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Britain Mourns Queen Elizabeth, The Longest-Serving Monarch; DOJ Appeals Decision to Have "Special Master" Review Evidence; Biden: "Steadying Presence" Queen "Defined an Era". Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 05:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone, to our viewers in the United States and around the world. It is Friday, September 9th. I'm Don Lemon live in London.

Brianna Keilar joins me from Washington. John Berman is in New York.

This is CNN's special live coverage.

And, you know, it is beginning to sink in. The only British monarch much of the world has ever known is gone now. You are looking live at pictures of Buckingham Palace where crowds have been gathering since news broke that Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96. Many mourners bringing flowers and lighting candles, some looking visibly shaken, others quietly singing "God save the Queen" in the London rain.

The world joins them in mourning from New York City to Tel Aviv to Sydney, Australia, lights are shining, flags are flying at half-staff, honoring the Queen's seven decades on the throne.

Her reign spanned 14 U.S. presidents, seven popes and 15 British prime ministers. Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Margaret Thatcher, all of them served and passed during Queen Elizabeth's reign.

This morning, there is a new refrain, long live the king. Elizabeth's oldest son Charles now ascends to the throne. From this day forward, he is King Charles III. He will be speaking momentarily to his grieving nation.

And in the meantime, I want to bring in now our royal correspondent, someone who has been covering the royal family for years now. And has been watching and working with him proudly doing the work here.

Max, hello to you.

Normally not this many people at Buckingham Palace on a Friday morning. What can we expect today?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think today is going to be about emotion actually. It's about taking stock of what happened yesterday. You will see the flowers really spreading and they will be moving out to the park. And you're going to see a sea of flower and people are very emotional when they go down there. It's very difficult to read some of the messages.

The king will be coming to London later with the Queen and I expect him to probably take in some of the views of the flowers today. I think that we'll be hearing from some of the children and grandchildren as well, other grandchildren. So I expect to hear from Prince William today who is very close to the Queen. So, tributes from the rest of the family.

And in about three hours time, the park just across the road, there will be gun salutes which sets off the ceremonial process which will last up to two weeks. And as you say, there will be a speech to the nation, public address to the nation later tonight from the king. He has already made his first declaration and he's asked that national mourning is up until the funeral and seven days after. And then royal mourning which is longer will last about a month.

LEMON: And it is very interesting, Max, as you and I were talking and listening to your reporting, this has obviously been decades in the making since shall I really took to the throne, since she was crowned. But it all depends on where exactly sadly she passed.

FOSTER: So, there is a plan in place, but on what day and where did the passing happen. There are alternative plans in place as well. But what they are doing at the moment is going through details with the king and he is signing off each element.

He was involved in the planning, but it depends, you know, there has been moving around of some of the parts as it were. So that is what they are doing at the moment. So we can't say definitely when the funeral will be and the palace aren't confirming. We're expected to be just under two weeks away.

LEMON: Listen, everyone is keenly aware of what has happened here and there is obviously a very palpable sense of mourning in the air and folks are -- as I said, not usually this many people at Buckingham Palace but they are coming to pay tribute to the Queen and also I would imagine to the new king as well.

FOSTER: A big test frankly for Charles. The day after his mother died, he will make the biggest speech of his life. This will be about bringing the country together. That is the role of the monarch, something that the Queen did extraordinarily well.

She was a unifying figure. She expressed continuity and we looked to her in times of crisis and we can't do that. So he has to address that. He has to speak for us about the Queen who is his mother but also our figurehead and a world figurehead as well.


But at the same time, he's got to balance that with how he plans to outline a future monarchy. And that is what you will see the next few days, reflection but also looking forward because the role of any monarch is to build for the next monarch. He's already building for Prince William frankly. LEMON: Right. So, listen, we've seen 14, 15 prime ministers during

Queen Elizabeth. You'd have to be in your late 70s or 80s to know England without this Queen.

FOSTER: I think that we could say --

LEMON: And then you have a new prime minister as well. People really don't know what happens next.

