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Today, High-Stakes Hearing on Fate of Mar-a-Lago Search Details; Jackson Residents Told to Shower With Their Mouths Closed; Teacher Burnout Surging Nationwide Over Money, Politics. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired September 01, 2022 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: And the Department of transportation says that in many cases the airlines really delivered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLLY TROTTENBERG, DEPUTY TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: It's been a great process working at the airlines. It's really encouraged them to sort of up their game and commit to things like, for example, eight of the airlines have now committed in writing to providing meals or hotel accommodations depending on the nature of a delay or cancelation. That's a great win for consumers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: This comes ahead of a really big weekend for travel. Today is expected to be the biggest day of the Labor Day weekend in terms of flights scheduled, according to the FAA. 2.6 million people expected on United Airlines alone, Brianna. So, we will see as this weekend is just getting started.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Pete, thank you so much, live for us from Reagan.
And New Day continues right now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Just hours from now, a high-stakes showdown in a Florida courtroom. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar, and this is a new chapter in the battle over sensitive documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago. The immediate issue whether a special master will be appointed to oversee the documents that were seized from Donald Trump's beach house by the FBI. Donald Trump wants a special master. The government insists there is no need for one. A judge will hear arguments at 1:00 P.M. Eastern Time.
KEILAR: In the blockbuster filing from the Department of Justice Tuesday night, the DOJ argued that the appointment of a special master would impede the government's ongoing criminal investigation, and if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents, would impede the intelligence community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused.
Trump's lawyers made several arguments in a court filing last night. They defended the presence of the documents at his beach resort. They did not deny that the documents were indeed classified.
Kara Scannell is in West Palm Beach ahead of today's critical hearing with more on what we may expect and what we've seen so far. Kara?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Brianna. So, a few hours from now, this hearing will get under way. Trump's lawyers will make their best pitch of why the judge should install a special master, that's that third party to review the documents seized at Mar- a-Lago. And in their 19-page court filing last night, they said that a third party is needed because the FBI filter team that had done the review has had unchecked discretion.
Now, they push back on the FBI and Justice Department's explosive claims that they had recovered twice as many classified documents when they executed that search warrant at Mar-a-Lago than what Trump's team had provided pursuant to that subpoena, pushing back on this idea that there should be any surprise that there were classified documents in the filing, they write, but this discovery was to be fully anticipated given the very nature of presidential records. Simply put, the notion that presidential records would contain sensitive information should never have been cause for alarm.
Notably, they did not argue in this legal filing that these documents had been declassified by the former president although he has made that pitch publicly.
In addition, to having a special master Trump's team also wants to get copies of the material, this highly classified material that was seized. That's something that the Justice Department has pushed back on. They say that no special master is needed. They've already conducted the review for these sensitive materials and most importantly they argue that these records belong to the government, not to the former president.
Now, the judge overseeing this case was appointed by Trump to the bench in 2020. She has said that she is inclined to grant this request for a special master. But since she said that there's been a lot of new information that has been made both publicly and in sealed documents, we will wait to see where she comes out on this today. John and Brianna?
KEILAR: Yes. We will see how that factors in. Kara, thank you for that report.
BERMAN: All right. With us now, Donald Trump's lead defense lawyer during his second impeachment trial, David Schoen, he's also Steve Bannon's counsel. Counselor, great to see you this morning.
I am holding in my hands the full file from the Trump legal team that came out overnight. Nowhere -- nowhere in here does it make the case that the documents at Mar-a-Lago were declassified. Why do you think that is? DAVID SCHOEN, TRUMP'S DEFENSE LAWYER DURING SECOND IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Well, given the full benefit of the doubt, I would say that they tried to keep the brief as narrow as possible, focusing on the question of the special master, which really is the only question before the court today. And so they didn't get into a lot of details. They also didn't address the idea of a potential disconnect between the certification that they filed and the subpoena in the case, which is an issue that's going to have to be addressed.
BERMAN: If there is no evidence, and there doesn't appear to be any that we have seen, and CNN has talked to a lot of people that there was any declassification in the documents, what risk would it have been for the lawyers to include it here?
SCHOEN: Well, I mean, there would have been a risk in that. But, remember, in this case, the declassification that they are talk being so far at least in earlier filings and in public statements is a rather informal process of declassification.
