: We are terrified, angry, upset. There's just so many emotions going through the community. The loss was tremendous. Just seeing what has happened to our community in respect to these losses has even further devastated us.

I knew Mohammad Afzaal and the news of his murder was -- it just tore us to pieces, to be honest.


KEILAR: You are a mother of nine. And I know that you -- you don't want your kids going out. Your kids are various ages, obviously. Tell us how this is affecting your day-to-day life as a family. ASSED: Yes, it has impacted our families tremendously. I came home after the news of the initial -- of -- after Muhammad's murder and pretty much told my kids, "I don't want you leaving the home after a certain hour," told them to buckle down in the house. I had been vigilant outside.

We -- you know -- we watch ourselves, we don't go out, our daily routines have changed. We watch ourselves as we go to the prayers or the mosques. Many people don't go to the mosques, we don't -- you know -- they have -- people have chosen to stay in, to bunker in their homes, they're afraid to go out. And it's the same with my family.

You know, you mentioned a minute ago that we were at the funeral and Naeem, who was at the funeral himself, stood next to my sons and came back into the mosque to eat and break bread with the community, only to -- for us to hear the news of his -- of his murder a few hours later. That was really hit close to home and it terrified us, for sure.

KEILAR: Are you worried? I mean, what are you talking about with friends and family about how you think people might have been, you know, surveilled from the mosque or from the Islamic center there in Albuquerque? What are the sorts of lines of concern that you have?

ASSED: I'm -- I actually was concerned when -- especially when Naeem's news came to the community, because that's the first thing that comes to your mind is like are we surveilled? Was this somebody within the community? Was somebody outside the community? It was really a -- absolutely the first thing that came to our mind that it's -- we better watch our footsteps, we better know who is in our vicinity and just to be really vigilant about who our -- about our surroundings, basically.

KEILAR: Well, Samia, we appreciate you speaking with us We have been putting up this picture of this vehicle of interest, online and here on television so that if anyone has any information about that they can go ahead and report that.

Samia, thank you so much. And we're so sorry for the loss that so many people there in Albuquerque are experiencing, in just such a scary time as there isn't a resolution to this yet. Thank you for being with us.

ASSED: Thank you for having me and hopefully we'll find justice.

KEILAR: Certainly hope that this all is resolved very soon.


KEILAR: There is a desperate race to save -- there's a desperate race to save miners underway in Mexico, days after they were trapped in a flooded coal mine.

BERMAN: CNN in gang territory in Haiti, as police lose control of the capital.



BERMAN: In Mexico, an enormous effort to rescue 10 miners who have been trapped underground in a flooded coal mine for nearly a week. Crews are trying to pump enough water and mud out so rescuers can go in. Government officials say more than 500 people are part of the operation. Mexico's president says there are about 300 liters of water are being pumped out of the mine every second.


ANDRES MANUEL LOPES OBRADOR, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO (through translator): Everything -- everything -- everything is being done for the rescues. I have a lot of faith. Experts explain to us that when they work in these mines, the minors themselves make holes or shelters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): So, authorities told us we don't know when they will go down the mine because it depends on the water levels and all that. So no one knows. But the rescuers, the ones who are out there, as far as I understand it, agree that the water should reach them above their knees.


BERMAN: The miners were trapped after a tunnel wall collapsed and triggered the flooding. Officials planning to send in an aquatic drone soon to see if conditions are safe enough for the rescue divers.

KEILAR: And in Haiti, gangs are gaining the upper hand in a war with police, as dozens of neighborhoods are now controlled by increasingly well-equipped and organized criminal groups.

CNN's Nic Paton Walsh is live for us in the Haitian capital of Port- au-Prince, where really you can only describe this as a reign of terror, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. A series of separate crises here, swirling around Haiti, the political ones since the assassination of the president. There's no real sign that elections are coming and interim emergency governments beginning, frankly, to crumble here.

Inflations skyrocketing too for things like gasoline fears about food. But most importantly, here in the capital, a sense that the gangs, dozens of them, are slowly gaining territory and the upper hand. Here's what we saw.