FOSTER: That's -- I think it was Helen Mirren described it as the one constant in her life. And I think a lot of people feel like that. And she deliberately managed that frankly. You know, part of her role as head of nation, that is to be there in moments of celebration and grief and to be part of the daily pattern of life. So she always does certain things on certain dates of the year, we expect to see her.

And so this is what has been the worry recently in recent times. She hasn't been able to commit to those arrangements. And that was unsettling for a lot of people. Obviously they thought that it would happen, but I don't think that they really realized how it would feel.

Even last night, they were quite confused. I think today is the day when you really see an expression of -- mourning is the best word that I can think of, but you see pain in people's eyes.

LEMON: Yeah. Listen, it's interesting because as I've been listening to your reporting here, there is not really sort of an official government policy role for the royal family, for the royals and for the Queen. But it is constitutional. Can you explain that especially to the viewers in the United States? Because the way our government works, people have a difficult time understanding what that really means.

FOSTER: You have a constitution that is written down. Our constitution isn't written and we sort of make it up along the way frankly. And we refer back to ancient precedents and laws and that is how everything you will see transpire over the next few days is set really. But at the same time, they have to adapt.

But the king is head of state. He appoints the prime minister. He opens parliament, he signs laws. None of -- democracy can't happen without the king.

But the king is also not allowed to get involved in politics. So there have been crises in the past where they have been expected to step in and the Queen always stepped back from that, so we'll wait to see what sort of role the king feels he should have in those situations.

He has been called the meddling prince. He has written to ministers in the past on issues which the Queen would never have done. And that will be his challenge. He's expressed opinions on public issues. Climate is a political issue and he is a pioneer on climate campaigning.

LEMON: But is it supposed to be apolitical, you consider that a political issue, climate? FOSTER: His critics would argue that it is a political issue and he

needs to stay out it. So he has to distance himself as anything seen as political, as soon as it's seen as political, he loses a united parliament and parliament is the one body that can remove him.

LEMON: And I want to ask you about how you are feeling. Listen, you have been covering this, and as you say, people sort of expected it to happen, right? She's 96 years old. But it is shocking that it did.

They didn't quite believe that it would happen. I'm sure you feel, and England feels now, the world is watching. The world is watching. Everyone is paying attention. How do you feel?

FOSTER: She's our greatest asset. She was our greatest asset. She was the -- government will blatantly say that we were able to pull our weight because of the Queen. When the Queen is there, she is at the center of the picture.

And I remember famously Barack Obama and president Putin helping her sort of down the stairs at one point. She is a unifying figure. But she is a global figure because she is still head of state in 14 other countries around the world.

LEMON: And she's a constant. She has been the one constant in the world for 70 years.

FOSTER: And most recently, what she gave us was during the crisis of the pandemic and Boris Johnson was losing control of all policy, the government was a mess, she stepped up and gave a national address and suddenly you felt the country unified.

LEMON: It's stability. Stand by, Max Foster.

I want to get now to CNN's Anna Stewart. Anna Stewart is live outside the palace for us.

Anna, good morning to you. What are you hearing from people on the streets today?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Don. Well, we were here yesterday, and I have to say, it was quite silent no matter how many hundreds arrived. And I think a degree of almost shock and numbness to the news yesterday.

Today, many more people are arriving here at Buckingham Palace, trying to show their respects laying flowers, the shots that you can see the gates of palace.


You can see lots of people lining up. There is a queue system forming so people can lay their flowers, lots of notes as well. And people are really here to pay their respects.

People telling me that she felt like a member of their family, a grandmother perhaps, or she was someone that marked all of their lives for stability, she was always a presence in their lives. They were there for every royal wedding, every christening, every funeral.

And the Queen spoke many times about grief. In fact, she said grief is the cost of love, is the price of love. And you can see how much love there is here today for the Queen.

And I'd like to introduce you to someone laying flowers here today. This is Tammy who lives in the U.K., but she is Australian.

