Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

Charles III Visits Northern Ireland Before Queen's Casket Goes To London; Emmy Awards 2022; Justice Kagan Calls Leak Of Opinion Overturning Roe "Horrible." Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 13, 2022 - 07:30   ET



SALLY BEDELL SMITH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, AUTHOR, "ELIZABETH THE QUEEN": Using his convening power. And I think that's what we're going to see a lot of in -- not only here but -- in Northern Ireland, but throughout the United Kingdom. They want it. The royal family wants it to be the United Kingdom because as the queen said and he has said, there is strength in the union.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking at live pictures right now of King Charles and the queen consort, Camilla. They're outside Hillsborough Castle in Belfast. They -- this is a familiar sight now if you've been watching the last few days. The king and queen -- their version of crowd diving here, going right up to the crowds and shaking as many hands as possible.

And look, I know it's a period of mourning but you can also see on their faces this is something a little bit different than that, too, sharing, in essence, a moment of happiness to be with people -- his people. And the crowds -- obviously, they are excited to see him as well. Their first chance to see Charles as the king.

Again, they're at Hillsborough Castle, which is an interesting place in and of itself. It's a -- it's a place where some of the Good Friday agreements were negotiated back in the 1990s -- a key location there. It had been the seat of the royal governor of Northern Ireland until the 1970s, and then it transferred from that, so it had its own period of fraught history -- but the one royal residence in Northern Ireland.

As you're watching this Erin, what strikes you as Charles is seemingly comfortable in this communication with people?

ERIN VANDERHOOF, CO-HOST, VANITY FAIR'S "DYNASTY" PODCAST: Well, one thing that I've always found so fascinating about the walkabout, which for anybody who is watching this, this is the bread and butter of a royal engagement.

But it actually didn't start until the 1970 tour to Australia when the queen thought OK, maybe this is time for me to try to have a new connection with people on the ground instead of a more military-like parade. And it was just so popular that it wound up being implemented back at home. And now, it's really what the royals do. I think that it's really a symbol of, like, a transition from the

monarchy and seen as this removed figure of mysticism or mystique and closer to something more like a person at home. And like, clearly, Charles is -- you know, he's been doing these walkabouts for long enough. Even if you wouldn't necessarily call him the most charismatic person, he knows how to make a connection. He's very good at making the little quip, you know, that his mother was -- is really, really good at. And, you know, holding babies -- that kind of thing.

I think it's familiar to us for politicians but I think the idea of using it as a sort of apolitical tool is what the royals really excelled at.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Let's bring in Nic Robertson, who is there live for us in Belfast. And Nic, we're watching this crowd. They're so excited, obviously, to meet the new king. Tell us about the scene there. And also, talk a little bit about Belfast writ large and how folks, in general, are receiving this visit.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: There have been a lot of floral tributes laid in various parts of the city here, particularly in those areas that would consider themselves pro-British unionists, typically -- protestant neighborhoods perhaps.

But I'm thinking about this place where King Charles is on his way to right now, Hillsborough Castle. It's the place where the Secretary of State of Northern Ireland -- the British government's, sort of, most senior minister lived in Northern Ireland. But I'm thinking of its place in history and what the queen has done there that's been significant for the peace in Northern Ireland.

You know, when that peace agreement was made in 1998, there were big and significant changes that were made here to sort of lose some of the sort of royal overtones.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary, the police service, became the police service of Northern Ireland. And for some of those serving officers that was -- that was tough. They're deeply and intensely loyal to the crown.

So what happened? The queen came over to Northern Ireland. She went to Hillsborough Castle and she presented the George Cross to -- I think it was Police Officer McShane, who had lost his legs in an IRA bombing. This was a medal that was given to the whole of the service by the queen -- the highest award she could give as respect for their sentiment that they were now changing their name to a more neutral, less royal name that could perhaps be felt by both parts of the community here to serve both parts of the community.

Hillsborough Castle was the venue for that. The queen was the person that gave this award. And I think that symbolizes the importance of Hillsborough Castle, the importance of the role that the queen has, and the importance of the role that King Charles will have as well.