WALSH (voice-over): The descent into the abyss in Haiti's fastest here. But one certainty is when the police S.W.A.T. team, we are with, cross into gang territory they will take fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): It is now open (ph) (inaudible) to war for control of the capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): The police need to prove they can be here. But the gangs and the police cannot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): And it is ordinary citizens who are caught in between. Here a passenger on a civilian bus that was hit in the street.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Take the injured people to the hospital. Make sure you take them to the hospital with an armored vehicle. You guys are close to there.

WALSH (voice-over): In the days before police said they've rescued six hostages in this same area and killed a leader of the 400 Mawozo gang. The police struggle to hold ground, so the gangs, whose currency is kidnapping and drugs, are gaining far too much.


WALSH (voice-over): Especially right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): Rounds hit the armored vehicle. They think they see where the gunmen are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): They run, but not like it's the first time under fire, perhaps even this day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language): As soon as we get to that point anything that moves, light it up.

OK, move, move, move. Move. Move.

WALSH (voice-over): Perhaps the gang has fled down the ally.

WALSH: It's this kind of intense violence that so many sites when they talked to us about (inaudible) Haiti's spiral towards collapse.

WALSH (voice-over): The firepower they bring doesn't in itself change who's in control. Gangs are able to block main roads at will with trucks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): It requires a major operation to clear them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language). WALSH: Gangs now often match or out-gun the police. They have a bulldozer too, demolishing rivals' houses in one area, Cite Soleil. Locals fled at night during 10 days of clashes in July that left over 470 dead, injured or missing said the U.N. As the G9 gang expanded control, burning and demolishing, those who survived fled to nights (ph) here, where a mix of flies and rain stop them from even sleeping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They burned my house in Cite Soleil and shot my husband seven times. I can't even afford to see him at the hospital. Down there the children are starving. I have four children, but my first is missing and I can't find him. I looked for him everywhere but can't find him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My mother and my father have died. My aunt saved me. I want to go to school but it was torn down.

WALSH (voice-over)A: To see where acute desperation can lead, we traveled to where what's left of the government rarely treads. Don't be fooled by the beauty. There is now paradise here, only hunger, heat, trash and the business of leaving.

Traffickers boat out to the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida if you're lucky. And while these places are sending Haitians back in record numbers, the U.S. Coast Guard is also stopping four times as many this year as last. These exits are what Johnny (ph) arranges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If we die we die. If we make it we make it. I'm the one who buys the boat. It can cost up to $15,000. We are hoping to get 250 people for the next trip because the boat is big.

WALSH (voice-over): Not everyone made it on their last trip three months ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The boat had an engine problem. Water got inside the boat. We call for help, but it took too long, 29 people died on that trip.

WALSH (voice-over): These aren't people who usually share their trade secrets, but maybe now they're relaxed as the authorities are busy. The boat is aging, scraps of net plugging holes, engines not fixed yet. But this is where Johnny (ph) hopes 250 people will huddle, maybe as early as next week.

WALSH: I mean, not really something you want to be in on dry land, let alone out at sea for days.

WALSH (voice-over): One many tells us why he saved for a year to get into here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I graduated and worked as a teacher, he says, but it did not work out. Now, I am driving a motorcycle every day in the sun and the dust. How will I be able to take care of my family when I have one? I'm not afraid I will be eaten by a shark or make it to America. WALSH (voice-over): The hope so remote it could only exist here, where they say the choice is between fire and water, even if all day, every day already feels like drowning.



WALSH: This capital city fearing the tightening of the noose around it. The port, over there, controlled by gangs. The road to the south of the country, struck by an earthquake a year ago, controlled by gangs. Cite Solei over there where you saw riddled with violence and gang feuding.

The east gang control fears that, perhaps, three-quarters of the capital may be under gang control or influence hotly denied by police. But a real sense here that the security is collapsing and with it, week by week, the possibility that the things people need for daily life may also evaporate. Brianna?

KEILAR: Yes, that is the desperation that is fueling them, taking those incredible risks that you showed us there. Nick, thank you for that report.

BERMAN: Just feels nearly hopeless.

KEILAR: Yes. Ahead, our coverage continues on the search warrant executed at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. So, what did the FBI take and what was the evidence of a possible crime that prompted this search? We are live in Palm Beach, Florida.