Tammy, tell me why you are here and why it is important for you to lay flowers at the Buckingham Palace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think apart from being trying to incorporate some of the qualities that the Queen displayed in her own life, in my life, this is the only way that I can really show my respect to her and her family. So I dedicate these flowers to her.

STEWART: How are you feel something I know in many ways some were expecting the news, it still felt like a shock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a total shock because she looked cute as a button with Liz Truss and you also think that she's always going to be here. You didn't really expect this day to happen even though I know she was 96, so it was inevitable, but quite emotional.

I think everyone's hearts have been opened today and yesterday and will be for a long time. So it is a lovely feeling, but I'm very sad.

STEWART: It's very sad, but it's always interesting when these events how people come together in some respects. I think that maybe helps with the grief.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I think that's what she does. She unified the country, she unified countries within the world. And so we come together and she did her job. You know, keeping us all together in grief or sadness or happiness.

STEWART: And looking back to that speech where she said whether her life be long or short, she would serve her duty to the commonwealth, do you feel like she did that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, definitely. I don't think anyone can doubt that she actually totally embraced with all her being and heart, mind and soul her job to this country, and to the world. Not just this country. She was quite spectacular.

STEWART: Thank you very much. Thank you for speaking to us. Good luck for laying your flowers because the queues are forms.

A lot of sadness but I think a lot of happiness in remembering the Queen's life and an opportunity for people to come together, grieve together and share memories of the Queen -- Don.

LEMON: Yeah, community, community. Thank you very much, Anna. I appreciate that. Anna Stewart in front of Buckingham Palace. We'll check back in with you.

I want to go back now to my colleagues in New York and also in Washington, D.C., Brianna and John.

Sadness on both sides of the pond. Shock yesterday when we got the news in America as well.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, and look, Max put it in such a way which was people knew this would happen, but maybe they did not know how they would feel. And we're certainly seeing that as you are speaking with people there, Don.

We do want to talk about some other big news ahead that we'll get to today.

The Justice Department appealing a judge's ruling to appoint a special master to review the material seized at Mar-a-Lago. The latest on the investigation into the former president, ahead.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And a shooting overnight in Uvalde, Texas putting an already tense community on edge.



KEILAR: Our special coverage on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II will continue.

First, let's get to some other headlines this morning. A shooting at memorial park in Uvalde, Texas, injuring two people. The juvenile victims were taken to hospitals in San Antonio, and their conditions are not known. Police believe Thursday's shooting was gang-related. Four suspects are in custody.

And in Georgia, two sheriff deputies were killed while serving a warrant at a home just north of Atlanta. Following an hours-long standoff with police, two suspects are in custody this morning.

BERMAN: Prosecutors say a Las Vegas journalist who was stabbed to death had the alleged killer's DNA underneath his fingernails. Nevada county official Robert Telles is charged with the murder in the death of Jeff German who was investigating Telles when he was killed.

And a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that a citizen-sponsored initiative seeking to enshrine abortion rights will be allowed on the ballot in November.

KEILAR: And this morning, the Justice Department appealing a court ordered special master review of the materials seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago. And that includes more than 100 classified documents. It is arguing that the order would put U.S. national security at risk.

CNN's Sara Murray joins us with the latest on this.

Sara, what can you tell us?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, the Justice Department is saying we're fine with the special master going forward except when it comes to these 100 or something classified documents that came from the August search of Mar-a-Lago. The intelligence agencies have already had to pause their damage assessment and they are pointing out that there is a link between the FBI's ability to review the documents which the judge blocked and the intelligence community's assessment.

And they're saying, essentially, you're putting national security at risk by pushing pause on this. We want this to be able to go forward while we are trying to appeal it.

BERMAN: And, Sara, we learned overnight also that there is a federal grand jury investigating the fundraising surrounding January 6, the Save America Leadership PAC.

What can you tell us about this?

MURRAY: That's right. We've known that there is a federal investigation into what led up to the January 6 riot.