[07:35:05] And he's, first of all, going to meet with that Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who incidentally, has only been in his job for about a week because we got a new government in the U.K. last week. And he'll meet as well with the -- with the leader of one of the big pro- British parties as well, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.

BERMAN: Again, as we watch more of what is called a walkabout, there is King Charles meeting people there.

What else does the day hold, Nic, for King Charles in Northern Ireland? He's got the meetings in Hillsborough Castle and then there's more, too.

ROBERTSON: There will be. There will be a prayer service here at St. Anne's Cathedral in the center of Belfast.

And a little off to my side over here you can just begin to see some people gathering here. I believe these scouts are from a scout troop, next to us here. Members of the public are being invited to come in here and it's quite possible that King Charles and the queen consort, Queen Camilla, will have an opportunity to come into this area and talk with some of those people and meet with the citizens of Northern Ireland, as we're seeing right now.

But it's the political, constitutional, important face-to-face meetings that will take place at Hillsborough Castle. That's the venue for what will happen next.

But here at the cathedral, there will be a prayer service for the queen. Obviously, unlike Edinburgh, the queen not lying at rest here, but a prayer service for her to reflect on her gifts, if you will, to the country in terms of service and particularly here, in terms of sort of helping bring and cement peace here. So the service -- the service will be a significant one for all those people attending.

This church, built in the 18th century, is one of the first churches here in Northern Ireland -- a protestant church -- but one of the first to invite Catholic clergy into the pulpit on special occasions to preach. So it is viewed -- this church -- this cathedral here is viewed as a cross-community cathedral and, of course, symbolic and significant in Northern Ireland.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. No, that's a very good point, Nic. And I should mention all kinds of not just people as we just saw there, meeting the new king -- he just got a greeting from a corgi which, of course, was his mother's preferred dog. So that was a pretty cute moment there outside of Hillsborough Castle.

You know, I wonder, Sally, as it's possible that the king is going to have this audience with some folks there in Northern Ireland -- just everyday people -- does he get the real download from them? I mean, do they tell him their unvarnished concerns at a time where, obviously, there are a lot of economic concerns in the U.K.? Does he get that full honesty from them?

SMITH: I think that's the very essence of the monarch's audiences with whomever, whether it's a prime minister, whether it's various government officials, members of the clergy, members of the judiciary. They come into that audience room and they know they can say anything they want. They know that it is completely private. There's nobody else in the room. There's nobody taking notes. And they know -- at least certainly in the cast of the queen -- that it would go no further.

So, it's always been this sort of liberating and absolutely vital moment for public officials in Britain and for that matter, around the world -- the trust and the discretion that is embedded in those audiences.

So, I don't know. Today is not a political day so I'm sure he wouldn't get a political download on their worries about Sinn Fein getting the -- you know, gaining seats in the Parliament. He will in due course, I'm sure, hear those things. But I think for today I would imagine the tenor of those meetings will probably be more like reminiscences about the queen and their admiration, and a welcoming for him.

BERMAN: We're awaiting a 21-gun salute here. And Erin, it strikes me as we're watching the king and queen consort in Belfast, there's something symbolic about what we're beginning to see today as we progress to the queen's funeral on Monday, which is the queen and her casket still in Scotland while King Charles and the queen consort are now in Northern Ireland. Later this week they'll go to Wales.


In a way, you can see the separate journeys that they're on. I think symbolically, what you're seeing is now Charles making his own way, taking his own course. And obviously, this was carefully choreographed, every minute detail approved by the queen herself before her death.

VANDERHOOF: Yes. Well, and I think that you're seeing firstly, that the weight of the plans have changed since the queen passed. It wasn't inevitable that there was going to be this lying in wait in Scotland but that they are trying to emphasize, like, just how central Scotland is to their identity as a family.

BERMAN: Let's listen to this 21-gun salute.

(21-gun salute)

BERMAN: The 21-gun salute outside Hillsborough Castle in Belfast in Northern Ireland, the royal residence of Northern Ireland.

King Charles is now inside where he will be in a meeting with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Also, leaders of the five main political parties there and the speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Later in the day, he will attend a church service in Belfast. This is the latest stop as he travels around the United Kingdom prior to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth on Monday.

