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New Day

House GOP to Issues Scathing Report; Reports on the Economy This Week; School district Offers Teachers Incentives not to Retire; Cheney Faces Tough Primary; London River Running Dry. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 15, 2022 - 06:30   ET



KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Withdrawal, calling it effective, calling it efficient, while they compare what the reports were saying from the ground. Things like there being seven Afghans who died in one single day waiting at the airport to leave. Not any effective working with the Taliban during that time.

And so it's a really interesting report. And we should note the Biden administration is calling it partisan. They are saying that it is cherry picked. They are pushing back on the notion that they haven't worked with Congress in their oversight capacity and they are saying that they did provide over 150 briefings to House lawmakers and House staff since the Afghanistan withdrawal.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And, Natasha, it raises a question now a year later, what is Afghanistan? Is it a safe haven for terrorists? I know you have some new reporting on an intel assessment about this.


So, at the exact same time that the House committee here is putting out this scathing report criticizing the Biden administration, the Biden administration has actually released a new intel assessment that they have declassified that was a summary of which was obtained by CNN in which they say that al Qaeda has not reconstituted itself in Afghanistan, that there are fewer than a dozen core members of the group who remain in the country, and that the group does not have the capability nor the desire to carry out an attack on the homeland at this time.

Now, obviously this is a very rosy intelligence assessment. This is not something that the Biden administration was saying just a year ago, saying that they could see al Qaeda reconstituting itself within a year or two in Afghanistan. And, of course, there are a number of questions after the U.S. strike on al Zawahiri, who was the leader of al Qaeda, about why the Taliban was giving him safe haven in Afghanistan and now the United States did not anticipate that and how they did not see that the Taliban was willing to harbor such a wanted terrorist figure. So, a lot of questions here about whether this is just a snapshot in

time, this declassified intelligence assessment, whether the threat is going to continue to grow overtime, for example, if the group is just establishing the Afghanistan once again as a safe haven while it kind of plans for additional operations, you know, in the future. And, of course, why the FBI director, Chris Wray, said just a few weeks ago that his concern remains that al Qaeda could reconstitute itself and that the United States could be blind to it because of the reduced intelligence capabilities that it currently has in Afghanistan since the U.S. departure.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Kylie, I understand the Biden administration has done their own assessments of the withdrawal. What do we expect from them?

ATWOOD: Yes, we have seen the State Department conduct their own assessment. The Pentagon has done theirs. My reporting is that the State Department's actual review of this withdraw was done earlier this year, in March or April. They still have not released the results of that report. And I'm told that's because it is quite something that they are trying to keep a tight hold on, for a number of reasons, because politics is involved here, but also because they want to roll it out when they also have effective means that they have implemented in terms of lessons learned.

And so we are really still waiting to hear from the Biden administration what they have learned because, of course, you will remember, after this chaotic and awful withdrawal, they did say that they were going to do these after action reports. So, we're still waiting to see what those after action reports actually say.

KEILAR: Yes, fair to say, I think there could be some more transparency on that.

Kylie, we know that you'll stay on that.

Kylie and Natasha, great reporting. Thank you.

Today kicks off the start of another big economic week. The key reports that investors are watching, next.

BERMAN: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stumping for candidates endorsed by former President Trump. He's headlining a rally in Arizona.

And, an Iowa school district putting up big money incentives to get their teachers not to retire. What is being offered, ahead.



BERMAN: Heading into a big week of economic news, the release of several key reports that will show where the U.S. economy stands.

Joining me now, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

What do we expect when?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: John, an incredibly busy calendar, and incredibly high stakes here for American consumers, workers and investors. We're going to hear more about the real estate market this week. Housing starts, home sales. This will be important to watch. The strength and the health of the housing market with higher interest rates.

And also we'll hear about the health of the American consumer. We're going to get retail sales on Wednesday. This will be very, very watch -- closely watched. And the Federal Reserve minutes of the last meeting could give us an indication of how aggressively the Fed will be raising interest rates when it next meets in September.

Watching here gas prices as well. This might be something that is a tailwind for the American consumer. Finally, these are the lowest prices since March. They fell again overnight. Still higher than a year ago. But, John, look how much gas prices are down over the past month. Seven states are now at $3.50 or lower, 20 states are $3.75 or lower.

BERMAN: You showed us the consumer spending report, which is going to come out, retail sales.


BERMAN: That's what they're doing. We're also expecting a report on what they're thinking, right?

ROMANS: Yes. So, people say they feel absolutely lousy about the American economy, but they're still spending. And that's been so interesting. We heard -- learned Friday that consumer sentiment, lousy but slightly less lousy. And I think as time goes on these gas prices coming down and these signs, frankly, that inflation are peaking. We learned this last week as well. These might start to play into consumer sentiment. Maybe people won't feel quite so terrible about things.

BERMAN: Less lousy -- lousy but less lousy is a trend, and, if you're the Biden administration, the right direction.

ROMANS: It is. And, look, last week was, frankly, a good -- a good week for the Biden agenda. It was, of course, Donald Trump and Mar-a- Lago that was really stealing the headlines.