This is an indication that the investigations are going even further than we previously thought. So there are a handful of aides who were formerly in the Trump administration. There were aides that are working around the Save America PAC. They were advisers who have gotten subpoenas. And the subpoenas suggest that investigators are interested in the formation, the fund raising, the spending of this main fundraising vehicle for the former president as he was leaving office.

We're trying to get more information about whether this is about the role that they played, whether they could have potentially defrauded donors, and continuing the spread the notion that the election was stolen and raising money of that PAC. There is still a lot we don't know. But this is a significant expansion in the federal investigation, John.

KEILAR: All right. Sara, we'll be watching all of this. Thank you so much.

A global outpouring of grief and solidarity after the passing of Queen Elizabeth. What a new leader of the monarchy will mean for the UK and the world.

We are live from London ahead.




QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.


LEMON: Don Lemon here live at Buckingham Palace.

President Biden joining leaders around the world in remembering the Queen, ordering flags at U.S. federal and military facilities to be flown at half-staff until her funeral. He and the first lady visited the British embassy in the nation's capital on Thursday to pay their respects and to sign a condolence book.

Later at a DNC reception in Maryland, he said this of the monarch.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had the opportunity to meet her before she passed and she was incredibly gracious and decent woman and thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the people of the United Kingdom and the commonwealth in their grief.


LEMON: CNN's Arlette Saenz joins us now live now from Washington.

Good morning to you, Arlette.

The president and first lady and other leaders in Washington all paying tribute to the Queen.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. And President Biden yesterday mourned the passing of Queen Elizabeth, describing her as not just being a monarch, but someone who defined an era. We saw the tributes from the president when he visited the British embassy to sign the coal done lens book and also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.

The president will be traveling to Ohio today, so we'll see whether he might offer more reflections on the Queen's life and if he possibly speaks to reporters before leaving.

But one big question going forward is whether President Biden will be attending that funeral for Queen Elizabeth. Those arrangements are still being made over at the United Kingdom and the White House has said that it is early, but that is something that is certainly under discussion at this moment.

But simply put, Queen Elizabeth has been a constant presence for American presidents for decades. She met 13 of the last 14 sitting presidents since Harry Truman with the exception of LBJ. President Biden as a senator met her in 1982 and then again as president last summer in the United Kingdom when he travelled to Windsor Castle for a meeting with the Queen, something that he described a moment that reminded him of his own mother.

And going forward, the president has had a relationship, has had meetings over the years with King Charles and in a statement yesterday, he said that he and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, look forward to continuing a friendship with the king and the queen consort.

LEMON: All right. Arlette Saenz, thank you very much. Appreciate that.

You know, there is an interesting sorry about Queen Elizabeth told by former royal protection officer. His name is Richard Griffin. He likes to reminisce about a picnic that he attended with the Queen at Balmoral and an encounter with two American tourists who did not realize that they were in the company of the monarch. Watch.


RICHARD GRIFFIN, FORRMER ROYAL PROTECTION OFFICER: Normally, on these picnic sites, you meet nobody. But there was two hikers coming towards us and the Queen would always stop and say hello. It was two Americans on a walking holiday.

And it was clear from the moment that we first stopped they had not recognized the Queen, which is fine. And the American gent was saying where they came from, where they were going to next and where they had been to in Britain. Sure enough, he said where do you live? And she said I live in London but I have a holiday home just the other side of the hills.

And he said how often do you come up here? And she said, I've been coming up here since I was a little girl, so over 80 years. And he said if you have been coming up here for 80 years, you must have met the Queen.

And just as a flash, well, I have, I meet her regularly. And the guy said, you've met the Queen, what is she like? And because I knew, I said she can be very cantankerous, but she has a lovely sense of humor.

Next thing I know, this by comes around, put his arm around my shoulder, and before I could see what was happening, he gets his camera, gives it to the Queen and says, can you take a picture of the two of us?

Anyway, we swapped places and I took a picture of them with the Queen and we never let on and we waved good-bye. And the majesty said, I'd love to be a fly on the wall when he shows forecasts to his friends in America.