We're keeping an eye on this as the king is inside. Our live coverage from Belfast will continue in just a moment. Our thanks to Erin Vanderhoof and Sally Bedell Smith.

In the meantime, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan breaking her silence on the leaked draft opinion that overturned Roe versus Wade.


KEILAR: And heavy fighting continues around a key nuclear plant in Eastern Ukraine. So, why are countries moving closer to reliance on nuclear energy? A reality check, next.


KEILAR: It was a big night at the Emmys. "The White Lotus" led the night with five wins, including Outstanding Limited Series. "Succession" won Best Drama Series for the second time. And Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom, won Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.

For the second-straight year, "Ted Lasso" took home Outstanding Comedy Series. Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein each winning their second Emmy award.




KEILAR: And in a notable first, "Squid Game's" Lee Jung-jae became the first person from a foreign language show to win Best Actor in a Drama.

But the highlight of the night was Sheryl Lee Ralph who won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role in "Abbott Elementary." She brought the crowd to its feet with her acceptance speech.


SHERYL LEE RALPH, ACTRESS: Singing: I am a woman. I am an artist. And I know where my voice belongs.

I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like. This is what striving looks like. And don't you ever, ever give up on you because if you get a Quinta Brunson in your corner, if you get a husband like mine in your corner, if you get children like mine in your corner, and if you've got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me, thank you. Thank you.


KEILAR: Oh, that was so sweet. I love that.

BERMAN: Yes, it's great. I mean, look, if you're singing your acceptance speech they can't play music to play you off. You're already -- you've already got an edge on them on the whole music category. It seems like a strategic move there. What an inspiring speech, though.


And I'm sure she also considers people her friends who did not vote for her. I don't think she was just limiting that group there.

KEILAR: No, but I hope that that's an inspirational message that so many young people can take watching that.

BERMAN: For sure.

All right, other news now.

The risk of nuclear disaster looms over Europe as fighting continues in Eastern Ukraine. And Russia's chokehold on Europe's power supply is now driving world leaders toward alternative energy sources.

John Avlon with a reality check.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The word nuclear has been cropping up a lot lately from next-generation nuclear power to top- secret nuclear plans at Mar-a-Lago, the Iran nuclear deal, Putin's nuclear threats, and embattled nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

In fact, if you graph searches on the word nuclear on Google trends you'll see a clear spike of interest this year after a decade of basically background noise.

Now, some of the news is admittedly dark while other aspects are defiantly hopeful but in some ways, they're all interconnected. Because if you take a big step back you'll see that pretty much every geopolitical crisis this century is somehow related to energy.

Now, petrol dictators want to keep the rest of the world dependent for as long as possible, while scientists warn about fossil fuels accelerating climate change. Energy security, plus environmental security -- it's a pretty powerful pitch for the nuclear renaissance crew. And certainly, freeing ourselves from oil dependency would revolutionize the world order, while the rise of electric vehicles could make that transition possible for the first time, especially if we improve battery capacity.

But the fact is that nuclear energy, once billed as the energy of the future -- the energy too cheap to mirror -- has been hobbled for decades.

In the USA, a partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 just days after the release of the meltdown movie "The China Syndrome" put the brakes on new development and increased regulation. Now, less than a decade later, a full meltdown. The Soviet Chernobyl nuclear plant gave the world a glimpse of the worst-case scenario.

And so, the percentage of global energy derived from nuclear was already on the decline in the 2000s, and that was before an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Now, anti-nuke activists argued that these potential disasters were

too great a threat while pointing to the very real dangers that nuclear waste could be weaponized amid the difficulty of disposal.

The net effect of all of this was a retreat from nuclear power over the past decade, which suited fossil fuel pushers from the Middle East to Russia just fine. But Russia's invasion of Ukraine has suddenly shifted the calculus for many countries.

Germany, for example, which had announced it was phasing out nuclear power, is feeling pressure from Russia's nuke energy extortion. It's now keeping its last two reactors online while neighboring France is planning to bring 32 nuclear power plants back by this winter. Two weeks ago, Japan reversed course and signaled its return to nuclear power as a way to lower energy costs. Heck, even the California State Legislature just voted to keep the last remaining nuclear power plant online rather than having it sunsetted as scheduled.