So, the scholars differ on whether it could be effective or not. Of course, the power flows from the commander-in-chief role. So, there is a question about that. There's so much more to come out in the facts.
BERMAN: Understood. But you do think it is notable or agree it's notable that, publicly, Donald Trump and many people who support him, political advisers, have said it was declassified, but in no legal document yet, which would carry a sanction if it weren't true have they made the case that anything was declassified.
SCHOEN: Yes. I just -- but I don't draw the conclusion that they didn't include it because they were concerned about sanctions. I think they focused here. I think the two briefs, as I say, like two ships passing in the night in some sense. But the focus today is on special master and I think that's where they focus.
BERMAN: The hearing today is absolutely on the special master. One of the reasons these documents have been two ships passing in the night is because DOJ was actually responding to a first filing from Trump's legal team that went a little bit far afield of the issue of special master.
You have said that you were concerned that the Trump team filed the request for a special master perhaps later than they should but you also say you don't see why the government is putting up such a fight here. Why?
SCHOEN: Well, I think that's right. I think if the government's case is as they think it is, let's just play it straight, let a special master come in, say have at it, it has to be the right person with the right security clearance and so on, but why not let that process run out. Because a part of this whole scenario has to be -- satisfy the public, that there has been a full and fair airing of everything, that all concerns have been addressed and so on. This is a very important issue. I think how it plays out in the public is also important. You know, one thing that hasn't been mentioned is there was an amicus filing of a very political nature in this case. I don't think we need any of those things. You have Norm Eisen filing a brief in the case. He's been all over anti-Trump stuff forever. Just play it straight. If the documents are as the government says, there are going to have to be a lot of answers provided.
BERMAN: Again, I take your argument there and special masters have been on cases, not quite similar to this but cases before, so there is some precedent. But just on the issue of public trust, just so people know, and I don't want to dwell on this. The polling on this is that at least a plurality, in some cases, a majority of Americans don't have a problem with this investigation.
Here is one question, have the actions of the FBI and Justice Department since the FBI got a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, are they responsible, 46 percent say yes, 29 percent say no, so a plurality there. Do people want the investigation into Trump to continue? 57 percent say yes, 40 percent say no. So, the public is largely satisfied that this is fair until this point.
I want to ask you about the certification from Trump's legal team and CNN and others have since learned this was signed by Christina Bobb, one of the lawyers for Donald Trump, that certifies, and I'm going to read this, based on the information that has been provided to me, I am authorized to certificate on behalf of the office of Donald Trump that a diligent search was conducted of the boxes that were moved from the White House to Florida. And then she goes on to say, and there were no documents responsive to the subpoena, no documents marked classified.
How much of a problem is that for Christina Bobb now that it turns out apparently there were many, many documents marked classified in those boxes.
SCHOEN: Right. We don't know exactly what went on behind the scenes. It's a question that's going to have to be answered.
I can tell you this. I know Evan Corcoran. He was local counsel for me in another case. I met him through that. He is as honest as the day is long. I don't believe -- I have no reason to believe he would have done anything dishonest or otherwise. I don't know what to make of it. There is, again -- the question that's going to have to be answered.
BERMAN: Right. Because either -- it seems there are two possibilities here, right, either they weren't telling the truth -- and I'm not suggesting that's a possibility -- or they were so informed that there was nothing in the boxes, correct?
SCHOEN: I think that's right, or there's some kind of translation issue going on, that is, they believed that things were declassified, however, the subpoena, of course, says marked classified. So, they refer to boxes they went through. Are they keeping it narrow and not referring to things that were outside boxes? I really don't know. I think it's a fair question that has to be answered.
BERMAN: And, again, could they be in any legal jeopardy. SCHOEN: Could they be? I mean, I see a lot of commentators suggesting they are. If they misrepresented the facts, then they could be in trouble. If they knew that the facts weren't as they certified them. Again, I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt and think that there's some explanation and want to hear what that is.
BERMAN: David Schoen, I appreciate you being with us today. Thank you very much.
SCHOEN: Thank you very much.
KEILAR: Right now, thousands of people in Jackson, Mississippi, are waking up to a fourth day without reliable water service. And this is forcing many businesses to shut their doors.
Joining us now is restaurant manager at Bravo Tanyalyn Burns, which is an Italian restaurant that is struggling to support employees because of this crisis. Tanyalyn, thank you so much for taking time out this morning just to show us what you're dealing with, what so many business owners there in Jackson are dealing with. Tell us what this has meant for your business.