But, look, it started a little over a week ago with this blockbuster jobs report. Signs that inflation is peaking. We learned that last week. I just showed you that chart. These legislative wins, this is something right here that American seniors will start feeling right away with limits on how much they can pay out-of-pocket for insulin, limits on how much they can pay in a year out-of-pocket. The Biden administration still considering what to do with student loans. Student - the student loan payment moratorium ends, I think, August 31st. So there's a decision that's going to have to come on student loans soon. So, a lot happening on the Biden agenda here. And with those gas prices coming down, a reprieve for the White House.

BERMAN: It will be interesting to see as each day passes if the less lousy trend continues.

ROMANS: Less lousy. Lousy but less lousy.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you very much.


KEILAR: Love less lousy. That's great.

So, as teacher shortages are continuing across America, one Iowa school district is offering a $50,000 incentive to teachers, nurses and administrators to stay on and not to retire.

Let's bring in CNN correspondent Alison Kosik on this story.

Are the teachers saying yes to this, Alison?


Yes, in fact, dozens of teachers in the school district have signed on to this so far. School districts across the country are having to get kind of creative here because of these teacher shortages. Florida is recruiting military veterans to teach without a license. Some Texas school districts, they're implementing a four-day school week. And in Iowa's bigger school district, good old fashioned financial incentives. I'm talking about big bonuses to teachers are being given out to delay retirement in the face of these shortages.

With 95 open teaching positions in Des Moines, the school board unanimously not only approved higher daily pay rates for substitute teachers, it also okayed a $50,000 retirement incentives for teachers, nurses and administrators who are 60 years and older to get them to hold off on leaving, meaning don't retire yet, continue working through June 30th of next year. So, those who take the deal will have $25,000 deposited into their retirement account in each January of 2024 and 2025.

Listen to why districts across the country are finding it hard to hire and retain teachers.


ALBERTO CARVALHO, SUPERINTENDENT, LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL: There are economic conditions that have made it difficult for teachers to be recruited into the classroom, insufficient pay, critical hardship, the pandemic did not help, certainly the over two years that teachers endured during virtual learning and then back to school with extreme conditions faced by many certainly had a chilling effect on many. And, as a result of that, a disproportionate number of teachers across the country decided to retire before accruing full benefits. That's truly unprecedented in America's history.


KOSIK: According to a 56-page report in July from the American Federation of Teachers, that's the teachers union, this shortage has actually been building up. Their report shows that almost 300,000 teachers were already leaving the profession every year prior to Covid. This report also finds that teachers aren't sticking around because of a huge amount of paperwork that's related to standardized tests, as well as, get this, Brianna, a lack of professional respect. In fact, I looked through the report, the word "respect" was mentioned 33 times in this 56-page report.


KEILAR: So important to note. I wonder if other school districts will look at this offer that teachers maybe can't refuse here.

Alison, thanks for that.

So, tomorrow is primary day and Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney's fate hangs in the balance. Her political fate. Harry Enten is here with the numbers.

BERMAN: Plus, a drought in the United Kingdom leaves parts of a major river just completely dried up. How people are being affected by the water shortage, ahead.



BERMAN: All right, a key primary tomorrow in Wyoming where Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach former President Trump, will face strong opposition from within her own party.

Here now, Harry Enten, CNN senior data reporter.

Primary tomorrow. How are things looking for Liz Cheney?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Not good. So, this is my forecast of what we're generally expecting here. Look, primary polling isn't perfect. Indicators aren't perfect. But Harriet Hageman, 59 percent, endorsed by Donald Trump. Liz Cheney, just 37 percent of the vote. Primary polling can be off from time to time, but to be off by more than 20 points would be quite the shocker.

BERMAN: Uphill battle for Liz Cheney it's safe to say.


BERMAN: Now, if you look at a point in time where opinions of her in Wyoming shifted, what could you point to?

ENTEN: Yes, I would say, you know, look, there are obviously many factors that may go into a primary defeat or a potential primary defeat, but voting to impeach Donald Trump to me was sort of the keystone moment. So this is Representative Liz Cheney's disapproval rating --

BERMAN: Disapproval.

ENTEN: Disapproval. Disapproval. Before she voted to impeach Donald Trump in the state of Wyoming, her disapproval rating was 26 percent. Not bad, especially in today's polarized or even in such a red state as Wyoming.

But look at her disapproval rating after voting to impeach Donald Trump, 72 percent. More than doubled. So clearly something happened and this seems to be the event, the catalyst that changed opinions of Wyoming for Liz Cheney for the far worse.

BERMAN: There have been those asking whether Democrats in Wyoming are enough or plentiful enough to save Liz Cheney.

ENTEN: Right. So, this idea of Liz Cheney going in and saying, OK, I'm going to get Democrats, independents to vote in this partisan primary in Wyoming, has this worked? Well, as it turns out, if you compare May 1st to August 1st, look, there are fewer Democrats who are registered Democrats now at 40,000 than back on May 1st at 45,000. There are fewer unaffiliateds at 39,000 versus 37,000 and there are about 11,000 more registered Republicans. So, very clearly, there are some people who took Liz Cheney's words of advice.