Now, part of the reason for renewed optimism about nuclear power comes from new technologies -- smaller modular reactors with shorter lead times and more safety features.

The Biden administration has embraced nuclear power in a way that's a decided break from past Democratic administrations. And a bipartisan group of senators is pushing to expand investment with the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act, all while the promise of nuclear fusion looks like it just might move from science fiction to science fact as research ramps up.

Now, given all this momentum, what could possibly go wrong? I give you the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, which has been at the center of fierce combat that could trigger a meltdown at what is Europe's largest nuclear plant. Now, the International Atomic Energy Agency has warned that we are quote "playing with fire" and is calling for a safety zone and ceasefire near the plant, while some stationing its own personnel there to help stabilize the situation.

There has been damage to the plant near its six reactors. But with Ukraine reportedly restoring power to the Russian-held plant, the IAEA is reporting that the reactors are in cooling mode. And both countries are saying that want to create that safety zone around the plant. The plant is not secure yet and if it falls offline it still could create a radioactive disaster for the region.

In some ways, what's at stake is the future of nuclear power and its increasingly practical promise to achieve clean, abundant energy. Critics will say that manmade and natural disasters were always the unacceptable dangers they were trying to mitigate, while advocates argue that the rewards far outweigh the risks, with the benefits that include displacing dictatorships and combatting climate change.

What's clear in the nuclear resurgence is that both the risks and the rewards are real and we better hope that our capacity for destruction is outpaced by humanity's commitment to innovation.


And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: Important considerations to be sure. John Avlon, thank you very much.

CNN's Sam Kiley, the very first international correspondent to enter the liberated city of Izium after the Russian retreat there. See what he found and what the Russians left behind.

And we are live in the United Kingdom where Charles is making his first visit to Northern Ireland as king.


KEILAR: New reporting this morning on the Supreme Court. Justice Elena Kagan calls the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade horrible, and she says she expects justices to be given a status update by the end of the month on an investigation into the leak.

In an appearance last night, she said, quote, "I don't know anything. I suspect my colleagues don't know anything, except for the chief justice maybe, about what the investigation has turned up if anything. The leak is shocking and an obvious, blatant violation of the court's rules."

Joining us now is CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic. This -- to be clear, this investigation, Joan, has been underway since May when we saw this leak.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, since the first weekend in May when they learned that Politico had a copy of the draft opinion. And so far, no culprit has been caught as far as we know. And certainly, Justice Elena Kagan suggested that no one had been caught and that they will be getting some modest status report at the end of the month.

It was interesting to hear her, a liberal, talk about how horrible the leak was because as you know, a lot of conservatives have presumed that it was probably a liberal against the opinion who might have leaked it. But truly, that leak served the conservative side because it locked in votes.

The other thing she talked about there was the legitimacy or lack of legitimacy of the Supreme Court. You know, since the ruling striking down nearly a half-century of abortion rights and many other politically-charged decisions, there's been a real stain on the image of the judiciary as an impartial branch of government.

And she said when -- she didn't name any decisions in particular, but she said when the justices don't act like judges, they act like -- more like politicians, that's when public confidence will wane.

KEILAR: The chief justice addressed the legitimacy of the court and I know you'll have an opinion about what he said just a few days ago. Let's listen.


CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, U.S. SUPREME COURT: So, obviously, people can say what they want but -- and they're certainly free to criticize the Supreme Court. And if they want to say that its legitimacy is in question they're free to do so. But I don't understand the connection between opinions that people disagree and the legitimacy of the court.


KEILAR: What do you think?

BISKUPIC: I think he is just not confronting the reality of why people hold the court in such low esteem right now. It's because -- it's not because they disagree with an opinion. Certainly, most Americans have disagreed, especially with the abortion rights decision. But what people are seeing is that the justices are voting in lockstep politically.

This Roe v. Wade was overturned only because of Donald Trump's third appointment to the court, and he vowed he was going to appoint justices who would overturn it.

So when the court is not adhering to the precedent, as has always been the mantra -- the core principle of the court. When it's not adhering to precedent when it seems to be voting only its political interests and offering what are dubious rationales, that is what has concerned people -- not merely that they disagree with opinions.