TANYALYN BURNS, RESTAURANT MANAGER, BRAVO: We've been under a boil water notice for 36 days now. We've been at an inconsistent water supply since Monday. So, not being able to open the doors, not being able to employ staff, not being able to support the community is a really hard place after the past year that restaurants have had pretty much since COVID. So, it's another struggle in a long line of supply chain struggles and things of that nature, increased cost of goods. It's one more thing and it's one more thing that's avoidable.
KEILAR: I know you're near the tap there by the sink. Can you just give us a sense of how much water you've got coming in, because I know the water pressure is really an issue there?
BURNS: And it's very spotty. So, we are uncertain each time when we go to the tap what we're going to end up with. So, for example, yesterday we opened -- I brought a full staff in --
KEILAR: And that's full, Tanyalyn? That's fully open?
KEILAR: That's fully turned on?
BURNS: I cannot push that any further against the wall, that's fully turned on this morning. And the issue is there is an inconsistency in it. We did our best to open yesterday, brought in full staff, did all the prep work, received the fresh seafood, and at 10:45, when it bottomed out, I had to look at my staff and say, I'm so sorry, guys, we're not working again.
KEILAR: That's terrible. I mean, because you have to deal -- you are under boil water before, a boil water advisory but you could wash dishes, now you can't wash dishes.
BURNS: Exactly. We have brought in ice and water over the last 36 days so that we can be here, so that we can make a living, so that we can serve our community. And then for the pressure issues and the pumps to fail, now there's no opening of doors, there's no business opening that we can do.
KEILAR: And there's no bathrooms, right? Toilets aren't flushing. So, now, you have people using porta johns, which is not ideal.
So, you have your employees who you're hoping to give employment to and you find out before 11:00 A.M. that you can't. What has this meant, Tanyalyn, for your employees and for them being able to get -- to provide for their families?
BURNS: Well, they get up in the morning, many of them live in Jackson, they do the same thing that every other Jacksonian does, just go to the faucet and hope they can shower before work. They do their best to get their kids off to school, except for the schools are shut down currently because there's no water. So, you find child care to arrive at a job that you hope you can work for the day to make ends meet for your family.
So, each day when you get up in the morning to not know if you're going to work that day is a struggle. It's mentally taxing for a basic necessity that we all assume should be there.
KEILAR: What happens for you, what happens to the restaurant if this isn't fixed here in the next few days?
BURNS: We come in each morning, we turn on the taps and we hope with faucets that we're going to have the pressure to pull chemicals through a dish machine and provide for our community and allow the people that have supported us and choose to work with us to come to work and do the things that we need to do so that they can have quality of life also.
KEILAR: Who are you holding to account for this? I mean, this is incredibly frustrating and threatening to the livelihood of you and your restaurant and your employees. I mean, who do you think is to blame?
BURNS: So, that is part of the issue, is it's a decades' hold problem. We are a bicentennial state with a decades' old problem of a water system in Jackson. And each time that we say, who is it to blame, is not the answer. The answer is how do we come together? How do we figure out how to work together to get this problem fixed, even if it's little by little, so that we can move forward. We need to stop looking backwards at who is to blame and figure out how to work together moving forward and get this situation solved.
KEILAR: Do you think you're finally -- do you think it's finally going to get fixed, that you're finally to that point where this is going to be solved?
BURNS: So, in talking about it with my friends, there's a term that we grasp, and it's desensitization. So, when boil water notice happens for us, it's a minimum of three days. We know that we are ordering ice and canned drinks and bottled water. We're doing all the things it takes to import those things for a minimum of three days each time it happens.
Now, again, we've been doing this for 36 days this time.
This happened again roughly a month ago and we did it maybe five weeks ago and we did it for about 12 to 18 days at that point. We don't blink when they tell us it's time to boil water. We don't flinch. We're so desensitized to the fact that it's such a common occurrence to boil water. You didn't hear anything about it and you won't. It's not until the pumps have failed and the pressure is gone that there's really an issue that comes to light for everyone.
KEILAR: Yes. it's opened up the eyes of the country to the plight of your city.
Tanyalyn, thanks for inviting us into Bravo, to your restaurant this morning. We really, really appreciate it.
BURNS: Thank you for having me and for shedding some light on this. We appreciate it.