But, John, here's the key thing, newly registered Republicans only make up 5 percent. Well, I screwed that up a little bit.


But, there you can see, only 5 percent of all Republicans.

BERMAN: And the other major takeaway is there just aren't that many Democrats.


BERMAN: Even if every Democrat had voted for her, it may not be enough to get her over the finish line.

ENTEN: Yes, 72 percent of registered voters in Wyoming are Republicans.

BERMAN: OK, people are looking at the fundraising numbers.


BERMAN: And Liz Cheney has raised a ton of money, but.

ETEN: But - but, look, out of state, Liz Cheney crushing it. Look, $9.1 million to Harriet Hageman's $1.3 million. But look at in state. Look at in state, 77 -- $776,000 raised by Hageman versus just $339,000 raised in-state by Cheney. Look, all this money is coming from out of state. The momentum in state is with Hageman. BERMAN: We almost have a complete picture now of how those Republicans

who voted to impeach Donald Trump the second time have fared. What is that complete picture?

ENTEN: It's not great. Look, two of them won their primaries, Dan Newhouse and David Valadao out in California. We're awaiting the primary on Cheney. Look, three have lost their primary. But all the way over here, four of them just didn't even decided not to run. They retired. So, overall, this looks like it's probably going to be two in eight.

BERMAN: And, overall, in polling of Republican voters, how accepting are they of those who moved against Donald Trump?

ENTEN: I mean this is, I think, the whole picture, right, should the GOP be accepting of those who voted to impeach Donald Trump? Among Republicans, just 35 percent say that the party should be very or somewhat accepting. The vast majority, 64 percent, say not to -- or all accepting, I think that is driving all these primary defeats for those who voted to impeach Donald Trump within the Republican Party.

BERMAN: So, the numbers say, let's wait and see what the voters say tomorrow in Wyoming.

Harry Enten, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Voters sometimes surprise, John.

BERMAN: They do.

Harry, thank you.

So, a chilling bulletin this morning from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, threats against law enforcement on the rise after the search of Mar-a-Lago.

KEILAR: Plus, new reporting on a statement signed by at least one Trump lawyer back in June that turned out to be false.



BERMAN: Extreme heat and dry temperatures threatening the River Thames in London.

CNN's Scott McLean in London with the latest.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's one of the most famous waterways in the world, London's Thames River. But this year, at its head waters to the west, there is no water at all.

MCLEAN (on camera): What would this look like on a normal year?

ROB COLLINS (ph): Well, typically, you'd find half a meter of water in here.

MCLEAN (voice over): Local rivers expert Rob Collins toured us along the winding river bend in southern England that stretches on without water for miles, past parched fields and through quaint villages where the once mighty Father Thames has been reduced to a stagnant puddle.

COLLINS: The very source of a river you might find drying up quite frequently. But what's quite unprecedented just here is there's absolutely no water. And that continues to be the case the best part of ten miles downstream.

MCLEAN: Collins says England uses far too much water and its aging pipes leak far too much. A fifth of supplied water is lost to leakage.

COLLINS: We have to adapt to this new normal. We have to use less water, use it more wisely, more efficiently.

MCLEAN: Satellite images show why 2022 has just been officially declared a drought in some parts of England. Normally lush green, the nation is now scorched pale yellow. At the nearby Oaksy (ph) Golf Club, they're hoping to be spared the watering bans already imposed in other places.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A golf course without grass on the greens is like a shoe shop without shoes on the shelf.

MCLEAN: In the quint Hamlet of North End (ph), water has never felt so precious. Last week locales were forced to rely on bottled water and water tankers when the taps ran dry. It's not clear if the persistent problems during hot weather are high demand or low supply in the local reservoir.

MCLEAN (on camera): So this is the moment of truth.


MCLEAN (voice over): The water is back now, but local farmer Peter Langford nearly had to give his cows bottled water.

LANGFORD: And it was getting quite desperate.

MCLEAN: The drought has also killed off the grass his cattle rely on, forcing him to use the hay he saved for winter. Rain can't come soon enough.

LANGFORD: What it says to me is that these extreme temperatures that we've got, that's not Thames water's fault. That's everybody's fault. You know, we all fly off in planes. We all do our bit to increase the problem. And I think it's a wake-up call really.


MCLEAN: Now, after the driest July on record for southeast England, there is finally some rain in the forecast later today, but it's the wrong kind of rain. Thunderstorms. Because the ground is so hard and so dry right now, it won't easily be able to absorb all of that water. And so the concern over the next three days won't be the heat, it will be flash flooding.


BERMAN: This has been an historic summer, and not the kind people like.

Scott McLean, thank you very much.

NEW DAY continues right now.

A signed document in June that there were no classified documents left at Mar-a-Lago and now a list of boxes taken from Mar-a-Lago last week that suggest they might be filled with classified documents.

I'm John Berman, with Brianna Keilar.

And the news this morning, word that a letter signed by at least one Donald Trump attorney claimed that all materials marked classified at the former president's residence had been returned to the government.


It seems this morning that the FBI believed that was false. And this might have contributed to the need for the search warrant last week.