BERMAN: So, what a night in Queens. The Serena Williams experience marches on. She beat the number two player in the world to advance to the third round of the U.S. Open.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you just beat the number two player in the world. How did you do it?
SERENA WILLIAMS, 23-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: Well, I'm a pretty good player.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: I'm a pretty good player.
All right, CNN's Brynn Gingras is here, the understatement of the century.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pretty good. Yes, john, how do we get tickets to this next match? That's what I want to know.
Now, listen, this was not an easy match for Serena. She hasn't exactly been playing what we're used to. Her play in this tournament may be surprising and thrilling for us, but she wasn't surprised as she just beat the number two player in the world, saying in her postgame interview, I'm just Serena. And guess what, we're not done with her yet.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GINGRAS (voice over): Serena Williams is not done yet as she continues her magical run at the U.S. Open in front of a packed ruckus crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, including celebrities honoring her career, the 23-time Grand Slam Singles champion she defeated world number two Anett Kontaveit two sets to one in the second round of the tournament.
ANETT KONTAVEIT, RANKED WORLD NO. 2: She played great. She -- yes, so, I mean, I was ready for a tough match. I didn't think that anything was going to come easy for me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you surprising yourself with your level?
WILLIAMS: No, I know. I'm just Serena.
I have absolutely nothing to lose. And, honestly, I never get to play like this since '98 really. Literally, I have had an X on my back since '99. So, it's kind of fun.
GINGRAS: With the outpouring of support and adoration from fans at the tournament, Williams tries to remain focused.
WILLIAMS: I think I've mostly been kind of blocking everything out, but then at the same time I've been embracing a little bit of it because I also want to enjoy the moment because -- yes, I think these moments are clearly fleeting.
GINGRAS: Williams' contribution to the sport is unrivaled. For decades, she's remained unapologetically authentic, an icon with a serve as fierce as her fashion. Williams transformed tennis not only how it's played --
AJLA TOMLJANOVIC, FACING SERENA WILLIAMS IN THE THIRD ROUND: I think she's changed the sport, tennis, but also what she's done worldwide for women in sports is incredible.
GINGRAS: -- but who can play it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Serena has expanded the sport because, as a black woman, she let us know that black young ladies, black girls, can elevate in the sport.
GINGRAS: Williams has said she will leave tennis after this tournament.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Serena Williams who we know who is out there every week and winning tournaments and dominating, that Serena Williams just doesn't exist anymore. And, by the way, that makes sense in some ways, almost 41 years old, obviously a working mother, it's a different time in Serena Williams' life.
GINGRAS: In early, August, the 40-year-old announced her farewell to the support in a Vogue magazine article.
WILLIAMS: It's just been an incredible, incredible ride and I'm so happy that you guys are on it with me. GINGRAS: Williams says her energy will turn to her family, possibly expanding that family, and continuing to focus on investing in companies particularly ones led by women.
GINGRAS (on camera): Look, this is practically her home court. The U.S. Open is where she won her first grand slam title in 1999, she's won it six times total. Of course, the crowd is going to be in her favor, she's playing doubles alongside her sister, Venus, tonight again on center court, in Arthur Ashe Stadium. That's never happened for a first round doubles match before. I mean, we honestly cannot get enough of Serena. The third round of the singles tournament begins tomorrow and, John, surely you have some pull, like, seriously.
BERMAN: Yes, no. If I did, you would be the first person besides close immediate family I would give tickets to. Brynn Gingras, thank you very much.
Ahead, Rennae Stubbs is with us, coach for Serena Williams.
So, updated COVID booster shots could be rolling out as soon as Friday. We have answers to your questions.
KEILAR: Plus, CNN is sitting down with teachers who are doing double duty this year amid shortages and nationwide burnout. Next, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona will join New Day with the White House's new action plan.
KEILAR: This morning, as the new school year gets under way, educators are ringing the alarm. The nation is short on teachers, in some places, very short. A teacher exodus over subpar pay, political pressure even and overwhelming workloads has left schools scrambling to staff critical vacancies. And now the teachers still standing say they're beginning to burn out.
CNN's Gabe Cohen has more.
GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When the bell rings at Casa Grande Union High School, more than 70 sophomores pile into Stacy Brady's biology class.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, we're almost full house today. COHEN: This rural district outside Phoenix can't find enough certified teachers, especially for math and science. So, 13 classes are doubled up like this. Some get an assistant. Others rely on a single teacher.
What has it been like?
STACY BRADY, SCIENCE TEACHER, CASA GRANDE UNION HIGH SCHOOL: To me, it's been chaotic. I wish I could clone myself because it's like I can't get to every kid who needs help.
COHEN: Have you ever seen a shortage this bad?
JENNIFER KORTSEN, CASA GRANDE UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT: No, I have not seen a shortage this bad.
COHEN: Jennifer Korsten works with the district.
KORTSEN: We have had it posted, we've gone to job fairs and there're simply no teachers out there to be had right now.
COHEN: After two years of COVID and tense public scrutiny, teacher burnout is surging nationwide.
JENNIFER ZANARDI, FORMER TEACHER: There weren't enough hours to do everything they wanted us to do.
COHEN: Jennifer Zanardi just quit her Florida high school for a corporate job, saying, salary was a factor, but the political pressure was the tipping point.
ZANARDI: The public was actually saying that teachers were trying to indoctrinate students. It affected my mental health and my stress in a huge way.
COHEN: And as enrollment in teacher preparation programs plummets, schools are competing for a shrinking pool of teachers and wealthier suburban districts are winning out. So, even as the federal government pumps billions in relief funds into districts, many rural schools and those with more low-income families and students of color are struggling to find staff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not going to the schools that are the most disadvantaged.
COHEN: In Prince George's County, Maryland, where there is a high concentration of poverty, at least 8 percent of the district's teacher slots are vacant, more than twice as many as last year.
GEVA HICKMAN-JOHNSON, TEACHER, PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: I'm scared. I'm really scared.
COHEN: Geva Hickman-Johnson, a high school English teacher, just found out she will need to prep lessons for the subs in her department. HICKMAN-JOHNSON: I'm being pulled in so many different directions that I'm not going to really be able to focus on the students that I'm standing in front of every day.
COHEN: You're worried kids will slip through the cracks?
DR. DONNA CHRISTY, PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY TEACHERS UNION: Absolutely.
COHEN: Dr. Donna Christy heads the teachers union in Prince George's County.
CHRISTY: They were falling through the cracks before and they are going to -- it's going to be like opening the floodgates.
COHEN: Casa Grande's elementary school district is one of many that's moved to a four-day week to retain staff. Their high schools are looking to hire more teachers from overseas. In some classrooms, para- educators are teaching lessons prepared by a licensed teacher, like Stacy Brady.
Do you think the shortage is going to get worse?
BRADY: I think it will.
My biggest fear, I think, is that some kid is getting hurt in some way, emotionally or physically in the room and I'm not able to see it because there are so many students in the room.
COHEN (on camera): And right now, most districts are actually trying to hire more staff than usual to help with the issues of the learning loss that kids are dealing with post-pandemic, which is making it harder to fill vacancies in places like Arizona, where teachers make less than in most other states.
So, what we saw in Casa Grande, Brianna, is this cycle where teachers are burned out, they're starting to leave, and the teachers who stay there are just having more work put on them, it's driving them closer to the door, and the ones who really suffer in it are the students.
KEILAR: This could not come at a worse time. Such an important story that you're doing here, Gabe. Thank you so much.
KEILAR: So, the White House is announcing new measures that they say will address shortages like the one that we just saw in Gabe Cohen's piece. First Lady Jill Biden, who is also a teacher, says the administration wants to support educators, as she spoke in a round table yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL BIDEN, U.S. FIRST LADY: And if we want to draw more -- more bright, talented people into the field, if we want educators to be able to do what they do best, we have to give them the pay and the support that they need. And the president will never stop working to ensure that everyone who wants to teach can and that they can have the support we need to do what we do best for years and years to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Joining us now is Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. He was at that round table yesterday, as you saw him sitting there.
Secretary, last time we spoke not long ago, you said that we were on the doorstep of the crisis. Have we walked across the threshold? Are we in the crisis now?
MIGUEL CARDONA, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Good morning and thank you for having me. That was a great piece about the situation happening across the country. I believe we are. And I believe this is why the White House convened this group to really talk about strategies. You know, our students have suffered enough. It's time that we double down on education and provide better support, better resources. And, you know, not only are we providing the American rescue plan, but we're partnering with folks to try to get things done across the country.
KEILAR: I think there's a new statistic out, hugely alarming, to parents and really anyone, I think, in our society.